Current Legal Issues
Summary Update of Barba V. Lee Lawsuit
Barba versus Lee, et al. is a lawsuit instituted by disgruntled former employees of Dahn Yoga & Health Centers, Inc. (“Dahn Yoga”) against Dahn Yoga and its affiliates. In total 27 people are making outrageous charges against 5 business entities and 2 individuals. The lawsuit includes 10 claims by the plaintiffs. The judge has already dismissed 8 of the 10 claims, but gave the plaintiffs an opportunity to amend their complaint and try again. They did try again and the defendants have asked the judge to dismiss the claims again for good. The judge has not yet ruled on the plaintiffs’ motion to dismiss.
This lawsuit is about the vendetta of one disgruntled ex-employee of Dahn Yoga: Lucie Vogel. Ms. Vogel reportedly spent a year and a half convincing her friends, many of them her former subordinates, to join her in the lawsuit by promising them lots of money. Even though she admitted committing several financial improprieties against the company, its employees and its members, they have followed her in this lawsuit. They distorted information about their experiences with Dahn Yoga in order to attract media attention. Lucie brought one former Dahn Yoga employee from Korea to join the lawsuit because she claims that she was sexually assaulted by Ilchi Lee, founder of Dahn Yoga. Her name is Jessica “Jade” Harrelson. Before they filed their complaint, they threatened Dahn Yoga with negative media attention if they did not get tens of millions of dollars. Dahn Yoga did not give into their demands and their complaint was filed with the U.S. District Court of Arizona. Their outrageous request for money was only matched by the outrageous claims in the lawsuit. Below is detailed information about the lawsuit.
Plaintiffs: (See Docket)
Dahn Yoga & Health Centers, Inc. (www.dahnyoga.com)
Dahn Yoga & Health Centers are holistic health studios that offer group classes, private trainings and workshops that help members achieve their health and wellness goals through Brain Education. There are 139 centers plus franchises in the United States. Each center is staffed by a center manager and some centers have additional full or part-time instructors and staff.
Mago Earth, Inc. operated several yoga studios and engaged in related business activities. The company was merged into Dahn Yoga.
BR Consulting, Inc. (www.brconsultingglobal.com)
The president and majority shareholder of BR Consulting is Mr. Ilchi Lee. BR Consulting provides research and development, business consulting, and program development for health and wellness businesses as well as Brain-based educational information. BR Consulting also licenses much of its intellectual property for use by its clients.
Mr. Ilchi Lee is also named as a defendant in this lawsuit.
Vortex, Inc, is the exclusive provider of retail products that promote health and wellness for Dahn Yoga and Health Centers. (http://www.healingplaza.com)
Oasis Arabians, Inc is located in Sedona, Arizona. The company raises, breeds, and trains thoroughbred horses.
CGI, Inc. (cgiholisticfitness.com)
CGI, Inc. is a holistic fitness training facility located in Closter, NJ. The CGI facility includes a gym, sauna, pool, two yoga centers, massage facility, health café, and a holistic healing center. It has been successfully operating since 1999. The owners of CGI are Mrs. Journg Sook Lee and Dahnworld, LTD (Korea). CGI is operated by a general manager, full-time, and part-time staff.
Mrs. Journg Sook Lee is also named as a defendant in this lawsuit.
Tao Fellowship (http://www.taofellowship.org)
Tao Fellowship is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that focuses on education and spiritual training. Tao Fellowship operates a meditation retreat center in Sedona, Arizona. Tao Fellowship is one organization that provides training and training facilities for Dahn Yoga from time to time.
History of Filing with the court:
5/22/2009: Plaintiffs filed Complaint
6/15/2009: Plaintiffs First Amended Complaint filed to add 3 plaintiffs and 1 defendant
7/1/2009: Dahn Yoga & Health Centers, Inc. filed Motion to Dismiss
7/1/2009: Mago Earth, Inc filed Motion to Dismiss
7/8/2009: Mr. Ilchi Lee filed Motion to Dismiss
7/10/2009: Vortex, Inc. filed Motion to Dismiss
7/22/2009: CGI, Inc. filed Motion to Dismiss
7/30/2009: Tao Fellowship filed Motion to Dismiss
7/30/2009: BR Consulting, Inc. filed Motion to Dismiss
7/30/2009: Oasis Arabians LLC filed Motion to Dismiss
8/31/2009: Dahn Yoga & Health Centers, Inc. filed Motion for Summary Judgement
11/3/2009: JUDGES ORDER grants Defendants Motions to Dismiss. Plaintiffs have failed to adequately plead claims 1-8 (COAs 1-8), and these claims are dismissed without prejudice by the U.S. District Court Judge
11/10/2009: Motion for Reconsideration to dismiss claims 9-10 filed by Mr. Lee
11/18/2009: JUDGES ORDER U.S. District Court Judge denies the Motion for Reconsideration
12/7/2009: Second Amended Complaint filed by Plaintiffs, 4 days after the deadline
12/22/2009: Dahn Yoga filed Motion to Dismiss
12/23/2009: Defendants filed Motion to Dismiss
12/23/2009: Dahn Yoga & Health Centers, Inc. Joinder in Motion to Dismiss of Co-Defendants
Lawsuit FAQs (see all)
Q: Is it true that Dahn Yoga is being sued by 27 former members?
Q: What is Dahn Yoga’s response to one woman’s claim that she was sexually assaulted by Mr. Lee?
Q: This lawsuit accuses Dahn Yoga of being a cult that brainwashes people into spending lots of money. Is this true?
Q: What does it take to become a Dahn Yoga Instructor? Is the physical endurance training for Dahn Yoga instructors unusually harsh?
Q: What is the process for becoming a Dahn Yoga Instructor?
Q: Isn’t extreme physical testing necessary for someone to become a Dahn Yoga Instructor?
Q: The plaintiffs report doing some type of bowing exercise 3000 times for 8 or 9 hours. Isn’t that excessive?
Q: Did a Dahn Yoga member die on a retreat in Arizona in 2003 because she was drugged and forced to carry a backpack full of heavy rocks on an endurance hike in the desert?
Q: What about money? It sounds like your company is driven by money. The claims in the lawsuit charge that employees were so pressured to make number goals that they were encouraged to take out student loans to contribute the money to their studio’s revenue. Is this true?
Q: It is no surprise that Dahn Yoga denies the claims in the lawsuit, but why would someone make up something like this?
Q: The Mago story sounds like a creation story. Does the telling of this story mean that Ilchi Lee is a prophet?
Q: Dahn Yoga claims that many people have been healed from Diabetes and Arthritis by taking the classes. Do you have any scientific proof to back that up?
Q: Does Dahn Yoga ask for that much of money as the plantiffs claimed?
Q: If the plantiffs liked Dahn Yoga program that much, why did they become so opposed to you?
Q: Does Dahn Yoga force its employees to work too many hours?