Inner Michael » One more last word

One more last word

The letters to me from fans have slowed down. They are no longer sending urgent letters about language and tone on Twitter and other social media. I appreciate being given a voice and I appreciate that lots of people listen, but I too grow weary. Many Michael Jackson advocates are weary right now and they still face a trial that is going to be difficult. Many fans have written to thank me for the last post on Inner Michael. I am not interested in continuing the blame game here, but I am interested in the fans please making some changes.

I am going to break this down for you and it is the last word I am going to say about it—to the fans. I don’t want to feel alienated any longer; I don’t want to continue feeling like this whole thing is helpless and all the work is for nothing. Fans need to take on the responsibility for the opinion that is being formed about them. It’s based on how they behave—not the behavior of anyone else. I will say it here, speak my mind and then be done with it. From here on, it is up to the fans.

I may decide to hold a salon or meeting for the fans during the Murray trial if I am asked and it is requested to get through the difficulties. I hope that it is clear by now I am on your side—at least for now. But things need to change. The change must come from the fans themselves if they are ever going to succeed in reclaiming Michael’s reputation and legacy. The fans need to reclaim their own reputation and legacy as well. So I will say this only ONCE…

Michael Jackson fans have a wealth of information and they hold a body of knowledge and a secret that the rest of the world knows nothing about. The fans who have done the research and looked into the legal aspects, court documents and the media coverage know something important that is crucial to the rest of the world. It is important to share what they know with the world. Michael Jackson fans know about the corruption that surrounded Michael Jackson; they know the truth… of all of it.

The rest of the world knows the caricature that has been reinforced over and over. And they know the picture of Michael and his life and Neverland that was painted by the media and by the unscrupulous. If the general public knew all the facts that the fans know, the public would be outraged. They would call for the immediate reform of journalism and the media; they would call for an investigation into the corruption of law enforcement and quite possibly other major institutions and professions.

It is the fans who can provide the general public with the truth and with information about how the public is being used and manipulated. But the fans, in order to be heard, must have a credible voice. Instead, the fans are labeled “Crazy.” Who is going to listen to a group that has been identified as “crazy?” Who is going to listen to that voice of truth no matter how important that voice is or how compelling and crucial the information they hold?

If Michael Jackson fans had a credible voice, they could change the world. They do change the world in other important ways but it goes unnoticed or unreported. If the fans were given more credibility, they could be a force for changing the world in the way that Michael imagined when he said “you are my legacy.”

Without credibility, there is no true voice, there is only squeaks and squawks from those dismissed from any serious dialogue because they act so crazy. Nobody is going to listen. When Michael is called “our sweet angel Michael” (the public can’t identify with that and the prevailing opinion has to see that as crazy by necessity right now) and fans attack others instead of informing them in a diplomatic tone and in a way they can be heard, they are laughed at or devalued. When fans use Michael Avatars and emails, their credibility is unfortunately, dismissed. It doesn’t matter so much how they got here or how it came to this; it matters that the perception get changed. It is a shame because there is something important and essential that needs to be learned from fans but it won’t be learned if no one wants to listen because those who would speak the truth are considered “crazy” or called “nutters.”

As soon as someone is identified as an MJ fan, they are stripped of all credibility, not taken seriously and summarily dismissed. The voice of sanity cannot be heard if it has been labeled “ insane” and if those who represent that voice behave in a frenzied or crazy manner. Frenzy, attacking, belittling, bullying, screaming, YELLING, and putting down or feuding with other fans or those in Michael’s inner circle only contributes to the problem.

I would like to see this description of the fans turned around but once a reputation is tarnished, it takes a long, long time to rebuild lost credibility. When Michael fans behave in a crazy manner, television pundits gleefully point it out and like to diminish or dismiss anything they might have to say. IF the fans can’t say it, then who will?

So maybe those behaving in an unacceptable way don’t realize that because they behave so irresponsibly, they are allowing the media to slip away without being held accountable for what they have done—to Michael and to others. They actually help allow the media to continue their bullying. By acting crazy and out of control, fans help the media get away with it.

When things are posted on Twitter and Facebook, it is important to remember that everyone (the public) is reading those Tweets and entries. And as they are reading what Michael Jackson fans Tweet, people are forming an opinion of the fans. And people talk to other people. Word gets around. What kind of opinion do you suppose was formed of “Michael Jackson fans” last week? And if say… Paris Jackson happened to be “listening” to the chatter about her uncle Jermaine, what kind of opinion was she forming about her father’s beloved “fans?”

When Jermaine Jackson’s book was being released, fans jumped all over him before reading even one word of the book. That’s “bullying” and that’s a “frenzy.” “Feeding frenzy” is how the media was described as the Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial got underway, remember?

When I hear “feeding frenzy”in my mind, I see those little Piranha fish—that eat alive everything that moves, until only bones are left. The media did that to Michael Jackson and now they gnaw on the bones—with one Piranha going so far as “going into his grave” and into it, only to defile it.

One person attending the trial in 2005 has this to say:

“During breaks at the courthouse, reporters would pour into an area at the back to file stories and grab something to eat. One time I overheard two of them criticizing the prosecution team and calling the case a ‘farce.’ Those same reporters went on TV that night praising the prosecution case and saying a conviction seemed inevitable. The same thing happened repeatedly as news gave way to biased and false opinion that sought to satisfy a perceived appetite for sensationalism at the expense of all else.”

We know about the media’s hypocrisy. We know that they constituted a “feeding frenzy” and we know they reported only what they thought would titillate the public, get interest and make them money. We know how they fed the firestorm against a man the public loved to hate because the media made him a caricature, a villain, an object of collective scorn. We know that publishers only want “dirty secret tell all” books about Michael. We know how the media bullied this man.

How can fans call the media a “bully” and condemn them when they are doing the same thing on Twitter and Facebook? Are fans who do that any better than the media? Or do they join ranks with the bullies dragging themselves down, dragging Michael down and his legacy with him?

Fans did not look good to the public last week. And there are other times they have not looked good. I didn’t like what Wendy Walsch, a psychologist who appeared on HLN, had to say about the fans: “Michael Jackson is their (the fans’) savior and they see Conrad Murray as their “Satan.” Oh please! Where do they get these people? And where do those taking heads get their opinion about fans?

When fans behave badly, when they are hypocritical calling other people names and accusing them of the same things fans do, when they bully the Jacksons, when they use foul language, when they are nasty, when they say things like ‘our angel Michael’ they play right into the hands of the talking heads who label them “crazy.” When fans behave in “crazy” ways, they make Diane Dimond right! They just prove that her opinion and her assessment of them is correct. Most people don’t know the history of Diane Dimond; the public has no clue about what really took place over the course of his life and her coverage of him. And if the fans never develop a legitimate voice, who will tell them?

The fans who are mean spirited and behave badly turn off and turn away the other segment of the 250 million Michael Jackson fans worldwide who might like to speak out but don’t want to be identified with a gang of fans that bully others and say crazy things.

I worry about the fans. I care about them. I cringe every time they are called “crazy” because most of them who have written to me are far from crazy. They care about the world. They care about Michael but more than Michael as a person, they care about what the world did to him and they don’t want to see it repeated.

They care about life and the planet and people. They are a reasonable and thoughtful group who care very much what happens to and in the future. They would very much like to fix things but sometimes throw up their hands in defeat because every time fans seem to make some headway, they shoot themselves in the foot destroying their credibility yet again. They comprise the mature and silent majority who live with that deep disillusionment because they want to see the truth revealed but at this rate and given the barriers, they have lost faith. We can’t afford to lose those fans, to lose their voice. We can’t afford to alienate them to the point where they give up and drop off the radar. We can’t allow them to fall in defeat because of friendly fire of other fans.

They see that the media continues to spout the same old meme about Michael and about the fans and the media does it with a straight face and they are very concerned about how fans appear to the general public; they feel that fans don’t look good and wonder if they even care how they represent Michael.

I know the upcoming trial is not going to be easy. I know the fans will take a beating. I have empathy for those fans who identify so strongly with vindication and resurrecting his reputation. It’s already not easy, and it’s not likely to get better during the trial. But fans must go slower, think before they Tweet and YELL. I don’t like seeing the fans used or taken advantage of. I have counseled many and listened to hundreds of stories of sorrow and grief by those torn apart by Michael’s death. I have listened to the anguish of so many who know the heart of this man, know his amazing true legacy and I’ve seen how wounded they are by the lies, the current meme and the mythology surrounding him as it continues uninterrupted—and mostly by those who never knew the man and who had no place in his private life. Each time the “allegations” are brought up, it is an insult. They want to scream: “the man was found not guilty! It’s over!” The insistence in revisiting an issue that has already been finalized in a court of law is a source of never-ending sorrow for fans. It is going to take a level head, patience and a lot of stamina to get through this. When you think you are not up to it, think of the Jacksons who now must once again, re-live the death of their son, father, uncle and brother.

What people have noticed about the fans lately is not very pretty. Fans are better than this. They can do better than this. They can rebuild their credibility. They can realize that they must come together if this is going to work. They have to be a united voice. They have to set the record straight in a way that they can be heard.

Why do people close their hearts? Have you ever closed yours? Why? When your heart is closed, how do you want to be treated? Do you want to be bullied even more? Most people do want to be told the truth in the end and they don’t like being lied to, so it’s not that they LIKE being uninformed or in the dark. They truly don’t know the truth because those they trusted to tell them the truth cared more about lining their pockets than they did about the public’s right to the truth.

If the public knew how extensively they have been lied to in this one case, how do you think they would react? And the day that it happens, you want them to be able to turn to you and to join forces with you. If the fans are an enemy of the public, how will that coming together in solidarity take place? As I have said before, people do not want to learn they have been manipulated by organized evil. They will do anything to avoid facing that because it is so frightening. So pushing them further away and alienating them even more is not useful and takes us away from the goal instead of toward it.

Think about what happened with the Discovery Channel initiative. When the public was informed of the truth, and when they finally caught on to what was really happening, ten thousand of them joined the initiative. Ten thousand non-fans joined the campaign in the span of about an hour! So fans cannot afford to make enemies of people because you are going to need them later.

When the truth comes flooding into the landscape, where lies are buried now, there will be those who will be surprised. There will be those with egg on their faces. There will be those who will be startled and will stagger in disbelief at their ignorance and how gullible they were. Will that be the same day that the world realizes that Michael Jackson fans got it right? Will that be the day the world finally sees the value of MJ fans? Not if they are alienated, or are enemies already.

Fans have those hearts that know. They need to get to the hearts of those who don’t know. How do you get to someone’s heart? How do you get people to hear you? I don’t have to tell you that bullying won’t get you there. Being mean to those you want to make your “friends” won’t get you there. Nobody wants to be identified with the “crazies” so if you continue to be crazy, you will only alienate people, not recruit them to the truth.

You reach hearts by genuinely coming from your heart; by appealing to them from that place of openness and generosity. It’s not always easy to remember. When I forget, I forgive myself and begin again, trying to avoid the same mistake. Having an open heart doesn’t mean sweetly smiling while allowing people to walk all over you; it means establishing a power base and coming from a place of credibility and knowledge. The best power base is charisma. So what builds respect and power faster than anything else? A heart that is open, warm and invites people to step into their own power and brilliance. A heart that says: “Namaste`” Or: “I recognize the value in you as much as I recognize the value in myself.” A heart that says, “excuse me; but have you noticed you’re in the darkness? It’s OK; it’s not your fault; you’ve been misled. Here’s my hand—I know the way out.” When people believe you genuinely care, they will listen. When they are wounded or frightened, they will retreat farther into the darkness. Bullying only amplifies those wounds. I don’t have to tell you that; you know it better than anyone else on the planet. You are Michael Jackson fans.


  1. Sue Springer said . . .

    Thank you for this Rev. B., this one means a great deal to me. I have moved far away from many of the fan sites for the very infighting you have been describing in this and the previous message. Wondering what in the world is happening. It seems as if many of us cannot even have a discussion on any topic without others stomping on those with a differing point of view. I believe many are very tired and very afraid, much like the general public who do not know.

    Facing the upcoming trial and the inevitable Michael bashing that will occur, has set so many on edge. But it is at this most crucial time that we must come together in loving and reasonable ways. I am 58 years old, and I still remember my Mom telling me — from the time I was very little well into adulthood — if you cannot say something kind to and about someone, keep your mouth shut. It is still some of the best advice I have every received, and when I fail the words echo in my head. Keeping quiet allows you a few moments to put yourself in the other persons shoes and tempers your reaction. I also remember Michael saying often that people do not understand what they are doing. None of us are perfect people and all of us human frailities.

    We must remember that and when we fail, remind ourselves. We may never change the true haters – they must be moved by a power greater than we are. But the general public who have simply been duped into believing a false picture can be moved with patience, love and understanding. And the knowledge that all of us have frailites and fears. Seeking vengeance for the way Michael was treated will only add to the violence and deceptions. It is time to pick up the banner of change for all of mankind, just like he taught us and showed us. Thank you for this Rev. B.

    Posted September 19, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Permalink
  2. It's all for L.O.V.E said . . .

    Change can be accomplished one fan at a time.

    The Modified Serenity Prayer (author unknown)

    Lord, Grant me the Serenity
    to accept the people I cannot change
    the courage
    to change the person I can
    and the wisdom to know it’s me.

    Posted September 20, 2011 at 1:50 am | Permalink
  3. Kim said . . .

    Thank you very much Rev. Barbara. This is a very important message that you write here. I hope more people see it.

    Posted September 20, 2011 at 3:17 am | Permalink
  4. gertrude said . . .

    Genius. And so was the “Only DIGNITY Honours Michael” piece.

    Posted September 20, 2011 at 3:58 am | Permalink
  5. Dalia said . . .

    What you say is interesting, very revealing and painful as well. Left me thinking what kind of fan I was until today. It is a daunting task as you say we should start by raising awareness among fans and then work to reveal the truth with credibility. It’s so hard! but today I began translating this article into Spanish to share it with my MJ fans friends in facebook. Thanks Barbara, how right you are!

    Posted September 20, 2011 at 5:16 am | Permalink
  6. Dalia Burgos said . . .

    With Jeramine’s book everyone’s talking about Demerol and how and why and what about side effects? The trial will soon start and now prosecutors are really trying to keep Michael’s past and his past problems from polluting this case yet here is Jermaine talking about Michael and Demerol. We don’t mean to bully but Jermaine must be careful if he wants to see justice done.

    Posted September 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Permalink
  7. Anne Mette Jepsen said . . .

    Thank you Rev. Kaufmann! You are absolutely right in everything!
    LOVE and GRATITUDE from Denmark 🙂

    Posted September 20, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Permalink
  8. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Michael took Demerol in the past and even sang about it. Demerol is for pain and Michael had Lupus, spinal arthritis, and likely fibromyalgia as well as dancer’s feet– all of which are painful. Demerol is a legitimate prescription drug and is often used for pain. All drugs have the potential for abuse. Someone who has misused drugs in the past must be extra vigilant with prescription medications and the doctors for that patient must also use discretion in prescribing.

    There was no Demerol in Michael’s system at autopsy. Hair samples will tell the longer story. Michael died from an overdose of Propofol while in the care of a physician. Everything else is irrelevant. Keep in mind that the media will spin information no matter what Jermaine or anyone else says– the media is going to distort it. That is what they do. It is up to the fans to keep them honest and write in to correct them (factually- no need to bully) each and every time they twist the facts or distort or embellish the truth. There are plenty of accurate sources to cite for information, beginning with the autopsy report and the report from the first responders.

    You can begin by saying something like: “I noticed that when you reported last night about the Conrad Murray case, that you said….. This is not accurate. Actually, the facts are… and end by saying something like “please correct the inaccuracies” or refer to the report and give them the link, etc. Fans, telling the truth and keeping them honest can make a difference and if that is done with diplomacy they will think the fans care about truth in reporting and that is not “crazy.”When someone attacks or calls names, we all react with anger and dislike and think the person crazy.

    Posted September 20, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Permalink
  9. Joyce Frame said . . .

    Thank you Rev. Barbara for this excellent, much needed post! I can only think of one word to add to this clearly written, valuable lesson… AMEN!

    Michael Jackson was always gracious, dignified and forgiving despite all the cruelty that was directed at him. We can certainly all learn from that and try to remember to take a moment and think before we speak, text, tweet, or whatever other form of communication we use. I know it is something I am working on all the time in all areas of my life. It is definitely one of the ways that learning more about Michael has positively influenced my life.

    Your last paragraph sums up your very important lesson so beautifully. I hope this message will continue to spread through the fan community and beyond. Using a phrase that I believe you may actually have started, we just have to “Keep Michaeling!”

    Posted September 20, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Permalink
  10. Amber said . . .

    I agree with this post Ms. Kaufmann, and I also think that fans need to ACCEPT that Michael was not perfect, at all. I hear many fans describe him as perfect. Michael could do no wrong, etc. I am a fan of Michael’s, but I am also an adult, and I am realistic. I think calling him perfect does not help him, or help the fans. I think it’s fine to feel giddy and excited about Michael, after all he did create his music for us to enjoy, but fans also have to realize that he was human, with faults, like all of us. If fans are going to make him out to be this person “better than everyone else”, then no one will take us seriously.

    I know that I do not want to be labeled a “crazy MJ fan,” and often don’t share Michael with everyone. However, most people know that I like Michael, and are impressed with my knowledge of the truth, and are respectable. I’ve gotten people to realize that Michael was an amazing person not a child molester, and to see beyond the entertainer; just by casually talking about who Michael was. At the same time, Michael fans have done a lot for Michael since his passing. His name has been uncovered from the Gardner St. Elementary School, the Michael Jackson MTV award was once again awarded this year, and many fans work together for charity in Michael’s name, and to remove hateful content from the Internet and news reports. These are great things.

    I hope that fans can see the message that Michael left, and carry it forward. Heal the World, be a kind person to everyone, make it a better place. Do on this earth, what you were sent to do. That’s the message I get from Michael. And on top of that, I will always enjoy his music.

    Posted September 20, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Permalink
  11. Barbara said . . .

    Thank you very much Rev. Barbara – I love your words and I will hope that the fans all over the world will find a way to come together as ONE. We must do it for MICHAEL, for LOVE. And we are another-part-of-him and also we do it for ‘us’ .. Love Barbara

    Posted September 20, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Permalink
  12. Lauren said . . .

    Thank you for this, Barbara. I have read some pretty shocking comments from ‘fans’ at times making fun of someone’s appearance. I couldn’t believe it because this is what happened to Michael for so long. Do we not see that? Sometimes I believe it takes a moment to simply re-think one’s statement/opinion before expressing it. The hoopla around the concert in Wales purported to be about focusing on the trial. So let us focus on that. As a unified force, Michael’s fans have accomplished a number of small and not so small objectives. Discovery, Gardner, asking and receiving acknowledgement that perhaps his name is really Jackson and not that awful moniker. There is a wealth of untapped power in numbers that we are not even aware of. Just think what that power could accomplish if we put aside the bullying, nastiness and conflicts. That power seeps through at times and it is magnificent. That’s Michael’s power… let’s use it.

    Posted September 20, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Permalink
  13. Marie-Claire Paul said . . .

    Thank you, we will pull together and get the respect that Michael deserves. You’re words are very wise and I know I have listened to these words of caution about using bad language ( which I hate using anyway ), like Sue Springer I’m in my 50s and my parents taught me the same, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all, sometimes its hard but I do my best to follow that rule. The Jackson Family are a family just like any, they have their ups and downs, its normal, whats not normal is for everyone outside the family to be butting in to their business and trying to tell them what to do. Lets do this for Michael… and the future generations 🙂

    Posted September 21, 2011 at 3:44 am | Permalink
  14. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    There is a name for the prejudice (yes, prejudice) against someone’s appearance. It is “Lookism.” The most extreme form of this is the circus “freak show” where ringmasters put on display humans who were missing limbs or had extra limbs, had dwarfism, extra body hair, were morbidly obese, had Vitiligo– all considered “sub-human” oddities. That is where “freak” originates. Lookism can also exclude anyone who doesn’t fit the category of “beautiful” or “the beautiful people” and that leads to Anorexia, Bulimia, body dysmorphic disorder and all kinds of self- hatred and mutilation. Very few of us fit that category which makes us “sub standard” in our culture. Some forms of prejudice are covert or hard to detect. Debra Schaeffer writes out this in our “Words and Violence” education packet at Voices: Jeremy Rifkin demonstrates with animation what a society of inclusion and acceptance woud look like. We all might find it interesting to take a look:

    Posted September 21, 2011 at 11:26 am | Permalink
  15. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    When fans come together to accomplish something, the result is nothing short of amazing. Just like his dancers, fans are an extension. The real Michael Jackson, not the caricature, was a man to be admired, a role model, a generous humanitarian, but a human being– not a God. He said over and over to the fans: “You are my legacy” because he wanted them to take seriously his lyrics and teachings and to put “heal the world” and “we are the world” into practice.

    “There is nothing that can’t be done if we raise our voice as one” is real. The power of fans coming together to bring Michael’s legacy alive would be an unstoppable force. It would mean accepting all races, all peoples as equal and equally important, feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, embracing everyone as your brother, resurrecting and preserving the inner child. cherishing and nurturing all the world’s children as you would your own (it does ‘take a village’,) ending tribalism, fighting and war (war is nothing more than a fight over differences escalated to a larger scale) and becoming stewards of the planet.

    Michael wrote lyrics and sang about all these things. He asked us to see the world and all its children (that includes us) as one. Anyone whose behavior does not reflect those principles is betraying Michael and betraying his legacy. It’s not who is a “true fan” or who has been the longest or biggest fan or which camp they belong to. It’s who purposefully and deliberately tries to live those principles. It’s all in the lyrics. There is no way to mistake what Michael asked his fans to do– it’s right there in the lyrics.

    The question is not whether the fans can do it or not. It’s not whether they can pull it off; they can. The question is, will they? My dream is that someday the fans will seriously embrace and live the prinicples that this visionary renaissance man brought to the world in his lyrics; that they put them into practice and hand them down to the children. It is literally a prescription for how to ‘heal the world.’ It’s how to ‘bring salvation back;’ it’s the archetype of ‘Neverland” realized.

    Posted September 21, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Permalink
  16. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    As a wordsmith, I am in love with words– when a word becomes a ‘genericized trademark’ it is called an eponym. Some examples of that are: when ‘facial tissue’ becomes “Kleenex;” in-line skates become “Rollerblades,” ‘ASA’ or ‘acetylsalycylic acid’ becomes “aspirin,” a push-button telephone becomes “touch tone,” and ‘trolling’ is no longer fishing behind the boat while cruising but “fising the Internet for places to be hateful;” and leaving nasty hateful comments makes you a “troll.” “Troll” is no longer a funny looking toy doll with Don King colored hair, but is an ugly individual spewing anger and hatred for the “enjoyment” of others.

    Imagine into the future where “Michaeling” is commonly accepted as meaning “humanitarian activities,” giving gererously as Michael Jackson would and in his name, or even a group of people coming together to do good works to ‘heal the world’ and ‘make it a better place.’ In the spirit of John Lennon– just ‘Imagine.’

    When I am volunteering now, or I give to a worthy cause, I always say “I’m Michaeling” and people always ask “what does that mean?” It gives me a chance to say… “well, you remember Michael Jackson, right? Since his death, it has been discovered more and more what a true philanthropist and humanitarian he was. Did you know that he is listed in the Guinness Book of records? Did you know that his “We Are the World” raised 44 and a half million dollars to feed children and people starving in Africa? Did you know that the Jackson’s ‘Victory Tour’ grossed about $75 million and Michael gave his share to charity? Did you know…” It begins conversations and leaves people amazed and they walk away with a much different picture of who “Michael Jackson” was. It’s great fun! I suggest we all try it to see if we can get it to catch on. Keep shining and keep “Michaeling!”

    Posted September 21, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink
  17. faeraemae said . . .

    Barbara, I love you (and your wordsmithiness)! Unfortunately, it seems to be the trend, due to TV shows such as the X Factor, to denigrate others.
    Perhaps it is a way for people to imagine they are superior in some way, but who among us is perfect? I am very anti-religion, but I am always mindful of removing the plank from my own eye (Luke 6:41)
    As you say, the philosophy is in the lyrics:
    All the colors of the world should be Lovin’ each other wholeheartedly
    Yes, it’s all right Take my message to your brother and tell him twice
    Spread the word and try to teach the man Who is hating his brother,
    When hate won’t do, ‘cuz we’re all the same,
    yes the blood inside of me is inside of you.

    Posted September 21, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Permalink
  18. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Thanks for the compliment. I am not familiar with this show. From what is says here- it does sound like exploitation. The self examination for motive goes deeper than what is cited in the article. Watching the show means that one is picking up the vibe (a mind-virus, so to speak.) We are what we consume– in food and drink, reading material, and what we mentally consume. For example if one’s favorite pasttime is horror movies, what will live in that mind? If the favorite genre is cop shows, what will live in that mind? If the genre is the arts or Disney channel, what will live in that mind? Get my drift? What kind of mind virus do we (the consumer) want to live in our mind and inform our worldview. Hedonism? Sarcasm? Crime? Exploitation?

    The mind is the most sophisticated computer on earth– garbage in/garbage out. It becomes a difficult proposition when one must watch to bear witness as an activist. One is still getting the vibe/virus. As a watchdog, it becomes imperative to “cleanse” the mind with say… a live symphony concert, a moving movie or play now and then. The average viewer/consumer lacks the awareness at present to make informed choices. That’s why study, research and dialogue is so important. Thanks for your informative contribution. Keep the faith– it is medicine for the viruses.

    Posted September 21, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Permalink
  19. Susan Trout said . . .

    Dear Rev. Barbara, thank you so much for this post. I only wish all fan sites would be able to read it. I share your concern about what has happened, and continues to happen, in the fan base. I am deeply disturbed by a petition letter that was posted on one website directed to the Jackson family, attacking them for several things but mostly the planned concert in Cardiff next month. Who do these people think they are? This is Michael Jackson’s family. We have no right whatsoever to interfere with, or criticize, these souls for decisions they make. Sometimes I ask myself why the fans don’t understand the effect of their language and the choice of their words. Many refuse to let go of the Michael photo avatars and the MJ usernames thinking that by doing so, they are betraying Michael. This is not rocket science. Any person with a normally functioning brain can figure out that fanaticsm and zealot-like behavior raise a red flag with mainstream America.

    How many times have you urged fans to respond to critical articles without making it sound like a love letter to Michael? It’s discouraging. There are MJ websites that I continue visit and take part in but I do so with caution. I commented today and agonized over how my response would be taken but I felt compelled to respond. I’ve taken part in demonstrations where people have been confrontational and loud. I see the reactions from the crowds, the reports on TV. I’ve also demonstrated in peaceful gatherings where we’ve quietly and respectfully offered information as to why were were there. Always, the second scenario attracts people who want to know and then you have the opportunity to speak intelligently and rationally. From there, it is up to the person to decide.

    You know, Michael adored the “crazy, screaming fans”, but he was also frightened of what they had the potential to do. For those determined to meet him quietly and respectfully, it was amazing how he would go out of his way to speak with them and have a normal discourse. It was very rare but I’m sure he treasured those opportunities. He was first a flesh and blood man-who likely wanted the same things that every human being wants. How incredibly sad that he had to live such an abnormal life. We now have the chance to “raise him up” and re-sculpt his image in America. We can choose to become part of what promises to be a frenzy of salacious stories during the trial, or we can rise above it and show the world what a genuine, caring human being Michael Jackson really was and that he loved his life, his family and his fans, and would never, ever make a conscious decision to take his own life.

    There’s no need to shout murder, to carry ugly signs, to show hate. Visualize one group doing just that and another standing, peacefully, holding hands, crying, praying, singing and holding Michael up! If you were a stranger, who would you approach first? With regard to HLN and the other networks, the reporting so far seems so ignorant of the autopsy report that I am dumbfounded! What are these pundits using for information? This aspect in particular needs to be called to the attention of the likes of Ryan Smith, Nancy Grace, Dr. Drew, Jane Velez-Mitchell and Vinnie Politan, et. al. Also, amid the “drug addict” language orgy, perhaps it might be good to point out to each of these talking heads that there is a difference between drug addict and drug dependent. Michael was dependent on certain medications for pain relief and to help with sleep deprivation. Of every sad reality that is revealed about Michael, knowing that he only wanted a good night’s sleep just brings me to my knees in sorrow. I believe that everyone who posts here truly cares about Michael and about his fans. Hopefully, Rev. Barbara, your wise and gentle words will ripple across the waters of dissent and change hearts and minds. Thought I’d post this quote. It speaks volumes.

    “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.” John Maxwell quotes (American Author and motivational speaker.) Since I haven’t commented for a while, I hope you don’t mind that I had a lot to say. It is all for L.O.V.E

    Posted September 22, 2011 at 1:32 am | Permalink
  20. Irina said . . .

    And as of today I am a bit closer of bashing my head into the wall in search of relief, headache’s just not going away. MJ fans were asked to leave a hearing at the courthouse! Not a good start and illustrating once more why dignity is needed.

    But there are those fans who want to uphold Michael’s legacy of love- by practicing it right and then and there- at the courthouse. No screaming and heckling, no hateful staring- with a consciousness that society does have a responsibility toward one another (i.e. “Justice”), yet visualizing love, so that love may beget love- not sprinkling the ground with more thought forms of negativity.

    If anyone knew what it meant to be in pain at a courthouse, it would be this man. Pictures tells quite a story.

    Please join us on facebook in our daily practice of sending out thought forms of love into the spheres- and to help organize those that choose to be living the love Michael spoke about. In peace and in dignity.

    Posted September 22, 2011 at 4:39 am | Permalink
  21. gertrude said . . .

    Can anyone explain the ‘Michael was perfect’ thing to me? Why, why, why did HE have to be perfect? It’s as if those who maintain he is perfect, AND even those who do not, think he isn’t good enough if he is imperfect? Why would they think that? Wasn’t how wonderful,lovely, brilliant, delightful, glorious, good and downright sexy he was good enough?? Geeesh – I’d settle for being all that! I just can’t wrap my head around the perfect thing. Didn’t how great he was earn him the right to some faults?

    Maybe it’s the poisoned pens we’ve had to cope with for so long that have rigidified us to the point where we can no longer suffer any mention of mistake in Michael. We are maxed-out on how viciously the slightest flaw in him gets twisted into the crime of the century, and how things that are SUPERB about him get twisted also into the crimes of the century!

    Perhaps we need to be on-guard for how those relentless assaults can manipulate us into going too far in the opposite direction as we respond? Whenever I hear “Michael wasn’t perfect” I always think “and so?”. So what? Its fascinating and perplexing to me that sometimes people on both sides of the fence can have such a fixation on Michael’s ‘perfection’ or lack there of, and how people who love him AND people who hate him think he isn’t good enough unless he is perfect. How can they be so the same on this issue? Its exhausting.

    Posted September 22, 2011 at 5:20 am | Permalink
  22. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    It’s all projection, G. Imagine how exhausted Michael was with people wanting him to be… this; no that. Go here; no, go there. Wear this identity of villain for me, will you Michael? No, wear this identity of savior for me; OK Michael? Be my hero, can you Michael? Be my lover, will you Michael? Be sexy for me; no, be pure and chaste for me. Be the world’s most famous man, will you? Now the world’s most hated man, will you Michael? No, be the world’s most beloved man. Imagine not being worthy unless you are performing. Not being comfortable unless you are giving all the time. Not being valued unless you are making money and money for others. Imagine people wanting to be close to you, not for who you are but for the fame and attention that shines on them vicariously or for what you can do for them. Imagine your life, body, talent being a commodity to be bought, sold and traded to the highest bidder. It’s no wonder the stage is comfortable, is home; your only value is there.

    Imagine going through life wondering if you could ever be loved just for who you are, or be valued just as you are and not for who you can be for someone else. Imagine having to evaluate the love of every woman you meet and wondering does she love you for you? Or for what you have or who she thinks you are? Or for who she can be when she’s with you.

    Imagine never having an alone or quiet moment because everybody wants a piece of you or there has to always be someone there to guard you and protect you from those who would harm you or from those who would love you too much. Imagine having to live with a reputation that doesn’t belong to you– to step into shoes you could never fill or step out of those that you do. Imagine never being able to just go for a walk, take your children to the park, have lunch at the diner, go to the mall. Imagine having to plot your every move of every day and have decoys and contingencies for everything you do. Imagine being loved too much or not enough. Imagine the pressures of having to be better than every last performance, having to stay fresh, relevant, young, attractive, on top of your game, and all the while being criticized for what you do or what you don’t do.

    Imagine finally finding a sanctuary, a place you can love, have fun, be yourself and a place where you can invite people to share the joy. Imagine having that violated and sullied and called vile names and made dark and sinister. Imagine never being able to go home.

    Imagine just wanting to be a human being. Being loved. Being cherished just for who you are. And nobody, but nobody will ever let you be. Just be. And love you just for that. THAT is exhausting.

    Posted September 22, 2011 at 9:27 am | Permalink
  23. Susanne said . . .

    Thank you, Rev. Barbara, for your wise and loving words. It’s so sad that this has to be addressed again and again.I wished the millions of fans out there would read every word. But unfortunately the FB and twitter generation is no longer used to read long blogs and articles which takes more time than just reading or writing short comments.

    David of Vindicatmj also wrote in his recent blog that the fans need to know all the details, that they should be familiar with all the facts about Michael’s life in order to respond adequately. But who really reads all the long blogs and the information provided by so many wonderful researchers and bloggers and wise people like you? I begin to think that the majority of the fans don’t.

    Instead of bullying others those fans should spend their time and energy to enlighten themselves with all this information as well as with Michael’s real messages, and to strive for unity. It also makes me very sad sometimes that so many waste their time and energy on commenting every other comment, often in a hateful and meangingless way. It’s so unproductive. I thank you very much for appealing to the fans a last time!

    Posted September 22, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink
  24. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Keep the faith and the love vibration going, Irina.
    Here is a prayer for you I received regarding the archetypal Neverland:

    I breathe the breath of the Universe today.
    I touch with the hand of life.
    I see with the eyes of the Holy Spirit.
    I hear the symphony in the key of ‘Creation.’
    I feel with the heart from all sentient beings.
    I know with the mind of God.

    Posted September 22, 2011 at 10:11 am | Permalink
  25. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Thanks S. Keep the faith. Send light, send love to surround them. I understand the quick fix and instant gratification thing. ‘It runs sprints, not marathons.’ The future belongs to the educated and enlightened. To those who love and know. Meet you there. *wink* ~B

    Posted September 22, 2011 at 10:31 am | Permalink
  26. gertrude said . . .

    I am imagining it. I am crying my eyes out. And never have I read a more incisive explanation for why Michael hoped for and cherished being surrounded by CHILDREN, THANK-you. Many, many of us would do well to meditate long and hard on the answer you have gifted me/us with. When will the dear soul just be allowed to rest?

    Posted September 22, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Permalink
  27. Souldreamer said . . .

    Right On! And those who get that …know~*~*

    Posted September 23, 2011 at 9:20 am | Permalink
  28. Kathleen Weisz said . . .


    I too feel the desperation of the upcoming Murray trial. I’ve taken the time to write the tabloids and the networks in NYC area as well as Anderson Cooper of CNN and Piers Morgan of CNN. I wrote respectfully to handle the Murray case in an unbiased, truthful manner not with sound bites or heresay. I’ve even written BET network (Black Entertainment) that i am astonished that they had no tributes for the 2nd anniversary of his death or on his birthday. It just felt good doing it. I agree, the fans must behave in a respectful and dignified manner. I honestly am amazed at how I am feeling (the grief and anger). I never, ever, ever felt this way about any celebrity. Somehow this man touched my heart. I’ve watched videos of him with children and my God, the light and joy on his face. One has to be soulless not to see the truth that this man would never harm anyone especially a child. I listened to his speech at Oxford University. I cannot explain what that did to me. Is the media deaf and blind? I will try very hard to stay away from the news or papers or tabloids at the news stand during the trial. I don’t look forward to the headlines. I disagree with the fact that the fans have power in the media’s coverage of the trial.

    YOU and other journalists have to make yourselves public on TV. I wrote Charles Thompson who could speak remotely to CNN etc. MJ fans are the best fans and we feel so helpless. We only want his name to be cleared and this is the last chance. Aphrodite Jones’ friend Jane Velez Mitchell of HLN Network and Nancy Grace are reporters. The vitriolic comments by these women will be rampant during the trial. Nancy Grace and Mitchell were condemning MJ after 2005 saying it was his star power that acquitted him. One would think Ms. Jones would have discussed the 2005 case with Jane Mitchell?

    Your website, Barbara is amazing. Please, please don’t give up on Michael. You cannot control some fans. I think they feel frantic as do I. But your articles need to be more visible. I know you have a “life” and MJ is not constantly on your mind, but please, if possible, can you score an interview with OPRAH ON HER OWN NETWORK? Or CNN Piers Morgan? Oprah has softened a bit on MJ and perhaps would be more receptive on having a program with pro-Michael journalists? The world doesn’t know the facts of 2005. It has to get out there, Barbara. How is that for pressure 🙂 L.O.V.E, Katie

    Posted September 23, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Permalink
  29. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Thank you for the compliments and vote of confidence. Inner Michael is a place where we try to promote diplomacy and spirituality. And I edit my website to make sure it is factual and not inflammatory and I do not publish things that fans share that is too personal. Fans can be very unforgiving when it comes to Michael, his family, his past relationships, and those who brought drama into his life. We don’t put down his family or his personal relationships. Michael was a very forgiving person so we try to not judge those in his circle. Family is always difficult and sometimes being silent is the best policy. Fans criticize Michael’s family for not appearing on TV and then when they do, or they speak out, they get criticized again. The brothers’ television series was begun before Michael died; it was already in progress and was taped before the tragedy.

    Fans sometimes don’t realize that they do the same thing they criticize others for. Oftentimes Michael couldn’t do anything right according to others judging him. I am sure his family and those closest to him feel the same way at times. We forget that we are not walking in those moccasins. Fans have power but they sometimes are irresponsible too and can be extremely judgmental. The screaming “foul” at every turn is a deterrant for journalists; for example, Charles and others have been attacked by fans who have really been advocates. It’s a difficult situation and delicate many times.

    I have seen fans bully also where and when they had no stake. I have watched the media jump to conclusions but have seen the fans do it too. Let’s examine the probabilities in one scenario for example: Many fans believe that Michael’s accuser should come forward and tell the complete truth about what happened. Suppose he did that. What do you think the fans would do then? Would they consider that he was a child when the incidents happened and was vulnerable and dependent on the adults in his world who were poor role models and who didn’t treat him very well? If there was a public confession, do you believe the fans would embrace him and forgive him? And what do you think the people who have a stake in his maintaining silence would do to him? We never have all the information, yet we feel we have the right and compelled to make judgments. Before healing can begin, forgiveness must. Just some things for us to think about when we feel so “sure” that we are right and that our anger is justified.

    Posted September 24, 2011 at 4:24 am | Permalink
  30. vero said . . .

    Hi Barbara, I hope that was not your last post, was it? Don’t give up posting on this site, please. Especially with the trial about to begin. Regarding the fans; actually rather than the word ‘fans’ I prefer the word ‘supporters.’ I consider myself a supporter of Michael Jackson. Even today, the Sun–a Murdock paper ran a story, filled with ‘Jacko’ and various sensationalisms. I did not make a comment. I did not ‘log in.’ That does not mean I am not repulsed buy their ‘journalism.’ With ‘journalists’ like that, no matter what the ‘supporters/fans’ do, they will not stop. I see your point re no ‘crazy fans,’ however, my point is that we can act as sober, informed, sane as possible, and still various ‘journalists’ and ‘news’ shows will depict us as ‘crazy Michael Jackson fans.’ It is similar to what Michael went through. Frankly, it does not bother me; in fact I smile, when someone says ‘our Angel Michael.’ If it bothers some people– isn’t that their problem?

    Why should anyone not show love for Michael? Why do we have to change and not the biased and corrupt media? Just asking. On the other hand, I agree that Michael’s supporters do need to put their case for Michael to the greater audience and I believe that this is being done. For example, the upcoming books by Joe Vogel and by Frank Cascio. Regarding the criticisms of Michael’s family (not his children), I do not agree that we have no right to criticize a member of that family; no one should be above criticism. To stiffle criticism is not good. On the other hand, this needs to be a rational, reasoned, just criticism and I do think these can be made. Sorry if that offends some people, but I am just stating my point of view, and anyone is free to criticize my view or take an opposite position. I am actually quite upset by some of the statements made by family members. However, the main point is to further Michael’s memory and his beautiful work on earth; to have people know about this and respect and appreciate his enormous and generous gifts to the world. Thank you, Barbara, for all you have done and all you are doing to bring awareness to Michael’s wonderful and transformational work. I wish you and all supporters of Michael to be always remembering the light and that he was one of the brightest light-bearers we will ever know. With the love.

    Posted September 26, 2011 at 4:05 am | Permalink
  31. Kathleen Weisz said . . .

    Hi Barbara,

    I understand what you are saying. Truly I do. I wasn’t aware that the show the brothers put on was in progress prior to his death. I rushed to judgement. I, for one, agree that since we represent Michael, we have to be gracious as he always was to the press, always smiling. I honestly don’t know how he did it. Keeping that smile on his face.

    I, for one, wouldn’t trust the Arviso boy. How can a boy who had cancer and MJ was instrumental in his healing and gave him hope, how can this boy who perjured himself on the stand, how can we believe him? He will never come forward, but if he did and admitted he lied because of parental pressure, I would forgive him and just be grateful. Because as you once wrote: accusation causes doubt even if acquitted.

    Posted September 26, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Permalink
  32. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    I hope this is not my last post, but I am needing to make some decisions with life circumstances. I too am a “supporter.” The “Jacko” thing is sometimes done deliberately to bait fans and bring them to the particular site that uses it. Traffic on a website = profit because they can prove to potential sponsors that people flock to their site by the number of visitors.

    Knowing whether to “log in” and engage or make the decision to not engage requires discernment and that is not always easy. The conflic is that the moniker “Jacko” should not be allowed to stand but they get “hits” on their website when they use it. In this way, they are cynically using the fans. The music awards also used the fans as the decision to change it back to the vangard was made two years earlier. Some media knows what inflames the fans, what gets their attention, and they use that unethically.

    The media is not going to change until the general public demands it. When MJ monikers are used, the person identifies themselves as a fan and that allows for the media monitoring commentary to dismiss the comment. They listen more carefully to the opinion of the general public than they do advocates or those with special interests. It is self defeating to reveal a fan identity. The media believes fans are fickle, unstable, easily distracted, less than serious, and likely to lose interest eventually- especially when Michael is no longer in the news. They know that after the trial, the interest will dwindle. And frankly, the way some fans behave in public and on social media prove them right. If you are not taken seriously, you don’t have a voice. If you are viewed as a niche market that will eventually go away, once the concentration of interest is gone, they will go back to “business as usual.” Do you know, for example, that think tanks and focus groups research what increases interest and ratings and they plan for a future constituency. Teen magazines are already grooming the next generation to be readers. The tabloids know they are in trouble and are also grooming their new markets and the next generation. It’s all about money and profit and market share. The bottom line has no empathy and ethics and morals don’t apply. This goes way beyond Michael Jackson– it involves ultimate human dignity and humanity itself and what kind of future we want to create on this planet. Michael threatened the status quo. He rocked the boat. Those in power don’t like visionaries unless they can use them for profit.

    The “crazy” label is not going away because it is being fed and given power- by some who, knowingly or not, make it hard for everybody to be taken seriously because of their behavior. “Jacko” has been around for decades and it remains because it has usefulness. The “crazy” thing is pretty ingrained now and it will take a serious and sustained effort by reasonable and savvy people to get it to go away. Yes, it is frustrating. But once a reputation darkens your door it is not easily changed or forgotten. When it is particularly dark or negative, it puts deeper groves into the memory record. It will take a long and sustained effort and savvy leadership to change it. And it will take fans behaving rationally and powerfully as one body to change it.

    The “angel” thing, while understandable and deserved, is not where the general population is right now. For the most part, they are unaware of Michael’s humanitarianism and philanthropy. And they view his as just a “pop star” or “entertainer.” Most don’t even see the artist,never mind the freedom fighter and earth and childrens’ steward. It takes re-eduation to change popular opinion. Angry and aggressive fans do not reach hearts and the heart is where any real and lasting change occurs. If you come at me with fangs, I will either fight or flee. But if you come at me with a reasonable argument backed with factual information and proof and take a reasonable tone, I am likely to listen and my heart will soften both for you and for the subject of your conversation. Make me curious and I will be interested. Make me angry and I will walk away and dismiss you forever.

    Michael’s family was thrust into the spotlight early in life– by hard work and by charisma. What fans don’t realize is that ALL the Jackson children performed on stage. All the Jackson girls were on the show “The Jacksons.” They are all performers. They were all featured and were a talented family that became the first family of music and the first black family to gain stardom and be recognized as artists. That was a huge accomplishement in a racist society. They all deserve to be embraced and admired for their accomplishements. Michael went on to become a star in his own right as has Janet. But they all were and are celebrities. They are the “Jacksons.” They paved the way for all black artists and black stardom in ANY field.

    Celebrities and what they offer to the world are true gifts. They do not have to give us anything. They give a gift generously and from the heart. We do not own any celebrity. The celebrity does not owe us anything nor are they obligated to us in any way. It is precisely because of the media and tabloids in particular who do a great job of creating the illusion of intimacy with the celebrity. We feel we know them, are intimate with them, that we have a say in their lives. That illusion is deliberately created by the media and specifically to play on people’s involvement with the celebrity which is, actually, a fiction. We have no right to demand anything of them, we don’t own them or their careers, and we are not in their lives. We are observers. Michael Spies says this all better than I can:
    I suggest that everyone read his article at Voices Education Project. As editor, I included it because it is so relevant and it is the truth.

    Some fans had opinions about the planned concert. What is not understood is that it takes more than a year to effectively plan a tribute concert like that. It was planned after the trial was scheduled to provide a relief from what promises to be a difficult trial and to give a final word after a difficult experience, and to have that final word be a tribute. It is not the promoter’s fault that the trial was postponed and postponed and that another attempt was just made to postpone once again. And Michael’s children to have a right to decide what they will back and support and what they are not interested in supporting. Two of them are teens and they do have a voice and a choice. And they have an appointed and impartial guardian who looks after their best interests. The Jackson’s are all doing the best they can in very difficult and unimaginable circumstances. They are grieving a loss that is more intimate than any fan.

    Some fans went so far as to contact social services and suggest that the children be removed from their home. That is outrageous. It is a violation of the sanctity of that family and fans have no business intruding in Jackson family private business. How do you think Paris and Prince felt about that? And what opinion would they have formed about their father’s fans? The problem is that not everyone has the vision to fast forward into the future and evaluate the consequences of their actions. They act and then think about it later. And sometimes there is damage and regret. Not everyone is capable of thinking things through. And when fans complain “where are the Jacksons and why are they not speaking out?” they don’t always have all the relevant information and sometimes it is better to remain silent. That is the sole discretion of that family.

    You are right that fans may disagree and there may be criticism and opinion. And they need to keep in mind that they will never be in the inner circle, and they will never have all the information. And some things need to stay private among family members. As I said, the media feeds the illusion of intimacy with celebrities. It is fiction. We (fans or the public) are not intimate with the Jackson family. And that is as it should be. They have given us and the world a great gift, a great contribution in the advancement of humanity, and a more enlightened and tolerant culture. The Jacksons broke barriers that those just entering adulthood will never recognize because those barriers are gone– thanks to that very family. If you want the Jacksons to be alienated from fans, get into their business. They do not have to interact with Michael’s fans at all. They do it out of respect to Michael, his legacy and his love for the fans. It is a gift from them. We would do well to remember that.

    The trial is going to be difficult. We need to come together to support the Jacksons. This will not be easy for them to sit in that courtroom, listen once again to lies, be vilified in the court of pubic opinion once again and to watch their son be crucified yet a third time. They need our support, not our disgust or judgment. Michael would tell you exactly what I just have.

    And he would say… come together. There nothing that can’t be done if we use our vioce as one. And he would say above all… Keep the faith.

    I am currently working on a promotion for Joe Vogel’s book and will have future announcements about it. Books like his and Frank Casio’s as well as Jermaine’s book will help to set the record straight; we should get behind those efforts.

    Posted September 26, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Permalink
  33. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Welcome back and I want you to know that it takes great courage and a big person to admit they were mistaken. You are to be congratulated. Yes, if we are gracious we are more effective. That is not always easy; I often find it difficult especially when faced with the ignorance of people who should know better or in the face of deliberate mischief or when I know there is a mercenary agenda. We are all human. But you are correct– we must try.

    I understand the mistrust of the families involved in scandal when it relates to Michael Jackson. It would be very difficult for Gavin or any of the Arvizos to come forward. Not just because of the fans but because of the special interests of those involved behind the scenes. It could be dangerous to tell the truth; there are those who are invested in not having the truth come out. Do you suppose this family was threatened about what might happen to them should they decide to go pubic with the truth?

    We know why people do the things they do that destroy other people- when in fear or desperation. When there is a lack of self esteem, in one’s ability to create abundance for oneself or to make one’s mark on the world, that comes from a place of fear and the belief “I am not adequate.” Each and every one of us has traveled that road and experienced the bumps along the way and many of us have been rocked by encounters with the potholes.

    If I thought that the fans were sophisticated enough, spiritual enough and generous enough to extend a hand to Gavin Arvizo, that they were capable of understanding, forgiving and even embracing him, and there was a way to protect him from harm, I would be on the phone to him. Maybe someday (or maybe even as we speak) someone somewhere can pick up that phone and make that call. It would be either an act of unparalleled courage to come forward in a case like this involving the most visible and famous man in the world, or… and this is important– an act of the greatest fool who ever lived. I leave you all to think about that.

    Posted September 26, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Permalink
  34. Isabella said . . .

    Dear Barbara, I just began to read Jermain’s book in these days. I’m still at the first chapters that describe their childhood and the first J5 success. It seems to me that Jermain writes with his heart and does not lose occasions to talk about his youger brother in a loving way. He admitted some problems between them in the past but people ‘change’ and time heals things that are only ego-related if the people involved are intelligent enough. I went to the last chapter before starting, and I was touched when he says that after Michael’s death the whole family not only had to cope with their own terrible pain but it was awful also to be judge on ‘how’, ‘how much’, ‘for how long’ they were showing that pain. Dehumanizing… I would say. Jermaine appears to be ambitious of all Michael’s brothers; he is brave enough to speak to the world. Some would say Jermaine did this ‘for money and fame,’ but I say they better read the book before judging.

    Posted September 27, 2011 at 11:15 am | Permalink
  35. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    I am glad to hear you refer to change in relationships once ego is out of the way. It is the personality and ego that gets things tangled up in the trappings of life. Death is a great equillizer. When a loved one dies, life is re-examined, relationships are reviewed, the past goes on trial, remorse surfaces, regret makes an appearance and grief brings one to the knees. The spectre of one’s own mortality rises in consciousness and the heart cracks open and most often softens. Grieving the loss of a loved one is gritty and not simple or easy and there is no perfect formula or prescription about how to do it. Criticizing someone for how they grieve is unfair because grief is an individual visitor.

    Any past problems will resurface and the result of that is always traumatic when examined: “why did I say that?” “I wish I hadn’t said this;” “I wish I had seen him more, hugged him more, listened more, loved him more….” and so on.

    Death and regret changes people. We saw this with Lisa Marie Presley. Yet fans judged her harshly for everything. In a complicated relationship (and hers and Michael’s was that) and especially with famous people (they were) they are forced to live out their life, relationship and problems in public. Diana complained that too many people were in her marriage- her husband, his mistress, the royal family, the press, the world… you get what I am saying. Think about adding hundreds of thousands of fans into that mix. Divorce is difficult and emotions run high; people say things they regret later; people insert themselves where they don’t belong; stories are contrived and it can get ugly. When the ex-spouse dies the surviving ex-spouse goes through yet another loss and grieving process especially when they loved the spouse they left. Lisa Marie left because she had warned Michael about the doctors and sychophants who showed up in his life and she couldn’t stand by and watch Michael in that destructive environment. Michael later confessed to her that she had been right. By that time their relationship had reached the point of no return. Her grief at his death must have been debilitating yet fans were abusive to her and bullied her as she was grieving. That’s not OK. Fans are not there, they are not privy to all the information yet they rush to judgment.

    Jermaine wrote the book for his brother and to let the world know the truth about what kind of man he was. He did not do it for fame or money. He did it for his little brother. And here is my hope for that book (and Joe Vogel’s and the Casio’s): I hope those books are all best sellers. I hope they make millions. And I will not resent for one moment or criticize those people for making money from their books. The process of writing a book is excruciating because the whole experience must be relived; that is not easy and it is emotionally draining. There are regrets and grief and self reproach to navigate for the author.

    If those books become best sellers, it means that there is an interest now in positive information and books about Michael Jackson. We have heard many people say that they had to self publish because no publisher wanted to hear anything positive about Michael. Publishers will only consider publishing the book if it was salacious and dished the dirt. I want to see publishers clamoring for books now about Michael that tell the truth because they are flying off the shelves. By all means, don’t boycott their books- buy them! I will be holding a contest for anyone who buys Joe Vogel’s books during the contest dates, so stay tuned for that.

    We need to support the Jackson family and Jermaine’s book. Michael’s family now has to once again, listen to their loved on crucified live and on air and they now have to re-live the nightmare of Michael’s death with all the questions and even when this is over– they may not get all the answers and Michael will still be gone. It’t gut wrenching.

    Posted September 27, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Permalink
  36. Dear Rev B,
    I have been stressing over this Murray trial because I feel that he may walk and others are thinking the same. I just feel so bad for the children, they have a right to know the truth and Michael deserves justice. Oh, Rev, I’m afraid that he will never have justice. My mother is a Michael fan too she is that reason I knew him and the J5. There are so many things the media are saying that just make me want to scream. It seems like the world is dying much faster than before. I cry because it makes me sick to my stomach the things they say about him; it is childish and stupid. Even in death they want to destroy Michael, but they cannot. The flesh may be here but what can man do to your soul? That belongs to God. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me become a member; I will need you a lot but I also have been leaning on God. God Bless you and you family and every Michael fan in this world for we all are suffering the loss of one that saw the world as we did and did so much for it and still he was hated. God says if the world hates you, it is because you belong to me. Thank you Rev Barbara

    Posted September 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Permalink
  37. Susan Trout said . . .

    Thank you so much, Rev. Barbara , for your reply near the end of your article in which you talk about Lisa Marie Presley. It is a shame and truly tragic that Lisa and Michael were basically “torn apart” by the fame monster that surrounded Michael. She saw it all. Only she and Michael know what they shared together. I cannot help but wonder had Michael listened more to her and less to the money carpet-baggers that “pretended” to care about him, he’d still be here. It is incredibly sad. I find it incredulous that so many people can presume to know how people feel about each other when they DON’T EVEN KNOW THEM! I haven’t yet read LaToya’s and Jermaine’s books. I’m excited about Joes Vogel’s and Frank Casio’s books.

    Why oh why is there so much attacking of the family and people who really knew Michael? I don’t understand and, more important, I don’t approve. If you really love Michael, you’ll respect that parts of his life really were off-limits. How sad that he never, ever experienced the normal, everyday aspects of life that WE all take for granted. Please let’s put aside our egos and opinions and support Michael Jackson and his family. PLEASE!

    Posted September 27, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Permalink
  38. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Hang in there J. I removed some of your comment because it was just too personal to share so publicly. I understand. Keep in mind that as a fan you are part of a larger group and movement to change the world. God bless. ~B

    Posted September 27, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Permalink
  39. gertrude said . . .

    I too madly hope Vogel, Jermaine and Cascio have best sellers and make millions – because if they do it WILL mean that millions are reading Michael positive information. Its a must for them to make a lot of money on these books. If they don’t, there won’t be nearly enough people reading what they really need to about Michael. At my favourite bookstore they had Jermaine’s book hidden on some bottom shelf of a table, so I just respectfully cleared a space on the top of it and placed Jermaine’s book there, where it stood out a mile and looked truly beautiful! It was the most powerful visual there.

    People dismissing Michael positive books because of quite small flaws by comparison to everything great about them – this is what was forever done to MICHAEL!- constantly negating so much that was edifying about him because of a minor number of imperfections, or idiosyncracies. Its a madness. It reminds me of why I left the Catholic Church. No one practiced what they preached. Jesus was utterly ignored and THAT breaks the heart.

    Posted September 29, 2011 at 3:17 am | Permalink
  40. Tania said . . .

    Dear Rev Barbara, I just need to say Thank Youfor this post and your running comments under this article. I want you to know how much I appreciate what you have written and I agree with everything you have said. I truly hope that your words have penetrated some of those hearts and minds at whom they were intended. God Bless you for your passion and commitment in this community. You still continue to be an anchor and a voice of reason and truth despite the storm that typically swirls around us, whether from the media and haters outside, or the fan community inside. You are here for this reason and I thank God for you.

    I may not post very much these days but, please be assured I pray for you constantly and love, support and appreciate ALL that you do both here and for the Words & Violence curriculum. I would not be where I am in this spiritual journey if not for your voice. Love and peace always. Namaste

    Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:04 am | Permalink
  41. Andressa A. said . . .

    I have no words to say how much I agree with you. I see somethings some fan says and can’t believe what I’m seeing, hearing or reading. I found myself wondering if they have thought about what Michael himself would think about their behavior. Of course, I understand their feelings. I also want, sometimes, to scream at those people who lie, tell stupid jokes or offend Michael, but I try to control myself and remember what Michael told us to do. I try to remember and “just beat it”. It’s hard, but I try to.

    We are Michael’s legacy itself. As Michael himself said, we’re just another part of him. Then, we must act like that. We can never forget our true mission! Thank you for the great text. I’ll share it with all the MJ fan I know. Every fan should read this. Thank you very much. Andressa P.S.: Please, excuse my bad English. I’m brazilian.

    Posted October 3, 2011 at 12:28 am | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *