Inner Michael » III. Those “Crazy Michael Jackson Fans:” Maybe we should listen?

III. Those “Crazy Michael Jackson Fans:” Maybe we should listen?

The letters come from all over the world—Canada, Indonesia, Greece, Italy, France, Belgium, Japan, Germany, Africa, Romania, Viet Nam… people everywhere are grieving Michael. Many have had visions, visitations and messages from him after his death. Some are doing work on his behalf and some are reclaiming his legacy. All of them understand on a very deep level that this man was special.

Michael’s death had an impact on fans, admirers and even people on the outer orbits of anything Michael. Many have asked why they have been so impacted by this singular event and this singular individual. The short answer is that Michael awakened many on the planet before his death and his death itself awakened many more. People who have never before been interested are researching him. Many who have not considered themselves talented are now finding their inner artist. And many thousands more are doing humanitarian work around this globe in Michael’s name—“Michaeling” by donating to charities, organizing fund raisers, holding conferences and gifting needy children and vulnerable others. They are taking Michael’s “you can change the world” literally and applying it to their lives and work. They are making Michael proud.  While they feel a little better, the personal grief remains intense.

What they often don’t understand is how and why their grief is so gritty and so deep. Some of these Michael people are new advocates never having been fans or listened to his music. Some are long time fans who have followed Michael’s career since the days of the Jackson Five. But all have in common their admiration and affection for Michael Jackson.

Many of them have told me they are surprised by the impact Michael’s passing had on them—equivalent to a magnitude 7 or 8 earthquake on the Richter Scale. The ones who didn’t know Michael, didn’t listen to his music are really puzzled how affected they are by his loss. Some of them have experienced this grief as they would have a close loved one yet they never knew him before. Some didn’t know how deeply they could hurt. Some feel as if his leaving awakened something in them. It did. Many embarked on a personal spiritual journey begun by an emergency that his death triggered. Janet Jackson said “To you Michael was an Icon; to us Michael was family.” While that is technically true if measured by flesh and blood, Michael was the lifeline of many. He was the one voice of sanity in a world gripped by so much insanity. For many, he was their hope, their confidante, their role model, their leader or guru. He represented the way out or the way forward. He was someone who came from nothing and became something larger than life. Michael’s voice soothed. His lyrics put many of their hopes, thoughts and prayers into words. For some, he represented their light in a world that was otherwise hopelessly dark.

When Michael Jackson left this planet he took his immediate light with him. That light was anchored here for 50 years and its sudden withdrawal left people reeling and feeling empty. Their tears were and are spontaneous, their sorrow is suffocating. Many not only did not know him before, but they did not know their own spectrum of feelings before.

The seminal work by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross on Death and Dying identified a roadmap of what the normal grieving process looks like. That first work has been expanded upon since it was first introduced and there are many models. Nobody follows the predicted path exactly, and the layers of grieving can mingle and be revisited at any stage. The progression of grief usually follows the path of: Initial shock, denial, pain, guilt, anger, bargaining, depression, reflection, loneliness, working through, reconstruction, acceptance, and hope. When an individual works through sufficient grief, there may be a reprieve period where feelings are muted and the process is not linear but cyclic.

In the case of Michael Jackson the normal process of grieving is complicated by many factors that do not accompany most losses and the grieving of the lost object of affection. Those who knew Michael personally have had a difficult time but the fans have had the most difficult.

The fans, while they knew Michael intimately, did not actually meet him and weren’t a part of his inner circle. Instead of being involved and included in the provisions of dealing with his preparation, funeral, interment, visitations and so on, they are forced to be mere observers and “outsiders.”They have had no say in how Michael’s passing was handled. For most, Michael was an intimate part of their lives and being an outsider leaves them with a feeling of helplessness.

Add to that the impossibility of the media and the press coverage of Michael and how he has been, and is now—portrayed so visibly in the world. They know the man’s heart and they have researched the facts and know him to be an innocent. They also know what a consummate humanitarian Michael was and how that part of his life has been overlooked.

The media managed to hypnotize a public into believing a caricature of this man and just continues to spew the party line and each time that happens, the fans who know better wince. Not only do they wince, but they feel that knife go into his back and empathically, theirs each time the lies are repeated. Once again, they feel helpless. There is also the issue of those “unauthorized biographers” whose careers were, and wealth was, built upon the dismemberment of a man who truly was a light unto the world. The man who was the world’s greatest cheerleader, humanitarian and philanthropist was turned into a dark figure in the collective memory of the twentieth century and that hurts. It is especially vile when the realization hits that the dismembering of this gentle man was perpetrated only for profit. The manufactured books and stories about Michael Jackson sold and billions of dollars were made from siphoning the life from the man.

Fans are angry not just because that is a phase of the journey of grief; they are a disenfranchised voice of reason. They are the whistleblowers who are trying to tell the hypnotized public that they are under the influence of an illusion and that this practice is not only dangerous but inhumane. They also have to deal with the disdain that has developed about “those crazy Michael Jackson fans.” The frenzy among the fans is somewhat an acting out of their anger, grief and helplessness. It’s true that some of it appears crazy and doesn’t help Michael’s legacy and is a lashing out from frustration. They don’t know how else to do it. They are flailing in grief and aiming at anything that moves. They are in the throes of it, their backs to the wall in order to hold themselves up. It’s not pretty sometimes but grief is not lovely. And senseless loss is the worst kind. They know Michael did not have to die.

Michael Jackson fans are grieving in a way that is not normal in an atmosphere that is not normal. Normally the deceased is eulogized in a reverent way, their contributions to others and the world highlighted. Their lives are celebrated and revered. Normally, they have some closure. There is no closure with the death of Michael Jackson. It is not a normal grieving process because the hype, reaction, media slant and opinions of those who didn’t know Michael taint the process. If the real Michael Jackson were globally exposed tomorrow and people would actually see how they have been duped and led by the nose into believing the tabloid version of the man, the fans could take a deep breath. If the real story were actually released into the culture and people started to understand this one they have believed an enigma, the fans would have some hope. If the whole sorry mess were exposed for what it was and the world was truly informed about the truth of this story, and an acknowledgement was made of the damage, the fans could begin normal grieving. And eventually they would heal.

So it is important to understand that those “crazy Michael Jackson fans” may be up to something important. While some are hostile and misguided and they act out their anguish in ways that are sometimes destructive and not always helpful or pretty, they really are trying… They are trying to save Michael and save themselves from a cruel world that mistreats really, really badly—its greatest treasures. They are trying to save the world from its delusions. They are trying to resurrect the truth. They are trying to construct an honest humanity because they are deconstructing tolerance for untruths and reconstructing humanity’s compassion. They are trying to prevent another human being from dismemberment for sport and for profit. They are trying to live Michael’s legacy—to heal the world and make it a better place. They are holding up a mirror to the world and saying: “look here: look what happened, look what was done to this human being; do you like what you see?” They do that for Michael because that is what Michael did. And he was crucified for it. They are trying to bring back humanity and are bringing salvation back. Maybe we should take into consideration what it is that they are actually grieving and maybe, if we can get past our judgment, we should listen.


  1. j said . . .

    Thank you so much for this beautiful article. It almost made me cry. This is exactly how I feel and how I wish everyone would just read this and try to understand our love for Michael. Sometimes its hard to put my feelings for Michael into words when people ask me why I love him so much. Next time I’ll just tell them to read this article. Michael Jackson fans are nothing but LOVE. And we should be proud of ourselves and what we’re doing! I believe we are really making an impact in this world, and we will continue on. Michael’s message of hope and peace will linger on forever through his millions of fans. I’m sure Michael is watching us all from above, and he is proud of us all. I love him with every bit of my heart and I always will. He’s taught me so much about values, made me open my eyes for what I can achieve in life, and given me a whole new perspective of life. I will forever treasure all the joy he’s brought to my life through all these years, and he will continue to. God bless Michael Jackson fans around the world. You are not alone. No matter what people say, don’t ever feel alone.

    Posted June 26, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Permalink
  2. Marina said . . .

    I am generally not one to blog or post on various websites but, Rev. B.K., after reading your entry from last October and everyone’s subsequent heartfelt comments, all of which really spoke to my heart, I am somehow compelled to share as well. It was 2 years ago yesterday since we lost Michael. In the moment when I heard the news of his passing, my breath stopped, my heart skipped a beat and I knew something beyond my understanding had changed in me. I remember looking up toward the sky that night, at the twinkling stars and the glow of the moon, the same moon Michael watched and loved in days gone by … there was a deep connect to the Universe, to God and to all the kindred souls who had felt Michael leaving us, transforming and crossing over that day. There was a sense of peace and knowing that we are all “One”. The impact of Michael’s death was physical, emotional and spiritual. What was happening to me? I couldn’t sleep or eat for a couple of days. My grief was quiet and remains profound and deep. I ache with sorrow knowing what he endured throughout his life. My chest tightens in anguish as I hear and watch the ongoing injustice, ignorance and cruelty. I feel blessed by God to be one of the souls in this Universe who has been given the gift to feel, to see and know the divine, sacred force of Michael’s spirit, his essence, his love, his message for mankind and our planet, his purpose for being. His example makes me strive to be the best person I can be, to live with integrity, respect, kindness, compassion and goodness towards others in everything I do and everywhere I go. I hear the distant echoes of his lyrics and plaintive cries in my subconscious mind to ‘make that change’ and ‘heal the world’. Even small things can make a big difference. Thank you Rev.B.K. for your compassion, your wisdom and for giving us the opportunity to share this journey, to give us “crazy fans” some dignity, comfort, healing and understanding. Thanks to Michael for the gifts and joy of music and dance, for being a beautiful Angel, for giving and teaching so much. May you rest in peace under the wings of Angels and in the loving, protective arms of God. God Bless you all.

    Posted June 26, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink
  3. Donna L. White said . . .

    AMEN for the love of Michael. Heal The World! He was truly an Angel that walked among us. He always spoke of LOVE, CARING, GIVING, HEALING, making the world a better place for every one. He was a gentle, loving, wonderful man. He did not deserve the horrible things that some people did to him– the vultures that only wanted to destroy this wonderful, gentle man. Michael did not have to die.. He was so happy to have his children and be the best Father in the world to them. Michael was so tortured for his being a Gentle Soul. He was always so soft spoken. I will do all I can to help Michael make the world a better place. I worry about the future of our children , with every day that passes. There are those that are so quick to believe the lies spread by the media, that do not want to accept that there were terrible lies told over and over. I remind them you have been lied to. Time will tell. I know that Michael was one of the greatest gifts to grace our world, his talents were so special. Thank you for allowing us this chance to express just a small amount of what we feel. I know Michael is in Heaven seeing his fans and loved ones striving to carry on his message an work. It is up to us now to help Make this world a better place for all mankind. God Bless and keep you in his loving embrace always.

    Posted June 27, 2011 at 12:11 am | Permalink
  4. Janice Stewart said . . .

    He was not about money but money was about him! How sad! If he were alive I would support him!

    Posted June 28, 2011 at 2:30 am | Permalink
  5. Marie-Claire Paul said . . .

    That was wonderful, reading something that outlines everything I, or should I say we are feeling. Yes we are fighting for Michael but as you say, for humanity, its a scary thought to think that the World could turn against such a sweet, considerate man and do what they did to him and unfortunately we let it happen….so sad 🙁 Marie Paul from New Zealand

    Posted June 29, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Permalink
  6. Elisabeth Sadler said . . .

    I L.O.V.E. this! Finally, someone said it perfectly.

    Posted June 30, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Permalink
  7. Desperado MJ said . . .

    Very true! Thanks for this article!

    Posted June 30, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Permalink
  8. Jayaseer lourdhuraJ said . . .

    Thanks for this work… With L.O.V.E Michael inspired me and touched my soul. His love and work for this world can never be replaced.

    Posted June 30, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Permalink
  9. Doris Gorgo said . . .

    Absolutely great article. Thank you so much. You really captured the inner most feelings of Michael’s fans about his passing. It seems as each day goes by, his loss is felt even more. There is not one day that has gone by since his death that I do not think of him. I also feel the pain that he endured by ridicule and lies. His death was like losing a member of my famiiy and there are thousands of fans who feel this way. Our hearts are broken and we don’t know if they will ever mend. Even if a person was not necessarily a fan of Michael’s, my wish is that they would read this article. Maybe they will view Michael in a totally different light. They will see that what the media was feeding them over the years are lies and untruths.I pray that the two boys who made allegations against Michael will also read this article and perhaps they will realize the pain and suffering their lies have caused to a kind, generous, caring and compassionate individual. This article should be passed around as much as possible especially to the media, television stations, newspapers, etc. Perhaps someone out there will consider talking about it on a television talk show or a news program or put the article in a newspaper. We fans needd to spread the word about the Inner Michael.

    Posted July 3, 2011 at 3:36 am | Permalink
  10. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Thanks for the kind words, Doris. Keep shining. ~B

    Posted July 3, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink
  11. Jenni said . . .

    omg michael is best!

    Posted March 19, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink
  12. Maria Karogianni said . . .

    “I will always be missing Michael!”
    We all miss him!!
    Mary ~ Greece.

    Posted June 24, 2015 at 8:26 pm | Permalink
  13. Ronn said . . .

    Hello, this was nicely written. I felt the very things you wrote about,I wasn’t a fan prior to his death and i actually believed that he was guilty and just got away because he had money but when he died i got curious why the world was impacted by his passing. I watched a tribute by one of the music channels in my country and i was truly amazed by the songs and videos. I somehow remembered them from my childhood. I was still a skeptic and i still thought he was a child molester so i went on to read articles written about him, both pro and anti Michael Jackson and i saw how the claims were ridiculous. I looked for videos of him speaking and found him extremely shy and when he was around children i saw how careful he was holding them. I started to question the child molester label people put on him though i still think he let the wrong people in his life.

    I felt sorry how the man was set up and bullied by the media and i felt that people,especially where he was from, have a bad habit of raising someone up and dragging them all the way down when they got too famous.

    I didn’t really know about his charitable works then but when i was watching an interview of the people who met him during his tour to the Philippines in 1996,all they said were good things about the man, how gentle mannered he was, how he was so kind to visit an orphanage and gave ample donation to a hospital,and how kind he was to the hotel staffs.

    I guess it’s true that we’ll only realize someone’s worth once they are gone. I am really disappointed how i missed Michael Jackson’s talents when he was still around but I’m glad i became a fan, not just because he created universal music but because he was a kind person who despite all the hardships still remained gentle and forgiving.

    I love you Michael and I’m sorry.

    Posted January 30, 2016 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

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