Modern Slaves

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Slavery is reflected in destructive mind-control in its modern form. Being treated like animals, traditional slaves were consciously aware of their being enslaved, while modern slaves are not only unaware of their slavery but they also worship their slave-holders like an idol. Modern slaves are so heavily brainwashed that they even pride themselves on serving their leaders. An example of such slavery is practiced by the Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) and it has been well portrayed in the movie, “The Mina Facility”. The MKO, claiming to seek democracy, plunged into moral deterioration throughout its conduct and went as far as forming alliance with Saddam Hussein to attack its home country and kill innocent people. MKO recruits its members based on one criterion: unquestioning obedience; changes their ideology by introducing the leader as God, and employs them as tools for carrying out acts of terrorism. In this exclusive documentary by Press TV, the producers of “The Mina Facility” present an in-depth analysis of how cults such as MKO operate. A former member of this organization provides some solutions for coming up against ideologies promoting modern slavery.

TIME CODE: 00:00_05:00

Narration: The Walk Free Foundation in Australia defines slavery as "situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, abuse of power or deception."Down through the ages, slaves were treated like chattels by their masters, and deprived of basic rights, they were subjugated and exploited under systematic pressure that would leave their lives in pieces. That’s why ancient slaves would risk life and limb breaking free from ball and chain.

SOUNDBITE [English] Jim Jones, Cult Leader at the peoples Temple:“Take your Glasses off. Just dare enough be. Now, Look at my face. I love you. the people of you. And most important the Christ love you. What do you see?”

SOUNDBITE [English] A Follower: “One thing real.”

Narration: In tandem with scientific progress and technological advance, human societies became labyrinthine allowing slavery to rear its ugly head, but this time in intricate patterns; in fact slavery did not end with abolition in the 19th century but came to the surface time and time again; mind control is the modern form of this protean phenomenon.

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Former MKO Member: Destructive mind-control cults are also called modern slavery. Slavery is a set of relations in which the slave-holder is the owner of their slaves’ life, property, and honor and they have full possession of them. In current age, the same set of relations exists in destructive mind-control cults as well as terrorist cults in which a leader possesses all their cult’s members with this different that in traditional slavery, the slave knows that there are enslaved, feels the whip on their back and escape if they can and rebel if they can, but in modern slavery which we see nowadays the slave worship their slave-holder and doesn’t want to break away and takes pride in being there. The slave is brainwashed in a way that is pleased with the situation and is ready to do anything.”

SOUNDBITE [Arabic] A one of the ISIL Followers: “Do not go astray like many people in Moses’ tribe, dear friends!”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Former MKO Member: Terrorist cults are a serious social problem that cause individuals trouble and it’s really difficult or even impossible to get rid of them. Now, what shall be done to this big serious social problem? Like all other social problems, in this case cultism, raising awareness is of paramount importance. Raising awareness in forms like promotion, films, documentaries and even raising awareness among school students is something being done in many countries right now.”

Narration: Since its advent, cinema has been an influential medium in entertaining people and promoting ideas. And artists with social concerns use it to reflect important event sand grim realities, trying to warn show the dangers before modern man. In this regard, slavery and racial discrimination give humanity a cause for concern and many filmmakers a theme to explore. Despite some mitigating factors, the fear of enslavement remains intense on the human psyche and it pops up from time to time in the movies with themes like modern slavery and cultish brainwashing.

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Artist at The Mina Facility Movie: “What happened to you, darling? Get her some sugar water.”

Narration: “The Mina Facility” Unfold love story in which a young couple find themselves in ten gold in a Cultish web wounded by the Mojahedin-e Khalgh Organization a freedom seeking group that became Phonetic overtime with the blood of over 12000 Iranians on his hands.

TIME CODE: 05:00_10:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Milad KeyMaram, Actor: “See everything from my point of view.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Kamal Tabrizi, Film Director: The theme of the film is about an event our people experienced in the past. In Iran in a decade that I call it ‘the decade of terror’ because there were many acts of terror at that time, many people in the streets would come across a bomb or a shooting all of a sudden. There was a group our people had to deal with and that group tried to undermine public security in their own ways.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Manouchehr Mohammadi, Film Producer: The Mina Facility was important for me because first we could remind our country’s younger generation of what period of time we experienced and second we are not immune to plights like that; it might appear in other different forms but the most notorious one in the history of our revolution is the very Mojahedin-e Khalgh Organization (MKO) that plunged into moral deterioration whether in their inner conduct, or their organizational conduct, or their betrayal of the country etc.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Maryam Rajavi, The leader of MKO Organization: “To all military commanders, forwards! Fire! Forwards! Fire!”

Narration: Man is a supreme creature in all divine religions, hence their legal system primarily revolves around human relations and human dignity. By the same token, almost all schools of thought cherish family as the kernel of community and the anchor of social morality. But the question is, “how cultism relates to this vital social institution and how the former affects the latter?”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Former MKO Member: All destructive mind-control cults and terrorist cults basically target society. But the fact is that family as the main institution in society is always like a fort in front of social harms like cultism. That’s why cults are against family.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Manouchehr Mohammadi, Film Producer: The first thing within them to be killed is love in the true sense of the word; the love for the family, the love for the spouse, the love for the child, and the love for many other things. In other words, you have to love and worship only the leader of the cult and nothing else is worth being loved.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Masoud Rajavi, Leader of MKO Organization: “I told you that I want your everything for the overthrow. Come on! Give it to me soon and without any delay! What does it mean? It means, “Give me your hearts”;It means, “Give me your love””

TIME CODE: 10:00_15:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Kamal Tabrizi, Film Director: Such events have occurred many times in such groups; since family creates emotional feelings in individuals, it is naturally at odds with one-sided and mechanical point of view and it’s natural that an organization with a mechanical form is at odds with moral and emotional traits of the family to reach its own goals and it cannot stand for example love in the family; a kind of dependency of husbands and wives on each other or even on children. Therefore, it can be said that with ruining families, such organizations can feel more powerful.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Former MKO Member: Another point shown in this film is invading cities that was the organization’s strategy and it was Masoud Rajavis’ idea. He had told Saddam Hussein that in order to defeat Iran, he’d better attack cities with rockets. This idea springs from a cultish way of thinking which stands opposite society; cults allow themselves to do anything to come to power, including using terrorism and doing away with society.”

Narration: In all destructive mind control cults, individuals are regarded as commodities with different price tags; the more they serve their master, the more valuable they are. Against such a backdrop, many of them would resemble androids that cannot think for themselves but are programmed to do what their leader wishes them to do; to put it simply, they become psychologically controlled persons.

SOUNDBITE [Persian] A one of the MKO's Followers: “The criterion is the love for Maryam and the faith in Maryam is the ideological criterion. Today I know that it’s not me fighting. In the scene there is someone else who is fighting and when you establish a foothold somewhere else, you can see weakness no more.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Manouchehr Mohammadi, Film Producer: When I was a college student, I met in person some of those people who later joined the organization and climbed up the echelons. Our problem with them at university was that – it was before the Islamic Revolution of Iran –they were not interested in questioning. For them, orders were orders. In other words, in cultism they take away from you the ability to think, the ability to think, to choose, to decide, and to defend your decision – whether the decision is right or wrong.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Kamal Tabrizi, Film Director: Expecting individuals to behave like machines, to behave without thinking, feeling or choosing and putting them in a situation to do what they are dictated; this is dealt with in the team house in The Mina Facility and the issue of betrayal and what affects the passionate relationship between the couple in the film. In fact, the characters are put at a crossroads to whether follow their hearts and public morality or otherwise to follow blindly what is called as manifestos.”

Narration: Cult members are evaluated with one criterion, namely unquestioning obedience; and cult leaders never bow their heads in shame for it; on the contrary, they want their disciples to shout out their allegiance in both private and public meetings.

TIME CODE: 15:00_20:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian] A one of the MKO's Followers: “I vow to stay on the path of the MKO to the last drop of my blood and to my last breath and to take my brothers and sisters to Tehran and crush the regime. Ready! Ready! Ready!”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Manouchehr Mohammadi, Film Producer: A tyrannical behavior with violence, physical removal, torture, and brainwashing is very common in such cults. Basically, it’s part of their principles to worship the leader of the cult like God and obey him or her blindly.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Masoud Rajavi, MKO Leader: “What we ratified is obligatory; the same goes for the choice we made; are you allowed to say no?”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Maryam Rajavi, MKO Leader: “You say you declare and it is obligatory; the only answer that I can give is to ask you not to issue this order.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Masoud Rajavi, MKO Leader: “So as I understood, you don’t say no to our will, if you may, do you?”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Maryam Rajavi, MKO Leader: “Because it’s your order …”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Masoud Rajavi, MKO Leader: “… and accept it.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Kamal Tabrizi, Film Director: “This is the example I always give: horses that are put in front of carts are always blindfolded not to see other directions and to move only in a direction shown by the whip. Honestly, those who enter such systems are like these horses that have to move on a way designed by the whips of ideology, rules and regulations and rites all cults and groups have.

The title of the film ‘The Mina Facility’ comes out of the situation in the team house. According to our research, we knew that during the 1980s, the place the group was based in used to be referred as facility. So, the Mina facility refers to where the character Mina is based in.

The title ‘The Mina Facility’ refers more to the theme of the film than the place Mina is located in and the theme is that you see individuals as tools that like other tools can be at your service to have their functions.

I think it’s David Lyn who says that the actor is just like an object on stage; if you have a vase on stage, or a book or a table, the character has the same position; it’s like a lifeless object because it’s the director that directs the character and tells them where to go and what to say where. This is putting individuals in a position you like.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Maryam Rajavi, MKO Leader: “Sitting here, when I cannot accept, believe and make connection with the one step away from me, how can I claim that I can make connection with the one I cannot see and is different from me in nature? How?”

Narration: What all these cults always claim is at odds with what they do in reality. They never follow a set of beliefs and principles.

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Masoud Rajavi, MKO Leader: “But who am I? I’m going to introduce myself to you. Are you ready?”

Narration: The ruling masters are good liars who feed their followers worthless lies, half-truths and fabrications so as to tap into their psyche and cast their magic spells over them. They have no clear ideology but a set of psychological methodology to usurp weak minds.

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Manouchehr Mohammadi, Film Producer: Spiritual needs and the desire for justice are two factors that usually make individuals go for irregular ways in addition to regular ones. It’s usually at this point that ideological and political misuses happen. Groups that I call them ‘the merchants of spirituality’ and ‘the merchants of justice’ come and target the educated generation in particular.”

TIME CODE: 20:00_26:40

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Masoud Rajavi, MKO Leader: “Remember, the first night of the revolution, I asked you to give me everything; even your sins? Everything, all right? I’ll bear them all. Come on!”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Kamal Tabrizi, Film Director: “To put it right, in my view it’s an ideological deviation because there is such kind of ideology. The informed ones around the world know that Muslims are not like these. Islam does not stand such kind of violence. But how is it possible that Daesh with its flag with mottos like ‘Allah is greater’ or ‘There is no god but God,” is using violence in society. So, it seems that it is rooted in the same thing; it has an ideological, religious root but it has undoubtedly gone astray; it’s a kind of deviation we called ‘hypocritical’ and attributed it to the MKO can now be attributed to Daesh because it claims that it’s acting according to Sharia and under such claim is approaching its goals.”

Narration: Going against what it pretends, the MKO is a group with all traits of a full-fledged cult. The Rajavis’ group is a classic example for a destructive mind control cult in the world. Betraying their homeland and siding with its vocal enemy is the outcome of such cultish behaviors.

SOUNDBITE [Arabic] LTG Habbush, Iraqi Intelligence Official: “How much [oil] had we allocated for the MKO?”

SOUNDBITE [Arabic] An Iraqi Officer: “Five million barrels a year.”

SOUNDBITE [Arabic] LTG Habbush, Iraqi Intelligence Official: “Five billion barrels? Write a letter to Mr President [Saddam Hussein] saying that brother Masoud asks for a larger allocation.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] The Mina Facility Movie: “- You say it’s not the time for such things! It’s a romantic time. Happy our wedding anniversary, honey.

- You son of a gun!

- Give it to me.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Manouchehr Mohammadi, Film Producer: In my opinion, The Mina Facility is first of all a romantic story. It reflects a kind, compassionate viewpoint deep-seated in all Iranians.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Kamal Tabrizi, Film Director: “Now, Mehran is trying to deceive you.

- Action

I think it’s an eclectic film. It’s family first dealt with in the film but as it moves on the chasm in family that results from pressure exerted by such groups turns gradually into a feeling or a kind of hero that is put in an dynamic situation and shows a behavior that is quite different from the one in the first half of the film.

People around the world should know that our people – including the youths who may not remember well that decade – experienced a movement like that of Daesh in that decade and things that happened in society were almost like the ones happening in our neighboring countries and even in many European countries. Suppose a place like a concert hall explodes and a large number are killed. The same events used frequently to happen in our society which were followed by bombing cities.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] The Mina Facility Movie: “- How much did I tell you to get the idea of marriage out of your head?

- What’s happened?”

Narration: the Mina facility was nominated for 9 crystal Simorghs at the thirty fourth fajr international film festival.

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Speaker of Fajr Film Festival: “The Crystal Simorgh’s nominees for the best screenplay: Mr. Farhad Towhidi and Mr. Morteza Esfehani for the screenplay of The Mina Facility.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Farhad Towhidi, Screenwriter of The Mina Facility: “If we are at this point today and haven’t picked the main fruits of the Revolution yet, that is a guarantee for unconditional freedom, I think the blame lies with these groups’ cultish behaviors which contribute to the radicalization of the atmosphere. They assassinated 17,000 people during that decade and caused a lot of conflict throughout Iran. I think, beside other accusations against the group, this group pushed back the process of democracy.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] The Mina Facility Movie: “- She wasn’t at the hospital either.

- Obtain a search warrant for her home soon.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Former MKO Member: Given the fact that I was a full-time member of the MKO for 23 years, and that I’ve been studying on cults and terrorist groups over the past 12-odd years, having watched the movie ‘The Mina Facility’ I daresay that all parts of it reflect reality and it’s like a documentary film about a team house belonging to the organization.” 


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