Rand Paul Confronts Wild-and-Crazy-Guy-Gate

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 9 2010 2:10 PM

Rand Paul Confronts Wild-and-Crazy-Guy-Gate

Jason Zengerle investigates the college days of Rand Paul, complete with a photo of him in ... I'll just say he was "in an outfit" with the secret society the NoZe Brothers. And here is the part you want to read :

The strangest episode of Paul's time at Baylor occurred oneafternoon in 1983 (although memories about all of these events areunderstandably a bit hazy, so the date might be slightly off), when heand a NoZe brother paid a visit to a female student who was one ofPaul's teammates on the Baylor swim team. According to this woman, whorequested anonymity because of her current job as a clinicalpsychologist, "He and Randy came to my house, they knocked on my door,and then they blindfolded me, tied me up, and put me in their car. Theytook me to their apartment and tried to force me to take bong hits.They'd been smoking pot." After the woman refused to smoke with them,Paul and his friend put her back in their car and drove to thecountryside outside of Waco, where they stopped near a creek. "Theytold me their god was 'Aqua Buddha' and that I needed to bow down andworship him," the woman recalls. "They blindfolded me and made me bowdown to 'Aqua Buddha' in the creek. I had to say, 'I worship you AquaBuddha, I worship you.' At Baylor, there were people actively goingaround trying to save you and we had to go to chapel, so worshipingidols was a big no-no."

Nearly 30 years later, the woman is still trying to make sense ofthat afternoon. "They never hurt me, they never did anything wrong, butthe whole thing was kind of sadistic. They were messing with my mind.It was some kind of joke." She hadn't actually realized that Paul woundup leaving Baylor early. "I just know I never saw Randy after that—forunderstandable reasons, I think."

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Depending on who you are, the key here is either the fact that the woman says they "never did anything wrong" or the fact that they blindfolded her and made her bow down to Aqua Buddha. Paul's campaign is brushing this off as a one-day story. "We'll let the tabloid stories sit on the supermarket shelf," said Paul's spokesman Jesse Benton. Even Zengerle seems surprised that this angle is getting attention. But the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee pushed the story earlier today and I'm playing phone tag with Paul's opponent's staff. Any port in a storm.

Anyway, the real question is obvious: Does Rand think the Civil Rights Act prevents restaurants from discriminating against worshippers of Aqua Buddha?

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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