Elucidation concerning the cult status of the Mojahedin

British newspaper The Guardian quoted Mr Win Griffiths, MP commenting on the Mojahedin as follows: "He said he was sceptical of claims it was a cult, suggesting this was derived from its "tight discipline"."
(Wednesday June 25, 2003 Parents mourn 'brave girl' who set herself on fire in memory of uncle)

The attribution of 'tight discipline' to explain the Mojahedin's operations and activities surely stems from an understandable and general lack of knowledge about the nature of cults and the danger which they pose to both their members and to society and of the internal relations and the mentality of the Mojahedin's members.

First let us ask why Neda Hassani and Marzieh Babakhani or other members of the Mojahedin would commit or attempt to commit suicide, which for Muslims is an unforgivable sin. Is it possible that they were motivated simply by strong emotion or political commitment? Neda allegedly wrote a poem the night before she committed suicide saying "Against the flow of savage winds, I give my spirit to protect you, I give my spirit to protect you." From this we understand that Neda killed herself because she believed that her action would help to protect another person. That person of course is Mrs Maryam Rajavi, who is currently held in a French prison pending legal investigation into charges of involvement in terrorism.

For members of the Mojahedin however this is as devastating as if God had gone to court.  That is why these people killed themselves, not because of the problems in Iran or for any other reason, it is solely because they believe that Rajavi should be unconditionally freed. For Mojahedin members it is impossible to regard Rajavi as a mere mortal and as such subject to the same laws as the rest of humanity. Yet, Maryam Rajavi is under legal investigation by the French government, nothing more.

In the Mojahedin cult, members have been trained specifically by Massoud and Maryam Rajavi to perform any action which they require of them. In the current circumstances Mrs Rajavi needed them to help her to avoid investigation. So she has ordered them to commit suicide. This amounts to a form of terrorism (albeit directed at a government rather than at the public). However, it is not by any means certain that the terror created by suicide by self-immolation will not, if needed, be escalated into terror by suicide bombing as they have done before. There are reports from the French government that had it not intervened, the Mojahedin would have performed attacks on targets in Europe including trying to eliminate dissident former members of the Mojahedin.

Some observers still find it hard to believe that the Mojahedin is a cult and/or that cults are a dangerous phenomenon. It is hoped the following information will be helpful in clarifying this issue. We have quoted here from Mr Ian Haworth's excellent booklet 'Cults a practical guide'. We recommend that everyone read this booklet and copies can be obtained directly from www.cultinformation.org.uk.

Mr Ian Haworth of the Cult Information Centre explains that "every cult can be defined as having all of the following 5 characteristics: it uses psychological coercion to recruit, indoctrinate and retain its members; it forms an elitist totalitarian society; its leader is self-appointed, dogmatic, messianic, is not accountable and has charisma; it believes that 'the end justifies the means' in order to solicit funds or recruit people and that its wealth does not benefit its members or society."

The Mojahedin exhibits all these characteristics.

Mr Haworth goes to to explain:
What harm do cults do?
When the average person is recruited into a cult they undergo a profound personality change. This occurs in most cases at that point when they succumb to the techniques of mind control. At the same time, cult members lose much of their ability to critically evaluate what is happening to them.
The person has become an unwitting member of a psychologically coercive organisation, but is programmed to say and feel that the cult is marvellous, that they are there of their own free will and that the organisation is definitely not a cult. The new cult member will now do whatever they are programmed to do whether or not it is:

- against their former moral code
- against their former religious beliefs
- against their family's best interests
- against their own financial interests
- against their own physical and mental wellbeing
- against their employer's accepted code of practice
- against the interests of society
- against the law

The difference between religions and cults
Cults will try to use the language of genuine religion, and present themselves as genuine.

Religion Cult
Conversion Coercion
Commitment freely chosen Commitment via psychological force
Between individual and God Between individual and organisation
Empowers members Disempowers members
Increases discernment Decreases discernment
Unconditional love for members Conditional love for members
Recognises and values the family Alienates members from the family
Growth and maturing of members Regression and stunting of members
Individual uniqueness Cloned personalities
Happiness and fulfilment Artificial 'high'
Unity Uniformity
Truth leads to Experience Experience becomes 'Truth'
Accountability of leadership No accountability of leadership
Questioning encouraged Questioning discouraged
Honesty prevails The end justifies the means
Does not hide behind fronts Hides behind fronts

The difference between military service and cults
Just like the army?
Some people, who perhaps have not understood the power of mind control techniques in a typical cult, assume that life in a cult may be similar to that of life in the army. They are mistaken for many reasons, some of which are outlined below.

Army Cult
No deception to lure potential recruits or to lure the unsuspecting into group Deception and false love (love-bombing)
Outside contact allowed and promoted Outside contact often controlled and alienation from outsiders promoted
True motives shown ahead of time True motives hidden
Appropriate information and time given before taking first step Misinformation and little time given before commitment
Informed choice Non-informed psychological coercion
Join for previously agreed period Recruited unknowingly for life
New recruits spend time together and support each other New recruits separated from each other to help break down support systems
Education Indoctrination
Build you up physically Often break you down physically
Adequate sleep and rest given Sleep deprivation routinely used
Adequate food and balanced diet Often inadequate food, sometimes low in protein and high in carbohydrates
Medical problems taken care of Medical problems often disregarded
Family respected and cherished Family often ridiculed and alienated
Free when off duty Often monitored when away from the group
Caters for different spiritual perspectives One world view indoctrinated into members
Members remunerated for their services Members exploited financially
Serving interests of democratic state Serving interests of leader
Can choose to leave of own free will at end of contract Can leave only if and when psychological hold is first broken

If further proof of the cult mentality of the Mojahedin is needed, the following transcription of a taped meeting of Mojahedin members should suffice. The context of these outpourings of devotion is that the members involved, who are all male, were taken into a secure and isolated place where they were intensively indoctrinated into accepting Massoud Rajavi's latest interpretation of his organizational structure. They were asked to accept that they offer their body and soul as necessary, not even directly to Rajavi himself but to anyone he chooses to appoint, in the first instance his wife, Maryam Rajavi.

In explanation, the Leadership Council are a group of 24 women members who were appointed by Rajavi to lead the Mojahedin following his instruction. Massoud Rajavi is referred to throughout as Brother. The phrase 'Ready, Ready, Ready' expresses the readiness of the person to submit himself to Rajavi's appointees and carry out any order they issue without question. We recommend that you listen to the tape at www.iraneayandeh.org (in Farsi language) because this best conveys the state of hysteria of these individuals as they speak to Rajavi over the telephone.

....

"I am at the point that I realize how much I owe you. Brother, I want to tell you whatever you were saying came to be true. As you said if we give one, you will give you a thousand back; I swear to God I see this now. I want to say it to you in a strong voice Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hello! I am (name), Brother! I betrayed you for over ten years, now I am here in front of you and Sister Maryam to say Ready, Ready, Ready."

Brother! I am (name), I say Hi to you, I am here to give witness that without signing ourselves over to Sister Maryam we should not breathe, and now I have realized this more than ever ... Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hi Brother Massoud! I am (name). I changed from my double personality and purified myself... I reached my wish which was to be honest with you [Massoud] and Sister Maryam [Rajavi]. This is my best investment and I will take good care of it. I say the same thing, Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hi Brother! I am (name), I kiss your hands, God bless the sisters. I had eleven years of useless life. This is the first time I think I have confessed that I believe what you say, I have missed you, please call me to come and visit you."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). I would die for you. For eleven years I annoyed you and I hope that you forgive me, I am ashamed."

"Hello Brother Massoud! I am (name). I sacrifice my life for you. I am very happy that before I die, I realize who you are and what the Ideological Revolution in the organization was."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). I betrayed you for eleven years. Now my eyes are opened, Sister Nasrin has made me understand. I am here to say Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hello Brother! I would die for you. I was never ready, but now I am ready to do anything for you. I will be with you and for you forever. This was a miracle, this was a true miracle by Sister Nasrin, this miracle was from Sister Maryam, this was a super-miracle."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). Brother I am here for you, Brother I have missed you. Brother please forgive me. Brother I am ashamed, Brother...Brother..."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). I sacrifice my life for you, I want to confess to you that I lied to you for eleven years, and now I want to tell you that I am with you forever for the rest of my life, Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). I did not have a true understanding of the Ideological Revolution and Sister Maryam, and I just want to say Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hello Brother Massoud! I am (name). Brother Massoud I was blind. Today I came, I chose what I want today, I want to say Ready, Ready, Ready."

"(sobbing...sobbing....) I am (name). I betrayed you. I am here to tell you 'sorry' please forgive me (sobbing) Ready, (sobbing)."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). I am here to tell you Ready, Ready, Ready. I was blind and never realized. Now I have begun to understand, please forgive us."

"Brother Massoud Hello! I am (name). After eleven years spent betraying you, I want you and Sister Maryam to forgive me, and to tell you I will be with you forever."

"Hello Brother! I just want to die for you. I am here to tell you Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). I sacrifice my life for you. I am ashamed, I was against you, I betrayed you, I came to you and Sister Maryam to announce Ready, Ready and Ready."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). For eleven years I was against you even though I was in the organization. I want to say Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hello Brother! I did not realize the truth, but now I understand and I want to say I am a great defender of this revolution."

"Hello Brother! After eleven years of useless life, I am here to tell you Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hello Brother! I am ashamed. Please forgive me. I want to tell you I am Ready."

"Hello! I hope to die for you. I am here to tell you Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hello Brother! I am here for you. I will sacrifice my life for you. I must tell you everything has been melted in the 'pot'. I hope to die for you Brother!"

Hello Brother! I am (name) I am not a two faced person in the organization anymore. I want to announce to you that I am not like before. I am honest before you like Jesus Christ son of the virgin Mary."

"Hello Brother! 'mm' (sobbing) I am sorry, I am sorry, I am sorry ......."

"Brother! I am (name). I sacrifice my life for your and Sister Maryam and all the Leadership Council and all the brothers and sisters who are sacrificing their lives for this organization. I am not the same person at all. I am not bloodthirsty and cruel like before. I am your defender and now I am here to tell you Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). I am ashamed (sobbing)... goodbye Brother."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). I sacrifice my life for Sister Maryam and the Leadership Council. Brother I am here to tell you I betrayed you for eleven years and now here I am Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Brother! I am (name). I will sacrifice myself for you. We are supposed to share the happiness with Sister Maryam. Now I am here to tell you Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). I am the worst one of all, I die for you. However, Sister Nasrin helped us and saved us. I am here to say Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Brother! I am (name). This week we were all born again and I am here to tell you Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). I missed you a lot! (sobbing). I am a shameful person. I want to tell you Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Brother! This is me, Nader Sani [who set himself on fire in Paris to protest Mrs Maryam Rajavi's arrest on 17 June 2003]. I kill myself for you, I die for you, Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hello Brother Massoud! I am (name). I found Sister Maryam and I will never let her go out of my life. I swear I found you, please forgive me."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). I die for you and Sister Maryam and all the Leadership Council. After eleven years of betrayal I am here to tell you Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). After eleven years of betrayal and lying, now I am here to tell you Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Brother! I am (name). After many years of denying and betraying you and Sister Maryam, in the past two weeks, Sister Nasrin brought me back to life again, and now I am here to tell you Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Brother...Brother! I am (name). Brother, I hope to die for you. Brother please forgive me. I just found my way, Brother forgive me."

"Brother! I am (name). I fall to my knees before you. I betrayed you. Please forgive me. Sister Nasrin has brought us back to life again, please forgive me..."

"Brother! I am (name). I do not want to carry any more. My heart and eyes have been opened to the Leadership Council in the past two weeks. I fall to my knees before you and Sister Maryam. Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). I am terrible and I just want to say Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). I just want to tell you, I will fall upon my knees before you and Sister Maryam and Leadership Council, the highest of all humans, Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hello! This is Sharif (Mehdi Abrishamchi). I am here to tell you that after eleven years Sister Nasrin has opened my eyes to a nagging life. I will fall on my knees before Sister Nasrin and I am here to tell you Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hello Brother! Brother I die for you. We are missing you in here. We wish you had been here to see how Sister Nasrin shone. She blinded us with her light shining over everything. I am in debt to you for the rest of my life."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). I fall on my knees before Sister Maryam, a volunteer soldier. Sister after eleven years I want to yell Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). I fall on my knees before you. After eleven years of annoying and betraying you, I am here to say I am the servant of all the organizational sisters and the Leadership Council and I want to say Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Brother! I am (name). I am here for you, (not clear)... ready from now on, (not clear)... I am here just for you......"

"Hello Brother! This is me, I am here just for you. I fall on my knees before you. I sacrifice my life for you. I betrayed you for eleven years. I am ashamed. I could see the sun but denied its light, I lay myself on the ground for the Leadership Council. Bye."

"Hello! This is me, I love you. I owe you a lot. I am here to tell you I am with you forever, Ready, Ready, Ready. Bye."

"Brother! This is Mahmoud [Attaie - called by a nickname Hamid, he was Massoud Rajavi's deputy, but for a period of time he lost his position because of criticism of Rajavi] the bloodthirsty, please forgive me. Like the devil I avoided praising you, but now Sister Nasrin has helped me to realize and I would say I am Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). I betrayed you for eleven year and now I opened my eyes, I die for the Leadership Council and I am here to tell you Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). I betrayed you for eleven years. I am here now to tell you that I fall upon my knees before you and Sister Maryam, Sister Nasrin and the Leadership Council, Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). After eleven years of indebtedness and betrayal, I am here to ask you for forgiveness. I fall on my knees for you and Sister Maryam, Ready, Ready, Ready."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). I fall on my knees for you and Sister Maryam and all the Leadership Council. I am ready. You tell me to say that I am ready. I would bark like a dog in front of you. I want to tell you that I wish I was with you and could hug you and fall on my knees in praise of you."

"Hello! I am (name). I want to let you know I chose my way and that is to accept the [Internal] Revolution. I want to tell you that from now on I only think about the Revolution. The Revolution is my whole life and I am living to take care of the Revolution and Sister Maryam. From now on I only defend the sisters and the Revolution."

"Hello Brother! I am (name). You know me very well how I avoided you many times and refused your requests. Tonight I am here in front of you and Sister Maryam to say....."

END