Scientologists have been involved in countless feuds about questions about their faith. In 2010 they turned their sights towards Anderson Cooper and CNN after a docu-series that discussed physical violence within the church aired.
In 2010 CNN and famous News anchor Anderson Cooper got in hot water with Scientologists after the station aired a four-part series titled “Scientology: A History of Violence. ”
The series focused on a unique inquiry into allegations of violence and physical abuse within the Church of Scientology. Cooper acted as the anchor for a whole week on his show “Anderson Cooper 360.”
The four-part series discussed multiple proclamations of physical abuse made by former high-ranking members of the church of Scientology.
According to the old members who had dedicated their lives to the faith, physical abuse was meted out by the church leader David Miscavige. The abuse took place within the Sea Organization, which is the international management branch of the Church.
Although the former members offered no actual proof, CNN spent several months working on the docu-series. The network felt the former members deserved a fair chance at getting the accounts out.
After the series debuted, the Church vehemently denied the claims of the former members so they released multiple testimonials to defend Mr Miscavige.
However, Scientologists did not stop there instead, they took their defense a step further by attacking the former members who chose to speak out as well as Anderson Cooper and CNN.
The Church of Scientology Attacks Cooper And CNN.
A couple of months after Cooper aired the docu-series The Church of Scientology replied by attacking the news anchor and CNN in a whole edition of its magazine “Freedom.”
The magazine, which contained 95 pages was accompanied by a DVD, all to attack and discredit Cooper and CNN.
In a particular heading titled “Anderson Cooper: A History of Lies,” the Church charged the news anchor of dismissing the evidence they presented him in defense of their leader. They also accused Cooper of refusing to speak with some of the Church’s high-ranking members.
The Church charged him with supporting an anti-Scientology group that the Church dubbed a terrorist organization. They also declared that CNN reporter Larry King was the only one capable enough to interview leader David Miscavige.
Scientologists also attacked CNN’s ratings and that of Anderson Cooper, as well as the guests that appeared during the week-long series. Apart from releasing the magazine, some members of The Church of Scientology went to hand out copies of the magazine in front of CNN’s Manhattan office.
Cooper And CNN’s Reply
After the series aired, CNN disclosed lawyers from the Church of Scientology had contacted them. Also, Cooper revealed he got multiple emails from church members accusing him of attacking the church and their beliefs.
The News Anchor explained that most of the emails were very similar in content, like an organized email campaigns. On his blog, where he announced the series Cooper declared that the series was not about the notions or the actions of the Church of Scientology; it was about past high-ranking members who wished to discuss what happened to them.
Cooper Had Investigated The Church Before
Apart from the 2010 incident, Cooper had investigated the Church of Scientology on two occasions. In 2005 the news anchor investigated a New Mexico vault marked with mysterious symbols. According to a former Scientologist interviewed in a 2005 show, the mysterious symbols were best viewed from the heavens.
It was designed to show the location of one of the vaults that safeguarded the technology of the church founder L.Ron Hubbard.
In 2018 Cooper utilized a video of Tom Cruise, an attached Scientologist, talking about the Church to criticize the religion. Cooper’s correspondent also interviewed a former member of the church who disclosed strange symbols and acronyms associated with the faith.
The News Anchor’s specific interest and conflict with the Church of Scientology is alleged to be more than just a journalist doing his job. Cooper’s feud with the Church is personal and related to the founder L. Ron Hubbard who hated his son Quentin for being gay.
The former subsequently committed suicide in 1976 due to his father’s massive crusade against homosexuality and mental health. Understandably, Cooper, who himself is gay, might disagree with a church that claims to heal homosexuality. Also, the church also forbid its members to talk about mental health or seek therapy.
The Church of Scientology vs BBC and ST. Petersburg Times
The Church of Scientology’s supersession tactics against CNN and Cooper was not the first they would be embroiled in a battle with journalists or news media.
In 2010 they hired highly rated reporters to investigate the St. Petersburg Times after the newspaper released a story about their secretive religion.
Also, in 2007 BBC reporter John Sweeney cried out after the Church attacked him multiple times. He had filmed a panorama film “Scientology and Me,” which investigated the religion’s beliefs and activities. Sweeney’s hotel was invaded at midnight, he was called a bigot, and some people even called his mother-in-law.
Cooper Looks To Have Moved On From The Feud
Anderson Cooper and Scientologists have avoided each other since their spat in 2010. The news anchor has since become a father to two adorable sons.
Cooper has not investigated The Church of Scientology in a while. Instead, his focus is on parenting his kids and he also released a book to tell his son Wyatt about the history of the Vanderbilt family. According to Cooper, the book co-written by historian and novelist Katherine Howe focuses on the family’s legacy.