Jackson Family Betrayal

by Allforlove

October 14, 2010

Although this site has the intention of being Michael's website, and I try to avoid any bad comments about him and his family because we know he didn't like it, I need to show sometimes my feelings too about things like this, his family behavior with him, so excuse me Michael:

Family betrayal has been such a hot topic recently in the Jackson camp-between Katherine and Joe sitting down with Oprah last weekend, and the discovery of Latoya’s interview with Victor Guiterrez (of all people!) last March in Chile-that I thought it was time to address the issue.

I was thinking not so very long ago that Michael has been, in many ways, the victim of some of the worst family betrayal imaginable. It began in childhood, with his father’s own physical abuse and taunting. It seemed to grow worse when his solo adult success put him miles ahead of his brothers’ successes. This was when Jermaine Jackson wrote a song called Word To The Badd, which contains some of the worst vile and venom I have ever heard spewed publicly from one brother to another. True, the song never mentions Michael by name. But there was never any doubt who the song’s lyrics were being directed towards:

What up yo,
word to the badd
Been abducted
Don’t know who you are
They may love you
they don’t know you
Lonely superstar
never think about who you love
only think about number one
You forget about where you started from

You only think about what you want
don’t care about how it’s done
you only think about you, your throne
Be it right or be it wrong

It ain’t about your world
It ain’t about the things that you do
If you don’t care, I don’t care
Cause you keep thinkin’ ’bout you
It ain’t about you takin’ my pie
You been takin’ for a long time
If you don’t care, I don’t care
If you keep
Well I ain’t thinkin’ ’bout you

What up yo, word to the badd
Once you were made
You changed your shade

Was your color wrong?
Could not turn back
It’s a known fact
You were too far gone
You know I tried to be there for you
Like a brother I care for you
It didn’t matter you always play me off
You only care about what you want
You don’t care about how it’s done
You only think about you, your throne
Be it right or wrong

It ain’t about your world
It ain’t about the things that you do
If you don’t care, I don’t care
Cause you keep thinkin’ ’bout you
It ain’t about you takin’ my pie
You been takin’ for a long time

If you don’t care, I don’t care
If you keep
Well I ain’t thinkin’ ’bout you
Oh no no, I ain’t thinkin’ ’bout you
Oh no

What up yo, word to the badd

Thinkin’ about that pie that you’ve been takin’ from me
From a brother to another brother hard to believe
Lost and don’t know it yet you still show it
Givin’ seems to be harder than it is to receive
The glass has gotten shady, time to make it clearer,
Clean it up and lets start with the Man in the mirror.
Theres sadness there brother, aint no mistaken it,
Get a grip cause youre not far from breakin it.
Thinkin about the time when we used to be close,
It shouldnt be past tense, cause nobody knows,
What the future may hold, what tomorrow might bring,
Its not guaranteed that youll be spreading your wings

But meanwhile, I continue to smile, cause in the back of my head,
I know you’re still a child
You say that your a man, but that will never be.-
Jermaine Jackson, “Word To The Badd”

In hindsight, it may be easier now to understand some of the song’s harsher sentiments. This was 1991, a time in which Michael was asserting his independence and had become a global superstar-that is, a global solo superstar. There was, perhaps understandably, a lot of jealousy and inner conflict between Michael and his siblings during this time. And I certainly would be the last to pretend to know everything that was going on between them. When I look at Jermaine’s Word To The Badd lyrics now, what I see is simply nothing more than the hurt and spitefulness of a sibling who has probably just had a series of fights with his little brother and is getting back-the best way he knows how. Some of the lyrics are inexcusable, such as the jab at Michael’s vitiligo. He could not help changing “his shade.” It really begs the question if, at this point, Michael was talking to his siblings at all.

They certainly seemed to be as in the dark about his medical condition as the rest of us were at that time. This may seem hard to believe, but Latoya pretty much confirmed in her 2005 interview that the family has a tendency to “breeze over” any deep discussions that may cause conflict. The fact that Latoya herself seems to know so little about the details of her own brother’s allegations speaks volumes, and also speaks volumes about the Jackson family dynamics, but I will get to that just a bit later.

I also have to wonder, when Jermaine was writing about the brother who had forgotten where he “came from” if he also remembered how hard Michael took it when Jermaine stayed with Motown and refused to accompany his brothers to Epic. Did he know-back then-how often his little brother cried, looking to his left as he performed and hoping to see Jermaine there? How could Jermaine throw it up to Michael about breaking them up, when he himself was the one who broke up the orginal Jackson 5?

That much aside, I can overlook most of Word To The Badd for what I think it was at the time-a fit of anger, and a bid to get his brother’s attention. Well, apparently it did just that! It was said that during the filming of “The Jacksons: An American Dream,” the famous 1992 TV saga on the Jacksons, they were desperately needing to get in touch with Michael and get him to the set for some reason, and were having no luck. But he came home quick enough as soon as he got wind of Word To The Badd! Appearing at Hayvenhurst, Michael confronted his brother immediatly and demanded a showdown. They confined themselves in the trophy room, along with Joe and Katherine, and apparently duked it out verbally.

Stonewalling Jacksons

Whatever was said within the confines of that room, it was sufficient that Jermaine soon changed the lyrics to a more conventional love song about a relationship gone bad, and nothing more was said of the matter.

But therein lies the danger of being a rich, powerful show business family. The Jacksons are a very big family. And like most families with that many siblings, there are bound to be arguements, jealousies, and rivalries. Sure, they may love one another to pieces-blood is always thicker than water. But the truth is that brothers and sisters do fight. It would be unrealistic to think that they don’t. The problem is that when your brothers and sisters just happen to be some of the most famous entertainers in the business, then every family spat and misundertsnading is apt to appear as their next song, or as a tell-all book! Unfortunately, too many of the Jackson siblings have learned to use the press as their biggest. most deadly weapon of all. As children, they all learned too early that the best, most effective way to hurt someone in the family is to go to the media–usually, a last resort when all other avenues to get that family member’s attention have failed.

But there’s a heavy price to be paid for that kind of vindictiveness. Eventually, it comes back to haunt them all.

Every family has issues. It’s also true that every family has some degree of dysfunction. Every family has “some” skeleton in the closet. The difference is that most families do not have the media spotlight constantly on them. Nor do most families have the added pressures of stardom, mega sums of money and the horde of constant outsiders, clingers, hangers-on and advisors who are constantly pulling members asunder.

It’s not surprising that Michael has often been the target of some of the family’s worst betrayal. As the most succesful member of the family (some might argue as to whether that title should go to Michael or Janet, but I have to say it is easily Michael, with Janet a distant second place) he was also the one most targeted for this or that favor, this or that business venture, this or that reunion, this or that financial loan, this or that assistance with someone’s album or songwriting. When he didn’t or couldn’t always comply with these demands, the repercussions could often be bitter.

Time and again, Michael withstood some of the most horrendous betrayal I have ever seen inflicted on anyone by his own family members. The worst was in 1993, in the well known Tel-Aviv press conference in which Latoya proclaimed her belief that he was guilty of the allegations against him. Since those clips have already been featured prominently in other recent articles here, I won’t repost them. I think most of us by now are familiar enough with the sordid details. But in a follow-up interview with Katie Couric, she pretty much confesses that everything she said in the press conference was based on circumstantial evidence and personal suspicion-nothing more. In this video, she confesses that she was only basing the claims on some checks her mother reportedly saw (but that she really had no idea what the checks were for, even if any such checks were ever seen at all); she is forced to admit she never actually saw any wrongdoing on her brother’s part. It’s interesting that even Katie Couric sees right through her!

Latoya, of course, would later retract those statements completely, claiming that her abusive husband Jack Gordon forced her to read from a script and that he used her as part of his plan to set up a bidding war for the story between the tabloids. This wouldn’t surprise me. It was also Jack Gordon who attempted to extort the family for $5,000,000 in exchange for a promise to halt the publication of Latoya’s tell-all autobiography in 1991. The demands weren’t met, and publication proceeded. (That beig said, the book isn’t “as” horrible as some people think. I have often used it as a reference. There are a lot of little-known family stories, and a lot of funny stories about Michael in it. She mainly talks of Joseph’s abuse, stories which were also corroborated later by Michael himself, though unlike Latoya, he never claimed to have been sexually abused and threatened to sue his sister if she went forward with her original plans to claim he was sexually abused in the book).

The Tel-Aviv press conference may well have been Gordon’s idea. But I’ve never really bought that Latoya was just going along with the scheme blindly, as a battered wife. I think the more likely truth is that she had her own issues with Michael at that time–again, perhaps a family quarrel; perhaps some words had been exchanged; perhaps he had refused a favor. Whatever the reason, there was bad blood between Michael and Latoya in 1993, and this was how she exacted her revenge. I believe that is the far more plausible explanation. The bad blood would have created the perfect chink for Gordon to plant the idea in her head to hold this press conference and smear her brother’s name.

In 2005, long after she had recanted her accusations, Latoya said that Michael forgave her and nothing more was ever said. I think it says a lot about the person Michael was that he could be so quick to forgive his sister of something so horrendous. But did he ever really forget? In the documentary Moonwalking: The True Story of Michael Jackson (which you can access here: http://allforloveblog.com/?p=4089) psychologists speculate on the kind of emotional damage that can be incurred when one is so deeply and blatantly betrayed by their own family.

The truth is, regardless of Latoya’s reasons (whether she was suffering from battered wife syndrome and was simply being the puppet of a very bad man, or if she’d had a falling out with her brother and was seeking revenge), words once spoken can never really be retracted. The emotional scars that the words inflict are forever. A person can forgive the actions. But the hurt from the words never really goes away.

Of course, Michael himself wasn’t totally immune to the temptation of “getting back” through words, either. Even though he never said anything publicly that was as remotely hurtful as what Jermaine and Latoya did to him, he nevertheless had his ways of letting his feelings be known. “Susperfly Sister,” for instance, was a song in which Michael finally got off his chest some of his own feelings about his family and the smack they were talking. Take, for example, the following lines excerpted from Michael’s song Superfly Sister:

“Sister’s married to the hood/thinking that she’s got it good” (an obvious stab at Latoya)…”Mother’s preaching Abraham/brothers, they don’t give a damn…” (a jab at Katherine’s Jehovah’s Witness teachings and his brothers’ blatant disregard of it, especially in regards to sexual matters).

I have to say, compared to the knife that some of his siblings drove into his own back, this is relatively mild stuff. However, we probably should not forget that it was also Michael who came forth to tell the world about his own childhood abuse. He spoke openly of the abuse in several interviews, including Oprah Winfrey in ’93 and Martin Bashir in 2003. And despite the fact that the rest of the family has maintained it was nothing more than discipline, some of Michael’s claims–for example, suffering from broken ribs, and/or being forced to strip naked and having hot oil poured on him-certainly are beyond the bounds of mere “discipline.” However, it is worth keeping in mind that these last two accounts come from sources that were never intended to be made public-his private phone conversations with a friend named Glenda (Michael tells the story of his broken rib at about 9:18):

and the book by Rabbi Schmuley, based on tapes that were intended for Schmuley’s ears only. In other words, this was not Michael publicly airing the family’s dirty laundry. And certainly not his fault that this info was ever leaked. However, his candid admissions of physical and verbal abuse have led some family members to come to their father’s defense, saying the claims were exaggerated.

It’s ironic that Latoya, the sibling who betrayed him the deepest, was also the only one who truly backed him in his claims of childhood abuse. (Though Janet has hinted in some interviews that there is validity to the claims as well). In some ways, I can understand the other siblings’ desire to come to Joe’s defense-after all, that is their father. And I believe part of their actions in recent years have been an attempt at damage control to rectify the bad rep that they feel their father has gotten.

But there is another important thing to consider as well: Joe may be their father. But Michael was their brother. When they go to such lengths to say, “Those things never happened” they are also, in essence, calling their brother a liar. I’m sure it’s a catch-22 for them either way: If they appear to side with Michael, then they are admitting their father was an abuser. If they side with their father, they are admitting their brother was a liar (or at least a very imaginative exaggerator).

Given Michael’s private accounts-things that were said in confidentialtiy, and never intended for the world at large to hear-I think it much more likely that he was telling the truth. And I think his decision to reveal what he did publicly was not so much intended as a betrayal (after all, there was nothing to be gained for him by doing so) as it was a cry for help and understanding, at a time when he despertaly needed the world to understand him.

I certainly wasn’t there and I can’t claim to know what was true or wasn’t. But it is interesting to note that even in the movie The Jacksons: An American Dream, a production that had the full support of the Jackson family-including Joseph’s-that Joe is portrayed a very domineering, controlling dad who had issues with his temper and anger management. So it’s not too inconceivable to believe that his “discipline” may have sometimes crossed the line.

I think it is entirely possible for a parent to love their kids, and still have a bad temper. A person can love their children and still have issues with their anger management. The two are not mutually exclusive. To pretend that they are, I think, is to deny the very complex dynamics that make up most family relationships. Despite everything that was said, Michael always made it very clear that he loved and respected his father.

And most importantly, that he forgave him.

However, in the year and (soon to be) four months since Michael was murdered, we’ve seen the diviseness within the family play out even more forcefully. And even though these days it may not be so much what is being said to Michael or about him, he remains in many crucial ways the source of family conflict. In times of grief, it’s not unusual for family members to start tearing one another apart. As soon as the tears dry, the fingers of accusation over who should have done what, who gets what, of who was was there and who wasn’t, of who is being repsectful and who is “selling out” their memories often starts to fly. The Jacksons, as we’ve seen, have been no exception. And again, it is even worse for them because every action they make and every word uttered is immediate tabloid fodder.

The latest crisis to divide the family has been Joe and Katherine’s decision to invite Oprah Winfrey into Hayvenhurst for a sit-down interview, and even to interview Michael’s kids! I don’t even have to ask to know Michael must be spinning in his grave over that decision!

For my part, I am willing to extend the benefit of the doubt until I see how the interview plays out. That is really all we can do at this point, anyway. However, between Oprah’s noted tendency to badger her guests and speak for them, and Joe’s tendency to fly off the handle and put his own foot in his mouth, I can’t help but have my concerns as to how this whole mess is going to go down. Here is a clip of one of the last sit-down interviews Joe and Katherine did together prior to this. This interview was before the trial in 2005, and you can see how even here Katherine has to put the muzzle on Joe more than once (it’s kind of funny to watch):

But personally, I have far more concerns about Latoya’s recent associations with Victor Guiterrez. Over on Vindicating Michael, there have been a lot of recent articles about Guiterrez’s ties to NAMBLA and his role in the accusations brought against Michael. If you have not been keeping up with these articles, you really should because it’s some mind-blowing stuff!

Victor Gutierrez is a link to NAMBLA and REAL pedophiles. Was it a big P.Plan?

As if all of that info wasn’t mind-blowing enough, here is an article (originally posted by Dave Edwards in the comments section) that was translated from its original Spanish. The article details how Latoya, under the pretense of concern for the victims of a recent earthquake in Chile, and perhaps blindly seeing in Guiterrez an ally who also believes her brother was murdered, actually agreed to sit down to an interview with the man who was perhaps more responsible than any other of ruining her brother’s life! (Of course, that’s a very long list that must include Tom Sneddon, Evan Chandler, Martin Bashir and many others) but nevertheless, Guiterrez’s role in instigating those allegations can’t be denied. My blood went cold as I read this (the translation is a bit rough, but you can definitely get the gist of it):

Michael’s chaser ended up hugging La Toya

Víctor Gutiérrez in a good mood with the Jacksons

The good wave was such big that the singer, sent greetings to the earthquake victims,

Picture legend: During the interview La Toya liked Víctor’s Gutiérrez shirt

Sergio Vallejos

It seemed and impossible mission, but he did it. The journalist Víctor Vallejo, the same that treated Michael Jackson as delinquent and pedophile, must obtain an exclusive interview with : La Toya Jackson, who today is the head-on spokesperson from the late King Of Pop’s family

“I thought that I couldn’t make it. Until the last moment I had doubts about the interview”, tells Gutierrez from Los Angeles, California

“ The only thing I can say is Chile be Strong”
La Toya Jackson

With so much faith, the persistent journalist contacted the manager of the dark-skinned girl to speak about the situation. And for the surprise of Gutiérrez,

The journalist was hired the past week, to produce an interview between La Toya and an Argentinean program via satellite. He reveals “They called me from 70.20.10, from the Channel 13, asking me to contact La Toya to speak about the theory of her brother’s murder”

The 53 old woman, accepted his invitation. We met last Friday in the studio, before the interview I told her: It’s time to talk about other matters. He confess, I think she though that I was going to lay an ambush or something like that to her”.

After the 17 minutes interview. Michael’s sister and Gutiérrez shared a friendly conversation.

I told her what happened in Chile with the earthquake, and she couldn’t get that matter out of her head. She asked me how could she help, and I said sending them regards”

And they recorded a video.
We made a couple of tests, because she wanted to send a message in Spanish. She had a hard time trying to say “Fuerza Chile”, but she had a very beautiful gesture.

Did you make up with La Toya?
I don’t know, I think the earthquake united us. In addition, I commented to her about my mother’s passing and she was very affectionate.

What about the other siblings?
I believe they don’t like me. I did not change my theory (about Jackson’s pedophilia), but I believed he was murdered.

No, Victor Guiterrez, the other siblings don’t like you! I wonder why? Could it be, perhaps, all those lies you spread about their brother? Or that slanderous piece of fiction you wrote called Michael Jackson Was My Lover? Or that $2.7 million dollars in damages you were ordered to pay Michael Jackson, for which you skipped the country in order to avoid paying? No, they don’t like you.

As for Latoya, I hope and pray this was just a case of ignorance of the facts. Otherwise, there is no excuse.

Latoya, you stabbed your brother in the back once. He forgave you. But please, in the name of love and all that is decent, don’t stab him again by associating with this man. If your goal is to prove that Michael was murdered, I’m sure there are plenty of other people and other avenues that can be pursued to get to the truth.

Truth, however, is not something you can put in the same sentence with Victor Guiterrez!

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