Carlos Castaneda, for the uninitiated, was dubbed the "grandfather of the New Age movement" by Time magazine. A careful manager of his own image, Castaneda followed the L. Ron Hubbard school of self-promotion. After writing a collection of books about a mystical character named Don Juan (no relation to Byron's Don Juan), Castaneda turned his writing into a philosophy -- the usual New Age stuff about transcending reality and flying during trance-like states -- and then he signed up a bunch of followers to preach his self-made gospel. This exclusive club of "sorcerer's apprentices" delved into Castaneda's Shamanism in personal classes, most of which seem to revolve around taking peyote and tripping in the Arizona desert. Castaneda died recently, in 1998, and he still remains a heavy influence on what remains of the New Age world.
Ralph Torjan was a member of Castaneda's movement; he knew Castaneda personally and attended countless classes and seminars. In this documentary he offers his personal insights about the man and the movement, and interviews other sorcerer's apprentices about their decades of involvement in the group. Time has not been kind to many of these ladies (and most of them are women -- apparently building a harem was part of Castaneda's M.O.), and their hazy recollections positively shriek of drug-blasted minds. What follows is 91 minutes of talking heads, as Torjan reflects in voice-over about Castaneda and various others babble endlessly about the tenets of the movement.
Continue reading: Carlos Castaneda: Enigma Of A Sorcerer Review