That’s one of the odd things we found in the autopsy report of the son of Church of Scientology President Heber Jentzsch, who was found dead on July 3 at the home of his in-laws.
We reported earlier what the Los Angeles Department of Coroner told us, that Jentzsch died because he took Methadone while he was suffering from a serious case of pneumonia. The Coroner ruled it an accident.
We have little doubt that it was an accident. But we still wonder about this young man who died while he was cut off from both of his parents in a Scientology power struggle.
Alex Jentzsch had grown up as Scientology royalty. In the Sea Org by only eight years old, he was the son of Heber Jentzsch, who had been named president of Church of Scientology International in 1982. His mother was Karen de la Carriere, a Class XII auditor who had trained under L. Ron Hubbard on the yacht Apollo.
But Heber was one of many top church executives who fell out of favor in recent years and who were housed in “the Hole,” a nightmarish prison according to other former executives who found themselves there. After 2004, Heber was rarely seen outside the Hole. Although she was no longer married to him, de la Carriere was appalled at Heber’s treatment, as well as seeing her son grow up without a father.
In 2010, she dared to go public with those complaints, and that got her excommunicated — “declared a suppressive person” in church lingo. She says that Alexander was then forced to “disconnect” from her by Scientology’s intelligence wing, the Office of Special Affairs.
With his father confined to the Hole, and his mother an “SP,” Alex Jentzsch adapted poorly to being without guidance. He had been living in Texas when he lost his job and decided to come back to Los Angeles to live with his in-laws, even though he was reportedly estranged from his wife.
On the way, he started feeling poorly and began taking over-the-counter drugs, the autopsy states. But it was pneumonia he was coming down with. Pneumonia restricts the lungs, so taking methadone — a pain reliever which can cause slowed breathing — was the worst thing for him. The combination proved fatal.
But as the autopsy indicates, Jentzsch’s condition may have gone unnoticed for nearly a full day. And after his father-in-law Jeffrey Evans finally noticed, on the morning of July 3, that Alex didn’t seem to be breathing, Evans seemed to be in no hurry: “He took his minor son to school, returned home and then called 9-11.”
For some reason, the Coroner’s initial report has Jentzsch as “Middle Eastern.” Actually, his father Heber was from a polygamist Mormon family in Utah. His mother, Karen de la Carriere, comes from a French family and grew up in England.
De la Carriere also takes issue with what investigators were told about Alexander’s history with alcohol and various ailments. She complains that Alex’s in-laws wanted to paint a negative picture of him to make his death seem inevitable. Whether that’s true or not, there’s no denying that Alex Jentzsch was a young man with problems who could have used a real connection to his parents — particularly his mother, who lives comfortably and could have provided him with expensive care.
Instead, she was pushed away because she dared speak out about Scientology’s abuses. She was even denied the chance to see her son’s body before he was cremated. She ended up holding her own memorial for him at sea, and spread rose petals on the water since she didn’t have his ashes.
Here then is another remnant of Alex Jentzsch’s life, the report of his death.