Michael Jackson | How can this many allegations be wrong?

Michael Jackson in Times Square

I originally posted this on a forum somewhere that's about dead. As usual, my pretentious verbosity got the best of me (as you can see) and it ended up being a 6 paragraph-long TL;DR that no one will probably ever bother to look at. Thus, I copypasta'd the whole thing and put it here. Not that anyone will read this either, of course, but I'd hate to waste such a lengthy thing on a forum in the middle of nowhere that doesn't even belong to me and that I'll likely never remember to check again. I suppose I could post it on Twitter, where most of my followers are comprised of avid Michael Jackson fans, and some of them may read it. But, honestly, as silly as it may sound, I feel a bit like a heel doing stuff like that: delivering self-serving fan-service (simultaneously capitalizing on Jackson's name) for easy likes and retweets. So, I'm just going to leave this laying here, mostly unseen, in my little online corner of the world.

Going simply by individual facts alone, it doesn't require a lot of research to uncover how falsifiable any one particular allegation is. But the number of allegations is what seems to cause people to pause and be suspicious. "How can there be this much smoke and no fire" sounds like a reasonable enough question but, again, if you pull out any one of those smokey allegations and focus solely on that alone, it's either easily proved to be false, has a more likely alternative explanation, or it simply lacks enough evidence to warrant belief. So... why all the smoke?

I think what people aren't factoring in is the extreme uniqueness of Michael Jackson's situation in life. Not only was he a rich, famous celebrity. But he was literally the most famous human being walking around on planet earth. Bigger than Bieber, bigger than Jay-Z, bigger than even Elvis or The Beatles. It was an unprecedented position to be in and, to this day, no one's come close to matching it. And he remained that way from childhood all the way up until his death. Do you realize how big of a target that makes you for extortion? Even minor celebrities have to deal with frivolous lawsuits on a regular basis from opportunists people, looking to capitalize on their one chance at wealth.

Not only this, but Michael Jackson also had an unusual obsession with charity work. Whether this was due to deeply ingrained religious beliefs or what, I don't know. But if you look at the amount of charity he was involved in, it was staggering and, again, unprecedented. He gave more to charity than any celebrity who ever lived (and was put in the Guinness Book of World Records for it), some of his most famous songs were directly about kindness and charitable acts (which is unusual for any popular artist), many of his speeches at award shows focused on delivering messages about helping people and our planet. Even when he was on tour, he'd be spending an inordinate amount of time visiting children's hospitals and the like. In his will, he left a chunk of his money to children's charity organizations. And he built an amusement park (Neverland) specifically for children; primarily, sick and underprivileged children (even making deals with Make a Wish and other organizations in order to have busloads of thousands of kids shipped to the place on a regular basis). Expected behavior from the likes of a famous religious figure (if they were as capable of performing it as Jackson was, which none ever has been) but, from a pop star, it seemed bizarre.

While well-meaning, this sort of exposure to so many random families resulted in Jackson becoming even more of a target. A target not only of the media and public (who saw how unusual this charitable behavior was and figured there must be something more sinister at play) but also a target of the families themselves; many of which would have normally never been exposed to someone with this kind of wealth and fame. Can you imagine the once in a lifetime opportunity they had in their grasps? The temptation of that? Knowing that all it would take is one little lie to potentially make them millionaires? Look up the stories of poor people who've become lottery winners, and the kind of animals it turns their loved ones into. It's not an anomalous behavior of our species to act like this. Sad as it is to say, Jackson may've been the greatest target for opportunists who ever lived. Both due to his fame and philanthropy.

The quantity of accusations around him is easily explainable when you remember to factor this stuff in and contextualize his life appropriately. Even selling a relatively benign scandalous story to the news about this man was worth thousands. And the media happily gave any bit of potential scandal or salacious rumor exposure out the wazoo, because juicy stories sell better; especially juicy stories about the most famous person in the world. As for the public, the enigma of MJ and his unique existence only made our imaginations run wilder, willing to accept any crazy story we heard. He was like the mysterious old man in the neighborhood who all the kids spread evil rumors about.

There's a danger to fame that neither the average person nor the courts are prepared to save people from. And the more famous you are, the bigger that danger is. A danger from the public and a danger from the media; both fully capable of and fully willing to capitalize on wealthy, well-known figures. It's a rare position to be in and there's no school for how to handle it. For the average Joe or your next-door neighbor, a lot of allegations pointed at them may be indicative of something being extremely wrong. But Michael Jackson? He wasn't a regular Joe. There are plenty of valid, expected, and more probable explanations for the many allegations to surround him.

In this odd circumstance, "Where there's smoke, there's fire" isn't a phrase that applies.