EDITOR'S NOTE: The letters column ("Connections") in the June '04 Going Forward carried the story of Mensan Robert ("the Rotten") Strippy and his difficulties in dealing with the Virginia justice system, while at the same time battling rapidly failing health. The manner in which individual Mensans have gotten involved to help a fellow Mensan makes the following update an example of what it means to be part of the Mensa "family."

After so long when nothing much seemed to happen, we are suddenly caught up in late-breaking developments. At the moment of writing (mid-August), Bob is still incarcerated in the Medical Unit of Powhatan Correctional Center, but things are moving forward on his behalf. In June we finally received the transcript of his trial, a necessary step in order to initiate further action; and recently the appeal brief was submitted. Just in the last few days, his story was picked up by the mainstream media in an article1 written by respected political columnist and talk-show host Les Kinsolving, and published in WorldNetDaily. Titled "Professor jailed on word of felon," the article garnered many reader responses. We are currently hoping that an appeal bond can be arranged so that Bob can await the rest of the process on the "outside" instead of the "inside."

While many of Bob's friends from across the years and around the world have joined in the effort to help him through this time of horror, it is the Mensans who have really pitched in to keep the whole movement from dying on the vine. I can name only a few or this would take up an entire issue of Going Forward: Angie Richardson of Texas got the `rescue' going at first with e-mails to many of Bob's friends. I helped by deciding that he really needed a good lawyer and that I would just go find him one. Mensa editors, like The Joyce, helped by publicizing Bob's predicament in their newsletters. Then, numerous Mensans helped by donating money toward the lawyer's fees. Perhaps even more important, a number of Mensans, such as Margaret Lowery of California, have helped by beginning and continuing correspondence with Bob. The letters of these members have proven to be a lifeline for his sanity in a place with virtually no mental stimulation. Bob's current address is as follows: Robert Strippy, #332218 PMU 174-3, Powhatan Correctional Center, State Farm, VA 23160.

Bob has repeatedly told me how delighted he has been that so many Mensans have rallied to his cause. He is even more amazed at the number of Mensans whom he has never met who have done so. But I am not surprised at all. Despite our collective and occasional faults and blind spots, I have always found Mensans to be generally fair-minded as well as concerned about the fate of fellow Mensans in trouble.

I hope that in the next update I'll be able to bring you even more good news. Meanwhile, thank you all for being the family Bob never knew he had — until he needed one.

Didi Pancake


1. WorldNetDaily

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