Melbourne, (ANI): Actor John Travolta has reportedly made private threats to leave the Church of Scientology, but he may not follow through on them because he fears the church may retaliate by revealing embarrassing details about his private life. Travolta, 55, who became a recluse after the sudden death of his son Jett, 16, in the Bahamas during a New Year family holiday, is so distraught that he is barely able to function and is seldom seen in public.
According to reports in Britain's Mail, Travolta is disillusioned with the secretive church, and bitterly regrets adhering to its teachings when treating his son's condition, which is believed to have been autism. The report also quotes a neighbour of Travolta's as saying that he is rarely seen during daylight hours, but is often spotted driving around his property at night, alone in the golf buggy. "We used to see him driving around on a buggy with his son. Now its just John by himself," News.com.au quoted the unnamed neighbour as saying.
The report also revealed that Travolta has cancelled all work commitments since Jett's death, and that he resents going along with Scientology's prescribed treatment for son's condition. The church does not recognise autism as genuine, but instead believes it to be merely psychosomatic, and recommends treatment with vitamins and a detox program, not prescription medicines. The report also said that the church's response to the teenager's death has been to conduct "intensive sessions" with so-called ethics officers, whose job is to question Travolta and other family members to determine if their "negative influences" caused the tragedy.
Rick Ross, an author who has watched the church for 30 years, said that Travolta's reported threat is a dangerous move, and that it was not only the actor but also any high-profile practitioner who wanted out. "Scientology keeps files on its celebrity members containing embarrassing personal information about them," he said. "And Scientology has proven in the past that it has a penchant for releasing that information to embarrass people who have left and who have said things it doesn't like," he added.