This week we talked with Karen Yuen about her experience of getting lured into a cult and later escaping with her life. Karen talked about the sense of depression and alienation that led her to join, even though she had a husband and child. I asked her if she realized what she was getting into at the time and if any of her friends or family tried to deter her from joining. Even though her husband was supportive of her choice, he was unwilling to join so the members tried to destroy her relationship with him. Sherry Heyliger was a friend of Karen’s at the time, she shared her fears for her safety after hearing about some of her extreme experiences.

Karen talked about losing two friends within the group to cancer. She said that the cult members blamed them for getting the disease. The negative treatment of her friends and their subsequent deaths led to her decision to leave the cult – a process that took 6 months to complete.

Listen to the interview:


Information about Kathara in it’s current form:

In case anyone is tempted to check out the current permutations of this cult, the books written by it’s originator are at I must admit I feel somewhat conflicted even giving out this information but keep in mind this is only for cautionary purposes. The initial writings can seem reasonable and based in truth but it’s the mix of truth included in the writings that can be very compelling for people looking for answers or connection.