Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Doctor Tells Obama Voters to Go Away; Radicals Tell Governors to Resign; Security Blind Spot; Scientology: A History of Violence
Aired April 2, 2010 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, "Keeping Them Honest": the doctor who put a sign on his door that says if you voted for Obama, go elsewhere. Now, a Congressman is calling for an investigation; critics say his license should be revoked. The question is -- is what he did legal? We're going to hear from him and talk to the doctor and to the Congressman who's on his case.
Also tonight, dozens of governors get threatening letters from an extremist group that wants to do away with the government. Securities on alert, the FBI is involved; we'll tell you who this new group is and whether or not they're for real.
And later our investigation into the Church of Scientology concludes tonight. Ex-wives of those accusing the church leader of violence say their former husbands are liars. You'll hear from them and you'll get the husbands' response.
First up tonight, "Keeping Them Honest". The doctor in Florida who says if you voted for Obama, go someplace else for care. The question is can he do that? I mean, is that legal, is it ethical?
In a moment, we'll talk to the doctor about why he doesn't want patients who voted for Obama. But I wanted to show you how this controversy started.
Let's go over to the wall here. Take a look, this is the sign that the doctor put on the door of his office. It was the first thing patients would see. It said, "If you voted for Obama, seek urologic care elsewhere." He's obviously a urologist. "Changes to your health care begin right now, not in four years."
So now, the urologist, Dr. Jack Cassell, who I'm going to talk to in a minute, says he isn't turning anyone away for care despite what that sign says.
We'll also talk to the local Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson who's outraged about this, outraged about what the doctor is doing and says it goes against the Hippocratic Oath.
So let's take a look at part of that Hippocratic Oath. Now, the modern version of that oath reads and I quote, "I will remember that I remain a member of society with special obligations to all of my fellow human beings, those sound mind and body as well as the infirm." Ok, it doesn't say anything about politics. So let's look at the AMA Code; the American Medical Association's Code of Ethics does mention politics. Section 9.012, quote, "Under no circumstances should physicians allow their differences with patients or their families about political matters to interfere with the delivery of high quality professional care."
COOPER: And Dr. Cassell joins us now. So Dr. Cassell, you say you're not turning any patient away --
DR. JACK CASSELL, OBAMA HEALTH CARE PLAN OPPONENT: Right.
COOPER: But I mean, the sign on your door says, "If you voted for Obama, seek urologic care elsewhere." It's on the door to your office, it's the first thing patients see --
CASSELL: Right, absolutely.
COOPER: How is that not designed to turn them away?
CASSELL: Well, I could tell you that my -- the people that are Obama supporters in my office still walk in the door. So --
COOPER: But I mean, clearly somebody was upset enough to contact, you know, local representatives to take photos of this --
COOPER: -- it's clearly some people have been turned away.
CASSELL: Sure. Well, that's -- and that's their choice. They can go to another urologist if they -- if they feel so inclined.
COOPER: But you're -- but you're telling them to go to another urologist.
CASSELL: I'm -- well, in a matter of speaking I am. But a lot of people feel, well, I still -- based on my reputation and their need, they will come in my door.
COOPER: But, I mean, you said you would prefer not to treat people who support the president. Now, if you have that in mind, how can you claim that you're treating them the same? I mean, if there's an entire class of people you don't like, you're actions toward them are going to be different.
CASSELL: Well, I didn't say I didn't like them. I just said that I want to stir up a little controversy.
COOPER: Well, you think they're morons according to one of the other notes that you have in your office waiting room. You clearly think that they are --
CASSELL: No, no, the morons -- the morons who voted for the health care bill.
COOPER: Ok, well, then your patients who supported Obama and supported the people who voted for the health care bill I guess you would also consider morons if you consider the people who voted for him are.
CASSELL: Well, no, I think the elected officials need to read the bill and certainly most of them haven't and they certainly aren't familiar with the time frame of implementation. And that's what I wanted -- that's what I wanted my patients to be familiar with was exactly what are they getting into. And I think it's worked.
COOPER: But I mean, your actions are designed to make an entire class of patients uncomfortable?
CASSELL: Well, I think the health care bill makes them more uncomfortable than --
COOPER: Well, no, because plenty of people support the health care bill some who supports the health care bill has a urinary infection and in desperation comes to your office --
COOPER: -- and the first thing they see is the sign saying go somewhere else that's --
CASSELL: Well, it hasn't stopped people from coming in.
COOPER: Well, you know nothing --
CASSELL: I know you'd like to think that they have, but they haven't.
COOPER: Your critics were pointing to AMA Code of Ethics, which says that under no circumstances should physicians allow their differences with patients or their families about political matters to interfere with the delivery of high quality professional care.
CASSELL: It hasn't. I still deliver high quality professional care.
COOPER: But if you have a sign on your door that says go away if you support Obama that by its definition is interfering. I mean, you -- from the moment if someone is about to walk into your door, there is a sign saying go away if you like Obama. That's designed to interfere. That's designed to turn them away.
CASSELL: It's not designed to turn them away. It's designed to make them start thinking.
COOPER: Well, if you want people to think and educate people then you would say on your sign, you know, I hate this bill and here is why and here's some thought provoking ideas. It doesn't say that, it says go away.
CASSELL: It says go away. They don't go away. I mean, from what I can tell, I understand what you're saying.
COOPER: You just said you don't know people have gone away.
CASSELL: Plenty of them are coming in. I think the message is getting out there, I think, I've done a lot more good than not good here. I just hope that more doctors will make their patients aware of exactly what's going to be happening to them. And that's -- and I think that I -- I've succeeded in a little transparency of this issue over the last 48 hours.
COOPER: You understand why some people are upset about this, though, don't you?
CASSELL: I think that more people are not upset about it than people that are. I think the people that are upset are the people that read this.
CASSELL: Not my actions. I'm hearing -- I'm hearing a lot of positive feedback from people.
COOPER: How long is the sign going to stay up?
CASSELL: I don't know. If I can think of a better one, I will. I'll put the new one out.
COOPER: All right. Dr. Jack Cassell, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
CASSELL: Thank you, sir. Thanks for your interest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, there you have it. Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson -- a woman whose daughter took a picture of the sign sent it to the Congressman complaining. He's filing a formal complaint with the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Medical Board. Congressman Grayson joins us now.
Does it make sense what the doctor is saying? I mean, he's claiming he's not turning any patients away.
REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: He's a very confused individual, that much is obvious. But what he's doing clearly is a violation of the ethics rules that you cited earlier, the Hippocratic Oath, the rules of the AMA and it's at the expense of his patients in care.
What he is doing is no different from saying I will not treat a black person, I will not treat a Catholic.
COOPER: But wait, wait, wait a minute. I mean, I'm not taking a side, I'm not taking anybody's side in this, but just for accuracy's sake, he had said nothing about race and race is a protected category, I mean, there are -- it's illegal to discriminate someone based on race, but it's not illegal to say you don't want to treat somebody because you don't like their politics. Politics is not a protected class.
GRAYSON: Well, in fact, where he lives in Mount Dora (ph) which is in my district many, many of the Democrats who live in Mount Dora (ph) happen to be African-Americans. So by saying that he will not treat somebody who supported Obama, he's saying that he's not going to treat a large number of African-Americans in this community.
COOPER: But -- so you're saying race is at the core of that? Come on there is no evidence of that all.
GRAYSON: No, I'm saying -- I'm saying that it shows poor judgment. And the effect -- the effect of this will set us back as a country. That's why I'm disgusted by it.
COOPER: But again, he's not doing anything illegal.
GRAYSON: Well, that remains to be seen. He is licensed. There are licensing authorities who are going to look into what he's doing. And I hope that they'll take action because frankly I think a lot of people are disturbed just to go into his office.
He's turned his inner office, his reception area into some shrine of right wing nuttery (ph). And he said earlier today on Fox News that he's upset about the health care bill because it means that old people won't be able to go to nursing homes anymore.
COOPER: To critics of you, though, will say, well, look, this comes across as a partisan attack, that you're using the legal system or the medical ethics system to pressure someone who doesn't agree with you.
GRAYSON: Well, that's not true.
COOPER: I mean, if this was an Obama supporter --
COOPER: -- who put up a sign saying I don't like Republicans and Republicans should go elsewhere, would you be as outraged?
GRAYSON: I'm protecting the people in my district who deserve medical care even if they happen to have voted for Obama.
COOPER: Nobody, though, seems to be alleging that he treats any of his patients any differently based on what they believe. I mean, so far no one has said that their care has suffered because they were an Obama supporter.
GRAYSON: How many people walked in -- walked up to his front door, saw the sign and turned away? How many people referred from other physicians in the community, including primary care physicians, how many patients saw that sign and walked away?
COOPER: What kind of penalty do you think he should get?
GRAYSON: Well, whatever the medical authorities think he should get. But it's a clear violation of ethics. And it's a particularly ugly one. Why is it that the right wing is so preoccupied with denying people health? Why is that?
COOPER: Representative Alan Grayson, I appreciate you being on for your perspective. Thank you very much.
GRAYSON: Thank you.
COOPER: A quick reminder, the live chat is up and running. Let us know what you think about this at AC360.com. I'm sure a lot of you have opinions on it.
Just ahead, a chilling portrait: she was just 17 years old, look at this picture of this young girl. 17 years old, old enough to brandish a pistol, apparently strap explosives to her body, blow herself up at a subway station in Moscow, killing an awful a lot of innocent people.
This is a picture; it's our first look at the bomber, a member of what has become known as Russia's Black Widows. We're also going to look at the vulnerability of America's biggest subway system right here in New York and a new threat against America's governors.
Plus, our special investigation of Scientology continues. Former high level members speaking out and claiming the church leaders physically abuse them, their ex-wives and church leaders say those accusing them are lying. Former members respond to the accusations tonight on 360.
COOPER: "Up Close" tonight, police are on alert, security tightened in states across the country right now. The reason is letters received by at least 30 state governors warning them to resign or be removed. The FBI is investigating, says it expects all 50 governors will eventually get these letters.
They come from a group calling itself the "Guardians of the Free Republic". They've got a Web site touting what they call their "Restore America Plan".
On Wednesday, the group posted the following. They said, quote "After a year of face to face negotiations with high ranking members of the Armed Forces of the United States of America, the leaders of the freedom movement have joined together to bring you a four-step comprehensive remedy, the Restore America Plan".
The group also says it plans to, quote, "Terminate illicit corporations posing as lawful governments." Their letter warning governors to leave office within three days or, quote, "Be removed." Doesn't contain a specific threat of violence and according to the FBI the Guardians are associated with the far right's so-called Sovereign Citizens Movement.
Also today a Federal magistrate in Michigan ruled that members of that self-styled Hutaree militia will be jailed until their trial.
So the question tonight, is how seriously should we take groups like these? I mean, some of what they say just sound nonsensical, but that doesn't mean they don't pose a real threat. Joining us now is CNN contributor John Avalon and Tom Fuentes. John is the author of "Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America". Tom is a former FBI assistant director.
So, John what do you make of this? I mean, what is this Sovereign Citizens Movement?
JOHN AVLON, AUTHOR, "WINGNUTS": The Sovereign Citizens Movement is one tributary to a larger militia movement. It's been around since the early 1970s and it's - it's taken different shapes and forms. But their basic claim is that the United States federal government, which they call a federal corporation, is illegitimate. That it's exceeded its constitutional mandate and therefore that sovereign citizens can do things like declare their own juries, have citizens' trials and put U.S. officials including the President on trial in absentia.
It has had violent outbursts in the past associated with it. Terry Nichols and one of the accomplices for the Oklahoma City bombing was associated with the Sovereign Citizen Movement. So it is -- it is far out stuff but we've seen its likes before and it can lead to real trouble.
COOPER: Tom, do you believe it can lead to real trouble? I mean, some of what these guys say just sounds completely absurd, that they have been having high level meetings with members of the Armed Forces.
THOMAS FUENTES, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Yes, I think right now, Anderson, the FBI thinks that -- at least from a violent standpoint -- they're not an immediate threat. So they have been trying to downplay these letters as -- and they just put out a notice about the letters as opposed to any kind of a threat advisory to the governors that received them.
So they're trying to avoid giving them too much credibility in terms of being violent or in terms of making sense as far as that goes.
COOPER: Yes, I mean, John, it does is only take one idiot with a gun or a bomb to do something. But, I mean, should people be concerned?
AVLON: Well, look, I mean, you always want to, an abundance of caution, is you know, hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Nonetheless, it does seem -- we don't like have the -- apparently 80- page manifesto that they sent to these governors, but it's going to be --
COOPER: I can hardly wait to get my hands on that.
AVLON: Yes, you know, it's going to be a real page turner. But -- but it is important to sort of take these folks, and A, at their word, but, B, in larger context. There is -- you know, when you really delve down into their Web site, you do see a lot of some of the oldest conspiracy theories in the book kind of percolating around the edges.
COOPER: I mean, it's all the stuff about, like, the Rothschild, the Illuminati, all that kind of --
AVLON: All those strange kind of --
COOPER: -- Jewish bankers controlling everything.
AVLON: If you dig down deep enough it always seems to end there. But they do view themselves as somehow defenders of the Constitution in a purist sense.
But they're playing with dangerous rhetoric at least. Now, one of the odd things is traditionally their opponent has been the federal government, not the states per se.
So one of the things to look out for is why they seem to be attentioning (ph) their threats or targets or demands, actually, at the governors rather than the federal government.
COOPER: And I guess, Tom, that because these letters don't contain really any specific threats of violence, then that obviously constrains what law enforcement can do.
FUENTES: Well, certainly at this point it's a freedom of speech issue. They have the right to send these letters out as long as they don't take violent action or steps in furtherance of it. And I think, the first question that the FBI officials had in relation to this group and that many of us had is, are they also out in the woods with fully automatic weapons training for violence, training for war?
And that's the difference. So far if it's a war of rhetoric as John mentioned, you still have to worry about that because of the other people that might be inspired to violence just hearing the type of rhetoric that they're putting out. But at least so far, there is no indication that they're in a position to carry out violence against these governors.
COOPER: Well, Tom, I appreciate your expertise, thanks for being with us. And John, as well, thanks.
AVLON: You're welcome.
COOPER: If you want to know if militias operate near you, you can go to AC360.com. You could see a map of militia activity state by state.
Coming up, we continue our special investigation into the Church of Scientology.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNY LINSON, MEMBER, SCIENTOLOGY SEA ORGANIZATION: I knew every inch of him, I never saw one scratch, I never saw one bruise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Tonight, you'll hear her ex-husband's response. He insists she was there when he was assaulted by the church's top leader.
Next, Russia's Black Widow suicide bomber, this picture is just haunting. A 17-year-old girl, apparently she is one of the bombers who killed so many innocent people in Moscow. And there's new concern about how safe our subways are in America.
For instance, New York has thousands of cameras in subways; guess how many of them do not work? We'll tell you in a moment.
COOPER: I want to show you the picture of the young woman being accused in the Moscow subway attack. She was just 17 years old. That's the photo, just a stunning photograph. Russian authorities say she was one of the two suicide bombers responsible for Monday's terror attacks on the subway system. We got our first look at the alleged mass murderer today.
This is the face of the killer or the suspected killer. Some of the Russian media have dubbed her "The Black Widow". They report she was the wife of an Islamic militant who had died previously. The militant was apparently killed by Russian forces last year. I think it was in Dagestan, a former Soviet Republic. The photo is just eerie, though. Officials believe she wanted to avenge his death by slaughtering innocent lives.
Now, in the wake of the attacks, we learned something disturbing here at home. It's about thousands of security cameras for America's busiest transit system, right here in New York. You would hope they would all be working, right? The fact is they aren't.
We're "Keeping Them Honest".
COOPER (voice-over): After the subway bombings in Moscow, New York's transit system was put on heightened alert.
(on camera): The New York City subway system is enormous. There is more than 460 stations, more than 600 miles of track, easy to see why security is such an issue and apparently such a problem.
(voice-over): A problem because many of the security cameras that are supposed to be watching for danger aren't. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg --
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, MAYOR, NEW YORK: A lot of those cameras don't work and some day maybe we're going to get very badly hurt because of it.
COOPER: There are about 4,300 surveillance cameras throughout the city's transit system. But it turns out only 2,200 of them are working. That's right. About half the cameras don't work.
Who is responsible? The MTA, the Metropolitan Transit Authority oversees the subway system. But holding them accountable isn't easy. "New York Daily News" writer Pete Donahue has covered subway security for a decade.
ONCAM: So who is to blame for the camera problem?
PETE DONAHUE, REPORTER, "NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": Well, part of the problem is just the structure of this organization. It's an authority, it's not a state agency.
COOPER: The MTA.
DONAHUE: The MTA, not a city agency, it's not a state agency like say, the NYPD or the Department of Transportation. So no one really owns it. I mean, the governor appoints some board members. The mayor appoints some board members.
What happens is you'll have politicians come down and they'll cut ribbons when things are going well but no one takes ownership of problems.
COOPER (voice-over): So what's wrong with the cameras? Well, the problem began in 2005. That's when the MTA paid Lockheed Martin $212 million for cameras and motion sensors. But the MTA says much of the equipment doesn't work. The two sides are now suing each other.
Mayor Bloomberg who appoints several members to the MTA's board says though it's his city there is nothing he can do about it.
BLOOMBERG: We can only do so much. It's the MTA, it's their cameras, they have to maintain them.
COOPER: The mayor suggested we ask the governor, his office appoints more MTA board members. We tried to reach the governor for a comment, but their office told us to contact, guess who, the MTA.
We did, and in a statement, it said, "The safety and security of our customers is the MTA's top priority. In a post 9/11 world, we have worked together to harden our infrastructure, secure sensitive areas, and prioritize locations for our surveillance cameras". The MTA says, an additional 910 cameras will be up and running by June. A group that represents commuters is demanding action now.
GENE RUSSIANOFF, STRAPHANGERS STAFF ATTORNEY: It's an outrage. And so there's a feeling of real vulnerability. And so something that could help and it's been five years and the question most of them have is why did it take so long? Well, get those damn cameras working.
COOPER: Until that happens, security lapses will plague the largest and busiest mass transit system in America.
COOPER: Stunning when you think about half the cameras aren't working in this city, unbelievable.
We're following several other important stories making news tonight. We have a familiar face bringing us the details. Lisa Bloom, our legal analyst and so much more joins us with the "360 News and Business Bulletin". Lisa welcome.
LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Thanks, Anderson.
New security measures are under way for all international flights to the U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the policies will utilize layers of security designed to reduce the threat of terror. It includes random screening and advanced imaging technology.
In the Indian Ocean, a high sea showdown between pirates and the U.S. Navy. This was no contest really, the U.S. military says a group of Somalian pirates on three skiffs fired rifles and aimed grenade launchers at a tanker. The "USS Farragut" a guided missile destroyer sank the largest of the skiffs and detained and then released 11 suspects.
Some encouraging news on the U.S. economy: 162,000 jobs were added in March; the most in three years. However, the unemployment rate remains at 9.7 percent.
And how is this for a companion at sea? A 30-foot whale surprised surfer Jodie Nelson off the Coast of Southern California and kept pace with her for two of the nine hours that she stood and paddled between two islands. Nelson was on a charity endurance mission to raise money for breast cancer when the mink whale appeared. She called it a sign from above.
COOPER: That's so cool.
BLOOM: Whale escorts. That's how we roll here in California, Anderson.
COOPER: Apparently so.
All right, all right, Lisa, time for our "Beat 360" winners: our daily challenge to viewers, a chance to outdo our staffers by coming with a better caption for the photo that we put on our blog every day.
So tonight's picture is Japanese macaws eating cherry blossoms at Tokyo's oldest zoo, are those macaws? I don't know, anyway.
COOPER: Our staff winner tonight, Kyra; her caption, "Mm, tastes like chicken." I think they're talking about the cherry blossoms, I hope not the -- monkey. The viewer winner is Lisa -- and not you Lisa, sadly. Her caption, "Side effects may include a flushed red face and extensive body hair growth". Nice.
Lisa congratulations. Your "Beat 360" t-shirt is on the way.
All right. More with Lisa Bloom in a moment.
Coming up next on 360: new clues in the search for a missing family that disappeared nearly two months ago. The question is did they run away to Mexico? We have some new information on the mystery.
Also ahead tonight, this --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Catherine, your ex-husband Jeff Hawkins says about you, that you have a heart of gold and that you're a good woman and that you stuck with him through some very trying times in Scientology. He does say that you --
CATHERINE FRASER, MEMBER, SCIENTOLOGY SEA ORGANIZATION: Hold on. He didn't have any trying times in Scientology. I don't -- it was the best time of his life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, Jeff Hawkins, her ex-husband doesn't see it that way. He says he faced years of physical abuse from the church's leader.
You'll hear from Jeff Hawkins, his ex-wife and others as we continue and conclude the investigation into the Church of Scientology.
COOPER: Over the past week we have been reporting on allegations of physical abuse inside the Church of Scientology. The allegations have been made by a number of former high ranking scientologists, former members of the Sea Organization which is the church's religious order. And the allegations are against the church's leader David Miscavige.
The former inspector general, Marty Rathbun; former spokesman of the church Mike Rinder; and other former members of the elite management group including Jeff Hawkins, Tom Devocht, Amy Scobee and Steve Hall all have made allegations that David Miscavige used and encouraged physical abuse. Rathbun, Rinder and Devocht admit to some acts of physical violence themselves, but say it was at the direction or the encouragement of David Miscavige. They also say it wasn't to the extent that David Miscavige was punching, kicking and choking subordinates.
Now, the church strongly denies all those claims sending us dozens of affidavits, e-mails, letters calling those speaking out liars. They say Miscavige never abused members and insist only the accusers were the abusers. They also say it was because of that abuse that they were removed from positions of power within the church.
Earlier this week we spoke with the ex-wives of some of the men making the claims of abuse. The women who are current high ranking seniors in the Church of Scientology told us that their ex-husbands are bitter and out to destroy the person who removed them from power. Saying they're working in collusion in an attempt to seek revenge against the church's leaders.
Here is more of my interview with them.
COOPER: I read all of your affidavits. Obviously your ex-husbands have made charges against David Miscavige saying that they have seen repeated acts of physical violence perpetrated by Mr. Miscavige. Is any of that true?
LINSON (?): Not one ounce of it. Not one.
COOPER: Why do you think they're saying these things?
LINSON: I think that they are bitter individuals who once had a life that had glory and some form of power, and they now have nothing. They have no job. They have no life. And the media is giving them attention and they're going for that attention.
But we personally know -- I slept with Tom Devocht for almost 20 years. I knew every inch of him. If he ever complained about something: if he had a headache, if he had a back ache, he had me rub his feet at night.
I mean, I was his wife. I never saw one scratch, I never saw one bruise, I never saw one black eye, nothing, nor did he complain about anything personally. And he would have told me because any, anything that would happen I would know about.
And besides that, that's not the character of Mr. David Miscavige, nothing like that. It is outrageous that these men are doing that and they're bitter and they're getting attention from the media.
COOPER: And you were married to Marty Rathbun.
ANNE JOASEM, MEMBER, SCIENTOLOGY, SEA ORGANIZATION: Fifteen years. I know the man better than anybody else.
You have to understand, Marty Rathbun is a liar, ok? When he left -- he's alleging that when he left in 2004 it was because he witnessed Mr. Miscavige beating somebody up or whatever. Right after he left, I'm the first person he called. He called me right away and it never came up. He never mentioned it, ok?
COOPER: He says that he did mention it to you.
JOASEM: No, he did not. Absolutely not. It is a lie.
COOPER: Catherine, you were married to Jeff Hawkins.
FRASER: Yes, I was married to Jeff Hawkins during the entire time that these allegations that he said apparently happened. I was, you know, we were very close obviously, we were married. He used to tell me about everything he did, the meetings he went to, et cetera. He never mentioned one thing.
To the contrary, he mentioned to me how much Mr. David Miscavige supported him, how much he believed in him.
COOPER: You were married to Mike Rinder a long time. CATHERINE BERNARDINI, MEMBER, SCIENTOLOGY SEA ORGANIZATION: Yes, I was.
COOPER: He says that he was beaten by David Miscavige some 50 times. And multiple people have also said that they saw Mike Rinder bearing the brunt of David Miscavige's --
BERNARDINI: Mike Rinder, Mr. Miscavige never laid a hand on Mike Rinder. I lived with Mike Rinder for over 35 years. I know every square inch of Mike Rinder's body. I know everything that's ever happened to him, every accident, every time he broke his wrist. I've been with him; we have been together all our lives.
It is utterly ridiculous and it isn't true. And I certainly would have seen it. And the reason why I know that is I happen to be in a meeting in January 2004 when Marty Rathbun suddenly went and leapt on top of Mike Rinder, and fought him to the ground and started choking him and beating him.
COOPER: How is it that no one came forward to call the police?
LINSON: I will answer you Anderson -- I will tell you. At that point in time he had a personal conversation with me and said to me, and I -- and said to me specifically as he was bouncing his knee nonstop, "Jenny, I think I'm going nuts. I think I'm crazy." And we thought, ok, we can help this man. We're going to have to help him with Scientology technology. It wasn't days later that he took off.
COOPER: What is the procedure for dealing with somebody who is physically violent? Because in any corporation in the United States, if a superior assaulted, punched, kicked, strangled, you know, somebody else in the company, that person would be out of the company and the police would be called.
LINSON: And he is out and he was out. That's what you have to understand, Anderson.
COOPER: So for about three years according to members of the church, your husband was physically assaulting --
JOASEM: It was isolated incidents.
COOPER: Well, this isn't isolated incidents. This is a consistent, virulent, physical harassment.
LINSON: We understand what you're saying. And here's the fact --
COOPER: What I'm saying is you were married to a man who for three years had -- was a high ranking member of the church who was assaulting people and --
LINSON: And Mr. Miscavige was not at the property at the time --
COOPER: Do you not have telephones?
LINSON: Of course we have telephones. I think you're being quite rude and insulting. Here is the bottom line. Here is the bottom line.
There is no history of violence in the church. There was isolated instances and yes you do have written declarations that Marty Rathbun was a violent man.
COOPER: So what do their ex-husbands say about what they said -- the men accusing David Miscavige of physical violence. Well, we're going to hear from them next.
Also tonight, singer Janet Jackson, what she told Oprah Winfrey about the death of her brother Michael.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: More now on our investigation into the Church of Scientology. Before the break, you heard from several ex-wives, who are also current senior leaders in the church. They were upset at their ex-husbands who have left the church and are making explosive charges that the church's current leader David Miscavige has physically abused other members of the church.
The women, along with the church spokesman Tommy Davis, called these men liars, said some were violent themselves and were removed from their positions in the church.
The women say Marty Rathbun, the church's former inspector general, was violent. They also say the former construction manager for Scientology named Tom Devocht, never showed any marks on his body from the beatings he said he had from Miscavige. And they called former marketing manager Jeff Hawkins a liar.
COOPER: Tom, you saw your ex-wife basically saying that there was never a mark on you, that she knew every inch of your body, she slept with you every night. She never saw any sign that you had been physically abused.
TOM DEVOCHT, FORMER SCIENTOLOGIST: Right. You want my comment on it?
DEVOCHT: She -- it's true. I don't know to begin with -- first, let me tell you this. In 19 years, I probably sent four years with her out of that entire time.
COOPER: Why, because of work you guys were separated? DEVOCHT: I was in Florida; she was in California. I went to New York. She went to Madrid. And I never claimed to have bruises or scars or anything like that to begin with. So it's sort of irrelevant. But she was there and saw me twice get hit by Miscavige.
COOPER: She -- you say she saw you get hit by David Miscavige?
COOPER: Because she says you're lying, that she never saw anything.
DEVOCHT: I know. And I don't hold that against her. I know that the pressure she's under, she's going to say that. She's going to say whatever she thinks is right and is going to protect the church and protect her authority (ph).
COOPER: Essentially, Tom, the church is also saying that you three are colluding together; that you've matched your stories, that you've been working on this, and -- and you're out to destroy the church.
DEVOCHT: Yes. Let me dispel that right now. I mean, the last time I talked to Marty -- I have not seen Marty since he left, to give you an example. I've not seen him in person. We have not met anywhere. I talk to him occasionally, maybe once a month -- he'll confirm that -- to say, "Hello, how is it going?"
Mike, I see a little bit more often. I live pretty close to him.
COOPER: Mike Rinder?
DEVOCHT: Mike Rinder -- yes, sorry. But we don't, you know -- I mean, I'm not interested in it. I got nothing to do with it. I don't win if it does well; I don't win if it does badly. I don't -- there is no -- there's just nothing in it for me at all.
I don't -- I have no intention to reform it, take over, anything like that. That's not -- I'm doing my own thing. I want to get on with my life. You know, at 46 it's time after coming out of there to get rolling. So it's nothing to me. I mean, I got no -- I got no interest in it.
COOPER: Marty, you know, the church has also said, "Well, look, if all this stuff is going on, why didn't you speak out about this sooner?" You left the church back in 2005.
MARTY RATHBUN, FORMER SCIENTOLOGIST: Anderson, you know, if you ask any of the guys that were in similar circumstances, there is really a decompression period. And it can go from anywhere to 2, 4, 5, many years to where you get sort of out from under that mindset that, if you say anything negative or if you go after the church, or if you say something that might be against particularly Miscavige, your eternal salvation is gone forever.
And so it takes a while to sort of -- to sort of decompress from that before you're even willing to talk about it to anybody: you know, a friend, a spouse, a loved one, let alone, you know, get up and do something about it.
COOPER: Marty, when you saw your wife and what she was saying, what did you think?
RATHBUN: I -- I had a lot of sympathy and pity. You know, Anderson, you asked about conspiracy allegations that they made. Let me tell you right now, the only conspiracy that exists out here is a bunch of people who suffered and experienced an experience that I don't think anybody can really fully grasp unless they're perhaps a war veteran or a prisoner.
And it's sort of a mutual aid situation where we're trying to help one another get back on our feet, help one another get back some self- esteem, integrate back into the world, which we've been out of for, you know -- until our middle ages.
And that's the only -- the only type of conspiracy that exists. It's more like an Underground Railroad as opposed to a conspiracy.
COOPER: Jeff, I mean, why would -- you know, some of the viewers have written in saying, "Why would these current scientologists and ex- wives be saying all these things and, you know, sign affidavits and all have similar stories, basically saying that all of you are lying?
JEFF HAWKINS, FORMER SCIENTOLOGIST: Well, there's a culture within Scientology that you do anything to protect the church. You say anything to protect the church.
And they have what they call an acceptable truth, which means a "truth", quote/unquote, that is -- that forwards the church's image. Therefore -- and it's really another term for a lie -- they are willing to do anything.
And as I've told you before, when I was in Scientology, I would have done the same thing. If someone had come to me, the day after David Miscavige beat me up, and said, "Did he beat you," I would have denied it. I would have said, "No way that ever happened, never, never, never," exactly as Tommy Davis is saying.
COOPER: You know, one of the difficult things in doing this is -- in doing the story is that there's no physical evidence, really, on either side. At the time that you say David Miscavige was attacking you, did you ever think about trying to document it with photographs?
HAWKINS: No. No. That wasn't my mindset at the time at all. You know, the way you feel when you're inside is that it's all you, it's your fault that he got mad at you, and you know, you're put on the -- onto physical labor and you're a pariah and so forth. And so you don't think about documenting it. You don't think about going to the police. You just think about, you know, what you're being asked to do.
COOPER: So you never thought about calling the police? HAWKINS: No. No. Didn't even enter my mind. That would have been an instant -- I would have been instantly out of Scientology if I had done that. And I didn't want to go there at that time.
COOPER: Why? You didn't want to leave Scientology?
HAWKINS: I didn't want to leave Scientology. I didn't want to leave my wife. It's all I had known for 35 years. So I wasn't ready to cut the cord at that point.
RATHBUN: I just want to say one thing, I mean, they must have quoted Tommy Davis six or seven times about each one of us was demoted and then kicked out for all these crimes and all that business. I've got to tell you, everybody you interviewed, Amy Scobee, Jeff Hawkins, Steve Hall, Tom Devocht, Mike Rinder, myself, to a one made self- determined decisions and walked out.
DEVOCHT: None of those guys were kicked out. We walked out. I literally had to tell them, you've got a week more to do whatever you want with me. They were giving me confessionals to see if they could fix it so I would stay, and I told them you have a week more. Week came, I walked up to the gate. I said open the gate, they wouldn't open it up. I jumped on top of it.
COOPER: You literally climbed over the gate?
DEVOCHT: They weren't opening it. They would not open it. I said, "Look, I'm leaving." I threw my bag over. I got on top of the gate to get over it, at which point they opened it and almost crushed my leg. Luckily, I got over and I walked out. There was no -- I was not booted out. I was not told you're out.
COOPER: What do you say to people who aren't sure who to believe?
DEVOCHT: You know, I don't know what to tell them. You know, he said/she said, and they're going to believe what they want to believe. But, again, to me, put me on a lie detector test. I'd do that in a heart beat.
It's an odd thing. And they are, again, just trying to protect the church. I got no reason to do this. Zero. I got nothing to gain.
COOPER: Guys, I appreciate you talking again. Thank you very much.
DEVOCHT: Thank you.
RATHBUN: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: Well, over the past month we've spoken at length to former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder. Rinder spoke to us on the record and told us he was abused some 50 times by David Miscavige but said he wouldn't interview with us on camera because he said he promised his first interview with the BBC. The church strongly denies what he claims, but once that interview is aired, he says he would the opportunity to come on our show and share his story.
Once again, we'd like to point out that over the months, we have invited church leader David Miscavige on 360 to address these charges. Through his spokesman, he has declined. That invitation also still stands.
You can watch our entire Scientology series on our Web site, AC360.com. That's where you can also join the live chat, which is now under way.
We have next, developments in the mysterious disappearance of a California family. This is a strange story. They vanished nearly two months ago. The question is, was this some sort of a planned escape? We have new details tonight.
And a group of little kids -- we have something to make you smile before you go to bed tonight -- kids who love the "Single Ladies" so much that one of them had a tantrum about it. It's our "Shot of the Day".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you are. You're a single lady.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Just ahead, an adorable "Shot": a sing along to "Single Ladies," always fun until someone's feelings get hurt. Family car ride ends in tears all about the "Single Ladies". We'll explain that in "The Shot".
But first, the latest on some other important stories we're following. Lisa Bloom has the "360 Bulletin".
LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Thanks, Anderson.
At a Good Friday commemoration, a senior Vatican priest compared the fury aimed at Catholic leadership over the sex-abuse scandal to aspects of anti-Semitism. A church spokesman later said the priest was not expressing the Vatican's official position.
A 360 follow-up, "The Los Angeles Times" is reporting that the FBI has joined the search for a missing San Diego family. Joseph and Summer McStay and their two young children disappeared in February. Their SUV was found at the U.S./Mexico border. Well, this week investigators said evidence they found suggests the family left voluntarily for Mexico.
The actor John Forsythe has died after a year-long struggle with cancer. Forsythe is best known for his role as oil magnate Blake Carrington in the 1980s television series "Dynasty" and as the voice of the never-seen Charlie in "Charlie's Angels". John Forsythe was 92.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Janet Jackson said her family knew her brother Michael had a drug addiction and tried to intervene several times. She also said he was, quote, "very much in denial" and didn't think he had a problem.
And the Dallas Police Department says it will issue a disorderly conduct citation to singer Erykah Badu for stripping in Dealey Plaza while shooting a music video. Badu took her clothes off just feet from where President Kennedy was shot. The video has gone viral on YouTube.
COOPER: Well, there you go. Haven't seen that yet. But I have heard a story about -- an April Fools' joke that you played on your daughter. What did you --what did you tell her?
BLOOM: Yes, gets a little vicious in our family. Well, I told her that I had agreed to pose naked for PETA's "I Would Rather go Naked than Wear Fur" campaign because I am a great animal lover, and that the first billboard was going to debut right near her school. That was a little disturbing to her.
COOPER: Did she completely freak out?
BLOOM: Yes, for about two hours there was radio silence.
COOPER: Wow, you left her hanging for two hours.
BLOOM: That's a long time for my daughter and me. Then I got, like, three little words, "April Fools', right?" Question mark. Apparently, she called all of her friends. They had searched out where all the billboards were in her town to make sure that it wasn't anywhere near her school.
COOPER: Wow. That must have been an excruciating like two hours for her.
BLOOM: Nobody wants to see their mom naked.
COOPER: Yes. I don't want to mess with you on April Fools' Day next year.
All right. Take a look at this "Shot". This is such a cute "Shot". It's a sing-along to "Single Ladies" that we found on YouTube. It, of course, ends in tears as often these things do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not a single lady, buddy. Oh, yes, you are. Yes, you are. You're a single lady. Sorry. Sorry. Buddy, I was just kidding. I'm just kidding. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can do it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can do it. Buddy, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, buddy. You're a single lady, ok? Ok? Here we go. If you like it, then you better put a ring on it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did that hurt your feelings?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It's cute. And then later on, the dad -- look how excited he is.
BLOOM: Anderson, is the dad filming this while he's driving?
COOPER: Yes, he is. In fact, the dad later takes the camera and turns it on himself and says, like, "I am such a bad father."
BLOOM: Ok. Please do not try this at home. And don't mess with the kid when he's happy.
COOPER: I know. Yes.
BLOOM: First rule of parenting, let them just be happy.
COOPER: You know, it's funny, because let me show you our -- the 360 crew's performance of "Single Ladies", because this also ends in tears. I don't know if you're aware -- I don't know if you were rolling on the back story. By the end of this, Bob was drenched in tears because something went bad with his glove or something. I don't --
BLOOM: It is not bad.
COOPER: Yes. I couldn't remember --
BLOOM: This is like "Dancing with the Stars".
COOPER: Something with his glove fell off or something, the little plastic metal thing he had and, I mean, you should have seen him. He was just weeping. Very sad.
BLOOM: Wow. Did these guys get paid extra for this?
COOPER: No. Frank consoled him, though, and gave him -- gave him cookies. I don't know.
BLOOM: Wow. They're really getting it -- oh, shaking it. Yes, ok. All right. Get it, get it.
COOPER: There you go. Anybody can be a single lady. There you go.
BLOOM: That's just great. Wow.
COOPER: That's the message for today.
Lisa thanks for being with us tonight. Appreciate it. If your daughter is watching, tell her she's a great sport.
Hey, that's it for 360. Thanks for watching.
"LARRY KING starts now.
Have a great weekend. I'll see you Monday.
JEFF PROBST, CNN GUEST HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Tonight, what do Sandra Bullock, Halle Berry, Christie Brinkley, and Elin Woods have in common? They've all been cheated on. We talk lies, betrayal and cover-ups.
Is sex addiction a cop-out or an illness that can be cured? Are men worse than women, or are women just as bad? Questions, answers, and insight into infidelity, next on "LARRY KING LIVE".