Church of Scientology Threatening to Out John Travolta If He Leaves Religion?
Since his son's death, actor John Travolta has been a recluse. He hasn't been seen in public - except late at nights when he drives around alone in a golf cart.
This somewhat peculiar behavior, according to insiders, stems from the loss of his son Jed and his plans to disassociate himself from the Church of Scientology, despite funneling a lot of money into it and most recently going against its teachings to publicly say Jed was autistic.
But leaving may not be so easy.
Reports the Daily Mail.
According to a report in the British press, the Church of Scientology may be threatening to expose his alleged homosexual lifestyle should he decide to leave the religion.
And there are dark mutterings that if he carries out private threats to leave, the organization will go public with embarrassing details of his private life, including, it is claimed, allegations of past homosexual relationships.
"There have been strong rumors coming out of Scientology that John Travolta is disappointed that the religion was not able to help his son more," Rick Ross, author and lecturer on Scientology, told me this week. "It's led him to question his faith."
Travolta is also said to be upset that senior members of the sect have instructed him to undergo intensive sessions with one of Scientology's "ethics officers", trained to question the actor and other grieving family members to establish whether their "negative influences" might have contributed to the tragedy.
But there is much more to this than just a questioning of a once rock-solid faith. "I think it would be very difficult for John Travolta at this stage, given his history with the religion, to extricate himself from the Church of Scientology," said Mr Ross, who has investigated the sect for almost 30 years.
"It would be a huge move on his part because Scientology keeps files on its celebrity members containing embarrassing personal information about them.
"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.
"If celebrities leave, they tend to do it quietly and keep their mouths shut, because if they do speak out, they are opening themselves up to attack from Scientology.
"That's why I think Travolta will want to keep his problems with the Church private."
Travolta's friends have been speculating among themselves for months that he now deeply regrets adhering so strictly to the cult's outlandish instructions over his son's medical treatment.
But to reach such an exalted level within Scientology, Travolta, insiders say, has had to submit himself to years of so-called "auditing", during which disciples are connected to primitive lie-detectors and subjected to hours of questioning about their innermost secrets.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, given Hollywood's obsession with the secret sect, talk in the smarter salons of gossip-hungry Tinseltown is now all about what Travolta might have divulged during these sessions.
At the center of this rather frenzied speculation has been his continued relationship with Jeff Kathrein, the fellow Scientologist whom Travolta was photographed kissing on the lips on the steps of a private plane three years ago.
It is not the first time that Travolta has been the subject of whispers about his sexuality.
In 2001, he was the subject of lurid claims that he had tried to pick up a business executive in a California health club.
The allegations came three years after Travolta was named as a homosexual in US Federal court papers, issued by a former member of the Scientology Church, who alleged the sect used the actor as an example of how gays could be 'cured' by the religion.
Earlier, the prestigious Time magazine also reported allegations made by Richard Aznaran, the former security head of Scientology, that the Church's leader, David Miscavige, had repeatedly joked about Travolta's 'promiscuous homosexual behavior'.
Aznaran's claims came just months after the star was the subject of wild accusations in an American supermarket-tabloid that he had enjoyed a two-year affair with a gay porn star called Paul Barresi, who had a bit part in Travolta's 1985 flop, Perfect.
In the wake of Barresi's claims, Travolta - who at 37 was still a bachelor - announced his sudden engagement to Miss Preston, who was already a committed member of the sect and with whom he starred in the forgettable 1989 comedy The Experts. The couple married two years later.
The actor's only previous serious relationship was in the mid-1970s, with actress Diana Hyland.
She was 18 years his senior, but the couple moved in together after appearing in a U.S. television movie. Tragically, less than a year after they became an item, she died in his arms of breast cancer.
Updates: John's spokesperson said the actor will be a Scientologist "forever."
"There’s no change in the relationship between the Church of Scientology and John. He is a member and it’s as it was, now and forever," Paul Bloch told People magazine.
Rick Ross, an author and lecturer on Scientology said: "There have been strong rumors coming out of Scientology that John Travolta is disappointed the religion was not able to help his son more. I think it would be very difficult for John Travolta at this stage to extricate himself from Scientology. It would be a huge move on his part because Scientology keeps files on its celebrity members containing embarrassing personal information about them. 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. That’s why I think Travolta will want to keep his problems with the Church private."