09 Mar

Jason Brien.

     Note: I am not making any accusations or conclusions about Michael Jackson's innocence or guilt, I am merely identifying similarities between two celebrity cases.

     I'm pretty sure that everyone knows who Michael Jackson is so I won't go into his history too much. As for Jimmy Saville, he was a former DJ and TV personality with the BBC in the UK from the 1950's through to his death in 2011. Jimmy was well connected to other celebrities including the royal family. He was actively involved with many charitable organisations and charity fundraising events and it is believed that he has helped raise over 40 million pounds for these charities in the UK and around the world. Throughout Jimmy's career, he was repeatedly dogged by allegations of paedophilia and sexual assaults/abuse. He had an office inside of, and a set of keys to, a mental institution in the UK and was allowed free access to the institution, and it's patients rooms, 24 hrs. Nurses and doctors at this institution were highly suspicious of Jimmy's wanderings throughout the institution. It is alleged that he would regularly watch the patients during shower times. It was also further alleged that he had around 500 victims throughout his lifetime. Although he was formally investigated for these allegations prior to his death, he used his charisma, extensive power and connections, fear and manipulation to allude conviction.

     It was not until after Jimmy's death in 2011 that people had the courage to start speaking out against his crimes. It was much harder for Jimmy to be criticised and accused whilst he was alive as he would sue anybody who dared to speak out about, or attempt to reveal, his crimes. He was also making a great deal of money for the BBC and for the many charities that he supported. It was a case of either speaking out against Jimmy or risk losing substantial amounts of money. His celebrity, political and royal connections all began to distance themselves from Jimmy once the sexual abuse allegations began to resurface after his death.

     It is interesting to see something similar happening to the Michael Jackson case now. People seemingly now have the courage to speak out about the abuse they alleged to have endured at the hands of Michael. The sexual abuse allegations have resurfaced, and gained significant traction within the media, after many, many years since Michael's death. People who once supported him are starting to distance themselves. His songs are being pulled from the radio stations.

     I find the similarities between these two cases interesting from a psychological standpoint. I personally believe that it takes a highly narcissistic and psychopathic personality to be able to reach staggeringly high levels of celebrity, wealth, power and fame. Narcissistic and psychopathic personalities are naturally geared to reach the very top echelons of society. They are highly charismatic and manipulative and present themselves to the public as saints, martyrs, benevolent beings, altruistic, pro-social and perfect humans. We as a society then put these individuals on a pedestal. We shower them with praise, attention and adoration. We buy their music and watch their movies. We reinforce and fuel their narcissistic and psychopathic personalities on a daily basis. Then, when horrific crimes are alleged against them, we, as a society, refuse to look at them as mere mortals. As something perhaps more dangerous and malevolent than they first appear to be. We refuse to remove them from their pedestals. We refuse to admit to ourselves that our instincts towards this person was wrong. That we were suckered and manipulated so easily.

     It will be interesting to see how the Jackson saga unfolds over the coming months and years.

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