Of course, by now you’ve heard of the tragic death of Jett Travolta, 16-year-old son of actors John Travolta and Kelly Preston.
While doing some research on the boy this morning (I knew nothing about him), I was startled to find significant press about his affliction, which the Travoltas maintained was Kawasaki disease, brought on by fumes from carpet cleaner (how they arrived at this conclusion, or who exactly made the diagnosis remains a mystery, at least with regard to the research I’ve done thus far).
My absolute worst nightmare is losing one of my children. I cannot imagine the horror, the grief, the endless tears (and, as would be in my case, temporary assignment to the psych ward), the feelings of guilt and “If only I’d…” It’s all so ghastly to me, I have trouble even thinking about it. I have only sympathy for Jett’s parents and extended family. I can imagine no greater tragedy.
But, even in the wake of this horrible accident, the Scientology correlations are inevitable — especially the ones that draw attention to Jett’s autistic characteristics, and the fact that Scientology does not recognize autism as a “real” disorder. You cannot Google “Jett Travolta” without seeing them. I have to confess, it does make me wonder.
I’ll come right out and say that I believe Scientology — like many other religions, including some groups calling themselves “Christian” — is a cult. My family and a few close friends know my struggles with the organized church, and how I believe that some radical offshoots of fundamentalist Christianity can brainwash their followers, just like the occasional nutters in Islam, Judaism, Catholicism and other religions (and if you believe otherwise, you’re probably brainwashed yourself).
But Scientology pretty much takes the wackjob cake for me, as revealed in my post about it several weeks ago. The more I read about it, the more weirded out I became. And friend, you can read dirt about Scientology for a long, long, long time. And honestly — can you make out what this guy is saying?
I won’t provide any direct links here, but doing a search on the boy’s name with the added term “autism” or “Scientology” will reveal some provocative — and troubling — reading.
Crap. I hate it when kids die. My heart goes out to Jett’s parents, regardless of whatever else is said.
Good call on that search inclusion. In one of them, a former “Operating Thetan level 8” [gotta love their terminology] breaks down how Scientology will handle the whole tragedy, and troubling is the right word.
What’s also interesting is they mention the Wikipedia battle going on over Kawasaki’s disease etc. Reminds me of Sarah Palin’s Wikipedia page getting a makeover just hours before she was announced as McCain’s running mate. Both testify to the overall magnificence of Wikipedia- yes it can be manipulated and no it should never serve as a primary source, but its fluidity, volunteer system of checks and balances, and extraordinary wealth of information make it the single most significant product of the information age.
Totally agree, Ross. Even in my doctoral work, I always use Wikipedia, for the express purpose of finding associated links (which they often provide in spades). Many of the Wiki articles I’ve read have abundant citations, too.
Regarding the Travolta thing…I am frankly shocked that they allowed an autopsy. This ain’t over yet…