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Interesting posts at The Death of Alan Watts
not that anyone got at the truth. Here are some selections from that page.


Re: The Death of Alan Watts


Fri, February 3, 2006 - 4:53 PM

How about suicide?



Sat, February 4, 2006 - 9:39 AM

alan had no problem with suicide. he asked in fact if it was'nt the most sane to do in an insane world? but you would have to consider this world as being insane to make such an effort. 
alan saw this world for what it is. IT IS.


Sun, April 22, 2007 - 6:27 PM

Happy to stumble across this thread. I too have been wondering about the nature of Alan's passing. Has anyone thought to ask Mark Watts? I do recall in one of his lectures, (paraphrase) Better to live a short life doing what you enjoy doing then a long life doing what you don't.


Mon, April 23, 2007 - 10:09 AM

alan never died. 

he's rooming with elvis.



Fri, June 1, 2007 - 2:34 AM

First of all, i am glad to see that there are other people out there as interested in Alan Watts as i am. In fact, you guys seem to be more connected. Nevertheless, isn't it possible that Alan Watts demise was his own choice? I mean, perhaps he just decided, as his daughter Joan put it in the Monica Furlong biography, to "check out." He was ready to let go of his current journey so that a new one could begin. I am not suggesting that he committed suicide, but he just decided that he had enough and it was time to go. The cause of death was labeled as "heart failure." That being said, i am sure alcohol may have had some contribution. 

I bring this up as it occurred to me about out-of-body-type experiences, where a person had the feeling of rising out of his/her body and floating above, and that person's spirit/soul/whatever was "attached," if you will, by a thread of some kind to his/her body. I had read that you were able to return to your body because of that connection; however, if you severed that connection, your body would die, and your spirit/soul/whatever would float away. 

Anyway, just a thought.



 Tue, June 24, 2008 - 12:35 PM

As a recovering alcoholic, I knew immediately that Allan Watts' death was from alcoholism. I had suspected this for years. I spoke briefly to his son once when ordering material from MEA in Olima, CA and asked that rather bold question. He stated that Alan had been depressed about a specific event he attended and disillusioned with the response he received. He then made no other specific claim about his dying. Even when hearing his talks, his hacking cough and throaty laugh, one could suss this out. 

I happen to fall in line with the group that finds an alcoholic death at the age of 58 a tragedy, not unlike any other disease laden death that takes someone we love from us. Alcoholism is particularly tragic in that its effects on the entire family are so devastating. There is nothing "cool" in dying from this horrible disease. 

Alan was a great philosopher and teacher. In the realm of the alcoholic world, however, he was just another drunk.






Sat, September 1, 2007 - 6:09 PM


If you read his biography, it seems like Alan died from stress and alcoholism. His death, if we can call it that, is somewhat shrouded in mystery and legend. According to Jano, his wife at the time, Alan was experimenting with advanced breathing techniques around the time of his death. Jano believes that Alan was successful in liberating "himself" from his body. 

Before he died, Alan talked about how reincarnation was a perfectly logical belief. He told his daughter Joan that after he died, he would come back as Joan's daughter, a beautiful redhead. Joan conceived shortly after Alan's death and gave birth to a redheaded child named Laura, who seemed to display some of Alan's signature moves. At a young age, she accompanied her mother Joan to one of Joan's friend's house. Laura walked up to a cupboard where liquor was kept, reached into the back and pulled out a handle of vodka. 

Source: Zen Effects, the Alan Watts Biography



Fri, April 10, 2009 - 7:56 PM

I had a very long phone conversation with Alan's daughter shortly after he died. She spoke fondly of his suggestion about returning though now in 2009, her red haired daughter would be over 30. 

Ironically I am now the same age as he was at his death, but at that time I was only 23 and having followed his career closely for several years, wondered out loud about a conspiracy to be rid of him because of his late forays into the politics of that time. I remember he had been scheduled to speak in Germany at an Army intelligence base shortly before his death and had also spoken (while the war in Vietnam was still an issue and he was quite vocal about that too, participating in benefits for North Vietnamese schools or hospitals, but also supporting Tibet against China, as i recall). Most pointedly, he spoke to more than one military group (i recall he was invited to speak more than once he never held back in his strong opinions) and he wrote some very powerful articles and essays, some collected in the book, Does It Matter, the essay on money being the most relevant today. In this book he said that if the USA still exists as a separate and distinct entity by the year 2000, we are all in big trouble. Although it is clear his health was not good at all at this time, I also remember very clearly seeing a young Senator (during the Watergate hearings of the same period) from Connecticut, Lowell Weicker, then on the Senate Watergate Committee, televised daily. I remember clearly watching him hold up a futuristic dart gun that he described as capable of shooting tiny thin needles from a great distance that would carry a tiny amount of caryfish serum extract capable of causing heart failure from a distance with no trace of the thin puncture or the poison in the bloodstream. He explained that there were gallons of this serum in Langley, Virginia headquarters of the CIA, contrary to treaties about biological warfare. This is what led me to wonder, in the face of some radical political statements and standpoints by Alan Watts, if there was not some kind of mischief in his death, not forgeting this was not long after the suspicious deaths of MLK Jr., RFK, and other counter culture heroes, and not long before John Lennon was shot in a fashion much like RFK, in the open but by a suspicously programmable person. His poor health and drinking convince us it was a natural failure of his health, and it could well be that is all it was.



Wed, December 5, 2007 - 12:25 PM

I think it's great the Respect shown here for Alan. This is a 'touchy' subject so it is appreciated.



Thu, March 6, 2008 - 2:06 PM

I contacted Mark Watts about the death of his father and he gave me a cock-and-bull story about a "jealous philosopher whom we suspect may have poisoned " the famous teacher. I wrote back that he shouldn't try to inject melodrama or legend into his passing-- look what happened to Jesus. Some sources list "heart failure" as the cause of death but this is only the immediate reason his heart stopped, similar to listing "pneumonia" or "organ failure" as cause of death-- when there is a more fundamental underlying cause such as cancer. I saw some pictures of him in his Playboy magzine interview back in in '73 and was shocked at his emaciated condition-- he was unrecognizable as the crew-cut young man pictured on my copy of The Book (on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are)-- in fact he looked like nothing so much as a wizened, whispy-bearded oriental, so whatever was wrong with him didn't ahppenn suddenly. Everyone always brings up alcoholism-- and he may have drunk excessively (he played host to a multitude of dinner guests almost every night and was very gregarious I have read), but it is most likely that a combination of cigarette smoking and heavy drinking led to a heart attack. For a guy who was so spiritually well-adjusted he sure burned out early. Maybe our attempts to attain every greater longevity only represent another vain desire.


Thu, March 6, 2008 - 2:52 PM

as i recall Alan always spoke about the benefits of living "well" rather than "long".



Fri, August 29, 2008 - 7:50 AM

For years I was under the impression that Alan Watts had committed suicide. I had originally heard that he was suffering from physical problems, at least partially related to pain from an (automobil?) accident. I recently mentioned my belief to a friend, who was surprised she had never heard it, and now looking on the net I see nothing about it. Does anyone out there know the facts? Regardless, it must be acknowledged that this man was a valuable contributor to western buddhism and that the nature of his death in no way could detract from the beauty of his life.



Fri, August 29, 2008 - 12:05 PM

there is no such thing as "facts"



Wed, September 3, 2008 - 9:41 AM

is that a fact?


 Wed, September 3, 2008 - 1:11 PM






 Thu, June 13, 2013 - 11:29 PM

Alan was my adopted grandfather.. My mother was his personal assistant at ucsf when he was teaching there. And when My parents married in the 50s, Alan gave my mother away, for she had already lost her father. So I always new him as grandpa alan. We saw him all the time at our house, or house parties. in the richmond district in sf. HE scared me with his huge laugh at times for I was very young in the sixties. He named his boat after my mother.. He did drink, but a happy drinker he was. My mother always said ,," He was too much for the world to handle. Too smart.. Too wise. 

And some people really fought him at times about his wisdom. 

Mom never recovered from his loss, and always shared his teachings with me untill the day she died a few years ago. 

She loved him like a father, And I like a grandfather.. 

I feel. possibly ,, he wanted to leave, or felt he needed to... Thanks for your time.. Skybear





 Fri, November 7, 2014 - 7:20 AM

This is a letter written to Jean Burden from Maud Oakes. 

Dear Jean, 

Last Sunday , by invitation, there was a Christian mass , I guess I should say an Anglo Catholic mass at Alan's library. It started at nine AM and lasted about an hour. Then there was a fire ceremony given by a character if there ever was one. He is a Buddhist, a fire worshipper. This was fascinating with the strange music that went with it. Then this man and Ram Das jazzed about to more strange music. After this, the Zen priests came and half of Alan's ashes (bones) were put in a hole in the earth with a hand carved stupa over it. This was done to chanting and the sprinkling of water, salt and rice. The priest with chop sticks dropped the first bone into the hole and Jano followed with each of the family after her. Jano has been wonderful and realizes she has a life to lead of her own, hence she is not drinking. After this at 2 AM , the 100 day final Zen ceremony at Green Gulch where the other half of the ashes will be. 
Now in June, the 9th there is to be a public ceremony in honor of Alan in the afternoon and evening in San Francisco. The talent by friends of Alan's. 

I am well and hope that you are and that you don't work too hard. 

Love , 


I thought you would enjoy this Skybear. 

Any have info on any of the event mentioned in this letter? I am very interested in these events. This is the first time this letter has been made public.


[That priest Maud Oaks mentions is Neville Warwick, Ajarir-san. He also did Alan's cremation at the beach. - DC - 8-07-2015]