Author Topic: Carlos Castaneda  (Read 133694 times)

Offline E.P. Grondine

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Re: Carlos Castaneda
« Reply #135 on: October 13, 2010, 08:16:54 pm »
For Castaneda's early experiences with the yaqueros (spelling?) in the mountains of Peru, read "Cut Stones and Crossroads". That will make it clear.

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Carlos Castaneda
« Reply #136 on: October 13, 2010, 08:26:29 pm »
Could you summarize it for us, E.P.?

Offline E.P. Grondine

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    • Man and Impact in the Americas
Re: Carlos Castaneda
« Reply #137 on: October 13, 2010, 08:33:42 pm »
Could you summarize it for us, E.P.?

Yes, though since I can do it not very well, I am reluctant to.

The locals remembered that Castenada would hang out and use hallucinogens with local "shamans". Their accounts are relayed in "Cut Stones and Crossroads", and that is why they are important.

Later acquaintances of mine who visited the area told me of being told, "That's the good stuff. It's been in the bottle for a week."

I note that the really important part of this is the rather conscious lying, which is the sure sign of a con man.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 01:17:43 am by Kathryn »

Offline 7he4uthor

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Re: Carlos Castaneda
« Reply #138 on: April 09, 2011, 02:06:40 pm »
1 read this author's work at age 14 1971 1 knew it was fantasy, but now 1 understand more about this person whose actions border on criminal/slander/libel regarding magio-religious rites.
Apparently some youth today take this work as reality.

I moved the thread into Fraud because that's what Castaneda clearly was, what he was proved to be repeatedly, and even what he repeatedly (and even cheerfully) admitted to being many times.

If you're too lazy to have not noticed what most people knew thirty-forty years ago, don't go blaming us. The information is all over the place. You could've simply hit the search button on this site, or used google.

This is precisely what Debbie, Moma P, myself, and many other NDNs have pointed out before, that Nuagers get mad at NDNs for not living up to exploiters' falsehoods rather than getting mad at the frauds who fooled them.

UCLA did not revoke his PhD, and it's considered something of an embarassment to them and the anthropology profession. But I know that today most anthropology courses only use his works as negative examples, of what not to do, fabricate falsehoods, fantasies, and exploit or lie about Native peoples.

Sheehs, for someone who devotes so much effort to the guy, how could you fail to overlook literally hundreds of sources like these? And why the hysteria when a Native dares question him?

Or DeMille's work. Or the revelations of a member of his inner circle, that he kept a harem around him that likely all comitted suicide after his death. (Article is in our site.)

Or the most obvious facts of all (ones that even many anthros overlooked) that nothing in his falsehoods had the slightest resemblance to Yaqui, Mayan, or Toltec beliefs, or any Native beliefs, for that matter. They were all obvious ripoffs of Tai Chi passed off as Native.

My favorite debunking is still Deloria's, that his books (and the phony "Don Juan") obviously all came out of a hit of acid.

To me, all his works prove is how elaborate the fantasies are that some whites make up about Natives, and just how desperate and spiritually barren they must be to believe them.

Re: Carlos Castaneda
« Reply #139 on: September 20, 2011, 11:47:57 pm »
Years ago, someone wrote an online artice describing how much he sought refuge in reading science fiction when he was an adolescent. Years later, he realized that reading science fiction had, for him, possessed mood altering properties.

Am sorry I cannot find that article. This person may not have been alone. And there may have been something about Castaneda's writing style and also his chosen material that had mood altering effects.

Castaneda wrote a varient of a Gnostic myth. There is something about this basic myth that has an enduring appeal because versions of it have been popular and profitable throughout history.

But thought it gives relief, mood alteration is not mind control.

Feeling good is not the same as being good. Otherwise taking a hit of speed or cocaine would turn us into saints.

Feeling powerful is not necessarily the same as benevolence. The First Nation practices were meant to benefit the entire community, not empower a lone individual.

For comparison, here from sustained action is a critique of Castaneda's philosophy. That philosophy was the creation of an urbanized alienated male child in an adult body, who needed to rationalize his inability to share himself with other persons and make a life as a hustler seem superior to those who could live in community. No clan or tribe living at subsistance level could have tolerated someone like this -- a person like Castaneda is as dangerous to others as a mouse with hantavirus, a squirrel ailing from plaugue or a coyote with rabies. e Castaneda was not cntent to suffer in private--he spread his misery to others to reasurre himself he was not alone. Thats the tragedy.

Re: Carlos Castaneda
« Reply #140 on: September 21, 2011, 12:12:08 am »
Yeh, at a workshop I went to, I met many who when I brought up practicing the techniques in
the books (first four) they said "what techniques".  I know now that the techniques
came from the Dzogchen. As far as I can tell, they are the same, just cloaked and stated to
be something else. 

I never noticed anything about his writing to be mood altering or anything like that.

Yes, the sustained action group formed by one of the people who was part of a group
that Castaneda chose from the workshops. When the illusion broke, he formed that
press the little black on silver arrow Music, 1) Bob Pietkivitch Buddha Feet

Offline koyoteh

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Castaneda tangent?
« Reply #141 on: October 02, 2014, 10:13:10 pm »
was his first book completely fraudulent though?
i dont' remember it being presented as real. I always thought it was a comedic fictional story. But maybe based on some true events that he went through. Wheere peoples names were changed. Even the medicines name was changed.

For me the story was comedic. Not a book about all kinds of knowledge being presented, but about a dumbass who stalked an old native man and was trying to exploit this old man. ANd the old man just abuses him left and right. Kindo of a story like  "leave the natives elders alone or else"  kind of theme. 

and i looked up that don juan character and all the possibilities of who he may have been and none of them were good. Seems this man whom the character was based on , studied the european darks arts of magic and mixed them into some native ways. SO castaneda was stalking a bad medicine man.

true or not true? i dont know. 

I still say yes the book is fake , when it comes to people thinking its completely real and is like a refernce book.

ON another crazy note, i met this crazy huichol peyote man. kind of a similar character to that don juan. There were people there saying that he was actually the man that don juan was based on . ANd yes he was not a good man.
THat might be a little far fetched though.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 11:33:27 pm by koyoteh »

Offline Sparks

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Re: Carlos Castaneda
« Reply #142 on: June 16, 2022, 11:34:35 pm »
There are a couple of other resources that the original poster might be interested in examining. The film Carlos Castaneda: Enigma of a Sorcerer features documentary style commentary from people who were allegedly close to Castaneda at the height of his career as a "spiritual teacher" (it also features an awful lot of horrible, CGI type movie effects that are hard on the eyes). The general consensus seems to be that he was a manipulative (yet somehow seductive) jerk, particularly where women were concerned. Also, a book by one of the women featured in this film, Sorcerer's Apprentice: My Life With Carlos Castaneda by Amy Wallace might be worth checking out.

I just read through this complete topic, since Castaneda, unfortunately, is still widely admired and quoted by neo-shamanists in Scandinavia at least. Since 1915, the film mentioned above has been available in full (1:21:50) on YouTube: [Carlos Castaneda: Enigma of a Sorcerer]
Watch the whole documentary before leaving comments.... Castaneda junkies please move right along......this is for people who respect the truth.

Was Carlos Castaneda -- the U.C.L.A. anthropologist whose 1968 book, ''The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge,'' became one of the founding texts of the New Age movement -- a great spiritual leader or a cynical con man?

Directed by Ralph Torjan, once a member of Castaneda's inner circle of students, this digital video documentary piles up plenty of evidence that Don Juan, the Yaqui shaman from Mexico who supposedly trained Castaneda in the ancient Indian ways of accessing alternative realties, was a complete invention on Castaneda's part.

Many of Don Juan's ''teachings,'' the film suggests, were drawn from previously published academic articles, and little in Castaneda's account of his fabled apprenticeship to the master checks out when compared to the available facts.

According to the official birth certificate recorded in the office of Vital Records in Cajamarca, Peru the world's most famous anthropologist and best-selling author, Carlos César Salvador Arana, was born on December 25, 1925. On that momentous day his parents were not married to each other. Because both his parents were single, the address for baby Carlos was that of his father, Cesar N. Arana. Their address was 15 Arequipa Street. César Arana was 32 years old. The mother, "Dona Susana Castañeda," was 24 years old.

Carlos César Salvador Arana (aka Carlos Castaneda) provided various and contradictory versions of his birth and childhood. Those differing versions may indicate he felt some shame at being characterized as a bastard (a stigmatized status in that time and place). I have concluded that the emphasis our author, Carlos Castaneda, placed on "erasing personal history" is partly a symptom of embarrassment associated with being called an illegitimate child. Concomitantly, to boost his self-esteem, he invented more inspiring circumstances and parents. Creating such alternatives to the reality he lived in Peru increased his pride and made him seem extraordinary to others.

Castaneda, who died in 1998, used the celebrity his best-selling book earned him to establish his own personality cult. He surrounded himself with servile followers and made a habit of seducing female recruits.

One of his former lovers bluntly characterizes the group around him as ''Carlos's private harem.''

But as painfully aware of Castaneda's shortcomings as he is, Mr. Torjan makes no secret of having been deeply affected by his time with him. He tries to reclaim what he can from his former guru, offering testimony from several ex-members of the Castaneda cult about the profound, positive effect Castaneda's teachings had on their lives.

Trying to recreate that experience, Mr. Torjan has framed his talking-head interviews against an annoyingly persistent psychedelic background, generated by the popular music visualization program G-Force.

Enigma of a Sorcerer

Written, directed and edited by Ralph Torjan; music by Mr. Torjan and Robert J. Feldman; produced by Mr. Torjan and Pamela Weir-Quiton; released by Indican Pictures.

At least one of the people having their say in this movie is on the NAFPS fraud list, i.e. Robert Moss.

The book mentioned by cleardreamer is still in stock: