Man Calls Yoga Centers Front for a Cult

Court House News/February 22, 2010

Alexandria, Virginia - A syndicate of yoga centers run by Dahn World Co. is brainwashing consumers, leading them to believe their physical and mental ailments can be cured with "energy healing," while it forces them to surrender their financial resources, a Dahn recruit claims in federal racketeering complaint.

Andrew Myers says a Dahn Yoga Center lured him with bogus "healing" techniques, then persuaded him to leave his real estate job, and "devote his full time, attention, energy, and financial resources to the Dahn Organization."

The Organization, according to Myers, is run by its Grand Master, Seung Heun Lee, who created a complex web of corporate entities to funnel money from brainwashed recruits who are led to believe that Dahn's mission is health and world peace.

Myers says Lee created the first Dahn school in Seoul, Korea in the early 1980s and claimed to use ancient Korean mind-body training methods to treat physical symptoms and enhance mental and emotional well-being.

Myers says Lee turned that school into an international network of "yoga centers" that use "thought reform" and hypnotic techniques to scam money from people.

Lee uses the money to "support his lavish lifestyle," buying luxurious ranches, horses and boats, according to the complaint. Myers says the Korean Grand Master in "energy healing" enjoys hunting, deep sea fishing, golfing, gambling and fine dinning.

Myers claims he and other Dahn recruits are led to believe the program can cure anything from "paralysis to allergies," and that the causes of these ailments are "energy blockages."

Recruits, he says, are instructed to perform exercises to relieve the so-called blockages, including "Tao Holistic Healing, which requires participants to slap themselves - or to be slapped by the Dahn Masters - repeatedly."

When the exercise leaves bruises, he says, the Masters attribute it to "stagnant energy."

Recruits at this level are really being evaluated by the Masters, who are looking for candidates that will be susceptible to the Organization's thought reform tactics, Myers says.

He claims the Masters at the Dahn Alexandria Yoga Center told him he was a "special member" and tricked him into buying a lifetime membership for $5,000, books and CDs on Lee's philosophy, and additional "special" training sessions.

The Masters, he says, told him his family had caused him "spiritual damage" and encouraged him to sever his ties with them.

Myers says he underwent "Initial Awakening Training," which included exercises that were "methods of disengaging from conscious thought." Myers says he was told the exercises would improve his circulation and his "Dahn-jon," a nonexistent organ "located somewhere in his intestines."

After nearly a year of costly training seminars that ruined his finances and his health, Myers says, his family conducted an intervention with a cult expert and after a few weeks in rehab he was able to pry himself away from the Organization.

Myers says Lee uses the Dahn Organization to fraudulently collect and launder money from its local yoga centers located across the globe. He sued Lee, Dahn World Co., BR Consulting NJ, Dahn Yoga and Healing Family Center, the Tao Fellowship, the Dahn Foundation and HSP Ranch, alleging racketeering, wire fraud, mail fraud, negligent infliction of emotional distress and breach of fiduciary duty.

He wants unspecified compensatory damages and $700,000 in punitive damages, and is represented by Jennifer Short with Holland Knight of McLean, Virginia.

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