Because she was one of them, a lot of the information about the women in Castaneda’s life (and bed) comes from Amy Wallace’s book, Sorcerer’s Apprentice. More comes from an enormously comprehensive website, Sustained Action, created by Richard Jennings (aka Corey Donovan), who attended quite a few of the classes given by Carlos Castaneda. In a piece called “Sex, Lies and Guru Ploys,” he says,
It was also suggested… that this teacher’s “special powers” included the ability to accelerate the development of similar abilities in his “students,” and that he could even “fix” various “energetic” problems, holes and obstacles, especially in women, through what would be described in other contexts as casual sex.
Daniel Lawton, who attended classes in Los Angeles, noted that Castaneda was homophobic, which was obvious when he talked about such other teachers as Baba Ram Dass. Lawton gave it the standard interpretation: a man fighting his own latent homoerotic tendency, and said,
He required the women in his life to transform themselves into little boys. Their hair had to be short, their breasts hidden, and he didn’t like make-up.
Wallace offers this detail:
Carlos led a vast number of readers to follow his first dreaming exercise, to search for their hands in their sleep. (“It was really my penis don Juan told me to find,” he explained, “But my publisher wouldn’t let me say that.”)
Castaneda’s claim of being celibate for 20 years or whatever, forget it. He was always on the prowl. He surrounded himself with a cadre of women who taught his classes, handled his business affairs, disciplined the lesser disciples, managed his household, and considered it an honor to bonk him. One of his inner circle had been in the harem of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. They enabled his dictatorial ways and suffered enormous stress loads that often morphed into physical illnesses.
According to Castaneda, there are two kinds of people. A “bored fuck” is someone whose mother was not orgasmic, in association with that particular act. The consequence to the child: When he or she grows up, he or she must be celibate in order to follow the warrior/shaman path. On the other hand, a “non-bored fuck” is, obviously, someone whose mother was sexually satisfied on the occasion of conception. Anyone who started out as a “non-bored fuck” is born with plenty of energy. So when they grow up, they can have all the sex they want.
Any time he met someone, Castaneda had the power to suss out whether that person was a bored fuck or a non-bored fuck. By a strange happenstance, only the nagual himself and very, very few other people were entitled to have sex. He was openly judgmental of a woman guru who admitted to having an erotic life.
If a woman had sex with the nagual (Castaneda), his sperm would reach her brain, and alter it into something superior to human. Also, any other man she had sex with in the future would receive magical benefits of unimaginable quality. But – none of these women were expected to be having sex with other men in the future. On the contrary: the boss wanted them all to be eternally faithful to him. So, in practical terms, no one should have a chance to test out whether, like the flu, those magical benefits could be passed around.
There are creatures who have evil intentions toward us. They are known as fliers. A human baby girl is born with a horizontal bar of energy, which the fliers immediately take a big bite from. This wound could only be repaired by – you guessed it – having sex with Carlos Castaneda. Amy Wallace wrote,
More often than not, Carlos and I made love with such ardor that we wore one another out. These were the happiest moments in my nine years in the sorcerers’ world.
His euphemisms for sex included “shamanic penetration,” “implanting the nagual,” or “repairing the energy bar.” It would all be kind of cute, if not for the fact that Castaneda publicly proclaimed his own renunciation of sex. He demanded celibacy of his followers, unless of course it was the nagual they were being uncelibate with. He didn’t think much of stoned sex, either. At one of the “Cleargreen Night Sessions” where Corey Donovan took notes, Castaneda told the class,
People who smoke a lot of marijuana don’t make good lovers. The father of a friend of mine in school did a study on it and concluded that because it makes their knees and elbows weak, they just lie flat on top of the woman and smother her.
One of Castaneda’s control methods was to personally give the haircuts. If someone was out of favor, he would refuse to cut her hair, nor was anyone else allowed to cut it. So, among the harem, a shaggy head of hair was a badge of shame. But brownie points could be earned by bringing in fresh women, a disturbingly recurring item in the agendas of quite a few professional holy men. When the nagual eventually tired of a bedmate, she’d be assigned to find somebody new for him. Amy Wallace uses the word pimping, and she’s not talking about a fancy background for her MySpace page.
Castaneda had a great pickup line. “You’re the Electric Warrior,” he told Wallace and, as she later learned, others. Just put yourself in their place for a minute. The great man transforms your meeting into an event of cosmic significance. He reveals your true essence. You are a mythical, messianic entity, the one who will complete the magic circle, the team of otherworldly superheroes. The great man says, “You’re the being we’ve been waiting for – the creature to guide us to Infinity.” Who could resist?
In a Sustained Action discussion group, a woman described how she was approached. First, at a class, Castaneda whispered in her ear, “You have very good energy.” Then, one of his staff called her with an invitation to secret, private classes, where she was placed in the front row directly facing Castaneda. She was called again, by one of the inner circle women, with a request from Castaneda – may he call her at home? She was asked for the day and time of her birth, so the witches could cast her astrological chart. Castaneda himself told her that, through astrology, he had discovered that she was significant to his group and his cause.
Castaneda’s objectification of women was dictatorial. Amy Wallace wrote,
Taisha had spent years with Carlos’ favorite electrolysist, removing all body hair…..He dispatched me to Faye to create a perfect bikini line…. He insisted it was magically critical that I shave my pubic hair in certain ways – his directions altered over time. Carlos insisted, “This is of the utmost sorceric importance – you must shave the lower half of your conchita; it will allow the energy to flow smoothly, and make you less human.”
Wallace was given the unusual privilege of wearing shorter skirts and higher heels than the others, and Castaneda gave her the additional nicknames of Piernitas (little legs) and Piernudas (little nude legs).
Carlos Castaneda and Alan Watts
The 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 Wallace,
He was crude, cynical about spirituality, even sneering at his own books, books I had practically memorized!
Disillusionment with his hero’s ugly attitude was only the beginning, to be followed by undignified ass-grabbing. When the two men were climbing a staircase, Castaneda said, “he made a pass at my culo!”
Did Castaneda ever apply that lesson to his own doings? When he worked his mojo to bring various women under his erotic thralldom, did he ever recall his own horrified reaction to a sexual advance? Did it ever occur to him that a young woman might find him just as unappealing as he had found Watts?