International anger has greeted news that a South Korean cult has been responsible for the rapid spread of Coronavirus in the country. The 12 executives of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus must be held accountable for the rapid spread of COVID-19 among the members and for the decision to send thousands of adherents out into public which contributed to the rapid spread of the virus. Investigators are seeking to establish whether this was through neglect or a deliberate act.
Over a million people have signed an online petition calling for the church to be disbanded. But taking such action would not be easy. The church has many members in many countries, and many keep their membership secret. Indeed, the secrecy of cults is one of the major problems associated with their activities. Although prosecution of their leaders is the most effective way to deal with the criminality and human rights violations which inevitably play a role in any cult.
The leaders of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus frequently visited China and the members subsequently socialised with the Korean community without revealing the fact that many of their members are fatally ill.
In a similar way, leading members of the Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK, MKO, Rajavi Cult) which is based in Albania, make frequent visits to Italy, which has the largest cluster of infections after China, South Korea and Iran. Although the members live in a secretive closed camp named Camp Ashraf 3, some socialise with the Albanian community around them while shopping or visiting officials. The cult’s leaders occupy an entire floor of the International hotel in the middle of the capital Tirana.
There are now rumors from inside the cult’s closed camp in Manez, that some members have vanished, and some are showing signs of flu-like viral sickness. The MEK will certainly not reveal any illnesses inside the cult. They have always kept the cause of deaths inside their camp secret.
The problems surrounding the South Korean cult exist in just the same way with MEK. Unaccountable leadership, isolated and secretive membership. The members are mostly elderly, and many are sick and weak and therefore vulnerable to death following infection. The MEK have no testing kits or medical capability to deal with an outbreak. It is uncertain whether they would even accept any help offered.
Curiously, investigators are looking into why Albania has not announced a single case of Coronavirus even though there are multiple ferry crossings between Albania and Italy every day. The answer appears to be along the lines of ‘if you don’t look for it, you won’t find it’ and ‘if you don’t want to find it, you won’t look for it’.
The MEK is considered to be a national security threat for Europe in general and for Albania in particular. Now with this secrecy they should be considered as a health and hygiene threat too. Unlike the South Korean cult, the MEK consists fewer than 2,000 members. Most of these are contained in a closed camp to which Albanian authorities have no access. The authorities must hold the MEK leaders accountable. Leader Maryam Rajavi must allow full access and investigation into what is happening inside Camp Ashraf 3 and submit the members to Coronavirus to testing. The WHO has a vital role to play in this situation.
The problem is that the MEK is supported by the U.S. and that means it may not be possible for even the government of Albania to contradict or challenge the cult’s behaviour even in the face of the deadly Coronavirus threat. The question now is to what extent are the Albanians ready to suffer a heavy price to appease the Americans?
MEK Hinders Coronavirus Detection In Albania