Abysmally Deficient
Having just watched the excellent BBC expose of this charlatan I can only say this article is weak at best.
- In fact reviewing the entire article again I can say it must be some totally moronic jerkwad who wrote this and that this is all the proof needed to support the argument that Wikipedia can be destructive. No time at all is devoted to the considerable research by serious anthropologists to expose CC; no mention at all is given of his cult following; no mention is made of his mistress/adopted daughter.
Instead all we see is some freako go bananas with all the CC mumbo jumbo that literally killed so many people. I'm sorry - but it's REPUGNANT. Starting now my children will be WARNED about Wikipedia - that is is STUPID and potentially DESTRUCTIVE. I applaud the New Jersey school board. Obviously they're enlightened. -Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 03:09, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
 Merge Proposal
The article Mystic meditation is probably the shortest article I have ever seen, one line in here is all it needs at best a sub heading if someone was willing to do the work.--Matt 03:43, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't agree with this proposal, I think Castaneda's work stands on it own, and should not be "incorporated" into another listing, nor should other listings be incorporated into his. True, under something like "new age" beliefs you could mention Castaneda. But "meditation" was never really that important in the Castaneda works and the don Juan philosophy, so this proposal is a bad idea. Who wields me, wields the world! 04:40, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
I have never heard or read of the term Mystic Meditation used in connection with Castaneda's works or don Juan. Why not confirm this and then just delete the entry for Mystic Meditation. 01/25/07 18.104.22.168 00:05, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
first excuse my english, but i think that books from CC it´s only a way to say that´s more in this world to know. Our only 5 sense give to us , only a limited view and knowledge. It´s obvius that CC make a mix of his personal experiences , investigations and imagination. But you want to still stuck to our ordinary world?
librevoz from Merida, Yucatán
They're good books - but fiction can take you out of the ordinary world. Castaneda says lots of things that are true: some of them he found in other works of more authentic authors. But Castaneda is an excellent summary of other people's findings. Chevalier violet 22:33, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
I wish someone could give me even one example of something in the castaneda books that is found elsewhere.awp
There are lots of similar things you can find. To shut off the internal dialogue is a zen practice. Yoga teaches that our soul consists of some kind of light/awareness. Feng shui says that all objects are attached to us like strings. But does it mean he looked around in all kind of books to make this huge scam? Or maybe it's just what he says, another way to perceive the world..and learning how to do it, that many people did some thousands of years ago, and some people still know how to do it?
I dont understand what your saying, or even how to get the date to work.
Where does Castaneda's biographical information come from? Thanks, Yann 22:18 Feb 21, 2003 (UTC)
Probably from the books. ==> Es02 10:56(AEST) 20 May 2003
No. There is practically no personal information about himself in his books. Some of it might be speculative, and some might come from independent researchers who in turn wrote books or articles about him.-The preceding unsigned comment was added by 22.214.171.124 (talk • contribs) 10:23 19 February 2004 (UTC)
It is a compilation of what he told others, interviews, etc. In other words, the most likely scenario. There were also records from UCLA, the immigration department,and peru.
 Some Suggestions For Improvement
One example of plagiarism? First of all, if you go to your local library and pick up the Don Juan Papers, you will find over 200. Many of them are nearly innocuous or slightly suspicious taken alone. As a whole they are quite damning, with 13 in particular that are so blatant they are damning in and of themselves. But since you asked, here's two at random:
"The Human Aura... is seen by the psychic observer as a luminous cloud... certain colors being predominant in each person.... It is oval or egg-shaped.... the 'Auric Egg'.... to the psychic vision it appears to be 'streaked' byu umerous fine lines extending like stiff bristles from the body outward.... the several hairs standing out in all directions" (Atkinson 1909: 62, 62, 58)
Castaneda: "The human quality was shown as an egglike cluster of luminous fibers" (Castaneda 1974, page 39). "What I called coloration was not a hue but a glow of different intensities" (Castaneda 1974:41). "The little smoke will help you to see men as fibers of light.... Very fine threads that circulate from the head to the navel. Thus a man looks like an egg of circulating fibers. And his arms and legs are like luminous bristles, bursting out in all directions' (Castaneda 1971:33)
Castaneda almost certainly stole the "four enemies of power" from Opler and Eliade. Read for yourself,
"I was approached by a man... who wanted to transfer his power to me. I told him, "No, I am afraid of it" (Opler 1941:211)
Castaneda: And thus he has stumbled on the first of his nautral enemies: Fear!" (Castaneda 1968:57
Opler: "Anything that interferes with the clarity of purpose of the shaman gravely weakens the rite" (Opler 1941: 209)
Castaneda: 'That clarity of mind, which is so hard to obtain, dispels fear, but also blinds. It forces the man never to doubt himself' (C 1969: 58)
Eliade: "The powers [and] the magical sense of boundless capability.... they produce... can make the yogin forget his true aim" (Eliade 1964: 416-417)
Castaneda: 'He can do... whatever he pleases....' "But what if he is temporarily blinded by power, and then refuses it?' "That means he is still trying to become a man of knowledge' (C 1968: 59)
Opler: "Power is not always neutral, not always a force ready to act at the bidding of the shaman" (Opler 1941:255)
Castaneda: The power he has seemingly conquered is in reality never his' (C 1968: 60)
Opler: "Power which has seemed to be beneficent may finally demand that the shaman sacrifice a life to it" (Opler 1941:255)
C: The man.... ends in making rules, because he is a master.... His enemy will have turned him into a cruel, capricious man' (C 1968:69)
(Opler 1941: 209): "The older you get, the weaker you become with your ceremony. Your mind is weak. Your praying is mixed up.... Your voice is feeble.... You can't have a good vigorous talk with your power any more"
Castaneda: 'His enemy will cut him down into a feeble old creature. His desire to retreat will overrule all his clarity, his power, and his knowledge." (C 1968: 60)
(Taken from the Don Juan Papers, Richard de Mille, 1980, pp. 409.)
Obviously Castaneda embellished and rearranged these quotes, but the language is strikingly similar. I should also mention that the strongest proof found against Castaneda is temporal inconsistencies - like claiming that Don Juan taught him to "see" in 1962, and in 1969 he published that he didn't know what seeing was and asked Don Juan to please explain (Castaneda's Journey, Richard de Mille, 1976, pp. 37). He couldn't have found the answer in his memory, or if not in his "field notes"?
Castaneda fictioneered, and he probably plagiarized too. I don't know how to use Wiki, or else I would put all this in the main article myself! Will somebody please do it for me? Chevalier violet 05:43, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Update: now THAT is much better! Chevalier violet 22:10, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Needed: we actually now know the real names of many of the surnames listed in the related author section. We know the real names of "Florinda Donner-Grau" "Taisha Abelar" for example. It's all listed in later biographies of Castaneda. Does anybody have that information?
Re (pre-update): In this article, the coverage of the content of Castaneda's books is excellent. The coverage of the critics against him is fairly weak. It's not that there isn't any, it's that the strongest arguments against Castaneda's veracity are not included. . In the Don Juan Papers: the strongest contention is plaigarism. Richard de Mille says "Don Juan followers declare that enlightened minds think alike in all times and places, but there is more ... than similar ideas; there are similar words. When Don Juan opens his mouth, the words of particular writers come out" (De Mille, Don Juan Papers, 1980, 19)- authors that were in the UCLA library, and some of whom were required reading for Castaneda's Anthropology degree. The sentence structures, the word choice agree in some cases to a startling degree, despite the fact that Castaneda supposedly translated his conversations from Spanish. The first quote about the "luminous egg" is almost verbatim taken from an American "hack writer of fake mysticism" from 1903. It's not as though these similarities occur on the book-level - ideas spread out throughout the course of a book that are the same. In certain cases, it's not even paragraph-level similarity of ideas. This is sentence-level similarity - otherwise known as probable paraphrasing, plaigarism, or petty larceny. De Mille says "How many stylistic echos would be needed to prove that don Juan's teachings and Carlos's adventures originated not in the Sonoran desert but in the library at UCLA? The alleglossary... lists some 200 exhibits many of which clearly demonstrate and all of which suggest literary influence of earlier publications on Castaneda's supposed field reports." (Don Juan Papers, Richard de Mille, 1980, 20) . Castaneda defenders (and this wikipedia article) defend Castaneda's constant inventions by saying that Don Juan told him to. A French biographer of Castaneda, Christophe Bourseiller, in Carlos Castaneda : La vérité du mensonge argues that Castaneda had been a liar long before he allegedly met Don Juan. In the 50's, Castaneda claimed, according to friends, to have been part of the American special forces, for which there is no record whatsoever, and seems improbable since he was a recent immigrant at the time. During the 50's, he also claimed to be the nephew of a certain Aranha, a prominent, rich Brazilian politician at the time. This is, of course, blatantly false. Castaneda's family (and illegitimate child) was tracked down and interviewed by Time magazine. His own mother said that Castaneda has been a teller of tall tales since birth. If you accept that Castaneda had been a teller of tall tales long before he met Don Juan, it becomes far easier, and indeed highly probable in light of other evidence, that Castaneda invented him too. . These are the most powerful arguments against Castaneda's work. They need to be included, with less harsh language, in the final article. 15:09, 14 September 2006 (UTC)Chevalier violet 15:09, 14 September 2006 (UTC) CV-The preceding unsigned comment was added by Chevalier violet (talk • contribs) 07:00 10 September 2006.
You fools! Dont you realize that was his game? That stuff about personal history was supposed to be false. I would not be surprised that he used sentences and writing styles from books at UCLA, after all, his intent was not to be a writer, but to take his states of heightened awareness, after recall through dreaming, and bring it back somehow to put on paper. Imagine yourself desribing a dream. If you were to make a story out of it, you would need to borrow, embellish, edit, and connect to make it into something that could be sold as a novel-type book. I think the main thing wasnt actually the story itself, just as the content of dreams isnt as important as the technique and knowledge.awp
LOL! I agree with "nice one" below. Chevalier violet 02:51, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Nice one; excuse plaigarism because it's all now the content of my dreams. "His intent was not to be a writer"? Then why did he write so many books, crafted for popular appeal? Why not just stick to the oral tradition, and talk about his experience. Why would one have to "borrom, embellsh, edit and connect" a dream into a novel, simply to describe a dream story? Shouldn't any shaman worth his salt know that what unites these traditions is an embrace of the oral technique and an avoidance of the written word, one being temporal, the other static and canonical (in short, what reality ain't). Perhaps the Yaqui have some insight into charlatans and plaigarists, and some commentary on those 'shamans' who corrupt oral traditions into static pulp, and a steady flow of royalties. Sept. 2006
I see what you mean by the word self-stalking, but eventually it does include the world and other worlds too. Actually since the emanations inside the cocoon (the ones used for awareness and perception) match the ones outside, it would be fair to say it is stalking the universe.
The article's current form is fairly informative and even-handed, but it could use some polish.
One thing that should be emphasized is Castaneda's protean nature. As documented most notably in "Castaneda's Journey" and "The Don Juan Papers," both edited by Charles de Mille, and "A Magical Journey with Carlos Castaneda" by Margaret Runyon (Castaneda's ex-wife), Castaneda had a history of giving contradictory or ambiguous information about himself. Given the doubts that these authors and others have raised about Castaneda's truthfulness, it might be better to say that Castaneda "allegedly" met Don Juan Matus in 1960. Of course, Castaneda's work has never been proven entirely fraudulent either, despite whatever doubts have been raised about certain elements of it.
A more glaring matter for the article as a whole is that it uses a lot of Castaneda's jargon without really explaining what is meant. Summarizing twelve books' worth of information is difficult to do, but there should probably be some more basic description of the sorcery concepts allegedly learned by Castaneda, so that the unfamiliar reader will not be entirely lost. For example, in the current article such terms as "Toltec," "Warrior," "Eagle," "Dreaming," and "Stalking," among certain others, have very specialized meanings that need to be explained further. There is no mention of "Tonal," and "Nagual," and there is also no explanation of the structure of the warrior's party (the five types of men and the five types of women).-The preceding unsigned comment was added by 126.96.36.199 (talk • contribs) 14:47 15 January 2005 (UTC)
It is not upon anybody to prove his works "entirely fraudulent. That is impossible. We weren't there. What we can do is look for logical errors and plagiarism, which show that these stories resemble books in the library and that Castaneda could not lived the experiences he wrote about. He was taught to see then somehow forgot what it means to SEE? He forgot about 6 hair-raising encounters with la Catalina three years later? Hogwash!
If the question is: did Carlos Castaneda meet some indian guy in his life, the answer is probably! But if you ask, did Castaneda meet a Don Juan AS PORTRAYED IN THE BOOKS, the answer is no! All fiction is partially true. The question is, are the works of Castaneda mostly fact? Again, the answer is no.
Maybe this guy makes a good point that from a practical standpoint, it makes little difference whether the books are fact or fiction. The ideas are there, you can take them or leave them. But for me, the fact that these books are fiction does make a practical difference. I would take the books and the advice given far more seriously if it were a "ten-thousand year old tradition" - rather than something entirely invented in the UCLA library.Chevalier violet 02:51, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Re: You are completly right. The concepts must be better explained. Look how they talk about the "Eagle"....no way. And the explanation of tonal and nagual must be explored indeed!-The preceding unsigned comment was added by 188.8.131.52 (talk • contribs) 21:44 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Those examples of plagiarism are quite weak. What is kind of strange is that if Castaneda was just a plagiator, how come he can describe the ideas more clearly than those he plagiated from? And the ideas are similar? How do you explain that different religions are similar, or that yoga is similar to buddhism? Is that plagiarism too? And looking at all those hollywood films, without anything remotely original, and you find Castaneda's books to be plagiarism?
I completely agree with the unsigned comment above. The closest thing to Carlos Castaneda's early work is actually the Sufis by Idries Shah. No-one has picked this up because they are looking in the wrong places and in a hurry to make connections. The examples given by De-Mille are so weak as to be negligible. But the chapter in 'The Sufis' on Datura (the Mandrake root),and the witches and the connection between the words Bruja and Brush would have made a better case for De-Mille and other untalented offspring of famous people who envied Castaneda.Sidney Harry 21:17, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
 Merge from Carlos Castenada (you say tomato...
I have endeavored to combine these two articles, but the result could certainly use more work; in particular I have not tried to incorporate the suggestions made above. Mwanner 18:28, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
 Anthropologist ???
From what I understand, it is generally held in the scientific community that Castaneda certainly wasn't an anthropologist and his books are novels, not "an anthropologist's journal". I see this has been pointed out in the article, but only as an equally valid, alternative position. Castaneda was not an anthropologist and he should not be categorised as such, lest we fool another generation into taking his work at face value. --Pappa 12:31, 4 August 2005 (UTC) It is always interesting to me how speculation and interpretation plays such an important part in this discussions. At the same time it is assumed that speculation makes it true. That is never the case. In reality, Carlos Castenada did travel with a number of people. Some were "seers", who had clarity and seeing. Others were apprentices. The one I am aware of was a man from Canada who travelled with Carlos a number of times and was instrumental in helping him with his later books because he was a Chemist or a Chemical Engineer and brought special meaning to the "organic" and "inorganic" views of intervention. After attending classes that Carlos gave in California, I became aware of this man and for many years after tried to find him in the United States and also in Canada. To my knowledge he has disappeared and part of this may be his conflict with the Warrior tradition of Don Juan. December 2005 - Marcus Dominici (UCLA)
Has anybody verified Castañeda's degrees? According to http://chiapas.mediosindependientes.org/display.php3?article_id=116634 he never obtained any degree from UCLA. If he got a Ph.D. from UCLA it should be in their library catalog, but it isn't. -- Daniel Eisenberg
Hey man, give a break. He have the PhD from UCLA, and of course it was an anthropologist, at least at the beggining. This article you indicated is horrible. The first book was published by UCLA press.-The preceding unsigned comment was added by 184.108.40.206 (talk • contribs) 21:41 25 August 2006 (UTC)
 Re: Anthropologist???
He was indeed an anthropologist, graduated at UCLA. And perhaps what you arbitrarily call "scientific community", excluding any and all references to factual proof that his work is fictional, is something we should be wary of taking at face value as well. An encyclopedia article, by the way, is precisely designed to provide "equally valid and alternative positions". There are many other places where one can engage in discussions and arguments over any given subject matter. Thus, "we", who simply expose unbiased information for the encyclopedia cannot become a "we" that oversees the subjective content of an article to make it fit our own personal views. Jan F.-The preceding unsigned comment was added by 220.127.116.11 (talk • contribs) 14:59 6 August 2005 (UTC)
I have not seen these "factual" claims that it is fiction, even after seeing some of those crappy 3rd party books you mention. Even the other people who write there own versions of Don Juan I would not recommend taking to seriously.
I read De Mille's first book, "The Power and the Allegory". Personally, I am in no doubt that Castenada was a complete
charlatan. As to whether he was an anthropologist... Yes, he did earn his Masters and then his PhD from his research -- research it seemed to me that De
Mille exposed as fraudulent. So, officially, he was an anthropologist. It wouldn't surprise me if his PhD was UCLA's most embarrassing mistake. I
suspect that everyone there now realizes he was a fraud, but that the mechanism for retracting his degree was just too complicated, so they let it slide. I
doubt he wrote a single academic paper following his graduation.
- Only the University of California is qualified to decide who will earn a degree from them. I suspect everyone doesnt think he was a fraud. seems like they could even be proud of it. most people dont write academic papers after graduating.-The preceding unsigned comment was added by Awp (talk • contribs) 05:20 18 June 2006 (UTC)
- For those of you who haven't read "The Power and the Allegory", De Mille compared "The teachings of Don Juan: A Yacqui way of Knowledge" with Castenada's library stack requests. The stack requests documented that he was sitting in the library when his journal said he was squatting in Don Juan's hut. One of the most memorable discoveries the De Mille made in his examination of the stack requests was that when CC said he was participating in the traditional peyote ceremony -- the least fantastic episode of drug use -- he was not only sitting in the library, but he was reading someone else's description of their experience of the peyote ceremony.
- I am going to change back the introductory paragraphs to say that CC claimed to have met a Shaman named Don Juan. -- Geo Swan 04:24, 22 August 2005 (UTC)
I have a different view of all of this, in that it would have been very hard to invent all the concepts he wrote about. The names, places, and times could have been altered or partly fictional. It would be fair to say he wrote the first book for his anthropology degree, but he never claimed to be a practicing anthropologist. I am just glad someone from the Toltec tradition wrote about their knowledge in this fashion, because it almost has no parallel, or maybe other cultures have forgotten.
Your right it would be hard to "invent all the concepts he wrote about." To be sure, much of what he wrote about was part of popular philosophy at the time--thats one of the things that critics point to as suspicious about the works. Not only that, but each succesive books seemed to follow trends in the New Age movement. Of course he didn't "invent all the concepts", very little thought and creativity be it in the form of fiction or non-fiction is ever truly original. De Mille even shows that the basic structure and idea of the story is suspiciously similar to some other works of fiction that were popular in Castaneda's childhood.
- 'Popular philosophy of the time' didnt seem to include topics or even vocabulary such as the assemblage point, intent, the eagle's emanations, stalking, gazing techniques, naguals parties, etc. The eagle's gift, fire from within, silent knowledge are trends in the new age movement? Actually, what are the trends in the new age movement? Pleiadians, Reiki, combining with christianity, buddhism..?-The preceding unsigned comment was added by Awp (talk • contribs) 05:28 18 June 2006 (UTC)
And don't be so sure that you are reading someone from the Toltec tradition. Thats the whole controversy: is it really a work about the Toltec tradition. I think there is ample reason to doubt it. But its still an open question. --Brentt 09:30, 6 November 2005 (UTC) It is always interesting to me how speculation and interpretation plays such an important part in this discussions. At the same time it is assumed that speculation makes it true. That is never the case. In reality, Carlos Castenada did travel with a number of people. Some were "seers", who had clarity and seeing. Others were apprentices. The one I am aware of was a man from Canada who travelled with Carlos a number of times and was instrumental in helping him with his later books because he was a Chemist or a Chemical Engineer and brought special meaning to the "organic" and "inorganic" views of intervention. After attending classes that Carlos gave in California, I became aware of this man and for many years after tried to find him in the United States and also in Canada. To my knowledge he has disappeared and part of this may be his conflict with the Warrior tradition of Don Juan.
The end of the first paragraph reads: "critics claim the books are shams, works of fiction, and not empirically verifiable works of anthropology as claimed." My question is, WHO claims these are empirically verfiable works of anthropology? I don't believe Castaneda made that claim in his books.
 Somebody's question
There was a question just after the phrase "neither Eastern nor Western" that belonged here on the talk page:
(what about Northern or Southern(shamanism, Australia,African?))
I didn't bother looking through the history to find out who it was, but I also hope nobody has to answer this question. The article needs a serious rewrite.--Rockero 02:00, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
I used to work at the Ohio State University Bookstore as the manager of Special Services. In a meeting with the trade book manager and a representative of Castaneda's publisher we discussed Castenads's publishing success. The representative stated that all of Casteneda's works were "fiction". That everything was a fake, and that he made up about everything in the books. This was in 1975. The Rep would have no reason to lie since it would negatively impact his sales. Frank Berger-The preceding unsigned comment was added by Francisberger (talk • contribs) 00:53, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
 The Sorcerer's Apprentice: My Life with Carlos Castaneda
I did not see a mention of Amy Wallace's book The Sorcerer's Apprentice: My Life with Carlos Castaneda in the article or the discussion. This book put off a whole lot of dyed-in-the wool tensegrity practitioners and Castaneda freaks. A friend who belongs to the above category said that when he met one of the Tensegrity instructors in LA, she said that Amy Wallace's book was not completely untrue in the sense that some of these things did happen but it was her interpretation or reactions to the events that were wrong.
The official Carlos Castaneda website, Magical Passes, is worth a look. http://www.castaneda.com/
There are also anti-Castaneda websites for the 'Born Again Unbelievers', groups of people who dedicate their lives to denouncing Carlos Castaneda. An example is the Sustained Action site: http://www.sustainedaction.org/ -The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mulla nasrudin (talk • contribs) 13:25, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Strangely it seems like most of Castaneda criticism is taken from here. Isn't it strange to believe some self-pitying woman trying to despell a respected man, instead of believing the man himself? Not that one should just go on and believing anybody..but how can anyone trust this woman? Maybe because she is aggressive and sceptic just like any averege man?
- Regardless, Amy Wallace was an established author before meeting CC, as well as being a well known psychic, and this book and link should be mentioned in the criticism section. --Dseer 05:15, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
 Name - He is Brazilian
I did a lot of research on him and many Hispanic dictionaries spell his surname with the ñ (Castañeda) while others ommit the ñ. However all of his published work has anglicised his name into Castaneda. Anybody know any information on whether he intentionally changed it? --Speakslowly 03:54, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
- Castaneda is not spanic, but brazilian. And yes, he changed his surname...-The preceding unsigned comment was added by 18.104.22.168 (talk • contribs) 03:45 24 August 2006 (UTC)
- I'm assuming you meant not Spanish, but Brazilian? And you are wrong, the last name is Spanish. He was born in Perú where the official language is Spanish, not Portuguese. He also taught Spanish for a couple of years in the United States. You say he changed his surname? I need proof please. --Speakslowly 03:54, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
He was born in Brazil, in the state of Sao Paulo. He always says that, and it is because its true...its simple. When he was in the height of repercussion, TIME magazine, moved by uncertain reasons, release this information to affect his influence. And based on erroneous or false "proofs" released this bulls**** about Peru. Yes, he speaks Spanish and also speakes an perfect portuguese, as noted by the Brazilian journalist who get an exclusive for brazilian VEJA Magazine (1975). He learned Spanish when living in Argentina, teenager. You americans really believe in the text of TIME Magazine? Its clearly partial, and induces the reader to stigmatize CC as a liar. The experiences of his childhood described in Ixtlan and Active Size of Infinity are clearly localized in the interior of São Paulo. Should be impossible for a non-brazilian writer recreate this atmosphere. There are inumerous references to the region and the local culture. And theres a LOT of people named Castaneda in this region of Brazil, but his father was an ARANHA, same family of the former UN president brazilian diplomant Osvaldo Aranha. In the interview for Carmina Fort he emphatized the disgust with the erroneous type of his name with the ~ Castañeda. He doesnt like that. The name is Castaneda, without ~. The partial change of his surname is mentioned by him in a 1968 correspondence.
Hey this article must me reviewed, the article is not good as other Wiki articles. Lots of works must me done here. And sorry for my bad english, thanks.-The preceding unsigned comment was added by 22.214.171.124 (talk • contribs) 04:29 25 August 2006 (UTC)
- I've never read the TIME magazine article, but many notable sources such as the Biographical Dictionary of Hispanic Americans (Second Edition) and the Dictionary of Hispanic Biography both state that he was born in Cajamarca Perú on December 25th, 1925. Both also state that he lied about being born in São Paulo in 1931. And you were close about his fathers name, it is César Arana, not Aranha. His full name is Carlos Arana Castañeda and the text say that he decided to take his mothers surname. That interview with Carmina Fort sounds interesting, it would certainly end this entire argument, but I need to see a source (actual interview) before I can give you the benefit of the doubt. If what you say is true, then we can move on. Please try and find that interview and please sign your name. --Speakslowly 03:52, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
These books you quote published this because TIME publish it first. The solely source is the article by TIME Magazine (you can find in Internet this). The other sources just reproduce it. You should read that before search for another sources. Its a main bibliography about this author. The article have the purpose to paint him as a liar, as anybody with critical sense can perceive. So they tried to do an "smart investigation" and presents stupid immigration records to affect his reputation. Its completly untrue, or maybe they found an homonimous. So they say he lies about São Paulo. No!! TIME lies about Cajamarca!! Anybody who knows the nature of both Peru and Brazil can perceive that. Only americans which dont know NOTHING about latin america can believe in that "investigation" of TIME. Time paint he as vitiated in games (such bingo), very creative etc... Why they said that?? To people think the books are false, its so obvious! o.O How can everybody believe in that bulls*** !?
As I said, the atmosphere and references in Active Size are totally integrated with the interior of São Paulo and Brazil. Answer that, please? I can tell some for you, the references for Brazilian region Rondonia, in North of the country for example. He knows the name of a region in São Paulo called Vale do Paraíba (search google for that) which have various Legorn chickens farms and where the family ARANHA are very strong. There are many Aranha´s nearby Campinas. Its a well-know family. Its not "Arana" (hispanic) but ARANHA. Aranha means "spider" in portuguese. Hey, he use to say that Osvaldo Aranha (search for this name, president of UN, proeminent diplomat) was his uncle. I suppose Aranha used his influence as ambassador to facilitate his housing in California, and allocate him with an host family. But he was problematic in family, a kind of bastard. Thats why he doesnt like his father and the reason family keep the secret.
Read the interview for Veja Magazine (search for Revista Veja) . He talk an fluent portuguese, even with accent. How can a perunian to forge an portuguse accent of an region, without living that? He have the accent because it is his native language, of course. The reporter from VEJA noted that. In Active Size, he talk about an character which have the prenom "Sô" (Sho Velez). Sô is an abbreviation of "Senhor", (sir, mister) which is used ONLY in the interior of São Paulo. How could a perunian know that? Even an brazilian which leave away from Sâo Paulo (like in north) doesnt know that for sure. He refered to the city which he lives in his childhood as "Juqueri". Well, Juqueri is not an city anymore, it´s a name of an river and a hospital. The actual name is Mairiporã. So, he lies about a city which doesnt exists? No, because the name of the municipy Juqueri changed for Mairiporã only in 1948, after he leaves the country to study in Argentina( he moved maybe with 10-12, in 1945-47). So he dont know the name of the city was changed from Juqueri to Mairiporã an refer the old name, the name he knew when he was a child!!
Hey, if he had borned in 1925, and not 1935, he would have 35 years in 1960, where his relate begins. This dont make ANY sense. He was born in 1935, so in 1960, when he first meet Don Juan, he had 25 years. He just finished the first graduation and tried to get an first paper, as an young intellectual and academic. If he was born in 1925 he would have the same age of some of his teachers in UCLA!! (search for that, there are many names of his teachers in UCLA) No way, he arose in the 60s... see? John Lennon was born in 1940, CC in 1935...and not 25 (which would put here in another generation) No, he was a brilliant student, not late in any sense. He speaks portuguese, spanish, english an italian, because the grandparents are descendant (this is very common in São Paulo) and he studied some time in Italy. And finally, you should read the Carmina Fort book, where he comment the mess of TIME and the fact of people type his name with the ~.-The preceding unsigned comment was added by 126.96.36.199 (talk • contribs) 04:41 26 August 2006 (UTC)
->I remember one more episode of his childhood in São Paulo, Brazil. In Power of Silence, chapter Third Point, in the part which begins with "I told him I had played soccer as a boy and had run extremely well. In fact, I was so agile and fast that I felt I could commit any prank with impunity because I would be able to outrun anyone chasing me, especially the old policemen who patrolled the streets of my hometown on foot." So, Sherlocks!! Where football (soccer) are strong? In Brazil, you should know that. Peru doesnt have nothing to do with football. People dont play in Peru. It´s not common. The fact of policemans form amateur teams to play in weekends etc is very common in Brazil. It´s cultural, it´s part of country culture. Almost all little boys play that game, so Castaneda played too. Hey guys, I am arguing serious here! This error should be stopped!!!-The preceding unsigned comment was added by 188.8.131.52 (talk • contribs) 20:10 26 August 2006 (UTC)
You can find Castaneda books to read the passages I mention in http://www.geocities.com/total_freedom_warrior/castaneda/ and the interview for Veja Magazine in portuguese you can find in http://www.consciencia.org/castaneda/casvista.html -The preceding unsigned comment was added by 184.108.40.206 (talk • contribs) 20:42 26 August 2006 (UTC)
RE: Thank you for the useful links. For the record, He is almost certainly not Brazilian. He had an uncommon knack for languages, as his books well attest. It's true that he often said he was from Brazil, but in fact, he often said he was from a lot of places: Peru, Brazil, he even once claimed to be Italian - this is all before he supposedly met Don Juan, I might add. He was "erasing his personal history" aka telling big fat lies long before he supposedly met any Shaman whatsoever. ... You say that Castaneda had no accent when he spoke Portuguese, therefore he must be Brazilian. By your logic, he must have been a Portuguese, Peruvian, American - because, in fact, he had no accent in all three. Sometimes he put one on, for instance when he met a certain fashion journalist (sorry I forget who). She claimed he had a powerful Mexican accent, actually. He was just putting it on. I'm not 100% sure he had no accent in English, but it was next to nothing. A french reporter said he spoke perfect, accentless English. I don't know the quality of her English, however. I have been meaning to look into it.15:14, 14 September 2006 (UTC) CV-The preceding unsigned comment was added by Chevalier violet (talk • contribs) 01:12 12 September 2006.
Hey man. I said that he HAVE an accent which is not usual in Brazil, its specific to a region there. You should follow the link and read Veja interview. He choose give an interview for veja in 1975, after all that TIME mess, just because VEJA is a brazilian magazise. It his condition, the interview must be printed in Brazil. After that, he dont tell in public anymore for years.
He dont "often" said he is brazilian. He ALWAYS says that he is brazilian, at least in the main bibliography about this author. See the transcript for Ucla press interview from 1968, The Sam Keem interview for Psychology Today magazine, the Interview for Veja Magazine, the interview for Carmina Fort book and the transcripts of Tensegrity seminars. He Always say the same thing - he is brazilian. Only TIME, based on obscure immigration records, convicend his dumb readers the otherwise. Erase personal history dont have nothind to do with this specific point. Thanks. 02:58, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
he was born in Peru. His immigration record confirms this. For more details on the inconsistancies between his stated biography and reality, see the Salon
Article: the Dark Side of Carlos Castaneda. linked to at the bottom of the article. it's a fascinating and comprehesnive review of his life, death and
writings.LiPollis 09:30, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
- No, he have nothing to do with Peru. This is a Time Magazine fraud, who find an homonymous. These docs dont proof anything. My arguments do.
 Pure POVy propaganda
This "article" is a shame. Castaneda was a fraud, something proven beyond reasonable doubt, but: wiki is for info. So, Castaneda's "teachings" should be fairly exposed, as well as criticism of his eclectic neo-gnostic mush. For the time being, just a NPOV label. Mir Harven 18:48, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
Re: Your (im)posture is a shame! Castaneda is not a fraud. At least, is one of most important writers of XX century.
- Good old Barnum was right. Mir Harven 09:35, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
- Sorry, Don´t understand.220.127.116.11 17:51, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
A fraud should be other writers and cineasts who copy his work without giving credit. He solds dozen of millions books and people really love it.
- Both applicable to J.K.Rowlings (sp ?) & the Harry Potter crap. It doesn't prove anything.
http://wrt-brooke.syr.edu/courses/205.03/bloom.html Mir Harven 09:35, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
- I mean by that declaration: There are an movement to exclude CC and caracterize his work as fraudulent and belonging only to the 60ties, old-fashioned etc. But this isnt the appropriated approach, I think. Please dont compare CC to Harry Potter. Harry Potter is a establishment work, not an outsider. It is promoted by marketing and cultural industry. There is nothing to do. The Castaneda success is organic, natural. I was thinking in Paulo Coelho or Matrix, for example. The fact: there are million of people who take his lessons seriously and he deserve the same threatment of others doutrines and beliefs. 18.104.22.168 17:51, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
No one will never erase this. His influence is various generations are absolutly magnetic. So the article should resume his concepts. There are many many original concepts which dont have paralell with ANY know tradition.
- There are absolutely no novel concepts in Castaneda's works whatsoever:
- a) luminous egg is from theosophy (ego in causal body) & scientology-thetan
- Man, its all so different, I feel disappointed. Of course that are parallels, but this is a positive thing, which dont proof anything as a "fraud". Sam Keem, for example, tried to make parallels with philosophy when made his interview. And CC give him some concordance. By the way should be impossible for a writer know about all these old tradictions to form an new mix and call this "toltec". For what? Fame? He run away from cameras. Money? He dont live like an millionary. The study of every religion and doutrine is time-consuming. The concatenation of the whole thing in a ficctional self-biography apprenticeship environment sounds artificial. Anyway, the Socrates of Plato isnt historic, however people dont blame on Plato philosophy for this. Thats not the point. Lets work with what we have: I can point you to 2 passages in CC bibliography in which he affirm the originallity of Don Juan Knowledge. He showed the Tibetan book of dead for Don Juan and Don Juan scares him (Second Book). In Carmina Fort book he also talk about this, when he relate a world travell and his experiences with another gurus in anothers countries. Please refer to it. Show me, please, a literature which have an equal to the "nagual and tonal" concepts, the explanation of the meaning of life and destiny of the conscience after dead (eagles food), the first, second and third attention and the assemblage point. Let me make some points, however:22.214.171.124 17:51, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
- Teosophy is not an old tradition, its a kind of ecumenic stuff started only in XIX century. They believe in God and reincarnation. CC talks against both God (Theres no God) and reincarnation.126.96.36.199 17:51, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
- b) The Eagle is good ole Demiurge from the Gnostic tradition
- No way. Surely you dont understood what he call Eagle. If you want to do an parallel, the Intent from CC is most-like the Intent. Not the Eagle. By the way , theres not only one "gnostic tradition", but a LOT. Its a very complicated and confuse thing. But almost all gnostics are chrstians, and CC talks against christians every time.188.8.131.52 17:51, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
- c) lucid dreaming is an ordinary paranormal technique
- So What? Everybody dream, and that´s why is on the scope of every knowledge doutrine. CC approach of dreaming is different from various others. Tell me where I found about "Inorganic Beings", to fix the position of assemblage point to form an dreaming attention, different gates of dreaming. And he talks against "Soul". There´s no soul, but only body and energetic body.184.108.40.206 17:51, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
d) the circle of initiates is a trivia from all iniatory traditions
- The nagual party is original. The types of humans beings (man of will, 4 types of womans , the concept of duplicated human being which is the nagual etc). See The Eagles Gift.220.127.116.11 17:51, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
- d) the circle of initiates is a trivia from all iniatory traditions
f) "magical passess" is a concoction of various karate and t'ai chi exercises
- No, its not karate, its kung-fu. But this is a different stage of the work. The purpose of these exercises are specific.18.104.22.168 17:51, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
- f) "magical passess" is a concoction of various karate and t'ai chi exercises
- Fraud. Mir Harven 09:35, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Btw you should not use the term "gnostic" in a pejorative way if you worry about NPOV. There are no reason to be excessive critic. You can relativize his academic relevance, but not his importance. The article should tell about that, no doubt, and not to try "dismistify" the author. You can tell what "no doubt" proves you are talking about please?
- The literature unmasking Castaneda can be easily acqired & is referred to in the site of his detractors, http://www.sustainedaction.org . It's listed at http://www.sustainedaction.org/Explorations/explorations_i.htm Mir Harven 09:35, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
- Its a long bibliography. I dont have access to it right now but you should distrut in bibliography formed to detract someone. An bibliography to defend CC can also be formed. This is not NPOV as you want. But its POV thrust a site of "detractors" as you admit. This polemic if part of his influence and importance.22.214.171.124 17:51, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Hey, before this campaign agains Castaneda reputation he was on main discussions. Federico Fellini was his friend. Famous philosopher Gilles Deleuze also wrote about him. Anyway how can you wrote about criticism if you admit things without any doubt? This is pre-Descartes...-The preceding unsigned comment was added by 126.96.36.199 (talk • contribs) 08:59 31 August 2006 (UTC)
- Maxim Gorky was Lenin's friend. So what. The article needs a balanced approach to this popular writer & coycat-guru, not a hagiography. Mir Harven 09:35, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Instead of debating whether or not Castaneda was a fraud, can you guys suggest some specific improvements that can be made to the article (in a sand box or something) that are more NPOV? For example, the sections that detail specific points of the warrior's path (or whatever it is) could be made more succint, with pointers to further details for those who want to explore the mythos; removing the jargon (or isolating it to a couple of sections), etc? I came here because someone gave me Amy Wallace's book, which I read, but now I would like to have a more unbiased description of the man and his works. Anca 23:58, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
- Quite aside from anything else, just because some people think Castaneda was a fraud doesn't require labels, let alone shrill outcries. The majority of English Wikipedia users no doubt consider Islam a false religion, but the Islam and Allah articles somehow lack NPOV tags. RGTraynor 08:54, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
- According to Theun Mares, the assemblage point can be viewed as a kind of radio dialing device that determines our reality. The assemblage point can be viewed as a focal point, where luminous fibers meet and produce reality. It could be that the Shamans observed the procreation of mushrooms in their Theory of Consciousness. From Biology, we know that when two mycelia fibers meet, a mushroom comes into existence. Thus also, when two of the Eagle's Emanations meet, a new perception emerges. Thus everything that we consider real is but a product of alignment of the Eagle's Emanations.
...because its link to Castaneda is tenous at best. --188.8.131.52 18:46, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
removed this book from bibliography
- geshe Kelsang Gyatso Clear Light of Bliss by (1992) ISBN 0-948006-21-8. describes the same irreducible energy-structure that Carlos Castaneda describes (several close-to-each-other concentric-balls of energy-spokes, with a very few spokes going inward), but from the inside-out (a central-channel, with energy-spokes curving out, and after reaching a distance, splitting each into a "thousand" spokes -- eastern euphemism for many). Carlos gives some of the description of the irreducible human energy-structure in The Fire from Within, and the point about some spokes/fibres going inward (and possibly the bit about it being multiple concentric spheres, rather-than merely a single-sphere) is in Second Ring of Power when "la Gorda" gives that information to him.
--184.108.40.206 22:13, 8 September 2006 (UTC) also removed these links:
Removed from Interpretations and criticisms
The vividness and plausibility of Castaneda's early works argue for their essential truth.  Accounts of Castaneda's early life  and the memoir "A magical journey with Carlos Castaneda" , by his former wife Margaret Runyan Castaneda, exhibit many conflicts with what Castaneda said about himself, however, point the other way. Chevalier violet 22:08, 18 September 2006 (UTC) IMO they are not on topic, unless linked to specific articles to make a specific point. --220.127.116.11 22:16, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
Also removed (these two enormous paragraphs have little to do with criticism, especially since anybody could say Don Juan had ordered Castaneda to erase his personal history, habits, and was changing him as a person):
What is easily understood is the fact that the writing style changes greatly from the first to the last of the "Don Juan" books. The Teachings of Don Juan is an anthropologist's journal containing a lot of seemingly irrelevant, non-fiction information. The quasi-journalistic or academic tone of the earliest books disappears definitively in Castaneda's fifth book, The Second Ring of Power. This book marks a significant change in the character of the series. In addition to introducing a large cast of new characters, the later Castaneda books present Don Juan's shamanism in far greater complexity than in the earlier books. The Eagle's Gift (sixth book) is a novel-like work with specific characters on a journey towards what they call "Total Freedom", and where the words of Don Juan seem more like those of a scientist. This could be the result of changes in the mind of Carlos Castaneda.
As Castaneda was very elusive, and because his works were taken up by young people at a time when New Age, Eastern religions, mystical and shamanic traditions were in fashion, many professionals cast doubt on the authenticity of contents of his works, (including leading anthropologists specializing in Yaqui culture). When he followed up The Teachings of Don Juan with a series of equally popular books, including A Separate Reality (1971), Journey to Ixtlan (1972), and Tales of Power (1975), even more questions were raised as to how much of his work was true anthropology and how much was his own creation. 
 Mescalito redirect
I was surprised to see that Mescalito simply redirects to Carlos_Castaneda. Given that there is a significant amount of actual mythology around this figure, I feel that the redirect should be pulled and perhaps a separate article developed. -FJ | hello 10-6-2006
 Academic References
I suggest that more academic references should be submitted and let the readers have an opportunity to do their own research.
Wasson, R. Gordon. 1969. (Bk. Rev.). Economic Botany vol. 23(2):197. A review of Carlos Castaneda?s "The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge."
Wasson, R. Gordon. 1972a. (Bk. Rev.). Economic Botany vol. 26(1):98-99. A review of Carlos Castaneda?s "A Separate Reality: Further Conversations with Don Juan."
Wasson, R. Gordon. 1973a. (Bk. Rev.). Economic Botany vol. 27(1):151-152. A review of Carlos Castaneda?s "Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan."
Wasson, R. Gordon. . 1974. (Bk. Rev.). Economic Botany vol. 28(3):245-246. A review of Carlos Castaneda?s "Tales of Power."
Wasson, R. Gordon. . 1977a. (Mag., Bk. Rev). Head vol. 2(4):52-53, 88-94. November. Reprints of R. Gordon Wasson?s reviews of Carlos Castaneda?s first four books. With an unsigned introduction by Jonathan Ott. Originally published in Economic Botany.
Someone keeps removing Theun Mares from related authors. The text is as follows: *Theun Mares is a nagual from South Africa who published several books on Nagualism and teaches very much the same thing as Castaneda, only from the perspective of a Natural Man, proving through subtle hints that in fact the Path with Heart is the only one worth pursuing, Mr. Mares takes the reader from being a wussy to being an Enlightened Warrior of the Spirit. --18.104.22.168 18:21, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
This text was removed by someone: One way to read the books is as a sort of game, almost like a detective novel. Depending upon one's approach, they could be either accepted at face-value in their entirety, or discarded. Some of the material could be considered true, some fictional; and some of the events described probably appeared to be real at the time, but could be interpreted as hallucinations. --22.214.171.124 16:22, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
 Article Unbalance
I find the article to be unbalance. No where does it mention any of the controversies surrounding Carlos Castaneda. -The preceding unsigned comment was added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 08:09, 17 December 2006 (UTC).
- It does a bit, but it really needs it's own section. I just added a heading on the area where it has criticism. I whole heartedly agree with you. A good place to look would be Ward Churchill's essay "Carlos Castaneda: The Greatest Hoax Since Piltdown Man" in Fantasies of the Master Race. You may also want to see Talk:Plastic shaman, especially the section "To label someone as plastic..." Ungovernable ForceGot something to say? 08:29, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the link and reference.
Re: ARTICLE UNBALANCE
I am a fan of Carlos Castaneda as well as world religion and philosophy. I also have a Ph.D. in English and know how encyclopedia articles should be written. This article on Carlos Castaneda was clearly written (rewritten, edited, and redacted) by people who are passionately convinced that Castaneda's entire career was a fraud; that he forged or copied his doctorate; that he fooled his dissertation committee in the Anthropology department; that most of what he wrote about he lifted wholesale from other sources. Or just made all of it up (rather than rearranging time, place, and event to keep to a narrative structure and protect the men and women whom he had consulted). Maybe. But not in an encyclopedia article, people. This thing should have been written factually and simply, outlining what Castaneda wrote with no mention of the controversies surrounding him. Those should have been listed _after_ that article and in an orderly fashion.
What's going on here is an argument between "believers" and "skeptics". I haven't checked on the entry for Mormonism or Islam, but I'll bet you it's filled with the same kind of passionate bias and unbridled rancor as the entry here. The skeptics and debunkers aren't going to convince the believers and students of anything. Strangely, it's all about ego . . . and the debunkers seem SO eager that everyone subscribe to their view of the universe. Which is just a view--an extension of the First Attention. But, then, you don't believe in the First Attention, do you? So it's all for nothing. Saturdayloo 21:48, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Saturdayloo said: "I am a fan of Carlos Castaneda ...... This thing should have been written factually and simply, outlining what Castaneda wrote with no mention of the controversies surrounding him. "
You openly state your own bias. Your moltives for surpessing any criticism of Castaneda are transparent. There are two sides of the coin.
(I would highly suggest checking out Wikipedia's policy on what can and cannot be written and in what mannerism.)
(Bob) Sun Jan 21,2007
Hi, Bob! You selectively misread my comment. I understand that there are two sides to every coin and I've read all of the criticism written against Castaneda. I would never suggest that an article such as the one about Castaneda NOT include mention of the controversies; all I suggested that the tone of the article be a bit more objective (than it is right now) starting off with a simple catalog of what Castaneda did, what he wrote about, etc., and then follow it up with the list of his critics (of which there are many) and a list of what his critics contend. I have read Wikipedia's policy on what can and cannot be written and I've also published in the field of literary criticism and I was simply appalled at how nasty the entry on Castaneda was. It was clearly written by an angry debunker who automatically assumed that Castaneda wrote fiction from the very beginning.
Notice how nothing was mentioned of how Castaneda's work was vetted by his dissertation committee at UCLA. I have a Ph.D and they are not easy to get. People have always assumed that Castaneda fooled his dissertation committee in some way. Moreover, in order to get a Ph.D. you have to take five exams in your chosen field and then have an oral exam before your dissertation committee. Had he not passed any of his exams, he wouldn't have been given a doctorate. Moreover, during the decades that followed, neither his dissertation committee nor the Anthropology department at UCLA nor the American Anthropology Association which accredits university departments nationwide moved to rescind Castaneda's degree--which they could have done. This is sometimes what happens to lawyers, for example, who do wrong. The Anthropology Department at UCLA could have faced censure or the loss of their academic accreditation had anyone proven that Castaneda pulled a fraud upon them. DeMille never mentions any of this, nor is any of it mentioned anywhere else. Even Castaneda's famous enemies in the Anthropology field--the men who were the so-called experts on Native American peyote cultures--did not call for Castaneda's censure or for the disaccreditation of the UCLA Anthropology Department.
I'm not saying that Castaneda's books aren't fiction or partly fiction. I'm not saying that Castaneda didn't lie or obsfucate any set of facts during his life about Don Juan and what he taught. I don't know any of those things. All I'm saying is that an encyclopedia article should be an objective statement of the subject _first_. Criticism and controversy about the topic would then follow such a statement. That's all I'm suggesting. --Saturdayloo
- Compared with similar articles, Saturdayloo has a good point. We should first cover what facts are known and objectively cover CCs claims. Then we should list the criticism. Perhaps CC did have a charismatic, personal and unusual shamanic quality, which allowed him to blend charisma, and some fact with fiction, so well that there was no way for anthropologists to prove or disprove what he wrote at that time about how he acquired that quality. --Dseer 05:43, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
- In response "I also have a Ph.D. in English...." "Notice how nothing was mentioned of how Castaneda's work was vetted by his dissertation committee at UCLA. I have a Ph.D and they are not easy to get. People have always assumed that Castaneda fooled his dissertation committee in some way. Moreover, in order to get a Ph.D. you have to take five exams in your chosen field and then have an oral exam before your dissertation committee. Had he not passed any of his exams, he wouldn't have been given a doctorate. "
First of all a Ph.D in English is NOT a Ph.D in anthropology and should not be compared. The criterias are slightly different. (as for lawyers they go through a bar examination.) Keep in mind c. anthropologists are always researching ethnic groups that have not been previous contacted and would be quite easy to contrive information of an ethnic group that has not been preiviously studied (that possibility is always possible in this field of study). I would add that American society in general tended to be alot more honest back then (now its quite another story sadly.), most anthropologist would have to take the word of another anthropologist (when it comes to newly discovered ethnic groups or when the literature is scant pertaining to the specific ethnic group in question.).
"Moreover, during the decades that followed, neither his dissertation committee nor the Anthropology department at UCLA ..... moved to rescind Castaneda's degree--which they could have done. "
Academic institutions have their Reputation to protect. Seldom do they admit they are wrong.
"Even Castaneda's famous enemies in the Anthropology field--the men who were the so-called experts on Native American peyote cultures--did not call for Castaneda's censure or for the disaccreditation of the UCLA Anthropology Department." Most anthropologist are more concern with research. Most tend to avoid debates (its not like philosophy, pol. sci. or history etc. where debate is expected.) Besides that anthropologist do not have as much power as you think they have.
Every single time you show a "plagiarized idea" you are showing a correlation,in fact, supporting evidence. Every time you say "See, these other traditions believe the same thing!!!" - you are offering supportive facts. If it were true- would it not contain elements common to other forms of spirituality? The very fact that you view finding correlations as disproving implies that you would find the ideas and 'Path' of Don Juan MORE likely to be true if it were NOT backed up by any other systems in history. Such a premise is fallacious logic. I am all for robust analysis, but clear your bias and pov before releasing a battery of half-baked arguements, as some take their life as a spiritual being seriously, and expect this respect to be applied to the science of knowledge. Whether to prove or disprove. Be clear. Be logical. Be free from a heated cranium. Good luck in your undertakings.
Αγαθος και Σωφος, Σωφος και Καλος, Καλος και Αγαθος 19:01, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
- That is not a totally logical statement either. If the author is in fact engaging in creative plagiarism, what you would find is lots of references to more commonly found ideas which may have validity but with creative twists and problematic juxtapositions and assertions. Whether they support the charges of creative plagiarism or are correlative depends on evaluation of a number of factors relating to credibility. --Dseer 04:13, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
"I have a Ph.D and they are not easy to get... in order to get a Ph.D. you have to take five exams in your chosen field and then have an oral exam before your dissertation committee. Had he not passed any of his exams, he wouldn't have been given a doctorate. Moreover, during the decades that followed, neither his dissertation committee nor the Anthropology department at UCLA nor the American Anthropology Association which accredits university departments nationwide moved to rescind Castaneda's degree--which they could have done. This is sometimes what happens to lawyers, for example, who do wrong...."
I'm not sure I get what you're saying about those who "do wrong" after they get the J. D., but as far as what could or could not have happened to the Anthro dept at UCLA, the AAA does not accredit university departments. Departments aren't accredited at all; entire colleges and universities are accredited (usually by regional accreditation agencies). The most that a body like the AAA might do in terms of what you allude to would be to issue a formal complaint at one of its annual meetings, for example. In practice, a top-tier school like UCLA would likely not lose much sleep over such a move, but that's a separate issue.
The question you are raising seems to be whether or why someone connected with the degree-granting institution didn't take action against Castaneda once significant doubts were raised about the claims that he made in his texts. That's not a bad question. But since his works described people turning into glowing eggs, travelling through time, and flying, and since the works were said (by the author) to have been accounts of events that often took place while he was under the influence of various mind-altering drugs, there is a reasonable answer to that question. Castaneda's work is censured, in a way, each time working anthropologists or ethnographers ignore his writings. (I.e., when's the last time you saw a citation to Castaneda's works in a serious ethnography of Northern Mexico?) Scholars in the disciplines of anthro or ethno have more to gain in producing sound, credible narratives, especially since journalists and others have done an adequate job of holding Castaneda's writings to the fire. In that respect, as interesting as it is, it's the wrong question to ask whether those writings were true or false. The scholarly community has, in effect, declared them irrelevant to our understanding of the events, people, or cultures, that Castaneda described. Hard to think of a stronger professional reaction to someone's academic credentials than that. C d h (talk) 18:39, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
 Location Error
"detailing his experiences with the Yaqui Indians indigenous to parts of Central Mexico."
I think this is just wrong. I used to live in Tucson (1960-85) and traveled at times in Northern Mexico. One of the Yaqui Indian villages was just across the street from where I worked.
"Central Mexico" should be changed to "Northern Mexico and the US boarder area." But I don't want to make a substantive change in this article, let the regulars do it.
Yaqui were a remarkable group in those days. You could tell the Yaqui areas in Mexico because the young women could be seen walking along a road alone, while women walking alone were virtually unknown in the rest of Spanish influenced Mexico. I guess Yaqui women felt they were able to deal with unwanted attention.
In the early 70s I met Nick DeGrazia son of renowned Arizona artist, Ettore DeGrazia. I remember listening to conversations between Nick and some other people I knew where he made the case that his father was Castaneda's model for don Juan. However, I don't know if they even knew each other. Keith Henson 21:54, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
 The Name Castaneda & the Journals of Applied Hermeneutics
I thought that Carlos Castaneda freely admitted that Castaneda was his mother's surname. The main article makes out that he was being evasive about this.
The allegation that he was Peruvian comes not just from the Time Magazine article but from FBI immigration records.
A mention or paraphrases from the four issues of The Journals of Applied Hermeneutics that he published before his death, available from Cleargreen, should be in the main text.Sidney Harry 20:57, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
- Time published his investigation based on the FBI imigration records. Do you have checked this archive yourself? Maybe they´ve find an homonymous? The father surname was Aranha. Castaneda are toked from a grandparent.
- Anyway, of course he was not perunian. This allegation is : completely nonsense and a conspiracy teory in a simple issue. Why so many efforts in keep this lie? He is brazilian.
 POV template added
I have added this template as several sections are clearly not POV:
- In the introduction:
"Nagual has been incorrectly used by anthropologists to mean a shaman or sorcerer who is capable of shapeshifting into an animal form, and/or, metaphorically, to "shift" into another form through Toltec magic rituals, shamanism- Carlos Castaneda's works which more accurately describe "Nagual" have sold more than 8 million copies in 17 languages."
Castaneda did not invent the word, and neither was it created by some anthropologists. It is a real indigenous Mesoamerican word which has become known in the west because of anthropological research done in the last 150 years.
- The section named criticism is also very messy, it starts off with praise for the writer intended to trivialize any criticism, then lists some of the critics' statements in passages that do not quite get to the crux of the matter, followed by two paragraphs which once again are aimed at trivializing any negative statements made on Castaneda's work. Lebanese blond 18:48, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
- The people who wish to trivialize the fact that his works are fiction, with the argument that their cultural impact is more important, forget that there really exists a tribe called the Yaqui living in Mexico. What is also thereby trivialized is the fact that their spiritual beliefs and culture are strongly disrespected by the works of Castaneda, specifically because he presents his works as being the truth.
- Perhaps the statement that research has shown his works to be fictitious should be stated like this; research means that people have gone there many times in a respectful and systematic way and have asked the Yaqui to describe their spiritual beliefs and culture. Wholly aside from whether the Castaneda stories are chronologically consistent or not, these anthropologists have compared their findings with what Castaneda wrote about the Yaqui and found out that the two don't match at all. In other words, what the Yaqui themselves have been documented as telling a whole bunch of people for the last 150(!) years about themselves is totally different from what Castaneda claims.
- There is no insidious anthropological conspiracy to discredit Castaneda. Neither is anybody calling into question the validity of the authentic Mesoamericans belief systems, nor are any of these anthropologists questioning that in the region, as an inherent part of their religious practices, there is widespread use of psychoactive plants to induce altered states of consciousness which they use to contact animal spirits, ancestors, etc. (however the Yaqui themselves state that, in contrast to their southern neighbours the Huichol, they do not actually take Peyote.)
- Also, equally importantly, this is -not- a case of the validity of these experiences being challenged by the scientific establishment or something, in fact it is the opposite; People like professor Richard Evans Schultes (author of 'Hallucinogenic Plants' and 'Plants of the Gods') of Harvard are trying to defend the validity of authentic traditional use of these plants in spiritual practices by these peoples, against those who would decontextualize them, misrepresent them with concepts culled from a large variety of western sources, and still put them forward as authentic.
- And why is this so bad, one might ask. Firstly, it is with a certain western arrogance that for centuries we have misrepresented other cultures with cliches, one should challenge oneself if ignoring the real Yaqui over the popular myth isn't actually just as racist as the rather unsubtle ideas westerners had about Mexicans and black people a century ago. Secondly, these cultures, in the face of commercial encroachment, globalization, etc. are extremely fragile and the countless tourists who have travelled to remote areas looking for Don Juan or curanderos like him have in many cases utterly changed these societies. Rather than being able to practice their culture as they always have done, in many places you will find the number of 'curanderos' having risen manifold in order to cater to this particular kind of tourist industry, in the process ofcourse the culture is lost and all that is left is the intoxication, and often even that is not authentic anymore. If Don Juan ever existed, today he would be horrified that in his name many indigenous people from Mexico to Brazil have been reduced to what are no more than drug peddlers. Lebanese blond 07:59, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
 Clean up
I have rearranged the article somewhat to make it more logical in its order. I have created a new section called cultural impact and placed certain parts there. There are still some other things to take care of, starting with the fact that for some reason the author's oevre is listed 3 times. If you are missing some text please see the history of the article and you will see where I've put things, I have not deleted any text. Lebanese blond 22:41, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
 Salon Article
is cited 3 times, as footnotes 2&3, and as external link. Footnotes 4-6 will have to be re-numbered. Also, the article does not require a subscription, site access can be obtained by watching a video ad. -Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 18:10, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Whos the guy in the photo? Is it thee Carlos castaneda?--184.108.40.206 03:41, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
- There's no proof that that guy is C.C. and judging from the known picture I'd say that there is little resemblance. So, nope 220.127.116.11 01:17, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
The hair style is also highly improbable for the claimed date of 1949. -- Infrogmation 23:26, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
- Absolutely correct, it looks like a British schoolboy, 1970's. That should settle this point. · Michel 08:29, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
 castaneda's work
I feel that this page is rather shabby and a poor tribute to a respected man.
- RESPECTED MAN? What kind of tool are you? Branch Davidian? Jonestown? Hey - PASS THE KOOL-AID!
I expect that the arguments against Castaneda are based on his use of hallucinogenic drugs which are now illegal.
- Try reading. That part is bad enough. But the man's life was a complete fraud and he caused the deaths of many people. Did you know he adopted his mistress as his daughter? Have you heard what his own family - wife and children - have to say, how contemptible he was? HAVE YOU SEEN AND READ WHAT ACCREDITED PROFESSORS OF ANTHROPOLOGY SAY ABOUT HIM TODAY?
Don't answer that. It's obvious you are a tool and reading or trying to understand anything is futile for you. Next stop Jonestown!
I think that his date of birth should be stated correctly - surely someone knows this and further his place of birth should also be correctly stated.
The section on Castaneda's death is full of unsubstantiated claims which surely are nothing more than crude attempts to sully his character.
I have only read one of Castaneda's books - certainly it was a challenging read. I do not think the author was entirely concerned with pinpoint accuracy in decribing the events that took place, rather the author was concerned about conveying a narrative that gave his impressions about what occurred. As this at times involved the use of mind altering drugs used by his shaman guide Don Juan then necessarily his recollections would be imperfect.
Castandeda's book 'The teachings of Don Juan' is regarded as a classic in it's genre and this page and shabby critiques like this do Wikipedia's reputation as a serious resource for information no credit at all.
John Pretty 1 23:04, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
- I've dealt with many of the same issues that you bring up here in the section a bit further up; POV template added. I would be curious to hear your views on it, for instance on the drug issue. Lebanese blond 08:51, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
 Problem with statement
" Nagual has been incorrectly used by anthropologists . to mean a shaman or sorcerer who is capable of shapeshifting into an animal form, and/or, metaphorically, to "shift" into another form through Toltec magic rituals. "
I have to ask which anthropologists? (I inserted the fact citations.) Please cite sources.
-Bill Oct 14, 2007
Among academic circles the Aztec claim of Toltec ancestory may be just mythological. Even with the Aztecs themselves they knew very little about the Toltecs. ( please see wikipedia's article on the Toltecs).
I cant help but find the claim of existing 'Toltec rituals' to be highly suspect. Academic fact citation is needed please.
Oct 14, 2007
I think what the original poster is referring to is something that Carlos Castaneda wrote in Tales of Power when Don Juan first mentioned the term Nagual, page 119 in my book (Chapter: The Island of the Tonal) he says, "'Nagual' was the name given to the animals into which sorcerers could allegedly transform themselves, or to the sorcerer that elicited such a transformation". Maybe the entry should be rewritten to include that quote, if no facts are available. I see what you mean though, but Nahuatl is still being spoken today, so perhaps such rituals are available, just out of our range of knowledge. Woods Flash 08:12, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
 External Link removed? 'Sustain Action'
Why did the 'Sustain Action' link get removed? They are one of the most vocal site that has heavily scrutinized Castaneda's work.
Cherry pick removal???
October 15, 2007
- Hey Bill, once again, in agreement, I have reverted the removal.Lebanese blond 13:23, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
 Removal from Criticism section
To qoute section removed: " However if his works are viewed not from an anthropological point of view, and one disregards that they claim to be about a real-life culture, but rather from a literary or new age angle the works are found generally to have merit. Regarding the criticism of Castaneda's anthropology, Octavio Paz wrote:
- "I am more interested about Castaneda's work rather than the stories behind his personality. Who cares if he was from Brazil or Peru? Who cares if he really lived with the Yaquis, Mazatecs or Huichol Indians? Who cares if Don Juan & Don Genaro really existed? This is merely 'poor thinking'. What I am interested on is about Castaneda's work: Ideas, philosophy, paradigms, etc. If Castaneda's books are fiction, great, then they are the best fiction books I have ever read."
" Octavio Paz later wrote in 1973:
- I may say: The class 'Anthropologist' is not included in the class 'poet' but in some rare cases, one of those is named Carlos Castaneda. All in all, you guys are wasting a life trying to find the charlatan instead of focusing on his work. "
1) I removed the above from the Criticism section this as I dont see how this has to do with Criticism of Castenada's work.
2) It also lacks citation of sources.
It tends to talk about the Literary MERIT of Castenada's work. Perhaps put it in another section (or make up a separate new section for it).
NOTE: I don't remove information without a means of retrieval if someone disagrees. Its just common courtesy.
Oct 16, 2007
- Hey Bill, I agree with what you wrote, including the last note. If you look at the 'criticism' section before 5 September you will see that I was doing just that. I created a new section called 'cultural impact' where I moved part of the text, and put the quotes of Octavio Paz at the bottom of the section adding an appropriate explanation, " However if his works are viewed not from an anthropological point of view...". I did both these things in order to not just delete things even if I disagree with them. I may in the future further amend this article but didn't want to just start removing text straightaway.Lebanese blond 13:05, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
 Moved this from top of page, where it had no place
[Note: I'm not the author, Michel 16:31, 20 October 2007 (UTC)]
I'm sorry but that photo posted which claims to be Carlos in his mid twenties ... is utterly impossible. It looks nothing like what his "known" photos at a later age look like. Does anyone else agree with me??? Casteneda is a short stocky man ... not a tall slim guy.
 Brazilian vs. Peruvian / Veja vs. Time
I'm a bit appalled that so much of this discussion should be about whether Castaneda was a crook or not, or whether his views were valid or not.
I have read the VEJA article mentioned by 18.104.22.168 under 10. above, or in the least its reproduction at the link provided. Not that I have a very high opinion about either TIME or Veja, but I tend to trust the latter a wee bit more (as for the Salon.com article about Castaneda, it's plain crap, and the only thing I find good about it, is that it gives me a chance to revise my previous prejudice in favour of Salon). What Veja's interviewer states, as a matter of introduction, is that C. speaks "with lusitanian fluency [i.e.: he is with all likeliness a native portuguese speaker] - including a local accent". What he does not say, however, is what part of, let's say Brazil, his accent is from. He also states that C. himself says to him that he was born in São Paulo state. Nothing else (disculpe, viu, 22.214.171.124).
Anyone familiar with C.'s world view will readily understand that this, to him, was of secondary importance. But to those concerned with more down-to-earth explanations, I'd say that back a few decades ago, it was much easier (and requiring neither great expenses nor illicit methods) to change nationality and name and acquire a new, more befitting passport. Many countries' immigration services, including those in the US, were just not capable of seeing through that.
Michel 16:08, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
- I am interested why you are appalled by the discussion, this is of course an encyclopedia with a clear goal to create a truthful article about a subject through a collaborative effort. Also I would like to know why you think the Salon article is plain crap as you describe it. In contrast to the Veja interview or the Time article this piece was written today with the benefit of hindsight. If you know of creditable sources that would counter what is written in the article please provide them, I am always very curious about this topic! Lebanese blond 09:17, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
- I wrote "a bit appaled", and I think I made quite clear why.
- No "creditable sources" involved here. You pinned it right: "truthful". You don't need to read the Salon.com article very closely to find out that it is absolutely biased and that its only purpose is to pour trash on Castaneda. As such, this article as a reference belongs to a Wiki article on Salon.com, not on Castaneda. · Michel 17:37, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
- "...or whether his views were valid or not."
The article has less to do with his "views" (Castaneda's) but to an extent regarding his various Claims. To academics in the field of anthropology, botany, history it does matter to them.
btw "Truthful" and "biased" are not necessarily the same thing (eg. Someone could be biased but still be truthful.)
-Bill Nov 26, 2007