I’ll just start off this post by saying, no, I haven’t dropped off the planet, lol. I never intended that it would be over two weeks between these posts, but please bear with me as it’s “that” time of the year again, when end of semester and start of fall semester duties keep me certifiably insane. Now with my excuses and apologies out of the way, let’s pick up this unpleasant-but necessary-business where we left off.
One of the things I said I would be discussing in this series is the true nature of Michael’s relationships with children-or at least what I know to be true based on actual fact, evidence, and testimony.
Why is this important? Well, it is important because I have many casual readers who come across this site in researching Michael Jackson. And, based on my stats, I also know there are some who come here as a result of having typed Wade Robson’s name into their search engines. Thus, I know there are people researching this topic. Since Wade’s recent allegations have brought the topic back into focus, and since I know there are people researching these allegations, it’s important that they get some informed facts before falling into the clutches of the hater sites, who will be only too happy to distort that truth and brainwash them.
Even those who have only a casual knowledge of Michael-regardless of whether they believe in his guilt or innocence-are generally aware that his friendships with children were, at the very least, the subject of much ridicule and speculation. What about those sleepovers? What about this guy who had an amusement park in his own back yard? What about all these families who had apparent, lavish gifts and trips around the world? And, most importantly, even though Michael Jackson was never charged with any crime and was acquitted on all fourteen counts in 2005-what about all this alleged smoke? Settlements, rumors of settlements, whispers of astronomical sums of money paid for “silence”?
Before we even get into all of that, it is important to look first at the foundation of where it all began. My goal here is to, first if all, separate some of the myths from the reality. While researching Michael over the past four years, I have seen and read all of the myths that passionate advocates on BOTH sides continue to perpetuate. The problem is that I don’t think either side’s well worn talking points-either from haters or well meaning fans-is hitting upon the truth. And there is good reason for that. The agenda of haters is to prove him guilty at all costs. But in their passionate haste to promote their agenda, they overlook and twist a lot of blatant facts, or cherry pick facts to suit their narrative. But fans are often just as guilty of some very fallacious arguments.
To the person whose knowledge of Michael Jackson goes no deeper than the punch lines of Jay Leno or Chris Rock, there is a lingering , caricature image of an eccentric weirdo who randomly called up kids and “special friends” to come sleep over. An entire cult was constructed around this perceived image of wild slumber parties, showering and bathing with boys, passing around the old “Jesus Juice” and…well, you know the rest.
The truth was that Michael very seldom had random kids in and out of Neverland, unless they were the groups of underprivileged or terminally ill kids who were sometimes invited for supervised day visits at the amusement park and arcade. The kids who stayed the night-regardless of where they slept-were almost always relatives or the children of families he knew well. If anything, it was entire families-not just the kids-who were invited to Neverland and ended up crashing there.
So, okay, most rock stars have women, groupies, and wild drug parties and orgies. Michael, it seemed, was into families. Lots of families. I am joking, in part, but I will get into some of the complex reasons behind this in due order.
The more savvy among MJ detractors have finally recognized this fact, but only use it as further evidence that Michael was grooming these families to get to their children-more specifically, their sons.
On the other hand, there are many fans who fall into the trap of using the Michael-was-pure-as-the-driven-snow argument. He was simply trying to recreate the childhood he never had. He was being Peter Pan. He was being Jesus-like.
All of the above is true, to a point. But it still lacks a lot in satisfactorily explaining just how Michael got himself into some of the messes that he did with some of these people. And trust me, any guy who has over 1800 pornographic images hidden away in his bedroom isn’t hoarding those because he’s pure as the driven snow.
So please be forewarned. I mentioned in the last post that some of my views-as well as some of the facts I’m going to share-may be controversial. But I believe they are important if we are to fully understand how Michael ended up in a position to be accused of these crimes. It may mean accepting that Michael wasn’t necessarily always-100%-“pure as driven snow.” But if that means also proving he wasn’t a criminal, then those who have a problem with it will just have to deal with it, because it is what it is.
Many believe that the start of Michael’s problems can all be traced back to that day in May of 1992 when, finding himself broken down on Wilshire Boulevard, he ended up-as fate would have it-at the Rent-A-Wreck shop owned by David Schwartz. A piece of divine action (make that “divinity of Hell” as Shakespeare’s Iago said) that would bring the Chandler family into his life.
I’ve heard it often argued-and have made the point myself-that if there had never been the Chandler case-and, more aptly, the Chandler settlement-then there would have certainly been no Arvizo case. Nor would we have had the long trail of “phantom cases” that have tried to attach themselves to Michael’s name ever since, including these most recent allegations from Wade Robson.
But if it all started with the Chandlers-and more specifically, with Evan Chandler, the driven father who became determined to bring down Michael Jackson at all costs-what on earth would have compelled this man to just come up with such an accusation out of the blue? After all, accusing someone of molesting their child is a pretty darn serious accusation.
This is where the “He’s guilty” party will come in and say, “Because Evan saw this, and heard this, blah blah blah.” But it’s also where the defenders will come in and say, “Evan cooked this whole thing up with the aid of his crooked attorney Barry Rothman.”
Personally, while I have believed unwaveringly in Michael’s innocence ever since I began researching this case, it simply never seemed plausible to me that anyone-no matter how bad he hated someone, or wanted to ruin someone, whether to get revenge for a movie deal or anything else-would just come up with these kinds of accusations off the cuff and expect to be believed. As bogus as I felt the Chandler allegations were, this was one tiny detail that continued to nag at me. I felt there must have been some seed planted, even long before this, that would have given Evan the idea that such an accusation was not only plausible, but would be given serious consideration.
Ever hear of the chicken and the egg? It’s a frustrating riddle for a good reason. Precisely because there is no true point of beginning. In the case of Evan Chandler, the one thing that kept nagging at me for a long time was exactly this kind of riddle. Perhaps it did all begin with Evan Chandler, but-if we are to assume Michael was completely innocent-then where in the world did such a heinous idea-such a heinous plot-spring from? In other words where did this inspiration come from to suddenly start accusing Michael Jackson of being a child molestor? For all that it’s easy to paint Evan Chandler as a villain twirling his mustache, the truth, I fear, is far more complex.
Could it be that there were already suspicions swirling in certain circles about Michael, even long before the Chandler case? Or perhaps more accurately, a plot already in place to bring these accusations upon him?
I got my first hint last year, when I decided to rebut an article written by Bill Wyman titled “I Want Me Back: The Education of Michael Jackson.” Wyman (not to be confused with The Rolling Stones bassist by the same name) is a music critic who has long been bent on diminishing Michael Jackson’s cultural impact, and has written some pretty vitriolic hit pieces. This one in particular, however, was published in the February 06, 1992 issue of The Chicago Tribune. The article’s many inaccuracies and blatant falsehoods was one reason I felt compelled to write my own rebuttal.
But here are two key passages that really stood out:
The second area of concern is Jackson’s sex life. In The Magic and the Madness, Taraborrelli says that rumors about Michael’s having been molested as a child had been “circulating for many years within the music industry.” Whether this or any of other numerous rumors is true is something that only certain people know, and it’s almost too easy to grasp at as a simplistic explanation for some of Michael Jackson’s hangups: the apparently complete absence of romantic involvement in his life; his fondness for, alternately, older women (Liz Taylor, Katharine Hepburn) and very young boys, preferably famous ones (Home Alone’s Macaulay Culkin, Webster’s Emmanuel Lewis).
After a while, however, it becomes unnerving to realize that in all of his research, Taraborrelli can simply find no one to point to as definitely having had sex with Michael Jackson. Jackson was dating Tatum O’Neal for a while, and says in his upbeat autobiography, Moonwalker, that the pair were “romantically involved.” O’Neal, however, says the affair was never consummated. Is Michael a virgin? Is Michael gay? Why does he develop such, um, intense relationships with nine-year-old boys? Why did he live at home until he was 30? All of these are uncomfortable, prying questions, but they’re not, on balance, untoward. We all have a stake in the survival of our artists: a familial and public history that creates an aging boy-man with no discernible sex life is one that begs to be examined.
Two things become obvious from reading this piece. One is that the attempt to emasculate and “de-sex” Michael Jackson was already underway as early as 1992, and Taraborelli was perhaps one of the key players in firmly entrenching the idea into the public consciousness that Michael was somehow asexual or, at the very least, curiously lacking in sexual experience with women(though he later came to modify his hard line stance on this issue). But far more disturbingly, it seems this may also have been setting the intial stages to bring in (and make credible) accusations of gay pedophilia. Wyman’s comments are certainly telling, revealing that at the very least, there were certainly clouds of suspicion regarding Michael’s friendships with boys well before he even met the Chandlers. Then again, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Even as a casual fan in those days, I knew that tongues had been wagging at least ever since as far back as when he had attended the Grammy’s holding Brooke Shield’s hand with one arm, and toting Emmanuel Lewis in the other.
But it gets better.
A man named Victor Gutierrez, who has some very suspicious ties himself to NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association) had been doggedly investigating Michael, determined to “out” him as a pedophile since at least 1986 (and possibly earlier).
Gutierrez, as we know, would later go on to write a filthy fantasy novel titled “Michael Jackson Was My Lover,” in which it seems he simply transferred all of his own fantasies about Michael into a fictional epistolary account by Jordan Chandler. He would also eventually be sued by Michael for slander, over the claim of a video tape that was never produced, and opted to return to his native Chile rather than fork over the 2.7 million he was ordered by court to pay Michael.
Now, all of the above is fairly common knowledge to anyone who has invested much time into researching the Michael Jackson allegations. What I don’t think is as well known is just how far back Gutierrez’s quest goes-or just why it became such an obsessed calling for him to somehow associate Michael with pedophilia.
This German article that appeared in the publication taz.de in April 2005 is very telling.
Utilizing the ever handy “translate” feature, let’s look at just a few passages that emphasize why I think this little known article just may be one of the biggest keys to understanding how and why the accusations against Michael just may have their roots with this man and his NAMBLA cronies:
First of all, note the title and the many references to Michael and Jordan as “a couple.” If this is supposed to be an account of child sexual abuse-which is exactly what it would be if true-then why is it cloaked in the flowery language and euphemisms usually reserved for adult heterosexual or homosexual relationships? Easy. Because this is the kind of language that pedophiles use all the time in order to justify their relationships with children. Their literature is littered with references to relationships between men and boys as “love” and describing such liasons as “a couple,” all in an attempt to make their perversions seem as perfectly natural as any adult hetero or homo relationship.
While Gutierrez claims himself to be heterosexual in the piece, he seems all too comfortably steeped in the knowledge and language of the NAMBLA culture. Really, that doesn’t surprise me, either. Pedophiles are perfectly capable of having adult relationships-and a gay pedophile is certainly capable of adult heterosexual relationships.
And what should we make of these passages? Again, I am utilizing the English translation, and have highlighted the passages in question:
In 1986, he should tell of a congress of the North American Man Boy Love Association. The so-called NAMBLA originated in the late seventies. First, the “support group for relations between the generations” was prominently promoted by Gore Vidal and Allen Ginsberg, then quickly isolated from the rest of the gay movement. At the Congress Gutierrez hears for the first time: “Michael is one of us.”A pedophile. “Jackson was traded there as an idol, as a hope for social acceptance.”
Gutiérrez quit his job at the newspaper, talking to Jackson’s staff interviewed the first boy. He soon running out of money for research.He sold his car, saving on food. He learns: There are different types of pedophiles, it is as old as mankind, not all of their varieties are terrible crimes. Víctor Gutiérrez says: “In the five months of their relationship Michael Jackson and Jordie Chandler was happy it was love..”
The 23 August 1993, a Monday is D-Day. The world to know: Michael Jackson is said to have abused a child. Howard Weitzman, Jackson’s attorney, Michael calls in Thailand and teaches him the bad news.”Everyone in the world knows that I love children. I hurt nobody,” Jackson’s reaction. He throws vases against the wall, refusing to eat.
First of all, how did Gutierrez even manage to gain access into a NAMBLA conference, as the organization is noted for keeping a very low and secretive profile? That is a question that has already been investigated in much depth here:
I cannot add much more here to the excellent research that Helena has already done, except to say that I agree something seems very suspect. It just doesn’t seem likely that Gutierrez could possibly have gained entry into this conference, much less infiltrated their ranks as successfully as he did, without being a member or at least having some very deep connections to those within. Otherwise, I just don’t buy that he could have infiltrated their ranks, no matter how clever of an investigative reporter he thinks he is-or how clever of an FBI investigator he “claims” to be. Besides, the one thing I keep coming back to is that his own language and choice of words gives his game away.
It is very possible that Michael’s name may have been bandied about at this meeting. But by whom? And even if it was, is that irrefutable proof? Hollywood is a town that loves to gossip and speculate about the private lives of its most famous inhabitants. Sometimes those rumors prove to be true. But just as often, they can be false. And in this case, all it may have taken was one or two dirty minds to plant the seed.
What is most telling is the statement that members of NAMBLA were looking to Michael as a “hero” and as a “hope for social acceptance.” Every group that is on the outer fringes of what is socially acceptable looks to possible role models in celebrities, who are seen as potential champions for their cause. This isn’t a new practice. Long before gays were socially accepted into the mainstream, they looked to gay celebrities or rumored gay celebrities to help champion their recognition for civil rights and social acceptance. The poet Walt Whitman is an example. Today, he is often celebrated as a gay poet and is generally revered, especially by gay artists and writers, as “one of us.” Yet the truth is that Whitman never said he was attracted to men, and there is no evidence that he ever had an actual homosexual romance-with anyone. If there were indeed male lovers in his life, they were kept so lowkey that, to this day, history has no idea of their names. Much of the belief about Whitman’s sexuality has actually been based on conjecture due to the fact that his poetry often contained what seemed like very homo erotic verse. Perhaps Whitman was homosexual; perhaps not. Perhaps (more likely) he may well have been a closeted homosexual who never acted on his impulses. But the reality is that we simply don’t know.
And we may never really know because Whitman’s legacy, for better or worse, was re-written in the 1950’s when a generation of poets known as The Beats (among them one of NAMBLA’s own rumored founders, Allen Ginsberg) openly embraced Whitman as their role model. In short, they needed a hero, and Whitman quite conveniently fit the bill.
Of course, whether or not Whitman was a gay man is really beside the point. I could care less whether he was or wasn’t because it’s simply not an issue. He was one of America’s greatest poets, regardless. For that matter, I am a huge fan of Allen Ginsberg’s work and still teach his epic and revolutionary work Howl at least once every academic year. But given that an entire generation, one that came of age more than fifty years after Whitman’s passing, declared him as an openly gay icon and managed to re-write his reputation so extensively that, to this day, Whitman is often referred to unblinkingly as “a gay poet” it doesn’t seem too far fetched to think that a group of equally determined pedophiles could do the same to Michael Jackson.
It’s no secret that this organization has been lobbying hard for years to have pedophilia socially accepted and brought into the mainstream of society in the same way that gays have been. They have also lobbied hard to have pedophilia officially re-classified as a sexual orientation, rather than a mental illness.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and just say that I do believe there is some validity to this argument. I believe it is very scientifically likely that sexual attraction to children is an orientation. For sure, pedophiles can no more control being what they are than any straight or gay person-and evidence has shown that they usually cannot control their urges. For sure, I don’t think any human being consciously says, “This is who/what I want to be.” The problem, however, is that part of acting upon their natural urges involves preying upon people-children-who are not yet physically or mentally mature enough to make these kinds of choices regarding their bodies. We know this. We have heard it repeated often enough: The reason sex between an adult and a child is wrong is because it is an abuse of power. Children-even teenagers-are not mature enough to make these kinds of decisions. And no parent is going to willingly consent to their child being abused by a predator (that is, if they are any kind of parent at all).
For this reason, I can’t seriously see pedophilia ever becoming legal or accepted, unless, God forbid, we one day live in such a degenerate society that all morals and values as we know them have been completely overturned. I suppose it could happen. Look at the ancient Greeks. A few thousand years can change a lot of things. But let me reel this back in before I drift too far afield.
The fact is, gays have fought a long and hard won battle for acceptance (and one that remains ongoing). But gay men and women never asked for more than the right to love other, adult gay men and women. Which is precisely why gays, for the most part, have now far distanced themselves from NAMBLA and their disgusting agenda.
But one thing we do know: The increasing prevalence of openly gay celebrities has had a far reaching impact in making gay people more acceptable in the mainstream. Today, we can pass an article on the news stand about Elton John and his husband having a baby, and it doesn’t raise an eyebrow. Even twenty to thirty years ago, it would have been a very different story. Jodie Foster can make a “coming out” speech at the Golden Globes, and is applauded. Ellen DeGeneres can joke on national TV about coming home to her wife, and middle America doesn’t even glance up from its TV trays.
Pedophiles have similarly long hoped to find a beloved, mainstream celebrity who might likewise help assimilate them and their “orientation” into mainstream acceptance. But it simply hasn’t been as easy for them. While pedophiles abound in Hollywood, you’re not going to find too many willing to step up to the plate and admit it willingly. The very heinous nature of pedophilia and what it involves is enough to ensure that it isn’t going to be socially or legally accepted anytime soon-and nor is any big time actor, musician, director or writer apt to risk his/her entire reputation and career just to further advance “the cause.”
For whatever reason, Gutierrez and his NAMBLA cronies had latched onto Michael as a prime candidate-their desired “poster boy” and advocate-as early as Michael’s initial Thriller success. And, just as some gay people often reserve their harshest judgement and bitterest criticism for suspected gay celebrities who remain “in the closet” I believe sincerely that the very reason some of these people such as Gutierrez have gone after Michael with such a vengeance-and eventually turned on him so bitterly-was his refusal to play the part. Even to this day, I know for a fact that some of Michael’s most bitter and outspoken detractors on the internet are actually pedophile advocates who remain outraged-not by his perceived or alleged “crimes,” but rather by the fact that he staunchly denied them-and that his fans continue to staunchly deny them, as well. If I had a dime for every time some detractor said something to the effect of, “Just accept that he was a talented genius but also a pedophile,” I would have some richly lined pockets by now. Their agenda is very apparent. Through sheer bullying and deceptively feigning concern for Michael’s “victims” their true outrage stems from the denial of fans, rather than their own professed belief that Michael was a pedophile. Why is that? These people will invest more time, energy, and hours into fighting with Michael Jackson fans on the internet than they will ever spend advocating for true victims. And that is a fact.
If there was ever any doubt concerning the passionate drive to “out” Michael Jackson by the NAMBLA and PIE (Pedophile Information Exchange)faction (regardless of how flimsy the actual evidence on which they based their suspicions), those doubts were forever laid to rest when a convicted pedophile named Thomas O’Carroll, writing under the pseudonym Carl Tom, attempted in 2010 to publish and distribute what was intended (i.e, advertised and promoted) as a very “sympathetic” expose of Michael Jackson’s relationships with underaged boys, Dangerous Liaisons. In fact, this site’s stats reached its first record peak on May 17, 2010-the day after I posted this piece revealing Carl Tom’s true identity:
What became even more disturbing in the aftermath was the number of scholars and academics who immediately began circling the wagons in defense of this book. Here, for example, is a typical review from J. Michael Bailey of Northwest University:
A couple of things I find interesting about this review (and others like it): While openly admitting that the book is written by a pedophile, and a convicted distributor of child pornography, there seems almost no question of the author’s own motives for writing this book, and in fact, Bailey seems almost downright sympathetic to O’Carroll when he writes:
O’Carroll believes that at times Jackson ﬂaunted his pedophilia
because, as one of the most famous, beloved, and wealthiest
men in the world, he could. O’Carroll is disappointed that Jackson passed up the opportunity publicly to defend his pedophilia,
choosing instead to deny it. However, had Jackson done the
former, it is difﬁcult to imagine any end other than the rapid
deterioration of his legacy. Jackson was not as thoughtful or
articulate as O’Carroll, whose mission is as quixotic as they
Does anyone find this last bit as disturbing as I do? I mean, God forbid that Michael should not be as “thoughtful or articulate” as this monster who openly engaged in the trafficking of child pornography!
There are several other passages that eerily echo what has become some of the MJ detractors’ most ardent and familiar talking points when attempting to brainwash Michael Jackson fans that if they would simply accept Michael as a pedophile, and reject the idea that being such made him a monster, all would be forgiven and society as a whole would be a much better and happier place as a result. I am paraphrasing, of course, but this is truly the gist of his last few paragraphs.
As a scholar myself and someone who comes from an academic background, I am by turns torn, saddened and yet not surprised by the reaction this book elicited. I, too, am opposed to censorship and the rejection of a free exchange of ideas. Yet I also know that part a scholar’s job is to search for knowledge and truth. Embracing a blind acceptance of this book just because it promotes a controversial view-without regard for the validity of its contents or how it might help cement an unfounded view of its subject-did not seem to enter into the equation of this review at all.
To my knowledge, Troubador Press pulled the distribution of the book a few weeks after O’Carroll’s identity became known (though they denied that the campaign of MJ fans had anything to do with that decision)and Amazon subsequently axed it as part of a general crackdown on books promoting pedophilia-for a little while. However, a recent google revealed that Amazon is apparently still carrying the book. Disgusting, yes. But that’s another topic for another time.
Getting away from O’Carroll and back to Gutierrez, could it be possible that this whole mess-one that ultimately resulted in ruining Michael’s life and forever tainting his reputation-was the result of a few zealous individuals acting on nothing more than suspicion and innuendo, and a desire to have a celebrity role model at all costs?
It’s not as far fetched as it sounds. While MJ fans have long villified Tom Sneddon for his apparent vendetta against Michael Jackson, it seems to me, at least, that Victor Gutierrez may be the one we should look to as the originator of this insane obsession. True, the seed may have been planted by those whispers at the 1986 Nambla convention. But it was Gutierrez who single handedly took it upon himself to quit his job, go into the field, and devote years of obsessive, dogged effort to dig up something-anything-which would tie Michael Jackson to those rumors. His quest, in short, smacked of desperation. But why? Why on earth would one individual become so obsessed over trailing another individual’s sex life?
One statement in particular that Gutierrez made to this German publication sounds eerily and disturbingly just like the propaganda espoused by O’Carroll and his cronies:
He learns: There are different types of pedophiles, it is as old as mankind, not all of their varieties are terrible crimes. Víctor Gutiérrez says: “In the five months of their relationship Michael Jackson and Jordie Chandler was happy it was love..”
I am assuming the first sentence is a paraphrase of Gutierrez’s own words; the second, for sure, is a direct quote. But either way, it is clear that Gutierrez is fully advocating the NAMBLA view that man/boy relationships can be perfectly natural; even beneficial. It is also interesting how he-again-uses the word “love” to describe what he clearly believes is an illicit relationship between a 35-year-old entertainer and a 13-year-old boy.
It is highly doubtful that anyone outside of the NAMBLA mindset would view such a relationship as healthy or normal in any sense-and certainly not as “love.”
Gutierrez then proceeded from that point to personally track down all of the kids and parents of Michael’s acquaintance.
Guess who two of those parents just happened to be? Joy Robson and Evan Chandler!
I have already mentioned how his inquiries were initially shot down by Joy Robson in the first installment of this series:
I will examine what came of his meeting with Evan Chandler in the next installment, and continue to look at evidence suggesting that the conspiracy to “prove” Michael as a pedophile at the very least (if not as an outright child molestor) extends much further back than 1993.
In short, the stage for the Chandler accusations was already being well laid.