John Travolta Defends 'Beautiful' Church of Scientology, Says He Hasn't Seen Going Clear Documentary
The actor said the Church of Scientology "has been nothing but brilliant for me"
The actor, 61, said in a new interview that he likely won’t watch director Alex Gibney’s investigative film about the controversial church and confirmed he hasn’t had any negative experiences with Scientology.
“I’ve been so happy with my experience in the last 40 years that I really don’t have anything to say that would shed light on [a film] so decidedly negative,” he told the Tampa Bay Times on Monday.
He also said that he and fellow actor and church member Tom Cruise, 52, have no reason to condemn Scientology when both haven’t experienced anything the filmmakers allege about church practices: “It wouldn’t make sense, nor would it for Tom, I imagine.”
The Pulp Fiction actor – who, along with Cruise, is one of the church’s most prominent celebrity members – went on to explain that after the death of his son Jett in 2009, Scientology provided a “beautiful” community of support.
“Oh, my god, I wouldn’t have made it – honestly,” Travolta said of the assistance he received from the church. He also said that he has put his religion to good use in helping others.
“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.”
He went on to say, “So, why would I even approach a negative perspective? That would be a crime to me, personally, to do that.”
The Oscar nominee instead called the documentary a product of “people who were disgruntled with their experiences.”
Going Clear, which debuted March 29 on HBO, is based on Lawrence Wright’s book of a similar title that alleges misconduct occurred within the Church of Scientology that ranges from physical abuse of members to blackmail when individuals attempt to leave the church.
Scientology has slammed both the documentary and book as “dishonest” and based on accounts by “admitted liars and professional anti-Scientologists,” a rep from the church told PEOPLE in a statement last month.
While Travolta dismissed the allegations in the film, another celebrity recently stepped up to thank the makers of Going Clear for being brave enough to follow through with the controversial tell-all project.
Actress Leah Remini, who experienced a high-profile exit from the church in 2013, spoke out last month to express gratitude to Gibney and crew for helping “those who didn’t have a voice.”
Remini, 44, left the church to protect her daughter, telling BuzzFeed in February 2014: “They say they’re loving, caring, non-judgmental people, but secretly, they were judging the world for not believing what they believed.”