Inner Michael » B. Kaufmann

Author Archives: B. Kaufmann

In the Studio with MJ

“They don’t make music like that anymore” is not just a cliché. Especially not in this case. They literally don’t make music like that anymore.

In a dark cavern-like atmosphere high in an office building somewhere in New York City in classic tradition of the “Rock ‘n Roll studio complete with red and black curtains, a man stands in the front of the room reminding the audience: “Remember, I am a just “techie,” (a technician.)

The console, with its thousand buttons is attended by his daughter whom he fondly refers to as “Granny.” She is on the late side of twenty and is obviously a “techie” too enjoying her role as dad’s sidekick– but not really, for she is the one “manning” the console and keeping her dad on track. (pun intended)

She remembers Neverland distinctly, the animals, the candy, the carnival atmosphere. What she doesn’t remember is Michael lying on the floor playing with her when she was a babe. She was too young to remember though there are pictures to prove it. Dad, however, remembers it. Jackson’s understanding and appreciation for family is conveyed in stories Sundberg shares in his seminar “In the Studio with MJ” about the “crew” being treated to food catered in daily courtesy of their boss Michael and on Fridays, the day Michael called “family day.” Each Friday whomever was working with Jackson at the time was allowed to invite family to visit the studio, Neverland or wherever the workplace of the “crew” happened to be.

In Brad Sundberg’s case the workplace was both recording studio and Neverland. Jackson, when building his empire tribute to the child, employed Brad as a sound techie to moonlight on his Neverland estate beyond the studio. “There were no birds at Neverland” says Brad but Michael thought the sound of birds would enhance the experience on the grounds, so he wanted bird sounds piped in. To accomplish that, Brad had to wire up phony birdhouses into the trees that hid speakers playing the sounds of warblers that would overdub the sound of music that came from artificial rocks everywhere in the landscape.

Brad suggested to Michael at the ornate entrance to the ranch, the one that everyone remembers with the crest and name “Neverland” spanning the arc over the entrance, that a 4 minute medley of Jackson’s most recognizable songs be looped to greet visitors, citing that Jackson’s own music should greet them.

“That’s not what I want;” said Jackson who instead requested a quality recording of ‘Danny Boy.’

Stunned, Sundberg asked Jackson why he wouldn’t want his own melodies and lyrics to be the first music heard at the entrance to his famous home and constitute their first memory for the visitors to the fantasy oasis.

“I don’t want my music;” Jackson said.

Brad couldn’t understand it. The most famous musician in the world at the time didn’t want his own music at the gate to his first real childhood home? Incredulous, Brad asked: “Why not your own music?”

“Well, it’s just embarrassing” was Jackson’s only answer. And the matter was dismissed and never visited again.

So the music that greeted visitors was ‘Danny Boy.’ And the rest of the grounds played Disney tunes and classical music. Brad remembers people hired to attend the grounds and rides relating a story about the music at Neverland: “Doe, a deer, a female deer, Re, a golden drop of sun; Mi, a name I call myself….” according to Brad, you could only hear that just so many times before having to fight the impulse to tear out big clumps of hair.

Neverland was a magical place, not the child-luring trap that it was painted by cynical tabloid hacks. It was a sanctuary and tribute to the child or for adults, the child within; and according to Sundberg, it was the most beautiful place and indeed magical and more. “It was a class act,” he says, “just like Michael.” It was a place that was built to entertain children and a place for healing.

Healing? Oh yes, research reveals Jackson understood healing extremely well. The healing power of music, of visuals and of embracing the spirit of the child without restraint or limitation. Everything at Neverland was specially made and free. Jackson understood the healing power of music, of water, of a magical atmosphere, the fascination and joy of live animals, the medicinal value of play and rides and carnival, of carefree escape from the world– its problems left behind. Jackson knew that some moments of magic last a lifetime. For some kids, he knew one day of magic might sustain them through a difficult childhood.

There’s a clip of Michael throwing a party for someone on his crew who is destined for the hospital and surgery and gifting the man with videos and a video player. All the videos are films like The Three Stooges that elicit laughter; Jackson knew about hormones and the healing power of laughter. Or the power of being immersed in magic to sooth a tattered soul. He studied it. His gift wasn’t so much a get well gesture as it was a prescription for healing.

Providing daily food and an invitation for families on Friday illustrates not just Jackson’s thoughtfulness, but a deeper understanding of the concept of food as medicinal and fortifying, a kind of communion shared by kindred spirits gathered in a space consecrated for the act of creation and honoring the creative impulse. Inviting families is a subliminal message about community and what makes community– a breaking of bread together with a beloved family. It should come as no surprise that Michael Jackson did this in his personal and creative life as well as in his more commercial message: “We Are the World.” Apparently he lived his message and invited others around him to live it too. He silently built community. He walked the talk and coaxed everyone around him onto that same path.

Speaking of the creative process, the guests “In the Studio with Michael Jackson,” courtesy of Sundberg were witness to the raw creative process of what emerges in a jam session with those of like mind making circle. Just a simple programmed drum beat courtesy of Brad, Michael’s guitarist David Williams, and Michael himself in two hours of playing with music morphed into “Give In to Me” originally intended as a dance number that emerged a hard rock ballad. It was clear from the recording that Michael loved to ad lib and jam and that the music itself led the way to its final destination and to incarnation. Jackson’s advice to those coming up in the music business was always to let the song tell you what it wants to do. That process was obvious “In the Studio” as the creative process itself was the treasure within that two hour recording.

David Williams worked with Michael for years and saw his guitar playing as a kind of “secret spice” that when added in just the right amount, made music a magical cuisine. David preceded Michael in death by only a couple of months and Michael took his death very hard and mourned the loss of his friend and musical accomplice.

Brad talked about the magic trio of Bruce (Swedien,) Michael and Quincy and the “hangin’ chops” of the “studio rats” an unwritten and unspoken protocol that permeated the atmosphere and the vibe it established with the assembled artists. If someone came into the studio who was a thief– as in stealing the center of attention, monopolizing Michael or was disrespectful of the creative process, Michael would just disappear into his “lounge” a tiny room built into the top of the studio.

If Michael disappeared, it was a signal to the assembly that Michael felt this person, more intruder than “team,” didn’t meet the “hangin’ chops for studio rats” requirements. The individual was summarily thanked and mysteriously disappeared never to be heard from again.

Michael’s disappearing act wasn’t reserved just for silent protest, but occasionally for a trick he used to get the sound or effect that he wanted. Apparently he was known to reserve 2 or 3 studio rooms and go between them unbeknown to either set of musicians in the separate rooms. Then he would pit the teams against each other compelling their best work by telling them there was some real “smelly jelly” going on in the other studio. It was his word for maximum funk and music-making magic going on in another room. He and Quincy would sometimes disagree on which songs to release on an album or on the execution or artistration of a particular cut and Michael would secretly work a team in an adjunct studio room sometimes proving his point. For example, Quincy hated “Streetwalker” while Michael wanted it on his “Bad” album seeing it destined for the charts if released as a single. Instead, Quincy vetoed “Streetwalker” in favor of “Another Part of Me.” Brad thinks Michael was the wiser one.

Sunberg shared some of Jackson’s raw work or work that preceded the final released versions. And in a sound studio, the tracks sound much different and much richer than the final commercial tracks. To keep the vibe “pop” and “up-tempo,” some of the original tracks were sped up before release. In some cases, the original had richer sound and a deeper grove and was much more soulful than the released version. It demonstrates Jackson’s soulfulness, vocal chops and depth as a versatile artist to hear the untouched tracks.

Brad was with Michael during Captain EO and spoke of the process and of studios and soundboards and Dolby speakers; in other words, the real thing. And no, they don’t make music like that anymore. It’s more artificial like making movies with green screens. Brad remembers a different time, a different era, different vibe. Some of those vibes rocked Smash Studios last weekend.

All the usual memorable names came up in discussion– Bottrel, Riley, Forger, Bailer, Buxer, George and John Lewis, Swedien, Jones, Barnes, Temperton, Williams, Umberto, Lubbock, Loren, Porcaro and more as well as the tricks of the trade– raising drums above the floor, using different mics to catch different sounds, the blending of tracks and sounds and Michael’s famous nickname for a sound: “Rubba.” Michael lying in bed talking to a mannequin, a hideous looking thing constructed for the spoken word intro to “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.” Of course, that prefaced the song solely to thrill the female audience  and it was revealed that Michael loved watching the films of fans fainting and being carried out of the stadiums. What man wouldn’t enjoy being adored by that many females? He knew who he was, says Brad. And he knew how to be “Michael Jackson.”

And then from the speakers comes Michael’s soft youthful voice politely requesting things be tweaked or added. In a fourteen layer multi-track, “Rubba” becomes evident as do vocals and drums as Brad amplifies each track to the exclusion of others, then playing with the control to blend them into the final musical mash. One understands that Jackson’s ear was every bit as discriminate and finely tuned as his voice. And his sixth sense about timing and rhythm and images and sound mixes is all evident in the studio samplings.

Brad remembers Michael in the corner doing music scales and vocal warm-ups with his steaming hot cups of water to prepare his throat and refine the sound. And with a wistfulness and catch in his throat he recalls the blissful ignorance and inexperience of youth that didn’t take note at the time of what he witnessed and was actually a part of– a music history that will never see replay. Only maturing and nostalgia brings it back and colors it surreal for him. And he shares personal feelings about Michael’s passing which he hadn’t fully grieved until he started putting “In the Studio” together as an answer to a request by international fans who paid him to come to Paris and hold MJ memory court with them. His experience encouraged him to continue and refine “In the Studio with MJ” which he plans for more venues in the coming year– Paris again and Los Angeles included.

Sundberg shared visuals- pictures of Neverland, Michael, studios, private rooms and spaces frequented by the superstar and people whose “hangin’ chops he adored– Shawn Lennon who brought in a Theramin and teased Michael with it while Jackson giggled and laughed like a child, finally taking his turn with the instrument and playing with the pitch and sounds like a little kid with a new toy. Brad also showed a film of the Andrae` Crouch Choir warming up and the New York Philharmonic playing background for “Childhood” conducted simultaneously by the Philharmonic’s conductor and Michael as well, in the dark at the mic in the booth, looking every bit that same excited little boy as he gestures with flourish following the score and completes the piece with a sweeping “Yes” gesture beaming with pleasure. While not on the film, it is rumored that the Philharmonic gave him a standing ovation as he exited the booth.

His “Keep the Faith” has always sounded so soulful and urgent to me, coming straight out of the speakers and clutching both sides of the Adam’s Apple, and Brad Sundberg gave the backstory that explains why. As Michael warmed up for it, something happened to his voice that sent him into a tearful tailspin and the studio had to regroup, change all the configurations and set up again for his vocals in a lower pitch. The appreciation for their going the extra mile for him is evident in the song. I always assumed it was the gospel vibe that grabbed Michael in that song. It wasn’t; it was an unexpected and completely mysterious incident where his voice cracked in the demo that produced one of the most authentic and emotionally charged and delivered songs in his repertoire. Sundberg thinks the quality of the vocal was Michael’s thank you to the crew for going the extra mile for him; I think he included a deity in that appreciation. If that wasn’t inspired by God, nothing is.

As a Michael Jackson researcher and part time biographer, after 4 years one expects almost anything such as the recent storm surrounding the AEG trial and the “coincidental” resurfacing of allegations long ago disproved and dismissed. I want to believe Brad Sundberg is as loyalist as he seems and will stay that way. I think he will based on the respect with which he treated Michael’s work. I expected to hear the stories; I expected to hear the same adjectives like “kind” and “generous” and “humble” that describe Michael Jackson by everyone who personally knew him and who trusted their children with him. But something that came out of that studio that left me shaken– a poem and piece of music as yet unreleased that speaks of Michael Jackson’s mission on this planet that I always thought he knew but that I have now heard confirmed in his own voice from his own heart. It was intense. It is the singular metaphysical evidence I have been looking for, for what seems now a very, very long time. It’s not the work of Michael Jackson; it’s the why.

 
 

A Tattered Heart Loves Well

Let’s all take a deep collective breath and see if we can settle and center into a kind of balance where we can sense our togetherness. We are here. Can you feel it? Let’s dive deeply into our hearts. If you go there energetically, you’ll find some jagged edges, crinkled ends, dog-eared pages, little chips missing, slivers and shards lying around, big aches here and small aches there, some weariness, and a whole lot of… authenticity.

The world is so cynical and so self-centered that a profit driven suffocation or closing in on the human heart, makes it hard to breathe. So let’s just FEEL together. BREATHE together.

Feel. Breathe.

The tattered human heart is one that has truly FELT. It knows empathy and through empathy, it knows another as itself. And by feeling in your body and embracing the heaviness, the fear, the brokenness, you find an internal transformation taking place. Because you can FEEL, things become more personal. The pain is more personal. The sorrow is more personal. The world is more personal…

We can’t save a world and we won’t even be interested if it isn’t personal.

A world that has become personal is a world that we find worthy of caring for, being stewards of, embracing and changing and insisting that others feel that same deep responsibility too. Indifference doesn’t serve the world, or the children, or the future.

So, tenderly embrace your broken heart. And embrace every old breaking and every new one. Let it mold you into an authentic, loving and tender being. That is the purpose of the heart breaking. It’s not just to build character although it certainly does that. It is to enlarge its capability to love and embrace, to stretch its compassionate muscle, to expand its reach rather than collapse it or contract back into a lonely self. Your heart must be big if we are to truly change the world. Big enough to wrap around it.

It also must be tattered and weary and worn for that is the heart that feels compassion; it has witnessed all things, been all things, embraced all things and now recognizes its family– and that’s everybody.

This big heart can care for the safety of children and cherish them as new and precious beings come here with a purpose and subject to molding by their environment. If your heart is hurt and tattered and weary the world is not an indifferent place; it is a beautiful place.

A compassionate place.

You won’t change or save a world you don’t care about. You won’t feel or create one human family without compassion.

It really is all for love.

A new kind.

 
 

 
Thank you Poet Gerri Stone
 
 

Tell them over and over.

Official message from the estate of Michael Jackson:

(Response from the Co-Executors of the Estate to “the nonsense:”)

“As MJ said, just because you read it in a magazine does not make it factual… we personally detest these supposed news organizations that profit at Michael’s expense. We hope the fans can stay vigilant with us in protecting Michael’s legacy. We hope everyone has the opportunity to see the MJ ONE show… that’s the real Michael.”

Thank you for remaining vigilant with the Estate in protecting Michael’s Legacy.”

Recent letters from readers:

“Thank you Rev. Barbara. Yes, I have seen it too, from the fans. I don’t like it, but they have to be willing to realize that what they do is not what Michael was talking about. We are all blind in certain areas I think. Today I read another tabloid piece in the Mirror, so again millions of fans and the general public will be exposed to “Michael buying off victims of molestation”.

It is a pity, when I try to “change” something, that I cannot even mention who’s inspiring me for making that change. I have to keep silent and not mention Michael, because then indeed, I am not taken seriously. But these people don’t even know how fans react, they only see the headlines. So whatever happens in the fan base, the tabloids are still the worst and first source for the character assassination of Michael (and his “decent” fans- which he has in great numbers).

And some years ago I wrote letters to several newspapers, in form and style like you mentioned in your article, with respect and dignity. One journalist answered, that he would still use “W…J…cko” in future publications. He argued, that this was one way of referring to MJ and that it was inevitable that it would be used in the future. I don’t know Rev. Barbara what kind of people some of these “journalists” are. If they would be decent, would they write such garbage anyway ? Do they “see”, “Notice”, or “Understand” decently written letters or comments ? Or do they simply “ignore them” and only focus on the badly written ? Sometimes I really doubt some of them.”

And another:

“Barbara, I am really upset and tired of this. To be a MJ fan is so painful. All our attempts to vindicate him with the truth, showing the real MJ are countered by these publications. Until when? This is very painful. Poor Katherine, Paris Prince and Blanket.”

My response:

Just yesterday I met yet another person in Michael Jackson’s life who was close to him and among those in the orbit of Michael Jackson’s artistry in the music industry. And yet again, I heard what an incredibly kind and generous person he was. And considerate to a fault.

People are hungry for something, for a change. They don’t know what to call it or what it is. They are tired of the constant struggle to maintain balance and a positive outlook. The tabloids are on their way out and the editors know it. The last gasp before the death rattle.

And don’t forget the AEG trial attorneys’ threat: “This will get ugly.” Who do you suppose is behind this latest charge forward and barrage of character assassination? Keep reminding the public that the “powers that be” are being sued for billions. This is all about money.

But it is being exposed how callous and uncaring is big business and the entertainment industry. It is so uncaring and unfeeling that a child who attempted to end her life is now fodder for entertainment on the front pages of a “publication.” It doesn’t matter to them that she was bullied in school because of the latest “expose” about her father. It doesn’t matter to the accuser. It doesn’t matter to Rupert Murdoch or his minions. What is being role modeled to the world by Murdoch and the other shadowy “entertainment” peddlers is bullying of a minor child. What is being said is in effect that children don’t matter and they are exploitable and expendable. It’s child abuse, plain and simple.

It’s intellectual pornography. It’s an insult to human decency and integrity. It’s not humane.

Make it known to your local market that you want this to stop. You don’t want minor children, school aged children or teens exposed to this bullying and pornography. Tell them it is a horrible thing to role model to children.

Call them up or go to the store manager and let them know that this stuff offends you and you refuse to bring your children through an aisle or spend money in a store that exposes your minor child to child abuse (like Paris Jackson on the cover) and intellectual pornography. Use the terminology: “Abuse” and “pornography.” Make it clear not only will you not consume it, but you do not want your children exposed to it for it is role modeling bullying to your child. Tell this this stuff is endangering the lives of children for they are learning how to bully from this “industry.” Tell them you feel these publications are contributing to the suicides of children. Tell them you want it to stop.

What if a million Michael Jackson fans contacted 10 markets each? That’s 10 million phone calls or requests to STOP! In fact, call until they take this stuff down.

Let me know what you need.
——————-
Recent comments:

Nina, the complaints about this are real. People are tired of the infighting. This is my blog, Nina and no, it is not necessary to ‘hang on my every word’- that’s not a requirement. Send me a link to your work and I will post it. I am interested in meeting contemporary needs if I can. That is my agenda; those needs are immediate.

The collective voice is already well informed and weary with futility. There are deep needs and requests right now and it’s not for “conversation” or argument. There are complaints about infighting, friendly fire among fans, territorial grandstanding, bullying, divisiveness and the lack of civility. People are weary. There is fear that goes far beyond Michael Jackson and that tries to grapple wide issues that concern already thoughtful people. They’ve had the debates; they understand the issues; they know what’s at stake. They want to move forward not discuss it. And they want to change the world. I say ‘God Bless ‘em.” ~Barbara

“You have spoken and written about education projects, Barbara; and as a teacher myself, I find engaged and sometimes passionate discussion essential to the learning process.

But from what you are saying—about “intellectual calisthenics,” “hairsplitting,” and so forth—it seems clear that what most interests you is not conversation, but a handful of loyal adherents who are prepared to hang upon your every word.

So I’ll refrain from producing or consuming any more (hot) air in your precious room…. which, without taking risks, without encouraging an atmosphere of spirited discussion (and, yes, even debate) can only be a vacuous and suffocating space anyway.” ~Nina

Um……. okay, Barbara. ~Nina

Nina, I think this is not the time for debate and splitting hairs or intellectual calisthenics. In fact I have had complaints about this very thing. It is nothing but air and takes all the air from the room. This tabloid nonsense is indeed pornography- mind pornography. It pollutes the mind and encourages violence. And it is completely obscene. Anyone who exposes a child to this and all the children who must witness it is introducing toxic waste into the mindstream of mass consciousness. We deserve better. Our children deserve better. It is not time for argument. It is time for action.

“Thanks, Barbara. There are many ways to address these problems, and protesting the supermarket’s peddling of these wares may be one of them. I want you to know that I share your disgust at these tabloids, and I shudder to think that there are people who actually probably believe what they read in them. They are abusive on many levels.

That said, I think that describing this material (to supermarket staff or anyone else) as “pornography” would be ineffective and/or misleading. While the “pornography” may function as a powerful metaphor, the term has *specific* meanings in specific historical contexts, and I think it’s important to attend to these and respect them. As a term, “pornography” is itself somewhat sensational and overdetermined. The word is most often associated with obscenity. Wikipedia defines it this way:
“ […] the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purpose of sexual gratification. Pornography may use a variety of media, including books, magazines, postcards, photos, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video, and video games.”

Language, of course, is a lot more mutable than what the dictionary definition provides. In recent decades, “pornography” has become a label that gets attached—usually for polemical purposes—to many different kinds of material, by a whole variety of different interest groups and movements. From the banning of certain books (like D.H. Lawrence’s “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”) to Supreme Court cases where these bans have been challenged, to the polemics of some feminist groups who have proposed city ordinances to ban pornography on the grounds that it encourages violence towards women, “pornography” remains an highly laden term that often elicits a strong emotional reaction. Like other such terms (“rape,” for example, used to cover a multitude of abuses), I think it’s essential that we use this word WISELY, or not at all.

For those who care about Michael Jackson’s legacy and, more broadly, about creating a better world in his spirit, I think the most effective forms of redress will not be to create structures of prohibition, but rather to make music, write poems, make films, write books, and create dances that in a collective way will make it possible for more and more better speech, images, and stories can come to the surface. It takes a long time for these changes to be known; but eventually, I believe these efforts will replace one meme with another.

At Forest Lawn Cemetery on June 25, the fourth anniversary of Michael’s death, there was a beautiful and heartfelt quilt displayed. (There’s a video of it on YouTube). It had been made by a group of Japanese fans, and sent to the US to express love and honor Michael’s memory. This is one example among many. There’s more writing and blogging (of which Inner Michael” is a part) than ever before about Michael’s extraordinary legacy as an artist and a human being.

To take heart, we can acknowledge that a whole generation of kids is growing up without that absurd “Wacko” meme. They are being turned on to his music, his dancing, and stories of his kindness and generosity. Some elements of the old tropes will persist, but they’ll fade more and more into the background as the other elements of Michael’s story take their place.”

——————————–

“Just yesterday I met yet another person in Michael Jackson’s life who was close to him in the orbit of the music industry. And yet again, I heard what an incredibly kind and generous person he was. The tabloids are on their way out and they know it. And don’t forget the AEG trial attorneys’ threat: “This will get ugly.” Who do you suppose it behind this latest foray of character assassination? Keep reminding the public that the “powers that be” are being sued for billions. This is all about money.

Let them know in your supermarket that this stuff offends you and you refuse to bring your children through an aisle or spend money in a store that exposes your minor child to child abuse (Paris Jackson on the cover) and intellectual pornography. Use the terminology: “Abuse” and “pornography.” Make it clear not only will you not consume it, but you do not want your children exposed. More about this later.” ~B

——————————

“Thank you Rev. Barbara. Yes, I have seen it too, from the fans. I don’t like it, but they have to be willing to realize that what they do is not what Michael was talking about. We are all blind in certain areas I think. Today I read another tabloid piece in the Mirror, so again millions of fans and the general public will be exposed to “Michael buying off victims of molestation”.

It is a pity, when I try to “change” something, that I cannot even mention who’s inspiring me for making that change. I have to keep silent and not mention Michael, because then indeed, I am not taken seriously. But these people don’t even know how fans react, they only see the headlines. So whatever happens in the fan base, the tabloids are still the worst and first source for the character assassination of Michael (and his “decent” fans- which he has in great numbers).

And some years ago I wrote letters to several newspapers, in form and style like you mentioned in your article, with respect and dignity. One journalist answered, that he would still use “W…J…cko” in future publications. He argued, that this was one way of referring to MJ and that it was inevitable that it would be used in the future. I don’t know Rev. Barbara what kind of people some of these “journalists” are. If they would be decent, would they write such garbage anyway ? Do they “see”, “Notice”, or “Understand” decently written letters or comments ? Or do they simply “ignore them” and only focus on the badly written ? Sometimes I really doubt some of them.” G.

“I too am fortunate in that I am not that exposed to the bickering and in-fighting amongst the “fans”. I am not that exposed because I AVOID IT ON PURPOSE.

Who ever said Twitter, Facebook, or other forms of social cattle drive drivel were important or mandatory? You BECOME whatever you give your thoughts to. GIVE UP? COULD HAVE BEEN? WHAT????? All because of a few infants??? Isn’t it time for the ADULTS to take the helm?

Every family has it’s brats, and unfortunately, it’s always the brats that get all the attention. What ever happened to Michael’s words…..”I don’t care how many times you fail…..get up and do it again until it’s done right.”

THE GREATEST TRAGEDY IN ALL OF THIS IS THAT THE TRUTHS AND TEACHINGS THAT MICHAEL LITERALLY SACRIFICED HIS LIFE FOR, THE TRUTHS AND TEACHINGS THAT WOULD LITERALLY SAVE THIS DYING PLANET, ARE NOT BEING APPROPRIATED WHILE ALL THIS CONTINUES. YOU LOVE THE MESSENGER? THEN IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE MESSAGE AND LIVE IT OR YOU DON’T “LOVE HIM” AT ALL.

WHAT DO YOU SUPPOSE HE MUST THINK? ALL THE PAIN AND SUFFERING HE WAS FORCED TO ENDURE FOR US, THIS IS HOW WE THANK HIM??? He wants us to get to work! One day you might actually stand before him, you who proclaim to love him. Will you be proud NOW IT’S COMING FROM HIS OWN LEGACY??? By claiming to “love him” and then proceeding to behave just like the rest of the world? Well, I think that is the ultimate disrespect towards him. But cheer up. The misbehaved are the few. WE are the many.” ~H.

“Beautifully expressed. I empathize. Perhaps we have a spark here. Thank you.” ~B.

“I feel so extremely fortunate that I am fairly unaware of the in-fighting that goes on in the fan community. I’ve definitely seen instances and heard of more in which fans voices were anything but reflective of the legacy they wished to be a part of, but as an introvert who doesn’t often feel comfortable identifying within a group or being part of group activities or communities, much of the vitriol and gossip and slander has, thankfully, escaped me. Those who are part of my “MJ world” are lovely, open-minded, love-driven people who truly are living from their hearts and in the spirit of the legacy they wish to uphold( as with this community here, where I have been more involved than I usually ever am).

However, I have keenly felt the transition from Hope and unity to a degradation back into individuation, into protecting territory, into ego, and into what I can only term small-mindedness– a return to the daily grind that we’ve been told is important, a return to the status quo that Michael and many other visionaries have risen such greats heights above to show us what we CAN be. I’ve felt my incredibly strong faith and energy dwindle as I see movement after movement– Occupy, uprisings across the globe, activism against specific political and social issues– rise up, ignite…and them either fizzle out or get snuffed out to keep the corrupt order that pretends to be democracy in this world.

I’ve felt loss of hope seeping in, battling with the sensation and intuition that Change is Here.. that the tides must truly be turning, everywhere I look there are signs, there are currents and there are swells. I want good to win, i want liberty and equality to win, I want LOVE to win…but I am afraid, afraid that we as humans have gone too far, have become too corrupted in our values — have learned only to survive instead of thrive, to manage individually instead of communally because we are herded into that mentality from such an early age that we don’t know how to break free of the bondage ‘to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery’ in the words of another visionary artist. I want so badly to rise up, and yet I know intimately what a deep, long, and wearying battle it is going to be, to ward off all my pre-programmed thinking and ways of being and be able to truly walk in the light of love, even when faced with opposition, with hatred, with anger and fear.

Michael lit the way, he still does, and daily a deeper understanding dawns on me about what incredible strength of spirit and will he must have had his entire life, to withstand the bullying and malevolence of this world. Thank you for your words…they have lighted a spark of anger in me again, which I hope to use to galvanize myself to do more, to bring myself closer to the flame and BE that flame uncompromisingly. Thank you.”

An Instrument of Nature…

June 25, 2013.

“However, today, when I create my music, I feel like an instrument of nature. I wonder what delight nature must feel when we open our hearts and express our god-given talents. The sound of approval rolls across the universe, and the whole world abounds in magic, wonder fills our hearts, for what we’ve glimpsed, for an instant, the playfulness of life.”

 


 

 
Thank you, Richard Allen Kent and Melanye MASFM (c) 2009. My favorite. Nicely done.
 
 

 
 
 

What Didn’t Happen

I left “OZ, The Great and Powerful” and stopped into the supermarket for a couple of things on my way home. I needed OZ. I needed some lightness of being. The last few weeks have been extremely stressful for lots of reasons. Personal reasons and the universal reasons. You all feel it. You know it. You too are holding your metaphorical breath.

I know you’re weary. I know you have had it. And I know many of you are fatigued too with the uncivil and intolerable behavior you have witnessed among fans. Your letters make that clear. Thanks for writing. There’s a frustration and an anger in your tone. I get it; it’s there in my voice too. You are telling me your tolerance is fading. Mine too. And the bad and very rude behavior is everywhere. Even my Buddhist friends are agitated and that tells you something.

This irritability is, I think, a blessed anger, blessed unrest. Something is swelling, roiling, soon to be erupting into consciousness. In the quantum field, I sense we’re already done. Michael Jackson used to talk about how his songs and work and how “it’s created in space” before it’s downloaded into the 3 dimensional world of matter. He was talking about “manifestation” or taking ideas and fleshing them out and creating them to be real in the 3 dimensions of the physical world– being, thinking doing, making creating. Everything was once an idea– see that chair you’re sitting in? It existed in mind and one or two dimensional space before it was manifest as an actual physical thing come into existence. When it exists “out there” it is energy. When it comes down here, it is matter. Energy into matter. When it exists only in “Michael Jackson space” it is called an “energetic” as it has not undergone the condensation process to become matter. (Condensed thoughts are matter in becoming.)

On the energetic level, or MJ space, I think we have used up our tolerance. We are disgusted already and grasping for something new, something better. We all feel it. We are filled up on/with this paradigm. This is not a kind paradigm. It values money over people, profit over prudence. A new world is needed and on its way. She is breathing around the corner and we can all hear her breath.

To get some balance, restore some perspective, I went to see OZ at the cheap seats theater. It is a better place to absorb a movie and its message than the crowd in the frantic race to consume the newest film. OZ has so many messages, so many parallels, so much metaphor and more than a little irony. But I enjoyed my vacation from reality.

Until I got to the supermarket and the checkout line. There was Paris Jackson splashed all over the tabloids. There were the sardonic headlines: “Michael Jackson’s Troubled Teenage Daughter.” She will forever be that now; the caricature construction of the third generation of the Jackson family has begun. Never mind what drove her to the breaking point. Nothing is sacred to those who shovel and peddle slime. Not Lady Diana’s life. Not MJ’s life. And apparently not even a suffering child’s life.

So how is this virtual slaughter of youth and celebrity kids different than Newtown? Maybe someone could enlighten me how either of those is acceptable?

Here’s a sample of the letters and notes that came from around the world:

“Barbara, you are so right about the behavior of certain fans, new or old, who seem to forget our place as admirers, not his family or friends, although Michael might have thought of us as one big l.o.v.e. family.

It is very important when you point out that we don’t actually KNOW a lot of things that happened, and we most certainly don’t know thought, feeling and true motivations of other people. Ultimately, it is not our call. I see fans questioning and criticizing every move made by the Jackson family and others who were close to Michael and acting like they, the fans, are the ones who ultimately know how to deal with everything including the death of your super-star relative, raising his minor children, managing his estate, and now also dealing with complex issues of Paris’ breakdown. And one thing is to discuss it among ourselves, although the superior attitudes are still misplaced, but to contact these people through social media and lash out at them?

I don’t agree nor disagree with all of the decisions of Michael’s family, but the point is that they don’t need our permission nor our approval, it is simply not our place. I wish certain things were not displayed in public, but it is this family’s right to seek justice how they see fit. Besides, it is not the Jackson who tweet every single detail of the trial, that would be the media.

I think some of us are so caught up in our own grief, our need for justice and our emotions in general that we just dismiss the pain of his family. Like you wrote, Barbara, we get to get back to our lives and move on. As much as we love him and feel connected to him, Michael the man had not been a part of our lives, we were not used to seeing him, talking to him, sharing our days with him. I could never even imagine comparing the loss of Michael, to losing my mother or my brother (hypothetically). From my own experience, I would imagine every time something happens, good or bad or funny, the first thought is to tell daddy, followed by a reminder that they can never tell him anything again.

I don’t know if our pain makes us arrogant and insensitive to the pain of others, but it is very disturbing.”

Here’s another:

“Just read your story “Once upon a girl there was a time” and I’m very thankful for this opportunity. Someone did the translation in German, therefore it was easier for me to understand. My thoughts and feelings are very similar with yours, thank you!”

Bad and rude behavior is epidemic. Where is our integrity? What happened to civility? People have been expressing to me their own WIFS (well informed futility syndrome) describing their own anger, intolerance and irritability and it parallels my own. My anger too, is simmering just under the surface. It happens to those sensitive to energies. My patience is already gone. I’m not into mincing words these days or sugarcoating anything, so I’m going to paint a scenario for you about what might have been:

How would the AEG trial, and Murray’s earlier trial have gone if fans had taken seriously the request from the man himself to be his legacy and had created solidarity, written codes for their own conduct and then went out to act en force to change things?

What would have happened if, instead of all the back stabbing, jealousy, infighting, territorial, turf and Twitter wars, Michael Jackson fans had professionally and maturely, come together in the spirit of LOVE and then taken on the media and the world?

What if the media, each time they reported Jackson stories, had to acknowledge how civil, kind and level headed Michael Jackson fans are? What if that story had gotten out and fans, over time had gotten the reputation for holding integrity, civility, politeness and diplomacy? What if they came across as stewards of the message employing diplomatic intelligent, informed, and stable, SOLIDARITY and over time they replaced the label of “crazy,” “delusional,” and “unglued?” What if the media had to contend with and acknowledge the solidarity of the fans in demanding integrity from themselves, from each other and from the media?

What if in SOLIDARITY they employed integrity in every interaction with other fans, the media and Michael’s family? What if, when there were/are questionable things written, they addressed that professionally? What if they valued the scholars or credentialed fans? What if they took a deep breath before acting on impulse? What if they made it clear that this is what Michael Jackson stood for? What if they, in their SOLIDARITY kept saying over and over, “no; that is unacceptable, false and unsustainable; that is not the world that Michael Jackson was calling for in his lyrics, and it’s not the world we stand for. Instead, this is the world Michael Jackson asked his fans to build…” and you described it. What if over and over and over in actions of non-violence, that message was repeated everywhere in SOLIDARITY?

What if, instead of all the infighting and jockeying for position, the fans had, in solidarity, and as students of the stewardship philosophy, presented a different Jackson to the world? What if they had made themselves truly stewards of and for his message? How might they, and by proxy, he– have been observed? Remembered? What of the legacy then? Some fans are actually living this legacy now.

Before the AEG trial started, fans wrote to me hysterically calling for me and others who have researched and written about Jackson to contact the media, become spokespersons for Jackson, go on TV, spread the word because the media was salivating on this new Michael Jackson feast to gorge on.

Nobody would take that on. Let me tell you why…

Nobody wants to go out there and represent nasty, vitriolic, rude and just plain bad behavior. People who have tried to reasonably take it on have been slammed– by fans. Jealousy has inspired fans to deliberately sabotage the work of advocates who have a credible voice, were respected and even held licenses, credentials or resumes that gave them credibility. Every single one of those reasonable voices or respected forums have had to deflect attacks– mostly by fans.

Step into their shoes for just a moment. Would you keep putting yourself out there? Only to be handed your head? Just uttering or writing “Michael Jackson” is enough to create a firestorm of controversy. And those who dared take it on didn’t get SOLIDARITY from fans.

Did the message slip by? Were the lyrics not explicit enough? The videos not clear enough? They are a roadmap to another kind of world– the one that is breathing round the corner.

What if fans had coalesced, what if in SOLIDARITY they had taken on the violence done to Jackson? The media? The deviation from truth?

The whole thing was done with words. It was effectively done with words made weapons. What if these same people who complained about the abysmal treatment of Jackson stopped doing the same thing– using their words as weapons? What if the friendly fire stopped? What if they cared more for the issues, justice, cooperation, the message and not so much for their own ego?

I once spoke to an attorney who was close to the Jackson case and asked about the possibility of fans filing a class action suit to challenge what fans and the world lost out on because Michael Jackson was culturally abused, hamstrung in his work, mocked, demonized and eventually killed. There is a price for what the world lost because of the global bullying of Michael Jackson and of Lady Diana Spencer killed by paparazzi chasing her for the latest celebrity gossip. I also talked with an attorney about representing the fans. These things were being seriously considered. That is until fans began to represent something other than what Michael Jackson stood for.

It didn’t happen and it won’t happen. Some have no learned how to conduct themselves with integrity. No professional is going to associate themselves with conduct unbecoming….

But if it had happened. If there had been SOLIDARITY and it was “all for love” because the intention was to change the world, what might have happened if a circle of seasoned activists had called for action. That’s what activist organizations do– they have a circle of directors and legal advice and representation. I’ve been an activist and watched activists my whole life. They change the world.

When I walked out of that supermarket, I so wanted to make a phone call and activate a campaign of those who saw the value and power in SOLIDARITY. I wanted to coach them, every one of them to go to their supermarket– the young, the old, the moms, the fathers, the teachers, ministers and educators and every human being who stand for decency and integrity, for civil rights and human rights to go– and I wanted them to complain about the tabloids in the checkout aisles in supermarkets all over the world.

I wanted them to speak to the manager, to write a letter and to say: “I want you to take this trash down. I am trying to teach values to my children. I am trying to role model compassion and human rights. I am trying to teach my children that bullying is wrong. I don’t want my children exposed to adults who produce these newspapers to role model the effective, actual and de facto bullying of children. Paris Jackson just tried to end her own life and these people are trading on her pain and suffering to sell this stuff. She is a child. She is grieving the loss of her beloved father. And she is being bullied in school. I do not want my child exposed to this stuff as we check out our food. If you continue to place these things in full view of my children, I will find another place to shop for our families groceries.”

The one thing that was feared the most and the one quavering voice went a few octaves higher and hysterically bellowed a warning: “OMG they’re ORGANIZING!” Yes, that was the fear and that was the major motivation for the deconstruction of the reputation yet again.

Something didn’t happen. Again. “Make that change” became secondary to individual egos and illusory “turf wars” by people who think they own something they don’t. Michael Jackson’s “Change the world” didn’t happen. And his daughter was splattered all over the front pages of the tabloids.

I don’t think that’s what he meant when he said “you are my legacy.”

 

Once Upon A Girl There Was a Time:

Artists- Disposable People? Children- just “Collateral damage?”

Once upon a time there was a little girl born to an unusual man. A man who loved children and who preached with his words, his music and his actions, that the children of the world are everybody’s responsibility. He was a member of the “It Takes A Village” to raise a child clan. He saw all the world’s people as family– the poor, the elite, the ignorant, the wise, the unloved and unloving, the downtrodden and broken, the privileged and the underprivileged and viewed them as a variety of colored threads that merge to weave the tapestry of humanity. He dined with kings and he slept on mats laid on floors of dust in remote villages. He befriended the sick, the aged, the weary, the brilliant, the talented, the poor; and he loved equaly– the outcasts and the A-Listers. Even if they didn’t always love him back.

This man became famous and his lyrics, music, dance and his work as a humanitarian and philanthropist was all for one purpose– to communicate and demonstrate to the world that they are all one. One human family. And that adults are the stewards of all the world’s children. He tried to make his life a demonstration of that. He only wanted to love and live in love. With a child’s heart and sometimes a child’s mind, he wandered the world telling his story in ways that the modern world would understand. He spoke in a powerful vernacular of the times– music. He was a popular, beloved figure in a culture on the cusp of change from individualism to community.

The man’s message, sometimes inherent and sometimes hidden in his artistry- masterfully created with all the tools of the genius and the artist with a story or message to tell, impacted the young especially. Those forlorn in inner cities barren of love and care, living in dangerous circumstances and among toxins both environmental and human, watched him closely and saw his life as a beacon of hope for them. If he could escape his toxic and poor beginnings, maybe they could as well.

His lyrics offered hope to them. And ideas that become mantras, incantations or what popular culture called “affirmations” if repeated enough become imbedded in consciousness and eventually sink down to fertilize even the unconscious. Singing songs and listening to recordings with powerful lyrics over and over instills hope in a wounded or barren soul. And even if there is to be no escape from a toxic life and environment, for the duration of a few moments the world is brighter having been infused with hope and the lightness shined by human hope.

He even told the world that children were precious resources, that they were to be loved completely and unconditionally and to never be told “no” if their requests could be accommodated. he believed in hugs and physical closeness and human touch as an affirmation of self as valuable. He believed in healing and in the power of the human mind and spirit and this is what he shared with the children around him– the sick and abandoned (those virtually abandoned by their families and those abandoned by the world.) He taught them that they have the power to heal themselves and to heal the world. He told adults the same thing. But the children listened especially closely and since they weren’t already tainted by the feeling of inadequacy and lack and self loathing, they heard him. Adults who were too far past those reverberations of hope ingrained and contained in childhood to remember them, misunderstood his intentions. He taught about the sovereignty of the human child and its soul encouraging the adult world to never break the spirit of a child.

The fame of this father was so legendary that he could not go anywhere without bodyguards, could not live anywhere without security, and he had accumulated so much wealth from his talent that everybody looked at him with envy for his fortune and disdain for his values that they didn’t understand.

He was so famous and so talented that he couldn’t have a normal life. The talent and creativity would not be denied and it burst through all the time. He could not ignore it and he could not stop the flow. The river of talent and the intensity of his art made it hard for him to sleep. He longed for normalcy– nourishing sleep, reasonable privacy but especially he ached to find love and a life mate so that he could have children. He longed for his own family and his own children. But this normalcy wasn’t in the cards for him for he had a mission in the world and came to complete it. The mission, his talent and fame made any normalcy unobtainable. His relationships didn’t work out and he wanted his own family so badly that he became “daddy” to many children and had many surrogate families along the way of his search for the perfect mate and mom. It just wasn’t in the cards.

But he would not give up on the dream of having his own children nor would he ever let go of the dream of healing sick or unfortunate children through love, care and play. He bought a ranch that was a hideaway from the world that was so intrusive on his life that he was stalked and bullied. He built this magical place that he could share with the world’s children. And he planned for his own children. If he couldn’t find the right mate and have a normal family life, he would try to come as close as possible to it. He truly believed that children were special beings who were to be treated with the ultimate respect and dignity and that they were the answer to the world’s problems. So he approached every child as if they were his personal responsibility as diplomats of the future world and as he, himself, was a diplomat of the adult world.

But the world missed the message, missed the intention and if fact, instead of considering perhaps he had a point and that the children of the world were being abandoned by the adult world in ways that were both visible and invisible. They condemned his love for children and twisted it into something it wasn’t. They couldn’t grasp what he was saying, what he was demonstrating by his philanthropy and donating hundreds of millions to charities, particularly children’s causes, by his building of hospital wings and burn centers and educational resources. The world thought his focus on children was venal and impure. It was understandable of course, since they had no concept of being a collective– a family of humanity that cherished all its members but particularly its children.

Much had been questioned in the previous period about adult relationships with children. The McMartin Preschool Case leveled against the caretakers of children, begun by the delusional rantings of a mentally ill woman led to a case that excoriated and decimated an entire family and lasted 10 years before they were exonerated. In the meantime a hysterical tabloid media exploited the story for its sensationalism and human darkness. Begun in 1983, the case caused sexual abuse hysteria and moral panic about children and adult-child relationships. Settled in 1990 with no evidence and no charges, the case ignited a cultural outrage and paranoia surrounding child sexual abuse. It galvanized a culture and created a panic that threw under suspicion, teachers who comforted students by putting their arms around them; caused doctors to never again enter exam rooms without a witness, coaches to never be alone with students, and other sweeping reforms to a culture battered by the media barrage about a case that had no merit and involved innocent people being tortured by a media and public gone mad. In 1995 a documentary was made “Indictment” that told the story but the panic never subsided. The case placed any adult with any relationship with a child under suspicion.

There was sexual abuse of children, of course, and the public exposed to its horrible possibility was shell shocked. The incidence of child abuse, especially in rural areas stunned a previously oblivious public. So, it’s seriousness is not to be belittled or dismissed. But every adult who has relationships with children is not a potential molester. But the pervasive assumption was just reverse and especially with men who either were, or were perceived gay, came under the umbrella of suspicion. (Notice the pun and metaphor there.) The reaction was disproportionate to the threat because of the heinous nature of the offense and the vulnerability of children.

But that did not mean every adult male was tempted to sexually exploit children. And in the case of Jackson, children naturally gravitated to him because of his soft voice and gentle demeanor, the expansiveness of his acceptance and in great measure by his presence and work. Clung to by children as their one bright ray of hope in a world that relegated them to “incidentals” or mini extensions of their parents, a world that didn’t “get” them, a world without a lifeline of hope, and the stewardship of them as people whose entry into the world was welcomed and cherished and who found love and genuine care so gravely missing from their daily lives, Jackson did become a kind of cult hero for the world’s children and youth. And his Neverland Ranch, built around the magic and needs of children and opened to them with or without his attendance there, brought fantasy and magic and a kind of care heretofore unseen and un-experienced in a culture that regularly breaks the spirits of children through its insistence on indoctrination, conformity, the adoption of false humility, stagnation and exploitation as “business as usual” and a society filled with adult rules and herd mentality where the status quo goes unchallenged and unreformed. And this insistence despite the evidence that something is very broken and is converting that “blessed unrest” (the gnawing knowingness that something needs fixing) to: bullying. The world is acting out because it is weary of values that no longer serve human beings nor humanity.

This famous father kept all of this to himself and never exposed his little girl to the ugly realities of a world that bullied him publicly for decades for sport and for profit, made him the brunt of jokes because he was an early feminist instead of misogynist, who respected women rather than exploit all the groupies who threw themselves at him or prostrated at his feet. He never wanted his little girl to be seen or bullied in public but despite all his efforts, those who made their living off tabloid sensation and human shadow, tried everything to illegitimize him, his relationship with children and his own children themselves. They publicly ridiculed his fatherhood, and openly and publicly speculated about his sexuality, his normal need, same as the average human, to procreate and enjoy the joys of fatherhood and family. They publicly, on the front pages of publications, questioned his physical ability to father children, function as a normal sexual being, and mocked and questioned the heritage of his own children. Some even scoffed at his insistence that his children be visibly shielded by masks as well as emotionally shielded from the terrorism of publications violating all manner of moral and ethical boundaries.

But this splendid father who considered himself a father to all children (as the world should be) even while ridiculed, mocked and bullied, showed nothing but love and care to his children continuing to shield them even during a trial that came about not because of his actual behavior, but because of the exploitation and repeated demonization of those whose own moral compass was offline and whose minds were incapable of viewing the man through his lyrics, his provocative art that challenged the world to do better in its stewardship for the planet and its children, and who filtered their “coverage” of him through their own moral turpitude and abysmal spiritual calibration and bankruptcy. In the end, it was proven in a court of law that what he was guilty of was being “strange” and “different” and a “freak” because his moral compass came from the Jehovah Witnesses, the saints any mystics, metaphysics, cosmology and his intimate relationship with his God.

His little girl knows him well; he spent all of his time outside the studio with his children changing diapers, feeding them, nurturing them and “blanketing them with love” which is where her brother “Blanket” got his name. He called his children “Prince” because his philosophy was that all children should be treated like royalty because they are precious to this world and their minds and creativity are jewels that can be mined to solve the world’s problems.

And all the time he was shielding her, protecting her, even from his own problems, from his inability to sleep or ever let his guard down enough to adequately rest because his every move, every utterance was scrutinized and filtered through the caricature the media built of him for its own selfish and financial exploitation. His natural and expansive love for humanity and people, tested and betrayed at every juncture of his life, while suffering and wavering at times, remained intact for even into his latter years, he wanted to come back again to remind the world of its responsibility and stewardship.

This little girl lived with a daddy who shielded her from the vast ugliness of the world that served him more than his share of it, showed her only care, love, fantasy and magic– something all children deserve but are sorely and frequently deprived of. This doting father wanted his children to become strong in their belief in a possible world of magic and magical capabilities. This little girl loved her daddy; for he was her life and she, his.

And then, one day without warning, he was gone.

She was suddenly alone and thrust into a world that was much different than the one she knew. It was inevitable that she would come to learn who her father was outside of their intimacy, how he was viewed by the world and how polarized that view would be. The protective shield of childhood built by a loving father was ripped away. She could not remain protected from the “real” world forever, for she and her siblings were growing and could not be sheltered eternally. And they had been prepared by a loving father but were no longer buffered by a father been through wars and deeper trenches than he ever deserved. If anyone knew the terrain, her father did. But he also taught her and her brothers to be strong, to stand up for themselves and what they believed. To be confident in their quotient for creativity, innovation and magic.

But nothing could have prepared this little girl for what awaited her. She was conflicted, frustrated, angry at the insults and insinuations; she bravely tried to navigate the whispering and bullying in school and elsewhere for she and her brother so desired to be viewed as just normal kids despite having learned who their father was. Nothing could have prepared her for her conflicted feelings and even her anger toward him because of who he was and because he left her behind.

Nothing could have prepared her for the internet and its dark as well as benevolent uses. She might have been shielded for awhile but shielding will not work for a determined savvy and precocious girl becoming a teen and young woman. She could not have been shielded forever nor would she have tolerated that shield. No matter what, teenagers find a way. Too strict parenting alienates children from the very people whom they must depend on for survival. And what child would be faced with the kind of survival this little girl growing up would and will face?

Nothing could have prepared her for finding out some of the “truths” and untruths she had been shielded from to protect her innocence and her childhood. Nothing could have prepared her or her siblings from finding the other side of their father, the one constructed by a public and those “representing” the interests of a curious public who told a one-sided and skewed story because it suited their selfish interests and their bank accounts. Sensation sells. Journalists will pay for sensation to make a profit. Media is a very competitive industry and corporate media has its interests to protect and profits to make. The integrity of the newsman of old and the accuracy of a story is decimated. Ratings, not integrity, are god and with an additional letter: gold.

Nothing could have prepared this little girl for what she read, encountered, her treatment at school or the interest the salivating tabloidists would have in her. Fame at first surprises and amuses but given longevity, it changes to something else altogether. Nothing could have prepared her to witness their bullying of her father even unto and past death. And that without even a modicum of decency, violates the sanctity of his grave.

Nothing could have prepared her to learn what happened to her father at the hands of a doctor whose oath was to save and protect life learned in a grueling and cruel trial. Nothing could have prepared her for learning about the last days of her fathers life and how he was treated by an industry that used him and abused him for sport and profit. Nothing could have buffered the shock of his reduction to “freak” and a disposable “commodity.” That kind of treatment should be exposed and the world should know about that. The artists that gives the gift of their art and the audience that partakes of it should know what they’re buying. Artists are gifts to the world and their exploitation and abysmal treatment diminishes the world and its beauty and humanity inherent in the arts. It addition to his genius and his unduplicated contributions, exploitation and extortion at the hands of humanity was Michael’s reality; it was his life. Those who have exploited him and who have called him things and names from a distance, or without evidence or personally knowing him or thoroughly researching his life (relying on the tabloid caricature,) should stop and look at where and how their opinions were formed and at their unexamined assumptions. For if they examine this journey to their conclusions about him while learning the truth, other assumptions will be examined. And that is the greatest collective fear that overarches the individual fears of exposure as opportunists, those who selfishly and unethically capitalized and cashed in. Only the guilty need to obfuscate or cover their tracks.

This little girl once knew the world as a magical, safe and friendly place. That is what childhood should be. It is also what adulthood could be. Imagine the adjustment and the pain for this girl awakening to the “real world.” If you want to continue her pain, keep feeding that kind of world. If you want to help heal her– punish those who would exploit humans and consume them for entertainment, profit or selfish illusions of some kind of “triumph.” It’s not triumph– it’s a reeking and gaping loss. If you want to help a young girl heal, stop bullying and demand that everyone else stop. Apparently her despair has motivated some in Hollywood to begin an anti-bullying campaign. Honor that her pain has meaning. Just like her father’s pain has meaning. Just like all pain that we all experience. It is unfortunately how human beings on this planet learn at this stage of evolution– from pain. Michael Jackson saw that we might also learn from LOVE. Do you GET THAT? (Yes, I’m shouting.)

Nothing could have prepared her for the betrayer of her father as mentor and benefactor and cheerleader for one of the many youth he foster parented over the years– from Ryan White who was treated as a leper for contracting AIDS from a blood transfusion to Dave Dave whom Michael supported after his father poured gasoline on him and lit him on fire, to Bela Farcas whom Michael insisted be found a liver through his “Heal the World” foundation.

And absolutely nothing could have prepared her for the “MJ Haters” who vilify her father and make sport and entertainment of it for their own sick purposes. Some “haters” even sent her photos of her deceased father– photos that were displayed at trial for a jury deciding whether the treatment and neglect given him by his attending physician was manslaughter. The little girl had to not only survive his death, but witness his lifeless body displayed in vulnerability, and she had to survive that kind of assault by human beings who would employ such breath-thieving evil as to send her those pictures. She had to come to terms with the reality that human beings could actually be that dark as to send those photos to a child still reeling from the loss of her father– a father who taught her sophistication and pride in appearance as a vehicle for self esteem and honoring the Self as sent forth from the Creator. A father who taught her that everyone was sent forth from there, and thus was valuable to the world– a father who loved sparkle and magic and who non-verbally messaged that to the world in the way he costumed his persona while sharing his God-given talent and crediting his Creator with it all. Her father had taught her “it’s all for love” and to respect others. How was she to reconcile that?

But nothing in this world, nothing her father could have done or said or buffered could have prepared her for hearing about the last days of his life, how inhumane corporations are in their exploitation and treatment of artists off whom they make money while at the same time watching those who claim to be his fans call her grandmother and her family vile names and write vile things about hoping for her grandmother’s demise and the triumph of a corporation focused only on profit or possibly setting her father up to fail and thereby wrenching from him his beloved catalog of music– the music that defined his life and his generation including the black musicians who came before him and who were so carelessly and cavalierly exploited. Some of the most brilliant musicians of a generation died paupers. That’s not right and Michael knew it. As keeper of the catalog, he could preserve the dignity of the world’s modern music. He even gifted the copyrights back to some of the musicians in that catalog after they had been so exploited as to have lost the rights to their own music.

Nothing could have prepared her for the conflicting feelings she has and the challenges of trust within her own kin and clan. People are not perfect; in her eyes, her father was. Nothing but her own heart can keep her steadfast in knowing the truth and trusting her own ability for discernment. And when that is shaken, abandonment is the feeling that overwhelms. That abandonment can appear to come from outside but the betrayal actually begins inside. Chipping away at someone so as to cause them to doubt their own sovereignty and worth or surrounding them with a violent and toxic world demonstrating glee in watching suffering instead extending compassion in its wake, is the highest form of betrayal and the most frightening kind of abandonment.

This girl has been through difficulties people three times her age could not bear. She has a famous father and the world will always be watching her. Those unethical and opportunistic will always be at the ready to take advantage of her and her life. She comes from a famous family. She lost a beloved father. Her pain is from an immersion into a world that does not love its children enough to place them first and above all else. She was exploited from the day she was born despite the protection of a loving father and a family that in crisis, comes together in solidarity. The circumstances by which she lost her father are not normal and his death was senseless.

Her extended family, the Jackson family, has said from the very beginning after her father died that something was not right. Over and over they have said that something is very rotten and there are people who are responsible for his dying and their loss. They have insisted from the very first that there were people manipulating behind the scenes. They have a right to know what really happened to their loved one, no matter how painful. And the world deserves to be forced to look in that mirror that is being created and to ask the question: do you like what you see? Do you want change? Then change and demand it be changed. But do so ALL FOR LOVE which means with love for all. Because that is the real Michael Jackson.

While this girl’s actions are being interpreted in many ways, perhaps the real message in her despair is STOP! The world has bullied long enough. The ways it has bullied amounts to terrorism. It has already claimed her father’s life and it encroaches on hers. The bullying of a second generation has begun and it has to stop. Children are dying from this epidemic. And there is no excuse for fans who purport to care about Michael Jackson being bullies. That is not the Michael way. Nor will it work for the world if we are to save it or save humanity. The irony of all this is apparently lost on those who are saying and doing the very things they condemn Michael Jackson detractors for. They are condemning the tabloids and then are taking their place. They are bemoaning Michael Jackson’s legacy yet they are destroying it themselves because he said they are his legacy and when they’re ugly, so is his legacy. And if you’re one of them, you’re not going to like this reminder: your offensive actions have driven away some of the most prolific and brilliant defenders of his legacy; they are gone because of the truly moronic display of behavior. Some have turned and walked away; some are contemplating it. Some will not take the subject on any more because the association with it brings association with crazy-making. I am talking about those wise elders with experience who might have helped to preserve a genius’s legacy with diplomacy, kindness, caring and LOVE– all the things the man himself stood for.

Nothing could have prepared that little girl becoming young woman for the behavior of those who claim to be fans and to care about her. Nothing could have buffered the demonizing of the only family she knows or the wishing for their demise or death or for more loss than losing a son, brother, father and humanity’s greatest cheerleader. The Jacksons are her family warts and all just like your family are your people warts and all. They have their dysfunction just like any other family. They have their differences and fights and forgiveness just like any clan of humans. And none is perfect; especially not their brother Michael who claimed and proclaimed his humility and humanity loudly and a long time. The Jacksons are still music royalty. Period. Know your history.

The treatment of Michael Jackson in his last days, according to testimony, is a parallel to how Michael’s family and ancestors were treated. Slavery. The white man pulling all the strings while demanding the black man perform for him on demand: “Dance for me N*….” (And yes, that is the word you think it is.) So if you don’t know your history, keep quiet; for you otherwise embarrass yourself and become an embarrassment, a liability and ultimately a herd of sheep manipulated by a machine that cares for you only enough to use you or take your money. Your ignorance contributes to the ugliness; so stop contributing. Can you be forgiven for your ignorance? Of course. But once you have become enlightened, you get no more free passes. Stop the hysteria, breathe and hold prayer vigils. There is more at stake than you realize. And you can get huffy if you like, but part of you KNOWS that.

The little girl becoming a woman before the eyes of the world has endured more than any child ever should. Her beloved father is not here in body to protect her or buffer the world from impaling her with its words of violence, moral corruption and indifference to her humanity and sadly, to its own.

Nothing could have prepared her for becoming a target of those throwing the impaling weaponry especially when they claim to be students of her father’s teachings about LOVE.

And nothing will heal her wounds until those who understand LOVE in the realest and fiercest sense, and in the spirit of the father she lost, demand that the world change and are willing to be the change they wish it to be.

Michael Jackson said: “In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. In a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe.”

I’ve got a better idea. Want to heal this little child become teen, becoming woman and all the little girls (inside and out) and love them back into wholeness and their sovereignty? Want to “heal the world?” Want to “heal the children?” Want to support them as the generation of the world’s makeover? (It badly needs a makeover.) Let’s just fix it.

Let’s just stop all this, look in the mirror and take a long and honest gaze at who we are, are becoming; examine how we speak and treat others; and take a microscope to our behavior and what we do– and ask “Am I making the world a better place?” Shine a light on that. Then lets just get real, start keeping it real and change the world so Paris Jackson and the rest of us can feel safe and actually LIVE in it.

 
Portrait: Emile Munier 1840-1895
 

While you’re waiting…

For Enlightenment… (that’s a joke, but not really)

Lots of people are asking me to write about the current situation. I will. Discernment in these things takes a little time.

A new post is a work-in-progress. Meanwhile, let’s respect the family’s wish for privacy and to keep calm and send prayers and a big wave of LOVE. And Major Love Prayer is conducting meditations daily. There is power in circle. Get in the circle.

So… while we’re all waiting to be enlightened…

Maybe we could use a little entertainment from 2 of my personal gurus. Yoda was offline today but asked me to tell you “the force is with you.”

Swami Beyondananda

Puppetji

You look your monsters right in the eye and say: “Let’s party.”

There is no Love under the Bus

This period may go down in the history books as one of the darkest times in human communication and interaction. Humanity has certainly had its dark epidemic moments: the Black Death; the Budonic Plague; the insanity that funded a Cold War and its MAD policy (Mutually Assured Destruction or the end of life on Earth;) Witch hunts, concentration camps; AIDS was epidemic as is poverty, genocide, slavery, famine and starvation of the weakest among us– children. Many of those “wake up calls” went unaddressed because of sexism, racism, sexuality, classism, nationalism and elitism. Some came out of cultural and even religious divisions with some of those archaic and ego-manufactured “isms” or divisiveness continuing even today.

Much of the abominable behaviors of humans are born of ignorance and the need to feel superior to someone. Why is there that need to feel superior or special? Where does it come from? It comes from the human ego– an ego that feels unloved.

That was then; this is now.

I think that we, of modern culture, can no longer blame illiteracy, superstition or ignorance. At one time the world was too big to even know about other cultures classes and traditions. Communications and technology have made that world smaller. Television brought “story” and the opportunity to stand in another’s shoes and walk that mile to their suffering as well as our own. Support for public education assures everyone the opportunity to learn at least till threshold of adulthood and many have opportunities to enhance their basic education should they want to and are willing to work toward it.

And now comes the Internet bringing the world to our lap.

No, we can no longer claim isolation or ignorance to the plight, hardships and suffering of others.

But this new creeping epidemic, the hybrid of cynicism and narcissism is anonymous and scary and causes intelligent and reasonable people to become frightened, shifting them into survival mode. Cave dwellers needed survival mode, barbarians need it. We are not living in caves and barbaric is unforgiveable.

This new “Narcynism” forgets unity and solidarity and the value of placing the common good of all above personal interests. And people infected by this scary new hybrid “ism” never examine the long term consequences or estimate projections of how their singular actions might affect community. They never examine the impact on recipients, the fallout to community, the longevity or latitude of the action and it’s worse case scenario. The eventual and future outcome cannot be measured but can be predicted because one action sets in motion another action, and other actions ad infinitum. Everything you do impacts your community. “Community” means your neighborhood and now your neighborhood is your group/s, your culture, the world and the future. The amnestic personal ego forgets that we are all in this together, that the world is an interconnected web and that what affects one affects us all. And it affects the future in the form of what can happen and especially what can’t happen when something benevolent promoting the common good set in motion is stopped. Benevolent action is frequently killed by selfishness. The mini-mind sabotages the collective mind.

An action taken from within an “it’s all about me” (narcissism) or “I’m gonna get mine” (jealous resentment) is a mini-mind that is reactionary, retaliatory and violent. It’s an act of desperation and a silent scream: “I am afraid I’m not loved and never will be loved!” This flailing and lashing out is a cry for love.

There is another loss of love here when one loses his belief in self as an adequate and capable being. That belief in one’s own ability to provide and be provided for is to lose Self Love. And that is the most dire of situations. This lack of love for self and belief is a black hole of fear and eventual self loathing that can only end in one’s decay. It’s a rotting from the inside out and it’s all because one feels frightened and unloved.

The mirror is your looking glass. And the looking glass is your salvation. Self is the only savior here. Treachery will not save you. Money will not save you. So…

Newsflash: Throwing someone under the bus is NEVER EVER gonna get you some love. We human beings instinctively know what is soulful and what is not. Throwing someone under the bus is not soulful. Your soul knows it. Your body knows it. Your innards know. So you’re now on a one way ticket to your own ride under the bus. That bus has already left the station and is on a collision course with your future. It’s already on the way and barreling toward you set in motion by your own hand. You’re now in the crosshairs of escalating fear, and you have now invited it to be your constant companion. Love is gone. “And you can’t get it again.”

Everything reduces. It’s either fear or it’s love.

There are times, usually during or after catastrophic events, that human malaise and indifference to the suffering of other humans crashes past some invisible threshold and humans cry out or take action. But the tragedy that triggered the outcry soon fades from the human psyche and it’s back to normal for the collective. We must endeavor to be a vigilant and awake collective.

“The collective,” meaning humanity taken as a whole, is a strange being. It’s an alive amoeba-like animal with a mind made from the vectoring of where humans place their attention, concern, emotion, sensibilities and sense of moral and social justice. This collective when it speaks as one, has a voice that is effective, authoritative and can change things in the blink of an eye. When it’s recruited and organized or launched spontaneously to change something that is unacceptable, it’s unstoppable. But humans, when being dull and indifferent creatures, must first be shaken awake by a graphic and emotional appeal that stirs up sensibilities and outrage. But it’s often too weak with a short attention span. Sound bites are not change; they are lip service to change. Politicians count on the forgetfulness of the collective, the rapid *yawn* of the amoeba now on to the next fascinating or shiny thing.

The collective, once awake and stirred into commitment has made miracles, has taken on goliaths and won, has changed assumptions and changed culture and once in awhile changes the world and even saves planets.

But a once vibrant and healthy social conscience and impulse to improve things and thereby improve the world has gone to sleep. The pastime of rallying for common good has been replaced by a new pastime, a new game called Under the Bus. The rules of the game are: there are no rules. The idea is to find a way to throw other people under the bus– for fun, for profit, for personal gain, to secure 15 minutes of fame, to claim a temporary and false sense of superiority. In this game there are no winners. In fact everybody who plays loses. The players lose, the played lose and the observers lose. Everybody comes out of the game with a dose of PTSD from the trauma- inflicting it, experiencing it or witnessing it. In order to play this game you must live in fear but hide it from yourself. You must carry this fear to your finish line. While playing the game you must find ways to distract yourself from fear’s painful and gnawing presence– numb it, avoid it, deny it, medicate it… What’s the grand fear? That ‘there is not enough love to go around and you’re not getting your share.’

We’re not talking about romantic love or physical and sexually expressed love here. We’re not talking about the love you get for what you do (applause, applause.) We’re talking about the other kind– the love you get just because you’re you. The love you have for yourself because you  like who you have become. Love– just because you’re here. It’s not Divine Love itself (if you don’t know that kind or have a vacuum where it should live) but it’s the human expression of it– a pretty close second.

Love comes in many forms– acknowledgment, recognition, care, friendship, relationship, community, conversation, belonging, nurturing, caring, reciprocating, fierce protective love, someone (or you) demanding or evoking your best, someone cautioning you or saying “no” when you are about to harm yourself, rewards, promises, politeness, worthiness, manners, affection, listening, hearing, validating, including, surprising, hugging, acceptance, being seen instead of overlooked, encouragement, forgiveness, compassion, invitation, compliments, gifts, thanks, noticing, initiating, responding, replying, requesting, respecting…

You can’t do anything to get that kind of love; it’s freely given because of who you are being. People feel that. They know it. It’s a myth that there’s not enough love or not enough to go around. It’s a lie that love will run out. Love generates more of itself. It is expansive, not contracting.

Just as hate generates more hate, takes life and destroys– it contracts– leading to decay. Love, however, generates more of itself, gives life and deeper breath, healing, fullness and leads to rejuvenation and generation, creativity and aliveness and sparkle.

So which to do you choose?

Are you sure? When was the last time you threw someone under the bus?

Michael Jackson chose LOVE. Always. It’s how he was wired.

A study of Michael’s life finds a great deal of it spent under the bus by people who threw him there. For their own selfish reasons. The real cost is what the world missed out on whilst Michael Jackson was constantly struggling to get himself out from under the bus. Betrayals by employees, friends, spiritual advisors, neighbors, collaborators, hotel staff, flight attendants, hospital staff, “biographers,” loved ones, hangers on, hundreds of frivolous lawsuits, bought-and-paid for tabloid stories for cash held out by “journalists” and “reporters” and that’s only a fraction of the busses that came along. A piece of Michael Jackson was worth a lot of money and hundreds flocked to assert claims and cash in. They still are. They are still throwing him under the bus. The man was proved innocent and the man is dead! Is it any wonder he sought unconsciousness nightly? Is it surprising that he needed relief from pain? Hunting, hounding, exploiting and bullying publicly someone who was born sensitive and only to give the gift of art to the world is terrorism. And it seems the terrorists never stopped even up until his death. And now beyond it.

There is no blood left! There is only blood money.

I confess that I have, for a time, backed away and gone into seclusion. My faith, shaken, slipped sideways, now sits askew. I have isolated and pushed people away declining to engage. I don’t know how long this whatever-it-is will last. It doesn’t feel like a dark night of the soul; it feels necessary. I haven’t explored it deeply enough to know what it is yet or where it’s leading. It will reveal its secrets one day and do what it’s supposed to. If it’s supposed to heal, it will. Maybe it will even morph into more understanding and clearer direction that can somehow serve the future. Is it another call to “art in the service of humanity?” It carries that kind of energy but lags behind in words.

One thing contained in it is the coming face to face with the full frontal reality of a category of robbery that goes far too unrecognized. It is a knowingness that is hard to develop and harder to explain. And it’s painful. To go there takes a mixture of a willingness to stand in the fire of a truth while it burns and consumes you, feeling that truth fully without filtering it or censoring it and without any attempts to avoid or distract from it. “Cures” are not allowed: no TV, alcohol, medication, drugs, entertainment, music, sports, or false charity or cheerfulness. There is nothing cheery about this. It’s deadly.

To touch it means being quiet in the despair. It means allowing the realization to pierce you and paralyze you long enough to fully realize, fully experience the terror of it. We can talk about something abstract like what happened to someone else or we can place on our heads, the hat of the Empath, feel it and let it leak down and soak into the bones.

It is the opportunist that behaving like an insect or vampire, finds the robust and reddest blood, targets an easy appearing mark and sinks a bloodsucking tube deep in the jugular and completely de-sanguinates the body for the feeding of its own interests. That act is such an empty and angry loathing of self and disbelief in the abilities of self, in the future in the divine or God, that it wallows in its own vacuum where love and loving should be. There is nothing but death and decay in that prison. It was a choice. But no longer. Once chosen, it becomes a way of life.

A recent event by a Michael Jackson associate catapulted me into a position of choice. I could jump into the fray or I could allow the sucker punch to fully land. I let it land. And it led me somewhere. It led me to examine the whole stinking mass and mess of humanity that allowed this all to happen. And it’s only one example of it, and one human being but it involves someone so visible and so well known that it can shine a bright light on the darkest motives of humans and the shadow ghosts that motivate them.

Michael Jackson comes once again to give us a gift. The world’s poster boy for bullying in his life, driven by the pain of that, of mockery and no privacy, to seek relief in prescriptions to the point of unconsciousness, quite possibly and actually bullied to death certainly dissolved over time and most acutely in his last weeks of life, is now– after being exonerated of all accusations and charges– bullied after death by someone whom he befriended, mentored, and jump started in a lucrative artistic career that wouldn’t exist without him.

No matter that he is not being believed, doesn’t sound credible, finds the most opportunistic moment during a trial where his employer is accused of caring so little as to miss the signs that a fellow human being is in trouble and dying. His employer. Now and future employer. An employer embroiled in a trial that involves his past benefactor and his present one. So choose.

So he chose.

Yet, why should that have surprised me? It’s typical business-as-usual. The cost of doing business. Dirty business. And during trials the weapon of choice to sway public opinion and juries is… planted stories. Ugly stories. Ugly business. This is the corporate sociopathic business and profit at any cost. Michael Jackson became damaged goods the moment an ugly accusation was made. And all manner of decisions followed, followed by all manner of manipulation and sabotage. And it didn’t end with his death.

I can’t remember a time when I have seen humans demonstrate such ugliness and so little care for fellow humans. It’s not just about Jackson; it’s about everybody breathing. The human shadow is so restless and looms so large that it bursts and splats everywhere and on everyone. This is the mark of a self loathing society. Perhaps this plague should be exposed, should stink to high heaven so that it gets noticed. So that it sickens. So that it makes us shudder and shiver in disgust enough to provoke change.

We are not acting alone in this world. Not ever. Everything we do ripples out from us and into the greater world and that carries a grave responsibility.

Every action we take is being watched by someone who is perhaps vulnerable an any number of ways: young, impressionable, easily led, quickly influenced, uneasily hopeful, emotionally wounded, or simply lost… in a world that seems indifferent. And those who are observing us and our actions may be: children looking to adults for evidence of what matters and whom to emulate; what to copy from what they see; people looking for identity; human beings searching for their place in the world; children, or adults who are internal children trying to deal with the assaults of the world brought by choosing ego over spirit ; people confused by the bombardment of daily conflicting messages; minds discouraged by the inauthentic political rhetoric and impasses; psyches overwhelmed by the glut of data coming from every direction; bodies overtired and overworked trying to make it financially during lean times; weary spirits trying to make sense of the world; and the weary who have had enough but don’t have the courage to exit and so their spirit begins to wither while still in a body. They are the wounded. They don’t feel the love and that wound is gaping and festering. They are the walking wounded. They are us.

There is no love under the bus.

There is no love under the bus for you when you are there and there is no love under the bus when you throw someone there. And when you know you have thrown someone under the bus, your body knows you’ve done that; your mind knows you’ve done that; your soul knows you’ve done that. And from then on, there is no rest.

There are mangled bodies under the bus and those wounds are visible and heal from the inside out. If you threw someone under the bus, you are mangled too but invisibly. Those wounds will attempt to heal from the outside in– perhaps via the salve of money or promises of attention or fame or favor. But thirty pieces of silver burns an invisible scar into the hand that receives it that never goes away and no matter how many distractions are attempted, begins to eat away the flesh– of the mind and the body and the soul of the betrayer. If you are on the way to the bank laughing because you, an opportunist, threw someone under the bus, know that you just lit the fire of consumption inside you. Know that you have just invited your death into being. Know that you are now dying inside. It will be a slow death as your insides eat you from the inside out.

We humans know intuitively whether something is soulful or not. We know it; no arguments. The soul is your source of living and being even if you don’t recognize it. It is a kind of umbilical cord to the divine. And you have just cut it and severed your lifeblood supply. Shiny new things that sparkle will not satisfy. No amount of payoff will wash your soul clean again.

When you throw someone under the bus, you throw your soul under there too. Let the mangling commence for you have just thrown away your chance at love and you will never get it again.

So where do you go to feel the love? Well, you certainly don’t find it under the bus. And you don’t find it in yourself after you have thrown someone under that bus. What you find now is an unconscious self loathing. There will be no more love for in order to invite it into your life, you must love self first and love others equally. Every single religion on earth, every single tenet of morality, every mystical core of every philosophy or spiritual/religious practice when cracked open reveals the same golden secret: “Do unto others what you would have them do to you.”

Capitalism and the accumulation of wealth valued above all else, and above the welfare of human beings has brought us to this juncture in history and to a dark and dangerous place…

Under the bus.

Throwing people under the bus is a business practice. It’s also the cost of doing business. Mangled bodies? That’s just “collateral damage.” No animals were harmed in the making of this story? Humans are animals. Were people harmed in the making of this history? Collateral damage or damage control is necessary if the bus throwing is ever revealed. The Pentagon has a name for humans as collateral damage: “Bugsplat.” You are nothing more than a splat on glass. On your looking glass.

Throwing people under the bus has become business-as-usual, mainstream, cavalier, even an expected strategy for getting ahead or doing damage control. Corporations do it; politiicans do it; celebrity gossipers do it; the media does it; books do it; sports commentators do it; television interviewers do it; journalists, writers and authors do it; sitcoms do it; movies do it; law enforcement does it; even priests do it.

How much is enough? How much money? How much recognition? How much market share? And citing that old standard about having to answer to your investors– well money is not the only valued commodity. People, the planet and the future are too. So in thinking about that future what did you build today? Or did you throw the future under the bus?

And media: nobody but you really cares about your “breaking news” and whether you broke the story or not. Everything moves fast now and nobody keeps track of who said it first. Your race to be the first to break the story is an internal illusion. It’s a myth of invisible power that is only true inside your industry, inside your newsrooms and inside your heads. It doesn’t exist outside your fantasies. Nobody out here cares who “breaks the news” because we will have forgotten by tomorrow who said it first. It doesn’t matter to us. You all race around and risk breaking your necks to “break the story” while running over truth, over accuracy, over reasonable care, and even over bodies. All this racing to be the first doesn’t impress any of us. You don’t have to sell us the news; you just have to give it to us. Straight. You don’t have to make it sexy to get us to listen. We don’t need the gore and the blood and quite frankly we don’t respect you for violating the rules of decency.

All it takes is for one person with a platform or an agenda– legitimate or otherwise, to throw someone under the bus and the bus-throwing gets hyped becoming momentary exciting entertainment that spreads like wildfire, the flames fanned by the media itself. This bus-throwing is a mental illness. It’s called “conversion disorder” and it’s “dissociative” meaning one is disconnected– from oneself and one’s personal or collective humanity. It suggests people are not in their right minds. Hysteria is dissociative– separate from humanity- one’s own and others’. Pointing a jeering finger at someone and throwing them under the bus and then sending it viral doesn’t just diminish their dignity and humanity, it diminishes yours. And mine. All of ours.

Responsibility
No matter where you go or what you do, you are a member of the culture, a citizen of the world, an instrument of the future, a steward of the planet and… you are a role model.

Whether you realize it or not people look to you for evidence of humanity because they are starving for it. Give them some. They look for validation, for dignity and respect. Give them yours. Another word for evidence of humanity, empathy, vaidation, dignity or respect is…. LOVE.

People are hungry for LOVE and a world that loves them. Cynicism is eating people alive. Bodies are wasting away in an ecosystem where cynicism flourishes. It’s barren. The emptiness and meaninglessness of this epidemic of barrenness and desert and bleakness produces pathology that is flesh eating.

The new Michael betrayal stunned me. Who could have seen that coming? Those who know anything about Michael Jackson, his life and how he was treated know this is just one more bloodsucking attempt at draining the man just one more time. Everybody in his life did it. Why not in his death? There is no more blood, no warm flesh, there is only bloody money. And ill gained, it won’t nurture or keep its recipient warm. It should come as no surprise that stories are planted in news outlets and magazines especially during trials by those who would win at any cost, who would throw anyone under the bus to do it.

It should come as no surprise also that several writers who attempted to point out inconsistencies and facts that should be revealed were turned down by editors. “Michael Jackson” sells news, and therefore its procreators gain financially. And if the “Michael Jackson” story is tweaked just enough to make it shocking or sensational, it sells so much better. But they have known that for decades. The have done it for decades. The man has not one drop of blood left. He is dead. He is gone. There is nothing left to feed on but you can be sure the bloodsuckers, the leeches, the vampires will find something to gnaw on even if it’s only his bones.

I wasn’t going to write more about it because I didn’t want to give it energy, or feed it. But there may be something happening here that is important and cannot be foreseen. We don’t know yet. After being on trial all his life, maybe Michael Jackson is putting the world on trial.

Jackson seemed to be everybody’s banker and they all wanted their withdrawals from what they perceived as a bottomless pit and wellspring of cash, fame and vicarious glory. Once cash poor but asset rich, the estate once again appears to hold a treasure to those who would dip. This latecomer’s story wasn’t swallowed whole and didn’t get the attention and traction that was planned. In fact, people questioned the timing, the motive for revealing it now at the very moment the claimant’s employer is on trial for its uncaring and abysmal treatment of Michael Jackson. They’re not buying it. And what this betrayer and AEG is revealing is the cost of doing business with a disposable commodity– what Jackson has always been. They are also demonstrating what humanity has become. It sickens me. And I hope to god it sickens you.

In the last post we heard from Craig Baxter. I asked a few more prominent voices to weight in. With their permission, here is more response:

“I’ve had the opportunity to watch WR’s telecast interview(s). I prefer to use his initials as opposed to his name because I don’t care to contribute to his self-created, expanding celebrity status … at the expense of Michael Jackson’s name and reputation.

This man’s current allegations remind me of Thomas Mesereau’s assertion that “Michael Jackson was guilty … of being too kind to too many people.” In retrospect, he was certainly too kind to WR.
If WR’s claims were legit, he would be dealing with his “trauma” in therapy — NOT on a series of national & international TV shows. Did his therapist advise him to go on TV programs to deal with his recently-discovered “problem”? Of course not. Perhaps his banker or financial adviser did — more likely!

His attitude as a “victim” is rather cavalier; he comes across as smug, not traumatized. Presenting himself as a victim of long-ago and long-term “abuse,” he is unconvincing to me. I have had clients who were sexually abused and they do not present themselves or their situations like he does — and certainly not on television!

We know for certain that he is a liar. To be a liar NOW–rather than during MJ’s trial in 2005–bodes very well for his pocketbook. If he prevails, he stands to be awarded millions of dollars; he will never have to work again, at the age of 30 or 31! If he loses, he will have garnered an immeasurable, astronomical amount of publicity [the dollar value of the publicity will be in multiple millions of dollars]. Win or lose, he will have catapulted himself to the status of a real celebrity — controversial perhaps, but known everywhere. How else could a troubled, failing choreographer project himself onto the international pinnacle of fame, celebrity, victimhood, and POWER all at one time — with little expenditure of effort or money?

It’s a brilliant strategy and a no-lose situation for a man who aspires to be at the top of his profession. Historically, he rode the wave of MJ … to the point of his professional talent-plateau. He is a recent TWO-TIME loser to his rival Jamie King, whose talent earned him the coveted jobs on both of Cirque du Soleil’s magnificent Michael Jackson shows. Very ironic … and humiliating for a man–especially a protege of Michael Jackson!–with big career expectations and an ego to match.

Now he is creating another wave [in the other direction] that he hopes to ride to global celebrity status that will eclipse Jamie King and countless others who have talent and ability, … and all on Michael Jackson once again. This time, however, it’s through betrayal, disloyalty, and a reckless disregard for anyone but himself. Michael Jackson has a large family, loving children, and ardent fans around the world who will truly suffer from this debacle. I believe that WR is narcissistic, self-absorbed, and conniving.

I realize that it is not socially acceptable to criticize an individual who presents him/herself as the victim of sexual abuse. However, all of the elements of this case — timing; implausibility on so many levels; the prospect of quick, easy, and huge money; a deceased alleged perpetrator who cannot defend himself; titillating secrecy of the “sealed” allegations; and on-camera behavior that is incongruent with a real victim’s–override the social niceties, in my opinion. This man has a plan. Hopefully he will be revealed as a plotter and an opportunist of the worst kind.”

Dr. Karen Moriarty, Licensed Clinical Psychologist & Author of “Defending A King ~ His Life & Legacy.”
———————————-

Charles Thomson, British journalist and Huffington Post Blogger had something to say about this situation as well:

The sworn testimony that will come back to haunt Wade Robson

When you’ve been covering Michael Jackson for any significant period of time, you come to believe that nothing can shock you anymore. Since I began reporting on Michael Jackson for various media organisations, he has announced the biggest concert residency of all time and then died before he could complete it. A doctor has been jailed for his homicide and a posthumous album has caused international scandal by containing tracks allegedly sung by an imposter.

For many years, Michael Jackson’s life (and after-life) has been a quagmire of scandal, controversy and legal wrangling. Presently, entertainment company AEG – which promoted Jackson’s ‘This Is It’ concerts – is on trial over what the singer’s family feels is a modicum of responsibility for his death. Already, witnesses have testified that Jackson was banned from the stage during some rehearsals for fear he would injure himself. A producer has testified to weeping as she saw Jackson rambling at rehearsals that God was speaking to him. She told jurors she had warned senior production members she believed he was dying and needed to be transported to hospital, only for her pleas to go ignored. Less than a week later, he was dead.

To a seasoned Jackson correspondent, none of this was surprising. It seems that not a week goes by without some drama or another engulfing the deceased music legend or those closely associated with him, from copyright disputes to kidnap allegations. But last week there was a development in the Michael Jackson sphere which truly did surprise me. Wade Robson, who has staunchly defended Michael Jackson for 20 years and even testified for him in his 2005 trial, filed papers against various organisations connected to the pop legend, seeking multiple pay-outs for alleged childhood abuse.

The choreographer claims he was sexually abused for seven years, from age seven to age 14. The news has rocked the Michael Jackson community. Those who loved him have sprung to his defence while those who built careers on attacking him had reacted with undisguised glee. Jackson’s ex-wife Debbie Rowe has labeled the financial demands ‘opportunistic’ and Jermaine Jackson has branded the choreographer ‘full of shit’.

Civil rights lawyer Tom Mesereau, who defended Jackson in his 2005 trial, has suggested the claims are ‘suspicious’ as their public filing coincided so neatly with the AEG trial. Indeed, the allegations broke as make-up artist Karen Faye testified that she and others had raised repeated concerns about Jackson’s health but had received callous responses from those in charge. Robson’s televised interview days later ensured little media attention was paid to testimony from an AEG employee that financial papers proved Murray was the company’s employee, not Michael Jackson’s. Wade Robson has repeatedly worked for AEG and apparently already has future work lined up with the corporation, but his lawyer has denied any connection between the court cases.

In light of Robson’s sudden change of tune, I have dusted off my complete trial transcripts from the 2005 government prosecution of Michael Jackson. While many news reports have mentioned that Robson testified for Jackson in the case, few have made any particular effort to underscore the gravity of his testimony.

Wade Robson was such a compelling and assured witness that Michael Jackson chose him to open his defence case at trial. Under sustained and sometimes aggressive questioning by government prosecutor Ron Zonen, Robson not only denied any impropriety on Jackson’s part, but did so repeatedly, vigorously and convincingly – even mocking prosecutors and describing the mere suggestion of sexual abuse at Jackson’s hands as ‘ridiculous’.

As a side-note, the idea that in a trial about alleged child sex abuse, a genuine abuser would choose somebody they had molested for seven years as their first witness to undergo unrelenting government cross-examination may seem somewhat far-fetched to the casual onlooker.

When viewed alongside some of the comments he made on the Today Show this week, Robson’s testimony is likely to cast more than a reasonable doubt over his new claims. He answered clearly and competently to detailed questions about various examples of alleged misconduct. The testimony is so immensely damaging to his new legal demands for money that he and his lawyer have already floated two potential, but arguably equally unconvincing, explanations for the bizarre u-turn.

When the story about his demands for money went live last week, Robson’s lawyer was quoted as saying the choreographer had recovered ‘repressed memories’, a story many suggested could have been designed to explain away Robson’s strenuous denials in the 2005 trial without admitting to perjury. However, Robson’s claim was met with such incredulity – many eminent psychologists do not even believe in repressed memories and even those who do took rather a dim view of Robson’s somewhat extreme story – that he has since changed tact.

Robson claimed in his TV interview this week that the real reason he told jurors he was not molested was that he had not realised that what Jackson allegedly did to him was abusive – another claim guaranteed to raise many an eyebrow. He was a successful, professional 22-year-old man at the time of his testimony.

Under oath in 2005, Robson was asked repeatedly about particular acts and whether he knew Michael Jackson to have performed them upon any child. He responded vehemently that not only had he never witnessed any such behaviour, but he was steadfast in his opinion that Michael Jackson would never have engaged in it.

Looking back over the 2005 court documents, the latest explanation for his testimony simply does not stand up to scrutiny. For instance, he was asked specifically whether Jackson had touched his body. Regardless of whether he believed Jackson’s conduct to constitute sexual abuse, if Jackson had indeed touched his body, the clear answer would have been ‘yes’. But it wasn’t ‘yes’. It was ‘no’. Over, and over, and over again.

He even testified that after what he now claims were several years of sexual abuse at Jackson’s hands, he returned to the scene of the alleged crimes more than 20 times in later life, with friends and relatives in tow, for relaxing getaways. He also testified to remaining in touch with Jackson and still considering him a close friend. Indeed, several years after the trial, Robson continued to socialise with Jackson.

Shortly after Jackson’s death was announced in 2009, Robson wrote that Jackson was ‘one of the main reasons I believe in the pure goodness of humankind’. According to Jackson’s brother Jermaine, Robson and his mother helped him pen portions of his autobiography about the media’s unfair portrayal of his brother as a child molester. Indeed, since Jackson’s death Robson has paid public tribute to the star repeatedly, as recently as 2012. He even applied last year for a job choreographing a tribute show to his alleged molester, but did not get the gig.

Wade Robson has filed a creditor’s claim against Jackson’s Estate, seeking a cash pay-out for alleged childhood abuse. He has also filed a civil lawsuit against various Jackson-affiliated companies, seeking further financial compensation for his alleged abuse.

He insisted this week that his new claims were ‘not about money’.

The full transcript of Robson’s testimony on May 5, 2005, totals almost 14,000 words and runs across 60 pages of A4. It includes lots of repetition and discussion about where he lived, when his parents separated and various other tangential asides. Below, I have extracted what I believe to be the key testimony. It is difficult to see how, given the existence of this sworn testimony, Robson could ever convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Jackson had ever acted inappropriately in his presence.

A cynical person might therefore interpret Robson’s high profile TV interview this week as an attempt to avoid ever getting into a courtroom and having a jury test his new claims. How many more high profile public attacks can Jackson’s Estate suffer before it is forced to begin considering a settlement? At this stage, the ability to damage the Estate’s earning potential is about all Robson has got on his side – because the evidence is firmly on Michael Jackson’s.

Here is the testimony nobody else in the media is showing you. See for yourself.

Under direct examination by Michael Jackson’s lawyer, Tom Mesereau:
Q. Do you consider Michael Jackson your friend?
A. Yes.

Q. Do you consider him a close friend?
A. Yes.

Q. You’re aware of the allegations in this case, are you not?
A. Yes.

Q. And are you aware, as you sit here today, that there’s been allegations that Mr. Jackson molested you?
A. Yes.

Q. Mr. Robson, did Michael Jackson ever molest you at any time?
A. Absolutely not.

Q. Mr. Robson, did Michael Jackson ever touch you in a sexual way?
A. Never, no.

Q. Mr. Robson, has Mr. Jackson ever inappropriately touched any part of your body at any time?
A. No.

Q. How many times do you think you’ve stayed in Mr. Jackson’s room at Neverland?
A. Same amount of times as I’ve been there. Well, no, that’s not true, I’m sorry. I’ve been there a bunch of times without Michael, just with other friends and family traveling there. But, I don’t know, maybe 15 to 20.

Q. And at no time has any sexual contact ever occurred between you and Mr. Jackson, right?
A. Never.

Q. Have you ever taken a shower with Mr. Jackson?
A. No.

Q. Have you ever gone swimming with Mr. Jackson?
A. Yes.

Q. And please explain what you mean.
A. One time with my sister and I, my sister and I and Michael, we went in the Jacuzzi at Neverland Ranch.

Q. And do you know approximately when that was?
A. I don’t. I can’t say for sure. I have a feeling that it was within that first trip in ‘89 when I went there.

Q. Do you recall what Mr. Jackson was wearing in the Jacuzzi?
A. From my recollection, he was wearing shorts. You know, like swimming shorts. And that was it.

Q. Did anything inappropriate ever happen in that Jacuzzi?
A. No.

Q. Has anything inappropriate ever happened in any shower with you and Mr. Jackson?
A. No. Never been in a shower with him.

Q. Mr. Robson, has anyone told you what to say in this courtroom today?
A. No.

Q. Is everything you’ve said the complete and honest truth?
A. Yes.

Q. Did Mr. Jackson ever do anything wrong with you?
A. No.

Under cross-examination by government prosecutor Ron Zonen:

Q. All right. Now, the first time that you slept with Mr. Jackson you were seven years old; is that correct?
A. I slept in the same bed with him. But, yes, I was seven.

Q. Did you understand my question to mean something other than that?
A. Sounded like it.

Q. Were there periods of time when you were at Neverland and working with Mr. Jackson on dance routines?
A. No. I mean, we would mess around and dance a little bit in the studio every now and then, yes.

Q. Was there ever an occasion where you were on the dance floor with Mr. Jackson and he was showing you a routine and he grabbed your crotch in a manner similar to how he would grab his own crotch while doing those performances?
A. No, that’s not true.

Q. You have no recollection of that?
A. No.

Q. That didn’t happen?
A. No.

Q. Now, at any time did you start to develop conversations with your mother about the propriety of sleeping with this man who’s now well into his 30s?
A. No.

Q. Did you consider it unusual at all?
A. No.

Q. Did your mother consider it unusual?
A. No.

Q. Did you ever talk to your father about it?
A. Yeah.

Q. You talked to your father about your sleeping with Michael Jackson?
A. No, I mean, you know, everybody knew, and nobody ever said that it was — we never talked about it being unusual or anything like that.

Q. Did your mother ever ask you if anything inappropriate happened in bed with him?
A. No.

Q. Did she simply assume nothing happened?
A. Yes.

Q. You’re telling us nothing happened; is that right?
A. Yes.

Q. All right. What you’re really telling us is nothing happened while you were awake; isn’t that true?
A. I’m telling you that nothing ever happened.

Q. Mr. Robson, when you were asleep, you wouldn’t have known what had happened, particularly at age seven, would you have?
A. I would think something like that would wake me up.

Q. Was there, in fact, a shower at Neverland in the suite, the bedroom suite?
A. Yes.

Q. But you didn’t use it?
A. I used it by myself.

Q. Was he in the room while you were using it?
A. In the bedroom, not in the shower room, which had its own door.

Q. You haven’t gone back to Neverland since you were 13?
A. I have. Not with him.

Q. Have you gone back to Neverland since you were 13 and actually stayed overnight?
A. Yes.

Q. On how many occasions since you were 13?
A. A lot. Same thing. 20, 25. Something like that.

Q. Mr. Jackson would periodically kiss you, would he not?
A. No.

Q. Periodically hug you?
A. Yes.

Q. Touch you?
A. Hug me. That would be —

Q. Put his hands through your hair?
A. No.

Q. Touch you about the head and the face?
A. Yeah.

Q. Did he ever kiss you on the cheek?
A. Yeah.

Q. Did he ever kiss you on the lips?
A. No.
Q. Were there occasions that Mr. Jackson would summon you to Neverland Ranch?
A. Summon me?

Q. Yes. Call you up and ask you to come and be there; invite you to Neverland Ranch?
A. Invite us, yeah.

Q. On the occasions that you stayed in bed with Mr. Jackson, would you ever cuddle in bed?
A. No.

Q. Would you lie next to one another?
A. No.

Q. Would you touch?
A. No.

Q. Would you consider it to have been inappropriate to have cuddled in bed?
A. Sorry?

Q. Would you have considered it to be inappropriate to have cuddled in bed?
A. No.

Under re-direct by Tom Mesereau:

Q. Okay. The prosecutor asked you questions about whether or not you were considered family. Did you consider yourself to be part of Mr. Jackson’s family?
A. Yeah, I mean, in a friendship sort of way. Because we were that close. It was like family.

Q. And did you use the word “family” once in a while —
A. Yes.

Q. — when you spoke to him?
A. Yes.

Q. Did you hear your mother or sister using the word “family”?
A. Yes.

Q. Did you think anything was strange about that?
A. No.

Q. The prosecutor for the government asked about Mr. Jackson giving you a kiss on the cheek.
A. Uh-huh.

Q. And you said that happened sometimes?
A. Yes.

Q. Did you think there was anything inappropriate about that?
A. No.

Q. Did you do it in front of your mom?
A. Yes.

Q. Did you do it in front of your sister?
A. Yes.

Q. Did your mother kiss him on the cheek?
A. Yes.

Q. Did your sister kiss him on the cheek?
A. Yes.

Q. Did you kiss Mr. Jackson on the cheek?
A. Yes.

Q. Did your mother used to hug Mr. Jackson?
A. Yes.

Q. Did Mr. Jackson used to hug your mother?

MR. ZONEN: I’ll object as irrelevant what happened with his mother.
THE COURT: Overruled. Go ahead.

Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Did Mr. Jackson used to hug your mother?
A. Yes.

Q. Did your sister used to hug Mr. Jackson?

MR. ZONEN: I’ll object as leading as well.
THE COURT: Overruled.

Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Did your sister used to hug Mr. Jackson?
A. Yes.

Q. And would you see Mr. Jackson hug your sister?
A. Yes.

Q. Did you ever think there was anything inappropriate about Mr. Jackson hugging any member of your family?
A. No.

Q. Did you ever think it was inappropriate to see any member of your family hug Mr. Jackson?
A. No.

Q. Now, you said your sister would sometimes stay in Mr. Jackson’s room, correct?
A. Yes.

Q. And how often do you recall that happening?
A. I remember it just within that first trip we were there. So it was — it was, you know, three or four nights or something like that.

Q. And you mentioned Brandy. Is that who you mentioned?
A. Yes.

Q. Who was Brandy again?
A. She was Michael Jackson’s niece.

Q. You saw Brandy staying in his room?
A. Yeah.

Q. What’s the largest number of kids you ever saw stay in Mr. Jackson’s room, if you remember?
A. Yeah, probably four to five.

Q. And what do you recall the children doing in his room?
A. Well, before we went to sleep, same sort of things. We’d play video games, watch movies. Have pillow fights. You know, yeah.

Q. Did you ever see anything of a sexual nature between Mr. Jackson and any of those children?
A. Never.

Q. Have you seen Mr. Jackson hug other children at Neverland?
A. Yes.

Q. Have you seen other children hug Mr. Jackson at Neverland?
A. Yes.

Q. Have you ever thought any of this was inappropriate?
A. No.

Q. Have you seen Mr. Jackson kiss children at Neverland?
A. On the cheek, yes. Or on the head, or on the top of the head, something like that.

Q. Ever seen kids kiss Mr. Jackson?
A. Yes.

Q. Any of that ever look inappropriate to you?
A. No.

Q. Have you seen lots of children visit Neverland on occasion?
A. Yes.

Q. And what do you mean?
A. I think we were there once when he had one of his gatherings, like a Heal the World Foundation thing where he had a bunch of kids come up there and — you know, and have the day there.

Q. And how many kids are you talking about, do you think?
A. Probably about 100 or 50. 75 to 100, something like that.

Q. Were there adults with those children?
A. Yes.

Q. And you said, “Heal the World.” What did that mean to you?

MR. ZONEN: I’m going to object as exceeding the scope of the direct examination, and irrelevant, and beyond the scope of his knowledge.
THE COURT: Overruled. You may answer.
THE WITNESS: Could you repeat the question?

Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Yeah. What was “Heal the World,” as far as you remember?
A. As far as I knew, it was a foundation or a charity that Michael had created that, you know, raised money for kids with illnesses. I don’t know exactly what kind, but —

Q. Did you interact with any of these kids that visited that day?
A. I may have, yeah, I mean, waved at them or met a couple of them or something like that.

Q. Did you see Mr. Jackson hugging other children?
A. Yes.

Q. Did you see them hugging him?
A. Yes.

Q. Did you see Mr. Jackson kiss children?
A. Yeah.

Q. Have you seen them kiss him?
A. Yes.

Q. Ever seen anything inappropriate?
A. No.

Q. Did you see Mr. Jackson hug adults who were with those children?
A. Yes.

Q. Did you see adults hug Mr. Jackson who were with those children?
A. Yes.

Q. Ever think any of that was inappropriate?
A. No.

Q. Now, the prosecutor for the government asked you questions about whether he touched your hair.
A. Uh-huh.

Q. Do you recall Mr. Jackson ever touching your hair?
A. I can’t recall an exact thing, but it seems like something he might have done at some point.

Q. Do you ever recall Mr. Jackson doing anything inappropriate with your hair?
A. No.

Q. Ever seen Mr. Jackson touch another child on the head?
A. Yes.

Q. Have you seen that many times?
A. Many times.

Q. Did it ever seem like anything inappropriate was going on when you saw that?
A. No.

Q. Ever see Michael throw water balloons at kids?
A. Yes.

Q. Did you ever see Michael in golf carts with kids?
A. Yes.

Q. When you used to play at Neverland during the day, would Michael often be with you?
A. Yes.

Q. And what would Michael do with you?
A. We’d go on rides together, you know, where we’d drive around in the golf cart together, look at animals together, watch movies together.

Q. Did you see Mr. Jackson act in a similar way with other children?
A. Yes.

Q. Ever see anything inappropriate go on when he was doing any of these things?
A. No.

Q. Now, how often do you recall your mother going to Neverland with you?
A. It’s been every time except for that one time that I spoke of when I was there with Jordie Chandler and Macaulay and I.

Q. What do you recall seeing your mother do at Neverland?
A. A lot of the same things with us.

Q. Would she sometimes be with Mr. Jackson when all the kids were playing?
A. Oh, yes. She was playing along with us.

Q. Now, you mentioned visiting an apartment in Century City with Mr. Jackson, right?
A. Yes.

Q. And what do you recall doing in the apartment with Mr. Jackson?
A. Same sort of things. He had arcade games there. You know, candy. We’d eat, we’d watch, you know, T.V. shows, Stooges. Hang around, play games, you know.

Q. Did you ever see Mr. Jackson do anything inappropriate with any child at that apartment?
A. No.

Q. Where else have you been with Mr. Jackson?
A. Like I said, we covered Las Vegas. Westwood apartment, Century City apartment. Sheraton Hotel. He came and stayed at my place once.

Q. Where was that?
A. That was in Hollywood. It was — my mother and I had a condo, and my sister.

Q. Did you see Mr. Jackson do anything inappropriate at any of these locations?
A. No.

Q. Ever seen Mr. Jackson touch any child in a sexual way at any of these locations?
A. Never.

Q. Did Mr. Jackson ever touch you inappropriately in any of these locations?
A. No.

Q. Now, have you been following media reporting in this case?
A. Yeah. On and off.

Q. You’re aware of allegations that were made that Mr. Jackson —

MR. ZONEN: I’m going to object as leading and exceeding the scope of the direct — cross.
THE COURT: I don’t know what the question is yet.

Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Okay. You’ve been following these reports that somehow Mr. Jackson was seen inappropriately touching you?
A. Yes.

Q. What do you think of them?
A. I think it’s —

MR. ZONEN: I’ll object. I’ll withdraw the objection.

THE WITNESS: I think it’s ridiculous.
MR. MESEREAU: No further questions.

Under re-cross by Ron Zonen:

[NB: Prosecutors showed Wade Robson a handful of legal art books found among tens of thousands of books at Jackson’s home, which included a large library. Some of the art books, featuring work by respected photographers, depicted children, occasionally nude. Others featured adult men in ‘homo-erotic’ poses. Some were found bubble-wrapped and unread. Others featured inscriptions, showing they had been mailed to him by fans. All of the books remain legally available to purchase. Also found at Jackson’s home were thousands of adult, heterosexual pornographic magazines, some of which were also shown to Robson.]

Q. Okay. You can go ahead and close that one right now. Mr. Robson, are you concerned about a man possessing these seven books being in bed with a 12-year-old boy?
A. If it was a man I didn’t know, maybe. But not Michael.

Q. Is that because you view Mr. Jackson as being, for the most part, asexual?
A. No.

Q. Because you believe that he doesn’t really have a sexual interest?
A. I believe that he has a sexual interest in women.

Q. Did you know that he possessed these magazines?

MR. MESEREAU: Objection, Your Honor, he didn’t let the witness complete his answer.
THE COURT: Sustained.
MR. MESEREAU: Could the witness complete his answer, Your Honor?
THE COURT: Yes.

THE WITNESS: I believe that he has a sexual interest in women.

Q. BY MR. ZONEN: In women?
A. Yes.

Q. These books don’t suggest otherwise?
A. Not necessarily.

Q. The collective material that you have just been shown does not cause you a moment of pause when you think about the prospect of this person who possesses all of this crawling into bed with a ten-year-old boy?
A. No.

Q. And you would allow a child to crawl into bed with such a person?
A. If I knew the person, yes.

Q. If you knew them?
A. Yes.

Q. Your own child, you’d have no problem sleeping with a 35-, 40-year-old man?
A. If I knew the person well, no.

MR. ZONEN: No further questions.

Under re-direct by Tom Mesereau:

Q. Mr. Robson?
A. Yes.

Q. That’s your fiancee right there, correct?
A. Yes.

Q. You are heterosexual, correct?
A. Yes.

Q. You are a close friend of Michael, correct?
A. Yes.

Q. By the way, did Michael Jackson ever — oh, I’ll ask from there. When you were a young child, did Michael Jackson ever show you any sexually explicit material?
A. No.

Q. Did you ever see Michael Jackson show sexually explicit material to any child?
A. No.

Q. Okay. And let me show you again Exhibit No. 842, “A boy; A Photographic Essay,” okay? And that’s the one with the inscription, “To Michael, from your loving fan, Rhonda,” okay?
A. Yes.

Q. And have you had a chance to flip through that book?
A. Yes.

Q. In fact, you see young children with rather innocent photographs of young boys, correct?
MR. ZONEN: I’m going to object as leading, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Overruled.

Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Innocent photographs of young boys in various situations, right?
A. Yes.

Q. Okay. You see a young boy hanging from a tree, right?
A. Yes.

Q. You see a young boy sitting outside a door, right?
A. Yes.

Q. See young boys on a beach, right?
A. Yes.

Q. Okay. Now, let’s go to — quickly, to the material the prosecutor for the government showed you, okay? He showed you some magazines with heterosexual activity, correct?
A. Yes.

Q. Okay. Have you seen one book that depicts child pornography in that group?
A. No.

MR. ZONEN: I believe there was a Court restriction on the use of that word, Your Honor, one initiated by the defense. Unless that reservation is finished.
MR. MESEREAU: He’s correct. And I made a mistake using the word. I’ll withdraw it, and I apologize.
THE COURT: All right. The problem is that sometimes it’s an appropriate word to use and sometimes it’s not. But the jury’s been instructed on it. And so if you want to rephrase it, that’s fine.
MR. MESEREAU: Okay.

Q. In those books that the prosecutor for the government showed you, you see books about men, right?
15 A. Yes.

Q. You see one book that says, “A Study of Male Sexuality” and shows some sexual acts between men, correct?
A. Yes.

Q. And he showed you a number of magazines involving sexual activity between men and women, correct?
A. Yes.

Q. Okay. Has he shown you one book involving children having sex?
A. No.

Q. Has he shown you one book where a man is having sex with a child?
A. No.

Q. The prosecutor tried to suggest that Mr. Jackson is asexual. Do you remember that question?
A. Yes.

Q. Do you believe he’s asexual?
A. No.

Q. Have you seen Mr. Jackson with women in your lifetime?
A. With what kind of woman? A woman that he’s in a relationship with?

Q. That he’s been married to.
A. Yeah, with Lisa Marie.

Q. When you were at Neverland, did you ever see anything that suggested pedophilia?
A. No.

Q. Ever see any magazine or poster that suggested pedophilia?
A. Never.

Q. Has anything this prosecutor for the government has said to you changed your opinion of Michael Jackson?
A. Not at all.

Q. Does it change your opinion as to whether or not he ever did anything inappropriate with a child?
A. Not at all.

MR. MESEREAU: No further questions.
MR. ZONEN: I have no questions.
THE COURT: Thank you. You may step down

 

The saddest voice to weigh in on the “he harmed me” story was Taj Jackson revealing something that he would have preferred (and should have been) kept private:

Taj Tweeted:

What people will $ay and do for money and to $tay relevant is $ickening. De$perate times call for De$perate mea$ures.  #Money
I will not sit back and let someone flat out lie about my uncle. PERIOD.
I write these words knowing that the minute I press send my life will never be the same afterwards.
I was sexually abuse (sic) By an uncle on my mom’ side of the family when I was a kid.
My uncle was a support system for me and my mom. He wrote a letter to her that many have seen already, u just didn’t know what it was about
That is how I KNOW Wade is lying. Because I AM a survivor.
My hands are still trembling.
Don’t forget I was living at Neverland when Wade testified during my uncle’s case. I sat there and ate dinner with him and his family.
I will not let them smear my Uncle’s legacy.
I don’t want to go on TV. I don’t want publicity, I just want the truth.
I always told my uncle Michael that I would take a bullet for him. I mean it today just as much as I meant it back then.
I hate that Wade made me do this, this way. But since my uncle Michael is no longer here to defend himself. I will.
Make no mistake. Since my uncle Michael is no longer here to defend himself. I WILL. Even if that means friendships.

The illustration is of a letter written to Dee Dee, Taj’s mother from Michael Jackson:

“Dee Dee, please Read this article about child molestation and please read it to Taj, Tj and Taryl, it Brings out How even your own relatives can be molesters of children, as even uncles or aunts molesting nephews or nieces. Please read. Love MJ”

Oh the courage that it took to send out these Tweet messages. Taj’s message is that his Uncle Michael was his support system and his mother’s support system after he was molested by another relative. And Uncle Michael kept the secret his whole life to honor a young man’s privacy. And now he is compelled to reveal it to the world.

He was just re-victimized. He is reliving it once again. He is being re-traumatized now and Michael’s own children are being traumatized and abused right now as we speak.

Even children thrown under the bus is just the cost of doing business.

This week this is what I remembered. Someone who must remain anonymous sent it to me:

We Are Here

They prepare a sweet feast, and bid us, “Covet.”
They have dressed the table in
snow-soft linen;
each place gilded with
silver flagons, crystal salts and
plates of porcelain, placid blue.
Thin consomme bowls
shine in coppery decadence.

They tease us with the scent of sugar;
trifles of cake and pink-berry cream,
tins of iced caviar, with spoons –
mirages of serene seas.

They have numbered all his bones;
accounted, weighed, and measured
each humiliation, loss, slice, and stab.

His loneliness and despair
chilled, gelled
to delicate aspic.

Dine with us.
Dine on Michael Joseph Jackson.
Dine on beauty, compassion, faith and charity.

They bid us, “Sup.”
Sup on creation;
On the father,
brother,
son;
On God’s child;
his genius and talent,
sweat, joy, generosity;
his pride,
his courage, strength
and frailty.
Sup in vampiric delight.

We see the glaring shine of glass,
and glint-sharp knives,
illuminated in gorgeous, changing hues.

No.

Their seductive invitations
and predatory smiles are
salaciously bold and droning.
The droning
burns our bellies,
dries our mouths,
stills our hearts, and
stupefies our souls.

We will not dine
on Michael’s bones.
We cannot touch the marrow spoons:
long and sharp and narrow,
like the fingernails of a
succubus.

We cannot eat his
beauty
sauced with our
shame.

Forgive us.

We will not sin,
although the dulcet music
soothes us
dizzies us.
It is the symphony of
his self-completion.

We will not trespass.

We will not feast
on the hostage of siege.
We will not –
no matter how famed the
abattoir,
titillating the lies
or,
sweet
the flesh.

We will not sin:
compound our sins
of ignorance,
indifference,
abandonment.

We will bear him up
gracefully,
gratefully,
gladly
our beautiful king, true friend;
and give him succor, safety
over our heads.

 

When they’re not throwing him under the bus, they are dining on Michael Jackson’s bones. And now with nothing left to give in this life, he continues teaching from the next. Perhaps that’s the whole point. Maybe the world’s best teachers come from the back of the bus or under it. And that’s another kind of love altogether.

 

 

What is not being said is screaming.

Body language is not considered an exact science but then neither is medicine. I contacted Craig James Baxter as I am sure many others did to see what he might say about the Wade Robson interview with Matt Lauer. Here is what he sent to Inner Michael:
 


 

 
I had read Baxter’s book “What Michael Jackson’s Body Language Told the World;” Craig James Baxter (c) 2012 and found his work to be thorough.

I have been blessed or cursed (depending on how you look at it) with a mind that becomes fascinated and compels me to explore the subject that has caught my fancy. My fascination took a kind of body-mind-spirit and beyond journey. So as a kind of “jack-of-all-trades and master of none,” I offer some things learned along the way, not as an expert but as a practitioner.

One of the things I became fascinated with was non-verbal communication of human beings and animals. I studied non-verbal communmication enough to teach a course at the local technical college and incorporate it into the volunteer work I did with a grant to work with jail inmates putting them through a two week course on self esteem development and job search skills. One way to use this non-verbal language is to be able to analyze the type of personality of a person you are interviewing with by the the non-verbal cues like desk and furniture placement. That gives an interviewee clues about what the interviewer values most and the “language” that interviewer speaks. The diagrams were included in a textbook on job search, so I am not unfamiliar with the science of non-verbal communication.

About 4 years ago I began to study the impact of words and that work has become a program and body of work at Voices Education Project that examines words and their impact.

My paid work and experience as a psychicatric nurse and director of a halfway house where residents had dual diagnoses, the primary being mental illness, brought me into contact with “repressed memories,” so called “Satanic Ritual Abuse” child abuse, sexual violation, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) then called “Multiple Personality Disorder.” I was very familiar with the McMartin Preschool case and the case of “Sybil” who suffered from DID.

In those years, there were therapists who were “helping” clients to recover memories that were either repressed because they were too painful to remember or they were leading the client to a conclusion the therapist had already reached. People were inaccurately diagnosed with DID, were led to believe they were victims of Satanic cults, and memories were planted by therapists using suggestive language. There were also those who scoffed at DID and found the diagnosis laughable. I encountered both- someone who was diagnosed who was Borderline Personality instead and a person who was laughed off as a crackpot for her “multiple personalities.” She was a multiple; her eyes changed color when she switched. So all things are possible.

It is also true that when one is a parent, the PTSD and vigilance increases. And often when the child reaches the age where the parent was abused, the memory details surface. Robson’s child is only a couple of years old. It’s all curious how this is unfolding. What is obvious is evidence of therapy.

What struck me in Robson’s interview and commentaries was the languaging. “My truth” is therapist speak– as therapists and support groups encourage survivors to tell their story. The theory behind that is that like a boil, the wound must be lanced and splayed open to the air to heal. The mental health community talks a lot about “telling your story” and “breaking the silence.”

He also says he didn’t understand until recently that he was being abused. Kids who are abused know from the first inappropriate encounter that it is abuse, that it’s creepy. Someone has coached Wade Robson because of the languaging of his statements. Either a therapist has led him in the guise of probing, or he has read about sexual abuse likely from “The Courage to Heal” which is considered the premier book for sexual abuse victims that comes with a workbook.

He denies that it was repressed memory. He says he “was psychologically and emotionally unwilling to understand that it was sexual abuse.” That means somebody has pointed out to him that he was sexually abused. And he has spoken about “getting educated about what child sexual abuse is.” So yes, he’s been educated.

Either way Wade Robson is a victim. It’s very, very sad because by the time this is over, the damage, as usual, will be done and yes, real human beings will have been harmed in the making of this sad and continuing saga. We are all victims.

It’s chilling. Human history will record this era as a very dark time of corruption and exploitation. It may also record it as a tipping point. Therein lies the hope.

Who is on trial?

Do you feel that ache? The one that originates just under your sternum, and radiates down to your solar plexus and then outward? Yes, that’s the ache of WIFS, the well informed futility syndrome. It happens when you know too much. It happens when you know something in the world is very, very wrong and you know why but you are helpless to set it right. It happens when the human code is violated.

That space under the ribcage is a hungry area; it’s a void that needs filling. While most people are blissfully living their lives unaware of the power of that internal black hole, a whirlpool that sucks eveything into it’s center, they know that something is missing and begin thinking that the next thing will be the cure, will make them happy– the next promotion, the next new boat, the next car that’s going to be the luxury model, the next party thrown where anybody who is somebody is invited, the next new workout that sculpts the body better, the next new dress with the plunging neckline, the next …….

This hungry monster is starving.

It’s starving because it needs nourishment but not the kind it’s getting most of the time. It needs satisfaction, satiation, completeness, wholeness, self recognition that  requires comfort from being the nucleus of a surrounding life that is spiritually fulfilling, socially just, and sustainable. It is hungry for a world where humans matter, where the individual matters, a world where humans thrive. Where is that world?

You can’t have spiritual fulfillment without soul; you can’t have social justice without conscience or ethics; you can’t have humans thriving on a planet without the solidarity and compassion that supports ALL human life in a sustainable form in a collective stewardship on a planet with limited resources that is now endangered.

This simply can’t go on. The world is just not working.

Name your poison. It is the insanity that places scarce and self-limiting resources above human life? Is it the corporate greed that has so much that it can afford to pay its top executive millions  and who live in houses outside the city where its consumers barely make a living. Is it the articficial demand created by a fashion company for the latest designer wear that kids will kill each other for? Or the latest technology that is so attractive and so lusted after that those who can’t afford it will steal it risking the life of its owner and sacrificing their own lives in prison or worse, should something go wrong. Is it the hushed and secret conversations and deals made behind the scenes that covets what another has? Is it the jealousy that connives for the downfall of another in order to weaken the opponent? Is it the one ego that is so out of whack that its jealousy plots the destruction of another who gets more attention, more admiration, more love? Is it the chemical company that produces a product it knows is toxic yet continues to produce and sell it because to withdraw it from the market would mean great losses in revenues? Is it the politician voting against her constituents because if she votes with them her financial contributors would withdraw their support from her next campaign that will keep her in office?

Or is it a bigger poison that promotes toxic waste and dumps it in the river making people sick downstream? A corporation that knows what it is doing is hurting the environment but does it anyway? Foresters who clear cut the lungs of the planet sacrificing the rain forests that clean the air of carbon dioxide and exchange it for the oxygen humans need to breathe? The pharmaceutical company that knows its product is dangerous but doesn’t reveal the dangers or withdraw it from the market? The media mogul who deliberately dehumanizes real people and conscripts the dark side of human nature to sell his product that instead of making the wrold a brighter place, deliberately makes it darker instead? A billionaire who would use their fortune to buy what is supposed to be a democratic election?

There are many kinds of human torture and treachery. There are many kinds of betrayal. Aren’t you tired of it?

And now that you have been awakened, the pain of this knowledge makes life more difficult doesn’t it? It’s harder to navigate this life,and this world now that you know the truth. And others who don’t know what you know can’t see it. And no matter how hard you try to tell them the truth, they prefer their ignorance because it’s bliss. For if they too knew the truth, it would be life changing and they would have to do something about it. But you’re not ignorant and there is no bliss for you.

So once again, because one little moonwalker awakened you, you are forced to bear witness and bear the pain of greed and treachery. Once again your heart has to take on that ache and dance with despair. But know this… that hungry black hole inside is losing it’s gravity. You are moving away from trying to fill it up with meaninglessness and are developing an appetite for authenticity, for inspiration, for love.

If a man would betray someone who was his benefactor for money, what is the character of that man? If the man would betray his benefactor after his death, what is the character of that man? If a group, a country, a civilization sanctions that act of betrayal, what is the character that.. group, country, civilization? Of those people?

If a man was a grand force in the world and amassed wealth and a following and his work and art touched millions of lives and inspired them, then what does it say about the character of those who would tear him down?

How many times has an individual, one person whose ego drives his life, done something that harmed many– thousands or perhaps millions of people?

One man killed President Kennedy. What might he have accomplished had he lived?
One man killed Lincoln. What might Lincoln have accomplished had he lived?
One man set in motion and approved a machine that killed six million Jews.
One man ended the life of John Lennon. What might Lennon have taught with his music had he lived?
Martin Luther King was killed by an assassin. What might have happened had King been allowed to finish his life’s mission?
One man killed Gandhi, the most effective protestor in the history of the world, who freed a nation.
How many witches were burned at the stake in Europe because someone condemned them and crowd hysterics followed?
How many African Americans were lynched because they broke the rules manufactured by a culture built on their kidnapping and forced slavery?

This list could go on and on. The question is, how many times have the little egos of men, feeling that dark hole inside tried to fill it up with something artificial and inhumane, superficial or evil? How many of those actions affected millions, and affected the world?

And how many people have become targets or victims of suffering because of those damaged egos? A damaged ego is one that is disconnected from its soul, or source or spirituality. A damaged ego is one who sees everyone as separate from its own humanity, sees them as “others” to be competed with, feared, ignored, attacked or eliminated.

The ego that loses faith in itself, fears it cannot “measure up,” lacks the confidence to know it can create its own security, safety, sustainance, wealth, life– by tapping its own brilliance will resort to desperate measures to fill up the emptiness. It comes from fear that the ego invents that says “I am not enough.” It is an ego that is not loved.

That is what Michael Jackson meant when he said people were not loved enough. And his message to children was to love. To love themselves and love everybody.

It got so twisted because egos listen to their black holes instead of their hearts that know love and their souls that know they are creatures and creations of the divine. Jackson knew the world was broken. He knew the answer to the world’s misery was the children. He understood that adults were too far gone, too far into the ego and the fear and lack of love. The world’s problems would be solved by children. The future world of unity, stewardship and love would be built by children. He knew that if children believed in themselves and not the fear in their egos, they could change the world.

He even left the formula behind. The fix for a broken world is in the lyrics of Michael Jackson’s music. The formula has always been there. He was a visionary, a quirky little man who was spiritually alive, lived his principles based on the life of Jesus, loved children whom he rescued, healed, supported, assisted, promoted, procured organs for, built schools and hospital wings for, saved, and in some cases, buried them when their parents couldn’t afford it.

Now comes another one to accuse the man of impropriety to claim he was abused at the hands of Jackson via his suddenly recovered memories. It’s just too easy, isn’t it? Jackson is dead, the estate is flush, the details are sealed and there is no defense because a negative can’t be proven and an accusation is enough to have some people assume guilt. Add to that the over and over linguistics of accusation and damnation and a repetitive mug shot or a photo captured in a less than flattering expression. Repeated use of a mug shot telegraphs guilt to a gullible audience. It evicerates the constitutional right of innocent until proven guilty.

In Jackson’s case the not-guilty verdict 14 times over was not enough to prove his innocence because in the frenzied media and salivating tabloids and tabloid TV, accusation equals guilt. And in this case, the new accuser was Jackson’s staunchest defendant. He testified not once, but twice on behalf of Jackson and participated in tributes.

The timing of this late accusation of the late singer that was too late to claim on the estate is suspicious because the accusor, Wade Robson, was bankrolled by AEG — the company that Katherine Jackson is suing for the wrongful death of yes, the accused, Michael Jackson. Robson was Creative Director for Demi Lovato’s tour, an AEG production. Robson was passed over for Cirque du Soleil’s Immortal tribute to Jackson after announcing he would be working on the tour and he was also passed over for One, another production honoring Jackson.

And again TMZ spearheads the story. Shane Sparks now says he was misquoted by TMZ because “boy TMZ just can’t wait to destroy someone’s reputation.” They called him for a quote and he gave one saying he respected both men and TMZ reported that Shane says he believes Wade’s story. Sparks says that is not what he said.

Robson said after Jackson’s death: “Michael Jackson changed the world and, more personally, my life forever. He is the reason I dance, the reason I make music, and one of the main reasons I believe in the pure goodness of human kind,” Robson said. “He has been a close friend of mine for 20 years. His music, his movement, his personal words of inspiration and encouragement and his unconditional love will live inside of me forever. I will miss him immeasurably, but I know that he is now at peace and enchanting the heavens with a melody and a moonwalk.”

Most commentary on these stories does not appear to be in Robson’s favor. It does look like a grab for money to most people. Public opinion is not in his favor and people are voicing skepticism because of the timing, because of his history of testifying in Jackson’s favor many times, because Michael Jackson is dead and can’t defend himself, and they don’t find the amnestic/re-remembered  memories credible particularly because of Robson’s past robust defense and admiration of Michael. So, the speculation is that Robson is a liar and this is an attempt to extort a dead man.

Jackson fans know this is not the first time that a “friend” of Michael Jackson found the lure and seduction of vast amounts of money more powerful than friendship or loyalty. Betrayal was unfortunately a reality of Jackson’s everyday life. The numbers of people who sold stories to the tabloids in exchange for handfuls of cash are legion. Nothing in his life was private. Nothing was sacred. He couldn’t even allow a cleaning lady upstairs into his bedroom or his home because something about his private life would be splayed all over the front pages of a tabloid or TV magazine, that something barely true and greatly embellished and sensationalized because scandal sells.

How many people betrayed Michael Jackson, poked into his privacy and his life for profit? How many people promised him one thing and delivered quite another- many times a treachery or betrayal? How many deliberately cultivated a relationship with him or someone close to him to gain “insider information?” It even happend to his nanny- cynically befriended and courted for her proximity to Jackson only to be used and betrayed by a reporter who wanted a source for Jackson articles she could sensationalize and publish.

Everybody wanted a piece of Michael Jackson.

It seems that people are now skeptical of this new charge against a dead man who is not here to defend himself. That’s logical because the estate is wealthy, there is a trial going on with Jackson’s mother suing a corporation that can’t afford to lose. A corporation this late coming accuser works for.

One wonders if these are people who were skeptical when Jackson family and defenders were trying to tell them a very much alive and assailed Jackson was extorted not once, but twice and the second time he was determined to have his day in court to prove his innocence. He was found not guilty as charged and not guilty even on optional lesser charges. Many said, including reporters off the record, that these were empty charges and the case should not have been brought in the first place. But they still filed their sensational courtroom stories to their salivating editors.

Instead of wondering if Jackson was someone who systematically harmed children, perhaps the real question is about the accusors– and how many were money grabs from someone with deep pockets. Once an accusation is made and particularly of someone with the fame and prominence as Jackson, they are immediately demonized in the press and a frenzy ensues. In that frenzy and the race for the “breaking news” inaccuracies get printed, and people get hurt. An accusation is not guilt but in the press, is treated as if it is and frantically so when the charge involves children and sexual impropriety.

What is not quickly recognized is the reasons for such accusations. It’s not always money that drives these things; sometimes it’s the hungry black hole. Sometimes it’s an attempt to harm the reputation, career or the person himself. Sometimes it’s a tactic in a power struggle or retaliation for a perceive betrayal. Michael Jackson had a life like no other on this planet and there will likely never be another.

It’s important to see Jackson’s life in context and his career in the curve of history. Michael Jackson was a black man born in a time when black men were lynched for perceived infractions of societal customs, in a time when an African American was considered only 3/5  of a person, in a time not so long after black people could be minstrels and entertaining amusements for white folk but were not to be taken seriously. A black man gaining power and being taken seriously in an industry that traditionally exploited and mocked them was not taken to kindly. A black man owning the most lucrative music catalog in the business was not seen as favorable. The catalogue was coveted. When his reputation was in jeopardy and Michael Jackson was vulnerable, his catalogue was suddenly within reach. And once his name was tainted by such a horrific charge, he was more albatross than asset. Corporations don’t have loyalty and they don’t protect people; they protect profits. Once accused, Jackson was baggage.

As long as Michael Jackson could be expoited, he was.

That’s the major story of his life. This latest story is likely more of the same. In the 4 years that I have been researching his life, I have found no research or evidence to support the theory that he harmed children but quite the opposite– how many he impacted and improved their lives. But I can only go on what I know based on extensive research which is more than the average person, but I can’t know with certainty. Others who have known Jackson personally have known with certainty and have said their children spent time with Jackson. The average person, however, knows the caricature and the tabloid myth.

It is possible that he did harm children in the way that is being claimed. That would mean, however, that millions of Michael Jackson fans who love him are wrong. It would mean that a few detractors are correct vs. the millions who claim to feel his heart and his character and love him. It would mean the the global outpouring at his death was mistaken. There was weeping in the streets at his passing. People didn’t find Jackson an “idol” as many try to claim. They loved him. He impacted their lives. And some of them he saved. Some will always believe, some will always doubt and some will always trust their heart.

It is also possible that this is indeed another grab for the limelight, for vicarious fame, for trying to make a name for oneself using Jackson, or for money, and that would fit better with the evidence of countless betrayals at the hands of others in his life or somehow in his orbit. Mocking Michael Jackson, exploiting his name, photos, stories, every action, his children, and essentially dissecting and exploiting every aspect of his whole life was an industry for decades. It’s not a very pretty portrayal of human nature.

It is also possible that Wade Robson believes he was abused. And possibly he was. This would not be the first time a “well meaning” attorney, doctor, psychiatrist, social worker, therapist or other “professional” led someone to believe they had been abused. There are deliberate and plotted plans to extort, there are mistaken cues, there are actions that are misinterpreted, there are “repressed memories” unearthed by well meaning therapists who lead the client in particular modalities and directions fully believing they are doing the client a service.

This is after all, Michael Jackson we are talking about. If a therapist, police officer, attorney, prosecutor acquired a client who had been in the immediate vicinty of Michael Jackson, what would the FIRST assumption be based on the prevailing attitude on this planet at the hands of an out-of-control media? And if you knew nothing about Michael Jackson but the caricature and the meme, what personal unexamined assumptions would you have about Michael Jackson? And what would such a professional be looking for? What evidence would such professional expect? In what direction would the questioning lead? How would you interpret what your client tells you?

There are many cases where probing therapists, zealous police officers, pressured investigators, opportunistic attorneys, investigative journalists…  have been wrong.

  • The Central Park Five never raped the jogger they were convicted of raping and spend years in jail for a crime they never committed.
    • The McMartin Preschool was accused of child molestation in a notorious case that lasted for 10 years. Nobody was guilty.
    • Richard Jewell was accused and considered the “Olympic Park Bomber” in headlines. He was not guilty. He died young.
    • Patsy Ramsey was accused of killing her daughter and vilified by the press for years. New evidence points to evidence of an intruder. Patsy’s cancer recurred and she died a few years later still considered a suspect. Twelve years later the invesitgation stated the family was cleared of suspicion
    • The “West Memphis three” were teenagers accused of killing 3 eight year old boys. The story is chronicled in a documentary by Amy Berg “West of Memphis” that reveals the 3 teens convicted spent 18 years in prison for a crime they did not commit.

     
    If you read “Central Park Five” or see “West of Memphis” you come away with this same sentiment voiced by movie critic Joe Morgenstern:
     

    “a devastating account of police incompetence, civic hysteria and prosecutorial behavior that was totally at odds with a vastly persuasive body of evidence uncovered in a privately funded investigation.” “What was irretrievably lost — the innocent lives of the children, plus 18 years of three other innocent lives and what was there to be gained: dramatic new insights into an inexorable progression from random arrests through groundless supposition, fevered conjecture and flagrant perjury to official disgrace in a supposedly airtight case. “

    None have ever come forward to admit they were culpable in any way; not have admitted they were wrong.

    There were and are lessons to be learned from Michael Jackson, from his work, from studying his life, from watching with an objective eye and listening with a critical ear to what those around him said and did, from the salivating and frenzied press that fed on hysteria and fed off him for decades, and from what is happening now.

    Yes, Michael Jackson is on trial again. There is a lot at stake. More than anyone realizes. There is a lot on trial.

    Pay close attention. Hold your judgment. Look at the man that was the mirror and look in the mirror he continues to hold up to the cuture he was a part of shaping, the century he was a part of evolving and the world he was a part of creating. Now go back and listen to “Breaking News“again.