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Carlos Castaneda
Posted by: Brad69 ()
Date: July 05, 2006 01:04PM

While browing through the forums, I came across mention of Carlos Castaneda - thanks corboy - and decided to look into his teachings because this is what a so-called guru, who has my girlfriend wrapped around his finger, bases most of his teachings on.

I found incredible information at [] for which I am truly grateful, but would like to find out as much as I can.

This so-called guru, whose claims of esoteric degrees I have proved to be false (My original story was posted recently), has my girlfriend reading Castaneda, Florinda Donner, and Merilyn Tunnenshunde. Now that I know a little about their teachings I understand why she has withdrawn.

This so-called guru has previously used mind-control techniques on my girlfriend in workshops - pretty extensively - and I am wary of [b:0f99efa175]confronting[/b:0f99efa175] her with this information about the great hoax.

Any suggestions? Where might I find more interesting information, preferably facts, about these writers, and how do I get my girlfriend to read about the lies perpetrated by Castaneda and co?

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Carlos Castaneda
Posted by: nutrino ()
Date: July 06, 2006 10:58AM

There are several books on Casteneda, the man... he appears to have been a first class manipulative swine who took sadistic pleasure in manipulating his followers.... his fictional Don Juan Mateus a wishful piece of fantasy, Casteneda fell far short of Don Juan... you can find many of these biographical works, and some sharp ethnographic critiques of his works too, on Amazon.... [b:4a9e0a9f9e] Casteneda was an academic fraud, a personal fraud, and a philosophical fraud. [/b:4a9e0a9f9e] He had great impact on soft headed New Age seekers who saw in Don Juan some kind of guiding spirit who made sense of it all... imagine all those misguided kids who imagined they could penetrate the Tonal (the phenomenal world of appearances) and delve into the Nagual (the world of "power" and the true, hidden form of reality)... a weird mixture of sex, drugs, warrior philosophy, pre-columbian hallucination, stumbling around rural Mexico, things that sacred mushrooms taught you, datura root paste smeared on your naked body, hipsterism, .... much beloved by [b:4a9e0a9f9e] seeker-assholes [/b:4a9e0a9f9e] who were too flakey even for Werner Erhard's goofball crowd.... many of Casteneda's contemporaries praised his Don Juan for "outrageousness"... as if this "outrageousness" (read: anti-social personality disorder) somehow was to be equated with true wisdom. Damn Pathetic.

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Carlos Castaneda
Posted by: Brad69 ()
Date: July 06, 2006 12:50PM

Thank for your input Nutrino. I so agree with you on Castaneda. The challenge I am faced with is getting the truth of his story through to my girlfriend.

She was recruited to attend this so-called guru's first course on a day that she had been doing a kinesiology course in which, in order to be able to do the work on one's clients, one has to experience everything they have to experience. She had to deal with mother issues, which she has never resolved, after her mother walked out on the family when my girlfriend was aged seven. She was very fragile the day she was recruited - angry and crying.

Of course, what this so-called guru then did, whilst promising a "special journey, filled with an abundance of life, laughter, happiness, joy and fun", was break everyone on the course down by using everyone of the methods Lifton previously identified. Then, he moved on to his philosophy, which is that of Castaneda - a fraud, and so too were the women he gathered around him.

Merilyn Tunnenshende, who wrote Being in Dreaming, and said in the book celibacy is necessary for the female to take back her power, is one of the authors that he has had my girlfriend read. Clever. Destroy the physical bond first, then the rest will follow.

Tunnenshende claims to have met don Juan - a man who never existed! She also produced a picture of Genaro for Magical Blend magazine; pity that the same photo also appeared in National Georgraphic. It was of some shaman.

The discovery of the Blue Scout's bones pours water on the supposed fire (combustion) of her death too. Just like Castaneda, she died a normal human being's death.

I haven't read any of Castaneda's books thankfully, but maybe I will to improve my knowledge of him, although paying out money for him doesn't sit well with me. I have learnt plenty from my other research that leaves me reviled.

Still, how do I get my girlfriend to learn about the rubbish he espoused and judge it with critical inner wisdom? After all, this so-called guru worked on destroying that in his first course, and has continued to do so in subsequent courses.

"Trust the process," he says. "Give me your unbending intent and I was show you the way to mastery of self." That obviously includes handing over one's personal power to him.

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Carlos Castaneda
Posted by: nutrino ()
Date: July 06, 2006 08:09PM

Knowledge is power. His books are quick reads, boring, filled with minor truths and much bug eyed fantasy... read two or three of them so you'll have some idea of what the terrain is like... then read one of the biography-exposes of Casteneda himself.... I cannot beleive that an entire generation of lost souls turned to this man for advice about how life should be lived. Intetresting isn't it that throughout his encounters with Don Juan his picks up almost no indiginous language of these shamanic people ? I HAVE personally travelled deep into rural Mexico where Spanish is a second language, areas so remote that Spanish generally isn't spoken, if you can imagine, and I can assure you that if anyone actually lived and studied these people he would have an extensive lexicon of native words .... much of Casteneda's "observation" appears to have been borrowed/plagaraized/stolen from other ethnographic sources, including, rather amazingly, Tibetan spiritual practices. On a personal level, the man was simply deranged. I read an account of how he had some of his followers eat beef jerky that he had convinced them was the dried flesh of a child they had known. His followers wretched and gagged as they ate the dried beef, and Casteneda howled with laughter at how compliant they were with his will, this was a great joke to him, and afterwards he mocks them for being so foolish as to beleive they are eating strips of dried human flesh.... [b:c28ec1e6e5] was this guy a raving sociopath or what [/b:c28ec1e6e5] ?

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Carlos Castaneda
Posted by: Brad69 ()
Date: July 06, 2006 08:41PM

Thanks again, Nutrino. Your input certainly gives me valuable advice and I will put it to use. I need to be as well educated as possible when I do get the opportunity to brace the subject of the great hoax.

The website Sustained Action - [] - has been a brilliant source for information on Castaneda. It has led me all over the show on the Internet, but within two days I probably have minimum 250 pages of [b:38a401f09a]good [/b:38a401f09a] info on Castaneda. Boy, did he ever wreck lives!

Using him as a source for empowerment is an incredible idea that leaves me incredulous. At least, when the opportunity presents itself, I will have plenty of material to punch holes in.

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Carlos Castaneda
Posted by: Brad69 ()
Date: July 06, 2006 09:19PM

Just to add another idea on Castaneda. He proclaims himself a sorceror, and one of the things that is acceptable to a sorcerer is lying.

So, after first using mind control tactics at a course, someone who uses Castaneda as the basis of their teachings can then cover their butt when they are caught in a lie. They are simply doing sorcery to challenge their students!?

Also, it also gives them the opportunity to say "suspend your judgment on what I am doing until you have completed the course". Of course, by that point the poor recruits are really caught in the trap. And, naturally, another course is rolled out.

Once a person starts suspending judgment on methods such as these, it becomes easier to suck the recruits in. Using Castaneda in this way is kind of clever, I concede, but only if one knows nothing about the fraud he was, and also if one knows nothing about what has been done to the recruits using mind control techniques.

It is downright deceitful, actually.

Castaneda talks about being ruthlessly impeccable and impeccably ruthless - whatever that might mean. But, pray, how can one be impeccable without conscience?

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Carlos Castaneda
Posted by: nutrino ()
Date: July 06, 2006 09:42PM

Many human potential seminars, LGATs, guru-disciple relationship games have turned to Casteneda, either by overt quotation, or by implicit reference, as [b:2e2a01595b] justification [/b:2e2a01595b] for ugly, self serving, pretentious, empirically baseless, self indulgent, badly educated, exploitive conduct... [b:2e2a01595b] Casteneda's impact was far reaching and malignant [/b:2e2a01595b] .... note the sociopathic equation of "ruthless" and "lying" with the positive quality "impeccable" ..... [b:2e2a01595b] "Impeccable [/b:2e2a01595b] is a term you will hear expressed throughout the New Age circuit, yet, should you be so impertinant to stand your ground and insist on a water clear definition of what "impeccability" means, in present tense, functional terms, and you will find yourself spinning in the vortex of circular argle-bargle....

here's one example from one, ummm, source :

"In our illusion of separateness, we became selfish. We learned Judgement, and judged ourselves above our brothers and sisters, superior to the animals and trees, the birds and the fishes. We judged ourselves wiser than our Earth. And in doing so, we forgot we are One. We lost our Power. Slowly, we are beginning to remember. We are returning to our Selves. It is with this Intent, that Impeccable was created."

Sure, right... but like... how ?

try following this convoluted crap:

"What has been presented by Castaneda all along the way in his many books and interviews stemming from his ever important and crucial first Introduction Scene in the bus station between he and Don Juan, a meeting that lasted no more than only a very few minutes at the most, was simply based on Castaneda NOT interpreting correctly (for the readers) what he saw in the first place. What he thought he saw and took as the truth was inaccurate and he compounded the whole thing to his readers throughout his writings because of that misinterpretation. While the conversation regarding the Cloud Shaman no doubt occurred in the bus station initially, and the Cloud Shaman was actually a MAJOR player in the scheme of things, Castaneda simply left it out of his first book not bothering to bring it up until his last book. Why? Because the Cloud Shaman undermines Don Juan Matus as he is written. While it is accurate to say that the Cloud Shaman and the old man are companions or friends, in reality the old man is in no way a teacher of the Cloud Shaman. If anything, both the old man and the Cloud Shaman have the SAME teacher --- or to be even more accurate, and the secret to all of Castaneda's writings --- Don Juan's own unknown, unheralded, diablero real life teacher and the Cloud Shaman, that is, the informant, were actually peers or equals. What Castaneda learned from the informant was the SAME as having learned it directly from Don Juan's teacher, the same original grounding source Don Juan would have learned it from --- and why he wrote it the way he did, albeit giving credit to Don Juan. It should be said here, in a quick side note regarding Don Juan, although the possibility exists otherwise, there is nothing in what I know on a first hand basis about the informant that would indicate he knew, met, set the meeting, ever heard of Don Juan, or knew if he was an actual person or not.[3] If you remember correctly, at the time of the bus station encounter Don Juan wasn't even really Don Juan. In A Separate Reality (1971)"

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Carlos Castaneda
Posted by: Brad69 ()
Date: July 06, 2006 10:32PM

Castaneda's way of sorcery - including lies and being ruthless, which in accounts of the way he treated those close to him appears to be true of the way he acted - opens up the opportunity for one to use others and have an excuse for any behaviour.

It becomes an end justifies the means idea, but what is the end one aims for anyway? Graduation to Jerk University and a lack of feeling for others?

Must one become egoless? If one does, what rudder does one have in life? After all, what would the reaction of an 'egoless' person be if someone spat in their face? "I have no ego, so do it again." We need our egos to learn about life, surely.

Thinking in terms of New Age ideas, the highest vibration we can aspire to in the third dimension (in which we are) is that of love. But what does Castaneda get people to do? Cut off from their loved ones, therefore moving away from love.

Is that love of self? Is that authentic love? Or should we perceive all those who have been with us so long as people trying to drain our energy? Or maybe, just maybe, and pretty likely in my mind, those people do love us and it is a good thing.

Anyway, how many times was Castaneda married? Four times, if my memory serves me correctly. And he taught celibacy, but was he celibate? Fat chance!

Maybe this is moving away from LGATs a little, but when LGATs are used in conjunction with such damaging ideas they become pretty dangerous - pretty much anything can be justified by Castaneda's philosophies and lies.

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Carlos Castaneda
Posted by: Brad69 ()
Date: July 06, 2006 11:10PM

Interestingly, I came across this quote on the thread called "Ourageous Betrayal:

"I reflected recently on what I thought was CONFIDENCE while I was under the lgat spell and I realized it was ARROGANCE. I see all the described symptoms in my sister. The patronizing "I'm enlightened, you're not" smirk."

It seems to be a common thing. Those sucked in by the thought reform techniques believe they have become part of the chosen ones. They believe they are enlightened because they have found a great teacher/teachers. Of course, that confidence they have found relies upon approval from the teacher, and they have to keep checking back whether they are living in the right way or not. So who has the power? Just where have they found personal power?

It is sad. I see it in my girlfriend.

The other interesting thing is how they portray this confidence on the outside, but they appear to have more questions than ever about life. In her case, her body has reacted badly since she started doing courses. She has severe stomach problems, she has suffered from severe hair loss, from depression, and from suicidal thoughts. What is her body telling her? Clue after clue after clue...

If that is empowering then I live on Pluto.

Also, interesting is that my girlfriend has become so evasive and distant. I can almost feel her fear of me asking any questions of her. She struggles to meet my eyes, and it is obvious from her eyes and body posture that she carries a lot of guilt about her decision to follow the teachings according to Castaneda.

I guess that gives me hope for success in exposing the lies she has been exposed to. :D

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Carlos Castaneda
Posted by: Brad69 ()
Date: July 07, 2006 01:06PM

Corboy - pretty prophetic words you once wrote:

Posted: 10-29-2004 09:15 PM Post subject: Complex question


It does not appear that Castaneda got his material from any known LGAT. But someone may come up with a way to use Castaneda type material in an LGAT format.

C created what some commentators call 'New Age Shamanism'.

Castaneda did create a group and the dynamics are described by Amy Wallace in her memoir The Sorcerer's Apprentice: My Life with Carlos Castaneda.

There's a lot of material on thread


Scroll through the threads and read the stuff on Castaneda.

Someone has now come up with a way to use Castaneda material in a LGAT format. His name is Louis Smit and he operates in South Africa, although I know he has also presented courses in London, Zanzibar and Hong Kong.

I know that in those courses in London, Zanzibar and Hong Kong he used, as he did in South Africa, all eight mind control techniques as defined by Lifton. Then, he moved in for the kill with his Castaneda-speak.

While those people under his influence don't live in a commune or cult-type set up of that sort, they view him as some type of guru or teacher, and he doesn't discourage the use of either term.

Some people who have done his courses live far away from his base in Johannesburg, but many, not all, have become dependent on him to tell them how to live their lives, what to read, and, of course, what courses to do with him.

All inappropriate behaviour, which we would under normal circumstances find repugnant, is easily explained away by him saying he is a sorcerer and he is being a sorcerer - Castaneda said that, as a sorcerer, it is okay to lie and it seems he encouraged it too.

Convenient and so devious.

Of course, Castaneda's stories were fiction, but why deal with the truth? It's scorcery isn't it?

His claims:

Louis Smit, a native South African, has lived and traveled in many parts of the world for more than 33 years. (I can't comment on that).

In his pursuit of conventional knowledge, Louis has obtained various business degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand. (True)

Louis has an ongoing interest in martial art, with Black belt qualifications in Aikido and Karate. (The Aikido bit is true. I can't comment on the Karate).

His training in Aikido led him to the study of metaphysics, the healing arts and a ‘somersault into the unknown’. (So vague. What the hell is 'a somersault into the unknown'? Is that where he found special powers and hidden knowledge?)

Louis has studied with various esoteric systems, including Hermetics and the Rosicrucian Order. (I can't comment on Hermetics and the Rosicrucian Order won't say who their members are. Again, very convenient.)

He graduated with a Bachelor Of Esoteric Sciences - Honours (B.E.Sc.-Hon.) with the Australian School Of Esoteric Studies in 1995 and completed a Diploma Of Esoteric Education (Dip.E.Ed). (Lies. No such school exists or has ever existed. His so-called guru - one Patrick Desplace claims to have founded the school, but a study of the Australian Business Register shows it has never existed. Desplace also claimed to me in an e-mail that he founded The Australian Institute of Human Resources. Again, there is nothing under that name, although there is the Australian Human Resources Institute who have never heard of him, their supposed founder).

He attained a Healing Diploma and a Masters of Esoteric Sciences in 1997 within the auspices of The World Development of Human Resources. (The WDHR is a company formed by Desplace which, can you believe it has the web address of [] It claims to be affiliated to the Australian School of Esoteric Studies. In December 2005, in an e-mail to me, Desplace claimed the school was moving from Darwin to Adelaide. No record of that, even to this day because it doesn't exist. Who gave Desplace the right to hand out diplomas and degrees? With which bodies is WDHR registered?)

Louis invites You to join him on a special journey, filled with an abundance of life, laughter, happiness, joy and fun. (Since my girlfriend first did a course with this con man, she hasn't experienced any of this so-called abundance. She has experienced serious depression, suicidal thoughts, a business going in reverse, and has become very serious, isolated, evasive, and fears she will not make it i.e achieve her potential - ah the instilled phobia. And she believes in stories made up by Castaneda, Florinda Donner and Merilyn Tunnenshende, all of which Smit has prescribed to her to read).

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