I’ve been meaning to write about this for a long time, but I guess I wasn’t mad enough.
John Travolta should have been outed, and not for being gay. His insistence that his son Jett, now dead at 16, wasn’t autistic has bothered me for years. Travolta has denied all talk of autism, even refusing to attend the premiere of his brother Joey’s film about autism.
Scientology does not accept autism as a legitimate condition. Instead, Travolta and his wife Kelly have militantly insisted that their son was afflicted with Kawasaki disease, a rare illness that usually lasts a few days and can be treated quite easily once it is diagnosed. It is rarely fatal and is not associated with any developmental disorder.
John Travolta has kept his son hidden from the public as best as he could, but his lovely and healthy daughter Ella has been photographed often, even at red-carpet events. When rumors of Jett’s autism hit the internet, Travolta’s wife arranged with a national magazine to have photos of her and Jett frolicking together at a beach. A nice PR move that only made it more obvious to people familiar with autism that the kid was autistic. See a recent video here, until it is mysteriously removed from the internet.
Why does this matter? Here’s why:
1. Jett Travolta was not allowed any services or intervention that could have made his life better. At 16, he remained non-verbal and was isolated from his peers. Neighbors of the Travoltas reported that Jett was left to watch videos all day and was not allowed to join the rest of the family at meals. He could barely hold a crayon.
2. Jett Travolta apparently had seizures, which can afflict up to 50% of autistic children. He should not have been left alone to take a bath. He had two caretakers with him in the Bahamas, and yet he died in a bathtub. At first, the police reported that Jett had last been seen the night before he was discovered dead at 10: AM. The story has since changed.
The real story of Jett Travolta will be covered up. Scientology is a force stronger than most investigative reporters. I am heartbroken for the loss of this boy, but his life for the last 16 years should have been better, and we don’t need an autopsy to know his death could have been prevented with more diligent attention from his caretakers.
Read a frighteningly prophetic mention of Jett Travolta here.