Appendix 2: Voices from Mensa

By Fenigsen, Richard; Fenigsen, Ryszard | Issues in Law & Medicine, Fall 2012 | Go to article overview

Appendix 2: Voices from Mensa


Fenigsen, Richard, Fenigsen, Ryszard, Issues in Law & Medicine


Mensa is an association of the best and the brightest, persons with an "IQ" so high that it places them in the top two percent of the population. In 1994, American Mensa Ltd. had 55,000 members, 2,000 of them in the Los Angeles area. At the end of that year, two remarkable articles appeared in Lament, the newsletter of Lost Angeles Mensa. The authors called for the extermination of "defective" people and the creation of a "master race."

Jason G. Brent, a lawyer, wrote that "society must face the concept that we kill off the old, weak, the stupid and the inefficient." Brent supported the creation of a "master race," and regretted that Adolf Hitler's actions prevent a rational discussion of this topic. (769) Answering journalists' questions, Brent said, "We cannot continue to have population explosion. We better face that we have to kill people. There are not unlimited amounts of resources." (770)

Another Mensa member, Jon Evans, called for liquidation of the homeless. "What good are they? The vast majority are too stupid, too lazy, too crazy, or too anti-social to earn a living. ... Granted, there are a few people who have fallen beneath the blow of circumstances and are unable to afford any place to live, but they are few and far between. The rest of the homeless should be humanely done away with, like abandoned kittens." (771)

The same, according to Evans, should be done with people who are mentally or bodily deficient: "A piece of meat in the shape of man but without a mind is not a human being whether the body be deathly ill, damaged by accident, mentally blank because of brain deficiency, or criminally insane." (772)

One could easily dismiss the articles by Brent and Evans as the excesses of some freaks. But these two gentlemen were not isolated in their opinions. The editor of Lament newsletter, Nikki Frey, was unapologetic, and surprised that anybody would be offended. "I wouldn't print anything I thought was truly harmful or offensive. I didn't think it was harmful. I don't think it's even that offensive--nobody wants to have a deformed child." (773) The chair of Mensa's Los Angeles chapter, Ms. Gowen, and the chapter's board supported Frey. (774) Ultimately, however, the editor of Lament had to resign from her post. There were many indignant reactions from other members of Mensa and from outsiders. (775) A member of American Mensa's national board condemned the publication of "hate material." (776) The director of British Mensa said that "one Adolf Hitler was enough for this century." (777)

For our own safety, we should not forget what ideas ferment in a certain faction of the West Coast's intellectual elite.

(1) For a detailed discussion of the subject, see Chapter XXVIII, on "The Oregon Law."

(2) East-West Bioethics Conference III, Prague, Czechoslovakia, Aug. 29-31, 1991.

(3) A. R. JONSEN, THE NEW MEDICINE AND THE OLD ETHICS 17-18 (1990).

(4) S. Alexander, They Decide Who Lives, Who Dies: Medical Miracle Puts a Burden on a Small Committee, LIFE, Nov. 9, 1962, at 102.

(5) J. E KILNER, WHO LIVES? WHO DIES? ETHICAL CRITERIA IN PATIENT SELECTION 27-74 (1-990).

(6) C. TAYLOR, SOURCES OF THE SELF: THE MAKING OF THE MODERN IDENTITY 4-8 (1989).

(7) This reasoning has interesting consequences since it leads to the conclusion that all medical actions and also all acts of helping a person in need are morally wrong.

(8) CASES IN BIOETHICS 96 (C. Levine & R. M. Veatch, eds., 1989).

(9) KILNER, supra note 5, at 72-74.

(10) R. D. Truog, Triage in the ICU, HASTINGS CENTER REP., 22:2, at 13-17 (1992); D. E. Singer et al., Rationing Intensive Care: Physician Responses to Resource Shortage, 309 NEW ENG. J. MED. 1155-60 (1983); P. J. Strauss et al., Rationing of Intensive Care: An Everyday Occurrence, 255 JAMA 1143-46 (1986).

(11) J J. D. Rothman, Rationing Life, N.Y. REV. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Appendix 2: Voices from Mensa
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.