Cruise Calls Travolta Tragedy 'Horrific,' Defends Scientology

Inside a Scientology Funeral

The Travoltas will likely have a church-inspired funeral for Jett, church observers say. The Church of Scientology released a statement to ABC News detailing its views on death and funerals.

"In Scientology we believe that you have lived before and that you will live again," the statement said. "The spirit, which is you, is immortal and you are not your body. You as an individual are an immortal spiritual being and simply put, you have lived before and will live again, lifetime after lifetime. In Scientology these past existences are simply referred to as past lives.

"The Scientology funeral service celebrates the life of the person who has departed his body," the church's statement continued. "Friends and family have the opportunity to say goodbye, to acknowledge and thank the person for what he or she has done in this lifetime, and to wish them well as they move on to their next lifetime. The service is a reaffirmation of the knowledge that we are immortal spiritual beings."

Stephen Kent, a professor of sociology and alternative religions at the University of Alberta and an expert on Scientology, elaborated on typical proceedings.

"Someone will give readings from [Scientology founder] L. Ron Hubbard, including possibly a eulogy. It will be difficult for Scientologists to talk about a young man's life. It's likely they'll talk more about his parents' love for him," he said. "Scientologists are flexible about whether the body or ashes must be present at the funeral. There can even just be a picture of the person. Certainly, non-Scientologists can come to the funeral."

"A Scientology funeral is likely to emphasize the movement of the thetan from attachment to this body to attachment to another body," Kent added. "The hope is that the thetan will come back in better times, with a better body, with a better spiritual nature."

After the funeral, it's likely the organization will ask Travolta, his family and Jett's caretakers to undergo evaluations to banish any ill feelings about the tragedy.

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