Thursday, April 30, 2015

University of Arizona Investigating On Campus Religious Group

This article provides an excellent understanding of what is going on at many universities around the nation.

Click here to read the full article.

Important quotes:

"The Arizona Daily Star interviewed 21 former employees and church members — most of them UA alumni — and nine of their parents. Their stories include reports of hitting infants with cardboard tubes to encourage submission, financial coercion, alienation from parents, public shaming of members and shunning of those who leave the church or question its leaders. Some say that since leaving, they've spent years in therapy for panic attacks, depression, flashbacks and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder."

"Moore says his self-esteem hit rock bottom after he joined Faith Christian in 2000 at age 17. Church leaders' criticism and authoritarianism caused him near-constant anxiety during his five years as a member, he says."

"They get their members to believe that any questioning, any scrutiny, it's the devil," she says. "I want to get my son out of there. I want to do whatever I can to prevent other families from letting their children get in a situation like this."

"Faith Christian is open about its goal of converting college-age youth, asserting in a 2012 YouTube video that "19 out of 20 people who become Christians do so before the age of 25."

"The UA wasn't previously aware of what the Star's investigation found, Vito says. It doesn't monitor groups for signs of trouble, but relies on formal complaints related to current students. Former Faith Christian members say the way the church operates makes that difficult because the church often tightens its grip after students graduate."

"You don't know yourself at the end," says Alfred, who left in 2009 after nine years. "You don't know you're in a cult until you leave. Pretty soon, you're at the point where you can't make any decisions."

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Our Latest Press Release

Families Against Cult Teachings
Hollywood, FL 877-360-FACT (3228)

Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact Janette 877-360-3228
F.A.C.T. Sheds Light On Cults In Universities Families Against Cult Teachings (F.A.C.T.) has launched a new initiative to help raise awareness among educators, counselors, parents and students on the misleading tactics cults use to recruit young minds. Miami, FL, 6 April 2015 — Tibor Stern established F.A.C.T. to raise awareness of the increasing number of cults on college campuses after he and his wife Hana lost their daughter to suicide. As reported by the Miami Herald (http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/broward/article1964659.html) and other news organizations, the Sterns claim the tragedy of their daughter was the result of an abusive relationship with her dance instructor at Naropa University. A lawsuit filed by the Sterns alleges that this dance instructor manipulated their daughter using mind control techniques while plying her with mind bending drugs to become his personal and sexual slave. Sharon Stern, lovingly called Sharoni by her family, graduated from the University of Miami and later, Sharon enrolled in the master of fine arts program at Naropa University in Boulder, CO. Naropa is where she was introduced to Butoh, also known as the “dance of darkness.” Butoh was being taught by Katsura Kan, a Japanese citizen and guest teacher at the Naropa University. Following Sharon’s degree from Naropa, she stayed with Kan as an assistant, and subsequently committed suicide. Later, Tibor, Sharon’s father, created the non-profit Families Against Cult Teachings to raise awareness and try to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again. Another story investigated by the Arizona Daily Star (http://tucson.com/news/local/tucson-ministry-a-cult-former-followers-say/article_8824efc5-f210-5041-8088-a654585e4673.html), reported the existence of a cult that has operated on the University of Arizona campus for the last 25 years. Reports from former members of Faith Christian Church, the cult accused of operating on UA campus, include stories “of hitting infants with cardboard tubes to encourage submission, financial coercion, alienation from parents, public shaming of members and shunning of those who leave the church or question its leaders.”
“Anytime a group or even an individual is coercing someone away from family and friends, chances are they’re being controlled by that organization or individual.” said Mr. Allen (a volunteer spokesperson for F.A.C.T.)

Also, as TV host Bill Maher pointed out (http://www.inquisitr.com/1945356/bill-maher-calls-for-an-end-to-fraternities-a-cult-is-a-cult-and-thats-what-a-frat-is/) these cults can include fraternities as well.” stated Mr. Allen. Mr. Allen added that “The rise of cults on campus is the impetus of this campaign and aptly named Cults On Campus. We want to keep kids out of the clutches of these narcissistic persons and mind controlling organizations. We are doing this by educating college faculty and students on the techniques used by these insidious individuals to recruit vulnerable young minds into their secret lairs.” F.A.C.T. is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about cults and their recruiting methods that are prevalent on campuses across America.

They offer Free Preventative Education Materials to those who need it most; Educators, Counselors,
Clergy, Parents, Students etc.

Request your Free Printed Materials today for your school, church, advocacy group etc.

Send requests to janette (at) FamiliesAgainstCultTeachings.org

Or Download the free materials here.
You can also contact them via their Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/FamiliesAgainstCultTeachings


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Waiting for their response...

We wrote a letter to the Daily Camera in Boulder, CO, asking the writer to make the proper corrections to their article which left out many important facts, especially regarding Naropa's claim that Sharon had nothing to do with the university after her graduation in 2009.

An excerpt: "If there actually was an internal investigation done at Naropa University, I find it very hard to believe that they would not have uncovered internal emails such as the ones attached (a simple keyword search for Sharon's name and/or Kan's should have revealed them).

Please find attached a file that shows an email correspondence between Sharon and Mr. Beaver (the head of the Naropa Art Department) in 2010, where he offers Sharon a job as Katsura Kan's TA. Also, she organized a Butoh festival in 2011 at Naropa with the school's approval and support. So there was obviously a connection with Sharon, Katsura, and Naropa after her 2009 graduation, which I believe is very important to state since it directly contradicts, in the form of hard evidence, what Mr. Lief stated.

Also, please find attached my detailed response to Mr. Lief, in addition to more evidence contradicting Mr. Lief's claims. I am also attaching evidence for you to review about Naropa's illicit history (since their inception until recently), Kan's destructive manipulation of another student, and more."

We are awaiting their response.

Click here for attachments.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tibor Stern's Response to the Daily Camera and President Mr. Lief of Naropa

Tibor Stern on behalf of the Sharoni Stern Estate to the article written in the Daily Camera.

Please Note: Everything you will read from here on is strictly from my personal beliefs and opinions, based upon my experience throughout this ordeal and as per the evidence in my possession.

As you can see from the article in the Daily Camera, Naropa seems to blame everyone except themselves, which is so typical of them as their history reflects. The simple fact is Naropa hired this evil “guru” (and I believe negligently). Katsura Kan has a long history of sexual and financial exploitation with many of his female students, as the evidence shows. I believe if Naropa really wanted to change their practices that they have had plenty of chances since their inception in the 70s until now to do so. Instead, I believe their desire for accreditation as a university stopped them from doing the right thing and revealing the truth about what was going on there for so many years.

After reviewing all of the Sharoni Stern Estate’s evidence against Katsura Kan and also the facts regarding what transpired at Naropa, I think they must be blind or in total denial. I of course have never heard of a person who is accused of something this bad to admit their wrongdoing; it is always easier and safer to try and pass the blame onto others, in this case, the students, parents, etc. Naropa is trying to claim that because the death of my daughter happened after her graduation from their institution then they are blameless. I believe the real question that they should ask themselves is how such a healthy, genuinely happy, utterly family oriented student could become so manipulated and brainwashed during her time at Naropa from 2007 - 2009, which caused her to completely shun her entire family and commit suicide soon thereafter. Also, for the record, Sharon was actually offered an unpaid position by Mr. Beaver, the head of the Art Department of Naropa, in 2010 as Katsura Kan’s Teaching Assistant (see email evidence via the link below). Also, in 2011 there was the first ever Naropa sponsored Butoh festival on campus that Sharoni was the head organizer of, which could only have happened with Naropa’s approval and participation. Therefore, the claim that there was no connection between Naropa and Sharon after her graduation in 2009 is obviously incorrect. I suggest for the president of Naropa, Mr. Lief, to check the facts of his ‘internal investigation’, and to please call Sarah Kuta of the Daily Camera with all the facts that you failed to mention to her.

As alluded to just now, unfortunately the Daily Camera failed to mention in their article some very important things, for example, what happened to my daughter was not a single isolated case, as this has happened in the past multiple times at Naropa with various students and faculty; a pattern in my opinion of improper behavior on the part of Naropa faculty that the institution continually tries to cover up and defend for obvious reasons. Many students have claimed the same about Naropa faculty that we have had correspondence with, and sadly it seems this has been going on since the very beginning of this school. I for one refuse that my own tax dollars be given to Naropa as a federal grant or otherwise. Mr. Lief, my daughter is dead! as a result of your teacher’s destruction of her body and mind. According to the evidence in my possession, I believe Katsura used his position as teacher to exert undue influence upon students (like my daughter), in order to exploit them as he wished. And once he had control of Sharon, he did not let go (even when I pleaded with him to do so at the time), so pre or post gradation as you can see does not matter. The damage was done while she attended Naropa, and extended past her graduation until her untimely death. Mr. Lief, as a father I am asking you, how can you justify the hiring of an evil teacher like Katsura Kan, and then continue to try and blame everyone else besides the teacher that your university hired? And just for the record, my lawyer asked Naropa for compensation as an act of utter frustration, because of Naropa’s absolute disregard and absent communication with my family as a result of our daughter’s death. At the same time, I want everyone to know that Katsura Kan has offered our family $1000 as compensation for the death of my daughter. If he is innocent then why offer anything at all? Also, this shows his sociopathic nature and lack of compassion as a person by offering so little, as in Kan’s eyes my daughter’s life was worth a mere $1000, which is just absolutely insulting.

As I have mentioned earlier, Naropa has had their fair share of scandals since their inception, which started with the disgusting exploitation of attending students by Chögyam Trungpa- the known alcoholic and drug addict who as I read was the founder of Naropa. I believe nothing was done by Naropa to address the sexual abuse in Snowmass of two famous poets by Trungpa, nor for the rampant sexual exploitation of his students. Also, they did nothing to reprimand the misbehavior of the famous poet Allen Ginsberg who had a heavy drug use problem and who was also sexually involved with his students, both of which Ginsberg openly admitted. In addition, when Osel Tendzin took over the helm of Naropa leadership, he freely had sex with students while knowing full well that he had HIV, and from what I have read he even went so far as to claim to students that having sex with them would cure him. As one student reported at the time, “I was very distressed that he and his entourage had lied to us for so long, always saying he did not have AIDS. I was even more distressed over the stories of how the Regent used his position as a dharma teacher to induce "straight" students to have unprotected sex with him, while he claimed he had been tested for AIDS but the result was negative.” In the end, as a result one of the students later died of AIDS. To my knowledge I believe that no action was taken against him for his deception, manipulation, and crimes against humanity. On the contrary, Trungpa, who was the president of Naropa at the time, “had requested him [Tendzin] to be tested for HIV in the early 1980s and told him to keep quiet about the positive result. Tendzin had asked Trungpa what he should do if students wanted to have sex with him, and Trungpa's reply was that as long as he did his Vajrayana purification practices, it did not matter, because they would not get the disease. Tendzin's answer, in short, was that he had obeyed the guru.”

All this information is from published books, online articles like on wikipedia, documented evidence, etc. Also, Katsura Kan’s teachings and misbehavior are documented by a great many emails to my daughter, and nine well detailed journals handwritten by my daughter, all pointing to her demise. If Naropa truly believes that it is acceptable for one of their faculty members to take a student (my daughter) to a heavily drug infested area like Christiana, Copenhagen (where the police there even stay out of), or to urge her to steal money from her family, or to teach of the destruction of body, mind, ego identity, authenticity of self and separation from family; if they believe that they should defend that kind of teacher then I don’t know what to say, other than I cannot wait to reveal all the evidence in my possession showing undeniably how their teacher caused the death of my daughter. I welcome their threat of a lawsuit against the Sharoni Stern Estate, and I also reserve the right to file a complaint against Naropa from the her Estate in the future. I believe additional stories, other than what I have received already from ex-students and victims, will surface at the discovery process that resemble our tragedy. From my perspective and in my opinion, I am not seeing any effort on the part of Naropa to implement any changes to protect students from abusive teachers.

By the way, any and all money that the Sharon Stern Estate would collect in the future would be donated entirely to FACT for the purpose of saving future victims of Katsura Kan like abuses, not to mention making sure that any accredited U.S. university will not be allowed to negligently hire any teacher of this kind. We will promote, expose, and bring all the information to the public, always. The truth is always defendable with supporting evidence, which we have a great deal of. If you would like to read more about Naropa’s illicit history, mistreatment and exploitation of students, etc., please Google for yourself, visit Wikipedia, etc., as this information is well published all over the place online. Or if you prefer, you can just visit our website article to read all about it and find relevant links on the subject. Also, from the attached files you can see some of the remarks and input from current and past students, and also various articles supporting the truth about Naropa, and more.

As far as Naropa is concerned, I believe their pattern of behavior speaks for itself, which was already well documented prior to the death of my daughter. I believe if Naropa will not implement the much needed changes, they will have to sue a lot of individuals, entities, and media outlets in an ongoing effort of damage control (especially if history is any indication of the future, which I believe it is).

Finally, I would like to challenge the President of Naropa to answer these valid questions:

1) How does he feel about all the prior abuses of their students by faculty?

2) Does he recognize Katsura Kan’s wrongdoing?

3) Do all of those who have been abused by Naropa faculty deserve an apology (at the very least)?

4) Does he plan to implement any changes in Naropa so this type of behavior will never be repeated?

I look forward to hearing his answers, which I promise to publish.

Please find just some of the evidence we have in our possession via this link, that supports my response.


As I always say, those who fail to confront evil are empowering them.

Thank you,

Tibor Stern (on behalf of the Sharoni Stern Estate)
President of Families Against Cult Teachings, Inc.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Naropa denies blame for alumna's suicide

The tragic story of Sharon Stern was printed in the Daily Camera recently, which includes a response from the President of Naropa University, Mr. Lief, who does not seem to have his facts correct according to Mr. Stern (on behalf of the Sharoni Stern Estate). Rather, in Mr. Stern’s opinion, Mr. Lief seems to be giving generic responses that fall short of the truth when compared to the hard evidence.

For those who do not know, Naropa University is where Sharon Stern first met the wicked Katsura Kan, who was actually one of her teachers there, and who as the evidence shows took advantage of his position to manipulate and brainwash her (and other students) so that he could continually exploit her for years, both during her time there and afterward.

Mr. Stern will be replying in great detail to the Daily Camera article tomorrow. In the meantime, you can read it by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

It's Time to Report Cults to the IRS

If you’ve ever left a cult, you quickly realize that most people don’t understand what you’ve gone through unless they’ve been through it themselves. Getting law enforcement officials to understand the harassment you’ve likely experienced seems almost impossible.

However, there is something you can do. It’s called the IRS Complaint Form 13909. What this form does is allow you to tell the IRS about the abuses of tax-exempt organizations without worry about being subject to retaliation.

Most cults have IRS tax-exempt status. Unfortunately, the IRS is unaware how these organizations can inflict deep psychological wounds on unsuspecting victims. The IRS also doesn’t know how many of these cults use threats to intimidate and control people through fear. This is one the reasons many of these abuses go unreported.

However, the IRS Complaint Form was developed with that thought in mind. It allows a person to report the abuses without becoming public record, thusly shielding the identity of the person filing the report.

These reports are kept by the IRS and the supposition is that if the IRS gets enough of these reports about a particular organization, their tax-exempt status might be in jeopardy.

Line 5 has a box that you can check if you are concerned that you might face retaliation if your identity is disclosed. The form is self-explanatory and should be used to report abusive practices to the IRS. You can download the form on Scribd.com at the link below:

IRS Complaint Form 13909

Sunday, April 12, 2015

What a Nice Surprise!

We received such a wonderful surprise in the mail today.

A donation came in from the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles, CA, who hosts a writing competition that donates a portion of the prize money to a charity of the winner’s choosing.

We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to Kathy Schenkelberg for selecting us to be the recipient of this award. Congratulations Kathy for your win in the competition, and again for making us your charity of choice!

- From All of Us at FACT

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Power of Denial

Last month we discovered that Katsura Kan is conducting a student workshop in NYC. Upon hearing this news, we immediately sent the theatre that is hosting the workshop information and evidence about Kan's past manipulation and exploitation of his students. Their response was to threaten our organization with a lawsuit for libel, defamation, and harassment, opting to protect this evil sociopath rather than side with the facts and evidence to protect susceptible students from potential harm.

We also contacted the City of New York's Department of Cultural Affairs and the Department of Education to inform them of Katsura's workshop, both of whom were open to receiving and reviewing our information, and we look forward to hearing back from them.

This is what we are dealing with so often, in one simple word: denial; a denial which is causing so much needless suffering and damage to people's lives.

If they want to sue our organization that is of course their prerogative, but we are approved to bring awareness and to reveal the facts so that no other kids will be hurt by this predator and those like him. Moreover, we will continue to do so for as long as it takes to stop these wicked monsters from having their way.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Scientology Fraud

Scientology Leader, David Miscaviage, spends $10K a week of tax exempt church money to spy on his own father!

Read the story here in the LA times!

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-scientology-private-eyes-20150409-story.html#page=1

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Word of Faith Fellowship update... Word of Faith Fellowship update:

The WOFF church has lost some important funding from Brevard Jewish Community and Friends, as stated in an open letter to them,

“We have recently learned that several leaders within the Word of Faith church have been indicted on some very serious and very disturbing charges,” the letter said. “While we believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, we have also learned that there is a history of similar accusations involving this church. The abuse and persecution of anyone based on race, sexual orientation or religion is not acceptable to us.”

You can read the full story and letter here: http://rccatalyst.com/?p=21014

Friday, April 3, 2015

Catherine Grove escapes Church of Wells

BREAKING NEWS: Catherine Grove called 911 around midnight last night and escaped the Church of Wells and is now back home with her Family!

We've shared Catherine's story in the past and we are just thrilled to hear about her being back home and out of this cult.

Read the full story here.