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Debunking De Mille

abracad, · Categories: books, castaneda, externally authored

©2012 James L. Desper, Jr.

An excerpt from The End Of History

The End of History

In the following section, I will debunk the debunker. The writings of Richard de Mille have been purported to prove that Castaneda's books are works of fiction. I will show de Mille's claims to be gross over-simplifications and exaggerations by examining his two books-Castaneda's Journey and The Don Juan Papers-and his appearance in the movie Carlos Castaneda: Enigma of a Sorcerer. I will not attempt to address every accusation and insinuation from all this material. That would require a separate book of its own and would be a waste of both mine and the reader's time. I will, however, address the major allegations.

Castaneda's Journey

"But I thought: If I were a struggling graduate student or an obscure professor, and some guy came along and wrote four best sellers in a row while I was trying to finish my dissertation or get some puny five-page paper published in the American Anthropologist, I might have some snide and unfair things to say about him, too." Richard de Mille, Castaneda's Journey

In Ch. 3, 'Fact Or Fiction', de Mille claims that, "Carlos first heard about seeing six years after he first saw." He refers to a brief reference to seeing by don Juan that occurred on Jan. 29, 1962 and alleges that this incident, by predating another brief conversation that Castaneda and don Juan had about seeing on May 21, 1968, shows Castaneda's work to be fictional.

In the context of the events of Jan. 29, 1962 that were reported in Journey to Ixtlan, don Juan's very brief reference to seeing would have been interpreted by Castaneda at this early stage of his apprenticeship as only a vague allusion to a psychic phenomena comparable to how a psychic "sees" into the future. In the conversation of May 21, 1968 reported in A Separate Reality, it was unmistakable that don Juan was referring to a different way of perceiving the world quite separate from the (at that time) imprecise references to seeing in 1962. But because Journey to Ixtlan was published after A Separate Reality, Castaneda was able to appropriately italicize and highlight this brief mention of seeing, having the experiences of 1968-1972 to guide him in his writing of Journey to Ixtlan. If de Mille was paying a little more attention, he would have used as an example the conversation between don Juan and Castaneda that occurred sometime before May 14, 1962. This interchange, reported by Castaneda in the Introduction to A Separate Reality, came much closer to actually illuminating what seeing was all about. But since don Juan was still being very elusive about the topic (he talked about it as a way of knowing, which again could have been interpreted as an allusion to an ambiguous psychic phenomenon, and said, "...unless you understand the ways of a man who knows, it is impossible to talk about...seeing.") Castaneda still did not catch on to what don Juan truly meant by seeing.

Also in Chapter 3, de Mille asserts that sewing the eyelids and mouth of a lizard shut using a choya thorn as a needle and a fiber from an agave as a thread would be impossible because the thickness of both the choya thorn needle and the agave fiber would have split the lizard's tissues apart so that they could not be sealed. Declaring this "...delicate task he [Castaneda] had never practiced before nor seen demonstrated" to be impossible, de Mille asserts that this incident must be fictional.

But again, by negligence or convenience, de Mille is not paying proper attention to what Castaneda actually wrote.

The directions given by don Juan for sewing the mouth of one lizard and the eyelids of a second lizard require a wooden needle for the actual sewing, fibers of agave and one thorn of a choya. The details of the actual sequence of their usage is not described by don Juan in Castaneda's account. The fiber of a dried agave is thin enough to be attached to a wooden needle. The sharp end of the choya thorn would be used to make round holes in the lizard's tissues through which the wooden needle and agave fiber could pass without tearing and splitting the eyelids and mouth, thus sealing them together. It would have been a difficult task, which is exactly how Castaneda described it, but he had seen the two lizards that don Juan had used when he demonstrated the ritual and so had an previous example to follow.

The next section of "Fact Or Fiction" deals with the distinguished ethno-botanist R. Gordon Wasson's concerns about Castaneda's work as expressed in the reviews of the first four books he wrote for Economic Botany. Having expressed these concerns in a letter to Castaneda, he wrote in his review of Journey To Ixtlan that, "He replied fully and intelligently (garbled by de Mille to "...fully and frankly..."), and then I met him in New York and later in California. He was obviously an honest and serious young man, and I have no reason to change my mind about him now [my italics]." Wasson goes on to discuss the twelve pages of xeroxed, re-copied field notes that Castaneda submitted for his inspection, and apart from a minor concern about some of the dates being different from those listed for the events in Journey to Ixtlan-which Wasson himself explains away-relates no other qualms about their veracity or accuracy of translation.

But Wasson's satisfaction with Castaneda's willingness to document his field work means nothing to de Mille. With no basis whatsoever except supposed inconsistencies in the Spanish-English translations (and an unreasoning suspicion) he writes, "Subject to refutation by long-awaited proofs from Castaneda, it is my solemn conviction that those 12 pages did not exist before Wasson wrote his letter, that they were manufactured for the occasion, and that they are the only pages of Spanish field notes to come out of Carlos's dozen years in the desert." De Mille posits Wasson as an expert (which he was) and then rejects Wasson's opinion.

And  that is not the only example of de Mille's readiness to distort the views of this expert to suit his own agenda. Earlier in this chapter, de Mille states that Wasson's opinion of Castaneda's work was that Castaneda had become, "a poor pilgrim lost on his way to his own Ixtlan." The complete quote from Wasson's review of Journey to Ixtlan is as follows:

"But Castaneda vacillates between targets. Instead of offering us a romance, he bids for the respectful attention of anthropologists and ethnologists. He also strives to supply the publisher with what is needed to sell the book. Castaneda is himself a poor pilgrim lost on his way to his own Ixtlan."

Wasson is clearly referring to how Castaneda portrays himself in Journey To Ixtlan as someone to whom a mass audience could easily relate, not expressing an evaluation of Castaneda's diligence or veracity. After using and abusing Wasson's words to suit his own purpose, it is surprising that de Mille was able to solicit a quote from Wasson for the jacket of Castaneda's Journey. Was "My word! You have done your homework well" another partial quotation designed to distort Wasson's real meaning? Was it actually followed by "...but your willingness to distort my views as well as Castaneda's work is unacceptable"? Or perhaps Wasson had become intimidated by de Mille and hoped to head off a similarly unanswerable inquisition into his own work by appearing to praise de Mille's book. Walter Goldschmidt, who wrote the foreword to The Teachings of Don Juan, certainly felt that de Mille was trying to intimidate those he contacted concerning Castaneda. After de Mille sent him a letter that de Mille himself admits was "...far from ingratiating," Goldschmidt filed a formal complaint with the Committee on Scientific and Professional Ethics and Conduct of the American Psychological Association that accused de Mille of attempting "intellectual blackmail."

Over time, Goldschmidt did indeed become cowed by the shrill chorus of media and academic criticism based almost exclusively on de Mille's flimsy accusations. In a Los Angeles Times interview published Nov. 20, 2005, he was asked if he regretted writing the foreword to The Teachings of Don Juan and replied, "Yes, I'm a little ashamed of it, but not that much. If you read what I wrote you will see that I was not all that complimentary. What I assumed was that he had taken peyote and he was recording those experiences as if they really happened. In that sense, I thought it was true. My first paragraph reads, in part--'this book is both ethnography and allegory.'" The reader will note that Goldschmidt makes no definitive statement concerning Castaneda's veracity; he effectively sidesteps the question so that he can get on with promoting his latest book (and his life).

Chapter 4, "What Happened At UCLA?", is based only on de Mille's allegation that Castaneda's work is fictional. But de Mille offers no proof of any lapse in judgment or any misconduct by any of UCLA's faculty. If anything, he offers up proof of the authenticity of Castaneda's work by stating that five faculty members signed their names to Castaneda's doctoral dissertation and by reprinting the quote from one faculty member used in the Time magazine cover story in 1973. That quote: "...his truth as a witness is not in question," seems definitive to me.

Chapter 5, "A Man Of Novels," was de Mille's first attempt at the "Alleglossary" he included in his second book on Castaneda, The Don Juan Papers, and has the same flavor. Any quote or concept that be dredged from the fields of anthropology, psychology, ancient mysticism, etc., that uses even one word found in Castaneda's books is claimed as one of the sources Castaneda plagiarized to produce his "fiction." Only one example has enough similarity to fit de Mille's program, the description of the human body when seen as pure energy that William Walker Atkinson derived from ancient Eastern mystics. Considering that both the warriors of don Juan's lineage and the Eastern mystics were seeing the same thing-the body perceived as pure energy-how markedly could they differ? Similar descriptions of the same phenomena are not a confirmation of plagiarism on Castaneda's part, but an affirmation the seers throughout the ages have been plowing the same field, the various positions that the assemblage point can assume. These various positions have led to remarkably consistent descriptions of heaven, hell, "God" and many other common perceptions by seers of the past.

Chapter 6, "Trickster Teacher", takes page after page of mean-spirited drivel to get to one comparison of anthropologist Peter Furst's account of a Huichol shaman named Ramon Medina Silva's demonstration of balance at a waterfall to Castaneda's account of don Genaro Flores at a waterfall demonstrating the energy fibers produced by the body called will in an attempt to trigger seeing in Castaneda and two of don Juan's other apprentices. Aside from the similarity in setting and the fact that both men took off their sandals before proceeding, the two incidents have no other similarities significant enough to conclusively demonstrate that Castaneda borrowed Furst's account for insertion into A Separate Reality.

Looking at the two events in the glancing, superficial fashion that de Mille specializes in might yield strong parallels. But when one considers the differing intents of the demonstrators and the fact that Silva was leaping from rock to rock on large stones (balancing on one leg while under the influence of alcohol) that were clearly visible to his observers while don Genaro was using rocks that could hardly be seen, the incidents each have a very different basis.

Photographs taken by Furst of Silva's demonstration of balance at a waterfall show Silva to be wearing a large, showy costume. Such an elaborate outfit would have caught the wind and caused serious balance difficulties unless the wearer was engaged in an activity little more dangerous than crossing a stream by going from stone to stone; a photo opportunity for his American visitors.

In The Don Juan Papers, de Mille recounts his conversations with another witness to Silva at the waterfall in 1966, anthropologist Barbara Myerhoff, who was a doctoral candidate in the UCLA Dept. of Anthropology at the time. She said that after returning from Mexico, she told Castaneda about what she had witnessed and Castaneda replied that it was "like don Genaro," even though Castaneda's account of don Genaro's waterfall demonstration was dated as occurring in 1968 in A Separate Reality. But Myerhoff was very unsure of the chronology of her conversation with Castaneda about Silva, so it probably did not occur until after Castaneda witnessed don Genaro's display in October 1968.

The fact that both Myerhoff and Castaneda were UCLA students in the department of Anthropology makes the possibility that Castaneda appropriated her and Furst's story for A Separate Reality too remote for serious consideration. Any hint of plagiarism would have been noted and would have had seriously adverse effects on Castaneda's standing in the department. No student would be so bold as to crib such a notable incident and not expect to be expelled from the department and probably the university itself. And the fact that Myerhoff (as reported by de Mille) defended her dissertation, which included the Silva demonstration, to a UCLA faculty committee in the same month that Castaneda witnessed don Genaro's certainly does not mean that Castaneda's account was fictional.

The bold craziness that it would have required for Castaneda to plagiarize Furst and Myerhoff's story is the kind of meat that gets de Mille's juices flowing most freely. The superficial similarities in the accounts and Myerhoff's vacillations concerning her conversation about it with Castaneda amount to one of de Mille's big contentions, one of his big guns in attempting to discredit Castaneda. But the fact that both Furst and Castaneda presented these accounts in a 1970 series of lectures at UCLA on an equal basis without any recrimination on Furst's part concerning any alleged borrowing signals Furst's acceptance of the validity of Castaneda's narrative. Furst later said that the stories were "strikingly similar," but he had nothing else to say on the subject. If Furst was willing to accept the validity of Castaneda's account, then how can we agree with de Mille's refusal to accept it?

While we are on this topic, let's cover de Mille's assertion in The Don Juan Papers that since Castaneda did not meet don Genaro until 1968, Castaneda's statement to Myerhoff that Silva's demonstration was like don Genaro's is suspect. But if Myerhoff was unsure about the chronology of events, how can de Mille be sure of them?

The remaining formal chapters of Castaneda's Journey contain little of interest except de Mille's refusal to accept that the warriors of don Juan's lineage might have a different conception of what the terms tonal and nagual mean as compared to what they mean to other indigenous cultures. If Castaneda uses terms that are similar to usages by other groups de Mille finds that unacceptable. If he uses concepts that differ from other groups de Mille finds that equally unacceptable.

"Carlos-One And Carlos-Two" is the first of the appendices of Castaneda's Journey. It begins with de Mille listing all the psychoactive plant-related events and the incidents unrelated to the usage of those plants. Then de Mille decides how that Castaneda should have written his books if he desired to convince bottom-feeders like de Mille of their authenticity. Then we arrive at another alleged discrepancy concerning the mention of seeing. But the same circumstances and conditions detailed above apply to this accusation also, and are made even clearer in this instance by Castaneda's comment, "I wanted to ask what I was supposed to see [no italics]..." during the Dec. 1961 event.

In "Carlos-One And Carlos-Two", de Mille makes much of Castaneda's 1965 encounter with someone who don Juan says has taken on don Juan's appearance in an effort to fool Castaneda, but who's replication of don Juan's body language and mannerisms are so obviously wrong that Castaneda believes it to be a female attempting to imitate don Juan. Discussing the incident with don Juan, Castaneda wrote, "The conversation began with speculations about the identity of a female person who had allegedly taken my soul." De Mille leaps on this rather innocuous detail to assert that the female person had to be the female sorcerer La Catalina and that Castaneda's failure to remember her in this instance when he had said in the early part of A Separate Reality that his encounter with La Catalina was still "...vivid as if it had just happened," means that the 1965 incident was merely the fictive device of a serialist author anticipating a sequel. De Mille believed that this supposed incongruity proved conclusively that either The Teachings of Don Juan or Journey to Ixtlan was fiction.

In this 1965 incident, don Juan was undoubtedly acting unlike himself in an attempt to fool Castaneda. The "female person" who Castaneda believed to be imitating don Juan maintained don Juan's appearance for the entire event, making a precise identification impossible. The possibility that La Catalina had the ability to assume don Juan's form to perfection is too remote for serious consideration. But since Castaneda did not know this, the mere suggestion that it might have been La Catalina or another unknown female sorcerer served to drive Castaneda's fear even deeper.

The speculation on the identity of the female person was also a teaching device on don Juan's part to accomplish the same goal. At this point, Castaneda-after his fearful encounters with La Catalina in 1962-did not even want to contemplate the possibility that she had returned to terrorize him again. Also, don Juan had noticed that during Castaneda's earlier encounters with La Catalina that Castaneda was very attracted to her as a woman, lessening the psychological impact of her possible return. The mention of the chance that it might be another female sorcerer was meant to increase Castaneda's uncertainty and unease over the incident. Castaneda had not been harmed by La Catalina in the past, so her effectiveness as a "worthy opponent" had lessened considerably. Once again, de Mille oversimplifies don Juan's subtle and sophisticated teaching method in an attempt to score cheap points.

This section of "Carlos-One And Carlos-Two" ends with a viciously racist parody by de Mille of how that La Catalina might have verbally threatened Castaneda if they had encountered each other face to face. Passages like this-which are spread throughout Castaneda's Journey-make the task of disproving de Mille's arrogant hypotheses something like swimming in sewage.

"Carlos-One And Carlos-Two" concludes with de Mille's most ridiculous accusation of the lot; that Castaneda had to "experience" all of the events chronicled in Journey to Ixtlan, write the book, attend classes and give lectures-all between October 1970 and the book's publication in late 1972. De Mille is so intent on attacking Castaneda's credibility that he conveniently forgets that almost all of the events discussed in Journey to Ixtlan (Castaneda's doctoral dissertation) had occurred years before and that doctoral candidates preparing their dissertation usually have few or no classes to attend.

Castaneda's Journey ends with de Mille's dissatisfaction with Castaneda's translations of conversations and descriptions originally rendered in Spanish that result in English rich in idiomatic and slang phrases. Castaneda's translations undoubtedly were affected by his years of interactions with native English-speaking students and faculty at both Los Angeles City College and UCLA. These supposed anomalies mean nothing more than that.

The Don Juan Papers

After the flimsy hypotheses and jeering, condescending style of Castaneda's Journey failed to convince anyone but those who read it (and Castaneda's books) in the most glancing and superficial way possible, de Mille coughed up The Don Juan Papers. In this book his hyperbole escalates to new heights of near-hysterical shrillness.

The overstatements begin in Chapter 2, "The Shaman of Academe," with the first of three alleged "proofs" that Castaneda's books are a hoax. De Mille states: "Carlos meets a certain witch named La Catalina for the first time in 1962 and again [de Mille's italics] for the first time in 1965." Castaneda did not know the identity of the person whom don Juan had led him to believe has assumed don Juan's form in the 1965 incident de Mille is referring to. To say that Castaneda met someone "again" when that person could not be identified is absurd.

Then de Mille moves on to say that: "Though he [Castaneda] learns a lot about seeing in 1962, unaccountably he has never heard of it in 1968." Don Juan had referred to seeing briefly in December 1961 and January 1962, but no serious discussion of the topic took place either time.

The most detailed conversation about seeing from 1962 was one reported by Castaneda in the Introduction to A Separate Reality. It occurred sometime prior to May 14, 1962, when Castaneda visited don Juan's friend Sacateca. But this conversation was still so indefinite that Castaneda had no real understanding of the concept (and don Juan indicated that Castaneda was still not ready to approach the subject). Castaneda's reaction to don Juan saying later that Sacateca had seen him, danced and stopped him [Castaneda] with his will was, "His statements sounded like gibberish to me." A man who has learned "a lot" about seeing would not react thusly.

Castaneda did not begin to understand what don Juan meant by seeing until their discussion on May 25, 1968, when don Juan described it in detail as a different way of perceiving that was not merely looking. De Mille is referring to their brief conversation about seeing on May 21, 1968 when he claims that Castaneda had "...never heard of it." This is an intentional oversimplification of Castaneda's reaction ("I wanted to know what he meant by that...") when don Juan said that the best time to see was in darkness. But this was the first time that Castaneda was able to discern a real difference between seeing and looking, since looking is difficult or impossible in darkness. So it was at this point Castaneda finally began to get a glimmer that seeing had to be a separate phenomenon from looking (or psychic intuition).

Next de Mille spits up this ludicrous exaggeration: "The Teachings tells a gothic tale full of fear and wonder, barren of joy and amusement." In actuality there are over a dozen examples in The Teachings of Don Juan of don Juan's laughter lightening the mood of various events. He mostly laughs at Castaneda's absurdities, but that is vastly different from being "...barren of joy and amusement."

Then we arrive at de Mille's "...second kind of proof," the "...absence of convincing detail and the presence of implausible detail." In this section de Mille expects the reader to believe that he is familiar with every animal species (and its peculiarities of behavior) that Castaneda and don Juan could have met in any location; that he knows the exact size of any tree that Castaneda might have climbed; that he knows the weather conditions of each day that they spent together; that he knows which locations Castaneda might have disguised to preserve don Juan's anonymity and which locations were substituted for them. And the reader will notice that the criteria he sets up conveniently enables him to reject any and all passages that do not pass his omniscient judgment. Castaneda's statement in the introduction to Journey to Ixtlan, "Since I was capable of writing down most of what was said in the beginning of the apprenticeship, and everything that was said in the later phases of it..." is transformed by de Mille into "With prodigious speed and skill he writes down 'everything' [de Mille's quotation marks] don Juan says to him under the most unlikely conditions." Actually, Castaneda's skills as a stenographer were considerable. A fellow student in the UCLA Dept. of Anthropology, Jose Cuellar, described his ability as, "...more than adequate. the amount of detail he was able to record is incredible, both verbal and non-verbal behavior. My question was how can you do that under normal circumstances, let alone under the influence of psychotropic drugs? It seemed impossible to me, as a first year graduate student, to take notes that fast. But he could. He demonstrated it to us. He used a steno pad and had developed his own system of shorthand."

After that rather dishonest and deceptive transmogrification of Castaneda's words, we come to a high point in de Mille's parade of delusions: "No one but Castaneda has seen don Juan." Castaneda was introduced to don Juan by his anthropologist friend Bill (tentatively identified as William Laurence Campbell, who this source called an "amateur archaeologist"; Margaret Runyan Castaneda believed him to be Alan Morrison, who, "spoke only a few words of Spanish"), who had spoken to don Juan on at least one other occasion before he and Castaneda met don Juan in Nogales, Arizona. De Mille also ignores the incident in Tales of Power when Castaneda and don Juan were pursued in Mexico City by one of Castaneda's friends who wanted to meet don Juan.

Next we come to de Mille's claim that, "Castaneda met serious early resistance from skeptics in the UCLA faculty." But in this chapter de Mille names only one; Ralph Beals, a man de Mille praises and derides according to his particular purpose at the moment. In the Note for this section, de Mille mentions two others who he described as "chairmen," but does not detail his conversations with them except to call them "skeptical." But de Mille doesn't say exactly what they were skeptical about. Castaneda's friend and former fellow student, Dr. Jose Cuellar, described the long and difficult process of Castaneda's dissertation being approved as being a matter of inter-departmental conflict between members of the dissertation committee. "One side it wasn't analytical enough and the other side said it was too analytical. So basically what he did was disband his dissertation committee."

Cuellar also said that A Separate Reality was submitted as a dissertation but was not accepted because of the disagreements cited above. De Mille implies that questions about Castaneda's truthfulness were the cause of their skepticism when it is just as likely they were uncertain about the final form the dissertation should take. Castaneda himself confirmed this in a letter to Margaret Runyan Castaneda, saying, "The point of argument is the nature of the material...and how I have treated it."

Next, regarding Castaneda's field notes and tape recordings, de Mille states that there was no presentation of these materials that might have confirmed their existence. Unless de Mille attended every interaction Castaneda had with UCLA faculty members and his dissertation committees, that accusation is further evidence of an arrogant omniscience that attempts to present biased supposition as fact.

De Mille's accusation that there were no actual field notes was flatly contradicted by Margaret Runyan Castaneda in her book A Magical Journey with Carlos Castaneda. In it she writes, "Carlos's years in the field had generated several hundred pages of field notes, some photographs, a brief 16mm film and some tape-recorded interviews, most of which he later denied having. He had reworked his field notes all along, trying to put then in a more readable form."

On the subject of Castaneda's field notes, it seems obvious to me that no presentation of the field notes - raw, edited, in whatever quantity - would ever satisfy those like de Mille whose intellectual worldview is exposed as crude and primitive by the revelations of, to them, a mere Indian.

And to finish with the topics of UCLA skeptics and "alleged" field notes, let's go over Dr. Ralph Beals' uncertainty about Castaneda's field work. In his article "Sonoran Fantasy or Coming of Age", (American Anthropologist, June 1978), he writes, "He did not disclose his shaman's residence but implied that he had been making weekend visits to him on the Yaqui River. This seemed improbable, for it is over a thousand-mile round trip, too far to permit weekend ethnographic sessions. I pressed him to show me some of his field notes, but he became evasive and dropped from sight, not too difficult in a large department. I assumed he had dropped out of the University."

Castaneda's field trips were long and very disruptive to his progress as a graduate student. Barbara Myerhoff said that, "He had handfuls of incompletes. He was always disappearing and coming back." And Castaneda did actually drop out of UCLA in 1965 because of what Margaret Runyan Castaneda said were money problems, but there could have been other factors (too may Incompletes) at work also. Part of Castaneda's reason for being vague and evasive with Beals was probably Beals' interest in details that could have violated Castaneda's promise to maintain don Juan's anonymity. When Beals "pressed" him for field notes that could have revealed locations, names etc., Castaneda had no choice but to avoid providing him with these materials should every other faculty member and fellow student make the same request. As word had gotten around the department that Castaneda had found a real shaman/informant, interest had grown considerably. Would some of those faculty members and students go looking for don Juan themselves? Considering these factors, presenting the field notes and any other materials would have to be done only on a need-to-know basis. And let's not forget the de Mille hypothesis that any field notes extant had all been manufactured to fit the occasion. If that was the case, then Castaneda could easily have come up with some for Beals' inspection.

De Mille's "...third kind of proof" is any kind of similarity in wording, phrasing, concept or usage of plants that may have any relation-no matter how insignificant- to Castaneda's work. In my critique of Castaneda's Journey, I've already dealt the first example offered here: the similarity of William Walker Atkinson's description of the human aura to don Juan's description of the human body when seen as pure energy. De Mille's second example is a severely edited quotation from an article that appeared in Psychedelic Review magazine in 1977-"Four Psilocybin Experiences" by Frederic Swain and three other anonymous authors. De Mille's abstract is taken from the second experience (by one of the anonymous authors) and is edited by (all the italics are his) de Mille to:

"My eyes were closed, and a large black pool started to open up in front of them. I was able to see a red spot. I was aware of a most unusual odor, and of different parts of my body getting extremely warm, which felt extremely good."

The text of the complete sentences is actually:

"I sat down, put my head back and closed my eyes. B. put on [Allen] Ginsberg's (sic) recording. With my head back and my feet stretched out, the space for the first time changed its dimension. It flattened out. Ginsberg drifted to me across this level plain, then started to fade. My eyes were closed, and a large black pool started to open up in front of them. As the space continued to expand, a small white object seemed to be coming toward me or perhaps I was going toward it - extremely brilliant. As I came closer, I was able to see a red spot in the white. The one time during the entire session that I was aware of any taste or odor was when I came back and there seemed to be a strange taste in my mouth and a most unusual odor. I really don't know what it was or how to describe it - the first time I have come into contact with it. The plain was gone and I became aware of different parts of my body getting warm, which felt extremely good."

Then de Mille abstracts another quotation for comparison from Castaneda's first experience with datura in The Teachings Of Don Juan:

"What was very outstanding was the pungent odor of the water. It smelled like cockroaches. I got very warm, and blood rushed to my ears. I saw a red spot in front of my eyes. 'What would have happened if I had not seen red?' 'You would have seen black.' 'What happens to those who see red?' 'An effect of pleasure.' "

The complete sentences actually read:

"I took it automatically, and without deliberation drank all the water [containing the datura preparation]. It tasted somewhat bitter, although the bitterness was hardly noticeable. What was very outstanding was the pungent odor of the water. It smelled like cockroaches. Almost immediately I began to sweat. I got very warm, and blood rushed to my ears. I saw a red spot in front of my eyes, and the muscles of my stomach began to contract in painful cramps. After a while, even though I felt no more pain, I began to get cold and perspiration literally soaked me. Don Juan asked me if I saw blackness or black spots in front of my eyes. I told him that I was seeing everything in red. Then he asked me if I was afraid. His questions were meaningless to me. I told him that I was obviously afraid, but he asked me again if I was afraid of her. I did not understand what he meant and I said yes. He laughed and said that I was not really afraid. He asked me if I still saw red. All I was seeing was a huge red spot in front of my eyes. I felt better after a while. Gradually the nervous spasms disappeared, leaving only an aching, pleasant tiredness and an intense desire to sleep. I couldn't keep my eyes open, although I could still hear don Juan's voice. I fell asleep. But the sensation of my being submerged in a deep red persisted all night. I even had dreams in red. I woke up on Saturday about 3:00 P. M. I had slept almost two days. I found don Juan sitting in front of his house dozing. He smiled at me. 'Everything went fine the other night,' he said. 'You saw red and that's all that is important.' 'What would have happened if I had not seen red?' 'You would have seen black, and that is a bad sign.' 'What happens to those who see red?' 'They do not vomit, and the root gives them an effect of pleasure, which means they are strong and of violent nature - something that the weed likes. That is the way she entices.' "

Let's examine de Mille's analysis of these two passages:

"This goes beyond accidental correspondence. These two passages, each of which is drawn from less than a page of original text, have in common at least five specific word combinations as well as seven ideas: drug hallucination, seeing black, seeing red, unusual odor, parts of the body, getting warm, and pleasure."

First, there are only three word combinations that can said to be similar: "red spot", "in front of my eyes" and "unusual (pungent) odor." The anonymous artist  who was experiencing psilocybin saw a red spot on a white object that appeared from a pool of black. Castaneda saw only a red spot that expanded until he was seeing everything in red. Castaneda did not see black at any time. Don Juan mentioned seeing black as a possible effect of datura use but Castaneda did not experience it. Any kind of drug-related visual hallucination would be described as being "in front of my eyes." The anonymous artist experienced an unusual odor unbidden as a side effect. Castaneda was referring to the actual smell of the datura preparation.

Of the "seven ideas" that de Mille mentions, four of them (drug hallucination, parts of the body, getting warm, pleasure) are common to almost any experience of ingesting powerful psychoactive plants. The user hallucinates. The user's heart beats faster, leading to a sensation of warmth that might be experienced subjectively in various parts of the body. And aside from the expansion of consciousness that those who take psychoactive plants seek, the overall effect is most usually one of pleasure. If the effects were extremely unpleasant, the usages of these plants would not have become a tradition handed down through the ages. The other three "ideas", when seen in context, are mere coincidence.

As we can clearly see from the above examples, de Mille is concerned solely with superficial similarities. Content, context and meaning have no relevance for him. The way de Mille edits the passages strongly implies that the content and context of both are similar when they are actually totally different. This is another example of the deceptive oversimplifications that de Mille indulges in so freely. He counts on the reader not having the original texts at hand that he claims that Castaneda is borrowing from and assumes that no one will go back and check Castaneda's actual words against those texts (or against his accusations). This methodology applies to the entirety of his writings on Castaneda, and especially to the so-called 'Alleglossary' contained in The Don Juan Papers.

Chapter 2 concludes with de Mille's allegation that Castaneda's account of using don Juan's smoking mixture containing psychoactive mushrooms must be fiction because, "...nobody had actually tried to smoke them until Castaneda's books were published, and then it didn't work." Once again, this is a vast oversimplification of the process of consuming the smoking mixture. The act of pulling air through the pipe caused the fine powder, the mushrooms, to be sucked into Castaneda's mouth, resulting in their ingestion orally. In the introduction to A Separate Reality, Castaneda described the procedure. "The process of 'smoking' consisted of ingesting the fine mushroom powder, which did not incinerate, and inhaling the smoke of the other five plants that made up the mixture." At this point , the attentive reader might wonder how that ingesting the mushroom powder orally would result in the rather immediate hallucinogenic effect. The most immediate effect, " whole body was numb, mentholated" would be caused by the other plants in the mixture. Because the mushroom powder - though it does not incinerate - would undoubtedly give off fumes by being in such close proximity to the burning plants in the mixture, its effects would be felt rather quickly. And it is well known that the fastest way any to get any medicine into the bloodstream when consuming it orally is to is to grind it into powder. But the amount of time that actually passes between when Castaneda begins to smoke the mixture and when he begins to feel its psychoactive effects is not specifically quantified. So accurately judging the immediacy of its effects is not possible.

As we have seen before, de Mille tries to reduce a multifaceted procedure into an activity as banal as smoking a cigarette. He also wants the reader to believe that he is aware of how that hallucinogenic mushrooms are used by every culture in the world who uses them when he says that, "...nobody had actually tried to smoke them..." And the only way to prove that smoking don Juan's mushroom mixture "...didn't work" is for de Mille to have smoked the mixture or to have witnessed someone else doing so.

One of the sources that de Mille listed as supporting his claim that that smoking mushrooms would not work was Steven Pollock's "The Psilocybin Mushroom Pandemic", an article published in Journal of Psychedelic Drugs in 1975. Pollock writes that, "Curious mushroom stone artifacts, usually from Guatemala but also from the Mexican states of Tabasco and Vera Cruz, have been dated between 1000 and 300 B. C. and would strongly suggest that an ancestral mushroom cult flourished in the culture of the highland Maya." This means that the indigenous peoples of Central America have been using psychoactive mushrooms for perhaps the last 3000 years. It is certainly quite likely that over 3000 years many elaborate uses and preparations had been discovered for various species of mushrooms aside from simply ingesting them orally.

Pollock concludes that section of his piece by noting that those who smoked mushrooms in Popayan experienced effects of shorter duration than what would be achieved by eating them. He says that, "I later gave the smoking method a trial but received only a headache." He doesn't say if he used the same mixture that those in Popayan were using, what method he actually used to smoke mushrooms or what species of mushroom he did smoke. This is science? It is, actually, since science has been used by Euro-centric cultures to dominate the rest of the world since its inception. Belittling the customs of "primitive" cultures (and "primitives" like don Juan) has given the Western powers an excuse to "civilize" them and to exterminate their native religious and shamanic traditions.

Another issue unaddressed by de Mille or Pollock is the elaborate nature of Castaneda's "literary device." Would a hoaxer allegedly too lazy to do any actual fieldwork bother to invent such an elaborate method of consuming psychoactive mushrooms when he could simply create an story that would have fit more closely with the accounts of others that de Mille claims Castaneda plagiarized so freely? As noted earlier, Castaneda's critics want to have it both ways. Anything new is fiction. Anything remotely similar to other traditions or practices is plagiarized.

Chapter 6, "Validity Is Not Authenticity", showcases de Mille's twisted, convoluted logic and culminates in a claim that is so outrageous it defies belief. To say that don Juan and Castaneda stalked rabbits bare-handed-when they actually used traps assembled from materials found in the immediate environment- demonstrates again that de Mille is counting on his readers being unfamiliar with Castaneda's work to such an extent that any accusation, no matter how extreme, is acceptable to him. How much more evidence do we need to prove that this man was willing to stoop to any level necessary to discredit Castaneda?

After Chapter 6, de Mille's wild accusations are repeated endlessly in the remaining chapters, as if saying something often enough will make it so. Then we reach the crown jewel of his folly: the "Alleglossary." Any word, phrase, idea or concept that can possibly be construed to be similar-no matter how remote the fashion-is taken to be plagiarism on Castaneda's part from any literature in any field previous to, contemporaneous with, or even published after, Castaneda's books. But the totally unique concepts that Castaneda wrote about in his books from The Eagle's Gift forward are not addressed, even though de Mille had access to all twelve of Castaneda's books by the time that the final revised version of The Don Juan Papers was published in 2000. There are no entries for: Assemblage Point, Inorganic Beings ("Ally" is listed as being comparable to an account of Tibetan sorcerers wrestling with re-animated corpses !?!), First Attention, Second Attention, Third Attention, Energy Body, Intent, Recapitulation, The Rule Of The Nagual, The Death Defier(s), Flyers, The Eagle, The Eagle's Commands, Commanding Intent, Emanations, Alternate Worlds, Self-Importance, Internal Dialogue, Inner Silence, The Right Way Of Walking, Conserving Sexual Energy, Redistributing Energy, Silent Knowledge, Scouts, The Dreaming Emissary, The Voice Of Seeing, The Human Mold, Impeccability, Detachment, The Earth's Boost, and many others.

So almost all of the most important ideas and concepts of the Warrior's Way have no precedent that de Mille could be bothered to conjure up. There are entries for Dreaming, Seeing and Stalking, but they are so farcical as to be unworthy of consideration by anyone who has read Castaneda's books attentively.

De Mille's Appearance in Carlos Castaneda: Enigma of a Sorcerer

Interviewed in Ralph Torjan's movie Carlos Castaneda: Enigma of a Sorcerer, de Mille asserts that there are "three kinds of evidence" in Castaneda's books to prove that they are fictional. The first is the "internal inconsistency of don Juan's character" and "many other internal inconsistencies."

The alleged inconsistencies in don Juan's character represent Castaneda's changing focus regarding the proper presentation of his work. The first book, The Teachings of Don Juan, was meant to be a "serious" academic treatise, so don Juan's jokes and frequent laughter were de-emphasized as being somewhat inappropriate to such an undertaking. The second half of Castaneda's apprenticeship, which began with A Separate Reality, was marked by a lighter mood which made the inclusion  in the text of moments of levity appropriate - as they were part of the teaching method. Journey to Ixtlan continued this mode of description and included the earlier moments of jokes and laughter that had been occurring all along, but did not fit the more "academic" mood of The Teachings of Don Juan. As I noted earlier, don Juan frequently used laughter to lighten the atmosphere in The Teachings of Don Juan, but its overall tone was more serious than the rest of Castaneda's books.

The language and eloquence with which don Juan expressed his thoughts, however, was very consistent until Castaneda's last few books.  Don Juan's more professorial tone in the later books reflects Castaneda's preoccupation with establishing the academic legitimacy he had long been denied.

Don Juan was educated by the nagual Julian's female apprentices; some of whom came from the same well-educated background from which the nagual Julian himself emerged. The household's wealth gave them access to any extant literature they desired. Don Juan's love of reading and frequent travels throughout Mexico and the southwestern United States resulted in a most articulate personality, leaving the only "inconsistencies" to how Castaneda chose to translate his words. It is ironic that de Mille should accuse Castaneda of putting the words of other writers into don Juan's mouth when the influence of writers don Juan himself read may have influenced how he articulated the concepts of the Warrior's Way as he taught them to Castaneda.

Don Juan spent a significant amount of his life in Arizona. He undoubtedly interacted with many people who spoke English in the sixty-nine years before he met Castaneda. To assume that a man of his intelligence did not absorb or occasionally use English slang phrases as interjections or exclamations would be to ignore his background totally. Castaneda may have modified some of his translations to make them more contemporaneous, but to assume that don Juan knew no English is either meant to be an attack on his intellectual capacity or a facile excuse for criticizing Castaneda's work.

Castaneda and don Juan met at a Greyhound bus terminal in Nogales, Arizona, where at least a passing familiarity with English would be most helpful, if not vital, to navigating the ins and outs of bus travel. In the decades before bi-lingual signage became a common feature of American life, knowing at least some English was crucial to anyone traveling in the southwestern United States. And don Juan, being born in Arizona, was an American citizen who had undoubtedly visited various government offices in the course of his life and carried papers or identification issued by them. Dealing with the questions of government bureaucrats would also have required some knowledge of English.

Once again, as we can see, de Mille attempts to oversimplify a complicated set of circumstances to score cheap points.

The other so-called "internal inconsistencies" that de Mille does not actually discuss in Enigma of a Sorcerer I have dealt with in my critiques of Castaneda's Journey and The Don Juan Papers.

De Mille's second kind of "evidence" was the "Inconsistency of Castaneda's desert and the desert that has been observed by people who actually went to the desert."

Castaneda's promise to preserve don Juan's anonymity was not limited to the use of pseudonyms for him and the other members of his party. It also required that the locations where events actually happened be obscured. This has been totally ignored by Castaneda's detractors, resulting in specious comments regarding inappropriate weather conditions and inaccurate descriptions about events that perhaps did not even occur in the very general geographic descriptions Castaneda provided.

De Mille's third kind of "evidence" is "Two hundred examples of echoes from the literature of... written by other people, about all the things that Castaneda is writing about. The language of other people comes out of don Juan's mouth."

Any well-read speaker or writer's phraseology is often subconsciously influenced by other writers, particularly if they are relating phenomena closely allied to another author's subject area. Here de Mille has softened what he previously implied was Castaneda's outright plagiarism to "echoes from the literature." I have dealt with the "two hundred examples" in my previous critique of the "Alleglossary" contained in The Don Juan Papers.


The seers of don Juan's lineage were a previously undiscovered group until Castaneda began writing about them As a separate entity, they had their own unique expressive concepts and usages of psychoactive plants. But because they were describing the human milieu, some similarities exist in the methods and descriptions they used to express their participation in the act of being alive. The sophisticated subtleties of don Juan's life, his teaching method, and his way of expressing himself can't be reduced to simple yes or no, all or nothing banalities that de Mille and other critics insist are the only way of determining their "truth". Their "truth" was determined in advance and the "facts" made to fit their "truth." De Mille's willingness to use any device, no matter how deceptive or illogical, to attack Castaneda is part of a larger battle that is often referred to as the Culture Wars. Any expression of spirituality, alternate view of reality, or philosophy that could threaten the existing social order is to be obliterated by any means necessary. The social status and livelihood of people like de Mille depends on it. The slowly dawning realization that the West's official religion, its official belief system, Science, is no more an accurate description of reality than many others, will be fought ruthlessly.

Big changes cause even bigger reactions from those unwilling to be a part of those changes. They will attack with any tool at their command, no matter how vile. De Mille was one of their previous champions. There will be others.

Contemporaneous Witnesses

There were several individuals who knew Castaneda during the years of his apprenticeship and these witnesses reported that he informed them of his interactions with don Juan as they were occurring.

Margaret Runyan Castaneda:

1) "One day in the summer of 1960 Carlos told me he had met a man he wanted to study with and it would mean being away for days or weeks at a time." [Then she was asked, "Did he mention the man's name?"] "Don Juan."

2) "He [don Juan] was a real Indian. Somebody Carlos actually was making trips to see."

Dr. C. Scott Littleton:

1) "Yes, I'm convinced that there was indeed a prototype of don Juan & that he probably was a Yaqui who moved rather freely between the Tucson area and northern Sonora. I also recall Carlos telling me that he never saw the guy again, at least in the flesh, after he, Nestor and Pablito jumped off the Ixtlan cliff at the climax of their initiation. He also said that his mentor died shortly thereafter." [Castaneda had a habit of referring to entering into the Third Attention as an alternate way of dying.]

2) "I have no reason whatsoever to suspect a hoax. I have known [Castaneda] too long and too well to doubt his professional integrity."

3) "What's my overall assessment of Castaneda? First of all, he was definitely not--I repeat NOT!--a hoaxer. Do I accept everything he said at its face value? No, but then, at bottom, neither did he, even though it faithfully reflected his perceived experiences with Don Juan, Don Genaro, and the rest. What he was trying to do was record a shamanic world-view & to play the game, as it were, by Don Juan's rules. He also was convinced that sorcery was "problematic," that is, that it was more than cultural nonsense, as most anthropologists had painted it up to that time. It's this aspect, I think, together with the implicitly racist idea that no "Chicano" (which, of course, he wasn't) could possibly write as well as he did in English, that triggered the attempts by Richard De Mille, et al., to 'expose' him as a fraud. But they never succeeded."

Dr. Jose Cuellar:

Q: In your day to day contact with him, did you see the development of his ideas?

Cuellar: I think that was an experience that all of us in the department had-Carlos was the kind of person who would naturally share his ideas. He would corner you someplace or come running in and say, "Hey, guess what happened? I was with Don Juan and this happened. What do you think?" Or he would corner a faculty member and say, "I was just going through my notes and look what I've discovered." He was constantly doing that.

Q: Any particular examples come to mind?

Cuellar: There are a number. One I remember was where Genaro and Don Juan hid his car. I was in the UCLA library with a couple of other students and faculty members, and Carlos came running in and began to relate the incident in a very animated fashion. Incidentally, he discussed the incident in the context of having someone else with him at the time, an Anglo male, I believe, but later on in the text I think it turns out to be just him.

Q: So you could see the consistency between the experiences in Mexico and what later came out in the books?

Cuellar: Yes. The ethnographic incidents that he reports in the book he also related on a personal different points in time as he collected the data and came back and was analyzing the information. Another one was when Don Juan told him how to deal with a child that was unmanageable. And the coyote incident...when he was talking to a bilingual coyote. He told us about that around the time it happened. And there were others. [Ellipses and italics included in the original text]

Q: That's a question a lot of people are asking. Did this stuff really happen? It seems to me there is no simple answer to that question. Can we really differentiate between the experience and the interpretation?

Cuellar: Right. But I guess one question is, did the ethnographic incidents happen the way he reports them. And the answer to that seems to be, from my experience and the kind of contact that I had with him, yes, those incidents did happen. And I say that because he reported them over a long period of time. [Italics from original text]

Q: Did Castaneda ever, in talking to you, give any indication other than what's in the books, of what or who Don Juan is?

Cuellar: No. Basically the descriptions he gave me are consistent with what has emerged in the books.

Dr. Ralph Beals: "The beginnings of Castaneda's interest in the Yaqui have some bearing on the problem of intent or understanding. Early in his career at the University of California, Los Angeles, Castaneda asked me whether, in view of the works about the Yaqui published by Edward Spicer (1940, 1954) and myself (Beals 1943, 1945), I thought further useful study among them was possible. He was interested in them partly because he could visit them on his own limited resources. Later he spoke enthusiastically about his visit to the Yaqui River and soon came to tell me about his contact with a Yaqui shaman. He asked if I thought it justifiable to concentrate on him as an informant rather than to develop some more conventional ethnographic problem. As neither Spicer nor I had encountered anything resembling true shamanism, I approved the idea. After all, in such a complex and somewhat closed culture as that of the Yaqui, Spicer and I could well have failed to uncover shamanistic practices. Castaneda later spoke vaguely but enthusiastically about his contacts. He did not disclose the shaman's residence but implied that he had been making weekend visits to him on the Yaqui River....Other critics have doubted Don Juan's very existence. In light of my earlier contacts with Castaneda given previously, I personally believe that someone called Don Juan by Castaneda exists."

Dr. Barbara Myerhoff: "There may very well have been, in the beginning, an experience with a concrete person. Otherwise, why would Carlos have said to me, 'Come down. Meet him. Come with me'? I'm still not convinced he was completely lying to me, all the time. Even the waterfall episode was not just Carlos reflecting back to me. There was something besides. Somehow from my experiences of fieldwork I get a feeling he is building on an exchange with another person. I'm not ready to give that up. He told me lots of things I subsequently read in his books. He was always disappearing [from graduate school] and coming back."

Dr. Clement Meighan (Speaking to the Editorial Board of the University of California Press before the publication of The Teachings of Don Juan): "I can believe what he's telling me. It was the same thing he'd been telling everybody for months. The sort of things he is coming in with are too damn good. Even to fake it, you'd have to study anthropology for ten years in order to provide the kind of convincers or data he comes up with. I've known him since he was an undergraduate student here and I'm absolutely convinced that he is an extremely creative thinker, that he's doing anthropology. He's working in an area of cognitive learning and the whole cross-cultural thing. He's put his finger on things that no other anthropologist has even been able to get at, partly by luck and partly because of his particular personality. He's able to get information that other anthropologists can't get because he looks like an Indian and speaks Spanish fluently and because he's a smart listener."

Michael Harner: "While it was flattering to be referred to as a 'genuine researcher' whose work is a source of Carlos Castaneda's data by Robert Bly in his review of 'The Second Ring of Power' (Jan. 22), I must lodge a protest in the interest of accuracy and fairness to Castaneda and his readers. Mr. Bly makes the mistake, as do others, such as Richard de Mille in 'Castaneda's Journey,' who are not really knowledgeable about shamanism, of assuming that similarities between Castaneda's material and that published by others is due to plagiarism by Castaneda. They apparently are unaware that remarkable parallels exist in shamanic belief and practice throughout the primitive world. I am thoroughly conversant with Castaneda's publications; I have known him for a decade and a half; and I am not familiar with any evidence that he has borrowed material from my works [my italics]. It is unfortunate that the persons chosen to review Castaneda's books are not really experts on shamanism. Whatever Castaneda's faults, he is one of the very few Westerners who have ever been able to communicate the nature of the shamanic experience. In this sense he conveys a deep truth, although his specific details can often be justifiably questioned. Who is the more significant conveyer of truth, Castaneda or a plodding ethnographer who gets [garbled] second-hand details right, but who never has had a shamanic experience and misses the spirit of shamanism?

Finally, the current attacks on Castaneda often smack of ethnocentrism. I could hardly believe my eyes (speaking of a separate reality) when Bly rejected the possibility that we could help our own personal development by learning from 'cultures more primitive than ours' and preached instead, 'only by reaching to the work of a more highly articulated culture can your interior energy come forth.' Christian missionaries have been saying more or less the same thing in the Upper Amazon jungle for decades. The Indians there still don't believe it, and neither do I. What elitist Victorian hogwash!"

[In The Don Juan Papers, de Mille jumps on "...although his specific details can often be justifiably questioned" to assert that these questions discredit Castaneda's work. But from my reading of his statement, Harner seems to be saying that he is curious about why certain procedures were performed the way they were; how these procedures came into existence; and other questions that an anthropologist might have about the nuts and bolts of Castaneda's work. The statement, to me, seems to say that Harner would have liked to "talk shop" with Castaneda in an effort to better understand, not to discredit.]

Author's Note

The direct quotes of Juan Matus (Don Juan) most effectively illuminate and explain the Warrior’s Way, as reported in the books of Carlos Castaneda. Each quotation is accompanied by the book, chapter and page number from which it is taken (Book, Chapter, Page Number). Both The Teachings of Don Juan and A Separate Reality have numbered chapters which are not enumerated in the index but which have been used here to make finding the relevant quote easier across the many editions of these two books that have been published through the years.

Page numbers are taken from the hardcover editions since they are the most widely available versions in public and institutional libraries. The 30th anniversary edition of the first book (with Castaneda’s 1998 commentary section) has been used since it will replace the original version over time.

Insertions included by the author for the sake of clarity and brevity are marked by [brackets].

Book 1 - The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way Of Knowledge

Book 2 - A Separate Reality

Book 3 - Journey to Ixtlan

Book 4 - Tales of Power

Book 5 - The Second Ring of Power

Book 6 - The Eagle’s Gift

Book 7 - The Fire From Within

Book 8 - The Power of Silence

Book 9 - The Art of Dreaming

Book 10 - Magical Passes

Book 11 - The Wheel of Time

Book 12 - The Active Side of Infinity

Source Notes

Castaneda's Journey

"If I were a struggling graduate student" De Mille, Castaneda's Journey, Ch. 1, Pg. 18.

"Carlos first heard about seeing six years after he first saw" De Mille, Castaneda's Journey, Ch. 3, Pg. 37.

"the events of Jan. 29, 1962" (3,13,182)

"the conversation of May 21, 1968" (2,2,36)

"sometime before May 14, 1962" (2,Introduction,20-21)

"de Mille asserts that sewing the eyelids" De Mille, Castaneda's Journey, Ch. 3, Pgs. 41-43.

"The directions given by don Juan for sewing" (1,5,86)

"exactly how Castaneda described it" (1,9,123)

"Wasson's concerns about Castaneda's work" De Mille, Castaneda's Journey, Ch. 3, Pgs. 43-47.

"He replied fully and intelligently" Wasson, Review of Journey To Ixtlan, Economic Botany, Jan.-Mar. 1973, Pgs. 151-152.

"Subject to refutation by long-awaited proofs" De Mille, Castaneda's Journey, Ch. 3, Pg. 51.

"poor pilgrim lost on his way" De Mille, Castaneda's Journey, Ch. 3, Pg. 47.

"The complete quote from Wasson's review" Wasson, Review of Journey To Ixtlan,

Economic Botany, Jan.-Mar. 1973, Pgs. 151-152.

"letter that de Mille himself admits" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 13, Pg. 126.

"Goldschmidt filed a formal complaint" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 13, Pg. 127.

"Goldschmidt did indeed become cowed" Goldschmidt, "The Pleasure Principle",

Interviewed by Mark Ehrman, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 20, 2005.

"five faculty members signed" De Mille, Castaneda's Journey, Ch. 4, Pg. 68.

"his truth as a witness is not in question" De Mille, Castaneda's Journey, Ch. 4, Pg. 64.

"human body when seen as pure energy" De Mille, Castaneda's Journey, Ch. 5, Pg. 94.

"many other common perceptions" Harner, Letter, New York Times Book Review, May 7, 1978.

"comparison of anthropologist Peter Furst's account" Castaneda's Journey, Ch. 6, Pgs. 112-113.

"Castaneda's account of don Genaro" (2,6, 124-128)

"Silva was leaping from rock to rock" Furst, Rock Crystals and Peyote Dreams, Ch. 2.

"wearing a large, showy costume"

"recounts his conversations with another witness" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 42,Pgs. 339-354.

"Myerhoff was very unsure of the chronology" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Notes, Pg. 486.

"Myerhoff and Castaneda were UCLA students" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 42,Pg. 336.

"defended her dissertation" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 42,Pg. 338.

"1970 series of lectures at UCLA" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 42,Pg. 338.

"nothing else to say on the subject" De Mille, Castaneda's Journey, Ch. 6, Pg. 113.

"demonstration was like don Genaro's is suspect" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 42,Pg. 338.

"what the terms tonal and nagual mean" De Mille, Castaneda's Journey, Ch. 7, Pgs. 117-128.

"another alleged discrepancy" De Mille, Castaneda's Journey, Pg. 168.

"I wanted to ask what I was supposed to see" (3,12,157)

"de Mille makes much of Castaneda's 1965 encounter" De Mille, Castaneda's Journey, Pgs. 170-171.

"Castaneda believes it to be a female" (1,11,147-148)

"spread throughout Castaneda's Journey" De Mille, Castaneda's Journey, Pg. 171, Pg. 160, Pg. 137, Pg. 135, Pg. 128, Pg. 121, Pg. 96, Pg. 93, Pg.75, Pgs. 70-71, Pg. 66, Pgs. 62-63, Pg. 58.

"Castaneda had to "experience" all of the events chronicled" De Mille, Castaneda's Journey, Pgs. 171-172.

"dissatisfaction with Castaneda's translations" De Mille, Castaneda's Journey, Pgs. 172-176.

The Don Juan Papers

"Carlos meets a certain witch named La Catalina" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 2,Pg. 18.

"Castaneda did not know the identity" (1,11,145-148)

"unaccountably he has never heard of it in 1968" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 2,Pg. 18.

"Don Juan had referred to seeing briefly" (3,12,157)(3,13,182)

"The most detailed conversation about seeing" (2,Introduction,20-21)

"His statements sounded like gibberish to me" (2,Introduction,24)

"Castaneda did not begin to understand" (2,2,49-53)

"brief conversation about seeing on May 21, 1968" (2,2,36)

"The Teachings tells a gothic tale full of fear" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 2,Pg. 18.

"there are over a dozen examples" (1,2,30)(1,2,31)(1,2,33)(1,2,37)(1,3,44)(1,3,47)(1,6,100)(1,6,101)(1,7,103)(1,8,119)(1,8,121)(1,10,130)(1,11,148)

"second kind of proof" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 2,Pg. 19.

"Since I was capable of writing down most of what was said" (3,Introduction,8)

"With prodigious speed and skill" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 2,Pg. 19.

"Jose Cuellar, described his ability as" Cuellar, Boulder Magazine, Apr.-May 1978, Pg. 23.

"No one but Castaneda has seen don Juan" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 2,Pg. 19.

"identified as William Laurence Campbell" Wanderling, Don Juan Matus: Real Or Imagined?,

"believed him to be Alan Morrison" Castaneda, A Magical Journey with Carlos  Castaneda, Ch. 15, Pg. 103.

"spoken to don Juan on at least one other occasion" (12,1,40)

"Castaneda and don Juan were pursued" (4,7,147)

"a man de Mille praises and derides" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 6, Pgs. 61-62, Ch. 6, Pg. 45.

"de Mille mentions two others" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Notes, Pg. 440.

"a matter of inter-departmental conflict" Cuellar, Boulder Magazine, Apr.-May 1978, Pgs. 21-22.

"Castaneda himself confirmed this in a letter" Castaneda, A Magical Journey with Carlos Castaneda, Ch. 20, Pg. 139.

"there was no presentation " De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 2, Pg. 19.

"accusation that there were no actual field notes" Castaneda, A Magical Journey with Carlos Castaneda, Ch. 18, Pg. 128.

"He did not disclose his shaman's residence" Beals, American Anthropologist, June 1978, Pg. 357.

"He had handfuls of incompletes" Interview, De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 42, Pg. 351.

"Castaneda did actually drop out of UCLA in 1965" Castaneda, A Magical Journey with Carlos Castaneda, Ch. 18, Pg. 129.

"de Mille hypothesis that any field notes extant" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 2, Pg. 19.

"third kind of proof" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 2, Pg. 19.

"De Mille's second example is a severely edited quotation" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 2, Pg. 20.

"article that appeared in Psychedelic Review" Swain et al, Psychedelic Review, Fall 1963, Pgs. 219-243.

"Then de Mille abstracts another quotation" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 2, Pg. 20.

"Castaneda's first experience with datura" (1,3,44-45)

"de Mille's analysis of these two passages" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 2, Pg. 20.

"nobody had actually tried to smoke them" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 2, Pg. 23.

"Castaneda described the procedure" (2,Introduction,15)

"One of the sources that de Mille listed" Pollock, "The Psilocybin Mushroom

Pandemic", Journal of Psychedelic Drugs, Jan.-Mar. 1975, Pgs. 73-84.

"As noted by Anton Koote" Koote, "A Critical Look At Castaneda's Critics",

The Journal Of Mind And Behavior, 1984, 5, Pgs. 99-108.

"Castaneda's critics want to have it both ways" Ibid.

"don Juan and Castaneda stalked rabbits bare-handed" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 6, Pg. 57.

"used traps assembled from materials" (3,7,83)(3,8,96-97)(3,8,100)(3,9,113)

"Don Juan was educated" (8,12,200-201)

"some of whom came from the same well-educated background" (8,1,38)

"from which the nagual Julian himself emerged" (8,2,63)

"The household's wealth gave them access" (8,6,252)

Contemporaneous Witnesses

Margaret Runyan Castaneda 1): Interview, De Mille, Castaneda's Journey, Ch. 3, Pg. 58.

Margaret Runyan Castaneda 2): Castaneda, A Magical Journey with Carlos Castaneda, Ch. 15, Pg. 115.

Dr. C. Scott Littleton 1) Letter to Laura Knight-Jadczyk, Adventures With Cassiopaea, Ch. 42.,

"Castaneda had a habit of referring" (8,Introduction,16)

Dr. C. Scott Littleton 2): Littleton, Journal Of Latin American Lore, 1976, Vol. 2, No. 2, Pgs. 145-155.

Dr. C. Scott Littleton 3) E-mail to Dr. Jack Starfatti, June 30, 2001

Dr. Jose Cuellar: Interview, Boulder Magazine, Apr.-May 1978, Pgs. 22-23.

Dr. Ralph Beals: Beals, American Anthropologist, June 1978, Pgs. 357 & 359.

Dr. Barbara Myerhoff: Interview, De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 42, Pgs. 339-354.

Dr. Clement Meighan: Castaneda, A Magical Journey with Carlos Castaneda, Ch. 19, Pgs. 140-141.

Michael Harner: Letter to the Editor, New York Times Book Review, May 7, 1978, Pg. 45.

"Robert Bly in his review" Bly, New York Times Book Review, Jan. 22, 1978, Pg. 22.

"to assert that these questions discredit" De Mille, The Don Juan Papers, Ch. 2, Pg. 22.



Castaneda, Carlos. The Teachings of Don Juan : A Yaqui Way of Knowledge (30th Anniversary Edition). Los Angeles and Berkeley, California. The University of California Press, 1998.

Castaneda, Carlos. A Separate Reality. New York : Simon And Schuster, 1971.

Castaneda, Carlos. Journey to Ixtlan. New York : Simon And Schuster, 1972.

Castaneda, Carlos. Tales of Power. New York : Simon And Schuster, 1974.

Castaneda, Carlos. The Second Ring of Power. New York : Simon And Schuster, 1977.

Castaneda, Carlos. The Eagle’s Gift. New York : Simon And Schuster, 1981.

Castaneda, Carlos. The Fire From Within. New York : Simon And Schuster, 1984.

Castaneda, Carlos. The Power of Silence. New York : Simon And Schuster, 1987.

Castaneda, Carlos. The Art of Dreaming. New York : HarperCollins, 1993.

Castaneda, Carlos. Magical Passes. New York : HarperCollins, 1998.

Castaneda, Carlos. The Wheel of Time. Los Angeles : LA Eidolona Press, 1998.

Castaneda, Carlos. The Active Side of Infinity. New York : HarperCollins, 1998.

Castaneda, Carlos. A Journal of Applied Hermeneutics. Vol. 1, Nos. 1-4, 1996.

Castaneda, Margaret Runyan. A Magical Journey with Carlos Castaneda., Inc., 2001. (Paperback)

De Mille, Richard. Castaneda’s Journey. Santa Barbara, California. Capra Press, 1976. (Paperback)(Identical to the 2001 revised version)

De Mille, Richard. The Don Juan Papers., Inc., 2001. (Revised Edition) (Paperback)

Furst, Peter. The Chasm Between The Worlds. Rock Crystals and Peyote Dreams,

University of Utah Press, 2006, Ch. 2 with Afterword, [This excerpt from Furst's book contains several pictures of Ramon Medina Silva's "waterfall jumping."]


Beals, Ralph L.. Sonoran Fantasy or Coming of Age. American Anthropologist, June 1978, Vol. 80, No. 2, Pgs. 355-362.

Cuellar, Jose. Interview by Michael and Patrick McNierney. Boulder Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 3, April-May 1978, Pgs. 20-23 & 30.

Goldschmidt, Walter. Goldschmidt, "The Pleasure Principle", Interviewed by Mark Ehrman, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 20, 2005.

Harner, Michael. Letter to the Editor. New York Times Book Review, May 7, 1978, Pg. 45.

Koote, Anton F., A Critical Look at Castaneda's Critics. The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Vol. 5, No. 1, Winter 1984, Pgs. 99-108. [Koote's article, de Mille's response and Koote's reply are posted at]

Littleton, C. Scott. E-mail to Dr. Jack Starfatti, June 30, 2001, http://wanderling.

Littleton, C. Scott. An Emic Account of Sorcery: Carlos Castaneda and the Rise of a New Anthropology. Journal of Latin American Lore, Vol. 2, No. 2, 1976.

Littleton, C. Scott. Letter to Laura Knight-Jadczyk, Adventures with Cassiopaea, Ch. 42.,

Pollock, Steven Hayden. The Psilocybin Mushroom Pandemic. Journal of Psychedelic Drugs, Vol. 7, No. 1, Jan.-Mar. 1975, Pgs. 73-84.

Silva, Ramon Medina. Photo at waterfall by Peter Furst,

Swain, Frederic et al. Four Psilocybin Experiences. The Psychedelic Review, Vol. 1, No. 2, Fall 1963, Pgs. 219-243.

Wanderling, The. Don Juan Matus: Real Or Imagined?,

Wasson, Gordon. Review of Journey to Ixtlan, Economic Botany, Vol. 27, No. 1, Jan.-Mar. 1973, Pgs. 151-152.


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