Photos of the chapter Nine Chapters: One - Two - Three - Four - Five - Six - Seven - Eight - Nine - Conclusion

Chapter Nine - Final Stage - Date 1992 - 1994

 

On June 1994 by announcement of the twenty first of July (Seyeh Tier) the day of uprising of people in support of Mossadeq as the Iranian National day, eventually, at least for that year, Mojahedin surrounded themselves to the wish of majority of Iranian and the fact of the history. Though some people didn’t realise the significance of this decision, in no way, any less than accepting the emblem of the ‘Sun and Lion’, for many of us it was a very good news. I personally never could imagine seeing Rajavi surrendering himself, forgetting about usual ceremonies of the twentieth of June. That year’s celebration of twentieth of June was a very small and modest one. I received a text of speech from Paris, repeating things, said every year, during past thirteen years. I had to give a speech for an audience of supporters, who all knew word by word, whatever I was going to say. Any way not only they did mind that modest meeting, but also I guess every body welcomed it as for the first time they were not forced to spend a lot of money and time for a useless gathering. We all were very happy and were preparing ourselves for next demonstration which was going to be the biggest and the most expensive ones. Personally I was as happy as I could be, all my mind, my heart and soul was for that demonstration which I was seeing it as a way to tie all Iranian from all walk of life together. I was as united with that demonstration, as I didn’t need to be told what to do. For a month every day for fifteen to twenty hours, I was doing every thing necessary for that celebration, mostly talking to supporters and Iranian for money, which we needed it badly. Only for two demonstrations that we were going to have in the United States, one in Washington DC and another in Los Angles we needed around one million dollars. During that month to borrow and earn the money we needed, I talked with more than three hundred people collectively or individually in different states. Though by then different sisters were responsible for associations, still they were not told that I am no more responsible for their relation with the organisation, so almost every thing had to be said to them by me. Still I was responsible to persuade them for doing things asked by the organisation and answering their questions and criticisms. One of the main problems as usual was predication of number of people who were going to attend the celebration, as everything had to be prepared according to that number. As usual the organisation’s estimate was not according to the facts, but what we were asked by Maryam or Masoud. We were asked for having ten thousand demonstrators, while according to supporter’s estimation we had to be very pleased if we could have one fifth of it. It was not a simple rally where wrong estimation was not very damage full, but a ten hours celebration, with different programs including rally and party. From banners and flags till food and temporary toilets every thing had to be hired or bought. Unfortunately, eventually, everything had to be prepared not for number of people whom we were expecting to be there, but according to the numbers given to us from Paris. In this way, while we were penniless and every single dollar had to be borrowed and helped by our supporters we spent five times more money and time, for making, hiring and buying useless materials. Another problem was slogans of the celebration, unlike previous years it was announced that organisers of these rallies are associations instead of Mojahedin, hence they were expecting to have a say in all decisions including slogans. Councils of associations were arguing correctly that as this celebration is a national one, we should not have Mojahedin’s slogans especially the famous rejected ones ‘Iran-Rajavi, Rajavi -Iran’. By now most of the Iranian including many of our own supporters and even some members while were not able to show it, had a position against this slogan. In every body’s view this slogan was putting our country equal to Rajavi, many of us as members of the organisation after the ideological revolution were accepting this interpretation of the slogan fully and were arguing that Iran without Rajavi is meaning less. I guess the nearest slogan ever given is the one given by Hess the Hitler’s henchman who in a public meeting said ‘Germany is the party and party is Hitler, Germany is Hitler’. In Iran during Shah’s era we had very unpopular slogan of ‘God-King-homeland’ still far from comparing our homeland with a special person. We in response were comparing this slogan to the Mossadeq’s era one, ‘either Mossadeq or death’. I admit, it was very difficult to compare these two slogans with each other and justify ours, as the first one was made and encouraged by the organisation, equalling our homeland with a person in this case Rajavi, and second one was made and flourished by the people demonstrating against Shah who had chosen another prime minister instead of Mossadeq, arguing that they are prepared to die rather than surrendering themselves to the Shah’s decision. I guess it was only an issue in the United States where associations were trying very hard to keep their independence and their liberty. By then all other associations in other countries, even some of them in the United States had surrounded themselves to the organisation’s wish and had accepted to go back to the old kind of relations with the Mojahedin. (I.e. To exists, only in name for different purpose.) Eventually as some of the council members of the associations in California, threatened the organisation that they are not going to participate in the demonstration, if that slogan be included among slogans of the rally, it was decided by the Paris that slogan be excluded only in Los-Angles. Hence in this way one of the major obstacles of the rally was solved.

 

Apart from working with supporters and Iranian for organising that rally, another responsibility of mine was to organise program of musician and singers for the celebration in different countries as most of them were living in Los Angles and I was responsible to deal with them.

            Since the start of their work with us, permanently they were under attack from different directions mostly from monarchist supporters and organisations, and their media in Los Angles. As a result not only they had lost all their earnings apart what they were receiving from us, but they had lost many of their friends and relatives. They knew almost nothing about Mojahedin’s past history, while always they were under question from different angle about our activities in the past. Almost every day for hours I had to talk with them about different issues rose either by the media or their friends. As we were getting closer to the day of rally, attacks of our foes against us and consequently against them was increasing sharply. As usual every day I had to face new rumour and prepare myself for answering back. Every day some encouraged by the media there, were tearing our posters on the walls, throwing paint on our bill boards, insulting our boys standing in the streets. Some times they were so proud of what they were doing that, they were announcing their activities in different Iranian media there. I have to admit having foolish foe is better than having unwise friend, as at the end with what they did against us, they portrayed us as the most democratic and oppressed organisation ever, making our supporters more encouraged and determined in what we were doing and attracting new people toward us, among them, some of old supporters of monarchist. One of them, a lady, friend of one of the celebrities working with us, told me that in any meeting they have, the main talk is about Mojahedin, strangely, contrary to the past, when all had the same position against us, by then there were differences of opinion among them and some were supportive and defending us against those who had their old stands.

            Eventually the day of rally, as we had our rallies in Washington and Los-Angles in consecutive days, first I went to Washington for welcoming the crowd and few members of congress and Iranian celebrities invited there. Immediately after the end of that one, I flow back to Los Angles, where we were expecting disturbances from our foes. As I was responsible for many things in that rally, I had to be present there from early morning to welcome every body and arrange for many things there. We were asked by Maryam to make that rally as glorious as possible, not thinking about money, where whatever we do is worthy. Thanks to our supporters and Iranian we could reduce the cost immensely. Almost every thing in that rally was innovation by our supporters, especially new supporters from ordinary Iranian. An Iranian lady, artist in flowering was responsible for flowering of the area, another one, and a famous Iranian photographer, responsible for photographing. A famous Iranian cinematographer, winner of few cups in his area of work, was responsible for filming the rally. Apart from singers and musicians we had hired a Marching band, for playing our National anthems in between programs and when we were going to march. Everywhere in the area was covered by the Iranian flags, colourful balloons, flowers, sign of ‘sun and lion’. Three hug balloons carrying Iranian flags, portrays of Maryam and our slogans for the event were hanged above the rally area. Different stations for serving food, selling souvenirs of the rally, in Iranian shape and form were there too. Huge portrait of Mossadeq, Maryam and Masoud were everywhere. On top of all this we had hired huge and very expensive equipment for showing the same ceremony, which had taken place in Paris, where for the first time Maryam unofficially talked for the Iranian crowed outside of Iraq.

            By the start of our program, we faced the disturbances, we were expecting, ten to fifteen people carrying portrays of son of Shah start giving slogans against us. I have to say their presence over there was more beneficial to us than their cause; this was the fact, which later was admitted by some of their own papers too. Their number compare to ours which was something like one to hundred, wrongly, was somehow show of balance of power between us and our foes there in Los Angles, in the past considered as the capital of Iranian monarchists abroad. Their presence there and little disturbances, which they created, attracted not only Iranian media, but also many American local newspapers and television who all gave us the best possible coverage. Apart from their presence there, they had hired a plane to carry portrait of son of Shah above the rally area. When their plane showed itself, they found new incentives; perhaps felt that this innovation is going to cover the lack of their number. By luck we had hired a plane too, for carrying portrait of Maryam and making flag of Iran by smoke. Hence when our plane showed itself in the area every body including those monarchists felt that we had reacted to their actions. Every body including them were surprised by our fast reaction and move, which was unimaginable. For some times those two planes were following each other in circle above the area, then when our rally started they along monarchists left us, with a victory which later was portrait in the media there. Though we were not able to have one fifth of the crowd asked by our leader and as usual many things were wasted there, our gathering there was the most successful one, as we had most crowded Iranian demonstration there for years.

 

 

            Bitter reality

            By the end of the rally, I was called by my masoul, she said, she has a message from Maryam, she read the message for me, it was something like this: “… BEH KOORIE CHASHEM ‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Z’, … your demonstration went very well and I congratulate you for that.” ‘BEH KOORIE CHASHEM’, is an expression said against those who cannot see the success of others, means: ‘the eyes of those who can not see the success of us or some body else be blind’. ‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Z’, were names of three of our old supporters, who as matter of fact helped us a lot for organising that demonstration! One of them helped us immensely in borrowing money where, without that money we never were able to organise that extravagance rally. Hence one might ask what did those supporters do, which made them as hateful as being cursed by the ‘kindest’, and most ‘mercy full’ lady on earth. Their ‘crime’ was to show some resistance and rejection towards our slogans especially ‘Iran-Rajavi, Rajavi-Iran’. Their objection was not even for themselves, but for people who were invited to a ‘national’ rally with the promises that they are not going to give slogans for or against any organisation. Yes in organisation’s view and our leader’s one, this was the worst crime a supporter could commit.

            I was very tired and had very bad backache as a result of one-month restless work, especially previous past few days. But with no doubt, I have to say I could not feel any pain till I heard that message. When suddenly I lost all my energy, all my happiness, all my eager to carry on and do whatever I was doing till that moment. Suddenly I surrounded myself fully to my physical pain and tiredness, asked for permission and left for my office. My masoul joked with me and said: “You have become like ‘Arash’, a mythical archer, who when throw his last arrow for pointing the boundary between our country and its neighbour, after a war, as he used all his energy for throwing that arrow, lost his life and fall on the ground, dead.” I guess she was right, I had lost all my energy, but not with throwing my last arrow, but with losing my last hope and desire, which I didn’t realise it fully by then.

            For sometimes I had my separate office in Los Angles as office of the representative of the National council of resistance in America. This office almost every day since morning till late night was full of supporters and sometimes-ordinary Iranian who were curious to know more about our new slogans and programs. Most of the times as I was so busy talking with different people, I could not find time to leave that office and was eating and sleeping there; even sometimes I used to wash myself in its small-shared lavatory. Now I was laid in the same office watching the ceiling without thinking about anything. Once or twice I was called by my masoul, who asked how I am and asked me to go to our main office so they can look after me. I asked her to let me to stay there, where I was, with the excuse that I cannot move and any movement makes my back pain worse than what it was. After one day, still I was not prepared to think about what I heard from my masoul. As matter of fact during those days pain was more comforting and delicious than anything else, with excuse of pain, I could let myself free from thinking about anything else. Gradually I start thinking about that message to digest it. I could not imagine, my masoul lying to me on behalf of Maryam. She was one of the five highest members of the organisation, with rank of ‘equal to first masoul of the organisation’, I even could not imagine those words come from her while they were calling themselves as ‘servants of people and supporters’, so how could I imagine her making those words for Maryam, while nobody even in lowest ranks dared to say anything on behalf of Maryam or Masoud without they actually saying those things. On the other hand how could I imagine Maryam saying those words?! Still I was looking at her as angel of kindness and mercy?! Was I dreaming everything? Was I a dreamer? A wishful thinker? I was not able to deny and reject Maryam. If I was doing that, it was the end of everything for me, end of my work with the organisation, end of all my hopes and wishes, end of seeing freedom and happiness in my homeland. Even the end of seeing another smile on my own face. I guess it was too difficult for me to throw everything including all sacrifices, I had seen and done away and accept the reality. The reality was too bitter to be swallowed then. The easy ways out of that dilemma was to blame myself and see it as my own mistake, rather than theirs. I persuaded myself that different masouls have given wrong reports about those people to Maryam and I have not been strong enough to stand against their wrong report defending them. Hence Maryam’s judgement about them had been based on wrong reports. In this way I found enough energy to stand up again and return back to my work, while I could see clearly a dark point on my heart, which could not be rubbed away.

            After that celebration, all celebrities who were working with us, as they were considered by everybody as new recruits of the organisation, they faced harshest attacks ever from different Iranian media abroad. Almost all of them lost any other jobs they might have except ones, which we had for them. In a way their only source of income became Mojahedin. Apart from financial problem, they were tired of insults and phone calls they were receiving from lobbies of the monarchist and perhaps pro-regime elements in Los Angles. Once when I visited one of them, he let me to hear a recorded tape of few of those phone calls. It was very clear for him and me that those phone calls were not from ordinary Iranian but political and professional people, with clear intentions. Still he told me he is tired of those phone calls and is thinking to stop working for us. This was the same story, I had to hear every day from almost all of them for a month or two after that meeting we had. Any time there was an article against any of them in one of the Iranian papers in Los Angles or a comment in one of the Iranian radio or television’s programs I was expecting to receive few phone calls from them complaining about the situation. They wanted we stand for them and answer back those insults in the same media. At the same time I was under immense pressure from our own supporters as well to have interview with those media and answer all their questions and allegations. Personally as I was in the same atmosphere and could see and feel their logic, I was in total agreements with all of them; but at the same time, I knew perfectly well to persuade our people for us having interview with media for long considered as monarchist, is not an easy job.

 

 

            Back among Iranian

            After many reports of mine eventually the organisation start reacting towards demand of celebrities in responding toward attacks of our foes against them. Our propaganda section arranged for few interviews and programs for our own television and radio programs, which not only solved any problem, but some how create new ones, as gave new excuses to our foes to attack those poor artists even more than before. By then I had major differences with our people in Paris about that issue and how we can overcome it. Eventually they called me to Paris to find a solution for the problem, while already; as usual they had their own conclusions and their own solutions and just wanted to inform me about it. They told me that they think the only problem those celebrities are facing, is financial ones and we had to find a solution for that. They told me that they have reached to this conclusion that they have to set a monthly salary for all of them and in exchange ask them to sing for us in our different meetings for free. Though I could accept that financial problem is part of the problem, but disagreed with them that is the whole problem. The person nominated to solve this problem in Paris was Abrishamchii, when he told me how much they intend to give them monthly, I told him clearly that amount is not enough for them and they will refuse it. After long discussion Abrishamchii told me: “It seems you don’t know anything about our financial situation, how can we afford to give them anything more?!” This was the same accusation, which I had heard before, this time I didn’t stop rejecting their offer and told them that if we insist on that offer we are going to lose all of them. At this point Abrishamchii told me if this is the case, “so be it, as we cannot afford a penny more.” I had nothing more to say about the same subject. Following those meetings we invited all of celebrities who were working with us to Paris and after long discussions with one by one of them we informed them about our offer. As I was guessed none of them agreed with our original offer, though we were forced to increase it in few steps, to make it more acceptable, still two of them left us as they found our offer far from what they needed for having their life as it was before. Back in Los Angles the oldest one of them very well known and respectable Iranian singer to return to his normal life was forced to have interview with an Iranian radio and a television program. In his interview with that radio, as he was badly under attack, he was forced to cry loud, hearing him and later seeing him forced to cry and some how repent for what he had done, was very sad for me, somehow I cried with him too, while I was not able to stop myself hating those people for forcing that respectable Iranian artist to repent and cry, I could not stop blaming the organisation for its wrong judgements and wrong decisions. Few days later I was called from Baghdad, it was Masoud himself. He asked me about him and why didn’t we stop him from having that interview?! He asked me to find him immediately and offer him any amount of salary that he needed. Next day I found him and talked with him for long, but it was too late, he was back to his normal life and was not prepared with any price to return to where he was. I hoped that experience be a good lesson for the organisation, as he originally was asking only thousand dollars more than our offer, and it was refused, now we were ready to offer him any amount and he was not in the situation to accept it any more. A month later the second singer left us too as we were not ready to offer him the right amount he needed to survive without working with other Iranian oppose to us. As problems of other celebrities were not solved either and still they were complaining about insults of Iranian papers and media in Los Angles, eventually in a meeting with Maryam, I persuade her that, the way out of that situation and the way for finding our real support among Iranian is to end our ban on those media. Up to then we only were prepared to talk and have relation with the associations and media fully supportive of us. As mater of fact, according organisation’s view and judgement, whoever was not supportive of us, certainly was supportive of either Iranian regime or monarchists or at least American CIA or British intelligence service. Hence this was quiet a big victory for me to persuade her to let me to start talking with Los Angles Iranian media.

            With the help of one of the celebrities and his wife who were very close to me, I start having meeting with Iranian media. Though previously I was acquaintance with some of them who were more independent and few of them by then were among my good friends, this time my meetings were more for work, rather than getting advice from them. I was very hopeful by answering many questions and more than that rumours of our foes against us in their own media, we can neutralise the poisonous atmosphere existed against us. In my first meeting with owner of one of the Persian television programs, I suggested as we have nothing to be afraid of, let for the first time to have live broadcast so any Iranian in Los Angles can call us and ask any question in any manner they wish. As I was told this was the first time, not only for us but also for any Iranian politician, to appear in live question and answer television program, over there. Not only my masoul and I were very excited and some how worried about this program, but almost all our supporters and especially our celebrities’ friends were excited and worried too. Though by then I had only few meetings with the producer of the program, by now he was as close to me as wanting badly the program goes well with full success. Originally we had plan for only one live program, but as it went very well and we faced warm enthusiasm of people, it changed into three programs, in three consecutive weeks. Each time I wanted to appear there I was accompanied by one of the close celebrities, few of our close supporters, who all kindly wanted to give me encouragement and support.

            I could understand fully their anxiety and even fear. After all for long Iranian media in that city and many Iranian living there were considered as our first-degree foes abroad. Since the revolution and even before that, during the Shah’s era, those people mostly belong to upper class of Iranian society, always had been under influence of harshest propaganda against Mojahedin. During those years Mojahedin not only did any thing to neutralise those propaganda, but with their offensive and sometimes nasty and disgusting actions against any Iranian living there, and later with our unwise and damage full propaganda, intensified that atmosphere too. When for the first time I had my meeting with one of the famous Iranian cinematography, he told me about number of times he had been insulted by our people standing in the streets selling our newspapers, just because of asking the same questions and doubts expressed by media there.

            I personally asked all our supporters not to call the program and let lines be free for our foes and ordinary Iranian to ask their questions. As a result during few hundred-phone calls, which we had during those live programs, except one or two, all were from ordinary Iranian and some who clearly were lobbying for the regime and monarchists. During the program all lines of the television station were engaged. No body was expecting this amount of phone calls, still many more among ordinary Iranian and even our foes were complaining that they tried very hard without any success to call us. Even after the first program every body was talking about total success of the program and start of a big change in the attitude of people toward us. In second program as time was limited, one of the questioner asked me for my personal phone numbers, after I announced my phone number, that night till early morning and days after our phone numbers all the time were busy by phone calls of ordinary people who wanted to talk to me and raise different questions and give different comments about the organisation and the program. I guess during those live programs almost all questions and comments existed against us were raised and were answered. More than answering those questions, as the producer of the program mentioned it, we could portray new image of Mojahedin.

            By then, despite our effort to change our image, as our propaganda was restricted to our one hour weekly television program, full of news and films about our army and our leader. We had no success in our objective. As matter of fact rarely anybody except our own supporters and our foes was bothered to watch our program. Hence for many ordinary Iranian this was the first time; they were seeing a live Mojahed talking to them. I guess the image which they had from Mojahedin in their mind, as it was put to me by my own sister when I met her there after fifteen years, was more a guerrilla type of person with thick moustache, and military dress, rather than an ordinary person like their own relatives.

            As a result of those programs, there were many positive and negative comments in different Iranian media. The most famous Iranian radio there, well known for being oppose to us, had few hours program about our program. Different Iranian media there accused the producer of the program, who had interview with me that his program had been fully in our advantage. He was as much under pressure that had to have few hours interview with one of the intellectuals, a vanguard of those opposing us.

            Our supporters were more than any body else happy about those programs, many of them for days were coming to our office to show their happiness and gratitude, one of them after the first program brought me a suit as a present, to have it in next program, another one brought an expensive cologne as present, many came with flower and sweets. Celebrities close to us were very happy too. One of them who previously was forced by our foes to leave us, told me: “to force my friends and relatives who are against you and many of your foes whom I knew them to see you and hear you, I told them that some thing is wrong with my television and asked them to record your program for me to see.” I guess this was a common problem among all those who were close to us. Almost all of them had a surrounding totally oppose to us. Our supporters too, gradually they had been forced to isolate themselves by restricting their friends to other supporters. Some even had left their relatives and old friends for being with the Mojahedin. Hence for all of them this was new opportunity to have their old friends and relatives back and be accepted by them as a supporter of Mojahedin. Personally I could feel this change of atmosphere too, few times when I had to do some shopping from Iranian shops there, I found their show of respect by refusing to accept money or offering some sweets. In one Iranian restaurant, the owner and employee of the restaurant asked to have a photograph with me. All this changes in my view were as a result of our respect for people, understanding them, and respecting their right to question us and even accuse us in any way they like. In my view our people were thirsty of democracy and could feel it when it was genuinely offered to them.

            It was very strange that after those programs I was receiving different reactions mostly positive from everywhere, but none at all from our own organisation. Our television and radio who were not prepared to leave any comment about us, un-answered, about these interviews and great number of comments about them were completely silent, apparently not knowing what stand should they take. Except after the first program which I saw a positive reaction of my masoul, I saw no more reaction from her. Even whenever I asked her about any criticism she might have had about my responses or reactions to questions, her reaction more than being positive or negative was silence, as she didn’t know what to say. By then I had learned that personal success is the most dangerous things for any body in the organisation. I had seen what had happened to those whom in the past had achieved some personal success, how soon they lost their ranks, their jobs, and were sent to some where else in the organisation far from what they were doing. Once one of the independent member of the NCR told me: “we don’t dare to say anything good about any of your members except your sisters as we know if we do he will be changed and replaced immediately by somebody else completely inexperienced.” Even we were not hiding this fact from ourselves as we had an ideological explanation for it. Our justification was that: “personal success corrupts the person, and make him ideologically vulnerable.” Even for changes, which were coming afterwards, we were praising our leader for his sacrifices, as he was prepared to sacrifice continuation of those achievements for saving the soul of the successful one. Personally I was well aware of this fact and was very cautious not to be marked with any personal. I could not see those interviews as my personal success and was saying to any body who was praising me: “this was a job could be done by any of our members and supporters, if not better, certainly not worse than what I did. The only one who has to be praised is Maryam who let me to have these interviews.” This was my genuine believe, hence, I could not feel any ideological threat toward myself. My only worry was that if organisation thinks otherwise and stops the work, which already had been started, and ruins all my hopes for future of our relation with people and media there. My worry was intensified when I received few phone calls, praising me for what I was doing there, asking me why am I not going to substitute Rajavi with his wrong policies. Later the person who was considered by the organisation as our first journalist foe praised me in a television program. In a Radio program organised to neutralise my interviews, the showman of the program in response to the question of one of his listeners, who asked what was wrong with my speech, said: “nothing was wrong with them, as matter of fact I wished every body in Mojahedin was like him, but the problem is Mr. Rajavi is not any thing like him, as matter of fact he is completely opposite to Mr. Banisadr . . . ” Then he starts repeating his usual criticism against Mojahedin and Rajavi. I knew perfectly well, whatever I do and however hard I try to neutralise the effect of this kind of comments, they will be heard by the organisation and are going to have their implications. As a result I refused to continue the program after three programs, and stopped talking with other television and radio stations for time beings to see and feel the reaction of the organisation first. But however hard I tried; I saw no response from any body. The only criticism I received was not from my masoul, but strangely from one of the brothers in America, strangely as it was very unlikely we criticise each other while we knew whatever we were doing and saying had blessing of our masouls and in my case Maryam herself. He criticised me for one of my responses, when to give a reason for our hate toward Heazbollahies, I said: “I cannot call those people as my brothers when I see their atrocities, for example cutting lip of a lady, just because of wearing a lipstick.” He criticised me for my example, while I could give examples about their atrocities in the prisons. I told him about the difference between atrocities against ordinary people who only want to have their personal freedom and torture of our comrades who knowingly have chosen a direction which they know the end of it is martyrdom and torture. I said: “while the later one might look more horrible than former one, but as the first one is not only against an individual but against freedom of the whole nation, it is more sever than latter one. He had nothing to tell me, obviously he knew my reasoning perfectly well and was agree with me from the start, it was very clear for me that his criticism as usual came from our masoul and not himself. But what was puzzling me was that, why she, herself didn’t criticise me?! One year later I found out the answer of my puzzle.

 

 

            Celebrities a bridge between people and us or as few more Mojahed members.

            On August we announced two news, both of them with a lot of coverage in different Iranian and even international media. The first one was announced by Masoud as an “organisation’s sacrifice” He announced from then on all our offices abroad are changing into offices of the representatives of Maryam as future president of Iran, hence from then on they are not only belonging to Mojahedin but to all Iranian. Further more, he announced if he feels, it is in the interest of the revolution and people, he is prepared to abolish Mojahedin organisation. Well it was years that the organisation by itself was meaningless for us, not only the organisation but also everything else was changing for us into Rajavis (i.e. Masoud and Maryam) and only Rajavis. So abolishment of the organisation for the interest of ‘Revolution and people’, which were equal to Rajavi, was not anything new. Many of our foes interpreted this news as show of internal conflict within the Mojahedin. I guess the second news was more genuine than the first one. It was announced with a photograph by the Associate Press: “23 August 94 – Auvers-sur-oise, Marzieh, once the grand dame of Iranian Music during Shah’s reign, posses with Iranian resistance president elect Maryam Rajavi at her resistance in Auvers-sur-oise, north of Paris. Marzieh 69 vowed Tuesday Aug. 23 never to return to the homeland she left three weeks ago until the hard line clerics who rule it over thrown.” I knew about her intentions to join us months ahead, few months earlier she was introduced to Maryam by Mrs. Matin-Daftary, an independent member of NCR, close friend of Marzieh, I guess by then her mind was made already, she asked to announce her intention in joining us after her return from Iran. As many Iranian, I was in love of her voice, as matter of fact before joining the organisation I had almost complete collection of her songs. But after joining the Mojahedin I destroyed all my collection as we knew her as one of the ‘singers of the Shah’s court’ and along other celebrities of Shah’s era she was rejected by the organisation vehemently.

            When she went back to Iran, everybody in the organisation for one month was so worried if she fulfils her promise and return back to Paris for joining the organisation. Later some of other celebrities close to us, to encourage them to stand against the pressure of our foes, were informed about her intention too. Cleverly one of them suggested that she announce her support for the Organisation not in a meeting with Maryam but in a huge concert abroad, perhaps in Los Angles, where her first concert after the overthrow of Shah, most probably could attract tens of thousands of people.

            I was very much supportive of this idea too, but already mind of the organisation was made about the way of announcement of the news. Their response to Matin-Daftri’s suggestion that news be announced in a press conference was vehemently rejected as well. At that point I could feel a major difference between my attitude toward celebrities and the organisation’s one. By then as all our policies toward celebrities used to be announced and execute by Abrishamchii, I was thinking that my difference is not with the organisation and its leadership but with Abrishamchii and his narrow minded advises.

            The difference was that I along every body else close to us used to believe that we should get help from celebrities for going among people. While the organisation was in search of new well known admirer for the leadership of the organisation, their intention was to take celebrities among us, making them as new Mojahed, instead of using them as some kind of bridge for going among people. I presume if I was able to doubt the organisation by then, I could conclude that eventually their intention is not to be in service of people, but changing people into admirer of Rajavis and in their service.

            Hence choosing between Marzieh taking messages of our resistance among millions of people from one hand or showing her as new admirer of Maryam on the other hand, Mojahedin clearly peaked the latter one. Later she was encouraged to have her first concert after years of silence not for ordinary people, but for Masoud and Mojahedin in Iraq. Singing in front of Masoud, who was listening to her like kings! Later we showed her in another show with a military dress standing on the tanks, singing Mojahedin’s anthem. This kind of shows and show of their videos from our television programs, instead of helping us to get closer to ordinary people, gave impression of Marzieh singing for new ‘Shah’, and separated her from her ordinary admirer. They could see her changed from admiring Shah into admiring Masoud and Maryam. Those who were in love of her singing of Old Iranian love story poems now were seeing her singing military anthem of Mojahedin. This was not acceptable for ordinary Iranian and clearly they who felt she has betrayed them rejected her. As a result, later when she had few concert in different countries, she received fraction of her admirers and each time as usual with baring hug expenses we had to fill her concert saloons with our supporters taken from different countries. Soon she was encouraged to become member of NCR, nominated as advisor of Maryam in ‘art’.

            To force her back to Iran, the regime tried to use her children. Even her son, encouraged by the regime, in one of her concerts tried to talk with her and later called her ‘old woman deceived by Mojahedin’. In response she denied her love for her son and about ‘threat of the regime against her daughter’, said: “even if the regime kills my daughter, I am not going to stop supporting Mojahedin.” Hence once more the differences and hates among Mojahedin and the regime resulted in separation, and even hate among families and close relatives, the repeat of the same story seen by us thousands of times in past fifteen years. In view of everybody Marzieh the diva of Iranian people changed into another Mojahed without any will of her own, or any common love and feelings of ordinary Iranian.

 

Encouraged by Marzieh’s activities and her different speeches in admiration of Maryam, Mojahedin decided to monopolise all celebrities working with us.

            Once in a meeting with one of them, very close to us, I was informed by him about his intention to sing for another political groups to show his free will and his support for us, based on his free will. By then he had accepted the invitation of Feda’ian-Majority, to sing for them. I knew the attitude of the organisation toward Feda’ian very well, they as other political groups not member of NCR were considered as collaborators of the regime, hence I could tell him immediately what the response of the organisation would be. But I hesitated as in pervious year, when I stopped talking with another celebrity when he sang for the same group, I was criticised by Abrishamchii, on behalf of Maryam and later personally he talked with that celebrity and praised him very much, invited him to sing for us. Well I didn’t realise that by then we were badly in need of those celebrities and were ready to sacrifice all our ‘principals’ and pay anything to have them, but not after Marzieh. As Abrishamchii said: “when we have thousand why should we go after one or even tens.” Any way I wrote in my daily report about decision of that celebrity to sing for Feda’ian. As usual that nobody was able to take any position, except leadership, I believe, my report had to go hand to hand to Maryam or Masoud himself in Iraq. Hence after few weeks when it was very close to the concert of that celebrity for Feda’ian, I received urgent phone call from Paris to stop him with any price and tell him, if he sings for them he is not able to sing for us any more. Problem could not be solved as easily as they thought, eventually after trip of him and I to Paris, and spending more than ten thousand dollars for damage of cancellation of that concert, we persuaded him not to sing for that group.

            After this experience, organisation decided to force all celebrities working with us to take clear political position, in first step by refusing to sing for other political groups and later by forcing them to choose between joining the NCR or leaving us all together. Hence story of our work with those celebrities in my view ended very sadly, instead of getting help from them to introduce ourselves to our people as a democratic alternative for Iranian regime, we found few new ‘members’ for our organisation who could sit along others and praise whatever our leaders was deciding and doing.

            In my effort to change attitude of Iranian media there in our advantage and ease the situation for celebrities who were more than ever under attack, I continued to have good relation with many of them. Even once or twice, falsely it was announced that I am going to have interview with the famous radio known as our first foe over there. I had another interview with one of the weekly Persian papers there and eventually I persuaded Maryam to let me to talk and have interview with the most famous Iranian Television program there. I had few meetings with the director of that program and we decided that we organise a long interview for me with one of the Iranian intellectuals working there as presenter of the program. By then I was asked from Paris to ask them to give us the sort of question they are going to ask me. I told them to choose questions in any way they wish; even I insisted that questions should be in a manner that nobody feels that they are in our advantage. I informed Maryam about this matter and gave her my reasons as well. Despite that when I faxed the questions to Paris, in response I received a direction not to go for that interview. Apparently they had reached to this conclusion that the person who was going to interview me was not a friend or even impartial toward us but an enemy. It was decided and whatever I did and said, had no effect in changing their mind. I had to find a proper excuse for not having or postponing that interview. By then I didn’t know, but later I learned that when a decision is made like that, where nobody, not even Maryam can change it, it has only one meaning and that is, ‘it has been made by Masoud himself’.

            Anyway after that decision I was asked to go to Paris. Over there I found Abrishamchii, Jabarzadeh, Towhidi, and Mohadessin, who all were from oldest members of the organisation, acting as advisors of Maryam in different fields all in support of that decision. By then naively I was thinking that those four are responsible for all our wrong policies in different fields. I tried desperately to argue against them, without any success as all of them, one by one were God of ‘talking’ as much as making any body tired of arguing, in their arguing they didn’t need to produce any fact or proper logic, talking and talking and giving slogan against our enemies was more than enough for rejecting any new idea. The only thing they needed to know was: ‘what is Masoud’s position’ about that matter, the rest was easy they were able to find proper ‘logic’ in support of Masoud’s idea. Unfortunately by then while I was trying hard to argue against them, I had no clue that the decision had been made by Masoud, other wise I had enough experience not to waste every body’s time with wasteful logic and reasoning. Anyway after those meetings Maryam called me and asked me to produce a plan for establishing a 24 hours daily Persian radio program for America. She told me: “As we want to have widest listeners possible, this radio should be recognised as politically impartial, only with position of being against Iranian regime.” While I was there I prepared a complete plan for establishing that radio. When I handed my plan to her, she asked me what do I need for start of our work? I told her your blessing and nothing more, except myself, I want full time of myself and help of some of the part time supporters who are not helping the organisation in other fields. She asked me, how am I going to finance that project? I told her: “if we stand by our promise that the radio is going to be politically impartial, I have no problem in financing it as almost all our supporters and many Iranian around us are dreaming for establishment of a radio like that, hence I am sure they are going to help us fully.” She approved my plan and asked my masoul to free me completely for doing that job. Only she asked me as before, to be responsible for celebrities who were working with us.

            In my return I put all my effort and two of close part time supporters time for establishing that radio asked by Maryam. I was facing many problems, which had to be solved. Firstly I had to find well-known people, showmen and show-women, writers, poets, singers, musicians, technicians, who be prepared to work in that radio. Secondly I had to find enough money to begin the work with. Apart from these problems we had to find a radio station to hire and find a way for broadcasting in many states of the United States. But my main worry were not these, but the Mojahedin themselves. By then I had lost most part of my beliefs and trust towards the organisation. I had seen how easily promises are given even by Maryam herself and later been withdrawn simply by a phone call or one page fax. Hence I was very hesitant to sign any contract or give any promises, I wanted more assurances, especially towards the promise given by Maryam about impartiality of that radio. To solve the financial problem we printed a thousand dollars bonds in the name of ‘Iran Zamin Radio’. For few weeks I travelled around the country, talking with many of our supporters and close Iranian to sell them those bonds. Fortunately during those trips, I could collect more than hundred thousand dollars, which was enough for the start of our work. In talking with many supporters I found out they were hesitant to help us as they were seeing those bonds as new trick of the organisation for getting more financial help. Hence according to my estimate later when they could see the work of our radio they were going to help us few times more and perhaps gradually the radio with advertisements could be able to finance itself.

            At the same time parallel to celebrities who already were working with us, I start talking with many new celebrities. In this respect, we were successful as well as we found enough famous people ready to work with us in different field, which we didn’t need any body else. To test the organisation, to see if they are going to keep their words, in all my reports I was overemphasising that those who are going to work with us want and demand their full independence, even they are asking that the director of the radio should be elected by them and not nominated by us. Responses to all my reports were positive, though sometimes they were arguing with me over right of other groups and personalities oppose to us for talking in that radio. After few weeks, we found the radio station we wanted, but before signing any contract, as still I was not sure about final words of Paris, I asked for one-month free trial of radio to find out about its domain and its efficiency. Eventually we start broadcasting twenty-four hour daily music for the test of the radio. During all these works I stood firmly against pressure of our office in Paris for announcement of the start of the work of the radio, or asking those who were going to work with us to resign from their works. Even when the establishment of the radio was announced in other Iranian paper, we showed no reaction toward it and let them to say anything they wished about it.

            Soon I learned how right I was for doubting the organisation about that issue. Some how I felt proud of myself for all my resistance in signing any contract, renting any huge buildings, buying any equipment, or accepting any commitment toward others or forcing those poor celebrities to leave their job and announce their intention for working with us.

 

 

            Bankrupted politics

            On November 1994, eventually after a year of different political activities of us and lobbies of our foes, new report of the American state department about Mojahedin was published. According to this report, similar to previous one, Mojahedin were recognised as a ‘terrorist’ organisation. Hence once more the state department refused to have any contact with us. Though during year before announcement of this report, to make it different, Mojahedin did whatever they could. Including not having any guerrilla activities inside of Iran, having contact with Iraqi’s Kurdish groups who obviously had blessing of the state department. Even for the first time having contact with Israelis, which was announced in their radio, and later in Iranian papers, though for obvious reason was denied by the Mojahedin. To show that we have changed from hot-blooded revolutionaries into moderate and democratic force, different policies, including our tendency toward Nationalism, closure of Mojahedin’s offices, . . . were employed. Still against all these measures, we could not change the mind of the state department toward the organisation. Their facts about our terrorist activities was not based on pervious year’s activities but year before that. They didn’t buy our moderation as a sign of our tendency toward democracy as they could see no change in our attitude towards other political groups. Change of names and faces in the organisation, even electing Maryam as future president, didn’t help us to whitewash our past history as long as Masoud was the sole ideological leadership of the organisation and the ‘resistance’.

            That report was great blow to Mojahedin, as for years, with production of hundreds of signatures of supports from members of the congress, ‘letter’ from the president of the United States, his ‘photograph’ with our so called ‘foreign minister’, the organisation tried hard to prove to every body, more than any body to Iraqi’s that, we have full support of American in any fight against the Iranian regime, while now with the publication of that report, we were officially called as a ‘terrorist organisation’ by American.

            One could clearly see with publication of that report there was an end to our hope for permission of Iraqis for letting us to cross the border and move toward Iran with all our armaments. After all how could they give such a permission to us, as long as any failure like one previously we had in 1988, could not internationally, interpreted in any other way except as new incursion of ‘Iraqis’ against Iran. Not only it could result new war between strong internationally supported Iran and weak isolated Iraq, but after the Gulf war, certainly it could bring international condemnation for Iraqis and perhaps invasion of their country by American and British, hence change of government there.

 

 

            Members, the main asset, the main worry

            Of course American support for us could significantly change every thing, and this was why Masoud was so keen to have it. To achieve it, not only he sent Maryam to the west, but with her, many more Mojahedin’s members. By then not only he had not been able to achieve his goal, but also the organisation was perhaps for the first time, seriously facing internal problem.

            Though for years we were witness of alteration in different area within the organisation, including ‘solid principals’ of Mojahedin’s foundation, but within pervious two years we could see more changes in the Mojahedin’s attitudes toward different issues than whole history of the organisation. Well as every new policy or changes in the organisation was going to be called as achievements, the mentioned fact was later put in these words by Abrishamchii, he said: “during previous years we had more achievements than past twenty years.” This changes mostly with moderate or even liberal nature, however sham and superficial, though were aimed to deceive people outside of the organisation, they had serious affects on the members of the organisation, especially those sent to Europe and America for implementing them.

            The organisation was not able to categorise words of Maryam, for outside and inside of the organisation, hence when she was talking about any subject, it had more effect on us rather than those who were not supporters of Mojahedin even if they could or wanted to hear them. For example, in her interview with weekly Iran-Zamin’s editor, Hezarkhani, she said: “for us freedom is not merely a legal issue; it is an ideological and cultural issue.” She added: “Our movement could not have survived without a profound commitment to democracy and a willingness to pay the price.” Well for us at that juncture, her words didn’t mean anything if we were not able to show them in our action, which by then could be materialised in our attitude towards newly, established associations and our supporters. Hence for many who were responsible in dealing with supporters it was a very difficult task to follow Maryam’s words of democracy, which supposed to be ‘ideological’ one, in one hand and obey contradictory organisational orders on the other hand. In the same interview she praised Iranian living outside of the country. Again these kinds of words and seeing her humble attitude towards Iranian artists and specialists, as for us she was as she was without any disguise or trick, didn’t mean anything except showing the same genuine respect and interest, even love toward our countrymen and women especially specialists and artists. This was contradictory to old saying and believes that they are ‘ordinary’ people, inferior to us, the ones, which we had to be afraid of becoming like them. As a result rarely we were criticised or criticising each other by ‘insult’ of ‘ordinary’.

            From one hand the organisation was trying very hard to prove not only to others but also even to the organisation’s members, how honest Maryam is with her words, and how genuine are her actions and her promises mostly with democratic and liberal nature. On the other hand they wanted to hold Mojahedin’s members within Iron bars of old believes of the organisation, and were asking members to be steal hardened Mojahed with no tendency and emotions what so ever toward outside world. Perhaps if they were honest enough with us and were saying to us, as members of the organisation, that message of ‘love’ of Maryam for everybody, or her love and admiration for our national values and traditions, democracy and freedom, her respect for our celebrities and our culture all are sham and are part of our political tricks for forwarding our goals, they could save us from confusions and wanderings most of us were facing. Though by then they could risk, losing some of us, who joined Mojahedin and stayed with them against any hardships just for their honesty and trust.

            By then many members especially male ones had established very close and friendly relation with our supporters and even ordinary Iranian. Though this was the way for showing Maryam’s words in real world, and advancement of her objectives, at the same time it was very ‘dangerous’ for members as they were finding ordinary tendencies.

            This was the contradiction which the organisation had no solution for it. In their first move they tried to separate supporters, even full time supporters from members as much as possible, first by separating their bases, and later by asking supporters to arrange for their own accommodation. I.e. leaving our bases. Though some of them did what they were asked to do quietly, but in many cases this new order create a lot of problems, among supporters and later forced the organisation to withdraw it and pretend that it was a local decision every where. After failure of separating us from supporters, they tried to organise weekly self-criticism meetings, to stand against effect of outside world on us.

            In one of those meetings in America, where only brothers were under scrutiny, though some of the male members by encouragement of our masoul start attacking each other, their attacks and criticisms were not as strong as our masoul was hoped to see. When one of our brothers, very old member of the organisation, pervious commander of one of the NLA’s Brigades, asked to stand up and criticise himself, his self-criticism and criticise of others against him was not half as harsh as our masoul wanted they be. By then some of brothers including him, though ideologically and organisationally were under responsibility of our sisters, in their work, they were under my advice and were following my instructions in dealing with the outside world. Hence our masoul at this point faced me and said: “well Masoud, you are highest ranking brother here and responsible for many activities of him, do you have anything to say about him?” I had honesty nothing against him, as matter of fact he was one of the finest in his job, he had been able to establish a very good relation with our supporters in cities he was responsible of. Hence I mentioned this fact and told her that I have nothing to say against him. This was a blow for her and made her very angry, so she said: “well no wonder you have nothing against him as he is following your order, and I presume you are his teacher?!” Well it was very embarrassing for me to be called as his teacher while he was older and more experienced than me and certainly our masoul. Any way after that she said: “yes I think it is wrong to criticise him while first every body had to talk against you and criticise you.” Then she asked everybody if they have anything to say against me. During those days rarely I could be seen in our base, always I had to go to different cities, many times to Paris for attending different meetings, even when I was there, all the time I was in my office, talking with our supporters, Iranian and celebrities, so rarely other members could see me as often as having anything to say against me, the only thing they knew about me was how hard I am working to pursue Maryam’s wishes. As a result except my own self-criticism, she faced silence of almost everybody else. Perhaps this was the worst thing that could happen, which forced her to end the meeting.

            After that meeting she called me to her office and asked me why didn’t I say anything against that poor guy?! I told her: “because, I had nothing against him,” she gave me few facts, I rejected one by one of them and reminded her that all of them had been according to Maryam’s messages and speeches. Then she said: “Hence you have nothing against him but against his masoul, who is not happy with him?” I said: “Perhaps so, as I can see, she is not letting him to do his job as good as he can. She is very young and inexperienced, not even able to communicate with our supporters and understand their problems. She is forcing him to ask things from our supporters which could not be done. Not in that way, any way.” My masoul asked me to write a report about her and other female masouls responsible of other brothers in other cities and states. I never wrote that report, as I knew those poor sisters were not responsible of whatever they were doing too. Their only problem was that they were following the orders without any reservation, adjustments or alteration.

            Later when I left the organisation I learned how some of those sisters were under pressure too, I learned during those days few of them in America and even one of them responsible for one of the European countries left the organisation, though no body was let to learn about them.

            Perhaps realising the existing contradictions between Maryam’s words for political objectives and their affects on members of the organisation was the main reason for Masoud’s decisions came one after another one in following months. Once I was called by my masoul, she handed me a small package and told me this is a present from Masoud for you. This was his second present except portrays of Maryam given to us every New Year. His first present for me was one of his under-shirts, which at the time was very valuable for me. When I opened his new present, I found inside of it a small ‘Mohr’ a piece of holly clay for pray, with that there was a small note from Masoud, saying: “never forget your morning pray!” After few days, in day of ‘Ashorra’ when I entered into our base in Los Angles, by then called: ‘office of the representative of the president’ supposed to be open to all Iranian without any sign from Mojahedin, I found myself among different type of black flags and black writings on the walls. Obviously everything was prepared for respect of Ashorra in the same manner that was custom in Iran among Shia’a traditionalists. Later we had full ceremony of the event in the ‘office’, including beating ourselves, putting pages of Quran on our head and turning off the lights, staying in that position for hours . . . Before start of the ceremony, by seeing those flags, I went straight to our masoul’s office and asked her about those writings and flags, I reminded her that our base is not Mojahedin’s base any more, while even during previous years we never had those kind of decoration during Ashorra. She told me the order was from Masoud himself for respecting the Ashorra in full force. Though since previous year we were surprised seeing those ceremonies in Iraq in our military bases, that was the first time we had to follow them in Europe and America.

            Long before, self beating either by hand or chain, sometimes with swords in Ashorra for reminding ourselves to what was happened to Imam Hussein fourteen hundred years ago, was condemned by many Moslem and even Shia’a intellectuals including Shari’ati, as an export of middle age European Christians to Iran, completely contradictory with Islamic beliefs. As according to Islamic belief, martyrdom of a person is a happy event not a sorrow and sad one. Even among Mojahedin we were considering those kinds of ceremonies as fanatic and an instrument for deceiving ordinary people. Hence many of us, members and supporters were fully surprised by seeing them to be enforced among us. But I guess by enforcing ‘Islamic’ ceremonies in most fanatic form and insisting in observation of them by us, Masoud wanted to break our tendencies toward ‘Liberalism’ and ‘Moderation’. Neutralise or white wash the affects of raise of ‘nationalism’ among members and supporters. Following these policies there were few other changes too, including putting the record of ‘AZAN’ with loudest voice in morning and noon time in all bases for members to prepare themselves for the ‘pray’. Later they asked Marzieh to sing new AZAN. Perhaps by doing that they wanted to show to every body including us that there is no contradiction between new policies of Mojahedin and full observation of ‘Islamic traditions’.

            On November 1994 Iranian revolutionary guards attacked one of our military bases in Iraq with three Squad B missiles, it was after another attack of the guards by mortar shell in pervious month against Ashraf base in Iraq. Rajavi interpreted both incidents as consequences of the American report against Mojahedin. By then, we failed to gain American support, but also in France we were not able to gain any kind of recognition; French government cancelled even Marzieh’s concert in Paris, because of its political nature. Masoud who could see no more use for stay of many Mojahedin outside of Mojahedin’s bases in Iraq, and could feel strongly that many of them might follow some who already had left the organisation, with excuse of those attacks and prediction of near future final war between the regime and Mojahedin, asked all members and supporters who could fight, except those who were chosen to stay in the west return to Iraq as soon as possible.

            Following Masoud’s message printed in the last issue of weekly Mojahed, many members mainly male ones left our bases in European and American countries for Iraq. As before many of our bases in different cities and smaller countries were closed, many masouls replaced with lower ranking ones in different countries, many activities including publication of weekly Mojahed were stopped.

            Few weeks later I was called back to Paris for receiving new direction for my activities in America. While I was there I found out that many of our recent ‘liberal’ policies towards other Iranian has changed immensely. Maryam’s attitude towards the radio I was supposed to establish in America was changed completely. I was told that the radio cannot have neutral policy toward different people oppose to Iranian regime and has to be introduced as an organ, supportive of NCR. I told them that in this case we cannot have the radio as many who are going to work with us, are not prepared to do so and those who had given financial support to us will stop supporting us, as they wanted to support an independent radio.

            During these arguments as before I had to face four guys who were recognised as advisors of Maryam in different issues, Jabarzadeh, in our policies towards other Iranian groups. Mohadessin, in our diplomatic and foreign policies. Towhidi, in our publications and propaganda matters. And eventually Abrishamchii (nick named Sharif) in almost any subject. By then I had strong feeling against them, as matter of fact, my feeling was that those four guys, which I wished to call them ‘Gang of four’, are responsible for all our failure in different policies, our damage full propaganda, our diplomacy which was completely sham, our policy towards Iranian, celebrities, and other Iranian organisations.

            In those meetings I was accused that I want to create a radio, only beneficial to Monarchist and ‘political leech’ (the organisation’s name for other Iranian political organisations and personalities). On the contrary in my view by letting every body to talk in that radio, no body could do anything against us, as always we could answer them back, hence neutralising their poisonous propaganda against ourselves, while at the same time showing the democracy we were hopping to establish in the future of our country. Their argument as usual was that we cannot leave ‘Sheep alone with wolves’. I never could understand this logic as neither I could see our people as sheep, nor all those who were not agree with us politically as wolves. After all who was going to leave people alone, we were there and could say our point of views in any subject as well as those who were against us. My strong feeling as before was that those guys, still are living in the past, in the Shah’s era, and are horrified of the Monarchist, while in my view not only Monarchist were not able to do anything against us, but certainly with right policies, we even were able to attract many of them who were in favour of any kind of democracy and nationalism.

            In my last meeting with Maryam about that subject, she said: “OK apparently we cannot have the radio, so return the money to those who gave it to you and apologise, tell them, we cannot have the radio as we are preparing ourselves for final battle with the regime.” I smiled and told her: “I am afraid there is no money to return, as my masoul has given all of it for our debt to those who lent us money for our previous demonstration.” She showed her astonishment and asked me: “why did she do that? Now how are we going to return that money? We are going to lose our prestige and respect!” I told her: “Any way if she was not returning those money which we did owe to people we could lose our respect and prestige all the same!” She laughed and said you are right and asked me if I have any suggestion for sorting out our financial problem in America. I told her: “I see no alternative except establishing few companies with help of our supporters and doing business. This is the only way we can have a secured income each month.” She asked me to write my plan for establishing few commercial companies, which I did and as in none of them we did need any money or personal, they all immediately were accepted, and I was told to return and put all my efforts for their establishments.

            To lend us any money rarely any of our supporters were accepting the organisation’s promises, so were asking for my personal assurances. As a result I could personally feel responsible for all our debts for our pervious demonstration and money which was paid to us for establishing the radio, hence after my return to America, most of the times I was travelling to different cities for gaining new financial help to pay back our debts. By then I had lost all my hopes for the organisation, my mind was made that as long as those ‘gang of four’ are advisors of Maryam, there is no hope for the establishments of proper relation between us and ordinary Iranian. In my view with proper relation with our people we were able to solve all different problems we had. Not only we could solve our financial problems, and could establish new relation with our people inside Iran, but even I believed with their help we could solve our difference with American.

            I believed the main opposition of the state department against us despite to what usually was claimed by the organisation had nothing to do with our past history. What Mojahedin did during Shah’s era against American or Mojahedin’s policy toward ‘hostages in Iran’, but was mainly due to present policies and activities of the organisation. Our claim that those who are making American policies toward us are those who made similar policy against Mossadeq or were favouring Shah in his era was very unrealistic as well. I believed the main concern of American was that we don’t have support of not only majority of Iranian but not even fraction of them. Moving few thousand supporters from one city or country to another city or country for having impressing demonstration or gathering, though could fool our own supporters or even some politician sympathetic to us, but certainly could not impress governments who had all the facts, sometimes knowing those participating in our gatherings by name and address. Hence having new faces among our supporters and having genuine gatherings with real number of participants in different cities and countries could imply that our new policies are genuine and are working. Then, though still they might not be able to condone our guerrilla activities, while they were vehemently condemning terrorist activities everywhere, at least they could ignore them. They could even ignore our policies towards other political activists and consider us as a democratic force. Any way in my view none of these could occur while we were insisting in having our old fashion policies mainly from Shah’s era. Hence by then while still I was responsible to work with Iranian celebrities and had some contact with the Iranian media, my main concern was to keep my own personal obligations and find enough money to pay back the debts, which we had.

 

 

            My first real ‘No’

            Once while I was preparing myself to pay back the last debt I had taken for the organisation, I was ordered by my masoul to stop paying that. Unfortunately as before, when the organisation was planning to do something new, it was ignoring easily its previous commitments. I guess by then they were refurbishing Maryam’s home in Paris, to make it more appropriate for future president of Iran. Some times before that I was told by my masoul that they had little fire accident in that house and have to refurbish the building, they asked me to contact our supporters, and without mentioning the whole fact, ask them for help. By then I was very upset of the accident and tried to call whoever I could, even I became angry with few of them who were very close to me and didn’t help us as much as we expected. But gradually I felt that was another financial trick, this time against us, to use our feelings for Maryam for forcing us to do everything for gaining some financial support. Any way, their order for all branches in different countries was to stop spending or paying any debt till further notice. I knew perfectly well if I don’t pay that debt by then, I am not going to be able to pay it in near future, hence for the first time in my organisational life, I stood against my masoul and while I was on the edge of crying from desperation and anger, told her that I am not going to accept that order unless I get the straight order from Maryam herself, as I was ordered by her to pay back all the debts. Obviously she was very surprised and asked me to go to my office and wait for her instruction. I told her that I have made appointment with the guy who we owe him the money and if by then I don’t receive any instruction, I am going to pay him.

            Till due time I called my masoul several times, asking if she has had any response from Paris? During those hours, I could see that I am losing all remainder of my faith in the organisation. I was alone in the office, I did some dusting, sweep all three rooms which we had in our office, watered few flowerpots I had. Though I answered few phone calls, generally I was not able to do anything. I was angry, sad, desperate, worried, even I could hear my own heart beatings, for the first time to save myself from that situation, I switched on the television, from my good or bad luck, there was a movie, ‘Hercules and Amazons women’, story of Amazon women who were exploiting men in neighbouring village and every now and then killing many of them. Perhaps it was funny and sad at the same time, but by then I could feel myself as one of those poor men who had to face illogical behaviour of those women. By the end of that film, it was due time and as I didn’t receive any instruction from Paris, I had to make my mind. Eventually I made my mind and paid the money. Then I called my masoul and informed her about my action. Obviously she was very angry, but more than angry she was surprised as never was expecting me to behave like that. She preferred not to say anything and wait for instruction from Paris. Even next day when she wanted to show her anger she made another excuse for criticising me, she showed me a tape left in my car, with songs of few Iranian singers, and asked me if I am enjoying those songs and why do I have that tape, I told her: “I am sure you are aware that part of my responsibility here is dealing with Iranian singers and knowing their work is part of my job.” With her silence she showed her regret for taking that tape from my car and her accusation, but after few seconds, asked me why didn’t I inform her about missing of that tape, then she start criticising me that somebody else might had taken that tape and were playing it in our base.

 

 

            Start of an end

            While later I received very light criticise for not obeying my masoul’s order in that incident, but obviously nobody was prepared to criticise me as strongly as they should. After all they could not criticise me for acting according to the straight order of my ideological leader (Maryam). Though that incident past and soon was forgotten by every body, but obviously it was a turning point in my relation with the organisation, some how that day I was changed and gradually I start to take distance from the organisation.

            During those days I didn’t have much to do, my main job was to have contact with celebrities who were working with us, pay their monthly salary, answer their questions, inform them about political events, and every now and then have a friendly lunch or dinner with them. Apart from that I was having regular contact with other celebrities and people in media, though by then, personally I could see no use in what I was doing, as I could see no changes in attitude of the organisation.

            Day by day, more and more, I was losing my faith and trust in organisation. With losing the trust, which was my main tie with Mojahedin, all my hopes, desires, for the future, freedom and prosperity of Iran were vanishing. Many days, for hours I was sitting alone in my office, silenced, without doing anything, not even being able to think properly, sometimes watching the corner of the room for long time. Usually my masoul didn’t need to tell me what to do, as always my past masouls were confident that if they leave me alone, I am not going to stop working, even if there was nothing to do, I could find something useful to do. Hence as before, she was not asking me what am I doing or where am I going, she was confident that whatever I am doing is going to be fruitful soon. Sometimes I used to receive different orders from Paris for doing different things. Now I was ignoring most of them, as I knew soon they would change it or forget about it. Gradually I could feel as a stranger among people working with. Though I was sharing news, information, even new jokes and laughs with them, but obviously, I could see that my heart is not with them any more. By then any new problem I was facing, could be magnified few times more in my mind, I could see, that unlike past, I am not able to take things easy and make them simple and easy to solve. Once one of the celebrities who was helping us in our television productions came to me with many problems, his problems were from last demonstration we had till then. He was complaining that experience doesn’t have any meaning and value, in our organisation. Apparently the sister, responsible of our propaganda, had told him how to take film in the demonstration, while he was winner of many international trophies in that area. While he was feeling desperate to help us, no body was taking his advises seriously. He was complaining about waste of money in our system, and was telling me that: “I know how difficult it is for you to earn any money, but I am puzzled why you spend it so easily, without any programming, as a result you are wasting most of whatever you earn.”

            The only visitors I had in my office were those who were working with us and were not satisfied or paid accordingly or our supporters who had problem with the organisation and wanted to complain to somebody. Whatever they were telling me, were not new for me, for each complain they had, I knew many more in the same line. If in the past I was able to find some excuse for those wrong doings, most of the times taking the blame on myself as the representative of the NCR in America, by then I was not able to find an answer for their complain any more, even I was not able to promise them that those problems are going to be solved in the future. In the past they were considering me in charge of everything as I had the title of the representative of the NCR, they liked me and used to trust me, they were confident that things they are telling me are going to be solved. But by then, they could feel and see that I am separating myself from the different works and could see that I am not in charge. Hence many times by complaining to me they were not seeking any solution, they wanted to empty themselves and find somebody who was prepared to listen to them.

            By then my only interest was to do my little remaining job without any difficulty and as smoothly as possible. I was accepting all wrong doings of the organisation as facts of life, which could not be changed; hence I was trying to find my own solutions to limit the effect of their mistakes and wrong doings on whatever I was doing. For example I knew that for paying the salary of different people who were working for us, the organisation always is late, and usually there are many postponing for different reason. Usually any small decision on the top could affect everything, first of all financial matters.

            Some how I managed to become one month ahead of paying date of Bills, which I was responsible for. As a result whenever the organisation had a delay in paying its commitments, which simply was always, sometimes up to one month late, while I was calling my masoul several times for payment, but their delay had no effect at all on people whom I had to pay to, as already they had been paid by me. I can say by then I was not thinking any more how to solve problems we were going to face, but with knowing the organisation, I was predicting their wrong doings in the future and was trying to find a solution for them to reduce their affects on my own job. Once again, I was told to establish new relation with younger celebrities who could help us to have some connection with younger generation, they told me to give them any promise they ask for. By then I had enough experience, not to become fool enough to do what they were asking me to do, Hence while I established a good relation with many younger Iranian celebrities, I avoid to give them any promises. In matter of weeks I received a direction to stop having contact with them, as the organisation because of moral code cannot work with the younger generation of artists and celebrities. For me it was funny, but fully predictable, that while we were talking a lot about freedom of women and importance of celebrities and artists, criticising the regime for restricting them to its own ideology, The organisation itself was not able to tolerate the way they used to dress or sing or dance. I was so happy for not giving single of those promises to any of them, in this way I saved a lot of headache for myself and many problems and disturbances for those people, though at the same time helped the organisation as well.

 

 

            Facing an illusion

            During those days, while I could feel useless and could see that all the time I am wasting my time without doing anything useful still compare to many people in the organisation, I had many sensitive responsibilities, and was considered as one of the busiest and successful ones. After all while others were struggling as before to fill the holes made by themselves according usual orders, by ignoring orders I knew soon are going to be reversed, I was saving a lot of time, energy and money, just for not doing anything in many occasions.

            Always I was very hesitant to think about my own family, each time I was thinking about them and their suffering, immediately by comparing their situation with the situation of millions of people living in worst conditions, were feeling ashamed of myself. I knew loving them, while all our love had to be given to our leaders were forbidden, but I never stopped loving them and by then more often I was thinking that, was I right to leave them and deprive them from having a normal and happy life? In the past I could justify my decision by arguing that I am responsible for putting an end to the suffering of the people. As an Iranian I am responsible for helping my people for having freedom and prosper life. And as a father more than anything else I had to give my children a free homeland, where they could live freely and happily. But was I able to argue as before? While, daily I could feel that I am wasting my time, and could see no improvement and forwarding in whatever we were doing. Hence I felt I had to do something to save the organisation and myself from that misery. During those days still I was thinking that the root of problems is in the people who are advising Maryam, namely those ‘gang of four’. I knew while I am a member of the organisation, restricted by its rules, I am not able to stand against them and say whatever I feel and think is right, hence I decided to leave the organisation for a month and think far from the relations which were stopping me to think freely, and write a long and documented report for Maryam and wait for her response. If either she reacts favourably to my report or proves to me that I am wrong, I return to the organisation and accept the consequences. But if I receive no response at all, I take that as something that is wrong with the leadership itself and I leave the organisation for good.

            A year before that, by luck I found my closest, old friend from high school, Farzad, who was living alone in north California. Any time I was there, I was seeing him. For the first time it was difficult for him and his family to accept me as a new person, different from what I was in the past, but by then, I had been accepted by them as I was, and perhaps because of me he had found some interest in following Mojahedin’s activities as well. I felt perhaps I could go and stay with him while I am thinking and writing my report. For sometimes one of the physician, supporter of us was complaining about my health situation to the organisation and they were asking me to have few medical checkups, but as they were very expensive in America, I was postponing it to the future, when I return to Europe or Iraq. By then I found it a very good excuse to say that I am going to see my brother who was a physician in North California, to have a checkups in his hospital. Well it was very welcomed by the organisation as it was free, and at the same time they asked me to talk with my brother perhaps he can help the organisation as well.

            I took everything dear to me and could remind me about good old days in the organisation, and moved toward Farzad’s house. But soon after leaving the office, driving toward north of California, I found how much emotionally I am attached to the organisation, especially Maryam herself, as my true leader. From one hand I could see that I am not able to carry on as before, but on the other hand, lying to the organisation which I loved so much and gave up everything to see its success in bringing justice to our homeland, was not easy at all. I didn’t say anything to Farzad about my intention. He didn’t guess anything as well, as he asked me about my work, especially about Marzieh who we both loved her voice when we were younger. I showed him few new videotapes of Marzieh I had with myself. For next day or two I was with him, gradually I felt, still I am to attached to the organisation to be able to leave it. I saw, I have no alternative, even if I see anything wrong, and want to change it; I have to do it from within. I had to find enough courage to stand against those people whom I was thinking are barrier in front of progress of the organisation and talk with Maryam or even Masoud himself, and find my answer from them. I didn’t stay with Farzad any more. In my return to Los Angles, I became very happy when I found out that I have to go to Paris next day. In my way to Paris, in Frankfurt airport, I met few members of the organisation and NCR who were going to Baghdad to see Masoud, apparently he wanted to see them to give them new advises. I found it a very good opportunity for myself to go with them and see Masoud himself, to tell him, things I had in my heart. I called Paris begging them to let me to go with other members to Baghdad. After few hours delay, I received negative answer, I was told that they want to see me urgently for our work, and asked me to go to Paris as soon as possible.

            In Paris for almost a week, we had usual meetings, discussion about celebrities who were working with us and plan for their future concerts in different countries. Few times I asked to see Maryam, each time I found out she is too busy by her political meetings. After a week those who were gone to Iraq were returned and I was asked to see Reza’i, who was among those who went to Iraq, to receive the latest information and advises of Masoud.

            The most important thing he told me was the analysis of the situation and our relation with people. He told me according to Masoud’s interpretation, “Whatever we do, we are not able to attract any more people toward ourselves, not in Iran and certainly not in America and Europe.” “People are not prepared to go for another revolution at least for next fifty years, hence the only tool we have against the regime, is NLA, and final battle is between NLA and the Iranian revolutionary Guards, the battle which decides about the future of Iran and perhaps the whole Middle East.” Apparently Masoud in response to demand of those who were supportive of continuation of our activities abroad for gaining more support among Iranian, had told them: “Forget about gaining support of tens of thousands of Iranian abroad, if you prove to me that you are able to gain support of only few thousand more Iranian abroad, I am prepared to send half of NLA personal for helping you and half of the budget of NLA for supporting you financially.”

            With these words suddenly everything became crystal clear for me. Immediately I concluded many things by then a mystery for me and for long I was interpreting them differently, sometimes completely opposite to what was the reality. First and most of all, I found out that for long I was pursuing wrong objective which had nothing to do with the objectives of our leader. It seemed gaining new support among Iranian never had been one of the objectives of Masoud. Perhaps this was the main reason why he was not worried about losing public support after ‘ideological revolution in 1985’ or moving to Iraq; or many other decisions he made, considered by many as unpopular among Iranian. Including policies of our propaganda section, which was not made for gaining new support among ordinary Iranian, but for showing our strength to everybody in different field, perhaps mostly to our own supporters for keeping them as supporter and next to them to our foes for stopping them for making any kind of alliance against us.

            I felt how wrong I was by putting blames on those poor four advisors of Maryam, while in reality they only were her advisors as they could understand Masoud better and could stop her to act or do anything against wishes of Masoud. I found out for Masoud only NLA itself was real and the rest, different instruments for getting closer to his objectives. He needed our supporters abroad for earning money and gaining superficial support of western politician. He knew very well, we never can gain real American and European support as long as we could not change ourselves and become more open and democratic. But their real support never had been his objective as long as he could pretend that he has their support, as it was good enough for having Iraqis support which was essential for existence of NLA.

            Suddenly I felt I had lost all my arguments, I had Notting to prove as there was no problem left to be solved. I was told that Maryam is going to see me the night before the day, which I had to leave Paris for America. I didn’t sleep that night, waiting for Maryam to call me, by the morning I found out that she had been so busy, which couldn’t see me and by then I had no time and had to leave. I was not regretting for not seeing her, as I had nothing more to tell her. Perhaps the only thing I wanted to say was a self criticise for my past few months and the decisions I had made. In my long journey back to America, I had plenty things to think of. Still Maryam and Masoud were my leaders and the ‘reality’ was the things, which they used to tell me, everything else was sham and unreal, or even unjust. Once more to become more Mojahed or Masoud like, I had to kill another part of my own individuality, my way of understanding and thinking.

            In the plane I fall sleep immediately, as I didn’t have asleep for almost two days, or perhaps because of tens of hours of thinking. When I woke up, a very kind, black old woman sitting next to me, with kindness gave me few things to eat and drink and told me: “I kept every thing which was in offer for you as I knew when you wake up, you should be very hungry, I felt it is not only sleep you needed.” Suddenly I felt I want to hug that old lady and cry very hard, it was for very long time I had not received any ordinary kindness from an ordinary person, for us everything was black and white, white were inside of the organisation and blacks outside. Yes that old lady was black but I felt her heart was whiter than heart of many of us in the organisation. I was moved greatly by her kindness and later had to write a long report criticising myself for showing that much weakness facing an ordinary kindness. A clear sign of changing from a Mojahed into an ordinary man with need and desires of an ordinary human being.

 

 

            ‘Article F’

            My stay in America didn’t last long as I was changed completely, I was not able to think properly, act correctly, or smile realistically, the only thing I could do right was being silence and cry whenever I could. I didn’t know any more what is right or wrong, what is real or sham. My mistake was that I was thinking that this was only me who was in that state of mind, while later I learned many, perhaps almost everybody except few sisters on the top and of course except the leadership of the organisation were more or less in the same state of mind and were as confused and desperate as me. To take back everybody in ‘right’ track organisation needed another ideological revolution, a revolution much deeper, harsher, harder, longer, with more misery than any other one in the past. It had already been started in Paris among our members and by new Iranian year, on March 1995 I was asked to go to Paris to attend the Ideological revolution meetings.

            In Paris, I was asked to go to one of the bases designated for those who were going through the ideological revolution. It was an old French house, newly, partly refurbished, hence it didn’t have many basic facilities, still there were almost at each time twenty to thirty people living there. Immediately after entering to that house, seeing those who were there, I realised what, during next few days or weeks should I expect for. Where I was wrong, was that it was going to be much longer than what I imagined. For all it took months to pass through this stage of the revolution, and for many years, and for some, I presume, never. In that house, as it was expected, there was no laughing and if there was any, it was as artificial and superficial as it could be recognised immediately. Rarely there was any talking between people, and nobody dared to share his misery and hardship with others. There were few rooms, in each one of them, a videotape sermons of Maryam in different Ideological Meetings were shown. They were classified and one had to start from the first one and then go to next rooms for seeing the other ones. A part from these rooms there was another larger room for people who wanted to write their Ideological report, and a room for brothers to rest in nighttime. Obviously sisters had their rest in another house close to that house. There were two brothers always hanging around the rest room, very sad, silenced, most of the time sleepy. Soon I found out those poor guys have finished seeing those videotapes, but are not prepared to go through the revolution. In another word both were ‘Borida’ and were waiting for the organisation to decide about their destiny.

 

 

            Self-Divorce - ‘Fardiat’

            The title of this stage of ‘ideological revolution’ was fight, war or struggle against ‘Fardiat’. Fardiat is an Iranian term, which I think only within eastern philosophy, has its full meaning. It has all the meaning from ‘Individualism’ and ‘Egoism’, till the most natural instinct and esteems, like self-confidence, self-sufficiency, self-esteem, self-support and self-love. One, who has ‘Fardiat’, can be very aggressive, arrogant, bully, proud type of person, or completely opposite, very modest, friendly and peaceful, humane and even shy and silence type of person. What decides whose ‘Fardiat’ is stronger or weaker, all depends to the amount of his or her ‘self-esteem’, ‘self-sufficiency’, ‘self-confidence’, ‘self-assertive’, ‘self-centred’, . . .

            According to Mojahedin’s ideology, one has to get rid of all these adjectives and replace all of them with the love for ‘God’ through the leadership. He or she has to receive all his or her confidence, esteem, and sufficiency, from the leader. They have to be dependent on him and only him. Love him and only him. One should not be, neither aggressive nor peaceful, neither arrogant and bully, nor friendly and shy, neither proud of himself, nor modest. Instead of all this a Mojahed has to be in love of leadership, namely Masoud and Maryam, be proud of them, defend them like a bull, fight for their right with all their might, be kind, modest, friendly, even shy toward leadership’s friends and those who love them, and opposite to that be proud, aggressive, arrogant against those who are their foes. In simple word a Mojahed has to divorce not only all different things which an ordinary individual might love or like in a normal life, including family, friends, even life itself, but he or she has to divorce himself or herself, not to have any love for his or her beings. Hence a Mojahed after divorcing everybody and everything, had to go through the stage of ‘Self Divorce’ (TALLAGH KHOOD).

            According to Maryam’s sermon, the sole objective of all different stages of the ideological revolution was to enable us to go through this stage. While the objectives of articles ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘J’ of the ‘ideological revolution’, was enable us to divorce the ‘Jensieat’, (Sexuality,) and to prepare the ground for the Ideological acceptance of articles ‘D’, (ideological superiority of women over men), ‘Sh’, (ideological acceptance of the leadership council consisted of only women), and ‘R’, (ideological acceptance of Maryam as the sole future president of Iran). These latter articles were supposed to prepare the ground for article ‘F’ stands for ‘Fardiat’. She said, while we did accept, ‘D’, ‘Sh’, and ‘R’, as organisational orders, but we didn’t go through them ideologically. She said none of us did stand by our commitment toward article ‘A’, which according to that we had to be united with her in every seconds of our life. (I.e. to confess, and self criticise weekly, even daily and hourly to her for our mistakes, wrong doings, non-ideological thinking, emotions, wishes and hopes, our personal and sexual desires and wants). Hence the end result of first three articles was only ‘J’. We conquered our sexuality and overcame our sexual desires; but without moving toward next stage of ideological revolution, fighting against our ‘Fardiat’, our ideological progress and evolution is going to stop and eventually will reverse. We will start moving backward, changing into an ‘Ordinary’ man or woman, then a ‘Borida’, and eventually we are going to move from right to wrong, moving from Masoud toward Khomieni regime and changing into an enemy of the leadership and the organisation, hence against evolution and God.

            She said: first, we have to realise the situation we are in, be terrified and horrified of that. Next to realise that the distance between ‘to be and not to be’ is as close as ‘thickness of an onion skin’. Third, make decision for change. Fourth, pay the price, which is writing full report about our situation, writing about things, which we had not written, or said, then to reveal ourselves in front of others in the revolution meetings.

            These revolution meetings were called: ‘Dig’, (Pot), it meant going through that is as painful as seating inside of an ‘oil boiling Pot’. At first we didn’t take this word as seriously as we should, many of us were making joke about it by asking each other if we had been in the ‘pot’ or not?! These jokes went even further than member’s circle, soon it changed into a joke among supporters and non-Mojahedin members of the council, foolishly they were asking Maryam, or other sisters who were in charge “when is their time to fall into pot?” Later seeing those fools laughing to Maryam’s jokes or their owns about the ‘pot’, were making us sorry up to the edge of vomiting.

 

 

‘Talabkar’ (Creditor) and ‘Bedehkar’ (Debtor)

According to Maryam’s sermon, all members and supporters, even perhaps ordinary Iranian were categorised into two different categories, those who were ‘Talabkar’ and the rest who were ‘Bedehkar’. Talabkar in word means ‘Creditor’, those who feel the leadership and the organisation owes them something, and Bedehkar means ‘Debtor’, those who feel they owe to the leadership and the organisation. In simple word Creditors are bad boys and Debtors are good ones. To find out if one including ourselves is in which categories, forty conditions or adjectives, opposite to each other for creditors and debtors, were named by her. Some of these adjectives are like these:

            Creditors think the organisation and the leadership needs them to survive and work. While debtors believe that, they need the leadership for their survival and remaining among human beings, for evolving and reaching to God.

            Creditors after doing any thing are waiting for some sort of prize, or reward, they love to have higher rank and position. While debtor, feels he needs to do more and search for things which he has not done, he feels, he owes more to the leadership who has given him the opportunity to fight against unjust, he is horrified of higher rank and position.

            Creditor loves to have new position and uses any opportunity to make and create new position for himself; even failure of the organisation doesn’t disturb him. While debtor feels that all positions in the organisation belongs to the leadership and any position has been given to him by the leadership, has to be hold by him in trust. Failure of the organisation makes him sad and he search to see his share in that failure, he see himself responsible for all the failures of the organisation, while see the victories and achievements as the work and wise leading of the leadership.

            Creditor to face the enemy is coward, in defensive position, while facing the organisation and the leadership acts like a wolf, aggressive and fierce, he always lies to the organisation and contradicts himself. While debtor in fighting against the enemy is certain and full of confidence, brave, and is all ear to listen to the leadership and act according to what he asks him to do; in front of the leadership he is modest, honest and consider himself as nothing.

            Creditor feels the leadership is receiver and owes him for the time he had been in the organisation, he feels there is no limit in the amount leadership owes him, it is as much as he is empty from the revolutionary values. On the other hand debtor feels there is no end in his debt to the organisation and the leadership, his debt to the organisation is as much as the length of time he has been with the organisation multiply by hundred martyrs per year.

            In creditor’s mind, what an individual does and makes has the value and is the essential base for any achievement. While debtor gives all values and nobility to the actions and orders of the leadership.

            For creditor values and principals of the organisation are not important and he can ignore them easily, he has all his bridges to the past and holds all his personal relations with others. While debtor is always defending values and principals of the organisation with his life. He has destroyed all his bridges with the past, doesn’t hold any personal relation with any body, all his relation with others and everything passes from the leadership.

            According to Maryam’s sermons in that stage of the ideological revolution, each one of us by going into Dig had to analyse ourselves and realise that we are among ‘Creditors’, understand the sin, dirt and ugliness of our feeling toward the leadership, and eventually we had to change ourselves from a Creditor into a Debtor. We had to realise that each one of us not only has not solved any problem for the organisation, but we have destroyed many opportunities and achievements by not following the orders as our leader made them. We had to realise without passing from that stage there was no way we could fight against Khomieni’s regime, “as there is no body or organisation who is fighting against the regime except Mojahedin, and Mojahedin cannot survive or fight without their leader and believing in him as ideological leadership.” We had to realise that during our organisational life we have been beneficiary of the leadership and the organisation, their parasite, Leeches feeding ourselves from their blood . . . ” And we could not understand fully these things, unless we could divorce ourselves, divorce our ‘Fardiat’, our love for rank or position . . . She said: “‘Fardiat’ and self love is the real Satan, which is going to stay with us as long as we live, hence ideological struggle against this Satan never ends, it remains for ever and we do need it like Oxygen for breathing, the moment we forget it we, as human are going to die. We can not be worshiper of God as long as we love ourselves and worship ourselves, or in another word worshipping the Satan within. As a result we have, not to think, how we can be good, but think how we can reveal and betray ourselves. In Farsi when one’s bad nature reveals and any body realise how bad he or she is, they say he or she has become ‘Ro-sieah’, (Black or dirty faced). So she said: “all of you have to make yourselves ‘Ro-sieah’, instead of saving your face and defending yourselves.” From then on this expression became another expression among us, asking each other if we have made ourselves ‘Ro-sieah’ or ‘Black faced’ in front of others, even outsiders. As a result from then on some how the real value changed from being loved and respected by others into being hated by them, especially those who were not in the organisation. Only we had to love the leadership and being loved by them.

            Perhaps it is important to mention that whenever she was talking about the leadership she meant Masoud and only him, and whenever everybody else except them were talking about leadership they meant both of them, as we were considering both of them as ideological leadership. So whatever she was mentioning as our relation with Masoud, in our translation were implied as our relation with herself as well.

            Still I was following those videotapes when I was called into an ideological meeting with Maryam herself as its director. It was a small meeting limited to high-ranking male members of the organisation. By then, realising that I was not alone in having the problems which I was facing during past few months and almost every body else had been in the same situation, I was feeling free from depression, misery and desperation for long I was in. By then we were get used to see the root of problems and mistakes and failures in ourselves, hence whenever we could see and feel our own ideological weaknesses as the root of problems, it was quite a relief, as its solution was simple, only we had to write few reports against ourselves and at most criticise ourselves in front of others. While if we could not find anything wrong ideologically with ourselves, and God forbid were thinking that something might be wrong with the organisation or the leadership, as we didn’t know what to do next, life was changing into hell, and everything was turning upside down. In the organisation we were encouraged and had everything we needed, to fight against anybody and anything including ourselves except the leadership. But to stand against them was different story, not only we didn’t have any toll or mean for standing or opposing or questioning them, but for all of us opposing the leadership in any simple matter, meant opposing the organisation, its history, its long struggle, its martyrs, its aims and objectives. Further more, it meant opposing the struggle against the regime, against injustice, forgetting our love for people, our country, freedom and justice, evolution and even God. Even further, it means denying our own sacrifices, our life and struggle for our cause, our words, promises, hopes, wishes, and eventually our own state of mind, our maturity, our ability for understanding choosing or separating right from wrong. Eventually losing everything, life and after life all together at the same time (I.e. KHASARA FEL DONYA AN AKHARA, Quran expression always used by Masoud). Hence I think one agrees that accepting few ideological blames, especially when one feels he is not alone in having those problems or mistakes, is much easier and more bearable than ‘losing everything in life and after life all together’. So I think I had every right to be very happy for finding myself as the sinner and the one with problems and mistakes rather than the leadership and the organisation. I was therefore impatiently looking forward to criticise myself as harshly as possible and make myself ‘Black-faced’, more than any body else.

 

 

Boiled in the pot

From the start of our meeting with Maryam, my right hand for gaining the permission to talk against myself was all the time up, till eventually she permitted me to talk. I have to admit, she was wise enough, for long time, to ignore my asking for self-criticise, to let me to find enough opportunity to listen to others and have a clue, how should I make myself ‘black faced’. Still I have to say not only I didn’t benefit from other’s experiences who talked there, but even didn’t benefit from my own past experiences. By then I had to know that one has to criticise himself stage by stage, to show that his understanding about himself is getting deeper and deeper. Other wise in later stages they are asking for more and more self-criticise and self-revelation, while he has nothing or nothing significant to offer. Any way I did what I shouldn’t, and said whatever I could find or think of, against myself.

            Before I say anything, again to give me a helping hand, while I was standing in front of everybody ready to talk. Maryam stopped me and asked first if any body has anything against me. Perhaps in this way she wanted to give me a clue how to talk, as I was the most inexperienced one among those who were there. Before my turn, for any body else who stood to criticise himself, it was not so easy to talk, as they were interrupted by wave of attacks from every where, usually people had plenty to say against the one who was talking, much more than what he himself had or wanted to say against himself. Strangely when it came to me, although almost all my previous masouls where there and many of those brothers who were there, had experience of working with me at least for a year or two in the past, they didn’t have much to say, and except few minor criticise from my masoul and previous masouls, there was not any strong criticise or allegation against me. At the end, one of brothers who used to work with me for several years, said: “be honest I have worked with Masoud for several years, but when I think carefully, I feel, I have not got much to say against him, as matter of fact, I feel I can say many good things about him instead. Unlike many of us, brothers who were working in America he usually was very accurate, calm, right in time, patient, hard working, always with his smile, welcoming new problems and difficulties we were usually facing there. Never any of us had any conflict with him, … “While he was continuing mentioning good things about me, I could see meaningful smile of Maryam, but I wasn’t able to interpret it and say what is going on in her mind. Then she stopped him and said: “What are you saying is that he was perfect brother, kind and understanding, not harming or bothering any body. … He wanted to be loved by everybody, ‘representative of everybody’.” While she was giving her last comment she sarcastically laughed, which for every body was clear what does she mean? ‘Representative’, or ‘your representative’, or ‘representative of people’, were titles which President Banisadr liked to be called with. In this way she gave me clear clue, about the direction I had to take in criticising myself. By then my crimes were clear to everybody there, except myself. Opposite to many, I was not accused of not working properly, or not obeying the orders, not for being difficult or bad tempered, not for bulling, or making life and work difficult for others . . . On the contrary, my crime, which I had to recognise it and elaborate more by giving facts, as later I was asked by one of high ranking masouls was that: “Why I was more keen in working and progress of works even more than all my masouls?” “Why and how I was kind with everybody around myself, and why everybody was happy in working with me?” “Why all supporters, celebrities, and ordinary Iranian wanted to talk to me and work with me and share their problems and complaints with me?” “Why and how I was more optimistic about our work than all my masouls and always full of new idea and new work which had to be done?” . . . As one who is reading these lines, I was astonished too! How these things can be my crimes and how can I criticise myself in this line?! I could expect and imagine any thing except being criticised for doing my job!

            Any way by then I didn’t understood what she meant and what was going on in that stage of the ideological revolution. I felt she is teasing me and whatever she said were sarcastic remarks and I have to find my own short comings and things I had not done, orders I had not obeyed, eventually desperate situation I was in during past few months.

            Immediately when I start talking, I realised people are impatient and want to stop me from going any further. I didn’t realise that they are losing their patience, as I was not following the line given by Maryam in criticising myself. According to her judgement, my Fardiat was working in a way, which I wanted to be loved by everybody, including the organisation and my masouls. Hence whatever I was doing was to get attracted by different people and loved by them, not for my love in obeying the leadership or my interest in progress of the organisation’s work and aims. Opposite to many in that meeting, nobody wanted to hear my short-comings and wrong doings, faults and mistakes; I had to explain why there had not been a single report against me by my masouls or others, obviously even those incidents, where I stood against the decision of my masouls which were so important for me, were ignored by them and perhaps never been reported.

            Wrongly once again, I felt people are showing their anger and are losing their patience as I am not criticising my self as harshly as I should, so I start talking faster to reach to worse points about myself. In describing my actions and thoughts I was using worst possible words. For example in explaining the money I had saved for paying the bills which were postponed or rejected to be paid by the organisation, I said: “I stole that money to pay the bills which were forbidden by the organisation to be paid.” I was talking about times and points which I didn’t obey the orders, or didn’t show any attention to the directions given from Paris or my masouls. About times I was feeling useless and was passive, not working properly. Whatever I was saying however harsh or hard, I could not silence the murmuring and stop people who were asking for permission to stop me. At one point suddenly I felt everybody became silenced and start listening to what I had to say. That was when I start explaining about my decision in leaving the organisation temporarily for writing my report against those whom I was seeing as responsible for our failures and shortcomings. When I finished my talking by saying those last words about my intention to leave the organisation. Suddenly I saw all people’s hands for permission to talk. Their show of hands didn’t last even for few seconds, as they start talking freely without having any permission to talk. Gradually as every body was talking those who were keener to be heard start shouting. While Maryam was laughing as could see how everybody has raised to defend the leadership with all their might, I was astonished and confused about what did happen and what did I say which suddenly changed the mod of everybody?! Why those who had nothing against me and were trying hard to stop me in criticising myself, suddenly have many things to say which cannot stop themselves and listen to others. Suddenly Towhidi with loud voice could silence others for saying things which he wanted to say, while he was shouting as loudly as he could, he said: “He is a Borida and has to admit to it!” After him the only thing I could hear from everywhere was the word of ‘Borida’, by then I had lost my patience and calm, I was frustrated and was crying desperately. The situation, which I was in, could not be explained at all, only perhaps the word of ‘pathetic’ can explain my situation by then. I was looking desperately to any body that was talking to see if I can find a helping hand or any kind or understanding words from anywhere. All my hopes were in vain as even if any body was there with any sympathy for me didn’t dare to say anything as it was going to be interpreted as ‘defending a Borida’, which was the worst crime next to being a Borida itself. Gradually voices were getting louder and louder, some start shouting that: “He is Borida and has no right to be here, he has to be thrown away from this room!” My masoul apologised from Maryam for not recognising me as a Borida, and start criticising herself. Another masoul apologised again for the same thing and for letting me to stand in front of Maryam and talk with her. Another one said, I, with my presence there have brought dirt and shame to that meeting. While I was desperately crying start looking in Maryam’s eyes to see if she can help me and if she has anything to say for saving me? At that point she start silencing and calming everybody, and when everybody was silenced, she asked me if I think they are right or not? I had no doubt in my mind that I was not a Borida. After all, all my worry and concern was that why we are not progressing or what is wrong that we cannot succeed? Who is responsible for stopping the flow of Maryam’s words? I had no doubt in my love for Maryam and Masoud, and while I loved my wife and children, not even for a minute thinking about them stopped me from working or encouraged me to leave the organisation. As matter of fact however hard I was thinking or searching to find any thing out side of the organisation to give me enough incentive to leave all my hopes and desires, aims and objectives, my love for people, freedom and Iran, even my hope for establishing a free and prospers homeland for my children and generations after them, I could not find anything to replace all those hopes and aims, no materialistic desire could replace even one of those idealistic hopes. Hence how could I call myself a Borida, the one who want to leave the struggle and return to his normal life without any concern for others?!

            My answer to Maryam was no, this answer was clear rejection of one of the principals, sets by her for that stage of the Ideological revolution, “not to oppose, reject or even resist against whatever people in the revolutionary meetings are saying against you, listen to them, accept them and later find proper reason for proving them against yourself.” With my answer, another wave of attacks against me started. Towhidi faced me and asked me, why am I refusing to accept I was a Borida, He said: “I was a Borida for sometimes too, but I realised it and confessed to the organisation. Yes I lost all my ranks and positions, but I start from the beginning and now I am very happy that I lost everything but not my honesty towards the organisation. You too have to realise it and confess, you might lose many things but not the most important one, your relation with the organisation and the leadership.” It seemed he was showing me a way out of that miserable situation which I was in. His words were kinder than before, friendly enough to be accepted as wise and understanding advice from a friend. This time to save myself, I said: “yes, I think I was Borida.” Suddenly everything changed and I found myself facing new wave of questions. Again it was started by Towhidi’s questions. He asked me for more facts about my situation and asked me to prove that I was a Borida. To explain my personal incentives for wanting to leave the organisation. He asked me to say whatever by then I had said were ‘lie’ and ‘rubbish’, instead, saying the ‘truth’. I didn’t have much to say except repeat of some of those things already had been said by me, perhaps with different wordings to make them more personal. By saying any word I could hear noises and words of rejection from everywhere. Again Towhidi defined words of rejections for me. He said: “You have been with the organisation for past fifteen or seventeen years or even more, so by now you should know the meaning of Borida and facts and signs which a Borida shows from himself. You have to inform us about them as obviously nobody has monitored you close enough to have any fact to show us how Borida you were.” By then I had lost all my senses, I could not think properly or even see and hear as before, I had only one concern, to save myself from that situation, but how? I didn’t know?!, and could not think of any solution. So instead of saying anything, while I was crying silently start looking at Maryam. She was laughing, but her smile didn’t have its usual kindness. It was more like smile of a conqueror at a loser. It was sarcastic and humiliating. After sometimes, she said: “OK, let him to go and think and write what he has to say.” The end of her words concluded the meeting. I was asked not to do anything except thinking and writing. Poor me, I had nothing to say or write. Fool me, I had said everything I had against myself in my first self criticise meeting, without leaving anything not mentioned for the future, for many more meetings later I had to face.

            During those days while I was trying very hard to find simplest and slightest mistakes, wrong doings, forbidden thought and desires, even dreams, to report them in harshest and worst possible words, I wished I had done more wrong doings to be able to write about them or I was wise enough to leave some of my confessions for latter.

            Gradually as that stage of Ideological revolution was proceeding, more and more members from different countries were coming there to see those videotapes and attend different revolutionary meetings. During those meetings sisters and brothers were attending different ‘Dig’, many high-ranking sisters were free to attend different ‘Dig’ for brothers while brothers however high-ranking were not permitted to attend theirs. But it didn’t mean that sisters didn’t have as rough time as us. Some how, sometimes their situation could be even worse than us, the only difference was that they were aware of what is going on for us and we were not permitted to know about their misery as we were perhaps in ‘lower class’ or correctly ‘lower gender’.

            By the mid April 1995, few weeks after Iranian new year, the number of members there for attending those ‘Dig’ were reached to about hundred or more, hence that house which was designated for that purpose was not big enough to accommodate that number of people. As a result we were moved to another very big building called ‘Hundred’ as it had almost hundred or more rooms. It was a very big office building far from centre of Paris, in two floors; part of ground floor, which was separated from the rest of building, was designated for non-Mojahedin members of NCR, who were living in Paris. In the beginning I didn’t mind to see them, but gradually as they were asking more and more about what am I doing there while I was supposed to represent them in the United States, I was embarrassed answering their repeated questions, while I didn’t have any proper answer for them. So always to avoid seeing them I used to have my lunch or diner as early as possible and end it as soon as possible, before their arrival in dinning salon. All who were there for the ‘revolution’ were divided in three different groups, under direction of three high-ranking sisters, all of them among my pervious masouls. We were divided into: people from political section, people from other countries who were there for the revolution, and people from other sections of the organisation who were working in Paris. For sometimes I was confused where should I go as I was from other countries, and at the same time among people who were in political section, and as I was working as member of ‘artists section’ responsible for celebrities working with us, I could attend their meetings too. Later I found out that this almost unique situation of mine means that whoever for whatever reason goes under attack, I might share his misery too. For example when people from political section were under attack for having fancy dresses, custom to bourgeois behaviour, having famous names announced in the media or the organisation’s media, I was the first one who was going under attack. On the other hand when people who were working with artists were under attack for changing into an ordinary man or woman, used to sort of behaviour which could be seen in celebrities, again I was the first one under attack. Eventually when those who were far from the centre were under attack for working alone and were accused of having strong individuality, again they were kind enough to include me among them, and ask me for facts about myself.

            For next two months almost every day from two o’clock in the afternoon, till two to four o’clock in the morning we had to attend those ‘Dig’ or revolutionary meetings. While few more times during those meetings I had to talk against myself and criticise myself, but none of them were as bad and as horrible as the first one which I experienced in front of Maryam. During these meetings I had to pass another test that somehow was even more painful and horrible than the first one. To prove my revolution, I had to show my readiness in defending the leadership by attacking those who were criticising themselves daily. Of course those attacks against poor guy who was talking, in dictionary of Mojahedin and the Ideological revolution was not called attack or animosity, but was called, ‘kindness’, ‘love’, and ‘helping hand’ for poor victim of the meeting as by attacking him we were helping him to fight against his internal Satan, or his ‘HAMZAD’, (devil twin) as it was called by Maryam.

            During those meetings we had to ‘read our past history’. We were not forced any more to remember or write about our sexual weaknesses, or wrong doings, as matter of fact, contrary to previous ideological meetings, during these new meetings if one wanted to talk or write about his sexual wrong doings and desires, he was going to be stopped by the wave of attacks from every where, accusing him that he wants to run away from his real and main faults, crimes and wrong doings.

            While in the beginning we were encouraged and asked to talk about our mistakes, our wrong doings, where we didn’t obey our masouls and how did we destroy opportunities and facilities under our responsibility, later we were not permitted even to talk about them. According to one of Maryam’s sermon, we were not going to lose our faith in the organisation or the leadership, as a result of our weaknesses, but because of our strong and positive points. Our individual experience, our good nature, our ability to solve different problems, our struggle in the past, our artistic talent, our good voice or our good look, any way whatever we could think of as positive in ourselves and could be proud of, were the main reason for our anti-ideological, anti-revolutionary, behaviour. ‘They were slippery points which if we were not careful, we could slip from heaven of being a Mojahed into hell of changing into an ordinary person and later working with the regime.’ They were the reason of changing us from a ‘Bedehkar’ (debtor) person into a ‘Talabkar’ (creditor) person. Hence while we had ‘to read our past’, we had to find these points in our life, where we were feeling good and positive about ourselves, finding them, criticising them and then hating them as in those points we were not happy for what our leader was doing or achieving, but we were happy and satisfied because of our own actions and achievements. During very difficult and horrified weeks, I as others had to think, remember, and read my past, remember whatever was I thinking as good in myself, talking about them in the revolutionary meetings, and writing more than hundred pages of different reports about them and about how they corrupted me and separated me from the leadership.

            During those days, people who were among old political prisoners, victims of tortures in Khomieni or Shah’s prisons had to come forward and talk about their tortures and criticise themselves for being proud of suffering those tortures, and resisting in prison cells. Majority of them heroes of us, were saying how they betrayed the organisation and the leadership. They had to minimise their suffering and maximise their weaknesses, they were calling themselves, traitor, responsible for many death, and arrest. They were saying the only hero tortured and prison person is the dead one, all of them for being free had to betray the organisation in one or more points.

            Those who had a very close-martyred relatives and by then were proud of them, had to come forward and go as far as insulting their relative-martyrs; as they were the source of their move from a ‘debtor’ into a ‘creditor’ person. During those meetings we were told that nobody except the leadership can owe martyrs, they were killed for him and only he can lean on them and be proud of their blood. Our relation with martyrs however close to us as other relation we had with everybody else had to pass from the leadership, we could be proud of them or like them as they were martyred of the leadership, not because they were close relatives or friends of us.

            The main objective of these meetings was to destroy any kind of values we might had in our mind except loving our leader, being honest with them and ‘becoming from head to toe an ear’ for listening them and obeying their orders. Once Maryam said: “the difference between your best and worst according to the values of outside world, for me is less than a penny, what is important for me which makes change, is which one of you is connected to the leadership more, is more honest and open with him, is listening and obeying him, is accepting him as ideological leadership. Which one of you is more prepared to change from what you are into what you should be.” By attacking others we had to destroy any kind of mutual kind relation existed between us and other members, as all relations had to pass from the leadership.

            More I was thinking less I was finding any reason for continuing that miserable life, I could see that nothing is important any more except being and remaining a Mojahed and in love of the leadership. In one of my reports to Maryam I wrote: “I feel I am changing gradually, but in what to, I don’t know, I feel I am losing my nationalism, my religion and any other principal and believes I have had up to now. Some times I feel freeing our homeland and our people is not any more important, I feel if they give us two options, in one hand having a democratic and prospers Iran without the leadership in power. And in second option given a country in the middle of Africa, I don’t know perhaps Zambia or Zimbabwe which we don’t have anything in common with their people, but our leadership in power there, we all choose the latter option . . . ” Seeing these kind of resistance in my mind and heart, seeing that my original reason of joining Mojahedin is vanishing or is changing into a secondary reason, seeing that, it is not any more important to be positive and work properly and only following the orders and being in love with the leadership is important, was forcing me to think that I am not a Mojahed any more. After all I joined Mojahedin not for changing into a Mojahed but for their goals and promises.

            It wasn’t only me, who was in this situation, gradually I could see more and more brothers, especially older and high ranking ones who were deciding to be as passive as possible, some of them changing into simple clerk, photocopying different materials for different masouls or doing other simple jobs. Eventually I decided to say what I had in my heart and in one of the meetings for high ranking members of Mojahedin, after asking Maryam for permission to talk, I said: “I feel I am not a Mojahed any more.” She didn’t let me to continue and start laughing; she said I am moving from one extreme into another one, from worshipping myself into denying myself. She said: “You should not deny your ideological revolution or part of yourselves which is Mojahed, this is like surrendering yourselves to your Satan. You are a Mojahed, perhaps not a very good one but a Mojahed and you have to remain one.” After her many who knew me and had worked with me, my pervious masouls and my present masoul start talking, proving to me that I am a Mojahed. In the same meeting I learned fully how wrong I was in the past by thinking that people like Abrishamchii are in charge and are real decision makers of the organisation. Abrishamchii who recently was returned from Iraq and obviously has had his ideological revolution under direction of Masoud himself, for few minutes talked about himself; he as all of us called himself as a traitor to the organisation and the leadership, accused himself for destruction of many things under his responsibility and other usual accusations, which were fashion of the day. While when that video was shown to lower ranking members of the organisation his speech was censored, but I never expected to see him in that situation. By then I learned those poor people are more or less like the rest of us, all of us were in the same boat, with little difference from each other and hugely from our leader.

 

 

Values and Principals of the revolution

In the same meeting Maryam announced new set of rules and regulations called ‘values and principals’ of Mojahedin and the ideological revolution. While many of them were not new but her emphasise made them more extreme and absolute and some how strange. She said, “For sometimes we have ignored or even forgotten the Mojahedin’s values and principals, our organisational principals and relations as well as our ideological ones. Now is time to return fully to them and monitor and criticise each other according to them . . . Mojahedin always have been opposing to class society and its values. We have been against bourgeois and its values . . . Rank, position, kind of job and work, should not be important for a Mojahed. Mojahed should live and die simple, your dress, your eating, . . . should all be simple as the original Mojahedin, You should respect fully all Mojahedin’s religious customs and traditions, - all Mojahed women and men should have Islamic dress all the time and respect it fully, - There should not be any kind of physical contact between any of you with opposite sex. -None of you including those who are in political section for any reason should not break this principal. - No brother and sister should walk or be alone with each other. - No brother and sister should sit close to each other or having a private meeting with each other. - There should not be any joking and laughing between brothers and sisters, which could attract them toward each other. - You should love the hardship, hard working, having less resting time and less food. Behind any comfort you might have, there is an exploitation hidden, hence you should avoid it fully. - At least for limited time each one of you must try not to do or think of things that you like . . . “

            She said these set of rules are like chastity of Mojahedin, which every body had to do every thing in defending them. She said if any body’s values are different from things mentioned by her, he or she cannot remain among Mojahedin for long. She said: “nobody with any percent of being ‘ordinary’, can remain among Mojahedin. All of you must decide, either to become hundred percent Mojahed or leave the organisation.”

 

‘Korsii’, (position)!

            The next issue that was discussed by her was with title of ‘Korsii’ another invented word, which soon entered into dictionary of Mojahedin and the ideological revolution. Korsii according to her definition in simple term meant ‘Position’. But it’s meaning was further than Position as it could include all real and imaginary positions, all materialistic or idealistic positions one might have. Positions one had given by the organisation or positions one might have made for himself in his mind. Positions one has had in the past or positions one might think are his right to have. According to her, each one of us has many Korsii for ourselves. If we have them, all our concern is how to keep them and if we don’t have them we became ‘creditor’ of the leadership for not having them. We feel the leadership owes us those Korsii, and if we don’t receive them, first we became passive, then we change into an ordinary person, eventually we became a Borida and at last we will change into an enemy of the leadership and the organisation. Hence our responsibility is to find those Korsii, which we think we have or we consider them as our right and we should get rid of them as soon as possible to save our soul from corruption.

            This meeting made me even more confused and some how I felt less Mojahed than ever. To avoid talking or criticising others, in any Ideological meetings with the excuse of bad backache, which was real, as well, I was not sitting in the room, instead was walking by the door, outside of the meeting room. Listening to what every body had to say. Seeing people under attack, desperate, and under edge of collapse was remainder of my situation in pervious meetings. By then whoever who wanted to speak, as it was proved that all of us for some length of time were Borida, had to talk about himself and give facts about his situation when he was a Borida. This was on top of whatever they had to say about their past, how creditor they were and what did they think that leadership had owed them. We had to say which principals of the revolution is bothering us and why. How in the past we have ignored them and got used to life of a non-Mojahed person. We had to talk about Korsii or positions we had or were considering them as our right. The list of things we had to think and talk about was growing daily. In final days of those meetings when few old members start giving facts about their antagonism against the leadership, soon it was changed into new issue that every body, even those who already had talked about themselves including me had to talk again and give their facts about antagonism. After all according to our leaders believe all of us were like each other and if one of us was accusing himself for something, most probably others were having them, but hidden.

 

 

‘Ass’

Eventually one day we were told that all of us from all three different ideological meetings are going to have a joint final session under direction of sister Nasrin whom every body knew by then was the third most important person in the organisation after Masoud and Maryam. By then while most of us had guessed or knew that Fahieme’a had lost her position and is not favourite any more, there was no mention of change of her position. While few years back, for sometimes we were told to put her photograph close to Maryam ones and respect her ideologically, listening to her messages and words as Maryam ones. But it was for almost a year that there was no mention of her, as matter of fact she had lost her job and was in Paris with Maryam in hiding. Even later when she had to come open, they arranged one of their usual sham election meetings, changed the masoul aval (first responsible) of the organisation and did create another job for her in Paris as head of the presidential representative offices in different countries.

            Soon in that meeting, I realised I am one of those who are going to be under scrutiny more than others and have to suffer more than any body else. Though I guessed I am going to have rough time, I never could imagine or guess what I suffered in that meeting.

            I guess, by then Maryam had decided that they have to conclude that stage of the Ideological revolution; as for months almost nobody in the organisation had done any real job. Already it was decided that we are going to have our largest meeting ever in Germany, where Maryam was supposed to have her first official speech, in front of large crowd of Iranian. Hence the aim of that meeting under direction of Nasrin was to force those who had not concluded their revolution by then to do so and go back to their usual work.

            It was more than two months I was in the process of the revolution, perhaps one of the longest, by then I had attended tens of different, harsh and difficult ‘Dig’ (hot boiling pot) where any one in any of them had to be ‘cooked’ fully, ready for full digestion by the organisation. While still part of me was ‘raw’ and ‘not edible’, that part was recognisable for me as well as for the organisation. By then I had written hundred pages of different report about my past. To free myself from that misery, I had magnified hundred times more all my mistakes and wrong doings in the past, and had discredited any thing good I knew about myself and I was proud of them. The only thing left to be criticised was my birth and my parents for having me. Despite all these facts, still the organisation was not satisfied. They never told me what was wrong and what were they expected to hear from me. I guess they had a dilemma. For long they were puzzled with my hard working and caring for the organisation which according to their own words was much more than my masoul, i.e. my ideological status. That was contradictory to all their ‘ideological hypothesis’, as I was a man, and no Mojahed man could not be as caring as a Mojahed woman, not talking about one of the five highest ranking of them, who one of them was my masoul. At the same time I did talk about my intention in leaving the organisation. This decision by any body in Mojahedin’s dictionary doesn’t have any meaning except, ‘that person is a ‘Borida’,’. Their puzzle was that I was a ‘Borida’ but not passive. Unlike many in the organisation, I had every day a golden opportunity to leave the organisation and return to my family, while not only I didn’t leave the organisation, but did work as hard as before and further more welcome the new stage of the ideological revolution. They could see, how hard I was trying to change myself, how keen I was in following their advises. For them it was not acceptable that one might love his country and his people and do everything to help them. These incentives for them were not strong enough for going through hardship of working within the organisation. According to their theory one without total love for the ideological leadership, cannot and will not go as far as I did. They could not see and accept that for me like perhaps many more of our members and supporters, Mojahedin were the only existing organisation, which with serving that we could have a chance in achieving our goals, a chance which could not be missed. It was not acceptable that my love for Maryam was not for her sacrifice toward Masoud, but for her word of ‘Love’, unconditional love for everybody. I was in love of her words, her messages and her promises; without them she was vanishing gradually in my heart and my soul. No. None of these were acceptable for them. Hence they thought I had to have a not mentioned and hidden contradiction. According to their ideological revolution theory, if one has, ‘a not-said-contradiction’, whatever he does and however hard he tries, he cannot revolt. That contradiction might give him enough incentives to work very hard, even harder than any body else, changes him into a happy guy, makes him a very good member and force him to remain in the organisation for long time, but all of these signs which could be signs of character of a good member are completely contradictory and as matter of fact are signs of a Borida person. So according to this theory, I must have had a contradiction not said by then. They were thinking or perhaps were sure that, the only contradiction which I might had have, was that I had a relation with one of the female supporters of the organisation in Los Angles. My love for that imaginary female supporter there, could give me enough incentive for not leaving the organisation and returning to my family, could give me enough energy for working as hard and as keen as I was doing, and at the same time could explain my situation as a ‘Borida’ person, and not changing enough after going through that many ‘Dig’.

            In that meeting whenever Nasrin was talking about somebody or something else, was not showing any hesitation in teasing me in any form she wanted and could. In many occasion I could see her, that she was watching me from corner of her eyes. She was monitoring me to see my reaction towards talking of others with different contradictions to see when I am showing any reaction as a sign of closeness of my contradiction to them. Eventually when she decided to talk about me, unlike others, she didn’t let anybody else except one of my pervious masouls to talk about me. She didn’t even let me, myself to talk. Surprisingly and unusually she start talking about me by putting her hands erected on her head, as sign of long ears of an ‘ass’ a ‘donkey’. She said: “When you were talking for the first time, in a ‘dig’, in front of sister Maryam, none of us knew that you were a Borida, otherwise I never dared to let you to see her or talk in front of her. We were thinking that you are mad of be admired by others, and this was the most we wanted to hear from you, but suddenly you surprised every body including sister Maryam by saying things you said. You said worse possible things against yourself in calm and with happy smile. Things, which in saying them many will die thousand times. You were as rude and vulgar as possible in saying those things. You were thinking that by saying them you are making us as fool as donkey. Nobody else could say anything worse than whatever you already had said against yourself. So as easy as that you could have your ideological revolution and with perhaps new title and new higher rank could return to beloved America and do whatever you were doing in the past. You thought nobody would realise that you are hiding a very big contradiction behind those words. But suddenly when you faced attacks of everybody. When they called you Borida and you found out that you are on the verge of losing everything, your position, your rank and you are not going to return with your title back to America. You lost colour of your face. You start shacking, you forgot how to talk.” Again she put her hands erected on her head, and said: “Yes suddenly you found out instead of making us as donkey, you yourself changed into a donkey, like donkey not understanding anything, and not able to say anything.” Then she sarcastically smiled and said: “OK now after more than two months tell us what were you hiding behind all those words against yourself? Tell us how come you were more caring and worrying and enthusiastic about the organisation’s work and aims than your masouls? How could you always have many new idea for work in America and were not waiting for any body to tell you or ask you for hard working? Where were you earning and finding your incentives and energy from? Tell us what have you hidden in America and perhaps in Los-Angles?” At this point one of my pervious masouls said: “Yes tell us about your relation with female supporters there?” and then named few of them and said: “Tell us why they always wanted to talk to you and share their problems with you?” . . . From then on I could not hear or see anything. For the first time I realised the meaning of when people saying: “it was like something banged on my head or suddenly I felt I have a very high temperature.” I was felt at any second I might lose my conscience, or at least state of my mind. I could feel I am as hot as my hands and head can boil a pot of water. By then I truly realised what ‘Dig’, hot oil boiling pot means. I was expecting any thing, any kind of accusation but not that one, I never was expecting of being accused of having relation with one of the female supporters. I was more surprised as during all recent meetings of the ideological revolution rarely any body was permitted to talk about his sexual contradictions. Even once when in a meeting, I wanted to talk about my contradiction about my love for my wife and my children, the director of that meeting stopped me and I was reminded that I want to use this contradiction as a ‘escape goat’ for covering my Fardiat.

            Any way when she finished her word, without asking for permission to sit, I fall on my seat. She asked me if I have anything to say? I didn’t answer her, just looked at her silently. I guess she realised that I am not in the state of saying anything. Any way Nasrin didn’t say anything more and just gave me another sarcastic smile as show of her victory over me. She thought that her arrow eventually has met the aim and she eventually has found out about my real contradiction and has forced me to admit to that. Instead of saying anything more, she again put her hands erected on her head and laughed loudly as sign of permission to every body else to laugh as loudly as possible, which they did.

            For the rest of meeting, till break time, neither could I hear anything or say anything. Nasrin every now and then was watching me from corner of her eyes to monitor my reaction. But I was as motion-less as a dead person. In break time I went toward her and told her: “Please tell me what to do? I see my options as either to leave the organisation and forget all about my aims and objectives, or kill myself and free myself from these miseries, or stay in the organisation and gradually lose my mind and change into a mad person.” She gave me another smile and said: “Do none of these, instead talk about your contradiction.” I replied: “and when I have nothing left to say?” She smiled, said nothing and walked away. I was not sad any more but angry, I could feel betrayed, and have lost all my trust to the organisation. After all when the state of trust of them towards me was as low as that, how could I have total trust towards them? At that point I remembered Mahmud, our old supporter in Los Angles who years before was accused of stealing money. When Mahmud called me and asked for help, I told him if you are innocent, there is nothing to be afraid of, soon every thing will become clear. You should trust the organisation. Now I could realise how wrong I was in my advice for him. Perhaps there are things that till a person doesn’t face them himself, he can never learn them and understand them. This was one of them, trust is not a one-way road, and never one can expect trust from others without giving it back.

            After break time, Nasrin concluded the talking about the ideological revolution and announced the organisation’s program for next celebration of the twentieth of June. She informed us about the program in Germany and the demonstration we were going to have in America. She asked us about the number of people whom we expect to have in the demonstration in America? Different people start giving different numbers from two thousand to at most five thousand. Then she looked at me and perhaps as a gesture of friendship said: “OK Masoud, you are representative of NCR in America and you know the situation more than any body else in this room, what is your number?”

            By then I was changed, I was not my usual self. I was not mild, calm, and talking with logic. Perhaps more than anything I wanted to show my anger?! Hence I replied: “Ten thousand.” Suddenly the whole meeting burst into protesting noises and words with wonder or anger. One of the high-ranking male members of the organisation present there, said: “He is not saying what he has in his mind, he is not taking your question seriously and is making joke of everything. I demand he explains fully why he thinks we can have ten thousand people in that demonstration?” Nasrin in response to his question asked me for explanation? I start talking, very calmly, but sarcastically. Instead of using my usual logic, or language, giving facts etc. I start talking with the logic and the language of the organisation and the ideological revolution. Perhaps showing that talking rubbish and without any logic, giving unbelievable and unacceptable numbers is not very difficult, especially when others are responsible for fulfilling them. Organisation never used to reveal the real number of participants of any demonstration or gathering even to its own members. And we claimed we have had five thousand people in our pervious demonstration. Hence I used that figure and replied to their question like this, I said: “OK in our pervious demonstration we had five thousands people there? Isn’t it true?” While I could feel nobody was agree with me in that room and all were biting their lips from anger, no body dared to say ‘No’, as it meant that the organisation is a liar even toward its own members. After seeing the silence of the meeting, I continued: “OK, it was before this stage of the revolution, while all agree that we all, who organised that demonstration, either were Borida or on the verge of it. We all agree that after this stage of the revolution our energy has magnified by hundred times, so not only I am sure that these people after the Ideological revolution can bring only twice of the number which we had previously, but I have to criticise myself for being so pessimistic and not giving the number of twenty thousands or more which are more accurate considering our revolution.” My logic was perfect and nobody; even Nasrin was dared to reject it. Only she said: “You are right but Sima, present masoul of America has told us, at most she can manage to bring five thousand people to that demonstration, what is your answer to her?” I said: “Well I believe sister Sima had not been here for past few months, so she doesn’t know what is going on and what is the effect of the new stage of the Ideological revolution. She doesn’t know what kind of people she is going to have very soon under her command and what she can do with them. So I think her number is according to her pervious judgement about these people, hence we have every right to multiply her number by at least two.” Obviously Nasrin was swallowing her anger with a meaning less smile. She said: “OK let us to conclude this discussion and say that at least you have to have five thousand people there.” After the conclusion of the meeting, many start arguing with me about my number, and the guy who opposed me first, came towards me and told me: “tell me the truth, you were teasing and making a fool of every body is not it right?” I looked at him and smiled and said: “well I gave my reason, if they were wrong you could stand and oppose them.”

 

 

After all my contradiction was ‘Korsii’ and I didn’t know

I guess after seeing my reaction, Nasrin or perhaps Maryam realised that they were not right and I didn’t have that sort of contradiction, so next day I was called by my masoul there. She asked me if I have thought about what already Nasrin had told me, and if I have anything to say as my contradiction. I told her: “My answer still is no and I have nothing more to say.” I told her if they have anything or heard anything against me is better they tell me. She replied: “No, but we know what is your contradiction and Nasrin as giving you a helping hand, did whatever she could and gave you enough clue to find it. You like many other brothers have problem of ‘Korsii’ (loving my position and struggling for keeping it).” It was sad and funny to hear those words, after all accusation, suddenly she was saying that Nasrin with her words didn’t mean anything but to tell me that I have problem of Korsii. The same thing said by Maryam in general meeting about every body. I could not believe my ear, but apparently what they wanted to hear and receive from me was another report that I loved my job and position and was doing every thing to keep it. Yes by then they wanted any kind of report to close that file with victory. As it was custom of Mojahedin they just wanted to say they were right and they won and finish the job. Well they were not wrong as I loved my job as during past year I did whatever I could to materialise my hopes and wishes, perhaps I tried harder than ever during my organisational life. But if that was my crime, I was more than happy to admit. I wrote a very short report not only admitting that I loved my position and my job, but I did add that I loved weather of Los Angles and being most of the times there as I used to hate cold weather. I admit that I loved to be loved and respected by others, I admit that I hated to see any body unhappy about whatever I said and did against them, and wanted to see every body happy and satisfied about my actions. I admit I loved to be useful and hated to be useless . . . Whatever was their intention and whatever was their judgement about me, at least they pretended that they have accepted my revolution and asked me to return to my job. When my masoul asked me to return to Los Angles and continue my work there, I refused and told her: “how are you going to send me there while you have realised that because of being there I was on the edge of leaving the organisation?” Eventually she accepts that I don’t stay in America and go there whenever it is necessary. She asked me to go there for a week or two, just for talking with celebrities and inviting them for attending our meeting in Germany.

 

 

Divorce

One day before leaving Paris for Los Angles, I was stopped by one of my masouls, Badrie who was the head of our political section. She told me, “Anna has legally asked for divorce.” She told me to answer her request as soon as possible. Perhaps she asked me to reply it soon, as already for weeks, it was circulating in the hands of few different masouls to see which one is my masoul to give it to me, as by then I had few masouls for different jobs I was doing. As I could expect, she watched me carefully to see my reaction. Perhaps this was why she was chosen for giving me that news, as she was fully aware of my story with Anna. She was the one who forced me to go and see her for the last time, be with her without loving her, see my children without fall attached to them. She was the one who received time after time in different years my complain that: Neither it is right not letting Anna to know about the situation which we were in, nor I can be with her and children as a revolutionary Mojahed without any love for them. I denied her to see any reaction from my side. I said: “Thank you, I will do it.”

            I read that letter few times, while the news was expected still it was like a very heavy hammer banging on my head and heart. I didn’t cry as for sometimes I had became tearless, not crying for anything. But my heart was beating very fast like I had run for an hour and stopped suddenly; I had pain of love together with sadness in my heart. While for years I was hoping to receive that news as it was key to freedom of her and her future happiness, and at the same time the key to my freedom to see my children, now when I had it, my heart didn’t want it at all. Deep down, I wanted her to wait for me to return to her sometimes, perhaps after the revolution and victorious return of all of us to Iran, though, I knew, I don’t have the right of asking her or wishing for something like that. I knew she is still young and has every right to enjoy the rest of her life. However painful, I had to be very happy for the one I loved most for almost twenty-five years. I had to sign that paper with full satisfaction as it was making every body including Anna and the organisation very happy. I signed that letter and posted it on my way back to America. I met Anna for the first time sometimes on June 1971. After twenty-four years, by the end of June 1995 our marriage ended, few months later I received the final document of our divorce. I never let the organisation know about my feeling when I was signing that letter. Any way they were not interested any more about that kind of self-confession, by then they were only interested about ‘Fardiat’ and what we had to say about that subject.

            I was going back to America, while clearly I was changed in many ways. I had lost all my hopes for doing any real thing for advancement of our original goals and aims. Hence I didn’t have any real incentives in doing anything. There was no more innovation, or originality, or any new suggestion from my side in whatever I was doing. I was hesitant in accepting any responsibility towards any thing. Even for simplest things I preferred to wait for order; without direct order from my masouls, I was not prepared to do anything. I could see that I am changing into a machine, perhaps a good one, one of the latest designs of the computers, but still a computer and a machine, without any feeling for whatever I was doing. Perhaps I was changing into an ideal member, but gradually I was feeling that I am forgetting how to be human and act as one. I could see the rest of human part of my heart, mind and body is dying day by day and I am changing into real steel without any kind of feelings. Yes I was laughing, and sometimes when it was necessary crying, I was showing politeness and kindness, whenever it was necessary and it was all right and directed by the organisation, but there was no real feeling left in me to show.

            Back in America, I faced new problems. Many people, whom I was working with, were friend of mine, I liked them one by one and I presume many of them liked me too. I cared about them and they cared about me. In the past I was not hesitant at all to show my love for them, as I could see it as love of a Mojahed for the people, not only natural and ideological, but also necessary and essential, as I believed that we are for them and are working for them. But after three months suffering just for loving and being loved by them. I was horrified of any kindness and interest toward myself, vice versa, showing any personal kindness toward any body at all. While I was told and warned that I have to be as before and act as before, I wanted not to have any un-necessary contact with any of our supporters and people while I was there. I didn’t want to see them and again face the dilemma of having my usual caring and understanding towards them, hence facing my old problems. By then I had suffered enough and I was selfish enough to act in a way to save myself from any more torture, tortures which not only according to my view, but by words of pervious victims of tortures, were much worse than physical ones suffered by our people in Khomieni’s jails.

            Unfortunately about the same time the regime’s agents assassinated two of our sisters in Iraq and we had to have a small demonstration for them in Los Angles. Hence again I had to face many of our supporters, some of them new ones those who were recruited by me. When they were asking me about my absence I had to make a story and lie to them. When few of them start talking about my activities there and its importance not only for Iranian there but for all Iranian around the country and even in Europe as all of them were fed by the media and celebrities residing in Los Angles, I start to reason against their logic, and when I heard few compliment about myself, I rejected them with showing some sort of anger. By then I realised change of mod I noticed few years back in Abrishamchii. For sometimes, especially after first stage of ideological revolution he was one of the most favourite members of the organisation not only among supporters, but also even among members. We loved him and were having some sort of especial respect for him. But suddenly he changed and starts acting, some how to create resentment and even animosity toward himself. By then many among members were thinking that he has lost his modesty and kindness because of fame and fortune given to him. But by now I could see and feel what had happened to him; he too had to fight against any kindness toward himself for not being criticised for stealing people’s love for the leadership.

 

 

Implementing the ‘principals of the Ideological revolution’

Another problem that I faced in Los Angles was ‘enforcement of principals of the revolution’. By then as I was introduced as non-Mojahed member of the organisation, I was told by Maryam that I should act as non-Mojahed too, hence I was told by her to shack hand with opposite sex in Political meetings as all our members in that section and even with female Iranian whenever I was forced to. But after the new phase of the ideological revolution, according to new principals of the revolution, which I had to observe them as others, I was not supposed to shack hand with opposite sex under any circumstances. Hence when in that demonstration a lady in her sixties who was recruited by me came toward me to shake hand as usual, first I tried to find an excuse and run away from facing her. Then when I found no way out of it, I found myself in an embarrassing situation, by apologising her and explaining that because of our Islamic principals I am excused from shacking hand with her. Another old lady standing there, made a joke and said: “OK, have a glove and shake hand.” Perhaps like many of our members, if from the beginning I was acting as a ‘Mojahed’ and a ‘Moslem’, by then I had no problem, but when for sometimes I was told that it is all right to shack hand and suddenly we were told to stop it, there could not be any ideological justification for our action. To face this problem, I asked my masoul for her advice, especially what should I do facing celebrities and people in politic. She told me, she is going to ask Paris and is going to let me know. After few days when I had a meeting with one of the female celebrities, I went back to her, but still she didn’t have any answer from Paris. I told her well I have two alternatives, either cancel my meeting or say that I have cold and excuse myself from shacking hand with any body. She said I cannot postpone the meeting and advised me to go for my second option, hence from then on that became my excuse for not shacking hand.

            Another embarrassing situation came when I had a meeting with director of one of the Iranian Television programs. Well everything was fine, till one of the lady celebrities known by me suddenly appeared in his office. As usual I apologised for not shacking hand with her because of my cold. But the director, didn’t let me to finish my excuse, and interrupted me by his laughing, saying “how come you don’t want to transfer your cold only to Mrs . . . and you don’t care if I catch cold by shacking hand and kissing you?!”

            Well by then many embarrassing, sad and at the same time funny stories like that as a result of new codes our principals of the ideological revolution were happening everywhere. According to those principals no Mojahed male and female should sit next to each other, not even next to opposite sex supporter. Once I had to go from a city to another city by plane with one of our female masouls. In the plane we had to try very hard to change my seat to avoid sitting next to each other. After long hard working my seat was changed, while by then I was sitting between another two women and she was sitting next to another young man.

            In another incident, a supporter as a complain was asking me a puzzle? He told me he was giving lift or as American saying, ride to one of our sisters and two brothers. He said: “I was sitting in the driver seat ready for them to sit in the car and move, But I noticed every body is hesitant to sit, they were thinking how to sit, and they were puzzled how to solve the problem they were facing, eventually I was told by the sister to get off from the car and sit in the back seat of the car beside two brothers, she said she is going to drive the car. I was very surprised and even angry, I told her neither she knows the city and the directions towards where we supposed to go, nor has she American licence or insurance, hence if an accident happens it is going to be considered as a criminal act. But my reasons didn’t have any effect and she insisted in driving my car, she even didn’t accept I sit in front seat next to her to direct her where to go, so she sat alone in front seat and we three in back seat.”

            According to another principal set by Maryam no brother and sister were permitted to walk or have a meeting alone, at the same time few years back she had set another principal that no brother should have a political meeting alone and has to be accompanied by a sister; her intention by then was to let our sisters to learn those jobs from brothers and stop monopolising of those sort of works by our brothers. After the setting of those principals, in many department we found real problem, for example when a sister and a brother wanted to attend a political meeting as they were not permitted to walk alone, they had to find somebody else to accompany them, Hence many of our political meetings where changed into a joke as many of them were as simple as one man’s job, while three people all with titles were showing themselves in the meeting. In these kind of activities and in any job needed a sister and a brother to walk alone, or have an organisational meeting we were facing problem of finding some body to be present. Gradually new term was invented in our organisational relation, ‘Nafar Ham-rah’, (a company person) a person who had nothing to do in that meetings or doing that job in an organisational meeting, and was there for hours, only for fulfilment of that principal. During those days it was very common that masouls of different departments calling each other to see if they have free ‘a company person’ to lend them. Even they were counting the number of hours they borrowed or lent ‘a company person’. ‘Nafar Ham-rah’ was so important and essential for many department like political section which some times it was common to hear from our masouls that they are prepared to pay for them or exchange their time with a car or a computer.

            I finished my job in Los Angles and America and I was anxious to return to Paris to save myself from the problems and contradictions I was facing there, but instead of returning to Paris, I was asked to go to Germany.

            When I reached our largest base in Germany, I found almost all our members in Europe working there or other bases close to that one. We were preparing ourselves for our largest political meeting out side of Iran.

            After failure of Maryam, officially attending a public meeting in America and France, Germany was the next hope of the organisation for showing her in front of a large crowd. From a month or two ahead of the meeting, preparation in different field for organising that meeting was started in Germany. Few weeks ahead of the meeting many walls in different cities and even small towns of Germany were covered by different posters of Maryam, announcing her appearances in that meeting. Though in the beginning we could see no obstacle in her appearances in that meeting, gradually we could feel things were. Iranian regime with its economical and political influence on Germany’s government, was trying hard to force that country’s government to stop her from attending that public meeting. Hence almost every body in Political section was sent there to work as hard as possible to neutralise the regime’s action there. Every day since early morning till late night we were having different meetings with politician, and reporters, even intellectuals and humanitarian organisations to force them in defence of democracy to stand against their government’s intention. Whatever we did, we could not succeed in forcing the government to let Maryam to appear in that ceremony. Instead we hired a satellite company to broadcast-live Maryam’s speech and vice versa what was going on in the meeting simultaneously for every where including Iraq for NLA’s combatants. We recruited every body, all our supporters from everywhere, even from America and some of our members from Iraq to be present there, to make that meeting as dense as possible. To attract many ordinary Iranian living in Germany, estimated around one hundred thousands, Marzieh, along few other celebrities working with us had their performances in that meeting too. In this meeting Maryam as future president of Iran, who had to be neutral toward religion, or different political organisation, talked about Islam and further more about the Ideological leader, Masoud. I guess by then the organisation had lost all its hopes for achieving anything more by denying its internal relation and had to accept Maryam’s belief that the only way for achieving anything more was through Mojahedin’s values, first and most important of all, by introducing its ‘Ideological leadership’.

 

 

To be a ‘good member’ as good as a machine

Few days before the start of meeting I was nominated to be the host of our foreign guests in that meeting, I had to find a proper hotel and proper cars, be with them during those days, take them to the ceremony, and different receptions organised for them, among them there was our old friend, an retired member of congress, few Lords of house of lords from Britain, few members of parliaments from Scandinavian countries, few reporters, intellectuals and some people from international organisations. It was my most important and sensitive job after the new phase of the revolution, so I wanted to do it exactly according to what I was told, and not what I was thinking was right. I was not going to ask or suggest any thing, no arguing about the number of people under my responsibility or the budget they were giving me. For some reason not known to me, I was not told about my job, or number of people as my guest or any thing else till only two days ahead of the meeting. In matter of days I had to find every thing alone, not even having a car, in a country, which I didn’t know anything about it or even knowing their language. I was told to find a Hotel as close as possible to our base! Why? I was not told and I didn’t ask. When I found right hotel, I was given the list of guests and information about their arrival. Almost in the same day few of them were landing in Frankfurt, few in Dusseldorf, and some in Dortmund, and the rest were landing in Cologne airport and one or two were coming by train. Our Hotel was in Bonn and the meeting and receptions were taking place in Dortmund. I had Three brothers under my responsibility, two of them driver and another one for staying in the hotel and organising things there. All our guests were dignitaries so we had to welcome them in different airports with appropriate ceremony and courtesy, hence I had to be present when they were arriving in all different airports. Well soon I learned I have to forget about ceremonies and being courteous, as we didn’t have enough driver, and enough room in each car hired, I had to be driver, and at the same time their host, I was carrying their briefcases, and at the same time having lunch and dinner with them and introducing them to other guests. Talking with them about the politics and giving them the latest political news about the organisation and at the same time asking them to read maps and helping me in finding our way from or back to our hotel. Eventually when after the meeting I wanted to take them back to their airports, I found almost none of people under my responsibility conscious enough to help me, they were so tired which all were collapsed on the floor. With hard work only I could keep myself and another driver awake enough to take those poor people back to their airport. It was quiet an experience for me, experience of just obeying and not asking or suggesting, as we were told to be a good member and be ‘from head to toe just ear’. By the end of it, I was very proud and happy as all our guests survived and none of them were killed as a result of our sleepless driving in a country we didn’t know any thing about it and always were in rush to reach to our next appointment. Later one of the member who had seen me in that ‘adventure’, had written a report criticising me for borrowing money from his budget to buy a return ticket for one of the reporters who wanted to return sooner than time of his ticket. His report was shown to me by my masoul and she asked me what do I have to say? I laughed and told her: “He had to be very ignorant or kind to me, just seeing the smallest wrong doing of me during those days, I was not only borrowing money, but everything including life to do my job as I was directed to do.”

            Immediately after the end of that meeting I was told to return to America for our demonstration there. In that demonstration an old lady approached me, she was wife of one of the famous male singer of Iran who was dead; she was close friend of my mother and my aunt. When she saw me, she kissed me in front of every body, while I didn’t know what to write later about that kiss, I felt strangely, it was like I am seeing my mother or one of my close relative. She had smell of my country, my mother and my family. Some how she gave me the sense of being human and my own individual again, it was very nice feeling, but short lived as soon after the demonstration I returned back to Paris and stayed there for the whole summer, except for few trips to here and there for doing different job. After seeing that old lady and remembering my past life again, few times I felt, I have noting more to do in the organisation, I could feel neither we as organisation were doing anything except making big noises in advance of our goal, nor I as an individual am as useful as before in doing any job at all. During our revolutionary meetings we had to reject, everything good, done by us in the past, even we were told that we had not done anything but damaging the organisation and destroying the achievements of the leadership. Nasrin in one of the meetings told us that the leadership was much better off without us than having us, if it was not because of us perhaps by now he was back in Iran ruling the country. Some times we were told that even foreigners and ordinary Iranian understand and appreciate glory of our leaders better than us, and he was much better of with being with few of them rather than having us. Obviously with saying these things they wanted to change our attitude, changing us from a creditor into a debtor. We had to be very grateful of them for those kinds of words in helping us to pass that stage of the revolution. In Maryam’s word those words parallel to all insults we were receiving daily from different sides were helping hands of our kind leader for saving us from the hell we were in or were going toward it. She said: “This is part of unlimited sacrifice of our leader in saving us all, and that is our right to use it as much as we can.” She said: “well that is his responsibility too, after all if a leader doesn’t save his followers what else has he to do?” However our leader was kind with organising those revolutionary meetings or for insult of us by different masouls in front of every body, I have to say I could feel I was losing all my ties to the organisation daily, and many times were thinking to leave the organisation for good. The only thing still was strong enough to hold me there was my emotional dependency toward the organisation, our martyrs, our members and supporters, . . . Apart from them, still I was not able to say I don’t like Maryam and don’t care what is going to happen for the organisation. Still I was trying to make things or two in improving our work in political section which I was working in during summer time.

            I think even it was accepted by the organisation that I have had some progress in ideological revolution as I was told to accompany a delegation under responsibility of Nasrin to Norway for evaluation of the chance of Maryam for travelling there and even residing there. By then she was facing more and more restrictions from French authorities and could not get visa for travelling to anywhere else, hence we were trying hard to find an alternative for her. Even later I was host of few British Lords who came to Paris to visit her, they promised that they might be able to solve her problem by persuading British government for letting her to reside in UK.

            Though the revolutionary meetings for lower ranking members were concluded, for higher ranking members it was going on, and every week we had to attend one or two of them under the direction of Nasrin and sometimes Maryam herself. These new meetings were much harsher and crueller. Things, which people were admitting to, were stranger, and harder to believe. They were calling themselves and each other, thief, murderer, traitor, beast, enemy of the leadership and even thirsty for his blood, or whatever else you name it. To attack the one who was criticising himself, others had no mercy as if they were not attacking him, soon they could find themselves under harshest attacks of others. Some how it was like the Roman Gladiator’s fights, they had to injure and beat and even kill others for saving themselves from being killed. Fortunately rarely I knew any body in those new meetings as most of them were very old members, and members working previously in the NLA, so I had every excuse for not talking and involving myself in their bitter fight. Strangely Nasrin was less keen in asking or letting me to talk about myself, either she had many more fat victims to think of which she didn’t care about me, or she had nothing new against me, or perhaps she had given up her hopes in changing me into a ‘good member’. I could see people are changing gradually, many old and famous members, our past heroes, by then were changed into some old retired generals who had nothing to do except simple clerk works, and no where to go except staying in their old offices waiting for dying. I could feel some of them are losing their intelligence and state of mind too, they were showing superficial and sham happiness, some times strange movements, for very simple things, like nice lunch or dinner or piece of sweat. More like children than adult, they were even proud of their situation by calling themselves as newborn child as a result of the revolution, with happiness of a child. To help these people to work in new atmosphere of the organisation, following Maryam’s advice few people were employed to teach them a foreign language, hence during those days we could see them like schoolboys studying and even behaving like them. Later those lectures were stopped as in a revolutionary meeting it was revealed that main incentives of many of them for learning foreign language was to find the mean of survival outside of the organisation as they could see themselves on the edge of leaving Mojahedin for good. By then, as far as I knew and learned about, at least five or six old members already had left the organisation. Many more in each meeting were admitting into their intention in leaving the organisation. In one of those meetings, one of my old friends from New Castle, once especial guard of Masoud, announced his intention in leaving the organisation, apparently he had left our base but after few hours, had called Nasrin and asked to return. In that meeting he faced one of the worst kind of attacks. After that for days no body from fear of being accused of having sympathy towards him, was prepared to talk or seat close to him. Once or twice when he showed his friendly smile to me, to return his smile, I had to look around to see if any body is watching us or not. Later he was sent back to Britain and employed in doing simple works in London, eventually after few months he left the organisation for good. Apart from leaving the organisation, or changing into a retired member, we had two other choices, to kill ourselves which I presume some back in Iraq who could not leave the organisation did so, or change ourselves completely. After all it was said by Maryam that, “time for being half Mojahed has passed, either one has to change into a full Mojahed member or else.”

            While I was noticing change of others, rarely I could see or notice myself and kind of person I was changing into. I never said any thing more about my few times temptation of leaving the organisation for good. While every now and then to save myself I was producing some thing to say or write against my self. But they were calculated ones and I was very careful not to repeat the same mistake I did before. For me like almost every body else survival was the first and the most important agenda of the day. In the meetings with excuse of Back problem, usually I was sitting by the door, and could leave the room whenever I could feel that Nasrin expect me to say something against the one who was talking, and when I could see no alternative I was repeating things which others already had said about the poor guy, with different wordings. Once I tried something, which I find it amusing and interesting especially as it could save me from talking with no price. When after talking of a guy Nasrin mentioned that his case is similar to me in my first experience, and asked me for comment, instead of saying anything I showed my hands erected on top of my head, the same way she showed it in that famous meeting. She start nodding positively and laughing with satisfaction, as a result every body else start laughing too. I noticed my real change when I felt I have betrayed a friend to save myself. Once when I was walking with one of guys from political section, he told me about his situation, he said: “We have to be merciful of sister Maryam and this stage of the revolution, God knows without them what was going to happen to us? Some times I feel, if it was not because of this revolution and we had left the organisation, what kind of miserable life we were going to have!? A part from losing our hopes and desires, what could we do outside of the organisation? We have lost our youth, and perhaps part of our health, our families and relatives and friends. What can we do after living here for more than fifteen years?! I guess soon we were going to dream the food and nice bed we are having here.” Next day when he was talking by mentioning his words I asked him if his stay in the organisation is because of his belief, or is from desperation of not having anywhere else to go? He answered my question by saying that I am right and perhaps his strong reason is the latter one, later I felt very sad and angry of myself, it was something, which I never was expecting my self to do. To use some body’s friendly talking, for saving myself, from accusation of not attacking any body in those meetings. I could see that I am changing into a person I always hated to see. I stopped talking in those meetings completely, though even before that, rarely one could see me talking. I stopped showing my hand as readiness for talking against myself, some how I was showing my opposition and resistance against those meetings. But before any body realise my new state of mind, luckily as organisation had found some problem back in America, I was asked to return back to there.

            By then it was decided and announced that Marzieh is going to have her most important concert in Los Angles, where we were hopping to have the largest crowd ever. While still I was there, in pervious year, after consultation with people there, I suggested to Maryam to let another body except us to sponsor her first concert there. If an independent body was going to sponsor her concert, media there could not attack her as harshly as they wanted to, they could not create their usual different rumours for stopping people to attend her concert. If the result was successful, as she was known as member of NCR, and Maryam’s advisor, we were sharing her credit of success. And if it was not as successful as we wished to, it was not our fault and could not be counted as unpopularity of the organisation. Following that idea, I talked with a director of the most famous Persian television program there, and he agreed to be the sponsor of her concert there. He accepted to advertise for her and pay all the expenses. Apart from him, I talked with few more people from the media, weekly papers, Persian radios and few Persian television programs, and it was accepted by them to advertise for her, so not only they were neutralised in advertising against her concert, but they had accepted to advertise positively. I even found out that one of the weekly papers there in its few issues had printed one of my interviews with the paper from year before, which though it meant more criticise for me inside of the organisation, but it was very beneficial advertisement, for us and her concert. Hence even if few remaining Persian media there were going to advertise negatively for her, their action could not be as effective as before and was most probably going to be neutralised by positive actions of others.

            Unfortunately while I was in Paris, again some narrow-minded people in the organisation or perhaps Masoud himself had suggested why should we let others benefit from Marzieh’s concert. They had accused me for not thinking of interest of the organisation and interpret my suggestions as another efforts of mine for making myself favourite among people there. As a result after the announcement of Marzieh’s concert there and its advertisement on huge bill board in Los Angles, strongest ever wave of attacks against her and the organisation had been organised and begin in the city, without nobody bothering to defend or support her. Apart from damage which they were inflicting on the concert itself, all the celebrities who were hopping by Marzieh’s concert things could change in their favour in that city were losing their hope and some of them were on the edge of separation from the organisation and denial of working any more for us. We even were not able to persuade any musician to work and play for her and had to employ many of them from Europe.

            After my return there, we could persuade few Iranian media to dare to accept to advertise for her. And a television to have interview with her. I talked with the television director, which was supposed to be her sponsor and apologised from him, by putting blame on myself and saying that I was ill and people here didn’t know about our arrangement, and it was all my mistake, … any way while by then they had few talking against the concert, they changed direction and mentioned few good things about it. While we tried very hard to change things from bad to good, by organising few interviews for her with Persian and American media there, we could not succeed to neutralise the fear created among Iranian for attending her concert. Hence, as usual we had to recruit our supporters from all different cities to fill the Saloon. As a result not only we could not benefit financially from that concert, but again at the end of it we found ourselves at least with few hundred thousands dollars debt to different people mostly our supporters. Among them my close family friend, owner of a travel agency, who because of me had given the organisation about hundred thousand worth of travel’s ticked and had difficult time to get it back.

            After Los Angles I was send to Sweden to attend the second Festival of Iranian cinema outside of the country, I had to represent the NCR there, It was very sad for me that over there celebrities whom I was interested to see and talk with, did accept to see me as individual but not as the representative of the NCR, which of course it was refused by our office. Over there I had to work and talk with some of our close supporters, unfortunately soon I found they are having almost the same problems our supporters were facing back in America. It seemed our situation was the same everywhere, we were losing our old supporters and could not find any respect and foot hold among our countrymen anywhere.

 

 

“‘Hard work’ and ‘Hardship’, the only solution”

In my return to Paris, I was told that while I am there instead of working in political section I had to work in secretary office of NCR and helping them. By then to earn some money for paying all our debts because of Germany’s expenses and Marzieh’s concert in Los Angles, almost every body, even some members of the leadership council were sent to do SW work for almost two months.

            Some how, I think by then it was realised by Nasrin that, I have no intention in going any further through the ideological revolution. They had few more ‘Dig’ meetings, but they didn’t ask me to attend them, they let me to know about them in different way, perhaps to make me wishful of attending them, creating some sort of incentives for struggle to revolt and change myself more, as while they were painful but at the same time they were symbol of change of us into new members. I could feel the same thing in other forms too, intentionally they were telling me that people, whom I knew and were close to me, almost the same rank, have had a very good revolution and . . . perhaps to make me envy of them, and new incentive for revolution. I think eventually they had decided that, it is better I become retired too, as my new job was more or less a clerk type of work, in the secretary office of the NCR. Still I had my title as the representative of NCR in America, and every body except my close circle in the organisation was thinking that I am in charge in America, few times even I saw few articles and letters under my name published in different American papers. They were sending letters and responses under my name to different politician there, and whenever they needed me to contact any celebrity in America for doing something, they were asking me to do so. I had to attend NCR’s meeting and talk there on behave of our office in America, while I didn’t have slightest clue what is going on there. Once before one of those meetings I was told by Mohadessin that NCR members might ask me about those who have left the organisation in America. He said they claim that the main reason why people change into a Borida is the Ideological revolution. Hence you have to answer them back by explaining why they are leaving. He was right and in the meeting I was asked about them. I didn’t have any clue, who and how many people have left and why. I couldn’t think of any reason except the one I was supposed to deny it. So some how conclusion of my speech was that they are leaving the organisation, as they cannot bear the pressure of the revolution. When I said that I realised unintentionally I had said the only thing I had to deny. I noticed Mohadessin and Abrishamchii, who were biting their moustache from anger.

            Working in the secretary office was a new experience for me too, I could test myself to see, if I can live as a retired person or not? Instead of resisting, struggling and fighting daily against outside and inside enemies, surrendering myself to orders, and do whatever they decide and dictate to me to do. Doing simple and routine job, which didn’t need any hard working or hard thinking, no innovation, no creativity, no contact with outside world, having no concern about difficulties Mojahedin were facing daily in the organisation’s struggle for survival. Yes perhaps compare to leaving the organisation, changing into a Borida, and being called a traitor, going toward Khomieni’s ideology and way of thinking which was prediction of the organisation for whoever who was leaving it, it was better to become a retired person within the organisation. I think poor Rezaie’s destiny was not much better than me, by then he had lost his position as first secretary of the NCR, and apart hanging around his office there, every day was reading different news, choosing some of them, giving them to me to send them to different members using fax and computer.

            It was said by Maryam that to change ourselves, we have to work hard, we have to do whatever is difficult and even painful, have less resting time and less food, . . . The building we were working in was a place for working of few hundred people, but by then it was almost empty, only perhaps twenty to thirty people full time were doing different job there, while all the building, its huge yard, large saloons, its long corridors and hall ways, toilets, … had to be cleaned weekly and some daily. Hence while there was little job for me to do as clerk of the secretary office, there was plenty work left to be done. I start changing myself not only into a clerk, but further, into a serving person, I start helping every body, including those members of NCR who were working there, permanently or part time, many of them in the past under my responsibility.

            Because of my back, and my injured right arm, I was not very good in physical work, doing them were painful and I could damage myself even more. But despite having pain, I was insisting in doing any physical work available there. One day I sweep the whole yard, while next day it was very difficult for me to move from pain, but it gave me some sort of satisfaction, it seemed after all Maryam was right and hardship and pain were good! And could help one to forget other things. Soon I changed into a person who was welcoming any physical work. I usually was first to attend and last to leave any common physical job. Hard work despite its physical pain could give me some sort of satisfaction; it was giving me the feeling of being useful again. Gradually I start to be alive and myself again. I was not hesitating in loving people around me and helping them in any way I could, This time I was not even afraid of their affection toward me as by then nobody could criticise or accuse me of doing those things for personal gain. Again I could see myself keen in improving and making a change in my surrounding. Day by day I was working harder and having less and less resting time. My change not only was recognisable for my self and those who were working around me, but for masoul of our section and Nasrin too. Once even I was praised by my masoul in front of others while I was present too. It was very unusual and very rare, not only for me but also for any body. This was not custom of the organisation to prise any body in his presence, especially male members. As matter of fact they were not prising me, but were admiring Maryam. They too, like me were seeing my change as another prove for ‘how right and wise is Maryam in showing us our way toward changing ourselves into an ideal Mojahed’. After all it was her last message in that stage of the ideological revolution, “working hard and harder and welcoming hardship and even pain.” By then their main concern about me was my health. They had received warning form our physician about my health and when few times, I could not move even an inch for few days, they decided to stop me by force, not to do any more physical work and have more rest. During those days, which I was not able to move, I was very impressed and touched by the kindness of some of the Non-Mojahed members of the NCR toward myself. An old merchant of Bazaar who was very rich when he was in Iran and now was living poorly in Paris as a refugee, and a famous colonel of air force. They were perhaps as kind as my mother toward me, helping me in doing things, bringing me food and whatever I needed, taking me to the hospital and . . . I never can forget the care and love they gave me.

 

 

Writing a Book

By the beginning of January 1996 and return of members who left us for SW work, I found myself almost paralysed in sitting or walking, always in pain. I could see that I have lost part of my health again, but I was not regretful as I was alive again, I was thinking that my soul had been saved and I am a Mojahed again. While Organisation wanted to send me back to America, I benefited from my back problem and refused to go, Instead Maryam asked me to write a book about the problem which the organisation was facing daily in different scene. The problem was created by those who already had left the organisation; problem of ‘Borida-ha’. Though by then few books under different name and title, about the same subject had been published by the organisation, they asked me to write a book in the same line, and as documented and factual as the book I wrote before. A book, which could be translated in different languages and used in political scene.

            By then I learned that in any country few members, including some of our sisters, have left the organisation; apparently we were not facing any problem from those who left us when they were in Europe or America, but those who were coming from Iraq. They were changed from members into foes of the organisation and were looking to find different means to complain about the organisation’s behaviour against its own member. Not only their stories could be read in different Iranian papers accused by us as organs of secret police of the regime, but by now they were revealing their stories among politician and international media. Their latest activity was to see the representative of the United Nation for monitoring situation of human rights in Iran, complaining about the respect of the organisation for the human rights.

            By then I could feel more than ever, what they meant by calling Mojahedin’s bases as prison and their claim for being tortured. When I was under pressure to write about my animosity towards the organisation, as criticising myself in one of my report to Maryam I wrote to her: “Sometimes I sympathise with Borida-ha, I feel they are right by calling our base as prison. As matter of fact I feel they are not saying enough, after all I think Mojahedin’s prison is the worst kind of Prison ever. In all different prisons from middle ages up to present time people have been restricted from running away by walls, water, steel or even fire and electric shocks. Here there is no visible wall or steel or electric shock to restrict us from leaving. But worst than all of them and the most effective and horrible one of them is imprisoning not only our body but our mind. Here we are chained by our own mind. And are controlled by ourselves. We have changed into our own jailer and torturer. Not only we are controlled physically, but even mentally. Not only our activities are always under monitoring, but even our thought and dreams, are controlled by our jailers who are not any body but ourselves. Not only every day we are tortured with worst possible mean for what have we done, but even for what have we thought of. The organisation has spy among us who can report everything back to them. After all who can spy against one better than himself!? . . . “

            Worse than everything, prisoners of mind could not expect sympathy from any body. While we were suffering and accused inside of the organisation, we were not safe from accusation of people outside too. We were accused of not having any love or feeling for anybody even our own children and family, even we were accused of being selfish, not caring for anything including our own family. Once after seeing Sarvy, Abrishamchii told her that she is look like me! In response Sarvy sarcastically told him: “Good then tell my dad when ever he miss me, he can look at mirror.” Yes those who are chained in prisons not only are not blamed for not being able to see and care for their family, but they have sympathy of everybody for being deprived of being with their families. But in our prison when we were chained of even thinking of our own family, not only we were not receiving any sympathy but also blame and even more torture from nearest people to ourselves.

            Yes it could be called worst kind of jail and worst kind of torture, if one wanted to resist against it and keep his or her individuality and free will. But when one was prepared to surrender himself, and could accept to change himself into what he was asked to, a ‘good Mojahed’, a ‘good soldier for the leadership’. Immediately he could feel free, even free from usual chains and pains of ordinary life. Free from himself. So apart from what right Mojahedin have to impose those kind of exercise on us, and if when we joined them did we give them the right of being God and changing us, using any means available, calling Mojahedin’s bases as a jail and their actions as a torture, again I think its up to interpretation of any one for himself and the situation which he is in at the time. One minute’s jail and hell can be next minute’s free land and heaven, and a torture of the yesterday can be called helping and Godly hand of tomorrow. Though one with the same interpretation might claim, one of Khomieni’s torturers who called their prisons, as university was right too. And another one, who told one of the prisoners under his torture: “you should thank us very much, as with this small amount of suffering you bear now, you will be safe from long lasting suffering in Hell.”

            What organisation wanted me to do was to prove that those who were acting against us, “all are member’s of secret police of the regime, and old spies of the regime among us. They all are fed and financed by the regime and as a result whatever they are saying against us are void.” To prove their claim they gave me files of ‘documents’ about each one of them, mostly their own reports and self-criticism’s letters while they were among Mojahedin, and clips of different Persian newspapers containing news about them or part of story of their life. To do my job, Jabarzadeh briefed me. He wanted to teach me how to use those ‘documents’ for proving our claim. I was fully aware of his kind of ‘proof’ from my past experience and usual arguments of weekly Mojahed against our abandoned old members. For example they used to say weekly paper A is a newspaper of Iranian regime, because it contains news in favour of the regime. Weekly paper B has published the same news as A against Mojahedin, hence B is weekly of the regime too. In this way they can prove weeklies C, D, … are weeklies of the regime as well. Now if a guy, a political activist, an intellectual, or an old member of Mojahedin, has an interview with one of this papers or write something in one of them, against Mojahedin, he could be accused of collaborating with the regime against Mojahedin and could be concluded that he is a mercenary, spy, of the regime and a traitor . . . It is not going to finish here, as from then on if that person be seen by any body or have an interview in another paper, the next person or the next paper is going to be called agent or paper of the regime too. With this kind of ‘logic’ Mojahedin have ‘proved’ almost all Persian papers and many radios and television programs outside of the country are either financed or are in service of the regime, Monarchist or in few cases CIA and foreign governments. Hence talking with any of them makes a person agent of those sources too.

            In this way, they had enough ‘proof’ against all their oppositions, out side of the country, which they felt they do not need anything else. Hence they asked me to finish that book in a month time.

            My problem was that I could not accept that kind of ‘logic’, as a correct or acceptable one. I wanted to find proper reason for our claims. I did whatever I could, while I have to admit, in some cases perhaps non-intentionally I used the same kind of method. For example to prove that those people who have left us and have talked against Mojahedin are traitor, I compared them with ‘traitors’ in American civil war, or American Revolution. To show working with enemy doesn’t make an organisation or a person necessarily a traitor. I compared working of Mojahedin with Iraqis during Iran-Iraq war, with collaboration of some Germans during Second World War with Allied forces. Or to show how wrong our foes are in accusing our leader of having ‘Cult of personality’, I compared him with President Lincoln in American civil war and President Roosevelt during second world war who both were accused of the same thing by their enemies mostly proven spies of the enemy. To show how merciful our leader is toward our own ‘traitors’, I compared Mojahedin’s reaction toward them with action of different countries among most liberal ones such as Norway and Sweden or Netherlands toward their traitors after the Second World War.

            In this book instead of proving that our foes are collaborator of the regime and traitor to the revolution and hence the country, I wanted to show that their arguments against Mojahedin are wrong and baseless. I had to show: our ‘arm struggle’ against the regime, our peace agreement with Iraqis and our stay in that country, were just and right . . . To do this difficult tasks, I had to do a lot of research, I read many different papers including all published Mojaheds and papers belonged to Mojahedin and NCR under different names, many articles against us in different Iranian and non-Iranian papers in different countries. To make my arguments, sometimes very difficult and confusing ones, understandable for a foreign reader, I had to give examples from their own history. So I had to research in their history too. Fortunately for doing a job I was asked to have another trip to Los Angles. While I was there, with the help of a very good friend, I could find many documents in the library which could be used in the book. As one can guess, only my research for writing that book took me few months. During all that time I always were under pressure to finish the book as soon as possible, my masouls changed few times, each time finding new masoul, I had to persuade her, that what I am doing is different and does need time. As eventually I received sign of ‘go ahead’ by Nasrin and later Maryam herself, to write the book in my own way, I could feel I have more time and gradually changed it from a defensive book against our foes, into some kind of recent history of Mojahedin. Perhaps by then, more than any body else, I wanted to show to my self that Mojahedin are right and their enemies are wrong about different things Mojahedin were accused of. I was very much hopping to finish that by the Iranian new year, to give it to Maryam as a present, but it didn’t finish by then and when she gave me a tie and a photograph of Masoud as the new year present, I had nothing to offer except apologising her for not finishing the book by then. It took me almost six months to finish that book of few hundred pages with thousands of different documents. When I finished it and handed it to Nasrin, she send copy of it to different masoul to read it and give their comment before it’s publishing. Fortunately none of them found enough time or incentive to read that book and as a result it was never published. Few months after I left the organisation I found out how wrong and biased I was in writing that book, hence when I was asked by the organisation if I don’t mind they publish it under my name, I told them: “not under my name as I cannot accept many arguments used in that book, obviously when I wrote them, I was a Mojahed and was thinking as a Mojahed, I only was seeing facts and figures which were beneficial to Mojahedin and nothing else. If I write it again I try to see things as widely as possible, so it might not come in favour of you.”

 

 

Sarvenaz

By the end of writing that book, my back as a result of many hours of sitting and typing was so bad which I had no alternative but returning to England to see if I can have another back operation. Reaching London my main concern and hope was to see my children as soon as possible. By then for the first time in many years, I didn’t have my old concern and restriction due to ‘unresolved marriage statues’, hence could see them and be with them freely. By then as a result of many criticising articles in different Iranian papers about our children and their relation with their parents, the organisation was welcoming any reunion of members with their children and was spending enough money and time to see that happens. Many of our children by then were reaching to the age of adulthood; we were receiving news from every where that especially those who were separated from their parents during the Gulf war and sent to different countries, are changing very rapidly into a very rebellious, and disobedient children, totally oppose to the Mojahedin cause. Some of them had gone as far as interviewing with some papers against their parents and the organisation. So it was essential for the organisation to have those children in its side in its battle against its enemies. As a result, in few occasions Maryam asked they be taken from different countries back to Paris to see their parents and be with them for as long as they could. She sent each one of them an especial present and even had meeting with those children and took few photographs with them which latter was published in our papers as her meeting with Iranian children.

            After talking with Sarvy, I found out that Hanif according to his decision or Anna’s wish doesn’t want to see me, so I was expecting to see Sarvy (Sarvenaz), the last time I saw her was twentieth April 1991, and now, it was April 1996, exactly it was five years since I had seen or heard her last time. When I left her, she was still a child, fourteen years old girl, which I had to buy her pens and pencils as present. Now she was a nineteen years old lady, as I heard from friends, in first year of medical school. I didn’t have much money with me and any way didn’t know what to buy her as present?! The only thing that I could think of was the thing I liked to have when I was in her age. By then I wished very much to have my own pocket calculator, which by then was very rare and expensive in Iran. Well by 1996, though for more than Fifteen years I was not having a normal life and didn’t know much about different things in outside world, still I knew, calculators are so cheap that could not be even, wish of a seven years old child to have one. So I bought her a pocket organiser instead, similar to one that few years’ back was given to me as a present by one of our supporters, which made me very happy.

            I was in second floor of our base and was expecting her arrival at any moment, so by any ring of the bell, I was jumping from my seat, looking from the window, to see if she has arrived. Eventually she came and they let us to be alone in the room of the masoul of that base. I did not believe my eyes; it was very hard for me to accept that beautiful young lady is my own little daughter. It was very difficult for me to hug her and kiss her, it was like, I did not believe she is my little Sarvy. I don’t know what did I tell her and what did she asked me, as I am sure none of my senses were working properly at that moment. I am sure, I didn’t cry as for sometimes, cry and tear for me meant, Ideological revolution and by then I was far from any thing to do with the ideological revolution. I gave her the little present I had for her, she opened it and by seeing it told me she has one organiser and doesn’t need another one, she told me she doesn’t think Hanif does need his present too, so I found, I was wrong completely in my choice of presents, I gave her my fountain pen which I liked very much and my marriage ring, the only things valuable I had. Fortunately later when I was in the shop of one of my friends in London, he gave me a leader brief case to give her as a present, which I did. Sarvy told me Hanif might like the organiser, so I asked her to give that one to Hanif.

            I sat in front of her, taking her hand in my hands, I didn’t want to say anything, and just I wanted to watch her for as long as it takes. I think, as a habit I did repeat some of the organisational jargon for her, but I believe she start asking me the real questions. Why didn’t I call them or try to see them, not even whenever I was in London for pervious five years?. I had my own two reasons, I could not say the first one, I could not say that, I was not able to see them and not love them as much as I wanted, as according to the ideological revolution ‘our first and deepest love’ had to be given to our leader and nobody else. I could not tell Sarvy about this reason of mine as I didn’t want to see her oppose to Mojahedin’s way of thinking. Hence I only mentioned my second reason. I told her: “because of ideological revolution I had to divorce, but because of political reason, I was not permitted to do it legally, hence I could not see or talk with them as I didn’t know what to do and say to Anna.” I don’t know how, but somehow while she was crying, she swallowed this reason of mine and said nothing more. She told me, her mother has decided it is better I don’t see Hanif, as when I am going to leave them again, he is going to be very much depressed. Later she told me, it was Hanif’s decision too, she told me, even she was so angry of me, which didn’t want to come and see me, and it was my old friend Shams who persuaded her to come and see me. It was very difficult, and sad for me to accept that reason of Anna for not letting me to see Hanif, but I could understand it. After all, I myself had suffered a lot in seeing and then leaving my mother, when I was a child, so I was fully familiar with the pain she was talking about. Sarvy and I saw each other few times more and were with each other for hours, she even took me to her university and with her help I found some books and documents about my new research for the organisation. About new political era in world’s history after the end of the cold war and role of women in this new era.

            Back in Paris Maryam had decided to revolutionise our system of communication and benefit from ‘Internet’ for all our communication with our members and supporter. I guess by then, they had not been able to find a sister to put in charge of that task. Hence they asked me to be in charge. They introduced me two brothers who were going to work with me in designing the appropriate system of communication and transfer of Information between different cells of the organisation. I was very surprised for this decision, as I could see those brothers are much more capable than me in doing that job and had every right to be in charge. Organisation’s decision could not be neither interpreted as an ideological one as the case of our sisters nor according to my expertise that I had none. Though I was not more than a week or two in charge of that job, but it was ideologically one of the most destructive times I ever had in the organisation. I never could feel as useless as those two weeks. Every day I had to be lectured by those brothers, learn one or two things from them and next evening transfer their idea and whatever I had learned from them to my masoul and ask her for permission of doing things I was asked by those brothers. I could feel my role in that job is work of a messenger for transferring ideas and orders between two existing parties. Something like a telephone line, but of course with a lot of noise, as I could not learn everything as fast as to transfer them correctly and be knowledgeable enough to defend them for their demands. I could not see and understand why one of those brothers cannot be the responsible for that job. I guess they were not ideologically fit for being under responsibility of my masoul. During those two weeks, for the first and last time I truly felt misery which our sisters were in. After all most of their job was exactly what I was asked to do during that two weeks. Being a messenger between brothers with expertise and higher-ranking sister masouls or the leadership. By then I could not stop my self in admiring our sisters for their ideological stamina. After all being just a messenger between two human beings who could easily communicate with each other, needed a lot of ideological stamina for not feeling useless and a parasite in the system, and keeps doing whatever one was asked to do. Fortunately as it was already decided that Maryam was going to London for having her largest audience ever. I was asked to return to London and join tens of members who daily were going there to prepare every thing for her arrival.

 

 

Final Struggle

Back in London, first I was asked to start working with people in political department, for arranging Maryam’s meetings with different dignitaries in Britain, or inviting members of Parliaments, reporters, or famous personalities for attending the sermons she was going to have. But after few days they told me to go to another section, which its job was to recruit our supporters and Iranian to attend the meeting. By then we had different news that many of our old supporters are not so keen in encouraging others to come to the meeting, further more, many of them were showing hesitancy in attending themselves. Hence as I knew and had close, friendly relation with many of them, they thought I might be able to persuade them in joining our effort for attracting largest possible crowd to our meeting. It didn’t take me a single day after joining that section to realise how situation has changed since few years back when I was working there. I travelled to different cities. But everywhere I went the situation was almost the same, in simple word we had lost many of our old supporters and they were not replaced by new ones. Though we were not inviting them to attend a Political demonstration, or a rally, nor we were asking them to come for hearing Maryam’s sermons as it was not announced that she is going to have speech there; still they were not keen in attending that meeting. We only were asking them to join our international solidarity concert with oppressed women. To encourage them and Arabs and Latin American living in London who, well, were very much look like Iranian to join us, apart from Marzieh we had invited few celebrities from Egypt and Lebanon, few famous dancers and a famous singer from Bolivia. Still they were hesitant and in few cases they went as far as telling me that they don’t want to attend that meeting, as it is going to be interpreted later by the organisation as proof of its support among Iranian in Britain which is against their wish. In Newcastle, one of our old supporters, old friend of mine, while welcomed us in his house warmly, after few hours talk, told me that he feels he has been deceived and betrayed by the organisation, he didn’t accept to come and only as a courtesy toward me at the end said: “Perhaps, let see if I can manage to solve my problems.” Which of course he didn’t. In Edinburgh, I tried very hard to find our old supporters, and when I did, it was unbelievable. One of them who was for me as my real sister and I was for her as a brother, didn’t agree to see me. She was with us when in 1981 we left the organisation, and left Mojahedin after her marriage to one of brothers in London. Instead of her, her husband came to see me. Another supporter who with kindness and insistence invited us to his house for dinner, surprised me by saying that: “I am wondering why you still are working with Mojahedin, all wise guys whom I knew by now have left the organisation and only you still are working with them. Another friend, relative of him, which I was hoping very much to see, send a message through him that he likes very much to see me if I go alone and promise not to talk about Mojahedin. In other cities, like Manchester, the situation was the same, either they didn’t want to see us, or even when they did it was due to personal friendship and interest. Though during my trips to different cities I had many promises, but generally I could see that we have lost our bases among our old supporters in different cities for good. Later I found many of those promises were from politeness and kindness and were not real ones, many of them didn’t show themselves in the concert.

            Back in London the situation was the same. One of our old supporters told me that he is going to come just for me, and if I ask him to do so. Every day I was seeing few old supporters, but there was no hope, most of them were repeating the same story or because of kindness and politeness were keeping quite, giving me sham promises. In one day alone since ten o’clock in the morning till three o’clock after midnight I was talking with three of my old friends who had worked with me for years. Each one of them had hundreds of complains, accusations, and questions. When I returned to our base, I went straight back to my masoul and told her: “I don’t know what has happened here, but situation is unbelievable, I have been in many different countries and have heard many different complains from our old supporters, but none of them are any thing like what I had seen here during past few days.” The truth was that it was almost a year I had not had any contact with our supporters, at the time when we were losing our old supporters daily, hence I could not say that the situation there was worse than other countries as I didn’t have any clue what was going on in other countries.

            That night I could not sleep, apart from what I had heard from those old friends, I could see myself differently from past. Disturbing fact about myself was that, no longer I was able to defend Mojahedin from my heart. Once when I was talking with one of our supporters some time well after midnight, I found my self half asleep, talking like a tape recorder, the way of talking which I hated when I could see it being done by people like Mohadessin or Abrishamchii. Yes, I was talking with them to persuade them they are wrong and whatever they have against the organisation is due to wrong doing of us, members, people like me. But I, myself had passed that stage of believing in something like that; a year earlier, when I accused Abrishamchii and others for our problems and later found out that those poor guys have no say in whatever we were doing. Yes while I was talking a lot, perhaps more than ever, but all my talks were from my mouth and not my heart, hence they were not effective at all. Later few of those who I talked with told me that they felt clearly, I am different and am not as persuasive as before.

            The next day, I was called to accompany my masoul to see Maryam who by then was in London. In a meeting just for some women masoul of the organisation, responsible for recruiting people from different countries to attend that concert, I was asked by Maryam, what do I think about the situation and how many do I guess would be there? I told her about my experience with our old supporters. She asked me: “what do you think is their problem?” I replied: “well I think it is due to some of our wrong doings, mainly in communication with them and our management.” While I mentioned different facts I had heard from supporters, I didn’t dare to say that their real problem, is that, they have lost their trust toward the organisation and trust was the only tie existed between them and us. She asked me what do I think was the source of their problem? I did hesitate but roughly mentioned the word of trust. She replied I am wrong and told me: “the main reason for their dissatisfaction is that all of them are Talabkar (Creditor) of the organisation.” Then she asked: “and who do you think has made them Talabkar and why didn’t you realise this obvious fact?” At this point Nasrin, who was there, while her eyes were full of tears, replied instead of me and said: “we, members have made them Talabkar and all blames rest on us. We have made them Talabkar as we were Talabkar too.” Then Nasrin faced me, who I was the only male member among them and asked me: “What about you, why didn’t you realise their problem?” I said: “because I was Talabkar too?!” She said: “yes you are right, because you were Talabkar too, and could you tell us creditor of what? What did you want from the organisation and the leadership?” I was thinking to answer her, which she was interrupted by Maryam, she said: “this is not an ideological meeting, lets forget about this matter and let see what are we going to do.” Then she asked each masoul present there from different countries to see how many people they have recruited to be in the concert.

 

 

Next departure, Baghdad instead of Tehran

By now all supporters knew that Maryam is going to give a speech there, but it didn’t persuade them to work harder or recruit more, even announced meeting of Maryam and Yaser Arafat, who was at the time in London; or a long article of The Times Magazine with Maryam’s huge, beautiful photograph didn’t help us to recruit more Iranian. But thanks to our supporters from different countries, and thanks to those celebrities from different countries who attracted many people especially from Arabs and Latin-Americans residing in London, when the meeting came, the Earls Court Saloon was enough crowded for us to claim that we have had majority of Iranian over there. Later Masoud claimed that it was the sign of vote of confidence of absolute majority of the Iranian people for presidency of Maryam. Soon Earls court meeting changed into symbol of support of 70, 80 even more than 95 per cent of support of Iranian everywhere for Maryam.

            Despite all this claims, at the time, I could not even recruit my own sister and her husband, my old friend Hussein, with their two daughters who were very anxious to see their Arab friends in that meeting. Hussein told me as a sarcastic comment that free ticket of that concert was widely distributed among Iranian and even Arabs living in London.

            That meeting while for long was changed into a good propaganda toll for the organisation, but could not fool any foreign government in believing that we have support of majority of Iranian people. Mojahedin while were claiming to have gained support of majority of Iranian people and Maryam has been accepted by most Iranian as the next president of Iran, never could explain how come Iranian are prepared to attend a bloody demonstration against the regime, in support of a junior mullah, as it took place in one of the western state of Iran. But not even a single Iranian except those members sent from Iraq to Iran, is prepared to answer several calls of ‘their beloved president and throw one stone toward the regime’s revolutionary guards under her name?

            Maryam could not reside in Britain and was not able to be as active as before in Paris. Few months later she had to leave Europe back to Baghdad, while organisation’s plan was that her next departure should be Tehran.

            An American General who was asked after failing in Vietnam war what are they going to say to American public who are asking about the result of war after that number of deaths of American soldiers, said: “Nothing we say we won and we leave that bloody country! And later we celebrate our victory.” After return of Maryam to Baghdad, Masoud announced it as a victorious day for Mojahedin, and a clear sign of early return back to our country, Mojahedin celebrated her return for days, perhaps more or less as when she left Baghdad ‘for good’ toward Paris. Masoud vehemently denied that Maryam’s return was due to pressure of French authority.

 

 

Still part of me was alive enough to save me

After meeting with Maryam what was disturbing me most was that more I was thinking about her words more I was able to see that she was right and our supporters were ‘Talabkar’. Not only them, but in wider aspect I could see every body is Talabkar of the organisation. Us members. Our supporters. Iranian. And even foreign dignitaries and politician, reporters who knew us and had some contact with us in the past. Yes every body was Talabkar, creditor of the organisation. Hence to solve our problem, perhaps we had to invite every body to attend our ideological revolution meetings?! Or perhaps we could ask what credit have they given to us and what do we owe them, which they wanted it back?! At this point, I reached to a simple word: ‘trust’. Yes all of them, whoever who knew us, Iranian and non-Iranian alike, at one point had given us their trust and because of that trust and the amount of it, they had sacrificed something. Some have helped us with, as little as giving their signature of support or an article in a paper, or certain amount of financial help perhaps in the street. And some by giving up and sacrificing everything, their family, their children, their parents, and eventually their life. In a way any body that knew Mojahedin at one point has sacrificed something for them and their cause. And then gradually, perhaps not even realising it fully, they have heard lies, they have felt that they have been betrayed, and eventually they have lost their trust. Perhaps this word ‘trust’ is most valuable belonging of any body, which no body is prepared to give that to any body else so easily, not even to their closest relatives and friends. This word has been the most precious commodity given to Mojahedin by every body around them, and unfortunately this was the same thing which was not appreciated by them and was sold in exchange of cheap propaganda or else. Yes everybody was ‘Talabkar’ but with the reason that could not be white washed and vanished even after months of attending different ideological meetings. Perhaps at one point a bite of honesty could do the trick, but …

            Two days before the Earls Court concert, I was told that I am going to be the host of celebrities who are our guest in that concert, or are performing there. Once more they changed their ‘ideological ruling’ and told me that I should shake hands with those female celebrities when I meet them. Fortunately after my first meeting with foreign celebrities they realised I am not able to be host of all of them Iranian and foreigners alike who were residing in two different hotels. Hence my responsibility was limited to Iranian ones only. To help me one of my old friend, one of our old supporters from New Castle came to London.

            By now I was struggling hardly to hold myself happy, energetic, and understanding, as a Mojahed once I was. I was host of about twenty celebrities and had to keep them happy, and comfortable, answer their questions and even solve the differences among them, which was very common. But I was in my final stages with the Mojahedin and I could feel it, though by then I had not made my mind in leaving them but I could see there is nothing left in me to hold me in the organisation any more. Well while I was doing my job, every now and then, when every body else was busy talking with each other, I could have a private time with myself to think about what should I do? Then after few minutes being alone with myself, I was shaking myself back to reality and the job I had to do. When I was handed the tickets in first raw for our guest, I asked for another one for my friend who was helping me; not only I thought it is his right to sit next to our guest as a host not a driver, but I needed him for coordinating everything we had to do next. Badrie, my masoul there refused to give me that extra ticket and instead teased me for next hour by giving different comments. Most of the time during that meeting I was thinking about this fact, who are we? Members; supporters; Iranian; even those celebrities; all we were just different tools for doing different job and that was it. I remembered one of Masoud’s definitions about members of the organisation, this time with different understanding. Years back Masoud called us ‘A diamond’. He said our members and our supporters are like diamond, the hardest material and the most expensive ones as they have passed all bourgeois temptations, seductions, and left with their free will the life they had for joining us. By now I could feel for him we were as much as a diamond, perhaps for cutting the glass around them, toward achieving their aim. But still we were a diamond, a stone, an instrument for doing a job and nothing more. We all were as important and valuable as we were useful for their task and nothing more. We were not human but a tool.

            In next meeting only for supporters, by chance I found famous father of few Mojahedin’s martyrs of Shah’s time, the one who brought many credit for the organisation by his support for Mojahedin. He was sitting on the floor in one of the corners of a corridor. I asked him what is wrong? He told me he feels he has pain in his chest, perhaps because of his heart. I worried very much and rushed toward my masoul to see what do we have to do. She told me very calmly: “Nothing, this is not your job, your responsibility is to be host of your guest. Let him to die, I hope he dies soon.” Then after few seconds’ silence she said: “OK go and find his son and tell him what you told me, he knows what to do.” Yes father of few martyrs of the organisation, ‘crown of the organisation’ in Masoud’s wording, now when he was not as useful as before and in few occasions having meetings with his old friends now considered by the organisation as our foes, not only had lost all his credit, but in the organisation’s view was better to be dead than being alive and creating some problems.

            Next day when I was told to accompany our guest to a banquet in honour of Maryam, I asked my masoul about the friend who was helping me and told her that I have introduced him to our guests as their host and they expect to see him there too. She said: “he is a supporter and that celebration is not for supporters.” I was astonished as sometimes before when they wanted to introduce him along few other supporters, in our magazine as ‘athlete’ supporters of the organisation, Maryam was very happy to have photograph with them, while now he was a supporter with no right to be there. I replied in this case it is better I stay with him as I feel it is not right to leave him alone. She said: “do as you wish.” While I was very disturbed for opposing her, at the same time I felt alive again. Apparently after year of hard working to kill myself and change completely into what they were expecting me to be, still part of me was alive to show himself, and struggle for survival. The same night when I wanted to go and see another masoul to receive some money for paying different bills, I was as much deep in my thinking, which I didn’t see the final step, and fall on the street and injured myself. Kindness of my friend, in rushing to buy medicine and bandage, then helping me in dressing my wound, reminded me the kindness that exist in outside world, very simple, but very precious one.

            Next day when I escorted my last guest to airport and said good bye to my friend who was going back to New Castle, I went straight back to our resting base as I could not move properly any more, not only I had very bad pain in my back but in my leg too. I had spent all my energy for accompanying those guests and by now I could do nothing but rest in the bed.

 

 

Final Divorce

For three full days I was in our ‘resting base’, a base which every night time more than fifty male members were coming to rest there, and in the morning it was devastated and empty as a junk yard. During those three days I had nothing but to think, to think about everything and nothing. I could not think properly, the only thing I could feel, was the bitter fight between my two personalities, from one hand my Mojahed personality which for years I tried so hard to gain it and keep it as the most precious thing; and on the other hand my own personality, the one partly inherited genetically and partly made during years of my childhood and adulthood. From one hand there was no feeling or emotion for any body or anything left in me, no laugh, no sorrow, no joy, no sadness, no like or dislike. Perhaps I was changed into personality of my own story. The one who bargained everything with God for the heart of stone, and when found nothing to move for, stood still and felt he is God. On the other hand I could see myself, I could see my own daughter and son, Anna which I saw her for few seconds in Earls Court’s meeting and we could just say hello to each other, I could see different friends from different countries in different difficult period of my organisational life who all were there and each one of them in their own way showed their kindness toward me, I could see my care and love for all of them. I could see myself ready to stand against my masoul for simple right of a friend who perhaps even didn’t care about it. From that point I could go back, go back to my original reason for joining the organisation. I didn’t join them to become a Mojahed; I even didn’t join them to overthrow the regime as by then Mojahedin were calling Khomieni as Imam. I joined them because of my love and care for people, for liberty, for justice and for having democracy and independence in my country. These were my aims and the rest appropriate tools for reaching these aims. But gradually everything was changed in the organisation, aims changed into tools and instruments into goals.

            Once I made an oath with God, never to leave Mojahedin as long as I am alive. This was when I could see them as the essence of the truth, the only existing means for fulfilling one’s responsibility toward humanity, history, country, and even children and next generations after them. Through them I wanted to give my people and my children the most essential thing, which my generation was denied, having a free and democratic country. Perhaps my generation wanted to compensate the mistake of our parents for not supporting Mossadeq when they could. Or perhaps we were part of Sixties generation, a revolutionary generation which used to think that liberty is everything in life, important enough to sacrifice every thing for having that. We went to sacrifice everything during the revolution and later many of us by joining different organisations and fighting in different ways for the same goals.

            To fulfil my oath with God, my people and my honour as a human being I sacrificed every thing I had and loved and cared for. And once more I had to leave everything was left for me, the ones which I loved and cared for and worked with, the life which I was used to it, for almost past twenty years, again perhaps for the same reason and the same oath. I had to prepare myself for all different kind of humiliation from any side, even from my nearest and dearest ones. I had to accept any kind of hardship I was going to face again, many of them unknown to me, again with the same reason, as by then I had reached to the point not accepting the organisation with my heart and could not work or defend it any more from my heart and by my honour. I could see that I cannot be a ‘full Mojahed’ as Masoud and Maryam wanted us to be, and I guess Maryam was right, time for being half Mojahed was passed, ‘either everything or nothing’.

            On 28 of June I called my old friend, Shams and told him about my intention and asked him to help me to go to hospital as I was in very bad pain.

            As by then part of my legs were numb, I was immediately hospitalised. Before I go to hospital to stop my masoul from worrying, I called her and told her that I am going to hospital. Later with different excuses I refused to let her or anybody else to come and visit me, only my friend Shams and later my sister and Hussein her husband knew where I am and came few times to visit me, I even didn’t want Sarvy know about my situation, as firstly I didn’t want to disturb her, secondly, neither I wanted to lie to her about my situation, nor I wanted to make her to stop supporting the organisation. Still not only I was not against the organisation, but I loved people within the organisation. So I didn’t want to inflict any damage on them, and cause any problem for them. Even in my final letter to them dated sixth of July, which I sent them through my friend Shams, I expressed my regret for reaching to that point and wished to be useful again in the future. My Good-bye letter was very sympathetic and I wrote for them whatever which I thought is going to make them happy. Only I told them that they wanted to change me into an ant, I tried, but I couldn’t, and as I couldn’t see myself useless within the organisation, I decided to leave.

            The ‘ant story’ was in reference to one of Maryam’s sermons that compared Mojahedin to ants and the relation, which we should have with our leader to the relation of different ants with their queen.

            In a separate letter addressed to Masoud Rajavi as president of NCR, without any date, to let them to put any appropriate date they like, I wrote my resignation as member of the NCR and the representative of the NCR in America. In this letter I mentioned that my reason for resignation is due to my back problem, which stops me to work as much as I should.

            In hospital next to me there was a boy in his twenty with broken arms, his name was Matthew, while I was there I was helping him to have his meal, or to shave . . . We used to talk and I told him part of my story. I think he was selling fruit and vegetable somewhere. We were completely from different world, but I could see how being human make us so close to each other, how much I was enjoying in helping him and when I was leaving the hospital he showed his kindness by saying that he wished he was not in that situation and could ask me to go and stay with him. I had only a £20 note and a £1 coin with myself, when I spend my £1 coin without any success for contacting Shams; he showed me his valet and asked me to take as much as I need. I borrowed a twenty pence coin from him and this time I could talk with Shams. I wish I knew the full name and address of that kind person to thank him again. He was one of millions and millions of good and humane people around us, which we never notice them and appreciate them till we lose or miss them.

            I didn’t want to go to Shams house as his wife was supporter of the organisation by then and I didn’t want to leave any bad influence on her, nor I did tell my sister about my separation from the organisation. So I had no alternative, but introduce myself as a homeless person and ask for help. As a result I was moved to a hotel for time beings so I could deal with different problems I was going to face in my new life.

 

 

Solitary

Most of the time I was in my room in that hotel. I didn’t have any incentive for going anywhere or doing anything, even I didn’t know what to eat. For long we were having whatever was offered to us daily in the organisation, as a result I had forgotten to think about food or desire especial one. Suddenly I could see myself as a stranger in the real world, like those imaginary movies when some body as a result of melting of ice, re-born after hundreds of years and has to face new strange world. I had no strong personal incentive, no wish or want. No personal defence mechanism against what was waiting for me back in the ordinary world with different ordinary people. For almost twenty years I had lived and thought as a Mojahed, dependent to them and proud of denial of myself and anything personal. I let them to decide for me about everything, from my cloths and colour of my cloths, food which I was having every day, till my emotions and desires. And now suddenly I had to think, want and decide for myself. Neither I was myself before joining the organisation, nor I was a Mojahed. I didn’t know who am I and what do I believe in. God and religion, principals and believes which I knew before joining the organisation, one by one were rejected in the organisation and the ones which I became familiar with, in the organisation by leaving them were dead too. Hence I was perhaps the poorest person on earth, as not only I didn’t have any money, but no idea and personality for myself. Later I had to look around and learn from people around myself how to want and desire, how to dress, how to enjoy life and . . . Whenever I wanted to be myself, it was disaster as the only me which I knew, was a person in his twenties. So I had mind and want of a person in his twenty and body and face of a person in his forty.

            One day Shams brought me few old photographs; they were photographs of people, who did escort Anna and I, to the airport when we left our country for the first time. Among them I could see, photograph of my parents after many years. I badly felt how much have I missed them. By then, I realised how valuable they are. Usually we take our parents for granted, we don’t feel their existence and their kindness, they are like oxygen in the air, with no value for us, till one day when we cannot have them for some reason, then we can feel how precious they are, but unfortunately when we realise this fact of life, usually is too late and there is no way which we can have them back. I took those photographs for long time in my hand and watched them. I sigh and sorrow for them, without knowing how did they die and where are they buried.

            After few days I called Sarvy and asked to see here. When I told her part of my story, she asked me if I have left the organisation because of her? I replied: “No” While I knew perhaps she liked to hear a positive answer as proof of my love for her. Later she brought me some of my old belongings, kept by her as souvenir or memorial. Our joint collection of photographs of Masoud and Maryam, their picture drawn and painted jointly by Sarvy and I. Some of my old books and magazines, even my old towel. Apparently she had a collection of belongings of ‘her martyred father’. Yes I felt to save herself from misery of missing me, and thinking that I don’t love them, she had martyred me in her mind before I die, or prepared herself for hearing that news. Sarvy, Anna and her mother still were supporting Mojahedin; few days earlier Sarvy and Anna had a meeting with Maryam, where she praised Sarvy. For her, I was a martyred father, which, one day she could be proud of. By then she could have a reason, for me not seeing them and leaving them completely for five years. If Mojahedin could succeed to overthrow the regime, she could be very proud of having a father like me, ready to sacrifice every thing for freedom, his country and his people. But suddenly everything she had in her mind and her heart about her father was vanished. Suddenly she faced a man, who she had no memories of. She no longer could remember any thing good about me as any thing good about me was somehow related to my sacrifices and my work within the organisation, which by now was more like stupidity and foolishness than anything else. She could see her father as fool, stupid, loser and at least deceived, which none of them could make her proud of him. Hence the only thing she could remember form her father was bad memories. How once when she was a child, I forced her to have a food, which she didn’t like, how I didn’t call her even once when she was in school of Mojahedin in France, … How did I leave them alone, … and even how she has inherited from me, things she doesn’t like. Yes if I was dead or in prison, she could love me as before, but not as I was in front of her. A winner could be loved unilaterally but not a ‘loser’. It didn’t take much time till I realised that I have lost love of my little daughter forever, perhaps I could have her love as a friend, but not as a father. I was denied to see Hanif too. Sarvy told me that Hanif doesn’t want to see me. She said: He argues that: “the person who has done so much bad against our mother is not worthy of being seen and loved. Perhaps in this way Sarvy said whatever she wanted to tell me herself, as later in many occasion, with her action she did so. For next three years, I lost the last three years of childhood of my son, the time which perhaps I was able to compensate some of the things which I didn’t give him earlier and perhaps still could have a chance to leave a good memory for him as a father. But I was denied from this last wish, perhaps as a punishment by my own family.

            Yes, it didn’t take long, that I realised, I have lost everything, my parents and my children alike, my sisters and brothers, my relatives and old friends, my youth and health, my knowledge and experience of working and living in ordinary world. I could feel like Shakespeare’s character, Hamlet, I did what I had to do, but very late. I hesitated in seeing the truth and doing something about it till I lost everything and changed into a solitary person. I changed again into a prisoner, this time prisoner of life itself, with crime of wanting to be good, but choosing the wrong direction.

            If somebody asks me, ‘was I wrong in following Mojahedin?’ My answer is yes, but if the same person asks me if I was wrong at the time for joining them? My answer is “NO” As if I was not joining them at the time it was not because of my knowledge and understanding about them, but because of my selfishness or cowardliness. I think I have lost everything, but I am not regretted as I have kept my dignity, my honour. I feel I did whatever I could for materialisation of words, which knowing and loving them makes us human, words like, ‘Liberty’, ‘Freedom’, and ‘Justice’.

 

 

My final story with Mojahedin

One day when after sometimes not going any where, I went to my sister’s house, in my return to the hotel, I was surprised to see two of high ranking sisters waiting for me in the room of manager of the hotel. Apparently they had found my address from the Hospital and introduced themselves to the manager of hotel as my relative who wanted to surprise me. I learned that for sometime they had spent a lot of energy and time to find me. For next three days every day since morning till late night they were there to persuade me to go with them back to Paris. I was very ashamed and sad to see those good people wasting so much of their time and money for me. From one hand I didn’t want to bother and take their time, on the other hand I could not accept what they were asking me to do. They were forcing me to say why I left the organisation, things which I could not tell them, as I was sure, neither they want to listen nor they could accept. And even so, they could not do anything about it; they were not able to change anything, nor leaving the organisation. Once they told me they have blank paper or check from Masoud for whatever I want and ask. Any position or job within the organisation. I smiled as I could see that still they see my reason for leaving the organisation as a ‘Korsii’ (position) problem, as my problem is not problem of the organisation but mine. I told them I want only one thing, you announce that I am no longer the representative of the NCR, Because as long as you have not announced this fact, I am not able to be free in outside world as always I think somebody might see me and then there is going to be different news about separation of your representative in America, which is going to be damage full for the organisation. I guess this request was another mistake of mine as for next six months, it became my sole request from them and each time I had to face their rejection as they could see it as the only mean for forcing me to return or live in hiding.

            Once with some kind of trick they forced me to talk with Maryam, they knew still I respect her and felt by talking with her they can change me, and once more they can force me to return to the organisation. Immediately when I realised the person in other side of the line is Maryam, I throw the mobile and run away from my room and imprisoned myself in the toilet. At that point I was feeling that two strong forces are pulling me from two different opposite directions, I could feel at any moment I might torn from the middle. I was crying and feeling that if they continue, I might be forced to return there against my free will, as still I was not able to say no to Maryam.

            After that to free myself for a day I left my room and stayed in my sister’s house. I think by then they felt that they have lost me again, so they start new tactic, which had a very bad effect on me. They start following my sister and watching her house and then calling her and referring to her house, pretending that they are agents of the regime. Perhaps in this way they wanted to frighten me and pull me toward themselves. They wanted to show me what is waiting for me in outside world without having any protection. The only effect of this action of theirs was that, to save my sister from misery, I stopped seeing them. Mojahedin were denying that they were watching my sister’s house, and were saying, “It is the regime who is doing that.” But with many surprise immediately after I told them, so in this case I am going to inform Police, those people who were watching my sister’s house suddenly were vanished.

            By now they asked me while I have my private life I stay as member of NCR as before. They told me that they are prepared to pay my expenses and whatever I need. I must say apart from what they did against my sister, which in one incident ended in an accident when she was driving, they were very kind toward me and wanted to help me in any way they could. Any time they were seeing me, against my refusal and rejection they wanted to help me financially and in total in different way, sometimes through Sarvy, they gave me about four hundred pounds. Also they gave me a computer through Sarvy asking me to establish my contact with them through Internet. I spend that money given by them, for payment of a mobile phone they asked me to have, so they could contact me any time they wanted; I paid the rest of it for buying a printer and some repair of that computer. They asked me to make any improvement in the book, which I had written, so it can be printed later. I told them I might write another one and this is what I have done, with the same computer.

            Once Fereshteh called me, the sister who was in contact with me. She said: she wants to see me for discussing an urgent matter. I asked to see her by the Baker street underground station. As usually I was early in my appointment, hence instead of leaving the underground from the door I was due, I left it from another door to kill the time till due time. When I left the underground I was surprised to see one of the old members of the organisation waiting there. When he saw me, he came toward me and said: “so you are told to be here too?!” I knew they have not told any member that I have left the organisation, certainly I was sure that they are not going to mention it to any brother members as long as they can, so I was pretty sure that he doesn’t know that I have left the organisation, hence told him: “Yes they have told me to be here too, they asked me to wait for sister Fereshteh by the other door.” He said: “exactly I was told to wait here and Bahman is waiting somewhere else.” I asked him if he does know why are we there? He said: “I don’t know, but I guess it is important, apparently sister Nasrin who is here wants to take somebody back to Paris with herself.” I asked him who? He said: “I don’t know, perhaps you can ask her, she is waiting in the car with another brother close to here somewhere.” I told him so it is better I go to where I was asked to wait for sister Fereshteh. I said good-bye to him and rushed toward stairs back to my flat. I knew that they wanted to take me back with any price either persuade me or else! So there was no time for thinking, I had to escape from that place as fast as possible. After that I received few more phone calls from them asking to see me, but I could not trust them anymore.

            Later on twentieth of February 1997 I received a phone call from Masoud himself. As I was used to disconnect the phone whenever they were insisting to see me or were asking something. He starts his conversation by asking me not to disconnect the phone. He asked me to go to Iraq with other members of the NCR who were going to be there for NCR meeting. He said in this way we can talk, and see what is the problem. He said: “what is my fault? Why should I suffer for wrong doings of others toward you? What can we say to those who ask about you? “Perhaps if he was saying anything else I was more than happy to talk to him and say whatever I had in mind. But I could feel immediately that he is neither able nor willing to see his own mistake and fault, he didn’t want to lose his purity and sinless character by admitting to any mistake. In his view everything was other’s mistakes perhaps for not realising that I am not ready or worthy of that stage of ideological revolution. Perhaps he was right, after all according to his ideology he had not done anything wrong. After all he was considering himself as the representative of God on earth and had every right like many other people who see themselves as symbol or representative of God to do anything under his name. Perhaps this is the reason, why Moslems believe their prophet was the last one and the last Imam was vanished, perhaps in this way our fathers and ‘God’ himself wanted to stop people to deceive each other under his name. Perhaps this is the reason why prophet Mohammed, Jesus and the rest of prophets all were so much against those who were calling themselves men of God and dress themselves as one. As this is the same repeated story any where and at any time, and in any religion, when somebody think and name himself as man of God, immediately he feels he has the same right as ‘God’ himself, he feels free to decide for others and play with their rights. To decide for them what is right and what is wrong. Praise them for doing things, which he thinks, are right and punish them for doing things, he believes are wrong. Funny is that they deny human beings under the name of God and humanity from the most basic rights which even according to their own books is given to all human beings of all ages and in all different time by God. Freedom of choice between good and bad. Soon man under their guides find himself more in chain than any other animal, and later lower than any, yes even less than animal, perhaps like a machine rather than like an alive being.

 

 

Borida

I told Masoud to tell whoever asked about me that I am a ‘Borida’ for sex or anything else they wish. After all I was thinking that ‘Borida’ is the word invented by Mojahedin and they have every right to define it in any form they like and call any body Borida for leaving them as they wish. As matter of fact now when I have left them, I wonder why some people who had left Mojahedin are so much offended by being called a Borida?! As when one is proud of being a member of Mojahedin while he is with them, I believe he or she should be proud of being called a Borida when is leaving them. After all when we decide to leave them we don’t know any other means for resisting against the regime, still for different reason personal or ideological we decide to leave them and stop doing anything as before so between the resistance as we knew it and our mind we choose the latter one; so I guess in this respect Mojahedin have every right to call us ‘Borida’. Any way Mojahedin didn’t believe that I am Borida. Fereshteh, who was in contact with me, once told me that you are not Borida but you are offended for some reason you are not telling us. Even when some people learned about my separation, they were told that I left the organisation, because of my back problem or even later they claimed that, as a result of that pain I have lost my stability! Perhaps a year later at last they accept I am Borida. Any way in reply to my suggestion Masoud said, “how can we say you are a Borida, everybody knows you, and are not going to accept that.” He asked me not to mention to any body that I have left the organisation. I told him I cannot lie to whoever I see. I told him, I try not to see any of your members of NCR or Mojahedin whom I know are your concern not to learn about my situation, but if I see any one, I am afraid I cannot lie any more. I asked him again if they could announce that I am no longer their representative in America. He promised me to do so, and later it was announced; perhaps to make it as normal as possible at the same time they substitute all their representatives of NCR in different countries who were members of Mojahedin. Perhaps it was not because of me and after seeing my case they could no longer trust any brother to nominate him for that job. His last word was that, he doesn’t want to see me ‘KHASARA FIL DONIA AN AKHARAH’ I.e. loosing life and after-life together. This was too much for me to swallow. I took the antenna of the mobile within my palm, so first his voice mixed with some noise and then it went off. I disconnected my Phone and stop having any contact with them ever. After that, few times more they sent different messages through Internet, different messages for replying to some articles in different Persian papers that had refereed to my separation from the organisation. As there was nothing wrong in what they had said about me, there was nothing to be answered by me. So I didn’t reply to their messages.

            I tried to say things as I saw them. I am not God and I am sure I have not been able to see things from different angle; I might have been wrong or right in my judgement about different people and incidents. I think it is not as much important if we are right or wrong in our judgement as how honest we had been with others and ourselves. What is important is that I was honest with myself and have written things as I felt they had happened. I don’t feel I have to see everything, know everything and insist that whatever I have seen and said is the sole truth and there is nothing else but what I had said and believed in.

            As my grandmother once told me about the revolutionaries, I was a revolutionary too and as many of them, I lived in the world of myth and legends. For me too, everything was as life and death, and nothing in between. Everything Black and white. I paid a very heavy price to gain my colourful eyes back to see life and people as they are. I have no hate, nor any love for Mojahedin any more. After all they are part of life too, not pure white as they believe, nor fully black as their enemies think. And my last self-criticise is about this term of Black and white, which I cannot do any thing about it as it is part of our language. We see black as bad and white as good. But who can show me more beautiful person than that old black lady sitting close to me in a plane, which took me from Paris to Los Angeles.

 

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Advertizment of Earls court meeting, to attract as many we had artist from different part of world and no mention of main reason of the meeting