Report: #1018251

Complaint Review: American Mensa, Ltd.

  • Submitted: Thu, February 21, 2013
  • Updated: Tue, April 21, 2015
  • Reported By: PKT — Texas USA
  • American Mensa, Ltd.

    Arlington, Texas
    United States of America

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

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
are ignored.

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?

Is this Ripoff Report About you?
Ripoff Report A business' first line of defense on the Internet.
If your business is willing to make a commitment to customer satisfaction Click here now..

Does your business have a bad reputation? Fix it the right way. Corporate Advocacy Program™

Set the record straight: Arbitration Program

SEO Reputation Management at its best!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/21/2013 05:06 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

Search for additional reports

If you would like to see more Rip-off Reports on this company/individual, search here:

Report & Rebuttal
Respond to this report!
Also a victim?
Repair Your Reputation!

Updates & Rebuttals


#1 Author of original report

@Anonymous Reader

AUTHOR: - ()

@Anonymous Reader: Most of the Mensa-related conversation moved to another report on this website.

Respond to this report!

#2 Author of original report

Re: Who is Pam Donahoo?

AUTHOR: - ()

The incident that led to the gun ban at Mensa events in described in the comments in the other other Mensa discussion on this website. Enter "Mensa" in the Search box in the upper right of your screen, and you can find a link to a longer Mensa discussion.

Respond to this report!

#3 Consumer Comment

Who is Pam Donahoo?

AUTHOR: anastunya - (USA)

I am a dues-paying member of American Mensa who was wondering who Executive Director Pam Donahoo was and why she led an initiative to ban the Second Amendment Rights of members. Google led me to this site, and now I am reading about "Dirty Old Mensans"! No wonder young people don't want to join and why I can't seem to find Mensa men interested in women their own age!

I still need to know who this woman is. Is Donahoo a misspelling of Donahue? What is her name on her birth certificate? If this group of association executives gave her an award, it is probably a bad sign, as many non-profit executives just rip off the donors.

Please reply to this thread with any and all info about Pam Donahoo.


Respond to this report!

#4 Consumer Comment

He's still at it

AUTHOR: Anonymous Reader - ()

The main report and the first response may be 2 years old but nothing has changed in that the Mensa national staff and its executive director are seen to be railroading their personal agendas through.

As for Stanley Korn, he's still at it.  A local gathering (convention) was cancelled due to circumstances beyond anybody's control.  Like many of us Stanley had registered early to take advantage of lower registration rates.  He doesn't just want his refund (which all of us are getting) he wants interest on the registration fee.  Said interest would be mere pennies. 

Respond to this report!

#5 Consumer Comment

Stanley Korn

AUTHOR: Anonymous - ()

How ironic that, of all people, Stanley Korn is angry about SIGs (Special Interest Groups) that exclude him. As this is being written, the AG (Annual Gathering) has just started in Fort Worth and he's already making more enemies, berating a speaker at one of the first events of the convention known as the Colloquium. Among his intentions at the AG this week is to form a whites-only SIG that excludes anyone with skin darker than a paper bag.

This is the same man who believes he has the right to browbeat and harass his fellow Mensa members if they are younger than him. As just one example of the many Stanley Korn anecdotes: while registering at the AG in Detroit, he demanded an early-registration discount, even though he had not registered in advance. He was so belligerent and personally insulting toward the registration manager, who is an unpaid volunteer of GenX-age, that she offered him her own personal money to make him go away, and he actually took her money. He is still proud of upsetting this woman, who is known group-wide as a warm, gentle person and dedicated volunteer.

Is it any wonder that there are SIGs who are glad they don't have to be around him?

Respond to this report!

#6 General Comment

Response to American Mensa Ltd. article

AUTHOR: stanleykorn - ()

While I don’t dispute the claim that predatory Mensans are a problem, I find the proposed remedy of permitting SIGs to have age-based membership restrictions to be objectionable and inappropriate for a number of reasons.

I am a Mensa member in good standing, and have been denied membership in the national Mensa SIGs Generation X and Generation Y because these SIGs have membership requirements based solely on the year in which the applicant was born.

 According to the latest revision of the American Mensa, Ltd. (AML) SIG Handbook, in the section “Exclusivity” under “Running your SIG,” it is stated that

Paragraph IX(3) of the AML Bylaws guarantees every AML member the right of full equal access to the SIGs program “without qualification or limitation,” including membership in any particular SIG. Thus, SIG Coordinators cannot exclude entire groups of Mensa members from SIG membership. Exceptions to this rule are as follows: 1) SIGs that were established prior to Nov. 15, 2011; and 2) SIGs categorized as “Adult,” which may exclude members under the age of maturity.

According to the opinion rendered by Dave Cahn, the National Ombudsman (no, he is not my “buddy”), in an article aptly titled "Mensa Should Play By Its Rules," published in the July 2012 issue of the Mensa Bulletin in response to a case that I brought before him, “[T]he grandfather clause would permit a ‘qualification or limitation,’ which is forbidden. There is no basis to exclude existing SIGs from the requirement of the bylaw.”

Besides operating in violation of the AML bylaws, the Generation X and Generation Y SIGs do not even satisfy the definition of a SIG. SIG is an acronym for special interest group, that is, an affinity group characterized by the fact that the members all share a common interest. Members of the Generation X and Generation Y SIGs do not share a common interest, only a common demographic, namely, the range of years in which they were born. Thus the Generation X and Generation Y SIGs are SIGs in name only.

Finally, I would ask those who believe that it is justified to allow SIGs to have age-based membership requirements because some women were hit upon by older men, if they would be equally accepting of SIGs having race-based membership requirements if it so happened that some women were hit upon by black men.

Mensa is certainly not the only organization having a problem with members harassing other members. The appropriate was to deal with sexual or other forms of harassment is for the harassee to let the harasser know in no uncertain terms that his (the harasser’s) attention is unwelcome. If the harasser persists, then it is up to the harassee to notify those in charge of the event of the problem and let them take the appropriate action.

Respond to this report!
Ripoff Report Recommends
ZipBooks Accounting Software

Advertisers above have met our
strict standards for business conduct.