L is for Tuesday Lobsang Rampa

This is my contribution to Round Thirteen of ABC Wednesday. I am focusing on people for the fourth time, some famous, some infamous and some half-forgotten, although I am worried that I may have exhausted some letters of the alphabet, but I’ll see how it goes!
Tuesday Lobsang Rampa

Tuesday Lobsang Rampa

Tuesday Lobsang Rampa launched himself into the public consciousness in 1956 as the Lama from Lhasa with the publication of The Third Eye, his account of growing up in Tibet, which despite being an obvious hoax became an international best seller.

Among other things, Lobsang claimed to have had a splinter inserted into his pineal gland to activate his ‘Third Eye’ when he was eight in order to ‘see people as they really are and not what they pretend to be’.

His publisher must have had doubts because the editor read out some phonetic Tibetan to Lobsang who failed to understand a single word. When he was told this he threw himself on the floor faking a fit. When he recovered, his explanation was that he had been tortured by the Japanese during WWII and as a result he had used self-hypnotism to block out all knowledge of Tibetan.

The publisher went ahead and published Lobsang’s story anyway, although it was prefaced with lots of caveats, such as the stories were ‘inevitably hard to corroborate’.

Lobsang Exposed

Lobsang Exposed

Lobsang was eventually exposed by the Daily Mail in 1958 as Cyril Henry Hoskin, the son of a plumber from Devon who didn’t even have a passport, let alone having travelled to Tibet.

Unabashed, Lobsang said that he had been possessed by the spirit of the Tibetan monk when he fell out of a tree at his London home while trying to photograph an owl.

He went on to publish a further eighteen books on much the same theme. In ‘Doctor from Lhasa‘ he tells how he learned to fly a plane, was captured by the Japanese, acted as medical officer in a concentration camp and was one of the very few to survive the Hiroshima atom bomb.

Lobsang and Mrs Fifi Greywhiskers

Lobsang and Mrs Fifi Greywhiskers

Lobsang’s flights of fancy became even more fanciful when he wrote of his journey to Venus in the company of two aliens he called ‘the Tall One’ and ‘the Broad One’ and shot off the scale in his fifth book which he said had been dictated to him by Mrs Fifi Greywhiskers – his Siamese cat.

He had taken the first name Tuesday to mark the day of his reincarnation in Cyril Hoskin’s far from reluctant body and by the 1960s he had to leave England to escape the constant ridicule, settling first in Ireland and then Calgary in Canada where he died in 1981.

Figure of fun though he was, Lobsang sold an awful lot of books – four million to date and counting – and he left his small fortune to his cat.

Of course there are those who believe that Tuesday Lobsang Rampa was indeed the Lama from Lhasa that he claimed to be and it would be remiss of me if I didn’t point you in the direction of their side of the story.

Below is a clip from YouTube that includes some thoughts on prayer from Lobsang in his Devonian burr.

With acknowledgement to the QI Book of the Dead

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

8 comments… Add yours
  • Roger Green 2nd October 2013

    I was struck by your description of the third eye – do we REALLY want someone who COULD see that inner stuff? Seems a little yucky.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team.

  • Leslie 2nd October 2013

    He should have just written novels and made a fortune making movies out of them. Sounds like his books were pretty good for fiction, but I guess there are a lot of gullible people out there who would believe him.

    abcw team

  • Trevor Rowley 2nd October 2013

    I bought the book, The Third Eye, in the early Sixties. Clearly, by then, it had already been exposed as fake but I certainly wasn’t aware of that when I bought the book. I can’t recall where I bought it or how I made the choice to buy it but something must have attracted me to it. As I recall, it was a good read and nothing stood out to me as being phoney. I have it somewhere boxed up in the attic. Who knows, I might even dig it out and have another read of it.

  • Joni 21st October 2014

    As a youngster I`ve read Lobsang`s Third Eye in the late sixties and was, up till now, totally oblivious of the fact that he was a fake! Be as it may, I still believe in some of the things he wrote and experimented with some – and it worked! You can control your dreams, your spirit must be able to leave your body and wonder to unknown places while your are in a deep sleep. I can actually draw buildings and landscapes where I`ve never been before but where my spirit have wondered on numerous occasions. Call it co-incidence?

  • DANY 12th April 2016

    vous ête un menteur et vous salisser la mèmoire de cet homme


    • Mr Parrot 12th April 2016

      My French isn’t very good, but I get the gist of what you are saying. You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but all I have done it publish the documented evidence and left the reader to draw their own conclusions.

  • Abby Rampa 26th April 2017

    Lobsang Rampa is everything and more he claimed to be. He has guided me all my life, and my life is dedicated to the practice of meditation.


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