Dahn Yoga in a Lawsuit Claiming It's A Cult

By Minara El-Rahman on January 06, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The popular yoga studio known as a Dahn Yoga is in the center of a lawsuit filed by former employees that claim that the yoga studio is a place of cult brainwashing. CNN reports that the lawsuit claims paints Dahn Yoga in a less than favorable light. The former employees claim that Dahn Yoga is "a totalistic, high-demand cult group" that required them to fork over massive amounts of money and places its founder Ilchi Lee as an "absolute spiritual and temporal leader".

The lawsuit which was filed in a federal court in Arizona by 27 plaintiffs, claim that they were subjected to cult brainwashing in order to convince them to serve Mr. Lee and his "vision." They also claim that they were convinced by Dahn Yoga to take out student loans in order to pay for fees and training courses.

One employee who goes by the name "Jade" Harrelson also claims that Mr. Lee sexually assaulted her during sojourn in Seoul, South Korea back in 2007. She told CNN: "In my mind, there was no possible way I could have physically or verbally resisted him. To say no to him was to say no to his soul. I became numb, and so what happened, happened not at my consent." While she admits that she never filed a police report, she claims that he did indeed assault her. Mr. Lee's attorney told CNN that the claims were untrue. He is quoted as saying, "We are confident we will get those claims dismissed in court."

Mr. Lee's attorney made it clear to CNN that his client was not guilty of any wrongdoing. He told CNN: "Let's make it clear. My client, Mr. Lee, is not a cult leader. Dahn Yoga is not a cult." While Mr. Lee's attorneys defend his actions, other employees of Dahn Yoga went out of their way to support Mr. Lee. In fact, one woman emailed CNN to write that she gave her life over to Mr. Lee and Dahn Yoga. Is that fervent support or a result of brainwashing? That will be up to the court to decide.

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