Iran: The Purge of the Hojatieh Societyfamilysecuritymatters / Gary H. Johnson, Jr.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s defiance of Ayatollah Khameini, Iran’s
Supreme Leader, is no laughing matter. An 11-day strike by President
Ahmadinejad has ended with the arrest of 25 of his associates on the
charge of sorcery – a charge which carries the penalty of death.
Ahmadinejad’s Chief of Staff, Esfandiar Rahim Masheia, lies at the heart of the controversy. Rumor has it that “Mashaei
allegedly occasionally enters a trance-like state to communicate with
the Twelfth Imam or will sometimes randomly say ‘hello’ to no one at all
and then explain that the Twelfth Imam just passed by.”
Ayandeh, an Iranian news website, described one of the arrested men, Abbas Ghaffari, as "a man with special skills in metaphysics and connections with the unknown worlds".
the 2009 elections, Ayatollah Khameini rejected Ahmadinejad’s decision
to raise Mashaei to the position of First Vice President. Ahmadinejad
eventually relented and made him Chief of Staff.