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L. W. de Laurence

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L. W. de Laurence
BornLauron William de Laurence
DiedSeptember 11, 1936
Chicago, Illinois

L. W. de Laurence (1868-1936) was an American author and publisher on occult and spiritual topics.


His publishing company (De Laurence, Scott & Co.) and spiritual supply mail order house was located in Chicago, Illinois.

Although he is mocked and reviled among modern occultists for his plagiarism of the Pictorial Key to the Tarot by Arthur Edward Waite, he also wrote his own works, including The Master Key, and The Great Book of Hindu Magic. In addition, he is believed to have co-written some books with his fellow Chicago resident, the prolific New Thought and yoga author William Walker Atkinson.

De Laurence was a pioneer in the business of supplying magical and occult goods by mail order. His distribution of public domain books, such as Secrets of the Psalms by Godfrey Selig and Pow Wows or the Long-Lost Friend by John George Hohman had a great and lasting effect on the African American urban hoodoo community in the southern United States as well as on the development of Obeah in Jamaica.

In early 1930 he was consecrated a bishop by the Spiritualist Arthur Edward Leighton (1890-1963), a bishop of the American Catholic Church (a church body founded by Joseph René Vilatte).



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