Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

Prayers for Travolta, Anger from Scientologists

As a parent, it’s impossible not to feel the anguish that John Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston, are feeling right now as they mourn the death of their son, Jett. It makes you want to hug your kids a little bit more, keep them close. There are truly no words to describe the sense of loss I am sure they are feeling.
Still, the couple are Scientologists, and all things Scientology seem to ignite controversy, especially on this World Wide Web of ours. It’s not my place or purpose right now to pass judgment on the family, on Scientology, or on those who speak out against it. More than anything, I want to express my sorrow and condolences and remember the life lost. Please add your own prayers and words of support to Beliefnet’s prayer circle in memory of Jett Travolta. You can find it here.
When it comes to Scientology, we tend to hear a lot from the religion’s spokespeople, from bloggers (especially critics), and from the media reporting on the sensational and celebrity angles. It’s not often you hear from or about a practicing Scientology layperson, and so I was fascinated to stumble across a blog by just that sort of person.


He identifies himself just as Grahame, a Clearwater, Fla. (where else?), software developer. I was struck by Grahame’s post reacting to Jett’s death and the way he addressed rumors that Scientology played a role. Here’s part of his post:

It never fails to astound me how people who hate my religion will take any opportunity, no matter how ghoulish, to attack my Church.
You have all probably seen the news about the tragic death of Jett Travolta. He was 16 years-old and suffered from seizures. It seems that on Friday he had a seizure, fell and hit his head on the bath tub. The medical examination has not been completed so it is too early to say exactly what happened.
However, some ghouls have decided to use this tragedy to attack Scientology. Can you imagine what sort of creeps would do something like that? Take a terrible family tragedy and twist it into some perverted attack on the family’s beliefs. That is so sick.
The rumors these sickos have started are now getting into the media (which contains its fair share of ghouls), so the Church of Scientology has had to give out a press release telling the truth about Scientology Members position on medical care.
Just the fact that the Church has had to do that is a sad reflection on our society and the ease with which false rumors can be gotten into the media and circulated world-wide.


I can understand his anger; it’s gotta be hard to see your faith attacked day in and day out in the media.
Contrary to so much of what I’ve seen in the blogosphere, Scientologists do believe in medicine, healthcare, and doctors, as Grahame says in his post.
It’s also true that Scientologists do not believe in psychiatry and psychiatric medicine. I don’t know if Jett Travolta suffered from a mental illness and could have benefited from treatment–but neither does anyone else, aside from the family, their doctors, and whoever else they decided to tell. Certainly not any of the bloggers using this as another opportunity to slam Scientology. While I agree with kris Rasmussen of Idol Chatter that a fuller accounting from the family can help quash rumors and educate the public, that’s their call, and it’s a personal one. For the rest of us, let’s let Jett Travolta rest in peace, and let his family mourn in peace.

  • Lydia

    Since when is it “ghoulish” to express concern?
    I have read the press release on scientology’s stance on medical matters and found that it manages to avoid directly addressing it’s specific views on autism and psychiatric medicines (which are often used to treat epilepsy).
    The issue is whether the organization recongnizes autism as a valid illness and whether medications used for siesures are discouraged due to the fact that they are used to treat psychiatric illnesses.
    You can call me “ghoulish” for pointing this out, but I find their response to the current issue devious.

  • Your Name

    I am truly sorry for the Travolta’s loss. There should be no question regarding their faith at any time but especially now. I pray for thier faith to help them through this sorrowful time and continued strength for their family.

  • TheTruthIsOutThere

    Exactly, Lydia. Your response is spot on.
    So hundreds and hundreds of educated and informed people out there who take to the internet to expose the truths behind Scientology beliefs are just dismissed as critics, yet one lone blogger trying to spin everything in a deceptively positive light is who you decide to believe–in your own words, “contrary to” everything else you’ve read or heard? I don’t know if I find that sad or scary.
    And it never stops being funny that Scientology’s first mode of defense is to claim they are being “attacked”–seeing as they have been investigated and in some cases prosecuted by the FBI for certain terror tactics.

  • Lesley

    We now know Jett Travolta was taking a drug called Depakote, a strong anti-seizure medication. There have been reports Travolta refused to give his son anti-seizure meds because of Scientology but those stories are not true.
    Also, that statement of the Church of Scientology clearly says that medication is ok. Jett was suffering from epileptic fits or grand mal seizures, not “autism” and got medication for that. I too find it disturbing to see the amount and viciousness of fanatic responses from the anti-scientology ghouls. It’s sick.

  • Albert Gonzales

    I don’t know if I have time to write anything. This is limited. I believe that has the right to be angry if lies are being said. Do not Judge .Because the same measure some use
    will be used against some. Do Gods will and all will be well.
    I say to John and Wife that their little one is now with God and Jesus now.
    I hope that they will someday be back together in Heaven with their Son.
    Do Jesus command.
    Love One Another.
    Make Love not War.
    Sincerely,Albert G.

  • Your Name

    Friday I overheard someone on the cell phone complaining (loudly) about Jett’s death and how Scientologists don’t believe in medicine.
    Nothing can be further from the truth. There are medical doctors who are Scientologists and who prescribe medicine. I go to one, and have taken antibiotics and other types of medication.
    Such “don’t believe in medicine” misunderstandings seem to have a life of their own due to inaccurate reporting in the media. The drug companies — that know Dianetics and Scientology technolgies, just as other alternatives to keeping healthy are threats to the immense profits — pay the US media $3 billion annually to advertise psych drugs. It sems nearly every half-hour on TV there’s at least one commercial pushing a psych drug.
    Anyone can go to (Video link at the top of the page) for details of what the drug industry is doing. This information is not released by the media. Why would it? To do so would antagonize a major cash-paying advertiser.

  • BBG

    The lose of a loved one is too much to bear.
    Please know that.
    My heart is broken for the Travolta family.

  • Your Name

    I have never read or heard anything about Scientology not believing in general medicine practiced by medical/surgical doctors, so that’s not even the issue here.
    What is not recognized and often dismissed by Scientology is any disorder of a psychiatric nature. That includes, more infamously, anything like post-partum depression or, more importantly, any of the autistic spectrum disorders.
    You’ll quickly see this “distinction” is neatly side-stepped in any defense of Scientology’s stance on modern medicine or claims that it’s all just some big misconception.

  • Jane

    Didn’t hear they dont believe in meds, but the part about psychology is true & to get a complete and accurate diagnoises on autism comes from a licensed specialist in autism, a psychiatrist. That is the only disturbing thing about this, & that why people are questioning & writing about this, not the fact that he wasnt loved or cared for.
    People who have autism kids & familiar with the traits saw this in Jett and have for quite some time. That’s the controversy. I dont think any one questions how much they loved their child or how devoted they were to him. Statistics are saying seizures are 40 percent in autism patients, not in Kowalski disorder, which can be healed at a yonger age. Experience in autism is what motivates the skeptics.
    Its a tragic ordeal, anyone going through caring for a disabled child, suffering with Grand Mal seizures or seizures of any kind or autism or any disability, knows how difficult and confusing it is, and even psych Drs and medical Drs dont have all the answers. God bless this child and this family, lift them up and comfort them in their time of grief.
    As the song says, Mother Mary came to me and whispered words of wisdom, LET IT BE.

  • Laura

    I am praying this:
    Dear Heavenly Father, Please encircle John Travolta and his family with Your love, peace and comfort and let them know without a doubt that You are with them. I pray they recognize Your presence around them and that You call forth Christians to speak to them about it and about questions they have during this time of deep saddness and horrific grief. I pray the workers tell them the truth about You, what You did for them and how to make it to heaven. I pray the Travolta’s ask for forgiveness, accept Jesus into their hearts, and start learning about You in the bible maybe through a home study group or something. I pray Jett made it to heaven and that his parents know that. I know everything is possible with You Lord and I thank You in advance for all these things. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

  • Grahame

    Thanks for your article. It’s nice to see someone keeping an even hand. It is much appreciated.
    Some of your commenters have no idea about what the Travoltas have done in the last 16 years to help their son. They have no idea what the doctors have prescribed or not prescribed. They have no idea how serious or mild the condition was, yet they assume the Travoltas didn’t get Jett the best possible care for his disability.
    I’m afraid it reflects on our society and how willing people are to believe rumors without any thought or examination.
    Once again thanks for your article and your understanding.

  • Grahame

    BTW, there are lots of Scientologists who blog. You can find many of them here:

  • Your Name

    Are any of you parents? If you have never lost a child you have no idea what the Travoltas are going through. I know I don’t, and I am thankful for that. Please, please, quit judging these people and their beliefs. Let’s all try to be human here. There is not any of us that are perfect in the eyes of everyone around us. This is not a time to be disecting their beliefs or lifestyles. Would any of you appreciate your lives being delved into and scruitinized while you were grieving the loss of a loved one. Let’s just have alittle respect for these people and leave them alone, to deal with this in their own way.

  • ronda

    you are in my prayers & thoughts and my heart always …..

  • Your Name

    Dear Travolta Family, May the god of your understanding know the grief of your loss and send you the strength to hold closest to your heart the memories of Jett that are the brightest.
    “When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight”…by Kahlil Gibran

  • Bertha Mcclud

    To the Travolta family you have my deepest sympathy and you are in my prayers. remember that Jett will always be with you’ll when you look at on another you can see him. May God give you the strenght that youneed to endure such a loss. Jett is always remember through the world as we go through and pray for andwith you during this time.
    Gosd’s blessing
    The Mccloud family

  • FrankX

    If scientology played a role, it doesn’t matter. EVERYONE has a right to practice their religion as they see fit…and I’m an atheist, for lack of a better definition.It is obvious the family loves each other dearly and we should all be so lucky.
    Decent human beings can offer no less than their well wishes for this loving family in tragedy.
    Frank X

  • Your Name


  • sara

    To the Travolta Family; May God bless you in this time of need. You have my deepest condolences. Just remember all the good times on tis earth and you will se3e him when we all pass from this time. God need a really special angel to be with him when your son Jett was called to be with him. MAY GOD BLESS YOUR FAMILY. Sara Petrole

  • Your Name

    Dearest John, I’ve grown up with you. I’ve loved you from the start. It saddens me for your loss. My heart akes for you. It is unbareable pain to loss someone so close to you. I can say; I know the pain. Just keep Jett in your heart. He’s always going to be with you. Always. Just remember: we share the pain. This will help.

  • wkares

    Dearest John was from me. Name was accidently omitted.

  • Tat

    John,and Kelly
    I have just read about Jett I am sorry it has been a long time since we have seen each other my prayer go with the two of you.
    I only get to seeing the news about once a week may God give you peace and comfort in your heart.
    Your friend

  • Vanessa

    No matter what religion one believes in or practices. The grief of the loss of a loved one is the same for everyone. The death of a loved one is a private affair, not to be plastered all over. My deepest sympathy goes to the family.

  • Your Name

    John and Kelly
    I am so very sorry for your loss. Just think of all the good things Jett brought to you all.The pictures of you look so very happy together. Thats what I do. I also lost a son as well. I rember the good times we had the jokes he told to keep us going in dad times. The good times we had in the kitchen, thing we did together as well. Places we went. Just remeber the good times. It will get easier. Mourn now smile later. Remeber

  • Sandra Ward

    John and Kelly
    I am sorry for your loss. Just remember all the good times you all shared together. It will help keep you going. I lost a son myself. I do know what you are going through. Moun now smile later. He will not want you morning too long. He is won terriffic looking son. You did good.
    Your fan to both of you

  • Your Name

    My sympathies to all of you. May you find Jesus and let Him bring you peace.

  • Florence Barfield

    Dear John & kelly,
    I am so very sorry for your loss. it is never easy to lose someone we love. may God help with your heavy hearts and we all pray that in this most difficult time God will wrap his loving arms around you and your family. My deepest sympathy for you both. I pray for you both in this very hard and difficult time. Take care & God Bless you are in my prayers.
    All My Love

  • A Mother and Grandmother

    John and Kelly,
    Please know all our prayers are with you, during this difficult time. Nothing anyone can say or do, will ease the pain of your loss. Just remember God has taken Jett to a wonderful place, where I’m sure, he needed his beautiful smile and sweet heart, to be with other angels there. And treasure the time, he loaned him to you – as that is what life is, a loan our Father in Heaven, gives us with children. When their time is up, we have to face the pain and emptiness we feel, but always remember the joy he brought to you and others. May God hold you in the palm of his hand, close to his heart; and may your days unfold healing. With time, you will smile at the memories but will never forget your loss. Its like losing a part of your heart…God Bless All of you

  • Your Name

    Dear John and Kelly,
    I am so, so sorry for your loss. I have grown up with you and I know what pleasure your family gives you and how much you love each other. I pray that God will comfort you and help you through this tough time. I lost my Father this past September and it still hasn’t sunk in. You have a rough road ahead of you and I pray God’s mercy, strength, love, help, hope, and healing for you both and the rest of your family. I know that he will be missed and that nothing can ever replace him. Try to remember the wonderful times you had together, the fun times, the quiet times, and reflect on the fact that you were able to share in his life for a time, and it’s easier said than done, but try not to be bitter to have lost him. There is “A time to live and a time to die” it says in the King James Bible. You were blessed with the time he had to live on this Earth. God always has a reason for everything that He does, but I know that doesn’t ease the pain. We won’t know the reason for most everything that happens in our lives until we get to Heaven. But then, we will be face to face with Christ and He will have the answers for the things that we could not understand. Again, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family always. God Bless.
    Because of Christ’s Grace, Mercy, and Love,

  • Ms. Charlie Mae Witherspoon

    May GOD BLESS Travolta and family throughout their lives…and peace
    Be with them forever.

  • Jayby

    The death of any young person seems like a greater loss. Just think how wonderful it was to have known him and all your good times.

  • Shirley McNutt Autry

    Dear Travolta Family
    My prayers are with you for the loss of your son Jett. I feel your sorrow as I too have lost a loved one. I know how it is also to have your Faith attcked. I am a Mormon. I too know the conflicts people have on both our preferred religion. God is watching over you & your family during this time of loss. I may never get to meet you in person, for you are one of my favorite actors, but more than that, you are a person with a family and you love each member of your families. NO ONE should pass judgement on you for just being a christian in a different sect than others. You believe in GOD & that’s all that matters. You know the truth as all parents do. You take care & God Bless you & your family.
    Sincerely with love & friendship – Shirley, Ron Sr & Ronnie Jr – the Autry Family

  • Your Name

    Dear Travolta Family
    My prayers are with you for the loss of your son Jett. I feel your sorrow as I too have lost a loved one. I know how it is also to have your Faith attcked. I am a Mormon. I too know the conflicts people have on both our preferred religion. God is watching over you & your family during this time of loss. I may never get to meet you in person, for you are one of my favorite actors, but more than that, you are a person with a family and you love each member of your families. NO ONE should pass judgement on you for just being a christian in a different sect than others. You believe in GOD & that’s all that matters. You know the truth as all parents do. You take care & God Bless you & your family.
    Sincerely with love & friendship – Shirley, Ron Sr & Ronnie Jr – the Autry Family

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