I remember as a child growing up in Jamaica being sent home from school early one day because the coffin with the 4 dranco ‘vultures’ was looking for Mr. Brown. The teachers had heard that the coffin which rolled up and down the many streets with these talking birds saying ‘Mr. Brown, Mr. Brown, looking for Mr. Brown’, were heading our way. After the children had been let out we all ran to our different homes hoping that we would never meet up on this travesty, which we never did. There was a man who worked across the street from where I lived, he was a nice man I remember, because he used to give the children treats and he was kind to us….his name was Mr. Brown. As I ran past him to go into my gate I stopped for a moment and in my innocence yelled ‘Mr. Brown goh hide di dranco dem ah look fi yuh’ he responded ‘ah nuh me dawling’, but I didn’t slow down enough to hear the rest. I hastily ran home to go underneath my bed, to suck my finger which was my comfort at the time, (miss mi finga it bad bad).
Dr. L. W. de Laurence was an American author and publisher on Occult and Spiritual topics. He wrote many books; among them are The Master Key and The great book of Hindu Magic. He had a reputation of being a book pirate, often times publishing books that were written by others under his own name and without ever giving credit to the true authors (plagiarism). For example The Pictorial Key to the Tarot and The Rider-Waite, Tarot Decks were published by de Laurence without giving any credit to either AE Waite or Pamela Coleman-Smith. His reputation for plagiarism unfortunately overshadowed his considerable contributions to occultism. He is credited to date on the development of Jamaican Obeah and many stories were told about him and his magic which drove fear in many a people in several Jamaican communities. De Laurence influenced obeah which involved the use of crystal balls, tarot cards and sympathetic magic. The six and seven books of Moses was considered the bible by the de Laurence practitioners. Many Jamaicans wrote to de Laurence whose catalog company was based in Chicago IL, wanting to learn how to divine, invoke spirits and heal among other things
I once knew a lady ‘a Jamaican Obeah woman’ her name was Ms. Claudine, her husband had died and as we do in the Caribbean, he was buried in the backyard. Ms. Claudine was the known Obeah woman in the community and it was said that she was very good. There came a time when Ms. Claudine felt that she was under some spiritual attack by neighboring scientists (Obeah man) so she felt as if she had to protect herself even more than she was already protected. Ms. Claudine believing that if she exhumed her dead husband body, took a piece of his bone, pounded it into powder and mixed it with other things (which I will not divulge) she would have the extra protection of her dead husband. I can tell you for a fact that is not true…gross!, but not true. Ms. Claudine gives credit of her occult knowledge to de Laurence as do many others like her in Jamaica.
Stories of de Lauence have been told many a times such as the one that I just spoke of and also of the famous ‘Shirley duppy’ in Rollington Town which left many people abandoning their houses; rocks being thrown at houses with no view of the stone thrower, rain falling only in a particular spot, babies cribs caught on fire with no harm to the baby and one that I have never forgotten about a young woman being pregnant for fourteen months who was taken out to see a spiritualist and was given medicine and told to sit over a pail when she got home, which was what she did – she sat as if she wanted to urinate in the pail, while she did so, what came out of her was an egg, scribbled on the egg in blue ink was LEAVE MY MAN NORMAN ALONE!!. The story was that this was done to her by Normans baby’s mother who had gone to an Obeah man who was a student of de Laurence. It has been said that de Laurence only terrorizes those who owes him and this is the way he demands of payment (lol). De Laurence practiced Hindu occultism and mastered it to some degree, he knew how to use the power of the mind. Most of what Jamaicans thought came from de Laurence were just an illusion; things that they saw through fear which IS POSSIBLE , because of the power of the mind. The mind is ever becoming, so to invoke the elemental world is possible indeed. Everything is controlled by the elements, earth, wind, fire etc…the mind creates. Just as how man uses the mind to create the television and keep upgrading its science so was it possible for de Laurence to access to magical realms and create. Many of his books he teaches how to do just that (read the Master Key a very good read). There is a very great saying that goes ‘There is nothing to fear but fear itself’. DeLaurence also practiced Christianity and before he died he was consecrated a Bishop; a true master manipulator and magician he was.
Here is an exert from one of his books…….. THE MYSTIC TEST BOOK OF THE HINDU OCCULT CHAMBERS (not sure if this was plagiarized) To understand the mysterious Occult influences of the Celestial Realm upon the Intellectual and deep upon the Terrestrial , and to realize how to develop ourselves so as to be a Master who is capable of attracting to his own soul the supreme influences of these worlds, whereby he may be able to operate and do wonderful things by these Occult Powers —— to read the past and future of man, to know the secret counsels of men, to attract wealth, to overcome secret enemies and animals, to procure the love and favors of those around you, to deflect or expel disease, to prolong the days of your life on the earth plane, to foretell future events, to see clairvoyantly and realize things happening many hundred miles away, and such likes as these. That this lies within the possibilities of the soul of man may seem incredible but you will realize that the above possibilities can be confirmed and verified by common sense and reason. For the Cringing, Skeptical, Material fool and doubter the writer cares nothing.
With all that is said and done de Laurence is still to be respected because not only was he a greater marketer for his catalog company, he also provided social literature for those seeking to Embrace their Spirituality. If fear should be put aside then de Laurence’s name should not make you quake. Only understand that he was a genius in his days and there were others greater than him, Alister Crowley for example. I write the story because of the same fear that his name evoked in all whom I knew while growing up in Jamaica, but there was something in ME Obara Meji, even as a child that made me want to study him, (not to become a obeah woman but to understand why he evoked so much fear, it facinated me), and as I grew into my spirituality I researched him and found out that there were even greater than him. I am a Spiritualist/Traditionalist who walks on the right (benevolently) and I believe Dr. L. W. deLaurence did the same but preferred to be known otherwise, which gave rise to his fame. He was a great strategist. If you should ever hear his name mentioned, remove doubt and fear from your mind and remember this post. May Goodness and Mercy be with you Dr. L.W. de Laurence where ever you reside now in the Spiritual Realm. Ase!!!…..lolol…laughing at fear!
When a dying man cries, it is not because of where he is going which he knows nothing about, but because of what he wishes he would have done in the world he is leaving behind…….Yoruba Proverb.
Obara Meji is a spiritualist, Ifa-Orisa practitioner, and teacher of metaphysics. Since 2011 she has used her online platform to share her personal experiences to those seeking answers about spirituality. Her teachings will expand into short stories, novels, and public speaking to continue her mission of bringing enlightenment to the world.