The Third Eye of T. Lobsang Rampa


The Third Eye
The Third Eye, by Tuesday Lobsang Rampa, was first published in 1956. It purported to be his autobiographical account of growing up in Tibet and studying Tibetan Buddhism.

Rampa claimed he had been born into a wealthy Tibetan family and at the age of seven had joined the Chakpori Lamasery in Lhasa where he studied medicine, astrology, Tibetan history, telepathy, hypnotism, and the theory of reincarnation. He also underwent a painful operation to open up the "third eye" in the middle of his forehead. This operation had bestowed upon him amazing psychic powers.

Rampa's book sold well, but soon questions began to be raised about his identity. People wondered why he spoke English like a native-born speaker if he had, as he claimed, learned the language in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. Scholars also pointed out numerous errors in his book. For instance, they noted that in Tibetan culture the "third eye" was understood to be a psychical center that was supposed to be opened by meditation, never by surgery.

Keen to debunk what he was sure was a fraud, the Tibetologist Heinrich Harrer hired a private detective, Clifford Burgess, to determine the validity of Rampa's tale.

Cyril Henry Hoskins


Cyril Henry Hoskins, aka Tuesday Lobsang Rampa
Burgess published the results of his investigation in February, 1958 in the Daily Mail. He revealed that Rampa had never been to Tibet, nor had he ever had any operation done to his forehead. Instead Rampa was actually Cyril Henry Hoskins, born in Devon, England, and son of a plumber. He had worked first as an assistant to his father, then as an employee of a surgical-implements firm, and later as a clerk in a correspondence school.

But Cyril, it turned out, had always been interested in the study of the occult. He had studied it as much as he could in his spare time. And one day he had taken his interest a step further by growing a beard, shaving his head, and changing his name to "Dr. Kuan-suo." He later changed it again to Tuesday Lobsang Rampa.

When his true identity was exposed, Hoskins was initially nowhere to be found. But reporters eventually tracked him down to Ireland, where he said he was too ill to receive visitors. Eventually he offered an explanation for his dual identity. He said that it was true he was born Cyril Henry Hoskins, but that the soul of Rampa had transmigrated into his body. Therefore, according to him, all the information in his book was true.

Despite having been proven to be a phony—a plumber's son posing as a Tibetan monk— a market still existed for Rampa's writings. So he continued on with his career as Tuesday Lobsang Rampa, authoring numerous books before his death in 1981. However, none of them sold as well as The Third Eye.

Satirical Third Eyes

A number of satirical works subsequently used the phrase "The Third Eye" in their titles. For instance, The Third Eye of America by Dr. Boyd Boyland & Dr. Rex Lode was published in 1963.
Links and References
  • Rampa, T. Lobsang. The Third Eye. Doubleday. 1956.
  • "The Tibetan Lama Hoax." Tomorrow 6, 1958: 9-13.
  • "Tibetan lama or plumber's son?" (Feb 23, 1958). Los Angeles Times.
  • "Third Eye Author in Hiding in Ireland." (Feb 4, 1958). The New York Times.

More content from the Hoax Museum:

Comments

I did read all major books of T. Lobsang Rampa in the 80s and Im conviced he isnt a phony... His real name is correct and his pen name T. Lobsang Rampa are al correct. Most of his discourses are like prophesis today and happning now and science is even proving it. Talk of , for example,U.F.Os as Guidians of the universe, reincanation, which my part of Nigeria has believed in for so much even when book knowldge hasnt come etc etc He is a Monk, not a fake. pls send me more of his books which Ive lost over the years. they are facsinating!
Posted by Mrs M.O. Aliyu  in  Lagos western Nigeria  on  Thu Feb 28, 2013  at  06:17 AM
i need rampa books
Posted by esu  in  ethiopia  on  Tue Mar 11, 2014  at  06:40 AM
I have read the title, YOU FOREVER and have practiced some exercises, they are very true, as l can astral travel at will now.
Posted by billybones Eni  in  Lagos nigeria  on  Tue Mar 18, 2014  at  01:45 AM
L.Rampa's books are available online in English and French at
http://www.lobsangrampa.org/francais/materiel.html
Posted by Thierry  in  Europe  on  Sat Oct 18, 2014  at  12:36 AM
I read all of his books as a teenager and they were fascinating. When I revisited them 30 years later I noticed they were disparaging and disrespectful about women so I threw them all out.
Posted by norty  in  Australia  on  Sun Jul 12, 2015  at  04:10 PM
the secrets are many in spiritual life.
reincarnation solve many questions concerning the equity between people.
do not reject any idea of mr.T.Lobsang Rampa books,some day you will adapt it if you are interested in spiritual life.
best regards.
Posted by oussama basha  in  lebanon  on  Mon Jan 04, 2016  at  08:23 AM
You know most of the Western people don't believe in Astral travel, Aura, ethiric, spirits etc.,
But once you experience the astral travel with a good practice of meditation then you will come to know that everything he had written is true.
You know he explained indirectly about the toucj screen technology and few other technologies that we are using now in this books.
However, arguments are waste unless one is ready to think about what the other person say.
We as human beings not accept anything unless there is a scientifical proof.
For eg many people blamed Wright Brothers and Nicola telsa.
Think widely. Get outta your comfort zone.
Keep smiling and keep learning!
Posted by Sai  in  India  on  Sat Feb 13, 2016  at  09:48 PM
Rampa has had quite a bit of criticism (often very scathing) over the years, certainly. Mind you though, a lot of people really appreciated his books. I recall a supervisor of mine at an alpine resort I worked at in the 1980's who I discovered on entering his room had a pretty good collection of Rampa's books. When I made an off the cuff comment that a friend told me jokingly that Rampa was a bit of a 'conman' as he had an ad in one of them for 'divining stones' (?), he wasn't very happy... He retorted with the thoughtful comment "Oh no - great knowledge...".

Recently though - after having read a 1957 edition of the Third Eye, and having thought about what he'd come up with, I'd say he was a genius. Anybody who could have come up with that sort of story in 1956 must have had the most amazing imagination.
Posted by Ian  in  Victoria Australia  on  Fri Mar 11, 2016  at  12:47 AM