The Web      Powered by
powered by Yahoo!


Return to Transcripts main page


Interview with Robert Schuller, Linda Carl, Sara Adamsson

Aired January 26, 2005 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight exclusive. Reverend Robert Schuller's first interview since the shocking Christmas time suicide inside his Crystal Cathedral in southern California and Linda Carl, widow of the man who took his life there. The Crystal Cathedral's musical director Johnny Carl.

And then, she went to Thailand to get married last month. The day after the wedding, the tsunami swept away her husband, her 2-year- old son and her mother. Now a month later, Sara Adamsson tells us how she clings to hope and keeps searching after such a devastating loss. It's all exclusive and it's all next here on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: Reverend Robert Schuller, his newest book by the way, "Don't Throw Away Tomorrow, Living God's Dream for Your Live" published by Harper of San Francisco. Little ominous, ironic in a sense that Reverend Schuller is with us tonight. There's the cover of the book and, today, the designer of the famed cathedral, Philip Johnson (ph) passed away at age 98. When did he design that?

REV. ROBERT H. SCHULLER: Between 1970 and 1979.

KING: Did you commission him?

SCHULLER: Oh, yes.

KING: Pretty good job.

SCHULLER: Terrific job.

KING: It's an amazing place. The story. On Thursday, December 16, just hours before the "Glory of Christmas" pageant was scheduled to begin at the Crystal Cathedral, the 57-year-old musical director Johnnie Carl had an argument with another employee. Authorities say he went back to the office and then all hell broke loose. Johnnie Carl by the way didn't just work for the Crystal Cathedral, he worked for a lot of great performers like Celine Dion, I think. What happened, Linda?

LINDA CARL, HUSBAND JOHNNIE CARL COMMITTED SUICIDE LAST MONTH IN CRYSTAL CATHEDRAL: I really have been mulling this over in my mind for the last several weeks and I think what happened was his bipolar illness took a different turn the last few weeks of his life. He used to be mostly depressed and I was always looking for those symptoms and those signs and didn't see any and I think what happened is it took a turn into more mania and probably escalated into a psychosis.

KING: Was he on medication?

CARL: Yes, he was.

KING: Because bipolar people don't often get violent like this, shooting at other people. It was an erratic night, right?

CARL: It was very erratic. It was not anything that I would have expected of my husband.

KING: Where were you, Reverend Schuller?

SCHULLER: First of all, he didn't shoot at other people.

KING: He threatened.


CARL: There were other people that came into the office shortly after he had taken the gun out and he asked them to please leave.

KING: So he didn't threaten anybody?

CARL: No. He didn't threaten anyone.

KING: Where were you, Bob?

SCHULLER: I think I was home when I got the call that something was happening and it was explained to me so I got over there and spent most of my time in the parking lot with all of the police cars and Linda.

KING: You were there, too, Linda?

CARL: Yes, I went to the cathedral and the police took me over to the police station.

KING: Did they try to have you talk to him?

CARL: No, they didn't.

KING: Why not?

SCHULLER: Good question.

CARL: It's a very good question. They felt that there might have been something that was going on between my husband and I or that perhaps we had had an argument or that perhaps he had a girlfriend and they had had an argument and I don't understand the rationale behind it because I explained to them that he was mentally ill and everyone in the family explained that we were probably happier than we had ever been because his medication about four years ago had done some good for him.

KING: You were married 28 years. He was a prominent arranger and composer. A lot of sacred music. How long had he been with the cathedral?

SCHULLER: 30 years. 30 years.

KING: How would you describe his talent?

SCHULLER: Oh, he was gifted. Like when the holy father made a trip to America, Johnnie Carl was picked to do his music.

KING: Really?

SCHULLER: Oh, yes. And one of the first calls came from Celine Dion because her last record he did the arrangement. He's won five platinums.

KING: Did you know of his illness?

SCHULLER: Oh, yes, he didn't work for us long and we had some personality problems with him. And we were soon led to believe that he had a bipolar thing.

KING: What was that like to live with?

CARL: May I say it was hell? He had terrible depressions because his bipolar was fairly severe and I would venture to say that probably 80 to 85 percent of the time he was very depressed. And his mania never surfaced much. He had a ceiling in it and that's why it's not what I was looking for.

KING: Was he able to work while depressed?

CARL: Sometimes he was. He was very determined to get himself out of bed and go to work because he felt he needed to create and people were depending on him, the cathedral, as well as his family.

KING: Did you work with him, Bob?

SCHULLER: No, I didn't.

KING: I mean work with him on his illness? You're so uplifting...

SCHULLER: I tried. Bipolar is something else. It's not just normal despondencies, result of depression, et cetera. I want to say I'm very proud of my wife because I don't think I would have probably had the patience to deal with him for 30 years, almost every year there were these episodes, not this severe. But my wife loved his talent, loved him as a person, said we're not going to let him go and I think she helped him.

KING: You were quoted as saying you didn't think it was suicide but a cancer of the emotional system. Explain.

SCHULLER: I think that there are cancers of the body, but I think they are what I would call cancer of the emotional system, too. These are the kind of diseases or illnesses or sicknesses of the emotional system that are as incurable as cancer. You might -- therapy and you might think you're all right. Oh, cancer's come back again. Fight it through another treatment and, oops, it came back again. That was the way it was for the past 28 years. But, boy, during those 28 years, boy, oh, boy, his fighting, and our prayers and our support for him, I don't think you mind my saying that, kept him going and gave him the years of creativity. The pastor of a huge Presbyterian church called and said I just looked through my bulletin last Sunday and three of the hymns were all arranged by Johnnie Carl. They're all over the country.

KING: Was he a religious man?

CARL: Very much so. He felt he wanted people to be inspired through his music and he wanted people to see God through his music and he never felt that he accomplished that. I think he felt a bit unworthy most of the time.

KING: Really?

CARL: Yes.

KING: Bipolar can be inherited. Are any of your children having any problems?

CARL: They don't appear to.

KING: Did he have any in his family before that?

CARL: I don't think it was diagnosed because I don't think people were aware of mental illnesses as much as they are. Even very recently the last three to five years I think it's become much more evident than it ever had been before.

KING: Has the religious field -- Reverend Schuller, you have always been a little different or away from the norm of religious leaders in that many think just believing is enough or you can answer with prayer and you've always been fond of or certainly been involved with the psychological movement in the United States and accept that. Do you think religion is more and more generally accepting of bipolar? That this is an illness?

SCHULLER: I don't know, but bipolar if it is being more generally accepted, I think, after this, yes. I think so many have heard about what happened.

KING: And knew him.

SCHULLER: He was a famous name. I can't get over because we're on all over the world every week. At least 10 million viewers and he's been on 30 years, so, it's always -- show starts with Johnnie Carl, you know. And I didn't realize how famous his name was. So, I think they're all taking a new look at it. Remember Johnnie Carl?

KING: Because you know that many religious leaders have tended to look away from psychology.

SCHULLER: Well, that has been true. I hope it's coming back. I think it's coming back.

KING: The answers aren't always in one place.

SCHULLER: Oh, no, for sure not.

KING: We'll be right back with Reverend Robert Schuller and Linda Carl, the widow of Johnnie Carl on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A scene like this has never been played out at the Crystal Cathedral before. A SWAT team trying to enter the Crystal Cathedral to look for a gunman, a man described in his 50s being extremely despondent who fired off anywhere from two to four shots perhaps inside the cathedral or maybe just before he entered. Police aren't quite sure.



KING: We're back with Reverend Robert Schuller and Linda Carl, the widow of Johnnie Carl. And she wanted to say something about the psychology question.

CARL: Well, I'm not sure that psychology is the right tact to take with it, because I don't understand someone who would take their own life, but then I'm dealing from a rational point of view in a deep rooted sense of reality. And when you have a mental illness, you're not dealing in that same reality. It's altered according to what is happening in your brain.

KING: How did you get the news that he killed himself? Who told you?

CARL: One of the officers at the Garden Grove Police Station came and told us. And they pulled my father and I out of the room where we were waiting with my younger two children and both of my parents, and they...

KING: They told you altogether?

CARL: No, they told my father and I. And then I went back to the room where the rest of the family was and I told them.

KING: You went into the room where he killed himself?

SCHULLER: Mmm-hum.

KING: What happened there?

SCHULLER: Well, what happened there was...

KING: Was just you and the body? SCHULLER: Well, no, the coroner was there and the police officers. And they said I shouldn't come in. And I said, I am the pastor here, this is the cathedral. And I am here because his widow wants to see him before they take him away. And they wouldn't allow it, but I pressed and they gave in and they allowed. They said we'll call you when we have him as presentable as possible. They kept that promise, but kept her waiting a while. But -- may I ask, I want to say something. What I can't understand is when I saw him, his face was almost in a smile. His eyes looked like they could open and they would twinkle.

CARL: He was very peaceful.

SCHULLER: He really was.

KING: You got to see him?

CARL: Yes.

KING: Did you say a prayer?

SCHULLER: I don't remember, did I or didn't?

CARL: Yes, you did.

SCHULLER: I'm kind of addicted to that.

KING: That must have been something to walk into that -- scene of a life-long friend who had taken his own life, because it's the hardest thing to believe, isn't? As she said, to put yourself having a rational mind into an irrational mind.

SCHULLER: And I think, you know, you never look back and say, if only you know, but I wish I could have gone in there before he shot himself, but they wouldn't let us. The police wouldn't let us.

KING: What was he saying? Was he talking back and forth to the police? Was there a conversation?

CARL: I haven't had any transcript of what happened. I really haven't been able to even deal with that yet.

KING: It's been reported that when the family went to see the office where spent his last hours they found the Christmas presents he bought for them.

CARL: Yes, he was probably having the best time of his life. And we talked daily about what we were going to get the children and the parents for Christmas. And he had gone out and purchased nearly everything. I typically do that, as most wives do. And he had apparently shot himself next to where he had stacked all the gifts.

KING: Why did they take him off that drug?

CARL: His doctor, his general practitioner was concerned that it was having an effect on his kidneys, because some of his levels were a little high -- higher than they had wanted. But I think what we didn't realize was that the drug they took him off of was the mood stabilizer. He was on a cocktail of three different drugs and two were antidepressants and one was a mood stabilizer. And now I understand that when he went off of that, that was a dangerous thing to do.

KING: Linda Carl and her two sons, Brandon and Evan (ph) spoke at the service. Here's part of what Brandon had to say.


BRANDON CARL: It was wonderful to see the last couple months, because he was starting to realize that with the help of my mom, he started to realize what he was actually achieving and what he was doing. And that's part of the thing that saddens me the most is he was achieving more within the last month than I think he had ever achieved. So, the thing that is truly keeping me going is the fact that he was achieving so much and God allowed that not to happen. So, in my mind, there has to be a greater purpose.


KING: There are some people who believe that suicide keeps you out of heaven, do you believe that?

SCHULLER: No. No. It requires a theological answer. I believe that Christians believe in salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not by works. And we believe that if you're saved Jesus becomes your savior. He makes a promise to you. You can trust his promises. You can bank on that word. And he doesn't just save us from the sins of the past. I mean, we're his. We're saved from sins we haven't committed yet. And suicide, if it's intentional from a rational mind is something very sinful, but that doesn't hold if they're irrational.

KING: Can it ever be from a rational mind?

SCHULLER: I don't know. I can't...

KING: It would be a stretch, wouldn't it.

SCHULLER: It would be a stretch. But I think the theology through the centuries, not from us, but from other Christian representations have said that, you know, you'll go to hell if you...


SCHULLER: I just don't believe that. That's not the God I know. It's not the Jesus Christ I love.

KING: You've heard from people all over the world, Linda?

CARL: Yes.

KING: Were you surprised at the outpouring? CARL: Absolutely astonished. I had no idea of my husband's impact with his music, and with his personality. I think it carried over a little on camera.

KING: Do you ever think, reverend, why it is that so many gifted people seem to have more troubles.

SCHULLER: We can pick up that perception and I think -- but I'm not sure it's really true. But if it is, I don't have the answer. I don't have the explanation.

KING: We'll be right back with Reverend Robert Schuller and Linda Carl, maybe take a few phone calls. And then at the bottom of the hour, Sara Adamsson, who still has hope that here husband, her mother and 2-year-old son might be alive. We're going to keep Reverend Schuller and Linda Carl on with her. We'll talk to her for a while, and then bring all them in. But we'll be right back don't go away.


CARL: People think, that I'm the strong one. I knew this was going to happen, but when Johnnie put his arms around them when I was feeling a little stressed or felt I was in a situation I couldn't handle, he made everything better. His strength and weakness complimented mine. And we were 10 times better together than either of us was ever alone.



KING: We'll insert some phone calls in this segment with Reverend Robert Schuller and Linda Carl. Burkeville, Virginia, hello.

CALLER: Hello.


CALLER: Hi, how you doing, Mr. King?

KING: Fine.

CALLER: This question is for Reverend Schuller who I think a great deal of and watch your show every time I can. Reverend Schuller, I've Been raised in a Baptist church, a Protestant church my whole life and from early teachings or whatever, the question you just -- the statement you just said that you can be forgiven for suicide I guess maybe I've been mistaken and I'd like your feelings on it. I've been told that it's an unforgivable sin, because you can't ask for forgiveness.

SCHULLER: I'm surprised. You go back to your Baptist pastor and ask him what it means to be saved by Jesus Christ, Christ saves you, he ransoms you, he doesn't rent you. He doesn't take a lease out on your soul. You are his, forever more. Period. KING: Have you discussed this with his doctors? Did any of them, psychiatrists, psychologists tell you this could have happened? Did any of them see it coming?

CARL: No. They didn't see it coming. He had been hospitalized at the beginning of November, because he had had an episode that was very different from anything he'd ever experienced before.

We thought initially that he had had a stroke because his speech was slurred and he was having trouble walking and they couldn't find anything medically wrong with him. And the psychologist evaluated him and determined that he had had a depressive episode as well as a manic episode all at the same time. And it manifested itself in the symptoms that he was showing.

And they had realized at that time that he needed to be put back on the mood stabilizer, which they did. But it was a different mood stabilizer than the one he had been on. And he left the hospital 5 days later and seemed to be all right. So, that's why I tend to think that maybe it's age, you know. Maybe for whatever reason the illness took a different turn.

KING: How did your wife handle it, reverend? She hired him, right?

SCHULLER: Oh, yes, she hired him. She was his boss from the day he worked until the day he died. My wife handled it beautiful. She is such a super positive person. And she always said Johnnie's gifted and we just deal with his problems.

KING: How did the congregation deal with it?

SCHULLER: The best way to say it is at the memorial service the place was packed, over 2,000 people. It's the largest funeral I've had since I had the the late Vice President Hubert Humphrey, that was a big funeral. This was even bigger.

KING: The pianist, Roger Williams, was his friend.

SCHULLER: Very close.

CARL: I think Johnnie counted him his best friend. .

KING: Really?

CARL: Yes.

KING: He's a great figure in American music.

Holbrooke, Massachusetts, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry King.


CALLER: Thank you very much for this program, because I've been so troubled about this man. I want to compliment Reverend Schuller for his program and his wife, I give my deepest sympathies, and his family. I have always enjoyed his music. And I would like to ask this one question, where did he get this gun to shoot himself with?

KING: Linda?

CARL: I don't know where he acquired it. But having been hospitalized several times as a depressed person, he was not allowed, legally, to acquire a gun. I think he purchased it about 10 or 12 years ago. I knew he had purchased a gun. And he said it was for protection. Well, we live in Yarbolinda. There is very little crime there. And it frightened me, but that's back when he was really having a difficult time.

KING: Have you seen the gun?

CARL: I saw the gun. And his counselor and I at the time tried to convince him that he needed to get rid of the gun.

SCHULLER: It was many years ago.

CARL: It was many year ago. And he had kept it locked in the cabinet in the garage. Well, he told me during that time, 10, 12 years ago, that he had gotten rid of the gun. And I knew that it wasn't in the garage any more. I'm suspicious now that he kept it in his office.

KING: We'll take a break, when we come back, we'll talk with Sarah Adamson. Her 2-year-old son, her husband and her mother are still missing in the aftermath of the tsunami.

We'll hold Reverend Schuller and Linda Carl here. And after I talk with her, we'll bring all three into the conversation. Don't go away.


CARL: I just want to thank you, Bob and Narvella, for allowing him to be a part of this church and to work. Because I don't feel there are too many other places that would have accepted him, given the episodes that he had with his bipolar illness. And he and I both truly appreciate the gift that you've given both of us.



KING: Joining us now from London is Sara Adamsson. Her husband, 2-year-old son and her mother are still missing in the aftermath of December's tsunami. It's been one month since that disaster shattered her life. What, Sara, were you doing in Thailand?

SARA ADAMSSON, HUSBAND, SON, MOTHER STILL MISSING AFTER TSUNAMI HIT DAY AFTER WEDDING IN THAILAND: We were on vacation and we were actually getting married. We had a civil marriage in Sweden in October and we were getting married at the beach on the 25th and we were also looking for a place to live in Thailand.

KING: Oh, you wanted to live there permanently?

ADAMSSON: Yes, we did. We wanted to move from Sweden to Thailand because we loved the Thai mentality and we loved everything about Thailand.

KING: The son was 2 years old, so he was born before you were legally married?


KING: What happened the day of the tsunami? Where were you and what happened to them?

ADAMSSON: Me and my mother and my son, we were at the beach and I had made a promise to my baby that I would go and get him a toy and I went over to the ladies who do Thai massage and they had brought me and my husband and my family a gift from Phuket because they have seen our wedding the day before.

So they were very happy and they congratulated us and I was very happy and I ran back to my mother and Johannes on the beach and I told them that I had had this wonderful present and we were just talking about how wonderful they were and we held my baby in one hand each and we swimmed with him in the ocean and then we just saw black smoke coming out of the ocean. Black smoke and we saw the wave, but it didn't get big around the height -- it got bigger on the length so this was very, very far from the beach and we actually didn't understand how dangerous this was. But we saw lots of tourists getting down in the water, maybe 20 or 40 tourists they went down to take photographs and try to film the wave. But we slowly walked towards the houses.

KING: Then what happened to your mother -- where was your husband?

ADAMSSON: My husband, he was somewhere at the hotel area. I'm not sure. He was staying in the room when we went down to the beach and we were giving some presents to the Thai people that had helped us with our marriage the day before.

KING: How did they get swept away and you didn't? What happened?

ADAMSSON: My mother was beside me and maybe four or five meters behind me and I held Johannes and a Thai lady, she helped me with the baby carriage and I just saw this Thai woman's eyes when she turned around and looked at the ocean and I didn't have time to look at my mother, I only knew that she was maybe four or five meters behind me and then I just screamed to her, run, mother, run.

And I take Johannes and my first priority is of course to save my baby so I ran up to a building and I almost saved my baby. If I had one more second, I maybe would have saved him. But I can only remember that there was water coming from underneath and from above and suddenly I -- I just drop him in the wave and then I decided I would like to come with him in the wave and I decided that I want to die, but my body doesn't follow. My body doesn't obey.

So, the next second I decided I will not die and that's the only thing I scream. I will not die. Then, suddenly, I'm up at the roof and I don't know how I come up to the roof.

KING: So you haven't seen your mother, you haven't seen your son and your husband was missing at the hotel?


I know nothing. The only thing I know is that I met a Danish girl maybe five or six years old after I dropped my baby boy in the water and she says that -- she told her mother, the first thing she told her mother when they met was that, mother, I had Johannes in a tree, I had Sara's Johannes in a tree and I have been looking for this Danish girl in Denmark for a couple of weeks and now I've managed to find her and she still confirms that she had my baby and she says that there were boats coming and picking them up and one boat took Johannes and one took this Danish girl. So they got separated.

KING: So you're saying that you believe your son is somewhere.

ADAMSSON: Yes, I do. I have to believe that he is somewhere because this girl she recognized my baby and she wouldn't just come up with something like that that she has seen my baby. And she sticks to this story.

KING: So your hope is that someone took that baby and has the baby with them now, right?

ADAMSSON: Yes, I do. I still, I still believe that and I have to believe that because I don't have any other answers. So I have to believe that.

KING: Your husband, you don't know what happened to him, right?

ADAMSSON: No. I have no answers about my husband or my mother.

KING: You know your mother is gone, right? You saw that, right?

ADAMSSON: Yes. She was just in the wave.

KING: So what are you asking of people?

ADAMSSON: I've seen so many miracles. I am asking people to help me to find my baby and if someone knows anything about my baby, Johannes, I can never thank them. I just want to find my baby and I just want to have answers even if it's DNA or if he's alive or if someone is alive. I need to know answers.

KING: You're not blaming yourself for his going in the water, are you?

ADAMSSON: Yes, of course, I do. But I still know that this wave it had approximately 800 kilometers per hour, so, what could I do? But, of course, I blame myself for losing my baby. I could never forget that sight. I could never forget his eyes.

KING: We're seeing him now, he's an adorable little boy. Where can people contact you if they have any inkling as to where he might be?

ADAMSSON: They could contact me in Sweden and we are also doing a reward, me and two of my Swedish friends and they have an e-mail address.

KING: What is that?

ADAMSSON: People could get in touch with us. Excuse me?

KING: What's the address?

ADAMSSON: I don't have the address right now.

KING: So, anyway, I think I may have it.

ADAMSSON: Yes, I think so, too.

KING: Yes we do. OK. People who want to donate to help tsunami victims. Here's the e-mail address if you have any information on this young man. It's reward-@-punkt-.-sc. I'll repeat that again and if you didn't get it down, if you contact us at CNN, we'll give it to you. It's reward-@-punkt-.-sc. They're offering a reward of 1 million (UNINTELLIGIBLE), which is about $28,500 in United States money.

Missing is not just Sara's child but there's a Kaska Dickson (ph), age 6, Clarice Dickson (ph) age 3, Johannes Dickson (ph) age 37, last seen at the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) resort in Khao Lak. Missing is John Hector (ph), (UNINTELLIGIBLE) last seen at the Blue Village (UNINTELLIGIBLE) resort and of course, the family we're discussing now. Christer Adamsson, Johannes Adamsson, Marianne Tivermark last seen at the Blue Village Resort.

That's reward-@-punkt-.-sc. Sara Adamsson will remain with us. We'll bring Reverend Schuller and Linda Carl into this and see what we can see. Or what we might be able to do or what words the reverend might be able to offer. Don't go away.


KING: We're back. With us Reverend Robert Schuller, founder of the Crystal Cathedral, marking the 50th anniversary of that ministry this year. The host of "Hour of Power," and author of the new book "Don't Throw Away Tomorrow: Living God's Dream For Your Life."

Linda Carl, her husband Johnnie Carl committed suicide at the Crystal Cathedral on December 17, 2004. He was a long-time musical director of the Cathedral and acclaimed arranger and composer.

In London, Sara Adamsson. Her 2-year-old son, her husband and her mother still missing. There is some hope for the 2-year-old son.

Reverend Schuller, what do you say to Sara?

SCHULLER: I want to say to you, Sara, look ahead. Choose your response. You may not be a believer of God, maybe you are. I am. Where was God when it happened? Well, he was in the hearts of millions and millions and millions of people who have flooded the whole situation with their concern and their help and trust him.

KING: Do you have that kind of faith, Sara?

ADAMSSON: Yes. I have always believed in God. But it's very difficult for me to believe that God has saved me or, in the beginning, I felt that it was a miracle that I was alive, but I'm still thinking maybe the same God sent the tsunami. I don't know how to respond to God right now.

KING: Neither do I.

SCHULLER: I don't believe God sent the tsunami.

KING: Who did?

SCHULLER: Well, I think nature. There is...

KING: But omnipotent, he could have prevented it.

SCHULLER: I'm not sure, he probably could have. But if God began to work against the very laws of nature that he built into the whole system, it would be a disaster.

KING: It's hard to say to Sara.

SCHULLER: Oh, I know, but it's reality. God created this world. And those plates were going to have to shift. There are going to be shifts and some heavy earthquakes coming here, too.

But guess what, I close to live in California. I have chosen to live where there is a fault.

KING: Linda, what would you say to her about loss? Dealing with loss. Still fresh in your life. In fact, somewhat similar times.

CARL: Yes, it is. And I mourn for my own loss. And I look at your incredible lost. I only lost one, you've lost two and hopefully not a third one.

What keeps me going, Sara, is my son's comment that there has to be a greater purpose in this. That somehow, someway God will work good out of evil or hurt. And I am already seeing the good coming out of things that have happened to me. And I hope that you can see that too.

I know it's still early and you're still in a lot of pain, but I'm so glad you didn't decide to go with your son, because he may come home to you. KING: Yes. You have to have to have thought about that, Sara, right?

ADAMSSON: Thank you very much.

KING: It would have been terrible if you had gone after him and he were alive.

ADAMSSON: Yes, of course. I wouldn't have done that, but it happened so quickly, so it's very hard to decide what you're going to do. You just try to follow your heart.

And I also believe that some good is going to come out of this. If you look at the Thai people, they always believe that there is a plan with this. And that the good will conquer over the evil.

SCHULLER: Let me say something. Probably the one Bible passage that is read by Jews and Roman Catholics, Protestants, Islam, more than any other chapter is Psalm 23. And in Psalm 23 there is a verse that says, "surely, ye though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil."

The word is, "through the valley," you're not left there. You will get through this somehow, someway. Then the line, "surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life." Nothing but goodness, that's not what it says. There are the tragedies, but then you will experience the mercy of God.

And that's what you're experiencing now. People that are reaching out to you, crying with you, sympathizing with you, loving you. and God is -- when something tragic happens, who's the first one on the spot? It is God almighty. Maybe in a fireman's uniform, maybe in a policeman's uniform, but God is the first one there.

KING: After suicide, Linda, do you have any guilt? Could I have done more?

CARL: Yes, because I feel like my hands were tied. And that's what I feel the most frustration and anger over. They kept telling me they didn't want me to talk to him, because they were afraid he either wanted to say good-bye. Or I would irritate him into doing what they didn't want him to do because we had some kind of issue.

KING: Sara, do you have any, what they call, survivor's guilt?

ADAMSSON: No, actually I don't. I don't. I'm very happy to be alive. And I feel there's a meaning that I survived. I have to believe that.

KING: Do you have a feeling that your son is alive?

ADAMSSON: No. It's very difficult for me to say. I want to believe it so much. I want to believe this girl so much. But in this circumstance, I have problems with feeling this. I wish it so much. So I want it to be true.

KING: But the girl is saying she definitely recognizes him?

ADAMSSON: Yes. And as soon as I can, I will go back to Thailand and look for my baby, maybe Saturday or Sunday.

KING: Again, the address, the e-mail address is, There you see the poster of the missing. And of course, people who want to donate help tsunami victims we all know We'll be back with our remaining moments with Reverend Schuller, Linda Carl and Sara Adamsson. Don't go away.


KING: Now, Sara Adamsson, you said you and the family had gone to Thailand and were thinking about moving to Thailand. And I know you're going to go back this weekend, might you stay in Thailand?

ADAMSSON: Yes, of course, I might stay in Thailand. I love Thailand and I feel very attached to the place where I lost my family. And right now in our city where I live in Sweden, I am getting lots of help from so many people to collect money for those who have helped me in Thailand, for those people who gave me food. They gave me everything, but most of all, they gave me hope. They gave me the strength to look forward. I would like to help them so much.

KING: So you bear no anger towards the country?

ADAMSSON: No, absolutely not.

KING: To -- let's take a call to Columbus, Ohio. Hello.



CALLER: First I'd like to give my heartfelt blessings to both Linda and her family and Sara and her search for her family. I was wondering if I could ask the reverend if he could expand on the idea about those who take their lives being welcomed into heaven. And, also, if he could touch on anger towards God.

SCHULLER: First of all, I come from a historic Christian tradition, which teaches that Jesus Christ is our savior and we're saved by Christ. He's our best friend. And when he saves us, he saves us from passings, present and future sins so we don't have to -- be sure we give a quick, forgive me, please, before we die. That's totally inappropriate.

KING: A question on anger though. He got angry.

SCHULLER: Who got angry?

KING: Christ got angry, angry at his father.

SCHULLER: Well, I don't think so.

KING: Well, what was that when he... SCHULLER: He said, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

KING: Sounds like anger to me.

SCHULLER: I don't think so.

KING: What would you call it?

SCHULLER: I would call it a sincere question which arose from going through hell, which is where he was.

KING: All right, what about dealing with anger towards God? People feel angry.

SCHULLER: Yes, I know they do. I think the best thing is to just be totally honest in your feelings and talk to him. If you're angry say, God, I'm angry. It doesn't make me feel good. The anger doesn't make me happy. Help me. Help me, God. With this anger that I can't handle. And I think he'll help you.

KING: So ask the figure you're angry at to help you with your anger?

SCHULLER: Oh, absolutely. Sure.

KING: Have you been angry, Linda, at God?

CARL: Oh, yes. I ask why did you let him do this? Why didn't you do something to...

KING: Do you get answers?

CARL: ... to let him live. And my thought is that God allowed this because he gave people free will.

SCHULLER: Absolutely.

CARL: Whether he was rational or not, he gave us free will.

KING: Sara, do you say why?

ADAMSSON: Excuse me.

KING: Do you ask why?

ADAMSSON: Yes, every day. Every second, of course, I do. But I can't tell you what -- how God is or what he feels or what he thinks. That's not up to me.

KING: We only have 30 seconds, reverend?

SCHULLER: Why is the one question that God never answers. Even Christ...

KING: Because why causes such... SCHULLER: He won't answer the question why. His son ask the question on the cross, why have you forsaken me, and God didn't speak or mumble a word. Why doesn't he answer the why question, because we don't want an explanation, we want an argument and he won't be drawn into an argument.

KING: Thank you all very much. Sara, we're going to do all we can to help. If you missed that e-mail address, just contact us at CNN and we'll get it to you. Reverend Robert Schuller, Linda Carl, and Sara Adamsson.

And we'll repeat our tribute to Johnny Carson Saturday night. Sunday night we'll be live with a special on the Iraq elections. And I'll come back in a couple minutes and tell you about tomorrow night. Don't go away.


KING: What happens when you adopt a child, start to raise the child and then lose the child to the birth parent? We'll investigate that tomorrow night.

Aaron Brown is next with NEWSNIGHT. I don't want to make you feel to old Aaron, but we're extending a happy birthday today, a happy 80th birthday to Paul Newman.

AARON BROWN, HOST "NEWSNIGHT": Oh my goodness, you're kidding me?

KING: No. Paul Newman is 80.

BROWN: And he still looks better than both of us.

KING: Together.

BROWN: Yes. Thank you, Mr. King. Wow.

KING: Go get them Aaron.


International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.