John Travolta’s 40-year involvement with Scientology is one of the main story lines in “Going Clear,” HBO’s explosive new documentary on the controversial church.
And while the premiere of “Going Clear” pulled in record ratings for HBO, Travolta was not one of its 1.7 million viewers.
“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 [Cruise], I imagine.”
The film alleges the high profile actors have remained the faces of Scientology because if they ever left, the church would disclose the stars’ deepest, darkest secrets to the tabloids based on hours and hours spent confessing everything during audits, the church’s form of spiritual counseling.
Gibney told Business Insider that he hoped the attention of “Going Clear” would make it easier for Cruise and Travolta to eventually leave the church.
“I think one of the reasons we’re trying to turn the spotlight on them is not to victimize them but to say you really have a responsibility,” Gibney told us. “You’re given an enormous amount of wealth as a movie star and with that comes a certain amount of responsibility, particularly when people are joining an organisation because of you. If the popular opinion begins to swing that way, I think you can see a change with them.”
But Travolta insists that Gibney’s documentary is simply the result of “people who were disgruntled with their experiences” with Scientology, adding that the church “has been nothing but brilliant for me.”
“I’ve been so happy with my [Scientology] experience in the last 40 years,” the 61-year-old actor said, “that I really don’t have anything to say that would shed light on [a documentary] so decidedly negative.”
Travolta explains that his faith was especially tested in 2009 after the death of his 16-year-old son, Jett.
“Oh, my god, I wouldn’t have made it” without the church’s assistance, Travolta said. “Honestly.”
“I will forever be grateful to Scientology for supporting me for two years solid, I mean Monday through Sunday,” Travolta told the BBC last year. “They didn’t take a day off, working through different angles of the techniques to get through grief and loss, and to make me feel that finally I could get through a day.”
Travolta elaborated to The Tampa Bay Times: “I’ve been brought through storms that were insurmountable, and [Scientology has] been so beautiful for me, that I can’t even imagine attacking it.”
Travolta says he has also used the church to try and help others in need.
“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.”
According to The Tampa Bay Times, when Travolta isn’t off shooting a film, he spends up to five days a week visiting Scientology’s headquarters in Clearwater, Florida. Travolta’s primary residence is a nearby estate in Ocala, which alsoacts as a functional airport with two runwaysfor his private planes.
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