• Ron Miscavige “was a lazy person overall and would ride on the coattails of everybody else”

    A professional musician for nearly 50 years, Neil Kunen worked with Ron Miscavige for two decades. An arranger with Golden Era Musicians, Neil is an accomplished guitar player who attended the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston and was previously a successful music teacher. Neil also is a part-time recording engineer who composes music for humanitarian social films and videos.

     Neil Kunen, Musician, Arranger, Golden Era Productions
     

    When I joined the Music Department at Golden Era in 1993, he was already in the department. The Music Department has always contained about 10 to 12 people, who did all the writing, arranging, performing and recording of the music we produced, as well as the live performances. This was a very close-knit group as you could imagine. When Ron was here, I saw or worked with him literally almost every day for 20 years, so I knew this man well.

    He liked to refer to me as a kike and a sheeny, since I am of Jewish descent. Yes, Ron Miscavige is that offensive.

    He liked to refer to me as a kike and a sheeny, since I am of Jewish descent. Yes, Ron Miscavige is that offensive.

    Ron’s position here was as a member of the Church band. As a musician and staff member, he was very substandard because he would not put in the time and practice or study up on music. He refused to advance his musical abilities and skills and was as useless as a 5th wheel on a car. His musicianship as a trumpet player was poor, his composing was very old-fashioned. Ron was a lazy person overall and would ride on the coattails of everybody else. We tolerated him and gave him respect only because he was the father of the Church leader who was someone I (and all of us) looked up to.

    He refused to advance his musical abilities and skills and was as useless as a 5th wheel on a car.

    Ron was very far from professional in his work. He was disorganized and sloppy and I often had to fix his work to make it usable. Most of the composing and arranging we do is on a computer program. The state of his computer files was appalling. He had no organization and would often lose his files. Often I would have to find his files for him as he had no idea where he saved them. He was not able to study and learn. Many times a week I would have to show him how to use his music scoring program because he would not even study the “Getting Started” basic instruction manual. I did this to help him and improve his chances of succeeding. I know now that he never had any desire to learn and he lived a life of betrayal and pretense.

    As a person he was often belligerent and rude and very self-centered. To be blunt, he was a boor. In fact, when he left, he said good night to us as usual and the next day never showed up to work. He drove off without warning and never came back. He even had the audacity to “borrow” some tote bags from my wife the night before he left and stole these in the process. He never sent them back.

    As a person he was often belligerent and rude and very self-centered. To be blunt, he was a boor.

    He had the best possible working condition here. He always had his own scoring room, he had a special shortened schedule due to his age and supposed health issues. He had special treatment from all staff due to his connection with Mr. Miscavige. He was given a car as a gift by his kids. He was given a lot of attention from our medical staff. In every possible way he had the best conditions, beautiful living quarters, an exercise building, a golf course and athletic fields. He traveled around the world with the band and got to play with top artists. He was literally wined and dined when the band would go out and he went on many all-expenses-paid excursions. I could go on and on.

    But the real point is that he was a member of our band, and that was his life. He should write about the band he worked with, but if he did that no one would want to read about a third-chair trumpet player complaining about his more accomplished band members who bent over backwards to help and accommodate him. But, different from the rest of us, he was in our organization the whole time as a pretense just to get a free ride and was not able to produce anything of value. His “book” is just more of the same low-level two-faced bull that he hopes might give him some support at the expense of others. He has never done anything different as long as I have known him.

    Neil Kunen
    Arranger