On August 16, Sara Wei, principal of DCM Ventures, died at the age of 32. She had taken a course in the LEGACY Power Leap Workshop and fainted while in the classroom.
DCM Ventures is an established investment institution, managing over $4 billion in funds, and is also a venture capital company focusing on early-stage investment. The firm has invested in China’s Dangdang, Bitauto, Kuaishou, Maimai, Tantan, Pony.ai, Yidao Yongche, Tuniu, Vipshop, DXY, 58.com, among others.
Sara Wei entered DCM in July 2014 and managed the early and medium-term investments in community interaction, online products, consumer Internet and enterprise services SaaS.
LEGACY is known as a consulting firm dedicated to the promotion of personal growth and corporate sustainability. Since 2000, the company has been serving the Chinese community in Hong Kong and has hosted numerous workshops led by seasoned professionals. The participants are often the most accomplished and outstanding people from Hong Kong, Beijing, Shenzhen and other parts of China.
The course Sara Wei attended charged 70,000 yuan for three sessions, and those who attended the course were often encouraged to bring others along. According to many students who have participated in the course, participants tend to be in high spirits, are seeking change, and highly recommend the courses to other people. However, the course is also know to amplify people’s shortcomings and dark sides and overwhelm them with negative emotions.
A former student, a male, said that the tuition fee is expensive and participants are often introduced by family and friends. After the five-day course, he said he was under great mental pressure, and that he had often denied himself throughout the whole course. At the graduation ceremony on the fifth day, the student cried and was much more emotional, even hugging other participants, commonly referred to as “family members”.
Some students wrote on social media outlets that there are some games in the class, such as Red-Black Game. There is also the kind of activity like psychological hint hypnosis. In a very dark room with guided music, everyone kneels in front of a chair, and the tutor says something to remind you of your trauma. At this time, people around you begin to cry, and the sound of beating chairs becomes louder and louder. Another activity is that other members of the group keep scolding you loudly until you break down and cry.
In addition, many students reported that the course schedule is very intensive. According to official website, the class schedule is from 10:00 a.m. to 24:00 p.m. from Wednesday to Saturday, and from 10:00 a.m. to 19:00 p.m. on Sunday.
A friend of Sara Wei said that the LEGACY course is under the guise of saving friends and lovers. It once made Sara Wei and other students reflect on who they are sorry for, why they are so busy at work and don’t take good care of their children, all of which made her feel worse about the situation.