Victor Sanchez

Statement by Victor Sanchez regarding Castaneda vs. Sanchez and related topics

About the Lawsuit of Castaneda vs. Bear & Company and Victor Sanchez

  1. The lawsuit was primarily against Bear & Company and they included Victor Sanchez, about a book cover that was the responsibility only of the publisher and not the author. I actually didn't like the cover because it was too "cartoon-like" and because on that cover Castaneda's name was bigger than mine. The fact is, covers are a matter in the publisher's domain, not the author's.
  2. The complaint involving my name in the lawsuit was: "conspiring with Bear & Company to create a cover that damages Castaneda's reputation and business" (which I didn't).
  3. They didn't attack the contents of the book because there was nothing even close to illegal or dishonest about it.
  4. I received an adverse judgment, because I was supposedly on default. Drooz [Castaneda's attorney, now the Trustee of his estate] convinced the judge that I didn't want to respond the court, because I was a Mexican that disrespected the American legal system.

The simple truth is:

  1. I didn't respond at first, because the author of the cover was my publisher (Bear & Company). The publishing company told me not to respond because they were going to settle the whole problem with Drooz. Then, Drooz accepted a settlement with Bear and Company for around $11,000. After the agreement my publisher told me the problem was over.
  2. Months later I discovered that someone was lying. I was not included in the settlement and I was about to be declared to have defaulted by the court. Then I hired a lawyer in New Mexico who talked with Drooz for months trying to get to a settlement agreement. Drooz's requests were absurd (e.g., wanting to have money from every workshop I have given in any country before or after the publishing of the book, prohibiting me from using the title of my book, and other restrictions to my freedom of speech). She kept saying: "Don't respond to the court because we are going to get to an agreement," and at the end, always again asking unacceptable terms.
  3. Then, seeing that Drooz was not in the mood to get to a real understanding or settlement agreement, I hired a lawyer in L.A. who assisted with the first hearing of the case and the incredible happened: Drooz convinced the judge to put me in default, even with my lawyer in front of her! This was not legal and the judge took her discretion to the very border of what is legal (i.e., declaring someone in default whose lawyer is right there, in the first hearing of the case). One of the main arguments of Drooz was that she was insisting to my New Mexico lawyer that we should respond to the California Court to avoid being in default but that we had not listened to her. The simple truth was that she did everything she could to convince my lawyer to not respond to the court. That was, in simple words, a trap.
  4. It seems that, first, Drooz convinced Bear's lawyer of not including me in the settlement, but creating at the same time the false impression that I was included. Then she convinced my lawyer from New Mexico to not respond to the court, and then she accused me of not responding to the court. The result? I had a judgment of $111,000 against me for something I didn't do (a copycat cover) when the real authors of the cover just paid $11,000. During the entire process I did not have the chance to show the lack of merits of the case against me. This means that no judge ever heard my arguments and proofs against the false accusations.

My reflection is that I lost because Castaneda and his lawyer had more money and

Replica Watches  Replica Watches

better knowledge of how to twist the American legal system to make white look black and black look like pure snow-like white. (It is ironic that when the moment comes for a self-claimed sorcerer to show his power, we wouldn't see him flying or performing any phenomena that challenges the laws of physics, but simply mundane tricks like using money and lawyers to intimidate others . . . )

The same tricky ways found their way into the appeal that I filed and lost. Well, the bad part is that I supposedly owe to the Eagles Trust $111K. The funny part is that, contrary to Cleargreen assessments, I have not become a millionaire, so I live a modest life, and don't have assets or money to pay such a sum. So there is no way for them to collect the money they fought and lied so hard to get. (I recently learned that they are now claiming $180K, I suppose because of interest. Anyway, it's the same to me--$110,000, 180,000 or a million. What's the difference when you don't have what they want?)

This is just a short summary of a long and complex story, and, of course, I have documents to prove all this, but this is just part of the story.

5. Cleargreen harassment has included: accusing me of claiming to be

Castaneda's disciple, making millions using his name, and spreading rumors about people being injured or killed in my workshops. Nothing of that is truth.

Incredibly, they have also had the time to be interested in my sexual life, accusing me of seducing women (this of course is consistent with their constant concern about sex).

The only thing I can say is:

  1. Like everyone, I do have a sexual life.
  2. I have always approached sexuality and love with respect in my work.
  3. I have never claimed anything against having a sex life. I have never needed to tell lies, or talk about spiritual sex practices in order to have sex with anyone. Their gossip about sex is just ill intentioned rumors.
  4. My disagreement with their dark stories about sex--like the holes in the energetic body because of having children, the malignity of sexuality between men and women because of the sucking energy worms left in the women's womb, etc.--have always been clear in my writing, seminars and conferences for a long time. So, there is no similarity in my views and doings related to sexuality and the one in Castaneda's works or Cleargreen's seminars."

About the accusations by Francisco Bringas

I recently questioned Francisco Bringas (who was fifteen when he participated in my workshops) about his strange declarations about my behavior which were filed in the famous lawsuit. He said, "I didn't mean to say that. They distorted my declarations, and I never expected this to be used this way. That is when they asked me if I was willing to declare as a witness at the court. I said no, I wouldn't do it." When I asked him how they got the declaration, he said, "They passed questionnaires to all the attendees of Tensegrity seminars, hundreds of people. In those questionnaires they were asking for people who had participated in Victor Sanchez's workshops, and who would be willing to sign declarations against him." (It is interesting to note that from the many people who worked with me and then attended Tensegrity workshops, they had such a poor response.) Finally, when I asked him why he participated in such a lie, his answer was, "It was a stupid mistake of a stupid boy. In that time I trusted them completely. They convinced me that you were damaging Castaneda by making millions using his name. I believed them and that is why I did it. But I never thought this was going to get so far. I am sorry so much." He added that he was going to write a letter to Sustained Action himself. Let's see if the letter arrives . . .

Finally, about my work

  1. My work is related to my experiences among surviving Toltec indigenous people and my intention to create a bridge for shamanic experiences to be applied in a practical way for us, people of the modern cities. I call these efforts "anti-anthropology."
  2. I never presented myself as Castaneda's student. My meetings with him were not private, but as a part of small audiences in Mexico, a long time before Cleargreen came into being. (In those years they said that the "movements were taught to them by a Chinese teacher" [I suppose Howard Lee], then Castaneda changed the story to say they were taught in dreaming by a Chinese nagual from the 16th century. At the end, he changed the story again by saying that the movements were taught by don Juan). In my first meeting with Carlos Castaneda, Florinda (Gina in those years) asked me about joining them in L.A. I told her I admired Castaneda´s books, but no thanks, I have my own path. I was not looking for a master, guru, shaman or nagual, because I was already connected to my own tradition which has to do with surviving Toltec Indians from Mexico. (I know that Castaneda has denied having met me, but that encounter took place with many witnesses. It was in the house of a friend of his, Carlos Ortiz de la Huerta, on Sierra Bacatete in the rich neighborhood "Lomas de Chapultepec." If I remember right, it was in 1983. There were about 18 people present. That night Castaneda answered all of my questions from 7 PM to around 4 AM. Other meetings took place with other audiences. This, of course, doesn't mean that we had a personal or disciple-teacher relationship. I have always been clear about that.)

3. Part of my work has been to show that trying to get to freedom following illuminated persons is a good way to get into psychological dependence, confusion and cult-like problems. Toltecs had a basic principle for knowledge (nimomashtic, which means "teaching yourself"). The figure of a nagual as a spiritual leader who will take you to the freedom or to the other world, is a fantasy invented in California. It has nothing to do with the real Toltec or indigenous traditions from Mexico. I think the same about tensegrity; there are no traces about anything like that in our history.

4. I am convinced that there are healthy ways for people to gain other realms of awareness, like shamanic practices (when they come from sincere sources and serious research). Illuminated masters, fake Western shamans and self-proclaimed naguals are an obstacle to the path of knowledge.

CONCLUSIONS

I met two Castanedas. The first one is the one I imagined when receiving so much benefit from his earlier books. This one will be close to my heart forever.

The second one, the one creating for-profit enterprises, the self-proclaimed nagual, making lawsuits to protect his business, pretending to be the unique chance to freedom over this planet, the "flyers' talker"--this is the one I don't want to be connected to in any way.

Since my life has been touched so positively by the first one, and so badly by the second, I feel I have some responsibility in helping others to rescue the good part and to keep away from the shitty side. Maybe by watching these two sides we can discover that maybe we all are just like that: having a luminous and a dark side. By recognizing this, we may stop longing for illuminated perfect masters to lead our lives and start to take full responsibility for choosing, improving and making energetic emphasis on our luminous side.

--Victor Sanchez

See Castaneda v. Sanchez summarized