This article was originally posted on Desiree speaks...so listen. The blog is no longer available online. Full credit goes to the original author.
This article will be archived on this site so people can read and freely make up their own minds without interference from Jackson's misinformation troll factory.
It is probably evident from my previous 'Re: Michael's sexuality' blog entries (and the comment threads beneath them) that I don't buy into the 'Michael Jackson-have-you-seen-my-childhood?' nonsense. Because it is nonsense. I've said it before and I will say it again: all of that was PR spin following the Jordie Chandler allegations and subsequent 'hush money' payoff.
Sony Music had to know that a grown man sleeping in the bed with young boys was suspicious enough, but, coupled with accusations of improper sexual conduct upon one of Michael's sleepover buddies, it didn't look good.
How did they solve the problem?
They turned one hell of a 'lemon' situation into moderately digestible 'lemonade': Michael Jackson lost his childhood; the sleepovers were nothing more than innocent fun for a 30-something man-child. If you disagree, says Michael, you are 'ignorant'; if you disagree, says his fans, you have a 'dirty mind'.
Well, I must have one ignorant, dirty mind because I didn't buy Michael's faux tears nor am I convinced by his explanation of why he continued to do them. His whole attitude towards the sleepovers reeks of compulsion, my goodness!
Given my research, I believe there exists more than enough reasonable suspicion that Michael Jackson's seeming predilection for youthful companions was based in something more sinister than his 'wanting to relive a childhood lost'.
But, in all fairness, even though it is not a justification for Michael's alleged crimes against small innocent children, he did lose out on his childhood to a certain extent. He was horribly abused.
Of course, that does seem like old news. Most people are fully aware of Michael's childhood trauma because he seemed to relate it to anyone who'd listen: Oprah Winfrey in 1993, the Rabbi Shmuley Boteach as evidenced in his book The Michael Jackson Tapes, and Martin Bashir in Living with Michael Jackson.
However, the beatings aren't the whole story, I have discovered. Although Michael himself never mentioned it, there seems to exist enough reasonable suspicion that he was also sexually abused.
If we can transport ourselves mentally back to the dawn of the 1990s, it was La Toya Jackson who was the first to really bring up the abuse the Jackson children suffered, all of which had previously been cloaked beneath smiles, dance moves and hit records. Michael discussed it briefly in his totally whitewashed Moonwalk* but not to the extent La Toya went into in her 1991 autobiography La Toya: Growing Up in the Jackson Family.
Having read the book, her memoir was quite tame, even with the so-called bombshell that her parents and little Janet Jackson were anti-Semitic (save Janet, which I don't believe, it's not that much of a surprise, seeing that Michael disliked Jews, as well). It was the TV appearances and interviews she gave in promotion of the book that she related the real shockers: she and her sister, Rebbie Jackson, had been sexually abused by their father, Joe.
(from left: Spokane Chronicle, September 12, 1991; Sarasota Herald-Tribune, September 6, 1991)
(Middlesboro, KY. Daily News, September 11, 1991)
The above video, interestingly enough, contains a wild story of an Argonaut-esque search for the Gary, Indiana police department's documentation of Rebbie's rape, which turned out to be unsuccessful. The suggestion was that it had been a sort of cover-up to keep the Jacksons 'black Kennedys' reputation intact.
Nevertheless, La Toya's media blitz stoked the ire of her family and they came out hard against her, denying, denying, denying in typical Jackson fashion.
(Jet magazine, October 21, 1991)
As a brief aside, this Jet piece--with all facts known--is complete PR nonsense and rather contradictory. Katherine Jackson made it very clear that she especially didn't want blacks to believe La Toya's claims and the reporter made sure to juxtapose Katherine's good blackness with Jack Gordon being a 'white ex-con'. In reality, the Jacksons don't care about black people, seeing that nearly all of them have mixed race progeny. Michael didn't care about black people, as we already know; he called them 'splaboos' and his children were modified to look as white (and Latino) as possible. Such pandering is truly offensive.
Katherine went on to suggest that there was no way Joe beat the children in such a way as La Toya had alleged because, under such 'harsh conditions', it would have stifled their creativity. Again, check the second Bashir video in this entry: Michael said they were all 'practiced' with a belt. She was either blind or being willfully deceptive in Jet.
Lastly, Katherine suggested that there was no way Joe could have harmed La Toya or Rebbie in such a way: both girls were virgins when they wed! Katherine's logic (or lack thereof) would be funny if it weren't so tragic.
Let's not forget that Janet, too, went out against La Toya and stated her antics were nothing more than a pathetic attention grab because she was 'less successful'. Oh, Janet...**
But let's bring it back to the point.
According to the Spokane Chronicle and the Daily News articles, La Toya stated that Rebbie's sexual assault by Joe Jackson was left out of the book because the editors possibly thought that it was too graphic an inclusion. Similarly, Michael's sexual abuse was also left on the cutting room floor. From Christopher Andersen's Michael Jackson: Unauthorized, page 236:
La Toya knew all too well the root of Michael's problem--that he had not only been beaten by their father, but molested by a relative as well. When she signed a book contract with Putnam, word got to Michael that she intended to tell the world that he had been abused as a child.
Frantic, Michael threaten to sue if she said anything about the brutal childhood incidents that may have shaped his sexuality. According to conflicting reports, either Michael offered La Toya $12 million to not publish the book or La Toya and her husband, Jack Gordon, demanded millions not to publish. Either way, no money ever changed hands.
When she did finally publish her memoirs in 1991, they did not contain the explosive revelation that Michael had been sexually abused as a child. They did, however, portray Joe as a physically and emotionally abusive parent and Katherine as his enabler. For his part, Michael was shown to be a loving, caring, and wildly misunderstood brother.
I must admit that because of La Toya's repeated flip-flopping over the last decade or so, it is very hard to ascertain the validity of her stories. In reality, La Toya's emotionless delivery make reading her accurately somewhat impossible, regardless of whether she was in the Jacksons' or her late ex-husband, Jack Gordon's, grip.
It is uncertain (to an extent) whether or not he was the guiding force behind some of La Toya's revelations.*** Although La Toya has not recanted her claims of physical abuse (she does, however, frame it in the context of Joe Jackson 'disciplining' his children in order to 'survive' tough Gary, Indiana), she continually maintains that her more shocking claims were the result of Gordon's physical abuse and mental control.
However, despite the dubiousness of her truth-telling, I believe La Toya's claims of she, Rebbie, and Michael's sexual abuse because they can be confirmed by others...
According to Michael Jackson: Unauthorized, at age nineteen or twenty, Johnny Jackson, the drummer for the family band and de facto family member because Joe Jackson was his legal guardian, witnessed Michael being molested.
From page 51:
Johnny Jackson, the "cousin" who lived with the Jackson family from 1967 to 1976, has claimed that Michael was sexually abused by a relative. Steeltown Records' owner Gordon Keith claims that Johnny Jackson had told him of stumbling upon the relative, a male employee, and twelve-year-old Michael. All three were nude and appeared to be sexually aroused.
Because of Johnny's proximity to the family, I had no reason to doubt the veracity of his story. It is worth noting that when he was killed in 2006, Janet footed the bill of his funeral expenses, ensuring he received a proper burial.
So, he was still on good terms with the family! Thus, why would he lie, especially if the anecdote was given in seeming confidence, as it is somewhat suggested in the above excerpt? Also, why would Johnny allege a bogus homosexual molestation, especially given the way Joe and others view such contact?
I think it is unlikely. I believe Johnny Jackson.
Although I found Johnny's claim terribly sad for Michael, the most explosive revelation came from Jermaine Jackson, one of the more unscrupulous members of his family.
At the time of his brother's child molestation trial, Jermaine shopped a book deal with Stacy Brown, who had been a so-called family friend. It was to be a 'tell-all'. Of course, Jermaine has denied all of this (read his March 6, 2006 Larry King Live interview about the book here).
But if one looks at history, Jermaine was lying, as usual. This is a man who has said many things against his brother (such as his 1991 song 'Word to the Badd' and his tepid support of him in 1993, where he admitted he had doubts about Michael's innocence), only to go back on his original statements due to family criticism.
The book was no different, even though Stacy Brown claimed to have tapes of Jermaine saying the things he'd said about his brother.
But aside from all of the sleaze about whether or not Michael was guilty of child molestation, one particular aspect of Jermaine's Legacy book proposal were the things he'd said about his siblings' sexual abuse, including Michael. From the New York Daily News:
The outline for Jermaine's proposed book "Legacy: Surviving the Best and the Worst" suggests Joe Jackson molested his daughters Rebbie and LaToya and may have exposed young Michael to abuse at the hands of "important" businessmen.
"Joseph did some disgusting things to LaToya and Rebbie, especially. If it weren't for Mother's loyalty to him, he'd probably be in prison for what he did to our sisters," Jermaine said in the draft.
Jermaine describes their mother as a loving person, but he wonders why she allowed her husband "to do what he's done."....
Jermaine even suggested his father may have set up Michael to be somehow victimized by older men.
He tells how his father would have Michael join in at late-night hotel room meetings with "important business people," and wondered whether "something happened" to Michael at those sessions.
He said he sensed something was wrong because Michael would be sick for days after. "What was Joseph doing?" Jermaine wrote.
In weighing the 2003 child-molestation allegations against Michael, Jermaine wondered whether his father's behavior could have made his younger brother go bad.
Same story--but more details about Michael--from the New York Post:
Jermaine also says that he suspects that his younger brother may have been a victim of sexual abuse by their dad, Joseph.
"There were times when Joseph and some of these men he'd describe as 'very important business people' would meet late at night in our hotel suite with Michael, and Michael alone," Jermaine writes.
"I always felt something was wrong with that and Michael would always be sick for days after these 'meetings.'"
I find it interesting how Jermaine and his sister's stories correlate. They both claim Rebbie and Michael were victims of abuse. However, like La Toya, the question is how can we sort out fact from fiction in the face of Jermaine's history of deceit? Like his sister, he, too, went on to blame his words on another person even though said scapegoats could not have known certain details about the family.
I feel strongly that Jermaine comes out with the truth--whether it's predicated upon resentment or jealousy, notwithstanding--but reneges because he is frightened he'll be kicked out of his all-expenses-paid lifestyle.
In Diane Dimond's book Be Careful Who You Love, she claimed to have received 'tips' while she worked as a reporter on the now-defunct TV show Hard Copy along the same lines as Jermaine's story in his book proposal during the Jordie Chandler scandal. On page 40 she writes:
Dingy hotel rooms where the exhausted young brothers would try to get some sleep on cots pushed together in the one bedroom as their father hosted cronies in the second room of the "suite." Michael, I was told, was kept awake to entertain Joe's drinking buddies. There was a hint in several of the callers' tales of sexual activity--homosexual activity--some of it, reportedly, while Michael was in the room....
These are the types of stories that are nearly impossible for a reporter to confirm. And there was the very real possibility that those making these calls wanted to simply feel involved again with the family they helped launch into stardom. But if their stories were true and something awful happened to Michael Jackson as a young boy away from home...how could an outsider get to the truth short of asking the reclusive star himself?
Interestingly enough, Darwin Porter's book Jacko: His Rise and Fall, mentions a story that could possibly correlate even more with Jermaine Jackson's retrospective and Diane Dimond's tips when she was a Hard Copy gumshoe!
In the effort of full disclosure, I should mention beforehand that Jacko is a fairly low-brow collection of Michael Jackson-related stories that are strung together in a rather haphazardly chronological piece, not that anyone should doubt the validity of a book published by a small publishing company. Nevertheless, because the story was intriguing and correlative, I will include it here.
From pages 15-16:
Also around the time of his marriage to Lisa Marie [Presley], there were allegations floating around that as a pre-pubescent, Michael was "pimped" to pedophiles within the record industry as a means of promoting the advance of The Jackson 5. There is no evidence that this is true but the rumors--some of them quite convincing--still persist.
To our knowledge, the only person who tried to sell such a story was a sleazy record producer we'll call John Stoffer, who worked the Detroit music industry for some twenty years. He approached the National Enquirer with a very detailed account of how nine-year-old Michael was allegedly delivered to his hotel room in Detroit. His account didn't specify who made the delivery.
For a fee of ten thousand dollars, Stoffer was willing to tell all. In his report, he gave a very detailed and specific account of how he allegedly sodomized young Michael. "The boy cried through the ordeal and even bled," Stoffer claimed. "But I liked that. You see, I'm quite small down there. I used to be basically straight, but several women laughed at the size of my organ. I turned to young boys--very young--because I achieved great satisfaction in penetrating their tight, virgin butts. Michael was no exception. He was real tight. When I saw the pain I was causing him, it goaded me on and made me feel more like a man."
Although Stoffer offered times, dates, and places that checked out, his charges could not be proven. The staff at the National Enquirer decided not to publish the scoop, considering it too undocumented for publication. However, Stoffer did help promote and publicize The Jackson 5 and was instrumental in getting radio stations to play the group's records. In his dossier, Stoffer said that Michael was "delivered" to him on three different occasions, and that "each time the boy cried when he was penetrated."
A member of the Enquirer staff said, "We published more stories about Michael Jackson than any other modern celebrity.... But what we've published is only a grain of sand on the beach. The Enquirer has been approached countless of times by people trying to sell stories about Jacko. Some of them were obvious frauds. Others were quite convincing, but too shocking for the Enquirer.**** Incidentally, I no longer work there."
I won't defend my predilection for tabloids but, if one uses discernment and common sense, these publications--the National Enquirer especially--provide a no holds-barred approach to true investigative celebrity journalism.
So what can we make of the breadth of information I have presented in this entry?
The reality is that child abuse is cyclical. It seems almost textbook that most abusers were abused at some time during childhood and that it is this abuse suffered, if left untreated by a professional, that will have lasting effects, possibly turning the formerly abused child into an abuser of other children, even their own.
Of course, we know that not all victims of abuse go on to abuse. However, it is not hyperbolic to suggest that, in the face of Michael's child molestation troubles, these events with older men could have shaped his own proclivity for young boys.
Pedophilia is a sexual orientation, albeit a criminal one. If Michael felt an intense sexual arousal as a young boy by some of these encounters, it is not unlikely that these experiences imprinted themselves into his mind and he associated adult-child contact with pleasure, even if said experiences could have caused him terrible mental anguish and shame.
Because Michael did have a proclivity for young boys, be it criminal or not. He slept with them; he surrounded himself with them; he fancied himself a 'Peter Pan' in his own private 'Neverland' with his band of 'lost boys'.
Was Michael a victim of molestation? Well, given the sources, a straight-forward determination may seem impossible. Maybe to some the notion of Joe Jackson, regardless of how violent and loathsome, pimping Michael to men or even leaving open the door for these men to have their way with Michael seems far-fetched, especially given the continued re-writes of Jackson family history by those making the charges! Nevertheless, the anecdotes exist and, save Katherine's ridiculously fallacious rebuttals, many of them have never been challenged.
Whether or not you find them veridical is ultimately your decision. I find them all to be rather fastidious and, as a result, I believe them. I think they go a long way in helping the masses understand Michael Jackson's boy issues.
* Pgs. 29, 31. I find it rather curious that, in this book, Michael Jackson continually refers to his father as "Dad", when we all know that none of the Jackson children could call their father anything but Joseph. It makes me wonder whether the editor went back and changed all of the "Josephs" to "Dads". A whitewashing of history, indeed, although not nearly as criminal as the whitewashing done in the Jermaine Jackson-created The Jacksons: An American Dream television miniseries.
** Janet Jackson contradicts her own video later on in her ABC News interview with Robin Roberts:
When asked by Roberts if her father was "abusive" or "old school," she said: "You have to keep in mind that I'm the baby...I think it's old school. And that may extrapolate into -- a -- being a little abusive. Do you understand what I'm saying?"
Still a whitewashing but at least she's telling the truth. It is also worth noting that Janet is not close to her family, either.
*** In the Spokane Chronicle article above dated to 1991, Jack Gordon referred to Michael as a 'pederast'. Recall that this is two full years before the scandal! Jack Gordon never lived at Hayvenhurst nor did he have enough contact with Michael to formulate such an opinion. How could he have known such a detail but possibly from La Toya herself?
**** Two couples employed by Michael Jackson at Neverland had stories that, when originally given a few years before the Jordie Chandler scandal, were not picked up by major tabloid newspapers. From Maureen Orth's "Nightmare in Neverland", page 134, she discusses the Lemarques:
"They" are a French couple, Philippe and Stella Lemarque, who cooked at Neverland for nearly a year before they were dismissed, and who say they were eyewitnesses to scenes in which Michael Jackson took sexual advantage of young guests, specifically Macaulay Culkin, who has denied that anything went on between him and Michael. The Lemarques described on tape Jackson's alleged modus operandi: keeping the kids up all night with sound-and-light shows, games, and videos until they were so overstimulated that they barely noticed his fondling. Through Barresi, the Lemarques had tried to sell their story a few years ago to the National Enquirer for $100,000, but were told that it would take too much investigation to prove and was therefore legally tricky.
On page 135, the Quindoys:
In Manila, Mark and Faye Quindoy, a Filipino couple who had managed the Neverland estate, popped up. They were questioned by California police and promised to testify against Michael Jackson. The Quindoys, who say they are suing Jackson for back pay (the amount varies in their statements) and Pellicano for slander (he called them ''cockroaches and failed extortionists"), called two press conferences. They also alleged sexual abuse of children on Jackson's part; they said they had quit on moral grounds, but they, too, it turned out, wanted money for their story. Mark Quindoy, a lawyer, held a diary up before the cameras. He said he had made detailed notations of what he saw every day at Neverland. Stars on the pages, he said, meant instances of abuse.
I managed to obtain the Quindoys' Manila phone number without going through their U.S. representative, a woman who works as a private investigator, a tabloid reporter, and their agent on the side. Mark Quindoy and his wife supported many of the things the Lemarques alleged: that Jackson chose one boy at a time, that kids were assaulted with sounds and lights, and that lewd things went on right under the parents' noses. They did not go to the police, they said, because "we were just witnesses—we were not victims." ....
Geraldo Rivera confirmed through a member of his staff that the Quindoys had disclosed to him these same allegations about Jackson at the time they appeared on his show Now It Can Be Told a year and a half ago. But on-camera they gave no hint of any of this. The reason was that they wanted to be paid $25,000.