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You Oughta Know: Rolling Stone On Dahn, the “Yoga Cult”

in YD News, Yoga Crime

dahn-yoga-rsIf you’ve been following the Dahn Yoga cult scandal then you know it’s been a massive uproar involving brainwashing allegations and serious accusations of abuse. If you haven’t, the story is finally reaching mass media news outlets and is spilling over from the active online discussions and comments of support from former members. With CNN Special Investigation coverage in January and now Rolling Stone magazine’s own take on the “Yoga Cult” this is your yououghtaknow alert:

The Yoga Cult

How a Korean guru has created a fanatical following on college campuses that is part Moonies, part New Age boot camp and pure profit

by SABRINA RUBIN ERDELY

Read the article here or here if RS link doesn’t work

We know that Dahn is not the yoga we’ve come to know and love…but when the media picks this up as a “Yoga Cult”, does it do damage to public opinion of what yoga is? We don’t need to give Gabourey Sidibe another reason to hate, hate yoga.

Could it chafe Bikram’s chances of the Olympic dream? Or has the culture of yoga permeated popular culture enough these days that this will hardly cause a tremble?

EarlierTONIGHT: Dahn Yoga “Cult” Gets CNN Special Investigation Treatment

Dahn Yoga’s ‘Brain Education’ Yanked from NYC Schools Amidst Cult Allegations

4 comments… add one

  • Svasti

    Wow, I must’ve missed this one! But you know, I’m not sure that Dahn is any worse than any other form of yoga related business out there. There’s plenty of places where taking your money is the name of the game instead of teaching yoga that helps people connect with themselves and other people…

  • I’m always alarmed when the word “cult” is used to describe yoga groups. Perhaps the accusations are real, perhaps they are fabricated – who knows? What I do know is that that word can destroy people and organizations, sometimes with good reason, sometimes unfairly.

    Often the word “cult” in the context of yoga simply means “practice” not “cyanide-laced cool-aid drinking loonies.” (who, ahem, typically seem to come from certain western religious traditions). So what if an atypical practice/lifestyle gives someone peace or bliss or inner freedom? Who are we, who is the media, to label it a cult? Is John Friend fair game? What about Bryan Kest? Who’s next?

    I realize many people have been hurt by gurus – this is really a shame. But that doesn’t mean they should all be demonized. It also means yogis need to be vigilant about their well cherished ethics and also develop critical thinking skills along side their forays into bhakti.

    om shanti – may all the people involved in this find some peace.

  • donjo

    @ Kaoverii
    I could not agree with you more…the article should have read as “yoga” cult. DahnHak is not yoga and is considered a New Religious Movement by Don Baker, PHD of Korean Studies. The group changed their name and added yoga in order to attract people to their organization.

  • Wow, that’s a scary article. I don’t get it, but it’s not unlike many of the stories in “Stripping the Gurus” http://www.strippingthegurus.com , which, unfortunately includes many real Yoga figures.

    This kind of thing is the real threat to Yoga, if there is one, not commercial exercise Yoga, which seem laughably benign in comparison.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

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