Manipulation of members and violation of human rights
Human rights abuses carried out by MKO leaders against dissident members include: pro-longed incommunicado and solitary confinement, beatings, verbal and psychological abuse, coerced confessions, threats of execution, and torture that in two cases led to death. In this con-nection the research carried out by Human Rights Watch based on testimonies of the former MKO members indicate that the organisation used three types of detention facilities inside its camps in Iraq. The interviewees described one type as small residential units, referred to as guesthouses (Mihmansara), inside the camps. The MKO members who requested to leave the organisation were held in these units during much of which time they were kept incommunicado. They were not allowed to leave the premises of their unit, to meet or talk with anyone else in the camp, or to con-tact their relatives and friends in the outside world. Karim Haqi, a former high ranking MKO member who served as the head of security for Masoud Rajavi, told Human Rights Watch: “I was the head of security for Masoud Rajavi in 1991. They could not believe that I wanted to separate from the organisation. I was confined inside a building called Iskan together with my wife and our six month old child. Iskan was the site of a series of residential units that used to house married couples before ideological divorces were mandated. The organisation had raised a tall wall around this area. Its interior perimeter was protected by barbed wire, and guards kept it under surveillance from observation towers. While we were under detention, the organisation reduced our food rations, subjected us to beatings and verbal abuses and also intimidated us by making threats of executions.” 
One of the witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch, Mohammad Hussein Sobhani, spent eight-and-a-half years in solitary confinement, from September 1992 to January 2001, inside the MKO camps. Another witness, Javaheri-Yar, underwent five years of solitary confinement in the MKO prisons, from November 1995 to December 2000. Both were high-ranking members who intended to leave the organisation but were told that, because of their extensive inside knowl-edge, they could not be allowed to do so. They were imprisoned and eventually transferred to the Iraqi authorities, who then held them in Abu Ghraib.
Margaret Thaler Singer in her book “Cults among Us” states the following with regard to the characteristics of the sects: “Some of the sects maltreat their members, while some others use violence against outsiders. Some would, of course, do the both. Members of the sects under the command of their leaders would shot the law enforcement officers, carry and keep arms illegally, constantly disrespect the others, beat their adolescent members to death, use different punishments against their members and even kill their separated former members. Today it has become clear that terrorism is somehow mixed with sect and has become the two faces of the same coin. They use mind reconstruction methods (brain washing) and psychological inculcation to engage their members in terrorist acts.” 
Taking into account the existing scientific documents and theoretical definition that have been provided by the experts of research institutes on cults and other documents available on the inner organisational issues on MKO/NLA/NCRI, one can easily conclude that this group is a sect. Involvement of this sect in terrorist strategy and its activities in carrying out terrorist operations would double the dangers emanating from this group. In the following section we will discuss the armed and terrorist policy of this cultish group.