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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Flooded Ohio Town Waits for Water to Recede; Intelligence Assessment Grim about Iraq; Pizza Mogul Founding Catholic Town

Aired August 23, 2007 - 23:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JOHN KING, HOST: Good evening from Washington. I'm John King, sitting in for Anderson.
Tonight, the water that's everywhere and the people bravely, bravely trying to rise above. With tens of thousands now in soggy misery, we'll travel to the hardest hit locations and see what the forecast may bring.

Also tonight, a powerful Republican says start bringing the troops home. We'll tell you about the stinging new intelligence report he says supports his call.

Plus a man who says pizza paved the road to salvation, a road he hopes will run through the center of his controversial new town, a town dedicated to his Catholic faith. We'll talk with Domino's founder Tom Monaghan.

That's all coming up. First, though, the flood. People all across the middle of the country hoping for sunshine and bracing for another shot of hell and high water.

A few got a slight break in the weather today, but in the hardest hit areas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, all it did was reveal the devastation. And it may not be over yet.

Chad Myers with the forecast in just a minute. First, though, let's go to Ottawa in central Ohio where CNN's David Mattingly is right in the middle of it all -- David.

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, if you want to get around in central Ohio, in some parts, you'd better leave the car at home. This flooded intersection that I'm standing in and the flood neighborhood behind me are just the fringe of a very large flood.

Everyone anxious to see what's under here after the floodwaters disappear, because they say that's when the real work begins.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Like most of their neighbors in Findlay, Ohio, Tait Metz (ph) and his family are drying out.

(on camera) Once the basement was filling up, the street was flooded, what was going through your mind?

LAURA METZ, RESIDENT OF FINDLAY, OHIO: Panic. Just wanted to get out.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): The speed of the flood from the raging Blanchard River caught them by surprise. The streets were impassible, and with baby twins and a 3-year-old in tow, they had to call for help.

TAIT METZ, RESIDENT OF FINDLAY, OHIO: So they sent a rescue boat for us and there were about three or four firemen that helped load the boat up. And then we got out here.

We're just waiting for the water to rise so we can clean it up.

MATTINGLY: They came back to find their basement and everything in it awash in floodwater and sewage. Many of their belongings won't be salvaged.

T. METZ: About 50 percent of this stuff will be -- will be trashed.

MATTINGLY: It is now a familiar story of loss and nature, with floods menacing thousands across the upper Midwest, all the result of torrential summer rains.

And as one town dries out, another is drenched. Downriver from Findlay, the city streets of Ottawa, Ohio, have disappeared, and the water didn't stop rising until it was just short of a 94-year-old record.

With flooding five feet or deeper in some parts of town, front- end loaders have become the newest form of mass transit. We hitched a ride for a look at a town that is paralyzed and soaked to the bone. Homes have become islands. Intersections look like rushing rivers.

(on camera) You can get a really good idea how fast the water is moving right here. These are the railroad tracks that run right through the middle of town. Of course, you can't see them under the water, but they're causing just enough of a bump to make the water churn.

SGT. BRAD NELSON, PUTNAM COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: All right, we're good.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Fire and police travel by boat, responding to emergency calls from people who can't leave their homes.

NELSON: Some people, you know, we talked to. We told them what's going on. And they decided to come on out. Some people said no. They wanted to stay with their house.

MATTINGLY (on camera): And now they're getting tired of staying in their houses.

NELSON: Yes.

MATTINGLY: Now you have to come get them.

NELSON: Right.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): This house even caught on fire. Responding was difficult. When water got too deep for the engines, front-end load hearse to carry the firemen to the scene. A note of urgency in a town waiting for its turn to watch the waters recede.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: David Mattingly joins us now.

David, stunning, sad pictures in your report there. You are still in the water. Is it receding?

MATTINGLY: It is receding. It peaked earlier today, but it's only going down at a rate of .4 of an inch per hour. That's very slow right now. They're hoping that pace picks up. And they hope that they'll see areas like this on the edge of the flood drying up by some time tomorrow. But this water is not going anywhere any time soon.

KING: David Mattingly right there in the middle of the devastation in Ottawa, Ohio.

David, thank you very much.

This is more than just people losing homes and possessions. Flooding has now killed ore than two dozen people across the Midwest and Southern Plains. Seven died in southeastern Minnesota.

These are the photos of the town of Rushroot (ph), taken by I- Reporter Jeffrey Long (ph).

President Bush today declared three Minnesota counties disaster areas.

And it's not over yet. Near hurricane force winds tore through Chicago today. It certainly looks like hurricane damage. Roofing gone, signs and scaffolding down. Dozens of people were hurt.

The question now, what's next? With some answers, CNN severe weather expert, Chad Myers -- Chad.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: John, a lot of the same. We have a stationary front. Like a stationary bike, it won't move. And this front is where the focus of these storms will be.

Look at this number up here: 48,000 lightning strikes in one hour across our map right there. That's like 12 strikes per second right here.

And this weather has been rolling through Chicago, rolling through Iowa and Nebraska and Kansas and into Michigan as well.

When it rolled through Chicago, we had I-Reporters out there, and boy, did they come through for us today. Ryan Andress (ph). This is from Chicago. That -- well, that's a Toyota Solara, what's left of it, anyway. Said there's another car under there somewhere, as well. Another picture from him. Trees down, large trees, like 18 and 20 inch around diameter trees, down in the middle of the streets, bringing down power lines for a time. Three hundred thousand people without power. That's what I'm talking about. Look at the size of that tree.

Now Ryan did take a real close-up of that tree, and it was full of bugs in there. So it wasn't very strong.

Now we go out to Aurora. That was Aurora. That was from Albert Canseno (ph). It was a blue car under that big tree. There it is, right there. You see that car? Yes. No one was in that car, no one home at the time, thank goodness. But some big-time damage there.

A lot of very large trees down, and chainsaws will be buzzing for a lot of the night there through Chicago land.

All night long here, we're still going to see more weather. Could see more flooding, too. There's still more rainfall coming down from, John, all the way back down, even to south of Des Moines. Heavy rainfall here back out to Omaha, more rain.

So this is just one day after another. And what's going to happen with this, this vein is just going to be right on top of itself tomorrow.

The front -- that's here. There's the stationary front. That's why it's red, blue, red, blue. Not moving. Doesn't move tomorrow, and the focus will be in the exact same place. More flooding on top of the places that just don't need more water -- John.

KING: And Chad, all that heat, a blessing or a curse?

MYERS: Well, the heat, the humidity. This is the fire. Yes, the heat is coming off the Gulf of Mexico. Stifling humidity here across the deep South. That's interacting with this front. And that's where all that heavy rainfall is coming from, from the heat and from the humidity.

I mean, people -- it was 104 degrees in Atlanta a couple of days ago. That was the third hottest day ever. Any year, any date, any month, the third hottest date. And it is just -- it is hot everywhere. People down south of this front really still feeling it. North of the front, it's nice and cool, but the front is not going anywhere.

KING: On top of it all for us, Chad Myers. Chad, thank you very much.

Now, flooding can happen any time, any time there's rain and anywhere rivers run through low-lying areas. They strike in all 50 states. Here's the raw data.

Flash floods, the most dangerous kind, can create walls of water up to 20 feet high. All it takes is two feet of water to wash away a car, and a single inch can be enough to damage your home. Now Iraq and a call to start bringing the troops home by Christmas. That's what a top Senate Republican says he wants. Good news, if it happens, for thousands of American family, but also a sign of very bad news for the mission.

That's because he wants them home to send a message, to serve as a kick in the pants to the Iraqi government, which Senator Warner believes cannot get its act together. He's not alone in his conclusion; the latest National Intelligence Estimate backs him up.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING (voice-over): In a word, the latest U.S. intelligence assessment of Iraq is bleak. So downbeat a leading Senate Republican just back from Iraq called on President Bush to quickly announce a modest troop withdrawal.

SEN. JOHN WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: Certainly, 160,000 plus, say 5,000 could begin to redeploy and be home to their family and loved ones no later than Christmas of this year.

KING: At issue is the new National Intelligence Estimate on prospects for Iraq's stability. This unclassified summary distributed on Capitol Hill cites some security improvements since the last assessment in January but says the level of overall violence, including attacks on and casualties among civilians, remains high. Iraq's sectarian groups remain unreconciled.

Among its sober finding, al Qaeda in Iraq retains the ability to conduct high profile attacks. Iraq's government will become more precarious over the next 6 to 12 months. And Iraqi security forces "have not improved enough to conduct major operations independent of the coalition."

Democrats for months have been demanding Mr. Bush start bringing troops home. And to them the intelligence estimate was fresh ammunition. Further pursuit of the administration's flawed escalation strategy is not in our nation's best interest, is now Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid put it.

Reid urged more Republicans to join Democrats in demanding troop withdrawals, and Senator Warner's assessment made increased pressure on the White House all but certain.

The Virginia Republican was careful to say the president and the president alone should decide how many troops and how fast, but also was emphatic in the view that bringing troops home is the only way to force Iraq's government to do more.

WARNER: We simply cannot, as a nation, stand and put our troops at continuous risk of loss of life and limb without beginning to take some decisive action which will get everybody's attention.

KING: The president is vacationing in Crawford, Texas, where the White House said Mr. Bush respects Senator Warner but will base troop levels on Pentagon recommendations due next month. GORDON JOHNDROE, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESMAN: I just think it's important that we wait right now to hear from the commanders on the ground about the way ahead.

KING: The new assessment did give the White House some ammunition in the debate over bringing troops home or pulling them back from Iraq's most volatile neighborhoods, suggesting changing the mission of coalition forces would erode security gains achieved thus far.

But its sharp criticism of Iraq's government also emboldened those in Congress who think Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki should be forced out.

The White House says Mr. Bush stands by the prime minister and that those decisions are best left to the Iraqi people.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: That's sober backdrop. Now the implications for that. We turn to CNN's Michael Ware in Baghdad.

Michael, let's call -- let's start with Senator Warner's call to bring some troops home. Essentially shock therapy. He says you need to shock the Iraqis into stepping up. Any chance it would work?

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely not, John. I mean, with respect to Senator Warner, I mean, he's dreaming if he thinks that by pulling U.S. troops out, that in any way that's going to prod the Iraqi government.

In fact, what that would do is spur this so-called government. Indeed, this government is not a government at all. This is a loose coalition of largely Iranian-backed militia.

And as the National Intelligence Estimate report clearly shows, what's really going on right now is that everyone is jockeying for position in the expectation that American troops are going to draw down. Everyone's planning on what they're going to do once America leaves. And honestly, none of it's pretty, and none of is it going to serve U.S. interests.

So pulling a few thousand troops out is just going to be a signal to all these militias to keep the pressure up on America. And, as the report says, it's going to be a clear message to Iran to keep the foot on the accelerator and maximize its advantage during this crisis of American foreign policy.

KING: Let's follow up a little bit more on the political situation. The NIE, the National Intelligence Estimate, is very down on Prime Minister Maliki and the prospects of him getting the government's act together. It says his split with the Sadrists is growing.

Yet the report says essentially that it's banking on Shiite leaders to recognize that searching for any alternative would paralyze the government. A safe bet?

WARE: That's true. That's absolutely true. The NIE makes a searingly frank report of what's actually happening here. I mean, you have to respect what the intelligence chiefs have done. They've really laid it bare.

But the problem is that this government cannot deliver on any of the things that America wants. And to be honest, large factions of it have no desire or interest to deliver on what America wants.

So this intelligence estimate and its perception, its view of this Iraqi government is searingly accurate, John.

KING: And so, Michael, amid all the pressure on the Maliki government and amid some calls here by senior lawmakers in the United States that he should step down or be forced out. There's word a high-powered U.S. lobbying firm is helping a former prime minister, Ayad Allawi.

How is that going down in a country where I would suspect many people are already tired enough of what they consider too much U.S. interference?

WARE: Well, a lot of people are looking for change. I mean, everybody knows that Prime Minister Maliki is really, in essence, a lame duck.

This is a man who's leading a government where the currency of political power is the size of your militia. How many men at arms do you command? And he has no militia at all.

So he has very little authority over his own government. Indeed, one very senior U.S. source said that, of his 37 cabinet ministers, there's only actually three that Maliki can count on.

So to hear that one of the contenders, former prime minister Ayad Allawi, America's closed political ally in this country and a long- term intelligence (ph) asset, has engaged the services of a Republican lobbying firm to boost his chance in the eyes of members of Congress, in some sense really isn't a surprise.

I mean, Iran is preparing its candidate. So it doesn't surprise me that former Prime Minister Allawi, using money that I'm sure he's been garnering from here in the region, from America's Arab allies like Saudi Arabia, is working to undermine Maliki, to press the case for change.

And as we revealed on CNN, there's even American frontline U.S. generals who believe that this government should just be wiped away by either constitutional or non-constitutional means. And for the short to medium-term at least, these American generals don't believe that a democracy is necessary to replace it, and perhaps it's best that one doesn't for now.

KING: A sober assessment to say the least. Michael Ware in Baghdad. Michael, thank you very much. Ahead on the program, some believe we're on the verge of another Cold War with Russia, but coming up, a picture of the Russian president that is so hot. Well, Lenin would melt in his crypt. "Raw Politics", of course.

Also tonight, these stories.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING (voice-over): From pizza to piety. Meet the Domino's billionaire trying to build his own brand of salvation by building his own Catholic town.

TOM MONAGHAN, DOMINO'S PIZZA FOUNDER: My goal is to drag as many people to heaven with me as I can.

KING: See how he's giving up a fortune to do it. How he answers those who say nonbelievers need not apply.

Also tonight, nine other wives, facing dozens of children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I told everybody how happy I was, but you have to live in denial in order to be accepted and in order to go to heaven.

KING: One woman's harrowing journey from polygamy, how it haunts her to this day. Only on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Money, muscles and mudslinging. They're all playing part in guess what? Tonight's "Raw Politics", with the candidates talking plenty of trash and cash.

CNN's Tom Foreman explains, and he begins with a battle.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): John, maybe the Bolivians could not see the chaos coming to their Congress, where a free-for-all erupted, but we can see what is coming on the campaign trail.

The Republicans say the election is about security; the Democrats say it is about change. But as we predicted weeks ago, they're all increasingly talking economics.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We believe in a strong economy.

FOREMAN: Put a "Raw Politics" watch on this. The economy has proven resilient, but the weak housing market is expected to push unemployment. Kids are headed back to college. That means tuition, Mom and Dad. And gas is still not a bargain.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This obviously something that is of concern to everybody.

FOREMAN: We told you Republicans are mounting a $15 million ad campaign to support the war. Now anti-war forces promise a $30 million counter campaign.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No more reckless wars!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No more reckless wars!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No more reckless wars!

FOREMAN: They'll target Republicans whose re-election prospects are shaky.

John Edwards did not say her name, but he started the four-day New Hampshire swing ripping into candidates who take big donations from big money interests, and he means the Hill.

JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The American people deserve to know that their presidency is not for sale.

FOREMAN: Get me the press office. Russian President Vladimir Putin, on vacation in Siberia, didn't even get a stupid t-shirt. These are the official photos. Apparently, they were meant to promote awareness of physical fitness for his fellow Russians.

(on camera) And at the same time, listen to this. A French magazine has been accused of air brushing away the love handles on President Sarkozy, evidenced in his recent vacation picture. The perils of politics in the raw -- John.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: In the raw, indeed.

Now some of today's other headlines. Erica Hill joins us with a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: John, rescuers are now drilling a sixth hole into Utah's Crandall Canyon mine. It should be completed tomorrow. Mine co-owner Bob Murray says if there is still no sign there of the six trapped miners, the rescue effort will, in fact, be over.

In Canton, Ohio, an ex-cop accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend faces arraignment tomorrow. Bobby Cutts Jr. could face the death penalty if convicted in the killing of Jessie Davis and her unborn daughter. Their bodies were found buried in a national park in June after a ten-day search.

And for actress Lindsay Lohan, it is one day in jail and ten days of community service. The actress reaching that plea deal on drunk driving and cocaine charges for the two arrests she had in the past four months. Prosecutors decided not to pursue felony charges for the cocaine because of the small amount they say they found on Lohan, John. So there you go.

KING: I think people will be comparing that sentence to Paris Hilton's sentence.

HILL: Yes. Nicole Richie, you name it all lumped into one.

KING: All a new kind of comparison shopping.

HILL: Yes, indeed. We're going to move onto to the "What Were They Thinking?"

This one, turns out, not a lot people were thinking, yes. It is over for "Anchorwoman". The FOX reality show history after just two back to back episodes last night because of bad ratings. The reviews not exactly stellar either.

The show, of course, featured Lauren Jones, who was a WWE diva, an ex-Barker beauty on "The Price is Right", as she attempted to become a TV journalist and anchorwoman in Tyler, Texas.

Now, though, it's anchors away, John.

KING: You know, everything I'm thinking would get me in trouble, so I'm going to let you finish this one up.

HILL: I'm not going to say anything either, because like you I need to keep my job. But yes. We'll leave it at yes, how about that?

KING: Perfect. Erica, thank you very much.

HILL: See you later.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Now here's Kiran Chetry with what's coming up tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KIRAN CHETRY, CO-HOST, "AMERICAN MORNING": Thanks, John.

Tomorrow, we bring you the most news in the morning, including the next step for thousands of families across the Midwest, how do you rebuild after mudslides and floodwaters wipe out your home? We talk to homeowners this week who say they had insurance, but the insurance won't help them. So what will? We get some answers tomorrow, beginning at 6 a.m. Eastern.

John, back to you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Up next on 360, a new holy land, not in the Middle East but in Florida. The story behind this divine destination and the billionaire who founded it.

Also ahead, new revelations about one of the world's most revered religious figures. Mother Teresa's secret life, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: The mogul who built Domino's into one of the largest pizza chains in the nation is now trying to create the holy land in the Sunshine State.

His dream is to develop a self-contained Catholic community, and it's almost a reality. Construction began earlier this year on what some see as a divine destination.

CNN's Randi Kaye takes us there.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Deep in the heart of south Florida, along the hazy swamps of the Everglades, a brand new town is rising up from nothing.

This is Ave Maria, a Catholic utopia founded and funded by billionaire businessman Tom Monaghan, his ticket, he hopes, to eternal salvation.

MONAGHAN: My goal is to get to heaven and drag as many people with me as I can.

KAYE: Here, streets are named after saints and popes. The town square built around a massive cathedral designed by Monaghan himself.

MONAGHAN: I think this will be one of the 10 best known Catholic churches in the country.

KAYE: The ten-year plan, 11,000 homes, 25,000 residents and 5,000 students at Ave Maria University.

(on camera) Does it feel like Disney World for Catholics to you?

MONAGHAN: Well, I think it would be a place for, I think, a certain amount of Catholics, particularly serious Catholics who want to live around a serious, really high quality Catholic university.

KAYE (voice-over): Monaghan has pumped nearly half a billion dollars of his personal fortune into Ave Maria, money he earned from the Domino's Pizza chain he founded and then sold nearly a decade ago.

These are his glory years, his reward after a childhood of poverty and struggled. Raised by nuns in a Catholic orphanage, yearning to give back his whole life, building his business around that goal.

MONAGHAN: You know the saying, life is short and eternity is forever. Domino's was just -- I only saw Domino's as way to help the church. KAYE: But wealth brought temptation: fancy cars, a baseball teams, a fleet of private jets. Then one day while reading a book by the Christian writer C.S. Lewis, Monaghan began to feel like a fraud.

MONAGHAN: I read this chapter in there called "The Great Sin", is the sin of pride, the worst of all sins. When you want to have more than other people have and accomplish more than other people have, that's -- it's that comparison to other people, to be better than other people.

KAYE (on camera): So you sold everything off?

MONAGHAN: Everything that was ostentatious, yes.

KAYE (voice-over): The money is now going into Ave Maria, which Monaghan insists is open to everyone, not just Catholics.

(on camera) What if somebody wanted to build a synagogue or a mosque on the grounds here?

MONAGHAN: Fire.

KAYE: Fine?

MONAGHAN: Sure.

KAYE: What if an atheist wanted to move to town?

MONAGHAN: That's fine, too.

KAYE (voice-over): Maybe so, but Monaghan prefers Ave Maria take its cues from the Vatican.

(on camera) In the past, Monaghan has said cable TV here in Ave Maria would not be allowed to air adult programming like pornography. He's also said pharmacists wouldn't be distributing birth control.

Critics blasted him. Since then, he's backed off.

(voice-over) He realized he can ban condoms and porn at his private university, but the law stops him from doing that in town.

TOM MONAGHAN, AVE MARIA: I said some things that I didn't know what I was talking about early on. We're not going to break the law. I prefer not to have that sort of thing, that's something that my faith teaches is immoral.

KAYE: So if a pharmacist decide he wanted to open up shop here and sell contraception, would he be allowed to.

MONAGHAN: I don't think I would be able to do anything about it.

KAYE: But you would want to?

MONAGHAN: I probably would want to.

KAYE: That might sound scary to some people, but to David and Martha Eysaman it sounds like a wholesome family environment.

DAVID EYSAMAN, AVE MARIA HOMEOWNER: Little bit of shelter from the crazy world. Not saying that influence might not get in here somehow but I think it's going to be a lot more difficult for that to happen.

KAYE: Proud new residents of Tom Monaghan's kingdom of heaven. Randi Kaye, CNN, Ave Maria, Florida.

JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: A kingdom of heaven for Monaghan and plenty of controversy as well. Joining me for more of this story, CNN senior Vatican analyst, John Allen, who's also senior correspondent to the National Catholic Reporter. John, something like this, it will generate a lot of the headlines, does it benefit the Catholic Church?

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: I think that remains to be seen. I think at one level, the real question here is how is this going to play in the open marketplace. I mean you heard Tom Monaghan's rather ambition goals here, he would like it see a university of 5,000. At presents the enrollment is 500. He's talking about a town population of 25,000. Not really clear yet if that's going to happen. But on the other hand, I think broadly speaking, the church is always glad to see lay people who have done well in the business world trying to put those resources to religious purposes.

KING: Stay with us, because we also want to talk to you about this shocking new revelation about Mother Teresa. This September 5th marks the 10th anniversary of her death. While the so called angel of mercy in on her way to sainthood, current issue of "Time" magazine shares her secret battle with her faith, one that lasted for decades and left Mother Teresa feeling an absence of God if her life.

John, this fascinating stuff. In a letter to a spiritual confidant Mother Teresa wrote this about Jesus -- what do I labor for? If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there is no soul, then Jesus, you also are not true. Fairly shocking from someone who's on a path to sainthood.

ALLEN: Yes although if you know a little bit about catholic saints, it's going to be not quite so shocking. There was a 16th century catholic saint by the name of John of the Cross who wrote the "Dark Night of the Soul," it is this experience that is common to many great what you might call spiritual overachievers who often in the course of their life they go through a period in which they're simply not feeling it anymore. At a head level, in their minds, they're convinced of the truth of the faith but they can't feel it in their hearts and their souls. What's different with Mother Teresa is the intensity of that feeling, that absence of God that comes through in these letters. Perhaps more to the point, how long it lasted. We're really talking about an experience that began in 1948 and with the exception of a very brief window of a few weeks in the 50s lasted throughout the rest of her life.

But I think, John, in the end, in a way, that may make her a more accessible figure for a lot of people. The problem with the whole concept of sainthoods for a lot of Catholics and normal people is obviously we admire and respect it but it seems so remote from the ordinary run of human experience, most of us just aren't wired that way. Here we have someone who was able to do so much good for so many people and yet have this kind of inner turmoil going on that tracks with a lot of us feel most of the time.

KING: Well, let's delve into that a lot little more. When Mother Teresa was seeking permission to start her mission in Calcutta for which she became so famous, she spoke of having heard the voice of Jesus who she said told her, you are I know the most incapable person, weak and sinful, but just because of that, I want to use you for my glory. Wilt though refuse? And yet almost as soon as he started this mission, she said she lost touch with God. How do you do that so publicly, be a person of such faith and a person of such dedication and have these inner doubts?

ALLEN: I think again probably if we all look into our own hearts and our own souls, we can answer that question. You and I as journalists, there are sometimes when I think it's very clear to us that we're making a difference, that we're doing good. You know there are other times, when I suppose, interiorly, we find ourselves asking is any of this making a difference. The real test of character is what do you in those latter moments? Do you keep putting one foot in front of the other and do what you believe to be right? That's what we see in the life of Mother Teresa, that someone who was for whatever reason, was deprived of the interior experience of the closeness of God and yet continued to live an extraordinarily holy life.

Let's not forget, there's precedent for that Jesus as he was hanging on the cross, said my God, my God, why have you forsaken me. Even he in that moment was tempted to despair and to doubt. So I don't think there's anything particularly shocking about that going on in the life of Mother Teresa.

Again, I think the real surprise is the depth of that feeling and quite simply how long it lasted. The fact that this woman was able to keep doing extraordinary things for such a long period of time when in her heart of hearts, she couldn't feel the truth, she couldn't feel the presence of that thing which she professed to be most precious to her. I think that's a remarkable thing.

KING: Remarkable, it is. John Allen, thank you for helping us understand it tonight. Thanks very much.

ALLEN: You bet, John.

KING: Thank you.

There's another kind of faith that can be agonizing in the demands of its followers. In a moment, you'll meet a am who lived a life of polygamy even though it was tearing her apart. Nine other wives, raising dozens of children.

IRENE SPENCER: I told everybody how happy I was but you have to live in denial in order to be accept and in order to go to heaven.

ANDERSON: One woman's harrowing journey from polygamy an how it haunts her to this day.

Plus the innocent Vick tips of Michael Vick's dog fighting operation. 50 pit bulls facing a death sentence what will happen to them? Who's fighting for them? Answers ahead on "360."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Trial of Warren Jeffs begins in just a few weeks. Even behind bars, Jeffs remains the leader of one of the biggest polygamist sects. But there are other sects that also believe a husband should have multiple wives. You're about to meet a former follower of one of them. Her name is Irene Spencer. She married her brother-in-law when she was just 16. She writes about her decades in polygamy in her new book "Shattered Dreams." Anderson recently spoke with her.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Irene, your story is fascinating, you grew up in the polygamist family. You weren't part of the FLDS though you have sisters who were. Your family was independent. What does that mean?

SPENCER: Well that means that my father didn't claim anyone as a prophet. He just believed in polygamy, that the Mormon Church had instituted. And when they gave it up in 1890, why, they -- all my relatives felt they had to carry it on. So my father just believed the principle but did not follow any sect.

COOPER: And you were one of 31 children, and you say you grew up really in a secret life. What was that like trying to maintain that secret?

SPENCER: We just didn't tell anybody who we were, we just stayed among ourselves, held meetings on Sundays at different polygamist homes. And we just associated with other polygamists.

COOPER: You finally entered your own polygamist marriage. You were a second wife. What exact is that mean? What are the responsibilities of a second wife?

SPENCER: Well, I became a second wife because I wanted to help my husband gain a quorum of at least seven wives so that he could go into heaven and have his own world and become a god. Therefore I married my sister's husband when I was 16.

COOPER: Wait. So you married your sister's husband believing that unless he seven wives he wouldn't reach heaven?

SPENCER: Well, it took at least three but the more they had the more secure their salvation was.

COOPER: So that's the motivation to have more wives?

SPENCER: Well, we believed that we were going to become gods and goddesses and some day we would go to our own world and own our own we had all these children to populate our own world.

COOPER: What is it like being in a marriage? How many wives ultimately did your husband have?

SPENCER: He ended up marrying nine other women besides me. He had ten wives and 58 children.

COOPER: We've done interviews with people who are currently in polygamist families, polygamist wives, they say it's great, they have no problems with it there's no jealousy, they like it. Was that your -- was that the case with you at all?

SPENCER: I lived that lie for 28 years. I told everybody how --

COOPER: You lived a lie.

SPENCER: I told everybody how happy I was. But you have to live in denial in order to be accepted and in order to go to heaven.

COOPER: When you say living in denial. Why? Because in truth you still have all the feelings anybody would have of jealousy and things like that?

SPENCER: Absolutely. But you don't dare tell anybody that. I would cry silently in my pillow at might and feel bad, but every woman has these natural instincts of wanting to be loved and to be special and to be valued.

COOPER: Ultimately, you decided to leave once your husband took a ninth wife. That must have been a difficult decision, to say the least.

SPENCER: Actually he took the tenth wife because he wasn't counting me, but he took the tenth wife. I had it, I said if he was going to marry her, then I told her I'm going to give her to you for a going away present and I took my children and drove out of his life.

COOPER: Why write about this now? Why speak out about this?

SPENCER: Well, in the first place, I wrote this book 18 years ago and gave it to my daughter just for history's sake. I never ever thought it would be published because I didn't think that I was good enough to write in the first place. But I gave it to her and she let about 20 people read it and they said boy, you've got a bestseller, but the reason I'm speaking out now is that in all the news and everywhere with "Big Love," most of the people that have been shown on different polygamist shows are actually relatives of mine. I wrote this book because I want to be the voice for every woman who has remained silent through fear.

COOPER: You say through fear, you think that's what's at the core of what is keeping a lot of women in these relationships?

SPENCER: Well, certainly it is. Your fear of the unknown. You're in a group. You're uneducated. You don't have any job skills, most of you. All you know is being a mother. I've known women that have had 21 and 22 births of children. And we have all these children. Where are you going do to go? How are you going to get out? How are you going to cope in the world? COOPER: It's a fascinating life, a fascinating story that you have. "Shattered Dreams" is the book. Irene Spencer, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

COOPER: Thank you very much.

JOHN: Still ahead, Michael Vick has a plea deal. Dozens of dogs on his property are facing a death sentence. Can they be saved?

And a doctor helping save kids who have nowhere else to turn. Meet a true CNN hero next.

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KING: Medicine isn't cheap and insurance unfortunately doesn't cover everyone, but there's one doctor in Arizona who is doing his own health care reform by offering his services for free. Dr. Randy Christensen has changed the lives of thousands of kids and that's why tonight, he's our CNN hero.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I was 10 years old I decided to run away from home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've been on the streets from 12 till 20.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know it's scary to live on the streets. There's so many drugs and there's violence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I sleep in an abandoned house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was taken away from my parents when I was like 10 years old.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My dad dropped me off at a dumpster. He told me don't even think about coming back home.

DR. RANDY CHRISTENSEN: There's as many as 5,000 to 10,000 kids on the streets of Arizona. We turn our heads, we don't look at them in the eyes. Many of the kids are truly forgotten. I'm Dr. Randy Christensen. I'm the medical director for the crew's health mobile. We take care of kids on the streets through a medical mobile van. Everything that would be in a regular doctor's office is on the van. All of the kids are seen free of charge. Did you need anything? A new backpack? I've never really been about the money. I went to medical school thinking that I would be a surgeon, but everything that made me stop and think had to do with children and adolescents. I chose to come out on the streets.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dr. Christensen helps people who really want to get help.

CHRISTENSEN: I pull up in the van. Within five to ten minute, there's 20 or 30 kids coming out of every different alley or street. You get out there and see some of these kids. You talk to them and you give them a little dignity and respect and all of a sudden they open up. It is like a light bulb goes on and they want to talk and tell you their story.

Here let me listen to you. They think you might have a pneumonia. Take a deep breath. They still have that gleam of hope in their eyes. It's that hope that gives you hope. High five. Yeah. And at the very end, they give you a big hug and they say, thank you, and that means the most to me.

KING: More than 2,000 kids a year. Is that remarkable? Logon to CNN.com/heroes to find out how you can help Dr. Christensen. You can also nominate a hero of your own.

Up next on "360," another reality star, another mug shot. Nicole Richie sent to the slammer. It's a slimmer slammer sentence wise as you'll find out.

And an extreme sport you have to see to believe. It's our shot of the day and it's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Our shot of the day coming up. The new extreme sport of glacier surfing. Cool? We'll show you just how it works. First Erica Hill from Headline News joins us again with a 360 bulletin.

Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS: John, another accident at New York's ground zero where a condemned building caught on fire last weekend. Today, two firefighters were hurt after scaffolding collapsed at the site. On Saturday, two firefighters were killed battling a blaze there. No word yet on what caused the fire.

In Virginia, today is the deadline for owners to retrieve the 53 pit bulls seized from the property owned by Michael Vick, the NFL star accused of using those animals in vicious dog fights. Prosecutors have asked the judge to euthanize the dogs if they are not picked up. Vick is scheduled to plead guilty to dog fighting charges on Monday as part of a plea deal.

In Florida tomorrow, the lawyer for former astronaut Lisa Nowak will ask a judge to throw out evidence in her case. Nowak is accused of assaulting a romantic rival in March. She doesn't want her statements to police used at trial next month and wants to suppress the evidence collected from her car. If convicted, Nowak could face up to life in prison.

Nicole Richie in and out of jail today, serving barely 90 minutes of a five-day sentence for misdemeanor DUI connected to her arrest near L.A. back in December. Richie is of course also pregnant, expecting a child with her boyfriend Good Charlotte front man Joel Madden but doesn't have to worry about spending too much time in jail. How about that, 90 minutes for a four-day sentence.

KING: Nicole Richie getting off easy. Lindsay Lohan getting off not so bad. Erica, don't go anywhere. Check out the shot of the day and trust me, this one you need to see to believe. What do you get when you combine a Hawaiian surfer with an Alaskan glacier? The answer, the newest extreme sport. It's called glacier surfing. Look closely, the strategy is simple enough, wait until the glacier breaks and then hang five off a jet ski on the ensuing tsunami. Looking closely there, we're told some of the daredevils wait for days, Erica, before that perfect wave to forms. You're just dying to get up there.

HILL: I'm such a dare devil. I have to say John, I know this is going to sound rather curmudgeonly, that doesn't look very safe.

KING: It doesn't look very safe. I just tried wakeboarding and that was enough to make my heart palpitate a little bit. That looks a little crazy.

HILL: Plus I think I read somewhere where that water is like 36 degrees, I don't care what your wet suit is, it's still cold.

KING: We're going to find some money in the show budget to send you up there.

HILL: OK. That will be great.

KING: Thank you very much. Take care.

HILL: Good-bye, John.

KING: Remember, we want you to send us your shot ideas. If you see in amazing video, tell us about it at CNN.com/360. We'll put some of your best clips on our air.

Up next, your feedback on the catholic community Ave Maria in Florida. We brought you story earlier tonight, a lot of you sharing your comments on the 360 blog.

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KING: Time to check what's on the radar on the 360 blog. A lot of you sharing your thoughts on Randi Kaye's report on the catholic community in Florida.

Nic in Lake Mary, Florida writes, "What if towns in the United States began to be associated with a specific religion like this one, and we begin to be segregated in a new way? We'd lose our diversity and our tolerance. In a time when religion is such a hot topic, we should be looking towards ways to find unity, common ground and a way to co-exist, not go so far as to completely separate ourselves from those we don't agree with."

Desiree in St. Charles Missouri sees it the other way. She says, "Good for him. I think people are genuinely tired of moral-less inflated and down right depraved communities. He is able to do something about it. He is able to be the change he wants to see. He has a dream that he can afford and he's going for it." While Renee in Bradenton, Florida writes, "I would live in a tent in an Everglades campground with the gators and snakes before I would live there."

To weigh in on this and our other stories, go to CNN.com/360blog.

And that's 360. Thanks for joining us. I'm John King in for Anderson Cooper.

For our international viewers, "CNN TODAY" is next and here in the states, "God's Warriors," a CNN special with Christiane Amanpour.

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