Andrew Dickens: Real lesson to be learned from Jackson documentary

Author
Andrew Dickens,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 12 March 2019, 11:35a.m.
Michael Jackson. Photo / Getty Images

Well, I hate to hark back to the Michael Jackson documentary one more time but there is one final observation I need to make.

Yesterday, I wrote of my feelings after Part one of the doco and why I can no longer listen to Jackson’s music. I posted it online and I was disturbed by a number of comments.

Many people questioned how I could declare Jackson guilty of sexual abuse based on a one-sided documentary that didn’t seek the views of Jackson’s side. The problem I have with that is that I never said that.

My piece was very carefully worded. Nowhere in the piece did I say I believe that Jackson was guilty. But a grown-up will know that does not mean he’s innocent either. It’s just not proven beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law.

I spent half of the piece throwing Wade Robson's credibility into doubt just as a journalist on Chris Lynch's programme did. I stressed that everyone in this story, from the kids to their parents to Michael Jackson are seriously screwed up people.

But what I know to be a fact, that was illustrated graphically in the programme, is that Jackson groomed children and their parents and took a succession of boys aged seven through 12 to his bed. That is the truth, even Jackson admits that.

If you think that’s okay, and that abuse only occurs if sexual activity then takes place and can be proven, then that’s a worry. After all, what seven-year-old enthralled with a 30-year-old billionaire and the biggest star in the world, takes a camera and a tape recorder to bed with him.

Jackson’s proven behaviour is textbook paedophile. I called it a masterclass. Even more so if he did it because he got away with it. And that’s what the documentary was about. Not whether he was guilty or innocent but what abuse and grooming look like

I have found the vociferousness of the defence of Jackson to be concerning. It’s a demonstration on how so many abusers, bullies, perverts and murderers spend so long hidden in plain view

It's how the George Pells' and all the other priests get away with it for so long. Using their power to keep victims silent and their influence to keep accusers at bay.

It’s how the Michael Jacksons of this world get away with it. With their money and charm. Jackson had more to gain from keeping stuff quiet than his accusers had of blowing it open. Remember how he told every boy that if the secret was out the whole thing was over. He had billions of income to protect. Meanwhile, he amassed an army of supporters in the industry and around him that benefited from the circus staying on the road. He bought James Safechuck's family a house.

It’s the way people like the Kahuis operate. Using fear and silence to ensure that the truth never comes out.

I was thinking last night about that Rugby Coach who was recently convicted of 90 counts of sexual violation against multiple victims and I wondered how he got away with it for so long. Fear and silence and shame. The cards are always loaded against the victims.

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