Inner Michael » Man Behind the Myth

Man Behind the Myth

“Truth has not special time of its own. Its hour is now – always and indeed then most truly when it seems unsuitable to actual circumstances.”

~ Albert Schweitzer

Vindicate MJ recently posted the script to the documentary “Man Behind the Myth” and Helena asked that if anyone had information or corrections about the video, to respond. I will respond with some information.

This documentary was made at Walking Moon Studios in anticipation of the backlash expected during the Conrad Murray trial. In particular, it was made as an antidote to the almost certain avalanche of old myths that are almost guaranteed to surface whenever “Michael Jackson” is discussed.


Walking Moon Studios’ Story

Walking Moon Studios on Vimeo

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Man Behind the Myth- the Story

Man Behind the Myth from Walking Moon Studios on Vimeo.

“Man Behind the Myth” was produced in order to provide another “voice” in addition to the tabloid-trained and cynical media who, for years, have searched for anything the least bit unusual about Jackson to sensationalize it, blow it out of proportion, spin it into propaganda, with everyone in media doing a cut and paste copy of the supposed “inside story” about the “elusive” superstar. (You would be elusive to media too if those who hunted and hounded you used any tidbit of information to mock you for “infotainment.”) Those so-called “journalists” continuously approached people in the outer orbit of Jackson’s life, and using the common practice of checkbook journalism, offered to pay for salacious “tell all” stories.

“Checkbook journalism” originated with the tabloid media. It was customary for legitimate media to NEVER pay for stories because truthful news was considered professional and it was feared that money in the equation would taint the news. For tabloids, tainting the news about Jackson was the whole idea.

Knowing that scandal is noticed and sensational sells, tabloid “journalists” injected all kinds of nonsense into the media about Jackson because it got attention, made a “reputation” for those who became self proclaimed “experts” on Jackson’s life. The problem is that very little of what was written about Jackson and his life, was true.

Jackson, his image, a headline with his name, and especially, an unusual claim in connection with his name and likeness got immediate media play and huge demographics. And everyone knows that the media game is to sell papers, sell air time and make money. Jackson was popular, sought after and a curiosity to the public because he was so talented, private, mysterious and had some kind of charisma the world has yet to identify. He was, the most famous man on the planet. And anything “Jackson” got attention. The tabloids capitalized on that and mainstream media followed suit. Today’s media is not fair and unbiased. Opinion is not news yet TV anchors give their opinions all the time– with comments, sour looks, laughing, mocking and chatting with co-anchors judgmentally about a story. This was considered bad journalism in the days when journalism was professional and Walter Cronkite was “the most trusted man in America.”

The true story of what happened to Jackson needs to told to the world. There is much to be learned from this tale of greed, corruption, fantasy, jealousy, envy and power. “Man Behind the Myth” is a short short that was designed to squeeze a lot of information into a short time. The average attention span is short and if a video is not dramatic, viewers lose interest. It is also designed to pull the listener in to the conversation to become interactive and presents enough factual information to at least ask the viewer to make up their own mind. A complete story cannot be told in a short video but questions that haunt and raise doubt can cause the viewer to THINK for themselves instead of swallowing something whole simply because it is presented to them. There are still many out there who do not know how the media operates. And they have no awareness of the manipulation of their minds.

Media is not worthy of trust. The tabloid media is worthy of shame, embarrassment and disgust. This is an industry– consider it– that bullies people for sport and in order to perpetuate itself. Youth is watching. The children are watching. And they are emulating. Cyberbullying is the practice of putting vicious and demeaning information about people in order to ridicule and dehumanize them. How does that differ from tabloid journalism?

The tabloid media deliberately plays to the shadow of the human, to the lowest common denominator, to the barely educated and gullible who gravitate to griping of some kind. The satisfied, or contented or complete human being has no need for the information tabloids disseminate. Those whose lives are devoid of meaning, purpose or social and spiritual fulfillment are interested in competition with others and comparisons. They are the “me against the world” people or people who are trying to prove to themselves their own goodness by examining others’ shadows and making judgments about others while denying imperfections in self. They gossip, they tell tales, they laugh at the misfortune of others. Since they have failed to find meaningful aspects in their own lives, they look to the fictional for stimulation and imagination of a better life. And they complain and gripe about their own dull lives. A void and discontent in one’s own life makes someone who looks accomplished and fulfilled a great target. Jackson was, at one time, a mirror for the collective shadow. And he was aware of that.

Many people who are spiritually empty (you can be religious and lack a conscience and treat others with contempt) or unfulfilled either want to be famous or want to be close to the famous and if they can’t, they want to destroy the famous.

People have described Michael Jackson as “otherworldly”– even those who knew him closely. He seemed to reside somewhere else other than this world. Creative genius is like that; it is leaps ahead of its peer group. It is visionary and can see things in completion that exist in the future. Sometimes creative geniuses are empaths who feel the pain of the world. Jackson was one of those. He keenly saw and felt the beauty of the world and humans– particularly the beauty of the face. And he felt the pain just as acutely.

The world became hostile to Michael Jackson after the release of the “Bad” album when the public noticed that his skin color had changed and he had adopted a new persona. (He knew the power and magnetism of the “bad boy” image and in Hollywood everyone has to continually re-invent themselves to stay relevant.) Any reference to color and tone of skin, unless it is related to the cosmetic industry is– racist. Any reference to paternity of children with regard to their ethnic makeup, skin tone or race is– racist. People are marginalized for sport these days and that is on the media. And it demonstrates bullying to the younger generation.

How many adults realize that as they escort their children through the check-out line in the supermarket that they are sanctioning bullying? How many parents think about what their children are exposed to with that simple act of shopping for food? The children must run a gauntlet of observing blatant bullying by the media and then parents wonder where there children learn to marginalize and bully and publish it online. Do adults naively think that there children magically escape this in-your-face message– that it’s OK to bully?

The Second Edition of “Words and Violence” introduced this film to the public as did Inner Michael website. The film was produced by a team of artists at Walking Moon Studios whose crafts include videography the visual arts, writing script writing, screenplay writing and producing, casting, stage management, spoken word arts, performance arts, and a Hollywood actor who also does voice-over. When the film was presented to Voices Education Project, they immediately saw the value and decided not to back away from the controversy. That was a courageous act.

Voices Compassionate Education is a partner site to the Charter for Compassion/Compassionate Action Network that sponsors Compassionate Cities, organizations and groups. The “Words and Violence” project came out of research about the life and work of Michael Jackson after his passing and the discovery that he was bullied on a global stage along with Lady Diana and that the two of them constituted the most prolific humanitarians of the twentieth century.

“Words and Violence” echoed the mission of Voices Education Project (now Voices Compassionate Education) which is to reduce conflict through fostering conciliation, compassion and education. Weekly phone conferences for Jackson fans who were grieving his loss were held and they were offered an opportunity to contribute to creating a program dedicated to Michael Jackson and Diana Spencer that would be a compendium of resources to address bullying. A program begins with case studies and the fans contributed their case studies edited by Rev. Kaufmann that constituted the first entries of the program.

The first edition featured the case studies as well as other resources that address bullying in its many incarnations. The first edition was published on the anniversary of Michael’s birthday- August of 2010. The film “Words and Violence” was featured in the first edition:

The second edition featured more resources– and included Joe Vogel and Charles Thomson as well as other writers. “Man Behind the Myth was included in the second edition.




Man behind the Myth Film:

The film opens with the sound of a helicopter. This is an important part of the film- the darkness and noise builds anticipation. For some, the sound of a helicopter signals “emergency.” Some who pirated the film ( “to enhance it” used an amateurish flashy intro and sound which experienced filmmakers will tell you is a huge blunder in filmmaking. (a “splash” intro detracts from the film itself and it covers the sound of the helicopter– which is an important artistic element. A helicopter approaching with dark screen is an important statement that pulls the viewer into a mystery and creates interest. It grabs attention and is a kind of alert to emergency.

Then one hears a man’s voice:

0: 07 Man’s voice:
“Michael Jackson, 50 years old, the King of Pop has died.” (This is Wolf Blitzer of CNN)

Woman’s voice:
“Michael Jackson has died…”

0:14 Jermaine Jackson:
“My brother Michael Jackson, the legendary King of Pop Michael Jackson passed away on Thursday June 25th 2009, at 2:26 pm” This was Jermain’s announcement a UCLA Medical Center in the press conference held after the family had heard the news.

0:26 Voice-over artist: “How did it come to this?” (Asking how did we get here- what led to this tragic death?)

“Michael Jackson life is a remarkable journey filled with the brightest of moments and the darkest of hours. Who is Michael Jackson, really? Michael was the most recognized man in the world. Friends treasured him, world leaders invited him, colleagues admired him, children naturally gravitated to him, and the public was fascinated with him. (This phraseology was designed to be poetic and epic.)

0:58 “Some cashed in on that fascination when they discovered that a story with his name got attention. It got readers and ratings. And if there was no story unethical reporters made them up because using the name “Michael Jackson” got attention. Some even launched careers riding his coattails.

1:18 “There are two Michael Jacksons – the caricature brought to you by the tabloids cashing in and the Michael described by those who actually knew him. What is the truth and who is telling it? You decide.”

1:34 Michael Jackson in his own words at Carnegie Hall, New York, February 14th, 2001:
‘Heal The Kids’ is about doing something, about making a difference and trying to help adults and parents realize that it’s in our power to change the world that our children live in.

Who among us would have believed that the sound of children at their playgrounds would be replaced by the sound of automatic machine-gun fire at our schools? That the sound of little girls skipping rope would be overshadowed by the frantic shrills of children dodging bullets? Yet (beginning to cry) instead of loving our children more, we install metal detectors in our schools. Instead of loving our children more, we install metal detectors in our schools”

2: 28 Michael Jackson in his own words at Oxford University, UK, March 21st, 2001:
“Friends, the foundation of all human knowledge, the beginning of human consciousness, must be that each and every one of us is an object of love. Before you know if you have red hair or brown, before you know if you are black or white, before you know of what religion you are a part, you have to know that you are loved.”

2:51 Voice-over: “Sensation gets attention. Words like “bizarre” and “freak” come right out of circus side-shows where they made fun of misfortune. Repeat something enough times and people begin to believe it. Using those tricks and others allowed the media to use Jackson for profit. And while they were focused on the color of his skin, his face and obsessing about the paternity of his children the real story – Michael Jackson, the humanitarian – went untold.” (Controversy gets more attention than simple narratives in the lives of the well know or famous. The freak shows made it acceptable to mock and laugh at the handicapped and people with abnormalities. It was a sadistic pastime of the rich. Many freak shows at the turn of the century included African slaves with Vitiligo. Vitiligo has a history of creating fear and loathing among whites.)

People magazine
People magazine: Front Cover: “Michael Jackson. He is back. He’s Bad. Is this guy weird, or what?”

3: 25 Chris Hayes reports: [Picture of the News of the world – Evil Empire]. New of the World is the tabloid that is credited with inventing the moniker “Wacko Jacko.” Chris Hayes is reporting about the hacking scandal by Rupert Murdoch and his corporation: News Corp. News Corp owns the News of the World (since closed by Murdoch to appease the public and Parliament,) the Sun and Fox News to name a few media holdings. The hacking was standard procedure for years at Fleet Street and Murdoch’s tabloid empire.)

“The paper is accused of paying off police or hacking into the phones of celebrities, members of the royal family, a murdered teenager, victims of terrorism and war widows– for years. British police say they’ve uncovered nearly four thousand hacking victims – four thousand!

3: 44 Family member of 07-07 bombing victim (This was a terrorist attach carried out on busses and underground transportation in London- a retaliation for the British participation in a coalition in the invasion of Iraq):
“It is hard to imagine that at the lowest point of your life you couldn’t get any lower and then hearing that someone may have well been listening to the very intimate conversations and you realize that things can get lower”…

3:59 David Cameron, UK Prime Minister:
“How do we improve the ethics and morals of the press in this country and make sure they will improve in the future?”

4:04 Family member of 07-07 bombing victim:
“How can people get up in the morning and think, “That’s a good idea for the sake of the story is beyond me”. [pictured: Piers Morgan, Editor of News of the World tabloid seen in the background. Morgan was the editor for 3 tabloid newspapers]

4:10 Voice Over: “Ambush journalists take advantage too. The game is to gain someone’s confidence with promises to expose the truth, but instead ambush with surprise questioning and clever editing. Martin Bashir filmed Jackson, then released a cut-and-paste hit piece only to make a name for himself. He inserted innuendoes about children in voiceover that led another family using the same attorney to repeat an old idea – accuse Michael and extort money a second time. Instead Michael went to trial and proved his innocence. NOT GUILTY on fourteen counts. But the damage was already done.” (Not only did they use the same attorney but the same doctor and the same agency. In fact, a tape with the Arviso family praising Jackson as a father figure to Janet’s children was being held hostage by one of Jackson’s creditors and was found after a police search. This should have given pause to Sneddon and his crusade to prosecute Jackson for it became false prosecution given that exculpatory evidence.)

4:56 Voice Over: “Unethical journalism is not above using subliminal messages to direct your thinking. Notice in this promo where they placed a king’s crown. That’s not an accident – that’s planting a suggestion.” (These subliminal tactics were well known to the tabloid media. Jackson studied subliminals himself and actually became a master at using them in his videos.)

5:07 Correspondent: Maury Povich who was the host of A Current Affair, a tabloid infotainment TV show was invited to film Living with Michael Jackson Take 2 which is also known as “the rebuttal film. No restrictions were placed on Povich by Jackson or his team. Jackson gave him the freedom to edit and air Take Two as he saw fit. Povich, of course aired the footage “you were never meant to see” because Bashir had edited his film to sensationalize and paint Jackson in the worst light and according to his own cynical viewpoint. Many journalists called Bashir a yellow journalist and his style  “callous self-interest masked as sympathy.”

Maury Povich:  “Martin Bashir and his crew were here at Neverland. They got to witness what was to become an almost weekly experience – busloads of children, some from the inner city, some orphans, some terminally ill, but all of them escaping their reality to spend the day at Michael Jackson’s creation

5:27 “About Michael’s ranch Martin Bashir’s on-air comment was:
“One of the most disturbing things is the fact that a lot of disadvantaged children go to Neverland. It’s a dangerous place for a vulnerable child to be.”

But what he said behind the scenes to Michael himself was this:
“I was here yesterday and I saw it, and it’s nothing short of a spiritually kind thing”. (Karen Faye chimes in later in the actual clip that “he [Michael] does this all the time.”)

5:52 Thomas Mesereau:
“He (Bashir) made Michael Jackson think this is going to be a positive documentary and Michael trusted him partly because he had worked with Princess Diana”.

This is what Bashir said in the film: “It’s a dangerous place for a vulnerable child to be”

6:01 Maury Povich: “This comment about Michael’s method of raising children was included on Bashir’s special:
“They’re restricted… They are overly protected. I was angry at the way his children were made to suffer”.

And this is what Bashir said in private: “I was here yesterday and I saw it, and it’s nothing short of a spiritually kind thing”

But this was not:
“Your relationship with your children is spectacular. And in fact, it, it almost makes me weep when I see you with them”. (Bashir to Jackson)

6:22 This is Larry Nimmer’s voice from Larry Nimmer’s film “Neverland:”
“Michael didn’t learn till after the documentary was made that Martin Bashir had been officially reprimanded in Britain for unfair journalistic practices”.

6:32 On Late Night Jimmy Fallon February 24, 2011:
Q.“Is there things that you left out, things you are unhappy you did?”
Bashir: “Absolutely not. It was difficult I guess to some extent because I come from Britain where we don’t do sycophantic interviews, we don’t really suck up to people very much and do that kind of thing”. (This was included to demonstrate Bashir’s hypocrisy and ability to fabricate answers and contradict previous behaviors and statements- he did indeed “suck up” to Michael Jackson and in his bait and switch scheme to produce a sensationalized documentary.) 

6:49 After Michael Jackson’s death on June 25,2009:
Bashir’s announcement: “When I made the documentary there was a small part of that which contained a controversy concerning his relationship with other young people, but the truth is that he was never convicted of any crime, I never saw any wrongdoing myself, and last his lifestyle made him a little unorthodox – I don’t believe it was criminal”.

7:08 Voice over: Some reporters were playing tabloid roulette while Jackson was fighting for his life – and for justice in court.

7:16 Voice of Nancy Grace on “Odds of Molestation conviction of Michael Jackson”:
“Las Vegas, the place is up for grabs tonight odds two to one that Jackson will be convicted on one to five counts– cha-ching”.

7: 30 [CNN Headline News & Court TV]
“Welcome back, everybody. I’m Ms. Grace….. Thank you for being with us tonight” Nancy Grace cynically shows a sparking glove- to mock Jackson’s iconic one sequined glove. This is the typical style not just of Nancy Grace but of a media inclined (indoctrinated) to mock Michael Jackson at every opportunity.

7:39 Voice over: Some reporters stir up people’s emotions for ratings or call themselves experts using innuendo with the line “sources tell me” to plant suggestion and peak interest. They dehumanize before they dismember the celebrity they target. What was all that fuss about the mask, his skin color, umbrella?

[sequential slides of Gloria Allred, Victor Gutierrez, Diane Dimond, Jane Velez Mitchell, Martin Bashir, Maureen Orth]

8:00 Diane Sawyer:
“We thought they were eccentricities. Could this in fact be a personal style that evolved to disguise a serious disease?”

8:07 Michael had Lupus, a lung disease and Vitiligo. He didn’t bleach his skin. Vitiligo destroyed the pigment.

8:15 The doctor on the ABC News, the “Michael Jackson battle with lupus” program:
“Many patients with Lupus have Vitiligo”

8:18 Actress Cicely Tyson, July 7, 2009:
“It started to develop… the vitiligo.. And it started on his hand. And the glove was to camouflage it. That is how the glove came into being”.

8:23 Diane Sawyer’s program:
Doctor: “Quite a few of my patients have fibromyalgia. He may have suffered from that. Very common to be an insomniac.”
Diane Sawyer: “One thing for a lupus patient – don’t let the sun on your skin”
Doctor: “That’s right. “

8: 33 The mask kept paparazzi stalking Michael from splashing unflattering pictures and headlines in tabloids the next morning. And their obsession about paternity – what was really behind those stories about race and having children? Was it thinly veiled racism?

8:51 Diane Dimond:
“Well, one glimpse at Michael Jackson will show you that he doesn’t really look like an African American man any more.”

Diane Dimond on “Insider”:
I think the Jackson family is all about this [gesture denoting money]. I think that’s why they’ll fight for the children because where the children go that’s where the money goes….

9:05 [voice of Diane Dimond on Howard Stern’s show]:

Diane Dimond: “I keep reporting about this”
Diane Dimond: “I keep reporting that”
Who is the real baby daddy of at least the first two kids? These kids are not biologically related to Michael Jackson!”
[Howard Stern: “They’re not?”]
“And I keep reporting that and the fans keep saying: “No, no, they are. They are his… No, they’re not.”
[Howard Stern: “They’re not.”].
“Get a clue” Echo: Get a Clue.

9:22 Stern:
“I guess biracial children could look different. They’ll be whiter or darker. And they can be sort of all one or all other…”

[Pictures of other light skinned African-Americans who look white: Lena Horne, Mariah Carey, Jolene Ivey, Jax and Jaid Nilon, Rashida Jones including Joe and Paris Jackson with their light eyes]

Diane Dimond:
But blue eyes? Not so much”.

9:35 In questioning paternity or skin color, it only insults families who adopt or use fertility procedures to have children.

9:43 Diane Dimond:
“It is Michael Jackson, and [flipping her hair and gesturing as if she is brushing away something crawling on her skin] he lives… he lives to be strange”. He is in free fall now, and we all stay glued to the set till we see the splat” [her hands make a slapping sound].
“I think this was Michael Jackson’s destiny to die this way”. [Camera lingers on Michael Jackson’s children- as Dimond makes a ridiculous statement: “it was his destiny to die this way”- he leaves children behind. ]

10:08 Here are some of the people Michael counted among his friends – Caroline Kennedy, Ted Kennedy and Shirley McClain, Jacky Kennedy, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, President Bush, President Carter, President Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana, Prince Albert of Monaco, Princess Stephany of Monaco, the Dalai Lama, Amon Ndoufou of Sanai (Ghana Ivory Coast), President of Namibie Sam Nujoma…

Voice Over: “Michael was a cheer-leader for humanity. He always said he believed in us, said ‘We are the world,’ and that together we could heal many of humanity’s challenges.

10:37 How do you heal the world according to Michael? His lyrics tell us how. You ask people to stop fighting, lay down their weapons, hear the Earth song and become her stewards, and save the children.

10:58 Michael Jackson was a person who championed children, not harmed them, that’s why he was exonerated by the law. He was found not guilty because he was innocent. Always has been.”

Thomas Mesereau comments:

11: 14 Thomas Mesereau:
“I’ve said many times since the verdicts that the reporting hit the bottom of the barrel. Not with everybody. We had very professional journalists who I still call journalists…
But we also had bottom feeders like Court TV. Diane Dimond from Court TV had been sued by Michael Jackson in the mid nineties, a very contentious litigation. Thomas Sneddon the D.A. had risen to her defense – he signed a sworn declaration in the civil case. They stayed in touch for a long time. She really identified herself with a conviction in all of her media work. 
She was reporting like Lisa Bloom, the daughter of Gloria Allread who constantly reports Michael Jackson and tries to get involved in anything he does even when she has no stake in the matter. And of course Nancy Grace was the third one on that show. They wanted to create daily drama, daily conflict, daily excitement and that’s never going to change. Their priorities are ratings and money, and they will do whatever it takes to obtain those priorities”.

12:06 Voice Over: “Ever asked yourself why we never heard about Michael Jackson from the people who actually knew him? Why didn’t the media tell us about Michael the man?”

12:18 Ron Magill, keeper of Miami Zoo:
“I’ve never had a nicer gentleman, a more appreciative person with more well-behaved kids come to the Zoo.”
Q. “Not what you expected?”
Ron: “Absolutely not what I expected. And I hosted a lot of celebrities here at the Zoo. And quite frankly, many of them are not pleasant people to be around… He was the absolute opposite.”

12:35 Frank Dileo, Michael’s manager during the Bad era:
“We were in Europe and we were doing the Bad tour. Every city we went to we went to a children’s hospital and bought them a piece of equipment. Not one hospital for the whole tour – every city. There was a boy that was dying and wanted to meet Michael. And Michael would talk to him and the kid perked up and he was like amazing and I went off into the corner and I cried. I really couldn’t take it. Michael came over and put his arm around me and said: “You have to understand, Frank – this is our job. Not on the stage – this is our job. To make somebody feel good. He believed that. He absolutely believed that. “

13:20 Teddy Riley:
“My daughter stayed with him and has so much fun… He is just such a fun guy”.

13:26 Whoopy Goldberg:
“Would you leave your children [with Michael Jackson]? “Yes, I would” (nodding her head). “Yes, I did. I left my child with Michael, yes….”

13:32 Voice of Brooke Shields:
“So many people really don’t know him and they don’t give him a chance and they are so ready to criticize”

13:36 Kenny Ortega:
“I was with Michael in Eastern Europe and we got off of the plane and he said “Do you want to go to the hotel and do you come to an orphanage with me?” Rather than going to a hotel he went to the orphanage. And he walked into this orphanage and I remember him looking and he was walking around and he was very calm. The promoters were there and they were looking around. And the conditions were pretty grim and I saw him whisper to someone and whisper to someone else and he was, you know, moving through and interacting with the children… And later I found out what he’d whispered was: “This orphanage will be turned around – there will be new beds in here, there will be clean sheets in here, there will be more people here taking care of these children by tomorrow or I am not going to go on stage”.

14:16 Susan Yu, Mesereau’s partner and Michael’s former attorney:
“Michael was perhaps one of the best client’s I’ve had. He is generous, he is kind, he is grateful. He thanks you for all the work you do every day…”

14:24 Bruce Sweden, engineer/music producer:
“He had a very wonderful human side to him too. He was polite and gentle, and in a business where we didn’t hear these words too often Michael, if he would ask for something during the session he’d say “Please”. Such a great guy!”

14:40 Madonna at MTV Video Music Awards 2009:
“He seemed other worldly but he was also a human being. .. I know what it’s like to walk down the street and feel like the whole world is turned against you. I know what it’s like to feel helpless and unable to defend yourself because the roar of the lynch mob is so loud you feel like your voice can never be heard.
[When I first heard that Michael had died.. all I could think about in this moment was] “I had abandoned him.” That we had abandoned him. That we had allowed this magnificent creature who had once set the world on fire to somehow slip through the cracks. [While he was trying to build a family and rebuild his career, we were all passing judgment. Most of us had turned our backs on him]. …He was so unique, so original, so rare, and there will never be anyone like him again. He was a king.”

15:23 Voice Over: “Michael used his fame and his platform not just to improve orphanages, but to teach children and to take on social issues – gang violence [“Beat it”], tabloid corruption [“Scream” and “Tabloid Junkie”], poverty [“We are the world”], racism [“Black or White”], stewardship for the planet [“Earth Song”] and even war [“Heal the world”].

15:42 Michael Jackson:
“This is Lisa Marie and myself at a hospital in Budapest. I saw this little kid. His name was Farkas. I asked this nurse “What’s wrong with this kid?” She said that he needs a liver. No matter what it takes I’m going to find a liver for him, so I sent my organization around the world and I said “I’m not giving up. I’m not going to have the child die.”
I was so happy when I got a phone call. They told me “We found a liver”.  And he has his life…”

16:12 Voice Over: “Maybe it’s time we take another look at Michael Jackson to find out what really happened. We are also busy trying to shelter our children from the bullies of the world; wringing our hands in worry and fear. Yet, we missed the biggest case of bullying the world had ever seen.”:

[Pictures of newspaper covers: “Buy a slice of Wacko Jackso”, “Jacko gets a wacko”, “Jim Jam Wacko”, “Sicko Jacko”, etc.]

16: 32 Voice Over: “Michael Jackson is the poster boy. He endured years of torture on a global stage with the whole world watching. And the children? They loved Michael and they were watching. They are watching now. What kind of world do we want to hand off to our children?

16:51 Voice Over: “Michael asked us to heal the world and save it for our children. He was on his way back to remind us – we are the world. And he died trying…”

17:06 Michael Jackson at Exeter, UK, June 14th, 2002:
“Sadly, we live in a state of fear. Everyday we hear of war on the news, on the radio and television and the newspapers– always of war. We hear of nations hurting each other, of neighbors hurting each other, of families hurting each other and the children killing each other. We must learn to live and love each other before it’s too late. We have to stop! We have to stop the prejudice; we have to stop the hating; we have to stop living in fear of our own neighbors. I would like all of you now to take the hand of the person to the left and to the right of you. Go ahead! Right now! I mean it! Don’t be shy! Do it! It starts now! To the person next to you. To the left and the right. I mean it. Right now! Go ahead! Don’t be shy. Do it! Do it! Now, tell the person … tell the person next to you that you ‘care for them.’ Tell them that you ‘care for them.’ Tell them that you ‘love them.’ Tell them that you ‘love them.’ This is what makes the difference.
Together … (Michael laughs) together we can make a change of the world. Together we can help to stop racism. Together we can help to stop prejudice. We can help the world live without fear. It’s our only hope, without hope we are lost.” [Slides of Michael with dignitaries and celebrity friends, and visiting sick children and hospitals; then his casket being rolled into the Staples Center for his memorial service. Michael Jackson represented hope to many people. As long as he was on the planet, many people felt there was hope. His exit affected millions who poured into the streets to weep at the loss of this one man…]

19:10 Paris Jackson: “I just want to say that ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you can ever imagine… I just wanted to say… I love him so much…” [You may remember that after his death all the old myths were unearthed. And commentators said of Paris’ speech about her father that it “humanized him.” So what was he before Paris’ comment? The comment that she “humanized him” is revealing about the media’s part in this saga.]

19:32 Ron Magill:
“I looked at it myself and said, “Michael, I have to be honest with you. If more people saw this side of you I don’t think you’d have the types of controversies that you face all the time and his answer will stick with me as long as I live. He took both my hands in his, shook it hard, looked at me and said, “Ron, the problem is no one will ever know what it’s like to have to be me.” Echo: “No one will ever know what’s it like to have to be me. And it really taught me a lesson – don’t prejudge someone by what you are listening to in the media”.

Michael turns and exits the stage fading into the dark.


This is what I wrote in 2009 about Michael Jackson:
(You can read the full article here that was published in a magazine as a review of his movie “This Is It”:

An excerpt:

“That Michael Jackson was truly a contradiction is understated but evident in his last appearance. His humility, clarity, unassuming and egoless private persona certainly “contradicts” the moments he “rocks it.” His shyness contradicts his superstar status. In “This is It,” Michael is truly being Michael— the contradiction. The glory. What if that Michael truly never understood the dark energies that come from minds that cannot comprehend true innocence and genuine naiveté? The creative or creation impulse? What an incredible gift to the world yet the world didn’t appreciate him well—both lion and lamb. Yes, the world crucified yet another of our lambs who was a (oh yes he was!) light unto the world. And then again, perhaps Michael did understand. He sang, after all, about “human nature.”

And maybe we never knew him until now. Until he was gone. Until “This is It.” Were he still here, I would not have met the real Michael. I would not have known him. I would not have seen the genius, the creative impulse, the clarity of leadership, the ownership of the awesome power and responsibility that he knew he held. I would not have known the Michael in the Music as well as the music in Michael. I wince when I think about the number of times the man put himself out there not knowing if what would return would be revulsion or love. And yet he was staging a comeback—he was willing to give the world and us another chance. And it would have brought him back to us and us back to him; of that I am sure. Would the world have appreciated that magnanimity of the risk, the gift? We will never know. At least he never gave up on the world. On us.

I wonder who now will take over his role– not as the “King of Pop” but as the world’s cheerleader and humanitarian? What language will she speak? How will he get the world’s attention? Michael spoke in the language of music. It was because of the language he spoke that he was able to reach the masses. Because he was so widely beloved, Michael was able to mobilize forces, bring people together, and create story in the most unusual and spectacular ways. He was a man with a mission and because of who he was, he was able to command audiences of millions. He used music- a popular and universal language to trumpet his message. He used it to reach just the right audience- youth. Michael understood that young people hold the hope for the future and the world. And his message was about healing the world, caring for children and that “we are one.” He was able to spread it universally to many generations and peoples around the globe. Who now is capable of that? We know in a quiet and secret place that there will never be another Michael. We, the world, didn’t cherish him enough, in fact we didn’t treat him very well and now he is gone.

Watching the movie, something Michael never intended for release, made me feel a little like a voyeur watching a man preparing to expose his soul to judgment. I felt like I had trespassed into sacred space. But I am grateful for it. I feel like I now know the soul of this man called Michael. He loved big. Oh, I always loved his talent, but I didn’t love Michael, the man. It wasn’t enough.

And my final gift from Michael is the realization that “Man in the Mirror” which has to be my favorite song, has an even deeper message than “be the change you wish to see in the world” of Gandhi. There are some people on this planet who saw his light earlier, longer and who never doubted because they had to have seen in Michael, the reflection of their own light. Just like those to whom he reflected their darkest shadow. I wish it hadn’t taken his death to bring me the bright light that was Michael Jackson and the mirror of mine. I just didn’t love him as much as he loved me.”



  1. Robin W. Smith said . . .

    Hello Barbara,

    Those who cared to understand the Truth about MJ researched and found his love and light; but also found that our trusted news sources had actually gone tabloid. We have a desire for Truth; others desire gossip and scandal. The tabloids feed that desire. Michael instructs us in ‘Tabloid Junkie’ ” You don’t have to read it, eat it, to buy it is to feed it.” Those who prefer to indulge in gossip and scandal do not deserve Michael. His ugly relationship with the media offers the opportunity to wake up; seek the Truth. Many of us did, while the rest still slumbers or prefer the dark.

    Unrelated, I spent yesterday re-reading ‘Look again, Baby Seal’ from Dancing the Dream and was moved once more. So much love!

    For the love of Micheal,

    Posted September 21, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink
  2. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Yes, it was a rude awakening and a profound sadness to find out how cleverly manipulated were our minds, and that human beings were harmed in the making of this fiasco and in service to evil. It takes the breath to find how unlike his portrayal was the real man. It awakens one to cynicism, corruption, deliberate, sustained conscious evil and the darkest side of human nature. Thanks for writing, Robin and for staying steadfast. Blessings, ~B

    Posted September 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink
  3. Victoria said . . .

    It was certainly the slaughter of an innocent. But those of us who recognized the treachery and manipulation were further educated, awakened and activated. He suffered greatly so that others could rise in consciousness. He was as strong as ever in his convictions even as they continued to destroy him. Every time we look back at what happened to Michael the scope of it all is still unbelievable to me. He was a brave and loving man whose time spent on earth actually mattered. And for that he was crucified.


    Posted September 23, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink
  4. Robin W. Smith said . . .

    When I realized that the news media was tabloid and MJ’s beautiful spirit was emerging, I felt like a lover being cheated on. I was a news junkie! I immediately shut off all TV and news and went into spiritual seclusion for 2 years (with MJ of course). As Barbara calls it, I was having a ‘Spiritual Emergency’! I had to cleanse my mind. But I couldn’t stay shut off forever, so I found an internet news source that did not manipulate headlines and returned to public TV and radio. But what I learned most of all through my sorrow and grief of MJ’s passing and suffering is that I was being hurled into a new level of consciousness where this deceitful evil has no place. Yes Victoria, I too believe that Michael’s purpose, in his grand style, was to push humanity forward. And evil was not having it!

    Thank you Barbara for helping us understand. I am running to the light.


    Posted September 23, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Permalink
  5. gertrude said . . .

    Michael was right. Children really are better than adults. Infinitely better. It was the adult element that killed him, and that has no qualms about the continued horrifying, maiming and killing of innocent children on this planet, through war mongering and the onslaught of other abuses – such as the supermarket bullying of them incessantly with the filth that passes for media these days, as you have been pointing out Rev. B.

    “and a child shall lead them”. That child that tried to lead them was Michael Jackson, and none who are not cut from his cloth are worthy to lead here. Not at this stage of the game.

    Posted September 24, 2013 at 4:15 am | Permalink
  6. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Indeed he was an unusual child– gifted, an empath and a visionary. His lyrics tell the story of where he wanted to lead to– and that destination was a spiritual place where the world would be healed, children would be loved, cared for and fed, the planet and its resources and all life would be respected, enemies would find common ground and the world would be a kind and compassionate place in which to live.

    Children get it. It’s simple. Unfortunately when they reach an age where they learn manipulation for personal gain and selfish purposes– a threshold is crossed and that simplicity and innocence is lost. We forget what that was like and we can’t find the way back. Jackson never lost his simple innocence; he in fact, tried deliberately to hold on to it. If we all could revisit our Peter Pan selves or our Neverland occasionally, the world would be a better place.

    Posted September 24, 2013 at 5:03 am | Permalink
  7. Anonymous said . . .

    Hang on, something doesn’t make sense here.

    You say part of what happened to Michael Jackson was because of people who complain, “me against the world”, who gripe about their lives…but isn’t that what we’re doing here?

    The world thinks Jackson was guilty, and we think he’s innocent, so aren’t we complaining about the injustice of the situation?

    I think I missed something, because if I didn’t, this reads like a case of “other people’s complaints are petty, while mine are valid.”

    That’s the LAST thing the Jackson legacy needs.

    Posted September 26, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink
  8. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    I might have explained it more adequately. When Paul McMullan decided to cooperate with Scotland Yard, he explained about the culture and demographics of the” News of the World,” his employer. He explained the target demographic and his explanation highlighted a population that gravitated to the lowest common denominator, that is controlled by their base instinct and animal urges and are interested in what occurs below the belt rather than between the ears.

    That’s where this quote came from- from the culture of the that time (and recurs in this time as well.)
    Prime Minster: ”Don’t tell me about the press. I know exactly who reads the papers: The Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run the country, the Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country, the Times is ready by people who actually do run the country, the Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country, the Financial Times is ready by people who own the country, the Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country and the Daily Telegraph is read by people who think it is.

    Sir Humphrey: “Prime Minister, what about the people who read the Sun?”

    Bernard Wooley: “Sun readers don’t care who runs the country, as long as she’s got big tits.”
    (The Prime Minister at the time was Margaret Thatcher.)

    Hugh Grant had established a watchdog operation and was trying to bring public awareness to the hacking and underhanded method of gathering “news” in particular about celebrities. Deception and trickery played a huge role in the tabloid culture.

    Paul McMillan demonstrated scorn for Mr. Grant citing that the average guy in the pub who puts in his workday and is guzzling a beer afterwards is not going to give a twit if Hugh Grant’s privacy (or anyone else’s for that manner, is violated. Wealth and celebrity are resented and that comes from jealousy and envy– considered deadly sins. The population he was speaking of is sour and contemptuous out of jealousy and uses the employment of blame and projection to avoid self reflection or examination. They are essentially “unconscious.” Can someone unconscious consent to being manipulated and used for profit in that way? This also happened in hip hop and rap culture- some of it deliberate and for shadowy purposes. McMullin’s (NOTW) and other tabloid constituencies were the uneducated and unconscious incapable of calculating cause and effect or the use of critical thinking. It’s the old cliche about misery loving company. And that was the audience NOTW and the other tabloids pandered to. The word “dour” comes to mind.

    It would be hard to argue that dumbing-down a populous somehow enhances its intelligence or evolution, social value, is for the betterment of mankind or changes the world for the better. Instead, it was a deliberate conscription of the human shadow. “The premeditated and deliberate conscription of human shadow should be more deeply pondered. Consider in the light of Aberjhani’s “guerrilla-decontextualization.

    There is a difference, I think, between carping and activism with activism addressing an injustice because injustices harm people– those who suffer the injustice, those who participate in it and those who witness it are harmed. Activism against injustice is a form of love and seeks to lift up values and values the human race. Jackson was one of those who loved humanity and did everything he could to uplift it. He served the cause of loving one’s fellow man– an honorable philosophy.

    Dour complaint and jealousy as a means to justify one’s own inertia and cynicism and to avoid taking personal responsibility for one’s values, life and actions does not evolve humanity. Paying for tabloids supports a culture of demeaning and dehumanizing for sport. Schadenfreude is convenient and apparently profitable; that doesn’t mean it’s good for human beings. Jackson himself was a good person, a godly man and a champion of humanity. How is it that he is not remembered in that way? How is it that Lady Diana, another champion of humanity was chased to her death and killed by this deliberate conscription of shadow and yet the practice continues? How many more global treasures shall we lose before we are willing to have this conversation?

    Posted September 26, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

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