Reflections On The Dance
     Michael Joseph Jackson Remembered
          A celebration of love, spirit, truth & faith. Celebrating his life, his legacy, and his humanity
Most know Michael Jackson as a worldwide icon, a gifted dancer, a musical genius, the King of Pop. 

Patrick Treacy, a cosmetic doctor and humanitarian from Dublin, Ireland, had the somewhat rare opportunity to get to know the man behind that notoriety and title.  To get a glimpse of the human being and humanitarian that sometimes too few saw.

“I first met Michael after his Santa Maria trial when he was living in Ireland (2006-2007),” said Treacy.  Michael had approached Treacy hoping he would take him on as a patient while there, to help him manage his dermatological conditions.  From there, a professional relationship, as well as a friendship, blossomed.

“It was quickly apparent we shared humanitarian ideals and a love of the African continent,” said Treacy.  “In fact, his opening words to me on initial contact were ‘Thank you for all you are doing for the people of Africa’,” exclaimed Treacy.

“I was surprised when he proceeded to take out an old magazine from his pocket, which had an article detailing some of my experiences of coming across empty villages on route through Africa, which I had written back in 1992. I had called that story ‘The Silence of the Savannah’. The article covered my movements travelling from Kenya, by way of Tanzania and Zambia en route to South Africa, where I was going to work as a doctor.”  (Most of these articles were later published in the Irish Medical Times, where they were the basis of an award winning column.)

Michael was especially touched by Treacy’s article which describes the landscape of Africa and deserted towns left vacant by the plague.

Here is an excerpt from that article:

“Evenings in Kenya are enchanting. It is then that the sun takes on a light of deep red before setting, and barefooted women clothed in loose kangas stir up a light murram dust as they meet us on their way homeward for the night. As dusk falls the swollen rim of the sinking sun runs rivulets of scarlet colour into the skyline and silhouettes the acacia trees on the hillsides around us. This is the unchanging magic in the landscape of Africa, and it is our signal we have travelled enough for the day. We turn into the bush to find some shade and set up camp. In the distance we can hear some voices from a nearby ‘manyatta’, and the sound of barking dogs disturbs the stillness of the dusk…..later, we pass many empty villages, abandoned stores and vacant huts that are a testament to the destructive power of the plague whose path we follow. There is an eeriness about these deserted hamlets, and in the restless winds that stir the blue savannah grasses I listen expectantly to hear the noise of barking dogs, or the distant sounds of children playing ..... but no sound comes!

“‘You know I cried when I read that’ Michael said with a genuine compassion in his voice,” said Treacy.”  Michael continued, “We must do something together for the people of Africa.”  “With that, we started planning a concert in Rwanda,” Treacy said.

Michael knew of an old airfield that could be rented to hold the concert and he offered to fly Treacy on his plane, to meet Nelson Mandela personally.  “He knew I had been involved in his struggle for freedom,” said Treacy. 

Michael’s mission is quickly apparent for those who take a moment to look deeper.  He wanted to heal the world, show love to everyone who came across his path as well as those whose paths he purposely set out to cross, and as he stated himself, to continue to love and help people the way that Jesus said to. 

“Michael was deeply Christian and believed that private acts of charity were considered virtuous only if not done for others to admire,” stated Treacy.  “We should be reminded of Matthew 6:1 when Jesus says "Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness in front of others, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

Michael, driven by his faith, stood true to those biblical principles, which is why he did so much of his giving in secret, with no cameras or press coverage, and incidentally, why so few, other than the die-hard fans and those close enough to get a bird’s eye view, really knew the depth of his giving.

In addition to their shared passion for humanitarianism, Treacy considered Michael a friend.  “I knew Michael as a friend.  The qualities of friendship include honesty, the ability to be supportive in times of crisis and goal achievement, being attentive and adaptable, but most of all they involve trust,” stated Treacy.  “However, Michael was above all of that.  He expected trust and respect because of his inherent goodness, but did not always get it from people in return.”

Treacy uses an example from Mahavanain Buddhism to explain his feelings of friendship with Michael. 

“In Mahavanain Buddhism, there is an enlightened existence known as the ‘bodhisattva’ In this position, a person decides to postpone attainment of nirvana in order to alleviate the suffering of others,” states Treacy.  Treacy feels this very much describes the kind of person Michael was.  Forgoing his own happiness to help to heal others, and this planet.

“I have been fortunate to have met some of these visionaries, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Bono, John Lennon and Michael Jackson,” stated Treacy.  “Only five people in nearly half a century.  Just enough to count on the fingers of one hand.  Each of them, intrinsically motivated by a sense of great compassion, generating bodhicitta for the ultimate benefit of all sentient beings.  I knew Lady Diana Spencer during the mid nineties in a medical sense and I had been in the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama without having actually met him. All of these people, hugely influential, global messengers using their powers to try and make the world a better place for each of us to live in. Nelson Mandela stood against the injustice of apartheid, Mother Theresa and Bono against the injustice of poverty, John Lennon against the injustice of war, but Michael Jackson went further. His body of artistic work carried a spiritual message for these and all of the other injustices of the human race…those of racism, inequality, disease, hunger and corruption. That to me was the embodiment of Michael Jackson the friend.”

Treacy feels that Michael’s song, “Man in the Mirror” is self-analytical.  “All great spiritual leaders went through a period of self-analysis, doubt and meditation.  I feel this is part of his real legacy.”

“I’m starting with the man in the mirror; I’m asking him to change his ways; no message could have been any clearer; if you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change.”  Lyrics from Michael's song "Man in the Mirror"

Giving a nod to the upcoming trial of Michael’s attending physician when he died, Dr. Conrad Murray, Treacy said, “There are forces trying to smear his name prior to the new trial in Los Angeles. The media are gearing up to throw more missiles at a 'freak' who was 'addicted to drugs' and who was probably guilty of pedophilia even though he was acquitted of all charges relating to the same,” said Treacy. 

“Few people now remember that he donated all of the money from the song we just mentioned above to charity. Following the 1984 Victory Tour, he donated his $5 million share from the tour's profits to charity. In 1985, he co-wrote the single "We Are the World" with Lionel Richie and donated all of the proceeds to help the needy in Africa. Almost 20 million copies of "We Are the World" were sold, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time. The project raised millions for famine relief.”

The media has undoubtedly played a major part in that misconception about who Michael Jackson really was.

“There are two types of media presently functioning in our society,” said Treacy.

“One, like the 'BBC' embraces objectivity and sees its function to provide credible documentaries and news commentaries primarily written for its listeners and readers. This type of professional reporter is usually devoid of having to please advertisers with high volume of sales, television audience management (TAM ratings) or ABC numbers,” states Treacy. 

“The other type of reporter pens stories that are written solely to please advertisers. These are usually subjective, lack credibility and push the limits of legality. Their information sources often lack proper credentials and may be untrustworthy.

Unfortunately, most people in our western society are poorly informed or inadequately educated and sometimes may not be able to differentiate between the subjective components of the believability of a source or message. The media plays on these people to generate sales of their publications. To achieve high volume they must write about someone who a lot of people know. The absence of regulation in this marketplace leads to gross defamation of character and this is legally easier whenever the person in question is deceased.”

This media misconception even caused Treacy himself to want to protect Michael from what could be misconstrued by a doubting public and a rabid media as anything other than the noble intention that it was.

Treacy, no stranger to dire situations himself (he became a prisoner of Saddam Hussein in 1988 as he ventured into a surrounding area where a debilitating attack had occurred, sending many to a nearby hospital in Baghdad.  He was released from his captivity just 4 days before the start of the first Gulf War in August 1990), he was fully aware of how it might appear to the public, and also, how it would be played out in the media, if Michael followed his heart and visited the badly burned children of a recent attack, at Crumlin Childrens’ Hospital in Dublin.

The Michael I Knew...
Patrick Treacy Shares His Reflections on
Michael Jackson

By Deborah L. Kunesh

©Copyright 2010 by Deborah L. Kunesh

Dr. Patrick Treacy
“Michael was deeply Christian and believed that private acts of charity were considered virtuous only if not done for others to admire,” stated Treacy.  “We should be reminded of Matthew 6:1 when Jesus says "Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness in front of others, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

Patrick Treacy
"Gavin Murray, 5 years of age, and his sister Millie, 7, had been left scarred for life after flames from a petrol bomb from gang warfare, which engulfed them as they sat in the back seat of their mother's car at Pineview Gardens, Moyross, Limerick on September 10, 2006. The children had horrific injuries and unbearable pain cast upon them following the attack. Such was the extent of Gavin's injuries, his right ear effectively melted away after he was pulled from the burning car. He suffered 25 percent body burns to his face, head, back and hands and had to be sedated when his wounds were cleaned and bandages changed. Millie suffered 30 percent burning to her face, right arm, right thigh and lower back. Her wounds were reconstructed with skin grafts taken from her back and legs. Both children have to wear protective clothing and continue to receive daily treatment for their injuries.

People said “the children were turned into human fireballs".

Sheila Murray pulled Millie from the inferno while Gavin was rescued by neighbours, including Robert Sheehan. The children were rushed to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital before being transferred to Crumlin Childrens' Hospital. A statement from Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Crumlin, Dr David Orr said the children suffered life threatening burns and would have "severe permanent disfigurement".

The mother said "When they were coming off sedation, they were in terrible pain but I had to be there to support them. Most of the time I had to leave the room because I couldn't stand to watch anymore," "They will be scarred physically for the rest of their lives. I have to sit up most nights with Gavin as he gets bad nightmares.

"They are both frightened to sleep on their own so they sleep with me.
Michael wanted to go in and visit them and we discussed it at length. I thought it was a bad idea as the media did not know where he was, it would expose him to their hostility and it could be read totally the wrong way by seeing him going into a pediatric hospital so soon after the pedophilia case.

He wanted me to go in with him and I said I would go in alone and see how the children were as I used to work as a doctor in the hospital.

He continually asked me "were they in pain?" "would they be given morphine?" "how badly were they burned?" "will you go in and see them for me?" "would they be scarred?" "were they from a disadvantaged background?"  "why could he not go in to see them?"

Michael would say to me, "Why do you say those things Patrick, that I can't go in to see them?  You don't believe that I would ever harm children?"

He then told me a long story about how he had been set up by a certain company regarding his Santa Maria case to hand over shares (least said the better!)

I said "Michael, I don't believe you would ever harm a child!"

He said "Then, why don't you let me go into the hospital?"

I said "Because, your innocence will get you into trouble!"

He said "What innocence?"

I said "You know, your inability to see what the media would make of it, is the reason you are in trouble in the first place!"

He said "Do you think I would ever harm a child?"

I said “No!”

He said "You mean that from the bottom of your heart!"

I said "Michael, I think you are like a modern day Jesus Christ!"

He said "If Jesus was here now would you stop him?"

I thought for a minute and honestly said "No!"

Then he said "You never met Jesus and you do not know him as a person yet you would stand by him. You say you know me and you won't!  That is being a hypocrite!"

I said "Michael you are right!"

I still felt he should not go into the hospital and stood against it and I must say I regret it to this day that I did not walk beside him when he needed me most.

You know, the children have contacted me since through someone else and said one of the greatest moments in their lives was the fact Michael thought about them. 

We also have another child who got severely burned whose mother is involved in the conversation earlier who Michael is also helping beyond the grave.
" Beautiful being. Thank you so much for giving my child the signed photo. Coupled with the fact that both of them suffered head fires and he died on her birthday, we feel connected to him. He truly was one of the great humanitarians the world has ever seen.”

Mother of a burned child who loves Michael and shares a birthday with him.  Michael signed something for Patrick to give to her.  The child's name has been withheld to allow for privacy.

“Michael had a never-ending ability to surprise you with his honesty and his unique approach to life.”

Patrick Treacy
Billie Jean And The Boxes

"Billie Jean and boxes" was related to a science project that I did that many years ago with which I won both the British Amateur Young Scientist of the Year contest in the UK and the Aer Lingus Biochemist of the Year in the Republic of Ireland. The research project involved monitoring mung bean plants, which I discovered grew much larger when surrounded by sound waves of a specific frequency. The thinking behind the project was ahead of its time, especially for a young fourteen year-old.

My father believed in me and as we were not able to afford the scientific equipment, he personally hand-crafted the special acoustic boxes for the plants to grow in.  He did this by cutting down and making boxes from the advertising signage from outside our garage business.  Michael actually  thought it was important original early research about the effect of sound on plants and wanted to see and possibly buy the boxes (which I felt may actually be still at home!).

I joked with him about how I would have played 'Earth Song' to the mung-bean plants instead of using those mono wavelengths from an AFO (Audio Frequency Oscillator) had I have been aware of it at the time. He asked me how I thought the science behind it actually worked as he was very very interested in the concept of plants feeling sounds. I know he really wanted me to say they plants heard the sound, loved it and grew taller much like a child in a good middle class family. The ability of plants to decipher sound is a possibility but when I half-jokingly told him in a rather than the plants 'hearing' the sound it may be just that the sound waves were moving the soil particles and releasing 'ethane' gas, which is a known negative inhibitor he grew a little angry with me.

"Are you serious!" he said

"Yes, that was one of my explanations many years ago"

He then looked at me with those tea-bag eyes of his and said..

"Oh then...forget about Earth song!  Go and play them Billie jean at full blast ..that will certainly make them grow!!"

These misconceptions that were bought hook, line and sinker by the public and fueled by the media, ranged from Michael’s lifestyle, to his vocal integrity, to the very color of his skin.

It was obvious that Michael’s skin grew more pale during the mid 1980’s.  The media, in their frenzy to print anything Michael, without any proof, stated that Michael bleached his skin and changed his features to appear European.  Though there was no proof of this, the public, by now becoming more and more immune to the blurring lines of journalistic integrity, swallowed this lie whole, without question.

“It is well documented that in 1986, Michael was diagnosed with Vitiligo and Lupus,” states Treacy.  Treacy goes on to explain, “Vitiligo is a chronic disorder that causes depigmentation of patches of skin. It occurs when melanocytes, the cells responsible for skin pigmentation, die or are unable to function. The cause of vitiligo is unknown, but research suggests that is may arise from autoimmune, genetic, oxidative stress, neural, or viral causes.”

Michael’s Vitiligo has also been well documented and proven in the autopsy reports that were made public this past year (article link below)

The Autopsy Reveals The Truth

In addition to Vitiligo, Michael also suffered from another auto immune disease called Lupus.  “Lupus is a condition which affects different people in differing ways,” states Treacy.  “These vary from skin manifestations, to swollen joints to extreme fatigue. Both of these conditions made him sensitive to sunlight (hence the umbrella you saw him with every time he was outdoors) as the Vitiligo would may him susceptible to skin cancer, and his lupus could reactivate from remission. It is also well documented that he used topical medications to balance his different skin tones and these would also leave him susceptible to ultraviolet radiation effects.”

To learn more about the fallacies and the truths surrounding Michael's skin color changes and more, visit the Facts Versus Fiction page

Treacy and Jackson did stay in contact after Michael left Ireland, though he did not see Michael the last 2 years of his life after Michael returned to America.

Treacy intrinsically knew that Michael had died as soon as he heard rumors begin to circulate.  “It was the same feeling I had after the first plane hit the New York Trade Center tower.  Call it a spiritual feeling.  I just knew inside.”

“It was confirmed when TMZ broke the news.  The Irish and UK television stations also began to ring me, as there had been some headlines by reporter Paul Martin in the London papers a few days prior that Michael was coming over to see me.  That was the first time that people were aware that he was being seen as a patient in Ailesbury (Treacy’s clinic).  It had apparently been leaked by his staff, as we had never disclosed his association with the clinic at any time.  My immediate thoughts were for his children and the children’s nanny, Grace Rwaramba as I knew how close they were to him.”

“Emotionally,” said Treacy, “I felt a mixture of sadness and confusion and that a part of us all had passed with him.  I felt annoyed that the world never got a chance to get to know Michael as a person, and I hoped that he would find comfort and happiness in Heaven until we met together again.”

Some Memories & Reflections of Michael:

“Michael had a never-ending ability to surprise you with his honesty and his unique approach to life.” Patrick Treacy

Just Put Them On My Bill

Often, while Michael was in the clinic he would fill his pockets with some products from our best cosmocuetical ranges. The items could often cost up to $200 each and although he was not stealing, it was just the way he was. One day I got him sheepishly coming out of the glass room where we kept the supplies and I said to him "What have you got?!"

He took out bottles of Nicholas Perricone, Agera and Matriskin and assembled them all together on the counter

"Well, you certainly have good taste!" I retorted. "But, there'll be nothing left for any of the Irish ladies!"

"I'm sorry, Patrick" he said mischievously......"just put them on my bill!"

Like Father, Like Son

Some nights later, I was in Michael's house. It was a few nights before the 2006 World Music Awards in mid- November of that year. He was naturally worried as the event was going to be later broadcast to 160 countries including the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan, Southeast Asia, China, Africa and the Middle East. He was also terrified of having to meet the Queen.

We discussed meant things and as it got late, I went to find my jacket. It was a present bought for me by my mother who had recently died. After looking for it for a while, we found it on top of Blanket who had fallen asleep on the couch downstairs. Michael brought it up the stairs to me.

"I found it downstairs on the couch" he said.

"Blanket had fallen asleep with it covering him!"

I looked a little quizzical back at Michael, trying in a Sherlock Holmes manner to remember whether I had actually left it
downstairs when I had come in.

He misread my demeanor and quickly replied in a fake Irish accent

"Shure, he takes after his father!"

That London concert was the last live performance that Michael ever gave!
Photos that very clearly show Michael's Vitiligo
Lupus Butterfly Rash on cheeks
Michael and Nelson Mandela
A very spirited and spiritual performance of "Man in the Mirror" at the 1988 Grammy Awards (preceded by "The Way You Make Me Feel")
Michael holding an umbrella while outdoors