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Carl
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Leaving Neverland
03. Mar 2019 at 05:33
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I guess they will never leave Michael Jackson alone even in death. HBO will be airing this program on Sunday, March 3, Supposedly there will be these two individuals coming forward to explain how there lives were at Michael Jackson's Neverland. What is surprising is that one of the individuals testified in court on behalf of Michael Jackson that nothing happened but now, 30 years later, he is telling a completely different story.
  
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nightwatcher
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Re: Leaving Neverland
Reply #1 - 03. Mar 2019 at 15:15
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Why rehash settled cases now, a decade after the man died? The filmmakers clearly thought that with the so-called MeToo era, in which the received wisdom is to believe anyone who claims to be a victim, this was the moment to pounce. That really says it all about their credibility.
  
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Cola
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Re: Leaving Neverland
Reply #2 - 17. Jun 2019 at 04:45
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I for one believe this is all worth following. It provokes questions about the nature and definition of "sexual abuse" and how that changes over time, and how social pressures are able to redefine our experiences, even long after they occur.

Assume both the guys in the documentary did have sex with Jackson as boys. Then ask yourself why they would testify that it didn't happen. One can come to two divergent conclusions. The first is that Jackson has a magical power to seduce, to brainwash, to intimidate-- a power far beyond typical humans, whose as parents can't get their early teenaged boys to organize their rooms, take out the trash, or do their homework.

The second is that the boys actually cared for Jackson, loved him as a person, and lied and otherwise went out of their way to protect him. Later, once he actually died they decided either (a) why not go after a part of his multi-millions? or (b) reconsidered the sincerity of Jackson's affections when they discovered that he didn't bother remembering them and their loyalty in his will.

I believe Occam's Razor leads us to reject magic and therefore to conclusion 2a or 2b, or some combination of 2a and 2b. However, that a minor boy can have such emotional depth, such loyalty, such a sincere love for a "child molester" is a solution so politically and socially repugnant to the current society that it just cannot be considered. (It's like a medieval European mind trying to understand the natural world without any reference to God.)

There is a third option: that Jackson is actually innocent of any charges of sexual involvement with any boys. He was just a nice super-rich guy and his accusers lying, greedy, cynical white trash looking to cash in.

That's why the story of Michael Jackson the child molester will live on long after the guy. Every understanding of that aspect of his life is profoundly unsatisfactory and unbelievable in one way or another. We currently live in a culture where Michael Jackson is impossible, and yet, there he is moon-walking across our screens.
  
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diogenes
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Re: Leaving Neverland
Reply #3 - 17. Jun 2019 at 14:50
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Cola wrote on 17. Jun 2019 at 04:45:
The second [possibility] is that the boys actually cared for Jackson, loved him as a person, and lied and otherwise went out of their way to protect him.

I think this is exactly what happened. I think it's a little unfair to ascribe a purely pecuniary motive to the two men now. I think it is more likely that they have absorbed the hegamonic abuse narrative with which our culture is saturated, and have come to reinterpret their experiences in the light of this narrative, so that what at the time may have been experienced in one way - as pleasurable, exciting, etc. - is regarded in a wholly different light now.

As you rightly say:
Cola wrote on 17. Jun 2019 at 04:45:
[T]hat a minor boy can have such emotional depth, such loyalty, such a sincere love for a "child molester" is a solution so politically and socially repugnant to the current society that it just cannot be considered...We currently live in a culture where Michael Jackson is impossible, and yet, there he is...
  
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Cola
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Re: Leaving Neverland
Reply #4 - 25. Jun 2019 at 02:04
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diogenes wrote on 17. Jun 2019 at 14:50:
 
I think this is exactly what happened. I think it's a little unfair to ascribe a purely pecuniary motive to the two men now. I think it is more likely that they have absorbed the hegamonic abuse narrative with which our culture is saturated, and have come to reinterpret their experiences in the light of this narrative, so that what at the time may have been experienced in one way - as pleasurable, exciting, etc. - is regarded in a wholly different light now.


I would never want to imply "purely." However, I think it is fair to ascribe the "change in heart" they both experienced in some way to Jackson's death.

I contend that because those (very real) social pressures you describe accurately were being applied all through their lives, for both of them to do a 180 on their stories soon after his death implies his death more likely than not had something to do with the change.

Once we assume that, we need to ask what exactly did his death bring about? I would reject that "the magical hold MJ had on his victims finally went away" argument. So I'm left with a combination of "being dead, he no longer benefits from my continued loyalty" and "Jesus, that's a shit-load of money! For all the shit I'm still going through, I think I deserve at least a nice nest-egg from that huge pile."

Without proof, I'm kind of assuming that those two guys resisted the social pressure to redefine their experiences as abusive for so long, that they are more or less immune to its effects on their psyches by this point.
  
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