Yoga Guru Actually Cultmaster: Lawsuit

Former employees allege fraud, grueling physical trials
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2010 2:15 PM CST
Dahn Yoga posters.   (Flickr)

(Newser) – Former employees of a worldwide yoga chain allege its founder is actually the leader of a cult that demands cash and torturous exercise from those caught in its spell. Dahn Yoga, founded by Ilchi Lee, operates more than 100 locations in the US and more than 1,000 internationally, and promises to “restore the vibrations of the body and brain to their original, healthy frequencies.” Not so, the workers say. It is, instead, a “a totalistic, high-demand cult group.”

Employees “are unknowingly subjected to an intensive program of psychological manipulation, indoctrination, and various techniques of coercive thought reform,” the suit alleges. Employees claim they were coerced into taking out loans and giving large sums to the company. One woman says she gave about $40,000 to Dahn, and was sexually assaulted by Lee. A spokesman for him tells CNN the allegations are bogus. The plaintiffs “have misinterpreted natural business cycles, natural business goals, as some type of undue pressure.”

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