The Ideological Revolution, the Mojahedin Cult’s Devised System of Values

 It has long been asserted that Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) has restructured the status of a cult. Interestingly, in contrast to terrorist allegations that it attempts to deny, MKO prefers to take no position against or for the cult allegations. In many cases, as it were a mission to accomplish, the paid critics try to challenge the allegations arguing that the term “cult” is a product of split in religions which has nothing to do with political groups. However, a review of admissions by the ex-members concerning the ideological revolution inside MKO reveals that the group can closely be identified with other existing cults, all of whom share the same features that classify them as cults.

At the present, the world is concerned about the threat of the destructive cults and many concerned organizations and bodies have initiated a campaign to reveal the menace and threats of cults and develop a public awareness. No doubt, not only the religious sects but also other active social and political groups and factions take advantage of cult-molds to convince their insiders to move on the path they lead them on. The features are the same; the difference lies in the aims and the attractively drawn perspectives. Recent researches reveal that although partisans of a certain political group strongly reject to be referred to as subjects of a cult, they are indeed involved in cult practices and activities.

In MKO, similar to other cults, the partisans are under the influence that only those who adhere to the group’s ideology are on the right path. But to accept the cult’s proposed ideology, the insiders’ old system of beliefs has to be fragmented to be replaced with the revolutionary one. It is the prerequisite for the total obedience of the leader. Dennis Tourish expounding on the issue states that:

Cults exercise an extraordinary influence over the lives of their followers. Cherished belief systems are scrapped. Many cult leaders espouse high-sounding ideals. For all that, their primary goal is obedience. A toxic internal atmosphere is created, in which dissent fights a losing battle against conformity. [1]

Thus, the cherished belief systems have to be scrapped first. The annihilation of the insiders’ accepted system of values happens through a sudden shock. Consequently, the minds of the insiders stop any resistance and lose their power of defense and they are prepared to be indoctrinated by subversive cult ideologies. Bijan Niyabati, a member of MKO’s National Council of Resistance, defines MKO’s internal ideological revolution as a new cherished system of values that replace those long publicly idolized in the world outside through a shock:

A successive interpolation of new elements of value into the old system of values is possible only through upsetting the equilibrium of old value system that occurs only by the means of a sudden shock. [2]

The process, he believes, is accomplished through either assuming a political power or an organizational hegemony.

However, although to disrupt the predominant value equilibrium in an individual in order to be substituted by new value equilibrium proves not to be unmanageable, it is a long, hard task to be accomplished either through assuming an authoritative political power (as well as controlling economy and the media) or a stricken shock. To disrupt the subsisting equilibrium and to prepare an individual to be reconciled with the new milieu, it is evident that only a shock and nothing else can possibly be productive. [3]

MKO’s internal ideological revolution proposes a new, totalistic vision of values that completely challenges the long-lasting, dominant religious and cultural values. Although MKO believes that the ideological revolution has to be first interiorized before being externalized, the leaders are well aware that it is no more than another cause to embrace so as to justify their acts of indecency.

MKO’s ideological revolution would never be passed onto the world outside because it is purely an ideological dogma dominating the Mojahedin cult to have total control over the insiders. That is natural not to face MKO’s protesting against the accusations of being a cult, since in this new, sacred system of value, the organization is held together by charismatic relationships that demands total commitment to the Rajavis at the top.




[1]. Dennis Tourish & Tim Wohlforth: On the edge; political cults right and left, 16.

[2]. Niyabati, Bijan: A different look at Mojahedin’s internal revolution, 35.

[3]. Ibid, 26. – May 21, 2007




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