The Threat of Tamerlans Trained in the MEK

Almost every day we hear of car bombing, suicide bombings and terror attacks, in news headlines. The most recent ones occurred in Baghdad and a Marathon competition in Boston. The first question to be answered is that who committed the act? To answer the question, you almost always come across a fanatic who has been involved with an extremist group, otherwise the terrorist is a lunatic person. In case of mentally ill attackers the reason is obviously explained by psychologists but in case of extremist bombers the reason is complex and sometimes bizarre which requires different specialists to clarify the issue. Extremist invader usually belongs to highly manipulative groups that exploit their members to deliberately injure or kill other individuals or even their own comrades. Such groups are called “destructive cults” or “harmful cults”. The crucial point about such groups is that the harm is not always physical; it can also include psychological harm which is often hidden to the public. The very example of such type of cults is the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (the MKO) which had been effective to manage its image as a “democratic opposition” to the Islamic Republic of Iran, not a destructive cult of personality with a long history of physical harm against its own nation and numerous reports, testimonies and interviews on the psychological harm the group carries on its own members and recruits.

Jeremiah Goulka, one of the authors of the Rand Institution report on  the MKO for US defense Department states: ”I studied the MEK (MKO) for the US military and visited Camp Ashraf, the MEK facility 40 miles north of Baghdad. I also I interviewed former MEK members. As Human Rights Watch also concluded, I saw that the MEK is a cult. It uses brainwashing, sleep deprivation and forced labor to indoctrinate members.

“It segregates men from women, mandates celibacy, forces married members to divorce (except for its leaders), and separates families and friends who must seek permission just to converse.

"MEK members must report their private sexual thoughts at group meetings and endure public shaming. In a Catch-22, those who deny having sexual thoughts are accused of hiding them and shamed, too. The cult had but one purpose: to put itself in charge in Iran.”[1]

After the Iranian Revolution and with the beginning of Massoud Rajavi’s leadership over the MKO, the introductory phase of the cult-like establishment of the group emerged. This was an intense experience for members who were enthusiastically welcomed in the group. Soon, the MKO –which has totally turned into a cult –increased the demands. Members had to devote their whole time, money and energy to the leader. Rajavi’s demands were justified as necessary to overthrow the Islamic Republic.

Relationships outside Camp Ashraf and now Camp Liberty became impossible; contact with families and friends became forbidden unless they would help the with the cause of the group. Deviation from Rajavi’s dogma ended with severe punishment and rejection. Ultimately the demands became unbearable.

The BBC correspondent Owen Benet Jones also writes of the life inside MKO Camps:

“For Example, it requires its members in Iraq to divorce. Why? Because love was distracting them from their struggle against the mullahs in Iran.

"And the trouble is that people love their children too.

"So the MEK leadership asked its members to send their children away to foster families in Europe. Europe would be safer. The group explained.

"Some parents have not seen their children for 20 years and more.

"And just to all to the mix, former members consistently describe participating in regular public confession of their sexual fantasies.” [2]

Leaving the MKO is a fight because members fear sever, punitive reaction of the authorities of the group. What they began in joy – in dream of having a better life  — ends in terror and pain. They spend hours a day conducting “cleansing” sessions which are very commonly held in all destructive cults whether for exorcism or for self-criticism. There are many stories and interviews of horrible cultic practices of the MKO leaders including "Salvation Dance”, "Ideal Summit" and …Studying their stories indicates that motivations and manipulations causing cult-like behavior are present everywhere around us and ex-members of the MKO are not so different from other people. The threat of the destructive MKO cult is no impossible.

As Tamerlan Tsarnaev 27, who was a Jihadist Chechen had a great influence on his younger brother  Dzhokar, each member of a harmful cult can exert impact on people around him in order to commit crimes like Boston bombing.

Massoud Banisadr former member of the MKO speaks of the effective cult indoctrinations on members. In his interview with Steve Hassan, a cult expert explains that how a cult member can simply be radicalized to set himself on fire – as the MKO members did in June 2003 – and launch terror acts. He asserts that the MKO trained the first women suicide operators at least in Islamic history.Regarding that Banisadr was involved in the MKO for 20 years, he believes that if the MKO or Al-Qaida operatives are tried in civil trial, they welcome any sentence because as cult members they have been indoctrinated to go to heaven after death .[3] This way he explains the threat of mind control cults.

It is crucial for the world community especially the West –where the MKO is today much more active than any other time – to know about the MKO cult to avoid being caught in it. They should be aware of the hidden cult thinking operating among their politic men.

 Coleen Rowley of the criticizes American Neocons including Rudy Giuliani who “pompously claim on national TV that he was surprised about any Chechens being responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings because he’s never seen any indication that Chechen extremists harbored animosity toward the US; Giuliani thought they were only focused  on Russia”.[4]

Rowley notifies that “useful” terrorists for US Neocons are not limited to Chechenya’s friends or Afghan Mujahedeen but the MKO is one of the enemies of their enemy too. "Of course, Giuliani also just happens to be one of several neocons and corrupt politicians who took hundreds of thousands of dollars from MEK sources when that Iranian group was listed by the US State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO),” He writes .”The money paid for these American politicians to lobby (illegally under the Patriot Act) US officials to get MEK off the FTO list”. [5]

Today at least 3 thousand Tamerlans are manipulated and indoctrinated in the MKO camps, Camp Liberty, Iraq and Ouver Sur d’Oise in the suburb of Paris. These brainwashed suicide operators are members of the Cult of Rajavi who a few weeks ago opened an office a block from the White House. The windows of the House open to the menace of a destructive cult.

By Mazda Parsi


[1]Goulka, Jeremiah, The Cult of MEK, The American Prospect, July18, 2012

[2]Bennett Jones, Owen, An Iranian mystery: Just who are the MEK? BBC News, April15, 2012


[4] Rowley, Coleen, Chechen Terrorists and the Neocons,, April22, 2013


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