In 2010, CNN reporter Anderson Cooper conducted a solo crusade against the Church of Scientology. In a week-long series, Cooper exposed the culture of violence within the religious organization tarnishing their image to shreds.

Things took a U-turn when the Church published a defamatory magazine issue on Cooper in retaliation to the expose. 

What Is Scientology?

Scientology is categorized as a new religious movement established by American sci-fi author L. Ron Hubbard. The religion believes that the human race is a group of eternal spiritual beings that merely live in a flesh vessel.

The followers of Scientology dedicate their lives to a constant “knowing about knowing.”

That being said, the Church of Scientology has not been looked upon kindly by the press. Its members, in particular, are notorious for getting rather triggered by journalists who produce negative features.

One such instance is regarding CNN reporter Cooper.

Scientology: A History of Violence

In his CNN show Anderson Cooper 360°, or AC360° in short, Cooper aired a week-long series called Scientology: A History of Violence, back in 2010.

The series was a special investigative report detailing the allegations of an unsettling culture of physical abuse within the Church of Scientology.

It was a comprehensive cross-section feature into the competing claims and rebuttals of violence from the religion’s senior members. Needless to say, it was a tremendous blow towards the integrity of Scientology.

After the series went on-air, the church struck back uniquely by publishing a 95-page magazine under their publishing banner Freedom, attacking the reporter with the cover “Anderson Cooper, A History Of Lies” and parodying the show with a tag “AC0°”.

They had even taken it a step further by handing the copies out right in front of the CNN building in Atlanta, Georgia. 

The Church’s Rebuttal

The Church of Scientology accused journalist Cooper of ignoring the various pieces of information provided to him.

They also accused him of refusing to have an all-access tour of the church and even talk with the senior church officials, deeming them irrelevant. 

It was also stated that the late Larry King was the only journalist qualified enough to interview said senior officials and leaders like David Miscavige.

Furthermore, Cooper was also accused of having a strong bias against the neo-religion because of his support towards the hacking and whistleblowing anti-Scientology group Anonymous, which the church brands as a terrorist organization. 

Anderson Cooper. (Source: Anderson Cooper’s Instagram)

Freedom magazine also uploaded a video restating their claims. The video went onto mention how a journalist took a discredited old story to boost his own ratings. 

“In an attempt to boost his abysmal ratings, Anderson Cooper pulled from his closet and dusted off a year-old media story, which had since been entirely discredited.” 

The same video also demonstrated the achievements they had raked, books they had published, records they had broken, and the goodwill they had done while the journalist had buried himself in “illegitimate news.”

The flames of the feud have since been tamed, yet allegations against the church continue to surface.

In 2019, Miscavige was sued for human trafficking and child abuse by a former Scientologist. The church is also infamous for having a roster of A-list celebrities like Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Juliette Lewis, and Alanna Masterson in its ranks.

Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed in the article are not intended to malign any religion or individual. We respect the sanctity of all religious beliefs and the faith of those who practice them. The article is meant for information purposes only.