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Lobsang Rampa??????

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Check out the photo. Can't believe some idiots thought he looked Tibetan.
The Third Eye, published in 1956 and authored by Tuesday Lobsang Rampa, purported to be Rampa's autobiographical tale of his study and mastery of Tibetan Buddhism.
Rampa claimed that he had been born into a wealthy Tibetan family and had studied in Lhasa to become a lama. He had then undergone an operation to open up the "third eye" in the middle of his forehead. This operation had bestowed upon him amazing psychic powers.

Naturally, this description of an ancient Tibetan operation that could provide psychic powers raised a few eyebrows, especially among serious scholars of Tibetan culture. Keen to debunk what they were sure was a fraud, a group of scholars living in Britain hired a detective, Clifford Burgess, to determine the validity of Rampa's tale.

What Burgess discovered was 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 named Joseph Henry Hopkins.
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. But one day he had taken his interest a step further. He grew a beard, shaved his head, and began to refer to himself as "Dr. Kuan-suo."
Burgess confronted Cyril with what he had learned, but Cyril had a ready explanation at hand. He said that while he may have been born Cyril Henry Hoskins, he had become Tuesday Lobsang Rampa because his body had been taken over by Rampa's spirit. 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 brand of humbug. Evidently quite a few people were willing to believe his tale about having been possessed by the spirit of a Tibetan monk. So he continued on with his career as Tuesday Lobsang Rampa, writing twelve more books before his death in 1981. However, none of them sold as well as The Third Eye.
Rampa, T. Lobsang. The Third Eye. Doubleday. 1956.
"The Tibetan Lama Hoax." Tomorrow 6, 1958: 9-13.

This guy could have written a Fraud How-to book. I remember reading the book and being "creeped out".
Quite an amazing book of Science Fiction- with the writer being the main character, and quite impressed with himself if I remember right. Thanks for all the wonderful background information!  

It might be fun to check out Jeffrey Masson's book `My Father's Guru', which is about a similar fantasist/fraud called Paul Brunton.

Then there's `The Mother of God', by Luna Tarlo. Her son Andrew Cohen became a cult leader, and nearly took her into the abyss with him.


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