Bringing up Scientology does NOT exploit Jett Travolta’s death

4 01 2009

With the death of John Travolta’s and Kelly Preston’s teenage son Jett, the inevitable reference to their “religion” will come up. Some critics of Scientology have immediately tied his tragic death to his parent’s belief in the rantings of a lunatic, while others wish to hold off on all criticism to let his parents grieve. Some mainstream media commenters even call our response ghoulish. On the Operation Clambake Message Boards, a poster by the name of J. Swift requested a “Global Day of Peace”, a small ceasefire of all criticism of the “Church” of Scientology, on January 9th, 2009, to give condolences to the Travolta family. Here are my two cents.

Any day spent not exposing the nature of the cult is a day wasted. Before Jett Travolta’s death, there had been reports on celebrity news websites about his condition. Rumors have circulated for years that Jett Travolta was autistic, but his parents have never acknowledged that. Instead, they have maintained that their son suffered from Kawasaki’s Syndrome, which was caused by environmental toxins such as carpet cleaners. A report by the blog Hollywood Interrupted has some confirmation about Jett Travolta’s autism:

On Friday, April 7th, Hollywood, Interrupted was treated to the Los Angeles premiere of “Normal People Scare Me” – a feature-length documentary about autism, co-directed by the high functioning autistic teenager Taylor Cross and his mother, Keri Bowers. The event was sponsored by an organization called Cure Autism Now (CAN) and the new magazine, The Autism Perspective (TAP).

This enlightening film was produced by b-movie actor/director/producer and former special education teacher, Joey Travolta. Joey’s brother and sister-in-law, “Battlefield Earth” co-stars John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston, were not present. Too bad…

…Had John and Kelly been at the screening, they might have a better understanding of the disorder reportedly affecting their 14 year-old son, Jett. Sadly, the Scientology couple cannot even publicly admit that their son is afflicted with a neurological disorder, lest – according to the incontrovertible doctrine of Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard – he be labeled a “degraded being” that brought his affliction onto himself. Instead, the Travoltas have long blamed their son’s disability on Kawasaki Syndrome-related “environmental toxins,” specifically carpet cleaning chemicals.

Read it all to decide for yourself. But if John Travolta’s brother and Cure Autism Now lend credence to the claim of Jett’s autism, then something is wrong here. Were Travolta and his wife in denial about Jett? A Florida restaurant owner named Tim Kelly also makes some serious claims against John Travolta and Kelly Preston regarding Jett:

Joking aside, the Kennys are “disgusted by” Travolta. They claim that Travolta has turned down invitations to participate in autism fundraisers, and most recently refused to participate in a local celebrity golf tournament if a connection to autism advocacy was promoted. The organizers of the charity tournament scheduled at the Golden Hills Country Club in November are alleged to have changed the billing from an autism event to the more generic “fundraiser for disabled children” to accommodate the star. Calls to event organizer, the Family Resources Coalition, were not returned by post time.

The Kennys also claim that Kelly and John “let Jett sit in front of video games all day eating junk food, while they eat the best organic food money can buy. They exclude Jett from all social events because they are embarrassed.”

“Once,” reports Kenny, “when Kelly took him to the movies, Jett started to have a meltdown and Kelly pointed at the nanny and ordered, ‘Take care of it.'”

“Jett does not speak at all,” confirms Kenny. “He has not even been taught how to communicate. We struggle every week to pay for our daughter’s therapy. How dare he [Travolta] ruin his own son’s chances of recovering! We want to get the word out on this.”

No one will ever know if Tim Kelly’s claims are true. Earlier last year Kelly passed away, and Jett is no longer with us either. Only Jett knows how his parents treated him while he was alive. But that doesn’t mean questions shouldn’t be asked. The “Church” of Scientology has gotten away scot free for their responsibility in the deaths of Lisa McPherson and Elli Perkins, two people who would still be here if not for the sheer quackery of L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings.

Perhaps some restraint should be maintained until an autopsy report comes out. But a Global Day of Peace is useless, even foolish. Think of how Scientologists would behave if a teenager committed a massacre with a gun. Scientologists like Jett Travolta’s mother Kelly Preston (who is a big shill for the “Church”‘s Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights) would make all sorts of baseless claims that psychiatry messed up that kid. If they can do that, why can’t we? At least we will have facts instead of baseless accusations.

If you wish to honor the Global Day of Peace, go ahead and do so. But for me personally, peace will only come when the “Church” of Scientology is finally reduced to pussy cat size and people don’t get sucked into it’s warp.