I really wanted to believe that Michael Jackson was just a harmless eccentric.
I really did.
But I started doubting it after I read the declaration that was provided by the 13-year-old (J. Chandler) that alleged Jackson molested him 10 years ago. At the time, it seemed like the father was just trying to extort money from Jackson to make the accusation go away. Money changed hands (estimated at $20 million, although the exact figure is not known). The case didn’t go to trial ultimately because the boy refused to testify.
The Smoking Gun has a copy of the Chandler boy’s statement, which I have read. The tone of the declaration, the details presented, combined with my evaluation of Jackson’s psychology, make me believe the accusations were true.
California law has changed since then (largely because of that specific case), and kids can now essentially be forced to take the stand. Michael’s money can’t protect him this time.
A lot of the rumors about him are, indeed, false. But it is apparent that he was abused as a child by his father, definitely physically (his own father, Joe, stated as much in an interview, and split hairs as well: “I never beat him. I whipped him with a switch and a belt. I never beat him. You beat someone with a stick”), probably emotionally. I do not think it was sexual abuse. But obviously as a boy, Michael was under a lot of pressure and stress with his brothers to get rich and famous with their talent. Joe Jackson was determined to make those kids into his meal ticket.
Of the kids, only Michael and Janet turned out to have any real talent. Janet’s is significant, but is eclipsed by the extraordinary gift that Michael has for song and dance. I like his music, and I do believe he is one of the premier musical talents of our time.
He has always expressed an intense interest in the welfare of children, donating large amounts of money to humanitarian causes that help kids all over the world, and inviting terminally ill kids (and others) to his sprawling theme park home at Neverland Ranch. He has a childlike quality of his own, an innocence and naivete that is at times difficult to believe.
I think Michael has spent his life in search of the childhood he was denied. This could be both a symptom and a cause of his extreme gullibility and self-indulgence. He is reportedly quite intelligent, and capable of some shrewd self-marketing. But as time went on, he grew to rely more and more on people around him to handle things (such as his money). These people were not always honest, and thieves and con men gravitated to him like sharks scenting blood.
He became wealthy at an early age, and likely got used to just pointing at something he wanted and being accustomed to getting it. People who have been close to him say that he doesn’t accept being told he can’t have or can’t do something. So he surrounds himself with yes-men, who steal from him even as they hide his dwindling fortune and his overextended credit.
He also has an obsession with his physical appearance. Regardless of his various claims, it is obvious that he has had numerous plastic surgeries to alter the shape of his face (not just his nose). The distinctively “black” facial features he had as a child (dark skin, full lips, broad nose) are gone, replaced by a thin, pointy nose, thinned, wide lips, a dimpled chin, sharp cheekbones, and very light skin.
Some people accuse him of “trying to be white”. Michael himself says he is pursuing a personal ideal of beauty. Both could certainly be true. He has said before that he has vitiligo, a rare skin disorder that causes melanin production to be erratic, resulting in blotchy white patches on his otherwise dark skin. That may be true. It may not. But presumably he has a choice of whether to use light or dark makeup to conceal this.
Concomitant with this concern over his appearance is a marked tendency toward extremely gaudy, flashy, or just plain odd clothes. He often wears gloves, and usually wears a mask of some kind over his face in public. At times it is a surgical mask-type thing, other times it’s a silken veil or some other fashionable material. I don’t know what the motive for this is, but he also goes to great lengths to avoid being photographed except when HE decides to be photographed. He is very secretive and reclusive, in ways that go far beyond the prudence of someone extremely famous.
Because Michael has been able to exist into his adult years (he is 45 this year) in such an isolated, controlled environment, he has maintained a pathological immaturity. His quest for childhood is the driving force that sustains it, and external influencing forces are kept at a minimum.
He seeks out children for peers, rather than adults, and has been so desperate for kids of his own that he now has 3 by two different women. One of these women remains an unknown and unseen surrogate. It’s unclear whether these kids even share any of Michael’s DNA. The one he dangled over a railing in Germany had very light, Caucasian skin. He keeps these kids covered up, too. Their faces have not been seen, to my knowledge.
Someone like this, having normal adult sexual drives, would incorporate that sexuality into the immature psychology. His emotional attachments, his affections, are directed almost exclusively at children. It is, therefore, not unbelievable that his sexual urges would be directed to kids as well.
I think in Michael’s mind this is not harmful or ill-intentioned. He has stated he would never, ever harm a child in any way. I think he means that. But I also think that he is in denial about the harm he does to them with his sexual advances. He genuinely loves children and seeks to form affectionate, loving bonds with them.
He knows on some level, though, that this is not appropriate. He has explicitly denied in interviews that he has ever had any sexual contact with a child. His Neverland Ranch is a private enclave where his own bedroom is concealed and no one is allowed inside. The children’s guest bedroom has only one exit, which goes through Michael’s bedroom before continuing to the rest of the house.
He plies the children (and their families) with lavish gifts of money, cars, and other material goods. Certainly these could be innocent gifts of friendliness from a man with a ton of money, but the fact that the kids are the ones invited for pajama parties — alone with no adult supervision except Michael himself — is obviously suspicious.
Even after the accusations 10 years ago, he did not stop inviting kids to his home for parties, and continued to show an unusually strong interest in interacting with small children. It doesn’t look parental, when you watch video of him.
These are all classic pedophile behaviors; giving children gifts, inventing ways to be alone with them such as having sleepovers and camping trips with no other adults around, trying to be a child’s friend/peer rather than a parental figure such as an uncle. I would guess that Michael has engaged in some of the other typical behaviors, too, such as asking the kids to keep the abuse a secret, even from their parents.
It is also true that pedophiles sometimes view their activities as loving and harmless, as a natural continuation of affection for kids. Some allege that the kids come on to them, rather than the other way around. It will be interesting to see if Michael makes any such claim.
I predict that Michael Jackson will commit suicide at some point during these criminal proceedings, perhaps upon the rendering of a guilty verdict (if such is made). My mother believes he will try but fail. My vote is for a drug overdose.
[Kyle adds]: Me being me, I can’t resist riffing a sociopolitical point off the above. A key aspect of mature adult psychology is a sense of limitations. The adult world is one of limits, trade-offs, opportunity costs and cost-benefit ratios. Adults understand that they can’t have everything they want, and because of that they learn to arrange their values hierarchically and work to achieve them as best they can within the restrictions posed by the resources available to them. Children focus on “I want.” Adults move on to other questions like “How much will it cost me? Is it worth it? What alternatives are precluded by pursuing this?” And so on. If a child gets too many of the things it wants without grasping the true effort needed to obtain them, the adult questions (and corresponding modes of reasoning) play a much less significant role in their psychology. The result is arrested psychological development.
In other words, your parents were right when they said that failure builds character.
Now, the sociopolitical point. One of the things I find striking about many activists on the left is how immature they seem. Their protests often look like temper tantrums writ large. (Thankfully today’s protests in Britain didn’t seem to fall into that category; good for them.) And the left’s political program sounds like a child’s Christmas list — lots of expensive goodies without any consideration of whether Daddy/the taxpayer is capable of working enough to pay the credit card bills when they come due in January.
This probably explains why I often wish I could grab the leftist-du-jour, smack them in the head and say “Oh, grow up.”
(Thomas Sowell wrote more extensively on these issues in his excellent book The Vision of the Anointed, which I recommend to anyone who has ever talked to a leftist and walked away wondering “What they hell are they thinking?”)