Thomson Jay Hudson

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Thomson Jay Hudson

Thomson Jay Hudson (born Windham, Ohio, USA, February 22, 1834) was chief examiner of the US Patent Office and psychical researcher, known for his three laws of psychic phenomena, which were first published in 1893.

Refusing his father's wish to become a minister of religion, Hudson funded his own study of law at college. He began a law practice in Port Huron, Michigan but, in 1860, he began a journalistic career instead. In 1866, he unsuccessfully ran for the US Senate. From 1877 till 1880 he was Washington correspondent for the Scripps Syndicate. In 1880 he accepted a position in the US Patent Office and was promoted to principal examiner of a Scientific Division, a post he held until the publication of his remarkable book The Law of Psychic Phenomena in 1893.

He wrote and lectured on this subject until his death from heart failure in 1903.

Hudson's theory[edit]

Thomson Jay Hudson began observing hypnotism shows and noticed similarities between hypnosis subjects and the trances of Spiritualist mediums. His idea was that any contact with "spirits" was contact with the medium's or the subject's own subconscious. Anything else could be explained by telepathy, which he defined as contact between two or more subconsciouses.

Hudson postulated that his theory could explain all forms of spiritualism and had a period of popularity until the carnage of the First World War caused a fresh interest in spiritualism again as psychic mediums emerged to meet the demands of grieving relatives.

Hudson's three laws[edit]

  1. Man has two minds: the objective mind (conscious) and the subjective mind (subconscious).
  2. The subjective mind is constantly amenable to control by suggestion.
  3. The subjective mind is incapable of inductive reasoning.


Hudson's books include The Law of Psychic Phenomena (1893),[1] A Scientific Demonstration of the Future Life (1895),[2] Law of Mental Medicine (1903),[3] and Evolution of the Soul and Other Essays (1906).[4]


  1. ^ The Law of Psychic Phenomena: Systematic Study of Hypnotism, Spiritism, Mental Therapeutics, Etc., A.C. McClurg and Company, (Chicago), 1893.
  2. ^ A Scientific Demonstration of the Future Life
  3. ^ The Law of Mental Medicine: The Correlation of the Facts of Psychology and Histology in their Relation to Mental Therapeutics, A.C. McClurg & Co. (Chicago), 1903.
  4. ^ Evolution of the Soul and Other Essays