Inner Michael » Thriller Questions: Change the world- how?

Thriller Questions: Change the world- how?

Michael Jackson, a human rights advocate and humanitarian with the knowledge and know-how to carry out his singular campaign to audiences of millions, used that bully pulpit to raise these issues and to command attention and provoke the kind of thought that leads to change.

He would be delighted, I think, that the deeper questions are being pondered here. Especially because of the media’s trend toward cut-and-paste journalism while not verifying facts and embracing sensationalism to increase audiences, critical thinking and discernment are essential skills while maintaining a healthy skepticism. The public is more aware than ever that the media is not trustworthy but there is little awareness of just how much the public is being manipulated and just how it is accomplished.

Americans have “election fatigue” from the recent presidential election. They are disgusted by the lack of respect politicians showed for truth and civility. The level of disgust zoomed even higher for bold propaganda and would-be leaders who will say anything to get into a position of power. Americans also made it clear that they do not want elections to go up for auction to the highest bidder with obscene amounts of money. Voter turnout was like never before and people waited a dozen hours and in the rain to exercise their right to vote. It would be wise to note this kind of response to a direct attempt to manipulate the public and silence their “voice”– in this case a vote. There is a lesson for fans in that “pushback;” people do not like to be “taken for a ride.” Duly noted. So what would “people” do if they knew the extent of the manipulation; or if the perhaps discovered somebody truly admirable was sullied and destroyed by sycophants for cash? Nullification is not an option here. So don’t nullify yourself in the eyes of the public by behaving badly.

The campaign geniuses thought it became everyday practice to lie, cheat and steal your way into an elected position. When did it become “winning strategy” to deliberately disenfranchise or suppress an electorate? When did it become acceptable to tamper with democracy and human rights in favor of the “high ranking” and privileged? Then extrapolate that to: When did cynicism become the norm and bullying become fashionable? One must trade being prudent in such a culture become a minefield of treachery for becoming a warrior for truth! And how do you get to truth when cynicism runs like a river? Questions! A diligent and steadfast seeker of truth will eventually find truth if he or she keeps asking the deep questions while exercising the patient understanding that humanity is a work-in-progress. Sound familiar?

Questions are the answer.

And one must question one’s own motives as often as the motives of others. The best defense against cynicism is to stay out of the river. Integrity involves asking questions about your own motivations and behavior (self-reflection) and using discernment and diplomacy with others. The tendency to bullying comes out of the cynicism that currently blankets the world. When did it become acceptable to call others names and bully others with your words? How did that become fashionable? And it is escalating. Fans are guilty of it and that would be unacceptable to Michael. When people bullied Michael, what did he retaliate with? Dignity! When the cynicism surrounding him allowed people to make their own rules and to lie, cheat and steal from him and excuse it by justifying it to themselves, how did he respond? He stayed in his own integrity and asked them to leave. When his trust was trampled, how did he respond? He left the company of those who would betray him. He did not try to destroy or retaliate; he simply stepped aside from their company, told the truth instead, and remained impeccable in his own convictions. That is the martial arts way… the peaceful warrior’s way.

The recent election would seem to indicate that people are tired of mud-slinging and hunger for integrity from their leaders. A culture is only as good as those who lead it. While it may go unrecognized, there is such a thing as informal leadership. Informal leaders are those who wield great influence but do not have titles or positions. They have power not because they claim it, but because they command it simply with their presence. People sense their power and feel their influence. Their leadership style is persuasion and illustration. They ask questions. And they ask others to examine questions in order to draw conclusions.

Permit me to reminisce with you for a moment to illustrate this concept further to make it clearer. During the cold war, I joined peace groups– Beyond War, Sister Cities, Physicians for Social Responsibility and local groups who demonstrated and carried signs on street corners. (I still do that occasionally when I feel sacred principles or human rights are being compromised.) I joined campaigns. (I just worked with the recent presidential campaign.) I wrote articles and letters to the editor. I went to meetings. And I kept the bigger picture in mind at all times while scrutinizing my own motivations and behavior to make sure they were in service to that vision of the bigger picture. Read that sentence again, for it is key. It’s essential to examine self for integrity and to take inventory to find shortcomings and indiscretions and to immediately make amends where possible.

It’s not easy to admit that you were wrong; pride gets in the way. But that is a false pride that drains you of your energy that might be deployed productively elsewhere, because it drains you of your dignity. Honest self-examination is crucial to personal growth and integrity. During that crucial time in world history when we were engaged in making treaties for the reduction of weapons of mass destrucion, those of us who worked in WMD reduction had a motto: “Trust but verify.” When working diplomatically, it is important to intend to trust but verify the information. But none of that works without first deploying diplomacy. And diplomacy does not involve attack. It involves sharing accurate information and asking people to stay in their integrity. Informal leadership from leaders who stay in integrity works. Witness Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, the Dalia Lama…

Integrity requires self-reflection and knowing when we are out of integrity. Our body tells us. And that little thing gnaws at us– perhaps in our stomach, perhaps the back of our neck, perhaps our shoulders or we find ourselves unable to look people in the eye– that is our integrity when it’s shaky. Hiding one’s violation of integrity from oneself requires heaps of energy and a constant stream of defenses– especially when deep down we know we are wrong. We protest and we justify. And we do it over and over. We attack another and we recruit people to our side. A person in integrity doesn’t have to keep justifying because they don’t feel twinges of guilt for behaving less than integrous or less than generous with others– their dignity speaks for itself. Silently.

Getting back to the cold war and the work for peace… the end goal was international cooperation, threat reduction and eventual peace. You don’t get there by insulting your “enemy.” You get there by finding mutual human touchpoints and ways to cooperate that lay the infrastructure for a longer-term trust and mutual cooperation. And if people cheat, you diplomatically point it out, request a “correction” and move forward. Bullying does not change hearts and does not create peace. The other important piece of deliberate non-violent response is this: “When the people lead, the leaders will follow.” That is this important:


It was little people like you and me coming together to demand better from their leaders that brought the cold war and nuclear standoff to an end. It was people speaking as one voice in all these examples that changed things. It was the demand for a safer, more humane world. When people speak as one and they repeat it over and over, the leaders begin to understand that resistance to the will of the people is inevitably futile. Witness the Middle East and North Africa and the Arab Spring. Witness the global empathy for Malala– the little girl freedom fighter from Afghanistan. The tactics of non-violent direct action and diplomacy work; they are, in fact, the only thing that ever has. They can be adapted to any campaign– including one (and maybe even especially one) to reveal and demand truth. If ever those who know the real Michael Jackson, understand the magnitude of this story and grasp the impact of its truth– should it ever be told– the world will cringe. Then it will change.

The bullying of Michael Jackson was shameful, pandemic and endemic and motivated by greed. As the most famous man in the world who invoked wonder and curiosity, those most cynical opportunists understood his value as a cash cow. They used him and they abused him. It was vampirism at least– they sucked him dry and sullied his life and reputation. It was cannibalism at best– they fed off the flesh of a live human being; some are now even feasting on his bones.

Voyeurism is one thing– it was often viewed and dismissed as “naughty” peeking but that too is changing– witness the Murdoch phone hacking case of the British teenager who was murdered and how it inflamed the public. But cannibalism is quite another thing. Slowly draining the life force of someone who is innocent and a misunderstood artist (aren’t all the great geniuses?) until he is but an empty shell racked with pain and emotional distress so deep as to steal his sleep, is quite another thing altogether. And then callously consuming his life and feasting on his flesh for entertainment and sensation, is the pinnacle of depravity. Who would want to face that? The world will not tolerate facing that truth if it is delivered without compassion. It will be hard enough to face it at all, but if you rub their face in it, I guarantee you will be resisted, summarily dismissed and hated.

So, if you condemn those who bully, then behaving like the bullies is not permissible, useful or instructive. And most of the population has no idea how deep the deception was in the Michael Jackson case, nor what motivated it. Most people cannot identify with the pressures of wealth and fame and it brings up envy in the insecure and frightened (those who believe they don’t have the power to manifest for themselves a life that is comfortable, meaningful and abundant.) Most people actually do not know what happened there and they have been fed a heap of lies over time and have come to believe them. And they also don’t have critical thinking skills and tend to outsource responsibility for their opinions. They need education, not contempt. I know that is hard to do when you are disgusted and fatigued. (we are all exhausted from the election.) But what is the bigger picture and what is the goal? It is to reveal the truth, isn’t it? Truth equals exoneration in this case, doesn’t it?

Fans fighting among themselves does not serve the bigger picture. Infighting and sniping at someone else or criticizing them or their work or airing dirty laundry in public– how does that serve the truth? Those outside “fandom,” bystanders and onlookers, can only come to one conclusion in a situation like that– “Michael Jackson fans are crazy.” If you are dismissed as crazy, lose your credibility, and are ridiculed in the eyes of the general public, how can you expect to be taken seriously or serve truth?

Critical thinking skills, discernment, restraint and diplomacy are all skills that a true Jackson fan needs if they share Michael’s desire to change the world and create the world differently and seek to perpetuate his legacy and work in the world. And what about  LOVE? Not sappy permissive love, but a fierce love that demands one overcome a tendency to darkness by a vow to find the inner light.  Demanding that someone step out of their own darkness is a kindness that comes from big LOVE. Only a person with those skills or in the process of developing them can truly envision the same world as Michael for that world doesn’t live inside a cynic and it isn’t even on the peripheral radar of the completely un-enlightened. In that world there is no hunger, peace is the baseline for human endeavors and no one suffers lack or loneliness because humanity has recognized it is one– one world, one family, one in stewardship for the planet and all its diversity– that is the world of the mystic and a visionary like Michael.

Here come the questions: Does that world live in you? What are you doing to bring it into being? People who recognize and understand failure as a deficit of love and work to change that deficit into an abundant flow (or “blanket”) are people who understand the life, legacy and mission of Michael Jackson.

I want to take you on a little trip back in time. Take a moment and go back with me to shortly beyond your entry into the world. To the place where the world was new and exciting and the greatest of adventures. To the time when you believed the world sparkled as a place of magic and goodness. Go way back into childhood where you knew yourself to be magical with a goodness, an immense strength and a conviction that you were creative, artistic or inventive. Where you felt a kind of all-knowing omniscience, an indestructability, and confidence in your limitlessness and just, well… knowing. You knew yourself to be an originator, a creator of the circumstances and world around you. Where you were a co-creator of life and the world. A place where you felt real power. Remember?

We are born with that. With the knowing and power and “rightness” inside. We carry that knowing as we grow and develop and one day our inside convictions and necessary assumptions about how and why the world is– because we know what is right and just and good– are terribly shaken. That is the day of the “loss of innocence” and the introduction of “the way things really are”– the world according to conformity and social indoctrination. We are shaken by an encounter with the “real world” and all its excuses that over time and with repetition become our “reasons.” It is exquisitely painful to find that the world doesn’t reflect our inner knowing that we literally “forget” that other possible world because we are conditioned away from it. We forget the “rightness” we know inside and we allow the disillusionment to paralyze us, then silence us. We give in to the fear that masquerades as modesty and false humility. We discover lack and treachery and we conform. We become indoctrinated and we join an altered state of consciousness that is the sleep of prisoners who forget that “escape” is a possibility or that anything outside those walls even exists. In fact, they forget the walls. We then resign to our helplessness and in our loneliness we convince others to join us in that resignation.

Those who give up and give in (cave) to the cynicism and join the ranks of the perpetually cynical who don’t recognize that they are captured. They have both consumed the cynicism and allowed it to consume them– they embody or become the cynicism, they merge with it thinking mistakenly that it is them. So where once lived magic and believing and goodness, now lives a counterfeit and artificial self that must forever run from the memory of the time before. Armored now, and on auto pilot, those rendered automatons now act in the world as sleepwalking beings who forget the pain by forgetting the memory of anything other until it fades completely. Even the moment of choice and the choice itself is obscured because to remember is unbearable.

The light that is the true self shining from the soul wants to burst out in a shimmering glory and because it will not be denied, occasionally it does break through. The remembrance comes in twinges yet we resist them. The soul speaks a different language– soulspeak but because we have not used it in so long, we forget how to translate it. “That another world is possible” finally escapes us and we especially forget that we are its creators. We succumb to the forgetfulness and resist the remembering for there would be an awful agony in the loss of time and the loss of the past self and the past time before the “fall” into despair. The remembering is worse than the despair.

There are those who recall self or never lose it. They resist the cynicism and conformity and vow allegiance to the inner knowing that informs their actions in the world. They never discard their cloak of “creative artist.” The world is a work of art and artists create the world. They make sure their loyalty to the internal magic and goodness is actionable– and they play it out in the world. Their actions originate in that other place, from that other motivation. They confound us. They also remind us of ourselves before we were contaminated by cynicism and that is intolerable! We admonish them to “get real” or “grow up” or enter the “real world” and we ridicule or mock them and call them “dreamers” or “idealists.” In our minds we banish them to a category reserved for “fools.”

These are the ones among us who will not be corrupted by joining the ranks of the sleepwalkers. They will not succumb to the siren song of the cynical world that promises food for the ego and the greed of acquisition instead of a feast for the soul. They will not step into the fog of forgetfulness.

Occasionally one comes along who even deliberately actions (acts out) the waking of the sleepers. Some of us are such a one. Some of us know such a one. Some of us remember such a one. Some of us were startled by such a one at his departure. And some of us are still rubbing our eyes…

To be continued…


  1. Dalia said . . .

    You said..”When people bullied Michael, what did he retaliate with? Dignity! When the cynicism surrounding him allowed people to make their own rules and to lie, cheat and steal from him and excuse it by justifying it to themselves, how did he respond? He stayed in his own integrity and asked them to leave. When his trust was trampled, how did he respond? He left the company of those who would betray him. He did not try to destroy or retaliate; he simply stepped aside from their company, told the truth instead, and remained impeccable in his own convictions. That is the martial arts way… the peaceful warrior’s way.”

    Thank you for this reflection … and leaves me thinking about the case of the book of Randal Sullivan (Untouchable) … is very painful for the fans to see three years of struggle, to see the world slowly begins to recognize the innocence and human greatness of Michael, this guy comes with a tabloid compilation to defame Michael again, throwing everything on the floor that has been made . There are many tears and feelings of helplessness because there is nothing we can do about it … we have outgrown the secion of comments against the book on Amazon where it sells and shows an overview of content where the lies again regain the skin whitening intentional, of “undefined sexuality “etc … chains and promoting this book including Oprah … Our reaction has been anger … because it is really very painful, is a setback … but we have called intolerant, have told us that fans will not accept “defects in our idol” and that’s our problem … perhaps have been better to keep quiet? should fans remain silent against injustice… is impossible to know … but what’s appropriate to do in these cases? Thanks Barbara.

    Posted November 16, 2012 at 7:20 am | Permalink
  2. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    What I am speaking about with those words is HOW one goes about the work of change. Yes, it is an insult to sensibilities; yes it is horrific; but it does not “undo” the work that has been done. It illustrates that there is more work to do. Anger and frustration (the tears) are normal reactions to being insulted over and over but it is important what you do with this anger. Lashing out and flailing without strategy does not serve to change things. When fans do things that look crazy to an outsider, they reinforce the opinion that they ARE crazy. It happened again in a recent interview and previously on Twitter with the Jackson saga. When angy people swarm like hornets (with no clear intention and strategy) people make sweeping judgments about the whole situation. When somebody comes at you ranting and with their face drained of color what do you do? Welcome them? Reach out your hand to shake theirs? Do you sit down casually to listen? Invite them to dinner? Or do you conclude this person is crazy and run? Your first impression (and first impressions are lasting) is that they are nuts and you’re not interested in whatever they have to say; and does that opinion change if you encounter them again? Do you want anything to do with them or what they have to say or the subject they are speaking about? Can you feel their heart? And will they change your mind? No!

    The anger and frustration is justified. But it is imperative that we all use discernment in these cases. It serves the legacy to inform with comments or to review a book (but only after having read it) in specific places but when fans get on Twitter and Facebook and swarm like insects, they only serve to BRING ATTENTION to something that is untruthful and salacious. Sometimes withdrawing attention is the most effective way to deal with the material of the tabloid sewer. In particular, when someone attempts to resurrect the industry of using MIchael’s name to get attention, sell sensationalized fictional books, get attention on talk shows, it is best to comment in that one space only. It does nothing but promote the book to the curious to announce it to the world. Especially when people think you’re already crazy and can’t tolerate “flaws in your idol.” Knowing when to speak and when to be silent is strategic and wise. Michael Jackson and the Michael Jackson brand was an industry. There were (and apparently currently are) those people who traded on his name and knew that schadenfreude and the envious, jealous, and powerless would buy a book that toppled an idol. Dark minds get satisfaction from that. And there were those “journalists” and authors who took advantage of the lucrative financial opportunities. They had to first make him either non-human or guilty in order to justify that to themselves. Tabloid books about Michael Jackson from less that scrupulous authors was an industry itself and made money for the peddlers of that shadow and human depravity. They fed human shadow as Michael tried to conscript human light (“We Are the World.” “Heal the World.” “Man in the Mirror; “Cry…”

    But the problem does not just belong to them. It belongs to the world. It belongs to the culture that permits an unacceptable behavior. And it’s not just Michael Jackson. It’s the lack of dignity and civility in our modern world. It is bigger than Michael. The focus has been narrow and I understand that. I understand the anger that fans carry. I sympathize and believe me, I “get it.” I am not disputing the injustice or the relevancy or the fans’ consternation over feeling trampled and helpless. So, let me ask you this…

    What would have happened if the suffragettes had cried and wailed and then given up when they didn’t get the vote? What would have happened if Gandhi had gone back home and given up on the idea of a free India? What if Rosa Parks was too despondent because of the oppression and got off the bus when she met with prejudice? What if Nelson Mandela had chosen suicide because he coouldn’t continue holding out hope? What if Bill Clinton had slunk away from public scrutiny after his embarrassment, and gone quietly into obscurity? (He has raised more money for social causes than anyone in history and has been called “President of the World”) What if South Africa had given up on ending Apartheid? What if Stanislav Petrov had been too cynical and too indifferent on that day he was in the bunker in Moscow? ( ) We wouldn’t be having this conversation because this planet would look like Mars and none of us would be here.

    This “change the world” stuff is not for the faint-hearted. And it’s not for those who need instant gratification (infants and toddlers and teens) but for those who have the chops to bear witness to travesty and stand in its wake and say “No! It is my world too and you may not sully it with your treachery!” But there are ways to do that which are strategic and effective and include long term plans and non-violent direct action. It takes resolve and determination and it takes RESTRAINT and being smart in the way you go about it. It also takes superhuman patience.

    Of course, there are “defects in your idol;” there are defects in every human being. That kind of commentary comes because Jackson is deified (make holy) and held up as a real “angel.” Even if he was, do you think the world is ready to hear that? You have to meet people where they are and speak their language to have influence. Michael spoke in music, not in English because he knew the world would hear him that way. While he was being slandered and dismembered on the world’s stage he didn’t publicly rant and flail and “lose it;” he stated his truth, corrected the errors and held himself to strict rules of dignity and civility. And that is the hallmark of a master- to stand steadfast in your truth while an insane world swirls around you. How much of a master was Michael? Well, people are still defending him aren’t they?

    Whose fault is it that what Sullivan and others did was somehow acceptable? That people could get away with this magnitude of bullying and that it still goes on? Whose fault is it that the world’s (America’s- for that’s my immediate reference) most popular TV show features “desperate housewives” and that it’s OK for tabloids and tabloid magazines to slaughter real people on their covers? Whose fault is it that the most popular pasttime is gaming with games that feature violence and killing for entertainment?

    The world is lost and hurting in so many ways and human beings make up the world. Make no mistake that generally human beings are lost and hurting and looking for salvation. Michael was right; there is not enough love in the world. People behave without dignity and civility because deep down they hurt and don’t feel appreciated and loved. That explains the pain that plays out in the world but it does not excuse the behavior. But beating up wounded people doesn’t help them. And becoming known as a bully doesn’t fix it. So what does? Tough love. The kind of love that says… “Hell no!” and then educates instead of condemns. Condemning slows progress. Calling people out for their mistakes with fierceness and educating them is key– but it must be done with maturity, with managed strategy, with some restraint and diplomacy. Compassionate love doesn’t excuse people; it calls them to their greatest potential. It says, “really; that’s the best you got? Hell no. You can do better and I am calling you out on it. Now let’s see something better!” It demands dignity from the other but also from self.

    I am not saying this work is easy. I am not saying that I don’t forget and slip into the same helpless despair. I am not saying I don’t forget myself and come out swinging; I do. But I am trying to remember that we are better. We all are. And we cannot demand standards from someone else that we can’t (or won’t) embody ourselves. For that makes us hipocrites. Nobody listens to a hipocrite. Had we gone about this intelligently from the beginning, there might be more progress. Maybe. Maybe not. Doing it this way wastes time.

    It is the culture that is at fault. The culture permits bad behavior. It permits people to spread lies because it doesn’t demand better, or the complete truth. It permits the “cult of celebrity” that includes a kind of worship and pretends that gifted people aren’t human. It allows bullying and demonstrates bullies as acceptable, even desirable, and permits them to role model abhorrant behavior to children who are watching and patterning their lives on what they see demonstrated by their elders. The problem is much bigger than Michael Jackson. It is a culture that is sick and wounded and needs healing. So what changes when a setback causes you to throw up your arms and give up? There are nasty setbacks in every campaign for change. I am not saying they’re nice or acceptable. What I am saying is that defeat is not an option. Particularly not now.

    There is now the potential to reach critical mass on this planet. Computers and the internet brought us that. That is the hope. That is the solution. That is the tool for change. Adding to the darkness doesn’t serve me or you or fans or Michael or humanity. It serves the darkness. What serves the world is to be a light of dignity, civility and steadfast truth. And to keep shining.

    Posted November 16, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink
  3. Katie Weisz said . . .

    When I go on YouTube to view his awesome videos, I read comments. I get upset at fans who respond to haters with vitriol because it is simply a back and forth, a no-win exhausting battle. I prefer to reply to the hater with kindness and try as best as I can to geet him/her to inform themselves with the facts. I tell them that I was as they were (although I was never) to kind of speak their language, and hopefully, I can, in that way, open their minds. If one engages with the same hate as we are confronted with, the hater only gets more angry that does not serve Michael’s legacy.

    Posted November 16, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink
  4. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Education is key. To meet hatred or anger with anger (wait until you cool down!) only escalates the feelings and the situation. Instead of personally engaging with people who bait you only to feel the satisfaction of power-over (power-over is a game where someone seeks to have power over your feelings, thoughts, actions, and to “get a rise” out of you- it’s an illusion for there is no real transfer of power or anything else of value- the goal is to engage and upset you so as to feel smug and superior. It’s deviant and sick. People who play this game are usually talented with manipulation. If only they would deploy that talent to make the world a better place! You might even inform them of that.)

    The hater/baiters are lonely, wounded and unloved people trying to gain power because they feel powerless in the world. It’s vampirism– they are stealing your energy and light. They envy the admiration fans have for Jackson. It’s a mind-rape game. If they had productive pursuits that took up their time and energy, they wouldn’t be playing this game of theft on Youtube. There should be only ONE reply (not a dozen- because there is a secret satisfaction in “hooking” you) to someone trying to bait you into a sick game by invoking Michael’s name (or anyone else for that matter) and that is to point them to a place where they can get educated. When you place educational links on Youtube, you inform not just the ignorant person attempting to engage you, but you inform anyone else who comes along later. Here’s one that educates but doesn’t preach and asks the viewer to make up their own mind about what really happened:

    Posted November 17, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink
  5. gertrude said . . .

    BATTLE FATIGUE: Combat stress reaction, a military term for an acute reaction to the stress of battle commonly involving fatigue, slowed reaction time, indecision, and other symptoms, and/or Posttraumatic stress disorder, a medical term for a chronic disorder associated with psychological trauma.

    I think some, if not most of “us” are suffering some form of this and I found particularly this particularly clarifying:

    “What would have happened if the suffragettes had cried and wailed and then given up when they didn’t get the vote? What would have happened if Gandhi had gone back home and given up on the idea of a free India? What if Rosa Parks was too despondent because of the oppression and got off the bus when she met with prejudice? What if Nelson Mandela had chosen suicide because he couldn’t continue holding out hope? What if Bill Clinton had slunk away from public scrutiny after his embarrassment, and gone quietly into obscurity? (He has raised more money for social causes than anyone in history and has been called “President of the World”) What if South Africa had given up on ending Apartheid? What if Stanislav Petrov had been too cynical and too indifferent on that day he was in the bunker in Moscow? ( ) We wouldn’t be having this conversation because this planet would look like Mars and none of us would be here.

    This “change the world” stuff is not for the faint-hearted. And it’s not for those who need instant gratification (infants and toddlers and teens) but for those who have the chops to bear witness to travesty and stand in its wake and say “No! It is my world too and you may not sully it with your treachery!” But there are ways to do that which are strategic and effective and include long term plans and non-violent direct action. It takes resolve and determination and it takes RESTRAINT and being smart in the way you go about it. It also takes superhuman patience.”

    Your response, Rev B, to Dalia, made me think many of us need to change our expectations in order to achieve the wisdom, balance and serenity to see our mission through to its absolute end. We need to EXPECT this mission to take a long, long time, and I think, because the injustice and malfeasance against Michael Jackson are so OBVIOUS, that we have been expecting a speedy end to it and vindication of him.

    But – and thank-you Rev – we need to wake up to what is real in this realm. We will have to spend a portion of the rest of our lives to achieve our goal,and that realization, I believe, will engender the strength within ourselves to carry on for that duration, and to carry on with the dignity and humanity we need to achieve it. I think this realization will also help to soothe some of the fatigue and trauma incurred from the “fight”.

    Posted November 18, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink
  6. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    G, (and all who gather here) I have watched fans go through the Peter King fiasco, the Discovery Channel debaucle, the Kelvin MacKenzie frenzy, the Bill Handel abomination at KFI am radio, and many, many more. Now it’s the Randall Sullivan scandal. The “MIchael Jackson” swamp is big enough to swallow even more. There is a payoff in keeping the truth from surfacing. Particularly for the media. But there are other larger forces at work in the world. Because of their numbers, Jackson fans, should they ever come to a realization of the magnitude of good they could unleash in this world if they wake up and pay attention, could change the world. There is not just strength in numbers, but critical mass.

    There are those humans who can be corrupted, who can be commissioned to serve the interests of greed and power. They are easily bought. Money and power is seductive and if someone of Michael Jackson’s stature can be targeted because he is an industry that brings a message to the planet that is counter to: conventional norms, corporate interests, social order, advancing consumerism, profitable wars, and fossile fuel lobyists and corporations– especially a black man who doesn’t “know his place” and doesn’t stay black– then anybody can be targeted. John Lennon, for example, was on the FBI watch list and there were those who wanted him “deported.” Bullying comes in many forms.

    Michael Jackson took on the bullies. He played a role in nothing less than the evolution of human consciousness. He dared to move the race forward– toward freedom from corruption and oppression. He took on social causes from just about every human condition on the planet, including the planet. He dared to push and to push back. He dared to challenge. And he had power. That made him

    He even dared to incorporate spirituality into his music and we all know how spirituality corrupts a pliable and programmable human mind. (Read that sentence again.)

    As long as there are interests that will compromise their own conscience, hamstring humanity, and place money and power over the natural evolution of humans to their greatest incarnation as spiritual beings inhabiting human bodies on an planet designed to evolve that very consciousness to a higher incarnation of itself– this “battle” will not be over.(Battle fatigue is not obsolete.) Until we (humanity) wake up and see how grand is our manipulation that serves only to profit interests counter to our BEST interests, we will be enslaved and we ourselves, will be no better than slaves.

    As I said, this is larger than MIchael Jackson. It is happening on a spectrum that stretches from human to divine. There is profit for the corrupt in our forgetting who we are (spiritual beings living a human experience) and forgetting to shine. We shame that light when we behave badly and bully. Using darkness to fight darkness leaves everyone groping around in spiritual blackness. “Enlightenment” means bringing the light to those who aren’t awake and don’t know.

    As I said, there are those who come to the planet to bring light to humanity. Michael Jackson was a very visible one. There are some who are invisible and need to be recognized. They need to be supported and they need to be lifted up by Michael Jackson fans. That is what true warriors do- stay awake. And they use their lives to bring and support the enlightenment of the human race. Some of them achieve the recognition, stature and audience Michael Jackson commanded, but they are everywhere.

    Here is one, for example I was just made aware of who is asking for help and support to bring her art to the world:

    The “battle” is won with strategy and knowing when to advance and when to retreat (fans are now just advancing Randall Sullivan’s book.) Remember how Michael knew that even bad publicity got attention. And sometimes bad publicity helps advance visibility more than good publicity. We are at that point. Fans are being manipulated because they are not informed of the strategies of the game. They are easily hooked by emotional baiting. “They” (those at work in the world whose agenda is money and power) know that. And they use it. It’s very successful. It worked to nullify Michael’s family in the eyes of the world just as it worked to nullify (make powerless) Michael.

    It’s not over until the “fat lady” of human enlightenment sings. She’s trying to be heard. On a quiet day you know that a new humanity and new and improved Earth is just around the corner; you can hear her breathing.

    Posted November 19, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink
  7. Katie Weisz said . . .

    Dear Barbara,

    I noticed that you haven’t written much about MJ recently. Is that because of personal reasons? I hope you haven’t given up on MJ.

    I would love for you to consider starting new topics:

    1. his music catalog. My God, his ballads are sublime as well as his more funky music like “streetwalker”, “superfly sister”, etc.
    2. Books written about him and why some authors such as Aphrodite Jones and the author of Defending A King had to find small time publishers of even self publish whilst trash written about MJ have major publishers behind them.

    There is a book I saw on called:Michael Jackson: The Complete Story of the King of Pop by Lisa D. Campbell. Do you know anything about this author or book?

    Is is money that you need to keep this website afloat? I plan on contributing in the very, very near future.

    I love your work. It has to go on by people like you, Barbara. The books out there recently published are horrid and there is NO ONE to stand up for Michael. Trash about MJ sells big time and positive books don’t. It infuriates me to no end.

    Posted November 27, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink
  8. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Hello K,

    Lisa Campbell wrote a book about Michael in the early nineties. He was given a copy and was so impressed with her attention to detail that he sent her three dozen roses. I think that indicates he blessed the book as authentic and accurate.

    I understand the frustration and the fury but there are more and more people “standing up” for Michael. The latest “trash” book exonerates in some ways and infuriates in others. Isn’t that always the way it is with all things Michael Jackson? The polarizing power of this singular figure is fascinating. There is a human tendency to defend one’s original opinion because it is hard to admit one is wrong. Denial of one’s complicity in the condemnation of an innocent man is hard to swallow and even harder to admit to self, let alone others. The condemnation and abuse of Michael Jackson was cultural and global. How many people do you think are still hiding from the truth or hiding the truth from themselves?

    Make no mistake, this is much bigger than “Michael Jackson” and there is much more than a singular legacy at stake. The stakes are higher than you could imagine. Human civility and evolution is at stake. Humans have a choce to make- to continue taking the shadow path (anger, bullying, lashing out) or to vow to take the high road and walk in a responsible and enlightened way in the world.

    Fans have that same choice. They can either live in perpetual fury or roll up their sleeves and go about this in an educated and effective way. The impulse is to lash out in anger instead of refrain from bullying behavior and critically think through the circumstance, then act wisely. It’s easier to discharge one’s anger in a tirade because that gives immediate relief to the body. It doesn’t however, help Michael or his legacy. Nor does it empower his family to seek vindication and justice because they see how quickly the attacks come at them. They are now targeted the same way Michael was targeted by a mob mentality.

    That also doesn’t serve the world nor heal it.

    Readers asked for information about how to handle the media. That is what the last few posts lead up to. As we speak Rupert Murdoch, the mogul whose tabloid began the “Wacko” moniker for Jackson is eye up the LA Times and the Chicago Tribune. At the same time (what a coincidence!) the FCC is poised to roll back regulations that would allow him to gobble up more media real estate. There are enough MJ fans to launch and effective protest. Fans need to be educated and active about more than vicious attacks that continue the tradition of trying to nullify the most famous black family in the world; the media has been doing that for decades. To see fans help them in that quest was heartbreaking.

    It’s always a question of priorities here. Murdoch deliberately went after Madonna and Michael Jackson in the tabloids which included “News of the World” that started the horrible racist moniker. Murdoch wanted the youth demographic and to add them to his circulation stats. Tabloid tactics include these kinds of rhyming headlines and sound bites BECAUSE they are memorable. It’s premeditated and it’s deliberate. Let me ask you (and everyone) what your choice would be:

    1. Read entertaining and educational articles about Michael Jackson.
    2. Get savvy about how to protest effectively when media crosses the line of decency. Then get back to Michael later.

    I have been asked by many readers to address media issues. I am not “giving up” on Michael. Quite the contrary. Question: If Michael Jackson could stop what happened to him from happening to anyone else in the future, what do you think he would do? Answer: He’s doing it. He could use some help.

    The ultimate question: Are you on board?

    Posted November 29, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

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