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- July 2007
Well... Of course Jackson or any abuser know that inciting a child to engage in sexual activity is wrong, not just legally. Just because he didn't collude with other abusers doesn't mean he wasn't aware of that. I am sure Jackson spoke to many responsible adults about what is deemed right and wrong after the first court case. I am sure his lawyers explained it all to him. I am sure the police who interviewed him did. However he'd just keep on having those boys at his house.The question that I was left with, and there really isn't a conclusive answer, and I'm not just talking about Michael Jackson specifically, although not every (alleged) child molester will have the exact same mindset, is how self-aware he was. Does he start out thinking, "I am a sexual predator attracted to young boys and this is how I will systematically manipulate them into doing what I want?" or does he experience an equivalent kind of denial to the kind described by the two men and their families in the film? I get that there are paedophile rings where men collude with each other to get who and what they want, but that doesn't seem to be the case here. Jackson was far more isolated than that. So if he was never confronted about his urges or actions by a responsible adult and if he never, ever spoke about them to another human being, did that allow him to believe they were something other than what they were -- a "love that dare not speak its name" rather than the terrible, terrible crime that it was?
As the documentary and the after show illustrated, child abuse (0r child seduction as Oprah Winfrey called it) is a very, very complex thing. The people interviewed admitted they are still trying to get their heads around the reality of what happened to them years and years after the event. If it's that hard for the victims (let alone the rest of us) to understand, why should the abuser necessarily have a more sophisticated understanding of their own desires? Obviously, the grooming and manipulation and seduction involved suggests a level of calculated premeditation. Yet I'm not sure I buy the "evil mastermind" image that conjures up. Are the people who have these urges also born with their own mental handbook 'How to Seduce a Child'?
It's that tabloid "black or white" (excuse the pun) view of things: child rapists are evil monsters, their victims are little angels. Yet the 'cycle of abuse' syndrome means that a lot of kids who are abused then become abusers. So when does that little angel suddenly turn into the evil monster? By all accounts, Jackson grew up in an abusive, violent home, and maybe suffered an equivalently skewed idea of what normal is to the one his own eventual victims did. Not that that in any way excuses his actions. I don't know what my point is really, just that those are the thoughts I was left with after watching the film.
That "love that dare not speak its name" analogy doesn't quite fly. I think every adult in the word who has had even the simplest of education knows what is deemed as child abuse. A child is not a consenting adult, an adult always has power over them. Jackson would have been well aware of what was appropriate and what was not. I cant understand why people are behaving like he was mentally a child, with no knowledge of right and wrong. It's really starting to annoy me. This excuse that he was just a child himself. That he was living as a child because he didn't have a normal childhood. It's complete and utter nonsense.
He got what he wanted. He went to great lengths to get that. The seduction of the children and even the families of those children shows that he knew it wasn't right. He had to get children to do things that they wouldn't want to do initially. How did he do that, he gave them everything they ever wanted. The same with the families, he had to convince them that the child needed to spend time with him. He wanted to help careers, he was lonely, he really needed friends, he wanted the child to perform on his tour, he wanted them to be in commercials with him.
No the "evil mastermind" thing isn't real. Child abusers and paedophiles are not evil masterminds, they are sick individuals who know their actions are wrong and not accepted so they go to whatever lengths they can to do what they want to do. It just so happened that Jackson was a multimillionaire. Joe Bloggs the pedo down the road would use likely the same seduction/bribery/guilt modus operandi as Jackson, just on a smaller scale and with less money and resources.