Spammers in the high-I.Q. community

© January 2024 Paul Cooijmans


Since I started using electronic mail early 2001, I have observed e-mail behaviours by apparent members of the high-I.Q. community that can only be described as "spam". Hereafter I will detail a few categories of such spammers. First, it has to be made clear that this is only about people who sent unwanted electronic mail messages under their real name. It is not about anonymous or pseudonymous messages (those occur too but are always discarded by me), not about harassers on social media (abundant but easy to block), and not about people who sent unwanted physical mail (which is rare, probably because of the cost and effort involved in sending it).

Categories of spammers in the high-I.Q. community

Psychiatric cases

Some send message after message full of incoherent, sometimes insulting, rambling. They may keep this up for weeks, months, or in rare cases year after year, even well over a decade. Without exception, these are people who suffer from serious psychiatric conditions, most typically schizophrenia. I know this because they tell me, in the rare moments of clarity they also have. Such a stream of messages is occasionally interrupted for a few weeks or months, when they are hospitalized with an acute episode of psychosis. This is likely the most benign class of spammers; the only serious event I remember pertaining to one of these was when he published his answers to one of my tests on a web site. He removed all of it again soon thereafter though, having come to his senses. Also, one of these people once wrote to me, "If you bother me, I and my German shepherd will know where to find you". He had no reason to write this, it was just his paranoia. And yes, there is always a non-zero risk with psychotics that they will become physically violent one day, but still I maintain that this the most benign category of spammers. At least, they can claim diminished responsibility.

For the record, I currently recall only one female who displayed this behaviour, all the many others were male.


More evil, in my opinion, and fully responsible for their actions, are those who send highly inappropriate, sometimes sexually intimidating and/or physically threatening, messages while drunk. Generally, drunks have no memory of this afterwards, and one of them even deletes his messages right after sending them, so that he has no way of knowing what he has done, once sober. This is absolutely scandalous, given that such people are entirely sane when not intoxicated and should be able to prevent their misbehaviour in some way. There is no question of diminished responsibility when your misbehaviour takes place only under the influence of some voluntarily taken substance.

Apart from their full responsibility, alcoholics are also more dangerous than psychotics in that they are more likely to become physically violent. This is in fact one of the hallmarks of alcohol use.

Newsletter spammers

The most serious group of spammers are those who send unwanted newsletters to a mass audience through a newsletter-sending service. This is even a criminal offence (without "double opt-in") to my knowledge. What may happen is that they send you a "friend" request on some social medium, and when you accept it, they subscribe you to their newsletter without your consent. I remember two such cases. In one case, I "unfriended" the spammer at once, and from then on he kept sending me new "friend" requests on a few social media, accompanied by a series of personal e-mails in which he asked why I would not accept him, virtually begging me to accept him as a "friend". He kept this up for many years, next to his unwanted newsletter which also kept coming.

In another case, I accepted a person's "friend" request and right away he began sending his newsletter to which I had never subscribed, and in which he invited readers to invest money in his projects. This time I attempted to "unsubscribe" repeatedly, but each time I did that, he added me again immediately so that I kept receiving his commercial rubbish. Then I "unfriended" him. Thereafter, I observed him writing bad things about me on a social medium; he claimed that he had unfriended me (a reversal of reality) because I had "annoyed" him. So, unsubscribing from his unsolicited newsletter every time after he added me without my consent had been "annoying" to him? Truly, with such blatantly lying scum, my hands are itching to reveal the name. And perhaps I will, one day.

There is also a case of someone whose newsletter I commenced receiving out of the blue. For fairness, I can not be 100 % certain that this person indeed subscribed me by himself, as there is an extremely remote possibility that a third person somehow subscribed me after hacking into the newsletter-provider account of the sender. I can not think of any other way; the security measures of the e-mail account of mine that was subscribed are such that I exclude the possibility of a third person subscribing me by intercepting the confirmation e-mail to do the "double opt-in" behind my back.

For clarity, the above three cases are persons who are widely known in the high-I.Q. community. I am not talking here about spam from sources outside the high-I.Q. world, which may in some cases result from I.Q. society members, possibly disappointed test candidates, somehow subscribing me without my consent. Typically, porn-related newsletters are utilized for that purpose; this is an old phenomenon, and I remember how, in the 1990s, a then active high-range psychometrician complained that a certain individual had subscribed him to some porn magazines.

Unwanted e-mail newsletters from within the high-I.Q. community have become less likely over the years due to stricter "opt-in" procedures and criminal laws (you can go to prison for it). Still I like to have on record that a few, more or less prominent, members of the I.Q. world have behaved as described above.