I am very angry as I write now. Somebody has just called me to say that an article I wrote made him laugh like mad. Look, I am a serious writer. I don’t write for laughter!
Does this fellow want to turn me into the Baba Suwe of the written word?
I feel like commanding masked DSS operatives to lay a siege on anybody that smiles or giggles or laughs while reading anything I write!
I stress: I am not a laughing matter! To illustrate how serious I am, just the other day, at Oshodi in Lagos, I saw one be-whiskered fellow selling some second hand copies of books by T. Lobsang Rampa, and I kicked all the books away in a fit of rage.
The astonished bookseller ran away instead of fighting me. He thought I was mad!
Yes, that 419 writer called Lobsang Rampa is enough reason to go raving mad!
I will tell you why. Back in my school days, there was this mate of mine who was fond of reading the books of the author named T. (for Tuesday) Lobsang Rampa. This my mate claimed that he had learnt the art and science of “Astral Travel” from reading Lobsang Rampa.
He convinced me to keep vigil by his bedside while he undertook astral travel over the night.
I stayed stark awake all through the night waiting for astral travel to happen as my guy slept on the bed. The dude snored. I waited for astral travel. The bloke farted. I was still waiting for astral travel. The stench nearly killed me. I kept waiting for astral travel! When the guy eventually woke up in the morning I told him I did not witness any astral travel whatsoever. He promptly told me that I could not have seen it because I was not an initiate!
Now, why did he ask me to keep vigil when he knew from the get-go that I was not an initiate of Lobsang Rampa’s 419 astral travel? Truth to tell: Lobsang Rampa is a scam.
In the 1950s this Lobsang Rampa fellow wrote to the publishers, Secker and Warburg, that his real name was Dr Kuan-suo and that he had authored an autobiography that told the “true” story of his life as a lama in Tibet from the age of seven.
According to the self-styled Lobsang Rampa, his search for higher knowledge in Tibet led to his being operated on to open a “third eye” in his forehead. This was done by boring a hole through his forehead!
The book, The Third Eye by T. Lobsang Rampa, was published in 1956 and quickly sold some 50,000 copies and was translated into a handful of languages before alarm bells rang fast and free about the dubiousness of the book.
The Daily Mail of London scooped that the so-called Lobsang Rampa was no Tibetan after all; he was in fact an Englishman named Cyril Henry Hoskins, the son of a plumber from Devon. He had never ever visited Tibet.
He was in real life a surgical goods maker and part-time photographer. After he was exposed for the fraud he was, Lobsang Rampa was traced to a hotel in Dublin where he was hiding.
He made some very interesting explanations to the reporters. He readily agreed that he was truly an Englishman but added the dimension that his body was inhabited by a Tibetan lama!
Lobsang Rampa, also known as Dr Kuan-suo and Cyril Henry Hoskins, further explained that the lama took possession of his body on one inauspicious day in which he fell down from a tree while attempting to take photographs of an owl!
It was while he lay on the ground that a lama in blue and saffron robes floated in the air toward him and then suddenly took possession of his body!
This cock-and-bull story is deserving of the ultimate prize in advance fee 419 writing. Lobsang Rampa, even as he was exposed as a hoax, went on to publish other books, claiming that one of his books, Living with the Lama published in 1964, was dictated to him by his cat!
I hope all can now see that it was wise for me to run mad and kick away all the books of the English 419 con artist known as Lobsang Rampa.
As I write now, I can still see and hear the terrified Oshodi bookseller running for his dear life and screaming: “Craseman! Were ni o! Esu re o! Man yen ti mad!”
Me, mad? I am a serious writer. I don’t laugh. So, don’t laugh!