Like for all such cases, we will never know for sure, and it is just too easy to assign blame.
According to his wife, it was because of financial problems, after he lost his job.
At first sight, it would look crazy that someone would do this for financial problems. How does it resolve anything? In which way does it help his autistic daughter? To me, at first sight, the answer is obviously that it does not resolve anything and is more detrimental to his daughter than whatever he advised to the Travoltas to do. It's crazy.
But then, I don't want to be too judgmental, because while it is something I personally would never do, I am not in his shoes, and, though I was never depressed myself, I know that people who go through this experience also go through terrible mental anguish and pain. Their view of the world gets horribly distorted, and even the most insignificant problem becomes something they just cannot cope with.
Here is what his wife had to say about a comment that blamed him for his act:
"As Mr Kennys widow I am deeply upset by your comments. You HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT! My husband was a wonderful man and a great father. he stood for things that you wouldnt have the guts to stand for. If you knew anything you would know that suicide is sometimes the end result of a illness called depression. He did not take his life because there was no money, he took his life because he was such a proud man that he could financially care for his family and all that it costs with a disabled child and when he lost his job that day it devasted him because he felt like our daughter would no longer be able to get her therapies. he felt like he let us down, that is a real man!!!!!so next time you write terrible things you might consider that wife and daughter that you spoke of and how he was hurting by his actions, you have hurt by your comments..... Its the pot calling the kettle black! "This being said, I find it incongruous that he would take on himself to make an amateur "on sight" diagnostic on Travolta's son, giving John advises on what to do, and then end up doing such an incredible thing as taking his life as a "solution" to anything.
I know he "stood up to Travolta" out of the goodness of his heart and because he felt that this was the right thing to do, but at the end of the day, it just is absurd.
If anything, it shows that there are no easy answers to human problems, and even less so in such a sensitive field.
Update Jan 7:
I just read the AP article about the small town of Ocala, and this prompted me to think of the following.
This is pure speculation, I will freely admit, but could the loss of Tim's job, that prompted the events that led to his suicide, be due in part to Mark Ebner's article?
By Jove, look at the comments on Ebner's article. They mostly admonish Kenny, telling him to mind his own business and how does he know any of the things he claims, like John and Kelly supposedly "let Jett sit in front of video games all day eating junk food, while they eat the best organic food money can buy". Now how about a small town like Ocala where most of its inhabitant consider the Travoltas as family? It may be that Ebner's article was most unwelcome there.
Tim's attitude no doubt meant an end to the Travoltas patronizing the restaurant, and Ebner's publication may have led other celebrities or customers to boycott it as well. If Tim really ended up calling the child protective services on the Travoltas (though this is only a rumor coming from anti-Scientologists themselves), it certainly would not have made things easier.
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