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Neuropsychology of Ayatollah Rohollah Khomeini

10/27/10 By: Abbas Sadeghian, Ph.D.


Ayatollah Khomeini with constricted affect


More devoted to his Faith than the country

Ayatollah*1 Khomeini's fame in western countries is mostly related to the events which took place from 1979 to 1982. However, he had been a part of Iranian politics since the early 1950's. His introduction to western media was due to his leadership during the Iranian revolution of 1979. Khomeini became an undesirable world figure when he sided with the Muslim students who had taken American embassy personnel hostage in Tehran. That event which is known as the hostage crisis lasted 444 days. He began the process of becoming an undesirable character in Iran when he ordered the first executions without the due process of law.

American hostages

The purpose of this paper is not to provide an analysis of the historical events surrounding the reign of Ayatollah Khomeini. Rather, it is an attempt to understand Khomeini's psychopathology and its impact on himself and others. The 31rst anniversary of the Iranian revolution was February 11, 2010. That is a special day for all of us. People of Iran might remember it with joy or anger. However, they never forget it. At that time, along with millions of others, I was involved in the revolution of 1979. I might not be able to get away from guilt by blaming my errors on youth and naivete, but I can certainly claim that I was such a small pawn that I did not have any impact on those events. Having said that, looking at the pictures of the lost friends and those unknown heroes who died during the last thirty years causes a lot of personal sorrow over what has taken place.

shura protests by Kossof


The honorable people of one of the world's oldest civilizations and the first super power have put up a great fight for freedom for 150 years, yet they are deprived of the most basic human rights.


It is my hope that this paper will serve as a tool to shed light on how an entire nation got duped by a geriatric clergyman. Also, I hope it serves as my penance for whatever involvement I am guilty of. Recently, there was an uprising in Iran, which was referred to as the Green Movement. Unfortunately, it was more red than green and we are witnessing again the type of savagery which is rejected by all faiths of all nations. The men of God and representatives of the Messiah are ordering the most heinous acts of barbarism and cruelty.

Ashura protests

I have looked at the pictures of those mothers who are deprived of peacefully protesting the death of their children - their children who were murdered in cold blood by the hands of this savage regime .A government which is also plundering our land and killing our scientists.

While creating the Islamic republic, Khomeini earned the title of the founding father of the Islamic Republic. I should add to this, that he is the original criminal, guilty of crimes against humanity and crimes against the Iranian people. He was able to single-handedly destroy the dreams of millions of people who were fighting for their freedom and replaced them with the horrific nightmares of Islamic Republic. His promises of the rule of God turned to be the rule of the worst demon ever wearing the cloth of the prophets. He did not leave us with just a bad experience but with a perpetual killing machine whose job is to protect its own existence while its existence is an insult to humanity. To induce so much pain and anguish on 70,000,000 people one must have a unique personality and a unique childhood. This paper is an attempt at understanding that character.

Islamic Justice?

They were guilty of many things, but this was not what we revolted for.

Life History:

Mr. Khomeini was born in the city of Khomein in central Iran, a small town 300 kilometers south of Tehran, with many small villages and farming at its core. For generations, his ancestors were clergymen. They originated in a village in India, and several of his ancestors were Ayatollahs. Since the family had devoted themselves to a Shiite sect of Islam and they did not have strong roots in Iran - there was more devotion to the faith than the country.

Khomeini's family had immigrated to the city of Najaf in Iraq for religious studies and his father, who was also a clergyman, moved to Khomein to start his ministry. Khomeini's father married once and had six children (three sons and three daughters). Ayatollah Khomeini is the youngest of these six children. Khomeini's father was killed in his 40's by a group of local bandits who might have had some connections with the local government of the time. At the time, Khomeini was only one year old, the bandits were captured and their leader was decapitated. There were some reports that specified that Khomeini was present at that horrifying event of the decapitation. I personally heard this story and its gruesome details from one of the Ayatollahs in Iran in 1985*2. However, there is ample evidence that he was far too young to have been a part of it. His oldest brother Ayatollah Pasandideh was about ten years old at that time and was present during the decapitation. Ayatollah Pasandideh described this event in detail in his memoirs.*3

After Khomeini's father's death, Khomeini's aunt moved into the Khomeini family household and took over his parenting. There are many reports that this aunt raised him. There is very little information regarding Khomeini's mother. This omission is somewhat peculiar as Khomeini's mother was young and available. The introduction of the aunt into the family must have had specific family reasons of which we are not aware.

The reports of the events associated with Khomeini's early childhood are limited and are mentioned in this article. We know that the aunt was a strong character and had a lot to do with Khomeini's upbringing. While growing up, Khomeini's brother took the role of a father figure and considering their age difference one can see how such an attachment was possible. When Khomeini was 10, his brother was more than twenty years old. The practice of the oldest son taking the role of the father after the premature death of a father is a common practice in Iran and strongly expected. That is what my uncle did after my grandfather died, and that is what I did when my father died. A son who would be guilty of negligence in carrying out this responsibility would have the burden of carrying several insults for the rest of his life.

Khomeini's brother reported his role in Khomeini's education in detail. One should consider that the clerical educational system of that time was different than the secular education of people like my uncle of the same generation. In clerical education, a student would be assigned to a teacher and he would spend several years with him until the student was knowledgeable enough to go to a higher-level teacher.

Khomeini developed a strong attachment to his brother, which was closer than that for two typical Iranian brothers. Khomeini had a lot of respect for him and in their older ages was very concerned about his brother's health. During that time he was in exile. Howevere, during correspondence with his younger son, he would urge him to look after Ayatollah Pasandideh. Obviously, Pasandideh was a father figure to him.*6 apparently, the teacher of his first years was the brother. Ayatollah Pasandideh reports that he taught Khomeini the art of good penmanship. Looking at their handwriting, one notices the resemblance in their writing style. One should keep in mind that in our culture, especially at that time, poor handwriting was equivalent to a poor education. If one examines Khomeini's writings one can easily see that even at his very old ages, he had a very good command of Persian writing. Also, his writings rarely have any scratching on them. In other words, he would not cross out what he had written. The same phenomenon is easily detected in his speech and behavior. Obviously, he was a thoughtful man and he would think about what he wanted to say or write in advance. Therefore, there was very little modification in his writing.

Young Khomeini

Ayatollah Pasandideh, in his memoirs, explains the gruesome events of his father's death in detail. He also relays that he had been told that he suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder; however, he does not explain his condition in detail and he only uses the term "Vasvas." Ayatollah Pasandideh's book of memoirs are detailed enough to suggest obsessive thinking and perfectionism.

Khomeini moved to the city of Qum in his teenage years. The city of Qum is a religious city and currently is the Shiite equivalent of the Vatican. In those days, if one decided to study theology he would do so in the cities of Qum or Najaf. It is widely reported that Khomeini was an intelligent and dedicated student. He was disciplined and regimented. There are many references to his high IQ. Considering his educated family background and his rich vocabulary and syntax, one can estimate his IQ to be at superior levels.

Khomeini was far too poor to be able to marry like other men of his time who generally would marry in their late teens or early twenties. Instead, he got married at the age of 27. As a result of this marriage, he had two sons and three daughters. He was mostly a student of a famous Ayatollah Borojerdi. The Ayatollah Borojerdi was quite powerful, wealthy, influential, and had the ability to keep Khomeini in check.*8

Ayatollah Borojerdi

Broujerdi's orders and words carried a lot of weight. He was also able to maintain a cordial relationship with the royal family. He had noticed that Khomeini was hardheaded and had a sharp tongue with political issues. Therefore, he forbade him from getting involved in politics. I personally have met clergymen in Iran who told me that they had seen occasions in which Ayatollah Borojerdi would yell at Ayatollah Khomeini and tell him to be quiet. This kind of public humiliation is quite unusual among the high level clergymen. It shows Broujerdi's power and Khomeini's respect for him, which was there as long as Borojerdi was alive. In time, Khomeini was able to finish his studies and became an Ayatollah.

Khomeini's Condition:

Ayatollah Pasandideh (Khomeini's brother) admits that he was told that he suffered from "Vasvas." Vasvas is an Arabic word, which is used in Farsi to explain compulsive cleaning. However, currently, mental health professionals use it as an equivalent of different varieties of obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). Since Ayatollah Pasandideh admits to his Vasvas and the fact that he was Khomeini's substitute father, one can postulate that this condition was pervasive in Khomeini's family, and that his identification with his older brother might have contributed to it. The statistical correlation on this topic is quite strong. There is 45-60% higher probability of developing OCPD for the members of same family than control groups.*7

Ayatollah Khomeini's life story is a long array of different obsessions and compulsions, which affected him and all those around him. Since Khomeini was the founding father of Islamic Republic, we can see the effects of his illness on every aspect of Iranian politics today.

What is OCPD?

When reading the Ayatollah's life stories reported by his family members and students, one is surprised by the unanimous manner in which friend and foe have explained his regimented and routine behaviors.

The primary symptoms of OCPD, are a preoccupation with details, rules, lists, order, organization, and schedules; being very rigid and inflexible in one's beliefs; showing perfectionism that interferes with completing a task; excessive focus on being productive with their time; being very conscientious; having inflexible morality, ethics, or values; hoarding items that may no longer have value; and a reluctance to trust a work assignment or task to someone else for fear that one's standards will not be met.

Some people with OCPD, though not all of them, show an obsessive need for cleanliness. Those that do not show this tendency are sometimes good at setting up systems to maintain cleanliness, but may not follow through with the need to clean because of other "more important" priorities. For example, the need to get a good grade or finish a project at work might cause the OCPD person to have a quite messy and unorganized home. But if that same person was suddenly unemployed or finished with other activities, he or she could very well start becoming obsessed with cleanliness as other activities take up less time.

There are few Moral gray areas for a person with fully developed OCPD. Actions and beliefs are either completely right or absolutely wrong, with the OCPD individual always being in the right.


Diagnostic criteria for OCPD or Anal Retentive Personality:

In 1908, Freud named what is now known as obsessive-compulsive personality disorder an "anal retentive character."

According to the DSMIV-TR: the diagnostic criteria for anal-retentive personality or obsessive compulsive personality disorder are as follows:

A pervasive pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and interpersonal control, at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:

1. Is preoccupied with details, rules, lists, order, organization, or schedules to the extent that the major point of the activity is lost

2. Shows perfectionism that interferes with task completion (e.g., is unable to complete a project because his or her own overly strict standards are not met)

3. Is excessively devoted to work and productivity to the exclusion of leisure activities and friendships (not accounted for by obvious economic necessity)

4. Is over-conscientious, scrupulous, and inflexible about matters of morality, ethics, or values (not accounted for by cultural or religious identification)

5. is unable to discard worn-out or worthless objects even when they have no sentimental value

6. is reluctant to delegate tasks or to work with others unless they submit to exactly his or her way of doing things

7. Adopts a miserly spending style toward both self and others; money

Is viewed as something to be hoarded for future catastrophes

8. Shows rigidity and stubbornness*4

Sometimes frustration with other people not doing what the OCPD individual wants spills over into anger and even violence. This is known as Disinhibition.

Khomeini's Symptoms:

In order to be able to establish a clear diagnosis for the Ayatollah we have to examine his life and see if he manifested the symptoms that are mentioned in DSMIV-TR. Since many of Khomeini's students and family members have written extensively about the habits of Ayatollah Khomeini, we have access to an abundance of evidence for his condition. Interestingly, the reports of Khomeini's character by different people with very different backgrounds are so similar that it makes our diagnostic work-up quite easy.

1. He had a fear of germs and he was compulsively clean. His daughter*5 reports that whenever she gave him his medication, he would take his pills with a spoon rather than with his hand, so that his medication did not get dirty. He used a spoon to eat bread, which is simply unheard of among us Iranian devout bread eaters.

2. He had several routines, which were widely known. For example, whenever he was sitting down on the floor - the way that we do in the Middle East- he would only use his left hand as an anchor on the floor to get up. He would never use the right hand.*8

3. He always walked on the right side of the pedestrian walkway.*8

4. He would always enter a room or step on a pulpit using only his left foot first. He would exit with the right foot.*8

5. The routines of the day were so regimented that the members of the family would organize their daily activity based on Khomeini's behavior using Khomeini as a clock. For example, their household maid reported that on the days that she was cooking rice for everybody, she would get started with the task when she would see that Khomeini was done with the morning studying.*8

6. Perfect Punctuality: In the mosques, temples and the shrines, many people have reported how they could use him as a clock because of his precise routines. He was so cautious with time that when he returned from his daily walks , if he was ten seconds early he would walk an extra 10 seconds in the yard before entering.*3*7

7. Khomeini was extremely frugal. His argument was that the money that he had actually was the money which had been collected to be spent for religious purposes and he did not have a right to it. Consequently, he would keep his expenses very low. However, a deeper look at this behavior shows that he handled finances with extreme precision and at times was unreasonably demanding. For example, his household servant reported that when they were living in Iraq he had given him a couple of dinars (each dinar was equivalent to three dollars) to go to the store to buy groceries. When he came back with the groceries he gave Khomeini his change and before he got to the door Khomeini screamed at him that it was half a Flous short (that is less than one penny).*8

8 The religious rituals were so important for him, that he would compromise very important events to complete minor noncompulsory rituals of Friday*19

9. Ayatollah Montazeri reported that when Khomeini's book "Resaleh" was published, he got a copy from Khomeini. He had to argue with the old man because Khomeini was insisting to be paid ten Tomans (one dollar and thirty cents).*10

10. Cleanliness. He changed his outside attire as soon as he was back in the house to keep the germs out. Khomeini's daughter reports that Khomeini had a study room for himself and he would use so many perfumes and colognes that whenever she would go in to his room she felt like she was going into paradise. He is also reported as saying that ladies are mischievous and they keep all the good things to themselves, especially the perfumes. Six or seven times a day he used cologne to smell better and make the room smell better.*4

11. When they were living in Iraq, which is quite hot, it took a long time before he permitted the family to get a fan. He actually refused air conditioning as a gift because of the money it would use for electricity. The mannerisms of expenditure of money for him and the rest of the family were astonishingly poor. The places that he rented to live in Qum or in Najaf were badly run down and cheap.*7 One should keep in mind that Ayatollahs at his level receive thousands of dollars from their followers for different religious reasons. Also, since they have hundreds of visitors a day they usually have houses, which are quite large, and have two sections an internal part for the family and the external part for receiving visitors. Some people interpret his frugal behavior as a religious mannerism in which he did not want to be involved in worldly materials.*7

However, we know for a fact that when he arrived in Tehran from Najaf, people who were going to see him had to see his brother-in-law first and make donations of millions of dollars for a few minutes of audience. He did not dislike money; he just didn't want to spend it. Like other people with his condition, money was hoarded for future catastrophes.*8

12. Khomeini was extremely critical of others and intolerant of bad behavior from kids and peasants to the king himself. He was specifically critical of people in a position of authority. They were always hearing his nagging criticism.

12. Khomeini was extremely critical of others and intolerant of bad behavior from kids and peasants to the king himself. He was specifically critical of people in a position of authority. They were always hearing his nagging criticism.

13. Constricted affect: Khomeini did not manifest his feelings. He would cry occasionally in religious ceremonies related to one of the Shiite saints. However, this type of crying is a purely religious ritual. The contrast is obvious when we consider the fact that he did not cry when his son got killed. When he was returning to Tehran from exile and he was in the plane, a reporter asked him what he felt about returning to Iran after so many years, and his reply was "Nothing."*19

14. There is one right way of doing things and that is my way of doing things. Khomeini was the best example of this old saying. He was so regimented and controlling that his interpretation of Islam and the form of government that he implemented in Iran at this time is a unique interpretation of the Quran, and of Islam as a whole. No one else in history has ever come up with this interpretation. This method of government, which is referred to as "Vellayat Faghih" (the rule of the qualified clergy), is based on a quotation from Imam Reza who was the 8th Imam of 12 Imams of Shiite.

15. Stubbornness. Khomeini had a habit of not retracting what he would say even if that would put his life and the lives of his followers at jeopardy. Once he would make a decision that he was going to do something, he would do it regardless of consequences. Although this characteristic paid off at the end, his insistence on conquering Iraq added six years to the Iran-Iraq war with hundreds of thousands of casualties. He finally had to bitterly accept the peace treaty because of an impending military defeat, and he died soon after.*15

16. Hyper religiosity. Although Khomeini is an Ayatollah and one assumes that an Ayatollah would be a very religious person, he was much more orthodox, detailed, and devoted, than other religious leaders. He adhered to the most minute details of the faith and was totally intolerant of people who would not follow the rules of Islam as strictly as he did.*12

17. Perfectionism. The mannerism of Khomeini's speech is quite different from other Ayatollahs I have heard. Initially, I used to think that his peculiar manner of broken sentences and his peasant accent were just related to his background of being born and raised in the small city of Khomein. However, upon further examination, it is quite evident that this peculiarity is caused by his perfectionism.

He would explain everything in detail and in the middle of his speech he would remember other things that he had to add to make the sentence more complete. This manner of speech made him difficult to follow. He made a series of lectures for the public on public TV after the Iranian revolution took place. These speeches were actually interpretations of the Quran. Since every section of the Quran begins with "with the name of God the merciful," he spent about 20 sessions of lectures talking about the word with. He never passed talking about the Quran without "with'.*19

18. Prejudice. In Khomeini's mind there was only one right religion, one right faith and that was his interpretation of the Shiite sect of Islam. Everything else was null and void. He was totally intolerant of Jews. In one of his writings - which was quite difficult to read because of the extensive number of complex words that he had put in - he tried to prove that when Jewish people die after death they turn into mice, rabbits and pigs.*10 His prejudice was so strong that when he was informed that his ardent follower and friend, Prime Minister Bazargan's grandmother was a converted Jew, their friendship was gone forever.*8

19. Exercise Rituals. He walked three times a day each time for 30 minutes. He did exercises while lying in the bed, lifting legs and twisting arms and torso three times a day.*4

20. Obsession with the news. He continuously listened to the radio news, both Iranian and foreign news, he listened at all hours except to sleep or pray. He had a portable radio which he carried even during the fast or during the meals.*4

21. Lack of tolerance for dissent and anger. Although clergymen do have a soft side to them, the only emotion known to come from Khomeini was anger. He was quite brutal in matters that were important to him. When the members of MEK killed several of his students, he signed off on execution of several 15 year old girls who were guilty of selling MEK newspapers.*17

MEK hanged

The effects of Khomeini's psychopathology on the Iranian revolution

Looking at the events of 1979, one can easily see that as a nation we were glorious winners of an honorable revolution, but in the final analysis we were terrible losers, who got duped by a geriatric clergyman. Ironically, the winning and the losing are both connected to Khomeini's pathological personality.

Why did we follow him?

At that time we simply had had enough of our government, and our leader was a king who let absolute power get to his head. He was breaking the laws; he was trying to do everything on his own. He was controlling and paranoid. The political prisons were filled up. Corruption was rampant and there was an underlying fear of the Secret Service in everybody's heart.

Nobody would trust anybody. You had to be careful of every word you said because it could be used against you and could cause you to get beat-up in a political prison. Anything and everything required bribery. The police had too much power and were intimidating. The brutal force of the SAVAK crushed any voice of dissent.

Nassiri & Hoveida, Shah's most loyal servants, both paid for it with their lives

Chief murderer & Chief of obedience

The Shah had been sitting on his throne for 37 years. He had gotten into power by the actions of the British during the Second World War but he became the absolute monarch by the 1953 MI6/ CIA coup.

Colonel Schowrtskoff

Colonel Schwartskoff (Generals Father). He destroyed our last hope.

The Shah was considered a puppet imposed by the US. Americans were associated with the British and the British had plundered the Middle East for 200 years. The Americans let the British lead them in Asian affairs. And although that was helpful in the beginning, it ended with the Americans having a bad reputation. They became a well-known replacement for British colonialists. The British did the stealing and the Americans got the bad name. They simply didn't get it, and still don't.

The American embassy in Tehran was the center for espionage for all of the Middle East. The American ambassador was Mr. Helms, who was director of the CIA for many years. The Shah was a puppet of the Americans; he ruled the country with an Iron fist. He was quite neurotic. Deep inside he was a coward. He would run away from the country when things got hot. It was pathetic to see a king running away from his own country. After all, the kings are supposed to be like the Captains of the ship and sink with the ship. He had managed to destroy all opposition in Iran. Anyone with any kind of a brain was either dead or intimidated.

K. Golesorkhi, His defense in military court was breath taking

During the early 1970's there were a couple of urban guerrilla organizations that started the armed struggle against the Shah. They divided into two groups - the Communists and the Muslims. Both of them were destroyed by the secret service. However, this created a lot of sympathy for the kids who got killed. Meanwhile, the Shah gave more authority to the secret service and to the police to use brute force and do whatever it took to break the back of the opposition. A part of this brutality was the use of torture and deliberate exaggeration of the secret service's power and brutality. Consequently, although the total number of people who worked for SAVAK wasn't more than a few thousand, we were under the impression that millions worked for them. Although the total number of prisoners wasn't more than 5,000, we thought of it as more like 80,000. Although the total number of guerrillas that had been killed wasn't more than a couple of hundred, we believed the Shah was responsible for thousands dead and hundreds of thousands of prisoners who were innocent and being tortured, as in medieval times.

Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi

The king was living in his own bubble. Some of the things he did were good for the country. He was a nationalist. With the increase in the price of oil he had the money to do whatever he needed. There was actually a high surplus of the money. There is only so much you can spend to build the infrastructure of the country. If you go faster than what is needed you run into inflation. He also poured a lot of money into the army. He was a close friend of President Nixon and he got his approval to buy whatever he wanted for the armed forces. Americans were busy with Vietnam and the British were broke. They needed a policeman for the Persian Gulf and nobody was more trustworthy than the Shah. The Shah ordered several hundred F14s F15s, F16s, and F18s; He also got the approval to build the atomic bomb. Iran was buying Boeing 707s, 727s, and 747s. There were orders for tens of cruisers, destroyers, hovercrafts, air defense systems, and short-range missiles. Among the orders: thousands of American M60 Tanks, 1,500 British chieftain tanks, zillions of Russian jeeps and trucks, millions of rifles from France, and small arms from the US.


The relationship with US was very similar to current US relations with Saudi Arabia. There were thousands of Iranian cadets in Miramar and naval stations. American universities were filled with more than 100,000 Iranian students (including yours truly) studying engineering (except yours truly). There were tens of thousands of Iranian students in other countries, from Sweden to Philippines. As if his majesty's manic state had got to us too, we were stuck on building roads, factories, hospitals, and then there were the imports - so many imports that the ships had to stay in the line for months to get unloaded in Iranian ports, and once unloaded there were not enough trucks to get the goods to Tehran and then, not enough drivers to drive the 6000 extra trucks.*20 Iran was a huge gold mine that everyone had gone crazy on. In my last year of college (1974) I was making more money than anybody in the family except my father, who had managed to become a multimillionaire in less than five years, and the uncle who was a multimillionaire to begin with. When we would go to resort areas by the Caspian Sea, the rice paddy peasants had become rich, renting their extra rooms. There was freedom of everything: to eat, drink, screw, party, do drugs, but you had to only remember a simple caveat: do not mess with his majesty.

There were so many jobs that they had to import unskilled labor from Afghanistan and house servants from the Philippines. When I was in London in 1975, the large stores on High Street Kensington (the shopping district) had signs in Persian announcing that they had Iranian salespeople for our convenience. Ironically, on the street pavements and on the walls of every corner were the signs, which said "Death to the Shah." So much change in such a short time required political change. There was a real middle class, and the needs of middle class are different. Unfortunately, nobody dared to tell the Shah the truth. Consequently, he was living in his fantasyland, thinking that he was the undisputed king and we were his loyal subjects, and that our relationship with him is an old divine relationship, which could not be broken. He was working many hours a day and he had only one goal, and that was to get Iran to where it was 2,500 years ago.

Cyrus the great

In this fantasy he wanted to be called Mohammad Reza Shah the Great. He had become so cocky he was calling Europeans "lazy." He would put women down in front of his wife on 60 Minutes. He would brag about ordering the execution of a dozen people for being Marxist Leninist. It never dawned on him that we loved those kids that he was killing more than we loved him, or even more than he loved himself. This was the time for a couple of good political moves; however, his majesty did the opposite.

His Majesty's Massive, Irreversible, Colossal Errors:

Home wrecking error#1:

In 1973, his majesty made the most significant, home wrecking error. He closed all of the superficial parties and turned the country to a one party system. That was diametrically different to what he needed to do. We were fed up with the police state; there was no need for a police state. The Shah needed to do something similar to what King Carlos did in Spain. He needed to take advantage of his total control and gradually permit new nationalist parties to gain power and delegate the power so that he would go into history as the son who finished what the father had started. But he was too paranoid to contemplate relinquishing control. His best friends were dead or gone. His Army had the same disease, competent and courageous generals were eliminated, and the Shah would only permit the most incompetent to get the stars.

General Azhari ,Prime minister and the army chief of staff was pretended a heart attack and got out of the country safe.

His administration of the civilian sector was even worse. If the assistant secretary of agriculture wanted a week's vacation, he had to summit his request to the king rather than secretary of agriculture.

Home wrecking error#2:

Then he got the news that he had lymphoma with a life expectancy of two to three years. He kept the news as a secret, because of the fear that if Americans knew about it they might replace him. This was his most significant mistake, for if he had announced that he had cancer and was dying, there would not have been a revolution. Iranian people are far too traditional to rebel against an old dying man. they could have transferred the power to the nationalist groups and retained his son as a king like Europeans. He had the power, foreign support, and the army to do it with.

Home wrecking error#3: the story of my beloved Dr Shariati

Dr. Shariati was a sociologist. He received his doctorate from university of Sorbonne. He had a long history of anti-shah activities. He was a professor of sociology in university of Mashhad. He came to Tehran to teach Islamic studies in Hoseinieh Ershad which was a high-class mosque and lecture hall. Since this hall was only a couple of blocks from our house and I had many friends who worshiped Dr Shariati, I began to participate in his classes.

Ali Shariati Ph.D.

In all honestly, I was only a freshman in college and his teachings required a more developed brain. Gradually, I understood what he was talking about. I was lucky enough to get to know him personally through a mutual friend. Gradually, we got to know each other, or at least he was kind enough to pretend that he knew me, and the pride of my life was that we saw a movie together. Later on, I read just about all of his books and he had a profound impact on my thinking. He had the same impact on many others. He came up with a new interpretation of Shiite sect of Islam. He was against the clergy, the ruling class and billionaires in a country with poor people in it. His massage was that a good Shiite should rebel against all these forces of evil. The clergy hated Dr Shariati and some of the Ayatollahs called his work were a blasphemy. A couple of the Ayatollahs put a ban on going to his lectures. One of the Ayatollahs called him "crazy boy."

We were all surprised that in an environment of terror, Dr. Shariati was permitted to hold public classes in which he was hitting everyone including the government. The last time I saw him was during his last speech in that temple. He talked about martyrdom; that caused students to get carried away and the lecture turned into a public protest. The next day the place was closed.

The recent declassified documents of the SAVAK show that Dr. Shariati had been able to convince the government that what he was doing was good for the Shah. After all, he was hitting the clergy and the communists. Ironically, all those supposedly intelligent people working for Iranian intelligence services did not realize they were being duped.

Even though Dr. Shariati did a magnificent job of shaking up the society, in the final analysis it all worked totally against us, because:

a) He openly encouraged us to follow Khomeini (he was under same illusion that we were)

b) Throughout the different stages of the revolution the clergy promoted Shariati's books; Khomeini's writings were the last thing to read. Once Khomeini took over he did not implement Shariati's modern doctrine of Islam, instead he promoted the archaic fundamentalist, orthodox, rigid, interpretation, which was obviously his own.

c) Unfortunately, Dr. Shariati died under peculiar circumstances in 1977, although without a doubt he was one of the top 10 people who ignited the revolution. He was not there during the revolution when we needed him the most.

Home wrecking error#4

The Shah began to pick on the clergy. He cut their income rather than increasing it. They were not happy with him, but in an idiotic move he went after Khomeini, who was already checkmated in Iraq. Khomeini's oldest son was killed in an accident. Some people pinned it on SAVAK, some called it just an accident. In either case, when the son was dead, religious people sent many letters of sympathy to Khomeini. In response he sent a fiery letter to Iranian people saying losing his son was not as painful as seeing Iranian kids in jail. The Shah ordered an article to be printed in the papers blasting Khomeini in inappropriate language. It was most unwise to insult the highest-ranking Ayatollah of the country, who happened to be an 80 year-old man mourning the loss of his son. By going after Khomeini, he activated the only organization in the country that could bring him down. He might have been successful in fighting the clergy if he was popular, or if he had the testosterone of a twenty-year old. But, he had neither and the friends of thirty years ago were gone. This was a wrong battle with the wrong enemy at the wrong time.

Ayatollah Shariatmadari

Moderate & powerful friend, he got so irritated with the king that he wrote the first revolutionary decree against him

There was only one organization which could stand up to him and that was the mosque. And there was only one opposition leader left alive and that was Khomeini. Thousands of mosques were connected under the supervision of a dozen people who happened to be ardent disciples of Khomeini.

Home wrecking error#5

For the Iranian revolutionary forces - Khomeini was the ideal person they were looking for. He was 75 years old. He didn't own anything. He wasn't into money. He was married with a couple of kids. (None of that polygamy crap). He had spent all of his life fighting against the dictatorships of Iran. He had the gall to tell the Shah off in his face in Iran and once in exile he would write these fiery letters, saying those things that all of us wanted to say but couldn't. He wasn't afraid of anything. He was full of venom. When his son was killed he didn't cry, he just said God is great. The only emotion coming out of him was anger.

Home wrecking error#6

The Shah pushed Saddam Hussein to kick Khomeini out of Iraq. Khomeini's students took advantage of the situation and took him to Paris. When in Paris, he had access to all of the media in the world. European people were taken by him. He was a straightforward, old clergyman, telling the truth, standing up against all the forces of evil in the world. That was quite appealing for Iranians inside and outside. And the demonstrations began against the government. There were the interviews with him and that's where everything went wrong. He said exactly what we wanted to hear. He said that the role of clergy is above politics. And that secular government should run the country.

mesmerized or fooled the world

He had people around him who were quite good in the PR business. They delivered his message to everyone, everywhere. For the religious people inside Iran he was promising a God-like government without any corruption. For the western media, his assistants prepped him up very nicely and came up with the precise answers that they wanted. If you were an Iranian you couldn't help but to love this old man who was telling the truth. Things could not be any better. The Shah's army Killed innocent people and disintegrated at the same time.

Once the shah was defeated and Khomeini took over .He appointed Mr. Bazargan as prime minister, and in return Bazargan put a cabinet together consisting of secular nationalists left overs from Mossadegh era.

prime minister Bazargan

The people gave him the mandate to do what he thought was best, and that power caused an emotional and spiritual transformation in him. The man who had never lied in his life, changed his word and implemented something totally different from what he had promised.

The promises of constitutional assembly changed into an assembly of experts. That was the first sign that the constitution was going to be written by his people rather than by the People's people. Like other dictators, he developed an exaggerated sense of self-importance, which in this case was divine too. He really believed that he is on a mission from God to set things straight for the only true religion of the world. For the first time in 1,400 years he had the chance to establish that government which is promised in Shiite books. After all, there were millions of people who were supporting him. A person that rigid had no other choice within his mind; he had to create what he had preached "an Islamic government", based on his interpretations of Islam. Watching multimillion member crowds of people gave him the assurance that he was accomplishing a divine mission. For the first time in the history of the religion, he referred to himself as an Imam (leader) rather than Nayeb al Imam (the representative of the mess ayah). He retracted some of the things he had promised in Paris, which made him look like a liar.

He simply had never thought that he could get to the point that he would be able to accomplish what the saints were unable to do. In all honesty, he did have more power than all the Shiite saints, and there were people who would be happy to die implementing his ideas. Historically, all dictators begin grand scale changes, killings and genocides when they see that there are people who are ready to do it for them.

Killing Kurds in repulsive courts of a crazy ayatollah called Khalkhali

Analyzing Khomeini's psychopathology, we clearly see that he is solely responsible for all of the atrocities of the last 30 years. There were other Ayatollahs in Iran, some less dogmatic and some more. But, traditionally, the Ayatollahs didn't like getting involved in politics too much. They honestly saw themselves above politics. They wanted to take care of their faith. They used their power only when necessary. The kings historically were religious themselves. So they wouldn't do things deliberately to irritate the religious leaders.

If the leader of the revolution had been a traditional Ayatollah like Shariatmadari or Taleghani. They would have not insisted on creating an Islamic republic. They would have insisted on creating simply a republic. Khomeini didn't have that choice because his personality makeup would not permit any deviation from what he had studied for decades.

Hyper-religiosity and total adherence to his own interpretation of Islam

As we all know, all controlling people have a tendency to think that there is one right way of doing things and that's their way. Therefore, Khomeini threw out his old advisers who had saved his life. People like Dr. Yazdi and Ghotbzadeh - who had been able to persuade the US and European countries that Khomeini was the best possible alternative to all those communist groups lurking from Russia - were a liability now. He threw those guys out and replaced them with his own students, who were as dogmatic as he was. The promises of Paris were gone too. He was breaking his word for a higher cause.

real winners, duped by Arafat

Khomeini's Brutality:

Khomeini's change of word did not settle well with us. All those groups who had been fighting the king for decades with any intellect rejected a theocracy. This difference of the opinion was too big to be taken care over a cup of tea. There was an uprising and defiance. Khomeini did not have any problem ordering his followers into combat. According to his ideology, he was the Truth and whoever fought against him was an infidel. He gave a low IQ, half crazy Ayatollah, named Khalkhali, the authority to be the Hanging Judge and hang whoever needed to be hanged. And all that killing was okay as long as it was for the cause of Islam.*16


Lajevardi the buttered of notorious Evin prison with his Clergy torturers

He was looking at everything from his own rigid prism. For example, when a few of the revolutionary guards had gone to see him, and he heard that some of them had done things which were not kosher, he told them they should be more careful of their behavior because if they behaved in a way that was not right, then after they died and were in heaven, some people would tell God these guards had done things which were not quite right. Then the Messiah was going to be embarrassed in front of angels and would be ashamed that his friends hadn't behaved the right way*22. He talked about this possible encounter as if he was convinced of the events to come. His absolute certainty was because of his total acceptance of all details of the Shiite sect of Islam, while for us, and the rest of the population, these were just a bunch of religious stories, which were probably untrue. We just wanted him to help us to kick the Shah out. We did not want him to become the next Shah with a turban.

For him, these thoughts were so real that if a group of students would get together and start a nationalist group or a socialist group, they were considered the enemies of God and could be killed with no hesitation. He referred to these enemies as gangrene, which had to be cut off ASAP before spreading.*18

Once he took the path of backing off on his promises, including closing some of the newspapers, people suddenly realized that they weren't getting what they had bargained for. We were deprived of the democracy we had fought for, and received something which was not practiced anywhere. The contradiction caused street battles and everyone lost because he had total control of government and money and guns. He had hundreds of thousands of devout followers who took his word as the word of God and they were willing to die for him. In the fight that pitted a few hundred thousand secular revolutionaries against several million religious people, the secular groups were destroyed in less than a year. He also used the hostage crisis to unify his own people and distract the world from the internal events of Iran. While everyone was preoccupied with the American hostages, he killed all of his real enemies, who were the Iranian seculars.

Saeed Soltanpour

When all was said and done, whoever had survived the previous brutal regime was killed by the new one.

The entire model of theocracy that he put together was purely of his own making and was based on his thoughts, ideas, illusions and fantasy. His brutal method of using savagery caused about seven million Iranians to leave the country. In other words, in less than 5 years all those who had brains or money were gone. If you cut off the top 10% of the population, what are you are going to be left with is 90% of the population that is religious, uneducated, and traditional followers.

Khomeini took his position so seriously that he imitated a couple of things that the Prophet Mohammed had done. Mohammed had sent three messengers to the countries of Persia, Rome and Egypt, inviting them to become Muslims. Khomeini sent a messenger to Gorbachov inviting him to become a Muslim.*20

The great poet

One last point about Khomeini is his total love and devotion to God. Khomeini was a great poet. After he died his poetry was published. His poetry of younger ages is too primitive and too harsh, but his poems of later years are just a delight. We know it's authentic because it's in his handwriting. When you read it you realize how magnificent it is. In the beginning I had trouble believing these beautiful poems were coming from his frozen brain. In one of his works, which was written in winter of 1987, he wrote a beautiful poem telling God how happy he was his life was over and he was finally able to join him. Six months later in the summer of 1988, he ordered the execution of about 8,000 political prisons, who were captured and imprisoned and could not have been any harm to anybody. The contradiction is mind-boggling.

Khomeini Died on the 24th of September, 1992. At that time he had had 12 years to implement his plans: Kill all enemies, intimidate the rest, and set up the most horrific government on the planet. I lost many friends and I know of many fine people that were ordered to death by him, simply because he was so anal and rigid that he did not want to deviate one centimeter from what he thought to be the truth.

Since his death, his disciples have proven to be much worse than him. He used to kill, torture for God. These guys do the same thing  but for power and money. The religious ideals that Khomeini wanted to be accepted, loved and implemented by the people of the world have turned out to be one of the biggest challenges for the Iranian people and a giant menace for the world.

Selected Bibliography:

*1 What is an Ayatollah; the term Ayatollah means "sign of God" and it is specific to the Shiite sect of Islam. In Shiite, there is a belief that after the Prophet Mohammad's death, his son-in-law and then his grandsons were the divine leaders of the society for 12 generations. Each one of these saints is referred to as Imam. The twelfth Imam was Mahdi, who is the Messiah and disappeared, and who will come back in future to put the rule of God on Earth. During the absence of messiah, the Ayatollahs are his representatives on earth. Each Shiite Muslim is required to follow an ayatollah of his time in all aspects of religion and life. A decree written by an Ayatollah has to be followed by his followers as if it is the orders of the Messiah itself. There are those students of theology who finish their schooling and get the final degree. Once an Ayatollah has a following, he is referred to as Grand Ayatollah. At this time there are nine Grand Ayatollahs in Iran.

Periodically, one of these Grand Ayatollahs gains such popularity that they become the only Grand Ayatollah of the time. Ayatollah Khomeini is one of them.

*2: Sadeghian Abbas: one on one interview with Ayatollah S Tehran 1985.

*3 the memoirs of ayatollah Pasandideh, the memories: second edition1992 Tehran


*5 Mrs. Sedigheh Khomeini . The Report was from the Washington Post Newspaper taken by an American Reporter in Tehran. I extracted the interview from Information obtained from Milwaukee Sentential Feb 18, 1989. nid=1368&dat=19890218&id=jXoWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=qhIEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3146,4901613

*6 Rohani, The revolution of Imam Khomeini vol 1,

*7 Abramowitz, Jonathan; et al (2009). "Obsessive-compulsive disorder."

*7 Special events from the life of Khomeini vol. 5 1983

*8Confessions of an executor : Bahram Choubineh

*9 Special events from the life of Khomeini vol. 6 1983

*10 Pasdar e Islam, Distributed by Iranian interest section in Washington DC, 1983

*11 Vellayat Faghih, Khomeini 1979 .Tehran

*12 Iran TV, spring 1979

*13 Special events from the life of Khomeini vol. 1 1983

*14 Vaedeh Didar. Khomeini's letters to his son, fourth edition, Tehran 1996

*15 (Jam e Zahr)

*16 Khalkhali Sadegh , Memoires Tehran

*17 Sadeghian ,Abbas : 1980 personal observation

*18 Falachi , Oriana, Interview with Khomeini

*19 Special events from the life of Khomeini vol. 4 1983

*20From Seyyed Zia to Bakhtiar: Behnood, m .1990 Tehran.

*21 Sahifeh Noor Group: A look at the life of ever lasting Leadr, 1990 Tehran

*22 Iranshenasi: Matini. J, Vol x, No 1, Spring 1998

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