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Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

Discussion in 'Jett Travolta' started by JohnB2008, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. JohnB2008 Member

    Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    This is a great article from Rebecca:

    Skepchick: Critical Thinking at its Finest


    There’s currently a story getting big hits on Reddit, linking to the original post on Gawker: Time to Audit Scientology’s Anti-Medicine Stance - The tragic death of Travolta’s son could spell the end of Scientology, sci-fi author L. Ron Hubbard’s loopy, medicine-hating cult from the 1950s. (That’s the full link title on Reddit and the headline/first sentence of the Gawker story.) That’s a bittersweet statement, since it reports on the death of an innocent child but optimistically predicts the downfall of a dangerous cult. Unfortunately, it’s wrong.

    The Gawker article adequately sums up the mysteries surrounding the recent death of Jett Travolta, who suffered from an illness that some doctors suspect was autism, but which the Travoltas claimed was a rare condition called Kawasaki disease, supposedly contracted through exposure to household cleaners. The article does a good job giving the main points as to why this is all very fishy, but the most notable point is that Scientologists are very much opposed to proper medical treatment of any mental disorder, which has led to senseless deaths in the past. Considering that the Travoltas are affirmed Scientologists – as are the two people put in charge of the disabled son, neither of whom have any training in caring for disabled children – this can be considered a huge, very public black mark on the “religion.”

    Unfortunately, it won’t be enough.

    In 1952, Martin Gardner published his excellent skeptical tome Fads & Fallacies in the Name of Science in which there is a chapter called “Dianetics,” focusing on the “science of the mind” invented by L. Ron Hubbard. Gardner writes near the end of the chapter:

    At the time of this writing, the dianetics craze seems to have burned itself out as quickly as it caught fire, and Hubbard himself has become embroiled in a welter of personal troubles. In 1951, his third wife, twenty-five-year-old Sara Northrup Hubbard, sued him for divorce. She called him a “paranoid schizophrenic,” accused him of torturing her while she was pregnant, and stated that medical advisers had concluded Hubbard was “hopelessly insane.”

    He goes on to describe the Dianetic Foundation of Witchita declaring bankruptcy the following year, at which point Hubbard fled to Phoenix where he sold pseudoscientific gadgets and mailed out donation requests begging for followers to pay his living expenses.

    Little did Gardner realize, Hubbard was preparing at that time to transform his pseudoscience cult into a religious cult using the new keyword “Scientology.” Executives in his company became “ministers,” and offices became churches. The trick worked, and the popularity of the new Church exploded. Hubbard remarried again, and had a son named Quentin, who was homosexual and (possibly as a result) grew up to be deeply depressed. In accordance with the laws of Scientology, Quentin was sent to the church’s rehab instead of getting support for his sexual orientation and real psychiatric help for his depression. In 1974 he attempted suicide, and two years later he succeeded (more info in this Channel 4 biography). It was a very obvious and public tragedy that highlighted the dangers of Hubbard and his Church’s bigotry and rejection of psychiatry.

    Scientology has survived incredible amounts of bad publicity, including the deaths of people unknown and unloved, as well as the deaths of those in the spotlight. In the ’70s, Hubbard himself was the one shining star of his religion. Travolta may be the Church’s star these days, but he’s not the only one: Kirstie Alley, Jason Lee, that hot chick married to the fat guy on that one sitcom, and yes, even Tom Cruise, who’s slowly learning to come across as less of a whacko and do less obvious proselytizing, which could benefit both himself and the Churh. Those celebrities and many more are standing by, ready to distract you with their super-happy-perfect-clear-Scientologist lives. The worst part is that Scientology may not need the celebs to succeed. All they need is an unending supply of average Joes who are willing to spend what money they have on a phony chance at happiness.

  2. Consensus Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    An excellent article, and if it encourages the critic community to be aggressive and vigilant, I'm all for it. But the fact of the matter is the game has changed. The internet makes information much easier to find and verify. And now there's a massive, semi-organized critic movement.

    Tens of thousands of people have spent the last year compiling, analyzing and publicizing all available information about the cult. And that effort can be seen paying off with the current controversy - do you think the press would have been early as effective a year ago? Could they have found all the information on their own that was right here on this forum for anyone to find? Do you think they'd have had the balls to print it?

    We have already won the war against Scientology. They are failing, and there is no hope for them. We're starving the beast, bleeding it dry - but it takes a long time to starve a church worth 3.5 billion dollars. And the more pressure we put on them, the faster we get our lulz (and the fewer people suffer).
  3. TwilightAnon Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    What the handsome fellow I just quoted said. Internet changes everything. We just need to wait, cases like this will keep popping up every now and then. In the mean time, we need to do what we've always done, and spread articles such as this one like cancer. Had information about Hubbard I wasn't even aware of.
  4. Erra Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    LOL INTERNET MAKES YOU DIE

    This thread made me lose the game btw
  5. DarthXenu Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    Nice article. The thing mgiht be, whan Quetin died there was no internet.

    Will this make a difference?

    [Terminator voice]

    we'll see

    [/terminator voice]
  6. Consensus Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    OH GOD DAMMIT

    I fucking wrote that and I didn't lose - until you posted. <evil glare>
  7. anon4eva Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    AMEN^

    All that bullying of reporters is coming back to bite the cult in the ass!
    No one cares about your C&D letters!!
    Or your threats of a lawsuit--the truth is coming out..........
  8. Relyt Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    One of the main reasons that Scientology continues to thrive, is that whenever things like this happen, they send out all their top PR representatives to release the usual shit about how "this and that isn't true", you know, "I'm a Scientologist, I would know" "Oh, okay". Also, because most people don't spend the time on investigating something like this, because they just don't care. Then another tragic Scientology death is ignored and forgotten about.

    This case seems like it would be a lot more successful, because:

    a) It happened to the son of a celebrity.

    b) There's already a lot of activism about autism, and other disorders and diseases in children; lots of research goes into this, especially with parents.

    c) ...And from all this hype, questions get raised all over the place about the Travoltas' care for their son, and Scientology's influence in how they made their decisions.

    This is quite possibly the biggest PR flap ever to come out of Scientology. Even the worldwide government infiltrations weren't widely known outside of court records and critics of Scientology. But that was back when they could easily brush past footbullets under the rug. Now, we have something called "The Internet", and about a billion different news outlets.
  9. Donovan Cook Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    I'd like to reitterate what Consensus said.

    Plus, when all this crap was supposedly making news,

    1. Wacky cults were a dime a dozen

    2. JFK assassination

    3. Korean War

    4. Vietnam War

    5. Lack of internet

    6. ??????

    7. Profit
  10. A.Non Hubbard Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    Through End The Cult I've been in touch with 2 reporters, 1 producer and 1 talk show host. One specifically asked for help in getting in touch with exOT8Michael, which I was happy to do (no, I wasn't the one that gave out his phone number - I don't even know it). Unsolicited email that would have been unsent had my site not existed, which wouldn't have existed in the first place if it weren't for Chanology.
  11. OTBT Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    How did you arrive at that amount? dox? links?
  12. Buttons Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    Anon's-

    A year's work supplying the internet with dox is finally being used as a resource.

    Job well done!
  13. JohnB2008 Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    Nah, all of Rebecca's points still stand. I know a bunch of scifags (I have been doing a little infiltration) and they are really set in their ways. Mind control is fucking powerful and it pisses all over logic and rational thought.

    Scientology will continue to thrive until it is publicly condemned by the police and the medical authorities (the NHS in the UK).

    What's really sad is that most of the scifags I've met are a really nice bunch of people.


    I don't think there's much point in protests any more. They are not effective.
  14. JMac85 Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    Those still in are irrelevant. Even with Miscarriage behind bars and all the property seized by the governments, there would still be the delusional who'd continue believing in that crap, and even go to start their own "denominations". We can't save everyone, what we can do though is completely ruin their party.
  15. Consensus Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    No dox, don't take it as 'fact' (anymore than then '100,000' members worldwide estimate). It's the number that was thrown about when we started this campaign, though. Given how much they've had to spend over the last year, and given that they likely lost about 30% in the market over the last year (to say nothing of the devaluation of real estate property owned by the cult), it's reasonable to assume they're well under 2 billion now. But again, this is entirely speculation, and money is not my speciality.

    I'd love to see someone go forensic accounting on their ass, but I'm sure they make it extremely difficult to piece together.

    edit: for perspective, and just from memory, Harvard's endowment was around 30 billion last year, google was worth about 30 billion, and oprah was worth about 3 billion. So Scientology, while wealthy, is hardly bulletproof.
  16. rof Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    It's not as big as football, we can mess with it.
  17. NotSoAnon Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    Anonymous is owed a well-earned collective pat on the back for what it has accomplished in the last year. There is no doubt at all that Anonymous has accelerated the demise of the cult.

    OTOH, let us not forget that there are two effects that have been operative for many years that have, without Anonymous, led to the decline of the cult as of one year ago before Anonymous arrived:

    First, the internet. I do not recall which OG stated this years ago, "the internet is Scientology's Viet Nam". The internet has provided easy access to critical web sites: OCMB has been at or near the top of the list for Google: Scientology for the better part of a decade. This is no simple feat. The FACT that OCMB has been near the top of the Google search list means that the OG have been extremely effective at promulgating the crimes of Scientology.

    Second, the participation of OG ex-scientologist critics for at least fifteen years on ARS and OCMB. These people have come and gone, for the most part, but they are responsible for publishing important critical comments, essays, etc. on ARS and OCMB which graphically illustrated the crimes of the cult. These people did yoeman's work when such work could, and often did, lead to grievous personal legal attacks by the cult. Yet, these people persisted. Anonymous uses the works and words of these OG as if they were Anonymous' own works and words without much regard for the sacrifices these people made.

    So when one states that "we" have already won, "we" have succumbed to egofaggotry by thinking that Anonymous has been the only source active in taking down the cult. Scientology was in serious decline years before Anonymous arrived on the scene. The cult was on an exponential decline in OT and clear completions years before Anonymous arrived as the cult's own published stats confirm. The world's Wogs were being informed, one person at a time.

    Anonymous has accomplished one thing that the OG could never do: mount intercontinental, simultaneous, demonstrations against the evils of Scientology. The original demos gained needed public attention, yet by the end of the year, perhaps only a few percent of those demonstrating in January, 2008 now remain. "We" has become a damaged pronoun when referring to Anonymous.

    I agree that Scientology is a dieing beast and that Anonymous has struck some death blows in terms of publicizing its evil intentions. OTOH, Scientology was already down for the count before Anonymous arrived. It still remains that the cult can possibly hold on, as it shrinks, for decades, sucking the financial and psychological life-blood out of its currently aging members and their children until nothing is left of the cult or its members except dry husks.

    The "we" that is Anonymous should try to regroup and regenerate to make its past year's accomplishments accelerate into 2009 so that the "we" that is Anonymous can count its accomplishments as more than a simple blip in the history of Scientology criticism and of Scientology's decline. Otherwise, it will remain for the OG that have persisted for years to continue their slow but effective work in taking down the cult.
  18. FUNKCRAFT Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    WORDS.
  19. Consensus Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    I have no disagreement with your point. The OG have been critical in laying the groundwork for our offensive, and many OG and exes have been invaluable to the cause. I'm not interested in taking 'credit' for COS failing, so much as delighting in the lulz of watching it fail.
  20. JohnB2008 Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    The skeptics are not so much 'old guard' ... they are scientists, intelligent (imo) critical thinkers that I really like and respect

    If you are even slightly interested in science you should check out their podcast 'skeptics guide to the universe'. they can be pretty funny and they say rude words like 'fuck' and 'shit', lol.
  21. Consensus Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    Also worth reading the classic 'The Demon-Haunted World' by Carl Sagan, or watching Penn & Teller's 'bullshit!'. Of course, promoting this too strongly makes us look dangerously like an atheist advocacy group, which Anon is not.
  22. FraggedMind Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    LOLWAT? There are still Anons that believe in the sky wizard?
  23. Consensus Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    Even if there weren't, we aren't an atheist advocacy group, and while many of us may feel that *ALL* religions are mistaken about the fundamental nature of existence, we single out Scientology to protest not for their beliefs, but for their immoral and inhuman practices (which are uniquely vile amongst religious and non-religious organizations).
  24. FraggedMind Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    I know. Just making a lol post.
  25. Mutante Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    Exactly THIS. Financial analysis is the #1 area where anonymous is weak so far. I suspect most of the 'church' activity we protest has become a smokescreen to distract attention away from looking into Scientology's finances. Some income from books sales and courses must be good for cashflow, but surely the real business is done at the capital investment level.

    Did you see this when it was posted? It is the only information I've seen about Scientology's financial status.

    Condé Nast portfolio.com report - Scientology's Money Trail
  26. mollie2810 Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    But even $cientology finds it difficult to fair game and sue thousands of anonymous critics. People were always afraid to speak out against them and they are not anymore. Those who were afraid of them are now laughing about the crazy alien cult. And many got so much information about them that they lost many future members.
    Things have changed!
  27. auchraw Member

    Re: Why Travolta’s Tragedy DOESN'T Spell the End for Scientology

    Don't know if this is worth posting but it seemed to me that Donovan Cook's list suggests a pattern.

    1. Wacky cults were a dime a dozen - in the 1950s, which now seems like the middle ages.

    2. JFK assassination - never resolved; all we have are a few dim photographs.

    3. Korean War - still in the middle ages; a major conflict but public information very limited.

    4. Vietnam War - far more available information. This unpopular war was shortened by public opinion.

    5. Start of internet - a computerised generation growing up.

    6. Start of broadband - suddenly every active person has access to unlimited information about everything.

    7. Evolution of hive mind made possible by broadband confirms that mankind is inherently rational and so liable to make the right choices and survive.

    8. Wacky cults are clearly irrational and decline.

    9. ??????

    10. Profit.

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