Following the tragic passing of his wife Kelly Preston, there is speculation among some that *John Travolta may be breaking from the Church of Scientology. The actor has been a devoted member of the church for 45 years, but former Scientologists believe that his statements showing support for the hospital that treated Preston’s cancer are an indirect indictment of the church.
The church’s founder L. Ron Hubbard was “really opposed to chemotherapy and radiation,” but Travolta wrote in a statement after Preston’s passing, “My family and I will forever be grateful to her doctors and nurses at MD Anderson Cancer Center, all the medical centers that have helped.”
Ex church member and Scientology critic Jeffrey Augustine talked to the Daily Mail about what this means. “The statement was unequivocal in the support of medical staff… It shows they’ve backed away from Scientology,” he said.
Augustine went on to say that Travolta’s actions were a way of him saying he doesn’t need the church.
“It’ll hurt to lose your wife of 30 years… there will be grief, it’s human. There’s no acknowledgement in that statement of Scientology, David Miscavige, or auditing, there’s nothing – that’s critical, he took care of it in his own hands, this is a personal matter, like ‘I don’t need the Church,'” he added.
He added that people are realizing that the church’s method of trying to “audit” away cancer doesn’t work.
“In the Church, they’d say you lost Jett, so that’s why you got cancer, so we need to audit that out,” he said. “[But] they did it with medicine. This was handled professionally and elegantly, I really admire the way he did it, he made Scientology a non-part of Kelly’s death.”
Brendan Tighe, a former security guard for Travolta, said that the Pulp Fiction star might not want the church’s help right now.
“I’d also guess that he will take some time off with his kids to travel the world and get some space. His Scientology handlers will of course try to be there at every step, but he may not want the ‘help’ right away,” he said.
A spokesperson for the family announced Preston’s death a couple weeks ago, saying that she had been undergoing medical treatment for “some time” and was supported by her family and friends throughout her battle with cancer. He battle with the illness was not publicly known, so the news of her passing came as a complete shock to fans.