All In With Chris Hayes, Monday, March 23rd, 2015
Read the transcript from the Monday show
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: March 23, 2015
Guest: Lynn Sweet, Roman Macaya, Alex Gibny
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We stand together for
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
HAYES: The man who shut down America`s government now wants to run
it. Ted Cruz is officially in and the 2016 race is officially on.
CRUZ: I am announcing that I`m running for president of the United
HAYES: Then, as Ted Cruz declares, how will the campaign press corps
handle climate deniers?
CRUZ: I just came back from New Hampshire where there`s snow and ice
HAYES: Plus, an entire country running exclusively on renewable
And, the Church of Scientology gears up its campaign against an HBO
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone told me there`s a cult. And you could
make anything possible in your life.
HAYES: Tonight, director Alex Gibney on "Going Clear", an
investigation into Scientology.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s no logical explanation other than faith.
HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Huge, huge news tonight. Ted Cruz is running for president, which
means we have our first points on the board in the 2016 all in fantasy
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Josh Barro?
JOSH BARRO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I`m going to keep with my strategy
which almost worked last night and go with number two.
Strong strategizing here. And adding to your roster will be Ted Cruz.
ANNOUNCER: Ted Cruz, he`s the junior senator from Texas by way of
Saskatoon. He`ll shut down your government on a boat, in a tree or with a
CRUZ: Would you like them in house? Would you like them with a
ANNOUNCER: He`s Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
HAYES: For the record, they`re saying Cruz not boo.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s right. Today marked the official beginning of the 2016
presidential campaign with a development that earned Josh Barro 100 points
in our fantasy candidate draft. Ted Cruz, the Canadian-born, Princeton and
Harvard-educated first term junior Republican senator from Texas, today he
became the first major candidate to formally announce he`s running for
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: I believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives
rising up to reignite the promise of America. And that is why today I am
announcing that I`m running for president of the United States.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Cruz made his announcement in front of a huge crowd of
students at Liberty University, the Christian university in Virginia
founded by televangelist Jerry Falwell, though the students were not all
necessarily there by choice. Cruz was speaking at Liberty`s convocation, a
routine event which is mandatory.
And not everyone was thrilled to be there. Some students showed up
with the "I stand with Rand" t-shirts in a show of support for Rand Paul.
While on the social app Yik Yak, which is all the craze on all college
campuses, I hear, some students unanimously trashed Cruz in real time with
one calling the event embarrassing and another noting that most people
watching the speech from home, quote, "don`t know we have to be here."
Cruz`s decision to speak at Liberty came despite his alleged distaste
for not only institutions of higher education. As a law student at
Harvard, according to a 2013 "GQ" profile, Cruz was reportedly reluctant
to, quote, "study with anyone who hasn`t been an undergrad at Harvard,
Princeton or Yale." With one of his then-roommates telling "GQ" that Cruz
said he didn`t want anyone from minor ivies like Penn or Brown.
Cruz also released a video announcing his presidential run which
showed him railing against Obamacare, walking a horse in the sunset, and
praying with his family at the dinner table.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: I`m Ted Cruz. If you want more of the same, there will be
plenty to choose from. But if you want real conservative change and a
proven record, I hope I can earn your support.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Well, Ted Cruz`s long shot presidential bid is bad news for
the Republican Party, which will have to deal with a far right candidate
throwing rhetorical bombs from the debate stage, it is good news for Josh
Barro, who proudly trumpeted today that he is winning the ALL IN fantasy
drafts. And as Jess McIntosh noted on our draft show, and Cruz could go
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESS MCINTOSH: I see no reason for Ted Cruz to drop out before he
absolutely has to.
HAYES: Yes, from the perspective, not of being the next president,
but for racking up fantasy points in what will ultimately determine who is
the president of the United States through this draft, you are correct.
Ted Cruz is strong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now is, of course, Josh Barro, correspondent of
"The Upshot" at "The New York Times", and more importantly, leader in the
clubhouse of the fantasy candidate draft.
And also, we have former Republican National Committee chairman, MSNBC
political analyst, Michael Steele, who hopes to cast Josh in the standings.
He currently has zero points.
Let me --
MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Thanks.
HAYES: Let`s explain why this is such -- this is a big day. I mean,
yes, OK, he`s going to run for president. The fate of the country and
possibly the world is at stake.
But more importantly, let`s talk about fantasy draft scoring for a
moment. We -- I want to put this up just so people understand why this is
big. An official announcement gets you 100 points, sanctioned debate 200
Now, here`s the key thing to understand: sanction debate is 200
points. Ted Cruz is going to be in those debates. And I don`t think
there`s any reason for Ted Cruz to stop showing up at debates which gets to
the fundamental dynamic that is the Ted Cruz candidacy that will ripple
through the Republican Party. Josh?
BARRO: Yes. Well, first of all, I`m going to collect my prize. What
HAYES: We don`t give out prizes after the first thing. We give out
prizes at the end of the campaign. And the prize is you get to be
president of the United States.
BARRO: Well, that`s lame. Oh, okay, okay.
HAYES: Hang in there. Maybe you`ll end up in the White House.
BARRO: OK, yes.
HAYES: There`s a speedboat I`m being told by my producers reminding
me of the prize.
BARRO: So, Ted Cruz -- I think a big reason why Ted Cruz is running
for president is Ted Cruz has been enormously relevant over the last three
years as the leading conservative flame thrower, causing problems for
establishment Republicans in Washington, and sort of setting the agenda for
what the conservative flank of the party is going to demand. Demand the
government shut down over Obamacare, demand this set of various fights over
the president`s immigration actions.
Once we get into a presidential campaign, it will be difficult to
maintain that relevance within the party unless you personally are running
for president. So, he`s going to be overtaken by the presidential
candidates who are trying to position themselves on the right unless he
himself is part of that field.
So, Ted Cruz is not going to be the Republican nominee for president.
Maybe Ted Cruz understands that Ted Cruz is not going to be the Republican
nominee for president, although generally being a politician at this level
involves being a certain amount of an egomaniac, such that --
HAYES: A certain amount?
HAYES: Running for president is a deranged thing for anyone to do and
requires titanic amounts of narcissism.
BARRO: That`s true. So, Ted Cruz probably believes he`s going to
win, but this is a rationale thing to do even if you understand you`re
going to lose.
HAYES: A hundred percent.
Michael, does that stand to you?
STEELE: No, no. I think Josh has gotten a little high on the 100
points he`s got because --
BARRO: Are you talking your own book, Michael?
STEELE: Right. We got a whole lot of game. I`m at zero, Josh, so a
brother has got to catch up.
But I got Marco Rubio coming up in a couple weeks.
HAYES: Yes, you`re right. You`re going to get there with him.
STEELE: But the reality of it is, I think a lot of people
underestimate the impact that Ted Cruz could potentially have here,
especially within the Republican Party, especially among the establishment.
I think Josh started the conversation in the right tone and that is
that he`s out there and he`s a pace setter.
STEELE: He`s going to be the tracking horse here for a lot of these
other candidates who are going to come in. He`s going to establish the
initial conversation in a very conservative way.
Now, I`ve been saying for close to two years now, I think the party
should nominate the most conservative person they can. Why? Because there
is within the party this internal struggle every four years over its
identity, who we are, and who is our standard-bearer.
And this election could break wide open if conservatives truly want a
conservative standard bearer to test the marketplace of ideas and so forth,
then they should go down this road because otherwise what`s going to
happen? If they nominate a Bush, everyone will be ticked off. Oh, there
we go. We nominated another RINO crap. And the reality of it is you don`t
really advance the conversation within the party that really needs to be
taking place right now.
HAYES: Michael, I like this. Your suggestion, nominate the most --
this reminds me of -- I think it`s an HL Mencken great quote on democracy.
Democracy is the theory that the people know what they want and deserve to
get it good and hard -- I think is what Mencken said.
I think that`s your advice.
HAYES: Let me give an example of how this pace setter point that`s
the most important thing to understand about Cruz and how this dynamic is
going to play.
He chooses Liberty University. Obviously, we spent years in this
country talking about evangelicals and about how they are the power that
powered George W. Bush into the White House and how important they are to
they conservative base. They have sort of fallen out of media favor. We
don`t hear as much about them. But it`s still the same people that make up
the base of the Republican Party. So, this is savvy in that respect.
And here`s one place I think you`ll see the Ted Cruz effect. In June,
the Supreme Court is very likely going to find that the Constitution
requires marriage equality in all 50 states and there`s going to be a lot
of Republicans and Republican strategists who basically want to the let
sleeping dogs lie and say the court has spoken, we don`t agree, let it go.
Ted Cruz will not do that. Ted Cruz will rush to that decision and he
will make all sorts of impassioned statements about it because he
understands there`s a market for that and the question becomes do the other
front runners follow him toward the fool`s gold? Josh?
BARRO: Yes. Well, some, it depends how you define front runners.
But the thing you`re describing about the powers of evangelicals and the
party, the thing is Cruz does not have those people to himself.
BARRO: There are an awful lot of candidates going after that crowd.
So, no, I think Jeb Bush will not run there. I think there are a lot of
people in the party who are going to be torn where they have to --
HAYES: Particularly Walker. I think Cruz is the most dangerous for
Walker because Walker will most be tempted to follow his lead.
BARRO: But there`s a flip side to this which is that people think Ted
Cruz will get into this race and mercilessly attack Jeb Bush and RINOs, et
cetera, and he will. But most attacks will actually have to be trained on
the other candidate going after the true conservative vote.
Does that sound right, Michael?
STEELE: Yes, I think that`s going to be more his priority because
again what happens when Mike Huckabee gets in the race?
STEELE: What happens with a Ben Carson decides?
So, that space -- that floor he`s standing on gets narrower and
narrower. So, he`s going to have to try to define it as big as he can for
himself right now and make it harder for a Bush or a Walker to get onto
that floor and put up the fence that`s needs to put up to block the
Huckabees and Ben Carsons from getting on that floor.
So, this is a strategic move coming out this early. Kudos to Ted
because now we`ve got a front-runner.
HAYES: That`s right. You mean Josh Barro.
Well, here`s the point of declaring early. Part of the reason we see
them declare later and later is that in the super PAC era, you can raise
tons of money without declaring, right? It used to be exploratory
committee and then the declaration were actually the legal vehicles you
were using to raise money for a presidential run. And so, you had to do it
so you could raise the money.
Now, that`s not the case. I think, today, Ted Cruz`s declaration
early is actually an indicator of his relative fund-raising weakness
because he doesn`t have a Right to Rise super PAC like Jeb that`s bringing
in the cash.
BARRO: I think there`s that. But I also think it is really in part
the relevance thing.
HAYES: Yes, right.
BARRO: If you are trying to be the standard-bearer for true
HAYES: Smart move.
BARRO: -- you don`t want to let that mental space get taking up by
these new candidates.
HAYES: Josh Barro --
STEELE: And remember, Rand Paul is coming up in a couple of weeks, as
well. That will definitely change the dynamic.
HAYES: Do you have Rand Paul? Who has Rand Paul? Can we put that --
do we have the board up? Who`s got --
BARRO: I assume Sam has it.
HAYES: No, that`s Jess McIntosh. Jess McIntosh has Rand Paul.
You`ve got -- you`re on Marco Rubio. There`s Bernie Sanders, Rick
Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Martin O`Malley. That is a rough set of --
BARRO: Do you guys have Bob Corker crossed out on that board. But I
think he`s going to change his mind.
HAYES: He`ll come rushing back in. Although we already have our
first loss there.
All right. Josh Barro and Michael Steele, most -- both of whom I
think both one works in "New York Times", the one used to run the
Republican Party, both I think are best known for their participation in
our fantasy draft. Thank you, gentlemen, both.
It`s 2015. We just had the warmest winter on record. 2014 was the
warmest year on record. So, should we take anyone running for public
office who refuses to believe that climb change exists seriously? The
answer is no, but will the press have the guts to say so? That`s ahead.
HAYES: I think it`s safe to say that more than 100 students selected
for the fifth annual White House science fair are all winners. They each
created some kind of amazing gizmo, gadget, app, or tested an idea. But
one team in particular seemed to win the president`s heart today. They are
the super girls from girl scout troop 411. They are kindergartners and
first graders from Tulsa, Oklahoma. They built a Lego machine that
automatically turns the pages of a book, an invention they say could help
someone who is paralyzed or arthritic.
Watch these snippets of the super girls` interaction with the
president today, and just try, try not to fall in love.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is wonderful. So
how did you guys figure this out?
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: We had a brainstorming session.
OBAMA: You had a brainstorming session?
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Yes.
OBAMA: Are you able to slow it down and speed it up?
OBAMA: No? So that would require an adjustment.
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Yes. It`s a prototype.
OBAMA: It`s a prototype. It`s a prototype. It will get refined
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Have you ever had a brainstorm session yourself?
OBAMA: I`ve had a couple brainstorming sessions but didn`t come up
with anything this good. So you guys are already better brain stormers
than I am.
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: What did you come up with?
OBAMA: You know, I came up with things like, you know, healthcare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You know, healthcare. It`s no page turning Lego robot, but
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SETH MEYERS, "LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS": I think the world is on
fire literally, hottest year on record. You`re not there, right?
CRUZ: You know, it`s interesting you say that as -- I just came back
from New Hampshire where there`s snow and ice everywhere. And my view
actually is simple. Debates on this should follow science and should
follow data. And many of the alarmists on global warming, they got a
problem because the science doesn`t back them up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There are lots of reasons why Ted Cruz shouldn`t be president,
probably won`t be.
But among them what stands out to me is his position on climate
change, as laid out in his interview with Seth Meyers.
Yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown called that position,
basically one of outright denial, disqualifying.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: What he said is absolutely false. Over 90 percent of the
scientists who deal with climate are absolutely convinced that the human
activity, the industrial activity, the generation of CO2, methane, oxides
and nitrogen, all of the greenhouse gases are building up in the atmosphere
and they are heat trapping and they are causing not just warm drought in
California, but severe storms and cold in the East Coast.
So, it`s climate disruption of many different kinds and that man
betokens such a level of ignorance and a direct falsification of the
existing scientific data. It`s shocking and I think that man has rendered
himself absolutely unfit to be running for office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Ted Cruz is even by the low standards of the Republican field,
one of the most forcefully ignorant politicians on climate change that we
have. He is an outright denialist and a symbol of a much, much larger
It`s 2015. There`s robust scientific consensus that climate change is
real and we are seeing the effects across the country. The front edge of
it we are living through. California is quite literally running out of
water, and yet, there are ostensibly viable candidates for president of the
United States who simply say it`s not happening.
And that reality is a real test for the political press corps which is
largely not equipped to debate the nuances of climate science. The
question is, how are they going to deal with the issue while covering the
2016 presidential campaign? Are they going to allow Ted Cruz`s brand of
denialism to go unchallenged as they have in the past.
Joining me now, Lynn Sweet, Washington bureau chief at "Chicago Sun-
And, Lynn, thank you for joining me.
I wanted to talk to you because you`re a great reporter. You play it
straight down the middle. I regard you as sort of the best our mainstream
media has to offer, and you`re also a political reporter. You covered a
lot of campaigns. I`m just curious how you think about this issue when you
think about covering it?
LYNN SWEET, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Well, first of all, thank you for the
kind words. What I would do if I covered Cruz is I think reporters have to
be equipped to make the call.
If somebody where -- you can`t just cover somebody who says the sun
rises in the west and be a stenographer and say, well, on one hand, they`ll
say the sun rises in the west. You can`t do it. I think there is, as you
noted, a deep mountain, a high mountain of scientific consensus about
So, it doesn`t mean you don`t cover him. He`s using a strategy.
Senator Cruz is trying to run for president taking his views on climate
change around the country that are not in sync -- it`s not only with the
insurance -- excuse me, not only the scientific community, by the way. If
you look at some other reinsurance industries -- there are those without
political motivation in this have concerns about climate change.
So, I think you have to say he says this despite that. He made this
assertion despite that. What I hope reporters don`t do is say on the one
hand, he says climate change isn`t happening and on the other hand some say
it is. No, I think you have to do your homework, Chris, and make the call.
HAYES: Right. So, at this point even just at the granular level, I`m
writing up the sentence I`m the reporter who`s on the bus with him. He
says something about this satellite data or something, you`ve got to
basically say, you know, that is intention with or contradicts or is belied
HAYES: You have to say that affirmatively versus he has this opinion
and others have another one.
SWEET: There`s none of this -- we only have two hands. Don`t use
both of them when you know that something is not so. Now, it`s going to be
very hard because just as he -- when he was on Seth Meyers, he was charming
and pleasant and he sounded -- you know, what he said then, reasonable
people could say, OK.
But reporters have to be on their toes. They have to keep track of
the statements so you know that you`re saying -- just think, Chris, if this
was evolution and somebody was running on the Creationism platform. Would
you not say something? Would you not do something as a reporter?
Of course, you would because now we have paleontology. You have signs
that show -- you may have your strong character beliefs, but there`s also
science to show how humankind evolved.
So, the most important thing here is I think reporters have to do
their homework and they have to be very careful in how they say things
while giving a candidate the right to do the campaign that he or she wants
HAYES: So, Ted Cruz, I think is an interesting case, because he
actually is of a kind of approach on this rhetorically that`s sort of older
vintage. The more common way that Republican candidates -- sort of high-
level Republicans approach the issue now is with the "I`m not a scientist"
dodge. You can hear a sampling here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I`m not qualified to
debate the science over climate change.
GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: I`m not a scientist.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: I`m not a scientist.
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: I would leave it to scientists.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And again, I`m not a scientist by any stretch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That strikes me as more ingenious because what the I`m not a
scientist strategy does is it lets both people off the hook. The candidate
says I`m not a scientist and the reporter says, well, I`m not a scientist
either. So, let`s just sort of leave that for like the eggheads over
SWEET: Well, no, actually, if you are -- if that`s not your thing as
a candidate, you shouldn`t be talking about it in your campaign. Everyone
understands that you can`t be an expert in everything. These presidential
candidates are picking and choosing what they want to run on.
Now, of course, there will be interviews and instead of just saying,
"I`m not a scientist," you could say, "I don`t know enough."
SWEET: That means something. That would mean something to me if you
are running for president and you haven`t gotten yourself informed on
climate change. But then I think at least you haven`t backed yourself into
that rhetorical corner that it looks like we don`t want to be parked in.
HAYES: That`s a really good point. I don`t know enough is actually a
much more honest and forthright way of saying "I`m not a scientist" because
SWEET: Chris, we know that, by the way, Chris, I`m not an accountant.
SWEET: I`m not a baker.
HAYES: A traffic engineer. I`m not an air force pilot. I mean,
there`s a lot of things you have to make decisions on.
SWEET: I think part of the job of the reporter is to strip away the -
- these are disingenuous responses.
SWEET: And you don`t have to necessarily jump all over a candidate.
But there are ways that you could -- you know, especially if the beat
reporters who are with them, you can work on the questions maybe. You have
more than one chance to get somebody in the course of time. You listen to
how his speech changes.
Now, right now, this is a Republican primary. There are base
Republican voters who have questions about climate change. This will get
very complex as this primary proceeds because as you know, this will segue
easily into the renewable energy debate.
HAYES: Right and then there`s going to be a nominee and then that
nomination is going to happen in a very different environment where there`s
going to be a real sort of conflict, I think, up front.
SWEET: But this is true for anything candidates say. It`s always a
big job and a big responsibility of a reporter to fact-check.
HAYES: Lynn Sweet --
SWEET: This one, it`s just harder to do, but it`s doable.
HAYES: Yes, it is hard, you`re right, but it is doable.
Lynn Sweet, thank you for being here.
SWEET: Thank you.
HAYES: How is a city with a population of over 4 million able to get
all of its electricity from renewables for days on end? The answer ahead.
Plus, we`re going to celebrate a very, very special anniversary. You
don`t want to miss that. That`s next.
HAYES: Since we`re talking about the presidential election today, if
you took a political journalist from 1865 and you put him in a time machine
to cover the current election cycle, Ted Cruz announcement and such, they
would be more or less baffled by everything they encountered but for a
small handful of institutions that have somehow managed to endure. The
Republican Party though admittedly it`s no longer quite as zealously
invested in imposing martial law and "The New York Times", which was
founded in 1851, still around today, and "The Nation" magazine, the oldest
continuously published magazine in America which this year turns 150, and
today, released their 150th anniversary issue.
Now, this image, this is the cover of the 75th anniversary issue of
"The Nation", where I am editor at large and used to be Washington bureau
chief. I actually have a copy of this issue in my house framed which
someone found in a used bookstore and sent to me.
And it`s incredible for a few reasons. First, it`s 1940. You can see
on the cover, the man in his overalls in the dust bowl. It`s the Great
Depression, it has this dark, ominous feeling that man is gazing out into
the future, wondering what will come.
In the future, just a year away, is World War II.
That`s what`s happening. That`s what The Nation is about to chronicle.
The magazine was already 75 years old then, celebrating their
longevity before World War II. This year, it`s 150 years since the Nation
was founded, in 1865 by a small group of abolitionists. Including, Fredrick
Law Olmsted, who designed Central Park and the World`s Fair in Chicago.
The Nation was dedicated to being the organ of no party, and it`s very
first issue did the most courageous thing you can do in journalism, which
was to begin with the first line of the first column in the very debut
issue saying, "The week has been singularly barren of exciting events."
Which is something you just can`t get away with these days. We can`t
come to you and say, "Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes and
nothing exciting happened today."
Over the years, the magazine has chronicled everything from socialist
economics, circa 1909, to provocative ideas, like should the Democratic
party die, circa 1920. The war of drugs, call to end it, to climate change,
to presidential politics. Everyone from Martin Luther King Jr. to Hunter S.
Thompson has written for it, as well as some future Presidents.
I have been honored to have my biline in there too. You know, it`s
become such a trop in these time to hear about the liberal media,
particularly starting in the 1960s, about how the main stream media is
Well, the Nation is a reminder of how not liberal the mainstream media
is. Exposed in high relief during particular moments in our nation`s recent
history, including, when in 2002 and 2003 the mainstream, so-called liberal
basically going along with the false rationale for going to war. And, this
is what The Nation was putting on its cover.
When everyone was going along with the housing bubble, the nation was
publishing pieces like this. In November of 2007, ten months before the
crisis hit, written by yours truly an article called I`m not particularly
proud of called, "The coming foreclosure tsunami", all about the rotten
underpinnings of the real estate boom.
All this is why we need The Nation. Because, if history has shown
those 150 years, it`s the need for constant decent, for voices that
criticize the cozy consensus of mainstream and power elite.
So, let`s hope it lasts another 50 years. Though, it will probably
need to be published under water, the way things are going.
HAYES: Since January 1st of this year, the Central American country
of Costa Rica has generated the totality of all of its power, every hotel,
every office building, every computer, without burning fossil fuels.
In another words, Costa Rica has managed to generate 100% of its
electricity using renewable energy.
So, how have they been able to do it?
Well, it has a lot to do with Costa Rica`s climate and topographical
features. The countries main hydroelectric plants have been boosted by
heavy rainfall in the last couple of months. And there are active volcanoes
which provide a source for geothermal energy. Combine those things with an
assist from wind, solar, and biomass, you get a country that has not burned
a single fossil fuel for 82 straight days.
But, you also have to take into account other things, like Costa
Rica`s relatively low population of under 5 million people, and the fact
their primary industries are tourism, agriculture, and export of electronic
components, and not
heavy manufacturing, which would require a lot more energy.
According to the state owned energy company, as a result of Costa Rica
not using fossil fuels to generate electricity since December, quote, "A
total of 1.5 million households and businesses will receive discounts of
between 7 and 15 percent in power bills next quarter."
Costa Rica says it wants to be quote, carbon neutral by 2021, and
considering everything I just said, it doesn`t sound like a far fetched
Joining me now, Roman Macaya. He`s Costa Rican ambassador to the
Ambassador Macaya, this is a plan, my understanding is. This is, by
design, what is Costa Rica doing to get fossil fuel free, and why is it
ROMAN MACAYA, COSTA RICAN AMM. UNITED STATES: Thank you, Chris, for
inviting me to your program.
As you mentioned, we`ve been going for 82 days now with 100% renewable
We`ll probably go well into April without burning any fossil fuels.
This is being done with 73% hydroelectric, 12% geothermal, another 12%
of wind, and 3% biomass, and a little solar.
Now, you have to keep in mind that this is the dry season in Costa
Rica. So, this is actually the hardest time for us to be 100% renewable,
because we`re so dependent on hydroelectric.
We will probably end this year between 96 to 98% renewable power
generation. So, on that side, we`re doing pretty well.
It catches headlines today, but it`s actually not that new. Between
2000 and 2004, we generated over 95% of our total electricity from
HAYES: So, let me ask you this. Is this a product of, like we said,
of a bunch of unique topographical features?
Could other countries in similar situations as Costa Rica be doing
this if they made the commitments and investments that you have?
MACAYA: Well, certainly you have to have the topographical and
We have a lot of rain. We have mountains. But, you also have to have
the policy. And the policy in Costa Rica is to go renewable. So, we use
wind, we use geothermal and so forth, and they`re complementary. When it
stops raining, the wind picks up, so we have to invest in the wind power to
compliment the energy on the dry season. This is all coupled with a long-
term commitment to conservation. Obviously, hydroelectric power requires
water, that water has to be generated and conserved in forests.
Now, there`s been a sort of an assumption that economic growth has to
be at the expense of the environment, or vice versa, and Costa Rica proves
the opposite. Between 1986 and 2012, we tripled our GDP per capita. We
almost doubled our population. And we went from 21% forest coverage of our
territory, to over 52% in the same time.
HAYES: That is amazing. While also reducing the percentage of fossil
Roman Macaya, ambassador from Costa Rica which is doing something
pretty incredible, thank you very much.
MACAYA: Thank you.
HAYES: Alright, a new documentary tries to unravel the mysteries of
Scientology, but the church is calling it lies by, quote, "admitted
perjurers, admitted liars, and professional anti-Scientologists".
My interview with the director of that film ahead.
HAYES: If you`re a fan of the HBO series, The Jinx, based on the life
of Robert Durst, you`re about to get part two in real life.
Durst, wealthy real estate heir, was arrested last week in New Orleans
for the 2000 murder of his friend, Susan Berman, in California.
But, before he can be extradited to California to face murder charges,
he`s facing gun and drug charges in Louisiana. Because, at the time of his
arrest, he had five ounces of marijuana and a 38 revolver in his hotel
room, prosecutors also stated that Durst had, quote, "maps of New Orleans,
Florida and Cuba, a fake I.D., a legitimate passport, marijuana and a
"flesh-tone" mask with salt and pepper hair".
You can imagine what that might be used for.
He also had $44,000 in cash, and was apparently awaiting "a United
Parcel Service shipment with another $117,000 in cash and personal items".
A judge denied bail today, citing Durst as a flight risk, and set a
new hearing for April 2. And, the same high dollar Texas legal team that
got Durst acquitted for killing and dismembering his neighbor in Galveston
in 2003, they`re representing him in court, and so, it all begins again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone had told me there`s this cult and it can
anything possible in your life.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I was deeply convinced that we were going to save
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a transcendent experience.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You feel euphoric.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything you do for endless years depends on
what you do within Scientology.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They sell it all in the beginning as something
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You take on a matrix of thought that is not your
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s so strong that it sticks to you like glue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very suggestible. You just don`t see it happening
You justify so much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no logical explanation, other than faith.
(ERND VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Going Clear, Scientology and the Prison of Belief, is the
chilling new documentary from an Oscar winning director, Alex Gibney. A
startling expose on the origin, the belief system, and the secretive inner
workings of the Church of
Scientology. It premiers on HBO on March 29.
Now, it`s based on the book by New Yorker staff writer, Lawrence
Wright, who`s also producer and one of the people interviewed in the film.
But, the documentary unfolds mainly from the perspective of several former
members of the church, who each recount their journeys into, and
ultimately, out of Scientology.
One of those former members is Silvia "Spanky" Taylor, who says she
was John Travolta`s main liaison to the church early in his career.
"Spanky" recalls plotting her escape, while pregnant, from what she
describes as a prison camp within the church, after she says she discovered
her infant daughter neglected in a children`s ward.
SILVIA "SPANKY" TAYLOR, FORMER SCIENTOLOGIST MEMBER: I told them that
I was having problems with my pregnancy and that I needed to use the phone,
so they sent a body guard with me.
I called one of the few non-Scientologists I knew. A wonderful woman
who happened to work for John Travolta. I said, meet me at this address. I
gave her a time and I hung up.
I go up to my daughter`s room and I wrapped her up, and there is a
bodyguard with me. I said, my sister-in-law is in that car and she`s going
to take the baby to the doctor. He said, well has this been approved? Of
course it was approved.
HAYES: Among the most explosive allegations in the film, that senior
figures in the church were confined for years to a detention facility known
as "the hole" where they were subjected to routine abuse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The doors had bars put on them, the windows all
had bars put on them, and there was one entrance door that a security guard
sat at 24 hours a day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had to stay there and sleep there, and it stunk
and there were aunts crawling around. You`d sleep about an hour or two
hours a night.
You were in such a mental state that you were very controlled, very
HAYES: Now, the Church of Scientology denies the documentary claims,
strenuously and repeatedly, saying in a statement to NBC News, quote, "This
bigoted propaganda by Alex Gibney and Lawrence Wright is built on
falsehoods invented by admitted liars. All remain bitter after having been
removed in disgrace and expelled more than decade ago from the Church."
They contend Gibney rebuffed opportunities to meet with members of the
Church to address allegations and, even before the film`s premiere, they
launched a massive PR campaign to discredit the filmmakers and their
Well, up next, my interview with Going Clear director, Alex Gibney,
and his story of taking on Scientology.
HAYES: I spoke today with Alex Gibney, the Oscar winning documentary
filmmaker who produced, directed, and wrote Going Clear, Scientology and
the Prison of Belief, and I asked him, what`s new in this film, that people
didn`t know about
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX GIBNEY, DOCUMENTARY FLIMMAKER: One of the things that is new is
understanding how very smart, sophisticated people get involved in
You know, the subtitle of the film is Scientology and the Prison of
Belief. It`s the prison of belief. How do people get involved in a belief
system like Scientology where they end up losing their way and doing really
So, I think that`s one key that`s very new.
HAYES: You also have, you`ve got the recollections of Sara Northrup,
who is L. Ron Hubbard`s second wife. I don`t believe those have been, sort
of, entered in the record anywhere else, and they paint a picture of L. Ron
Hubbard that`s pretty disturbing. I mean, obviously there is no way to
verify that everything she says in her diary is true, but what she recounts
of L. Ron Hubbard, who is the founder of Scientology, is pretty disturbing
GIBNEY: A liar, a wife beater, and a guy who started the church not
for ecclesiastical reasons, but to make money. He always thought a church
is great because you don`t have to pay taxes.
So, when you understand that was, kind of the bedrock idea. Mind you,
he became, I think, a true believer later on, but early on that was very
much on his mind.
HAYES: I want to read some of the statement from the Scientology
folks. Obviously, they are not happy with the film, they are not happy with
your process, and one of the things they say, the first line of this, is
this bigoted propaganda by Alex Gibney and Lawrence Wright is built on
falsehood invented by admitted liars. I was to work that work bigoted,
Scientology is a faith, right? If you came on this program and said,
Jesus Christ was a fraud, and a con man, and a whatever. If you said about
that Joseph Smith, if you said it about the Prophet Mohammed, I mean, you
would get a lot of backlash, right? I mean, are you bigoted? Do you think,
essentially, that Scientology is a sham?
GIBNEY: I think people are entitled to believe whatever they want to
believe. But where the rubber meets the road is when you have human rights
And so, you can separate that from the belief system.
Scientologists are free to believe what they want to believe, if they
want to believe in Zenu, the Galactic Overlord, that`s up to them. I don`t
have an issue with that.
My issue is with documented human rights abuses committed in the name
of this religion.
HAYES: What are those? What are those?
GIBNEY: Well, one of them is this very cruel policy of disconnection,
whereby if you become a critic of the Church and you decide to leave and be
critical of it, the Church will then force you and force people around you
to disconnect you.
They will call you a suppressive person, and suddenly, all of your
relatives and all of your friends who were in the Church will no longer
even speak to you.
It is terribly cruel process which divides families, and it puts an
enormous psychological toll on people.
And, it`s also what they do with children, there`s child labor
involved, and, imagine forcing a child to sign a billion year contract. You
know what I`m saying?
And that is a form of indentured servitude.
HAYES: In Lawrence Wright`s book, which this film was based on,
there`s lots of documentation in there of allegations of physical assault
by the man that who actually runs Scientology right now, Dave Miscavige.
GIBNEY: That`s right, physical assault of the higher echelon of the
They were called the Corg. And, basically, he took into one place called
the hole, which is in their base in California, just outside of Los
Angeles, and basically subjected them to a series of psychological and
physical abuse that was very much like the enhanced interrogation program
of the United States.
So, that was something that was done that was intentionally abusive.
It reminded me very much of Mao`s cultural revolution, when he tried to
basically create instability in order to enhance his own power.
HAYES: I should say again that the Church denies all of this, they
say you`re making this up, and that, this is invented whole cloth.
There is stuff in there, too, some amazing revelations, or allegations
I should say, about John Travolta and Tom Cruise.
One, about Tom Cruise in particular, which is basically, it was the
Church that forced Tom Cruise to a, spy on Nicole Kidman, and ultimately,
break up her.
GIBNEY: Well, they engendered it.
I mean, I`m not sure if they forced him, but they really took him
there because the Church depends deeply on Tom Cruise. Because, if you ask
most people on the street, what is the Church of Scientology, like you were
talking about before, they`ll say oh, it`s the Tom Cruise religion.
So, he is the draw for many people. And many people get in, and many
people stay in because of Tom Cruise. And Tom Cruise was drifting away.
Nicole Kidman`s father was a psychologist. That is like Satan for the
Church of Scientology.
And, so, they tried very hard to get him back. And they did it in two
ways. One was the series of auditing, that`s the kind of psychological
counseling they do to try to turn Tom against her, and then they tried to
wiretap her by account of Marty Rathbun, who`s the number two person in the
Church, in order to get details about her to turn Tom against her. And,
they also focused very much on their kids.
Getting back where they tried to persuade their kids that their mom was a
HAYES: I should say that the attorney for Tom Cruise, in recounting
what is setting Going Clear, he says nothing like that ever happened. The
statements about Mr. Cruise in your client`s film are false, defamatory,
and highly damaging. They are viscous lies.
John Travolta is the other sort of most famous member.
This guy Marty Rathbun is the number two, right?
GIBNEY: Was the number two.
HAYES: Was the number two. He plays a crucial role in your film
because he was very, very high up and left and is now sort of talk telling
Tell me a little about him.
GIBNEY: Marty Rathbun is a really impressive person. And he was very
high up, and he was much rewarded. I believe he received an L. Ron Hubbard
medal that is almost never given out for meritorious service.
So, he was very high in the Church. And, you know, they claim that he
is a self confessed liar. Well, in part that`s true, but he lied on behalf
of the Church on Scientology, as part of their dirty tricks.
And fair game, fair game is the phrase they use to describe how, when
there`s a critic of Scientology, anything you do to to discredit them or
destroy them is
But, Marty Rathbun, most importantly was the guy who is behind the
fight to get the tax exemption back in 1993. And it was a brutal campaign.
HAYES: And that was a make or break moment for the Church.
The IRS informs them they owe a billion dollars. They`ve got about two
hundred million dollars in the bank.
It is, essentially, an existential question for the Church whether
they will be classified as a tax exempt organization or not.
GIBNEY: That`s absolutely correct.
So, it was do or die for the Church of Scientology at that moment. And
they went after the IRS with everything they had. They sued them in
virtually every state in the union. They sued individuals. They -- I know
people who are in the Department of Justice at the time who were constantly
having to sweep their offices
for bugs that the Church of Scientology was putting in the Department of
So, it was a campaign that was designed to bring the IRS to its knees
and it did.
HAYES: Finally, they -- one of the complaints, and, I should say that
in this statement they talk about Mr. Rathbun being an admitted liar, an
admitted suborned of perjury, they obviously don`t believe he`s credible.
One of the things they talk about it, you just talked to people that
have left the Church, you didn`t talk to anyone that is a current
practicing member, in good standing, who would tell you how great
Scientology is. And they say, we gave you, you turned down 25 people to
talk to about Scientology.
Tell me is that true? And, what were the circumstances under which
these 25 people were sort of brought to you.
GIBNEY: Well, I think the trick to Scientology would like me to make
the kind of film that they want me to make.
I was following these characters, and I, very forthrightly asked the
Church of Scientology to give me interviews with some key figures who are
They didn`t want to do that. But, they presented to me, very late in
the game, prior to The Sundance Film Festival, and said, we`ve got 25
people who are going to show up and tell you how horrible the people in
people in your film are.
Now, imagine if somebody were to show up here, like 10 seconds from
now, and say, we have 25 people downstairs who demand to be on this show,
and they`re going to tell you what a horrible guy Alex Gibney is.
Would you say, 25 unidentified people who want to break into the
office, what would you do?
HAYES: There would be a little due diligence.
Alex Gibney, the film is called Going Clear. It is on HBO.
Thank you very much.
GIBNEY: Thank you, pleasure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That is All In for this evening, the Rachel Maddow show starts
Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2015 NBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>