Inner Michael » Civility, Firestorm and Distraction

Civility, Firestorm and Distraction

Inner Michael: What and Why

Inner Michael was intended to be a research exploration into the phenomenon of “the Michael Jackson factor.” It also became a touchpoint for those mourning the loss of someone whom they had come to love who confounded a world that didn’t have enough light and depth to understand and appreciate the gift it was given by a sensitive, inspired and driven artist. After writing a review of the movie This Is It for a magazine that was picked up and reprinted by a fan club, I began to get hundreds of letters asking me to say more please about what I had glimpsed and how Michael Jackson’s work had spoken to me. “I see this as a ministerial calling, don’t you?” she said, as my pastor and spiritual mentor smiled and touched her chest near her heart. “Will you answer that call?”

No one was more surprised than me by the journey and the discoveries that stunned, prompted by one cursory glance at a screen that while it attempts to duplicate reality, never can because it’s a two dimensional likeness of real life, not real life itself. It’s far from the artist’s ideal and certainly this particular film, haphazardly captured without knowing it would be the last act of Michael Jackson’s magic, was far from cinematic. Yet what came through the screen was so powerful, so compelling, that it took the breath.

I wrote the story of this discovery a year ago and sent it to the Wisconsin Writer’s Association as a contest entry expecting them to completely dismiss it because the subject was Michael Jackson. Instead “When the Student is Ready, the Teacher Sparkles” won honorable mention in the statewide competition. Not bad, Michael. Its inclusion in the anthology makes a few more people aware of the real story behind the King of Pop.

And there has been the Voices Education Project program “Words and Violence” begun almost 3 years ago that has dozens of contributors including Joe Vogel, Matt Semino, Charles Thomson, myself and others that is a comprehensive educational packet of more than 300 pages dedicated to Michael and Lady Diana. The program addresses bullying in its many incarnations from school bullies to tabloid media. There are the 200 posts, articles and poems, the Michael Messages that address grief and spiritual emergency that form Inner Michael’s archives. There is the current essential study of humanitarian law at U.W. Madison because Voices is a global humanitarian organization and pedagogical institute. There is Jam Cafe at MJTP and the thousands of reprint requests for IM and other articles. There arethe articles in Huffington Post and other places, the contacts, offers and work with several universities, the film work at Walking Moon Studios, at Neverland, in group meditations and other ongoing projects– some works in progress.

And it almost ended in a firestorm last week. The work, first and as priority, has always been about creating a more humane narrative on this planet.

Last week changed all that. My personal journey of changes in my life in the past year have been overwhelming. The challenges came in waves and while I know, and the tribal elders have confirmed it, this is a spiritual crucible and training ground for the soul, it’s now too…too everything. It was an existential triple threat. Yet the work was THAT important so I found the energy. Last week drained it.

The Work is Important

When I say the work is THAT important, I mean it. The spiritual nature of the work and its impact can only be underestimated. Take it from someone who has worked at this a lifetime– art in service to humanity. Someone who painted Vision of the Madonna, for posters, book covers, peace initiatives, who created and molded the Gaia sculpture that has been given as an award to outstanding humanitarians round the globe, who made and marketed the Pet Planet (Tm) that comes with care and feeding instructions. A nominee for Fellow at the Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. A Sister City Executive Officer for twenty years working to establish peace among enemies, who wrote grants and traveled to Russia to work with the military and leaders in service to the decommissioning of weapons of mass destruction, and from a writer who uses words “to simply change the world.” I’ve been a spiritually motivated activist a long, long time and it’s true that “there is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come.” (Victor Hugo) There is nothing so powerful as a truth that is trying to burst through or a technology or meme unleashed on a planet at the precise time it’s ready.

Love is a power. Love is a frequency. Love heals. It’s a consciousness. The world is a vector of all the consciousnesses that inhabit it. We live in an invisible energetic (having energy) soup of consciousness and its energy affects us all. When you distill the content of consciousness down in polarity to its simplest form, you have love or fear. Think of this soup of conscioiusness that surrounds and permeates everything– we are cooking in that soup all the time. The soup, simplified is either love or it’s fear. The heart is the place of love and the ego is the place of fear. Do you live from your heart or your ego? We live in a world gone far too cynical, a world dominated by cynicism and fear. A world where bullying is epidemic. We need to change that to a world dominated by appreciation, kindness, forgiveness and acceptance of our shadow’s woundedness– that’s a world of L.O.V.E. (“I wish that love would come today.”)

I thought the power to change the world was finally here. I thought Michael’s message had finally landed. I thought the fans were cause for hope that we could turn this around in time. But that hope dimmed and dissipated last week. This is a cynical world we live in where fear is predominant and if it is to change as Michael wished and prayed about in lyrics, then it has to begin with “us” as he said. He warned us that there is not a lot of time. There isn’t. As with every window of opportunity, the opening stays open only so long and when it closes or it slams shut and the opportunity fades and is gone. The window may have closed last week.

Jackson Family

What happened is that a 14 year old girl who lacks the experience and the learned caution for the pitfalls of exposure, media, fame and money that her father had, released a message in a social forum to get attention in the one way she knew she could. The media, drunk with power, enamored with itself and its “breaking news” scramble in hunger for the next juicy scandal to draw eyes to their medium– newspapers, magazines, Entertainment TV, mainstream media become medialoid and the tabloids all seized on the juicy opportunity pregnant with revenues. They embellished the events and took it viral. They lied. And they knew they lied to push a story. This is typical. Tabloid tactics are to publish something that sensationalizes to attract eyes to the story– to SCREAM headlines that get attention, capitalize on the mob that comes to gawk and roar and pontificate in the fray of the media frenzy, and then print or air a retraction before anybody can sue. Tabloid newspapers SCREAM in large red headlines and retract on the back pages. There is no remorse about it; it is SOP for them- standard operating procedure.

That was last week. And everybody took the bait. People who know better took the bait. This is how the media have used and abused the Jacksons and in particular Michael for fun, entertainment, pleasure and profit. It doesn’t matter to them who gets hurt. They want the story, the frenzy and the profits. Then they milk it, sit back and watch and laugh at the “sheeple” (people like sheep) all the way to the bank. If there is collateral damage to children or reputations or legacies, they don’t care. “They do it for the money.” They deliberately create a storm and feeding frenzy. They appeal to human shadow and ego and they are very, very good at it.

Meanwhile a family, very much in crisis and still grieving a dead brother both beloved and defiled, and desperate for answers to their questions of conspiracy, asked for what they see as accountability and an end to chaos and stress. Everybody is a grownup in that scenario. Happens all the time. One side challenges; the other side responds. One side asks questions; the other side gives answers. It people are not satisfied with answers, they go forward with challenges. That’s why the legal system exists. When someone dies mysteriously or needlessly leaving questions, loved ones want answers. One way to navigate all that is through investigation, disclosure and legal challenge. The system exists for a reason. Michael Jackson was convicted in a court of public opinion despite his innocence. Now the Jacksons and the estate are being convicted in a court of public opinion as “the public” takes sides. Isn’t that precisely what fans complained about?

When a tragedy is senseless, impacts the world globally, and is met with simple answers– people can’t reconcile the simplicity of those answers in their own minds. Restlessness ensues. An example of this comes from the Warren Commission investigating the Kennedy assassination. The commission determined that there was a lone gunman with an agenda conjured by and in one mind. Many cried “foul” saying it couldn’t be! Surely something so senseless, so monumental must have more to it; there must be more behind the scenes. People could not reconcile the monumental impact of the assasination of a president with the act by a single individual. To this day there are people who believe Lee Harvey Oswald was part of a conspiracy plot to kill the president.

Michael Jackson was a globally recognized figure beloved by many and known by almost all. The impact was a global outcry and saw people weeping in the streets. Even detractors and haters were impacted. In that kind of circumstance, it’s the unanswered questions, the overwhelming grief that drives the quest for answers that make sense. Because it’s so big, it must make sense! It must! It is human nature to try to make sense of a tragic sudden death. The difference here is that this family is flailing for answers in the public eye. The anguish is real. That’s what the courts are for. You can see guilty parties or you can see people struggling to make sense of tragedy and get answers and other people responding. Let the parties sort it out. Condemning publicly doesn’t solve the mystery or settle things. It serves only the media and profits.

If only there could be court conciliation- a reconciliation panel on behalf of the parties. If they can do reconciliation in South Africa, you’d think it could be managed with the Jacksons and the estate. The truth is that any analysis of motive on either side is speculation. You may think you know the motives and motivations of the parties, but that is only your opinion; it is not truth. The case has not played out yet. Jumping to conclusions or taking sides and condemning is trying a case in the court of public opinion– just as was done with Michael. You are being used and manipulated through and by the media. It is a killing field. Just because there aren’t any dead bodies lying around doesn’t mean people weren’t hurt. Think about who was hurt the most! Think about your behavior and how it contributed. Think about the media observing your behavior. They learned quickly that a story involving the Jackson children is lucrative and brings people to the media by way of media! So tell me who gained the most? Who won? This is exactly how it started with Michael and it’s precisely the very thing he wanted to avoid.

There are those who won’t admit that they encouraged things for personal gain or to puff themselves up thinking they are personally involved and they “know” or “support” someone. That illusion of intimacy with celebrity or public figures is media induced. The media programs us to think the celebrities “owe” us something, are public property and eventually– are not allowed to feel or hurt from their own treatment because they, over time, have been made not-quite-human. Social media streaming in real time supports this illusion of intimacy. It is wise also to remember that the whole thing started in that same streaming-in-real-time forum. The media and tabloids troll that forum for stories and they know how to spin them for the most appeal and to make it “personal.” It’s not. Nobody is going to invite you to dinner because you’re such a good friend.

Michael Jackson and the Jackson family, because of their fame and wealth have had more than their share of those who would use them. They and their acquaintances have confirmed it so. Nobody wants to believe that a loved one died so senselessly. With a public figure the public is enamored of or obsessed with, the sentiment is even greater. Everybody is trying to make sense of what happened. Fans, colleagues, collaborators, biographers… but especially family. And a family that is grieving not only the loss of a brother but their own alienation from his life and the sorrow, guilt and regret that comes with it.

No matter what and no matter their own shortcomings (some confessed and some not) they have to deal with the pain of questions about what they did and didn’t do, what they said or failed to say, and accompanying regret. Now that he is gone, they must deal with the existential crisis this kind of monumental event brings. From the begining, they have been family. They have considered themselves “Jacksons” (a family of musically talented individuals- the black first family of music) and Michael their little brother. Whatever else he was, he was never not their brother. And in the worst of times, they were beside him. When an essential member breaks away or is torn from the flock, those left behind stagger in disbelief, grief and the emptiness that replaces that being who was once there, now gone. With death, the possibility of reconciliation and the remaining survival tool– hope is destroyed. The idea that whatever was left unfinished, unsaid, undone, unhealed, or regretted can never be rectified. It’s a pain one wouldn’t wish on the most evil of enemies.

The Jacksons have always seen themselves as “family.” They had to. They came to prominence in a time and environment that was hostile, unforgiving and very, very prejudiced against black people. Whites, especially can never know that kind of marginalization– and how those wounds are carried a lifetime and beyond.

“‘I wonder how the Negroes felt,’ the girl whispered. ‘I’ve never thought about it. But the children, how did it make them feel? I guess it is strange that I’ve never tried to imagine how they felt.’

‘I suppose there is no way you can feel it, truly, unless you live through it. We whites have a color glaze on our imaginations that makes it hard to feel with the people we have segregated ourselves from. But I think, as they watched the signs go up. And saw wall after wall built by law to shut them out from the life of their nation, that many of them blocked it off just as did white people. I think maybe they drew a little circle around their small personal lives and tried not to look beyond, for there were sinister sounds and shadows outside. They filled these small lives with work and raising their families and their hope of heaven and a struggle for education, and dancing and razor fights and dreams and laughter. And there was singing, the saddest singing in all the world, and the most beautiful. And sometimes we who caused the sadness would weep with them as they sang.’” ~ Lillian Smith, Killers of the Dream

You can’t Separate History from the Journey to Here

It’s true: “You can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been.” You cannot take the history nor the context out of the Jackson story. Nor can you dismiss powerful forces that work for personal gain, corporate gain, power, control and money. And then there’s the legacy. Not just of Michael, but of the Jackson family.

The aim of the media as the Jacksons became more visible and more famous (and in particular wealthy) was to admonish them to keep them in their “place,” then contain them, then to marginalize them, to nullify their “black sexuality” considered too visible and threatening, then to vilify them and all this for both conscious and unconscious reasons. Skin color still preoccupied media. It often does now. What was all that buzz about the paternity of the Jackson children? It was about reinforcing the perceived ambiguity of Michael’s sexuality, in service to misogyny, and it was about color. A very public “sin” is rarely forgotten and even more rarely forgiven.

The media latched onto Michael as he skyrocketed as a solo artist. Again, fame, money, talent, jealousy, envy, race and the lack of cultural morality played a huge part in what happened. When the legacy of Michael Jackson is examined, there is much to look at and much to remember that is remarkable. Cirque du Soleil makes that clear revisiting his life. But when you ask what people most remember, they will cite the accusations and the tabloid meme. The Jacksons also have much to be proud of as their contribution to culture and civil rights is monumental. Now think how the Jacksons are remembered. What is the predominant meme?

To give you a glaring example of how the media cultivates its victims, there is a tradition in tabloid media called the “takedown.” Everybody in the industry knows it and everyone knows how lucrative it can be for profits. “Takedown” begins with targeting a celebrity, using clever headlines to get the public to identify with them and to create the illusion of intimacy with them. Then, the reputation and legacy is deconstructed one layer at a time. The headlines subtly suggest at first that the celebrity is less than human and later aggressively dissassociate the celebrity with any kind of humanity– first “strange,” then “bizarre” in behavior and habits, then marginalized as separate or different: “wacko” and then alien from human altogether… “freak.”

This is now what the media is doing to those left behind when Michael died. And they are grooming the children for celebrity and for the same cycle in the next generation of “Jacksons.”

During the headlines about Michael’s relationship with children and the accusations swirling around him, a tabloid editor contacted a family associated with Michael. The family had allowed their two boys to be mentored by Michael because their talent was recognized early. The editor offered the father of the boys thousands of dollars to say that Michael had inappropriately touched the children. The father agreed and when the contract was presented by the editor, the father wrote an epithet and condemned the editor on the contract itself. The editor was furious having missed the opportunity for millions in a sensational albeit fictional story about Michael Jackson– everybody was reading about him and the editor was interested in his piece of the action. When the father asked him what was his primary motivation for trying to destroy a man he knew was innocent, the editor without any emotion explained that it was business as usual in the tabloid industry: “We take people down;” he said, “this is what we do.”

In my foray into the industry while doing research and wading around in the muck of that quicksand that trades on human misery and shadow, I was incredulous to find that the principals often left the office after a particularly lucrative day taking somebody down and could be seen high-fiving each other and throwing back shots and mugs in a victory celebration.

Tabloids and paparazzi use every kind of trick to get their stories. Nothing is beyond them– bribery, checkbook journalism (paying for the story– the juicier the story the more zeros on the paycheck) going through garbage, climbing fences or using cherry pickers to look over them, recruiting staff and security hungry and eager for a huge payout, contacting distant shirttail relatives, hacking computers, phones, and websites, or using threats and extortion (many tabloids had mafia influences) or abusing their power by targeting in headlines someone who refused to cooperate with their agenda.

Perhaps many are not aware of Aaron Sorkin’s new HBO series “The Newsroom” and its popularity among audiences. The program takes on the morality and ethics of media. Its main character, in the first episode is a clone of the main character Howard Beal in the movie Network.

If you have not seen “Network” the old film with Faye Dunaway, I recommend that you look for it in your library, on the list of movie rentals, at your video store or purchase a copy. It will open your eyes, I promise.

“Newsroom” Making Media Nervous

The critics have denounced the “Newsroom” (Sorkin) series with just about every charge they can hurl at it: “the characters are shallow,” the “plot not developed,” the “moral message” too in-your-face, the writers too sophomoric… Some former Sorkin fans (The West Wing) have made exodus from the hallowed Sorkin club. The reviews are ironic– with some being downright sardonic and mocking. But the “vibe” is clear; the Jungian and Shakespearian message glares notable when “methinks thou dost protest too much.” The reviewers sound scared and when people are frightened, they customarily mock that which frightens them. They resort to spreading disdain and fear through urging cautions about the series; true oracles they predict its’ downfall.

What is curious about all these critiques and reviews is the audience response in comments. The comments are mostly positive– not in favor of the critic or review, but in favor of Sorkin, the series and its message. It’s a phenomenon interesting to watch. What is it saying is that there is squirming in discomfort by the media who are the very subject and perps “Newsroom” indicts. The more seasoned media understand this restlessness that has them twisting in their chairs and in secret wringing their hands; the younger reporters behave as if they’re clueless in the wake of the public’s response.

They are clueless.

The public “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore” crusade has begun. The facade is crumbling. The audience is clamoring for authenticity in the wash and backwash of cynicism. The media, become far too powerful while at the same time irresponsible and cavalier in its treatment of real human beings, is sensing the groundswell. Those guilty know who they are. And they should be frightened. Their world is approaching the tipping point and is headed for inversion. See my article at Voices, the preface and link here:

Last week’s behavior by the media and accorded the Jacksons by fans and media alike was a grave disappointment. People who know better were drafted into the armies bullying the Jacksons, the estate and each other. There was nothing civil or enlightening about it. There was no room for examining the conflict in context and certainly no restraint in getting into the fray. I wondered how that was different than what the media did to Michael Jackson during his 2005 trial. I wondered how everyone could have forgotten the contribution made to music, culture, civil rights, humanitarianism and the world by not just Michael, but his family.

I wondered how people could get in the middle of something when they were not completely informed or encourage something that will only end in heartache for Michael’s children now that the media has grabbed hold of them. The children proved profitable. If you think they will ever, EVER respectfully let go again, you are very mistaken. The “respectful distance” the media exercised toward Michael’s children up until now? Game over! I guarantee you they are being stalked as we speak along with everybody even remotely attached to the Jacksons (including Conrad Murray.) The less scrupulous “reporters” are stalking this very moment. Guaranteed. They saw the attention given this story last week. They will be trolling for the “next chapter” in the saga. Watch for them to surface from the muck with more sensational “breaking news.”

 Brace Yourself

Given the reputation of some trashy media venues (TV and print,) I wondered how people could take the trash talkers’ word for an altercation that never occurred and see something in a clip from a security camera that clearly wasn’t there or hear something for which there was no audio– only the word of those known for their brand of sensationalism and tabloid TV. Why do they do it? Report things that don’t happen? Exaggerate things that do? For eyeballs, for sales, for sponsors, for MONEY. People including fans, played right into their hands.

The frenzy was unwittingly fed by someone young and without the sophistication to know the outcome or the methodology of those who would stalk to capture her and take her on the same journey as her father– to the ultimate takedown. Social media was on fire and that was exactly what the tabloid and tabloidesque media wanted. Watch for the new takedown to put Janet in their sites now– another Jackson. The children will come next. The Jacksons have been a source of “entertainment” revenue (think hunmiliation) for the media for a long, long time. The meme about the Jacksons- was designed by the media that provided lots of “evidence” for it. (“Just because you see it… don’t [sic] make it factual.”) It’s exploitation. For profit. Period.

The “greed” everyone cited is a meme the media invented and has now ever more deeply engraved in the public’s mind. It is designed to nullify the Jackson family and by association– Michael Jackson. Don’t you get it? If the media can nullify the Jacksons (and accomplish the implied-by-association nullification of Michael,) they can absolve themselves of any responsibility, complicity or guilt in what happened to Michael or how they treated him. They can fog up the reality and keep it hidden from the public and neutralize also the public rage when they cry “foul!” If they can nullify the Jacksons, they nullify Michael. The whole bunch becomes insignificant in eveyone’s mind. (Many are saying now– no wonder Michael Jackson was such a mess– look at his crazy family.) Michael was not a mess; it was the media that invented him a mess. So, who would bother to be upset about what the media did to somebody who’s crazy or irrelevant? When the truth of what really happened and how horribly brutal, cynical and undeserved is was, who is going to care if these people are irrelevant? Let me spell it out for you– Nobody is going to care what happened to these (Jackson) people because:
A. They deserved it.
B. They don’t matter anyway
C. They weren’t really human; they were celebrities

Don’t you get it yet? Not only are you being lied to, you are being led! Duped! And you are being positioned and groomed for more of the same. Why? Because bullying and trashing real people is profitable to the media! So, congratulations, you just trashed a lot of people. And let’s not forget the power of distraction to take your mind off the real issues, the real story or god forbid– the TRUTH.

Families fight. They fight about everything. Families fight about jealousy, favoritism, anything that is emotional, and money– especially when there is a lot of it. Families are hurt when a member becomes emanicipated and leaves the flock. families feel threatened when one of the members changes because that threatens the status quo and the family unit. Families have dynamics and they can be fierce– fierce in emotion, trash talk and just as fierce when they love. Families are messy. Big families are messier. Before Michael was a solo artist, he was a Jackson. He was a brother. He was also the glue that held them together. And yes, he represented the source of many things– identity, livelihood, career, recognition, and money. But most of all, Michael represented solidarity. (Us Jacksons against the world) That solidarity was necessary to a family besieged by so many outside forces that it was unprecedented and overwhelming. So when the source of those things which represent security are gone, people get frightened and they react. People do not like when change threatens solidarity. It’s difficult when a famous band breaks up whose members are not related; but when it’s family, the hurt is compounded. Some never get over it. In emancipations, breakups, disputes and divorces people say things in haste and anger that they don’t mean and can regret later. Life is a learning curve. But when events happens to those in the public eye, they become amplified. And when there is the artificial intimacy of celebrities attached, fans can get emotional and immature folks get hysterical. In case you didn’t recognize it last week– that was hysteria. Mob mentality. And it was ugly.

The Jacksons have had their feuds and dysfunctions like any other family. They have had their scars and downfalls, mistakes and missteps and misjudgments– Michael had them too. It’s important to understand this is a continuum of a cultural story, not just a momentary snapshot in time. Love means loss. Family means tragedy and carping and accusing and fighting. This family has had to do all that while in the public eye and with the loss of a brother, son and father, there is much to process, much to ponder, much to regret and much to amend. They are still reeling. And they are still in the media. And the media is still only too happy to exploit them. And the public is still only too happy to consume it all once again only this time adding social media and the immediacy of real time communication.

A meme is a legend. It’s important to consider memes and their cultural impact. They are prevailing ways of thinking that prompt a way of thinking and result in behavior. “The world is flat” was a meme. We all know how flawed that was. Louis Pasteur theorized that doctors who were not washing their hands or sterilizing their equipment were spreading little microbes that could not be seen with the naked eye and that people were dying from infections by these invisible bugs. He was laughed at and mocked. Richard Jewell connected to the Olympic Park bombing was a meme. (He wasn’t guilty) That Patsy Ramsey killed her daughter was a meme. (There is evidence for, and they are now sure there was an intruder on the night Jonbenet died.) The Mc Martin Preschool family child molestation ring was a meme. (The case took ten years to settle and not one Mc Martin was guilty.) Witches guilty of possession or causing possession was a meme. (Thousands of women in Europe and later in Salem, Massachusetts were burned at the stake.) “Rockets could never reach the moon” and space will never be explored” are memes. And great artists and geniuses have been marginalized in every culture and time. “Craziness” is a meme. “Weird” is a meme. “Michael Jackson” as a monster is a meme. The Jackson family as greedy and dysfunctional is a meme. If this doesn’t stop here and now with us, with this generation, what chance do the three Jackson children have? And what chance does humanity have to become humane?

It is still important to stop and consider the total picture. One of the current Jackson “villains” was the precise person who brought Tom Mesereau in to assist Michael Jackson in his darkest hour. Mr. Meseareau himself tried to urge caution in prejudging and judging the family or making unexamined assumptions about anyone or anything. Mesereau, of all people closest to Michael knows the power, intent and irresponsibility of the media:

I found the media firestorm devastating because I know the deliberateness of it. I know the tactics of baiting people, of soliciting fans, of feeding the frenzy and then capitalizing on it. I have done an in depth study of how this works. I watched as people bullied and threw epithets, jumped to conclusions, made judgments before all the evidence is in (it still isn’t in nor is this over) and saw how it paralleled the trial of 2005 when the media assumed guilt until they could be convinced otherwise. One side saw family as guilty, one side saw children not yet seasoned nor trained in the hard knocks of Hollywood, as guilty. Innocence often steps out into the world only to be met with cynicism and evil.

Michael knew that well. He warned of it. He sang about it. He cautioned about listening to tabloids and taking whatever you hear or read as gospel and making conclusions on false, unclear, manufactured, meme-generated and not vetted information. How many times did he declare HIS intentions only to be scoffed at and make fodder for cynics and late night comedians? How many times did he say “No, I do not bleach my skin to deny my race: I am a proud black man with Vitiligo?” Remember, it took his DEATH to prove it and the meme, false.

“How many more have to die in vain across the land?”

We have allowed the media to treat us very badly. We have allowed them to take someone’s humanity from them by bullying and dismembering them in public. And that takes our humanity away. We bully. We are bullied. And we behave like battered women– we get our humanity beaten up and we go back for more. We capitulate. This week in addition to the “Jackson Family Feud” there was a gathering for Geraldine Hughes who is entertaining proposals for a documentary based on her book Redemption and information released about an affidavit of 3 felonies during the trial of Michael Jackson. And did you know that Rupert Murdock resigned from the board at News Corp? Those things got ignored while the public and fans were engrossed in the “Jackson Family Feud.”

I considered closing Inner Michael and moving on. While having post surgical testing for medical reaons this last week, I avoided Inner Michael and all things Jackson for a couple days to think it over. I looked at the finances– what has been donated has never covered the costs to keep the site going. So many people wrote to say I was a lifeline– where were they? I thought: “why bother?” It was not an easy week.

Back to Inner Michael
When I returned to Inner Michael here is what was waiting for me: (I won’t reveal the source/s)


“With all due respect, Barbara. You give the Jackson family too much credit. There is a reason why Michael never visited his family in the latter years nor did he expose his kids to their cousins. Only Katherine was allowed to visit. I truly believe that the Jackson family are highly dysfunctional and were especially the “brothers” who were envious of Michael’s huge success and power and money.

Michael distrusted his brothers. His children that he so shielded are being paraded like media whores. They are not in an environment that MJ would have wanted. There is no real supervision. I mean, really. Katherine herself on Oprah said that her grandchildren (from the brothers) live on Havenhurst and some were even born there. Excuse me? Shouldn’t they be living with their parents? Why put the burden on an old woman. Then they put this united front? Yes, all families have issues, but this family? And for janet to slap Paris who is so vulnerable and a teen and misses her father and has no mother to guide her? Why is Janet not being the aunt she is supposed to be. If Paris misbehaves, then teach her the way MJ would have. Not slap her and Randy? Many sources say MJ didn’t trust Randy. One of the bodyguards even said Randy invaded MJ’s home in Vegas and rammed thru the gates insisting on seeing Michael. Michael refused. the bodyguard say Randy pulled a weapon. Why would this bodyguard lie about such a thing.

This is about M.O,N.E.Y. As Michael wrote in his song “Money”….sell your soul to the devil. They want Katherine out of the way so they can control the estate and the kids.

I pray that Paris, Prince Michael and Blanket get the guidance they deserve and the love that they deserve.


It seems that while I was nurturing self and seriously considering moving on… the anxiety was growing: 


Rolling Stones mentioned that a “NEW BOOK” is being published about “the strange world of Michael Jackson”. I fear what this book is about. The media will dish out millions for a scandal, lies, innuendos anything negative about Michael. I go on YouTube and the videos which portray MJ’s true character get so few hits. Why? Yet the autopsy photo received millions of hits. My God. Even in death Michael is being vilified. I feel sooo helpless i want to scream. This man has done things to my heart I never imagined. As a new fan after his death, I honestly can say no celebrity dead or living has ever affected me. I feel so protective over this man. This creature who posessed so much goodness, vulnerability, strength, dignity, humility. He was flawed no doubt as we all are and he made mistakes. Mostly by trusting those around him and not taking control and for getting too close to strangers. all because his heart was pure. Why are the media so eager to crucify him even in death? The National Enquirer has a hotline “tell me gossip about celebrities”. I wrote Mike, the gossip guy and asked if sources were verified. He said yes. Really? Anyone can write a book or say so and so fooled around with so and so and it is in print or ont he internet and reputations and careers are damaged. What is to be done? You, my dear Barabara, do so much, but why aren’t you more visible? On TV on Good Morning America in NYC who by the way is kind of sympathetic to Michael after his death. Where is Charles Thompson? All Michael’s so called friends? Seth Riggs, David Nordahl, Larry Nimmer? Why don’t they go on “Piers Morgan Tonight”? All our lamentations are for nothing if there is no exposure.

Just my humble opinion. thank you.


And then this…


First let me say that the post i sent yesterday was NOT posted. It stated that the Jacksons were NOT a family as they present themselves to be. They are about Money, Fame and jealous of Michael and always were.

Secondly, on CNN this is what I found. You might want to address Mr. Jacobs:

“Money always brings out the worst in people,” said Bradley Jacobs, a senior editor for Us Weekly magazine. “Michael Jackson was a hot mess in life, and things are still really messy in death.”
Jacobs noted the great lengths to which the late pop star went to shield his children from just the type of publicity and notoriety that they are now immersed in”.

These slurrs must be addressed. They cannot simply be ignored. I stand with PARIS, PRINCE and BLANKET and Katherine. The rest of the clan….well you know how I feel. Michael stayed away from his family for the most part except for Katherine.

Barbara, if you do not agree with a post, your NOT posting it shows me that you only post what you want to hear. The Jacksons are capitalizing on Michael’s resurgence of fame. They have that right, but to NOT tell Paris where her grandmother was is cruel. And the fact that she took to twitter to get an answer? I stand firmly with her. But I am also concerned that she does not have a female role model. I hoped it would beJanet and laToya who is stangely silent. What a family. And you think it is about race? It is about a greedy family wanting a piece of the billion dollar empire Michael worked so hard for. They don’t deserve one red cent. Michael left 20% to charity and the rest to Katherine and his kids. End of story.


There was also a letter recently that interpreted Inner Michael as promoting dualism that I still can’t find the words to answer despite trying several times to draft one. (I have always answered every letter I’ve received.) The letter was a massage of the ego mind, not the heart. I don’t want to reinforce mental calithenics. I don’t want to “banter” or “dialogue” and throw around words and definitions so that we can avoid the real conundrum. I don’t want us to remain superficial. Or cynical. I want us to go deeper. I want us to heartspeak and soulspeak in this space. What I have said in this space is that we live in a world of duality and that it originates in the split within self informed by the illusion of separation from the Divine and each other.

And there’s this:

I think Paris suffered the greatest losses in this feud. After TMZ posted a fake description of a conflict between her and Janet, in which Janet supposedly hit her and called her a “spoiled brat,” Gladys Knight commented on TV that had she been Janet, she would have “knocked Paris’s teeth out.” Dozens of commenters agreed with her, saying that Paris needs to be “brought down a peg” for seeking the spotlight and not respecting her elders. This is so extremely like what happened to Michael it makes me terribly concerned. Do you envision a way that us fans could respond specifically about Paris?
Thank you so, so much!


And this:

Barbara dear…

All that is needed to raise world consciousness is to raise our own consciousness to its fullest potential. I do not believe we need to do anything more than that. Because “we are the world”, there is no division and the moment we begin the task of raising consciousness the actual vibration of the planet is affected. By concentrating on our own consciousness raising we are in actuality doing all that we can personally do to raise the vibration of the energy which surrounds all of life. It is well known that the only way to elicit change is in changing ones own behavior. Just the sheer state of awakening will draw others to that state and thus creating a succession of events triggering like behavior. The critical mass we have discussed on numerous occasions is real and can be measured.

Just as we see that we can be brought into darkness by human activities which tarnish and destroy we can be brought into the light by human activities which uplift and inspire. We must demand a higher standard for ourselves FIRST. We must live the life that we imagine and it then will become manifest.

If we can each become a light unto ourselves we can accomplish all that is possible within our own human capacity to create a new world. We must continue to remember that “we are the world.” There is no “they”…..It’s US….IT’S US!! When you bring a light into a room you don’t then ask: how can we actually dispel the darkness? The sheer act of light bringing dispels the darkness without any effort. The darkness is overcome and BECOMES light. So when you become a light unto yourself you are in fact doing all that is humanly possible to raise the WHOLE WORLD’S CONSCIOUSNESS…..

Be totally blissful, totally immersed and passionately dance in your own awakeness and do it with such intensity that the dancer disappears and only the dance remains, so that your own perfect and blissful dance inspires thousands of other hearts to dance as well. They may never know where the inspiration comes, or why they suddenly feel this way. But that is of no consequence. You may never know how many lives you have influenced or how many people have been transformed but that is also not your concern. Just know that IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME. Your inspiration will be the inspiration of many, your dance will be the dance of many, your passion will inspire the passion of many so all you must do is CHANGE YOURSELF. Change the way you operate in the world. Because remember my dears, “we are the world.”

Light Bearers Unite!

And yesterday morning a private letter: (An excerpt)

 I hope you know what an inspiration you are to me.  I have posted a comment in the last entry about raising consciousness but I wanted you to know that you are what has kept me sane over these almost 3 years.

What I have been thinking about of late is of course some sort of retreat but the reason for it would be to actually meet to raise world consciousness.  

I am wondering if everyone is working in some way on their own but without much direction as I am.  Is there a way to organize consciousness raising?  They say that group directed prayer has a much greater affect.  Why not group directed consciousness raising?  All of what we have been discussing these long months since Michael’s passing is how to move the planet to the next level of consciousness.  Do you have any thoughts on the matter?  Can we somehow incorporate this activity to coincide with the 12 -21-12 date? I think it’s synonymous with the birthing of a new way of living.  It is something that we should be anticipating with great joy.  Release the old and bring in the new.  The Feminine Face of God being brought back to her rightful place in history.  Can we do something special?       I appreciate all that you have done for me thus far.  Thank you for being there….God bless you and your work.  It is necessary and important. Blessings and light.


And this morning:

Thank you Rev. Barbara. My thoughts: 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.


And another concern about Gladys Knight:

I thought Gladys Knight’s remarks – IF TRUE – were horrifying. I agree this whole obscenely-fueled by the media debacle is out of control. How indeed do we cap this toxic spill?


In response here is what I will say:

Well which is it? Am I an evil person or a person whose motives are pure? Am I a darkness dealer or light holder? Who said so? What makes it true? Did everyone have all the facts about me and my intentions? Are there unexamined assumptions? Projection? Shadow? Ego? Is there a mirror? Do you like what you see? We still are not privy to all the insider stuff in the Jackson household or anywhere else. And I want you to think about this mini Jacksonesque saga playing out right here at Inner Michael. This is a micro glimpse of the macro picture. Like the world you’re seeing? Like the world you’re being?

So… here’s the thing:

Media is trained in how to engage us. How to entice us. How to use the perfect headlines, get the most juice, the most hits, how to stir us up and get us going. The tactics are discussed and taught. Just as in other spaces, those who sell their soul or compromise their integrity pay a grave price that isn’t even visible. People know when they are doing something that is not right or when they know something is shady or wrong. The dissonance this creates within the mind-body system is expensive to health and well being.

Anger arises from being fearful and it massages the ego– a fictional character that you have created and that doesn’t exist and sees itself separate from Source and other creations of Source (people.) It is not authentic nor an authentic way to live. When it is fed, that is false nourishment. Media promotes this game. Anger is inevitable. What you do with your anger is not. Harm with it or harnass it to heal. It’s a choice.

Gladys Knight was raised in a different time, a different era and culture and as a racial minority. Punishment “back in the day” was a strap or a slap across the face for “sassing” your elders. “Knock your teeth out” or “make your teeth rattle” are old expressions from those bygone days. It wasn’t meant to be literal. It was too harsh by today’s standards. And adults must not only set the tone but role model what they expect and that is certainly not violence. But she makes a point about listening to those who are wiser and have more experience than you. Janet Jackson knows what the media can do to someone– she knows it first hand and she knows from watching her brother, Michael.

Maybe this will answer the concerns:

Let’s say that a child has a weapon (maybe a gun or knife or other weapon) in their hand but they are innocent and don’t realize it’s a weapon. They don’t have any awareness of how using that weapon can hurt them. So they continue to wield that weapon and they menace with it. You, being the adult in the picture who is older and wiser… what are you going to do? Are you going to shrug your shoulders and walk away leaving that child to their own devices when one of them is a weapon? Or are you going to try to take the weapon from their hands so that they don’t harm themselves or harm themselves further? What would the responsible person do? (Here’s a hint– the media was using the child and the weapon to creat their own weapons– words. How is that different from Rupert Murdoch’s phone hacking?) When a child doesn’t know any better and is holding a weapon that will harm them in the end- would you take it away?

Gladys Knight knows the industry. She knows media people. She is in the music business. She is a celebrity. I don’t think Gladys said everything she was thinking. And I don’t think she supports harming children. She used a coined phrase inappropriately. It came from her background as a child who dared to sass her elders. We are all products of our upbringing. I think it’s important to ask if there was intention to harm in any situation. She was making a point that is well taken. Were things better back then? There was certainly less bullying and more respect. Now a parent has little recourse to discipine a child and physical punishment is no longer permissible. There is much debate about punishment and teenagers. That is for other forums.

Maybe you want to check out what Seven had to say at MJ-777 about all this.

As for Inner Michael– it was designed to be a spa for people who are curious, want to explore more deeply, for those in grief and having a spiritual emergency. It is also being used and referenced in scholarly as well as art forums. It is a place to come and find hope for the current passage that is difficult. It is a place to examine other perspectives that are not informed by ego or the false self. It is a place to look deeper and to find the light within and without. It is progressive.

It’s also a place for information and spiritual education. Intropection and guidance. I make no apologies for the intention here.

And yes, I do have a plan for (perhaps) how we can create that new way that is referenced in the comment. The plan has been fermenting for a long time now. In the meantime, life gave me some circumstances. The plan is still available.

It doesn’t happen often that someone comes here to attack. Such is the spa that you all have helped create by your energy and presence. But here is my answer to attack: it comes from fear. It is a mirror that asks us to gaze in the reflection for the treasure there– knowledge about self and self in the world.

Inner Michael is not a chat room or public forum. That is deliberate and sets an energetic that nourishes spirit rather than feeding ego. It isn’t often that I need to edit comments. Sometimes I do to preserve something in integrity. Sometimes I do to protect people from sharing something too intimate or too revealing. Sometimes I edit out names for obvious reasons. For whatever reason I decide to edit a comment if I do, it is my reason and informed by careful consideration and wisdom developed over a lifetime. Ask writers what goes into their craft. I counted the number of times I went back to write, update edit and illustrate this post: 87 times. This is hard work that takes time. And remember, you aren’t spending time with what you choose to do, you are spending life.

I am not always right but I stand by my intentions. I will edit when I believe it prudent; Inner Michael is my site; I am the owner and manager and I pay the bills (the amounts in contributions do not support this site.) So I, as moderator, will decide what to share and when.

I will protect privacy or naivete` when I feel it is necessary and in cases where I feel the person might be compromised now or in the future with a published comment made in haste or in a less-than-rational moment of time. That is my perogative, my right and I will continue to exercise it. I also will not allow people who come here with less than spiritual agendas to contaminate the experience of those who do. Don’t come here with muddy feet heavy from walking through muck and expect to walk across this space. I will consider that people get “whipped up” and irrational (urged on by the media) but I will also not allow someone to come here and behave like a bully and abuse me. Not on my time and certainly not while I pay for them to do it. And certainly not from someone claiming to be a “Michael Jackson fan” who ignores his message and his role modeling. It will not stand without speaking to it. And when I speak, I will call the hysteria and bullying what it is– ugly. It’s so insidious that is has become habit and common. But not here. So, maybe you want to go watch “Ghost” again and decide “Are you scared yet?”

Get the picture? Good. Let’s dance.


  1. gertrude said . . .

    Rev. B I have felt very guilty about not contributing yet but truthfully my income is miniscule at present. I cringe with regret when I see the contribution button and I always think just hold on Rev. B, I will contribute when circumstances allow and I truly believe this site and your work are UTTERLY worth, at the least, adequate support from all of us – of which I am one.

    You inspire me and I am completely impressed with your not falling for the traps any of us wittingly or unwittingly set for you. I HAVE learned a LOT from you, as well as from Michael, and absolutely believe your service to us is well-worthy of financial support. I completely understand why you owe something to Barbara Kaufmann too. She must not be allowed to be disrespected or unappreciated.

    Posted August 7, 2012 at 4:49 am | Permalink
  2. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    G, I mention the amount of work and dedication that goes into being a writer and in particular, hosting a blog, not to make anyone uncomforatble. Lots of people are having difficulty in this econmy and there is no “blame” in that.. But I bring it up to illustrate the idea of a gift offered, a gift given with unconditional love; and gifts shared in service to the world. Isn’t that what Michael Jackson did time after time? And how was he treated? And isn’t that precisely the complaint and lament of fans? So If you’re going to criticize how Michael was treated, isn’t it hypocritical to behave badly, bully people with words and treat them with disdain and disrespect? If you empathize with how Michael was bullied and gored with word weapons in front of the whole world, is it OK for you to indulge in that same thing? This time the target was his family. And nobody is in a position to know exactly what is going on and why. Whatever your opinion, it is an ASSUMPTION not truth.

    It is quite uncivil that when we come at someone with unexamined assumptions, with our individual angry ego raging, we are not in our “right mind.” We are in an irrational moment and the decisions we make then and opinions we form can become unconscious vows that albeit invisible, can affect us our whole lives. It illustrates that we ASSUME and if the other doesn’t precisely meet OUR expectations, that is our ego talking, not our hearts. I fall for those same traps, G. I try to monitor myself with a developed observer self (the mirror) and I try to examine my assumptions. I ask myself “was that from my heart or my ego?” And “what was THAT in service to?” Sometimes that works and sometimes it fails miserably. (“I’m only human!”) I am aware of my “legacy” and woud prefer to leave the world a little better when I exit, that I found it. (“Every day create your history; every path you take, you’re leaving your legacy”)

    I learned that long before Michael Jackson so I may have a bit more knowledge about it and a bit more experience in the “practice” — but it’s still a “practice.” Just like a meditation practice or yoga practice, it takes attention, work and evaluation. And a mentor to guide you helps. One only has to look around to understand how important it is to try to leave the world a better place. That’s not noble or lofty– it’s essential if we are to save this planet and ourselves in the window we have to accomplish it. We have forgotten how to feel our own humaness and the humaness of others– and humanity. We are now witness to the result of that– corporations, greed, getting ahead, and the drive to have more, more, more and better, better, better– people are anesthetizing themselves with food, drugs, sex, TV… and they don’t understand why they’re angry and resentful. We have forgotten how to feel. We can’t remember how to love until we can feel it. Practice anyone?.

    In that forgetting and in that emptiness, our ego wants to be in charge and it wants to be RIGHT because we feel shame when we are wrong and shame is not a great place to be. Feeling self-righteous puffs us up in our own estimation and we only need to do that if we are feeling impotent or inadequate– but then that is like expecting someone else to heal our own wounds. It won’t work. It’s equivalent to stabbing ourselves with a sharp object (the wounding) and expecting someone else to feel our pain for us. We have to honestly look at ourselves and make the change within.

    This irrational moment multiplied itself by millions last week. People with inadequate information made unexamined and unconfirmed assumptions (based on a tabloidesque media meme) and jumped into the fray just as expected by those who “stirred it up” to whip up the frenzy (by reporting false sensationalized information.) How did all that spewing anger and bullying make the world a better place?

    In that frenzy, we forget to appreciate those people who have shared their gifts with the world (Michael and his family) in order to enrich our lives. We forget the history; we nullify the contributions, we conveniently forget the gifts that have been offered us over time. It is easy to bully celebrities because they are painted by media as artificial humans. They aren’t. They bleed, they cry, they make mistakes and missteps and they grieve just like anyone else. Not only do celebrites have to deal with the gift inside them that pushes to come out, but they have to be vulnerable and take the risk of stepping out and holding out an offering not knowing whether they will be beloved for it or berated. Art is a courageous act. When one offers their art as a gift, it is a loving act. We certainly don’t have to accept their gift if it doesn’t suit us. But we also don’t have to vilify, berate, ridicule, humiliate or any of those other bullying things to alienate and reduce them to less than human. Doing that with one person is bullying. Doing it with a group is bigotry. Doing it with cultures is war. Doing it with a planet ends life.

    In this human dance we do on Planet Earth there are paradoxical and confounding forces at work — within ourselves and without– in the way we express ourselves in the world. It’s tricky to balance valuing ourselves enough to prevent people from bullying us yet keeping our ego from rampaging and creating chaos for everyone. The bullying in the world is rampant. It’s so pervasive as to almost be an acceptable means of discourse. It’s not. We need to both respect and be respectful. The world lacks civility, dignity and respect. Someow we have come to a place of de-valuing human beings so much that anything goes in how we speak. Our insides know that’s wrong and knowing something is wrong and doing it anyway creates misery and suffering. How do you honor other humans when you dishonor self? How is that going to “heal the world” or “make it a better place?”

    Posted August 7, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink
  3. Robin W. Smith said . . .


    I heard frightened children
    Looking for their Grandmother
    Gone for too many days.
    Children still reeling
    From the loss of their Daddy.
    Every child’s fear.
    I saw frightened children
    Get their feelings heart
    Real, real bad, again.
    I saw a boy become a Man;
    Making his stand
    The Son of Michael Jackson
    Leader of his siblings.
    For whom can one trust?

    Posted August 8, 2012 at 2:35 am | Permalink
  4. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    I know, R. I can feel the hurt in your words. It’s emotional and that’s what gets to people. What you saw and heard is emotional and may have been orchestrated– as these things often are. What we didn’t see or hear was the “behind the scenes.” Somebody with questionable intentions and influence encouraged this perfect storm and set it in motion. Everybody is a victim here. Everybody was “used,” even abused. And that includes fans who have been dragged around by their heartsrings yet one more time… and this time it wasn’t ITV or Discovery Channel or an illegitimate documentary or a panel of “experts” or a delusional, rabid, myopic reporter. It was Michael’s children. I understand.

    Somebody fanned the flames. We don’t have the whole story and people may not be in a posiiton to tell it. And if names are named, lawsuits for slander are sure to follow. It may be important to step back and widen the lens and to listen for what is not being said. There is damage and it may not be completely irreversible. Everybody is hurting. The best thing that could happen here is that the crowd that gathered backs away and goes about their business allowing this family the privacy and space they need to sort this out without interference and without leaks. Tabloid royalties pay pretty well when they are trolling for a story. Integrity has to trump the lure of lots of cash and the attachment to fame. Whatever the details, the outcome is much worse than can be seen now. And this is NOT what Michael Jackson would have wanted.

    Posted August 8, 2012 at 3:41 am | Permalink
  5. Robbie M said . . .

    Yes… someone certainly did set this whole dreadful chain of events in motion. Children who because of who they are, face enough hurdles in life. The continual lies and disinformation put out there by the media, and those with vested interests about their beloved father is too much for young hearts to bear, hearts that still hurt so badly for a father`s loss. Then along comes someone close to or in the family circle with a shady agenda and callously uses these emotionally fragile youngsters for their own dubious purposes. Michael had trust issues all his life, with good reason, I grieve to see his precious children being led down the same path. I have no answers, just deep sadness and hurt, like so many others. Another generation of Jacksons ripe for the plucking……are you scared yet? Dear God yes!!!

    Posted August 8, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink
  6. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    We are not going to point fingers or name names here. We are not going to do exactly what the fans have always complained about– proclaim someone guilty in the court of public opinion when we don’t have the total picture.

    Just as in the case of Michael’s trial, these disputes belong in legal channels and courts– not in entertainment media. It’s peddling misery for profit!

    Apparently some missed the message entirely- or have not actually read this post. When Michael Jackson faced accusations, everybody jumped to conclusions and the whole world pointed fingers; they accused and assumed.

    Everybody was angry at him! Everybody knew they were right! Everybody was so sure! Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! And isn’t that the meme (myth) that many still believe to this day?

    But he wasn’t.

    What if the jury had believed the media? What if they had brought their conviction of guilt to court? What if they believed they were so right in their opinion that they didn’t listen to the full body of evidence? What would have happend to Michael?

    We are not going to decide about guilty parties here– not his family, not his children and not the estate. We do not have all the facts.

    If fans are truly serious and they are as mad about the media spin as they claim to be and as disgusted as they say, then they can’t encourage more of the same or participate in the spin themselves!

    If you have not spoken directly to Michael or the Jackson family, your source is some form of media. As you have learned, that source doesn’t tell the whole story and cannot be trusted until they regain the public trust BY TELLING THE WHOLE TRUTH ALL THE TIME.

    Michael asked to be taken at his word. He complained bitterly that when he told the truth, the media still ignored or ridiculed him. That is how they nullify people. The media nullified Michael and they nullified his voice.

    The media has been trying to nullify the Jacksons for years. Now they have lots of help and sadly, some of it from fans.

    Keep in mind Michael was not just a solo artist. He was a Jackson. As a Jackson, he shares that legacy.

    Check it at the door. Thanks. ~B

    Posted August 8, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Permalink
  7. Poca said . . .

    Dear Barbara, I think you are an amazing person and I have learned so much from you and from Michael. You interpret Michael’s message beautifully and you are one of the best writers that seems to know his true heart (pure) and his message of love and peace so well. I just so wished you could go publicly and talk about Michael and how the media is constantly using his fame for profit and now they’re going after his children.

    What frustrates me the most that they base their stories from TMZ (they create horrible and misleading headlines.) Like many other people, I almost fell into the media’s trap last week but I asked myself what would Barbara say about this and what would Michael do? I decided to just listen and pray about this whole mess. I believe when we don’t know something, we should pray so God can enlighten us and bring us to the truth. When we go the media’s outlet and leave our responses whether good/bad they are profiting, but when keep our comments to ourselves and bring our frustration to God, we are leaving it in God’s hands and God’s revenge is so much sweeter. Michael needs a sweet revenge, not to create hate. Barbara, you are awesome and thank you for being a good role model.

    Posted August 9, 2012 at 2:08 am | Permalink
  8. Victoria said . . .

    We must rise above the fray. (Rise up!) There is work to be done. Do not let the media control our true mission here. We know what it is. Soldier on for LOVE. Send blessings to all but do the work in your own sphere of influence. The particulars are no longer important. We all get it that we are being misled in all ways.

    Thank you dearest Barbara for all your efforts and your incredible word smithing.

    “I hope that love will come today”

    Posted August 9, 2012 at 3:06 am | Permalink
  9. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    No pressure, right? (imagine a smile here) Thank you for the compliment; keep in mind that walking the talk is important. I work at it and it’s true that I teach it and write it much better than I practice it. It doesn’t come naturally. That is why it’s a practice. I learn more each time. I get wiser. And aren’t we are supposed to learn from our mistakes? The real trap is the bottomless pit that catches us unawares when the stakes were too high and we did a big “oops” and now it’s too far gone and there is no way back up, no way out and and no way to recover what was lost. I pray that did not happen last week but I am not entirely convinced.

    I have gone public with the story of Michael- at George Washington University, Voices Education Project, Huffington Post and recently at the By Women for Women Conference where I did a session and told the audience the complete story. Nobody batted an eye or raised a brow. It was my way of experimenting to see how an audience would receive it. When you speak with authority and come from the heart that is what happens- people hear it on a different level. (I have to keep in mind here that the audience was spiritually and humanitarian oriented.) I have experimented with showing the “Words and Violence” film that clearly places Michael in the role of: a victim of bullying The film is subtle, but effective– nobody questions it. Sometimes it is wise to strategize and test the waters before diving in, yes? One must rehearse and prepare. And the ego must absoluetely be kept in check. The voice must be authentic, for people know when you are inauthentic and coming from the ego instead of the heart.. They always know. They feel it and they feel you.

    So, there are ways to accomplish this. The dark Michael meme was fading and people were beginning to “get” that something about that whole Michael Jackson story thingy was kind of “off.” The vindication work that began immediately and all these three years later, people were feeling comfortable in coming out more and more with stories about their encounters, interactions, collaborations and experience of Michael. (Remember, there were two accusals with ten years between– that’s a long time span. There were decades of adjectives like “weird” and “bizarre” and the fable of a Howard Hughes-type recluse.) It was relentless. If you knew Michael Jackson in Hollywood it was not wise to say so because of the constant negative press and adjectives. Who wanted to admit to knowing someone called and considered “wacko?” People were afraid of contamination by association. (Nobody wants to be identified wtih a “loser.”) It didn’t matter the meme was false; it was widespread and widely accepted.

    His death changed things. “This Is It” movie made a difference and people began to question the meme. Cirque du Soleil has been in almost 200 cities and leaves the audience feeling good and remembering… And the global reaction and vindication work changed hearts and as more of the truth of who he was came out, more people became cormfortable speaking the truth about their associations with him. The more people who spoke, the more the meme was loosened and the more people began to question their assumptions. So this is progressive work. It builds upon itself. The truth cannot be forever contained.

    However, there are those with a vested interest in keeping the meme going. They don’t want the truth to surface. There is a lot at stake. The stakes are bigger than anyone can yet imagine. While the powerful forces that swept Michael Jackson away from himself and from the world may not know exactly what they fear or what exactly the revealing the truth portends, but they know they fear it. They feel the rumble underneath the surface as the truth tries to push up from under the layers of lies. Never underestimate the lure of money, power and fame. Any one of those alone can attract the horribly unscrupulous– but combine all three and you get the corruption trifecta.

    The horrible and misleading headlines you cite are not just for or about Michael. They target almost all celebrities and public or famous figures. The fall from grace for any of them is tragic and for the envious, brings relief if not blatant glee. The Jackson family free-for-all of last week was damaging to the vindication work. Good people who have been or gone public threw up their hands in frustration or and almost threw in the towel. (IM included.) Some threw up. Figuratively and literally.

    How can out-of-control fans take on an out-of-control media? We cannot be that which we find repulsive in others and maintain credibility. We have to embody the change and BE it.

    I appreciate your vote of confidence but I don’t always practice restraint well. I can get really hooked and become irrational when someone pushes my buttons. But KNOWING the game is to push my buttons is a game changer. Understand? The media game is to push buttons. They know the “Jackson” name pushes buttons in a big way and all over the world. They use it and by using the name, use US– the audience. And because Jackson fans are so passionate, it’s effective. Game over. Media wins.

    Praying helps and certainly petitioning God (whatever that means to you) helps. But God can’t do it (or won’t) without some committment from his constituency (“I can’t do it by myself; I’m gonna need some kind of sign.”) “It takes a village.” Here it’s gong to take a global village. Are we all crying at the same time… and is it “tonight” yet?

    Posted August 9, 2012 at 3:32 am | Permalink
  10. Vero said . . .

    “Keep in mind Michael was not just a solo artist. He was a Jackson. As a Jackson, he shares that legacy.”

    This is info from Wikipedia (not tabloids): Michael had his first single as a solo artist at age 13 (Got To Be There) in 1971. This was the title of his first solo album in 1972. There were other solo albums (Ben, 72, Music and Me, 73) before Off the Wall in 79, made when Michael was 21 years old.

    I think when an artist starts going solo at the age of 13, with great success, we need to see their talent as a solo artist. Michael Jackson decided to go solo, and no, I do not know the reasons, but I do know that with his solo career, which lasted 29 years (dating from Off the Wall), he became the artist and person we know and love today.

    People make decisions to be separate from their birth families. Why do we always need to see Michael Jackson as a member of his birth family and not as a separate individual, someone who is distinct, with his own interests, his own career and his own family?

    I see myself as a separate individual, not as a member of my birth family. Do we see other artists as part of their families? Van Gogh–do we see him as part of the Van Goghs? Yes, he had a great relationship with his brother, but does that account for his talent alone? Jane Austen had a great relationship with her sister, but would that alone have made her a great writer? I think great artists transcend their birth families and their generation, their culture.

    Posted August 10, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Permalink
  11. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Michael was a Jackson no matter how hard fandom tries to separate him or for how long. No matter the emotion or opinion, “The Jacksons” have historical, ethnic and cultural significance. All the Jacksons are contributors to the cutlure in which they were born. May I suggest a review of their work– ALL of the Jacksons and all of their work. The Van Goghs were not a unit and did not perform or contribute to their contemporay culture as a unit. Michael also broke out and went on as a solo artist. One does not negate the other. Beyonce does not negate Destiny’s Child and Diana Ross does not negate the Supremes any more than Lionel Richie negates the work of the Commodores.

    I stand by “MIchael was not just a solo artist. He was a Jackson. As a Jackson, he shares that legacy.” Perhaps the fans, and in particular the “new” fans or “younger” fans don’t fully comprehend the contribution the Jacksons made to this culture. It should be respected not ridiculed. And perhaps if studied might prove enlightening and increase understanding of Michael and his path. Family is not an all-or-nothing exercise. Sometimes family disappoints but that doesn’t negate the love among and between members. “Family” provides an opportunity for the full range of human emotion and interaction including the karmic overtones. It is what it is– and it’s messy.

    The attempt to separate precisely proves the point and illustrates how successful deliberate nullification through propaganda is. The shame is ours when we try to “erase” historical contribution because something about the history makes us uncomfortable. Shame on us for our short attention span, our knee-jerk reactions based on assumption and being inadequately informed, and shame on us too for letting the fickle winds of popularity blow us around. Shame on us for hopping on the that bandwagon of “popularity” (a kindergarten or fifth-grade game we should have outgrown) and only supporting our team when they are winning.

    Posted August 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink
  12. gertrude said . . .

    I have not read, nor been involved in, any of the melee surrounding this latest media feeding frenzy targeting Michael and his family – save for occasionally checking the latest news section of MJFC and coming here to IM.

    But one thing I am certain of is that no matter what disagreements and disappointments Michael and his family had with each other, Michael always LOVED them. ALWAYS. That he made clear, you could hear and see it in him, at the very least, when he gave recognition to them during his concerts, right up to This Is It. He always recognized his critical formation with them, and their contribution to his and our histories. What respect are we showing for that when we allow ourselves to get sucked in by media sensationalism into taking sides in something that is none of our business – but rather a family’s PERSONAL business?

    All Michael’s siblings had their hearts forever ripped out of them when he was killed. Their gut-wrenching expressions of grief were well beyond anything that could be faked. I do believe we need to remember that at all times before GUESSING – because we can do nothing BUT guess – at what motivates their actions, and ESCHEW JUDGEMENT. We do not know, we will NEVER know as long as we live here, what it is like to be in their shoes or what the so-called “truth” is.

    But I truly believe that we DO know that they loved him and he loved them. And we need to remember that Michael cautioned us to not believe what we did not hear directly from him, because EVERYTHING about him and his family has been relentlessly invented and/or distorted by a media who’s agenda is to make money by “taking people down” as Rev. B has taken great pains in these recent postings to illustrate to us.

    Posted August 12, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Permalink
  13. Caro said . . .

    Thanks for the email about signing the petition for justice for Michael etc. You are soooo right – the media are at it again and who really knows what it is all about, and it is so easy to blame. Your “picture” of Michael’s dear children with bullseyes on them really hit home if you’ll pardon the pun. Trouble is as an ardent fan of Michael and all he stood for, it is sooo hard not to take sides and wonder what is what, but of course all we get is the media version. I must say I have taken most of my info from the offical fan club site as they really report well. I just wish people, whoever they are, family, fans, media etc etc could not get caught up in all this, but I suppose that is impossible if one cares so much. I feel almost like it is a personal attack on me I feel so close to Michael, strange as that may sound.

    I got the website for the petiton from the fan club blog site and managed to put my name to the petition despite living in South Africa, and I am so glad that I did – at least I feel I could do something this time. Thank you for all you are doing with Inner Michael and for all the positivity you put out – it is much appreciated and needed in all of this.

    Posted August 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink
  14. Kim said . . .

    Thank you Rev. Barbara. I have recently made the decision to not offer my opinion on what was happening with the family. Someone stated here that it’s very easy to maybe take sides as we feel very protective of Michael and his legacy. Unfortunately, because the fans and advocates are very passionate about Michael and his legacy, there are some who attempt to speak with some authority on what is best for Michael’s children and his family. They judge the family members.

    I know I am basically repeating some of what you have already posted, but I want to make a point here. When I saw this happening, this is when I also saw the fan infighting and people going after anyone who didn’t agree on something. I’ve seen some pretty nasty attacks within the community; and these people were friends at one time. I’ve seen people turn on one another and on fan communities in general. I’ve seen people who were once allies, turn against one another. It was very disheartening for me to see this because if anything, we could count on the MJ family and community to keep a positive focus on Michael’s legacy.

    There’s not much more to say except for that when the events happened with Michael’s children and the Jackson family, I felt that things had gone too far in terms of the media, the stories and some of infighting that I was seeing I took a step back and the epiphany light bulb went on. Who am I to even give my opinion I asked? Who am I to say anything or make assumptions on what the agendas were or who to trust? I realized that I don’t know anything. I have never walked in their shoes or lived their life. I have no say in the matter. All of this should be handled privately. I don’t know what has happened and what prompted the children to reach out like they did, but regardless, it is none of my business. I just hope that all will be resolved and Michael’s children and the family will be alright. I pray for that every day.

    Thank you for what you do here Rev. Barbara. Please do not quit. Your work has inspired and healed many people including myself. Please don’t give up. Keep the Faith. Sending a huge amount of light and love your way.

    Posted August 16, 2012 at 4:04 am | Permalink
  15. Vero said . . .

    I think it is easy to separate Michael Jackson as an artist and a person from his birth family, but maybe we should agree to disagree on this? Using words that carry a heavy load in terms of their ‘charge’–words like ridicule, propaganda, shame, fith grade game, etc.–in response to my post, or anyone’s post for that matter, are very strong and can simply be offensive, hurtful, inappropriate. I would like to point out that the site name is InnerMichael, not InnerJackson. This tells me the focus is on Michael Jackson. This does not negate or erase (another loaded word) the influence of his birth family. It simply emphasizes him as an individual.

    I think of creatures in nature, there are animals that form groups, like packs or herds, and there are creatures that are solitary for much of the time. There are those creatures that form lifelong mating pairs and creatures that drive off their young when they are a certain age. I perhaps am more of the solitary individual, so maybe that is why I connect to Michael as a solo performer. My deep bond that I feel is with him.

    I enjoy this blog, but there are times when I disagree with your interpretation. Maybe I should just keep my mouth shut?

    Posted August 17, 2012 at 7:01 am | Permalink
  16. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    I have no argument with “Michael Jackson” as an individual; I take exception when he is taken out of his historical context- for that is his legacy. I am sorry that you took that response personally as an individual. It’s not personal to YOU (and I marvel that it was taken that way- that’s a first) as I carefully choose words to not offend an individual. I am sorry it was interpreted as personal. We are all in this together. And yet, this idea of losing context collectively is very personal. As an individual, it is always wise to examine when there is that much charge and insistence. There is always a gem in there somewhere. And collectively, especially so when there is an attempt to polarize (SEPARATION) for that is THE problem for humanity. The polarization (and separation) within self and self from its Divine origin plays itself out in the world. It is personal and yet it is not. The ego is the part that gets ruffled. Mine too. So let’s take this personally as a collective but not make it personal:

    Here is my response to recent attempts to shame me: I have often answered individual questions here at Inner Michael with answers and questions that provide “teachable moments” intended mostly to stir consciousness. Some are provacative and deliberately so. That is my poetic license, voice and art– it is intentional. I am also a Reverend and asking the tough questions about ethics and morality in service to the soul is what we do. My artwork and internationally recognized work has been called “art in the service of humanity” by the Dean of International Students at Lawrence, I am a distinguished founding case study author at George Washington University School of Business, a contributor to work at a New York University where I am also mentored, and a Canadian Professor, become another mentor uses Inner Michael in his courses. I am a featured and distinguished healer in a school of Shamanism and I make no bones (pun intended) about that or my agenda as a writer– it’s in my tag line: One Wordsmith- writing so simply change the world. My art includes paintings, sculpture, performance art, pop culture art, film and leadership in many genres (concerts, stage managemaent, impressario, workshops, presentations, syposiums, keynote speaches and spoken word recordings, and as a writer and activist. I have taken on weapons of mass destruction in person in another country- and here at home and none of that is NOT in service to humanity.

    You (meaning the collective) are free to disagree with me. You are free to challenge me. You are not free to disparage me or call names, make baseless accusations, or come and be nasty or make this space unpleasant for others who come here for relief and to find sanctuary in their grief and despair about the state of the world for Michael Jackson’s story is a reflection of that state. It is all a evolutionary continuum. Michael knew that and evidenced it in his work. Out of respect to him and his vol-luminous contribution to our culture and its evolution, I do not feel that changing that perspective would be in service to humanity for this is but one moment in time within an evolutionary continuum that evolves as we speak. It is not lasting. Nor are we. But the legacy of contribution we make in service to humanity is our HIStory– human and global. The momentary ego flutter is meaningless.

    It is an established historical fact that the Jackson family is considered the black first family of music. They hold that distinction in history. They were coming into their own and climbing the charts at a time when racisim was blatant, leaders were being killed and a poriton of the country was trying to hang onto segregation. The impact of those years is evident in Michael Jackson’s later works. For most provocative artists, the set and setting informs their later works. Bold artists have depicted war and human suffering (and yes dismemberment) in their later works., And art has changed the world– it’s changed minds and hearts and conflicts and the course of history. The Jacksons were bold and Michael Jackson as a solo artist was provovative delibertely. As a family the Jacksons impacted history and as a solo artist Michael attempted to change it.

    History is a continuum and the Jacksons, then Michael are a part of that continuum. And the only difference between Michael’s family and families in the rest of the world who have their dysfunctions, arguments, fights, periods of time where they don’t speak, alienations, reconciliations, separations, deaths… is that the Jacksons have had to do this under glass… as celebrities, as subjects of interest, as specimens. They are famous, they have money and that complicates the issues. The Rockefellers are famous, are watched and have money but they don’t have the same appeal. And they are not vilified in the press the way the Jacksons, and Michael have been. Why?

    There is a deeper question: why has it been acceptable, even considered sport to “pile on” the Jacksons, to “pile on” Michael and now most recently to “pile on” the Jacksons after Michael’s death? The backstory is racism. And the “story of the Jacksons and Michael Jackson” cannot and should not be taken out of context. White families are simply not treated this way. Racism is not dead, in fact since the election of Mr. Obama the Southern Poverty Law Center has counted an increase in hate groups by about 1,000 since he took office.

    There is still a bias in the media and a conscious or unconscious attempt to marginalize and nullify people of color and blacks in particular. (think Trayvon Martin.) You may remember that MTV refused initially to air MIchael Jackson’s short film. You may remember his indictment of Sony and his rant about the marginalization of black artists. Racism clouded his whole life and much of his work was a direct challenge to it. There were many black artists who made remarkable contributions to the music industry but lived or died as paupers. Michael Jackson, upon obtaining his catalogue, gifted Little Richard’s royalties back to him– or he would be in the same position. Michael was making the point about exploitation. The media bias is real and the “Jacksons” and “Michael Jackson” are exploited.

    The emancipation of blacks led irrationally fearful people to institute segregation– the South has its unique history. The moral dissonance in a conservative Christian South that enslaved, marginalized, segregated and killed people because of their skin color stands as one of the most terrible and painful parts of American history– for all sides. And the attempt to “revise” the history of the South, the faux “moral superiority” of the North and black Americans is painful and further marginalizes a population. Racism is one form of separation that seeks to nullify unity and the concept that we are all on– one race, one species, one world. Until we can see that we are a fininte species on a finite planet that is indeed an island (there is nowhere else to go) we will continue to trash the planet and eventually extinguish it, its life and all its sentient beings.

    Shame, while uncomfortable, is a motivator and an effective one. It is not a desirable place for the human race ot be, so I am in the business of urging us on– hopefully upward. So calling something shameful because it holds within it ridicule, propaganda, shame and juvenile mentality is to tell a truth and hold up to scrutiny something that needs examination and changing. Michael did that with the language of music and film and lyrics. One of his most poignant moments was the tank on stage with Michael in front– it said “shame on us for making war” and showed a better way– the flower (a Hippie gesture, by the way) symbolizing a truce by LOVE.

    This revisionist mentality is attempted in erasing the sins of the Holocaust– and its racist agenda. There are people who want to say “it didn’t happen.” Propaganda is as old as the earth and has been used to marginalize from the beginnings of man and when he first learned to lie and promote a position by omitting a part of the story. It has justified many dark things including war. It is certainly less painful and more convenient to turn away from these heinous acts of mankind but that only ignores the truth and reinforces the opinion that they are OK. They’re not. MIchael Jackson took on social ills and human evolution in all his work. He came from a poor and impoverished ordinary town that was unofficially segregated, and he lived the history. As a provocative artist he called it out when it was wrong. That is what provocative artists do– including writers.

    I lived those days. I saw what was done to real people because of the color of their skin. I have also been researching racism and its history– and much of that as it relates to Michael and the Jacksons. It was real then and it’s real now. I take it on because I can. What is meant by that is this: If I were black and spoke out in this way, what do you think would happen to me?

    The recent melee about the Jacksons was shameful. I was disgusted and disillusioned. Why? Because people have been asking me for ways to handle the media. And just as we are about to embark on that work, the “Jackson Family” saga hits. And people who know better, who are advocates, and fans took a sensationalized report from a non-credible and tabloid source (surprise, surprise! A report that isn’t credible from a tabloid outlet!) and got all over Facebook and Twitter making hateful and hate-filled comments without knowing the whole story. The vile comments on Twitter took your breath away. It was a pile on and a mob mentality from those very same people who complained about the very same treatment of Michael Jackson– how he was vilified and assumed guilty and the media ran with it. Well, “fans” did exactly that with the Jackson story.

    Yes, it was shameful. Now maybe you can explain to me how we, here at Inner Michael can even begin to discuss how to handle the media when that is so obviously hypocritical? How can Michael Jackson fans who are upset about the reputation they have been given as “crazy,” delusional” and irrational– (that’s media nullification) took to Facebook and Twitter and in the same circumstances of incomplete information, accusation and assumption that surrounded Michael and behaved so uncivilly, called names wrote vile things, accused, convicted and metaphorically executed a family that is reeling from grief and looking for answers– when a PRELIMINARY letter was leaked by someone with a dark agenda. Michael’s mother whom he revered was attacked, hsi children were attacked and his family was torn apart. AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THE MEDIA WANTED. The fans now have no credible voice because it is hypocritical. So nullification of the Jacksons, and of fans (at their own hands) was successful.

    And I almost deleted Inner Michael because now the whole thing created a caricature in the minds of the public– including his mother and children. Game over.

    The explanation of how a caricature is constructed may be found at Voices Edcucation Project “Words and Violence” Case Study section- written by Jan Carlson with me as editor.
    I originated, spearheaded, and oversaw this whole project. that is about bullying in its many forms- including bullying by the media. How do you suppose I felt when “MIchael Jackson fans” who already have a poor reputation in the public eye took to social media and blasted and bullied everybody. It wasn’t dignified and it wasn’t civil. It was mortifying. And I was angry.

    When you (and others) come here because you “enjoy this blog” and you have questions and comments- do you come here with the expectation that I will “keep my mouth shut?”

    “InnerMichael” is about much more than Michael Jackson.

    Posted August 17, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink
  17. Katie Weiss said . . .

    Dearest Barbara,

    Perhaps I never told you how important your work is here on Innermichael. I’ve referred people to this site. You are an amazing woman so full of spirituality. I love your interpretations of Michael’s short films. I wish Michael and you had met. That would have been some meeting, huh? Imagine looking into those beautiful big brown eyes. Eyes that he tried so hard to shield with sunglasses because the proverbial glare of the spotlight was too bright. Or maybe he wore them so he could look out at the world without being judged. Imagine MJ wearing those glasses and looking about, perhaps admiring a pretty fan from up close or at a distance. I never such guileless eyes. Even in photos I can tell.

    Please don’t stop this work as it is too important. As I wrote you Michael had an impact on the world before and after his death that was unparalleled, perhaps with the exception of Lady Diana (I am talking about celebrities). These two very human people were so pure of heart, so wanting to make a difference and change the world for the better yet were constantly judged, ridiculed, crucified for profit. Yes, we buy into it. At the new stand the other week, there was a headline in one of the “rag” tabloids “JENNIFER ANISTON BETRAYED” (by Justin Thereoux). This week, that same “rag” headline was How Justin proposed. How is it that we, the people, cannot see the lies, the trash that these magazines are. Yet people buy them. I admit I used to, but seriously stopped after I investigated and researched Michael Jackson after his death and realized how duped I was. I fell in love with this creature in the sense that my heart became even bigger. And I defend him tirelessly to those who put evil posts on YouTube or Facebook.

    BUT, please answer me this. Had the Jackson family told Paris Jackson where her grandmother was, there would have been no need for this child to go on social media in her frenzied worry and fear of abandonment. I have yet to hear a clear response to that question by the Jackson family. If you know the answer, please share it because it baffles me so that my anger for the Jacksons was real. This never had to happen. I feel so sorry for Paris in particular. She is becoming a young woman, mature beyond her years yet still a child. So sheltered and all of a sudden given freedoms that dazzle her. I imagine she must be enamored of people asking for her autograph. This is where FAMILY steps in and guides this precious child. She never had a mother’s love so where are her aunts? What will happen to them once Katherine Jackson passes? Are you aware that “DR. DREW” ON HLN NETWORK THE NETWORK THAT HOSTS NANCY GRACE , PREDICTS THAT MICHAEL’S KIDS WILL “ACT OUT” during Jackson fued. This so called doctor who called Michael a pathological child, even though he never met or spoke with Michael, had the audacity to predict this. Is that a therapist”? This is why your work is so important. To inform, to enlighten. To make us think and realize. Fans are frustrated because they, we feel so helpless. Then there is the Lisa Marie Presley fans against Michael Jackson fans. Each posting garbage on respective sites. Ridiculous! No, Barbara, it is impossible to stop all of it and I feel your wanting to give up, but please don’t. You touched many people and made them love Michael or perhaps change their minds in some way.

    Barbara. Please keep getting better and we need you, the world needs you. With much admiration, Katie

    Posted August 17, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Permalink
  18. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Thanks for the encouragement. I don’t believe I “quoted you” (comment deleted) however. An author does not usually quote without attribution.

    In my research about Michael and Diana; the “Words and Violence” program first edition was initiated in 2009 and was released for Michael’s birthday in 2010. It took about 9 months to put the original project together. It stands as the first tribute project after his death. Research should be conducted with credible sources that are vetted– not from fan sites or sources. A prolific author I am collaborating with has assured me that in scholarly circles, the opinion of Michael Jackson’s art is much different than the general public or fans’. His artistic genius is recognized and scholarly opinion is not influenced by the tabloid media. (We forget there are different realms and different perspectives and world views. We arrogantly assume everybody shares our own– or should– that’s what ego does.)

    Placing “evil posts” on Facebook, YouTube and elsewhere is baiting that often involves a sexual charge. I would caution about taking that bait for it gives the perpetrators erotic pleasure when they see that they have been successful in upsetting someone- especially a youthful female. Tt’s sadistic and a kind of emtional rape and its gamey. It dissipates when ignored. When someone attempts a game with you and you stop playing, the game is over. I have cautioned fans in Michael Messages about allowing themselves to be used in that way. These are often people who are unable to get legitimate attention and affection in their lives so they troll those sites for a substitute. That’ similar to the tabloid game- baiting only instead of sexual gratification, there is another kind of gratification and the real payoff is profit. It’s still baiting and it appeals to shadow and the unbalanced Logos archetype of the collective. We live in an unbalanced world that eschews Eros (the LOVE Michael was talking about) in favor of the Logos– the masculine, hard-edged, patriarchal, macho, warrior, dominating animus that is not integrated with the feminine principle of the psyche. Unfulfilled desires, destinies, dreams, etc., are projected onto others as shadow. (We criticize that which we hate in ourselves when we project it onto others.) We also project the shadow’s yunrealized opposite onto others. The “takedown” (tabloid dismemberment of a celebrity) is a tactic that provides “relief” from our own unrecognized (and wounded) shadow. It’s actually very profitable. It will stop when we (the public and consumers) stop buying it or buying into it.

    The recent firestorm about the “Jacksons” was very profitable. Do you actually imagine that the gossip sites are not capable of starting a comment thread by logging in to their own site and making an inflammatory comment just to get fan responses? If they can “get people going” by feeding the frenzy– the more “hits” they receive on the site and those statistics are used to sell advertising space when they point out to a potential advertiser: “look at the amount of traffic here- you would be wise to advertise with us because we are so popular.” In order for a game to continue, it needs two sides to play. What happens when people stop responding and stop playing by walking away or ignoring the game and players? GAME OVER.

    The cynicism and bitterness in the world right now is epidemic. The world is that runaway train that Michael (and many others) spoke of. It is so palpable, so strident and so incessant and insistent that it is like a hum in the background– after a while you are so acclimated to it that you don’t even hear it anymore. There is a great deal of anger, fear, and blame being projected out into the world (Instead of understanding, compassion, forgiveness and LOVE) and the fear and cynicism comes out as nastiness is in the commentary, published copy, conversations, and is particularly evident in social media like Facebook and Twitter. People are feeling the chaos and it is making them fearful. Frightened people lash out. That explains but doesn’t excuse the behvior. Some “cable news” organizations deliberately feed that shadow vibe– for profit. One can tell which cable channel and individual is imbibing and drunk on by their rhetoric.

    Celebrity and celebrities are easy targets because they are portrayed deliberately as artificial people (not real, not living in the “real world,” and therefore incapable of being hurt because they are not real flesh and blood humans. The tabloid press and tabloid tactics (used also on social media to begin a “firestorm” to get eyes to their site or page) effectively nurtures the illusion of intimacy with celebrities– as evidenced by your remarks about the Jacksons. (Not to single you out- because lots of fans fell victim to the frenzy and got caught up in it.) Your comment here implies that you have personal knowledge of the family and the circumstances and further that you have a stake and the right to be involved in their private affairs. That is an illusion. You are groomed for it and you are conditioned to it (“you” not intended to be personal, but meaning the collective audience.) That is deliberate on the part of the media and they do it particularly well with celebrity news as that is a very profitable genre for them.

    I am advocating education about these tactics and the manipulation because to be so manipulated and controlled is indeed MIND CONTROL. It manipulates minds and hearts (if they are vulnerable) and essentially jerks people around for one reason: money. That same pushback against manipulation and its propaganda and vibe (inflated Logos sans Eros- or business without the human element or compassion) is visible in the Occupy and 99% movements. The “little people” are waking up to how the 1% manipulates them and their habits (spending, viewing, contributing to non-compassionate commerce) and there is now a pushback against it. Propaganda is a terrible scourge because the human mind enslaved is a terrible thing when it’s recruited and weaponized by the unscrupulous. Words are weapons and we are all downwind.

    I do not personally know the Jackson family, I did not meet Michael. I only know him through the art that he created and left behind and the message in that art. I only know that because of my interests and explorations into metaphysics, shamanism, the art world, symbolism, subliminal messaging, Cymatics, semiotics, dreams and archetypes. What Michael was a part of and what he was trying to convey is stunning in its implications. His allegiance to his own Monad and to humanity informs his true legacy. And all this busy buzzing and angst and finger pointing and wringing of hands only serves to obscure it. It clouds the real message and keeps the masses from learning and leaping forward spiritually. It sacrifices spirit for ego, soul for the mundane and the spiritual for the secular. And that is the price we pay for living polarized lives instead of placing our spirituality and souls first. So we flail around in the “real” 3-D world while abandoning our souls and forgetting where we came from and who we are (a blueprint of the Divine.) For all that nonsense, the life mission is obscured and the reason for being here and why lost.

    In the last weeks there has been very little evidence of anything remotely Divine or inspired in the “conversations” on social media. There has been great evidence of shadow. So here we go separating ourselves again from our Source. The “Jacksons” were the convenient vehicle for the discharge of shadow that doesn’t belong to the “Jacksons”– it belongs to US and to our dissatisfaction with self.

    I cannot speak for the Jackson family or their troubles because I don’t know. I am not privileged to be an insider– nor should I assume I am invited. What came up for me in observing (besides the grave disillusionment with the inhumane narrative I was seeing on social media) was the discouraging realization that the credibility inherent in being a Michael Jackson fan was effectively lnullified and the “person of the year” (MJ fans who changed the world) dream was gone forever. How can you take the media to task for its inhumane treatment of someone when you are out there inhumanely treating his family and his legacy and spewing words and violence beneath you (or perhaps not) I also had questions… lots of questions for which I have no answers, but speculation and not fact. At same time as all that nonsense and distraction was happening, some people were doing some real and constructive (rather than destructive) work. A documentary was announced and a affidavit and petition with some teeth was drafted. Most petitions are useless, amateurish and ineffectual even though those who start them have great hearts and mean well. it takes research , strategy, consultation and an attorney’s input and legal advice to make them effective. Most are just ignored or dismissed as frivilous and the overuse of petitions diminishes their value even though we’d like to believe they are effective. It’s a typical human response to feeling helpless in the face of overwhelming power. That also explains the breathtakingly nasty wordstorm on Twitter. It’s a quick way to discharge anger in the face of helplessness but it does real irreversible damage. Anyone who saw it on social media came to one conclusion about Michael Jackson fans and that, of course, reflects on Michael and his reputation. (“The guy was weird and his fans are really crazy.”) That’s nullification– for Michael and for you. Nobody takes crazy people behaving badly seriously. Their words have no future meaning or power when someone is nullified.

    For the sake of answering your questions, I share my own questions: (These are not conclusions or facts but questions and puzzlements that came up for me:

    Katherine Jackson was a revered mother by her son Michael who entrusted his children to her in case of his death. The decision about who is designated the steward for your children in the case of your death is not made lightly. It is hard to imagine that Katherine Jackson is irresponsible in that role entrusted to her by a son who considers their care in the event he is not there. It is also hard to imagine that she wasn’t clear about what was to take place in her absence. Often times we don’t see the clear picture while still in it or we don’t see our own looming breakdown under the circumstances should they continue– that being a physical breakdown as in illness or our own collapse emotionally from overwhelm. Those outside the forest can sometimes see better than the one standing in the middle of it. Getting out of the forest helps to reboot a weary and overworked system. And people can groom others slowly for their own gain. Think about the people who had Michael’s ear who were not faithful, loyal, altruistic or who did not mean him well.

    I realize Ms. Jackson never reached the intended destination and there was talk of her health and a need for rest and even mention of a “mini stroke.” As someone with a medical background I can tell you that “mini stroke” can be a layman’s term for TIA or Trans-Ischemic-Attack and those would show up on a scan. Ischemia means that an area of the brain is deprived of blood- thus the “mini stroke” description. I am not saying that is what happened, I only observe the curious language of “mini stroke.” People having TIAs are not usually aware that they are even having them. An eighty something year old mother who has gone through the trauma that Ms. Jackson has– the triasl, tribulations, the scandals at the hands of the unscrupulous, the attempts to sway her in influence her by sycophantic forces, the accusations, trials, heartache, manslaughter trial, media scrutiny and dealing with the death of a son, his legacy and estate can’t be simple, easy or without stress. I am surprised she is still vertica and has not reached her breaking point. In a lifetime of assault on the psyche, one minor thing added to the already weighty load can cause a collapse. The risk for an older woman is a cause for cautionary and ginger handling.

    If that were my beloved mother, and I had concerns for her or I needed to speak to her in privacy and away from prying eyes and ears, I would coax her to go somewhere out of earshot and away those prying eyes and camera lenses. I would then speak to her about my concerns or I might not if I felt her fragile. Or I might begin and proceed cautiously.

    Some of the Jacksons have said from the beginning that Michael’s death is mysterious to them and is more involved than anyone thinks. Whether they are correct or not, they are obligated to honor their own opinions as they navigate his devastating loss. hey have made no secret of their intentions to get to the bottom of it. If that were me and my brother, I would leave no one out of my relentless interrogation, including those who are in charge of his after-death legacy. And I would interrogate amd scruitinize everybody even remotely involved in my brothers’ life at the time of his death. And maybe more. And that would take some time. I would make every single person in that orbit accountable for their actions before, during and after my brother’s death. There is no real closure in Michael Jackson’s death because of how it happened. There is no statute of limitation on grief and no prescription or one-size-fits-all on how to grieve any death and in particular a death like that– sudden, mysterious, suspicious and highly unusual I guarantee you I would be reeling from it and staggering around sometimes reasonable and sometimes being totally irrational– while trying to make sense of it. And I would blame myself. And I suspect there is plenty of that. And the guilt would make tributes, vindication and honoring his memory and putting any questions to rest. People acting from grief are not always rational and our culture is very unforgiving of those in mourning. We are quick to say “times up; move on!”.

    The death of a sibling is a life changing event. Regrets surface—both past and present. Grief like that touches a very deep place and it changes people. It certainly did that to and for the hundreds of fans I heard from. Michael’s death was a worldwide event and it shifted strangers’ perceptions so you can only imagine how all the layers of it impacted his family because they were close to itl. Theirs is a complex grief with multiple layers. It adds additional pressure when your every move is being observed and scrutinized to see if your reactions and manner of grieving is “proper.” There is no proper standard for grief—it’s debilitating and gritty and a prison that won’t allow escape. Death cannot be reversed. There is the requisite scathing psychological autopsy of those in close proximity to that death—and the resulting guilt about regrets and what could have, should have… didn’t and wasn’t and seemed impossible…. and all the anguish and internal screaming that comes from dissecting oneself and one’s actions or inactions with regard to all the connected events before, leading up, during and after– with regard to the deceased.

    The life of a teenager is complex too—hormones, new feelings, new freedoms and restrictions, the requisite rebellion that must take place for identity formation and individuation, and to push off from one’s elders and caretakers in order to establish one’s own identity. Rebellion, narcissism (it’s all about me), the illusion of immortality, the illusion of omniscience and power, the sadness of leaving the carefree space of youth for the stoic land of the adult, the sorting out of what’s me and what’s not me is difficult psychological terrain, never mind making that transition in full view of the world because you have a famous father and family. To use a metaphor: It requires pushing against those you love in order to push off from the shores of childhood and sail into adulthood. The waves are huge, there is great turbulence, the winds are gale magnitude and the boat small and easily rocked. While we wish it happened the way it does in Michael’s short film “Childhood,” it doesn’t. Navigation through that passage isn’t easy.

    Add to all that (which is only a speculative scenario and could be and probably is much more complex) a world watching and a media hungry for the latest “story” and a beast (media) that will blow it out of all proportion for “hits,” attracting eyes to the page, and for profit. It’s exploitive even without the public or fans getting in on the fray. They feel invited because the media does such a good job of conscripting them with the seductive come-ons of juicy headlines and sensational sound bites. (Katherine Jackson kidnapped by her greedy children!) It could be about money but what if it’s not? There is no mention of money in the leaked letter; that didn’t seem to be the primary concern. And the Jackson siblings have stated that but the roar of the meme (greedy Jacksons) is too loud to hear them. This is exactly what happened to Michael and still does. The roar of a meme can drown out the voice of truth. A death can throw out all the previous rules. And it can also make new ones. And an obscene amount of money can corrupt to be sure. It can corrupt anybody. So can power- real or informal. I can’t be absolutely sure what’s in peoples hearts– can you see in there? It is just as foolish to think that people won’t change as it is to think they will.

    Ms. Jackson is a strong woman to be sure but she is also an aging woman who weathered more than her share of storms in her day and lifetime. I can’t be sure about anything; I can’t be “convinced” I am “right.” To claim that is arrogant. I have questions too and I try to look at many different potential scenarios– regarding what did or might happen. The international work and training in international humanitarian law has taught me to try at least, to step back and consider all sides of a conflict and potential unexamined scenarios. And my work in country in the third world has trained me to go to the worst case scenario and work backwards from there. My seminary taught me to look for the Divine in everyone. So I have lots of perspectives but no answers. There are obvious genuine heath concerns however and in particular for Ms. Jackson given her age and experience. ‘How much can one soul take’ I often wonder.

    So with a firestorm going on outside the family circle and the media and fans in an uproar you can bet I would not tell my aging and stressed-out eighty two year old mother who has had her fill of TV tabloid America and a reactionary cynical world, what is going on around her and outside the protective bubble. I’m not sure I would tell her if she didn’t understand her own medical condition even if I saw it in a report, and I certainly would not allow my nieces and nephews (panicked by the frenzy and likely encouraged by someone to perpetuate and escalate the hysteria –and just as likely for personal gain or profit) to tell her either. Pushed into an untenable corner, with something that didn’t have to spin out of control but did thanks to media and yes, fans, it would be a heartbreaking decision but I might compare the fragility/resilience of an 82 year old woman with the resilience/fragility of a youthful child knowing I have to intervene and restrict something that is damaging to everybody and decide in favor of the least damage. I’m not sure I would know how to best navigate that kind of melee. Those are heartbreaking calls to have to make. And that’s not on the Jacksons—that’s on the media—and us!

    Janet Jackson knows well the power of a stampede that begins with a media feeding frenzy. The Super Bowl fiasco with Justin Timberlake—however it went down and whether wise or not if it was deliberate, almost nullified Janet and ended her career. Would Janet Jackson know the dangers of putting family business out into the public knowing it will only become tabloid fodder? If the means of communication was an internet device and phone, and it was morphing into a weapon for the tabloids and media only too interested in my young niece who is oblivious to the dangers and damages that could result, would I attempt to take that weapon away before anybody, and especially SHE gets hurt by it? Oh, yes; you can bet your life on it. Would I try to get that child to calm down and come with me away from the prying eyes and cameras to let her see her grandmother in private? Of course. And if someone who represented “security” prevented that would I film the interaction for evidence with my cell phone? I might if I thought the threat to my family was big enough. And I definitely would sue later or at least threaten a lawsuit.

    Would I share any of my private concerns, fears or information with the children? Children who have lost the only parent they have ever known? And if they were panicked, that panic fed by the unscrupulous and by the tabloid media would I or could I talk with them in while that emotional state? If I had severe concerns would I share publicly knowing it would end up in tabloid headlines the next day? No, of course not. I would do everything in my power to protect the people I loved and get them out of an environment I thought unsafe. And if they resisted, since I cannot force them physically because that is now against the law, I would have to leave the scene without resolving anything. Damage control would have to come later.

    But isn’t that always the way it is with the Jackson family—ALL OF THEM including Michael. Take the hits from both well-meaning and ill-intentioned people in the orbit that damage feelings, reputations and futures? Everybody has an opinion. Everybody weighs in. The pundits talk and the fans become pundits—the very kinds of people they have always complained about. To the fan community, it appears they are “protecting Michael” and “protecting his children” but is that really the case when real damage occurs from interference and judgment and assumptions (not facts) taken to the extreme? When the media fosters this cult of celebrity and feeds the delusion that celebrities are your personal property and accountable to you for their lives? When the intrusion becomes so common and acceptable that people get killed in the process? (Think Lady Diana) The illusions of fandom and celebrity obsession, perpetrated and perpetuated by the media imply a passport into people’s and family’s private lives. That’s neither true nor healthy for anyone in that scenario whether they are a willing participant or not. It’s true when people get caught up in a mob mentality and mass hysteria. And it can kill real flesh and blood people. Only for sport. Only to make a buck. Does anyone want to be party to that?

    Here’s another metaphor: There is a mean wind blowing. The weather is bad in the climate that has been artificially created. You’re in it and you’re a pawn of it. It is designed to manipulate you, manage your money and where it is spent, and propagandize your captured mind as it blows you around awhile and then on to the next story they want you to see.

    Here is something I recently wrote in response to Jodie Foster’s indictment of this climate:

    Comment: “Anybody remember a woman named Lady Diana? Remember how and why she died?

    Diana complained bitterly about the destruction of her marriage because there were too many people in it. Diana did not agree to exposure and exploitation by paparazzi or the press. Diana agreed to wed Charles, not… Camilla, the royal family, the Queen Mother, the press, the tabloids, the paparazzi, fans, admirers, the world… She died being chased by paparazzi exploiting her image for profit and tabloid headlines– and the world lost a humanitarian treasure only for greed that feeds this very kind of celebrity obsession.

    “There’s a mean wind blowing. A mean, cynical wind. How does it serve humanity (theirs and ours) to blame, judge and feel free to slam people who are recognized for a gift given them by their Creator… a gift that cannot be contained but insistently pushes from the inside and is destined to be shared (on demand) by that same Creator. .

    True talent and artistry is an involuntary slavery to a gift that will not be denied. To risk the vulnerability of sharing that gift with today’s fickle, demanding, unforgiving world with a 10 second attention span is a courageous act. (Comment section in evidence, I rest my case.) A celebrity’s performance offered is a gift given, not an entitlement nor a passport into their whole lives. But the “machine” counts on you to see it that way.

    What mean-spirited envious “Tall Poppy Syndrome” bullying and bitterness in the comments here. It drives home the point of the article and Foster’s purpose in writing it. The manipulation by tabloid and medialoid press is working! Their game is to create this illusion of intimacy (in evidence here) with celebrities so as to exploit them and engage YOU for profit. They know you project unfulfilled dreams on celebrities. They deliberately paint them as less-than-human so you feel comfortable making attack comments, judgments, and projecting your own mean shadow-self onto them. It’s an infinity loop of manipulation and exploitation only for profit.

    Seems to be working pretty well.”

    Posted August 18, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Permalink
  19. gertrude said . . .

    Jermaine Jackson (@jermjackson5)

    Posted Wednesday 1st August 2012 from Twitlonger

    “Yesterday, I had a phone call with my son Jaafar that broke my heart. He asked: “Is it true that we cannot visit grandmother’s house as a family anymore?” Enough has become enough… After much soul-searching, it is clearly time for us to live by Michael’s words about love not war. In this spirit, I offer this statement by way of extending an olive-branch. Accordingly, I rescind my signature from the letter which was sent to the Estate, and which should never have gone public.

    I still hold deep reservations about many issues involving the Estate, and I will continue to bring scrutiny and a resolute voice wherever we have cause for concern. But the way to address such matters is through the proper channels and via a private dialogue, not public conflict. Whatever the tabloid and on-line misrepresentations have led people to believe, my primary concern has only ever been rooted in the welfare of our mother in the environment where she lives. No-one on the outside has a clue about the stresses and pressures she has been under long before recent events and I, like everyone in the family, adore the ground she walks on.

    We are also still raw from the loss of Michael three years ago. The ever-present grief has haunted me with questions about whether we stepped off him too much or whether we did enough to help when a corporate world surrounded him. So when it comes to the well-being of loved ones, and especially our mother, we are perhaps understandably and unapologetically over-protective. As attorney Perry Sanders has since confirmed, a health check detected high blood pressure with Mother. Rest was the sole reason she went to Arizona. Prince even carried her bags down the stairs and urged her to rest-up, because we all come from the same caring place. When she was away, and with the children in the responsible care of Tito’s son TJ, there was never a malicious attempt to “block” the kids from talking with her. We simply worried that a call home would first entail, or lead to, conversations with individuals we are in dispute with and that would, therefore, increase pressure on Mother — and pressure was what a doctor said she didn’t need. This was why we went to the house in Calabasas to talk directly with the kids and merely discuss arrangements for them to meet with their grandmother. We were denied that access by security — and it was clear that mutual suspicions had allowed events to spiral out of control.

    I regret that events were ever allowed to reach such a stage. I regret any distress caused to Prince, Paris and Blanket. That was never, ever the intention of myself, Janet, Rebbie or Randy. Moving forward, the most effective way to best serve Mother’s welfare, and that of Michael’s children, is to start a collective dialogue, in private. Mistakes have been made and irrational things have been said on both sides in a highly-charged emotional environment. It is time for us all to draw a line in the sand and move towards peace, co-operation, love and healing. I truly hope that we can find it in our hearts to do so. Because above and beyond anything else, what matters…is family. ·

    Leave Me Alone
    Leave Me Alone
    Don’t Come Beggin’ Me
    Don’t Come Beggin’
    Don’t Come Lovin’ Me
    Don’t Come Beggin’
    I Love You
    I Don’t Want It
    I Don’t Need It – Leave Me Alone – Michael Jackson

    And who gave you the right to shake my family?
    And who gave you the right to scare my baby, she needs me
    And who gave you the right to shake my family tree?
    You put a knife in my back
    Shot an arrow in me! – Ghosts – Michael Jackson

    Will we ever pay attention?

    Posted August 19, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Permalink
  20. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    God, I hope so, G, and God help us if we don’t. The cynicism is choking and the battle weariness is overwhelming. It’s not a good environment for humans. ~B

    Posted August 20, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

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