Transcript for New PR Crisis for Scientology
ABC's exclusive interview with the former high ranking official in the church of Scientology's. Who's making sensational charges against some of its leaders the church is -- all the allegations and taking -- to court. Dan Harris said that with a 1% of the firestorm and he joins us now good morning again. George good morning to you this all started -- email from a former high ranking Scientologist official named Debbie cook. Criticizing the church that email went viral the church sued -- she is now fighting back by making some headline generating allegations. Scientology's. -- church perhaps best known for its celebrity believers like John Travolta Kirstie Alley and Tom Cruise. For seventeen years Debbie cook ran the church's spiritual -- this so called flag base in Clearwater Florida home. -- -- But she has now -- testified in court. That during her tenure she cell behavior exhibited by the leader of the church David -- -- cabbage that disturbed her deeply. One quality that is always says the parties that we are unselfish. -- savage who's led the church since 1986. Is famously close with Tom Cruise. I have never met. A more confident they more intelligent and more tolerant more compassionate being -- But Debbie cook has testified she saw miss savage -- punching us aloe science technology executive. And I. Witness list of the status physically. Punching. But some in the face yes. I do it. The first time -- I've never seen anything like this before it was inconceivable. Well she says mr. -- never hit her she did testified that he ordered his secretary to do so. You're -- room with him and he tells his secretary to slap -- yes. -- enough they fell down yes flooded -- produced. Because. You know he was displeased about how I was answering a question -- since it wasn't. What I wanted to hear and in some way. In repeated letters to ABC news Scientology's officials have denied that David -- cabbage ordered Debbie cook to be slapped. Or that he punched -- fellow executive. In fact the church sent us a letter signed by the executive in question. In which he said quote this alleged incident did not occur but cook is not backing down in her testimony she goes even further. Alleging that in June of 2007. She was forcibly taken by two large men to a place known as the whole. A pair of double wide trailers located on Scientology's. International based in the California desert. And when I was there it had to bars on the windows and security guards posted at one door for entering an -- sitting. And and this is where a number of Scientology's. Executives. From management level were. Held for bearing -- lengths of time. -- when -- in their annual leave -- you cannot. Cook has testified she was in the hole for seven weeks. During which time she was repeatedly made to confess her Sainz. -- screaming at you. Sometimes this slapping you. And in some cases sometimes your. -- extended a trash -- waters -- every year that happened to you yes did you break down about. I did yes I did. Pressure. The church which denied our repeated requests for an interview -- -- ABC news a letter saying flat out now hold does not exist. The church did say that -- voluntarily participated. In their program of religious discipline but that she was not taken there by force or held against her will. And that her account of what went on is inaccurate and misleading. When cook and her husband left the church in the fall of 2007 they signed contracts agreeing not to publicly criticize Scientology's. Or its leaders in return getting checks for 50000 dollars a piece. And you're doing this voluntarily. -- But after cook sent out this email to fellow Scientologist. This past new years criticizing -- -- -- cabbage. The church sued her for breach of contract. Essentially they're saying that. You your husband or Gator defrocked apostate that's their term and near part of a group of -- it takes I have. Never lost my passion or love for the church and its. All that it stands for and all that it does. To help others I am doing this to -- added. Of a situation that has grown out of control. This interest in repeatedly in our interview -- -- insisted she is still a dedicated and devout Scientologist and that her complaints have nothing to do with the faith only its current leadership. According to Santa -- officials however -- because there's no longer allowed in any of their churches and cannot even call herself. A Scientologist and -- access to them a lot more tonight yes -- -- --
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