Greetings, dear Reader.
Put on your white fedora, slip on your diamond-studded glove, and grab your groin1, today we look at the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson.
1.No, not that way. I mean MJ’s signature dance move
There are many aspects of life that both inspire and frighten us: nature, emotion, the dichotomy of man’s good and evil … and celebrities. Many celebrities are recognized for their outstanding skill and incomparable talent in their respective fields. Some are well-known for their distinct personality and style that sets them apart from the rest. Others are cherished for the long-lasting influence their actions have had on people’s lives. And some just did things that were bonkers.
Michael Jackson seems to fit in all four categories. His penchant for performing was undeniable, yet his personal preferences were perplexing. His ability to draw attention to himself was remarkable, but he didn’t always get attention for the right reasons. The patron saint of duality, MJ was loved (and sometimes loathed) by many, and even his detractors admit the resounding impact he left on society and American culture.
Equally, his tragic death also left a severe impact. It was a heartbreaking loss, especially for his fans2. The artist left behind an awe-inspiring legacy, and he would forever be quoted as the one who revolutionised the music, dance and singing scene.
2. Except the ones who invested in his memorabilia: they must have profited nicely.
Assuming, of course, that he is dead.
Is MJ really dead?
Or is he still among the living?
Micheal Jackson was an American singer, dancer, and music idol (You already know that, but I’m saying it anyways). He started performing since the age of 5, joining his family’s dance group, the Jackson 5, before moving on to become a solo artist. It wasn’t all hunky-dory, however. Micheal’s father frequently abused him and his siblings, and it was from this abuse that Michael’s self-confidence issues stemmed.
As an adult, Michael continued to gain fame and fortune through his hit music videos and albums. As his popularity grew, however, so did his body dysmorphia. He would undergo several cosmetic surgeries in order to ‘perfect’ his appearance. Adding to that, he suffered from vitiligo, a skin disorder that caused the pigment in his skin to fade, resulting in him taking more drugs and surgeries to mask it. According to official reports, this is what resulted in Michael’s demise.
On the night of June 24, 2009, Michael was rehearsing for his next gig until the late hours of the night. He was taking propofol, lorazepam and midazolam at the time, clinical drugs prescribed by his doctor, Conrad Murray. Clinical drugs that could have very bad consequences if wrongly administered. He didn’t come out of his bedroom that morning. Dr. Murray found Michael in his bed that afternoon. Michael wasn’t breathing. Murray tried performing CPR. It didn’t work. Murray tried calling security. No one picked up. It was only after 30 minutes that paramedics were called. They performed CPR, for a full 42 minutes. It didn’t work.
On the night of June 25, 2009, Michael died. At age 50, on account of a lethal overdose of propofol, the King of Pop took one final bow.
And said goodbye.
Dr. Murray was later found to have wrongly administered propofol to MJ, and was in fact not trained in how to properly adjust the dosage. He also performed CPR incorrectly, not adhering to standard practice. He was later found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, serving two years out of his four-year sentence.
And that’s the saga of MJ’s needless death. At least, officially…
A. The Run Away Pop Star
Some conspiracists claim that MJ actually faked his death.
How could he achieve this spectacular feat, and keep up the ruse for so long?
The answer is simple: Money. MJ won over officials with bribes3, and got them to legally announce his death. He even paid Dr. Conrad Murray to take the blame for his death, giving the man enough financial motivation to stay in prison for two years.
3. Perhaps the least unbelievable detail in this article
And why would MJ fake his death in the first place?
Again, the answer is simple: Money. According to chartered accountant William R. Ackerman, the King of Pop owed a truly royal amount of debt by the time he died, with figures reaching approximately $500 million! Despite his massive earnings from record labels, MJ’s spending habits exceeded his record sales, and the ‘King’ was actually a financial pauper.
Also, additional support for this theory comes in the form of MJ’s posthumous earnings. It’s estimated that Jackson has earned in excess of $2 billion since his death, which would be enough money to live the rest of his life in luxury AND make sure things stayed hush-hush.
B. The Doppelganger Deal
Alright, this is where things start entering ‘bizarre’ territory. Conspiracists claim that MJ is not dead, and that it was actually his clone that died in his place…
No. You didn’t misread that.
Some say that Michael was highly intrigued by the idea of cloning, ever since animal cloning was proven to be scientifically possible. After all, he had the means: connection, influence, money (despite his losses he did have more money than the average man). Perhaps, just perhaps, MJ funded the creation of a living, breathing duplicate of himself, identical in every way, shape and form.
But why would MJ even want to have a clone replace him? Other than financial debt, another reason that comes to mind is one that has appeared before in this article: the pressure of being a star. From nonstop rehearsals to being labeled ‘Wacko Jacko’4 by the press, MJ’s line of work, behind all the glitz and glam, was an incredibly taxing and demanding one. But at the same time, MJ knew how much he meant to his fans, and the impact his death would have on them. If only there was a way for MJ to retire without upsetting his fans. Well, maybe there was a way.
4. Granted, MJ engaged in some downright odd behaviour (if sleeping in oxygen chambers and holding his infant over a balcony are any indication), but suffixing ‘Wacko’ to anyone’s name is just plain rude
Maybe MJ simply switched himself out with a genetically-identical clone, going into hiding while his clone handled performances and songwriting. That way, MJ could live a life of peace and relaxation, while at the same time not disappointing his fans. Everything would have went perfectly.
Knock, knock! Who’s there? Scientific inaccuracy!
It is claimed that the clone, although at first acting perfectly normal as the real MJ, started deteriorating mentally, and physically as well. Used to excuse some more of MJ’s questionable decisions, as well as his facial appearance, it is said that the clone started going haywire, doing and saying stuff the ‘real’ MJ wouldn’t. This all came to a head when the Clone of Pop died due to imperfections in his internal workings. To cover it all up, the scientists responsible paid off/framed Dr. Murray, and forced Michael (the real one) to go into hiding permanently.
The above mentioned conspiracies are only a few of the innumerable amount of conspiracy theories that fans have cooked up to explain why MJ isn’t as dead as the zombies in his ‘Thriller’ music video. There’s even a website called http://www.michaeljacksonsightings.com/ that’s dedicated to sightings of the star that prove he’s still living!
But why do people come up with such theories? Why are they so inanely devoted to proving that their icon isn’t dead?
Maybe it’s because they just can’t accept it. Death is a dastardly phenomenon. When it hits, it hits hard: especially when it hits close to home. Michael Jackson impacted many people in ways that are difficult to understand. And he impacted them not just through his music, but his kindness as well. MJ donated to charities, visited children in hospitals, set up a scholarship fund for struggling students, and advocated messages of equality and peace throughout his entire career. He was a one-of-a-kind personality: sometimes difficult to understand, but undeniably cheerful and kind-hearted, and able to touch people on a personal level. When someone like that passes away, it’s hard to deal with, and sometimes it’s easier to build a theory than accept the cold facts.
It sounds illogical, but then again, that’s how we humans are. We always do illogical things, sometimes out of fear, sometimes out of anger, and sometimes… out of love.
When you put it like that, some conspiracy theories don’t sound so inane at all.
This has been: What Remains of MJ.