by Karen Mutton


from NexusMagazine Website




















T. Lobsang Rampa
New Age Trailblazer


Part 1 of 2

Extracted from Nexus Magazine

Volume 13, Number 2 (February - March 2006)


An alleged 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.



Statistics and Propaganda


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, and 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 his 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 short wave.

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 millennium.
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.


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 recalled:

"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 figure…"

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 fiction.

"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 sad response:

"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 protective.


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 playing charades.

"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 Tibetan writer..."

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 another body."

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 visions".

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 initiation.
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 proportions.

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."

(p. 185)

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, including Lobsang, 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 telepathically.


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 their technology.


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 said:

"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 vehicle forward".

"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 future years,

"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 of Turkey.

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 stated that:

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 conical heads.
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 without warning.
5.   Another planet once struck the Earth, spilling its ocean of petroleum onto our planet.
6.   Atlantis 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 extraterrestrial vehicles.
9.   Some antediluvian civilizations abused genetic engineering to create amoral beasts and biological weapons.
10. An antediluvian purple race eventually became sterile because the culture became unbalanced by a radical matriarchy.

References (in alphabetical order)

• Evans, Christopher, Cults of Unreason, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1974.
• Harrer, Heinrich, Seven Years in Tibet, Rupert Hart-Davis, 1953.
• Lopez, Donald, Prisoners of Shangri-La, University of Chicago Press, 1998.
• 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, 1978.
• Waddell, Lhasa and Its Mysteries, Dover Publications, 1988 (first published 1905).
• Warburg, Frederic, All Authors are Equal, Hutchinson and Co., 1973.

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