I might be able to help you with that. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally Posted by Humanzee
Jeremy M. Talbott
Originally Posted by Phrost
Originally Posted by D.Murray
Originally Posted by hangooknamja88
I know a thing or two about Dahn Yoga + Dahn Mu Do
yes the truth is I was a "Master" in Dahn Yoga (for three years) and I was one of the foremost teachers in the USA for Dahn Mu Do. I haven't told my story to anybody yet. If anyone is interested I can certainly answer any question you have.
Go for it. Introduce yourself, give us some specifics to verify that you were affiliated with Dahn, and tell us your story.
Originally Posted by StarGazer
How you got started? Why you stayed? Why you left? What was involved in your training? What you were taught in terms of technique and regarding selling the Dahn program? Your thoughts on the "cult status" of Dahn? Your thoughts on Dahn's misleading marketing? Pecentages of male vs female members? Requirements to move up in the organization - finacial or otherwise?
How that for a start...
hell yes! what's the inside scoop on these centers
My first and foremost question is what is your nationality? Which school did you teach out of? Who was your instructor? Why did you leave? What is the source of the Taichi that they teach?....this should be a nice start.
Originally Posted by StarGazer
Jeremy M. Talbott
Originally Posted by Phrost
Originally Posted by D.Murray
Originally Posted by hangooknamja88
StarGazer, thank you for your willingness to share. Would you be kind enough to give an overview of your general experience? Also, if you are willing, would you be able to confirm a few things?
Originally Posted by StarGazer
1. Is it true that Dahn makes it's masters share communal appartments, or sleep at the center?
2. Is it true that Dahn masters are paid minimum wage or less?
3. Do Dahn masters get penalized/punished for not bringing in certain quota per month?
4. Do the Dahn higher ups tell it's masters that making money for Ilchi leads one to enlightenment?
5. What can you tell us abou the Tai Chi training at the center? (I am currently doing research on the matter)
6. Are pressure points used during the initial energy reading for potential members to induce pain/discomfort? **EDITED** (I was told they explain the pain as energy blockages, and tell you that you need to sign up quickly or your health will worsen.)
7. If you can, would you please describe the ShimSung training?
8. Is it true that following a few successful ShimSung sessions at Sedona, the masters have to swear their lives to Ilchi?
Again, any experience you are willing to share is more than welcome. Thank you for your input.
Last edited by Sri Hanuman; 1/07/2009 1:03pm at .
Well, Hello. I am not sure I want to put my name on anything here yet but I hope you are OK with that.
I also have a question for you all. What exactly is your interest in this subject?
I don't have easy access to a computer so I will just write a bit at a time. I have no problems answering any question and I will do so as honestly as possible.
It is some time confusing to recount everything because the reasons I belived I was making choices at the time are not always how I view them in hind site but I will try to be clear.
Some background. I am an american born and raised in New York. After college I had a desire to help people and took a volunteer teaching position in Mexico for a year. I was so drained and unhappy by the time I left I thought I was not cut out for helping people. That belief created a kind of loss of dierection and focus.
I spent years just working, lifting wieghts and traveling to NYC to drink with friends. I was looking for something to give me a positive direction. I tried yoga one day and I felt something good much better than the love hate thing i had going on with wieghts and my self image. I went to the nearest yoga studio to my house and it happened to be a Dahn studio. I did an intro session and in that session the got my attention by helping me to feel energy in my body. it was a simple exercise but I really believed it(I still believe in feeling energy move through your body). I was so curious about this new thing that I found.
I was skeptical in the begining though until my first workshop. I struggled in some of the physical exercises(hold a single posture for a long amount of time and trying not to give up) I couldn't do it and so i was overwhelmed with anger toward the instructor. One of the instructors told me that the anger I had was the anger I had for myself it was the way I treated myself usually. I denied it at first but on the drive home, i realized that I knew it to be true. I always wanted to be better than I was and I was never satisfied with myself as I was in the moment. The workshops ability to help me see that really opened my eyes to the inner world of my mind and I wanted to know more, to be happy.
over the course of the next six months, I did more and more training and workshops(energy and self improvement type things including shim sung). At this time the Dahn Mu Do part of Dahn didn't exist yet in the USA. At this time I chose to commit my life to learning what I could about energy and myself. I knew I could be walking into a cult but I also knew that somethings can't be learned unless you give your whole self to something without any reservations about your safety or the future. At the same time i had confidence that what ever inside of me that was leading me on this path would lead me out again when the time was right. This was true then and is still true now because it is exactly what happened, but inbetween I got a lot of interesting training learned a lot and also lost something.
this is all I can write for now. I am sorry I didn't get to all the questions yet but some background is need to be able to shed light on the nuance of my expereince and my opinon of what is actually happening in Dahn. One thing I can tell you for sure is that Dahn is not what it seems on the outside. there is a very stark difference bewteen those on the inside and those on the outside. Dahn without any doubt misrepresents itself to the public. The reasons and purpose of why it does that reveals what the organization is really like. Sorry if this part is boring I am sure in the future there will be many more intresting things. And feel free to ask for clarification on anything I have not explained well.
I tried PMing you, but that function seems to be disabled for you.
First and foremost, thank you very much for sharing your experience on this forum.
I have been doing research on Dahn after I attended a Dahn seminar by Heung Sun Lee (Ilchi as he likes to call himself) in Arlington Heights, IL. I was talked into going by one of my co-workers, who is a Dahn member. I got some intense creepy vibes while there, and decided to do some research.
I came upon sites like rickross.com, and newdahn.com which explained quite a bit. Recently I came upon statements made by Jiha Kim, a public figure in Korea, openly condemning the activities taking place within the organization. They were seconded by Joon Cheon, a former high ranking member, both of whom had to request police protection in fear of retribution from Lee.
I myself have walked into a center or 2 to do some questioning of my own. I have many issues with some of the results I got, and let's just say that honesty does not appear to be their policy.
I am currently doing cross reference between some of the books he published, and actual historical/qi gong books, as well as reading up on cult mentality and mind control by authors like Steve Hassan, and they are setting off some major red flags. I would like to pick your brain if you ever get a chance.
I realize you may not want to reveal your name publically, and I can appreciate the reasons why. However, if you are willing, would you please contact me whenever you get a chance?
My e-mail address is:
******* If you would like more info, please just ask.
It is my firm opinion <<<DISCLAIMER- just an opinion, don't sue<<< that Lee is giving people false promises and hopes, while riding them into financial ruin through violent and dishonest means. My goal is to get as much information out to the public, so that people know what they are getting into. I hope you can shed some light on some of the questions I have.
Thank you kindly, and all the best to you.
Last edited by Sri Hanuman; 2/20/2009 2:58pm at .
For reference to my above statements:
Public statements made by former Dahn master, Joon Cheon:
Public statements made by Jiha Kim, well known Korean activist, poet, and humanitarian:
If you really want the inside scoop on Dahn Yoga, read on...
It's March 2009 and I don't know if anyone is still reading this these posts. I am one of the original Dahn enthusiasts in my region. I first walked into a new Dahn center opening in my old neighborhood almost a decade ago. And now, after all these years, I am leaving. I feel like Neo in the Matrix when he takes the red pill and wakes up and really SEES for the first time, with open eyes. Once you take the red pill, you can't go back. And I wouldn't want to. I am eternally, blissfully grateful for having the courage to take that red pill. In answer to your question: Oh yes, indeedy, Dahn Yoga most certainly is a destructive cult. Pretty much the worst things you have heard are true. It's been about six weeks or so since I first started to wake up from the Dahn belief system, and the universe just keeps bringing more and more info to me. It just keeps coming.
If you are in Dahn now, either as an enthusiastic member with mostly/only super postive experiences thus far, or if you are one of the members who are being groomed to become a master, or if you are actually an instructor (instructors used to be called "masters" but the organization recently changed that practice), and you are reading this, I say to you:
I know you are probably going to dismiss what I am saying as nonsense from someone who is "unenlightened" or just "not getting it," even though I've probably been involved much longer than you have. You have been conditioned to think this way by the group leaders. Your critical thinking process has been systematically disengaged, in such a masterful way, that you (an intelligent, thoughtful person) aren't even aware of it. But I do know this. In the back of your brain, there is still some small voice that is questioning and wondering if this is all true, if Dahn is for real...
Only a very small handful of members don't have that questioning voice in their brains, and these people are truly the victims in all of this. That small group are called by those who have left "the lifers." The lifers may never get out. And I pray for them, I do. But you. YOU know that you have that small critical voice still inside. It's been supressed and buried as much as possible. You've been taught to regard it as "resistance" and laziness and "negative information" and any number of blocks your ego is throwing up to keep your soul from growing. What you don't know now is that that small critical voice in your head is what is going to save you in the end. It is a blessing, and later you will be very grateful for it.
You see, you have taken all of these classes and trainings thru Dahn, thru your center and Sedona, and maybe you've even gone to Korea, and as a result, it's like a voice (another voice) has been implanted in your brain that constantly filters and analyzes everything you see and hear thru the Dahn belief system. So I already know in advance how your brain is going to immediately dismiss what I am saying. If you can't find an explanation for my assertions, then you will just shut your mind down entirely and will refuse to think about it at all. And you'll go on your merry way.
But I know you.
I WAS you.
For many, many years. And I know that behind that voice implanted by the Dahn belief system, is the real you, that critical voice you've been taught to disregard. That voice will read what I am saying here and will wonder if it's actually true. You will wonder. You will probably dismiss, for now. But you WILL wonder.
And weeks or months or even years from now, when you, too, decide to leave Dahn (because almost everyone does, eventually), you may remember this post. And if you remember nothing else that I have said here, there is one thing you SHOULD remember, because it will help you so much: it's called "mind control." When you are ready, and you are leaving Dahn, and you are connecting with a whole network of supportive, loving individuals who have also left and who are willing to talk to and listen and share with you, then you will be searching for answers, and this concept will be enormously helpful to you. There is a book that really helped me to make sense of my experience and the Dahn belief system: it's called "Combatting Cult Mind Control." It's a bestseller than you can order thru Amazon. It was written before Dahn existed, but you will be absolutely stunned, as I was, by the parallels between Dahn and other cults that came before it.
I have come to understand that people walking in the door are usually groomed in one of two ways: either you're an enthusiastic member repeatedly pushed to pay lots of money for healing sessions and workshops, including repeated trips to Sedona. This is the group that is solely being used for money. These people are usually middle-aged or older and out of shape when they join. They will end up giving THOUSANDS of dollars to Dahn.
The other group is smaller. These are the young, bright, vibrant people who are recruited to be instructors. They usually don't have much money (although they will be pushed to open multiple credit card accounts and to ask their families for money). They are wanted for their ENERGY. One of the most interesting things I learned about cults is that they specifically target strong, vibrant people (not weaklings) because they know these will make the most enthusiastic, charismatic leaders who can convince others to join.
So you might be reading this post and a member of either group 1 or group 2. If you're in group 1, you're only going to be shown the most positive aspects of the group. Your experiences will be controlled in such a way by the group leaders that they are only positive, and that is because they want you to keep shelling out that money. It is amazing to behold the number of wealthy, middle-aged members of Dahn. It is common knowledge now that Dahn only opens centers in wealthy, white-bread neighborhoods. However, if you're in this group, observe the way that Dahn has completely engulfed your life. The instructors push you to do all kinds of trainings, and to spend most of your time at the center. Sure, the exercises make you feel quite good, but notice how doing them has begun to take up such large amounts of your time. Also notice that if you are hesistant to do the next in a long line of expensive trainings, you will be made to understand by the instructor that your reasons for hesitating are not valid. Ever. You are told that it's "your choice," but take note of the way they react when you say no. Watch and observe carefully.
Group 2 members are the true victims of mind control, and that is what people must understand who are criticizing Dahn. The young instructors running these centers are victims themselves. They are to be pitied, not attacked. Imagine the trauma their families feel at having lost a son/daughter/wife/husband/sister/brother to this organization.
Another classic hallmark of cults is the belief of the most involved members & leaders that they are part of a special, "chosen," elite, a group of spiritual revolutionaries who are going to heal the world. Did you know that this is the view of pretty much all cults? Did you know that this is what members of the Moonies also believed? When you are eventually coming out of the Dahn belief system, and you are reading everything about this subject that you can get your hands on, you will be flabbergasted to learn the number of parallels between Dahn and the Moonies. I now believe that, historically speaking, Dahn is a more sophisticated, modern-day version of the Moonies.
Here are some of the things I have learned in the last 6 weeks:
The business model for the American Dahn system is a Ponzi scheme. This is similar to a pyramid scheme. This is what Madoff was recently jailed for. A Ponzi scheme operates with a central figurehead at the top (Ilchi Lee). The next 2 or 3 levels of the pyramid (his closest associates - most of whom are shadow figures who you will never meet) are the only ones making money. And they are making MILLIONS, buying real estate left and right, creating many new "front groups" (another classic cult hallmark) and enterprises. Going down and down the pyramid, you get to levels, say, 8 and 9. These are the people who are MAKING the money for those at the top. These are the people who are in charge of the grunt work, the sweat, the labor, and most importantly, bringing new recruits into the scheme. The level 8 and 9 people are the Dahn instructors running the centers. These people work 100 hours a week for little money. They sleep 3 to 5 hours a night. They live in communal housing. Almost every moment of their time is given to inventing ways to make more $$$ for their center and for Dahn. In Dahn language, they are working for their "vision."
In this context, the way to convince a level 8 and 9 person on the pyramid to work like this, constantly and endlessly, to maximize profits and bring in new members, is to impose an elaborate belief system, something they can passionately and fervently believe in, a religion (if you will), that they will defend to the end. Also necessary is to utilize techniques of mind control in order to disengage their critical thinking processes. Again, I point anyone interested in this subject to the book "Combatting Cult Mind Control," which can be ordered off Amazon.
Forty percent of the income at Dahn centers is given to Ilchi Lee, and the center instructors assume it's for opening new centers and other programmatic expenses. What is kept from them is that much of this money is for the personal enrichment of Lee and the people on the next 2 or 3 levels of the pyramid. Evidence of this is everywhere, and devoted members don't want to see it.
Many of you may have been in Sedona and seen Ilchi Lee's Hummer and his entourage of personal attendants who travel with him (usually anonymous, interchangeable Korean men in business suits). If you went so far as to inquire why Lee drives this expensive, environmentally-unfriendly vehicle, you were probably told that he needs it for the difficult terrain around Sedona, or that he needs it for "protection." Right? But if you really take some space and sit and think about this situation, you will see that your first impulse was correct, after all: there IS something not right about Lee's being driven around in a Hummer. In the context of the Dahn belief system, it doesn't fit. And your rational brain immediately sensed this. But the group leaders are experts at convincing you to distrust your own intuition and to conclude that there are things going on at higher levels in the group that you don't need to understand or question.
I can look back now in amazement at the way I "turned off my brain" in these sorts of situations and meekly accepted the explanations given me by the group leaders. And how ironic that Dahn is all about "waking up your brain"! The cognitive dissonance and groupthink are rampant.
The imposing of a spiritual belief system over a Ponzi scheme business model in order to rake in millions is really, truly genius. Lee and his associates should be congratulating themselves. They've done a great job, haven't they? Let's have a round of applause for them. Bravo, boys!
The most troubling aspect of what I have recently learned is definitely painful to write and to think about, but I believe it's important to air it out and let it see the light of day. I have become aware of an entire network of women who have been sexually abused by Ilchi Lee.
For those who are reading this and are still heavily involved with Dahn, I know your brain is going to try to filter out and dismiss what I am saying as untrue. I know this because for years my brain did the same thing when I was presented with similar info (being rumors on the Internet). But for the first time, this info was presented to me in a way that I could not dismiss, because it was coming from people that I personally know and trust, not just strangers on the Internet.
Yes, it is true. I personally know a young American woman who claims to have been raped by Ilchi Lee. And I believe her. She is one of the last peope in the world I could imagine fabricating such a story. Through her, and through other connections, I have become aware that there are many such woman who assert that they were coerced into sex by Lee. Let's just take some space for a moment and sit and really think about this.
I will say it again: There are many such woman who assert that they were coerced into sex by Lee. How truly powerful is that statement? Now, if you are still heavily involved in Dahn, your brain is going to be busily at work right now, filtering what I am saying thru the Dahn belief system so that you will dismiss my words or tune them out. I don't need you to be convinced, because I am confident that down the road, when you yourself are ready to walk, you will be ready for this information, and it will come to you. You will be ready for that red pill. All that you really need to remember right now is that there is such a concept as mind control, and this: that when you do leave Dahn, even though you REALLY don't believe it now, your life is going to improve so much. You can't see it now, but Dahn has taken the world AWAY from you, and by leaving, you will get it back. You will get back a resolute faith in yourself and your own strength.
Try to go back and remember, if you can, when you first walked into a Dahn center. Try to remember the way that you felt (physically, emotionally, etc.) and who you were at that time. Now, no doubt, Dahn (the exercise practice) has made many improvements in your life. I read many accounts by people with disease and illness and Dahn exercise classes have really helped them to feel better and to build physical strength. The fact that the exercise program is so beneficial is Ilchi Lee's biggest ally, because when members hear cult accusations about Dahn, their brains immediately bombard them with memories of how crappy they felt before they started doing the practice, and how good they feel when they leave class, and they conclude the accusations must be false. More advanced members think about how fabulous they feel after workshops, or the loving, Buddha-like qualities of the group leaders.
What members don't understand is that, within the classic cult hierarchy, the group leaders are ALWAYS described as these loving, compassionate, kind, Buddha-like creatures. This is exactly how members of the Moonies described the leaders of THEIR group, and the Hare Krishnas, and so on. I now believe that radiating that Buddha-like state is a practiced and cultivated habit that anyone can become good at. The instructors interact with dozens of members a day and thus become very, VERY good at this. What is important is how they are behind closed doors, when paying members aren't around, and I know that they are as human as you or me, and no more "enlightened" than anyone else.
Now, in the beginning, terms such as "dahn jon" were unfamiliar to you and sounded silly, and you may have dismissed as hooey their pushing you to try this or that. Eventually, though, you gave in, and you found that - hey! boy oh boy! - they were right! You feel so much better!
And in this way, your resistance to the group's doctrine begins to be worn down. Remember, you are being led down a path, shown new things in incremental steps, and given info about the belief system in small doses at a time. After you allow them to lead you those first few steps, when you're still a newbie and all that Korean terminology is new and strange, and you figure out that what they're telling you, thus far, is actually quite true, and following their instructions results in positive changes in your health and state of mind, you start to doubt yourself. Let me repeat: This is when you start to doubt yourself and your own intuition. As you go farther down the path, more and more info they're telling you is unproveable because it's actually religious in nature. "Growing your soul" and helping others to grow their souls, these are unproveable concepts requiring a leap of faith on your part.
But you are inclined to believe this because the first few steps of the path (doing intestine exercises, coming to class regularly, taking Shim Sung, etc.) turned out to be true. So you begin to suspend your disbelief, and let them lead you futher down the path. Once you've gotten to a certain point, once that "Dahn voice" is implanted in your brain, thus allowing you to see and perceive everything thru the Dahn belief system, you will be able to lead others.
The instructors working in the American Dahn centers are working, working, working, making money money money. The ones who are good at it begin to see members as walking dollar signs. The mind control techniques which have disengaged their critical thought processes, don't allow them to perceive that they are not "enlightened." They are not on the path to spiritual enlightenment. The reality of running a Dahn center and making money has nothing to do with enlightenment. The workshops and endless trainings you are pushed into doing are designed to lead you down 1 of 2 paths:
1) Extract as much money from you as possible, until you get fed up and leave (again, these are often the older, middle-aged, wealthier members who don't have the physical strength to become full-fledged instructors)
2) Convince you that becoming a Dahn instructor is what you were "meant" to do, at which point you will begin working in a Dahn center, which isn't pushing you towards enlightenment, but only renders your life, for all practical purposes, that of an indentured servant who is hell-bent on making money for the vision
So you see, the only paths available are 1 or 2, and both are a dead end.
I ask you now: What vision? How are the people on paths 1 or 2 in any way helping to heal the world? If anything, their spending all of their time in Dahn centers is keep them ISOLATED from their communities, all while nurturing a false sense of superiority and arrogance that Dahn is the "one true way" (by the way, yet another cult hallmark - every cult in existence believes that theirs is the one true way).
The American Dahn movement is designed, I can see now, purely for the purpose of generating more money. I've been around long enough now to say with confidence that I have yet to meet a single person who has joined Dahn and who I believe has achieved "enlightenment."
I now can see that noone (not even Ilchi Lee) has the power to grant someone else spiritual enlightenment. Note that, historically, humans who are commonly regarded as being "enlightened beings" (Jesus, Buddha, etc.) pursued their own path to enlightenment. They did not get there as part of a military-like group. They followed their own, unique, individual voice.
Giving their lives for Ilchi Lee's vision to heal the world is what being a Dahn master is all about. They are told, during their master training, that doing this will enable them to get out of the cycle of death and rebirth (reincarnation). They believe that this is their last lifetime as a human, and that when they die, Ilchi Lee will meet their soul at the top of Bell Rock (a sacred Dahn spot in Sedona) and he will personally usher them into the next level. They believe they are moving on, after this life, to the next evolutionary level. When you really think about this, you can see that this concept allows Lee unlimited control of masters' lives. Masters give their lives (now, in this body, this lifetime), to him, and "after death," they'll get their reward. This also helps to nullify any possible detractor pointing out that the masters are certainly not achieving enlightenment in this lifetime, because then masters can tell themselves that their reward will come when they die and their soul meets Lee on the top of Bell Rock.
I know that the enticement of regarding oneself as part of a special, elite group, who are actually being given the opportunity to achieve enlightenment in this lifetime (if, of course, they are very good and work very hard for "the vision"), is a powerful draw. And giving that up, for Dahn instructors who leave, can be traumatic. But they almost all do leave. Of the hundreds of American members/instructors whom I have met over the last decade in my region, less than 5 are still standing. Everyone else is gone, and has been replaced by naive new members who have no idea of the vast numbers of people who came before them, and left. And now, so am I.
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