L. W. De Laurence

Wrote Practical Lessons Hypnotism - Magnetism - Mysteries of Occultism Unveiled

Alhambra published and stole all the royalties. Fred Drake was the company president at the time.

Dedicated his book to Frederick J. Drake “In admiration of his genius.”

The Amazing History of 
S W Erdnase

L. W. De Laurence 

Shared office space with Frederick Drake & Co. in Chicago. (Houdini Magic Shop Press Release)

Self Published many books.

Published many books with Frederick Drake & Co. Publishing

De Laurence was a pioneer of mail order catalog of occult books fraudulent perfumes, oils, sachets, candles incense, talismans and herbal medicines. 

His products shipped all over the world and were banned in Jamaica.

In 1902 he started the Institute (school) of Hypnotism, Hindu Magic and Eastern Indian Occultism.

L. W. DeLaurance

L. W. De Laurence started two “cults”, the White Willow and the Black Rose.
Was arrested in 1904 and 1912.
His court testimony stated he was was born in Cleveland OH, was not a doctor and had never left the United States.
In the trial, it was stated that Negros and Indians were intermingling with “white woman”, The cult was engaged in “lurid” activities including public nudity, self flagellation and forays into the “dark arts.” 
It was reported that the “chief deity” of the temple was found to be a regular cigar store Indian.   

Copyright 2013. Scott Lane. All rights reserved.


The History of S W Erdnase

Tricks with Coins, T. Nelson Downs - Edited by Hilliar 1902.

Copyright by L. W. De Laurence.

Later 1902 editions copyrighted by Frederick Drake & Co. including the Tricks with Coins Advertised in the March 1902 Sphinx Magazine.

​​Cobb Crypt

L. W. De Laurence Works

The Bible Defended - Drake Publishing 1902

Book of Magical Art - 1902 or 1903 Self Published

Medical Hypnosis - 1902

Plagerized - The Master Key, The Great Book of Magical Art, The Great book of Secret Hindu

Plagerized both Waite and Rider & Co. of both test and Tarot Card artwork.

Adapted from Expert at the Card Table, By Scott Edward Lane

It was a hard, dusty ride from Paoli to French Lick Springs, Indiana in 1895. Ten miles of rough terrain. For a gambler this ride is particularly perilous. With a pocket full of money fleeced from the crop of suckers at the Dead Rat Club, the rider lolled in his saddle with the rolling footsteps of his horse. His mind began to contemplate the “pretty money” he won in the last three days of playing the poker tables in the smoke filled room of the Dead Rat. He thought about the passion for play and decided that it was as old and enduring as the race of man. Some people are to timid to risk a dollar, but most people in this feverish nation enjoys the pleasures of winning. As a professional gambler, the riders passion culminates. He would rather play than eat. Winning is not his sole delight, making the hazard and risking the loss is what fuels his passion. 

To be successful at play, the gambler has to abandon other life’s pursuits. Lady Luck and the laws of chance are as immutable as the laws of nature. The rider knows that if all gamblers were to rely on luck alone they would break about even in the end. He knows the professional card player may enjoy the average luck but none would admit the fact. It is a marvel how mere chance or luck will at times defeat the strongest combination of wit and skill. It is almost an axiom that the first time novice player will win his first hand. As the story goes, a colored attendant of a gambling “club room” bathroom, after overhearing a discussion between two skilled gambling card sharps about running up two hands of poker, ensuring the position of the winning cards during the deal, ventured the following interpolation: “Don’t trouble ‘bout no two han’s, Boss. Get yo’ own han’. De suckah, he’ll get a han’ all right, suah!” Many old gamblers believe the same thing. However, the vagaries of lady luck, or pure chance, have instilled the most skilled professional card player with the knowledge that card manipulation is more profitable than pure speculation. So to make both ends meet, and provide a good living for the skilled gambler, card subterfuge and manipulation must be coupled with a bit of lady luck in order to shear the unsuspecting lambs as they come to market and sit down to try their luck at the gambler’s poker table.

The mysterious rider pulls the reins and stretches up in his saddle as he reaches the peak of the tallest burn overlooking the small town of French Lick Springs. He looks down at the glowing lights of the two largest and grandest hotels in the valley, the West Baden Springs hotel and the French Lick Springs hotel. He can faintly hear the hoots and hollers of some drunken men as they make their way to the nearest saloon and bathhouse. The horse gives a neigh of relief knowing that it is only a short matter of time before she can relax in the livery stable and eat a fresh bucket of oats.

The rider gives the horse a gentle tap with his spurs propelling the horse forward to complete their journey. As the stars shine overhead, the rider returns to his reverie of thought and contemplates how the hazards of gambling play carries sensations that once enjoyed are rarely forgotten. The winnings from the gambler’s card table are known as “pretty money” and is spent as freely as water. The knowledgable gambler who is successful at his own game will, with the sublimest of unconcern, stake his entire bankroll on that of another’s, though fully aware that the odds are against him. He knows little of the real value of money, and as a rule is generous, careless and improvident. He loves the hazards of play rather than the stakes. The principle difference between the professional gambler and the occasional gambler is the professional gambler is actuated by his love of the game and the occasional gambler by cupidity. The professional rarely “squeals” or “bellyacks” when he gets the worst of a hand; the man who has other means of livelihood is always the one who is the hardest loser and laments in frustration and anger. 

Advantage play is bound to give the professional gambler a favorable percentage of the winning odds and is essential to his existence. The means employed at the gambler’s card table to obtain that result are thoroughly elucidated in his work and engrained in his methodology. The professional will not be impelled to the task by the qualms of a guilty conscience, nor through the hope of reforming the world. Man cannot change his temperament and few care to control it. While the passion for hazard exists it will find gratification. There is no grievance to the gambling fraternity nor sympathy for so called “victims.” All professional card sharps sorrowfully admit that they earned their degree in advantage play  at the usual excessive costs of the uninitiated. 

The mysterious rider knows full well that advantage play is not essential to the proprietors or managers of the gaming houses. The percentage in their favor is a known quantity, and can be readily calculated. Their profits can be surmised much the same as any other business enterprise. Even though the civil authorities and the morally righteous outlaw gaming establishments in these parts of the country, they are generally owned and operated by men of well known standing in the community. The card tables pay a percentage or a “rake off” and the proprietors provide protection to the patrons. When gaming rooms must be conducted in secret the probabilities and chances of the uninitiated patrons of winning are greatly diminished. The initiated gambling card sharp understands these truths. This is what enables the professional to make a good living. This is what drives the skilled professional to deep understanding and expert levels. 

The mysterious rider’s horse instinctively begins to trot as they approach the edge of town. The rider pulls his coat together to keep warm in the cool autumn evening. He returns to his reverie and begins to contemplate the vast difference between the methods and techniques employed by the card conjurer in mystifying and amusing an audience and those practiced by a professional card sharp at the gaming table. The card sharp’s methods must be practiced in perfect harmony with the usual procedure of the game. No actions or techniques employed to manipulate the odds can appear to be irregular or out of place. No efforts should be made to distract attention. No tactics that card conjurers use to misdirect an audience should be employed. The first unnatural movement will create suspicion in the other players at the table. Even mere suspicion will deplete the playing field. No one but a simon-pure fool will knowingly play against more than ordinary chances. The rider knows first hand that the only way to protect oneself against unknown advantage play is to never play with money. He also knows that even an intimate knowledge of the modus operandi of card table artifice does not necessarily enable one to detect the card sharper’s manipulation. The true professional card sharp will always avoid even the suspicion of having skill with a deck of cards so the other players don’t get suspicious and develop cold feet, emptying the field of play. Many card players have been shot or hung because they have not fully mastered their vocation of artifice, ruse and subterfuge at the card table.

The rider reaches the livery stable and instructs the attendant to brush down his faithful horse and give her a double order of oats. The mysterious man then dismounts his horse and wonders if there is a juicy card game going on at the hotel casino.