Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Tale of Aqua Buddha Worship Reemerges; Rand Paul as a NoZerman

Politics is a nasty game. Olivia Nuzzi at Daily Beast, in a column titled, Is Rand Paul Christian Enough for the GOP?, recently took the opportunity to discuss Rand's attempt to reach out to evangelicals and Rand's hiring of Mike Biundo, a New Hampshire native who served as Rick Santorum’s  2012 campaign manager,  to retell the story of Rand and Aqua Buddha Worship. Her summary provides more details then I have seen before about the odd goings related to Aqua Buddha Worship. The piece is likely going to provide guidance in the future to those who want to take the Aqua Buddha approach to smearing Rand:
 With just a few months until election day in 2010, a bomb dropped on Paul’s Senate campaign: GQ reported that while at the Baptist Baylor University in Waco, Texas, Paul was part of a secret society called the NoZe Brothers, a group who, in the words of a former member “'aspired to blasphemy.’”

The publication detailed that the NoZe Brothers “would perform ‘Christian’ songs like ‘Rock Around the Cross'” and “parade around campus carrying a giant picture of Anita Bryant with a large hole cut out of her mouth after the former beauty queen proclaimed oral sex sinful.”

But perhaps most damaging of all was the retelling of an act of humiliation on a female student. She told the publication that Paul and another NoZe brother tied her up and tried to make her take bong hits, and then drove out to the Waco countryside, where they blindfolded her and “’told me their god was ‘Aqua Buddha’ and that I needed to bow down and worship him…I had to say, I worship you Aqua Buddha, I worship you.’”

Paul’s opponent, Democrat Jack Conway, capitalized on the bad press with an attack ad that was almost a parody of an attack ad. “Why was Rand Paul a member of a secret society that that called the Holy Bible ‘a hoax,’ that was banned for mocking Christianity and Christ?” The ad’s narrator asked. “Why did Rand Paul once tie a woman up, tell her to bow down before a false idol and say his God was ‘Aqua Buddha’? Why does Rand Paul now want to end all federal faith-based initiatives? and even end deductions for religious charities? Why are there so many questions about Rand Paul?”

Paul employed his wife, a deacon in their Bowling Green presbyterian church, for damage control. In a press conference, Kelly Paul called the ad “a desperate, shameful attack on our family…I could hardly believe my eyes when I first saw it, and neither could our three sons, who are ages 11, 14, and 17. Rand and I are both Christians and our faith is very important to us.”
To be sure, Rand was probably simply part of a band of merry college pranksters, but evangelicals take worship seriously.

And if you think that is bad enough, consider the details that Wikipedia provides us about the NoZe Brotherhood, including Nozermen's satirical attacks on the Baptist church:
The NoZe Brotherhood is a collegiate secret society at Baylor University. Founded in Brooks Hall in 1924, the society was originally formed as a joke regarding Leonard Shoaf, a freshman with a large nose. Shoaf's nose was of "such great length and breadth of nostril"[1] that his friends proclaimed they could "form a club around it".[2]

The society has always venerated its history and traditions through the observance of several key festivals and holidays. The oldest, the Pink Tea, has been held annually since 1929.[3] Held in the spring, the event affords members the opportunity to hear the "State of the Onion" address by the Lorde Mayor, celebrate the history of the society, and hear one or more addresses by guest speakers (usually Baylor faculty) and neophyte members.
In 1954, the society began publishing its own satirical newspaper, The Rope (spoofing the campus newspaper The Lariat),[3] taking aim at Baylor University and the Baptist Church, employing satire and absurdity, and developing a unique writing style known as "NoZe prose".
NoZe Brothers who have graduated are known as "Exiles." They stay in touch via the Facebook group "NoZe Brotherhood Exiles" (which requires approval to join).
In the mid-1960s, the society's relationship with Baylor's administration became more precarious, due primarily to acts of vandalism: the repeated painting of a campus bridge in the traditional NoZe color of pink, followed by an arson attack on the bridge, the details of which are disputed.[4]
The society went underground, disguising members' identities with rubber noses and wigs. For some unknown reason, the Brothers changed the spelling from "nose" to "NoZe" and adopted a guerrilla profile, crashing various campus events such as "Sing", Chapel, and Homecoming parades. 
And here is the real kicker, Wikipedia lists among the "Ornery Brothers,"  that is, honorary members of the NoZe Brotherhood, just about every high profile person that was involved, in one manner or another,  in taking down or attempting to take down a president:

Dan Rather

Leon Jaworski

John Dean

Kenneth Starr

And then, this guy is listed as an Ornery Brother:

George W. Bush


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