What readers are saying about Bound by Belief
Raphael Aron’s superb retelling of the kind of cases that he has worked on as a cult exit counsellor will give many people pause to wonder why there is so little regulation or even exposure of self-proclaimed religious groups that impose outlandish and oppressive regimes on to unsuspecting followers, enslaving and hurting them while depriving them of their freedom and basic human rights. It is all the more concerning as they continue to thrive in Australia, claiming victims, while out of the public eye. Few people understand as well as Aron, the psychological and emotional trauma they inflict on their followers, families and loved ones, and the enormous skill and risk it takes to rescue them. This book needs to be read widely by young and old alike, as no one can afford to be naïve and uninformed about the cult phenomenon that is now aided and abetted by social media.
-Dr. Rachael Kohn, AO, FRSN, author: The Other Side of the Story: Essays on Jews, Christians, Cults, Women, Atheists and Artists (2021)
Bound by Belief is an account of some of the cases dealt with by CultAssist, a fictional organisation which helps those caught up in cults free themselves and return to their families and normal lives. With diverse and well-developed characters, this important novel shows how people from different walks of life and of different ages can be inveigled into a cult by a charismatic leader.
The novel is written from several points of view and each individual character’s story is well developed with realistic struggles and outcomes. Plenty of action and emotional insight makes Bound by Belief a compelling read. This is a novel which catches the attention and holds it throughout. The scenes set in an ashram in India are particularly tense.
Overall, I found this novel to be engaging with sympathetic characters, an interesting and unusual theme, and a serious message.
– Barbara Scott Emmett, Writer and Editor