Scientology's key advice for childbirth? Keep your mouth shut, woman!

John Travolta and Kelly Preston used the birth of their son to plug their religion. But Scientology's philosophy on giving birth is not something to shout about

Guardian, UK/January 13, 2011

There are few things that irk Lost in Showbiz more than a celebrity Scientologist who chooses to play down their religion. Frankly, if it believed that Xenu, Dictator of the Galactic Confederacy was locked in an electronic mountain trap – possibly somewhere in the Pyrenees – and that the human race was under constant threat from the disembodied souls of aliens he killed 75m years ago by lowering hydrogen bombs into volcanoes, it would never shut up about it.

So, it's with some delight that we turn to the interview given by John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston to Hello! in celebration of the birth of their son Benjamin. No underplaying the crackalackadingdong stuff with these operating thetans. The secret of their marriage? "The tools of Scientology," says Travolta.

"We had a beautiful quiet birth, based on L Ron Hubbard's philosophy," offers Preston, by which she means she and the birthing staff refrained from saying anything during labour, normal shouty childbirth being "a setup that the devil himself would not countenance" according to L Ron Hubbard.

Casting aside any lingering doubts that someone who thinks childbirth is a setup that the devil himself would not countenance might not be the first person you'd turn to for advice about childbirth, Lost in Showbiz has had a look into Hubbard's philosophy and it has to say, it's pretty impressed, most particularly with his ideas about caring for your partner during pregnancy. "Advise her to keep her mouth shut when she gets into morning sickness, and when she's on the toilet, and to stop arguing with her husband, and just give her a general idea of what will happen if she doesn't," he suggested in a 1950 lecture. LiS looks forward to more men taking this loving and commonsense approach – Don't bother with the ante-natal classes! Just say "Shut up", and then threaten them! – but regrets it cannot be held in any way liable for injuries resulting from your pregnant partner smashing you repeatedly in the face with a hardback copy of a Gina Ford book.

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