Former Scientologist Michael Pattinson has written an important post on the death of Jett Travolta entitled What Scientology will probably do about the tragic death of Jett Travolta, which has appeared on the Anonymous forum at Why We Protest.
Pattinson reached Scientology's highest level of training, Operating ThetanVIII, and was interviewed here at For Great Justice in connection with the appointment of Greta Van Susteren's husband and anti-Psychiatry warrior John P.Coale's appointment to, of all things, the University of Maryland Medical Center.
The death of sixteen year old Jet is tragic and has been met with outpourings of sympathy from fans and critics of Scientology alike. Members of the Ex-Scientology Message Board have sent flowers to the funeral home in the Bahamas where arrangements are being made. Anonymous, who has done extraordinary work exposing Scientology throughout 2008, has extended its condolences in several videos one of which also includes a message with important background for the media, internet, and general public. Anonymous are also posting their personal messages of condolence here, several from members of Anonymous who are parents who themselves lost children.
Not surprisingly, criticism has been leveled at critics of Scientology for taking this occasion to bring to public attention medical malpractice stemming directly from Scientology's "tech". For the public unaware of this dimension of Scientology, Jett's death is a tragedy. For critics, it is both a tragedy and an outrage.
We have as yet no firm information on Jett's medical condition. John Travolta and Kelly Preston have only publicly spoken of their son's having had Kawasaki Syndrome, an unlikely source of seizures, for which they treated him with Scientology's vitamin, sauna, and running therapy known as the Purification Rundown. There has also been considerable speculation on whether Jett was autistic or had Asperger's Syndrome. While a confirmed diagnosis has not been made public, reports of Jett's behavior make such a diagnosis more likely than not. At the very least, he suffered some sort of neurological impairment that contributed to his fatal seizure.
The death of a child, for whatever reason, is a pain that for most families lasts a life time. No other human loss is as devastating. What makes this loss even more tragic is that it may well have been preventable. His death is inextricably embedded in the beliefs, practices, and even more, importantly, the organizational practices of the Church of Scientology and it's use of "deployable celebrity agents" as sociologist Roy Wallis calls them.
Scientology wants to eradicate psychiatry, psychology, religious psychological counseling, and all of medicine that touches on mental functioning. This is why the Coale appointment is so disturbing. The boundary between medicine touching or not touching on mental functioning is becoming increasingly blurred as medical, and particularly, neurological research and practice advance.
There are Scientology physicians, but they are forbidden to deal with anything that touches on mental functioning. Undoubtedly, most are people of good will and many quite competent professionals. In her condolence video A Message to John Travolta, former Scientologist Tory Christman, who suffered from epileptic seizures, mentions one who helped her. However, we also have this disturbing report by former Scientologist Nancy Means. writing as "Kathryn" who was under treatment by Scientology doctors following a psychotic break:
My husband showed up pretty soon after my arrival in the hospital. I was so completely out of it, I did not recognize him. Reportedly, my blood levels were crazy and I was dehydrated. My husband brought them the bottle of Chloral Hydrate the Scientology doctor had prescribed. Several of the hospital staff were incredulous at the Chloral Hydrate prescription. "This is what they gave her to get to sleep!!!" a couple of them laughed.
I found out later that as the prescribing physician, the Scientology doctor had been called about my collapse and mental state. She alerted OSA Int. who sent people there to prevent a psychiatric admission. (Emphasis added)
So we have Scientology physicians reporting into the Church's intelligence and secret service agency, OSA (The Office of Special Affairs).
John Travolta and Kelly Preston are celebrity agents of OSA. Travolta used his celebrity with President Bill Clinton at the time of filming of Primary Colors to get the State Department to put pressure on Germany for its investigation and surveillance of Scientology. Kelly Preston has engaged in high profile anti-Psychiatry activism for Scientology's front group, the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights.
What makes this situation so appalling is that the Travoltas not only have to live with a tragic loss, but will now be subject to intense scrutiny by the management of the Church of Scientology whom they represent as celebrity agents.
This is the significance of Pattinson's post. OSA is responsible for the Church's Public Relations. As is its standard practice repeatedly evidenced in its many medical malpractice scandals like the deaths of Lisa McPherson and Uwe Stuckenbrock, OSA will prevent information from reaching the public. All suggestions that Scientology's anti-psychiatric and anti-medical practices may have had something to do with Jett's death will be ridiculed and those seeking information will be smeared.
Most terrible, the Travoltas will be interrogated as to "Jett's death being a possible result of some kind of personal ethics breach or lack of integrity". Pattinson gives an important framework for understanding the situation as it unfolds and deserves to be widely read and noted.
The Travoltas do indeed deserve our sympathy and prayers.
From Michael Pattinson:
Scientology and the death of Jett Travolta.
The news of the tragic death of Jett Travolta today is a sad event indeed.
My sincere condolences go to the whole family and I hope they can somehow eventually turn this situation into something positive in the medium-long term. Life has ways of bringing the sunshine back after dark clouds have lifted.
For those fans and media who will be trying to come to a real understanding of what will happen with the John Travolta, Kelly Preston and Scientology with regard to this, I can offer some educated guesses based on a very long term (24 years) devoted experience and membership in Scientology. [NOTE: I left Scientology in 1997 after severe "irreconcilable differences" prevented me from wanting to continue, so I am not a proponent of Hubbard or of Scientology now. Indeed, I sued Scientology for fraud and other matters in 1998, but my extensive experiences of how things work in the cult are still intact and I doubt that Scientologists will be very open to providing such information to the media or public].
The vast majority of people will have no idea what this kind of thing will probably entail as far as Scientology style "follow up" is concerned.
Firstly, information about what the family is doing will most likely be curtailed or cut.
Scientology spokespeople will very likely give out generalized "press releases" through lawyers or PR personnel that will give no real substance for informing the public.
Secondly, the questions that have arisen about whether the anti-drug/anti-pharmaceutical tenets of Scientology might possibly have actually prevented Jett from receiving proper medical treatment or preventative assistance will be downplayed, denied, ridiculed and/or harshly criticized to try to get attention off the issue as fast as possible. This aspect, however, may not just "go away". It is a question of life or death, after all...
Thirdly, the family will very likely go to Clearwater, Florida (or maybe have Scientology professionals come to their Florida home, but this is far less likely) to the Oak Cove building and/or Sandcastle Hotel for what Scientology calls "handlings". These handlings will very likely entail the following;
0. Meeting with the staff member who deals with grieving people to cover physical details of a funeral and/or a memorial. Then those arrangements would be planned and carried out. The liaison would probably be done the current celebrity handler who would be a high ranking Sea Organization member.
1.Ethics interviews and associated procedures. (Scientology's "Division 1" services.)
This aspect of services would look into the unfortunate and tragic event of Jett's death being a possible result of some kind of personal ethics breach or lack of integrity by the parents. In particular the individual parents would have separate interviews about their own role in the tragedy or how come they "pulled in" (a Scientology ethics jargon term) such an awful situation by something in their own behavior.
The Scientology celebrity ethics officer would also actively look for one or more people in the Travoltas' circle of friends, acquaintances who might be antagonistic to or even anti-Scientology and who could have had sufficient negative influence to "cause" such a tragedy. That person would then be the target of possible disconnection (shunning), firing or lawsuit/fair game. There would be many steps possible for John and Kelly coming out of the "Ethics" handlings, and these could not be predicted here.
***It is worthy of note that the potential question of NOT giving proper or adequate medication would not be considered a Scientology ethics violation due to L.Ron Hubbard's indoctrination to avoid such medical or psychological types of treatment. In fact, the failure to give doctor-recommended drugs or medications to Jett might factually be considered to be a laudable Scientology ethics matter.***
2.Correction interviews and procedural steps (Scientology's "Division 5" services).
These steps, sometimes called "Review" would be services designed to address any failures of John or Kelly (and/or Jett's caretaker, as I believe he is a Scientologist) to have properly applied relevant Scientology technologies to their son or his living situation within the family. Any strictly Scientology-dictated ways of living that are detected as to having been omitted or misapplied would have to be re-studied and drilled till they become second nature.
3.Technical sessions ("auditing") (Scientology's "Division 4" services.
This would be some very expensive counseling sessions and personal programs designed to remove, if possible, all the negative emotions from this awful tragedy. This can cost up to $1000 an hour. The outcome of this step is varied in its success and can take weeks or months to complete.
A more cynical prediction: I would also comfortably estimate that Scientology, as an organization, would attempt to get the maximum financial and public relations benefit from this horrible tragedy. It will be interesting to watch how they go about doing this. In any case the organization through its spokespeople will tend to avoid truth, responsibility and facts. It will also use the media without being of any real service to the media. Hubbard hated journalists almost as much as he hated psychologists, doctors and psychiatrists.
Condolences from Anonymous: We are Anonymous, and we do have a heart.