Michael Jackson - predator or misunderstood man?
First of all, I loved Michael Jackson's music and dance ability. Especially, the Thriller Video, "Man in the Mirror", "Don't Stop 'Till you get Enough", "Billie Jean", and so many more. Wow. What great music. How could a guy who did all that also be evil? So believe me, when I turned my attention to the question of whether MJ was a pedophile, I did it hoping to find evidence to the contrary.
Watch the Leaving Neverland documentary. It's important for you as an American and as someone who wants to do your part to keep kids safe. You'll learn three things:
1. Jackson was a master serial predator and pedophile. This is my opinion and by the way, everything written here is my opinion.
2. Neverland is a great example of a what we call a " Master Lair". In other words, it was planned and built in order to facilitate Jackson's penchant for having sex with kids.
3. It is possible to be great in so many ways, to do good things in the world and bring joy to hundreds of millions of people, but also have sex with 7 year-old children in a dark bedroom behind many doors. Because that's what he did.
I had the Strider Team analyze Neverland and what we know from his court cases, hundreds of articles, as well as witness statements and the recent documentaries Leaving Neverland, "Living with Michael", as well as Oprah's "After Neverland" interview with two of Jackson's accusers James Safechuck and Wade Robson. Our goal; assuming he was a master pedophile predator, how did he do it?
Michael Jackson's Modus Operandi (his crime method)
PART ONE: THE SET-UP
1. Both parents and kids are overwhelmed and intimidated by his star status. So that's his first edge.
2. With his victims, nearly all of whom were aspiring dancers, singers, or actors, he holds out the carrot that he will help them with their career. In many cases, he did just that so it was an on-going benefit scheme. Who wouldn't be afraid to lose Michael's interest after he got them a gig, a coach, a chance to film with him?
3. He plied both the kids and the parents with gifts. Everything from first class tickets to fly from Australia to the USA, to stays at the Four Seasons, and visits to Neverland.
4. He also introduced them to famous people which had a double effect of not only being a gift but also gave him a stamp of approval. If everyone from Princess Diana to xxx and xxx were Michael's friends, then he must be okay, right?
5. Finally, he invited them to visit him at his shows, on the road, at hotels or at one of his many places. He used this opportunity to introduce the idea that the child can "sleep over". If parents are concerned, he puts them in a room next door. Let the child's desire to be close to Michael serve to begin dividing the child's loyalty.
PART TWO: NEVERLAND, THE MASTER LAIR
6. First, design a place that any kid would want to visit and stay as long as possible, Make it so good he would do anything to come back. That's what NEVERLAND was. MJ pretended it was for the kids - for their joy. But really is was his master lair. It had a train, elephants and monkeys, arcade games, candy, anything and everything a kid would love to experience.
7. Have guest rooms in plenty, but not too close to Michael's room. His people set it up so parents were slowly moved farther and farther away, whether at a hotel, one of his properties or NEVERLAND.
8. In NEVERLAND and other properties, he arranged to have multiple doors and stairs to his bedroom. This made it difficult for nosy parents to get to him undetected. He would make a point of saying "my doors are always unlocked". This was ingenious. 9. He also trained the boys to dress quickly. Since he convinced them that their sexual interactions were "secrets" between them, it was just one more step to get them to dress quickly in case someone was on their up to his room.
10. NEVERLAND was probably the funnest most awesome place any kid could imagine. Each kid got to spend a dozen hours per day playing in a fantasy environment with a major star. All of this made it easy to convince the children to go along with the behavior.
PART THREE: CREATE A DIVIDE BETWEEN THE CHILD AND PARENTS
11. Right in the beginning, MJ would begin manipulating the child to not trust women, that he could be a better father to them, and that it was an "us against them" situation. By offering things the child's parents could not offer, it was easy to get the children arguing that they wanted to stay longer with MJ or return to see him again.
12. How could a parent deal with this situation? If they refused to let their child see MJ, perhaps they would be hated. It's easy to imagine the pressure parents were under. In most cases, their child wanted to be a star and they had been supporting this dream. How could they take it away just because Michael was a little too friendly?
Watch the documentary, read about his previous cases, read a few dozen articles. It's obvious Michael Jackson was a master predator who had sex with children as young as seven. I wish it wasn't so, but no reasonable person would come to any other conclusion looking at all of the evidence, even if the criminal justice system failed to ever prosecute him successfully.
As I wrote this, I read that Diana Ross, Barbara Streisand, and many others were coming to his defense after the . Apparently Barbara Streisand said, "those children knew what they were getting into." Let's put aside the terribleness of that comment for a moment. The challenge, not just of seeing MJ for the pedophile that he was, is for all of us to look around and see those people who are in our communities. I promise they are there and one advantage they have is that most of us don't want to think that way. But children are too important. We all need to keep our eyes open, accept there is evil amongst us, and help to root it out. Kids can't do that. It's up to each one of us.
Will I personally listen to MJ's music in the future? Well, after a couple of evenings of working on this blog, I decided to play all of my old favorites to see how it felt. Knowing what it meant for the victims, it made me ill. It killed the joy of MJ. But I'm not throwing his music away yet. Should we lose the joy because of the evil? Hitler built the Autobahn - the first true freeway system. Should we all stop using freeways for this reason? One can compartmentalize. The music is still great, but it will now always remind me of a master pedophile. Perhaps I'll use it as theme music next time I'm on a child predator surveillance. Perhaps the music will always be tainted now. I don't know. Sometimes there are no obvious answers.
Be safe out there! And keep a lookout for the children in your community and your family. They are defenseless. We all need toughen up for them.