[Buffalo, NY: Ellicott Press, 1933]. First edition. Paperback. Black suede decorative wrappers, 7 x 5.5 inches, vi, 138 pp., illustrated with 3 portrait plates of Hamid Bey from photographs, 1 line drawing. 2 reorder coupons for this book bound in at rear. Laid in are 2 admission tickets for lectures by Hamid Bey at the Native Sons Auditorium in San Francisco on September 30th and October 7, 1934. Tickets are printed on postcards postmarked Los Angeles, Sep 24, 1934 and Oakland, Oct 4, 1934, both are addressed to Victor O. Lund of San Francisco. Also laid in is a lecture program (single printed sheet folded to 4 pages image of Hamid Bey on front). Date in pencil on first inside page 9/30/34. With inserted news clipping from a San Francisco paper (dated in pencil 1/5/32) with mocking review of a Hamid Bey appearance. Very good. Item #22809
Hamid Bey (circa 1900-1974) was an Egyptian spiritual teacher and stage performer who came to the US in 1927 intending to accept Houdini's challenge to expose fake spiritual feats. Hamid Bey's performance involved being "buried alive", i.e., sealed in an air-tight container and held long past the point of human endurance. Houdini died 3 weeks after Hamid Bey's arrival and the opportunity to challenge the master magician was lost. Hamid Bey then signed a two-year contract with a vaudeville agency and performed his act on stages throughout the country. Shortly afterward he became friends with Paramahansa Yogananda and traveled with him on his lecture tours. In 1937 Hamid Bey founded the Coptic Fellowship in Los Angeles, an organization that remains active to this day, teaching "Universal Principals of right living. The 1933 original edition quite scarce, the book was reprinted in 1951 by the Coptic Fellowship.