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Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

Discussion in 'Jett Travolta' started by whoever, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. whoever Member

    Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    Kim Masters at the Daily Beast has written an article on the whole Travolta deal. Lots of Tory Christman in it, also some Claire Headley. (Sorry if this has been posted...I searched but didn't see it.)

    Travolta's Scientology Turning Point? - Page 1 - The Daily Beast


    The actor’s public acknowledgement that his son, who died in January, was autistic has former Scientologists convinced that he will leave the church—which they say has little tolerance for chronic conditions.

    When John Travolta took the witness stand last week and testified that his late son, Jett, was autistic, it came as a grim relief to some former Scientologists.

    “Wasn’t that amazing?” said a fallen-away church member after Travolta appeared in an extortion case that followed the death of his 16-year-old son last January. “I thought, ‘Good for him.’ He denied it for years. It’s really important that he says it.”

    When Jett died after suffering a seizure, some former Scientologists pointed the finger at the church. Until now, his parents had said their son’s illness was a syndrome caused by exposure to chemicals. Some ex-Scientologists—apostates, as the church would have it—believe Jett may have been deprived of appropriate treatment for years because of the church’s teachings. And they think that if Travolta comes to terms with his son’s diagnosis, the church eventually will lose one of its most high-profile members.

    “My hope for him is that he starts looking” at what really happened, says Tory Christman, an outspoken Scientology critic who left after more than 30 years in the organization. At one time, Christman says she helped train Travolta in Scientology. Now she believes that if he weighs the facts, “he’ll reach the right decision... And he’s a guy who could really make a difference.”

    Travolta’s spokesman declined to comment. Tommy Davis, a spokesman for Scientology, denounced Christman and other former Scientologists who are critical of the church as “liars,” adding, “It’s a horrific, horrific thing for these people to take the tragic death of a young boy and try to turn it on his parents’ religion.”

    Davis has said repeatedly that Scientology accepts treatment of and medication for physical illnesses. But Christman, who is epileptic, says the institution has little tolerance for chronic conditions. In Scientology, she says, such illnesses are seen as the product of “covert hostility” and a failure to follow church procedures. Christman says she kept her epilepsy as much to herself as possible when she was still in the church because otherwise she would have been “considered degraded.”

    Christman says Scientology pushed her to stop her medication and use vitamins and supplements instead. The first time she cut back on her medications, she had a grand mal seizure in her bathroom and knocked out her front teeth. She says she resumed her medication but tried to stop again in the face of continued objections from the church—and again faced disastrous results. Though the church eventually backed down, she says she doesn’t think her victory was widespread or lasting. “I fought ’em all the way,” she says. But her actions only “fixed it for me and a bunch of other people who were there at that time,” she says.

    Davis denies that chronic illness creates a stigma in Scientology and that Christman was ever pressured to stop her medication. As for her description of Scientology’s position on chronic illness, he says, “We could pick and choose isolated sentences, phrases from L. Ron Hubbard’s books and make them sound weird, and I’m not going to go there.” He does acknowledge that in Scientology, “We consider that you alone are responsible for the condition that you’re in.” But he also insists that the church requires members to seek treatment from doctors for “physical” illnesses.

    Former Scientologists say autism would have created issues in Scientology not only because it’s chronic and not obviously “physical” but because it is often assessed by psychologists and treated with the types of mood-stabilizing drugs that Scientology opposes. Jett’s mother, Kelly Preston, has acted as a spokeswoman for the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a Scientology offshoot dedicated to waging war on psychiatry and the use of psychiatric drugs. (The group’s homepage is illustrated with a cell door labeled “Psychiatry… An Industry of Death.” While the group’s Web site refers to autism as a “physical handicap,” Scientology has battled the use of medications for conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. (Davis does not acknowledge that these conditions exist.)

    Travolta and his wife long said publicly that their son suffered from Kawasaki disease, a rare condition that causes arterial inflammation. “With my son I was obsessive about cleaning—his space being clean, so we constantly had the carpets cleaned,” Travolta told CNN in 2001. “And I think, between him, the fumes and walking around, maybe picking up pieces or something, he got...Kawasaki syndrome.”

    A couple of years later, Preston recounted a similar story to Montel Williams, adding, “We don’t have any chemicals in the house. We’re 90 percent organic, though there’s some canned foods, a little bit of junk food here and there.” She credited a Scientology detoxification program with improving Jett’s condition.

    But to many observers, Jett’s autism seemed obvious. And John Travolta’s brother, Joey, has worked with autistic children and produced a documentary about the syndrome. Joey Travolta has never indicated that his involvement with autism was linked to his nephew’s condition, but soon after Jett’s death, the London Mirror reported that Joey frequently argued with his brother about Jett’s diagnosis. (Joey Travolta did not respond to an inquiry from The Daily Beast.)

    It does not appear that Jett received the early intervention recommended for autistic children. But perhaps he was, at some point, given medication. After his death, a Travolta family lawyer told the Web site TMZ.com that Jett had taken the anti-seizure and mood-stabilizing medication Depakote for several years and had found it effective in reducing the frequency of his seizures from about once in four days to once in three weeks. But the attorney said the medication was discontinued (in consultation with neurosurgeons) because it had stopped working.

    I asked James McCracken, a professor of child psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine, about protocols for treating seizures in autistic children. (McCracken spoke in general terms, not specifically about any individual.) He said patients don’t ordinarily build up a tolerance for Depakote, so the medication doesn’t usually lose effectiveness. If the medication did not work, a doctor would generally try another. “Typically a neurologist would cycle through two, three, four anticonvulsants and then start working with combinations of them” to control seizures, he said.

    Former Scientologist Claire Headley was raised in Scientology and worked in its internal affairs office from the time she was 16 until she left the organization five years ago. (She is now suing for labor law violations, alleging that she was paid $46 a week.) In her experience, she says, the church opposed the use of any medication considered to be a psychiatric drug. She says that as far as she knows, the only approved approaches to Jett’s issues were “assists and objective processing.” Objective processing, according to Headley, involves trying to put individuals “in touch with their environment—like, ‘Look at that wall. Thank you. Turn around. Thank you. Put your hands against mine.’ ”

    Assists are meant “to get somebody in communication with their body,” she says. “Like a touch assist—‘Feel my finger. Feel my finger’—all over a person’s body.” That is similar to the process Travolta himself performed on director Randal Kleiser when they were working on the 1978 film Grease. After Kleiser cut his foot and developed a fever, “John came to my trailer to do a healing,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “He took his finger and pushed it into my arm and said, ‘Do you feel my finger? ’ and I said ‘Yes,’ and then he’d move it an inch and say, ‘Do you feel my finger? ’ He did this for about an hour. Here was the star of the movie helping me, so I didn’t criticize. The next day, though, my fever was gone.”

    Clearly, Travolta is devastated that he could not save the son to whom he was, by all accounts, devoted. But Tory Christman says she believes that he has an opportunity to save others. “I feel really bad for him,” she says. “But I just don’t want him to be used by the church. It’s horrible he lost his son but—change something. He’s a guy who could really make a difference.”

    But Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis calls Christman’s comments “disgusting,” adding, “This religion is utterly and completely about helping. It’s just insane to think that Scientology would be a factor in somebody not getting all the help they need.”

    _______________________________

    UPDATE

    The article went "404", then returned with the following amendment:
    Strike = old
    Bold = new

  2. Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    insane being the operative
  3. xenubarb Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    This is a keeper!
  4. humphrey Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    How exactly would you 'make them sound weird'? Donald Duck voice?
  5. PagAnon Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    No, just by having the original LRH audio. Also, I think Mr. Davis needs to be reminded of someone by the name of Lisa McPherson. [sarcasm] She was REALLY helped by the cult![/sarcasm]
  6. Anonymous Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    it might also be added, that gay people are gay for a reason - they shouldn't have kids

    mother nature knows best - not scientology
  7. PagAnon Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    [sarcasm] Because straight parents do a MUCH better job than gay parents! [/sarcasm]
  8. Anonymous Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?


    You don't even need to go that far. Just uttering them to wogs is enough, notice TD doesn't! Suppose even just simple reading comprehension is enough. Note scientology is completely against such blasphemy as comprehension!
  9. Anonymous Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    genetic deforms
  10. Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?



    "Me and your mom have been noticing lately That you've been having a lot of problems You've been going off for no reason and we're afraid You're gonna hurt somebody We're afraid you're gonna hurt yourself. So we decided that it would be in your interest If we put you somewhere Where you could get the help that you need."

    "And I go, Wait, what are you talking about, we decided My best interest, how can you know what's my best interest is? How can you say what my best interest is? What are you trying to say, I'm crazy? When I went to your schools, I went to your churches I went to your institutional learning facilities? So how can you say I'm crazy?
    "




    "All I want is a Pepsi and she wouldn't give it to me All I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi And she wouldn't give it to me, just a Pepsi."
    [IMG]
  11. PagAnon Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    The inability of same sex couples to reproduce prevents that :p
  12. POS Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    Real Science will change that soon.
  13. JohnnyRUClear Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    It's weird to see this now; it seems like the whole controversy about this came and went months ago. But, I've been immersed in it, while most people haven't, so perhaps....
  14. Optimisticate Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    404 error. Article gone.

    Odd.

    Or not.
  15. Anonymous Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    Just leave Travolta! No blackmail scientology has on you can ever be anything as bad as the loss of your son. The public does not believe them any more for the most part, and even those that may believe anything they release, they will be furious at scientology for doing this to you for making a choice. It is time to stand up and tell the truth about this organization. Your fans already love you and will love you no less no matter what scientology tells the world about you in anger. They will be the only ones who look like the bad guys here.
  16. Anonymous Member

  17. RightOn Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    Yeah Tommy... just ask the list of 710 people that have spoken out! Explain that one TOMMY!
  18. mojo Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    yep, it IS gone....oddly enough if you do a search for Scientology Turning Point it turns up a link...which then connects to the 404 error....the ugly beast of scientology meets the Daily Beast?
  19. RightOn Member

  20. Anonymous Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    Is Joey Travolta a Scifail too? It would be interesting to hear what he thinks about it if he isn't.
  21. whoever Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    He's not. And sure, it would be interesting. If he would ever choose to comment on it.
  22. Anonymous Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    He isn't. And it's easy to understand why he wouldn't comment: He is being respectful of his brother's ordeal, and respectful of his nephew's death.
  23. Anonymous Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    Perhaps Anonymous should try to get in touch with him. Tell him about what really happens in Scientology?
  24. Ann O'Nymous Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    A rather good article BTW.
  25. Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    OP updated with cache links.
  26. Anonymous Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    Fail idea. Of course he knows already.
  27. Anonymous Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    There's no harm in it. You go for it, Anon!
  28. XenuIsDaMan Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    For the love of Xenu, can't just one reporter look Tommy Davis square in the face, on camera, and ask: "Was Mr Travolta's son autistic? Does Scientology believe in Autism?"

    Then post the video. Whatever Tommy says will be news: either to the media, or to Scientologists.
  29. Anonymous Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    What part of "Joey Travolta did not respond to an inquiry from The Daily Beast" did you not understand? What moronic thinking process got you to conclude he would care to respond to a bunch of people he doesn't know, while he more than once refused to speak to media re. Jett Travolta's autism?
  30. EyeOnSci Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    Nice article.

    EyeOnSci
  31. timthephoto Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    you mean it WAS...

    wonder if nasty kendrick (my daughter An Hero'd to get away from me) Moxon had anything to do with it?
  32. conatus Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    [IMG]

    brb, going to hell.
  33. Belladonna Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    Just to beat a point into the ground, the score in the MSM for the past month is two articles yanked (Daily Beast *edit-restored with edits* & NY Daily News) and one investigative series torpedoed (CNN).
  34. Anonymous Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    Oh hai Fred Phelps!
  35. Anonymous Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    Meh. The suggestion wasn't to talk about Jett's autism, but about what's happening in scientology. I assumed the poster was talking about trying to contact John T. What moronic thinking process restrained you from considering other possible interpretations than yours?
  36. whoever Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    The article is back up now. I don't have time right this minute to compare them--I wonder if this one is different somehow....
  37. Belladonna Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    Interesting. An article on Movieline.com...

    So Is John Travolta Finally Done with Scientology? | Movieline

    ...has a live link to the Daily Beast article.

    Travolta's Scientology Turning Point? - The Daily Beast

    Yep, same link. The article went back up.
  38. Anonymous Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    The only part I've identified as changed below:

    Striked=old
    Bold=new

  39. Ann O'Nymous Member

    Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    Thanks.
  40. Re: Daily Beast: Travolta's Scientology Turning Point?

    Hopefully his handler, pushed on my sci-fag command after seeing all the negative press, tries to get travolta to make a statement endorsing scientology and that's the breaking point....

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