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.

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