DID VOODOO KILL MICHAEL JACKSON? A sociological study of media and the public
“Press coverage of my life is like [watching] a fictitious movie…like watching science fiction. It’s not true.” ~Michael Jackson (2005)
There is no other word for the media treatment of Michael Jackson but barbaric. Even after Michael’s death journalists allowed themselves to behave towards him like savages and not the homo sapiens they are expected to be.
The article I’ve recently come across is the example of how incredibly low the media people can fall when it comes to Michael Jackson. Actually I remember reading the article before – just after Michael’s death – but its pedophilia allegations looked so horrible then that I said to myself that it could not be possibly true and closed the subject until some other time. A few days ago I stumbled upon it again, in a site which recommended the 6 pages of the article as “fascinating”.
The enthralled reader speaks of a fictional voodoo curse, but the real “fascination” of the story is the alleged MJ’s “pedophilia obsession” treated by the sorceress. Please don’t be misguided by all this voodoo nonsense – pedophilia allegations are the real and only goal of the “sensation” described:
Part 1. THE STORY
Written by Harriet Hall
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
There is a fascinating article in the Phoenix New Times I recommend reading all 6 pages of it to get the full flavor of all the varieties of woo-ness it contains. Sedona healer Reinalda de Souza is claiming that she killed Michael Jackson – with voodoo!
She claims to be trained in just about every kind of alternative medical woo-woo (rhymes with voodoo), including acupuncture, reflexology, aromatherapy, Ayurvedic medicine, dowsing, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, divination, massage, and lithotherapy. She treated Jackson with lithotherapy, having him bathe in tubs filled with agate, garnet, and aventurine. In a further treatment:
De Souza set about curing Jackson of what she called his “unnatural desire” through the use of black onyx and acupuncture applied directly to Jackson’s genitals. Often she would leave Jackson on a massage table, completely nude, with long needles protruding from his privates, while De Souza went grocery shopping. She has photos of Jacksonin this unusual state, which she shared for this report.
For payment, she asked for the skeleton of the “Elephant Man” which Jackson owns, (she loved the movie). When he failed to deliver, she sought revenge:
In front of the photo in a tin ashtray are a lock of jet-black hair, a small mound of nail clippings, and what look like skin shavings, all purportedly fromJackson. On the floor are three wooden bowls from which blood has spilled over. The rotting carcass of a baby Rottweiler lies before the bowls, its throat slit, a bloody knife next to it. In the corner of the room is a plain, white, voodoo-type doll with pins in its chest. Scrawled over the walls in the dog’s dried blood is the phrase “JACKO DIES.”
Apparently Jackson was no stranger to voodoo. In a 2003 Vanity Fair article Maureen Orth said he once paid $150,000 for a Malian witch doctor named Baba to have 42 cows ritually sacrificed as part of a ceremony enacted to kill off “25 people on Jackson’s enemies list,” including media mogul David Geffen and film director Steven Spielberg.
De Souza has saved various Jackson artifacts, like a cup he drank from that still bears his lipstick on the rim, and she is planning on selling them.
She admits that Jackson died from drugs but implies that her Candomblé curse was what caused people to administer those drugs toJackson. She warns her other customers that they’d better pay her or face similar consequences.
Let us make a note that at least one forth of the people who read the original article believed all these lies. The fact that the rest of them more or less doubted it does not mean they didn’t think MJ to be a molester – all it means is that they doubted that the voodoo ritual was the cause of Michael Jackson’s death.
The comments to the article showed that very few people felt sympathy for the deceased man and many said that the article only confirmed what they knew about him all along.
The Phoenix New Times indeed did everything in their power to erase whatever good still remained of Michael’s memory at the time.
The original article (see here) was written by a certain Joseph Rossi and may look to some people a well-researched and even genuine study – especially to foreigners who do not know half the names mentioned there.
It tells you of a “healer” named Reinalda de Souza and dwells for whole two pages about the extensive education she supposedly received in the science of non-traditional medicine. It marvels at her connections with the world of celebrities and drops a hundred well-known names of her celebrity clients. It gives links to various sources and provides an exclusive photo of the healer herself as well as a rare photo of the Elephant man whose bones Michael Jackson had allegedly bought.
But most of the article is devoted to drawing a vast and detailed picture of Michael Jackson’s “sins” and “bizarre” behavior.
It also delivers Michael’s supporters a sensitive blow by claiming that the editorial staff is in possession of the “documentary evidence” of the “anti-pedophilia” treatment the healer allegedly provided to her patient.
The date of the article is July 2, 2009 or a week after Michael Jackson’s death.
Since there are many quotations, links and lots of Portuguese words, allegedly used by this “Brazilian-born healer”, it must have taken them several days to write it. Judging by the length of the article (6 pages) the Phoenix New Times thought of throwing at the public this horrifying stuff immediately upon hearing the news of Michael’s death.
So their argument that it is a reaction to the “media mania” about the deceased man is only a pretext.
The intention of the publication is clear – it is a sort of a malicious obituary to Michael Jackson. The newspaper wanted to collect all nastiness ever said about him and turn it into a thriller to read with the ultimate goal to label him a “pedophile” and draw a line under the despicable life of a “criminal” whose name is not worthy of respect.
The article was meant to nip in the bud the feeble signs of sympathy for Michael Jackson which the media suddenly registered among their readership – a tendency that could be by no means tolerated.
The style of the narration marvelously suited the purpose of imitating the truth – the journalist is retelling the healer’s words with slighly ironic skepticism as if balancing between disbelief at what he hears and the excitement that he possibly struck at a gold mine of priceless information. Numerous colorful details give the story the so-much valued touch of the “real thing” being described:
The contents of De Souza’s home are like a three-dimensional résumé, of sorts, filled with the tools of her trade, mementos garnered from a lifetime of travel, and gifts from esteemed clients. Part shrine, part clinic, it seems she means to impress upon her visitors and potential patients her powers as a learned healer and sorceress.
Her mantelpiece, her desk, and various bookshelves are arrayed with the autographed photos of celebrities and politicos, but she has asked New Times not to reveal most of them, as many are clients in good standing.”
But what impresses the reader most is the truly encyclopedic knowledge of every lie and innuendo ever told about Jackson which the powerful healer seems to possess. Given that she is supposed to be living in seclusion with no access to TV or computer, her sinister words acquire the force of the “whole truth” finally told about the man. Who are we to doubt the revelations of a voodoo sorceress who is able to see through people?
The narration starts with a lie that Michael Jackson didn’t pay her for the invaluable services she rendered him. The healer is furious over it:
“I am not a woman to be trifled with,” says the short, charismatic woman, slapping the wooden table in the kitchen of her rambling, cliff-side dwelling for emphasis. “I haven’t traveled thousands of miles and studied on four continents just give my expertise away for free.”
“If he’d kept his word to me, he would be alive today,” snorted De Souza, sipping her tea. “The cretin thought he could backstab me after I’d devoted so much energy to curing him.”
So those readers who rightfully think that Michael Jackson never bought the Elephant Man’s bones at all, have now been assured by this newspaper that Michael told the healer himself that he did possess them, only he was fool enough not to keep his word. A sprinkle of a colorful detail and a warm “human” touch are used to bring out the lie to its full advantage:
“She stops for a moment, her long hair thrown back, her face ablaze in the evening sunlight that’s bouncing off the famous red rocks nearby, filling the room with a Martian glow.
“The rich in America,” she scoffs in an odd, foreign accent difficult to place until you know more about her. “They want everything for free. They’d better learn. The arts I employ to heal them can be used as readily to destroy.”
Suddenly, her face softens and she studies her visitor intently. “Would you care for some hot tea, dear?” asks De Souza.
However the Elephant man bones are only the beginning of the huge list of MJ’s “oddities” and ailments which are still to be listed.
The healer opens the list with a possibly true statement that Michael Jackson was suffering from depression. She claims she treated it with “St. John’s wort” (name of herb) and Wiki says that it is indeed widely known as a herbal treatment for depression!
By now I know that the whole thing is a lie and this explains the exclamation mark. To me it shows how well the author prepared himself for doing the nasty job.
De Souza says that his face was white due to face powder (and not vitiligo) and he wore lipstick, which is why the old witch calls him “a male prostitute” and “a horrible creature”. To prove that she indeed met Michael Jackson she shows the journalist a cup with some lipstick on its rim:
“Would you like to drink out of the cup Jacko used? He preferred St. John’s wort for his depression. I could have cured him of that, too, if he would’ve let me.” She brings forth a set of bone china with a pattern of gold leaf and sets down a cup and saucer. On the rim of the cup, the faded red imprint of someone’s lipstick can clearly be seen. Her visitor looks up.
“Yes, the lipstick,” she sighs. “It belonged to that horrible creature. He wore lipstick all the time. And face powder. Like a male prostitute. I haven’t washed it, for obvious reasons.” The “obvious reasons,” De Souza explains later, are that she plans to cash in and recoup some of her losses in dealing with Jackson by selling artifacts from their encounters — things he touched or was touched by, physically.
Telling only lies would be totally unprofessional for a journalist. It’s weaving lies into a true context which is a mark of real craftsmanship – so here comes a piece about Michael Jackson’s life in Bahrain where the two of them allegedly met. He asked her to cure him of his heart malady, which implies that he had a poor heart, and of another disease which he “confessed” as his “obsession” (you can also easily guess what it is).
The sorceress seemed to be so well informed of Michael Jackson’s ailments that she even mentioned his struggle with lupus:
“In Bahrain to attend an international seminar on the benefits of reiki healing — the Japanese science of “laying on of hands,” which helps direct a person’s “life force energy” — De Souza and Jackson met at a gathering of Bahranian royalty on the island nation. Sensing Jackson was in great pain, she gave him her card with her secluded Sedona address, suggesting that she could be of help to him if he were ever in Arizona. Months later, Jackson appeared at her doorway, asking if she could heal a heart malady, a result of his ongoing battle with lupus. Later, he confessed that he also wanted her to cure him of his obsession with prepubescent boys.”
What’s so horrible about these lies is that the image of the man painted in the article has the well-known and easily recognizable Michael’s features. The article says that he spoke to the healer in a soft voice and often came to de Scouza for treatment disguised in a fat suit, a beard and a wig. She recalls Michael saying that in his younger years he used to go from door to door distributing the Jehovah’s Witness literature. In fact she is even familiar with the speech Michael delivered when he was in Oxford! What a well-informed old witch this de Souza is!
“As he seemed to improve, I asked him if he really had the bones of the Elephant Man. He told me it was true. I told him how much Merrick’s life story had touched me, how much I adored the film.
“That’s when he said to me in his soft, childish voice, ‘If you cure me, you can have them. They’re in a box at Neverland. They’re doing me no good.'” De Souza was ecstatic, and she redoubled her efforts to heal Jackson of his heart condition.
Over a period of several months, Jackson returned to Sedona every other week for De Souza’s therapy. His visits were shrouded in secrecy, with Jackson sometimes donning a fat suit, a wig, and beard to elude newshounds in L.A., who dogged his every move. He had disguised himself (or at least said he did) as a youth when he went door to door as a Jehovah’s Witness, distributing copies of The Watchtower. Jackson described doing this on more than one occasion, the most famous probably being a March 2001 speech at the Oxford Union in England.”
The author does not know yet what Michael really died of, so he advocates the idea that Michael was pumped with Demerol (what else could a “drug-addict” die of?) but Reinalda seemingly disagrees with this popular version promoted under the usual “they think” motto:
“”They think someone pumped him full of Demerol,” she spat, her rage building. “It was a curse I learned long ago in São Paulo [Brazil] that stopped his heart. As soon as your story hits the street, the whole world will know that I — Dr. Reinalda de Souza — killed Jacko!”
Crazy as it sounds the author does not brush off the above revelation easily. He refreshes our memory as regards a certain Vanity Fair article by Maureen Orth where she claimed in full earnest that MJ was not above using voodoo himself. This way he calls for the old lie from Orth to support the new one from the witch and shows off how incredibly “unbiased” and “well-balanced” the author’s approach is:
“Were it not for Jackson’s own history of bizarro-world behavior and his past use of voodoo to curse his enemies, it would be difficult to believe everything De Souza had said at this point — and everything she was about to claim.”
In the meantime the list of lies is being vigorously continued and is crowned with a dense mix of innuendoes miraculously squeezed into one paragraph, so that not a single lie is overlooked. The idea of this piece is that with a history of “bizarre” behavior like Jackson’s you can expect anything – just anything from this “freak”:
”But this was the same entertainer who used to sleep in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to slow the aging process; the singer who shared his bed with little boys and, at one point, a chimp named Bubbles; the “moonwalker” who underwent a series of plastic surgeries and, possibly, skin-bleaching in order to make himself look more like Elizabeth Taylor; the Citizen Kane-like eccentric whose 2,600-acre Neverland Ranch featured its own Ferris wheel, miniature train, and private zoo worthy of a pasha.
With no irony intended, the Reverend Al Sharpton asserted at the recent BET awards show in Los Angeles, “Michael Jackson was a genius. He wasn’t a freak.” Unfortunately, the evidence doesn’t exactly stack up on the reverend’s side of that argument. Part of the reason Jackson was long derided as the “Wizard of Odd” were his ties to voodoo.”
The totally crazy voodoo piece from Maureen Orth will of course be central to the text that follows suit, but in order to prepare us for believing Orth’s lies the author first provides us with the full assortment of Michael’s unusual friends and the bizarre interests they shared. The author wants to look unbiased again as he mentions Uri Geller’s words who once hypnotized Michael (without him knowing about it) and reported that under hypnosis Michael revealed he was interested in women and not boys.
“Everyone remembers the stink that conservative Jehovah’s Witness elders kicked up in 1983 over the John Landis-directed music video for the single “Thriller,” with its army of the undead, a voiceover from horror icon Vincent Price, and Jackson himself, dancing in zombie mode and scaring the bejesus out of Playboy model Ola Ray. ThoughJackson added a disclaimer, stating that the video “in no way endorses a belief in the occult,” it was widely believed to be the main reason that he ultimately parted ways with the faith he had been raised in as a child.
Throughout Jackson’s life, he maintained an interest in magic, paranormal phenomena, and alternative healing. One of his best friends was illusionist David Copperfield, whom Jackson was planning to use on his abortive world tour, until Copperfield asked for too much money.Jackson was also a fan ofLas Vegas magician Criss Angel, and he was known to employ illusions in his stage performances as well.
Spoon-bending psychic Uri Geller was another pal of Jackson’s, and he’s been on TV a lot since Jackson’s demise, discussing his late friend’s interest in telekinesis. Geller claimed he once hypnotized Jackson and asked him under hypnosis whether he’d ever molested children. According to Geller,Jackson replied that he had not.
Deepak Chopra, a specialist in mind-body medicine and a licensed Western physician, knew and advised Jackson for 20 years. Following Jackson’s death, Chopra’s gone public with his belief that Jackson “was surrounded by enablers, including a shameful plethora of M.D.’s in Los Angeles and elsewhere who supplied him with prescription drugs.” The quote is from a tribute Chopra wrote for the Huffington Post blog. (A toxicology report on Jackson from the L.A. coroner is highly anticipated but will probably take several more weeks.) Chopra’s also mentioned Jackson’s interest in Sufi poetry and the works of Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore.
But Jackson’s friendships with illusionists, psychics, and healers such as Chopra were tame by comparison to the revelations in a 2003 Vanity Fair exposé by journalist Maureen Orth. Here, the subject of voodoo once again reared its head, like one of the undead in Jackson’s “Thriller” video. In the piece, Orth detailed how Jackson once paid $150,000 for a Malian witch doctor named Baba to have 42 cows ritually sacrificed as part of a ceremony enacted to kill off “25 people on Jackson’s enemies list,” including media mogul David Geffen and film director Steven Spielberg.
Orth also wrote of Jackson’s taking a bath in sheep’s blood for a “ritual cleansing” that cost him six figures. The person pouring the blood was a “voodoo doctor and mysterious Egyptian woman named Samia, who came to him with a letter of greeting from a high-ranking Saudi prince.”
This suddenly made me think of Nicholas Page who is said to be collecting some occult items, only no one cares about it – the most they complacently say is “Everyone wants a little magic in their lives, and Nicolas Cage is no different” (not to mention the horror films he and other numerous actors took part in). So why should Michael Jackson be singled out from the usual Hollywood pack and told these impossible sacrificial cows stories about is totally beyond my comprehension. Everyone who really knew Michael says he was unable to hurt a fly – and they say forty two cows...
However neither Maureen Orth nor the author of this article did an elementary Google search I’ve done and don’t know that a bathtub with a person in it holds 75 litres only, while the amount of blood in one cow is as much as 40 litres – so all the alleged Egyptian voodoo doctor needed was 2 cows at the most.
So shedding the blood of the remaining 40 cows was totally unnecessary, I am afraid.
However 2 cows do not sound as impressive as 42 cows, so Maureen Orth allowed herself to get a little carried away with her lies.
I wish someone told her about our simple arithmetics and the terrible way someone pulled her leg if the lie came from one of her “sources”.
The phrase to be pronounced next is another marvelous example of media manipulation and is the absolute classics of the brainwashing genre.
Its beauty is in its brevity:
- “He was not doing drugs like OxyContin while he was visiting me”.
It implies that Michael Jackson did not do drugs like OxyContin (a narcotic pain reliever similar to morphine) when he was visiting the healer, but when he was not visiting her, he did take it.
However saying the above is as absurd as saying, for example:
- “He was not eating chocolate of this brand while he was visiting me”
Same as the above this is a totally meaningless statement – it might equally mean that he never ate chocolate at all...
But all of the above fades in comparison with the revelation the healer makes with regard to MJ’s “dark secret”:
“Jackson eventually told De Souza that there were other, darker problems he needed her to heal.
“He was not doing drugs like OxyContin while he was visiting me,” De Souza insists. “But he did confess to liking little boys. I don’t care what Uri Geller said. He never liked the little girls.”
Disgusted, De Souza set about curing Jacksonof what she called his “unnatural desire” through the use of black onyx and acupuncture applied directly toJackson’s genitals. Often she would leave Jackson on a massage table, completely nude, with long needles protruding from his privates, while De Souza went grocery shopping. She has photos of Jacksonin this unusual state, which she shared for this report. But she refuses to allow them to be reproduced for publication.”
“Grocery shopping” is of course a hint that the whole thing is being a hoax, but in the face of so much serious information this minor detail can be easily overlooked. Indeed, how can you doubt the words of the good old witch from Sedona if she, who has no television or computer, knows such incredible things like the description the first Michael Jackson’s accuser gave to the authorities?
And what a surprise it is for us to learn that she knows of that description in the version voiced by the D.A. Tom Sneddon in his 2005 statement too!
No, she is not repeating the WRONG description made by Jordan Chandler which was the reason why Michael wasn’t arrested then and there – but she is echoing the more or less CORRECT description made in 2005 on the basis of the photos (showing a dark splotch on the light background which was the direct opposite of what Jordan claimed).
And since there was no way the healer could see the photos, what are the readers supposed to think? That she really saw MJ’s genitalia???
What a find, dear author, what a find!
You introduce the description from real photos seen by Tom Sneddon into a fictional story of yours and make your healer repeat the words of Tom Sneddon (who actually corrected Jordan in his statement). This way your healer is uttering the real truth about the matter AND with so much “consistency” in the descriptions some gullible reader can believe that she really saw the genitalia in question!
Bravo, Joseph Rossi, bravo. You are definitely unrivalled in making up stories. Only it wasn’t a “more than $20mln” settlement, but $15,3 mln. all in all – but what does some odd $5mln. matter to us when so Big a lie is at stake?
“I will say this, his genitals looked exactly like the description that came out of that first child-molestation case, the one where he paid off the boy’s family for more than $20 mil,” confides De Souza. “You can barely make it out in the photos, but his genitals were mottled, with brown lesions. I’ve never seen anything like it.
De Souza is referring to the description given in 1993 by then-13-year-old Jordan”Jordie” Chandler, whose family was famously paid off by Jackson. But before the case was settled for more than $20 million,Jackson had to submit to an intimate inspection by police detectives, which he later told the world he found humiliating. “
However even the above is still not enough for the insatiable Phoenix New Times paper. It also adds a spicy note to the strip search scene and claims that Michael Jackson “enjoyed” humiliation, implying this way that he was also a masochist:
“What the world didn’t know, De Souza says, is that the King of Pop enjoyed humiliation.
“He would shiver with delight whenever he remembered it,” says De Souza. “Then he would laugh that high-pitched laugh of his. More like the giggle of an impetuous child. I think he liked being stuck up like a pin cushion and left laying there like that. He would have loved it if someone else could have walked in on him.”
This unbelievable sample of journalism claims that the “genitalia treatment” was successful and showed good results upon making tests:
“At one point during treatment, De Souza wanted to see if her therapy was working. She says she showed Michael Jackson photos of a semi-nude Macaulay Culkin, posed on a bearskin rug. He demonstrated little interest; his heart rate didn’t even increase, according to De Souza. Jackson was beginning to believe that the New Age doctor’s unusual therapy had achieved its desired results, but De Souza warned the singer that he was not out of the woods yet.”
A couple of truthful details cannot spoil the pot already full of lies – so here we go with the well-known fact that Michael often changed his cell phone number, only in the healer’s version he allegedly used the trick to avoid payment to her:
“Plus, there was one other problem. Jackson had never made good on his promise to give her the Elephant Man’s skeleton. .. “He just stopped coming altogether,” gripes De Souza. “He changed his cell phone number constantly, and the last one I had was soon outdated. I called Lou [Ferrigno], who was training Jackson for his upcoming tour [which was supposed to begin this month in London], pleading with him to give me Jackson’s new number, but he told me he couldn’t in that freaky lisp of his.”
This is when she decided to take revenge on him which unfortunately necessitated shedding some innocent blood:
“Furious, De Souza turned back to her voodoo roots, praying morning, noon, and night to the fearsome Candomblé god of disease, Obaluaiye… As for the dead puppy, De Souza explained that real evil must accompany desired evil, and that she had to sacrifice a life dear to her in order to rob Jacko of his. The dog was hers, a 4½-month-old pup she’d brought home from the pound and dubbed Cerberus, for the canine that guards the gates of Hades in Greek mythology. She sliced his neck and held him as he jerked, allowing his warm blood to spill into the bowls beneath her feet. She drank from one to set the ritual in motion, turning with blood-stained hands to the voodoo doll.
She goes on, cackling, “Even though I’m a murderess, this is a crime they will never be able to charge me with. Imagine [the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office] trying to make a jury believe a sorceress killed Jacko. The DA would be laughed out of office.”
Then, turning as serious as the proverbial heart attack, she states, “But I killed him as sure as you’re sitting here.”
The damning “proof” that the old witch had indeed treated the man were the those very “genitalia” photos she allegedly shared with the newspaper, but “didn’t allow” for publication, and the photo of Michael Jackson with an autograph and a thank you note on the back side of it:
“But what of The Gloved One? Did he leave behind any tokens for De Souza before their falling out? She nods and walks toward a small room the size of a closet, painted over in a sickly hue of brownish yellow.
On the table is a photo of Jacksononstage during a concert that seems, judging by his clothing, from the time of the HIStory album, in the late 1990s. Though the photo has been turned upside down, the inscription is legible, “Thank you for everything, Dr. De Souza. Michael.”
I have omitted at least two pages of Reinalda de Souza’s qualifications of the Doctor of traditional Chinese medicine and her numerous other degrees received in various parts of the world.
They are totally irrelevant because Reinalda se Souza is a FICTIONAL character and was simply INVENTED by the jokers from the Phoenix New Times paper.
Part 2. THE HOAX
Yes, you’ve heard me right.
The good old sorceress NEVER existed, the journalist NEVER visited her and NEVER saw any photos of Michael Jackson or his genitalia.
The whole story is PURE FICTION and is actually the thoughts and ideas of the JOURNALIST himself (or his editorial staff) about the deceased man.
The form of a non-punishable “spoof” was ideal for slandering Michael Jackson. It allowed the newspaper to refresh in people’s memories the nastiest lies about the man and portray a hugely false and totally sick portrait of him. The pretext that it was a hoax “only” enabled them to unleash their dirtiest fantasies about Michael and drown him in the mud of their invention, while taking no responsibility whatsoever for the outrageous lies told.
What they actually did was really taking a voodoo doll of Michael Jackson, and – after covering it with tar, pins and colorful feathers – sending it all over the internet for the public to enjoy the sight, while they themselves sat back in full satisfaction with the nasty job done and got away with.
Now the story is living a life of its own, but they are in no way responsible for it. I gather that no one can even complain about all these lies so freely told about Michael Jackson – it was an innocent joke, guys! Some people simply do not have a sense of humor, you see?
And this was done to Michael Jackson only a week after his death. His children and family were still inconsolable in their grief, while the jokers were having extremely much fun at the expense of the deceased man who cannot say a word in his defense now ….
Part 3. THE JOURNALIST AND HIS READERS
The spoof was admitted by the journalist himself but not before two weeks passed while he was waiting for the responses from his readers and for the story to sink in.
The publication announcing that it was a hoax appeared only on July 16, 2009 or fourteen days after the initial lie was printed. By then the story had made quite a havoc among the public and spread well enough to reach other sources which reprinted the story with no comment on it. Up till now you can find the original lie published without any disclaimer here, here and here.
The disclaimer was calledOur Michael Jackson Spoof Is Outed, Plus Connecting the Dots Between Shawna Forde and Her Ideological Confederates and as I said, published two weeks later after 93 comments had been collected. The second article said that that author of it was journalist Stephen Lemons who hid himself behind the fictional name of “Joseph Rossi”.
It is clear that the journalist finds his trick funny and does not see any immorality in publishing outrageous dirt about the innocent victim of his lies. He makes a brief disclaimer that it was a “spoof” but speaks at great length at the way he chose names for himself and his fictional character, Reinalda de Souza.
I’m “Joseph Rossi.” Well, let’s say that I assumed the nom de spoof as a “tell,” meant to signal that what was to follow was satire. Joe Rossi was a scalawag reporter for the fictional Los Angeles Tribune on the old TV series Lou Grant and was played by character actor Robert Walden.
Originally, I wanted the pseudonym to be Jack McGee, the tabloid reporter who pursues Dr. David Banner in The Incredible Hulk. I always loved the line that Bill Bixbydelivered as Banner in the show’s intro: “Mr. McGee, don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”
But Jack McGee probably would’ve been a bit too obvious. At least one commenter picked up on Rossi’s name, though he was mistaken in one respect. He assumed that I modeled Reinalda de Souza’s name on real-life Brazilian soccer player Reinaldo De Souza. Actually, that’s just a coincidence. I consulted lists of Brazilian first and last names and put together one I liked. I don’t know anything about soccer. Much less Brazilian soccer.
So, of course, Dr. De Souza doesn’t exist any more than does her Rottweiler puppy. She was played to great effect by New Times security guard Natalia Perkins in the story’s photos. I actually wrote the spoof with Natalia in mind, as I’ve always thought she (though a nice lady) had a sorceress-like look.
Pretending it was innocent fun this joker says that he wanted to make just a “satirical” article and “made the whole thing up to poke fun at the media mania over Michael Jackson’s demise”.
Do you believe this guy that this was an innocent 6-page joke? I absolutely don’t.
What really “pissed off” this Michael Jackson’s hater and his editor-in-chief (the journalist couldn’t do it without his approval) was a hardly noticeable but still tangible change in the tone of the media people who suddenly recalled that they were humans after all and there are some decency rules too, and this made them assume a relatively neutral tone when speaking about the decease of Michael Jackson.
It would be a grave exaggeration to say that the media was fair to Michael Jackson when he died – we still remember those crazy Xanax stories in British papers – but even a slight shift towards a more positive note was not to be tolerated by the Phoenix New Times. Hence the mammoth work undertaken by the newspaper staff to refresh the old lies about Jackson and splash a new ton of mud at the man who cannot say a word in reply now.
The readers of this paper should never deviate from the strategy mapped out for them by the hardliners.
The author does not hide his hatred for Michael Jackson thus proving once again that everything he said in the name of “de Souza” were his own views about Michael. The disclaimer totally ignores the torrent of lies poured on the man while the author pretends that it was Michael Jackson himself who was responsible for trashing his own reputation:
Okay, so some of you cared that a Sedona New Age physician named Reinalda de Souza claimed to have killed Michael Jackson with a voodoo curse. And some of you were outraged that she was treatingJackson for pedophilia by using acupuncture and crystal therapy.
Some readers even were enraged that our story insulted the memory of a legendary artist, despite the fact that Wacko Jacko trashed his own rep plenty during his lifetime with his kid-lovin’ antics and excesses….
I’ve seen the readers’ comments and have to say that there were five or six people (out of 93) who were outraged by the way the story insulted the innocent man’s memory. However the rest of the public did not let the journalist down – the overwhelming majority never even mentioned Michael Jackson, as if all the horrifying and slanderous things described were common knowledge and were not to be disputed.
Instead of refuting lies about Jackson, shaming the author and calling to his journalistic ethics or simple human conscience, it turned out that most of the readers were outraged by the fate of the poor dog which was allegedly sacrificed for the voodoo ritual!
The public outcry was so intense that even the author, who cannot be suspected of having any shreds of conscience left, was surprised to see that people were much more prone to sympathize with a puppy than with a dead human being.
This is what he wrote, making fun of the fact how easy it is to fool these people:
But what really got the fanatics revved up full steam in New Times‘ satire “I Killed Jacko!” by Joseph Rossi was the account of Dr. De Souza’s slitting the throat of a 4½-month-old Rottweiler named Cerberus, drinking his blood, and leaving his lifeless carcass as part of some black magic ritual.
Jesus, you people are easy.
Why, I’ll bet I could have had De Souza ripping the heads off baby humans and eating their infant brains, and all you’d have been able to focus on was the pic of the puppy and the account of its untimely demise.
Over here the author is right. The callous joke at the expense of Michael Jackson did show the priorities of the society. The mob doesn’t give a damn if Michael Jackson, a human being, is killed in this or that way – but it goes after the author if he didn’t notify the authorities about the alleged animal cruelty.
Animal lovers were the only ones who gave the author a really hard time – and many of them showed themselves complete imbeciles at that. All they saw was the fate of a puppy while the apparent signs of the story being a hoax went completely unnoticed.
It seems that the experiment the journalist made on his readers provided the answer the media bosses were seeking for – if these people are totally lacking attention, are guided by pictures only and are no longer able to put two and two together, you can tell them ANY lie about Michael Jackson and they will swallow it no matter how crazy it is.
The media has a free hand now as they can no longer fear that the public will ever be able to tell the truth from fiction.
Besides generally admitting that “you guys are easy” the unscrupulous journalist also lashed out his poisonous tongue at the blind and deaf animal lovers who did not notice that it was a hoax even after he disclosed to them that it was:
“Though several commenters spotted the satirical flourishes in the piece and outed the joke online, animal lovers are apparently some of the dimmest bulbs on the planet.
Elizabeth from Scottsdale noted, “She killed a puppy, so I hope that something is done about it, because it is animal cruelty to kill a 4½-month-old puppy.”
Commenter Sveeb offered, “She might not go to jail for killing MJ, but animal cruelty is still illegal in Yavapai County.”
Mesa’s George Watson said, “This article states that this woman, Reinalda de Souza, killed a puppy that she adopted from the pound . . . This is animal cruelty, and satire or not, this needs reported to Animal Control and investigated.
To which SundevilRick101 noted, and I couldn’t have said it better myself, “To George Watson: Really? Are you a full-on moron or just a partial one?”
I’ve gotta wonder whether Watson was one of the people who called the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office to demand an investigation. See, I set Joe Rossi up with a local phone number so he could receive calls. And calls he did receive!
A few days after the spoof ran, Rossi received a call from a Sergeant Scott Potts with the animal-control unit of the YCSO. Potts left a message that his office had received complaints based on Rossi’s feature, and that “there was some interest in the end of the article where she supposedly sacrificed a puppy.” Potts was looking to get in touch with De Souza, you see.
A day or so passed, and another, more insistent call came, this time from an unnamed lieutenant with the YCSO, demanding that Rossi call him back because, “We’re conducting an investigation that you are a witness in.”
As there was no Rossi to call the YCSO back, New Times attorney Steve Suskin phoned the good deputies and informed them that the whole thing was a put-on. They seemed disappointed, but they informed our counselor that as a result of the complaints, De Souza had been placed on a list of people not allowed to adopt pets from the local animal shelter.
I can’t believe it.
The New Times attorney explained to the police or whoever these “deputies” are, that it was a hoax and De Souza was a fictional character and never existed, but they nevertheless put her on the list not allowed to adopt pets!
No, I really can’t believe it. This journalist must be pulling our leg again. But if he is not, now he does have a good reason for making really good fun of his readers:
Still, I count having sparked an official YavapaiCountysheriff’s investigation as a success, and it was certainly a bunch of fun to write. For the record, no animals were harmed in the making of the spoof. And De Souza, since nonexistent, had zero clients — certainly no Amar’e Stoudemire, whom De Souza was treating for his detached retina in the yarn, and certainly no Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whom De Souza had supposedly advised to do sudoku puzzles and load up on the gingko biloba for his dementia.
Not that we know for certain that Joe’s got dementia. But those sudoku puzzles couldn’t hurt, now could they?
Since the wave of outrage over the fate of the poor puppy evidently didn’t subside, the editor – clearly irritated with all this public mess created by the journalist and the imbecile public activity they were facing – published a second disclaimer, this time in much clearer wording. The second article had a subtitle which sounded disrespectable not only to Jackson but also to the “wackos” who were still misinterpreting their hoax.
Thursday, Jul 16 2009
WACKOS ON JACKO
Editor’s note: Okay, you’ve figured it out by now, right? Our story on Sedona “healer” Dr. Reinalda de Souza was satirical (see The Bird for full details). De Souza didn’t really ritually sacrifice a Rottweiler puppy to hex the “King of Pop” into suffering a fatal heart attack. She doesn’t even exist. We made the whole thing up to poke fun at the media mania over Michael Jackson’s demise.
The editor annoyed by his readers’ on-going mania over the demise of a non-existent puppy (though why is he complaining? he raised these readers with his own hands!) also provided samplings of readers’ response.
These responses will be suggested for your scrutiny now.
My collection of them will be a little extended and will include some of the original comments (not all 93 of them!). I made this list in order to turn the whole thing into a small sociological study of the Phoenix New Times readership.
The first group of readers is made up of complete imbeciles who fell for the story and didn’t accept reality even when the truth about the hoax was thrust in their faces (“satire or not, this needs reported to Animal Control and investigated”).
Many of them are animal lovers who also make it clear that the life of a human being – who deserves respect at least because he was a great father to his three children, now left orphaned – has for them no value at all. Here are the sample responses:
- As concerned animal lovers of Sedona we wonder the origin of the baby rottweiler, If she got it at the local humane society we would like to know. Animal sacrifice is not an acceptable practice for animals obtained there. We will bring the article to their attention so that they will know the care she gave this victim animal. … We are not letting go of this evil in our community.
- It’s remarkable that within the scope of this woman’s foul perception of what is right and what is wrong, the criminal act of killing an innocent puppy goes unrecognized. She sliced the neck of a 4½-month-old pup she’d brought home from the pound. The horror of her actions should not be described again, except in a courtroom before a judge. Where is the ASPCA in Sedona? I’m outraged at the puppy’s death, not Jacko’.
The huge second group of readers astounded me by the news that they actually met Dr. de Souza.
These are the type of jokers who play up to the author and willingly (or unwittingly) supply fictional “proof” of his slander. This way they are doing no good to anyone, but are making the hateful story about Michael Jackson seem true.
This group of readers is not as harmless as one might initially think. Considering that there is a vast group of real imbeciles, now we can expect those morons to use the jokers’ “evidence” as proof that Michael Jackson was indeed treated for all that ped-lia nonsense by a totally non-existent doctor.
Here are the samples of the jokers’ humor:
- I can attest to meeting Dr. De Souza on several occasions. She not only helped relieve my diabetic neuropathy, but she also helped rid my wife’s body of an ovarian cyst. Whether or not she actually killed Michael Jackson, I cannot say. She is a very kind soul and may have exaggerated things a bit with the writer.
- Dr. De Souza, I cannot thank you enough for what you did for my shortened leg. It’s about time you got some press about your wonderful gift. If not for you, my life would have been hell! Your wonderful combination of chlorine, phosgene, and mustard gas (or Yperite) to help extend the molecular structure of my left leg is uncompromised. I can wear sneakers again! You rule, De Souza, you rule! Oh, at least they didn’t ask you about your tetrodotoxin, botulinum toxin, and ricin experiments with that group of retarded children from Kentucky.
- Doc, just keep performing your brand of miraculous medicine; don’t listen to stupid dog lovers. “Stupid hippies,” one and all. It’s not a Saturday night at our house in Bev-er-ly unless we ritually sacrifice a dog or two.
- I highly resent all you poor fools saying that I do not exist. (I asked one of my clients to put this message out in my name, because I don’t know how to operate a computer.) The athlete to whom the reader refers is my nephew, my namesake, dearies! I assure you that I do exist, and am doing quite well with my medical practice. My clients are getting a big laugh out of all the people who think New Times made up this story. I spent days with Mr. Rossi, who didn’t really believe that I had the power to kill. But I finally convinced him that I do by willing my neighbor’s Yorkshire Terrier to jump off a cliff and kill itself in front of our eyes. Quite a mess down below! But, don’t worry, I bought him a new dog the next day — one from the pound who needed a good home. It requires far less magic with an animal than with a human being, you see. The kind of ignorance some of you display is what gives the American Medical Association power over your minds, as well as your bank accounts. I implore you, break free before it is too late! …Dr. Reinalda
- Ignorance, ignorance! Of course, Dr. De Souza is real. I was cured of homosexuality by her. I’m not kidding. And there’s no doubt she is capable of putting a voodoo hex on somebody. She has quite a temper.
The third big group are the people who are made of the same stuff as the journalist himself – utterly cynical and lacking a fraction of conscience or remorse for the unnecessary harm they are doing to the dead man they know nothing of.
They pride themselves on having a “sense of humor” and think it is cool to bash the innocent. They’ve been raised on easy media lies and are full of contempt for those who have the audacity to think on their own. They virtually know nothing of the man they are trashing, but think themselves clever and call their critics ignorant. These are bullies who can assert themselves only at the expense of other people.
The fact that they are at one with the author of the article, Stephen Lemons (who is the winner of many awards!) gives them the impression of following the “right trend” and enables them to assume a superior attitude towards others.
It makes them bold and opens a way to freely unleash their nastiness. But same as their blind guide they don’t know what abyss of immorality and human disgrace all of them are jointly marching into…
Here are the samples of their condescending comment:
- What a piquant antidote to the madness going on [over] Jacko. Bravo to Mr. Rossi for this fine send-up of the “King of Pop.” Granted, Jacko had some good tunes, [but] people need to get a grip.
- I thought [the story] was great satire. A laugh a minute. If it was satire . . . I’m not so sure it wasn’t true. With a nutcase like Michael, anything’s possible. And I’ve heard of this Dr. De Souza.
- Isn’t it ironic that satire on Michael Jackson is more truthful than all the hype we’ve been reading and seeing on this perv? Thank God somebody showed this little freak for what he was.
- Leave it to New Times to make huge fun of all the crap out there, including the BET show. It was like the perv stuff never had happened. New Times is funny as hell in hitting the mark. You made my day!
- As for New Times loosing credibility, are you kidding me? There is a big hint about the validity of the story on the front page for Christsakes! Joe Rossi worked for Lou Grant…You know, the TV SHOW? New Times knows when to look at itself in the mirror and think “oops we are being too serious time to step back.” It is in fun, it doesn’t take the credibility away from a single writer. These are people that have won many many many awards.
Lastly to the morons that are saying Jackson was amazing blah blah blah. I like his music as well but the fact that he touched little boys reserves him a special place in hell. Yes I believe he touched little boys, and I think he paid off the parents to get them to shut up. He was a perv. A very very talented perv but a perv none the less. All the people that think he was amazing, when he was alive would you have left a 6 year old alone with him? I didn’t think so.
- Lauren [critic of this stuff] is the kind of humorless idiot that New Times must count on when it writes a parody like this. Michael Jackson’s whole life has been in poor taste since the success he enjoyed with Thriller. Lauren, please seek out Dr. De Souza and get her to transplant a sense of humor into that stupid brain of yours!
- Chill Lisa [another critic]. You look like an idiot with no sense of humor.
The fourth is a rare group of sensible people who tell the newspaper that it is distracting people from real problems or show the auther they’ve seen through his lies and are disgusted with the sight. These people are full of good intentions and want to help others to see the truth behind the media lies.
Here is their comment after reading the original story:
- Can I have my fifteen minutes back?
- This was obviously satire people. The subject of the story Reinalda de Souza who is from Brazil is obviously a play on the name a Brazilian soccer player. See below
Full Name: Reinaldo De Souza
Date of Birth: Jun 8, 1980
Place of Birth: Rio de Janeiro
As for the author Joe Rossi
Lou Grant worked at the fictitious Los Angeles Tribune daily newspaper as its city editor, a job he took after the WJM television station fired him. (Though Mary Tyler Moore Show viewers were introduced to the character as a television news producer, the character noted many times that he’d begun his career as a print journalist.) The rest of the main cast included Robert Walden and Linda Kelsey, who played general-assignment reporters Joe Rossi and Billie Newman, respectively.
- Here’s the thing: New Times’ spoofs are about as clever and innovative as wedgies and nipple twisters. What do you expect from a company run by dinosaurs and staffed by assclowns and sycophants?
- Mr. Rossi and those who employ you: I implore you to stop writing these types of articles (“I Killed Jacko,” “Joe’s a Nazi”), used solely for the purpose of getting people to read your rag. I read New Times occasionally because, mainly, I’m sick of reading the Republic’s constant reminders of how I’m still not going to have a job next year (I’m a teacher with a master’s degree, currently employed at Circle K). I also like the music section; that’s about it.Can you write something worthwhile that will get shit accomplished, please? Why don’t you use your ability to print whatever the fuck you want and use it for good? How about, let’s say, write a piece that’s worth reading about how teachers are being ass-fucked by the government right now?
And the fifth group is an absolute minority which nevertheless made me feel proud that I see eye to eye with them. This is a small but dignified group of readers whose response is actually the only comment one would expect normal people to make after reading an article like this one.
It is surprising and sad that they are not that many at the moment, but Michael Jackson’s life and death suddenly turned out to be so meaningful to the society that it miraculously started a process of restoring people to their senses.
You can read the comment of these people and see for yourselves that they are they are simply the best from the whole crowd. Simply the best.
- To All the MJ Haters:
You believe Jackson touched little boys because you WANTED him to touch all little boys. You project all your sick, twisted fantasies on something pure, innocent and platonic. …You people are fastidious scandal whores. Nevermind that he was never convicted of one damn thing and that many of his accusers have since recanted and admitted that they lied, no doubt being put up to it by greedy parents who were just out to bilk a money train.
Michael Jackson transformed the world and it just drives you nuts that someone so eccentric held such an undeniable power over people, so you spew this ignorant drivel. Who’s going to make a fuss over you people when you die? No one, because you’ve never done anything with your life that has mattered and your existence is irrelevant.
- I read this yesterday and it was clear, by the end, that it was intended to be satire. Still, I found it in bad taste, disrespectful to the memory of the deceased and to the Jackson family. It’s also rife with racist, hateful imagery and expressions (he blanched, not that you couldt tell; he had brown lesions on his penis, the image of Michael with pins in his penis) that say a whole lot about the writer and his biases. May the same be said, in public, about you when you die…as a joke…
- Regardless of whether this is satire or partial truth, that doesn’t change the fact that it is in horrible taste.
Not only are you giving a supposed murderer, fake or not, the ability to voice her sickness to the world; you’re also being incredibly disrespectful to the deceased. Michael Jackson died, and maybe he did some regretful things in his lifetime, but there is a certain level of respect that should be granted to the deceased.
On top of human decency, if this were true, I’d hope that this woman gets what is coming to her. Not just for the blatant animal abuse, but the lack of sensibility. You do NOT murder someone because they broke a verbal agreement.
Yet another solid reminder as to why I DON’T read the PHX New Times.
- The New Times writes fictitious bullshit fairy tales like this because they know their readers are gullible idiots. Just read “Letters to the editor” after they write a horribly biased, slanted article. This is a hoax. The New Times is really struggling for an identity.
You really want us to believe she met Jackson in Bahrain at a gathering for loyalty? And he showed up at her door in Sedona? And anyone who is anybody has been to her for treatment? Shaq went to HER for help on his free throws? Amare went to her to heal his eye? Sheriff Joe sees her for mental issues? Ronald Reagan went to her to heal his alzheimers? And of course there are ties to recent celebs who died, Ed McMahon and Farrah Fawcett.
I would say New Times has lost all credibility, but they’ve never had any to begin with.
Lisa [the one who was called by bullies an idiot lacking a sense of humor]
- What a bunch of crap!!! I can’t believe that the New Times actually spent the time and money on such sh*t! And I’m sure that this is just the beginning of many more made up, outlandish stories we’ll be hearing about… if we want to or not!!!