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Psychological Techniques to Cultivate Ideology

The ideological revolution within Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization, or cult of Mojahedin, has led to so many changes in terms of internal relations of MKO. Mojahedin based the survival of the organization on the necessity for institutionalizing the components of the ideological revolution; before that, it was through providing due backgrounds and taking unique approaches. These adopted approaches, according to MKO ex-members, were similar to the techniques utilized by the past and contemporary cults and were applied as leverages to coerce insiders into absolute obedience to Rajavi’s totalitarian and ideological leadership. Since the main objective behind the institution of the ideological revolution was a quantitative instillation of a new system of values, ethics and thought, then, appropriate techniques and approaches had to be implemented. Here are a number of them deduced from comments made by detached members:

1. Shock

2. Accusation

3. Doubt

4. Subversion

5. Discharge

6. Illusion

7. Commitment

8. Repetition

9. Reformation


Broaching the issue of Maryam and Massoud’s marriage in the early meetings in order to raise ethical misapprehension indicates the function of shock in destabilizing the mental and ethical balance in MKO members. Since Mojahedin considered Rajavi as the symbol of ideological and political legitimacy, the issue of Maryam and Massoud’s marriage came as a sudden strike of shock.


Under the very impact of the sock, in an immediate reaction the members took an inevitable turn to accuse the elements of the shock. However, as the scenarists of the ideological revolution indicate, through the next phases the accusers turned to be the accused for materializing their mentality.


The uppermost outcome intended in the mental and psychological imbalance and shock is raising doubt in ethical, ideological, and political legitimacy in the members. The significance of this phase was due to the fact that no longer in organizational relations Masoud was taken into consideration. Moreover, members showed signs of dissatisfaction and considered him as an illegitimate leader. This phase was most important in the plan for materializing members’ mentality and even detecting their contradictory views formed against leadership.


The next phase made members believe that they are in contradiction with themselves. In this stage all members on account of the shown reaction to the early shock are accused of making compromise, incurring adversary and holding reactionary views against the leader. As a result, those who would rebuke the leadership found themselves to be in leader’s debt.


The sole solution for the members to be released of any accusations was to come to the point that every body had to develop an internal revolution. The first step to such a revolution was that all the hidden thoughts and mentalities of members against the leadership had to be thought over. Later on, such a mechanism was applied to dig out what was lying deep in members’ mind.


Discharge created the impression that members’ mentality concerning the revolution and leadership had not been yet thoroughly cleansed. Members developed the illusion that due to their internal contradictions, they had to challenge themselves if they were to start an internal reformation. The internal challenge led them under the illusion that up to that time not only they had been of no use but also had been impediment to any progress. Consequently, they felt a strong need to be attached to a new value system and outside element who was Massoud in this case.


Commitment to the leader meant submission to a process that intended to draw individuals out of a nadir of wretchedness and endow them with a new identity that could only be acquired but trough absolute submission to the new atmosphere and relations that deprived members of thinking and any other quest. The major step was the acceptance of the ideological leadership. Up to this phase, the members were convinced that they could not understand what happen around them; ideological leadership was to bear the sins of members and guaranteed their salvation if they were ideologically committed to him.

Repetition (internal control)

Now members had to follow new teachings. They had to undergo another novel process called ‘current operation’ wherein psychological and ethical mentalities of the members were scrutinized in order to resolve members’ circumstantially encountered contradictions. In this phase, all the actions and thoughts of members came under strict control.


Continuous control and scrutiny of members’ mentality led to the development of a mechanism for reconstructing a new value system. In this phase, the members, unaware of the quality of the made changes, try to get rid of their past reactionary ideas and replace them with fresh thoughts suggested by others.

Bahar Irani – Mojahedin.ws – Sep. 27, 2007

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