A common characteristic among all cult leaders is charisma which by itself is not evil but when the leader’s charisma is used as a tool to exploit members including their whole-hearted devotion to the charismatic leader and their fanatical submission to his orders. To achieve such an objective, the charisma should be combined with mind control techniques since the members would not submit to the leader automatically. So the charisma leader uses this powerful attribute together with manipulation practices. This mixture will end with the total devotion of members to the cult and its goal. The brainwashed members are always ready to run the cult’s objectives.
In the early years of the foundation of Mujahedin Khalq Organization, Masud Rajavi was not as experienced as most members including founders of the movement or those who were more related to the founders, but after the Islamic Revolution he could assume leadership in MKO despite he didn’t have qualifications of a leader since he was among those few people who were not executed by Shah’s Savak and there were allegations on his cooperation with Savak when he was interrogated by them. Therefore after his release he tried to represent himself as a charismatic leader because despite his expectations, he couldn’t achieve any powerful position in Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic Republic.
As a good lecturer, he started holding meetings, publishing articles, attending interviews to elevate himself as a charisma personality and of course he succeeded to accomplish this goal and his success was actually originated in his ambitious, egotic characteristics. Thus he began to eliminate all his rivals in the organization by criticizing them. In 1980, when he fled Iran to France, he had partly achieved his primary goal: being accepted by his sympathizers as a charisma leader. In France he pursued his ambitions by establishing his so –called National Council of Resistance in which he and his group were the dominating elements. In 1986 after the settlement of the organization in Iraq, most of the way was paved to establish a cult of personality. Their landlord, Saddam Hussein offered them the very isolated Camp Ashraf to perform all cult-like practices Rajavi needed for his cult of personality.
During the Iran-Iraq war, due to Rajavi’s cooperation with the invading enemy, Saddam Hussein, MKO lost its little support among its Iranian compatriots, and also its supporters in other parts of the world.
Now, Rajavi had to launch a new trick to keep his cult of personality that was his ideological marriage with Maryam Qajar Azdanloo and then the so-called ideological revolution. It was firstly accepted by high-ranking members who were indoctrinated by himself. These members showed passionately their complete devotion to Masud Rajavi. Therefore, the others who still hesitated to agree with Ideological Revolution were convinced and even forced by their superior officials.
Rajavi, since then continued his egocentric activities in a more convenient situation. The public power had reached its least level and the atmosphere was prepared for Rajavi’s Megalomania.
By Mazda Parsi