Jan 2019, HBO’s documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’ shone the light on the dark side of the moon and it was HORRIFIC.

 It was eerily similar to the Thriller video where the nice man turned into a werewolf under the dark veil of night.

Wade Robson and James Safechuck narrated their abuse at the hands of Michael Jackson from the ages of 7 to 14.

Stomach churning, appalling, sickening and heartbreaking, just to name a few emotions I felt watching it.

Many say what’s the purpose of this documentary, why watch a rehash of old events when the man’s dead? 

But, as a parent I needed to watch it, if I was to understand the nature of the beast that is child abuse.

That was the whole purpose of the documentary- to raise awareness.

I guess Michael Jackson was trying to confess all those years, with his music but no one paid any attention.

I’m BAD, I’m BAD , You know I’m BAD.

We know NOW Michael. The world finally believed, at least most of it. 

Everyone’s jaws dropped to hear that their idol who’s talent was out of this world, had stolen the innocence of young children. Worse he had gotten away with it.

People, of course, blamed the victim’s parents for letting this happen. They were called greedy and desperate to be in the spotlight with a celebrity, so much so that they failed to protect their children.

True, they got caught up in the fame and enigma of Michael Jackson and their reasoning became impaired. 

But, people, let’s not forget who the REAL perpetrator is.

As you read on, please remember that I am not trying to defend anyone, I’m just trying to see things from those parent’s eyes.

I remember a few years ago, there was a news truck outside my home reporting on a crime. As soon as I saw the nightly news anchor, I got all excited. I shoved my kids in front of the other people standing there, to get a picture with him. 

This was not Michael Jackson, just a local news anchor. My kids didn’t even know this man, yet it was thrilling for us to be associated with someone on TV even if there were 1000 degrees of separation.

So can you imagine Wade Robson’s parents? The King of Pop who had millions of followers thronging at his feet was casting his scintillating eyes in their direction. 

They didn’t discern that those were PREYING eyes and they were the unsuspecting PREY.

Parents believed this demi-God would help their kids who were already into performing. If you are trying to build a career in show business, is there a better Godfather than Michael Jackson to help you with that?

Like all abusers, Michael Jackson groomed his victims with deep affection, constant attention and gifts so that they would slowly be under his spell and never speak a word against him. 

But he also groomed the parents.

Child abuse experts have said that grooming often starts with the adults, by winning their trust to gain access to their children. 

Dr Bernard Gallagher, a researcher at the University of Huddersfield, England has studied sex abuse cases for 30 years. He said the allegations against Michael Jackson could be considered an ‘extreme case’ of parental grooming. 

He had extreme power and he could offer parents and their children rewards beyond their wildest dreams — fame, jobs, vacations, houses, jewellery and lump sumps of money.

Michael Jackson would constantly call and bond with Wade’s mother making her feel that she and her family were adding joy to his lonely life. He even lived at their home on and off. 

That must have made them feel pretty special and more willing to trust him.

Child abuse experts say that grooming often starts with the adults, by winning their trust to gain access to their children. Sometimes the abuser will enter into a sexual relationship with a child’s mother as a means of gaining access to, and abusing children. 

Now, this is scarier– Cases exist of men going on dating sites to find single mothers with children.

Just send shivers up my spine!

Monsters never look like monsters. In most cases of child abuse, it is often a close family member -an uncle, a cousin, a sibling, a parent, another kid, a close family friend or a trusted person in society who has won the parent’s trust and hence is never suspected.

Don’t be swayed by someone’s job title. Just watch Dateline’s ‘How To Catch A Predator’ and you will feel nauseous. 

The people who show up with beer to have sex with a 13-year-old child alone at home are Doctors/School Counselors/Coaches/Teachers/ Lawyers/ Priests/ Engineers/ Police Officers / Rabbis and not some drifter or gangster on the street.

They are all respectable, trusted, contributing members of society. This facade enables them to further carry out their dark deeds.

Abusers have simple yet clever strategies-

Charms the socks off the parents so that they let down their guard completely.

Create a wedge between the parent and the child, so that they will have complete control over the child.

Shame or threaten the child and make them complicit, so that they will never speak of it to anyone.

R.Kelly (the 52-year-old adult who threw a 2-year-old tantrum on National TV) raged about his innocence, claiming that the underage girls were staying with him out of their own will. He blamed the parents for being greedy and selling their daughters to him.

Really, how many victims do there have to be for people to understand that if it looks like an apple it is an apple ??

Abusers have a pattern, they just move on to the next victim and then the next untill they are stopped.

R.Kelly brainwashed and infused hate in the minds of the girls against their own parents. Now they would never betray him until the spell was broken.

Abusers are the puppet masters that run the whole show.

While R.Kelly’s victims claim he was demeaning, controlling and physically abusive along with the sexual abuse, Michael Jackson’s victims say he was the kindest and gentlest person they knew apart from the sexual abuse. 

When Jackson died in 2009, Robson says he cried more than he did for his own father’s death.

It opened my eyes to how abusers can completely groom a child to make them think that what they are experiencing is LOVE and not ABUSE

They normalize the whole abuse.

It’s so easy for a kid to confuse the two and hence not come forward. They will feel guilty even for reporting the abuser and betraying him.

I think that was the most important take away for me from the documentary.

Your loving IDOL can also be your ABUSER.

I am a very wary parent. I am like the Secret Service when I am out with my kids. My eyes are on YOU

That man sitting across the aisle smiling at my daughter and constantly waving WILL get a dead stare from me if he doesn’t stop in 3 seconds. 

 I’m the WRONG mother to mess with.

That being said, a parent is still a human being. Just because I am watchful over my kids, doesn’t mean that I don’t ever mess up. I still mess up royally in a multitude of other ways. 

So I cannot judge those parents. I cannot even begin to imagine the heavy hearts they walk with.

When parents make mistakes, we hurt more than our hurting child.

Wade Robson and James Safechuck say that they have not completely forgiven their parents, which is very understandable. I wish them much healing on their journeys.

As a parent, I cannot thank them enough for speaking about this. Because of them, I had the talk with my kids about this important subject. Because of them, victims must be finally understanding that they are NOT to blame. When we have more knowledge, we can do better. 

It will undoubtedly save other children in its wake.

For somewhere a parent is going to remember this and think twice before letting another MONSTER in guise prey on their child. 


References

Mom,cancer geek,lover of words ,fried rice and DIY crafting. Visit Tina’s blog.
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Mom,cancer geek,lover of words ,fried rice and DIY crafting. Visit Tina’s blog.

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