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 pre­mière. 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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