By Kay Ebeling
I can’t help but wonder just how bad the boys who ended up in Michael Jackson’s bed feel right now, hearing everyone in the United States except Sean Hannity rave about how great Jackson was, and how it can't be possible for such a loving man to have been a pedophile.
As an adult victim of a pedophile priest, I will always see Jackson as another example of wealth and power protecting a criminal. Jackson had free access to children, as did the priests in the Catholic Church, even though people around him could see something wrong was happening, no one dared intervene. Today pundits, in this endless brain fry of "news" about Jackson’s death, keep saying since Jackson was found not guilty, you can’t call him a pedophile. Well OJ was found not guilty of murder in California too. After Jackson’s acquittal, two jurors said they were intimidated into going along with the foreman, and then went on book tours, one telling MSNBC: “No doubt in my mind whatsoever, that boy was molested.”
My fear now is that this gradual condoning of Jackson's sex crimes will segue into a gradual acceptance that, sure, a lot of Catholic priests are pedophiles, but look at all the great works they do.
Until this morning I was not going to write about the parallels in the protection of pedophile Michael Jackson and the Catholic Church. Then Stephanie Miller postulated on radio that maybe Jackson had been condemned unfairly the last years of his life. Miller’s cohort responded, “Jackson even said himself, when he had boys stay in bed with him, it was innocent, just like a sleepover for kids. Michael Jackson was just a kid himself.”
No, he was not a child trapped in a grown up body. Jackson was an astute businessman, with vast wealth and power since age 12, and no one was able to tell him no, including doctors, as we saw in his death. He was surrounded for decades by burly Black Muslim guards, and what went on inside his confines was paid for and secret. I'm sure his victims felt about as good seeing the endless display of adoration in the media the last weeks as we pedophile priest victims feel when we see Catholics continuing to brainlessly adore their church leaders and insist there were only a few isolated incidents of pedophilia among Catholic priests.
When the Santa Barbara District Attorney saw the documentary Living with Michael Jackson in 2003, where the singer describes his love for little boys, the DA brought charges against the superstar, and began to prosecute him a second time for pedophilia. (At the bottom of the blog today, watch the portion of the Martin Bashir film that sparked charges against Jackson. )
"To my utter astonishment I found out children were still sleeping over, sometimes in his house, sometimes in his bedroom." - Martin Bashir
Even Jackson’s way of explaining the overnight stays sounds way too much like documents I've read in several cases filed by plaintiffs against the Catholic Church. Pedophiles often describe their actions as pure love for a child. Michael Baker and Anthony Rodrigue are two priests from the L.A. Clergy Cases who have claimed, I just loved those boys, that's all it was. I was giving them this special kind of love.
This acceptance of Michael Jackson's crimes could lead to an acceptance of pedohpiles in mainstream society, an acceptance that yes that priest teacher coach scout is a pedophile, but look at all the wonderful things he’s done for children at the same time. He is just about love, nothing but love, it must be true about Michael Jackson, Brooke Shields said so.
Somehow I think in the last week pedophiles took a kind of comfort hearing the glowing love pour out for Michael Jackson after his death, knowing the door had just been nudged open a little bit wider for the public to start accepting all the pedophiles with their innocent sexual weirdness.
Truthfully, in Jackson's case, I think he himself was a victim and his life a one-time fluke, in that respect there is no parallel here with Catholic priests.
When he saw the documentary (screening at bottom of blog) where Jackson describes his love for boys, the Santa Barbara DA pressed charges.
Word is Jackson's parents gave him female hormones way back at around age 10 or 11, to keep his voice from changing, which could be true, because that would be in the 1960s when the birth control pill (hormones) had just been put on the prescription market, and people experimented more back then. There was less regulation and you could easily get prescriptions that are hard to get in the 21st Century. Jackson's pre-pubescent voice was valuable. God knows in history worse has been done to boys to keep them singing in high octaves.
Maybe hormone treatments before puberty turned Jackson into a freak. He may have never gone through a real puberty, maybe he was a genuine man/woman caught in man-boy love with his own self, so of course he’d love other boys as well. Brooke Shields his first wife has been quoted saying Jackson was asexual.
Yeah, but most of us experienced with pedophiles know what goes on when a grown man gets in bed with a child whose parents are miles away.
It was the DA of Santa Barbara who prosecuted Jackson, and he would not indict without a lot of evidence
I keep hearing that his accusers were only after money and even mainstream news media here in L.A. seem to have forgotten in the last week that it was the Santa Barbara District Attorney who prosecuted Michael Jackson, and DA’s rarely indict without a huge stack of evidence, especially in California which has had laws that lean toward defense rights throughout its legal history. I used to think that was something I liked about California.
Jackson got away with his weirdness with boys because of public adulation and an endless supply of cash to the tune of millions, the main parallel between Jackson the Catholic Church. He paid $22 million in the one settlement that has been made public, the number and amounts of other settlements have been kept secret.
With a $22 million settlement to one victim, we see at least Jackson was more forthcoming than the Catholic Church. And even though I was trying to avoid coverage of Jackson since his death, when I saw footage of Neverland Ranch from overhead last week, I couldn't help thinking, it will probably end up being an amusement park of sorts, so at least Jackson left something behind for the children.
The Church would like to see the adult victims of pedophile priests disappear.
In Los Angeles especially in the entertainment industry, we have learned to tolerate weirdness in individuals because so often the most wondrous art - in music, light, costumes, design, all elements of film - comes from persons with, well, unusual personal lives. It’s almost as if in order to be truly creative one has to be a bit unhinged, at least for periods of time.
Whatever happened to Jackson to keep his voice from changing, his dance gestures communicated a need to tear down, slash out in anger at something at his very core, a pain expressed through slinky urbane moves. The inner anger he expressed reached almost everybody who heard his music or watched him perform, including me.
I just hope our acceptance of Jackson and whatever weirdness he made of his intimate life doesn't segue gradually into a social acceptance of Catholic priests who bang altar boys.
“I’d assumed that now he’d be more cautious. But to my utter astonishment I found out that children were still sleeping over, sometimes in his house, sometimes in his bedroom,” says Martin Bashir in Part 7/10 of the film Living with Michael Jackson, screening today at City of Angels, bottom of the blog.
When the Santa Barbara District Attorney heard those words and watched the rest of the British documentary, a second round of prosecution began against the superstar, which ended up in a not guilty verdict in 2005.
During that trial, just as Jackson's former wife Debbie Rowe was on the stand denying under oath the story she’d previously told prosecutors, an appellate court upheld the judge’s decision to seal dozens of records in the Jackson case, including an affidavit describing allegations against him. At least five victims of Jackson came forward. He paid at least one of them $22 million.
READ MORE ABOUT THE MICHAEL JACKSON PEDOPHILIA TRIAL HERE
Stories about the Jackson trial in Santa Barbara 2005:
Total Criminal Defense Blog » Blog Archive » Michael Jackson's ...
Jackson. Following the broadcast, Santa Barbara District Attorney Thomas Sneddon, ... Both the prosecution and the criminal defense called a wide range of ...www.totalcriminaldefense.com/.../smooth-criminal-michael-jacksons-legal-legacy/ -
Jackson's ex-wife turns tables on prosecution - Michael Jackson ...
Apr 28, 2005 ... The prosecution has said Rowe would offer similar testimony — that she also was ... Pop star Michael Jackson leaves the Santa Barbara county ...
Jackson managed to own more of the Beatles than the Beatles themselves and died with the entire Sony music catalogue among his assets. His estate is earning enough already, now that the star has stopped his personal spending, to get the Jackson estate out of its $500 billion debt within months, and then start profiting again. His young boy accusers and families went away after receiving as much as the $22 million dollar settlement he paid out in 1993 to one plaintiff. Meantime as much as we want to look the other way and only remember him for his music, sexually sane grown men don't have young boys sleeping in bed with them overnight.
Healing of Laughter:
This showed up in my email June 27th:
Farrah Fawcett arrived at the pearly gates yesterday and God told her, "You have one wish before you enter the kingdom of heaven."
Farrah answered, "I wish all the children of the world could be safe."
About an hour later Michael Jackson died...
I Give Him He Gives Me
Boys in his Bed is Not Sex
Starts halfway through this video
Also by Kay Ebeling: Read Sunset Boulevard, work in progress at City of Angels 2