John Travolta is sticking up for Scientology just over a week after the HBO documentary “Going Clear” exposed a number of unflattering aspects of the religion some former members describe as a cult.
“I’ve been so happy with my [Scientology] experience in the last 40 years that I really don’t have anything to say that would shed light on [a documentary] so decidedly negative,” Travolta told the Tampa Bay Times.
Although the 61-year-old actor’s involvement in the church is profiled extensively in director Alex Gibney‘s film, based on author Lawrence Wright’s book of the same name, Travolta told the publication he hasn’t seen it, nor does he care to.
The documentary charges that both Travolta and Tom Cruise garner special treatment from the church, which wants to keep them happy due to their celebrity influence. Yet former Scientologists who spoke to Gibney said leader David Miscavige planted hidden microphones to record the actors’ auditing sessions, a practice the church allegedly takes advantage of to monitor members, and possibly use their personal confessions against them if they try to defect.
“I haven’t experienced anything that the hearsay has [claimed], so why would I communicate something that wasn’t true for me?” Travolta said. “It wouldn’t make sense, nor would it for Tom, I imagine.”
Travolta credits the tax-exempt religious organization worth $1.5 billion for helping him through “storms that were insurmountable,” including the death of his 16-year-old son, Jett, in 2009.
Travolta ensured that his experience has been nothing but “beautiful,” and promised it is for others, too.
“I’ve helped so many people through hard times,” Travolta said. “Loss of children, loved ones, physical illnesses. Through many tough, tough life situations I’ve used the technology to support them and help them. It’s always worked. So, why would I even approach a negative perspective? That would be a crime to me, personally, to do that.”
“Going Clear” features a number of high-profile former Scientologists speaking out about abuse they’ve suffered or witnessed within the church. Director Paul Haggis and “Chicago P.D.” actor Jason Beghe are among the biggest Hollywood defectors interviewed, while former church executives Mike Rinder and Mark Rathbun open up about being physically beaten by Miscavige.
Travolta said subjects featured in the documentary are “people who were disgruntled with their experiences,” while his “has been nothing but brilliant.”