Nov 21 2010

Verbal Abuse and Control in Michael’s Life (and yours!)

Category: Justice,Photos,Prose/EssaysSeven @ 11:07 am

Verbal Abuse

Verbal Abuse

On the heels of the introduction of the Words and Violence Curriculum, I want to introduce some information about verbal abuse and controlling behavior in our society. I will offer some specifics about how such abuse is defined and recognized and I’ll further specifically identify the some of the types of verbal abuse and controlling behavior that Michael Jackson endured during his life.

It’s no secret that Michael was abused all his life from the time he was a child, both verbally and emotionally. Once he became known around the world at a very young age, the abuse began coming from the media and others instead of his family home. But why? Why do people and entities abuse others?

Abuse has its roots in control. When you want to oppress, destroy, or control someone, you abuse them in certain ways. The need to control is based in fear and insecurity.  But fear of what? Why would anyone be afraid of Michael?  Is it because he was so successful and influential throughout the world and had the power to really change things? Yes. Is it because he was so successful, period? Yes. Jealousy is also based in fear and insecurity. Human beings collectively have what I call a ‘crab-barrel mentality‘. As soon as one of them manages to get to the top of the barrel, the others below him start pulling him back down. Is it because he became a billionaire black man? Yes. Many people wanted to take control of Michael as an institution or business entity and they wanted his money and assets. And like it or not, many had issues with a black man coming up from nothing in a poor neighborhood and becoming a successful billionaire like Michael did.

In the United States, many people have issue with the fact that we have a black President. They try to hide that fact behind other excuses but at its base, they fear him because he’s black, even going so far as to claim he’s “going to enslave white people“. Fear. Insecurity. Jealousy. Greed. All of these are what is behind verbal abuse. And the objective of abuse is mainly control. The entire reason behind Evan Chandler’s extortion of Michael Jackson was control. He wanted Michael to give him money. Michael refused to do it voluntarily so Chandler extracted it from him by force. He wanted the money (greed). But to get that, he had to gain control of Michael. Thus, the allegation that Michael had molested his son. The facts of the case tell us that money was primarily what Chandler wanted, not justice for any wrongdoing, and he got the money by accusing Michael of a horrendous crime that he did not commit. When accusing and blaming (forms of abuse), are accompanied by a demand for money, that is known as ‘extortion‘ and then it becomes financial abuse, as well.

Michael wanted to change the world and he said so. He sang beautiful songs about it and the world sang along with him. He had the worldwide influence to really change things, too. Had he continued unabated by abuse and manufactured scandals, he may well have been able to reduce war and poverty. But what if that happened?  Some very high and mighty people who benefit from the current status quo would lose a lot of money or even their businesses! The military-industrial complex needs war to continue to exist. What if there were no war anymore?  That’s what Michael wanted to make a reality. “And when that flag blows, there’ll be no more wars“, he sang in the song ‘Cry‘.  Who thinks that the military-industrial complex and those who support them would stand by and let that happen – no more wars? They’d go out of business! So a lot of people were afraid of Michael because they have much to gain (profit, power and control) by the ensuring that the problems of the world remain just as they are.  Thus, they’d had a vested interest in destroying someone who had the power and influence to potentially change things, such as Michael Jackson.

In our personal relationships, this can and often does work the same way if someone wants to control or oppress us. It happens between political parties all the time. They define, accuse and abuse each other so much that the truth about the issues that effect all of us is lost. However, the scale of abuse which Michael suffered was far and beyond what most individuals endure. And it was sustained against him for decades. We probably have all had partners, friends, bosses, co-workers, family members who were or are abusive and controlling. So, let’s look at what abuse and controlling behavior is and how you can recognize it, both in what was done to Michael Jackson and possibly in your own life too. In the case of how these principles apply to how Michael was treated, I’ll give some specific examples and you can probably come up with many more.

What is verbal abuse?

First of all, the definition of (verbal) abuse is definition.  What do I mean by that? Simply this:

If someone wants to abuse and control you the first thing they’re going to do is to define you. They’re going to tell you (not ask you) who you are, what you are, what you think, what your motives are, what your ideals are, how you feel. And what they tell (not ask) you about yourself will undoubtedly be negative. Then, they will proceed, based on their definition of you – to debase and ridicule the “you” they defined.  It’s a form of mental and emotional rape. And example of this is someone saying to you: “Oh you’re just trying to start trouble!”, or “You just can’t take a joke!” or “You think you’re better than everyone else!”   In each of these statements, the other person has claimed that they live inside your head, and that they know your thoughts, motives, feelings.  Of course it’s humanely impossible to live in someone else’s head or to know their thoughts, feelings and motives.  Anyone who thinks they can know that about another person is entertaining pure folly and living under what Patricia Evans calls “the spell” – which is an illusion that you know someone else better than they do and therefore have ultimate authority to declare who and what they are to themselves or anyone else.  If someone is defining you negatively, beware.  If someone pretends to know your “motives” for instance, the truth is they don’t unless they directly asked you what they are rather than telling you, or anyone else what they are.  If they are doing that they are operating under an illusion and trying to sell that illusion to others about you, too.

Do you remember certain people and media entities claiming that Michael was a “Diva“? Certainly that was not true but many insisted it was. They called him “strange“, a “pervert“, a “freak“, etc. all based on false stories and allegations about him. They were defining him. They created a caricature of Michael Jackson that never existed in human form, while defining the human Michael Jackson as “not even human“.  But he was human. And they way he was defined by the medialoids and others simply wasn’t him at all.

These people and entities set up this caricature of Michael Jackson so that they could use these definitions of Michael to continue to abuse him and profit off of that abuse. They created an entire industry of it. Even worse – and this is typical of abusers also – they blamed him for the abuse and for the effects it had on him!

If they had spent as much time asking Michael Jackson who and what and how he was and what his motives and ideals are rather than telling him (and us!), the world would know him. But they didn’t. And the world doesn’t know him or who he was. They made up definitions of him so they could abuse, control, and destroy him based on those definitions.  So, this is why I say the definition of abuse, is definition.

Categories of Verbal Abuse:

Let’s look at some categories of verbal abuse to further understand and break down the different forms it can take. Many of these were used against Michael and I will give some specific examples of that.

Withholding – remaining silent and aloof, refusing to share thoughts, feelings, information, etc. keeping distant and refusing to respond empathically or otherwise to another person in a relationship which requires intimacy or exchange of information such as a business relationship.

Countering – The abuser sees a difference in thought or opinion as a threat of loss of control and argues against anything another person says or thinks that is different than the abuser. Sees the other person as an adversary ie: if you say “it’s cold outside!“. (S)he says: “it is not cold, it’s just cool!”  Nitpicks on and disagrees with everything the other person says and forces his/her opinions on the other person.

Discounting – The abusive entity denies the reality and experience of the other person. ie: a $100 dollar item in a store is discounted to one cent. The value of it is reduced to almost nothing. The abuser insists the feelings and experiences of the other person are wrong or invalid. For instance the abuser says: “you’re too sensitive!” (readers, if you hear this from anyone in your midst, get away from that person). Or, the abuser says:  “you’re imagining things!“, or “you’re just humor impaired!” after (s)he has “joked” about you or your appearance, for instance, in a hurtful way.

Verbal abuse disguised as “jokes – this type of abuse is not done in jest. It cuts to the quick and is meant to be cruel. It leaves the abuser with a feeling or look of triumph. For instance, someone says: “Boy, you’re easily entertained!“, or “you need a babysitter!“, or “you couldn’t find your head if it wasn’t attached!

Blocking & Diverting – The abuser/entity prevents all possibility of resolution by blocking and diverting. The idea is to prevent discussion. It may be done by demand or by changing the subject or it may be accusatory. For instance, “That’s a lot of crap!“, or “just drop it!“, or “Who asked you!“, or “you think you know everything!“, or “I don’t think that’s relevant, and I’m not going to discuss it.

Accusing & blaming – blaming someone for wrongdoing, or for some breach of the basic (stated or unstated) agreement of the relationship. Blaming the other person for the abuser’s anger or frustration or fear. For instance, you say: “I feel like you’re distant from me today.”  The other person responds: “Stop attacking me! You’re just trying to pick a fight!” Or, someone accuses you outright of something you didn’t do or are not guilty of and will not listen to any reasonable explanation or fact about it. For instance: “You’re 15 minutes late getting home! You were probably hanging out late with that cute assistant of yours again!” When you explain that there was a traffic snarl, you might hear: “don’t give me your excuses, I know you have a crush on him/her!

Judging and criticizing – The abuser judges the other person in a critical way and then when the other person objects, the abuser says (s)he’s only criticizing to be “helpful“. In reality, the abuser is expressing a lack of acceptance of the other person. Statements that begin with: “The trouble with you is….“, or most any statement that begins with “You….” is judgemental. For instance: “You can’t take a joke!“.  Critical statements made about someone to others are also abusive ie: “She’s afraid of her own shadow!”, or “he never knows whether he’s coming or going.” or “he’s such a drama queen!

Trivializing – this says in so many words that something another person has done or said is insignificant. Minimizing. This can be very subtle or it can be overt. For instance, if you spent a week cleaning out a messy closet and another person comes along and you show them your work.  The other person says: “Well I’m impressed!”  You respond: “You are? Thanks!” Then the other person then says: “yea I didn’t think you’d ever get that spot up off the carpet under my tennis shoes in there.”  Then, your heart just sinks. This type of abuse sets the other person up for extra hurt. Feeling a sense of pleasure the approval of your work, you’re very open for trivialization of it. First the abuser says (s)he is impressed, then comments about the smallest thing they can find about your accomplishment, refusing to acknowledge the effort or the results.

Undermining – withholds emotional support, and erodes confidence and determination. For instance, you say: “What a pretty flower!”  The other person says: “A flower’s a flower, who cares?” Or it could be a direct squelch like: “It’s over your head”, or “You couldn’t talk if your hands were tied.”   Sabatoging is also a way of undermining.  If you’re very enthusiastic about a project or subject and you share that with someone, then another person says: “Well, I don’t know of anyone who would be interested in that crap.“, that’s undermining. Sabatoge can take many other forms in addition such as withholding funds or resources for a project.

Threatening – This one is obvious!  I don’t believe any explanation is needed here.

Name-calling – Once again, obvious, no explanation needed.

Forgetting – This is a type of covert, rather than overt manipulation. Everyone forgets sometimes, but when a situation occurs which has a great emotional impact on someone and someone else who was there (and in fact even caused the situation), declares that the event did not occur at all because they don’t remember it, that’s a form of covert abuse. For instance if someone yells at you in a meeting and humiliates you, and then later when you want to discuss this, the person claims: “I don’t know what you’re talking about and I’m not going to listen to this. You’re making things up again.” – that’s the type of  “forgetting” that is covertly manipulative and crazy-making.

Ordering – Again, no explanation. We’ve all had orders barked at us or have been told: “We’re going to do this now.“, or “get in there and clean that mess up now!”  When an adult orders a child that’s one thing, but when an adult orders another adult, it’s usually abuse.

Denial – Denial is one of the most insidious categories of abuse because it denies the reality of the other person. “You’ve got to be crazy, I never said that!“, is denial.  “We never had any such conversation” (when the other person knows they did) is denial.

The Illusions of Controlling behavior:

People or entities who are trying to control someone operate under certain illusions. Those illusions are:

  • That they can define another person or group
  • That their definition of another person or group is true
  • That another person or group is responsible for the controlling person’s actions
  • That another person or group may not have their own separate opinion that differs from that of the controller
  • That another person or group is the cause of their behavior

Additionally, the controlling person or entity is under the illusion that they live inside the heart and mind of the other person or group and that they know their thoughts, feelings, motives, ideals.  The controller believes it/he/she knows what the other person or group:

  • thinks
  • is trying to do
  • has done
  • means
  • should do
  • should be
  • wants
  • needs
  • feels
  • intends
  • did
  • expects

Or, they think they know that the other person or group is wrong. People who are under the spell of these illusions are certain that:

  • their behavior is not odd, senseless or harmful
  • they do not cross a psychic boundary
  • they are right
  • they are not under any illusions
  • they are not playing “let’s pretend
  • they are independent and self-reliant
  • [and in some cases] God has chosen their side

These illusions, reinforced by culture and family, lead some people to believe they “know” about others and can interpret their motives and feelings, and can tell them what is “wrong” with them or what they should or should not do.

Now, what does all this have to do with Michael and what happened to him? I’m sure you can read the above information and come up with some of the different types of abuse he was subjected to. Usually, these categories of abuse are combined by the abusive person or entity. That is, the abuser uses several of them at once to oppress, control and/or destroy the target of the abuse. I’ll show you how that works.

Michael looking very sad and hurt

Michael looking very sad and hurt

What about Oprah? What did she do to Michael?  Remember how she “joked” about Michael with her guests and with one of them even encouraged the guest to tell jokes about him?  Remember when I called Oprah an abuser? Here’s why.

  • The day after “Living With Michael Jackson” aired, Oprahs original plan was to discuss something else, but she couldnt resist talking about Michael. She started the show by saying something like “This show is not going to be about Michael Jackson but OMG, did you all see the documentary yesterday?” Of course, then she and her audience talked about Michael the entire show. She turned straight to the camera and directed a personal message to MJ and said “Michael, if you were my brother I would say to you that it’s not appropriate to have kids sleep in your bed.”

What types of abuse and control is this?

Martin Bashir defined Michael in “Living With Michael Jackson” in a very bad way.  Oprah simply perpetuated his definition of Michael on her show. She continued to define him just as Bashir did. She was also pretending to know what Michael was trying to do, what he has done, and was directly telling him what he should (or should not) do.

She believes her definition (and Bashir’s) of Michael is true. She might even believe, as many do, that God is on their side about this.  She was also accusing and blaming, and judging and criticizing Michael.

  • She invited guests on her show to get them to malign Michael & she’d laugh heartily at their disrespect during the trial. She asked several people about their opinions about the trial and MJ, when Michael was not even the topic of the show.

What types of abuse and control is this?

Without even hearing what her guests said, it was likely, discounting, accusing and blaming, undermining, judging and criticizing, and again, defining Michael on her own terms even though Oprah did not know the facts about Michael or the allegations.

  • During jury deliberations, she had a show about pedophilia.

What types of abuse and control is this?

Undermining. It’s also a form of name-calling and discounting. A guilt-by-association ploy.

  • She had a show about unrelated men who share intimate relationships with one another (a deep closeness, no sex) yet continued to insist they were heterosexual. Something like that anyway. One of the men said that he often shared a bed with his friends (again, no sex) and Winfrey laughed and said “You’re sounding like Michael Jackson.”

What types of abuse and control is this?

Verbal abuse defined as a “joke“, controlling by defining ie:, assuming her definition of Michael is true,  insisting that her guest may not have their own separate opinion about Michael that differs from hers, believing that she “knows” what Michael has done and what he should do, believing that her own behavior is not odd, senseless, or harmful, that she has not crossed a psychic boundary, and believing that she is right.

  • When she had Jay Leno on her show, she asked him “What kind of jokes do you tell on your show.” He said, “of course, Michael Jackson jokes”. She went on to ask about his trial experience. When he talked about “wanting to crack a few jokes” during his testimony, she ended the conversation.

What types of abuse and control is this?

Verbal abuse defined as a “joke.

  • Larry King once asked her if she felt sorry for Jackson. She smiled slightly before saying no.

What types of abuse and control is this?

Trivializing. Discounting. In this case she is trivializing Michael’s feelings and her abuse of him, and discounting Michael’s feelings and her abuse of him.

  • She had Chris Rock on her show for his movie “I think I love my wife” where she pointed out and played a particular scene where the main characters (all Black) discuss (and insult) Jackson, his father, and his case. After that, she asked her audience if “White people do this?”

What types of abuse and control is this?

Without knowing what was said exactly: defining, name-calling, verbal abuse disguised as a “joke”, accusing and blaming, judging and criticizing,  defining ie: defining a person or group, believing that definition of the person or group is true, believing that she/they “know” what that person or group thinks, does, feels, should do, should not do, is trying to do, has done, should do, should be, intends,  and did do.

  • Later she cheered on Chris Rock and let him crack some jokes about Michael and wanted more and more but Chris Rock eventuelly stopped and said something like “This trial is bigger than we think, there are so much more behind it”.

What types of abuse and control is this?

Verbal abuse disguised as a “joke

  • During her interview with Lisa Marie Presley, she pondered if Jackson used Presley and joined her in her belief that Jackson took advantage of her tendency to feel sorry for the misunderstood. Winfrey claimed she was the same way and that Jackson “sucks you in” with his “I’m so misunderstood” thing.

What types of abuse and control is this?

Accusing and blaming, judging and criticizing, undermining, trivializing, defining ie:  defining a person, believing that her definition of the person is true, believing that she/they “know” what that person thinks, does, feels, should do, should not do, is trying to do, has done, should do, should be, intends,  and did do. Believing that her own behavior in regards to Michael in this episode is behavior is not odd, senseless or harmful, believing that she did not cross a psychic boundary, believing that she is right, that she is not under any illusions, and that that she is not playing “let’s pretend“.

  • On an episode about Body Dysmorphic Disorder (an emotional disorder that makes “normal” looking people feel they are grotesquely ugly) Winfrey stated –after quickly pointing out that she interviewed Jackson before his “sexual abuse problems”—that before the interview, Jackson was insistent upon controlling the editing. Of course, Winfrey was also insistent upon controlling the editing and wasn’t going to give way to Jackson. While going through childhood photos, she said Jackson kept hiding his face and saying “Oh, oh I’m so ugly.” Winfrey says she didn’t know if he was serious about that or if it was a tactic to try and get her to relinquish control of the editing. She showed a picture of Jackson at fourteen stating that she thought he looked “fine this way” then went on to compare a professionally taken picture of fourteen year old Jackson to a news photo of Jackson during the trial (amid “eews” from her audience) she proceeded to say that she thought he must have BDD.   About the Body Dysmorphic Disorder episode, she had another show about a woman who had been diagnosed with this very disorder. She was obsessed with cosmetic surgery and must have had over a dozen procedures done to her entire body. In her video segment, she said she liked Jackson’s small nose and various other body parts of other celebrities. Then she went on to talk about everything she had tucked and raised and cinched and so on to achieve these looks she so admired. Not to mention the regular visits for botox injections. After her video segment, Winfrey zeroed right in on her admiration of Jackson’s nose. “You like Michael Jackson’s nose?” Winfrey asked incredulous. She didn’t mention anyone else.

What types of abuse and control is this?

Controlling by defining ie:, assuming her definition of Michael is true,  insisting that her guest may not have their own separate opinion about Michael that differs from hers even if that guest IS Michael, believing that she “knows” what Michael has done and what he should do, believing that she “knows” what Michael’s beliefs are, what his thoughts, and feelings are, believing that her own behavior is not odd, senseless, or harmful, that she has not crossed a psychic boundary, and believing that she is right. Finally, judging and criticizing (Michael’s nose).

  • Another episode of her show dealt with show business parents. One father said he admired the Jacksons and wished for his entertainer children to be just like them. Oprah looked very appalled and turned to her her sidekick therapist “Dr. Robin” to talk sense to this man. Dr Robin then told how wrong he was because one of the Jacksons is obviously “struggling” and he shouldn’t want his children to end up like them.

What types of abuse and control is this?

Controlling by defining ie:, assuming she/they can define Michael and his family, that their definition of Michael and his family is true,  insisting that her audience guest may not have their own separate opinion about Michael that differs from hers, believing that she “knows” what Michael and his family has done and what they should do, believing that her own behavior is not odd, senseless, or harmful, that she has not crossed a psychic boundary, and believing that she is right.  Believing that she knows what Michael and his family thinks, is trying to do, has done, means, should do, should be, feels, intends, and what they did and insisting that her audience guest must buy into that illusion.

  • She also chastised Jackson in a way when Jon Stewart was on her show talking about him “dancing” on top of the SUV. Stewart called him an idiot while she said that she heard–heard not confirmed–that Jackson compared himself to Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela and that she thought that was wrong. She didn’t state where she heard that yet we all know she was talking about the Jesse Jackson interview that she made obvious that she didn’t bother to listen to otherwise she would have known that wasn’t what Jackson was doing.

What types of abuse and control is this?

Name-calling, assuming she/they can define Michael, that their definition of Michael is true, believing that she “knows” what Michael has said or done and what he should or should not do, believing that her own behavior is not odd, senseless, or harmful, that she has not crossed a psychic boundary, and believing that she is right.  Believing that she knows what Michael meant, what Michael should do, what Michael should be, what Michael feels, intends, and insisting that her audience guest must buy into that illusion.

  • Back in September 2009 Oprah re-aired her 1993 interview with Michael (all for ratings of course). Oprah, during this re-airing of the 1993 interview, mentioned at least three times that “this was before the allegations!“, as if to remind her viewers that she’d never have interviewed him after such allegations.

What types of abuse and control is this?

Discounting and trivializing, primarily the not-guilty verdict. Oprah here is controlling. She is operating under the illusion that her behavior is not odd, senseless or harmful, that she is right (ie: that Michael was guilty no matter what the verdict), that she herself is not under any illusions, that she is not playing “let’s pretend“, and maybe even (due to her self-righteous behavior here) that God has chosen her side.

• • •

Above, I have only covered Oprah’s abuse of Michael and illustrated how tightly she controls her own definitions of him on her show and insists that everyone subscribe to her illusion. All of the media exerts the same type of definition and control in their publications and broadcasts. We get very little truth from most of them and that’s why. They are marketing a perception that has little to do with truth or facts. They operate under the same illusions that Oprah does on her show. Besides Oprah, we could name many others and name the different categories and types of control and abuse they’ve perpetrated on Michael too. The list could go on and on and on. Recently, there was Kelvin McKenzie and Bill Handel who also have said very abusive and hateful things on the air (primarily radio) about Michael. What categories of abuse and what types of illusions and control did you recognize in their words?

I want to talk about a recent case of blocking and diverting. I wrote to the radio station which hosts the Bill Handel show. That station is KFI AM 640 Radio. Mr. Handel said some really hateful and disparaging things about Michael, and he has millions of listeners. Their response to my letter consisted of one sentence:   “The news department did not discuss Jackson.

What is this? It’s blocking & diverting. It’s changing the subject to avoid discussion of the subject at hand. Of course it’s irrelevant whether “the news department” discussed Jackson. Handel did, and he did so in a very hateful way.  But the station is hoping to avoid discussing that by changing the subject.

You will recognize some of your own behavior in the definitions and categories of abuse and control I’ve detailed above too!  It’s important to note that everyone does these things. We’ve all called someone a name or gotten angry. We all judge and define ourselves and others and in comparison to others. However, when that verbal abuse and controlling behavior becomes chronic and sustained against a particular target, when it destroys other people and their lives like it destroyed Michael’s, then it’s a problem. Verbal and emotional abuse in our society is chronic, insidious, epidemic, and just as damaging as physical abuse and takes longer to heal. Verbal and emotional abuse often escalates to physical abuse, and even if it does not, when chronic and sustained, it causes physiological changes in the body, stress reactions (ie: fight or flight). These in turn lead to severe health problems. It can also lead to addiction and suicide.

I want to say something about the phrase “you’re too sensitive“.  I had said earlier that anyone hearing that phrase should get away from the person who says it to them. When someone says that, they are trying to get you (or whoever they’re abusing) to take responsibility and blame for the abuser’s behavior. Don’t! The basis of sustained, chronic verbal abuse and control is that the person doing it has no respect for the person they’re doing it to! They don’t care about the other person’s feelings, only their own. If someone does not respect you, it’s time to get away from them if you can.

People often talked about how sensitive Michael was. And, he was!  However, that does not in any way absolve his abusers of responsibility for their behavior towards him. Why? Because if these people respected him, they would have never treated him that way. It’s not about his sensitivity. It’s about their insensitivity and their lack of respect. They only wanted to control and destroy him out of jealousy, insecurity and fear, and greed. Oprah, Bashir, Dimond, all of them. Look at the categories of abuse and the controlling behaviors and beliefs outlined above and see if you can determine which ones those people were using against Michael in his life.  Many people believe that because Michael was sensitive, that he was weak emotionally. But he was not! He tolerated sustained and severe emotional and verbal abuse for decades from many people and entities. It finally destroyed his spirit and his life, as it does to most people when it goes on for a long period of time. Survivors of abuse are stronger than they know and much stronger than many people believe. The weak ones are the abusers. Michael unfortunately, did not survive. But his spiritual and emotional strength should not be underestimated.

Michael was blamed for the abuse that was perpetrated upon him. But he is not responsible for the behavior of the medialoids, for the untrustworthy people who worked for or around him, or for Evan Chandler’s, Jordie Chandler’s or Janet or Gavin Arvizo’s behavior. He was not responsible for Tom Sneddon’s behavior, Oprah’s behavior or Martin Bashir’s behavior, or anyone else’s behavior except his own.

It’s common for abusers to blame their victims for the abuse. Michael was called “paranoid“. He was not only blamed for the abusers’ behavior but he was also blamed for the effects their behavior eventually had on him. Who would not be paranoid after being abused, attacked, mis-defined, maligned, and verbally and emotionally battered for years like Michael was? Of course anyone would!

Know that it is common for abusers to blame their victims for their own (the abuser’s) behavior ie: “You make me angry, that’s why I hit you!”   Horse-pucky. Hitting someone is of course a choice – and the only person who makes it is the abuser him/herself, not the victim.  Same with those who abused and continue to abuse Michael. It’s a choice they make and they are responsible for it and for the consequences of it, including in an indirect way Michael’s untimely and early death. I have said so before and I maintain this opinion.

Think about this too: Those prisoners in Abu Ghraib or in any prison almost anywhere are subject to similar types of abuse and for the same reason: Control. If you can break someone’s spirit, and define them on your own terms, you can easily control them. The prisoners are defined very negatively as sexual deviants, dogs, less than human and then they are subsequently further abused based on those definitions. They are called names and their needs and feelings trivialized and discounted, or completely ignored. They are humiliated. The same thing was done to Michael. And, for the same reason.

Michael’s Fans:

I see this happening among Michael’s fans as well.There are various groups that have formed, and each has their own set of beliefs and is convinced that theirs is the right and only valid one. They define others as ‘wrong‘, while operating under these same illusions: that they can define another person or group, that their definition of another person or group is true, that another person or group is responsible for the controlling person’s actions, that another person or group may not have their own separate opinion that differs from that of the controller, that another person or group is the cause of their behavior.

Many fans or fan groups believe that they “know” what another person or group: thinks, is trying to do, has done, means, should do, should be, wants, needs, feels, intends, did, and expects. People who are under the spell of these illusions are certain that: their behavior is not odd, senseless or harmful, they do not cross a psychic boundary, they are right, they are not under any illusions, they are not playing “let’s pretend“, they are independent and self-reliant, [and in some cases] God has chosen their side. They call names, they discount and trivialize, they define, defame, they blame, they judge and criticize.

Just this past week I saw a person claim that another’s “motives” should be questioned.  I know that these two people have never met nor spoken. What type of illusion or spell is the person who made the claim operating under? Does this person truly believe that they “know” what is in another person’s mind? That they “know” what another person thinks, feels, what their motives or objectives are?  Unless they asked the other person what their motives are, the truth is they do not know and are speaking from pure illusion.  They are insisting that others must buy into that illusion as well.  The claimant never asked the other person anything. Instead, the claimant is telling the other person – and others – that someone whom they’ve never met or spoken with about this subject has motives which should be questioned.

The claimant knows nothing of anyone else’s motives. The claimant does not know because (s)he cannot do the humanly impossible: read the mind of another person. But the claimant would have people believe it and believes it him/herself!  Unless the claimant asked the other person specifically what their motives are, (s)he does not know. To claim (s)he does, and even further that the other’s motives “should be questioned” – is an illusion.  I suspect that the person whose “motives should be questioned” did or did not do something that the claimant did not agree with. So, in an effort to control the other person, the claimant began defining the other person under a false pretense, an illusion, in order to attempt to gain compliance ie: control.

It’s the same behavior that Oprah, the media, and others exhibit in our society and for the same reason:  Control – and the need for it is based in insecurity, jealousy, fear and in some cases, greed. It’s the same thing that was done to Michael. It’s the same thing they do to prisoners in the worst prisons, and it’s the same thing Michael’s fans do to each other.

Think about it.

_ _ _

REFERENCES:

The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize it and How to Respond – by Patricia Evans

Controlling People: How to Recognize, Understand, and Deal with People Who Try to Control You – by Patricia Evans

Other than excerpts from the two books referenced above, the remainder of this article is © 2010, Seven Bowie

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38 Responses to “Verbal Abuse and Control in Michael’s Life (and yours!)”

  1. AMB says:

    Seven, once again, thank you for this enlightning article. Fairly scary to read but all very true. All to be aware of and keep in mind everyday.

  2. Solar says:

    Simple formula and equation:

    Oprah = Medialoid
    “Michael Jackson” = Ratings and Circulation numbers = MONEY

    Oprah -> depends on Ratings numbers (viewers) -> to make MONEY
    Medialoid -> depends on Circulation numbers (readers/viewers) -> to make MONEY

    Oprah = Medialoid -> depends on “Michael Jackson ” -> to make MONEY!

    In the sordid little world of Oprah and the medialoids, the end justifies the means. MONEY is their GOD!

  3. Jeanne says:

    Awesome ! I think when people read this , a light will come on . Some will recognize they are abusers , some will recognize they’ve been abused . (or both) Either way , change for the good , happens when people inform and educate . Michael knew a lot of what you said here . . That people react from their fears and pain. If he did not know this , how on earth could he have survived all the fifty years of taking hits. While people called him strange , wacko, what they did not realize is that Michael was more well balanced than most people. If you look at what he accomplished in those fifty years , you wonder when he rested. Thank you again .

  4. Seven says:

    @Solar,

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/23/oprah-has-best-ratings-we_n_787767.html

    “The Jackson episode won the prize for top rated episode of all, with a 6.7 rating.”

  5. Solar says:

    Moral of story and greatest fear of Oprah & the medialoids:

    Viewers/readers are the SOURCE of the MONEY.

    The SOURCE MADE and CAN BREAK Oprah & the medialoids.

    The SOURCE is POWERFUL!

  6. June says:

    @Solar – yes, in the world of medialoid and Oprah “money is their God”. But further, in the world of Oprah, power is her God as well. She has all the money she will ever need. But does she have all the power? And to get the power, what better way than to tear down those who are more powerful by their charitable deeds, talent, genius, humanity. Oprah may give to charity, I’ll give her that much, but she IMO is a no-talent nongenius, who, by her acts has proven she is devoid of humanity.

  7. hesouttamylife says:

    I am glad to see that you added fans to this list. It is so depressing to watch the in fighting amongst us. What you failed to mention is also important and that is that there are leaders who start the defining process and who for what ever reason are afraid or too intimidated to go against this leader’s assertions follows suit. Whatever that lead person says is parroted and fueled until there is an all out war between the fans. The lead person makes a bold statement or two and the followers picks it up and keeps it going. The leader is satisfied now and his/her services are no longer needed. It is very discouraging. I have stopped posting on a few sites because of it.

  8. carina for mjj says:

    Great analysis of controlling and abusing behavior by Patricia Evans.-What is the background of these base, bottom-feeders,Kelvin McKenzie and his ilk? Are they journalists? And if so from what universities or schools?-Seven you are right the world seems a darker place since Michael is gone.He is in a better place, but we on earth must not forget him,never. A good practical note on Nivea. It is sold all over Europe and probably all over the world.Boycott will not be a problem.

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