Sure, he might be the sober new leader of the libertarian wing of the Republican party, but, after reading this, I’m fairly certain I must have gone to college with Rand Paul:*
The strangest episode of Paul’s time at Baylor occurred one afternoon in 1983 (although memories about all of these events are understandably a bit hazy, so the date might be slightly off), when he and a NoZe brother paid a visit to a female student who was one of Paul’s teammates on the Baylor swim team. According to this woman, who requested anonymity because of her current job as a clinical psychologist, “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. They took 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 the countryside outside of Waco, where they stopped near a creek. “They told me their god was ‘Aqua Buddha’ and that I needed to bow down and worship him,” the woman recalls. “They blindfolded me and made me bow down to ‘Aqua Buddha’ in the creek. I had to say, ‘I worship you Aqua Buddha, I worship you.’ At Baylor, there were people actively going around trying to save you and we had to go to chapel, so worshiping idols was a big no-no.”
Nearly 30 years later, the woman is still trying to make sense of that afternoon. “They never hurt me, they never did anything wrong, but the 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 wound up leaving Baylor early. “I just know I never saw Randy after that—for understandable reasons, I think.”
When I asked Benton late last week if Paul remembered any of these episodes from his Baylor days, he replied in an email: “During his time at Baylor, Dr. Paul competed on the swim team and was an active member of Young Conservatives of Texas.”
Note that Randy also never got his bachelor’s degree, although he does hold a medical degree from Duke.
*Note: I did not, in fact, go to Baylor, but to a different liberal arts college where this activity would not have seemed too out of the ordinary. And I most certainly did not go to Duke.