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April 1st, 2010
06:02 AM ET

How was abuse addressed?

Note to readers and viewers: The Anderson Cooper 360 series "Scientology: A History of Violence," which reported competing claims and denials about violence at the top of the Church of Scientology has attracted a number of complaints from senior members of the Church of Scientology (including Mr. Miscavige) and the Church of Scientology itself.

The series is now the subject of a letter of legal complaint in the United Kingdom. The complainants strongly dispute the allegations and the assertions made against them and covered in the course of the series by former members of the Church of Scientology.

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor

soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Carol

    Saw part of the show on 4/2 morn. Scientologist lawyer called Scientology a religion. I remember Tom Cruise saying Scientology was not a religion. You could be a Catholic and be a scientolgist, you could be a Muslim and be a scientologist, etc. So what is it? I think it is a well thought out cult, to appear not to be a cult.

    April 2, 2010 at 9:07 am |
  2. Chi

    Re the attorney: I don't think it is professional to back up a client's point by saying "I will do the same" or "I would do the same" 🙂

    April 2, 2010 at 7:10 am |
  3. Chi

    Given limited time to air, editing is a must. I guess there is just enough for the main messages that the interviewees want to convey. No time for rambling.

    April 2, 2010 at 7:06 am |
  4. trish

    With the Catholic church again in the spotlight for letting pedophile priests get away with abuse yet again–that is what I would like to see AC investigating. The Catholics are far more powerful than the Scientologists and need to be taught a good lesson–that they are not above the law!

    April 2, 2010 at 6:24 am |
  5. Nathan

    That last young woman who left and was disconnected from her parents who remain in the church explained it most accurately. Tommy Davis is lying about diconnection. I know personally that it exists and it is enforced as a kind of blackmail. "You disconnect or you will be in big trouble. Shunned and disciplined,etc". So a person on the inside will usually disconnect from ex-Scientologist family rather than give up their church. Unless the ex-Scientologist remains fully supportive of the church, but there again is more emotional blackmail.
    Thanks Anderson and CNN. Awesome work!

    April 2, 2010 at 5:11 am |
  6. Mike

    I cannot fathom that these adult men took so long to come forward with these allegations.

    If anyone is readng this who has let himself be assaulted–as an adult in an office workplace–and has NOT told the police, please tell us your story.

    This coverage is now boring and is going nowhere.

    April 2, 2010 at 4:29 am |
  7. Some

    Anderson: I'm part of the public Scientology and to be honest is very hard to be a critic, you are not supposed to make critique of the leaders as they will take me to "heavy ethics" and if I stand about my feelings I would be declared a suppressive, the PR guy is lying, the truth is that if you talk too much the Church will go against you and silence you with legal actions, they will broke you and you will settle.

    Please touch this subject, how they silence their critics and if I would knew that believe me I would never ever step in.

    I'm just a public in a third world country but all this is resumed to if you will stand up and say the truth, and I'm saying the truth.

    Great coverage!! Thank you.

    April 2, 2010 at 3:27 am |
  8. Cassandra Stauffer

    Having been a member of Scientology for several years in the 1970s, I am aware of both sides of this controversy. I can unequivocally say that in my humble opinion the Scientologists are not speaking the whole truth. AND I am sure that in their own minds they are utterly convinced that this is the necessary and right thing to do. That is why they sound so convincing.

    I am also aware of the tremendous courage it has taken for the former members to speak up. I honor this courage and hope that more people who have been mistreated find the inner strength to come forward.

    Thank you for airing this heretofore hidden abuse.

    April 2, 2010 at 2:18 am |
  9. Joselo

    It's because the science it self. Is really workable. And people trust it because of the results they get in life. It's hard to go against what works well and helps instead of damage.

    April 2, 2010 at 1:31 am |
  10. J. Ste

    My sister has almost lost her home because of her husband belonging to that so called church. In only one year he paid over $20,000 to them. She was stupid and never knew he was giving so much to them. They are evil people who only push for money and create prideful stupid people.

    April 2, 2010 at 12:59 am |
  11. Jim Corbett

    Scientology has been known to sue at the drop of a hat. Why aren't they suing these ex-members for libel? They aren't suing because they know what they're saying is true. L Ron Hubbard once said, "The only way you can control people is to lie to them." After 30 years in Scientology I finally left after realizing the whole religion was built on a lie. Hubbard wanted money and figured if he told people they were spiritual beings he could make a fortune and he did. Active Scientologist don't care whether his theory can be proven or not, they just believe he would never lie to them.

    April 2, 2010 at 12:56 am |
  12. Joel

    After seeing each of the episodes of Anderson Cooper's week-long report on Scientology it is evident that Marty Rathbun is not a person to back down when challenged. Yet he claims to be the victum of physical abuse. Not only is this hard to believe, it borders on the absurd.

    April 2, 2010 at 12:36 am |
  13. M.S. Danielson

    Anderson,

    I am a lifetime member that has chosen a state of limbo in my involvement with the Chruch of Scientology for many reasons,. The courses, technology and teachings are of great value but I have had shocking experiences in the last ten years that have dirven me away.
    I was nearly coerced to divorce my husband before I was permitted to recieve any further services (that I had already paid for) from the Church. There IS a disconnect policy. I keep silent with my criticism because my son and his family are high ranking members, and I don't want to lose them.
    You may ask how does it get to this point?....my answer...you have to have been there to understand. Thank You.

    April 2, 2010 at 12:31 am |
  14. Perry Douros

    I was a Scientologist in L.A. for years before leaving because of some differences. I can say that anyone familiar with the teachings and technology of Scientology would find the accusation that the leader of the Church committed ongoing violence against members to be absurd. The Church places first and primary importance on members being ethical - they believe it is required for their spiritual progress and advancement in Scientology. They take this extremely seriously. So any member who saw or heard of violence committed by any staff, including the highest members, would report it to their Ethics Dept. and that dept. would act on it, probably expelling the violator. They would feel that had to act, no matter what. No one in Scientology is above its teachings and technology.
    I strongly suspect this alleged violance by its leader never occurred.

    April 2, 2010 at 12:30 am |
  15. diana

    I appreciate the investigative reporting being done on Scientology. Tonight I saw Catherine Fraser state that Jeff Hawkins was lying about Scientologists, including his wife, needing to disconnect from him once he left the church. This is in fact a lie on her part. I know from my past Scientology experience that there is indeed a very clear and strict policy on disconnection in Scientology. You'll certainly receive comments like mine from others who left the church and were no longer able to communicate with family and former friends still inside the church. Yes, as Tommy says, Scientologists choose whom they will stay in contact with–but if they remain in contact with someone who's left the church, say their child, they are then labelled "suppressive" and will be treated in the same fashion of excommunication. It's good that CNN is shining light on this area.

    April 1, 2010 at 11:25 pm |
  16. Kat

    Where there is smoke, there is fire. Disassociation sounds a lot like a Code Red. It isn't written anywhere, but it is clearly understood to those that receive the order. Apparently we "can't handle the truth."

    April 1, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
  17. Ted

    Seems unfair that a few people who have quit the Scientology Church are given so much media coverage when the many who have been helped are given little to no voice.

    I have been a Scientologist for 30 years and can confirm that the vast majority of those Scientologists i have met have greatly benefited from its teaching and practices.

    I suggest that anyone interested in finding out about Scientology get a Scientology or Dianetics book and give it a try.

    April 1, 2010 at 11:16 pm |
  18. Jane

    Anderson,
    Thanks for doing the bit on Scientology. My husband and I have been Scientologists for 20 years and sat here aghast while listening to the lies from the current church officials, who were responding about the disconnection policy.

    The disconnection policy mentioned by the former members of the church soooooo exists! As a matter of fact, it's almost one of the first basic "rules" you learn as a Scientologist. Here's how it ACTUALLY is:
    if my husband (or child or whoever) were declared a suppressive person and ex-communicated from the church, I would have to choose between him or the church. If I chose him, I too would be ex-communicated and if any of my Scientology friends talked to me, they would also be in trouble. I know several people that were put in this position, so this is really what happens.

    It's so apparent when you look at the wives on your program that were married to these men for so many years, that they are almost forced to say how horrible their former spouses were. The blatant lies from them and Tommy Davis make me less proud to be a Scientologist. Maybe it is time for a change in the leadership in my church. The obvious outpoint is that if David Miscavige was not guilty of these allegations, wouldn't he want to come forward and clear things up instead of staying in hiding???

    April 1, 2010 at 11:13 pm |
  19. Armand

    I recently saw ex-wife of scientology member on the show calling him a liar. It is not hard to get divorced couples to say bad things about eachother; could you please find a more reliable source for info...thanks.

    April 1, 2010 at 11:08 pm |
  20. Carmen Mauerer

    Scientology is a religion that teaches you how to be more self -determined and make your own decisions. It is utterly amazing to me how little of Scientology these individuals who now attack it understood.

    April 1, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  21. Holly

    So far the only admission of violence comes from an ex-member.
    As a Scientologist, I'm glad he's out.

    April 1, 2010 at 11:00 pm |
  22. supDawg

    Thanks so much for exposing these issues Anderson.

    I can tell you that you are uncovering things within Scientology that have been very carefully hidden by them for decades. I say this first hand.

    Thanks so much. Keep up the great investigation!

    ^_^

    April 1, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
  23. Annie Kate

    A church should be a safe haven for people from abuse instead of a haven of abuse for its workers. It doesn't sound like these people knew how to play well with others; once the workers saw that the abuse was not an aberrant event they should have reported the abuse to the police and gotten a lawyer to press charges against whoever was abusing them. Church leaders are human just like the laity and sometimes their behavior needs strong correction.

    April 1, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  24. Terri from Atlanta

    Anderson did a great job of showing the public both sides, and letting
    them come to their own conclusions. You either believe that David
    Miscavage knew nothing of the abuse, or he was the one perpetrating it.

    April 1, 2010 at 9:54 pm |
  25. Manuela, Berlin

    Hey Anderson
    Thank you for reporting this story, very interesting.

    There was a TV movie in Germany last night about a man who was fighting to get custody of his ten year old daughter. He himself was in the Scientology Church for five years, brought first his wife and then his daughter into the organisation.

    April 1, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  26. Chi

    Re Lawyers that Scientology have, I actually doubt their competency. If they r ok, then Tommy will not be that unprepared. So, they are Scientology's weakness as well.

    April 1, 2010 at 8:11 am |
  27. Chi

    Actually, what do Scientology have in hand to keep people silent?

    April 1, 2010 at 7:38 am |
  28. Chi

    It is clear to me that not many in names in the mainstream press has gone deep into this science tail. Why?

    April 1, 2010 at 7:34 am |

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