Uploaded on Nov 20, 2007
Jethro Dumont spends 10 years in Tibet studying the secrets of meditation and returns with mystical powers. He now returns to Park Avenue and New York City to combat crime, evil doers and international enemies and with a magical Tibetan chant, he is transformed into the Green Lama.
The Green Lama first appeared in novel form in the pulp fiction magazine Double Detective. Written by Kendell Foster Crossen under the pen name of Richard Foster and published by the Frank A. Munsey Company.
The Green Lama then surfaced in the December, 1940 issue Prize Comics and appeared in 27 issues including art from Mac Raboy. The Green Lama's popularity launched his own comic entitled The Green Lama from Sparks Publications which lasted for 8 more issues.
The Green Lama then made the jump over to his own Radio Show starring Paul Frees and Ben Wright in 1949 which lasted 11 broadcasts.
The Green Lama stories are unusual amongst the pulp fiction of that era in their sympathetic and relatively knowledgeable portrayal of Buddhism, both in the text of the stories and in numerous footnotes.
From Crossen's own comments, however, it is clear that this was not proselytism on his part but simply due to the fact that he wanted to create a Tibetan Buddhist character and then read everything he could find on the subject.
The most frequent reference to Buddhism in the stories is the use of the Sanskrit mantra "Om mani padme hum", which would indeed be used by Tibetan monks.
However, the majority of other references to Buddhism in the stories, while accurate, relate to the Theravada form of Buddhism rather than the Tibetan form, with frequent use of Pali words such as "Magga", "Nibbana" and "Dhamma" which would be unlikely to be used by Tibetan Buddhists.
SHOP SMART! SHOP LAMA-MART!