Ron Miscavige — whose son David Miscavige is the leader of the Church of Scientology — has died at the age of 85.
On Monday, June 28, The Underground Bunker reported the late whistleblower’s death alongside a touching memorial written by former Scientology church official Dan Koon. (The two co-wrote Ron’s 2016 memoir Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me.) Koon remembered Ron as a man who loved music, animals and the Philadelphia Eagles. “If you’ve seen his YouTube videos about Life After Scientology or Life Lessons or Story Time, you’ll know that he was always trying to help people become a better version of themselves,” Koon wrote. “Probably the strongest drive Ron had was his desire to see people do better in life.
“Even though it’s sad that this is the end of the line for Ron, he has lived a life with a satisfaction that he did all he could to expose the worst aspects of something he devoted much of his adult life to, and he did so with great humor and understanding,” Koon continued, adding, “We can all learn something from Ron’s life well lived.”
Ron and his family joined the Church of Scientology in 1971, and his son ultimately took over as leader when founder Ron L. Hubbard died in 1986. In 2012, Ron and his wife Becky left the controversial organization after learning new unsettling information about the church.
“I drove out slowly so it wouldn’t arouse suspicion,” Miscavige told 20/20 in 2016 of escaping the church. “When I turned left, I put my foot right to the floorboard… I knew we were free. I knew they couldn’t catch us.”
Ron's memoir painted Scientology — which he noted in his book resembeled a "cult, plain and simple" — in a negative light. In 2016, the Los Angeles Times reported that the church had begun a smear campaign against Ron, including creating a website dedicated to discrediting him. The outlet also reported that the former Marine was informed by police in 2013 that the church had two private eyes following him.
That same year, David made headlines when former Scientologist Leah Remini filed a filed missing-person report to the Los Angeles Police Department for his wife Shelly, who hadn't been seen in public in years. The LAPD later stated that Remini’s report was "unfounded" and that Shelly was OK, but she didn’t want to make a public statement regarding the incident.
A GoFundMe — which has been organized to help with his funeral costs — includes a sweet tribute attributed to his wife of 31 years. "You've been my rock during rough times. You've been my guardian and despite everything, you brought me home," Becky wrote alongside a video of her kissing Ron. "Sadly, our time is running out. I'll forever stand beside you, my love, my best friend, my husband."