- Entertainment and Media
Michael Jackson: Setting The Record Straight (a Q&A)
I've created this page in an attempt to answer some of the most asked, re-asked, and asked again questions concerning Michael Jackson.
While I was never a strong supporter of Jackson in the past (or even a huge fan of his music) I have nevertheless found him to be a very fascinating and inspirational figure in popular culture. Lately I've taken it upon myself to read more into his life, his achievements and the plethora of rumors which have surrounded his character for so many years. And what I've learned has not only surprised me, but has given me a new outlook on human nature and all that it's capable of; the good and the bad.
Michael Jackson spent nearly all of his adult life devoted to helping children, our environment, and bringing people of all races together to make the world a better place. He was literally the most famous man in the world and one of the wealthiest and most powerful performers there ever was. He was a master at his craft and he devoted all of his talents and influence to the betterment of mankind.
By giving millions of dollars to a vast array of charities (more than any other popular artist in history); by writing music that preached of love, charity and goodwill; by taking time to personally visit and help the sick and poverty-stricken around the world; by building a complete amusement park in his own back yard to share with those children; by doing all of this, Michael Jackson showed how one person could use all of his achievements for a greater good than himself. Yet, no matter how extraordinary and noble these actions may have been, they would continuously be overlooked. Rumors, scandals, hearsay and accusations took their place, overshadowing them all.
And it's this that disturbs me the most about the life of Michael Jackson: That not only the public could be blinded by these things, but I myself could have been as well. It shames me to know that such a selfless and charitable individual could have lived and, instead of praising him, we chose judged him, ridicule him, and sully his name. All for no reason other than the fact that he was different -- and oh how suspicious we felt that difference made him.
I've spent the past few weeks going through court transcripts, reading through various interviews, and learning all that I could about Michael Jackson and his actions. The search was long, at times tedious, but never boring. And the truth I've found in them will stick with me for the rest of my life.
My hope in writing this lens, and sharing my findings, is that perhaps after others have all the information in front of them they too will gain somewhat of a better understanding of who Michael Jackson was. And then realize that beyond the dancing, beyond the singing, and beyond each and every one of the eccentricities and idiosyncrasies, Michael Jackson was a man with a genuine love and care for this world -- a man who actually did the kind of things for our planet and the people in it, that most of us only dream of.
Respect Michael Jackson for the facts known about him. Don't condemn him over the rumors.
Table of Contents (find your question)
If you would rather skip the prologue, simply scroll down to the contents below
Many may be wondering why there are so many unusual questions and mysteries about Michael Jackson's life in the first place. You may find it alarmingly suspicious that any one man could have this many rumors and speculations about him without actually being guilty of something in some way.
When you think this, you may read through these questions I've listed below and, regardless of the answers, still doubt that everything was O.K. about Michael Jackson; because it's just not normal to have this much mystery surrounding one human life.
You may think this, but before you jump to conclusions you must keep in context who Michael Jackson was and how different his life has been from anyone else's on Earth.
Michael Jackson was a man who gained a massive amount of fame before he had even hit high school. A fame so large and widespread that he was incapable of even attending public school as a young child for fear of the many fans and curious public who would crowd the schools just to get a glimpse of the "prodigy" in action. Since Jackson never quit working, and never quit making hit music, this type of fame never had a chance to subside -- not even a notch. Instead, the fame only grew. And his fan base became larger and larger for four whole decades -- without ever losing momentum.
This literally made Michael Jackson the most famous living human being in the world. Because of this fame, Jackson had become incapable of exiting his home without huge mobs of people (fans and non-fans) gathering around him, screaming his name, and fighting for even a mere glimpse of his presence; all desperate to see the legend in person. To gain a better perspective of this fame, think back to 2001, when Times Square actually had to be shut down because the streets had become so chaotic with people who had all come to see Michael Jackson, who was making a rare public appearance. The kicker here is that he wasn't even performing that day.
Now if you keep all of this in mind and make a true attempt to realize how unusual this life Michael Jackson had grown up in was, then perhaps it will be easier to understand why he had no chance at what many have chosen to call a "normal life."
Rumors and scandals surrounded Jackson's life more than your average celebrity because he was more than your average celebrity. "The bigger the star, the bigger the target" Jackson himself once said, and it's a statement that couldn't be more true. If you constantly dissect, analyze, and theorize over every little aspect of one persons life. . . then you're bound to come up with some unusual explanations.
As the Reverend Al Sharpton stated at Michael Jackson's Memorial Service, there was nothing strange about Michael Jackson. . . what was strange was what he had to deal with.
Table of Contents
- Was Michael Jackson only famous because he was weird?
- How much plastic surgery did Michael Jackson really have?
- Was Michael really bald?
- Why did Michael Jackson start wearing the white glove?
- Why did Michael always wear that surgical mask around?
- Did Joe Jackson (Michael's father) really beat his kids?
- Did Michael Jackson really bleach his skin to become a white man?
- Why did Michael always cover his kids faces with masks?
- What's the deal with the Neverland Ranch, was it a lure for children?
- Why was Michael accused of molestation 2 times if he was innocent? And why let kids sleepover in
- Was child pornography really found in Michael Jackson's house?
- How would you explain that one kid giving such a perfect description of Michaels genitals?
- Did Michael really hold a family captive?
- What is Jesus Juice, and did Michael really liquor up kids with it?
- Why would Michael's own sister, La Toya Jackson, say he was a pedophile if it weren't true?
- Why did Michael Jackson appear to be so awkward when it came to women?
- Why did Michael always keep an umbrella over his head when in public?
- Did Michael really own the rights to the Beatles' songs?
- Did Michael really fly away on a jetpack at the end of one of his concerts?
- What happened to Bubbles... you know, the monkey?
- Did Michael really own the Gone With The Wind Oscar?
- Why should we remember Michael Jackson?
- Sign The Guest Book
Was Michael Jackson only famous because he was weird?
The Question :
Was Michael as famous as he was, for as long as he was, not just a result of his talent but because of his many eccentricities and the mystery's that surrounded him?
The Answer :
The answer that I've come to lean toward is that Jackson's eccentricities and talent were one and the same. And I'm not saying that as a cop-out or some sort of defense toward either reason, but as a point that seems the most logical. The fame that Jackson had from such a young age had inadvertently evolved him into the eccentric that he was -- and I do mean "evolved," as oppose to "transformed" (there was never a point where he started out normal).
The fame he lived with isolated him from the normal environments and interactions that mold most of us into whom we turn out to be. For Michael, those environments and interactions were replaced by solo activities such as reading, watching film, listening to music, and -- most prevalently -- doing the things he grew up being admired and bragged on over: dancing, singing, and creating music.
He basically lived in his own personal world where his influential peers were those of characters in stories, in history, and the many other creative people he'd meet whilst working on his own creative projects (this would also explain Jackson's apparent shyness around people and the apparent "old-fashioned" romantic idea's about sex and women which he conveyed in many interviews).
The eccentricity he had simply may have been who he became as an offset of the fame he gained from his own talent. Thus his popularity was no gimmick of some sort due to his strangeness, his skin disease, his work as a humanitarian, or just his talent alone; it was all of the above. It was Michael Jackson himself: a living, breathing, one-man franchise.
Trying to pinpoint an exact reason for Michael Jackson's mega fame is irrelevant because he was simply one person who just happened to have all of the perfect ingredients to gain that amount of popularity. He had them all because one reason fed off from another: if he weren't so talented he wouldn't be so famous; if he weren't so famous he wouldn't have become so isolated; if he weren't so isolated, he wouldn't have become so unusual and wouldn't have spent as much time alone working on his craft; and if it weren't for working on perfecting his craft, then he wouldn't have remained so famous, etc, etc, ad infinitum.
How the eccentricities and gimmics did add to Michael's fame :
The reason for this is pure and simple - Advertising.
Many people, myself included, would never have even bothered wasting much of their attention on Michael Jackson if such mysteries/rumors/speculation hadn't been popping up about him everywhere we'd look. You couldn't avoid his name and, because of how different he seemed, you couldn't forget him or pass him off as just another generic, aging singer (talented or not).
If he hadn't had any of the "gimmicks" or eccentricities (the majority of which I still believe was just who he was, as an offset of his uniquely odd position in life, and the physical ailments he suffered) then a large portion of people simply wouldn't have bothered looking his way; in turn, never even becoming exposed to his music and talents enough to become a fan.
And as far as the fame goes, it just doesn't rest on his fans shoulders. As far as how well-known Michael Jackson is, millions of people around the world still know very well who he is... whether they listen to or enjoy his music or not.
But still, before it all it was his talents that got him in that extremely high-ranking position of being thought worthy enough to be talked about, dissected, and theorized over in the first place. So with starting out as big as he was, I'm sure he wouldn't have completely faded away as long as he kept working. But there's appears to be a very good chance that his fame would've been closer to that of The Rolling Stones or James Brown, instead of that more-than-human level he ended up with.
How much plastic surgery did Michael Jackson really have?
The Question :
Over the years, Michael Jackson's facial features seemed to have changed drastically. By the time he was in his 40's, he didn't even bare a passing resemblance to the person he was in his 20's. Why was this?
The Rumors :
There have been many rumors about what caused Michael Jackson's appearance to change, and nearly every one of them has to do with surgeries and speculations that Michael Jackson was deliberately attempting to turn himself into a white man.
Here are a few popular theories as to how Michael Jackson manipulated his body:
+ He's had up to 10 or more surgeries to thin his nose and make it smaller -- up to the point where the nose was falling off and Jackson had to wear prosthetic noses.
+ He had a cleft put into his chin to make himself appear more masculine.
+ He had implants put into his cheeks to cause his cheekbones to appear larger than they naturally were.
+ Many believe he had various surgeries to thin his lips.
+ He changed the form of his eyebrows and/or had eyebrows tattooed on.
+ He had plastic surgery procedures to rectify the aging of his eyelids (Blepharoplasty).
What Michael Jackson has admitted to :
In the 1988 autobiography, Moonwalk, Michael Jackson confirmed that he had two surgeries done to his nose. The first surgery, in 1979, was done after Jackson had broken his nose during a complex dance routine. After this reconstructive surgery, he complained of breathing difficulties that were effecting his voice, so he had follow up work done in order to correct the problem (his doctor at the time was Dr. Steven Hoefflin). Also, Jackson had another surgery done to his nose after the 1984 Pepsi commercial incident.
Also in his autobiography, Michael Jackson had admitted to having the surgical creation of a cleft put into his chin.
Any other apparent changes to his face, up to that point, Jackson attributed to age, weight fluctuation, hair styles, and lighting.
Looking at the evidence :
Looking at the photo below, the differences in Michael Jackson's face are somewhat alarming at first. But upon closer inspection, one could easily conclude that Michael Jackson perhaps may have been telling the truth about his limited -- albeit, bad -- surgeries.
Let's analyze a few things.
+ The nose and the chin -- The two obvious jobs that Jackson has admitted to.
+ The eyebrows -- Although we can't attest to whether or not the color of the eyebrows have been assisted with paint or tattooing, there does appear to be hair there. The color of the eyebrow's also pop out more due to the whiteness of Jackson's face, thus causing them to appear unnatural.
+ The cheekbones -- The bone structure of Jackson's cheekbones appear to be the same in both photo's. The only difference is that on the photo on the right, Jackson's cheeks are much more gaunt (weight loss), thus causing the bones to stick out more prominently.
+ The eyes -- Although the eyes are squinted slightly more on the left (younger Jackson), they appear to be the same in both pictures. The only remarkable differences are that his dark eyelashes appear more prominent in the second picture (because of the white skin making them pop out more), and the fact that the eyes seem to be spaced further apart from each other -- this is an illusion caused by the thinner bridge in Jackson's nose.
+ The lips -- The skin disorder Jackson had stripped away the pigment from his lips along with the rest of his skin. To cover this up, Jackson apparently used a makeup, or possibly had the color tattooed on. This may have made the lips look closer to their natural color, but it also gave them an unnatural appearance in contrast with the very white color of the rest of his face.
Any other changes to the face in these photos look to be caused by ageing, causing lines around the mouth and eyes; weight loss that's made Jackson's face appear thinner and gaunt; and, of course -- the most significant change -- the skin disorder that's stripped the pigment from his skin (vitiligo).
Because Michael Jackson is an African American man, with African American facial features -- including thicker skin (causing less wrinkles) and more muscle mass -- his face is going to look abnormal no matter what as long as he has white skin. Paint any black man white (or any white man black for that matter) and the resulting appearance will appear strange.
Michael's nose appears to have undergone more than one surgery :
I agree. I believe Michael Jackson has had more work done to his nose than a mere two visits under the knife. But during the time Jackson had first admitted to having only two surgeries, his nose didn't look quite as abnormal. On that same note, since the time Jackson had published his book he may have indeed had several more surgeries than he'd initially admitted to.
Comments from Jackson's Dermatologist
There's a speculation that since Michael Jackson had lupus -- an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack your own body cells and tissues -- the surgeries he'd had on his nose previously had caused the lupus to act up, causing the cartilage in the nose to collapse. Michael Jackson's dermatologist, Arnie Klein, has gone on record saying that, before Jackson's death, he was working to rebuild Jackson's nose because the cartilage was collapsing.
"And I was rebuilding his face so he looked much more normal. And contrary to what people said, he could not take off his nose. His nose was attached. But it looked too small. And I just was trying to get him ready to do the concert, because in the way he looked in his face, he wanted it to be absolutely as perfect as it could be." -- Arnie Klein
Video references :
Was Michael really bald?
The Answer :
Michael Jackson did lose a significant amount of his hair because a pyrotechnics accident in 1983 had set his hair on fire during the shooting of a Pepsi commercial.
The incident left Michael Jackson with second-degree burns on his scalp. After this, Jackson used something called tissue expander to try to get rid of the scaring. But since he had lupus, every time the tissue expanders were used, the scaring would grow back worse and the bald spot would enlarge.
So the answer is yes. But how bald? It's hard to say. According to Dr. Klein (Jackson's dermatologist), the baldness was primarily on the top of his scalp (a photo from the Pepsi incident, and Jackson's bare scalp, is pictured on the right).
Video References :
Why did Michael Jackson start wearing the white glove?
The Question :
In the mid 1980s, around the time Thriller was released, Michael Jackson began wearing a single white sequin glove on one hand. The glove immediately became a part of Michael Jackson's signature look, and, soon after, fans around the world began to emulate him with gloves of their own. But why did Jackson start wearing the glove in the first place?
The Answer :
There are really two reasons that Michael Jackson first began wearing the sequin glove.
The first, most obvious reason was for style -- Michael's infatuation with the glove, reportedly, began while he was at a Hollywood production studio in 1980, when he noticed an editor handling film with a single white glove to prevent smear marks.
The second, lesser known reason that Michael Jackson first began wearing the white glove was so that he could cover up the effects of a skin disorder he'd been diagnosed with. The skin disorder -- vitiligo -- strips away the pigments in the skin, causing a person to become very pale. In the mid 1980s, Michael Jackson's vitiligo was still in it's early stages and was primarily only effecting his arms and hands. By wearing long sleeved shirts and the white glove, Jackson found an easy way of covering up the disorder without the use of makeup.
Video References :
A compilation of clips about Michael Jackson's vitiligo. The clips include interview's by Jackson's makeup artist Karen Faye, Donnie Osmond, vitiligo sufferers, Donnie Osmond, and even Michael Jackson himself.
Why did Michael always wear that surgical mask around?
The Question :
The Question :
Many times you would see Michael Jackson wearing a surgical mask over his face when out in public or otherwise not performing. Why was he doing this?
The Answer :
The only answer known for certain as to why Jackson did this, is that he was using the mask as a style and a gimmick that would add an aura of mystery and excitement to his image.
Although it's also believed that, since the media and public constantly criticized his face, Michael Jackson felt self-conscious when out in public. And he would use the mask, along with large aviator sunglasses, to hide his face from camera's in attempt to avoid shame and ridicule.
Did Joe Jackson (Michael's father) really beat his kids?
The Questions :
For years now, Michael Jackson's father has been condemned by both the public and media as being a sort of slave holder of his children -- whipping them into stardom like a drill sergeant preparing his little soldiers for battle.
This reputation fell upon Joe Jackson because of Michael himself when, in 1993, during the highly publicized interview with Oprah Winfrey, Michael said that he was beaten as a child.
This reputation for Joe Jackson only grew worse when Michael's sister, La Toya, began making claims that Joe beat the children as well.
The Answer :
Since no one, other than the family themselves, was actually around and aware of what was going on during this point in time, I can only give you my own personal theories on the matter and the evidence that caused me to come to my conclusions.
The following comments I'm going to make unfortunately leave me in the minority with both supporters and non-supporters of Michael Jackson. But I do believe they are true, I do believe that Joe Jackson loved his son and wasn't the evil slaveholder that people make him out to be and judge him (unfairly) for, and I do find it despicable that the public has ruined Joe Jackson's reputation and insensitively accused him of far more than he deserves.
In my humble opinion. . .
I believe that the extent of Joe Jackson's discipline of his children has been absurdly exaggerated over the years -- in the exact same way that everything about Michael Jackson's life has always been absurdly dissected and exaggerated to the extent that it ruin's reputations for life.
From what I've read and seen about Michael Jackson and his family from interviews (of the people themselves), Joe Jackson's discipline was nothing out of the ordinary. The only out of the ordinary thing about it was the fact that he had the kids "working" at such a young age -- and even with that I can see how he could have failed to see the possible negative consequences that would come of it (consequences that I don't think were quite as negative as people like to romanticize them as being, in such a storybook-tragedy sort of way).
He simply spanked his kids.
Many of us were spanked in this same sort of way by our parents, with switches, belts, or what have you. The problem with this when it comes to Michael Jackson is that he happened to word it as being "beaten;" and when we hear that someone was "beaten" as a child, we tend to think of more along the lines of a "This Boys Life" scenario than a "spanked" scenario.
Even when Michael Jackson first spoke of these "beatings" on Oprah's show, he said that his brothers got it much worse than he did. And when his brothers and mother were asked about the beatings, they explained that it was nothing more than spankings as well.
It's because it was Michael Jackson that many of us (and the media too, of course) want to dramatize things like this to such a ridiculous extent. Fans and naysayer's alike want to look for far out reasons as to why Jackson was how he was, and we'll grasp onto whatever it is we can, as long as we can rationalize it in our own minds. And Joe Jackson being "evil" just happens to be one of the easiest things that both the fans and naysayer's can agree on because it gives a reasonable explanation for how Michael Jackson could be the man he was -- without actually putting any kind of "blame" on Michael himself.
You may want to say you know exactly how things went down because when asked if he was beaten, Michael agreed. In interviews where Michael would speak about his father, the interviewer's would focus on the subject at hand, dig into it as deeply as possible, and attempt to get the worst/most dramatic answers they could out of him. And Michael would try to answer these question's as well as he could.
But as we all know, anytime that THE Michael Jackson would say anything (especially anything that supports the more interesting of idea's that we've all had in our heads, as oppose to the bland ones), it would become the subject of much examination, dissection, and analyzation -- causing things to become blown extremely out of proportion.
If you watch Michael speak about his father, his biggest regrets seemed to have gravitated more toward the fact that he didn't have as much of an emotionally close connection to Joe Jackson. He would cry when speaking about the fact that he could never "understand" his father, or know him in the way that he wanted to. Most always (if not always) when he would speak about beatings and physical abuse, it was as a result of a direct question on the subject by an interviewer -- but even in those times, Michael would always state that he loves his father.
It's important not to over exaggerate something as simple as a spanking (whether you agree with it or not) and make it into an accusation as serious as beating a child. It's important just in the same way as it's important to not exaggerate Michael Jackson's relationships toward children to the extent as to say he was molesting them.
The simple facts are that:
+ Michael Jackson and his brothers were never limping when on stage as children, nor were they covered in bruises or scars -- in fact, they were moving and jumping around, dancing in a more than healthy fashion.
+ Michael Jackson's own mother and brothers (who supposedly "got it worse") have stated that Joe Jackson's discipline was no different than many other parents of the time (a la spankings).
+ Michael Jackson has thanked his father numerous times at award ceremonies, said how much he loves and respects his father in interviews, and has forgiven his father for whatever past actions he's done.
+ Joe Jackson is a human being just like any other. A human being who lost a son. He should not be condemned by the public, the media, and definitely not Michael Jackson's own fans who hypocritically judge non-supporters of Michael Jackson for hating someone based on speculations and hearsay alone.
If you want to blame Joe Jackson for something based on facts alone, then blame him for being a poor public speaker and an entirely too blunt old man who has troubles expressing his feelings.
If you still want to believe that Joe Jackson was a horrible man who beat his children and scarred them emotionally, then that's fine. But remember that Joe Jackson is a man just like many other men that even you, yourself, may have known. Men who are alpha males, strict disciplinarians, and "hard-asses." There are many people like this in the world, but we don't focus on those setbacks of their persona because we know they're human and we understand -- although sometimes don't agree with -- that some people can be like that. It does not make them evil, and it doesn't make Joe Jackson evil.
Coming to such horrible conclusions about people when focusing only on these negative traits, is a horrible thing to do. It only adds to the destruction of the public's view of their character. And in this particular circumstance (where you're inadvertently blaming them for their dead sons "tragic" life) it's just beyond bad taste.
Video References :
"Joe Jackson Day" - This is an actual home video of the Jackson family celebrating Michael's father, Joe (since the family doesn't celebrate birthdays). As this is an actual home video of the family interacting with one another, it is a very good view of how normal -- and not tragic -- their relationship with Joe Jackson actually was.
Did Michael Jackson really bleach his skin to become a white man?
The Accusation :
From the mid 1980s to the early 1990s, people began to notice a slow change in the color of Michael Jackson's skin. The change was very subtle at first, as his skin went from a dark brown to a slightly paler shade. But as the years progressed, and Michael began to appear mulatto and eventually to a porcelain white, it became obvious to everyone that, indeed, Michael Jackson's skin was changing for some unknown reason.
Since there was no statement made as to why his skin color was changing, many rumors began to circulate -- primarily that Michael Jackson was purposely bleaching his skin in order to turn himself, an African American man, into a white person.
In 1993, though, Michael Jackson did give an explanation.
During a highly publicized interview with Oprah Winfrey, Jackson finally told the world that the reason his skin had changed from black to white was not because of "bleaching," but because he had a skin disorder known as vitiligo.
Vitiligo - a skin condition in which there is loss of pigment (color) from areas of the skin, resulting in irregular white patches that feel like normal skin.
Why doubt Michael Jackson had vitiligo?
Although Michael Jackson had given this reason for the change in his appearance, many people still doubted that he was being truthful, and stood firmly by the speculation that he was deliberately trying to turn himself into a white man. They supported this theory by keeping in context that Michael Jackson had also straightened his hair, thinned his nose, and fathered white children. According to the non-believers, the evidence all adds up that Michael Jackson was wanting to become a white man in every way he could. . . even through the bleaching of his skin.
Many also doubted Michael Jackson's skin disorder due to the fact that vitiligo doesn't cause the entire body, uniformly, to lose pigmentation as it appears to have done in Michael Jackson's case. But, instead, vitiligo causes a variety of white patches on the skin, while still leaving some areas of the body their original color. Since Michael Jackson had never been seen with these patches of white, then many of the public naturally asked "why?".
The Answer :
The truth is that Michael Jackson's skin really did turn white due to vitiligo, this fact has been confirmed by his dermatologist Arnie Klein and his 2009 autopsy report.
Why didn't Michael's vitiligo show up in patches?
Michael Jackson did have patches of white all over his body -- most significantly on his face and hands. The reason that the public did not see these patches was because Jackson would use a special kind of makeup to cover up these patches, in order for them to blend in with the natural color of his skin. But as the years progressed, and the vitiligo began to get worse and spread, Jackson found it easier to use a lighter shade of makeup to blend in with the spreading white speckles on his skin.
(on the left you can see an actual photo of the makeup kit that Michael Jackson used during the Victory Tour)
Michael wore that much makeup every day?
After a while, Jackson's vitiligo became so severe that it became easier to use certain medicines that would kill the remaining pigment cells that weren't affected by the vitiligo. If Jackson did not go this route, then he would have been forced to either go through life with white blotches and speckles all over his face and body, or cover himself in massive amounts of makeup every day of his life.
So Michael wasn't wanting to be white?
The fact is that Michael Jackson was an African American, this cannot be disputed. His family was composed of African American's, some of his greatest inspirations were African American's (i.e James Brown and Sammy Davis Jr.), and in his will Michael Jackson stated that the people he wished to take care of his children, in the event of his death, were African American's.
Many may still ask why he thinned his nose or straightened his hair (two things that Michael Jackson had done prior to turning white), but if these facts are presented as evidence then one must ask: Does this mean Janet Jackson is also trying to become a white person?
Video References :
A compilation of clips about Michael Jackson's vitiligo. The clips include interview's by Jackson's makeup artist Karen Faye, Donnie Osmond, vitiligo sufferers, Donnie Osmond, and even Michael Jackson himself.
National Vitiligo Foundation :
Why did Michael always cover his kids faces with masks?
The Question :
Since they were born, anytime that the public would see Michael Jackson with his children -- whether it be in public, on TV, tabloids, etc.-- he would always have their faces covered with either masks, scarves, shawls, or what have you.
Many have wondered why Michael Jackson would do this. They'd assume that it was very uncomfortable for the children, and viewed it as being an irresponsible and unnecessary act for a parent to put their children through. So why did he do it?
The Answer :
The truth is that Michael Jackson didn't keep his children's faces covered all the time. He only did it whenever the children would be out in public with him or would be seen with him on TV (such as in the infamous Bashir interview).
The reason that Michael Jackson did this was not due to a mere eccentric nature, but due to his massive fame and the dangers that could come from. He feared that if the public knew what his children looked like, they would begin to harass them and follow them everywhere they'd go, in much the same way Michael himself was always treated.
In hiding their faces, Jackson made it possible for his children to live a normal life when away from him. They could accompany friends and relatives to restaurants, movies, parks, playgrounds, etc without fear of being recognized or hounded by the paparazzi or fans -- thus keeping them out of danger from the crazy people of the world who may want to harm or kidnap a megastars children for ransom (i.e. the Lindbergh baby), and protecting them from from the possible mental trauma that one could get from seeing rumors written about themselves in the papers and on TV.
It's become obvious, since Michael Jackson's death, that his fears were not without merit. Because ever since his children were unveiled, they have been followed and hounded by the media, written about in the tabloids, and had their pictures plastered over every channel on TV, every magazine on store shelves, and every news site on the internet.
What's the deal with the Neverland Ranch, was it a lure for children? - Explaining Michael Jackson's Neverland
Michael Jackson's World :
The first thing one must remember when thinking about Neverland Ranch, is how massively famous Michael Jackson has always been.
For as long as he could remember, Jackson has been incapable of doing things as simple and mundane as walking across the street, without having mobs of fans and gawkers swarming around him, screaming his name, trying to get his attention, and fighting to get close to him -- if only for a mere glimpse of his presence. Even as a young boy, when he tried to attend public school for the first time, Jackson was forced to leave within a week, due to the chaos and people that would surround him. A private life in a normal world was never an option for him.
Keeping this in mind, it's really no wonder why Michael Jackson built Neverland. It was a home that was, in a sense, a world in itself. A world that included anything and everything that Jackson was incapable of freely enjoying in the outside [real] world.
Aside from being a place to live, Neverland was essentially an amusement park: including (but not limited to) roller coaster's, bumper cars, a zoo full of exotic animals, an actual movie theater (said to contain every DVD ever made), two railroads, a security staff of 40, cooks, guest houses, and so on and so forth. It was not just a home for Michael Jackson, but a place where he could live and enjoy the fun things in life that so many of us take for granted. A place where he could enjoy the recreational activities of life in privacy, without the hassle of being bothered by the adoring fans and the curious public that would, otherwise, not leave him alone.
When asked when he feels lonely:
"When do I feel lonely? Uh, usually in hotels. When there's thousands of fans chanting out in the street . . . Chanting because they love you and everything, and you can't get out, you feel trapped inside. And you just cry, you feel lonely, you know? And there's all that love out there. But still, you really do feel trapped and lonely that you can't get out. And if you go to a book store, if you go out, if you go to a club -- which I don't like clubs -- you know. . . every book you buy, they want to know 'Why are you buying this? Why is Michael Jackson buying this? Why is he reading this?' or [when] you go to the club, as soon as you go in there, every song is my song -- as if I want to hear my music -- and everybody starts chanting for me to dance. So it becomes a show all over again. So you can't go anywhere. . . I don't want to complain, like I'm complaining, because it comes with the territory. But I don't think people understand the other side that comes with it. They're so quick to call you strange and weird, but it's almost as if you're forced to be different. Because it's not a normal life, you know?" --- Michael Jackson
(a clip of this conversation can be found here).
Children at Neverland :
With Neverland Ranch being such a Disneyland-like world, with so many rides and attractions, Michael Jackson decided that he could share the ranch with others -- most notably children.
Although Michael would let many children and their parents come to enjoy Neverland, he usually focused on those who were less fortunate and may otherwise not be in a good financial/healthy position to go to such a place (usually teaming up with charity organizations, such as The Make a Wish Foundation). He would bring busloads of sick, poor, and dieing kids to the ranch on a regular basis (millions a year) and allow them to take part in the rides, attractions, etc. at his own personal expense (this need to be charitable could be a possible offset of the strict religious upbringing Jackson had, up until his mid-20's, as a Jehovah Witness).
Since Michael Jackson has always had a busy life and active career, he wasn't always capable of being at Neverland when these children would come to visit. Although, during the times when he was there, he would usually take part in their fun by joining them in games, giving them personal tours, talking with them, playing with them, getting to know them, and growing relationships with them and their families (sometimes even helping individual families out with their own finances and bills).
On many occasions Michael would even let the children sleep over at Neverland after they've had a day of fun and weren't ready to leave. Sometimes when these children would stay the night, they would join Michael in his own bedroom (with their parents permission) and watch movies and play until finally going to sleep. These sleepovers would later be put under a negative scope because they went against the "social norm" and because of the misleading ideas that Michael Jackson's bedroom was the same as a typical persons bedroom.
[NOTE ABOUT JACKSON'S BEDROOM]
Michael Jackson did not have your usual bedroom. It was two stories, it had a fireplace, there were couches and chairs (a complete living room-like setup), a huge bed, flat screen TV and stereo system, many windows, and two very large bathrooms that included a Jacuzzi bathtub and walk-in closets. Jackson's entire home was incredibly large, there was no way that he would go through his day by hanging around every room, so this was the area in which he spent the majority of his time when he stayed at Neverland (hence why he had a security system set up in the room). It was essentially an apartment within a palace; a home within a home.
The Downfall :
After Michael Jackson was first accused of molesting a child in 1993, Neverland and the visits from children fell under much scrutiny by the public and media.
Many would hear about all of these children who would visit and stay over with Michael Jackson and wonder why a grown man would ever allow/want such a thing. Michael would always insist that anything that went on at Neverland was purely innocent though, and continued to allow things to continue on how they'd been (insisting that he was doing a good and innocent thing for these children).
In 2005 though, after a second child abuse accusation and trial, Michael finally succumbed to the pressures of the public and media's constant suspicions, and quit allowing children to sleep over -- because, no matter how innocent it was, it went against the "social norm". He stated that he wouldn't put himself in that kind of vulnerable position again (a position of being an easy target for these types of allegations).
Also as a result of the 2005 trial, Michael Jackson had begun to say that, although he would still visit it, he no longer considered Neverland Ranch his home. He said that the innocents, fun, and goodhearted nature that the property had initially stood for, had been tainted, and its reputation sullied, by the vicious allegations toward it (people claiming that it was merely a lure for children). These claims that Neverland had been tainted were also in reference to the 70+ police officers who had raided the property during their investigations (this is more law enforcement personnel to raid someone's property than any other serial killer or murderer in American history).
In 2006 the facilities were closed and most of the staff dismissed. A spokesperson stated that this was a reflection of the fact that Jackson no longer lived there.
I go off property sometimes, but not all the times. I create my world behind the gates, you know? 'cause I can't go to the local movie theater down the street, or the local park down the street, or go pick up ice-cream at the market -- at the corner store. So you want to create that world behind the gates. And that's what I try and do. And it's not just for me. I can share it with my family, my friends, or whoever I do."
-- Michael Jackson
Video References :
Video of Michael Jackson, and acquaintances of Jackson, speaking about Neverland and the children who visit it. Also includes clips of Jackson entertaining children from the Make A Wish Foundation at Neverland.
Why was Michael accused of molestation 2 times if he was innocent? And why let kids sleepover in the first place?
Yes it's strange for a grown man to let many sick, dieing, and poverty-stricken children visit and sleep in his house (when he was there and when he was not). But it's also quite strange for a man to spend days worth of his free time visiting these children at hospitals and poor neighborhoods and communities all around the world, when most with such fame and money are out "partying" and such -- you must keep things in context.
Yes it's fishy for a man to have been accused of molesting a child two times throughout his life. But it's just as unusual for a man to have had millions of children from all around the world visiting his home yearly on a regular basis (making him a prime target for money hungry parents looking to get rich quick by making elaborate accusations). And yet out of this massive variety of children and parents to come by the mega-famous millionaires home, there were only two of which to have made such accusations toward him (the latter accusers, incidentally, happening to have a long history of lying to police and benefiting significantly from similar lawsuits); that is unusual. So, I must stress again: keep things in context.
If you look at the work Michael Jackson has done to try and help children, give to children, and try and make the less fortunate of them happier all throughout his life, you will see that indeed Michael Jackson has shown an abnormal pattern of affinity toward kids. But a pattern of abuse? No. Quite the opposite.
For one reason or another, Michael Jackson seems to have had a strong urge to help kids and make their lives better, by both giving to them financially and giving his time and sharing his amusement park of a home with them. This is a man who had people searching all around the world for a liver to save a dieing child he met once at a hospital (a child who, because of this, had his life saved), a man who had hospital beds placed in his home movie theater (yes, an actual movie theater) so that the bedridden could enjoy movies on the big screen along with everyone else, and a man who is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as giving more to charity than any other popular artist ever.
To believe that the sole purpose to involve himself in all of this charity and good will, toward individuals and groups, was nothing more than one big life-long elaborate scheme to molest cancer patients is, frankly, absurd. But, for some reason, many out there find that this is the more plausible explanation for a human being to do these things. This is more believable to them than to think that there's actually a person out there who genuinely wanted to help people and make their lives happier.
The fact that we believe that this kind of evil is more realistic than that kind of good (when all evidence points to the good) is not only something we should keep in mind when looking at Michael Jackson. . . but something we should keep in mind when looking at ourselves, and our own faith in humanity.
... Who's really the more "sick" individual in this scenario?
So as I said before, keep in context how abonormal Michael Jackson's acts were toward the good of people when you doubt his relationships with children. Keep these things in mind and compare them to the popular negative views about him and think to yourself... which makes more sense? Which adds up?
Was child pornography really found in Michael Jackson's house?
The Accusation :
This question is in reference to two books that were seized in a raid on Neverland Valley ranch during the 1993 investigation of Michael Jackson, and were admitted as evidence in his 2005 molestation trial. The books were said to contain "boys in various states of undress, running, jumping and swimming."
The Books :
The "child pornography" in question was actually two artistic and legally available books that Michael Jackson hadn't had in his possession since the police had originally seized them in 93'.
1st Book -- Boys Will Be Boys
The product description of this book is as follows --
"This spunky tribute to the mischief's and musings of little boys features the captivating Americana artwork of oil painter Jim Daly, artist of the bestselling What Little Boys Are Made Of (more than 195,000 copies sold).
Heartwarming quotes, rascally poems, and literary excerpts about the wonder of boyhood ushers readers into a land of innocence and imagination, where the best kind of toys are the simple props of nature and life's most memorable moments happen among friends on a lazy summer day.
With its nod to rural life and simpler times, this spirited gift book is perfect for Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt, Uncle-anyone who has ever loved or ever been a little boy."
The copy of the book that had been presented to the jury had this inscription by Michael Jackson written on the inside --
"Look at the true spirit of happiness and joy in these boys' faces, this is the spirit of boyhood, a life I've never had and will always dream of. This is the life I want for my children."
2nd Book -- The Boy: A Photographic Essay
The copy of The Boy: A Photographic Essay presented to the jury during the 2005 trial was actually sent to Michael Jackson by a fan in 1983 and included the following inscription --
"To Michael from your (heart symbol) fan, XXXOOO, 'Rhonda,'".
This particular book was released in the early 60's and contains black and white photographs of young boys involved in a variety of activities (most of which look to be from a summer camp). Some of these images do involve nudity during such things as skinny dipping at a lake (images that can be found on the link below). Although this book is out of print, it is legal to sell and own, and is considered a collectors item.
The Answer :
During the time of the 2005 Michael Jackson trial, the public continuously had vague bits of information presented to them (what they in the know call the juicy stuff). And one of these pieces of information was that there were "Pictures of naked little boys found in Michael Jackson's home" (referring to these two books). This is what we all heard, this is what we exaggerated, and this is where the rumors of Michael's "kiddy-porn stash" came from.
As you can tell, though -- from the descriptions of these books, the fact that they are legally available materials, the fact that one of which was sent to him by a fan, and the fact that Michael Jackson was found innocent of all charges at the end of the trial -- there was no "child pornography" found in Michael Jackson's home.
How would you explain that one kid giving such a perfect description of Michaels genitals?
The Accusation :
This question is in reference to the 1993 child molestation case against Michael Jackson where the young accuser, Jordan Chandler, gave police a description of Jackson's penis.
Because of this, Michael Jackson reluctantly agreed to a strip search, that was held on December 20 at the Neverland Ranch. Those present for the search were Jackson's two attorneys, a physician, a detective, a bodyguard and a photographer.
During the search, Jackson was made to undress and was then examined for approximately 25 minutes. The examination included his penis, anus, hips, buttocks and any other part of Jackson's body they felt fit.
The "perfect" description given of Michael Jackson's genitals was, in fact, not a perfect description at all. How many in the public have come to believe that it was is really quite astounding. But it may be due to this part of the search report that's been made so public:
"there were some strong similarities between Chandler's description and Jackson's body, but there wasn't a definite match."
People tend to focus quite a bit on the portion of this report which says "there were some strong similarities" without keeping the "there wasn't a definite match," portion in mind: a portion that holds a lot of weight.
Aside from the fact that there was no definite match, one of the more obvious revealing details of the strip search that attest to Michael Jackson's innocence is the fact that Jordan Chandler had inaccurately claimed that Jackson had been circumcised -- a fact that, in itself, proves that there never was a "perfect description" of Michael Jackson's genitals by a child.
Did Michael really hold a family captive?
The Accusation :
One of the accusations against Michael Jackson during his 2005 trial against the Arvizo family, was that Jackson and his "associates" held the Arvizo family at Neverland Ranch against their will.
According to the Arvizo family, Michael wanted to hold the Arvizo's until they agreed to participate in a rebuttal film that Michael and his goons hoped would clear Jackson of the tarnished reputation he was left with after the Martin Bashir documentary, "Living with Michael Jackson", that Gavin Arvizo was featured in.
My verdict of this accusation is the exact same as the jury's verdict during the 2005 trial: Michael Jackson and his associates are innocent of the charges.
I didn't just come to this conclusion merely because the jury did, of course, but also because of the insanity of the claim and the contradictions within it... here are some facts:
+ According to the mother of Gavin Arvizo, Janet Ventura Arvizo, she had planned to escape the clutches of Michael Jackson by way of "hot air balloon".
+ Before this, Janet Ventura Arvizo had testified to the sheriff that Michael Jackson had wanted to kidnap her and her family with a hot air balloon.
+ During their supposed days of captivity, the Arvizo family had gone out to shop at the local Toys R Us, visited the beauty parlor, had braces removed at the dentist, and had gotten visa forms for a trip to Brazil in downtown LA.
+ There is no fence surrounding the property of Neverland Ranch.
+ People have testified about how much enjoyment the Arvizo family appeared to be having at Neverland Ranch -- mostly at Michael Jacksons own expense.
Michael Jackson : The Untold Story of Neverland (DVD) - *Must See*
This is a documentary made by Larry Nimmer, who worked as a filmmaker or Jackson and his defense team during his 2005 trial. The video contains:
+ Footage shot for the jury's virtual Neverland Tour
+ Footage seen for the first time of the Sheriff's videotaped raid of Neverland.
+ Outtakes of Jackson speaking during the production of the Martin Bashir Documentary.
+ Jackson's accusers of child molestation, in 2005, speaking on the record about their experiences at Neverland.
+ Interviews with the jury and attorney of the 2005 trial.
+ The fans mourning Jacksons death.
+ Highlights of Jacksons career.
+ How Jackson's accusers fabricated their allegations.
+ Clips from Michael Jacksons memorial service.
+ ... and much more.
What is Jesus Juice, and did Michael really liquor up kids with it?
The Question :
What is Jesus Juice?
The Answer :
When Michael Jackson would drink wine, he would sometimes call it "Jesus Juice" while drinking it from a soda can, as a way of preventing his children from knowing he drank.
The Question :
Did Michael Jackson really give wine to children?
The Answer :
Michael Jackson was accused of giving children alcohol during the 2005 child abuse trial. Judging from the fact that Michael Jackson was found innocent of these charges, and also by the fact that the entire reason he called the wine "Jesus Juice" in the first place was in order to prevent himself from being a bad influence to children, then logic implies that the answer is no.
Why would the kids say that Jackson gave them alcohol if he hadn't?
Judging from the interview's I've heard and the court transcripts I've read, many people were aware that Michael Jackson would drink wine through a soda can while calling it Jesus Juice (so that his children wouldn't know he was drinking alcohol). It would be naïve to believe that it was beyond the realm of possibility that these children accusing him (who already had a shaky record to begin with) would remember this well-known fact about Jackson and use it against him to support their case in court.
To keep this in context, it should be made aware that it has been proven that these two children were coached by their parents into lying to the police previously during an incident when they were detained for shoplifting clothes from a JC Penny; the parents (primarily the mother, Janet Arvizo) also have a history of making physical and sexual harassment allegations which have resulted in other lawsuits. The very fact that these children have a history of this kind of deceit (albeit due to the influence of bad parenting) is a clear indicator that they were capable of lying and conjuring up elaborate tales for the purposes of financial gain.
Why would Michael's own sister, La Toya Jackson, say he was a pedophile if it weren't true?
The Accusation :
In the winter of 1993, at the time of Michael Jackson's first molestation charge, Michael's sister, La Toya Jackson, had made claims that her brother was a pedophile.
She announced that she had proof that her allegations were true, and was prepared to disclose it to the media for a fee of $500,000.
Below, I've listed several facts to support why I believe that La Toya's 1993 allegations hold no merit.
+ At the time of La Toya's claims, she had not seen or spoken to Michael in a number of years.
+ Although tabloids began a bidding war for La Toya's "proof" of her brothers pedophillia, all deals fell through after it turned out that her particular insights were nothing more than her own unfounded speculations.
+ La Toya's family disowned her after she made these allegations.
+ Eventually La Toya herself admitted that she never actually believed that her brother was a pedophile. She insisted that she was forced to make the allegations by her then husband for financial gain (a possibility that gained some weight after the husband was arrested for beating her).
Michael Jackson Conspiracy - by Aphrodite Jones
This is a book written by Aphrodite Jones. Aphrodite was one of many of us who for so long have had the wrong opinion of Michael Jackson, and condemmed him and his lifestyle based solely on media coverage of him and preconceived notions fueled by our own ignorance.
It wasn't until after Michael Jacksons "not guilty" verdict after he second child molestation charge, that Aphrodite began to take a closer look at Michael Jackson and find that her past ideas of him were wrong.
Why did Michael Jackson appear to be so awkward when it came to women?
The Question :
People would rarely see or hear about Michael Jackson going on dates with women. Whenever you hear him questioned about women, sex, or what have you, on interviews he always gets very shy and embarrassed. Why is it that he could act so sexually provocative on stage, yet seem so awkward about the subject in his own life?
The Answer :
Well to begin, we don't know at all how Michael Jackson was about women really. For all we know, he was "getting some" every night.
But assuming that Jackson actually did have problems with women, I do have a theory.
My own personal speculations :
Michael Jackson was a very introverted individual. The cause for this is most likely because of the isolation brought upon him from the fame he had acquired at such a young age, the moral views he had growing up as a Jehovah Witness that differentiated him from most of his peers, and the fact that he really had no true peers that he could relate to because his very unique situation in life.
These types of setbacks made it difficult for Michael Jackson to evolve into your average chick-chasing guy. He wasn't experiencing the usual corrupt facts of life that most of us gain from peers, sleepovers, school dances, etc. (because he was a Jehovah Witness, Jackson hadn't even had the chance to experience a Christmas or a birthday party). Also, because of his massive fame, Jackson was incapable of even going out into public to meet a girl -- let alone able to go out on a normal date with one. And because he was so well known, any girl that Jackson did happen to meet would most likely already know who he was and have preconceived notions about him.
Because of this lack of "normal" life experience, I came to the assumption that Michael Jackson had gained his "old fashioned" views about women, romance, and sex from the arts. This type of thing is very common with people who have trouble engaging in a normal social life and developing relationships with people -- they turn to books, music, film, etc to compensate. All of which, tend to focus more on storybook romance than the actual realities of dating and sex.
I don't believe that the awkward way in which Michael Jackson appeared to act toward women was necessarily a unique trait though. Plenty of guys do look at life in that same sort of poetic way. But the thing is, when you are like that you must wear a more socially acceptable mask in your day to day life. This is nothing you do consciously, but more as something you evolve into doing throughout your life.
Guys who do not wear that mask (such as Jackson) a lot of the times tend to not have as much luck with women. They're just as interested in them as anyone else, and do get their attention. But once sex -- even kissing -- gets thrown into the mix, they have trouble moving away from that real sensitivity that they've showed so often. They don't sweet talk (or "pimp" as the kids say) but, instead, try to speak with the girl as an equal or joke with them. It makes sex very awkward when you're treating someone as if they were just your buddy.
Think back to the movie Superbad (yes, this is my example) when Michael Cera is in the bed with the girl he's crushing on and deals with the situation so awkwardly. He talks to her as he normally would, as if they weren't about to have sex, and makes nervous jokes about the situation they're in -- as oppose to wearing the mask of a smooth guy who talks dirty, stares deeply into her eyes, try's to use seduction tactics, or. . . well, whatever.
This really seemed to be the situation with Michael Jackson. He could act cool and sexually provocative on stage, because he was acting. He was taking on an image that was a part of his art and it gave him the freedom to do things that he normally wouldn't. But once he was off stage, he was forced to be himself again -- a shy emotionally open guy who's ideas of life and love were molded from the PG-13 romantic ideas from books, movies, and music.
You may think that "Well, if he could go into seductive mode so easily on stage, then why not in life?", well it's just not that easy. If he suddenly changed his persona while getting intimate with a woman, he would feel like a fool and be embarrassed because it would be so obvious that he was "putting on" (You can see an example of how he becomes easily embarrassed by trying to look "cool" -- or perform -- in the 1993 Oprah interview after he demonstrates how you moonwalk or after he beatboxes).
Also, to get an idea of how he would act in this kind of way during an intimate scenario you should watch the part of Living With Michael Jackson when he speaks about his intimate encounter with Tatum O'Neal and how he reacted to it.
If you want a guy like Michael Jackson, you better be pressuring the sex and stuff on him pretty adamantly, because he's not going to take the initiative himself.
(The above was only a theory. I do not have a strong belief in it and am in no way saying that this is certainly how things were for Michael Jackson)
Video References :
Why did Michael always keep an umbrella over his head when in public?
The Question :
Michael Jackson was often seen outside with either himself or someone else holding an umbrella over his head, regardless of the weather. Why?
The Answer :
Because of Michael Jackson's skin disorder, vitiligo, and the treatment used for it, he became extremely sensitive to the sun and was essentially allergic to it's rays. Too much exposure to them would cause severe breakouts on his body, and put him at a greater risk of getting skin cancer.
Because of this, Michael Jackson would usually wear long sleeved shirts and hats with large brims while outside in the sun. Umbrellas were just another way to shield himself from the sun.
Did Michael really own the rights to the Beatles' songs?
The Answer :
Yes... sort of.
In 1984, ATV (the company that owned the Beatles music) put their 4,000-song music catalog up for sale. Michael Jackson, who was informed about the benefits of song ownership by Paul McCartney, ended up eventually outbidding all of the prospective buyers for the catalog (including Paul McCartney himself).
McCartney has been reported as saying that he felt betrayed by what Michael Jackson had done.
Michael Jackson, on the other hand, said that it was just "good business",
In 1995, Sony Corp. paid Michael Jackson $95 million to merge ATV with Sony and form Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a 50-50 joint venture -- meaning that Michael Jackson owned only half of the Beatles music.
Video references :
Did Michael really fly away on a jetpack at the end of one of his concerts?
The Answer :
Yes and no.
During the 1992 Dangerous World Tour (where all profits went to the heel The World Foundation), Michael Jackson would end each concert by putting on astronaut-type of suit and did appear to fly out of the arena with a jetpack strapped on to his back.
Although the staff and crew thought that the idea sounded undoable and dangerous, Michael Jackson was persistent about having the stunt be included at the end of his shows -- and what Michael Jackson wants, Michael Jackson gets.
But was the actual person in the jetpack Jackson?
A stuntman named Kinnie Gibson would secretly switch places with Jackson as he keeled down a trap hole in the stage, already dressed in the full astronaut costume -- thus appearing to be Jackson. If you watch the included clip of the stunt, you will see that the switch happens as Jackson quickly goes out of sight when bending over to pick up the jetpack from a box. The box then is pulled above the stage with Jackson hiding inside.
What happened to Bubbles... you know, the monkey?
The Question :
In 1985 Michael Jackson adopted a three-year-old chimp, named Bubbles, from a cancer research clinic in Texas. For three years Michael Jackson and Bubbles lived with Jackson's parents in Encino, before finally moving to Neverland in 1988. While at Neverland, the chimp slept in a crib at the corner of Jackson's bedroom.
Michael Jackson remained very close to the animal, playing with him constantly, showing him off to the press, and basically treating him as a best friend. But as the years progressed, the public and media began to see less and less of Bubbles, then eventually he appeared to have disappeared all together. What happened to him?
The Answer :
When Bubbles grew older and stronger he began to become too much for Michael Jackson to handle. And, fearing that the chimp would hurt his newborn son, Prince Michael II, Jackson soon sent Bubbles to live at Bob Dunn's ranch in Sylmar, California.
Dunn's ranch closed in 2004 and Bubbles was moved to the Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, Florida. Today he's said to enjoy painting, listening to flute music, and sitting quietly in trees with his best friend Sam -- a 40-year-old chimpanzee.
Did Michael really own the Gone With The Wind Oscar?
The Answer :
Yes. He paid $1.54 million dollars for the 1939 Best Picture Academy Award for Gone with the Wind. He kept it in his living room, on a rotating pedestal, for guest to admire.
Why should we remember Michael Jackson?
I've heard many people go on about why should Michael Jackson get as much coverage as he does, why should people appreciate Michael Jackson, and why should Michael Jackson be remembered. Most of the arguments on his defense say that Michael Jackson was the greatest entertainer who ever lived, the greatest singer, or that he paved the way for African Americans and made MTV what it is today. All of this may be true, but I think the most important thing to remember about Michael Jackson is his acts as a humanitarian.
Michael Jackson devoted his entire life to love and togetherness. You hear this in his interviews, acceptance speeches, and even his music. One of the greatest tragedies is that when people listen to Michael Jackson's music they only focus on the killer beats, the amazing vocals, and catchy choruses. But if you pay attention to what Michael Jackson's actually saying then you can see who he truly is. I could go through here and write out the lyrics for you. Maybe go on a rant about how "Beat It" is speaking against violence or something like that. But I'm not going to do that. Instead, I will just tell you some of what he has done. And maybe after knowing that, then the music and Michael Jackson's legacy will become more clear.
+After suffering second degree burns to his scalp on January 27 of 1984 -- after pyrotechnics accidentally set his hair on fire during a Pepsi Cola Commercial -- PepsiCo settled a lawsuit with Michael Jackson out of court. Michael Jackson then gave his $1.5 million settlement to the "Michael Jackson Burn Center" which was a piece of new technology to help people with severe burns.
+January 10, 1984: Michael visits the unit for burn victims at Brotman-Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles.
+April 9, 1984: David Smithee, a 14-year-old boy who suffers from cystic fibroses is invited to Michael's home. It was David's last wish to meet Michael. He dies 7 weeks later.
+April 14, 1984: Michael equips a 19-bed-unit at Mount Senai New York Medical Center. This center is part of the T.J. Martell-Foundation for leukemia and cancer research.
+On May 14, 1984, Michael Jackson was invited to the White House To Receive an award, presented by President Ronald Reagan, for his support of charities that helped people overcome alcohol and drug abuse.
+July 14, 1984: After the first concert of the Victory Tour, Michael meets 8 terminally ill children backstage.
+After the 1984 Victory Tour, headlined by The Jacksons, Michael Jackson donated his $5 million dollar share to charity.
+Michael Jackson co-wrote the charity single "We Are the World" with Lionel Richie, which was released worldwide to aid the poor in Africa and the US. He was one of 39 music celebrities who performed on the record. The single became one of the best-selling singles of all time, with nearly 20 million copies sold and millions of dollars donated to famine relief.
+During The Bad World Tour, Michael Jackson performed a total of 123 concerts to a total audience of 4.4 million people. During the trip he invited underprivileged children to watch for free and gave donations to hospitals, orphanages and other charities.
+February 28, 1986: After having had a heart-transplant, 14-year-old Donna Ashlock from California gets a call from Michael Jackson. He had heard that she is a big fan of his. Michael invites her to his home as soon as she is feeling better. This visit takes place on March 8th. Donna stays for dinner and watches a movie together with Michael.
+September 13, 1987: Michael supports a campaign against racism. He supports efforts of the NAACP, to fight prejudices against black artists.
+October 1987: At the end of his Bad Tour, Michael donates some personal items to the UNESCO for a charitable auction. The proceeds will be for the education of children in developing countries.
+April 1988: Free tickets are given away for three concerts in Atlanta, Georgia to the Make A Wish Foundation.
+May 22, 1988: Michael visits children who suffer from cancer in the Bambini-Gesu Children's Hospital in Rome. He signs autographs and gives away sweets and records to the little patients. He promises a check of 100,000 pounds to the hospital.
+July 16, 1988: Before a concert at Wembley Stadium Michael meets the Prince of Wales and his wife Diana. He hands over a check of 150,000 pounds for the Prince's Trust, and a check of 100,000 pounds for the children's hospital at Great Ormond Street.
+July 20, 1988: Michael visits terminally ill children at Great Ormond Street Hospital. At a unit for less critical patients he stays a little bit longer and tells a story.
+August 29, 1988: At his 30th birthday Michael performs a concert in Leeds, England for the English charity-organization "Give For Life". The goal of this organization is the immunization of children. Michael presents a check for 65,000 pounds.
+December 1988: Michael visits 12-year-old David Rothenburg. His father had 5 years earlier burned him very badly in an act of revenge against his former wife.
+January 1989: The proceeds of one of Michael's shows in Los Angeles are donated to Childhelp USA, the biggest charity-organization against child-abuse. In appreciation of the contributions of Michael, Childhelp of Southern California is founding the "Michael Jackson International Institute for Research On Child Abuse".
+January 10, 1989: The Bad Tour comes to an end. Under-privileged children are donated tickets for each concert and Michael donates money to hospitals, orphanages and charity-organizations.
+February 7, 1989: Michael visits the Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, California. Some weeks earlier a 25-year-old man had fired at the school's playground. 5 children had been killed and 39 had been wounded.
+March 5, 1989: Michael invites 200 deprived children of the St. Vincent Institute for handicapped children and of the organization Big Brothers and Big Sisters to the Circus Vargas in Santa Barbara. After this event he invites them to his ranch to introduce his private zoo at his Neverland Ranch to them.
+November 13, 1989: The organization "Wishes Granted" helps 4-year-old Darian Pagan, who suffers from leukemia to meet Michael. Michael invites the little boy to a performance of Canadian acrobats.
+January 6, 1990: Michael invites 82 abused and neglected children through Childhelp to his Neverland Ranch. There are games, a Barbeque and a movie show provided for them.
+July 1990: 45 children from the Project Dream Street, Los Angeles, for children with life-threatening illness are invited to Neverland Valley.
+August 18, 1990: Michael invites 130 children of the YMCA summer program of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara to his Neverland Ranch.
+From 1985 to 1990, Jackson donated $500,000 to the United Negro College Fund, and all the profits from his single "Man in the Mirror" went to charity.
+December 1991: Michael's office MJJ Productions treats needy families in Los Angeles with more than 200 turkey dinners.
+In 1992 Michael Jackson founded the "Heal The World Foundation". The charity organization brought underprivileged children to Jackson's ranch, to go on theme park rides that Jackson had built on the property after he purchased it. The foundation also sent millions of dollars around the globe to help children threatened by war and disease. After completing the five month long Dangerous World Tour, where he performed to 3.5 million people in 67 concerts, all the profits went to the "Heal The World Foundation", raising millions of dollars in relief.
+December 28, 1989: Young Ryan White, who suffers from hemophilia, spends his holidays on Michael's ranch. Ryan had been infected with AIDS by contaminated blood transfusions in 1984. After he was excluded from his school in Kokomo, Ryan fought against the discrimination of AIDS victims.
+Following the illness and death of Ryan White, Michael Jackson helped draw public attention to HIV/AIDS, something that was still controversial at the time. He publicly pleaded with the Clinton Administration at Bill Clinton's Inaugural Gala to give more money to HIV/AIDS charities and research.
+May 6, 1991: Michael is invited to the Jane Goodall Charity event. Michael supports her, an advocate of behavioral research concerning chimpanzees in Gombe, Nigeria for more than 30 years.
+July 26, 1991: Michael pays a visit to the Youth Sports & Art Foundation in Los Angeles. This Foundation supports families of gang members, and helps dealing with drug-abuse. Michael talks to the kids and presents them with a wide-screen TV set and a financial gift.
+February 1992: Within 11 days Michael covers 30,000 miles in Africa, to visit hospitals, orphanages, schools, churches, and institutions for mentally handicapped children.
+May 6, 1992: Michael defrays the funeral-expenses for Ramon Sanchez, who was killed during the Los Angeles riots.
+June 26, 1992: Michael presents the Mayor of Munich, Mr. Kronawitter, with a 40,000 DM-check for the needy people of the city.
+June 29, 1992: Michael visits the Sophia Children's Hospital in Rotterdam and presents a check for 100,000 pounds.
+July 1992: Michael donated L. 821,477,296 to La Partita del Cuore (The Heart Match) in Rome and donated 120,000 DM to children's charities in Estonia and Latvia.
+July 25, 1992: On the occasion of a concert in Dublin, Ireland, Michael announces that he will give 400,000 pounds of the tour earnings to various charities.
+July 29, 1992: Michael visits the Queen Elizabeth Children's Hospital in London. To the surprise the children, he brings Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from Euro-Disney to the hospital.
+July 31, 1992: On the Eve of his second concert at Wembley Stadium, Michael presents Prince Charles with a check of 200,000 pounds for the Prince's Trust.
+August 16, 1992: 6 year old Nicholas Killen, who lost his eyesight caused by a life aiding cancer surgery, meets Michael backstage in Leeds, England.
+September 1992: Michael donated 1 million pesetas to charity headed by the Queen of Spain.
+September 30, 1992: President Iliescu of Romania inaugurates a playground for 500 orphans which Michael has financed. Michael discusses his Heal The World Foundation.
+October 1, 1992: Michael chooses a concert in Bucharest, Romania for worldwide television broadcast. Bucharest is a logical choice due to the numerous orphanages the country is known for.
+November 24, 1992: At Kennedy Airport in New York, Michael supervises the loading of 43 tons of medication, blankets, and winter clothes destined for Sarajevo. The Heal The World Foundation collaborates with AmeriCares to bring resources totaling $2.1 million to Sarajevo. They will be allocated under the supervision of the United Nations.
+December 10, 1992: During a press conference at the American Ambassy in Tokyo Michael is presented with a check for $100,000 for the heel The World Foundation by Tour Sponsor Pepsi.
+December 26, 1992: During a broadcast request for donations to the United Negro College Fund, Michael declares: "Black Colleges and Universities are breeding some of the leading personalities of our time. They are on top in business, justice, science and technologies, politics and religion. I am proud, that the Michael Jackson Scholarship Program enabled more than 200 young men and women to get a qualified education."
+January 26, 1993: At a press conference held at Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, Los Angeles, Michael is presented with a $200,000 donation from the National Football League and the Sponsors of the Super Bowl. He gets another $500,000 from the BEST Foundation for his Heal The World Foundation. At this occasion the foundation of "Heal L.A." is officially announced.
+February 1993: In association with Sega, launched an initiative to distribute more than $108,000 of computer games and equipment to children's hospitals, children's homes, and children's charities throughout the U.K.
+March 1993: The foundation of an independent film company is announced. They will produce family-oriented movies. A part of the earnings will go to the Heal The World Foundation.
+March 27, 1993: At a meeting at Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, Michael gives a 5-minute speech to 1200 teachers and politicians.
+April 26, 1993: Within his "Heal LA" tour, Michael visits the Watta Health Foundation, and two schools in Los Angeles South Central.
+May 5, 1993: Former President Jimmy Carter and Michael, who are chairmen of the "Heal Our Children/Heal The World" initiative, are in Atlanta to promote their "Atlanta Project Immunization Drive".
+June 1993: Michael has announced that he will donate $1.25 million for children who have suffered from the riots in Los Angeles.
+June 1993: 100 children from the Challengers Boys and Girls Club visit Neverland.
+June 10, 1993: Michael promotes the new DARE-program. The purpose of the program is to inform children about the dangers of drug abuse.
+June 18, 1993: Michael pays a visit to a hospital in Washington. He spends several hours with the young patients and plays chess with some of them.
+August 1993: With Pepsi-Cola Thailand, donated $40,000 to Crown Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's charity, the Rural School Children and Youth Development Fund, in support of school lunch programs in rural villages in Thailand.
+August 1993: In conjunction with Pepsi-Cola International, donated new ambulances to the Contacts One Independent Living Center for Children in Moscow, Russia and the Hospital de Ninos Dr. Ricardo Gutierrez in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
+October 1993: Donated $100,000 to the Children's Defense Fund, the Children's Diabetes Foundation, the Atlanta Project, and the Boys and Girl Clubs of Newark, New Jersey.
+October 22, 1993: Michael visits a hospital in Santiago.
+October 28, 1993: Michael makes it possible for 5000 underprivileged children to visit the Reino Aventura Park, where the whale Keiko ("Free Willy") is living.
+November 5, 1993: Michael is guest at a children's party at the Hard Rock Cafe in Mexico City.
+December 1993: With the Gorbachev Foundation, airlifted 60,000 doses of children's vaccines to Tblisi, Georgia.
+December 16, 1993: The Heal The World Foundation UK supports "Operation Christmas Child" delivering toys, sweets, gifts and food to children in former Yugoslavia.
+1994: Michael donates $500,000 to Elizabeth Taylor's AIDS Foundation.
+January 7, 1994: On the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, Michael gives a party for more than 100 underprivileged children at his Neverland Ranch.
+February 22, 1994: "The Jackson Family Honors" is televised. The earnings of the show are given to their own newly formed charity, "Family Caring for Families".
+August 6, 1994: Michael and his wife Lisa Marie are visiting two children's hospitals in Budapest. They distribute toys to the ill children.
+1995: Michael wants to free dolphins who have been locked up for years. He believes there should be legal guidelines about the way dolphins have to live in zoos and parks.
+March 1995: Little Bela Farkas received a new liver. Michael and Lisa Marie met this 4-year-old boy during their trip to Hungary in 1994. Michael did everything to help Bela, whose only chance to live was getting a new liver. The Heal The World Foundation covered the surgery and the cost for caring.
+June 21, 1996: Michael donated a four-times platinum disc of "HIStory" in aid of the Dunblane appeal at the Royal Oak Hotel, Sevenoaks in England.
+July 18, 1996: In Soweto, South Africa Michael is laying down a wreath of flowers for youngsters who have been killed during the fights involving Apartheid.
+September 1996: The first Sports Festival "Hope" was held for orphans and disadvantaged children. 3000 children and 600 volunteers took part in the Sports Festival and Michael Jackson was a special guest.
+September 6, 1996: Michael visits the children's unit of a hospital in Prague.
+October 1996: Michael visited a hospital for mentally challenged children in Kaoshiung, Taiwan and offered 2,000 free tickets to the sold out performance in Kaoshiung.
+October 1, 1996: Michael donated the proceeds of his Tunisia concert to "The National Solidarity Fund", a charity dedicated to fighting poverty.
+October 3, 1996: Michael visits a children's hospital and brings small gifts for the patients during a HIStory tour visit in Amsterdam. A room in the hospital (for parents who want to be with their children) is named after Michael.
+November 1, 1996: Michael donates most of the earnings from a HIStory concert in Bombay, India to the poor people of the country.
+November 7, 1996: Before his first concert in Auckland, New Zealand, Michael fulfills the wish of little Emely Smith, who is suffering from cancer, who wants to meet Michael.
+November 25, 1996: Michael visited the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, delivering toys, signing autographs, and visiting with children.
+December 9, 1996: During a HIStory tour visit in Manila, Michael visits a children's hospital. He announces that a part of his concert earnings will be donated to the renovation of the hospital.
+January 25, 1997: Michael waved his personal fee for his Bombay appearance and donated $1.1 million to a local charity helping to educate children living in slums.
+April 4, 1997: British magazine "OK!" is publishing exclusive photos of Michael's son Prince. The magazine pays about 1 million pounds for the photos. Michael donates the money to charity.
+June 18, 1997: Michael signed the "Children in Need" book auctioned by the charity UNESCO.
+September 1998: Michael meets 5 year old Aza Woods, who suffers from cancer, at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas. Michael introduces Aza to the attraction "Star Trek: The Experience" and spends the rest of the afternoon with the little boy. Finally Michael invites Aza to spend some time with him at his Neverland Ranch.
+November 16, 1998: Michael arrives in Harare, Zimbabwe. He is a member of the American Delegation invited by the Minister of Defense. The delegation thanks the government of Zimbabwe for helping to keep the peace in this area.
+Throughout June 1999, Jackson was involved in a number of charitable events. He joined Luciano Pavarotti for a benefit concert in Modena, Italy. The show was in support of the non-profit organization Warchild, and raised a million dollars for the refugees of Kosovo, as well as additional funds for the children of Guatemala. Later that same month, Jackson organized a set of "Michael Jackson & Friends" benefit concerts in Germany and Korea. Other artists involved included Slash, The Scorpions, Boyz II Men, Luther Vandross, Mariah Carey, A. R. Rahman, Prabhu Deva Sundaram, Shobana Chandrakumar, Andrea Bocelli and Luciano Pavarotti. The proceeds went to the "Nelson Mandela Children's Fund", the Red Cross and UNESCO.
+In 2000, Jackson was listed in the book of Guinness World Records for his support of 39 charities, more than any other entertainer or personality.
+January 22, 2000: During Christmas last year a violent storm ravaged the park of the Chateau de Versailles and destroyed 10,000 trees in the park. The estimated cost for rebuilding the park is around $20 million. Some celebrities are supporting the restoration of the park. French officials are reporting that Michael Jackson is one of them. He was one of the first people to donate money to this cause.
+October 28, 2000:Michael painted a plate to be auctioned for the "Carousel of Hope Ball" benefiting childhood diabetes research.
+March 6, 2001: Michael donated a black hat, a birthday phone-call and a jacket worn at the Monaco Music Awards in 2000 to the Movie Action for Children auction, an event being given by UNICEF with all proceeds will going to UNICEF's efforts to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission in Africa.
+March 26, 2001: Michael handed out books to young people at a Newark, NJ theater. The event, which helped to launch the Michael Jackson International Book Club, part of his new Heal the Kids charity, aims to promote childhood reading and encourage parents to return to reading bedtime stories.
+In the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Michael Jackson helped organize the United We Stand: What More Can I Give benefit concert at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The concert was aired on October 21, 2001, and included performances from dozens of major artists, including Jackson, who performed his song "What More Can I Give" as the finale.
+September 15, 2002: Michael donated 16 exclusively autographed items consisting of CD's, videos and 2 cotton napkins to aid in the support of the victims of a severe flood in Germany. These items were auctioned off for charity and managed to raise 3935 Euro (US$ 3,814).
+October 12, 2002: Michael Jackson invited more than 200 Team Vandenberg members, who recently returned from overseas deployments, and their families to his Neverland Ranch. This was to show his appreciation for the sacrifices the military in his community make.
+November 19-29, 2002: Michael donated an autographed teddy bear dressed in his likeness to Siegfried & Roy's celebrity teddy bear auction. This auction benefits Opportunity Village which is a non-profit organization based in Las Vegas (USA) that enhances the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families. Michael's autographed teddy bear raised $5,000 for the charity.
+November 21, 2002: Michael donated a jacket to the The Bambi Charity Event in Berlin which raised $16,000.
+April 25, 2002: Michael Jackson performed at a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee at the Apollo Theater in Harlem helping to raise nearly $3 million dollars towards voter registration.
+June 2003: The Wolf family, who experienced serious damages to their belongings during the flood in Saxony, Germany last August, was invited to Berlin by Michael Jackson when he was at the Bambi Awards. On that occasion Michael invited them to Neverland. In June, they spent three days at Neverland, meeting Michael and his children.
The 39 known charities Michael Jackson supported
AIDS Project L.A.
American Cancer Society
Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles
BMI Foundation, Inc.
Brothman Burn Center
Camp Ronald McDonald
Children's Institute International
Cities and Schools Scholarship Fund
Community Youth Sports & Arts Foundation
Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)
Dreams Come True Charity
Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation
Juvenile Diabetes Foundation
Minority Aids Project
National Rainbow Coalition
Rotary Club of Australia
Society of Singers
The Carter Center's Atlanta Project
The Sickle Cell Research Foundation
United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
United Negro College Fund Ladder's of Hope
Volunteers of America
Watts Summer Festival
YMCA - 28th Street/Crenshaw
All of this is exactly why we should be remembering and appreciating Michael Jackson. Even in his will, Michael Jackson left a portion of his money to a children’s charity organization.
We need to realize that his impact on the world was not strictly in entertaining us, but it was in helping us. It's not very often that a man with as much power, money, and influence as Michael Jackson comes along and uses each and every one of those tools for the purpose of good. We couldn't appreciate it while he was alive, so we should at least appreciate it now that he's gone.