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Dahn YogaHigh pressure sales and cult

A Review updated:

The classes themselves are good however I believe the back-office side of this organization is a mind controlling cult that is only interested in getting money from its members.

I have a loved one in this group and we have been trying to get her out. In less than a year she has gone $20k into debt because of this wonderful place. Even though this is a multi million dollar FOR PROFIT organization that brings in millions in profit to Ilchi Lee; she works there for a little over minimum wage, is forced to work hours that she isn't paid for, she doesn't get paid time off, she is basically the center master's slave for whatever they want her to do, she has to pay for all her travel and training costs even though it is supposed to be making her a better employee (real companies pay for their employees), and she doesn't have health insurance because she can't afford it. Talking to the masters doesn't make a difference, they are all brainwashed into believing that the ends justifies the means. I pleaded with them to stop my loved one from going on trips because she is addicted and it is killing her financially, they didn't care and have done NOTHING to stop her. In some cases they even borrowed her money to enable her (in process of filing complaint w Attorney General's office since this is a predatory business practice).

Our family is trying hard to get her out of this cult. Dahn Yoga is the most important thing in her life. She gave up her lifelong relgious beliefs for the words of a 70 year old Korean guy Ilchi Lee, the cult's leader. If you read his scripture books he proclaims himself to be a king and his believers should follow him if they want to get to heaven. Some members' families have had to hire professional therapists who specialize in cults or stage interventions in order to get them out. What kind of "healthy" organization requires that?

There was a lawsuit filed in May against this money hungry organization. Look it up and read the contents of the claim. Two of the members were from Chicago and were DIE HARD members a year ago. Scary stuff!! Yes some of the classes can be reasonable, but they push you into other classes, energy checkups, and workshops at hundreds of dollars each. They push some people into $5k, $10k, and $20k master programs and don't care how they pay for it. My loved one lies, begs, borrows, and steals in order to go on trips for this organization.

Dahn uses classic mind control techniques, especially during retreats. Sleep deprivation, food deprivation, physical exhaustion, and repetitive lecturing of the cults teachings. "Love bombing" is a method of making people feel like they are welcomed and part of the group. Ever wonder why Dahn employees are always hugging and saying they love you. Disassociation with their real names and lives by adding Korean words to their names or replacing their names with Korean words. Creating a unique language that outsiders wouldn't understand; Dahn combines English and Korean words into their own little language.

I was at a Tao lecture when a Dahn master told us if we wanted to be really dedicated Dahn members that we would have to remove people from our lives that we had attachments to like boyfriends and girlfriends. However it was ok for us to have intimate moments if we wanted to. If I removed all the other people from my life that loved and cared for me then who is left, other than Dahn people?? Masters work a ton of hours and according to the regional master in this area are not allowed to have relationships with members but they can with each other. This helps create an even closer knit group of masters, all devoted to the same cause. MAKE ILCHI LEE RICH!! They have a "vision" for their center as to how much profit they need to bring in, you'll notice their pushiness gets worse as the month comes to an end. You'll get a lot of pressure about having to sign up for this deal by the end of the month.

If you are strong enough to just go to the classes and not get involved with the other stuff then go for it. If you have problems in your life they will get you to tell them what it is and then they will use that to their advantage to get you to sign up for everything they can convince you will help you. Before you know it you'll be out thousands of dollars. ABC 15 in Arizona, CBS in Boston, CBS in Chicago, Fox Chicago, and CBS in San Francisco have all done investigative reports on this organization.

More Dahn Yoga Complaints & Reviews


  • Ed
    Ed T. Nov 23, 2021
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I also lost my girlfriend to this cult, for the second time. The amount of money she spent over 12 years was over $75, 000. There are multiple trainings during the week and time is taken away from her real family and given to this new cult family. The person who I thought I knew is truly gone. Dont worry however if you are not rich, this cult prey's on older well do do white women with deep pockets. The BRAIN EDUCATION is also know as BRAIN WASHING.. and they are now trying to introduce it to school age children. BEWARE!!!

    0 Votes
  • Jm
    Jmontezuma Nov 14, 2018

    Scam instructor was going to stay... Left 2 weeks later

    0 Votes
  • Dg
    dgmartin Nov 07, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    This organization is truly a CULT. I was very new to Dahn Yoga when the owner (I refuse to call her master) of my studio encouraged me to attend Shim-Sung. She told me she saw something in me that I was going to be a great master one day. I did not pay much attention to that because it sounded like a lot of whooee to me. During the first hours they had a play the other master's from other studios put on. This play that was just way way over the top (I live in Las Vegas). It had a mother & father starting out just fine, then losing their way, fighting and then their child is caught in the middle of this and they were screaming at each other...way weird. I almost left then but for whatever reason I did not. The next day I left town and was not in the studio for a week or so. When I returned I told the owner that whole program rang of "CULT' to me and she was all over that like white on rice. I believed she was a genuine person and I continued to attend classes. I do enjoy the intense work out and the meditation but wait... there's more. I let her talk me into a 'training" in Sedona, AZ. An absolutely beautiful town in western AZ. By the time I actually went I was already questioning this group. They tell you Mago Garden is in Sedona...well not exactly. It is about 15 miles south of Sedona and then 10 miles down a dirt road with no lights, no houses no nada!! I told myself driving down there I should just turn the car around and leave but the cost was around $1, 300 and of course...non-refundable. The first day was not too bad but... as I said, I already had a very bad feeling. Everything was being done in repetition, repetition, repetition even the music! It was annoying the first day but the second & third day it was way beyond annoying. Being yelled at by these "very wise masters" to 'FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS" unbelievable! I started looking around and I was the only one in the room whose eyes were not glassed over. On day three they took us outside to walk around Mago Garden. It is set in a beautiful mountain range no doubt but...first we went to a beautiful man made lake and then our next stop was up a hill where there was a huge probably 50 ft statue of some oriental Buddah looking person that they tell you wrote about the original people who inhabited Mago Garden. This statue was painted the most gaudy color of gold you have ever seen!! The master asked all of us to bow our heads and open our hearts and souls so we could feel the love and energy this inanimate object was supposed to be emitting! Seriously what is in the Kool-aide these folks must be drinking!! I neither bowed my head nor did I feel any energy! I did feel quite stupid that I allowed myself to be talked into this BS. But wait... our next stop is the place where Ilchi Lee, the founder of this CULT, was supposed to have been when he was praying to... God knows who... if he should buy this land. They told us he asked once and was told "YES" and then he asked twice and was told "YES" then...lightning struck not far from the spot where he was sitting and he felt that two times being told yes was enough. They now consider this place the most holy place on the mountain. They told us to all be very quite and with much reverence we could walk around this area & when we got to the center to stop and bow and ask Ilchi Lee for what we most desire and this wish will be granted!! ABSOLUTELY THE GOD'S HONEST TRUTH!! Seriously is he a genie with a lamp? I said to myself, "His Name better have changed to FATHER, SON OR HOLY GHOST" because I am not going to participate in this. I walked very fast, I did not stop in the middle, I did not bow my head...I did not ask for anything except forgiveness from the ONE AND ONLY GOD for allowing myself to get talked into this insanity. That was it. I ate supper, participated with no emotion in the last two hours of the Saturday class. I did this first and foremost because I knew by this time if I did not show up they would come looking for me...this is a CULT after all and then went to bed. On Sunday the last session was to be five hours long and then go home. I got up, packed my suitcase got in my car and I left without a word to anyone. I told a friend I wondered how long it would be before the folks running this training realized I wasn't there and called Las Vegas to tell the owner of my studio. I did not make it out of the city of Sedona when I got a text from her! UNBELIEVEABLE!! I did not respond. When I walked into my home my phone was ringing. It was her. I let it go to voice mail. She asked how my training went and to please call her so we could talk. I text her and told her the training was not my cup of tea. I told her I would be in later in the week to talk to her and asked her to respect me as I intend to respect her and not reach out to me till then. Oh yeah I forgot to tell you this...if you do not show up for class for a couple days they call you and ask where you have been and they miss you and want you back in class. Have you ever belonged to a gym that did that on a consistent basis? They do this ALL the time. I am going in to the studio this evening armed with over 100 pages of complaints about this organization and attempt to get reimbursed all of my money for my membership. If she refuses she only has two choices...she let's me come for the work outs until my membership is over and never approach me again about anything or I will contact my lawyer. If she refuses I am going to tell her I will then spend at least two days a week in the parking lot looking for new faces and grab onto any one I do no recognize and let them read just a few of the articles I have found today before they enter the studio. This multi-million dollar fraud should be arrested and prosecuted. I did not go in debt but some folks have literally gone into their 401K's and given this crook all their money. This is so wrong. So so wrong.

    4 Votes
  • Jo
    John Hopper Jan 23, 2010

    I've been a member of Dahn Yoga for over five years. While I admit that the teachers do try to get you to further your study, in seminars and trips that seem ridiculously expensive, I've never felt compelled to go beyond their initial "awakening" seminar, that they call Shim-Sung. Shim-Sung is a hybrid of self-help seminars such as LifeSpring and EST. It was a good experience for me, but I did feel the seminar was too pricey ($225) and seemed too long and repetitive.

    Though the teachers do advertise and promote other healing courses, etc., once I told them I wouldn't be going beyond attending regular classes, I've never been asked about this again. I think my teachers at the center where I primarilly study are really wonderful and decent people. However, I have been around others Dahn folk that seem like they've had one too many glasses of the Ilchi Lee kool-aide. As for the practice itself, the totality of the exercises are quite beneficial and take you further than any Hatha Yoga study I've been involved in -- which is the main reason I continue doing Dahn.

    To be completely honest, much of what Ilchi Lee calls his invention has been cherry-picked from other self-help and yoga practices. His failure to acknowledge this is problematic and points up the man's runaway narcissism. Further, his credibily as a spiritual leader is sorely lacking due to Lee's obvious love of cash.

    My view of this lawsuit is that these 27 people spent a lot of time and money and expected something more in return. These folks were likely very gullible and unable to make prudent decisions. It is rather shameful that people who are supposed to be "healers" would prey on these weak-minded individuals. However, isn't that what car companies and clothing companies try doing with consumers? As for allegations regarding sexual assault, I've neither experienced this myself, nor heard anything to this effect from other members.

    I think the CNN report on Dahn was salacious and irresponsible. It's much better for them to make snarky insinuations, because "cult" is a word that attracts attention. The media, like Ilchi Lee, is self-serving and cares much more about money/ratings than offering their viewers objective information.

    Bottom line, I think that the Dahn folk would be well served to temper their practices, especially when it comes to pulling money out of weak-minded people for these seminars. That's really why they've gotten themselves into trouble. But to call Dahn a cult is really taking things to extreme and I've seen absolutely no evidence of this during my years of study.

    1 Votes
  • Ad
    AD80 Dec 22, 2009

    PLEASE spread the word. This place is DANGEROUS. They have sucked the money out of me! (Luckily I read my agreement carfully and am in the process of recieving a full reimbursement.) They are scam artists, opening you up emotionally, and then "coaching" the money out of you. Pushing you to take out loans, write post-dated checks, get credit cards, suggesting borrowing money from family members and all sorts of crazy stuff! I was offended that the "master" suggested I ask for money from my grandfather who lives on retirement. Although, some of the methods taught in the classes is very useful, and I believe that some of the people associated with Dahn Centers genuinely want to help the world I still believe that anyone who is emotionally unstable is preyed upon. Others are left alone, because they are older and wiser. I'm glad I "woke up" to what was going on and acted quickly! Again, please spread the word that this place is DANGEROUS.

    2 Votes
  • An
    antidahn Aug 22, 2009

    ejf, I agree completely. This organization is disgusting they way they ruin people's lives and take over their way of thinking. So many families have been damaged by Dahn, so many people have ruined their financial position because of Dahn. Would love to get in contact with you, [email protected]

    -1 Votes
  • Ej
    ejf Aug 16, 2009

    I am in the middle of working with my vibrant, beautiful daughter in Atlanta who has become mind controlled by a Master Hoang and a local con artist by the name of Skye and has given 1000's of dolloars to this scam cult only to now employ the exit counselors to get them out of her brain. I never believed anything like this was possible but I see her suffering every day.
    The organization will be taken down and 1oo0's of others who have been taken by the scam will see to it. Dahn Hak has taken away the lives to 1000, s who suffer deeply, unable to work or have realationships due to the hypnotizing and subliminal messages they incorporate that actually make you think messages of horror that you would never on your own. Stay as far away from this group as possible. They are Korean, many illegally in the US needing deportment back to their creepy country and creepy culture.

    -2 Votes
  • St
    Steph S Nov 08, 2019
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    @ejf I started to understand your comment until the end where you called Korea assume you meant south as the north part yes is bad but you can’t generalize a while county of people for being creepy! Most South Koreans do not practice this, it’s more used in the US actually although some there do practice just not most. Many in S Korea if they were to practice any martial art or exercise it would be things like Taekwondo and a whole list of other good non cult ones, even most Koreans themselves know Dahn yoga crap is a scam/cult. I find it shameful that you would dare to call them a creepy county and cutler. Not all Koreans here in the US are illegal and not all should be deported. I see you know well enough about the bad parts of Dahn yoga which is good but please do more research on S. Korea before generalizing then as a whole.

    3 Votes
  • Li
    Liane Torcoletti Sep 06, 2020
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    @ejf What the Dahn center does is absolutely creepy. I still suffer the effects 20 years later. The Master Healer that I encountered was Korean. He had & still has control over me. How that is I don't want to know but it ruined my life. He sexually abused me, brainwashed me & left me with nothing. He is spiteful & just like any cult leader or abuser gets off on preying on women. What they so call practice is the devil's work alone. I truly hope those people get what they deserve. I know that if you attempt to call them out for what they are they will & do whatever it takes to keep you from exposing them.

    0 Votes

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