Extra TV program December 29, 1997
Video: Architectural details of FH "Church of Scientology" carved in stone facade, [blend] still shot of Scn "minister" at lectern with large Scn cross on wall, [blur] photo of Lisa, [blend] home video of Lisa dancing w/partner -freezes at word "dead.". [fade out]
Voiceover, David Jackson:
"It's a two-year-old mystery that may unlock the secrets of the Church of Scientology. One minute Lisa McPherson was a healthy 36-year-old woman whose love of country dancing was eclipsed only by her love for her church. But the next minute she was dead."
Video: [fade in] Picketers with signs, pan up to and slo-mo on picket sign w/large photo of Lisa. ('zat you, Jeff?) Sign reads "Lisa McPherson 1959 -1995" [slow blend to interview]
"The bizzarre circumstances of her death have protesters and Lisa's own aunt blaming the church."
Interview with Dell Leibrich.
"They isolated her and did not get her medical help.. when it was needed...." --
Video: Pan down from trees to Dell Leibrich sitting on yard swing, [blend] composite of court documents, [blend] photo of Lisa, [blend] view of Clearwater and FH, [blend] photo of Lisa, [blend] photo of Hubbard.
"The claims sound outrageous. But Dell Leibrich says she'll prove them in court in an $80 million wrongful death suit against the church. For 18 years Lisa was a devout Scientologist who lived close to church headquarters in Clearwater FL. In the last two years of her life, Lisa reportedly spent over $97,000 to learn the self-help teachings of church founder L. Ron Hubbard."
Video: Dell Leibrich walking with David Jackson, [blend] lovely B/W photo of a younger Lisa, [slow blend] Interview with D.L. recounting Lisa's last phone call to her friend. [fade out]
"But Dell tells me she believes Lisa died because she wanted out. A belief, she says, that was prompted by a mysterious phone call to a friend not long before she died."
Dell Leibrich: "...'and I'll tell you about it when I get there -- I can't talk about it over the phone -- said, but I'll have a lot to tell you. She said I'll be home Christmas, for good' -- It's what she told her friend" Jackson: "And what was that indicating, do you think?"
Leibrich: "Well, like her friend thought, that she's getting out of Scientology."
Video: [fade in] Photo of Lisa, [blend] footage of downtown CW, [blend] ER entrance of Morton Plant Hospital, [ blend]photo of Lisa, views of FH hotel, [blend]photo of Lisa, [blend] short abstract of ambulance lights
"Just two weeks later, on Nov 18 1995, Lisa was in a minor traffic accident in Clearwater FL. She didn't appear injured, but for some reason she tore off her clothes and ran naked down the street, following the accident. Doctors at this hospital prescribed psychiatric help. Lisa refused, in line with church beliefs against psychiatry, and instead checked into Scientology's Fort Harrison hotel, under the care of a doctor who was allegedly not licensed to practice in the state of Florida. Seventeen days later Lisa's condition had deteriorated. She was rushed to another hospital, where she was dead on arrival."
Video: Outside of ME's office, [blend] medical reports.
"The medical examiner says the cause of death was -- quote -- a thrombo-embolism of the left pulmonary artery. In other words, a blood clot. The coroner says that clot came from -- quote -- bed rest and severe dehydration."
David Jackson, on location in Clearwater, "SCIENTOLOGY" sign prominent in background:
"What the coroner's report doesn't say is -- who's to blame for Lisa's death? Is the church responsible or did she die of natural causes? The lawsuit, of course, is designed to determine that, ultimately. But it also accomplishes something else. It gives us a rare look inside the church of Scientology -both its medical practices and its treatment of its own members."
Video: baby-watch logs, CW police car, architectural details of FH, police car
David Jackson, voiceover.
"The lawsuit forced the disclosure of these medical notes, written by the scientologists who cared for Lisa during her 17 days at the hotel. It says --
quote -- she was very confused and combative. And an entry that could explain her dehydration says that she would -- quote -- take a sip of water and spits it out (sic). Clearwater Police investigators say three of the scientologists who attended her have apparently left the United States, presumably for Europe."
Laura Vaughn, interview:
"Did these people do anything to harm her, or intentionally harm her? Absolutely not."
Video: Laura Vaughn marching up corridor, [blend] police car driving up street.
"Church attorney Laura Vaughn blames anti-scientology feeling for two-year Clearwater police investigation and for the lawsuit."
Laura Vaughn, interview:
"I think that the reason that we're all here, the reason that we're having this discussion, the reason that all of this has happened is because it's the Church of Scientology."
Video: David Jackson and Kurt Weiland on sidewalk, clip of Dell Leibrich.
"Scientology also insisted we talk with its External Affairs Director, Kurt Weiland, who tells me he believes aunt Dell is in this for the money."
Kurt Weiland, interview:
"What they are trying to do here is extort 80 million dollars from the church, through this lawsuit. And that means that they will tell 80 million lies if that's what it takes to get to the point of payoff."
Video: Dell Leibrich sitting on waterfront dock, [blend] photo of Lisa. [slow blend] Dell Leibrich interview.
"Dell say that's not true She simply wants to avenge her niece's death, and leave people with a message."
Jackson: "What would you tell anybody that has a family member who's suddenly become involved with Scientology?"
Leibrich: "I say: get out, get out. You don't know what you're getting into." 3:50 [END]
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