CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interviews With Dominick Dunne, Deepak Chopra
Aired April 23, 2002 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Robert Blake accused of personally pulling the trigger and murdering his own wife. Author Dominick Dunne, who lost his daughter to violent crime, will give us his take on this sensational Hollywood story and lots more. And we'll take your calls.
Plus, issues of sex and spirituality with spiritual icon Deepak Chopra. Can scandal and dirty secrets be turned to honesty and love? It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening. We begin with one of my favorite people. He's at our bureau in New York. He's Dominick Dunne, the best selling author of "Justice." He was on this program when that book came out. And I said then, say it now, one of the best true crime books ever written. The paperback will be out next month. He's a special correspondent for "Vanity Fair." The monthly diary he writes is now in its second year. And he's going to host a series of programs on Court TV called "Dominick Dunne's Power, Privilege and Justice," coming in June. We'll ask about that in a little while.
But first, with the Robert Blake story getting front page headlines, he plead not guilty for murdering his wife. What's your read, Dominick, from 2,480 miles away?
DOMINICK DUNNE, AUTHOR, "JUSTICE": Well, you know, everyone said, oh, it is not another O.J. But in a curious way it is an O.J. It's the B-movie version of the O.J. case.
Robert Blake has been in decline as an actor for quite -- you know, over a decade it seems. And all of a sudden he's more famous now than he's ever been. And he's in every newspaper, on every television show. Everyone knows his name and is talking about him. I think this is going to be a very high-profile trial. And I'm disappointed that Harland Braun is fighting against having it televised.
DUNNE: Well, I happen to like televised trials. I mean, I've certainly covered enough that were televised. And I think that the public learns a lot from televised trials.
KING: What do you make of Mr. Braun putting the -- I guess you're kind of used to this. You've seen it in many trials. I don't know anyone who has covered more criminal trials than you -- by putting the victim on trial?
DUNNE: Well, I mean, Harland Braun, who is an excellent lawyer, by the way, excellent defense attorney whom I like, but I mean, from day one, he was putting out the stuff on Bonny Lee Bakley. I mean, it was relentless.
But it also was not untrue what he was saying. She was a penny- ante grifter. And she had been married, allegedly, nine or 10 times or something, I don't know what. And she had a very dicey past. But he -- that makes no excuse. That's no excuse for her demise. And -- but he has overworked that, I think. And I think that's the reason that the LAPD, with whom I think have done a brilliant job this time, but I think it's taken them 11 months because they've checked out so many of the stories that Harland Braun told them.
KING: Brilliant job then. Do I gather you think that this case looks -- I don't want to put words in your mouth, does it look airtight to you? Does it look that strong?
DUNNE: Well, it looks pretty strong to me, especially if the two people he solicited to kill his wife are going to take the stand, you know, that's pretty good stuff. And his partner, his bodyguard, Mr. Caldwell, who was also arrested the same day he was, the same time he was, allegedly so that he couldn't call Blake to tip him off. That's why he was arrested a few minutes ahead of Bobby Blake.
He at one time was supposed to dig the grave in the desert that one of the hired killers -- alleged hired killers, if he killed her. But he backed out of it.
KING: Why does this case -- why does murder fascinate us, Dominick?
DUNNE: Well, I don't know why. But it's the worst act. It's a terrible act. And, you know, the interesting thing about Robert Blake is he gave one of the great screen performances of all time in Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood."
DUNNE: I mean, it's just one of the great -- I'm amazed that it is not being played on television all the time now. But things I have learned about him, I mean, he didn't live with the rest of the cast during the making of it. He's a loner.
He's a -- I once met him, Larry. I once met him at Natalie Wood's house. It must have been in the '70s. And he and Natalie were child actors and had known each other. They weren't great friends necessarily, but they knew each other. And I met him there. It was the only time I ever met him.
And, I don't know, he was kind of scary guy to me, this intense look. And Joan Collins told me once that she was on "Baretta" with him, and the whole crew, everyone was sort of scared of him. He's a bad-tempered guy. It seems like they've got a pretty good case against him. KING: In view of that, can he, in your opinion, honestly, get a fair trial?
DUNNE: Yes, yes. I do believe. Look at O.J. He got a fair trial. He got acquitted.
KING: Yes, he did. Well, in that case, can we say the prosecution didn't prove it?
DUNNE: Yes. Well, I think that the prosecution lost that case. The defense didn't win it. But I don't know who the prosecutor is going to be in the Blake case.
KING: No, we don't know yet.
DUNNE: We haven't heard that yet.
KING: Now, I know you're covering a case. We'll ask about that. Will you come to this trial, too?
DUNNE: I think I will, Larry, yes. I mean, it's a Hollywood trial. As I said, to me, it is like a B-movie. There's something -- all kind of lower echelon about it, whereas the O.J. trial was an MGM spectacular.
KING: This is like film noir.
DUNNE: This is film noir from Republic Studios.
KING: What is the -- if there is a term like secret, or maybe that's a bad word -- what's the key to covering trials? Now, you cover them with a point of view.
DUNNE: I do.
KING: And that's not always the best kind of -- I mean, that's your kind of reporting.
DUNNE: That's right.
KING: All right. What is the key?
DUNNE: And I make no bones about that or no apology for that. I mean, I take a stand. I'm not particularly sympathetic to the victim in this case, but I am a victim's advocate. And I stick up for the victim always.
KING: John Walsh last night was very vehement in appealing for the passage of this victim's rights bill. Do you favor that bill?
DUNNE: I sure do.
KING: The federal bill.
DUNNE: Sure do.
KING: You're a victim yourself, the father of a victim, right?
DUNNE: I am.
KING: Does this prejudice you against those charged with murder?
DUNNE: Yes, of course, it does. And, you know, but I mean I'm also fair about it. But, I mean, right from the beginning, I mean, I always knew from day three that Lyle Menendez killed his parents. And I knew from day two that O.J. Simpson killed his wife and her friend.
KING: Our guest is Dominick Dunne, who knows Hollywood better than anyone. We'll talk about the psychology of celebrity and media circus and the cameras and the like, what that does. We'll get his thoughts on lots of other topics, ask him about what's coming on his own show on Court TV.
Later, Deepak Chopra. This is LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
KING: We're back with "Vanity Fair's" Dominick Dunne. Do the rich, do the Hollywood celebrities have an edge in court?
DUNNE: Well, I think O.J. Simpson certainly had an edge in court. I don't know what's going to happen this time. But he certainly did. I mean, there's just no two ways about it. Everybody bowed and scraped to him in that courtroom.
KING: Assuming that charges are correct in the Blake case, do they attract hangers-on? I mean, why would a bodyguard, if these charges are correct, do the things he did?
DUNNE: Well, I just don't understand that. But celebrities always have these kind of hangers-on people. You remember O.J. had Kato. And there's always these people that hang around and will do things that the stars don't want to do.
KING: Now, you favor cameras in the courtroom. Is there any aspect you don't like? Does it add to the media circus?
DUNNE: Yes, it does. It does. And I wish there was a way that their cameras could be hidden in the courtroom so that -- because I hate it when the lawyers play to the camera, which happened certainly during the O.J. trial. But on the other hand, I think it's fascinating television to watch a murder trial on television.
KING: Let's switch gears. Lots of other things to talk about. What are your thoughts on this whole Catholic church thing, the priests, the pedophilia?
DUNNE: Well, I'm a Catholic to start with. So it's a matter of enormous distress to me. I'm not one of the great Catholics of all time, but I'm a Catholic. And it's neverending. I mean every day, every day there's more and more and more coming out. And I hope something's going to come out of this conference of cardinals in Rome now. But, you know, I was so outraged by Cardinal Law, and when I heard that, you know, what he did with moving this priest around from parish to parish. I mean, I think that's inexcusable. And I think that Cardinal Egan, our own New York's Cardinal Egan, said in his letter, I saw and acted on the best independent advice available to me from medical experts and behavioral scientists.
Well, you shouldn't have to act. I mean, if a child is molested, you don't have to act on somebody else's behavioral advice. You ought to just know that it is wrong and it is an act that people should go to prison for.
KING: You think it is going to change?
DUNNE: It better change, you know, or it's going to lose its -- I mean, you know, I mean, I was talking to a guy up in the country where I live, a Catholic man from a Catholic family, and churchgoers and all that. And he's a hard working man. And he said, you know, I don't like the fact that the money I'm putting in the basket every Sunday could be going to be hush money to pay some parent off not come forward with this. I mean, I think it is going to have a great effect on the church. Absolutely.
KING: You are now covering the Martha Moxley murder case. That's a trial of Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, a crime that happened a long, long, long time ago.
KING: Robert Kennedy Jr. told "USA Today," said Dominick Dunne is leading a lynch mob against the Kennedy family. How do you react to that?
DUNNE: Yes, of course I react to that. I mean, it is such a bore. I do cover high-profile crime, and it just happens that his relations have come into cases that I have been covering, the William Kennedy Smith trial in Palm Beach and now the Skakel trial which is about to start in two weeks in Connecticut. I have nothing -- I'm not head a lynch mob against the Kennedys.
KING: What's the key, Dominick, in this trial? I mean, isn't it hard to prove a crime that long ago?
DUNNE: Yes. I think it's going to be very hard. But the prosecution, the people I've talked to in the prosecution seem to think that they've got a very, very good case. I think what the defense is going to do is try to defuse the thing that it might not have been Michael, that it might have been the tutor, Ken Littleton, whose first night as a live-in tutor at the Skakel house, it was on the night of the murder.
But the reason I don't think that's going to play is that Rushton Skakel hired a private detective agency called the Sutton Agency that worked for three years on this case. He wanted to get the cloud of suspicion off his sons. And they ran up a bill of $750,000. And if they couldn't pin it on Ken Littleton, I don't know how Mickey Sherman is going to be able to do that in the courtroom.
KING: What, Dominick, was the motive in that murder?
DUNNE: Well, I don't truly know. But, I mean, this is what I believe it was, that Michael Skakel thought he was the boyfriend of Martha Moxley. And Tommy Skakel, the older brother with whom there's a great rivalry between the two brothers, sort of coming on to her, making out, trying to make out. And I think there was a rage, brother to brother. They had been drinking. They had been at the beach club or country club, whatever it is there.
And they were with the tutor and they had had some drinks. And I think it was -- I think that's what started it. The murder weapon was a golf club that belonged to the late Mrs. Skakel, who had died the year before. It was from a set of clubs in the front hall of the Skakel house. Martha Moxley was hit so hard -- I've seen the pictures of her dead -- the whole side of her forehead came off on the -- and the club broke and the sharp end of one of the pieces was used as a knife and stuck into her neck. It was a violent, violent crime.
KING: Our guest is Dominick Dunne, who has known violence himself, his own daughter murdered. We'll ask him about the Levy matter and statements that Gary Condit has made about him on this program. Dominick Dunne of "Vanity Fair." He's also starting a new show, a series on Court TV. We'll ask about that. The paperback version of "Justice" will come out in May, a great book. We'll also include some phone calls.
And then, Deepak Chopra. Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Dominick Dunne. We certainly thank him for joining us. He's in the process of writing a new book, and I know he takes some time away to be with us. What's the book about?
DUNNE: It's a novel called "A Solo Act." It's a kind of a continuation of a book I wrote called "People Like Us." It is 20 years later. And it is set in New York. And, of course, there's a crime based on a real crime in the book.
DUNNE: Of course.
KING: We look forward to that. And it is going to be called what?
DUNNE: It's called "A Solo Act."
KING: Let's take a quick call. Santa Monica, hello.
CALLER: Yes, hello.
CALLER: Nice to speak with both of you.
CALLER: I was actually in an acting class with Noah Blake years ago. And I remember a person who was very bright and very talented. And I wonder if sometimes we forget that these are real people involved and we get so caught up in the fact that, you know, this seems unreal somehow, and we forget that they're really wonderful and incredible people who are devastated by what happens in these kinds of situations?
KING: Noah Blake, of course, is Robert's son, who has been on this show.
DUNNE: He's been on this show. I've seen him. He looks like a nice young man.
KING: Family pays a price, doesn't it, Dominick?
DUNNE: It sure does. It sure does. It sure does. It's something you never -- it's something that when it happens, you know, you never get over it. It is part of your everyday life. And it has affected, you know, my sons.
KING: Sure. All right, when Gary Condit was on the show -- I know you saw it because you wrote about it in "Vanity Fair" this month -- he laced out at you and laced out at me for having you on and your theories and the like. And he got very angry. And now we still have Chandra Levy missing. What's your read today? Do you think any hope for her?
DUNNE: I just -- you know, I wish I could say I did, but I don't have any hope that she's still alive. I mean, I don't see how she could be still alive after all this time. And I don't know what's happened on the grand jury. I know that Condit had to appear before the grand jury. I don't know what's happened. And, of course, grand juries -- there's no reports from grand juries. So I don't know. I haven't heard anything.
KING: The anguish of the family has to be...
DUNNE: Terrible. Terrible.
KING: Not knowing is the worst, right?
DUNNE: The worst. You know, they are going through what Mrs. Moxley went through for 25 years, Martha Moxley's mother. You know, it's a terrible thing not to know who did it or what happened.
KING: Or if, yes. Winchester, Virginia, for Dominick Dunne. Hello.
KING: Hi. Go ahead.
CALLER: Any chance that Mr. Dunne might join forces with John Walsh to revise laws involving victims?
DUNNE: Well, I'm a great admirer of John Walsh. And we've met. We don't really know each other. But, yes, I would be interested in doing that.
KING: You have an interest in another matter. And I wish you'd tell us about it because it's a case I'm not familiar with. And that's the death of the billionaire Edmond Safra. In a nutshell, what is that story?
DUNNE: Well, that's an amazing story. He was one of the richest men in the world. And he was asphyxiated in what was virtually a panic room. I had never heard that expression until the Jodie Foster movie. But that's what his barricaded bathroom was. There was a fire allegedly lit by a nurse. Now, it's the nurse that I'm most concerned about, a male nurse, American, who was there who was not supposed to be on duty that night, but was put on duty.
KING: This was in Monaco, right?
DUNNE: In Monaco, in a penthouse in Monte Carlo over the bank that Mr. Safra had owned and had just sold just before his death. And it's a fascinating case. The American nurse has now been in the Monaco prison for about two and a half years.
He was -- there was a forced confession, allegedly forced confession in French, which he doesn't speak. And, you know, I'm usually on the side of the victim, but in this case, I am -- I just don't believe that this man is responsible. There were 12 guards usually that Mr. Safra had. They were guards trained by the Moussad. Not one was on duty that night. The order for them not to be on duty was certainly not given by this nurse, the lowest ranking nurse.
And there was total ineptitude by the Monaco Police and the Monaco Fire Department. The Monaco Police wouldn't let the fire department get in there for an hour. And when they finally got in there, one of Mrs. Safra's guards finally got there, had the key, ran up the stairs and the Monaco police put him in handcuffs. And by the time they finally got into the bathroom, both the nurse, the female nurse he was with and Mr. Safra were dead by asphyxiation.
KING: Usually you tend to side with the prosecution.
DUNNE: Almost always. Almost -- but not this time.
KING: All right. There was sentencing in the Sotheby art auction case. And the chairman, Alfred Taubman.
DUNNE: Yes. I was there yesterday in the courtroom.
KING: He got a year in prison.
DUNNE: He got a year and a day, Larry, which means that he will be eligible for parole after 10 and a half months. And he also got a $7.5 million fine. I happen to know Alfred Taubman and he's a man whom I like and admire. And this is a tragic thing that has happened at the end of an extraordinary life. He's a great businessman and a great philanthropist. And...
KING: A conviction, for those who don't know, was of price fixing, right?
DUNNE: Yes. It was a collusion with the head of Christie's. The Sotheby's and the Christie's, the two great auction houses.
KING: There was a large movement to see that he didn't serve time, right? The judge got a lot of letters.
DUNNE: Indeed. Some of the most important people in America wrote letters to the judge asking for leniency. Mr. Taubman's 78 years old. He's not in good health and so forth, but the judge overlooked that and sentenced him.
KING: Were you surprised?
DUNNE: I was. Yes.
KING: The "New York Post's" Steve Dunleavy had a column today headlined, "Class Shines Through Even on the Way to Prison." And he said -- Dunleavy said, Taubman didn't grovel. His attitude was I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees. Is he that kind of guy?
DUNNE: Yes. I must say he was very impressive in court as was Mrs. Taubman, his wife. I mean, they and the family, his entire family, was in the first row of the courtroom. They all kissed him. It was a very moving -- very moving.
KING: By the way, in your latest "Vanity Fair" diary, you remember Princess Margaret quite fondly, do you not?
DUNNE: Yes. Well, I had some problems with her from time to time. But, you know, I also -- I told of a case where we were house guests at Ambassador Lewis Douglas' ranch in Arizona. She was then married to Tony Snowden. And it was like she wanted to be a nightclub singer. And she walked around with a -- she knew the lyrics to every show tune ever written.
KING: Our guest is Dominick Dunne. We have one more segment with Dominick. We'll ask about his work for Court TV and about -- we'll also ask, of course, about the Liza wedding which he attended and his extraordinarily amazing life. No one has a life like Dominick Dunne.
We'll be right back.
KING: We're back with our remaining moments with Dominick Dunne. Let's get a call. Louisville, Kentucky. Hello.
CALLER: Hello. Yes, Mr. Dunne, I was wondering, considering the high-profile nature of this Blake case, what do you think the timeframe will be as far as starting and ending, so forth? DUNNE: You mean, the time of when the trial will start?
KING: Yes. When do you think it will be and will it be a long trial? How do you view it? They said last night it will start in the fall probably.
DUNNE: In the fall, yes. And, you know, California trials take longer than other trials. I mean, the Skakel trial which is about to start, is scheduled for five weeks and the judge has said it will be over in five weeks. Whereas the Menendez and the O.J. went on for the better part of a year. I don't see -- I think they should -- that they ought to be able to do the Blake case much quicker than those other two.
KING: What was the Liza wedding like?
DUNNE: You know what, Larry? I had a great time. I really did.
KING: You wrote that.
DUNNE: It was a show. It was a spectacle. It was an amazing bunch of people who were there. And, you know, who knows, but Liza was happy. I went to the bridal dinner and to the wedding. And I don't know the husband. I just met him. But you know, look at her. She looks wonderful. She lost 90 pounds. She was having a great time.
KING: We had her on the second night of her honeymoon from London.
DUNNE: I saw it.
KING: And she was terrific. I mean, she...
DUNNE: Yes. She was great that night.
KING: All right. Tell me about this program you're doing, "Power, Privilege and Justice"?
DUNNE: Well, it's going to be a weekly show on Court TV. I'm really excited about it, I have to tell you. I'm shooting all day tomorrow. I rehearsed this afternoon. I'm the narrator. I'm the host. I am -- you know, I started out in TV. I was the stage manager of the "Howdy Doody Show" years ago.
KING: Really? It's Howdy Doody time.
DUNNE: Yes. And I was at NBC for years as a stage manager and then went on and so forth. So this is coming back to TV, but, you know, in front of the camera rather than behind.
KING: And what's the theme of the show?
DUNNE: It's stories of criminology among the rich and who gets away with it, and, you know, because a lot of people do get away with it if they have sufficient funds. KING: So these are stories of trials of the past?
DUNNE: These are all true stories. And one of them is the Billionaire Boys Club, if you remember that case.
KING: Yes, I remember that.
DUNNE: And the one where I'm doing tomorrow has to do with that heiress in the hunt country of Virginia who fell in love with the Argentinian polo player, had an affair with him. She owned the polo team and she killed him, and got something like 28 days in jail and a $2,500 fine, something like that. It was absolutely nothing. I mean, it shows where money talks.
KING: Dominick, you've traveled in interesting circles. Did you get most interested in covering trials and murder after your daughter's death or had it been your beat?
DUNNE: Oh, no. No, after. I mean, I had never attended a trial until I attended the trial of the man who killed my daughter. And I was so appalled at what I saw in that courtroom, I mean, appalled at the lies that were told and, you know, and the costuming of the killer on trial.
And I thought, you know, I can do something about this. I can write about this. I can go on TV and talk about this. I can make this known what happens. I mean -- and it bothered me terribly from the first day that the rights of the defendant on trial exceed the rights of the victim. I'm all for the victim. I'm an advocate for victims.
KING: No kidding. You have an amazing life. You seem to know everyone. You go everywhere. You like that whole scene, right? You like the parties?
DUNNE: Yes, I do. I do. I do. I always have. I've done it all my life. And you know, I've been on the scene for 50 years. So I know everybody. And, you know, I've had some -- a terrible tragedy in my life.
But the fact is it also -- that tragedy -- out of that tragedy came a direction that I never had had before. I was kind of all over the place. I was a movie producer and so forth. And -- but you know? I enjoyed writing about crime and reporting about it and going on television and talking about it.
KING: And you're the best. Thank you, Dominick. As always, I appreciate you doing this.
DUNNE: Thanks, Larry.
KING: Dominick Dunne, he's completing his new novel. "Justice," the paperback version, will be out in May. His TV series, "Dominick Dunne's Power, Privilege & Justice" starts in June on Court TV. And, of course, his monthly column now in its second year for "Vanity Fair." Deepak Chopra, best-selling author. His books include "How to Know God" and "The Deeper Wound", founder of the Chopra Center for Well-Being is next. Don't go away.
KING: Joining us from Chicago is Deepak Chopra, best selling author, founder of the Chopra Center for Well-Being. We want to get his thoughts on the current scandal in the Catholic church and whether any good can come of this.
What's your read on it, Deepak?
DEEPAK CHOPRA, SPIRITUAL TEACHER: Well, I think we have a clash right now between two paradigms. The first paradigm says, you know, it's based on Christian theology which says, I'm a sinner, I must atone for my sins. I must pray for forgiveness. I must seek redemption.
The post modern paradigm on the other hand says you are a predator. You are a criminal and you are to be punished. But I think if you really want to go deep into the roots of this problem, Larry, then we have to see that the whole theology is based on repression, on guilt, on a sense that if you have carnal desire and carnal pleasure and carnal experience, you cannot be holy.
So a priest is recruited into the priesthood immediately after high school but actually channeled or funneled into the system when they're about 12 or 13 years of age. At this time, if you ask a teenager what's the most important thing on your mind right now? I saw yesterday on the "Today Show" that Matt Lauer was speaking to teenaged boys and asked them what was the most dominant thing on their minds. They said sex.
You take somebody at that tender age, then you ask them to commit themselves, a young body and a young mind and at that tender age you ask them to commit themselves to celibacy and chastity. You make sex dirty. You say you cannot be holy if you have this. And then what happens is that a person grows up into an older body but psychologically, emotionally, the development is frozen as far as sexual impulses are concerned, they are like children, still.
KING: So are you excusing the act?
CHOPRA: I'm not excusing the act. The act is criminal and has to be punished. But you know, if you really want to solve this problem, then you have to say in the long run, reform is needed. Much reform is needed. Like anything else, religion and religious systems have to evolve to keep up with our deeper understanding of human needs and human psychology and human emotional development. And if the reform doesn't come, then you risk extinction. It is Darwinian.
KING: Are you optimistic about the nature of man? I mean, when you read all those stories, everything that's been going on, and I know you deal with making the soul and people better. Can you be optimistic just by tuning in the news every day? CHOPRA: It's very difficult, Larry. When you tune into the news, you see that all problems are resolved by violence, that killing seems to be the best way to prove that you disagree with someone. And yet throughout history, throughout history from Christ onwards and before that, Buddha and the axial sages, the sages of Confucius, the Greek philosophers, we have seen luminaries who have told us that there was a better way, that human beings could fulfill their needs through creativity, through intuition, through a sense of meaning and purpose and direction, through a feeling of connection to the sacred power that runs the universe, whether we call it God or spirit. And I think we in moments of crisis need to look at our spiritual inheritance at the best part of our spiritual inheritance and say, what we can learn from this?
How can we go beyond our tribal responses? How can we really seek conflict resolution through nonviolent means? How can we evoke biological responses that are known as intuition and creativity and vision in a sense for the sacred.
KING: You were born into a Hindu family but you went to Catholic school, didn't you?
CHOPRA: I did go to Catholic school. You know, the catholic schools provided the best education when I was growing up all over the world. So I went to an Irish Christian missionary school run by Irish Christian missionary brothers. And I was really very impressed by the education. My parents were very impressed. And we really had a lot of respect for our Catholic priests who gave us really the best education in the world.
KING: Did you ever see any acts like those that have been reported of late?
CHOPRA: I heard about them occasionally. I remember when I was 13 years of age one of my best friends by the name of Will Fredesousa (ph) , God bless him, I don't know where he is now, but he joined the seminary at the age of 13. And he told me that the first thing he had to do was take a vow of chastity and celibacy and poverty, and he didn't even know what the words meant. So even at that tender age, I thought, this is a great way to start becoming an adult.
KING: Calgary, Alberta, Canada, we take a call.
CALLER: Hello, Larry. Thank you for taking my call. Dr. Chopra, do you think according to action, you know, there's a reaction? Everything is happening exactly as it should be in the world as it is today, like in Israel?
KING: What's the question, ma'am?
CALLER: Pardon me.
KING: What's the question?
CALLER: The question is do you think, Dr. Chopra, according to Karma or reaction to action, everything that is happening in the world today is happening exactly as it should be?
KING: Do you think these things are foretold?
CHOPRA: No, I don't think so. And she mentioned the word Karma which is very frequently misunderstood in the west. Karma is simply conditioning by past experience. And the ultimate goal of spiritual evolution is to beyond conditioning, to see that you are not really -- as a human being you have choices, that you are not a bundle of conditioned reflexes and nerves that's constantly being triggered by people and circumstance into predictable outcomes.
So the goal of enlightenment, a word that is frequently used in the east is to recognize that as a human being, you have choices and the more consciously you make your choices, the more your choices are in the direction of creating joy and fulfillment for those around you. You transcend karma.
KING: We'll be right back with our remaining moments with Deepak Chopra on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
KING: Get another call for Deepak Chopra. Philadelphia, hello.
CALLER: My question has to do with a priest and the allegations of sexual abuse and all that with the children. I'm wondering what are your thoughts of the type of punishment these men should receive once they are found guilty of these crimes?
CHOPRA: I think that they need rehabilitation more than punishment, but punishment is obviously also going to be there because it is criminal behavior. But don't forget that the criminal behavior comes from a person who is living in a dark psychological dungeon, who is actually filled with despair and guilt, and repression that started in childhood.
So I think while punishment is certainly justified, rehabilitation and a deeper understanding. The Catholic church needs reform. It need more women. It needs feminine energy. It needs tenderness. It need understanding and it needs to evolve.
KING: Pedophilia, by the way, is not homosexuality, is it?
CHOPRA: No, no. Pedophilia is also part of heterosexual behavior. It is just somebody who is frozen psychologically, emotionally as a child, really, in an adult body. Its ultimate roots are in repression. By the way, Larry, by the way, Larry, pedophilia is not more common in the Catholic church than in the general population. It's the same incidence. It's just that in the church it is put up on a pedestal, and a profile is created...
KING: But you've chosen that pedestal. You have taken on a degree of trust.
CHOPRA: Right. And then, you know, the reality is that the image never conforms to the reality and sooner or later, the image is going to be defiled and everybody is going to be enraged. So the fact is unless you avoid looking at reality and create these images, then that's going to happen.
KING: To San Diego. Hello.
CALLER: Thanks for taking my call. Dr. Chopra, what part do you think the Catholic church plays in the role of changing religion at this point because of what has come about?
KING: You mean whether the church can change?
KING: Can it change?
CHOPRA: Yes, of course, it can change. There are many reformers. The pope is of course an arch conservative and is dominating the church. But there is the voice of women being heard in the Catholic church. There are many great reformers that are speaking out in the Catholic church. And it will reform.
CHOPRA: As I said, unless it reforms, it risks extinction.
KING: How can victims use spirituality to deal with their anger and their pain?
CHOPRA: I think they have to express their anger. They have to express their pain. But having expressed it, they have to move on as well. There are many ways to do this. You first actually embrace your pain. You get in touch with it. And you label it. You express it, you share it with your loved ones. And ultimately, you have to move on, because if you hold on to it then the anger becomes hostility and hostility seeks vengeance and retribution and that perpetuates a self-fulfilling cycle where hostility breeds more hostility and ends in violence.
KING: When people say we're always going to have violence, are they right?
CHOPRA: I think violence is part of our ancestral heritage. We came out into this world among predators and we developed something called the flight/fight response. So in a threatening situation, we learned how to fight or run. But as a result of that, now we are the most dangerous predator on this planet. And there are a number of people who are saying that the next phase of our evolution is what is called metabiological evolution, which is the evolution of our consciousness that we will go beyond the fight/flight response into getting in touch with our souls, the intuitive response, the creative response, the visionary response and the sacred response are part of our evolution. In the whole scheme of evolution we haven't really grown up.
KING: Does the moralist of the church have a tough time in a highly sexualized society with the Internet and 500 channels? CHOPRA: Yes. The moralist has a tough time. But also the moralist forgets that morality cannot be imposed or legislated or begotten by an act of will. Morality is not something you say, I'm going to be moral through an act of will. Morality is the by-product of the fulfillment of your soul and also the fulfillment of fundamental needs like survival, safety, love, belongingness, self- esteem, self-actualization, the need for achievement, the need for expression and creativity and also sexual expression.
If your needs are not met, you cannot legislate morality. It comes when you feel the exultation of your spirit.
KING: Deepak Chopra. His books include how to know God and the deeper wound. He's the founder of the Chopra Center For Well-Being. He joined us from Chicago. Thank you so much. Dominick Dunne earlier.
We'll come back and tell us what's coming up tomorrow.
KING: Tomorrow night the cast and critics of a very controversial program, "Queer as Folk" will be our special guests. On Thursday night, James Von Progue who says he talks to deceased people, and Ted Danson who is going to play him in a teleplay, and Friday night, King Constantine, the exiled king of Greece. That is all ahead. What is ahead right now is NEWSNIGHT, our favorite spot on the dial as we visit with our pal, Aaron Brown. Mr. B., go.
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