John Travolta defended Scientology in a live television interview, and the video (below) has gone viral. He responded to critics of the religion which has received much attention and scrutiny with the premiere of the HBO documentary ‘Going Clear.’
The 61-year-old icon John Travolta spoke with ABC News’ Amy Robach in the Good Morning America studios in Times Square. His appearance on the morning show was in support of his new movie, ‘The Forger.’ But unquestioningly the veteran actor was there in support also of the controversial Scientology religion.
The Alex Gibney documentary “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief,” based on the book of the same title by Lawrence Wright, had its premiere at Sundance earlier this year before its broadcast premiere on HBO. It’s made headlines for months, as former members of the church have shared their stories, and there have been a number of eyebrow raising allegations of physical abuse, forced labor and the like.
John Travolta is a longtime member of the church alongside the likes of Tom Cruise and Kirstie Alley. He made offered a vehement defense of the religion while, notably, not addressing any of the specifics of the allegations.
He began by saying, “You can read ‘A New Slant on Life.’ You can read ‘Dianetics.” The two book by Scientology founder, L. Ron Hubbard are considered the key texts on the religion according to its members.
Travolta went on to say, “I think if you really read it, you understand it. But unless you do, you’ll speculate — and I think that’s a mistake to do that.”
He added, “Sometimes, when something really works well it becomes a target.”
That was as far as he went in responding to the allegations of the documentary which he pointedly did not mention by name. Later in he spoke of his own experience with Scientology as he said, “Forty years for me, I’ve been part and I’ve loved every minute of it, and my family has done so well with it.”
He continued, saying,“It’s a beautiful thing for me and I’ve saved lives with it. Saved my own life several times.”
Alluding to the death of his 15-year-old son, Jett, in 2009, Travolta went on to say, “Through the loss of my son, it helped me every step of the way for two years solid, and here I am talking to you because of it.”
The documentary ‘Going Clear,’ was, according to The Hollywood Reporter, vetted by 160 lawyers before its broadcast. The church, long known for filing lawsuits against critics, has not filed any lawsuits against filmmakers or anyone associated with ‘Going Clear,’ thus far.
The star, known for ‘Saturday Night Fever’ and ‘Grease’ has been the only high profile member to offer public remarks since the documentary’s premiere, and, as noted, his interview has made headlines. You can watch John Travolta’s Scientology defense in the video below.