Cheers, or 'skål' as the Swedes say. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
At the end of its annual four-day meeting at the Elite Hotel in Eskilstuna on Saturday, Mensa Sweden threw a party to celebrate. But things got out of hand, and the celebrations ended with the police being called to break up the high-IQ society's party.
But following extensive media reports about the drunken festivities, the story has taken an unexpected turn as Mensa Sweden is now experiencing an unprecedented boost in membership applications.
The exclusive society, which requires an IQ of at least 131, has seen bookings for its intelligence test soar from 2.5 bookings per day to 25 per day since Saturday's party, according to Mensa Sweden's spokesperson Jenny Åkerman.
“We're in two minds about this, of course. This is not a way anyone wants attention. But now that we have it, it's positive of course. We do want new members – but perhaps not in this way,” Åkerman told The Local.
Reports stated Mensa members had been drinking in the corridors, played the drums at 4am, and climbed onto the roof of the hotel.
“They were partying in the corridors of the hotel, which you're not allowed to do here. The staff felt they needed to call Securitas, and Securitas chose to call the police,” hotel director Annica Åkerblad told local newspaper Eskilstuna-Kuriren.
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But according to Åkerman, the media reports were grossly exaggerated, especially the part about the drumming.
“It was a guy who was about to leave the hotel and drive home, so he was entirely sober. He found the door to the conference room ajar, and there was a drum kit on the stage. He sat down and did a bit of drumming, when a staff member walked by and told him he was not allowed to be in the room. He apologized and left right away,” Åkerman said.
“That story has transformed into us having had a wild party on the roof, and that we were drumming on the roof. Really exaggerated! But that's the way the press works.”
In spite of the positive membership boost, Åkerman urges anyone thinking of joining Mensa for the booze and partying to think again.
“If you're thinking: 'I want to be part of that association, because I want to join in the drinking and partying', it's probably for the best if you turn somewhere else instead of applying for a Mensa membership,” Åkerman told The Local.