Despite marketing efforts, American Mensa has experienced declining membership for the past several years, and they refuse to address the reason for that: severely disturbed, harassing and predatory members. The group's local, regional and annual gatherings are full of aggressive members who have harassed and even assaulted other members with impunity.
Sexual harassment is a constant feature in this group. Sexually aggressive older men are so common there's an acronym to describe them: DOM (Dirty Old Mensans). For years, a member from New York nicknamed "Orange Man" because he wears that color constantly, has attended the Annual Gathering ("AG"), at which he grabs younger women and shoves his tongue in their mouths while fondling them. Women's complaints have had no effect. There is no policy or procedure for dealing with this problem. Complainants are told that someone will get back to them in a few days, and then. [continued below]....
.......nothing. Phone calls and emails
It's not uncommon for Mensa events to be 75% male, yet nobody wants to address why this is the case. Technically, society is harsher for intelligent women than for intelligent men, so by that theory there should be a higher incentive for women to join, right? Nobody wants to look at the issue.
Other members have criminal records for assault, sex crimes and, even attempted murder. Often their crimes are against other Mensans. A Regional Vice Chair from Florida, Mel Dahl, stabbed a man in a bathroom. That's right-- a leader in this organization stabbed a man. Another member in New York, Steven Finkelstein, brutally assaulted and financially defrauded multiple female Mensans, and was only stopped because the law stepped in and sent him to jail. Mensa didn't even reprimand him, let alone suspend his membership.
Finkelstein is not the only Mensan to be convicted of crimes against other Mensans, yet the group refuses to even look at the problem, let alone make decisions about it.
Many of the predatory members are longtime Mensans because the rest of society avoids them, and are therefore over age 55. The younger adult members have formed special interest groups (SIGs) in which they avoid these predators, and can better address harassing conduct. There is GenX SIG is for members born 1961-1981, and the GenY SIG is for members born 1976-1995. Sounds like a great solution, right? Well, not so fast. Several chapters have already banned age-based SIGs, and if member Stanley Korn and his Ombudsman buddy Dave Cahn have their way, that ban will go nationwide. Meanwhile, that duo is silent as lambs about addressing the harassment issues that fueled those groups in the first place.
Pamela Donahoo and her cronies refuse to make any changes that will address the problem. Membership continues to decline. What's it going to take, Mensa?