Bound by Belief

Fiction - Social Issues
344 Pages
Reviewed on 03/02/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Molly Garcia for Readers' Favorite

Bound by Belief looks into the intricate background of how cults work. Raphael Aron introduces the book with an explanation of cults, how they work, and real-life examples. The story revolves around an organization called CultAssist which is managed by Laura, the main character. Raphael entwines five dramatic cases that Laura is working on. A father whose daughter, Emma, has made an untrue accusation of sexual abuse against him. A young Lebanese man from a close-knit family has vanished, and Rochelle’s husband, Graham, a man who is struggling to cope with his daughter Penny’s cerebral palsy, is pulled into a cult. Ted, a high-profile Telco CEO is forced to find the means by which to rescue his wife and son from the clutches of a cult in India. In addition, Laura is increasingly concerned for a young woman they rescued before, Anne. Since Anne disappeared, CultAssist has been receiving legal threats from the cult’s “mainstream” arm, and Laura thinks the two incidents are linked.

Raphael Aron writes this book from the perspective of someone who has a deep knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. Bound by Belief is fiction; however, its characters are created from reality. This gave me the opportunity to learn at the same time while enjoying the story and plot. The author cleverly wrapped all the cases together in a format that drew me in. Each case is explored in fascinating detail, like the way Graham feels about his daughter’s disability, and how he slowly detaches himself from his wife. As someone who has worked in mental health, I found it particularly interesting how these cults prey on the vulnerable. The techniques they use to recruit and then isolate the people who join up were terrifying in their effectiveness. In one case, they use Anne’s eating disorder and the offer of healing her to pull her to them. The author describes these so expertly and yet also so vividly. I loved this book on more than one level; first the clever plotlines and evolving cases, and second, the realism and knowledge it shared. This book is highly recommended for readers who want to learn as they read and have an interest in the backdrop of cults.

Julie Barrett

Bound by Belief By Raphael Aron
Was interested in reading this because we had a sister in law that was taken into a cult.
This book follows the trail of those who've been taken and the services the team takes to get them back to safety. This book concentrated on many different groups of people and those they help to get out.
Time is of the essence in most cases. Love how they investigate and come to conclusions that will aid the victim.
In most cases they have been brainwashed. Sad to learn of the fate of some

This book has so many unique ideas and tactics depending on the circumstances.
The author is very knowledgeable in this field and I feel they are very passionate.
Love how the team works together as the makeup of the team is ever changing depending on what services need to be performed.
So VERY realistic. Fascinating read and not too difficult or gory.
Received this review copy from the author/publisher via Readers' Favorites and this is my honest opinion.