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Special Assignment (Religious Cult and Child Abuse) #90852

ABC Evening News for Monday, Jul 02, 1984
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(Studio) Report introduced
REPORTER: Ted Koppel

(Island Pond, VT) Controversy over Northeast Kingdom of God religious cult's use of corporal punishment as religious practice and authorities' allegations of sect's child abuse examined; background to latest confrontation between police and church reviewed. [Church attorney Jean SWANTKO - praises peacefulness of sect.] [Newspaper editor Chris BRAITHWAITE - considers group "nice Christian people who beat hell of their kids."] [Susan CLOUTIER - has witnessed child abuse; describes cult's interpretation of "disciplining" children.] Church noted formed in Tennessee several years ago by carnival barker Elbert Spriggs; details given. [Church elder Eddie WISEMAN - claims sect trains children according to word of God.] Wiseman's quote of Book of Proverbs mentioned. [WISEMAN - defs. lifestyle.] Wiseman said chgd. with prolonged and intense beating of adolescent. Photo shown courtesy "The Chronicle." [BRAITHWAITE - fears for children in cult.]
REPORTER: Rebecca Chase

Chase, Rebecca;
Koppel, Ted

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