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Why does Scientology have a blackmail file on John Travolta?

Why does Scientology have a folder of ‘black PR’ on John Travolta?

The church of Scientology allegedly has a blackmail file on John Travolta to stop him from leaving the controversial group, according to new documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.

The film, which required 160 lawyers to check through all claims made, aired on HBO on Sunday night.

John Travolta
It’s claimed the church of Scientology has a blackmail file on John Travolta to prevent him leaving the group. Image via Getty.

The controversial ‘black PR’ claims were made by former member Sylvia ‘Spanky’ Taylor who says she was the point of contact between the Church and John Travolta.

In the film, Taylor says “damaging material” was revealed in mandatory audit sessions where members are encouraged to expose personal information.

John Travolta, who has been married to actress Kelly Preston since 1991, has been dogged with rumours around his sexuality throughout his 40-year career.

Kelly Preston and John Travolta
John Travolta with wife Kelly Preston. Image via Getty.
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The documentary did not explicitly say the blackmail was surrounding whether or not the actor was gay, but director Alex Gibney hinted at it by referencing the alleged relationship he had with fellow Scientologist Jeff Kathrein, after they were photographed kissing in 2006. 

While auditing sessions are usually taped and filmed, John Travolta is said to have requested private session. But the documentary claims hidden cameras were installed without the star knowing.

Read more: John Travolta was The Creepy Uncle at the Oscars. Here’s proof.

These new claims follow those made in 2010 revealing Scientology leader David Miscavige was tapping Tom Cruise’s confessionals, allegedly also to stop the actor leaving.

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Members of the church are encouraged to engage in regular audits as a form of psychological therapy where any shortcomings are dealt with so they can achieve spiritual betterment. Fantasies and daydreams are also exposed in these sessions as a way of accessing a ‘past life’.

While Scientologists believe these session are a core part of what enables their members to become successful, outsiders and former members claim audits are actually used by the church to create leverage against dissatisfied members who want to leave or speak out, the documentary reveals.

Read more: He was born into the Church of Scientology. This was what he had to say after he left.

Going Clear director Alex Gibney has said since the documentary aired last Sunday most of the vitriol from the Scientology community has been directed at ex-members who participated in the film, rather than the creators or himself.

“They’ve received threats of physical harm, threats of having their homes taken away, threats of being forced into bankruptcy. They’re being followed by private eyes and surveilled,” he told TheWrap.

Take a look here to see some of the Hollywood stars who call themselves Scientologists…

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