Jul 28 2012

The way I see it…

Category: Justice,Prose/EssaysSeven @ 8:27 pm

Mrs. Jackson with her grandchildren

Here is how I see this Jackson family debacle at this time. This is my opinion and my opinion only. I don’t insist it is the truth, because none of us know what the truth is. My opinion as written below may change as other information becomes available. I only offer the below as an alternative perspective on the situation, and in lieu of  “popular opinion” and media spin on the matter.

_ _ _ _ _

If MJ’s will is valid (and it probably is), then why didn’t these two lawyers just kindly answer the family’s questions/concerns about it privately? Sure the courts have validated it, but if the family has concerns or questions, why not just answer them, specifically?

Why does the estate (or those associated with or working for them) instead seem to blow smoke, obfuscate, and issue condescending, accusatory, and vague public responses, and subsequently blast days worth of negative stories about the Jacksons in the media as they appear to have done? Why not just privately answer the questions and concerns the Jackson family members have about the will and about the control or undue influence they feel are being wielded over Mrs. Jackson?

How did Michael sign that will if he wasn’t in LA that day? There may be a viable explanation for that. That would be great! The estate should provide those answers to the Jacksons. Would Michael sign a will on which his children’s names were spelt wrong? How and why did John Branca still have a copy of that 2002 will after he he had left the employ of Michael Jackson and was obligated upon termination to return all documents to Michael? And so on.. If it’s all on the up-and-up, then why don’t these guys just kindly answer the questions, privately, honestly, and transparently?

Instead, it seems like they have a household bouncer (Trent Jackson, allegedly the head of security or similarly involved, some say he’s an assistant to Mrs. Jackson) and possibly other personnel, particularly attorneys Ms. Ribera and Mr. Perry Sanders and others to whom that letter was addressed, who have spent the better part of a week now on the line 24×7 to the media feeding them stories about the Jacksons – which has had the end result of smearing them in the public eye and creating a distraction from this family’s concerns as expressed in their letter.

If that was the intent, it certainly worked. It created a distraction from the questions about the will and abuse/control issues and at the same time, smeared the Jacksons so badly that the entire public has turned against them. They are negatively defined as “greedy bullying swindlers just after money” , nevermind at least one of them has her own considerable fortune and doesn’t need any estate money, and the rest are on tour making money or happily married and financially independent and have been for years.

I do know this much: Propaganda works. When employed skillfully it can turn gentle, innocent people into sinister, raging criminals and raging, sinister criminals into benevolent Kings in the public’s collective eye. Remember Michael Jackson and what it did to him. In PR terms, this kind of a ruse would be called a “success“. That’s right – a success. We may see it as a fiasco but to those orchestrating such media firestorms – they are a fantastic success.

This is how the tobacco companies are still allowed to sell a product that is dangerous and kills people. It’s how the United States railed against nationalized health care (even though all other developed countries have it) because – well you know – “death panels“: a term that PR experts chose specifically to strike paralyzing fear in the hearts of anyone who would even think of supporting health care reform. Trust me. They research this stuff. They know psychology better than the psychologists do. And they use it to manipulate public opinion every day.

Fearmongering. Hysteria. Sensationalism. Take something with a hair of truth or even no truth at all. Take it out of context then claim it’s XYZ when it’s really ABC. Create a distraction from the original substance of the issue by insisting the real issue is XYZ. And then the public completely forgets about ABC because they’re all in a pitchfork-wielding mob about – OMG!  XYZ!!  Insert it into a veritable funhouse of mirrors to distort it innumerable ways and then publish, print, broadcast it to the high heavens. In the end, the truth is buried forever and some big media corporations have made millions off of the story to boot. The real criminals go free and the benevolent innocents are forever destroyed in the public eye, their lives and livelihoods ruined.

Happens every day, and that is no exaggeration. You saw it happen to Michael.

You can’t find anything written about these Jacksons now that doesn’t say “it’s all about the money! They just want control of that estate!“.

Is that because this is really true? Or is it just the PR — the spin — the “meme” — the false premise?

You know what I mean — a false premise like:  Michael Jackson is a pedophile, freak, drug addict and weirdo that bleached his skin because he didn’t want to be black!

That kind of false premise.

Yes, there’s a big difference between truth and spin, as you might guess. I’d think MJ fans particularly would be keenly aware of that. Oddly, they’re not. Why buy into the media’s spin on all this – anymore than MJ fans bought into the spin about Michael? You could tell the difference then. Why not now?

Do you think the tabloids and media have suddenly became honest and truthful entities when it comes to this family? Really? If you look at the basic facts of what happened — ignoring all the sensationalist spin and instead attempt to employ some logic instead, a different picture emerges.

Let’s look at the “greedy bullying swindlers” meme that has been put out and propagated by the estate/media spin machine:

It’s said that the older versions of MJ’s will reads very much like the existing one with exception of adding the children’s names as they were born. These siblings who are now questioning the will are not named in any prior versions of his will, either. This means that there is no money to be gotten by them from this either way, even if the current will were declared invalid. So — the premise that “they’re just after money” is not logical then, is it? It just doesn’t add up. The false premise put forth that everyone cannot seem to let go of, makes no sense. At that, it beggars belief that the current will would be declared invalid at this juncture. It won’t.

So why the hell are they doing this? Let’s apply some simple logic to this question instead of spin:

Consider that maybe – just maybe – contrary to the spin that virtually every media outlet as well as the estate has employed about this, – maybe they’re not after money. One has to let go of the false premise that they are, because that’s the only way it logistically makes any sense.

It seems to me these siblings want answers and changes, not dollars. They’ve said they feel that their mother is (or was) being abused and controlled. They said they feel the two lawyers running the estate may be doing so under false pretenses and they want something done about that (they want the executors to step down due to all these issues). That’s what their letter said. Read it.

It did NOT say they wanted money.

It did NOT say they wanted to run the estate themselves or control it themselves.

As I understand it, Janet is quite wealthy of her own accord and is financially independent and has been for years. The only way this makes any sense (to me) is if it’s NOT about the money. It’s not what they said, it’s not what their stated concerns are, and frankly the actions of certain others involved in this particular matter bear out the fact that there are some serious problems in the Calabasas household.

Beware the false premise(s) planted by estate operatives and/or the media.

That letter, by the way, was evidently not meant by the Jacksons to be public. It was allegedly leaked by Perry Sanders or one of the other recipients of the letter. In fact it would make more sense that one of the recipients publicized the letter in order to smear those who sent it. And lo and behold. It worked just like that, didn’t it?

Trust me – the Executors are behind this. The “powers that be” use tabloid media to spin their lies and divide our family.Randy Jackson

So all this questioning: “well why did the Jacksons make it public?” Did you ever consider – that maybe they didn’t? One of the recipients may have publicized it. And once it was made public by this estate operative/addressee, the estate responded to the letter, also publicly. And after that, a massive smear campaign in the media was launched against the Jacksons – with the copious help of Mrs. Jackson’s lawyer, Ms. Ribera, and Mr. Perry Sanders, another attorney the letter was addressed to, and Trent, the security head/bouncer/assistant/whatever, who was also an addressee/recipient of the letter. Trent Jackson is the one who filed the ‘missing persons‘ report on Mrs. Jackson.

We’re told Trent is also the one who has been feeding information to TMZ, and the one who turned Janet and others away from the home on the day of the alleged “altercation“. He also alleged to be the one who fed the security camera footage to the media and he is also said to be the one who called police to the scene. One member of the LAPD said they felt “used” by this whole debacle.

In her ABC Nightline video, Mrs. Jackson said someone (I’m just assuming Trent) sent away the nanny, cooks, housekeepers so the house was chaos while she was gone. I don’t know if that’s true, but she mentioned that they had been sent away. She said she thought she knew who might be behind some of this stuff.

You sort of get the idea that (at least) this Trent guy meant to cause trouble here. And what about all these lawyers feeding information that is frankly none of anyone’s business to the media for a week? Randy Jackson tweeted that Mrs. Jackson had fired Trent and the security team. Reports surfaced later that she could not do so, citing “no authority“. How would you feel if you didn’t have the “authority” to remove a troublemaker/bully from your own home if you wanted to?

Now, let’s remember what the letter to the estate from certain family members said: It said that the estate is controlling and abusing Mrs. Jackson. Well lo and behold would you look at that. If even some of this is true, then this entire situation is a prime example of just that – Mrs. Jackson is being controlled and abused.

If Mrs. Jackson is unable to even fire anyone or decide whom she wants to have or not have in her home or around her grandchildren; if Trent is allegedly being forced on her even when she no longer wants him around; if Trent is partially or mostly responsible for the chaos and upheaval that ensued while she was out of town; if Trent is the person whom the Jackson siblings said they wanted to get their mother away from (and thus the reason for this trip), I’d say just maybe the letter is right. Mrs. Jackson is (or was) being controlled and abused. If she is dealing with this guy’s machinations day in and day out, and these chatty lawyers and perhaps other staff issues, and cannot even control who may or may not live and work in her own home or around her grandchildren or family – that’s pretty terrible. Don’t you think?

Of course it’s just my opinion and you know what they say about those. But as I stated previously, it seems to me that this is partially what has gone on here and what the problem is – or was. And yes, of course like everyone else, I’m just guessing. So these are my guesses based on how I’ve watched all this unfold and I’ve seen most of it since the moment Alan Duke of CNN first tweeted about it days ago – fed the story by Mrs. Jackson’s lawyer, Ms. Ribera, who in my own opinion ought to be fired as well for spending too much time talking to the media.

Instead of any viable answers to the concerns the family expressed in that letter about the will or about estate control issues, this family had what was a private legal correspondence to the estate unduly publicized (possibly) by one of the addressees of the letter; the family got a public “answer” to the letter from the estate which was vague, condescending, and accusatory, the family have gotten ambushed for a week with a very nasty negative public smear campaign undoubtedly orchestrated by some of the same people they named in that letter; one of them we’re fairly certain about and another named in many media reports including the original one, Ms. Ribera.

I saw that video where Janet allegedly pushed or slapped Paris. She didn’t. The video showed one thing, while the sensationalist media spin said something completely different. Paris herself said that Janet never pushed or slapped her. Now that Mrs. Jackson has denied she was ever “kidnapped” by her own kids (which was ridiculous to begin with), Trash Media Zone (TMZ) asserts that Mrs. Jackson was somehow “in on it” – that she helped orchestrate her own “kidnapping“.

Oh for God’s sake, please. Do MJ fans really believe this?

I don’t believe these siblings had sinister intentions, anymore than I believe Michael ever did. I don’t believe they were after money or control. I believe they were very concerned about their mother handling the pressure and stress of managing staff and dealing with some who seem to be bullies and manipulators. Many such persons surrounded Michael. Now, they seemingly surround his mother. And if she had no choice in hiring/firing any of them, and is forced to have certain people in her home and life that she does not want involved, that’s even worse. They felt she was being controlled and abused. And there are still unresolved questions about Michael’s last known will and like it or not, they are entitled to reasonable answers about that.

I just know that this is not a family that does the kinds of things that are being reported.…somebody wanted to publicize this, somebody wanted to make a big issue out of it (by giving the security videotape to the media) –Thomas Mesereau

It’s reported that TJ had been left in charge of the children before when Mrs. J was out and there were no issues. Why were there issues this time? I don’t know but I suspect that some internal animosity in connection with these problematic staff had come to a head. They wanted their mother away from it and she has relatives in AZ so she went away for awhile. Why did “they cut her off from the children“? In her statement to ABC Nightline, Mrs. Jackson said she had “given up her phone” and that her assistant was checking on the children daily. Since the idea was for her to get away from the stress in that home and to assure her ability to relax and rest, it makes sense to me that the chaos and media firestorm that ensued after her departure were not reported to her and thus she did not know about it and thought all was well at her home and with her grandchildren. This is a more reasonable explanation than all the hysterical and sinister bullshit being parroted out there about kidnapping and her being”cut off” from the grandchildren.

Meanwhile, the kids, who it is reported were told Mrs. Jackson was going out of town, were obviously miffed that they couldn’t speak to her, but seemed for the most part fine, Paris chatting away on twitter about movies, music, and other subjects — until suddenly Paris started tweeting that her grandmother was “missing“. What changed then? I suspect that is when the children were told she was “missing” by someone in the household, perhaps because she didn’t show up at the brothers’ concert as planned. She went to Arizona, instead.

It seems maybe someone did not communicate this change in plans to the children and other staff, or they thought they did, but the information was never relayed. Perhaps the information was withheld so that a chaotic situation could be created to make this family look bad. Considering that certain people in the Calabasas household  had just received a letter from these same family members accusing them of being abusive and controlling, that isn’t out of the question, is it? And if that is the case, then this once again proves the premise of the family’s letter to these individuals to be valid ie: abuse and control.

Or, it could have simply been an honest misunderstanding or miscommunication. Regardless, some communication was clearly lost somehow and for some reason, deliberately or otherwise. A hysterical assumption was made or chaotic situation deliberately created in the Calabasas home, actions carried out accordingly and the media had a field day with it. However, Mrs. Jackson was certainly not “missing” or kidnapped by her own children as was alleged and probably didn’t even know all this was going on.

After all this, if the estate are unwilling to address the family’s concerns about the will and about the treatment of Mrs. Jackson in a professional, private and honest manner, then this only adds weight to the argument that perhaps they are fraudulently in control and they (along with those associated with them) are wielding undue influence over Mrs. Jackson. This may particularly be true if she is not even allowed to control who does or does not work in or enter her own home; if this situation was publicized and fed to the media as a means to discredit her and her family and upset her grandchildren in lieu of providing answers to the family’s written concerns; or if any miscommunication was intentional on the part of anyone involved estate-side.

As for Ms. Ribera and Mr. Sanders, I personally would not trust attorneys who are online with tabloids and media 24×7 for days at a time feeding stories to them about people’s personal lives. That indicates to me that these attorneys have other interests than (and which may even trump) managing Mrs. Jackson’s legal affairs.

These lawyers and everyone involved in running that estate should be ready, willing, and available to calmly, kindly and PRIVATELY answer any questions or concerns the family has about their brother’s will, his estate or the management thereof, or issues surrounding their mother and what goes on in her home.

Why? Because it’s Michael’s family and there should be nothing to hide from them.

Whether you like or trust some of the Jackson family or do not like or trust some of them, and regardless what their own internal squabbles, misunderstandings or disagreements are – they are Michael’s family and any estate execs or their operatives ought to be transparent with them about what is going on with Michael’s estate and certainly about what is going on with their own mother – IF in fact there is no reason for such concern.

Otherwise, those concerns only appear to have validity. And frankly and just in my own opinion, based on how this debacle has unfolded, they do bear serious consideration.

If the family’s private letter to the estate has been publicized by the recipients of said letter or other estate operatives, and subsequently the family have been subjected to a media firestorm of negative propaganda by these estate operatives/employees – and it appears to me this may have happened, then this behavior on the part of the estate  is unacceptable, unprofessional and unethical. It is divisive and extremely damaging to the Jackson family and particularly to Katherine and Michael’s children – the very people whose interests the estate presumptively exists to protect and serve.

Worse, it closely resembles the type of treatment and pattern of behavior that Michael Jackson himself was subjected to during much of his life.

I sincerely hope that the estate will deal with these concerns in a private, professional and courteous manner. I also hope that they will do something to contain certain overbearing employees/household members and overly-chatty attorneys who were involved.  I hope the new arrangement with TJ and Mrs. Jackson sharing guardianship works out well.

Additionally, I hope that Michael’s children will eventually be able to understand the history and the scope of this problem and forgive their relatives (Michael’s siblings) for trying (however unsuccessfully) to protect Mrs. Jackson, and to find out the truth behind their father’s death.

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Geraldine Hughes gave one of the least hysterical and most reasonable summaries of the situation on Thursday when TJ gained temporary guardianship of the children:

Let’s not rush to judgment based on the temporary guardianship given to Tito’s son today. Let’s all wait until Katherine Jackson surfaces. According to her attorney, it is only temporary and he will not allow her to be permanently stripped as guardianship. Because of the age of MJ’s kids, they are old enough to voice their opinion as to who THEY want to be their guardian. We see that they love their grandmother to death and will not allow her to be taken completely away, while, on the other hand, she needs help with them, and to be protected from anyone trying to take their custody. This might actually be a win win situation. The judge granted the temporary order until August 22, 2012. TJ has always been close to MJ kids. They love him, he’s young enough to handle and help raise them, and he has a vested interest in Michael Jackson’s estate. Also, the judge ordered him to move into their home, therefore, they don’t have to be uprooted from school, home, etc. Even if Katherine is not reinstated as guardian, she can continue to live with them, help look after them, while not being under too much pressure and guarding her health. This ruling does not cut her out of MJ’s will as being his heir. I just don’t like how this came about. I think Janet, Jermaine, Rebbie & Randy’s intention might have been good (thinking only of their mother’s health), but it might have backfired negatively for Katherine. Let’s wait and see and keep our prayers up for the entire Jackson family.

And Deborah of Reflections on the Dance shared this:

One of my sources has shared the following…

It’s been shared that Trent Jackson, Joe Jackson’s nephew, head of security and home surveillance, is the person who stopped Janet and Randy from entering the home to speak with the children, and who reported an altercation to the police. It is also this same person who has apparently been leaking video to TMZ.

Mrs. Katherine is unable to fire this person, who has apparently been causing a lot of trouble, as she does not have the authority to do so. Supposedly there have been problems in the home due to this person and this is the reason that Mrs. K and the siblings took the actions that they did. Janet was also asked to help on her mother’s and brother’s request, and flew in from Italy to support her mother, though these actions backfired.

I believe the statement directly above from Deborah is likely true because someone pointed out to me on twitter that during the playing of the security surveillance video from the Calabasas home the day of the altercation, Trent Jackson’s name appears on the video. It appears both on CNN’s copy and during the interview with Tom Mesereau.  I screen-capped a couple shots from the Mesereau interview. The words “From Trent Jackson” clearly appears in the upper left-hand corner of the security portion of the video. You can see it here and here.

I do not believe there was anything sinister or underhanded about the actions Jermaine, Randy, Janet, Tito and Rebbie took in this situation. I believe their intentions were good and based on real concern fr their mother, even if their actions backfired or were badly executed. I hope that with TJ Jackson and Mrs. Jackson sharing guardianship of the children, much of the manipulation and pressure that Mrs. Jackson has obviously been subjected to by certain staff will be relieved and that she will be able to enjoy her family and especially her grandchildren once again.

-Seven

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Jul 23 2012

Photo: Mrs. Jackson Safe & Sound in Arizona

Category: Family,PhotosSeven @ 4:08 pm

X17online obtained a photo of Mrs. Jackson at an Arizona resort with her daughter Rebbie, her granddaughter Stacy and her great grandson, London.

. . .

The tabloid also reported that Michael’s mom did let the children know she was leaving town, contrary to various online reports which claim she “disappeared”.

Of course tabloids and media in general are often a very unreliable sources of information as this fiasco should have illustrated. However, there were those who demanded photographic evidence of Mrs. J’s safety so this will hopefully suffice, along with the caption, which contains comments from the Pima County Sheriff’s Dept. after he is said to have visited the location.

“When I got there, Katherine Jackson and her family were at the dinner table and had just finished a game of Uno. In fact, their dinner plates were still in front of them. She seemed like she was having a good time. She was happy, safe and healthy. Basically Mrs. Jackson was vacationing with her family here in Arizona.” -Pima County Sheriff’s Department

I had mentioned in a comment below my previous post on the matter that Mrs. Jackson does have relatives in Arizona. Seems she may be simply relaxing and having a good time with her family.

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Jul 22 2012

Katherine Jackson Reported Missing

Category: Family,JusticeSeven @ 6:12 am

Katherine Jackson

Trent Jackson, Mrs. Jackson’s nephew, has reported Mrs. Katherine Jackson missing late Saturday night after her grandchildren were unable to get in touch with her for a week.

However Jermaine Jackson tweeted just yesterday that Mrs. Jackson was fine and resting in Arizona.

I want to reassure everyone (inc all sudden medical experts) that Mother is fine but is resting up in AZ on the orders of a doctor, not us. This is our mother and her health is paramount. We are not inventing or plotting anything. We are following doctor’s advice. Period.

The missing persons report follows the letter made public Wednesday in which Rebbie, Jermaine, Randy and Tito charge that the 82-year old Mrs. Jackson was being mistreated and manipulated by the executors of Michael’s estate and mis-advised by her manager and lawyer.

According to Katherine’s lawyer, Sandra Ribera, she left her California home on July 15 to fly to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to attend a Jackson brothers concert two days later. She was travelling with her eldest daughter Rebbie.

But when Paris Jackson called Rebbie and Janet over the past several days, she was told she could not speak to her grandmother.

Although she seemed fine earlier in the day Saturday and did not mention her grandmother or seem upset, late Saturday evening/early Sunday morning, Paris tweeted:

yes, my grandmother is missing. i haven’t spoken with her in a week i want her home now.

if anybody sees my grandmother, please call the authorities or this number— (818)-876-0186 it’s the security number .. thank you so much

the same doctor that testified on behalf of dr murray saying my father was a drug addict (a lie) is caring for my grandmother… just saying

It is believed that the doctor referred to by Paris in her tweet is Dr. Allan Metzger, who is also Janet Jackson’s doctor and who was called as a defense witness in the Conrad Murray trial.

The kids were trying to get a hold of their grandmother and they haven’t been able to reach her for almost a week. They are told she’s unavailable. Mrs. Jackson has never gone 24 hours without talking to her kids. I’m concerned that she’s not safe.” Sandra Ribera said.

At least one media outlet has reached out to Janet Jackson’s representatives several times but did not hear back. The sheriff’s homicide-missing persons unit has been asked to investigate.

REFERENCE: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/22/katherine-jackson-reported-missing_n_1692562.html  – and many other outlets. The story has spread like wildfire in the past few hours.

UPDATE:  AP: Police say Mrs. Jackson is missing but presumed safe with her family: http://t.co/X13KGDuy 

UPDATE2: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2012/07/questions-raised-over-whereabouts-of-michael-jacksons-mother/ 

Prior to her departure, a doctor was brought to her home and represented that he had been sent from the office of her longtime physician. Based on this representation, Mrs. Jackson agreed to meet with the doctor who subsequently ordered her to fly rather than drive to her sons’ concerts. Mrs. Jackson followed what she believed to be her doctor’s instructions,” the statement said. “Moreover, Katherine Jackson’s longtime physician recently confirmed that his office did not send a doctor to Mrs. Jackson’s home last weekend before she left on her trip. It has further been discovered that the doctor that Katherine Jackson last saw has been publicly reprimanded by the California Medical Board for fraudulent activities and has ties to Dr. Conrad Murray.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/22/showbiz/michael-jackson-mom-missing-person/index.html

The doctor who examined Jackson at her home on July 14 was Dr. Allan Metzger, according to Katherine Jackson attorney Sandra Ribera. Metzger was a defense expert witness for Dr. Conrad Murray last year. Murray was subsequently convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Michael Jackson’s death.

Dr. Metzger was brought into Jackson’s Calabasas, California, home “under false pretenses” by saying he was sent by her primary care physician, Ribera said. “We came to find out that her doctor has no association with Dr. Metzger.”

The doctor advised Jackson that it was better for her to take a plane on a trip planned for the next day, rather than ride in a RV driven by Trent Jackson, Ribera said.

Jackson left with her oldest daughter, Rebbie, the next day to fly to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to attend a Jackson brothers concert two days later, she said. But she never arrived at the concert, Ribera said.

UPDATE3: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/22/katherine-jackson-believed-safe_n_1693478.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

LOS ANGELES — Authorities said Sunday they believe Katherine Jackson, the mother of Michael Jackson and the guardian of his three minor children, is safe in Arizona with family members after she was reported missing.

The disclosure came after another concerned family member officially reported her missing Saturday night amid a dispute over the estate of her superstar son.

A person familiar with Katherine Jackson’s whereabouts said she is with her daughter Rebbie in Arizona and following a doctor’s orders to rest. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

UPDATE4: Jermaine Jackson, just a short while ago (around 7:30 p.m. PST or so on Sunday 7/22), tweeted the following:

Let me put to bed today’s nonsense: as I made clear some days ago, Mother is safe and well in Arizona with her daughter and our sister, Rebbie, resting up on doctor’s advice, so it is beyond me how she can be reported “missing”

This incredulous claim was made for reasons best known to the adult/s who filed it but it seems no accident that it comes after we, the sons and daughters, put in place care-taking for our own mother, taking her to Arizona in line with doctor’s advice following a check-up.

Furthermore, it dismays me that such an alarmist “missing person” report has caused unnecessary anxiety among Michael’s children who will understandably react to what they misunderstand, hear or are told.

No-one is being “blocked” from speaking with Mother. She is merely an 82-year-old woman following doctor’s orders to rest-up and de-stress, away from phones and computers. Everyone has been well aware of this within the family, but I would like to reiterate my reassurance to the outside world that Mother is fine. In the meantime, thank you for all your thoughts and concerns.

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Jun 04 2012

Seen, Read, Heard . . .

Category: Art,Family,Friends,Interviews,Justice,Quotes About MJ,VideosSeven @ 2:06 am

I’ve got a slew of things to share today. You may have heard, read or seen some or all of them already, but I’ll put them here anyway. First, I want to share a touching interview that Piers Morgan (who is typically not one of my favorite people) did with Katherine Jackson a few weeks ago. Click here to see the entire interview (embedding is disabled). You can just see the emotional pain on her face during some parts of the interview. One of the most heartbreaking and touching things Mrs. Jackson said during the interview was the following – and during parts of this she appeared to break into tears:

Every morning, all through the day-I think about Michael. If  I wake up through the night, my mind is there. I just miss him, but being a Christian and believing in the Resurrection, I feel that I’ll see him again.  I’m sorry I just … When they told me that he had 50 shows going on, I was concerned about those shows, I thought it was a little bit too much, because Michael hadn’t been on stage for about 10 years. And I called him and I told him, ’cause the way they had it structured, they said every other night that he’d be working … I just kept calling him telling him they had to change that schedule … They didn’t care about him, all they cared about was money.

-Katherine Jackson

Though I generally dislike Mr. Morgan, this was a very good interview, although difficult to watch at times because the deep grief Mrs. Jackson still feels is very evident.

This next item has to do with a rather personal letter that Michael wrote to Lisa Marie Presley during their relationship. The letter suddenly surfaced at Juliens for auction. Someone tweeted a very surprised Lisa Marie Presley about the letter and she asked them where they had found it. When she found out it was at Juliens, she immediately acted to have it removed from auction. I witnessed myself the twitter exchange between her and the person who had asked her about the letter. I will not post the letter itself here but I will post a letter/message from Juliens to someone who inquired about the letter’s source ie: who gave it to them. They clearly state that, contrary to wild accusations against Lisa Marie Presley, they did not obtain the letter from her. Judging by her reaction to the person who presented it to her, and by the letter/message from Juliens, I personally find it more than a laboriously contorted fantasy to believe that LMP somehow gave the letter to Juliens herself for sale. Such an accusation doesn’t even make any sense, as there is no logical reason she would do such a thing.

I am aware of some incredibly narcissistic jealousy and anger directed at Ms. Presley because she was Michael’s wife, and because in the heat of hurt and anger after their breakup she publicly said terrible things about him. I am aware that some people will latch onto any further excuse they can find or manufacture to justify that continued jealousy and anger towards her. However, it is both unfair and juvenile to demonize someone for something they did not do, no matter how you may dislike them, how jealous you may be of them, or how angry you may be at them for something else completely different that they did years ago.

All of Michael’s life, people demonized him for things he didn’t do. It ought to be obvious why this is not fair, ethical, or moral – no matter who the target of it is. Here is the message from Juliens stating that the letter did not come to them from LMP:

Message from Juliens regarding MJ to LMP personal letter

…you can tell them that it did not come from her and I can guarantee it.

-Darren Julien

That ought to be enough said about this issue. Those who wish to continue manufacturing speculation about this or continue to go on angry tirades against LMP may do so on their own websites, blogs, facebook pages or twitter accounts, but I won’t approve such comments here.

Moving on to the next debacle, Michael Jackson’s estate released a letter to fans regarding concerns about the quality of the upcoming ‘BAD25’ DVD of Michael’s 1988 Wembly Stadium performance. Though the concert was filmed using proper equipment and that high-quality footage is out there somewhere, the estate has not been able to locate it. Thus, the DVD will be sourced from a VHS tape that belonged to Michael, instead. The estate’s statement read as follows:

It is great to see the overwhelming support and excitement in the fan community for the upcoming BAD 25 release. A few questions have arisen regarding the Wembley concert DVD. Although the press release wasn’t the place for background details, here is more information:

• We know that Nocturne captured on Umatic tapes the footage projected onto the JumboTrons at the various concerts including Wembley. These tapes were turned over to Michael’s crew and we have confirmed with Patrick Kelly (who headed Michael’s film crew for the European tour) that everything from Europe was sent to LA to be put in Michael’s storage facilities. The same procedures were followed for the US shows.

• Unfortunately, record-keeping in the storage facilities was sporadic, at best, so we do not know what happened to a tape once it was sent for storage. In most cases, once a tape was pulled from the box it arrived in, it was not put back in the original box and where it wound up doesn’t always make sense. As a result, 25 years later not all of the Umatic tapes from the various shows can be located, notwithstanding that we have conducted an extensive survey of all of the storage facilities. So while we believe that the Umatic tape for Wembley was initially sent for storage, we have not been able to locate it. And with regard to the Umatic footage of other concerts, the audio is extremely problematic and therefore these concerts are unusable.

• We know that VHS copies of the Umatics were made when Michael wanted to view a particular concert, but because of the lack of record-keeping, we also didn’t know which concerts existed on VHS. We ultimately did find Michael’s personal VHS viewing copy of the Wembley show attended by Princess Diana and Prince Charles, but not the Umatic. Even finding this VHS felt like a miracle to us!

• So while we continued the search for the Wembley Umatic master, we also researched the audio recordings that existed from all of the concerts including Wembley. Fortunately, the Wembley audio recordings were made using a sound truck, and appear to be the only multi-track recordings from the tour. The other audio/visual recordings that exist, whether Umatic or VHS, are “front of house” mixes, and therefore there are no separate audio recordings that can be used to create a high quality listening experience. It is for this reason that the Wembley audio is the only one suitable to create a live album.

• If we were going to include a live concert DVD in the BAD 25 release package, we had only one choice, Wembley. And there were only two options for visual – the Umatics for a different show or the VHS for Wembley. It would certainly be less expensive for the Estate to be able to create a DVD from a Umatic tape than to spend the time and money to painstakingly restore/enhance the VHS footage, but then we would not be delivering a truly authentic experience and we truly believe that watching this concert with the high quality audio will create a magical experience for all the fans as it has for us. We ultimately chose a lab that has developed its own proprietary technology for doing this kind of work (including restoration for NASA of VHS footage) in order to make the visual experience the best it can be under the circumstances.

We also could have chosen to release the Japanese concert from the first leg of the tour as there is a master of that show; but that concert was essentially a reincarnation of the Victory Tour with only two songs – “Bad” and “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” – added at the end. It isn’t what we believe the fans would want.

We could have elected not to release a DVD as part of the BAD 25 celebration (and hold out hope that someday we might find the Umatic of the Wembley concert) or we could share with the fans the chance to relive that magical night with pristine audio. We made the decision to go with the latter and provide the fans with the most authentic viewing experience. We believe that the fans will agree it was the right choice when the package is released in September.

John Branca/The Estate of Michael Jackson

It turns out that, contrary to what many of us had believed, ‘Dirty Diana‘ was performed at this concert. If you remember, Michael had initially considered omitting the song out of respect for Lady Diana who attended the concert, but it appears that he did in fact perform the song.

A previously unreleased song, ‘Don’t Be Messin’ ‘Round‘, will be accompanied by a June 5th CD release of ‘I Just Can’t Stop Loving You‘. This CD will be sold via Wal-Mart in the U.S. and will not be available digitally. More details about ‘BAD25‘ can be found here.

Speaking of ‘Don’t Be Messin’ ‘Round‘, Joe Vogel tweeted tonight that he will “have an article out on “Don’t Be Messin'” in the next day or so with fresh insights from those involved.” That is bound to be a treat, so if you haven’t yet, follow Joe on Twitter so you’ll know as soon as he publishes! If you haven’t heard it yet, here’s the demo, just as Michael left it:

If you haven’t read the interview MJJC did with DDA David Walgren yet, you might find it interesting. In case you didn’t know, DDA Walgren has now become a Superior Court Judge, so he’s moving up in the world. This man is extremely articulate and didn’t miss a beat during the Murray trial, so I’d not want to be a criminal in his courtroom! Here are a few quotes from that interview:

Before the trial, I had great respect for Michael Jackson as an artist and enjoyed his music. However, as I learned more about him and his life, I came to really enjoy two songs in particular: Human Nature and Earth Song.

• • • 

Prior to the trial, my perception of Michael Jackson was simply that he was a very gifted artist and, although I was aware of various media accounts regarding his personal life, I do not typically follow that type of reporting. Now that I have learned so much more about him as a person, I have come away with great admiration for him as a loving and dedicated father to his children.

• • • 

I have not been able to come up with any reason why Conrad Murray would have made and saved that voice recording other than, as Judge Pastor stated, it was to serve as an insurance policy that Conrad Murray could one day use against Michael Jackson.

Mark Ryden is an American painter born January 20, 1963. He was dubbed “the god-father of pop surrealism” by Interview Magazine.

There has been much speculation and suspicion about the meaning and symbolism of the Mark Ryden artwork on the cover of the ‘Dangerous’ album. Theories include messages about the occult to ‘Illuminati‘ and Freemasonry. I don’t personally subscribe to or pay much attention to all that, but the cover is certainly fascinating and it does, as Michael and Ryden evidently intended, leave people to wonder and interpret as they wish and they’ve certainly done that! This interview with Ryden is all over the internet, though I have been unable to find an original source for it.

Our friends at UK Loves MJ on Facebook has located one of the initial sketches considered for the cover. I’d never seen it before so thought I’d share it here:

One of the original 'Dangerous' cover sketches by Mark Ryden

I suppose the thing most people don’t know, and what surprised me, was how “normal” Michael Jackson was in person. His public image is so strange I did not know what to expect but when I met with him we had a very typical and relaxed conversation. We had many common interests we talked about. Maybe I am just a freak also.

-Mark Ryden, artist/creator of the Dangerous album cover

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