As I mentioned earlier in the "Please Read" section of the website, this project taught me so much. I learned so much more about Michael and who he truly was than I ever imagined. I got a true feel for his soul, his character, his personality. I started to be able to really see him as the sensitive, caring human being that he was and not just the mysterious man behind immense talent. I also learned so much about human nature, loyalty, who your real friends are, as well as learning a lot about myself.
This is where I take off my journalist's hat and replace it with my completely human hat. I feel that, on this page, I need to speak my mind and share my own thoughts and observations about the research I've done.
I've been asked why I am doing this. What my purpose is? Why I am putting my heart and soul into a project that I am not going to earn anything monetary for the effort? (This project is completely not-for-profit). Why I would work nearly 24 hours a day on something I won't earn anything from?
I'll tell you what I have told all of those who have asked. Because, it's very important. Truth is very important. Because there are more important things than money. Like truth, honesty and caring about other people.
I did not want to capitalize on Michael's untimely passing nor his pain or the pain of his family. I simply wanted to get information out there which I feel is vitally important. We have been judging this man for way too long on things that were not true and on other things that didn't matter (his appearance, for instance). We have been ignoring all of the things that do matter....how he helped work to change things in this world, how he gave of himself to help those who were hurting and so much more.
I have felt that this is something that I am meant to do and something that is a labor of love for me and that comes truly from my heart. I have never felt so strongly about a project I've worked on before nor have I ever worked on anything that challenged me mentally, physically and emotionally as this project has. In the end though, it has all been worth it. Because to do something for another human being and to do what's right, is in itself, it's own reward. To be honest, I've never gotten this much fulfillment from any project I've ever worked on, including the many I've been paid to do.
I see him as one of us. A fellow human being with all of the insecurities and doubts that we all have. I felt his struggles and his pain. I celebrated his joy with that incredible, contagious laugh that he had. You couldn't help but laugh along with him. Brooke Shields, at the memorial, mentioned his laugh and described it as pure joy. When you hear him laugh, you understand.
At a job I worked at years ago, there was a new female co-worker that joined the company. I remember at first feeling somewhat intimidated by her because she carried herself in such a way that she seemed almost myserious to me. Turns out we became good friends while we worked at that job and when I got to know her, all of that mystery went away. I took the time to get to know who she really was and it was as if a light shone on her true character, soul and personality.
That is the same thing that has happened as I have done the extensive and sometimes exhausting research into finding out who Michael Jackson really was and is.
One thing that struck me was how he got his ideas. How he created. I think we all tend to think of someone like Michael Jackson having this very elaborate creation process. But in truth, seeing him up in his giving tree and knowing that brother Jermaine mentioned that he wrote many songs sitting up in that tree, and seeing him in one of his home movies showing how he originally was going to create a western theme for the video for "Smooth Criminal" while he showed us how he walked the grounds of Neverland rehearsing ideas with a camera man for the video, just brought so much normalcy and such a human element to how he created some of the music and videos that held us captive and touched so many around the globe.
I really started to realize just how normal and human he was and it really woke me up to the fact that Michael was a fellow human being, a man who was given enormous talent and genius, and he had to work that out in his life. Growing up in the midwest myself, I also felt a certain kinship with him. I realized just how much alike we are and how much alike all of us are and how we are all connected. He was no different than you and I other than the talent he was given and how candid he could be. He wasn't afraid of that.
When you start to get a feel for who Michael (or Mike as many close to him called him) was, you can't help but feel a sense of caring, love and admiration for him. Not because of his talent, but because of his soul. I had a sense of connecting to his sensitivity as I am a sensitive person myself. You also can't help but feel a sense of frustration and anger for all that he went through.
I wanted to touch more on some of the subjects brought up in this project and on this website and give you my perspective on them. I also think that when you truly give things thought and understand the reason behind them, understanding comes and things become so much clearer and make sense. It is SO important to think things through and to try to understand and not just judge as a knee jerk reaction to things we hear and really know nothing about.
The Veils and Masks on his kids:
This was constantly reported and shown by media to make Michael appear as strange as they wanted us to believe he was. Both Michael himself and Debbie Rowe explained the reason.
Michael did not want his kids to go through what he had gone through with the media and papparazzi. He didn't want his kids identities known because they would then be constantly followed and hounded, like he was. He was also afraid of them being kidnapped, which, for a star of the magnitide that he was, could have been a very real worry and fear for him. Many celebrities shield their child's faces when out in public and the worry of media or papparazzi is around them. This was no different. He had 3 children to protect and was a single parent much of the time. When you really think about it, it makes sense.
Kids Sleeping in the Bed or in his Room/His pure love for children
Please read Michael's essay on Beliefnet about his faith, childhood and children
For many, Michael admitting sharing his bed with children or sleeping in the same room was a shocking revelation and made them uneasy. It became a main focal point that ended up putting him through what many describe as easily the worst possible times of his life.
I have spent a lot of time thinking on this from all angles and I realize that though this is not necessarily considered normal by many, to Michael, I feel, it came from an honest desire to care about and fellowship with kids. He stated several times that there was nothing sexual about this. To someone who may have only watched the documentary and the news, this would have been branded as worrisome and criminal. For someone else who would delve deeper and get to know who Michael was, what he stood for and what was so important for him (he honestly did, according to himself and those who knew him, live for children and desired to make the world a better place for them), this would not have seemed as shocking. You have to look at it through his eyes. A man who was cast into the spotlight at the tender age of 5 and who by his own admission, suffered a lot in his own childhood, which led him to being able to fully feel the pain of other children who were hurting, who had less than ideal childhoods, who were ill. He actually felt and related to their pain. He wanted to be able to show them innocent care and love and give them a sense of reassurance and comfort.
In the Bashir documentary, Michael, getting more and more frustrated with where Bashir was leading the questioning about his relationship with children, told Bashir, in response to his views on children, that "that's because you have not been where I have been, mentally." When I first heard that, it made sense to me, though I didn't fully understand it until I heard the now infamous "tapes" made public by the rabbi Shmuley Boteach. When Michael, in those tapes, went in-depth about the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father and the depth of his own desire to feel loved and cared about, it all started to make much more sense to me. Michael had, in his own childhood, felt helpless, hurt and a sense of loss. When he saw children who exhibited those same feelings, whether it be due to celebrity, family situations or illness, Michael felt a special place in his heart for them and wanted to offer them a sense of normalcy, comfort, caring and love. He wanted to hug and comfort them the way he wished he had been hugged and comforted as a child. He wanted to make them feel safe and loved. He wanted to help heal their wounds. The same wounds that he himself struggled with. I think it's also important to note that Michael did forgive his father. You can read more about Michael's relationship with his father in the In His Own Words section of this website, which relates about their relationship in Michael's own words.
Author Geraldine Hughes, who wrote the book "Redemption" about the 1993 allegations against Michael and who was witness to the extortion, is also a missionary and she spoke to me about how she has girls that she is helping come over and they sit on her bed and watch television and that by the girls feeling comfortable and safe, they begin to open up to her and she can help them. This is the same thing that Michael was doing. Geraldine also speaks about Michael, after the 1993 allegations, having a "supervisor" who was with him at all times when he was with children, to protect Michael from further accusations, and this supervisor also slept in the room, on the floor with Michael, when Gavin and his brother slept in Michael's room. She also mentioned that Gavin and his brother did not sleep in the room with Michael until after DA Tom Sneddon met with Janet Arvizo, in trying to make a case against Michael. It was only then, according to Hughes, that Gavin and his brother started begging to sleep in Michael's room with him. This is a little-known fact and you can read more about it in my interview with Geraldine in The Accusations section of this website.
R.M. Daniels explained a similar circumstance of abuse with her own mother and how her mother to this day has a special bond with children:
"My mother was abused as a child and like Mr. Michael, children are her world. She worked as a nurse on the pediatrics floor in the hospital in town for decades. My niece is 7 years old and my Mom can talk to her like no one else can. She has this special kind of bond with little ones like Michael Jackson did. There are times I find my Mom `odd' because I don't always get why she feels so strongly towards children as she does, but she is the BEST mother anyone could ever wish for. All she wants is to treat children like how she WASN'T treated as a child. I feel that that is how Mr. Jackson must've felt. There were times when I was scared during the night so I'd run into my parents' bedroom and sleep in bed with them. More than likely Michael Jackson never had the chance to do that. I believe with Mr. Jackson being so phenomenal ... so larger than life he was an idol to these kids. If I was there I would've followed him everywhere he went. I'd be glued to his hip.
I can only imagine how these children felt. I don't condone his behavior with having the little ones in his bed especially after the 1st trial. I feel that better judgment could've been utilized on his part since there was such fanatical speculation by those around him not to mention the world (please read Geraldine Hughes' interview for more enlightenment on the subject of Michael allowing children into his room after 1993). And if people truly felt that MJ was capable of doing something like that ... why in god's name did they send their kids there? Kids and parents arriving at Netherland Valley Ranch in DROVES. The kindness and hospitality that was shown to these complete strangers ... they repaid him by accusing him of sexually molesting their child then demanded millions. He (Michael) went through hardships when he was a youngster; therefore, he could relate to their pain that he also experienced at that time."
You also have to look at all of the other incredible things he did for children around the world in honestly caring for them from his heart and soul. When you see this, you can see that this was not a man who had anything other than children's best interests at heart.
When Michael was small, instead of sleeping some nights, he was out playing clubs (some of them strip clubs) with his brothers. At times, he was woken up from sleep to have to get dressed and go to a gig. He rehearsed all of the time and said many times he wished he could just go and play on the playground with the other kids.
It has also been reported that Michael and his brothers growing up, due to their living in a very small home, slept together/shared a bed at times and when it was cold, sometimes had to cuddle up together for warmth. Michael had also previously stated in interviews that that's how he grew up. To him, people sleeping in one bed together was not seen as abnormal or strange or sexual. In fact, in other countries, like Japan, parents and children sleep together and it is not seen as abnormal at all. It is my belief that Michael saw himself as an equal/friend or a big brother/uncle/father to the children.
In many ways, he retained a child-like awe of the world around him and was very much child-like in that way. So for him to spend the night in the same room as a child reading books, tucking them in and waking up at dawn and taking an air balloon ride was all part of his way of looking at the world with childlike wonder and a desire to show kids pure, honest love. In many ways, he seemed still a kid himself in that respect.
I honestly feel that his interaction with children was done out of innocence and a desire to care for children. To show them that adults can be caring and loving. I think the depths of which he cared about children was rare. He also had had experiences in his life that were not pleasant, and he could relate to children that were hurting. He felt their pain and was sensitive to it, much the same way that one cancer survivor, for instance, can relate to another cancer survivor.
If you would read his books, both "Moonwalk" and especially "Dancing the Dream", you can clearly see how much he truly cares about kids and you can see his soul bared out on paper. If anything, he had an obsession with helping kids and feeling their pain and wanting to do something to help them and not an obsession with kids in a disturbing way. Michael was also a very spiritual person and you can see much of that in the poems he wrote, words he spoke and much of the way he conducted his life.
I think the single most important thing to understanding better is to try to put yourself in Michael's place, with his life experiences and his intense level of caring for children, and try to see it from his eyes.
His Mom Katherine also mentioned in a television interview that when Michael was small, they were watching a television show about kids in Africa and the kids had flies all around their mouths and she said Michael started crying and told her that when he got older, he was going to do something about that. He simply had a deep heart for children and wanted to help them and found inspiration in them.
As a society, our mind immediately goes to sex. We hear "bed" and it translates to "sex". I honestly don't think it did for him.
There are times that I sit on our bed and cuddle with our cats. Our dog sleeps in our bed with us. Kids, after having a nightmare, will oftentimes run to their parents' bed for comfort. Bed does not mean "sex" or "sexual". I think Michael Jackson's desire to show pure love to children was much the same.
Again, read his poetry in "Dancing the Dream." His honest, pure sense of caring and love for kids is so evident.
Listen to Part 3 of the Oxford University speech where Michael talks about children and his own father (find this on the Michael In Video page). He speaks about how his father was uncomfortable with showing emotion because that's the way he was raised, and he spoke of wishing so badly that his father would have done the things with him that children love to do....piggyback rides, playing games. He said in that speech that he forgave his father and that he knew that his father loved him. Deep down, I think that he was trying to show other hurting kids love by doing those things with them that his father didn't do...playing games, water balloon fights and reading bedtime stories. He was also, most likely in many ways, trying to heal his own wounds and fill the gap of the things he missed being able to do.
One other thing I wanted to point out was that in the documentary which showed Evan Chandler and his brother and sister all goofing off with Michael, there seemed to be no sense of uncomfortableness around him at all, which would be evident if there was sexual abuse going on. The relationship appeared to be that of an uncle/nephew/niece bond. The kids were completely at ease around Michael and you could tell they felt comfortable and safe with him, something they would not feel if they were being forced into any kind of sexual relationship or inappropriate conduct.
Michael also, on numerous occassions and interviews, mentions wanting to emulate both God and Jesus because the Bible mentions being more childlike (having the faith of a child) and taking care of and loving the children. I believe in my heart that that is what he was trying to honestly do and that was a driving force for him in how he cared for children and what he saw in them. In today's society though, it comes across as very strange and unusual. Jesus called the children unto him even after his disciples told them to flee. He knew showing love to the children was important. He had them come and sit on his lap. Could you imagine the kind of controversy that might draw today?
Though Neverland was a place that Michael had loved and created for himself and also to bring joy to underpriveledged and ill children, Michael, it was reported, grew to hate Neverland once it had been raided by police. Neverland was raided twice after each allegation and it was also the place that in 1993, Michael was subjected to a humiliating strip search. According to interviews with family members, including a recent Associated Press interview done with Michael's nephew, Taj Jackson (son of Tito), Taj stated that after his child molestation trial, Michael came to hate the place and said that the trial had destroyed the magic for him. "Neverland was never an option to us," he said (Taj was one of the family members who fought against a Neverland burial). "It brought so much pain to him."
The Strip Search:
I remember seeing the original broadcast from Neverland of Michael speaking of the humiliating strip search in 1993. I have also seen it again in my research and have included it on The Accusations portion of this website.
My heart always went out to Michael when I saw that testimony because it would be a humiliating experience for anyone. Imagine having to stand up on a platform in front of strangers, completely naked, having photographs taken of all of the private areas of your body.
I felt another layer of deeper understanding on this subject when I heard some of the "tapes" by the rabbi where Michael speaks of his father's rough discipline and how his father would make him strip down naked first before whipping him. Suddenly, when I heard that, I felt even more pain for Michael and a deeper level of understanding about how difficult this strip search must have been for him.
When I had read about the strip search originally, I remember reading how emotional Michael was, and that was very understandable to me on a very basic level. Having to feel so exposed and helpless would make anyone emotional.
After hearing about the rough discipline he endured, I came to feel that not only was this humiliating from a basic human perspective, but it occurred to me that maybe on another level, in addition to the basic humiliation and anger of being accused for something you didn't do and having to be naked in front of strangers and be photographed, that maybe this also was even more difficult for Michael due to the reminder of having to strip down naked for discipline. As a child, he said in the tapes he felt helpless and gave up, feeling there was nothing he could do. He was being hurt and humiliated and felt helpless. Then, for the strip search, he was on a platform, again naked, humiliated and hurt and being judged unfairly for something he didn't do. This, of course, is my own feeling on this and I can only surmise, but it was something that really hit me after getting a fuller picture of Michael's life experiences.
The Bias of the Documentary:
From the get-go of this documentary you could see an obvious slant towards making Michael out to be strange.
When he comes down from his giving tree (the tree he climbed in Neverland and a place he wrote many songs), he tells Bashir that he loves climbing trees and that is one of his favorite things to do. Immediately, Bashir questions him, asking him in a shocked way, if he prefers that over making love! Completely ridiculous. It would be the same as someone who would tell you that one of their favorite things to do is garden, and you condemn them verbally by insinuating that it's strange and you bring up instead, sex! What did one have to do with the other?
There were other things that bothered me as well.
If you watch "Living With Michael Jackson, Take Two" a rebuttal to the documentary that Michael Jackson made and which was hosted by Maury Povich, you will see that Michael had his own cameras rolling during the interviews (which Bashir knew about) and you will clearly see things that were edited out to slant the documentary towards a certain viewpoint, which was very negative. Watch the videos on this site under "Documentary"
There is also the scene in Germany where Michael is to appear at an awards show. He hears his name announced and with the entire program being in German, he starts to head out to the stage. It was a mistake as this cue was for someone else involved in the project first. Michael is told to get down and crouches down on the stairs. Bashir's comment? "This was incredibly excruciating for all of us." Excruciating? It was a simple mistake. He wasn't given the right cue and the whole program was in German. We are all human and make mistakes. I've been backstage at many concerts and have seen mistakes happen and you just roll with it. It can even be humerous at times. We all need to learn to laugh at ourselves more.
Parts 8 and 9 of the Documentary:
You can easily see in Part 8 in the line of questioning that Michael had to endure, that he was becoming uneasy. You can see how things were being pursued and twisted and you could see in Michael's face and in his eyes, a recognition that this man he had trusted, who said so many nice things to him when his cameras were rolling and had assured him that he would not twist his words and say awful things about him (all clips which were cut out of the documentary but that you can see in the rebuttal show), was betraying him as he sat there. It was painful to watch. He knew that once again, he was being exploited, belittled, betrayed. I could feel his pain. To have finally trusted someone to tell your life story and to share who you really are, after turning down numerous requests because of what had happened to him so many times in the past with the media, and to let down his guard and realize that it was all happening again and in a big way, had to be completely horrifying and painful for Michael.
On Michael's change of appearance:
Though Michael admits to a few plastic surgery procedures, so much has been written about a complete metamorphosis of his face.
I've looked back at photos and to be honest, though he looks different, there don't seem to be as many differences as are always being reported.
I also want to bring to light a couple of things.
One, Michael mentioned about his face changing as he grew and matured, which happens to all of us.
He also suffered from vitiligo and went from a pretty dark brown/black skintone to a very pale white. That alone would cause a person's appearance to seem "altered". See the photos below of a man who suffers from vitiligo and how much his appearance changed after the skin color changed so dramatically: He looks like a different person.
Isn't it possible that Michael's change of appearance could have been due, in part, to the dramatically different skin color due to his vitiligo? See below.
Please check out the "Facts Vs. Fiction" tab to see much more on vitiligo and Michael's changing appearance.
There is of course all of the controversy over his plastic surgery. He has admitted to altering his nose, but not a lot else.
Part of the dramatic change in his appearance, is from the change in skin color. As any makeup artist or interior design professional knows, light colors make things seem larger and dark colors make them recede. It would only make sense that a lighter skin tone would also change the general appearance of Michael's face, much as it did the photo of the man who also suffered Vitiligo, above.
The different hairstyle also accounts for a change of appearance. Who hasn't gone and gotten their hair cut diferently or styled differently and had it appear as if the change of their entire face was different due to the new angles that the haircut brought out?
When all is said and done though, does it really matter? People choose to do things every day to change their appearance. Though I believe that the stories of his plastic surgeries were blown way out of proportion, I feel at the same time that Michael deserved his privacy and to have a private life outside of the public eye and how many surgeries he had or didn't have, was really none of our business.
I have had people say to me that everything that he did was our business because he was in the spotlight, but I have to ask if anyone else can see how ridiculous that claim is?
Simply because someone is in the public eye does not give the public, or the media, the right to strip them of their privacy and does not give us the right to know anything and everything personal about them. They are still human beings who deserve a private life. We do not own them.
The Ridiculous Claims
In my research, I have come across so many ridiculous claims and tabloid stories, many of them about Michael's appearance or about the accusations that came against him. To give you an idea of how crazy some of these stories were...there was a story that ran in a London newspaper/tabloid about the 1993 allegations and a book that was being written about them. The story mentioned that the boy's father had allegedly walked in on his son sleeping in bed with Michael, and finding Michael's hand on the boy's crotch. The father's reaction? He said he was confused and thought his son might be gay,so he decided it was best to walk out of the room and just come back and talk with them later. What? I don't think there is a father out there who, if they found this situation, wouldn't have woken up the man in question, beat him up and asked questions later. To tell us that you would walk out of the room and deal with it at another time doesn't make any sense.This same story claimed that the boy's father also witnessed Michael following his son everywhere, including into the bathroom many times and he apparently allowed it, not saying anything. This is just a sampling of how unbelievable the stories that are out there, are. What parent would see an adult following their child into the bathroom numerous times and not say anything? Another story claimed that the mom of one of the boys saw Michael licking the head of her baby on an airplane, much like a cat would groom another cat, and she saw it and apparently did nothing and didn't question it. Yet, these very accusers asked us to believe their stories of molestation when they are sharing with us things that are very unbelievable if not ridiculous, not to mention what you find when you go into the history of these very same people. Please read The Accusations pages of this website and the interviews done with those who know the cases, who were there and who offer an enlightening look at what really happened.
The Jacko name-calling
I have to admit, every time I see any kind of publication, online, on the air, or in print, referring to Michael as "Jacko" or "Wacko Jacko", it angers me and makes me sad. First, it's very disrespectful. As Michael said in an interview, "I am not Jacko, I'm Jackson." To this day, there are still many publications that keep referring to Michael as "Jacko". It seems a ploy to keep going the negative image that they have been so pivotal in creating. They continue to pursue this unethical line of name-calling even after his death, which is really very disheartening. Michael, like all of us, was a human being. If you want to refer to him, call him by his name. Either Michael Jackson, Michael or, as last names are often used in the media, "Jackson". Please be respectful.
It was very evident that Michael loved his kids dearly, and they loved him just as dearly in return. Michael was a good father and everybody that knew him reaffirmed that. In my opinion, no matter what speculation is going on in regards to this subject or who comes forth with different stories, the truth of the matter doesn't change. Michael was and always will be, the father of Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket and that, despite anything we will hear, is all that really matters. As an interesting side note, Prince, Michael's eldest son, reportedly has vitiligo as well.
I don't think it's a secret that many of us see around us on a daily basis, a definite sense of bias in much of the media today. There are respected journalists out there and I have many friends and acquaintances in the field. But I honestly don't think it shocks or surprises anyone when I say that the media is definitely, as a whole, biased.
In regards to Michael Jackson, the media had a heydey.
When you look at the reality of how things were, versus what was being reported, it is somewhat shocking.
Take a look at all of Michael's charitable contributions under "accomplishments" as well as his musical and dance accomplishments. Look at all of the suffering children he helped throughout the years and the money he gave to charities he believed in. The little boy who needed a liver in order to survive that Michael personally worked diligently to help find him that liver and that his foundation paid for the operation in full. The reaching out he did to help others. How hard he worked to bring us entertainment using gifts that he acknowledged were from God. This man was awarded upwards of 197 major awards in his lifetime both for career and humanitarian efforts.
Did the media report on those things? No! They instead focused on his appearance, speculating on how many surgeries he had or didn't have. Speculating that he wanted to become a white man and was bleaching his skin, ignoring the fact that he had been diagnosed with a skin disorder that causes lack of pigment. I can only imagine the kind of pain that must have caused him personally to be suffering from a disease and then have the public and the media accussing you of doing something to cause what a disease was causing in your body and appearance.
What about the bias of reporting that went on during Michael's 2005 child molestation trial? The media reported only what favored their view of making him look guilty because, it was good for ratings!
Never mind that a man's very soul and character were at stake here.
As you'll find under "the accusations" there is much to the contrary and from talking with those who knew Michael and from looking at all of the truth in these cases, you will most likely come to the conclusion, as I did, that Michael was not guilty of the heinous crimes he was accused of. Can you imagine what that did to a man's soul to be accused of such things when it was so against his nature?
You will have to reach your own conclusions of course. My job was to present information, evidence and facts and not speculation and rumor. The truth is out there if you want to see it and if you're open to it. Many will not be as they have come to rely on only what they hear and see regularly on the news. Michael himself said in an interview that if you hear a lie often enough, you start to believe it.
We need to wake up as a society and realize that we need to stop listening to, and believing, the lies.
In this case, it could very well have cost a man not only his happiness, but his very life.