A partial translation from www.nodahncult.com
January 1, 2010 (p82-121)
Successful Cultural Corporation, World Renown Spiritual Leader… HongIk People EWha World Stained by Controversy
By Sang Jin Han ([email protected]
• 27 ex-master started a lawsuit for damages
• May 20th, the filing date of the lawsuit is named “the second Against Heaven Day”.. “fasting and hit heads with bamboo stick
• Dahn World claims “this lawsuit does not have sufficient ground… we have enough evidence the claims are false
• College President SeungHeun Lee said “I studied Unification Church for six month, and lost a home failing the IlWha franchise”
• Inherited all his wealth to his Jae Ja (followers)? BR Consulting is a family business that receives millions and millions of dollars as loyalty
• Expensive audience fee to see President Lee in person, %50K for ChunGuangInJe and $100K for ShinMyungEueRye
• Pres. Lee’s disciple ‘ManWol’ founded SunBulGyo, and she is elite Dahn master.
• Pres. Lee is the spiritual parent, the essence of ChunJiKiUn, and the center of SamBo (3 treasures of Ilchi dahn’s organization)
• Pres. Lee states “SunBulGyo is created to help Dahn World membership management”
• Dahn World states “Pres. Lee earns his money rightful way, and spends his money for JeJa (his followers) and Vision Bussiness”
Dahn World Corporation (old. Dahn Hak Sun Won) is the largest Ki training organization. Their growth was on fast track with products like Brain Respiration and Brainwave Vibration. According to their website homepage, they have 259 centers and 132 Brain Education centers within Korea. Abroad, they operate 362 dahn centers, 137 in the US, 7 in England, 12 in Canada, 1 in Germany, Russia, Netherland and Brazil. The founder of Dahn World is world renowned peace activist and spiritual leader SeungHeun Lee (56. Spiritual name - Ilchi). He is the president of International Brain Education University and Graduate School. In 2000, Pres. Lee was selected as top 50 most respected spiritual leader of the world at UN, and offered opening prayer at Millennium Peace Summit. 20 cities in the US celebrate “Ilchi Lee Day”.
DW was founded in 1992 as a corporation, and grew to be a giant with many affiliate companies. DW affiliates include Brain Education related companies, cultural, educational, corporate consulting firm, trading companies, many NGO and educational organizations etc. DW is operated by thousands of flowers (masters) of Ilchi, trained by DW and working within Korea or sent abroad to work for DW affiliated companies or organization.
But DW history was not all that optimistic. They have been suffering argument of religion, questions of illegal labor, fraud, tax evasion.
The extension of these allegations is in May 20, 2009 27 ex-masters sued Pres. Lee and DW. The ex-masters claim DW brained them for their financial benefit. Even worse, one of the ex-masters claims she was sexually abused by Pres. Lee.
What exactly happened inside of the global spiritual cultural corporation? What kind of organization is DW? What are the substances of many allegations?
▶▷ 1. “Tong Chun Il (the day of connecting to the heaven), Dae Gak Il (the day of the great enlightenment) and Yuk Chun Il (the day of against the Heaven)
”July 15th is the day I became enlightened at MoAk mountain. It is called TongChunIl, because it’s the day I was connected to the heaven. As a proof of the connection, I created a poem, and the poem is one expression of the enlightenment. After the enlightenment I received the mission on August 8th. That day is named “Dae Gak Il” because it was the second great enlightenment” (Han Won Li Gang Chun Jip – Basic teaching of Ilchi)
27 ex-masters of DW (known as Dahn Yoga Health Centers in the US) sued DW and its 7 affiliated companies as well as the found Pres. Lee in the US court. The plaintiffs that include 4 Koreans claimed DW and Pres. Lee committed brain washing, fraud, unfair business practices, illegal labor, and sexual predation. 25 year old American female master claims DW brain washed her and made her pay thousands of dollars in training fees and forcefully moved her away from her family and friends. Another plaintiff a Korean female ex-master in her 30’s contacted Lyme disease while working at the resort spa operated by Pres. Lee’s wife, but was not treated on time and permanently disabled and cannot walk without a cane. She demanded a quiet compensation from the organization, but without avail. DW told her she was going to leave the organization anyway and cannot pay her. They just delayed time, and did not even help her apply for Workman’s Compensation.
As the lawsuit started, major media such as CBS in Sanfrancisco(Jun 23rd), CBS Chicago (Jung 17th) reported this lawsuit, and economic magazine Forbes (July 16th, 2009) featured in depth investigative reporting on the organization. January 2010 issue of Glamour Magazine also published an article titled ‘The Scary Yoga Obsession’, and featured story of a woman claims Ilchi’s sexual predation and other ex-masters in the lawsuit. Glamour Magaznie publishes 2.4 million copies monthly.
▶▷ US Media Attention
American female Jade who claims she was raped by Pres. Lee is the central focus of current lawsuit. Many US media responded sensitively on this claim.
In August of 2009, ShinDongA conducted 2 email interviews with Jade who lives in Boston.
• What was the biggest damage done to you by DW?
“Monetary damage. I worked many years with minimal pay. I was coerced by a Dahn Master to get $40K student loan to pay for the trainings. The money went to the DW and basic living expense of DW master. I suffered depression after getting out of dahn. After the rape, I was terrified and was suffering nightmare.”
• Why didn’t you sue Pres. Lee right after you got raped in 2006
“When I joined DW I was on 21. I was too young. I was working with illegal status when I worked in a Dahn Center in Korea, so I couldn’t even think of a lawsuit. I wanted to go back to the US, but didn’t have money. I had no choice but working in DW till October of 2008, and came back to the US with help of a friend, then started the lawsuit.”
Regarding this lawsuit, Jade emphasized the most difficult thing was her DW colleagues’ response after they learned of the rape. According to the legal complaint, DW colleagues told Jade “there are spiritual sides to Pres. Lee’s sexual predation. It’s an honor to receive such attention from Pres. Lee. You should not doubt.”
• Do you have any evidence to prove the sexual predation?
• Did DW tried to settle this lawsuit with you and offered settlement?
“Yes. They specified settlement amount. I felt it was too small for my pain and suffering.”
Jade stated Ilchi’s sexual predation in the lawsuit complaint and also during the email interview. But ShinDongA will not publicize considering pending lawsuit details, and also Pres. Lee’s social status.
ShinDongA sent questionnaire to DW on December 1, and regarding claims of Jade, DW responded with following answers on December 13th.
“The lady who claims sexual predation often claimed sexual predation, drug use, habitual drinking, self mutilation, mental health treatment while she was a member of DW. Especially, she was quiet for 3 years since the claimed event while working as English related field, married, and travelling abroad based on the internet records. This lady’s claim is used to justify the lawsuit, and sensationalism on the media, but our lawyers gathered all evidences and ready to prove her lies.”
This is not the first time Pres. Lee, who went to the US after he was prosecuted and sentenced for violation of Education Acts, etc in 1993, was accused of sexual predation. Sexual predation was a good part of poet laureate JiHa Kim’s denouncing Pres. Lee press conference in 1999.
Also, in 2002, previous manager of DW sued DW and Pres. Lee for sexual predation, and settled the lawsuit in California.
One the other hand, DW expressed following position regarding the lawsuit that started on May 20th and Glamour article.
“It is not correct description that the lawsuit started on May 20th is current. The complaint was submitted to the federal court in Arizona on May 20th, but DW lawfirm pointed out the ridiculousness of 27 plaintiffs’ complaint and the judge Susan Bolton dismissed the case on November 3rd. In regards to the Glamour article, the lawfirm representing DW sent letter of objection to them. (interview with DW CEO Woo JongMu)
Response from plaintiffs’ lawyer refuted “dismissal was without prejudice, which means part of complaints need more evidence and the court requested corrections on the complaint. Related evidences are continuously submitted to the court and the case is still on-going”.
▶▷ 2nd Against the Heaven Day
When the news of the lawsuit of May 20th became known, DW proclaimed it was 2nd Against the Heaven Day. On June 1st, 1000 masters in Korea gathered in IlChunGung at GukHakWon located in Chun An which is an NGO organization DW created. The day before the gathering, dahn masters’ only website JJAN directed every master to bring a bamboo stick. This gathering was named as “Emergency World Hongik Organization Gathering” and held during 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m..
At the meeting the masters hit their own head and body and repented the 2nd Against the Heaven Day. They repented sins and forgiveness on behalf of 27 plaintiffs. During the gathering, Ilchi spoke to the masters “I can forgive them, but heaven will not forgive them” in Gang Chun (the teachings of Ilchi – literal meaning is teaching of the heaven or transferring the intention of heaven). One of the masters who was at the meeting said, the meeting was very pathetic and threatening.
The 1st Against the Heaven Day was June 2nd 1993 when Pres. Lee was arrested for Violation of Education Act, etc. As the lawsuit in the US was called the 2nd Against the Heaven Day, the event in 1993 automatically became the 1st against the Heaven Day. According to the DW, 1st Against the Heaven Day was caused by couple of JeJa (masters) went against the intention of the heaven and betrayed BR Nim (code name for Pres. Lee). Dahn masters worldwide fast this one day and meditate on the meaning of Ilchi follower to their hearts. DW instructs every year what to do that day and following are the instruction for this year (June 1st 2009).
a. Go back to your beginning mind when you joined WHO (World HongIk Organization) and confirm your mission.
b. Every masters should overcome any hardships, and protect Sam Bo (3 treasures of DW) with martyrdom, and make the vision to accomplish Han Se Gye (Ilchi’s world) at the end to the heart.
c. Every masters are required to read HSP SCHOOL’s related information on Against the Heaven Day and contemplate the meaning of Against the Heaven Day, then do “ShinGiBalDong” training (this is basically a training to hit your body with bamboo stick).
d. Write a letter to BR Nim (Ilchi) regarding your commitment to protect SamBo (3 treasures).
e. Remind yourself the meaning of Against the Heaven Day and spend the day in piety.
f. One day of fasting or personal training.
▶▷ TaeGuenDo School and Divine Principle
So, just who is Pres. Lee who founded DW and the only grand master teacher of DW?
Excerpts from “Dahn Hak” written by Pres. Lee himself published in 1992, and his own teaching Gang Chun recorded in March 3rd of 1992 describes rare detailed view into Pres. Lee’s life.
According to above records, Pres. Lee was born into a well to do family in ChungNam providence ChunAn. He experienced ChunJiKiUn at age of nine, and contemplated life and death. He attended SungNam Elementary School, and GyeGuang Middle School and graduated ChunAn High School in 1968. He studied TaeGuenDo (4th degree black belt) and HapKiDo, and after graduating High School, he managed GwangBok TaeGuenDo school. At the same time, he attended 2 year college Seoul Health Vocational College at night which he graduated in 1072. He transferred to 4 year college DanGuk University as Physical Education major, and worked at various hospitals.
One thing to notice is before he gained so called “enlightenment”, he breezed through many religions including Unification Church.
“During the day time, attended college, and worked at night time. Pres. Lee studied with Unification Church’s Divine Principle study group looking for answers in the bible.” (“Dahn Hak” pg.199)
His GangChun dated March 4th 1992 has more details on this (the parenthesis is questions his followers ask him)
While I was seeking Tao at MoAk mountain, I attended Unification Church. When I was in high school, I also attended Christian church as well. (Q. Why were you a member of Unification Church?) More correctly speaking, I studied Divine Principle research study group in college to study about the unification church. But it did not provide me what I want, and the answer to the question, so it was like a part of my seeking Tao. So when I stopped the Unification Church, I opened up a Unification Church spring water franchise, but it failed so I had to sell my house.
But DW’s December 13th answer denied all these facts and claimed “Pres. Lee’s family was Chinese scholar and educator and he never had any affiliation with any religion. Since he was young, he was taught originator of Korean DhanGun, and HonkIk philosophy.”
Lee first opened his eyes to the enlightenment in 1980. According to DW, Pres. Lee achieved his “Great Connection with the Heaven” on July 15th 1980 at MoAk Mountain behind his wife Sim JourngSook’s birth home. The enlightenment came after 21 days of severe suffering. He questioned to the Heaven “Who am I”, and he realized that himself was the heaven, and the answer he received from the heaven was “Heaven’s energy is my energy; Heaven’s mind is my mind”.
From this point on, Pres. Lee claimed he was the master of heaven and earth. Soon after on August 8th, Pres. Lee was connected with the great enlightenment of tradition that came down from HanIn – HanWoon – DahnGun to 47th generation, but long lost. This day is claimed as the day Ilchi received the mission and way of perfecting and saving the humanity.
After his enlightenment, the first place he spread his teaching was ChoongHyun Park in AnYang. He started his teaching with a person suffering a brain stroke. Soon after, he met 8 followers. Pres. Lee led his followers to GuanAk Mountain and performed a ceremony of student-teacher and named the group JungDahnHoe. After the ceremony, 8 followers paid Ilchi 1 million Won ($1000) each as lifetime membership, and Ilchi opened up the first DahnHakSunWon center at GangNam-Gu ShinSa-Dong with the money. This was 1985.
▶▷ Ilchi Family
The day of Pres. Ilchi’s enlightenment has huge meaning in DW.