Our beloved daughter, Sharon Stern, committed suicide on April 25th, 2012, after having been involved in a dance class / troupe that turned out to be a cult. Many people believe that dangerous cults are a thing of the past and cannot exist anymore in the rapid information age of today, but it’s simply not true. They are still out there, and many of them have established themselves within our school systems, lurking just beneath the surface, seducing and manipulating our susceptible children into their corrupted folds. Our tragic story deals with one such scenario.
We entrusted, in good faith, our beloved daughter’s higher education to Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. However, Sharon’s dream of becoming a teacher in theater, dance, and art was cut short by the devious machinations of one of her very own teachers; one who took advantage of the student teacher relationship and used his influence to corrupt a young impressionable mind; a teacher whose ulterior motives were of the seduction, manipulation, and abuse of his young female students. His name is Teruyoshi Kotoura, otherwise known as Katsura Kan, the Butoh master, and he drove our daughter to the brink of insanity and then completely abandoned her, pushing her over the edge.
If the definition of a cult is a close-knit group that centers around a self-appointed leader, who claims to have special knowledge, and who dictates control over its members’ lives, then Kan and his Butoh group are the epitome. Kan used not only his eastern Butoh philosophy and dance teachings to brainwash and seduce young female students into his cult, but dangerous and illegal mind-altering drugs as well. Once under his spell, he would manipulate them to detach from family and friends, and use them for financial and sexual gain, not to mention for satisfaction of his own sick ego. (At one time he proudly bragged about having slept with 160 of his students.) The victims who’ve escaped his cult have described him as a psychopath, sociopath, and sexual predator, to name but a few. Unfortunately our daughter wasn’t able to see Kan for what he truly was, and lost her life because of it.
It is now our family’s mission to expose wicked cult figures, like Kan, for what they truly are, so that potential victims can be spared from the detrimental and often devastating effects of cult influence. Therefore, we have created a non-profit organization called Families Against Cult Teachings (F.A.C.T.), which will serve to inform and educate about current active cults all around the world, as well as to help victims who are in need of escaping a cult they are currently in, or who need mental or emotional support and care afterward. If you would like to learn more about our daughter’s story and/or about our organization, please contact us.
Father of Sharoni
President of F.A.C.T.