Rampa, T(uesday) Lopsang (ca. 1911-1981)

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Rampa, T(uesday) Lopsang (ca. 1911-1981)

Pseudonym of British author Cyril Henry Hoskins, whose first book, The Third Eye (1956), became a sensational bestseller. It purported to be written by a Tibetan lama and described a kind of occult leucotomy in which his "third eye," in the center of his forehead, was opened surgically, resulting in his psychic powers. It was soon followed by a sequel, Doctor From Lhasa (1959). The books were well-written, but people knowledgeable of Tibet soon began to find numerous errors and inconsistencies. There is no tradition of surgical opening of the third eye, which is considered a structure in the subtle body, a concept underlying the practice of meditation techniques in various yoga systems.

An initial perceptive review appeared in the journal Tomorrow in 1958, in which the Tibetan scholar Chen Chi Chang declared the book literary entertainment, stating: "we have here a work of interesting and highly imaginative fictionbut certainly not a source of authentic information on Buddhist teachings or training."

While this review was being published, an independent inquiry was undertaken by Clifford Burgess, a Liverpool (En-gland) detective, on behalf of a group of Tibetan scholars. Burgess tracked down Hoskins to a village overlooking Dublin Bay in the Irish Republic and revealed that Hoskins had never been in Tibet or had an operation on his forehead.

Hoskins was the son of Joseph Henry Hoskins, a plumber. After leaving school he assisted his father for a time, and when his father died in 1937 he lived with his mother in Nottingham-shire. He worked for a surgical instrument company, then became a clerk with a correspondence school, teaching time and motion studies. About this time he shaved his head, grew a beard and adopted the name of "Dr. Kuan-suo." Later, with his wife, Sanya, he moved to Ireland. After exposure of his hoax, Hoskins attempted to recover by arguing that his own body had been taken over by the spirit of a Tibetan lama. He went on to write a number of other successful books that built on the original story and rehashed standard occult and psychic themes.

He died of heart trouble January 25, 1981, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. His books have remained in print and continue to sell to an audience unaware of the fraud.


Chan, Chen Chi. "Tibetan Phantasies." Tomorrow 6, 2 (spring 1958).

Rampa, T. Lopsang [Cyril Henry Hoskins]. As It Was! N.p., 1976.

. Beyond the Tenth. N.p., 1969.

. Candlelight. N.p., 1974.

. Cave of the Ancients. N.p., 1963.

. The Hermit. N.p., 1971.

. Living With the Lama. N.p., 1964.

. My Visit to Venus. N.p., 1966.

. The Rampa Story. London: Souvenir Press, 1960.

. The Saffron Robe. N.p., 1964.

. The Thirteenth Candle. N.p., 1972.

. Wisdom of the Ancients. N.p., 1965.

. YouForever. N.p., 1965.

Stein, Gordon. Encyclopedia of Hoaxes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1993.

"The Tibetan Lama Hoax." Tomorrow 9, 2 (spring 1958).