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Mensans Go for the Mix : The Club Is Smart but Its Members Are Not All Chic and Fashionable

September 15, 1985|KAY BARTLETT | Associated Press

Seitelman said she has met all kinds of interesting people through Mensa, over the years.

Another time, Seitelman recalled, she was at a Mensa picnic in the San Francisco area and noticed a handsome young man who was accompanied by two other men.

"I was introduced to him and he first kissed my hand and then he kissed me on both cheeks," she recalls. "The chairman then told me I could write home to my mother and say I had been kissed by a multiple ax murderer."

The young man was a Mensan who had been allowed out of San Quentin to attend the picnic. The other men were prison guards.

One Mensan sent to prison for embezzlement is now the treasurer of his chapter.

Although Mensa is largely white and male, it has more than 200 black members. "Blacks who qualify usually have other priorities," said Shaughnessy. She said the same is true of women.

To determine if you belong in Mensa, members say, just stand in any crowd and look around. Are you smarter than 49 others out of a group of 50? Then you belong.

"'We are not geniuses," Sturgeon said. "An Einstein comes along once every 100 years. That's a genius."

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