May 16, 2009

Carlos Castaneda, fake Indian

Around The Campfire:  The Fake Medicine Man

By Dr. Dean ChaversCarlos Castaneda fooled millions of people. He wrote a series of books about a mythical Yaqui medicine man he allegedly met in Mexico. His first book, The Teachings of Don Juan, became a best-seller and earned him a doctorate in anthropology from UCLA. It now appears he made the whole thing up. UCLA eventually took his doctorate back—the only time I have heard of such a thing being done.

He came out with his first book in 1968 at the height of the New Age craze in California. The next thing you know, anthropologists, literature professors, sociologists, historians, and others who should have known better were requiring their poor students to read Castaneda. He eventually published 12 books about Don Juan, and they sold 17 million copies.

There was no Don Juan, there were no long stays in Mexico, and there was no apprenticeship in what Castaneda called “sorcery.” It turned out that he had spent about six months in Tucson in a motel, not meeting with the mysterious Don Juan, but making the whole thing up.

His main controversial point was that Don Juan Matus, his made-up subject, was a witch man who could have out-of-body experiences. It is amazing to me that millions of people could believe this junk. But as my wife Toni says, people bought it and read because they wanted to believe it. But the truth is that no matter what a shyster such as Castaneda says, no Indian or any other person can fly through the air.


Anonymous said...

You have no sources or references to prove your statements.

Rob said...

First, I didn't write the article. I just linked to it. If you disagree with the content, take it up with Dean Chavers, the author.

Second, you don't seem to have any sources or references to prove these statements false. I.e., to prove Castaneda was a real Indian. Until you do, I'll assume a Native expert knows more about the subject than some anonymous person.

Rob said...

Here's some evidence against Carlos Castaneda. Hope you enjoy it!