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Michael Jackson as a Jehovah’s Witness

April 3, 2012

This is a blog which is first and foremost dedicated to vindicating Michael Jackson and clearing his good name of the dirt, lies and craziness thrown at him for decades.

But it is also a personal blog for each of us who have pledged to contribute to the common job we are doing here. So whether we like it or not some personal issues will time and again affect the subject we are jointly handling.

Nothing bad about it, in my opinion. It might probably be even more interesting to our readers to hear different points of view on one and the same subject as we represent different nations and literally the opposite parts of the world which have united by some miracle to do one job.

And the subject at hand now is whether Michael Jackson was a true Christian or not.

This problem is not a minor one because in the past several months I have learned from the posts of my co-admin Sanemjfan about the passion of some of his compatriots to label Michael Jackson a non-Christian who is “not saved” and is even “damned” in their view. This idea we absolutely cannot agree to –  hence the need to make it clearer whether Michael’s belief in God was true or not (if such a question is correct at all).

The fact that Michael was an ardent believer in God is not doubted here for a second, because even in his songs meant for playing at disco parties Michael was never shy to raise the eternal questions of healing the world’s ills, looking at oneself in the mirror and calling to the Creator to help us overcome our imperfect nature and its ways.

Considering that since the age of five (when his mother was baptized a JW) Michael Jackson belonged to Jehovah’s Witnesses and in 1987 he left this religious community, answering questions on his further religious views is no easy task. It is also difficult to determine whether his JW views were “true Christian” or not because each Christian denomination, “sect” and community has its own idea of true Christianity, so what is “true” for one denomination is absolutely “not true” for another one – even if we talk about such well-established denominations as the Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant churches.

In order to begin with at least something I decided to make a short study of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ beliefs and tried to dig up information about the history of Michael Jackson’s association with these people.

Despite the fact that my computer did not manage to open a single official JW website (interesting, isn’t it?) this is what I finally found from this source http://www.religionfacts.com/jehovahs_witnesses/fastfacts.htm  (the text is not mine):

Beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses

The religious beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses are in many ways similar to those of mainstream Christians. For instance, Witnesses rely on the authority of the Bible, worship only one God, and trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection for salvation.  

Some other beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses differ from mainstream Christianity, most notably their rejection of the doctrine of the Trinity and the existence of Hell. Witnesses also have stronger apocalyptic expectations than most Christians – since the founding of the group, Witnesses have been expecting the imminent arrival of Armageddon and the end times.

Bible

In agreement with most conservative Christians, Jehovah’s Witnesses affirm the full inspiration of the Bible by God and the preservation of its copies over the centuries. Witnesses see the Bible as a gift from God that tells humans about what God is like, how to cope with problems, and how to please God. Witnesses use a special translation of the Bible – the New World Translation.

God

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in one God, the Creator of the universe and the God of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. They stress the fact that God has revealed his personal name to humanity, which is Jehovah. Jehovah has a spirit body and lives in heaven, but sees all things. Jehovah’s Witnesses reject the doctrine of the Trinity.

Jesus Christ

Jehovah’s Witnesses disagree with the mainstream Christian belief that Jesus was “fully God, fully man.” Witnesses teach that Jesus was not God, but rather God’s first creation. Jesus existed in pre-human form as God’s agent of creation and God’s chief spokesman (the Word), and took on human form as the man Jesus by means of a virgin birth.

The purpose of Jesus’ incarnation on earth was threefold in the view of Witnesses: (1) To teach the truth about God; (2) to provide a model of a perfect life for people to follow; and (3) to sacrifice his life to set humans free from sin and death.

Holy Spirit

In accordance with their rejection of the doctrine of the Trinity, Witnesses disagree with mainstream Christianity that the Holy Spirit is one of the three Persons in the Godhead. Instead, they believe the Holy Spirit to be “God’s active force.”

Meaning of Life and Salvation

For Jehovah’s Witnesses, the purpose of life is to earn the right to participate in God’s future Kingdom on earth, and to help others to do so. Witnesses therefore focus on living a moral, acceptable life before God and witnessing about their faith to others.

Afterlife

Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the existence of hell. Instead, they hold that the souls of the wicked will be annihilated. Witnesses also have a slightly different view of heaven than mainstream Christianity. Based on their reading of prophetic books like Daniel and Revelation, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that only 144,000 people will go to heaven to rule with God and Jesus. The remainder of the righteous will enjoy paradise on earth – a restored Garden of Eden in which there is no sickness, old age, death or unhappiness.

Jehovah’s Witnesses look forward to a theocracy, in which all human governments are abolished and God rules the entire earth himself. This is expected to occur soon. Although Witnesses once predicted specific dates for this event, they now state that “the Bible does not give a date for these events, but it provides evidence to show that we are living in ‘the last days’ of this troubled world.”

Other Religions

Jehovah’s Witnesses consider themselves true Christians, but most mainstream Christians do not agree that they are. The feeling is mutual, however: Jehovah’s Witnesses deny that other Christian groups are true Christians.

“Christendom” is defined as that part of the world where Christianity prevails. The nations and churches of Christendom were not, and are not, Christian. They are not God’s servants. His inspired Word says of them: “They publicly declare they know God, but they disown him by their works, because they are detestable and disobedient and not approved for good work of any sort. (Titus 1:16)

Personal Virtues

Jehovah’s Witnesses place a high value on moral living, teaching that “believers…will be saved to eternal life only if they continue to adhere to all of God’s requirements” and that “persons who practice things that God says are bad will not inherit God’s kingdom.” 

Those who have committed serious sins before their baptism, or even after, will be forgiven by Jehovah and welcomed in the congregation so long as they abandon their sin completely. However, even after full restoration, such repentant sinners will probably never be eligible to lead the congregation as elders.

On the positive side, Jehovah’s Witnesses encourage cleanness (physical, mental, and spiritual), honesty, modesty in appearance, and many other virtues. Members are encouraged to cultivate virtue, which is “entails more than a thorough acquaintance with God’s Word. It calls for meditation on what is written there so that our hearts get filled with gratitude for Jehovah and we are moved to apply Scriptural principles in our lives.”

Sexuality

It is not exactly a Jehovah Witness’s idea of the way to behave, but Michael was an entertainer and liked women. And this is why women like him

The February 8, 1995 issue of Awake! stated with regard to homosexuality:

True, some individuals may very well be prone to homosexuality… a Christian cannot excuse immoral behavior by saying he was “born that way.” Child molesters invoke the same pathetic excuse when they say their craving for children is “innate.” But can anyone deny that their sexual appetite is perverted? So is the desire for someone of the same sex.”

Gambling

With regard to gambling, Jehovah’s Witnesses teach:

Every form of gambling is tainted by greed. So Christians do not take part in any kind of gambling, such as lotteries, horse racing, and bingo. (Ephesians 5:3-5)

Drugs & Alcohol

Jehovah’s Witnesses are allowed to drink a little beer or wine, but overdrinking and drunkenness is regarded as a sin that also has negative consequences on one’s health and family life.

Abortion

Jehovah’s Witnesses condemn abortion, teaching that life begins at conception and life is sacred to Jehovah.

War

Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to participate in wars, but on primarily religious, not moral grounds. War will be right to participate in when it is conducted by Jehovah himself at the Battle of Armageddon, but:

Jesus taught his followers not to meddle in this world’s political affairs nor to get involved in its wars. He also taught them to be peace-loving, to be law-abiding, to have love for their fellow humans free from any prejudice, even being willing to sacrifice their own lives rather than take the lives of others.

Source: http://www.religionfacts.com/jehovahs_witnesses/fastfacts.htm

Encyclopedia Britannica tells us more about the Jehovah Witnesses’ views on the secular government and its matters:

The Witnesses’ teachings stress strict separation from secular government. Although they are generally law-abiding, believing that governments are established by God to maintain peace and order, they refuse to observe certain laws on biblical grounds. They do not salute the flag of any nation, believing it an act of false worship; they refuse to perform military service; and they do not participate in public elections.

These practices have brought them under the scrutiny of government authorities. The U.S.government sent Rutherford and other Watchtower leaders to prison for sedition during World War I. In Germany prior to World War II, the Nazis sent Witnesses to concentration camps, and Witnesses were also persecuted in Britain, Canada, and the United States.

After the war the Witnesses brought several suits in American courts dealing with their beliefs and practices, resulting in 59 Supreme Court rulings that were regarded as major judgments on the free exercise of religion. They continue to face persecution in several countries, however, particularly for their refusal to serve in the military, and they are often publicly derided for their door-to-door evangelism.

The Witnesses’ distrust of contemporary institutions extends to other religious denominations, from which they remain separate. They disavow terms such as minister and church. Christian church leaders have denounced the Witnesses for doctrinal deviation (especially their nontrinitarian teachings) and have condemned them as a cult. Witnesses also oppose certain medical practices that they believe violate Scripture. In particular, they oppose blood transfusions because of the scriptural admonition against the drinking of blood (Leviticus 3:17). This belief, so contrary to modern medical practice remains an additional point of controversy with authorities, especially in cases concerning children.

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/302393/Jehovahs-Witness/260645/Beliefs

I totally failed to understand that blood transfusion part, as in my opinion transfusion does not have anything to do with “drinking blood”, however information about the JW relationship with the secular governments was quite an eye-opening revelation to me. Now I have a much clearer understanding why the governments the world over frown so terribly at Jehovah’s Witnesses as a rather popular and therefore powerful trend in the world Christianity (6,5mln members the world over).

It turns out that besides strict adherence to the Bible as regards issues like marriage, adultery, divorce, abortion, homosexuality, use of pornography, greed, gambling and the like Jehovah’s Witnesses also oppose every form of human violence and refuse to meddle in this world’s political affairs or get involved in its wars.

This, from the point of view of hardliners, was clearly another huge drawback of Michael Jackson as his innocent propaganda of non-violence, coupled with his extreme popularity the world over, was going directly against the interests of world politicians. The Eastern bloc (where I come from) was most probably eyeing him with caution and suspicion shielding its nations from his songs lest their ideas contaminate the local population, while for the Western world he was someone like the “fifth column” in his own country:

  • A fifth column is a group of people who clandestinely undermine a larger group such as a nation from within.

Now I am not sure at all that it would be such an extravagant idea to assume that the worst  US hawks were sick and tired of Michael Jackson’s anti-war calls “to turn swords into plough shares” and pulled the necessary ropes for the media to slander and harass him while simultaneously giving a free hand to personalities like Tom Sneddon for his life-long prosecution.

To tell you the truth the course of action of hardliners in my part of the world would have been totally the same if Michael Jackson had been born here – with the only difference that he would have been publicly declared a traitor of national interests and would have found himself in prison in no time at all and without any court trial at that.

The Dangerous album was released in 1991. It contained the “Heal the world” masterpiece and other brilliant songs. The album, in my opinion, is far better than “Thriller” (for example). However it never enjoyed the same popularity – the message of these songs was heavily compromised by the “child-abuse” scandal which suddenly broke out

Let us not forget that the openly anti-war “Heal the World” song was written in 1991 and a great video to it was released in November 1992 after Michael set out on the first leg of his thunderous Dangerous tour…  Am I imagining things or was the beginning of the first accusations in spring 1993 not just a mere coincidence in this context?

However let us get back to Michael Jackson’s religious views.

After reading the above there can be no doubt whatsoever that it were the Jehovah’s Witnesses beliefs that formed Michael Jackson’s thinking and were the source and inspiration for his masterpieces like “Heal the world”, “Earth song”, “We are the world” and many others.

Just have a look at the lyrics of these songs to make sure that everything we’ve just read about the Jehovah’s Witnesses views is reflected in full abundance in Michael Jackson’s songs:

We are the world (1985)

There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And its time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

We can’t go on pretending day by day
That someone, somehow will soon make a change
We are all a part of Gods great big family
And the truth, you know,
Love is all we need

We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So lets start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
Its true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me

Send them your heart so they’ll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stones to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand

Heal the world (1991)

There’s a place in your heart
And I know that it is love
And this place could be much
Brighter than tomorrow.
And if you really try
You’ll find there’s no need to cry
In this place you’ll feel
There’s no hurt or sorrow.

There are ways to get there
If you care enough for the living
Make a little space, make a better place.

Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me and the entire human race
There are people dying
If you care enough for the living
Make a better place for
You and for me.

And the dream we would conceived in
Will reveal a joyful face

And the world we once believed in
Will shine again in grace
Then why do we keep strangling life
Wound this earth, crucify it’s soul
Though it’s plain to see, this world is heavenly
Be God’s glow.

We could fly so high
Let our spirits never die
In my heart I feel
You are all my brothers
Create a world with no fear
Together we’ll cry happy tears

See the nations turn
Their swords into plowshares
We could really get there
If you cared enough for the living
Make a little space to make a better place.

You and for me / Make a better place…
You and for me / Heal the world we live in…
You and for me / Save it for our children…

Earth Song (1996)

What have we done to the world
Look what we’ve done
What about all the peace
That you pledge your only son
What about flowering fields
Is there a time
What about all the dreams
That you said was yours and mine
Did you ever stop to notice
All the children dead from war
Did you ever stop to notice
The crying Earth the weeping shores

What about the holy land (What about it)
Torn apart by creed (What about us)
What about the common man (What about us)
Can’t we set him free (What about us)
What about children dying (What about us)
Can’t you hear them cry (What about us)
What about Abraham (What was us)
What about death again
Do we give a damn…

People will argue that by the time Michael wrote these songs he had already left the Jehovah Witnesses’  family (except for the “We are the World” song), however firm beliefs like that are not that easily discarded.  And Michael Jackson left JW not because he was disillusioned with their views – quite on the contrary, he did keep to them, and it was only the manner in which he happened to earn money was somewhat incompatible with the JW views.

The content of Michael’s later songs makes it absolutely clear that his values and convictions grew only stronger as time went by.

Dr. Firpo W. Carr has written the following about Michael Jackson’s association with Jehovah’s Witnesses both before and after his disfellowship http://www.lasentinel.net/Michael-Jackson-Jehovah-s-Witnesses.html:

Curious fans of Michael Jackson want to know what faith he embraced during the years just prior to his death. They’re intrigued with what sparked the Gloved One’s spiritual fire in the waning moments of his glorious life. Rumors swirl that although he was raised as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses he secretly converted to Islam shortly before his death.

As one who has tracked the family’s religious progression for four decades–from the emergence of the Jackson5 to Michael’s death–I’m pleased to offer my unique insight and observations.

Michael in the Moment: Michael Jackson was raised as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, there’s no doubt about that. But, he left in 1987 because a number of well-meaning fellow Witnesses severely criticized him for his “worldliness.” They apparently confused his right to make a living as the greatest entertainer in history with his alleged desire to be a part of the world. (1 John 2:15-17; Rom. 12:2; 1 Cor. 7:31) Still, even though a distraught and frustrated Michael disassociated himself from the organization he never surrendered the Bible-based doctrines his mother taught him.

Fourteen years after officially leaving the Witnesses Michael not only continued to identify himself as one, he even asserted his official association with the group. In an interview with TV Guide in 2001 Michael was asked: “Are you still a Jehovah’s Witness?” The King of Pop unhesitatingly answered: “Yeah.”  He further added: “I’ve done, you know, we call it pioneering [full-time preaching]. We do 90 hours a month. [This quota has been reduced since.] I don’t do as much now because I’m busy. You go door to door. I wear a fat suit, pop-bottle glasses, mustache, buck teeth, and, like, an Afro wig. And I knock on the door and say we’re Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

Also, back in 2004, under some rather critical, extenuating circumstances I found myself in the presence of Michael, his mother Katherine, his sister Rebbie, Grace Rwaramba (the children’s nanny), Michael’s daughter Paris, and son Prince Michael. We were at Michael’s rented home in Beverly Hills. I was surprised when he beckoned me into an adjacent room. Paris insisted on being not letting him out of her sight, so she and Prince Michael accompanied us into the next room, after which Michael closed the door.

He then told me, among other things, that he wanted me to study the Bible with his children, and that he wanted them to be raised by his mother as Jehovah’s Witnesses should anything happen to him. This explains in part why these same children were being seen attending a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses here in Los Angeles after his funeral.

…. Michael Jackson had not formally or officially reconnected with Jehovah’s Witnesses prior to his death though he still embraced the teachings in his heart and never considered himself as belonging to any other religion.  

In plain English, no, he was not reinstated after disassociating himself, but still clung to all the Bible-based teachings of the organization and was showing indications of making an official reconnection with the faith. That is precisely why he identified himself as a Witness up until the day he died. 

Witness family members?: Many want to know just who are Witnesses in Michael’s immediate family. Here’s the final word: Michael’s oldest sister, Rebbie (real name Maureen), is a devout Witness to this day. Katherine, Michael’s mother, is also a conscientious Witness. LaToya was a Witness, and even served as a temporary pioneer for a while, but was eventually excommunicated (“disfellowshiped”).

Although Janet and the rest of the Jacksons were all raised as Witnesses, none were baptized as such and subsequently went their separate ways upon reaching adulthood. What is particularly interesting is that Joseph Jackson, Michael’s father, introduced Witness teachings to the family, but declined to become one himself. Joe’s parents, both deceased, were also Witnesses in Arizona, having joined the faith later in life.

Michael’s Mysterious Memorial Service?: Actually, the private memorial service for Michael Jackson was no mystery at all. According to People magazine, “About 70 relatives gathered at Forest Lawn, where Jackson’s cousin Wendell Hawkins conducted a Jehovah’s Witness service.” Though not officially a Witness service, it had all the trappings. Hawkins told all in attendance, including Michael’s three children, that Michael’s “life was connected with Jehovah.” A Washington Post article dated July 8, 2009, also expounded on Michael’s Witness upbringing.

According to one source, it certainly couldn’t be true that Michael converted to Islam because Muslims don’t embalm the body, let alone display it. Also, they have an aversion to autopsies, and promptly bury their dead within 48 hours of death. The Witnesses have no problem these matters. Therefore, an autopsy was performed on Michael; he was embalmed; his body was displayed; and he was not buried promptly.

Finally, Ebony magazine conducted the last comprehensive interview with Michael Jackson in its December 2007 Special Collector’s Edition which carried the title, “Michael: 25 Years After Thriller.” Michael summed up just which God he worshipped when he stated, some 20 years after leaving the Witnesses, the following on page 98: “When I write something that I know is right, I get on my knees and say thank you. Thank you Jehovah!”

Amen, Brother Michael Jackson. Amen.

http://www.lasentinel.net/Michael-Jackson-Jehovah-s-Witnesses.html

*  *  *

Now that we know that Jehovah’s Witnesses still accepted Michael Jackson even after his disfellowship and Michael remained a Jehovah’s Witness until his final day at least in the spirit of their beliefs,  another question arises – is there a more or less neutral arbitrator to prove to those who are still in doubt whether Jehovah’s Witnesses’ beliefs are truly Christian, half-Christian,  a quarter-Christian or Christian at all?

I as a Christian do not doubt it for a second but are there ways to prove it to others?

(the continuation of this post is here: http://vindicatemj.wordpress.com/2012/04/07/michael-jackson-the-first-true-christian-in-a-pagan-world/

Updated January 3, 2012

Nine months have passed since I wrote the above post.  It took me a period long enough to bear a new life by a woman to finally understand a couple of simple things about the effect of the Jehovah Witnesses’ rules on the Jacksons’ children and especially on Michael as their youngest and hardest-working. The whole of the discussion is in the comments, however I decided to include one of the replies here too as a summary of my somewhat turmoiled ideas.

Formally it started with Christmas and birthdays regarded as pagan traditions by Jehovah’s Witnesses and therefore not celebrated in their families. However the real reason was my extensive reading about orphans and the nearly incurable problems they face in adult life after many years of spending their childhood in state institutions without loving parents and private space of their own. This is when I realized that Michael’s childhood was very much like that of these orphans – all of them miss so much personal warmth that it is impossible even to imagine it.

child physical abuseMichael’s main offender was of course Joe Jackson who seemed to derive even sadistic pleasure from abusing his children by oiling their skin before whipping, hanging Michael by his foot and beating him to near death, and all the rest of it.  Add to it the fact that the youngest of the children got the most of it – most work, most isolation, most humiliation and most responsibility (just because he was the youngest) and you get a picture of utter and total misery of the child. Michael was a saint to forgive his father for what he had done to him.

But then I suddenly recalled that besides that nightmare Michael was also missing the simple joys every child has – birthdays, Christmas, etc. So in addition to all that misery he had no joys either?

It isn’t only presents that Michael was missing – he was missing the attention a child is given on these days from those he loves most. If he had had a birthday he could have asked Joe (who didn’t even want to be called a father) to take him for a walk in the park for example, or embrace him on that day, or say to him that he loved him – in short he could have made a wish and Joe should have followed it – because it is a personal day of this particular child and he has the right!

child physical abuse - stopThis is why when Michael became a grown-up he wanted to have an official holiday day for children that parents should observe on a national level – this day was to be so filled with joy that it could probably last an unhappy child until the next celebration came a year after.

As another measure Michael wanted a similar fixed day once a week which parents would spend with their children instead of watching football, going to a pub or attending a beauty salon. Michael even agreed to Bashir’s interview because he promised to help promote the matter of a Children’s Day in the United Nations if I remember it right.

Then I realized that while Joe Jackson was abusing his children, Katherine’s religion was actually taking away the last joys those children could have had. I liked the religion because their faith is close to what I myself believe in, but taking it so far as denying the children even the most basic of personal joys?? Initially I thought that it was some kind of a misunderstanding or that these restraints were not obligatory and could be avoided as unimportant, but a detailed discussion showed that they are not. No, there is so much theological theory behind all that, that breaking it (arranging a birthday for a poor child) is akin to a grave sin.

MJ and his children 3

Celebrating a birthday

The fact that these celebrations are “pagan” is much more important than the feeling of comfort and love they can give to a child and could have brought to the Jacksons’ children in those circumstances. Probably in other circumstances a child will not suffer that much. If a child is showered with love every day he probably won’t mind missing his birthday or Christmas – but for the Jacksons it was their only chance! And this only chance was taken away from them! Why??? Because a birthday is “pagan”?

Though I myself see God as my only guiding spirit, I think that no religion in the world is worthy of anything at all if it places the letter of the law above love, joy and a little bit of comfort for an unhappy child. Michael stayed with God, but not with the religion and I think that his decision was correct.

He went further.

132 Comments leave one →
  1. June 1, 2014 2:38 pm

    “The idea that one must decorate an ornamented tree and have false beliefs that a man named santa will bring you presents in relation to what Jesus Christ really represented/taught….selfless true acts of modesty, truth, love and instructional teachings of letting go of materialistic pursuits, it’s pure hypocrisy to me!” – Steph

    Of course there is much hypocrisy in celebrating Christmas as a religious holiday. To begin with it isn’t the real birthday of Jesus, but the date of celebration of Mithra, the god of sun-worshippers who was a sort of a “competitor” to Jesus in terms of popularity with people, so several hundred years after Jesus’s death the church decided to oust Mithra from people’s minds by replacing him with Jesus since there was no other way to eradicate the ‘pagan’ tradition. So actually Christmas is just a fun holiday which has nothing to do with Jesus. People simply agreed to celebrate Jesus’s birthday on that day, that’s all.

    And Michael certainly knew that it wasn’t a real religious holiday, so from this point of view it wasn’t a problem for him. The problem was in having no chance to enjoy the same fun the other people were having. Decorating a fir tree is very much fun for children, and miracles like finding a present in the morning from whoever brings it is another great joy which children always look forward to.

    Over here we don’t have any “Santa” but the so-called “Grandfather Frost” and “Snow Maiden” who come to families and bring presents to children (prepared by their parents). I remember how much joy it brought to my son and how long he was anticipating the present Grandfather Frost would bring him every new time. There was nothing religious about it – it was simply a lovely holiday, especially in the midst of grim and dark winter time.

    I think that for Michael who actually remained a kid almost till his deathbed, whose favorite pastime were games and water fights even when a grown-up, and who saw miracles, magic and divinity in almost all aspects of life, lack of all that experience in childhood was very substantial and even damaging. And the fact that he also had to work at the time when all adults and children around him were having fun – and at the age of 6 too – added to the huge unfairness and even inhumanity of it.

    Michael took it so hard that when he had an opportunity to be on his own he fell into another extreme – he started behaving like a child even when an adult. The psychological traumas children receive in their childhood later reveal themselves in very unusual ways, and Michael’s refusal to grow up and wish to be Peter Pan could easily stem from the fact that he was deprived of simple kid’s joys in his childhood.

    I wish all of us could distract ourselves from the religious component of Christmas or reasons why Jehovah’s witnesses don’t celebrate birthdays and instead focus on the fact that Michael as the youngest breadwinner in the family had a very grim childhood with nothing good to ever remember it by. People underestimate this fact a lot, but childhood has a very important role to play in forming every person’s future life. And I don’t care for what reason Michael was deprived of all kid’s fun – it is the fact of deprivation itself which is important.

    As to God Michael never parted with Him, called to Him in almost each of his songs and never stopped being guided by Him. Actually his whole life was a dedication to our Father – even when he called God “she”.

    And this is the main reason why Michael could never in his life be a child abuser. He was not afraid of what people were thinking of him – to those who know that they live a clean life the court of public opinion doesn’t matter that much. He reported to a higher authority – the God’s law which was very deeply rooted in his heart. The only thing that mattered to him was that he was clean before the eyes of his Father and that He knew his heart.

    This was the strong belief he got from his mother (and Heavens) of course. And whether he attended church or didn’t attend it, whether he celebrated Christmas or didn’t celebrate it – all of it is of microscopic importance, if you understand what I mean. There are millions of people who call themselves believers in God and nevertheless engage themselves in lies, cruelty and crimes. Today’s events in my country, for example, are the best proof of it.

  2. Steph permalink
    May 30, 2014 10:46 pm

    It was not celebrating a “religious” holiday that has roots in pagan origins that made Micheal or any other “star” or regular child sad at heart or in his subconscious. I never celebrated birthdays or holidays and neither do my kids. But I was never forced to work at a young age and neither are my children. “Winter Break” can still be a fun and glorious time spent with your children, attending religious christian based meetings, dinners with family and friends, going to parks and skating all in holding fast with true bible teachings. The idea that one must decorate an ornamented tree and have false beliefs that a man named santa will bring you presents in relation to what Jesus Christ really represented/taught….selfless true acts of modesty, truth, love and instructional teachings of letting go of materialistic pursuits, it’s pure hypocrisy to me! My children are not saddened that they don’t participate in these things, they feel sad for others. As I do. My children want for nothing and have love and happiness of humongous proportion as did I as a child. And I dont feel I had to decorate a tree to give or get that feeling. If Michael did not live under a misguided abusive dictatorship from his father and wasn’t thrown into an adult world of stardom that seeked wordly pursuits at a babe’s age, he would have surely felt the same!

  3. TatumMarie permalink
    May 30, 2014 6:06 pm

    I’m not seeing a combination. For example, had Michael engaged in holidays but still been forced to work he wouldn’t have had much of a child hood regardless.

    Michael leaving doesn’t mean that he didn’t believe the religion was accurate or was never coming back. Many wish to engage in things that are not condoned by the bible so they leave only to find out later the bible was right. I used to complain about certain things all the time before I fully understood why they should not be practiced.

    The issue comes in when the parents are not listening to Jehovah which was the case with Joe. Michael always spoke highly of his mother and left his children in her care.

  4. May 30, 2014 4:29 pm

    “He could look at all other children, even witness children and see that they were able to have fun. And if you are surrounded by people celebrating Christmas it can make any kid a little jealous” – mb

    Now that I’m trying to imagine a kid that is not allowed to celebrate a holiday when all other children around him are jolly and happy and busy decorating Christmas trees, and are hoping for miracles and making wishes to Santa and getting presents, and can be free and sleep long as it is time off from school and can play snowballs and go skiing, and can attend parties and do many other nice things children can do, while Michael at the age of 6 had none of it and had to work instead – I begin to realize that he must have been not only envious but he must have taken it very hard indeed.

    It is like being an outcast. It is like having to work at another people’s holiday – and do it repeatedly, year after year. And when you are a small child it must have been unbearable.

    So it was not just lack of Christmas that must have been so traumatic. It was also the fact that all others were having fun while they had to work. Children should not be forced to work, but when they work when the whole world around them is making fireworks, this makes things much, much worse. I personally would feel totally traumatized by it if I were in the place of the Jacksons’ children.

    So it isn’t only the religion which is to blame here. The way I see it, it was the combination of Katherine’s religion and Joe’s desire to derive most profit that must have made it an especially hard time for Michael and the other children.

    Actually Michael never really complained about it but he always talked about it. And this shows that this offence to his feelings was sitting very deep in his subconscious mind.

  5. May 28, 2014 5:12 am

    My perspective here is that it is actually the strong focus on entertainment work that caused the real problems for Michael. He could look at all other children, even witness children and see that they were able to have fun. And if you are surrounded by people celebrating Christmas it can make any kid a little jealous (I am an active Witness full disclosure and of course because kids want presents! It doesn’t equal abuse or that his Witness mother didn’t love him though. My parents spoiled me even more than nonWitness parents by their own account). I also believe he related things like Christmas because his audience could relate to it.

    He also had people constantly asking him when they found out about his beliefs, “how do you deal with not having Christmas/birthdays?!” I dealt with these questions by the ton. People do not make it easy to be a Witness as a child in school and that is no doubt.

    What I did not deal with was the abuse Michael experienced. His father had full control over the family. He also had to deal with feelings of inadequacy in himself and in his looks in relation to his career. This caused him major unhappiness especially in puberty having already been robbed of a childhood. It no doubt made things so difficult for him. It was a challenge from Satan in order to weaken him, depress him and crush him.

    Let’s face it, society was so closed off then and there was many problems for all people. But Michael Jackson never complained about the infinite love of his Christian mother. I suspect had he had a Christian father more content on leading his family to happiness through the Bible then his music troop into stardom, Michael Jackson would have not had such a childhood.

    Child abuse and forced work is inherently against our values of children being a precious gift from God that we must raise with God’s help! To give them unhappiness and hurt is to mistreat that gift and passions Jehovah at heart to see, because He loves the child. You do not have to have a birthday to give your child the love and attention they deserve. And as a non Witness his father could have very easily decided to celebrate these holidays (many none Witness father’s do decided to celebrate them with their children. I know this). He didn’t. He just didn’t care about his children!

    And to blame anyone but the people in his life for his childhood problems is silly! It is not Jehovah’s fault that he suffered and it is not the Bible guidelines that we follow that caused his abuse and unhappiness, it is the very lack thereof.

    I thought you were a fairly unbiased writer for once on the Web only to see that you listen to propaganda and take a biased view in your update. I encourage you to reconsider that the things that happened to Michael Jackson in his childhood have nothing to do with the Bible based teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses, only the imperfect nature of man in living or not living by these principles.

    This is the only comment I’ll be posting
    Thank you.

  6. March 21, 2014 4:42 pm

    “If you want true answers to questions about Jehovah’s witnesses go to jw.org” – DJ Slaughter

    DJ Slaughter, thank you. I respect all religions which respect the Creator and his commandments, and freedom of choice he has given to us all.

  7. DJ Slaughter permalink
    March 21, 2014 4:38 pm

    If you want true answers to questions about Jehovah’s witnesses go to jw.org

  8. TatumMarie permalink
    April 15, 2013 9:24 am

    On my comments regarding the blood transfusions. When I spoke about it’s okay to accept certain components like plasma and placelets, I meant to add components within those components. I was reading older articles and came across this thinking I sound contradictory. If you were to take in plasma or placelets (2 out of 4 components) you would still as a result be taking in blood but there are fractions within these components that are usually needed during dramatic blood loss. These fractions are not blood and would be optional.

  9. April 4, 2013 2:06 am

    Oh absolutely of course, just wanted to note this before I forgot about it.

  10. April 3, 2013 11:58 am

    “I am actually just coming back to this blog after working like crazy and just now seeing this but The updated section of January 3, 2012 is a contradiction.”

    Tatum, let us move all contradictions until after the AEG trial. Please remind me of this point afterwards and if we are still alive we will discuss it. Not now.

  11. April 3, 2013 4:14 am

    Its crazy that I am actually just coming back to this blog after working like crazy and just now seeing this but The updated section of January 3, 2012 is a contradiction.

  12. February 13, 2013 1:29 am

    Please overlook my horrible typing from previous comments – I was on my cell and for some reason I can’t pull up. Back to Christmas and the holidays topic, someone could claim that I once made the same comments Michael did about holidays but I don’t feel that way anymore. Michael (if this was said) is seeing this through the eyes of a limited and sometimes abusive child-hood. After the holidays, I had the same problem with the reality of fornication, but you are not a fanatic if you break away from tradition but a fanatic if you follow them.

  13. February 13, 2013 1:24 am

    In regards to the marriage arrangement itself your right, but the bible also says to flee from fornication. When the congregations were in the process of being established after Christ death – Paul wrote a letter bluntly emphasizing sins that were unacceptable and fornication was mentioned. (1 Cor 16:9) The bringing together of man and woman differs from time to time and place to place but we follow the instructions of the land where we are citizens.

    Here, we must have certain documents to be considered married, a celebration is not really required. I don’t understand how not having sex can cause so many problems unless one marries just to have sex. From my experience refraining from it shows one’s true colors – since he clearly didn’t have any intentions to marry me why was I with him physically in the first place? Sex, if anything, blurs your thinking and makes you see what the person can be as opposed to what they are. Sticking to the rule of “no sex before marriage” has caused more problems in the general population. We wouldn’t have any sexually transmitted diseases to start with.

  14. February 12, 2013 12:40 pm

    “I myself was raised by a mother who is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and a strict father who is not. I never felt less loved from NOT participating in these traditions” – Steph

    And Michael Jackson did. In that small book by Van Valin I’ve recently read he is writing about it:

    Though Michael had been raised as a Jehovah’s Witness he told me once that he never liked the part about no Christmas and no birthdays so he just decided one day to throw those two rules away along with a few others. I always meant to ask him about those others but I never remembered.

    This is what I like about Michael very much. He was a living human being and not a robot or fanatic. He didn’t replace his faith in God by a dogma, and his faith only strengthened as a result of it. He regarded God as a good and loving parent and not like a tyrant (which he isn’t). I fully agree with him.

  15. February 12, 2013 12:05 pm

    “when it became apparent that sex was no longer an option unless marriage he was out the door… I hope to become an official witness one day, the only difference between them and me is that they are actually practicing what they are learning”

    Tatum, there is some misunderstanding here. The bible doesn’t say that sex is not allowed before marriage. It states that man and wife are one and discourages promiscuity. Choose your partner, stay by him and raise your children together with him.

    Even in the times of the first Christians there were no marriage ceremonies proper (no church weddings, no nothing – there was no church yet). I used to speak to a good friend of mine, an old priest and church historian and he said that in those times a couple simply came to the Christian community and announced that they would be living together. And this announcement and the blessing they received from the others was sort of an endorsement for the marriage. Whether they had sex before no one knew (though probably they didn’t).

    Sticking to the principle of “no sex before marriage” may bring disasters. It brought a disaster into my life, for example, because I was unfortunate enough to marry an unfortunate man who was not potent to have sex. I didn’t know about it because I was a “decent girl” and didn’t believe in premarriage sex. It cost me more than a year of my life and something like a nervous breakdown.

  16. TatumMarie permalink
    February 12, 2013 2:13 am

    Those whp are speaking on fornicqtion, I had struggles with.the same problems. Whats interesting is that my boy friend at the time who I had immense love for didnt mind the lack of holiday celebrations but when it became apparent that sex was no longer an option unless marriage he was out the door. When you start trying to practice whats right those who.dont agree seem to dismiss themselves. I hope to become an official witness one day, the only difference between them and me is that they are actually practicing what they are learning. These commands dont involve superduper will power.

  17. Steph permalink
    February 11, 2013 3:02 pm

    and by not leading a Bible based practice life “accordingly”, I only mean that since my husband cheated and we divorced….I have not been attending meetings, going into service, I focus strictly on my part time job as an RN and raising my kids and I now live with my boyfriend of 2 years and web aren’t married. Not something most “christians” would be unwilling to call themselves a Baptist or a Catholic over but as I said my bible based teaching tells my conscience it’s wrong and I would never want to bring that kind of harm to God’s name. I will continue to uphold my beliefs and teach my children until I find it in myself to correct my weaknesses and call my self a Jehovah’s Witness proudly once more. And FYI…..my children have lots of “Children’s Day” without needing birthday or christmas celebrations.

  18. Steph permalink
    February 11, 2013 2:42 pm

    He went further how? I find it simple minded and absurd to think that you have to celebrate a traditional yearly pagan derived celebration to make your children feel loved or “special”! I myself was raised by a mother who is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and a strict father who is not. I never felt less loved from NOT participating in these traditions. I always felt much love and my Mother’s faith only brought my family closer (as you can see the Jackson’s have many family bonds….hello? they were in a group called the Jackson 5 forever and always show strong family support for one another, something “orphans” rarely get). I was an active member in the congregation, later in life but I have not been conducting my life according to Bible principle lately…….so I don’t call myself a “Jehovah Witness” currently, not because I do not have faith that it is the one true Christian religion but because I love God so much as to not want to bring reproach upon his name (maybe how Micheal felt).

  19. Tatum Marie permalink
    January 4, 2013 4:32 am

    @VMJ
    I don’t feel that the holidays should be tied into Michael’s horrible childhood. Children are supposed to be loved and showered with attention every day. The majority of children in our society have birthday parties and Christmas, but does that alone make them happier adults? If Michael had celebrated holidays and was forced to work with no interaction with other children he still wouldn’t have had a childhood. You may be happy about that as a child but when looking back you will wonder why you were shown love by your parents on those particular days only.

    Katherine’s religion was actually taking away the last joys those children could have had. -VMJ
    Michael left his children with his mother Katherine and never spoke ill of her, I don’t think we should forget that. The biblical importance of staying away from things Jehovah hates is getting washed over as well. Everything is not black and white but Jehovah is specific about certain things and the Pharisees did not acknowledge that.

    This is why when Michael became a grown-up he wanted to have an official holiday day for a child that parents would observe on a national level – this day was to be so filled with joy that it could probably last an unhappy child until the next celebration came a year after. As another measure Michael wanted a similar fixed day once a week which parents would spend with their children instead of watching football, going to a pub or attending a beauty salon. -VMJ
    Does this really stress the importance of birthdays? If anything this means he felt love should not just be limited to one day. It’s actually supposed to be shown everyday so I commend him for this, and by it not having a questionable origin attached to it this would be a personal decision on my part to celebrate.

  20. Tatum Marie permalink
    January 4, 2013 4:28 am

    @VMJ
    The Pharisees didn’t even refer to Jesus as God’s son? OMG, I need to open a new blog for this… The whole tragedy that took place two thousand years ago was because the “scribes” (the most learned part of the population) thought that Jesus was an impostor and put him to death for it. -VMJ

    The real point is that they weren’t studying the writings. Jesus even told them that they didn’t know the scriptures. When people claim to know about Michael Jackson and tell lies they can easily be corrected, and would look like idiots by a researching fan. If the Pharisees were thoroughly convinced that Jesus was an imposter, he wouldn’t have been able to silence them with his words that he stated from the bible.

    I wonder why there’s no acknowledgement that the Pharisees had in fact mixed God’s teachings with their own. The scriptures never indicated what Jesus would actually be ( social stature) but what his actions, teachings and the signs. They expected him to be a show boat like a TRADITIONAL priest and what they became. Based on what they heard in their time alone they would have thought of him as another prophet if anything, because neither demons nor Satan had the power to raise the dead. To accuse him of having power from the demons wouldn’t even be a biblical acknowledgement and was completely out in left field.

  21. January 3, 2013 5:01 pm

    “They were not following the bible at all really, because if they were they would have known who Jesus was, it had been prophesized of his coming in the old laws – but they didn’t even refer to Jesus as God’s son.” – Tatum

    The Pharisees “didn’t even refer to Jesus as God’s son”? OMG, I need to open a new blog for this…

    The whole tragedy that took place two thousand years ago was because the “scribes” (the most learned part of the population) thought that Jesus was an impostor and put him to death for it. A carpenter came from nowhere and had the cheek to say that he was son of God? And what will similarly “learned” Christians say now if Jesus suddenly returned in the image of let us say, a musician? (just an example, no offense meant to anyone). They will laugh, ridicule and place him in a psychiatric ward in the best case, while in the worst of cases they will simply stone him in their “righteous” fury.

    Essentially it boils down to one thing – how could they recognize a son of God in someone who looked like an ordinary human being? The Pharisees could not even imagine that a carpenter could be a son of God, especially since they meticulously kept to the letter of the religious law and Jesus constantly broke it – healed ailments on the Sabbath, ate and drank when and where he was not allowed to, and also regularly told them unpleasant things about their own behavior and their priorities.

    What did Caiafas, the high Jewish priest do when at his final trial Jesus answered him that he was son of God? He tore his robes. In which cases could a high Jewish priest tear his robes? Only in utter grief and righteous indignation at the worst of possible blasphemies. In all other cases he was not allowed to by the law attributed to the Lord himself (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?134093-Can-a-Jewish-high-priest-tear-his-clothes). It means that the most “righteous” and learned Jewish priests thought that Jesus was horribly breaking the law (the Old Testament) on whose very guard they were standing. Tearing the robes was a sign sent to the whole nation of the enormity of this insult to the ancient Law – imagine the Pope tearing his robes in public now in indignation at what he hears and thinks to be a terrible blasphemy, and you will realize what it was like:

    53 And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. 54 And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire.55 Now the chief priests and the whole council[f] were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. 56 For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. 57 And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’” 59 Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. 60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?”[g] 61 But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62 And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” 63 And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? 64 You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. 65 And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows. Mark 14

    Yes, they were waiting for him, meticulously following the religious law in preparation for the meeting, but when he came they did not recognize him. What prevented them from seeing the truth? If they had lived the law they themselves were teaching, they would have felt his coming and recognized him with their hearts and spirit, however the years of formal observance of the law turned them into stones. And stones cannot see or feel.

    Formal observance of the religious law does not help – it is hypocrisy and hypocrisy kills. Revision of the law doesn’t help either – it leads nowhere as it takes away the foundation. So what is left? Frankly, Michael’s simple example shows some light at the end of the tunnel. I simply like it without being able to place it and say what it is. To me it looks like living a natural, but clean life with a lot of childlike playfulness to it – with love in one’s heart and God as the final authority to answer to.

  22. January 3, 2013 1:39 pm

    “The discussion was mainly about the origin of Christmas and why witnesses don’t celebrate it and then it turned into other topics.:)”

    Tatum, the discussion started with something else – at least for me. Reading about orphans I realized that Michael’s childhood was very much like that of orphans, with so little personal warmth these children miss that it is impossible even to imagine it.

    His main offender was of course Joe Jackson who as it seems derived even sadistic pleasure from abusing his children – oiling their skin before whipping, hanging Michael by his foot and beating him to near death, and all the rest of it. Add to it the fact that the youngest of the children got the most of it – most work, most isolation, most humiliation and most responsibility (just because he was the youngest) and you get a picture of utter misery. Michael was a saint to forgive his father for all that.

    Then I suddenly recalled that besides that nightmare Michael was also missing the simple joys every child has – birthdays, Christmas, etc. So in addition to all that misery he had no joys either?

    It isn’t only presents that Michael was missing – he was missing the attention a child is given on these days from those he loves most. If he had had a birthday he could have asked Joe (who didn’t even want to be called a father) to take him for a walk in the park for example, or embrace him on that day, or say to him that he loved him – in short he could have made a wish and Joe should have followed it – because it is a personal day of this particular child and he has the right!

    This is why when Michael became a grown-up he wanted to have an official holiday day for a child that parents should observe on a national level – this day was to be so filled with joy that it could probably last an unhappy child until the next celebration came a year after. As another measure Michael wanted a similar fixed day once a week which parents would spend with their children instead of watching football, going to a pub or attending a beauty salon. Michael even agreed to Bashir’s interview because he promised to help promote the matter of a Children’s Day in the United Nations if I remember it right.

    Then I realized that while Joe Jackson was abusing his children, Katherine’s religion was actually taking away the last joys those children could have had. I liked the religion because their faith is close to what I myself believe in, but taking it so far as denying the children even the most basic of personal joys?? Initially I thought that it was some kind of a misunderstanding or that these restraints were not obligatory and could be avoided as unimportant, but a detailed discussion showed that they are not. No, there is so much theological theory behind all that, that breaking it (arranging a birthday for a poor child) is akin to a grave sin.

    The fact that these celebrations are “pagan” is much more important than the feeling of comfort and love they can give to a child and could have brought to the Jacksons’ children in those circumstances. Probably in other circumstances a child will not suffer that much. If a child is showered with love every day, for example, he probably won’t mind missing his birthday or Christmas – but for the Jacksons it was their only chance! And this only chance was taken away from them! Why??? Because a birthday is “pagan”?

    Though I myself see God as my only guiding spirit, I think that no religion in the world is worthy of anything at all if it places the letter of the law above love, joy and a little bit of comfort for an unhappy child. Michael stayed with God, but not with the religion and I think that his decision was correct. He went further.

  23. January 3, 2013 8:45 am

    @VMJ
    Don’t worry, I am not against the short replies we’ve been writing back and forth on this for a long time. Maybe we should take one issue at a time because it seems like I’ve been writing more lately than working.

    Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things, and do not do them”. Matthew 23:1-4 (NASB) – VMJ

    After 400 years of slavery, Moses was the one that Jehovah chose to lead them and bring God’s new law. This is why Jesus said that they have seated themselves in the chair of Moses, they want to be judges as it were. In the verses before chap. 23 Jesus goes back to the Old Testament again, and talks about words from David that conflict with their beliefs.
    41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together Jesus asked them:
    42 “What do YOU think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him: “David’s.”
    43 He said to them: “How, then, is it that David by inspiration calls him ‘Lord,’ saying, 44 ‘Jehovah said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies beneath your feet”’?
    45 If, therefore, David calls him ‘Lord,’ how is he his son?”
    46 And nobody was able to say a word in reply to him, nor did anyone dare from that day on to question him any further.

    Yes, hypocrisy is the prophesized signs that a religion is false – but the Pharisees when speaking correctly they were right but when wrong they were really wrong mixing the teachings which does way more harm than good. They were not following the bible at all really, because if they were they would have known who Jesus was, it had been prophesized of his coming in the old laws – but they didn’t even refer to Jesus as God’s son.

    I didn’t mean that you were against religion in a literal sense but you are emotionally traumatized from the Soviets and from blood shed regarding religion. It sounds to me like you’ve bunched them all up in a category but witnesses were never part of this. I have to agree outside of the witnesses because many other faiths are blood guilty, sorry to say.

    The priest who brought to Christianity thousands if not millions of people in my country after many years of atheism was Alexander Men

    I like his words about Jesus Christ personality but did they encourage the bible in itself ?

  24. January 3, 2013 7:36 am

    @lyn
    I don’t know if this pertains to the discussion or not but Michael celebrated Christmas in a big way after leaving the JW’s. In later years he celebrated it with the Cascio and Bhatti families. Here is a video that pretty much says everything you need to know about Michael, his children and Christmas.

    I think I read it on here or it may have been someone else that mentioned that Never land was lit up all year 24 7, there’s nothing wrong with lights. However, Michael engaged in many other things before he made the decision to disassociate himself. The discussion was mainly about the origin of Christmas and why witnesses don’t celebrate it and then it turned into other topics.:)

  25. January 3, 2013 2:57 am

    Tatum, let me give you short replies only as it is 3.00 am here.

    “These men were leading people with inaccurate teachings; they had perverted God’s law.” – Tatum

    Not exactly. The Pharisees were teaching correctly, but they were not behaving in accordance with their own teachings. This is where their hypocrisy was. Jesus told his disciples to observe what the Pharisees said (so the words were correct), but at the same time to never follow their deeds:

    Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things, and do not do them”. Matthew 23:1-4 (NASB)

    “It is false religion in itself that killed him.”

    If hypocrisy is false religion than I agree with you.

    “you’re against religion as a whole”

    Tatum, I am not against religion if you mean faith in God. In fact I fully surrender myself to Him as to a loving Father who knows better. All I ask Him for is give me guidance and not to abandon me despite all my faults. I try to stand before Him almost every minute of my life, and not let him down.

    “If we are discussing biblical commands and rules which are what the witnesses follow – abuse and spiritual damage of your household is grounds to leave too”

    I am sorry for the mistake, I thought the JWs frowned on all other reasons for a divorce except adultery.

    “Trust me; there aren’t any Pharisees in the JW religion because everyone has to follow the bible.”

    After Jesus’s crucifixion the word “Pharisees” entered all languages as the embodiment of hypocrisy. They were following the Bible and to the letter of it, but by paying lip service to it only. Many Christians now do absolutely the same. They consider themselves to be “righteous” and teach everyone to the left and to the right pointing at other people’s mistakes at every step they take. And the more “hard-core believers” they are the worse the moralizing is. This is what I am greatly disappointed in. True faith in God is different.

    The priest who brought to Christianity thousands if not millions of people in my country after many years of atheism was Alexander Men, whom I will always consider my teacher though I never met him personally. He was assassinated in 1990 – evidently by someone who didn’t want Christianity to go his way. I will provide a short excerpt from his astonishing book about Jesus called “Son of Man”. The full English translation is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Son-Man-Story-Christ-Christianity/dp/1879038285

    The commentators say: “I initially gave a copy to a dear friend a Trappist Monk, who believes this is one of the finest books he has read on Christ (my friend in his 80s,been a Monk 50 yrs). I have provided him with over 40 of this book so he can pass on to those he believes will benefit. Well written without the typical pious, theologically steeped language,in other words matter of fact. It presents the situation or world at Christ’s time in clear detail. Just a very good book. I should add my friend received the Silver Star for his actions at the Battle of Leyte Gulf so he has seen life from many perspectives. Highly recommend. John O’Loughlin.

    Hopefully everyone will find something useful for oneself in this excerpt:

    The evangelists paint Christ as profoundly human. On His eyes were seen tears; He was seen to mourn, to be amazed, to rejoice, to embrace children, to admire flowers. His very speech breathes forbearance for the weaknesses of man, but He never slackened His requirements. He could speak with tender goodness and could be strict, even sharp. Occasionally bitter irony flickered in His words (“they strain at a gnat and swallow a camel”). Usually mild and patient, Jesus was merciless to hypocrites; he expelled merchants from the temple, shamed Herod Antipas and lawyers, reproached His disciples for lack of faith.

    He was peaceful and constrained, but was sometimes seized by holy wrath. Nonetheless He was a stranger to internal discord. Christ always remained Himself. With the exception of certain tragic moments, clarity of spirit never left Christ. Being in the thick of mortal life, it was as if at the same time He was in another world, in solitude with the Father. Those close to Him saw in Him a Man Who desired only one thing, “to do the will of Him Who sent (Him).”

    Christ was far from morbid exaltation, from the frantic fanaticism characteristic of many zealots and founders of religions. An illuminating sobriety was one of the chief traits of His character. When He spoke about unusual things, when He called people to difficult deeds and bravery, He did it without false pathos and strain. He could converse simply with people at the well or at the holiday meal, and He could pronounce words that shook everyone–”I am the Bread of life.” He spoke of trials and struggle, and He carried light everywhere, blessing and transforming life.
    Writers have never managed to create a persuasive portrait of a hero if the portrait lacked even the hint of inadequacy. The Evangelists constitute an exception, and not because they were matchless masters of words, but because they were describing a peerless Personality.

    It is impossible not to agree with Rousseau, who stated that it would not be possible to think up the Gospel story. According to Goethe, “All four Gospels are authentic, because on all four lies the reflection of that spiritual height, whose source was the personality of Christ and which is more divine than anything else on the earth.”

    In contrast to the recluses of Qumr’an, Jesus did not turn from the world, did not hide spiritual treasures from it, but gave them generously to people. “When,” he said, “men light a candle, they do not put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it provides light to all in the house.” The Word of God had to be “preached on the rooftops,” for that was His will.

    Ancient Hebrew had by that time become a literary language. The Aramaic dialect was commonly used for conversation. Christ used this dialect in His discussions with the people. The Aramaic words and expressions which are preserved in the New Testament testify of this.

    The Commandment To Love

    The evil with which man comes into the closest contact lives in man himself: from one side, the desire to be master, the penchant for coercion and violence; from the other side, a blind rebelliousness which seeks self-affirmation and limitless range for instinct. These demons lie at the bottom of our souls, ready at any moment to break through to the surface.

    They are fed by the sense of one’s own “I” as the only center which has value. The dilution of “I” in the elements of society, it would seem, places limits on the rebellion of the individual, but in doing so it levels and erases the personality. The exit from this dead end was given in the Biblical commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It calls us to struggle against our bestially egocentric origins, the struggle for the recognition of the value of another “I,” the struggle which should create a higher man, a “new creation.”

    Only Love is capable of defeating Satan.

    Let much which is in the world surrounding man, and even in man himself, fight against the commandment of love, people will find the power for its fulfillment with Him Who Himself is Love, with Him Who was revealed in the Gospel of Christ as the merciful Father.

    Genuine faith is inseparable from humaneness. People who forget about this are similar to the builders who built the house without a foundation, directly on the sand. Such a building is fated to fall at the first storm.

    Christ retained the Decalogue as the foundation of morality. “If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments,” He said to the rich young man. In addition, He approved of Hillel’s principle, “Do not do to another what is not pleasant to you,” although He attached to this utterance a sense of greater activity and efficacy. “So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.”

    The Gospel is far from a negative moralism with a formal schema of a “charity” which leads only to prohibitions. Saint Augustine wrote, “Love God and then do what you will,” i.e., our relations with people flow organically from our faith. He who has known the Father cannot help but love His creation as well. In addition, Christ said directly, “As you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” He will judge not by people’s “convictions,” but by their works. He who serves his neighbor serves God, even if he does not realize it.

    So how should disciples of Christ act when they encounter the misdeeds of others?

    Many Jewish teachers spoke out against the sin of judging. Christ approved of this teaching completely.
    If we are to expect forgiveness from the Lord, we ourselves must learn to forgive. Does the man act well who, having received forgiveness of a large debt from the king, himself turns out to be a merciless creditor and throws his fellow man in debtors’ prison?

    At the appearance of weakness on the part of our neighbor we ought not to pass sentence, but rather sympathize, remembering our own sinfulness. “Judge not,” warns Jesus, “that you be not judged, for with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

    The Pharisees had become accustomed to looking down from on high on “those ignorant of the law.” The word, Am-Khaarets —”bumpkin” —was for them synonymous with “sinner.” They wanted to have nothing in common with such a man. They were not allowed to pray with him, to sit at the table together, even to feed him in case of need. “The ignorant do not fear sin; am-khaarets cannot be righteous,” said the learned men.

    Jesus was their complete opposite in this respect. He more often preferred to deal with simple people. In addition, all those who were cast out, all the pariahs of society, found in Him a friend and protector. Publicans, who were not recognized as people, and women of the street were not infrequently among those who surrounded Him. This shocked the respectable scribes who were parading their righteousness. Hearing their reprimands, Jesus said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

    Christ placed sincere repentance above the serenity of those who considered themselves pleasing to God. Once He told the story of two people, praying in the temple. One, an honorable Pharisee, thanked God that he “was not like other people,” fasted frequently, made sacrifice in the temple, and “was not like this publican.” But the publican stood far away, not daring to raise his eyes, beat his chest and repeated, grief-stricken, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” “I tell you,” Christ concluded the parable, “this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

    However, repentance must not be limited to words.

    John the Baptist did not speak in vain when he spoke of the “fruits of repentance.” And once again Christ introduced an example from dailylife. “A man had two children, and he went to the first one and said, ‘My child, go today and work in the vineyard.’ He answered,’l will go, sir,’and did not go. He went to the second and said the same thing. And this one answered, ‘I do not want to go,’ and afterwards repented and went. Which of these fulfilled the will of the father?”

    When Jesus visited Matthew’s house, where his publican friends gathered, this provoked an explosion of indignation. Reproaches poured down on the Teacher’s head. How could He sit at the table with such personages? However, Jesus once again reminded them that every soul deserves concern and sympathy. Those who forget this are like the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son, who did not rejoice in the return of the wanderer.
    Gathering to Himself sinners, Christ wanted to stir up in them repentance and thirst for a new life. Not infrequently His goodness and trust did genuine miracles.

    Once the Teacher was going through Jericho. A multitude of people met Him at the gates of the city. All wanted Jesus to stop in their home. One of the Jerichites, by the name of Zacchaeus, “chief publican,” struggled to push his way through the crowd, hoping to look upon the Teacher, if only with one eye, but his small height hindered him. Then, forgetting etiquette, he ran forward and clambered up a tree which the Lord was to walk past.
    Jesus did in fact approach this spot and, lifting his eyes, noticed the little man sitting in the fig tree. “Zacchaeus,” Jesus said unexpectedly, “come down quickly! I must be with you today”
    Forgetting himself for joy, the publican ran home to meet the Lord, and those who were around began to murmur, “He stopped at the home of such a sinful man!” But the Teacher’s step had its effect.
    “Lord,” said Zacchaeus as he met Him, “Half of what I have I give to the needy, and if I have required something of someone unrighteously, I will provide quadruple compensation.”
    “Now salvation has come to this house,” answered Christ, “because he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to find and save those who had perished.”
    http://www.alexandermen.com/Son_of_Man

  26. lynande51 permalink
    January 3, 2013 2:05 am

    Apologies for the title but the title is deceptive because it is just a fun video. Besides this video explains that Michael loved his kids enough to be out of the societal norms and leave his Christmas Decorations up because he loved his youngest son that much.

  27. lynande51 permalink
    January 3, 2013 1:58 am

    I don’t know if this pertains to the discussion or not but Michael celebrated Christmas in a big way after leaving the JW’s. In later years he celebrated it with the Cascio and Bhatti families. Here is a video that pretty much says everything you need to know about Michael, his children and Christmas.

  28. Tatum Marie permalink
    January 3, 2013 12:38 am

    If your child said “ I love you” randomly would that not be more sincere than if he was reminded by a date or someone else told him to say it?

  29. Tatum Marie permalink
    January 3, 2013 12:36 am

    @VMJ
    I was reading your previous responses from my email and missed a few bottom sentences that weren’t displayed there. I wanted to address the following quote:

    Tatum, I am afraid you are doing a disservice to your faith. If all JWs are that adamant about every little thing I am absolutely not surprised that even a law-abiding person like Michael eventually left his fellow-believers. Especially after so much love and affection shown to him on a daily basis.-VMJ
    Paganism is not a little thing and was never tolerated by God or Jesus. Like we were discussing before, some things are vague and some are black and white. I’ve said this continuously but it seems to be falling on death ears but you can have cake, balloons, fun, a parties, candy etc. just not to the extent where you are commemorating a pagan practice. Your words were something along the lines of it’s being cruel to not celebrate a child’s birthday, which in a way alleges that witnesses abuse their children. At least this is the way I took it which is judgmental without knowing the grounds.

    Are witnesses strict about not incorporating idols into their worship? Yes they are. Would they harshly judge you for celebrating them? No, but they will tell you the truth and at that point you have to decide for yourself. The idea that having a normal childhood can be summed up in having a birthday once a year and Christmas only (2 days) is sad to me. It was a hard pill to swallow for me when I first learned but the truth like medicine is not always fun especially when we’ve done something for so long. By the way – forgive my lack of tact I am not an official witness yet so that is something that I have to learn.

  30. Tatum Marie permalink
    January 2, 2013 11:49 pm

    @VMJ
    Pharisees, by the way were not breaking any ancient religious law at all – they were the ones who kept to the letter of it and in doing so turned into the worst hypocrites Jesus was fighting. And I still stand by what I’ve said – hypocrisy in religion was what killed Jesus.-VMJ
    Well, I’m sticking to what the bible tells us happened. If this were the case, Jesus wouldn’t have told them that they were keeping commandments of men. Jesus replied to the Pharisees questions in Matthew 15:3 – Why is it YOU also overstep the commandment of God because of YOUR tradition? -VMJ or in verse 9 when speaking about ancient prophecy he says they teach commands of men as doctrines He is not only addressing that they overstepped what God commanded but he quotes Moses and Isaiah (writers of the Old Testament) exposing them. These men were leading people with inaccurate teachings; they had perverted God’s law. Jesus was the one that was enforcing Jehovah’s law, not the Pharisees and by theirs created ways for followers to disrespect God, that argument is indisputable.

    It is false religion in itself that killed him and I know you don’t like that word but it is true. If they had been going by the Old Testament with simple commands only they wouldn’t have persecuted Jesus. You’re trying to link it because you’re against religion as a whole, as I am too but the witnesses are different. I can’t defend other faiths because I would agree wholeheartedly about them, been there- done that but I don’t feel that way towards witnesses.

    Tatum, I think that given the JWs influence on Katherine their ability to assist wasn’t that limited. They could help Katherine to set the right priorities – and children’s well-being and health are a number one priority in any family’s life. They should have told her that no “obedience” to her husband, no preservation of their marriage for the sake of it, but love and responsibility for their children was what mattered most. After all children is why a family is formed at all – otherwise a man and woman can live together (yes, they can) without forming a family. -VMJ
    Helena, how do we know they didn’t talk to Katherine or even Joseph about it? I’m sure they would’ve had their concerns assuming they knew (so did Katherine) but they’re still limited because if the person doesn’t listen – what are words? Outside of those who already knew many didn’t find out what was going on behind the scenes in the Jackson family until Michael grew up and started telling the world.

    You think that the Jehovah’s witnesses ordered Katherine to stay with her husband? No one can tell you to leave or stay with your husband, it’s not their place. If we are discussing biblical commands and rules which are what the witnesses follow – abuse and spiritual damage of your household is grounds to leave too. Even with the argument you made about Joe’s infidelity, why didn’t she divorce him? Obviously, she wanted to stay with him for whatever reason. I also have to say it’s not encouraged to marry someone you do wish to just because you are pregnant or committing fornication with them that is a traditional method and something I knew about a little too well.

    I also suspect that the JWs didn’t allow her to divorce as they think that the only valid reason for divorce is adultery – cruelty towards children isn’t reason enough for it. -VMJ
    Well, that’s wrong actually. Now I see what your issues are but witnesses have their own life to live within the organization, everything is not black and white. This is why I was really thrown off when you said that they should let some air in. Jehovah’s witnesses are taking the blame for what was practiced in tradition of marriage and American black culture. It’s more likely that TRADITION is what made Katherine stay with Joe because people frowned upon divorce at the time or maybe she loved him, do we know she didn’t?

    Also, the harsh discipline wasn’t something that was completely out of their element. Joe used strict discipline against his kids because that was tradition in the black culture, especially in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. It’s was American tradition period, but with blacks it was more ingrained. I’m not proud of this, we know better now, but it was a different time (black kids getting lynched) and wasn’t really seen as abuse then even though it was. Michael’s main issue with Joe was the lack of emotional support (not being able to call him father) – I know I would have gotten in trouble for calling my mother by her first name, if anything so that makes no sense to me that he didn’t let them call him Dad which is not related to witnesses at all.

    Joe Jackson explained it in exactly this way – beating them was better than allowing them to walk freely in the streets and be exposed to the dangers and attractions of it. But the same argument was used in the past too when deaths of innocents were explained by the necessity to bring them over into the right creed. THIS is what is real lack of love and utter hypocrisy in every religion, not only JWs. -VMJ
    The problem is that Joe Jackson was never a witness nor did he practice the lessons. Trust me; there aren’t any Pharisees in the JW religion because everyone has to follow the bible. Are there people who live double lives? Yes, but problems only occur as a whole when you lack reasoning by going away from God’s word. You’re speaking of individuals but to be honest, there are whole religions that are false whether there are good people in them or not. People don’t like that word false religion because they like to think that all attempts or practices lead you to God but the bible doesn’t say that.

    There are two things that can be done to disregard Jehovah’s word, we can ignore the commands completely (the major ones) or we can twist his word. The real problem with the Pharisees and what Jesus mainly emphasized was that they’re teachings had strayed from Jehovah’s word. The problem with them and people today is that they want to follow tradition. Another problem that Jesus had was with Satan and in his case he twisted God’s word.

    Is there a way to learn the truth then? I think there is and only love can show the way…Love and empathy will tell you where to live by the letter of the Law and where to go by the spirit of it. The bible does speak about love tremendously, including that we have to love God first – he is the source of love. As educated MJ fans we examine the court transcripts and let other factual situations explain or fill in the blanks to find out the truth. The bible is no different in the sense that we can use the bible uses its own writings to explain it self. We have to be sound in mind and reasonable and not get caught up in traditions ourselves. It’s common as imperfect humans to want to blend in to our surroundings. There are myriads of ways of fulfilling God’s words this is the only way to obtain true freedom, if we disregard that we can become slaves of Satan like the Pharisees did.

  31. January 2, 2013 3:31 pm

    “You can speak to someone until your blue in the face but since Joe wasn’t a witness himself and continuously was over the children their ability to assist were limited.”

    Tatum, I think that given the JWs influence on Katherine their ability to assist wasn’t that limited. They could help Katherine to set the right priorities – and children’s well-being and health are a number one priority in any family’s life. They should have told her that no “obedience” to her husband, no preservation of their marriage for the sake of it, but love and responsibility for their children was what mattered most. After all children is why a family is formed at all – otherwise a man and woman can live together (yes, they can) without forming a family.

    Disciplining children and mutilating them physically, emotionally and psychologically are totally different things. Even Jesus said that anyone offending a child should better be cast into the sea with a millstone around his neck. Of course the Pharisees of every religion will tell you that punishing children is God’s will as it protects them from “sin”, and Joe Jackson explained it in exactly this way – beating them to near death was better than allowing them to walk freely in the streets and be exposed to the dangers and attractions of it. But the same argument was used in the past too when thousands of innocent deaths were explained by the necessity to bring them over into the right creed.

    THIS is what real lack of love and utter hypocrisy in every religion is – not only in the JWs’. I mean doing harm in the name of God which is the worst of imaginable insults to the Almighty.

    Please don’t tell me that Katherine did not know what Joseph was doing to their children. Michael recalled that she used to run around screaming to Joseph “You will kill him” – this is how terrible it was. Okay, Katherine was only a tired woman with 8 children on her hands who did not have means of her own to raise them and given the period when all this was happening she wasn’t brave enough to divorce him. But I also suspect that the JWs didn’t allow her to divorce as they think that the only valid reason for divorce is adultery – cruelty towards children isn’t reason enough for it. If my suspicion is correct then Katherine’s religion stopped her from parting with Joseph which was the only right decision in the circumstances.

    To be fair to the JWs this doesn’t concern only their views – it is true for all those believers who consider the letter of their religion more important than the spirit of it. For lack of a better word I’ll call them religious fanatics, though the JWs probably don’t deserve this name. There are religious fanatics in every type of Christianity (or other religions) many of whom will die for a misprint in the book rather than be guided by the spirit from the Almighty.

    The truth passed over to us from ancient times is often provided in a symbolic form and is easily distorted and misinterpreted by those who misunderstand it. I think that any atrocity may be justified by a quote from the Bible if it is snatched our context and misinterpreted.

    Is there a way to learn the truth then? I think there is and only love can show the way. Love and empathy for others will tell you where to live by the letter of the Law and where to go by the spirit of it.

    Pharisees, by the way were not breaking any ancient religious law at all – they were the ones who kept to the letter of it and in doing so turned into the worst hypocrites Jesus was fighting. And I still stand by what I said earlier – it was hypocrisy in religion that killed Jesus.

    Fanatics don’t understand that there is a myriad ways of fulfilling the Almighty’s will. We are FREE!

    P.S. It was also the hypocrisy of people that killed Michael Jackson.

  32. January 2, 2013 7:39 am

    @VMJ
    Tatum, we can go on forever about this. I will ask you only the following: false religion? The Jews and their priests were defending the Old Testament and were outraged by Jesus’s behavior who was breaking the ancient rules. They thought they were defending their faith from an imposter! – VMJ

    I’m happy you brought this up because it brings us back to what we were originally discussing. The Jews were fully aware of the prophecies of Jesus coming to the earth and they were exposed to those in the Old Testament, that’s true, However, Jesus was the one using writings from the Old Testament (quoting Moses and Isaiah) to expose that the Pharisees were violators of God’s law due to man-made traditions. (Mark 7:6-13)

    False religion is a person or organization lead by false teachings. The problem here was that they mixed other teachings with pure worship which turns into false religion. The Pharisees and many Jews viewed Jesus as a threat because they wanted prominence and to continue their ways of life. The Pharisees were also scared that some of the people they mislead would start following Jesus and shun them. It was mainly public deception accusing God’s son of blasphemy, being a false prophet so they wouldn’t be further exposed for what they were.

    Surprisingly no one provided any such help – even the JWs.- VMJ
    A very bold statement indeed, I’m sure that’s not true. You can speak to someone until your blue in the face but since Joe wasn’t a witness himself and continuously was over the children their ability to assist were limited.

  33. January 2, 2013 2:02 am

    “Really it was false religion and going against God that killed Jesus, Helena”

    Tatum, we can go on forever about this. I will ask you only one question – so it was false religion that killed Jesus? The Jews and their priests were defending the Old Testament and were outraged by Jesus’s behavior who was breaking the ancient rules. They thought they were defending their faith from an impostor!

    I wonder what the people would do now to a person who spoke for the Almighty and drove away vendors from the temple by a whip? Are you sure they would recognize a messenger if he made his appearance now? And what would they do to him – put to death, place in a mental institution or ridicule and harass for life?

    “I wish I could have talked to him for 15 minutes and explained to him that his lack of a childhood was due to his father and the business”

    There was no need to explain anything to Michael. He knew it better than any of us here. He needed help to protect him and his siblings from this monster and not our explanations. Surprisingly no one provided any such help – even the JWs.

    “So they should pervert God’s word is what you’re saying? Celebrate holidays despite the fact they KNOW that they are wrong instead of showing love and affection on a daily basis?”

    Tatum, I am afraid you are doing a disservice to your faith. If all JWs are that adamant about every little thing I am absolutely not surprised that even a law-abiding person like Michael eventually left his fellow-believers. Especially after so much love and affection shown to him on a daily basis.

  34. January 2, 2013 1:58 am

    The spirit of people like Victor Gutierrez and Diane Dimond is dead, and this is what really makes them different from those living people who are still capable to feel, change and be human. Gutierrez is beyond hope, while Dimond may still be revived under certain circumstances, I think.- VMJ

    I’m not even sure about Dimond because of her constant lying and inability to tell all the facts. They are perfect examples of spiritual death with their actions with Michael but still these are the worst case scenarios. The idea that Jesus would reason breaking a direct command given by God, when he was promoting God’s commands and rules while being on earth is incorrect.

    The argument that keeps getting washed over though is the fact that the Jews and Pharisees were fully aware of Jesus’s coming because of God’s prophets and were breaking A MAJOR command themselves when going against him. They were making money off the people, God said do not charge for what is free they were doing things in direct conflict because it made their lives easier and it was tradition. If God’s main commands were not to be upheld then Jesus would have took Satan up on the offer of the governments reasoning that he could help the lost children this way. Not only this, but he wouldn’t have fought to get out of the mist of people that were trying to make him their king.

    Essentially it was hypocrisy in religion that killed Jesus. – VMJ

    Really it was false religion and going against God that killed Jesus, Helena. False religion is in the bible and yes it’s still alive today. The union of a man and a woman originated with God himself, celebrating the union Jehovah created himself was also celebrated by original Christians. Christmas and even birthday celebration originated with the pagan or those who were against Jehovah if there is an issue with the word pagan.

    I remember that Michael said to Rabbi Shmuley something about weddings – that he would not tell his mother as it was not accepted in their family (don’t remember the exact wording). This I presume also comes from the JWs beliefs, right? – VMJ

    I’m not sure about the wedding issue you’re speaking of with Michael and Schmuley because witnesses have no problem with weddings or baby showers, graduations, gatherings, parties or anything. The pagan or no pagan statement was not made by me; it was noted in some of your previous comments.

    I’ll have to read the Schmuley transcripts again. I will admit there were some things that Michael said to Schmuley that showed me that he did not have understanding of some of the teachings. He mentioned something about God setting the world for bad because of Adam or something like this. The Jehovah’s witnesses are still learning and making changes and have made some changes since he was in the truth but the Adam genre has always been thoroughly discussed. In my head I was thinking like Michael you should probably know the answer to this question. Unless he was trying to ask Schmuley about this to see if he knew the truth about it, it can also be edited too.

    I wish I could have talked to him for 15 minutes and explained to him that his lack of a childhood was due to his father and the business- he did always happen to link the two. I wish I had been raised a witness it’s much harder to give up certain practices when you’ve been practicing it your whole life. As imperfect humans, we always want to think we are taking the right course but when exposed to the bad we will be held accountable for what you know.

    Nothing tragic about it – they should simply evolve and let in some fresh air inside. In my humble opinion all religions need it – VMJ.

    So they should pervert God’s word is what you’re saying? Celebrate holidays despite the fact they KNOW that they are wrong instead of showing love and affection on a daily basis? If your child said “ I love you” randomly would that not be more sincere than if he was reminded by a date or someone else told him to say it?

  35. January 2, 2013 12:44 am

    “Helena, you’ve already made it known your stand on birthdays and holidays, but you’re in accordance with everything else.” – Tatum

    Yes, I am in accordance with everything else, but these “small matters” have suddenly turned into very nagging ones. When I started reading about orphans, I visualised what Michael’s life was like, and realizing how bleak and miserable it was I got angry with all those strict rules which deprived Michael and the other children of the small joy of having a birthday celebration or the fun of decorating a fir tree.

    I don’t care whether these holidays are pagan or not – it was simply not fair to deny them that, and this is what I mean by lack of love. Love doesn’t go into long learned explanations why this and that is impossible – it simply does things which need to be done to mend the situation. I also think that the elders should have approached Joseph Jackson and warned him that they would report him to the respective authorities if he kept abusing his children. After all what he did to them was a crime. They should have come to Katherine’s help and this would have indeed been in line with the spirit of the bible. Or they should have allowed her to divorce him to save the children from this beast.

    No system made by men is ideal, and to my big regret the JWs’s system doesn’t seem to me ideal either. Good, but not ideal. Nothing tragic about it – they should simply evolve and let in some fresh air inside. In my humble opinion all religions need it.

  36. January 1, 2013 12:26 pm

    “Jesus’s response was not literal, but he meant let the spiritual dead (I can explain this further) bury the dead. No matter what our situation is we wouldn’t want to miss out on helping lost ones and preaching the good news.” – Tatum

    This I fully agree with. I understand it in exactly the same way. Jesus’s spoke of the living and dead in terms of those whose spirit was living or dead though physically they may be alive. The spirit of people like Victor Gutierrez and Diane Dimond is dead, and this is what really makes them different from those living people who are still capable to feel, change and be human. Gutierrez is beyond hope, while Dimond may still be revived under certain circumstances, I think.

    “It’s no question that Jesus had zero tolerance for idolatry, so you think that Jesus would have involved himself in pagan worship to make a child smile?”

    I am sure that he would. And I don’t think that he would have called a child’s birthday pagan. In fact I don’t even remember him using the word “pagan” at all. He was always looking into the essence of things and was not sticking labels. Jesus was furious only with pious and hypocritical Pharisees who meticulously observed the rules and rituals but whose faith in God was dead. Jesus devoted his whole life on earth to fighting the religious hypocrisy and pretense, which is why they could not tolerate him any longer and put him to death. To be more exact they did it with the hands of their God-abiding nation whom they incited against Jesus, though even Romans could not see any guilt in what he was saying. Essentially it was hypocrisy in religion that killed Jesus. Hypocrisy was the very essence of the Pharisees’ beliefs and this same hypocrisy is the worst enemy of Christians these days too. Not only the JWs, but everybody.

    As to Jesus’s non-hypocritical teaching this was what Jesus was all about:

    The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery.5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

    And you say pagan or no pagan …..

    If birthday of a child was “pagan” then a wedding of adults was all the more “pagan”, however Jesus very much attended them and even drank wine there. I remember that Michael said to Rabbi Shmuley something about weddings – that he would not tell his mother as it was not accepted in their family (don’t remember the exact wording). This I presume also comes from the JWs beliefs, right? Well, first of all this explains a very modest wedding procedure Michael and Lisa Marie Presley had in the Dominican Republic and him being shy even about that. And second, Jesus would have surely not been against it. His teaching was about something totally different.

    you are trying to protect your own beliefs and statements that Michael made.

    I am just expressing my beliefs and was simply smashed that Michael seemed to look at God in a similar way. When three years ago I started reading about Michael his incredibly strong faith in God and his non-conventional attitude to Him (up to calling God ‘she’) shattered me to my very foundation. Nowhere had I heard anything like that before and least of all could I expect it from an entertainer on the other part of the world. This is when I cried torrents of tears. Finding the only one who really understands you and so late too…. And me thinking bad of him… It was intolerable. And still is.

  37. January 1, 2013 9:24 am

    @VMJ
    Tatum, it is not my intention to discuss the practices of the Jehovah Witnesses/Orthodox/Catholic or any other churches. -VMJ
    I don’t think it’s fair to place Jehovah’s witnesses within the realm of the churches when they spend probably most of the time preaching against everything the main stream churches stand for (against the churches history of blood shed), living by the bible, and separating themselves from the government affairs.

    But claiming that Jesus had a zero tolerance for birthdays because they are not mentioned in the New Testament in my opinion is taking too much upon oneself. -VMJ
    It’s no question that Jesus had zero tolerance for idolatry, so you think that Jesus would have involved himself in pagan worship to make a child smile? Especially since there are millions of other things you can do to celebrate life and spread joy. Honestly, you’ve been realistic and true in everything else so that shouldn’t change now because you are trying to protect your own beliefs and statements that Michael made.

    Jesus told him “Let the dead bury their dead”. So what again? Should we do exactly as Jesus said (or didn’t say)? Or should we try to understand the inner meaning of his words and be guided by their spirit and not by their letter? -VMJ
    Before we apply a scripture it is important to evaluate the context in which things were said. Literally speaking, today one would bury their father if on their death bed, but in this instance this disciple was asking if he could stay until his father lived out the rest of his natural life which would have made him miss out on a vital lifesaving work, in turn declining to follow Jesus. Jesus’s response was not literal, but he meant let the spiritual dead (I can explain this further) bury the dead. No matter what our situation is we wouldn’t want to miss out on helping lost ones and preaching the good news.

    Okay, it shouldn’t. I was just describing the feeling I suddenly had when I read your words. Unfortunately this feeling is only getting more intense the further we go. – VMJ
    Helena, you’ve already made it known your stand on birthdays and holidays, but you’re in accordance with everything else. Why should your feelings towards the JW’s change based on discussing what you already don’t agree with? Part of following Jesus life course that you (me too) admire is also obeying the direct commands he mentioned too. I don’t understand why birthdays and holiday celebrations are constantly being linked to this. If your child walked up to you and randomly said “mommy I love you” would that not be more genuine than if someone told him to do it or if he was reminded by the date?

    Dancing and singing are not mentioned in the New Testament either – so what? Sports are not mentioned, and I don’t remember things like reading or bringing up children raised there either. So what of it again? – VMJ
    Depending on the context of certain scriptures sometimes they’re symbolic and sometimes they’re literal. The same command about abstaining from blood is literal, not being rebellious, promoting revelries and idolatry were part of this. Jesus didn’t condemn dancing, singing, or sports but he made it clear that our lives should revolve around Jehovah and abstain from what he hates. I think you may be basing that on the notion that Michael was forced to choose but as you know, there was way more to it than that. We are given many conscience based options on minor matters but some things by Jehovah and his son were not tolerated. As far as the bible and children we know how Jesus felt about them. He embraced children and there are scriptures regarding them in the New Testament like in Ephesians.

    This has been a sometimes heated discussion but I still love you. : )

  38. January 1, 2013 3:19 am

    …we wouldn’t deliberately disregard something that Jehovah and Jesus Christ had a zero tolerance for.

    Tatum, it is not my intention to discuss the practices of the Jehovah Witnesses/Orthodox/Catholic or any other churches. But claiming that Jesus had a zero tolerance for birthdays (or other celebrations) because they are not mentioned in the New Testament in my opinion is taking too much upon oneself. Dancing and singing are not mentioned in the New Testament either – so what? Sports are not mentioned, and I don’t remember things like playing musical instruments, reading or educating children raised there either. So what of it again?

    On the other hand some other very specific things are mentioned there – for example, when someone spoke of Jesus’s mother and brothers, Jesus said that those around him, his followers were his mother and brothers. And when a disciple wanted to bury his father before joining Jesus, Jesus told him “Let the dead bury their dead”. So what of it again? Should we do exactly as Jesus said (or didn’t say)? Or should we try to understand the inner meaning of his words and be guided by their spirit and not by their letter?

    The witness organization should not be compared to the Soviet Union any more than the American governments.

    Okay, it shouldn’t. I was just describing the feeling I suddenly had when I read your words. Unfortunately this feeling is only getting more intense the further we go.

    Helena, we were on the topic of pagan worship also known as idolatry. In his pursuit of helping the needy or the poor did he ever engage in that?

    From the spirit of Jesus’s words I think that if Jesus were around us he would never deny any child the right to celebrate his birthday. Moreover he would probably attend it and play together with the children.

    “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”Luke 17:2 American King James Version

    It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. English Standard Version (©2001)

    It were well for him if a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, rather than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble. American Standard Version

    It’s important to take into consideration what Jesus himself told us to keep doing in remembrance of him, which was his death. The sin and imperfection we suffer from our whole lives was repaid with it, that is what is important.

    Tatum, I personally regard as important the new commandment Jesus gave to the world. Love for God first, and love for each other second, which is the basis of all Law on the planet. Instead of following these Jesus’s commandments people prefer to celebrate what they have chosen to celebrate – Jesus’s birth, death and resurrection instead of his message. Okay, the first two thousand years have been spent celebrating all of the above. Isn’t it time to listen at last to what Jesus had to say to us?

    P.S. I would want to say Happy New Year to you, but am afraid you will regard it as pagan…

  39. January 1, 2013 1:55 am

    “I am working on the Gardener criteria to distinguish between false and true allegations of child sex abuse. I am making excerpts of the criteria (there are 30 of them). Should I send them in an email to you?”

    Aldebaran, not necessarily. If the excertps are not very long you can post them in the comments so that all of us can compare them with Jordan Chandler’s interview by ourselves. If you want me to make a comparison then yes, please send them to my email. If you want to make a comparison yourself, then I could give you the right of a contributor to the blog (or an author) and you could make your own post, if you prefer it that way. Please decide for yourself. You can post any time you want.

    Happy New Year, dear!

  40. January 1, 2013 1:22 am

    It is the year 2013 here!
    HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!

  41. Tatum Marie permalink
    January 1, 2013 1:20 am

    @VMJ

    What I missed was love, understanding and empathy for other people’s problems and personal needs. I miss the spontaneity and humor that come with readiness to break a rule in order to give a piece of your heart to someone in need of it.- VMJ

    It’s encouraged by witnesses to give to the needy, give to the poor, give to the sick, to raise their children in love – I don’t understand what you mean these are commandments in themselves. People in general (including witnesses) break rules all the time because of imperfection but we wouldn’t deliberately disregard something that Jehovah and Jesus Christ had a zero tolerance for.

    Not enough oxygen, not enough freedom to live, think, be just myself and go any further. Everything is decided for you once and for all. A system as closed and regulated, though basically correct, as the one in my own homeland in the Soviet times.- VMJ

    In the end, God created us all with free will and we are allowed to exercise those rights, witnesses too. The witness organization should not be compared to the Soviet Union any more than the American governments. Biblical practices and government affairs shouldn’t be mixing in the first place so really it’s not correct.

    When I read the New Testament I was amazed how often Jesus behaved in a spontaneous and unruly way in full view of all those hard-core pious Pharisees…. it had been left as a sacrifice to God (can you imagine anything like that now?), he didn’t think much of keeping to the company of thieves and fallen women.

    I understand your thoughts on this but those were not vital rules at the time. Jesus spontaneously reacted because the Pharisees (who were the common priest of that time) were misleading people and creating their own commands based on things that they were no longer obligated to follow. Those commands that they were ensuing were only the traditional ways of men. Not only that but Jesus wasn’t just keeping company with the thieves or fallen women but he was witnessing to them about Jehovah. These individuals deserved the right to know about him just like everyone else but the priests were shunning them.

    Why at some point in the history of civilization wasn’t it enough for the Creator to keep to the Old Testament only? – VMJ

    The main reason is because Jesus Christ ransom, giving his life- changed many rules for man such as animal sacrifices, Sabbath and so forth. Also, mankind was further away from the era of “perfection”. The perfect life that Adam lost only allowed humans from generation to generation become weaker in imperfection. Jehovah is aware and sensitive to this state of man.

    And though he himself said he didn’t come to destroy the Law, if it was necessary to break some rules in order to help others Jesus did not hesitate to do it. In short he placed love for people over everything else – except love for God.- VMJ

    Helena, we were on the topic of pagan worship also known as idolatry. In his pursuit of helping the needy or the poor did he ever engage in that?

    The people did not understand and killed the messenger. Some glorify his death, some glorify his birth, some glorify his resurrection but all fight each other not listening to the message he came with.- VMJ

    It’s important to take into consideration what Jesus himself told us to keep doing in remembrance of him, which was his death. The sin and imperfection we suffer from our whole lives was repaid with it, that is what is important.

  42. aldebaranredstar permalink
    December 31, 2012 10:35 pm

    Hi, VMJ, yes, Jesus was a revolutionary. I love how he referred to the pharisees as ‘whited sepulcres’–all clean and holy on the outside and full of an inner corruption. He did not mince words!!

    Re the birthdays, there was a Joseph Jackson Day celebration shown in Michael’s home movies, where Michael gave Joe a big boat to go fishing in. I got the impression that these ‘family days’ were a way to get around the prohibition on celebrating birthdays–but were these also done for the children or just the parents?

    I am working on the Gardener criteria to distinguish between false and true allegations of child sex abuse. I am making excerpts of the criteria (there are 30 of them). Should I send them in an email to you?

    Happy New Year, VMJ, and everyone!!!

  43. December 31, 2012 2:02 pm

    “Helena, did someone hack into your account?” – Tatum

    Probably someone has, but it was me who wrote that “pagan” comment, if this is what you asked about. I absolutely don’t want to offend you in any way and though my values in life are very close to those of Jehovah Witnesses there is something definitely missing there, at least for me.

    What I missed was love, understanding and empathy for other people’s problems and personal needs. I miss the spontaneity and humor that come with the readiness to break a rule in order to give a piece of your heart to someone in need of it.

    In short I missed the vigor of life in those words. Not enough oxygen, not enough freedom to live, think, be just myself and go any further. Everything is decided for you once and for all. The system is as closed and regulated, though basically correct, as the one in my own homeland in the Soviet times.

    When I read the New Testament I was amazed how often Jesus behaved in a spontaneous and unruly way in full view of all those hard-core pious Pharisees – he healed people when it was not allowed to, he let his hungry companions take food from the temple where it had been left as a sacrifice to God (can you imagine anything like that now?), he didn’t think much of keeping to the company of thieves and fallen women.

    There is only one thing which is common to all these different occurrences– love for people and understanding of their problems. Jesus risked a lot when he was breaking all those ancient religious rules. And though he himself said he didn’t come to destroy the Law, if it was necessary to break some rules in order to help others Jesus did not hesitate to do it. In short he placed love for people over everything else – except love for God. He called love for the Father the first commandment, and love for others the second, placing it immediately after the first one.

    Why at some point in the history of civilization wasn’t it enough for the Creator to keep to the Old Testament only? Because it is not enough to keep to all those rules, correct as they are – strict adherence to the letter of the law often brings about atrocities, done in the name of this very law. Without love many of these commandments do not work the way they should. Thus a New Covenant – new agreement between God and his people – came into being. A messenger was sent to proclaim it to the people:

    You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “And a second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

    The people did not understand and killed the messenger. Some glorify his death, some glorify his birth, some glorify his resurrection but all fight each other not listening to the message he came with. And it was a message from the Almighty, by the way.

  44. Tatum Marie permalink
    December 31, 2012 3:00 am

    @VMJ
    Helena, did someone hack into your account?

  45. December 30, 2012 9:33 pm

    “Honestly, if you saw major proof that the birthdays are rooted in pagan worship would this change your perspective about them?”

    Tatum, no, it would not. Honestly, the more you tell me of your JW beliefs the more pagan I feel and rejoice at being one. My understanding of living by God’s commandments is totally different from anything you’ve said here.

    There is one thing missing in your words and it is love.

    All I can say is that I am happy I am not a Jehovah Witness.

  46. Tatum Marie permalink
    December 30, 2012 4:48 am

    @VMJ
    Pagan or no pagan, but this way they were missing all the joy life could offer them. The father was a nasty beast who beat the children into utter pain, misery and humiliation, and the mother was not allowed to compensate even for a little bit of that cruely and harshness by arranging some small fun for the children. Is this love? -VMJ

    What Michael states about birthdays and Christmas is to be expected when you are simply following commands and don’t really know the true background or meaning. It’s also common to link the no partying claims to the witnesses when all he did was work constantly while he was one. Still, you’re linking the harshness of his father to Michael missing occasional holiday parties which I don’t see the connection. If he slaved in the business but still had a birthday every year would this be a childhood?

    And though it is a highly personal holiday, it is social too in the meaning that not celebrating a birthday for a child when all other parents do is cruel to say the very least. -VMJ

    Michael loved his mother dearly and she did not take part in such celebrations and was the main reason the family did not. Michael words: My mother’s wonderful. To me she’s perfection. He never referred to Katherine as cruel or mean. There’s also a part on the same special MJ Moments where he is throwing a gathering at Never land for his parents because they don’t celebrate – this kind of association is what he missed, VMJ. How can it be cruel if you’re not celebrating any of your children’s birthdays (or your own) and showering them with love every day? I thought it was cruel to be considered unimportant on my sibling’s birthday to be honest. Also, many children who are abused and molested by their parents shockingly have birthday parties.

    I don’t see a birthday as a “pagan” celebration. Every human coming into life is precious, and from the point of view of God every life is sacred – so the day when a new person entered life is worthy of celebration very much indeed. -VMJ

    Adolf Hitler was a human life which is a prime example of it not being birth itself that is worth celebrating annually but the life course and goods one does during their life. Realistically, the majority celebrates birthdays and holidays because it is tradition. My mother and her mother celebrated on the grounds of a lie which is why I celebrated it. Putting a stop to certain traditions is harder for an adult than for a child- if you pull a child to the side and ask them why they like Christmas or Birthdays the first thing they’ll mention usually are presents.

    This “social norm” was outrageous. Slavery went against the spirit of love and brotherhood promoted by Christ.-VMJ

    It was also against God’s command which meant more to Jesus than anything else. I would never want my children to practice something that God abhors. The beauty in the celebrations is what the devil has always used to make things appear attractive or enticing. It doesn’t matter if a gun is pink and diamond incrusted it’s still a dangerous weapon.

    No, but this again has to do with raising a child. It has nothing to do with religion or any specific church. -VMJ

    The bible laws and church commands tend to be two different things and the witnesses are the ones harshly criticized by them for following the bible. Showing a child that you appreciate his life is part of raising them with love. Michael wasn’t even raised in this manner by Joseph. The raising obligations of child rearing involves clothing, feeding and teaching the child about life which is what Joe felt he only had to do. Michael missed out on the emotional support.

    Honestly, if you saw major proof that the birthdays are rooted in pagan worship would this change your perspective about them?

  47. Tatum Marie permalink
    December 30, 2012 3:34 am

    @VMJ
    The essence of whole Jesus’s teaching was fighting formal observance of “love for God” adhered to by the Pharisees, who hypocritically observed the letter of the Law without minding whether it was doing good or harm to those around them.-VMJ

    The Pharisees went by the traditions of men but they held no value for the good works of God which is part of the basis of our discussions about the holidays, those are tradition.
    Matthew 15:1 – Then there came to Jesus from Jerusalem Pharisees and scribes, saying:
    2 “Why is it your disciples overstep the tradition of the men of former times? For example, they do not wash their hands when about to eat a meal.”
    3 In reply he said to them: “Why is it YOU also overstep the commandment of God because of YOUR tradition?
    – New World Translation

    Do you really think that Jesus meant to do something against his father’s will in the process of doing something good? What if Jesus would have thought about the great deeds he could do for the world when Satan offered him the governments. (Luke 4:5-7) That’s a dangerous line of thinking.

    Jesus put emphasis on commemorating his death. If annually celebrating our births was so significance wouldn’t there had been some kind of indication in the bible by anyone? The bible only speaks of pagan worshipers celebrating their birthdays. Even if you go back to the early day Christians, they did not celebrate theirs because the custom originally rooted from spiritism.

    So giving a little bit of joy to a child by celebrating his birthday, especially if the kid sees nothing but work day and night, is something which Jesus would welcome very much. -VMJ

    So the child should not be rewarded constantly for working or being good throughout the year, if anything? The stand on birthdays is only how many see these celebrations in the modern world, because of fun and tradition – just like individuals who support the promotion of the confederate flag only see partying and drinking. Does this make everyone who carries it racist? Not necessarily, but the fact is many racist did carry it in the past and some to this day. There is no question that it is still a racist tradition, despite the argument that it is culture only. I know being a person of color myself, I wouldn’t want any part in it whether it was 100 or 200 years from now, not that I could live that long.

  48. December 30, 2012 2:19 am

    @VMJ

    Jehovah’s name in many translations would be at Psa 83:18, maybe they felt the need to include it at least once. The Greeks were skeptical about using the name because they felt it was too holy, I take it they skipped the scriptures where Jehovah required his people to use it.

  49. December 29, 2012 5:53 pm

    “the child’s good works and accomplishments throughout their life is what should be celebrated.” – Tatum

    This is just part of raising a child. But whether the JWs encourage it or not, this was clearly not part of Michael’s upbringing. I have no doubts that Katherine was proud of her children and would have willingly celebrated their accomplishments but she could never stand up to her beastly husband. So in the circumstances in which Michael and his siblings were raised the result was that the children were devoid of ALL joy. A totally unhappy childhood with not a single ray of light and sun in it.

    Older boys had at least the benefit of going to school and having some social activities there, while Michael as the youngest had to work and bear adult responsibilities totally unnatural for a child of that young age. This is why this crooked “upbringing” had its heaviest toll on the youngest boys – Michael (and Randy).

    “If a child acts horribly on a regular basis, should he be showered with gifts just because it’s Dec 25?”

    No, but this again has to do with raising a child. It has nothing to do with religion or any specific holiday.

    ”It is well documented that these holidays are pagan, but because it’s the social norm it’s okay?”

    I don’t see a birthday as a “pagan” celebration. Every human being coming into life is precious, and from the point of view of God every life is sacred – so the day when a new person entered life is worthy of celebration very much indeed.

    People realize it without looking up any religious textbooks. It is simply natural that parents arrange a celebration for their child on his birthday marking the end of one year and beginning a new one – will new hopes, new goals, new expectations and wishes for a child.

    And though it is a highly personal holiday, it is social too in the meaning that not celebrating a birthday for a child when all others do is cruel to say the very least. If the parents lived in the woods and did not associate with anyone, the children would not even know about a possibility of such a celebration. But if they live in a society the parents should understand what effect deprivation of this personal holiday will have on their children. And the effect will always be a highly negative one.

    If you look at orphans all the harm of it will probably become clearer. Orphans often do not have birthday celebrations either or even if they do the event turns into a mere formality. Who cares whether they have become one year older? I mean who really cares about it? And who cares that on this particular day this particular boy or girl was born? Not paying attention to his birthday conveys to the child that his life is not that important and if he had not been born no one would have cared or noticed it anyway. It devalues the kid in his own eyes.

    Essentially it is all about love.

    “For centuries many Europeans and Americans deemed that blacks were unequal, completely against what the bible claimed – but still, it was considered normal.”

    This “social norm” was outrageous. Slavery went against the spirit of love and brotherhood promoted by Christ. Whether considered “norm” or not it was not based on love, which is the essence of Jesus’s teaching (even if someone finds one sentence to the opposite in the Apostle Paul’s letters).

    By the way from the point of view of love or lack of it slavery and forced deprivation of a child of his birthday are standing in one row (sorry I had to say it).

    Christians should keep to the spirit of Jesus’s words and not to what the church made of them. If you look at the practices of various Christian churches at different times your hair will stand on end seeing all the injustice and atrocities they allowed themselves.

    I’ll tell you one thing. For centuries our beautiful Russian Orthodox church looked at the 20 million of our purely white population as slaves (serfs) too and taught that this was the law which should never be broken. The aristocracy who “owned” serfs numbered only 100 thousand and the church itself was the biggest serf-owner. The life of serfs was no better than that of slaves. Serfdom was finally abandoned here in 1861 only, and slavery in the US abandoned two years later, as far as I know.

    I will never forgive our church for its support of serfdom for several centuries (which is why it lasted so long), unless they repent and make a public apology for what they did in the past the way the Catholic church apologized for the inquisition. And though there are very many really holy people in our church the non-acceptance of its past mistakes and restoration of its practices the way it was in the 19th century is what makes me stay away from the official church now.

  50. December 29, 2012 3:05 pm

    “Michael and his brothers were missing way more out of life than a pagan holiday, they didn’t have any emotional guidance from their father.” – Tatum

    Pagan or no pagan, but this way they were missing ALL the joy life could offer them. The father was a nasty beast who beat the children into utter pain, misery and humiliation, and the mother was not allowed to compensate even for a little bit of that cruely and harshness by arranging some small fun for the children. Is this love?

    I would not be speaking about Christmases and birthdays if Michael himself had not been speaking about them and so often too. Clearly deprivation of all this joy was a big trauma for him. It is also clear that he did not want any of it for his own children. To me this is a big sign that Michael regarded it as wrong. He said that his childhood was not normal:

    • “My childhood was completely taken away from me. There was no Christmas, there was no birthdays, it was not a normal childhood”.

    This video, Funny Moments in MJ’s life, beginning with 2.42 shows Michael Jackson’s first Christmas in the company of Elizabeth Taylor. Michael says that he felt guilty the first time he celebrated it. Afterwards he even went crying into the bathroom as if he did something wrong “because he was raised to never celebrate it”.

    Crying at the age of 30 or more because he received a Christmas gift he was even wary to open? This was how fearful he was of breaking the rules imposed on him in his childhood! He cried because he thought that he was breaking the rules of God – and this is only a fir tree and the gifts… and some think that he could harm a child? He would have died then and there at a mere thought of it!

    Every person enters adult life with a good deal of fears, apprehension and anxiety, but the fear of not being able to have a fir tree and gifts on Christmas looks to me like a totally unnecessary one, if you understand what I mean. There is nothing wrong with the holiday itself, no matter what its origin is – it does not teach anyone any harm, and there is much love behind it.

    Who said that we are supposed to celebrate only religious holidays? Thanksgiving – is it pagan, social, religious or what? And weddings? Oh my God! As far as I remember Jesus attended weddings too, as he once turned water into wine when the hosts ran out of wine for the guests. And he himself also drank wine.

    Frankly, when I read about Jesus I see a normal human being with lots of love and understanding for others, but totally lacking hypocrisy and pretense and getting angry when he saw it in others.

  51. December 29, 2012 2:20 pm

    “When Jesus was on the earth he did not put any emphasis on his birth or the birth others.”

    Tatum, this is a very formal argument. If Jesus didn’t mention something it does not mean that it should be avoided in our life. Jesus talked about things that were points of controversy among Jews at the time – for example, can people heal on the Sabbath? The religious Law did not allow to work on that day (I hear that even now switching the light in a room is not allowed for the devout Jews as it is also considered “work”).

    And what did Jesus do? First he was angry with the Pharisees for not allowing to heal on the Sabbath, and secondly, he did heal the man’s hand though by doing it he was breaking the Law. For Jesus a good deed was much more important than a formal observance of the letter of the law:

    Mark 3:1-6
    Jesus Heals on the Sabbath

    3 Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2 Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3 Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”

    4 Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.

    5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

    The essence of whole Jesus’s teaching was fighting formal observance of “love for God” adhered to by the Pharisees, who hypocritically observed the letter of the religious Law without minding whether it was doing good or harm. Jesus taught to see God in other human beings and seeing good done to others as the good done to God himself.

    So giving a little bit of joy to a child by celebrating his birthday, especially if the kid sees nothing but work day and night, is something which Jesus would welcome very much. It is well within the spirit of everything Jesus said and did, and not recognizing it means siding not with him but with modern-day Pharisees. I am not saying that modern-day Pharisees are necessarily among the JWs only – no, they are found everywhere, in all churches, among those who live by the letter of the religious law, but not by its spirit.

  52. December 29, 2012 1:03 pm

    “Basically there are many translations of the Bible that contain the name Jehovah in it”

    Ettelra, I’ve looked up all the translations available to me and all of them have the name of God replaced by The Lord, The Almighty, the Creator. However Wiki says that the Hebrew name יְהֹוָה appears 6,518 times in the traditional Masoretic Text (the Jewish Bible in Hebrew).

    יְהֹוָה is pronounced as “YHVH”.

    Very interesting. I hope that the heavens wouldn’t mind my writing the name here. It isn’t for misusing it – it is with much love for our Father and trust that He will understand.

  53. Tatum Marie permalink
    December 29, 2012 2:37 am

    @VMJ,
    So Christmas is solely a church holiday -VMJ
    When Jesus was on the earth he did not put any emphasis on his birth or the birth others. Hypothetically, if Christmas was solely a church holiday, the initiative behind it would still be misleading. The combination of clean and dirty (Sullivan’s book) always turns out to be dirty, VMJ. Michael and his brothers were missing way more out of life than a pagan holiday, they didn’t have any emotional guidance from their father.

    Ecclesiastes 7:1 – A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.
    Witnesses appreciate life and take part in baby showers and things of that nature but the child’s good works and accomplishments throughout their life is what should be celebrated. If a child acts horribly on a regular basis, should he be showered with gifts just because it’s Dec 25?

    And again it is a social holiday – if all others didn’t celebrate it, it would be OK if yours is not celebrated either. But when all other parents celebrate birthdays of their children and your birthday is absolutely nothing for your parents (or anyone at all) it hurts, it really hurts. It makes you feel unnecessary, a sort of an outcast, whose life is not even worth celebration (while everyone else’s is). -VMJ

    This thought is perplexing to me because it seems like your saying that everyone should live by the social norms. It is well documented that these holidays are pagan, but because it’s the social norm it’s okay? For centuries many Europeans and Americans deemed that blacks were unequal, completely against what the bible claimed – but still, it was considered normal.

    Michael felt that he was special only to his mother (and this is why he was so attached to her) while no one else really needed him, except only for earning money. -VMJ

    Your right, Michael speaks very highly of his mother which is why the pagan celebrations had nothing to do with his lack of a childhood and disconnection with his father. Katherine was the only one in the Jackson family who was a practicing Jehovah’s Witness. If the argument is the importance of showing a child love, why is it necessary to insert the holidays when the fun activities could be done any day and not under compulsion?

  54. December 29, 2012 2:24 am

    No problem :) There are different versions of the Bible, in the King James version, his name was taken out of that version of the Bible (except for in two scriptures). Witnesses use the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, which has his name in it. Basically there are many translations of the Bible that contain the name Jehovah in it. Here are a couple links if you would like to know more…I’m afraid of describing this the wrong way :/ http://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/gods-name/

    http://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/wp20080801/name-in-new-testament/

    *Not trying to force my beliefs on anyone, just trying to help you understand JW views… :)

  55. December 28, 2012 8:43 pm

    “Sweden is the least religous country in the world. Sweden and the Netherlands.”

    Are you taking pride in it or what? We have already been where you are now. The Soviet Union was even less religious than Sweden and the Netherlands. Religion was prohibited.

    You are talking to a post-atheist.

  56. December 28, 2012 8:31 pm

    “Here’s a little more insight on the history of Christmas celebrations and also how the Bible (as we know it) came into existence. -Enjoy:”

    Dee-Dee, there is nothing to enjoy in what you’ve written. In its essence it is true, however as in everything else it is the tone and details which matter most.

    I for one am also unhappy that the Nicaea Council selected only four Gospels out of many existing in the 4th century. Most of them were equal in their force and credibitility as all of them sprang from oral (not written) tradition of passing over the word of the first Apostles. Their sayings began to be put down on paper at the end of the 1st century AC only and resulted in dozens, if not hundreds of versions.

    The fact that the bishops selected only four is not that bad as it brought some uniformity into the Christian teaching but the worst part of it was that they decided to extinguish all the other Gospels, which was a totally unforgivable thing to do. Those gospels had details and Jesus’s words which people could not easily understand at the time and the church leaders took them away not to confuse their flock. If we had these texts now we would be able to understand Jesus’s words much deeper than at the moment.

    Fortunately some of those ancient texts were discovered in Egypt in 1945 (Nag Hammadi Manuscripts) including Gospel of Philip and Gospel of Thomas. Reading them is a rare treat because you realize that with the four Gospels we have we don’t know even a fraction of what Jesus was teaching to his desciples and real understanding of his words is still awaiting us.

    The churches will naturally object as they have their own traditions to preserve, but those with an open mind can still learn even from the scarce fragments found. Here is the Gospel of Thomas with a commentary: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/thomas/

    Take this saying for example. You can see why the church did not like it – it sets totally different priorities for a follower of Christ:

    “Jesus says to them: “When you fast, you will beget sin for yourselves; when you pray, you will be condemned; when you give alms, you will do evil to your souls! when you enter any land and travel over the country, when you are welcomed eat what is put before you; those who are ill in those places, heal them. For what enters into your mouth will not defile you, but what comes out of your mouth, it is that which will defile you!”

    Some of the commentaries are illuminating:

    - The ego has the capacity to turn any form of piety or religious ritual into an idol. The ego never heals.

    - Religious practices and taboos are part of the meaningless illusion of the world. Remember that what you do to another you have done to yourself and God. Everything that you do is part of your ongoing prayer dialogue with God.

    - We speak from the abundance of what is in our hearts. It isn’t what we eat or abstain from eating or doing publicly that defiles us, but that which is in our hearts and proceeds from our mouths that defiles us.

    - Be strong in the material world, but don’t let it suck you in. Act like the noble spirit you are at all times.

    Let me offer my own simple and spontaneous interpretation too – No matter how pious we try to be, it is our words said to offend, ridicule or lie which will really condemn us.

  57. December 28, 2012 7:06 pm

    “At any rate, what I said a few days ago had NO PERSONAL ATTACKS whatsoever. But after I wrote out my opinion and nothing to violate any rules of this forum, a certain person (or two) started attacking ME!!” - Dee-Dee

    I’ve noticed a funny thing. Those who attack most complain about others attacking them. What makes people so aggressive?

    But I don’t hang out on MJ websites, I’m not that obsessed with MJ. You can have your forum and your obsessions”

    Dee-dee, thank you. You’ve said all we needed to know about you. And this is not a forum, it is a blog with me as its main author and administrator.

  58. DeeDee permalink
    December 28, 2012 4:56 pm

    I think MJ was starting to realize there’s so much more than what he had been taught as a child once he started traveling the world. Here’s a little more insight on the history of Christmas celebrations and also how the Bible (as we know it) came into existence. -Enjoy:

    “In big parts of northern Europe, (Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and Austria,) Christmas is celebrated on the 24th. It’s mainly tradition but it has some bearing in both catholic and protestant celebrations. The 25th is a day of eating leftovers. The swedish julbord is made up of buried salmon, meatballs, potatoes, sausages of all kinds, reindeer, moose(elk?) Älg, oven grilled ham…

    Sweden is the least religous country in the world. Sweden and the Netherlands.

    “Christmas” was celebrated here in Sweden long before Christianity came here around the year 1000. Did you know that the “Christmas” tree is a tradition from Germany and the red balls we hang in the tree today symbolizes pieces of meat?”

    Did you know that Constantine the Great was the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity? He needed a single canon to be agreed upon by the Christian leaders to help him unify the remains of the Empire. Until then the Christian leaders couldn’t decide which books should be considered “holy” and thus “The Word of God” and which ones would be excluded and not considered “The Word of God”.

    He offered the various Church leaders money to agree upon a single canon that would be used by all Christians as the word of God. The Church leaders gathered together at the Council of Nicaea and voted the “Word of God” into existence. Constantine ordered and financed 50 parchment copies of the new “holy scriptures”. It seems with the financial element added to the picture, the Church fathers were able to overcome their differences and finally agree which “holy” books would stay and which would go.

    King James commissioned a new translation in the 1600’s. the original was written in the Greek of the 1st Century: a dialect that no longer exists in spoken form. There were, and still are, no original texts to translate. The oldest manuscripts were written down hundreds of years after the last apostle died. There are thousands of these old manuscripts, with no two alike. They didn’t use them anyway…they edited previous translations to create a version their king and Parliament would approve.

    Basically, 21st Century Christians believe the “Word of God” is a book edited in the 17th century from 16th century translations of thousands of contradictory copies of 4th Century scrolls that claim to be copies of lost letters written in the 1st Century. No wonder they ask you to accept everything on blind faith!

    Factual information & History can be found here: http://www.antiochian.org/1110388342

  59. DeeDee permalink
    December 28, 2012 4:39 pm

    @Vindicatemj (Helena) – When I posted here it was only because I had strong views about how this religion was intertwined with MJ’s story. I expressed those opinions with no personal attacks against ANYONE – only my own disgust of a religion that lured me in to be baptized at the age of 12.had me brainwashed for so many years. And even though I was finally able to escape from that grip of mantra as an adult, members of my family did not – and it’s very sad for me. I was a baptized witness for only about 6 years, but that was a very important part of my life. I posted from my own experiences and how it relates to this particular article and didn’t deserve to be attacked the way I was. But I’ll clear this up now and hopefully put this all to rest once and for all.

    When I later heard how certain family members and even my grandparents who are devout JWs went to a MJ concert, i was shocked. I’m talking grandparents who lived the Lawrence Welk era and shut out any kind of MTV music of any kind because of their religious convictions. This was not too long after he was highly criticized by many witnesses for his music, dancing and public image. But once his fame and fortune grew, it seemed many witnesses were suddenly drawn to him just because they saw him as another witness and felt a certain kinship. From my own experience I saw how he was openly condemned one minute, then strangely embraced the next. I’m talking about the actions of many JW individuals, not the organization itself necessarily. But these people included elders, overseers and even people thought to be of the 144,000. How do I know this? Because MY OWN FAMILY includes members who are/were elders and those claiming to be part of the 144,000 Remnant class.

    At any rate, what I said a few days ago had NO PERSONAL ATTACKS whatsoever. Nor did I say anything at all against MJ, because I happen to respect MJ and feel he got a raw deal because of the way this religion played on his life, for one thing. But that’s only a small part of the trials & attacks that MJ had to endure.

    But after I wrote out my opinion and nothing to violate any rules of this forum, a certain person (or two) started attacking ME!! A few of you started making personal jabs at me just because you didn’t like what I had to say. I feel I had every right to defend myself, and that included retaliation.

    But I don’t hang out on MJ websites, I’m not that obsessed with MJ. I’ve got much better things to do, this was just an article I happened to read and then I commented. I was ready to go away when I was side-swiped by other forum members – but the reasons for their hatefulness toward me was because of their association with the JW religion. Now THAT’s and OXYMORON for you. You can have your forum and your obsessions, I’ve got much better things to do with my time than sit here from day to day pouring over MJ’s life as if it were some kind of bible to follow. I would think that some of you are supposed to be pouring over every word of the Watchtower for your next meeting instead of doing this. And that’s exactly what the elders preach to you as well – I know this for a fact. Good Luck with that! And Happy New Year, Y’ALL! :D

  60. December 28, 2012 4:35 pm

    “it’s the acknowledgement of the false sun gods (Santa) on Dec. 25 or the fertility goddess (Easter Bunny) in Spring plus the rituals (lighted trees and placing presents underneath, dying eggs, birthday cake with candles) associated with them. The connection to these days with Jesus Christ was only added in later to incorporate the pagan practices into Christianity.”

    Tatum, as regards no connection of December 25 (or Jan.7 according to our Orthodox church) to Jesus Christ you are absolutely right. Jesus has nothing to do with the date – in fact, no one knows when Jesus was born, though there are signs that he was born at the end of summer.

    End of December was a very popular holiday period dating back to some 2000 years before Christ, and it was most probably celebrated due to the winter solstice – the sun returning and the day growing again. Initially it was a Zoroastrian (ancient Persian, prior to Islam) celebration, which later turned into a celebration of Mitra (one of Zoroastrian dieties). Romans accepted it as their deity and many years after Jesus died Mitra was a big, really big rival to him in popularity.

    Mitra holiday was so popular that the Christian church could not eradicate it by simply forbidding it, so closer to the 4th century the church renamed it into Christ’s birthday killing two birds with one stone – those who celebrated Mitra and Christ started celebrating the holiday together.

    So Christmas is solely a church holiday, and those who belong to the Christian church celebrate it because the church tells them to. However essentially Christmas remains an old “pagan” holiday connected with the joy of the day growing and more light and sun coming into people’s lives. Now it is more of a social event with families getting together, gifts exchanged, the fun of a fir tree decoration, and all sorts of miracles created by people themselves for their children with the help of adult fairy characters like Santa, etc.

    It was this social event that Michael and the other children were missing – everyone around them was celebrating it and they were “out” of it again, in the same way they were out of every other holiday in their life.

    As regards birthdays they are necessary as personal holidays. You can celebrate it in whatever way you like – as a holiday of father, mother and child for example – but essentially it is a celebration of a new human being coming into life and the joy of it for the parents and child himself. If there is no celebration, symbolically it means that the child’s arrival into this life is nothing special and not important.

    And again it is a social holiday – if all others didn’t celebrate it, it would be OK if yours is not celebrated either. But when all other parents celebrate birthdays of their chidren and your birthday is absolutely nothing for your parents (or anyone at all) it hurts, it really hurts. It makes you feel unnecessary, a sort of an outcast, whose life is not even worth celebration (while everyone else’s is).

    Everyone needs to know that he is loved and is necessary to someone. Michael felt that he was special only to his mother (and this is why he was so attached to her) while no one else really needed him, except only for earning money. Hence the question with which he approached each person who got closer to him – do you love me for what I am? Would you love me if I were not famous and rich? Are you capable to love me with my big nose, patches of white on my skin, my pimples, my sudden baldness, and also for what I think, and how I feel about this and that in life? And will you love me if I lose all my fame and riches and remain just who I am?

    Michael’s children loved him that way – accepting him without knowing about his fame, his music, his money. They loved him the way he was, and this is what Michael was expecting of his own parents. And though his mother showed him in some way that she did love him, he knew that his father would “drop him like a hot potato” if he didn’t succeed – and this feeling of rejection is what Michael had to live with all his life.

    I think that non-celebration of his birthday was only aggravating this feeling of being not really needed, though comparing it with all the rest of what he went through it was a small matter. However if it had been allowed to him this small matter would have made him more confident of himself and less vulnerable in life. Those who feel that that are not needed by anyone are extremely lonely.

  61. December 28, 2012 5:25 am

    @vmj
    But Michael himself used to say again and again and with great regret each time, that they had no Christmases and no birthdays – and even when he grew up the thought of it still hurt him. – VMJ

    At the same time, it’s not coming up as a witness that Michael regrets because he always spoke highly of his mother and how he was trained by her as a youth. It’s mainly about the strenuous work he had to endure with no childhood by his father and Motown. I don’t think Michael would have felt deprived if he had gotten a chance to hang around other children and spend time with his father. Michael’s words about holidays is the reason why I have to conclude that he never came into accurate knowledge about them – due to Joe displaying a do what your told and don’t ask questions nature.

    Why? Who decided that these children should be deprived of these small joys? They are part of any person’s childhood – so what right did some adult men and women have to snatch it away from the child? – VMJ

    It wasn’t the witnesses VMJ because they believe sternly that parents should not irritate their children or harshly discipline them. Your thoughts on the holidays are felt only because you celebrate them like I did for years. It’s simple when one can disassociate the celebration of the actual holidays from the fun practices associated with them.

    It’s not the fun activities performed during these times (lights, family, presents, giving, painting or dying) that the bible condemns, in fact witnesses encourage these practices, but it’s the acknowledgement of the false sun gods (Santa) on Dec. 25 or the fertility goddess (Easter Bunny) in Spring plus the rituals (lighted trees and placing presents underneath, dying eggs, birthday cake with candles) associated with them. The connection to these days with Jesus Christ was only added in later to incorporate the pagan practices into Christianity.

    Honestly, what does Santa or reindeers have to do with the birth of Jesus Christ? The same question can be asked about the connection of an egg or rabbit to his death. Also, if birth were so significant (outside of keeping age and records) wouldn’t there have been a notable celebration in the bible of Jesus’s birth? Did he tell us to celebrate his or anyone else’s? Am I the source behind my own birth? I do believe it was Michael that told Rodney Jerkins that instead of celebrating himself he should celebrate his mother on his birthday.

    The holidays and birthday celebrations are only celebrated now because they are tradition but the origin and rituals remain the same. When I began to study a long time ago it became apparent that the witnesses weren’t robotic or brainwashed, I had been. Is it really fair to label a parent who gives their children love and gifts all year round as a depriver just because they refrain from it one or two days out of the year?

  62. December 28, 2012 4:54 am

    @Dee dee
    And how can anyone even believe YOU? For someone who claims to be such a devout member of the JW religion, you sure do seem to have quite an affinity for MJ, even to the point of identifying your own self portrait with a picture of him. So, who is the one “trying to turn Michael’s life into their own”, hmmmm? Aren’t you supposed to follow the scripture LITERALLY when it says do not place any god above the Jehovah? And no IDOLATRY? And don’t JW’s frown upon your very participation in these online chats to begin with?? Sounds like maybe YOU are the one lying about your so-called convictions.

    Lol. This is comical. You have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about and you’ve just exposed more ignorance proving what I’ve thought all along, that you never were a real baptized witness. Witnesses are supposed to speak truth in all matters and educate themselves on facts so being here is not idolizing Michael. In case you haven’t noticed there are witnesses on other Michael Jackson sites and blogs so do I think they’re against it? Most likely No!

    It doesn’t matter what you are writing about your claims are not accurate. Michael had other weaknesses (women) of the flesh, he could‘ve continued his music but that wasn’t the only issue which is why he felt the need to disassociated himself. I’m not baptized but I know some who were disfellowshipped that chose to leave because of their lifestyles. They don’t harbor resentment towards the JW’s and believe the teachings. It’s amazing how a person who has no personal tying with Jehovah’s witnesses can still refute your claims. I really don’t have to say anything else, so you don’t have to worry about other responses – have fun lying.

  63. December 27, 2012 7:25 pm

    For the attention of Dee-Dee, Tatum and all the rest of us:

    “And that’s what innocence is. It’s simple and trusting like a child, not judgmental and committed to one narrow point of view. If you are locked into a pattern of thinking and responding, your creativity gets blocked. You miss the freshness and magic of the moment. Learn to be innocent again, and that freshness never fades.”

    Michael Jackson

  64. December 27, 2012 5:24 pm

    “You are laughable, Tatum! And you have a great deal to learn about diversity and how to sway others to your way of thinking. I’ll bet you aren’t very successful as a publisher or pioneer – got many bible-studies going?”

    Dee-Dee, this won’t do. It isn’t the first time this style is being promoted here, and each time it makes me wince. All of us can make mistakes, be brainwashed or be ignorant of some things. In fact it is part of every person’s evolution. But why not discuss the ideas instead of going personal? Our ultimate goal is to learn the truth in every aspect concerning Michael, so why not try to reach for it without personal insults?

    It is even against our rules here. We reserve stinging criticism for Michael’s haters only, and only in case they start playing games with us. You know, that kind of a game when they know the truth about MJ already but pretend that they don’t. The Diane Dimond type or some clowns from the Topix site who have turned hate into their profession. When I see this kind of people here I can’t resist playing a couple of tricks on them too (our rules warn them of it, so they know what they are in for).

    But the majority of people do not deserve this kind of attitude. Please don’t. Look at Dr. Steven Shafer and the way he asserted the truth during Conrad Murray’s trial – he didn’t say a single bad word about his opponent Dr. White, but everyone understood who was the “bad guy” twisting the truth. Dr. Shafer never reproached him for it – he simply looked distressed at seeing Dr. White falling that low.

  65. December 27, 2012 4:37 pm

    “If one attended a kingdom hall in Europe and went to America or wherever – the culture will change but the message and beliefs would not. To be honest, the churches can’t even refer to themselves as an organization because they’re not organized.”

    Tatum, the “organization” is just a word I used for lack of a better one. And of course the people who deprived Michael of his childhood were primarily his father and those who made the boys work for peanuts. But Michael himself used to say it again and again and with great sadness each time, that they had no Christmases and no birthdays – and even when he grew up the thought of it still hurt him. He began celebrating Christmas and birthdays when he became older, but at a later age it is not that much fun. He wanted them when he was small and when these days are anticipated by a child like magic, starting with decoration of a fir tree, going to bed waiting for miracles to take place at night and getting up early in the morning to see what Santa Claus has brought you.

    When you are a grown-up it is not the same – reliving what was lost in childhood is simply impossible.

    I realized how important all this magic is for a child when reading about orphans. In some orphanages they don’t celebrate birthdays on the day of the birthday – they do it just once a week, collectively, with the child not singled out of the crowd again. And in some institutions they don’t celebrate birthdays at all (what for?), so even these small private celebrations are taken away from them, thus leaving absolutely no personal space for these children. Lack of personal space – this is what hurts so much.

    Just like those orphans Michael and his siblings never celebrated birthdays. Why?! Who decided that these children should be deprived of these small joys? These joys are part of any person’s childhood – so what right did some adult men and women have to snatch them away from a child?

    I understand and support the Jehovah Witnesses’ views, but the rules about no celebrations are too unkind to children and are ridiculous even from the point of view of the bible – nowhere does the bible say that children should not have their birthdays celebrated. It is a formula invented by humans and not by the heavens.

  66. DeeDee permalink
    December 27, 2012 12:46 pm

    By the way Tatum (to add to what I’ve already posted below) – you have turned-around much of what I’ve said here. Don’t even try to summarize the things I’ve posted as my opinions, because you have twisted just about everything I’ve said all around to something unrecognizable. This forum is about an article written that pertains to MJ’s involvement with the JWs. THAT’s what I was writing about, my opinions about it and how I can relate to some of it from my own experiences. I never said MJ turned away from JW religion, I merely said that they gave him an ultimatum to leave his career (basically) and devote his whole life and all his time to worshipping and praising Jehovah. They didn’t realize that MJ was able to do both, really. And even though he was not formally disfellowshipped, MJ was certainly put in the outer circle because of his career. I’m sure he was no longer able to become a Ministerial Servant or even an elder if he wanted to. He probably wasn’t even allowed to give talks. It sounds like he was Publicly Reproved, which is the next step down (less severe) from being disfellowshipped. Still, the pain felt by either form of “shunning” are quite similar. How would YOU even know unless you’ve been there? So yes, I CAN relate and express my opinion to what I think he probably felt. If you don’t like it….don’t read my posts.

    My other point was about how many JWs then were so ready to claim MJ as one of their own (the opposite of Public Reproval) after he became more and more famous. And yes, I DO feel this was contradicting their own initial judgements about Michael’s profession – because so many JWs seemed to LOVE him even more for his fame, fortune and glory – much like yourself. And this is against what JWs preach about what the bible teaches. That’s my firm opinion, and if you don’t like it….tough.

  67. DeeDee permalink
    December 27, 2012 12:18 pm

    @Tatum Marie MJ – you are probably one of the most confused of all the posters here. I don’t really care if you believe me or not, because I know what I said about my background is 100% true. What you believe is irrelevant, even when it comes to what or how you worship. And how can anyone even believe YOU? For someone who claims to be such a devout member of the JW religion, you sure do seem to have quite an affinity for MJ, even to the point of identifying your own self portrait with a picture of him. So, who is the one “trying to turn Michael’s life into their own”, hmmmm? Aren’t you supposed to follow the scripture LITERALLY when it says do not place any god above the Jehovah? And no IDOLATRY? And don’t JW’s frown upon your very participation in these online chats to begin with?? Sounds like maybe YOU are the one lying about your so-called convictions.

    You didn’t even read what I’ve said, apparently – because I’ve made it very clear that I have great respect for Michael, love his music, his personality and am opposed to all the accusations against him – yet still you make comments as if I don’t appreciate him as an artist or a man. And I can relate with what he went through in his life by being brainwashed since birth and then painfully shunned by the very religion that he identified with. And to watch everyone there he held dear in his life – all he had ever known up to that point – turn their backs on him in the name of “spirituality” just because of something relatively trivial by most standards. (certainly not a major offense against anyone.) THAT was what I was talking about, but you don’t see ME idolizing him by having his picture with MY name on it. (For others who may have MJ’s pic as your avatar as well, I do not condemn you and I even understand, it’s just ironic when it’s someone who has the nerve to criticize others & make personal attacks the way Tatum Marie has against me.)

    And if you can’t accept another person’s point of view expressing how they feel on a public chat forum designed for ALL to be free to respectfully express what this means to them, then you are even more “brainwashed” than I initially thought. Yes, you have become JUST LIKE the organization you defend, while still contradicting the teachings by idolizing Michael Jackson and placing a picture of him as YOUR identity. You are laughable, Tatum! And you have a great deal to learn about diversity and how to sway others to your way of thinking. I’ll bet you aren’t very successful as a publisher or pioneer – got many bible-studies going? Even I had two bible-studies when I was in grade school that ended up converting one of them into adulthood. It was the only way I could associate and have them as friends, so I started a study with them so we could visit each other’s homes & have pajama parties. One of them even accompanied my up on the platform for a talk I gave about “LISTENING” – and that was back when the congregation was still allowed to applause….a very long time ago.

    Tatum, don’t bother replying to my posts anymore – just put me on ignore or don’t even bother reading what I may say. You clearly don’t know how to deal with others in public forums who may have opposing views without throwing personal jabs at them. Nobody else has been so rude here, even those who clearly love the teachings of the JW religion, like members of my own family do. I LOVE my family very much, so I do not look down upon them for their devotion to “Jehovah”…I am just saddened they are led to do things that are actually UN-christian and against what the bible really teaches…in my opinion. And I have a RIGHT to my opinion too whether you like it or not.

  68. Tatum Marie permalink
    December 27, 2012 8:08 am

    @VMJ
    The reason I wrote that to Dee dee was because she makes the witnesses seem like some kind of sect or liars of the bible and I’ve never heard Michael talk like that. In this case, I can answer for the JW’s because everything they believe is bible based and not only that but they have unity among themselves worldwide.

    If one attended a kingdom hall in Europe and went to America or wherever – the culture will change but the message and beliefs would not. I’ve traveled all over and went to many churches coming up and they were all different. To be honest, the churches can’t even refer to themselves as an organization because they’re not organized.

    He saw nothing but constant work since a very young age and carried a huge burden on his shoulders as the main bread-winner. But in addition to all that he and the other children never had a chance to get together and celebrate each other’s birthdays. – VMJ
    Michael didn’t have a childhood in general, no parks, parties – nothing. I don’t think he ever came into an accurate knowledge about why he wasn’t celebrating the holidays but in the same respect everything that’s done on the holidays such as gift giving, partying, eating sweets and spending time with the family can be done anytime.

    Stevie Wonder had more of a normal childhood because he had people behind him that wouldn’t stand for anything else. The missing childhood craving was due to Joe Jackson, (who was not a witness) Motown and other greedy moguls who sat back and slaved those children instead of giving them opportunities to be children.

  69. December 27, 2012 1:49 am

    “Michael never turned against the organization, maybe that’s why they still embraced him.” – Tatum

    Tatum, here is just a short note about the “organization”. You are absolutely not to answer for the “organization” of course, so please try to regard my words non-personally please – I simply can’t help saying it.

    When churches become “organizations” they behave more like beaurocratic institutions imposing on people their rules (sometimes preposterous) and making everyone obey them, often despite their will. It is my deep conviction that belief in God should not be imposed on people and many of those obligatory rules only stand in the way to true belief in God. In some cases the “rules” may be even ruinous, like they were for Michael.

    The Jackson boys were virtually orphans – they suffered from parental deprivation and a normal family life and it was only the difference in age which helped the elder brothers to more or less cope with it, while for Michael and Randy the case was really severe. Instead of love all of them lived in fear of their father’s cruelty and beatings. Michael saw nothing but constant work since a very young age and carried a huge burden on his shoulders as the main bread-winner.

    But – as if this was not enough – in addition to all that he and the other children never had a chance to get together and celebrate each other’s birthdays, Christmas or anything else. Everyone around them was joyous, making and receiving presents, sitting down to a family meal, having a holiday – and how were the Jacksons’ children supposed to feel while they had no holiday, had to work, did not receive any gifts and did not celebrate?

    It sounds to me like a huge mockery that they had to sing to others about “Love on Christmas Day”. Firstly they saw no love themselves, at least from their father, and secondly, they never had any Christmas either.

    This song tears my heart because of all that and I am afraid that it is the “organization” which is to blame for depriving these boys of the simplest of joys. Well, in respect of Christmas the “organization” has some ideas, but what ideas do they have in respect of birthdays? What is wrong with celebrating birthdays?

    They sing about love on these days – but who gave them love?

    These words sound like a mockery – I can’t imagine how they felt when they were singing it:

    People making lists, buying special gifts
    Taking time to be kind to one and all
    It’s that time of year when good friends are near
    And you wish you could give more than just presents from a store

    Why don’t you give love on Christmas Day
    Oh, even the man who has everything
    Would be so happy if you would bring
    Him love on Christmas Day
    No greater gift is there than love

    People you don’t know smile and nod hello
    Everywhere there’s an air of Christmas joy
    It’s that once of year when the world’s sincere
    And you’d like to find a way to show the things that words can’t say

    Why don’t you give love on Christmas Day
    Oh, the man on the street and the couple upstairs
    All need to know there’s someone who cares
    Give love on Christmas Day
    No greater gift is there than love

    What the world needs is love
    Yes, the world needs your love

    Why don’t you give love on Christmas Day
    Oh, every little child on Santa’s knee
    Has room for your love underneath his tree
    Give love on Christmas Day
    No greater gift is there than love

    What the world needs is love
    Yes, the world needs your love
    Give love, oh, give love on Christmas Day

  70. Tatum Marie permalink
    December 26, 2012 12:57 am

    @vmj
    I think that all this conversation with Dee-Dee is pretty much about Michael being or not being a Jehovah Witness in the later years of his life.
    —– VMJ

    Thank you, that’s a good point that you brought out. Still, I think its Dee’s interpretation that Michael completely turned against the organization as she had but it makes me irritated when some place their personal thoughts onto him. There’s also some animosity because the witnesses didn’t turn on Michael.

  71. December 25, 2012 11:47 pm

    “Michael never turned against the organization, maybe that’s why they still embraced him”. - Tatum

    I think that all this conversation is pretty much about Michael being or not being a Jehovah Witness in the later years of his life. Well, on March 29, 2005 when Michael was allowed by the judge to talk to Rev. Jessie Jackson on the radio in the middle of the trial, he said it himself that he believed in Jehovah God very much and it was from Him that he was gaining strength.

    So according to Michael’s own words he identified himself with the Jehovah Witnesses or at least held to their views:

    03-29-2005

    Rev. Jackson: And so, you had these hits, ahem, and people that you have embraced are now facing you in court on a daily basis. How does your spirit handle that?

    Michael Jackson: Ah, I gained strength from God. I believe in Jehovah God very much and ah, and I gain strength from the fact that I know I’m innocent ~~ none of these stories are true ~~ they are totally fabricated, and it’s very sad, it’s very, very painful. And I pray a lot and er, that’s how I deal with it and I’m a strong person, I’m a warrior. And I know what’s inside of me. I’m a fighter. But it’s very painful. At the end of the day, I’m human, you know, I’m still a human being. So it does hurt very, very, very much.

    MJFC / MJJ Source

  72. Tatum Marie permalink
    December 25, 2012 9:11 pm

    @Dee
    Based on what I know, you don’t speak like someone who was ever one of Jehovah’s witnesses. If anything, it sounds like you had some association with the organization, like me. Then again, based on your comments here, it could’ve been your attitude that got you in trouble; I still don’t believe you though. Your issues with the bible are words that are spoken by many (an average conclusion) others. The bible doesn’t contradict itself; those who don’t possess the knowledge contradict it.

    Being someone who was involved in every religion known to man I could never place the witnesses in any category or organization, they’re too different. I grew up in a religiously divided household and was very confused about life. I even expressed similar thoughts about the bible that you expressed here. However, I started studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses and everything became clearer and made sense. What I noticed in the bible were not contradictions but an author or God speaking about two different subjects. They did not brainwash me, that’s your conclusion only.

    And I can relate with MJ regarding how he felt so conflicted after being forced out of the JW congregation too. I think it was very wrong that they gave him an ultimatum, yet still continued to idolize him and claim him as of their own every time he put out a song that they really approved of and felt was “worthy”.

    Michael never officially went on record about that so we don’t know exactly what happened. There was obviously more going on behind the scenes so please stop turning Michael’s story into your own. Michael never turned against the organization, maybe that’s why they still embraced him. Even if you don’t know the personal convictions of the man, you’d still love him as an artist.

  73. December 25, 2012 8:37 pm

    “The part where Bill Maher talks about how healthy MJ appeared was not meant to be taken literally. Maher is well aware that MJ was murdered, he made those statements for the purpose of humor. Sorry you didn’t get that.”

    Dee-Dee, if you are talking about my reaction I did get the humor, but do not accept jokes like that. They may look harmless but they are not. There should be certain ethical limits, especially when “humor” concerns death.

    Do you think these jokes about Princess Diana funny? And even if they are funny can you laugh at them? I cannot.

    What’s the difference between a BMW and a Mercedes?
    BMW doesn’t get any royalties.

    What does DODI stand for?
    Died on direct impact.

    What is the new perfume named after Di?
    Impact

    Did you hear about Elton John’s new album featuring ‘Candle in the Wind?
    They decided not to call it ‘Live in Paris’.

    Why is Di like a mobile phone?
    They both die in tunnels!!

    What’s Diana’s newest title?
    The Lady in Red.

    What was the last thing Dodi said to Di?
    “You look smashing!”

    Well, no offense meant. It was done “for the purpose of humor” only. Liked it?

    P.S. Since I do not respect people who make this type of jokes, I do not listen to them. If Bill Maher talks about religion I won’t listen to him either. If he is unethical he is unethical in everything he says. Listening to him is a waste of time. And it is no entertainment – it is seduction.

  74. December 25, 2012 7:45 pm

    “I am now 52 yrs old, to finally realize that is NOT the “one true religion” and can be harmful to children if they decide to get baptized before their adult life”

    Dee-dee, in the first centuries after Jesus his followers did not baptize children – they expected people to be old enough to take a conscious decision to join them. However when the church was established it adopted a different practice. Our Orthodox Church which is one of the oldest Christian churches baptizes children soon after birth though it clearly goes against the ways of the first Christians.

    I think that no religion and no church can claim to be the only true one. It all depends on its people whose behavior may be diametrically opposite even within one church or religion. Any established religion is a sort of a school where people are taught the basic moral laws – and only some make excellent pupils. There also comes a time when one wants higher education and this is when one sees that religions are too narrow – God is bigger than that.

    I think this is what happened to Michael. He crossed those boundaries so boldly that he even called God “she”. I personally like the freshness of his ideas very much.

  75. DeeDee permalink
    December 25, 2012 5:57 pm

    @etteira – Thank you for actually watching that video all the way to the end. I give you a lot of credit, not only for doing that, but also for doing so without coming back with personal attacks. There’s never any need to get personal or attack another’s character here just because of a difference in opinions. Most would also agree that’s not very Christian. But you didn’t do that. Instead you merely explain your own opinions, and that’s all any of us can do. One tiny detail, though: The part where Bill Maher talks about how healthy MJ appeared was not meant to be taken literally. Maher is well aware that MJ was murdered, he made those statements for the purpose of humor. Sorry you didn’t get that. I don’t like any negative references to MJ by others either, because he WAS a victim throughout his whole life in my opinion. I do not believe he was ever involved in any of the nasty things he was accused of. I hate when people claim he was a pedefile, because I know how emotionally stunted one can become in such an isolated environment (emotionally/spiritually) as MJ was raised. And I can relate with MJ regarding how he felt so conflicted after being forced out of the JW congregation too. I think it was very wrong that they gave him an ultimatum, yet still continued to idolize him and claim him as of their own every time he put out a song that they really approved of and felt was “worthy”. But, the contradictions in the way they treated MJ (as they do others who are forced out in one way or another) isn’t far from how so many other aspects of the Christian belief system contradicts itself….in ALL religions. Just my opinions based on my own experiences and CLOSE observations.

  76. DeeDee permalink
    December 25, 2012 2:53 pm

    @Tatum So, just because i make note of the bible’s inconsistencies makes me a liar about once belonging to the JW organization? it’s so typical of your supposed “Christian” values to call someone a liar just because you can’t debate a certain point. I would happily give you all the proof you need if I thought that your accusation was sincere rather than a distraction away from a subject you know yourself (deep down) to be true.

    I was raised as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses since birth and was baptized at the tender age of 12. And even tho I was disfellowshipped as a teenager and “shunned” ever since, I still attend the Memorial with my folks to make them happy. I have to walk that fine line between doing what is necessary to keep what little relationship I have left with my JW family members and still maintain some sanity & dignity by being true to my own convictions. It pains me to see the people I love imprisoned by the cult-like repetitive brain-washing without being able to point out the facts & many discrepancies for fear they will be forced to cut me completely out of their lives. How convenient the Watchtoer, Bible & Tract Society instructs their hypnotized victims to shun anything that contradicts what they teach to such extremes.

    And yes, I even toured Bethel once many years ago with a family member who claims to be one of the 144,000! But little do most of the “sheeple” know that she has serious mental health issues requiring medication. I have so much inside knowledge about the depths of this mass delusion, my friends are amazed. But I know it’s not my family’s fault, just like I know that your irrational accusations are just your defense mechanisms carefully planted by years of mantra to shield out anything that might sway you from the delusion you’ve been taught to defend….even with your life if necessary. It’s just so terribly sad – such a tragedy.

  77. December 25, 2012 7:39 am

    @VMJ

    That’s a good question. It’s interesting how there’s never just one reason behind the JW’s beliefs. I’m sure she will answer your question, but it was my understanding that in the original bible writings God’s name was used thousands of times. His name was erased (by the Greeks when they decided to make their own translations) and replaced with titles like God and Lord. In the New World Translation bible God’s name has been restored completely. The original Hebrew letters and pronunciations are different but Yahweh and Jehovah is the best English translated versions of the name. In many translations you can find Jehovah’s name at Psa 83:18 – I remember seeing it in the King James Version some time ago.

    Here’s some more food for thought. I never thought about this or really knew until I started studying with Jehovah’s witnesses. Guess what Jesus’s heavenly name is?

    Michael:)

  78. December 25, 2012 6:04 am

    @Deedee
    But that is only ONE religion’s warped interpretation of “Scripture” and should not be forced on others who cannot speak for themselves.
    The abstinence from blood is a direct command, not an interpretation only. The witnesses prefer their children to have procedures that are sterile. Blood carries many diseases and ailments but it is also made up of components. It’s not always necessary to have whole blood, but a component like plasma or platelets that doesn’t carry sickness which witnesses intake on a conscience basis. Many patients and doctors who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses suggest or request this form of medical treatment so the bible was accurate all the time – as usual.

    In fact, the bible itself is so full of holes and contradictions that it amazes me (and a multitude of others) that modern-day man can even go to such extremes over it’s dogma.

    It sounds to me that you seem to have a problem with the bible itself. I doubt you were ever one of Jehovah’s witnesses.

  79. December 25, 2012 12:03 am

    “it is the fact that Jehovah God said…”

    Ettelra, please excuse my question but how do the Witnesses know that the name of God is Jehovah? Is it mentioned in some documents? I’ve read the Bible through and through but don’t remember the name given, though it has probably been erased there. In the Jewish tradition they don’t even pronounce the word itself, writing it as G-d. So as regards the name I doubt that they would have given it all the more so.

  80. December 24, 2012 11:44 pm

    @ettelra – here’s a very humorous video you may (or may not) appreciate. http://youtu.be/95iRvZOtUWA – DeeDee

    I made myself watch it almost to the end, but didn’t find it funny or worthy of appreciation.

    Each section of population has its preachers, and this Bill Maher is a preacher too, only for the shallow and cynical. He laughs at Michael Jackson because he highly doubts the results of the autopsy report which said that Michael was a healthy man. But who dies healthy? Has Bill Maher given it a thought? Only the one who was KILLED, and Michael WAS killed. If Bill Maher had thought about his own words they wouldn’t have looked funny to him any more.

    Michael Jackson was killed because no one dies of propofol in hospitals where this drug is the most common anesthetic. People die of propofol only when their criminal doctors leave their side and don’t pay attention (intentionally or due to neglect, which doesn’t make much difference). If a surgeon leaves the operation room during the operation and talks on the phone for hours his patient will also die, at least due to bleeding, won’t he? But will it mean that it is the operation itself which is responsible – or the criminal surgeon who is?

    Bill Maher ridicules religion and with good reason too. Unfortunately many religious but hypocritical people have given reason for this ridicule themselves – by a huge contrast between what they do and preach.

    But let us not confuse religion with belief in God. One can live without religion but cannot live without God, because when there is no God, there is no conscience, and if there is no conscience, a human turns into an animal driven only by instinct and desire to satiate hunger for its various needs.

    We are animals all right, but not only animals. We have one big distinction from them and this distinction is our conscience which often makes us behave contrary to instinct or our own interests (which animals never do). This difference cannot be explained by any reason at all, except some strange spark in our soul which comes from we don’t know where. Conscience is the best advisor and the severest judge. Some people have done their best to stifle it but it still keeps reminding them of itself.

    Great critical philosophers of the past thought that our conscience is a sanctuary for God within our souls. It is through this instrument that the Almighty is guiding our spirit and is teaching us how to live and what to do. Surprisingly, it fully coincides with what Jesus told us too. He said “The Kingdom of God is within you”. Not all people want to find it inside themselves, and some even regard it as an obstacle, but then not all people believe in God either.

    I personally try to stay away from people with no conscience. Some of them look nice, some are funny, some may be deeply religious and extremely moralistic but it does not make things better – it only makes things worse. I think that they are praying not to God, but to his enemy.

  81. DeeDee permalink
    December 24, 2012 4:27 pm

    @ettelra – here’s a very humorous video you may (or may not) appreciate. http://youtu.be/95iRvZOtUWA

  82. DeeDee permalink
    December 24, 2012 4:20 pm

    I believe YOU are the one confused.

    You said: “It’s not so much that transfusion is the drinking of blood, it is the fact that Jehovah God said to abstain from blood because it is sacred. So that would mean no eating under cooked meat, having transfusions, etc. (abstaining from blood in all forms) You seemed confused about this, so I hope I was able to clear it up for you…”

    But that is only ONE religion’s warped interpretation of “Scripture” and should not be forced on others who cannot speak for themselves. If you would rather die than have a blood transfusion should you ever be in that situation, then that’s your choice. But to force this warped interpretation on a helpless, innocent child is wrong. Your religion teaches that your “true” Christians will be persecuted. Yet Christians force their way into every aspect of our world & inject their unproven beliefs into our schools, businesses and social functions instead of keeping their views in the church where it belongs. WHO is persecuting WHO?? The JW interpretations of the bible has never been proven as the ONLY true interpretation, and it never will. I know YOU think it is, but that’s just your own blind faith playing tricks on your mind. In fact, the bible itself is so full of holes and contradictions that it amazes me (and a multitude of others) that modern-day man can even go to such extremes over it’s dogma. But JW teachings in particular are one of the most extreme cases of mass-delusions. So…um…yeah, good luck with that.

  83. December 24, 2012 5:56 am

    “Witnesses also oppose certain medical practices that they believe violate Scripture. In particular, they oppose blood transfusions because of the scriptural admonition against the drinking of blood (Leviticus 3:17). This belief, so contrary to modern medical practice remains an additional point of controversy with authorities, especially in cases concerning children.”

    Hi!^^ as a witness I just wanted to clear up a misconception about this statement: It’s not so much that transfusion is the drinking of blood, it is the fact that Jehovah God said to abstain from blood because it is sacred. So that would mean no eating under cooked meat, having transfusions, etc. (abstaining from blood in all forms) You seemed confused about this, so I hope I was able to clear it up for you…Otherwise everything you’ve posted in this article stays true to Michael (as always), and the JW religion, so…um, yeah thanks. ^^

  84. TatumMarie permalink
    December 21, 2012 10:48 pm

    @deedee

    No one really knows why Michael dissasociated himself, so many are quick to paint him as asexual but my guess is he started getting tempted by women and got into a position where he wasnt ready to turn around. Its not neccessarily the act that gets us in trouble, its no repentance. I have jw friends who were baptized at an early age who have been in the truth for decades. Apparently, the elders go by the childs eagerness, support of parents, maturity level and knowledge of basic biblical truths before they decide its okay for them to get baptised. When I attended other organizations long ago they allowed babies to get baptised which is off. The overall aroma of the halls and jws are kind and sweet. They are also strict with the principles regarding the bible (part includes disfellowingshipping) and teach accurate, sensible information.

  85. DeeDee permalink
    December 21, 2012 5:51 pm

    To the author of this article about MJ’s affiliation with JWs: I can fully relate to what MJ went through. I was raised as one of JWs & my family are JWs. Their ways/beliefs were instilled in my brain up until I was nearly 20 yrs of age and I even pioneered (door to door preaching) for a time. I was disfellowshipped for “smoking cigarettes” and ended up being “shunned” by most everyone I knew. It was devastating, demoralizing to go through that at such a tender age. It has taken me until just recently, I am now 52 yrs old, to finally realize that is NOT the “one true religion” and can be harmful to children if they decide to get baptized before their adult life.

    JWs make the mistake of baptizing the young as early as they can express the desire even though they may have never known any other beliefs or way of life before JWs. What MJ did was cling on to whatever he could before he was demoralized by the JWs when asked to cease his “worldliness” or be disfellowshipped. He voluntarily left, which is basically a self-imposed disfellowshipping – not treated nearly as severely by others. He clung to the only thing he knew while being raised with his family – and still had the influence of his mother and siblings. He was a tortured soul during that time, I can guarantee that! It’s a very cruel way for any christian religion to show their “love” and so-called “discipline”.

    The funny thing is how my family and other witnesses I know actually looked up to MJ even well after he disassociated himself, all the while still shunning me – even though I no longer smoked cigarettes or engaged any activities that would be considered immoral. Funny how the JWs cling to “fame and fortune” just like the rest of the world. So much for them being “no part of this world”.

  86. Dallas permalink
    October 24, 2012 9:08 am

    My partner is a former JW. Although he no longer adheres, he does still believe and he was quite impressed with your definition of a Jehovah’s witness. He thought you presented a clear picture, pertaining to what a Jehovah’s Witness is and how they live their lives. Great job and all the luck in clearing MJ’s name. You have 2 more votes on his side!

  87. TatumMarie permalink
    September 18, 2012 12:05 pm

    @vmj
    About your comment on June, I know right? Lisa Marie was the same way when she said he was like a drug. Once he was out of her life she starting acting really hateful….like a withdrawal.

  88. September 14, 2012 8:13 pm

    ‘Seriously, everything from Michael’s actions to what he says about being similar to children. Witnesses believe that the kingdom of God belongs to those who are “like children” as Jesus stated. A perfect example would be how kids in some ways are color blind. They will play with anyone and wouldn’t notice their differences unless someone tells them.’ – Tatum

    I am serious too. Now I know what Witnesses believe in because I made two posts about Michael being a JW, but I never thought that it was possible for people en masse to live their faith. Nowadays we are so used to double standards and people keeping up appearances only, that one assumes almost automatically that there is much hypocrisy in every religion – when they say one thing (especially in church) and do another. It is enough to look at some politicians standing in churches with candles on big religious holidays to see what heights hypocrisy has reached.

    As regards children, yes, I remember that the Jehovah’s Witnesses follow the example of the first Christians – they themselves were like children. German researcher Eberhard Arnold commented on it in a way which made me almost jump in my seat – so close to Michael’s views his (and the first Christians’) thoughts are:

    The Childlike Spirit
    Eberhard Arnold
    Spoken August 10, 1933;
    printed in Writings (Orbis 2000).

    The kingdom of God belongs to children. For this reason we can be led to the divine truth only if we have the childlike spirit. Certainly that does not mean that we should not be real men and women; the childlike spirit is not childish but rather unites itself with real manhood and real womanhood.

    It is the spirit of confident trust, of humility and endurance – the spirit that rejoices and loses itself in the object of its love and is released from self-contemplation. It gives itself completely, unaware of strain and sacrifice, and spends itself as though absorbed in play. It is the spirit of courage, for the true child – like the true man or woman – is never afraid or fearful.

    It is the answer to all our needs, for the childlike spirit comes from the Holy Spirit. And we must believe that this Spirit really exists and that we can receive it.

    Isn’t it impressive? It seems that Michael either read Eberhard Arnold’s works or came to these thoughts himself under the influence of JWs’ beliefs.

    Now that I’ve reread this text the words that stood out most to me are the “divine truth” and “play” (and lack of fear of course!).

    Divine truth only seems to be a trite expression, but it carries a very novel idea in it. What it essentially says is that truth is divine and lies, illusion and pretence are the opposite power. So all we need is the truth (just like Michael said), no matter how sad, unhappy, even frustrating and ‘inconvenient’ to certain views or dogmas it is. In short reaching for the truth is reaching for the divine. And vice versa, a way to the divine goes through seeking for the truth.

    We here, for example, are not to whitewash Michael Jackson. We here are to reach for the truth about him. And it is only due to the fact that he turned out to be a really noble person that the truth we’ve learned confirmed our understanding of him and showed how noble, decent and pure his thinking was (even when in an unconscious state). The truth about him speaks for itself and there is absolutely no need to stretch it to prove his purity and innocence.

    And the word “play” is another crucial point. Faith in God is very often regarded as something tedious, solemn and very, very, very restricting. As soon as you mention it the faces of people immediately get drawn and assume the expression “proper to the occasion” (which is difficult to explain but everyone knows what it is).

    However I’ve come to realize that real faith is totally different. First of all it is practically unnoticeable as people do not talk about it (they prefer to live it), and second, it has to do with a lot of freedom, play, humor, a bit of self-irony and not taking oneself too seriously. A real believer is simple, down-to-earth and radiates light, the overall effect of it being that you want to stay by his side not even realizing why.

    Michael was like that. Even June Chandler testified that he was like a magnet to people (she said she used to say it to Michael). And all those who knew Michael noted the same feature about him – he was radiating light. When he entered the room everything was immediately different. Everyone, especially children, used to follow him like ducks (Margaret Macdonaldo’s words). This magnetism was even detrimental to his own self, because people never wanted to leave his side, and if he could no longer shower them with his attention, it was a sort of a tragedy to them. Some realized that Michael needed privacy too and stepped aside, but some like Arvizos or Chandlers monopolized him and grew really nasty and resentful when he turned his attention elsewhere.

  89. TatumMarie permalink
    September 14, 2012 2:54 pm

    @VMJ
    Seriously, everything from Michael’s actions to what he says about being similar to children. Witnesses believe that the kingdom of God belongs to those who are “like children” as Jesus stated. A perfect example would be how kids in some ways are color blind. They will play with anyone and wouldn’t notice their differences unless someone tells them.

    Someone also made a comment about how Michael had acquaintances of all religious backgrounds and studied different beliefs. Witnesses are like this; they have publications about other faiths. After studying I will admit it is interesting to gather other perspectives and information on why people have certain beliefs,and I think allows a bridge for communication.

  90. September 14, 2012 11:42 am

    “I’ve met so many people like him (Michael), they just weren’t raised in the spotlight. They just follow what the bible says” – Tatum

    Many people like Michael? Wow. My huge respect to the Jehovah’s Witnesses! Then Michael was not just an exception to the rule – his views were surely the result of sharing JWs’ ideals and following the Gospel. He lived his faith.

  91. TatumMarie permalink
    September 14, 2012 4:00 am

    My opinion is that Michael’s faith was formed by the JWs but towards the end of his life he surpassed their beliefs – his faith was well above all religions and was simply an understanding that each moment of your life you stand before Him.

    Truthfully, Michael is a reflection of what many witnesses are and what most are trying to be. Being associated with the organization for quite some time now, I’ve met so many people like him (Michael), they just weren’t raised in the spotlight. I think the main misconception is that people refer to Jehovah’s Witnesses beliefs as that their beliefs. These teachings are not made up by them but are solely in the bible it really has nothing to do with what their individual or organizational opinions are – they just follow what the bible says.

  92. September 14, 2012 12:38 am

    “I see it very much the same way. I am sure that you have to reach a similar level of spirituality to understand Michael’s faith.”

    Susanne, as Rodrigo said sometime ago, all those who come to appreciate Michael feel the same way. I’ve also heard people say that Michael is a sort of a mirror as each of us sees him/herself in him. Michael’s haters see only abuse and lies in this mirror (a telling sign, isn’t it?), while we see a pure and noble spirit totally unable of any harm.

    This differentiation between people is even funny in its vividness. A kind of a natural selection.

  93. Susannerb permalink*
    September 13, 2012 10:37 pm

    Helena, I see it very much the same way. You expressed it in a perfect way, and I am sure that you have to reach a similar level of spirituality to understand Michael’s faith.

  94. September 13, 2012 9:41 pm

    “The work may be under ban where you lived at the time”

    Tatum, every free thought which differs from the official one is getting under ban in the place I live in – especially nowadays. However they are unable to put a strain on your thoughts and beliefs, and in the field of faith I’ve come to enjoy very much freedom. Without being influenced by the Jehovah’s Witnesses I also realized that there is only one high power over us to whom I willingly submit my whole self and to whom I am a child like everyone else. And this willing submission does not make you dependent in any way – it gives you unheard of freedom.

    If you ask me why Michael Jackson’s death was such a shattering experience to me the first thing I’ll say is that initially it wasn’t. I felt sorry for him as a great dancer and musician who died just too early, who could have done a lot of good and who left three children orphaned. But my eyes opened to what and who he really was when I started reading his speeches and registered the familiar signs of an unlimited faith in God the beginnings of which I started experiencing only recently.

    My opinion is that Michael’s faith was formed by the JWs but towards the end of his life he surpassed their beliefs – his faith was well above all religions and was simply an understanding that each moment of your life you stand before Him. This is why he could pray in every kind of a temple – for people like him it does not matter. Those who look at him as a Muslim (or someone else) because he attended their prayer (if he did) are terribly near-sighted and narrow-minded people. Michael could pray on a tree, in the forest, in the street – anywhere at all. People with this kind of faith pray at every moment of their life during communication with every human being.

    The way you communicate with another person is also a form of a prayer. You cannot afford to lie to others, be unjust or indifferent to another person’s pain. You may be mistaken in some of your thoughts but you always tell the truth, because everything you do is done in front of His eyes. You are not afraid of Him – no, far from it, you know that He loves you and you simply do not want to upset or let Him down by not living up to His expectations of you. You try hard but sometimes slip and realizing it is your worst punishment. You never lie simply because you don’t want to insult the Father whose only judgment and approval you seek. He knows your heart and lying to others is like lying to Him.

    Michael was like that. From what I read about him his trust in God was infinite and unlimited and that is why it was not that important for him what people thought about his words. He was telling the truth and this is all that mattered. It wasn’t disrespect or anything like that towards others – it was simply direct communication with the Almightly in front of everyone’s eyes.

    Michael’s faith was much stronger than anything I can ever describe or imagine and the fact that he remained a gentle and pure soul despite all the mud they drowned him in, everyday betrayal from everyone around and much hardship he went through is the best proof of it. What he had to endure was well over any human’s limits, however he survived it all and went on composing great music, raising three beautiful children and remaining a great human being till his last breath. This kind of strength can come only from our Father, because those who entrust their lives into His hands have His power behind their back.

    It is no chance that Michael used to say that songs dropped in his lap ready-made and he was even shy to say that they were his. Some will say that it was his gift and talent, but they forget to mention that gifts and talents also come from the same power. A person cannot make himself gifted – he can only develop what has been given to him. And given not by parents, because geniuses are born to ordinary people too.

    In short you cannot avoid speaking about God when speaking about Michael. And only those who believe in God can understand Michael. If you know what the high power expects of you, you will understand why Michael behaved the way he did. If you do not look up to God yourself, you’ll never understand Michael’s ways. Michael was living in a different reality from that of lies, cynicism, greed and rough materialism the majority live in. And this difference is the main reason for the tragedy that happened to Michael – he was too good for this reality.

    At least this is the way I see it.

  95. TatumMarie permalink
    September 13, 2012 5:48 pm

    Most mainstream Christianity consider the differences of life, death, and souls teachings of Jws to be nothing like their own doctrine. Lol. The work may be under ban where you lived at the time. Im sure theyre still preaching, its just not as obvious as in America because they dont have the same rights. I always wondered about that because I meet so many from different countries who still follow the same commands but have to be more suttle. For instance a witness from the middles east told me they are not allowed to build kingdom halls where she lives so they have to rent out areas to have their meetings.

  96. September 13, 2012 5:22 pm

    “Hey Vmj, Since Im back on this article I wonder this. Have you ever encountered Jehovah’s witnesses in your country?” – Tatum

    Guys, sorry for being away (the renovation work in my flat demanded my immediate attention and distracted from everything else).

    Tatum, to answer your question I encountered someone, who I now think was a JW, like 10 years ago. A woman was walking down the aisle in a commuter train and handing out White tower leaflets. I read one and everything there seemed like “mainstream” Christianity except some small things. I just thought that she was a kind of a missioner of our Orthodox church (which was strange as they don’t go spreading any leaflets – everything is very well-established there). What the leaflet said was within my understanding of God, so wasn’t new, as to minor different things I decided to look into them at home (and ever since then it has been lying somewhere in my papers, alas).

    Frankly ten years ago I was such an avid church-goer and followed every word of our priests in so uncritical way that those slightly different things frightened me – what if this is some kind of a dangerous heresy? It was the time when each word uttered by a priest was like the voice of God said to me especially if it was said in a church with candles burning and icons looking at you from every corner.

    Since that time I’ve come a long road and have realized that priests are human beings too and sometimes their own inner world leaves much to be desired. I had one preacher who was a undisputable authority to me, but he died several years ago, God bless his soul. He was the man who spoke quite openly to me and wondered why they focus on building new churches while “it’s human souls which should be snatched from fire” (his words).

    Ever since that chance encounter with JWs I haven’t seen any. I am more than sure that now it is dangerous for them to express their views openly.

  97. TatumMarie permalink
    September 11, 2012 8:50 am

    Hey Vmj, Since Im back on this article I wonder this. Have you ever encountered Jehovah’s witnesses in your country?

  98. Linda permalink
    April 11, 2012 8:55 am

    @vmj
    Since I tend to see God’s plan in everything we do and encounter in life I can’t help thinking that the old and ‘divine’ rule of circumcising boys played a truly biblical role in determining the truth about Michael Jackson. Amazing, isn’t it?

    Yes, it is amazing. ” All things DO work for good” for God’s people. The non-circumcision, the vitiligo, even the porn found, all worked for his good. He may have thanked God in the end for his vitiligo, since it helped to vindicate him.

    I guess that’s why the Bible says “In ALL things give thanks”. You never know when something looks really bad, how it can actually work out for your good in the end, so just give God thanks and glory no matter what is coming down in your life.

    I think I referred to this before, but I learned from experience that I don’t have to vindicate myself. If I look guilty of some horrendous crime of which I’m innocent, I’ll keep my mouth shut, pray and believe in God to set the record straight. When I was pretty much black balled in my church, my pastors opinion was the only one I was concerned about. I trusted God to handle the situation. It took many months, but through God the truth came out.

    When the enemy comes against you, and he will, and has, the only weapon you have is your faith, and patience. God is the Vindicator, and he’s faithful. Sometime’s God gives us words as a tool, sometimes he says “Be quiet and let me handle this”. I think Michael knew for the most part, to be quiet and let God handle it. Sometimes we all have to let go and trust that God will take care of a situation. His way, in his time, not ours. I guess that’s where faith, trust and patience comes in.

    I’m always interested in learning about other religions, but even more what it’s like to be a Christian in Russia, Romania and other parts of the world. Christianity has always been accepted in America, at least in my lifetime, but not so in some parts of the world, so I’m curious about other cultures where it was, and some places still is taboo.

    Sorry if I got off track from the subject here, just spoke what was in my mind.

  99. cawobeth permalink
    April 10, 2012 9:48 am

    Interesting. I knew some about the faith of JWs & thank you for explaining more.
    I never believed Michael converted to Islam. I’ve noticed that Michael has shown taking interest in other cultures; their customs, including religions. in appreciation of different attire of different countries & faiths, he is often described as being so respectful wherever he’s gone. Sort of like “when in Rome, do as the Roamns do”. Just my thoughts about why he may of appeared to have converted (media speculation & prompted rumors aside).

    JR, in response to what you explained about JW & blood transfusions. It makes sense to me that “to take blood” of other humans would be considered much the same as taking the blood of animals, because we are animals; mammals. I’m curious to know if the JW religion respects this, and like Native Americans, regards “animals” as our brothers and sisters.
    Curious myself but also because both of Michael’s parents are both Native American.
    I recently saw of the Choctaw tribe and have also seen them both described as Cherokee.
    ( these tribes are from the same general region of the south and even share some of the same language).

    Anyway, I think of Michael as worldy and one to love Jesus. I never really classified him though aware of the faith of his upbringing.

  100. April 9, 2012 9:56 pm

    “I think circumcision is stronger in the Jewish religion than anywhere else, that’s if it’s connected to a religious law or belief.”

    Linda, of course it is! For ancient Jews being circumcised was the equivalent of being “righteous” – that is why Jews doubted so much that Gentiles could be saved.

    “Bearing in mind of Michael’s age, there was more than a 50% chance that he would have been circumcised. I just think the Chandlers took a logical guess and missed. I’m glad Catherine didn’t follow the norm.”

    The chances were actually much bigger than a mere 50% – something like 87% or even more. And though the chances of a mistake were very small (the remaining 13% or so) they did make that mistake! Since I tend to see God’s plan in everything we do and encounter in life I can’t help thinking that the old and ‘divine’ rule of circumcising boys played a truly biblical role in determining the truth about Michael Jackson. Amazing, isn’t it?

    “The more the prosecution tried to prove his guilt, the more they proved him innocent. They really were their own worst enemy.”

    I very much agree with it. They tried so hard to slander Michael that they left traces of their dirty feet all over history, so that now whatever we touch we open new huge cupboards with skeletons hidden inside them.

    “I firmly believe the press will have a lot to do with that. They’re the ones with the power to convince the masses of a lie, and the masses won’t do the research to find the truth. History DOES repeat itself.”

    Yes, history does repeat itself, especially if you remember that all those people, including Diane Dimond, must be claiming themselves to be true Christians. But how can true Christians slander anyone? How can they take money for their lies like all those numerous false witnesses? How can Diane Dimond tell those torrents of lies about Michael (love letters, non-existent video tapes, etc.) and never, I mean NEVER, apologize for what she did? How can the media people first kill a person with their pens (as Michael said about tabloid junkies) and then, when the truth is found out, never repent for what they did?

    And all these people call themselves Christians? They brag they go to church and put up a show of piety whenever religion is mentioned? These people are the worst of Pharisees! They are the ones who kill Jesus and people’s faith in God again and again each time they kill the truth by their slanderous tongues. And the worst of it is that they do it for MONEY. So how is this story different from what happened many years ago?

  101. TatumMarie permalink
    April 10, 2012 1:29 am

    Speaking on the topic of the photos they took of Michael, this is something that the haters cannot wrap their heads around. Why would Feldman threaten to bar the photos from the civil trial unless they were in Michael’s favor? It would have been an open and shut case in a civil trial if the photos matched.

    This also brings me back to the article about the “Telltale Splotch”. Anyone viewing those photos and comparing them to Jordan’s (Evan’s) description would know that there was no way that crime took place. It’s so obvious why the jurors looked at this and said: No way.

    A bunch of false promises and alleged victims on the prosecutions end is what got them a trial in 2005.They practically went in there and lied to the grand jury.

  102. R.J permalink
    April 9, 2012 11:43 pm

    Darn it I had a feeling I misread your question. :P
    But I’m glad I was able to provide an answer. :)

  103. April 9, 2012 10:36 pm

    “at that time in most area of the country there were separate hospitals for Black Americans and they were not staffed as well and certain things were just not affordable and circumcision is not free. .. with the number of children I would have said that $100 was way to much for the Jackson’s to pay for an unnecessary surgical procedure. I think it is just as simple as that, it either wasn’t even offered or it was just more than they could afford.”

    Lynette, of course you are right about the reason why Katherine didn’t have her boys circumcised, but the Chandlers could not imagine that Michael had ever been poor. In any case it was pure guesswork for them, a game in which they lost. As far as I remember Ray Chandler’s book says that Larry Feldman sat with Jordan Chandler for HOURS trying to figure out what Jordan had allegedly seen on MJ’s genitalia. To me this alone means that they were fantasizing things – when you really know something it doesn’t take you hours to explain what it is. They were working on a universal variant which would suit the case whichever way you looked at it.

    Ray Chandler claims that the description was correct but we know even from the official sources that it was not, so let us not pay attention to the so-called “accuracy” but to how long it took Jordan to explain things instead:

    “Back in September, Jordie had given a detailed description of Michael’s
    penis and testicles to the DA. Feldman was aware of this, but had yet to
    discuss it with his young client. If the description matched the police
    photos it was one more giant straw on the camel’s back that was Michael’s
    defense. And the poor beast was already swayback.

    …It took several hours for Jordie to provide a description that Feldman could
    understand. There were numerous distinctive markings and discolorations on
    Michael’s privates, and it was difficult for the boy to explain exactly
    where they were located, what size they were, and what shape they took.
    The problem was not Jordie’s memory: he had seen Michael’s genitalia so
    many times and from every possible angle that he had a precise mental
    picture. The problem was trying to explain the details. But they pressed
    on and eventually arrived at a description that turned out to be an accurate
    match to the photographs taken by the Santa Barbara authorities a few days
    later.”

    Forget all this Chandlers’ propaganda – as a result of many hours of work Larry Feldman and Jordan came up with a description on the basis of which Tom Sneddon obtained a search warrant for photographing Michael’s genitalia, and after the actual strip search took place all the jubilation was over – ooops, nothing matched and the Chandlers were at so much loss that the same Larry Feldman demanded the photos to be barred from the civil trial.

    Here is another excerpt from Ray Chandler’s book – it is exquisite in the language and content:

    “Late in the afternoon, after everyone had consumed their holiday repast,
    Larry Feldman called Evan with news they could all be thankful for. “Hey,
    Evan, you gotta hear this one. Howard Weitzman demoted Fields again. They
    definitely don’t want your deposition, or June’s deposition. They don’t
    want to preserve anything. If they’re gonna make a deal they don’t want
    anything on the record about Jackson.”

    “No shit! Larry, these guys are in a real mess.”

    “Yeah, they fucked this up unbelievably. What could be better? But I’m
    going forward. We’re going to push on. So far there ain’t a button I’ve
    missed. The only thing we gotta do is keep the criminal behind us. I don’t
    want them going first.

    Larry had said it before, but it hadn’t registered in Evan’s brain until
    now. “You mean if they indict, the criminal case automatically goes before
    us?”

    “Yeah.”

    “Jesus Christ!”

    “Right! So we don’t want that.”

    “How would you feel if the DA let you try their case?”

    “Oh, I’d love it! That’d be the best.”

    “Would they let you do it?”

    “I don’t think so.”

    “Don’t you have Jordie’s testimony to trade on?”

    “Yeah, but I want to use it so they’ll stay behind me. Then they won’t have
    to deal with this either.

    “It’s to their advantage to stay behind you, right?”

    “Right, to their political advantage. And now these fucking guards are on
    Hard Copy.”

    “Is it good for us what they said?”

    “Yeah, it’s great for us. But it fucks it up that they’re getting paid.
    They’re stupid. They don’t think of the way it looks. They have good
    things to say, but why the hell their lawyers would let them do that is
    beyond me. Anyway, enough of all that. Tell me something, Evan. Is Jordie
    happy? Is he aware of where we are right now?”

    “Everybody asks me that question, Larry. He was a lot happier a couple of
    weeks ago than he is now. I’m beginning to see the effects of time draggin’
    on.”

    “I’m sure of that….Oh, yeah, Lauren Weis told me today that this disease
    Michael says he’s got, vitiligo, that’s it’s capable of changing anywhere
    you look, so that anything Jordie says is irrelevant. It can change very
    quickly with this disease.”

    “Shit, these guys seem to have an answer for everything.”

    “No, that’s good for us!”

    “Why?”

    “Because if he’s right, he’s right. And if he’s wrong, we’ve got an
    explanation!”

    “Ha!”

    “Yeah, it’s a no-loser for us.”

    Our David, who sent me this excerpt also gave the following comment which I repeat here:

    “From that excerpt, Larry and Evan make it perfectly clear that they hope that Sneddon does not indict MJ before the start of the civil trial, because if he did the criminal case would AUTOMATICALLY start before the civil trial, which of course would force the Chandlers to testify and risk their big payday in civil court. Notice how Larry says it’s to Sneddon’s “political advantage” to have the civil trial go first. The reason it would be to Sneddon’s advantage is because he (and Gil Garcetti, for that matter) could literally sit back and watch MJ’s defense strategy, and then alter their prosecution strategy accordingly.

    Sneddon did the same thing in 2005; when he realized that the Arvizo’s filmed a rebuttal video that would be exculpatory to MJ, he claimed that the video was part of a “grand conspiracy” to hold them hostage and force them to shoot it. He also altered the dates of the molestation from February 7th-February 20th, 2003 (in the arrest warrant) to February 20th-March 12th, 2003 (in the indictment), once he realized that the Department of Children & Family Services concluded their investigation on February 20th. In the arrest warrant, Sneddon claimed that MJ started molesting Gavin while he was being investigated! This is probably the top reason why MJ’s insurance company forced him to settle. They just would not risk exposing MJ’s defense strategy.”

  104. April 9, 2012 9:23 pm

    “So no; circumcision is not necessary for men within the Jehovah’s Witness religion. I don’t know why the Chandlers would think that Michael’s former connection with the JWs meant that he was circumcised. Our religion allows men, whether circumcised or uncircumcised, to join freely and by his decision alone.”

    R.J. I was not saying that the Chandlers thought so because of Michael’s former connection with the JWs – but I made a supposition that they could think that way because the JWs say they try to live by the Bible and keep to all its commandments. Katherine always said that and Michael could have said the same to Jordan, June and Evan – and this could have led them to believe that circumcision was obligatory for the JWs because the Old Testament in the Bible says it is a LAW.

    From apostle Paul’s numerous letters (in the New Testament) we know of a huge dispute between the then Jews and apostle Paul whether gentiles could become Jesus’s followers if they were not circumcised. There he kept answering them that a person is saved not by deeds of the Law (i.e. observing the necessary rituals required by the law of Moses) but by faith alone and the grace of God. Though many take those “deeds” for “good works” its historical meaning is totally different (which is clear from the letters too) – Apostle Paul was arguing with Jews about circumcision as a law the fulfilment of which was required of Jews if they wanted to be ‘saved’. For Jews it was unthinkable to break this crucial law, and apostle Paul argued that the “deeds” (of law) were not a necessity for the gentiles – all they needed is to have faith in God and they would be saved through his grace if they lived the way Jesus told them to.

    If the Chandlers had known the history of religion they wouldn’t have been so sure of that “circumcision” claim. The JWs say they follow the example of early Christians, right? But early Christians baptized people only when they were adults and took a conscious decision to join Christians. And how could gentiles undergo circumcision when they were adults or even old people? It was impossible! So if the JWs also baptize people when they are adults circumcision should not be a requirement for them.

    I asked you about circumcison because I wanted to double check some of my thoughts and am happy that the conclusion I had come to by totally different means turned out to be correct. Thank you for the answer.

  105. lynande51 permalink
    April 9, 2012 8:29 am

    About the circumcision issue and whether or not it was part of a religious belief I don’t believe that it was. Michael was born in 1958 and not everyone circumcised their sons but that part is irrelevant in Michael’s situation. I believe that the cause was something much more prevelent in 1958 for black people and that is segregation and health care. Still at that time in most area of the country there were separate hospitals for Black Americans and they were not staffed as well and certain things were just not affordable and circumcision is not free. It is considered a surgical procedure so there is a charge for it. My best estimate would be that is would have cost about $100 in 1958 and with the number of children and the cost of the delivery I would have said that $100 was way to much for the Jackson’s to pay for an unnecessary surgical procedure.I think it is just as simple as that, it either wasn’t even offered or it was just more than they could afford.

  106. Linda permalink
    April 9, 2012 6:47 am

    I think circumcision is stronger in the Jewish religion than anywhere else, that’s if it’s connected to a religious law or belief. Of course back in the day most of us, meaning my generation in the US just took it for granted this was suppose to be done. It wasn’t until years later that I looked into the reasoning and found out that it was more for hygienic purposes than anything else, except in religious beliefs.

    Bearing in mind of Michael’s age, there was more than a 50% chance that he would have been circumcised. That’s not a statistic, that’s just my opinion, since everybody I knew that had baby boys always did it. I just think the Chandlers took a logical guess and missed. I’m glad Catherine didn’t follow the norm.

    Of course, even if she had, they would still have missed it with the “tell tale splotch”, but this way there is just one more piece of evidence in his favor, as if he needed it, lol. The more the prosecution tried to prove his guilt, the more they proved him innocent. They really were their own worst enemy. It’s almost funny reading the court transcripts. If the press would have simply and honestly reported the facts, I don’t think we would be here today having to vindicate him. He’s already been vindicated, except in the court of public opinion.

    What happened to Michael could happen to any of us. What happened to the early Christians could happen to any of us. The Bible tells us about the persecution of Christians in the last days and many will be put to death for their beliefs. I firmly believe the press will have a lot to do with that. They’re the ones with the power to convince the masses of a lie, and the masses won’t do the research to find the truth. History DOES repeat itself.

  107. R.J permalink
    April 9, 2012 5:31 am

    @vindicatemj
    Okay I did some more careful research in order to answer you question.

    This issue goes back to when the first century congregation was being established. Jews, who were still holding on to the old laws of Moses, were preaching to uncircumcised Gentiles that unless they were circumcised they would not be saved.

    However after Jesus’ sacrificial death the old law had been revoked; circumcison of the flesh was no longer a necessity amongst Christians, whether Gentile or Jewish. It was all a matter of showing appreciation for the new laws that had been given through the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ and accepting new ones into the congregation as a result.

    So no; circumcision is not necessary for men within the Jehovah’s Witness religion. I don’t know why the Chandlers would think that Michael’s former connection with the JWs meant that he was circumcised. Our religion allows men, whether circumcised or uncircumcised, to join freely and by his decision alone.

    I hope I answered your questions as best as I could. :)

  108. Mona permalink
    April 8, 2012 2:41 pm

    Also, thank you for the insight on the JW beliefs, I have been wondering about their faith for quite some time, as I have met several people who wanted me to join and others that left fliers in my post box to attend meetings. I understand it is their duty, once they know the true word of God – Jehovah, to let others know about it, so they have to put in these hours of going from door to door and spread the word. Quite beautiful, if you ask me.

    I can’t help but imagine Michael doing this! Of course he had to be in costume, with a mask on, otherwise people would just faint at the sight of him! :))) Poor Michael, so much love to give and he had to disguise it.

  109. Mona permalink
    April 8, 2012 2:28 am

    Again a great post, well-researched and analyzed!

    However, I do think that what specific religion Michael was a part of is rather unimportant, because most religions preach kind of the same general beliefs: compassion, charity, etc. The important thing is that Michael, as you said, LIVED HIS FAITH! He preached it with every chance he got, he lived his life by it and I love him for it. The JW were lucky to have him in their midst, but i bet he would have made the best of any other religion out there, as long as it was about those ideals.

    I would like to add to your collection of songs a very important one, well, at least the one that strikes me as being very close to God: ”Speechless”:

    Your love is magical, that’s how I feel
    But I have not the words here to explain
    Gone is the grace for expressions of passion
    But there are worlds and worlds of ways to explain
    To tell you how I feel
    But I am speechless, speechless
    That’s how you make me feel
    Though I’m with you I am far away
    And nothing is for real.
    When I’m with you I am lost for words,
    I don’t know what to say
    My head’s spinning like a carousel,
    So silently I pray
    Helpless and hopeless,
    That’s how I feel inside
    Nothing’s real, but all is possible
    If God is on my side
    When I’m with you
    I am in the light
    Where I cannot be found
    It’s as though I am standing in
    The place called Hallowed Ground
    Speechless, speechless,
    That’s how you make me feel
    Though I’m with you I am far away
    And nothing is for real
    I’ll go anywhere and do anything
    Just to touch your face
    There’s no mountain high
    I cannot climb
    I’m humbled in your grace.

    Have you read anything better?

    Love

  110. April 8, 2012 1:15 am

    “The Bible teaches that we are to respect the sanctity of blood and abstain from it”

    R.J., I understand and don’t see anything offensive in what you are saying. Now it is clear that abstention from blood transfusion has done Jehovah’s Witnesses a lot of good as they managed to avoid many diseases this way (AIDS, hepatitus, syphilis, etc.).

    When I read the Old Testament I was surprised to see that priests of the past were actually doing the job of present-day doctors as many of the commandments written down in the Old Testament look like medical advice – the priest is to check up when a person develops a rash and announces him unclean, he isolates him for nine days or so, then check him up again and waits another three days, etc. – all of which was an obligatory religious ritual for ancient people but now looks like a normal medical procedure to prevent an infectuous disease from spreading.

    I am sorry for my simplistic version, but abstention from blood could also be something of the kind, though it clearly has a huge spiritual meaning too. Also much depends on how the concrete word is interpreted – could it mean abstention from shedding blood, for example? Or drinking it – which would indeed be disgusting and is not done in any other religion?

    Let me also add that none of the above denies the fact that this knowledge was indeed obtained by ancient people as a revelation from God – there was simply no other way for them to learn of possible consequences of their breaking these rules (which are found out only now).

    The Old Testament also says that all males should be circumcised and in the hot climate of the desert ancient Jews were walking it for a whole generation it does look like a necessary sanitary procedure.

    Hence I have a question to you as a Jehovah’s Witness – is it obligatory for men to be circumcised there? And if it is, can it be the reason why the Chandlers were so sure that Michael was circumcised?

  111. April 8, 2012 12:18 am

    “THANK YOU for writing this. You set my heart at peace about Michael after I read this and I am so very grateful to you for it!”

    @I4nm4rs, please don’t even thank me – it was a great pleasure to get familiar with Jehovah’s Witnesses views! Actually, knowing Katherine Jackson and Michael, I didn’t expect anything different, but the fact that Jehovah’s Witnesses try to really live by the Bible and look up to the first Christians as their model left me in awe for their beliefs. I myself do not fit the JW’s high standards even by one tenth, but am trying my best too.

    Though Michael Jackson left Jehovah’s Witnesses it is clear from all his later work that he not only continued to live up to their faith, but it only strengthened with every coming day. I have looked up the lyrics of his later songs and in practically each of them he appeals to God and to the best in people, encouraging them or imploring them to change their ways. These lyrics are amazing for a pop artist – one would expect them to be composed by philosophers and not an “entertainer who could dance”.

    Surprisingly but it was this entertainer who was doing what philosophers, regilious leaders and even politicians should have done. Heal the world, Earth song, and many others are well known, but look at the lyrics of those songs which have not yet been mentioned:

    Jam
    Nation To Nation
    All The World
    Must Come Together
    Face The Problems
    That We See
    Then Maybe Somehow We Can Work It Out
    I Asked My Neighbor
    For A Favor
    She Said Later
    What Has Come Of
    All The People
    Have We Lost Love
    Of What It’s About

    …We Must Live Each Day
    Like It’s The Last

    Tabloid Junkie
    …It’s slander
    You say it’s not a sword
    But with your pen you torture men
    You’d crucify the Lord

    “The Lost Children”

    We pray for our fathers, pray for our mothers
    Wishing our families well
    We sing songs for the wishing, of those who are kissing
    But not for the missing

    So this one’s for all the lost children
    This one’s for all the lost children, wishing them well
    And wishing them home

    When you sit there addressing, counting your blessings
    Biding your time
    When you lay me down sleeping and my heart is weeping
    Because I’m keeping a place
    For all the lost children
    This is for all the lost children
    This one’s for all the lost children, wishing them well
    And wishing them home

    Home with their fathers,
    Snug close and warm, loving their mothers
    I see the door simply wide open
    But no one can find thee
    So pray for all the lost children
    Let’s pray for all the lost children
    Just think of all the lost children, wishing them well…

    “We Are Here To Change The World”

    We’re on a mission
    In the everlasting light that shines
    A revelation
    Of the truth in chapters of our minds

    So long, bad times
    We’re gonna shake it up and break it up
    We’re sharing light brighter than the sun
    Hello , good times
    We’re here to simulate, eliminate
    An’ congregate, illuminate

    (We are here to change the world)
    Gonna change the world, Hee
    (We are here to change the world)
    Gonna change the world, Ooo

    So do surrender
    ‘Cause the power’s deep inside my soul
    Sing it

    Keep your head up
    Keeping your head up to the sky!
    Keeping your mind to stay alive,
    Give me your wings so we can fly!
    Keep your head up, tonight!
    Keeping your head up to the sky,
    Or we can just rise up, tell me now
    Give me your wings so we can fly!

    Killing up the life in the birds and the trees,
    And we’re suckin’ up the air in the Earth from under me (it’s never too late)
    I can’t even breathe (just lean on me),
    I can’t even see!
    Keep your head up, don’t give up, today!
    How long can we wait?
    I wish that love would come today!
    All you need is love,
    I tell you I know it’s coming soon
    And all you need is just a moment, won’t it do
    Keep your head up!

    “Cry”

    …Stories buried and untold
    Someone is hiding the truth, hold on
    When will this mystery unfold
    And will the sun ever shine
    In the blind man’s eyes when he cries?

    You can change the world (I can’t do it by myself)
    You can touch the sky (Gonna take somebody’s help)
    You’re the chosen one (I’m gonna need some kind of sign)
    If we all cry at the same time tonight

    People laugh when they’re feelin sad
    Someone is taking a life, hold on
    Respect to believe in your dreams
    Tell me where were you
    when your children cried last night?

    Faces fill with madness
    Miracles unheard of, hold on
    Faith is found in the winds
    All we have to do
    Is reach for the truth

    And when that flag blows
    There’ll be no more wars
    And when all calls
    I will answer all your prayers

    Change the world

    AND THESE SONGS ARE ONLY A FRACTION OF WHAT HE HAS WRITTEN!

  112. Linda permalink
    April 7, 2012 10:29 pm

    @vindicatemj

    Linda, do you remember Dr. Patrick Treacy who treated Michael when he lived in Ireland? And Dr. Treacy said about Michael Jackson the same: He lived his faith.

    Yes, I read his words and agree wholeheartedly. I think everything Michael did, he did in faith that he was doing God’s will and showing God’s love to the world. He didn’t take the glory for anything, but accredited everything he did or had to God working through him. That is what the Holy Spirit does, work God’s will through us, as long as we will be an humble open channel for him to use.

    He’s very willing to speak and work miracles through us. We just have to be open, and willing and seek his will for our lives. Very good article. I’m always interested in learning more about other faiths.

  113. R.J permalink
    April 7, 2012 9:45 pm

    @vindicatemj
    Hey there! I actually wanted to provide some answers as to why JWs reject blood transfusions.

    I did careful research so that my answers won’t come across as offensive to you.

    The Bible teaches that we are to respect the sanctity of blood and abstain from it. Although we are not to consume animal blood, it applies to human blood as well. So even though the blood would be shot intravaneously, we wouldn’t be abstaining from blood. It would be like a doctor telling an alcoholic to abstain from alcohol, but the alcoholic has it injected into his veins.

    Basically, if JWs were to accept blood transfusions, we would be disobeying the command to abstain from blood in all shapes and forms.

    However, when a life-threatening situation calls for a blood transfusion, JWs look to altrnative forms of bloodless surgery that can save our lives and the lives of children such as:
    Erythropoieten a hormone once released into the body can stimulate the red blood cell count
    Cell salvage in which the blood that was lost is cleansed in a cell salvage machine and then relaeased back into the body
    Hemodilution in which equipment is arranged in a circuit that is constantly linked to the circulatory system
    Blood fractions in which only a small fraction of red cells, white cells, platelets, and plasma are placed into the body (I wish I could provide a link that could give a better, more researched definition to these alternatives, but I couldn’t find any, sorry.)

    There are many more alternatives than the ones just mentioned; but these are just a few of the many alternatives that we as JWs seek for ourselves and our children if the situation is life-threatening and calls for a blood transfusion. That way, we will be able to save our lives and the lives our children without disobeying the command to abstain from blood.

    I hope this doesn’t come across as offensive to you or anyone else; I just wanted to provide an explanation as to why JWs feel so strongly about rejecting blood transfusions.

    BTW thank you for keeping an open mind in regards to the Jehovah’s Witness faith.

  114. April 7, 2012 7:05 pm

    @The Validity Examiners, a lot of people like talking about the Holy Spirit but no one can really explain what it is. However when we see the results of its work we easily recognize it. The effect is totally the same as with Love. Love is also capable of great miracles – the power of mother’s love can raise a child from his deathbed. There are known cases when human beings could move railway carriages or trucks to avert danger from their child. Or go into a burning house and remain alive after that. But can you or anyone explain what love is? Not referring to the famous words by Apostle Paul of course, but in your own – simple and plain?

    Michael was also thinking about it as he has a great essay about Love in his Dancing the dream poems:

    Love
    Love is a funny thing to describe. It’s so easy to feel and yet so slippery to talk about. It’s like a bar of soap in the bathtub, you have it in your hand until you hold on too tight.
    Some people spend their lives looking for love outside themselves. They think they have to grasp it in order to have it. But loves slips away like that wet bar of soap.
    Holding on to love is not wrong, but you need to learn to hold it lightly, caressingly. Let it fly when it wants. When it’s allowed to be free, love is what makes life alive, joyful, and new. It’s the juice and energy that motivates my music, my dancing, everything. As long as love is in my heart, it’s everywhere.

  115. April 7, 2012 6:25 pm

    “One of the tapes found in michael’s home in 1995 was called “Michael Jackson’s Neverland Favorites An All Boy Anthology.”

    @differntkindofree, I have read the FBI files inside out and never saw anything of the kind. Could you provide a screenshot or at least point to a place where you say it was mentioned?

    My opinion is that your head was thoroughly brainwashed by someone because if a title like that had ever been mentioned at the 2005 trial it would have been tossed about for weeks and months both by the prosecution and the media. However it is the first time I hear of it – either from you or anyone. Please provide a link to where you read of this nonsense.

  116. April 7, 2012 6:17 pm

    “Michael at least concretely helped Gavin by the s.c.blood drive. He obviously needed some bloodtransfusions and he had a very unusual bloodgroup.”

    Kaarin, now that I have got some ideas about Michael and early Christians off my chest I can at last get back to answers. The JWs rejection of blood transfusion does not seem reasonable to me even from the point of view of the Scripture – blood transfusion is not the same as eating meat raw with blood in it (which indeed has something unpleasant about it).

    But when parents refuse doctors to make blood transfusion to their children they make a much graver mistake in my opinion – they force their own will upon others and make them take decisions these people would not have taken by themselves. Some parents think that they own their children while actually they do not!

    What I mean is that all those regulations towards clean living and self-discipline do not have anything to do with making others do it by force. God has given people free will to choose their own way and it is absolutely not our job to take this right from them. This right of ours is by the way the reason why all evil is taking place on this planet – because we choose these ways ourselves. But even despite that this Heavenly law cannot be broken. The Almightly could have changed everything himself long ago, but he wants us to choose his ways willingly and this is why all the roads are open to us.

    The only thing parents can do is guide the child towards accepting self-discipline willingly. If they have not managed to do so, they will have to live with it and blame only themselves for not being able to provide the best example for their children.

    As to blood transfusion – well, I don’t know… When I support Jehovah’s Witnesses in their search for the truth and living by the Bible’s commandments it does not mean that I approve of all their practices – some of them were also made by men who are unfortunately prone to making mistakes. If parents are against blood transfusion they can probably refuse doctors to do it for themselves only, but not for their children – doctors bear responsibility for these children no less than their parents do! And parents, in my opinion, take upon themselves really too much when they do not allow doctors to save their kids.

    It seems that Michael was also of the same opinion of his religion as he supported blood transfusions for Gavin and broke some of their other rules. Since he couldn’t observe everything (and probably even didn’t agree with everything) it was very honest of him to leave Jehovah’s Witnesses and I can only hugely respect him for that. It is much better to live in honesty than in pretense and hypocrisy. And it also shows that Michael was constantly in search of the true essence of God.

  117. April 6, 2012 11:42 pm

    Thank you SO MUCH for writing this article. I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and I have always loved so many of Michael’s songs, even before I became a JW. I heard the rumors about his conversion to Islam and a lot of other things and have never believed him capable of the atrocities he was accused of. His songs still move me very deeply and I am so very thankful that you cleared up so many of the rumors and took an objective view of my faith. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for writing this. You set my heart at peace about Michael after I read this and I am so very grateful to you for it!

  118. TatumMarie permalink
    April 6, 2012 12:59 am

    @kaarin22

    I could see that definitely being a hard decision when it’s a child and a parent, but witnesses are not totally against all components of blood. There are several elements of blood that make up what the body usually needs to function (not necessarily blood itself) that are not against the bible to take in. Witnesses usually refrain from taking in whole blood (which can spread genetic diseases, aids, etc.) and there are blood drives to collect these separate modules as well.

  119. lynande51 permalink
    April 5, 2012 9:13 am

    @differentkindofree
    I moved my reply to your question under the About The Blog thread. If you go there you can see it. That heading is a good place to put all the questions or comments that don’t go with the post that you are reading.

  120. April 5, 2012 8:26 am

    Yes, that is the scripture I was talking about…Some people believe that you have to speak in tongues to have the Holy Spirit…I went through different stages of salvation as I did not go to a church going family. I received Jesus when I was young but didn’t know there was a Holy Spirit..I do believe the Holy Spirit was in my life then even though I didn’t know Him. But lacked knowlege and I didn’t speak in tongues then. We are to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Matt.28:18-20 The JW do not believe in the trinity. So my point was that Jesus said that anyone that believes in Him has eternal life. I found this scripture…Acts 8:15-17 When they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Mark 16:15-18 He who believes and is baptized will be saved…also says that signs and wonders will follow those who believe. MJ saw signs and wonders as he states he healed children of cancer…He had the power of the Holy Spirit and was saved. :D

  121. April 5, 2012 5:08 am

    Hi, I know this has nothing to do with this post, but I don’t know where else to submit a question. I was reading an article about the FBI files released on michael, and I found something quite disturbing. One of the tapes found in michael’s home in 1995 was called “Michael Jackson’s Neverland Favorites An All Boy Anthology.” Do you have any information on this video?

  122. kaarin22 permalink
    April 5, 2012 2:46 am

    Thank you VMJ for the beutiful words. I read on this blog that Michael at least concretely helped Gavin by the s.c.blood drive. He obviously needed some bloodtransfusions and he had a very unusual bloodgroup.-.JW are against that.A big problem when the patient is a child and the parents are JW..I don´t think that parents own their children and so can not make that kind of decisions for their children.-Gavin looked very sick from the early photos of him with Michael.Certainly Michael was not drawn to him by any carnal wishes.To take on a child that sick he was inspired by Jesus´ words:Let the children come to me..(I am not well versed in expressing biblical ideas in English,maybe I sound clumsy.

  123. April 5, 2012 1:20 am

    “JW or not, He believed the Bible and lived it, which is what we all need to do, but I see more in his Christianity than most people that I know.”

    Linda, do you remember Dr. Patrick Treacy who treated Michael when he lived in Ireland? And Dr. Treacy said about Michael Jackson the same: He lived his faith.

    We have a post about Dr. Treacy and Michael: http://vindicatemj.wordpress.com/2011/05/14/dr-patrick-treacy-and-michael-jackson/

  124. April 5, 2012 12:53 am

    “I can’t remember where I heard that but we do have video footage of him saying that he healed children of cancer”

    @The validitity examiners, Gavin was ill with cancer – at least he came to Neverland for the first time bald and weak from chemotherapy, and this kind of treatment is not given without any reason. And now Gavin is kicking and alive, so Michael could have indeed contributed to his healing (even if it was only through his huge emotional impact on the boy).

    “That the disciples of Jesus went to a man and said, did you receive the Holy Spirit when you first believed and he responded that he never heard of the Holy Spirit and they laid hands on him and he was filled with the Holy Spirit…”

    As far as I know not quite that way – it was Paul who joined the disciples much later (previously he used to persecute them) and asked that question:

    He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” http://niv.scripturetext.com/acts/19.htm

    The commentary to the above says:

    Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
    “Have ye received the Holy Spirit?” – Have ye received the extraordinary effusions and miraculous influences of the Holy Spirit? Paul would not doubt that, if they had “believed,” they had received the ordinary converting influences of the Holy Spirit – for it was one of his favorite doctrines that the Holy Spirit renews the heart. But, besides this, the miraculous influences of the Spirit were conferred on many societies of believers. The power of speaking with tongues, or of working miracles, was imparted as an evidence of the presence of God, and of their acceptance with him, Acts 10:45-46; 1 Corinthians 14. It was natural for Paul to ask whether this evidence of the divine favor has been granted to them.

    As regards the Holy Spirit at their Last supper Jesus promised to asked his Father to send them another Helper after he went away – the Spirit of truth:

    Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

    15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
    16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,
    17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
    18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
    19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
    20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
    21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
    22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?”
    23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
    24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.
    25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.
    26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+14&version=ESV

  125. kaarin22 permalink
    April 4, 2012 5:23 pm

    Only God can decide who will be saved or not.

  126. April 4, 2012 1:36 pm

    You say you can’t open any of the JW site , Try those if you want the truth from TW them self.
    http://www.watchtower.org/
    http://Www.JW.org

    Bridgett, I can assure you that I’ve tried. At least from my computers they do not open. One of the reasons for the problem may be my anti-malware program which regards these sites as “malicious”. Those who don’t have the anti-malware program can open the sites, while those who do cannot as the program blocks them from opening.

    I have long noticed that some sites are infected with viruses so that the people who go there experience problems later. I had similar trouble with another site and the Troyan I picked up there slept for some time in my computer and started off only several days after attending the infected site. This is a way some people “punish” those who go to such sites but remain invisible both for the readers and the authors of the site.

    The reason might be a different one, of course, but I still very much urge Jehovah’s Witnesses to check up their sites for the malicious software that could have been attached to them by some “well-wishers”.

  127. April 4, 2012 8:40 am

    I heard something recently that he talked to someone about the healing ministry. I can’t remember where I heard that but we do have video footage of him saying that he healed children of cancer…This gift only comes with the gift of the Holy Spirit…I believe he read his Bible and found the Truth and he was saved…Witnesses do believe Jesus as savior…There also is a scriptue that I can’t take the time to look up that says…That the disciples of Jesus went to a man and said, did you receive the Holy Spirit when you first believed and he responded that he never heard of the Holy Spirit and they laid hands on him and he was filled with the Holy Spirit…The key phrase is ” When you first believed”…Jesus said anyone that believes in Him already has eternal life…Thank you for your hard labor of love.

  128. Bridgett permalink
    April 3, 2012 8:13 pm

    You say you can’t open any of the JW site ,
    Try those if you want the truth from TW them self.

    http://www.watchtower.org/
    http://Www.JW.org
    Those site have a welt of information about who JW are.

  129. Susanne permalink*
    April 3, 2012 4:44 pm

    “When we get to heaven we might be surprised to find some Baptists, some catholic’s, some holy rollers and oh my gosh, some JW!! I hope we can all get along when we get there.”

    Exactly, Linda.

  130. Linda permalink
    April 3, 2012 9:58 am

    Only God can see into the heart. A man might do some great things in his life, but only God Knows why he did them, whether it was for the praise of men or simply because he cared. The bible says to ” do you’re good deeds in secret “.

    If you brag about what some good deed you did, obviously you’re seeking glory or approval. If you did it because you cared you don’t need a pat on the back. If you need that pat, or recognition, you did it for the wrong purpose. Michael didn’t advertise his good deeds, and the media did not recognize them either.

    The media knows about a lot of of good things he did, but refused to report it because, sadly that doesn’t sell their papers. Michael didn’t do things to sell papers, and he didn’t do things for recognition or for man’s praise. He did what he felt and what he thought God wanted him to do. He always sought God for his next move. He always asked God where to go next. I wonder how many Christians or non-Christians do that.

    In the end, we will all stand before God and give account. When that time comes, you either have all that praise from man, or you have God saying, “well done, thou good and faithful servant”. I know which I prefer to hear, and so did Michael. That’s why he didn’t advertise his good deeds. JW or not, He believed the Bible and lived it, which is what we all need to do, but I see more in his Christianity than most people that I know.

    ” I was sick and you visited me. I was hungry and you fed me.” How many of us will God be able to say that to when we stand before him? I think Michael will. He visited the sick, and fed the hungry all over the world, and he loved everybody, even his enemies.

    When we get to heaven we might be surprised to find some Baptists, some catholic’s, some holy rollers and oh my gosh, some JW!! I hope we can all get along when we get there.

  131. TatumMarie permalink
    April 3, 2012 7:21 am

    Beautiful…I am lost for words.

Trackbacks

  1. Fact Checking Michael Jackson’s Christian Faith, Part 7 of 7: Judging Michael « Vindicating Michael

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