Ray (Mohammad Reza) Torabi, former child soldier of the Mojahedin-e Khalq shared a post on his Facebook account on the occasion of his 40th birthday:
“When I was 17, after 8 years of separation from my parents, I finally met my biological mother. Unfortunately, the condition of our meeting was that I had to leave Canada and go to Iraq to meet her, where she was a member of an Iranian opposition organization (turned out to be a religious cult). She told me that my father had passed away some years before as a result of a heart attack, which he suffered in his sleep. He was 39 at the time of his death.
I ended up staying in this organization for many years, and oh the stories…
But in all those years, I always believed that I, like my father, would one day die of a heart problem while in my bed. Although I was literally in the middle of war with so many life-threatening situations, nothing scared me quite like the idea of dying in my bed before even turning 40.
I wouldn’t be lying if I said that I thought about it hundreds of times over the years.
But the years went by and as is the rule of life, the truth surfaced and I realized that my biological mother had lied to me regarding the facts surrounding my father’s death and that he didn’t die of a heart attack and that he was murdered by the same organization he sacrificed his life for. That’s a story for another day.
But I turned 40 today. A year older than my father. And although life hasn’t been so kind to me, I’m grateful for every day of it. With all its ups and downs, sweet and bitter moments, pains and sufferings and the challenges that turned me into the resilient, humble, compassionate, forgiving, kind… Human that I am.”
Mohammad Reza, nicknamed Ray, is a former child soldier of the MEK who left the group four years ago after 18 years of enduring the cult-like system of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi. He did not know that his father was a victim of torture in that very organization until he left the group. Ray Torabi is one of the several former child soldiers of the MEK who are speaking out against the group’s brainwashing structure. In response to Ray’s questions about the death of his father, the MEK propaganda made his biological mother and his aunt write against him labeling him as agent of the Iranian government. However, Ray did not give up and continued speaking out about his experience of involvement with the Cult of Rajavi.
His Facebook post on the occasion of his birthday was warmly welcomed by his audience. He was widely encouraged by former members of the MEK and his current friends to bravely share his stories. Amir Yaghmai, another former child soldier of Rajavi’s army addressed Ray by writing:
You are one of the most humble guys I’ve met. Our background could have turned us into strange personalities with the lack of social adaptation. Fortunately, most of us made it quite well and we became good souls.
Among the numerous comments on Ray’s post, the one from Amir Nematollahi, former operative agent of the MEK is also remarkable:
Life has thrown its fair share of obstacles in your way from a young age, before our paths even crossed, and I have only been able to witness the strength you carry for a short amount of time. But in those three years, you have managed to inspire more than any quote, self-help book, or words of wisdom could ever do, because you get out of bed every morning, face life and all of its challenges head on, while still managing to keep your head up, and live life to the fullest. I am truly grateful to know you and your life story inspired me in many ways stay strong and I assure you that your father would have been so proud of what you become and who you are…by the way happy birthday.