Defectors Tell of Torture and Forced Sterilization in Militant Iranian Cult - 2020-03-22
The Mojahedin-e Khalq started as a militant revolutionary movement, committed in principle to bringing human rights and democracy to Iran. But over the last four decades, it has devolved into a secretive, cult-like group that resembles a militant, Islamist version of the Church of Scientology. The MEK has carried out bombings, sabotage missions, and murders. Since its founding in 1963, it is believed to have killed hundreds or even thousands of Iranians, as well as a handful of Americans.
From 1997 to 2012, the United States designated the MEK a foreign terrorist organization. But the group, which once opposed U.S. intervention in Iran, has effectively switched sides, becoming a convenient proxy force for Tehran's enemies, particularly American neoconservatives, the Gulf Arab states, and Israel. The current MEK leadership maintains close ties with several prominent American politicians, including Donald Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton and the president's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, both of whom have been paid speakers at MEK events.
Yet despite the harm it has caused to Iranians and others, the MEK's most numerous victims may have been its own members. Interviews with six defectors in Europe reveal that the MEK has isolated, disappeared, and tortured many of its cadres into submission, including forcing dozens of female members to have sex with Rajavi and undergo medical sterilization so they could devote themselves more fully to the leader and his cause.