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Going to Camp to Alter Your Sexuality; Echinacea Tested

Aired July 28, 2005 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Glad to have you with us tonight.
Some pictures that are truly chilling.


ZAHN (voice-over): A first look at the deadly London bombs, packed in glass, loaded with nails.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a race against time.

ZAHN: Can the cops close in before the terrorists make more?

He's out to stop a crook who might already have your identity.

DAN CLEMENTS, CARD COPS.COM: We're actually going fishing here for the hacker.

ZAHN: A decoy Web site and a high-tech tracker to catch a thief.

And a new chapter in an ongoing controversy. Can homosexuality be cured with a strong dose of religion?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Through Christ, you absolutely can find the victory to say no to those temptations.

ZAHN: Behind the scenes at a gay-to-straight camp. Does it really work?


ZAHN: We begin tonight with the terror investigation in London.

It has been exactly one week since four failed bombings and three weeks since four other terrorist bombs killed more than 50 people. Today, no violence, fortunately, but police warn that more strikes are in fact still possible. And they made nine more arrests.

People in Britain also got their first look at the homemade terror weapons. We'll get to that in just a moment.

But, first, let's turn to senior international correspondent Nic Robertson, who joins us from London with the very latest on the investigation.

So, Nic, let's go back to the nine latest arrests and these men's connections to these, the original bombings.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Well, the arrests were made early in the morning, which has been typical of some of the recent raids by the police made in South London, not far from the Stockwell tube station, where three of those suspect bombers took off on their bombing mission last week.

It appears, though, that these people who have been arrested may be periphery to the main investigation into the failed bombings. The reason for that is, shortly after the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Ian Blair, said that he believed that the three suspect bombers were still on loose, indeed, he went further than that. He said that he thought it was quite possible that they could strike again, also warning that he believed other terror cells could be out there.

What we have seen today, outside Scotland Yard, are more reinforcements being brought in. Sir Ian Blair, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, also saying that his staff are tired, that they're working hard, that he needs to rotate them and give them breaks, that this is going to be a long investigation.

And we saw today many, many -- many, many more investigators coming in from around the country to join the Metropolitan Police here in London -- Paula.

ZAHN: But the pace of this investigation seems pretty breathtaking from here. You're talking about close to 20 arrests here. What kind of progress is being made altogether?

ROBERTSON: It's fast, 12 arrests in the last 24 hours, 20 in the last week.

The police are looking at 15,000 security camera videos. They have answered -- they have questioned 1,800 people. They have had 5,000 calls to their hot line. But despite all that activity and arresting one of the key suspects, one of the suspect bombers from last week, there's still a huge amount of work that is being done, a raid last night, for example, that they thought could have led them to suspect number four, that neighbors said that this man had lived at the house.

He wasn't there. There is a lot that is happening that are dead ends for the police. So, there's a lot of wasted effort -- well, not wasted effort, but there's a lot of effort being put in that is not leading to a product. There are still the three suspects out on the loose. We still haven't heard what the connection might be between these two terror cells, one ostensibly of Pakistani origin, the other ostensibly of East African origin, so a huge number of questions for them -- Paula.

ZAHN: And there are a lot of questions being raised tonight about the possibility of a fifth bomber. The London police commissioner, I guess, got us all speculation when he sort of indicated that guy could be on the run tonight? What do we know about him? ROBERTSON: Well, you know, the police have been really careful to stay away from a fifth bomber up until now. It's not clear why.

A fifth bomb was found last weekend. That police have speculated maybe one of the bombers running away had dropped it, thrown it down. We chased that down. That did not appear to the case. And today, when the commissioner was presented with that fact again, what about that bomb found in the park that was the same as the other bombs on the trains, he became very, very, very close to saying that there's a fifth bomber out -- a fifth suspect bomber out there.

Why aren't the police saying that? Maybe they don't have his identity. It's just not clear, Paula.

ZAHN: Nic Robertson, every night, though, we do seem to be getting a little closer. Appreciate that late report.

And, today, we learned a lot more about a possible connection between the July 7 and terror right here in the U.S. British authorities suspect that a man named Haroon Rashid Aswat somehow helped out the bombers. U.S. officials want to question him about a plot that was hatched six years ago to set up a jihad training camp in Bly, Oregon.

And, about as month before the July 7 attacks, the U.S. was ready to arrest him in South Africa. But because Aswat is a British citizen, British officials refused. He slipped away. Since the bombings, Aswat has been in custody in Zambia.

All of that as people in London got their first chilling look at the bombs terrorists wanted to use to kill them.

Here's Kelly Wallace with that part of the story.


KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Londoners woke up to a barrage of headlines and one frightening image splashed across the front pages.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's absolutely appalling. I mean, if that is what is around, I mean, what are we going to do? It's just appalling.

WALLACE: It is a photograph of a nail bomb, one of more than a dozen of unexploded bombs CNN has confirmed were found in car at the train station north of London used by the July 7 attackers.

That image and several others were first broadcast in the U.S. Tuesday and then dominated the British media Thursday, despite a strong appeal from local police not to show the pictures. London's top investigator is not happy about the leak.

SIR IAN BLAIR, LONDON METROPOLITAN POLICE COMMISSIONER: I'm very concerned that those -- some of those photographs were supplied in confidence to some of our colleague agencies and have been published in the United States and then, of course, worldwide.

WALLACE: It's not clear where the leak came from. But many fingers pointed across the pond at American law enforcement. British officials fear the images could jeopardize their ongoing investigation.

Robert Ayers is a former U.S. intelligence official.

(on camera): Why is so important or was it so important to the British government, the police, to keep this information, these pictures secret?

ROBERT AYERS, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY PROGRAM: So, they could ensure that, if they found other explosive devices and they were manufactured the same way, with the same appearance, that they could, with a high degree of confidence, say they came from the same bomb- maker.

WALLACE (voice-over): The site of an actual unexploded nail bomb was a painful reminder to some Londoners of what can happen when such a bomb goes off. It was 20 years ago when the IRA nail-bombing of the royal cavalry left several soldiers and horses dead and shocked the city.

Dr. James Thompson thinks, just as that IRA bombing did, the new images will have a big psychological impact on an community already alarmed.

DR. JAMES THOMPSON, PSYCHOLOGIST, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON: And this is something which goes directly to your flesh. You can see that nail in your eye, in your face. And that's what it does.

WALLACE: We met this man, a British citizen for 46 years, who said the pictures left him even more afraid.

(on camera): Were you angry because the British police say this picture was never supposed to be made public?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's supposed to be in public.

WALLACE: Why is that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So the public, they can see it, that they can know what's going on.

WALLACE (voice-over): This 19-year-old, who works on a tour bus, strongly disagreed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, they shouldn't have showed this pictures. They're scaring away all the tourists. People are coming to London seeing those pictures. People don't even want to go on our sightseeing bus.

WALLACE (on camera): Does it make you feel more afraid?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it doesn't. WALLACE: Why it is?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it makes me more determined to survive.


ZAHN: And Kelly joins us now.

Kelly, I wanted to go back to the point you were making. Although it's not clear exactly who leaked the pictures of these bombs to the U.S. press, ABC News in particular, but, clearly, British officials are pointing their fingers at U.S. intelligence.

So, what kind of friction has that created between the intelligence arms of the U.S. and Great Britain?

WALLACE: That's a key question, Paula.

Certainly, publicly, it doesn't appear to be creating any great deal of friction. The British investigators sort of made it very clear that they were not pleased, but they didn't express a great deal of outrage. Privately, though, you can imagine, there are conversations under way. This sharing of intelligence is important, because on the one hand, they're sharing it with other intelligence agencies around the world to say, hey, have you seen any bombs, any materials like this, also to tip off other intelligence agencies should they ever come across anything like this.

They clearly want that information to remain confidential. So, you can imagine there are discussions behind the scenes to make sure this -- something like this doesn't happen again.

ZAHN: You were also talking about the psychological impact these pictures have on the public, a public that watches every Thursday go by and believes, I guess, after a week now, maybe breathes a little sigh of relief. But other than that man you talked to who lived in London for 40 years who said this makes him very scared and angry, what else do folks tell you?

WALLACE: Well, Paula, we talked about that last night, with this being Thursday, about a greater deal of anxiety. There certainly was a tremendous police presence out on the tube stations, out on the buses.

But I have to say, you continue to find people saying they're going about their business as usual, although their thoughts are different. When they're riding the tube, they're looking around. They're looking at backpacks. They're looking at suspicious people. Also, apparently, these personal survival kits have sort of increased dramatically in sales. That's something we'll explore tomorrow.

So, there are changes here. But people say they are still trying to go about their normal business -- Paula.

ZAHN: Kelly Wallace, thanks so much.

And now that we've actually seen the bombs in black and white, what can we learn from them?

Well, here's our homeland security correspondent, Jeanne Meserve.


JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The terrible carnage in London, British police said, was caused by devices weighing less than 10 pounds, perhaps like this, one of 16 recovered from a car seized by investigators not long after the deadly July 7 bombings. According to a Scotland Yard document obtained by CNN, all 16 contained white peroxide-based explosive, a description consistent with the highly volatile TATP substance.

MALCOLM BRADY, FORMER BATF AGENT: It's readily made from materials that's available at all your stores. It can be composed in the bathtub and compacted and used. And it's historically been used by suicide bombers.

MESERVE: To most of us, this X-ray of one of the recovered devices is simply a ghostly, ghastly image. But for a forensics expert, it's a gold mine.

GEORGE BOURIES, FORMER FBI EXPLOSIVES EXPERT: The devices themselves are basically low-tech, kind of simple devices, not at the high, more complicated design of IEDs, with, say, you know, remote- control detonation or something like that.

MESERVE: In the X-ray, experts can make out a blasting cap surrounded by the explosive charge, with a loop on top which appears to be a switching or safety device. The only thing missing, a battery. But the most notable feature, the nails, carefully positioned up and down the sides, possibly held in place with clear plastic wrap.

BRADY: They look like tacks often used for carpet tacks. And those are made for one reason. Those are anti-personnel devices. They're made and intended for the purpose of killing people or at least damaging and maiming them.

MESERVE: According to the Scotland Yard document, four improvised detonators were also found in the car, along with four devices consisting of plastic boxes wrapped in plastic electrical tape, two devices with fuses which could be lit with a match, and four explosive-filled plastic containers with orange lids. They had no visible means of detonation.

Forensic experts also examined a photo of a device recovered after the bombing attempts of July 21st, sitting next to it, what appears to be a nine-volt battery. Malcolm Brady believes the yellow material in the photo is, again, TATP, perhaps too old for the device to have detonated properly.

BRADY: What I've seen, there's a common -- there's a common design; there's a common explosive material; there's a common detonation effect of it. So, there's a lot of commonality there that will take us back to the same people again. MESERVE: But former FBI forensics expert George Bouries thinks the yellow material could be foam used by authorities to disable the device.

Forensic examiners in Britain will examine the actual devices, of course, perhaps lifting fingerprints, even DNA, doing chemical analyses, hoping the bombs will lead them to the person or people who made them.


ZAHN: An awful lot of work still to be done, Jeanne Meserve reporting for us tonight.

Coming up, fighting back against a different kind of criminal, the ones who steal our credit card numbers.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, it's a kind of a message for the hackers that, hey, we're not going to stand for this.


ZAHN: So, we're setting a high-tech trap. Will anybody fall in?

Also, a new study's verdict on one of the most popular cold remedies you can buy. Does echinacea work, or Echinacea-Goldenseal?

Find out. Stay with us.


ZAHN: Still ahead tonight, does this stuff, echinacea, help cold sufferers? We have the results of brand-new study. Those results might surprise you. I know they did me. I take the stuff.

Also, more on the raging controversy over sexual identity. We're going to take you inside a religious camp that is supposed to make gay teenagers go straight. Does it work?

But, first, it's just about 18 minutes past the hour. Time for Erica Hill at Headline News to check the other top stories of the night.

Hi, Erica.


ZAHN: We actually decided to welcome you back, even though you destroyed the mystery of one of our stories last night.

HILL: I know I did.


ZAHN: Twenty minutes prematurely.

HILL: I still feel bad about it, so thanks.

ZAHN: You owe us one.


HILL: I do owe you guys one.

All right, well, I'll try not to ruin any of these stories for you.

We do have some more news tonight about the skin of the shuttle Discovery. NASA says a small piece of foam may have hit the shuttle wing during liftoff. But it doesn't appear to have caused any damage. The spacecraft did a first-of-its-kind backflip today for cameras on board of the International Space Shuttle. Now, that maneuver will give NASA a closeup look at the shuttle's skin. So far, they see nothing that is cause for major concern.

Then, moments later, the shuttle astronauts were welcomed aboard the orbiting station, where they will spend a week bringing in supplies. Still, future shuttle missions are on hold until NASA figures out how to keep foam from breaking off a fuel tank during launch.

In Fort Worth, Texas, a spectacular fire roars through a chemical plant, where several hazardous materials were stored. Explosions continue to rock the Valley Solvents plant in Fort Worth, as the fires spread. Some injuries have been reported. Amazingly, though, they are all described as minor.

A fiery insurgent attack in Iraq. A bomb on the tracks ignites a train of tank cars carrying fuel. At least two people were killed. Meantime, elsewhere, insurgent attacks on checkpoints killed six Iraqi soldiers. Well, the U.S. says laser-guided airstrikes killed nine insurgents in their hideout.

And donations finally coming in now for victims of a catastrophic famine in Niger. The U.N. reports $13 million has been pledged, most of it since the Live 8 concerts and the G8 Summit focused on African poverty. The U.N. says 1.2 million people, most of them children, face immediate starvation in Niger. The country is reeling from a locus invasion and then a drought.

And, Paula, that is the latest at this hour from Headline News. We'll be back in just a little bit with more for you.

ZAHN: Thanks, Erica. Appreciate it. See you a little bit later on.

And we want you all to stay with us, because we're about to set a trap for some identity thieves.


CLEMENTS: We're creating an environment where they can come and put in their freshly hacked credit cards. And we can track them.


ZAHN: So, the question is, will anyone take our bait? Just wait until you see the shocking results.

And then, a little bit later on, can gay teens really be turned straight? We're going to take you inside one controversial minister's conversion camp and find out firsthand from one of our guests whether it works or not.


ZAHN: So, when someone steals your credit card numbers, it can cost you weeks, months, even years of effort trying to regain your identity, not to mention a lot of money. And if it has ever happened to you or someone you know, I think you will be very interested to see how one man is trying to turn the tables on I.D. thieves.

Here's technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg.


DANIEL SIEBERG, CNN TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a sting operation to track down identity thieves. Dan Clements of shows us the bait.

DAN CLEMENTS, CARD COPS.COM: What we have done is, we have built a fake Web site called in hopes of luring the hackers here.

SIEBERG: For five years, Dan has been a fly on the wall in underground chat rooms, virtual black markets Where hackers sell what they steal, your personal profiles and credit card numbers.

He makes his living by selling lists of stolen cards to merchants and consumers to fight fraud. Dan's latest plan is to design a fake retail site and trick the hackers into making purchases with stolen card numbers.

CLEMENTS: We're actually going fishing here for the hackers. We're creating an environment where they can come and put in their freshly hacked credit cards. And we can track them. We see where they're coming from. And then, when we ship boxers, we're going to track them.

SIEBERG: Hackers break into computer systems both online and at brick-and-mortar stores and steal credit card numbers. Then they look for places to spend your money, online merchants who don't ask a lot of questions. Dan is setting up a fake site that fits the profile and it looks like a real retailer. comes complete with products and prices and even company job postings.

CLEMENTS: If we come down here, we have a job, an actual gaming job for an engineer. So it looks like it's real.

SIEBERG: And it even has a help desk number.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, you have reached Gamer Discounts. We're sorry we can't take your call right now.

SIEBERG: With his fake site up and running, Dan says it's time to go fishing for I.D. thieves. To do that, team member Mike assumes a covert identity in the chat rooms, a trusted nickname which we can't show you.

MIKE BROWN, CARDCOPS.COM: we're going to say things like, this site, Gamer Discounts, is easy to card. They have low security, limited security. Very easy to order things. It's easy to bait and switch the address on them.

SIEBERG: The whole point, remember, is to convince hackers that it's safe to use their stolen credit card numbers to order merchandise from Dan's fake Web site. Then it's wait and see if anything takes the bait; 24 hours later, Dan checks the net to see what he has caught. It's a global assortment.

CLEMENTS: Germany, Rumania, Rumania, Morocco, Indonesia and Australia. So, we have people from all over the world. It's 32 countries came to this site since last night.

SIEBERG (on camera): What does that tell you exactly?

CLEMENTS: It tells us that, you know, Americans are suffering identity theft at the hands of people from international countries.

SIEBERG: And the only way that these people could have known about the site is through the chat room?

CLEMENTS: Yes. We started letting the chat room know that Gamer Discounts was online last night. So, the only activity is international activity. And these are bad, bad people.

SIEBERG (voice-over): A man claiming to be David Rome places an order for $1,200 worth of computer equipment to be shipped all the way to Indonesia. The problem is, David lives in Massachusetts.

CLEMENTS: We're going to call this person that an order was placed at Gamer Discounts. His name is David. And we're going to call him and inform him that we have got his credit card on our Web site.

DAVID ROME, IDENTITY THEFT VICTIM: I received a phone call. And, as a result of that, I thought that he was trying to commit some sort of fraud or was phony.

SIEBERG: The real David Rome in Massachusetts didn't know someone in Indonesia was trying to order goods with his stolen credit card number. He's understandably suspicious of Dan's message, but a little research confirms Dan's credentials. And David is thrilled that someone out there is trying to catch a thief.

ROME: The cyber-fraud that is out is so new and so persuasive that, to be able to set something up whereby you could snare people is very important today.

SIEBERG: We talked to Scott Nelson, a consultant and former FBI agent, about the growing problem of identity theft.

SCOTT NELSON, FORMER FBI AGENT: Well, the challenge is huge, because the victim could be in L.A. County or Omaha, Nebraska. The so-called perp, perpetrator, the subject, could be in Morocco. And that means, to catch that guy, it requires cooperation through a number of different agencies. So it's very difficult.

SIEBERG: Jurisdictional issues aside, Dan is on a mission to track down at least thief all by himself and hopes to send a message to him that he can be caught.,

Dan doesn't fill the order to Indonesia. It would be difficult to trace all the way there. But he decides to ship to another thief here in states. It's an order for two PlayStations, $350 worth of merchandise, placed on with another stolen card. The first item he sends out is a cell phone, the bonus gift that was promised on the Gamer Discounts site. But there's a twist.

CLEMENTS: We have a GPS tracking cell phone, which will track this order and will show us the movements of where this order goes. So, once the thief opens the box, he's going to see the GPS phone and he will be tracked.

SIEBERG: With the first package on its way, we can track the phone's whereabouts online. The box arrives at this medical building in Dallas and ends up near this busy intersection of a residential neighborhood across town.

But Dan and his team can't bust down doors, even though they may have discover where the suspect lives. But they do turn over evidence to authorities. So far, however, we don't know if any action has been taken against Dan's suspect.

Even though Dan can't slap on the cuffs, our story isn't over just yet. He ships a second package to the same alleged credit card thief in Dallas. It's supposed to be the two PlayStations purchased with a stolen card. But, instead:

CLEMENTS: We're packing the box. And we're going to ship this box to Dallas today on one of these fraudulent orders. And in the box, we're going to put catch me if I can, which is a little of a goon for the thieves to let them know that e-commerce is coming. We also have a book, the best identify theft book, written by Bob Sullivan. We're going to put that in there.

So, it's kind of a message for the hackers that, hey,we're not going to stand for this. It's kind of a shot over the bow that e- commerce is not going to put up with this stuff anymore, that we're coming. We're fighting back.

SIEBERG: Mission accomplished, sort of, a poke in the eye for at least identity thief and a bit of satisfaction that at least one plot by one hacker was foiled. (END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And that was Daniel Sieberg, who showed us how that all came to be.

According to a survey out this week by the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, close to one third of identity theft victims they talked with have never been able to completely resolve the problems those same thieves caused.

In a minute, we're going to take you inside a controversial religious camp, its aim, to make gay teenagers go straight.


REV. JOHN SMID, LOVE IN ACTION: Our goal is to help teenagers discover a way to live in sexual self-control.


ZAHN: So does it work? We're going to take you inside the conversion process next. And you will meet a man who has been through it himself.


ZAHN: Welcome back. Last night we met a gay teenager whose parents sent him to a religious program to turn him straight. It's a fascinating and controversial subject. So we want to continue now with part two of our report. Here's Deborah Feyerick.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Last summer, Ben Marshall's parents told him he was going to camp. It didn't go over well.

BEN MARSHALL, LOVE IN ACTION GRADUATE: I was just so angry that my parents were accepting who I thought I was. And that they were sending me to get fixed. I told all my friends they were sending me to straight camp.

FEYERICK: The program is called Refuge. It claims to help gay and lesbian teens turn away from homosexuality and what it calls other addictive behaviors.

SMID: My hope is that people will realize through Christ you absolutely can find the victory to say no to those temptations.

FEYERICK: Reverend John Smid says he renounced his own homosexuality two decades ago. He claims the program is not about curing or converting, it's about choices he believes teenagers can make.

SMID: Our goal is to help teenagers to discover a way to live in sexual self-control. FEYERICK: The teens are cut off, isolated from everyone who's not in the program. When they do go out, they travel in groups of threes.

SMID: Father, I just pray for these men Lord, that --

FEYERICK: As in the adult program, the teens study Bible. A lot of passages dealing with what's described as sexual immortality. There's also group therapy where teens talk about their parents and their sexual experiences. Everyone keeps a journal, what the program calls moral inventories.

MARSHALL: That was one thing, one of the recurring assignments that they gave me was, tell me who you are, tell me about yourself, and I couldn't answer those questions.

FEYERICK: Refuge is not a registered mental health clinic. Only one counselor is licensed. Mainstream psychiatrists oppose conversion treatment.

DR. JACK DRESCHER, AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSN: There are people who have tried to commit suicide because the treatments didn't work.

FEYERICK: Dr. Jack Drescher is an expert on psychoanalysis and homosexuality.

DRESCHER: Religious people who are struggling with homosexual feelings are a very desperate patient population. These people are in a lot of pain. And they are desperate. And this movement is praying off that desperation.

FEYERICK: Brandon Tidwell, an Evangelical Christian, says he was one of those people desperate to have what he calls a straight lifestyle. He spent three months at the adult program.

BRANDON TIDWELL, LOVE IN ACTION GRADUATE: They are creating an unrealistic environment which then creates an unrealistic hope for their participants that they can live their lives like that outside of those four walls. And it's just not a reality.

FEYERICK: Rather than deny his homosexuality, Tidwell embraced it. He says two other friends he met at the program did the same. They are also gay. Aren't some of the young men afraid that once they leave here, they're not going to be in a safe environment, they're going to be exposed to temptation?

SMID: Yes, when men leave here I think that's one of the biggest awareness they have, is that the world that they're going back to can be a dangerous place.

FEYERICK: Twenty four teenagers have gone through the program since it began three years ago. Reverend Smid says he doesn't know how many of them have straightened out. Yet for now, one of them seems to be Ben Marshall. He stayed with the program for eight months and has now joined a church group. He says he no longer lusts after men as much as he used to. Did they fix you? Did it fix you? MARSHALL: Not by the standards that I was thinking. I was thinking their goal was to make me come out on the other side lusting towards women. I was going to be epitome of straight. I was going to be the big burly athlete. I thought they were going to totally try to change who I was. And they didn't. I guess it fixed me, yes. I mean, I'm happy where I am.


ZAHN: And that was Deborah Feyerick taking us inside the process. Joining me now is Gerard Wellman, who last year went through a similar program for adults. He now works for Love In Action International, which runs the Refuge program -- Refugee or Refuge, whatever you want to call it. Let me ask you this, you have been through this programs that we just said, and yet you still fantasize about men. You think about men. So how can you tell us tonight that's successful conversion?

GERARD WELLMAN, LOVE IN ACTION INTERNATIONAL: Well it's not about the temptation. It's about behavior. It's entirely about behavior. It's about adjusting behavior, for me, it was adjusting my behavior to fit my faith.

ZAHN: So all you're reality doing then is suppressing your natural instinct?

WELLMAN: Right. Absolutely.

ZAHN: SO what do you consider yourself?

WELLMAN: What do I consider myself? I considered myself someone who struggles with homosexuality. A Christian who struggles with homosexuality.

ZAHN: And do you think that will last your lifetime?

WELLMAN: Probably.

ZAHN: So you don't think these programs could ever effectively do anything other than suppress what you think is a natural --

WELLMAN: Absolutely not. Absolutely, I agree. But the interesting thing is that programs don't claim to change desires. Our program claims to change behavior. And that is where the success is that I found.

ZAHN: In spite of what you're saying, you no doubt know that the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association, both condemn this conversion therapy. And the biggest problem they have with it is they say that the therapy assumes that homosexuality is a mental disorder. Is that the way you see it.

WELLMAN: Well that is an interesting point. What I'd like to clarify is that there's hundreds of thousands of people out there just like me. Who -- before entering the program, I was involved in homosexual behavior that did not fit what I wanted for my life. At that time, I felt desperate and hopeless and lonely. And I think society forgets about those people. And so if any program can help align my behavior with my faith, that's a good program.

ZAHN: And yet we just heard the psychiatrist in Deborah's piece saying that those people who are lonely, those people who feel discriminated against, who are pushed through these conversion programs, often end up feeling more desperate, and in some cases even suicidal. Do you acknowledge tonight that that can be an end result of this type of therapy?

WELLMAN: I think change is definitely possible for people that desire it. People who do not desire it I do not think there's a high likelihood of change, if they don't desire it. People who do desire it do change. And at the end they often report, as we saw in the video, feeling much more happy, that's been my experience. Much more happy, much more contented, because their behavior is aligning with their faith./

ZAHN: But in a way, aren't you denying who you are?

WELLMAN: Aren't we all. I mean don't we all have desires. I mean every married man out there that has heterosexual fantasies does not act on them out of obedience or respect to his wife. It's the exact same scenario.

ZAHN: Once again, though, the criticism of this is you're taking a population of kids, whose sexual identity in some cases probably isn't yet fully informed...

WELLMAN: Absolutely not. Absolutely not.

ZAHN: You're forcing them into which is a different situation, and when you're going through this program, in the 20s. Do you understand the vulnerability of these kids?

WELLMAN: In that regard...

ZAHN: ... and the potential long-term damaging consequences of this type of therapy?

WELLMAN: I don't acknowledge that. Because what we are doing, we are respecting the parents' responsibility to raise their children as they see fit. It's the same thing as music lessons, for instance. Should parents not be allowed to enroll their children in music lessons? Of course not. It's the parents' responsibility to raise their children as they see fit. And what we're dealing with, we are dealing with teens that are reporting by the hundreds to us, in exodus, feelings of suicidal thoughts, desperation, loneliness, and we are helping those teens.

ZAHN: But you know, the critics out there saying, wait a minute, you know, music lessons aren't going to lead to suicide. You know, that's not a fair analogy to make it all...

WELLMAN: Well, it's an interesting point, but there are no studies that show that suicide is a result... ZAHN: And there are probably no studies too that point to any hard-core evidence that this stuff works.

Very brief answer to this: Do you think these programs promote homophobia?

WELLMAN: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. There is no question in my mind that that is not the case. If anything, it's the exact opposite. Entire exact opposite.

ZAHN: Yeah, I'm sure you've heard from some of those people on Web sites who feel quite the opposite. So there is a lot to debate here, on both sides.

WELLMAN: Oh, there certainly is. The debate is not over.

ZAHN: All right, Gerard, thanks for traveling here tonight.

WELLMAN: Sure thing.

ZAHN: Appreciate your time.

WELLMAN: Sure thing.

ZAHN: Coming up next, we change our focus dramatically -- a cold remedy millions swear by.


LISA GEORGETTI, INTEGRAL YOGA NATURAL APOTHECARY: I always have people coming back, going, oh, this was great; oh, I'm getting more for my cousin, I'm getting more for my mother.


ZAHN: So, does echinacea really cure what ails you? Does it help it all? Yet another debate to stay on top of. Stay tuned.


ZAHN: All right. Someone's got to do it. I hate to burst your bubble, but if you've been taking the herbal remedy echinacea for head colds, the latest research says it doesn't work.

The new study, paid for by the federal government, found that echinacea didn't stop people from catching colds and did nothing to relieve the symptoms once you got the cold. It's a big deal, because people are spending $300 millions a year on this stuff. Here's medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's amazing how much passion one little herb can induce.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love echinacea. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sometimes a great miracle drug.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have faith in it and I believe that it helped me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it works. I've taken it a lot over the years.

DR. JEROME KASSIRER, TUFTS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: I think they're being hoodwinked. I think they're being duped.

COHEN: Many people swear by echinacea to prevent and treat colds. So the new study published in one of the world's most prestigious medical journals, saying it simply doesn't work, has shocked those who love echinacea.

LISA GEORGETTI, INTEGRAL YOGA NATURAL APOTHECARY: I always have people coming back, going, oh, this was great; oh, I'm getting more for my cousin, I'm getting more for my mother.

COHEN: Dr. Jerome Kassirer at Tufts University wasn't surprised by the study's results.

KASSIRER: Oh, I think the idea that we're spending $7 billion a year on these worthless supplements is a phenomenon, a phenomenal waste of money.

COHEN: Even with the new study, that view is not universal.

DR. MARY JO DIMILIA, MT. SINAI HOSPITAL: Some of my patients have actually not gotten sick because they went on it early enough. And some of them, you know, swear by it. They start to get sick, they take echinacea. And as soon as they start it, they are feeling better.

COHEN: Many who favor herbal remedies say the echinacea study was done with doses so low, it never would have worked, and say the doctors who did the study are giving herbal medicines a bad name.

DIMILIA: Unfortunately, for people who maybe never tried an herb or a vitamin, they're going to have a closed opinion.

COHEN: But a large part of the medical community wonders why people use a lot of these products in the first place, given that makers of dietary supplements don't have to prove their products work before they're put on the market.

KASSIRER: The fact is, that the manufacturers of the herbs have to prove nothing.


ZAHN: All right. In the interest of full disclosure, Elizabeth Cohen, I have been using this stuff for years, echinacea, echinacea golden seal, tea at night that's called echinacea sleepy time and all that other stuff. So what am I, just a loser? COHEN: Well, I'll have to ask some doctors that. I'll say, "Is Paula Zahn a loser," and I'll tell you tomorrow, Paula, what they said.

But in all seriousness, the doctors who we talked to said, look, this study found that there were no side effects of echinacea. So if you use it and you feel that it works for you, you can go ahead and continue using it, according to the doctors we spoke to. And in fact, Dr. Kassirer, who you saw in our piece, who definitely thinks that echinacea doesn't work, he says his son had a cold recently, and said, "Dad, should I take echinacea?" And Dr. Kassirer said to him, "Sure, go ahead and take it. Your cold should go away in about seven days. And if you don't take it, it should go away in about a week." So that was his advice.

ZAHN: So how did they go about testing this stuff?

COHEN: Well, the way that they went about testing to see whether or not it worked in this particular study was very interesting. They took several hundred people, and they actually dripped a cold virus into their nose. And then they sequestered them in a hotel for five days, to see if they developed any cold symptoms. And some of those folks were given echinacea before they had the virus dripped into their nose, some were given echinacea after, and some were given a placebo. So this was what's called a controlled study, which is considered the gold standard in medicine.

And what they found is that it didn't make a difference in the symptoms, and it didn't make a difference when they looked on the inside of their nose to see what that virus was doing.

ZAHN: Well, I don't know what herbal supplement to turn to next. Elizabeth Cohen. But we should make this very clear once again, because herbal supplements aren't regulated, there is no testing process before they hit the shelf. Thanks for the advice. Trying to think of how many countless hundreds of dollars I have spent on that stuff over the years. Oh, well.

Still ahead, a story with some teeth in it. The way you could smile like Julia Roberts or even Gwyneth Paltrow. Want to put someone's else's smile on your face? We've got snap-on celebrity smiles. Yes, people are paying for these. Coming right up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) * ZAHN: We're moving up on just about nine minutes before the hour. Time for another quick update of the top stories from Erica Hill at Headline News -- Erica.

HILL: Thank, Paula.

A report tonight on the mental health of U.S. troops returning from Iraq. Nearly a third of them are suffering from stress related problems such as nightmares and depression within three or four months of coming home. Now, that report comes from the Army surgeon general. A small percentage suffer the more serious disorder known as posttraumatic stress syndrome.

The White House say Iran's president-elect was indeed one of the leaders of the student movement that took over the U.S. embassy in 1979, but, the White House says, it is not certain whether hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was actually one of the hostage takers. Six of the American hostages have pegged him from pictures as one of the militants who held them capitve. Ahmadinejad denies any role in storming the embassy and holding hostages.

Record monsoon rains sweep India causing flooding that has claimed some 500 lives. Streets have been swamped in Mumbai while people fair worse in shanty towns and remote villages. In the latest tragedy, at least 16 people died in a stampede touched off by rumors that a dam had burst. Terrible what's happening over there.

Paula, that's the latest from Headline News right now. We'll hand it back over to you.

ZAHN: Thank you so much, Erica. Appreciate it.

Moving up on seven minutes before the hour, the top of the hour, Larry King will be joining us. He's going to give us a preview right now. Hi, Larry.

LARRY KING, HOST, LARRY KING LIVE: Hi, Paula. I love the look. I like that.

ZAHN: You do?

KING: Yeah.

ZAHN: Well, your beloved city is very hot right now. You probably forget that now that you're enjoying that Hollywood life with ocean breezes and stuff.

KING: I like the look. It's nice here.

ZAHN: It's yucky outside.

KING: It was hot today. It was 79. Anyway, we're going to get an update on Aruba, Paula. And, we're going to have Hulk Hogan and his family. They've got that hit reality series on VH1. The Hulkster and the Hogans themselves will all be here. And we'll get an update from Aruba to begin things all at the top of the hour, following the wonderful, talented, lovely Paula Zahn.

ZAHN: Thank you. Almost sounded like a vicman (ph) there Larry King. See you at the top of the hour.

During the break, find a mirror and smile real big. If you don't like what you see, don't worry. You can put on someone else's teeth.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They look good without them.


ZAHN: Jeanne Moos has a story you can really sink your teeth into -- oh, those are not working for you Jeanne, sorry.

The story coming up next.


ZAHN: So, do your teeth need a makeover? Well, as Jeanne Moos discovered, it's a snap.


MOOS (voice-over): Dentures are dated. The latest thing is the snap-on smile. And not just anybody's smile.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah. These are Gwenyth.

MOOS: Gwenyth as in Paltrow. Can you see the toothy resemblance? Or maybe you'd prefer the Sarah Jessica, as in Sarah Jessica Parker. Or the Julia, as in Julia Roberts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're like horse teeth, almost, on me.

MOOS: Danielle King's own teeth are smallish. The snap-on can be made to fit on almost anybody. Check out the before and afters.

You say she's missing three teeth?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She has three teeth...

MOOS: New York dentist Dr. Mark Leichtung doesn't just make snap-on teeth, he wears them to get a feel of the device he patented. A set like this might set you back for over $1,000. They're for people who don't want to spend, say $20,000 on veneers. Or maybe they want them for a special occasion.

JENNIFER VASQUEZ, SNAP-ON SMILE WEARER: It was definitely a financial thing. I'm getting married.

MOOS: There's her ring. Jen Vasquez will have the snap-ons for the perfect smile in her wedding pictures. Though when she reveals her actual teeth.

(on camera): They look good without them.


MOOS (voice-over): It takes just two appointments to get snap- ons. They make a mold. The snap-on cling to the tiny bulges in your teeth.

DR. MARC LEICHTUNG, DENTIST: And it doesn't move. I've never had a case where it moved or fell out.

MOOS: Never? LEICHTUNG: Never.

(voice-over): Jen can eat soft food and chew gum. The latest design, made out of a more flexible resin with cut out windows enables you to eat regular food. You just take them out when you sleep like contact lenses.

(on camera): You can't exchange them? Like I couldn't put on your teeth or anything like that?

LEICHTUNG: No. You couldn't put on my teeth.

MOOS (voice-over): At the New York Center of Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Jeff Golub-Evans (ph) concentrates on replicating celebrity smiles.

DR. JEFF GOLUB-EVANS, COSMETIC DENTIST: A good smile has become a fashion accessory and a great smile has become a fashion statement.

MOOS: Though the Sarah Jessicas and the Julias and the Gwenyths are easy to mix up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These are mixed up. No wonder why I didn't like the way these looked on me.

MOOS: Dr. Golub-Evans even made snap-ons for a woman in her 80s who asked for Kim Catrall's smile.

GOLUB-EVANS: Bless her heart. What she wants is to have nice teeth on Sunday when she goes to church.

MOOS: But be prepared to lisp until your tongue adapts.

Dr. Golub-Evans used to make snap-on for actors when they needed bad teeth. A snap-on smile reminds us of Halloween, Billy-bob teeth and even Billy-bob gums. Whitney Casey never leaves home without a set of bad teeth in her make-up kit.

WHITNEY CASEY, OWNS FAKE BAD TEETH: No guy is going to date you with these teeth in.

MOOS: When overly aggressive guys hit on her, she puts them in. We both did.

(on camera): We should try walking down the street.

(voice-over): Prepare for sneak peeks. If you want to wipe a smile off a guy's face, try this.

CASEY: Hello lover.


ZAHN: Thank you Jeanne Moos. The most requested snap-on smile for guys is Tom Cruise, for women Halle Berry.

Thanks so much for joining us tonight. See you tomorrow night.


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