I urge everyone to watch Leaving Neverland.
At first, I wasn’t going to watch because I identified and related with the narrative of MJ being smear campaigned and read the articles about the investigation. The quiet voice inside me asked to keep an open mind and to listen to both sides. With the way authorities handle sexual assault cases, it did not convince me that there wasn’t any abuse going on behind closed doors – especially having firsthand experience of the legal process. As a survivor of sexual assault, you almost get a sixth sense for abuse. These men were abused. The look in their eyes when they recollect the memories, their body language, the way their voice constricts as they fight through the pain – that is not fake. This case has so many nuances and details of the victim psyche, especially for victims that were abused at a very young age. Everything they have said as to why they defend MJ and why they didn’t come forward I 100% related to and have been in the exact same position with my abuser. The grooming process, the seduction, how that attaches and warps your whole being and identity as a young person. To have that as you’re still growing and developing is catastrophic for the mind, body, and soul.
Society protected MJ because he was an inspiring avatar for many people. He was a hero, an idol. People having to come with terms that he was a predator would mean suffering a loss. A loss of a hero and idol, a loss of memories attached to MJ’s music and how it made them feel and what his music meant for them. If those people came to terms with the closeted predator and abuser he was – everything comes crumbling down. Just like the boys had to face that they were abused and not loved by MJ, everything came crumbling down.
To accept that MJ was a predator, means that they would have to accept they were deceived. Not only did MJ groom his victims, he groomed the world into believing he was something he absolutely was not. He made the world believe he was a hero, while being the greatest villain, stealing the childhoods of other boys to fill the corrupted and twist void of his own childhood. He negatively altered psyches and gave life sentences to his victims and their families.
MJ groomed the world in the same way groomed young boys, with worlds of love, peace and divinity. He dripped with seduction from his music to the way he presented himself as loving deity. He dazzled the world and the boys with his talent, creating a god like position for himself. He was as powerful as god, yet harmless, sweet, and innocent as a little boy. This disarmed the world. It disarmed the parents. It opened the boys up for extreme intense grooming and psychological training where MJ mixed intimacy and deviancy. A very common predatory pattern, but in this case on steroids due to MJ’s powerful position in the world.
Many people have had horrible and abusive childhoods, but not everyone molests and rapes children because of it. Just because MJ didn’t have a childhood doesn’t mean that society turns a blind eye. This story tells us that enough fame, adoration, and money grants get out of jail free cards. MJ’s personal pain and demons doesn’t negate the soul fracturing, life altering abuse he inflicted on these children.
To be ripped away from the feel-good tactics and control of the abuser, means facing the hurt and betrayal. It means starting at square one, rock bottom, and having to rediscover who you are after the abuse. That process in itself ends live. Victims rebirth themselves many times over in order to fully heal and redefine their life without their abuser. They find an identity beyond their abuser, leaving many lost, often for a lifetime. Piecing together of who you once were, who you were during the abuse, and who you are after it.
Abusers build foundations to keep everyone in the dark. For some, being in the dark is more comfortable and self-serving than facing the truth and shedding light on very gruesome reality.