Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology Subject: NBC Nightly News 12/1/97 From: Scanner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 15:17:23 -0500
NBC Nightly News 12/1/97
Tom Brokaw: Once again tonight the Church of Scientology is embroiled in controversy. This time it involves the mysterious death of one of its members, a young woman whom some say was desperately trying to leave that church. More now from NBC's Kerry Sanders.
Kerry Sanders: For 18 years, Lisa McPherson was a member of the Church of Scientology. But in late 1995, her family and friends say she became disillusioned. They say she wanted out of the church that some critics call a cult. That's when church members say the Texas native began to act unusually. She was picked up by paramedics after a traffic accident walking naked on the streets of Clearwater, FL. Clearwater is world headquarters for the Church of Scientology, which moved here in '75, and today owns much of the downtown area. McPherson was taken to this converted hotel. In accordance with Scientology teachings, she was isolated in a room. Her family says her isolation was more like imprisonment. The pictures of her arms show bruises and cuts. The church says those are cockroach bites. Her family says they were caused by the ropes used to tie her down. Her lawyer says church members wouldn't give her water, and wouldn't take her to a hospital for help.
Ken Dandar: When you see someone who needs help, and you just sit back and you fold your hands, and you just not do anything, then you crossed the line of negligence, and now you're into an intentional act.
Kerry Sanders: The church says its members did nothing wrong.
Sandy Weinberg: There is absolutely not a sintilla of evidence in this case, from one person who has said she was tied up or restrained. In fact, the evidence is just the opposite.
Kerry Sanders: Dale Librick is Lisa McPherson's aunt. She's now suing the church, claiming the death of her niece was part of a conspiracy.
Dale Librick: For me it's just a cult. It's a brainwashing, mind controlling cult.
Kerry Sanders: Despite its overwhelming presence in this city, the church has never successfully integrated itself in the community. Tonight, some critics say the death of Lisa McPherson could be the undoing of this unwelcome religion. Kerry Sanders, NBC News, Clearwater, FL.
Tom Brokaw: We'll be right back.