HBO’s brand new Scientology documentary Going Clear has only been available via the subscription cable service for a few days now, but a lot of people have watched it already. Part shocking and part harrowing, the expose seems wild to most individuals watching on their TV screens. But famous Scientologist John Travolta says he doesn’t have any intention of watching it.
Following the appearance of Going Clear on HBO, noted Scientologists have been fairly quiet regarding their thoughts on the material. However, Travolta recently told the Tampa Bay Times that he won’t be watching the new film, because it doesn’t relate to his experience with the organization.
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.
Travolta has been open about how Scientology has been a great help in the past, including following the death of his son, Jett, in 2009. While others have been disgruntled enough with the organization to speak out, Travolta says his experience with Scientology has been overwhelmingly positive. He's said so during interviews numerous times, and he recently gushed about his experiences again.
I've been so happy with my (Scientology) 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…. I've been brought through storms that were insurmountable, and it been so beautiful for me, that I can't even imagine attacking it.
If you watched Going Clear, you know the movie does a good job of juxtaposing how the experience of the average Scientology member supposedly can differ from the celebrity elite who join the organization. Clearly, Travolta feels his experience with the organization is different than what the documentary portrays, although if he hasn’t watched it, it’s hard to tell how exactly he would know that. More than likely, he's just going off the reviews, all of which mention the overall portrayal of the church isn't exactly warm and fuzzy.
The fact that Travolta has no urge to watch the documentary shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Church of Scientology has already spoken out condemning the film directed by Alex Gibney. It’s a little shocking that the notoriously litigious organization hasn’t tried to start some sort of lawsuit related to the film, although reports early on indicated that HBO worked to shield itself from lawsuits. Down the road, we could see some legal action, or the Church could simply decide to quietly move on and let the matter pass. Either way, it will be interesting to see whether the brouhaha has any effect on recruiting or is simply a round of negative press.