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Scientology isn't controversial—at least, not if you ask John Travolta.

So why is the religion often scrutinized? "Mostly because it's not understood," the 61-year-old actor and outspoken Scientologist explained on Monday's Good Morning America. "You know, people really need to take time and read a book...That's my advice."

"You could read New Slant on Life or Dianetics," he suggested, "and I think if you really read it, you'll understand it. But unless you do, you'll speculate, and I think it's a mistake to do that."

So why, GMA's Amy Robach wanted to know, has Scientology "become such a target for critics"? According to Travolta, it's pretty simple: "Sometimes when something really works well, it becomes a target."

Travolta offered another explanation earlier this month when he was asked about HBO's critical documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. As he told the Tampa Bay Times, he believed that the "decidedly negative" documentary was a product of "people who were disgruntled with their experiences" with the religion. But for Travolta personally, Scientology "has been noting but brilliant," he said.

"You know, 40 years for me I've been part [of Scientology], and I've loved every minute of it," the Forger star continued. "My family's done so well with it, and it's a beautiful thing for me—and I've saved lives with it and saved my own life several times."

He also opened up about how the religion helped him survive the tragic 2009 death of his 16-year-old son Jett. To hear what he has to say about that (and much more), watch the GMA clip in the video above.