Asked by the newspaper whether he's seen the eye-opening new film, Travolta said, "No, I haven't, and I don't really care to."
The American Crime Story star, 61, is discussed and featured at length in Going Clear, along with his fellow celebrity Scientologist Tom Cruise. Based on Lawrence Wright's book by the same name, the documentary focuses on the scope, alleged transgressions, and history of the church, highlighting the influence that Travolta and Cruise have both in the church and in recruiting new members.
"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 documentary] so decidedly negative," Travolta told the Tampa Bay Times of Scientology and Going Clear. He explained that the film was made, in his opinion, by "people who were disgruntled with their experiences," and added that the church "has been nothing but brilliant for me."
"I haven't experienced anything that the hearsay has [claimed], so why would I communicate something that wasn't true for me? It wouldn't make sense, nor would it for Tom, I imagine," he continued, referencing Cruise, 52. "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 and Cruise were recently taken to task by filmmaker Alex Gibney for not speaking out against the church, as he said it is their responsibility as the figureheads to condemn abuses. One such alleged transgression was detailed in Going Clear, in which Travolta's former friend and Scientology associate, Spanky Taylor, discusses poor treatment such as forced labor, inadequate care for her newborn baby, and a culminating moment in which the woman escaped from the church.
"By now there is a well-documented record of abuses in the Church of Scientology, yet Cruise and Travolta have never spoken out about them," Gibney said in a January interview with Variety. "By not speaking out, it's a kind of an endorsement."
Cruise and Travolta have continually denied or ignored allegations of physical abuse and stories of demeaning and mistreatment within the church. The two actors remain Scientologists after decades with the religion.
"I've helped so many people through hard times — loss of children, loved ones, physical illnesses. Through many tough, tough life situations I've used the technology to support them and help them," Travolta added to the Tampa Bay Times of the church, which allegedly offers treatment through levels at a hefty price tag. "It's always worked… So, why would I even approach a negative perspective? That would be a crime to me, personally, to do that."
Representatives from the Church of Scientology have publicly taken issue with Going Clear and released a statement on those involved.
"As the Church of Scientology stated in its New York Times ad of January 16, free speech is not a free pass to broadcast or publish false information," the statement reads. "More than two years after Alex Gibney, Lawrence Wright and HBO started secretly working on their film glorifying admitted liars expelled as long as three decades ago from the Church, the one-sided result is as dishonest as Gibney’s sources… Wright and Gibney cherry-picked expelled, discredited former Scientologists who would help them advance their propaganda. What was portrayed as a nonfiction book, and now a film, are both transparent vehicles for their vendettas against all religion and people of faith. None of the discredited sources represent the Scientology religion… The millions of parishioners worldwide who do represent it were intentionally ignored."
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