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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Perry Supporter Calls Mormonism a Cult; Occupy Wall Street Protests Continue

Aired October 7, 2011 - 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: It is 10:00 p.m. here on the East Coast, and, tonight, breaking news.

A leading conservative power broker and mega-church pastor calling Mitt Romney's religion a cult. He also says President Obama embraces un-biblical provisions. And when Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas talks, his congregation of 10,000 and conservative Christian voters listen. And they respond in the voting booth.

When Pastor Jeffress spoke today at a gathering of Christian conservatives in Washington, he made both major news and major waves in the 2012 presidential race. He joins us momentarily.

Here's a sample of what he said to CNN's Jim Acosta just after he introduced Perry on stage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REV. ROBERT JEFFRESS, FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF DALLAS: The Southern Baptist convention, which is the largest Protestant denomination in the world, has officially labeled Mormonism as a cult. I think Mitt Romney is a good moral man but I think those of us who are born again followers of Christ should always prefer a competent Christian to a competent, to a competent non-Christian like Mitt Romney. So, that's why I'm enthusiastic with our Rick Perry.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What do you say to those voters that say his Mormonism shouldn't be an issue in this campaign? He's just as American as anyone else.

JEFFRESS: I agree, he's just as American as anyone else and article six of the constitution...

ACOSTA: And Mormons do say that they are Christians. They say that. They believe in Jesus Christ.

JEFFRESS: A lot of people say they are Christians, and they are not. But they do not embrace historical Christianity. And I, again, believe that as Christians we have the duty to prefer and select Christians as our leaders. That's what John Jay, the first chief justice of the Supreme Court said, and again, I think when we have a choice as evangelicals between a Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, I believe evangelical state would go with Rick Perry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Pastor Jeffress earlier today.

Shortly after that, a spokesperson for the Church of Latter Day Saints, the Mormons, declined to comment on a statement -- quote -- "made at a political event."

But the spokesman went to on to say -- quote -- "Those who want to understand the centrality of Christ to our faith can learn more about us and what we believe by going to Mormon.org."

Joining us now is Robert Jeffress, Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas. Pastor thanks very much for being with us. Why do you believe the Mormon Church is a cult?

JEFFRESS: Well, again, when I talk about a cult, Anderson, I'm talking about a theological cult as opposed to a sociological cult. You know theologically, a cult is a religion with a human founder versus a divine founder. Joseph Smith is the founder of Mormonism. First is Jesus Christ to whom we look as the head of our Church.

And secondly, cults tend to look at other religious text outside the bible for their guidance. Mormonism, for example, certainly accepts the bible, but it accepts the newer, fresher revelation the book of Mormon that came from the angel Moroni supposedly to Joseph Smith.

So, for that reason, I'm saying it's a theological cult. I know that's a loaded term, and it has never been considered, Anderson, as a part of historic Christianity.

COPPER: But the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does considers themselves Christian and on their Web site they says they accept Jesus Christ as their savior and redeemer and they say "each is entitles points the truth Jesus Christ is the only way by which we can return to live with our heavenly father.

JEFFRESS: Yes, well, and we could get into an in-depth theological discussion and put everyone to sleep out there. But I would you...

COPPER: I'm fine to putting people to sleep as long as we're educating people.

JEFFRESS: Well, this is not a new position. No, I would not consider them a cult, I would consider that Catholicism, the basis of Catholicism teaches that a person is made right with God by faith in Christ and good works, a number of good works, but historic Christianity has been that we are saved by faith and Christ alone. I wouldn't label it a cult but would say its basic tenants are contrary to the teaching of the New Testament.

COPPER: Hindus, Buddhists, Islam, cults?

JEFFRESS: Yes, absolutely. And bible teaches very clearly and only those who trust in Christ as their savior will be in heaven. And Jesus made that clear when he said I'm the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the father except by me.

COPPER: Why in the political leader. I mean the difference between Rick Perry and Romney, there are political differences, but why base your decision on the closest, most core-held believes of these two men? They both believe in Jesus Christ, they both are, you know believe in their faith, and you, yourself, say are good people.

JEFFRESS: Yes, right. Well, Anderson, again, this is not the only criteria that we use to select a leader. And in fact, I didn't mention the word cult or Mitt Romney in my introduction of Governor Perry today.

COPPER: Well, you said it in an interview and plenty of times before over the years, going back to 2007.

JEFFRESS: Yes, that's right, and again, I'm not labeling Mitt Romney as a bad person or Mormons as bad people.

COPPER: But you're saying he's a member of a cult.

JEFFRESS: Anderson, yes, but Anderson, if I were to say to you, you know, Anderson, you're not a Republican. I don't think you would say, disagree with that. I would say that not because I think you're a bad person, but you don't hold to the basic tenants of the Republican Party.

COPPER: Obviously, you don't know that about me, but saying somebody is a Republican is not a value judgment. Saying that they are in a cult is a value judgment. I mean, it's an incendiary term.

(CROSSTALK)

JEFFRESS: Well, not a theological cult. Well, that may be a pejorative term to say cult, but I'm talking in terms of a theological cult, and I believe that Mormonism fits that definition, but there are many more reasons, I believe Anderson that Christian evangelicals should not vote for Mitt Romney. Now, I also said in interviews this afternoon that if it came down to a candidacy between our choice between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, I would vote for Mitt Romney.

COPPER: Do you believe president Obama is not a Christian?

JEFFRESS: I was getting to that. I think it better to have a non-Christian like Mitt Romney who embraces biblical values than to have a professing Christian like Barack Obama who embraces un-biblical provisions. I accept Barack Obama's claim that he is a Christian.

COPPER: It doesn't sound like what you're saying you accept his claim that he's a Christian doesn't sound like you really believe that. I mean that you don't say about Rick Perry, I accept his claim. But you said about Rick Perry, I accept his claim that he is Christian.

JEFFRESS: Here's the difference, Anderson, I have talked to Rick -- that's right. I have talked to Rick Perry. I haven't had the chance to talk to President Obama, that's the difference. COPPER: But you say don't base his public statements, that's not -- you don't believe that's valid proof enough?

JEFFRESS: I have no reason not to doubt his public statements, Anderson, none at all.

COPPER: OK. What are his -- why do you believe his positions are un-biblical, the president's?

JEFFRESS: Right, I believe he is the most pro-abortion president in the history of the United States, and I believe in the sanctity of life and I believe that that is a very important issue. And again, when it comes to Mitt Romney, I think his recent so-called conversion to life is very suspect given his position as governor. Romney care, as you know, included a $50 deductible for abortions. And so I think that his conviction about life is very suspect, when you contrast that to Rick Perry who signed into law the Texas sonogram bill, he de- funded Planned Parenthood, and I think Rick Perry with conservatives has a proven track record.

COPPER: Do you worry you are actually harming your candidate Rick Perry? I mean you now you were introducing him on stage today. You've made the statement in the past. So, clearly Rick Perry though he is now distancing himself from what you said. He clearly knows you believe this because you've said this in the past and he's continued to choose you to introduce him. Do you worry you're damaging him at all?

JEFFRESS: Well, I think there are lots of assumptions there, Anderson, that he knows my position on Mormonism.

COPPER: Go back in 2007, it was in the Dallas News and was widely reported, so I assume he would know.

JEFFRESS: No. Well, he may not have seen that. I wouldn't assume that at all.

(CROSSTALK)

COPPER: Pastor Jeffress, appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

I want to bring in religious scholar and best-selling author Bruce Feiler. His books include "America's Prophet" and "Walking the Bible."

It is interesting, what do you make of this? It's nothing really new, I guess.

BRUCE FEILER, AUTHOR, "AMERICA'S PROPHET": I think the reason we're having this conversation now is because Mitt Romney is back as the front-runner in this campaign and it was unlikely for this campaign without this issue coming to the surface.

I mean if you look at the polls, even if we switch lanes in the summer Anderson, four in ten Americans say they believe that Mormonism is not true Christianity and 25 percent of Americans, and a third of evangelical Americans have said they'd be less likely to vote for a candidate if he or she was a Mormon. So this issue was always going to come back, and now this is the day it's brought back to the conversation.

COPPER: Just on a theological basis, is it fair to call something a cult?

FEILER: It's interesting, this definition, he was using a sociological cult and there is a theological cult. And his definition of a theological cult was one which was founded by a person as opposed to a divine figure. He included Islam, and Islam says it was founded by divine revelation to Mohammed, in the same with Buddhism and these other religious. So I think this is just basically a term that people don't believe in other people's religions have thrown around for decades. So I don't find that particularly new.

I think what's going on here, is if you look in western religion, OK, basically religions have had toward prior religions, a kind of yes, but attitude, right? Here we are, the holiest day of the Jewish year, Christians have said OK, we believe in the Hebrew bible but we believe the revelation continued with Jesus and the New Testament essentially supplemented the Hebrew bible.

But Mormons and other new religions like Baha'i and Jehovah's witness and these other things, other contemporary religions are saying, we believe in Christianity, but in the case of Mormonism, we believe there is subsequent revelation, and that's the source of the difference. So the Mormons can say, we believe in Jesus, he is our savior. But they also believe that Joseph Smith got the divine revelation himself. Also that resurrected Jesus came to North America and these are the kinds of ideas that sat uncomfortably, traditionally with Protestant Christians.

COPPER: Do you think -- I mean obviously I cannot believe that Rick Perry does not know the beliefs of people introducing him on stage. He's a very smart guy and a good team around him, this stuff is bedded. But as you say, this is a widely-held belief and therefore it's not necessarily going to harm him politically among evangelical voters, among --

FEILER: I think in a lot of reasons, none of these particularly to not knew, that a lot of evangelical still feel this way about Mormonism. It's also not new that Rick Perry has surrounded himself with a lot of people who have what we might call extreme views. If you think of the call, his big event, the big rain to solve the problems of the country and have divine revelation to solve economic problems, one of the co-sponsors of that event was John Hagee. And John McCain in 2008 had to reject the endorsement of John Hagee because of his anti-Catholic views and his comments about the holocaust being divinely inspired.

So in a way this is on a Rick Perry's Jeremiah right problem. And this kind a familiar refrain in American politics that political figures have become responsible, in a way, for the religious views of their religious endorsers. So I think this is the 2008 conversation that's now presenting itself in the 2012 race. So in that regard, I think Rick Perry, this has always been coming and I actually think it's going to get worse for Rick Perry as some of the other views of people around him begin to be made public.

COPPER: Interesting.

Bruce Feiler, appreciate you being with us. Thanks very much.

FEILER: My pleasure.

COPPER: Let us know what you think. We are on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper. I will be tweeting tonight.

Up next, the Occupy Wall Street movement and the politicians who are condemning it, even though they praised the Tea Party movement for using pretty much the same tactics. Is that hypocritical? We'll keep them honest.

Also tonight, a report that Amanda Knox faced sexual harassment inside an Italian prison? Plus her father, on what she's going through in the first days' home. And Dr. Drew Pinsky joins me to talk about what ahead for her.

Let's check in also with Isha Sesay.

ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, another big day in the Michael Jackson death trial. Having already heard Jackson's drugged- up voice, jurors today heard what his doctor, the defendant Conrad Murray, told police about his patient and just how medicated he was -- that and much more when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COPPER: "Keeping Them Honest" now, lawmakers who really don't like it when people rally in large numbers to raise their voices in protest of government policies. They don't like it at all, not one little but except that is when they do like exactly the same thing, in fact when they positively love the idea of rallying and protesting against government policies.

We're talking about the Occupy Wall Street movement, now entering it's forth week and spreading to cities across the country, thousands gathering in Austin, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. We're also talking about the Tea Party over the last two years. Like Occupy Wall Street. There are people from all walks of life, like Occupy Wall Street people in the movement hold a grab bag of policy goals.

Neither side has resorted to violence. Both sides are calling for peaceful change within the process. There have been large number of arrest in the Occupy Wall Street movements in New York. You may agree with one side. The other, neither or both, that's not for us to say.

But "Keeping Them Honest," common sense says, you can't call one side that is really dangerous and destructive and anti-American for their protest rallies and the other side patriotic when both sides are using pretty much the same tactics, and that's exactly what some politicians are doing. Listen to them condemn the Wall Street rallies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL BROUN (R), GEORGIA: If you listen to what they are telling the media, they don't know why they are there, they are just mad. And I see people angry and I'm not historic too but this attack upon business, attack upon industry, attack upon freedom, now the unions seem to be weighing in and trying to subvert that anger into a political power to try to reelect a president whose policies are just totally ignorant and incompetent.

REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: I, for one, am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and the other cities across the country. And believe it or not, some in this town have actually condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans.

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration. Don't blame Wall Street, don't blame the big banks, if you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COPPER: Some of the voices speaking out against the rallies. Senator Orrin Hatch also slamming them saying, "They are alarming, and I will tell you we are going to get more if it. We are going to have riots in this country because of what these people are doing." That was him just yesterday.

Listen to him and others talking about Tea Party rallies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: Been watching what the Tea Party does, I have been very impressed. I think it's time for America to take back America and the Tea Party is playing a role in that and I appreciate it.

BROUN: The Tea Party movement is expressing the most powerful political force in America. It's written in the constitution of the United States, we as people. We, the people expressing their concern about their loss of freedom, the fiscal irresponsibility of this administration and the leadership here in this house.

CANTOR: First, I would like to thank you, though, for being here and for fighting on the front lines of what we know is truly a battle for our democracy.

CAIN: What do you think about this whole Tea Party citizen's movement? I said it's getting bigger, stronger, and more impactful.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COPPER: Again, the issues not what each side believes, but politicians on one side rally in expressing democracy and the other side rally a threat to it.

Joining us now, co-chair to Tea Party's express Amy Kremer, thanks very much for being with us.

AMY KREMER, CHAIR, TEA PARTY EXPRESS: Thanks for having me.

COPPER: Do you think it is fair to make comparisons between, say, the early Tea Party movement and the Occupy Wall Street protests?

KREMER: You know, it was an organic movement, I don't know if this is organic or not, but the Tea Party movement was certainly organic and we started by having rallies. We revolt into something else. You can make that comparison. I think that we're both made as heck about the bailouts of the banks, but other than that, I don't see a lot of comparisons.

We're trying to reign in the spending in Washington, the answer to what we believe to Washington's problems are, less government, smaller government, they want more government, bigger government. So I don't see that there's a lot of comparison.

COPPER: I'm not talking about necessarily the believes, because obviously, although besides the bailout issue, the issues are very different, but the groups of people who are you know, are angry and are coming together coalescing and early on, it's sort of a hodgepodge of different ideas.

KREMER: I have to disagree with you on that, because Anderson, when we came together, there was one theme that brought us all together, and that was the out of control spending in Washington. It was all about making Washington live within their means. From what I have heard from these people, half of them don't even know why they are there, and then they have this list of demands that's completely unreasonable.

COPPER: Let me jump in there, because I think the same, you know, I think it's easy to go down to one of these Wall Street protests, grab out a few people, quiz them, and make them look bad, and that was certainly done to a lot of Tea Party folks.

KREMER: It's still done.

COPPER: Well, I think unfairly you know it's very easy to take one person out of a crowd who doesn't know issues and say, well look, clearly the Tea Party doesn't know what they are talking about.

But also, I remember, seeing early Tea Party staff and I agree central issue is reigning in spending, I would argue it seems to me, and I'm no expert on this Wall Street thing, but the central issue to them is greed on Wall Street.

You look into those -- and yes, people have a hodgepodge of other issues, but I remember early Tea Party rallies, you know there were pictures of people like they are against illegal immigration, they were there for you know greater gun control, they were there for less gun control, they are opposed to socialism, so aren't often early on there's a hodgepodge of different issues?

(CROSSTALK)

KREMER: Well, there may be I mean even today you can go out and you'll find different factions within the movement that are focused on different things. But overall, we're all focused on reigning in spending. And you know another thing is, like I don't know if I said it, but about the arrests. I mean we came together, you know it's been peaceful. We've been completely peaceful. Last weekend alone in New York City, there was 700 arrests.

I mean, that is not representative at all about what this Tea Party movement is about. We are very focus. We know what we want to do, and you know maybe they'll figure out what they want to do, but the thing is you can't be mad at Wall Street. What Wall Street did was completely legal. Wall Street, these people are protesting against capitalism, what America was made I mean that's what America is, and they are protesting against capitalism. They want to take capitalism down. But yet they are mad at the banks being bailed out? That's double-talk out of both sides of their mouth.

If they were I mean it's capitalism that would have allowed the banks to fail, instead, Wall Street had an ace up their sleeve. They reached back to Washington and the money was pumped into there, so you know what do they want? Do they want capitalism or do they want socialism? We want capitalism. We want to protect this great country and what it was founded upon, the constitution, and we want Washington to live within their means.

COPPER: Amy Kremer, appreciate you come out. Thanks very much, it was interesting.

KREMER: Thanks for having me.

COPPER: Let's turn now to a key figure supporting the Wall Street rallies, Princeton University Professor Cornel West, who also co-hosts the radio program "Smiling and West" with Travis Smiley. He joins me now. Professor thanks you very much.

We were just talking to a Tea Party organizer who's basically asking what do these people on Wall Street want. It seems like they are against capitalism. Is there a central you know from what I have heard, the people I have heard talking. There are lots of different people with a lot of different opinions. Is there a central point, a central belief?

CORNEL WEST, PROFESSOR, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Well, let me first say I'm blessed to be a small part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, 101 cities around the world, over 70 cities in the United States. The major issue is corporate greed -- 1 percent of the population owns 40 percent of the wealth.

One hundred percent income growth in the last ten years went to the top 10 percent, 83 percent of income growth of the last 25 years went to one percent.

We're calling for the renewal of democracy, and I'm not a leader, I'm one voice among others, but it's very clear, the corporate greed and the industrial complex and military industrial complex and the corporate media complex and on Wall Street is sucking the democratic energies out of our society. This is not a question of an "ism," this is a question of individual liberty. We support social justice, we support fighting corporate greed. We must do in order to pass on the tradition of democracy to the younger generation, my brother.

COPPER: When you hear -- we just played a montage of a lot of Republicans who praised the Tea Party movement early on, but are calling the occupied Wall Street protesters mobs, saying essentially it's dangerous, when you hear that kind of rhetoric, what do you think?

WEST: Well, I mean, I just heard the mayor of New York say this was one of the most peaceful groups he's seen, 700 arrests, this is peaceful arrests. This isn't in the tradition of Henry David, Martin Luther King Junior, civil disobedience is a part of democracy, and dissent is the highest form of patriotism, my dear brother Howard Zinn used to say, he is absolutely right.

It's been profoundly peaceful, but every movement has a variety of different voices, viewpoints, lunatic friends. There was some very ugly thing that the Tea Party brothers and sisters did, right? They tried to spit on some congressman, brother John Lewis, a black man, they have a number of different things that don't represent all of the Tea Party, but their elements in the Tea Party is going to be elements in any movement.

But keep in mind, Occupy Wall Street is more inclusive. We're opened to prophetic atheists, prophetic Mormons, Prophetic Baptist like myself, prophetic agnostics. We're concerned about common interest, common good which is about 42 percent of poor children living in poverty of all colors, 42 percent in poverty or near poverty, and 22 percent living in poverty. We all must agree that's a moral disgrace.

COPPER: So, professor, how do, and you're not a leader, but you are an eloquent spokesperson, at this point one of many, how do you translate the central idea of being against greed on Wall Street, how do you translate that into demands on paper or demands that actually allow a movement to grow beyond just people on the street camping out to actually effect change?

WEST: Well, it's not just people on the street. They are creating a magnificent set of communities of all colors, all genders, all cultures, all sexual orientations, all religions and even, as I said, atheistic and agnostic brothers and sisters.

It's difficult to translate social movement into one or two demands, but that is a process stage by stage, step by step, but be clear, brothers and sisters of all colors in the various cities occupying Wall Street symbolically or literally, do keep in mind corporate greed, wealth inequality, ending the wars, dealing with the prison industrial complex, trying to highlight poor and working people who have been pushed to the margins and that one percent of our population, disproportionately accruing the benefit.

COPPER: Professor West, appreciate talking to you. Thank you very much, Cornel West.

WEST: Thanks so very much.

COPPER: Still ahead tonight, "Crime & Punishment": new details about Amanda Knox's time in prison, including allegations she was sexually harassed behind bars. Also, what will she face as she tries to pick up where she left off four years ago? Can you imagine trying to rebuild a life? Dr. Drew Pinsky joins me for that.

Plus, the science -- this is so cool -- the science behind this incredible YouTube video, a woman hearing her voice for the first time. She was profoundly deaf from the time she was 3 -- her emotional reaction.

We'll talk to chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta about this new technology that made it possible. It's amazing stuff -- ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: A couple days ago we showed you a video that's gone viral on YouTube. It's really extraordinary. She's a 29-year-old woman hearing her own voice for the first time after being profoundly deaf her whole life. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There you go.

So now technically your device is on. Can you tell? It's exciting. Maybe you can put it down for a second. Just get used to the sound. What does it sound like?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can hear myself cry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: That wasn't a miracle; it was science. A new type of medical device making the impossible possible for Sarah [SIC] Churman, who was born with profound hearing loss. She had the device implanted a couple months ago, and her husband shot that video you just saw, the device being turned on for the first time.

The couple has two young daughters. Imagine that Sarah [SIC] had never heard their voices and now she can.

We were all amazed by the video. We wanted to learn more about this new device. We spoke to chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Here tonight's the "Connection" report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: So Sanjay, she -- was she able to hear anything at all before the implant?

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It sounds like she was able to hear some things. She had just profound -- what they call sensory neural hearing loss. Now, there are different types of hearing loss. This is one that a lot of people get as they get older, as they listen to lots of loud sounds. They have some damage to the inner ear. She had it at a very young age. I mean, she was essentially using hearing aids at the age of 2.

I think we -- it's amazing video to watch, Anderson. I mean, just the profound impact of someone regaining a sense like that. But we have an animation of what normal hearing sort of looks like, as well. And I think this might explain a little bit about what was happening.

You have the sound coming in. And, you know, your outer ear and your middle ear do a good job of sort of taking out a lot of the distortions, taking out background noise, trying to filter it out. You hit the eardrum there. That's normal. This is normal hearing. And then it -- you actually see those bones sort of making that motion against what's known as the cochlea. That's that snail-looking thing over there.

That's how it works. The vibrations come in. They transmit the sound through those bones. And then that yellow part on the far right of the screen, that's the nerve that's sending the signal that you just heard something and deciphering that into real sound.

In her case, at some point in there between the bones and that snail-like looking thing, she wasn't getting enough vibration. There wasn't enough sound actually transmitted through. So it would come through very muffled, very, very hard to decipher. So she could hear things barely, vibrations and rumblings mostly.

COOPER: So what's the difference between this implant and a cochlear implant?

GUPTA: Well, you know, first of all, there's like hearing aids, you know, which a lot of people wear for this sort of hearing loss. Essentially think of that like a microphone in your ear. You know, you're essentially taking sound and you're using that to amplify and send the signal back further into your ear.

Cochlear implant, you're sending signals directly to the brain stem. And that's when people who have -- for example, have had complete hearing loss because of damage to the nerve that I just showed you there.

Here, what you're doing is you're still using your normal ear. You're using all of what I just showed you -- the outer ear, the middle ear. And the eardrum is still acting sort of as a microphone. But what happens is there's a couple of wires. I think you have a model.

COOPER: Yes, I've got a model of it right here.

GUPTA: Yes. So there's a little -- there's sort of a processor you see sort of near the back. That's what you're looking at is right behind the ear. That's going to be under the skin. It's not something you'd see from the outside.

COOPER: So this is under the skin this part?

GUPTA: It's under the skin. She can probably feel it if she put her hand back there, and it's controlled by remote control. So she can turn it up and down if things are too loud or too soft. But it's got a couple of wires going to where the bones were that I just showed you that were transmitting the sound.

It's essentially collecting that vibration, analyzing that data, sending it to the processor and then distributing more amplified, if you will, vibrations. So you hear sounds more normally. It's not that sort of muffled sound anymore. And you're getting a lot more than just the vibrations that she was probably hearing for a long time.

COOPER: How much does this cost? And does insurance cover it?

GUPTA: Well, no, it does not cover it. And it is expensive. It's about $30,000 as things stand right now. And this is a recently FDA-approved thing. You know, the Churmans said they -- they saved up for a long time to be able to purchase this.

And I think the company sort of thinks, look, as with a lot of devices, if more people get it, the cost may come down. But it is a very expensive thing right now. The FDA has approved it for this particular use. But even after the operation, which you mentioned was two months ago, it takes some time for someone to heal and then ultimately start using it.

COOPER: Just amazing. I love watching that video. Sanjay, thanks.

GUPTA: Thanks, Anderson.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: We wish her the best.

Still ahead, shocking allegations. A report that Amanda Knox faced sexual harassment inside the prison where she was held for nearly four years. Isha Sesay quickly has a "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we begin in Syria where activists say a former Kurdish opposition leader was shot to death in his home today. And at least eight others were killed throughout the country.

More than 3,000 demonstrators have reportedly been killed since the anti-government demonstrations began nearly seven months ago. Opposition commanders in Libya say they may be only days away from taking control of Muammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte. The military leaders told U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta they don't believe the ousted Libyan leader can command even his loyal militia any longer.

Three women share this year's Nobel Peace Prize. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee and Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman were chosen for their nonviolent fight for women's rights.

And two U.S. air bases are getting the royal treatment. Britain's Prince Harry, or Captain Harry Wales, as he's known in the British military, arrived in California today for the final phase of his helicopter gunship training. During his two months in the U.S., he'll also go to a base in Arizona.

From one Brit to another, he finds himself at a loose end and needs someone to show him around town, he can always call me -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. I'll keep that in mind.

SESAY: I'm sure he'll call.

COOPER: yes. You never know.

Isha, thanks.

Still ahead, Amanda Knox out of jail, back in the states, but her story is far from over. There's a new report that she was sexually harassed in the Italian prison where she was living. We'll talk about that and hear what her dad has to say about how she's adjusting to life back home.

Also, another big day in the Michael Jackson death trial. Jurors hearing Dr. Conrad Murray's interview with police about the day Jackson died. The latest coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: "Crime & Punishment" tonight, it has been just three days since Amanda Knox returned to her parents' home in Seattle, and there's a new report on what she faced for nearly four years inside that Italian prison.

According to CBS News, Amanda was sexually harassed behind bars. She said there was an administrator who would take her to his office alone at night and say a number of inappropriate things. He left Amanda terrified.

Now, of course, she's a free woman. Last night her dad, Curt Knox, told CNN's Erin Burnett how well Amanda is adjusting to life back home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CURT KNOX, AMANDA'S FATHER: Well, you know, really it's reconnecting with the family and, you know, she has a couple of twin cousins that were one-year-old when she was in -- first went to Italy. And now they're 5. So it's really neat to see her playing with them and, you know, it's like they never missed each other. And it's really nice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: That was Amanda Knox's dad.

Earlier I spoke with Dr. Drew Pinsky about the challenges that Amanda Knox might face in the days, the weeks, and the months ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: I keep thinking about Amanda Knox. You know, four years in this prison in another country. How do you even begin to return to your prior life?

DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN ANCHOR: It's -- there may not be a return to her prior life. In fact, I suspect there won't be. I hope there won't be. Because you've got to remember this is a young girl who was extremely naive. That -- she has to take some responsibility for what happened. Though she was acquitted of having killed somebody, she was in some circumstances and doing some things that are kind of like not so great in a country where, naively, she believed she was as protected as she is in this country. And the fact is, she had to grow up, and she grew up a very hard way.

She says, according to her dad now, she just wants to lie on her grass. That will keep her happy for about 12 minutes.

COOPER: Really?

PINSKY: And then she has to get on with her life. And I think -- I predicted yesterday that she would speak as soon as she got off the plane. She seems like that girl to me. And she's going to be angry. She's going to have -- there's going to be a lot of anger and a lot of resentment. But...

COOPER: Angry at...

PINSKY: Angry at the circumstances, angry at the -- unless she gets angry with herself and forgives herself, she is going to not have completed the healing process.

Wouldn't you be angry?

COOPER: Oh, sure. Here life was really -- when you think about it, this is a person whose life -- just on this program last night, I was saying life was -- her life was interrupted for four years.

PINSKY: Truly life interrupted. And I'm -- as I'm saying now, it will never be the same. Maybe for the good. I think what she's going to do is make it -- learn how to make it a part of her life narrative and then want to be of service with it. Any time I've dealt with people that have lots of heavy trauma, that's usually the direction they go.

Now, some people go the other direction and turn inward and just want to sit with a therapist and be quiet. I don't think we're going to see that with her. I think we're going to see somebody speaking out a bit.

But the piece that I haven't heard her or anybody around her talk about was the role of substance in all this. Of course, that's my interest. And, you know, whenever you find unwanted outcomes in adolescent young adulthood, you find substances. And somewhere in there, that's got to be addressed, too.

COOPER: The -- her family, what's your advice for, you know, family members who have a loved one who's gotten out of prison?

PINSKY: My suspicion is that they have just been longing for their daughter to get back. They have not been able to sleep nights. They're probably going to get a good night's sleep.

COOPER: Should parents get their child to talk about it to them or just kind of wait? I remember Elizabeth Smart's dad, I talked to him. And you know, he kept saying, "We just -- we're letting Elizabeth do things on her own time."

PINSKY: It's -- it really is -- if things are going to heal and heal well, you want some professional intervention. And yes, you need -- the parents need to stand back a little bit.

But this is the tricky piece that American parents don't understand quite so well. You have to be fully present. You have to put a piece of yourself into that relationship and be present all the time.

Which, from the outside looking in, Amanda Knox's parents, these are a divorced couple that have seem to have come together on her behalf. So we're seeing that kind of, at least, evidence of presence. Whether they can actually really be emotionally attuned and connected all the time, we'll see.

But it's not so much always about the talking. It's about the availability and the continuous presence of an emotional support parent.

COOPER: Her parents' lives have forever changed. I mean, financially, this has been incredibly draining. You know, they -- their lives have been nothing but this.

PINSKY: Nothing but this. and I'm certain they wouldn't have spent a penny any other way. But Amanda is going to feel guilty about that. I don't know specifically a timeline of when the parents got divorced. But you wonder if the running away and the substances and the boys and all is part of her seeking refuge from a family that ruptured. And their parents might feel guilty about that.

COOPER: It's great that she's home.

PINSKY: Yes.

COOPER: Hopefully, she gets the time she needs.

PINSKY: Yes, it's a great story. There's fear that they're going to try to extradite her or they're going to appeal it. She ain't going nowhere.

COOPER: No. Dr. Drew, thanks. Appreciate it.

Up next, what Dr. Conrad Murray told police about the day Michael Jackson died and what medication he was taking.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SESAY: I'm Isha Sesay with a "360 News & Business Bulleting."

Jurors in the Conrad Murray manslaughter trial today heard a recording of his interview by police two days after Michael Jackson died. In the recording, Murray told police he gave Jackson a number of drugs over ten hours, including Propofol, to help him sleep.

Murray's lawyers say Jackson gave himself a dose of Propofol while Murray wasn't watching.

The Justice Department filed an emergency motion today to try to stop a new immigration law from going into effect in Alabama. The law has a wide range of provisions, including one that requires the state to check public school students' immigration status.

The Labor Department reports 103,000 new jobs in September. That's more than expected but still relatively weak, according to economists.

And "The Simpsons" will live on for at least two more seasons. "Entertainment Weekly" reports FOX has renewed the show for season 24 and 25. There was some question whether it would be canceled because of a salary dispute between the studio and the voice actors. No word yet on what kind of deal they reached -- Anderson.

COOPER: Isha, thank you. Have a good weekend.

This Sunday, don't miss our special report, "Bullying: It Stops Here." At a town hall in Rutgers University, I talked with four extraordinarily brave students who were speaking out. They say they are being relentlessly -- relentlessly bullied at their school in Minnesota. Here's one of the students.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KYLE, STUDENT: I'd hide under the seats of the bus. And I would...

COOPER: You'd hide under the seats?

KYLE: I would. And then I'd go to the nurse three times a day, at least.

COOPER: Just to get some place.

KYLE: Yes, to go home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: We're going to have more of Kyle's story ahead. And see what a school official has to say about the bullying accusations when we continue.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: And this Sunday, I hope you'll watch our special report, "Bullying: It Stops Here." It's a town hall at Rutgers University. It includes Dr. Phil McGraw, Roquelynn Wiseman (ph), Kelly Ripa, actress Jane Lynch, and also some very, very brave kids from Minnesota's largest school district. They're speaking out about alleged pervasive anti-gay harassment. That's what they say.

The school district is facing a federal investigation and a lawsuit from two advocacy groups and several students who say the district's policy of barring teachers from talking about homosexuality, what they call a neutrality policy, they say jeopardizes their safety at school.

The district declined to speak to us, citing the ongoing litigation, but back in April, the superintendent spoke to CNN and defended the policy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DENNIS CARLSON, SUPERINTENDENT: All the students come with parents in this community, and parents have a wide range of beliefs. We serve them all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: At the town hall at Rutgers, I spoke to four amazing students who are fighting back. They're part of Sunday's special. Here's a look at what they had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: How often do you get bullied, do you get pushed around?

KYLE: Almost every day.

COOPER: Almost every day?

KYLE: Yes.

COOPER: And Damian, how about you? You're straight, but your two dads are gay, and you're on a gymnastics team, which people make fun of you for. What do people say to you?

DAMIAN, STUDENT: They would call me gay, faggot, fag boy, gay ring (ph), gay boy.

COOPER: Brittany, what do people call you?

BRITTANY, STUDENT: They call me dyke. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) faggot. I've even been called words that I'm ashamed to say to this day.

COOPER: Dylan, you've recently been taken out of the school. You're now being home schooled. Did you just not feel safe in school?

DYLAN, STUDENT: Kids made me feel like I was the grossest person in the world. And they would just go against walls and say, "Here comes the he-she" or "Here come the trash." And they just made me feel gross. And I didn't feel safe at school. So I just left.

KELLY RIPA, CO-HOST, ABC'S "LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY": I'm sitting here, and I'm stewing with rage. And I just feel so angry and so upset for the four of you in your class experience.

And it seems to me that this is all backwards. Instead of taking it up with the kids that are tormenting daily and using abusive language and being abusive to their students, this young man can't even go to school anymore. He shouldn't be the one having to stay home.

I just want you to know that people do care about you. I care about you. And I really feel touched for your experience.

COOPER: Jane, you and your wife are raising a daughter. When you hear the kids, what goes through your mind?

JANE LYNCH, ACTRESS: Well, you know, these kids do need to know that they are loved. And it's really, really sad that they don't have an advocate. And I think this neutrality policy is abdicating their responsibility, the adult' responsibility of protecting these kids. And it's really very sad. It makes me very sad.

COOPER: How do you get through the day, Kyle?

KYLE: I pray every day that I don't have to go back to school. And I go...

COOPER: You pray every day that you don't have to go to school?

KYLE: Yes, I'd hide under the seats of the bus. And I would...

COOPER: You hide under the seats?

KYLE: Yes. And then I go to the nurse three times a day at least.

COOPER: Just to get some place?

KYLE: Yes, to go home.

COOPER: To go home. I understand at one point how many kids did you know who were bullying you?

KYLE: Forty.

COOPER: Forty kids?

KYLE: Yes.

COOPER: You could identify 40 kids?

KYLE: Yes.

COOPER: I want to thank you kids for your courage and your strength. I think you're just so impressive and so brave. And I think -- I think you have tremendous courage. Thank you. I appreciate it.

Yesterday, I interviewed Kyle and I talked to him and said is there anything else you'd like to do or like to say? He said, "I would like to sing a song." So he said that to me today when he came and sat down here. He said, "Can I sing?" So, Kyle is going to sing his favorite song.

KYLE (singing): So hold your head up; you'll go far. Listen to what I say how beautiful you are, because God makes no mistakes. You're on the right track, baby. I was born this way. Don't you suffer regret. Just love yourself, I have said. You're on the right track, baby. I was born this way.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: He's a brave kid. Joining us -- join us for our town hall conversation, "Bullying: It Stops Here" this Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern on CNN.

OK. That's it for 360. Thanks for watching.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.