“Cults are terrifying. But they’re even worse for women”, Alexandra Stein states.
Alexandra Stein, Ph.D. is an honorary research fellow at Birkbeck, University of London. Her latest book, “Terror, Love and Brainwashing: Attachment in Cults and Totalitarian Systems” was published in 2017.
What Stein reveals about women in cults has been seen in the testimonies of all female ex-members of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO/ MEK/ PMOI/ Cult of Rajavi). Over twenty years ago, Zahra Moini and Homeira Mohammadnezhad could manage to leave the MEK after they found it intolerable to stay in the cult-like structure of the group.
Homeira and Zahra have been denouncing the group during the years of living their free life in Germany although they were always labeled as agents of the Iranian Intelligence by the MEK propaganda. In a recent interview with Mardom TV, they talk about the group’s undemocratic practices against its own members particularly women and its current situation in the political and social scene of Iran.
“History should not be repeated in favor of villains,” Homeira says. “We give testimonies of our experiences in MEK to inform the world about the threat of a group that claims of huge changes in Iran but it does not observe the least human rights inside its own structure.”
“It is not easy for me to review the grieves I endured in MEK but I want more people to know about the disgusting relationships in the cult of Rajavi,” Zahra says.
“After I left the group, I used to see nightmares for so long,” Homeira adds. “When I began to speak out about my sufferings in the group, I felt much better. Our accounts of living in the MEK is not a fictional story. We speak based on facts.”
Homeira and Zahra state that members inside the MEK are deprived from the most basic human rights. “Members in the MEK are prisoners who even do not have the right to contact their families,” Zahra says.
“What has been the achievements of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi for the Iranian people and their own members?” Homeira criticizes the totalitarian leaders of the group. “Massoud Rajavi never takes responsibility for the suffers he created for his own members.”
About Maryam Rajavi’s partnership in the consolidation Massoud’s dictatorship over the cult, Zahra says, “When I was in the group, Maryam told us that the food we ate and the clothes we wore, all had belonged to Massoud! We were considered as a bunch of homeless wrecked people that Massoud had saved us.”
“The MEK’s goal is not the overthrow of the Iranian regime any more,” Zarha believes. “The MEK is stuck in a cul-de-sac but it does not let its members leave.”
“In case of the recent incidents in Afghanistan, the MEK has not taken any position so far,” Homeira says. “Massoud Rajavi’s tactic is based on squeeze. He is always ready to squeeze in the scene through chaos, war and divisions. This is what he exactly did in Iraq and then after the fall of Saddam Hussein he worked as proxy force for Iranian enemies. He might be ready to negotiate with Taliban against Iran.”
“Given that he changes the regime, Rajavi will change Iran into North Korea,” Zahra says.