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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Immigration Battle; Battle on the Border; Jeffs' Sect Seeks out New Territory in South Dakota; Hiding in Plain Sight: Polygamy; Mormon History
Aired May 17, 2006 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: ...California, right on the U.S.- Mexican border, literally where the border runs into the ocean. And if you look down there, you can see some headlights right now, an ATV with some Border Patrol agents just making a routine stop along this border, patrolling all down the length of the border.
You see ATVs driving all around here all day long and well into the night. They also have officers on horseback. They have officers in SUVs. They also have cameras here, all eyes and ears on the border.
But as you can tell by looking at the fence, it is an easy border physically to cross. The fence here, about 15 feet high. It is made of corrugated metal. Very easy to climb on.
And there you see some people just right on the Tijuana side, just hanging out. We don't know what they're doing there. This is actually pretty -- a nice part of Tijuana right on that side of the border.
And throughout this hour that we've been here, we've seen a lot of people with bicycles. And if you go over to the Border Patrol station, they'll actually -- they have a whole room that has bicycles in it. People often toss their bikes over the fence, and then scale the fence, jump on the bike, and just try to look like anybody else, just out for a bike ride.
Beneath our feet, there's also a battle on the border -- smugglers digging tunnels, dozens of tunnels and special agents tracking them down. This week it almost got comical. Crews filling in one tunnel, almost fell into another tunnel. In fact, it is deadly serious, of course, trying to stop the flow of people and drugs hiding, if not just in plain sight, then just below the surface.
COOPER (voice-over): Another tunnel, another sign of how difficult it is to seal the U.S.-Mexican border.
MARWOOD, ICE AGENT: 0506, latest tunnel discovery here on the San Ysidro border.
COOPER: This one is just three feet high by four feet wide and just about 90 feet long. Authorities call it a gopher hole. A multi- agency U.S. tunnel task force found the secret passage on Friday. As the tunnel passes under the border fence, it transforms into a 30-inch wide plastic tube. Here you can see dirt and sandbags placed in front of the entry on the Mexican side to conceal the tunnel, immigration authorities say.
MARWOOD: The plate sitting to my left here on the ground is the actual metal plate that they utilized to sit on top of some cinder blocks that were used to reinforce this hole. And then all of this debris was piled back on top of it during the daylight hours so that nobody could notice that the thing was even here.
COOPER: Marwood is a deputy special agent with Immigration Customs Enforcement. Whoever dug the tunnel was especially brazen. It's only about 100 yards away from the San Ysidro crossing, the busiest legal crossing between the two countries.
MARWOOD: It's perfect for what they want to do. By the fact that they are close to the border, the tunnel can come across fairly easily. The fact that they're in a parking lot where there are lots of vehicles always here, 24 hours a day.
COOPER: The small tunnel made two turns at right angles as it traveled between the two countries. Authorities believe it was built for drug smuggling, but may have also been used to bring in illegal immigrants, but they can't be sure how long it was in use.
MARWOOD: We found implements of it that seemed to indicate there was a lot of activity still going on for building.
COOPER: It doesn't compare in scale or sophistications, the 2,400 foot Otay Mesa tunnel found back in January. And unlike the two tons of marijuana found there, no drugs were found here.
It was the second secret tunnel found in this area this month. And while authorities were filling it with concrete on Monday, the concrete mixer nearly sunk into another tunnel, only 100 yards away.
MARWOOD: These kinds of access roads are constantly traveled by Border Patrol and by other law enforcement agencies on the U.S. protecting the borders, and they literally sink into the drive, the roadway, on those places below that these smugglers have caved too close up with no reinforcement.
COOPER: But up like the first tunnel, it had no exit point on the U.S. side. Authorities say this one was also dug by hand and considered to be primitive.
To Marwood, the two tunnels discovered right next to one another say a lot about the challenges for U.S. authorities and the people trying to come into the United States.
MARWOOD: With these kinds of small gopher holes, what it's telling us is the desperation of the people, whether it's to bring aliens through, or whether it's to bring now, as I indicated earlier, narcotics through also, because it seems they're trying to utilize both of these because they were so effective on getting the larger ones.
COOPER (on camera): According to Immigration Customs Enforcement agents, they've found about 43 tunnels since 9/11 on the U.S. and Canadian border.
Here, on the border, it's actually -- the fence here is actually -- it's very easy to climb over, as you can tell. I mean, it's very easy to get a hand hold here. It's about 12 maybe 15 feet high.
Just some people on the other side over there, on the Tijuana side, just waiting till night falls here. And then the fence down here is about 15 feet. As I said, it's just this corrugated metal, and it's just this one layer of fence. There's only this fence, and it's very easy actually to climb over here.
We all know that on Monday, the president advocated sending some 6,000 National Guard troops down to the border here in California, also in New Mexico and Arizona, to work in a support capacity.
We wanted to find out, though, why the number 6,000, why that specific number, and we're just getting that information.
Tonight's CNN's Joe Johns, "Keeping them Honest."
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): So if the president wants to send up to 6,000 National Guard troops from all over America to the border, it begs the question, why 6,000? Where did that number come from?
It wasn't based on the length and challenges of the border, and it was not a number the Border Patrol requested. Instead, it was based on how many people the Guard could afford to send without interfering with the war in Iraq, hurricane preparedness, or the daily lives of the Guardsmen.
Lieutenant General Steven Blum (ph), chief of the National Guard, was asked...
LT. GENERAL STEVEN BLUM, NATIONAL GUARD: How many National Guardsmen could we use without mobilizing them that would be on a volunteer basis? I told them that I could handle somewhere on the high end of about 6,000.
JOHNS: In his speech, the president recommended two-week rotations which would amount to complicated, if not costly, planning to get all those troops in and out every other week. But since the speech...
PAUL MCHALE, DEPUTY UNDERSECRETARY OF DEFENSE: It then was brought to our attention that some governors expressed an interest in using Guardsmen from their states for extended periods of time in greater numbers beyond two or three weeks. JOHNS: Texas Governor Rick Perry has said he expects about 3,000 members of the guard to be deployed along his state's 1,200-mile border and welcomes the help. But not everyone's thrilled.
We decided to take a look at why two other border state governors are balking.
To Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico, 6,000 is a pretty random number, and not much use.
GOVERNOR BILL RICHARDSON (D), NEW MEXICO: I don't know the answer. I don't know how many Guardsmen are coming to new Mexico. I don't know what their mission is. I know they can't do law enforcement. They told me they're going to do backup work. Well, what is backup work?
JOHNS: Well, for one thing, it's using fancy technology and equipment to catch people coming across the border. But the guard can't make arrests. And that's why Richardson wants more Border Patrol officers instead.
And lest you think this is just democratic carping, here's what California's republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, had to say. That mobilizing thousands of National Guard troops from around the country for two-week rotations on the border to build fences and deploy surveillance equipment presents a logistical nightmare. And supporting those troops, he said, would require a staggering amount of housing, food, storage, sewage, training, transportation.
SEN. DANIEL AKAKA (D), HAWAII: The National Guard is facing severe equipment shortfalls that hamper...
JOHNS: Up on Capitol Hill today, senators had their own questions like, how will the guard keep its equipment maintained and ready for action if it's being used constantly on the border? The answer?
BLUM: The attention and assistance from the Congress...
JOHNS: Translation, we'll be coming back to you for more money. But so far, there's no estimate of cost.
The president may have at least temporarily reined in conservatives in the party, but with a couple of governors and a chorus of questions, we'll be keeping them honest on the plan still being worked out which remains as full of holes as the border.
Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Well, more now on the rest of the president's plan and the opposition to parts of it within the president's party.
Today Mr. Bush sent Karl Rove up to the Hill to sell it. Not everyone is buying, however. CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King, reports.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A lot of the calls these days are about immigration.
REP. STEVE CHABOT (R), OHIO: And the overwhelming number are in favor of border security against anything that approaches amnesty.
KING: Congressman Chabot was one of the targets when White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove visited the capitol Wednesday. Rove's hope? Try to narrow the Republican divide over how to deal with the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants already in the United States.
Rove said he's optimistic, but Chabot and other conservatives on hand reported little, if any, movement.
(On camera): Was Karl greeted politely? Was the skepticism aired out? Do you think there's a majority of the Republican conference that could support a guest worker program?
CHABOT: I personally do not think that a majority of the Republican conference could support anything that even approaches amnesty. And that's what many of us consider this so-called guest worker program to be.
KING (voice-over): The president insists his approach is not amnesty because it would require those who entered the country illegally to pay back taxes and fines and then have a path to eventual citizenship. But it's a tough sell in the House. Even some Republican moderates say they cannot back the president's approach.
REP. CHRISTOPHER SHAYS (R), CONNECTICUT: You know, you came here illegally and now you can stay and become a citizen. I don't think that's going to happen.
KING: A stiff opposition leaves the administration in an emotional fight with its traditional allies, not just in the Congress.
RUSH LIMBAUGH, "THE RUSH LIMBAUGH SHOW": Is the president -- are you and the president, the administration, aware of the dissatisfaction on the whole issue of illegal immigration that exists, not just within the Republican base, but within the country at large?
DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, we are. I think, Rush.
KING: The man who counts the votes for House Republicans sees the president's record low approval ratings as a major factor in the party's immigration divide.
REP. ROY BLUNT (R), MAJORITY WHIP: I think the president understands that this is a different situation than the president was in when his numbers were at 56 percent and 60 percent just not too long ago. KING: For now, the House leadership isn't budging from its view that border security upgrades should come first, then debate what to do with illegal immigrants already here after the November election.
BLUNT: But, you know, maybe the Senate will come up with a magic formula here that we don't anticipate them coming up with.
WHIT AYRES, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: The issue has reached critical mass.
KING: The president may lack the necessary clout, but Pollster Whit Ayres predicts voter anger will drive Republicans to resolve their differences.
AYRES: Politically, I think there's a far greater danger in doing nothing, given the overwhelming desire of Americans to deal with this issue and deal with it quickly.
KING (on camera): One potential compromise being discussed by some Republicans would allow those who entered the United States illegally to sign up for a new guest worker program and stay, perhaps indefinitely.
But if those workers wanted citizenship, they would have to go home and get in line.
John King, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Well, the other big story that we are following, the search for Fugitive Polygamist Warren Jeffs continues. And that has one town on edge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLIE NAJACHT, CUSTER COUNTY CHRONICLE: You have women and children who -- they can't leave. They really can't leave. This is a cult. It's not a religion. And he's getting away with this stuff, under the guise of being a religion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, even while he's on the run, Jeff's sect is expanding its reach, setting up a new compound, if you can believe it, in South Dakota. We will take you to the town, coming up.
Also, they look like an ordinary American family, only bigger. One husband, three wives, and 21 children. That's how big. They want you to know not all polygamists are like Warren Jeffs. Inside their secret world.
You're watching 360.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Where is Warren Jeffs? The worldwide manhunt for fugitive polygamist continues. Eleven days ago, Jeffs landed on the FBI's 10 most wanted list, with a $100,000 bounty on his head. He could be hiding anywhere, really.
To his followers, he's a prophet and his support network is extensive in this country, also in Canada. Now it appears the sect has staked out new territory. We know that they've been in Arizona, we know in Utah, we know in Texas, and in Canada, now a new territory.
Here's CNN's Rick Sanchez.
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In the black hills of South Dakota, there's a mysterious change in the landscape. On 100 acres, a village, really a secret society has suddenly sprouted.
Its residents believe this man, Warren Jeffs, is a prophet. His power over their lives, absolute. But the FBI calls him a polygamist, a pedophile.
(On camera): There it is, Mt. Rushmore, one of America's most important landmarks. In fact, this entire area is brimming with history. The pioneers, the old west, the stories that we read about as children. This is the very landscape of American tradition.
That's why it seems so bizarre to so many around here to suddenly have a polygamist sect in the shadows of this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not good. We don't want to have another Waco or something like that.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): Dennis Anderson, who lives here in Custer County, wonders why the sect came here.
(On camera): We look for answers by heading out on this dirt road toward the polygamist compound to try to better understand Jeffs' prophecy about the end of the world and how only his chosen believers in these new compounds in South Dakota, Nevada, Canada, and the one we recently visited in Texas will survive.
We're making our way toward what we understand is the compound. Now, remember, when we were in Texas, we weren't even able to come close to it. But we're told if we follow this direction -- in fact, look, there it is. There's the FLDS compound in South Dakota. Literally, a stone's throw away.
(Voice-over): A man wearing what seems to be the uniform here, dark pants, blue shirt, scurries away from us.
In the background, a backhoe keeps working. There's a three- story residence, a silo, trailers, a well for water. Noticeably absent? Children and women, who go into hiding when outsiders arrive.
CHARLIE NAJACHT, CUSTER COUNTY CHRONICLE: You have women and children who -- they can't leave. They really can't leave. This is a cult. It's not a religion. And he's getting away with this stuff under the guise of being a religion.
SANCHEZ: Charlie Najacht publishes the "Custer County Chronicle." He suspects Warren Jeffs, himself, has been here.
(On camera): He says this remote site, like those in Texas and Nevada, was chosen so Jeffs, his lieutenants and followers could avoid the spotlight authorities in Arizona and Utah are now shining on them.
What's the difference? What can they do here that they can't do there?
NAJACHT: I think there they're easily observed. This is private property. So nobody needs to come out here for any reason.
SANCHEZ: He's right. In fact, the man who issued the building permit tells us, he's yet to inspect the property. Even though the permit's signed by FLDS member and Jeffs' nephew David Alred (ph), may have been filed under false pretenses.
What did they tell you they were going to be using that property for here?
REX HARRIS, CUSTER COUNTY PLANNER: They never really said. They just said they were doing a lodge.
SANCHEZ: A lodge?
HARRIS: The inference was hunting, but it was never really stated.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): Neighbors who share a property line with the polygamist sect, say authorities aren't doing enough.
This couple would only talk to us when we agreed not to use their names or show their faces.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think when you're marrying 12-year-old, 13- year-old or 14-year-old girls, you're not only breaking the law, but you're a pervert and a pedophile. And that's what Warren Jeffs is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What they do to the women and children is chattel and the abuse. It's got to stop.
SANCHEZ (on camera): It's got to stop?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it does. You cannot be abusing children and women and marrying them off at 12-years old, 13-years-old to older men that are 60 years old and 70 years old.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): For now, of course, it's impossible to know what's going on in there. Impossible to know where the so-called prophet is leading his followers in the shadow of Mt. Rushmore.
(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Fascinating.
Why do they suspect that Warren Jeffs has been out there?
SANCHEZ (on camera): That's a good question, Anderson. First of all, let me apologize a little bit for the delay. We're so far out, so remote, that we're having to use satellite phones to bring you this live transmission.
And by the way, there it is behind us. That's the actual compound here in South Dakota. I think you're able to make out some of the buildings. There's trailers over there. There's another residence just to the right of the trailers that you can't see because it's so dark. If it were daylight, you'd be able to see it. In the foreground here, you see this road they are building right in front of this side of the compound. You know, it's like a small city. It's like a small village that they're building out here, seemingly in the middle of nowhere.
As to your question, Anderson, we're told, interestingly enough by people both in Eldorado, Texas, and here in Custer and Pringle, South Dakota, that from time to time, it appears to them that there's a very important person that comes into these compounds, and they can tell that there's some kind of ceremony being performed. Oftentimes it's a wedding. And they say that only Warren Jeffs, as the prophet, is allowed to perform those ceremonies. They say that person often comes in the middle of the night and leaves by early morning.
In Eldorado, they actually showed us a picture of a man who was about 6'3", looked a lot like Warren Jeffs. And they say as soon as the people there at the compound saw the plane, they immediately started to huddle around him so nobody else would be able to see him.
Anderson, back over to you.
COOPER: He is somewhere out there, and of course, the FBI and a number of law enforcement personnel want to find him. Rick Sanchez on the trail. Thanks very much, Rick.
Not all polygamists are associated with Warren Jeffs. Some could be your next-door neighbors. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE, POLYGAMIST: We're not on welfare. This isn't about sex. It's not about control or oppression or abuse. It's about choice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Coming up, we're going to hear their defense of their polygamist beliefs.
Plus, another former follower of Warren Jeffs, also on the run and facing charges of having sex with minors. But he may soon face more pressure than he can handle. We'll explain, coming up on 360.
COOPER: Warren Jeffs has put polygamy in the headlines, and his notoriety has made life harder for those who practice polygamy but have nothing to do with his fundamentalist sect.
You're about to meet a polygamist family that doesn't belong to any sect. They are simply trying to blend in with their suburban neighbors.
They live in Salt Lake City and want the rest of the world to know that not all polygamists are like Warren Jeffs.
Here's CNN's Heidi Collins.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It's their favorite time of the day. Their dad's home from work. And now it's family time. But family time at this suburban Salt Lake City household is a bit different.
JOE, POLYGAMIST: I have three wives and 21 children that I am father to.
COLLINS: This is Joe. Joe is a polygamist. He's also a successful businessman. He does not want his identity revealed because he wants to protect not only his family, but also his lucrative business relationships. Many wouldn't approve of his lifestyle.
(On camera): Why is it important for you to be understood?
JOE: I think it's important that not so much I'm understood, but the many, many people like me are understood.
We are men that take on a tremendous amount of responsibility for a very good purpose, and not for a sinister purpose.
COLLINS (voice-over): It's hard to think about polygamy without the stereotypes that come with it. The old-fashioned clothing, the compounds with walls to conceal them, and submissive women.
JOE: We're not on welfare. This isn't about sex. It's not about control or oppression or abuse. It's about choice. And about a very spiritual choice for us.
COLLINS: You can see the difference when visiting the home he shares with his three wives and 19 of his children.
These are Joe's second and third wives. Joe's first and only legal wife declined to speak with us on camera, but Vicki and Valerie say this lifestyle is certainly their choice.
VICKI, POLYGAMIST: It's a choice that, you know, you know going into it that that's what you're going to do. And it does take a lot of, I guess, sacrifice or just selflessness, kind of overcoming a lot of natural selfish tendencies in people.
COLLINS (on camera): If you had to say what was the absolute best part about this lifestyle?
VICKI: I think just the closeness that we share. I mean, there's nothing like just having all these children around to interact with and have all the love that goes back and forth between us.
VALERIE, POLYGAMIST: I love it for the fact that it really makes you expand yourself.
COLLINS (voice-over): Joe's 37. His 21 kids range from five weeks to 15 years old. He says his many kids are a spiritual calling, and that he works hard at being a good father.
JOE: I think people have to know that they have me time. I do daddy/daughter dates. I do sports activities with my kids. Times when they know that that's me and them.
COLLINS: The older children asked not to be on camera. They worry about backlash from their friends. The kids do attend regular schools, play sports and instruments. They even have friends come over to play. But they are always cautious.
Joe and his wives don't want their kids to live in secrecy, but they know their lives are illegal.
(On camera): What is it like to not be able to be as truthful as you'd like to be?
JOE: It's hard because I'm such a forthright person. I'm not ashamed of who I am or what I do. And so I don't necessarily try to hide it, but at times you have to be very discreet.
COLLINS (voice-over): They are not affiliated with any particular sect of the Mormon church, but Joe and his wives do consider themselves independent Mormons. They see the polygamist lifestyle a part of their calling.
(On camera): What is something that you would like people out there to know about the way you live?
VICKI: Just that we are really -- we're human. We're like so many other people. We have a lot of the same feelings, worries, things like that. We just go through the same kind of ups and downs.
JOE: We're people, too. We deserve the same rights and the same religious freedoms and the same opportunities to pursue happiness as everyone else.
COOPER: So did Joe grow up in a polygamist family?
COLLINS: Anderson, he did grow up in a polygamist family, as well as all three of his wives. So they're very accustomed to the lifestyle. But interestingly enough, they do not demand that their children follow the same path that they did.
They say choosing a polygamist lifestyle is an intensely personal choice, and it has to be entered into for the right reasons. And those reasons -- religion, love, and selflessness, in their words -- Anderson.
COOPER: It is fascinating. I mean, this whole thing was so hidden until really just a few weeks ago, this Warren Jeffs situation has just blown the lid off the whole thing.
Heidi, appreciate it. Thanks.
You know, there was once a time long, long ago in the 1800s when the main Mormon church embraced polygamy.
Tonight, a look at the history and how an outsider religion became a center of power and faith.
Also, another polygamist on the run, no longer a follower of Warren Jeffs, but in just as much trouble with the law. Coming up, an exclusive look inside the manhunt.
A break first. You're watching 360.
COOPER: The Mormon church in America the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is understandably concerned that people are going to confuse their religion with the beliefs being practiced by Fugitive Leader Warren Jeffs.
Now, Jeffs is the leader of a polygamist sect. But what's interesting about him is that he's actually preaching to his followers that his church, his sect, is the only true Mormon church in the world.
Of course, 12 million worshipers disagree. They belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Mormons, one of the newest religions, and perhaps the fastest growing in the world.
To understand mainstream Mormonism, we have to take you back to how it all began.
COOPER (voice-over): It began in 1820 in upstate New York, when a 14-year-old boy named Joseph Smith claimed to have a revelation from God.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As he began to have visions from heaven of angels and was told that he should recover and translate the book of Mormon.
COOPER: Ten years later, Smith published the book of Mormon, calling it a divine inspiration he received from an angel. And he started the Mormon church, preaching that it was the restoration of God's earthly church from which other Christian denominations had strayed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joseph Smith was certainly persecuted for his beliefs. And that's one of the reasons that the members of the church had to move from one place to another.
COOPER: Despite moving from New York to Illinois, the persecution continued. Smith was eventually murdered in this jail by an angry mob in 1844. And Brigham Young took his place as church leader.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But Brigham Young's vision was really a continuation of Joseph smith's vision, and the hope was for a haven, someplace where the Latter-Day Saints could gather, where they could live in peace, and live their religion.
COOPER: That haven became Salt Lake City, Utah. Young moved his followers west, and the church grew.
As in other Christian denominations, Mormons believed in a disciplined lifestyle centered on Jesus Christ. But they also differed significantly.
For instance, Mormons believe humans can become gods. They believe in living prophets and pre-existence. And another unconventional belief in the early days, which Joseph Smith said also came to him in a revelation, polygamy.
After a battle with the federal government, the Mormon church finally renounced polygamy more than a century ago. But not all church members were willing to give up the practice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that was the beginning of many of these groups that subsequently became what are called fundamentalist Mormons.
COOPER: Today, mainstream Mormons are ex-communicated for practicing polygamy.
(On camera): Along with banning polygamy, Mormons have worked hard to improve their image and gain greater acceptance. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which performs in that dome behind me draws a huge crowd and has introduced the church to millions around the world.
(Voice-over): So have Mormons like the governor of Massachusetts and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. But as in many religions, one of the biggest challenges has been distancing mainstream followers from the extreme actions of fundamentalists.
COOPER (on camera): Well, of course, the Mormons understandably continue to distance themselves from the sects who proclaim to be true followers of their faith including wanted Polygamist Leader Warren Jeffs.
Earl Tingey -- Elder Earl Tingey, is an elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He joins me tonight from Salt Lake City.
Elder, thanks very much for being with us. What's the main thing you want people to know about your church?
ELDER EARL C. TINGEY, CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS: I think what we ought to establish categorically is that our church has absolutely nothing to do with individuals who practice plural marriage.
COOPER: And we've been certainly been trying to make that point as clear as possible. I know some in the church have been critical of the media for using terms like Mormon fundamentalists or Mormon sects to describe Jeffs' group. Do you think it's inappropriate to use those terms?
TINGEY: Absolutely. There's no such term as Mormon fundamentalist. Mormon is a term that people use when they refer to our church because of our belief in the book of Mormon. The actual name is the church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Those people who are fundamentalists are not Mormon. And it's a great disservice, I think, when that term is used. It's very confusing to the people.
COOPER: I can certainly see your point from a public relations standpoint, and it certainly could confuse people. We've been trying to show the difference as much as possible.
But I think part of the problem from the media's point of view is that, you know, you have these people out there who call themselves fundamentalist Mormon and they will tell you that they are the true followers of Mormon. They believe Joseph Smith was a prophet. They follow the book of Mormon. So it's a difficult thing for outsiders, I think, to figure out what terms are appropriate to use.
TINGEY: To be a member of our church, one has to be baptized. A name is taken. The record is made. And then you follow the concepts of the church which has many precepts, such as a living prophet, revelation and other practices.
Those people who are members of the fundamental group or sect are not members of our church. They may claim to have an association, but they are not members. Even though they may hold the book of Mormon, they are not members of our church.
I think it's a great disservice, for example, to maybe show the icon of the Mormon temple when discussing fundamentalists because guilt by association can be very confusing to the listeners.
COOPER: Yes. I mean, there are those who say that those people, whether you call them fundamentalist Mormons or the sect, let's just call them the polygamist sect for now. That's what we've been using tonight. They say or used to say that they wanted to retake the temples. They wanted to retake the temple in Salt Lake City one day.
TINGEY: I think you judge them by their fruits, Anderson. Ours is a worldwide church, 175 countries, 400 converts a year, growing at 4 percent a year. We have over 130 operating temples. We are a distinct religion completely unassociated with those who call themselves fundamentalists.
COOPER: We appreciate your perspective, and we wanted to have you on just to continue our efforts to sort of try to delineate the differences. Elder Tingey, appreciate you joining us tonight. Thank you.
TINGEY: Thank you.
COOPER: Well, there is a world of difference between the LDS and the FLDS, Warren Jeffs' group.
Coming up, another example of just how wide that gap really is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAMARA PHELPS, BLACK'S EX-PLURAL WIFE: He took me at a very young age and raped me and brainwashed me and beat me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The former wife of another fugitive polygamist. Yes, another fugitive polygamist. Next, the latest on the search for him and the reporter who has the scoop on it.
You're watching 360. Stay with us.
COOPER: No matter what its offenders say, no matter how they justify it, polygamy is illegal in the United States. And since we started looking to Warren Jeffs' sect last November, we've been amazed at the stories that are out there.
For instance, the one brought to us by Reporter Michael Watkiss of KTVK in Phoenix.
DENNIS HARKINS, U.S. MARSHALL'S OFFICE: The information I have is he's sort of a pedophile. And this is what he does. This is what he's into. And clearly, we want that to stop.
MICHAEL WATKISS, KTVK-TV INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: U.S. Marshal Dennis Harkins, today setting his sights on this guy, 45-year-old Orson William Black.
TAMARA PHELPS, BLACK'S EX-PLURAL WIFE: This guy, he's so scary and evil.
WATKISS (voice-over): At the age of 17, Tamara Phelps was given to a 27-year-old Orson William Black as a third wife, a marriage arranged by Rulon Jeffs, the father of now wanted Fugitive Polygamist Prophet Warren Jeffs, a marriage that Tamara says was abusive from the beginning.
PHELPS: He took me at a very young age and raped me and brainwashed me and beat me.
PENNIE PETERSON, ANTI-POLYGAMY ACTIVIST: Who is this guy, William Black? He's a religious fanatic. He's a child molester. He's a polygamist.
WATKISS: Activist Pennie Petersen, active in this case. Two of Pennie's younger sisters were taken by Orson William Black as young plural brides and then allegedly impregnated by the time they were 15.
Because of Pennie, Black now faces criminal charges in both cases.
PETERSON: He's a rapist. He's a child molester. He likes to prey on 12-year-old, 13-year-old, 14-year-old girls. If they were any older, he knows he couldn't get him. That's what he preys on.
WATKISS: Our history with Orson William Black dates back to the spring of 2003. We were with a SWAT team as it surrounded Black's home near the Utah-Arizona border one night. But then cops, fearing for the safety of children inside, decided to back off. Orson William Black used the opportunity to escape.
But then a couple of months later, we tracked him down deep inside the Mexican state of Chihuahua, where I had an odd encounter with the wanted man, literally bumping into him inside a small market.
Black again fled straight out the back door, and disappeared over a wall.
COOPER: It is fascinating.
For Orson William Black, Jr., time may be running out. The U.S. Marshal Service is elevating his profile with what may be their ultimate media weapon -- they're going to work with "America's Most Wanted," in hopes of flushing him out.
For more on this case, the man who's been following it longer than just anyone else, we're joined by KTVK's Michael Watkiss.
Michael, thanks for joining us. Black's been on the run since 2003. You've been on his trail since then. Why do you think the U.S. Marshal Service is intensifying efforts now to catch him?
WATKISS (on camera): Because everybody's now talking about polygamy, Anderson. That's the bottom line. We tried to get law enforcement agents to get active in this case. We've tracked him down on two occasions. We wondered why local cops couldn't do it. We tracked him all the way to Mexico.
The good news is people are talking about this. This guy is a bona fide bad guy, a pedophile. A lot of these polygamist men are born into these communities. They do what they're told. They're not intrinsically bad people, but it's a very convenient theological justification for somebody like Orson William Black. He's a pedophile, he preys on adolescent girls, has a whole string of young brides, 13, 14 years of age. It's high time that they're looking for him.
COOPER: He's been charged with having unlawful sex with minors. He apparently or allegedly beat one of his wives so bad that she ran away, leaving her own kids behind to save herself. Why hasn't there been, I mean, more urgency to catch him? It feels like authorities for a long time have kind of just turned a blind eye to this.
WATKISS: Well, your sort of disbelief is shared by all of us who have been following this for many years. What we have tried to do here in Phoenix is not talk about well, there's these alleged misbehaviors. We went out and found actual victims, documented actual crimes and then confronted actual perpetrators, thinking that would be enough to make law officers jump into action.
It's taken us 10 years to get to this point. But the bottom line, we're talking about it on the ANDERSON COOPER show here on CNN. That's good. The FBI is looking for Warren Jeffs. U.S. marshals are now looking for Orson William Black. That's all good news.
COOPER: You know, Michael, there's some who say, look, this is an alternative lifestyle. You know, this is -- a lot is being made about this, and it shouldn't be. To those people, what do you say?
WATKISS: Well, I say that I know families just like the one on "Big Love," families where the women are mature or well educated, and they make choices.
Let me tell you, those are the distinct minority. At a place like Colorado City where you have industrial-scale polygamy, you basically need an assembly line of young girls. Girls born into that community, have no choices, they have no education, they are plucked as teenagers and parceled out by the prophet. That is his source of power. To make it work, he has to have this cattle call of young girls at his disposal.
On the flip side, the collateral damage is, you've got to drive a certain percentage of the young boys out of the community because they are threats and they are competition for the young girls. Those are the two naked realities.
And beyond that with Warren Jeffs, you've got all this criminal behavior, the fraud and the theft of tax dollars in welfare, in terms of the school district up there.
Again, all of us are wondering, why it's taken so long, but again, the good news is, we're talking about it now.
COOPER: It's interesting because this guy, Black, who you're on the trail of, he used to be a follower of Warren Jeffs, and then he broke off and declared himself a prophet just like Jeffs is. What happened? WATKISS: Well, I'm not a theologian, but I understand that with this belief system, any man basically decide he's a prophet. Orson William Black has decided in his own mind that he's a prophet. He now has a couple of dozen followers from what I understand. So he has some support while he's a fugitive. But he broke off from Warren Jeffs some years ago, and basically has his own little thing going.
He has interests in Mexico. He has a lot of supporters up on the Utah-Arizona border. So he's mobile. He has money. He may well be armed. He probably should be considered dangerous. But hopefully the U.S. marshals are serious about getting this guy.
COOPER: Michael Watkiss, appreciate you joining us, as always. You've been on this story longer than anyone. Thank you, Michael.
WATKISS: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: When we return, back to the "Battle on the Border." We take you to the water's edge, literally, where we are right here between Mexico and the United States. The border that literally goes into the ocean.
COOPER: Welcome back to this special edition of 360. We are live right on the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego County, obviously, on the U.S. side of the border. This is the fence right here. About 15 feet tall, made out of corrugated metal, very easy to climb, though. Very -- a lot of places you can get a foothold, get a handhold, and climb over. They've seen people with bicycles, tossing bicycles over, trying to ride away from Border Patrol officials. The fence, though, goes all the way down to the water's edge. We're just going to walk down the length of the fence here.
We're about 15 miles south of San Diego. And I can tell you, you can see the lights of San Diego. And for illegal immigrants who are wanting to cross over, it is a very alluring target. Look at the fence right here, though. It is literally -- it's basically just metal slats. You can actually -- I mean, you can put your body through here.
Earlier there were people hanging out, sort of putting their feet through. Someone very thin could fit through. That right there is Tijuana, just right through. It's actually kind of a nice part of Tijuana.
Earlier we saw people just kind of hanging out, waiting for darkness to come. There are Border Patrol officials all along this part of the fence along this beach.
Just over there, if you turn around, can you take a look. There's Border Patrol in a jeep standing by, as they have been much of the evening.
Let's go back down here, though, to show you how the fence literally goes right into the water. It goes about 50 feet or so, 60 feet, down through the water's edge.
They have actually seen people, though, swimming around the fence, snorkeling around it, going on boogie boards, on surfboards, just trying to paddle their way, kind of blend in with everyone else.
Just about any way you can imagine here in the San Diego sector, they have seen people trying to cross illegally into the United States.
And as we have been showing you over the last several weeks and just this week, they discovered another tunnel, a gopher hole, this one, a pretty primitive tunnel underneath the border.
We've, of course, shown you a much more sophisticated tunnel that they found several months ago, 2400-foot tunnel, in some cases was five feet tall, that had electricity in it, even had an air system in it. As we said, there are just about as many ways as there are to stop people from coming over, there are ways that they will try to figure out new ways to come over.
We're going to have a lot more from the border tonight and tomorrow, as well.
But first, Erica Hill has some of the business stories we're following -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, even though Easter was weeks ago, it didn't stop Wall Street from laying an egg today. Stocks falling big -- 214 points all for the Dow, 33 on the NASDAQ, 21 for the S&P. Decliners led advancers by five to one, all on reports of higher than expected inflation.
But there was some good news too. Oil prices taking a dip, light sweet crude for delivery in June fell 84 cents a barrel. It's still hovering just shy of the $69 a barrel mark.
And if you're hitting the road for the summer vacation, you are going to be paying more at the pump, but probably not enough to ruin your trip. Based on a 500-mile round trip, the federal government estimates you'll be paying anywhere from about $3 to $25 more -- Anderson.
COOPER: Erica, thanks very much.
When President Bush visits the border tomorrow in Arizona, we will be broadcasting again from the border here in California. That special coverage is tomorrow.
We've got a lot more ahead, though, tonight on 360. Stay with us. We'll be right back. Right here, live from the U.S.-Mexican border.
COOPER: Thanks for watching this special edition of 360. As I said, we'll be back at the border tomorrow night. "LARRY KING" is next. His guest, Actor and Activist Robert Redford.
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