US-Backed MEK In Albania Akin To Dumping Toxic Waste Without A Decontamination Plan

US-Backed MEK In Albania Akin To Dumping Toxic Waste Without A Decontamination Plan

US-Backed MEK In AlbaniaAnne Khodabndeh (Singleton), The Iranian, August 19 2019:… President Rama is unrepentant. In an interview with FaxNews (see translation below), journalist and activist Aulon Kalaja commented that Rama has used hosting the MEK for America as an excuse to remain in power and delay the reforms to the judicial system which are necessary if Albania is to accede to the EU. US-Backed MEK In Albania Akin To Dumping Toxic Waste Without A Decontamination Plan 

MEK Terrorists Iraq Albania Edi Rama Saddam HussainMEK Terrorists in Albania Complicating Edi Rama’s EU Accession Talks

US-Backed MEK In Albania Akin To Dumping Toxic Waste Without A Decontamination Plan

Under the influence of the Trump administration, Albanians are increasingly angry about the problems that have arisen in their country. Continued crime and corruption at the top levels of the country are not the only problems. In several recent articles, Rama has been criticised for hosting the Mojahedin Khalq on behalf of the Trump administration.

US-Backed MEK In Albania

In the Balkans Post, Olsi Jazexhi, a Canadian Albanian historian describes the problem: “Edi Rama, whose family belonged to communist nomenklatura has reinvented himself as a new autocrat of Albania. For this he has the backing of the Trump administration and top U.S. officials who do not care what goes on in Albania as long as the Rama government hosts the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) and other extremist organizations in the country.”

Reza Alghurabi in The American Herald Tribune says MEK terrorists are complicatingRama’s EU accession talks.

“The presence of the [MEK] … in a base around Tirana could also make Albania’s situation more complicated in its EU accession talks. The MEK was relocated to Albania under U.S. pressure after no other countries took the group in following its expulsion from Iraq.”

Since arriving in Albania from Iraq, the MEK has built a de facto extra-territorial enclave with armed guards which it calls Camp Ashraf III. When Donald Trump became president, plans to de-radicalize the group were halted. Albanian citizens feel MEK crimes are increasinglyinfecting every aspect of their country, with neither the police nor the security services able to intervene in their camp or their activities. It is akin to having toxic waste dumped on the country but without the means to de-toxify it.

In Albania Shedding Light on Bizarre Behaviour of MEK Cult

President Rama is unrepentant. In an interview with FaxNews (see translation below), journalist and activist Aulon Kalaja commented that Rama has used hosting the MEK for America as an excuse to remain in power and delay the reforms to the judicial system which are necessary if Albania is to accede to the EU.

Dr Olsi Jazexhi also pointed out that the MEK have corrupted government officials to such an extent that they are perceived as running the country’s foreign policy in relation to Iran. He also says the “verbal and slander attacks that MEK conducts against the free media in Albania, have created a climate of fear in the country”. MEK reportedly pays media outlets to quash news about its nefarious activities being made public.

“MEK has managed to terrorize not only the media but even many Albanian MPs. An Albanian MP who takes part in the meetings that MEK and Maryam Rajavi holds every year in Paris under the banner of Free Iran, told the writer of this article that ‘We know who the MEK are. They are a terrorist organization, whom the Americans killed themselves. But the Americans have told us to protect them, and we are protecting them’.”

The Trump administration loves the MEK solely because the group echoes regime change chants against Iran. The price for this is being paid by Albanians as American protection has allowed the MEK to continue its criminal activities in Albania with impunity. It’s time the citizens of Albania regain control of their country.


Kalaja: Rama has done America a favour – he is using it to stay in power longer | FaxNews, August 13, 2019:

Invited to FaxNews studio tonight, renowned journalist and activist Aulon Kalaja has commented on recent political movements in the country, ranging from “cracks” within the Socialist Party to Rama’s “abandonment” of the new mayor of Shkodra, Valdrin Peter, Fran Frrokaj’s departure the day before the new mayor of Lezha was sworn in, and even problems in the justice system.

Referring to Rama’s statements to Peter, which came at a time when the Democratic Party published documents showing the arrest, conviction and subsequent expulsion of Peter from Italy, Kalaja says such moves are expected by Rama. According to Kalaja, Rama often dismisses his associates as truths come to light.

“Rama dismisses his associates the moment the truth comes out. This has always happened and everyone who is close to him has this fear.

I judge that Valdrin Peter’s case is not a coincidence but a phenomenon, which you no longer need to betray, despite Peter’s being there with his orders and found there thanks to Rama’s faith.”

Referring to the oaths made by the new mayors in the municipalities, the journalist says that they are illegal because if we consider the way the elections were held, these mayors have gained their positions without competition.

Asked about the dismissal of Lezha’s mayor, Fran Frrokaj, the day before the new mayor was constituted, Kalaja says this is not an emergency but simply something different from the other oaths we are used to seeing so far.

“City Council oaths are made illegally. Neither in form nor in content has June 30 produced a proper mayor. Entering the elections and governing means defeating your opponent in the race. Who beat Edi Rama?

Most of the citizens are under-represented, the figures clearly show. Rama will not hold all 61 Municipalities. It will be impossible. There is nothing remarkable about the Fran Frrokaj case. This was the release of the post by the mayor in a way different from what happened before. But the situation should not stop there. Such a case does not make a difference. “There must be unified action by the opposition”, said the journalist.

Asked about Justice Reform and the Constitutional Court, Kalaja says Rama is exploiting the Mojahedin, who, in his view, are Trump’s ‘weakness’ to drag out Justice reform.

As for the Constitutional Court, the journalist said that because this court is the most important institution in the country, politics should stay away from it. According to Kalaja, even in the event of political rotation, this court must be invalid.

“Rama has given the keys to Justice reform to the Americans, but he is using a contribution he has made to America. He is exploiting Albania’s hosting of the Iranian opposition, which for Trump is an extremely important issue.

“Rama is holding on to the American state because of the Mojahedin. This is a very sensitive issue for them. That is why it gives Rama the space to drag out Justice reform, only by using the Mojahedin.

“This is absurd… The Constitutional Court is sacred and is set in motion by 1/4 of the deputies, the individual or the ombudsman; this itself shows the strength of this court. It must be invulnerable. I don’t know what will happen with the change of power, but I think the right thing would be for the government not to intervene in the judiciary at all.”

Speaking, among other things, about the artists’ protest, the reporter reiterated that the idea of ​​demolishing the building is to devour public funds.

He has called for all art lovers to contribute some money so artists can restore the theater themselves.

“There is no ammonia there or a toilet,” says Mr Veliaj. Those who are lovers of art, let them set up another theater elsewhere but not touch the existing one. But this is not about theater but about swallowing up funds.

However, artists will strive to rebuild this theater with the proceeds from art lovers and international donors. So, when you leave the theater, you contribute”, Journalist Aulon Kalaja concluded his interview.


Posted by Fax Web on Tuesday, August 13, 2019


US-Backed MEK In Albania Akin To Dumping Toxic Waste Without A Decontamination Plan

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Anne Khodabandeh Singleton

Anne Singleton (Khodabandeh) British born. Qualified in 1983 with BA Hons in English Language and Literature from Sheffield City Polytechnic. Main career has been as computer programmer with some of the UK’s largest financial institutions. Additionally, became an activist with Mojahedin Khalq between 1980 and 1996. In 2001 started Iran-Interlink as a basis for helping victims of the cult. In 2003 published the book ‘Saddam’s Private Army’ which charts Massoud Rajavi’s perversion of the organisation he took over from being an armed political group opposed to the Iranian regime to a dangerous, destructive mind-control cult which aims to bring Rajavi to power in Iran through violence.




Twitter: AnneKhodabandeh


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Anne Khodabandeh ICSA Conference : Mapping the Cult Landscape

Anne Khodabandeh ICSA Conference Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Open Minds, July 17 2019:… The question is, can we bring cult leaders to court for cultic abuse? The argument that the behaviours exhibited by cults cannot be brought into a legislative framework is patently false when we consider that similar ‘psychological’ behaviours have been written into law. Examples are the Coercive Control Act of 2015, the Modern Slavery Act of 2015, prosecutions for child sexual exploitation involving grooming. And of course, the civil law of undue influence which protects categories of vulnerable people from coercive persuasion. Anne Khodabandeh ICSA Conference : Mapping the Cult Landscape .

Anne Khodabandeh Singleton European Parliament 2018MEPs discuss Mojahedine-E Khalq (MEK) Threat in #Albania

Anne Khodabandeh ICSA Conference : Mapping the Cult Landscape

1- Abstract for ICSA Conference 2019 in Manchester


International Cultic Studies Association

2019 Annual Conference

Manchester, UK

Mapping the Cult Landscape with a New Lexicon – Why Words Matter: An Activist/Campaigner’s Perspective
Anne Khodabandeh

In the UK, laws criminalising Coercive Control and Modern Slavery have recently come onto the statute book. With many years of academic research, survivor testimony and therapeutic innovation behind us, why does the world of cultic studies still lack any laws to deal specifically with this phenomenon? From this activist’s perspective, it’s down to how we talk to the wider world. In Conference we are all specialists. We use our own language, or jargon, and we understand one another. We also co-opt language from other fields when it overlaps with ours – for example, coercive control, gaslighting, grooming etc to make sense of what we mean. This provides a helpful lexicon of new words and expressions to convey our meaning. This is especially important in activism and campaigning which involves talking directly to people and bodies who do not share our understanding in order to influence and persuade them. Yet at a time when mainstream media is beginning to embrace a modern understanding of words like cult and brainwashing (in terrorism for example), some in the cultic studies field remain coy of such descriptors. In this presentation I will argue for my preferred descriptor ‘cultic abuse’ and explain why I use this phrase as a meaningful definition to consolidate the knowledge and experience we have built up over the years that can be taken to policy makers, the media, human rights forums and other outside bodies in order to press for recognition, attitudinal change and, above all, a new law.

Link to the presentation speech

Find the full agenda, abstracts and bios for the 2019 International Cultic Studies Association International Conference HERE

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2- Mapping the Cult Landscape with a New Lexicon

Why Words Matter: An Activist/Campaigner’s Perspective

ICSA Conference 2019, Manchester, UK

Presentation by Anne Khodabandeh

Over the past forty years many things have changed in the field of cults. For an activist and campaigner, it is important to periodically create a new map to explain the changed cult landscape and to think how we can navigate it with some new vocabulary. I have developed a working definition of cultic abuse along with some of the words and phrases I use to explain it as a starting point for moving this forward. Mapping the Cult Landscape with a New Lexicon

While I do not have academic expertise or research interest in cults, I have two qualifications for my campaign work. I graduated in English Language, Literature and Creative Writing. Also, I spent twenty years involved with the Iranian Mojahedin Khalq terrorist cult (MEK).

The Life of Camp Ashraf. Mojahedin-e Khalq Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton) Massoud KhodabandehThe Life of Camp Ashraf. Mojahedin-e Khalq – Victims of Many Masters
By Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton) and Massoud Khodabandeh

Since leaving this notoriously dangerous FTO, I have spent two decades trying to persuade people in power and in the media to recognise the MEK as a cult and to reject the group on the basis of its human rights abuses and criminal activities. Central to my work is the ability to build bridges between the experts’ knowledge and public understanding. (By public I mean anyone and everyone who is not in this field.) This needs careful communication. How can complex ideas be expressed in engaging and understandable ways without dumbing down.

The starting point has to be ‘what do the public already know or understand about cults’? As we know, many people use the word cult as a label, but very few actually understand what it means.

Public use of the cult label focuses on external characteristics – what the cult looks like from the outside. This is generally a reflection of the stated beliefs of the group. But, as we know, this is very different from the dynamic governing internal relations. As victims we want people to understand how the abuses that take place behind this façade of alternative beliefs are inflicted on us.

Certainly, we can be confident that there is already wide public recognition that cults are secretive and mysterious groups that use brainwashing or mind control and are generally perceived to be a bad thing to be avoided. This sense of cults being dangerous and harmful is amplified by prosecutions of cult leaders.

The most recent example is the Nxivm (pronounced Nexium) sex cult. Keith Raniere was charged with seven offences including racketeering, forced labour, fraud and various sex offences. Similarly, in 2016 Aravindan Balakrishnan was found guilty of rape, child cruelty, false imprisonment, indecent assault and assault in his Maoist cult.

Significantly, the label given to the cult in media coverage was irrelevant to the criminal prosecution. So, although the media was happy to use the cult label when describing how both the groups were run, focusing on the sensational elements of slavery and sexual exploitation, just labelling them as cults doesn’t explain the specific ways these groups are criminally different from other cases involving these same crimes.

Additionally, when we look at the Wikipedia page ‘List of religious leaders convicted of crimes’, we see straight away that none of them were convicted for cult activity. Which is odd because I think anyone who has been the victim of a cult will be able to identify specifically cult related experiences which would be considered harmful in and of themselves. Just the experience of brainwashing is hugely damaging on many levels. Like coercive control in domestic violence, we don’t need to have been physically assaulted to have suffered abuse.

ICSA helpfully advises focusing on harmful practices when making judgements about any group membership.

By moving away from the need to explain why any particular group can be described as a cult, we can begin to piece together wording that would make cultic activity a crime. When looked at from the victim’s point of view it is obvious that the outcome of being in a cult is harm and that the harmful activities were specific to cultic behaviour not the organisation or structure of the group or even its stated belief system. Cult victims clearly suffered abuse so when explaining to people what happens to them, I use the term cultic abuse.

The question is, can we bring cult leaders to court for cultic abuse? The argument that the behaviours exhibited by cults cannot be brought into a legislative framework is patently false when we consider that similar ‘psychological’ behaviours have been written into law. Examples are the Coercive Control Act of 2015, the Modern Slavery Act of 2015, prosecutions for child sexual exploitation involving grooming. And of course, the civil law of undue influence which protects categories of vulnerable people from coercive persuasion.

Anne Khodabandeh ICSA Conference Mapping the Cult Landscape With a New Lexicon – Why Words Matter

So why does government continue to ignore this issue? The simple answer is that we need to draw a line somewhere that separates cultic abuse from other forms of psychological persuasion. We need to ringfence exactly what abuse is taking place. Assuming that we can piggyback cultic abuse onto any of these laws misunderstands the government position. For example, removing wording ‘in an intimate or family relationship’ in the Coercive Control Act to extend it to cultic groups would also lay those who can be argued to have a devotional following open to malicious allegations. In this scenario, team leaders like Pep Guardiola and Michel Roux Jr. might have a lot to answer for!

Similarly, although cultic abuse shares a lot of characteristics with modern slavery, most active cult members do not regard themselves as victims and will implacably resist attempts to rescue and rehabilitate them. And unfortunately, the law of undue influence does not allow for criminal prosecution.

In essence, we need to convince government that we are referring only to a narrowly drawn, specific set of behaviours the result of which is abuse. Any definition must separate it from advertising, hard sales, political persuasion and all the other means that government uses to exert control over the social, economic and moral fabric of the country.

To satisfy this remit I began to develop a quasi-legal description of the specific ways that cults operate which encompasses deceptive recruitment, psychological manipulation, enthrallment and ultimately exploitation. One element kept coming up as the differentiating factor for all other kinds of psychological abuse – ideology or beliefs.

The distinguishing factor around cults that differentiate them from other forms of harm is this reliance on adherence to a belief system. I would even suggest that without the involvement of a supremacist ideology it is not cultic abuse. Supremacist in this case means not just ‘us and them’ as in ‘our tribe and the outsiders’, but ‘us and them’ as in ‘we are superior to all others’.

There are some who may say, what does it matter if there is no specific law against cultic abuse. As long as the cult leaders are brought to justice, what difference does it make how and under what charges. But let’s reframe the argument in a different context, a different landscape. One which some might regard as more urgent.

In the UK, when it was introduced, it soon became apparent to the affected authorities that work to fulfil the Prevent Duty obligations fell within the remit of Safeguarding – for both adults and children.

The greatest emphasis was placed on the education sector and schools in particular. The thinking behind this was perhaps based on how the Prevent Duty was rolled out. Certainly this allowed maximum contact with a captive audience. In any case, those tasked to prevent radicalisation were encouraged to believe that they were protecting vulnerable people and who more vulnerable than children? In the beginning, some training was nothing more than crude tick box ‘how to spot the terrorist’ profiling.

The only hint as to what radicalisation actually is came in a simple, easily overlooked phrase in the twenty-page document. “Radicalisation is a process that takes place in a relationship.” This was picked up on by many in the field of cult awareness, particularly those who had been involved in political cults.

As a former member of a terrorist cult it was self-evident to me that the process of deceptive recruitment and psychological manipulation which I underwent, and which is used by other cultic groups, is what the government meant by Radicalisation.

I developed a model for describing the process of radicalisation from a cultic perspective and took it into training sessions and conferences with a grand title: “From Attraction to Action – Understanding Radicalisation as Cultic Abuse to support Prevent and Channel”.

Anne Khodabandeh ICSA Conference From Attraction to Action – processes involved in Cultic Abuse

It turned out that what was self-evident to cult specialists, was not easliy comprehensible to others. Although some of the audience appeared to understand, the explanation of how victims are abused by radicalisation was mostly greeted by blank, uncomprehending faces and sometimes actual fear. Nothing had prepared those responsible for preventing radicalisation for an actual terrorist to explain how to recruit and create a terrorist

Among those Safeguarding experts who did ‘get it’ is consultant Abigail Clay who works with the Radicalisation Awareness Network in the EU. In an academic paper with Dr Al Baker titled ‘What is harmful about radicalisation?’ she identifies the problem. Government guidance lacks an explanation of what is to be avoided. In the context of Safeguarding, here is what she says:

“To say that radicalisation is systematically harmful to children is to say that radicalisation is a form of abuse. Abuse is defined in existing guidance as “a form of maltreatment of a child…by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm.”  Radicalisation is not currently written of in UK safeguarding guidance as a form of abuse, but merely as a thing to be avoided; a choice clearly related to the avoidance of spelling out specific harms that radicalisation entails (once we say that radicalisation is harmful, given our definition of abuse, we must say that it is abusive).”

In the context of both Prevent and criminal prosecutions, the phrase ‘a process that takes place in a relationship’ can be explained by using a definition of cultic abuse as the map for the new landscape that we are in. I have a definition which is a starting point for development by anyone interested in this issue. Some will agree, some will not agree. I treat it as a work in progress.

My central argument is that if we use this definition or something like it to frame the processes involved in cultic harm as a map of the new landscape, then the paths and landmarks that we use to set our compasses and navigate it are the words we use. We can push for legislation based on this map and we can use it for prevention education.

In my work to explain to the public the complexities of cultic abuse, I use words and phrases that I have eclectically borrowed from experts and explainers. As a campaigner who uses words to explain and persuade, how these words are used are as important as their meanings. In my presentation I have used a narrative structure to explain the process of cultic abuse – with beginning, middle and end, characters and plot, motives and outcomes?

From my perspective, we need words that encapsulate and express the specific complexity of the cultic world but that don’t rely on expert knowledge. Words that engage the audience. For example, can we find a better way to talk about ‘cognitive dissonance’ for public consumption? Certainly we can borrow from other fields, like coercive control, grooming and modern slavery. As an example, ‘gaslighting’ is now a widely understood concept – critics spotted it being used in the TV series Love Island. Can we explain the particular aspect of cultic abuse we know as cognitive dissonance using this term? By building up a new lexicon specific to our experiences, the changed cultic landscape can be redrawn.

Anne Khodabandeh ICSA Conference : Mapping the Cult Landscape

US-Backed MEK In Albania Akin To Dumping Toxic Waste



Mojahedine-E Khalq (MEK) threat in #Albania: Anne Khodabandeh – Open Minds

Anne Khodabandeh, Open Minds, De-Radicalisation Consultant, PHOTO-EXHIBITION in Bruxelles
(International Terrorism Mojahedin Khalq, MEK, NCRI, Rajavi cult)

Anne Khdabandeh Cults and Terror (Open Minds)Open Minds – Explaining Radicalisation for Prevent and Channel

Prevent Suffolk Conference Anne Khdabandeh Cults and Terror (Open Minds)Anne Singleton, Prevent Suffolk Conference 22 March 2016
From Attraction to Action — How Young People Are Radicalized 

 Anne Khdabandeh Cults and Terror (Open Minds)Expert in cultic abuse and terrorism in the MEK speaks in London charity meeting

Anne Khdabandeh Cults and Terror (Open Minds) BaghdadAnne Khodabandeh (Singleton), University of Baghdad: MEK’s Western backers are complicit in their deaths

Anne Khdabandeh Cults and Terror (Open Minds) BaghdadAnne Singleton from Iran-Interlink
visits Camp New Iraq (Formerly Ashraf)
in wake of violence by loyalists of the Rajavi cult

US-Backed MEK In Albania Akin To Dumping Toxic Waste


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