Sony’s Michael Jackson Bet Gets Complicated
Michael Jackson had been one of Sony Music Entertainment’s brightest stars before his 2009 death. And the seven-year, $250 million deal it struck with Jackson’s estate in 2018 to continue distributing his recordings was one of the biggest the industry had seen in some time.
But now, following the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, Sony’s Jackson bet is looking like a risky play, the WSJ reports.
The two-part film (which was the third-largest premiere of any HBO doc in a decade) details the claims of two men alleging Jackson sexually abused them as boys. And in the era of #MeToo and #MuteRKelly, sales, streaming, and commercial use of Jackson’s music could fall...
Which means lost business for Sony. Several radio stations in Canada and New Zealand have stopped playing Jackson, and (believe it or not) radio is still a big moneymaker for music companies—Deloitte estimates global radio revenue will climb to $40 billion this year, with more than 85% of adults listening to radio once a week.
One of Mercury’s longtime idols was the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson. Mercury had admired Jackson all the way back to his Jackson 5 days, and in 1983, barely a year after Jackson’s Thriller had become the biggest album in the world, Mercury got the chance to collaborate with Jackson. They began recording three demos that were, sadly, never completed. Asked in 1987 why things didn’t work out, Mercury evasively blamed the fact that the two stars were never being in the same country long enough and commented that Jackson had “retreated into his own little world.” Another story emerged wherein Jackson had allegedly picked a fight with Mercury after catching him using substances during the recording session. A third explanation, from Queen manager Jim Beach, stated that Jackson brought his pet llama into the studio, which astonished and frustrated Mercury’s attempts to record. Turns out you shouldn’t ever meet your heroes.
By Guest Indiana
In the new HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, both men accuse the late singer of sexual abuse.
On Sunday, HBO will debut its two-part documentary Leaving Neverland, featuring interviews with two of Michael Jackson's former child companions.
The documentary focuses on James Safechuck and Wade Robson, who filed lawsuits claiming they were sexually abused as boys at the Neverland Ranch. It also follows their families, who speak at length about their entanglement with Jackson, in the aftermath of the scandal.
According to Slate, Safechuck and Robson both say in the film that Jackson promised them jewelry in exchange for sexual favors. The men also allege that Jackson, who died in 2009, told them they could go to jail if they spoke out.
These accusations weren't new. On two other occasions, Jackson was hit with lawsuits alleging abuse. But in 2005, Jackson was acquitted of criminal molestation charges, which did not involve Robson or Safechuck. Robson testified at the trial, saying he had slept in Jackson’s room many times and nothing happened. Safechuck gave a similar statement to investigators when he was young.
By Guest Indiana
Robson was only 5 years old when he met Jackson after being called up on stage at a concert in Brisbane, Australia. The boy was a fan of Jackson and impressed the crowds with his spot-on “Smooth Criminal” dance performance.
Jackson invited Robson and his mom up to his hotel room after the concert. Nothing happened that night, but Jackson told the Robsons to get in touch if they ever came to America. In January 1990, when Wade was 7, the Robsons went to the U.S. for the first time to visit Disneyland. Wade’s mom, Janet, found the number for Jackson’s personal assistant, who said Jackson remembered Wade and invited them to his recording studio in Sherman Oaks. Jackson then invited the family to Neverland for the weekend. Wade stayed at the residence with Jackson while the rest of his family left to tour the Grand Canyon. Robson says that’s when the sexual contact began—and it continued for four years.
Read more: https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/tv/a26588491/wade-robson-michael-jackson-leaving-neverland/
Michael Jackson - Earth Song
What about sunrise What about rain What about all the things that you said We were to gain What about killing fields Is there a time What about all the things That you said were yours and mine Did you ever stop to notice All the blood we've shed before Did you ever stop to notice This crying Earth, these weeping shores Aah, ooh 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 This crying earth, these weeping shores Aah, ooh Aah, ooh I used to dream I used to glance beyond the stars Now I don't know where we are Although I know we've drifted far Aah, ooh Aah, ooh Aah, ooh Aah, ooh Hey, what about yesterday? (What about us?) What about the seas? (What about us?) The heavens are falling down (What about us?) I can't even breathe (What about us) What about everything (What about us?) I didn't do? (What about us?) What about nature's worth? (Ooh) It's our planet's womb (What about us?) What about animals? (What about it?) Turned kingdoms to dust (What about us?) What about elephants? (What about us?) Have we lost their trust? (What about us?) What about crying whales (What about us?) Ravaging the seas? (What about us?) What about forest trails? (Ooh) Burnt, despite our pleas (What about us?) 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?) Where did we go wrong? (Ooh) Someone tell me why (What about us?) What about baby boy? (What about it?) What about the days? (What about us?) What about all their joy? (What about us?) What about the man? (What about us?) What about the crying man? (What about us?) What about Abraham? (What about us?) What about death again? (Ooh) Do we give a damn?
Nestled into the rolling landscape of the Santa Ynez Valley, with its dramatic mountain ranges, flaxen-colored fields, and century-old live oaks, this irreplaceable estate exudes the ambience of a grand European manor while remaining an inviting, comfortable, livable oasis.
Formerly known as Neverland Ranch, the estate consists of approximately 2,700 acres and blends effortlessly with the natural surroundings. The land borders the Los Padres National Forest, providing the property with utmost privacy and serenity as well as an inspiring uninterrupted view. Meticulous landscaping — which includes lush formal gardens with seasonally changed plantings — provides vibrant color for much of the year.
The centerpiece of the ranch is a truly impressive 12,000-square-foot main residence, fashioned after the majestic manors that line the coast of Normandy. Tucked between two lakes and standing in the shade of towering trees, it is accessed via a stone bridge and circular motor court paved with indigenous stone.
Splendid in its architectural planning, it features a magnificent formal living room; a handsomely proportioned dining room capable of accommodating two tables; a kitchen with distinctive Old World and copper accents as well as commercial-grade appliances; a relaxed, rustic family room with a Bouquet Canyon stone fireplace; a breakfast room with a garden and lake view; a luxurious master wing with two lavish baths and a library or study; upper-level guest suites affording consummate privacy; and a delightful recreation room.
The interiors boast extensive use of high ceilings, indigenous stone, warm oak, patterned and exposed brick, dark lacquered beams, elegant marble, Portuguese tile, rough-hewn timber, and floor-to-ceiling and mullioned windows.
The vistas — over patio areas and lush formal gardens toward grassy fields and mountains — create a feeling of being embraced by the land.
A breezeway connects the main residence to the office, conference, and four-bay garage complex. Stone pathways meander through the spectacular grounds, linking the home with lakes, a meadow, and the outdoor entertaining areas —among them a barbecue and kitchen pavilion, a swimming pool with undulating French grey bottom, and a spa set amid stalwart stone boulders.
An inviting guesthouse offers four luxuriously sized and distinctively designed guest suites, and the European-style hunting lodge features a subterranean wine cellar and overlooks the estate’s championship tennis court. A leisurely walk from the main residence is the 50-seat movie theater and dance studio.
The property also includes multipurpose barns, a petting zoo, staff housing, an additional two-bedroom guesthouse, an administration building, and a paved helipad. All water needs are sourced through multiple private on-site wells.
Early tweets I saw were unusually vicious, as in "Welcome to hell, Joe"
SOB though he was said to be, though, nobody would have heard of Michael Jackson without him. Raising eight kids in gritty Gary Indiana, where many men walk away; it is not nothing.
One wonders whether his son would have been happier had Joe followed another course. It is one of those "which is better off, a live dog or a dead lion?" deals of Bible verse.
I wrote something of this long ago:
By Jack Ryan
Jackson, the King of Pop, named one of his children Prince, which only fueled speculation about his feelings toward the elder Prince.
By Jack Ryan
Though Prince portrayed himself as dirty-minded, he noted the irony of Michael Jackson being embroiled in scandal in 2004. "What are my contemporaries doing now?" he said in an Associated Press interview, while Jackson was on trial accused of child molestation. "I'm not entangled in a bunch of lawsuits and a web that I can't get out of. I can hold my head up ... a happily married man who has his head in order. There isn't a bunch of scandal in my life."
By Jack Ryan
Both were Jehovah's Witnesses. Jackson reportedly proselytized door-to-door near his family's home in Encino, Calif. Prince often sang about God and Jesus, including in "I Would Die 4 U." He backed away from some of his dirtier lyrics as he embraced his religion more strongly.
By Jack Ryan
Their race and sexuality were constantly questioned at the peak of their popularity. Both played with the clueless speculation with androgynous wardrobe choices, and their lyrics. "Am I black or white/am I straight or gay?" Prince sang on "Controversy." "Who's black/who's white," Jackson sang on "Black or White."
By Jack Ryan
In 1985, when Prince and Michael Jackson dominated the charts, Prince was criticized for not performing on "We Are the World," a song co-written by Jackson to help starving African children. Prince was reportedly too shy to perform with his fellow artists. Prince & the Revolution did record a gorgeous song for the "We Are the World" album -- "4 the Tears in Your Eyes."
By The Librarian
The estate of deceased music legend Michael Jackson has filed a lawsuit against ABC and Disney over the special “The Last Days of Michael Jackson.Â”
The suit, filed in federal court in California on Wednesday, alleges copyright infringement.
The suit says that the plaintiffs Â— identified as Â“various companies that comprise a part of the Estate of Michael Jackson Â–were Â“genuinely shockedÂ” when they watched the special on March 24.
Also Read:Â Michael Jackson Estate Calls ABC News Special 'Another Crass and Unauthorized Attempt to Exploit' His Legacy
Calling the special Â“a mediocre look back at Michael JacksonÂ’s life and entertainment career,Â” the suit accuses Disney of swiping the estateÂ’s intellectual property.
Â“Unable to make a compelling presentation about Michael Jackson on its own, Disney decided to exploit the Jackson EstateÂ’s intellectual property without permission or obtaining a license for its use. After all, there is always a healthy audience for Michael JacksonÂ’s timeless music, his ground-breaking videos, and footage of his unforgettable live performances. Why not just use Michael JacksonÂ’s works if one can get advertisers to buy time on the program? But in order to use these valuable assets, a license must be obtained for it by the Estate,Â” the suit reads.
The suit continues, Â“Like Disney, the lifeblood of the EstateÂ’s business is its intellectual property. Yet for some reason, Disney decided it could just use the EstateÂ’s most valuable intellectual property for free. Apparently, DisneyÂ’s passion for the copyright laws disappears when it doesnÂ’t involve its own intellectual property and it sees an opportunity to profit off of someone elseÂ’s intellectual property without permission or payment. The extent of DisneyÂ’s use of the EstateÂ’s intellectual property in The Last Days of Michael Jackson is truly astounding.Â”
Among the allegedly infringed-on property: substantial portions of Jackson hits including Â“Billy Jean,Â” Beat ItÂ” and Â“DonÂ’t Stop Â‘Til You Get Enough,Â” as well as extensive parts of Jackson music videos including Â“ThrillerÂ” and Â“Black or White.Â”
According to the suit, JacksonÂ’s estate reached out regarding the Jackson material, and was told by a Disney attorney that the material fell under Â“fair useÂ” because the program was a documentary, a stance that the suit calls Â“patently absurdÂ”: Â“Even setting aside DisneyÂ’s blatant hypocrisy given its notorious history regarding third party uses of its own copyrights, DisneyÂ’s argument here is one that would probably make even the founders of Napster pause.Â”
Prior to the airing of the special, the Estate publicly, calling it Â“another crass and unauthorized attempt to exploit the life, music and image of Michael Jackson without respect for MichaelÂ’s legacy, intellectual property rights or his children.Â”
The estate also noted that Â“ABC intends to use music and other intellectual property owned by the Estate such as photos, logos, artwork, and more in the program itself, without having licensed the rights to any such material.Â”
However, a spokesperson for the ABC News denied that the contents of the special infringe on their rights.
Â“ABC NewsÂ’ documentary explores the life, career and legacy of Michael Jackson, who remains of great interest to people worldwide. The program does not infringe on his estateÂ’s rights, but as a courtesy, we removed a specific image from the promotional material.Â”
An ABC News spokesperson reiterated that stance when contacted by TheWrap for comment on WednesdayÂ’s lawsuit. :
Â“We have not yet had an opportunity to review the complaint,Â” the spokesperson said. Â“The ABC NewsÂ’ documentary explored the life, career and legacy of Michael Jackson, who remains of great interest to people worldwide, and did not infringe on his estateÂ’s rights.Â”
By Bible Speaks
A FAMOUS HISTORICAL COVER ...
Õ•Õ•Õ•Õ•Õ•Õ•• (Michael Jackson) Â•Â•Â•Â•Â•Â•Â•Â•Â•Â•Â•Â•Â•
Â Â CLARIFYING:
Â Â The American magazine TV Guide, again published in its issue of November 2001 page 20, the historical interview conducted years ago to Michael JacksÃ³n, where still the famous singer claimed to be a Jehovah's Witness. Unfortunately when he received several Grammy awards for his album "Thriller", he was given loving advice in the congregation and he was helped to reason as to what was he most looking for? His fame or being a Jehovah's Witness? since both things could not be compatible with their faith.
Â Â Â Jehovah's Witnesses are not bothered by our relationship with someone as famous as him. And in fact Michael admitted several times in interviews that he had been raised by his mother as a Jehovah's Witness, and that as a child he used to go to meetings, and also that he sometimes preached with his mother from house to house, in fact when I record his album, "Thriller", used to refuse to be convinced and proud to participate in some false popular celebrations, because of his faith, and he referred to the Bible with respect. Although he was never baptized as a Jehovah's Witness.
Â Â However, when reflecting on the cost of seeking fame so hard. His sister La Toya JacksÃ³n, older than him and also once famous, wrote in his autobiographical book that once his brother Michael realized that his fame would not be compatible with his faith, he voluntarily signed a letter of resignation to the organization of the Jehovah's Witnesses, because he did not want to lose his fame or give up his artistic career, and he was never seen again in a meeting for the rest of his life.
Â He was never forced into anything in that organization, only that he considered his personal interests related to his artistic career more important than serving God.
Â Â Something remarkable in: Michael Joseph Jackson (Real name) is that his own brothers and their mother affirm that he was generous with some donations for the world work. And I never speak badly or with disdain of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Apparently he never completely lost his hope because some of his successes, and what they had his authorship in lyrics and music, such as "The Earth Song" or The Song of the Earth, in that video initially appreciates the destruction of the earth by the selfishness of man and ends up being restored, and some resurections as seen in spectacular images. And it is not the only song that touches the theme of a different world, without wars, hatreds or evil.
Â Â On the other hand the young man who once denounced him for sexual abuse, and took him to court, shortly after the death of Michael Jackson revealed to the media that everything had been a fraud orchestrated by his family, to take advantage of his money and that the artist never abuse him.
Â Â In the documentary that recorded the rehearsals of his last tour, "That is it", "That's it", he did not get to perform, he wears a dark shirt with a huge crucifix on his back, which indicates that he never defined his faith. Although he had a spiritual inclination ...
(Editing by: Abel Romero Novella).
By Guest Nicole
Thriller es el nombre del sexto Ã¡lbum del cantante Michael Jackson, el cual se convirtiÃ³ en el mÃ¡s vendido de todos los tiempos, con ventas estimadas de 100 millones de copias en todo el mundo.
Fue lanzado al mercado el 30 de noviembre de 1982, hace 35 aÃ±os, por Epic Records despuÃ©s del exitoso Ã¡lbum del intÃ©rprete estadounidenseÂ Jackson Off WallÂ de 1979.
Por su aniversario de lanzamiento EconomÃaHoy.mx te trae 5 datos del Ã©xito del Rey del Pop.
1.Â La chaqueta roja que Michael Jackson luce en el videoclip fue vendida por casi un millÃ³n de dÃ³lares.
2.Â MÃ¡s que una canciÃ³n y Ã¡lbum fue la bisagra que consagrÃ³ al cantante como el Rey del Pop.
3.Â El presupuesto para el video fue de mÃ¡s de medio millÃ³n de dÃ³lares. Para conseguir esa cantidad se vendiÃ³ elÂ Making OffÂ a los canales musicales MTV y Showtime.
4.Â Los rollos de la pelÃcula fueron escondidos por un tiempo por el director John Landis, ya que Jackson quiso destruirlos por violar reglas de su religiÃ³n, los Testigos de JehovÃ¡.
5.Â En la actualidad se cree que el video ha sido visto por un promedio de 5 billones de personas en todo el mundo.
By Guest Nicole
Alvin John Waples with cousins Crystal Jenious & Andrea Jenious-Wilson
*On Saturday, October 21, at a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Woodland Hills, CA, family and close friends said good-bye to Los Angeles (KGFJ, KJLH, KACE), Washington, DC (WMMJ) and Raleigh, NC (Foxy 107-104) radio legendÂ Alvin John WaplesÂ who passed away on October 10.
IÂ’m sure we have all attended memorial or funeral services where it was obvious the person presiding over the service didnÂ’t actually know the person they were tasked with memorializing.Â That was not the case with AlvinÂ’s service.
The person memorializing Alvin, jazz great Ronnie LawsÂ’ son, grew up hanging around Alvin and his family, since his dad and Alvin were friends.
There was mention of AlvinÂ’s sweet tooth, his love of the beach, his love for his family, his declining health as well as his regrets.Â The talk was very warm and intimate.Â The comforting words confirmed what most people already knew; that Alvin had touched so many, including Rebbie Jackson, the oldest Jackson sibling and Ronnie Laws and his wife, who were also in attendance.
Alvin John Waples & Michael Jackson in the early 70s (photo: George Livingston)
The closing prayer was given by AlvinÂ’s son, actor Wesley Jonathan.Â It was hard, if not impossible, for everyone to not feel his pain as he was overcome with emotion.
When the news of AlvinÂ’s passing spread across Los Angeles, although sadness and disbelief were the order of the day, common responses were Â“he left a legacyÂ” and Â“he was a voice in the community.Â”
AJW was loved by many.Â Helen WaplesÂ’ baby boy, high school choir member, talent show winner, former Drake University track star, beloved father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin and friend, may be gone, but heÂ’ll never be forgotten.
Ex-Jehovah's Witness Deborah Frances-White on door knocking with Michael Jackson and ditching the 'cult'By Guest Nicole
Deborah Frances-White is a comedian and former Jehovah's Witness
Deborah Frances-White is a comedian and writer. She was born in Australia after being adopted, where she was raised as a Jehovah's Witness. After graduating from university, she ended her relationship with the Witnesses and began pursuing a career as a comedian and writer.
In her Radio 4 series broadcast last year, Deborah Frances-White Rolls the Dice, the Australian-born, British-based comedian came clean about her teens and twenties when she would knock on doors as a Sister in the Jehovah’s Witness. The broadcast caused a stir, not only winning her a Writers’ Guild Award for Best Radio Comedy, but also triggering a huge postbag from fellow ex-Witnesses about how they, too, had suffered in the fringe Christian organisation that she now unreservedly labels a religious cult.
But it prompted only one letter from an existing Witness, a 23-year-old from Vancouver, called Ryan. He had broken the rules by even listening to a podcast of her show. It is a measure, Frances-White says, of the mind-control techniques used by the Jehovah’s Witnesses that members are obliged to turn off their radios and TVs if they so much as hear their church being discussed.
But Ryan was prepared to risk it because, as he told Frances-White during a subsequent four-hour transatlantic chat on Skype, he felt so disillusioned and trapped. “He was the fourth generation of his family in the Witnesses. He didn’t know anyone on the outside. If he left, his family wouldn’t be allowed to speak to him. So it would be an enormous, terrifying leap to leave.”
In Saving Brother Ryan, part of the new series of her radio show that started last Friday, Frances-White recounts the remarkable story of how she dropped everything at the north London home she shares with her partner, the producer Tom Salinsky, hopped on a plane to Canada and eventually liberated her letter-writer. While the tale is told as comedy, the content touches a raw and disturbing nerve – in listeners, and deep inside Frances-White herself.
And that same uneasy combination of funny and dark is in the air as we sit talking on a sunny roof terrace. In her early 40s, with big eyes and a wide mouth, Deborah Frances-White has a fabulously expressive face – wasted on radio, you might even say, though her other credits include stand-up, motivational speaking and the popular live podcast, The Guilty Feminist.
There is something about how she looks that puts me in mind of the Australian actress Toni Collette. “You’re not the first to say it,” she laughs, pointing out that the connection is stranger still since Collette’s breakthrough role, as the eponymous heroine in 1994’sMuriel’s Wedding, was set on Australia’s Gold Coast, the setting for Frances-White’s teenage door-knocking.
Often, she recalls, she would share the task of making converts with a Brother Peter from a neighbouring kingdom hall. “I ran into him a couple of years back in a studio in London, and we recognised each other at once.” Brother Peter is now better known as Peter Andre, singer, reality TV star and ex-husband of Katie Price.
Peter Andre and wife Emily MacDonagh are expecting their second child CREDIT: REX
“We got talking about why we eventually left. I was saying how it became very difficult to reconcile my values with a patriarchal religion. Peter just looked at me and replied: ‘Yeah, yeah, I just really needed to have sex.’” That’s another no-no for Jehovah’s Witnesses, unless it’s heterosexual and within marriage.
There is such an energy about Frances-White that it is easy to get carried away on tangents – such as famous Jehovah’s Witnesses. She also went door-knocking, she throws in, with Michael Jackson. At 18, she had escaped Australia for a gap year in the UK and was having her doubts about the Witnesses, but still attending their kingdom hall in Chelsea. One night, during a visit to London, Jackson joined the congregation and then went out door-knocking with them.
“We called him ‘Two Doors’,” she remembers, “because while we walked, he went in his limo, got out to knock on the door, then got back in, did one more door, and then left.”
How would it be to open your front door to Michael Jackson asking if you wanted to get to know God better? Sadly, Frances-White wasn’t close enough to provide a first-hand description.
Michael Jackson was a lifelong Jehovah's Witness CREDIT: REX
But what about Brother Ryan? Did she really go all the way to Canada? “Oh, yes,” Frances-White replies as she settles herself. She is a natural story-teller, even with an audience of one. “There was something weird about him when we were talking by Skype. I said to him, ‘You’re 23, this must be very exciting. You’ve worked out that what the Jehovah’s Witnesses say is not the truth. That’s great. So why don’t you sound hopeful?’ And he said, ‘I know I should be, but I’m not.’”
He was, Frances-White diagnosed, deeply depressed, and was being remorselessly hounded by the elders at his kingdom hall because they suspected he was planning his escape. “He was reaching out for help. I just felt compelled. So I said, shall I come out? He kept saying, ‘I don’t think you will.’”
She did - and it was just such a soft landing that Ryan was seeking.
But if they are, as Frances-White alleges, prescriptive, controlling and full of bizarre rules (no trousers for women, no yoga, and – infamously – no blood transfusions), wouldn’t anyone leaving be glad never to see them again, whatever silly word they use to label heretics?
A man is immersed in a pool during a large baptism in Rome CREDIT: AP
“Some people feel that. They put it all behind them. But for Ryan, and, at the time, for me, if your whole family is still in the cult, and then you are disfellowshipped, you are giving the elders the power to say you can never speak to your family again. That’s the rule. If a family member leaves, you must shun them. But if, like me, you never formally leave, its more up to your family if they continue to talk to you. There is a fluidity there.”
Which is the path she has navigated so far for herself, even though many in her family back home has followed her lead and turned their backs on the kingdom hall. And it is also the route she managed to plot for Ryan.
Those wanting to know the exact details, this story-teller insists, will have to listen to the show. She is not about to give away the ending, but suffice to say when she took Ryan to a kingdom hall, posing as his aunt and intent on persuading the elders to allow him a little space to clear his head (so that he could then slip away unnoticed), they turned on her, locked her in a back-room and interrogated her.
The comedian's series airs on BBC Radio Four CREDIT: JULIAN ANDREWS / EYE R8 PRODUCTIONS
“It was like being questioned by the FBI,” she jokes. “They could see I knew the sort of language Jehovah’s Witnesses use, but I wasn’t nearly submissive enough to make them think I was still a member.”
Her tone may be light, but the look on her face makes clear that she didn’t find the experience funny. “It was risible in some ways, but my heart was beating because I haven’t been to a meeting for years. It is like plugging back into the mains because I had been so brainwashed when I was in it.”
When the questioning became menacing, she stood up and demanded to be let out. “Unlocking that door, taking control, walking out of the hall, all that was for me a massive revelation. It released a lot of stuff. I didn’t know how much of my past I was holding.”
Saving Ryan – who had also escaped and was waiting for her on the street – was, she has come to realise, also about saving herself. “I thought I had already got so far away from it. What I hadn’t realised how many of my behaviours were from that time I was a Jehovah’s Witness. It was only when I said, ‘Let me out, unlock the door’ that everything changed. I now see that I was throwing off an enormous weight.”
Deborah Frances-White Rolls The Dice is on BBC Radio 4 on Friday September 16, 11.30am
At a glance | Deborah Frances-White
Deborah Frances-White is a comedian and writer who was a Jehovah's Witness during her teens and 20s. During her time in the religion, Frances-White used to share the task of making converts with Peter Andre, who was also a "brother" and once went door-knocking with Michael Jackson. She eventually turned her back on the kingdom hall, and has gone on to use her experiences in her work. Her 2012 stand-up show at the Edinburgh Fringe was based on her experiences as a Witness. She hosts hit podcast The Guilty Feminist, which dissects modern feminism, with a special guest in each episode. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/ex-jehovahs-witness-deborah-frances-white-on-door-knocking-with/
By Jack Ryan
Authorities seized more than 80 video recordings and computer hard drives, as well as notes, diaries, documents, photographs and audiotapes.
Police discovered Michael Jackson had a large collection of pornography, which allegedly included images of children, animal torture and gore, reportedly used in his bid to seduce young boys. The collection was revealed in newly surfaced documents obtained by RadarOnline that detail a raid on Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch estate in 2003, carried out as part of an investigation into child molestation charges against the singer.
According to previously unseen reports from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, authorities seized more than 80 video recordings and computer hard drives, as well as notes, diaries, documents, photographs and audiotapes.
Former Santa Barbara Senior Assistant District Attorney Ron Zonen, who helped prosecute Jackson’s case, told RadarOnline that many of the materials found were used to “desensitize” children.
The police report describes several of the materials found at Jackson’s estate and notes that many of the books and images “can be used as part of a ‘grooming’ process by which people (those seeking to molest children) are able to lower the inhibitions of their intended victims and facilitate the molestation of said victims.”
One of the books found in Jackson’s possession was titled, Room to Play, which “contained numerous photographs of children.” According to the report, some of the images contained children’s faces superimposed on adult bodies with their private parts exposed.
Authorities also found numerous photos of children located inside a safe in the employee break room of Jackson’s home.
Jackson was charged with seven counts of child molestation and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent for the purpose of a committing a felony in 2003 after a young boy came forward claiming the singer molested him. In 2005, a jury acquitted him of all charges after a 14-week trial.
Jackson died in 2009 from an overdose of propofol.
UPDATE (June 22): The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office released a statement to Billboard explaining that “The documents with a header titled Sheriff’s Department that contain a case number appear to be Sheriff’s Office documents.”
The majority of the 88-page report consists of documents with a Sheriff’s Department header and case number, however, the authenticity of the few photographs and images included alongside those documents is harder to assess. “The photos that are interspersed appear to be some evidentiary photos taken by Sheriff’s investigators and others are clearly obtained from the internet,” the Sheriff’s Office said.
UPDATE (June 21): On Tuesday evening, The Estate of Michael Jackson released the following statement to the media:
By Guest Nicole
The late rockstar Prince, who was known to be a devout Jehovah's Witness, regretted he didn't talk to Michael Jackson more about his faith before he died, recalls Dudley Brooks, photo editor at The Washington Post, who met the mononym pop icon in 2010.
"During a break in the shoot — which actually turned out to be the end of the session — we chatted about his faith as a devout Jehovah's Witness and the challenges of being a door-to-door evangelist," writes Brooks, of his visit to Prince's house in the suburbs of Minneapolis.
"It's not every day that someone like Prince comes to your door with the aim of putting you on a spiritual path, but he said that he used various disguises to deflect attention. Eyeglasses, conservative suits, a different way of combing his hair — he tried them all. People still recognized him, but he said that they never called him out on it. They listened to his message and respected his opinion," Brooks adds.
At the time, the death of the music legend Michael Jackson, who was also at one point known to be a devout Jehovah's Witness, was still fresh on everyone's minds. "Prince admitted the two had talked about the challenges of mixing fame with a religious journey. He said that it was difficult for both of them, and he personally couldn't have done it at a younger point in his life. He wished he could have talked to Michael more about it before he died."
Prince died last week at age 57. He was found unresponsive in the elevator of his Chanhassen, Minnesota, estate and could not be revived through CPR. The official cause of death is still unknown.
Prince was raised a Seventh-day Adventist. In a 2009 interview, he told People magazine, "My mother told me one day I walked in to her and said, 'Mom, I'm not going to be sick anymore,'" and she said, 'Why?' and I said 'Because an angel told me so.'"
TIME magazine journalist Mark Brown noted that Prince had once attempted to convert him.
In a 2004 interview with Prince, the two "talked a bit about God, both as a deity and as a subject in Prince's songs such as 'The Holy River' and 'Let's Go Crazy.' While the lyrics and stage show could be risque, he had never stopped believing or invoking God's name in his songs."
Prince told Brown that God "is great," noting that he continued to write about Him because He was such a big part of his life. "On my way out the door, Prince gave me a Watchtower pamphlet, looked me in the eye and told me that when I was ready I should call his publicist anytime, day or night, and she would get him on the phone immediately so he could convert me himself," Brown revealed.
In the headline of a story after his death, the Post identified Prince as "a conservative Christian who reportedly opposed gay marriage."
The headline fails to note that it's hard to call the Jehovah's Witnesses "conservative" Christians, in light of the fact that they are not Trinitarian, traditional Christians in the first place, with their denial of the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus, remarked Terry Mattingly of in the GetReligion blog.
Michael Jackson was a true humanitarian. He was listed in the 2000 edition of the Guiness Book of World Records for breaking the world record for the "Most Charities Supported by a Pop Star." He had supported 39 charitable organizations either with monetary donations, through sponsorships of their projects or the participation in their activities.
On July 5, 1997 Russian daily newspaper, ‘Nezavisimaya Gazeta’ publishes the information that, on July 2, 1997, Michael Jackson has donated 1,5 million dollars to the Jehova’s Witnesses organization in Russland, Russia.
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