L. W. de Laurence

From Kook Science

L. W. de Laurence
L W de Laurence - frontis.jpg

As pictured in Hypnotism, Magnetism, Mesmerism, Suggestive Therapeutics and Magnetic Healing

Born 20 March 1868(1868-03-20) [1]
Ravenna, Portage, Ohio
Died 11 September 1936 (68) [2]
Chicago, Illinois
Nationality American
Workplace(s) De Laurence, Scott & Co.
Field(s) Publishing
Affiliations American Catholic Church
Known for Mail order occult supply
Spouse(s) Orrie Eckert (m. 1897); Pauline McAdoo (m. 1905)

Lauron William de Laurence (March 20, 1868 - September 11, 1936) was an American occultist, author, and publisher of esoteric and occultic texts, including plagiarised works and unauthorised reprints, primarily through De Laurence, Scott & Co. of Chicago.


If one tracks an inconsistent record, L.W. de Laurence was likely born in rural Ohio to parents William de Laurence and Mary Walker in 1868 or 1869, their first-born son and twin brother to sister Lora.[3] In November 1897, de Laurence married Orrie Eckert at Hamilton, Ohio, dubiously reporting himself to be of age;[4] it is unclear how long this marriage lasted. He remarried in around 1905, taking a teenaged native of Kentucky, Pauline McAdoo, as his second wife.[5]

Prior to his storied career as a publisher, de Laurence was a lecturer on - and demonstrator of - mesmerism and hypnotism, operating from Chicago and Pittsburgh during the early 1900s as the De Laurence Institute of Hypnotism and Occult Philosophy (or Suggestive Therapeutics).[6] During this period he boasted to being an A.M., Ph.D., LL.D., and instructor of hypnotism, psychology, and related studies at the American School of Psychology;[7] in addition to being a "student of the Orient in Practical Psychology, Metaphysical, Alchemy, Cabala, Occult and Natural Philosophy," and the credited author of "Medical Hypnosis," "Practical Lessons in Hypnotism and Magnetism," and "The Bible Defended" (all published by Frederick J. Drake & Co., whose principal offices were 352-356 Dearborn St., Chicago).[8]

de Laurence, Scott & Co.

  • 356 Dearborn St. (office suite)
  • 1514 Masonic Temple (office suite) (~1909)
  • 117 N. Wabash Ave (~1914)
de Laurence, booked for mail fraud (Chicago Daily News, 1912)

The White Willow and the Black Rose

On 12 November 1912, Chicago police raided de Laurence's temple at 3340 Michigan Ave., arresting de Laurence, his wife Pauline, and others present, based on witness testimony provided by Augusta Muerie. Newspaper reporting on the raid and subsequent trial focused attention to the claim that most male members were "Negroes or Indians" and female members were "white women",[9][10] and that the cult was engaged in lurid activities, including public nudity, self-flagellation, and forays into the dark arts.[11] Further, it was reported that the "chief deity of the temple was found to be a regular cigar store Indian,"[12] which was the focus of the devotions and meditations.

For her part, Muerie specifically alleged that de Laurence had "ruled through the power of hypnotism," that he "practiced black magic and dressed in fantastic clothes," and would "throw himself into a trance and do strange dances of the Orient," sometimes "hypnoti[sing] members of the cult" to do the same; and, further, that he would use his wife or an office assistant named Sadie Pyle as mediums for "strange messages and advice from the spirit world."[13]

Post office inspectors used evidence seized during the raid to bring up charges against de Laurence, who they accused of sending drugs and immoral literature through the mail. De Laurence was ultimately fined $15 in municipal court, and the temple was effectively disbanded.[14]

"The Old and New Knowledge"


Selected Bibliography

Although noted and outed as a grand plagiarist, de Laurence's texts are nonetheless of interest and merit to this day to students of the Art.

as Editor


  • US 933699, De Laurence, Lauron W., "Powder-Dispensing Receptacle", published 1909-09-07 




  1. "Ohio, Births and Christenings, 1821-1962," index, FamilySearch ( accessed 12 Aug 2013), Lawrence, 20 Mar 1868.
  2. "Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947," index, FamilySearch ( accessed 12 Aug 2013), Lauron William De Laurence, 11 Sep 1936.
  3. "United States Census, 1870," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 17 October 2014), William Lawrence, Ohio, United States; citing p. 1, family 6, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,757.
  4. "Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 8 December 2014), Lauron W. Laurence and Orrie Eckert, 09 Nov 1897; citing Hamilton, Ohio, United States, reference Vol. 135 cn 898; county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 344,507.
  5. "Illinois, Cook County, Birth Certificates, 1871-1940," database, FamilySearch ( : 18 May 2016), Pauline Mcadoo De Lawrence in entry for Velo De Laurence, 01 Apr 1906; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, reference/certificate 3651, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,288,108.
  6. "FAKE TEACHER OF HYPNOTISM. Police Arrest Lauron W. De Laurence Accused of Obtaining Money Under False Pretenses.", Chicago Daily Tribune (Chicago, Illinois): 6, 1904-10-28, "Charged with obtaining money under false pretenses Lauron W. De Laurence, founder and head of his De Laurence Institute of Hypnotism last night was arrested [...] The school is at 1839 Michigan avenue." 
  7. Advertisement for "Practical Lessons in Hypnotism", F. J. Drake, 1902,;view=1up;seq=114 
  8. Second advertisement for "Practical Lessons in Hypnotism", F. J. Drake, 1902,;view=1up;seq=114 
  9. "POLICE MAKE RAID ON MYSTIC HOUSE". Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois): p. 3. 1912-11-12. 
  10. "UNIQUE CULT PROBED BY GOVERNMENT AGENTS, Chicago Doctor's House Raided to Learn Relations of White Women and Negroes.". Milwaukee Sentinel (Milwaukee, Wisc.): p. 7. 1912-11-13.,6522579&hl=en. 
  11. ""PROPHET" FUTILE AGAINST POLICE, Cult Leader Fails to Strike Anyone Dead. WOMAN DESCRIBES ORGIES. Order of Black Rose Said to Have Been Worst. MAIL MISUSED, IS BELIEF. Negroes Mix Freely With Whites in "Temple," Says Witness Who Relates Seances, Fights and Insults of De Laurence.". Morning Oregonian (Portland, Ore.): p. 1. 1912-11-13. 
  12. "INVESTIGATING "BLACK ROSE" CULT LEADER". The day book (Chicago, Ill.): p. 8. 1912-11-13. 
  13. "MOB THREATENS HEAD OF 'BLACK ROSE' CULT, Forced Back by 'Body Guard' as Seer Leaves Courtroom After His Arraignment. MRS. MUERLE ADDS FACTS - L. W. De Laurence Faces Federal Charge on Mysterious Canada Parcel", Chicago Examiner 10 (218): 5, 13 Nov. 1912, 
  14. "UNCLE SAM'S WAND HOVERS OVER "BLACK MAGIC" HEAD". Chicago Examiner (Chicago, Ill.): p. 3. 1915-11-26.