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Old 01-04-2009, 04:42 PM   #31
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to be fair to the Travoltas, this is from TMZ:

(i posted this in ZS)

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John Travolta's Son: Meds Ultimately Did Harm

Posted Jan 4th 2009 12:29PM by TMZ Staff

TMZ has learned more about the medical condition of John Travolta's son, Jett, and the medication that ultimately didn't work.

We're now told the grand mal seizures Jett suffered were "frequent and extremely serious." Travolta's lawyers, Michael Ossi and Michael McDermott, tell us "each seizure was like a death," with Jett losing consciousness and convulsing.

We now know Jett was taking a drug called Depakote, a strong anti-seizure medication. There have been reports Travolta refused to give his son anti-seizure meds because of Scientology but those stories are not true.

Jett had been having seizures on an average of every four days, until he started taking Depakote. Ossi and McDermott say the drug initially worked, reducing the frequency to approximately once every three weeks.

Jett took Depakote for "several years," but it eventually lost its effectiveness, according to Ossi and McDermott. They say the Travoltas were concerned about possible physical damage. And, Jett went back to having around one seizure a week. So Travolta and Preston, after consulting neurosurgeons, stopped administering the drug. No one is suggesting withdrawal of the medicine in any way caused the fatal episode.


i also just returned from vacation where i visited a friend from college. less than 3 years after graduation, she awoke with a splitting headache and then collapsed in the shower that morning. her roommates had the presence of mind to quickly call an ambulance and that probably saved her life. she was in a coma for 2 weeks and it was determined that she had a major stroke. she spent a few years in a wheelchair and had to re-learn nearly everything we take for granted (addition, telling time, the alphabet, etc.) she's doing well and improving and manages to walk on her own with some assistance, but it's absolutely shocking to see what a brain malfunction can do to a healthy, very bright, then 25 year old. no warning, no prior health problems, nothing.
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:32 AM   #32
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My mother was 71 when she had her brain injury last year, but a completely healthy and vibrant 71-year-old who still taught college and adult-ed classes, walked up to several miles a day, was an accomplished sculptress and had a full and happy existence living on her own. Then this stupid freak accident happens, and all at once (and permanently) she's mentally and emotionally like a toddler. I'm her guardian now, and have more or less reconciled myself to the fact that the person I knew for 37 years is effectively dead and there's no point in looking for her anymore, but sometimes when she doesn't seem to recognize me and care that I'm there, or yells inarticulately and thrashes her fists at me for some perceived minor offense I can't even figure out, the whole situation feels so cruel and surreal; she never feared physical suffering, but I know she'd never have wanted to live like this. If she doesn't live to be very old it will be a blessing, but she remains physically very healthy, so she might well. Ironically, Depakote is one of the drugs I had it out with the psychiatrist assigned to her case over (still not exactly sure why she was on it, but lots of elderly people are; I think basically 'to reduce agitation'); they've taken her off it now, and she is more alert and, ironically, less grumpy as well.

That's a sad story about the Travolta boy; his condition sounds vaguely like that of a young man one of my brothers was sort of a nanny to for awhile--he also had chronic (though I think mostly minor) seizures, and apparently as a result of years of them, was really no longer mentally competent and needed a 'minder' with him everywhere he went. I don't really understand what if anything the connection of Kawasaki syndrome to it is supposed to be, that has nothing to do with seizures so far as I know, but it sounds like a heartbreakingly sad story.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:44 AM   #33
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The South Park episode on Scientology summed it up nicely

I cant stand religions where people go out and try and convert others

I get pestered by Christian Union all the time - i politley tell them i dont believe in Jesus and that seems to make them go away
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:43 PM   #34
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Actually even if one takes the 'religion is all nonsense' tack, there is a distinct difference. As others have pointed out, a science fiction writer in the 1950s basically wrote his own religion for a lark.

The long-standing world religions have evolved with and through human culture over millenia. Even if not scientifically 'true' (hardly the point), there is a lot more to them than a guy just makin' shit up.

Religions, interestingly, evolve organically. how ironic. But true. There would have been no Christianity if there had not first been Judaism. And its spiritual precursors. Yeah, just not the same as L. Ron Hubbard writing a religion for fun and profit.

I think Scientology has at least as much in common with multi-level marketing as it does with 'religion'.
I agree.

Are there any great Scientologist philosophers like in other major religions?
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:07 AM   #35
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[q]For the Love of Xenu

By Mark Oppenheimer

Scientology, the controversial religion whose adherents include John Travolta, Tom Cruise, and Jenna Elfman, can't seem to stay out of the news. Sometimes the church would rather not have the publicity, as when Germany, which considers Scientology a cult, recently refused to let Tom Cruise shoot scenes for his new movie in government buildings. Other times, Scientologists court the attention—as when the same Mr. Cruise brought his Scientology-influenced anti-psychiatry crusade to the Today show in 2005.

Some Americans may consider Scientology perhaps a cult, maybe a violent sect, and certainly very weird. And, like many, I find the Church of Scientology odd, to say the least. But Scientology is no more bizarre than other religions. And it's the similarities between Scientology and, say, Christianity and Judaism that make us so uncomfortable. We need to hate Scientology, lest we hate ourselves.

[...]

My podcast and article were not meant to attack Scientology. Not every article about a Catholic mentions the church's pederasty scandals or its suborning of fascism under Hitler and Franco. An article about Yom Kippur observance in Hackensack need not ask Jews for their views of illegal West Bank settlements. All religious groups have something to answer for, but religion writing would be quite tedious, not to mention unilluminating, if every article were reduced to the negative charges against some co-religionists.

But when it comes to Scientology, there's a hunger for the negative. I suspect that's because Scientology evinces an acute case of what Freud called the narcissism of small differences: We're made most uncomfortable by that which is most like us. And everything of which Scientology is accused is an exaggerated form of what more "normal" religions do. Does Scientology charge money for services? Yes—but the average Mormon, tithing 10 percent annually, pays more money to his church than all but the most committed Scientologists pay to theirs. Jews buying "tickets" to high-holiday services can easily part with thousands of dollars a year per family. Is Scientology authoritarian and cultlike? Yes—but mainly at the higher levels, which is true of many religions. There may be pressure for members of Scientology's elite "Sea Organization" not to drop out, but pressure is also placed on Catholics who may want to leave some cloistered orders. Does Scientology embrace pseudoscience? Absolutely—but its "engrams" and "E-meter" are no worse than what's propagated by your average Intelligent Design enthusiast. In fact, its very silliness makes it less pernicious.

And what about the "Xenu" creation myth anti-Scientologists are so fond of? Scientologists have promised me that it is simply not part of their theology—some say they learned about Xenu from South Park. Several ex-Scientologists have sworn the opposite. Given his frequent conflation of science fiction, theology, and incoherent musings, I think that Hubbard may have taught that eons ago, the galactic warlord Xenu dumped 13.5 trillion beings in volcanoes on Earth, blowing them up and scattering their souls. But I'm not sure that it is an important part of Scientology's teachings. And if Xenu is part of the church's theology, it's no stranger than what's in Genesis. It's just newer and so seems weirder.

Religions appear strange in inverse proportion to their age. Judaism and Catholicism seem normal—or at least not deviant. Mormonism, less than 200 years old, can seem a bit incredible. And Scientology, founded 50 years ago, sounds truly bizarre. To hear from a burning bush 3,000 years ago is not as strange as meeting the Angel Moroni two centuries ago, which is far less strange than having a hack sci-fi writer as your prophet.

That's not to say that all religions are "equal" or equally deserving of respect. I'm no more a Scientologist than I am a Swedenborgian or a member of the Nation of Islam, and I do have two criticisms of Scientology that one rarely hears from Xenu-obsessed detractors.

First, while the introductory Scientology costs are not outlandish (for example, a member may pay about $200 for a dozen sessions of "auditing," to start out), the fees increase as adherents gain new knowledge through advanced course work (going "up the bridge to total freedom," in Scientology-speak)—and it does make the religion resemble a pyramid or matrix scheme. More than one Scientologist explained to me that they don't have the financial resources of the Catholic Church that come from thousands of years of donations. They have to charge. Well, that's not the whole truth. The secrecy surrounding Scientology's higher levels of knowledge has no apparent analog in the Abrahamic faiths, and the steep financial outlay to get higher knowledge seems also unique. Catholicism doesn't charge people to become learned, nor does Judaism. In fact, the greatest scholars in those faiths are often revered paupers: penniless rabbis and voluntarily poor priests, monks, and nuns.

Poverty is not Scientology's style, to say the least. That leads me to my second criticism: bad aesthetics! I have never been less religiously moved by ostensibly religious spaces than in Scientology buildings. Whether the Celebrity Centre in Los Angeles, the New York church off Times Square, or the local branch down the street from my house, Scientology buildings are filled with garish colors, flat-screen TVs showing silly, dull videos, and glossy pamphlets recycling the legend of the overrated L. Ron Hubbard, whom Scientologists revere as a scientist, writer, and seer of the first rank. In my opinion, Hubbard's books are bad, the movies they inspire are bad, and the derivative futuro-techno look that Scientology loves is an affront to good taste on every level. It's a religion that screams nouveau–Star Trek–riche. For those of us who seek mystery, wonder, and beauty in our religions, Scientology is a nonstarter.

But good taste, as art critic Dave Hickey says, is just the residue of someone else's privilege. Catholicism has its Gothic cathedrals, Judaism its timeless Torah scrolls. Scientology is brand-new, but it has played an impressive game of catch-up. In its drive to be a major world religion, it will inevitably go through a period when its absurdities and missteps are glaringly apparent. But someday it will be old and prosaic, and there may still be Scientologists. And when some of those Scientologists embezzle, lie, and steal—as they surely will—they'll seem no worse than Christians, Jews, or Muslims who have done the same.

Mark Oppenheimer, a senior book critic for the Forward, is writing a book about American oratory. He is coordinator of the Yale Journalism Initiative and hosts a podcast for the New Haven Independent.[/q]
GREAT POST. They are all is implausible and rediculous as each other
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:17 PM   #36
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You don't think that other religions were "made up by some dude?"
Exactly! Except in my religion the 'dude' was God! Yeah! FTW!!!
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:38 PM   #37
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GREAT POST. They are all is implausible and rediculous as each other
FYM should have grammar/spelling requirements.
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:40 PM   #38
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FYM should have grammar/spelling requirements.
I think dan is from Australia. English is most likely his second language. Don't be such a prick.
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:41 PM   #39
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I think dan is from Australia. English is most likely his second language. Don't be such a prick.
They don't capitalize people's names down there, mike?
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:43 PM   #40
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They don't capitalize people's names down there, mike?
I don't think they use the Western Alphabet like we do. Mostly circles and squiggly lines combined with little pictorial representations.
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:17 PM   #41
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I don't think they use the Western Alphabet like we do. Mostly circles and squiggly lines combined with little pictorial representations.
That's true and from the pictures I've seen, I'd say either Australians have a penchant for exaggerating the size of their cranks or there is a reason why you never see Australians win foot races.
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:23 PM   #42
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I think dan is from Australia. English is most likely his second language. Don't be such a prick.



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Old 01-07-2009, 03:23 PM   #43
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would this be an appropriate juncture to make a witty "shrimp on the barbie" remark?
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:25 PM   #44
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would this be an appropriate juncture to make a witty "shrimp on the barbie" remark?
nobody here EVER says that unless it's to get laffs.

but we do say Strewth and Crikey. . . .or is that just me
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:14 PM   #45
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I think its just you, I was locked in a room with the BBC World Service as a child so I speak in RP
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