Acid Heroes

May 4, 2011

Carlos Castaneda and Alan Watts

Filed under: High Priestess — Ace Backwords @ 6:09 am
Tags: ,

Amy Wallace’s book Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Between those covers lie many interesting tales. She relates the generally homophobic Castaneda’s disgust at learning that Alan Watts was gay. Watts had been his hero, and Castaneda was just crushed to learn the truth. Even worse, when the two men were climbing a staircase, Castaneda said, “he made a pass at my culo!”

And playing grabass wasn’t the worst of it. Watts got “stinking drunk” and horrified Castaneda with his impiety. These are Castaneda’s words about Watts, as reported by Wallace:

He was crude, cynical about spirituality, even sneering at his own books, books I had practically memorized! But worst of all was hearing Watts, my hero, declare “Of course we can never live up to the behavior we admire – that’s the beauty of it!”


You might dig this page:

What movies and music did Carlos Castaneda like?



  1. Alan Watts wasn’t gay. He was married three times and had seven children. His weird sexual kink was that he liked to be spanked and degraded. You know those Brits. He shared one thing with Castaneda, in my opinion. They wer both bullshit artists. Castaneda was a compulsive liar according to a bio by his wife. And I believe her.

    Comment by Ace Backwords — May 4, 2011 @ 7:51 pm | Reply

  2. So was he or wasn’t he? Certainly being married even multiple times doesn’t rule it out.

    I’m guessing not, as this was the only relevant article to come up in my Google search “Alan Watts gay.”

    Need to know though — may be performing an extended character impression of him soon and this would help.


    Comment by literalshipments — July 5, 2011 @ 11:25 pm | Reply

    • Depends on how much credence you put in Castaneda’s word.

      Comment by Pat Hartman — July 6, 2011 @ 4:13 am | Reply

  3. So what, he got a few drinks in him and made a pass at Carlos. Alan never moralized at his students, and he never claimed to be some saint. He mocked the fact that some people saw him as a holy man, and made it clear that he was no such thing. If there are any of his books which he sneered at, it would have probably been the ones written early in his career about Christianity, while he was an Episcopalian priest. Alan de-converted and left the church, and around the time this account would have taken place, he claimed to be nothing more than a philosophical and spiritual entertainer, someone who found certain views interesting and wished to share them with the rest of the world.

    Comment by Bodhi — October 25, 2012 @ 12:18 pm | Reply

  4. […] sorcerer spoke bitterly of the traumatic occasion when he met Alan Watts, who got “stinking drunk,” and whose impiety so horrified Castaneda that he told […]

    Pingback by The Secret Life of Carlos Castaneda | Acid Heroes: the Legends of LSD — March 15, 2013 @ 11:24 pm | Reply

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