• In a Category by Himself:
    Ron Miscavige—Rudest and Most Selfish Person Ever


    Ron Miscavige was “the ultimate example of someone who would not work and who wasted people’s time.”

    Henning Benndorf has been a member of the religious order for over 20 years. He was a senior executive at Golden Era Productions while Ron Miscavige was there. Henning is also a musician, artist and visual effects artist with an excellent reputation in Hollywood.

    Henning Benndorf
     

    Of the hundreds of staff I had under my supervision at Golden Era Productions—musicians, cinematographers, directors, actors, artists, grips, sets persons, mixers, administrative and human resources personnel, you name it—none came close to Ron Miscavige for his refusal to follow procedure or help the group to be successful. Ron was in a category by himself—the ultimate example of someone who would not work and who wasted people’s time. Of course, I regret that I gave him so many chances, owing to my respect for his son, the leader of the religion. I never wanted Ron to be a problem to his son and it was my desire to keep Ron from being a problem for others in general. He just is that type of person.

    Ron was in a category by himself—the ultimate example of someone who would not work and who wasted people’s time.

    When I visited the Music Department during my routine inspections, I would find Ron idle most of the time. He was constantly found to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and spent an inordinate amount of time standing in the kitchenette eating something or preparing something to eat. I’d see him spend a lot of time with the pastry chef in our A+ professional kitchen, preparing desserts when he was supposed to be playing music! Frankly, he was the most uncooperative staff member I ever dealt with and saying that he wasn’t “fulfilling his obligations” is an understatement.

    Ron’s favorite refrain was to say he was “too old to create modern music” as an excuse to do whatever the hell he wanted. Who knows what this even meant. After all, we produce films with all types of music—jazz, classical, rock—you name it. So why Ron couldn’t simply work on things he could produce was a mystery to us all.

    We have a saying in Sweden, Om man ger någon ett finger vill han ha hela handen. In English it’s give someone an inch and they’ll take a mile, meaning someone inclined to take the generosity of others for his own benefit not caring about the other guy. That fits Ron to a T.

    I remember so many instances of Ron goofing off when we were working to produce religious training films.

    • Ron had an exceptionally whiny attitude. He never paid attention to what was happening in the rest of the band, much less the rest of Golden Era Productions. I remember one time we were upgrading the studio with top-of-the-line high-end equipment, all to increase the quality of sound reproduction. All the other band members and mixers were ecstatic. They lent a hand in installation, but not Ron. He said he had to go home early—a schedule he’d been on for the 20 years I knew him—and that he didn’t have any time during the day as he was “busy” constantly complaining about the music he wasn’t scoring or sitting next to the Music Director to watch music being scored.
    Ron had an exceptionally whiny attitude.
    • Ron complaining about how he could never get a music score approved by the Music Director was an act. He rarely tried and was, instead, perfectly happy to have an “excuse” to do nothing. He wanted “special treatment” and to be pampered and sympathized with for his “shortcomings” which was actually laziness. I remember the time the band was scoring all the music for a new production. It was 4-5 hours of music. The band worked tirelessly with the Director to score, arrange and produce music that was fitting. Ron wouldn’t even get involved, saying he was working on an arrangement for another project. When all that new music was approved the whole band celebrated, but Ron sulked and then took off shortly thereafter. It only made sense to me in hindsight why that would be: he didn’t want the band to do well.
    • He always demanded special attention. Besides complaining to seniors, he was complaining to the Medical Liaison Officer constantly and demanded he get special treatment time and time again, more than any other staff member. He was on special schedules, got special attention, etc. I remember one time he went off to have a very minor medical procedure, meaning it could have been scheduled for any time as there was nothing urgent about it. Despite the fact that it was in the middle of an extremely busy time period for us, he was given the time to do this.
    • I remember one time he was going out with the band and he started some sort of side business (spelled s-c-a-m) selling mail order laundry soap. We had to get him reined in as this was completely in violation of Church policy on staff activities. He acted like it was a mistake.
    I was very surprised by Ron’s criminal view and dishonest attitude.
    • I remember a time when he got himself arrested for reckless driving. He nearly got himself thrown in jail because he resisted arrest, continued driving even when a police car was in pursuit, and when he finally pulled over he was rude to the arresting officer. Never before (or since) had we had any staff member arrested. And here he was getting arrested and talking crap to the police officer. It required quite a bit of assistance to keep him out of jail including hiring an attorney and then making sure he did his community service. I have never seen a staff member resistive to following the laws of the land. Even after the arrest, he would still say it “wasn’t a big deal” when it most certainly was.
    • I also remember all the vacations he was given so he could see his family. He used to piggyback time off as the band traveled, which certainly was to his advantage as he didn’t have to pay transport or anything. We generally give staff a single vacation a year, but Ron would usually get two or three, depending on where the band was traveling and when.
    We treated Ron with respect and tried to help him.

    The amount of upset Ron could create from his argumentative relationship style was intolerable. It got so bad the Music Director didn’t want to deal with him at all. The Music Director had done everything he could to help Ron, giving him assignments, tutorials, assistance, you name it. Ron rejected all of it, and blamed the Music Director for even trying. I remember a few times when I had to go to the Music Department to get Ron out of the scoring rooms so that we could produce at all, because he was upsetting and distracting the rest of the team. The time spent by our Human Resources personnel to help him was mind-boggling. But no matter what they did, Ron never intended to get with it. The time and energy could have been better spent on a willing staff member instead.

    We treated Ron with respect and tried to help him. We went out of our way to provide him assistance so he could have a good life, as he was getting on in age. We had long since reached the point that we didn’t even mind when he would be idle as we had become used to it after all those years. Further, I knew it would be better than causing trouble to others.

    Ron was always demanding special attention and treatment, while producing very little. He didn’t care about anybody but himself.

    We take care of our staff. We have staff who are advanced in years and we care for them without question. We always work to make their quality of life as good as possible. Yet Ron was always demanding special attention and treatment, while producing very little. He didn’t care about anybody but himself, while being the rudest and most selfish person I ever met.

    Ron is simply forwarding a false story in order to attack his former religion out of spite or for profit—or likely both, based on my experience with him.

    Henning Benndorf
    Senior Vice President