A FORMER high-ranking Irish Scientologist, John Duignan, has revealed how he believes that John Tavolta’s son would still be alive today if he was allowed drugs banned by the celebrity cult.
The ex-member, who escaped from the religion after 22 years, has told how he witnessed many of the church’s members become ill because they were taken off drugs to treat neurological and psychiatric illnesses.
Tom Cruise famously landed in hot water when he publicly criticised his Hollywood pal Brooke Shields for taking prescription drugs to battle post-natal depression and recommended she take vitamins instead.
Corkman Duignan, who co-wrote an explosive book on the world’s fastest growing cult, said one of his friends sustained many injuries after she was taken off medication to stop he having epileptic fits.
He said: “She broke her jaw, all her front teeth were knocked out and she cracked her skull. Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse blood transfusions and Scientologists refuse and medications for psychiatric, psychological and neurological diseases.”
In the book The Complex – which is co-written by Sunday World
reporter Nicola Tallant – he details how he spent over two decades of his life with the church after getting a free personality test when he was 20, before escaping its clutches two years ago by hiding out for months.
He said he believes John Tavolta’s son suffered from autism and epileptic fits but Scientology would have outlawed him from taking medication to control them.
He said: “It does not recognise depression, it does not recognise schizophrenia. John Tavolta’s brother, who they are disconnected from, is ironically involved in campaigning and lobbying for the rights of autistic children. His observation of Jett Travolta was that the boy had a form of autism and that it came with regular seizures. I have a very black and white view on this. Travolta has been a Scientologist for 25 or 30 years and would be anti-psychiatry. The boy was denied the correct intervention because of Scientology. It is absolutely known that what he was suffering from was treatable with drugs. If he had the right intervention, I belive he would be alive today.”
He said he often saw Travolta come to various Scientology centres in Britain and Los Angeles during his two decades as a member of the elite Sea Organisation of the religion.
He said: “I would have seen him a lot and would have been quite close to him when he was giving speeches. He came to the Saint Hill headquarters in Britain quite a lot. He called his son Jett after the character Jethro in a 10-volume science fiction story called Mission earth.”
He said he believes there are other children and adults at rik of injury due to the ban on western meidication to deal with neurological and psychological conditions..
He said: “I think there are children at risk. It’s a cult that does not accept any advice or intervention from anything outside the cult. I have seen numerous people having nervous breakdowns while I was in Scientology. If people were having psychotic episodes they were brought away to a remote place.”
He said he does sympathise greatly with the Travolta family over the death of their only son.
He said: “They are going through horrible grief and horrible loss at the moment. They loved the child and I think John Tavolta would have been doing his best for him. The Scientologists will be guiding them. They will say goodbye to Jett and they believe his spirit will go and get another body. They will be happy he is free from his body and the psychiatric condition. They think that spirits were attached to him causing the condition.”
He added that dying Scientologists have been known to ask pregnant mums-to-be to allow them to take the body of their unborn child when they die.
He said: “Scientologists who are dying have been known to ask pregnant women if they can take over her child’s body when it is born. Sometimes there is a financial agreement and the mother could even inherit the dying person’s house. Sometimes they go and live with the pregnant mother. I’ve seen it with my own two eyes. It sounds like crazy science fiction but it happens.”
The Complex is published by Merlin and available in bookshops nationwide, priced €12.99.