Patricia Partin (from her high school yearbook, sophomore year)
Blue Scout Chronology Part I [1957 - 1992]
Many of the more junior Cleargreen people (and others who briefly came into Castaneda’s inner circle over the last several years) were "terrorized" by having to pass approval by the supposed "Blue Scout." Nury Alexander was held up to others in the group as a superior, "perfect" being, "not really human" in nature. The prevalent impression was that if Nury didn’t like you, you were "out." Castaneda also used Nury as a threat with the Sunday group for some months, claiming that if word got out about the sessions and a disapproving "Blue Scout" learned about them, they would be ended "in a flash."
When Castaneda would sometimes slip and say things about Nury that didn’t exactly fit the story that she was his "daughter"–e.g., referring to her as a "Catholic"–he would then expand on the story, claiming, for example, that for her first seven years she was raised in a Mexican orphanage that was run by Catholics.
I therefore dedicate the following chronology to the remaining Cleargreen staff, who might just benefit from the "cognitive dissonance" of knowing that documentary evidence clearly establishes that Nury, the supposed "perfect" warrior and "non-human" whose disapproval could spell the end of their association with Castaneda, had a normal birth to loving parents in Southern California, long before she met Castaneda in her late teens.
Blue Scout Chronology: Patricia Lee Partin
Sept. 4, 1957 – Patricia Lee Partin (later to be known as "the Blue Scout") is born at 11:40 AM in St. Luke Hospital in Pasadena to Marion Lee Partin, 30, and Joyce Jeanette Jensen, 30. The family was then living in Azusa, about 20 miles east of Pasadena in Los Angeles County. [Birth certificate State file no. 57-207997.] She was the fourth of five daughters in the Partin family.
1969 – Patricia’s father is involved in a terrible accident that leaves him with permanent brain damage. He will spend the next 27 years living in nursing homes.
Sept. 1971 - May 1973 – Patricia attends Bonita High School in La Verne, California, enjoying art classes, but flunking out of some courses, most of her grades ranging from C- to D. [The picture above is taken from the 1972 Yearbook at Bonita. Patricia had already dropped out in 1973 before her junior year picture was taken.]
[1973 - Castaneda's character "Don Juan" (who supposedly instructed Patricia on "magical passes" that are later the subject of Castaneda's book by that name) permanently leaves the world with his party of sorcerers.]
May 1973 - Spring 1975 - Patricia attends Chapparal Continuation High School in San Dimas. She fails to graduate, ending with 116 credits (190 being needed to graduate). Toward the end of her time there, she enrolls in training for a position as a medical/legal secretary.
1976 - Patricia works as a waitress.
January 23, 1977 – Patricia Lee Partin marries Mark Wood Silliphant in Las Vegas, Nevada.
[Note: Mark Silliphant is the brother of Sterling Silliphant--a Hollywood writer and producer--who at one time was planning to film a version of The Teachings of don Juan. According to Richard de Mille’s 1990 edition of The Don Juan Papers, when de Mille tried to reach Sterling Silliphant to inquire about the film, he "could reach only [Sterling’s] brother Mark, who told me he didn’t like what I was doing, and hung up." p. 245. De Mille was prompted to call Silliphant by an entry on Castaneda in the 1977 edition of Contemporary Authors, a dictionary of writers’ biographies, that stated that "The Teachings of Don Juan sounds like a novel, but it was Castaneda’s master’s thesis, and all of the experiences are true." The entry also states that the book, "was produced by Sterling Silliphant as an underground film." De Mille learned from the Silliphant office at Warner Brothers that the production had been planned but the rights subsequently withdrawn. An editor at Contemporary Authors informed him that the entry mentioning the film "had been prepared for the 1971 edition and approved by Castaneda; no reason to revise it had come to the editor’s attention in 1976." Id.]
February 10, 1977 – Patricia and Mark Silliphant separate, after 19 days of marriage. [Per divorce petition.]
February 22, 1977 – Mark Silliphant petitions for divorce from "Patricia Lee Silliphant." [L.A. Superior Court No. WED 31357.]
April 11, 1977 – Mark Silliphant files a financial declaration, listing his age as 30 and his occupation as writer. Patricia Lee Silliphant’s age is listed as 19 and her occupation as waitress.
1977 - Castaneda’s The Second Ring of Power published by Simon and Schuster
1977 (or possibly ’78) – Patricia, with Mark Silliphant, visits her mother, then living in Anaheim, for the last time. The couple refuses, of course, to let the mother take their picture. [Patricia will then have no further contact with her family of origin until a brother-in-law tracks her down through Cleargreen in 1996 or ‘97 for a brief telephone conversation.]
[August 2, 1977 - Mark Wood Silliphant files for change of name to Richard Rollo Whittaker. He lists as his residence 11603 Darlington Blvd., LA 90049. (Yes, the address where Patricia was supposed to be living when Mark filed for divorce.) The petition states that he was born Oct. 7, 1946, in Pasadena, and gives his father--Leigh Arlington Silliphant--in Hawaii as his nearest relative. Final order filed Sept. 6, 1977. WEC 49429.]
[Note: Mark Silliphant is known to have been a member of Castaneda’s "inner circle" for a time in the seventies. He was also known during this time as "Mark Austin," which is interesting since Carol’s legal name from November 1972 to May 1988 was "Elizabeth Austin." Mark had enrolled at UCLA as a Theater Arts major in September 1972, but left the school in March 1974 without obtaining a degree.]
June 30, 1978 – Final judgment is entered in Mark and Patricia’s divorce. Patricia’s address is then given as 11603 Darlington, Los Angeles 90049.
July 28, 1978 – Patricia Silliphant files for a change of name to Nury Alexander. She lists her birthplace as Pasadena and date as September 4, 1957. She states that her place of residence is 1376 ½ Midvale, Los Angeles, and that the reason for the change is: "At present I am preparing myself for a career in show business. I am cognizant of the fact that it is very important to have a name that would enhance my chances to succeed. I believe that the name I have chosen, Nury [the typed word "Nuri" is altered by hand to replace the "i" with a "y"] Alexander, has a fluidity to it which will help me in my chosen profession." She also claims that her father is deceased and that she has no known relatives (both of which claims were false at the time). L.A. Superior Court No. WEC 54721. Decree changing name filed on Sept. 11, 1978.]
[Note: On the same date, July 28, 1978, Beverly Evans (formerly Beverly Madge Ames) files for change of name to Cecilia Evans. Petition states that she also resides at 1376 1/2 Midvale, Los Angeles. Her final decree is also entered Sept. 11, 1978. WEC 54720. Carol Tiggs also uses this address when she files for a second change of name in October 1988, and Reni uses it when she files for a name change in 1989. Both Reni and Zaia Alexander, who files for her name change in November 1992, also give this as the address of "Nuri" Alexander in their petitions, both claiming that Nuri is their "sister."]
November 3, 1982 - Nury's high school transcripts are sent to UCLA Admission Office. (Presumably she had also taken and passed the California High School Proficiency Exam by this time.)
1980s – At least two people who knew Nury and others in Castaneda’s group recall that Castaneda was putting Nury through school at UCLA, and that she was enrolled for awhile at least in the Business School. [UCLA will not give out any information on Nury’s dates of attendance or degrees obtained because she filed a request for confidentiality on information relating to her record there. UMI Dissertation Services—the depository of most of the nation’s university Ph.D. dissertations and some masters’ theses--has no record of a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation by a Nury or Nuri Alexander.]
October 3, 1985 - Castaneda executes an 11-page will in Beverly Hills leaving his estate in four equal shares to Mary Joan Baker, Regina Thal (a.k.a. Florinda Donner), Annamarie Carter and "Nuri" Alexander.
Feb. 1992 - DIMENSIONS (a Canadian New Age magazine) publishes article, "Being-In-Dreaming--Florinda Donner in Conversation with Alexander Blair-Ewart."
Florinda states: "For [Castaneda], whatever the people he is working with—and there are six of us—it’s a matter of decision. That’s all. Our decision is all that counts, nothing else." She also explains: "Castaneda is the last of his line. There is no one else. There’s a group of Indians that we work with. You see, Don Juan, in a weird way made almost a mistake with Castaneda. And he rallied right away. His circle of apprentices—and I think it’s in Tales of Power and The Second Ring of Power, when he talks about the people in Oaxaca and the Little Sisters and all those people. And then, years later, Don Juan realizes that that’s not the way Castaneda is going. Castaneda was even more abstract than Don Juan was. His path was a totally different path. And then when he gathered these other people, because the people that are with Castaneda, we all met Don Juan before we met Castaneda. Actually there was only five of us before—four of us and Castaneda." She also claimed, "Everyone working within this little group has a degree. There are historians, anthropologists, librarians."
Go to Blue Scout Chronology part II