Nejat Society, Tehran, August 12 2015:… In cults, lying and deceiving is formulated and indoctrinated by the system. Everything is based on lie and deception. The hierarchy tells lies from top to bottom. I was deceived by the MKO so I was recruited by it. Then I was brainwashed under the mind-control system. I was manipulated to tell lies about the group’s …
Ebrahim Khodabandeh: I was manipulated to tell lies
Ebrahim Khodabandeh the famous former member of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (the MKO) was arrested by the Syrian officials, in 2003. He was serving for the international relations committee of the MKO. After his arrest in Syria he was submitted to the Iranian government
In Iran, he was imprisoned in Evin prison where he began studying about cults. Khodabandeh has so far published articles and translated books and articles on the threat of destructive cults, particularly the MKO.
Esharat, an Iran-based journal is one of the numerous media that have interviewed him up to now. The following includes parts of the interview translated by Nejat Society.
– Having been motivated by Islamic and anti-imperialistic ideas you joined the MKO but practically you observed another face of the group. As you stated you yourself used to work hard to portrait a secular pro-Western image of the group for your Western audience, wasn’t it provocative for you?
Good question! Yes, I have witnessed a 180-degree turn in the MKO’s positions and interests since the Islamic Revolution. For example, Rajavi who once offered gifts to Yaser Arafat and said that the only way to liberate the Palestinian nation is the armed struggle against Israel, today is proud of the Israeli company for his group.
… Cults have no unchangeable principal; they have only one fixed principal and that is: Everything must go around the leader’s interests and will. Maryam Rajavi told us:” You are not good enough unless you recognize Massoud’s interests and will and then you try to fulfill them”…
– Does it mean that you officially told lies and deceived people?
In cults, lying and deceiving is formulated and indoctrinated by the system. Everything is based on lie and deception. The hierarchy tells lies from top to bottom.
I was deceived by the MKO so I was recruited by it. Then I was brainwashed under the mind-control system. I was manipulated to tell lies about the group’s cause as if it was a secular pro-western organization…
When you are a member of a destructive mind-control cult, you have no fixed and stable beliefs and thoughts. You are just asked to obey the absolute power of the leader. In a community where everyone thinks the same, in fact nobody thinks. The leaders thinks instead of everyone.
– Didn’t you find it paradoxical or contradictory? For example, you joined the group with your anti-imperialistic ideas to fight the US, and now the MKO was acting the opposite?
Of course, Yes. I was faced with contradictions. Other members also had paradoxes in their minds but the cults have trickeries to encounter such contradictions that occur every day. Contradiction means that the data you were given does not seem logic. However, your contradiction would not be solved by debate or arguments but it was faced with psychological techniques or in better words, with peer pressure and mental suppression. Once you enter a destructive mind control cult, you are kept and controlled by psychological techniques.
– If you were not arrested in Syria, would you stay in the MKO until now? And, didn’t you try to swallow a cyanide capsule after you were arrested?
Yes, I would have definitely been in the Cult of Rajavi in ignorance and under the mind-control manipulative system of the cult. I would have no way out to salvation…
In my mission to Syria, I didn’t have cyanide capsule. If I had one, I would eat it because being arrested alive and yeilded to the Iranian government was our red line.
– Do you really believe in the term salvation for your separation from the MKO?
Yes, exactly. Being released from the hands of a destructive mind control cult is in no way simple. This is possible if you are supported from outside of the cult, for example if you are aided by your family. That’s why the cult leaders forbid and control any contact with families.
– What happened in Evin prison that your beliefs and thoughts changed?
I should notify that members of mind-control destructive cults have no determined ideas. They are dedicated to their leader. Massoud Rajavi was officially presented as the ideological leader. Our ideas were those of Massoud’s. If he changed his words every day we would change our words every day. Cults do not practice ideologies; they do practice psychological methodologies that control people’s minds…
When I arrived in Evin prison, I still saw myself as a devoted Mujahed-e Khalq under the order of Massoud Rajavi . I was ready for torture and execution but gradually I was faced with reality. I thought about the attitudes and interests of the cult of Rajavi so I increasingly faced contradictions. I simply found that I was not able to defend the MKO’s approaches even in my own mind. Logically I had no point to defend Massoud Rajavi whom I used to worship …
About a year later, I started reading the book “Cults in our Midst” of Mrs. Margaret Tahler Singer. My brother Massoud Khodabandeh had sent it to me from England. It should be said that in the prison, I tried to keep myself behind the boundaries I allegedly had with the Islamic Republic. Even I did not want to read the Iranian books, newspapers and I avoided watching Iranian TV.
The book had nothing with the Iranian government nor the MKO but I was really moved by the book. Although, the writer had no idea of the MKO, the similarities between the MKO and the cults in the United States were so significant that you would think it was written about the MKO … For the first time after so many years, I let myself think freely and independently. Of-course, getting to this turning point took me two years in the prison.
– Suppose that you are told that you submitted to the Islamic Republic and turned against the organization you embraced for 23 years due to the pressure of imprisonment or the risk of execution or for the sake your suffering mother, what is your answer?
This question seems rational. In response, I should say that one may regret his past or repent of his past under pressure, one may give information about his past organization and condemn it under pressure of the imprisonment but he is not able to argue, discuss and prove his arguments. All I say about the MKO is based on scientific arguments and reasons that are confirmed by other defectors of the cult. I am ready to argue it with everyone everywhere to prove that the most basic human rights are being violated in the Cult of Rajavi. The cult uses destructive fraudulent manipulation techniques to control members’ minds. It is not what it pretends.
It is not hung up to any principals. This is all I have said to this point. If a force wants to fight the Islamic Republic it doesn’t have the right to abuse its own members and to mentally suppress them…
– Suppose that you are accused of having been brainwashed in Evin prison! What do you say?
I was liberated from the Cult of Rajavi over 12 years ago. During these years, I have been far from the atmosphere of the Cult and its indoctrination sessions and cult jargons. I have been studying the phenomenon known as “the threat of the third millennium”: Destructive Mind Control Cults. I have studied and translated and authored a lot of books and articles. In her book titled “Brainwashing”, Ms. Kathlyn Taylor specifically suggests that the main condition to become the target for brainwashing is to be unaware of its techniques. The MKO never permitted me to read something freely but in the Evin prison I read books. Regarding my studies and the information I got, there is no possibility to brainwash me now because I’m well aware of the techniques and tricks ….
Thus, it is very important to know about functions of destructive mind control cults…
Ebrahim Khodabandeh: Daesh, MKO (Mojahedin Khalq, Rajavi cult) fed by the same source
IRNA, Tehran, June 30 2015:… Ebrahim Khodabandeh said that if the Iranian people had not resisted to the MKO, which receives its financial support from the same source as Daesh, and the Iranian intelligence officers and security forces were not mighty enough, Iran’s western provinces were the scene of similar events what happened in Syria …
Fmr MKO member: Daesh, MKO fed by same sources
Tehran, June 29, IRNA – A former member of terrorist group Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) said on Monday financial sponsors of both terrorist groups, the MKO and Daesh are the same.
Ebrahim Khodabandeh said that if the Iranian people had not resisted to the MKO, which receives its financial support from the same source as Daesh, and the Iranian intelligence officers and security forces were not mighty enough, Iran’s western provinces were the scene of similar events what happened in Syria and Iraq.
Speaking in a panel discussion titled ‘From the MKO to Daesh’ at Iran Press and Cultural Institute, the former MKO member said that such clans as the two brainwash their supporters and destroy their sound reasoning capability.
He said that the other similarity between the MKO and Daesh is that they both take advantage of religious beliefs of the people aimed at securing their horrendous hegemony.
Meanwhile, Khodamabdeh ridiculed the terrorist MKO group’s anti-imperialist slogans and that they were the one and only one such group in Iran, accusing the Islamic Republic that it will eventually roll to the Imperialists camp.
‘The heads of the terrorist MKO groupe in Paris hold meetings with the most brutal branches of imperialists, ignoring all their initial anti-imperialist slogans,’ he said.
He said that the similarity of MKO and Daesh in this regard is that the latter publicized Shiaphobia to attract the fanatic Sunni people and then they control their minds and isolate them.
MEK, Inside Out. A short brief on the Mojahedin-e Khalq
Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Nejat Society, Tehran, June 27 2015:… At the present time the organization is striving to find an alternative for the deposed Saddam Hussein, this time in the west, since it has lost its hope to gain any backing inside Iran. They are making contact with all and any enemies of Iran, including terrorist entities such as ISIL …
MEK, Inside Out
A short brief on the Mojahedin-e Khalq
The Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK, MKO, PMOI, NCR, NCRI, NLA, and many other disguised entities) was established in 1965 as an urban guerilla movement to fight against the Shah and seize power in Iran through armed struggle.
It pitched its appeal to attract leftist, Islamist and anti-imperialist forces at the time and killed US citizens in Iran as well as many of the Shah’s officials. Assassination was, and remains, central to the strategic modus operandi of the organization.
After the Iranian revolution in 1979, the MEK opposed the newly established Islamic Republic of Iran and assassinated many officials as well as thousands of ordinary people through bombings.
The leader Massoud Rajavi fled to France in 1981, then in 1986 moved to Iraq by invitation of Saddam Hussein where he founded the National Liberation Army as an adjunct to the Iraqi army and entered the Iran-Iraq war on the side of the enemy.
Massoud Rajavi became a cult leader and used mind manipulation methods to brainwash his followers in order to control their thoughts and beliefs and to command their total, unquestioning obedience. Compulsory divorces and celibacy, and the separation of children from their parents were imposed by the cult leader on every member. Members were isolated from the outside world and had no contact whatsoever even with their families.
After the fall of Saddam Hussein and the invasion of Iraq by the allied forces, the situation of the MEK dramatically changed. Massoud Rajavi, who lost his only state support, went into hiding and Maryam Rajavi moved to Paris. The organization then adopted pro-western gestures and falsely pretended to have distanced from its past terrorist activities.
On 17 June 2003, Maryam Rajavi was arrested along some 120 individuals in her base in Paris by the French police charged with fraud, money laundry, and plotting violent activities against opponents and former members.
As a result the cult ordered several members to commit self-immolation to protest against this action by the French authorities. Ten individuals in ten different European cities simultaneously set fire to themselves. Two died and the others were severely injured. This was considered as the most obvious sign of thought control imposed by the MEK on the members. A person who obeys an order for self-immolation is certainly capable of performing suicide attacks on others too.
The organization has absolutely no popular support in Iran since it committed the most public act of betrayal; cooperating with the enemy at war against the homeland. The MEK leaders are aware of this fact more than anyone else.
At the present time the organization is striving to find an alternative for the deposed Saddam Hussein, this time in the west, since it has lost its hope to gain any backing inside Iran. They are making contact with all and any enemies of Iran, including terrorist entities such as ISIL.
The MEK is currently re-creating its Iraqi terrorist bases in Albania with property and facilities it has purchased close to Tirana. The Iraqis have always considered them as the worst heritage left by Saddam Hussein for their country and have tried to expel them from their country since the fall of the dictator. The MEK participated in suppressing Iraqis in the past and have caused many national security difficulties for the nation at the present time.
The MEK organized a rally in Villepinte near Paris to promote this new base. Maryam Rajavi’s keynote speech focused on her demand that the group be re-armed. This can only be interpreted as the MEK’s intention to construct a militarized base in Europe from which to train terrorists to attack Iran or elsewhere. The occasion which is being celebrated by the MEK is the anniversary of the start of armed struggle on June 20, 1981.
Western government experts are fully aware of the activities and beliefs of the MEK. One can, of course, refer to the US Department of State or the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office for further clarification.
The MEK uses deceptive methods to influence general political opinion and individuals in the west, and do not say who they really are when they approach people to gain their support.
One may like to refer to the 2009 RAND Report and the 2005 HRW report ‘No Exit’ for more detailed information. If researchers would like further information the https://iran-interlink.org is a good source.
Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Nejat Society, Tehran, August 21 2013: … He used his vicious tongue to lash those who are the most loyal and supportive of his followers. The Shah at least did not call those who want to leave traitors and did not insult them and was, in any case, talking to those who were against him from the beginning, and not those who had given everything for him. My addressee here …
IRNA, October 18 2014: … Scores of former members of the terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) will return to Iran following the complete collapse of the terrorist group in Iraq and after being pardoned by the Islamic establishment. Legal procedures are underway for the return of the breakaway members of the terrorist group while a large number …
Nejat Society, May 12 2014: … The four former members of the MKO who addressed the audience described the current condition of the group in Iraq. Ronak Dashti, Ibrahim Khodabandeh, Ali Ekrami and Iraj salehi spoke of the support of US and Israel for the MKO terrorist cult. Ebrahim Khodabandeh …
Press TV, Tehran, August 28 2013: … Even after the execution of Saddam Hossein the terrorist group still continues its acts of terror against the Iranians under the support of certain western powers; Iranian security sources say the assassination of a number of Iranian scientists is the result of the direct cooperation between MKO and the US-Israeli intelligence services. Last year the US …
Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Iran Interlink, February 21, 2013 … Not only is this untrue, it is yet another gaffe. The original report did not say that I was in jail at that time and the author of the article either did not bother to read the actual report, or was probably as confused as everyone else who read it as to