2009年9月28日月曜日

The Michael Jackson Tapes: A Tragic Icon Reveals His Soul In Intimate Conversation by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach


マイケルの友人でスピリチュアルアドバイザーだったユダヤ教のラビ、シュムリー・ボテアック(Rabi Shmuley Boteach)がマイケル本を書くために録音したテープ。ラビはこのインタビュー録音を本にまとめた。
"The Michael Jackson Tapes: A Tragic Icon Reveals His Soul In Intimate Conversation"

Explaining why he decided to write the book, Boteach says in his website, “It was Michael’s wish to bare his soul and unburden himself to a public that he knew was deeply suspicious of him.”
The Michael Jackson Tapes: A Tragic Icon Reveals His Soul In Intimate Conversation is based on 30 hours of taped interviews, conducted between 2000-2001, in which Jackson talks about his children, his fear of aging, his desire to draw away from the public eye, Madonna’s purported interest and jealousy of him, and his preoccupation with mannequins.

THE MICHAEL JACKSON TAPES:MICHAEL RECALLS FEAR OF FATHER 
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According to Shmuley Boteach, Michael Jackson felt that his life was drawing to an end.
“He lost the will to live. I think he was just going through the motions of life toward the end,” Boteach said on NBC’s Today show.

The Michael Jackson Tapes: On Aging
The Rabbi says in his book that Michael Jackson was afraid of growing old, and, therefore, surrounded himself with yes-men and started abusing prescription drugs and cosmetic surgery, nearly ten years before his death on June 25, 2009.

“When the body breaks down and you start to wrinkle, I think it’s so bad…I don’t want to grow old.”
“I would like some way to disappear where people don’t see me anymore at some point. I don’t want to grow old. I never want to look in the mirror and see that,” Jackson said.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach said that Jackson was ashamed of the way he looked at that point. “Because I am like a lizard. It is horrible.”
A lot seems to have been said about impending death in the tapes.

The Michael Jackson Tapes about his children
Jackson apparently said that if it wasn’t for children, he would choose death. “I mean it with all my heart.”

A transcript from The Michael Jackson Tapes: A Tragic Icon Reveals His Soul In Intimate Conversation, on Shmuley’s website says:
My greatest dream that I have left—I have accomplished my dreams with music and all that and I love music and entertainment—is this children’s initiative, is this thing that we are doing.
But, um, ’cause I don’t care about [anything else], I really don’t, I don’t care about [career], I honestly don’t… What keeps me going is children, or else I would, I would seriously. . . I’ve told you this before, I swear to God I mean every word.
I would, I would just throw in the towel if it wasn’t for children or babies. And that’s my real, my honest [answer]. . . and I’ve said it before, if it weren’t for children, I would choose death. I mean it with all my heart.

Talking about the tough times in his life, Jackson said, “Anybody else would probably be dead by now, or a junkie, with what I’ve been through, Shmuley.”
The Michael Jackson Tapes on Madonna

The pop star had a great deal to say about Madonna as well. 
In The Michael Jackson Tapes he apparently said, “I think she was sincerely in love with me and I was not in love with her. I think she likes shock value and she knows how to push buttons on people.”

He also said that Madonna did a lot of crazy things and that they had nothing in common. “She is not sexy at all. I think being sexy comes from the heart in the way you present yourself.”

He apparently said that Madonna was jealous of him as an entertainer. “She is a girl, a woman and I think that’s what bothers her. I think women don’t scream for other women. Men are too cool to scream for women. I get the fainting and adulation and she doesn’t.”

Shmuley Boteach maintains that Michael Jackson was attracted to women but was very shy. He said that that he was quite fond of Princess Diana, that she was his type and he didn’t like most girls.

Apparently, he also considered dating close friend Elizabeth Taylor, 25 years his senior, but was afraid of being publicly ridiculed.
“I know that if we ever did anything romantically the press would be so mean and nasty and call us The Odd Couple. It would turn into a circus and that’s the pain of it all,” Jackson said.

The Michael Jackson Tapes: About his Father
Boteach has posted a transcript of his conversation with Michael Jackson about his father, Joe Jackson, on his website.
Michael Jackson, “He did a brilliant job with training me for the stage as an artist, but [as a] father he was very, very strict. I hate to judge him, but I would have done things a lot different as a father. I never felt love from him.

I remember being on the airplane and they used to have to carry me on the plane because I hated turbulence and I would be screaming and kicking because we would take off in storms. I remember it very clearly. He would never hold me or touch me and the stewardesses would have to come and hold my hand and caress me.”

Apparently Jackson also said that his father beat him with and electric cord.

The Michael Jackson Tapes: About his obsession with Mannequins
Coming to his obsession for mannequins, Jackson said, “I needed someone. That’s probably why I had, uh, the mannequins, I would say. Because I felt I needed people, someone, and I didn’t have, I was too shy to be around real people.”

Michael Jackson also talked about Hitler. “Hitler was a genius orator. To make that many people turn and change and hate, he had to be a showman and he was.”
The reclusive pop star said that he could have changed Hitler. “You have to help them, give them therapy, teach them that somewhere, something in their life went wrong.”

The Michael Jackson Tapes: About Love
Shmuley Boteach: Did you know that that was part of being corrupted as a child when you start feeling that way—hatred? Did you know, “I gotta get rid of this somehow. I gotta do something about this”?
Michael Jackson: Yeah, I wanted to become such a wonderful performer that I would get love back.
SB: So you could change him, you thought. If you . . . so you thought that if you became a great star, very successful, and were loved by the world, your father would love you too.

On Loneliness
Michael Jackson: I wanted so badly to play in the park across the street because the kids were playing baseball and football but I had to record. I could see the park, right across the street.
But I had to go in the other building and work until late at night making the albums. I sat there looking at the kids with tears running down my face and I would say, “I am trapped and I have to do this for the rest of my life. I’m under contract.”
But I wanted to go over there so bad it was killing me, just to make a friend to say, “Hi.” You know…just to do that. I used to walk the streets looking for people. I told you that didn’t I?

On Jealousy vs Admiration
Shmuley Boteach: Were you ever jealous of someone in your career who made you work harder?
Michael Jackson: Never jealous. Admiration, complete admiration.
SB: So admiration can bring even greater goals than jealousy because it’s positive and not negative. So you would look at say, Fred Astaire and say, “I want to be able to do that.”
MJ: Yes, absolutely, Shmuley. Complete inspiration, never jealousy. It’s wrong, but people are like that aren’t they? It’s true Shmuley?

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Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is an orthodox Jewish rabbi who met Michael Jackson through British entertainer Uri Geller.
Boteach is the author of books like “Kosher Sex” and “Shalom in the Home.”
Boteach has said that he planned to release the book in 2003, to give people a better image of the star.
However, according to the Rabbi, the idea was abandoned after Jackson did not comply with a recovery program, part of which was waking up at a decent time and keeping away from children.
They fell out when Jackson was arrested the second time on charges of child abuse.
Michael Jackson’s family has not commented on the book so far.


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Excerpt from "The Michael Jackson Tapes: A Tragic Icon Reveals His Soul In Intimate Conversation".

Michael confused his afflictions of soul with ailments of the body. But whereas once upon a time the light of celebrity was hot enough to make him feel better, he had reached a stage where even that no longer warmed him. Drugs became the only balm by which to dull pain. As time went on I understood why things like painkillers or plastic surgery were so attractive to Michael. Michael knew nothing but pain.

Michael's drug use was difficult to detect because of how spacey and out-of-it everyone expected him to be. Plus, it was easy to assume that Michael took strong painkillers only when he was in physical pain. In the time that I knew him, he always seemed intent on me having a positive view of him and nothing untoward was ever done in my presence.

In retrospect, there were more signs that he was on something than I or anyone around him recognized or acknowledged. Michael was very forgetful. He sometimes seemed woozy. His head once drooped completely at the home of a friend that I had taken him to meet. But I just thought that with the kind of crazy hours he kept -- Michael was going to sleep at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning -- he was just always tired. Michael often called me and spoke as if he was either tremendously inspired or a bit off.

"Shmuley, I'm just calling to tell you that I love you. I looovvveee you. IIII llloooovvveee yooouuu. . ." "I love you too Michael," I would say. But by and large, those conversations were very short, and I thought to myself, yes, that's strange, but that's Michael. He's different. He's eccentric. What perhaps should have made me most suspicious was Michael's constant physical ailments. He was always complaining that a part of his body was hurting or had been injured. This, of course, became a central staple of his trial. But the Angel Ball was my earliest exposure to it. Michael claimed that he had been slammed against a wall by fans and fellow celebrities trying to get his autograph. But even if that had happened, it seemed as though the smallest knocks could completely incapacitate him. And that was either true -- Michael did have a very fragile disposition -- or he was using these ailments, which in his mind were real, as an excuse to take more painkillers.

A few weeks before the major address Michael was to give at Oxford, when he was back in California and I was in New York, Michael called to tell me he had broken his foot while practicing dancing at Neverland. "Are you going to cancel Oxford?" I asked. "No," he said. "It's way too important." In due course, Michael arrived in Britain in a foot cast and on crutches. I heard him give a number of conflicting stories about how he had broken his foot, but again, I made nothing of it, thinking that Michael was forgetful.

A doctor traveled with him to England from the United States and stayed in Michael's hotel. Whenever he would complain of terrible pain from his foot, they would go together into his room and emerge, about a half-hour later, with Michael looking glassy-eyed. I asked the doctor about his background and his practice, and as I recall he seemed to give inadequate responses. He was a personal physician who practiced in New York. I wondered why he had accompanied Michael all the way from overseas just because of a broken foot. There were doctors in England if Michael needed one. But if he was being administered more painkillers for his broken foot, which is what I suspected, Michael was still nowhere near being so out of it that he couldn't function. Michael did come three hours late to Oxford, which meant that he did not attend the dinner that was staged by the Oxford Union in his honor, and he did arrive three hours late at our mutual friend Uri Geller's wedding ceremony the next day where I officiated and Michael served as best man. But other than that, the trip to Britain went off without a hitch.

As I was about to embark on my return flight home, Michael, who was staying on in Europe, reached me on my mobile phone. "Shmuulleeeey," he dragged out the word, partially slurring it, "Yesterday at the wedding, I was just staring at you conducting the ceremony. I was staring at you because I love you, because you're my best friend. I just loooovveeee you." I responded as I always did, "I love you too, Michael." "But no," he said, you don't understand. I loovvveeee yooouuuu," dragging out the words for effect. It was a flattering phone call, but it made me alarmed that Michael was on something very strong. I would continue having conversations with him about staying off the poison of prescription drugs. He never fought me and always agreed.

When Michael was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that March, he invited me and my wife, Debbie, as his guests to the dinner at The Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Although he was still on crutches, he seemed completely lucid. I spent a few hours in his suite helping him write his acceptance speech and he seemed cheerful and in good spirits. The next time we did a public event together was a few weeks later when we went to Newark, New Jersey. Michael's foot had healed and he was out of the cast. On that day, Michael seemed fine. Confident, chewing gum, and irritated with me as I explained earlier, but nothing more. I was certain that whatever medication he was taking had been connected with his broken foot and was now in the past.

It was a few months later, after I had severed all contact with Michael, that reports started to filter back to me from one of Michael's closest confidantes that he was hooked on prescription medication and imbibing large quantities of them. It was getting much worse, this friend said, and it was destroying his life. Demerol and Xanax, among others, were mentioned. "Is there a quack doctor giving this stuff to him?" I asked. "No," I was told. "The doctors around him seem okay. He seems to be getting his own supply; no one knows from where. Michael is injecting himself with the drugs intravenously." "Well," I said, noting that Michael and I had no interaction and I could therefore offer little assistance, you guys better do something and save him before he completely self-destructs." Michael's parents, Katherine and Joseph Jackson, were also concerned and invited me to their home in Encino, where they asked me to reinvolve myself in Michael's life. Michael's parents related to me that Michael had deteriorated significantly since I had last seen him. His state was bad enough for them to have attempted a family intervention to break the drugs' hold on him. Michael's brothers, a few weeks earlier, had arrived at Neverland unannounced to try to get him into rehab, where he had gone almost ten years earlier after admitting to an addiction to prescription drugs. Michael, however, had heard that they were coming and fled.

His parents were concerned, and I felt for them. But this just reinforced my decision. Not only was I sure that Michael would not listen to me, I knew next to nothing about helping people in this situation except to get them into rehab. Perhaps I could inspire Michael to make that decision, and his parents thought I could at least help. But I knew they were wrong. Michael had long since ceased taking my counsel. He found my advice too demanding. I was an irritant and was treated as such. Katherine, who was the anchor of Michael's life and whom I knew from the long interview I had done with her for this book, and Joseph Jackson, who I was meeting for the first and only time, had much more sway with their son than I did, and it was imperative for them to save their son's life by becoming available parents in his greatest hour of need. And if his own parents could not persuade him to get help, how could I?

Joseph Jackson also raised the subject of Michael's management with me. He said he didn't approve of the people running Michael's career at present and that he wished to reinvolve himself in Michael's management. I told him sternly, if respectfully, "Mr. Jackson, your son doesn't need a manager right now. He needs a father. You should relate to him as the father he feels he never had." I left that meeting shaken. How tragic for Michael, and how similar this was all beginning to sound to Elvis, a fallen star, in terrible emotional and mental anguish, turning to drugs for relief, until they eventually destroyed him. Would Michael end up dead at an early age as well?

According to someone very close to Michael, the year before his arrest, Michael got clean. This person told me that Michael had, by himself, "gotten off the stuff . . . he's completely clean." I was incredulous. "He didn't go for rehab?" I asked. "You're saying he got himself clean on his own?" "Yup," he said, "We're really proud of him. He's clean. I swear it's true." Well, that was good news. I was therefore extremely troubled to hear, from the same person again, that shortly after the arrest Michael had gone back on "the same stuff. He's delusional. That's how he's coping with the case. He's out of it a lot of the time." "Have you tried to get him to stop?" I asked. "Yeah, I had a meeting with him. I told him I was positive he was back on the stuff. He denied it, but I know what he's like when he takes that stuff. But he responded by sort of cutting me off from him. Now, I can't get access to him."

This, sadly, was a typical response to Michael hearing people criticize his behavior. He just shut them out. "Do the people around him know?" I asked. "I don't see how they can't," he responded. "He's drinking a lot of wine and mixing it with all this stuff." This last comment especially surprised me, because, to my knowledge, Michael never drank alcohol. Indeed, even when he came to our home for the Sabbath meals, he would reject the tiny quantity of sacramental wine I offered him, telling me that he never drank "the Jesus juice."

The fact that Michael Jackson had been taking large doses of prescription medication explained much of his erratic behavior. Why would the man who was so famously overprotective of his kids suddenly dangle his own new baby from a balcony in Berlin? Why would the man who was so famously reclusive agree to a British journalist virtually living with him for a tell-all television documentary? Michael always told me how much he hated the British press more than any other. He told me that "Whacko Jacko" had started in England. So why would he have allowed Martin Bashir to essentially live with him for so many months? Indeed, Michael's decision to grant full access to Bashir will forever remain the professional decision that most unraveled his life.

When I watched the 60 Minutes interview with Ed Bradley that preceded the trial, in which Michael accused the Santa Barbara police of locking him up for forty-five minutes in a feces-covered bathroom and roughing him up so badly that they dislocated his shoulder, it seemed so improbable that I suspected that Michael's reality had been impaired. Sure enough, twice in the interview they showed Michael stopping the interview to complain about how much his back hurt. The old opportunities (excuses) to take more prescription medication were back. I called my friend. "Did the police do all those things?" "No," he said. "They were really nice to him. Michael is delusional." Now this report may have been inaccurate, but I doubt it.

In 2004 I wrote in a public article, "If people around him don't save Michael from himself, Michael may be yet another superstar who dies young, God forbid, due to the quintessential celebrity-oriented diseases of drug and substance abuse. But a wall of silence around this problem, while it might protect Michael's image, will do nothing to protect him."

The above is an excerpt from the book The Michael Jackson Tapes: A Tragic Icon Reveals His Soul in Intimate Conversation
by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt
has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.
Copyright 2009 Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, author of The Michael Jackson Tapes: A Tragic Icon Reveals His Soul in Intimate Conversation.



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