Carlos Castaneda – Media Worth Consulting

Radio interview
YouTube offers a 1968 Pacifica Radio interview, which is the only one of many audio recordings of the sorcerer himself, recognized as authentic. (Kind of irksome to listen to. Castaneda frequently does that “uh” thing.)

Stage Production
Diablero
is a rock musical, and the story behind it, which Bill Graham and Ken Kesey are parts of, is fascinating. (Go to the History page). Described as “music from the past for the future.” There are even two different versions of the work, produced in different years.

Carlos Castaneda’s Chacmools Interview part 2/3
Chaacmol supposedly meant “thundering paw” in Mayan, and the three women interviewed on this New Age TV show were the sorcerer’s fierce guardian warriors. If you start with Part 1, there is a bunch of bla bla bla to sit through first, so might as well go straight to Part 2 and get right into some Chacmool conversation. Kylie Lundahl’s recitation of the Castaneda belief system is strangely compelling, almost hypnotic in its weird fascination.

Crumb Comix
Full-page comic by Aline and R. Crumb, published in The New Yorker, Sept 28, 1998, titled “How Sweet It Is, For a Privileged Few.” A bunch of people are sitting around a table.
Somebody says, “Listen, you have to send me a Tensegrity beanbag when you get back to the States.”
Somebody else says, “A what? I refuse to aid and abet the stupidest thing I ever heard of.”
Another person says, “Hey, Tensegrity is the cutting edge! The hippest of the hip!”

Tales from the Jungle
Divided divided into 10 segments for YouTube, this was a 2006 BBC show.

It starts out with the aftermath – the skeleton found in the desert, belonging to Castaneda’s adopted daughter/lover, and talks about the disappearance of several other women around the time when the shaman died. There’s an interview with Richard DeMille, who was the first Castaneda debunker.

One of DeMille’s complaints was that the personality of Don Juan was dark and dour in the first book, lighthearted and even clownish in the third book, yet these two chronicles purport to cover the same time period. Well, that alone is not enough to condemn anybody. DeMille says, “There’s no way Don Juan’s personality could change from day to day….” But he is so wrong, if you believe Amy Wallace, who knew Castaneda very well for many years. In her book, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, she describes how his personality could change from minute to minute.

In your own life you may have known people like this. What makes them that way might be alcohol; it may be a personality disorder; it could be prescription drugs or the other kind. Or just because the person is a control freak. An unscrupulous leader can keep the people so occupied with anticipating and placating his tantrums, they have time for little else. And if you believed Castaneda, his mood shifts and contradictions were teaching tools, employed as part of his sorceric teaching method.

Castaneda’s first wife, Margarita, and his son, say that he actually did go on all those trips, and they back up the story that there were many boxes of field notes at one time. When challenged by DeMille, Castaneda said they were destroyed when one of his Los Angeles homes suffered a basement flood.

Some people believe everything Castaneda wrote and said. Others believe nothing, and many are in between or just plain don’t know what to think. Some feel that even if he did make it all up, no harm was done. On the contrary, the BBC program says the shamanic yarn-spinning was not a victimless crime. The Huichol people, for instance, were overrun by hippie tourists looking to score some peyote, which attracted the interest of law enforcement in both the US and Mexico, and “struck at the heart of the Huichol culture.” Peyote pilgrimages got them busted. And there were also “catastrophic consequences” in Castaneda’s own adopted Southern California culture and beyond.

In this TV show we meet Greg and Gaby, disillusioned former disciples who surveilled Castaneda’s entourage and searched through his garbage. They went public with their discoveries, such as evidence that Castaneda had married two of his witches in one week. Also on this program is Amy Wallace, talking about Castaneda’s sexual quirks.

Related: What Movies and Music Did Carlos Castaneda Like?

And of course Carlos Castaneda is in the Acid Heroes book…

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About Pat Hartman

Before publishing the two books "Call Someplace Paradise" and "Ghost Town: A Venice California Life", my main project was "Salon: A Journal of Aesthetics. " I wrote extensively for "Scene," a monthly arts and entertainment magazine with a circulation of 25,000. Also proofread, sold ads, put together the music calendar and, for a couple of years, served as editor. Presided over a couple issues of the local NORML newsletter, as well as being featured speaker at chapter meetings. Wrote a complete screenplay; collaborated on another one; worked on a couple of scripts (additional dialog and general brainstorming) with an indie film producer. Booked the talent for a large music festival. Wrote, designed, illustrated and produced various catalogs and brochures for small businesses. Spoke at a high school as a panelist on Women in the Professions; was a featured speaker at the 1991 Women in Libertarianism Conference; presented public programs on "Success in One Lesson" and "The Bloomsbury Group: What's It To Us?" Created the website VirtualVenice.info and wrote many politically-oriented pieces for Earthblog.net
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3 Responses to Carlos Castaneda – Media Worth Consulting

  1. It’s wonderful that you are getting thoughts from this paragraph as well as from our discussion made here.

  2. I do not know whether it’s just me or if perhaps everybody else encountering issues with your blog. It appears as if some of the text on your content are running off the screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too? This might be a issue with my web browser because I’ve had this happen previously.
    Thank you

  3. Pat Hartman says:

    Oh dear. If it’s a widespread problem, I wouldn’t know how to fix it.

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