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Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Michael Jackson's Paedophilia

I love Michael Jackson's music. I've enjoyed his music since I heard him as a little kid and probably always will. He was an enormously talented man and has brought much joy to people's hearts with his music and dancing. I think it's wrong to ignore that and to stop his music from being played on radios and TV due to whatever kind of man he was. However, I think it's important that we don't ignore the kind of man he was and see Michael: The Artist vs Michael: The Man.

So yes, I watched Leaving Neverland and found it deeply moving and sad. This post will be a comment on that documentary but also assert why it is likely Michael was a serial child abuser, and why it's important to acknowledge this.

Celebrities don't deserve a free pass. The infamous case of OJ Simpson had lots of evidence to support the claim that Simpson murdered his wife and her lover. A simple question one could raise is who else could have done it? Blood was found on their clothes that matched OJ's. Jimmy Savile was a beloved British entertainer and a sexual predator. R Kelly still isn't in prison despite marrying and grooming an underage girl (age ain't nothing but a number? Great song, chilling message) and sexually abusing god knows how many other teenage girls.

Notice: in this picture Michael's hand is on a boy's thigh.
We need to stop putting celebrities on a pedestal and separating our feelings about their art from the people they are. Kubrick was a wonderful film director. He was also an arsehole who emotionally abused many who worked with him including Shelley Duvall. I read Miles Davis' autobiography when I was twelve; genius musician, awful guy. James Brown beat up his band members for arriving late. Ike Turner was a rapist but if not for him, Tina probably wouldn't be who she is.

But I am someone who believes that evidence and reason supersedes belief. An allegation is not evidence. Where is the evidence that Michael was a paedophile and people aren't just after his money or attention?

There have been several allegations against Michael over several years. There hasn't been a 'one-off' claim about Michael having sexually molested a child. Wade Robson and James Safechuck neither knew nor grew up around one another; they are two individual cases already against Michael. In 1993, allegations were made against Michael by Evan Chandler, claiming Michael had abused his thirteen year old son. In 2005, Michael was arrested and taken to court after claims that he had sexually abused Gavin Arvizo. (That's already four boys in different time periods). Different if it was just the one, but for there to be four people to have made allegations, two of which went to court and were a decade apart, how can suspicions not be raised? Plus, several of his workers including his former maid claimed to have seen Michael showering with a young boy or naked with boys in his bedroom.

Michael openly admitted to sharing his bed with children. What grown adult thinks it is ok to share their bed with children they are in no way related to? (Or as far as children that aren't their own). Your first thought would be 'fuck, I can't say I like sharing my bed with kids! People are gonna think I'm, like, a pedo or something!' Having children repeatedly stay at your house, sleep in your bed and spending exorbitant amounts of time with them is inappropriate and strange behaviour. But there is a reason of course...

Michael was abused himself as a child. Michael Jackson did not have a normal childhood, and it wasn't just because of his fame. His father beat him brutally and is said to have sexually abused his sisters. Michael may even have been sexually abused himself by either his father or someone around him. He was a child in an adult's world, singing about sexual love songs he had no comprehension of. This isn't an excuse, it's a valid explanation for the horribly fractured psychology of the King of Pop. Hence-

Michael was not right. I am uncertain as to whether he meant to inflict any harm upon the children. Probably he thought was he was doing was fine, although he knew in the eyes of the wider world that it wasn't accepted. Repeatedly insisting to the young boys that they shouldn't tell authority else they'd both go to jail means that, Michael was aware to a degree of what he was doing and knew that he was in control. Both Robson and Safechuck discussed isolation from their families and insistence from Michael that they couldn't trust anyone, especially women (some casual misogyny there?). Clearly Michael was a very sick man with a warped view of what was acceptable behaviour. He knew how to manipulate the media and the people around him by selling tales of love and sharing your bed with kids being 'a beautiful thing.'

His sister claimed Michael was a paedophile. LaToya Jackson spoke out against her brother in 1993, insisting that he had sexually molested children. She was ostracised from the family (I wonder why? The Jacksons evidently wanted to cover up their brother's crimes due to the shame and loss of money it would cost them) and later retracted her claims.

Michael settled the lawsuits with big bucks. That alone really should be telling that something wasn't right. If you were innocent you would have nothing to prove. Paying the families large sums of money to 'settle' the lawsuits doesn't scream innocence, it screams bribery.

Michael stated he loved 'all children', yet was often pictured with young boys, not girls. Michael spent a great deal of time with young boys as 'travelling companions'. Never girls, just boys, and always very young. Was this not strange? Again, the star quality and loving ethos of the KOP made people see a kind man who loved kids. I'm not in a position to say whether or not he was a good or bad guy; we all have light and dark shades within us. But this classic case of grooming with gifts, emotional seduction and making the children all feel 'special' screams predatory behaviour, not pure friendly innocence.

So, why is all of this important? It is important because we as a society need to stop putting celebrities on pedestals and realize they are flawed humans. If Michael was a poor black man from Detroit who was accused of sexually molesting boys, he'd have gone to prison in a heartbeat. Money really does talk and fame can cloud people's judgement.

And the most important reason: the victims. I think it's extremely sad that people would rather defend a paedophile (when the case against him outweighs his defense) than listen to the victims. Yes, people can lie of course and this is why allegations need to be taken seriously and investigated. Based on all the evidence plus the way this has escalated, I think it's almost a given that MJ was a paedophile, and that Robson and Safechuck were telling the truth. These two brave men have come forward and admitted to things that will likely haunt them forever. No one wants to admit they've been a victim of any kind of abuse, least of all sexual abuse in childhood.

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I'm Zarina Macha, an author, blogger, and musician from London. I write about stuff on the internet 'cos having opinions is fun -- if you want to join the games, please note your thoughts below. All thoughts welcome, even if they're mean (just no spam links please -- can't tell you what a liability those are to remove).
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