• Peter Schless


    Golden Era Musician

    Peter is a Grammy-nominated composer of such hits as Jeffrey OsborneOn the Wings of Love and has played with such artists as the Allman Brothers, B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Lionel Richie and Kenny Loggins.

    My name is Peter Schless. I’m a songwriter.

    My relationship with Ron Miscavige would probably start with the fact that I worked with him for eighteen years straight about six days a week, about seven hours a day, which comes out to about 38-40,000 hours that I’ve spent with him on my side. So I know the guy pretty well. And knowing him as I do, I know all about him. I know that the book he’s writing is a complete con job, because I know that Ron has been doing that ever since I’ve known him.

    Ron was an embarrassment to me personally. I was running the area and I had him as a junior for many years. And I could never trust what he was gonna do, because he was always doing everything that he was… everything that he wasn’t supposed to do, that’s what he’d do and everything he was supposed to do he wouldn’t do. He had a name tag that said, “Ron Miscavige Composer,” which one would think you would compose music to do that. And Ron was factually extremely weak as a musician. He… when he wrote stuff, it was just, it was kind of junk.

    One day Ron was sitting by my side while I was scoring music. We have a computerized music system and so forth and I’m putting a score together. The score is fifteen minutes long and it’s got to get done right now.

    They need it down in Editing and I need to get the store… score like done and out of here. So I’m working like crazy; I’m working like a mad dog to get this thing done.

    Ron’s sitting two, three feet to my left. So, while I’m playing, Ron turns around, he turns around and screams at me and he says, “I’m on the phone, stop playing.” And I was like, “You’re on the phone.” He says, “I’m talking to a guy about exercise equipment. I’ve been wanting to talk to him all day long.” And I’m going, “Exercise equipment! I’ve got a score to do here!” He said, “I’m telling you, I’m calling this…” Now, this went on; it escalated, Ron wanting to talk to this guy on the phone while I’m trying to get work done.

    This is in my workspace. We’ve got twelve telephones in the Music Department. He could have gone anywhere. So he was trying to get me to stop work so he could talk to a guy about his exercise equipment, okay. So, that was bad enough. Then he’s holding the phone up in the air so that the guy who he’s talking to can hear that he is berating someone. And you understand? So… so while he’s screaming at me, hes holding the phone up so this guy who has an exercise company can hear him. And then he gets back on the phone, he says, “I’m sorry, I had to handle somebody.” He’s talking, that’s what he talks to the exercise guy for.

    Anyway, I… I kind of snapped at that point. And I, you know, I told him, “You know, this is just, this isn’t gonna go down this way. I’ve got to get this score done; you need to get out of here.” He got up, grabbed me by the shirt collar—and Ron is, he’d been lifting weights and so forth, and it wasn’t that I was a weakling or anything, but I’m not going to punch an old man, you know, I’m not gonna do that. So, he grabs me by the collar and drags me out of the room, ripped my shirt, ripped my sweater, did the whole thing.

    And this all came by because I was trying to get him off the telephone so I could get a score done. That was essentially what happened. And it got violent. You know, we… I didn’t personally strike him, but he was really, he was disgusting. I mean, it was just… any person with any kind of sense of rightness and wrongness could see that that was an absolutely ridiculous situation.

    Ron had a problem because he couldn’t produce. I’ll give you an example. In 1998, we produced an album here at Golden Era Productions called “State of Mind,” and it was a great album. We did it for our Scientology public. Everybody loved it and everything. There’s like, I don’t know, ten or twelve tracks on the thing. Ron, guy with the name tag that said composer on it, didn’t write any songs. I wrote them all or one of the other guys in the unit wrote it, but he was incapable of producing anything like that. So I go, okay, good, fine. So two years later, we do another album, it’s a big hit. It’s a poem that L. Ron Hubbard wrote that I put to music. It’s like forty-five minutes long. It’s straight, all music.

    Ron didn’t lift a finger on the whole thing. He just basically sat by my side and made distracting phone calls and, you know, worked in the kitchen cooking Polish sausage and so forth for his son that he is so viciously attacking right now.

    So… I got it that he’s not going do anything on that. So another year goes by and we do another album. This is the third one. Ron hasn’t written one song on any of these albums that we’re doing. Like, nothing. So the last album, Ron managed to pull off two songs. The first one was a total piece of trash that we had to rewrite. I mean, it was just a total piece of junk. Anybody could listen to it and you’d go, that is just not something you want to listen to. Which is the way Ron was, he wrote bad songs that nobody wanted to listen to. That was his bit, you know.

    So that one I had to rewrite and the second one I had to rearrange so that it was [palatable] for an audience and it turned out to be okay. That’s all that the guy produced for three albums of music, over a period of four years, you know. So that was mainly because he was incapable and his way of making up for that fact was just to complain about everything. He used to complain all of the time when he was here.

    I live in a completely distraction-free environment. Like, what I want… want my attention on is making music. That’s why I came here; that’s what I want to do. I’m doing what I love to do, that’s it. The place is a dream to work in. If I wanted to leave, I’d leave. That would, you’d have to be crazy to want to do that, because any musician that works in a place like this, you’d be nuts to want to leave. But you… you can do that.

    Well here, I’ll give you an example. At the time, some years ago, he was living five, six miles away. He’d drive back and forth to Golden Era Productions, back to his apartment, Golden Era Productions, back to his apartment, every day. All he needed to do was take a left turn, hit the interstate. You know, who cares.

    ’Cause you can… I mean you’re asking me—I’m a, you know, I’m a working musician, you know, I write songs, that’s what I do—and I’m telling you that the guy is just full of it, he’s just absolutely full of it. He’s just making it up. He figures maybe he’ll make another, you know, 400, 500 book sales or something on his piece of trash he’s claiming on writing, which he didn’t write, because he’s got a ghostwriter doing his writing, because he won’t lift a finger doing anything, including writing a piece of trash like that. He’s got somebody else doing that for him.

    Well, let me tell you about the living arrangements here. Uh, phsst. I mean, Ron, I’ll just say it outright, the guy was a complete slob. I’m sure he still is, but when he was here, he was a slob.

    The guys here in the Music Department can tell you about his stuff there, you know, around the area, as far as keeping his place like a pigsty and so forth. I’ll give you a couple examples.

    First off, we’ve got a five-star pastry chef here, Pinuccio. He’s just like a 10. And that’s what we, I mean, he’s cooking, you know, five-star pastries for everybody that works here and we have them all the time. It’s like a regular thing. Our kitchen is beautiful. It passes like, I mean, it’s like the five-star kitchen, you know. Every time they have an inspection, they’ve got new plaques up on the wall on how great their kitchen is, the galley. And the meals are totally terrific. I mean, I myself, I’m, you know, working on a diet right now, and hey, there’s a whole area for people who want to go on diets. Here’s some other food for you. And here’s some stuff if you’re a vegetarian, eat over here, if not, eat over here. Food’s terrific, so that, okay, that blows that out of the water for me; that, you know, that has nothing to do with reality.

    He enjoyed putting people down, I mean, basically that‘s where the guy was at. You know, you may meet some people like that, but they just get joy out of, you know, pushing other people down, making ‘em feel smaller. Our… our… we have another piano player here, her name is [Gabriella] Saccomanno. She’s a great girl. She’s from Italy; she’s from Rome in fact. And Ron would basically, every time she came around, he’d call her “guinea.” Says, “Hey, what… hey, guinea, what are you doin’?” Neil, the guy that’s doing the… works in my scoring line, Neil was, he’s Jewish, and Ron used to call him a “sheeny.” Like, “Hey, sheeny.” Like, not even as a joke, like as a derogatory gesture, you know, as a derogatory remark. He called me, I’ll use the term, “pecker head.” I was “pecker head.”

    And Mr. [David] Miscavige would, I mean, there wasn’t a year that went by that Ron didn’t have the most spectacular birthday that you can believe. I mean, Mr. Miscavige would make sure that he had a whole spread, and you know, presents and packages.

    And he never forgot his son, you know. And, I’m sorry—he never forgot his father. And always was very gracious when it came down to that kind of thing. And whereas Ron on the other hand, would basically use his connection with his son simply as a con to get favors from crew. Get better berthing or food or order people around and, you know, act like, you know, big man on campus type of thing.

    See, he basically was running a con job the whole time he was here as far as trying to get out of work. So if he was actually asked to work, it created a situation, he would kind of… Well, I’ll give you an example. Here’s the problem. Unfortunately here at Golden Era Productions, there’s no post description of “First Dad,” you know? Like, that’s just not a job. So when Ron was actually asked to do work, like an honest day’s work—which I would do, I’d tell him, you know, “Get to work”—it would be the Emperor-has-no-clothes-on scenario. Because his… the amount of talent the guy had I can’t fit on my little finger; it was… it was a problem. And so every time he would turn out a piece of trash, it would be something that I’d have to redo. Because you can’t con a good piece of music into existence. You actually have to write the thing and it has to really, you know, people have to like it. And he just didn’t give a darn one way or another.

    And now he’s got a book that he’s putting out which is just another con game. So he was a con man when he was… when I first met him. He’s writing a book which is a major con game. And he’ll probably be conning Lucif… Lucifer at the gates of Hell when he’s, you know, when he’s sent there for selling out his own family for a fast buck, you know? He’s… that’s… that’s the… the life of Ron Miscavige is “con man.” You can just put it in neon lights, you know. It’ll be on his gravestone—it’ll just say “Con Man: Ron Miscavige.” Because that is what he’s doing. That’s what he’s been doing. I’ve known him for the last 26 years. I know him inside out and that’s all he’s doing is he’s figured out a way to make a buck off of selling out his own family. And I find the guy vile and disgusting.

    I mean, I’ve been on staff here for a long time, 26 years, 27 years. And I mean, I come and go as I need to. If I gotta go to the store, I go to the store. If I gotta go to the doctor, I go to the doctor. I mean, it’s just… I mean, it’s, it’s such a not-issue, I don’t even think about it. So for someone to bring it up as an issue, I can’t even think of why, unless you’ve got some other, you know, scenario that you’re trying to paint or something like that.

    Yeah, I know exactly why Ron’s attacking his son. I mean it’s clear to me that Ron, first of all, knew that his days here were numbered. Because his… he got called out because he was not competent enough, even though, with all the help that he received from other people, he wasn’t competent enough to actually hold a job, you know. And he finally, at some point, decided he was going to hit the road, because his con game basically got found out.

    And for him to have to do an honest day’s work, after being basically a parasite off me—I’ll use the word because that’s where he was for 18 years, is just being a parasite with me—for him to leave would have to be because he’s gonna try to make a fast buck.