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.

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

  1. Vanessa Donovan says:

    My god when are these people going to stop all this speculation and character assassination of Michael. Why can’t they leave him alone and let him rest in peace, he should now be remembered for all the good he did not have all these hateful, lying books and articles being published about him and his life. To all you godamn media, “BEAT IT” and leave Michael alone.

  2. June says:

    Seven, as I understand it, Branchereau’s book is coming out very soon. If it is self-published and does NOT sell well initially (let’s hope), eventually it gets marketed by Amazon.com. Amazon.com invites “customer reviews” of its items, whether or not one is a “verified” Amazon purchaser. I’m certainly not pushing Amazon’s website; however I have posted several “negative” reviews of certain nasty Michael-related books which I believe do impact sales of salacious, ridiculous material, such as Brancherau’s upcoming book.

  3. Seven says:

    @June,

    His book goes on sale March 9th – Tomorrow.

  4. Max says:

    When I saw the headlines on this subject, I left as many comments as I could. Reading through the comment sections of these “reports,” I could not find one reader who bought the doctor’s long-distance diagnosis. It was obvious to everyone that it couldn’t be true. A doctor who stoops to such a meaningless, unfounded conjecture is no doctor at all.

  5. budsgirl11954 says:

    In death as in life, the man is being assaulted as the world stands by silently letting it happen, over and over. MJGlobal family, mjfam, MJJJusticeproject warriors and the multitudes of brothers and sisters around the world who love all that this man stood for need to STAND for him NOW.

  6. Nikki says:

    It is horrifying to see “experts”, which sadly a doctor is considered such, abuse their authority and eduction and use it to make the public even more ignorant to science (which will happen in the upcoming trial, too, per the defense). What is even worse is he has come up with complete BS using Michael’s name for the sake of making himself some money and notoriety while in the process hurting and lying about Michael. Funny he said Michael’s voice was that of a “castrato” but the only known recordings of a “castrato” are of Alessandro Moreschi seen and heard here: http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alessandro_Moreschi Notice the photo of Moreschi at the age of 22–he looks prepubescent. Also listen to him sing–he does in fact sound like a female. Michael did NOT sound like a female–he simply had great range in his vocal ability like many other male singers, especially those who train in music as children. Now granted, one must remember Moreschi was physically castrated and as Seven mentioned there is no such thing as “chemical castration” it is simply a reference to attempting to limit the sexual desires of sex offenders by blocking the uptake of testosterone. It is not true castration thus the effects seen in Moreschi or a true “castrato” would not occur. I just wish people would not be fooled by this kind of garbage–see the truth with your eyes and hear the truth with your ears. Listen to Michael in any song recorded since 1978ish and on–I’ll pick “Beautiful Girl”, listen to it and then go listen to something like “ABC” and just try and tell me you cannot hear a man versus a child who happens to be the same person. Michael always kept his same diction/accent but duh, his voice did change and change normally from that of boy to man. If his voice had not changed normally there is no way he could hit the low notes–it’d been physically impossible.

  7. Nikki says:

    Also, for those who might have missed this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K20xITolj-U Listen to Michael sing bass starting at 0:55.

  8. Deb says:

    I’ll keep my distance from this book.Rumors of that nature were prevalent even when Michael was alive.
    But in the meantime, one thing fans are doing in the way of fighting for Michael’s humanitarian legacy is campaigning to get the Grammy Awards to honor him with an annually presented humanitarian award in his name, similar to the Jean Hersholt Award presented by the Academy Awards.
    The petition for this may be signed by logging on to:www.thepetitionsite.com/1/grammys-should-honor-michael-jackson-with-humanitarian-award/
    Names will be hidden from view upon request.

  9. Tammy Marie says:

    Just more to feed the haters…They will run with this….Wouldnt it be great to wake up one day all we see where wonderful stories about our Michael…No slandering from the haters or the money greedy monsters….Will that day evercome..If we continue on defeating Michael and his legacy it will..I believe….

  10. emma says:

    Ehh…what a ridiculous claim. thank you for coming up with FACTS.

  11. Angela says:

    Yes, Michael often spoke in a higher-pitched voice than average. But he wasn’t the only man in his family to do so. On the recently released CD “Jackson Five – Live at the Forum”, listeners can hear Jackie introduce the song Ben. At that time (August 1972) Jackie was 21 years old, so – a fully mature adult with a high voice. I don’t think that indicates that Jackie had been castrated, chemically or otherwise. From what I’ve listened to on other sources, all the brothers have fairly high voices. It’s simply a family trait – end of story. I guess a sensible explanation like that wouldn’t sell to a gullible public…….

    Higher male voices were, of course, prized by Motown in its heyday, as exemplified by Smokey Robinson (of The Miracles) and Eddie Kendricks (of The Temptations), to name just two. They didn’t signify any unusual sexual characteristics at that time, and they still don’t.

    Thanks very much for this alert, Seven.

  12. DiDi says:

    Oh Lord, yet another one crawls out of the woodwork in order to make a quick buck off of Michael. Shame on these people!!!

    The reason these kind of people have to invent all this BS is that they just cannot believe that Michael could be that vocally talented without artificial help. As we all know – he just defied the laws of….well nearly everything!!!
    They can analyze him ’til the cows come home but there’s only one answer – he was a gift pure and simple.

  13. DiDi says:

    Oh and I forgot to say Seven – once again thank you so much for all your hard work and research. Your love for Michael,like us, knows no bounds and we love you for it.

  14. Seven says:

    @DiDi,

    You’re welcome. I’ve watched this hideous story flying around for a week or so now and just had to do something. Nikki did the awesome research and some Italian fans may have additional facts to add as well. I’m told the story has been all over the place over there.

  15. Seven says:

    @Angela,

    You make excellent points re: The Jacksons. All of them have soft and higher pitched voices, particularly when they were younger. It’s a family trait. That is indeed the most obvious fact!

  16. Deborah Ffrench says:

    Thank you Seven and Nikki for this incredibly informative piece. It will help greatly when commenting.

    It also shows you what research can produce when it is undertaken. How sad that people who are paid to write and inform a largely ignorant public cannot do the same.

  17. Julis says:

    Seven you are amazing and your dedication and love for Michael is so wonderful.
    Again profit trumps common sense, decency, morals, and honesty.
    As for the ‘Doctor’, I pray for his soul, and the souls of all the vultures who continue to ‘try’ to destroy Michael.
    God Bless all of Michael’s Family, be strong ’cause this will never end as long as there is money in making up nonsense and an audiance ready to accept fiction as truth.

  18. ANA MARÍA says:

    BUT THANK YOU SO MUCH, SEVEN AND NIKKI, FOR THIS WONDERFUL INFORMATION!!! “GOD BLESS YOU”!!!

  19. Karen says:

    Many thanks to you & Nikki for this informative piece – I’m truly grateful to all the MJ fans who tackle the unpleasant subjects – all in the name of providing the truth about Michael! I’m sure it is not easy for you, so please know that you are very much appreciated…

  20. Leticia says:

    Seven,
    I came here to your site to read about another article when I saw this one and soon started to read it, because this week I read about this stupid book in a big newspaper here in Brazil. And it made me really MAD!!!!
    It’s unbelievable how people can’t stop to make money in Michael’s back! Even a doctor that lives so far away and probably never met Michael. This book is so ridiculous! This doctor should be ashamed to write such nonsense. Why doesn’t he learn a little bit about “voice”? About what is to have a tenor’s voice?
    I hope this book will be “zero” in sells. And I’m going to Amazon too and write a “nice” review about it.
    Thanks for the research and the article. You are always doing a good work!

  21. Cookie says:

    Excellent research, Seven and Nikki. Should this book appear on Amazon, please be sure to be the first to post this article there as a comment.

    Nikki, excellent links. The castrato indeed does sound like a woman. And Michael’s natural voice is incredibly sexy! Not a frog voice at all. I much prefer this over his breathy ‘false voice’.

  22. Suzy says:

    Some people seem to be obsessed with this idea of Michael being castrated. I don’t know why. We know the rumours that he took female hormones started in his early 20s and this blog article was written not long after his death:

    http://www.science20.com/quantum_gravity/blog/michael_jackson_castrato_comparing_jackson_great_singer_past_who_was

    This is another ridiculous speculation on whether he was a castrato. The author of the article is hell bent on her idea that he was, despite of evidence that is provided by her readers (including the autopsy report which said MJ was actively producing sperm). These people do not want to hear or see evidence those refute their ideas.

    Basically there’s nothing that supports the idea MJ was castrated physically or chemically, they only base their speculations on his high voice (which was obviously achieved through training, besides the fact a naturally high voice runs through the Jackson family, just listen to Jackie).

    To me articles like this tell more about our society and these authors who seem to project their own ideas and issues onto Michael.

  23. Suzy says:

    And BTW, Michael might have worn make-up for much of his life, but he had normal sexual features. For one, he was hairy (when he didn’t shave it off).

    Look at his arm on this HQ picture:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v106/gregobehave/MJJDreamers%20pics%20only/MJS-Portrait_6.jpg

    His facial hair was pretty strong when he didn’t shave if off:

    http://i56.tinypic.com/wiawja.jpg

    We also know his genitals were normal. We know that from his autopsy, but as well from the fact that when he was body searched in 1993 there were no reports of any abnormality. In fact, if you look at him in his gold pants he obviously didn’t have anything to be ashamed of in that area ;). (I hope I didn’t offend anybody’s sensitivities.)

    LMP too always maintained they had sex and that it was normal.

    So what exactly is the evidence these people have for their claims besides wild and baseless speculations? They didn’t even know Michael. And they obviously didn’t do their homework on him either.

  24. caeina for mjj says:

    To give this drug to a minor would have required informed prental approval. No way would Joe or Katherine have agreed to such. Also it would have been hihly unethical.

  25. Inga says:

    The Bee Gees, good friends of Michael, also have height voices, but nobody ask for or make such slanderous claims about them.
    I heard about this nonsense too,but I hope, every person, who has a brain which is not washed, does not believe this
    or will buy such an unworthy book.
    Another quack doctor tries to make money.
    Sorry for my english!

  26. Inga says:

    Here is a wonderful videoclip made by Bonnie Lamrock http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FCMwYnukuc with Michael and music of the Bee Gees.
    L.O.V.E

  27. Solar says:

    All of this flies in the face of logic.

    The Bee Gees’ trademark is their high-pitched singing. Applying the author’s misguided thinking, the same would have to apply to this group, which we all know is totally wrong!

    Unscrupulous, unethical, evil people who have to stoop to peddling lies to make a living not only reveal themselves, but also help us to identify who they really are by their own words and actions.

  28. Max says:

    Yeah, but the BeeGees are singing falsetto, which is perfectly all right with everyone. Michael did not sing falsetto because the high notes were within his range. He worked hard to keep his voice honed to perfection. Most people still don’t understand the difference.

  29. Tanja says:

    I’m tired of all those lies and speculations about Michael. I really am. But this time I had to laugh so much about this bullshit ’cause this is just unbelieveably stupid!

  30. carina for mjj says:

    This dr Alain Branchereau is out in lala -land. Anybody who knows something about normal pubertal development must know he is just out fishing for$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    and thinking other people are stupid enough to bite his hook.Now that MJ is dead
    he cannot sue, and maybe he wouldn´t bother anyway because of these BS statements.
    MJ was photographed and lived in a “fishbowl” all his life, his pubertal development was 100% normal.

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