Inner Michael » Once Upon A Girl There Was a Time: Artists- Disposable People? Children- just “Collateral damage?”

Once Upon A Girl There Was a Time:

Artists- Disposable People? Children- just “Collateral damage?”

Once upon a time there was a little girl born to an unusual man. A man who loved children and who preached with his words, his music and his actions, that the children of the world are everybody’s responsibility. He was a member of the “It Takes A Village” to raise a child clan. He saw all the world’s people as family– the poor, the elite, the ignorant, the wise, the unloved and unloving, the downtrodden and broken, the privileged and the underprivileged and viewed them as a variety of colored threads that merge to weave the tapestry of humanity. He dined with kings and he slept on mats laid on floors of dust in remote villages. He befriended the sick, the aged, the weary, the brilliant, the talented, the poor; and he loved equaly– the outcasts and the A-Listers. Even if they didn’t always love him back.

This man became famous and his lyrics, music, dance and his work as a humanitarian and philanthropist was all for one purpose– to communicate and demonstrate to the world that they are all one. One human family. And that adults are the stewards of all the world’s children. He tried to make his life a demonstration of that. He only wanted to love and live in love. With a child’s heart and sometimes a child’s mind, he wandered the world telling his story in ways that the modern world would understand. He spoke in a powerful vernacular of the times– music. He was a popular, beloved figure in a culture on the cusp of change from individualism to community.

The man’s message, sometimes inherent and sometimes hidden in his artistry- masterfully created with all the tools of the genius and the artist with a story or message to tell, impacted the young especially. Those forlorn in inner cities barren of love and care, living in dangerous circumstances and among toxins both environmental and human, watched him closely and saw his life as a beacon of hope for them. If he could escape his toxic and poor beginnings, maybe they could as well.

His lyrics offered hope to them. And ideas that become mantras, incantations or what popular culture called “affirmations” if repeated enough become imbedded in consciousness and eventually sink down to fertilize even the unconscious. Singing songs and listening to recordings with powerful lyrics over and over instills hope in a wounded or barren soul. And even if there is to be no escape from a toxic life and environment, for the duration of a few moments the world is brighter having been infused with hope and the lightness shined by human hope.

He even told the world that children were precious resources, that they were to be loved completely and unconditionally and to never be told “no” if their requests could be accommodated. he believed in hugs and physical closeness and human touch as an affirmation of self as valuable. He believed in healing and in the power of the human mind and spirit and this is what he shared with the children around him– the sick and abandoned (those virtually abandoned by their families and those abandoned by the world.) He taught them that they have the power to heal themselves and to heal the world. He told adults the same thing. But the children listened especially closely and since they weren’t already tainted by the feeling of inadequacy and lack and self loathing, they heard him. Adults who were too far past those reverberations of hope ingrained and contained in childhood to remember them, misunderstood his intentions. He taught about the sovereignty of the human child and its soul encouraging the adult world to never break the spirit of a child.

The fame of this father was so legendary that he could not go anywhere without bodyguards, could not live anywhere without security, and he had accumulated so much wealth from his talent that everybody looked at him with envy for his fortune and disdain for his values that they didn’t understand.

He was so famous and so talented that he couldn’t have a normal life. The talent and creativity would not be denied and it burst through all the time. He could not ignore it and he could not stop the flow. The river of talent and the intensity of his art made it hard for him to sleep. He longed for normalcy– nourishing sleep, reasonable privacy but especially he ached to find love and a life mate so that he could have children. He longed for his own family and his own children. But this normalcy wasn’t in the cards for him for he had a mission in the world and came to complete it. The mission, his talent and fame made any normalcy unobtainable. His relationships didn’t work out and he wanted his own family so badly that he became “daddy” to many children and had many surrogate families along the way of his search for the perfect mate and mom. It just wasn’t in the cards.

But he would not give up on the dream of having his own children nor would he ever let go of the dream of healing sick or unfortunate children through love, care and play. He bought a ranch that was a hideaway from the world that was so intrusive on his life that he was stalked and bullied. He built this magical place that he could share with the world’s children. And he planned for his own children. If he couldn’t find the right mate and have a normal family life, he would try to come as close as possible to it. He truly believed that children were special beings who were to be treated with the ultimate respect and dignity and that they were the answer to the world’s problems. So he approached every child as if they were his personal responsibility as diplomats of the future world and as he, himself, was a diplomat of the adult world.

But the world missed the message, missed the intention and if fact, instead of considering perhaps he had a point and that the children of the world were being abandoned by the adult world in ways that were both visible and invisible. They condemned his love for children and twisted it into something it wasn’t. They couldn’t grasp what he was saying, what he was demonstrating by his philanthropy and donating hundreds of millions to charities, particularly children’s causes, by his building of hospital wings and burn centers and educational resources. The world thought his focus on children was venal and impure. It was understandable of course, since they had no concept of being a collective– a family of humanity that cherished all its members but particularly its children.

Much had been questioned in the previous period about adult relationships with children. The McMartin Preschool Case leveled against the caretakers of children, begun by the delusional rantings of a mentally ill woman led to a case that excoriated and decimated an entire family and lasted 10 years before they were exonerated. In the meantime a hysterical tabloid media exploited the story for its sensationalism and human darkness. Begun in 1983, the case caused sexual abuse hysteria and moral panic about children and adult-child relationships. Settled in 1990 with no evidence and no charges, the case ignited a cultural outrage and paranoia surrounding child sexual abuse. It galvanized a culture and created a panic that threw under suspicion, teachers who comforted students by putting their arms around them; caused doctors to never again enter exam rooms without a witness, coaches to never be alone with students, and other sweeping reforms to a culture battered by the media barrage about a case that had no merit and involved innocent people being tortured by a media and public gone mad. In 1995 a documentary was made “Indictment” that told the story but the panic never subsided. The case placed any adult with any relationship with a child under suspicion.

There was sexual abuse of children, of course, and the public exposed to its horrible possibility was shell shocked. The incidence of child abuse, especially in rural areas stunned a previously oblivious public. So, it’s seriousness is not to be belittled or dismissed. But every adult who has relationships with children is not a potential molester. But the pervasive assumption was just reverse and especially with men who either were, or were perceived gay, came under the umbrella of suspicion. (Notice the pun and metaphor there.) The reaction was disproportionate to the threat because of the heinous nature of the offense and the vulnerability of children.

But that did not mean every adult male was tempted to sexually exploit children. And in the case of Jackson, children naturally gravitated to him because of his soft voice and gentle demeanor, the expansiveness of his acceptance and in great measure by his presence and work. Clung to by children as their one bright ray of hope in a world that relegated them to “incidentals” or mini extensions of their parents, a world that didn’t “get” them, a world without a lifeline of hope, and the stewardship of them as people whose entry into the world was welcomed and cherished and who found love and genuine care so gravely missing from their daily lives, Jackson did become a kind of cult hero for the world’s children and youth. And his Neverland Ranch, built around the magic and needs of children and opened to them with or without his attendance there, brought fantasy and magic and a kind of care heretofore unseen and un-experienced in a culture that regularly breaks the spirits of children through its insistence on indoctrination, conformity, the adoption of false humility, stagnation and exploitation as “business as usual” and a society filled with adult rules and herd mentality where the status quo goes unchallenged and unreformed. And this insistence despite the evidence that something is very broken and is converting that “blessed unrest” (the gnawing knowingness that something needs fixing) to: bullying. The world is acting out because it is weary of values that no longer serve human beings nor humanity.

This famous father kept all of this to himself and never exposed his little girl to the ugly realities of a world that bullied him publicly for decades for sport and for profit, made him the brunt of jokes because he was an early feminist instead of misogynist, who respected women rather than exploit all the groupies who threw themselves at him or prostrated at his feet. He never wanted his little girl to be seen or bullied in public but despite all his efforts, those who made their living off tabloid sensation and human shadow, tried everything to illegitimize him, his relationship with children and his own children themselves. They publicly ridiculed his fatherhood, and openly and publicly speculated about his sexuality, his normal need, same as the average human, to procreate and enjoy the joys of fatherhood and family. They publicly, on the front pages of publications, questioned his physical ability to father children, function as a normal sexual being, and mocked and questioned the heritage of his own children. Some even scoffed at his insistence that his children be visibly shielded by masks as well as emotionally shielded from the terrorism of publications violating all manner of moral and ethical boundaries.

But this splendid father who considered himself a father to all children (as the world should be) even while ridiculed, mocked and bullied, showed nothing but love and care to his children continuing to shield them even during a trial that came about not because of his actual behavior, but because of the exploitation and repeated demonization of those whose own moral compass was offline and whose minds were incapable of viewing the man through his lyrics, his provocative art that challenged the world to do better in its stewardship for the planet and its children, and who filtered their “coverage” of him through their own moral turpitude and abysmal spiritual calibration and bankruptcy. In the end, it was proven in a court of law that what he was guilty of was being “strange” and “different” and a “freak” because his moral compass came from the Jehovah Witnesses, the saints any mystics, metaphysics, cosmology and his intimate relationship with his God.

His little girl knows him well; he spent all of his time outside the studio with his children changing diapers, feeding them, nurturing them and “blanketing them with love” which is where her brother “Blanket” got his name. He called his children “Prince” because his philosophy was that all children should be treated like royalty because they are precious to this world and their minds and creativity are jewels that can be mined to solve the world’s problems.

And all the time he was shielding her, protecting her, even from his own problems, from his inability to sleep or ever let his guard down enough to adequately rest because his every move, every utterance was scrutinized and filtered through the caricature the media built of him for its own selfish and financial exploitation. His natural and expansive love for humanity and people, tested and betrayed at every juncture of his life, while suffering and wavering at times, remained intact for even into his latter years, he wanted to come back again to remind the world of its responsibility and stewardship.

This little girl lived with a daddy who shielded her from the vast ugliness of the world that served him more than his share of it, showed her only care, love, fantasy and magic– something all children deserve but are sorely and frequently deprived of. This doting father wanted his children to become strong in their belief in a possible world of magic and magical capabilities. This little girl loved her daddy; for he was her life and she, his.

And then, one day without warning, he was gone.

She was suddenly alone and thrust into a world that was much different than the one she knew. It was inevitable that she would come to learn who her father was outside of their intimacy, how he was viewed by the world and how polarized that view would be. The protective shield of childhood built by a loving father was ripped away. She could not remain protected from the “real” world forever, for she and her siblings were growing and could not be sheltered eternally. And they had been prepared by a loving father but were no longer buffered by a father been through wars and deeper trenches than he ever deserved. If anyone knew the terrain, her father did. But he also taught her and her brothers to be strong, to stand up for themselves and what they believed. To be confident in their quotient for creativity, innovation and magic.

But nothing could have prepared this little girl for what awaited her. She was conflicted, frustrated, angry at the insults and insinuations; she bravely tried to navigate the whispering and bullying in school and elsewhere for she and her brother so desired to be viewed as just normal kids despite having learned who their father was. Nothing could have prepared her for her conflicted feelings and even her anger toward him because of who he was and because he left her behind.

Nothing could have prepared her for the internet and its dark as well as benevolent uses. She might have been shielded for awhile but shielding will not work for a determined savvy and precocious girl becoming a teen and young woman. She could not have been shielded forever nor would she have tolerated that shield. No matter what, teenagers find a way. Too strict parenting alienates children from the very people whom they must depend on for survival. And what child would be faced with the kind of survival this little girl growing up would and will face?

Nothing could have prepared her for finding out some of the “truths” and untruths she had been shielded from to protect her innocence and her childhood. Nothing could have prepared her or her siblings from finding the other side of their father, the one constructed by a public and those “representing” the interests of a curious public who told a one-sided and skewed story because it suited their selfish interests and their bank accounts. Sensation sells. Journalists will pay for sensation to make a profit. Media is a very competitive industry and corporate media has its interests to protect and profits to make. The integrity of the newsman of old and the accuracy of a story is decimated. Ratings, not integrity, are god and with an additional letter: gold.

Nothing could have prepared this little girl for what she read, encountered, her treatment at school or the interest the salivating tabloidists would have in her. Fame at first surprises and amuses but given longevity, it changes to something else altogether. Nothing could have prepared her to witness their bullying of her father even unto and past death. And that without even a modicum of decency, violates the sanctity of his grave.

Nothing could have prepared her to learn what happened to her father at the hands of a doctor whose oath was to save and protect life learned in a grueling and cruel trial. Nothing could have prepared her for learning about the last days of her fathers life and how he was treated by an industry that used him and abused him for sport and profit. Nothing could have buffered the shock of his reduction to “freak” and a disposable “commodity.” That kind of treatment should be exposed and the world should know about that. The artists that gives the gift of their art and the audience that partakes of it should know what they’re buying. Artists are gifts to the world and their exploitation and abysmal treatment diminishes the world and its beauty and humanity inherent in the arts. It addition to his genius and his unduplicated contributions, exploitation and extortion at the hands of humanity was Michael’s reality; it was his life. Those who have exploited him and who have called him things and names from a distance, or without evidence or personally knowing him or thoroughly researching his life (relying on the tabloid caricature,) should stop and look at where and how their opinions were formed and at their unexamined assumptions. For if they examine this journey to their conclusions about him while learning the truth, other assumptions will be examined. And that is the greatest collective fear that overarches the individual fears of exposure as opportunists, those who selfishly and unethically capitalized and cashed in. Only the guilty need to obfuscate or cover their tracks.

This little girl once knew the world as a magical, safe and friendly place. That is what childhood should be. It is also what adulthood could be. Imagine the adjustment and the pain for this girl awakening to the “real world.” If you want to continue her pain, keep feeding that kind of world. If you want to help heal her– punish those who would exploit humans and consume them for entertainment, profit or selfish illusions of some kind of “triumph.” It’s not triumph– it’s a reeking and gaping loss. If you want to help a young girl heal, stop bullying and demand that everyone else stop. Apparently her despair has motivated some in Hollywood to begin an anti-bullying campaign. Honor that her pain has meaning. Just like her father’s pain has meaning. Just like all pain that we all experience. It is unfortunately how human beings on this planet learn at this stage of evolution– from pain. Michael Jackson saw that we might also learn from LOVE. Do you GET THAT? (Yes, I’m shouting.)

Nothing could have prepared her for the betrayer of her father as mentor and benefactor and cheerleader for one of the many youth he foster parented over the years– from Ryan White who was treated as a leper for contracting AIDS from a blood transfusion to Dave Dave whom Michael supported after his father poured gasoline on him and lit him on fire, to Bela Farcas whom Michael insisted be found a liver through his “Heal the World” foundation.

And absolutely nothing could have prepared her for the “MJ Haters” who vilify her father and make sport and entertainment of it for their own sick purposes. Some “haters” even sent her photos of her deceased father– photos that were displayed at trial for a jury deciding whether the treatment and neglect given him by his attending physician was manslaughter. The little girl had to not only survive his death, but witness his lifeless body displayed in vulnerability, and she had to survive that kind of assault by human beings who would employ such breath-thieving evil as to send her those pictures. She had to come to terms with the reality that human beings could actually be that dark as to send those photos to a child still reeling from the loss of her father– a father who taught her sophistication and pride in appearance as a vehicle for self esteem and honoring the Self as sent forth from the Creator. A father who taught her that everyone was sent forth from there, and thus was valuable to the world– a father who loved sparkle and magic and who non-verbally messaged that to the world in the way he costumed his persona while sharing his God-given talent and crediting his Creator with it all. Her father had taught her “it’s all for love” and to respect others. How was she to reconcile that?

But nothing in this world, nothing her father could have done or said or buffered could have prepared her for hearing about the last days of his life, how inhumane corporations are in their exploitation and treatment of artists off whom they make money while at the same time watching those who claim to be his fans call her grandmother and her family vile names and write vile things about hoping for her grandmother’s demise and the triumph of a corporation focused only on profit or possibly setting her father up to fail and thereby wrenching from him his beloved catalog of music– the music that defined his life and his generation including the black musicians who came before him and who were so carelessly and cavalierly exploited. Some of the most brilliant musicians of a generation died paupers. That’s not right and Michael knew it. As keeper of the catalog, he could preserve the dignity of the world’s modern music. He even gifted the copyrights back to some of the musicians in that catalog after they had been so exploited as to have lost the rights to their own music.

Nothing could have prepared her for the conflicting feelings she has and the challenges of trust within her own kin and clan. People are not perfect; in her eyes, her father was. Nothing but her own heart can keep her steadfast in knowing the truth and trusting her own ability for discernment. And when that is shaken, abandonment is the feeling that overwhelms. That abandonment can appear to come from outside but the betrayal actually begins inside. Chipping away at someone so as to cause them to doubt their own sovereignty and worth or surrounding them with a violent and toxic world demonstrating glee in watching suffering instead extending compassion in its wake, is the highest form of betrayal and the most frightening kind of abandonment.

This girl has been through difficulties people three times her age could not bear. She has a famous father and the world will always be watching her. Those unethical and opportunistic will always be at the ready to take advantage of her and her life. She comes from a famous family. She lost a beloved father. Her pain is from an immersion into a world that does not love its children enough to place them first and above all else. She was exploited from the day she was born despite the protection of a loving father and a family that in crisis, comes together in solidarity. The circumstances by which she lost her father are not normal and his death was senseless.

Her extended family, the Jackson family, has said from the very beginning after her father died that something was not right. Over and over they have said that something is very rotten and there are people who are responsible for his dying and their loss. They have insisted from the very first that there were people manipulating behind the scenes. They have a right to know what really happened to their loved one, no matter how painful. And the world deserves to be forced to look in that mirror that is being created and to ask the question: do you like what you see? Do you want change? Then change and demand it be changed. But do so ALL FOR LOVE which means with love for all. Because that is the real Michael Jackson.

While this girl’s actions are being interpreted in many ways, perhaps the real message in her despair is STOP! The world has bullied long enough. The ways it has bullied amounts to terrorism. It has already claimed her father’s life and it encroaches on hers. The bullying of a second generation has begun and it has to stop. Children are dying from this epidemic. And there is no excuse for fans who purport to care about Michael Jackson being bullies. That is not the Michael way. Nor will it work for the world if we are to save it or save humanity. The irony of all this is apparently lost on those who are saying and doing the very things they condemn Michael Jackson detractors for. They are condemning the tabloids and then are taking their place. They are bemoaning Michael Jackson’s legacy yet they are destroying it themselves because he said they are his legacy and when they’re ugly, so is his legacy. And if you’re one of them, you’re not going to like this reminder: your offensive actions have driven away some of the most prolific and brilliant defenders of his legacy; they are gone because of the truly moronic display of behavior. Some have turned and walked away; some are contemplating it. Some will not take the subject on any more because the association with it brings association with crazy-making. I am talking about those wise elders with experience who might have helped to preserve a genius’s legacy with diplomacy, kindness, caring and LOVE– all the things the man himself stood for.

Nothing could have prepared that little girl becoming young woman for the behavior of those who claim to be fans and to care about her. Nothing could have buffered the demonizing of the only family she knows or the wishing for their demise or death or for more loss than losing a son, brother, father and humanity’s greatest cheerleader. The Jacksons are her family warts and all just like your family are your people warts and all. They have their dysfunction just like any other family. They have their differences and fights and forgiveness just like any clan of humans. And none is perfect; especially not their brother Michael who claimed and proclaimed his humility and humanity loudly and a long time. The Jacksons are still music royalty. Period. Know your history.

The treatment of Michael Jackson in his last days, according to testimony, is a parallel to how Michael’s family and ancestors were treated. Slavery. The white man pulling all the strings while demanding the black man perform for him on demand: “Dance for me N*….” (And yes, that is the word you think it is.) So if you don’t know your history, keep quiet; for you otherwise embarrass yourself and become an embarrassment, a liability and ultimately a herd of sheep manipulated by a machine that cares for you only enough to use you or take your money. Your ignorance contributes to the ugliness; so stop contributing. Can you be forgiven for your ignorance? Of course. But once you have become enlightened, you get no more free passes. Stop the hysteria, breathe and hold prayer vigils. There is more at stake than you realize. And you can get huffy if you like, but part of you KNOWS that.

The little girl becoming a woman before the eyes of the world has endured more than any child ever should. Her beloved father is not here in body to protect her or buffer the world from impaling her with its words of violence, moral corruption and indifference to her humanity and sadly, to its own.

Nothing could have prepared her for becoming a target of those throwing the impaling weaponry especially when they claim to be students of her father’s teachings about LOVE.

And nothing will heal her wounds until those who understand LOVE in the realest and fiercest sense, and in the spirit of the father she lost, demand that the world change and are willing to be the change they wish it to be.

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

I’ve got a better idea. Want to heal this little child become teen, becoming woman and all the little girls (inside and out) and love them back into wholeness and their sovereignty? Want to “heal the world?” Want to “heal the children?” Want to support them as the generation of the world’s makeover? (It badly needs a makeover.) Let’s just fix it.

Let’s just stop all this, look in the mirror and take a long and honest gaze at who we are, are becoming; examine how we speak and treat others; and take a microscope to our behavior and what we do– and ask “Am I making the world a better place?” Shine a light on that. Then lets just get real, start keeping it real and change the world so Paris Jackson and the rest of us can feel safe and actually LIVE in it.

Portrait: Emile Munier 1840-1895


  1. Dalia said . . .

    Thanks Barbara. Excellent exposure of the situation faced by these kids at such a young age. How hard and difficult to be awakening to a world so different from what they knew and deserved. Their father did not speak of this world because it was not the moment to let them know. They were very small to learn and Michael wanted to be at their side to help them face the harsh reality, but it was suddenly he left his dearest to drift. She was so close to her father so I understand her desire to escape from a cruel and dehumanizing world. She was growing in the arms of this loving father protecting her of all, she never imagined the world could be that way…This is so sad. I love her, I love them.
    Here is a snippet of his song

    “Heaven can wait”

    Tell the angels no, I don’t wanna leave my baby alone
    I don’t want nobody else to hold you
    That’s a chance I’ll take
    Baby I’ll stay, Heaven can wait
    No, if the angels took me from this earth
    I would tell them bring me back to her
    It’s a chance I’ll take, maybe I’ll stay
    Heaven can wait…

    Posted June 12, 2013 at 5:23 am | Permalink
  2. Nina Hamilton said . . .

    I can feel all your raw pain and emotion, Rev. Barbara, as you outline what Michael Jackson suffered and went through to give so much to the world, to its children and his own children, who are also his legacy and main achievement.

    After all he went through and suffered to create his own children, one being his precious Paris; how horrendous it would be if something happened to her, to add to the world’s already tremendous loss. As you say everything must be done to help her hold on, to give her the strength and keep going for her father’s sake, to carry on where he left off. How would he feel if he knew? It would be wonderful if she reads ‘Inner Michael’, and this. I feel a lot of her recent distress and distraught actions, could be due to hearing the testimony in the AEG trial about Randy Phillips saying how he and Thome Thome slapped/hit Michael and threw him in a shower, and lying that he was drunk when he was not; he certainly never seemed like that from watching the 02 Arena This Is It’ Press conference in March 2009. Hearing such terrible treatment of her beloved father could have tipped her over the edge. She said they were working him too hard.

    Why didn’t Michael complain or take action? But that, of course, was Michael to turn the other cheek. Is it worth it to keep on with this trial? Part of me says yes, it is for justice for Michael, but a part of me wonders. I want to know the truth as much as anyone and see the criminals pay; who I feel certainly killed Michael whether through negligence or deliberate intention. I am feeling the same grief again like I did four years ago, and so much anger and emotion about the media again only printing biased stories to show Michael in a bad light, when not telling the true facts, seemingly to protect AEG, or the L.A political, legal and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation media scene, that I read they are part of. I want to SCREAM!

    Posted June 12, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink
  3. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Nina, the raw pain and emotion you sense here is precisely what I am hearing and being asked to convey and to address in distressing emails and requests from fans and especially long term advocates. I am just good at expressing collective pain. Many knowledgeable veterans of this decades long appeal for justice and truth are upset and fatigued by the more recent fans whom they deem clueless about who Michael Jackson was. They are weary of people who claim to be fans but have no concept about Jackson or what he stood for, nor how he, his life and work was all about love, tenderness, forgiveness, inclusion and generosity. They are disgusted not just by the vicious and distorted media (and that’s ongoing) but by fans who violate Jackson’s legacy with their abysmal behavior. What they are describing is a syndrome that is known as WIFS- well informed futility syndrome. People who know too much and feel overwhelmed and helpless to change things can get stuck in this syndrome.

    The caricature holds; the meme continues. And the pain of that stabs deeply for those who have followed his life and art. Just today I heard a celebrity news commentator speak about the musical genius of Michael Jackson and in the same breath call him “yet a troubled man” without a clue that most of Jackson’s “troubles” were manufactured by a media that magnified and sensationalized his every move. And without the IQ numbers that it takes to realize that he is one of those “media” and his “reporting” is not fact but myth based on media hysteria, not truth.

    Humans can only tolerate so much frustration. Many can take fire from the enemy of ignorance but friendly fire will cause more casualties as it converts them to the walking wounded. There are many who have lobbied long and hard for truth in the Jackson case and for media to take responsibility for their part in this debacle and in promoting the cultural bullying of Jackson for decades while profiting from it and for their persistent demonizing and attempting to nullify the Jackson family– black music royalty. Now they are forced to watch not just the manipulative media but now, they must witness fans finishing the job the media started. It was the media that fueled the campaign to label the Jackson family as greedy and only interested in money. There is no doubt that he was the pivotal family figure– the mythical hero, and the family anchor.

    This family has said from the beginning that Michael’s death and the circumstances surrounding were suspicious. They have complained that he was being controlled by others at the end of his life. They said immediately after Michael’s death that there were people who were mismanaging, guilty of manipulation, corruption and keeping Michael isolated from family or those who might intervene on his behalf. Family members, particularly Joe, tried to get to Michael during that time. One family member called it “murder.”

    And the truth is that we don’t know do we? The pieces have never been assembled to reveal the whole picture. Of course it’s going to be ugly. Some of it was apparently ugly business. Exploitation was no stranger to Michael Jackson. Nor was extortion. Perhaps the greater benefit is the world knowing exactly what they are paying for and the real price of their “entertainment.” And maybe they need to look at their culpability in joining in the sport of celebrity bashing. I doubt it’s “all for love.”

    A billionaire tried to buy an American election and almost succeeded but for a covertly taped cynical speech about the ignorance and entitlement of the 47%. Who do you suppose he was talking about there? Who is the 47%? Your only value in a world of exploitation for profit is as a mindless herd of consumers. Don’t examine your assumptions, don’t scrutinize the product their selling you and above all don’t question; just keep spending. And never, ever look at what that Nar-cynicism is doing to your heart or what it’s costing your soul. Keep so busy consuming what they’re selling you that you don’t notice that you’re really not very happy and that your ugly word wars are demonstrating to the next generation how to bully each other better and well enough to kill themselves.

    No one knows what information by insiders was given the Jacksons nor what was said “off the record” and behind the scenes. We don’t know what they know. Shockingly, even Sharon Osborne announced publicly that she has information to contribute and she volunteered to testify. This is painful for everyone involved and yes, it is heartbreaking for fans but they are admirers, not family. Any mother who carries the life of her child inside her own body feels a kind of pain that can’t be described. It is not difficult to imagine how family must feel and how, particularly Michael’s mother and his daughter and her siblings, feel. The bond between parent and child is the strongest bond there is. A mother never stops being a mom. And children, no matter how grown up they are, never stop being their mother’s baby. This family has a right to know what happened to their loved one and to expose those who conspired and were perhaps, up to no good. The reality is that most fans will eventually move on with their lives as time passes and other interests take priority. The Jackson family will always be minus their most visible member– a son, brother father, uncle and the one who was their anchor. (Every family has the hero, clown, surrogate parent, scapegoat, the rock and the anchor.) Michael it appears, played all these roles at one time or another.

    People who contacted me are also concerned about the latest accusations from someone intimately tied to AEG for employment past and future. That “convenient” turn of events is, to critical thinkers, just more evidence of extortion and how Jackson was often taken advantage of. This kind of emotional and actual extortion was well featured in the book “Untouchable” and while the book was more a compendium of tabloid fiction than a biography of any substance and certainly didn’t do Jackson justice, it did reveal many essential interesting patterns and unknown facts. Just as Mr. Mesereau said.

    In addition, these fans who are extremely knowledgeable about his life and work must suffer the same label “delusional” and “insane” as the rest of the “crazy Michael Jackson fans who bully and behave badly. Some of the recent behavior is truly nasty and that doesn’t help anyone and certainly not Jackson’s legacy. Some who were truly experts and significant contributors and biographers have thrown up their hands and walked away in frustration. The infighting, name calling, Twitter wars and ugliness was too much insanity for those who work really hard to choose to navigate this world with as much love as they can muster. Just as Michael did.

    The Jackson story, however is only one example of a devolved society. The reports of meanness and people behaving badly spills into all segments of society. The last three weeks have been almost unbearable for even the most balanced people. The time has come to “make that change.” The glove is off.

    Posted June 13, 2013 at 7:57 am | Permalink
  4. HEIDI said . . .

    Up until now I have done my level-headed best to ignore the endless garbage and focus always and all-ways on what Michael would have us do to heal this ailing planet and BE the change we wish to see.

    I KNOW MICHAEL JACKSON. Probably better than I even know myself, and when you practice stillness and LISTENING instead of endless yapping, discernment and the heart will speak. And it is never wrong. But this………..

    This has fractured me once again as deeply as I was four years ago. I would like to see this powerful message PRINTED IN EVERY MAJOR NEWSPAPER IN THE UNITED STATES. For starters. It is WAY past time, and if that takes financial backing, I am on board. Anybody else out there???

    Posted June 14, 2013 at 4:42 am | Permalink
  5. Dalia said . . .

    How far can we believe in publications? Maybe John Landis should go to defend himself because what he has said about Michael Jackson is very serious. It is an insult to all who love Michael. How can anyone who met Michael and worked with him have no heart or mercy and express unknowing about his vitiligo, mock his operations without thinking about what Paris is living and suffering? From everything you read in the news, what is true and what is false? How can we know?

    Posted June 14, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink
  6. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    D, I took out your link because I don’t want to drive traffic to someone who is so unkind. The outtakes and after filming parties during the Landis filming are typical Michael Jackson mischief. And Landis did genuinely like Jackson as some of the recorded antics and clips show.

    Think for a moment- and put on your critical thinking hat: Jackson was filmed long after his request to work with Landis again. And people thought he looked just fine. The author of the piece you cited is a movie critic who supposedly got the information from an interview with Landis. This same movie critic was very complimentary to Jackson in the film “This Is It” and very fair in most of his reviews. He is not an American so there is no racist American agenda. Landis, has spoken unkindly of Jackson before when it suited his image.

    If you have a skin condition, are you going to discuss it daily? With people whom you hire to work for/with you? Landis made an unexamined assumption. People make these all the time. They are particularly powerful when the media keeps repeating them whether they’re the truth or not. (Often “not.”) Landis sued Jackson for non-payment so there was an axe to grind. Assume he was grinding because he was slighted or felt slighted. (Where else have we seen this?)

    This article and the “:interview” was given to the film critic at a time when Landis was pitching another project to the public. So you can assume that Nar-cynicism that I spoke of earlier (people have asked me if that’s a word- it is now, I coined it) drove this interview. We have seen this before when those who knew Jackson peripherally have something to promote and they want to get media attention. The rule for nar-cynical PR (public relations) is to:

    Invoke Michael Jackson’s name because it gets attention. Preferably in the headline.
    Say something sensational or cynical about him or reinforce the “weirdness” or “Wacko” meme because shallow people eat that stuff up.
    Refer to a new project that trumps what you did with Jackson to create expectations.
    Promote yourself as superior.

    You also cannot assume this is precisely what Landis said because he is quoted by a writer. And those quotes often get distorted to fit a preconceived notion or agenda.

    Tabloidism is used to promote a dark agenda, seek attention, cause a reaction (it certainly did for you) and to get people to talk about it, share it with their friends– all for the sake of promotion.
    Sometimes it’s used as retaliation or to even a score. (That could occur if someone, for example, felt they were unjustly treated, overlooked, left out or let go, etc.)
    Narcissism never concerns itself with the impact on others. It is self serving. It rarely considers the impact of its words and actions on others and particularly the innocents who are downwind and in the fallout zone.

    How many times have we witnessed Michael Jackson or his name invoked and used for selfish purposes? It’s the “thing to do” to get noticed. And if you’re angry either with the man himself (Michael,) with a perceived injustice by those who represent/ed him, didn’t get paid or paid what you thought you were worth, decided to use him or his estate as your personal banker and withdraw some funds, or are nursing a bruised ego– going to the media and perpetuating or perpetrating something nasty, scandalous that perpetuates the caricature or bolsters the false “guilty” party line– gets you what you crave. Perhaps attention. Maybe revenge. And certainly self promotion.

    So how can you know? First consider the source- is it credible? You can ask for citations or proof or sources. You can take everything with a big dose of skepticism and when it comes to media or corporate politics you can assume that everything they do is Machiavellian. Every move is calculated and intended to funnel opinion and resources toward an intended outcome. Unfortunately one must always use discernment these days. Nobody seems to hold integrity and even if they do, it may be for sale. You can ask these questions: Who stands to gain from this slanted information and what do they stand to gain? What is the motivation behind this? Always filter that through “this is someone’s opinion” and is it someone who intimately knew Jackson or a scholar who studied his life or is it someone who cobbled together the information and data that would support their own opinion.

    This is but one example of adults appearing, and behaving as if they have no clue as to how their own demonstrations of bullying are being witnessed by children and the next generation or how they are shaping the future. There is a huge disconnect between actions and responsibility for actions. Bullying is so prevalent as to be invisible. But the children are listening and watching for that is how they learn truth. They won’t retain what you say if your behavior communicates just the opposite. There is a lesson in all this Michael Jackson madness. It’s not pretty but it is pregnant with change.

    This practice of using people for promotion, sport, entertainment and greedy extra cash will not stop until we demand it STOP! We have to be observant, intelligent, discerning and we have to call them out! Ratings count to them. Demand the truth. Demand it enough times, keep saying it, keep calling out misinformation but don’t bully for then you become like them. This is not a skirmish, nor even a battle it is a long and arduous war for human dignity. Can you penetrate their dull thick ignorance? Well, the beauty of the Grand Canyon was carved by a persistent tiny river. Ask them for the beauty in human nature. You can expect at first they won’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Keep carving.–

    Posted June 14, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink
  7. Gennie said . . .

    Barbara, you are so right about the behavior of certain fans, new or old, who seem to forget our place as admirers, not his family or friends, although Michael might have thought of us as one big l.o.v.e. family.

    It is very important when you point out that we don’t actually KNOW a lot of things that happened, and we most certainly don’t know thought, feeling and true motivations of other people. Ultimately, it is not our call. I see fans questioning and critisizing every move made by the Jackson family and others who were close to Michael and acting like they, the fans, are the ones who ultimately know how to deal with everything including the death of your super-star relative, raising his minor children, managing his estate, and now also dealing with complex issues of Paris’ breakdown. And one thing is to discuss it among ourselves, although the superior attitudes are still misplaced, but to contact these people through social media and lash out at them?

    I don’t agree nor disagree with all of the decisions of Michael’s family, but the point is that they don’t need our permission nor our approval, it is simply not our place. I wish certain things were not displayed in public, but it is this family’s right to seek justice how they see fit. Besides, it is not the Jackson who tweet every single detail of the trial, that would be the media.

    I think some of us are so caught up in our own grief, our need for justice and our emotions in general that we just dismiss the pain of his family. Like you wrote, Barbara, we get to get back to our lives and move on. As much as we love him and feel connected to him, Michael the man had not been a part of our lives, we were not used to seeing him, talking to him, sharing our days with him. I could never even imagine comparing the loss of Michael, to losing my mother or my brother (hypothetically). From my own experience, I would imagine every time something happens, good or bad or funny, the first thought is to tell daddy, followed by a reminder that they can never tell him anything again.

    I don’t know if our pain makes us arrogant and insensitive to the pain of others, but it is very disturbing.

    Posted June 20, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink
  8. metisse2910 said . . .

    I am a fan of your writings and philosophy (I’m sorry, I’m a French speaking) all of this hurts me, deeply. I feel deep inside so much pain for Michael, for the children. He lived to show and feel Love and look what people have done to him. When will the world finally open their eyes and heart, and understand that without love, we are nothing.

    Jesus Christ… some other prophets.. Michael… How many pure souls must come for us to learn to us to just love, when shall we understand ??

    I’m so so sad. And despaired. Thank you so much.

    Posted August 3, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink
  9. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Hello M,
    I wonder too, how many messengers before we claim our birthright and embrace our true selves. Messengers are rarely recognized in their own time and most, sadly, only after their deaths. Our world is broken; despair and heartbreak can be motivators for change.

    Humans on this planet remain in a deep sleep while civil rights are eroded, human rights are violated, and corruption, war, genocide and other evils continue. And the planet and its well being suffers. How humans discover they are on the wrong path is through pain. When the pain becomes deep enough, wide enough and completely unbearable, humans decide “It is enough!” and they make giant leaps forward. Evolution is not just about how our bodies evolve, but how our minds and spirits evolve and ultimately how the collective consciousness evolves.

    Despair is a wake-up call. A broken heart is a heart that when it heals, knows the suffering and pain of another and thus, empathy. A broken heart is an open heart. Your despair is evolving you into another (and new) being. Embrace it and love it, for it is a gift. Michael gave his gifts willingly and generously because he loved humanity. It just may be that his greatest gift was to break millions of hearts. Those are millions of new beings in becoming.

    It is not that he didn’t personally suffer; he did. But his words and actions indicate he knew what he was doing and why. Your suffering honors that gift. Bless it. ~B

    Posted August 4, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

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