My Cult Experience

I promised a while back that I’d write about my time spent in a cult.  Well this is that blog.  I apologize now for the length of it, but I swear it’s a good story, so please stay with me.

When I moved back from Prague, I was in a weird place.  My dream of living in France for three years had, in reality, become seven months in the Czech Republic.  While it was a great experience (which I will talk about some other time), it wasn’t what I had hoped for.  Because of that, I was out of sorts when I moved back.

Enter Dahn Yoga.  I had begun working for a company that was just around the corner from a Dahn Yoga studio.  Remembering the sense of calm I’d experienced from previous yoga classes, I signed up right away.

According to their website, Dahn Yoga offers “Dynamic classes in Korean style power yoga, tai chi and meditation.”  While I definitely saw the last two aspects in the daily rituals, I couldn’t see yoga in it at all.  However, the teachers there had wonderful energy, and the tai chi and meditation did help to calm my frustrated mind a bit, so I stayed.

As the months wore on, the person who ran that particular studio began to look at me with hopes of turning me into a teacher at the center.  As I’ve stated here before, I’ve never seen myself as a teacher, and resisted at first.  But eventually I caved to the pressure I felt, and enrolled in the expensive side courses and teacher’s course.

Mind you, when I returned from Prague, I did so with less than zero in my bank account (a friend had to purchase my return ticket back home), and financial burdens that were adding to my sense of instability.  I was never sure how I would pay for these classes (which were quite pricey), but the center’s leader was always willing to work with me on a payment plan.  This meant I had very little money left after paying my other bills, but by this time I’d been into the program for several months and became addicted (there’s really no other word for it) to the warm, encouraging energy that seemed to come from everyone at the place.  I even thought I was in love with one of the teachers at the time; so powerful was the loving energy they all projected.

Let me make a side note here.  I do believe that many of the people I met in Dahn Yoga truly have loving spirits.  I think my bullshit meter is pretty strong, and I didn’t detect any coming from them.  I think they really believed that being in Dahn Yoga was the best thing for them; which is probably true of leaders in most cults.

Anyway, after I’d been with the program for about a year, I flew out to their facility in Sedona, Arizona, and spent a few days there, learning how to be a teacher of Dahn Hak (which means “study of primal, vital energy”).  I met some great people, and actually enjoyed the solitude of that section of the country, but by that time, I’d also started to realize just how much I’d been pressured into all of this.  I remembered that I had initially gone looking for an actual yoga program, which would give me the exercise and spiritual resonance I was looking for, and that this was a poor substitute.

Then, on our last day at the teacher’s training, we were informed that Ilchi Lee–founder of Dahn Yoga–had flown in to meet our class personally.  According to the site’s leaders, he hadn’t intended to be in Sedona that week; a fact that I found odd.  I thought the creator of an exercise/energy system would want to personally oversee the people chosen to teach his findings.  My bullshit meter started whirring.

As we were gathered to meet Ilchi Lee, I looked up at the dais where he would be sitting, and saw that there was a lone chair, with a red carpet laid out to a side entrance door.  There were also flowers next to the chair, and a microphone, and the whole set up screamed “King,” or “Royalty” to our “peasant” arrangement.  Then, when the side door opened for his entrance, I saw that he had arrived in a HUGE yellow Hummer.  He was also sporting a very large gold watch and some lovely pure gold chains.  When everyone there started acting as though this man were a god in their religion, I knew that was the beginning of the end of my Dahn Yoga experience.

Within a few weeks of coming back to my daily routine, I started finding reasons for being at the center.  I had agreed to teach for a couple months, because they were paying me and I needed the money to pay back what I owed from all the training.  But when what I owed them was paid off, I gave my notice.  The center’s new leader (who had started a couple months earlier) actually backed me into the wall, in an attempt to coerce me into staying.  She did this with no physical touch, but by getting up in my space and trying to make her presence stronger than mine.  By that time, my bullshit meter was whirring and buzzing all over the place.  I finally saw the coercion for what it was, and stood my ground.

It wasn’t until I looked at the entire experience later that I realized I’d been in a cult, and I wondered if all cults were like this.  I had always thought a cult was an obviously negative thing.  I never realized it could be wrapped up in all the positive, loving energy of the people I encountered.  Now I can see how people, looking for kindred spirits, can get so sucked in that they don’t realize they’re being brainwashed.

I’m grateful that I finally got out of it, fairly unscathed.  I don’t usually regret any of my experiences, because there’s always something to be learned, but I’m not entirely sure that I’d want to go through that particular one again, if given the choice.

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39 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kaye george
    Aug 03, 2012 @ 08:26:17

    Yes, you’re lucky! From what I’ve read and heard, this is exactly how cults operate. A lot of them prey on disenfranchised, friendless, seeking, young people, making them feel special and wanted and valuable–up to a point. The really slick ones like those types the best, the ones with no safety net and no social support. That way the cult can step in and be everything to the poor prey person.

    Good job with the bull shit meter! This group is not a good one! How strange that they tout yoga then have nothing to do with it.

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Aug 03, 2012 @ 09:16:42

      I agree, Kaye, that they shouldn’t say they’re a yoga studio, when they’re really more into the tai chi & meditation. That should’ve been my first clue.

      And it’s funny you say that they prey on people who seek something. Not once did it feel like they were preying on me. But maybe that’s because they were so good at hiding it.

      Reply

  2. Maddy
    Aug 03, 2012 @ 08:34:39

    I once had a very dear friend who spent 8 years in a cult, ‘married’, there and had a child – she also said that although she wouldn’t choose to repeat it, at the same time it left a lasting resonance from the people she met there.

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Aug 03, 2012 @ 09:20:00

      I would agree with your friend, Maddy. To this day, if I were to run into most of the people I met there, I would want to give them a hug, so genuine was their affection.

      The only thing I can think of is that they, too, were sucked in by the love they felt from their original teachers. Some people just aren’t able to see the cult as a whole, because they only see what’s close to them.

      Reply

  3. cminichino
    Aug 03, 2012 @ 17:42:36

    You got out faster than I did (different cult). To me, any group that places its leader in an “infallible” position is a cult. Well, I could go, but this is your blog!

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Aug 03, 2012 @ 21:44:38

      That’s a very good way of succinctly describing a cult, Camille.

      I don’t mind if you go on…I’d be interested to hear of your cult experience. Please let me know when you write of it on your blog.

      Reply

  4. kaye george
    Aug 03, 2012 @ 21:46:13

    I’d like to read that one, too, Camille.

    Reply

  5. cminichino
    Aug 03, 2012 @ 21:57:04

    In a way, I was being facetious, but only partly. RC sisters live in a kind of cult, with very strict rules of obedience to a chain of humans, all the way to the top, who are to be considered as speaking God’s will. No questions asked. I look back on my experience (18 years) in much the same way that Alyx and Maddy do — I made wonderful friends whom I still keep in touch with; I learned a great deal about meditation and other spiritual matters; I had a chance to study classical theology and philosophy; and hopefully, I did some good for some people.

    Reply

  6. kaye george
    Aug 03, 2012 @ 22:21:50

    Ah, I should have put that together! Thanks for clarifying, Camille.

    Reply

  7. Malena E.
    Aug 04, 2012 @ 22:39:47

    Wow, this was a great story, Alyx. Thanks for posting it.

    Reply

  8. Nathan Hale
    Sep 23, 2012 @ 11:12:25

    Glad you got out:) As an ex-member myself from years ago, I occasionally check in on the cult. Keep hoping for the day when the whole empire crumbles and disappears.

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Sep 24, 2012 @ 10:46:20

      Yes, I agree with you, Nathan. I remember Dahn saying they wanted to have 10,000 locations by 2010. I’m very glad that didn’t happen…for the public’s sake.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply

  9. Shelia
    Mar 03, 2013 @ 17:55:42

    I have a close friend who is in this now. Has been for about 3 years now. She was recovering from a bad car accident, then cancer, and was depressed. The yoga seemed to help her at first. Now she just complains about how much of her time it takes. And money! She’s constantly being pressured to take these expensive classes towards some obscure goal. She acts like she’s too smart to be fooled and be one of the “enthusiastic” ones, but she can’t seem to stop going and giving them thousands and thousands of dollars. I am afraid for her, but she’s stopped talking to me about the details after I told her it sounded like a cult and she should quit. If this isn’t a cult then I don’t know what is.

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Mar 04, 2013 @ 15:50:45

      I can tell you it absolutely IS a cult, Shelia, & I’m sorry your friend got caught up in it so much. Yes, they help out at first, & there is a lot of loving energy around there from the people, but when you’re being coerced to spend thousands of dollars for this, then it becomes clear what the true intent behind the organization is.

      I’m not sure how you can help her see the detriment that this cult is doing, but just try to be a good listening ear, & when she’s finally ready to see them for what they really are, be there with open arms & an open heart, & not an “I told you so” attitude, if you can. It’s embarrassing enough to know you were outwitted & succumbed to a cult in the first place.

      Thanks for visiting today.

      Reply

  10. JuneH
    Aug 28, 2013 @ 13:39:22

    I have been in process of recovering from an acute now chronic illness. I started Dahn Yoga in June and I really loved the classes. But quit after realizing I had already spent a 1000 dollars after less than three months of joining as a member. But it was the high pressure and the experience I had in attending a shim sung workshop that precipitated my abrupt leaving the Dahn Yoga practice. I thought I could continue the class without getting involved in the extra stuff, but I just could not after I realized it was a cult. I am now enrolled in a regular Yoga class. I may also take some tai chi, knowing I can take the class without worrying about supporting a business that is a cult and preys on the unsuspecting. I wrote a review and submitted it to them. But I doubt they will publish it on their site.

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Aug 30, 2013 @ 08:28:26

      Congratulations on getting out of there, June, & I’m very glad you’ve found another yoga class. Tai Chi is also wonderful, & I hope you find a good one of those, too. One of my first issues with Dahn was that it claimed to be a yoga class, but we never did any yoga that I’d ever heard of or seen before.

      It’s wonderful that you submitted a review to the Dahn organization, but unfortunately I agree that they probably won’t do anything about it.

      Thanks for sharing your experience, & I hope that the real yoga class helps your condition.

      Reply

  11. holly papa
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 12:17:42

    I am heartbroken!
    my husband is entrenched in dahn yoga, i cant exactly say how many thousands of dollars he has spent because he will not give me that info and that is the first sign of trouble……..goes to workshop after workshop without giving me advanced notice, they say jump and he says how high?

    i can go on and on, he is thousands in debt, in total denial, walked away from all his obligations because he is so brainwashed, it is unbelievable to me that he refuses to see

    i am a wholistic health educator, love yoga but there is no yoga done at dahn yoga!

    the pedestal they put ilchi lee on is frightening to me!! he has written many book and has done many talks but i have found he has not said anything new, no info that has not already been said many times before, including his” new “concept
    of change and the use of magnets!

    of course they do not like me there because they know that i know, and to this end they try to split us farther and farther apart and it has worked

    i do not have the strength to fight anymore, it has broken my heart and has led to a complete melt down for me (some would call it a nervous breakdown, hospitalization and all—-still he left me in the hosp and went to sedona with them)all this is hard for me to admit because i always saw myself as strong and capable

    i could tell you one horror story after another……

    we are no longer living together, he gets further and further into debt, his life is falling apart on all levels and he refuses to see it, and that is just what his center wants!

    he has just came back from korea!!!===he did not have the money to go so they “lent” it to him…… he went to walk in the footsteps of his master, but still refuses to believe that what he is doing is idol worship, the devil has got a strong hold on him!

    i keep tabs on them (especially since my hubby bought me a lifetime membership which i had no awareness of or desire to have, just a way to get more $$$$$$$ out of him)

    there is an old saying—keep your friends close and keep your enemies closer!!!

    if anyone has any advice i will welcome in
    in the meantime
    please keep me in your prayers since i am still on fragile ground

    many thanks for sharing, it confirms for me that i am not crazy!!!

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Oct 14, 2013 @ 15:09:00

      I’m so sorry that your husband has succumb to this cult, Holly. No, you are definitely NOT crazy. I don’t know if there’s anything you can do for him to be able to see the truth–unless you’re willing to spend a lot of money & time on hiring a professional who will get your husband away from that cult–& for that, I’m even sorrier. The best that can be done is to keep praying for him, & to keep spreading the word of this cult, in the hopes that it will one day be disbanded.

      And, maybe the best that you can do for yourself is to fully let go of this. There’s another saying about “letting something/someone go . . .” Based on what you’ve said, you’re just as much a victim of this cult as your husband, by keeping tabs on them. I know it can’t be easy to let someone go that you love as much as you do your husband, but it won’t do you any good to make yourself crazy over this either.

      Reply

    • Carol D
      Feb 21, 2016 @ 00:52:04

      http://www.selectsmart.com/ilchilee.html
      http://www.nhne-pulse.org/files/2010/DAHN_YOGA_LAWSUIT.pdf
      I know someone well who was a Master for several years but quit a few years ago. He validated almost all of what was said in the lawsuit (^ that is original link), just based on his own experience, but he admits he doesn’t quite know for sure about the sexual allegations from the founder. He says his experience of joining dahn yoga was like being the lobster in warm water, where the temperature keeps increasing but you don’t realize it until it’s so hot, you’re boiling/changing/losing yourself, and you can’t get out. He said the vision and its ideas is on beautiful grounds but what actually was happening, what masters would do and guilt they would feel to do things was so unethical and extreme “for the vision” But truly when you’re in it he says it seems so normal, need to “save humanity” and the founder is the way. They really do idolize the founder as the messiah, father of the soul. At first, it’s all through the yeha programs for young people, ‘love bombing’ is what I’ve seen it called. But my friend said they don’t even realize that’s what they are doing, they genuinely think they are saving the world. But it’s so narrow-minded; saving the world within the structure of dahnhak. In Korea its literally “Dahn-World”. They genuinely feel you will have despair if you leave. They feared for his soul when he quit. It took him a long time to recover. It was so strongly ingrained in him “use all your time for humanity” that he struggled with finding meaningful work because he lived in a state “this is not enough, you are not enough” for so long he had to seek cult exiting counseling. Steve Hassan a cult expert who helped many of those in the lawsuit has been really helpful to him. He wishes there was a community for those who leave it, especially for the masters or and perhaps for very involved members. Sorry to hear about your experience. For me, I did a little when my friend joined but I don’t know I didn’t get that much from it. It’s interesting how that’s the case for some. I wish more people could see all sides.

      Reply

      • Alyx Morgan
        Feb 28, 2016 @ 14:49:30

        Thank you for posting this, Carol. I’m sorry that your friend got so enmeshed in the system that he needed cult-exit counseling, but I’m glad he was able to get it. I didn’t know about the sexual allegations, but I knew a couple of leaders who were getting married, & I always had this sneaking suspicion that it was forced or “encouraged” by the Dahn system.

  12. LGG
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 16:29:04

    I recently joined Dahn Yoga and I have to say that I enjoy how I feel when I do the practices of stretching and meditation. I attended Shim Sung workshop and did think ‘I want to become a Dahn Master’ and am currently paid to go in July. However, there was another workshop (yesterday) that I did feel some pressure to attend. I told them I could not attend because of financial (not true- I just feel I’ve spent enough money on this) reasons and they dropped the price to a nominal fee. I attended and felt it was total crap! Except for one of the tai chi exercises the workshop was a bunch of hog wash and I feel bad for anyone who paid full price. The most disturbing part of the workshop was that during the meditation process they told us to keep our eyes closed and focus on the bright light in our minds – then they began flashing a strobe light at us. After the strobe lights they had us open our eyes and focus on the ceiling where they were displaying a sort of colored lights show. It fet strange and sort of “mind controlling” I am still within the 30 day reimbursement and plan on requesting a refund for the membership and Sedona training. Whether they return my $ or not I just don’t feel comfortable attending the training in Sedona after everything I have read. I feel sad because I was very excited about this process. I also feel some shame about this – ‘I of all people should know better of course!” Thank you for posting this! I am on my way to the gym for spin and a “normal” yoga class.

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Apr 14, 2014 @ 21:20:59

      LGG – I agree with you that some of it can feel very good & calming & even make you feel closer to your heart/true self/God (whatever you call it). And it’s been a long time, but if I’m remembering correctly, I thoroughly enjoyed the Shim Sung training. There are some wonderful aspects to it, but, like you, I just found some of their other shenanigans to be too much smoke & mirrors in order to get your money.

      Good for you for deciding to back out of it. I hope you remain strong with it, because I can guarantee they won’t “let you go” very easily. You just have to be strong in knowing what you want, because it’s the hesitation that they prey upon.

      Good luck!

      Reply

  13. margaret gormley
    Sep 14, 2014 @ 08:48:00

    Thank you for posting Alyx. I am a former master and can without a doubt say that Dahn yoga is a cult. Just like Nathan, who replied to you earlier, I check on them from time to time, hoping the beast crumbles. I wish them all well and a good journey.

    Cheers Alyx.

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Sep 14, 2014 @ 12:03:24

      Thank you, Margaret, for being willing to speak up about the cult-ishness about it, and congratulations on being able to step away from it.

      I also wish YOU a good journey.

      Reply

  14. Chana
    Jan 05, 2015 @ 16:09:04

    Hi Alyx!
    I am in a conflict personally.
    I found Dahn Yoga about 4 months ago, when I enrolled in a 3-month yoga therapy course in the center. I subsequently bought a 6-month yoga daily class membership, which I found to be inexpensive (I payed half-price as I was enrolled as a student). I feel ‘iffy’ about the place and the people. They are so loving and charismatic, and I absolutely feel energized, clear-minded, and light after class. It does not concern me that the form of yoga they teach is not technically ‘yoga’… I just appreciate the very real benefits of the practice.
    I attended Shim-sung, which was an emotionally releasing experience for me, and where I reached a deep place of peace and an open heart (at least temporarily). Afterwards I met with the head master, who is an accomplished holistic healer. She gave me an initial healing session, in which she checked my body condition, my chakras, felt for blockages in my body, trauma to the brain. She said I carry heavy emotional stress and traumatic memory (which I undoubtedly do), especially in my chest and neck. I do not believe she is faking. She told me she recommends at least 12 healing sessions, and up to 24. Which I was game to go for. But then we sat down to discuss pricing and all the technicalities… and she dropped the bomb, that EACH session will cost $400! I thought she said the cost altogether, for all sessions, would be $400. I was surprised when it was clarified that each session would be $400.
    Now it is possible that she is a genuine healer, who is not in fact after my money, and that for a true professional, $400 a session is fair and common. But it set off alarms… because she is also the owner/head master of the Dahn Yoga centers of my region of the US. And I began to doubt the whole thing. I fear I am being brainwashed. I feel pressured to attend workshops. One of the masters there rather freaks me out. Maybe it is because he is Korean, and his English is not very understandable. He just rubs me the wrong way. I wonder if I am slowly giving in to mind control. Dahn Yoga does not hide that it IS a spiritual practice, and I am attracted to all things different, spiritual and quirky. It does not bother me that dahn-jon tapping and brain-wave-vibration strike outsiders as weird. I come with an open mind, ready to experience something new, and I feel the benefits. What I’m saying is, maybe there are two things here:
    Number one, that I appreciate and enjoy the yoga general classes, and would like to continue. But,
    Number two, there might be more going on, something insidious that I do not even realize is sinking in.
    One of the masters, who I connect to deeply and is a friend (she is young, I am younger) accidentally dropped she lives together with a bunch of the masters in what she compared to a commune. I felt uncomfortable with that. She told me not to tell the other members, which I have no reason to do.. but it bothers me that there is so much secrecy. I have been looking up to her as a sort of mentor, someone wiser who understands what I’ve been through in my life, has been through even worse herself, and has healed tremendously from where she was even a couple of months ago. All of which is true, undeniable, and readily observable. Dahn Yoga’s masters have helped her. She now teaches Dahn to adults and kids, it is what she loves to do and is passionate about. But I can’t help but feel she’s been pulled into something… and maybe it’s a cult. And she is so beautiful and sincere, that if she is under any sort of mind control or has been duped I will be very sad and angered. We are like sisters.
    I have a strong mind, and am quite sharp and perceptive. I am also young and impressionable, curious and open-minded; all qualities which I hope to preserve, but I know there are dangers out there I may be blind towards. I do not have a social life, my situation with my family is tense, and feel unsupported and alone at this point in my life. So I am susceptible to and hungry for the attention and admiration I am awarded at my Dahn Yoga center. They love me there, they hug me there (they take advantage of me there??). I had put aside, ignored, dismissed some of the suspicions I had about the way Dahn Yoga operates, thinking the thoughts to be ‘negative energy’. I see now they might be subtly winning me over… and I just don’t know how and if to proceed. Coincidentally, I had planned to pay the second half of my divided yoga membership cost, tomorrow! Now I am re-thinking it. Proceed With Caution, the signs are telling me.
    It is confusing because I feel myself being repelled sometimes, but mostly being pulled to the yoga center. I like spending time there, but I think I’ve been ignoring the voice inside that is trying to warn me of danger.
    Please Alyx, I hope you read this and respond as soon as you can. I thank you and commend you for sharing your story.

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Jan 07, 2015 @ 19:49:46

      Hi Chana –

      First of all, congratulations to you for sharing your story. I’m sure there are others that will read this post that can learn from you & your experience.

      That being said, the long & short of it is that I think you already know the answer you’re looking for, & are maybe just asking for confirmation & validation. I’m here to tell you that I 100% agree with that little voice inside of you that’s warning of danger. Every fiber of my being wants to tell you to get the blank out of there, as fast as you can . . . but I also know that my opinion isn’t the right one for everybody. So let me back up a bit & give you more detailed comments to your questions/concerns.

      I agree that Dahn & the people you meet seem genuine & loving; & I wholeheartedly believe that many of them are. HOWEVER, I also believe that the owners of any particular center (or centers, as you described) are also going to treat it as a business first & foremost. When I went to the teacher training session in Sedona in 2004, it was explained to us that Dahn wanted to have several thousand centers all across the world by the year 2010 (I think it was 10,000 centers, but it’s been a while, so I might be off on the number), so that might give you some perspective on the grand scope that the company (& it IS a company) wants to achieve. I also believe that the healers & teachers who are deeply embroiled in the system (like the mentor you look up to) are in a cult. If you look at the definitions of the word “cult” you’ll see several of them truly describe Dahn:

      4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
      5. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.
      6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.

      Those three definitions were taken directly from Dictionary.com’s site. So based on those definitions, Dahn Yoga is most definitely a cult.

      To be fair, not all cults are bad, per se, but when they want to infest every corner of your life, I don’t think it’s healthy. Like you, when I noticed how much money Dahn wanted to help “heal” me (or send me to teacher training), I started to question their underlying motives, & eventually decided that Dahn was not for me. I, too, enjoy yoga & spiritual talk of chakras & the healing that often needs to happen . . . I really do. But I also know of places where you can find those things that don’t cost $400 per session for 24 sessions. I personally haven’t sought out a chakra healer, but I can’t imagine they charge more than $150 for an hour’s session. Even a pricey massage therapist doesn’t charge more than that for 60 minutes (unless you go to a fancy hotel’s spa . . . but you’re paying for the name mostly, then).

      I personally believe that the reason people are drawn to a Dahn center is because they feel it offers a place of healing for people who’ve had difficult lives or events. That’s the main reason I joined in the first place myself; I’d gone through a huge life change & was searching for myself. And, again, they WERE very welcoming & loving. Like you, I had a highly transformative Shim-sung session & cried a lot the two days I was there (mine was a weekend course), but again, when they started asking for thousands of dollars from me, my own internal warning signs went off, & then when I started balking at the cost, they got pushy. That’s when my opinion of them changed & I began to feel that Dahn simply wanted to prey on people who need nurturing. There were several people at the teacher training who didn’t bat an eyelash when the leader of Dahn Yoga drove up to the center in a huge Hummer, wearing lots of gold jewelry—or the fact that he sat on a “throne” while the rest of us sat on the floor like his disciples—but it really turned my stomach & that’s when I knew I had to get out.

      Some people have the money & don’t care how much it costs to feel as good as they do when they’re in the center, which is why some of them become the teachers & live in the communes. I would say that’s similar to the men & women of other religions who become nuns & monks. They also give up their worldly possessions for the peace they find in their (often) closed off sections of the world. Those people seem to enjoy living with more like-minded people in their own communes, following a charismatic leader that tells them how to live. That works for some people . . . it doesn’t for me.

      Bottom line to me though, is this: If you’re feeling some doubts in your mind, LISTEN to them! You & you alone know what’s best for you; not some owner of a Dahn center (healer or no), not some woman who’s written a blog about her experience, & not even someone who’s very like you in many ways. Yes, you may have learned much by being with Dahn (I know I did), but if you’ve got concerns now, then walk away & look upon your time at Dahn as a mere stepping stone on your journey to self awareness. We learn many lessons from several different people throughout our lives, but even the best teachers won’t be with us for the entire journey.

      Feel free to email me with any other questions you might have (it’s under the “Contact” section above this post). Good luck to you & let us know how you fared with this struggle.

      Reply

      • Chana
        Jan 08, 2015 @ 13:43:43

        Thank you for taking the time to respond! I am so blessed I found this blog post, because I had read online about Dahn being a cult, but had not seen anything intelligent. I am thankful for your experience, however difficult it was, because maybe you went through it just to be able to help others like myself. And I am blessed that you decided to blog about it.
        Cheers, Alyx! Be well.

  15. Chana
    Jan 05, 2015 @ 16:19:17

    PS:
    I want to add that I was raised in a family, community and religion where honesty and integrity, in business and in everything, was a given. Therefore I naturally trust others, and assume their intentions are pure. Fraud, lies, and dishonesty have been absent (for the most part) from my upbringing… Since I cannot even fathom taking advantage of people in such a way, I can be blind to it. I see I will need to learn healthy suspicion. As they say, ‘Respect him, yet suspect him.’

    Reply

  16. Alyx Morgan
    Jan 08, 2015 @ 14:04:29

    I’m very glad that you found this post helpful, Chana, & I want to thank you for stopping by & reading it. I agree, that there was apparently a reason for me to attend Dahn for as long as I did . . . just like you. You will now be able to share your experiences & hopefully help others not get sucked in too deeply.

    I wish you the best of luck in separating yourself from Dahn (if that’s what you choose to do), & on your continued journey to self-awareness.

    Take care,

    Reply

    • Chana
      May 05, 2015 @ 11:19:05

      Hi Alyx!
      I posted about my conflict a while ago. I want to update:
      I’ve quite forgotten about Dahn Yoga, as I have moved out of the country (not because of Dahn..) and they are no longer an issue for me.
      Sitting here in Israel, looking back at myself in Dahn, I feel I see the whole thing lucidly, in a way I was not able to observe when I was involved in the cult.
      Bottom line: Dahn Yoga is not an innocent practice, and I was in danger there, and I was falling into a cult, and I am so damn grateful to God I was taken outta there.
      Stay away from this sugar-coated poison pill.
      They will steal your freedom of thought, feeling, and being. They are selfish and wanted me as their slave.
      Such a relief to be out, for good.
      Thanks, Alyx, for having met me on my journey- Cheers!

      Reply

      • Alyx Morgan
        May 07, 2015 @ 09:45:46

        Congratulations, Chana! It’s so wonderful to hear that you’ve made a clean break & are much happier with your life! I agree that it’s a dangerous cult, but with more people like you (& others) seeing it for what it really is, the numbers are dwindling rapidly (see Song Ahm’s note above).

        I’m glad that my experience & words were helpful to you on your journey & I hope it continues to be all that you’d hoped for.

  17. Trackback: The Ripple Effect | Droppings From the Mind of Alyx
  18. Song Ahm
    May 05, 2015 @ 08:51:36

    I am glad in 2015 Ilchi’s organization finally removed “dahn” and “yoga” from it’s branding, because it is neither dahn nor yoga.

    It is not dahn, because it has no root to traditional Korean dahn. The only exposure to dahn Ilchi had was couple of weeks studying Guk Sun Do, which IS based on traditional Korean dahn study. Ilchi’s training does not have any root or lineage to speak of to claim that it is based on 5K year old Korean tradition.

    It is not a yoga for the same reason.

    On the other hand, Dahn Mu Do is sort of Tai Chi because the originator Owoon studied Chen Style Tai Chi. But again calling this energy principles and Korean traditional healing martial arts is false.

    The core of Ilchi’s brain wave vibration is shaking head vigorously which is potentially dangerous practice that can lead to axonal shearing. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffuse_axonal_injury ). Just by this fact alone, Ilchi is one of the worst cult leader and enemy to humanity. I can add his lies on his credentials, etc, but I guess it’s an old news by now. Everyone with a half brain left the organization and they are shrinking rapidly.

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      May 05, 2015 @ 10:17:29

      Thanks for the update, Song Ahm. I’m very glad they removed both words from their branding. And it’s quite interesting to learn of just how deep Ilchi’s deceit lies. Here’s hoping the organization continues to dwindle.

      Reply

  19. Robert Rigby
    Dec 23, 2016 @ 11:12:43

    Hi Everyone,

    Are there any ex members. Who could direct me to the secret website that Dahn Yoga jedojas sign into? I know that some Dahn Masters use HSP school but that is a website above this which is restricted until you have done enough training to access it. My wife has joined DY and it has destroyed our family. I need help to gain as much info as possible and a direction to this site would be very useful. Also very keen to talk to anyone with experiences of DY in the U.K. As this is where we’re based.

    Thank you

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Dec 23, 2016 @ 13:49:17

      Hi Robert –

      I’m so sorry that it’s destroying your family. I don’t know anything about a secret website, but hopefully someone else here will be able to help you.

      I’m sending you lots of positive energy in the hopes of things straightening out for you & your family.

      Reply

  20. Robert
    Dec 24, 2016 @ 15:50:34

    Thank you Alyx.

    Can anyone else help?

    Reply

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