Leaving Neverland

Alexis

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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.
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.

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.
 
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Alexis

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Like, becoming the King Of Pop (part 1), build Neverland (part 2), lure the kids in like the witch from Hansel & Gretel: mission accomplished!

No, I also don't think that's what happened.
Obviously that is not the way it happened. The kid singing ABC didn't sit down one day and plan his rape and seduction of little boys at Peter Pan's house.
 
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Willie Oleson

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I think every adult in the word who has had even the simplest of education knows what is deemed as child abuse
What makes you think that every paedophile wants to destroy children?
We don't know how these people think, is it not possible that they actually love children, and fall in love with children?
Why would that person think his/her love is wrong?
 

Alexis

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What makes you think that every paedophile wants to destroy children?
We don't know how these people think, is it not possible that they actually love children, and fall in love with children?
Why would that person think his/her love is wrong?
I am kind of stumped by this comment really Willie. Love comes in many forms. Love is not solely a sexual thing. Paedophilia is a sexual thing, its an attraction and desire to sexually engage with non adults. Its an adult asserting their power over a child. A child can not make an informed choice when targeted by a paedophile. Children can be very easily manipulated. They do not have adequate emotional intelligence to deal with sexual acts. They can be manipulated into doing things they do not want to because they do not want to disappoint or hurt the paedophile. It's a total unbalance of power and the paedophile always knows this.
Perhaps paedophiles do not wish to destroy children, but ultimately that is what they do.
 

Willie Oleson

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Paedophilia is a sexual thing
Yes, it is a sexual orientation, but sexual orientations aren't only about lust and desire.
I'm sure that most of them realize that it is an impossible situation, but does that make the feelings less real?
They are inherently dangerous because of their preference, but that doesn't mean that all paedophiles are evil.
 

Alexis

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Yes, it is a sexual orientation, but sexual orientations aren't only about lust and desire.
I'm sure that most of them realize that it is an impossible situation, but does that make the feelings less real?
They are inherently dangerous because of their preference, but that doesn't mean that all paedophiles are evil.
I will put it this way. I have 6 nephews and 4 nieces, if anyone abused them that person would be seen as evil in my eyes. I know their parents would feel the same. I know any parent or relative would feel the same. That paedophile would be evil, regardless if they claimed they loved the child or not. That is because it is an abuse of power, and an abuse of trust.
 

Alexis

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Yes, it is a sexual orientation, but sexual orientations aren't only about lust and desire.
It would seem to be the case when you prefer only 7-10 year old blonde boys. Or was it all the things that multimillionaire, world renowned, pop icon Jackson had in common with those boys that sewed the seeds of love? And does that love die when the child becomes not a child anymore? How does it work? Is it only a temporary love? Or is it not love at all but an excuse for lust and desire?
 
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James from London

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What makes you think that every paedophile wants to destroy children?
We don't know how these people think, is it not possible that they actually love children, and fall in love with children?
Why would that person think his/her love is wrong?
Yeah, I think that's what I was getting at -- the idea that he might not believe that he's wrong, but the rest of the world is. Or even the idea that what other men do with children might be abuse, but with him, it's somehow "different". Denial is a very powerful thing.
 

Alexis

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Yeah, I think that's what I was getting at -- the idea that he might not believe that he's wrong, but the rest of the world is. Or even the idea that what other men do with children might be abuse, but with him, it's somehow "different". Denial is a very powerful thing.
If you have to hide it, then you know it's wrong.
 

Michael Torrance

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Like, becoming the King Of Pop (part 1), build Neverland (part 2), lure the kids in like the witch from Hansel & Gretel: mission accomplished!
Eeeeeeverybody has to vilify the witch even though the parents let their kids in the forest to die from starvation so that they can survive. At least she was feeding them (first). And Hansel with his bone trick was going to have her suffer from hypoglycemia. Ingrates!
 

Willie Oleson

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if anyone abused them that person would be seen as evil in my eyes. I know their parents would feel the same
Of course, but that still doesn't tell us what makes these people tick.
And does that love die when the child becomes not a child anymore?
Now there's an interesting twist. Apart from illegal and horrible, it's also doomed from the start.
Or is it not love at all but an excuse for lust and desire?
People are so complicated, what are the odds of all of them doing the exact same scenario?
If you have to hide it, then you know it's wrong
Or because they know that other people think it's wrong. I don't think there are many people who consider themselves evil, and that's why people like MJ are able to continue to write world-saving-songs.
Or maybe because he never did anything wrong. The documentary is not an investigation, it's a recorded testimony, and everyone's free to take it at face value.
Personally speaking, I'd rather see a criminal walk free than an innocent person being punished.
 

Alexis

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Or because they know that other people think it's wrong. I don't think there are many people who consider themselves evil, and that's why people like MJ are able to continue to write world-saving-songs.
I mean R Kelly wrote some beautiful, inspiring songs but then again he also abused a load of young girls. The two things are separate and have nothing to do with the other. Priests abuse children, as do doctors, as do teachers, as do pop singers.
People are so complicated, what are the odds of all of them doing the exact same scenario?
And yet most paedophiles do?
Of course, but that still doesn't tell us what makes these people tick.
Who cares what makes them tick. I don't know what makes a murderer tick either, I just know they are a murderer.


And to those trying to work out what makes a paedophile tick, or wonder do they actually believe that they are in love with a child, remember that there are countless cases of paedophiles sexually abusing new born babies and infants. There just can not be any rationalisation or justification or understanding of it. It's always rape plain and simple. A child can not be a willing partner in a sexual act because they are not physically, mentally or emotionally equipped for it.
 
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James from London

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There just can not be an rationalisation or justification or understanding of it. It's always rape plain and simple.
You're saying there can be no understanding, but at the same time, that it's plain and simple.

I don't know about 'understanding' -- as I said, these were the questions I was left with: I don't really expect any answers. As for 'plain and simple' ... no. But I'm aware that it really doesn't matter what I think, or who I believe, or whether I can ever listen to Off the Wall again. That's all really unimportant in the scheme of things.

they are not physically, mentally or emotionally equipped for it.
Agreed.
 
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Karin Schill

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I agree with you James. I also wonder why MJ did it and if he was aware of how sick his behavior was.
He must have known that it was wrong or else he wouldn't have asked the boys to keep quiet about it.

Still there is just something about MJ the child molestor and MJ the artist who wrote songs such as "Heal the world", "We are the world" and "Earth song" that just doesn't add up.

I think he was a complex person and maybe he did perceive himself as much younger than he was?
I mean that he felt younger than his actual age.

This type of drawing which was included on the History album booklet seems to indicate that:

MJ 295.jpg


Michael Jackson insisted that the song "Childhood" was not about himself though but about his friend Elizabeth Taylor. But I guess this drawing makes it clear that he could identify with the sentiments of the song since he really didn't have a childhood either.
 

Michael Torrance

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I think you're overreacting a little bit.
He probably doesn't think little boys should be traumatized by seeing grown men with their genitals brutally mutilated when they were infants. :D

So I finished the documentary. Since it is two men's accounts against a dead man who cannot defend himself, I am not going to change my mind over it. Is it plausible? Yes. As I thought even before seeing it, MJ's obsession with little boys was unhealthy and just creepy. I don't ever want to have children, and even I would know better than to have a young one sleep over in his bed.

Yet, since children's sexual abuse is a serious charge (and Wade testified under oath as an adult as well that it did not happen) a film will not make me change my mind. Frankly, it is even less a documentary than I thought it'd be, just the two accounts of the men and their families (based on the men's accounts). But was the relationship with the children abusive? I think there was emotional abuse, and there was serious manipulation on MJ's part. The attempt to make them feel special, to lure them into his world (we have his phone calls and his many faxes in his handwriting) and then the dumping for the next boyish obsession were cruel. And as the TMZ crew joked in a clip in a film, the parents should have been charged for reckless endangerment of their children for what they put them through--especially 7-year old Wade.

As I have said about this case earlier in the thread, while I love a lot of MJ's music ("Human Nature" "One Day in Your Life" and "Remember the Time" being my favourites, yet certainly not the only ones I listen to often) and will listen to it regardless, I always thought MJ was increasingly more and more wacko. Even his so called attempt to capture his lost childhood with white-as-rice boys would have been enough for my impression, numerous cosmetic alterations and eventual status as a walking flour-pasted mummy aside. If sharing these stories helped these men and their families, good for them. But if it is lowering the burden of proof from due process to mass hysteria and dunking, then I am not happy for the rest of us.
 
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Karin Schill

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I think the title refers to that these men are finally able to leave Neverland and what happened there with MJ in their childhood behind them and move on with their lives.
 
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