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Larry King Live Weekend
Frederick Forsyth Brings Back the Phantom; Denise Austin Discusses Fitness; William Coplin Suggests Good Deeds; David Wise Tells Spy SecretsAired April 15, 2000 - 9:00 p.m. ET
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LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, four outstanding authors, starting with best-selling writer Frederick Forsyth, who has penned the sequel to "The Phantom of the Opera;" then fitness expert Denise Austin tells us how to lose that last 10 pounds; William Coplin let's us know how to fit good deeds into busy lives; and then David Wise gives us insight into the longest running espionage case of the Cold War.
They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening. Welcome to another edition of LARRY KING LIVE.
We begin with one of my favorite writers, Frederick Forsyth. His new book is "The Phantom of Manhattan," the continuation of the timeless classic "The Phantom of the Opera." Mr. Forsyth has written nine terrific thrillers, including arguably the best thriller ever written, "The Day of the Jackal."
What is this? "The Phantom of the Opera" continued?
FREDERICK FORSYTH, AUTHOR, "THE PHANTOM OF MANHATTAN": This is a departure.
KING: No kidding.
FORSYTH: Right. And of course it's caused a pretty sharp intake of breath, and it's a gamble. What else can I say?
KING: How did it happen?
FORSYTH: It happened because I was in the wake of the last thriller, which is, I suppose, my specialty, "Icon," which is about a coup in Russia.
KING: I read all your books.
FORSYTH: And I was between projects, and I had dinner, quite coincidentally, with Andrew Lloyd Webber, an old friend from way back -- not about this project. We just got to talking, and he said to me, you know, one thing that's always intrigued me is whatever happened -- what happened to this guy? We see him leave the stage. He's fallen in love, he's been rebuffed, he's killed a man. The police are after him. He had the opportunity to kill the girl and her lover. He let them live and walked out. What ever happened?
And I thought nothing of it right then and there, but then as the days went by, I began to think, intriguing idea, a lot of problem- solving, a lot of working out what could have happened, might have happened. But usually in espionage terms, but here was a story about love, compassion and unrequited love, and an a man desperate but talented, hair-trigger temper, could be violent, huge talent. And I thought it must have ended, something happened, the guy went somewhere, he did something -- he lived.
KING: Why Manhattan?
FORSYTH: Well, I began to work on the theory that he would have to get out of France or go to the gulliotine if they caught him for his, you know, capital offense. What would a man who wanted to lose himself do in 1895? And the answer is he'd head for the New World. It's what a million Europeans minimum were doing back then. There were Jews, Italians, Irish -- anybody who wanted a new life would led for the New World. Once you pass that lady in New York Harbor, they -- the Europeans -- couldn't get you anymore.
KING: You're free.
FORSYTH: You're free, and it's done to you. In this country, you make it...
KING: But then you had to figure out what happens to him, right? Did you bring him to the Met?
FORSYTH: First of all, I thought, where would you go? What would you do with a face like that? You can't just walk in. I mean, this man is so ugly, he hides behind a mask and went through -- and then I realized there was one place in those days you could get away with being a freak, and that was where they were all freaks -- Coney Island. So he settled in Coney Island, where he could put on the mask of a clown, be a clown in a circus or in a fun fair, and nobody would ever know.
KING: And adventures happen to him.
KING: I don't want to take away too much.
FORSYTH: Obviously, we'd want to know whether he meets Christine again.
KING: Again. And there's a spirituality to this book, right?
FORSYTH: There is, strangely enough, yes. The more I thought of this guy, the more I thought -- Andrew Lloyd Webber's great stroke in my view was he brought it from a monster story, which it was in the films, to a guy you can feel sorry for, a guy...
KING: You cared about.
FORSYTH: You cared about him. This is why -- I mean, I think some 60 million people worldwide have seen this show.
KING: And in writing it, did you care about him?
FORSYTH: I got to care about him. I got to think, you know, here's a guy who really wants one human being on this planet to love him, and he wants to be able to love. And he's rebuffed and rebuffed and rebuffed, and so he becomes bitter and angry. And then I wonder whether he can actually be relieved.
KING: What does this do to the Forsyth fan, the fan who buys you automatically because you are -- if there are some masters of the genre, you certainly are. If it's a thriller -- if you look up the word "thriller" in the dictionary, we get your picture. And as I said, I think "The Day of the Jackal" is arguably the best thriller ever written.
What do your fans think when we learn that this is a love saga, it's spiritual, it's an in-depth look inside a character?
FORSYTH: Well, I think two things are happening. One is that, undoubtedly, about I think 80 percent of my old readership was male, I think, and some undoubtedly saw the name, said oh, another spy thriller -- by chapter two, thought what is he doing?
KING: The title would fool you -- the thriller would buy "The Phantom of Manhattan."
FORSYTH: It could be. It's slim. It could be a spy thriller. But I do believe that there is another audience out there which is much more female, gentler people, and therefore probably more female, who would not be interested in fighter pilots and special force soldiers, but might be interested in this.
KING: Did you like doing it?
FORSYTH: Yes, I did, because I've long felt vain -- if you like, that I was kind of being changed to one wheel, the spy wheel. I had done mercenaries, assassins, Nazis, murders, terrorists, special forces soldiers fighter, pilots, you name it, and I got to think, could I actually write about the human heart, and I'm vain enough to think, maybe I could.
KING: Frederick Forsyth is the guest, one of my favorite people. The book is the "Phantom of Manhattan."
Some more moments for Mr. Forsyth right after this.
KING: In this departure, Frederic, to write "The Phantom of Manhattan," what, for you, as a thriller expert, was the most difficult part?
FORSYTH: I think trying to deal with what happens inside a man's heart.
KING: Because you're plot driven, right?
FORSYTH: Yes, yes.
KING: You're books are plot driven.
FORSYTH: They're plot driven. There's a plot here, all the same, and I do research into the Manhattan island of 1895 through 1906 with the same ferocity that I always try...
KING: So we know the building that were there...
FORSYTH: If I say that cafe was there, it was there.
KING: Coney Island had freak shows.
FORSYTH: Coney Island had -- and the boxers, and...
KING: You researched this?
FORSYTH: The New World heavyweight championship took place in Coney Island. Bob Fitzsimmons -- they fought there. It was the way I describe it. So those two parts of it -- the idea that there's an intricate plot and a twist in the tale and that the research is accurate -- those are still old me.
What was the challenge was trying to describe what people feel when they're rebuffed, what it must be like to long to be loved and never ever to find it, or to presume you'll never find it, and the bitterness and the rejection, and then to find it, and be -- in back of this, there are the forces of good and of evil fighting for his soul.
KING: The actor tries to find it through emotions. The writer does what? Puts words into feelings? What's the thing to do?
KING: Lonely people?
FORSYTH: The only thing, the only profession you actually carry out in total isolation. Everybody else has partners, you know, fellow cast, airliners have crew.
KING: So all your own creation?
FORSYTH: Yes. A writer just sits there with a typewriter or whatever, a machine, thousands of sheets of white paper, and he's on his own. He really is on his hand. Sheet of white paper and 8:00 in the morning is one of the loneliest places in the world.
KING: Put it in and bleed. FORSYTH: Yes. So how do you -- you imagine, you try and imagine what it must be like to be this man with this face that nobody wants to look at without screaming in horror, embittered by what he's been through, hugely talented, but unable to be loved and seeking one single person on the planet who might maybe love him.
KING: Is the secret of any good book the story? Must I be interested in what happens?
FORSYTH: I think that the ones down the ages, like "Gone with the Wind," like "High Noon"...
KING: "Crime and Punishment."
FORSYTH: ... like "Crime and Punishment," they've actually all got a hell of a story. And...
KING: Shakespeare wasn't bad with...
FORSYTH: Right, Shakespeare, great stories, even if you told them in prose. And I mean, when you go back even further, the bible has some pretty good stories in it.
KING: So I want to know what's going to happen when I turn the page?
FORSYTH: What's going to happen, I hope, is that you will read the first chapter and think, I want to find out what happens to this man, I am concerned about this man.
KING: Were the critics surprised that you went this route?
FORSYTH: Very, very.
KING: Yes. You knew you would face that.
FORSYTH: I knew I'd face that. I know I would face some disillusion from some of my readers, and I knew I would probably not immediately get many women, who don't know me, like what I normally write, to turn the pages, because they'd see my name.
KING: So this is a slow, ongoing sell, word of mouth.
FORSYTH: This is slow going, slow going. Yes, word of mouth.
KING: You think it's going to be a movie?
FORSYTH: I doubt it.
KING: Why? Seems like a natural.
FORSYTH: Well, I mean, I think if it were to be one, then it is made to be another musical. Having said that, I'd be careful, because Andrew has told me bluntly, I have not made my mind up, and I'm not making my mind up, I'm not being pressured into it. I said, fine, Andrew. The book has its own legs, and can stand on them if it has to. But I think the extraordinary thing about the work Andrew did, it has run for 14 and a half years in up to 100 theaters, permanently, worldwide, not the same theaters, but permanently...
KING: It's always playing.
FORSYTH: Been seen by, we believe, some 60 million people, of whom about half that figure in the states alone.
KING: So the mercenary aspect of our world would say, Andrew, do another one.
FORSYTH: Yes, but Andrew may not like that. Andrew wants to do what Andrew wants to do, the way I want to do what I want to do.
KING: And what does Mr. Forsyth want to do next?
FORSYTH: I've taking a gamble with this book, and clearly, my agents, my publishers, would like me to go back to what they regard as money in the bank.
KING: Because you are a money-in-the-bank author.
FORSYTH: They like to think so.
KING: What Stephen King is to the mystery and horror, you are to thrillers.
FORSYTH: Yes, but, Stephen, you see, actually has versatility. He has done some very emotional stuff -- "Green Mile" "Shawshank Redemption."
KING: But the others do better. They were good movies, but "Shawshank Redemption" didn't go through the roof.
FORSYTH: No, but he brings himself, always permitted, to do other kinds of work.
KING: And you want to do other kinds of work.
FORSYTH: I would like to think I'm a little more versatile than another book secret writing, pulling out fingernails, blowing people's brains out.
KING: Did you now "Jackal" would be the hit it was?
KING: No idea? Well, you never know that.
FORSYTH: Nobody did.
KING: But once...
FORSYTH: I was a first-time author. KING: Nobody knew you.
FORSYTH: The was the day of the what by Fred who?
KING: But it turns out we know, the name well, and it was a great title, you agree?
FORSYTH: It was a strange one. Actually., I put the word "the jackal" on the top, and I stared it for half a day, and than I ran up the page, and I put "the day of" in front, and left it.
KING: The idea to kill a real, live person who existed, DeGaulle, interesting thought, to...
FORSYTH: Well, I mean, it was based on reality. The OAS did exist, and they did make six attempts on his life. I mean, this was a genuine organization of terrorists, in those days, 1962 '3, '4, in Paris. They tried six times to kill the president of France. So all I did was create a seventh.
KING: "The Phantom of Manhattan." Thank you so much. Always great seeing you.
One of my favorite people, one of the great writers. The new one, "The Phantom of Manhattan," the continuation of the timeless classic from St. Martin's Press -- Frederick Forsythe.
Next is Denise Austin.
Don't go away.
KING: Promised you four authors tonight. Number two is one of my old favorites --- Denise Austin. Denise's new book is "Lose That Last 10 Pounds: The 28 Day Foolproof Plan to a Healthy Body," released from Broadway Books April 11.
Are you still exercising on airplanes, running down aisles??
DENISE AUSTIN, AUTHOR, "LOSE THAT LAST 10 POUNDS": You bet.
KING: You're crazy.
AUSTIN: You were on the airplane with me.
KING: I know I was sitting there...
AUSTIN: Tighten up our tummies.
KING: You're certifiable. Forgive me. You got me...
AUSTIN: You look excellent. I'm proud of you.
KING: OK, you host two daily programs on Lifetime television, "Fit and Light" and "Daily Workout." You do everything -- you write books, you're everywhere. What do we mean by "The Last 10 Pounds?
AUSTIN: Well, most likely, that's the hardest part to lose, those last 10 pounds.
KING: More than the first?
AUSTIN: Yes, because what happens is you get to a plateau. A lot of women who've had babies have about 10 pounds left that they want to lose, and it takes them up to five years to even lose it, so I'm here to tell everyone you can lose 10 pounds in one month if you follow the plan: And it's exercise and eating -- those are two ways to boost that metabolism.
KING: If someone had to lose 20 and they lose 10, why is the second 10 harder than the first 10?
AUSTIN: Well, the goal is to -- every month you can lose 10 pound on this plan, so if you need to lose 30 pounds and you want to stay on it for three months so can you lose the 30 pounds, but the perfect thing about getting those last 10 pounds off, you have to change the metabolism, you have to do a little something different, because your body stays at a certain plateau, a standstill, so you need to change through your exercise, through the eating, and one of the best things to do is don't stare yourself; don't at all skip a meal, because that the slows the metabolism.
Did you know eating speeds up the metabolism, and so does exercise? So if you eat breakfast like a king -- Larry King -- lunch like a queen and dinner like a pauper, you will at a great position; you'll lose that weight naturally.
KING: This book takes you also through a day in your life, right?
AUSTIN: Yes, it does.
KING: It takes us though what you do in the morning through what you do at night.
KING: Have you always been good ad maintaining weight?
AUSTIN: Well, you I've had two babies, and I've gained 35 pounds with each baby, so after the baby...
KING: Really? I can't picture you.
AUSTIN: Yes, I had a 44-inch waistline, honey -- woo! But you can lose it, but you have to do it smartly, and one of the best things that I found through research is fidget. Fidget burns -- just by fidgeting -- in the course of a day, we're awake about 16 hours...
KING: You burn calories.
AUSTIN: You burn 500 calories in a day, so that's the answer in my book. One of the little secrets, you have to exercise regularly, but you have to add these little tips.
KING: So nervous Nellies do well?
KING: A little nervousness is a good idea.
AUSTIN: Yes, just to get up and move the muscles, that helps circulation, helps the oxygen, and you feel better. Like for instance, you could sit right now, pull in your tummy, tense and tighten up the tummy muscles for 10 seconds, and that's equal to one sit up. So you could do isometric exercises watching us right on TV, you could do them in the car, anytime, anywhere.
KING: You know what I did today? I walked 30 blocks today, just because I felt like walking.
AUSTIN: Excellent, good for you.
KING: OK, but what do you make of every book that comes out -- lose 10 pounds, lose 20 pounds, lose 30 pounds; eat steak, don't eat steak, eat bacon, don't eat bacon, exercise, you don't have to exercise, calories don't count, calories do count, carbohydrates -- how does the layman know what to do?
AUSTIN: Balance. Balance is important, and moderation is important. You don't want to go on a diet to go off of it. This is not a diet. My plan is to teach you how to lose the first 10 pounds, the second 10 pounds or the third 10 pounds, the last 10 pounds, but it teaches you how to eat right. And I believe in -- all those diets were good -- the high proteins -- only for one reason: They taught everyone that they are eating too many carbohydrates and what carbohydrates are, because you don't want to eat the bad carbohydrates. In my book, I explain that you do want carbs. They you energy. I eat carbohydrates, because -- but I eat the good ones, the fruit and veggies. To have a diet that does not eat fruits and veggies is not correct. Balance is important. So I have a really good breakfast, a good lunch and a good dinner, and I even let them have two snacks.
But it's what you choose to eat, like yogurt is important. Good eating habits is very important.
KING: Even now they say that once a week, you can have some chocolate.
AUSTIN: You bet, I do, everything in moderation.
KING: If you want to eat cake, you can do it, right?
AUSTIN: I eat well 80 percent of the time and have complete junk 20 percent of the time. That way I never feel...
KING: You eat junk?
AUSTIN: You bet, honey. I love it. KING: You do.
AUSTIN: As long as I'm exercising. I work out 30 minutes most days of the week, five days I get...
KING: Every day, I do seven.
KING: Do you feel guilty when you eat cheeseburger, though?
AUSTIN: No, I enjoy it, and I have the French fries, and I eat that malt, chocolate malt even. But you know what, I'll wake up the next morning and I'll get out my exerciser and I'll work out. The best thing to do is to psych yourself up. Get those shoes on in the morning. Exercises really helps speed up your metabolism.
KING: First thing you do, right?
AUSTIN: Physiologically, there's no reason to it the first thing.
KING: You can do it the last thing.
AUSTIN: It just fits into your schedule. It's convenient. That way, every hour of the day that passes that you didn't exercise, chance are you won't, so that's why squeeze in.
KING: But Bob Dole does it before he goes sleep.
KING: He's got that regiment.
AUSTIN: Whatever it is, you've got to stick with it, because this is your body. God gave us one body. We have to take good care of it. This is for health. This is to feel...
KING: How did you get into all this?
AUSTIN: Well, I was a gymnast a child, and then I got a full athletic scholarship to college, and then I received my degree, and I specialized in physiology. So I'm talking 20 years ago, honey.
KING: Did you ever -- how old are you?
AUSTIN: I'm 43.
KING: Did you ever have a problem, other than pregnancy?
AUSTIN: No, but I like my foods. I have to -- I love to eat.
KING: There's a fat person in there.
AUSTIN: Yes. I'm a good eater.
KING: We'll be right back with Denise Austin. The book is "Lose That Last 10 Pounds." The publisher is Broadway Books.
I'm Larry King. Don't go away.
KING: Denise Austin is with us. Still to come, Dr. William Coplin. And we'll talk to my old friend David Wise about CIA things.
What do we mean by your own "Denisiology?"
AUSTIN: "Denisiology" is more positive affirmations, ways to make yourself feel better about yourself, like you can do it, you deserve to look and feel your best. Everybody needs a positive attitude. So why, you know, walk in the room with a grumpy face? Why not walk in the room with a smile on your face? And you can make sure you change the smile on the faces on everybody else.
KING: You affect the room, right?
AUSTIN: I try to, honey.
KING: No, but the room doesn't affect you; you...
AUSTIN: You do it, yes. Yes, you walk in and remember that you control your own attitude. There's three things you can control: your attitude; you can either -- you know, why be a grouch? You have a choice in life. Why not live life to the fullest and put a smile on your face; eating what you're eating -- what you're putting in your face -- and exercising, how you're moving through the day. All three are controlled by you. So that's why these are the three best things to do on a regular basis, because you can't control the weather, you can't control your husband or whatever, but you can control your attitude.
KING: Do you list raise your children that way, too?
AUSTIN: I try to. I have two little girls.
KING: How do you how do you know the right exercise?
AUSTIN: Well, the right exercise is one that doesn't hurt so much and one...
KING: It shouldn't be painful.
AUSTIN: Right, not painful, but you do want to take yourself to a point where you feel something.
KING: A little sweat.
AUSTIN: Yes, a little sweat. I believe in three well-balanced workouts, flexibility, keep your body nice and flexible, so when you reach for something, you don't pull out your back. So keep the stretching. That's a portion of the book. Then another portion is strength training, how to tone the certain muscles of the body -- tighten up the tummy. Squeeze the your buttocks right now, come on, Larry? Squeeze that rear end. If you don't squeeze it, no one else will.
KING: I'm doing it.
AUSTIN: And then aerobic training at least three days a week, 20 minutes, you know, out there to fight heart disease, to work on the heart. The heart is a muscle just like your biceps, so you've got to be on there to do it three days a week if you can, if not more.
KING: Are there any foods out?
KING: Nothing where you say...
AUSTIN: I believe in Moderation. If you live it...
KING: So you can have that steak once in while?
AUSTIN: Yes, oh, you bet, once a week.
On my -- in the book, I have an eating plan. Every day, for 28 days, I tell you what to eat, and then you have to mix and match if you don't like, you know, certain fish or whatever.
KING: What do you make of you walk into a health food store and you see these fat burners -- take this powder. Take a pill before you go to bed, you'll lose weight while you sleep. Is this all a...
AUSTIN: Well, you still have to exercise and you still have to eat right. You need the vitamins...
KING: There are charlatans in this industry, aren't they? There are people taking of people?
AUSTIN: Oh yes, but I take vitamins. I believe in vitamins.
KING: No, but I mean, there are a lot of things you -- there's no magic.
AUSTIN: There's no magic.
KING: There's no pill to make you lose weight.
AUSTIN: That's right. You know, what it is, it's how many calories you're eating and how many calories you're burning off, so that's why this "fidgetcising" is really important, because you could burn calories. Your muscles don't know if you're in the kitchen doing this arm exercise, talking on the telephone, or if you're, you know, in a fancy gym.
KING: You give exercises like...
AUSTIN: I give 20 different "fidgetcises," things you can do while you're doing other things. Turn idle time into exercise time, and it really works, works the weight off.
KING: So can you exercise sitting down?
AUSTIN: Yes, yes, these are all easy.
KING: Passenger in a car.
AUSTIN: Yes, it's great for the spine. If you're ever feeling tight in the lower back. This is good for circulation. It helps with everything. You can do arm exercises, waistline. Your back needs to move or it gets stiff. Your back needs to do a stretch to the side. It needs to switch forward every day. It needs to torque a little to the side. You need to move it. An so the best time is while you're sitting, while you're at work.
KING: Fruits and vegetables are good snacks, but there are some that are better than others.
AUSTIN: Yes, less sugar than others.
KING: Dr. Weil told us that blueberries are better than bananas.
AUSTIN: Yes, and red raspberries are good and Florida grapefruit is good.
KING: Berries are good, right?
AUSTIN: Berries are great. They have great vitamins and nutrients.
KING: Some nuts are good. Walnuts are good.
AUSTIN: Yes, almonds. Yes. All these foods are great for you. They're natural, see they're things that are out on the ground, so it's very important to realize, we need to eat more nutrient-dense foods, not these things that are so prepackaged foods that are not as healthy for you, if you think of that. But there are nights you've got to go out and have your pizza, too. So moderation.
KING: How do you keep your energy up? Do you ever have a down day?
AUSTIN: Not too often, Larry.
KING: Do you have a day when you say...
AUSTIN: No, my husband can't believe it. I've been married 16 years, and...
KING: Have you been hyper all your life? You're hyper, come on.
AUSTIN: Hyper? Yes. A big family, we're all like this.
KING: You're husband is, too.
AUSTIN: No, just a little low key.
KING: How about the kids? AUSTIN: Our kids? One that's kind of like me and one that's studious like my husband.
KING: And you've always been this kind of up person?
AUSTIN: Yes. Yes. I honestly believe it's kept me feeling young. I feel I'm 28 and I'm 43.
KING: Did your parents take you into gymnastics, or you had a natural...
AUSTIN: You know what, I chose it myself. I mean, my mom and dad loved me being in it, but they never pushed me. They had five kids, and so they didn't ever say you had to. I just found it while I on a swim team and saw people doing gymnastics, and I loved...
KING: It's a terrific skill, isn't it?
AUSTIN: It's great. It's give you balance. It gives me my tummy that I have that started years ago, honey. Come on, feel it again.
KING: It's always good to calm her down, always good to have Denise with us.
AUSTIN: Thank you, Larry.
KING: Thank you, Denise.
AUSTIN: You're great.
KING: Denise Austin -- the book, "Lose That Last 10 Pounds: The 28 Day Foolproof Plan to a Healthy Body."
Next Dr. William Coplin, author of "How You Can Help: An Easy Guide to Doing Good Deeds," not a bad idea. He's next.
Don't go away.
KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE William Coplin, Ph.D. Mr. Coplin's the author of "How You Can Help: An Easy Guide to Doing Good Deeds in Your Everyday Life," published by Rutledge.
Some people take doing good deeds to do-gooder.
WILLIAM D. COPLIN, AUTHOR, "HOW YOU CAN HELP": Right.
KING: Is that what we're talking about here, be a do-gooder? Or is that a bad word.
COPLIN: Be a genuine do-gooder, but one of the problem is do- gooders have a bad reputation. In fact, the dictionary...
KING: Bleeding hearts. COPLIN: Bleeding hearts. The dictionary says an earnest but ineffective reformer -- actually in the dictionary.
KING: What's the joy of doing good?
COPLIN: Oh, it's great because...
KING: You get the benefit, right? When you do good?
COPLIN: Right. If you think about your life, you work, you play, and you do good. The people who are happiest are those who do all three -- like your job. You're doing good.
KING: Well, I like -- I like giving something to somebody.
KING: It makes you feel good. It's ego part maybe.
COPLIN: Right, and my first chapter, I say you're motives don't have to be pure. You can enjoy it. You don't have to be Mother Teresa. And just -- it's fun. And the book's about the fun of it, how to fit it in your life. And it's to encourage people.
KING: I had someone tell me today, I feel good every time I write a check to help a cause.
KING: Now it may be for your own. So what, you're helping the cause, right?
COPLIN: Right, just do it.
KING: Are you trying to help people how to do it or get them to do it?
COPLIN: Both, but mainly to show them how they can to it and not take over their life. They do not have to be Mother Teresa. They can fit it into their everyday activities. If they want to stay home, they can do volunteering over the Internet. They can do it through their families by participating in the Parent-Teacher Associations.
KING: Big word a couple years ago with the general and the volunteer program, Colin Powell, right?
COPLIN: Right, right.
KING: How did you get onto this theme? Why a book?
COPLIN: OK, well I'm a professor at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, and it's the Maxwell School of Citizenship. And I've been teaching freshmen both skills of citizenship as well as to be a citizen. And I said to myself, you know, I've got to take this message to the country. And that's why I wrote the book.
KING: Skills of citizenship?
COPLIN: Citizens -- well, a citizen should be a problem-solver. How can I make society better? How can I make my little neighborhood better? And that's a skill, because you have to observe things, collect information, think of strategies, evaluation things. That's a skill. But you also have to want to do it. So it's both a heart and a mind.
KING: And this is National Volunteer Week.
KING: Is this something natural? Do most people, given their wont, like this?
COPLIN: I think most people want to do good, but a lot don't and feel guilty about it and then get hostile about it. So they say do- gooder and bleeding heart. They really feel guilty about it.
KING: Now here are things you recommend: Take a do-good vacation.
COPLIN: Well, you can go and work in a depressed area and tutor kids or clean up an area or be a doctor in an area that you might not other be. But they are actually booked called volunteer vacations.
KING: Give money to the elementary school you went to.
COPLIN: Yes, this is a big thing I have.
KING: Great idea.
COPLIN: I think there's -- people need to give to where the schools that made the most impact on them. And the colleges have their hand in everybody's pocket -- and I'm at a college. I'll probably get in trouble for saying -- but let's give back to the elementary school. And in many cases, that school is now in a very poor area. And so if you do that, you can make an impact.
KING: And it was probably the most important school in your life.
KING: In fact, you could make a case the first-grade teacher may have been the most important teacher in your life.
COPLIN: Correct. KING: You also say go to a city council meeting or a town meeting.
COPLIN: Right, very important. Just being there scares the politicians and makes them be behave better. And then to...
KING: I love all this.
COPLIN: ... ask a question really works.
KING: Help your child's teams.
KING: In other words, you got a little money, donate a uniform.
COPLIN: Right, donate or be an assistant coach. And then you have sort of a triple effect that way. You're helping your kid, you're helping build the team, and you're setting a role model. And that's sort of leveraged do-gooding, so you get a multiple benefit.
KING: Not to toot out own horn, but one of the themes of Time Warner, which owns this network, is to be involved in the community, to get involved, that it owes that. And you say help your company do it.
COPLIN: Very important.
KING: Is that hard to do since the image of the corporation is, hey, we're here to make money.
COPLIN: Right, no -- I mean, there may be some corporations, but I think you can really get ahead by being a good citizen in your company. Many personnel directors have told me they look at the community service when they hire, and also it figures into promotions. Some organizations actually reward it. But in addition, it's something you can do quicker because you're already there. And so I recommend it strongly.
KING: Great. Invest in socially responsible mutual funds.
KING: You don't have to put the money in tobacco companies.
COPLIN: Correct. And about 10 percent of all mutual fund investment in this country is in socially responsible funds. So it's a huge amount of money and it's growing.
KING: And you can know what they are? It's easy to do?
COPLIN: Oh, yes. They tell you what they are, and they actually outperform other mutual funds.
KING: Our guest is William Coplin. The book is "How You Can Help: An Easy Guide to Doing Good Deeds in Your Everyday Life." More after this.
KING: We're back with William Coplin. His book, "How You Can Help: An Easy Guide to Doing Good Deeds in Your Everyday Life."
Some other things you suggest, exchange favors with your neighbors.
KING: I'll mow your lawn, you do this.
COPLIN: Right, right.
COPLIN: Actually, I'd say ask your neighbor for a favor first. See, because that's...
KING: Ask him to do you a favor?
COPLIN: First, because that shows a lot of trust. Most people would want to do something first because they want to be in control. But, no, ask them first. And then that builds a trust relationship. And I recommend it.
KING: Any things not to do?
COPLIN: Not to do? I would say one of the biggest problems is volunteers get abused in many organizations. The organizations are under staffed, so you go and you show up at 3:00, and the volunteer coordinator doesn't show up until 4:00 and you put up with it. And my recommendation is quit. Say, I'm not coming back because you guys aren't organized.
KING: I know in show business, sometimes when I emcee, if you do a charity they work you harder...
KING: ... than if they're paying you a lot of money.
COPLIN: Right, right.
KING: Offer professional services to a local non-profit organization.
COPLIN: Right. If you're an accountant...
KING: Go down to the heart association.
COPLIN: Right, if you're an account or, you know, a lawyer, you know, you're them given huge leveraged performance that way by doing what you're good at.
KING: Don't over-commit, you say, though. COPLIN: Very important. We have too many people on too many boards who don't pay any attention. And boards are extremely important. They have -- they must govern those organizations. And if you're just running around not knowing what's going on, you're actually doing a disservice.
KING: Is volunteer a good word, do you think? It's an interesting word.
COPLIN: Yes, it is. Well, in the...
KING: The army was a bad word.
COPLIN: Right, right. I say, when you're volunteering, treat it like a job. Investigate it, take a volunteer position that fits your interest, may even enhance your career goals. Don't let it be a negative. Make it a positive.
KING: You donate all the profits from this book?
COPLIN: Everything in the book goes to programs right around the university and the housing authority to youth.
KING: At Syracuse?
COPLIN: At Syracuse in Syracuse.
KING: And you have a Web site, www.genuinedogooder.com.
KING: With personalized license plates, too?
COPLIN: Yes, I'm trying a national license campaign, where you...
COPLIN: You put -- I have "do good" on my license, and the next person will be "do good 1," "do good 2." If you put the "do good" on your license, think about it. You're advertising doing good. You also have to behave. I don't slide through stop signs when I have my license on...
KING: You better not.
COPLIN: ... I've got to be nice. And you're building up sort of a recognition of doing good. And just to get that word out there I think is very important in our culture because it counters some of the competitiveness.
KING: And you have to avoid the connotation of wimp, right?
COPLIN: Oh, right.
KING: Oh, here he comes. He'll do anything. You don't want to do anything, right?
COPLIN: Right, right. No, you want to be selective. You want to treat it like it's a job. I mean, your time is more valuable than anything, so you have to treat it that way.
KING: Is your Ph.D. in psychology?
KING: In what?
COPLIN: International relations.
KING: So what are you doing with teaching citizenship and writing books about doing good?
COPLIN: Because I figured international relation's major is too abstract. I want my kids to get grassroots. So I took over the public affairs program, which is an undergraduate program in the college of arts and science. And I....
KING: By the way, even in diplomacy, wasn't the Peace Corps a classic example of do good on a major basis?
COPLIN: Right, right. Oh, you can do good all over the world, although I advocate working nearby initially because it's better to work...
KING: But countries can do good.
COPLIN: Oh -- and bad.
KING: Thanks, Bill.
COPLIN: Thank you.
KING: What a great idea. William Coplin, the book is "How You Can Help: An Easy Guide to Doing Good Deeds in Your Everyday Life."
An old friend is next, David Wise. He knows his way around the CIA. His new book: "Cassidy's Run."
Don't go away.
KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE an old friend, a terrific writer, a terrific research and a heck of a reporter, David Wise. His new book, "Cassidy's Run: The Secret Spy War Over Nerve Gas," published by Random House.
This story -- David's always on top of things -- this goes back 40 years?
DAVID WISE, AUTHOR, "CASSIDY'S RUN": Well, it started in 1959, but it ran up into the 1980s. It was the longest running espionage case during the Cold War, and nobody knew a word about it until the book was published.
KING: How did you hook into it? I know you're always finding your way around things. How did you get into this story?
WISE: Well, somebody in the intelligence community who knew pieces of this story told me about it about nine years ago and knew some fragments of it, and told me just enough that I wanted to know more.
KING: And who was -- is Sergeant Cassidy still alive?
WISE: Yes he is, and he was a very ordinary American from a blue-collar background in Erie, Pennsylvania, dropped out of high school, worked in the steel mills, went into the Army during World War II, stayed in the Army as a career. And then the FBI recruited him as a double agent and hung him on the Russians.
KING: Why him?
WISE: Well, they wanted somebody who would be plausible. He was in the military. He was a terrific actor. I think that was what carried him through. For 21 years, he pretended to be a traitor.
KING: And his role was to do what? He had to convince the Russians that he was a traitor to his country?
WISE: That's right. And he passed the Russians 4,500 pages of secret documents, the most interesting one of which was a secret formula for a deadly nerve gas but a formula that really didn't work very well which American scientists had never been able to put into a weapon. The idea was to mislead the Russians into spending a lot of time and money and resources to try to replicate a nerve gas that really wouldn't work.
KING: And they bought it?
WISE: They bought it, absolutely.
KING: Did he ever have dangerous times?
WISE: Well, yes, I think at any point during the 21 years, had they discovered that he was in fact not working for the Russians, there could have been a risk, a risk to his life. At one point, they sent him down to Mexico where he worried that he would be put on a plane, maybe they'd caught onto him, take him to Moscow, give him truth serum and kill him.
KING: What was his job while he was sending this false stuff to the Soviets?
WISE: What was his job?
WISE: well, he...
KING: What information was he...
WISE: The most important thing -- the most important job he had was that he was sent up to Edgewood arsenal, which is near Baltimore, and it's the -- was the nerve gas laboratory for the United States. This is where the nerve gases were developed such as GB, which was used in the Tokyo subways five years ago, as you may recall, and killed 12 people. And, of course, with access to those chemical formulas, the Russians were very interested in getting that material from him.
KING: And the FBI and the Army intelligence were working together on this? Army intelligence knew what he was doing?
WISE: Yes, but it was largely an FBI operation. The Army's role was to provide the feed, the documents he would pass. And these were approved at the highest level of the military by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Two FBI agents were killed in the course of this operation when their plane, which had one of the Russian spies under surveillance, answer crashed in northern Minnesota.
KING: And what is Joseph Cassidy doing now?
WISE: Well, right now I think he's very pleased to have his story finally told. You know, I worked for eight years on this book, and it took my five years just to find out the name of Joe Cassidy because nobody would tell me. The story is still locked up in the government's file. It's all classified. But finally I did find out his name and I found out where he lived and I went to see him, and to my delight and surprise he was willing to talk to me.
KING: What's he doing?
WISE: He's retired. He's, of course, very interested in the progress of the book. And he's living the good life in the sun.
KING: Sounds like a hell of a movie.
WISE: That's what "Publisher's Weekly" said, and I won't argue with that.
KING: All right, what was the toughest part, when you get a story that goes back so far, for you the writer?
WISE: Well the toughest part was how do you go about a story where nobody is willing to give you the documents -- I did get some documents finally -- and where it's all secret. So of course I had to rely a lot on people who had retired from the FBI or from the intelligence business. But in addition, I went over to Moscow at one point to try to find some of the Russian handlers. And of course in Moscow the problem was there were no telephone books.
I was looking for a main named Mikhail Danilien (ph), who was the main handler, the main Russian spy sent to handle Joe Cassidy for the Russians. And there are no phone books. So how do you find him? Well, finally I was able to locate someone who knew Danilien, was able to contact him for me. But he refused to see me, said he was still working for the government. So that was a dead end.
KING: This kind of sting operation, do you gather they did it, too?
WISE: Oh, I'm sure they do it, but this was done very cleverly because Cassidy was sent to play volleyball at the Y, which was then about a block from the White House. And one of the Russian intelligence officers work out and played volleyball at the Y. And they knew that sooner or later he would notice Cassidy, because Cassidy was in uniform after he finished his workout. And sure enough, after about six months, Cassidy was approached. So the Russians thought that they had discovered Cassidy. It never occurred to him -- to them that he had been dangled on them.
KING: Perfect sting. Did they pay him?
WISE: They paid him about $10,000 every time he put some of these microfilms of top secret documents inside a hollow rock, which is how they passed information back and forth. And the money, of course, immediately went to the FBI. Cassidy never saw that money -- never even opened the rock -- but it was about $10,000 each time.
The FBI then used the money to continue financing the operation. So the result was the Russians were paying for their own deception.
KING: David, you've written so many terrific things about the CIA and about spying and the like. What is your fascination with this?
WISE: Well, you know, I'm an old police reporter, Larry, from New York City. And if a story is challenging, I like to go after it. And the more difficult it is, the more the challenge. So that was the story of "Cassidy's Run."
KING: In our remaining moments, when we come back, we're going to ask David about secrets and why things are kept secret, why this story wasn't revealed once the Soviet Union became Russia.
David Wise, the book, "Cassidy's Run: The Secret Spy War Over Nerve Gas."
Don't go away.
KING: David Wise's book is "Cassidy's Run." Why, David, do things stay secret seemingly forever?
WISE: Well, people in the counterintelligence business are notoriously secretive. They don't like to talk at all about this type of operation. Partly because they feel they might want to do something like that again, but that's a little silly because everyone who's ever seen a spy movie knows that double agents are involved, people pretending to work for one intelligence agency while in fact they're working for another one. Information is power, and those who control the information don't like to release it because then they may feel they lose a little bit of that power.
KING: Joseph Cassidy, the obvious hero of your book, got the medal for distinguished service and got that in secret.
WISE: Yes. In 1974, the Army chief of staff, Creighton Abrams, gave the Distinguished Service Medal to Joseph Cassidy. Now it was supposed to be given by Richard Nixon, but you may recall, Larry, in 1974 Nixon was slightly involved in something called Watergate. So instead, they had the Army chief of staff call in Joe Cassidy and give him the medal.
And it was a proud moment for Cassidy and his wife, Marie, who helped him in his activities, and for the FBI agents who had handled the case. But at the end of the ceremony, General Abrams took back the medal. The reason was they didn't want Joe Cassidy to wear it, because if he'd had a medal on his chest, people would say, well, Joe, where did you get that? You're just an Army sergeant. What are you doing with the DSM? So they took it back.
KING: Ten Soviet spies were identified because of this operation?
WISE: well, that's right. And three of them were illegals. Illegals are spies who operate not under the cover of the Soviet embassy or the U.N. mission but who could be anyone. They could be the neighbor next door to you. They don't have any diplomatic protection. And this operation flushed three illegals, including a University of Minnesota professor, Gilberto Lopez, who was confronted by the FBI in 1978 and then fled the country. He wasn't arrested, and he's now a member of Congress in Mexico.
KING: Who were the Palmettos?
WISE: The Palmettos were Gilberto Lopez and his wife, Alicia, who were the spies that were uncovered by this.
You see, the Russian diplomats in Washington couldn't go more than 25 miles. There was a 25-mile radius and they weren't allowed to go beyond that. So when Cassidy was transferred from Edgewood down to Tampa in 1969, the FBI knew that the Russians, to continue this game, would have to surface an illegal, somebody who wasn't connected with the embassy. And sure enough, they were watching one night, the FBI was watching a palm tree where Cassidy had dropped some documents in a hollow rock, and about 9:30 at night, one of the FBI agents looking through a night scope said, I see a hand. And sure enough, there was a hand groping through the bushes. And he couldn't quite reach the rock, so the man had to come out and show himself. And that turned out to be Gilberto Lopez. And I have pictures of this in the book, of him actually in the act of spying.
KING: Was anyone extradited because of this, convicted? Anything regarding imprisonment out of all of this? WISE: No, the two Mexicans, as I say, were interviewed by the FBI, and Lopez confessed that he was working for the Russians. But because of a bureaucratic snarl between the Justice Department and the FBI, Justice Department refused to allow an arrest despite the confession, and the Lopezes were free to get on a plane, which they did. He was teaching at the University of Minnesota at the time, and he abandoned his classes and the professor disappeared -- for good reason, as it turned out.
KING: Did Mrs. Cassidy know what Joe was doing?
WISE: She did, but that's kind of interesting, too. Marie Cassidy was a nun. And when she first started -- she had been a nun. And when she left the order and when she first starting dating Joe Cassidy, the FBI wanted to check her out, because after all it could be that the Russians had sent her, had somehow found out about Cassidy and sent her to check up on Joe Cassidy. So they tried to check her out and couldn't find any trace of her. Well, of course, the reason was that she was a nun, had been living in a convent, had a different name, Sister Miriam Joseph. And they were baffled until finally she explained that.
And then after they were married, she of course knew nothing about his double life and his career as a spy. She thought he she was marrying an Army sergeant. And then shortly after their marriage, Jimmy Morrissey (ph), a special agent in the FBI rang the doorbell and said to Mrs. Cassidy, there's something I have to tell you about your husband. And that's the first she knew.
KING: This is sort of like -- what Donnie Brasco did with the Mafia...
WISE: Very similar.
KING: Joe Cassidy did with the Soviets. Why did he do it?
WISE: Well, you know, I've been trying to figure that out. I think the first reason he did it was because he was in the Army and he was asked to do it, and he did it, you know? But I think as the thing developed, he began to realize he was very good at it. He would complain to the Russians, you're not giving me enough money. You know, I have a mortgage to pay, I need a new car. And he was very convincing. And of course he never saw any of that money.
But I think ultimately it was the excitement and living on the edge. I think he really -- when it was finally over, he -- I think he missed it. He didn't want it to end, and I think ultimately that's why he kept it going.
KING: It's a great story, great book. It will be a hell of a movie.
WISE: Thank you, Larry.
KING: David Wise, the book is "Cassidy's Run: The Secret Spy War Over Nerve Gas."
Thanks for joining us. Have a great weekend. This is Larry King from New York.
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