Monday, October 6, 2014

Transferable Spirits - Why do I reminisce on my Dahn days?

It's been nearly a year since I last wrote on this blog, but I wanted to share a bit about the title "Transferable Spirits" and how it applies to my experiences with Dahn Yoga.

It's not that I dwell, obsess, or reminisce daily on the days I attended Dahn Yoga classes back in 2010, but I admit that on days that my neck/shoulder pains especially flair up (i.e., today), Dahn crosses my mind.

As I've mentioned countless times before, I do believe that practicing Dahn yields positive health benefits. However, the cost to achieve temporary relief is too great. Sometimes, the path in which you seek a solution is not optimal on a holistic level. In the case of Dahn Yoga, yes, the exercises were alleviating my arthritis and inflammation (physical pain), but the stress of confronting the instructors' near daily mind-control and cult-recruitment practices took a toll on me mentally and emotionally. 

So yes, even though I know that Dahn is a cult, I can't help but think about them on this day - as my neck is so stiff that I can barely stretch it out in either direction, that my right shoulder is so tender and stiff that I can barely raise my arm.

When I used to take classes, I believe that the "spirit" of Dahn Yoga, the philosophy, the propaganda of Ilchi Lee and his followers were flowing through the classroom, and, for better or worse, into the students. Maybe this sounds hokey, but consider the concept of synergy, teamwork, and the collective conscious.

All of us either believe or acknowledge that we have a 6th sense - call it intuition, ESP, whatever. Think about a time when you walked into a meeting and the energy was tense. It just so happened that you walked in on an event that changed the atmosphere/mood of the people in the room (ie, maybe the boss humiliated or berated one of the employees, maybe someone announced that a family member had passed away). The same applies to positive events. Attend any social event, a party, a get together, and immediately you'll pick up on a vibe and it will mold your perspective on the situation and attendees.

Sometimes I wonder if the spirit or energy of Dahn is still attached to me somehow. How and why else do I keep reminiscing on the "good ole days" when I'm simultaneously repulsed by the "love bombing" from my creepy instructors?

I don't think I am being unreasonable. Maybe this is also akin to:
- The high rate recidivism among freed prisoners.
- Thinking about past, abusive relationships. No, you will NOT go back, but they do cross your mind from time to time.

I would love to hear your thoughts. If you have also left an abusive organization, environment, or relationship, do you find yourself reflecting on the past? Have you ever gone back after vowing you wouldn't return? How was it the "second time around?"


  1. I have recently extricated myself entirely from the Dahn Yoga organization for the exact same reasons you mention here, and it has been tough transition. It's hard to argue with a practice that professes freedom, enlightenment, health, and happiness through a kindly-looking and charismatic leader like Ilchi Lee. But the fact of the matter is that Dahn Yoga is the very embodiment of the cult concept. It may not be a doomsday cult whose members drink poisoned Kool-Aid rather than be re-incorporated into society, but it is a cult nonetheless. And a cult whose unethical practices sadly outweigh the benefits of membership.

    It has all the classic signs. It teaches free will, freedom, and personal power while striving to indoctrinate you more and more into their group think. You are encouraged to find your "True Self" while being asked to forego your individuality right done to wearing uniforms and taking new names. Loyalty and conformance are rewarded while self expression is frowned upon. Leaders are loving and generous as long as you are following the rules, and are ruthlessly punishing and humiliating when you aren't. You are asked to spend more and more time in expensive classes, practices, healing sessions, and special programs and less and less time with your own family and friends. Love is the lesson, but love relationships outside the practice are actively discouraged. It claims to increase your ability to make informed decisions while expecting you to make them after being subjected to physical and emotional exhaustion which actually reduces your ability to use critical thinking techniques. And while your attendance at programs is always deemed to be voluntary and your money always refundable if you decide not to participate, the reality is that you will be subjected to intense interrogation and pressure to recommit if you do. It took me several months of threatening formal complaints and lawsuits before finally successfully getting my money back for all the crazy expensive programs I had enrolled in.

    And yet, quitting the practice threw me into a deep depression. I felt isolated and out of touch with my higher self. I experienced body aches and pains and came down with numerous colds and viruses. I'm still trying to find my spiritual center after being gone for several months.

    But the answer is clearly not to go back. They teach many fundamental and valuable concepts, but they don't have the corner on the "Truth" market they'd like you to think they do. There are lots of methods and practices out there that help you to gain health and self confidence, find your true purpose, and move negative energy. And you don't have to mortgage your house or friends or soul to do it.

    My advice to myself as well as others is to look for the contradictions before getting too deeply enmeshed with any religious or personal development organization that tells you they have the only true path to enlightenment. Truth always lies within us and not in some external organization with unreasonable participation requirements or dizzying vocabulary. I'll take my temporary discomforts and hard lessons and be glad I came away with my financial and personal integrity intact.

    Best of luck to all of you who have fallen for the inherent lies of this organization or those like it as you find your own internal compasses again!

  2. I was one of the 27 plaintiffs in this lawsuit brought against Dahn Yoga:
    Dahn is absolutely a cult. We collectively had over 100,000 pages of evidence against them. But they had a lot of money to throw at Park Ave, NYC law firms, and unfortunately Money usually wins in civil lawsuits.
    I have personal knowledge of two rape victims of Ilchi Lee who were paid large sums of money to keep their story to themselves. (Thankfully I'd heard their story before the settlements happened.) I also have confirmed knowledge of 1 other rape victim of Lee's who didn't accept his pay off. I'm certain there are more women who he has assaulted.
    Dahn is a truly insidious organization because they use holistic practices that do improve health, but as soon as you trust them they begin inserting their own agendas through coercive persuasion methods. I trained in Dahn long enough to become a "master", and discovered that they believe that Ilchi Lee is the only true path to heaven and that he has to give you a spiritual name in order for you to go to heaven when you die. When you realize that it's a bunch of crap they tell everyone that you have lost your true self and fallen off the spiritual path.
    Glad you got out like me!

  3. One of their masters asked me to give him sexual healing. And he is married with kids.


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