- The Washington Times - Monday, April 20, 2015

John Travolta said Monday that Scientology has helped him save lives, including his own, as the church faces intense scrutiny following Alex Gibney’s exposé “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.”

Since its March 29 debut, “Going Clear” has prompted calls from critics for Mr. Travolta and Tom Cruise — Scientology’s figurehead celebrities — to speak out against the church’s alleged abuses.

Mr. Travolta, 61, has defended his 40 years of service to the church, arguing Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that Scientology has become such a target because people don’t really understand it.

“People really need to take time and read a book. You know, that’s my advice. You could read ‘A New Slant on Life,’ you could read ‘Dianetics,’” he said, citing two books by founder L. Ron Hubbard, The Hollywood Reporter said. “And I think if you really read it, you’ll understand it, but unless you do, you’ll speculate. And I think that’s a mistake to do that.

“Sometimes when something really works well, it becomes a target,” Mr. Travolta said. “Forty years for me, I’ve been a part, and I’ve loved every minute of it. My family has done so well with it. It’s been a beautiful thing for me. I’ve saved lives with it and saved my own life several times. Through my loss of my son, it helped me every step of the way for two years solid, and here I am.”

Jett, Mr. Travolta’s son with wife Kelly Preston, died while on vacation in 2009 at the age of 16 after a seizure. The actor said he was forced to “reflect” on the painful experience while acting in his new movie, “The Forger,” which opens Friday.

In the film, Mr. Travolta plays an art forger who gets out of prison to find his son dying of a brain tumor, ABC News reported.

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