Saturday, January 3, 2009

Michael Pattinson: What Scientology will probably do about the tragic death of Jett Travolta.


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.

Michael Pattinson


Condolences from Anonymous: We are Anonymous, and we do have a heart.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for a terrific post. Lots of information, plenty of sources and just the right tone.

Anonymous said...

Incredible. I'm sure it is all true but daaaaammmmmmnnnnn! Those people are crazy.

Anonymous said...

Minor correction. Michael reached OTVIII, which is the highest level, etc etc. Scientology didn't cure him of being gay (as promised!).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, D-d-W. Just want to point out a typo: Michael Pattinson was OT-VIII (you have OT VII).

Also, the LA Times is linking here!

Anonymous said...

It's astounding that people believe in this garbage..So sad for the family though..trsgic to lose a child..hopefully they will see through this scientogoly bull..

Fredric said...

It is nearly certain that the Travoltas denied seizure medication for their son Jett because of the insane quack medical frauds the drug addled conman L. Ron Hubbard contrived which include the Scientology Corporation's "Purification Rundown" ritual described here:

If it's proven that the stupid Scientology customers denied their son medication that would have saved him, the Travoltas need to go to prison and their two remaining children need to be remanded in to custody before these insane Scientology morons kills them also.

Anonymous said...

since when does anonymous fucking pray and send flowers? fail blog is fail.

Anonymous said...

There have also been several reports that suggest Travolta, a scientologist, refused to give his son anti-seizure medication.

But Travolta reportedly gave his son Depakote — an anti-seizure medication — for years, TMZ reported. The family eventually stopped administering the drug after it lost its effectiveness, cause Jett “serious physical damage,” McDermott told TMZ.


Anonymous said...

a few notes..

1) Depakote while an anti-seizure medication is "first generation" and no one would be using it exclusively for severe grand mal seizures today. They even admit that they took him off the medication at this point.

2) Seizures are dangerous. He was having them more than once a week and yet they allowed him to go, unsupervised, for more than 12 hours!?

Anonymous said...

I'm curious as to how people even get to believe such crap at this day and age. Vitamins as cure for psych disorders, auditing via e-meter, L. Ron Hubbard as creator...L. Ron Hubbard!!! That's crazy enough!!

Anonymous said...

I can't speak to the various assertions here, but I can say that you will be taken much more seriously if you spell Asperger's correctly.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is Asperger's (named after a German doctor) Syndrome. My son has this diagnosis.

I saw some footage of Jett and I would say he did not look like he had Asperger's but rather some mid-level autism. Autism has a spectrum of levels with Asperger's considered by some to be high-functioning autism. But no one can make a diagnose from video.
There are no meds for autism but some meds can be used for side effects.

My heart goes out to the Travoltas. I just hope the autopsy clears up the cause so that no disease or condition is unfairly blamed. I just feel sad that the Travoltas may be blamed by their own religion which should be a source of strength and not stress.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe that people "reach a level of Thetan V111," or whatever................what the hell is this crap? I have trouble believing the weather forecast so I could never be a Scientologist, I would pass out from all sounds like Monty Python.

Anonymous said...

Seizures are always dangerous. I had a friend who drowned in a crowded swimming pool when he had a seizure. No one who knew about his illness and what to watch for was there; it was a huge tragedy. But at least he had a full life for 20 years and was able to live normally with the help of medication that kept them to a minimum--without it, he would not have been able to live somewhat independently and enjoy a real college experience.

I'm very into natural health and will be the first to say that 1) drug companies rule America in a negative way and 2) that drugs always have a downside and can't cure everything, but I'm also living proof that drugs can be a blessing. If I lived in a third world country (or was a Scientologist) and thus was unable to have access to my very simple and cheap medication (a relatively safe non-narc that I take with liver support herbs), I would literally be an invalid racked with debilitating. It's as simple as that. I would not have the life I have. And my illness is no 'psychosomatic' syndrome. I really do feel for the Travoltas--no one should have to lose their child at such an early age. But I sincerely hope that they will reconsider their devotion to this religion that has minimized their son's health issues.

Anonymous said...

As being related to someone who has autisim, I also believe Jett had it, And as for scientology,I believe it's all crap,However John and Kelly still lost a child, and no matter what your beliefs are the pain of losing a child is still the same, and very sad that a 16 year olds life is cut short because of your belief, And it could have been prevented, That is something they will have to live with the rest of there life, maybe this will open there eyes to what crap scientoloy is! I will also be praying for them during this time.

Anonymous said...

It's too bad Jett had to die because of his parent's beliefs. He should have had the choice to chose himself once he reached adulthood but until that time, he should have had the full care by physicians that he deserved.

TheAdlerian said...

From TheAdlerian:

I've worked as a psychotherapist for twenty years and have had all kinds of experience and hold several grad degrees.

Firstly this kid had extreme problems with fevers, reportedly. Fevers can easily make a child mentally retarded, due to brain damage, and that can cause seizures. That's a more logical diagnosis than autism.

But even so, who cares? No one knows what autism is and there is no treatment for it. There is no treatment for brain damage either. And, it's extremely tough to treat with drugs at times. When it is the drugs do not work perfectly.

Those opinions are based on my real observations and medical knowledge.

Meanwhile, Scientology is somewhat correct about Psychiatry. It's based on the idea that mental problems don't stem from our experience with the world, but rather just come from our brain.

Although I think much of Scientology is silly and a ripoff of a therapy called Gestalt Therapy, they're correct that Psychiatry has roots in Nazism. At that time it provided a scientific basis for the Nazi action against certain people. It has not changed its tune one bit.

The spiritual stuff in Scientology is just as silly as other religions, but just like other religions they make a few good points.

Anonymous said...

To the TheAdlerian : I don't where you got your 20yrs of experience or where you got your several "grad" degrees, but your comments that "Scientology is somewhat correct about Psychiatry. It's based on the idea that mental problems don't stem from our experience with the world, but rather just come from our brain, and that it is rooted in Nazism," are shocking! I'm not sure where you went for your education for these statements, but the University I went to taught me something a bit different when I went for my degrees. A person is not just their physical make up, they are a sum of their experiences as well. So by your "Theory" a soldier with no history of mental illness comes back from war a changed person, do you mean to say that Psychiatry will turn its back on him because it will only treat his brain, not his response to his experiences in the War? HMMM? OK?

I hope your not in practice anymore!!

My heart goes out to John,Kelly, and little Ella, their loss is one that even time will not heal, only endure. The country should leave them to grieve for their son & brother in peace, instead of having to live it in a fish bowl. They deserve what every other family in the world would have, just because they are in the public eye doesn't mean they have to give up every aspect of their lives.

Anonymous said...

Tory Christman claims that she was ordered off her seizure medication by the CoS but she forgets to say that such illegal orders were promptly overturned by higher CoS authorities, and that for the 30 years she was in Scientology she was allowed to take her anti-seizure medicine, as confirmed by her 2003 affidavit.

Tory Christman affidavit is the best proof there is that Scientology is not against seizure medicines where needed.

Google "Tory Christman" affidavit 2003