Inner Michael » The Jackson “Family Feud:” made for TV media

The Jackson “Family Feud:” made for TV media

How coincidental that as we discuss the media and how it distorts information toward a particular slant that will bring attention and profits, that the “Jackson family feud” and “Katherine Jackson is missing” currently occupies the media. Now they are reporting she is “found.”

Some have weighed in and I too was asked “what do you make of it?” What I think is that I will reserve judgment. I worry for this family and for his children for lots of reasons but not because of the drama unfolding now in the media.

Here is what I do think: The Jackson family has been mortified, vilified, humiliated, blamed, threatened, and held hostage by those who would use the name and fame for profit or more nefarious purposes. The are the Black “first family” of music. While their fame looks from the outside like a blessing, there are many times it has been hardly that and actually quite the opposite. All the Jacksons have been subjected to the same ridicule as their superstar brother.

They have been presented in the media as messy, greedy, irrelevant and crazy. It might be well advised to look at the racial motivations through the years that criticized this family over and over and labored to bring down with sensation, lies and innuendo, their more famous brother. One way to undermine people while hiding your own dark agenda is to discredit them. One way to distract and buy silence is to hamstring them with strategic attack weapons that effectively take the legs out of what they are saying. The weapons? Words. Is there a conspiracy? Sure there is. Is it conscious? Deliberate? Premeditated? Yes and no. Keep in mind racism is not dead in this country! For example, someone just today, asked me a legitimate question: “Would anyone even be professing an interest in the kids’ welfare if they were obviously black?” In fact, would people be so interested in Michael Jackson’s children if their mother was black? If Michael hadn’t had Vitiligo and begun turning white? What was all that frenzy and hype about paternity? You don’t know?  All his life, it was about what color was his skin? Was he bleaching it? Why was he becoming lighter? Then it was about his children who looked anglo– were they his? Who is their mother? All the words that flew around about conception, ethnicity, origins, conception, fertilization, heritage, fathering, paternity, genes. The spoken question was were they his kids and did he father them? The unspoken question: what is a black man doing with white childrenWe are talking about skin color here. That is racist.

The Jacksons have been called out for just about everything. Too greedy, too driven, too black, too white, too famous, too dramatic, too irrelevant, too flakey, too indifferent, too savvy, too stupid, too timid, too money hungry, too ambitious, too exploitive of their own, too outspoken, too demanding of one member, too visible, too jealous, too quiet, too… too… Jackson.

In fact, all you have to be is a Jackson and you can’t do anything right. I think for Michael’s children, given their exposure now, and the media’s interest, it is only a matter of time. “Jacksons” have been used, abused, called names, bulied, and had their lives threatened. It’s wise to remember how and why this all started happening to them– they were given talent by the Divine. Is that some kind of crime that is punishable by the prison of misery?

I don’t think they have always been right or above reproach but I think it was hard to be a Jackson, a person with talent in a world that believed in the racial inferiority of black people. I think now it’s hard to be a Jackson in a world become so indifferent and cynical.

Their whole lives each one of them has had to: look over his or her shoulder, hold off unreasonable attention, ward off or fight extortion in threats, money deals and frivilous law suits. They have had to deal with death threats to themselves or other family members, navigate betrayal at the hands of others once trusted, have their talent judged and criticized, be misunderstood or misjudged, and be abused in some fashion or another by a culture that never fully accepted or appreciated them nor the sacrifices that are made to be public figures subjected to scrutiny, slander, libel, threats, greed, sycophants of every kind, liars, pretenders, sadists, criminals, usury, slavery, and vicious envy.

And big money brings out the killers. Those who kill reputations, careers, hope and yes… sometimes life. Whenever big money is introduced into the mix, anything can happen including the unthinkable. How many people tried to take advantage? How many people grabbed for their piece of the pie? How many people succumbed to the tempatation of deep pockets or easy money? People tend to forget that this life on this little planet is an accident. It is temporary and no matter what opulence treachery may buy those who would use cunning to advance their own dark interests, their soul is sacrificed and the soul is the part of them that is immortal.

It seems they forget life is temporary and money does not pass through the life/death barrier. The currency of the afterlife isn’t green. The currency of the soul is not green.  Some will have a deathbed moment when they review their life and evaluate their time on the planet. Will there be integrity at the end? For some, there will be regret and shame. Death will come. It always comes. That is a certainty. But another kind of death can come before the body quits. Regret is one of those little deaths. And shame, acknowledged or not, lives with you and in you. The mini deaths that come to the soul at the expense of integrity add up and inhabit the being in ways that are unimagined, unimaginable and invisible– for now. “Internity” and eternity keep score.

There is a price to pay for treachery and although it sometimes appears as if some are rewarded for it with material wealth, the soul knows. It always knows truth. The soul remembers. The body and its functions, the life path, are directed by the soul. If there is corruption in the soul…

And people don’t seem to think about or take responsibility for their own actions. They blame, project, incorporate, obfuscate and agitate. Or they listen to the ego which says… “I can’t be enough if I live in integrity.” So, because they don’t believe in themselves or in their divine birthright and claim their inherent brilliance, they scheme to get something they percieve is lacking. Or they take it from someone else. They live in a place of lack and scarcity and fear that there isn’t enough or that they don’t have the god-given right or ability to shine in their own respect, to star in their own lives. To be their own celebrity. Instead of a place of admiration, respect and love, they live from a place of lack, regret and fear. So they connive to break free from their self-imposed prison. How do you escape from self? How do you escape that internal darkness?

What a horrible price to pay for a bit of material comfort in a temporary world, a temporary life that in the end, will be extinguished. What will remain after they are gone will be only the legacy they left behind by what they set in motion in the world. Did their having lived make the world a better place? Or did they harm it? They don’t seem to understand there is an awful price for treachery or the lack of integrity. Everybody pays the cost of their choice. It costs them, those around them and it costs the world.

For example, in the case of Michael, the real cost of the false accusations fell on the children who didn’t benefit from his work because he was derailed. A empathic humanitarian, he used his stardom to breed self esteem to sick and forgotten children simply by being in their presence. It cost children his generosity, humanitarianism and philanthropy. It was too great a price. Michael advoacated and role modeled it takes a village and every child in this world is the responsibility of every adult on the planet, and of all humanity. Because people were groomed by a vicious media to not take him seriously, how many children did not receive his gifts? Is that even calculable?

I lost, you lost; we all lost and the world lost something we can’t even calculate. Being cynical and calculating in this world rather than loving… costs. Do you think God forgets who did what to deprive his children? When the Creator sends someone with the power to make a difference in the lives of children on this planet be they little ones or adults and that is interefered with, what kind of price does that exact on those souls doing the dark deeds?

Do you think God or the Divine Source, keeps track of that cost to humanity? When God’s plan of evolving humanity, of saving the children or the planet is interfered with by a self centered and sick soul, what do you suppose happens to that soul? Scriptures and holy manuscripts spell it out pretty well. We’ve all been warned. In many scriptures in many traditions in many languages. We have been given roadmaps. We have been given instruction about how to enter the kingdom.

There are those souls born into the world who have huge empathy for humanity, who have expanded hearts and who psychically and psychologically adopt the planet and all its’ children– adult and wee ones alike. Michael, one of those expanded souls, had paternal and maternal tendencies and at a very young age, and had psychically and with his heart, adopted the world. He said clearly “We Are the World.” And eventually, a cynical world ridiculed him for it. Will those who interfered with the divine mandate it appears he was given– to heal the world and save the children– be forgotten? Forgiven? What about those who used the media to perpetuate a meme that interfered with the holy directive? Will they be released from responsibility?

Michael Jackson and the Jackson family has been through more heartache than most in this lifetime. They brought us beauty and message through the art of music. They gave the gift they were given by paying it forward. Yes, they’ve had “privilege.” They earned that. At what cost? The cost of privacy, normalcy, being treated with decency and respect, and the fickleness of a public that can turn on them in a hearbeat depending on the mood. Instead of being appreciated for their god-given gifts, and what they joyfully and unconditionally gave to the world, they have had to endure a life with very little authentic appreciation. A lot of it has been conditional. I will love you but only if you keep pleasing me.

Did they intend to give us their whole lives including the private parts, including their family intimacies, along with their music and artistry? Are we entitled? It is the media that demonstrates and perpetuates that illusion.

So, what is the truth about this Jackson family feud? The truth is that we don’t know. There are lots of looming question marks and lots of factors including Michael’s own children and their fierce life philosophy and belief in self, taught by a loving father and their passage through the darkest hour of their lives. That leaves an indelible mark on a life. For two of them, there is the emergence into the teenage years and the turmoil it brings and all of that in a very visible and public way because of the media and social media.

When in the end, one of the Jacksons or someone else suddenly comes out with the “truth,” you will not get truth. The truth is… they can’t afford to tell the truth. They are simply too vulnerable to a world become so cynical that it swallows people to feed a machine with far too much power and far too little responsibility or compassion.

The Jacksons including Michael have tried the truth, and the world has disbelieved, laughed at or exploited them for it. So as a family, in order to protect themselves, they must have spokespersons speak for them, or keep silent, or call a press conference or give a cover story to protect their privacy and their members. And no matter what they say, they will be misquoted, ridiculed, vilified, judged, misunderstood, analysed and scrutinized. They won’t win because it’s not possible to win. They are Jacksons.

And all of this will happen as Michael’s own children grow up in the spotlight of a world that will not be any kinder or forgiving to them than it was to their father unless it “makes that change.” So, we simply don’t know all the facts. We don’t know what is going on behind the scenes. There have been times that Jackson family members have been coerced or influenced to speak out against others in the clan under threat of exposure or harm. They have never been accorded the privacy or space they deserve. The clamoring public prevented that and its the same clamoring public that the media panders to. (That woudl be us.) We don’t know their reasons; we don’t know their daily private lives or their pain. We don’t know their business dealings, relationships, and we certainly do not know their discoveries or their thoughts. We don’t know their intentions or what they have learned or concluded since Michael’s death as they struggle with the reminders and reality of it.

We see what has happened since Michael’s death from the outside. We can applaud the estate for its management of his legacy– financially, virtually, aesthetically and its vision for his legacy historically. We can appreciate the management of a legacy. We can also be sad because it’s not simple or smooth and it can get ugly. It’s simply more of the same in a world that is stubbornly more of the same. A world drowning in cynicism.

 The media has supported and contributed to a culture where celebrity is “other.” A celebrity is someone “other,” someone separated or apart from the average person and apart from the crowd. They have abetted a culture that even cynically demands that, because they are celebrities, they are expected to endure all that comes at them without complaint. The culture even demands that someone other than the celebrity himself or herself look out for his or her best interests. And the culture of celebrity because of its perceived value makes all manner of treachery attractive and possible to those so inclined. In this case, we hold hope that all involved have their hearts invested because Michael would want it so. Managing by heart, please.

The media, with its comverage (a Freudian typo I will not edit out) of celebrities, creates the deliberate and false impression that we know them personally. We don’t. It has encouraged a culture where the public has a right to demand private information from celebrities and the public has bought into that manufactured philosophy that is designed to perpetuate itself and its’ profits by continuing to feed the “inquiring minds that want to know” and keep them full, fat and satiated. Now who’s the captured prisoner?

The media arrogance and desperation to keep it going, compete for viewers and readers, and keep the profits coming has stooped to stealing information, leaking priviliged information, rummaging through celebrities’ garbage, buying favors from or extorting those who are close to celebrities, paying for made-up salacious stories from staff lured by big payments, opening and exploiting private and supposedly protected medical records, hacking phones, recording conversations, installing secret two way mirrors, invading privacy and courtrooms and places where those seek shelter in thei grief and mourning. So nothing is sacred– not even that information either shared or withheld, that would protect the young, the old and the vulnerable.

The question we should be asking is: Is that who we really want to be? Is that the kind of world we want? We are creating it right now! (Every day you create your history, leave your legacy.)

In the end, we have have only our word. Our WORD. We only have their word. In a less cynical world that would be enough. So, we are guilty be association because we are part of that cynical world until we demand a world that is more kind, more generous, more forgiving and more loving. Until we put into practice those very things.

We can never have the whole picture. So we must always go forward or express an opinion with incomplete information. Incomplete always. If we judge anybody or make conclusions prematurely we are going to be wrong. It is obvious that something is going on in the Jackson family. We are not in that family circle. We are not privy to all the information. We can reach conclusions about what we have seen in the past from everyone in the scenario but we can never have the whole picture. And people change. Yes, they change when money enters the picture but they change drastically with a major life event. Like say… a death. We can hope that everyone in the scenario has everyone’s best interest at heart. But we simply are not in the know or the known.

What we do know for sure, is that whatever is reported is going to come through filters- of self preservation, protection, concern, opinion, as well as a media filter that dramatizes and sensationalizes to get attention and abbreviates for a populus with short attention span. Even when the truth played out right under the noses of the media at Michael’s trial in 2005, the media ignored and never reported the truth because it wasn’t convenient.

So, what is the truth? The truth in this family thing or estate thing or whatever it is, is going to be inconvenient for someone or more than one someones. What is reported by any media is not going to be reliable because the truth for the media would be inconvenient. When it comes to the Jackson family, there is always some distortion of the truth. The media distorts, the representatives distort, those who stand to gain financially distort and the Jacksons distort because like all public figures, politicians or celebrities, they have to be concerned with image. There is always someone on standby wanting to profit from destroying an image.

Everyone in the picture in this kind of scenario will adamantly believe they are doing the right thing. Except for those who secretly know they are not doing the right thing. We can’t know what is in their minds. We can try to feel their hearts because that information is the most accurate. By studying someone and watching for consistent behavior, we can begin to know what’s in their heart. That takes time. We can look for altruism. We can watch their eyes and we can assess how we feel in their presence. But we can’t be absolutely sure and we certainly can’t know what is in the mind of someone not here to speak for themselves.

We can remember that people unintentionally make mistakes and people deliberately conceal for their own reasons, not for our reasons. We can’t know what is overlooked, what is obvious, what is in need of repair or what is said or heard with the lights out. We can’t know intentions unless people can tell us what their intentions and can do that without fear of reprisal or ridicule. That would be possible without judgment. Even that assumes that people know and understand their own motivations that ignite their intentions. That also assumes that what appears to be real is real. Or that people don’t lie or manipulate of have hidden agenda.

We’d like to  believe that this is the kind of world that Michael dreamed of where everybody is telling the truth and that the impetus for action is informed by altruism. Perception is personal. It’s subjective. Everybody’s truth of the same situation can be very different. We can hope that no one is harmed. We can pray for all involved visualizing the best outcome. However, the soul’s desired outcome is often not the ego’s– yours, mine, theirs or ours collectively. The soul serves something else altogether.

An additional truth is that human nature is imperfect and unevolved as yet to true unselfish altruism and full enlightenment. Yet another truth is that somebody, somewhere at some time is going to have to do damage control; or reclaim integrity. Or dignity.

And the biggest truth of all? Those who are guilty of something will never admit it nor will they apologize. They will scramble and scratch and use everything they can to avoid being exposed because they must run from themselves and because, unwilling to listen or understand, we who are perfect and who know everything would steadfastly never forgive them.

This is the world we have built.



  1. Nina said . . .

    Hi Barbara.
    Here’s what I wrote on another site, in response to Thomas Mesereau’s statement today on TV:

    “All happy families resemble one another; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
    —-Leo Tolstoy, “Anna Karenina”

    Mesereau says: (2:50)
    “So maybe [Katherine] was tired, maybe she was weary, maybe she had a medical issue. I just don’t know. I just know that this is just not the kind of family that does the kinds of things that are being reported. Now, every large family has differences. Any large familiy is going to have differences of opinion, there are going to be some conflicts here and there. To think there wouldn’t be, would be unrealistic….”
    I have to say, following Mesereau, that I’m deeply suspicious of the kind of “dysfunctional-meshuge-family” trope that’s been was going around about the Jacksons. Fans themselves hastily jump on this bandwagon, and quickly label “good” and “evil” factions within the family group. The “crazy family” idea is itself the stuff of picaresque novels, and many great moves have been based on them (the “Forsyte Saga” is one example that comes to mind, but there are hundreds of others). The story itself is tremendously appealing (even addictively so) in its most basic form, no matter what details and embellishments are applied each time the tale is told. The basic elements remain the same: the tragic family with its black sheep; a troubled genius, a righteous sibling who makes a clean break with all the venal and jealous conniving going on around him/her; the True and Rightful heirs to the family fortune; the children, caught in the crossfire, one of whom manages to acquire the best traits of the illustrious parent; even the family curse, etc.

    It’s called Melodrama. These tropes that “undergird” (ha! how’s that for an academic word!) the way the story is reported, often make their way onto prime-time talk TV. They were implicit, for example, in the line of questioning that Piers Morgan at one time took during his interview with Tito, Jermaine, Jackie, and Marlon, when the brothers were making the rounds for their Unity Tour.

    Morgan kept saying things like, “Wow, you guys are so well-adjusted! Not at all dysfunctional like I might’ve expected you to be!” (Well, I’m paraphrasing here, and maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration,—-but it was implicit in Morgan’s tone, as I heard it.)

    You can look it up here:

    Family feuds like this one go on ALL the time. For years, one friend of mine has been involved in a pitched battle with her siblings over some inherited property. But a family like the Jacksons must play out their battles in the public arena. After all, consumers of media have to be better informed (haven’t they? blow-by-blow coverage, if you please!) about the pathologies of the entire Jackson family—-with Michael still playing out his historic role as lead singer, like the Greek choruses of old.

    In a way, then, the manner in which the “michigoss” has been reported invokes the reflected, toxic glow of Michael’s own purported “madness.”

    The continual monitoring (before I used the word “surveillance”) of the events and every player in it becomes a blood sport all over again. The reportage encourages the same kind of behavior from the public (“fan” “hater,” or bystander, it hardly matters which): the insatiable voyeurism, the endless speculation, the playing out of every conceivable scenario, that occurred during the 2005 trial when the object of the prurient gaze of the press was exclusively Michael, and all eyes pulsated in the glow of the TV.

    Posted July 26, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink
  2. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Thanks Nina for your cogent and thoughtful comment. The movie that comes to mind for me that illustrates dysfunctional family is “Legends of the Fall.”

    The tabloid and mainstream tabloidesque media is eating this up. The tabloid game is to find a brewing scandal and keep it going pulling everyone in and perpetuating it as long as possible in order to milk profits from it. How? Screaming headlines, “insider” comments and interviews, clever hosts on talk shows who are adept at setting up the guest (as you pointed out,) talking heads and pundits who give “opinion,” psychologists who weigh in on mental health and the long term effects, soothsayers who predict the future, family fringe elements willing to talk for the exposure and air time, and when all of that is exhausted, begin paying people in close proximity to the family for their fictionalized “tell all” stories. And very soon the self proclaimed “Michael Jackson experts” will show up too– the ones who never met him but used him to advance their own careers.

    Meanwhile “my sources” or “sources close to the Jackson family” will “tell us” all kinds of things. A disagreement will become a fist fight and an ambiguous comment will be twisted to make members of the family look twisted. And yes, this all serves to continue the “MJ madness” meme.

    The media will play the game called “UPROAR” by baiting everyone in the scenario including fans. “Uproar” is fueled by pandering to peoples’ emotions and protective impulses. This is to insure that everybody gets used to the game so it perpetuates the uproar and continues the story for as long as possible in order to rake in ratings and cash.

    When the media is invited by implied consent when someone goes public, they (media) will not forget the implicit “invitation” (something willingly revealed to media) into the private lives of their targets. They stand to make money and that trumps any decency. It doesn’t matter if the implied invitation was inadvertent or came from naiveté or inexperience. They will demand and exact their pound of flesh.

    The Jackson kids are news and the media, somewhat respectful until now will throw off all restraints. There are now profits and more profits to be made! There will be no claiming future “I want my privacy” as Michael tried to do because the gate has been opened albeit inadvertently. Now everybody is fair game. And the public who may have been sympathetic to grief before will now, or soon, adopt the “you’re a celebrity- you have no human rights” position.

    Perhaps some more seasoned Jackson family members were trying to intervene to prevent exactly this scenario or at least hold if off. Too late! There is money to be made from this story!

    The tabloid game is to sniff scandal in the air, escalate it, capitalize on all the information by involving everybody who is willing to talk, and when they are all used up (yes, USED UP) manufacture headlines and information to keep it going. When that resource is exhausted, it will be time to hold out huge sums of cash to people around the family including those on the farthest reaches of the fringes in the Jackson family orbit. With increasingly larger sums of money, the fringe “insiders’” stories will get more and more “bizarre” (one of those buzz words designed to get attention—I’ve already heard it several times this week.)

    The tabloids and tabloidesque have it down to a science: sniff the scandal, milk it, create more, play uproar, pull everybody in—and keep it going for as long as the viewers, readers and cash rolls in. And the end game it to take the celebrity down because people do not understand their own projections and the ego’s shadow so the unwitting majority secretly or not, delight in the “tragic trajectory of the hero archetype and his (or her) eventual downfall (“swift and sudden fall from grace.”) Then the “washed up,” irrelevant or “aging rocker “pathetic meme begins. What a tragic life! What a waste! And many caught unawares and without the savvy to see through the game fall victim to it.

    In this particular story there are young people involved. The teen years bring hormones, emotional turmoil, rebellion, existential crises about identity, self worth and self esteem, flirting with the adult world that is unavoidable and pulling one into its cynical grasp and the loss of innocence that comes with it. The Jackson kids have the additional burden of their grief, a famous father both beloved and reviled, his legacy, huge shoes to fill and implied vindication through them. And all that in a fishbowl with the world watching on.

    And now there are outsiders and strangers who have insinuated themselves into the fray of a family trying to live and raise normal children in an anything but (for them) normal world. They are a family reeling from loss, grief, suspicion, trying to make sense of their feelings and the loss, their own history and regrets, shaken psyches and all that in a world that will not cut them any slack. And they have an eighty something mother who is caring for teenagers raised to be fiercely independent and to believe in themselves. A mother apparently exhausted from it all.

    It’s another perfect storm and a serious cause for caution and begs the question that nobody wants to hear: “do you really want to get in the middle of this?” And “who is to blame if this doesn’t go well—will you take responsibility for your part in it?”

    What sadly comes to mind here is Lady Diana and how she spoke of her failed marriage as having too many people in it: Charles, Camilla, the Queen Mother, the royal family, the media, the tabloids, the public, fans, and the world. Diana tried to play the media game by exchanging some information for an agreement to leave her very private life alone. But when money and profits enter the picture, all bets are off.

    Diana was hunted, hounded, vilified, humiliated, extorted, shamed, crucified, and publicly used and abused by interviewers and the press—for profit and entertainment. Sound familiar? Who do you suppose THEY have set their sights on now? And who is their consumer?

    We all know the Michael thing went. And we all know how well the Diana thing turned out.

    Posted July 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink
  3. gertrude said . . .

    Truly until we know ourselves, we know nothing about anyone else, and until we know our own selves we will continue to be manipulated by media gone mad et al, into passing judgement on those we can’t possibly know, primarily – even – BECAUSE we don’t know our own selves. And we SO don’t know ourselves. At least that’s how this current unreality is striking me, thanks to the prompting of yours Rev. B, T-Mez’s and Nina’s thought-filled words here. Inner Michael is always a haven of sanity.

    My God, the media has really got our number. Even when I have utter distrust of the media CARVED into my grey matter, and am conscious that I’m hearing or seeing nothing real from them, I can still feel things like fear created in me by what they throw out. Shame on ME.

    Why are we SO afraid of ourselves, so afraid that innocent lives are continually lost because of it? In Nelson Mandela’s inaugural speech he quoted a poet whose name escapes me, but she said it is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. Is that because in this realm of existence shining our light can become our death sentence? Seriously?

    Posted July 27, 2012 at 4:04 am | Permalink
  4. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    G, I believe you may be referring to Marianne Williamson’s quote on our deepest fear:

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

    Keep in mind that to be aware and ignite the observer consciousness and the ability to observe oneself is to begin awakening. To observe the media, the language it uses, how it panders to emotion, and to be aloof enough to witness but not engage, is to be aware of how it manipulates for influence. Then to engage critical thinking skills is to further question: What are the sources? Are they credible? Does this reporter, venue, network, etc. have credibility? To write or broadcast with tabloid or tabloid-infected style and disseminate propaganda is an art and artform. Learning the elements of that art makes one aware of the attempt to manipulate. At Voices Education Project in our “Words and Violence” Program, some of those tactics are revealed in the “In Depth Article” section. Debra Schaffer from University of Montana has written about “The Language of Tabloid Journalism” and specifically for Voices: “The Language of Prejudice.” My own research and resulting articles in that section further highlight the tactics journalists use and in particular Diana’s relationship with the media and their responsibility in her death. The section has 6 parts (listed) and begins here:

    The media, as you say, has got our number because they study us, collect data, and use think tank speculation when creating content. If you want to study the art of language to pull in viewers and hook them emotionally, HLN provides the best example of tabloid tactics that are so subtle as to be barely noticeable. (I am not advocating for HLN-loyal viewers but a short visit will open the eyes wide.) Yes, the media has it down to a science. The biology of it involves appealing to the reptilian brain and is calculated to provide adrenalin rushes and the stimulation of brain chemicals that produce pleasure. It’s seductive and deliberately designed to be seductive. Some people thrive on drama because of the brain chemicals it produces. It’s an addiction and they are junkies (by default and conditioning) and the media programming (think HLN) gives them their happy drug over and over…

    Some are drawn into the current Jackson family drama because the Jackson’s can carry their shadow for them and others are getting a high from it and are unaware of their own manipulation by the media. Once hooked it is hard to give up the stimulation drama brings. Add the illusion of closeness or relationship that tabloid media fosters, the immediacy of social media, heightened emotions with drama, and you have hysteria. That is what is going on right now. An hysteria storm. Fans are drawn in and the media profits. Is that helpful in the long run? Think about what Diana said about the crowd in her marriage. The Jacksons now have a crowd of millions in their family business.

    And, yes, shadow can kill. You’ve heard of the seven deadly sins? It all comes from ego and the construct called the “ego’s ideal.” We need to do our shadow work which is to identify the triggers in self and be honest about one’s own shadow. The ego is an illusion that we constructed in our minds and shadow is the part of that which we can’t bear to acknowledge because we judge it. Because we can’t bear to acknowledge it in ourselves, we attribute it to someone else by projecting it onto them. The result is condemnation, jealousy, envy, greed, lusting after, coveting… those feelings and behaviors that we don’t want to admit to ourselves because they don’t fit the picture of ourselves we’d like to think we are. So along comes someone “out there” in the world who looks like a perfect fit for our shadow. Or a bunch of someones (a tribe or culture or nation) we can condemn and then eradicate with war.

    Because our culture values competition instead of cooperation, we have a tendency to compare self to others. When someone shines their light too brightly we can feel shame. Shame is a very low vibration and it’s uncomfortable for humans to live in. To absolve our own feelings of inadequacy and impotence (by comparison) we either want to take down the light or we delight when someone else does. (Think Michael Jackson here.)

    This will all change when we learn to have compassion for our wounded shadow (and everyone else’s) and we see that we favor cooperation over competition. When we figure out that we are all part of the same interconnected web of life, that we are all relatives (family) that suffering is common, and that we are all brothers and together can alleviate much suffering in the world.

    Can you feel it?

    Posted July 27, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink
  5. jadz szuster said . . .

    All I can say is HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF where will it all end? Michaels Children don’t need this. Michael protected them from all this.

    Posted July 27, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink
  6. Nina said . . .

    In the spirit of what we’re talking about here, I can only say this: maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to condemn. And this INCLUDE the media itself, as they are a part of us, and we a part of them.

    On another site where I participate, many people write (correctly, I think) that we have to “consider the source” when we evaluate anything that comes to us from the news media. I’ve found that a lot of fans are given to drawing conclusions somewhat hastily, declaring a particular “truth” from the vantage point where they alone sit. (It’s like Plato’s Allegory of the Cave all over again).

    WhileI think it’s impossible to eliminate bias and achieve “objectivity” about anything, I suggested that some kind of self awareness can at least help us to *locate* our own biases, which could lead us, at least, to different ways to reconfigure our relationship with ourselves and other people.

    “….’ Considering the source” is absolutely essential. It ALSO aisn’t even the half of it. We’re presented with another, equally necessary challenge when we try to CONSIDER THE RECEIVER— that is, ourselves, each of us, as we take a look at ourselves in that (virtual, imaginary) mirror that we carry around in our heads all the time. I think it behooves us to think about who we are and where we are coming from as we form a dynamic part of an ever-changing space, hanging out somewhere, with others.”

    Posted July 27, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Permalink
  7. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Thanks for your participation, N, but I respectfully disagree with your first comment. After doing much extensive research for Voices Education Project on the tabloid media and how it operates, I can tell you it’s one of the darkest places I have ever been and that is saying a lot for someone who worked to decommission weapons of mass destruction and who has visited weapons storage sites, missile silos and places I can’t reveal. Rupert Murdoch deliberately bought up media real estate and targeted in particular Michael Jackson and Madonna as well as the British royal family for the purposes of gaining market share and the youth demographic. He deliberately brought his brand of destructive journalism to the public to spread the collective human shadow and make billions in profit from it. Not to be left behind in the competiion, the mainstream media began using the same tactics around the time of the Bill Clinton scandal and is now infected with the same shadow solicitation. The tactics are studied and practiced and only to rake in money, not to uplift humanity. The media does a lot to destroy and prevent maintaining a humane narrative on this planet. The media is the biggest and most powerful bully on the block today and it is the biggest influence on youth.

    How does that serve the public interest? How does it serve humanity?

    We do nothing to change the world for the better when we join in a conspiracy of silence in the face of indignity and treachery and particularly when that treachery is in service to degrading humanity for profit. It is the conspiracy of silence that allows violations to continue: civil rights violations, slavery, domestic violence, violence against women (think media) and the deliberate degradation of a population. Only when we rise up in non-violent action through protest and request or demand change, do we eradicate social injustice and human rights violations.

    Certainly we must consider the source and use our skills of critical thinking but to remain complicit invites the perpetuation of the bullying. It is so insidious now as to be nearly invisible. It was silence and desensitization that led us here. Those who were silent when Michael Jackson was being dismembered the the press felt helpless then against a powerful machine and they regret their silence. Those who were silent about the media’s treatment and their involvement in the death of Diana are now regretful.

    The killing of real people’s careers, reputations, art, future projects, humanitarian pursuits because they are humiliated, excoriated, vilified, made irrelevant, libeled, and effectively hamstrung has to stop. It is a killing field. It results in the deaths of real people. It will stop by enough of the majority calling “foul.”

    Silence, acceptance and complicity in the face of nuclear weapons did not work for me. Nor in the face of chemical weapons. Silence and complicity in the face of violence against women, racism and prejudices did not work for me. When the media harms real people when it behaves irresponsibly and is out-of-control, I will not be silent nor complicit. I will continue to work toward changing something I know is a dangerous weapon, harmful to humans and undermines individual and collective humanity.

    The mirror will always be with us. Someday we will be more educated about the mirror. (Yes, it is important to see the mirror in self and the mirror in the world and learn how those reflections and refractions work.) The world and reality is a mirror that reflects back to us who we are being. If you don’t like what you see, it’s important to change it while at the same time striving to “be the change.”

    Posted July 28, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink
  8. Nina said . . .

    Yes, Barbara. I agree with nearly all of what you say here.

    I simply suggest that when we say “the media,” we should attempt to be a bit more specific about “which” media we’re talking about. At the same time, I don’t believe we can effectively talk about the media, and its deleterious effects, without considering a vital aspect of what makes the media work, and without which it would cease to exist: the audience.

    The audience, the consumer, the buyer, the viewer, the watcher…. all those hungry eyes and ears…. who are they (us), and what role do they (we) play in the perpetuation of this industry?

    At the risk of using an extreme, and perhaps inappropriate, analogy: I don’t know why people like Hitler exist—not in the most basic sense. Why do such people come into being, how were they brought up, what social and psychological elements contributed to making someone like Adolph Hitler who he was? What was the source of his pathology?

    We could ask these questions, and they are worth asking. But a more urgent question, to me, is: why was he elected chancellor, and leader, of an entire nation in 1933, by a popular majority?

    Posted July 29, 2012 at 12:29 am | Permalink
  9. gertrude said . . .

    I would go a bit further and say that current media is also the coliseum offering us ever new victims to be thrown to the lions – Michael, Diana, Tiger, Clinton, Travolta etc – as a means of distracting us from who we should really be throwing to the lions – namely the 4 or 5 mega-corporations who own and control at least 80% of the media including that on the internet. These are the forces who have pushed us precisely to the brink of extinction for example, with their profit-at-any-cost directive – the extinction of our species as well as almost all others with the unfettered and continued annihilation of the ecosystem they rigorously pursue for money and power. A mindless, soulless, dark and de-humaned place indeed. Who would have thought the real threat to all life on the planet was The Corporation, rather than the nuclear bomb? And The Corporation’s mind-control is The Media.
    genius. unfortunately.

    Posted July 29, 2012 at 4:22 am | Permalink
  10. Vero said . . .

    “I will not be silent or complicit.” Yes, I agree so much that we have to protest and speak out against injustice and bias in the media. However, I have found that there are media sites and speakers that I can learn from and have confidence in. For example, I often read a couple of news sites outside of USA, and I find they are much less biased and more reliable and I learn a lot. I think the USA media is in general very poor in comparison to some other nations. However, even in USA there are some writers and commentators I respect and learn from.

    About this specific situation regarding Michael’s children, I am very concerned because they are children and have already suffered a great deal. We saw how the 05 trial affected Michael. If we could see what it did to him, imagine how worried his children were. Then they left their beloved home, Neverland Ranch, not by choice but under pressure–and never returned. Then they lost their only parent in a devastating and traumatic way. We could see at the Memorial how affected they were.

    Now while it is true we do not know everything, we do know that they were unable to contact their guardian (acting as a parent in place of their father) for 10 days, and that they strenuously objected to this in their social media posts. I am wondering also if they are getting the full care they need–for example, do they need the help of a therapist to see them through this difficult transition from being with Michael to being ‘out in the world’ without him? Would it help them to process their feelings? I think itis clear they received a wonderful foundation with Michael in their development. However, they are vulnerable since they are children and have less power in so many ways than adults.

    Being a teenager is not easy. It is a difficult time as one transitions from being a child to being a ‘grown-up’ and finding one’s way on one’s own–being independent, knowing oneself, making choices. Then Blanket is only 10 and not yet a teenager. I think there are powerful forces around them both to protect them and to attack them. I really hope the judge will take all this into consideration. He has a lot on his shoulders. I am very pleased he asked for an independent evaluation of their well-being. I hope he will look into their well being closely and not just listen to the lawyers and the various interested parties. They are in need of a circle of protection. I am sending prayers their way. Michael always cared so much about children because they are vulnerable and often do not have their needs met. I hope his children will be protected and nurtured in the way he would want. They can do a lot of good in the world, as he did. Even now their situation is drawing a consideration of how children should be treated–the old ‘spare the rod’ approach is being somewhat examined for the damage it does to children.

    Posted July 29, 2012 at 5:10 am | Permalink
  11. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    V, None of us will want to hear this or examine this: The post and conversation illustrates my point that the media deliberately creates the illusion that we somehow belong in the middle of a family that we have never met, don’t know and are not privy to their thoughts, feelings and private conversations. Would we, for example, involve ourselves if this was a neighbor? A stranger? Our own relatives? (Some would allow or welcome it; some would never speak to us again.) “Entertainment” is a very profitable industry and part of the corporate culture. It makes gossip ordinary and encourages it by making is seem the acceptabvle “norm.” It’s not. Gossip harms everyone involved on an energetic level. Gossip requires projections and the target must now not only work through their own “stuff” but the extra baggage heaped upon them by strangers and informaiton made very public that may have no basis in truth. I would recommend reading Michael Spies’ article at Voices:

    Michael Jackson was a cash cow for the media– the golden egg,goose and holy grail. The media could only hope to find someone as “juicy” now that he is gone. Is Janet being set up to be next? And will Paris be the future windfall for them?

    Many of our “opinions” are not generated from our own minds but are suggestions and indoctrinations by others. The media is today’s propaganda machine. It is a destructive trend and we are all downwind. I am not saying ALL media is irreponsible but I will say that it is diffifult for media to be responsible by checking all facts before publishing– it is expensive and it’s far easier to cut and paste stories. We have seen the evidence of how damaging that practice is. New and positive media instruments struggle to stay in business because they are not well funded and find it difficult to compete with larger media corporations with bigger budgets. And the tabloid industry pays for stories and of course, goes after the juciest of stories and exaggerates it. (Reportedly someone slapped someone and that didn’t happen yet was widely reported.) Anyone who thinks that media doesn’t make this up hasn’t been paying attention. And most of the viewing/reading public is unaware of how manipulated they really are.

    The opinions formed about this situation that you speak of are formed with inadequate information. You don’t know if someone/s influenced the situation and the people in it. There was hysteria and that is heightened and counterfeit reality, not actual reality. One only has to read the books by friends and siblings of Michael Jackson to realize how many people with hidden agendas surrounded him and influenced him for their own benefit and to his detriment. People are still using his memory and name to foster their own agendas. And I would ask the mothers and all parents this question: how many of you would welcome the public, talking heads, pundits, analysts, fans, and the media into your familiy issues, concerns and disputes? And especially a family situation involving relationships between an 80 something mother figure and teenagers depedent on non-family third paties for their own well being? How would you feel if to preserve your heath, you took a break and in the meantime someone took away your guardianship of your beloved son’s children and those children were Tweeting to the world private family information? Remember what Diana said about her life– there were too many people in it. And one of the uninvited parties cost her– her life. And what are we doing even talking about this? Is this not a private affair? How did we end up in the middle of this, weighing in with an opinion informed not by first hand information, but by outsiders. How did we come to think this is OK? And that it’s OK to condemn any of the parties when we don’t have full disclosure and in particular, background information? We can only go on actual information from the parties involved and assume (sometimes erroneously and naively) that the are telling the truth and not spinning it to enhance their own position.

    Jackson family members have made no secret of their suspicions. Is there anything to them? I don’t know that, do you? What I do know is that this is a family that has endured far more than their share and who are grieving the loss of a beloved family member to the best of their ability. I do know that it appears there are people looking out for the welfare of that beloved member’s interests. But I am not a fly on the wall in any of these affairs. It is the media that creates that illusion for us to influence and milk us for profit. They feed us unexamined assumptions and we run with it. We must examine where we get our information and the motives of those giving it to us. And we must examine our own motives in consuming it.

    The media has now, with the help of many, inserted themselves into the lives of Michael Jackson’s children. That is not something Michael welcomed or wanted. This is not going to end well and its not going to be pretty. Isn’t this the very thing that Michael feared? By inserting ourselves into these affairs aren’t we contributing to the takedown of real people and are we central in the very thing we screamed foul about when the media began hunting Michael Jackson and using him? That gate has been opened and the flood has begun.

    Posted July 29, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink
  12. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Thanks, G; well put. That kind of behavior and the absence of a humane narrative on this planet (that informs all action/s) undermines our humanity. And by that I don’t just mean our biological existence, but the very thing that makes us human and humanity. It is reminiscent of other times when we (humanity- the “human” part of us) knew not just in a tiny corner of our brains that something was just wrong, but in our bones that something was wrong… and we did it anyway.

    Posted July 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink
  13. gertrude said . . .

    Yes Rev. B, that experience of knowing in our bones when something is wrong, THAT I fear is also being brainwashed/propagandized out of us as well. And in response to only one of Nina’s very interesting questions, Hitler got into power very much because the Nazis took control/bribed/bought-out the German MEDIA – did they not?, so the public had access to only Nazi propaganda masquerading as fact for the most part. Of course it is a complex story, the high levels of physically violent child abuse in their culture at the time, the fact that Hitler’s mother was a Jew who ran away from his father and the family and that his father violently beat the child Hitler every day while railing against and blaming the mother for all that was wrong in their world. It is edifying to examine the parallels between that fiasco and the one we are currently embroiled in. History, repeating, repeating…?

    Posted July 29, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink
  14. Poca said . . .

    Barbara you are so right about: what is the truth about this Jackson family feud? The truth is that we don’t know. We don’t know because we are not in their mist and we don’t know what’s in their hearts. All I can say is that i will pray for Michael’s children and for the whole Jackson family. The Jackson family and Michael Jackson brought so much joy to me and it really hurts seeing them hurting and attacked by the media. God Bless them!

    Posted July 29, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Permalink
  15. Vero said . . .

    Thanks for your reply, Barbara. I will study it and try and get to the heart of what you are saying. I think I will need to re-read many comments here and your entire post to really absorb it. Yet I would like to make an immediate comment or two. I certainly do not know what is in anyone’s mind and heart. Sometimes, not even my own! I have to ‘go within’ to understand myself, so it is impossible for me to know another person’s inner thoughts. You said in one post here to look into a person’s eyes and study them over time as a way to make an assessment. This is one way to try and know another person. If I just go by my own responses, how I feel inside, I get that ‘inner smile’ when I see or think about Michael and I get the same reaction when I see his children. I seem to see their beauty, their goodness, their good heartedness, their love. This is just from looking at them , seeing them, hearing them–this is what I am going by. My own heart. Peace.

    Posted July 30, 2012 at 2:27 am | Permalink
  16. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    V, True we can’t know what’s in another’s mind and heart since we can’t read minds. The eyes say a lot; they are called windows to the soul because they express so much of who we are. In working with people who have PTSD, I discovered something about the eyes- when our original light is intact, our eyes shine. An abused child or abused person tends to lose some of that light in their eyes. Shamanically I would interpret this as having some soul loss when a piece or pieces are lost or stolen by a perpetrator. I was very dismayed to see Michael Jackson’s eyes dull more and more over the course of his trial until the light appeared to be gone. Michael Jackson’s eyes seem to speak, don’t they? He was a master at Shaktipat- reaching out with the eyes and expressing love through them.

    I am a large part behaviorist. You can tell me anything, but I am going to watch your behavior to see if it matches what you are saying. The body doesn’t lie so I tend to read the body and body language. You can characterize yourself any way you want, but I am going to watch what you do to see if your behavior is consistent. Michael Jackson is described by everyone who knew him as patient and kind. That seems to be consistent or a constant, so I tend to believe it. Another thing constantly said about him was his humilty. These traits were observed by people close to him, who knew him and worked with him. It is said over and over. On the other hand, those who never knew him or weren’t close have spoken of his “arrogance” and expectations. That is them, not Michael. That is projection. That is someone projecting their own “stuff” onto Michael’s persona. The wounded self does that- the ego’s shadow that doesn’t know itself as an individuation of the Divine and instead judges itself as “bad” or “less than” and can’t bear to acknowledge it and so projects it out and away from self and onto another. Those “tell all” and “confession” stories and books about Michael Jackson are actually biographies of the author.

    I also pay attention to how I feel energetically (the energy field) in the presence of another person or in the presence of their photo. The sensitivity to that kind of energy has to be practiced and honed. Some day I beleive this will be a natural part of communication. Exercising the muscles of intuition helps to turn on that kind of “sixth sense” perception. I tend to “feel” what someone’s eyes say or what their words say and how that matches their body and energetic field. The “inner smile” you describe is that kind of radar at work.

    I listen to the language a person uses. Look at what you wrote, V. “I will get to the heart of what you are saying.” A person’s language also reflects who they are and what they gravitate to (magnetics.) I listen for violent language or the language of conciliation and peace. Since my work with Voices Education Project, I try to be more aware of words and their energetics. As a wordsmith, I use words to create impact. I make no secret of my intentions at “One Wordsmith” writing to simply change the world. My writing and art has always been in service to humanity. I have to constantly “go within” to check my integrity, to see whaqt’s in my heart. Words create a resonance too. They can be misunderstood when they are interpreted through one’s own ego or shadow. A personal example: have worked with PTSD carriers and written poetry about war and Viet Nam. Recently a former soldier projected something on to me that came from her own wounding. In a conversation, she “heard” something I did not say. I have tried to heal the upset and clarify to her, to no avail. A good friend said to her “I know Barbara’s heart” and tried to talk with her in service to creating peace. Instead,, she prefers to hang onto the wound and to project as she is not ready to heal and the wounding serves her in some way. The intervening friend knows my history, my work and my heart and knows it to be consistent. Yes, she knows my heart. I have heard about Michael Jackson’s heart over and over…

    We are here to learn love. You speak of seeing “their” beauty, goodness, good heartedness and love. Oh to see that in everyone! If we learned to see that in everyone, would it bring out the light in everyone? Good question, don’t you think? Consider what might happen if it was customary to do that in our culture. What if our media did that? We have been conditioned and indoctrinated to see shadow. It is our hurt (personal and collective) that causes that, the duality of the world we live in and the belief in separation– from god (Divine/Creator/Source) and from each other that causes that wounding. And we don’t like being miserable alone, do we? Sometimes it takes a kind of tough love to shine a light on something that needs changing because in its’ present form, it is harmful to humanity.

    Congratulations in your “living by heart.” That takes practice and work to separate the emotions (ego) from true heart-centered knowledge. The heart is that “going within” that you speak of. The heart does know. There are current studies about the resonance of the heart and how the heart is actually another kind of brain in the human being. Some people live primarily from their heads- they “figure it out.” There are those that live from their gut and groin- the “survival” and fight or flight impulses. And there are those who live by heart. What if we did business by heart, commerce by heart, communication by heart and… life by heart. What kind of world would it be? My question, from the day I began Inner Michael has been– are there enough MJ fans to bring about this change?

    Right now, V, my heart is weeping.

    Posted July 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink
  17. Nina said . . .

    Reviewing this interesting and rich exchange, Barbara, I completely agree with what you say here:

    “We can never have the whole picture. So we must always go forward or express an opinion with incomplete information. Incomplete always. If we judge anybody or make conclusions prematurely we are going to be wrong. It is obvious that something is going on in the Jackson family. We are not in that family circle. We are not privy to all the information. We can reach conclusions about what we have seen in the past from everyone in the scenario but we can never have the whole picture. And people change. Yes, they change when money enters the picture but they change drastically with a major life event. Like say… a death. We can hope that everyone in the scenario has everyone’s best interest at heart. But we simply are not in the know or the known.

    “What we do know for sure, is that whatever is reported is going to come through filters- of self preservation, protection, concern, opinion, as well as a media filter that dramatizes and sensationalizes to get attention and abbreviates for a populus with short attention span. Even when the truth played out right under the noses of the media at Michael’s trial in 2005, the media ignored and never reported the truth because it wasn’t convenient.”

    To me, this goes to the heart of the matter—and gertrude’s idea reminded me that we need to look at the media as a network of corporate structures, whose ownership patterns and policies of “vertical integration” would be useful to look at as a way to formulate our critique—-AND, most importantly, take various kinds of action to combat the harmful effects of what we’re talking about.

    Posted July 30, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink
  18. Nina said . . .

    I also think that Paris’s and Prince’s use of Twitter tells us something very useful in all of this. Twitter, and other social media, are game-changers in terms of the way we look at the flow of information. No longer, I think, can we rely exclusively on a model of media that posits one-way, unidirectional communication, in which THEY feed us garbage and WE take it in, to the detriment of everyone. People are formulating their own messages now, and the two young people who we heard from, very much in the limelight, have a particular role in telling the overall story.

    The very confusion and din that have resulted from last week’s debacle tells us, very clearly, that we haven’t yet grasped the full implications of social media, and how they may reconfigure the idea of who does (or can) control what. This, to me, has profound implications for the ways we might talk about media justice and politics. A closer look at this, I think, might help us to deepen our critique AND inform our ways of taking action.

    Even Michael, while he lived, had his ways of playing the media and very directly participated in the construction of his own image through the media (at the time of his major rise to fame, primarily television news and print media). It was his early experience at Motown that taught him certain “tricks of the trade.” That it eventually eluded his control, of course, is a matter that we should continue to explore.

    Posted July 30, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Permalink
  19. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Yes, in real time communication changes the picture, keeping in mind that minds and messages can be influenced, be directed, be hacked, be deleted, be dictated, be naive, be uninformed, be hasty, be acccurate, be biased, be strategic, be decoys, be momentarily driven by anger or other emotions… well, you get the idea. ~B

    Posted July 30, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Permalink
  20. Vero said . . .

    Hi, B., I very much loved your reply–but I was shocked at the ending– to hear your heart is weeping is so sad and it makes me want to offer comfort! Dry your ‘heart tears’ b/c I do believe we are in the midst of a wonderful change in consciousness, and Inner Michael has much to do with this. When the world stopped on June 25, 2009, I witnessed massive grieving, and that grieving came about b/c of all the love in the world for Michael. I watched the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics. At the close, Paul McCartney sang the words of one of his songs: ‘And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” These are beautiful words that tell us something important about karma (or cause and effect, if you like).

    Michael gave out love throughout his life and it was given back to him when he passed. We only grieve for those we love deeply, whose loss shakes our foundations. The fact that so many grieved, millions if not billions, tells us that all these people were in no way fooled by the bs handed out by the various ‘talking heads’ for decades. This to me is a real breakthrough, as it shows the vulnerabilities of the media and the strength of this heart consciousness that you speak of so well!

    This is something to celebrate and build upon. Is it coincidental that the whole ‘phone hacking scandal’ that is still shaking the Murdock empire came about after Michael’s death? I don’t believe so. The revelation of the sordid details of the criminal behavior of ‘check-book journalism’ or what Michael called ‘filthy press’ is an awakening, I hope, to a more responsible press and a less gullible public.

    Yes, I have read some of the work that studies the heart as an organ like the brain–love it! I agree so much with what you said about the eyes shining with the light of the soul and about studying the physical presence, even in photos, of people who are light-bearers. I read once about the Australian Aborigines and their DreamTime concepts. The elders would recognize the new shamans when they were just children by the light in their eyes. I agree too about how when people are abused, their light fades, darkens. You ask, ‘Are there enough MJ fans to bring about this change’– a change to ‘living by the heart.’ I choose to think there are! Michael has been gone 3 years, and we are coming up to Bad 25, and there is a long way to go perhaps but I think we will witness more and more heart expansion and soul expansion as the ‘great adventure’ unfolds. Namaste.

    Posted July 31, 2012 at 2:08 am | Permalink
  21. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    V, Michael asked his fans to bring the light through LOVE. He knew of the coming change; he wished it could come sooner (“I wish that love would come today.”) It is not near, Vero; not even close. This past week has divided people; anger has them choosing sides without knowing all the facts, And all before all have had a chance to be heard or negotiate. Now because the media got hold of it, any negotiation, reconcilliation or healing has to be done in a public forum in a fish bowl full of lives and real people. How must it be to have the press, paparazzi, tabloid TV, millions of people and angry fans in the midst of your family business? Lady Diana knew what that was like. She said there were too many people in her marriage and her life– how could it have ended any way but in tragedy?

    A mother has lost her son and almost lost her grandchildren. Before this family was famous and making any money, they were family first. How many times has this family had to rally together to support one of their own targeted for takedown? And the media continues the meme- crazy family, greedy, only want money, abusive, slippery, of yes, and BLACK! Yet each time this family faced one of these storms, it has forgiven and healed.

    The family matriarch here is more than 80 years old! How much is one woman supposed to bear in one lifetime? Her family is now divided and a mother who has been through so much in her life– chidren turning on each other, then reconciling, tycoons and record people and industries either holding out on them or trying to take advantage of them, decades of bad press, sitting through a trial of a son accused of the most horrendous crime not knowing whether the truth would prevail, hearing all kinds of horrific things and being ushered into a son’s completely private life in places a mother doesn’t ever want to go, alll the people who lie or want something from a “Jackson,” (each of them at one time or another, one way or another,) the media and photographers lurking everywhere upsetting neighbors and blocking traffic, invading privacy and printing lies and trash about your family. all the lawsuits and struggles, relationships and breakups, then sitting through another trial for the doctor who killed your son, trying to make sense of life and death– the death of an infant child and the death of a grown son, the trashing of his legacy and then its resurrection begins and this happens… she returns from a spa and visit with family to chaos, uproar and a custody battle for her grandchildren and a family divided yet again.

    Is it possible this family matriarch who held this family together or put it back together how many times, was overwhelmed, weary, physically vulnerable or weak and in need of rest? She was overwhelmed to the point of not being able to relax or heal in her own home? She has said she left for a rest. And then all the hysteria begins, the media is in an uproar, she has been reported as a missing person and when family doesn’t want her to be informed by a child who’s panicked, that person is horrible? Executors who appear to have managed responsibly and well financially are asked for a humanitiarian acccounting by a family who lost their brother and before any meetings can be held or questions answered and actions explained, the letter is leaked? Does that help anybody? Before the estate can respond professionally and put anxieties to rest, all hell breaks loose and millions of people insinuate themselves and their opinions into the situation. Is that helpful to anyone?

    Then children who lost their father and only known parent and are grieving his loss are frightened to the point of panic and do not trust the adults around them to care for them? Nobody is listening to anybody. Nobody is hearing the words. Nobody is hearing people speaking and telling their feelings in their own words? Does that sound familiar? History repeating itself? Hasn’t this family been vilified by the press and torn apart enough? No! Our egos want to be right about where we stand! We know who the bad guys are and who the good guys are– the tabloid press told us! The mainstream hysterical press told us! We rely on them to tell us now! Have you check your electronics today?

    Michael asked the fans to be cool, to be his legacy. The fans are feeding the tabloid beast and are throwing insults across the globe and insinuating themselves into the situation. These are people who know better, who complained so loudly when the world jumped to conclusions about Michael. I understand about the new consciousness. I have lived and taught it all my life. I understand what Michael was asking for. I understand what needs to be created here. The LOVE he asked for– where is it now? How is this “making that change?” How is this demonstrating a change in heart or consciousness? You’re shocked that there is sadness and weeping? This is a microcosm of why the macrocosm of this world is in so much trouble. We do it to ourselves. I have seen and heard actual glee and relishing in this frenzied mob while our decency, restraint, maturity and humanity ebbs away. Who, looking on at this whole thing would be happy or impressed? Michael?

    Posted July 31, 2012 at 4:56 am | Permalink
  22. Vero said . . .

    I agree there is controversy and division. I saw the same thing during the ‘Michael’ album release and all the debate about ‘was Michael really singing or was it someone else,’ and were the Cascio tracks authentic, etc. etc. People are going to have different opinions and take sides and that’s just going to happen. Since it happened before, I am not as upset about it happening again. I agree Mrs. Jackson needs assistance in various ways to reduce stress and so do Michael’s kids. I am hoping this situation can be resolved. The fact that the fans are affected by this is natural. It seems to me, from what you say, that you have your strong opinions too, and so do others, so of course there will be various stances. Another family went through a great deal–I am reminded of the Kennedy family, so many tragedies. Not only was Jack Kennedy assassinated, but so was Robert. Then John Jr. was killed in a plane crash. I don’t know why these things happen. I do think in the case of Michael’s passing that we are on a better path as a result of his impact, even though you do not see it now. Have you heard about the birth of the white buffalo? This rare birth just happened and there was a Native American ceremony held to honor it. The white buffalo has sacred meaning to the Native Americans and some think it is a sign of things getting better, a new birth, a new direction. I choose to be positive.

    Posted August 1, 2012 at 4:09 am | Permalink
  23. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    What happened this last week is the last thing Michael Jackson would have wanted for his children first and his family second.

    My “opinions” are informed by spending several years of my life in research and building the “Words and Violence” program about bullying from the personal to the global (Dedicated to Michael and Diana.) The time spend exploring tabloid journalism and how it operates fuels my “opinion.” If we are to survive on this planet, become the species we are spiritually hard wired to be, care for our Mother Earth properly, erase poverty and hunger, make war obsolete, stop supporting killing fields, understand that we are an interconnected web of life and respect and treat all sentient beings on this rock as precious brothers, we have to begin with a humane narrative. In other words– words. My “opinion” is a question: “What is humane about the bullying on social media and tabloid infected media and how does it inform our humanity?.”

    I am Indian on my father’s side. The first white buffalo was born here in Wisconsin. “Miracle” turned all four colors– of the races while she was here. Yes, I am aware of the prophesy of the Indigenous and Native Peoples and the new direction. Inner Michael too, is informed by knowledge of the return of the ancients.

    Posted August 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Permalink
  24. Susan T said . . .

    Intense dialogue for sure. I will just simply and sincerely say that I feel such empathy for the Jackson family. You are so right when you say…We don’t know. We don’t know and in truth, why should we? Why should the public be kept informed of celebrity personal/family matters? Who the hell do we think we are? I’m so overwhelmed with it all that I tend to tune out any televised reports and only occasionally read internet stories. Hearing about the latest info involving TMZ just raises my suspicion level about this whole so-called feud.

    I just wish the Jackson family could live their lives in the manner they choose without the media prying, always prying. Do I worry about Michael’s children. Yes. But then I quiet my mind before I drift off to sleep at night and pray. I know God is with them and will guide them, protect them, and help them deal with whatever life presents. God gave them Michael and he was all they needed.

    My heart is heavy, too. I agree with you Rev. Barbara about the fact that we’re “not even close”, when it comes to love and enlightenment. I remarked to my roommate today in response to controversy surrounding an opinion made public by a restaurant chain, that in all my adult years on this planet, I’ve never seen our nation so divided. I fear that we are regressing in our thinking–not growing wider, deeper and higher. There are far too many people in positions of great power that are NOT leading with their hearts, but only with their egos. When love and compassion are pushed to the side, progress–meaningful progress, slows. The more I see the unrest, the derision, the ugly head of racism raise up from the demonic depths, the more I understand how we must let our light shine and shine brightly. You don’t turn on the darkness, you turn on the light…our light! Thank you for your wise and patient insight!

    Posted August 2, 2012 at 3:21 am | Permalink
  25. Vero said . . .

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

    Posted August 2, 2012 at 6:40 am | Permalink
  26. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    I got this urgent message today:
    “I’m urgently trying to reach you about the terrible coverage of Paris Jackson on TMZ, with Gladys Knight saying if she were Janet she would have knocked Paris’s teeth out. A link to TMZ was with this comment but I will not post it here. You get HP instead:

    This is SO SERIOUS! Now Paris has haters based on lies, just as Michael did. (TMZ has retracted their story of Paris swearing at Janet, but not the damage.) I so urgently hope we fans can have a HUGE response but don’t know what to do! You are my best hope! Thanks and much love, S”

    I think a new separate post is the way to answer this. I will compose a response. Meanwhile, Vero reminds us what Michael Jackson said and what he stood for. This is a difficult time. Let’s all slow down, breathe and figure out what to do. Watch for the next entry. ~B

    Posted August 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink
  27. Kimberly Bonk said . . .

    Thank you Rev. Barbara. I’ll just say this. I realized that this is really none of my business, so I have no authority to give my opinion. I only hope that everything works out for the family and Michael’s children.

    As for the media, I really wish somone would just flip the switch to the “off” position. As a spirtual person, sometimes it’s hard to look at someone like the media and hold them in the light? My stomach has literally been sick from all of this and their “stop at nothing” mentality to jump on this story simply is astonishing, but yet no surprise. On the brighter side today as I was watching CNN about the temple shooting and the CNN anchor was making sure that everyone was focused only on the victims and asking people to not speculate or sensationalize what was happening. I was very impressed because he really wanted to focus on how the victims were doing; in a respectful way. My immediate thought was that perhaps there are some in the media who are going back to fair and respectful reporting. Perhaps all the work that the light workers around the world are doing is working. I am keeping the faith. Thank you.

    Posted August 6, 2012 at 5:14 am | Permalink
  28. Aretha said . . .

    There had been an interview of Sarah, Duchess of York on CNN by Piers Morgan, last year around the time of the release of her new book. They went into talking about how the British media at some point started running savage headlines about her which hit her hard and contributed to her insecurities. They mocked her weight and said she was a bad mother.

    In that same interview Morgan acknowledged that some of those headlines had been vicious. He went on to say that in the past he himself had coined headlines like that without any sense of the consequences for the human being. Because some of these public figures like the royals seemed like caricatures and it was like writing about television characters.

    If Morgan’s statements in that interview are any indication, then media members need to be sensitized in a big way about how their words and broadcasts may impact their subjects.

    Posted August 11, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink
  29. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    A, The tabloids targeted many over the years including Liz Taylor, Michael. Madonna. Brittany… and one of the most egregious cases of tabloid abuse was the royals. Thank you for bringing up this memory of what the tabloids did to Sarah Ferguson. It was ugly.

    The whole transcript of the Piers Morgan show with Sarah Ferguson is here:
    Here is the part of the transcript you referenced:
    MORGAN: I want to take a break and come back and talk to you about the tabloid press, the good and bad, how they built you into the biggest star in the world and then began to chip away at you.

    FERGUSON: I’m ready.




    FERGUSON: He wasn’t there and I didn’t know what to do. In 1998 when Beatrice was born, I said, OK, well, Beatrice is fine, she’s eight weeks old and she’s got a nanny and she’s perfectly healthy and she’s, you know — she’s on bottles now. I want to see my husband.

    And I went to Australia to find him. That’s when the press turned on me. That’s when they said I was a bad mother. Bad Fergie sold papers.


    MORGAN: An actual moment there from your series “Finding Sarah.” And I remember all that. I’m from the British newspaper, became an editor of two of the big papers.

    FERGUSON: That was one of your —

    MORGAN: No, it wasn’t. I wasn’t an editor then. I wasn’t involved in reporting on that part, but I remember it clearly because it was the moment you could feel the mood towards you suddenly turn.

    FERGUSON: You’re actually right.

    MORGAN: You were portrayed as a bad mother. And yet, you know, when you actually studied the facts, that you saw Andrew for 40 days in the first year of your marriage, it’s ridiculous, because of his naval career, any woman would understand why you were desperate to be with your husband. And it wasn’t like you were abandoning these children, you were always coming back in a week or so.

    But that experience, when it turned, what was that like for you?

    FERGUSON: Well, I think that I believed the good press for the two years before then — so, I was believing my own press, which is the most dangerous thing you can do, isn’t it, because now I know. So, I believed that I was doing well and everybody loved me and, of course, playing right into the people pleaser.

    And when it turned, so it turned on me and I turned on myself so badly that I went into self destruct, because — oh, my gosh, the press are writing this. And I remember very clearly coming to your lovely lunch we went to, and I went in and I saw a man with a — a jovial man with a bald head behind one of the computers.

    And I went up to him and he was laughing. He said, “Oh, hi, Fergie, lovely to see you. How are you?” And I went, “Oh, very well. You know, what do you do?” He said, “Well, I write the headlines and I was the one that wrote ‘duchess of pork.'” And I left him and he had no idea and he — for him, it was very good.

    MORGAN: For you, it was one of the worst headlines you ever —

    FERGUSON: Worst headlines. Yes.

    MORGAN: I mean, I remember you saying it hit you so hard.

    FERGUSON: Yes.

    MORGAN: Duchess of pork was so direct, so offensive. It played right into your insecurity about your weight. It was — I mean, you know, I’m not going to defend it. I think it was a vicious headline.

    FERGUSON: Well, I thought it was actually very funny now.

    MORGAN: It’s funny to everybody else, and I’ve written headlines like that over the years, where you do it without any sense of the consequence for the human being, because in a way, the royals at the time, if you weren’t in the newspapers in Britain, they seemed like caricatures, like soap opera stars. It was like writing about television characters.

    FERGUSON: Oh, I didn’t realize that, you see? And that’s been always my problem. I took it personally. And I got very hurt.

    Posted August 12, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

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