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Ramin Etebar,MD

Joined: 21 May 2004
Posts: 74
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:59 am    Post subject: ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST Reply with quote


Today when I opened my E-mails, I noticed an E-mail from an opposition group operating out of one of CIS countries (former Soviet block). This group was formed by group of Iranian boys and girls University students living in that country.

At least once a week with certain regularity they would circulate their E-mails in cyber space for anyone interested in reading what they are doing and their progress.

From the content’s of their E-mails one would notice although, they are not professionals; they are hard at work and dedicated to their cause. Trying to link with other opposition groups and expand dialogue with others.

Frankly, I got used to receiving their E-mails for the past 3 years. Reading about what sort of activities they are doing such as sending letters to United Nations in protest or other activities such as sending petitions around for freedom of jailed journalists in Iran. I have even seen their pictures gathered in the university Cafeteria or their picnic in local park dead smack in the middle of winter with lots of snow.

I have Read about the events they would host for fund raising regarding the imprisoned fellow students in Iran, their press conferences in the local media ; trying to educate the general public about the political situation in Iran and what they are doing.

It was obvious this group is young, energetic, sincere, honest that truly believe in what they are doing; team players and true friends in campus, in their private and political activities.

Their E-mail today, sadly informed everyone that they are closing down their operation and will stop their activity. The reason sited for this action was due to their expansion as few other groups had joined them.

When they had started this organization, as friends they had practiced total open ness, transparency and comradely in their work. They were all friends and equal in ranks with a common cause and common believes.

According to their E-mail everything changed as the new groups joined them. Specially, a certain group which I will not mention their names.

According to the original group, this new group joined them and problems started. They started to make troubles for everyone as they played one against the other and spreading rumors, lies and making certain there would be disagreements among the new comers and the old guard.

Finally, escalating the matter to a point that nothing could be done. No one could make any decision about anything. People were accused of spying and sabotage. They made the working environment so tense and poisonous where people did not show up to consult and perform their works.

After a while, that group was on top and there was no one around. Based on these issues, the original group has decided to fold and stop everything.

After reading their sad E-mail, I started to wonder. During our 26 years of opposition, how many hundreds of large and small groups had to close down, due to assassinations, being hijacked by the Islamic Republic secret operatives, lack of funds or just clash of ideas between the members and disagreement as who has the final say.

The case of our young university students, if they had accounted accurately chronicles of what has transpired. I can say clearly it was a classic case of hijacking by the operatives of Islamic Republics regime.

I remember 24 years ago in Los Angeles. How I got my first education about dissolving groups and destroying their cause. I was a young man and still in University. The Islamic revolution was in infancy and there were many Iranians in Los Angeles with their tourist’s visa and some like myself with Student visa. The confidences were high as any day the regime will collapse and everyone will go back home.

A Person that I just will mention his first Initial, Mr. S. asked 10 of his friends to gather Wednesday 12:00 Noon for a lunch in Beverly Hilton Hotel. After Lunch they parted their own way and planned to meet next Wednesday for lunch. This time the number of guests rose to 25 and started to escalate.

At the height of these luncheons, as I recall, there were over 1,500 people gathering every Wednesday for lunch. People were coming because they were hungry for news and wanted to belong somewhere that had the smell and the feel of back home.

Pretty soon this crowd started to ask if it is possible to make this gathering organized and give this organization a name and make it as a group. At first Mr. S. was so humble. Accommodating to everyone’s need and making sure everyone is at home and people would get their special food such as Kosher or diabetic foods or they wanted extra helping of the desert.

By doing all these, when it came to forming the group, everyone including myself saw no one other than this person as natural for the job of creation and leading this new group.

At first he was reluctant to take the job saying he is too busy to do it. Finally he said the magic word. In order to do this task he needs to get paid. It was a logical and legitimate request. They all decided to raise the lunch fees a bit in order to have him paid to run this organization.

The organization was formed and everyone became member. The lunch money was raised in order to pay his salary, secretary of the organization and as I recall someone else for performing something that I don’t remember.

It was decided this organization would run as a democratic organizations. Run by President and board of directors. The elections were held. Mr. S. was elected as President. The boards of directors were elected.

Everyone was happy and the attendance had reached the numbers of 2000 on each Wednesday Luncheon.

It got to the point that the hotel management asked us to find another location for our gathering since the hotel physically could not accommodate all these people. This gathering had started to put strain on the parking system, hotel and the restaurants.

The organization management found a place that accommodated for special events and a capacity much larger than Hilton. It was a bit far. But, no one did mind the trip. Although the fees were considerably lower than what Hilton charged for lunch, the same rates were charged.

The organization started to have dinner parties as well and the attendance reach almost 5000 people at the dinner parties complete with open bars, live music and singing performers.

This was all well and dandy until people started to say an organization like this should state its political goal and become politically involved in what was going on back home. At first Mr. S. reluctantly agreed with this recommendation.

On those Luncheons, after the lunch we had speakers from various fields talking about events in Iran and analyzing them for the group. They ranged from university professors to Rear Admirals in the former Royal Iranian Navy.

The attendance even grew larger. People of all walks of life would come to these gatherings, from a mechanic to a Bank owner. All sit side by side listen to the current events, ask questions and interact with each other.

The trend was like this until one day we lost the treasure of the organization and had to bring a new guy. This guy was a multi Millionaire from Beverly Hills. He had one major flaw. He was pro Islamic Republic to the max and a religious fanatic. I recall once I did ask him what he was doing here. “If things are so good there, why are you here?” I had asked him. He just looked at me funny and did not answer.

I do not know what happened after he got on board. Somehow he influenced Mr. S. so much, and he started to change. He was not the same man. The treasurer was involved in every aspect of the decision-making and finally they called everyone to tell them no longer this organization will be involved in politics!

There were many protests. Mr. S threatened to resign and through the treasurer who has brought in a group of people in the organization, they shoved that idea into the throats of everyone.

After that vote the speeches at lunch had trickled down to how to brush your teeth properly when a dentist paid them to speak; as a form of advertisement to the topic of which travel agency gives you better service.

People got bored. The attendance started to drop and complaints start to rise. A large group including myself boycotted the organization and finally they had to close, as no one except bunch of pro Islamic Groups would attend.

At the end there was over $370,000 left in the petty cash. It was our recommendation to give this money for student’s scholarship fund or to a charity. Mr. S. as a dictator that he had become; demanded this money is his god given right. He had earned it. Despite of the salary he was getting he wanted this money too. Our group of dissidents refused. The Pro Islamic group headed by the Treasurer approved and finally Mr. S. Found clause in the by laws of the non-profit group, that in case of a tie, this money can be used for research.

Immediately Mr. M. volunteered to conduct a research when asked about what topic, he replied the benefits of frozen yogurt in our diets! He took off with our money and the last I have heard from him. He is in Iran running an ice cream parlor. I guess the research results from frozen yogurt was not that favorable!

Thinking back, I realize what kind of great opportunity we had forming that organization and how two people knowingly ran it to the ground intentionally for their personal and gains and in favor of Islamic Republic and their personal pocket.

From time to time I hear of that treasurer. He is still pro Islamic Republic, living in Beverly Hills and still joining organizations and finishing them off internally, efficiently and quietly!

Spreading rumors such as “they take the names of people in the meetings and giving a hard time to their relatives back home” or “taking pictures and filming the events which will be waiting for you at the airport when you go home” are favorite tactics of the regime operatives. Let’s face it they work!

The stories like above have made us Iranians run away from any organized gatherings and each other. Because we know eventually somewhere, someone will come around and will destroy everything you have worked for so hard.

The operatives of Ministry of Information from Iran are at hand posing as many things; Investors, Friends, Managers or facilitators. They will come in as they see you are gathering momentum. They have one task to stop you from what you are doing!

They always succeed, as they know us. They know our fears and our weaknesses. They know they can buy us, scare or at worst kill us. They always have the upper hand.

If they can impose their will on us who live in the democratic world with laws protecting us, you can imagine what they have done to the people living in Iran!

If we wish to overcome this regime, we who are outside and can speak freely, must air our concern and that of our fellow Iranians living inside Iran.

We must expose these operatives and overcome our fears. They can not deal with all of us if we do not let them!

God Bless you all.
Ramin Etebar, MD
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Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for this very important essay. The regime's day will come - it will be soon.
Freedom for the Iranian people! NOT EUROPEAN BUSINESS INTERESTS!
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