Strange Bedfellows

Fans of Michael Jackson are constantly on the lookout for allies who will help them shore up Jackson’s tattered reputation, and their quest has resulted in some strange bedfellows. One such fellow traveler, as I recently found out, is RazörFist. (I feel silly typing that – from now on I’ll refer to him as just Fist.)

Fist created a video damning the negative media surrounding Jackson, and pronounced Jackson innocent based on his “research”. This video has been in circulation on social media, being pushed by fans as a “true and dynamic rebuttal of some of the worst lies about Michael Jackson.”

Curious, I clicked on the link to Fist’s YouTube channel. At first glance Fist appears to be living a teenage boy’s wet dream, earning a living making videos about computer games, metal bands, and other trivial subjects that appeal to shiftless young men. Look closer though, and the receding hairline and wrinkles reveal the truth. This is no teenager. This is an unblooded man rapidly approaching middle age who appears to be stuck at Mom’s house. If you were to write a movie of his life it could be a combination of Failure to Launch and Spinal Tap (but without the cool bits). Continue reading

Wade Robson – The Marathon Part II

Things have changed considerably in Wade Robson’s case against the Michael Jackson companies, so much so that we’ve decided to create this new page for updates. Our old page is still up and gives a good overview of the case up until early 2016, and there are other stories on the Wade Robson case available here.

A major development in September 2016 was a change in lawyers for Wade — he has dropped Gradstein & Marzano and picked up Manly, Stewart & Finaldi. No reason has been given for the change; however, we do know Wade’s new lawyers specialize in sexual abuse cases. Many of their previous cases, often involving teachers or priests, have been settled for tens of millions of dollars. Whether a settlement is the end goal in Wade’s case is unclear — his lawyers have requested a jury trial.

In early September, Manly, Stewart & Finaldi drafted a new fourth amended complaint to more accurately reflect claims against Jackson’s corporations, rather than his Estate as earlier complaints did. Dropped from the complaint are claims of:

  • childhood sexual abuse;
  • sexual battery, assault and battery; and
  • negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Added are claims of:

  • negligent supervision;
  • negligent retention/hiring;
  • negligent failure to warn, train or educate; and
  • breach of fiduciary duty.

That the sexual abuse claims have been dropped does not mean that Wade is saying that the sexual abuse did not happen, rather this new complaint reflects the reality that it is impossible for a company to molest a child.

In response to this new fourth amended complaint, the Michael Jackson Estate lawyers have countered that Wade should have filed his new claims earlier; that his negligence claims are unsupportable; and that any changes now would cause an unacceptable delay in the trial.

It’s important to understand that this case hinges on California civil law regarding time limits on claims for damages for childhood sexual abuse, more specifically Code 340.1(b)(2). In this Civil Code, no action for liability for childhood sexual abuse may be commenced against any entity after the alleged victim’s 26th birthday unless three conditions are met. These conditions, as they would apply to this case, are:

Firstly, that the companies knew, or had reason to know, of any unlawful sexual conduct by Michael Jackson;

Secondly, that Jackson had engaged in unlawful sexual conduct. (Note that at this stage of the case, the judge considers all claims by Wade to be true);

Finally, that those within the companies failed to take reasonable steps, and to implement reasonable safeguards, to avoid further acts of unlawful sexual conduct by Jackson including, but not limited to, preventing him being around children in any company organized setting that required the child or children to be present.

In hearings related to the third amended complaint, Judge Mitchell Beckloff was satisfied that all the elements were shown to have existed — those within the Jackson companies knew or had reason to know that Jackson had engaged in unlawful sexual conduct; that the unlawful sexual conduct had actually happened; and that someone else in the company had control over Michael Jackson. Bearing in mind that at the demurrer stage the court must construe all allegations of the complaint liberally and allow all reasonable inferences and implications in Wade’s favor, Beckloff considered his claim that Norma Staikos had a degree of control over Jackson to be justified.

In the new fourth amended complaint, Vince Finaldi has emphasized that the Jackson companies had a duty of care toward Wade. It is alleged that rather than protect children, the companies aided and abetted the abuse by drawing children into Jackson’s orbit so that they could be abused. Finaldi defines Jackson as both president/owner and representative/agent of the Jackson companies and says that the companies served dual purposes — firstly as entertainment companies, but also as thinly-veiled, covert operations designed to locate, attract, lure and seduce child sexual abuse victims. Under this second purpose, Jackson and a select few managing agents/employees “designed, developed and operated what is likely the most sophisticated public child sexual abuse procurement and facilitation organization the world has known.”

The Estate’s reply is strong. They offer that the Jackson companies had no existence or purpose other than to conduct his business affairs. In other words, as child sexual abuse is not a part of Jackson’s business affairs, the companies cannot be held liable for anything that happened to Wade. On the face of it, this makes perfect sense but the assertion is false. In court testimony and documents from the 2005 trial it was shown that Jackson company employees were used extensively to organize Jackson’s private life: from Norma Staikos handling invitations for children to come to Neverland, to Orietta Murdock organizing transport for his guests, and Jolie Levine buying gifts on behalf of the pop star being just a few examples. Under United States corporate law, mixing private affairs and company business together dilutes or even cancels protections offered under that law. This is how it works: Jackson was using his companies to perpetuate a fraud, deceiving parents into believing that his companies were purely involved in entertainment while they were in fact being used to organize his personal affairs — including getting closer to children both physically and emotionally. When a company is used like this it becomes the owner’s “alter ego”, and protections previously offered under a company structure no longer apply. Things aren’t as cut and dried as the Estate lawyers make them out to be. Jackson using MJJ Productions Inc staff for private purposes stretches back to at least 1984 when secretary Mary Coller was directed to organize sleepovers with ten-year-old Jonathan Spence at Jackson’s then home, Hayvenhurst.

The Estate response also makes clear that Jackson was not in a position to be hired or fired from the companies. Nobody working for the companies “hired Michael Jackson, supervised him, or could fire him. They did not and could not.” On the evidence provided by the Estate this appears to be true. Attached to the Estate’s reply are documents which show that Jackson owned one hundred percent of both MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures and, on paper, had complete control over them. That Jackson’s employees knew that he was engaged in inappropriate behavior with children is certain: Norma Staikos warned Orietta Murdock (another employee) to never leave her son alone with Jackson; Jolie Levine, Jackson’s one-time executive assistant, described Jackson to police as a “chicken hawk”, slang term for a pedophile; another employee, Charmayne Sternberg, was highly suspicious of Jackson’s behavior with Wade Robson. That Jackson had total control presents problems with the third condition in Code 340.1(b)(2) mentioned above, and Wade’s lawyers need to conclusively prove that Norma Staikos (or another employee) had enough control over Jackson’s movements and could stop him from having contact with children without resorting to something so drastic as firing him.

If the Estate can prove that nobody could control Michael Jackson and what he did in the context of his companies, then this case is all over for Wade. It would be assumed that the Estate would apply for summary judgment on this point and the case would be dismissed on that point alone.

Even if Wade’s lawyers can avoid that stumbling block, they still need to prove that Wade’s abuse was a direct result of being employed by Jackson’s companies. Wade’s abuse started before he was employed by either MJJ Productions or MJJ Ventures; the Estate lawyers contend that any alleged abuse occurred as a result of a personal friendship while Wade was in Jackson’s personal care. This is not necessarily a great defence by the Estate — in Judge Beckloff’s demurrer ruling he remarked that a business relationship was established when Wade’s residency in the United States, and involvement with Michael Jackson, was facilitated and promoted by the companies who also employed Wade and his mother so that the sexual abuse could be continued.

The Estate lawyers want to minimize Wade’s employment by the companies, and for very good reason. If they can convince the court that the abuse occurred as a result of a personal relationship, then not only are the companies not liable, but also the staff can be exonerated for not reporting their suspicions to law enforcement. If there was no “special relationship” between Wade and the Jackson companies there is no duty for Jackson’s staff to be ‘Good Samaritans’ — the Estate lawyers quote Conti v. Watchtower Bible & Trade Society of New York, Inc., 235 Cal.App.4th 1214, 1226 (2015) “[W]here the issue is whether the defendant had a duty to protect the plaintiff from harm caused by a third party, the absence of a special relationship is dispositive (settles it)” and requires no further analysis. They argue that the Jackson companies owe no duty of care to Wade because the companies had nothing to do with Wade, just as bystanders have no duty to intervene in a mugging. This is untrue. Wade was employed by Jackson’s companies, and Norma Staikos apparently knew Wade well enough to pass on items from Jackson.

norma-these-are-wades-2

 

Wade’s lawyers can argue that whilst Wade was working and in the care of Jackson’s companies then those companies had an in loco parentis duty of care. In loco parentis  is a Latin term meaning “in [the] place of a parent” or “instead of a parent,”  and refers to the legal responsibility of some person or organization to perform some of the functions or responsibilities of a parent such as keeping them safe and providing them with care when there is a “special relationship” .  The Estate lawyers argue that a “special relationship” is restricted to schools, day care centers, or other youth organization such as the Boy Scouts and wouldn’t apply to the Jackson companies. Yet as we have seen Jackson did act in loco parentis not only with Wade but many boys. Jackson took on the role of Wade’s mentor, teaching him music production and dance. As a consequence, they spent a lot of time together away from the boy’s parents, with Jackson responsible for his young protege’s welfare. If a school had an in loco parentis responsibility for children in their care for several hours a day, then Jackson certainly would too if he and Wade spent days and nights together in their respective roles of tutor and pupil.

Several minor issues are also covered in the Estate’s reply. One issue is, as they put it, “Plaintiff and his mother were fully aware of the investigation and participated in the investigation, but adamantly denied that any abuse had occurred and continued their close personal relationship with Michael Jackson for years despite the reporting.” This is entirely true, yet there are problems with this statement.  At the time of that investigation, Wade was 11-years-old – logically, there should be little stock put into a young boy’s defense of a man who would’ve had the motive and the opportunity to coerce him to lie. As for Wade’s mother, even if we suspect her of knowing about what was going on, she states that she did not believe that Michael Jackson was a child molester because of the assurances she was given by Jackson’s employees. The Estate lawyers try to subtly tie Joy Robson’s supposed knowledge of the accusations to the same knowledge the company employees had, however they are not equivalent. There is is a vast difference between Jackson’s employees who knew he was a molester, and said so to each other and law enforcement; and a mother who was given the impression by those same employees that it was safe to leave her child with the entertainer.

Another point the Estate’s lawyer brings up is Wade’s testimony at the 2005 trial. His defense of Jackson in 2005 may have some relevance as to his credibility as a witness but any good child abuse victim expert will be able to neutralize any seeming damage to his current allegations very quickly: delayed disclosure and defending their abuser is quite common for acquaintance molester victims. Wade revealed he did not believe until 2013, after disclosing to a therapist, that he had been abused; prior to that he was convinced that the sexual relations he and Jackson shared were consensual and love-based. His denials on the stand of sexual abuse came easily because of that realization; his untruthful replies to questions such as “Mr. Robson, did Michael Jackson ever touch you in a sexual way?” a result of brainwashing by his adult friend who convinced him that others wouldn’t understand, that the sex they had engaged in was normal, and that they could both be ruined if anyone found out about it.

Both sides’ arguments will be heard on October 7th 2016. Judge Beckloff may deny the motion to amend the complaint, in which case the original third amended complaint will prevail. In that case, the Estate plan to file for summary judgment on November 23. Based on their reply  it appears they feel they have a better chance of fighting the original third amended complaint. Their reply to the third amended complaint  is short, sarcastic, nasty, and dismissive — indicating confidence that the complaint could be easily beaten. Some of the replies to causes of action are just a brief sentence or two. The Estate contends that Wade was “telling the truth in 2005”; that now he is saying he “chose to lie to a criminal jury in 2005”; and that he changed his story merely because “Michael Jackson is no longer here to defend himself.” Compare their brief reply to the effort they have put into trying to prevent the fourth amended complaint being approved.

Another insight into the tactics of the Estate lawyers was revealed in their choice of doctor for Wade’s independent medical examination. The examination was performed on August 22nd, 2016 and was conducted by Harrison G Pope, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Pope is a highly cited academic whose main research focuses on substance abuse. He has also written extensively about repressed memory and the recovered memory controversy, arguing that repressed memory does not exist. In this 1994 interview in the publication Currents in Affective Illness, he addresses what he believes repressed memories to be and dismisses them as not possible.

When I say “repression,” I mean a phenomenon in which one experiences severe trauma, such as repeated rape, and then banishes the memory from consciousness and is not able to recall it until many years later. Some call this “strong repression,” to distinguish it from ordinary forgetfulness. I would grant that a child could have something happen when he or she was four-years-old that would be forgotten as part of the normal process of infantile amnesia. But what I would not grant, and I think this is where the debate is, is that someone could be repeatedly raped over a period of years … and then completely expunge all of those traumatic memories from consciousness only to recall them years later.

The Estate have made a clear mistake. They appear to still believe that Wade suffered from “repressed memories” and that he had forgotten his abuse until 2013. The claim of “repressed memory” is based on preliminary media reports from then and doesn’t reflect reality: Wade has consistently said that he remembers everything that happened. He did not believe he was ever raped (Michael Jackson was never violent), thought he was a willing participant, and even said he enjoyed the sex. It wasn’t until he had therapy that he realized that Jackson had used him for his own lustful pleasures. Dr. Pope recognizes this when asked specifically about a situation just like Wade’s:

CURRENTS: But if an adult has sex with a child and the child doesn’t know what to call the activity or doesn’t know that the activity is inappropriate — that is, has no explicit memory of the activity although perhaps has implicit (experiential) memory of it — then when the child subsequently learns what the activity was, could he or she be said, not so much to have recovered as to have reconsidered the memory? That is, “Oh, is that rape? That happened to me.” In that sense, perhaps the person had a “reconsidered” rather than a “recovered” memory.

POPE: Yes, that sounds plausible. I believe that kind of phenomenon could occur.

Dr. Pope makes it clear that we can’t compare Wade’s memories of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of Jackson with “recovered” or “repressed” memories – they are very dissimilar. From this, we can conclude that Wade’s independent medical examination won’t be revealing any bombshell information the Estate can use to discredit Wade’s previous or current testimony on the abuse he suffered.

In conclusion, Wade’s case is still looking good if, and only if, it can survive summary judgment on the issue of whether anyone in the Jackson companies had the power to do something to prevent Jackson’s continued abuse of Wade. Should the Estate prevail, it will be on that technicality alone, not because of any other deficiency in the suit. Interesting times lie ahead.

Update: On the 7th of October 2016 Judge Beckloff approved the fourth amended complaint.

Four Nephews and a Pop Star

If you value your safety don’t get between a Jackson and a bucket of money. This old adage has been proven time and again – the Jackson family get dollar signs in their eyes and trample over people (sometimes even themselves) to grab some easy cash. From a chain of Jackson-themed restaurants to proposals for Jackson museums and everything in between, prospective partners have seen the family disappear once they have upfront cash in their pockets.

I shouldn’t have been surprised then to see yet another cynical grab for cash by members of the Jackson clan, yet surprisingly I was. Three of Michael Jackson’s nephews have commenced an action against American Media, Inc., publishers of tabloid website Radar Online.

Taj, TJ and Taryll Jackson, sons of Tito Jackson and members of the band 3T, contend they were libeled in a series of articles, allegedly accusing the three of salacious misconduct and of being accessories to Michael Jackson’s crimes.

Continue reading

Was Child Pornography found in Michael Jackson’s home?

Every once in a while the question pops up – did Michael Jackson own child pornography?

To begin, we need to clear something up. How do our lawmakers define child pornography? The paraphrased legal definition of child pornography is images of children engaged in sexual conduct[1]. Sexual Conduct includes penetration, masturbation, and lewd or lascivious sexual acts whether alone or with others.

That’s the legal definition. However, everyone has their own internal dictionary and for most people, the meaning of child porn would be much broader to include lascivious or suggestive nude pictures of children. Continue reading

Michael Jackson pays a hefty settlement to his boy accuser. But what does it settle?

Below is a TIME Magazine article from February 1994, just after Michael Jackson paid the Chandlers a substantial settlement. It’s an interesting read, which reflects the reality that the settlement was a payoff to dismiss the civil suit and coerce Jordan Chandler into not testifying rather than what the fans have subsequently twisted it into based on supposition and flimsy evidence.

Continue reading

MJ’s Bed – By Invitation Only

There’s an interesting myth flowing through the Michael Jackson fan community about Jackson’s infamous habit of sharing his bed with children.

Likely knowing how bad this behavior looks to people who don’t “know” Michael like they do, fans insist several things about that touchy subject: Jackson always slept on the floor when children shared his bedroom; he never invited children into his bed; and that he welcomed both boys and girls into his bed, equally, as part of an open door policy.

I’m going to prove that all these assertions are false, and do not fit the evidence.

First, let’s address the claim Jackson only ever slept on the floor when he shared a bedroom with children. Fans have taken one sentence from one interview that Jackson did — relating to one incident where Jackson said he slept on the floor — and turned that into a blanket statement for all of his sleepovers.

This excerpt is from the 2003 documentary Living With Michael Jackson, where Jackson defends the practice of having young children in his bedroom:

Bashir: “When you are talking about children we met Gavin – and it was a great privilege to meet Gavin because he’s had a lot of suffering in his life – when Gavin was there he talked about the fact that he shares your bedroom?”

Jackson: “Yes.”

Bashir: “Can you understand why people would worry about that?”

Jackson: “Because they are ignorant.”

Recall that in 1993 Jackson had been accused of molestation, and from an early stage had defended his sleepovers with children. Jackson’s lawyer at the time, Bert Fields reflected Jackson’s view when questioned by a reporter. “He really lives the life of a 12-year-old,” Fields said. “One of the things he has done – the things I did when I was 11 or 12, probably all of us did – was to have sleepovers.”

However, most 11 and 12-year-olds aren’t accused of molestation by their friends, and Jackson had suffered criticism from that time about the appropriateness of a man in his late thirties sharing his bed with children, typically boys in a particular age range. People were naturally going to question his behavior, then and now, knowing there is something amiss about a man preferring to sleep with children over adults.

We also need to remember that at the time of the Bashir interview many things about Jackson’s relationships with boys were unknown — his collection of child erotica and pornography, the amount of his settlement with the Chandlers (as well as the terms of that settlement), the incredible number of nights he spent on one-on-one sleepovers with boys (as well as the extraordinary lengths he went to in order to make them happen), and his second settlement to another boy who accused him of molestation.

At that point in time, before the raid which revealed the adult accoutrements were found in his bedroom (the straight and gay porn, the child erotica, the gay primer manual, the pills and the booze), before the salacious revelations in court, and before the full extent of his deception was known, Jackson could pretend Neverland was a suitable place for children and that the sleepovers were a result of his “lost childhood”.

Bashir: “But is it really appropriate for a 44-year-old man to share a bedroom with a child that is not related to him at all?”

Jackson: “That’s a beautiful thing.”

Bashir: “That’s not a worrying thing?”

Jackson: “Why should that be worrying, what’s the criminal…who’s Jack the Ripper in the room? There’s some guy trying to heal a healing child … I’m in a sleeping bag on the floor.
“I gave him the bed because he has a brother named Star, so him and Star took the bed and I went along on the sleeping bag.”

Jackson says a middle-aged man sharing a bedroom with an unrelated child is a beautiful thing. He does qualify his statement by implying he isn’t Jack the Ripper, to make it appear he can be trusted. Jack the Ripper was a 19th Century serial murderer — it’s no surprise that Jackson used him as an example to give a powerful contrast to make himself look like a safe alternative. It’s a clever psychological device, and I get the feeling Jackson had used the example before with parents*.

The following exchange directly contradicts the fan narrative that Jackson never slept in bed with children — and in Jackson’s own words.

Bashir: “Did you ever sleep in the bed with them (the Arvizo brothers)?”

Jackson: “No. But I have slept in a bed with many children.
“I slept in a bed with all of them when Macaulay Culkin was little: Kieran Culkin would sleep on this side, Macaulay Culkin was on this side, his sisters in there…we all would just jam in the bed, you know.
“We would wake up like dawn and go in the hot air balloon, you know, we had the footage. I have all that footage.”

In interviews during the Chandler scandal of 1993, Jackson friends Wade Robson and Brett Barnes, who were both eleven at the time, revealed that they had also slept in the same bed (on different occasions) with Jackson.

Wade Robson & Brett Barnes videos at bottom of this page

Jackson tries to tell that because he shared his bed with Mac, Keiran, and their sisters, and he has “footage,” this makes his habit of sleeping with children all above board. His statement is a sleight of hand. Jackson rarely shared his bed with more than one child, and on this occasion it’s not even clear that the Culkin sisters were in the bed: note that when Jackson says “in there,” he points back behind Bashir’s shoulder, an indication the girls may have actually slept apart from the males. The footage Jackson refers to had been taken the next day, so it has nothing to do with what occurred in the bedroom the night before.

Jackson’s statement also creates a puzzle. If he said that he slept “with Mac on one side and Keiran on the other,” that means he had ample room in his bed for several people. Conversely, his reason he gave for sleeping on the floor while the Arvizos were in his room was “I gave him the bed because he has a brother named Star, so him and Star took the bed and I went along on the sleeping bag.”

It’s unlikely Jackson slept on the floor when the Arvizo boys were in his bed for reasons of space, so why does he imply that? If he were to reveal the real reason — that he realizes sharing a bed with children is largely taboo in society’s eyes and leaves his actions open to possible lawsuits — it would invalidate his feigned unawareness of why he should have ceased not only continuing the practice but also defending it after the 1993 allegations.

Bashir is still incredulous that Jackson finds an adult male sharing his bed with unrelated children is acceptable.

Bashir: “But is that right Michael?”

Jackson: “It’s very right. It’s very loving, that’s what the world needs now, more love more heart.”

Bashir: “The world needs a man who’s 44 who’s sleeping in a bed with children?”

Jackson: “No, you’re making it – no, no you’re making it all wrong …”

Bashir: “Well, tell me, help me …”

Jackson: “Because what’s wrong with sharing a love? You don’t sleep with your kids? Or some other kid who needs love who didn’t have a good childhood?”

For Jackson, sharing your love to a “kid who needs love who didn’t have a good childhood” involves sharing a bed, rather than giving them a stable life, better opportunities and lots of healthy affection.

Bashir: “No, no I don’t. I would never dream …”

Jackson: “That’s because you’ve never been where I’ve been mentally …”

Bashir: “What do you think people would say if I said well – ‘I’ve invited some of my daughter’s friends round or my son’s friends round and they are going to sleep in a bed with me tonight’?

Jackson: “That’s fine!”

Bashir: “What do you think their parents would say?”

Jackson: “If they’re wacky they would say ‘You can’t’, but if you’re close family, like your family, and you know them well and …”

Bashir: “But Michael, I wouldn’t like my children to sleep in anybody else’s bed.”

Jackson: “Well, I wouldn’t mind if I knew the person well. I am very close to Barry Gibb – Paris and Prince can stay with him anytime; my children sleep with other people all the time.

(Note: It’s interesting that Jackson doesn’t conclusively say that his children slept with Barry Gibb, nor does he name these mysterious “other people.” His choice of words indicate he is lying)

Bashir: “And you’re happy with that?”

Jackson: “Fine with it. They’re honest, they are sweet people. They are not Jack the Ripper.”

Jackson plays the naïf, seemingly unaware of societal mores which govern sleepovers with unrelated children. However he reveals, subtly, that one needs to have a particular set of views before partaking of the custom by replying to Bashir when he says he wouldn’t ever take unrelated children to bed, “you’ve never been where I’ve been mentally.

Jackson reiterated his defense during his 2003 appearance on 60 Minutes with Ed Bradley.

Ed Bradley: That British documentary last February — which you didn’t like —

Michael Jackson: Yeah, I didn’t like it.

Ed Bradley: You — you said in that documentary that— that many children have slept in your bedroom.

Michael Jackson: Yeah.

Ed Bradley: You said, and — and I’m gonna quote here, “Why can’t you share your bed? A most loving thing to do is to share your bed with— with someone.”

Michael Jackson: Yes.

Ed Bradley: As — as we sit here today, do you still think that it’s acceptable to share your bed with children?

Michael Jackson: Of course. Of course. Why not? If you’re gonna be a pedophile, if you’re gonna be Jack the Ripper, if you’re gonna be a murderer, it’s not a good idea. That I’m not. That’s how we were raised. And I met — I didn’t sleep in the bed with the child. Even if I did, it’s okay. I slept on the floor. I give the bed to the child.

Ed Bradley: But given all that you’ve been through —

Michael Jackson: Yeah?

Ed Bradley: Given the allegations, given the innuendo — why would you put yourself in a position where something like this could happen again?

Michael Jackson: Well, I’m always more cautious. But I will never stop helping and loving people the way Jesus said to. He said, “Continue to love. Always love. Remember children. Imitate the children.” Not childish, but childlike.

Bed sharing has little to do with “love”, especially in the case of preteen boys. One would need to assume that they like to sleep together in the same bed either with boys of the same age or adult men to agree with Jackson’s statements, and there is no evidence that boys approaching puberty enjoy bed sharing.

Note also that Jackson cynically conflates religion, love, and sleepovers so as to make it appear that the answer to the question — “Why would you put yourself in a position where something like this could happen again?” — is that he is performing some kind of public service, graciously allowing poor and marginalized children in his bed (in spite of the reality, a mix of middle class and rich boys).

Soundover: That may sound naïve, but Jackson attorney Mark Geragos says they did take precautions.

MARK GERAGOS: They were, at all times during that February 7 to March 10 period of time, whenever Michael was there, there was always a third party around. Always.


Ed Bradley: You’re a parent. You’ve got three children.

Michael Jackson: Yes.

Ed Bradley: Would you allow your children to sleep in the bed with a grown man, who was not a relative, or to sleep in the bedroom?

Michael Jackson: Sure, if I know that person, trust them, and love them. That’s happened many times with me when I was little.

Ed Bradley: Would you, as a parent, allow your children to sleep in the same bedroom with someone, who has the suspicions and allegations that have been made against you, and about you today? Would you allow that?

Michael Jackson: Someone —

Ed Bradley: If you knew someone, who had the same —

Michael Jackson: I’m not —

Ed Bradley: —kind of allegations —

Michael Jackson: Ed, I — I know exactly what you’re saying.

ED BRADLEY: — that were made against you — would you let your children —

Michael Jackson: My children?

ED BRADLEY: — sleep in that man’s bedroom?

Michael Jackson: Mmm, if I — if I knew the person personally. Cause I know how the press is, and how people can twist the truth, if I knew the person personally, absolutely yes. Absolutely. I wouldn’t have a problem with it.

Jackson, rather than speaking of other people, is talking about himself here.

ED BRADLEY: Do you know how this looks to a lot of people? I mean, do you understand that?

Michael Jackson: How does what look?

ED BRADLEY: How the fact that you —

Michael Jackson: Know why? People think sex. They’re thinking sex. My mind doesn’t run that way. When I see children, I see the face of God. That’s why I love them so much. That’s what I see.

ED BRADLEY: Do you know any other man your age, a 45-year-old man, who shares his bedroom with children?

Michael Jackson: Of course. Not for sex. No. That’s wrong.

ED BRADLEY: Well, let me — let me say, from my perspective, my experience, I don’t know any 45-year-old men, who are not relatives of the children, who share their bedroom with other children.

Michael Jackson: Well, what’s wrong with sharing your bed? I didn’t say I slept in the bed. Even if I did sleep in the bed, it’s okay. I am not going to do anything sexual to a child. It’s not where my heart is. I would never do anything like that. That’s not Michael Jackson. I’m sorry. That’s someone else.

Let’s look closely at this back and forth. Jackson fails to give one reason why he should be sharing his bed with children. He could have used his “lost childhood” as an excuse, or his isolation (as he had in the past) yet didn’t. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Rather than attempting to cement some reasons as to why he should be excused from traditional social mores and saying this is a practice which could only be enjoyed by those who somehow missed out when they were younger, or under special circumstances, as he insinuated to Martin Bashir — “..you’ve never been where I’ve been mentally” —  Jackson says there is nothing wrong with anyone sharing their bed. He ignores that fact that at the very least, when it involves unrelated children, it would be viewed as suspicious and at worst it can be dangerous for both the child and the adult.

We have plenty of disclaimers which point at trust issues – Jackson emphasizes family, people you can trust, it’s loving, it’s not for sex. He also studiously sidesteps an important question — he couldn’t give a single example of another 45-year-old man who slept with unrelated children. This is understandable, they aren’t that common and the examples that are out there aren’t very convincing. Here was Jackson’s opportunity to highlight his uniqueness (an argument which his defenders rely on heavily) yet he failed to take it.  He also couldn’t name any man he would allow his own children to share a bed with.

Michael Jackson Statement Analysis

Now to the claim that Jackson had an open door policy.

While stories abound of young visitors to Neverland, both boys and girls, pestering their parents to sleep with Jackson after a full day’s bonding, and Jackson’s seemingly disinterested reply to parents after inquiring looks, of  “Well, if it’s OK with you,”** there was a rather more rigorous set of rules to subsequent sleepovers.

Diane: …What is a thirty-six year old man doing, sleeping, with a twelve year old boy? Or a series of them?

Michael: Right. Okay, when you say “boys”, it’s not just boys and I’ve never invited just “boys” to come in my room. C’mon that’s just ridiculous. And that’s a ridiculous question. But since people want to hear it, you know, the answer…I’ll be happy to answer it. I have never invited anyone into my bed, ever. Children love me, I love them. They follow me, they want to be with me. But…anybody can come in my bed, a child can come in my bed if they want.

(Diane Sawyer Interview)

That Jackson allowed “anybody” to come into his bed just isn’t true.

Firstly, girls were dissuaded from sharing Jackson’s bed. Sister after sister has related that they only spent a night or two or three in Jackson’s bed before bowing out and choosing to sleep elsewhere. While it would appear that this could have been a result of mere discouragement from MJ — a consequence of Jackson and his young male friends not wanting girls around while they enjoy boyish pursuits – a revealing letter from the anguished sister of the Cascios shows that at times MJ specifically excluded girls.

In the letter Marie Nicole says in part:

Dom, Angel, Frank were all your babies and since I am a girl I can’t be.

They get whatever they want whenever they want I can’t. Golf carts, quads, they all got to sleep with you and I never did. Face it I know I am not liked by you all. (Applehead club)

nicole-letter

Another instance of “girls not permitted” was when Amy Agajanian was visiting the ranch in 2005, ready to testify as a character witness at his trial. This is the story she told:

Her older brothers were allowed to sleep over at the house, but even though she was MJ’s closest pal and spent far more time with him than the boys, she was relegated to a guesthouse with her mother. She was pissed! Michael explained to her it wasn’t proper for little girls to be in his house overnight unchaperoned.

The Jackson fan who spoke to Amy interpreted this as Jackson being chivalrous, however this snippet far better indicates that MJ’s supposed open door policy, where kids just slept in his room as a natural progression of playing together and that MJ didn’t care which kids, boys or girls, stayed, was a fallacy.

While researching this story we failed to find information on any girl who had spent more than a few nights in Jackson’s bed, in stark contrast to the wealth of evidence of the hundreds of nights each of his young male friends had spent there.

Under cross-examination by Ron Zonen, Wade Robson struggled when asked to testify about girls he had seen spend the night in Jackson’s bedroom:

Ron Zonen: Were there ever any girls, other than your sister, at age seven, who actually spent the night in Mr. Jackson’s room with you during the years that you knew him and spent the night in his room?

Wade Robson: Yes.

Ron Zonen: Who?

Wade Robson: There was Brandy Jackson.

Ron Zonen: I’m sorry?

Wade Robson: Brandy Jackson, who is Michael’s niece.

Ron Zonen: And she spent the night on how many occasions with you?

Wade Robson: Only one that I can remember.

Ron Zonen: One night?

Wade Robson: Yeah.

Ron Zonen: All right. So we’re talking about a period of about five years; is that right?

Wade Robson: Yeah.

Ron Zonen: In the five years, you can remember Brandy. Who else do you recall?

Wade Robson: As far as females?

Ron Zonen: Yes.

Wade Robson: My sister. Brandy. That’s all I remember.

Jackson’s house manager, Jesus Salas, also testified about a distinct lack of girls (and women) in Jackson’s bedroom.

Gordon Auchincloss: [speaking of children who slept in Jackson’s bedroom] Do you know if these children, whether or not — did you notice the age of these children?

Jesus Salas: They were around 10, 11. Around that age.

Gordon Auchincloss: Did you notice what gender they were?

Jesus Salas: No, I don’t.

Gordon Auchincloss: Did you notice whether they were boys or girls?

Jesus Salas: Well, yes, they were mostly boys.

Gordon Auchincloss: Did you ever see anyone else sleep in Mr. Jackson’s room other than these children?

Jesus Salas: Pretty much it was just the boys. That’s about it.

Further evidence that Michael Jackson would pick and choose his bed mates was provided by Joy Robson at the 2005 trial. She related an incident in 1993 when she and her son Wade were at the ranch at the same time as June and Jordan Chandler. Joy stated in her testimony that at one point during that visit, Jackson had chosen Jordan to stay in his Neverland bedroom, which left Wade excluded. Wade was disappointed that he had been banished to the guest cottage rather than being able to spend the night with Jackson. Jackson had specifically invited Jordan to his bedroom, leaving Wade feeling rejected.

Curiously, in spite of his rejection and disappointment at the time, Wade denied knowing Jordan slept alone with Jackson when he testified at the 2005 trial.

Ron Zonen: Did you know about other children that he had slept with?

Wade Robson: No.

Ron Zonen: Never?

Wade Robson: No.

Ron Zonen: Did you know that he was sleeping with Brett Barnes?

Wade Robson: No.

Ron Zonen: Did you know that he was sleeping with Macaulay Culkin?

Wade Robson: No.

Ron Zonen: Did you know that he was sleeping with Jordie Chandler?

Wade Robson: No.

If Wade was truly unaware of the other boys who shared Jackson’s bed, it shows deceit on the part of Jackson where he wanted to hide his activities and prevent knowledge of them being shared among his friends. On the other hand, if Wade had knowledge of Jackson’s special friends sharing his bed then he would be lying. Both are possible, although based on Jordan’s interview with Dr Richard Gardner where it became apparent that Jackson would play boys off against each other, it’s more likely that Wade knew about the other boys and was lying in an effort to protect Jackson’s image as the previous (disallowed) question by Zonen was “You knew that there were a succession of ten-year-old boys that he slept with, didn’t you?”

All of the above is evidence from Jackson fan approved sources, so for them to continue the myth that Jackson “never invited children into his bed” would involve total ignorance of the facts.

For additional evidence, we have James Safechuck’s complaint in his case against the Estate. Towards the end of the document, James iterates what was, for Jackson, a drawing to a close of their intimate friendship. To prepare for his separation from James, Jackson had by then befriended ten-year-old Brett Barnes and begun spending more time with him. On one occasion when Jackson, James, and Brett were together Jackson once again picked and chose who would be in his bed that night:

On one of the weekends that Plaintiff spent with Brett and DECEDENT at The Hideout, Plaintiff began to feel as though he “was on the outs” with DECEDENT. The DECEDENT had spent the night in his bedroom with Brett, instead of with Plaintiff, and Plaintiff spent the night on the couch. Plaintiff experienced feelings of jealously as a result of being replaced by Brett.

That Jackson selectively invited particular children (invariably boys) into his bed and excluded other children from it strongly suggests an ulterior motive to his behavior. That he lied about it, “Children love me, I love them. They follow me, they want to be with me. But…anybody can come in my bed, a child can come in my bed if they want.”, is a sign that he wanted to cover up the fact that he was highly selective about who could share his bed on a regular basis. He even played favorites with his regular bed mates. He engendered jealousy, anger, and rivalry in children with his unwritten rules over who was and who wasn’t allowed into his bed.


* Upon careful reading, everything that Jackson says about his sleepovers appears to be patter, a set of phrases he has built up over the years to convince parents to allow him access to private time with their children and to deflect suspicion from the public when asked about it. back to story

** That scenario is the one fans prefer, and it was true in some cases. But Jackson also went to great lengths to manipulate boys into his bed. June Chandler testified at his 2005 molestation trial about their trip to Las Vegas:

Tom Sneddon: How did you get to Las Vegas?

June Chandler: By jet, private jet.

Tom Sneddon: And who was with you on the jet?

June Chandler: My son Jordan, Lily, myself and Michael.

Tom Sneddon: And when you got to Las Vegas, where did you stay, what hotel?

June Chandler: The Mirage Hotel.

Tom Sneddon: And when you got to The Mirage Hotel, do you remember what time of day or night it was?

June Chandler: No.

Tom Sneddon: Do you remember how long you stayed in Las Vegas on this occasion?

June Chandler: Two or three nights.

Tom Sneddon: Now, when you got to Las Vegas, did you have — obviously you had a room —

June Chandler: Correct.

Tom Sneddon: — in The Mirage. And who was in your room when you first got there? Who was staying in your room?

June Chandler: Jordan, myself, Lily and Michael.

Tom Sneddon: All in the same room?

June Chandler: Correct.

Tom Sneddon: Now, did those arrangements change at any point in time?

June Chandler: Yes.

Tom Sneddon: And when did they change?

June Chandler: The second night things changed.

Tom Sneddon: With regard to “things changed,” could you tell me what changed first?

June Chandler: Well, there were approximately three bedrooms in that suite at the Mirage Hotel. Lily and I were staying in one bedroom, Jordie had another bedroom, and Michael had another bedroom. The second night, they were going to see a performance, Cirque du Soleil performance.

Tom Sneddon: “They” meaning who?

June Chandler: Jordie and Michael —

Tom Sneddon: Okay.

June Chandler: — and Lily and I. It was around 11 p.m. at night, and I got a call from somebody at Cirque du Soleil saying, “Where is Michael?” And I said, “He should be there with my son.” They said, “He’s not here.” A little while later, another call, he still didn’t show up. They still did not show up. And I — there’s a knock on the door and it’s Michael and Jordan, and they came back into the suite. Michael —

Tom Sneddon: Now, let me stop you right there, okay?

June Chandler: Yes.

Tom Sneddon: About what time is it when your son Jordan and the defendant in this case, Mr. Jackson, showed up?

June Chandler: Well, I think the performance started at 11:00, and I would say Jordan and Michael showed up around 11:30.

Tom Sneddon: Now, could you describe for the jury Mr. Jackson’s demeanor at the time that they came back to the room?

June Chandler: He was sobbing. He was crying, shaking, trembling.

Tom Sneddon: Michael Jackson was?

June Chandler: He was.

Tom Sneddon: And what about your son’s demeanor?

June Chandler: He was quiet.

Tom Sneddon: Now, at that point in time, did Mr. Jackson tell you why he was upset or crying?

June Chandler: Yes.

Tom Sneddon: All right. Tell the jury what he said.

June Chandler: He said, “You don’t trust me? We’re a family. Why are you doing this? Why are you not allowing Jordie to be with me?” And I said, “He is with you.” He said, “But my bedroom. Why not in my bedroom? We fall asleep, the kids have fun. Boys” —

Tom Mesereau: Objection. Nonresponsive; narrative.

Judge: Narrative; sustained.

Tom Sneddon: All right. Tell us what – Mr. Jackson said that he wanted your son to sleep with him in his bed – what you said to Mr. Jackson.

June Chandler: What I said to Michael was, “This is not” — “This is not anything that I want. This is not right. Jordie should be able to do what he wants to do. He should be able to fall asleep where he wants to sleep.”

Tom Sneddon: Is this you talking or Mr. Jackson speaking?

June Chandler: I was saying this. And Michael was trembling and saying, “We’re a family. Jordie is having fun. Why can’t he sleep in my bed? There’s nothing wrong. There’s nothing going on. Don’t you trust me?”

Tom Sneddon: All right. How long do you think this conversation lasted between you and Mr. Jackson over where Jordan was going to sleep that night?

June Chandler: I would say 20 to 30, 40 minutes.

Tom Sneddon: So it was a back-and-forth conversation; is that right?

June Chandler: Yes.

Tom Sneddon: Do you recall how many times during that conversation that Mr. Jackson emphasized the fact that you didn’t trust him?

June Chandler: I don’t recall how many times.

Tom Sneddon: Was it on more than one occasion?

June Chandler: Absolutely, yes.

Tom Sneddon: Was it on many occasions?

June Chandler: Quite a few.

Tom Sneddon: Do you remember how many times during the conversation that Mr. Jackson emphasized to you that you were family?

June Chandler: Many times.

Tom Sneddon: Did you at some point in time relent and allow your son to sleep with Michael Jackson in his bedroom?

June Chandler: Yes, I did.

Tom Sneddon: And was it after that discussion on that night?

June Chandler: Yes.

Tom Sneddon: Is that the first occasion?

June Chandler: Correct.

Some people may dismiss this story based on the fact that it was June Chandler speaking. However, look carefully at the words she says Jackson used. Trust. Family. Nothing is going on. Compare this with the conversations covered earlier in this piece. With Ed Bradley:

Ed Bradley: Would you allow your children to sleep in the bed with a grown man, who was not a relative, or to sleep in the bedroom?

MICHAEL JACKSON: Sure, if I know that person, trust them, and love them.

 

ED BRADLEY: Well, let me — let me say, from my perspective, my experience, I don’t know any 45-year-old men, who are not relatives of the children, who share their bedroom with other children.

MICHAEL JACKSON: Well, what’s wrong with sharing your bed? I didn’t say I slept in the bed. Even if I did sleep in the bed, it’s okay. I am not going to do anything sexual to a child. It’s not where my heart is. I would never do anything like that. That’s not Michael Jackson. I’m sorry. That’s someone else.

With Martin Bashir:

Bashir: “What do you think people would say if I said well – ‘I’ve invited some of my daughter’s friends round or my son’s friends round and they are going to sleep in a bed with me tonight’?

Jackson: “That’s fine!”

Bashir: “What do you think their parents would say?”

Jackson: “If they’re wacky they would say ‘You can’t’, but if you’re close family, like your family, and you know them well and …”

The words used by Jackson with June Chandler are consistent with his rhetoric about sharing a bed with children and contain his own talking points.

Chantal Robson repeated those words in her testimony:

Q. You would allow your own seven-year-old son to sleep with a 35-year-old man that he has just met?

A. If I trusted the man, yes.

Brett Barnes also supported June’s testimony about the things Jackson said:

Q. Did he ever tell you that you were like family to him?

A. All the time.

Q. All the time. Did he ever tell you that you should trust him?

A. Yeah.

Q. Did he ever tell you that he was like a father to you?

A. He may have, yes.

Q. Did he ever tell you that he considered you to be like a son to him?

A. Yes.

Those talking points become absurd when combined with his “sobbing, crying, shaking and trembling”, the amount of time he spent pleading with June to allow Jordan into his bed, and Jordan staying quiet in the background while this was going on. There is no begging for Jordan’s sister Lily to join them either; Jackson only wanted a boy in his bed.

Another example is James Safechuck. In his civil complaint, Safechuck alleges that Jackson first asked Mrs. Safechuck if the boy could sleep in his bedroom in February 1988 (at the Pepsi convention in Hawaii) but was denied. The next occasion was during the Bad rehearsals later in February, at which time James was allowed to stay in the same house as Jackson but not in his bedroom. Jackson tried again in March on a visit to New York for a performance of Phantom of the Opera but was again denied. Finally, in May of 1988 when James was accompanying Jackson on the Bad tour and was in Paris, did Mrs Safechuck permit James to share Jackson’s bed. Jackson spent three months trying to get James where he wanted him. back to story

 

Jimmy Safechuck – The Civil Complaint

FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE:

(1) Childhood Sexual Abuse [CCP § 340.1]
(2) Negligence
(3) Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress
(4) Breach of Fiduciary Duty

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Michael Jackson & Jimmy Safechuck
Michael Jackson & Jimmy Safechuck

Plaintiff JAMES SAFECHUCK (“Plaintiff’) hereby alleges against Defendants MJJ PRODUCTIONS, INC., MJJ VENTURES, INC., and Does 4 through 50, inclusive (“Defendants”) as follows:

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION

(Childhood Sexual Abuse [CCP § 340.1] as to all Defendants)

PARTIES

1. Plaintiff is a thirty-seven (37) year old male individual and resident of the County of Los Angeles, State of California.
2. Michael Jackson (hereafter :”DECEDENT”) was previously fictitiously identified herein and in related pleadings as Doe 1 for purposes of alleging his actions without identifying him by name and to place into context the actions and/or status of the Defendants. He was fictitiously identified in an effort to comply with the spirit and intent of confidentiality required by California Code of Civil Procedure (“CCP”) §340.1. DECEDENT is now identified by name consistent with prior Court orders. DECEDENT was one of the most famous and successful entertainers in pop music history. Plaintiff is informed, believes, and thereupon alleges that, at all times relevant herein, DECEDENT was a resident of the State of California and maintained residences in the Counties of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Plaintiff is further informed and believes, and thereupon alleges, that DECEDENT died in Los Angeles, California on June 25, 2009, at the age of fifty (50). Continue reading

Wade Robson – The Marathon – February 2016 Update

Lies run sprints. The truth runs marathons.

Michael Jackson and Wade Robson - poor Wade
Michael Jackson and Wade Robson – poor Wade

That’s what Michael Jackson reminded us when he was accused of child molestation. It was, of course, mere rhetoric on Jackson’s part to fire up fans to come to his defense – in his heart he must have known that over time his secrets would be revealed. Or was he totally delusional and did he really think that the vows taken by the boys he was intimate with would truly keep them quiet forever? I’m leaning toward the latter, his narcissism surely gave him confidence that he could silence them well into adulthood. He was certainly manipulative enough.

Continue reading

The Truth About Michael Jackson (feat. Jonathan Spence)

Jonathan Spence, Michael Jackson’s “mystery boy”.

Not much is known about Jonathan Spence, Michael Jackson’s special friend from late 1984 to 1987 – and even while researching this story we found information about him hard to find. Why was this?

Before Jonathan, there was Emmanuel Lewis – Jackson’s previous special friend. If you search, you can find plenty of information available for Lewis: he was already famous; he and Jackson were often photographed together; and many stories were written about their friendship. One example was when Jackson famously double dated Emmanuel and Brooke Shields at the 1984 Grammy Awards, arriving with the young starlet on one arm and the 12 year old boy tucked under the other.

The special friend after Jonathan we also know a lot about. When James Safechuck Jr filed court documents in May 2014, he vividly described how his relationship with Jackson evolved, starting with a seemingly innocent invitation to the pop star’s home.

Jonathan, however, was an enigma. He was written about briefly in several Jackson-related books, but even writers who had delved deeply into Jackson’s life often got the facts about Jonathan incorrect or missed crucial details entirely. This wasn’t through laziness or bad journalism. The simple fact is that nobody apart from Jackson’s inner circle knew much about Jonathan, and among his inner circle, people like Bill Bray simply lied about the boy and his relationship with Jackson.

Continue reading

What’s the story with Omer Bhatti and Michael Jackson?

Omer Bhatti. While I had heard his name in connection with Michael Jackson, I never really knew that much about him. Where was he from? How close was he to Jackson? How did they meet? How often, how many times and and for how long did he visit Neverland? I didn’t really know the answers to these questions, so I decided to do some research and find out what I could about Omer and his relationship with Jackson. Continue reading

Terry George and Michael Jackson (The Real Story)

Terry George leapt up excitedly as the phone rang. It was 9pm and he knew exactly who it would be… the most unlikely best friend a 13-year-old boy could have.

It was none other than his pop idol Michael Jackson, who had been calling his Leeds home like clockwork for the past five months after striking up a bizarre relationship.

Michael Jackson and Terry George
Michael Jackson and Terry George

But this time the besotted young fan’s excitement soon turned to shock and embarrassment as Jacko’s voice crackled down the line.

“He’d ring at 9pm on the dot three times a week and we became like best friends,” Terry recalled. “But on this night he sounded different. The line went quiet and I asked if he was still there.

“Then, suddenly out of nowhere, he asked me if I masturbated and that if I did, did I use cream? I was puzzled and said no. I said I didn’t know what he meant.

“When I paused he said, ‘Would you believe that I am doing it right now?’ and I could hear down the line he was making strange noises. It made me feel confused and uncomfortable.” Continue reading

MJ Facts EXCLUSIVE: The Jimmy Safechuck Story

Written by guest contributor Desiree (DSSL)

Update November 29 2015:

MJ Facts has uploaded James Safechuck’s first amended complaint for childhood sexual abuse in the civil case against Michael Jackson’s companies.

Update March 21, 2015:

Though the following article is based upon other court filings in James Safechuck’s late claim bid, read his newest Declaration as part of the Resources on this website: Supplemental Declaration of Claimant/Creditor James Safechuck in Support of Amended Petition for Order to Allow Filing of Late Claim Against Estate (filed March 18, 2015).

His Declaration does not touch upon details of the sex abuse (read details of that below), but notable in the document are James’s description of Michael Jackson’s trial telephone calls; his very veiled confession to his mother; and his psychological injury (he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder — “PTSD” — and for a time used drugs to numb his mental anguish and fear). James also confides that Jackson’s enormous celebrity stature and virtual omnipresence compounded the years of grooming and intimidation tactics, keeping James silent until his disclosure in 2013.

 


In the winter of 2011, as James Safechuck was living an unassuming life as a happily married man and new father in southern California, I discovered something extraordinary — that is, extraordinary to those of us still interested in the Neverland world of Michael Jackson.

mj_jimmy8
Michael Jackson and then favorite Jimmy, aged 10.

Back then, the James of our collective conscious was “Jimmy”, a ten-year-old boy with sun-kissed hair and pretty hazel eyes whom Michael Jackson met on the set of a Pepsi commercial the two filmed together. Paparazzi frequently snapped Jackson and his little friend hand-in-hand during outings, and Jimmy would later become Jackson’s companion during the Bad tour. They were inseparable for a few years, but, as is typical with Jackson’s revolving door of ‘special friends’, that, too, was fated to end.

Jimmy Safechuck suddenly was no longer Jackson’s buddy. He became the boy Jackson ‘threw away’, and that was all to his story.

Continue reading

Paul Anka vindicates Diane Dimond story on Jackson

Paul Anka (Photo: Evert-Jan Hielema)
Paul Anka (Photo: Evert-Jan Hielema)

Recently I had the opportunity to check out Paul Anka’s autobiography. Paul Anka worked with Jackson in 1981, co-writing several songs (one of which went on to become Jackson’s first posthumous ‘hit’, This Is It). There is a short, but succinct entry on Jackson. Paul starts by explaining how he saw Jackson’s dark, ruthless side early on. Continue reading

The Evidence Keeps Adding Up

To most people, there has been so much evidence now of Jackson’s predilection for young boys, it beggars belief that some rational, thoughtful people are still on the fence regarding his guilt. Even though we know that Jackson entertained different boys for at least 850 or more nights, owned books featuring photos of naked young boys, and paid a lot of money to boys who accused him of molestation, once we take into account the Halo Effect[1] and the fact that a lot of Jackson’s behaviour had an air of plausible deniability[2], it is easy for some to have residual doubts about whether Jackson is guilty or not.

It is now the end of 2013, a year in which many more signs pointing to Jackson’s guilt emerged. Some were high profile, others less so, but all add to the massive, undeniable jigsaw of Jackson behaviour that shows he could not have been anything but a pedophile. Continue reading

Len’s Story

This story was written by Len and is about her journey to find out the truth about Michael Jackson. 

Len was asked:

Did you guys ( all posters who believe mj was a pedo) immediately come to a conclusion that he was guilty in 1993? I heard that Gavins Family were con artists to begin with, but can anyone tell me the reason Mj was declared not guilty at that trial? Not enough evidence? Oj was set free, so just becuz a verdict is not guilty, does not mean so. Len is disgusted: you have documents that you post often to back up your suspicions. Again, did you always think him guilty from ’93 onward or over time, did you lean towards guilt.( cuz it took ME time.) And I know you will have to repeat yourself, but what key things in those documents and in general led you to a ” he’s guilty?”

Continue reading

The Arvizos never asked for money

Despite what Jackson fans may say, the Arvizos never asked for a dime from Michael Jackson. Read Larry Feldman’s testimony, beginning on page 153. On page 221 and page 233, Larry Feldman states no civil suit was ever discussed with the Arvizos. On page 185, the discussion begins with Bill Dickerman, who referred the Arvizos to Feldman because of the Bashir documentary. The chain of events is that Dickerman referred the family to Feldman, who then sent the family to Dr. Stanley Katz, out of concern there may have been sexual abuse. They then went to the Child Protective Services. Continue reading

Inside The Cult Of Michael Jackson

by a guest contributor

Annette* sits at her computer, staring intently at the screen. She is searching through her database of pages from the Wayback Machine, an Internet database of defunct and past web pages, to find a piece of information that will definitively prove the vast conspiracy against Michael Jackson which continues even after his death.

Ebola? Seriously?
Ebola? Seriously?

While I am waiting for this earth shattering information which will change the way we look at Jackson forever, exonerating all thoughts of his alleged child molesting, I look around the trailer Annette shares with her husband, her adult daughter, and a rather yappy Newfoundland puppy. If the rather unique combination of musty bric-a-brac, human body odor and puppy shit bothers Annette she certainly doesn’t show it, but I need some fresh fresh air so I excuse myself.

I step outside, leaving the trailer filled with it’s jumble of clothes, musty papers, books and Michael Jackson paraphernalia. It is a fine North Dakota evening, the air laden with summer smells of freshly mown grass and distant barbeques, and I take a moment to consider how I ended up listening to a very earnest 58 year old woman blaming everybody but Jackson himself for his own foibles, indiscretions and downfall. Continue reading

Rothman v. Jackson (1996)

[No. B092937. Second Dist., Div. Three. Oct 1, 1996.]

BARRY K. ROTHMAN et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants, v. MICHAEL JACKSON et al., Defendants and Respondents.

(Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. SC032081, David B. Finkel fn. † and Alan B. Haber, Judges.)

(Opinion by Croskey, Acting P. J., with Kitching and Aldrich, JJ., concurring.)

COUNSEL

Wylie A. Aitken, Darren O. Aitken and Herbert Hafif for Plaintiffs and Appellants.

Kinsella, Boesch, Fujikawa & Towle, Dale F. Kinsella, Catherine H. Coleman, Alan R. Kossoff, Katten, Muchin, Zavis & Weitzman, Katten, Muchin & Zavis, Mark A. Wooster, Zia F. Modabber and E. Randol Schoenberg for Defendants and Respondents.

OPINION

CROSKEY, Acting P. J.

Barry K. Rothman and the Law Offices of Barry K. Rothman (hereafter, collectively, Rothman) appeal from judgments of dismissal entered in favor of Michael Jackson, MJJ Productions, Inc. (hereafter, collectively, Jackson), Bertram Fields, the Law Offices of Greenberg, Glusker, Fields, Claman & Machtinger (Fields), Anthony Pellicano and the Pellicano Investigative Agency (Pellicano) in Rothman’s action for defamation, tortious interference with business relationships and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The judgments were entered after the defendants’ demurrers were sustained without leave to amend. The demurrers were sustained as to all causes of action solely on the ground of the litigation privilege in Civil Code section 47, subdivision (b). fn. 1

We reverse. The challenged statements were made by the defendants in a press conference, and not in any context which the litigation privilege exists to protect. The privilege in section 47, subdivision (b) does not apply to the statements made in this case. Continue reading

Jackson v. Paramount Pictures Corp. (1998) – Victor Gutierrez Slander Case

[No. B114354. Second Dist., Div. Four. Oct 28, 1998.]

MICHAEL JACKSON, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. PARAMOUNT PICTURES CORPORATION et al., Defendants and Respondents.

(Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. BC119778, Reginald A. Dunn, Judge.)

(Opinion by Curry, J., with Vogel (C. S.), P. J., and Epstein, J., concurring.)

COUNSEL

Katten, Muchin & Zavis, Zia F. Modabber and Steve Cochran for Plaintiff and Appellant.

Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, Patricia L. Glaser and Ronald E. Guttman for Defendants and Respondents.

OPINION

CURRY, J.-

Appellant Michael Jackson brought suit against respondents Paramount Pictures Corporation, Diane Dimond, and Stephen Doran, alleging that he had been slandered by reports broadcast on the television program Hard Copy fn. 1 and in a radio interview with Dimond. During these broadcasts, the search for and purported existence of a videotape showing appellant inappropriately touching an underage boy in a sexual manner were discussed. The trial court granted summary judgment to respondents based on the truth of the statements made in the broadcasts and the lack of evidence of malice. After review of the record and the evidence in support of and in opposition to the summary judgment motion, we affirm the trial court’s ruling. Continue reading

Michael Jackson, the Rule of Scientific Parsimony, and Cognitive Dissonance

There are many explanations and theories for Jackson’s behavior with children. It may seem incredible that everybody has the same information about Jackson yet they come to such different conclusions, however it is not as incredible as it seems. It all has to do with the interpretation of the information and the intellectual rigor used to come to a conclusion.

One of the most effective ways of coming to a intelligent conclusion on any sort of speculative subject is to use the rule of scientific parsimony. You may have heard this referred to as Occam’s Razor. The method is this – when weighing up up two theories we should use the conclusion which results in the least amount of assumptions, or, the principle that in explaining a thing no more assumptions should be made than are necessary. When it comes to Jackson, once you understand how acquaintance molester pedophiles behave, how their victims behave, and how the victims parents behave, there is one and only one assumption to be made – that Jackson was an acquaintance molester pedophile. Continue reading

Michael Jackson Conspiracy – Aphrodite Jones

“The crisis-management objective was acquittal through reasonable doubt, and it was achieved. Restoring the iconic status of his name was never on the table.” – Eric Dezenhall, Dezenhall Resources.[1]

 

“It’s a huge catalogue. It’s very valuable, it’s worth a lot of money, and there is a big fight going on right now as we speak about that. I can’t comment on it. There’s a lot of conspiracy. I’ll say that much.” – Michael Jackson[2]

First and foremost, this is a book aimed squarely at fans. With phrases such as “Michael made the earth stand still”, “Michael seemed to have the appearance of an ancient king”, and “The pop star seemed to have a white light around him that transcended all…” in the opening chapters, this book sets the tone for what prospective readers have in store. Jones gushes her admiration for Jackson, but one wonders exactly how genuine it is. But more of that later. Continue reading

The ‘One-On-One’ Sleepovers

When most people think about Michael Jackson’s sleepovers with children, they have in their mind a bunch of kids having a slumber party with Jackson in his bedroom, or Jackson sleeping on the floor or a cot while children took the bed. While this may have been the case on some occassions, when it came to Jackson’s friends, the boys Jackson formed special attachments with, Jackson above all else preferred to sleep one-on-one with them – often going to extraordinary lengths to make it happen.

(You can also read the Omer Bhatti story, about the 12 year old boy who Michael Jackson picked up in Tunisia and took back to Neverland to live with him for six years – link opens in new window) Continue reading

The Jordie Chandler Settlement revisited

The following entry was written by Desiree of the website Desiree speaks…so listen… and is kindly on loan to MJ Facts. It was composed several years ago, but because it is a significant part of Jackson’s story, it is pasted here in its entirety.

[Desiree’s note: Important new information about Michael Jackson’s settlement saga has been added below.]

Jackson agrees to settle.
Jackson agrees to settle.

What had to have been a truly nightmarish five months for Michael Jackson came to a close on January 25, 1994. The full-stop on his ‘bad dream’ was a massive payment made to Jordie Chandler and his parents that left Jackson’s pockets about $25 million lighter.

The sum was staggering: at the time of the deal, it amounted to roughly one-tenth of Jackson’s net worth; in today’s money, Jordie’s settlement is valued at just above $39 million.

Certainly not chump change.

Jackson claimed to have a 'cosmic' relationship with this future millionaire.
Jackson claimed to have a ‘cosmic’ relationship with this future millionaire.

The boy’s claims against the supposedly asexual and child-like Michael Jackson were lurid tabloid fodder: Jordie claimed that, within the four month stint of their physical relationship, he and Jackson tongue-kissed and lied on top of and rubbed against each other with erections; he would suck and twist Jackson’s nipples while Jackson would masturbate; and numerous sessions of masturbation and oral sex occurred at Jackson’s Hideout apartment, at Neverland Ranch in Jackson’s bed, and under the roofs of his parents’ homes. Jordie even stated Jackson would consume his ejaculate.

In the context of such ugly alleged abuses against Jordie Chandler’s boyhood, Michael Jackson’s large payout to his young boy accuser — a payout that effectively ended the case against him — seemed to underscore the idea that Jackson had something to hide, and money tossed at the problem would make that ‘something’ go away in a hurry.

Intelligent observers typically expound upon the previous, and those still defending Jackson reluctantly agree: settling allegations of child sex abuse, instead of fighting against them, is not conducive to a position of innocence. Fair or not, paying a settlement over any charge comes off as a passive admission of guilt, a cynical maneuver to dampen the tide of further public or even legal scrutiny.

Because Jackson apologists know that to be true, they steadfastly cling to the belief, against all evidence suggesting otherwise, as we will soon see, that two things occurred:

  1. Michael Jackson had been forced against his will by his insurance carrier to settle the Chandler civil suit, and;
  2. Jackson was not the payer of the settlement.

The official sycophant position is as such: “Michael would’ve fought the Chandlers in court had the insurance company not settled against his wishes!”

For Michael Jackson’s defenders, if it can be proven he never paid Jordie Chandler any money, they can safely maintain their belief Jackson was not a pedophile in spite of the boy’s substantial monetary award. As for the misgivings reasonably aroused by Jackson’s behaviors with other people’s young sons? That’s just ignorant gossip: Michael Jackson never had a childhood! — that’s why he shared his bed with unrelated boys.

Continue reading

How Jackson’s lawyers lied and got away with it

Was Michael Jackson Forced to Settle by an Insurance Company?


UPDATE 06/01/2014: More information at end of story

When Michael Jackson was sued by the Chandler family for molestation, some people will have you believe that Jackson, even though he would have liked to have fought the case in court, was somehow forced by his insurance company to settle – thereby implying that Jackson was totally innocent. These people include fans, some sections of the media and even his own lawyers.

This is a complete fabrication. Continue reading

Mary Fischer GQ Magazine Rebuttal

NOTE: For many years Fischer’s article has been hailed by Jackson’s loyal fans as the definitive report on the 1993 scandal, and they have kept it posted on their Web site for all to see. It has, in effect, become their bible. On September 1, 2004, I noticed that Fischer’s article was gone. A note stated that Fischer had “a change of heart” and her attorneys requested that the article be removed.

 


UPDATE – In October 2012, seeing an opportunity to make some money off the continued fan interest in Jackson, Mary A. Fischer published the magazine article as a decidedly slim paperback. She added nothing but a forward – no new information, no corrections to errors in her story (many of which are highlighted below), and she omits valuable contemporary information which sheds new light on the story (for example, why was the FBI quick to arrest a man for attempting to extort Jackson, but didn’t arrest Evan Chandler? Of course, because Evan Chandler never attempted to extort Jackson). Continue reading

The Boys in Michael Jackson’s Life

Michael Jackson had intense relationships with many boys including Emmanuel Lewis, Jonathan Spence, Jimmy Safechuck, Wade Robson, Brett Barnes, Jordan Chandler, Frank and Eddie Cascio, Omer Bhatti and Sean Lennon. Click on the image to go to the stories about that boy (not available for all yet) Continue reading

How Michael Jackson Called Up and Had A Boy Delivered to His Door

Sadly, Michael Jackson didn’t just groom boys, he also groomed the parents to do his bidding. One such person was Joy Robson, mother of another of Michael Jackson’s “special friends”, Wade Robson. During court testimony in 2005 she was questioned about an event around the time the explosive Chandler allegations came to light. Continue reading

Items Found in 1993 – Pedophile Books and Naked Photos

A little known fact was that some items of evidence were found in Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in a 1993 raid. These items seem to have been overlooked by the media, probably because the file below was not released publicly until 4th of October 2006, well after the end of the trial.

The items of interest are Continue reading

Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis

Kenneth V. Lanning, M.S., FBI (Retired)

Mr. Lanning is a 30-year veteran of the FBI who spent 20 years in the Behavioral Science Unit and National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) and current member of the Advisory Board of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA). Continue reading

Some common myths used to “prove” MJ wasn’t a molester

See also how child molesters seduce their victims

Nobody can ever say with any certainty that Michael Jackson WASN’T a child molester. What is definite, from all the evidence available, is that he had an intense attraction to boys. The fact that he slept with boys on such a regular basis (according to court testimony in Brett Barnes’ case, over 460 nights in a two year period), his collection of boylover books and actual photos of naked and semi-naked boys, and his deep relationships with a succession of boys are solid proof that he could have been a pedophile. Continue reading

The 300lb Gorilla

What is the 300lb gorilla?

It’s that thing that just can’t be ignored – and in this case it was Jordan Chandler’s description of Jackson’s genitals. This, more than anything else, propelled Jackson’s side towards a settlement with the Chandlers, as was admitted by a member of Jackson’s legal team – lawyer Carl Douglas.

Jordan gave his description to police and to Jackson’s defense lawyers to support his claim of molestation filed on September 14 1993. It is worth noting here that nobody, apart from a handful of people, have ever read Jordan’s description.

Naturally law enforcement wanted to test the veracity of Jordan’s description, and when Jackson returned to the United States in December 1993, the District Attorney’s office had negotiated with Jackson’s lawyer Johnnie Cochran to have Jackson strip searched and photographs taken of his naked body. Below is a description of what eventuated at that strip search, based on a deposition from Santa Barbara sheriff’s office photographer Gary Spiegel, who was tasked with taking pictures of Jackson’s genitals to see if they matched Jordan Chandler’s description

Continue reading

Michael Jackson’s FBI File – More Inappropriate Behavior With Boys

Here we have linked the file the FBI held on Michael Jackson, but we need to clear something up first.

If anyone tells you “The FBI followed Michael Jackson around for 10 years and found nothing”, this is patently untrue. The FBI was NOT following MJ or tapping his phone, or doing anything that they would normally do in a federal case. The sex abuse cases were matters handled by local police (the Santa Barbara police department and the LAPD). Continue reading

Jordan’s Description – Did it Match?

The short answer? Probably. The long answer? Read on.

The Issue

Michael Jackson’s accuser in 1993 described the coloration and markings below Michael Jackson’s waistline and above his knees including his penis, and drew a picture of Michael Jackson’s erect penis. Subsequently photos were taken of Michael Jackson to corroborate or rebut the boys description. Fans are adamant that the description and photos do not match. Some critics of Jackson say it definitely matched.

It must be noted here that only a few law enforcement officers have seen both the photos and Jordan’s description, so they are the only people who can say if they matched or not. Nobody else can say with any certainty that they matched or not. Be careful of anybody who says they have the definitive answer. Continue reading

Raymond Chandler Subpoena Duces Tecum

Fans make a great deal of fuss over Raymond Chandler (Jordan Chandler’s uncle) being subpoenaed to produce documents during the 2005 trial and Raymond’s subsequent objection to same. Officially, a Subpoena Duces Tecum – literally “under penalty to bring with you”, is a legal term for a subpoena for production of documents or other evidence in to court for scrutiny. Continue reading

Michael Jackson Trial Jurors – Observations

Some members of the jury, which acquitted “The King of Pop” of all 10 charges related to allegations that he molested a now-15-year-old boy, said they suspected the singer had molested other children but that prosecutors had not proven he had done anything illegal to the accuser in his trial.

During deliberations, jury foreman Paul Rodriguez said, he and other jurors frequently discussed the testimony they had heard about past allegations that Jackson had molested or behaved inappropriately with five other boys, including two youngsters who reached multimillion-dollar settlements with the singer in the 1990s.

But, Rodriguez said, the jurors knew they could not convict solely on the basis of past allegations.

“We couldn’t weigh that with this case in particular,” he said. “We all felt that he was guilty of something. But we feel that if he didn’t learn from this experience, then it’s up to another jury to convict him.”

ABC news story, 16th June 2005

Continue reading

Drugs and Porn at Neverland

Most people think that Neverland was a happy, joyful place dedicated to the innocence and joy of childhood. One only has to look at the material seized in the police raid in 2003 to realise that it wasn’t very child friendly at all. Gay porn, straight porn, drugs, books favored by pedophiles, photographs of semi naked boys – the list goes on and on. Click the link for the whole list… Continue reading

Michael Jackson Unveiled

MJPublicist

These comments originally appeared on a Data Lounge thread (http://www.datalounge.com/cgi-bin/iowa/english/forum/threaded/trolls/newbies/gossip/all/page-1/thread/1621096/page-1.html) in June 2005. While we can’t vouch for MJ Former Publicist’s veracity, we can say that this is quite an entertaining read. Unfortunately Data Lounge only seems to show the last 600 discussions so this one has been buried in the mists of time. We present it here for posterity’s sake.

Enjoy!

Continue reading

Michael Jackson’s Primetime Interview with Diane Sawyer

PRIMETIME LIVE

June 14, 1995

(see also The Jackson Jive by Maureen Orth)

“The Get”[1]

When Diane Sawyer was lured from 60 Minutes to anchor PrimeTime Live, the new show enjoyed much success, due largely to Sawyer’s reputation. But as the news magazine format began to proliferate, PrimeTime began drowning in a flood of competition. By 1995, the year of the Jackson interview, the show had declined from 18 to 87 in overall ratings.

The timing couldn’t have been worse. Sawyer was in line to become the first solo female network-news anchor in the history of television, and ABC had just renewed her contract to the tune of $7 million. Continue reading

Is Michael Jackson a Pedophile?

March 3, 2005


by Jim Kouri, CPP


Okay. I’m crying uncle. The pressure is just too great. But I’m going to do this once and once only: I’m going to write about the Michael Jackson pedophile case. I’m going to write a column that will hopefully contribute to the discussion by informing the reader of facts not being discussed by the mainstream media.

But first, I have a question for the members of news media: where are the experts on pedophiles and child sex abuse who are paraded out whenever there’s a high-profile case such as the pedophile Catholic priests story? Where are the FBI profilers? The sociology and psychology professors? Where are the detectives who possess an expertise in sex crimes investigation?  I’ll tell you where they are. They’re MIA — missing in action. Where are the experts who are qualified to speak on the subject of themodus operandi of child sex offenders? MIA. It seems obvious that such details are absent from the coverage of the Michael Jackson trial.

As a cop, I investigated several sex crimes with victims who were children. Both pedophile and pederast cases (pedophiles victimize pre-pubescent kids, while pederasts prey on pubescent kids). In fact, one of the biggest cases of my career was in a New York City hospital where a 12-year old female patient was sexually abused by a hospital employee (the suspect got 20 years; I got a commendation). So I kind of speak from experience. My contribution to the discussion of Michael Jackson and the allegations of child molestation will be simple:

Here are the characteristics of child sex offenders from an article I wrote a couple of years back for The Chief of Police Magazine. You judge for yourself whether Michael Jackson fits the MO of a predator.

They:

* Are popular with children, teens and adults.

* Appear to be trustworthy and respectable.

* Have good standing in the community.

* Prefer the company of children and teens.

* Are mainly attracted to pre-pubescent boys and girls and can be heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual.

* “Groom” children with quality time, video games, parties, toys, candy, gifts or money.

* Single out children who appear troubled and in need of attention or affection; children from dysfunctional families.

* Often date or marry women with children or have children who are the age of their preferred victims.

* Rarely force or coerce children into sexual contact; it’s usually done through trust and friendship.

In addition, physical contact is gradual, from touching and holding to sitting the child on the lap and kissing. They derive gratification in a number of ways. For some, looking is enough. For others taking pictures and watching children undress is enough. Still others require physical contact.

They find different ways and places to be alone with children; and are primarily male, better educated and more religious than the average person. Child sex abusers usually choose jobs that provide them with greater access to childen. Even if the pedophile has no children, his home is usually child-friendly with toys, books, video games, computers, bikes, swimming pool, rec room swing sets and other items to attract children into his home and to keep the children coming back. Usually the items reflect the preferred age of his victims.

The pedophile usually has no criminal record and deny they abuse children even after arrested, prosecuted, convicted, incarcerated and ordered into a sex offender therapy program. Pedophiles are often victims of childhood sexual abuse themselves, or they may have grown up in a dysfunctional home environment.

I rest my case.

Jim Kouri


Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s.   He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.  He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others.  He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc.  His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com.

Chat with Raymond Chandler

Raymond Chandler, the uncle of Jackson’s first accuser, discusses his (then) new book on Court TV, Sept. 17, 2004. We can gain some insight into his motives for writing the book, and debunk some fan myths while we are at it.

 

Court TV Host: Our guest, Raymond Chandler, the uncle of Michael Jackson’s first accuser, is here. As you may know, he was just on Both Sides, and he’s here to answer your questions now. Welcome, thanks for being our guest today.

Raymond Chandler: Thank you very much. Continue reading

Evan Chandler Phone Transcript With David Schwartz

In 1996, when Evan Chandler sued Jackson for breaching the confidentiality terms of their settlement, this transcript came to light. It was phone conversations secretly recorded by Jordan Chandler’s stepfather Dave Schwartz in 1993, at Jackson’s private investigator Anthony Pellicano’s behest. Portions of this conversation, taken out of context, are often used by fans to “prove” Evan Chandler was “extorting” Michael Jackson.

A full read shows rather a father who is concerned about his son, angry that he hasn’t been able to see Jordan for six weeks due to Jackson’t undue influence, and the pain at the loss of the close, co-operative friendship he had with his ex-wife June Chandler.

It’s a long read but well worth it when it comes to understanding Evan Chandler. Nothing has been left out.

Continue reading

Posterchild for the Future: Living with Michael Jackson

Throughout February 2003, the tabloids dug even deeper into their font suitcases to extra extra bold the recurring headline “Wacko Jacko.” After a global screening of the doubly famous and infamous documentary Living with Michael Jackson, which was put together by the Brit Martin Bashir, the unanimous media verdict could not possibly be snappier than the larger-than-life Jacko being cut down to size with the rhyming echo of Wacko. Upright commentators and moral agents of all denominations joined the wailing chorus to secure the King of Pop’s self-inflicted fall from grace, while devoted fans and sympathetic supporters lashed out at the prejudices and lies allegedly edited in and out by the royal dramatist Bashir, who once had a sniveling tête-à-tête with Princess Diana. Some voices even went as far as classifying the 90-minute kitsch fest, done with the full and knowing collaboration of Jackson, an elaborate suicide note from an unaware victim. Perhaps it was only appropriate, then, that legions of experts, in the form of psychologists and voice analysts, were unleashed upon the footage to extract an opinion on the truth. Quite predictably the mental trade labeled him a casebook case for arrested development, and an Australian outfit, using a method akin to a lie detector, revealed the recorded speech patterns to show stress levels indicative of deception in his voice; the meaning of pivotal words was “scientifically” turned around to nail high-pitched frequencies already subject to suspicion. [1] While cable and network programming was humming with that unmistakable freak show buzz, pressure was put on the proper authorities in Santa Barbara County, where Jackson lives, to take penal action against him for televised breaches of propriety. Doubting the criminality of his admissions, however, officials declined the public demand to make a case out of an example, due to a lack of evidence. Meanwhile in Britain, the frothing frenzy made it into the House of Commons, where Labor MP Helen Clark and Tory David Amess made a strong bipartisan stand on what they saw as unsuitable for broadcasting. Airing such views and practices as those of Mr. Jackson was, in their allotted stance of the most honorable proclamation, a dangerous endorsement that certainly merited condemnation from the highest body of public policy. [2] The King of Pop was by now a moral pauper, his rule a disgraced ruin of dubious glory. That Wacko Jacko decided to strike back and turn the postmodern tables with his own documentary on Bashir, flogged to the networks by a gay porn pundit to maintain the tabloid-friendly tenor of terror, will not concern us here. Nor will we dwell on the astounding figures that initially glued 15 million Brits (more than half the entire TV audience) and 27 million Americans to the screens for the first airing, saw millions of dollars change hands in return for rights, and subsequently demanded more than 20 hours of primetimeover a period of two weeks following February 6. [3] This postscript must rather address what exactly prompted this outrage and suspension of belief that preoccupied the global attention and exponentially multiplied search strings in Google almost instantly. Something fundamentally disturbing and collectively stirring was no doubt filtered through the airwaves to reverberate in the public domain.

Those not privy to the broadcasts may benefit from a brief TV guide to some of the most scandalous highlights: First of all, there was the wide-eyed admission that Jackson “slept” with children that were not biologically his own. Following the 1993 charge of sexual misconduct by J. Chandler, a case Jackson settled out of court for an undisclosed sum, the criminal investigation into the matter has remained open and, as the permanent-probation saying conjured by the media suggests, subject to new evidence. Hand in hand with one of his child protégés, 12-year-old Gavin, Jackson innocently confessed to sharing his bedroom with guests and tucking sleepovers in with hot milk and cookies. The slumber parties were described as very sweet and not sexual, with the millionaire idol, at age 44, dutifully taking up residence in a sleeping bag on the floor — after reading bedtime stories. Bashir was quite incredulous in his insinuating innuendos.

The interview segments concerning Jackson’s rather striking appearance superficially corroborated such skeptical charges coming from the edited voiceover. When confronted with questions about plastic surgery, he admitted some minor work on the nose (references to reconstructive surgery from an accident were edited out), while changes to the overall bone structure were explained as time taking its toll; the racial shift from black to white, the result of a medical affliction. Again, the words slipping through those finely sculpted lips seemed to insist on a different creation story, which did not quite match the tale put forward. Bashir sought the full disclosure of a middle-aged black man in the face that resembled, if anything, a white, slightly effeminate adolescent.

But instead of getting revelations and bravely halting, single-handedly, the invasion of the body snatchers, Bashir simply sunk further and further into a, for him, alarming fantasy that required a suspension of conviction and a confrontation of prejudice to make much sense. Next up was an explosion of the nuclear family, which at first had little coherence and disintegrated further into that genealogical tumbleweed of contractual marriages and surrogate mothers. After the two-year marriage to Lisa-Marie Presley was dissolved in 1996, Jackson married his nurse Deborah Rowe and had two children with her, both of which he helped deliver and the second of which he apparently rushed from the hospital upon exit from the womb — placenta dripping in his trail. (A beautiful image of nativity to rival any Christmas display.) The marriage ended in 1999, when Jackson assumed sole custody of Prince and Paris, a boy and a girl. Both appear, although masked in public, to be distinctly white in terms of features and pigmentation. During the filming of the documentary another infant, nicknamed “Blanket,” entered the dysfunctional family picture and this offspring was born by a surrogate mother, ostensibly black although the baby appears once more to be white, through artificial insemination of Jackson’s sperm. Bashir now incredulously wonders if his world of black and white has been turned completely upside down into some sort of colorblind meta-matter.

With the navigational bearings thus staked in a very circumspective fashion, the pairing of reason versus imagination set off to enjoy Las Vegas. Although one would think that this change of backdrop befits the Jackson narrative, the repartee takes another surreal turn on a multi-million dollar shopping spree in the Treasure Chamber, a prime piece of super-indulgent consumerism in the Egyptian-themed Luxor Hotel. Specializing in antiquities proper, genuinely not faux, the iconoclastic sales display of the ancient proved an irresistible trove for Jackson, who is seen pacing around and pointing to the shopping list without ever stopping to ponder the zeros ticking over on the tab. Finally at rest before a particularly fetching sarcophagus, filmed in a second segment the day after, he seems utterly perplexed and somewhat embarrassed by the inquiry into his own preferred burial rites, as the King of Pop. Anything like this golden coffin already proven fit for royalty? Further prodding breaks the pregnant pause of time and Jackson proclaims in a pre-pubescent voice that he wants to live forever, presumably in the vessel he is already molding. Bashir responds with the only subversion that may somehow coach Jackson back into the mortal coil — really?

Thus the prolonged interview is persistently like two vectors of time and space passing in the twilight. Bashir never recognizes the self-proclaimed Peter Pan, and Jackson never faces the middle aged black man he mirrors by birth. It is a dialectical battle between the virtual and the real where both quite successfully hold their own ground. Back home on the 2800-acre Neverland Ranch, where an entire amusement park is built in the backyard, the childhood fantasy literally comes alive to invigorate and reincarnate the aging child. These fun-filled acres are, of course and in effect, an enclave molded to the troubled psyche that happily rejoices in merry-go-rounds to orbit its own world and pays very handsomely for development and maintenance costs. There can be no psychological crime of arrested development here, only comparative spending to keep pace with a progress toward eternal immaturity. Neverland is like Jackson himself regressing toward this naive forever, a secret chamber of retreat spread across the fenced grounds. Visitors are therefore mischievously asked to individually sign a contract where they pledge to never ever tell a living soul what they are about to see and hear there. But this silencing, signed for on the dotted line, is of course mute in the exited eyes and ears of those embarking on this thrill ride, ready to scream. Even the most austere legal jargon of the outside world becomes the whispering of adolescent pacts inside the gates of Neverland; I’ll let you see if you promise not to tell. No wonder Jackson went into a tantrum of betrayal when Bashir knocked down the door to his juvenile paradise and let everyone in, with real-world preconceptions: he simply broke the naïve trust children live by. This bittersweet antagonism effectively built, and inexplicably balanced itself, over eight months of one childish star exposing an innocent world of beauty and one seasoned journalist revealing an undercover world of scandal. The outcry that followed those initial 90 minutes of Living with Michael Jackson essentially drove the virtual and real apart into an open conflict. But what was it, really, as Bashir always muttered with a question mark attached through intonation, that we saw and heard from the deepest secrets of Neverland (buried beyond the realm of show and tell) that prompted such an emotional turmoil of everything from sympathetic pity to righteous shock around the globe?

Let us examine the offending creature before us. He is a man that claims to be a child and subsequently adores children, as playmate equals and not subjects of authority. He is a gendered being that denies the sex of his organs and, seemingly, prefers an androgynous innocence to sexual difference — suggestively grabbing his groin only after doing some moon walking to fluently make it part of the same surreal act. He is racially ambiguous after switching from black to white, although there is apparently an uneven skin tone underneath the makeup covering the condition. He effectively denies having altered his appearance and argumentatively returns crude surgical biotech to the time-honored changes of evolution, resisting the visible entropy of both processes. He strongly aspires to be a father, but denies romanticized reproduction its innate role in the formation of the nuclear family and disciplining of the body, preferring instead the copulation of the test tube and the marriage of the legally binding contract. He confuses the idol with the icon and religiously grants himself eternal life, augmenting the argument with a mutant look (a soul searching for a body) and a voice straining terribly with the low vocal chords. He even releases a sycophantic album called HIStory, which breaks apart grand narratives in favor of personal idiosyncrasies, but does not, if truth be told, sell and badly flops into the bargain bin. Such a mantra of characteristics for the King of Pop could easily read like a Top 100. The extended point of its charting is to recognize the pattern developing: the quest for eternal immaturity; the absolutions found in technology; the science of biology as profoundly logical and desirable; the plasticity of identity; the eradication of sexual and racial difference; the flirtation with and seduction of the Other; and the apotheosis of one in many and many in one. This refrain is like a formulaic hit song for the future, with that catchy chorus of cyberspace. We have repeatedly heard it before yet long to hit repeat it again. But when faced with an actual documentary instead of an overproduced and slick music video, usually ahead of its time (Jackson’s trademark), we balk at the sights and sounds and go into global convulsions of outrage and disbelief, as if the world is suddenly poisoned by the grotesquely otherworldly without proper warning. What lie behind the gates of Neverland, however, is our contemporary dreams of the future; Jackson being nothing more or less, on that wobbly vector of infinity, than a cartoon version of cyberpunk, science his pixie dust.

In his book The Information Bomb, Paul Virilio describes modernity as the enamoring of immaturity. The process does ultimately not strive toward human progress. Instead it convincingly animates narratives like Alice in Wonderland, with her telescopic looking glass, and Peter Pan, a child vehemently trying to escape his future in the refuge of Neverland, as lifelike and vibrant, at an intimate remove, in cybernetic networks and technologies. Arrested development, Jackson’s alleged affliction, can thus not really be considered an irrational trespass, but rather the logical law of modern advancement. Drawing on the temporal compressions of speed, Virilio argues that the split-second relay flattens experience to the extent that technology awards instantly what time can only grant gradually, thereby refusing to wake up to the unfolding of life. Modernity is thus purposefully stuck in a refusal to grow up, preferring the illusions of the virtual to the reality of adulthood and death. According to Virilio’s parallel analysis of The World of Yesterday by Stefan Zweig, the generational gap results in a conflict that fears the process of becoming inhabited by children, bringing discipline and security to the table in order to control and curtail it. While children are, as we have heard so often as a moral prelude, the future, they are also part and parcel of the potential dangers it harbors. They must consequently be properly educated and forced into a state of dependency throughout their adult years. Through the constant rehashing of knowledge in learning institutions, we also have another intersecting layer of potential conflict in the substitution of old values as new values, effectively facilitating a reversal of the historical process. This brings Virilio to proclaim that: “Nietzsche was not a philosopher, nor Hitler a statesman. Both were, rather, the paranoid interpreters of the apocalyptic ultimatum of youth battling with the irreversibility of time…” [4] Nihilism, with its violent tendencies, is thus the infantile voice of youth casting off the ominous shadow of perpetual old age, already prehistoric at birth. To subdue and overturn this forceful urge, it is channeled into the hybridization and leveling of the ages, where every TV dinner, suitable for those unable to feed themselves, has the sugary and fatty flavor of a Happy Meal, and the techno hub of a SONY Playstation posits all players as equal partners. Through such cycles, reproduction inevitably also turns toward pedophilia in erasure of the same limits (with a constantly lowered age of sexual consent and stories of 9-year-old girls getting pregnant), and a multi-billion-dollar pleasure industry arises to assure us that sex is the greatest game of all, our body just another toy. It is in this juvenile ecstasy of the modern that we must locate the progeny of the future and initially ponder why a man, who just wants to be a boy, is apparently powerless to profess his innocence and relinquish his sexuality, despite assurances everywhere that he can and must.

Jackson, in what has become an overstated fact, never had a childhood. He was the shooting star of an entertainment industry that sparkled with every growth burst — and faded into the startling King of Pop to make every parental wish initially poured upon this starstruck trajectory come true. Except, as every celebrity psychologist has insipidly argued, his instinctive desire for infancy, which turned into the adulterated nightmare now playing. Following those beaten clinical paths toward maturity, the standard diagnosis sees Jackson filling in the gaps of development that he has, through the coercion of his homegrown talent, been denied with abhorrently abnormal results: childhood can never seem natural for those that have physically outgrown it. But this astute assessment, with its pathological insights, rather seeks to once more deny the full-grown child its will to inhabit the future, shape its own destiny and break away from the zombie surrogates of the virtual and real that are playfully staging the permanently immature by mirroring the old rules in a new game. Maybe Jackson is simply the prototype of a new juvenile delinquent — unabashedly and irresponsibly laughing in the face of a patent violence — for the prenatal posthuman age? At the close documentary quarters of Neverland, the modern craving for immaturity in the virtual womb is conceivably translated into a clandestine look at things to come, an ultrasonic peek-a-boo at the highly mutable self and its unsettled relations with Others.

Since Stelarc got hooked on the biomech that developed into biotech and morphed into another bio-logic, now with a genetic suffix, we have heard and rather crudely seen, with futuristically glazed eyes, that the body is inadequate and obsolete. It is merely a defunct prosthetic of a superior mind. But the metal arm that wrote EVOLUTION after dictation from its organic counterpart (a defining Stelarc moment) never really made much of an appearance beyond the many theoretical amalgams with a bright alloy shine. Sure, there were goggles and gloves to equip the budding cybernetic organism, but all that waving inside the pixel parade did not quite display the super powers strutted in sexy mixes like those of the comic heroes X-Men. Strapping the game console to the senses never quite made the first cut as far as metal and flesh goes. But then, adversely of course, there were those that immediately broke the test tube and called us cyborgs from the outset, due to our overt reliance on tools and aides made of matter other than tissue. Bad eyesight plus glasses equals a cyborg they argued. This split personality of the cyborg has continued to pivot around the same mortal coils and data stacks.

N. Katherine Hayles, for example, makes a compelling case in How We became Posthuman for how traditional Western notions of human identity have gone from incorporating views of disembodied information, the uploaded brain syndrome, toward reconciling this vision with material embodiments in what then qualifies as human and information symbionts. [5] Recognizing that all information must indeed have a presence to exist, which on second thought (not confused with the heady spinning of a hyperspace hard drive) seems quite logical, she foresees a growing symbiosis between the forms of information and the shape of the body. The futuristic point, in her view, is to argue for the best size and fit.

Someone like Ollivier Dyens, on the other hand (if we are indeed still left with two), appears more inclined to give information the upper hand in a scenario where culture and technology dominate biology with an iron fist to perform a transformation of the body. It leads him to exclaim rather apocalyptically, with inverse positive terms if one so prefers, that: “The cyborg is nothing but a fusion between biology and culture, and, as such, it marks the end of living beings as defined by our current conceptions. The cyborg is a semantic transformation of the body; it is a living being whose identity, history, and presence are formulated by technology and defined by culture. It is a body free of dualities, guilt, sexual repression, and frustration…The cyborg is a sexless living being, man, woman, and machine all at once. The cyborg is the obliteration of the biological.” [6] This legendary being, which is optimistically given the adjective living, breeds an implosion of opposites into a powerful — textual and tactile — nucleus of culture and technology, which bears more than a passing resemblance, in the evolutionary sense of a strictly logical time, to the constantly decomposing yet perennially youthful Jackson countenance. Out of synch with time and dualistic nature, it is a composite that revels in reversals and suppresses the trace of any transformation to erase its haunting twin.

Without embarking on the entire anthropological journey of body modifications, it should be clear that the cyborg is not exactly a new ticket to how cultures and beliefs interact with the bodily subject closest at hand and to heart. The plasticity of surgery has been around for decades, and Tinseltown, from which Jackson hails, has been obsessed with keeping up timeless photogenic appearances to booster a sanctified image well into the shrunken golden years. It is equally clear that the practice appeals to the identity politics of an image culture that applauds the flawless and airbrushes away specks and blemishes. One is defined by this projected image of oneself, and through an identification with the body, which perpetually revolves around the divisive symbiosis of the index (the Cartesian split resolved through revolution), the plastic aspects of its appearance become subject to surgery; the incestuous drive to modify and repair takes hold. The goal is to reconcile the informational model and mould with the body and thereby erect the proverbial temple adhered to by those aspiring to be the most healthy and fit, whatever the procedure and cost. [7]

The latest trend here is the less intrusive Botox (a trade name for Botulinum Toxin Type A) treatment. By locally injecting a neurotoxin directly into muscle fibers with a syringe, the nerves are temporarily weakened for a period of up to six months. The result is a mask of deadened tissue that is unable to move, and therefore wrinkle; suspended death has effectively become the chic of a society rejuvenated by toxins. But this evolution of the facial expressions, which would have prompted Charles Darwin to ponder his 1872 treatise Expressions of the Emotions in Man and Animals with a less happy and sad postscript, is already rather trivially transformed from plastic surgery to cosmetic surgery, poison being just another accessory in the make-up kit. The blurring plasticity of the body is thus furthered and simultaneously halted in an induced state of controlled rigor mortis, installing a matter of fact. This accurately recalls, once more, the semantic transformation of the body in the hands on technology and culture. However, the instrumental desire of plastic surgery has already sought to escape its synthetic, and by inference false, roots in the works of Professor G¸nter von Hagens. Most famed for his Body Worlds exhibit touring the scientific sideshow circuit for the last few years, he uses a process aptly named plastination to drain the body of fluids and fill its porous cavities with polymer resin. [8] Through this robust overkill by compounds, the body literally hardens to plastic and smothers both wrinkles and death in one bloated appearance filled with the tantalizingly lifelike forever.

We are starting to fully see the contours of Jackson’s persona here in light of constructive surgery and his expressed modernistic will to beat the inertia wheel with immature carousels. But he appears to have crossed that fateful border beyond upgrading and fallen into horrifying decline instead. Hence the shock and horror does not address his process but the product, installing a fear that the body will in the end betray the many incisions of the cultural. As is the case with Jackson’s delicate nose, it will cut off the blood supply and cause permanent mortifying damage to the crafted tissue. What we identify in this face is a vanishing threshold of technological progress, where the quest for improvement has turned around and started to falter. Not that his expression, per se, is other than benign, or that it truly resembles a fictional monster of extremes — all his doctors are probably found in the Yellow Pages, not in some Transylvanian castle. His transformative pursuit is rather so close to upper class Botox parties and grimy high street body sculpting cum tattoo parlors that only a price tag sets them apart. Unlike the wealthy New York socialite Jocelyn Wildenstein, for example, who has undergone extensive work (which she, incidentally, denies) to put some feline into the female, Jackson has stayed within the sheltering shadow of the human. Wildenstein has tried to jump columns in the Linnean taxonomy by surgically emulating a cat, both with apparent success and not without a hint of mockery for the upgrade curve of the cyborg. Only inspiration from an ape might possibly have been less flattering for the evolution applied to this look. Someone much closer to Jackson in spiritually, and hence in flesh, would be the French artist Orlan. During the 1990s she underwent several plastic surgeries, billed and choreographed as performances that aimed to profile her face into ideal shapes lifted from cultural norms on beauty. Today she has the forehead of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and the chin of Botticelli’s Venus, or rather the flesh painting of these pictorial icons. To finance this costly endeavor, everything from her surplus body parts to less controversial merchandise was made available for sale, turning Orlan into a commodity whose name will, once the process is complete, be substituted with another brand by an advertising agency. Citing and in the same instance offending conservative religious and psychoanalytical views that the body be left alone and the spirit elevated, she does a fine cut and paste job that fuses ideals with technology and embarks on a journey that she herself intends to be nothing but shocking, the goal ultimately unattainable. Two paths obviously collide here with the same iconic objective: Orlan picking features to assemble the ultimate mosaic of beauty, Jackson rearranging his assets to complete the psychic puzzle of identity. Both are equally the celebrated products of the popular imagination and they are both peaking at the demographic pinnacle of the average, as uniquely different in their top-of-the-class, head-of-the-curve pursuits. The horror, the horror that is mirrored, however, reflects the avowed path of progress getting off track and out of control, perhaps speeding too fast, too soon.

The convulsions of this momentum are rekindled in the many other dichotomies taking a fall, in that very biblical sense, with Jackson. Links and boundaries between race and age and sexuality are mingled and mangled beyond puritan recognition, devoid of all common decency according to the righteous gasp of the public. Once we thought eugenics had vanished on the progressive horizon, James Watson, Nobel Laureate and co-discoverer of the double helix structure of DNA, publicly made speculative conjunctures between melanin and sexuality. Melanin is responsible for skin pigmentation, and it was in one study conducted for cancer prevention research found to cause sexual arousal in male patients injected with increased levels. [9] Ergo, Watson argued in his contentious lecture, we have Latin lovers and English patients. As the Human Genome Project progresses amidst fears that cultural and behavioral concerns will be factored into information biology, and just as a surprisingly uniform gene bank is erasing race as a valued category, the assertion grounded in proof that does not meet scientific standards simply served to invoke prejudicial conceptions of the black libido. Recalling the savage attraction and titillation of the nineteenth-century Hottentot Venus, dimly associative bonds were drawn between chemical and genetic make ups and sexually motivated behavior, black then being the predatory color of uncontrollable urges. Imagine, then, the once-upon-a-time of a wolf in sheep’s clothing and the Neverland fairytale. This is the black man camouflaged in a white boy’s body to deviously lure the innocent with simulation. But thanks to the biological thumbprint of data and the graphic traces of a morphing timeline, the anomalous creature is ceremoniously unveiled and identified as a hybrid animal instinctively ready to pounce. All the work done on the transposition of identity, echoed in the hyperbolic talk of aliases in cyberspace, appears to have vanished in the face of a deeper and better informed determinism that accepts nothing at face value, unless it is backed up by data. No matter what his intentions, regardless of his guilt, there is a profile attached to Jackson that looks at the pedophilic assimilation of the Other, by itself a deeply sexual act driven by the immature desire of modernity, couples it with a genetic silhouette steeped in racial prejudice, and passes a sentence of misleading deception on all counts, a betrayal based on appearances we now know to be otherwise. We would be well advised, however, not to confuse this stripped identity with an about-face turning the future on its head, puncturing the virtual with the real and finally exposing an inappropriate thought to its deformed body, metaphysics standing naked before us. It is on the contrary an indication that Jackson has slowly come of age and entered the imperceptible slipstream of time that moves at a pace humans can tolerate without panicking. His face, awfully scarred by modernity, is now the postmodern Cro-Magnon of the networked information society, merely a plastic bronze preceding the interminable data flows.

As the festooned gates to Neverland close behind us, we are also leaving the shock of the future behind as we once found it to be. Modernity has reached another chapter in the evolving fairytale and has, ecstatically incomplete, expanded the horizon of happily ever after. Once upon a time once more belongs to those vast vanishing reaches, as an image and an imagination slowly slide over the curvature of the Earth. What is most striking about this passing appearance is how the blueprint of modernity, from which Jackson is so haphazardly yet candidly constructed, remains attractive and instructive despite its rather obvious entropy. The evident patchwork of destructive effects that caused this public uproar was quickly reduced to an isolated anomaly and normality was restored at the apex of popular culture — chart positions are now slipping, record sales are dwindling, we are told. Subtracting black and adding white, romancing the pedophilic self, and harnessing the power of the Other apparently only mixes the copyrighted soundtrack of let there be light for another, grossly distorted world. Our horror over Jackson stems, and let this be his premature epitaph to keep with the theme of staying ahead of time, from the impractical recognition that he may be the ultimate conformist to our way of life and the foremost balancing act of the heavens today. The moral anger, spewing over from his supposed corruption of values and children, emanates partly from our visit to the furtive Neverland, which turned the modern dream of the future into the twinkling halo of a Disney theme park. Forever may thus have turned out to be the molester’s candy after all.

Notes

[1] Jacki Quist, “Experts React to Jacko,” http://todaytonight.com.au/stories/487123.html.

[2] BBC News, “MPs Attack Jackson Documentary,” http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2748259.stm.

[3] Bill Carter, “Networks Scramble for Anything Jackson,” New York Times, February 14, 2003, http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/14/business/media/14JACK.html?ex=1045890000&en=269f7f05bd628722&ei=5062&partner=GOOGLE.

[4] Paul Virilio, The Information Bomb (London: Verso, 2000), p. 98.

[5] N. Katherine Hayles, How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press 1999).

[6] Ollivier Dyens, Metal and Flesh: The Evolution of Man: Technology Takes Over (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001), pp. 82-83.

[7] See also the following essay: Jean Baudrillard, “Plastic Surgery for the Other,” Ctheory, http://www.ctheory.net/text_file.asp?pick=75.

[8] Andy Miah, “Dead Bodies for the Masses: The British Public Autopsy & The Aftermath,” Ctheory, http://www.ctheory.net/text_file.asp?pick=363.

[9] Michelle Locke, “Sex and Sunshine: Nobel Laureate Links Skin Color and Sex Drive,” http://abcnews.go.com/sections/science/DailyNews/sunshine001124.html.

Are Flågan engages in a multitude of fields and practices that usually end up passing through a computer. He received an MFA from the University of New Mexico and has contributed to several publications internationally. On April 26, 2003, his curatorial, research and design project entitled Transcodex will open online and onsite at Boston University in conjunction with the biannual Boston Cyberarts Festival.