Dahn Yoga Instructors’ Letter to Members
Only our members can know Dahn Yoga accurately,
and only our members are qualified to judge it.
January, 5, 2010
We would like to offer our sincere gratitude to our members who responded to the recent CNN report, enthusiastically shared their positive Dahn Yoga experiences, and gave their encouragement and support to our instructors.
Dahn Yoga & Health Centers, Inc. (“Dahn Yoga”) is a successful, global health, wellness and educational business that began 30 years ago in a city park. From that humble beginning it has grown into a health and wellness movement, and it could not have grown or even survived this long if it had harmed people through “fraud” or “manipulation”. According to basic principles of business, Dahn Yoga has offered programs that members have chosen voluntarily, and standard policies regarding enrollment, cancellation and refunds are in place. If someone were harmed in any way in their dealings with Dahn Yoga it could be redressed by appropriate processes for remuneration such as refund or membership cancellation. If this had been a common occurrence, the Dahn Yoga you know and love today, with nearly 1000 existing centers and 2000 forthcoming franchises in 10 countries, would simply not exist.
The relationship of trust between Dahn Yoga and our members provided the greatest strength for the development of Dahn Yoga as a holistic lifestyle company. This relationship has grown through the effectiveness of our programs as well as the sincerity and responsibility of our instructors as we earned our members’ trust over a long period of time. Dahn Yoga is continually evaluated by members, every month and every year. In order for a center to stay in business and continue to operate, it requires new member enrollment as well as continued voluntary patronage from its members.
Dahn Yoga members receive value for the fees they pay; they are making wise choices that will be helpful to their lives. Dahn Yoga centers could not operate if they had incurred members’ distrust. For practical business and relationship reasons Dahn Yoga could not be a “cult.” The fact that ours is an open business dependent on the relationships to its members is also its greatest vulnerability. If there is distrust amongst our members, the centers will fail as a business. So, only the members can know Dahn Yoga accurately, and only the members are qualified to judge it. However, the unfortunate reality is that CNN is being used by a small number of disgruntled former employees who are after money, and has become swept up in their “cult” accusations.
The founder of Dahn Yoga and the chief executive of BR Consulting, Ilchi Lee, has been misrepresented to CNN as a cult leader. In reality, he is an entrepreneur. He is a business man who pays $4 million in taxes every year for the services and goods his company offers around the world. If every US business which pays its taxes, employs local residents and operates an honest business is labeled a “cult,” then there will be great chaos in our society. Similarly, over the years Dahn Yoga has paid significant taxes on its earnings. What incentive does a “cult” have to pay taxes?
CNN should know that the views of a small number of disgruntled employees are not representative of the perspective of the general American public. If most people knew about Dahn Yoga as a business they would not be concerned with affixing a “cult” label; this is a company that has grown over the years through the love and trust of American citizens, establishing important community ties. Its leaders and management operate their business ethically and responsibly. A legacy of the company’s founder, who has demonstrated exemplary level of corporate responsiblity in the US and abroad, should not earn him the pejorative “cult leader.” This media campaign to which CNN has now become a tool, is unreasonable and violates the basic ethics of fairness and freedom in American society.
CNN has never previously covered how the Dahn Yoga centers are operated, how we have helped our members or how we have contributed to our communities. But now CNN is being used by the false instigation of a small number of former employees in a lawsuit who are trying to exploit the power of the media to destroy the members’ trust and force Dahn Yoga & Health Centers to go out of business. CNN has to know that it is following a vengeful drive which will threaten the livelihood of two thousand instructors and franchise owners around the world.
Dahn Yoga as a health and wellness lifestyle business based on member trust, vs. Dahn Yoga as a cult – one of these two descriptions is true and one is false. What is your conclusion? What perspective is being broadcast by CNN? If the story implies that Dahn Yoga is a “cult,” it will be an affront to not only to Dahn Yoga but also other businesses that pay their taxes to the country and work with integrity to provide jobs and opportunity to citizens.
Dahn Yoga has nothing to be ashamed of in terms of corporate ethics and moral conscience. Dahn Yoga has never laid off employees even in times of adversity; and even in a situation where the top 25% of the Dahn Yoga centers covered the deficit from the remaining centers, it has upheld its corporate culture of trust. If we have committed wrongdoing in our duties as a corporation, our evaluation should be based on that. We hope that CNN, the great global media entity, addresses Dahn Yoga’s story from an overall and fair perspective; otherwise, the report will reveal that CNN is not presenting the full story about Dahn Yoga.
The fact is, Dahn Yoga has grown as much as it has through the dynamic efforts of the founder combined with the passionate contributions of instructors. They worked hard to deliver programs to improve the health, happiness and peace of the members, and the members responded to that effort with trust. Dahn Yoga should be evaluated by the members who know it; it should not be subject to judgment by public opinion based on a biased media report. It is our members, not people who have never experience it, who have the right to evaluate Dahn Yoga.
We urge you to continue to help us protect the truth and disregard the unfair media campaign against us. Dahn Yoga openly accepts the evaluation of you, our members, with gratitude.
Dahn Yoga instructors