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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
National Guard Troops to Defend the Border?; Polygamy in America 101; President Clinton vs. President Bush
Aired May 12, 2006 - 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, tips pour in on the hunt for fugitive Warren Jeffs, as police investigate another polygamist leader.
And the battle on the border -- with thousands of illegal immigrants crossing each day, the White House considers sending soldiers, National Guard troops, to help secure America's borders.
ANNOUNCER: Guarding the borders -- new reports that President Bush might send troops to help do it.
He was impeached for lying, but Americans now say this president is more trustworthy than the one in the White House.
And a CNN exclusive:
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So many people have had their lives totally dismantled.
ANNOUNCER: Twenty wives, 100 kids -- he split from fugitive polygamist Warren Jeffs. Now they're all paying the price.
ANNOUNCER: Across the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.
Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: Thanks for joining us this Friday evening.
We begin tonight with a fight over illegal immigration -- several developments today -- the White House announcing the president will deliver a prime-time televised address on illegal immigration on Monday. And there's word tonight that thousands of National Guard troops could soon be heading to the U.S. border with Mexico.
Pentagon sources tell CNN that the idea is on the table, and a decision could be announced as early as next week. The battle on the border is heating up, no doubt about it. And, tonight, we're covering all the angles.
Would sending troops to the border work? We will examine what role they would have and who would be in charge.
Plus, the civilian fight -- Minutemen demonstrators in Washington today protesting a bill that would give millions of illegals a chance at U.S. citizenship. We will talk to their group's executive director.
And the president's address Monday. His poll numbers are reaching new lows. We will talk about the speech's political impact with former White House adviser David Gergen.
We begin, however, with CNN senior Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre on the possible plan to send National Guard troops to the border.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR MILITARY AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): The Pentagon has been asked to draw up options for the military to help beef up security along the U.S.-Mexico border.
And Pentagon sources tell CNN, one idea under consideration is to have the federal government pick up the tab for several thousand additional National Guard troops, to be activated in the border states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
Under that option, the Guard troops would remain under the control of state governors, as they were during Hurricane Katrina, and would be limited to a supporting role, providing logistics, intelligence and surveillance help to civilian authorities.
That's already being done on a small scale by several hundred Guard troops. But the numbers could jump to several thousand.
FRANK GAFFNEY, FOUNDER & PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR SECURITY POLICY: This is a job that we can train our forces to perform. We can utilize the panoply of sensors and detection devices and -- and monitoring equipment and military hardware to ensure that we do not continue to be subjected to what amounts to an onslaught every single day.
MCINTYRE: Still, don't expect to see U.S. troops on the front lines patrolling the border, officials say. But, with additional helicopters, unmanned spy planes, and sophisticated computers and communications, the Guard can be what the Pentagon calls a force multiplier for the overburdened U.S. Border Patrol and local law enforcement.
Active-duty U.S. troops are barred from domestic law enforcement by a Civil War-era law known as Posse Comitatus. But National Guard troops under state control can perform some law enforcement functions, such as crowd control.
Still, the Pentagon is anxious to avoid the sort of controversy that erupted back in 1997, when a U.S. Marine supporting counter-drug agents shot and killed a goat herder along the Mexican border.
(on camera): The Pentagon says, in theory, it could sustain of force of up to 10,000 Guard troops along the Mexican border without affecting its other operations.
But officials say it's way too early to say how many troops might be deployed. And they insist, any additional military assistance will be temporary, until the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency can hire additional permanent personnel.
Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.
COOPER: Well, if National Guard troops do head to the border, they will go with the blessing of the Minuteman Project. Members of that civilian group say, at the end of the month, they actually plan to start building border fences on private property.
Today, its members arrived in Washington, and they made some noise.
Here's CNN's Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Through a crowd of angry protesters and fresh from a tour of the country, the Minuteman Project arrived at the Capitol with a message for lawmakers: Enforce immigration law, or else.
STEPHEN EICHLER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MINUTEMAN PROJECT: If you will not protect our liberties, then you will be booted out of office!
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
EICHLER: And you will be sent to the unemployment line! And we will find a patriot who loves America to take your place!
FOREMAN: Whether this group can deliver on such threats is not clear, but they have seized the spotlight, patrolling illegal border crossings, reporting employers who hire illegals, and relentlessly demanding that America's boundaries be secured.
PATTY PEEBLES, MINUTEMEN SUPPORTER: We want it done the right way. And that's all we're asking.
FOREMAN: David and Michelle Beasley say they have never been involved in politics before, but drove nine hours from South Carolina to say they're worried about the effect of illegal immigrants on national security, American culture, and the economy.
MICHELLE BEASLEY, MINUTEMEN SUPPORTER: We see people getting paid under the table.
FOREMAN (on camera): Day workers.
BEASLEY: Day workers. They're lined up on the streets down from where we live.
FOREMAN: And what do you think that does to work American workers and American wages?
David Beasley, Minutemen Supporter: They cannot compete. They cannot compete.
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: Bigots in suits and ties, we don't want your racist lies!
FOREMAN (voice-over): Protesters who want amnesty for illegal immigrants call the Minutemen racist, Klansmen, Nazis.
AMADA JAUREGUI, PROTESTER: But I'm here to tell them that we are opposed to them, and there are many people who just disagree wholeheartedly with what their opinion is.
FOREMAN (on camera): The Minutemen have caught on because a lot of Americans are growing concerned about immigration and fearing that their government is not doing enough.
WILLIAM ABERCROMBIE, TRUCK DRIVER: They're -- they're just not listening to the people. And, so...
FOREMAN: Why would they do that?
ABERCROMBIE: Honestly, I think it's because of the -- the influence that the lobbyists and corporate America has, and they want the cheap labor in this country.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Immigration rights activists have filled the streets, but the Minuteman Project aims to fill elected offices with people who can make tough immigration laws and make them stick.
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS (singing): ... of the brave.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
FOREMAN: Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Well, Steve Eichler is one of the Minutemen you saw in that piece. He's the executive director of Minutemen Project. He joins me now from Washington. Steve, thanks for being on the program.
What were you -- what were you hoping to accomplish with this caravan and this rally today?
EICHLER: Well, we wanted to draw national attention to the issue.
Exactly 13 months ago, Jim Gilchrist went down to the border, the Arizona border, and drew national attention, one man with a lawn chair and a -- binoculars, and, all of a sudden, the president of the United States called him a vigilante.
Well, no one's laughing anymore. We have called national attention. We're bringing the argument up. And, all of a sudden, folks want to talk about putting troops on the border. That's a wonderful first step.
COOPER: Yes. I mean, what -- what -- what about the plan to -- you actually think National Guard troops -- I mean, would they be able to do a job that the Border Patrol is not able to do?
Well, it's a significant first step. The Border Patrol needs a 500 percent increase in their budget. They are understaffed, and they have -- don't have enough equipment. And the fact that the Minutemen are there to be their eyes and ears, to observe and report, is a significant help for them.
Now, to add to that, if could have National Guard troops there, that would be wonderful.
COOPER: Do you think it is ever really possible, though, to completely seal off this border?
I mean, you go down to San Diego, and, you know, they have a double fence, very, you know, high-technology, and you still have people digging, you know, 1,000-, 2000-foot tunnels underneath it.
EICHLER: Well, according to recent estimates, there will be two million two to three million people flowing across that border.
What if we could just cut it in half? That would be significant. We address a lot of those issues our on Web site, of course, at MinutemanProject.com, because we know that, if you take two Minutemen and you put them on the border, they can secure over one mile of border fence.
So, if you have National Guard there, plus Minutemen, plus Border Patrols, of course, you're going to have a -- a positive impact.
COOPER: You -- the -- obviously, you feel very strongly about this.
COOPER: You had a couple hundred people involved in -- in this caravan.
Obviously, the other side had, you know, hundreds of thousands of people that -- that have turned out. A -- a lot of Americans agree something needs to be done on the border. They need to be more secure, but three-quarters of Americans say in a recent poll that -- that giving amnesty to illegal immigrants who have been here for five years was a good idea.
More than half seem sympathetic to illegal immigrants. Do you think, I mean, you guys are really representative of -- of the great -- the vast sentiment out there?
EICHLER: Absolutely. As this argument grows, more and more Americans are very, very angry at the inaction of the federal government. And by that type of inaction, they're going to be showing it at the polls. So, when they go in the ballot box, they're going to make a decision. Has this candidate properly represented the argument, and will they represent us? If so, they will get the vote.
COOPER: ... we will be watching it at the polls.
Steve Eichler, I appreciate you joining us. Thanks.
EICHLER: Thank you for having me.
COOPER: We all know the polling numbers for President Bush have been bad lately, to say the least. But get this. In a recent poll, when asked who was more honest as president, Bush or Clinton, guess who won? We will tell you in a moment.
And it's not just honesty they were polled about, foreign policy, Iraq, the economy. We are going to run the numbers. The answers may surprise you.
Also tonight, the hunt for a fugitive polygamist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEAN MAY, HISTORIAN, UNIVERSITY OF UTAH: The people who practice polygamy in Utah today see themselves as continuing a practice that was urged upon Latter Day Saints by their earlier prophets.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: (AUDIO GAP) leader Warren Jeffs on the run and on the FBI's 10 most wanted list. Why do his followers believe what they believe? We will delve into their backgrounds and their beliefs.
And an exclusive interview with an ex-follower of Warren Jeffs, a guy who has about 20 wives or more, about 100 kids, and he says now the law is watching him.
You're watching 360.
COOPER: Whether it's immigration or Katrina, Porter Goss or the NSA, it has been a rough year for the president, and the poll numbers clearly show it. But, tonight, a new CNN poll provides some surprising comparisons. Americans were asked not only to rate Mr. Bush's performance, but compare it to the guy who came before him, you know, the guy who was impeached?
CNN's Bill Schneider crunches the numbers. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): How bad has it gotten for President Bush? So bad, it may be making his predecessor look better.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This year, the first of about 78 million baby boomers turns -- baby boomers turn 60, including two of my dad's favorite people, me and President Clinton.
SCHNEIDER: His dad may not be alone in that opinion, or at least one of those opinions. Asked their personal opinion of George W. Bush recently, the public was unfavorable, 57 to 40 percent. Their opinion of Bill Clinton, almost the reverse, 57 to 38 percent favorable. We asked people to compare the last two presidents.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's scary....
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... comparing Clinton to George W.
SCHNEIDER: Which president did a better job on the economy? Clinton, by a mile -- for many Americans, the '90s were boom years.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When he was president, my business did well and I made a lot of money. And, so, and I -- I kind of miss that.
SCHNEIDER: When it came to handling natural disasters, Clinton was a natural, like after the floods in North Dakota, unlike Bush in Hurricane Katrina. Clinton raised taxes. Bush cut taxes. Who wins on that one? Surprise. Clinton.
After 9/11, national security became Bush's strongest issue. Who leads on that issue? Clinton by a nose. Why not Bush?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's got me concerned. You know, it's -- we're in Iraq, and he's talking about going to Iran.
SCHNEIDER: Now for a tough test, character.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ethics kind of took a -- a side trip for eight years while he was in office.
SCHNEIDER: So, which president do Americans now consider more honest and trustworthy? A close call, but slightly more people say Clinton. The controversies over weapons of mass destruction and CIA leaks have taken a toll on President Bush's reputation. Could a wave of Clinton nostalgia be setting in?
QUESTION: Do you feel nostalgic for the Bill Clinton era?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not at all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was not the Bill Clinton admirer.
SCHNEIDER: Looks like people are divided about that, too.
Clinton divided the country. So, did Bush. Who do people think divided it more? Bush, by a big margin -- a divider, not a uniter.
Bill Schneider, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Well, of course, it bears pointing out, if the tables were turned, if President Clinton were in the White House today, facing everything President Bush is facing now, his poll numbers might be just as low. There's no way of knowing.
That said, the comparison is interesting. And we thought it might benefit with some perspective.
For that, we spoke earlier tonight with former presidential adviser David Gergen.
COOPER: David, what does it say to you that -- that Clinton's numbers on national security and honesty are better than Bush's, I mean, considering that that -- those had been Bush's strengths?
DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: Isn't politics odd?
I mean, I...
GERGEN: Who would have ever expected this?
I mean, it's understandable that Bill Clinton would get higher scores on looking after the problems of normal Americans. It's -- it's -- it's obvious he would get a better score on the economy, but it's a big surprise he gets a higher score on taxes? I mean, after all, he cut taxes -- I mean, he raised taxes, and Bush cut taxes, and, yet, Clinton gets a higher score.
And on honesty? I mean, after -- after the -- the Clinton administration ended, everybody thought, you know, the one thing that was his Achilles' heel was honesty. And here he comes along, and he's beating Bush. I mean, I think it's -- it's a reflection mostly, of course, of the troubles that President Bush is in.
But it's also true that Bill Clinton has had a sunny period since he's been president. He's a rock star in the younger -- the younger generation.
COOPER: I -- I imagine he's going to be smiling all weekend long.
COOPER: ... carrying this poll around with him.
GERGEN: I think -- hey, listen, I think his -- his wife might be smiling, too.
COOPER: You know, so, on Monday night, the president's going to address the nation on immigration reform. In the past, certainly, you have been critical of -- of the president for not taking more of a leadership role on this issue.
Can a speech turn things around? I mean, is that a step in the right direction?
GERGEN: A lot depends on how -- whether there's any drama to it, whether there's any news in it.
If he is simply endorsing a legislative position that is emerging now as a compromise in the Senate, and he's not going to really push hard to make that the final bill, then, I don't think it helps him very much. I think he's got -- in other words, I think he's got to really now plant a flag and say: Here's what I'm for. Here's what I want -- and, then, very importantly, Anderson, then get what he wants. That shows leadership.
COOPER: So, when the president speaks to the nation, does he speak specifically to conservatives, trying to mobilize them, or is it more of a -- a wider-reaching speech to try to sort of cast a wide net?
GERGEN: That's a really good question.
I think that's exactly what we will be looking for. Is he -- you know, his strategy for recovery has been to rally his base, to rally the conservative base. So, if that's what he does on Monday night, he goes into a strong speech about borders, borders, borders, that's all about the base.
But if does what I -- what I think he ought to do, which is appeal to the country as a whole -- after all, he's not -- he's not president of the conservatives. He's president of the whole country.
COOPER: You know, we're now reading and hearing that Karl Rove seems to be going by some pretty old standbys, in terms of mobilizing conservative base, I mean, talking about a -- a gay marriage amendment, talking, you know, about same-sex marriage across the -- the country, stem cell research.
Do you -- I mean, do you think that is those tried-and-true methods, or do you -- do you think that's a mistake, or do you think that's -- that's an effective strategy?
GERGEN: I -- look, I -- it -- it -- the -- you know, at a certain point, the -- these dogs don't hunt with the country. You know, I think the country's going to be -- it will help with conservatives.
It will get them -- it will get them modestly up. But -- but it's no way to build -- rebuild a presidency. You -- you can get maybe back up to the high 30s or even 34 with a strategy like that, but you can't govern the country. You can't -- you can't get the big things done. You can -- you can sort of salvage a little bit, but that's not a strategy that really -- it's not a governing strategy.
It's a -- it's a -- it's a makeshift, short-term, convenient political strategy that -- that doesn't win him -- doesn't really solve the country's problems.
COOPER: It is fascinating times.
GERGEN: It is. Thank you.
COOPER: David Gergen, thanks.
GERGEN: OK. Thanks.
COOPER: Well, we are going in depth coming up on the disturbing story that exploded this week, Warren Jeffs -- we will have that in just a moment.
But, first, let's check in with Erica Hill for some of the quick stories we're following tonight -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, federal agents have searched the home of a former senior CIA official. Investigators from five agencies armed with warrants entered the Virginia home of Kyle "Dusty" Foggo. It's part of a corruption probe.
Foggo was the number-three executive at the CIA, before he resigned this week. The FBI and CIA are investigating Foggo's ties to a defense contractor who is linked to the bribery case against former Congressman Randy Duke Cunningham. Foggo has denied any wrongdoing.
More concerns about Iran's nuclear program -- diplomats say the U.N. Atomic Agency has discovered traces of highly enriched uranium to -- at a site linked to Iran's Defense Ministry. The traces may suggest Iran is working on a nuclear warhead, though the diplomats say they could have come from abroad.
A warning from the FDA concerning the popular antidepressant Paxil. The federal agency says the drug may raise the risk of suicidal behavior in young adults. However, only 11 of the thousands of patients studied tried to commit suicide, none of them successfully. So, the FDA says the trial results should be interpreted with caution.
Paxil's manufacturer say the drug's benefits outweigh is risks.
And, in Vienna, Austria, oh, my. What was she doing? That was a bikini-clad woman disrupting a photo shoot of European Union Latin American leaders, apparently to protest the construction of two wood pulp pants in Uruguay -- just another shot for you there. The world leaders got a hearty little chuckle from it, yes.
COOPER: That is what world leaders do. They laugh heartily. Oh, hah, hah, hah, hah.
HILL: Oh, it's a woman in a bikini with a sign. Oh, hah, hah, hah.
COOPER: Oh, hah, hah, hah, hah.
COOPER: In Austria.
HILL: Yes. There you go.
COOPER: Except that, in Austria, it's like huh, huh, huh, huh, huh.
HILL: It's a different kind of laugh.
COOPER: I think so, yes.
Do they wear lederhosen, or no?
HILL: That's in Germany.
COOPER: Yes. I think that's Germany.
Maybe, in za Alps, zough, zey wear za lederhosen.
COOPER: Erica Hill, danke schoen.
COOPER: Coming up, the hunt for fugitive church leader Warren Jeffs and the dark secrets of his polygamist sect.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROWENNA ERICKSON, FORMER POLYGAMIST WIFE: They make sure you have lots of children, which will keep you tied down and obligated to that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: This woman and other former members of Jeffs' sect are now speaking out, and what they have to say about forced marriages and rapes and child abuse, well, it may shock you that this is happening in this day and age.
And, as the manhunt continues, new reasons for concern -- some say that Warren Jeffs is preparing for a showdown in his secret compound in Texas. Find out why finding him may just spell disaster.
And the man who knows Warren Jeffs firsthand -- he leads his own polygamist family in Canada, and now he says he could be in trouble with the law there as well -- next on 360.
COOPER: Well, the nationwide manhunt for fugitive church leader Warren Jeffs continues tonight.
In the six days since Jeffs landed on the FBI's most wanted list, the hidden world of polygamy in this country has been split wide open. It has been hiding in plain sight for more than 100 years in America, illegal and, critics say, insidious, taking root, flourishing in isolated corners of the country, operating, for the most part, under the radar. It's a story, really, as complex as it is disturbing.
Tonight we're covering all the angles -- new insights on the secretive world from a man who has known Warren Jeffs for decades.
But, first, polygamy in America 101.
Here's CNN's Rick Sanchez.
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Joseph Smith was the prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or Mormons. He founded the church in the 1830s, was said to have dozens of wives.
When a newspaper exposed that secret, he was arrested in Nauvoo, Illinois, and eventually killed by a mob. That forced his successor, Brigham Young, to lead his followers west to what is now Salt Lake City, Utah. And it was there, in 1852, that Young, said to have had more than 50 wives, officially acknowledged polygamy as a Mormon practice.
But, in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed a law criminalizing polygamy. For decades, the Mormons fought back, accusing the government of infringing upon their religious freedoms, until, finally, in 1890, they gave up the fight. Fearing they would lose their temples, and to achieve statehood for Utah, they passed the "Great Accommodation," a manifesto disavowing polygamy.
Church members who disagreed with the manifesto broke away. They refused to stop practicing polygamy, and their followers continue to practice even today.
DEAN MAY, PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, UNIVERSITY OF UTAH: The people who practice polygamy in Utah today see themselves as continuing a practice that was urged upon Latter Day Saints by their earlier prophets.
SANCHEZ (on camera): The first group to break away was the FLDS, or the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints. Historians say, since the early 1900s, they have believed the only way to get to heaven is to have at least three wives.
One former wife, Rowenna Erickson, left her plural marriage and is now speaking out.
ROWENNA ERICKSON, FORMER POLYGAMIST WIFE: They make sure you have lots of children, which will keep you tied down and obligated to that.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): Members of FLDS live on the Utah border with Arizona in the towns of Hildale and Colorado City. Police say, for years, they have simply left them alone.
DON WHITE, ATTORNEY: For a number of years -- and I'm going 50, 60, 70 years -- I think prosecutors had an attitude. They really -- and I used to be a prosecutor -- it will go away.
SANCHEZ: But it hasn't gone away. Experts say as many as 30,000 people in the United States continue to practice polygamy.
Rick Sanchez, CNN, Eldorado, Texas.
COOPER: Well, we want to stress that Warren Jeffs and his followers are not part of the mainstream Mormon Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or LDS, which is based in Salt Lake City.
If you were watching 360 Wednesday night, you saw us live from Salt Lake City. Behind me was that temple, the Mormon Temple. The LDS, the Mormon Church, understandably, is concerned that people might confuse the two groups.
So, in a statement issued Thursday, the Mormon Church said references to polygamist groups as Mormons or Mormon sects are -- quote -- "misleading and confusing," since, as we mentioned moments ago, the Mormon Church outlawed polygamy back in 1890.
Still, critics point out, Jeffs' sect uses the Book of Mormon and other Mormon religious materials as their central text. And many polygamists believe they are holding true to the original teachings of Joseph Smith. As for what Jeffs is up to lately, listen to what best-selling author Jon Krakauer has been hearing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON KRAKAUER, AUTHOR, "UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN": We are getting very credible reports for over several months now that he was separating children younger than 7 from their families -- he saw under the age of 7 as the age of innocence -- and bringing them, without their families, to Texas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: To Texas, where the main headquarters right now is for Warren Jeffs. We are going to show you, coming up, Jeffs' kingdom here on Earth in three states and two countries.
Plus, later on, we will talk to a man who lives to bring Jeffs to justice. He has tangled with him, has his number, and sees him as dangerous, perverted, and fanatical -- when 360 continues.
COOPER: Warren Jeffs is on the run, but not like any other fugitive on the FBI's 10 most wanted list. Jeffs really has godlike control over his thousands of followers. He's charged with an assortment of crimes, sexual conduct with a minor, being an accomplice to rape, there's also accusations of financial indiscretions as well as molestation of young boys and girls.
That just scratches the surface, though, for a man that his critics say is just pure evil. Some fear he's molested countless children, turning girls into child brides and splitting up families at will. His true believers here in the U.S. and Canada obey his every command, living shuttered lives in isolated locations waiting for judgment day. Today we wanted to take a look inside his vast empire.
COOPER: Warren Jeffs is preparing his followers for the kingdom of heaven. But his kingdom here on earth is shrinking by the day. For the last 50 years, Colorado City, Arizona and the neighboring town of Hildale, Utah have been home to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the FLDS, a polygamist sect now controlled by Warren Jeffs. Before Jeffs ran the FLDS, his father, Rulon Jeffs, owned most of the property and controlled virtually the entire population here of polygamists. When Rulon died in 2002, Warren took total control over the sect, insisting his followers cut themselves off from the outside world. As CNN's Gary Tuchman found out this week in Colorado City, most people here want nothing to do with outsiders.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the center of commerce here in Colorado City. This is the food town. This is where the families come to get their groceries. They won't allow us inside with the camera, but we can tell you it is very busy, as you might expect. There are many households. And you can see there are some angry people here who don't want the camera to be --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No cameras allowed here.
TUCHMAN: Say that again?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry, this is private property. No cameras allowed.
COOPER: It didn't matter where Gary Tuchman went, his presence was unwelcome.
TUCHMAN: So now we're off the property where legally we're allowed to shoot. We can tell you that according to local authorities, the district attorney's office which pays visits with their investigators, 99 percent of the families here are polygamist families. Most of those families --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to have to ask you guys to not video by our store. Please don't point that at me.
COOPER: Jeffs also has followers in Canada in a place that used to be called Creston but was renamed by the church as Bountiful. But it's in Texas that many believe Jeffs may be hiding. Facing lawsuits and prosecution, he and hundreds of his followers have settled on nearly 2,000 acres of land in west Texas. This is the new home for the FLDS. A sprawling compound in the town of Eldorado. A locked fence seals it off, but that doesn't mean those inside aren't watching.
RANDY MANKIN, EDITOR, ELDORADO SUCCESS: We were there on the county road using some night-vision surveillance, looking in toward the ranch. And to see them looking back at us with night-vision surveillance was kind of eerie.
COOPER: Glimpses of the ranch including this photograph of women and children working in the fields reveal what some call a cult-like existence. The pilot who flew over the ranch for us, explains why Jeffs wants his followers in Eldorado.
J.D. DOYLE, PILOT: Warren tells them that the end of the world is near, and it will be so many days after the last corner is (INAUDIBLE) from the temple, and then after that, God is going to come, destroy the earth. They're going to be the only people left.
COOPER: It's been well known for years that Jeffs has split up families and reassigned wives. Author Jon Krakauer now says the practice has taken an even more ominous turn.
JON KRAKAUER, AUTHOR, "UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN: One of the very disturbing things is that we are getting very credible reports for over several months now that he was separating children younger than 7 from their families. Under the age of seven is the age of innocence and bringing them without their families to Texas. So there's many, many scores, maybe hundreds of these very young children that he's brought there.
COOPER: Of course, Jeffs isn't the first sect to make west Texas home. Remember Waco?
We've seen an explosion.
COOPER: It is similarities with David Koresh and the Branch Davidians that scares so many people, who fear Warren Jeffs may bring his maniacal mission to a bloody end.
KRAKAUER: If he is cornered, if he has no other way out, there's little doubt, there's no doubt that he would kill himself and take as many people with him as he could before he'd submit to the law.
COOPER: Well, it is tough finding people who actually know Warren Jeffs firsthand. You're about to meet one man who does. A polygamist in Canada who used to be a high ranking member of Jeffs' church. Winston Blackmore, he has more than 20 wives, he has about 100 children. Tonight he talks exclusively about the man he once followed and the charges he himself may soon face.
Also, a gripping story of escape. She grew up in Warren Jeffs' sect, she was married off to a 50-year-old man when she was just 18. How she finally managed to break away when 360 continues.
COOPER: Warren Jeffs also has several hundred followers in Canada. He used to have more, but a number of his followers there broke away several years ago saying that Jeffs was not really the prophet he claimed to be. One man who used to follow Jeffs is Winston Blackmore. In a moment, my exclusive conversation with him. Blackmore is still a polygamist. He makes no apologies about it, and now he could be the next well known polygamist in trouble with the law.
COOPER: For nearly two decades, Winston Blackmore led Bountiful's FLDS community. He was a bishop to 1,000 followers of the FLDS until Warren Jeffs ex-communicated him in 2002. Blackmore doesn't like to talk about specifics, but he reportedly has more than 20 wives and about 100 children. Look at his left hand, though, and you may notice there's no wedding ring on it.
WINSTON BLACKMORE, POLYGAMIST LEADER: I'm divorced from my first wife, and none of the other ones have wife status. So I'm not even married anymore in the eyes of the Canadian law.
COOPER: Polygamy is illegal in Canada, and after being ignored by authorities for years, Blackmore now says he and his family are being investigated by police. The "Vancouver Sun" reports the investigation may center on allegations he sexually exploited girls. Blackmore admits a few of his wives were younger than Canada's required age for marriage, 16.
BLACKMORE: There was one that was, and one that lied about her age, but that's not unusual for women, is it?
COOPER: Also it turns out not all of his wives are legally in Canada. Blackmore says three of his wives including Marsha Chatwin and Edith Barlow came from the U.S. and don't want to go back.
MARSHA CHATWIN, POLYGAMIST WIFE: They'd have to drag me because I don't want to leave my children.
EDITH BARLOW, POLYGAMIST WIFE: My children have every right to be in Canada, and that's where they want to be. And that's where their father wants them to be.
COOPER: Well, Winston Blackmore is a rare find, a polygamist willing to go on camera. I talked to him earlier in a 360 exclusive interview. We began by discussing Warren Jeffs.
COOPER: He claims he's a prophet. Do you think he is one?
BLACKMORE: He has a pretty poor record if he is.
COOPER: How do you mean?
BLACKMORE: Well, if you're a prophet and you make predictions, they should come to pass, should they?
COOPER: What sort of predictions has he made that have not come to pass? I mean, I've heard he's predicted sort of end of times and obviously it hasn't happened.
BLACKMORE: Well, I think the first, most dramatic prediction was that his father was going to live 300 and something years into the future. You know, and then after the stroke of August of '98, you know, there was the end of the world predictions. I think there were seven or eight of them all told.
COOPER: Let's talk about your faith. Because I think it interests a lot of people. It confuses a lot of people. And there is a belief system that, you know, people pay attention to the polygamy part of it, the multiple wives, but, I mean, there's a belief system behind it all. I'm just sort of interested in hearing what the belief system is. Why is it, in this faith, it important to have plural wives?
BLACKMORE: Well, you know, I'm not responsible for Mormonism. But our founding principles of Mormonism included the tenant that a family was organized correctly if it had more wives than one.
COOPER: And that was important because what? I mean, someone has said to me that that's the way you get into heaven by having plural wives. Is that true?
BLACKMORE: Well, that's a part of our training, but that's easier said than done. And, you know, to consider that no one is going to go to heaven that doesn't have more wives than one is really not founded in our faith either.
COOPER: What is the idea behind the multiple wives, then? Is there a role that that plays in heaven or in celestial kingdom for having multiple -- for having plural wives?
BLACKMORE: Well, we have a revelation in our doctrine and covenants, and it came to our founding president, Joseph Smith. It's known as section 132. And he inquired as to why Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in some of the old -- New Testament -- or Old Testament prophets participated in the practice of plural marriage. And in answer to that, received what we consider to be a divine communication from the lord which not only allowed that practice, but required that people participate in that practice. And that's about as simple as I can explain it.
COOPER: Winston Blackmore has a lot more to say, including this.
BLACKMORE: We believe that a man will be punished for his own sins. So don't punish us for what he's doing.
COOPER: Talking about -- he's talking about Warren Jeffs and how the fugitive has turned all polygamists, including Mr. Blackmore, into targets. Coming up, part two of our exclusive conversation.
Plus, he used to have three wives, then he lost his faith. His mission now, he says, is stopping the spread of polygamy. His story when 360 continues.
COOPER: We'll have a lot more on this problem of polygamy in America in the 11 o'clock hour of 360. But right now more from my exclusive interview with Winston Blackmore, a polygamist leader in Canada who used to be a bishop in Warren Jeffs' sect. Blackmore was ex-communicated by Jeffs and now leads his own polygamist community. He's seen firsthand the way that Jeffs operates, and that's where the interview picks up.
COOPER: I've also talked to a lot of people who have said, look, he has divided families, that he's reassigned wives from, you know, from one family to another. What do you think -- what do you think about that? Is that common, or is that unusual?
BLACKMORE: It was very unusual prior to him, but it's very common after him. I am so, so sad that there are so many of my good friends and so many people that were very good part of our faith that have had their lives totally dismantled. It's not just hearsay, Anderson it's something that has happened so many times. I think we quit keeping track at over 100 -- 100 families. And that's -- that is a tragedy. And, you know, I'm not saying that marriages don't break down. You know, they do. And they do all throughout your society, too, and through Canada and the United States. But to actually mandate a breakdown of a marriage is horrible, in my view anyway.
COOPER: What does it say about his power over the people who do still follow him that they are willing to go along with what he says?
BLACKMORE: You know, I guess that's something that we'd all like to know the answer to. He has, you know, a tremendous amount of influence, but I think that a lot of that influence with those people is gained on the fact that there's a certain amount of fear that if they don't go along with this, they'll be totally, you know, cut off from any communication with their family. They go along with it, and they're cut off anyway.
COOPER: Apparently you told a reporter today that you believe, in a few days, you may actually be charged for sexually exploiting underage girls in Bountiful. Is that accurate, and how concerned are you about what may happen to your group because of all this attention on Warren Jeffs?
BLACKMORE: Actually, I don't have a group, Anderson. I mean, I have my family. And there's a bunch of other people that feel the same way I do about things, and we meet together. And as far as I am aware, yes, the RCMP are doing an investigation on us. The investigation is not complete.
COOPER: That's the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
BLACKMORE: That's right. And from what I know of it and that's -- I don't think it has to do with sexual exploitation. They were looking at two things. They were looking at whether or not I used my authority as being an officer in our church or a bishop to encourage people to marry me. That's one. Or the other thing is, is if they could actually charge me on the grounds of polygamy.
COOPER: Well, we'll continue to follow that story. As we mentioned, Winston Blackmore lives in Bountiful, British Columbia, with a large number of polygamist families. Their impact on Bountiful is clear. Here's the raw data. Bountiful has a teen pregnancy rate that is seven times that of the rest of British Columbia. From 1998 to 2004, 69 girls from bountiful under the age of 18 had children. Of the girls who gave birth, a full third of the fathers were at least ten years older than the mothers.
Well, coming up, the shot of the day. But first, Erica Hill from "Headline News" has some of the business stories we're following. Erica?
HILL: Anderson, stocks tumbled on Wall Street for the second day in a row with investors still worried about inflation. The Dow fell 119 points. The S&P dropped 14, while the NASDAQ lost nearly 29 to cap off its worst weekly loss in 13 months. The Dow was also down for the week, breaking a five week winning streak. Several U.S. cities have filed lawsuits against up to 16 online travel Web sites including Expedia and Travelocity. San Antonio, San Diego, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta claim the sites have failed to pay millions of dollars in hotel taxes.
The Justice Department says Microsoft isn't living up to its landmark antitrust settlement, so it wants to extend its oversight of some of the company's practices until November of 2009. Microsoft has agreed to the additional scrutiny. A judge must still approve that move.
And it is the end of the road for the gas guzzling Hummer H1. General Motors is stopping production of the five-ton vehicle to put more emphasis on the smaller but still rather hefty H2 and H3 models. Last year, GM sold 374 H1s, down 16 percent from 2004.
COOPER: Ah, well, it's the end of an era.
HILL: Sad, sad.
COOPER: All right Erica, time for the shot, the image or -- it's the moving picture that we like the most, and on any given day. Take a look at today -- the shot. This one, well, it got our attention.
HILL: Oh, my.
COOPER: Yeah. Hey, lady!
HILL: He may be saying that in a falsetto.
COOPER: That is Spanish bullfighter Eduardo Gayo, barely missing a bull's horn. A bull's horn barely missed him, shall we say.
HILL: Is he okay? Do we know?
COOPER: Let me just see that picture again. Can we zero in on the vital areas?
HILL: Do we really want to?
COOPER: He was apparently fine. Everything's fine.
HILL: Eduardo, I mean, there's your claim to fame right there buddy. You can survive that, can you survive anything.
COOPER: Yeah. You know who was extremely moved by it, though?
HILL: The smoking chimp?
COOPER: No. Paula Abdul.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAULA ABDUL: You move me. You celebrate what this competition is all about, and, you know, I spent the day yesterday watching the tapes of when you -- when everyone first started. And you've moved me from the beginning. But you are just handsome, evolved performer that -- you are an "American Idol." You are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: You know, and I think watching that clip again, watching Simon's reaction, I think he was moved, too. By her being moved.
COOPER: I think he was. So there you go. Paula Abdul loves Eduardo Gayo.
HILL: There you go, headline of the day.
COOPER: Yes exactly. Even in his new state. Erica Hill, thanks.
Well we're devoting our entire next hour to polygamy and the threat that Warren Jeffs poses. His alleged exploitation of women and kids helped trigger a federal manhunt. This week he really became a household name to us all. We'll fill out his portrait however for you coming up.
Plus a man who's dodged Jeffs in civil court. Or dogged, I should say, Jeffs in civil court, is largely due to his persistence that Jeffs is now feeling federal heat.
And women who are living the polygamist life say they love it when 360, a special edition of 360, "Hiding in Plain Sight: Polygamy" is next.
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