Re: Question about Carlos Castenada.

CyMediaTEK (
12 Jan 1997 08:43:06 GMT

<I have a question or two regarding Carlos Castenada.

I seem to remember that there was considerable
speculation by serious academics that the "Don Juan"
character was just that - a character out of the
imagination of Carlos Castenada. At the time, maybe
1979, I seem to remember that he publicly recanted
after receiving MUCH pressure from peer's in the
anthropology community. Under this scrutiny he
finally admitted that there was no such person as
Don Juan, but rather that the shamanistic systems
described in the series of books, and his personal
experiences, were compilations of a variety of
folkloric traditions..

Can someone correct me if I am wrong about this?>

Yes. That is not true. I have followed Castaneda for decades now, and he
has never "recanted" any part of his reportage.

Here are a few quotes from a recent interview of Carlos Castaneda in New
Age Journal:

"The notion that I concocted a person like don Juan is preposterous...
The actual facts are stranger: I'm a reporter."


"Smoothing rough edges to advance an agreeable plot is the luxury
of the novelist. I'm not unfamiliar with the spoken and unspoken
canon of science: "Be objective."


"I...realized the extent to which the teachings of don Juan could and
would be dismissed as 'mere allegory' by certain specialists whose
sacramental mission is to reinforce the limits that culture and
language place on perception."


"My books are...a chronicle of specific experiences and observations
in a particular context (Sorcery), reported to the best of my ability."

and finally

"The main thing is, I stand by my work."

In the last year or two, I have been to several of the workshops conducted
by Castaneda and by the other sorcerers and warriors associated with
Castaneda, and I can assure you that they are quite sincere about all of