Skip to content

Paul Cooijmans: Independent Psychometitor; Administrator, The Giga Society; Administrator, The Glia Society (Part One)


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2015/07/01


Interview with Paul Cooijmans. Independent psychometitor and administrator of The Glia Society and The Giga Society. He discusses: main personal work, information from personal websites, three main websites, and presentation of personal information, publications, and societies, numerous, diverse interests centered in high-range intelligence and its measurement, and family background with respect to geography, culture, and language; the influence of these on development; and additional influences and pivotal moments in major cross-sections of early life including kindergarten, elementary school, junior high school, high school, and undergraduate studies (college/university).

Keywords: administrator, background, culture, elementary school, family, geography, high-range intelligence, high school, junior high school, kindergarten, Paul Cooijmans, psychometitor, publications, societies, The Giga Society, The Glia Society, undergraduate studies.

*Incomplete, common reference style listing without access dates.*

1. Your main collections of personal work and information come from personal websites.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6] Of those with an interest in this, the three main websites provide plenty of collected works on subject matter of interest to you.[7],[8],[9] You have presentation of personal information, publications, and societies elsewhere.[10],[11],[12],[13],[14],[15],[16],[17],[18],[19],[20],[21],[22],[23],[24],[25],[26],[27] One can find numerous, diverse interests centered in high-range intelligence and its measurement.[28],[29],[30] To begin this conversation, in terms of geography, culture, and language, where does your family background reside?[31]

My family is from the south of the Netherlands, from the eastern part of the province of Noord-Brabant, and of a Roman Catholic non-intellectual working class background. My first language is the local dialect as spoken in the village of Lieshout. I learnt Standard Netherlandic later, in primary school. People in this region are anecdotally said to be Burgundians, meaning they are keen on the good life, food, wine, beer, and feasting, but it is uncertain to what extend they are genealogically descended from the Burgundians (this part of Europe did belong to the Duchy of Burgundy in the past). In any case, most inhabitants of the south of the Netherlands are of Frankish descent, and many, including us, are descendants in line of Charlemagne; the Franks settled here in the early Middle Ages.

2. How did this influence your development?[32]

The influence of this family background lies mainly in the non-intellectual and social aspects. In this milieu, only physical labour counts, and any kind of intellectual activity is looked down upon, is not respected, not considered work. Studying, and certainly anything beyond secondary school, is not encouraged but seen as “not for our kind of people”, and it is customary and expected to leave school early and find a job. There is no understanding of the fact that one may have talents in intellectual fields, and that pursuing those may lead to societal success and social mobility. These things have changed meanwhile, and I am probably one of the last generation to grow up like this.

Regarding social matters, one is not taught social and communication skills, including manners and self-care skills, as required in highbrow or posh circles, so that one is unlikely to end up in the right company to get on in life, to end up in the nepotistic networks where the jobs and the money are divided. In fact, I only just escaped needing dentures in early adulthood; in my family it was usual to have one’s teeth pulled and get artificial ones by one’s mid-twenties. This, too, has changed now, but my childhood fell just in the days when customs and standards of the 1950s and before had not disappeared yet. The circumstance that my parents were already over forty at my birth will have contributed to these old-fashioned, almost anachronistic conditions.

Being an intelligent child from a non-intellectual background as just sketched, I was an outsider both in my family and in the outer world. I was on my own and had to invent and discover for myself how to get through the maze of life, in the absence of any guidance or beaten path. The overall effect of that is a being slowed down in one’s development, leading to late-blooming. A good analogy for that can be seen in the land speed records for freely moving vehicles (“cars”) as opposed to vehicles guided by a rail (“trains”); the former is only just over the speed of sound, the latter more than ten thousand kilometres per hour, so about eight times as fast. With guidance, one is clearly faster. However, when moving into unknown terrain, there can exist no guidance. There lie no tracks on land where no man has gone before.

3. What about influences and pivotal moments in major cross-sections of early life including kindergarten, elementary school, junior high school, high school, and undergraduate studies (college/university)?[33]

This is a very broad and comprehensive question, so the answer is according:

The educational system in the Netherlands is not the same as that in the United States, and its components can not necessarily all be mapped on to the American concepts in the question, but I did go to kindergarten, primary school, secondary school, and the conservatory (academy of music). A fact that has been influential is that, in those days and in the area where I grew up, there was no notion of “gifted children”, and therefore no special attention to such, no dedicated classes where one was among intellectual peers, no “enrichment” or acceleration or how one calls it. All of that came about a decade too late for me. I think it could have made much difference. For a highly intelligent child, to be put through the same curriculum at the same pace in the same classroom as dozens of age peers of much lower ability, that is about the cruelest form of child abuse imaginable.

The first day in kindergarten – late in the summer of ’69 – was a pivotal moment; it ended my freedom. I hated being forced to go to school, I was attached to being boss over my own time and activities. I have hated school every single day from then on to the end of secondary school. I strongly felt no one had the right to tell me what to do and claim my time and mental focus. Only decades later I would learn that this is typical of Asperger syndrome, and that Hans Asperger described it in his 1944 article, which I summarized in English in 2009. It is the being self-driven, only feeling well when doing things that come from within, not being able to bear being steered. It is an anarchism from the inside.

A telling example of my way of apprehending the world took place in these kindergarten years: The teacher asked us to make a drawing of little cupboards filled with clay. I set myself to it, although drawing was not my strongest side. When all were ready, our drawings were compared, and to my utter astonishment I was the only one who had got it right, who had actually drawn little cupboards filled with clay! All the other kindergarteners had, by some bizarre misunderstanding, drawn a man; a big black man, with boxing gloves on. For background information, it may be good to mention here that the Netherlandic for “little cupboards filled with clay” sounds almost exactly like “Cassius Clay”, the name then still being used for Muhammed Ali, who had defended his world championship title the night before.

Primary school was fairly thorough in those days, especially in a small village where the school had priorly been run by nuns; there was still one nun left at that time. I was excellent at all subjects except for music, gymnastics, drawing, and manual training. When returning after a two-week illness, the class was taking a very difficult examination for which I had not been able to prepare, but the teacher let me try it anyway. Another pupil who had also been ill was told, “No, you had better not take the test without preparation. We are not all called Paul Cooijmans!” It turned out the exam was so hard that, apart from my perfect score, everyone failed and had to redo it. In that period, as well as later in secondary school, it was common that, when a teacher asked a difficult question to the group, a remark would be added along the lines of “Paul does not need to answer, he always knows everything”.

It was during the primary school years that I developed a scientific mind, a desire to know and understand all there is. My greatest interests were astronomy, physics, and chemistry (none of which was taught at school) and I was fascinated by the theory of relativity. I read any books I could get from the library about such matters, independently of school, and was aware that I knew far more than I was supposed to. In fifth grade, the teacher – the nun – told us that the sun was the biggest star; obviously I knew that was not true, but said nothing, thus saving her the embarrassment of being corrected by a child. I mention this to illustrate I was not only intellectually superior to my environment, but also had the emotional maturity and constraint to handle my being thus, in defiance of the prejudice of “high I.Q. equals low E.Q.”

For secondary school I had to travel to a nearby city, 8 to 9 kilometres twice daily on a bicycle. Children were much coarser, ruder, and more intolerant there, and there were competing street gangs. My bicycle got stolen once, under the eyes of a few students. A bystander proposed to steal a new one for me for fifty guilders, and they were genuinely amazed when I refused that kind offer. The next few years, basically my puberty, were the worst period of my life, and I turned to music and started playing guitar and composing, more or less neglecting my scientific interests. Although it went extremely bad with me emotionally, I kept excelling at almost all subjects, again with the exception of those already mentioned. Once on a parents’ evening, the chemistry teacher called me a “unicum”. I also began writing, mainly short stories, and made a film of one of them, a science-fiction horror story called “Liquidatie”, wherein the main character is dissolved in concentrated sulphuric acid. At the end of secondary school I formed a rock band called Catweazle, which would exist, in varying forms, until 1987.

By way of background information, it is relevant that my youth, to my misfortune, fell in the heyday of egalitarianism; no one was supposed to be better than another. There were no honours to be earned at school, and there existed no cum laude predicate when graduating, which I with certainty have deserved. There was also no I.Q. testing of children or students, and no concept of “giftedness” or high intelligence. In short, the hostile and egalitarian environment of secondary school changed my path from science – my biggest strength – to music and writing.

The conservatory was in an old convent, and a dance academy was housed in the same building, so all in all it was much as in the television series “Fame”. The curriculum was extremely thorough and demanding, and I devoted all of my time and energy to it. I actually studied even in my dreams, which is what happens spontaneously when one is occupied with something constantly. I was particularly good at a subject called counterpoint, which deals with writing melody and polyphony. One day, the teacher wanted us to write the exposition (the first part) of a fugue in baroque style. When I came to the next lesson I had finished an entire fugue. The teacher played it on the piano with all the students sitting around him, as was common. After my piece had died away, there was an unusual silence. When people resumed breathing, the teacher looked at me and asked, “Did you write this?” I said, “Yes”. He said, “Then you must have been moved by the Spirit”. None of the other students had more than a few bars completed.

A bit later, in the early 1990s, my scientific interest returned to some extent, and I occupied myself with an aspect of music theory, making a significant contribution to it (the quantification of discordance, not to be confused with dissonance, and involving the discovery of 96 chords that have never yet sounded). To my frustration, no one I presented it to could fully understand it. “When I see those things, that is where it ends for me”, said my composition teacher, pointing at a radical sign in my work. He would also describe teaching me as “observing an internal process develop”.

Pivotal was also the time when the psychology teacher told us that lying is normal social behaviour, and that everyone does it many times a day. Since I had never lied, that was an extreme insult to me, and I could have killed him on the spot, had it not been for my exceptional emotional constraint; again, one sees that high I.Q. equals not low E.Q. I understood that something had to be seriously wrong with the social sciences if falsehood like that was being presented as established fact. It would take me a few decades more to understand the motivation behind this spreading of lies by people posing as scientists. Around that time I wrote an essay on “giftedness”, as an assignment for psychology class, and an expert in that field whom I consulted advised me to join a certain I.Q. society, which I did a few years thereafter. By that time I was teaching guitar, and as such created a scale to express a guitarist’s level of advancedness. In 1994, that led me to try my hand at constructing I.Q. tests, which seemed to me a logical step. From early 1995 on, that became my main activity.

[1] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). Detailed personal information.

[2] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). Paul Cooijmans.

[3] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). The Giga Society.

[4] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). The Giga Society: Introduction.

[5] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). The Glia Society.

[6] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). The Glia Society: General Information.

[7] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). Paul Cooijmans.

[8] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). The Giga Society.

[9] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). The Glia Society.

[10] See (2015). Paul Cooijmans: High-range intelligence test Expert.

[11] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). I.Q. Tests For The High Range.

[12] See Morollo, M.K. (2014, August 28).10 of the world’s most exclusive member’s clubs.

[13] See [z457731] (2013, June 8). Is there an accurate online IQ test for measuring 160+ Iqs?.

[14] See Barnes, H.G. (2015, February 19). Los 9 clubes exclusivos en los que jamás te van a dejar entrar.

[15] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). Paul Cooijmans.

[16] See Thompson, D. (2015, April 4). We don’t think of highly gifted people as mentally disabled. Perhaps we should.

[17] See (n.d.). Author Information: Paul Cooijmans.

[18] See Google+ (n.d.). Paul Cooijmans.

[19] See [irritatedattheprinter] (2014). Aphorisms by Paul Cooijmans-memorable quips for arguing.

[20] See Volney, K. (2013, September 2). Interview with Paul Cooijmans: Administrator of the Giga Society.

[21] See [Paul Cooijmans] (2009, February 16). Interview 1999 (Fragment).

[22] See [Paul Cooijmans] (2009, February 21). Interview 1996.

[23] See Cooijmans, P. (1996). Video portrait 1996.

[24] See Cooijmans, P. (1999). Interview 1999 (fragment).

[25] See Peden, C. (2011, September). Interview with Paul Cooijmans.

[26] See n.a. (2002). An interview with Paul Cooijmans.

[27] See Thorbes, S. (2004). Interview with Paul Cooijmans.

[28] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). Paul Cooijmans.

[29] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). The Giga Society.

[30] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). The Glia Society.

[31] See Cooijmans, P. (n.d.). Detailed personal information.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: