Abe Braaten (1977-09-26 – 2004-12-14), also known as Abu or Steven, was born and raised in the The Family International, and left the group in 2000. As a teenager he was sent to Victor Programs for re-education. His mother, Yumiko Taniguchi (aka Phoenix), is the top PACRO Continental Officer (CO) for The Family in Japan.
Abe is survived by his widow Yoko and two sons. Before his death, he worked as a private English teacher for many Japanese children.
Abe Braaten died in Kobe, Japan from the impact of falling from a five-story building. While there were no witnesses to his death, police investigators on the scene claimed it appeared Abe either jumped or was pushed from the fourth floor. Considering the trajectory and body position, it appeared he stood on a balcony edge and lept backward.
A medical examiner later checked Abe's blood for drugs and other substances, but only small traces of alcohol were found.
Japanese police conducted a thorough investigation to ensure foul play was not involved, and soon came to the conclusion that Abe made the leap on his own. His death was ruled suicide.
- San Francisco Chronicle: Common Thread of Sexual, Spiritual Abuse Among Cult Defectors Who Killed Themselves — 2005-01-27
Abe Braaten's family includes: