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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Cheney's Got a Gun; Avoiding Friendly Fire; Dead Miner's Letter; Hurricane Katrina Waste; Portable Porn; Addicted to Plastic Surgery
Aired February 13, 2006 - 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: Good evening, again. The vice president shot a man on Saturday by accident. No one told the public until Sunday. Was that an accident too?
ANNOUNCER: Questions about a White House cover-up after Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shoots a man while hunting. Tonight...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got him, Woo!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: ... 360 takes you quail hunting to expose how this could happen.
Waste, fraud and abuse after the storm. Sickening reports of meals meant for Katrina victims, auctioned on the internet. And scammers getting millions of relief dollars earmarked for evacuees. 360 is "Keeping them Honest."
Tonight, a secret ritual Westerners are rarely allowed to see. Extreme Sufi sects mutilating themselves, without feeling pain. You won't believe your eyes.
From across the U.S. and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360. Live from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: Well, first thing's first. The man Vice President Cheney shot is expected to recover. Take a look. This is a picture of him. Harry Whittington is his name. He's got a face full of birdshot on a quail hunt in south Texas. It happened Saturday afternoon. The president learned about it Saturday evening, but the public -- you, me and even the White House Press Corps were kept in the dark for nearly 24 hours. And when the news did break, it didn't come from the Vice President's Office. It came from the ranch owner, who spoke to a local paper.
As you might imagine, millions of people are now talking about the shooting, and the White House is taking serious heat for not talking about it.
In a moment, Dana Bash. First, a sampling of the fireworks at the White House today.
QUESTION: Was the vice president immediately clear that he had accidentally shot his friend or not? Or did that information become available later? You make it seem like there's all this information that had to...
SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN: No, we wouldn't suggest that at all. I'm sure that that was the case. I mean, I think that...
QUESTION: I don't understand what...
MCCLELLAN: ... Mrs. Armstrong was there and saw it and saw the incident.
QUESTION: ... had to trickle in.
MCCLELLAN: ... They might not know all the facts at that point, Bill.
QUESTION: ... were right there. They're out there with him...
MCCLELLAN: The ones who are providing that information may have not been right there physically with him and saw exactly what happened. I don't know.
MCCLELLAN: But I'm telling you -- but -- hang on. OK, can I finish? OK. But I'm telling you the facts as they occurred and as I know them. And if there's additional information you want, you can direct those questions to the Vice President's Office.
Check with his office. I don't have those facts.
QUESTION: Do you know whether he's taken a hunting...
MCCLELLAN: ... My understanding that he had the hunting license for this hunting trip.
QUESTION: What about other trips where he's taken...
MCCLELLAN: You can check with his office.
QUESTION: ... someone from his office...
QUESTION: Why didn't we get someone from his office to answer the questions?
MCCLELLAN: Well, talk to his office. I think they have provided a response to questions.
QUESTION: Is it proper for the vice president to offer his resignation or has he offered his resignation?
MCCLELLAN: That's an absurd question. Go ahead, Kim.
COOPER: Well, now to Dana Bash. Dana, what was that all about? I mean, why did reporters keep pressing on the White House spokesman and why did he keep referring them to the Vice President's Office? It didn't seem like that was really a fruitful discussion.
DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, to be fair to the Vice President's Office, since this news did become public, they have been taking our calls. But the information was delayed and that was what was going on there. Now, I was actually one of the reporters, Anderson, at the White House on Sunday. One of the few there who was sort of caught flatfooted, if you will, with the news flashing. And I was not alone, as you just saw in that briefing room.
The many questions that were answered really boil down to probably two, which is, why did it take so long, and why was it, as you mentioned, a private person, not the Vice President's Office or some official in some official capacity, this information conveyed to the public?
Now, the way Scott McClellan was talking about it, it was pretty clear that he was trying to make the point that this was not his operation. He even said in that briefing, Anderson, you know, when things happen, accidents happen with the president, I make sure to tell you right away. This was quite surprising in how candid he was being in making it clear it was the vice president's operation.
And in fact, it was him personally that made this decision on the ground, in Texas, to not give this information out until Sunday morning and to have his friend, whom he knows very well, do it -- actually give this information to a local paper.
COOPER: Yes, to a local paper. It's not like to the world's media. He just, you know, called up the local paper.
What do we know about the incident itself? How was this guy shot? Where were they located? I think we have kind of a graphic, what kind of gun was used? What do you know?
BASH: It was a .28 gauge shotgun and the vice president, as you see there, was about 30 yards away from Harry Whittington when he peppered him with bird spray.
Essentially what we are told by the eyewitness, by Catherine (ph) Armstrong, who was the person that the Vice President's Office referred us to, was that this was at the end of a long day of quail hunting and Mr. Whittington essentially shot a bird and stopped behind the entourage to get his bird. The vice president went ahead and apparently Mr. Whittington didn't announce himself, which is the typical hunting protocol for safety reasons. And the vice president already had his -- as the one eyewitness said -- his gun down the barrel, his eye down the barrel of the gun, and he shot it and he hit Mr. Whittington.
So, immediately, Mr. Whittington did fall to the ground, but we're told that he never lost consciousness and because the vice president has security detail, has medical personnel near him, they rushed to him and he also has an ambulance not far away. And they got to him in about 30 minutes and got him right to the hospital.
COOPER: Dana Bash, thanks.
Millions of Americans hunt, of course, and accidents to happen. But we wanted to see how common an accident like this really is. So we sent CNN's Rick Sanchez out hunting for answers.
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): High brush, a low sun and a hunter who's position may not be known to others -- the factors said to have contributed to the accidental shooting by Vice President Dick Cheney.
It's also what these hunters were thinking about as they set out to hunt quail at the Southern Woods Plantation Preserve in rural Georgia.
JAY TAUTUCKER (ph), HUNTING GUIDE: Bill, we're going to talk about safety first.
SANCHEZ: Hunting Guide Jay Tautucker (ph), lays down the rules, including this warning.
TAUTUCKER (ph): Keep up. If you find out you're falling behind, get my attention so we'll know where you're at.
SANCHEZ: As they head out into the brush, hunters converge on the covey of quail they've been lead to by hunting dogs. They wait for the guide to signal the dogs to flush them out.
They also wait for something else to happen before releasing the safety switch on their shotguns.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't hit that safety until the bird takes off.
SANCHEZ: A good shot. Not just because it's a hit, but because it was taken following one of the golden rules of quail hunting -- don't make too big a turn.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We may go about this far.
SANCHEZ: Any further and there could be a person, a dog, a vehicle. The move is kept to about 135 degrees. And because quail often fly low to the ground, hunters are also warned to
TAUTUCKER (ph): Make sure that the birds, whenever we do flush the birds, that they're this high or higher. SANCHEZ (on camera): One of the most impressive things as you set out with experienced hunters is you come to realize how many shots they don't take. And there's a reason for that.
(Voice-over): These hunters will take home about 50 quail per hunt and pay $500 a day to do so. They take pride in the shots they do take, as well as the shots they pass up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nope.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good call, Wayne.
SANCHEZ (on camera): Why didn't you take that shot?
WAYNE WATERS, HUNTER: He was going behind us, right toward the trucks.
SANCHEZ: So, you didn't take that shot because you were basically turning towards...
WATERS: I knew the trucks were behind us.
SANCHEZ: ... the camera, right?
WATERS: Yes. There was no way to take it.
SANCHEZ: So, you would have been shooting Calloway, instead of the birds.
SANCHEZ: And you didn't want...
WATERS: ... and I didn't want to do that.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): Calloway is the CNN photographer who was behind the hunter. If Wayne Waters had taken that shot, Calloway, myself, and anything else at a distance of 60 yards would have been in a danger zone. Because within that distance, the birdshot still has enough velocity to penetrate the skin.
(On camera): To give you a sense of what the danger zone is, we're going to use a clay target for a demonstration.
That's about 60 yards out. That's a danger zone.
Hunters can take precautions and they do, but quail don't always cooperate. And when they fly low, into a high brush, into a rising or setting sun, or of course, toward the hunting party, it can test the skill of even the most experienced hunter.
And that is, hunters say, when accidents happen.
SANCHEZ: Something I want to show you now, because there's been a lot of talk about this throughout the day since the story has been going up. This is birdshot. This is what the vice president was likely using -- it's an 8 -- and that is what's contained inside this shell, which is what goes into the actual shotgun, itself. Speaking of shotguns, let me put this back. Hand me that, if you would. We'll hold it high and we'll show you exactly what the pattern is.
Now, the closer you are, obviously the more concentrated that the pattern's going to be. So I'm going to make sure we take this thing off safety, move it over to the left. I know we've got at least one shell in there. And I'm going to show you by shooting into that target that we've put there.
And you see, right there, the whole that it made just to the left. In fact, we can walk up there.
Calloway, let's go ahead and do that. I'm going to put that there. Be careful with that. That's all right. There's nothing else in it, so. Now, we're going to walk up here now and we're going to show you.
I'm going to cross over here to the left, all right Cal?
And you'll see the shot. Now, this is what hunters call a pattern. You see the pattern right there? Those are all those little shells that I had just showed you that were in my hand that have actually established that.
Now, we were about, oh 15-20 yards away. So you can see the damage that it does. But they're very, very small. And once again, the important thing to take from this is that the closer you are, the more concentrated the pattern. If we'd step back and gone another 10 or 20 feet back, maximum 60 feet -- after that, the pellets just kind of die because they lose their velocity -- the pattern would been much larger. And obviously, it would do a lot less damage.
That's essentially what happens in hunting accidents like the one that happened with the vice president -- Anderson.
COOPER: Rick, fascinating. Appreciate it. Thank you.
One of the deceased Sago miners would have been deeply proud of his daughter today before a gathering of Congressional Democrats. Sara Bailey gave life to the dying words written by her father. His note, read publicly for the first time was more than just a farewell. It may deepen feelings that while miner safety gets great lip service, laws to enforce it often fall far short. Here's CNN's Kathleen Koch.
AMBER HELMS, DAUGHTER OF SAGO MINER: My dad was more than just a dad to me. He was my best friend. He was my leader, my companion.
KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Grief and emotion from families of the lost Sago miners at a House forum on mine safety. Sara Bailey read publicly for the first time a letter found with the body of her father, George Hamnor (ph).
SARA BAILEY: Hi Deb and Sara. I'm still OK at 2:40 p.m. I don't know what is going on between here and outside. We don't hear any attempts at drilling or rescue. The section is full of smoke and fumes, so we can't escape. We are all alive at this time. I just want you and Sara to know I love you both and always have. Be strong and I hope no one else has to show you this note. I'm in no pain, but don't know how long the air will last. Tell everyone I'm thinking of them, especially Billy, Marian, Will, Bill and Peg. I love you all.
KOCH: But equally intense, the anger of families of 13 Alabama miners killed in a similar accident in 2001.
WANDA BLEVINS, WIDOW OF ALABAMA MINER: There were several recommendations that was made and had they been implemented and followed, gentlemen, you would not be dealing with Sago today. You would not be dealing with Sago today. Nothing was taken into consideration after Brookwood. Nothing. So, did my husband die in vain?
KOCH (on camera): The mine safety event was a forum, not a hearing, and attended by Democrats only. Republicans insist a formal hearing will have to wait until the Sago Mine investigation is complete.
(Voice-over): Still, families want immediate safety improvements. They asked lawmakers to require better communications equipment and supplies of food, air and water underground for miners in case they're trapped. They also want better enforcement of mine safety rules and regulations.
CHUCK KNISELL, FORMER SAGO MINER: It's time now for the government to stand up take care of this problem. These coal companies are getting away with murder.
KOCH: No one from the coal industry, nor the government agency that inspects mines testified. When asked to respond to the concerns raised at the forum both declined CNN's request for interview.
Kathleen Koch, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Well, we'll keep putting the request in.
If you thought FEMA's response immediately after Hurricane Katrina was horrible, wait until you hear what has been happening since. Waste, fraud and abuse -- all with your tax dollars. We're talking about hundreds of millions of tax dollars. And the victims, well they're the people who have already suffered so much. Tonight, we are "Keeping them Honest."
Plus, what do you have on your iPod? What does your child have? Music? Videos? How about porn? That's right, porn has gone pocket size and you may be surprised by just how many people are downloading it. And can your mine conquer pain? If you say no, how do you explain this? A man's bighting into a fluorescent light, seemingly not suffering any pain. That's just the beginning. Tonight, inside a secret ritual where men mutilate their bodies, but don't seem to get hurt. That and more when 360 continues.
COOPER: For weeks now, we've been reporting on what people need in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and what they're simply not getting. Promises made by government, by state, local and federal government. And promises either broken or so poorly fulfilled, they seem more like a cruel joke.
Remember, there are bodies still not identified. DNA testing, still not done. Reconstruction money going to the wrong places. And always, the trailers -- trailers and mobile homes either not paid for, not delivered, or so tangled up in red tape they're literally rotting away.
See these mobile homes? They are stuck in Arkansas. Literally stuck, sinking in mud, unused, unoccupied. They've been there for months -- 11,000 mobile homes. Now they may just get thrown out. At least $300 million worth of brand new mobile homes, never to be used. That's $300 million of your taxpaying dollars. This is just part of the problem.
There are in fact many more trailers like this rotting away. So much more money being wasted. It is an outrage. It is your money. CNN Congressional Correspondent Joe Johns is "Keeping them Honest."
JOE JOHNS, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It looks like a classic example of waste, fraud, and abuse. Waste: $850 million paid for mobile and manufactured homes the government can't use and may have to sell.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But we may have types of housing, like manufactured homes and modular homes that we'll not be able to use. Instead, we may need to go out and buy more trailers.
JOHNS: Fraud: Cash payments to people with bogus Social Security numbers and non-existent addresses. $122,000 went to people who claimed they live here at this vacant lot. There were also double-payments in the program, intended to get quick cash to people in need. $900,000 out of 2.5 million applications for the quick cash assistance, were flagged as possible duplicates.
And abuse: People using debit cards issued for Katrina evacuees to pay for things that had nothing to do with emergency relief. Instead, some used those debit cards for tattoos, traffic tickets, bail bonds, even $400 to a massage parlor in Dallas that had been busted for prostitution. The eye-opening reports from the Government Accountability Office and the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security unveiled today before a Senate committee. SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R) MAINE: Do you swear that the testimony you are about to...
JOHNS: And then there's the case of the military MREs, meals ready to eat, appearing on the internet. The GAO looked into reports that MREs intended to quickly feed hurricane victims were being sold on eBay. Investigators found two cases where hurricane victims said they sold them because they needed the money. But GAO also found a police officer, a Marine, as well as Air Force and National Guard personnel selling MREs online. There's no law against reselling MREs unless you steal them in the first place.
So what can be done if the goal is "Keeping them Honest?" The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee wants to take a page from Corporate America and name a chief financial officer.
SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R) IOWA: There was no excuse for it in the first place. Not having a procedure in place for the massive expenditures of money that was spent.
JOHNS: The notion that taxpayers are also victims of Hurricane Katrina because the government hasn't controlled the money, comes as no surprise to Senate and House investigators. A draft report of mainly Republican House investigators calls the entire government response a national failure, adding that in this cautionary tale, all the little pigs built houses out of straw. That's right, that harsh description from Republicans about this federal government.
For Republicans and Democrats alike, the more they hear, the worse it gets.
(On camera): Are we prepared, were it to happen again?
SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D) CONNECTICUT: I think we are better prepared because of the powerful lessons and embarrassment that the federal government suffered. Are we totally prepared? Or are we as prepared as we should be? I regret to say, the answer is no. And I don't want to have to say that for much longer.
JOHNS: Thanks, Senator. Appreciate it.
(Voice-over): The message from the GAO and the Congress: Fix it fast. And the next time there's a natural disaster, a financial disaster better not follow.
JOHNS (on camera): Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is coming under increasingly sharp criticism for his role in the Katrina response. There are even a couple Democrats calling for Chertoff to lose his job, though many Republicans defend him.
Chertoff, today, said that while reviews of his department have been difficult, he said he accepts responsibility and at the same time, he defends the agency. Chertoff is expected to get some tough questions about his handling of Hurricane Katrina. He's listed as the only witness scheduled to appear before the Senate Homeland Security Committee tomorrow -- Anderson.
COOPER: Joe Johns, "Keeping them Honest," tonight. I mean, I'd say this is unbelievable, but it's not. I mean, we've seen this time and time again for the last several months. Hundreds of millions of dollars, your taxpayer dollars, just going to waste, just sinking in the mud.
Coming up, if your kid has an iPod, do you really know what they're watching on it? The new problem of pocket port, XXX-rated entertainment that's totally mobile.
And a truly shocking foray into the world of mystics, who wound themselves without feeling pain. That man is biting into a fluorescent light bulb. Why? And how do they do it? Some insight, coming up on 360.
COOPER: Well, if you're a parent, you no doubt worry about what your child is doing on the internet. Well, now you might want to double-check what your child is doing on their iPod or their mobile phone. XXX images that are now available on a tiny screen and are fully mobile. Pocket porn, it's called, and it's a big business that is hiding in plain sight. CNN's Tom Foreman investigates.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Three things Americans generally agree on when it comes to porn. It's improper, it's immoral, and it's impossible for some of us to get enough of it.
And in Miami, at the Mobile Adult Content Congress, that's a porn convention, all the talk was about how this business is getting much bigger because porn is getting smaller. With the help of these -- personal video players in mobile phones, iPods and PDAs. Call it pocket porn.
TINA SOUTHALL, VOTAPHONE GROUP: It's a really huge topic.
JOHN CONLON, VIRGIN MEDIA: I talk to people about it, they're like, yea, yea, really, really want to get access to it.
HARVEY KAPLAN, XOBILE: It's flesh colored crack. That's all that really is.
FOREMAN: Harvey Kaplan, a pocket porn marketer, says for the first time ever, consumers aren't being embarrassed by walking into adult video stores, renting movies in hotels or even having porn stored on their home computers. This technology puts downloads into the consumer's pocket fast and anonymously. KAPLAN: It's a device where people can download their content, feel safe and secure that no one else is going to gain access to it.
FOREMAN: This is huge. Since the video iPod was unveiled in October, Apple says 12 million regular videos have been downloaded on their website. But, in the same period, this skin site, called SuicideGirls, says they saw 10 million downloads. About one a second. Some videos are free, some for sale. So it's not an apples to apples comparison, but how about them apples?
RON JEREMY, PORN STAR: It's within you and your little cell phone, you know. It's kind of like a marriage made in heaven.
FOREMAN: Porn legend Ron Jeremy used to be known only to the late night adult theater crowd. Not any more. Pocket porn has him being mobbed.
JEREMY: The market has gotten ten times bigger. And it's attracting a much different group. Now we have a lot of college kids and young couples that you would not see going to an adult theater.
FOREMAN (on camera): Certainly, this is terrible news for those who oppose pornography, who say it degrades people and promotes violence. But this trend is undeniably real. It is unsettlingly rapid. And it may be unstoppable.
(Voice-over): Because some of the biggest communications companies in the world are getting involved.
KAPLAN: This is about hard cold dollars.
FOREMAN: And they're expecting profits that are almost obscene.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Every time I see Ron Jeremy, I think, that guy is a porn star? What is going on?
All right, anyway, ahead on 360, another mystery, a mind body mystery. We'll take you inside a secret ritual that almost anyone would find excruciatingly painful. This guy is eating a light bulb. So how is it possible that these mystics feel no pain at all? What's their secret?
Also, everyone told her she was stunning, but she couldn't see it. Now she is addicted to plastic surgery. And what does she see when she looks in the mirror? When 360 continues.
COOPER: Our next stop is a place where the mind and body merge and science and religion intersect. A journey that begins halfway around the world in Kurdistan, with a ritual rarely seen by anyone outside the mystical branch of Islam, known as Sufism. A ritual that involves self-mutilation in the name of connecting to God.
We want to stress that not all Sufis practice what you are about to see. And a warning, as well. What you are about to see is hard to watch. The images, some of them are extremely graphic. But they're also illuminating.
What they suggest about the connection between our minds and our bodies is nothing short of remarkable. 360 MD Sanjay Gupta investigates.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's after midnight in a mosque in Sunanda. Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh, a plastic surgeon from New York, is here, among the Suni sect of Sufis.
He came to Kurdistan to perform cleft lip and palate surgeries.
But a Kurdish colleague has brought him to see a secret ritual that Westerners rarely, if ever, are allowed to see.
Inside the mosque, it's all men and boys. Women aren't allowed here. By day, these men hold jobs and have families. But once a month, they gather to do something only extreme Sufi Sects do -- mutilate themselves. Their ritual begins with a driving drumbeat and chanting to Allah.
DR. KAVEH ALIZADEH, PLASTIC SURGEON: They started mentioning lines from the Koran, which essentially, as it relates to Mohammad being the prophet of God and there's no god but God. So they started taking those sequences of the Koran and essentially making it shorter and shorter as they increasing the pace of the chants, and as they started getting the trance itself.
GUPTA: It's rare to even see a Muslim man's hair, but during this ritual, they remove their turbans. The spell deepens. And they begin their journey to show their God the power of their faith. Their minds over their bodies.
ALIZADEH (voice-over): It was almost as if they wanted to be more liberated. So, in this sense of taking their turban off and losing that sense of identity that they have and becoming who they are -- really are.
(On camera): As we were standing there, we felt drawn into this, the passion of what was going on there. It's pretty intoxicating.
GUPTA: Dr. Alizadeh is transfixed as the ritual takes a shocking turn. The self-mutilation begins. This man bites into a fluorescent light bulb. Outwardly, showing no pain.
ALIZADEH (voice-over): He walked towards us, sort of almost an act of defiance to say look at me and look at what I can do to myself. And that's when he broke the fluorescent light bulb and he started chewing it in front of us. And he very much wanted us to know that he doesn't feel anything. GUPTA: The men are in a frenzy. Several have taken these skewers and thrust them right through their face. In one side, out the other. No hesitation and no apparent pain. Of course, I was left wondering why? Why do this?
Dr. Alizadeh says this is how they explained it to him.
ALIZADEH: The idea behind -- at least this sect of Sufis -- or as to show that by proving to themselves that they don't feel pain, to prove that they don't have the human experience at that moment and they have detached themselves from the sense of the self. And therefore, they can enter their spiritual self.
GUPTA: Now, the chief appears. He deftly pulls skewers from this man's face. There is no blood.
And this old man barely flinches as two skewers pierce his chest. Remarkably, he doesn't bleed as the chief pulls them out.
After the ritual, we spot this man again, with only drops of blood dotting his white shirt.
ALIZADEH: From a medical perspective, I was constantly trying to understand. How can you actually train yourself to within minutes, to be able to be in a phase where you don't feel pain as much and you don't have as much bleeding.
GUPTA (on camera): We wanted to show you this incredible footage, not because it's something you should ever try yourself, but to understand whether we as humans can control the way we feel pain.
For some answers, we turn to Dr. Herbert Benson, one of the country's top researchers in the mind body connection.
This is some of the most remarkable, dramatic stuff.
DR. HERBERT BENSON, PRESIDENT, THE MIND BODY INSTITUTE (voice- over): Isn't that painful, just to imagine what that's like.
(On camera): Our mind is an incredibly important medical tool that can certainly counteract the harmful effects of stress, but often extend itself into these remarkable feats, such as we're viewing here.
GUPTA (voice-over): Our first question, how do the Sufi mystics control pain?
BENSON (voice-over): The peripheral nerves are, of course, transmitting painful stimuli, but the interpretation aspects of the brain are shut off. So you feel no pain.
(On camera): You see this in athletes. Often they can perform under what would be tremendously painful stimuli for others. They just ignore it and keep on going, often injuring themselves in the process.
GUPTA: So the mind can turn off, not registering pain. But explaining the lack of bleeding is harder to do. It could be all the adrenaline surging through their bodies. Or it could be that they willed themselves not to bleed.
(On camera): I mean, to a lot of people listening, this sounds outrageous. This sounds like quackery. How can your mind not only control pain, but control bleeding?
BENSON: I don't know that. But clearly we are seeing mind body affects that traditional medicine does not teach us.
GUPTA (voice-over): Dr. Benson has spent 40 years looking beyond traditional medicine, to the mind for answers. He conducted landmark research, showing Tibetan monks who while in frigid conditions, could generate enough body heat to dry wet bed sheets, just by using their minds.
Benson says this is something the rest of us can learn to do as well, through meditation.
New neuroscience research shows brain scans of people who meditate actually show less aging than people who don't.
BENSON (on camera): I would approach a patient.
GUPTA: Meditating, as Dr. Benson showed me, is something we can all learn to do.
(On camera): Choose a word or phrase you're comfortable with. I chose the word, gentle.
BENSON: Gentle. OK, let me show you how to do this.
GUPTA: Each time you exhale, repeat this word to yourself. Try not to think of anything else. After about three minutes, Dr. Benson observed my facial muscles were far more relaxed.
(Voice-over): Given 60 percent of all trips to the doctors are stress-related, Dr. Benson insists shutting off the mind like this helps the body revert to its innate healing state.
BENSON: We can effectively treat many forms of hypertension, anxiety, mild and moderate depression, insomnia, PMS, many aspects of infertility. They all can be affectively treated by a mind body component to our modern medicines when needed.
GUPTA: So yes, take medicines and see doctors. But the rest of the time, take care of your body and relax your mind.
ALIZADEH (on camera): We're realizing as doctors that not only can we control the body, in terms of the process of the bodies, where we can actually help our patients mentally to control the physical and physiological aspects of the body.
GUPTA (voice-over): Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.
(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: It is a fascinating phenomenon.
Coming up, one woman's all-consuming addiction to plastic surgery. Some would say mutilation of a different sort. She's had 30 cosmetic procedures so far. Take a look. And after spending $100,000, she says she wants even more work done. That story coming up.
Also, we asked you to send Dr. Sanjay Gupta medical questions. We've received a ton of them, including one about whether men can get breast cancer. That's tonight in our 360 mailbag. The doctor gives us the answers.
Tonight's Topic: Portable Porn
COOPER: Well, the search for the perfect face isn't just expensive, it can often be addictive. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, almost 12 million Americans underwent a cosmetic procedure in 2004. And for some patients, one procedure is never enough. You're about to meet a young woman. Her name is Jenny Lee. And as you'll see, she went to extremes to reshape her image. And she's still not done yet.
Here's CNN's Paula Zahn.
JENNY LEE (voice-over): I wanted to look in the mirror and say today, you look OK. Not great, not fantastic, not beautiful, not gorgeous, nothing like that. I just wanted to be OK. That's all I wanted.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's hard to believe that this beautiful young woman ever could have felt that way.
Jenny Lee Burton was so striking as a teenager, that her family and friends told her she looked like Julia Roberts.
This is Jenny Lee Burton today. She bares little resemblance to the girl in the picture. At 29, Jenny has had 30 cosmetic procedures.
(On camera): So, Jenny, I have seen pictures of you before you ever had your first surgical procedure, and you were stunning.
JENNY LEE: Thanks.
ZAHN: What do you think you looked like back then?
JENNY LEE: I thought I was a really pretty girl. I had more boys chasing at me than I could shake a stick at.
ZAHN (voice-over): Jenny began a relationship with a young man who she eventually married. She says he picked apart her physical features and caused her to question her self worth. As the relationship progressed, Jenny lost more and more confidence in her appearance.
At the age of 19, instead of changing the relationship, Jenny decided to change herself. She went to a plastic surgeon.
What was the first thing you had done?
JENNY LEE (on camera): The first thing that I did was my breasts. I went in and had a breast augmentation because I felt like of all of the things that I have been criticized, that was the thing that I felt I could benefit the most from.
ZAHN: And then did you like what you saw in the mirror?
JENNY LEE: I liked my breasts. I did my nose at the same time. I did full body liposuction at the same time. I was fairly happy there for a little while.
ZAHN: But after that first experience with the magic of plastic surgery, Jenny Lee felt she could look even better. She took her daughter and left her husband behind, but not the plastic surgeon.
There were cheek implants, two different kinds of lip implants, new teeth, botox injections, and two more nose jobs to narrow and straighten her nose.
ZAHN (on camera): But, in having these three nose jobs, you really did destroy your nose?
JENNY LEE: Well, I can't blow my nose like a normal person. I can't breath very well out of it.
ZAHN (voice-over): Trying to make ends meet as a single mom and to support her growing dependence on surgery, Jenny took weekend jobs as a waitress. She lived on peanut butter sandwiches.
Ironically, she met and married another man, who felt she was perfect just the way she was. But that unconditional love wasn't enough. Jenny decided on her most serious procedure yet -- a brow lift. An invasive surgery in which she would be cut literally from ear to ear. The muscles that cause furrows and lines in the brow are removed -- or altered, to raise the eyebrows, erasing any lines.
(On camera): But that's a procedure that a lot of women put off until they're in their 50s and 60s. You did that when you were 25 years old.
JENNY LEE: I call that preventative maintenance. ZAHN: Very early preventative maintenance.
JENNY LEE: Yes.
ZAHN: And you never had any sense of self-consciousness about what the heck am I doing? I'm in my 20s. I haven't even aged yet and I'm doing this.
JENNY LEE: You know, I did after I came out of surgery and I realized that I had just been sliced from ear to ear. Because I was real casual about it. I said, oh it sounds great, go ahead with it. I didn't ask exactly what this entailed.
And when I woke up, my husband just went (gasp), you know, and it looked like I had been in a massive car wreck because I had black eyes and I had a split on my nose and my lips were like, you know, huge because, you know, they were swollen. My whole face was swollen. But, you know, I look back at it now and think it was one of the greatest things that I did. I'm glad I did it at 25 years old.
ZAHN (voice-over): But Jenny finally discovered that her burning need to change her appearance was far more than just a preoccupation. She says she was diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder, or BDD, a form of obsessive compulsive disorder.
Patients like Jenny literally become obsessed with minor physical flaws.
JENNY LEE (voice-over): I can tell you that when I look at pictures, it's like I'm looking at someone else. Because I'll go, wow, that's a really pretty girl.
(On camera): You know, I find all of the positive things about it. The problem that I have, is when I'm looking in the mirror. And it's just me and the mirror. And I don't se the same things that the camera gives back to me.
ZAHN: Jenny says that she's learned some techniques from her psychiatrist to help change her thinking about her appearance.
But performing plastic surgery on patients like Jenny is causing some doctors to be very concerned.
DR. ALAN GOLD, PLASTIC SURGEON: So, for a 29-year-old who has had so many of those procedures, unfortunately who may be looking over-operated upon, I think it's irresponsible on the part of a surgeon or surgeons not to have stopped her at some point and have looked to what the deeper problem might be in all of this.
ZAHN: Dr. Alan Gold is a plastic surgeon and associate professor of surgery at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University.
GOLD: If we would decide that a patient was suspect for having something like a body dysmorphic disorder, it would be absolutely unconscionable to operate on that patient. And that's a patient that should be turned down. ZAHN: The retail price of Jenny's new face and body comes with a staggering price tag -- so far, about $100,000. And it's no wonder, over the last 10 years she's had 30 procedures. Here's the complete list: She's had cheek implants, two kinds of lip implants, veneers, botox, three nose jobs, a brow lift, steroid injections, lip enhancements, two breast augmentations, three breast lifts, full body liposuction -- including arms, stomach, abs, legs and knees. And even though her husband insists that she stop, as incredible as it seems, Jenny still wants more.
(On camera): Do you think there'll ever be a time when you're actually going to accept the way you look and like how you look?
JENNY LEE: There may be a time like that, but I don't think it'll be anytime in the next 20-30 years.
ZAHN: Where does this need to continually change yourself come from?
JENNY LEE: It's a battle with me and my reflection. I'm very secure in who I am. I know who I am as a person, what kind of person I am. But, this battle with my reflection and my appearance is steady and it won't go away.
COOPER: Yes. Women with security there. "PAULA ZAHN NOW" weeknights at 8:00 p.m. Eastern only on CNN. Fascinating.
Erica Hill, from "HEADINE NEWS," joins us with some of the other business stories we're following. Erica, I don't know what to say about that.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Why don't we just not say anything.
COOPER: Probably best, yes.
HILL: How about we talk business news?
HILL: There we go. We're going to start off with shares of Google, the internet search engine leader, falling 4.7 percent today, to close at $345.70 -- that's after the Financial Weekly Barron's predicted the stock could face further declines.
In the meantime, a bitter day for some other investors. Even though sweet Godiva rang the closing bell on Wall Street this Valentine's Eve, renewed worries about interest rate hikes and inflation caused investors to bail out of a range of other sectors. The Dow lost nearly 27 points today, to close at 10,892. The S&P 500 was down just over four points, closing at 1,263.
And Blackberry facing another competitor. Microsoft and Vodafone today unveiled Windows mobile e-mail, as well as edit their Microsoft Word and Excel documents. That service is going to be available in France, Germany and the UK starting next month. Rollout in the U.S. is expected for some time later this year -- Anderson.
COOPER: Erica, thanks very much.
Time for a second opinion. The 360 mailbag is coming up. Can men get breast cancer? It's one of the questions we've received from you, our viewers. CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta answers your medical questions when 360 continues.
COOPER: So we noticed a while back, a lot of you had medical questions for Dr. Sanjay Gupta. So, for the last couple of weeks we've been asking you to e-mail us what you'd like to know from Dr. Gupta.
Tonight, we open up the 360 MD mailbag. The answers to your questions.
Sanjay, thanks for doing this.
GUPTA: Thank you.
COOPER: Anna from Patchogue, New York, writes, breast cancer is uncommon for men. True or false?
GUPTA: That is true. It is uncommon for men. And just to give you a sense of scale here. In 2005, about 40,000 women died of breast cancer and about 460 men. But it can happen. Men can be at risk for this. So, if there's a particular concern, then certainly see your doctor.
COOPER: Well, men don't go for annual mammograms, though, so how do you protect yourself or detect it early?
GUPTA: Yes, you know, it's a little bit of a double-edged sword. Because men typically don't have very much breast tissue, you'd actually be able to feel a lump much more easily. So that's one way, something to look out for. On the other hand, because of the lack of breast tissue, it can actually spread much more easily to the chest wall, for example. And that's a problem.
Two risk factors: One, getting older. Everyone does that. And two, if you do have a family history, you're at more risk as a male as well. So, if you see any swelling, any changes in your chest wall in particular or feel a lump, go see your doctor.
COOPER: All right, here's another one. Jess in Sonoma, California, wants to know if she is destined to have diabetes because her mom and grandmother have it. She asked, Type 2 diabetes is hereditary. True or false?
GUPTA: That is true. It is hereditary and diabetes is one of the most studied diseases on the planet. We know a lot about diabetes. In fact, in that it is hereditary to some extent. So she's certainly at more risk. But we also know that overweight, hypertension and lack of exercise are risk factors that are modifiable.
So the good news is for a young person, like Jess here, if you can control your weight, if you can get plenty of exercise, start eating right early, which it sounds like you're already thinking about these things, you're well on your road to avoiding diabetes altogether.
COOPER: That's good to know.
Sanjay, thanks. If you have a medical myth or question that you want to get the answer to, just e-mail us at email@example.com. That's the address. firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to get your question answered.
From the mailbag now to our blog. A lot of reaction to our report tonight on pocket porn, porn on your phone or iPod. "I suppose we all should have seen this coming," writes Jennifer of Durhan, North Carolina. "It is sad, that with so many good things happening with technology there have to be bad ones too."
Tom in Norfolk says, iPod screens are very small. If your child can get close enough to see what the person is watching, you need to look after your kids better.
Although, I think the problem is more kids who have the iPods themselves, downloading this stuff. That's the parents' concern.
And from Julie in Erwin, Tennessee, porn has its place, but not in the mall on an iPod. Whatever happened to the right time and place for everything? She writes.
And just remember, our blog is the right place for your opinion anytime. Feel free to join the conversation.
More of 360 in a moment. Stay with us.
COOPER: Thanks for watching 360.
"LARRY KING" is next. Hear from the family of passengers who fought back on Flight 93.
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