Author Topic: Carlos Castaneda  (Read 109793 times)


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Re: Carlos Castaneda
« Reply #30 on: April 11, 2007, 10:07:09 pm »
 With all do respect I am not sure who is posting at this point as on the SR site you are known as medicine man/Kaioateyo1 and this is what you posted there:
Just had a peek at the NAFPS site through the link kindly provided by ra6as.

My word, what a bunch of angry paranoiacs and self-congratulatory holier-than-thous.

Nothing sadder than an Indian blaming the white man for his alcoholism, promiscuity and inability to get a proper education. And the NAFPS 'Indians' seem to be led by a Brit guy and a German woman.


seriously, if this is not pathetic, i don't know what is. Posted there on 4/5/07, post # 2582. So is this you that posted this?

I do not have the authority to delete, that is not up to me. For myself I would rather see you post with the name you use on SR as it does become confusing otherwise eh? Wado for your response, also to let you know I am an Eastern Cherokee woman/Grandma. I may be Elderly but do not consider myself an Elder.

Offline Barnaby_McEwan

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Re: Carlos Castaneda
« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2007, 09:37:32 am »
Weheli, it was definitely 'kaioatey01' the racist who posted that. His response to your invitation to appear here was, 'No, I'm not coming over there. You come over here! But I won't be here, because I'm going to a pow-wow!'. Pathetic. Actually I wonder if any of the folks there will be Indian, if the pow-wow really exists. I'm sure there was a time when David Yeagley used to pretend he went to pow-wows too.

We're never going to get any sense out of idiots like that and I don't want to encourage them over here, any more than I'd encourage them to give people the benefit of their views on Indian 'victimhood' at a pow-wow. Come to think of it that might be funny.

Offline ra6as

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Re: Carlos Castaneda
« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2007, 11:10:31 am »

Hello again Weheli,

If kaioatey is the one you wish to talk to, then you've almost got me wishing I *was* kaioatey ~

at SR I am b2bhutan and car4cas but most people there still call me ra6as.

I note that kaioatey is inviting you over to SR, and it would truly be an honour if you would visit,

but I have to say that in view of everything that's been said there and here, it is really inappropriate of him to ignore your invitation that he come here and talk,

I will say this to him on his return ~ he says he'll be away for a few days.

Offline educatedindian

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Re: Carlos Castaneda
« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2007, 03:09:46 pm »
Is this the same Kaioatey? His/Her/? name is listed as Allen Phemister, N Lee, and Mrs Kate Glenn at other sites, with homes variously listed at Gonaives Haiti and Walpi Arizona.

If so, it's sad to see what's happened to him/her/transgendered/etc. What was once a thoughtful person has now become another lost racist using blame-the--victim-but-romanticize-him strategies.
Power and Place: Indian Education in America
 good July 24, 2003
Reviewer: kaioatey
That Native Americans are often treated as second class citizens is often due to the fact that they do not possess adequate educational, political and financial resources. Deloria and Wildcat analyze, in this eminently practical and thoughtful book, the causes and conditions that led to this state of affairs. They identify the European dialectic method as one of the key factors that alienate Native Americans. The problem, as they see it, is far from benign - dialectics as practiced in the academia not only champions a simplistic cause-and-effect reasoning which is far removed from the Indian tendency to view the world in a holistic, pan-theistic manner... it also produces isolated, self-absorbed individuals separated from their own bodies and their own society. Such separation is incomprehensible to the Indians, who view themselves primarily as members of a community and for whom individual achievements are largely meaningless without the context of the community support.

Another significant difference between the Native and Western educational approaches, say VD and DW, are that while the former stress personal growth from the early childhood on, the latter concentrate on factual learning during which the harmonious development of the personality takes the second seat to professional development. This produces what to the Indian seem deviant and psychopathic characters completely out of touch with their community and nature, focused as they are on making money and selfish personal advancement."

His later reviews show a person lost in drugs, psychobabble, and bouncing from belief system to belief system. I'm always interested to know how people wind up scapegoating Natives for failing to live up to his romanticed fantasies.

If he's at a powwow, traditional politeness will shield him from NDNs wanting to slap him if he voices his racist harangues. People will just stay away from him.

Who knows? Perhaps he might actually learn something.

Offline Moma_porcupine

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Re: Carlos Castaneda
« Reply #34 on: April 13, 2007, 10:38:28 pm »
There was a 4 page article on Casteneda with a lot of detailed information, in the link below, but now  you have to click on some sponsors logo to get it .

It looks like I am wrong in thinking suceptibility to cult leaders , might be connected to some sort of childhood abuse . Just from personal experince ,the people I know that accept abusive relationships as adults , usually learned this was normal as children , but it looks like the research doesn't show this as a general pattern for people who get involved in cults.

"For the most part, normal, average people join cults--people like you and me."
"there appears to be no reliable personality factor that predicts cult membership. However, certain situational  elements make people more vulnerable to cult recruitment, and they include: loneliness (as experienced by someone who has recently moved to a new location); depression (as we feel after a failed relationship); and uncertainty about how to proceed (as I felt when I first went to college). These situations create the desire for quick, simple solutions. Cults provide a myriad of "solutions," which are more importantly accompanied by structure, authority, and close social contacts--elements that people want, need, and which most of us take for granted in the course of our everyday lives."
"A person with low self-esteem will be more persuadable than a person with high self-esteem when the advocated message is weak. Notice the important qualifier: "...when the advocated message is weak." There's no simple linear relationship between self-esteem and persuasion."

"when the message that's being advocated is weak and without merit or reason, the message will be rejected by both high- and moderate-self-esteemers. Thus, with an inherently unpersuasive message--such as the fantastic and bizarre inventions of cult leaders-- members who regularly have their self-esteem deflated will remain convinced."
"Cults operate on a fascinating psychological principle. You may not realize it, but our view of reality is defined by certain  "anchors" that we then use as points of reference in "mapping out" our individual model of reality. Cult leaders are experts at removing these anchors, leaving a person in a state of confusion and distress. They then "insert" new anchors to which the person clings in order to reestablish their sense of reality orientation. They now need the tenets of the cult to feel safe, and even "sane"."
So apparently people who become cult leaders, are capable of undermining peoples confidence in their own perceptions, and pushing people to rely on excessive magical thinking , and unlikely leaps of faith , even if the people they hook , are fairly normal to begin with  .

It's hard to understand .
« Last Edit: April 13, 2007, 10:40:46 pm by Moma_porcupine »


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Re: Carlos Castaneda
« Reply #35 on: April 14, 2007, 02:07:21 pm »
They are not always religious, but some seem to be based on economics, after a point. If you look at Jim Jones and Father Divine that was in Philadelphia. frederica

Offline cleardreamer

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Re: Carlos Castaneda
« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2007, 05:07:18 am »
I once tried to read a book by Castaneda. I don't think I got past the first chapter before I decided it was not worth getting into any further.

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.

Offline Barnaby_McEwan

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Re: Carlos Castaneda
« Reply #37 on: April 17, 2007, 05:02:24 pm »
I stopped watching once Robert Moss came on.

Offline cleardreamer

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Re: Carlos Castaneda
« Reply #38 on: May 31, 2007, 07:29:33 pm »
> I stopped watching once Robert Moss came on.

I would have, too, had I known better at the time. Thankfully, I was taught a damn valuable lesson in discernment through my experiences with RM, however difficult it was to learn.

Offline A.H.

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Re: Hello from Ari
« Reply #39 on: April 18, 2008, 05:35:51 pm »
I realized that Castaneda's books are fake long ago, but just for a little balance - I read those books when I was 16 and I actually didn't connect those people to any real culture there is - as I understood them it was supposed to be something "underground", not part of mainstream culture. His mixture of several religious and spiritual traditions' ideas, quasi mesoamerican traditions, european occultist ideas and 60's enchantment with psychedelics, etc. actually showed me at that time that something else IS there... at least there were those ideas.

I am not defending Castaneda here - but it is a strange fact that those books saved my life back then. I suffered from heavy depression and loss of will to live because I had no religion and as a rebellion teenager would not want to have any of those mainstream ones that seemed obviously fraudulent and political to me.
I also went to the classical high-school where we had latin and all that snobbish bull-shit and where we were told they educate us to become future elite and they were trying to get us in some sort of competitive mood.
I was utterly confused - is this all? Is this what life is meant to be? Going to school, compete, then go to work and gain, gain, gain, gain and serve, serve, serve, serve... Where is the point? Why are we doing this? Where is the reason? What is all this crazy dance of pointless activity?
And a part of story remains untold... but it was extreme and dark.

...and then Castaneda saved my life, hehehe. Don Juan was immensly funny. His humor was what delighted me the most. Like telling me - you're just an ignorant kid - get real and look around. Universe is endlessly mysterious and you think you've seen it all?
Well, I was 16. Around the age when most of the teenage suiciders commit their act as I learned from the statistics. I escaped that statistics.

Sorry to hijack your introduction - just to show that in some very negative things some good can be found..

The initial fraud and even more what they did later and still today cannot be justified. Commercial fake...

Offline garners

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Re: Hello from Ari
« Reply #40 on: April 19, 2008, 04:28:42 pm »
I do not think Castaneda saved your life. You saved your own life A.H.
And if you fell for Castanedas phoney Indian stories that is your fault but certainly no reason to pat Castaneda on the back as you say for "balance".
Maybe you could further explain why you feel your defense of Castaneda provides balance? do you think he was right to make up phoney indian stories becuse they inspired you?
Castaneda was one of the largest populizers of using and abusing the Indian arcxhetype for New Age personal gain.
This has now blossomed into a huge problem and it is in part because new agers  have seen by Castaneda's original deceit how successful a scam it can be.
 If people did not support the scammers and fall for their dishonesty then pretending to be an Indiun would not be such a lucrative business for New Agers.
So in my opinion posting that you have been saved by one of the original abusers is not a very wise thing to do. I find you laughing at it ("and then Castaneda saved my life, hehehe. Don Juan was immensly funny. His humor was what delighted me the most".) and still acting like don juan was a real person that delighted you and not an abusive dishonest rip off of Indians disturbing.
 I am sure there are a lot of people that claim that they were helped by a number of the frauds catelogued on the NAFPS site but I hardly think that if they are intelligently sensitive to the situation they would be laughing about it and praising them here for "balance".
Cleargreen does indeed continue with claiming that all they teach comes from a lineage of Ancient Indians and it is shameful that Buddhists have now fallen for it. and support it.
I urge everyone to post to the Shambala Mountain center and complain that by supporting Cleargreen they support Castaneda's New Age Indian abuse and continue giving their support to the original dishonesty.
I hope that Ari or someone will place Cleargreen in the frauds section where they belong for their claim that thy are teaching ancient mystical Indian shamanic movements  seems to be entirely unfactual.

Offline Ari

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Re: Hello from Ari
« Reply #41 on: April 19, 2008, 05:06:44 pm »
Hello A.H.,

Well, Castaneda claiming that knowledge he presenting in his books, coming from Indian informant and originating from ancient Indian esoteric tradition.
I don't have much knowledge about religious and cultural traditions and ideas, neither about Indian spirituality and culture, so I, as mass of people from all around the world, was tricked to believe that what Castaneda talking about in his books really coming from Indian source. UCLA's endorsement of his works as non-fiction and Castaneda's endorsement of himself as scientist-anthropologist greatly contributed to this confusion of course.
Yes, he talking about something so high, desirable and exciting - Spirit, Freedom, death defying... Who would not be touched by this ideas... People were discarding and excusing so much of obvious bs which came out of Castanedian unhealthy fantasy and validated as a   wisdom and knowledge of Indian tradition.
Not many people besides real Indians were aware that Castaneda is fake.
I'm Russian. So, when  i'm watching Hollywood movie with some action in Russia or presenting Hollywoodian idea about Russians, i can see clearly that creators of the movie have absolutely no knowledge about reality of Russian life. It is obvious for me. But Americans who watching this obvious misrepresentation, believing it to be true.
Castaneda was well aware that for most people in the world Indian culture is unknown mystery and Indians are too suppressed socially to practically protest and he used it and played with it, giving more validity to his stories.
Then all the world started passionately play Indians... lol! Well...this is not really laughable if to  to contemplate upon...
It came to the point that most of writers, who were intending to reveal their own often insane ideas to the world, could not find nothing better to do than claim to originate from Indian tradition or at least to have at least some kind of relation to Indian people. Because this is what sells...
I feel sad that people tending to ignore feelings of others for the sake of some thrill and pleasures of themselves and even when they know that this thrill and pleasures based on abuse  and dishonesty.   


Offline A.H.

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Re: Hello from Ari
« Reply #42 on: April 20, 2008, 11:09:45 am »
Ari & garners,

I haven't expected any less stern answer on this forum. Good.

I could be too eager to join in criticizing Castaneda and especially the strange activities that came later - like Cleargreen inc.
But I had to admit before that, that his first books contributed something meaningful at a certain stage of my life.

Like - some Nazi helped you in some way, so you didn't die during the war - and later he is confronted in the court... it is fair to let the court know that he helped you, isn't it? If I would remain silent I would be unfair. 

Yes - Don Juan is "real" to me as a well developed fiction caracter with great sense of humor - a model how to think - playful, observing, paying attention to little details in nature, feeling awe confronted with the objective mystery of the Universe, etc. He is "real" as Raskolnikov or Josef K to me.

Castaneda was so succesful also because he could write good and entertaining fiction, not because he was the first exploiter (he wasn't first). There are many other authors of shinny new-age trash that will never achieve such status - because they just can't write...

Interesting - already back then I "hated" the first twinkies and "shiny happy people" that fed on new-age books and appeared after the great political and social changes in the world and my country (I am from ex east-block, too, and a door-step to Balkan with all its 90's wars). So the atmosphere was very suitable for new-age to flourish in the time of uncertainty and redefinition of values and new aggressive materialism arriving.

I couldn't connect Castaneda's first books to the rest of new-age. They seemded too dangerous, playful and dark for them.

I was really surprised when later books came and where sort of manuals and with the dawn of internet I discovered the Cleargreen inc. I was appalled. It seemed like some new-agers exploiting Castaneda himself, hehehe. But he was involved in all this. So the whole fraudulent nature of this enterprise of his became crystal clear to me..
And already before that I started to regard his books as entertaining fiction, because I already discovered some of the original ideas he used in buddhist and taoist books.

Ok, I maybe gave too much "subconscious" defending of this man's work. And "balance" was not a good choice of words before.

Yes, just fight those new-age "sorcerers" and their funny "gymnastics". They look too idiotic and vain to me to even bother and still can't quite connect this activity with the first four books of Castaneda that helped me as a teenager.

« Last Edit: April 20, 2008, 11:16:18 am by A.H. »

Offline educatedindian

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Re: Hello from Ari
« Reply #43 on: April 20, 2008, 01:34:37 pm »
A couple points:

Castaneda appealed to some people, and may even have helped some people, in part because he ripped off other traditions besides Native ones. Most of what he passes off as NDN, Yaqui, Toltec, is actually Hindu, Taoist, Buddhist, or other eastern beliefs. The Tensegrity nonsense, for example, is Tai Chi with pseudo Indian names slapped on it. He even lost a lawsuit that came from his own Tai Chi master for ripping off his system.

Part of his appeal was also that he made racism against NDNs (the romanticized image of the Noble Savage in particular) sound appealing to the counterculture. I don't know of that's what appealed to either of you, but that's undeniable part of him. And we can easily find plenty of examples of his followers who love him to death, but explode with racism against NDNs once they hear an NDN criticize him.

As for being a good writer, I think he's one of the worst examples of overwriting I've ever seen. Bloated, incoherent, pompous, sometimes just plain gibberish. Often part of his appeal from his supporters come from those who think being dense and hard to understand equals being "profound," esp those who are easily impressed by a big vocabulary. The clearest evidence of him being a bad writer is the decline in readers in each successive book. Looking at online discussions of his books, one can see plenty members of his own cult who admit they can't even understand much of what they read, and didn't even finish the first book.

Can't say I blame them. It's like water torture for me to wade through anything of his since I teach my students to write clearly and say what they mean, straight out.

Cleargreen is mentioned in several threads in here, but we don't have a thread specific to it. Since they're an abusive cult who continue to harm many people, a thread is badly needed.

Offline Moma_porcupine

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Re: Hello from Ari
« Reply #44 on: April 20, 2008, 03:51:36 pm »
I also have seen situations where something that in most situations has harmful consquences has been helpful in some way, and i've thought about this as it seems a bit paradoxical , that something which is usually harmful can sometimes have beneifical effects.

One underlying dynamic I can identify seems to be that when people are facing a overwhelming problem they don't see a way to solve, anything that gives some hope or some sense of community and being connected to something, can sometimes provide a sort of life saver to hang onto till they get through the crisis. This is often the reason people abuse drugs and alcohol, and I think it is often a factor in why people get attached to cults, or hang on to an abusive relationship or even a completely unrealistic plan to make a million bucks. None of these things are healthy choices, they are all a waste of time , and often create so many other problems no one would ever think to recommend this to someone. But for someone who is teetering on the brink of suicide, or about to engage in some other highly  destructive behavior , these things can serve as a temporary distraction and help numb the pain till the crisis passes and a person is in a situation where they are better able to cope. But that still doesn't mean any of these things are a good or safe way to cope with problems.