• Co-worker of 20 years: “€œRon was a lazy person overall and would ride on the coattails of everybody else”€


    A letter to St. Martin’€™s Press from Neil Kunen, Arranger, Golden Era Productions
    Neil Kunen portrait
    Neil Kunen
     

    I saw that Ron Miscavige has written a book that supposedly exposes the “truths” about Scientology and David Miscavige’s running of the Church. The book is being written on the false premise that Ron had some sort of inside knowledge and data into the behind-the-scenes activities of the Church management and Mr. Miscavige’s activities and plans. First, let me bluntly say that nothing could be further from the truth, and I will explain why.

    First of all I will give a little back story on myself, so you know who you are hearing from. I am 64 years old and have been a professional musician since I was 15. I was raised on Long Island, New York, where I started playing guitar. I attended 3 years of music college at Berklee College of Music in Boston. After schooling, I was playing professionally in the Boston area. I then relocated to Los Angeles and continued my music career. Beyond my performing and studio work, I had a successful teaching career for 10 years where I privately gave music lessons for the school “Jamie Faunt’s Creative Music Courses.” This lasted until 1986, which is when I joined the Sea Organization, as part of the Church of Scientology. The majority of my Sea Org career has been involved in the music area, either as an engineer in our recording studio, a performer in the Golden Era Musicians, and most recently (the last ten years) as a composer arranger of music for our films and videos.

    I joined the Music Department at Golden Era in 1993. At that time, Ron 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.

    As musicians, we were solely involved in the activity of music. We were not involved with or connected to any RTC or other Church management bodies beyond the fact that some of the management bodies were physically on the same property as Golden Era Productions. We had no briefings or meetings concerning Church Management or the affairs of Mr. Miscavige and RTC. We were not briefed on any external affairs matters or litigation strategies. We were not briefed on top planning for the Church. This was not the job of a band musician. Factually, Mr. Miscavige was rarely here at the Golden Era Property—I’d say ten percent of the time since I have been working here. There is no way Ron had any insight into Mr. Miscavige’s activities and plans.

    Yes, there were times when Mr. Miscavige came to see the Musicians about the productions we were working on, since he was often involved directly with producing events and we were involved in these. These meetings were usually brief and concerned the music to hand, and did not digress into other matters. As I said, I saw Ron Miscavige almost every day, and was aware of his activities throughout the day, and he spent little other time with Mr. Miscavige, with the exception of a few birthday dinners for Ron, or some short times during the holidays or watching the Super Bowl. Mr. Miscavige occasionally called Ron to go over family matters or to say hello if he had been away for awhile. They would sometimes run into each other on a casual basis on the street or have a brief chat in the dining room.

    No matter what Ron purports regarding his inside knowledge, this is not true. Anything he is saying along this line is totally fabricated and is done out of some irrational vendetta he has. We were musicians in a department of Golden Era Productions, a very large organization. Many echelons below top management. Whenever Ron had been to see Mr. Miscavige and came back into our area, we would always ask him if there was any information exchanged related to our activities. Ron always said his meetings were strictly family related or just shooting the breeze.

    We tolerated him and gave him respect only because he was Mr. Miscavige’s father.  

    Ron’s position here was as a member of the Church band, and 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 like a 5th wheel on a car. His musicianship as a trumpet player was poor, his composing was very old-fashioned, and he was a lazy person over all and would ride on the coattails of everybody else. We tolerated him and gave him respect only because he was Mr. Miscavige’s father.

    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 Par 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 expense 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. Any book he would write purporting to be about him and his life in the Church would include us and be about that. Instead, he is making up a fable like he had more information in the Church because of his position. No, his position was not “father.” He certainly is no more an authority on David Miscavige’s leading the Church than any other musician here. 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.

    I wanted you to have this data so you are correctly informed about the background of this man and the credibility of his story.

    Sincerely,

    Neil Kunen
    Arranger