Inner Michael » A Molecular Friend

A Molecular Friend

The idiom about friendship goes something like this: “If you can count your close friends on one hand, you can consider yourself lucky.”

What is actually being said here is that real friendships are rare. These are not the friendships one accumulates on a social site (via computer) on an imaginary highway (the Internet) through imaginary space (cyber space) in an imaginary community made up of illusions that can astonishingly cause people to: emotionally bleed, bleed emotionally, “friend,” “unfriend,” bully, ostracize, marginalize, hurt, harm, love, embrace, humiliate, and sometimes “off” themselves.

“Down from the family album.”
“Dead to me!”
Remember, Paul Simon says there are “50 ways to leave your lover!”

It’s all so…. “temporary.” Fickle. Superficial. So well… ADD.

When, as a writer and independent scholar, I became curious about Michael Jackson after writing a review of the film “This Is It” for a magazine, I encountered a dissonance between what I had heard and remembered about him and what the movie revealed. “This Is It” is a candid and unscripted slice of Michael Jackson. He was not acting and had no way of knowing the footage of his rehearsal was going to become a legacy film after his passing. Something didn’t add up and I asked the question ‘who was he, really?’ the first thing I had noticed was his sincerity and his hands. It was his non-verbal communication that fascinated me. I had taught a course in non-verbal communication at our local technical college, but by no means was an expert. (One has since shown up to examine him.) But when I saw the film, something just didn’t add up. And the way it haunted me, it was a big something. The dissonance was deafening and the silent language of Michael Jackson and the inspired, sensitive and driven artiste` I saw did not match the loud and draconian screaming of the tabloid press.

I knew, along with other millions, that I had been misled and had gotten it wrong or didn’t have the whole story. My whole body knew it. This was not the man “they” told me existed; this was not the man the tabloids had constructed. It was quite a realization to come to know that the tabloid-ified Michael Jackson was a caricature and bore no resemblance to the truth. It was also a real blow to uncover the magnitude of media manipulation, the disloyalty of the people around Michael and the concept of “checkbook journalism”– paying for stories and holding out cash for “tell all” pieces embellished by the media itself in its quest to cash in.

As my journey continued, I felt rage, outrage, shame, regret and overwhelming sadness. I recognized lethal parasites and a parasitic culture and it brought an agony and helplessness that is hard to describe. It reeked of excess and injustice. It looked like prolonged “wilding.” Before Michael Jackson died, I was oblivious to a world that was pretty obscure to me. It was the world of the media, of greed and profits and market share at any cost; the Hollywood world of myth and celebrity and the music world that has a very dark underbelly. I began to understand that money corrupts on the highest level and with obscene amounts of money involved, doesn’t just corrupt but can indeed “eat your soul.”

I began to “get” that there are stark divisions in the world– artificial worlds and worlds of games and those who are the new class of serfdom– celebrity entertainers who must play by the rules to an audience and industry that is complementary, fickle, eviscerating, damning, and every bit soul-destroying. The real hunger games played by those in the public eye, are dangerous for humanity– theirs and ours. Already an artist myself, I came to understand so much more about art and the creative impulse and what the true artist and prodigy must go through and do for the sake of the art that possesses him. How a gifted artist is enslaved to a higher purpose or calling and that river of creativity cannot be dammed. What accompanies the human spirit in this life is feelings, and I came to understand how people who are gifted find a way, and elect to, share their innate gifts with the world must insulate themselves from feeling. That’s actually anathema to art. You can’t be tender and survive the celebrity game. And art in service to humanity that wants to be created, is coming through you one way or another.

There are some assumptions made by those outside the circle of celebrity that go unexamined and they feed the dangerous game that’s a sophisticated setup for self-measurement and self-condemnation via comparison with an eventual decline to envy and jealousy. The game is the non-celebrity/celebrity trading recognition for obscurity/recognition and includes their extremes and polarizations. The world is full of these games and game players and some of the games destructively eat away at the soul while the human goes unaware that pieces go missing. It is hard to revere and appreciate self when by comparison, one’s own life looks pale and obscure compared to another’s. And it becomes harder still sometimes to tell who is the more fortunate– the known or the unknown. Fifteen minutes of fame can destroy a life.

In researching the tabloid industry for feature articles and for “Words and Violence,” I encountered a story of a tabloid editor who was trying to get someone loyal to Michael Jackson to make fallacious accusations and statements about the children Jackson was generously mentoring, I saw the true horrors of the game that erodes everyone’s humanity. Should the story appear and serve the interests of the editor, the tabloid and their profits, the children would be the real victims. No matter; the editor from the National Enquirer offered cash increasing the price incrementally depending on what the person being interviewed was willing to say– the more juicy the story, the more cash being held out to soothe the conscience, forfeit truth and ransom dignity. (Oh yes; it is exactly that!) When the individual being asked inquired why the tabloid would deliberately destroy someone with false information the reply given was: “We take people down; that’s what we do.” Apparently that is how the tabloids view their role in culture– an industry that evolved to take people down and destroy them and sell that brand of terrorism for a profit.

Apparently there was no thought given to the fate of the children or how losing their famous and accomplished mentor might inhibit their lives and future. I guess that didn’t matter. The question rarely pondered is: “For what purpose?” Now there’s the real story… “Why?” and “Why do people pay for that?” Unless you have reason or occasion to research these things, ignorance will prevail; when people come to understand how lethal is word violence weaponry, they will stop buying it. It’s education that changes or engages hearts.

Michael Jackson was the most sensitive of Katherine Jackson’s children. An empath from the time he was little, Michael felt a kinship with the world and dreamed of how to make his own contribution. Some people arrive in the world knowing their mission; child prodigies often have an expanded and global view compared to the narrowly focused ego of the average person. Even as a youth, he saw his role clearly and knew he was someone who came in with a mission– to make the world a better place. Still very much a child himself, he declared to his mother that he would someday help those starving children from Africa– the ones he witnessed on TV with empty swollen bellies, bony bodies, sunken eyes and flies buzzing around their mouths.

He kept his word.

He was a man of few words. He rarely spoke about himself and when he spoke about his accomplishments and talent, he always attributed his gifts to God. He can be seen clearly and openly praying on stage. He didn’t like to talk about himself because the vessel was not the thing, the art was. Neither was the person or persona important, but the art and its message was. Yet, I marveled at how many times his spirituality was overlooked and how Michael was summarily dismissed as lying whenever he opened his mouth to explain something they asked him about. No matter what he said in an interview, it was taken out of context and often twisted. No wonder he stopped gave up on giving interviews. It didn’t seem to matter that his hands, upturned, palms open, indicated an unconscious offering of self and a plea for understanding, that he touched his chest often– an indication of someone who feels things honestly, deeply and personally and is sharing that depth as he speaks. Touching the chest means it comes from the heart. Touching the chest and then opening the hands is an offering of self from the heart. And films of his interactions clearly show that Michael’s hands didn’t just touch people, they caressed them in an act of reverence– women, children, even men. Described by so many as shy and humble, Michael Jackson didn’t say much, but his hands did a lot of talking.

‘But still,’ I thought, ‘I could be wrong. Maybe he really was the “Diva,” publicity fiend, or egomaniac they described.’ The caricature was too engrained in society, too fleshed out to be completely false; I mean where there’s smoke…? Right?

Yet, there was evidence of so many visits to orphanages and hospitals; there was that televised strategic plea to President Clinton on behalf of Ryan White and Michael’s befriending of this kid whom nobody wanted to touch. There was a burn center, donations of hospital equipment in every city he toured. There were stories of his sending iconic pieces of his wardrobe to kids who admired him and were sick or dying. There are stories of surgeries, prosthetics, organ transplants, burn treatments and burials that parents couldn’t afford that he paid for quietly and told no one. Do superstars do those things?

If you want to intimately know someone, look at their library and the books there; and look at their friends. I know some of the books in Jackson’s library but there were 10,000 of them! He was a man with a curious and expanded mind! A philosopher. A mystic. Interested in poetry and art. I know he also had an intense interest in the metaphysical and that indicates to me he was a lifelong spiritual seeker. I know the type well. It indicates someone who has explored far beyond the conventional veneer of the religions of the world and deep into the human and mystical core. He meditated. People who flunk humanity don’t meditate! Next I looked at his relationships: Who did he hang out with? Who were his friends, but in particular, who was not just in his “inner circle” but who remained in his inner circle and for how long? Who were his “friends?”

The first thing that became obvious was that Michael Jackson didn’t have “normal” friendships even though everything I read from him and about him by people who actually knew him, seemed to point to a humble and “normal” guy who just wanted to hang out. He said he just wanted to be a regular guy– whether that meant one of the gang, one of the dudes, one of the dinner guests, one of the party invitations, one of the club hoppers, one of the shoppers in the bookstore, one of the audience watching a show, one of the museum’s attendees, a Disneyland dad, one of the audience, one of the sightseers, just one of the family, a doting husband, or just dad hanging out with his kids at the local playground. None of that ever seemed to work out well for him.

People divided themselves into two camps around Michael: those who were awestruck and couldn’t embrace, see or treat him as a regular guy or normal person (and that included some who were very big stars themselves) or those who wanted to get close to him to bask in the reflected glory while claiming to be “Michael Jackson’s friend.”

Add into the mix fans who were enamored by his talent and his persona and who mobbed him wherever he went; the clingers and hangers-on; the ‘Dirty Dianas;’ family who depended on him, a wealthy man, for their own livelihoods and well-being; people who used him as their personal banker, money machine or corporate cash cow; those who wanted to be seen with him for whatever ego-driven or career-enhancing reason; producers and record execs who wanted in and wanted a piece of the action; reporters and interviewers chasing the “exclusive” story; women who wanted to be eye and arm candy; tabloids who wanted to exploit his popularity, privacy and fame to grow their demographics, subscriptions and market share; and those who felt his charisma and the spiritual vibe that so many attributed to being in his presence and whose cravings sought the delight, excitement and brain-chemistry stimulation of being in the company of “Michael Jackson.”

Michael, it seems by some of his comments, was acutely aware of this, aware of his effect on people, his influence and aware of the motivations of most. Imagine always having to discern with all the people who come into your life, who is authentic; who is not; who is a true friend; who is just there to use you; who might cause you bodily harm– intended or not; those who intend you financial harm; who is out to use you for their own gain and who just wants to be seen in your company and celebrity; or who has your ear because it represents power; and who really has your back. Unfortunately when you don’t believe you have that innate power yourself but have to rely on someone else for it, in the more quiet moments you catch on to your own learned “powerlessness” and “obscurity” that can only lead to resentment and eventual jealousy and envy.

Those moments of conversion where someone went from being a friend to being a sycophant must have been very painful for Michael. Michael would have a lot of practice in meeting disappointment in friends, of deploying that discernment in his relationships; he must have experienced great sadness when those friendships turned parasitic or ugly. And it seems they always did. He was always saying “goodbye.” Sometimes he didn’t catch on in time or perhaps the anticipation of loss and sadness would delay the inevitable for him– “unfriending” someone who had meant something to him. Since he wasn’t a dullard, but had a finely tuned sensory system, he would have known or sensed a fundamental change in his relationships. He would have caught the “vibe.” Those around him seemed to crave his attention and if they didn’t get it or sensed they could no longer curry favor, the weaker of those personalities would have panicked and clung harder; those in danger of separation might feel justified taking their “fair share” before the end came, knowing they were on their way out. That’s human nature when a human leaves the place of confidence and comfort and goes into a state of fear. Then Michael would have had to face things he didn’t want to face and deal with losses he didn’t wish, firings he didn’t enjoy, backlash from the banished in the form of tabloid-type stories sold to the highest bidder. It must have been a constant source of sorrow for him. As he once told an interviewer, he walked the streets some nights looking for somebody who would befriend him, just treat him like a normal guy, and not be influenced by his name and celebrity. He found very few. Except for children– children not yet mature and corrupted enough by the ability to cognitively calculate what they might gain from him.

Michael, it seems, dealt with his larger-than-life persona by splitting himself into two people– Michael Jackson the person and Michael Jackson the superstar. He knew and acknowledged that “superstar Michael” was only a persona. He knew that the persona overtook him only on stage and while performing and that while inhabiting that alternate identity, he was a powerhouse of talent and charisma. Like a Sufi caught up in the whirl of the dance, forsaking all else, becomes the dance itself. Michael Jackson knew the persona he occasionally inhabited to be transcendental. He once remarked to someone while hiding behind the curtain and looking at the sea of people waiting for his concert to begin: “I have no idea why all these people love me.”

Michael Jackson the person was quite different than the larger-than-life performer who emerged when the spotlight came on. It seems he longed to be treated like plain old “Michael Jackson” when he left the stage but was far too memorable and electrifying to lose that identity when he stepped down.

Reading his dialogues with those who worked with him reveals that he saw the separation quite clearly and made decisions that were driven in favor of and in service to advancing the persona and his career as an artist, and tried to be “just Michael” the rest of the time. As an individual with involuntary charisma, he obviously saw the gift and power in it. He wielded it and leveraged it responsibly to contribute or give back to the world rather than to exclusively take from it. In his own mind, it appears the separation was very clear to Michael Jackson because he spoke of “Michael Jackson” in third person and he was good at compartmentalizing his life; still those around him found it difficult to forget who his persona was and the power and scope of that identity.

Yet others who could not contain or separate their own ego, shadow or desires from Michael Jackson whether the persona or person, projected their own egos and shadows onto him and injected their projections into his life.

Instead of seeing the superstar as a humble and creative artist who voiced perpetual gratitude to God for his talent– someone he introduced us to and revealed over and over in his own words in interviews, dialogues, collaborations and in print, observers saw their own inflated egos and unfulfilled desires. He repeatedly gave the credit for his talent and success to God. Imagine the headline: “Michael Jackson says God makes me do it.” That wouldn’t have worked either in a cynical and unenlightened world.

Unfortunately for the world which he wanted to make better, and many children, the projections of those observing and writing about him ruled much of what was said and written about his life. Reporters, instead of conveying who he really was by reading his words and actions, conveyed who they imagined him to be based on their own projections, prejudices, beliefs, and biases. They literally interjected themselves into his imagined persona and wrote from there. Instead of Michael, the audience got whatever identity the writer created for Michael, which is actually a mirror of the writer’s identity, not the person being interviewed. The public got what was rattling around in mind projections, not “Michael Jackson.” What emerged was caricature and a construction of what the writer fantasized was true, not truth. The frenzy of assumption based on preconceived judgments dominated most of the media depictions of Jackson. Snapshots of Michael were more figments of the writer’s imagination playing “follow the leader” combined with their own projected envy, assumptions and judgment. That’s not journalism; it’s an unrecognized personal confession.

It’s the Wizard of Oz myth playing itself out in real life. The Michael Wizard created was nothing like the person. Michael knew and understood the phenomenon; he addressed it directly and well in his “Ghost” short film.

The media’s reflections about Michael Jackson were compulsive, based on a previously conceived caricature, unexamined opinions and projected through a predetermined cultural lens already negatively labeled. Jackson went from the media’s “darling” to its cultural villain. The piling on a person the way they did Michael Jackson is unprecedented in history. People have piled on ideas like “Witchcraft” and “Communism” and collections of people like “witches” and “Negros” and “Japs” and the like, but this was a new kind of public enemy. This was a new shadow game. Never before had the entire culture (and world) had one individual become the target of society’s projected shadow. Shadow, as in the dark side of human nature, is the unacknowledged and rejected part of one’s own ego that one can’t bear to acknowledge in self, thus projects it onto others.) Collective shadow refers to a homogenous culture projecting human shadow.

Jackson’s art evoked human shadow. And it crept into whatever was written about him. Media stories were consistently a commingling of the writer’s shadow and projection superimposed on their evaluation of “Michael Jackson” the persona. Some people missed the artist and the art altogether.

Someone who makes their living by vicariously living through another even momentarily, in order to create a column or story, has to be very conscious and careful of the seepage of their own shadow material, their own judgments. Hysteria can be a mirror projection. So, those who cry “hegemony” at the fans or defenders of Jackson would do well to study cultural hegemony, mass hysteria and crowd dynamics. The treatment of Jackson by the media was hysterical. He became a “phenomenon” that evoked mass hysteria and mirrored shadow. The thing about hysteria is that it’s not real; it’s imagined and completely fabricated. And it’s a phenomenon that tends to sweep people along in its wake with the force of a Tsunami.

People point to Michael and make the observation that he did it to himself because he sought fame. Thus, they reason, he brought his “tragic downfall” upon himself. In other words, he got what he deserved? That kind of commentary is a by-product of dehumanizing and bullying someone. It’s a lame and lazy excuse for how a singular human being was treated on this planet while he was here and a feeble attempt to absolve “self” from the responsibility for the carnage caused by rampant human shadow allowed to run off leash. It’s just another projection. And typical of those who consume the art that a celebrity brings to humanity– a great gift to the world based on personal sacrifice– and then find ways to condemn the celebrity for that very gift and for being who they are. There is a distinction between a true artist and a celebrity who seeks fame for its own sake. Blaming the gifted for their gift is like blaming the mentally ill for their illness. It’s a regularly played immature human game.

Michael Jackson couldn’t help his gift or who he was artistically nor could he stop the flow of his creativity. That doesn’t work for artists. There were people in Michael’s life who were with him and loyal for decades and who still speak of him in very loving terms. Those who personally knew Michael speak of a much different man than the caricature that lives in the field of collective consciousness and memory.

I want to have a molecular friend, or be one– the kind that stops time when walking into a room, makes the air crackle and changes the molecules– all things attributed to Michael Jackson by multiple people who knew him. People who worked with him professionally have never described a “Diva;” they describe a “perfectionist.” They never speak of someone spoiled or prone to tantrums. Everyone who ever worked with Michael speaks well of him and his professional relationships have a stunning longevity. Jonathan Moffett, for example, Michael’s primary drummer who worked with him for 3 decades still chokes up when speaking about him, and says wistfully and emotionally that Michael was “amazing” and “amazing to watch.” He would know, after 30 years of watching. Moffett describes a humble perfectionist who knew when a single note was missing from a chord and could hum that precise note even though he didn’t read music. Jonathan performed tributes to Michael, released a CD dedicated to him and played drums on tour for Circque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson Immortal.”

What kind of friend does that? What kind of character would a man have to have to embrace a friend for 30 years and never betray him? What kind of man with what kind of character inspires a man to do that? A man whose artistry and effect on people could unify the world and who, when he entered a room, according to Moffett and Cheryl Crow and others who worked with him for years, he “changed the molecules in the room.”




  1. KatieW said . . .

    Did you read the commment near the photo “LIZ ADOPTS MICHAEL?” How despicable! I swear, Barbara, the tabloids… I cannot describe how I feel. Trivializing Michael and Liz Taylor’s friendship in such a horrid way when their relationship was so pure, so full of fun and adventure that they BOTH needed from each other. Did you ever see the video on YouTube about Michael’s first Christmas with Liz? Yes they both were acting childish but in such an endearing way. It showcased their awesome friendship and affection for one another.

    Posted January 11, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Permalink
  2. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    The tabloids were extremely unfriendly to Liz as well. They ridiculed her and her many marriages. That quote in the tabloid is intended to humiliate, trivialize, satirize and dehumanize. That’s what that industry does. Until people truly understand the harm, they will continue. Just like the dialogue about violence and guns, nothing will happen until a couple dozen children are mowed down by automatic weapons in a school.

    I used that illustration of Liz and Michael to highlight as well, the longevity of their friendship. It weathered great challenges for both of them. And yes, they were able to share tragedies and childlike joy. It’s an inspiration and testimony to the character of both of them and of their humanity.

    This is not just about Michael. It’s about a society that needs to wash its mouth out with soap and learn civilty. Words and hate speech drives this kind of violence. There is a system to dehumanizing someone and setting them up as tabloid fodder and then taking them down. It’s done deliberately. We have to get very good at saying what offends us. Have you seen the VOCO adds with women’s legs with red stilettos inviting consumers to “play with my V-spot?” or the HyperMac display at the Consumer Electronics Show that features nude women in body paint and white and black face makeup?

    It’s time to get civilized. The only way to stop the degrading and dehumanizing bullying on this planet is to complain about it and tell them you’re “not buying their stuff” and you’re “not going to take it anymore.” Dehumanization is an art form. We need to speak up. And up. And up.

    Posted January 11, 2013 at 11:25 pm | Permalink
  3. gertrude said . . .

    why isn’t THIS article published in the New Yorker, and the Huffington post, and Vanity Fair – and EVERYWHERE? No really, WHY???!!!
    beautiful. a heartwrenchng, and brilliant piece.

    Posted January 12, 2013 at 12:21 am | Permalink
  4. Lynaire Williams said . . .

    Yes,Yes,Yes! Molecular friends. Why don’t we innundate them with some copies? It would only need to resonate with one person. Barbara, like Michael cannot “do it by herself”.
    It is interesting to me Barbara, that you have taken us back to what I would call the very basics of Michael. As that is what I have felt compelled to do in my life lately. Believing that somewhere along the line, I have missed a very important point.
    The term,”Add up” is becoming synchronistic in my field.
    And I have been given more clarity, for which I am very grateful.
    His story is one of the essentials in bringing forward our new world. But of course, we have always known that…

    Posted January 12, 2013 at 11:19 pm | Permalink
  5. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Say more about this, L. And yes, I believe that new world is on her way; I can hear her breathing. : )

    Posted January 13, 2013 at 3:28 am | Permalink
  6. Lynaire Williams said . . .

    Namaste All,
    It is late evening here. I have just come inside after my nightly sojourn under the stars. (Yes, I am one of the star-gazers.) It has become very apparent to me that a new dimension is slowly permeating our world. It is there in what I see. Oftimes in what I do not.

    My reason for sharing this is, along with, or because of this new energy, I have felt the certainty that Michael’s story will be more readily accepted.

    It is truly a new and more favourable beginning, full of possiblities that I intend to take advantage of. Spreading his story for the sake of humanity is our mission and we must not tire of it! Who really knows, it could be the only reason we are here.


    Posted January 13, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink
  7. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    If we look at the Universal Laws: We find the law of reciprocity or matching energy– put simply, like attracts like. We also discover that we live in a world of duality which means a necessary polarization. In duality, the energy of one pole is matched by its opposite (resistance.) Energy cannot be created nor destroyed, just changed in form. That is the true dance of the stars, so cheers!

    The human likes homeostasis. The universe likes homeostasis. So, you can count on this: the impact of something is equivalent to the resistance it provokes. That means that something or someone with huge power and impact is going to inspire the equivalent grand resistance. Michael Jackson deliberately pushed our buttons in big ways. There is a great deal of resistance around Michael. “Michael Jackson” has inpsired huge, protracted and prolonged resistance and that continues even now. Michael in his archetype tickles or disturbs deep archetypal human “stuff.” He knew what he was doing. For example: Some adopted Michael as their hero archetype and their projections expected him to carry his whole race (African American) forward and he “disappointed” them by becoming white. (And that’s only one example.)

    When momentum gathers and something is about to shift or change, the resistance also crescendos, so expect it. Humans don’t like change; change has an effect on the human brain and the resulting chemistry is equivalent to experiencing torture.

    Humans also don’t like to believe they were duped because it is offensive and disturbs their world view. We like an orderly, friendly world that makes sense. (Unless we are in love with shadow- and some are.) Forming an “opinion” is an attempt at homeostasis or making orderly sense of the world and to package something neatly in our minds. We then cling tightly to those “resolved issues” or unexamined assumptions; we don’t like them disturbed.

    Archetypal art is disturbing. It’s supposed to be. That is its purpose. Artists are conduits and agents of change.

    Michael deliberately challenged the world and world views with his art and that must necessarily inspire the equivalent resistance. When our world view is tampered with, or it becomes evident that it is/was wrong, we experience that “torture” of struggling to resist change we have just discovered is now necessary. It’s painful to the ego and identity to discover you were so easily mislead (the ego doesn’t like to be “wrong”) so whether or not it is justified, we are going to want to “kill somebody,” and well… the messenger is handy.

    There is and will be a huge resistance to finding out what really happened because it was so violent, so shameful, so huge and so unjust; the guilt by necessity, must be equivalent. We are not going to like this lesson. And the size of the lesson is going to attract equivalent resistance. Then if we dig around in those wounds for people who were mislead, or rub their noses in it, we cause more trauma and resistance. Although it’s hard, compassion is the only thing that will allow and assist the integration of the tragedy and humanity’s part in it.

    The work is not just in service one individual, it’s in service to the world; to humanity. (That’s us too.) Love makes it happen. Tough love, compassionate love, fierce love. It’s a holy commission.

    Posted January 13, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink
  8. KatieW said . . .

    Dear Barbara,

    I know this is off topic, but I would love it if you would watch on YouTube Michael’s acceptance of the Bambi Awards in 2002. I would love for you to see the reverance and respect from the German audience towards Michael and how Ghandi-like he appeared. And although one could see his strength, his vulnerability was so palpable. He appeard nervous and adorable and who would think a year later his life would be turned upside down. Please watch it and I for one would LOVE your comments. BTW, his son, Prince accepted on behalf of Michael the Bambi Awards in Germany either in 2010 or 2011. Also awesome the respect the German people had for Michael.

    Posted January 14, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink
  9. KatieW said . . .

    Posted January 14, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink
  10. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Thanks, Katie. Here is the link to the 2002 Bambi Awards in Germany
    The Bambi is the most pretigious media award that Germany gives. It originated in 1948 and came to symbolize “hope” for people living among dashed dreams and resignation to the bleakness of everyday life. The deer came to signify hope for the future in a nation coming back and rising from a difficult past. That is why Michael speaks of needing the children for he believed (and most agree) that children are the future. He encourages the children to chase their dreams.

    Yes, Michael was embraced in Germany; in fact he was embraced everywhere in the world but his own country. America had/has an agenda and the media has admitted that the media agenda toward Michael that began in America and was adopted and then embellished in Britain comes from a place with prejudice at the roots. This trip to Germany had some amazing moments as you can see at the link. but it had some not-so-bright moments too. Unfortunately, Bashir was along on this trip and backstage as well as in the Adlon Hotel.

    Michael appears hyper and uncomfortable, nervous, embarassed and shy before and during the ceremony. His speach speaks of his philosophy of and for children and the world. Germany, it seems, took him at face value and listened.

    A more cynical America with an agenda and already familiar with the caricature and the meme of “weirdness” developed a very different and jaded view of Jackson.

    Posted January 14, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink
  11. Poca said . . .

    I really LOVE that speech and personally I think it was one of his best. Here, you can clearly hear how articulate he really was because he was a man of few words. During his speech, he talks about his weakness, how he tried to be a great father to his children, and his appreciation for his father. Also, during the speech, he credits his father for doing his best in raising them now that he was a father himself and seeing how hard it is. I think he looked adorable, even joking about asking his spiritual advisor, (a friend at the time) to help him find a wife, but warned him that he is not interested in female journalist. He had so many bad experiences with journalist that I don’t blame him. Great speech and I recommend everyone to hear it. Great article, Barbara.

    Posted January 15, 2013 at 3:17 am | Permalink
  12. Kim said . . .

    Thank you Rev. Barbara. Yes I agree with Gertrude; WHY isn’t this article posted where many people can read it. I’d love to post this article from my Twitter account on Twit-longer. Can I do that? Would you mind? I will include the link as well. This should be posted out for public viewing. I will post it on my Facebook account as well if you say it’s alright. I want people to read this. Michael endured so much, but yet he handled it with grace and humility. I had a conversation today about what the media did to Michael, Lady Diana and many other people. I pointed out to someone that the media had an agenda to target various people including Michael. The person I spoke with was surprised. I continued to educate about the media’s intentions. I also stated that we, the consumer are part of the problem for purchasing the tabloids. She agreed. So articles such as these are needed to educate people so when you engage in a casual conversation, we can educate people on what really happened. Thank you for writing and posting this. Please advise on my inquiry. Thank you.

    Posted January 19, 2013 at 7:26 am | Permalink
  13. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    I am glad that you spoke up and shared the information about a destructive industry. We criticize corporate interests that use destructive and environmentally irresponsible methods that pollute and harm while harvesting or mining minerals, raw materials, energy sources, construction materials, agricuture, animal products and other things for human consumption. How is it that we allow an industry to irresponsibly harvest and mine our minds and spew human misery while spreading a deadly pollution?

    How is it that we embrace, sanction and pay money for things that only foster our own devolution? This is a question that should be asked each time we humans consume anything offered in our environment– “does this support my growth and enlightenment as a human being on a planet that supports my life?” Does this speak to the highest and finest incarnation of me? If the thing doesn’t support your evolution into your best self and evoke the light inside (bright shadow) then it will devolve you and all humanity because whatever one does affects the whole. We are a web of life- giggle the web here and someone over there bounces in that same vibration.

    We need to learn to love ourselves well enough to say ENOUGH! Self love that says “You can’t bring that filth and misery into my space” says to self and others that we value humans and life and that we value ourselves. Some of the misery on this planet is artificially manufactured. It is sad that somebody thought it was a good idea to bring fear and misery to the table, put it on our plates and push our faces into it. And to add the dismemberment of real people and serve them up on that same plate is anathema to respecting our humanity- our personal and collective humanity. To respect your humanity and the humanity of others is to bring LOVE to the table.

    So you have my permission to combat the devolution of humanity in whatever way you chose as long as it is not harmful to sentient life on this planet. Trust your intuition, Kim, and ask “Does this make the world a better place?” That’s the real reason we gather here.

    Posted January 19, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink
  14. gertrude said . . .

    Well I have tried to see to it that this DID get “published” in the New Yorker, to some extent. I posted it in full with “WRITTEN BY REVEREND BARBARA KAUFMANN OF INNER MICHAEL –
    Stated at the end, in the comments for the smear-fest written about Michael’s gigantic Thriller album sales, so that Bill Wyman, the “author”, would read your entire article before removing it from the comments – which he has not, although he has removed several other comments, one even after I “published” your article. So I know he read it.

    It has stood there since the 11th, along with the statement from Michael’s Estate posted on the 15th, totally discrediting Wyman’s smear campaign against Michael.

    Posted January 20, 2013 at 4:54 am | Permalink
  15. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    One has to wonder what’s up with these people. Whatever Michael Jackson inspires it always seems to evoke passion. A lightning rod still. Thanks for the belly laugh, G.

    Posted January 20, 2013 at 8:31 pm | Permalink
  16. judi said . . .

    Rev B I would love for you to post the speech Michael made at Oxford University.It shows him at his most humble yet articulate and eloquent.

    Posted January 23, 2013 at 6:05 am | Permalink
  17. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    J, now an author is saying that the speech was written for Michael. That is a thinly disguised racist remark because as a black man and “simpleton” or “pop star” fluff, he was not supposed to be intelligent and thoughtful. It is well known that he was encouraged to speak at Oxford and may have been coached but these have always been Michael’s ideas and feelings.
    Oxford Speech:
    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3
    Part 4

    Posted January 29, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink
  18. Nina Hamilton said . . .

    A short and sweet remark here, something I have been wanting to post for a while. Six more journalists have been arrested in London, two of them work for The Sun newspaper, as part of the ‘phone hacking investigation. Yes! Should be an interesting year. I’ve lost count now. Retribution? Getting their just deserts? An eye for an eye?

    Posted February 24, 2013 at 1:28 am | Permalink
  19. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Finally, laws that have teeth! Thanks for letting us know. We get the message. Are others getting it?
    I hope those on that side of the pond are writing letters and articles that lend support and for the restoration of civility.
    (Cheering is heard on this side of the pond.)

    Posted February 24, 2013 at 6:46 am | Permalink
  20. Mirror said . . .

    Very good and deep article. Thank you for that.
    I´ve been thinking similarly lately, that Michael was very unique genius who had the ability to mirror people back to themselves. If you want to know who you are, ask yourself who Michael Jackson is to YOU? He was a mirror. He could bring out most beautiful parts of people and also most ugly parts of people. And also society as a whole. This is fraightening to see how easily media can manipulate with masses and abuse talented people. It´s sick and criminal, those are not even humans who have done these things. Spreading lies about someone, famous or not, should be crime, not everyday work for bunch of “people”. It´s more American thing though, maybe England too. I know that many other countries never cared much about those tabloid fantasies and false accusations. As an american MJ was mostly reflection of the american society. And unfortunately the mirror showed extremely immature, careless and mentally sick image.

    But there was (and is) something more important about him than mirroring. I´ve been thinking that he might have been much more . Maybe a being who reincarnates on this planet only once in a thousands of years. Usually to be here during great changes. This would explain his phenomenal influence and mirroring effect. There have been many freedom fighters and famous messengers of world peace, love and change. But non of them caused this level of positive influence and also this level of negative media hysteria. It´s like some people, maybe people in power, were afraid of him. They were terrified, that his influence is so big and growing on the global level – what if he really brings change to the world? And we lose power over people? They were determined to destroy him, because they were afraid of him.
    I don´t think any of us actually knows how big his influence was. Energetically. In molecular level :). And maybe it´s not over yet at all. Maybe this was just the beginning?

    Posted May 4, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Permalink
  21. Mirror said . . .

    I wanted to add one more thing. You said, that he had alternate persona “the superstar Michael”, who he became on the stage. But I don´t think these two are the same. I might be wrong, but I feel that on stage he became one with his higher self or something more real and genuine than he or anyone else are in “real life”. To me there are three Michael Jacksons, so to speak: one is nice and humble person, just a human, not perfect, but good person Michael, other is pure creative force that he became on the stage – and I can´t see this as his alternate superstar persona, I see it as his deepest and highest being, essesnce that he channeled and millions of people experienced this energy and how it changed them somehow. They still do. And the third is artificial superstar, weird and crazy Michael Jackson, created by mentally ill media. This third person is cultural meme, someone that has ever really existed.
    Every time when someone sais, that Michael was different on stage than in “real life”, like he wasn´t himself on stage, I want to ask, what is “real life” or “real person”? I´m a writer and I know the state of mind when I do my creative work. It´s like being high, like channeling great energy, brain chemistry changes in this state, but it doesn´t mean that it´s not real me. I think that artist´s most “real” self and real life IS inside art. It´s like you become alive and yourself when you are in creative process.
    So for me Michael´s most real and genuine personality activates on stage. That´s something not many people realise, who are not active artists in whatever field. But that´s just how I see and feel it.

    English is not my first language, so excuse my mistakes.

    Posted May 5, 2013 at 7:19 am | Permalink
  22. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Yes, I have said many times at Inner Michael that Michael Jackson was having a numinous experience on stage and that he was an inspired artist and his work was inspired. In “This Is It” there is a very clear moment of realization that whatever his real gift, it wasn’t coming from him, it was coming through him.. Michael Jackson himself made the distinction between Michael the person and Michael the superstar and when he created art, he always gave credit to God. He knew what he was doing, he knew the process you have described and he gave credit where it belongs. He was very capable of using (inhabilitng) his superstar personna for influence.

    As an artist, poet, writer, filmaker I can identify with the creative process and how it works. And I know when I am “in the flow” or in the Tao. But that ability is not reserved only for “special” people– everyone has that latent ability.

    The caricature built by the media is the result of the projection of human shadow.

    Posted May 5, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink
  23. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    The header under “Welcome” at Inner Michael explains about the mirror. We have been discussing it here at length. There have been many mirrors through the millenia. Actually many messengers have influenced the planet to a great degree– Gandhi, Hitler, Jesus of Nazareth, Martin Luther King… Steve Jobs…

    Many geniuses have been ostrasized in their own time and ridiculed by peers. The degree this happened to Jackson is because of the rise of the tabloids and the evoliution of communications from local to global.

    Over yet? No, we are still in process.

    Posted May 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink
  24. Mirror said . . .

    Thank you, I now read the welcome text. My experience over the past months has been very similar in discovering the real Michael. I was always a fan of his music, but didn´t know much of his personality or life. Fortunately in Europe noone ever cared much about tabloid trash.
    But now I have much more complex and deep image of him. It´s somehow very personal. Sometimes it´s hard to find the words to decribe these inner experiences and it doesn´t happen to me very often. But you have made great and interesting analysises.

    Posted May 5, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink
  25. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    V, you join hundreds of others who wrote to share their personal experiences- and found it very hard to describe or convey. I completely understand.

    You write “no one in Europe every cared much about tabloid trash.” Not sure where you are speaking of. The British are the ones who started the “Wacko” moniker and Fleet Street pumped the stuff out daily. In America, someone from the industry convinced grocers it would be a good idea to put them at the checkout aisles. Maybe we should all start complaining that it makes us nauseus and we don’t like that influence on our children.

    Someone has to be buying those fish wrappers. Somebody has to be “caring.” Who is buying them? They are written for the lowest common denominator. Who is that?

    Posted May 5, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Permalink
  26. Mirror said . . .

    Yes, I´ve understood that British tabloids are similar to American ones. And I´ve always wondered who are all these people who buy them! How can there be so many people who still pay money for this? Every country has their own tabloids but thier power seems to be much much smaller elswhere than it is in USA and England. I could understand USA with it´s racist roots, but why England?

    I´m in northern Europe and I have an impression that for example Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, eastern Europe and Russia have generally positive view of Michael Jackson. He´s the idol of many contemporary dancers and singers and it really seems that people don´t care and don´t even know much about all the lies and accusations. But I don´t know for certain of course, about every single country.

    Yes, maybe it´s about time to start big campaign against tabloids, especially on the part of parents and teachers. It´s like campign against school bullying, or roots of violence. When enough parents and teacher realise it, they could really make a change.

    Posted May 5, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Permalink
  27. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Tabloid journalism is bullying. Calling people names, mocking people, ridiculing them, dehumanizing them and dismembering front page is bullying on a global scale.

    Posted May 5, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

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