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Did John Travolta reveal too much about Scientology?


Last week, a flattering interview with John Travolta showed up in the Telegraph in advance of the actor’s appearance this weekend in London. Since then, numerous media outlets have been making much of one statement Travolta made in the piece about how he coped after the 2009 death of his son Jett…

“I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t had the support of Scientology. I don’t think I could have got through it. They were with me every day after Jett died. They even travelled with me when I needed to get away. And for a solid two years it was like that. It was only in the second year that I started to take a break of a day or two just to see how I was doing on my own.”

If Travolta intended for that to make Scientology look beneficial, it’s had the opposite effect — he seemed to indicate that church handlers were watching him so closely for more than a year, at some point he needed to get away.

We asked Jefferson Hawkins, who just completed a great series for us about Scientology ethics, to give us his thoughts on Travolta’s statement. We reminded him that Travolta reportedly admitted to Bahamian police that Jett was autistic — a somewhat shocking admission for a member of Scientology, which denies that autism exists. Was the church worried that the shock of Jett’s death might send Travolta crashing out of Scientology?

It would be usual for Scientology to send an auditor out for daily sessions to “audit out the loss.” That was common for celebs. But that would not be constant and it would not go on for a year. It would be a few sessions.


If they had a handler constantly with him for over a year, then yes, they were making sure he didn’t say the wrong things or meet with the wrong people or decide to leave Scientology. They would have been monitoring him, under the guise of “helping him.” But the monitor would be reporting back to the Office of Special Affairs or David Miscavige.

It makes no sense logically. If Scientologists are so able and have such awesome confront and so on, why would they need a handler on constant watch to help them through a rough patch? It seems to indicate that Scientologists are more fragile than the rest of us. But I think the answer is that the real purpose was to keep an eye on him.

UPDATE: We received this message from a source that has been pretty reliable for us in the past. Make of that what you will…

We were at John’s house a few times after Jett’s death. There were at least three, sometimes four handlers that we saw. They had a little apartment up the stairs at the back of the house and would run in and out in true ‘serious, look busy, Scientology fashion.’ There were other staff (security, etc) but not sure if they were from the church.


Mike Rinder’s reception party in California

Former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder might want to be a little more careful about announcing his travel plans. We knew he was heading out to Los Angeles with his wife, Christie Collbran, so Christie could testify in a deposition for Laura DeCrescenzo’s lawsuit, but we were surprised that he said something about it at his blog. Sure enough, someone at Scientology sprung into action, and WWP reported that this flier was found in Mission Viejo…



Well, that oughta show him! (UPDATE: And now Rinder responds.)

Two more links of note this morning…

The last time Monique Rathbun was in court, on February 3 and 4, we told you that her attorneys surprised Scientology with a ten-minute video showing church operatives stalking Monique with a camera in 2010. The person operating the camera can be heard to say, “There she is,” when Monique pulls into her driveway. She saw the two men and called the police, and the video then shows the interaction with the law enforcement officer as the cameraman tries to explain that he’s making a documentary about some kind of ex-Scientology thing. It’s classic OSA Keystone Kops material. Its significance in court, however, was that when Scientology was ordered by the court to turn over all of the filming it had done of Monique and her husband, Marty Rathbun, the church only turned over about a minute and a half of that encounter, without any sound, and without the encounter with the cops. Judge Dib Waldrip admonished Scientology’s attorneys about redacting the evidence they were turning over. Yesterday, San Antonio’s NBC channel showed some of the ten-minute video, including the fun parts with the police.

Also yesterday, reported that there’s yet another lawsuit against one of Scientology’s drug rehab facilities — a “Narconon Fresh Start” in San Diego County — and it alleges the usual litany of deceptive practices.

What’s particularly frustrating about this lawsuit is that in April 2013 when the plaintiff, Dan Kelly, fell for Narconon’s come-on and flew to the San Diego facility, he was living in Georgia — yes, right where Narconon was going through one of its worst meltdowns ever.

Don’t these people use the Google?


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 15, 2014 at 07:00

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Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS (We read Scientology’s founding text) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25

UP THE BRIDGE (Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN (Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING (Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer


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