BlogDocumentary on the Carlos Castaneda controversy
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Documentary on the Carlos Castaneda controversy


If you have an hour to spare, the BBC documentary below (originally aired in 2007) offers an interesting introduction to and investigation of the controversial books on Don Juan by Carlos Castañeda.

Carlos Castañeda (1925 - 1998) was an American writer and anthropologist best known for his books on the mysterious shaman Don Juan. In the first book 'The Teachings Of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge' (1968), Castañeda describes his apprenticeship in the 1960s with the enigmatic Don Juan, an interesting mix of story, philosophy, drugs and religion.

Real or fake?

This debut publication was an instant success and incited thousands of Americans to set off for Mexico in search of drugs, enlightenment and adventure. Though Castañeda was awarded a doctorate in anthropology by UCLA, an investigative journalist claimed he’d faked his fieldwork and that Don Juan was merely a figment of his imagination.

The BBC documentary 'Tales from the Jungle' investigates the controversy that surrounded Castañeda, his work and philosophy…

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