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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Scientology: A History of Violence; Students Charged in Bullying Case
Aired March 30, 2010 - 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: Tonight, our investigation into the Church of Scientology widens, more voices who say the church condoned at the highest levels a climate of violence, allegations of beatings, humiliations carried out by the church's leader and what the church tonight has to say about it, including ex-wives of some of the accusers coming forward to flat-out call them liars.
Here's a short preview.
COOPER (voice-over): Jeff Hawkins was a Scientologist for 35 years. A marketing director for the church, he was a member of the Sea Organization, the group that runs church operations worldwide.
Hawkins, who left in 2005, says Miscavige attacked him several times, including once during a marketing meeting.
JEFF HAWKINS, FORMER MARKETING DIRECTOR, CHURCH OF ScientologY: He jumped up on the conference room table, like with his feet right on the conference room table, launched himself across the table at me -- I was standing -- battered my face, and then shoved me down on the floor.
COOPER: Tom DeVocht was a construction manager for the church. He was only 12 years old when he joined. He left in 2005 because he says he could no longer accept Miscavige's violence.
TOM DEVOCHT, FORMER CONSTRUCTION MANAGER, CHURCH OF ScientologY: Dave asked me a question. And I couldn't tell you what the question is today. I don't remember. But the next thing I knew, I'm being smacked in the face, and knocked down on the ground, in front of all these people. This is the pope, you know, knocking me down to the ground.
COOPER: Church spokesman Tommy Davis:
TOMMY DAVIS, SPOKESMAN, CHURCH OF ScientologY: These are individual who have proven not only that will lie, but that they will get other people to lie. It's not much of a stretch for them to get them together, corroborate their stories, find some people who have left years ago to try and corroborate it even more, and then come to the news media and attack the very person who removed them.
(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: In our part two of our weeklong special report "Scientology: A History of Violence" just ahead tonight.
But, first up, breaking news on a teen girl allegedly bullied to death. Just moments ago, we learned of new disciplinary action against more high school students in the connection with the death of this turn. Her name was Phoebe Prince, 15 years old. She came from Ireland. She was new to America, new to a school where she hoped she would find new friends.
Well, instead, Phoebe was bullied for six months, literally up until the day she died. That day was January 14. She went home and hanged herself.
Tonight, the school district in South Hadley, Massachusetts, announced it has expelled a number of students from the high school. Now, this is in addition to the nine teens who have just been criminally charged in connection with her suicide.
But I have got to tell you, kids are dying across the country, and, all too often, school officials kind of throw up their hands and say, oh, we had no idea.
Well, tonight, we're "Keeping Them Honest."
I want to bring you over to the wall just to show you some -- some -- some -- give you some sense of just how serious and widespread this problem is. I mean, Phoebe is just one of many who have allegedly been bullied to death.
This is Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover. He was 11 years old. Now, he lived not far from Phoebe Prince. He was taunted by classmates. They called him gay. His mother begged school officials to do something to stop it. He hanged himself as well, just 11 years old.
This is Jaheem Herrera. We told his story a while back. He also was 11 years old. His mother says bullies called him gay, called him ugly, and they called him the virgin, because he was from the Virgin Islands. He also hanged himself. I mean, imagine, an 11-year-old hanging himself.
Just a few months -- a few days ago, just outside New York, 17- year-old Alexis Pilkington took her own life. Her parents said she was already in a lot of pain, but she was taunted online at a social site before. And, even after her death, they were taunting her online. Police are investigating.
Now, we're going to talk tonight to Dr. Phil, would has done a lot of programs about this, about the problem of bullying, and why he says we all need to wake up about it.
But I want to give you some numbers, though. One in five children, according to Love Our Children USA, say that they have bullied somebody. One in four says they have been bullied. Forty-two percent of kids say that they have been bullied online. And as many as 160,000 kids across the country say they have been so scared of their tormenters, of their bullies, they have actually stayed home from school.
But I have got to tell you, not enough is being done about it. Kids are dying -- 41 states now have some kind of anti-bullying legislation on the books. Nine, including Massachusetts, don't, though a bill is making its way through the legislature.
Now, lawmakers say that Phoebe Prince's suicide is a big reason why that is happening in Massachusetts. But, "Keeping Them Honest" tonight, Massachusetts has been trying, unsuccessfully, to pass anti- bullying legislation for a number of years. So, why didn't they?
And what about Phoebe's school? I mean, teachers and staff knew about the bullying, according to the district attorney. So did other students. Did they do enough to stop it?
Well, Dr. Phil shortly, but, first, Gary Tuchman is "Keeping Them Honest."
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Phoebe Prince spent her last day alive tormented by her classmates.
It began at the school library, where, according to prosecutors, the 15-year-old was harassed in front of a faculty member. The bullies then taunted and threatened Phoebe with physical violence in the hallways. And it continued as she walked home.
It ended when Phoebe's younger sister found her lifeless body hanging in the stairway, leading to her family's apartment. She was still wearing the same clothes she had worn to school. Officials say what happened to Phoebe in January was not an isolated incident.
ELIZABETH SCHEIBEL, NORTHWESTERN DISTRICT ATTORNEY: They were the culmination of nearly a three-month campaign of verbally abusive, assaultive behavior and threats of physical harm towards Phoebe on school grounds by several South Hadley High School students.
TUCHMAN: On Monday, prosecutors announced charges against nine teenagers, seven girls and two boys, in connection with Phoebe's death.
Two of the nine also face statutory rape charges. Phoebe Prince, who moved to Western Massachusetts from Ireland in the fall, briefly dated one of the accused, Sean Mulveyhill. Students say he was popular, an athlete.
Phoebe was a freshman from out of town. And, apparently, the other girls didn't like that she and Mulveyhill were dating. And, when the relationship ended, prosecutors allege a round of intense bullying started. According to students, books were knocked out of Phoebe's hands, her photo were defaced, and threatening messages were sent to her cell phone and over the Internet.
But it turns out, this wasn't the only incident. Phoebe Prince had allegedly been bullied for months, sometimes in front of faculty members.
SCHEIBEL: Prior to Phoebe's death, her mother spoke with at least two school staff members about the harassment that Phoebe had reported to her. Some bystanders, including at least four students and two faculty members, intervened while the harassment was occurring or reported it to administrators.
TUCHMAN: So, if faculty witnessed it and school administrators knew about it, as prosecutors say, then why wasn't it stopped? That's what Barbara Coloroso wants to know, an expert on school bullying.
She spoke to school administrators and faculty last year about the warning signs of bullying. Now she is wondering, was anyone listening?
BARBARA COLOROSO, AUTHOR, "THE BULLY, THE BULLIED, AND THE BYSTANDER": The bully Teachers needed to know that, if they reported it to administration, it would be followed through with consequences where not only is the kid accountable, but the parents of those bullies are notified, so that they're working on the issue at home as well.
TUCHMAN: And she says Phoebe's death could have been prevented if school officials had just listened to her.
COLOROSO: Defining bullying for what it really is, the procedures in place that are truly effective discipline procedures and safeguarding the target.
TUCHMAN: Prosecutors say more charges could be coming. But, for Phoebe and her family, those actions will be too little too late. Her body was flown back to Ireland, where she was buried in a small cemetery next to the sea.
Gary Tuchman, CNN.
COOPER: All right, let's dig deeper now with Dr. Phil Mcgraw, psychologist, bestselling author, and host of the nationally syndicated show "Dr. Phil."
Doctor, it's outrageous when you think about this. This young girl comes to the United States, 15 years old. She's from Ireland. She comes to this new country. She starts a new school. And, after six months of repeated harassment, which -- which a lot of people seemed to know about, she ends up dead, hanging from a stairwell in her home.
I mean, it's just sickening, when you think about it.
DR. PHIL MCGRAW, HOST, "DR. PHIL": Anderson, it is beyond outrageous. Let me tell you, this is a death that didn't have to happen. It's always tragic when a young person loses their life. It's doubly tragic when one takes their life. But when it is inside a system that is guaranteed, that's supposed to be protecting our children, nurturing our children, advancing our children, that is just unacceptable.
This is outrageous. And my concern here is, it's outrageous at many different levels. I have a belief, and that is that, if you stand by passively, whether you're an adult or another student, a peer, whatever, if you stand by passively and watch somebody being bullied, you are as guilty as the person that's doing the bullying.
COOPER: So, you -- you support the criminal charges that have been filed against the people accused of bullying?
MCGRAW: I do support the criminal charges.
Look, I don't want to destroy these kids' lives, because they are kids. And their brains are not even through growing yet. They don't have the ability to predict the consequences of their actions. I doubt, in their hearts of hearts, that any one of them would have wanted this kind of outcome, if they took a moment to think about it.
But, Anderson, we have got to have accountability. This is at epidemic proportions. It's happening on the Internet. It's happening on the schoolyard. It's happening more with girls.
And -- and here's a question, Anderson. Where are the parents of these bullies? How are these kids out there bullying someone to the point of taking their own life, and their parents either don't know it, or don't care, or condone it? It's your -- it's their job to know what their kids are doing.
COOPER: Yes, where are the parents? Where are the school officials? Where are the other kids in school?
We're going to have more with Dr. Phil after break. We will talk about why school staffers don't take bullying more seriously, why kids don't come forward with what they see.
The live chat is up and running at AC360.com. You can talk to viewers right now watching right now around the world.
Also ahead tonight, inside the anti-government Hutaree militia. We told you about them last night. Well, nine members are now in jail. We have new details about how they operate and why other local militias are disavowing them. You know you have a problem when even other militia groups back away from you militia group -- "Crime & Punishment" tonight.
And, later, after devoting decades to the Church of Scientology and reaching some of its highest ranks, they left the church. And now they're speaking out about the brutal violence they say they witnessed and even took part in. The church calls them all liars.
Who do you believe? Our investigation, "Scientology: History of Violence," is coming up.
COOPER: All right, just want to update you on the breaking news tonight: the school district in South Hadley, Massachusetts, announcing the expulsion of several more student following the death of 15-year-old Phoebe Prince.
A Massachusetts prosecutor says that Phoebe killed herself after months of brutal bullying at school. Nine teens were also charged in connection with her death, criminal charges.
We're now digging deeper with Dr. Phil.
COOPER: The parents of one of the girls who is charged said, well, look, my girl didn't -- didn't attack her, didn't physically attack her, never said, I hate you. They just got into a verbal altercation.
It seems like folks don't take this bullying as seriously as they should, whether it's parents, or school officials who said they didn't know anything about the bullying that was happening to this young lady, even though the district attorney says that is not true, that school officials had been notified, and that the whole thing was common knowledge.
MCGRAW: Well, what we know, Anderson, from psychological research is that emotional abuse, verbal abuse, those sorts of things that don't leave visible scars can have a more devastating effect than actual physical abuse.
I mean, think of -- it's like your psychological skin gets burned. And what happens with the victims is, they internalize all of these messages from the bully. They start saying these things to themselves. They -- they adopt those messages and pound themselves with it 1,000 times a day, even more.
And so it becomes a very insidious decay of their self-esteem. This is outrageous that this -- allowed to go on. And -- and the report says that they were throwing bottles and cans at this girl in the lunchroom, with faculty members watching.
I'm so curious to hear what the administration and teachers have to say about this, because my experience with most teachers is that they are loving, caring, dedicated folks that would not sit by with this. What in the world is going on here?
COOPER: Yes. One of things we have covered a lot on this program is this whole stop-snitching movement, and especially in inner cities throughout the United States, where people don't want to come forward and say what they have seen because they don't want to be labeled a snitch.
In cases like this, it seems like kids who witness the bullying are often afraid to speak up because they don't want to become targets themselves.
MCGRAW: Well, that's -- that's exactly right. They feel like, if -- if I align with this unpopular person, then I'm going to be lumped in with them.
And there is strength in numbers. The only thing that's ever going to stop this in the schools is if we're able to make it uncool to be a bully, if they become the outcast, if it's unacceptable, because there's strength in numbers. If they close ranks around this kids, hear their cries, their desperate cries, then the bullies won't have the confidence.
And, so, I think there's a real issue here with the students needing to close ranks and say, we're just not going to have this be part of our school. And one of the things that I think, Anderson, we can't fail to talk about here, is, I have heard so much when I grew up, in my generation -- and it may have been the same with you, Anderson -- the attitude among teaches and parents was, look, kids will be kids; they will work it out on their own.
MCGRAW: And a lot of bullying victims are afraid to be forthcoming with their parents because they're ashamed. They don't want -- they don't want to go home and tell their parents, look, I'm a nerd, nobody likes me, they're picking on me.
So, they hide that. Parents need to recognize the warning signs. If a kid is avoiding school, if they're getting injuries that are unexplained, and it's frequently from the same people, if they start coming up with illnesses that aren't warranted, they're avoiding school for some reason, they may be getting bullied.
And you don't want to go racing into the school like your hair's on fire, hysterically screaming at teachers and administrators, but you need to go in and partner with these folks and say, look, my child is reporting being bullied. I don't want this to be a he said/she said. I want to figure out what's going on.
But don't leave those kids to deal with this alone. It's the loneliest time they will ever have in their life. That's the time to step up and be an active parent.
COOPER: In the political realm, I know the legislature in Massachusetts has approved some anti-bullying measures, and a lot of states have done it, with varying strengths. But this is something that also really has to come from -- from within the schools and the kids and the administrators.
I mean, kids have to know that it is not -- it's not OK to bully. I mean, it's just -- it is unacceptable.
MCGRAW: Well, it is a grassroots program.
Look, you can do legislation. It's very bureaucratic. It's abstract. It is a beginning. And I certainly support it and -- and hope that we continue to see states adopt that and school systems to adopt it.
But this is a grassroots program that has to start from the inside out. The teachers needed education. They need resources. I mean, what's a teacher or counselor do when somebody comes and he says, "I'm being bullied," the other person says no?
Look, most of the bullies do this outside the view of the teachers. Now, in this case, it appears that some teachers knew what was going on and failed to take action. That is tragic.
But we have to -- we have to train these teachers. We have to give them the ratios they need to be able to see these things and help them. As I say, most teachers -- look, teachers don't take teaching jobs for the money. They take teaching jobs because they're passionate and they care about the students.
We need to give them the training. We need to give them the resources. But, Anderson, this has got to stop. We have got to raise noise about this, until people say, we're not going to have this anymore.
COOPER: Dr. Phil, appreciate you being on. Thank you.
MCGRAW: Anderson, thank you so much.
COOPER: This has got to stop.
The latest next on that militia the feds just busted -- what we found out about their operations and what the neighbors new.
And, later, those allegations about a climate of violence inside the Church of Scientology's leadership, and denials from the church, even the ex-wives of the accusers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEVOCHT: Dave asked me a question. And I couldn't tell you what the question is today. I don't remember. But the next thing I knew, I'm being smacked in the face, and knocked down on the ground, in front of all these people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I slept with Tom DeVocht for almost 20 years. I knew every inch of him. I never saw one scratch. I never saw one bruise. I never saw one black eye, nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Bizarre new details tonight in the downfall of the Michigan anti-government militia Hutaree. Tonight, nine members are in jail, charged with plotting to kill a policeman, then ambush fellow officers at his funeral.
But while they call themselves both patriots and Christian warriors armed and ready for an American revolution and the Antichrist, other Michigan militia say, not so fast.
Despite a shared love of God, and guns and country, even these groups say Hutaree is neither Christian nor militia.
Drew Griffin investigates in tonight's "Crime & Punishment."
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: We're just trying to hear their story.
(voice-over): Ray Stone, speeding away in his truck, has not been charged with a crime, but authorities say the Hutaree plot to wage war with the government was run on his property in these trailers where his son, daughter-in-law and grandson lived.
His son, David Stone Sr., is the accused "Captain Hutaree," leader of the Christian militant group who allegedly thought killing a police officer and then attacking the slain officer's funeral would begin a war, with militias from across the country coming to their aid and waging battles with them against the U.S. government.
Eastern Michigan's U.S. attorney, Barbara McQuade, tells CNN, the very militias this group may have been counting on led authorities right to them.
BARBARA MCQUADE, U.S. ATTORNEY: This is a group that was engaged in militia activity. And there were some mainstream militia who participated in this group who, you know, alerted people that this is a group that has really gone beyond mainstream militia and really planning activities that is not mainstream militia, planning attacks against law enforcement officers. And, so, that became something that certainly got our attention.
GRIFFIN: The investigation, according to this indictment, revealed a small band of mostly men training in fatigues, training to strike police with guns and also actual bombs.
MCQUADE: The indictment does allege specific acts involving training with explosive devices. You know, these are the same kinds of IEDs, improvised explosive devices, that you hear about on the roadside in Iraq.
GRIFFIN: McQuade would not reveal if any bombs, explosives or even guns were confiscated in the raids. The search warrants remain under seal. The last of the group was arrested Monday night, Joshua Stone, brought into custody after holing up in a trailer. Now he joins his father, stepmother, brother, and five others, all being held without bond, all facing life in prison if convicted.
Joshua was married just two weeks ago. In court, his wife told CNN: "It's not his fault. It's the way he was raised."
And, speaking for the first time publicly, Randall Stone, the brother of the ringleader, says David Stone Sr. may have been living in a military fantasy that got out of hand.
RANDALL STONE, BROTHER OF HUTAREE LEADER: A long time ago, he made this game that was like "Life," you know, the game board "Life." And it was two military teams playing against a make-believe world, have you. That's kind of what he did. He was like a grownup game player.
GRIFFIN: What remains a mystery is just how all this training, gunfire and plotting could take place so close to this dirt road intersection, with hardly anyone noticing what had to have been in plain view.
(on camera): There are three guns just dispersed on the front lawn of this pair of trailers.
(voice-over): A neighbor today said, out here, you mind your own business, something Ray Stone was hoping we would do, as he sped past, barely slowing down, before heading straight into a garage that he lowered before even leaving his truck.
(on camera): Mr. Stone, we're just trying to find out a little bit more about your son and your grandson.
COOPER: So, Drew, these -- these militia members, I guess they appear for a bond hearing tomorrow. Could they possibly be released?
GRIFFIN: Not likely, Anderson.
The first question they're going to ask is, are they a threat to society? The U.S. attorney is going to argue, they very much are, remain a threat, and should remain behind bars -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Drew Griffin, thanks very much.
Up next: President Obama signing the last piece of the health reform package into law. But, also, what's in the bill for college students and parents struggling to pay for their education? We will tell you that.
And later tonight, our weeklong look inside the Church of Scientology continues, with former longtime insiders alleging a climate of fear and violence and how the church is denying those allegations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAWKINS: He jumped up on the conference room table, like with his feet right on the conference room table, launched himself across the table at me -- I was standing -- battered my face, and then shoved me down on the floor.
DAVIS: These are individual who have proven not only that will lie, but that they will get other people to lie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Just ahead tonight: more people who left Scientology, some after decades, and the physical abuse they say they witnessed. The church has a different view. You will see both sides. You can decide for yourself who's lying, because someone is definitely lying.
First, up, Tom Foreman, though, has a 360 news and business bulletin -- Tom.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Anderson.
President Obama today sealed his final victory on health care reform, signing a sweeping package of so-called fixes into law. The bill also overhauls the student loan system, freeing up an estimated $68 billion for college loans and deficit reduction.
The president also appeared with French President Nicolas Sarkozy today, pledging mutual support for tougher sanctions against Iran. In a joint White House news conference, the leaders agreed the international community must prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
And just in time for the Easter bunny, a new study shows chocolate is good for your heart. German researchers found eating small doses of dark chocolate each day lowers the risk of heart attack or stroke by nearly 40 percent.
On the flipside, lots of chocolate every day leads to weight gain, which doctors warn is a major risk factor in -- you guessed it -- heart attack problems and stroke.
COOPER: Hmm. I like milk chocolate. I don't like the dark chocolate.
FOREMAN: I don't care for dark chocolate much either.
COOPER: There you go. Oh, well.
Just to add tonight, we have not forgotten the situation in Haiti. Neither has Sean Penn. He is still there in Port-au-Prince, where donor nations get set to meet tomorrow. We'll talk with him about how much aid organization and true help is being felt on the ground. "Keeping Them Honest."
Also tonight, explosive allegations of beatings, verbal abuse, bullying in the highest ranks of the Church of Scientology, accusations the church denies. Why are these former church members speaking out now after staying silent so long?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Did you tell anybody about this? I mean, did you complain about it?
JEFF HAWKINS, FORMER ScientologY MEMBER: No. No, no. You don't do that when you're inside the base. You don't do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Last night we told you about Marty Rathbun, a 27-year member and one of the highest-ranking leaders of the Church of Scientology. He left in 2005 but says that, while he was there, the head of the church, David Miscavige, routinely beat other high-ranking members of the church.
Rathbun said not only did Miscavige brutally kick, punch, and choke members of the church's international management team, the Sea Organization, in particular Mike Rinder, the church's former spokesman, he also says Miscavige encouraged a corporate culture in which other managers were expected to get physical. Rathbun admits he himself assaulted subordinates but says it was done with the encouragement of David Miscavige himself.
As for the church, it vigorous denies their claims, asserting that Rathbun is a bald-faced liar who was fired because he himself assaulted a member of the church, or at least demoted (ph).
But tonight, as we continue our investigation, you'll hear from other high-ranking Scientologists, saying that David Miscavige was the one behind the violence, although the church emphatically denies it.
HAWKINS: Miscavige was always threats, bullying, haranguing people, verbal abuse, physical abuse. That was his game. He's -- he is a bully.
COOPER (voice-over): Jeff Hawkins was a Scientologist for 35 years. A marketing director for the church, he was a member of the Sea Organization, the group that runs church operations worldwide. He had dedicated his life to Scientology. A true believer, he earned just $50 a week and lived in church-provided communal housing with other Sea Org members in California.
(on camera) You've worked with Marty Rathbun. You've worked with Mike Rinder. The church told us that they were the ones leading this rein of terror, that Marty was the one responsible for -- for these beatings.
HAWKINS: Absolutely not true. Absolutely not true. David Miscavige was the one leading this whole physical violence kick. And it was him who was beating people up. COOPER (voice-over): Hawkins, who left in 2005, says Miscavige attacked him several times, including once during a marketing meeting.
HAWKINS: He jumped up on the conference room table, like with his feet right on the conference room table, launched himself across the table at me. I was standing. Battered my face and then shoved me down on the floor.
COOPER: Tom Devocht was a construction manager for the church. He was only 12 years old when he joined. He left in 2005, because he says he could no longer accept Miscavige's violence.
TOM DEVOCHT, FORMER ScientologY MEMBER: Dave asked me a question and I couldn't tell you what the question is today. I don't remember. But the next thing I knew, I'm being smacked in the face, knocked down on the ground, in front of all these people. This is the pope, you know, knocking me down on the ground.
COOPER: Amy Scobee, a Scientologist for 27 years, helped run the celebrity center in Los Angeles, designed to cater to the needs of famous members like Tom Cruise and John Travolta. She says she also left in 2005 but distinctly remembers watching David Miscavige choke Mike Rinder, the church spokesman at the time.
AMY SCOBEE, FORMER ScientologY MEMBER: He grabs Mike around the neck, swings around and is choking him. And he's holding his neck. And Mike is just, like, grabbing the side of his chair and, like, struggling, like not knowing what was going on. And his face is turning red. And -- and the veins are popping out of his neck. And I'm going, what in the hell is going on?
COOPER: Steve Hall was a writer for the church, who left in 2004. He says he saw Miscavige attack Mike Rinder again in November of 2003.
STEVE HALL, FORMER ScientologY MEMBER: He grabs Mike, Mike's head with both his hands, throws Mike off his feet, because he's strong, and he put his whole body into this. He smashed Mike's head against this cherry wood wall.
COOPER: Church of Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis insists that all of these former Scientologists are liars, bitter former Sea Organization members who were demoted from their positions by David Miscavige. He says Mike Rinder was asked about rumors of abuse two years ago by the BBC when he was still a spokesman for the church.
TOMMY DAVIS, SPOKESMAN, CHURCH OF ScientologY: He had been asked these same allegations. And one of his responses was, "I'll tell you what. If you come up with that again and show up with another one of those crap allegations, I'm going to file a complaint."
COOPER: He was talking about this BBC interview in 2007, reported by Scientologists and posted on YouTube just before Mike Rinder left the church.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miscavige... UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Down on the ground.
MIKE RINDER, FORMER ScientologY MEMBER: That's absolute rubbish, rubbish, rubbish. Not true. Rubbish.
COOPER: But now that Mike Rinder is no longer working for David Miscavige, he says he was lying during that interview. He wouldn't appear on camera, but he told us that he was physically assaulted by David Miscavige some 50 times. He lied to the BBC, he says, because he didn't want to lose his career and his church.
That doesn't surprise Jeff Hawkins, who says when he was in the church, he would have never spoken against Miscavige.
(on camera) If you want to stay in the church, you have to do what he says?
HAWKINS: That's right; that's right. He literally holds -- if you -- if you're a Scientologist, and you believe in Scientology, and you believe that the only way to your spiritual salvation is through the levels of Scientology, then he literally holds the power of life and death over every Scientologist, because he can say, "You're out of here. You will get no more Scientologist services. You're done."
COOPER (voice-over): The church says Hawkins is out to destroy Scientology, adding that he supports an anti-Scientology movement called Anonymous that actively protest the church.
DAVIS: These are individuals who have proven not only that they will lie but that they will get other people to lie. It's not much of a stretch for them to all get together, corroborate their stories, find some other people who left years ago to try and corroborate it even more, and then come to the news media and attack the very person who removed them.
COOPER: The church provided us with dozens of affidavits from current and former church members, one-time colleagues of these former Scientologists, even their ex-wives. All of these affidavits swear David Miscavige never hurt anyone.
JENNY LINSON, ScientologY SEA ORGANIZATION MEMBER: I slept with Tom Devocht for almost 20 years. I knew every inch of him. I never saw one scratch. I never saw one bruise. I never saw one black eye. Nothing. Nor did he complain about anything personally.
COOPER: That's Tom Devocht's ex-wife, Jenny Linson. She agreed just this week to be interviewed along with the ex-wives of Marty Rathbun, Jeff Hawkins, and Mike Rinder.
Mike Rinder's ex-wife, Catherine Bernardini, says he was never assaulted by David Miscavige.
CATHERINE BERNARDINI, ScientologY SEA ORGANIZATION MEMBER: I know every square inch of Mike Rinder's body. I know everything that's every happened to him, every accident, every time he broke his wrist. I've been with him. We've been together all our lives. It's utterly ridiculous, and it isn't true.
COOPER (on camera): And you were married to Marty Rathbun?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fifteen years. I know the man better than anybody else. Now, you've got to understand. Marty Rathbun is a liar. He never mentioned it, OK?
COOPER: He says that he did mention it to you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, he did not. Absolutely did not. It's a lie.
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 you stuck with him through some very trying times in Scientology. He does say that...
BERNARDINI: Hold on. He didn't have any trying times in Scientology, ever. It was the best time of his life.
COOPER (voice-over): She says Jeff Hawkins never said a thing to her about being hit.
(on camera) Did you tell anybody about this? Did you complain about it?
HAWKINS: No. No, no. You don't do that when you're inside the base. You don't do that.
HAWKINS: Well, if you go against Miscavige, if you say anything against Miscavige or you do anything or you report on Miscavige, you're instantly off the base.
COOPER: What does that mean to be off the base? It means...
HAWKINS: You're on the rehabilitation project force, or you're sent to a remote location, or you're sent to Africa or Australia. You're just gotten rid of.
COOPER (voice-over): Marty Rathbun says he did tell his wife but never complained to anyone else about Miscavige.
MARTY RATHBUN, FORMER ScientologY INSPECTOR GENERAL: He had the power to say, "You're excommunicated, and you'll never see Scientology again. You'll never see your wife again. You'll never see Scientology again." I mean, you've devoted 27 years to it, and this guy could pull the plug just like that and say, "You can't ever have it again."
COOPER: Tomorrow what Marty Rathbun says happens to those who leave the church and speak out.
COOPER: Just a note for you: after last night's report we again extended an invitation to Church of Scientology chairman of the board, David Miscavige, to appear on 360 for the series. We pointed out that, through his spokesman, Miscavige had declined to respond to the charges himself.
Well, today, CNN received this letter from a Scientology lawyer, asserting that was flatly untrue and asking us not to say that again. So, we just want to set the record straight. We'd like to play a portion of our interview with church spokesman Tommy Davis from last July.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Why not let -- allow David Miscavige to speak? I mean, he's...
DAVIS: Oh, come on. He speaks for himself very well.
COOPER: But why not have him do an interview or address these charges directly?
DAVIS: It's not worth his time. I mean, he's the leader of the church. This is a global religion. You know, people that he personally removed were making these kind of outrageous allegations? Not in a million years would he respond to something like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, just to be clear, our invitation is still open. We'd love to have David Miscavige on 360 at any time.
Over at AC360.com, you'll find a posting I wrote about why we're doing the series in the first place. While you're there, you can also see watch last night's report.
Coming up, the crisis in Haiti. By the way, we'll have more tomorrow and all this week.
The crisis in Haiti, though, coming up next. The question is, what is the world doing about it? We're going to talk to Sean Penn, who's in Port-au-Prince tonight. It's the big "360" interview.
COOPER: New numbers, new fears tonight, and disturbing reports about the situation in Haiti.
First, I want to bring you up to date. I want to bring you the latest stats, show you some numbers that really speak volumes about the crisis. We're going to talk to Sean Penn, who's on the ground in Port-au-Prince, in just a moment.
It's been 78 days since the earthquake struck. Now, the toll in human lives, more than 220,000 deaths. Now, that's the official number, according to the Haitian government. But as we all know, they weren't really counting, so the numbers really could be higher than that.
But 310,000 people wounded by the earthquake.
Look at this, the property number, 105,000 homes destroyed, according to the United Nations; 208,000 homes still damaged.
And this is the number that's just shocking, the number of displaced people. One point two million people still displaced right now.
A lot of money has poured into Haiti, the Center for Philanthropy at Indiana University says $1.1 billion has been given for relief efforts, a lot of that coming from people like you at home, people across the United States and around the world.
This week, though, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called for an additional $11.5 million, not to rebuild, he says, but to build back better, to create a few Haiti. So all of this, of course, ahead of a donors' conference tomorrow.
But tonight we're "Keeping Them Honest," because for all the money pouring in, I want to show you what life looks like for hundreds of thousands of people in these makeshift camps right in Port-au- Prince, rain-soaked camps.
Look at this mud. Imagine walking through that all day long. Imagine sleeping in that. Because a lot of these -- these places that they're sleeping in, these tents, they're not tents at all. They don't have actual floors made out of plastic. They're just tarps, so the water goes right through, the mud. This is what people are sleeping in, they're waking up to.
And of course, the worry about the spread of disease in conditions like this, dysentery and the like, it spreads very quickly.
The country's heading into the rainy season. Deadly, which is even in a good year, the rainy season in Haiti. Mud slides, disease continue to threaten more than a million survivors living in these camps.
Now, for months there's been a lot of talk about moving the homeless into well-organized camps outside the city. But a lot of that talk has amounted to very little. And now the plans of most aid groups are to encourage people to actually just move back to their neighborhoods, clear debris from the area they used to live in, and just try to make the best they can in the neighborhoods they're from.
JP Haitian Relief Organization is a group started by Sean Penn. He spent much of the last two months in Haiti. He joins us now from Port-au-Prince for "The Big 360 Interview."
COOPER: Sean, you have your camp that you've been helping run. You've got some 45,000 people living in it. How are things in that camp?
SEAN PENN, ACTOR/PHILANTHROPIST: Well, we're up to 60,000 people. There's an awful lot of preparations going on in a limited way. There is real momentum in terms of beginning -- mitigators for what is really a death zone camp. And it's been assessed that way by the army corps of engineers. The Seabees are in there. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is with us. We've got a lot of organizations that have all -- a lot of the right intentions and plans in place.
But money is extremely short. Cash for work money is extremely short. Getting access to moneys that have been donated is short.
COOPER: You talk about it as a death zone, and refer to it as life-threatening. Explain. What is life-threatening now at this point? I mean, the heavy rains are about to come. Is that what you're talking about? Are some parts of your camp really susceptible to these rains?
PENN: Yes. It's our camp, and it's a series of sections of other camps. There are camps that still remain in the -- right in the middle of dry riverbeds. There are -- in our camp, there's a sequence, it's a down -- it's a hill. It goes straight down. There are gullies and ravines that create bowls where tents will become dams. The tents won't hold up. Tents will collapse.
And there are major flood zones. This is not only -- this is not an assessment I'm making up. This is coming from engineers who know this well. And this is a legitimate life-threatening emergency.
COOPER: And you had talked last time we spoke last week, , you had pointed out that, you know, some two-plus months since this earthquake, a lot of folks, a lot of these homeless people do not have even tents. All they have are tarps, like one plastic sheet that gives them obviously no protection against the rain, very little privacy. Are you -- have you been able to get more tents or is that still an issue?
PENN: Safely, I can say that 90 percent of these things that are called tent camps are tarp camps on sticks. And so all the water is rushing right under. The people are virtually in the mud.
In our camp, again, it's that particular house -- also, we have soil that turns to almost glycerin. You could ski down it sooner than you could walk down it.
We were only lucky that kids and -- children weren't killed the other day on the Thursday rains which lasted two hours. We get two days of rain and all of those who are arguing back and forth politically will hang their heads in shame. There will be people dead in our camp. And I -- and I don't mind setting myself up as a pariah saying that.
COOPER: They has been, as you say, a lot of arguing back and forth. The Haitian government was wanting to get a bunch of landowners outside the city to provide land to move hundreds of thousands of people. It seems, from what I'm reading now, that everyone has basically given up that idea of moving people out of the city. And now people are just being encouraged to go back to the streets that they once lived on, remove debris and try to kind of camp out there. Is that your understanding?
PENN: Yes. There are a series of options and some of them, now that we're this far along, have to be considered extremely legitimate. Where there are areas of the city that are non-flood zones, and you have inspected buildings, you can -- you try to get to those people that have what are called green houses. They've been marked green, they've been inspected, and they are understood to be safe shelter for the rains.
COOPER: The U.N. has warned that there's an increase in violence in Haiti, more gunshot wounds, and that there's a rise in sexual violence against women in a lot of these camps. Have you seen that firsthand? Have you heard those reports?
PENN: Yes, it's happening. Of course it's happening. It's happened in our camp. It's happening, as far as I know, in any of the large camps. And this is why we have a women's clinic, and that women's clinic serves many purposes.
It also serves a great purpose in terms of the flood threat, and that is, that the women in general are the heads of the family. They're also the ones who do the cooking. You teach them to cook away from the tent. In the same way you took their information about things that are -- abuses of women, abuses of children. You get the Haitian police involved. We get a lot of the first reports because of our hospital on site.
COOPER: And your message to those gathering at the U.N. this week ,where the Haitian government is going to present a development plan, your message is what?
PENN: Do your homework and make a commitment. I think it's all about being very decisive and bold. There's -- the bottom line is, roll the dice on the new Haiti.
COOPER: Sean, I appreciate it. I'll be down there next week. I'll see you then. Thanks for talking with us tonight.
PENN: Thank you.
COOPER: We'll be down in Haiti, as I said, next Tuesday and Wednesday. I hope you join us for that.
Coming up, though, next tonight, what kind of justice will it be for "The Dating Game" killer? Remember that guy? He was sentenced today. We'll let you decide if the punishment fits the crime.
And new technology means the Shroud of Turn may give us a better look than ever before at what some believe is the face of Jesus. The new images, ahead.
COOPER: We're following several other stories tonight. Tom Foreman again with the "360 Bulletin" -- Tom.
FOREMAN: Hey, Anderson.
A 360 follow-up on the one-time "Dating Game" contestant who was convicted last month of murdering four women and a 12-year-old child. A California judge sentenced 66-year-old Rodney Alcala to death. That's what the jury recommended in the case.
Alcala's killing spree began in 1977, ended in 1979. He was the winning bachelor on "The Dating Game" -- that's him -- in 1978.
Check this out. This video is from the History Channel, which tonight revealed what Jesus may have looked like. They followed a team of experts using 3D software to bring the Shroud of Turin to life. Many believe that Jesus was buried in an ancient linen cloth which bears a faint image of the man.
And a charter school in Philadelphia is under fire tonight for reportedly leasing school space after hours to a nightclub that served liquor without a license. The school says the allegations are inaccurate -- Anderson.
COOPER: That's an odd one.
All right, Tom. Tonight's "Shot," sort of hard to march -- match last night's "Shot," which was my favorite video ever, a loris being tickled. But we'll try.
We found this one on the Internet at LiveLeak.com. Buddy, the black Lab -- that was last night's "Shot."
FOREMAN: There he is.
COOPER: A loris being tickled.
FOREMAN: He's so happy.
COOPER: The little fists clenched. I like that.
All right. So -- aww. I'll just watch that one again. The new one, the new "Shot" tonight is Buddy, the black lab, and a deer playing ball. Enjoy.
Aww. Who said that labs and deers can't get along?
FOREMAN: Well, yes. Look how happy they are.
COOPER: I know.
FOREMAN: Seemingly. I don't know.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get him, boy, get him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Anyway, it's no slow loris being tickled, I admit.
FOREMAN: It's adorable.
COOPER: But very adorable, indeed.
Tom, thanks very much. A lot more ahead tonight at the top of the hour. We'll be right back.