At its recent ScamFest Regional Gathering at Cocoa Beach, the members of the Space Coast chapter of American Mensa pondered the possibility of world domination. (Photo by Michael Freeman).
COCOA BEACH – There have been, throughout history, plenty of attempts to take over the world, Richard Manno noted.
Whether one looks to the Bible, mythology or history for examples, there are plenty in all three, Manno said – starting with the attempt by the Devil to take over Heaven, only to be banished forever.
“There have been a whole bunch of world domination attempts,” he said. “We can start with the revolt of the devil, to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, to the Towel of Babel to Persius to Perocles to Julius Casear.”
What each and every one shared, Manno noted, was one thing: high ambition, low achievements. All past attempts at world domination have failed. That raises the question, he added, of whether world domination is something that can even be accomplished.
“All of these attempts seem to have been by men,” Manno said. “All of the attempts were by men, but there was a woman behind them pushing all the way.”
Manno is a believer that world domination can be achieved, and in fact, he supports the notion – assuming it’s done by an organization that he’s an active member of: American Mensa.
“Every attempt at world domination was made by a non-Mensan,” Manno said. “So why not Mensa? Certainly we’re intelligent enough to succeed where they failed.”
That might sound like a contradiction, since American Mensa is the largest and oldest high-IQ society in the world, for people who score at the 98th percentile or higher on Mensa’s intelligence admissions test – but has never really promoted a political agenda.
Over the weekend, the Space Coast Area Mensa held its Scamfest Regional Gathering at the Comfort Inn and Suites in Cocoa Beach. It was a weekend designed for some relaxation, and some intellectual pursuits – including a discussion led by Manno on “Mensa World Domination.”
If the world is going to be taken over and controlled by a single entity, Manno said, then why not an organization that has 55,000 members, all linked by their superior intellect?
But it won’t be an easy task to accomplish, he was quick to admit.
“Mensa can achieve world domination, but we need a leader,” Manno concluded. “There’s a difference between leadership and management.”
While Mensa could likely find effective ways to manage the world’s affairs, Manno said, there would still need to be a single guiding force behind the efforts.
“Mensa is highly populated with introverts, but due to their intellectual gifts, I would suggest their people should be out front, start small at first, then jump in with both feet,” he said.
It may just be, he added, that American Mensa now has a strong, visionary leader within its ranks who could inspire Americans to rally behind the notion of a Mensa-led world domination.
“People are yearning,” he said. “People want something new. They want a leader.”
Manno said he’s been thinking about this concept for some time. It originally started with the notion that Mensans could get together and help solve the problems confronting the American education system.
“I thought Mensa could play a role in reducing education expenditures by at least 40 percent,” he said. “But it turns out I was thinking too small.”
But how to achieve world domination? Traditionally, Manno said, world domination efforts have been attempted with “big armies, and lots of bloodshed,” which is not Mensa’s style, he added.
Another way, he added, is what politicians employ: money.
“In the last presidential election, Mr. (Barack) Obama spent over $7 for each vote cast for him, and Mr. (John) McCain, (the Republican nominee in 2008), spent $5 per vote,” Manno said. “We could do it, but we’d have to raise our dues to about $10,000 per Mensan.”
Since members of American Mensa now pay about $65 a year in dues, that doesn’t sound plausible, either, he added.
So the solution, he said, may simply be to find more Mensans.
“Mensa will legitimately be able to claim world domination when the majority of world power-wielders are Mensans,” he said. “The easy way to do this would be to get the president to be a Mensan. Wouldn’t every candidate like to have a Mensa endorsement? Why not, it’s 50,000 extra votes. Why wouldn’t they want to say yes to such a magnificent offer?”
One challenge, he added, is that Mensa doesn’t necessarily make it easy for its members to join the club by requiring them to pass a test before they get admission.
“We’re losing a lot of people just because we don’t make it easy to join,” he said.
But other members said the exam isn’t really that difficult.
“There are two tests,” said Mensan Michael Tuckman of Poinciana, of the Orlando chatper. “One is more word-oriented and one is more math-oriented. As long as you get a sufficient grade on one of them, you are in.”
Maybe the tests need a second evaluation, Manno said – if the lofty goal of world domination is behind it.
“What are the advantages of increased membership?” he asked. “That’s more people you can influence. We might actually dominate the world.”
And even if Mensa doesn’t have all the solutions, Manno said, chances are their proposals are a lot better than what has been tried in the past.
“In the military, they used to say ‘Take the third best plan,’ because the second best plan comes too late and the first best plan never arrives,” he said.

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