Talk:Carlos Castaneda

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*slow clap*[edit]

I'm sure there is some kind of raging wiki-controversy about this article, so I would just say to those editors in the reality-based community who are trying to "fix" it: Don't bother. The work in its laughably bloated, hagiographic state, complete with idiosyncrasies of capitalization and grammar, is actually much more damning than any WP:NPOV article could ever be. TiC (talk) 02:17, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

This claim cannot stand without a source![edit]

As Carlos wanted a child but did not want to lose his personal power he enlisted a man named Adrian Gerritsen from Utah to father a child for him.[citation needed] Says who? hgilbert (talk) 13:37, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Dividing biography and books[edit]

I have divided Castaneda's biography and his books - something he had trouble doing. hgilbert (talk) 14:08, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Thankyou very much for helping ensure a properly structured and true account ( as accurate and Neutral as possible ) is presented for The Carlos Castanedas page - / I have though returned the Original Opening Paragraph as it seems to cover his works in a Broader sense /apology for editing your comment here as Im not sure where else to thank the contribution appreciated. From Paul in Australia.


In the "Reception" section (formerly "Criticism" section)

There has been some tampering of the quotes (things that De Mille & Wallis never said) And the complete removal of a quote from the Time magazine article (which was replaced by another quote by someone) that I have now recovered. If you go back far enough you will see how and where the quotes have been tampered with. (Writing is not my strong point so please correct my writing errors.) I do know wiki has a policy against vandalism.

I also want to thank the person who has been working hard organizing and cleaning up the "Reception" section. It looks a lot better now than before!

(talk) 16:28, 4 March 2011 (UTC)Henry123ifaHenry123ifa (talk) 16:28, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

== Vandalism / Reply and Extras added to "Reception Section " Introduction Paragraph at TOP - NO WHERE IN ANY VOLUMES HAS CASTENEDAS CLAIMED THAT - the sorcerors world was an INNER experience Unless this person can verify this statement with excerpts from the Writings of Castaneda I will make a Vandalism claim to wikipedia publishers / he always maintained that it is a PRAGMATIC Real world to be intercepted by our OUTER senses, I have corrected this statement twice Now

In the "Reception" section (formerly "Criticism" section) - I have added to start his reception on The POSITIVE reception Firstly - which the Author deserves also for public to know he has supporting Critics as well as Critics who question his works. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:42, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

To 'unsigned' person can you qoute the passage you are refering to. It will make it easier for everyone to know what you are reading & refering to. Henry123ifa (talk) 08:18, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

In Reply From "unsigned person" to Henry 123 - Thank you for pointing this out appreciated. The quotation in question has been removed - The Carlos Page is now as 8/3/2011 Exactly as it should be. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:21, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

In the Paragraph "BOOKS" Is a quoted statement - from the moderator of the Carlos C Page( The moderator is wrong ) - "He also says the sorcerer bequeathed him the position of nagual, or leader of a party of seers." This statement ( Bequeathed )is not correct- In the books Don Juan responded to Carlos "that THE SPIRIT Chose" -not he himself as Don Juan - I propose to have the word removed please - and instead replaced with the words "Identified Him" as being more correct to the works of Castanedas. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:28, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes Ill agree with that - someone likes big words lol —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:12, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Wasson/de Mille/POV bias[edit]

Quote: "Despite the widespread popularity of his works, some academic critics question the validity of Castaneda's book as early as 1969. In a series of articles, botanist Gordon R. Wasson, who had originally praised Castenada's work, questioned the accuracies of Castenada's botanical claims.[10]"

Wasson made two main claims: firstly, that hallucinogenic mushrooms did not grow in the Sonoran desert. This was completely wrong, as a quick Google will confirm. (De Mille made the same assertion and his publishers had to recall that first edition of his book and print a new edited edition, without any apology btw).

Secondly, that trees that were big enough to climb did not exist in the Sonoran desert. This is also completely wrong. There are many species of tree that fit the bill. Wasson seems to think that the Sonoran desert consists entirely of the "classic" desert landscape. How can such an academic make such elementary mistakes? What were his research skills like?

Quote: "Anthropologists specializing in Yaqui Indian culture (William Curry Holden, Jane Holden Kelley and Edward H. Spicer), who originally supported Castenada's account as true, had questioned the accuracies of Castenada's work[11]

This was put to bed years ago in the 1970s. Castaneda wrote that, although originally believing that he was learning a Yaqui belief system, he had to change his opinion when Don Juan told him that it was in fact an ancient "Toltec" belief system.

Quote: "In The Power and the Allegory, De Mille compared The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge with Castaneda's library stack requests at the University of California. The stack requests documented that he was sitting in the library when allegedly his journal said he was squatting in Don Juan's hut.Italic text One discovery that de Mille alleges to have made in his examination of the stack requests was that when Castaneda was alleged to have said that he was participating in the traditional peyote ceremony—the least fantastic episode of drug use—he was sitting in the UCLA library and he was reading someone else's description of their experience of the peyote ceremony.

I can't find any specific dates as alleged by de Mille in any of those early books of Castaneda. Without such documentary evidence, de Mille's evidence is just hearsay.

This whole article reeks of bias.. and to use the web sources 1) and 2) as references says it all. They lead to two ad hominem sites that are as far removed from serious critical analysis as is possible. It all points to the origin of this article's mood as coming from that sort of site. The previous (now edited) use of christian names of the main protagonists is a dead giveaway. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:19, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Regarding comments made. To quote User talk:|talk: " Wasson made two main claims: firstly, that hallucinogenic mushrooms did not grow in the Sonoran desert. This was completely wrong, as a quick Google will confirm. .... Secondly, that trees that were big enough to climb did not exist in the Sonoran desert. This is also completely wrong. There are many species of tree that fit the bill. Wasson seems to think that the Sonoran desert consists entirely of the "classic" desert landscape. How can such an academic make such elementary mistakes? What were his research skills like?'' "

Did Wasson EVER made such claims? From which academic journal? Giving the history of vandalism and certain individuals posting fabricated information it should be ask.

Wasson from my understanding went to Mexico in 1953 to search for hallucinogenic mushrooms. Where he was able to contact a Mazatec curandera named Maria Sabina. And as a result wrote an article about it in Life Magazine in 1957(Castenada's The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge was published in 1968 which was 11 years after Wasson mentioning hallucinogenic mushrooms in Mexico). ???

REPLY: Wasson published some papers in which he threw doubt on the botanical claims of CC regarding the Sonora Desert. The papers are cited at the beginning of the Wiki article. If you think that this is hearsay, why haven't you criticised the inclusion of the Wasson reference in the first place? Why is it even there, when his claims were disproved in the 70s, leading to the withdrawal of de Mille's first edition by his publisher?

Henry123ifa reply: You take put words out of context. Wasson questioned the accuracy of CC botanical claims now where does he specifically say "hallucinogenic did not grow in the Senora desert" (in those papers)? You claim that Wasson's "claim" was disproved in the 70's can you cite your source for this? According to whom??? To emphasize Wasson from understanding went to Mexico in 1953 to search for hallucinogenic mushrooms. He is well known for his LIFE MAGAZINE May 13, 1957 article on curandera Maria Sabina and the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms in Mexico. This is 11 years prior to the publication of A Yaqui Way of Knowledge(1968).

Also what is the source that de Mille's first edition was withdrawn by his publishers? Where does this info come from??

qoute User talk:|talk " (De Mille made the same assertion and his publishers had to recall that first edition of his book and print a new edited edition, without any apology btw). "

I'm skeptical of the source of this. A publisher is going to spend thousands of dollars to recall a first edition over a tiny thing??? What is the original source of this information comming from? One can put this in the category of hearsay just as well.

REPLY: It wouldn't have cost "thousands of dollars" and it most certainly was not over "a tiny thing". All they had to do was pulp the remainders of the edition- it didn't involve recalling books from thousands of bookshops: the print run was a relatively modest one and it would not have been a costly exercise. Check de Mille's print run and sales figures: relatively small.

Henry123ifa reply: You said "The Publisher was protecting itself against litigation, which would have run into thousands of dollars.. and which they would have lost because their printed information was false." Do you have sources or evidence for this claim? It still seem mostly speculative hearsay. One has to ask what is the original source of this info comming from?

To qoute User talk:|talk [ " Quote: "Anthropologists specializing in Yaqui Indian culture (William Curry Holden, Jane Holden Kelley and Edward H. Spicer), who originally supported Castenada's account as true, had questioned the accuracies of Castenada's work[11] This was put to bed years ago in the 1970s. Castaneda wrote that, although originally believing that he was learning a Yaqui belief system, he had to change his opinion when Don Juan told him that it was in fact an ancient "Toltec" belief system. "]

Some might consider that to be back peddling though. First Yaqui. Then Huichol. And then finally "Toltec"?

REPLY: I think you mean "back-pedalling" but "back-peddling" brings a smile. CC didn't back-pedal: he wrote the "I am a Toltec" (DJ) quote before any criticism: the critics obviously hadn't caught up with this fact when they called him out on the "Yaqui" reference, possibly because they only read the first book... and btw.. CC never wrote anything about DJ or his "teachings" being Huichol.

Henry123ifa reply : You said "...he wrote the "I am a Toltec" (DJ) quote before any criticism:...." can you cite the specific published source of this information? And specifically when it was written by CC? (chronological time period is important here)

LOL your right I should have spelled it as "back-pedalling" not "back-peddling".

Henry123ifa (talk) 14:39, 9 October 2011 (UTC)comment added by Henry123ifa (talkcontribs) 21:32, 9 September 2011 (UTC) Henry123ifa (talk) 14:39, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Distinct POVs ensure a NPOV article[edit]

Yes, I will try to collaborate here; hopefully this can improve this article (please, be patient). My background: I read all books by Castaneda, and many others related sources written by mystics, critics and supporters, and not only in English but also in Spanish. Yeah, I am truly knowledgeable about Castaneda (you don’t need to believe me, I really don’t care). So what? My POV? Well, I think he was not completely but significantly honest in his first three books, and later he did what any writer does: he mixed literary fantasy and facts but keeping intact the core of his message, the alternative view of the don Juan’s world. Did he lie? Yes, sometimes. Did he tell the truth? Yes, sometimes. Was he a hoax? Of course not, but his books shouldn’t be taken word for word. The good news it is that English Wikipedia embraces foreign sources specially when English refs are absent. Of course English WP aims to be a universal and therefore a complete encyclopedia and not only one built on written English texts. English WP wants comprise the whole world knowledge and bring this to English language, obviously. However the bad news it is that sometimes bizarre things happen in English WP: when editors (creators) source foreign references, some critics ignore such materials, disqualify, and delete the content and refs. Therefore English WP has a huge flaw in its set of rules, and such attitude shouldn’t be tolerated because it is vandalism. The onus of a translation has to be enforced to the critics as a rule. WP cannot lose knowledge because critics don’t want so much work. Remember, creators are volunteers, they already made hard work providing sourced information, thus, don’t be ridiculous and irresponsible making demands, or removing knowledge. Removing content from foreign source it is obscurantism and violates NPOV. And even worst: unfortunately continuously emerge editors making their own interpretation of WP rules/guidelines, disregarding other sources/opinions, enforcing exclusively their POV, and thus instigating edit-wars like historically we see in these repulsive battlefields settled in Wikipedia. Different sourced POV should be added, enriching the article; nothing sourced should be removed; that was the plan to WP, what did happen? One more example of how grotesque all this is: demanding tags are evil and unaesthetic, most of the time they don’t help to improve WP, they belong to the Talk page, not in the article, but for some procedural disaster lost in time, they started to be put in main space. Wake up, the hardest part of an encyclopedia it is to write and source articles, yeah I know you know that. Oh yeah, I was almost forgetting: What I wrote here I took some parts from others discussion/user’s talks (I hope you don’t mind).

Very well, I think this article precisely reveals all these structural problems; among them it lacks of foreign references (official documents, mainly). I will stop here pointing out one example: Castaneda’s death certificate says he was Brazilian while immigration register says he was Peruvian; which American department received wrong information? You really don’t know. Therefore both possibilities should be present in the article. Where are they? That it is only an example of many not NPOV here. Eddietrich (talk) 21:44, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

An angle I don't see anyone using is the material from the 30th Anniversary edition. Castaneda specifically calls out Professor Clement Meighan "who started and set the course of my fieldwork and Professor Harold Garfinkel "who gave me the model and spirit of my inquiry", Professor Robert Edgerton, "who criticized my work from the beginning", Professors William Bright and Pedro Carrasco "for their criticisms and encouragement", and Professor Lawrence Watson "for the invaluable help in the clarification of my analysis." (Frontispiece, 1998). So if this man's web is so easily pierced by Library Records, or sequence of events, wouldn't one of these professors have known? Some have passed on, but would any notes exist? Basically, the article reads like something from about 1990 before the web really caught on. Maybe the mystique is passing, because if it was really important to someone, someone would have checked with the University(ies). This edition has been out there for 13 years. TaoPhoenix (talk) 21:50, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Dead link to Wikiquote[edit]

The link to Wikiquote would seem to indicate that there exists a page there about Castaneda. It is only a search link, and the page was deleted over 2 years ago due to ¿lack of attribution?

As a side note, it does seem odd that there is no Wikiquote page, for such a prolific writer/seer/cult leader or whatever people want to refer to Castaneda as.Halibutron (talk) 21:10, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

First person passage[edit]

The following was inserted inappropriately in the text of the article: My introduction to Guadalupe was in 1993 at a midnight ceremony in the hills overlooking Santa Fe, New Mexico.[who said this?] Over the years we became good friends, and she often came to stay in my home in Canada. When my son[clarification needed] was born (1997), Guadalupe stayed several weeks with us and shared many stories about her life. Until then she hadn't talked about herself. Of Castaneda, she had very little to say. "He took our knowledge, our stories, made his millions, and didn't send money to us even though we were poor as dogs" (G. de la Cruz, personal communication, September 26, 1997). She told me that one of Castaneda's wives contacted her after his death to set the record straight, promising to publicly credit Guadalupe's father. Guadalupe returned to Mexico and became very ill. I never saw her again, and I have no idea if her father was ever credited. I'm copying it here in case anyone wants to find where it came from and reference it. I'll excise it from the main article. Autarch (talk) 17:01, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Looking more closely, the rest of the paragraph also looks like a copy-and-paste: The late Huichol shaman, Guadalupe de la Cruz, told the author[who?] that her father was the real 'don Juan' on whom Carlos Castaneda modeled his fictional sorcerer teacher (G. de la Cruz, personal communication, September 15, 1997). His books sold in the millions and were still in print for years after his death from liver cancer in 1998 (Frey, 2007). According to Guadalupe, who inherited her father's 'sorcery bundle', Castaneda stayed at her father's house many times over the course of nearly a decade, taking notes. Guadalupe said Castaneda never credited her father. Nor did he credit her shaman husband, Ramon Medina, who also spent time with Castaneda. Today most people assume don Juan never existed and was entirely fictional (Applebome, 1998). Some doubt whether Castaneda even traveled beyond his local library (de Mille, 1976). Autarch (talk) 17:04, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

A New Approach[edit]

This sad article and sadder talk page needs a whole new approach. Clearly, it cannot be determined whether Castaneda's writing is factual or fiction. It can't even be determined where he was born. However, that should not prevent a good encyclopedic article from being written. Take a look at for an example of a well written article where the fundamental facts are in doubt. That article doesn't sink into internal dispute over whether the bible is fact or fiction. It simply, and skillfully, reports the contents of the bible and what various sources say about it.

With regard to Castaneda, report what others say - with references. Castaneda himself says he was born in Brasil; Time Magazine says he was born in Peru. That's the encyclopedic approach. Same with the fact vs. fiction nature of his writing - these sources say fact, while these say fiction. Report all widely held points of view from published sources and be done with it. It is important for the reader to be told when there is uncertainty. Wikipedia is here to report, and not to take sides in religious disputes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JonathanHuie (talkcontribs) 06:16, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Credulous much?[edit]

I noticed in reading this article that all of Castaneda's claims were treated as factual and all of his critics suspicions couched in terms like "alleged". Surely, this is an indication of bias, no? Phiwum (talk) 19:31, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

"RECEPTION" section (information removed)[edit]

" Anthropologists specializing in Yaqui Indian culture (William Curry Holden, Jane Holden Kelley and Edward H. Spicer), who originally supported Castaneda's account as true, had questioned the accuracies of Castaneda's work[11]"

Why was it removed (in December 2011)? The article now ONLY has anthropologists who praise Castaneda. When infact there has been several anthropologists (mentioned in the qoute) who questioned Castaneda's research.

The article is no longer neutral.

Henry123ifa (talk) 22:53, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm sure it was removed because the footnote, "[11]", is not a valid citation and as the article is edited, the citation numbers change. If you want to readd the sentence, please source it correctly. Yworo (talk) 00:10, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

The footnote "[11]" was the old footnote source. The new footnotes was included.

The issue of neutrality has still not been adressed. Henry123ifa (talk) 00:53, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Isn't that what you're doing? Please use only reliable sources (pages on are not generally considered reliable) and please also use full citations, the name of a book with a year and page numbers is incomplete. We need the author, publisher and ISBN as well. Yworo (talk) 01:06, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Distinct POVs ensure a NPOV article. With the mentioning of only anthropologists who supported CC's work it cant be neutral.

Yep I am working on that.

btw Thanks

Henry123ifa (talk) 01:14, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

The new lies of Carlos Castaneda[edit]

In my opinion the original versions of Castanedas first 4 books ( The Teachings of Don Juan; Separate Reality, Journey to Ixtlan and Tales of Power) were truly beautiful, the rest were twisted and wrong, this was because he failed completely in his "leap into the abyss" and was rescued by another brujo who has since used his fame for his own needs. Don Juan had already abandoned him as a useless cause.

The present versions of his first four books have been massively re written with much important detail removed, such as the discussions of objects of power...virtually rule 1 in the teachings of don juan..." never accept an object of power from someone that you wouldnt trust with your soul" ( on the castaneda first thing that one sees are objects of power FOR SALE !!!!!), the whole story of the nagual woman has been removed, the jump into the abyss isnt mentioned until the last chapter of Tales of Power...the battle for his lost soul ( the corn magic ) isnt even there, the peyote and humito sequences are much editted and glossed over..

Truly a travesty and an obvious indication of the lack of pure intent and impeccability. In fact the impeccable aspect of Castaneda is his weakness and deceit.

Tragic waste of beauty. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:15, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

This article is ridiculous[edit]

The article is filthy and utterly untruthful.

Not because it doesn't describe verifiable facts. It probably mostly does that.

It is filthy and disgusting because it doesn't give even a remotest idea about the content of Castaneda's books. That makes it utterly untruthful and makes you guys, who have compiled it, charlatans of the highest order. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mr Floyd Pink (talkcontribs) 22:52, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

I agree. Please fix it. I will support whatever you want to add. Shii (tock) 03:52, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Academic credentials[edit]

While the UCLA Dept. of Anthropology might want to now stay far, far away from association with his work, it is not typical to describe individuals who have received a PhD as "students". Either just describe him as an "author" or "author and anthropologist" but he is not merely a "student of anthropology". Someone who has that designation would be a college student who had taken a few classes in the discipline. Whether you approve of his work or not, he was awarded a doctorate by the University of California and shouldn't be referred to as merely "a student". (talk) 14:54, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

Maybe useful link - the magical worldview[edit]

It may make sense to add a link to the writings of Bob Makransky (eg Thought Forms), who met Castaneda and writes that over the decades, whilst following Castaneda's books, he was able to validate most of what was written. The current wiki page takes only the consensus reality perspective/worldview, not the magical. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:55, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Alas, Wikipedia has a strict policy of adhering to consensus reality. Shii (tock) 20:39, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Richard de Mille and Scientology.[edit]

Richard de Mille was a Scientologist, who co-founded the movement with L.Ron Hubbard, as writer (nom de plume D. Folgere), self-publisher and P.A. Although he inferred that he had lost belief in the movement, by stating that he had fallen out with Hubbard in the 1950s, he continued to publish works on Dianetics and delivered Dianetics-based treatment and seminars right up to the time of his death. (There is no forthcoming evidence of any involvement of his with the splinter group Scientology Freezone, a group of disaffected Church members who state that they have left the Church and formed a breakaway Scientology group).

This Castaneda article uses references to other Scientologists and websites connected to Scientology and as such is biased.

The article in no way resembles an encyclopedia entry and should be ruthlessly edited to remove all traces of personal bias and Scientology. As it stands at the time of posting, it is a blatant advertisement for the Scientology-biased. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:26, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Daniel Noel doesn't seem to be a scientologist. The only connection I found to de Mille is that his book came out around the same time. Is there some reason that this scientology connection with de Mille is notable? Bhny (talk) 19:16, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

I was a close friend of Richard de Mille for the last thirty years of his life in Santa Barbara. He had no involvement with Scientology after his youthful falling out with L. Ron Hubbard in 1953. He did not publish anything on Dianetics or Scientology after that time. Efforts to paint him as a Scientologist seem aimed at discrediting his later critiques of Carlos Castenada, which were thoroughly researched and have no connection to Scientology. Jonathan Young — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:47, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

Copy editing?[edit]

Okay if I do a bit of copy edit to organise the information in the article? It seems scattered atm. I'd like to be bold etc, but am aware it's a precious subject to some. Manytexts (talk) 06:48, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Go ahead Shii (tock) 15:10, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

False statement concerning Richard De Mille's book.[edit]

Quote (Reception section): "In The Power and the Allegory, De Mille compared The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge with Castañeda's library stack requests at the University of California. The stack requests documented that he was sitting in the library when allegedly his journal said he was squatting in Don Juan's hut. One discovery that de Mille alleges to have made in his examination of the stack requests was that when Castañeda was alleged to have said that he was participating in the traditional peyote ceremony – (the least fantastic of many episodes of drug use that Castañeda described in his books) – he was sitting in the UCLA library and he was reading someone else's description of their experience of the peyote ceremony. Other criticisms of Castañeda's work include the total lack of Yaqui vocabulary or terms for any of his experiences.[16]"

This is not true and is an edited cut-and-paste from the referenced book ref. 16.

Nowhere in the cited De Mille book can any such allegation be found. He mentions no documented 'library stack requests', no examination of any such material. He does theorize that Castaneda may have been sitting in the UCLA library when he wrote that he was in Mexico, but does not go beyond this proposition. He makes no mention whatsoever of having witnessed and documented such evidence from the UCLA library.

In the light of this and with the lack of any supporting opcit., this paragraph should be deleted and the referenced book 16 removed.

So I shall now try so to do.

EDIT: When I preview this page, it looks fine, but when I save it, there is some extraneous text (article references) that appear under my text. I want to edit them out, but I can't see them in preview.

?? (talk) 21:09, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Good call on the removal of that material. Regarding the references, some posters above forgot to add {{reflist talk}} when placing references in a section on talk pages. I have corrected that now. - Cwobeel (talk) 00:10, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

Personal life[edit]

"In January 1960 Carlos married Margaret Runyan. Even though there are many rumors of a divorce in 1973, they were actually never divorced and were still married at the time of Carlos's death in 1998. On August 12, 1961, Carlton Jeremy Castañeda was born in Hollywood, California. Carlos spoke of CJ as his biological son and is listed on the younger Castañeda's birth certificate as his father.

Castañeda also married Florinda Donner-Grau in Las Vegas in September 1993. According to his will of April 23, 1998, Castañeda adopted Patricia Partin also known as Nuri Alexander."

Implying, as it does, that the subject of this article was a bigamist, this section contains no attribution nor references and therefore should be removed, which I shall now do. (talk) 19:52, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Early Life.[edit]

A recent edit to the Early Life section added the following:

" Carlos married Margaret Runyan in 1960, one son came from this marriage CJ Castañeda he was born on August 12 1961. Castañeda in an elaborate scheme conspired with a man named Ed Gerritsen to father his child and Vanish, Gerritsen did just that. There were rumors that Runyan and Castañeda were Divorced in 1973 but the divorce was never finalized by either party, the two were married until Carlos death in 1998."

This is unsubstantiated, unreferenced hearsay and is therefore unreliable and should be removed. (talk) 13:08, 24 September 2014 (UTC) is a reference that substantiates the bulk of the above two passages, but is in conflict with parts. It confirms the marriage, says it's unclear if or when he was divorced... A variation of the above passages is being added and removed over and over by multiple editors. It seems appropriate that it was deleted repeatedly due to a lack of attribution and references, BUT since I've found a reliable source to back up much of it, I'll be adding the source and leaving just the portions that I can find in said source. --Elvey(tc) 18:33, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Two bones of contention.[edit]

There are two major points which I feel need addressing, if this article is to struggle towards the goal of the unbiased encyclopedia entry.

1) Castaneda's place and date of birth;

2) The alleged death of Patricia Partin (Castaneda friend and follower);

Regarding 1), the only evidence cited in the article regarding the author's place and date of birth, is conflicting: one is based on a 1973 Time reporter's statement that she had seen the 'real' birth certificate and that the data contained thereon contradicted Castaneda's own version of his place and date of birth. This Time magazine reference was later included in the cited reference book 'Scribner's American Lives' which is used as a back-up reference to the Peruvian birth date evidence (which remains unseen and only referenced back to the Time article). To me, this is not strong enough, reliable evidence and seeing as the author gave a different set of birth details, there is substantial doubt over his true birth data.

I therefore think that the birth details should be deleted and an addendum to explain the unclear nature of the author's birth circumstances inserted, which I shall do.

As regards 2), the article states that "The remains of Partin, also referred to by Castañeda as Nury Alexander and/or Claude, were found in 2003 near where her abandoned car had been discovered a few weeks after Castañeda's death in 1998, on the edge of Death Valley. Her remains were in a condition requiring DNA identification, which was made in 2006."

I can trace no official Police statement regarding this allegation. The INYO County Coroner's Court has no record whatsoever of any Inquest nor pathology pertaining to the remains of Patricia Partin. The source for the original story is a small Pahrump Valley news website that used an article submitted by a freelance journalist who quoted "..according to Inyo County Sheriff's investigator Marston Mottweiler." That's a very unusual name: the only person in the whole of the US who has that name is now an official employee of a Freezone Scientology Church in Bishop, CA. In light of this and the fact that the INYO County Coroner's Court has no records whatsoever pertaining to this story, this makes this whole evidence unreliable and unsubstantiated and it should be removed, which I shall do.

Further on, the article states: "Their opinion changed in 2006 after the remains of Patricia Partin were identified, and the LAPD finally added Bey to their missing person database.[9]" Well no, they didn't. Neither the LAPD nor the FBI did any such thing. The reference [9] leads to a controversial independent website, purportedly to post details of 'missing people', but which has in the past been accused of stalking and harassment of people not wishing to be 'found'. In light of this, this last statement and reference should be removed as an unreliable, unsubstantiated source, which I shall now do. (talk) 22:26, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

I agree with both of these things, since the Partin matter is possibly a WP:BLP issue. Shii (tock) 22:34, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Wow. Partin and Castaneda are both dead. The L in BLP is short for living... Amazing tortuous justifications for what's really just sanitization. --Elvey(tc) 01:45, 25 November 2014 (UTC) says, "Patricia Partin, Castaneda’s adopted daughter as well as his lover, also disappeared. In February 2006, a skeleton found in Death Valley, Calif., was identified through DNA analysis as Partin’s.". is a respected news source; surely they fact-check their articles. Shii, do you have anything more to say about this? I'm not seeing the BLP issue here. Also, I just requested partial page protection. Who do we trust: or an anonymous IP. I think --Elvey(tc) 23:04, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Is Salon our only source for this? This specific article is obviously a hit piece on Castaneda, so I was concerned about the lack of verification. Shii (tock) 23:27, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick reply. No! It's an additional source I just happened to find. I think is one of the other RS. County's largest circulation newspaper seems to make for a good source, IMO. --Elvey(tc) 23:45, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Shii: Hit piece? It's a heckuva lot more complimentary and charitable tan the salon article, which has such damning bits as (my emphasis) :
Among anthropologists, there’s no longer a debate. Professor William W. Kelly, chairman of Yale’s anthropology department, told me, “I doubt you’ll find an anthropologist of my generation who regards Castaneda as anything but a clever con man It was a hoax and surely don Juan never existed as anything like the figure of his books. Perhaps to many it is an amusing footnote to the gullibility of naive scholars, although to me it remains a disturbing and unforgivable breach of ethics.”
not to mention, well, the whole rest of the thing. Our article is, relatively speaking, charitable toward him. --Elvey(tc) 23:57, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Agreed, the second source makes this quite firmly verifiable. And I meant that this specific Salon article is a hit piece, even though they have published many good things on other topics. Much of the Salon article is unnecessarily negative, compared to the man's general reception in the intellectual world. I have half-heartedly tried to explain the affirmative use of Castaneda in the fields of anthropology and religious studies, but I am not an expert on him (haven't read his book) so I gave up Shii (tock) 00:21, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

1) As outlined previously in this section, the cited article uses unsubstantiated, self-published data as its primary source and remains a thinly-veiled plug for the website sustained action/reaction and is also in breach of WP:BLP: the women concerned may all still be living. The Partin story is just that - a story. There is no corroborative evidence for any of the allegations contained therein: the INYO County Coroner's Court has no records whatsoever of any Inquest nor pathology pertaining to Patricia Partin;

2) The cited Pahrump Valley Times article uses the article as its primary source: the data bounces between these two articles as they symbiotically support each other. (The Pahrump Valley Times is not a newspaper - it's a self-published news website, whose circulation is measured electronically, not in paper copy). As for the observation that checks all the facts in articles that it publishes, I have to say that this observation is somewhat naïve: it would be logistically impossible. All news websites have to take much on trust: they neither have the time nor the staff to check everything that they print. Also noteworthy is the fact that this story was never syndicated: no analogue newspaper decided to cover it, which in itself is telling. (talk) 01:08, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

If the Pahrump Valley Times is self-published, then this allegation remains serious. Elvey, please consider as well that this is not a major claim about Castaneda or his writings that needs to be in the article; it is, on the contrary, a serious claim about a non-notable person. Shii (tock) 01:23, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
If the Pahrump Valley Times is self-published, indeed. I await evidence thereof.
Speaking of unsubstantiated, "the cited article uses unsubstantiated, self-published data as its primary source" is itself an unsubstantiated claim. Same for the IPs other claims, e.g. "The cited Pahrump Valley Times article uses the article as its primary source"! I think we're dealing with True Believers here. We're dealing with a cult leader, so it's to be expected... Who do we trust: or anonymous IPs. I think And any reliable sources IPs bring to our attention. But not editors say-so, be they me, Shii, or anon IPs.--Elvey(tc) 04:35, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Also, thanks for clarifying the 'hit piece' and verifiability comments, Shii.--Elvey(tc) 04:35, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Pahrump Valley Times really does look like a reliable newspaper that did independent reporting on this, and has nothing to do with Salon. These two sources together ought to be sufficient. Shii (tock) 04:52, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

As for the place of birth, here too :Unsubstantiated means without evidence. If the facts are unclear due to conflicting but similarly solid reliable sources, we should probably be reporting the conflict and the positions (Peru, per Time, and the LA Times), (Brazil per the subject) with appropriate weight, as I think is the case here. --Elvey(tc) 18:33, 30 January 2015 (UTC)


The New York Times reported cancer and liver failure in the months and weeks before his death, and said of "his dubious biography and shaman like tales" that "[f]ew academics regard them as serious scholarship." The above was removed as "Redundant" but I think it's appropriate and not redundant; the words of the Times have a certain weight, the liver failure is not mentioned in the article now. I think the Times quote is most valuable and propose this compromise: just adding it alone.--Elvey(tc) 01:45, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

Reply: It's not appropriate, in my opinion: it's unsubstantiated and opinionated and as such, has no place in an encyclopedia. (talk) 22:00, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

(lost edit session?) Unsubstantiated means without evidence. The cited source, the New York Times, is evidence. Restored.--Elvey(tc) 22:14, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

'Unsubstantiated' means 'without substance' which the NYT article certainly is. Deleted. (talk) 05:11, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

Holy hooey, batman. You know, there's a free online wiki dictionary you can refer to? Unsubstantiated means without evidence. Your deletion constitutes vandalism. There is no excuse for your removal of ", What happens when anthropology goes bad?" FROM A CITATION. What blatant example of bias that is. Thanks for making it so blatantly obvious. Not to mention your removal of
from the article.
You removed an ENTIRE ~450-word SECTION that starts, "After Castaneda stepped away from public view in 1973" with the same edit. I'm wondering if the same motivation driving the above-discussed edits drove the deletion of this section, which I see is described and deleted on the basis that it is a POSSIBLE BLP violation. --Elvey(tc) 21:55, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Castaneda vs. Castañeda[edit]

If his name appears on all of his works as "Castaneda" and in most English-language sources, WP:COMMONNAME clearly dictates that it should be "Castaneda" and not "Castañeda" regardless of how it appears in many Hispanic dictionaries. -- Irn (talk) 23:35, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Castaneda name.[edit]

The subject's cited name "Carlos César Salvador Arana Castaneda" references to a 1973 Time magazine article, in which the reporter alleged that she had seen the 'real' birth certificate of Castaneda.

As the Time magazine evidence has been shown to be without substantiation and until such time as the author's authentic and reliably-substantiated birth details come to light, this name should be replaced by the author's given name "Carlos Castaneda".

Someone has replaced the letter 'n' in many of the proper surname spellings (Castaneda) with an Hispanic 'enye' (n + tilde). This is plainly wrong and all such examples should be reverted to the correct form of 'Castaneda'. (talk) 10:06, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Unsubstantiated means without evidence. Time is a WP:Reliable Source.

Unsubstantiated nomenclature.[edit]

In the 'Early Life' section, it states:

"His first family name, Aranha, is the paternal one, inherited from his father's paternal family name, César Aranha Burungaray; while the second family name, Castaneda, is the maternal one, inherited from his mother's paternal family name, Susana Castañeda Navoa. His maternal surname appears with the ñ in many Hispanic dictionaries, even though his published works display an anglicized version."

This is unsubstantiated data: Castaneda's birth details are unclear and ergo so too are the details of his parentage. This statement should be removed. (talk) 23:40, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Unsubstantiated means without evidence. If the details are unclear due to conflicting but similarly solid reliable sources, we should probably be reporting the conflict and the positions with appropriate weight. Time is a WP:Reliable Source.
--Elvey(tc) 18:33, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Double posting-double delete.[edit]

Information regarding the Partin Case has been reposted after it was deleted due to unreliability and unsubstatuation, so it shall be undone. Mentions of self-published websites, also previously deleted due to infringement of Wikirules concerning the promotion of self-published websites, have been reposted. This will also be removed, as per Wiki guidelines. (talk) 04:25, 3 January 2015 (UTC) EDIT: also removed links to websites with connections to Scientology; removed 'Fate of Companions' section as being firstly extraneous (real estate prices and private addresses - in an encyclopedia) and in breach of WP:BLP (the women may all still be living and are being harassed by a group of people who keep posting false and misleading info in this article). This latter point has already been raised in the deletion forum and two of the women concerned have had their Wikipages deleted; plus, some cleanup. (talk) 05:03, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

How typical! A few wiki uber editors dictate a how an article should read by hiding behind or twisting convoluted wiki rules. No wonder nobody gives Wikipedia any money when they come asking for a handout. 2001:5B0:22FF:CF0:0:0:0:3A (talk) 16:02, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
Re. claims: You don't know if the women are still alive, and yet you know they're being harassed, and you know there's a group of people who keep posting information that's false and misleading. Forgive me if I don't believe you. Provide a diff that shows it was "deleted due to unreliability and unsubstatuation" <sic>. Provide evidence of a BLP violation that is at least plausible or go away. --Elvey(tc) 22:05, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Re: Elvey. Read this précis from Wikirules:


Further information: Wikipedia:Neutral point of view

Even when information is cited to reliable sources, you must present it with a neutral point of view (NPOV). All articles must adhere to NPOV, fairly representing all majority and significant-minority viewpoints published by reliable sources, in rough proportion to the prominence of each view. Tiny-minority views need not be included, except in articles devoted to them. If there is disagreement between sources, use in-text attribution: "John Smith argues that X, while Paul Jones maintains that Y," followed by an inline citation. Sources themselves do not need to maintain a neutral point of view. Indeed, many reliable sources are not neutral. Our job as editors is simply to summarize what the reliable sources say. Notes

   ^ Please do note that any exceptional claim would require exceptional sources.

Applicability to deceased persons, corporations, or groups of persons

Recently dead or probably dead

Policy shortcut:


Anyone born within the past 115 years is covered by this policy unless a reliable source has confirmed their death. Generally, this policy does not apply to material concerning people who are confirmed dead by reliable sources. The only exception would be for people who have recently died, in which case the policy can extend for an indeterminate period beyond the date of death—six months, one year, two years at the outside. Such extensions would apply particularly to contentious or questionable material about the dead that has implications for their living relatives and friends, such as in the case of a possible suicide or a particularly gruesome crime.

Presumption in favor of privacy

Avoid victimization

When writing about a person noteworthy only for one or two events, including every detail can lead to problems, even when the material is well sourced. When in doubt, biographies should be pared back to a version that is completely sourced, neutral, and on-topic. This is of particular importance when dealing with living individuals whose notability stems largely or entirely from being victims of another's actions. Wikipedia editors must not act, intentionally or otherwise, in a way that amounts to participating in or prolonging the victimization.

Remove contentious material that is unsourced or poorly sourced

See also: Wikipedia:Libel

Remove immediately any contentious material about a living person that is unsourced or poorly sourced; that is a conjectural interpretation of a source (see No original research); that relies on self-published sources, unless written by the subject of the BLP (see below); or that relies on sources that fail in some other way to meet Verifiability standards. Note: although the three-revert rule does not apply to such removals, what counts as exempt under BLP can be controversial. Editors who find themselves in edit wars over potentially defamatory material about living persons should consider raising the matter at the BLP noticeboard instead of relying on the exemption.

Administrators may enforce the removal of clear BLP violations with page protection or by blocking the violator(s), even if they have been editing the article themselves or are in some other way involved. In less clear cases they should request the attention of an uninvolved administrator at Wikipedia:Administrators Noticeboard/Incidents.

Avoid gossip and feedback loops

Avoid repeating gossip. Ask yourself whether the source is reliable; whether the material is being presented as true; and whether, even if true, it is relevant to a disinterested article about the subject. Be wary of sources that use weasel words and that attribute material to anonymous sources. Also beware of circular reporting, in which material in a Wikipedia article gets picked up by a source, which is later cited in the Wikipedia article to support the original edit.

Questionable sources

Questionable sources are those that have a poor reputation for checking the facts, lack meaningful editorial oversight, or have an apparent conflict of interest.[8] Such sources include websites and publications expressing views that are widely considered by other sources to be extremist or promotional, or that rely heavily on unsubstantiated gossip, rumor or personal opinion. Questionable sources should only be used as sources of material on themselves, especially in articles about themselves; see below. They are not suitable sources for contentious claims about others. Anyone can self-publish information regardless of whether s/he is truly knowledgeable about the topic in question. For that reason, self-published works are largely not acceptable to use as sources, though there are exceptions.

Self-published material is characterized by the lack of reviewers who are independent of the author (those without a conflict of interest) validating the reliability of contents.

Sources that are usually not reliable

See also: Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources § Questionable and self-published sources

Self-published sources

Further information: Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons § Avoid self-published sources and Wikipedia:List of self-publishing companies

Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the subject matter, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications.[7] Exercise caution when using such sources: if the information in question is really worth reporting, someone else will probably have done so.[9] Never use self-published sources as third-party sources about living people, even if the author is an expert, well-known professional researcher, or writer.

Self-published doesn't mean a source is automatically invalid

Some self-published works are sometimes acceptable as sources, so self-publication is not, and should not be, a bit of jargon used by Wikipedians to automatically dismiss a source as "bad" or "unreliable" or "unusable". While many self-published sources happen to be unreliable, the mere fact that it is self-published does not prove this. A self-published source can be independent, authoritative, high-quality, accurate, fact-checked, and expert-approved.

Properly published sources are not always "good" or "reliable" or "usable", either. Being properly published does not mean that the source is independent, authoritative, high-quality, accurate, fact-checked, expert-approved, or subject to editorial control. Properly published sources can be unreliable, biased, and self-serving.

Further information: Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons § Avoid self-published sources." (talk) 23:12, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Hello? I still see no diff that shows that stuff was "deleted due to unreliability and unsubstatuation" <sic>. Just a wall of TLDR text (Holy cow! {{cot}}?? ) about policies I'm familiar with. Provide evidence of a BLP violation that is at least plausible or go away. For starters, you could identify by name a living person that makes the BLP policy relevant. Then the objectionable content about said living person. AGAIN: FS: Partin and Castaneda are both dead. The L in BLP is short for living... --Elvey(tc) 18:33, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
HELLO? Please do not continue to ignore: "Provide evidence of a BLP violation that is at least plausible or go away. For starters, you could identify by name a living person that makes the BLP policy relevant."--Elvey(tc) 20:57, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

Test: bias alteration.[edit]

To call the Scientologist Richard de Mille and D. Wieve critiques 'exposés' is biased: they are nothing like. They do not 'expose' anything, so I have altered the loaded word 'exposé' to 'critique' and have removed a qualifying sentence as also biased. It will be interesting to see how long this edit remains, before certain editorial incumbents feel the need to revert. (talk) 22:32, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Citation needed - not reference.[edit]

A proper citation is needed to qualify this sentence concerning R. Gordon Wasson:

"In a series of articles, international banker and amateur mycologist R. Gordon Wasson, who had originally praised Castaneda's work, questioned the accuracies of Castaneda's botanical claims."

I shall replace the reference number with a 'citation needed' tag and if a proper op.cit does not appear within 7 days, I shall delete the Wasson reference. (talk) 19:40, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Why do you keep changing IP addresses? Please register an account. Shii (tock) 22:20, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

I don't, but my ISP may so do.. and as for 'registering an account', there's a principle at stake here: "Wikipedia - the encyclopedia that anyone can edit." (talk) 01:42, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

It would be helpful just so we know that these edits are coming from the same person. I have no issue with removing that sentence BTW Shii (tock) 03:05, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

The User Elvey reverted this edit arbitrarily and without cause, so I have deleted it again as per this thread.

Proper quotations are needed to back up the allegation that Wasson 'questioned the accuracy of Castaneda's botanical claims'. (talk) 19:07, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

IP: Please learn/use proper talk page etiquette, including normal indentation. All: See also: #Castaneda_is_a_fraud_-_Long-term_campaign_to_cleanse_article_as_much_as_possible below. And Shii's comments re. op. cit., also below.--Elvey(tc) 21:00, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

User Elvey - You have twice reverted my edit (as per the top of this section) without any reason given. I proposed the edit, gave my reasons therefore and waited for due diligence before deleting. Your disruptive behaviour does you no favours. I am reverting your latest edit. (talk) 00:13, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

Not true. Actually I gave multiple reasons for reverting vandalism by various IPs. You are a squeaky wheel we appropriately reject, block and ignore. (WP:RBI). What part of Please learn/use proper talk page etiquette, including normal indentation. All: See also: #Castaneda_is_a_fraud_-_Long-term_campaign_to_cleanse_article_as_much_as_possible below. And Shii's comments re. op. cit., also below. do you not understand? Please leave. Shii has protected the page from IP vandalism, I guess since you won't leave voluntarily, and the IP vandalism continues. --Elvey(tc) 21:43, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

My edits[edit]

I wasn't aware that there was an on-going dispute over different portions of the article, including the "Early life" section. I just wanted to fix what looked like poor referencing, so I tried to set the record straight according to the information in the given source (the LA Times article). If someone wants to change this I'm not going to squabble over it, but I did my best to reflect the source as fairly as possible. Equilibrial (talk) 04:17, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Update: I've tried to set the record straight with available sources in regards to the DOB dispute. Equilibrial (talk) 03:34, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Good grief. 37 edits in 2 days? Another bipolar Wiki editor. (talk) 23:58, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Link leading to article containing contentious material about living persons.[edit]

There is a link in this article which points to an article containing contentious material about living persons: it points to a article that not only contains contentious material about living persons, but which also references said material to known Scientologists and which advertises their websites and other online articles which contain the same contentious data.

There is another link that points to a article which is a thinly-disguised advert for a well-known major Scientologist, an admitted personal friend of said article's author.

Is this acceptable under WikiRules? And are works by known Scientologists acceptable references? (talk) 13:21, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Other citations needed.[edit]

I've replaced three references with 'citation needed' tags, because proper op.cits are needed, not references to 'trade publications' (vanity-published books). (talk) 21:37, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

You have no idea what an WP:RS is. Don't do this. Shii (tock) 20:57, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

REPLY: You seem to have no idea what a proper citation is. I removed the trade book references and put 'citation needed' tags, because it is not enough to say: "so-and-so says xyz" and then just reference a book title - a proper op.cit. is needed, otherwise anyone can post anything without proper citation.

I know exactly what WP:RS means. That the books in question are RSs is not in dispute at this time, just that direct quotes are needed here - with full and proper op.cits. (talk) 14:19, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

You are completely incoherent. What is an "op cit"? I also wonder why you call them "vanity-published books" when you agree they are RS. Shii (tock) 21:37, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

So, now you know what an op.cit. is.

I call them 'vanity-published books' because they are: 'trade publication' is a publishing euphemism for 'vanity publication'.

I don't agree that they are RSs, although I won't quibble about that now. The point remains that op.cits. are needed to qualify critical statements. Without, anyone can write any allegation/opinion without specific citation, which is against Wiki policy and rules. (talk) 19:15, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

I know what "op cit" means, and you don't. You don't know what an academic reference is, either. Shii (tock) 12:27, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Word. Seems these UK IPs are all the same banned editor. --Elvey(tc) 22:46, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

To the User Elvey - I am not banned, I am not a vandal. You are the one with the history of being banned for aggressive editing and disruption. (talk) 19:15, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Spurious link.[edit]

The Wiki editor Elvey has posted a link to a article by the controversial Wallace I. Sampson MD, extolling the virtues of the freezone Scientologist and originator of Dianetics, Richard de Mille. It's a thinly-disguised propaganda piece for a man whom Sampson freely admits is "a personal friend".

An internet search shows that in 2003, US court judges found Sampson to be "biased and without credibility": Los Angeles Superior Court 2003 (NCAHF vs. King Bio - appeal - Judge Fromholz presiding). In the official summary, they also called into question his academic credentials and expertise, as well as pointing out his self-promotion of his own online presence and websites for financial gain.

More searches cast further doubt on the academic credentials and credibility of this man.

In light of both of these issues, I'm removing the link. (talk) 02:10, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

I don't believe a word of what you've said, either about the article or Sampson and I don't care to spend the time to verify it. Restoring.

Provide links to your sources. Use a real account. Also, IIRC, I reposted it after someone censored it. Probably you, using another IP. --Elvey(tc) 02:03, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

REPLY: If you can't be bothered to verify my points concerning the deletion of said link, you shouldn't be reverting it. And as for "use a real account" - there is an important point of principle here: "Wikipedia - the encyclopaedia that anyone can edit."

I have stuck fastidiously to Wiki rules in my editing and every edit and the reasons therefore have been backed-up on the Talk page. You have neither followed Wiki rules nor procedure- and your aggressive style and ad hominem rudeness seem to be par for your course. After all, it is you who has the history of being blocked several times for your aggressive editing and attitude. (talk) 15:37, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Castaneda is a fraud - Long-term campaign to cleanse article as much as possible[edit]

Not only has the sciencebased link (*An Original: Richard de Mille, Carlos Castaneda, Literary Quackery « Science-Based Medicine - Wallace Sampson) been removed as noted above, so have [1] and [2] been replaced with citation needed templates. Sad and pathetic. Speaking of citation needed templates: A shit ton of citation needed templates were added to the paragraph that had read: Because the women in question had cut all ties with family and friends, it was some time before people noticed they were missing. There has been no official investigation into the disappearances of Donner-Grau, Simko and Lundahl. Luis Marquez, the brother of Talia Bey, went to police in 1999 over his sister's disappearance, but was unable to convince them that her disappearance merited investigation. In 2006, Partin's remains discovered in the desert were identified by DNA. The investigating authorities have ruled her death as undetermined.[3][4]

Every fact in there, as I noted earlier, is in the citations. A lot of POV editing. Frustrating that the article still isn't better protected. --Elvey(tc) 01:58, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

REPLY: You don't understand the difference between a citation and a reference. What you have cited are references. Proper citations are needed to support the qualifying statements - it's not enough to say "so-and-so says that xyz" and then just cite a reference. In such cases, proper op.cits are needed.

It should also be made clear that, rather than saying "x+y=z", it would be far better to say "(insert name) claims/alleges that x+y=z." I attempted to do this in regard to the writer, but you deleted it.

I also have to take issue with your allegation that I exhibit POV bias. In my opinion it is you who exhibits such bias, as evidenced by your editing and also by the title you have written for this section: "Castaneda is a fraud". A good encyclopaedic article should show balance and should demonstrate a NPOV. Your aggressive deletions and reversions are loaded with POV bias.

I note that you have a history of being blocked for aggressive editing and attitude. You need to calm down. (talk) 15:12, 12 March 2015 (UTC) is supposed to be an RS for information about missing people? Shii (tock) 23:15, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

The user Elvey has posted contentious material about possibly living persons at the beginning of this section. Plus, her article edit does not make it clear that these are the claims of the referenced author, not corroborated by any Police nor Coroner's records and not syndicated by any national newspaper. Those facts are telling. There is a line between "missing/disappeared" and "gone incognito" and the women concerned have the right to anonymity. That material should be deleted. Two of the women concerned have already their had Wiki pages deleted because of the "contentious material about living persons" issue. (talk) 14:47, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

Same old nonsense. Partin and Castaneda are both dead. The L in BLP is short for living... Amazing tortuous justifications for what's really just sanitization. A POSSIBLE BLP violation indeed. Please do not continue to ignore: "Provide evidence of a BLP violation that is at least plausible or go away." Name the relevant living person. The thing is, the evidence is very strong that Castaneda is a fraud, and the world is not flat. --Elvey(tc) 17:59, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Reply to User:Elvey:

I disagree. The evidence that 'Castaneda is a fraud' is not very strong at all. Fraud is a very serious accusation. Such an accusation can not be proved and such hearsay and postulation should have no place in an encyclopaedia entry, which should have a neutral point of view. I note that you have named this section 'Castaneda is a fraud' which does nothing but exhibit your own ingrained bias towards the subject of this article.

I also note that you have a colorful history of disruptive editing, warnings from other editors about your bias and confrontation and that you have previously been blocked for the same. You are currently blocked. In light of your most recent behaviour elsewhere on Wikipedia and consequent self-imposed edit ban (under threat of Wiki sanctions), I propose that the indefinite edit block be removed from this article. User: Shii take note. (talk) 00:45, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ David Silverman. Reading Castaneda: A Prologue to the Social Sciences. ISBN 978-0-7100-8146-9
  2. ^ Donald Wieve. "Does Understanding Religion Require Religious Understanding?" In Russel T. McCutcheon (ed.), The Insider/Outsider Problem in the Study of Religion. New York: Bath Press, 1999. p. 263.
  3. ^
  4. ^

What is going on with this blocked article?[edit]

Why is the bulk of this article 17 years old? And copy/pasted from another site?

Why has the User: Shii indefinitely disallowed above-board IP editing and allowed the disingenuous editing of the blocked User: Elvey?

Why has information that has come to light in the last 17 years (Castaneda's Brazilian birthplace evidence - the Scientologist author Richard de Mille's CV - the disproval of the Wasson critique - the fake Pahrump Valley Times evidence - been deleted?

Who is this User:Shii character?

And how has WikiPedia become overrun with such editors? (talk) 22:43, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

Can you be more specific about the problems you have with the articles? Perhaps specific edits you disagree with? And if you could provide sources to support your claims, that would be even better. Cheers. -- Irn (talk) 02:12, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps the better question for User:Shii is why they haven't indefinitely disallowed IP editing of this, the talk page, too; they've been so disruptive here.
Why shouldn't it be? (I haven't confirmed it is, but not that it says "Sourced from World Heritage Encyclopedia™ licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0" at the top of that page. Noting that because I'm nominating/working to bring this to GA status. Oh and it says "Help to improve this article, make contributions at the Citational Source"; it's a !wp:wikipedia mirror!
--Elvey(tc) 17:19, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Carlos Castaneda/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Kostin Andrey (talk · contribs) 10:48, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

I am planning to review this page. Kostin Andrey (talk) 10:48, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

@Kostin Andrey: Your message above is your only edit to Wikipedia. If you are an inexperienced editor with no history of editing the encyclopedia, it's advised that you don't take this review. It's more than likely that you are not familiar enough with the Good article criteria. If you have more extensive editing history under another user name, this would be a good time to disclose it. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 02:07, 15 March 2016 (UTC)
I am closing this as failed. nominator is banned and reviewer has one edit. And no activity for weeks. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 08:17, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

NB: Before renomination, a nominator should ensure that all material is referenced (not currently done), and maybe material from further reading needs to be read and cited rather than just stuck on the end. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 08:20, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

Regarding the GA review.[edit]

I've created a new section, because I didn't want to impinge upon any Wiki rules by posting in the previous GA review section.

I was a contributor to the article before it was blocked to unregistered editors. Most of my contributions were reverted by User:Elvey, who accused me of vandalism and subsequently, under the auspices of User:Shii, had the current edit block imposed. (User:Elvey is currently blocked for disruptive editing elsewhere on Wiki; User:Shii has been inactive since the 15th of July, 2015).

So - do I qualify as a 'significant' contributor to the thread or not, seeing as most of my edits were reverted, as outlined above? Because, if not, I would like to post in the GA review section on this Talk page and make some comments about the article and its nomination.

Some guidance, please. (talk) 02:31, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

The GA is closed; there is nothing more to be done there. Jytdog (talk) 20:39, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
Okay - thanks for that, although guidance would have been welcome before the deadline date. I realise now that I could have quite properly commented in the previous GA review section here on the talk page. (talk) 12:09, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

User: Yaquifox; edit as of 04.58, 15th of April 2016.[edit]

The editor Yaquifox has inserted a reference, purportedly to Castaneda's USA naturalization in 1957.

As it stands, the reference itself is untraceable. (Try it).

A Google search reveals only two hits regarding this information:

1) This Wikipedia article itself;

2) The self-published website 'Sustained Action', references to which have already been deleted on Wikipedia many times, due to infringement of WP:RS, said website being a self-published, unreliable source.

Would a responsible editor please revert the edit? I am unable so to do, as unregistered editors are blocked from editing this article. (talk) 13:48, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 25 June 2016[edit]

In section DEATH I think this: ...tales" that "[f]ew academics regard [as] serious...

should be changed to this: ...tales" that "[few] academics regard [as] serious...

Dennisfreud (talk) 20:16, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

Information icon I haven't refused your request, but have removed the entire line as neither quotation appears in that source - Arjayay (talk) 11:40, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 12 July 2016[edit]

Please add this line at any appropriate place:

The motifs and themes found in Castaneda's 'Way of the Warrior' and other works are used in the short animation film, 'Shaman's Wisdom: The Gates of Eternity', to be released in December 2016 by the Amaralis Art Group.


Thanks! Amitwikia (talk) 17:39, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Amitwikia (talk) 17:39, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

 Done  Wikipedian Sign Language Paine  08:59, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

Victor Sanchez court case- Castaneda sued[edit]

If you look you can find material related to the Carlos Castaneda suing Victor Sanchez. I found this paragraph on the Sustained action Website:
On March 5, 1998, Drooz filed numerous supporting declarations aimed at proving Castaneda's "damages" against Sanchez. Many of these declarations dealt primarily with Sanchez's alleged conduct at his small workshops, held in Mexico and other countries. These included a declaration by Castaneda that states: "Because Sanchez conducts activities at his seminars that pose a danger to life and limb (e.g., directing participants to walks dangerously close to precipices, burying participants in desert sand, etc.) I fear that I might be sued if anyone is injured during such activities. Further, Sanchez's wrongful diversion of participants away from the Cleargreen seminars is a constant drain on my business activities that will undoubtedly continue unless enjoined." Another declaration by Francisco Victor Bringas, a former Sanchez workshop participant, claimed, "I stopped attending Mr. Sanchez's seminars because I came to know Mr. Sanchez as an egocentric person who took advantage of his magnetism with women. Specifically, I noticed that individuals and couples suffered psychological harm when Mr. Sanchez would use his charisma to seduce married and single women, although he never forced them." A Georgina Silva also signed a declaration that claimed, "I stopped attending Sanchez's seminars because some of the exercises he taught made me feel uncomfortable. For example, he would instruct everyone to sit on the floor and turn off the lights so that it was very dark. Then he would tell us to reach out and touch each other. This made me feel violated. I couldn't understand how such an exercise could come from the teachings of Carlos Castaneda."
I remember reading interviews with Carlos Castaneda where he said he had no recollection of meeting Victor Sanchez and he was more damning of others trying to cash in on his name. But I am writing this as this article makes Victor Sanchez sound genuine. --Wool Bridge (talk) 13:27, 17 October 2016 (UTC)--Wool Bridge (talk) 13:27, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Checking the facts.[edit]

It seems strange, although I have never read the book. When I did nto chronological comparison between the books I got the opposit results.:In 1976, author and Scientologist Richard de Mille published Castaneda's Journey: The Power and the Allegory, in which he argued, "Logical or chronological errors in the narrative constitute the best evidence that Castaneda's books are works of fiction. If no one has discovered these errors before, the reason must be that no one has listed the events of the first three books in sequence. Once that has been done, the errors are unmistakable."[14] On these showings de Mille asserts, The Teachings of Don Juan and Journey to Ixtlan (his third book) cannot both be factual reports.[15] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:59, 26 October 2016 (UTC)


All I can say is that everything he said to do works — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:07, 26 October 2016 (UTC)

Proposal for lifting edit restrictions.[edit]

Now that the User:Elvey has been indefinitely site banned for disruption, edit-warring and 'battleground behaviour', I propose that the edit restrictions be lifted from this article. (User:Elvey initiated the restriction proposal and was supported by User:Shii, who has since become inactive). (talk) 21:42, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

It will never happen because Castanada acolytes / postulates with "ownership" issues sit on this article protecting their holy prophet. ~ JJB — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:603:C00:E8E:219:D1FF:FEA8:25F0 (talk) 00:37, 20 February 2017 (UTC)


Is it appropriate to have a quatations section? Who's to say what goes in it? We could fill it with dozens and hundreds, and all would be "suitable". Quotations should only appear as linked to other notable content. In my opinion ~ JJB — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:603:C00:E8E:219:D1FF:FEA8:25F0 (talk) 00:33, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

See also - Noam Chomsky[edit]

Why is Noam Chomsky listed in this section? There is no other mention of him in the article that I can see. Autarch (talk) 20:03, 6 June 2017 (UTC)

Was Castaneda a Fake?[edit]

Not very likely. The one person who is touted to "prove" it was Richard De Mille. Here is what one reviewer said about De Milles Castandea: The power and the Allegory: One has to be able to present the evidence and draw the conclusion in a coherent way. The author says he has proven or will prove his claim eruditely and undeniably. This is not the case. Rather, the evidence in many instances is far too flimsy and incidental to prove that Castaneda was a charlatan. We must also remember that De Mille was a Scientologist who worked closely with L. Ron Hubbard and so wanted to get rid of anyone who might hurt the teachings of Scientology. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 16:50, 31 October 2017 (UTC)

But what changes would you like to see to the article? Do you have sources you would like to bring in? -- irn (talk) 20:43, 14 July 2018 (UTC)
Please - de Mille had left Scientology 14 years before Carlos even wrote his first book. If you're going to try and discredit one of Castaneda's biggest critics, could you at least find something contemporary to go with? (talk) 15:46, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
@Irn: if that's true, the IP makes a good point. ~Anachronist (talk) 17:00, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

Potential sources[edit]

  • Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology. 1–2 (5th ed.). Gale group. 2001. pp. 253, 437, 456, 1073. ISBN 0-8103-8570-8.
  • DeMille, Richard (1976). Castaneda's Journey; The Power and the Allegory.
  • Shermer, Michael; Linse, Pat (2002). The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience. ABC-CLIO. p. 57. ISBN 1-57607-654-7.
  • Encyclopedia of Anthropology. 1–5. SAGE. 2006. pp. 1550, 1676. ISBN 9780761930297.
  • Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology (2nd ed.). Routledge. 2010. p. 435. ISBN 0-203-86647-9.

PaleoNeonate – 15:01, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

Also potentially relevant, since it seems to give a pretty good overview of opinions up to 1979: Murray, Stephen O. (March 1979). "The Scientific Reception of Castaneda". Contemporary Sociology. American Sociological Association. 8 (2): 189–192. doi:10.2307/2066119. --tronvillain (talk) 15:54, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
In addition: Gardner, Martin (October 17, 2001). "16: Carlos Castaneda and New Age Anthropology". Did Adam and Eve Have Navels?: Debunking Pseudoscience. W. W. Norton. pp. 162–171. ISBN 978-0-393-24503-5. --tronvillain (talk) 15:54, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

Authenticity of Carlos Casteneda's books[edit]

I studied Castaneda's works from a young age in 1968. The critics of his works are only intellectual and not based upon sound reasoning. None of the critics actually practiced what Castaneda taught, nor did they truly investigate anything. De Milles work is not good science, or even good writing. It is a terrible work with no redeeming qualities and yet is held up as a true critique of Castaneda. I have also studied virtually every major and minor mystical and religious systems in the world and I am also an initiate in high degrees of secret orders and I can tell you that there are things taught by other mystical orders that are in Castaneda's works that he could not have known The techniques he described do work and thy work very well. In one exercise I cross referenced all the dates in Castaneda's works and there were no inconsistencies. As mysticism is real things like the description of the luminous egg is subjective and can be described exactly as Castaneda describes. There is a book called Nagualism that was published in the late 1800's that deals with the reality of nagualism as it existed then. Much of what Castaneda describes is confirmed by this book which details the history of Nagualism since early Mayan times staring in about 250 BC. There is nothing incosistent with what Castaneda wrote with the true history of the Order of the Naguals. The Naguals were one of the leading segments of Aztec society and were trained at the Calmacecs, which were the Aztec Universities. They were doctors and scientists. There was a free health system in the Aztec Empire and every neighborhood had it's own Nagual who would act as doctor, counselor and psychologist for the people.

The science of the Aztecs was much more advanced than the Europeans at the time of the conquest. They used thousands of plants and chemicals to make drugs for medicine. They even had pharmaceutical companies. The Spanish were shocked when they went there reporting they made drugs from plants, chemicals, minerals and even insects. They called it all sorcery. That is the reason why Don Juan called the practice sorcery as it was a joke. There was no sorcery in the sense that we think of sorcery, but as Arthur C. Clark put it, "Any techniques so advanced would appear as magic to a primitive mind." This is what has happened with the works of Carlos Castaneda. All the people who criticized the works really had no idea what they were ad are talking about. They are not mystics and so should leave this kind of the work to the 'professionals.'

The rest of you think all of the things described in the books cannot happen, but they do and you are all in a state of ignorance about the true nature of the world. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:43, 20 October 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 8 December 2018[edit]

Edmund Leach praised book.

Should be changed to

Edmund Leach praised the book. Timothybrace (talk) 19:24, 8 December 2018 (UTC)

 Done Good call, thank you! -- irn (talk) 20:35, 8 December 2018 (UTC)