Jan 17 2010

Why Invincible Became Invisible & Other Musings About the Flock of Vultures Surrounding Michael Jackson

Category: Justice,MJ Quotes,Photos,Quotes About MJ,VideosSeven @ 2:02 am

Sony And Conflicts of Interest

I’m going to present an excerpt below from an article called “Why Invincible Became Invisible“, which explains the rift between $ony and Michael Jackson over his Invincible album.  First, though, have a quick look at this video, where Michael himself explains what the issue was:

And, here is the most pertinent excerpt from the “Why Invincible Became Invisible” article I mentioned in the first paragraph:

The reason why INVINCIBLE is no longer being promoted by Sony Music is because the record company is fighting with Michael Jackson over a financial matter. A few years ago, as an advance on payments on the forthcoming sales of INVINCIBLE, Michael Jackson negotiated a loan from Sony Music, a common transaction between artists and record companies. In order to validate the loan, Michael Jackson had to put his ownership in the ATV Music Publishing catalog (including the 251-song Beatles’ catalog) as collateral. The ATV Music catalog was bought by Michael Jackson in 1985. In 1995, it was merged with Sony Music’s Sony Music Publishing catalog to become ATV/Sony Music Publishing. When merging his ATV catalog with Sony’s, Michael Jackson pocketed a sum estimated to be 95 million dollars. Today, Sony Music is pressuring Michael Jackson to refund the loan he took from them. And they have the means to do so. The problem is that Sony Music are simultaneously preventing Michael Jackson from repaying the money he owes them by sabotaging the promotion of the INVINCIBLE album, Jackson’s main source of income to refund the loan.

Now, $ony not only jerked Michael around on the promotion of Invincible in an arrangement what was CLEARLY an unethical conflict of interest on their part, but they may intend – now that he is gone, to finagle ownership of Michael’s own catalog/publishing company: MiJac

Another link also alludes to $ony’s rabid desire to get their hands on Michael’s share of the Sony/ATV catalog:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2506caea-cb95-11da-a7bf-0000779e2340.html

The relevant excerpt is:

In addition to clearing up Mr Jackson’s finances, the deal would satisfy Sony’s long-held desire to take control of the catalogue, and bolster a music publishing business that trails those of its rivals, such as EMI, Universal and Warner Chappell.

Also, HERE is a link to a PDF file from John Branca’s own website about the deal Michael was forced to sign in 2006 to “restructure” some loans. The document gives details about $ony having the open option to buy half of his 50% share of the Sony/ATV catalog back from Michael “in the next few years” to pay off debts, and with Branca and $ony primarily benefiting from the deal, as well.

The document begins with this:

The deal is a coup for Sony, which has long hoped to acquire a larger interest in the thousands of copyrights owned by Sony/ATV

And sadly, it ends with this:

There’s no question it’s the most valuable thing Michael has left. The songs hold enormous emotional value.

$ony is/was surely aware of what that catalog meant to Michael, other than just financially. That didn’t stop $ony from apparently attempting to manipulate Michael out of all or part of his 50% share though – by attempts to destroy him financially so that he could not pay his debts the first time, and the second time in 2006, inserting themselves in the refinancing deal such that they technically control 75% of it and can buy back half of it at any time and get first bid on the rest as well as MiJac. 

Certainly the Estate, run by Branca/McClain, will continue to make money for the family and kids – but SO, also, will $ony continue to profit handsomely from this $ony/ATV catalog which they may now technically own most or all of, thanks to their machinations in keeping MJ from being able to pay off that $270M loan in 2001-2002 without selling all or part of his own share of it and their later insertion of themselves into the 2006 Fortress refinancing deal — and what I’m certain will be more interesting ruses regarding Michael’s own body of work, owned by MiJac (Michael’s own publishing company) and currently managed by Warner-Chappelle. They’ll get their cut of it, if not all of it. Look at the links I’ve provided here and you can see that $ony has manipulated Michael Jackson in any way possible for years to get and keep control of the $ony/ATV from him and now, his estate, if John Branca allows it. What makes fans nervous about all this is the very cozy relationship Branca – the executor of Michael’s estate – has with $ony.

According to this paragraph from a Money/CNN article, they intend to do just that:

Down the road, MiJac may be merged into Sony/ATV, which has thrived over the past couple of years. Or the estate may eventually decide that it wants to sell Jackson’s musical jewels to the highest bidder to finally settle all the singer’s debts and lawsuits.

The thing is, MiJac rightfully belongs to Michael’s children and family: Prince, Paris, and Blanket and other family members as stated in his will – NOT $ony. Any profits / royalties from it ought to be put in Trust for them, not bargained away by a heavily-$ony connected Estate Manager, likely TO $ony who would be no doubt be the preferred bidder according to the Fortress deal. With Michael out of the way now, $ony can more easily manipulate to get FULL royalties and permanent control of MiJac, too.

And in what seems to be $ony’s parasitic, conflict of interest modus operandi in many dealings with Michael Jackson (or now, his estate):

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-10-25/michael-jacksons-last-dance/

As one Hollywood source put it when asked whether the studio has a PR problem on its hands, “I wish I had their problem. It’s a recently departed star, it’s the core of the sell, and it’s practically an insurance policy. We’ve seen this with Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, and we’ve seen it with Brandon Lee in the Crow movie.

Moreover, Sony is—in addition to being the movie’s distributor—Jackson’s record label. That means that the same people putting out the film are the ones who own a 50 percent stake in Jackson’s song catalogue. If the movie successfully creates the impression that the person who had the greatest downfall in popular culture history was on the verge of a massive comeback, it could have an enormous impact on his music sales for years to come.

Notice how quickly $ony YANKED the Lenny Kravitz/Michael Jackson song “Another Day” off of the internet? This is likely because $ony (as quoted above) still gets 50% of the royalties from MJ’s songs (MiJac). According to one financial pundit/guru:

$ony currently controls the master recordings of Jackson’s music. They are to revert to Jackson (and presumably now his estate) in five years.

By other accounts, the exact date this reversion was to happen seemed to be a moving target for Michael due to some shell games $ony was allegedly playing with the reversion dates. As I said above, I suspect there will be copious diddling with that between the estate and $ony regarding control and royalties, whatever the situation actually is.

Suffice to say I do not trust $ony and it’s clear to see they attempted to hoodwink Michael with their underwriting of that $270M loan, whilst simultaneously working to ensure he could not repay it (without Michael selling all or part of the Sony/ATV catalog to them in order to do so). They have tried other ‘mechanisms’ to manipulate Michael Jackson financially – again, resulting in MJ (or now the estate) potentially being forced to relinquish the catalog to $ony in whole or in part in order to satisfy previous deals wherein $ony inserted themselves in various refinancing loans such as the Fortress deal in 2006.

WHO trusts them to do anything but use Michael Jackson’s work, the MiJac catalog, and the $ony/ATV catalog they have apparently attempted to manipulate him out of to make themselves tidy profits, while his children and family are denied any say, ownership, or control over Michael’s legacy and body of work. Who thinks $ony WON’T be doing all they can to to assure that MiJac gets handed to $ony. Just like the “This Is It” film.

Katherine Jackson’s attorneys have accused the executors of conflicts of interest (their precise objections are sealed from public view) while criticizing aspects of the deals they struck with $ony and AEG.

I’d say Katherine Jackson is right and that her concerns are valid, given all the above information and $ony’s apparent track record on such issues.

IF Michael Jackson had been able to somehow complete those grueling 50 shows at the O2 Arena, and had made the money that he no doubt would have made, he would have been able to pay off all his debts, and would then own the $ony/ATV catalog free and clear or at least $ony would have one less excuse to exercise its options in getting their grubby paws on it. In fact that was Michael’s plan, from all I understood of it. But, that is something $ony probably very much did NOT want to see happen.

• • •

“They’re Trying to Kill Me”

According to Dick Gregory, the Sony/ATV contract states that in “DEATH” everything comes back to SONY (listen around 7:15 or 7:16). In this video Dick Gregory talks about how they got Michael to sign this contract, and about the time Michael told him “they’re trying to kill me” – which according to Gregory, Michael told him during the 2005 child molestation trial.  It is clear to me that Sony’s deals with and for Michael Jackson have absolutely NOT been ethical, at least.

Is this ALL speculation? Is this ALL just “conspiracy theories”? Maybe. But if you look at the various and sundry ways Sony, et al always found – and are still finding and planning to use to abuse and manipulate Michael Jackson (and now, his estate) financially and otherwise, who would be surprised? It was certainly NO secret that Sony WANTED Michael’s share of that Sony/ATV catalog and was willing to do darn near anything to get it.

Michael died in June 2009 – with a heavily-Sony-connected executive is managing his estate, and it makes one wonder. And the last will anyone could find was from 2002, 7 years before he died. A LOT had changed in that 7 years. I am personally very doubtful that was his last will but again, that is speculation. We may never know because the players in this apparent and ongoing ruse are not going to admit their culpability, certainly.

With Michael now dead, they’ve hit the veritable jackpot as it was well known that Michael was worth more dead than alive, and having him ‘out of the way’ certainly gives them much more leeway in manipulating and positioning for profits off of his legacy.

Michael often said “they are trying to kill me“. But, who was “they“? I’m not personally willing to pass off these repeated statements from Michael over the years as just some deluded, paranoid ramblings of a drug-addled pop-star. Michael was NOT stupid. “They” could very well have been Sony who is obviously profiting (or stands to profit) the most from his death. Sony’s penchant for manipulating him in order to get ownership of Michael’s share of the Sony/ATV catalog, and now that he’s gone, their stated intent to get ownership of Michael’s own MiJac catalog as could be “motive“.

If it was Sony Michael feared, then it is sad that a catalog of published music – the Sony/ATV catalog, that SHOULD have been a source of happiness, pride, and security for Michael Jackson and his family, became instead, a burden upon him – so much so that he apparently feared for his life over it.

• • •

MJ's Vultures

MJ's Vultures

The Shadowy “Doctor” Tohme Tohme

Tohme comes from outside the entertainment business but declines to say what businesses he is in” – and calls himself a “Doctor” though he isn’t.

Tohme feels “besmirched” by the suspicion surrounding his background and identity but he still refuses to discuss it. As long as he wants to lurk in the shadows secretly pulling strings and making deals, even deals unbeknownst to the man he worked for, hide his background and identity from people, they ARE going to be suspicious of him. Duh. That is to be fully expected.

Tohme’s sentiments on Michael’s death were:

This is the saddest story in history. I had no purpose except to help him, to bring Michael Jackson back and make him the King of Pop. One consolation for me: I did it. He died the King.

He had “no purpose except to help him“? How is cutting Michael off from his own attorneys and financial managers and his own money, and signing him up for a humanly impossible deal with AEG and practically overnight adding 40 shows to the original 10 shows (which MJ was OBVIOUSLY totally unable and UNWILLING to do – contrary to the claims of Randy Phillips, AEG, Kenny Ortega, et al. who chose to IGNORE obvious problems and Michael’s own protestations about the 50 shows) — how is all that “helping” Michael Jackson?

It helped kill him . . . and that’s about it.

Oh but it IS a winning situation – for SOMEONE – just not Michael, his children, his family or his fans. Or, the World for that matter.

Yes. He “died the King.” But the important part of that sentence is that HE DIED – at only 50 years old – and very unnecessarily so. I guess except for that minor detail, Tohme figures this is a success on his part – killing Michael Jackson by signing him up for contractual obligations that he was clearly unable to fulfill – physically or otherwise.

He “died the King” – and the objective of his being driven to that point was to make some other people very rich and to help pay off debts incurred by the last round of vultures who wanted to get rich off of Michael Jackson – the extortionists and various and sundry others, such as Sony themselves.

To say this is “sad” is an understatement. It is immoral and unconscionable!

THINK OF IT THIS WAY: If a prize fighter leaves the arena for 10+ years and then wants to suddenly return to fighting, or an Olympic athlete wants to return to competition after 10+ years, do you IMMEDIATELY sign them up for FIFTY competitions and give them ONLY THREE MONTHS to physically and mentally prepare for this comeback?

NO!

And it’s likewise ludicrous for anyone to believe Michael Jackson could have been ready to do a physically grueling series of FIFTY 2-hour shows with only THREE months to prepare, after having been OFF the stage for TEN years!  Yea. Hello. Pfft.

I had no purpose except to help him“, says Tohme. Well, with the kind of help “Doctor” Tohme and “Doctor” Murray were giving Michael Jackson, it’s no surprise he wound up dead 20-30 years earlier than he ought to have, not to mention decades of abuse by the medialoids, decades of financial abuse by parasitic entities such as Sony, and extortionist allegations from raving delusional lunatics like Evan Chandler and Janet Arvizo. Puh.

Jermaine Jackson involved Tohme with Michael in order to help prevent foreclosure on Neverland, which, I’m sorry to say, Jermaine always seemed to care more about than he did about the true well being of his own brother Michael.  Jermaine is an opportunist, above all.

Tohme was FIRED by Michael before his death, and yet he appeared at the press conference with Jermaine to announce Michael’s death. Tohme was apparently at the hospital too. Since he had been fired by Michael, and Frank Dileo reinstated as Michael’s manager to replace him, WHAT was Tohme doing slithering around the scene after Michael’s passing?

Tohme was evidently fired because Michael didn’t appreciate the way he handled the auction of some of Michael’s things from Neverland in April 2009. Tohme still has those items and stubbornly refuses to turn them over to the estate (forcing them to have to sue to get them signed over).   Apparently, Tohme THREATENED Julien’s over the auction of these items with something like: “There will be bloodshed…“.  I don’t remember Tohme’s specific threat, but I DO KNOW MICHAEL JACKSON ABHORS VIOLENCE and that this is apparently at least part of the reason Tohme was fired, and the auction was canceled, besides the fact that it appears Michael himself didn’t even KNOW his own things were being put up for auction. He found out when he saw it on the internet.

Not only did Tohme mysteriously show up after Michael’s death with Jermaine – after Michael had long since fired him, he oh-so-generously decided to return several MILLION DOLLARS of Michael’s money after Michael died, that he said he was “holding” for him. As I said, Tohme had Michael Jackson completely cut off from his own attorneys, and his own money, and his own affairs.

In my own personal opinion, this shady Tohme character warrants further investigation, though I doubt it will be pursued because he’s a family friend. Chew on that for a moment in your mind.  I’ll say no more about that tangent of thought. . .  Oddly, he has since slithered back into the shadows, likely never to be heard about again, though HE was primarily responsible for the deal made with AEG for the O2 shows – the rehearsals and stress which helped drive Michael to his death.  The ill-conceived AEG deal put Michael in a financial noose with them such that he had NO choice in whether or not to do the shows (or at least whether or not to do so MANY shows), and NO choice or control over much of anything regarding the shows, right down to who he was allowed to use for wardrobe design. To AEG, Michael Jackson was an “investment”, not a human being, and therefore his physical ability (or willingness) to even complete 50 2-hour concerts was not a consideration.  They paid a lot of money for him and he was to do as they required or else. AEG were covering Michael’s rent on his Holmby Hills Estate, his children’s schooling, Conrad Murray’s salary, and many other expenses.  They quite had him over a financial barrel.

It is inconceivable that any artist of Michael’s stature should be forced to make such deals with such devils. If Michael hadn’t been financially destroyed by years of parasitic and underhanded abuse, subsequently abandoned by those in his own industry and Hollywood forcing him to have to pull himself out of the pit he’d been hurled into by all this, and then set up with a shady, narcissistic control-freak “manager” by his opportunistic brother mostly looking to save Neverland, he most likely would have outright refused the deal or the terms would have been very different. But the situation being what it was, he knew he couldn’t refuse this deal – however raw – if he was to have any chance of making himself financially solvent ever again. And, he had three children to consider, as well.

• • •

Racism, Conspiracy and the Medialoids

To make matters worse for him, Michael also often mentioned certain conspiracies against him and other black artists. And, according to all accounts and even his own FBI file, he was right. Read the following links on MJJ-777.com for more details about these:

“Is it because he’s black?”
http://www.mj-777.com/?p=1487

“FBI Attempts to Convict Michael Jackson Under Racist Law”
http://www.mj-777.com/?p=1437

“Is it time to ask who is really responsible for his death – Dr Conrad Murray or the media?”
http://www.mj-777.com/?p=1604

““There was a huge desire to destroy Michael Jackson” – Exclusive Interview With Aphrodite Jones”
http://www.mj-777.com/?p=1624

“Former Sony Exec: “I really think he got blackmailed in that whole scandal thing. I think at some point the truth will come out.””
http://www.mj-777.com/?p=859

In the video below, Michael speaks on June 6th, 2002 in Harlem at NAN (National Action Network) – a coalition demanding justice for recording artists. NAN had been set up to investigate artist exploitation by major record labels. It was supported by Al Sharpton and others. In the video, Michael talks specifically about the treatment of black artists and the specific timing of the attacks and smears against him:

Record companies have to start treating artists with respect, honor and financial justice. Therefore I am proud to join this coalition which represents all artists -Michael Jackson, June 6, 2002, Harlem

Sadly, Michael knew about all this and cried out about it in word, action, and song. He was NOT stupid. However many fans (including myself, admittedly) do not yet know the full story or details of this lifetime of constant abuse Michael Jackson suffered at the hands of Sony, various other vultures in the financial sector and the music industry, by the “medialoids“, and by our legal and political system.

BUT WE ARE GOING TO FIND OUT as much as we possibly can – if for no other reason than to try assure that NO other artist, particularly one as genius, generous and pure of heart as Michael Jackson, is ever abused and crucified to to the extent that Michael was, or has their art, their health, their livelihood, their peace of mind, their legacy and their LIFE so brutally stolen from them just to make OTHER people a lot of money.

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31 Responses to “Why Invincible Became Invisible & Other Musings About the Flock of Vultures Surrounding Michael Jackson”

  1. LadyN says:

    Just one quastion,I’ve read that according to contract, when Michael left Sony 2002.as an artist he left his original recordings at Sony. In case that he is alive, it has to pass certain number of years when Michael can get back his original recordings, does anybody heard something about that, what year that should be? (sorry for my English) L.O.V.E

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