John Travolta to Scientology critics: 'Read a book'

Actor urges people to read 'Dianetics' (but not 'Going Clear')

It's been a tough few weeks for Scientology. It was the subject of Alex Gibney's critical documentary "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief," which premiered on HBO last month. Now one of the religion's most famous members is hitting back. John Travolta said Monday that critics of Scientology need to "read a book."

The actor's comments came during an appearance on "Good Morning America," where Travolta was promoting his new movie, "The Forger."

"You can read 'A New Slant on Life.' You can read 'Dianetics,'" Travolta said. "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."

Those books were written by L. Ron Hubbard, the science-fiction author who founded Scientology. The paperback versions of "Dianetics" and "Scientology: A New Slant on Life" are currently ranked No. 10 and No. 18, respectively, on Amazon's list of bestselling books about Scientology.

The No. 1 book on the list is the Kindle version of "Going Clear," the Lawrence Wright book that formed the basis of Gibney's documentary.

Travolta didn't directly address Wright's book or Gibney's film, but he's previously been critical of the documentary, telling the Tampa Bay Times that he has no plans to see the film.

"I haven't experienced anything that the hearsay has [claimed], so why would I communicate something that wasn't true for me?" he said. "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."


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