John Travolta and Tom Cruise have forcefully denied allegations that they turned to Scientology to “cure” them of their supposedly gay urges. But critics continue to claim the religion is rife with homophobia.
That apparently went for Hubbard’s son, Quentin, who was said to have been confused about his own sexual orientation. “(Ron) thought Quentin was an embarrassment,” Laurel Sullivan, Hubbard’s former PR officer, told the Los Angeles Times. Quentin killed himself in 1976.
Cultnews.com deprogrammer Rick Ross contends that Scientology leaders remain “adamantly opposed” to homosexuality. According to one former Scientologist, the sect teaches that a man “would regain a more normal sexuality as he gains more spiritual freedom through Scientology.”
In a federal lawsuit filed in 1998, ex-Scientologist Michael Pattinson claimed the church deceived him by using Travolta as an example of a satisfied member who’d gone straight. Reps for Travolta — who has been married to Scientologist Kelly Preston for 13 years — and the church called the charges “meritless” and “hogwash.”
Scientology spokeswoman Gaetane Asselin scoffed at the suggestion that celebrities such as twice-married Cruise, Lisa Marie Presley, Kirstie Alley and Isaac Hayes embrace a theology that sees gays as weak or demented.
“Mr. Hubbard abhorred discrimination in all its forms,” Asselin told us. “In today’s liberal society,” she argued, the church encourages any relationship that is “ethical.”
But, she added, “Subjects such as homosexuality and same-sex marriages are not widely debated in Scientology.”
Maybe everyone knows not to bring it up.
Apr. 10, 2005 Column
George Rush and Joanna Molloy