April 1st, 2010
09:53 AM ET

Morning Buzz: What happens to those who leave the Church?

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Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

Tonight we continue our series, ‘Scientology: A history of violence.’ We report on allegations made by a number of former high-ranking members of the Church of Scientology. The allegations are about physical abuse they say took place within the Sea Organization, the international management branch of the Church.

The Church strongly denies the allegations. Last night we asked current and former members of the Church why the alleged abuse was never reported to authorities or investigated. Tonight we look into what happens to members who decide to leave the Church of Scientology and speak out against it.

We’re also reporting more on the prevalence of bullying across America’s schools. Last night, Alina Cho interviewed the principal of a high school in Massachusetts where bullying allegedly led to a student’s suicide. It’s just one of a disturbing number of suicides and attempted suicides that have occurred as a result of bullying at school. What’s being done to prevent this harassment and what can parents do if their children are victims of bullying? We’ll have more tonight.

We’re also learning that Pope Paul VI and the Vatican knew about clergy abuse of children almost 50 years ago, according to a newly released letter from 1963. The letter is from the head of a Roman Catholic order dedicated to the treatment of priests who had committed pedophilia. The letter was released in Los Angeles by attorneys for California clergy abuse victims who say the Vatican knew about priest abuses but didn’t do anything to confront the problem. Meanwhile, the Vatican slammed the New York Times, in a statement, for its coverage of the church sexual abuse scandal and rejected accusations that the Pope mishandled a series of abuse cases before he was elected.

And President Obama is in Portland, Maine today talking up reforms for the health insurance industry. He’s expected to focus on small businesses and the benefits that small business owners may receive from the legislation. Meanwhile, his Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, said on NBC this morning that the unemployment rate will stay “unacceptably high for a long period of time.” And we don’t think that was an April Fool’s joke…so just how long is ‘long?’

What else are you following? Let us know and see you at 10 p.m.

Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Dan

    Anderson, I would love to hear your personal thoughts about the series you've run this week in violence within the management structure of Scientology. You've heard all the "he saids" and the "she saids," and
    I think your many viewers would be fascinated by your impressions at the end of the last segment.

    April 1, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  2. JimP

    Abuse by religious leaders goes way back beyond 1968, in the 40's I was exposed to it in the mormon church....as I have aged, have grown to realize the folly of paternalistic organizations and rituals, where they do involve young boys, no matter under what name or fraud they operate.

    April 1, 2010 at 10:15 am |