Zaid Hamid and TTP: Two sides of the same coin

Zaid Hamid and Yousaf Kazzab share certain attributes which are universal among all cults. The Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is a cult no different from that of Zaid Hamid’s. There are many similarities between the two, and an understanding of them is important in order to estimate the danger Zaid Hamid poses to Pakistan. Understanding Zaid Hamid will also help understand the TTP so that an effective counter terrorism strategy can be developed.

Zaid Hamid just like the TTP believes that he is on a divine mission, hence all those opposing him are enemies of the Prophet (saaw) and blasphemers. They deserve limitless punishment and eternal damnation is their fate. Since TTP has suicide bombers and armed militants, the fate of their enemies is much more gruesome.

Here Zaid Hamid declares Imtiaz Alam and SAFMA enemies of Rasool Allah (saaw) because they sent him a defamation notice.

Zaid Hamid on the other hand harasses the “enemies of RasulAllah” by cyber bullying. Many prominent journalists and intellectuals including Fasi Zaka, Hamid Mir, Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, Marvi Sirmed, Khushnood Ali khan, Najam Sethi and many more have been victims of his vicious cyber harassment. Zaid Hamid has on occasions used physical force as well. On many occasions students were badly beaten up during his programs who asked the wrong questions from him.

This is a video of Zaid Hamid defending the beating of a student who dared to ask him a question.

This is another video where senior journalist Nusrat Javed talks about another incident where thugs of Zaid Hamid started beating students when they asked a question.

Not just liberal intellectuals, TTP and Zaid Hamid also share a passionate hatred for any religious scholar who questions of them. Irrespective of school of thought, the TTP has killed hundreds of scholars like Maulana Hassan Jan, Maulvi Noor Muhammad, Mufti Sarfarz Naeemi. Zaid Hamid on the other hand calls these scholars CIA, RAW and Mossad agent or congressi Khariji. Zaid Hamid is named as the suspect in the FIR for the murder of Maulana Saeed Ahmed Jalalpuri Shaheed, a known critic who first exposed his links with the false prophet Yousaf Kazzab. Zaid Hamid also started a cyber campaign against a beralwi scholar, Mufti Ghulam Sarwar Qadri who condemned him.

Zaid Hamid named in Jalalpuri murder FIR

JUI leader Maulana Hassan Jan gunned down

Charsadda strike: Second attack targets Maulana Fazlur Rehman

Another similarity is that the TTP and Zaid Hamid both use the same techniques to put their message across. Both use Youtube propaganda videos as the main recruitment tool. If studied deeply it would be revealed to any one with a little background in psychology that both Zaid Hamid and TTP use covert hypnosis to create a cult like following. While the TTP uses those who fall in its influence as cheap canon fodder, Zaid Hamid uses them as free labor to build his internet image.

TTP and Zaid Hamid both call Pakistan’s democratic system and its constitution as kufr. They call the Judiciary kufr and reject the legitimacy of any democratically elected government. They both call for unconstitutional means to overthrow the state. While the TTP builds up its own militia for an illegitimate overthrow of the state, Zaid Hamid wants to used the Army for this purpose ( similar to Hizb ut Tahrir).

Here Zaid Hamid talks about it.

Zaid Hamid and TTP both seem to share a similar passion about Ghazwa e Hind and Army of Khurasan being prepared to help the Mahdi. TTP calls it self the Army of Khurassan while Zaid Hamid portrays himself as the leader of Ghazwa e Hind. On many occasions Zaid Hamid has also promoted the Mahdian Army from khurassan prophecies. Being the claimants to fulfilling prophecies is another hall mark of cults which both TTP and Zaid Hamid share.

A screenshot from TTP website referring to themselves as the “Mujahideen from Khurasan”

Zaid Hamid express the same ideas about khurassan as TTP

Zaid Hamid portrays himself as the leader of Ghazwa e Hind.

To conclude, both TTP and Zaid Hamid have the same thinking, both are cults which aim to cease absolute power. Both have no regard for human life or democratic values and are extremely intolerant of critical voices. Zaid Hamid’s views help promote TTP’s thought. Both are a menace to the Pakistani society and are cults which have nothing to do with Islam. Zaid Hamid is a blasphemer of Prophet Muhammad (saaw) because he potrays himself self as the reincarnation of RasulAllah (saaw) to fight the Ghazwa e Hind. While the TTP commits blasphemy by claming that only its personal dictatorship is divine Law or Shariah.

Thus the entire nation must rise up against this Fitna. The struggle against TTP can not succeed without winning the fight against Zaid Hamid because they are two sides of the same coin. We will win this battle only by our devotion to the Khatam un Nabiyeen (saaw) and by firm belief in the Finality of Prophet Muhammad (saaw) which will enable us to remain stead fast while facing this Fitna.

All Cults Believe That They Are The Only Saviors Of The World

Why Hard Core Cults members cannot break up and revert so easily to their senses? Please refer to my article posted at this website –  “Cults in the making ” which explains adequately the subject matter.

The Yusuf Cult Hard Core Members or this new Deviant group obviously are also going through the same process as observed – It takes a very strong commitment and understanding of religion to recover from the spell they have been living and enjoying for so long – Obviously, If they had the right knowledge of the fundamental issues of Islam and status of Prophet Muhammad (sav) of desired level they would not have been entrapped or gone astray – It is the surface and shallow knowledge and the fascination impregnated by their leader , Peer o Murshid and via self suggestion that they are the Chosen ones for a great cause will keep them going with the same distorted belief and they will not like to come out from this dream or illusion. It works almost like being in Disney Wonder Land. I have come across many Cult leaders and members like this who like to promote a new version of Islam which in it’s essence had or has many ideologies other than Islam hence to me it appeared as Mushakkal Islam i.e. a Charbah of Islam mixed with self driven aspirations and wishful thinking supported by external and internal forces in the vested interest.

If such a group is approached to rectify themselves, they would normally react by criticizing all institutions, religious schools, negate all evidences of immoral and illogical behavior because that is the only way they can console themselves to be different and thinking right – They have to feel special. This is their psychological need to survive – Accepting the reality and Truth will be like Self Denial to them and loss of their identity & integrity.

It is the loss of their mental balance that they will appear Arrogant, Hysterical but they would still consider themselves a Savior of the nation and proclaim the same by using beautiful quotations of famous Poets, Writers, Historians, Warriors, Leaders and Prophets. –  They will capitalize on others words and slogans because this is the only way they will hide their true faces and make people feel that they also belong to a group of Thinkers and a person or a group which will bring a Revolution and Change in the Society or in a Country.

It is also to be noted that, such group at time do also bring some change with a smaller group of people and at a smaller scale but the affect is not long lasting simply because the divine blessings are not with them, this is what the history of the growth of human civilization has proven time and again.

How ever , life is a struggle by itself and there has to be a useful purpose of living and those who are conscious of their responsibility entrusted upon by Allah ( swt ) have to face the consequences. Allah ( swt ) may bless those who are spending their time and energy against all evils to establish HIS sovereignty on this earth.

Sateezah  kaar raha hai azal sey taa am-roaz
Chiraagh e Mustafawee sey sharar e bu Lahabi

And let this struggle be selfless and purely for the sake of Allah ( swt ) and for Hurmatey Rasool ( sav ) , His most beloved One – the biggest Fazal Allah ( swt ) has bestowed upon mankind and Jinns and the ultimate Rahama ( kindness & Mercy  ) to the entire universe – The real positive change will only come once we emancipate ourselves from all superstitions & evil temptations , trust Allah ( swt ) and follow the guidelines of Rasool ( sav ) and work to establish the socio economic justice in the society. We need to establish a system and inculcate the discipline within  ourselves for a better future. We all must understand the basics that nothing belongs to any but Allah ( swt ) and the role of Human being is nothing but of a Trustee to all the bounties provided by Allah ( swt ) , therefore let us be watchful and careful as at the end of the day we are all accountable to Allah ( swt ).

Author: Hesham A Syed

Cults and it’s Making – How Cult is formed

CULTS & its Making – Hesham A Syed – 1997

# What is A CULT ? – Various definitions #

1.A group led by an all powerful leader or leaders who claim to have special abilities or powers – the leader demands total loyalty , discourage rational thought , and may even insist that followers severe all ties with friends and family in order to devote their lives to the Cult.

2.Cult is group of people whose life style is different from neighbors.

3.Cult is also referred as New Religion – an alternate religion – these depicts unusual faith — or a first generation religion — how ever if the number multiplies in a few hundred thousands & millions such group carry specific definition of religion and not of Cult.

# Characteristics #

1.A living charismatic leader who claims to have ultimate wisdom.

2.An authoritarian power structure.

3.Rigid boundaries

# Who joins Cults & Vulnerability Factors #

1.It is observed that most Cults members are young , late teens , middle class 60% attended college – 20% graduates – few comes from intact families – 50% male & 50% female.

2.Essentially normal people , faced with difficulty in lives , sudden loss , disappointment, frustration of important expectation , victim of identity crisis

3.Those who have shown evidence of developmental & emotional problem over and extended period of time – searchers , seekers , – looking for magic belief or affiliation.

4.Disturbed mind , psychotic individual but hey do not stay longer because sooner or later they experience crisis and revert to their personal version of reality .

5.Social misfits , psychologist , sociologist , anthropologist & similar can be classic Cult followers.

6.Family back ground , upbringing – the tendency to conceptualize problems in a religious frame work and a low tolerance of ambiguity.

7.Dependency and need to receive approval from others.

8.People with unlocked career or bored with professional career.

9.Those seeking gang member protection

10.Who are over confident , who can give money , have average or above average intelligence and can be well educated.

11.Idealistic – wants to know God better.

12.Adolescence – life transition – time of many changes

13.Those who are in pursuit of finding answers very fast
— have their confidence shaken by crisis
— are not quite sure how they should act
—facing vague and confusing situation
—uncertain beliefs and values.

14.Stressful transition from / for teens :
–Breaking up with intimate relationship.
–Coping with Parents divorce or misbehavior
–Adjusting to family / friends death
–Moving to another state , city , neighbor hood
–Changing of educational environment
–Living away from home for first time
–Exams failure & shortcomings.

15.Adult Risk :
–Loss of Jobs
–Has no purpose
–Mid Life Crisis
–Identity acknowledgement – Who am I ?

16. Dysfunctional Family :
–Loss of Care
–Domestic violence
–Distortion of truth
–Loss of harmony in feelings.

# Cults Methodology & Modus Operandi #

1.Selling Salvation

2.Use physical force some time to recruit.

3.Use brain storming and washing.

4.Use naïve people , ignorant and simple headed people.

5.Use advertising

6.Use unfair persuasion

7.Using automatic behavior pattern

8.Using love and affection / reciprocation / love at first sight

9.The divine deception

10.Thru friendship :
– at meetings and parties , public places , hospitals , schools etc.

11.Propagating that the end of the world is coming.

12.Anti nuclear causes

13.Manupulating thru , social responsibility , ecological wisdom.

14.Meditation and revolution.

15.Flattery and Emotional intimacy

16.Unfriendly persuasion :
Manipulation / Variable tactics / all night meetings / driving out of rational mind / using emotional traumas etc

17.Stopping Alertness :
lack of sleep / physical discomfort ness / increasing sugar in take – Glucose fuels the brain cells / a drop in glucose clouds thinking and makes people even more tired and less able to focus.

18.Programmed Confusion :

– Disorient the mind
-Reality and Illusion are merged with too much information for brain to process at one time.
-Sensory overloading / Lecture Cramming / Mind numbing – Most people suffer through sensory overload in silence because they don’t want to appear ignorant in front of others.

19. Thought Stopping :

-Not that brain should spin but go on complete strike
-Altered state of consciousness
-Use methods for the body to release neurotransmitters ( endorphins ) or natural opiates.

20.Intense Emotional Stimulation :

-Paint gloomy picture of the world by using terms as Freedom , Injustice , and Evil
-Persuade mind to behave like children / Regression will make unsure of themselves.

21.Using group pressure tactics to conform :

-Jargons : create impression that new comers are part of special group that has secret , exclusive knowledge.
-Just like me – Comfort
-Ringers : Old members pretend to be new and provide social proof to the genuine new comers as how it has made a change in their life.

22.Provoking Crisis :

-Make believe that end of the world is just around the corner.
-new comers are some time made to feel guilty of their past doing , admit that they are shameful , pitiful human beings , often their self esteem erodes to the point where they will do any thing to gain relief by joining Cult.
-Attendees are led to fear some thing terrible will happen to them if they don’t believe in the Cult message and act on it right away.
-Group leaders some time exploit emotions and ridicule one or two publicly to the point of tears and this creates an impression that the leader reads the mind – Independent thinking is considered rebellious and dangerous .
-Isolation and Other tools used : Cut off relation with past friends & family members – they are made to seek support only from the group for their psychological quest.

23.Made to commit :

-Consistency : Automatic behavior pattern – once we are made to commit thru persuasion and skill by raising hand , getting on to our feet , a promise to do some thing our self image suffer if we back out . Once we have made to pledge of time and money or have vowed to do some thing the recruiter job is over – we have been sold.
-Vested Interest : Spending time and money with the group starts making more sense.

24.Group Pressure :

-We choose to do some thing we consider wrong rather than live with loneliness of rejection.
-Damaging cult uses group pressure to exploit and harm other members.
-Can be Satanic worshippers but sharing the secret can be exciting.

25.Forcing Commitment :

– Sacrifice :
Sacrifice some of playful habits , eating , drinking , smoking material , social habits etc , to make you suffer to focus on Cult objective.

-Investment :
Individual life saving or belongings are considered to be Group Leader property – Individual are made to develop total dependency on the group leader even for small decision in life.

-Renunciation :
Turn your back from the world – social meetings & communication source other than Cult members are denied.
-Build new living facilities – Dormitories may require members to leave home and live there -As outside world connection is cutoff new identity strengthens & outsiders are taken as enemies to fear them

-Communication :
A feeling is generated that the group members can read each other mind – communion intensifies and this commonality is interpreted as some thing mystical and other worldly.

-Mortification :
Using shame to the point that the victim feels that if his mistake develops he may be cut off. Develop the condition of learned helplessness when humiliated in public and forgiven – feeling of gratefulness over powers feeling of anger for humiliation.-Guilt and Shame has two different meaning – Guilt refers to realization of making mistake which can be corrected – Shame is that you are a mistake not that you are at mistake.

-Transcendence :
New rational is used to bind the members – It makes them feel special , chosen people . Various techniques used can produce status of consciousness during which people may also see visions or hear voices – Most teach that visions , voices and dreams are God’s way of speaking to believer. These are some time called mystical experience. These become powerful than usual events in our daily life and seems beyond scientific explanation . Psychologist and Psychiatrist call these mystical experiences as Hallucination. This can cause due to chemical imbalances in the brain to insanity.
A great number of people thus believe in miracles and direct communication from God to individual.

Damaging Cult how ever uses different approach and deliberate consciousness altering technique to force mystical experiences on the members – they are told that these are coming from their leaders rather than from their God – The mystical experiences are always interpreted in ways that allow Cult leaders to take more control over follower’s lives and mind.

26. Destructive Cults and Mind Control :

# Use mind control and thought reform to manipulate : first stage for any member is like checking out syndrome if they still have linkage with the old belief and they are made to think that they are finding a better platform to serve God – After they are subjected to mind control for several weeks , they loose the ability to think critically and emotions are stuffed deep inside to make a decision – the only action the group members take are those approved by Cult members or Leaders.
# There are various tools used : Damaging Cults may not just use one but several to achieve the objective.
# Mind Control programs are carried out on an uninformed person / new members are spoon fed , uninformed and naively they walk in or tricked in to the Guru Circle and a time comes that they have burned so many bridges that there is no turning back.
# Group dominates over a person thinking – they do not allow time to individual thinking and make them passive . there is little or no privacy . Artificial world is filled with work , meetings , lectures or other activities like raising Funds , help to indoctrinate other Cult members – This called Act ionizing . Some time new members are flattered by making in charge of new members colleagues , so they feel that Group has confidence in them.
# Made to feel Powerless :
-repeated lecture , indoctrination , listening , presentation etc makes the message internalized , so that belief becomes the Cult member’s own.
-Old pattern of living behavior are broken some time and members get in to new pattern which is exciting & give them new sense of identity.
-Cults members are made to feel special and outsiders are ignorant or may be doomed.
# Reward and Punishment Concept : this is created to copy the leader – this is called modeling in psychological term and members who follow the role are called more spiritual .
-Access to the learning of real truth is very exciting – the secrecy characteristic of Cult belief is called “ Split Level Religion “ .
-Punishment may include public humiliation and threat of being kicked out of the group.

# Control of Time and Mind :
Many inner circle members claim that they can read mind when in truth they have a net work of spies who report to them – Other group stage fake healing , miracles and exorcism during which they claim to cast out Demons.
Every thing is planned in a way that it does not appear as if it is being forced upon but it is happening naturally.

# Mind Control and Logic :
Psychology of Totalism is applied – thought stopping cliché – some use Bible or Religious so called divine verses or other simply preach NO PAIN , NO GAIN – Cult leader is portrayed as God’s Messenger on earth , so no question asked , complaints or change is allowed. Member self esteem sinks lower and lower , they become help less and dependant on the Cult for their survival.
People are made to believe that they are nothing without the group , so they decide to stay & face the unpleasant reality of Cult life than to risk being doomed or damned for ever.

# Biology of Mind Control :

Scientist believe that some of the mind changing techniques may actually cause permanent chemical change to take place in the brain. The brain has a hundred billions Neurons or Nerve Cells. These Cells are shaped some what like spiders, with a main cell body and many tiny threads like structure branching from that body. These legs are called Dendrites .The Dendrites of one cell do not touch those of next cell. When information travels from one cell to cell in the brain , it must pass across the gap between cells which is called a Synapse. That information is carried by the brain manufactured chemicals called Neurotransmitters. Endorphins , the Neurotransmitter make people feel good & lessens the pain. The pains are one kind of Neurotransmitter , but there are many others.
Stressful life experience as well as enduring weeks and months of hearing the same messages over and over again can affect the amount of Neurotransmitters the brain releases and how those brain chemicals work to carry information.
According to recent research if information is repeated often enough , the new information is chemically imprinted over the old , actually changing the pathways our thought follows.
The biology of Mind control may help account for the fact that people who join Damaging Cults change so dramatically & that those who leave Cults after experience symptoms such as flashbacks for long after they break contact with the Cult.

Bibliography : ( Books consulted to write this article ):

1.Cults in America – Willa Appel 2.Cults – Karen Zenert 3.Cults : Straight Talk – Kaymarrie Portefit 4.Encyclopedia of Active New Religion – Beit Hallahus
5.Cults – Cohen Daniel 6.Coping with Satanism – Ottens , Allen 7.Cults – Ross , Terry
8.Cults – Steven , Sarah 9. Strange Sects & Curious Cults – Bach Marcus 10. Vodoo – Opposing view points – Nardo, Don & Erik 11. American Saints & Seers – Rice Edward 12.Christian Cult Heads – Stressguth , Thomas 13. Witchcraft Trial – Zeinert Karen , Salem 14. Strange Gods : Cult Scan in America – David Lombey. 15.Various Websites
and many books in Urdu languages.

Hesham A Syed