The events of the past two weeks have caused great pain for many. The pain has brought with it emotional days, anger about injustice and great anxiety for the future. I have found it difficult to focus on anything else. And, there is a certain panic, thinking that accusations and trials will take up the rest of 2014. I had to ask myself, how am I ever going to cope with a pain that has no end in sight, in fact, to the contrary, will have reasons to escalate. Friends and loved ones have been concerned and lovingly eager to help out with words of advice and faith. It has often been suggested that I just let it all go, there is nothing I can do to change the injustice and evil in the world. Intellectually, I do know that. My heart loves that so many have shone such love for me. But, deep down inside, I cannot stand by and watch lie after lie be told without fighting back with facts and the truth I have discovered over the last four years of in-depth study of Michael Jackson…his life, his creativity, his music and his humanitarian efforts. Heretofore, I have written blogs about the magic and the mystery and the heart and the love. That has given me so much joy. It has been a passion and I have been dedicated to PAYING MICHAEL FORWARD to those who have not been as fortunate as I to know this man’s character. But now, it is time for me to give the opportunity to correct the lies put forth in the media and by those who would once again work to extort money from Michael.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWPoVq7ruRQ
There are those who find it impossible to believe that a person could dedicate their lives to love and healing. The cynical and low-ceiling imaginations are blind to what a pure love looks like. Nancy Grace had the audacity to say that anyone who wants to spend so much time with children could only want sex. As incredible as that sounds, many people agree. Those who make their living marginalizing and otherizing on talk shows have turned Michael’s life into a cocktail joke. Many have made their careers on Michael bashing. But, the most dangerous of all are those who want money. They will do anything, say anything and ultimately sell their souls to the devil to get it.
Michael was a person who believed that the magic and wonder of childhood was critical to a person’s entire lifetime. Since he worked from the age of 5, he had no opportunity to have a normal childhood. In fact, he spent his entire life earning money to support his family. He took that responsibility very seriously. But, he also realized that he missed something very important. When he became an adult, he continued to value childhood, play and the innocence inherent in all of that. But, he wasn’t just focused on his own lack of childhood. He was gravely concerned for children, period. In addition to his desire to provide a haven of joy for children of need and critically-ill children…he also passionately believed in adults rediscovering the child that was inside of them. Adults who came to Neverland Valley Ranch were transported into a world that gave magic back to them. I have yet to read an account of an ADULT that didn’t find Neverland magical…like no place they had ever been before. He opened his home to Fans from all over the world because he wanted them to have a great time…to thank them for all the love and support they had given him his entire career. One thing the media cannot comprehend is that MICHAEL JACKSON’S FANS ARE FAMILY. The devotion is PERSONAL. When you look at the world through cynicism and a very narrow prism, you are not capable of understanding that kind of devotion. Michael’s plan for Neverland was always about children. (In Search of Neverland – Gloria Rhoads Berlin) Michael was of the belief that magic and play and joy heals. He believed that the experiences enjoyed by dying children and children that didn’t have advantages in life would make their lives better and even prolong life for those who were struggling with cancer and other diseases. His entire house was open to friends and family and children. It isn’t difficult to understand. He came from a big family who shared a tiny house…people everywhere…shared a bedroom with 5 brothers. This was normal for him. Another concept the media cannot comprehend is that Michael simply LOVED PEOPLE. He was a great listener, he was curious and wanted to know everything about everyone’s life’s journey. Every Friday night, he hosted a huge dinner for all the people he worked with, and their families. (In the Studio – Bruce Swedien). There were always people in Michael’s enormous bedroom suite, watching a giant screen, eating popcorn, playing games. Those people included Elizabeth Taylor. I guess you have to think of Michael’s rooms as a college dorm…or think of it as it would have been when he and his brothers were on the road and were goofing off in hotel rooms. This was just how Michael grew up. Unfortunately, sleepovers were defined by the media as sex. I do have the advantage of being able to understand Michael’s sleepovers because when I was a little girl, I slept with so many aunts that I had never known…we had only one bedroom and I had to share my bed. I can tell you THIS WAS NOT ABOUT SEX. Michael’s bedrooms on the road were used to meet with fans. Michael Jackson was on the road years of his life. His personal space was open to everyone from staff to security to family to fans. THAT WAS HIS LIFE. Why is that so hard to understand? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbVjM1lePNo
I am a strong believer in getting to know a person’s character by the choices they have made and the life they have led. It takes time and effort to really define a person’s character, but the journey is one of truth. I have poured myself into Michael’s creations…his music, his lyrics, his vision, his short films. There I have found reoccurring themes of humanity and dignity and love and concern for the planet, concern for the lives of children and a burning desire to bring people together with music and message to help heal the world. These themes are present in EVERYTHING Michael wrote. To add to that, he took on social justice issues that many with far less vision couldn’t handle and therefore minimized. Michael spoke out about racism, prejudice, bigotry, child abuse, child neglect, greed, the media, corporate greed, the environment, abortion, teen pregnancy, women’s rights, drug abuse, sex, faith. Amazingly enough, he put all of that into astounding music and short films that told stories. MICHAEL NEVER CHANGED. This is who he was. Someone who invested much of his fortune in creating a place where dying children could spend time…having rooms build in his cinema that could accommodate children who needed critical medical attention, placing art that would appeal to children everywhere, offering opportunity to visit a petting zoo, a museum and art gallery, wild animals, nature, an amusement park, delicious food prepared by many chefs…ALL FREE OF CHARGE TO EVERYONE. Does that sound like a lot? That is only a bit of what Neverland Valley Ranch offered. Every weekend, groups were invited…Make A Wish but one. When Michael was not there, either on tour or recording in a studio around the country or whatever…the parade of children continued. When troops came back from war zone areas in the world, Michael invited them and their families to spend a day at Neverland. This is the man’s character. This is his committment to children. THIS IS WHO HE IS. I find it ludicrous that his motives would have been to lure children there. When Michael heard of a child in trouble, or a school shooting…or, you name it, he got on a plane and went to help. Does this sound like a person who wants to hurt children? The very idea absolutely defies any logic at all.
And now, we come to the bitter and the most damaging and painful of all…those who saw Michael as an easy mark to get money. Again, an understanding of who Michael Jackson was is required. HE TRUSTED PEOPLE. HE SAW THE GOOD IN PEOPLE. And, he did not like conflict. HE WANTED TO CREATE. HE WANTED TO BRING MUSIC TO THE WORLD TO HELP HEAL THE WORLD. Conflict got in the way of those goals. And, anyone who takes the time to really know Michael knows he was a goal-oriented guy. He would put little notes on his bathroom mirror that had his goals written on them. Each morning as he brushed his teeth, he would be reminded of them. And, believe me, MICHAEL NEVER AIMED LOW…EVER! So, when things were missing, he never prosecuted the guilty. The fact is, Michael enjoyed the fruits of his hard work…but, they did not motivate him. MONEY DID NOT MOTIVATE MICHAEL. Creativity did. Sadly, there were people in his life who were ONLY motivated by money. And, they set about finding ways to get it from Michael…as Tom Mesereau said…for an early retirement.
Evan Chandler wanted to become a director in film and he wanted Michael Jackson to finance it. When Michael declined, Chandler set about to destroy Michael and get money. CBS News aired the tape of Chandler planning his extortion. (view on Youtube) Jordan Chandler admitted in 2009 that his father had made him lie about Michael. Jordan went to court to get an emancipation from his parents and left the country. The 2 Grand Juries who looked at the accusations found no case to answer…no evidence and did not go forward with a trial. This was 1993-1995. The media, who is OBSESSED with Michael Jackson, gleefully reported only their version of what happened. (a detailed account in Redemption by Geraldine Hughes and in Was Michael Jackson Framed? an original GQ article…Evan Chandler committed suicide in 2009.)
Not being able to get the result he wanted, the prosecutor on the case began a decade of following Michael around the globe, creating a website asking anyone who had anything against Michael to contact the Sheriff’s Department…and was the person who sent 74 of the 76 deputy cars to search Neverland TWICE unannounced and gleefully watched them literally rip Neverland apart…16 computers were taken and studied, books, magazines…everything on the property was pawed over and much was leaked to the press. The FBI investigated Michael for 14 years and closed its case in 2009 having found NOTHING. But, that didn’t stop the prosecutor from finding the next extortionists…The Arvizos, a family who had made a career out of trying to extort money out of celebs…when they saw Michael, they hit the motherload. Contacting Michael to help their child who had cancer, Michael stepped up to pay for all Gavin’s treatments, offer Neverland as a refuge while he got better, paid for the mother’s extravagant spending…clothes, manicures, pedicures, massage, you name it. The case Sneddon brought forth was the biggest noncase in history. Michael’s attorney, Tom Mesereau cracked every witness for the prosecution. The boy broke down on the stand, the mother’s testimony was bizarre to say the least, even accusing Michael of hiring hit men and planning to kidnap her in a hot air balloon. A jury of eight women and four men found Michael INNOCENT on all 14 counts. (Michael Jackson Conspiracy by Aphrodite Jones, Defending a King Dr. Karen Moriarity, Man in the Music Joseph Vogel, Rolling Stone Matt Taibbi.)
To say that this hurt Michael deeply would be an understatement of epic proportion. To be accused of something that went against everything you had worked for, stood for, loved, I cannot begin to imagine the pain. Michael dedicated his life to helping children. To be thought of as a person who could prey on a child made him physically ill. But, Michael had a strong faith in God and had the support of his family and his loving fans. Fans from all over the world turned out to stand on the roadways, make posters and signs, greet Michael every morning as they stood hand in hand much like the people in Michael’s short film, CRY. He and the children stayed in the Guest House at Neverland after the trial. Michael would not go back into his beautiful home after it had been raped by the Sheriff’s Department. On the advice of Tom Mesereau, who thought Sneddon would find some other false charge to level at Michael, Michael left the country. There are days I wish with all my heart he would never have returned. He got healthy while traveling the world with his children. He created music…he danced…he was honored hugely at the World Music Awards in London in 2006 with the Diamond Award. Fans from all over the world traveled there to see Michael once again. (It’s All About Love, a book written by Fans.)
There’s an old saying that no one can hurt you when you’re gone. I used to believe that…not anymore. Michael’s legacy was important to him. He talked about it. He wanted his music to live…”the artist leaves but the music lives on.” He wanted his children to understand what their father did in his work. That was Michael’s motivation to enter into “This Is It”. Had TII been an MJJProductions tour, Michael would be here and the O2 would have had its greatest shows…I truly believe that. The BAD, Dangerous and History World Tours were historic…Michael was in charge. But, TII was controlled by businessmen…not by the greatest creative entertainer in history. In the past, Michael paid for his visions so he didn’t have to answer to suits. The media would like us to believe Michael wasn’t able to generate money anymore. They have the audacity to say that he has made more in death than when he was alive. Their knowledge and math skills are grossly in error. TII sold 50 shows in minutes and 250,000 more people were waiting to buy…and that was just the UK…they hadn’t opened it to the world yet. Michael would have made billions of dollars for AEG, himself and London.
And so, we come to our third extortionist…someone who was taught by Michael, someone who received his hospitality, his friendship…someone whose family came to Michael for help. Someone who can say anything he wants because Michael is no longer here to defend himself. And, here we go again. I often think the media must be having wild celebrations every night. Anyone who tells me of something that has happened to them that money will fix…I do not believe. Not only is Robson taking the Jackson Estate to court for millions…he has filed against several companies that worked with Michael. But, he claims it is not about money. And, once again, the very thing that Michael stands for…caring for, rescuing and loving children, is turned into something horrific. (Delayed Allegations and Witch Hunts, Joseph Vogel Huffington Post).
The injustice of it all has often overwhelmed me as this disgusting story was given primetime on the Today Show. I find myself awakening each morning with this pain in my stomach afraid of the next lie, the next extortionist. Naively, I never knew that a person could be accused after death. It is the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard of…and I remember Dr. Wayne Dyer saying that anyone can say anything. And so, I cry, the tears will not dry. My pain for Paris, Prince and Blanket knows no end. How do they live in a world where the father they love can be accused and lied about after death. And, where does it end.
I am sorry to leave you with no answers. I am trying to “Keep the Faith” as Michael wrote. He said his faith in God got him through 1995 and 2005. I struggle with the WHY…why is Michael’s reputation being attacked when he doesn’t deserve it. Is money really going to rule who we are as a people and how we treat each other. Is the all-powerful, unchecked, unaccountable media going to continue to have the power to brainwash people in their image? I don’t understand this need in them to want to destroy Michael Jackson, I never will. Some of my friends have come to the conclusion that it is race driven…have we made such little progress throughout history that a racist mentality drives this most powerful industry. Or, is greed the primary motive. I cannot say.
And so, I close this first edition of my Blogs on Michael Jackson 101. I will continue to share what I know in future writings. I believe that understanding what Michael stood for inspires us all to be better. No, I must say that more strongly…I KNOW IT. When I see the millions of people around the globe who have done so many wonderful acts of love and charity in Michael’s name and because of Michael, I feel the love. Is it possible that all of us everyday people can overcome the powers that be? Michael absolutely believed that. The lyrics of his songs gave that message all the time.
I will move forward tonight holding onto that inspiration and that faith. I thank you for taking time to learn more and understand more. I am a better person for knowing Michael and I know you will be, too.