So Is John Travolta Finally Done with Scientology?
Mere days after John Travolta acknowledged his late son Jett's autism and the seizure disorder that led to his death last January, Scientology's critics are speculating that the Church's policies toward chronic illness -- policies that may have cost the 16-year-old his life, if he was denied treatment -- may have created an irreparable fissure between Travolta and his faith.
Kim Masters suggests that Travolta's admission contradicted Church tenets so openly that the longtime Scientologist may have reached a point of no return. At least that's the hope of some former members, including one epileptic who claims to have suffered devastating seizures when the Church persuaded her to downgrade her medication. That jibes a tad uncomfortably with the Travolta family's previous claims of using an alternative Church "detoxification" program. Combined with the previously admitted disuse of Jett's anti-seizure medication Depakote (family lawyers say it stopped working, though a doctor tells Masters that "patients don't ordinarily build up a tolerance"), it's potentially game-changing in some of the more tragic conceivable ways.
Travolta's got bigger issues at hand at the moment, testifying in the trial of two Bahamians accused of attempting to extort $25 million from him on the morning of Jett's death. Church flacks, meanwhile, are on the warpath, denying today that "chronic illness creates a stigma" or that anyone was ever discouraged to skip his or her meds, but also acknowledging, "We consider that you alone are responsible for the condition that you're in." Followed, of course, by, "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."
Fair enough. But if/when you see a Scientologist kid fall off a trampoline? Then you've got a case.
· Travolta's Scientology Turning Point? [The Daily Beast]