Return to Transcripts main page
Did Bullying Drive Teen to Suicide?; New Casey Video Reaction
Aired January 9, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go.
The Casey Anthony tapes supposedly recorded for therapy. Is she even capable of that? I say yes. I`m battling it out with a psychologist who disagrees with me.
And another teen bullied to death. Is this happening to your child or one you know?
And later, unbuckling the Bible Belt. I`m talking to a pastor who says god is OK with - get this - erotic toys, cyber sex and you wouldn`t believe what else.
So let`s get started.
And tonight, brand new video surfaces of Casey Anthony, showing off new piercings. Bless her - bless her soul. And we`ll have a chance to show you some of that video a little later.
I still think she is in treatment, but there`s a psychologist I`m going to talk to tonight who agrees with many of you out there. She says Casey is nothing but a masterful con artist and not even capable of treatment. She compares her to say a Paris Hilton or a Pam Anderson in terms of leaking things that might have an impact on the press.
We`ll tell you about it later. She`s back to join me in a bit.
But first, we`re going to tell you a story that - it`s a big change of direction. This is one that I need to tell - and a story I`m tired of telling. But here we go.
Another teen has taken her life due to vicious bullying from school mates. A young, bright high school sophomore from Staten Island, the latest victim. What once seemed incredulous is now becoming truly an epidemic. Take a look at this.
PINSKY (voice-over): Fifteen-year-old Amanda Cummings bullied for years and heartbroken over a breakup finally made good on years of threatening suicide. The Staten Island teen jumped in front of a bus two days after Christmas. Police say a note found in her pocket mentioned a split with her 19-year-old boyfriend.
KEITH CUMMINGS, AMANDA`S UNCLE: It said, "Without - without so and so, who is this kid, there`s no life at all - or I don`t want to live at all."
PINSKY: Although the Christmas breakup had been difficult on Amanda, her family said years of relentless bullying pushed her to the breaking point.
K. CUMMINGS: She was tormented by other kids. They bullied her. They took things from her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People would call her names and there was like stuff on Facebook about her. People were just like really nasty to her for no reason.
PINSKY: Incredibly, the bullies kept up the vicious attacks as Amanda lay dying in a hospital. They lashed out on her in text messages and Facebook postings that have now been erased.
PINSKY: All right. Now, this is a bullying story.
But I want to point out something before we go on here. And that is - this is a great message for everybody to keep in mind that if you know somebody or you, yourself has ever had ideation, meaning thinking about suicide or planning suicide or thoughts of self harm, that is a medical emergency. That needs to be dealt with immediately.
So if you know someone, you don`t assume somebody is looking for attention, you don`t assume anything, let the professionals sort that out. You want to avoid tragedies like this.
Now joining me to discuss it, Attorney Lisa Bloom, she is the author of the best-selling book "Think." We also have Amanda`s family here tonight as well. Amanda`s uncle Keith Cummings and Amanda`s cousin Brenda Cummings, they are with us. And on the phone, Amanda`s mother, Cecile Weber.
First of all, I mean, there`s nothing I can say to make this any better. We just, our condolences to you all. But thank you for being here.
Cecile, let me just go to you first. You`re on the phone there with us. How are you doing? I understand you came out tonight because you - above all else you don`t want anyone else to go through this.
CECILE WEBER, AMANDA CUMMING`S MOTHER, STATEN ISLAND, NY (via telephone): Well, I`m still - still in shock. It`s hard to believe this is happening. I can`t wake up, I`m going to wake up out of this nightmare.
But I do want to urge other parents to know what their children are doing on Facebook and on the computer, and who they`re talking to, and what`s being said to them. I also urge them to know who their children`s friends are, where they live, their phone numbers, and what they`re doing.
My daughter was very - she kept a lot inside, and she was very secretive. I think that if parents know more of what their kids are doing on Facebook and what`s being said to them, this will happen a lot less.
PINSKY: And you know, Cecile, all 15- to 17-year-old kids are secretive. I don`t know any 15-year-old that`s completely open and honest with their parents. But, Lisa, you and I talk about this all the time that parents have got to stay on top of this.
And the Internet, while it`s a dangerous place, can be an instrument for a parent to really stay on top of what`s going on the kid`s life. Even if the kid doesn`t want you to know it, you can find it there.
LISA BLOOM, ATTORNEY: Well, what Cecile is saying is so important. And as parents, we all have to wake up to the fact that for our kids, their online world is more real to them than school and then their home. I mean, this is their reality, it`s not virtual reality. What happens on Facebook is tremendously powerful to them and words can kill as we see in this case.
So it`s incumbent upon every parent to go online, to monitor what their kids are doing. Yes, look at their Facebook page. Look at their Facebook messages. You have the right to do that. And if they don`t let you do that, then you take that computer away from them.
PINSKY: You`ve got to have all of the passwords.
And, Cecile, what I tell parents, Cecile, you can even go downstream into those kids that are commenting on your kids` page and see what their kids are saying about other kids. And really get - you can get information about what`s going on.
WEBER: What I`m - what I`m -
PINSKY: Go ahead, Cecile.
WEBER: What I know is that if they`re doing it to one person, they`re doing it to others.
WEBER: These bullies - the bullies, they get fueled by all of the attention when they`re posting the nasty comments, and they need to be stopped. There has to be something to stop them.
PINSKY: Yes. I agree, Cecile. I am so sick. I`m so disgusted to have to do this again and talk about bullying. And so sad that, you know, a young, beautiful woman has paid the price for this.
Now, Amanda was letting her friends know apparently how she felt on Facebook. We`re going to take a look at some of what she put up. On December 1st, she wrote, "I`ll go kill myself." Yes. On December - I mean -
BLOOM: Well, that`s a glaring cry.
PINSKY: Yes. I mean, that`s it - her friends should have gone, honey, we`re going to take you to the doctor right now.
On December 3rd, she wrote, "Worst Saturday night. I can`t believe this is happening. What did I do to deserve this? Mad people are turning against me. I`m spending this Saturday night alone in my room crying.
December 6th, she wrote, "When I say I`m OK, I want that one person to look me in the eye, hug me and say no, you`re not."
On December 27th a few hours before she took her own life, she wrote, "N.D., I`ll die tonight crying over you."
Cecile, in these appear a recent break-up -
WEBER: (INAUDIBLE) - I - I do blame myself to an extent that I should have been aware of this.
PINSKY: Well, but Cecile, my understanding is you were someone that doesn`t really - didn`t really have a computer at hand. You didn`t really understand how to use that instrument, is that correct?
WEBER: Right. That is correct.
PINSKY: I mean, you learned the hardest possible way. I mean, I hope by you coming out here that any other parents who have not come on board with their kids, either, A, don`t give them access to a computer, or B, understand information like what we just read here is available, but they have to go out there and access it and watch it, monitor it.
And Keith, you`re Amanda`s uncle. Thank you for putting us all together for this evening. Are there things that you would like to say and Brendin, you`re with us as well, anything that - a message that you`d like to give out to other people?
BRENDIN CUMMINGS, AMANDA`S COUSIN: Yes.
PINSKY: Yes, go ahead.
K. CUMMINGS: You go.
B. CUMMINGS: Well, no kid should be bullied. No one really deserves it. Other kids pick on other kids, not really to feel better about themselves, but I don`t know why they do it. It`s not - it`s not -
PINSKY: Well, I tell you what, Brendin, every time I tell these kinds of stories, even in the office when we`re talking about it, somebody goes I was bullied, I was bullied. I know what it feels like. Everybody - I think everybody -
BLOOM: Eighty percent of kids today say they`re bullied.
PINSKY: But I think we all know what that feels like. But imagine if we don`t, what our generation doesn`t know is what it feels like to have access to that kind of vitriol 24/7.
BLOOM: Yes, online.
PINSKY: Every time you go online you get - I mean, imagine that.
PINSKY: It`s so painful. It`s so painful to even think back to your own adolescence and whatever bullying you and I did go through, which is -
BLOOM: But this is what I want to say to Cecile and to all the parents out there, you know, we`re the first generation of parents that has to deal with this. And we don`t have a precedent. We can`t say what did our parents do, you know, when we had a problem on Facebook, because Facebook didn`t exist when we were kids. So we`re making this up as we go along.
But this case is a glaring example of why we do all have to go online and look at what our kids are doing, anyway to talk to our kids and their schools have to do anti-bullying work much more vigorously than they`re doing, because kids are so sensitive at age 15, right? One breakup, a bunch of comments, you know, we might say, oh, it`s just words, get over it. But kids are so sensitive, and this is what happens.
PINSKY: Their past, present and future is now. Go ahead, Cecile.
WEBER: Can I just say, if people - if someone sees another friend or a classmate or a neighbor`s kid`s things on - posted, stuff like they`re going to kill themselves or they want to hurt, if this is posted and you don`t think your neighbor is aware of it, bring it to their attention. I mean, people are seeing this, like, since December 1st.
WEBER: And right. I`m not computer -
PINSKY: So these are - you`re right. But these are - if - what kills me, if somebody posted online, I`m having trouble breathing, everybody would go oh, my god, we`ve got to call a doctor.
PINSKY: This is just as dangerous as that.
BLOOM: It is a mental health call for help.
PINSKY: It is a medical emergency.
PINSKY: Brendin, do you think - I have two questions, Brendin. Do you think other kids are as aware as they should be how serious it is when a kid starts threatening suicide? Number one. And also, there`s another part of the story, too, is that the people who are doing the bullying are not well.
But, first, Brendin, the question about the seriousness of the threats of suicide, do you think kids know about that?
B. CUMMINGS: Yes. Well, she told one of her friends that this was going to happen, but her friend told nobody. She didn`t go to Cecile. She didn`t go to anybody. She just kept it to herself. So basically all of this could have been prevented if that one girl told her.
BLOOM: Yes. And I would also say to kids, don`t keep the secret of somebody who`s in a medical emergency, right? So your friend will say promise you wouldn`t tell anyone, but you need to break that secret. You need to tell an adult, because ultimately, that could save a life.
PINSKY: You are not helping your friend by allowing them to risk their life. That is not a good friend. A good friend is willing to risk a friendship to do what`s right on behalf of their friend. It`s not about trust. It`s not about keeping secrets. That`s - that`s nonsense.
All right. Thank you, Brendin. Next, we`re going to talk with Amanda`s other cousins, Ashley Cummings who says Amanda confided in her about this relentless bullying. Stay with us.
PINSKY: Tonight we`re tackling a difficult subject. A teen so tormented by bullying that she felt compelled to throw herself in front of a bus. It`s a story I had addressed here more than once. I`m disgusted to do it again. I`m sure unfortunately it`s not the last time.
Fifteen-year-old Amanda Cummings was so devastated at least partially as a result of a breakup, but also the relentless bullying at school that went on and through the Internet so much so that two days after Christmas she took her own life. She never regained consciousness, and six days later passed away.
Now, Brendin, you actually - I asked you to stay with me, if you don`t mind. There you are, Brendin. And the reason I asked you to stay is that you had - could you get him back, hooked up. Brendin, are you still with me?
B. CUMMINGS: Yes.
PINSKY: Keith, the reason I`m asking Brendin - there you are. The reason I`m asking him to stay is that he had quite an extraordinary story as it pertained to the ongoing bullying that went on, even after your cousin passed away, and that is something that you then threatened. Tell us the story.
You took after one of the kids online and you actually were the one that almost got arrested. Is that correct?
B. CUMMINGS: Well, yes. This kid on Facebook, I seen a Facebook status he posted and did - I think it said, "Amanda Cummings got what she deserved," and then followed by a long yea. So I like wrote the kid a message on Facebook. I was like, wow, like basically why did you do that. And I threatened him about it.
And the cops came to my school because the mother went up to the precinct, they printed out the message and she gave it to the cops. And they had come up to the school for me and five other students for threatening this kid.
PINSKY: Brendin, how did you avoid getting arrested?
B. CUMMINGS: That day actually that they came up, I was at her funeral. So they couldn`t find me there.
PINSKY: Lisa, it`s kind of lucky he didn`t get arrested. He actually did break a law, even though it sounds reasonable to us that he would come to his relative`s defense, he broke a law.
BLOOM: Yes. Brendin, you can`t threaten anyone. It doesn`t matter what your excuse is, doesn`t matter, you know, how upset you are. What this people said on Facebook is terrible and there`s no justification for that. But if you threaten anyone with physical harm or with taking their life, then you`re going to go to jail.
PINSKY: But, Lisa -
BLOOM: But this is - I want to just say one thing quick. But this is what we call an educable moment for teachers and for parents. In other words, we have to teach children how to grieve, right? These children probably it`s the first time they`ve lost a peer, a 15-year-old, right? So people are saying stupid things online and then the other children are responding back -
PINSKY: No, Lisa, hold on. No, Lisa, here is my question. Is this kid, Brendin take - does something wrong, grant he did something wrong -
BLOOM: He can`t threaten someone.
PINSKY: -- why is that more wrong than what the other kids did to this horrible, horrible - and what they were saying to poor Amanda who`s gone?
BLOOM: Because we have -
PINSKY: Why isn`t that worse? What`s the - what`s the matter with our society? That indecency is OK, but threatening is, oh, we actually draw the line.
BLOOM: Well, because we have the first amendment in this country which protects you, everything that you say on this show, you may say negative things about people sometimes, the cops don`t come and haul you away, right? And kids can -
PINSKY: But if I say Lisa, I`ll bust you in the jaw, they`re going to come and get me.
BLOOM: Well, if you say it in a way -
PINSKY: In a meaningful way.
BLOOM: -- that (ph) can happen, which I hope you don`t, right? So you can`t threaten harm, right?
PINSKY: Keith, you had something to say here? Is that right? No, OK, I`m sorry.
K. CUMMINGS: She -
PINSKY: Go ahead.
K. CUMMINGS: What it is, is I mean, I did tell Brendin two wrongs don`t make a right, but compared, his one comment compared to the several hundred that went on Facebook about Amanda, even after she was dead, I mean, who`s accountable for that?
BLOOM: What`s happening to those kids?
PINSKY: But hold on. Another thing, because that`s not against the law.
BLOOM: But the parents and the teachers can do things (INAUDIBLE).
PINSKY: Let me - let me show people some of what went on. Here`s the Rest in Peace Facebook page for Amanda. Unbelievably, here`s what started showing up.
One of them, "Bus was cummin`," and then it said -
BLOOM: They`re playing with her name - Cummings, right?
PINSKY: Right, right. "B" word. Oh hurry Amanda your bus cummin."
Another, "LMAO, she jumped in front of a bus. Lol."
I mean, come on now.
BLOOM: This is sick.
PINSKY: Yes. I mean, Keith, I understood it got so bad that actually someone posted a picture of Amanda in front of a bus who actually sort of - how is that funny, how is that OK? How come there`s not a town hall meeting in the school to address this disgusting behavior by peers?
BLOOM: That`s what I`m talking about, the parents and the teachers need to clamp down on these kids.
B. CUMMINGS: There`s actually - there`s a website called Nongag and they were using all fake accounts. And all of those people go on and harass people from whichever they hear on the news. That`s basically who it was. A bunch of kids on fake accounts that wrote this.
PINSKY: Brendin, these are your peers, dude. What`s going on there? How come us old guys sitting up here in front of a desk trying to understand it, what is it that we don`t understand that`s going on there on the ground for your age group and your peers that they feel entitled?
BLOOM: Like no compassion (ph).
PINSKY: Entitled wouldn`t be the right word for this, but it`s even remotely OK. What`s going on?
B. CUMMINGS: As I said, it`s not - it`s not people that are actually on Staten Island, it`s people that live in the Midwest, like people that don`t even know her, they just feel that they have the right to go and harass her on her Rest in Peace page for no reason at all. They just -
PINSKY: Cecile, I - I have a hard time believing that. Because how would they even know to go on that page?
BLOOM: Because people in this community that bullied her in the first place.
PINSKY: That`s what I`m saying. That`s why - that`s why I`m suspicious about the community itself. But, Cecile, let`s - go ahead, Keith. I`m sorry.
K. CUMMINGS: What they were doing is they were googling Amanda Cummings and they will make mock sites and stuff like that. And we contacted -
WEBER: They went as far - I got to say something. They went as far as to post things under my name, which I don`t know how they did it, so, saying as I was - as if I was saying things that I never wrote on there. And I don`t know how that`s possible that they can put on there that I said that I hoped they suffer or whatever, whatever, and I know there was a few more. But -
PINSKY: Cecile, people are -
BLOOM: And think about how sick that is, to take a grieving mother who just lost a child and torment her online.
PINSKY: And, Cecile, this is - this is your story that we`re talking about here, and I want to give you the last word. There`s less - I have less than a minute left.
But what do we do with this, these kids acting like vicious animals, what do we do?
WEBER: They need to do something with this bullying. They need to make it a law. The only way it`s going to stop is if people are held accountable. If they - it`s attention - fueled attention this Facebook, every time somebody posts something meaner, they get attention from other people on Facebook. So they post meaner things.
PINSKY: Well, Cecile, listen, our thoughts and prayers stay with you. Thank you for sharing the story. And I hope this hasn`t happened completely in vain and at least kids understand there`s nothing funny about this at all. This is serious business.
Thank you to Brendin and Keith as well. Lisa will be back with me.
Next, my old friend Casey Anthony - just watch - she is at it again. Yes, another deluge of viewer outrage, which you will see in the "On Call" segment coming up.
And later, two people who claim to know God`s views on oral sex. Yes, I said it.
Also, a reminder, that Billy Ray Cyrus is here Thursday. Be sure to stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASEY ANTHONY, FORMER DEFENDANT: I just pierced my nose last night, I`m very excited. And my ears, very. very exciting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Casey Anthony showing off a new hairstyle and a piercing in a video that has surfaced online, reportedly made around Christmas time. Now, I`m going to talk more about that in the next segment.
In the meantime, we`re getting your all strong reactions on our Facebook and Twitter pages. So, first, we got some phone calls.
Let`s go to Tina in Florida, go ahead.
TINA, BRYCEVILLE, FLORIDA (via telephone): Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Tina.
TINA: I just have a comment.
TINA: I think Casey only cares about herself. I think she`s putting this crap out there to try to, you know, win the public over, you know, to get us possibly interested in watching her on TV in some capacity and I think it`s totally disgusting.
PINSKY: I understand you would be disgusted. I understand you might think she would behave that way, and I think she`s going to behave that way eventually, I do believe that. I`m just not sure this is it. It just smacks of something a little different.
Faith in Wisconsin, go ahead.
FAITH, BLACK RIVER FALLS, WISCONSIN (via telephone): Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hey, Faith.
FAITH: I just want to say that we know Casey`s daughter was found murdered and she lied about it. The only thing she has to talk about is her nose and her hair. I mean, what`s the proper prognosis be, is it psychopath or sociopath?
PINSKY: Well, I`m not going to - try to give a diagnosis there. She has had tendencies for sociopath borderline, all of that all along here. I really - I keep saying this. I think she has a frontal lobe brain disorder, although the attorneys denied that she`d actually had seizures, I have seen reports of seizure. It fits with what`s called a partial complex seizure disorder.
I recommended to you before that there`s a book called "Descartes` Error." You can read about the case of Phineas Gage, similar kind of frontal lobe dysfunction. And you see how these people lose capacities that the rest of us take for granted and it`s infuriating to try to deal with them, but it is a problem, and it has a treatment, and it`s different than say like a van der Sloot, who is a guy that`s living in a world of his own making on his own, who rolls by his own rules, only even if it means killing people. That`s a murderer.
Casey Anthony is a screw ball that`s done some horrible stuff.
Sandy on Facebook writes, "Dr. Drew, you appear to have a high level of empathy, as do I, and it makes us - it means she and I - vulnerable to psychopathic manipulation."
With all due respect, I have a feeling your empathy and care of people is being panged by Casey`s manipulation. Let me just say, honey, that Casey was my patient, there`s no doubt that she would wrap her tentacles around me and work me like she does probably with a caretaker. But these people are still treatable nonetheless.
Patty writes, "I don`t think we need to say Casey has some kind of mental illness. She simply manipulates people, lies and uses her sexuality to get what she wants. That`s not mental illness."
I agree with you. That specifically is not. However, think about that incredible lying and that incredible lack of understanding of how other people perceive her. Again, that`s why I think some of this is video journaling, so she can reflect on how she is perceived by others.
Jamie tweets, "Why do you think the medical community never gave Casey the right kind of tests to really nail her issues down?"
I predict that she`s had them by now and that`s probably why she is in treatment, and they didn`t do it before because it was all about the legal issues and nothing about the medical needs of her as an individual. They didn`t care in the legal struggle at all.
Now, want to know more about any of the stories you`re watching tonight, go to HLNTV.com and start reading.
Next, I have a guest who argued Casey knows precisely, exactly what she`s doing, and she is on a campaign to get more attention and releasing these tapes intentionally. I know lots of you believe that. But I`m going to argue that with her in just a minute, so stay with us.
PINSKY (voice-over): The camera loves Casey or maybe it`s the other way around. A second video is out again supposedly recorded for therapy, but is it really about money? Is there any counseling Casey Anthony? I say yes, my guest says no, and we`re going to go head-to-head live.
And later, unbuckling the bible belt. New age sex advice with an old testament twist. What if your priest or clergy wrote a book endorsing oral sex, masturbation, and erotic toys? One mega church pastor did just that. He and his wife are here, talking about why their book, "Real Marriage," is causing real controversy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): And tonight, as I`ve been discussing Casey Anthony`s second video diary leaks evidently online. The 25-year-old is back to being a brunette, and she shows off a new ear cuff and nose piercings. I`m not sure I know the difference between a cuff and a piercing. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASEY ANTHONY, FORMER DEFENDANT: I just pierced my nose last night. Very excited. And cuffed my ear, woo. Very, very exciting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: The seven second clip was posted to Twitter. Now, the question here, is Casey being hacked. That is, in fact, what her lawyers are saying. Jose Baez is even threatening legal action, and I`ve heard her attorneys say they are definitely going to take the legal action because they insist the videos were hacked from Casey`s computer that they were for her personal use.
I suspect therapeutic use and she never planned to release them. I believe this. I have heard that Casey is in treatment and these videos could be part of a video journal to help someone like Casey who doesn`t understand how she`s perceived by others get a sense of how she is perceived and how she comes across, and maybe real more reflection, which she has none.
But others like my guests argue Casey knows precisely what she`s doing and just wants more attention. Dr. Judy Kuriansky joins me now. And of course, Lisa Bloom is back with me in the studio. She is an attorney and author of "Think." Judy, you say these tapes are, quote, "a ploy by a masterful con artist." And you wouldn`t be surprised if she eventually or soon released a sex tape. Why is this?
DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I would think so, because she reminds me of Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton and Pam Anderson. It`s all about me, me, me, as we could tell in one of her video clips where there`s 50 almost references to herself. And come on, Drew. What would a grieving mother be saying in her video journal?
You and I have certainly treated people who are suffering from losses. A grieving mother would be inconsolable, would be talking about the loss of her child. Mothers don`t get over this for the rest of their lives. She would be crying. She wouldn`t be giggling and pointing out her nose piercing.
PINSKY: Well, now, look, Judy, I would just say that, first of all, her grieving was something that she should have done four years ago, and she didn`t do it even then. This is somebody who`s severely impaired. There`s absolutely no doubt about that. And secondly, these are little snippets of presumably, you know, who knows how many volumes of these video diaries that she`s keeping.
And yes, somewhere in there, I would expect to see her as a grieving mother, but we didn`t see it on the one that`s been released. If she were going to release something, and by the way, me me me, I, I, I is precisely what you put in a journal.
So, that`s why I`m just taking issue with the fact that everyone is jumping all over this thing and drawing conclusions that I`d love to make. Casey is a pain in the butt, but I`m not sure I can do that just from this video.
KURIANSKY: But it`s so obvious. Drew, come on. Four years and you know this, too, you`re a master at treating people who are untreatable. Even four years after a child has died, people are not walking around wearing all kinds of revealing clothes and looking like they`re trying to be in a celebrity feature or reality show.
She might be talking about the loss of the relationship with her parents. There would be some feeling, and you know, too, this is more like what the word you used, the borderline personalities, the histrionic women who are so overdramatic, the narcissists.
KURIANSKY: These people who really are talking about themselves, but it`s all about getting attention. And when you give them those that attention, Drew, they do not heal and help. They only get fed into their problem.
PINSKY: That`s right. And there are people like that, I grant you, and she may be that. I think she may be that. I`m just saying I can`t really conclude it from these videos. And yes, the problem, though, is that she had psychiatric testing in jail, and I talked to the psychiatrist that administered the test, and he insisted, I don`t know if you remember this, Lisa, when we actually had the psychiatrist that did this sort of exit interview of Casey Anthony.
He insisted there was only narcissism on her personality profile and even that was not extensive, which I couldn`t believe. I tried to take him to task on it, but he kept saying, it`s just mild. But the fact is, that`s psych testing. There may be neuropsyche issues that don`t get to tackle on those tests.
LISA BLOOM, ATTORNEY: I hate to break it to you. She could just be a despicable human being and not have a mental disorder, right?
PINSKY: Absolutely. And that`s what Judy is saying, I think. And absolutely she could be.
BLOOM: Look, and I think she is a despicable human being. And if I have to choose between Casey Anthony and some tabloid website that may have hacked in and got it --
PINSKY: Lisa, I`m going to interrupt you. I`m going to interrupt you. Judy Kuriansky, you sort of associate her with Pam Anderson and Kim Kardashian.
BLOOM: Yes, and that`s not fair.
PINSKY: Well, it`s not fair to Kim and Pam.
PINSKY: But, let`s al. compare her to Van Der Sloot. There`s a killer. There`s a criminal, guys. You compare her to Van Der Sloot, and it goes hmmm. This seems different. This seems different than that.
PINSKY: Even you, Lisa.
BLOOM: Yes, look, I mean, -- yes, I don`t like these reality show stars, but Pamela Anderson does a lot of things for animals, which is one of the causes near and dear to my heart. So, let`s not compare her to Casey Anthony. That`s a little harsh. I know what you`re saying, Dr. Drew. You`re saying that she will do anything for attention and a lot of reality stars will.
BLOOM: But we don`t know if she intentionally leaked this or not or if some tabloid, you know, hacked in as tabloids have been known to do, to hack into people`s websites into their computers and to their phones. So, we don`t know at this point.
But I will say this. Fool me twice, shame on me, right? This is twice now that it`s leaked. How does she keep doing the same thing and getting it leaked over and over again --
PINSKY: Judy, I`m going to give you the last word here. I got about a minute left. You go ahead.
KURIANSKY: And she says tune in for more. And so, what we are being spoken to and drawn in here. So, Drew, she`s different from Van Der Sloot. He`s evil, and you know there are different grades of psychiatric disorders, even if she has a kind of organic brain syndrome as you were talking about.
PINSKY: Yes, yes.
KURIANSKY: But I think this is a woman who has conned us well.
PINSKY: Judy, you may well be right. And I`m just not sure I can conclude it from the tape, but I thank both of you for the spirited conversation, and we will tune in for more, no doubt on HLN. I have no doubt that we will be tuning into Casey Anthony for more. Thank you, guys.
Now, next, the pastor of a mega church and his wife, they`re here. They`ve written a controversial book about sex and the bible. How does God feel about oral sex? They say they know. We will talk to them when we come back, and I`ll have my co-host from "Loveline" here as well. Stay tune.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK DRISCOLL, PASTOR/AUTHOR: All right. You remember Clinton? I mean, were you guys old enough to be there for that?
MARK DRISCOLL: That`s what he said. I did not have sexual relations with a woman. Did she perform oral sex on you? Oh, yes, all the time. Why does that not count? Well, that`s not sex. Ask your wife. She probably thinks it is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Good evening and welcome back. Thanks for staying with me. I had a chance to center myself after that spirited conversation. Now, I want to caution parents that the rest of the show tonight is for mature viewers. So, if you have children in the room, you might want to ask them to leave. Mike Catherwood, please hold your piece until I get to you.
Now, here we go. Sex and the bible are two words during a lot of controversy since the release of a new book written for Christians by a pastor and his wife. They claim the bible approves of oral sex, and guess what, sex toys are fine, too, as long as this is between married heterosexual couples.
Mark Driscoll and his wife, Grace, are the authors of "Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together." Also with me is Simone Bienne, sex therapist, relationship expert. She is one of the co- hosts of "Loveline" with me and Mike Catherwood, also our co-host. The three of us anchor "Loveline."
Mark, let me just ask you this. What made you feel like you`re qualified to write a book on sex and marriage?
MARK DRISCOLL: Well, Grace and I, we met at 17, married at 21. This year, we celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We learned some things, sometimes the hard way, sometimes through study. Pastor a church as well that`s now up to 13,000 people a week.
And as we shared some of the things that we were learning, we found those helpful to other people and thought that perhaps writing them down could help the largest number of people. So, we don`t claim to be an expert, but we`re hoping to be helpful in as much as we`re able.
PINSKY: Grace, you feel the same way?
GRACE DRISCOLL, WIFE OF PASTOR MARK DRISCOLL: I do. It`s all about helping people. We do it in ministry and we do it in just our personal lives, and we really want to be able to help people. And if this can help people, that`s great.
PINSKY: Now, let me ask you. I got a bunch of questions, but first, why do you think the religious community is coming down on you, guys, if the intent is just to help. I read the book, and you`re very tightly bound to scripture in the book. Why are people taking issue with this?
MARK DRISCOLL: Well, I think that today, there is a host of new questions that particularly younger generations and non-Christians and new Christians are asking. And so, we do address and try to help answer biblically some of those questions, but, of course, within more conservative, traditional religious communities, those can be fairly controversial issues.
PINSKY: All right. Speaking of controversy, the most controversial chapters in Mark and Grace`s book is called, "can we fill in the blank. Chapter tackles sex related questions many couples might be too embarrassed to ask. One of the questions addressed is, can we role play in the bedroom?
In the book, Mark and Grace respond, in part, if either or both of you are fantasizing about someone else during role playing, then you are committing the sin of lust. Simone, if a couple is engaged in fantasy life and somebody else enter their brain (ph), I know if Mike Catherwood -- I mean, if we talk about fantasy, it`d be unable to engage in fantasy about somebody else entering. Simone, is that u unhealthy, healthy? Are these good messages?
SIMONE BIENNE, SEX, RELATIONSHIP EXPERT: This is normal, healthy sexuality.
PINSKY: To be playful and to think of other people.
BIENNE: We cannot control our fantasies just as we cannot control our dreams. And, I think there`s a lot of positivity that comes from this book, but I still have a really big issue with this message that the Driscolls are giving out saying if you think of somebody else, this is sinful, because I`ve seen people day in, day out who`ve been picked up these messages from religion, and then what happens is they feel shameful and unworthy, and it shuts down the whole of their sexuality.
Fantasy, if you don`t act out in them happen in your head. The biggest sex organ we have is our brain. It`s like saying if you watch a movie, then you can`t say oh, isn`t Julia Roberts beautiful or isn`t Brad Pitt hot.
MIKE CATHERWOOD, DR. DREW`S "LOVELINE" CO-HOST: Right. No, I mean, look, if it was wrong, if it was against God`s will for us to fantasize about other people outside of our spouses, then he wouldn`t have made Megan Fox or any of the like for, you know --
PINSKY: Let me ask the Driscolls to respond to both of your comments. Go ahead there, guys.
MARK DRISCOLL: Well, part of our belief is that you`re supposed to have your spouse as your standard of beauty, and that the goal of marriage is to honor one another, cherish one another, and enjoy one another. And if you`re fantasizing about someone else, you can control your fantasies because you can control your thought life.
There is a difference between being asleep and being awake, and we would say if you have a playful imagination, if you`re creative, if you have strong desires, then channel those toward your spouse so that it builds your marriage rather than towards someone else where then you`re comparing your spouse to them, which is the whole point of sinful lust and pornography.
PINSKY: There`s another question in your book I want to take on. It says, can we masturbate? According to Mark and Grace -- OK, which is a similar question that we`re talking about, the fantasy. And again, Mike Catherwood, hold back.
If a person is masturbating alone without the knowledge of his or her spouse and includes pornography or lustful thoughts about anyone other than a spouse, then it is sinful. And now, Simone, I think you would say that, again, branding things that are from a sex therapist standpoint possibly normal, sinful is burdening people with shame.
BIENNE: Yes, and it`s terrible. There`s a big difference between healthy shame and toxic shame. And where I think there are some really important, wonderful messages to come out of religion, if you put sexuality and tell people that having these normal things are wrong, it can shut down, as I say, sexuality.
And I just want to say something very controversial here. We need to be aware that little babies and young children touch themselves, explore their bodies. This is healthy and natural. They are not committing a sin!
PINSKY: Are they, Mark? Are they committing a sin?
MARK DRISCOLL: Let me redirect. The first half of the book is on marriage, and the big idea is friendship. We also deal with overcoming sexual assault and sexual abuse and sexual addiction. And I`ll be honest, you guys are being a little scandalous. You`re trying to push the envelope and create a little controversy.
We`re trying to help people, and when it comes to the issue that was just mentioned, it`s not always a sin, but if someone is addicted to pornography and taking care of themselves and doing so in a way that is private and secretive, that doesn`t help build their marriage. It doesn`t include their spouse, and it`s not the best --
PINSKY: Mark, I`m going to interrupt you. But I`m going to say by labeling that person sinful as opposed to referring them for treatment, I mean, Simone and I deal with these things all the time, and if someone gets their hands on someone with serious trauma issues who doesn`t have professional training, I`m really concerned about that.
Now, peer, just like 12-step, peer orient, and support me, very helpful, spiritual life, critical. Mike, I mean, you support me on this. So, I`m not taking issue with it. I`m saying the whole story isn`t here, because there are lots of people out there that are not well.
And those people will take on this toxic shame and may actually harm themselves because of it or may not be able to overcome traumas with just basic peer support. I`m just concerned, that`s all.
MARK DRISCOLL: We`re not opposed to counseling --
CATHERWOOD: You call it sinful, and you think that we are, in some way, trying to say to go out of our way to be controversial or push the envelope. In actuality, I mean, I think it can be dangerous to extrapolate the bible, to use it as some type of instruction manual for things that it`s really not used for.
PINSKY: Well --
MARK DRISCOLL: Well, it speaks to these issues.
PINSKY: It does, Mark. I agree with you. It does. And actually, Simone and I both read your book, and we actually we`re -- we expected to be unhappy, and we weren`t unhappy, wouldn`t you say? We were not unhappy with it. We thought it was nice. There were a lot of nice messages in there, but there were some costs also.
And the ones you bring up is toxic shame. The other thing is the other category of sinful sex that you have. In there, you put homosexuality, bestiality, bisexuality, friends with benefits, swinging, incest, polygamy, sinful pornography, and pedophilia.
I mean, there are some very, very sick behaviors in this group, and there are some normative behaviors. In fact, in your state, they`re about to make -- they`re proposing making homosexual marriage legal, isn`t that right?
MARK DRISCOLL: Yes. Yes, and that`s what the bible says. And so for us as Christians, we do believe what the bible says. I won`t apologize for it. I won`t back down from it. We don`t need to be rude and mean, and we don`t need to expect non-Christians to hold a biblical, Christian position, but that`s what it says.
And, as a pastor and bible teacher, I`m telling you what it says. Now, you may say I don`t like or appreciate or agree with that, and I would say, well, then take it up with the author. I didn`t write the book. I didn`t write the mail. I just deliver it.
PINSKY: And Mike, you`re a religious person.
CATHERWOOD: I am.
PINSKY: You`re catholic, which is different, right?
PINSKY: Mark is Christian from --
MARK DRISCOLL: But Catholic --
PINSKY: Go ahead.
MARK DRISCOLL: Catholic can be Christian. I mean, Catholic is a form of Christianity.
PINSKY: No, of course, I understand. And I have huge respect for all Christian faiths. I really do, and particularly, Catholicism`s attempt to interpret the bible in ways consistent with current scientific knowledge, in fact. I mean, that`s something that Catholic Church, I think, people aren`t away have gotten out of their way to do. Do you agree with some of what Mark is saying?
CATHERWOOD: I don`t necessarily agree with what Mr. Driscoll is saying, and I am in no way trying to disparage your faith or what you believe in, and I support your desire to write this book with your wife. But, I just feel like in today`s modern world, the bible itself is an interpreted story, and it is a fluid and open ending story that has been changed throughout the years, and I think that as modern society goes on, it needs to be adapted, you know, even more.
PINSKY: I think the Catholic Church has gone out of the way to do that. Mark, I think Mark would say yes, and he`s giving his interpretation. And listen, I got to go to a break here. Tonight, the pope has gone on the record saying that gay marriage is, quote, "undermining the future of humanity," unquote.
We`re going to talk about that. We`re going to talk about more of these issues. We actually have your questions for the Driscolls after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK DRISCOLL: Homosexuality, fornication which is sex before marriage, adultery which is sex outside of marriage, are all sexual sins.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK DRISCOLL: Sex is for marriage and marriage is for one man and one woman. What that means is that all sex outside of heterosexual marriage is a sin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Warning again to parents that we`re talking about adult content, perhaps, not appropriate for children. And a little kind of a breaking story. Pope Benedict says that gay marriage is a threat to traditional family and undermines the future of humanity, itself.
Grace, I`m going to ask you. Do you guys counsel homosexual couples with relationship problems? How would you approach that?
GRACE DRISCOLL: I haven`t personally been in that. We have people in our church, in our ministry that we`ve walked through several different issues in that arena with, and just helped them through a lot of things. There`s generally been a lot of abuse in their background, and so, we help them with that and help them --
PINSKY: And speaking of the abuse issues. You guys are both very, very courageous in this book. I know, Mark, you`re very open about your own indiscretions, and Grace, the abuse that you had and the trauma, and I commend you for that. You know, you guys obviously have worked your way through it.
So, hats off, and I`m certain there are things in the book that people can take away that would be very beneficial to them. I have no doubt about that. I want to keep going with the sexual topics that you talk about in the book. We actually promoted this one that we were going to talk about oral sex.
And according to the book, so long as it is part of a couple`s sexual life and not the primary sexual act, then it is a gift being stewarded well. Bible addresses this, Mark?
MARK DRISCOLL: It actually does. I`m a bible nerd. There`s an old book called the Song of Solomon. It`s a series of love songs between a husband and wife. It`s 3,000 years old, and it actually does speak to this issue positively in the context of marriage. And so, it`s in the bible.
It`s not something that has to be done by a couple, but it`s something that can be done by a married couple, yes. I mean, it was so controversial that even in the day, you weren`t allowed to read the book until you were married or 30, I mean, because it was pretty frank content.
PINSKY: And I`ve always said, you know, that the truths about humanity have been known a long, long, long, long, long time. We can`t re- invent those. Mike, you`re kind of smirking. What`s your comment?
CATHERWOOD: If I would have saw this part of the bible, I would have been way more into it.
MARK DRISCOLL: You would have been a bible reader.
CATHERWOOD: Yes. I`d be a bible nerd, too, if I could look (ph) at a lot of oral.
PINSKY: And Simone, I want to give you because we got a less than a minute here, give you the last word. You talked about the toxic shame. They have addressed that? Are there other final issues we need to caution people about?
BIENNE: Well, I want to say, again, we come from different principles, and I do respect what this book does, because it does talk about the pleasures of sex which I think is very important to get at, that message to get out there, and hopefully, other religions will follow, because I`ve seen people from multi-faith where they have been told about religion and they picked up messages that shut down their sexuality.
With regards to oral sex, what we do as sex therapists is we constantly say, sex should not be focused around penetration alone. That`s how you get into sexual issues. So, I would say that oral sex is absolutely fine of an act in itself.
PINSKY: So, Mike, all that toxic shame on you, we got to take it away from you.
CATHERWOOD: All right. I will purge myself from toxic shame as soon as I get home.
MARK DRISCOLL: What`s amazing, though, is I`ll just close with Jesus.
PINSKY: I`ve got five seconds.
MARK DRISCOLL: And Jesus died --
PINSKY: It`s about the love.
MARK DRISCOLL: -- rose as a virgin. There`s something more important than sex and that`s Him. That`s really the bottom line.
PINSKY: It`s about the love. Thank you to Mike. Thank you, Simone. Thank you to Mark and Grace. See you guys in a couple of hours on "Loveline." Nancy Grace is next.