Stephen Pearl Andrews

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Stephen Pearl Andrews (22 March 1812 – 21 May 1886) was an American individualist anarchist and author of several books on the topic.


Early life and work

Born in Templeton, Massachusetts, Andrews went to Louisiana at age 18 and studied and practiced law there; appalled by slavery, he became an abolitionist. He was the first counsel of Mrs. Myra Clark Gaines in her celebrated suits. Having moved to Texas in 1839, Andrews and his family were almost killed because of his abolitionist lectures and had to flee in 1843. Andrews travelled to England where he was unsuccessful at raising funds for the abolitionist movement back in America.

While in England, Andrews became interested in Pitman's new shorthand writing system and upon his return to the U.S. he taught and wrote about the shorthand writing system, and devised a popular system of phonographic reporting. To further this he published a series of instruction books and edited two journals, the Anglo-Saxon and the Propagandist. He devised a "scientific" language, "Alwato," in which he was wont to converse and correspond with pupils. At the time of his death Andrews was compiling a dictionary of Alwato, which was published posthumously. A remarkable linguist, he also became interested in phonetics and the study of foreign languages, eventually learning 30 languages.

By the end of the 1840s he began to focus his energies on utopian communities. Fellow individualist anarchist Josiah Warren was responsible for Andrew's conversion to radical individualism, and in 1851 they established Modern Times in Brentwood, NY. In 1857 Andrews established Unity Home in New York City. By the 1860s he was propounding an ideal society called Pantarchy, and from this he moved on to a philosophy he called "universology", which stressed the unity of all knowledge and activities.

Andrews was one of the first to use the word "scientology". The word is defined as a neologism in his 1871 book The Primary Synopsis of Universology and Alwato: The New Scientific Universal Language.[1] Andrews was also considered a leader in the religious movement of Spiritualism.[2]

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