Inner Michael » Defending A King by Dr. Karen Moriarty

Defending A King by Dr. Karen Moriarty

“Dr. Moriarty is the author of a story of textbook bullying. This book should be in every library in every city, in the local high school library and be required reading in every curriculum that addresses bullying across this land. This is a story of widespread persecution of the most prolific genius and artist of the twentieth century who defined multiple generations and started the trend of music as a new humanitarian medium.” ~Rev B. Kaufmann

Book Review: “Defending A King” by Dr. Karen Moriarty

Dr. Moriarty was interviewed at A Place in Your Heart Radio
with Dr. Catherine Gross
Friday March 23 at 6 pm.

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by Dr. Karen Moriarty, Review by Rev. B. Kaufmann

I got a note from Dr. Karen Moriarty that she had written a book about Michael Jackson called “Defending a King” asking me if I would like to review her book at Inner Michael. I had written a review of Joe Vogel’s “Man in the Music” and was in the midst of Jermaine’s book with the Casco book on deck so I told her “yes” but I wasn’t sure when I might get to it. With the transitions in my own life and a potential surgery, I asked that she be patient with me.

I am so in favor of Moriarty’s work that I wanted to post this review and direct you to a show she will be featured on—A Place in Your Heart Radio with Dr. Catherine Gross. I hope you will tune in to hear her in person on Friday, March 23 at 6PM. I know I will.

When I finally got to Dr. Moriarty’s book, the tone was a welcome change from the personal viewpoints of Jermaine and Frank Cascio. This book is without a personal agenda. Karen Is not out to redeem, remember, reform or revise history. She set out to write a book that was a comprehensive look at Michael Jackson that would reveal him and inform his legacy. She has done exactly that.

“Defending a King” is the book I would have written. It is in fact, the book I started writing before I decided to go in a different direction with my understanding of Michael Jackson, his life and work. I know the book is accurate because I went down all the same paths as Dr. Moriarty. I did the same research with the exception of the bodyguards and a few others personally involved with Mr. Jackson. I know she told the truth with this book and I am glad of it.

When I first read in the forward that Dr. Moriarty had identified herself as a fan, I winced. Oh no, not another fan perspective that worships an Idol despite all his complex humanness! Not another biography or collection that takes what other people said about Michael Jackson (who had no connection to Jackson) and squeezes out all the truth and rawness of a complex man and is a sanitized love letter! Besides, a “fan” is so easily and handily discounted by the media and medialoid alike that if I was holding a great book in my hand nobody would ever know about it because it would be dismissed out of hand by a biased media and never taken seriously. The other fear was that the book would yet again diminish the true prolific and significant artist that he was! Or worse yet, not another psychologist “authority” who deconstructs the persona through the tabloid filters and pontificates about who he might have been behind the “wounded and tragic soul he was.” Oh no!

But Karen Moriarty has, as Tom Mesereau said, written the definitive book about Michael Jackson. I was impressed with the breadth of what Moriarty discussed, the depth of insight she brings to the behavioral aspects of a man who so mystified a culture.

While I shuddered about the “fan” distinction because “Michael Jackson fans” have a reputation of their own to live down, Dr. Moriarty seems to have pulled this off—elevating and perhaps even redeeming the distinction of fan while at the same time writing a great work. The “fan” reputation is not a deserved reputation but one deliberately and maliciously constructed and perpetuated by those who cannot afford to have the truth of the Jackson story and their part in it exposed. Nevertheless, it is easy for the media to dismiss someone on the “fan” distinction alone. But Dr. Moriarty stayed within unwritten and unspoken guidelines and boundaries of where a “fan” author can go.

Her title of “doctor” and experience as a licensed psychologist and therapist serves well her authority in deconstructing the life of a man who lived under unusual and unprecedented circumstances. Jackson was ahead of his time and a genius. His genius was not clearly recognized and there are those who marginalized him to “entertainer” when he was so much more than that. Karen introduces us to the master in the craft because she sees the craft as clearly as the man. She takes us into his world and with the eye of a biographer as well as someone who has earned the right to dissect his personality and behavior; she shows us the reason for some decisions and behaviors thought odd when taken out of context.

Had Jackson not been such a cash cow and commodity for those who would and did use him to and for profit, his legacy might have read much differently. Most people are unaware of the story behind the scenes of his life and Karen adeptly takes us there. She doesn’t gush; she doesn’t excuse; she doesn’t dismiss and she doesn’t pull punches and she does all of that with a professionalism that remains intact throughout the book. There is no hidden agenda that overshadows the actual work. Her agenda is made clear to us at the outset—to defend a king because she finds him to be other than the caricature and she is clear and up front about it. She does much to right the portrait so skewed over time by a cascade of opinions based on what was said before by people who were believable and should have been right, but weren’t. They simply repeated what everyone else said, assuming the crowd knew the truth of it and repeated the myth. Remember the “aluminum tubes” of Iraq?

Moriarty fearlessly takes on all aspects of Jackson’s complicated life—his art, his parenting, his finances, his public life, private life, his philanthropy, persona, personality—in fact, there is little that she has left out. And this tale of a man, his life and his legacy has been woven so successfully as to be a flawless matrix of the fabric of his essence and existence here, there and hereafter. I applaud Dr. Moriarty’s book and recommend it without reservation. I hope when this book is purchased, that it is purchased in multiple copies. Every Jackson fan and admirer should purchase: a copy for their personal library, a copy for the local library, and a third copy to loan to both acquaintances and anyone who makes an unkind remark about Jackson. This book can be called the definitive book because it is the book the general public should read. It’s historical.

I agree with Moriarty’s rorschach MJ test: “tell me what you think and feel about Michael Jackson, what you see in him and I can tell you much about yourself.” And that is only the beginning of the “Michaelian mystery.” Dr. Karen is meticulous with her research and accuracy and understands the man behind the myth in a way that few could and would articulate and with the full force of knowledge and training behind her. Her perspective is holistic with laser precision, is descriptive and informative.

She brings us to the man as much as she brings him to us. Her examination is fair, mature, objective and is given in the context in which it occurred or with the context from which it emerged. That alone is delightful. We see Michael through other people who knew him, through the circumstances which defined him and the culture and historical setting that surrounded him.

She boldly and with the requisite authority tells us of the injustices, the assaults, the forays and predation that surrounded Mr. Michael Joe Jackson. This story of Jackson is as much the story of humanity as of a man and Moriarty gives us enough information to draw conclusions about his place and impact on a culture that failed to embrace one of its own shining heroes and worse, iconoclastically set out to destroy him and all things he loved and cherished by attempting to wrench them all away. Moriarty has written a textbook of bullying.

This book should be in every library in every city, in the local high school library and be required reading in every curriculum that addresses bullying across this land. This is a story of widespread persecution of the most prolific genius and artist of the twentieth century who defined multiple generations and started the trend of music as a new humanitarian medium.

She has done Michael Jackson fandom proud. But most of all, she has provided us with this textbook that will take its rightful place among the biographies and works examining this twentieth century enigma who knew he was one and used it as part of the genius he left with his footprint upon this planet. Perhaps one day thanks to Dr. Moriarty, they will see.

I highly suspect that Dr. Moriarty will say that the reason she undertook this monumental task was because it was there before her; it seemed to have her name on it; she had the tools and had developed the skills to do it; and she knew it was hers to do. Am I right, Dr. Moriarty? Those are the best reasons there are. To her I say: “Brava!”


  1. nicole laury said . . .

    I was very interested in reading all what Barbara says about this book of Dr Moriarty’s. It sounds important and seems to be very important. We need such serious books to rehabilitate Michael Jackson who was and still is much much more than a wonderful entertainer. He came to deliver a message to humanity, he did it, and for that he payed a very heavy and hard price. I thank him evrery day for all the incredible love he gave all his life to us and to the planet, and of course to children. It’s time to let know who he was really as a human being and I thank Dr. Moriarty and you Barbara for the huge work, the research and information and for giving this to us. It’s VERY IMPORTANT AND USEFUL FOR THE WORLD. Thank you, Nicole

    Posted March 23, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink
  2. Anne Mette Jepsen said . . .

    Thank you Rev. Kaufmann! I agree with everything you say! This book is a MUST READ! – And thank you Dr. Moriarty!

    Posted March 23, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink
  3. Nan Foster said . . .

    I have this book and it is fantastic….Dr Moriarty has done a wonderful service to Michael Jackson as well as his fans..I agree that many in the media like to portray his supporters as “fanatics” in an effort to marginalize what is being said . Many times fans views are met with a dismissive tone , that they are too emotionally involved to be objective regarding Mr Jackson. Dr Moriarty has done an excellent job getting the information across in a very effective and professional way..This book can not be dismissed! I have book for myself and am getting a book to let others have a look at when the name Michael Jackson comes up in conversation..

    Posted March 23, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Permalink
  4. abigail said . . .

    I loved the A place in your heart raido program, I want to get some copies of the book, where can I buy it?

    Posted March 24, 2012 at 2:03 am | Permalink
  5. Dania. said . . .

    Aw, this is a book I want to have! It seems very honest,interesting and objective! I didn’t know about the existence of this book and that it was recently published!! Thank you Barbara, for passing this “feather” in the Talking Circle… I bow to you, namasté. P.S. may your day color be yellow and your walk light, without the tightened exoskeleton:) still sending lots and lots of healing vibes.

    Posted March 24, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink
  6. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Abigail, I added the link so you can now find Dr. M’s website and purchase the book. ~B

    Posted March 24, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Permalink
  7. victoria drumbakis said . . .


    I have read each of the books that you have recommended and will certainly read this one. It sounds like Dr. Moriarity has finally written the definitive work that we have been waiting for, the true recount of the life of the greatest genius entertainer avatar ever to walk the planet. Bravo and thank you Barbara for your guidance, advice and leadership.

    Posted March 25, 2012 at 4:23 am | Permalink
  8. Charmaine said . . .

    I am currently reading the Ebook of Defending a King. There are some parts of the book that I already knew about. But her prospective of the bodyguards view of Michael Jackson is eye opening. This book makes you see Michael as the entertainer, the singer, the dancer, the man, the father, the brother, the son, and the person within. Even though there are some parts that I knew about, reading them through Karen’s words is spectacular. I truly love the way she writes. Way to go, Karen. And thank you for Defending Michael Jackson.

    Posted March 25, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink
  9. vero said . . .

    Yes, it is an excellent book with a lot of material about MJ’s life and philanthropy. She really presents it in such a way that a person who has swallowed media fabrications can learn the truth and have their eyes opened to the real person MJ was. She also goes into a lot of detail about the Conrad Murray trial. One thing that surprised me was that T. Mesereau, whom she interviewed, said that MJ did not want to leave Neverland after the 05 trial verdicts–but Mesereau convinced him he should leave b/c he was concerned that the police would keep hounding MJ looking for a way to go after him again. She also writes that MJ planned a party a few months or so after the trial to kind of celebrate the verdict and few people came even tho’ 350 were invited. Lots of info–it is a long 500 page book. She did a great job of dealing with an enormous amount of info, especially about the last years.

    Posted March 28, 2012 at 6:27 am | Permalink
  10. Nicole Laury said . . .

    How can I buy this book please ?
    Thank you

    Posted March 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink
  11. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Look here:

    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:08 am | Permalink
  12. Terry Boerrcher said . . .

    I have read a lot of books about MJ. This one was amazing. I wish that I could strap every small minded tabloid junkie to a chair, put a set of headphones on them and force feed an audio format of this book to their tiny brains. Then let them go in peace (of course) to meditate and ponder their previous idiocities.

    Posted November 26, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink
  13. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Good plan. The reason the tabloids were so successful is that we are so gullible. Yes, they lied, people! They lied, made up stories and dismembered real human beings publicly all to sell their newspapers and magazines. They only feed on and feed the human shadow. They are NOT about humanity’s brilliance. Do you think a daily diet of human shadow is healthy? We are conditioned to cynically expect the worst from humans. Cynicism serves to divide, not unite, human beings. The damage these things did to humanity is immeasurable.

    You might want to check out what really happened…


    Posted November 26, 2015 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

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