Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 162

++ The MEK have retreated into themselves. But in Farsi the questioning has continued: ‘what are we celebrating?’ Esmail Vafa Yaghmai a former member, well-known poet and now an internal critic, gave a long interview to Mihan TV. He was asked, ‘you [MEK] went to Iraq to overthrow the Iranian regime and up until this year many people have been killed because you refused to leave Camps Ashraf and Liberty. Now you have been deported, you are all celebrating. What is it you are celebrating? Yaghmai talks about cult mentality and why the members have no choice but to obey orders. He says, however, there is hope because the members are out of the isolated and closed atmosphere of Iraq. They are now closer to the real world and the controls imposed in Iraq cannot be replicated. Their future will be different – they will be different. But, of course, after 30+ years, don’t’ expect overnight change. Several other Farsi commentators, in particular MEK internal critics, demand an explanation, a review of the past 30+ years, some kind of closure on the Iraq venture. The most amusing reactions in the Farsi commentosphere are in response to Maryam Rajavi’s interview with a Saudi paper in Qatar in which she declares ‘the phase of toppling the regime is starting now’! Then, just what were you doing until now?

++ Nejat published its third communique to the families. As with the first two, Nejat congratulates the families because their loved ones have been moved to safety and we can be more hopeful about their futures. However, Nejat warns the families about the MEK’s plots so they don’t fall into their trap. The MEK has now instructed members to contact their families. Nejat greets this as a positive thing because even hearing a mother or father’s voice can break the cultic mentality which imprisons the members. However, behind this contact, the MEK are organising. They tell the member to ask their families for money. They have even placed people in separate accommodation according to their family circumstances. For wealthy families, the member is to ask for a capital lump sum to help them start a business venture. Nejat’s advice is:

1. Keep all conversation to family matters only. No matter how much you hate the MEK, please don’t provoke your loved one. Remember they are in a cult and are not thinking for themselves. Do not alienate or anger them but keep the conversation flowing.

2. Do not refuse to give them money. Instead, ask for more information about the channel through which they will receive the money and how they can be sure the money will get directly to them. Do not send any money.

3. Do not allow your loved one to pass you over to a third party saying ‘I can’t talk just now’. The other person will be an expert deceptive manipulator. Only talk directly to your loved one and keep the conversation going as much as possible. The more you keep talking and do not pay anything, the more likely it is that your loved one will exit the Mojahedin cult.

In English:

++ Iran-Interlink and Mazda Parsi for Nejat Bloggers pick up on the MEK’s celebrations and ask what victory, what celebration? What is this propaganda hoping to achieve? Both mention the MEK’s murky past and point out that the move was forced and that the MEK resisted until the last moment. This ‘victory celebration’ is aimed at diverting attention and numbing the members’ minds so they don’t ask awkward questions.

++ Nejat Society criticises the MEK’s advocates as ignorant of the group’s internal dynamics and points out that Nancy Pelosi in particular has been misled about what ‘family’ means inside the MEK. Pelosi released a statement about the removal of the “last families” from Camp Liberty and claims the relocation “marks the beginning of a new and hopeful chapter for families who have suffered terrible persecution and violence.” Nejat describes the reality of the MEK in which families have been destroyed and no peer relationships are allowed. MEK members only attach themselves to the leader.

++ Al-Alam has been granted first exclusive access to the empty Camp Liberty. The film [in Arabic] shows conditions inside the camp.

++ Press TV has produced a half-hour documentary based on an award winning film made in Iran. The film is a love story but shows how involvement in a terrorist cult like the MEK is destructive of both families and society. The documentary describes modern slavery and links common behaviours in the Jonestown cult, Daesh and the MEK that endanger society.

++ Impact newspaper, Tirana, Albania, [translated by Iran-Interlink] has published a letter from MEK families to Prime Minister Edi Rama. The estranged families ask for his help since the MEK leaders don’t allow them to make contact with their loved ones. [This is different from the MEK tactic of getting members to contact their families to ask for money. In this case, it is the families who take the initiative who are rejected.] The letter ends saying “We hope that this letter will be read personally by you, the Prime Minister of Albania and that you will enable us to rejoice with our children. It is in your power to help us and grant us our request.”

September 30, 2016

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