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born : 1869 (London, England), died : 1954
Quote : "One must study and practice Lawsonomy and learn it as one learns to walk and run or talk and sing. It is a formula that proves all things. But, only as one cleanses the mind of all falsities and develops the reasoning faculties with Truth and practical thoughts can one utilize this far-reaching formula to advantage"
Alfred Lawson is the stereotypical "discoverer" : he wrote over fifty books on things that even he probably didn't coherently understand. He was perhaps the only crackpot featured on this entire site that actually did something worthwhile in his life : he was a pitcher, and played three games in the National League. He was also a pioneer of aviation. But he is now most known for having been a complete crackpot, who opened a University of Lawsonomy (in Wisconsin), which no longer exists except on the Internet.
While Lawson himself never knew the Internet and would have been hard-pressed to even imagine what the Internet was, people who admire his "discoveries" have posted some of his books online. This web site, seemingly affiliated with Lawsonomy U, offers "Lawsonomy", "Mentality", "The Almighty", "Born Again", and "Direct Credits for Everyone", through this page.
Lawsonomy is claimed by its author to solve any science or problem, from economics to world peace. But it is physics that he seems to cherish the most. "Lawsonomy" is the first book of the introductory trilogy on Lawsonomy, and treats of Lawsonomian physics. The terms, like "Zig-Zag-And-Swirl" or "Equaeverpoise", are all very scientific and lend a sort of lunatic clarity to the writing. It will soon become apparent that Lawson was a scientific genius.
Lawson's books are sometimes made of rambling stories, sometimes of stern pronouncements. The Lawsonomian trilogy is of the second kind. Every other sentence is a stunning physics theorem, which would be most aptly delivered by the booming voice of a rotund pastor or cardinal. For example, in the section on "Space", we learn that :
Space has no size, shape or center. It has no inside or outside. It has not latitude nor longitude nor time. It is without limits in largeness and smallness. Space is immovable.
These revelations are stunning. Unfortunately, even a brillant mind like Lawson could contradict himself once in a while, for in the next section, "Matter", he states that "the Solar System is small when compared to the Universe". This is difficult to imagine if, as he posits, space has no size ! The first rule for reading Lawsonomy is to shut your brain off and enjoy the ride.
Each new principle is given a grandiose name with a capital letter. The basic principle of Lawsonian physics is "Penetrability" - the principle that things can only penetrate other things if their densities are different. It seems to be his Oddball Unifying Theory, but to say for sure one would have to understand Lawsonomy, and that is impossible.From there he divides Penetrability in two : Suction and Pressure.
In "Zig-Zag-And-Swirl", Lawson describes how nothing ever travels in a straight line, not even men, but rather in zig-zags. In accordance with his principle of penetrability, Here and in "Earth", Lawson also describes his belief that the Earth is not a ball of matter, but rather an entity that sucks things in and evacuates "waste" out (perhaps through the two polar holes that go in the hollow earth ?) :
The other books that are part of the introductory trilogy are "Mentality", treating of man (unfortunately, all chapters after ch. 15 are unavailable) and "The Almighty", treating of God.
"Mentality" discusses such interesting subject as Sex (the principle of Penetrability being very applicable here), Vices, Gambling.. and menorgs. As explained in "Scope", Lawson believed in microscopic living organisms, called Mental Organisms.
There are two distinct kinds of Mental Organisms—one kind builds up and the other tears down things. One is constructive and the other is destructive. The intelligent ones build and the ignorant ones destroy.
The intelligent Mental Organisms, that I have named MENORGS, develop life while the ignorant Mental Organisms, that I have named DISORGS, degrade and destroy life.
The stars in the universe, animal species, as well as the corruption of human constructions, are all made by menorgs and disorgs, not by natural law. It is a fine extension of the argument from design.
"The Almighty" discusses Lawson's conception of God and the soul. It is much more impenetrable than the first two books, but here we learn that God directed the menorgs to make man :
It was a very crude thing that the menorgs first produced which was designated as man, but they continue to improve him with the object in view of constantly increasing his intelligence and enlarging his consciousness until eventually he will become acceptable in the sight of God.
The two other books featured are "Born Again" (mostly composed of stories about himself), and "Direct Credits for Everybody" (his theory of economics). The first may be more entertaining for those who are put off by Lawson's dry pronouncements.
One should keep in mind that the concepts I discussed here are only a small fraction of what is to be found in Lawson's books. They are rich in fascinating studies. No doubt, if Lawson lived today, he would be an endless source of mirth.
Born Again (Alfred Lawson, 1904)
A funny review of one of Lawson's numerous books, "Born Again", a story about a man who meets a giantess on a remote island. Who'd have thought Lawson was also a novelist ?
A Glossary of Lawsonomy
A convenient glossary, to help you figure out what the heck is going on.
George Hoerman sent us an email and a request for information :
I really enjoyed your website. I stumbled across it when I was trying to research Alfred Lawson and Lawsonomy. I recently purchased two copies of Lawson's newspaper "The Benefactor". I have Vol. 1, No. 1 and Vol. 1, No. 2. Research indicates they were printed in 1934. They are really great and would make fantastic primary source documents for a researcher, or a great collectors items. I normally use ebay to sell items I have purchased, but these newspapers may be too esoteric for that forum. I was wondering if you knew of any collectors or places I could sell these. I'm sure someone out there would love to have these, I just don't know how to find that person! I would appreciate any help you could offer. Thank you for your time and consideration.
If anyone can help George, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
review written by Franc, 07/2002.