by Alberta Parish
I was not even a diehard fan of Michael’s, and had not been an avid follower of his life, music or career in so many recent years, but I am pissed right now after hearing the Michael Jackson tapes. Listening to him talk about the severe emotional/verbal/physical abuse he suffered as a child just really made me sad and angry.
His siblings having gone through a similar ordeal of childhood abuse pissed me off, because the effects of abuse didn’t just stop at Michael. Emotional/verbal abuse did a number on me while growing up, and I also went through child molestation at the age of five. But only at the age of five. I remember everything about that entire experience. I remember what they made me do. Both were in their early twenties. I remember the house in Miami (not my house, but the house of a lady my mom knew) where each incident of abuse happened. The lady didn’t even know about the abuse. I didn’t tell my mom until a year and a half ago.
I can’t imagine having also gone through the type of physical beatings (while being nude with oil all over my body, which is a form of degradation almost similiar to the way a slavemaster would punish his slaves) that the Jackson kids endured, and still be alive to tell about it after so many years because I believe that I could not have lived a normal life. In fact, I think I probably would’ve been dead by now, because I don’t have the strength that Michael Jackson had. I don’t have the strenghth that either one of his siblings have. Also, the Rabbi had mentioned in his Dateline NBC interview on September 25, 2009 Michael’s drug abuse to medicate away his pain. First off, Michael had real problems with chronic physical pain as well as emotional distress which brought about many physical symptoms including insomnia, and should have been given proper medical attention to address his insomnia and other health issues the day before he passed.
He was not a junkie! He had an over-dependency on pharmaceutical/clinical drugs to numb his pain and to also make his body numb to the pain. His doctors should not have been feeding his over-dependency on prescription/clinical drugs, but instead, should’ve sought alternatives to treat his illnesses as well as the physical symptoms associated with emotional pain. They all took advantage of Michael’s physical and emotional state. I don’t believe Michael just threw away his life, as Rabbi Shmuley said. I believe he wanted to live for his children, and this is just based on my observation of his rehearsal footage that I saw on Youtube. I think his children is the only thing that kept him alive as long as he was, and he had decided to do the concerts for his children and for his fans, no matter how the Rabbi tries to make it seem like Michael didn’t care about his music and career. Even if he didn’t want to grow old and wrinkly, according to his own words on the tape, I believe he would’ve found a way or the strength to deal with it for the sake of his children. I believe Michael’s life was negligently and even intentionally stolen from him.
I believe he was betrayed. I am really blown away by some of the comments that Michael Jackson made on those tapes, as I’m also blown away by some comments Rabbi Shmuley made about Michael. I don’t know why I’m surprised by Michael’s comments, because he was a regular guy with a lot of emotions and this is what many people including his fans should realize. Michael Jackson was just a highly emotional person anyway, and to be honest, when he made the tapes talking about how he felt about women, it sounded like he was just hurt as well as disappointed by some of the women who had come into his life, and had said things and done things to him that he felt was totally unnecessary, manipulative, deceitful, etc. He also made note on how he had seen his brothers crying out of frustration because of their wives. He could not get past some issues regarding his marriages. What Michael said about women in the tapes are not uncommon feelings among men so everyone, stop pretending like Michael was not supposed to have these issues. If Michael felt like women use their sexuality to gain control over men or to get things from men, Debbie Rowe validated this for him. I mean, Debbie offered to have Michael’s children while he was still married to Lisa Marie, and of course, it was all about money, even though she claimed she was doing this as a gift to a friend whom she said deserves to be a father. Michael already felt anyway that almost everyone around him sought to use him in some exploitative manner. He felt everyone, not just women wanted something from him. Michael made the tape talking candidly about Lisa Marie in either 2000 or 2001.
Having read somewhere that the two still had a friendly relationship even as late as 1999, it doesn’t surprise me that in 2000 (by the time he began his taped conversations) he was still hurt over Lisa, and not yet over her. Think about that. It’s obvious! Everybody have issues whether they’re issues with intimacy, commitment, trust, being an asshole, being emotionally detached, talking too much, not being trustworthy toward others, being too negative about situations or people, etc. When it comes to trust, I’m like MJ. I don’t readily trust people either. Just like MJ had certain opinions about women, I have certain opinions about men, which is probably why I’m not in a current relationship and haven’t been in a real relationship for years. Deep down inside, I really don’t trust men because I think that most of them are out to get what they can get from a woman. I hate to say this, but it’s true. I don’t think many guys mean half of what they tell a woman many times. But this really shouldn’t be the reason why I’m not dating. I should be, but I’m not and there are reasons; reasons that I don’t want to face. So I keep making excuses for why I’m not interested in dating, or why I don’t seem to be all that interested in men, and I’m not a lesbian.
Michael Jackson was no different from me or anyone else when it came to thoughts about the opposite sex, but the world put this guy to a higher standard, and would not allow Michael to be himself in public or to say how he REALLY felt about anything in public without the press shredding apart everything he says and does. So I get why he made the tapes. You know, Lisa Marie Presley made a statement in an interview a few years ago saying about Michael, “He doesn’t let you see who he is.” Gee, now I know why. I believe Michael, through the taped conversations, wanted to share his story with the public to let people know that this is what happens when you neglect a child, abuse a child in any way, tell a child that he/she is ugly, humiliate a child by stripping him/her nude just before harshly beating him/her, robbing a child of his/her innocence and/or childhood. And the chronic loneliness he felt as a result of his fame. Michael had emotional problems as a result of never feeling that he was loved by his own father, never feeling validated by his own father, never feeling tenderness from his own father, never feeling he was good enough to be loved by his own father, never feeling like he was able to please his own father, and he felt all of this for so many years. I mean, Michael had severe emotional problems all of his life, which is a direct result of the shit he went through as a child, and also growing up in the public eye, and having your every move and all your words disected by a celebrity-crazed press many of whom, in my opinion, hated Michael because he was the biggest superstar in the world, and had a lot of power, and he used his wealth/fame to help common people, many common people all over the world, and also because he did not conform to the norms of American society.
This is a backwards country when it comes to certain things, and always will be. Michael was more loved abroad than he ever was here in his own backyard, and now most of the American public has changed their perception of him since he died. Why couldn’t America truly honor him while he was alive? This also goes for many of his colleagues in the entertainment industry who turned a blind eye to Michael’s plight in 2003, 2004 and 2005, including Oprah Winfrey. Many of them would not and did not say one positive word to the press on Michael’s behalf after he was arrested in 2003 on charges of child molestation, but Hollywood quickly came out in defense of Director Roman Polanski who actually did commit sexual abuse and sodomy against a thirteen-year-old girl many years ago, and had fled America to avoid a criminal trial and prison time. Now, all of Hollywood got words of love and praise for Michael after he’s dead. Now, they say what a great man or wonderful person he was, which is something many of them wouldn’t say or didn’t feel the need to say for the sake of their own careers while he was living. What a bunch of hypocrites? Michael was right about Hollywood, which he also spoke non-positively about on tape.
In conclusion, although Michael wanted these tapes out there in the public eye at the time they were made, I’m still suspicious about the timing of the release of these tapes as well as the book about them being published after Michael’s death. To be honest, the public really doesn’t know whether Michael probably changed his mind about this book being published, even as early as 2001. Only Rabbi Shmuley and maybe a couple of other people truly know whether Michael may have changed his mind about not proceeding with the publication of this book, especially since Rabbi Shmuley said that he ended his relationship with Michael in 2001 or perhaps, was it the other way around? We just don’t know the true details behind why their relationship ended.
Also, Michael began filming on a documentary in 2002. This was months after the Rabbi supposedly cut ties with Michael. The Martin Bashir documentary, Living With Michael Jackson, which was filmed over an eigth-month period. Why do this documentary, which aired in February, 2003 when there were the taped conversations, which could’ve been converted quickly into a published book and released to the public anywhere between late 2001 and early 2002, right before Michael began filming the documentary in May, 2002? Why would Michael do the documentary with Martin Bashir when there were the taped conversations? Think about that. Even with a lucrative contract deal, it doesn’t really take that long for a book to go to print, especially a Michael Jackson book. This is what Rabbi Shmuley said in a recent article he wrote entitled The Destructive Deification of Michael Jackson: “Unfortunately, when Michael was arrested on charges of child molestation in 2003, it became impossible to fulfill Michael’s sincere wish that the book be published. Much as he wanted it, it simply could not be done. The public had little to no sympathy for Michael, even after he was exonerated in 2005.” But the Rabbi stated that he had cut ties with Michael in 2001, at least according to the Dateline NBC interview transcript. Something just doesn’t add up here. These days, I examine what people say before I believe it, because people lie to the press all the time or they overexaggerate the truth, or they tell a half truth and a half lie.
Also, you can’t believe everything someone says about somebody else, because people have a way of making someone appear to be a certain way, or they’re often skilled at twisting somebody’s words to mean one thing when in fact, that’s not what that person really meant or that’s not representative of who that person really is. The context of character A’s comments about character B does not always reflect how character B really feels or what character B is really thinking. Now, I’m alluding to a particular comment in the Dateline NBC interview made by the Rabbi in which he said that Michael had exhibited tendencies of misogyny. The definition of misogyny, according to one website, is a hatred, dislike or mistrust of women. I believe the Rabbi’s statement in which he felt that Michael had exhibited tendencies of misogyny is 99.9% misrepresentative of Michael’s character. I say 99.9% because even though the Rabbi was right about Michael having a mistrust for women, he was dead wrong in his assessing of Michael as it relates to the other half of the definition of misogyny, which is also a hatred of women and also girls. When I heard the Rabbi’s comment, I was like, “Why did he say that about Michael on TV?” So this prompted me to go online and listen to the interview and then read the transcript. It was then when I was actually able to separate what Michael actually said himself as opposed to the Rabbi’s comments about what Michael meant regarding some of his comments.
Really, the Rabbi was giving his opinions about Michael, how he saw Michael as a person. This seems to be a recurring theme throughout Michael’s life whenever he made statements publicly, or when he gave interviews. It happened with the Martin Bashir documentary, and in many other cases. Obviously, tricky editing was at the core of it all, or some reporter taking Michael’s words out of context. When I read the transcript online more carefully, it was then when I realized that nowhere in the audio tape I heard or transcript I read did Michael indicate having any hatred or dislike for women and girls. I did gather from the transcript and tape that he had a certain mistrust for women, that he felt women were manipulative and could be disappointing at times. Michael said, “Women can do some things that make guys very unhappy. I’ve seen it with my brothers. I’ve seen my brothers crying, in tears and pulling the grass out of the lawn out of frustration because of their wives.” I don’t think he was really over Lisa Marie. First of all, they had been still talking to each other even in 1999. She wasn’t fully over him either, because she comes out with an interview in Rolling Stone magazine as late as 2003 talking about her marriage to Michael and the crazy things that went on, and you could tell she had much resentment toward him but she wasn’t yet over him although she tried to pretend she was. I think Lisa Marie Presley is a cool person. I wish she had stayed with Michael. They were good for each other.