Buddhism and Lamaism gives a brief account of the origin of Buddhism, the specific teachings of the Buddha Gautama Sakyamuni, and Lamaism. The author examines the historical links between Buddhism and Lamaism and explores how, at a later stage, witchcraft and magic emerged and departed in many ways from the comparative simplicity of the Buddha's teachings.
Ellam also underlines the contradictions between Tibetan beliefs and those of other Buddhist countries. He goes into the esoteric aspects of the mystical Mahayana teachings, so long concealed from outsiders by suspicion and brute force. The book is based on a first-hand study of the subject which extended over many years, first in the Southern Buddhist countries, and then in Tibet itself.