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The Cult of Mojahedin: A Modern Cult of Personality

At the present, Mojahedin Cult is notoriously reputed and referred to as the sole political-terrorist cult of personality

The inside and outside members
At the present, Mojahedin Cult is notoriously reputed and referred to as the sole political-terrorist cult of personality
Masud Rajavi complements his authoritarian leadership by fostering a personality cult that revolves primarily around himself and secondarily around his wife, Maryam. (The US State Department Report, Nov. 1992)

Cults are feverishly active all over the world and a grave feature of their menace is the deceit with which they distort the truth to trap the unwary. Cults generally tend to function in isolation and are usually remote from the society and keep away to have direct contact with people. However, for some purposes cults need to make contact with the outside world, that is, recruiting new members, fundraising and more. Sending the members to live among the free society is even more crucial when the cult comes to be a hypocritically political one that needs the society as the wheels to push the cult forth.

Although cults cut members off from easy and tete-a-tete contact with outsiders, there are a number of members in certain cults that live out of the cult among the ordinary people to fulfill the mentioned purposes. It does not mean that these outside members can escape tense, thought reform processes worked within the cult. These members seemingly living outside separate from the cult are also under direct and strict cult controls and undergo the same mechanisms that are used against the insiders:

In most live-in cults, every detail of life comes under group scrutiny. For example, there are dress codes, food restrictions, and enforced marriages or relationships. In such cults, the members generally live together at the headquarters or at specified locations around the country or over, seas and work for cult-owned enterprises. However, there are also cults whose devotees appear to remain active in quite a few major aspects of the outside world, earning a living outside the cult. But for all practical purposes these individuals also live under rules governing such crucial features of their personal life as the people with whom they associate, what happens to their money, whether they raise their own children, and where they live.

At the present, Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO/MEK/PMOI/NCR), or Mojahedin Cult/Cult of Mojahedin as it is notoriously reputed and referred to, may be the sole political-terrorist cult of personality that avails big number of live-in and live-out members. The group’s main bastion was once located in Camp Ashraf, located some 60 kilometers north of Baghdad in Iraq, but the majority of insiders have been relocated to a temporary transit location (TTL) near Baghdad’s airport. However, its headquarters are situated in Auvers-Sur-Oise in Paris under the name of National Council of Resistance (NCR), an officially recognized alias for MKO. But there are many countless umbrella and front groups aiding the cult in fundraising activities, recruitment, propaganda blitz, organizing rallies and so forth.

To the list of front groups can be added numerous political, social, charity, art and much more groups and societies wherein hardly you can trace them back to the mother group. They all function according to the taste and culture of the societies among whom the insiders live and mostly propagate under democratic standards. For instance, the women and girls officially active as ring members of MKO are forced to wear outfits covering all their body parts and the head. Even Maryam Rajavi herself in spite of dressing in colorful non-transparent outfit never shows bareheaded in the public. But there are many occasions in which women sympathizers, under the command and direction of the commanding members in charge, engage in activities in extravagant western fashions on behalf of MKO. It has to be also mentioned that many of these sympathizers are unaware of the real nature of MKO and work as propaganda tools to beguile the Westerners. As soon as they are recruited as the formal members, they have to embrace cult principles including the clothing codes.

Before September 28, when MKO was removed from the State Department’s list of FTO, it was a designated terrorist group and therefore the US persons and firms were generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with or providing services to the group. The key responsibility was thus on the US based umbrella groups active in making contracts with American firms as part of a lobbying campaign, hiring speakers and paying speaking fees, making arrangements for encouraging and hiring Iranian and non-Iranian masses for rallies, fund-raising and collecting donations, and more. Here is a few of these active front groups to name just in the US:

The Iranian-American Community of North Texas

Iranian-American Community of Northern California

California Society for Democracy in Iran

The Iranian American Cultural Association of Missouri (IACAM)

The International Solidarity for Democratic Change in Iran (ISDCI)

The Global Initiative for Democracy

U.S. Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents

The National Coalition of Pro-Democracy Advocates


1. Thaler Singer, Margaret; Cults in Our Midst: The Continuing Fight Against Their Hidden Menace, p. 11.


November 27, 2012

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