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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Extremist Group Targets America's Governors; Scientology: A History of Violence; Doctor Tells Obama Voters to Go Away
Aired April 2, 2010 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, "Keeping Them Honest": the doctor who put a sign on his door that says, "If you voted for Obama, go elsewhere." Now a congressman is calling for an investigation. Critics say, his license should be revoked. The question is, is what he did legal?
We're going to hear from him. We will talk to the doctor and to the congressman who is on his case.
Also tonight, dozens of governors get threatening letters from an extremist group that wants to do away with the government. Security is on alert. The FBI is involved. We will tell you who this new group is and whether or not they're for real.
And, later, our investigation into the Church of Scientology concludes tonight. Ex-wives of those accusing the church leader of violence say their former husbands are liars. You will hear from them and you will get the husbands' response.
But first up tonight, "Keeping Them Honest": the doctor in Florida who says, if you voted for Obama, go someplace else for care. The question is, can he do that? I mean, is it legal? Is it ethical? In a moment, we will talk to the doctor about why he doesn't want patients who voted for Obama.
But I want to just show you how this controversy started. Let's go over to the wall here. Take a look. This is the sign that the doctor put on the door of his office. It was the first thing patients would see. It said, "If you voted for Obama, seek urologic care elsewhere." He's obviously a urologist. "Changes to your health care begin right now, not in four years."
So, now the urologist, Dr. Jack Cassell, who I'm going to talk to in a minute, says he isn't turning anyone away for care, despite what that sign says. We will also talk to the local Democratic congressman, Alan Grayson, who is outraged about this, outraged about what the doctor is doing, and says it goes against the Hippocratic oath.
So, let's take a look at part of that Hippocratic oath. Now, the modern version of that oath reads -- and I quote -- "I will remember that I remain a member of society with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and bodies, as well as the infirm." OK, it doesn't say anything about politics. So, let's look at the AMA code. The American Medical Association's code of ethics does mention politics, Section 9.012 -- quote -- "Under no circumstances should physicians allow their differences with patients or their families about political matters to interfere with the delivery of high-quality professional care."
COOPER: And Dr. Cassell joins us now.
So, Dr. Cassell, you say you're not turning any patient away.
DR. JACK CASSELL, UROLOGIST: Right.
COOPER: But, I mean, the sign in your door says, "If you voted for Obama, seek urologic care elsewhere." It's on the door to your office.
COOPER: It's the first thing patients see.
COOPER: How is that not designed to turn them away?
CASSELL: Well, I can tell you that my -- the people that are Obama supporters in my office still walk in the door. So...
COOPER: But, I mean, clearly, somebody was upset enough to contact, you know, local representatives to take photos of this.
COOPER: And, clearly, some people have been turned away.
CASSELL: Sure. Well, that's -- and that's their choice. They can go to another urologist, if they -- if they feel so inclined.
COOPER: But you're telling them go to another urologist.
CASSELL: I am -- well, in a manner of speaking, I am. But a lot of people feel, well, I still -- based on my reputation and their need, they will come in my door.
COOPER: But, I mean, you have said you would prefer not to treat people who support the president. Now, if you have that in mind, how can you claim that you're treating them the same?
I mean, if there is an entire class of people you don't like, your actions toward them are going to be different.
CASSELL: Well, I didn't say I didn't like them. I just said that I want to stir up a little controversy. COOPER: Well, you think they're morons, according to one of the other notes that you have in your office waiting room. You clearly think that they are...
CASSELL: No, no, no, the morons -- the morons who voted for the health care bill.
COOPER: OK. Well, then, your patients who supported Obama and supported the people who supported the people who voted for the health care bill, I guess, you would consider morons, if you consider the people who voted for it morons.
CASSELL: Well, no. I think -- I think the elected officials need to have read the bill. And, certainly, most of them haven't. And they certainly aren't familiar with the time frame of implementation.
CASSELL: And that's what I wanted -- that's what I wanted my patients to be familiar with, was exactly what are they getting into. And I think it has worked.
COOPER: But, I mean, your actions are designed to make an entire class of patients uncomfortable.
CASSELL: Well, I think the health care bill makes them more uncomfortable than...
COOPER: Well, no, because plenty of people support the health care bill. If someone who supports the health care bill has a urinary infection and -- and, in desperation, comes to your office...
COOPER: ... and the first thing they see is this sign saying, go somewhere else, that's...
CASSELL: Well, it hasn't stopped people from coming in.
COOPER: Well, you don't know that.
CASSELL: I know you would like to think that they have, but they haven't.
COOPER: Your critics are pointing to the AMA code of ethics, which says that, "Under no circumstances should physicians allow their differences with patients or their families about political matters to interfere with the delivery of high-quality professional care."
CASSELL: It hasn't.
COOPER: Well, I mean...
CASSELL: I still deliver high-quality professional care. COOPER: But if you have a sign on your door that says, go away if you support Obama, that, by its definition, is interfering. I mean, you -- from the moment someone is about to walk into your door, there is a sign saying, "Go away if you like Obama."
That's designed to interfere. It is designed to turn them away.
CASSELL: It is not designed to turn them away. It is designed to make them start thinking.
COOPER: Well, if you want people to think and educate people, then you would say on your sign, you know, "I hate this bill, and here's why, and here's some thought-provoking ideas."
CASSELL: Well, because...
COOPER: It does -- it doesn't say that. It says, "Go away."
CASSELL: It says, "Go away." They don't go away. I mean, from what I can tell, I don't -- I understand what you're saying.
COOPER: Well, you have just said you don't know -- you have just said you don't know if people have gone away or not.
CASSELL: Plenty of them are coming in. I think the message is getting out there.
I think I have done a lot more good than -- than -- than not good here. I just hope that more doctors will make their patients aware of exactly what's going to be happening to them. And that's -- and I think that I have succeeded in a little transparency of this issue over the last 48 hours.
COOPER: You understand why some people are upset about this, though, don't you?
CASSELL: I think that more people are not upset about it than people that are. I think the people that are upset are the people that read this, not...
CASSELL: ... not my actions. I'm hearing -- I'm hearing a lot of positive feedback from people.
COOPER: How long is the sign going to stay up?
CASSELL: I don't know. If I can think of a better one, I will. I will put -- I will put the new one out.
COOPER: All right.
Dr. -- Dr. Jack Cassell, appreciate your time. Thank you.
CASSELL: Thank you, sir. Thanks for your interest.
COOPER: Well, there you have it.
Democratic Congressman now Alan Grayson.
A woman whose daughter took a picture of the sign sent it to the congressman complaining. He's filing a formal complaint with the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Medical Board.
Congressman Grayson joins us now.
You -- does it make sense, what the doctor is saying? I mean, he's claiming he's not turning any patients away.
REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: He's a very confused individual. That much is obvious.
But what he's doing clearly is a violation of the ethics rules that you cited earlier, the Hippocratic oath, the rules of the AMA. And it's at the expense of his patients and care. What he's doing is no different from saying, "I will not treat a black person. I will not treat a Catholic."
I thought that we, as a country, has moved beyond that.
COOPER: But wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute.
I mean, I'm not taking a side. I'm not taking anybody's side in this, but, just for accuracy's sake, he has said nothing about race. And race is a protected category. I mean, there are -- it is illegal to discriminate someone based on race. It is not illegal to say you don't want to treat somebody because you don't like their politics. Politics is not a protected class.
GRAYSON: Well, in fact, where he lives, in Mount Dora, which is in my district, many, many of the Democrats who live in Mount Dora happen to be African-Americans.
So, by saying that he will not treat somebody who supported Obama, he's saying that he's not going to treat a large number of African-Americans in the community.
COOPER: Wait. So, you're saying race is at the core of this? Come on. There is no evidence of that at all.
GRAYSON: No, I'm saying -- I'm saying that it shows very poor judgment. And the effect of this -- the effect of this is to set us back as a country. That's why I'm disgusted by it.
COOPER: But, again, he's not doing anything illegal.
GRAYSON: Well, that remains to be seen. You know, he's licensed. There are licensing authorities who are going to look into what he's doing. And I hope that they will take action, because, frankly, I think a lot of people are disturbed just to go into his office. He's turned his inner office, his reception area, into some shrine of right-wing nuttery.
And he said earlier today on FOX News that he's upset about the health care bill because it means that old people won't able to go to nursing homes anymore.
COOPER: Critics of you, though, will say, well, look, this comes across as a partisan attack, that you're using the legal system, or the medical ethics system, to pressure someone who doesn't agree with you.
GRAYSON: Well, that's not true.
COOPER: I mean, if this was an Obama supporter who put up a sign saying, "I don't like Republicans, and Republicans should go elsewhere," would you be as outraged?
GRAYSON: I'm protecting the people in my district who deserve medical care, even if they happen to have voted for Obama.
COOPER: Nobody, though, seems to be alleging that he treats any of his patients any differently based on what they believe. I mean, so far, no one has said that their care has suffered because they were an Obama supporter.
GRAYSON: How many people walked in -- walked up to his front door, saw the sign, and turned away? How many people referred from other physicians in the community, including primary care physicians, how many patients saw that sign and walked away?
COOPER: What kind of penalty do you think he should get?
GRAYSON: Well, whatever the medical authorities think he should get. But it is a clear violation of ethics, and it's a particularly ugly one. Why is it that the right wing is so preoccupied with denying people health? Why is that?
COOPER: Representative Alan Grayson, appreciate you being on for your perspective. Thank you very much.
GRAYSON: Thank you.
COOPER: A quick reminder: The live chat is up and running. Let us know what you think about this at AC360.com. I'm sure a lot of you have opinions on it.
Just ahead: a chilling portrait. She was just 17 years old. Look at this picture of this young girl -- 17 years old, old enough to brandish a pistol, apparently strap explosives to her body, blow herself up at a subway station in Moscow, killing an awful of innocent people. These pictures is our first look at the bomber, a member of what has become known as Russia's black widows. We're also going to look at the vulnerability of America's biggest subway system right here in New York and a new threat against America's governors.
Plus, our special investigation on Scientology continues. Former high-level members speaking out, claiming the church's leader physically abused them. Their ex-wives and church leaders say those accusing them are lying. Former members respond to the accusations -- tonight on 360.
COOPER: "Up Close" tonight: Police are on alert, security tightened in states across the country right now. The reason is letters received by at least 30 state governors warning them to resign or be removed.
The FBI is investigating, says it expects all 50 governors will eventually get these letters. They come from a group calling itself the Guardians of the Free Republic. They have got a Web site touting what they call their "Restore America Plan."
On Wednesday, the group posted the following. They said -- quote -- "After a year of face-to-face negotiations with high-ranking members of the armed forces of the United States of America, the leaders of the freedom movement have joined together to bring you a four-step comprehensive remedy, the Restore America Plan."
The group also says it plans to -- quote -- "terminate illicit corporations posing as lawful governments" -- their letter warning governors to leave office within three days or -- quote -- "be removed." It doesn't contain a specific threat of violence, and, according to the FBI, the Guardians are associated with the far-right so-called sovereign citizens movement.
Also today, a federal magistrate in Michigan ruled that members of that self-styled Hutaree militia will be jailed until their trial.
So, the question tonight is, how seriously should we take groups like these? I mean, some of what they say just sounds nonsensical, but that doesn't mean they -- they don't pose a real threat.
Joining us now is CNN contributor John Avlon and Tom Fuentes. John is the author of "Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America." Tom is a former FBI assistant director.
So, John, what do you make of this? I mean, do -- what is this sovereign citizens movement?
JOHN AVLON, AUTHOR, "WINGNUTS: HOW THE LUNATIC FRINGE IS HIJACKING AMERICA": The sovereign citizens movement is one tributary in a larger militia movement. It has been around since the early 1970s, and it's -- it's taken different shapes and forms. But their basic claim is that the United States federal government, which they call the federal corporation, is illegitimate, that it has exceeded its constitutional mandate, and, therefore, that sovereign citizens can do things like declare their own juries, have citizens' trials, and put U.S. officials, including the president, on trial in absentia.
It has had violent outbursts in the past associated with it. Terry Nichols, one of the accomplices for the Oklahoma City bombing, was associated with the sovereign citizen movement. So, it is -- it is far-out stuff, but we have seen its likes before, and it can lead to real trouble.
COOPER: Tom, do you believe it can lead to real trouble? I mean, some of what these guys say just seems completely absurd, the idea that they have been having high-level meetings with members of the armed forces.
TOM FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I think, right now, Anderson, the FBI thinks that, at least from a violence standpoint, they're not an immediate threat.
So, they have been trying to downplay these letters as -- and they just put out a notice about the letters, as opposed to any kind of a threat advisory to the governors that received them. So, they're trying to avoid giving them too much credibility in terms of being violent or in terms of making sense, as far as that goes.
COOPER: I mean, John, it does is only take one idiot with a gun or a bomb to do something. But, I mean, should -- should people be concerned?
AVLON: Well, look, I mean, you always want to -- an abundance of caution is, you know -- you know, hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
Nonetheless, it does seem -- we don't have the apparently 80-page manifesto that they sent to these governors, but -- but it is going to be...
COOPER: I can hardly wait to get my hands on that.
AVLON: Yes, you know, it's going to be a real page-turner.
But it is important to sort of take these folks in -- A, at their word, but, B, in larger context. There is -- you know, when you really delve down into their Web site, you do see a lot of some of the oldest conspiracy theories in the book kind of percolating around the edges.
COOPER: I mean, it is all the stuff about, like, the Rothschild, the illuminati, all that kind of...
AVLON: All those strains kind of... COOPER: Jewish bankers controlling everything, that...
AVLON: You know, if you dig -- if you dig down deep enough, that always -- it always seems to end there. But -- but they do view themselves as somehow defenders of the Constitution in a purist sense.
But -- but they're playing with -- with -- with dangerous rhetoric, at least. Now, one of the odd things is, traditionally, their opponent has been the federal government, not the states, per se. So, one of the things to look out for is why they're -- why they seem to be attentioning their -- their threats or targets -- or demands, actually, at the governors, rather than the federal government.
COOPER: And I guess, Tom, that, because these letters don't contain really any specific threats of violence, then that obviously constrains what law enforcement can do.
FUENTES: Well, certainly. At this point, it is a freedom of speech issue. They have the right to send these letters out, as long as they don't take violent actions or -- or steps in furtherance of it.
And I think the first question that FBI officials had in relation to this group and that many of us had is, are they also out in the woods with fully-automatic weapons training for violence, training for war? And that's the difference.
If -- so far, if it is a war of rhetoric, as John mentioned, you still have to worry about that, because of the other people that might be inspired to violence just hearing the type of rhetoric that they're putting out. But, at least so far, there is no indication that they're in a position to carry out violence against these governors.
COOPER: All right, Tom, appreciate your expertise. Thanks for being with us.
And, John, as well, thanks.
FUENTES: You're welcome.
COOPER: If you want to know if militias operate near you, you can go to AC360.com to see a map of militia activity state by state.
Coming up, we continue our special investigation into the Church of Scientology.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I knew every inch of him. I never saw one scratch. I never saw one bruise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Tonight, you will hear her ex-husband's response. He insists she was there when he was assaulted by the church's top leader.
Next: Russia's black widow suicide bomber. This picture is just haunting. A 17-year-old girl, apparently, she's one of the bombers who killed so many innocent people in Moscow. And there is new concern about how safe our subways are in America. For instance, New York has thousands of cameras in subways. Guess how many of them do not work? We will tell you in a moment.
COOPER: Want to show you the picture of the young woman being accused in the Moscow subway attack. She was just 17 years old. That's the photo, just a stunning photograph.
Russian authorities say she was one of the two suicide bombers responsible for Monday's terror attacks on the subway system. We got our first look at the alleged mass murderer today. This is the face of the killer, or the suspected killer. Now, some in the Russian media have dubbed her the black widow. They report she was the wife of an Islamic militant who had died previously. The militant was apparently killed by Russian forces last year. I think it was in Dagestan, a former Soviet republic.
The photo is just eerie, though. Officials believe she wanted to avenge his death by slaughtering innocent lives.
Now, in the wake of the attacks, we learned something disturbing here at home. It is about thousands of security cameras for America's busiest transit system right here in New York. You would hope they would all be working, right? The fact is, they aren't.
We're "Keeping Them Honest."
COOPER (voice-over): After the subway bombings in Moscow, New York's transit system was put on heightened alert.
(on camera): The New York City subway system is enormous. There is more than 460 stations, more than 600 miles of track. It's easy to see why security is such an issue, and apparently such a problem.
(voice-over): A problem because many of the security cameras that are supposed to be watching for danger aren't.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg:
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), MAYOR OF NEW YORK: A lot of those cameras don't work. And, some day, maybe we're going to get very badly hurt because of it. COOPER: There are about 4,300 surveillance cameras throughout the city's transit system. But it turns out only 2,200 of them are working. That's right. About half the cameras don't work.
Who's responsible? The MTA, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, oversees the subway system. But holding them accountable isn't easy.
"New York Daily News" writer Pete Donohue has covered subway security for a decade.
(on camera): So -- so, who is to blame for the camera problem?
PETE DONOHUE, "THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": Well, part of the problem is just the structure of -- of this organization. It is an authority. It's not a state agency.
COOPER: The MTA.
DONOHUE: The MTA. It's not a city agency, it's not a state agency, like, say, the NYPD or the Department of Transportation. So, no one really owns it. I mean, the governor appoints some board members. The mayor appoints some board members.
What happens is, you will have politicians come down, and they will cut ribbons when things are going well, but no one takes ownership of problems.
COOPER (voice-over): So, what is wrong with the cameras? Well, the problem began in 2005. That's when the MTA paid Lockheed Martin $212 million for cameras and motion sensors. But the MTA says much of the equipment doesn't work. The two sides are now suing each other.
Mayor Bloomberg, who appoints several members to the MTA's board, says, though it is his city, there is nothing he can do about it.
BLOOMBERG: We can only do so much. It is the MTA. It is their cameras. They have to maintain them.
COOPER: The mayor suggested we ask the governor. His office appoints more MTA board members. We tried to reach the governor for a comment, but their office told us to contact -- Guess who? -- the MTA.
We did. And, in a statement, it said: "The safety and security of our customers is the MTA's top priority. In a post-9/11 world, we have worked together to harden our infrastructure, secure sensitive areas, and prioritize locations for surveillance cameras."
The MTA says an additional 910 cameras will be up and running by June. A group that represents commuters is demanding action now.
GENE RUSSIANOFF, STAFF ATTORNEY, STRAPHANGERS: It's an outrage. And, so, there is a feeling of real vulnerability. And, so, something that could help -- and it has been five years, and the question most of them have is, why did it take so long? Get those damn cameras working.
COOPER: Until that happens, security lapses will plague the largest and busiest mass transit system in America.
COOPER: It's stunning when you think about half the cameras aren't working in this city. Unbelievable.
We're following several other important stories making news tonight. And we have a familiar face bringing us the details.
Lisa Bloom, a legal analyst and so much more, joins us with a 360 news and s bulletin.
LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Thanks, Anderson.
New security measures are under way for all international flights to the U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the policies will utilize layers of security designed to reduce the threat of terror. It includes random screening and advanced imaging technology.
In the Indian Ocean, a high-seas showdown between pirates and the U.S. Navy. This was no contest, really. The U.S. military says a group of Somalian pirates on three skiffs fired rifles and aimed grenade-launchers at a tanker. The USS Farragut, a guided missile destroyer, sank the largest of the skiffs and detained and then released 11 suspects.
Some encouraging news on the U.S. economy -- 162,000 jobs were added in March, the most in three years. However, the unemployment rate remains at 9.7 percent.
And how is this for a companion at sea? A 30-foot whale surprised surfer Jodie Nelson off the coast of Southern California, and kept pace with her for two of the nine hours that she stood and paddled between two islands. Nelson was on a charity endurance mission to raise money for breast cancer when the minke whale appeared. She called it a sign from above.
COOPER: That's so cool.
BLOOM: Whale escorts, that's how we roll here in California, Anderson.
COOPER: Apparently so.
COOPER: All right.
All right, Lisa, time for our "Beat 360" winners, our daily challenge to viewers, chance to outdo our staffers by coming up with a caption for the photo that we put on our blog every today. So, tonight's picture is Japanese macaques eating cherry blossoms at Tokyo's oldest zoo. Did I say that -- are those macaques? I don't -- anyway, our staff winner tonight...
COOPER: ... Kira. Her caption: "Mmm, tastes like chicken."
COOPER: I think they're talking about the cherry blossoms, I hope not the monkeys.
Viewer winner is Lisa -- not you, Lisa, sadly.
COOPER: Her caption: "Side effects may include a flushed red face and extensive body hair growth."
COOPER: Lisa, congratulations. Your "Beat 360" T-shirt is on the way.
All right, more with Lisa Bloom in a moment.
Coming up next, though, on 360: new clues in the search for a missing family. They disappeared nearly two months ago. The question is, did they run away to Mexico? We have some new information on the mystery.
Also ahead tonight, this:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Catherine, your ex-husband, Jeff Hawkins, says about that you have a heart of gold, and that you're a good woman, and that you stuck with him through some very trying times in Scientology.
He does say that, that you were...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He didn't -- whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on. He didn't have any trying times in Scientology. I don't -- it was the best time of his life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, Jeff Hawkins, her ex-husband, doesn't see it that way. He says he faced years of physical abuse from the church's leader. You will hear from Jeff Hawkins, his ex-wife, and others, as we continue and conclude the investigation into the Church of Scientology.
COOPER: Over the past week we've been reporting on allegations of physical abuse inside the Church of Scientology. The allegation has been made by a number of former high-ranking scientologist, former members of the Sea Organization, which is the church's religious order. And the allegations are against the church's leader, David Miscavige.
The former inspector general, Marty Rathbun, former spokesman of the church, Mike Rinder, and other former members of the elite management group, including Jeff Hawkins, Tom De Vocht, Amy Scobee and Steve Hall all have made allegations that David Miscavige used and encouraged physical abuse.
Rathbun, Rinder, and De Vocht all admit to some acts of physical violence themselves, but say it was at the direction of and encouragement of David Miscavige. They also say it wasn't to the extent that David Miscavige was punching, kicking, choking subordinates.
Now, the church strongly denies all those claims, sending us dozens of affidavits, e-mails, letters calling those speaking out liars. They say Miscavige never abused members and insist only the accusers were the abusers. They also say it was because of that abuse that they were removed from positions of power within the church.
Now, earlier this week, we spoke with the ex-wives of some of the men making the claims of abuse. The women, who are current high- ranking seniors in the Church of Scientology, told us that their ex- husbands are bitter and out to destroy the person who removed them from power, saying they're working on collusion in the attempt to seek revenge against the church's leaders.
Here's more of my interview with them.
COOPER: I read all of your affidavits. Obviously, your ex- husbands have made charges against David Miscavige, saying that they have seen repeated acts of physical violence perpetrated by Mr. Miscavige. Is any of that true?
JENNY LINSON, SCIENTOLOGY SEA ORGANIZATION MEMBER: Not one ounce of it. Not one.
COOPER: Why do you think they're saying these things?
LINSON: I think that they are bitter individuals who once had a life that had glory and some form of power, and they now have nothing. They have no job. They have no life. And the media is giving them attention, and they're going for that attention.
But we personally know -- I slept with Tom De Vocht for almost 20 years. I knew every inch of him. If he ever complained about something, if he had a headache, if he had a back ache, he had me rub his feet at night. I mean, I was his wife.
I never saw one scratch. I never saw one bruise. I never saw one black eye, nothing, nor did he complain about anything personally. And he would have told me, because any, anything that would happen I would know about.
And besides that, that's not the character of Mr. David Miscavige, nothing like that. It's outrageous that these men are doing that. And they're bitter, and they're getting attention from the media.
COOPER: And you were married to Marty Rathbun.
ANNE JOASEM, SCIENTOLOGY SEA ORGANIZATION MEMBER: Fifteen years. I know the man better than anybody else. Now, you've got to understand, Marty Rathbun is a liar, OK? When he left, he's alleging that when he left in 2004 it was because he witnessed Mr. Miscavige beating somebody up or whatever.
Right after he left, I'm the first person he called. He called me right away, and it never came up. He never mentioned it, OK?
COOPER: He says that he did mention it to you.
JOASEM: No, he did not. Absolutely not. It's a lie.
COOPER: Catherine Fraser, you were married to Jeff Hawkins.
CATHERINE FRASER, SCIENTOLOGY SEA ORGANIZATION MEMBER: Yes, I was married to Jeff Hawkins during the entire time that these allegations that he said apparently happened. I was, you know -- we were very close, obviously. We were married. He used to tell me about everything. He did the meetings he went to, et cetera.
He never mentioned one thing. To the contrary, he mentioned to me how much Mr. David Miscavige supported him, how much he believed in him.
COOPER: You were married to Mike Rinder a long time.
CATHERINE BERNARDINI, SCIENTOLOGY SEA ORGANIZATION MEMBER: Yes, I was.
COOPER: He says that he was beaten by David Miscavige some 50 times, and multiple people have also said that they saw Mike Rinder bearing the brunt of David Miscavige's...
BERNARDINI: Mike Rinder, David Miscavige never laid a hand on Mike Rinder. I lived with Mike Rinder for over 35 years. I know every square inch of Mike Rinder's body. I know everything that's ever happened to him, every accident, every time he broke his wrist. I've been with him. We've been together all our lives. It's utterly ridiculous, and it isn't true. And I certainly would have seen it.
And the reason why I know that is I happened to be in a meeting in January 2004 when Marty Rathbun suddenly went and leapt on top of Mike Rinder, and fought him to the ground and started choking him and beating him.
COOPER: How is it that no one came forward? Did you call the police.
LINSON: I well answer -- I will tell you. At that point in time he had a personal conversation with me and said to me, and I -- and said to me specifically as he was bouncing his knee nonstop, "Jenny, I think I'm going nuts. I think I'm crazy."
And we thought, OK, we can help this man. We're going to have to help him with scientology technology. It wasn't days later that he took off. So...
COOPER: What is the procedure for dealing with somebody who is physically violent? Because in any corporation in the United States, if a superior assaulted, punched, kicked, strangled, you know, somebody else in the company, that person would be out of the company, and the police would be called.
LINSON: And he is out and he was out. That's what you have to understand, Anderson.
COOPER: Except for about three years, according to members of the church, your husband was physically assaulting...
JOASEM: It was isolated incidents.
COOPER: This isn't isolated incidents. This is a consistent violent physical harassment.
LINSON: We understand what you're saying. And here's the fact...
COOPER: What I'm saying is that you -- you were married to a man who, for three years had -- was a high-ranking member of the church who was assaulting people and -- and...
LINSON: And Mr. Miscavige -- Mr. Miscavige was not at the property at the time.
COOPER: Do you not have telephones?
LINSON: Of course we have telephones. I think you're being quite rude and quite insulting. Here's the bottom line. Here's the bottom line. There is no history of violence in the church. There was isolated instances, and yes, you have -- you do have written declarations that Marty Rathbun was a violent man.
COOPER: So what do their ex-husbands say about what they've said? The men accusing David Miscavige of physical violence? Well, we're going to hear from them next.
Also tonight, singer Janet Jackson, what she told Oprah Winfrey about the death of her brother, Michael. Be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: More now on our investigation into the Church of Scientology. Before the break, you heard from several ex-wives, who are also current senior leaders in the church. They were upset at their ex-husbands, who left the church and are now making explosive charges that the church's current leader, David Miscavige, has physically abused other members of the church.
Now, the women, along with the church spokesman Tommy Davis, called these men liars, said some were violent themselves and were removed from their positions in the church. The women say Marty Rathbun, the church's former inspector general, was violent. They also say the former construction manager for scientology, named Tom De Vocht, never showed any marks on his body from the beatings he said he had from Miscavige. And they called former marketing manager Jeff Hawkins a liar.
I talked with all three men to get their responses to the allegations.
COOPER: Tom, you saw your ex-wife basically saying that there was never a mark on you, that she knew every inch of your body, she slept with you every night, she never saw any sign that you had been physically abused.
TOM DE VOCHT, FORMER SCIENTOLOGIST: Right. You want my comment on it?
DE VOCHT: She -- it's true. I don't know to begin with -- first, let me tell you this. In 19 years, I probably just sent four years with her out of that entire time.
COOPER: Why, because of work you guys were separated?
DE VOCHT: I was in Florida; she was in California. I went to New York. She went to Madrid. And I never claimed to have bruises or scars or anything like that to begin with. So it's sort of irrelevant. But she was there and saw me twice get hit by Miscavige.
COOPER: She -- you say she saw you get hit by David Miscavige?
DE VOCHT: Yes.
COOPER: Because she says you're lying, that she never saw anything.
DE VOCHT: I know. And I don't hold that against her. I know that the pressure she's under, she's going to say that. She's going to say whatever they thinks is right and is going to protect the church and protect her, as well (ph). COOPER: Essentially, Tom, the church is also saying that you three are colluding together, that you've matched your stories, that you've been working on this, and -- and you're out to destroy the church.
DE VOCHT: Yes. Let me dispel that right now. I mean, the last time I talked to Marty -- I have not seen Marty since he left, to give you an example. I've not seen him in person. We have not met anywhere. I talk to him occasionally, maybe once a month -- he'll confirm that -- to say, "Hello, how is it going." Mike, I see a little bit more often. I live pretty close to him.
COOPER: Mike Rinder?
DE VOCHT: Mike Rinder. Sorry. But we don't, you know -- I mean, I'm not interested in it. I got nothing to do with it. I don't win if it does well; I don't win if it does badly. I don't -- there is no -- there's just nothing in it for me at all. I don't -- I have no intention to reform it, take over, anything like that. That's not -- I'm doing my own thing. I want to get on with my life. You know, at 46, it's time to get rolling. So it's nothing to me. I mean, I got no -- I got no interest in it.
COOPER: Marty, you know, the church has also said, look, if all this stuff is going on, why didn't you speak out about this sooner? You left the church back in 2005.
MARTY RATHBUN, FORMER SCIENTOLOGIST: Anderson, you know, if you ask any of the guys that were in similar circumstances, there is really a decompression period, and it can go anywhere from 2, 4, 5, many years to where you get sort of out from under that mindset that, if you say anything negative or if you go after the church, or if you say something that might be against particularly Miscavige, your eternal salvation is gone forever.
And so it takes a while to sort of -- to sort of decompress from that before you're even willing to talk about it to anybody: you know, a friend, a spouse, a loved one, let alone, you know, get up and do something about it.
COOPER: Marty, when you saw your wife and what she was saying, what did you think?
RATHBUN: I -- I had a lot of sympathy and pity. You know, Anderson, you asked about conspiracy allegations that they made. Let me tell you right now, the only conspiracy that exists out here is a bunch of people who suffered and experienced an experience that I don't think anybody can really fully grasp unless they're perhaps a war veteran or a prisoner.
And it's sort of a mutual aid situation where we're trying to help one another get back on our feet, help one another get back some self-esteem, integrate back into the world, which we've been out of for, you know -- until our middle ages. And that's the only -- the only type of conspiracy that exists. It's more like an Underground Railroad as compared to a conspiracy. COOPER: Jeff, I mean, why would -- you know, some of the viewers have written in, saying why would these current scientologists and ex- wives be saying all these things and, you know, sign affidavits and all have similar stories, basically saying that all of you are lying?
JEFF HAWKINS, FORMER SCIENTOLOGIST: Well, there's a culture within scientology that you do anything to protect the church. You say anything to protect the church.
And they have what they call an acceptable truth, which means a "truth," quote/unquote, that is -- that forwards the church's image. Therefore -- and it's really another term for a lie. They are willing to do anything.
And as I've told you before, when I was in scientology, I would have done the same thing. If someone had come to me, the day after David Miscavige beat me up, and said, "Did he beat you," I would have denied it. I would have said, "No way that ever happened, never, never, never," exactly as Tommy Davis is saying.
COOPER: You know, one of the difficult things in doing this is -- in doing the story is that there's no physical evidence, really, on either side. At the time that you say David Miscavige was attacking you, did you ever think about trying to document it with photographs?
HAWKINS: No. No. That wasn't my mindset at the time at all. You know, the way you feel when you're inside is that it's all you, it's your fault that he got mad at you, and, you know, you're put on the -- onto physical labor, and you're a pariah and so forth. And so you don't think about documenting it. You don't think about going to the police. You just think about, you know, what you're being asked to do.
COOPER: So you never thought about calling the police?
HAWKINS: No. No. Didn't even enter my mind. That would have been an instant -- I would have been instantly out of scientology if I had done that. And I didn't want to go there at that time.
COOPER: Why? You didn't want to leave scientology?
HAWKINS: I didn't want to leave scientology. I didn't want to leave my wife. It's all I had known for 35 years. So I wasn't ready to cut the cord at that point.
RATHBUN: I just want to say one thing, I mean, they must have quoted Tommy Davis six or seven times about each one of us was demoted and then kicked out for all these crimes and all that business. I've got to tell you, everybody you interviewed, Amy Scobee, Jeff Hawkins, Steve Hall, Tom De Vocht, Mike Rinder, myself, to a one made self- determined decisions and walked out.
DE VOCHT: None of those guys were kicked out. We walked out. I literally had to tell them, you've got a week more to do whatever you want with me. They were giving me confessionals to see if they could fix it so I would stay, and I told them you have a week more. Week came, I walked up to the gate. I said open the gate, they wouldn't open it up. I jumped on top of it.
COOPER: You literally climbed over the gate?
DE VOCHT: They weren't opening it. They would not open it. I said, "Look, I'm leaving." I threw my bag over. I got on top of the gate to get over it, at which point they opened it and almost crushed my leg. Luckily, I got over and I walked out. There was no -- I was not booted out. I was not told you're out.
COOPER: What do you say to people who aren't sure who to believe?
DE VOCHT: You know, I don't know what to tell them. You know, he said/she said, and they're going to believe what they want to believe. But, again, to me, put me on a lie detector test. I'd do that in a heart beat. It's an odd thing. And they are, again, just trying to protect the church. I got no reason to do this. I got nothing to gain.
COOPER: Guys, I appreciate you talking to me. Thank you very much.
DE VOCHT: Thank you.
RATHBUN: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: Well, over the past month we've spoken at length to former scientology spokesman Mike Rinder. Rinder spoke to us on the record and told us he was abused by some 50 times by David Miscavige but said he wouldn't interview with us on camera because he said he promised his first interview with the BBC.
The church strongly denies what he claims, but once that aired, he says he would the opportunity to come on our show and share his story.
Once again, we'd like to point out that over the months, we have invited church leader David Miscavige on 360 to address these charges. Through his spokesman, he has declined. That invitation also still stands.
You can watch our entire scientology series on our Web site, AC360.com. That's where you can also join the live chat, which is now under way. We have extra developments in the mysterious disappearance of a California family. It's a strange story. They disappeared two months ago. The question is, was this some sort of a planned escape? We have new details tonight.
And a group of little kids is something to make you smile before you go to bed tonight. Kids who love the "Single Ladies" so much that one of them had a tantrum about it. It's our "Shot of the Day."
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Just ahead, an adorable "Shot," a sing along to "Single Ladies," always fun until someone's feelings get hurt. Family car ride ends in tears for all the "Single Ladies." We'll explain that in "The Shot."
But first, the latest on some other important stories we're following. Lisa Bloom has the "360 Bulletin."
LISA BLOOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Anderson.
At a Good Friday commemoration, a senior Vatican priest compared the fury aimed at Catholic leadership over the sex-abuse scandal to aspects of anti-Semitism. A church spokesman later said the priest was not expressing the Vatican's official position.
A 360 follow-up, "The Los Angeles Times" is reporting that the FBI has joined the search for a missing San Diego family. Joseph and Summer McStay and their two young children disappeared in February. Their SUV was found at the U.S./Mexico border. Well, this week investigators said evidence they found suggests the family left voluntarily for Mexico.
The actor John Forsythe has died after a yearlong struggle with cancer. Forsythe is best known for his role as oil magnate Blake Carrington in the 1980s television series "Dynasty" and as the voice of the never-seen Charlie in "Charlie's Angels". John Forsythe was 92.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Janet Jackson said her family knew her brother Michael had a drug addiction and tried to intervene several times. She also said he was, quote, "very much in denial" and didn't think he had a problem.
And the Dallas Police Department says it will issue a disorderly conduct citation to singer Erykah Badu for stripping in Dealey Plaza while shooting a music video. Badu took her clothes off just feet from where President Kennedy was shot. The video has gone viral on YouTube.
COOPER: There you go. Haven't seen that yet. But I have heard a story about -- an April Fool's joke that you played on your daughter. What did you --what did you tell her?
BLOOM: Yes, gets a little vicious in our family. Well, I told her that I had agreed to pose naked for PETA's "I Would Rather go Naked than Wear Fur" campaign, because I am a great animal lover, and that the first billboard was going to debut right near her school. That was a little disturbing to her.
COOPER: Did she completely freak out?
BLOOM: Yes, for about two hours there was radio silence.
COOPER: Wow, you left her hanging for two hours.
BLOOM: That's a long time for my daughter and me. Then I got, like, three little words, "April Fool's, right?" Question mark. Apparently, she called all of her friends. They sussed out where all the billboards were in town to make sure that it wasn't anywhere near her school.
COOPER: Wow. That must have been an excruciating two hours for her.
BLOOM: Nobody wants to see their mom naked.
COOPER: Yes. I don't want to mess with you on April Fool's day next year.
All right. Take a look at this "Shot." This is such a cute "Shot." It's a sing-along to "Single Ladies" that we found on YouTube. It, of course, ends in tears as often these things do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not a single lady, buddy. Oh, yes, you are. Yes, you are. You're a single lady. Sorry. Sorry! Buddy, I was just kidding. I'm just kidding.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can do it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can do it. Buddy, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, buddy. You're a single lady, OK? OK? Here we go. If you like it, then you better put a ring on it
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did that hurt your feelings?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Aww. It's cute. And then later on, the dad -- look how excited he is.
BLOOM: Anderson, is the dad filming this while he's driving?
COOPER: Yes, he is. In fact, the dad later takes the camera and turns it on himself and says, like, "I am such a bad father."
BLOOM: OK. Please do not try this at home. And don't mess with the kid when he's happy.
COOPER: I know. Yes.
BLOOM: First rule of parenting, let them just be happy.
COOPER: You know, it's funny, because let me show you our -- the 360 crew's performance of "Single Ladies," because this also ends in tears. I don't know if you're aware -- I don't know if you were rolling on the back story. By the end of this, Bob was drenched in tears because something went bad with his glove or something. I don't...
BLOOM: It is not bad.
COOPER: Yes. I couldn't remember...
BLOOM: This is like "Dancing with the Stars."
COOPER: Something with his glove fell off or something, the little plastic metal thing he had and, I mean, you should have seen him. He was just weeping. Very sad.
BLOOM: Wow. Did these guys get paid extra for this?
COOPER: No, Frank consoled him, though, and gave him -- gave him cookies. I don't know.
BLOOM: Wow. They're really getting it -- oh, shaking it. All right. Get it, get it.
COOPER: There you go. Anybody can be a single lady.
COOPER: There you go. That's the message for today.
Lisa, thanks for being with us tonight. Appreciate it. If your daughter is watching, tell her she's a great sport.
A lot more news at the top of the hour. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Tonight, "Keeping Them Honest." The doctor who put a sign on his door that says, "If you voted for Obama, go elsewhere." Now a congressman is calling for an investigation. Critics say his license should be revoked. The question is, is what he did legal? We're going to hear from him. We'll talk to the doctor and the congressman who's on his case.