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The New York City school system has dropped an educational program that it paid the Dahn Yoga organization $400,000 to run in 44 schools. The Brain Education (BE) for Enhanced Learning classes lead children through physical and breathing exercises intended to help them concentrate and “unleash” their “PowerBrain.” The program was developed (according to the Dahn web page) by “pioneering brain philosopher” Seung Hiuen Ilchi Lee, who directs 130 Dahn health centers and two training retreats. Some people formerly involved in Dahn Yoga call it a cult. [csr 8.3 2009)

Ichi Lee, the South Korean businessman who founded the national chain of yoga and wellness centers called Dhan Yoga, recently dedicated a 40-foot statue, representing the “Soul of the Earth,” in Cottonwood, AZ. Former employees call Dhan “a totalistic, high-demand cult group” that presses followers for large sums of money. The apostates say members regard Lee as an “absolute spiritual and temporal leader.” A lawsuit filed in an Arizona federal court maintains that recruits “are unknowingly subjected to an intensive program of psychological manipulation, indoctrination and various techniques of coercive thought reform designed to induce them to become Ichi Lee’s disciples and devote themselves to serving him and his ‘vision.’ ” Dahn denies the charges and says the plaintiffs are “disgruntled former employees” [according this report by Kyra Phillips and David Fitzpatrick, CNN, 1/5/10]. Dahn publicity includes praise from Nobel Peace Prize winner Oscar Arias, president of Costa Rica, and Broadway producer/choreographer Tommy Tune. A clinical professor of neurology at New York University praises the work of the International Brain Education Association, founded by Lee, who teaches that “brain wave vibration” can ease some of the debilitating symptoms of illnesses such as diabetes and arthritis. [csr 8.3 2009)

Gabriel calls himself the “planetary prince” who will reign after devastating war and catastrophe. Gabriel’s autobiography—he attended Duquesne University and has channeled many great people—is entitled, “The Divine New Order.” Dateline NBC produced an expose of the group in 1998. Although Gabriel says that anyone who doesn’t heed his word risks disease and death, “I don’t like the word ‘cult.’ I’m the leader of a divine administration. Cult observer Rick Ross says: “This is a guy who has a lot of money, and it’s been accumulated through the surrender of assets.” A former member says that everyone is watched and controlled, and that those who leave are shunned by family members who remain. [csr 8.3 2009)

Twenty-six former followers of Dahn Yoga, which operates more than 130 centers across the U.S., have sued the organization; they say it practices “psychological manipulation,” and experts call it a cult. The complaint says, “Members were required to acknowledge . . . absolute devotion” to leader Iichi Lee and to his “Vision,” give all their cash and credit [cards] to the organization, and “disconnect from their previous life, including friends and family and any personal interests outside of Dahn.” Some Dahn recruiting takes place through “Body and Brain” clubs on college campuses. A former member at the University of New Mexico says, “They advertise it as being something to help you de-stress from school.” Group retreats include “competitive events” where losers were forced to stick their heads into the toilet, drink toilet water, and lick and kiss other members’ feet on the floor of the men’s bathroom. [csr 8.2, 2009)

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