Schlock-Wire: Help Make LAST OF THE LAWSONOMISTS A Cinematic Reality

Here is a news about a documentary that Schlockmania can get behind – and news on how you can help make it a reality.  Last Of The Lawsonomists focuses on Merle Hayden, the last surviving follower of an obscure but fascinating philosophy that claims to have the solutions to all of society’s social and financial troubles.  It’s a tale about cults, alternative thinking and a uniquely American type of outsider genius – all the things that make documentaries worth watching.

The project is being directed by Ryan Sarnowski – a UWM professor and friend of Schlockmania – and he has put in four years on the project thus far.  He and his partners have turned to Kickstarter to secure finishing funds and Schlockmania highly recommends you check this project out.  Read on for all the laser-sharp Lawsonomical details, including a link to their Kickstarter page…


This film follows 93-year-old Merle Hayden, the last crusading devotee of aviation pioneer Alfred Lawson’s movement, Lawsonomy.

Everyone who has driven I-94 between Chicago and Milwaukee has seen the “Study Natural Law” barn and wondered, “What is that place?” We decided to find out. Natural Law refers to the teachings of Alfred Lawson, inventor of the first U.S. passenger airliner. We know this because of Merle Hayden, Lawson’s last crusading follower.

Merle is the star of Last of the Lawsonomists. At age 93, he works tirelessly to educate the American people about Lawson’s Direct Credits book – an economic treatise that Merle feels will provide for all at the expense of none. Merle also acts as caretaker for Lawson’s legacy, overseeing a literal barn full of books, newsletters, photographs, and other information that has been written out of history.

Last of the Lawsonomists is a documentary about Merle—an attempt to preserve both his legacy and that of his mentor, Alfred Lawson, and to understand Merle’s persistence. We have been traveling with him for four years. During this time, we have gotten to know his friends and sweetheart, Betty Kasch; we also have witnessed his determination firsthand. Merle’s story is one of dedication, loss, and the American Dream. He has seen the United States make the same financial mistakes repeatedly over the past 90 years, and he believes Lawson’s writings hold the answers to solving many of these problems. Few are listening, however, and time is running out.

Using a wealth of archival photos, films, and audio tapes collected by Merle, our film tells the story of Alfred Lawson’s attempts to make history. At the same, our cameras capture Merle’s yearly struggle to educate a modern audience about Alfred Lawson’s economic, political, and spiritual instruction.

We hope to finish this film within the next year so that we can meet major film festival deadlines and invite Merle to the film’s premiere. This Kickstarter will cover certain hard costs associated with the post-production phase of a documentary, including things like hard drives, computer equipment, and office space. Additionally, our incentives feature Alfred Lawson’s books. We are purchasing these from Merle, so part of the Kickstarter funds will go directly to him. Finally, the fees associated with a Kickstarter campaign amount to about 10% of funds raised.

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