Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Fugitive Polygamist Leader Raking in Millions?; Why 6,000 National Guard Troops on the Border?
Aired May 17, 2006 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: You can feel it here and all across the country. The battle on the border is heating up again.
So, too, is the hunt for a fugitive polygamist leader still making millions of dollars every month -- stunning new developments in both stories tonight.
ANNOUNCER: Call it the battle under the border, filling in one tunnel, finding another. Where will it end?
"Keeping Them Honest" -- how could a fugitive polygamist leader still be banking millions of dollars every month? We follow the money trail that leads to Warren Jeffs.
And the lost boys.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm totally an outcast now.
ANNOUNCER: Cast out by Warren Jeffs. Now they're telling stories of absolute obedience and absolute fear.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Been taught since we were little kids, we just obey him or you're going to go to hell.
ANNOUNCER: Across the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.
Live from the U.S.-Mexican border, here's Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: And good evening. Thanks for joining us.
We are on the border with new developments tonight in the fight over illegal immigration. But, before we go any further, we want you to hear the chilling words of a woman who once belonged to the sect now led by fugitive polygamist Warren Jeffs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He wanted the destruction of Arizona and Utah, the states of Arizona and Utah, because they were making laws against plural marriage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: She's talking about Warren's father, Rulon Jeffs. That preaching drove her and her family out of the church. Now they live in fear of the son and what he might do. Warren Jeffs kept 10 of their children -- 10 of their children. Now they answer only to him.
His followers are fanatically loyal, his critics say. Here's what another former church member who didn't want to go on camera told one of our producers.
He said -- quote -- "I know two of my brothers would kill themselves if Warren Jeffs told them to."
Much more on that in the next two hours, where Warren Jeffs may be at this hour.
But, first, we're coming to you from both the water's edge and the border's edge here in San Diego County, where the border fence extends straight into the Pacific Ocean. You see the shot right there. That does not stop, however, illegal immigrants from trying to get across. You can see right there, the border -- the fence is actually slatted. And you can actually -- a thin person could actually get right through there.
You're looking at Tijuana right on the other side. And the water, which the fence goes right down in to, does not stop illegal immigrants. They have been known in the past to -- to swim across, to surfboard across, to do whatever they can to just get across that little barrier fence, the fence here, about 15 miles high.
There, you see people on the Tijuana side, just waiting for night to fall.
A lot to talk to you tonight about immigration, both here and in Washington. In Washington, the Senate today overwhelmingly approved 870 more miles of fencing and other barriers along the border, and more narrowly approved language giving millions of illegals a shot at citizenship.
Meantime, just steps away from where I'm standing here in southern San Diego County, one of those moments that really underscores the problem. Almost literally right underneath us, in the middle of -- of filling this border crossing tunnel with concrete, one of the construction vehicles fell into another hole in the ground, another tunnel underneath the border. It hadn't been finished, not like this one, but, like most, it was practically hiding in plain sight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANK MARWOOD, DEPUTY SPECIAL AGENT, U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT: They're usually right underneath the surface.
Frequently, how we find them, and the reason we find so many before they're ever completed, is these kinds of access roads are constantly traveled by Border Patrol and by other law enforcement agencies on the U.S., protecting the borders. And they literally sink into the drive, under the roadway, on those places below that these smugglers have caved too close up, with no reinforcement. And that's what happened on this one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Just incredible.
These tunnels, a lot of them call them gopher holes, when they're really primitively done. They just keep popping up. He says that -- Agent Marwood says that, at any given moment, he and his tunnel task force are chasing down many leads and many tunnels.
In this case, authorities believe both tunnels were intended to be used for smuggling people and drugs, though no drugs were found. And they're smaller than this huge tunnel that we showed you earlier this year in Otay Mesa, which Immigration and Customs Enforcement called El Grande. That ran about seven-tenths of a mile, 2,400 feet. It was five feet high, more than three feet wide.
Earlier this month, concrete was poured into that tunnel to seal it off. Agents uncovered two tons of marijuana down below.
So, the bad guys keep on digging tunnels. The good guys keep looking for them. And from one end of the border to another, we can tell you, from talking to them, Border Patrol agents say they need all the help they can get.
Monday night, you will know, the president, of course, promised to get them that help, 6,000 National Guard troops in a support role. But, tonight, if that's supposed to be the answer, it sure comes with a lot of questions.
CNN's Joe Johns tonight "Keeping Them Honest."
JOE JOHNS, CNN CAPITOL HILL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): So, if the president wants to send up to 6,000 National Guard troops from all over America to the border, it begs the question, why 6,000?
Where did that number come from? It wasn't based on the length and challenges of the border, and it was not a number the Border Patrol requested. Instead, it was based on how many people the Guard could afford to send without interfering with the war in Iraq, hurricane preparedness, or the daily lives of the Guardsmen.
Lieutenant General Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard, was asked:
LIEUTENANT GENERAL STEVEN BLUM, NATIONAL GUARD CHIEF: How many National Guardsmen could we use without mobilizing them that would be on a volunteer basis? I told them that I could handle somewhere on the high end of about 6,000. JOHNS: In his speech, the president recommended two-week rotations, which would amount to complicated, if not costly, planning to get all those troops in and out every other week. But, since the speech:
PAUL MCHALE, DEPUTY UNDERSECRETARY OF DEFENSE: It then was brought to our attention that some governors expressed an interest in using Guardsmen from their states for extended periods of time in greater numbers, beyond two or three weeks.
JOHNS: Texas Governor Rick Perry has said he expects about 3,000 members of the Guard to be deployed along his state's 1,200-mile border, and welcomes the help.
But not everyone's thrilled. We decided to take a look at why two other border state governors are balking.
To Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico, 6,000 is a pretty random number, and not much use.
GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D), NEW MEXICO: ... the answer. I don't know how many Guardsmen are coming to New Mexico. I don't know what their mission is. I know they can't do law enforcement. They have told me they're going to do backup work. Well, what is backup work?
JOHNS: Well, for one thing, it's using fancy technology and equipment to catch people coming across the border. But the Guard can't make arrests. And that's why Richardson wants more Border Patrol officers instead.
And lest you think this is just Democratic carping, here's what California's Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, had to say, that mobilizing thousands of National Guard troops from around the country for two-week rotations on the border to build fences and deploy surveillance equipment presents a logistical nightmare. And supporting those troops, he said, would require a staggering amount of housing, food, storage, sewage, training, transportation.
SEN. DANIEL AKAKA (D), HAWAII: The National Guard is facing severe equipment shortfalls that hamper...
JOHNS: Up on Capitol Hill today, senators had their own questions, like, how will the Guard keep its equipment maintained and ready for action if it's being used constantly on the border? The answer:
BLUM: The attention and assistance from the Congress.
JOHNS: Translation: We will be coming back to you for more money.
But, so far, there's no estimate of cost. The president may have at least temporarily reined in conservatives in the party, but, with a couple of governors and a chorus of questions, we will be "Keeping Them Honest" on the plan still being worked out, which remains as full of holes as the border. Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: It's fascinating to see just how few of these governors were actually consulted before this plan was announced.
Now, President Bush sent Karl Rove to Capitol Hill today to push the immigration plan to members of the GOP -- White House trying to sell the idea. But the president's party, they are not buying it so far.
CNN's chief national correspondent, John King, has that side of the story.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A lot of the calls these days are about immigration.
REP. STEVE CHABOT (R), OHIO: And the overwhelming number are in favor of border security, against anything that approaches amnesty.
KING: Congressman Chabot was one of the targets when White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove visited the Capitol Wednesday -- Rove's hope, try to narrow the Republican divide over how to deal with the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants already in the United States.
Rove said he's optimistic, but Chabot and other conservatives on hand reported little, if any, movement.
(on camera): Was Karl greeted politely? Was the skepticism aired out? Do you think there's a majority of the Republican conference that could support a guest-worker program?
CHABOT: I personally do not think that a majority of the Republican conference could support anything that even approaches amnesty. And that's what many of us consider this so-called guest- worker program to be.
KING (voice-over): The president insists his approach is not amnesty, because it would require those who entered the country illegally to pay back taxes and fines, and then have a path to eventual citizenship. But it's a tough sell in the House. Even some Republican moderates say they cannot back the president's approach.
REP. CHRISTOPHER SHAYS (R), CONNECTICUT: You know, you came here illegally. Now you can stay and become a citizen. I don't think that's going to happen.
KING: A stiff opposition leaves the administration in an emotional fight with its traditional allies, not just in the Congress.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP, "THE RUSH LIMBAUGH SHOW") RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO SHOW HOST: Is the president -- are you and the president, the administration, aware of the dissatisfaction on the whole issue of illegal immigration that exists not just within the Republican base, but within the country at large?
RICHARD B. CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, we are, I think, Rush.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
KING: The man who counts the votes for House Republicans sees the president's record low approval ratings as a major factor in the party's immigration divide.
REP. ROY BLUNT (R-MS), HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP: I think the president understands that this is a different situation than the president was in when his numbers were at 56 and 60 percent just not too long ago.
KING: For now, the House leadership isn't budging from its view that border security upgrades should come first, then debate what to do with illegal immigrants already here after the November election.
BLUNT: But, you know, maybe the Senate will come up with a magic formula here that we don't anticipate them coming up with.
WHIT AYRES, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: The issue has reached critical mass.
KING: The president may lack the necessary clout. But pollster Whit Ayres predicts, voter anger will drive Republicans to resolve their differences.
AYRES: Politically, I think there's a far greater danger in doing nothing, given the overwhelming desire of Americans to deal with this issue and deal with it quickly.
COOPER: So, John, while the public position is hold firm, are House Republicans privately suggesting where they might be willing to compromise?
KING: Quietly, they are, Anderson.
If there is momentum coming out of the Senate, the House Republicans realize, they may have to see if they can cut a comprehensive deal.
Here's an idea being talked about now among Republicans in the House: Create a new guest-worker program. Millions who came across the border illegally would get to sign up for that worker program. They would get to stay in the United States. Some Republicans even say let them stay indefinitely.
But what they would not get is the president's idea of allowing them to then stay in the country and get in line for citizenship. Under this proposal being floated, if they wanted to get citizenship, they would have to leave the country, go home, and get in line -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right. The diplomatic dance goes on. John King, thanks.
One sheriff isn't waiting for the National Guard to get to the border. He and his posse of volunteers are tracking illegal immigrants down, throwing them in jail, leading to both praise and protests. Coming up, I will talk live to the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona.
Also tonight, the hunt for Warren Jeffs -- the polygamist leader is on the run from the FBI, still getting millions of dollars from his supporters. We are following the money trail.
Plus, the lost boys.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He took my hand. Then he (INAUDIBLE) prayed for me to die. And he took it away, and for God to strike me down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The young man shares what happened when he dared to turn his back on Warren Jeffs -- when 360 continues.
COOPER: And welcome back.
We are live on the U.S.-Mexican border, right in San Diego County, where, literally, the border -- the border fence goes right into the sea.
Here, you can see an old boundary marker. It says: "Boundary of the United States. The destruction or displacement of this monument is a misdemeanor, punishable by the United States or Mexico" -- not a lot of punishment on the Mexico side, certainly.
You can see part of the problem here, though. I mean, the fence, though it's about 12 feet tall, maybe 13 feet tall here, it's very easy to climb. It's very easy to get a handhold here. And the fence here gets a little bit bigger, probably about 15 feet high, but, again, you can climb right up.
On -- on this part of it, you could actually climb right over it. We have seen that all down the length of this fence. There's just the one strand of fence here, one line of fence. In other parts, around San Ysidro, there's -- there's two. Today, in Congress, they're calling for three layers of -- of high-tech fencing.
There are cameras in -- in this area, of course. And there are Border Patrol. But if you look just down there, the fence just goes right into the water. And, I mean, the Border Patrol will tell you they have seen people swimming across. They have seen people using boogie boards, paddling across, trying to blend in as just beachgoers, and just one of the many ways that people try to get illegally into the United States.
Illegal immigrants are not just -- they're not walking into America. As I said, some of them are swimming. Some of them are driving as well. That's what happened today in Sierra Vista, Arizona, where dozens of illegal immigrants crossed the border in this truck right there.
Border agents were following the truck. They attempted to pull it over, when it crashed. And a lot of the people inside tried to run for it. About 70 of them were arrested. Authorities are looking for about a dozen others.
Meantime, northwest of there, in Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio already has an army of sorts out in the field. He's not waiting for the National Guard. He has put together a posse, 250 members strong, to search for illegals. Patrols began a week ago.
Sheriff Arpaio joins us now from Phoenix tonight.
Sheriff, thanks for being with us.
Tell me about this volunteer posse that you have started to crack down on illegal immigration. How, actually, does it work? I mean, who are the -- who are the people in the posse?
JOE ARPAIO, MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA, SHERIFF: Well, they're all different occupations.
It's a professional organization. They're well-trained. And, by the way, I'm enforcing a new state law, where they're not being turned over to Immigration for a free trip back to Mexico. They're going directly to jail. All the illegals associated with smugglers are arrested and put in jail.
COOPER: But they -- they then have to await trial.
I know a couple of them have pleaded out and got probation. So, what's the point? I mean, if they're going to plead out and get probation, why go through the effort and the expense of -- of arresting them and having the state and taxpayers pay for them while they're in custody?
ARPAIO: Well, maybe we shouldn't arrest murderers or anybody else, because they get probation.
It's not probation. They pled guilty to a felony, deported. And, if they ever come back in the United States, they will be violating their probation. They can never be U.S. citizens with a felony record.
COOPER: How many have you arrested so far? How many do you have in custody right now? ARPAIO: We arrested 170 so far, and 23 in the last -- 23 in the last 36 hours.
COOPER: Arizona officials passed this law because they were tired of waiting for the federal government to actually crack down.
But one of the authors of the law, Representative Jonathan Paton, is saying that he never intended for immigrants to actually be arrested, and saying, in fact, that you have sort of taken it farther than they intended. How do you respond?
ARPAIO: Well, I don't know about -- you know, they have lawyers in the legislature.
The governor is a lawyer. She signed it. So, all this intent, that's tough. The law is there. I'm enforcing it. And maybe the federal government ought to start locking up these illegals, because there is a federal law, up to six months in jail, a misdemeanor. So, why don't they arrest people, instead of bringing them back to Mexico?
COOPER: Is part of what you're trying to do also to send a message to others who may be thinking about crossing through your county, just saying a message that you're taking this seriously and you're not just going to catch them and return?
ARPAIO: I'm the elected sheriff, and I'm concerned about my county. Now, if they want to go to somebody else, that's their problem.
You know, I was a director in Mexico, in Texas, and Arizona. So, I do know what the border is of the Federal Drug Enforcement. I have compassion for the Mexican people, but don't come into this county, violate the law. You're going to jail. It's as simple as that.
COOPER: Do you think this National Guard plan the president put forward is a good idea?
ARPAIO: Well, you know, until they can get the Border Patrol down there. They should increase the Border Patrol. They should have done that a long time ago. But that's OK for a stopgap, if they want to do administrative work.
COOPER: Sheriff Arpaio, appreciate you joining us tonight. Thank you.
ARPAIO: Thank you.
COOPER: Tonight, we're also on the money trail of polygamist leader Warren Jeffs. Authorities suspect his followers are funneling him millions of dollars. And you will not believe how. That story's coming up.
But, first, Erica Hill from Headline News has some of the other stories we're following -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we begin with what may be a new lead in one of the most famous missing-persons cases.
Today, FBI agents searched an area outside Detroit, looking for Jimmy Hoffa. Sources tell CNN they're digging for the union leader's body in Milford Township. They were led there by a tip. Hoffa disappeared in 1975.
In New England, the worst flooding in 70 years may be over, but the danger remains. Some residents returned home to assess their damage, but a mandatory evacuation is still in place for parts of Amesbury, Massachusetts, where workers are shoring up a dam.
And an ex-Beatle may soon become an ex-husband. Today, Sir Paul McCartney announced he and wife, Heather Mills McCartney, are separating. They were married four years ago and have one child. In a statement, the couple blamed the parting, in part, on the media -- Anderson.
COOPER: Blame the media. Well, that is sad -- that is sad news, indeed.
A stunning new lead, though, in the search for fugitive polygamist Warren Jeffs -- a money trail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY ENGELS, MOHAVE COUNTY, ARIZONA, INVESTIGATOR: ... dollars a month.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: (INAUDIBLE) brings in about $24 million a year, if it's true, all from construction companies, like this one, believed to be tied to Jeffs. We're on the story, all the angles, "Keeping Them Honest."
Plus, much more on the trail of Warren Jeffs and from the border.
We will be right back.
COOPER: Well, tips have been pouring in since the FBI put fugitive polygamist Warren Jeffs on its 10-most-wanted list. So, far none of the leads have panned out.
And, tonight, Jeffs remains at large. Now there is a new trail to follow, a money trail. As outrageous as it sounds, Warren Jeffs may, in fact, be banking millions of dollars a month, even while on the run.
If you're wondering how that could be possible, here's CNN's Randi Kaye on the money trail, "Keeping Them Honest."
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From a distance, this Nevada construction site looks ordinary, but law enforcement says it's hardly what you imagine. They believe this site may be the beginning of a money trail that funnels millions of dollars to FBI fugitive polygamist Warren Jeffs, even while he's on the run.
GARY ENGELS, MOHAVE COUNTY, ARIZONA, INVESTIGATOR: He's probably bringing in close to $2 million a month.
KAYE: If true, that would be $24 million a year. How does it work?
Carolyn Blakemore Jessop, a former member of Jeffs' church, says Jeffs orders men from the sect to work for construction companies owned by FLDS church leaders. But those men don't see a penny.
CAROLYN BLAKEMORE JESSOP, FORMER FLDS MEMBER: And then these specific companies that he would -- he would assign them to work for, very often, just didn't give them a paycheck. They didn't give them anything at all.
KAYE (on camera): And where did the money go instead of in the worker's pocket?
JESSOP: Instead, it went to Warren.
KAYE (voice-over): Jessop says her son was assigned a construction job when he was just 12, and never got paid. Instead, families donated 100 percent of their earnings to Jeffs. That put them on welfare, money out of your pocket, while Jeffs got rich.
And even though the man they call The Prophet is in hiding, investigators believe it's still business as usual.
(on camera): We're in the car about an hour north of Las Vegas in Mesquite, Nevada. And, like the investigators, we are trying to follow the money. We are heading to a construction site where some members of the church work to see what they have to say about where the money is going.
(voice-over): Immediately, we spot men who, like members of the sect, are dressed from their necks to their ankles, despite the searing hot.
(on camera): I'm Randi Kaye with CNN. Are -- are you affiliated at all with -- with Warren Jeffs and the FLDS church?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
KAYE (voice-over): We try again.
(on camera): Are you a -- a follower of Warren Jeffs?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't have anything to say.
KAYE: Are you affiliated at all with the -- with the FLDS church?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't have anything to say. Just...
KAYE: Can I...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are doing work here.
KAYE: Is any of the money from here, or all of the money here, do you donate any of it...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't have anything to say.
KAYE: ... to -- to the church, to Warren Jeffs?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't have anything to say.
KAYE (voice-over): In minutes, the supervisor arrives.
(on camera): We're with CNN. And we are -- we're doing a story here on -- we're following the money on Warren Jeffs.
RON ARRINGTON, SITE SUPERVISOR, TINGEY CONSTRUCTION: I realize that.
KAYE: Do you know who these guys all work for, who contracts them out?
RON ARRINGTON: Yes. They're working for Prism (ph) or Paragon (ph).
KAYE: Prism (ph) and Paragon (ph), just two of the many companies investigators and Carolyn Jessop say are owned by Jeffs' church members. CNN has also learned Dargow Truss (ph) and one of its owner, Guy Allred (ph), who investigators say is a sect member, is of interest to them.
We tried to talk with him at his company headquarters in Nevada and ask about his brother, David, who bought property used by church members.
(on camera): I was told neither one of them would be willing to talk with me, and that we should take our cameras and go, which is what we're doing now.
(voice-over): But the hunt for Jeffs continues. Investigators are keeping an eye out for new construction, banking on the fact Jeffs wouldn't be too far away.
COOPER: That's a fascinating piece, and amazing that -- that even though he's on the run, he still may be able to be getting money.
Have you had a chance to talk to the construction company owners? What do they have to say about all this?
KAYE: Well, Anderson, we certainly tried to do that.
We made calls to both Prism (ph) Contractors and Paragon (ph) Contractors. The man who answered the phone at Prism told us "No comment" as soon as we identified ourselves as CNN. We left several messages at Paragon (ph) Contractors. And, Anderson, those calls are now unreturned.
COOPER: All right. Well, we will keep following the money.
Polygamists do not often win the general public support, but there was one time when a group of them got a lot of sympathy from Americans. It happened more than a half-century ago, after Arizona's governor ordered a raid on a polygamist camp.
Here's the "Raw Data."
About 120 officers were involved in the July 1953 raid on Short Creek, Arizona. They arrested 36 men for practicing polygamy. They also rounded up 86 women and 263 children, putting the children in foster care. Many people criticized the governor, accusing him of using excessive force. He never recovered politically, and lost his bid for reelection. Some people have said that incident and the memory of that has -- has delayed reaction by officials in -- in Utah who knew about Warren Jeffs and what was going on there for years, but only now are acting.
Fast-forward to now. Many wonder if another raid could happen if Warren Jeffs is ever tracked down. Coming up, his ties to the lost boys -- you're going to meet Sam (ph), who is just 17 and on his own, working construction just to get by. He ran away from Jeffs, left his family behind. Now he wants world to know what goes on there.
Plus, they live in a town founded by Warren Jeffs' sect, and they are hated there. Why they left the church and what it has cost them -- when "360" continues.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: So where is Warren Jeffs? That, of course, is the question that many law enforcement officials would like to know. One polygamist leader in Canada says he believes that Jeffs may be up there. Of course, he also has compounds in Texas and Arizona as well as in Utah, and we're learning elsewhere. We're on the hunt. The worldwide manhunt for polygamist church leader Warren Jeffs has thrust his reclusive sect really into the spotlight that it has so long tried to avoid. To the FBI Jeffs is a criminal accused of sexual misconduct with a minor. To his followers, and there are about 10,000 of them, officials say, he's a prophet who channels divine revelations. He also wields absolute control over their lives. Day to day, we are learning new details from those who have left the sect, many of them young men called the lost boys. Here's CNN's Dan Simon.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This young man's trade is home construction. Ironic, perhaps, because Sam is actually homeless. Until two months ago he lived in Colorado City, Arizona. In fact, Sam grew up in the isolated polygamist community led by fugitive Warren Jeffs.
SAM, "LOST BOY": I'm totally an outcast now.
SIMON: We caught up with the 17-year-old and his friends in St. George, Utah, a town that has taken in dozens, if not hundreds, of the so-called lost boys. Teenage boys who were either kicked out of the sect run by Jeffs or like Sam, fled. He says he ran away after hearing about the outside world from relatives. He became aware of the freedoms absent in his life.
SAM: We always had to hide in the closet to watch movies and could never do anything fun, always working every day, just all these rules and regulations, couldn't have girlfriends, couldn't talk to girls or wave to them or anything. So, it got pretty lame. So we just left.
SIMON: Bruce Barlow is one of Sam's closest friends. The two ran away together.
BRUCE BARLOW: You can't walk down the streets. You can't --
SIMON: You couldn't just walk down the street?
BARLOW: Yeah. You have to get a ride wherever you go.
SIMON: Most kids can ride bikes.
BARLOW: No, you have to get a ride.
SIMON: It was one of Jeffs' orders.
SAM: And everybody believes him so much because they're taught since they're little kids if we disobey him, we're going to go to hell.
SIMON: Sam was also taught to believe in having multiple wives, something he now finds morally wrong. What do you think about these young girls marrying these older men?
SAM: I think it's pretty much not great because they're taught from when they're little to marry the older men and become plural wives and so they don't really know anything else.
SIMON: You think it's like rape?
SAM: Yeah, because they don't really have a choice.
SIMON: Sam never finished the ninth grade. He attended a school operated by Jeffs. He says it did not teach American history or science. Now Sam makes his way alone. He sleeps on friends' floors. Perhaps not surprisingly, he is thrilled by new freedoms. Among his first acts of independence, he had his ears pierced and his hair bleached. He says the construction work is temporary. He wants to go back to school. And he says he probably wouldn't have left Colorado City had it not been for Warren Jeffs.
When Jeffs came into power four years ago and proclaimed himself a prophet, Sam says he did everything possible to isolate his followers from the outside world. Help me understand this. He made these changes just a few years ago?
SIMON: He came in and said okay, everybody, no more cartoons? You can't watch them any more?
SAM: Yeah, no more movies, no more TV, no more internet in the homes, everything like that.
Can't hear the words very good. They kind of mumble.
SIMON: The kids say they grew up without ever listening to music except for what Jeffs gave them.
(music playing) To make our lives worth living.
SIMON: This is Jeffs singing. They say it played constantly in their homes and cars. Are you kind of aware that you didn't really have a normal childhood?
SAM: Yeah. I mean, we're always taught that we're better. I mean, we're like a chosen race. I mean, everybody -- we'd see people with short sleeves when I was little, some call them wicked and stuff like that. It's like we're so high and mighty, I mean, we're the better people.
SIMON: Sam knows he may never see his nine brothers and sisters and parents again. But he says he has no regrets about leaving.
COOPER: Dan, how -- I mean, are these kids able to survive?
SIMON: Well, Anderson, I've been asking that question for a few days now. And it's just so sad. Some of them live on the streets. Others wind up in Vegas living in prostitution. And then there are people like Sam who just -- they live these nomadic kind of lives and kind of go from place to place. Now there are some support groups available that kind of help them with their living expenses, but it really only goes so far. They're basically on their own, Anderson.
COOPER: And, I mean, there have been reports of hundreds of these kids. Some of them do not leave voluntarily like Sam did, they're actually cast out. Why would they be cast out?
SIMON: Well, it's been alleged because the competition for wives is so fierce. And if you have all these boys and you have all these girls, then there's only so many marriages basically to go around. It's basically that simple. A couple of boys have filed lawsuits against Warren Jeffs, alleging just that, and they're in the court system right now, Anderson?
COOPER: And we know, of course, because we talked to him, Jeffs' nephew has filed a lawsuit as well alleging sexual abuse from the age of 5, obviously that winding its way through the courts. Dan, appreciate that report on the lost boys. Thanks.
Some different perspectives ahead. I'm going to talk to an attorney who has represented Warren Jeffs in the past. He's also involved in this week's major court decision about the legality of polygamy. A lot of people here in Utah actually want to decriminalize it. We'll see what happened in the court yesterday.
And a family that broke away from the church isn't leaving their home. And now they're paying a price when "360" continues.
COOPER: Well, Warren Jeffs hasn't been seen by the outside world for at least a year. But a man who has been very publicly defending polygamy in the FLDS since 1990 is Attorney Rodney Parker. He's been doing that on behalf of his clients. Just yesterday, Parker's work on behalf of another polygamist ended with the Utah Supreme Court weighing in on efforts to decriminalize polygamy. We spoke to Parker earlier, he was in Salt Lake City.
COOPER: The Utah Supreme Court yesterday rejected a bid by a client of yours, a guy named Rodney Holm, to decriminalize polygamy. He had several wives, one wife legally, the others what they call spiritual wives. Were you disappointed by the ruling?
RODNEY PARKER, ATTORNEY FOR FLDS CHURCH: Well, I was disappointed by the ruling, but I think what's more important about it is the historic nature of the dissent in the case. The chief justice wrote that she would have held polygamy constitutionally protected as between consenting adults, which is what I think is the important point for most of the people who practiced that practice in the state of Utah. I think that really is historic. She's the highest judicial officer in the state. She exposes the flaws in the arguments on the other side.
COOPER: You think polygamy should be decriminalized?
PARKER: I think that polygamy among consenting adults, decriminalizing polygamy among consenting adults would go a long ways toward reducing the problems that we see coming out of polygamist societies. Those problems are largely the result of the societies being closed societies, and that, in turn, is a result of criminalizing their lifestyles.
COOPER: I mean, I guess one of the problems you refer to in these societies is sex with minors. The justices were unanimous in convicting your client, who I guess was a sheriff at one time in Hildale for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. He had a relationship with a 16-year-old girl more than half his age. How do you defend against that?
PARKER: Well, you're asking me as a lawyer how I defend against that. And there were arguments made that defended against that claim. On a less lawyerly level, what we were really talking about within the community was a marriage. I understand the statutes involved don't consider that to be a marriage, but that was what the parties considered it to be. And I think you have to look at their conduct, at least, in terms of judging it in the context in which it occurred.
COOPER: You've defended Warren Jeffs in the past. I know obviously you can't talk about, you know, the conversations you had. Can you tell us just what kind of a guy he is, how he struck you or how he, you know, dealt with legal issues in the past?
PARKER: Yeah. Because of my relationship as an attorney for him, I can't say a lot about that, but I would say this. That one of the things that I hear often proposed about him is that he's a pretender to this office, that he's really in this position for power or for money or for sex. And that much I can say is definitely not the case. That he is sincere in his belief that he holds this office, that it's a religious office. He's very religiously oriented and religiously motivated, and it just is doing a disservice to him and to the people who follow him to characterize him in any other way or to characterize their church as a criminal organization. Those things are really out of bounds and uncalled for, in my judgment, based on my experience.
COOPER: Listen, I appreciate you joining us and talking about what you can. Thanks so much.
PARKER: Okay. You're welcome.
COOPER: Of course, the attorney general in the state of Utah and other attorney generals have said it is, in fact, a criminal organization, in fact, linking it with organized crime. Even within Jeffs' own following there are sharp divisions and battle lines. Quarrel with him and retribution can get personal. Just ask a former follower, banned from seeing some of his 110 grandchildren.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
My family was everything. I have 10 of them now -- I don't even know when the grandchildren were born.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: A broken family not by choice. That story coming up.
Plus, meet some polygamists who have nothing do with Warren Jeffs. They say polygamy is not about submission or about sex. Their candid admission when's "360" continues. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: And that is the wanted poster for Warren Jeffs on the FBI's most wanted list, a $100,000 price on his head. Authorities worldwide are on alert. To better understand Jeffs' polygamist sect, it is really essential to dig for details. This means questioning members about their beliefs and the divisions within the group. That's what CNN's Gary Tuchman has been up to.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the town of Colorado City, Arizona, where almost all of the estimated 9,000 residents are supporters of FBI fugitive Warren Jeffs, Lydia and Nora are visiting their grandparents' house. They are two of the 110 grandchildren of Marvin Wyler, his wife Charlette, and his two other wives. How many children do you have all together?
MARVIN WYLER: I have 34 children. They're my life. That's all I've accomplished in this life is these children. I don't have any money. I'm broke as a toad.
TUCHMAN: Marvin had his first child in 1965, his most recent in 1994. His three wives are in front of him in this picture. His third wife died in a car crash. His first wife does not want to go on camera. Charlette is his second wife of 39 years. These are all your children? 34 children? Do you know all their names?
CHARLETTE WYLER: Yes.
TUCHMAN: Right off the bat?
CHARLETTE WYLER: Yeah.
TUCHMAN: Let's see.
CHARLETTE WYLER: Isaac, Dina, Lee Ann, Ross, Margo.
TUCHMAN: She gave birth to 16 of these 34 children.
If he wanted to marry another woman, would that be okay?
CHARLETTE WYLER: I would feel really good about it.
TUCHMAN: If he married another woman?
CHARLETTE WYLER: I would, I would feel really, really good about it.
TUCHMAN: Two or three other women, okay with you?
CHARLETTE WYLER: Yeah. I don't think I'll feel very good if he had 15, but --
TUCHMAN: But a few more is okay?
CHARLETTE WYLER: But yeah. Oh, yeah. TUCHMAN: And is that a possibility Marvin that you may take on another wife or two?
MARVIN WYLER: It would be possible, but it doesn't look like that's probable because I haven't been able to find one to marry me for 30 years. They're hard to come by.
CHARLETTE WYLER: Of course, he hasn't been out soliciting, let's say.
TUCHMAN: Marvin and Charlette both come from religious plural marriage homes. Marvin's mother was in prison for her polygamist lifestyle.
MARVIN WYLER: When I was a baby, until my mother was allowed to keep me in her cell. It had no bathroom it only had --
TUCHMAN: On the wall of the family home, a portrait of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion, next to Warren Jeffs' father, Rulon, who led this fundamentalist movement until his death in 2002. He's buried in the cemetery in Colorado City regarded by followers as a prophet. But just before Rulon died --
I don't think I will go if it's on Friday.
TUCHMAN: The Wylers grew concerned about the church. The breaking point came when Rulon preached the following words with his son, Warren, standing close by.
CHARLETTE WYLER: He wanted the destruction of Arizona and Utah. The states of Arizona and Utah because they were making laws against plural marriage.
TUCHMAN: That was it. They denounced the church, and the Wylers became persona non grata in Colorado City. Their home has been vandalized. Many of Jeffs' followers want them out. Have you ever thought of leaving?
MARVIN WYLER: No.
TUCHMAN: How come?
MARVIN WYLER: What will I do, I don't have any money? How could I go out and start all over again? I have a home here.
TUCHMAN: It's frightening, isn't it?
MARVIN WYLER: Um-hum.
CHARLETTE WYLER: Well, it is, yes.
TUCHMAN: But imagine this. Warren Jeffs, who used to live in this compound in Colorado City, instructed the Wylers' children not to ever talk to them again, and 10 of the kids followed his orders.
CHARLETTE WYLER: And Dorothy, I haven't actually seen Dorothy for a year and a half or talked to her.
TUCHMAN: You haven't seen this daughter for a year and a half because of?
MARVIN WYLER: Warren Jeffs either.
TUCHMAN: Warren Jeffs either?
CHARLETTE WYLER: Yeah. Also sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night just feeling like crying and just high anxiety, you know. My hands are like this.
TUCHMAN: How do you feel about that?
MARVIN WYLER: It tore me clear apart.
TUCHMAN: Of course it tore you apart. This is your flesh and blood.
MARVIN WYLER: My family was everything, and I have 10 of them now on the wall over there that won't -- I don't even know when the grandchildren were born.
TUCHMAN: The three youngest children still live in the home. The Wylers still teach them plural marriage is what God wants. Parly, who is 11, wants three or four wives. How do you feel about people who don't think you should ever marry more than one wife?
PARLY WYLER: They're missing out.
TUCHMAN: Missing out on what?
PARLY WYLER: On all the blessings that can come from it.
TUCHMAN: The Wylers believe they have been blessed, but they also know they've been cursed.
COOPER: Gary that is just a fascinating, a fascinating life. And it's amazing that Warren Jeffs has the power to divide families and get children not to talk to their parents or vice versa. Do the Wyler family think their kids are ever going to come back to the fold?
TUCHMAN: What Marvin Wyler tells us Anderson, is they hope that when a new leader takes place here in this city of Colorado City, Arizona, that their kids come back to them. But that raises an interesting question because Marvin also tells us that if Jeffs is captured, he believes there will be violence here. These are people who believe that Jeffs is a prophet of God. They're very passionate. We talked with several followers today. And they told us we should get out of here, we should stop messing around with Warren Jeffs.
COOPER: Well, stay safe, Gary, in Colorado City. Appreciate you joining us tonight. Thanks. The other story we're following right here along the U.S./Mexico border and we are right on the border here in San Diego County. New smuggling tunnels found just this week. We're going to show them to you coming up. But first, Erica Hill from "HEADLINE NEWS" joins us with some of the business stories we're following. Erica?
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, stocks plunged on Wall Street today with inflation worries leading a sell-off. The Dow lost 214 points, the NASDAQ fell 33, the S&P dropped 21 points.
In Houston, Texas, jury deliberations begin in the Enron trial. Jurors will decide the fate of former Enron chief Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling. They are accused of fraud and conspiracy in the 2001 collapse of the energy company. If convicted, both Lay and Skilling could be sentenced to 20 to 30 years in jail.
And oil prices fell below $69 a barrel today after a government report showed supply is rising while demand is about the same. Oil prices, though, are still 40 percent higher than they were a year ago, Anderson.
COOPER: Erica thanks.
Straight ahead, from gopher holes to fully furnished, the battle on the border literally underneath the border. Day in, day out, big discoveries to tell you about. Another tunnel.
Also tonight, in the shadow of Mt. Rushmore, a different tradition is celebrated. Polygamy "Hiding in Plain Sight", we'll have more on the hunt for Warren Jeffs and accusations of child abuse all ahead on "360."
COOPER: On the border and under it. Illegal immigrants using new tunnels to make their way to the U.S. That story ahead in the next hour. But first, making money by sleeping. It is tonight's "On the Rise."
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: The one thing most of us crave, and many of us need, is sleep. Yet we've never been able to buy it until now. For $14, you can take a 20-minute catnap at America's first daytime sleeping salon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here at MetroNaps, people enter tired and exit wired.
ARSHAD CHOWDHURY, CO-FOUNDER & CEO, METRONAPS: I came up with the idea for MetroNaps while I was working in investment banking. A lot of my colleagues would fall asleep at their desks, and people would even sneak off to the bathroom to take a nap.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Two years ago, MetroNaps opened its first location in the Empire State Building. Today, you can also catch some Z's in New York's financial districts and the Vancouver Airport.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My goal and my business partner's goal is to make the pod as common in the workplace as the photocopy machine.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: To make that dream a reality, MetroNaps' CEO must first overcome the stigma of napping.
CHOWDHURY: There is an unfortunate outmoded view linking napping to laziness. But it's been proven by the National Sleep Foundation that a midday nap can boost productivity and general mood. I take a nap just about 4:00 p.m. every day.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com