Mar 08 2011

Michael Jackson was not “chemically castrated”

Category: Books,JusticeSeven @ 7:41 am

Don't get hooked on this book!

Don't get hooked on this book!

Written by Seven
Researched by Nikki Evans-Taylor

The intertubes are all abuzz with salacious speculation by a parasitic French “doctor who has a book to peddle and who, like so many others, intends to abuse Michael Jackson’s name to do so.  Alain Branchereau claims that Michael’s voice remained high due to “chemical castration” from a drug prescribed to him at 12 years old for acne. The drug in question is called ‘cyproterone.

Chemical castration” is a deliberate misnomer. This treatment is used for sex offenders, not acne. And there are other drugs used for “chemical castration“, such as Depo-Provera and none of these drugs cause any changes to the voice. So this doctor’s misuse of the term is right off the bat, deliberately salacious. Also, we’ll mention that Branchereau is a vascular surgeon, not an endocrinologist, so he is speaking far out of his field of expertise here.

Micromedex lists the drug in question (cyproterone) as at one time being used for acne, but only in low doses and only for girls. More commonly it has been used for hirituism (hairiness) in women, for precocious puberty (early puberty) and for late-stage prostate cancer. This drug was researched beginning in 1965 and patented in 1976 but only in Britain at that time. It is unclear when it became available in the US and when it was, it was certainly not used for “chemical castration” or for acne in boys.

Around 1981, it began to be used for ‘precocious puberty‘. At that time, it was considered a newer treatment for that disorder. Used for that purpose, cyproterone acetate suppresses the clinical signs of sexual maturation in precocious puberty (puberty that occurs far too early in the life of a child).

When used for precocious puberty, the goal of the drug is to suppress puberty – not to prevent it from occurring, so its effects are temporary ie: as soon as the drug is stopped, hormonal levels and development return to normal – including the development of the vocal chords/larynx and all the usual secondary sex characteristics which normally develop during puberty. Thus, if Michael was given this drug for any reason, as soon as he stopped taking it, his larynx and other aspects of adolescent development would have resumed as normal and its effects would not have been permanent.

Also, if used for any reason by Michael, this drug would have suppressed all the clinical signs of puberty, not just vocals/larynx.

Given the timeline of its patent and of the clinical trials in the US, and the availability of the drug in the US, it’s seemingly impossible that Michael could have received this drug in the early 1970s. Cyproterone was not available in 1972 or 1973 in the US because it was still in clinical trials at that time. Furthermore, such clinical trials would never have been done on a child of only 12.

As mentioned, this drug would not only affect the voice or larynx but all adolescent development. Michael’s adolescent development in all other respects was normal: facial hair, body hair, Adam’s apple, broadening of shoulders, increased muscle mass, genitalia normal, etc. With this or any drug you cannot only affect the vocal chords/larynx without affecting all those other systems too. As we saw and can still see via photos of Michael at various ages, his growth from a boy into a teen and into a man was quite normal at all ages and stages. So this gives lie to this salacious speculation in Alain Branchereau’s book that this or any such drug was used at all, much less that it had any permanent effects.

From what I read, Michael did not develop acne until age 14 or so and dealt with it via diet, having become vegetarian for many years, and he continued to suffer with acne will into his late teens. Even in ‘The Wiz‘, Michael had commented that he was happy to be able to wear make-up to cover his acne. At that time, Michael was in his late teens, at least.

Considering all this, the claim by this doctor that Michael took some unavailable drug at age 12 in 1972 or 1973 for acne, that somehow miraculously only affected his voice but not all other systems (ie: onset of puberty), and that it did so permanently, is just ridiculous.

It’s well known that boys at 13 or 14 years old always have a voice change. Michael went through this phase too and may or may not have had the help of a vocal coach to guide him through it. The size of the larynx during this period increases by two-thirds during this period. Boys’ voices can be lowered more than an octave changing a child that was a soprano or alto to a tenor, baritone, or bass. This period in a boy’s life lasts usually one and one half years but can last 2 – 3 years.

Michael's acne. He was a lot older than 12 and it continued until his late teens.

Michael's acne. He was a lot older than 12 here, and obviously developing normally. The acne continued until his late teens.

But to entertain Branchereau’s theory, let’s talk about ‘castratos‘ and Michael’s vocal range. The only “truecastratos were physically castrated or had endocrine problems. The physical castration process was stopped way back in the 1800s.

Michael’s voice change was obvious beginning in about 1972/73 and well-embodied in his late teens. For example, listen to the song Blues Away on the Jacksons album in 1976. Even well before that, he was full-fledged tenor, not soprano, mezzo soprano or contralto by any means. Voice professionals debating on Michael’s vocal range mention tenor and also some baritone. He just didn’t use his baritone range often. See the following links:

http://www.michaeljackson.com/us/node/518345
http://www.michaeljackson.com/fi/blog/michaels-vocal-lessons
http://www.michaeljackson.com/cz-en/blog/michael-jacksons-voice-falsetto-master-and-counter-tenor-extraordinaire-0
http://www.mjjboard.com/king-pop-general-discussion/13378-michaels-vocal-octave-range-%5Bmerged%5D-8.html

Several others have mentioned that Michael actually had a deeper speaking voice than he often used. Seth Riggs has mentioned MJ’s voice being normal and “husky“. Riggs said that Michael didn’t like it and called it his “frog voice“, and so chose to speak in a higher register. Also, his deeper voice is very present in ‘This Is It‘ and as the mayor in “Ghosts“, as well as in songs like “2000 Watts” and in various award speeches. Listen to ‘In The Closet‘ to hear a much deeper voice from Michael (again not possible if he had been ‘castrated‘).

Seth Riggs also commented in this video that Michael’s vocal range was easily 3.5+ octaves and at one point it reached 4 octaves according to Riggs. That could not be the case if he had been ‘castrated‘, chemically or otherwise. Any type of permanent hormonal meddling whether surgical or chemical would have resulted in a vocal range only in the higher registers, certainly not an entire range of 3.5+ octaves!

What has to be easily the most obvious reason Branchereau’s book is pure hogwash is – as a reader commented below – that all of the Jackson boys had soft, higher-pitched voices, especially when they were younger. This is a Jackson family trait, not ‘castration‘.

Further and also damningly, the autopsy report did not state that there was anything abnormal about the size of Michael’s larynx or other bones, nor anything abnormal about his genitals or any other physical male attributes, which would have certainly been affected if the fantasy is to be believed that this drug was taken by him at 12 (even though it was unavailable at that time), that it somehow affected these things permanently, or affected only his larynx and vocal chords but nothing else.

In addition to being evidently unaware of the drug’s indications, short and long-term effects, and availability in the US, it’s also worth pointing out that Alain Branchereau does not have access to nor has he ever seen Michael’s medical records from age 12 until his twenties, which he would have to in order to factually make any such claim.

The truth is, he is speculating and hoping the public’s ignorance and lack of knowledge on the subject will be enough to allow him to profit from his book.  I guess it may work, especially since the tabloids and media have as per usual crawled all over this issue without bothering themselves with any facts whatsoever.

This whole idea that Michael was “chemically castrated” is not only a serious misnomer, but an outright lie. It simply never happened. In fact, it’s absolutely impossible.

Tags: ,

43 Responses to “Michael Jackson was not “chemically castrated””

  1. Joyce says:

    Just getting caught up on the recent posts after being away for several days. Thank you for this valuable information regarding yet another absurd book which has just been released. Thankfully it is not showing up on Amazon as of today. Why on earth would this so called physician, who has written other medical textbooks about vascular surgery which is a field he apparently has some knowledge in, feel compelled to write total garbage about something he obviously knows nothing about and has no business commenting on. It is infuriating! Thank you Seven and Nikki for your excellent research into this. As you have indicated, there are countless examples of Michael’s deeper vocal register. I remember reading somewhere that one of the reasons that Michael chose to speak in a softer, higher voice on many occasions was to protect his vocal cords and maintain his incredible vocal range. He worked constantly and tirelessly with Seth Riggs to protect and maintain the amazing instrument that was his voice! How sad that a supposedly “educated” physician would be sucked into perpetuating the ridiculous rumors and innuendo that have surrounded Michael, regarding his voice, for so many years. I also recall hearing the sadness in Michael’s voice when he spoke in an interview from the late ’80s, I think, about a young boy who came up to him and asked him if it was true that he took hormone shots to keep his high voice. How sad to think this nonsense is still being sold!
    Hopefully this book will fail to make any money. It is very sad that greed can cause people to do such cruel and ignorant things.

  2. Sina says:

    I just wrote a complaint to the university hospital la Timone,where this man= incredible= is a professor. AP-HM Hopital de la Timone, website http://www.ap-hm.fr/.
    Couldnt find the exact department for complaints so i wrote to an Attache de Communication
    perrine seghier: [email protected] 2 other AdC are caroline.peragut and alexandre.lanzalavi.
    I wrote that this professor who is an employee of theirs abuses his authority as a professor at their university hospital to mislead consumers into believing that a book he wrote and publicized about MJ being chemically castrated is of academic standards, while its not evidence based , lacks substance and is mere speculation and there is enough evidence to debunk mr Branchereaus assumptions.
    The book is highly offensive , causes unnecessary pain to Michaels family and fans because it gives a false impression of the nature of MJs voice and feeds into rumours that stigmatize Mr Jackson.
    This is unprofessional ,its unethical conduct and not up to the standards expected from someone of his status. It gives the impression that ist written for the sole purpose of financial gain using sensational oneliners ,while in total disregard of the harm that it causes to Michael jackson and the discredit to the good name of their organisation.

    I will also write to the medical council, conseil National de L’ordre des medecins , that this professor is violating de ‘code de deontologie lárticle L.4127-1’
    The objective of the medical counsil is ‘to protect the public by promoting and ensuring high standards of professional conduct and professional education, training and competence among registered medical practitioners’

    http://www.couseil-national.medecine.fr/
    email to [email protected]

    Please everybody write a complaint that we want this man to be disciplined for at least unethical conduct and or for misleading consumers.
    Its a small effort and it will not go unnoticed.

  3. Dialdancer says:

    Thank you Sina,

    I will pass this on. There are numerous MJ Advocates who are in the Medical profession who will find this person’s claims of interest.

    Were you aware there were so many lascivious, self-important and gutless people in the world? I wasn’t. Why if this book was such a font of wisdom and grounded in real scientific fact did his poser not write it BEFORE Michael’s death.

  4. Lisa MJJ1111 says:

    LIES–LIES–and more LIES..when will it end?..it will end when there will no longer be parasites who enbody; greed, jealousy, fear, prejudices, and envy..Michael was a LIGHT that darkness cannot tolerate, darkness must feed off its target, and TAKE what they do not have. All these diseased minded people will have their karma–remember karma is not personal–its purpose is to balance the universe. When Michael, Ghandhi, Mother Tresa, Lady Diana, and the one who lead from the very beginning Jesus, said LOVE is the greatest of them all..because only LOVE stops the disease of the darkness in humanity..Instead of honoring and respecting one of the greatest gifts that God gave to us–some are blinded by, are threatened by it, wished they had it..so they try to destroy it. We live in duality. Michael is now with God, in his kingdom,watching us, guiding us, loving us..We got left behind, I got left behind..when Michael passed on, to the kindom of heaven..I felt as I had an appointment to met him at the train station, and I was so late..that I got left behind..the reason for the sadness, the grief. See, I felt like I got left behind..and now the real work I must do, all of us who love Michael, his light..to continue Michael’s legacy of LOVE..and part of that is to write the necassary establishments and petition for Michael’s TRUTH. Thank you Sina and Seven for bring this issue forward. Michael, every thought, every gester, every dance, every written word, every humanitarian act, you are there..until it is my time, when i will see your beautiful smile, your beautiful heart again..RIP, my beloved..I will LOVE you and only you..4EVER..

  5. carina for mjj says:

    Thank you Sina for taking the trouble to write to the hospital where this Dr is a professor.And great that you know French!-It is inconcievable that someone of his standing would write garbage like that.With his medical background,despite a different aerea of specialization, he can not be unaware that this is pure BS
    I have a suspicion :Is the PR-firm behind the deluge of negative writings about Michael? Are they economically rewarded for each such project and result. The more I look upon the world today, both near and far, it seems that money is the ultimate power.Even people you have thought to be above such, fall to it´s prey.

  6. helena1247 says:

    I think this unexpected attack from a French “doctor” is only an introduction to stage two of another of their hatred campaigns – FIRST they’ll try to prove he was “chemically castrated” and fix this lie firmly in people’s minds and THEN someone will say the “real” reason they gave that medicine to him was to suppress his desire for “boys”.

    I’ve already heard haters voicing this theory – only previously it was done in an amateurish way, while now they are taking it to the level of a “scientific study”.

    You know, the more I hear of all this, the more I understand that all this hatred against Michael is being orchestrated by someone. It looks SO well-planned!

  7. SandyK says:

    It’s great to see all the comments regarding this rediculous book. My understanding is that the estate is looking into the issue of this book and the lies it’s trying to present as fact. When I read what this doctor alleges about Michael it made me want to gag. Seth Riggs, Michael’s long time vocal coach, has stated many times that Michael had full range of 3 octaves, which includes his lower range, as some have already mentioned above.

  8. aston says:

    What a lot of nonsense. Michael’s voice was hight by choice, not nature. A lot of people heard his deep voice when he was a grown-up. This writer obviously didn’t even do the most basic research.

  9. Sina says:

    Welcome Dialdancer & carina for MJJ,its all for justice. Though sometimes I wonder if silence and ignore is not preferable. But doing nothing at all feels like giving up.(btw my french is poor, I use translate).
    This story is decades old tabloid stuff. Its annoying that it pops up again diguised as a medical phenomenon by a professor with a good resume to make it sound credible. And there are people who do believe it, I have seen on a forum where they were discussing the book. Some were even accusing Joe Jackson of imposing the treatment on Michael to keep his voice high and bankable.
    This is how one lie leads to more rumour, creating another myth and putting yet another stigma on poor Michael.
    The only thing that will stop them is when they feel it in their wallet.
    So boycot and anti propaganda for the book and for the doctor name and shame and try to get him a reprimand from the medical authorities.
    Where is Arnie Klein when he is needed . I dont like this private information of Michael in public, but Klein could simply debunk the lies because he probably knows the most about Michaels dermatological treatments. But now he chooses to keep silent??

    Thanks again Seven and Nikki for the research and the clear explanation which was very helpful for my complaint. Now waiting for a respons from the hospital and the medical council.

  10. carina for mjj says:

    Why on earth would a French professor suddenly start writing such BS about Michael ?
    As I mentioned above to give this to a minor would require parental informed consent.And it is unethical to mess up a minors normal puberty, the body is programmed to naturally take care of hormonal balance that affects maturation at this age.It would be especially contraindicated to interfere with with hormonal balance at this age.Now (and i do suspect the PR firm has something to do with it, therefore so many “news” from abroad) it is odd that this would even interest a medical professor of vascular surgery in France. Maybe he is in financial difficulties and PR-firm is offering help. Who knows how far they will go.Maybe they are trying to find professinals in economic distress. Or is this thought too far?

  11. doina says:

    you are perfectly right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. David says:

    Seven, I can’t believe I forgot to show you and Nikki this video when you were doing your research on this! This is a 2 part youtube series called “The Feminization of Michael Jackson”, and in the first video they discuss how the media tried to pigeonhole MJ as being “effiminate” due to his high pitched voice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3M7yG-wJ5U

    In part 2, they show a compilation of different quotes from “journalists” over the years who have smeared MJ by attacking his so-called lack of “masculinity”!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-iOZW3koCk&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

    I wish I could have sent these to you sooner! 🙁

  13. Fact Checking Michael Jackson’s Christian Faith, Part 1 of 6: Michael was NOT a Devil Worshipper! « Vindicating Michael says:

    […] saying, first and foremost, MJ was NOT physically or chemically castrated! That myth was debunked in this post, which was written by my fellow MJ bloggers Seven Bowie and Nikki Allygator (who also wrote this […]

Leave a Reply