Rescuing Randy: A Family Determined to Rescue Their Son from a Cult Reviewed By Conny Crisalli of
Conny Withay

Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader and volunteers with the elderly playing her designed The Write Word Game. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren.

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By Conny Withay
Published on January 27, 2013

Author: Geneva Paulson
Publisher: WestBow Press
ISBN: 978-1-4497-7029-7

Author: Geneva Paulson
Publisher: WestBow Press
ISBN: 978-1-4497-7029-7

What would you do if your own child was caught up in a religious cult and you had no clue on where to start or how to get him or her out of it? Would you let it happen, hoping and praying for the loved one to see how controlling it is or would you take any possible, painful action to force a change? Geneva Paulson and her family went to the utmost extreme in her true, tear-jerking story, Rescuing Randy – A Family Determined to Rescue Their Son from a Cult.

This one hundred and eighty-five page paperback book has young man in white Navy dress smiling in the foreground with a more sullen muted picture of the same boy in the background on the front cover. Due to its topics of cults, homosexuality and mental abuse, it would be targeted toward adults who either are going through or want to know more about manipulation by supposed pastors who take advantage of their flock. With its Christian emphasis, it relies heavily on Biblical verses, prayer and God’s direction.

In the late 1980s, young Randy Paulson was a great kid, growing up on a dairy farm in Minnesota where he went to church, was baptized and loved learning about God and Jesus. At seventeen he joined the Navy and served on the USS Ticonderoga, an Aegis missile cruiser. While at port, he visited the Christian Fellowship Church International pastored by L.R. Davis and felt he had found friendship, stability and a stronger relationship with Christ. He was so wrong: a little more than three years later, he was caught up in a cult run by an influential, sexual abusive, controlling false teacher who was later convicted and sent to prison.

With the unconditional love of his parents, family, relatives and friends, a covert plan was formed when Randy visited home at Christmas where they literally abducted and sneaked him into a “safe house,” a remote cabin in the woods, for an intervention lead by an experienced deprogrammer, his assistant who was in the same cult and his supportive family.

As the writer explains her motherly pain, the family’s emotional suffering and the nuances of cults, their leaders and how they control their subjects, one is drawn into the breaking down of Randy’s personality, perception and thinking. In the week of obstinacy, rebuttal and trauma, Randy goes from an unemotional, impersonal shell of a man to “snapping” and slowly realizing he never wants to return to the power-gripping church.

In addition to learning a cult’s tricks of affecting and influencing another through denying sleep and nutrition along with handling all finances, the reader learns how the process after deprogramming can lead to “floating” and “grogging” as the person returns to reality.

This book is a must for anyone who has his or her own loved one in such a dire difficulty and cannot fathom or understand how a cult works or how to help that person escape the addictive hold the cult has on them. With its strong Biblical theme, it really was a “God-thing” how Randy changed, being dedicated to God in the proper perspective instead of a twisted, evil man. Through Randy and his mother’s book, they can help others and their families in the same sad predicament.

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