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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dahn Yoga and Language Barriers

One thing I find interesting about Dahn Yoga is their ability to communicate their business so effectively to non-Koreans. I'm not hating on Koreans (remember, I'm a Korean-American and the darnest proudest one ever), but I am curious that a non-native English speaking business is able to manipulate the masses on an international scale.

I'm not just talking about the outrageous news reported on CNN and other media outlets. I'm talking about the everyday business that's conducted at your local Dahn center.

For example, Dahn offers a ton of seminars, workshops, and training courses outside of the yoga classes.* Most of these extracurricular events are conducted in Korean with a shoddy English Translator. The major events, ie, those that bring in over 20 people, are conducted in Korean by reps from the Motherland.

For non-Korean participants at these events, I wonder how the message of their enlightenment comes across. There are MANY students who eat this stuff up and caught up in the cult craze. What I find especially funny is imagining the reactions of the non-Koreans during the seminars. I mean, Koreans are quite animated and loud in situations of mass frenzy. Wouldn't the students be put off by these antics from the get go? My question is, how does the message translate when the cultures are so different?

Have you ever attended a Dahn Yoga event? Perhaps some of you went to "Shim Sung," which is their Superbowl of Dahn events. I'm sure there was an old comrade of Ilchi Lee's who was their flailing his arms around and lambasting your lives, your health, your relationships, and basically breaking you down emotionally before he said that the answer for your life was Dahn Yoga and the message of hope from their founder, Ilchi Lee. Barf. Gag me with a spoon.

Any insights, folks?

*Most of the yoga classes are conducted in English either by native English speakers or by Korean "masters" who have a fair handle of the language. Dahn Yoga centers that are located in heavily Korea-centric neighborhoods (like all the ones in Koreatown, Los Angeles) are conducted in Korean for their primarily Korean students by Korean instructors.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ilchi Lee and his Dahn drones like my blog!

The post title says it all: Ilchi Lee and his Dahn drones like my blog!

I get a good amount of internet traffic on this blog (even though I haven't and do not make a penny off of it). I'm happy to spread the word and increase your knowledge on the cult nature of Dahn Yoga. I just wonder if my experience helps you enough to make you leave feedback.

I get blog comments on a regular basis, but I often do not approve them and they never seeing the light of day. Why, you ask? Because ALL these comments are coming from Dahn Yoga drones. And, they often write something nice, neutral, and beneficial about either their fraud of a leader, Ilchi Lee, or about the practice itself.

It's not really from a mindset of censorship that I've refused to publish these comments. Rather, it is just counterproductive. For example, why in heavens would say, a Christian church, allow a satanist to come in and preach their agenda? It's completely inconsistent and contradictory; It just doesn't make any sense.

However, I've been publishing all of Dahn Yoga's and their affiliates' starting from November 2013. This purpose is to show you, the legitimate readers, what they are actually saying. If you peruse my blog, you'll see they write messages with similar themes in a similar tone. They are very consistent and come off as well-mannered and gentle.

This makes me chuckle, though, as it only serves to highlight what I've been saying all along; that they're the masters of recruitment and brainwashing. After all, you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar, right?

Please share your comments.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Dahn Yoga on Yelp

Who in this day and age doesn't use Yelp, another social media tool that allows people to connect and review their favorite (or abhorred) places of business? There are about 50 million user-generated reviews for restaurants, law firms, libraries, heck, you name it - it will be on there.

Including Dahn Yoga.

I'll look at the Yelp reviews of Dahn Yoga in my home state (CA) and, in the name of research, other states. The reviews are consistently positive. I'm especially surprised because the reviewers seem legit; they're not trolls who open up fake Yelp accounts and write fake glowing reviews.

I'm curious because I haven't seen ANY "whistle blower" type of reviews that put Dahn on blast for being a cult. Sure, I see a couple of negative comments here and there about their business practices, but those are akin to reviews for used car dealerships. You know:

- Pushy sales tactics (upselling, cross selling, etc.)
- Manipulative sales folks

These practices can be found anywhere and can be avoided. But, the reviewers who have shared their piece about Dahn have either not gotten in deep enough to see the truth, or they know what's up and are afraid to expose it.

Have any of you come across any unusual Yelp reviews about Dahn Yoga? Feel free to share any interesting links and comments below.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Classic Cult Practice: Love Bombing (aka, I thought I was going to be molested)

What is Love Bombing?

According to Wikipedia, "Love bombing is an attempt to influence a person by lavish demonstrations of attention and affection. The phrase can be used in different ways. Members of the Unification Church use or have used it themselves to mean a genuine expression of friendship, fellowship, interest, or concern."

Well, Dahn Yoga is not the Unification Church, but they are a certainly a sect of a big cult movement, and they actively practice Love Bombing.

So here's the deal. I'm NOT a touchy-feely person. I mean, I'm Korean, for heaven's sakes. We just don't get huggly wuggly, warm and fuzzy, or lovey dovey in our household. That being said, it's awfully strange that Dahn Yoga, also of Korean origin, practices love bombing, something not inherently part of the culture. 

Whenever you come into the Dahn Yoga studio, you'll be greeted by warm, big hugs from the instructors - plural, yes, ALL the employees. It's rather gross and daunting at first, or maybe it's just because I'm a private person and don't like to be touched by strangers. Then, you eventually kind of get used to it and start to adapt. 

Pretty soon, your suspicion ("why the hell are these people hugging me? I see them every freakin' day!") melts and you let your guard down. Then, you think, "hmm, ok, I guess they just really like me and are happy to see me."

That's when you're punched in the face, figuratively speaking. They want you to think they like you and welcome you. Then, they pull the BS sales/cult tactics on you after they get you to believe you're one of them.

The worst love bombing happened to me when, after one particular session, the instructor pulled me aside and onto a couch. I was freaked out but she was a smaller female and I knew I could take her if she tried to get fresh with me.

She sits me down, takes my hand into hers, and then lovingly strokes it with her other hand. CREEPY AND F*CKING GROSS!!!!!!! She asks me, "What is the meaning of life? What is happiness?" By this point, I knew Dahn Yoga was a damned cult but I still had a month left in my membership so I didn't want to make waves.

I knew she wanted me to tell her that my life was a mess and I needed guidance or some other vulnerable self-pity garbage. Without missing a beat, I told her about my love for Jesus Christ and that my purpose in life was to follow His will and to serve Him.

Fortunately, she was turned off by my impenetrable response and kind of retreated.

The lesson of the day? Be on your guard in a cult setting. Question everything, and, just as importantly, have an ANSWER for everything!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dahn Yoga Tea Time (sharing is caring...or manipulation?)

After each Dahn Yoga session, a tea time is held with the instructor (aka, "master") and any students who hang around afterwards.

The tea time is a sharing and healing time that goes about 15 minutes. Depending on where the facility is, you are either led to a table or a tray is brought out with a kettle and small tea cups. The tea is incredibly delicious - nothing like I've ever had anywhere in the world. I wish I could buy the stuff in bulk! It tastes like a pleasant mix of ginseng, ginger, jujubes, and has a deep, woody aroma. Wonderful.

Around 3-10 people sit around the table or tray, and are instructed to sniff the aromatic tea to heighten our olfactory senses. Then we take sips and enjoy the complex flavors.

During this time, we share about how we felt during the Dahn session. Did anyone have any sharp pains? Experience any unusual or pleasant sensations? Able to reach and stretch further than usual? There was nothing creepy about the tea times, and I quite enjoyed them as they gave me a chance to meet and learn about my fellow students.

It was only the fact that the instructors take any negative information you share and end up using it against you in the future. For example, if you shared that you experienced greater knee pain when you held a certain pose, it's like that the instructor would eventually pull you aside and try to sell you supplementary training classes or healing sessions.

In a cult setting, it's IMPERATIVE to know that there is more going on behind the scenes than you think. I really hate to say this because it sounds incredibly cynical, but:

MOST OF THE TIME: People are not nice just for the sake of being nice.