Gathering and Speeches in the city of Tabriz in Iran
On Tuesday 4th of December 2007, a meeting was held in the Law Department of Tabriz Islamic Free University. The topic was "Brainwashing: Crime against Humanity".
The meeting started at 1600 hours with the attendance of hundreds of students and scholars. Dr Samad Azizi the head of the Law Department opened the meeting and welcomed the students and participants. He introduces the presenters and discussed the importance of the topic in the world today.
Then Dr Hassan Movassaqi a senior lecturer in the Law Department started his speech. He gave a background of brainwashing in the history and discussed its consequences on human life in details. He went through many past examples of brainwashing and showed how it abuses human rights and why it must be considered as a crime against humanity. He scientifically showed the psychological aspects of brainwashing and explained how someone could hold control over other people’s minds and change their thoughts and persuade them to do deeds against their own will. He referred to the Davidian Cult lead by David Koresh in Waco in Texas and their final fate and called upon the International community to adopt serious measures to tackle this global difficulty urgently.
The next presenter was Mr Ebrahim Khodabandeh a former member of Mojahedin-e Khalq Organisation (MKO) lead by the cult leader Mas’ud Rajavi. He spoke about his experiences of 20 years membership in the MKO and gave many examples of how a person could practically be brainwashed.
He mentioned that he has been studying about cults and their common techniques of thought reforms since he left the organisation in 2003 and returned to Iran. He went into details of the process used by the MKO and many other cults to manipulate their members using psychological methods in order to recruit, preserve and control their followers.
He concluded that the leader of a cult is the only person responsible for the crimes committed by the cult and all followers are themselves the prime victims of the brainwashing practiced inside the cult. He explained how followers of a cult are mentally captivated and why they see no way out of their misery. He therefore concluded that the followers must be helped and the leaders of all destructive cults must legally and internationally be prosecuted and brought against justice.
Then Mr Arash Sametipur another former member of the MKO started his speech. He too explained his own experiences within the Rajavi’s Cult. He mentioned that many former members of MKO have organised themselves into an NGO called Nejat (Salvation) Society and their aim is to free the present members held captive in the Ashraf Camp in Iraq.
He emphasised that many families of members who are brainwashed by the MKO are extremely worried about the destiny of their beloved ones and they need urgent help.
In the end Mr Khodabandeh and Mr Sametipur answered the students’ numerous questions. Apparently the topic of the meeting and the speeches had extremely drawn the attention of the students. They demanded that more of such sessions be held in the future. This meeting finished at 1830 hours.
The students were ever so eager to learn more about the methods of brainwashing utilised inside the MKO and hours after the termination of the meeting they had circled around the two former members and asked them various questions. Some students showed interest to be in contact with the Nejat Society. Some reporters and photographers from the media were present in the meeting too.