B. Kaufmann & One Wordsmith
A Way with Words
I should be sitting on a beach somewhere sipping cocktails laced with pineapple and cherries. I’ve paid my dues. I’ve put in my time, raised my kids, finished my bucket list except for Mount Everest, and buried my last pet dog. Life used to be simpler before this calling. Instead of gearing up for retirement, I am far beyond the cusp of another new career.
Working harder than ever, feeling more pain, I find myself venturing into places reserved for the daring.
If you had told me I would find myself here in this place, at this age and stage of life, I would have called you “delusional.” Had you said I would be sitting at the feet of the most unlikely spiritual teacher to ever grace this planet, I would have called your mother. And had you told me that I would lead a crowd marching virtually in favor of human dignity, I would have run the other way.
I’m ordained and a minister from a seminary for spiritual peacemakers. I’ve done some radical things as an activist, been in some unusual places like a chemical weapons facility in Siberia. I’m a nurse, trained in holistic and energy medicine and I’ve been studying with a shaman for the last 6 years. I’ve never been conventional so I shouldn’t be surprised at the direction my life has taken. It’s outrageous. A little over a year ago I stumbled upon something destined to become a calling and launch a new mission. My life would become far more complex and less my own. I have never worked so hard in my life—and for dead people.
What can one do when confronted with the information that someone was torn to shreds simply for entertainment and profit? When you were complicit in that dismemberment? When it becomes clear that the premeditated torture and murder of an innocent man, once discovered can no longer scream in silence and inside? The only direction forward then, is to take up the sword of justice. And when the unjustly slain died by the word instead of the sword, what is left for the wordsmith? Only to take up the word, not sword, as a weapon.
In the fall of 2009 I went to see a documentary film about a musical icon of the twentieth century who passed away mysteriously. I went alone because it was an homage and goodbye to a man who influenced me in my humanitarian work and marked the milestones of their lives. The loss of icons leaves gaping holes in one’s life. Such was the case with Michael Jackson.
While watching this icon in the documentary that was to mark his last performance, I had an epiphany. The man they claimed Michael Jackson was—did not exist. Not only that, but Michael Jackson’s lyrics and work was not coming from him; it was coming through him. It was inspired work! There was a loud and jarring dissonance between who I saw in that movie and the man whom the media told me he was.
My epiphany haunted with an urgency that launched me into research. I studied, for more than a year and a half, the lives of Michael Jackson and Lady Diana Spencer—both of whom suffered irreparable harm at the hands of the media.
What I discovered would lead me into a malignant shame. As I researched the body of work and the life of Michael Jackson, I uncovered a cosmologist and a deeply spiritual and generous man mired in a pit of tabloid vipers and private extortionists. I unearthed racism, deception, extortion, treachery, cannibalism, and deliberate destruction solely for amusement and profit. I might have escaped blame once, but when I could no longer plead ignorance, I began to tell the truth.
Michael Jackson loved children but not in the way “they” said and many still believe. There is no evidence anywhere in court records, documents or FBI files to support that claim, yet the label still colors his life and work. There is copious evidence that Jackson was a global humanitarian and philanthropist. On each tour and in each city, he gifted the large general hospitals with a sophisticated and expensive piece of equipment—an MRI, CAT Scanner, Hyperbaric oxygen chamber, or similar and he visited hospitals, orphanages and sick kids bringing gifts while encouraging them to get well. He gave them keepsake photos with his autograph. Imagine how a child might feel when the most famous superstar in the world shows up in her hospital room! Or how hard a child considered terminal, might fight to stay alive if invited to Neverland upon the end of the Michael’s tour. Many children hung on and stayed alive because of Michael and just to visit Neverland.
The accusation of impropriety with children was psychologically eviscerating for Michael. The overwhelming evidence and official documentation proves that the accusations were extortion attempts to reach into pockets deep with cash. That is not, however, what the media reported. Wealth and fame is apparently an invitation for sycophants and extortionists as well as an invitation for sensationalism in the press and slanted coverage—sensational sells. The first accuser in Michael’s life walked away with money because Michael’s insurance company saved money by settling over his objections. Michael’s handlers and record company wanted him to settle and walk away—so that he could keep working as their primary cash cow. According to a more ethical attorney who later defended Michael, that advice was a mistake and harmed him irreparably while opening the door for future extortion attempts.
Despite trying three times with three grand juries which declined to indict him because there was no evidence, documentation from Human Services that their investigation turned up empty, a District Attorney kept the case open for 10 years all the while looking worldwide for another “victim.” There were none. There is ample talk that this D.A. practiced vigilante justice in his jurisdiction and wanted to make a name for himself. He reportedly plotted with a tabloid reporter and real estate broker who wanted Michael’s Neverland for a winery vineyard. It is rumored in inner circles that this D. A. was racist and a fundamentalist who believed Michael was gay. He wasn’t. The underhanded law enforcement tactics didn’t make headlines. Only journalists willing to actually research the case called it correctly and printed his innocence; the rest of the hysterical herd sniffing a story called him guilty; unfortunately that is what some people remember.
Another accuser whose family history included extortion appeared on scene 10 years later using the same attorney and the same psychiatrist as the first extortion. To prove his innocence, this time Michael went to court. He was found innocent of all 14 charges because the case was contrived. Court documents reveal that charges should have never been brought and certainly didn’t warrant a trial. Michael’s reputation would never recover because tabloids and mainstream media alike, daily raced out of the courtroom for their live shots before the defense successfully impeached the salacious testimony. There was simply nothing to support the charges and Michael was found not guilty.
The accuser had terminal cancer and Michael had invited him to Neverland with his family to recover or die while Michael personally ministered to him trying to save his life. He lived; he is still living. He is not the only child whose life was saved because of Michael’s ministrations. The press didn’t report those stories; they milked Michael Jackson and his legal woes and personal life to cynically sell copy. They gained circulation and money feeding off Michael Jackson; Michael gained a broken heart and left the country. Only now, after his death, have a few journalists had the courage to sift through and report the truth. The truth isn’t sexy so it doesn’t sell. One journalist has called it the most shameful episode in journalistic history. And now Michael is dead at the hands of a doctor treating him for insomnia; it’s no wonder the man couldn’t sleep.