Ron Miscavige was a member of a Church band for 26 years before abruptly walking away from his idyllic life of comfort to sell out his former colleagues and even his own family. His fellow band members recall Ron as everything from a liar and an opportunist to someone who led a “vile and disgusting” life in which he targeted women for put-downs and harassment. One target of his bullying was Gabriella Saccomanno, a highly accomplished professional concert pianist based at Golden Era Productions for 22 years, where at one point she was the only woman working alongside Ron. These are her views on Ron’s so-called “memoir.”
The real story of Ron Miscavige is from the people who lived with him, worked with him, played in the band with him and, yes, went to parties and outings with him. The very people that considered him a friend, despite his many defects and eccentricities—those he did not hesitate to abandon without a word, just like that.
I was one of those people. This is my personal experience with Ron.
When I was the only female musician in the Music Department, he treated me horribly. I am Italian and he
made fun of how I speak, my accent, and called me “guinea.” That was one thing.
Then he would constantly argue with me and provoke me so I would get upset.
Then when I did get upset, he would push me against a wall and try to scare me,
many times. Or he would huff around and knock things over or throw a chair,
again to scare me. I avoided being alone with Ron as much as I could. Other
times he would treat me in a condescending, demeaning manner. He threw things on the floor, especially
in our kitchenette, and left it for me to clean up, implying that I was a
woman so I should clean up after him.
He tried to play the part of a big shot and was unbelievably arrogant and yet could not produce a decent piece of music.
As a musician, Ron never practiced his trumpet, never studied or learned how to write and arrange music, and despite others spending hundreds of hours to get him to learn, he used to complain endlessly that he was misunderstood and that “nobody was willing to help him.” He tried to play the part of a big shot and was unbelievably arrogant and yet could not produce a decent piece of music.
But he kept asserting that he was misunderstood,
that his compositions were the product of a genius and the only reason he was
having a hard time was because people were after him. And all while violently
refusing any help to get corrected or to become more proficient on his post. He
just “did not need to study up” or learn. He knew it all already. He just
assumed someone was “after him.” He was convinced there was some conspiracy
against him. No, he was crazy.
Ron was also a total disgusting pig…
Ron was also a total disgusting pig in his personal hygiene. There was a constant pungent smell coming out of his body that made it very unpleasant to be near him. I remember having to hold my breath because of that. His own possessions, his car, his composing room, his living room, were not just sloppy and disordered, they were dirty and smelly and kept this way, unless forced to clean up, just out of respect to the other people that had to work around him. He wouldn’t do anything to clean up after himself, and I have had to personally clean up and sanitize the kitchenette numerous times after he used it. He would use utensils and put them back in the drawer without washing them. He used to literally throw pieces of food on the floor and then say that it was someone else’s duty (mine) to clean it up, while laughing at his “joke.” But when I would find a mess on the floor and ask him to clean up after himself, he would blatantly deny it was his mess and would attack me for being “after him with false accusations.”
What was surprising was that Ron was constantly complaining about the way he was treated, despite the care he received from his superiors, from the medical liaison personnel, from the staff training department personnel, and even by cooks, stewards and anybody who had the misfortune to have to deal with him. Just to put things in perspective, Ron had a great life here. He had the opportunity to work in a professional environment with state-of-the-art equipment that any musician would dream of. He was surrounded by beautiful facilities and a totally distraction-free environment, all to make it possible for an artist to express himself and create freely.
Ron had a great life here. He had the opportunity to work in a professional environment with state-of-the-art equipment that any musician would dream of.
He had fellow musicians that treated him with deference and consideration, despite his incompetence and offensive behavior, always extending a friendly hand when he needed help—and all because of the respect and affection we all have toward his son.
It’s very clear to me that he saw his son’s prominence and the admiration and respect that his son inspires in others as a means to avoid working, get out of studying, and not contributing in any way from his position as a musician and a band member. I remember that he used to ask: “Do you know who I am?” every time he felt he wasn’t being treated with the respect and consideration he deserved. I can’t imagine how he deals with similar situations now that he can’t use his son’s name anymore.
I can sadly say that while he was busy complaining about how badly he was treated, while ignoring what he was doing to the people that had to work with him, I am actually glad he is not here anymore. Without him poisoning the area with his enmity, malcontent, crude and obscene manners, and violent behavior, the atmosphere is way lighter, calmer, more productive and distraction-free.
At what point does he stop his bullying of women?
I was happy when he was gone even though he left without saying anything to any of us. My life got much better after he left. At what point does he stop his bullying of women? He has never had any intention to help others in any way.
His priority is, and always will be, himself.