T. Lobsang Rampa
Part 1 of
Extracted from Nexus Magazine
Volume 13, Number 2 (February - March
Tibetan high lama who claimed to have transmigrated into
the body of a Devonshire man, Rampa provided through his
writings a legacy of secret knowledge that has
challenged even his most strident critics.
In January 1981, two prominent Tibetan
identities died in exile. Amala, or "Mother of the Nation",
died after a long illness in Dharamsala, India. She had given birth
to 16 children—including her most famous son: His Holiness, the
Fourteenth Dalai Lama. Her two other sons had been recognized as
tulkus, or reincarnations of high lamas. She was beloved by the
whole Tibetan nation in exile, who mourned her passing.
In an emergency ward of the Foothills Hospital in Calgary, Canada,
the famous author and mystic known as Tuesday Lobsang Rampa
also breathed his last after decades of ill health. His 19 books
about Tibet and the occult arts had sold in the millions and his
admirers could be found on six continents. Despite his fame,
however, there were no accolades or eulogies from the Tibetan
community. He died unrecognized and unclaimed by the people of Tibet
whom he had tried to help.
Lobsang Rampa was an Englishman with a Devonshire accent who
insisted that he was a Tibetan high lama.
He claimed that in 1949 he had
transmigrated into the willing body of Cyril Hoskin (born c.
1911) to perform his mission in life. Hoskin had already
changed his name in 1948 by deed poll to Dr Carl KuanSuo, on
the lama’s telepathic suggestion,
this surname was later shortened to Kuan. Rampa’s
detailed recollections of Tibet and China, his wealth of knowledge
about the occult arts and his disarming sincerity led many readers
to believe in his authenticity.
Rampa’s critics claimed that he was a Cornish plumber’s son named
Cyril Hoskin, and they were vociferous in their condemnation of
the author—so much so that his first book about Tibet, The Third
Eye, came to be considered one of the greatest literary hoaxes of
all time. The critics included Tibetan and oriental scholars, many
media representatives and members of the Tibetan community in exile,
including many famous personalities.
Published in 1956, The Third Eye is the autobiography of a
young Tibetan noble, Tuesday Lobsang Rampa, who was sent to a
medical lamasery at the age of seven. At Chakpori he was
taught medicine, religion, the martial arts and the innermost
secrets of Tibetan esoteric science. His awesome psychic powers were
facilitated by an operation called "the opening of the third eye",
which stimulated the psychic centre of the brain. His patron was the
Thirteenth Dalai Lama. Rampa witnessed many marvels such as
extraterrestrial mummies and yetis.
Despite the critics, Rampa clung on tenaciously, writing his
books and continually proclaiming his innocence and authenticity.
After his death, his books were relegated to the New Age fringe and
were shamelessly plagiarized by other authors. By the 1990s,
Lobsang Rampa occupied a full page of The Guinness Book of
Fakes, Frauds & Forgeries (Newnham, 1991) and most of his books
were out of print.
The Internet has brought together many of Rampa’s loyal readers who
had benefited from his teachings on the mystical arts and
affirmations of the afterlife. The new millennium has revealed
Rampa’s silent influence in such esoteric fields as ufology, astral
projection, aura photography, alternative history and the
immortality of the human spirit. His positive image of Tibet has
been instrumental in garnering support for this beleaguered land and
introducing Buddhism to Westerners. Ironically, The Third Eye
remains the most popular book about Tibet ever written.
Lobsang Rampa’s personal motto was "I lit a candle". In
commemoration of the 50th anniversary of The Third Eye, it is time
to rekindle the flame of knowledge that Rampa first lit in 1955 when
he started his writing. Overall, Rampa’s true identity is
irrelevant, as it is his knowledge that lives on. It is time to
recognise Lobsang Rampa for what he was: a true mystic and
trailblazer of the New Age.
Lobsang Rampa was a unique individual with many extraordinary
attributes. In some ways he was a man of contradictions. He was a
celibate monk who had a devoted wife, an intensely private man who
wrote extensively about his life, a self-professed Tibetan who had
no contact with the Tibetan community, and a Buddhist who practised
many Western occult arts.
Rampa was cursed by ill health. He suffered from coronary
thrombosis, diabetes, arthritis and paraplegia inherited from his
host. His hearing was progressively failing as a result of war
injuries, and his eyesight became poorer with age. Although he often
came across as grumpy in his later years, he never lost his wicked
sense of humour and keen wit.
Rampa was a generous man who had little interest in material
possessions. Over the years he gave a colour television away to a
stranger, a wheelchair to an injured policeman and a house full of
furniture to newlyweds. Friends and acquaintances often received
expensive gifts which they were unable to return without insulting
him. During his lifetime, he personally answered many thousands of
letters from his admirers, usually bearing the cost of postage
himself. He had a sincere desire to help people.
On the other hand, Rampa had a quick temper and often showed
impatience towards selfish and shallow people. He was not one to
suffer fools gladly. Over the years, he managed to antagonize
feminists, teenagers, Catholics, Western doctors, communists and the
Tibetan government in exile. However, his greatest venom was
reserved for journalists and literary critics, whom he despised.
Undoubtedly, Lobsang Rampa was a gifted psychic and
clairvoyant. He was able to see auras with ease, predict the
future and judge a person’s character with great accuracy. He could
use a crystal ball, cast horoscopes, read palms and project
consciousness beyond his body. His knowledge of Western and Eastern
occultism was astonishing. Rampa also had the uncanny ability to
communicate with his cats telepathically, as his French-language
publisher Alain Stanké testified.
Rampa possessed many other talents,
apart from his writing and psychic abilities. He was a keen
photographer who produced many splendid photos. Machines of all
descriptions purred in his presence, and he was able to fix almost
any mechanical problem. Despite his failing eyesight and arthritic
hands, he was a master craftsman who created miniature ships, trains
and cars. He was also very interested in amateur radio, including
Lobsang Rampa was a friendly but reserved man who had been
forced into seclusion by ill health, public curiosity and media
harassment. Wheelchair bound in his later years, Rampa rarely
ventured out in public, as the curiosity and enthusiasm of the
crowds became unbearable for him. He never attended groups or gave
lectures, believing that people progressed spiritually when they
studied and meditated in solitude.
Rampa shied away from the media, accusing them of misquoting and
harassing him. During his writing career, he allowed only three
journalists to interview him or his wife. The first occurred in 1958
while he was bedridden with thrombosis, and the resulting article
was so libellous that he was forced to issue a taped rebuttal from
his sick bed. After being savaged by a Canadian journalist in 1965,
he vowed never to speak again to the press. However, he did allow
his friend, agent and publisher Alain Stanké, to interview
and film him in Montreal, although he safeguarded himself by
recording the whole interview in his book Candlelight (1974).
Unfortunately, his refusal to cooperate with the media merely fanned
the flames of press and public curiosity. They often followed him
relentlessly, spied on him, manufactured interviews and called him a
liar and a fake.
Rampa was a devoted and loyal husband to his wife Sarah, who
unquestionably believed him to be a true Master. He was a loving and
kind father to his adopted daughter Sheelagh Rouse (who
joined them as a young, recently separated family friend) as well as
his beloved Siamese cats. He paid tribute to his friends Hy
Mendelsohn, John Bigras, John Henderson, Valeria Sorock, Mrs
O’Grady, Pat Loftus and others in several of his books. Rampa
devoted many books to the questions from his loyal readers and
continued to promote the Tibetan cause, even though he received no
acknowledgement from the Tibetan community.
Fortunately, Rampa never lost his focus. He believed that he
had been sent to the West in order to develop an aura camera and a
diagnostic device to eradicate disease. His secondary mission was to
reveal Tibet’s esoteric heritage to the West so that the Western
nations would want to rescue his beleaguered country. Even though he
did not accomplish his mission, Rampa did enlighten the world with
his teachings, which deserve to be re-examined in the new
This book is dedicated to examining his legacy and promoting the
work of a man who believed implicitly that he was a Tibetan lama who
transmigrated into the body of an Englishman to fulfill his destiny.
IMPACT OF THE
In 1955, Sheelagh Rouse’s husband John Rouse wrote a
letter of introduction on behalf of Dr Carl Kuan to
Charles Gibbs-Smith of the Victoria and Albert Museum, in the
hope that he could recommend him for employment. Impressed by the
doctor’s personality, Gibbs-Smith sent him to Cyrus Brooks,
a literary agent of A. M. Heath Publishers. Dr Kuan, possessing a
"certificate of considerable elaboration stating that he held
degrees in both medicine and surgery from the University of
Chungking" (Warburg, p. 221), wanted to find work writing
advertising material for medical supplies.
Brooks, however, was far more
interested in Dr Kuan’s recollections as a lama and persuaded him to
write his autobiography. On the edge of destitution, Kuan
reluctantly sat down and started typing The Third Eye under
the pen name of T. Lobsang Rampa.
Brooks approached Frederic Warburg of the respected
publishers Secker and Warburg, asking if he would be
interested in an autobiography of a Tibetan lama.
Warburg expressed interest, and
the following day received 100 pages of flimsy yellow typescript.
"My excitement was intense; I read
it greedily," he recalled. "It had everything it takes to become
the world best-seller it is today… But other doubts were there…"
(Daily Express, 3 February 1958)
Years later in his memoirs, Warburg
"From the beginning there emanated
from Dr Kuan’s masterpiece a magical aroma of enchantment. The
book was literally bewitching. It cast a spell over me. In the
months and years to come, it was to cast this spell with an
equal potency over millions of readers."
(Warburg, p. 222)
Before meeting the mysterious Dr Kuan,
Warburg received the rather discouraging news that the
manuscript had been rejected by other firms such as Gollancz, Robert
Hale and William Collins. Mark Bonham-Carter of Collins showed an
"unimaginative skepticism for the author’s credentials". (Warburg,
p. 223) However, the American publishing house E. P. Dutton accepted
the manuscript and signed an agreement for it with a big advance.
Secker and Warburg also signed a contract with Dr
Kuan and paid an advance of 800 pounds, divided into increments.
Warburg then arranged to meet the enigmatic doctor. His staff were
in a flurry of excitement as they tried to spruce themselves up for
the occasion! Warburg was impressed with the author.
"I took a real fancy to him. Short,
slim, dark hair cut into a tonsure, penetrating eyes, aquiline
nose, simply dressed in a lounge suit, he was a most unusual
Years later, his description included,
"...a long nose and full mouth, a
swarthy face with prominent ears. Nothing remarkable, nothing
which I could wholly associate with what I knew of Tibetan
physiognomy. But the eyes were strange, large, luminous,
penetrating, under heavy lids and heavy bushy eyebrows. Between
the eyes, slightly to the left of centre, a small purplish-red
mark could be seen, almost the size of a collar button, the scar
no doubt of that remarkable incision."
(Warburg, p. 225)
Eventually The Third Eye was
finished and Eliott Macrae of E. P. Dutton sent the
manuscript to 20 critics, some with reputations as "Far Eastern
experts". Their reviews were puzzling and contradictory: what one
claimed was impossible was accepted by another. Agehananda
Bharati, a German anthropologist (a.k.a. Leopold Fischer)
who had converted to Hinduism, wrote scathingly:
"I was suspicious before I opened
the wrapper; The Third Eye smacked of Blavatskyan hogwash."
("The Persistence of Rampaism",
Tibet Society Bulletin, vol. 7, 1974)
Warburg sent the galleys to
Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian Tibetologist, to read and informed
him that the author was probably a fraud. Harrer had lived in Tibet
during and after World War II and had been the current Dalai Lama’s
personal tutor in Lhasa. His book Seven Years in Tibet had
been published in 1953 and was a bestseller. In 1997 it was turned
into a movie, with Brad Pitt playing the Austrian mountaineer who
had been captured by the British in India before escaping to Tibet
with fellow mountaineer Peter Aufschnaiter.
Macrae also sent the manuscript to Hugh Richardson,
who had served in the British mission in Lhasa during the 1930s and
1940s. Richardson was fluent in both written and oral Tibetan and
had lectured at many academic institutions. He reviewed the
manuscript and returned it with some minor corrections which were
eventually incorporated into the final version. These concerned the
number of earrings worn by Tibetan nobles and the improbability of
Rampa’s father being an ecclesiastic. He offered the opinion that
the book was "a fake built from published works and embellished by a
fertile imagination". (Lopez, p. 96)
Other contacts in America were ambivalent in their criticism. While
they recognized many inaccuracies in the manuscript, one believed
that the author may have come from one of the outlying provinces of
Tibet. Another, orientalist John Morris, wrote:
"This is a curious mixture of fact
and fancy. The descriptions of Lhasa and of Tibetan family life
are completely authentic… there is not the slightest doubt that
he was brought up in Tibet from an early age… I think there is,
however, an element of truth about the author’s life in a
lamasery, but I feel he has embroidered it…"
However, his review took a curious and
disturbing turn when he reported:
"My own opinion is that the author
is some sort of psychopath living in a private neurotic world of
his own. It is even likely that he has persuaded himself that
all this occult nonsense is true…"
(Warburg, p. 235)
British oriental scholars David
Snellgrove and Marco Pallis, a practicing Buddhist, were
also critical. Snellgrove’s language was highly emotive.
"This fellow is a complete imposter,
and has probably never ever been to Tibet… He should be properly
unmasked, as such men may be dangerous."
(Warburg, p. 234)
The word "dangerous" was echoed
by critic Chen Chi Chang, who had lectured in Tibetan Tantra
at Nanking University. It is a surprising and disquieting adjective,
hinting that perhaps Rampa had divulged secret knowledge
taught only to initiates and adepts. How else could The Third Eye
be considered as dangerous?
Warburg’s doubts became overwhelming and he sent for Dr
Kuan, accusing him of being a fake. The doctor adamantly denied
being a fraud, even when Warburg offered to publish the book as
"Playing the role of cross-examining
counsel with a difficult witness, I gave the reasons why I did
not believe he could speak or write Tibetan. The reasons were
irrefutable. Dr Kuan admitted this. ’When I was captured by the
Japanese,’ he said, ’they tortured me for secret information
about my country. I put a hypnotic block on my knowledge of
Tibetan and have never fully recovered my native tongue.’"
Warburg was in a quandary. The
criticisms were so contradictory. A few weeks later he cancelled the
contract and demanded the advance from Dr Kuan, receiving a
"I am leaving England today—a very
sick man indeed. What any of you think of the book does not
matter to me now. I wrote the TRUTH." (Warburg, p. 235)
On the other hand, The Third Eye
was so plausible and "so full of information which many experts
confirmed". And there was the company’s reputation at stake. He
reconsidered his decision and decided to publish and be damned,
covering himself with a publisher’s foreword.
The Third Eye was published in November 1956, and, after a
slow start, sales snowballed. Edition followed edition rapidly. It
was quickly translated into German, French and Norwegian. In the
first year it sold over 60,000 copies, netting the author over
£20,000 in royalties.
Dr Kuan/Rampa, however, suffered his first attack of coronary
thrombosis at that time and was strongly advised to leave London for
a better climate. With his wife Sarah and Sheelagh Rouse,
he moved to Ireland because of its lower taxation. After living in
the grounds of Trinity College, the family settled into a rented
house overlooking the sea in Howth, near Dublin. The author found
peace and happiness amongst the Irish who were both friendly and
However, the author’s ill health and a
constant stream of sightseers to their rented property caused
considerable problems and anxiety to the family.
The critics, with the exception of the "Far Eastern experts"
who had originally reviewed the manuscript, were generally positive.
The old guard of Tibetan and Asian scholars, composed of
Richardson, Harrer, Snellgrove and Pallis,
were icy in their reviews.
Richardson’s review, "Imaginary Tibet", published in
the Daily Telegraph and Morning Post on 30 November
1956, began as follows:
"A book which plays up to public
eagerness to hear about ’mysterious’ Tibet has the advantage
that few people have the experience to refute it. But anyone who
has lived in Tibet will feel after reading a few pages of The
Third Eye that its author T. Lobsang Rampa is certainly not a
Tibetan... There are innumerable inaccuracies about Tibetan life
and manners which give the impression of Western suburbia
"The samples of Tibetan language betray ignorance of both
colloquial and literary forms, there is a series of wholly
un-Tibetan obsessions with cruelty, fuss and bustle, and,
strangely, with cats. Moreover, the turn of phrase in the slick
colloquial English is quite unconvincing when attributed to a
David Snellgrove, of London
University, wrote his review for the magazine Oriental Art (Summer
1957). He began with "[t]his is a shameless book" and then launched
into all the inaccuracies portrayed in The Third Eye. He
criticized Rampa’s descriptions of Buddhism, the scriptures,
mathematics and Tibetan language.
"Pallis declared the book to be a
wild fabrication and a libel on both Tibet and its religion.
Harrer denounced the book in a scathing review, occasioning a
threat of a libel suit from the German publisher."
(Lopez, p. 97)
Behind the scenes, however, Pallis,
Harrer and Richardson were working diligently to
dethrone Rampa from the best-seller list.
Meanwhile, journalist John Pitt of the Psychic Times
tracked down neighbours of the Kuans who could still recall Cyril
Hoskin over 10 years after he had moved from the district.
Mrs Ablett from Weybridge remembered him as,
"...full of strange stories about
China where he had been taken as a child. He had been very
interested in occult matters, would cast horoscopes for all and
sundry and was generally a good conversationalist, if a bit
inclined to tell contradictory stories about his past."
Mr Boxall recalled,
"He told me in 1943 or ’44 that he
had been a flying instructor in the Chinese air force and badly
smashed up in a plane crash when the parachute failed to open."
Mr Sutton of East Moseley met
Hoskin in 1948 after he had changed his name, and recalled that he
was describing himself as Dr Kuan and saying he was born in Tibet,
which surprised Mr Sutton. (Evans)
When The Third Eye was reprinted it contained a "statement by
the author" which began thus:
"In the east it is commonly
acknowledged that the stronger mind can take possession of
He ended with:
"I state most definitely that my
books The Third Eye and Medical Lama are true.
(Signed) T. Lobsang Rampa" (Lopez, pp. 100-101)
This account was followed by one from
his wife Sarah, who wrote of how her husband had completely
changed after suffering a concussion, and how he had in fact assumed
the identity of a Tibetan lama.
"When I discussed an event in the
past he would have no recollection of it. Instead he spoke of
life in a lamasery, or his experiences in the war, prison camp
life or Japanese tortures. Since 1949 his whole makeup and
manner have been those of an easterner, and his general
appearance and colouring have also shown marked change."
The second edition of The Third Eye
in 1964 contained a foreword ending with this statement:
"My specific reason for insisting
that all this is true is that in the near future other people
like me will appear, and I do not desire that they should have
the suffering that I have had through spite and hatred."
Kenneth Rayner Johnson, in his
essay "The Strange Case of Lobsang Rampa" in Rapid Eye 2,
said he believed that Rampa obtained the bulk of his material from
Harrer’s Seven Years in Tibet which had furnished lots of
detail about Lhasa, its people, terrain and culture. He felt Rampa
had stolen his Tibetan-sounding names from the Dalai Lama, whose
birth name was Lhamo Dondup and whose brother was Lobsang
Samten. However, this did not account for the other names Rampa
used nor the fact that Lobsang and Dondup were common Tibetan names.
In 1997, Heinrich Harrer himself became the victim of the
press when Die Stern exposed him as a former member of the
Nazi Party and SS. When his inglorious past was revealed during
the shooting of the movie Seven Years in Tibet, the author at
first indignantly denied it, admitting to it only after documentary
evidence was produced. Both he and the Dalai Lama were forced to
make emergency revisions to the script, while the Tibetan leader
tried to deflect public attention from Harrer. In 1998,
Harrer publicly expressed regret for his Nazi affiliations,
leaving the public to wonder how much influence he might have had
upon the impressionable teenage Dalai Lama when he was his
tutor in the 1940s.
In 1999, both Heinrich Harrer and Hugh Richardson
responded to my enquiries about Rampa, his sources and their
"exposé" of him. Both were still very opposed to Rampa and his books
and believed that he had copied other authors and invented much of
his material. However, Richardson did concede that Rampa had
correctly reproduced the Prophecy in The Third Eye
from the Waddell original (Lhasa and Its Mysteries), while
Harrer wrote that "[a]ll he copied was correct, but not his
Criticisms by Richardson, Harrer, Pallis
and Snellgrove ensured that The Third Eye and subsequent
Rampa books would never be endorsed as authentic autobiographical
documents by the Tibetan and Buddhist establishments. But is it so
simple to dismiss the highly detailed accounts of life in Tibet and
China? Even Rampa’s most strident critics grudgingly acknowledged
that much of his information was correct, although they justified
this by accusing him of plagiarism.
The hidden history of Tibet and, indeed, the world, was revealed in
great detail by Rampa in such books as The Third Eye
(1956), Doctor from Lhasa (1958), Cave of the Ancients
(1963), The Hermit (1972), As It Was (1976) and
Tibetan Sage (1980). It was engraved in strange symbols upon the
wall of a cave beneath the Potala and preserved in hidden
repositories throughout Tibet. This history was known only to an
elite circle of lamas who had passed through secret stages of
Rampa and his Guide journeyed deep inside the Potala mountain,
through long caverns and secret doors, until they came to a strange
star chart engraved upon the walls of a cave.
His Guide pointed to the symbols "of
giants and machines so strange as to be utterly beyond my
comprehension" (The Third Eye, p. 90) and began a lecture which
Rampa transcribed in the chapter "When
the Earth was Young" of the book Doctor from Lhasa
(originally titled Medical Lama). It was a story of truly
epic proportions covering millions of years. Many aeons ago, the
Earth revolved much closer to the Sun and in the opposite direction.
A twin planet revolved nearby. As the days were much shorter, the
people seemed to live for hundreds of years; and as the force of
gravity was much weaker, people and animals grew to large
The humans were supervised by a group of benevolent
extraterrestrials, the "Gardeners of the Earth", who swept
across the skies in their gleaming vehicles, the "chariots of the
gods". These physical and intellectual giants eventually fought
horrendous wars amongst themselves, causing devastation to the Earth
colony. One group let off a super-bomb which knocked the
Earth out of its orbit and towards a collision course with the twin
planet. Before the collision, the supermen forgot their quarrels and
abandoned the Earth to its fate.
Very few people survived the cataclysms
on land and sea, as huge tsunamis covered many cities built by the
super-race. Hundreds of volcanoes belched lava and poisonous gases,
blanketing the sky with black clouds. When the uproar died down and
the clouds dispersed, the survivors were horrified to see that the
Sun seemed to be receding, and it now moved from east to west,
rather than from west to east as it had before. The Moon, which
appeared in the sky as a product of the collision, caused huge tides
to rise and inundate the coastlines.
Eventually the Earth settled down into its new orbit and the days
became twice as long. Ice ages developed, while pockets of humanity
clung to life in various regions of the world. As the centuries
passed, they settled down into villages. Once again, civilization
began to develop. Using the records left by the super-race which
were now appearing from the crumbling lava rocks, great
technological advances were made, cities were built and vehicles
sailed across the skies.
Once more, different factions quarreled and, unfortunately once
more, lethal weapons were deployed. Biological and
nuclear warfare devastated
whole races of people. A few wise priests, fearing for the future,
engraved their history upon golden plates and set up time capsules
in a few isolated areas upon the Earth. As they had feared, a new
super-weapon was exploded into the stratosphere, destroying all
trace of their civilization. Earthquakes and tsunamis once again
racked the world, and Tibet, which had been a low-lying
seaside resort for the super-race, was elevated by tectonic forces
in only a few minutes. It was in Tibet that the far-seeing priests
had hidden their time capsules in a great cave and forgotten
city enclosed in a glacier in the Chang Tang Highlands. The
survivors were plunged back into the Stone Age and eventually forgot
about the lost "Golden Age".
During his final initiation, Rampa came face to face with the
gilded mummies of the extraterrestrial super-race beneath the
Potala. Three aged abbots led him to an ebony crypt with
strange symbols along its sides, and spoke of the gods who came from
the skies before the mountains came. He stared in awe at the three
gigantic nude figures: a female 10 feet long, and two males over 15
feet long. Each had a large and conical head, a narrow jaw
and thin-lipped mouth. The nose was long and thin, and the eyes were
straight and deeply recessed.
As part of his initiation, he had to meditate for three days in the
tomb while his spirit soared back in time. He had visions of giants
gamboling in the warm waters of a Tibetan lake when suddenly a
cataclysmic earthquake and massive tsunami inundated the great city.
As tectonic forces sent the area soaring thousands of meters, the
lake froze, preserving the great city in a huge glacier.
With a small party of monks, Rampa visited this ancient city
hidden in a secret valley in the Chang Tang Highlands to the
north of Tibet and described it in Doctor from Lhasa. His
Guide explained in an awed voice:
"Half a million years ago this was
the home to the gods… This was a pleasant seaside resort in
which lived scientists of a different race and type. They came
from another place altogether…but through their experiments they
brought calamity upon the earth, and they fled the scene of
their disaster leaving the ordinary people of earth behind…
Through their experiments the sea rose up and froze."
To reach the city, they crawled across
the inhospitable highlands until they found a cleft in a rock,
leading to a plain about five miles across.
"We found a mighty city, half of it
exposed in the hot air of the hidden valley, and the other half
buried in the clear ice of a glacier… That part of the city
which had thawed out was almost intact. The still air, the
absence of wind, had saved the buildings from damage by
attrition. We walked along the streets, the first people to
tread those streets for thousands of years… We saw many
skeletons, petrified skeletons, then we realized that here was a
dead city. There were many fantastic devices which indicated
that this hidden valley had once been the home of a civilization
far greater than any now upon the face of the earth. It proved
conclusively that we were now as savages compared to the people
of that bygone age."
(DFL, author’s foreword)
Rampa was also fortunate enough
to visit a second time capsule hidden in the mountains of
Tibet, which had been discovered by a group of monks. After crawling
inside a cavern, they discovered a massive hall which contained
working models of ancient technology and the history of a
vanished race. His Guide told him that there were other time
capsules, with an identical one in South America,
"concealed by the peoples of old so
that their artifacts would be found by a later generation when
the time was ready".
(Cave of the Ancients, p. 85)
Rampa’s fourth book is devoted to
the Tibetan cave and his visit. Before describing his
journey, he warned:
"The communists are now in Tibet, so
the location of the Cave of the Ancients is deliberately being
concealed, for the cave is a very real place indeed, and
possession of the artifacts there would permit the communists to
conquer the world... It is in a secret place, complete with
references and sketches, and noted on paper so that when the
time comes, forces of freedom can find the place."
The expedition consisted of seven people,
who had to travel for weeks to reach the cave. They discovered
glowing blue lights illuminating a huge, almost inaccessible cave
which contained many strange machines and devices, some in actual
working condition. A huge sphinx crouched against a wall. The monks
found a recording device which showed them scenes of the lost
civilization: strange creatures which wandered the planet, winged
vehicles that traversed the skies, animals and humans communicating
Dissentions arose; priests ranted about
their own kind of salvation, while scientists developed more and
more lethal weapons. A few priests, fearful for the future, decided
to inaugurate this cave so that later generations could learn from
Other chambers were built in Egypt,
South America and Siberia, each spot marked by a
sphinx. The war escalated and the wise men decided to seal the
Cave of the Ancients, their farewell speech telling any
future discoverer that mankind was about to destroy itself. They
"Within these vaults are stored such
records of our achievements and follies as may benefit those of
a future race who have the intelligence to discover it, and,
having discovered it, be able to understand it."
The picture faded and the lamas went
into a trance to consult the Akashic records to determine the
fate of the capsule. They saw the cave being sealed by a huge crane
a few months before a massive bomb sent the Earth reeling on its
axis. Great quakes and tsunamis destroyed every vestige of this
advanced civilization and left only a few terrified survivors
huddling inside caves to propagate the human race.
In Feeding the Flame (1971), Rampa wrote more about
the buried time capsules and what they contained. A huge
chamber beneath the Egyptian sands "is an absolute museum of
artifacts which existed tens of thousands of years ago". These
capsules contained antigravitic aircraft, where
"the power of the motor is not
expended in supporting the weight but is used just to propel the
"I will tell you quite truthfully
that I have seen such aircraft."
(FTF, p. 146)
Antigravity was also used to move
heavy objects, with a special device which could neutralize any
weight. Photography and television were highly developed, so that
images could appear in 3-D. These artifacts would be discovered in
"when there will be earthquakes
which will really shake up the crust of the earth and these time
capsules will be thrown up to the surface ready to be opened".
In As it Was, Rampa
recounted a visit to another cave near Lhasa which contained
engravings of people in strange garb with transparent globes
on their heads. His Guide explained:
"This is a very strange area.
Thousands and thousands of years ago there was a mighty
civilization upon this earth. It was known as the time of
Atlantis." (p. 74)
Shelves built into the cave walls
contained strange grooved discs about six feet in diameter, with an
undulating wave on the surface and a hole in the centre. This
description bears a remarkable resemblance to the so-called
Dropa stones reputed to have been discovered in the
Bayan Kara-Ula caves of the Tibetan–Chinese border in 1938.
These stones, which have subsequently disappeared from Chinese
museums, had a script which was allegedly deciphered by Professor
Tsum Um Nui. His controversial translation told the story of a
group of small, spindly extraterrestrials who crashed in the region
12,000 years ago. Some died, others were killed and a few
intermarried with the local population, producing a race of short-statured
people called the Dropa. Although this story was originally
published in a Russian magazine, it was picked up by Erich von
Däniken in his book Gods from Outer Space (1978).
Rampa’s final book, Tibetan Sage, contained more
details of the lost civilization near Lhasa. He claimed that a
mountain outside the capital was in reality a hollowed command
centre for a rebel faction of aliens who had built it millions of
years ago. This centre also kept human bodies in suspended
animation, awaiting the transmigration of aliens to reanimate
them. Their science and medicine were highly advanced. A special
healing bath was able to rejuvenate the Lama Mingyar Dondup’s
injured legs, while an invisible force-field prevented food and
other objects from succumbing to decay. Lobsang and his Guide
studied the cave for a week and then departed, setting off booby
traps to destroy all evidence of the cave’s existence.
Tibetan Sage told of numerous past civilizations which
were known by the generic term of Atlantis. Some had
excelled in genetic engineering and created man-beasts as domestics,
such as the merfolk of legend. This book also spoke of sunken
lands in the North and South Atlantic, near Japan and off the coast
Rampa’s books revealed a remarkable consistency of detail
about antediluvian civilizations, revelations which should be
compared with both the archaeological record and esoteric doctrine.
Throughout his books, Rampa
1. Tibet was the
centre of an earlier civilization when it was a low-lying land.
2. The earliest humans were
extraterrestrial in origin, gigantic in stature and with
3. Humans have been on this Earth for
millions of years and there have been many antediluvian
civilizations which reached a high level of technology.
4. These cultures were destroyed by
atomic warfare or natural
cataclysms such as earthquakes, tsunamis and pole shifts, often
5. Another planet once struck the Earth, spilling
its ocean of petroleum onto our planet.
is really only a generic name for lost civilizations.
There were other lost civilizations in
Lemuria and the Arctic.
7. Time capsules were buried by the
ancients in Tibet, Egypt, South America and Siberia.
8. The pyramids and the Sphinx are symbols which
point to lost civilizations. Pyramids were also beacons for
9. Some antediluvian civilizations abused
genetic engineering to create amoral beasts and biological
10. An antediluvian purple race eventually became
sterile because the culture became unbalanced by a radical
(in alphabetical order)
• Evans, Christopher, Cults of
Unreason, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1974.
• Harrer, Heinrich, Seven Years in Tibet, Rupert Hart-Davis,
• Lopez, Donald, Prisoners of Shangri-La, University of Chicago
• Newnham, Richard, The Guinness Book of Fakes, Frauds &
Forgeries, Guinness Publishing, UK, 1991.
• Rampa, T. Lobsang, The Third Eye, Secker & Warburg, 1956.
• Rampa, T. Lobsang, Candlelight, Corgi, 1974.
• Rampa, T. Lobsang, Doctor from Lhasa (originally titled
Medical Lama), Souvenir Press, 1958.
• Rampa, T. Lobsang, Cave of the Ancients, Corgi, 1963.
• Rampa, T. Lobsang, Feeding the Flame, Corgi, 1971.
• Rampa, T. Lobsang, The Hermit, Corgi, 1972.
• Rampa, T. Lobsang, As It Was, Corgi, 1976.
• Rampa, T. Lobsang, Tibetan Sage, Corgi, 1980.
• Von Däniken, Erich, Gods from Outer Space, Dell Publishing,
• Waddell, Lhasa and Its Mysteries, Dover Publications, 1988
(first published 1905).
• Warburg, Frederic, All Authors are Equal, Hutchinson and Co.,