Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #695 Dancing Machine: Reflections on the Death of Michael Jackson

MP3 Side 1 | Side 2

Intro­duc­tion: Past broad­casts have out­lined an appar­ent strate­gic goal of the Under­ground Reich and the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work, as set forth in the Nazi tract Ser­pen­t’s Walk. (For detail about the Bor­mann net­work, see Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile.)

“The SS . . . what was left of it . . . had busi­ness objec­tives before and dur­ing World War II. When the war was lost they just kept on, but from oth­er places: Bogo­ta, Asun­cion, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Mex­i­co City, Colom­bo, Dam­as­cus, Dac­ca . . . you name it. They real­ized that the world is head­ing towards a ‘cor­po­racra­cy;’ five or ten inter­na­tion­al super-com­pa­nies that will run every­thing worth run­ning by the year 2100. Those super-cor­po­ra­tions exist now, and they’re already divid­ing up the pro­duc­tion and mar­ket­ing of food, trans­port, steel and heavy indus­try, oil, the media, and oth­er com­modi­ties. [Ital­ics are Mr. Emory’s.] They’re most­ly con­glom­er­ates, with fin­gers in more than one pie . . . . We, the SS, have the say in four or five. We’ve been com­pet­ing for the past six­ty years or so, and we’re slow­ly gain­ing . . . .”

(Ser­pen­t’s Walk by Ran­dolph O. Calver­hall; Copy­right 1991 [SC]; Nation­al Van­guard Books; 0–937944-05‑X; pp. 42–43.)

This pro­gram asks whether this Under­ground Reich strat­e­gy may have tar­get­ed the extreme­ly valu­able music cat­a­log owned by the late Michael Jack­son, a col­lec­tion that includ­ed many of the most impor­tant of the Bea­t­les’ tunes. Tuck this line of informed spec­u­la­tion away for future use, and see if Ger­man cor­po­ra­tions begin using Bea­t­les’ songs (licensed to them by Ber­tels­mann) to sell prod­uct.

In the peri­od lead­ing up to his death, Jack­son had some very “inter­est­ing” peo­ple around him. Might some of them have been involved in push­ing him over the edge and to his demise?

Among the note­wor­thy char­ac­ters around Michael Jack­son dur­ing the clos­ing phase of his life was vet­er­an intel­li­gence offi­cer Gor­don Nov­el, pic­tured at right. Hav­ing served with the CIA’s anti-Cas­tro efforts, and an indi­vid­ual whose name crops up in con­nec­tion with the inves­ti­ga­tions of both the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy and Water­gate, Nov­el is dis­cussed in FTRs 579, 269, among oth­er pro­grams.

Jack­son told Nov­el he felt that he was the focal point of a con­spir­a­cy to obtain a valu­able music cat­a­log to which he owned the rights. Jack­son felt that orga­nized crime asso­ciate Alvin Mal­nik and per­son­ages asso­ci­at­ed with SONY music were involved. (SONY bought out Ber­tels­man­n’s music arm [BMG]). He also felt his life was in dan­ger.

More depth con­cern­ing the sin­is­ter forces gath­ered around Michael Jack­son dur­ing the clos­ing phase of his life was pro­vid­ed by Ian Halperin. Assert­ing that Jack­son was gay and pre­ferred young male lovers, Halperin main­tains that the pedophil­ia charges of which Jack­son was acquit­ted were base­less.

It was to finance his defense against those charges that Jack­son sold off half of the rights to a valu­able music cat­a­log, includ­ing the rights to many of the Bea­t­les songs. The oth­er half of the cat­a­log is owned by SONY, which acquired Ber­tels­man­n’s music arm.

Might Jack­son’s accusers have been part of a con­spir­a­cy to wrest con­trol of the Bea­t­les’ cat­a­log from his con­trol?

Halperin also notes that Jack­son was in poor health and that the pro­posed 50-show Lon­don appear­ance would have severe­ly dam­aged or destroyed Jack­son’s health. He also notes that sin­is­ter forces around Jack­son dur­ing the clos­ing peri­od of his life includ­ed oper­a­tives of Louis Far­rakhan’s Nation of Islam, includ­ing a mys­te­ri­ous man named Dr. Tohme Tohme, whose pre­cise back­ground is a mat­ter of con­jec­ture. (For back­ground infor­ma­tion about Far­rakhan and his orga­ni­za­tion, includ­ing infor­ma­tion link­ing Far­rakhan to the assas­si­na­tion of Mal­com X, see FTR #21.) Far­rakhan is pic­tured above, right, with some of his goons.

It is Halper­in’s opin­ion that those around Jack­son knew his health was bad and that he could­n’t stand the rig­ors of the pro­posed tour. Were they try­ing to push him into his grave? Were they in cahoots with ele­ments look­ing to obtain con­trol of the Bea­t­les cat­a­log?

Two weeks after Jack­son’s death, the pow­er­ful Ber­tels­mann firm was cap­i­tal­ized by KKR in a new music ven­ture. Spec­u­la­tion involved the pos­si­bil­i­ty that Ber­tels­mann might use the cap­i­tal to acquire the rights to the licens­ing of the cat­a­log owned by Jack­son and SONY.

The bulk of the sec­ond side of the pro­gram deals with Alvin Mal­nik, a for­mer attor­ney for Mey­er Lan­sky (often men­tioned as Lan­sky’s pos­si­ble heir) and an execu­tor to Jack­son’s will. Right­ly or wrong­ly, Jack­son was very afraid of Mal­nik, whom he sus­pect­ed of plot­ting to gain con­trol of his estate, his stake in the Bea­t­les’ cat­a­log, in par­tic­u­lar.

Mal­nik con­vert­ed to Islam and adopt­ed an Ara­bic name. In addi­tion, his son Mark Mal­nik mar­ried a princess of the Sau­di roy­al fam­i­ly and changed his name to Sha­reef. (Father and son Mal­nik are pic­tured at right.) The broad­cast exam­ines this rela­tion­ship. Mr. Emory refers to the Mal­nik milieu as “Lake Mal­nik” and notes the many pow­er­ful and monied inter­ests with prop­er­ty on or adjoin­ing that remark­able lake.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Review of Ber­tels­man­n’s links to the Under­ground Reich; review of the sce­nario set forth in Ser­pen­t’s Walk; the death by gun­shot wound of the father of one of Jack­son’s [false] accusers; the fact that L.A. author­i­ties were–for a time–treat­ing the Jack­son death as a homi­cide inves­ti­ga­tion; Alvin Malnik’s rela­tion­ship with the world of the late CIA drug smug­gler Bar­ry Seal; Malnik’s rela­tion­ship with Seal attor­ney Richard Ben-Veniste (a mem­ber of the Kean Com­mis­sion charged with inves­ti­gat­ing 9/11); the Sau­di roy­al family’s inter­ces­sion on behalf of Malnik’s in-laws when their crim­i­nal activ­i­ties came to light.

1. Among the note­wor­thy char­ac­ters around Michael Jack­son dur­ing the clos­ing phase of his life was vet­er­an intel­li­gence offi­cer Gor­don Nov­el. Hav­ing served with the CIA’s anti-Cas­tro efforts, and an indi­vid­ual whose name crops up in con­nec­tion with the inves­ti­ga­tions of both the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy and Water­gate, Nov­el is dis­cussed in FTR #‘s 579, 269, among oth­er pro­grams.

Note that Jack­son felt that he was the focal point of a con­spir­a­cy to obtain a valu­able music cat­a­log to which he owned the rights. Jack­son felt that orga­nized crime asso­ciate Alvin Mal­nik and per­son­ages asso­ci­at­ed with SONY music were involved. (SONY bought out Ber­tels­man­n’s music arm [BMG]). He also felt his life was in dan­ger.

. . . Take Gen­er­al Max­i­mo Overkill, for instance. That’s his sol­dier of for­tune’s nom de guerre. His real name is Gor­don Nov­el, and he moves in those spooky cir­cles which he calls “high strange,” where con­spir­a­cies flour­ish and cloak-and-dag­ger inves­ti­ga­tions over­lap. He cut his teeth work­ing for for­mer New Orleans dis­trict attor­ney Jim Gar­ri­son on the J.F.K. assas­si­na­tion, and he boasts that he served as for­mer attor­ney gen­er­al Ram­sey Clark’s “Dober­man” at Waco. Sev­er­al weeks before the tri­al began, I was put in touch with him through Steven Saltzman—the son of a James Bond–film producer—in Mona­co, who told me that Michael Jack­son’s broth­er Jer­maine had been seek­ing Nov­el­’s advice on how to stop the tri­al. Accord­ing to Nov­el, the Jack­sons believed that it was all a grand con­spir­a­cy, that the accuser’s moth­er was being paid by Jack­son’s ene­mies, who want­ed to take con­trol of his major eco­nom­ic asset, the Sony/ATV Music cat­a­logue, which holds pub­lish­ing rights to 251 Bea­t­les songs and works by scores of oth­er pop artists. Jack­son claimed that the main con­spir­a­tors were Sony Records; its for­mer pres­i­dent, Tom­my Mot­to­la; and San­ta Bar­bara Coun­ty dis­trict attor­ney Tom Sned­don, the pros­e­cu­tor, who also inves­ti­gat­ed Jack­son in 1993. The cat­a­logue is held joint­ly by Jack­son and Sony, and Jack­son’s share is mort­gaged for more than $200 mil­lion. If Jack­son defaults, Sony has first chance to buy his half as ear­ly as this com­ing Decem­ber. (A Sony spokesper­son said, “We are not going to com­ment on any aspect of this.”)

Jack­son explained to Nov­el that the con­spir­a­tors had intro­duced him to Al Mal­nik, a wealthy Mia­mi attor­ney who had once rep­re­sent­ed Mey­er Lan­sky. Mal­nik lat­er helped Jack­son refi­nance his loans. That was not what Jack­son told Nov­el, how­ev­er. Accord­ing to Nov­el, Jack­son said he was lured to Mal­nik’s house in Mia­mi Beach by film direc­tor Brett Rat­ner to see a house so beau­ti­ful it would make him cata­ton­ic. He said that once he was there, how­ev­er, Mal­nik, who Jack­son claimed had Mafia ties, want­ed to put his fin­gers in the singer’s busi­ness. Jack­son also said he received a call from Tom­my Mot­to­la while he was there, which aroused his sus­pi­cion, but he did not tell Nov­el that he lat­er put Mal­nik on the board of the Sony/ATV Music part­ner­ship. (Reached by tele­phone, Mal­nik scoffed at the idea of a con­spir­a­cy or of his hav­ing any Mafia ties. He said, “It does not make any sense.” Rat­ner con­firmed that he took Jack­son to Mal­nik’s house and that he con­sid­ers Mal­nik a father fig­ure.)

Jack­son and Mot­to­la have been at odds for years. In New York in July 2002, Jack­son staged a pub­lic protest against Mot­to­la with the Rev­erend Al Sharp­ton, call­ing him a racist and “very, very dev­il­ish.” He called for a boy­cott of Sony, which is believed to have con­tributed to Mot­to­la’s ouster from the com­pa­ny six months lat­er. Jack­son is report­ed­ly so fright­ened of Mot­to­la that one of the rea­sons he sur­round­ed him­self with Nation of Islam guards in 2003 was that he thought Mot­to­la could put out a hit on him. (Mot­to­la could not be reached for com­ment.)

Jack­son want­ed Nov­el to find the links among these char­ac­ters. Nov­el told me in March that “he believes he’ll get con­vict­ed. He believes the judge, the D.A., and the Sony guys are a con­spir­a­cy to take over his mon­ey.”

On March 17, near­ly a month into the tri­al, Nov­el went to Nev­er­land to strate­gize. Max­i­mo’s first thought was that Michael was in need of “an extreme makeover” of what he calls “imag­gio.” Jack­son drove him around the ranch in an old pick­up truck. “He act­ed like he was scared sil­ly,” Nov­el told me. His fear was “six foot thick. He kept ask­ing me what prison was like. Can he watch TV and movies there? He want­ed me to stop the show.” When I asked Nov­el what that meant, he relat­ed that Michael said, “ ‘I want this tri­al stopped.’ He said the judge and Sned­don had rigged the game.”

The gen­er­al was blunt with Jack­son. “I told him, ‘Get rid of the weird per­sona. You look like the weird pedophile. I’m talk­ing about the hair, lip­stick, eye­brows. Just be your­self, and say why you’re doing it. Say that’s your show-biz per­son­al­i­ty. It’s just what you do to sell LPs.’ He said, ‘No. I just want to be me.’ ” The gen­er­al also told him to find a female lover. “He did­n’t want to go with girls, do the romance thing either. He did­n’t want to come to Jesus; he thinks he’s already reli­gious. I said, ‘Why did­n’t you stop fool­ing around with kids?’ He said, ‘I did­n’t want to.’ ”

Nov­el told Jack­son that he could walk away free if he would just sub­mit to a lie-detec­tor test, under­go hyp­no­sis, and take truth serum, which Nov­el would admin­is­ter in “a con­trolled envi­ron­ment.” While he was under the influ­ence on video, Nov­el said, Jer­maine could ask him ques­tions, and they could dis­trib­ute the video world­wide, prov­ing his inno­cence. Jack­son refused to take truth serum, Nov­el said, claim­ing it was against his reli­gion.

Nov­el told me that he was ready to go pub­lic with this infor­ma­tion and sell it to the high­est bid­der, because Jack­son had stiffed him on his $5,000 con­sul­tan­t’s fee. I told him that Van­i­ty Fair does not pay for infor­ma­tion, but he nev­er­the­less relat­ed in detail a con­fer­ence call he had had with Michael, Jer­maine, and the Rev­erend Jesse Jack­son. Many of the things he said they had dis­cussed were echoed in an inter­view Michael gave Jesse Jack­son on Keep Hope Alive with Rev­erend Jesse Jack­son the fol­low­ing East­er Sun­day.

Michael said on the phone that what was hap­pen­ing to him was the result of racism. He told Jesse Jack­son in the radio inter­view, “I’m total­ly inno­cent, and it’s just very painful. This has been kind of a pat­tern among black lumi­nar­ies in this coun­try.” He told him he got strength from the exam­ples of Nel­son Man­dela, Jack John­son, Muham­mad Ali, and Jesse Owens. Nov­el told me he had said to Michael, “You can either be a vic­tim or a war­rior.” In his inter­view, Michael told Jesse Jack­son, “I’m a war­rior.”

On the phone, Nov­el told me, Michael and Jesse had decid­ed that telling the press they spoke with each oth­er fre­quent­ly was a good way to give a pos­i­tive spin to Michael’s predica­ment. Sure enough, Ray­mone Bain, Jack­son’s attrac­tive spokes­woman, prompt­ly told reporters that Michael woke up before dawn every day and spoke with Jesse for 15 or 20 min­utes. She said, “They talk togeth­er and pray togeth­er.” In the inter­view Michael said, “I gained strength from God. I believe in Jeho­vah God very much.”

Nov­el told me they had dis­cussed the con­spir­a­cy at length on the phone. In the inter­view, Jesse Jack­son asked Michael point-blank about the cat­a­logue and what was in it. Michael said that “it’s a huge cat­a­logue. It’s very valu­able, it’s worth a lot of mon­ey, and there is a big fight going on right now as we speak about that.” He added, “I can’t com­ment on it. There’s a lot of con­spir­a­cy. I’ll say that much.” . . .

“CSI Nev­er­land” by Mau­reen Orth; Van­i­ty Fair; July/2005.

2. More depth con­cern­ing the sin­is­ter forces gath­ered around Michael Jack­son dur­ing the clos­ing phase of his life was pro­vid­ed by Ian Halperin. Assert­ing that Jack­son was gay and pre­ferred young male lovers, Halperin main­tains that the pedophil­ia charges of which Jack­son was acquit­ted were base­less.

It was to finance his defense against those charges that Jack­son sold off half of the rights to a valu­able music cat­a­log, includ­ing the rights to many of the Bea­t­les songs. The oth­er half of the cat­a­log is owned by SONY, which acquired Ber­tels­man­n’s music arm.

Halperin also notes that Jack­son was in poor health and that the pro­posed 50-show Lon­don appear­ance would have sev­er­aly dam­aged or destroyed Jack­son’s health. He also notes that sin­is­ter forces around Jack­son dur­ing the clos­ing peri­od of his life includ­ed oper­a­tives of Louis Far­rakhan’s Nation of Islam, includ­ing a mys­te­ri­ous man named Dr. Tohme Tohme, whose pre­cise back­ground is a mat­ter of con­jec­ture. (For back­ground infor­ma­tion about Far­rakhan and his orga­ni­za­tion, includ­ing infor­ma­tion link­ing Far­rakhan to the assas­si­na­tion of Mal­com X, see FTR #21.)

It is Halper­in’s opin­ion that those around Jack­son knew his health was bad and that he could­n’t stand the rig­ors of the pro­posed tour. Were they try­ing to push him into his grave? Were they in cahoots with ele­ments look­ing to obtain con­trol of the Bea­t­les cat­a­log?

What­ev­er  the final autop­sy results reveal, it was greed that killed Michael Jack­son. Had he not been dri­ven – by a cabal of bankers, agents, doc­tors and advis­ers – to com­mit to the gru­elling 50 con­certs in Lon­don’s O2 Are­na, I believe he would still be alive today.

Dur­ing the last weeks and months of his life, Jack­son made des­per­ate attempts to pre­pare for the con­cert series sched­uled for next month – a series that would have earned mil­lions for the singer and his entourage, but which he could nev­er have com­plet­ed, not men­tal­ly, and not phys­i­cal­ly.

Michael knew it and his advis­ers knew it. Any­one who caught even a fleet­ing glimpse of the frail old man hid­ing beneath the cos­tumes and cos­met­ics would have under­stood that the Lon­don tour was mad­ness. For Michael Jack­son, it was fatal.

I had more than a glimpse of the real Michael; as an award-win­ning free­lance jour­nal­ist and film-mak­er, I spent more than five years inside his ‘camp’.

Many in his entourage spoke frankly to me – and that made it pos­si­ble for me to write author­i­ta­tive­ly last Decem­ber that Michael had six months to live, a claim that, at the time, his offi­cial spokesman, Dr Tohme Tohme, called a ‘com­plete fab­ri­ca­tion’. The singer, he told the world, was in ‘fine health’. Six months and one day lat­er, Jack­son was dead.

Some liked to snig­ger at his pub­lic image, and it is true that flam­boy­ant clothes and bizarre make-up made for a com­ic grotesque; yet with­out them, his appear­ance was dis­tress­ing; with skin blem­ish­es, thin­ning hair and dis­coloured fin­ger­nails.

I had estab­lished beyond doubt, for exam­ple, that Jack­son relied on an exten­sive col­lec­tion of wigs to hide his grey­ing hair. Shorn of their lux­u­ri­ance, the Peter Pan of Nev­er­land cut a skele­tal fig­ure.

It was clear that he was in no con­di­tion to do a sin­gle con­cert, let alone 50. He could no longer sing, for a start. On some days he could bare­ly talk. He could no longer dance. Dis­as­ter was loom­ing in Lon­don and, in the opin­ion of his clos­est con­fi­dantes, he was feel­ing sui­ci­dal.

To under­stand why a singer of Jackson’s fragili­ty would even think about trav­el­ing to Lon­don, we need to go back to June 13, 2005, when my involve­ment in his sto­ry began.

As a break­ing news alert flashed on CNN announc­ing that the jury had reached a ver­dict in Jackson’s tri­al for alleged­ly molest­ing 13-year-old Gavin Arvi­zo at his Nev­er­land Ranch in Cal­i­for­nia, I knew that his­to­ry had been made but that Michael Jack­son had been bro­ken – irrev­o­ca­bly so, as it proved.

Nor was it the first time that Michael had been accused of impro­pri­ety with young boys. Lit­tle more than a decade ear­li­er, anoth­er 13-year-old, Jor­dan Chan­dler, made sim­i­lar accu­sa­tions in a case that was even­tu­al­ly set­tled before tri­al – but not before the dam­age had been done to Jackson’s rep­u­ta­tion.

Michael had not helped his case. Appear­ing in a doc­u­men­tary with British broad­cast­er Mar­tin Bashir, he not only admit­ted that he liked to share a bed with teenagers, main­ly boys, in pyja­mas, but showed no sign of under­stand­ing why any­one might be legit­i­mate­ly con­cerned.

I had start­ed my inves­ti­ga­tion con­vinced that Jack­son was guilty. By the end, I no longer believed that.

I could not find a sin­gle shred of evi­dence sug­gest­ing that Jack­son had molest­ed a child. But I found sig­nif­i­cant evi­dence demon­strat­ing that most, if not all, of his accusers lacked cred­i­bil­i­ty and were moti­vat­ed pri­mar­i­ly by mon­ey.

Jack­son also deserved much of the blame, of course. Con­tin­u­ing to share a bed with chil­dren even after the sus­pi­cions sur­faced bor­dered on crim­i­nal stu­pid­i­ty.

He was also play­ing a tru­ly dan­ger­ous game. It is clear to me that Michael was homo­sex­u­al and that his taste was for young men, albeit not as young as Jor­dan Chan­dler or Gavin Arvi­zo.

In the course of my inves­ti­ga­tions, I spoke to two of his gay lovers, one a Hol­ly­wood wait­er, the oth­er an aspir­ing actor. The wait­er had remained friends, per­haps more, with the singer until his death last week. He had served Jack­son at a restau­rant, Jack­son made his inter­est plain and the two slept togeth­er the fol­low­ing night. Accord­ing to the wait­er, Jack­son fell in love.

The actor, who has been giv­en sol­id but unin­spir­ing film parts, saw Jack­son in the mid­dle of 2007. He told me they had spent near­ly every night togeth­er dur­ing their affair – an easy claim to make, you might think. But this lover pro­duced cor­rob­o­ra­tion in the form of pho­tographs of the two of them togeth­er, and a wit­ness.

Oth­er wit­ness­es speak of strings of young men vis­it­ing his house at all hours, even in the peri­od of his decline. Some stayed overnight.

When Jack­son lived in Las Vegas, one of his clos­est aides told how he would sneak off to a ‘grungy, rat-infest­ed’ motel – often dressed as a woman to dis­guise his iden­ti­ty – to meet a male con­struc­tion work­er he had fall­en in love with.

Jack­son was acquit­ted in the Arvi­zo case, dra­mat­i­cal­ly so, but the effect on his men­tal state was ruinous. Sources close to him sug­gest he was close to com­plete ner­vous break­down.

The ordeal had left him phys­i­cal­ly shat­tered, too. One of my sources sug­gest­ed that he might already have had a genet­ic con­di­tion I had nev­er pre­vi­ous­ly come across, called Alpha‑1 antit­rypsin defi­cien­cy – the lack of a pro­tein that can help pro­tect the lungs.

Although up to 100,000 Amer­i­cans are severe­ly affect­ed by it, it is an under-rec­og­nized con­di­tion. Michael was receiv­ing reg­u­lar injec­tions of Alpha‑1 antit­rypsin derived from human plas­ma. The treat­ment is said to be remark­ably effec­tive and can enable the suf­fer­er to lead a nor­mal life.

But the dis­ease can cause res­pi­ra­to­ry prob­lems and, in severe cas­es, emphy­se­ma. Could this be why Jack­son had for years been wear­ing a sur­gi­cal mask in pub­lic, to pro­tect his lungs from the rav­ages of the dis­ease? Or why, from time to time, he resort­ed to a wheel­chair? When I returned to my source inside the Jack­son camp for con­fir­ma­tion, he said: ‘Yeah, that’s what he’s got. He’s in bad shape. They’re wor­ried that he might need a lung trans­plant but he may be too weak.

‘Some days he can hard­ly see and he’s hav­ing a lot of trou­ble walk­ing.’

Even Michael Jackson’s leg­endary wealth was in sharp decline. Just a few days before he announced his 50-con­cert come­back at the O2 Are­na, one of my sources told me Jack­son had been offered £1.8million to per­form at a par­ty for a Russ­ian bil­lion­aire on the Black Sea.

‘Is he up to it?’ I had asked.

‘He has no choice. He needs the mon­ey. His peo­ple are push­ing him hard,’ said the source.

Could he even stand on a stage for an hour con­cert?

‘He can stand. The treat­ments have been suc­cess­ful. He can even dance once he gets in bet­ter shape. He just can’t sing,’ said the aide, adding that Jack­son would have to lip-synch to get through the per­for­mance. ‘Nobody will care, as long as he shows up and moon­walks.’

He also revealed Jack­son had been offered well over £60million to play Las Vegas for six months.  ‘He said no, but his peo­ple are try­ing to force it on him. He’s that close to los­ing every­thing,’ said the source.

Indeed, by all accounts Jackson’s finances were in a sham­bles. The Arvi­zo tri­al itself was a rel­a­tive bar­gain, cost­ing a lit­tle more than £18million in legal bills.

But the dam­age to his career, already in trou­ble before the charges, was incal­cu­la­ble. After the Arvi­zo tri­al, a Bahrai­ni sheikh allowed Jack­son to stay in his palace, under­writ­ing his lav­ish lifestyle. But a few years lat­er, the prince sued his for­mer guest, demand­ing repay­ment for his hos­pi­tal­i­ty. Jack­son claimed he thought it had been a gift.

Roger Fried­man, a TV jour­nal­ist, said: ‘For one year, the prince under­wrote Jackson’s life in Bahrain – every­thing includ­ing accom­mo­da­tion, guests, secu­ri­ty and trans­porta­tion. And what did Jack­son do? He left for Japan and then Ire­land. He took the mon­ey and moon­walked right out the door. This is the real Michael Jack­son. He has nev­er returned a phone call from the prince since he left Bahrain.’

Although Jack­son set­tled with the sheikh on the eve of the tri­al that would have aired his finan­cial dirty laun­dry, the set­tle­ment only put him that much deep­er into the hole. A hole that kept get­ting big­ger, but that was guar­an­teed by Jackson’s half own­er­ship of the copy­rights to The Bea­t­les cat­a­logue. He owned them in a joint ven­ture with record com­pa­ny Sony, which have kept him from bank­rupt­cy.

‘Jack­son is in hock to Sony for hun­dreds of mil­lions,’ a source told me a cou­ple of months ago. ‘No bank will give him any mon­ey so Sony have been pay­ing his bills.

‘The trou­ble is that he hasn’t been meet­ing his oblig­a­tions. Sony have been in a posi­tion for more than a year where it can repos­sess Michael’s share of the [Bea­t­les] cat­a­logue. That’s always been Sony’s dream sce­nario, full own­er­ship.

‘But they don’t want to do it as they’re afraid of a back­lash from his fans. Their night­mare is an organ­ised ‘boy­cott Sony’ move­ment world­wide, which could prove huge­ly cost­ly. It is the only thing stand­ing between Michael and bank­rupt­cy.’

The source aid at the time that the sched­uled Lon­don con­certs wouldn’t clear Jackson’s debts – esti­mat­ed at almost £242million – but they would allow him to get them under con­trol and get him out of default with Sony.

Accord­ing to two sources in Jackson’s camp, the singer put in place a con­tin­gency plan to ensure his chil­dren would be well tak­en care of in the event of bank­rupt­cy.

‘He has as many as 200 unpub­lished songs that he is plan­ning to leave behind for his chil­dren when he dies. They can’t be touched by the cred­i­tors, but they could be worth as much as £60million that will ensure his kids a com­fort­able exis­tence no mat­ter what hap­pens,’ one of his col­lab­o­ra­tors revealed.

But for the cir­cle of han­dlers who sur­round­ed Jack­son dur­ing his final years, their gold­en goose could not be allowed to run dry. Bank­rupt­cy was not an option.

These, after all, were not the han­dlers who had seen him through the after­math of the Arvi­zo tri­al and who had been pro­tect­ing his frag­ile emo­tion­al health to the best of their abil­i­ty. They were gone, and a new set of advis­ers was in place.

The clearout had appar­ent­ly been engi­neered by his children’s nan­ny, Grace Rwaram­ba, who was gain­ing con­sid­er­able influ­ence over Jack­son and his affairs and has been described as the ‘queen bee’ by those around Jack­son.

Rwaram­ba had ties to the black mil­i­tant organ­i­sa­tion, the Nation of Islam, and its con­tro­ver­sial leader, Louis Far­rakhan, whom she enlist­ed for help in run­ning Jackson’s affairs.

Before long, the Nation was sup­ply­ing Jackson’s secu­ri­ty detail and Farrakhan’s son-in-law, Leonard Muham­mad, was appoint­ed as Jackson’s busi­ness man­ag­er, though his role has less­ened sig­nif­i­cant­ly in recent years.

In late 2008, a shad­owy fig­ure who called him­self Dr Tohme Tohme sud­den­ly emerged as Jackson’s ‘offi­cial spokesman’.

Tohme has been alter­nate­ly described as a Sau­di Ara­bi­an bil­lion­aire and an orthopaedic sur­geon, but he is actu­al­ly a Lebanese busi­ness­man who does not have a med­ical licence. At one point, Tohme claimed he was an ambas­sador at large for Sene­gal, but the Sene­galese embassy said they had nev­er heard of him.

Tohme’s own ties to the Nation of Islam came to light in March 2009, when New York auc­tion­eer Dar­ren Julien was con­duct­ing an auc­tion of Michael Jack­son mem­o­ra­bil­ia.

Julien filed an affi­davit in Los Ange­les Supe­ri­or Court that month in which he described a meet­ing he had with Tohme’s busi­ness part­ner, James R. Weller. Accord­ing to Julien’s account, ‘Weller said if we refused to post­pone [the auc­tion], we would be in dan­ger from ‘Far­rakhan and the Nation of Islam; those peo­ple are very pro­tec­tive of Michael’.

He told us that Dr Tohme and Michael Jack­son want­ed to give the mes­sage to us that ‘our lives are at stake and there will be blood­shed’.’

A month after these alleged threats, Tohme accom­pa­nied Jack­son to a meet­ing at a Las Vegas hotel with Randy Phillips, chief exec­u­tive of the AEG Group, to finalise plans for Jackson’s return to the con­cert stage.

Jackson’s han­dlers had twice before said no to Phillips. This time, with Tohme act­ing as his con­fi­dant, Jack­son left the room agree­ing to per­form ten con­certs at the O2.

Before long, how­ev­er, ten con­certs had turned into 50 and the poten­tial rev­enues had sky­rock­et­ed. ‘The vul­tures who were pulling his strings some­how man­aged to put this con­cert extrav­a­gan­za togeth­er behind his back, then pre­sent­ed it to him as a fait accom­pli,’ said one aide.

‘The mon­ey was just unbe­liev­able and all his finan­cial peo­ple were telling him he was fac­ing bank­rupt­cy. But Michael still resist­ed. He didn’t think he could pull it off.’

Even­tu­al­ly, they wore him down, the aide explained, but not with the mon­ey argu­ment.

‘They told him that this would be the great­est come­back the world had ever known. That’s what con­vinced him. He thought if he could emerge tri­umphant­ly from the suc­cess of these con­certs, he could be the King again.’

The finan­cial details of the O2 con­certs are still murky, though var­i­ous sources have revealed that Jack­son was paid as much as £10million in advance, most of which went to the mid­dle­men. But Jack­son could have received as much as £100million had the con­certs gone ahead.

It is worth not­ing that the O2 Are­na has the most sophis­ti­cat­ed lip synch­ing tech­nol­o­gy in the world – a par­tic­u­lar attrac­tion for a singer who can no longer sing. Had, by some mir­a­cle, the con­certs gone ahead, Jackson’s per­son­al con­tri­bu­tion could have been lim­it­ed to just 13 min­utes for each per­for­mance. The rest was to have been chore­og­ra­phy and lights.

‘We knew it was a dis­as­ter wait­ing to hap­pen,’ said one aide. ‘I don’t think any­body pre­dict­ed it would actu­al­ly kill him but nobody believed he would end up per­form­ing.’

Their doubts were under­scored when Jack­son col­lapsed dur­ing only his sec­ond rehearsal. . . .

“I’m Bet­ter Off Dead. I’m Done’: Michael Jack­son’s Fate­ful Pre­dic­tion Just a Week Before His Death” by Ian Halperin; Mail Online; 6/29/2009.

3. Los Ange­les author­i­ties were mov­ing in the direc­tion of a homi­cide inves­ti­ga­tion at one point in their inquiry.

The slow drib­ble of news and rumors in the after­math of Michael Jack­son’s death con­tin­ues, with reports that the L.A. Coun­ty Dis­trict Attor­ney’s Office is con­sid­er­ing the case a crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion, and that the LAPD is treat­ing Jack­son’s death as a homi­cide. . . .

“Police Say Jack­son Death Being Treat­ed as Homi­cide” by Jeff Thomas [“The Star Report”]; San Jose Mer­cury News; 7/17/2009; p. A2.

4. Two weeks after Jack­son’s death, the pow­er­ful Ber­tels­mann firm was cap­i­tal­ized by KKR in a new music ven­ture. Spec­u­la­tion involved the pos­si­bil­i­ty that Ber­tels­mann might use the cap­i­tal to acquire the rights to the licens­ing of the cat­a­log owned by Jack­son and SONY.

Less than a year after Ber­tels­mann, the Ger­man media giant, exit­ed the music busi­ness, it is tak­ing a nov­el approach to get back in.

The com­pa­ny said Wednes­day that it would form a joint ven­ture with the pri­vate equi­ty firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Com­pa­ny to license and admin­is­ter music rights.

The new com­pa­ny will com­bine Bertelsmann’s exist­ing BMG Rights Man­age­ment unit with the finan­cial mus­cle of K.K.R., which will own 51 per­cent of the joint ven­ture, with Ber­tels­mann hold­ing the rest.

And while BMG’s indi­rect com­peti­tors will be the music pub­lish­ing titans of the world, like EMI, Warn­er Music, Uni­ver­sal and Sony — com­pa­nies that mar­ket the immense cat­a­logs they own — BMG is count­ing on sign­ing artists who are seek­ing some­one who will admin­is­ter their intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty with­out actu­al­ly own­ing it.

“Our finan­cial strength com­bined with BMG’s sec­tor exper­tise will cre­ate a unique plat­form for build­ing up a glob­al music-rights man­age­ment busi­ness,” Johannes P. Huth, the Euro­pean head of K.K.R., said in a state­ment.

In August, Ber­tels­mann sold its stake in the music com­pa­ny SonyB­MG to Sony for $900 mil­lion. As part of the deal, it retained the rights to 200 Euro­pean artists, who, with 100 signed since Octo­ber, form the core of BMG Rights Man­age­ment, which is based in Berlin.

Found­ed last Octo­ber, BMG Rights Man­age­ment is a rel­a­tive­ly new busi­ness that acts as an agent for artists whose intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty can be licensed for uses out­side of tra­di­tion­al record­ing. For exam­ple, the music can be broad­cast through var­i­ous media or used in movie pro­duc­tions.

Its sta­ble of artists includes Toby Gad, a Ger­man song­writer liv­ing in New York who has worked with artists includ­ing Bey­on­cé and Han­nah Mon­tana, and 2Raumwohnung, a pop­u­lar Ger­man group.

K.K.R. will put 50 mil­lion euros up front into the new com­pa­ny, draw­ing on its Euro­pean invest­ment funds, and anoth­er 200 mil­lion euros over five years as invest­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties arise, accord­ing to Philipp Freise, a direc­tor of K.K.R. in Europe and mem­ber of its glob­al media team.

“We both want to broad­en BMG’s glob­al reach faster than orig­i­nal­ly antic­i­pat­ed,” Thomas Rabe, Bertelsmann’s chief finan­cial offi­cer, said.

Hartwig Masuch, BMG’s chief exec­u­tive and a vet­er­an of its music pub­lish­ing busi­ness, will keep that title in the new com­pa­ny.

BMG has offices in six Euro­pean coun­tries, includ­ing Ger­many, Britain and Italy, and is now turn­ing its gaze across the Atlantic to begin sign­ing artists there. “With this joint ven­ture, the main point now is to get active in the Unit­ed States,” said Tobias Riepe, a Ber­tels­mann spokesman.

Though its first pri­or­i­ty is acquir­ing a sta­ble of artists, anoth­er pos­si­bil­i­ty for expan­sion would be for BMG to acquire con­trol of music cat­a­logs in its own right from oth­er own­ers, or artists who sell them, Mr. Riepe said.

The music world, for exam­ple, is now abuzz with spec­u­la­tion about what will hap­pen to the cat­a­logs con­trolled by heirs of Michael Jack­son. The recent­ly deceased pop super­star had his own music cat­a­log, and a 50 per­cent inter­est in the Sony/ATV col­lec­tion, which includes songs from The Bea­t­les — assets the fam­i­ly could try to sell. . . .

“Ber­tels­mann Re-enters Music World with K.K.R.” by Carter Dougher­ty; The New York Times; 7/9/2009; p. B3.

5. More about the Bertelsmann/K.K.R. deal:

To Hen­ry Wadsworth Longfel­low, music was “the uni­ver­sal lan­guage of mankind.” Mon­ey may be the lin­gua fran­ca for the part­ners at the pri­vate equi­ty firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, but a com­bi­na­tion with music could make a pleas­ant tune for its investors.

The fund run by Hen­ry Kravis is team­ing with the Ger­man media group Ber­tels­mann to pounce on some of the choic­est bits of the music busi­ness — copy­rights to songs. Giv­en the tur­bu­lence in the record­ed music sec­tor, and the own­er­ship of libraries like Michael Jackson’s up in the air, they’ll like­ly have a wealth of assets from which to choose.

Wide­spread dig­i­tal dis­tri­b­u­tion of music has ham­pered the abil­i­ty of com­pa­nies like Warn­er Music Group and EMI to make mon­ey from their tra­di­tion­al activ­i­ty of find­ing new artists and mar­ket­ing their tunes. Yet, their copy­right busi­ness­es con­tin­ue to pro­duce prof­it. In the quar­ter that end­ed in March, Warner’s pub­lish­ing divi­sion post­ed 40 per­cent oper­at­ing mar­gins, four times those of its record­ed music divi­sion.

That has raised expec­ta­tions that copy­right own­ers like EMI, which is high­ly lever­aged, may need to sell assets to pay down debt and fix their record­ed music oper­a­tions. Sim­i­lar­ly, Warn­er may seek to mon­e­tize part of its library to finance a bid for the record­ed music arm of EMI, should its own­ers at the buy­out firm Ter­ra Fir­ma wish to sell.

And copy­rights owned by the estates of Michael Jack­son and Allen Klein, the for­mer Rolling Stones man­ag­er, may come on the block. The Jack­son estate’s share of its ven­ture with Sony, which holds the rights to most of the Bea­t­les’ music, was val­ued at $390 mil­lion in a 2007 audit. . . .

“Part­ners Fan­cy a Trove of Songs” Lau­ren  Sil­va Laugh­lin and John Foley [Breakingviews.com]; The New York Times; 7/9/2009; p. B2.

6. Short­ly after Jack­son’s death, the father of the first of his two [false] accusers died of a gun­shot wound, said to have been self-inflict­ed.

First, Even Chandler–father of Jor­dan Chan­dler, the boy who first accused Michael [Jack­son] of molestation–committed sui­cide by hand­gun, spark­ing spec­u­la­tion that he’d per­haps done so out of guilt over the whole child molesta­tion scan­dal that arguably start­ed the down­ward spi­ral of the fall­en King Of Pop’s bizarre life. We shall nev­er real­ly know, and there was no sui­cide note at the scene. . . .

“Nov. 16–22: Crash­es, Feuds, Rumors & Duets (i.e., Just Anoth­er Week In Music News)”; Yahoo.com; 11/20/2009.

7. Ber­tels­mann was the pub­lish­er for the SS in World War II. The fir­m’s patri­arch, Hein­rich Mohn, was a mem­ber of that orga­ni­za­tion. Avail­able evi­dence sug­gests strong­ly that Ber­tels­mann is part of the Under­ground Reich.

Note that the late Hein­rich Mohn select­ed Dieter Vogel to head the Thyssen firm. In addi­tion to being one of the Ger­man core cor­po­ra­tions (and there­fore part of the Under­ground Reich), the Thyssen firm is one of the most impor­tant ele­ments of the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work.

“Issu­ing more than 20 mil­lion vol­umes, Ber­tels­mann was the largest sup­pli­er to the army and sup­plied the SS.”

(“Bertelsmann’s Nazi Past” by Her­sch Fis­chler and John Fried­man; The Nation; 12/28/98; p. 1.)

8. More about Ber­tels­mann and Hein­rich Mohn’s mem­ber­ship in the SS:

“When Ber­tels­mann applied after the war for a sec­ond pub­lish­ing license, it was turned down by occu­pa­tion author­i­ties. [Ber­tels­mann patri­arch Hein­rich] Mohn had ‘for­got­ten’ to men­tion that he had been a ‘pas­sive’ mem­ber of the SS, as well as a sup­port­er of the Hitler Youth and a mem­ber of the pres­ti­gious Nation­al Social­ist Fly­ing Corps, accord­ing to de-Naz­i­fi­ca­tion files in the cen­tral state archive in Dus­sel­dorf.”

(Ibid.; p. 2.)

9. For those inclined to view the activ­i­ties of Hein­rich Mohn and asso­ciates as some­thing that was “long ago and far away,” the pro­gram reviews the fact that Ber­tels­man­n’s house historian–Dirk Bavendamm–exhibits behav­ior sug­ges­tive of Ber­tels­mann being part of the Under­ground Reich. As recent­ly as 1998, Baven­damm wrote a book blam­ing World War II on Franklin Roo­sevelt, U.S. impe­ri­al­ism and Jew­ish con­trol of the media. A remark­able inter­pre­ta­tion of that con­flict from the offi­cial his­to­ri­an of the largest Eng­lish lan­guage pub­lish­er.

“His book Roosevelt’s Way to War (Roosevelt’s Weg zum Krieg) was pub­lished in 1983. Rewrit­ing his­to­ry, he stat­ed that Roo­sevelt, not Hitler had caused World War II. He also wrote that Amer­i­can Jews con­trolled most of the media,’ and he claimed they gave a false pic­ture of Hitler. Did the book impress [Heinrich’s son Rein­hard] Mohn, then the major­i­ty share­hold­er of Ber­tels­mann? The firm hired Baven­damm as its house his­to­ri­an, and in 1984 he com­plet­ed a his­tor­i­cal study, 150 Years of Ber­tels­mann: The Founders and Their Time—with a fore­word by Mohn. A year lat­er, Baven­damm edit­ed the firm’s offi­cial his­to­ry, which set forth the untrue sto­ry that the firm had resist­ed the Nazis and had been closed down by them. Mohn also asked Baven­damm to write the autho­rized his­to­ry of the Mohn fam­i­ly, pub­lished in 1986 under the title Ber­tels­mann, Mohn, Scip­pel: Three Families—One Com­pa­ny. In a sec­ond book, Roosevelt’s War (pub­lished in 1993, reis­sued in 1998), Baven­damm accus­es the U.S. Pres­i­dent of enact­ing a plan to start World War II. In the same book he sug­gests that Hitler’s threats in ear­ly 1939 against Euro­pean Jew­ry were a reac­tion to Roosevelt’s strat­e­gy against Ger­many. After the rev­e­la­tions about Bertelsmann’s Nazi past appeared, the com­pa­ny announced that it had asked ‘the his­to­ri­an and pub­li­cist Dr. Dirk Baven­damm to look at the new infor­ma­tion and begin to rein­ves­ti­gate the role the pub­lish­ing house played in those days’ and defend­ed his work.”

(“Bertelsmann’s Revi­sion­ist” by Her­sch Fis­chler and John Fried­man; The Nation; 11/8/99; p. 1.)

10. The bulk of the sec­ond side of the pro­gram deals with Alvin Mal­nik, a for­mer attor­ney for Mey­er Lan­sky (often men­tioned as Lan­sky’s pos­si­ble heir) and an execu­tor to Jack­son’s will. Right­ly or wrong­ly, Jack­son was very afraid of Mal­nik, whom he sus­pect­ed of plot­ting to gain con­trol of his estate, his stake in the Bea­t­les’ cat­a­log, in par­tic­u­lar.

Mal­nik con­vert­ed to Islam and adopt­ed an Ara­bic name. In addi­tion, his son Mark Mal­nik mar­ried a princess of the Sau­di roy­al fam­i­ly and changed his name to Sha­reef. The broad­cast exam­ines this rela­tion­ship. Mr. Emory refers to the Mal­nik milieu as “Lake Mal­nik” and notes the many pow­er­ful and monied inter­ests with prop­er­ty on or adjoin­ing that remark­able lake. Peo­ple and insti­tu­tions involved with, and over­lap­ping, the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty, orga­nized crime, pol­i­tics, show busi­ness, indus­try and finance all rubbed elbows with Mal­nik.

The marriage–literally–of an alleged heir to the Lan­sky syn­di­cate to the Sau­di roy­al fam­i­ly rais­es the pos­si­bil­i­ty of a tru­ly remark­able and vir­tu­al­ly lim­it­less engine of cor­rupt pow­er. (For dis­cus­sion of Mal­nik, the pro­gram excerpts mate­r­i­al from FTR #512.)


11 comments for “FTR #695 Dancing Machine: Reflections on the Death of Michael Jackson”

  1. Autop­sy doc­tor doubts Michael Jack­son caused his own death.


    Posted by Sandra | October 11, 2011, 4:32 pm
  2. What about the death of Whit­ney Hous­ton?

    Excerpt from the Finan­cial Times”


    “Sony to set plans for Whit­ney Hous­ton cat­a­logue
    Pub­lished : 12:10 am Feb­ru­ary 14, 2012 | No com­ments so far | | E‑mail to friend
    Reuters: Sony Music exec­u­tives will meet this week in New York to deter­mine a strat­e­gy for mar­ket­ing the nine albums, sound­tracks and com­pi­la­tions that fea­ture Whit­ney Hous­ton, the pop singer who died on Sat­ur­day at age 48, accord­ing to two peo­ple famil­iar with the plans.
    Exec­u­tives will also dis­cuss st”

    Posted by George Karnazes | February 13, 2012, 4:49 pm
  3. @George Kar­nazes–

    Peo­ple might be inclined to dis­miss your com­ment as para­noid con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry at its worst.

    I think it shows more insight than that. Both Whit­ney Hous­ton and Michael Jack­son had racked up epic record sales.

    Both were reach­ing (or had reached) the point where they could no longer per­form effec­tive­ly.

    Michael Jack­son was enfee­bled dur­ing the rehearsals for his big tour, and many close to him feared for his health and life if he con­tin­ued to push him­self.

    Whit­ney Hous­ton had, by accounts, lost her voice, to a con­sid­er­able extent.

    Like Jack­son, she was on the down­side of her career, to say the least.

    Like Jack­son, she had drug habits that would have made dis­patch­ing her easy.

    Like Jack­son, she was worth more dead than alive, with pow­er­ful cor­po­rate inter­ests stand­ing to ben­e­fit from the ener­gized pop­u­lar­i­ty stem­ming from the trag­ic deaths of both.

    Sony and Bertelsman/Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts were quick to join the hunt.

    Remem­ber, that we are talk­ing about a great deal of mon­ey to be made by pow­er­ful cor­po­ra­tions.

    That treach­ery might enter into such affairs is one to be seri­ous­ly pon­dered.

    I would note that Hous­ton men­tor Clive Davis, who throws the annu­al Gram­my par­ty at the Bev­er­ly Hilton was employed as of 2002 by Ber­tels­mann, a pro­pri­etary firm of the Ger­man giant.

    We looked at this in FTR #250.

    Posted by Dave Emory | February 14, 2012, 3:56 am
  4. hollywoodnews.com 2–20-12


    “Whit­ney Hous­ton Mys­tery: Michael Jack­son and Whit­ney Had a Curi­ous Friend in Com­mon
    By: Roger Fried­man
    HollywoodNews.com: Here’s the one per­son in the Whit­ney Hous­ton sto­ry whose name you have not heard, and who has remained a mys­tery: a Dutch man from Ams­ter­dam who goes by the name of Raf­fles van Exel. He is also known – in court records—as Raf­fles Daw­son and Raf­fles Ben­son. He was on the fourth floor of the Bev­er­ly Hilton Hotel in one of Houston’s suites when she died.”..

    Posted by George Karnazes | March 17, 2012, 11:31 pm
  5. @George Kar­nazes–

    Good Show! Raf­fles uses dif­fer­ent names when in court?

    Sure is in the right place at the right time.

    As I said in response to your ear­li­er com­ment, this is the sort of thing that peo­ple tend to dis­miss as Con­spir­a­cy The­o­ry at its worst.

    But look at the washed up Jack­son and Hous­ton.

    MUCH more valu­able dead than alive.

    With the licens­ing of their music for adver­tis­ing pur­pos­es, in addi­tion to sales to “griev­ing” fans, seri­ous cor­po­rate prof­its are to be made.

    That is always the dom­i­nant con­sid­er­a­tion in our world.

    Keep up the good work!


    Posted by Dave Emory | March 18, 2012, 11:16 pm
  6. Greet­ings all ‚I am an occa­sion­al lis­ten­er and appre­ci­ate and com­mend Mr. Emory’s work. After read­ing the arti­cle about this ‘Raf­fles van Exel’ char­ac­ter, I did a ‘you tube’ search and sev­er­al videos turned up. He appears to be a celeb wannabe and con man who has a knack for get­ting next to famous peo­ple and then using that access to pro­mote him­self. He is believed to have secret­ly tak­en and sold to the tabloids for $50,000 the final pic­ture of Whit­ney Hous­ton in her cas­ket.

    But one of Raf­fles’s videos– a 4 part inter­view of Michael Jack­son’s ‘man­ag­er’, Frank Dileo, raised curiosity.Plainly put, the man­ag­er guy seemed to be a mob­ster. I did­n’t even watch the entire video because he begins ear­ly on try­ing to squash rumors and ‘con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry’ about why and how the “This Is It ” doc­u­men­tary about Michael’s last tour came about. Dileo insists to Raf­fles that the tour rehearsals were nev­er filmed with the intent of mak­ing a cash cow movie as a delib­er­ate finan­cial alter­na­tive once they real­ized Jack­son was too ill to com­plete the tour. Dileo insists it was done sort of like a home movie–to pre­serve mem­o­ries of what was sched­uled to be Michael’s last tour—he begins to say there was orig­i­nal­ly no com­mer­cial intent.

    But then he says “Michael could­n’t afford a film crew”, so some­body just went out and bought two $6000 video cam­eras –and that’s how this mega mil­lion dol­lar movie about Jack­son’s last days came about. That remark that Jack­son “could not afford to hire a film crew” caused me to pause the video right there and begin doing google search­es for Frank Dileo.

    From what the inter­net says the guy is as crooked as a dog’s hind leg. A for­mer book­ie and record indus­try “pay­ola” type, unable to ditch the per­sis­tent taint of the names Gam­bi­no and Got­ti , were some of the descrip­tions of Dileo. A jour­nal­ist writ­ing a book on mob influ­ence in the record indus­try inter­viewed Dileo –Dileo report­ed­ly laughed when asked about orga­nized crime and said to the effect, “there has­n’t been any orga­nized crime since Al Capone.”

    Dileo was asked by Mar­tin Scorcese to play “Tud­die Cicero” in the movie ‘Good­fel­las’ –btw “Tud­die Cicero” was the over­weight mob­ster who assas­si­nates Joe Pesci’s char­ac­ter “Tom­my” in the movie.

    Look­ing into Dileo’s his­to­ry with Michael Jack­son we find he turned around the ‘Epic’ record label and then became Michael’s man­ag­er in the singer’s hey day era of the “Thriller” and the fol­low up “Bad” albums –prob­a­bly the singer’s biggest hit records– but they part­ed com­pa­ny on less than friend­ly terms in the late 80s when Jack­son fired him–Dileo was accused by some of steal­ing mil­lions from Jack­son.

    After almost 2 decades of absence –how did Dileo become Jack­son’s man­ag­er again ? Appar­ent­ly rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Anschutz Enter­tain­ment Group, or AEG the “This Is It ” tour spon­sor insist­ed Dileo be rein­stat­ed as the singer’s man­ag­er for the tour– over the objec­tions of Michael Jack­son . A cur­so­ry look into AEG reveals the own­er Phillip Anschutz is a‘billionaire and right wing Chris­t­ian and finan­cial con­trib­u­tor to the George ‘Dubya’ Bush polit­i­cal cam­paigns.

    The book “What Real­ly Hap­pened ” by for­mer Jack­son pro­mot­er and fam­i­ly friend Leonard Rowe says that AEG finan­cial­ly raped the singer with a “con­tract” his crooked lawyers encour­aged him to sign that basi­cal­ly left Michael respon­si­ble for all of the expens­es of the tour–which accord­ing to Rowe is unheard of in the indus­try.

    The con­tract left him mil­lions of dol­lars in debt to AEG and gave them the legal right to take his bil­lion dol­lar music cat­a­log if he default­ed on his debts to them. AEG owns both the Sta­ples are­na where the tour rehearsals were going on and con­trols the O2 sta­di­um where the con­certs were to take place –but Michael was charged for all of the tour’s pro­duc­tion costs and would not receive a dime until all these costs were paid–it’s like some­one offers you your own tv show, but the elec­tric bill and all costs of oper­at­ing the studio,the props, fur­ni­ture and sets –every­thing– includ­ing lunch for all the staff and all the staff salaries have to be paid by you.

    AEG also requires Michael con­trac­tu­al­ly to pay for the sub­stan­tial life insur­ance , can­cel­la­tion insur­ance and non com­ple­tion insur­ance poli­cies they had placed on him and the tour–and they won’t reveal how much they col­lect­ed when he died.

    When Jack­son dies, sud­den­ly with a sur­prise will that no one includ­ing michael’s new lawyer knew about, up jumps John Bran­ca –the lawyer Jack­son fired in 2003 when inves­ti­ga­tors told the singer that his attor­ney Bran­ca and Sony exec Tom­my Mot­to­la were work­ing togeth­er steal­ing mil­lions from Jack­son and hid­ing the mon­ey off shore. Accord­ing to Rowe, Jack­son repeat­ed­ly said he would nev­er do busi­ness with Bran­ca or Dileo –EVER –but appar­ent­ly through AEG they are both back in the pic­ture –one man­ag­ing pro­duc­tion of the “This is It ” film gross­ing hun­dreds of mil­lions world wide and the oth­er as the execu­tor of his estate han­dling among oth­er things, the bil­lion dol­lar music rights belong­ing to the singer –and both of these two scoundrels billing the singer’s estate for man­age­ment and legal fees.

    In the first year after the singer’s death his estate took in over a bil­lion addi­tion­al dol­lars from record sales films, mem­o­ra­bil­ia , licens­ing etc, ect. –Michael Jack­son IS worth more dead to the indus­try than alive.

    And it must also be men­tioned that man­ag­er Dileo sud­den­ly ‘dis­cov­ered’ music tracks that he said Michael record­ed in 2007 but were nev­er released. Some of these songs are includ­ed in the posthu­mous­ly released album “Michael” but fans and crit­ics imme­di­ate­ly pro­claim these ‘dis­cov­ered’ songs as “fakes” . Even the singer’s daugh­ter alleged­ly said the voice on the songs did­n’t sound like her father–but audio experts from ...Sony...certify the voice as Michael’s and assure grief-strick­en fans to buy the album.

    In ear­ly 2011 a fight breaks out between estate execu­tors John Bran­ca and John Mc Clain and man­ag­er Frank Dileo. Dileo com­plains he is being stiffed for man­age­ment fees by the estate and cut out of deci­sion mak­ing pow­er. He threat­ens to write a ‘Tell All” book about his expe­ri­ences in the music busi­ness which cre­ates a media buzz because of his con­nec­tions to Michael and oth­ers promi­nent in the indus­try. Bran­ca and McClain report­ed­ly make pay­ments to Dileo. The book nev­er comes out because short­ly after the sto­ry makes the news , Dileo suf­fers severe heart prob­lems and even­tu­al­ly dies in August 2011.

    Now I don’t know if any of this over­laps with or has any­thing to do at all with the under­ground reich–but if it does­n’t, the Bor­man group needs to take notes from these guys. The cor­rupt cor­po­rate execs, the cor­rupt man­agers, the cor­rupt lawyers, the cor­rupt doc­tors, the high­ly cor­rupt and mafia-like AEG, the cor­rupt tick­et agents who ille­gal­ly made an esti­mat­ed $50 mil­lion that they won’t have to return sim­ply from scalp­ing tick­ets to this sold out tour and most of all the cor­rupt judges that quick­ly dis­missed Jack­son’s father’s law suit against AEG and do not chal­lenge the crooked last will and tes­ta­ment where appar­ent­ly even Michael’s kid­s’s names are list­ed incor­rect­ly. This will was sup­pos­ed­ly signed by Michael in LA on the same day Michael was record­ed by the media stay­ing in NY and con­duct­ing protests against Sony exec Tom­my Mat­to­la , the cor­rupt media that still focus­es on Jack­son’s eccen­tric­i­ties RATHER THAN THE BIZARRE CIRCUS OF CORRUPT AND BLATANT THIEVES CONSTANTLY SURROUNDING HIM–EVEN IN DEATH– AND THE LEGAL SYSTEM ALLOWING AND SUPPORTING ALL OF THIS . if the Bor­man group is in no way con­nect­ed to all this, Mar­tin Bor­man must be turn­ing in his grave from jeal­ousy and in envy of these gang­sters of today...and com­plain­ing “We nev­er had it so good as this.”

    Posted by dsekou | September 10, 2012, 4:14 pm
  7. I found it inter­est­ing how long it took for us to find out who Joan Rivers per­son­al doc­tor was when we heard so many oth­er details so quick­ly. Hell, it took TMZ weeks to fig­ure it out, and they have their fin­gers in every­thing! Note that propo­fol was in the mix again, AND that this doc­tor was not at all autho­rized to do any­thing in this med­ical office. Nor did she have writ­ten approval from Rivers.

    Also, keep in mind that this hap­pened with­in weeks of the bizarre “seat­ed hang­ing” of Robin Williams, like Joan Rivers, ALSO a sup­port­er of Israel.

    The TMZ post is only worth­while for the fan­tas­tic pic of Dr. Korovin, who looks about as friend­ly as you would imag­ine. Not assum­ing this was a “mur­der”, but at the very least, Dr. Korovin has “a lot­ta splain­in’ to do” as Ricky Ricar­do put it.


    The CNN sto­ry has more actu­al details.


    At first, Lloyd said, Rivers was unable to bring oxy­gen into her body due to the vocal cord spasm. After a cou­ple of min­utes, her heart start­ed to beat irreg­u­lar­ly or com­plete­ly stopped. Final­ly, her heart stopped deliv­er­ing fresh oxy­genat­ed blood to her brain, which shut down, accord­ing to Lloyd.

    “The unan­swered ques­tion is why they did not do a com­bat (tra­cheoto­my)?” he asked. “You’ve seen in the James Bond movies. You take a ball­point pen and punc­ture the thy­roid car­ti­lage and cre­ate an emer­gency air­way for her. Of course, they would do it with ster­ile instru­ments. ... And, after minute two, did any­body say, We need to start doing some CPR for her?”

    The ini­tial report did not name the doc­tor or doc­tors who per­formed the pro­ce­dures.

    Melis­sa Rivers post­ed this on Twit­ter on Fri­day after­noon: “In response to NYC’s Med­ical exam­in­er’s report, we con­tin­ue to be sad­dened by our trag­ic loss. No fur­ther com­ment at this time.”

    Time­line emerges in Joan Rivers’ death

    What hap­pened?

    Sev­er­al clin­ic work­ers told inves­ti­ga­tors that the August 28 appoint­ment began with Rivers’ per­son­al throat doc­tor, Dr. Gwen Korovin, per­form­ing a laryn­goscopy, which involves using a device to view a patien­t’s vocal folds, a source close to the inves­ti­ga­tion told CNN last month.

    Gas­troen­terol­o­gist Dr. Lawrence Cohen, who was the med­ical direc­tor of the clin­ic until resign­ing after Rivers’ death, then per­formed an endoscopy intend­ed to diag­nose why she was suf­fer­ing a sore throat and hoarse­ness, the source said.

    Cohen detect­ed some­thing of con­cern, the source said.

    Korovin then began a sec­ond laryn­goscopy to again view River’s vocal cords, the source said. It was at that time that her vocal cords began to swell, lead­ing to a cut­off of oxy­gen to her lungs and ulti­mate­ly to car­diac arrest, accord­ing to the source.

    Korovin was autho­rized only to observe Cohen, who per­formed the pro­ce­dure, since she was not cer­ti­fied by Yorkville Endoscopy clin­ic, as required by New York health law, the source said.

    Inves­ti­ga­tors have found no pri­or con­sent form signed by Rivers autho­riz­ing a pro­ce­dure by Korovin, the source said. It was unclear if Rivers had giv­en ver­bal con­sent to the biop­sy before being sedat­ed.

    But Korovin denied “per­form­ing an unau­tho­rized pro­ce­dure” before the come­di­an suf­fered car­diac arrest, a source close to the doc­tor told CNN last month.

    Para­medics rushed Rivers from the clin­ic to New York’s Mount Sinai Hos­pi­tal a mile away, where she was kept on life sup­port until she died a week lat­er.

    E!‘s ‘Fash­ion Police’ to con­tin­ue with­out Joan Rivers

    Doc­tor to the stars

    Korovin is well known for help­ing an impres­sive list of celebri­ties with voice trou­ble. The list of famous patients who have sung her prais­es include actors Hugh Jack­man and Nathan Lane and singers Celine Dion, Lady Gaga and Ari­ana Grande.

    The walls of Korov­in’s Man­hat­tan med­ical office are cov­ered with auto­graphed pho­tos, includ­ing from oper­at­ic tenor Luciano Pavarot­ti, Broad­way star Bar­bara Cook and actress-singer Julie Andrews.

    Posted by Tiffany Sunderson | October 17, 2014, 9:13 am
  8. Oth­er Hol­ly­wood star news (sor­ry, not big on tabloid gos­sip, but these sto­ries are weird enough to have sig­nif­i­cance beyond that trashy realm).

    For­mer child star Aman­da Bynes has had sig­nif­i­cant sub­stance and men­tal issues play out in the pub­lic eye the last few years, with many peo­ple flat-out enjoy­ing her decline. She’s been pret­ty bitchy through­out, so it’s not entire­ly unde­served. Plus she seems to walk for things “nor­mal folk” go to jail or get com­mit­ted for.

    Why I find this inter­est­ing is that she is appar­ent­ly being “han­dled” now by Sam Lufti, who for­mer­ly “han­dled” Brit­tany Spears dur­ing her var­i­ous men­tal break­downs. He was her man­ag­er at one point. He is also hooked up with Spears’ ex-boyfriend Adnan Ghal­ib, who has been described as hav­ing “trained in Mujahideen camps”. This was report­ed when Spears and he were in the news a few years back, but I can­not find men­tion of it now.

    Bynes recent­ly claimed that her father sex­u­al­ly abused her as a child. THEN she retract­ed that claim... but then claimed that she had a “microchip implant­ed in her head and that her father was the one who want­ed it”. This sto­ry is biza­ree, Bynes is bizarre, and the fam­i­ly seems either utter­ly clue­less or just clas­sic awful Hol­ly­wood par­ents.


    She had the suc­cess­ful Hol­ly­wood career most actors only dream about. But over the week­end, for the sec­ond time, for­mer child star Aman­da Bynes has been put in a psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal.

    Accord­ing to TMZ, Bynes, 28, was lured back to Los Ange­les last week from New York City by none oth­er than for­mer Brit­ney Spears con­fi­dante Sam Lufti, who “man­aged” the pop star through­out her pub­lic fall of 2008, but was lat­er accused by Spears’ par­ents of neg­li­gent­ly med­icat­ing her.

    Lufti report­ed­ly con­vinced Bynes to return to the West Coast so she could sue her par­ents. But rather than tak­ing her to a lawyer’s office, Lufti took Bynes to a med­ical facil­i­ty in Pasade­na where she was placed on a 72-hour psych hold. The 5150 hold can be extend­ed for 14 days if deemed nec­es­sary, and while her par­ents have not pub­licly announced plans to get anoth­er con­ser­va­tor­ship over their daugh­ter, it is being wide­ly report­ed they will do so while she is under psy­chi­atric care.

    Lufti said on Twit­ter that Bynes was “in good hands”:

    now help­ing Aman­da Bynes

    By Hol­lie McK­ay
    Pub­lished Octo­ber 13, 2014
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    LOS ANGELES – She had the suc­cess­ful Hol­ly­wood career most actors only dream about. But over the week­end, for the sec­ond time, for­mer child star Aman­da Bynes has been put in a psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal.

    Accord­ing to TMZ, Bynes, 28, was lured back to Los Ange­les last week from New York City by none oth­er than for­mer Brit­ney Spears con­fi­dante Sam Lufti, who “man­aged” the pop star through­out her pub­lic fall of 2008, but was lat­er accused by Spears’ par­ents of neg­li­gent­ly med­icat­ing her.

    Lufti report­ed­ly con­vinced Bynes to return to the West Coast so she could sue her par­ents. But rather than tak­ing her to a lawyer’s office, Lufti took Bynes to a med­ical facil­i­ty in Pasade­na where she was placed on a 72-hour psych hold. The 5150 hold can be extend­ed for 14 days if deemed nec­es­sary, and while her par­ents have not pub­licly announced plans to get anoth­er con­ser­va­tor­ship over their daugh­ter, it is being wide­ly report­ed they will do so while she is under psy­chi­atric care.

    Lufti said on Twit­ter that Bynes was “in good hands”:

    Bynes had tweet­ed just an hour ear­li­er:

    Court­ney Love even chimed in:

    A hear­ing on Bynes is expect­ed to take place this week. Last year, she was tak­en in for men­tal eval­u­a­tion after a string of bizarre inci­dents, cli­max­ing with a small fire she set in the dri­ve­way of a stranger’s home.

    The urgency for pro­fes­sion­al inter­ven­tion increased sub­stan­tial­ly on Fri­day after the actress tweet­ed to her 3.4 mil­lion fol­low­ers that her father sex­u­al­ly abused her as a child. She lat­er delet­ed the tweet, and wrote: “My dad nev­er did any of those things. The microchip in my brain made me say those things but he’s the one that ordered them to microchip me.”

    Lynn Bynes shot down the abuse claims in a state­ment, not­ing that she was “heart­bro­ken” for her hus­band of 47 years.

    Upon arrival at the Los Ange­les Inter­na­tion­al Air­port on Fri­day, where she was swarmed by paparazzi, Bynes told pho­tog­ra­phers that she want­ed to be “like Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe” and that she couldn’t wait for her father to be “dead in his grave.”

    Ear­li­er in the week, the trou­bled enter­tain­er was filmed gyrat­ing on a body­guard at a New York bou­tique and an hour lat­er was issued with a “do not tres­pass” order at Barney’s after alleged­ly attempt­ing to leave wear­ing a $200 hat she had not pur­chased.

    Bynes’s hos­pi­tal­iza­tion comes at the end of increas­ing­ly errat­ic and dis­turb­ing behav­ior. The for­mer star turned fash­ion guru hope­ful was arrest­ed for a DUI on Sep­tem­ber 28, in which reports then emerged that she had been boot­ed from class­es at fash­ion design school FIDM.

    Bynes’s trou­bles appear to have begun around four years ago when she “quit” act­ing and posed for Max­im in an attempt to shed her whole­some, tween idol image. She rose to inter­na­tion­al star­dom at the age of ten, soon even gar­ner­ing her very own prime­time Nick­elodeon pro­gram “The Aman­da Show.” Bynes lat­er tran­si­tioned into movies, mak­ing her mark in hits like “Hair­spray” and “She’s the Man.” She appeared to stay out of the Hol­ly­wood par­ty scene, and told FOX411 in 2008 that she pre­ferred “qui­et time.”

    Experts say that the trap­pings of fame and for­tune aren’t nec­es­sar­i­ly the cause of severe men­tal ill­ness, but they can be a cat­a­lyst.

    “I have seen first­hand how the pres­sure of fame and star­dom can trig­ger vul­ner­a­ble kids to devel­op both bad behav­ior and men­tal ill­ness,” said L.A.-based addic­tion spe­cial­ist, Dr. Damon Raskin, who does not treat Bynes. “It is the stress for those with poor cop­ing skills that can then lead to act­ing out. For those with the right genet­ics, this can trig­ger ill­ness­es such as depres­sion and schiz­o­phre­nia.”

    Last year, Bynes was arrest­ed for toss­ing drug para­pher­na­lia from her Man­hat­tan apart­ment, was seen at gyms in West Hol­ly­wood talk­ing to her­self and wear­ing sun­glass­es to work­out. She shaved her head and tweet­ed inces­sant­ly about her body and weight.

    Yet even after the first psy­chi­atric hold and rehab, Bynes’s attor­ney and par­ents denied reports that she was suf­fer­ing with schiz­o­phre­nia, her moth­er declar­ing ear­li­er this year that her daugh­ter “has no men­tal ill­ness what­so­ev­er.”


    After a series of wor­ry­ing pub­lic dis­plays and a Twit­ter rant in which she lashed out at her father, Aman­da Bynes has checked into a treat­ment cen­ter in Los Ange­les.

    The trou­bled star, who board­ed a flight from New York to L.A. on Fri­day, was admit­ted short­ly after touch­ing down in Cal­i­for­nia, PEOPLE has con­firmed.

    TMZ reports that Bynes has been placed on a 5150 psy­chi­atric hold, where she will be held for 72 hours.

    The move comes hours after Bynes lashed out at those she was once clos­est to: her par­ents, Lynn and Rick.

    Keep up with Aman­da Bynes in the pages of PEOPLE Mag­a­zine by sub­scrib­ing now.

    On Fri­day, the trou­bled for­mer child star, 28, took to her high­ly charged Twit­ter account to make a series of alarm­ing accu­sa­tions, includ­ing claims that her father was sex­u­al­ly, ver­bal­ly and phys­i­cal­ly abu­sive when she was a child.

    She has since delet­ed the Tweets about sex­u­al abuse, along with a bizarre retrac­tion of sorts: “My dad nev­er did any of those things The microchip in my brain made me say those things but he’s the one that ordered them to microchip me”

    In response, Lynn Bynes issued a state­ment to PEOPLE through her lawyer, Tamar Armi­nak, refut­ing the accu­sa­tions and cit­ing her daugh­ter’s “men­tal state” for charges that “have no basis in real­i­ty.”

    “I am heart­bro­ken today for my hus­band of 47 years,” Lynn said. “Rick has been the best father and hus­band a fam­i­ly can ask for. He has nev­er abused Aman­da or our oth­er chil­dren phys­i­cal­ly or sex­u­al­ly.

    “These accu­sa­tions are absolute­ly hor­ri­ble and could not be fur­ther from the truth!” she con­tin­ued. “These alle­ga­tions stem from Aman­da’s men­tal state at the moment. They have no basis in real­i­ty. It sad­dens me beyond belief that my hus­band’s char­ac­ter could be slan­dered in such a way.”

    Through their attor­ney on Fri­day, Bynes’s sib­lings, Jil­lian O’Keefe and Tom­my Bynes, told TMZ that they have “the most won­der­ful par­ents who have ever lived. ... “We are pained by [Aman­da’s] behav­ior but we absolute­ly give our full uncon­di­tion­al love and sup­port to our won­der­ful par­ents.”

    RELATED: Aman­da Bynes’s Par­ents Are ‘Hap­py She’s Safe’: Source

    Long-Stand­ing Ten­sions
    What no one dis­putes is that Bynes has had issues with her father for years. A source who has spent time with her in recent weeks says Bynes has talked about her resent­ment toward her father, hold­ing him respon­si­ble for her mount­ing prob­lems.

    “It’s scary,” the source tells PEOPLE. “She talks about [how] ugly she is, and she sits on her phone 24–7, check­ing her Twit­ter feed.”

    “She is very angry at her father,” the source adds.

    Until her lat­est social media out­burst, Rick and Lynn remained silent as Bynes seem­ing­ly descend­ed into anoth­er scary break­down in the wake of her most recent DUI arrest, on Sept. 28.

    Since leav­ing the home she shared with her par­ents in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia – where she had seemed to be on a health­i­er path while attend­ing fash­ion school – and fly­ing to New York City, she has appeared to spi­ral out of con­trol.

    In a series of ram­bling rev­e­la­tions to reporters and on social media in the past week, she has said she is engaged, needs a “tremen­dous amount of facial surgery” and “will not be manip­u­lat­ed or brain­washed by any­one.”

    Past Prob­lems
    The behav­ior is chill­ing­ly sim­i­lar to a series of episodes in the sum­mer of 2013, which cul­mi­nat­ed in Bynes being hos­pi­tal­ized on an invol­un­tary psy­chi­atric 5150 hold. After a peri­od in treat­ment, Bynes was placed under her moth­er’s care and lived with her par­ents in the L.A. area.

    At the time, her par­ents believed their daugh­ter was on the road to recov­ery. “She is doing extreme­ly well,” Lynn told PEOPLE in March. “She’s mak­ing new friends and learn­ing about the fash­ion indus­try.”

    “She’s very hap­py to estab­lish the lov­ing rela­tion­ship with her fam­i­ly she once shared,” Armi­nak added when she was released to her par­ents’ care.

    Back then, Armi­nak told PEOPLE that Bynes “does not have schiz­o­phre­nia,” as had been wide­ly spec­u­lat­ed.

    Lynn also issued a state­ment, say­ing, “Aman­da has no men­tal ill­ness what­so­ev­er. She has nev­er been diag­nosed as schiz­o­phrenic or bipo­lar.”

    But there is no ques­tion that the one­time Nick­elodeon star’s rela­tion­ship with her par­ents, par­tic­u­lar­ly with her father, has long been strained.

    While she was hos­pi­tal­ized, Bynes allowed Lynn to vis­it, but did not want to see her father. “Aman­da has con­sent­ed to see­ing her moth­er, but unfor­tu­nate­ly not her dad, with whom she’s estranged,” said a source at the time.

    Ear­ly Encour­age­ment
    Raised in Ven­tu­ra, Cal­i­for­nia, Bynes was encour­aged by Rick, a den­tist and some­time standup come­di­an, to try her hand at improv and act­ing. “When she was 3, she would put on my cloth­ing and be sil­ly, try­ing to get atten­tion from her sis­ter and broth­er,” Lynn told PEOPLE in 2004.

    Rick encour­aged his daugh­ter by writ­ing mate­r­i­al for rou­tines about fam­i­ly life, send­ing her to com­e­dy camp, help­ing her audi­tion for com­mer­cials and serv­ing as her man­ag­er.

    “When her time onstage was up,” Rick told PEOPLE in 2002, “they would phys­i­cal­ly car­ry her off. She did­n’t want to give up the spot­light.”

    The young per­former caught the atten­tion of exec­u­tives at Nick­elodeon as a 10-year-old. That led to a break­out role on the series All That. Bynes became the net­work’s biggest star, land­ing her own show in 1999.

    But by her teens, seri­ous ten­sion devel­oped in the fam­i­ly. Bynes sought to legal­ly eman­ci­pate her­self from her par­ents, then with­drew the peti­tion. She also leaned on Nick­elodeon pro­duc­er Dan Schnei­der and his wife, Lisa Lil­lien, for sup­port. “She was spend­ing a lot of time with us,” said Lil­lien. “But she nev­er left her [fam­i­ly’s] house.”

    A source who knew the fam­i­ly says Rick was the prime focus of Bynes’s anger. “Her par­ents were very, very strict with Aman­da. Her dad called all the shots and was very con­trol­ling.”

    Still, in a 2007 Tonight Show inter­view with Jay Leno, Bynes took pains to acknowl­edge her father and moth­er in the stu­dio audi­ence and cred­it them with her suc­cess.

    “My par­ents actu­al­ly were very strict, in a good way though,” she said. “I was nev­er allowed to go to the mall alone or with friends. But as you can see that’s where I got my love of com­e­dy – from my fun­ny dad.”

    In 2010, how­ev­er, there were ear­ly signs of dis­tress: Bynes announced her retire­ment from act­ing on Twit­ter, say­ing “being an actress isn’t as fun as it may seem.” She began turn­ing up in L.A. night­clubs and behav­ing errat­i­cal­ly. That led to a string of car acci­dents and run-ins with police.

    Bynes also became obsessed with her appear­ance, at one point lash­ing out at her par­ents on Twit­ter: “My dad is as ugly as RuPaul! So thank­ful I look noth­ing like you both!”

    When con­front­ed with reports about her behav­ior, Bynes “tells peo­ple she does­n’t par­ty or drink,” a source said at the time. “She does­n’t real­ize she has a prob­lem.” At first Rick echoed those sen­ti­ments. “My daugh­ter does­n’t drink,” he told PEOPLE after she was arrest­ed for DUI in April 2012. “She’s a good girl.”

    Up and Down
    But as Bynes con­tin­ued to spi­ral, her loved ones became wor­ried that she posed a dan­ger to her­self and oth­ers, and her moth­er lat­er stat­ed in court papers that she feared Bynes was spend­ing mil­lions she’d earned as a child star on drugs and pos­si­bly plas­tic surgery. After an arson inci­dent out­side a home in Thou­sand Oaks, Cal­i­for­nia, in July 2013, they act­ed to pro­tect her estate.

    “Nobody in the fam­i­ly under­stood the sever­i­ty of Aman­da’s con­di­tion until the fire inci­dent,” said a source. “Up until then, her fam­i­ly hoped a con­ser­va­tor­ship was­n’t nec­es­sary.”

    The fam­i­ly’s con­cerns were acknowl­edged by a Cal­i­for­nia judge, but “the con­ser­va­tor­ship was filed on behalf of Lynn Bynes only,” said the source. And it was Lynn, not Rick, who addressed their daugh­ter’s health in state­ments to the media.

    Dur­ing a peri­od of recov­ery at her par­ents’ home, Bynes was seen in the com­pa­ny of both her par­ents, who seemed opti­mistic that she was heal­ing. “They hope ... Aman­da’s sit­u­a­tion will get under con­trol,” said the source. “They love their daugh­ter very much.”

    But after a peri­od in fash­ion school, Bynes’s prob­lems have returned, cul­mi­nat­ing in her return to New York City this month.

    So far, Rick has not spo­ken about his daugh­ter’s most recent out­burst. But in 1999 he described the impor­tance of fam­i­ly in ground­ing his tal­ent­ed child. “The rea­son every­body likes Aman­da is who she is,” he told the Los Ange­les Times, describ­ing a time he turned down a job oppor­tu­ni­ty in Flori­da to keep her clos­er to Hol­ly­wood and her loved ones.

    “The minute you take her away from here, from her broth­er and her sis­ter and house,” he said, “well, you might not have Aman­da any­more.”

    Posted by Tiffany Sunderson | October 17, 2014, 10:02 am
  9. Hous­ton’s daugh­ter found uncon­scious in the bath­tub and is near death three years after her moth­er passed away in the bath­tub.
    Atlanta (CNN)As Bob­bi Kristi­na Brown remains hos­pi­tal­ized, her father’s attor­ney said “we are cur­rent­ly inves­ti­gat­ing the events that led to (her) hos­pi­tal­iza­tion.”

    Attor­ney Christo­pher Brown also said Tues­day that the 21-year-old daugh­ter of singers Whit­ney Hous­ton and Bob­by Brown “is not and has nev­er been mar­ried to Nick Gor­don,” con­trary to some reports.


    “Bob­bi Kristi­na Brown was found face­down in a bath­tub over the week­end. Her fam­i­ly has been tight-lipped about her con­di­tion, but her R&B singer father issued a state­ment through his lawyer Tues­day night.”

    Posted by GK | February 7, 2015, 8:01 pm
  10. Much respect for all the work you do Mr. Emory.

    A new Doc­u­men­tary just pre­miered at Sun­dance appar­ent­ly offer­ing more damn­ing evi­dence that Jack­son was indeed a pedophile. While research­ing and review­ing evi­dence at the “mjfacts.com” web­site, I found a very inter­est­ing detail inside a linked New York Post arti­cle from August 10, 2014, avail­able here: https://nypost.com/2014/08/10/michael-jacksons-ex-maids-reveal-madness-at-neverland/

    Most of the arti­cle is about Michael’s alleged bad hygiene and hoard­ing at his ranch, but one oth­er sto­ry stood out in the con­text of the fas­cist links to MJ:

    “He also kept a dart­board in the foy­er of his bed­room with pic­tures of Dream­Works founders Steven Spiel­berg, David Gef­fen and Jef­frey Katzen­berg — who he believed had stolen his idea for the stu­dio and even its boy-on-the-moon logo.

    “Any of the chil­dren he played with who hit the bull’s‑eye would get extra ice cream or any­thing else they want­ed,” said Maid No. 3, who worked from 1996 to 1999. “He hat­ed those guys with a pas­sion. He was sur­pris­ing­ly very anti-Semit­ic. He’d lead some of the kids in chants: ‘Kill the bas­tards,’ and ‘Kill the blood­suck­ers.’ ”

    The maid said Jacko watched in dis­gust as Spiel­berg got a Los Ange­les Film Crit­ics award in the 1990s.

    “It was crazy. He turned into his favorite ‘Twi­light Zone’ char­ac­ter, and his eyes kind of bugged out, and he went into this crazy trance, point­ing his fin­ger at the tele­vi­sion screen and say­ing, ‘You’re a bad man, a very bad man,’ ” she said, refer­ring to the famed TV series’ char­ac­ter of Antho­ny Fre­mont, a boy who “wish­es away” any­one who dis­pleas­es him.
    “At first, I thought he’d bust out laugh­ing or some­thing or that he was play­ing around, but it changed his entire mood. He was dead seri­ous.”

    Instead of ban­ish­ing his foe to a corn­field, as Antho­ny did, Jacko would wish Spiel­berg into “Jew hell,” the maid said.”

    Sounds like he was a per­fect fit for the NOI after all.

    Posted by Richard Schroeder | January 26, 2019, 9:43 pm
  11. Very inter­est­ing arti­cle on the con­nec­tions of James Brown. I think this fits per­fect­ly into the world of Michael Jack­son, includ­ing like­ly using Brown’s net­work of planes for oper­a­tions.


    James Brown said the CIA spied on him. The CIA won’t say

    By Thomas Lake, CNN

    Updat­ed 1901 GMT (0301 HKT) Decem­ber 9, 2021

    (CNN)James Brown did a lot of liv­ing in his 73 years. He threw knuck­le­balls from the pitcher’s mound and hard left jabs in the box­ing ring. He sur­vived beat­ings from an uncle and a near-elec­tro­cu­tion by sadis­tic White men in the Jim Crow South. He was the God­fa­ther of Soul, the Hard­est Work­ing Man in Show Busi­ness, a drug user and a domes­tic abuser whose death in 2006 remains mys­te­ri­ous today. And, accord­ing to Brown him­self, he was spied on by the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency.
    Brown made this extra­or­di­nary claim about two years before his death. It bare­ly reg­is­tered in the pub­lic con­scious­ness. But it mat­tered then and it mat­ters now, if indeed it’s true, because the CIA is for­bid­den by its char­ter from domes­tic spy­ing on Amer­i­cans. And if the CIA spied on Brown in oth­er coun­tries, it would cer­tain­ly qual­i­fy as news­wor­thy.

    In March 2021, CNN sued the CIA under the Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion Act to obtain any files it has on Brown. The case is pend­ing, with a judge’s rul­ing antic­i­pat­ed in 2022. In keep­ing with its long­stand­ing prac­tice, the CIA said in July it could nei­ther con­firm nor deny hav­ing records on Brown. In Octo­ber, the agency said in a court fil­ing that dis­clos­ing whether it has records on Brown could “cause seri­ous dam­age to U.S. nation­al secu­ri­ty.”

    My search for Brown’s secrets began in 2017, when a woman named Jacque Hol­lan­der called me and said Brown and his third wife, Adri­enne, had been mur­dered. As strange as her claims were, I found evi­dence that raised dis­turb­ing ques­tions about the two deaths. CNN pub­lished my inves­tiga­tive series in 2019.
    One year lat­er, the Ful­ton Coun­ty Dis­trict Attor­ney’s Office in Atlanta began look­ing into James Brown’s death. On Novem­ber 8, in response to my request under the Geor­gia Open Records Act, the DA’s office sent me an inter­nal memo that sig­naled pros­e­cu­tors may end the inquiry with no fur­ther action. In the memo dat­ed Octo­ber 28, Deputy Dis­trict Attor­ney Adri­ane Love wrote to Dis­trict Attor­ney Fani Willis that “there is an insuf­fi­cient basis for the ini­ti­a­tion of a Grand Jury inves­ti­ga­tion into the death of Mr. Brown.” I don’t know what inves­ti­ga­tors did for the last 22 months, or whether Willis accept­ed Love’s rec­om­men­da­tion to close the case. Her spokesman has not returned phone calls or emails.

    Short­ly after the CNN series was pub­lished, I found a sur­pris­ing pas­sage in Brown’s 2005 book “I Feel Good: A Mem­oir of a Life of Soul.” It’s well-known that in 1968, after Mar­tin Luther King Jr. was assas­si­nat­ed, Brown helped pre­vent riot­ing in Boston and Wash­ing­ton. But after that, Brown said in the book, his career took an odd turn.
    James Brown per­formed at Boston Gar­den on April 5, 1968, the day after the assas­si­na­tion of Mar­tin Luther King Jr.
    James Brown per­formed at Boston Gar­den on April 5, 1968, the day after the assas­si­na­tion of Mar­tin Luther King Jr.

    “There was a lot of sus­pi­cion, espe­cial­ly among the nation­al police, the FBI, and the CIA about this so-called dis­play of ‘Black Pow­er’ on my part,” Brown wrote, with co-author Marc Eliot. “Their think­ing went some­thing along the lines of, if he could stop a riot...he could just as eas­i­ly start one. From that moment I knew I was put under nation­al secu­ri­ty surveillance...I could sense them watch­ing me, spy­ing on me, stak­ing out my home.”

    I can’t find a sin­gle news sto­ry about this alle­ga­tion, per­haps because Brown’s asser­tion in the same para­graph that “they were able to see me through TV” with “some kind of spe­cial reverse X‑rays or some­thing” made him sound as if he were imag­in­ing things. Eliot, Brown’s co-author, told me he put Brown’s claim in the book even though he doubt­ed it was true. He declined to share his inter­view tapes with CNN.

    But the more I exam­ine Brown’s claim about sur­veil­lance, the more plau­si­ble it becomes. In inter­views, State Depart­ment cables, Con­gres­sion­al tes­ti­mo­ny, and an exam­i­na­tion of his inter­ac­tions with the White House through eight pres­i­den­cies, what emerges is a lit­tle-known pic­ture of James Brown’s Amer­i­can expe­ri­ence. He was a Black man who loved his coun­try and some­times had rea­son to won­der whether it loved him back. After years of explor­ing his life and death, I find it pos­si­ble to believe two things at once:
    1. James Brown was para­noid.
    2. That does not mean all his sus­pi­cions were wrong.
    ‘The most impor­tant Black man in Amer­i­ca?’

    Around the time he fell under “nation­al secu­ri­ty sur­veil­lance,” as his book would allege, Brown caught the eye of a sit­ting pres­i­dent. Doc­u­ments from the Lyn­don John­son pres­i­den­tial library show that on April 24, 1968, a sug­gest­ed guest list for an upcom­ing state din­ner includ­ed Brown, who was described as a “Negro soul singer” who “went on TV in Wash­ing­ton to try and stop the loot­ing.”

    Brown did indeed attend din­ner at the White House in May 1968, sit­ting at Pres­i­dent John­son’s table along with Sen­a­tor Alan Bible and the enter­tain­er Bob Hope. It was a fraught moment in Amer­i­can his­to­ry, just after King’s assas­si­na­tion and just before that of Sen­a­tor Robert Kennedy, with the gov­ern­ment fight­ing the Viet Cong over­seas and an army of dis­si­dents at home. Promi­nent Amer­i­cans could be assets to the government—as Brown was when he played for Amer­i­can troops in Viet­nam that year—or per­ceived lia­bil­i­ties, if they raised their voic­es in protest.

    At the time, as Con­gres­sion­al inves­ti­ga­tions would lat­er find, the CIA was work­ing hand-in-hand with the FBI to sab­o­tage two groups that were con­sid­ered threats to nation­al secu­ri­ty: left­ist anti­war pro­test­ers and Black mil­i­tant fac­tions. (The CIA declined to com­ment for this sto­ry and did not answer any ques­tions on a detailed list I sent.) One stat­ed goal of these oper­a­tions, accord­ing to a 1968 FBI doc­u­ment lat­er uncov­ered by the Church Com­mit­tee, was to “pre­vent the rise of a ‘mes­si­ah’ who could ‘uni­fy and elec­tri­fy’ the move­ment” of Black nation­al­ism.

    Pres­i­dent George W. Bush host­ed Brown at the White House in 2001. Brown also kept up a friend­ly cor­re­spon­dence with Bush’s father, the first Pres­i­dent Bush.
    Pres­i­dent George W. Bush host­ed Brown at the White House in 2001. Brown also kept up a friend­ly cor­re­spon­dence with Bush’s father, the first Pres­i­dent Bush.
    After the mur­der of King in 1968, James Brown was one such can­di­date. That August he released the sin­gle “Say It Loud—I’m Black and I’m Proud.” In ear­ly 1969, Brown appeared on the cov­er of LOOK mag­a­zine, along­side this ques­tion: “Is he the most impor­tant black man in Amer­i­ca?”

    Brown under­stood how pow­er worked. Bad things could hap­pen to promi­nent Black men in the ’60s and ’70s who dis­pleased the gov­ern­ment. King endured a vicious cam­paign of FBI harass­ment. So did the civ­il-rights leader Stoke­ly Carmichael, who left for Africa in 1968 after his moth­er received a threat­en­ing phone call from some­one asso­ci­at­ed with the FBI. (I sent a list of ques­tions to the FBI’s nation­al press office for this sto­ry, but I received no answers. A spokesper­son told me to “check the exist­ing FOIA vault and send any addi­tion­al requests to FOIA.”) In 1969, the young Black Pan­ther Fred Hamp­ton was shot to death in his bed by Chica­go police. The police said they were serv­ing a war­rant for ille­gal weapons, but Hamp­ton’s death has been called a “cold-blood­ed assas­si­na­tion.”

    Brown was a prag­ma­tist, not a par­ti­san. And so, despite a pri­or endorse­ment of the lib­er­al Hubert Humphrey’s bid for the pres­i­den­cy in 1968, Brown kept up a friend­ship with Pres­i­dent Richard Nixon, a con­ser­v­a­tive Repub­li­can. But this appar­ent­ly did­n’t keep the gov­ern­ment out of his affairs.
    “It has been brought to my atten­tion that inves­ti­ga­tors, from which depart­ment they have yet to state, have been search­ing and check­ing my equip­ment look­ing for drugs (sup­pos­ed­ly) used or asso­ci­at­ed with some of my for­mer employ­ees,” Brown wrote in a let­ter received by the Nixon White House in 1972. “I con­sid­er this dis­re­spect not only to my attor­neys but myself as well.” Brown’s let­ter was for­ward­ed to the Jus­tice Depart­ment. It’s not clear what hap­pened after that.

    Dur­ing this time, accord­ing to RJ Smith’s book “The One: The Life and Music of James Brown,” US Mar­shal James F. Palmer fre­quent­ly accom­pa­nied Brown on his trav­els. Palmer vis­it­ed the White House with Brown. No one from Brown’s entourage seemed to know why Palmer trav­eled with Brown, or who was pay­ing him. Palmer died in 2019. But his daugh­ter Crys­tal Palmer told me in an inter­view that Palmer and Brown were friends. She said that when Brown was in the hos­pi­tal in 2006 before he died, Brown’s man­ag­er, Charles Bob­bit, called the for­mer fed­er­al agent to let him know.
    In 1975, Sen­a­tor Frank Church con­vened the Select Com­mit­tee to Study Gov­ern­men­tal Oper­a­tions with Respect to Intel­li­gence Activ­i­ties. Exam­in­ing near­ly 800 wit­ness­es and more than 100,000 pages of doc­u­ments, the Church Com­mit­tee uncov­ered “sub­stan­tial wrong­do­ing” by the US intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty, includ­ing the CIA.
    The Church Com­mit­tee also scru­ti­nized an arm of the IRS called the Spe­cial Ser­vice Staff, which, accord­ing to Sen­a­tor Church, “had the task of inves­ti­gat­ing polit­i­cal activists” who would be “pun­ished by the IRS for their polit­i­cal views.” Before the SSS was abol­ished in 1973, its thou­sands of tar­gets includ­ed the ACLU, the Nation­al Urban League, the NAACP, and James Brown, God­fa­ther of Soul.
    Call­ing IRS Com­mis­sion­er Don­ald Alexan­der to tes­ti­fy in a pub­lic hear­ing, Sen­a­tor Church went down a list of names and asked Alexan­der to explain why these people—Nobel Prize win­ner Linus Paul­ing, Sen­a­tors Charles Good­ell and Ernest Gru­en­ing, Con­gress­man Charles Dig­gs, et cetera—had been sin­gled out by the IRS for inves­ti­ga­tion. From the tran­script:
    Sen­a­tor Church: Well, there are oth­er names here that are equal­ly puzzling—writer Jim­my Bres­lin, rock singer James Brown—
    Alexan­der: That would come under the rock singer cat­e­go­ry.
    (Gen­er­al laugh­ter.)
    Alexan­der: There was appar­ent­ly quite a con­cern about that. I sup­pose some of our peo­ple did not like rock music. Now, I share that view. I don’t like rock music. But I don’t think it has any­thing to do with tax enforce­ment or tax admin­is­tra­tion.
    The IRS pur­sued James Brown for decades over unpaid tax­es. To my knowl­edge, details of the SSS inves­ti­ga­tion of Brown have nev­er been made pub­lic. The IRS denied my FOIA request on the mat­ter, cit­ing pri­va­cy exemp­tions, so it’s not clear who ini­ti­at­ed the SSS probe of Brown.
    In the Church Com­mit­tee hear­ing, Sen­a­tor Wal­ter Mon­dale com­plained that the mis­use of the IRS “was just part of a broad­er, more basic project by which var­i­ous agencies—the FBI, the CIA, and even the White House—decided that the crim­i­nal laws weren’t ade­quate to deal with the threat to this nation and that there­fore they need­ed a new tac­tic.”
    When I filed a FOIA request with the FBI for its records on Brown, all I received was a case file from 1989 that was opened after Brown’s wife Adri­enne com­plained that Brown was the vic­tim of police harass­ment. But James Sul­li­van, author of the 2008 book “The Hard­est Work­ing Man: How James Brown Saved the Soul of Amer­i­ca,” wrote that Brown had appar­ent­ly been sub­ject to “exten­sive FBI sur­veil­lance.”
    Accord­ing to Sul­li­van, a series of FOIA appeals for the book “ulti­mate­ly yield­ed a con­fir­ma­tion by the FBI that the bureau’s Atlanta, Birm­ing­ham, and Bal­ti­more field offices may have con­duct­ed much ear­li­er sur­veil­lance on the singer, and that file records on Brown were destroyed accord­ing to main­te­nance sched­ules in June 1989, and July 2001.”
    Inves­ti­ga­tors appar­ent­ly search­ing for drugs. A US Mar­shal in his entourage. Unwant­ed atten­tion from the polit­i­cal arm of the IRS. And FBI records that were alleged­ly destroyed. James Brown had tan­gi­ble rea­sons to believe he was sur­round­ed by the Unit­ed States gov­ern­ment.
    ‘Ready to serve my coun­try’
    Whether from patri­o­tism or fear, or pos­si­bly both, James Brown played the role of proud Amer­i­can. His long­time assis­tant Roo­sevelt John­son told me that Brown often spoke of his wish to be buried in a flag-draped cas­ket. In let­ters to pres­i­dents, he called him­self a states­man and a coun­try­man. Even as he com­plained in his 1972 let­ter to the White House about inves­ti­ga­tors look­ing for drugs, he used the lan­guage of a sol­dier report­ing for duty.
    “Ready to serve my coun­try at any­time,” he wrote, “whether it is home or abroad.”
    On August 12, 1970, Brown was invit­ed, along with mem­bers of the news media, to “a spe­cial back­ground brief­ing on For­eign Pol­i­cy” at a hotel in New Orleans. Accord­ing to the invi­ta­tion, the brief­ing would be con­duct­ed by Pres­i­dent Nixon and Hen­ry Kissinger, Assis­tant to the Pres­i­dent for Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Affairs. The doc­u­ments don’t say whether Brown accept­ed the invi­ta­tion.
    In 1972, Brown met with Nixon in the Oval Office and endorsed him for re-elec­tion, infu­ri­at­ing some of his fans. In an inter­view explain­ing why he endorsed Nixon, Brown said, “This is one of my first approach­es to try­ing to do some­thing abroad, oth­er than sing and dance on a stage.” The inter­view­er did not ask what he meant by that—at least not in the clip avail­able on YouTube—and Brown did not explain. Was Brown sent abroad on offi­cial busi­ness? If so, he would not have been the first musi­cian used by the US gov­ern­ment.
    In 1960, for exam­ple, the State Depart­ment and the US Infor­ma­tion Agency spon­sored the great jazz trum­peter Louis Arm­strong on a tour of Africa. Arm­strong and his wife, Lucille, arrived in Con­go amid a polit­i­cal cri­sis.
    As described in the 2021 book “White Mal­ice: The CIA and the Covert Recol­o­niza­tion of Africa,” by Susan Williams, “The Arm­strongs spent their last evening in the Con­go with the CIA sta­tion chief, who host­ed them under his cov­er at the embassy as polit­i­cal offi­cer. They did not meet the legit­i­mate prime min­is­ter of the Con­go, Patrice Lumum­ba, who was being kept cap­tive in his offi­cial res­i­dence on Avenue Tilkens, not far away. Louis Arm­strong ... would have been appalled to know that the man from the embassy with whom he dined was actu­al­ly a CIA offi­cial who was cold-blood­ed­ly plot­ting the death of the demo­c­ra­t­i­cal­ly elect­ed prime min­is­ter of the coun­try.”
    That’s right: The US gov­ern­ment used an unwit­ting Black Amer­i­can enter­tain­er to adver­tise its own cul­ture in an African nation even as the CIA was plot­ting to poi­son that nation’s prime min­is­ter. Amer­i­cans feared that the min­er­al-rich Con­go would fall under Sovi­et con­trol if Lumum­ba remained in pow­er. Despite objec­tions from sev­er­al mem­bers of the Eisen­how­er admin­is­tra­tion, who said the pres­i­dent did not autho­rize the assas­si­na­tion, the Church Com­mit­tee lat­er stood by its con­clu­sion that “the chain of events revealed by the doc­u­ments and tes­ti­mo­ny is strong enough to per­mit a rea­son­able infer­ence that the plot to assas­si­nate Lumum­ba was autho­rized by Pres­i­dent Eisen­how­er.”
    Accord­ing to Stephen Kinz­er’s 2019 book “Poi­son­er in Chief: Sid­ney Got­tlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Con­trol,” the CIA chemist Sid­ney Got­tlieb pre­pared an assas­si­na­tion kit to be used on Lumum­ba. (Got­tlieb died in 1999; his 1975 tes­ti­mo­ny to a closed ses­sion of the Church Com­mit­tee under the alias “Joseph Schei­der” was sealed for 50 years.)
    The assas­si­na­tion kit fea­tured the bot­u­linum tox­in, a hypo­der­mic nee­dle and a “pre-poi­soned tube of tooth­paste.” This plot failed, but anoth­er suc­ceed­ed. The US has nev­er admit­ted involve­ment in an oper­a­tion dur­ing which Lumum­ba was shot and killed and his remains were either burned or dis­solved in acid.
    About 13 years lat­er, James Brown vis­it­ed the same coun­try. Now the pres­i­dent was Joseph-Desire Mobu­tu, bet­ter known as Mobu­tu Sese Seko, who had a his­to­ry of col­lab­o­ra­tion with the CIA. It was 1974. Hen­ry Kissinger had become US sec­re­tary of state. And as Brown trav­eled in Africa, the State Depart­ment showed inter­est.

    Kissinger turned 98 this year and co-authored a book that was released in Novem­ber; he has not respond­ed to my inter­view requests. Accord­ing to CNN ana­lyst Aaron David Miller, who served 25 years in the State Depart­ment, the sec­re­tary of state’s name could appear on cables that the sec­re­tary had not draft­ed or even read. Kissinger’s last name is on at least three State Depart­ment cables that men­tion Brown, includ­ing one regard­ing Brown’s upcom­ing per­for­mances in Gabon and Zaire, now known once again as the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Repub­lic of the Con­go:
    Back at home, Brown’s tax prob­lems wors­ened. In 1976, he wrote to Pres­i­dent Ger­ald Ford to ask for help:
    “If the Unit­ed States says I owe them tax mon­ey when I must have saved my coun­try bil­lions stop­ping the riots, then I’m guilty. But I’m guilty of not know­ing. Remem­ber, fraud starts with intent. Intent starts with knowl­edge. For God’s sake, since I have nei­ther, I am inno­cent. Mr. Pres­i­dent, don’t let me have to bor­row mon­ey from anoth­er coun­try to free me in my own.”
    There is no indi­ca­tion that Ford respond­ed to the let­ter. Instead Brown heard back from an IRS offi­cial, who did not offer him any tax relief.

    Brown did, in fact, seek help in oth­er coun­tries. And US offi­cials knew it was hap­pen­ing. State Depart­ment cables describe a trip to Gabon in 1977 that involved Brown and his man­ag­er, Charles Bob­bit. In a 2007 inter­view, Bob­bit said he and Brown went to Gabon to ask Pres­i­dent Omar Bon­go for mon­ey. Bob­bit, who died in 2017, was vague in the inter­view about what, if any­thing, Brown received from Bon­go. But he lost his right-hand man: Bob­bit left Brown and went to work for Gabon’s pres­i­dent.

    Still des­per­ate to resolve his tax prob­lems, Brown appealed to Pres­i­dent Jim­my Carter. That did­n’t work. On August 21, 1978, accord­ing to a State Depart­ment cable, Brown met with Zam­bian Pres­i­dent Ken­neth Kaun­da and asked Kaun­da to inter­vene on his behalf with Pres­i­dent Carter. A State Depart­ment offi­cial wrote to the US Embassy in Zam­bia, “WE ARE AWARE THAT BROWN WAS ON TOUR IN GABON SOMETIME DURING PERIOD 1974–1977 AND MAY HAVE BEEN SPONSORED BY PRESIDENT OF THAT COUNTRY. EMBASSY SHOULD SUGGEST TO MULAISHO (Dominic Mulaisho, Kaun­da’s advi­sor on eco­nom­ic affairs) THAT HE CHECK WITH THE GABONESE ON BROWN’S ACTIVITIES.”

    In 1985, near the end of the Cold War, Brown released the patri­ot­ic anthem “Liv­ing In Amer­i­ca.” “You may not be lookin’ for the promised land,” he sang, “But you might find it any­way.” This song was fea­tured in the nation­al­is­tic film “Rocky IV,” the sto­ry of an irre­press­ible Amer­i­can box­er who trav­els to the Sovi­et Union and fights so brave­ly against his hulk­ing Russ­ian oppo­nent that he wins the hearts and minds of a pre­vi­ous­ly hos­tile crowd. Drenched in sweat and draped in the Amer­i­can flag, Rocky gives a rous­ing speech about the human spir­it.

    “So what I’m try­ing to say is, that if I can change, then you can change,” he says. “EVERYBODY CAN CHANGE!”
    The real Sovi­et Union was not so impressed. At a news con­fer­ence in Moscow in Jan­u­ary 1986, accord­ing to The New York Times, a Russ­ian gov­ern­ment min­is­ter said “Rocky IV” and anoth­er Sylvester Stal­lone film, “Ram­bo: First Blood Part II,” were anti-Sovi­et pro­pa­gan­da. Deputy Min­is­ter of Cul­ture Geor­gi Ivanov com­plained that Amer­i­can movies were “push­ing onto the screens a new type of hero, a killer with ide­o­log­i­cal con­vic­tions.”
    Stal­lone was not just the star of “Rocky IV”; he was its screen­writer and direc­tor. I want­ed to know how he got the idea for the sto­ry, how James Brown came to be involved, and what he thought of the alle­ga­tion that his film was anti-Sovi­et pro­pa­gan­da. When I emailed his pub­li­cist, Michelle Bega, to ask for an inter­view, Bega said Stal­lone was unavail­able.

    About two years after “Rocky IV” and Brown’s song “Liv­ing In Amer­i­ca” were released, Brown wrote to Pres­i­dent Ronald Rea­gan to ask for help with some of his legal trou­bles. He wrote, “I have served you dili­gent­ly as my Pres­i­dent and some­one I believe and love. I went behind com­mu­nist Coun­tries and sung ‘Liv­ing In Amer­i­ca’ proud­ly.”

    Could the CIA have worked with some­one as volatile as Brown? For­mer CIA offi­cer Valerie Plame told me she found it “high­ly unlike­ly” the CIA would have paid Brown any atten­tion. For­mer CIA offi­cer Jim Marcinkows­ki also said he had his doubts.
    In Sep­tem­ber, I called the retired Navy Admi­ral Bob­by R. Inman, for­mer direc­tor of the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency and deputy direc­tor of cen­tral intel­li­gence. He said he was not aware of a con­nec­tion between James Brown and the CIA. But he did not rule out the pos­si­bil­i­ty.

    “Well, you look at an orga­ni­za­tion that has exist­ed since the ’40s,” he said. “With a mis­sion to try to track what’s going on all over the world. In all vari­ety. And their role in doing it is not electronically—their role is to do it by humans. And so they’re con­stant­ly going to be on the out­look for any­one who might be able to pro­vide use­ful infor­ma­tion. Whether it’s just an open exchange, whether it’s a targeted—where you actu­al­ly task them to do some­thing, where they become an asset.”
    “And what about a guy,” I said,” who has access to for­eign lead­ers all around the world, can trav­el to Europe, Africa, wher­ev­er else, behind the Iron Curtain—does this look like some­body who might be—”
    The admi­ral cut in.

    “By the descrip­tion alone,” he said, “it’s some­body of inter­est.”
    ‘Seri­ous dam­age to US nation­al secu­ri­ty’
    In Octo­ber, the CIA filed a motion for sum­ma­ry judg­ment in CNN’s law­suit against the agency for any records it had on James Brown. The motion includ­ed a dec­la­ra­tion from infor­ma­tion review offi­cer Van­na Blaine, who said the CIA searched for unclas­si­fied records on Brown and found none. But for records “that would reveal a clas­si­fied or unac­knowl­edged con­nec­tion to the CIA,” the CIA would nei­ther release them nor tell us whether they exist­ed.
    “In the case of a per­son who has been coop­er­at­ing with the CIA, offi­cial con­fir­ma­tion of that coop­er­a­tion could cause the tar­gets to take retal­ia­to­ry action against that per­son or against their fam­i­ly or friends,” Blaine wrote. “It also places in jeop­ardy every indi­vid­ual with whom the indi­vid­ual has had con­tact. Thus, the indis­cre­tion of one source in a chain of intel­li­gence sources can dam­age an entire spec­trum of sources. As such, con­firm­ing or deny­ing the exis­tence of records on a par­tic­u­lar indi­vid­ual, like James Joseph Brown, rea­son­ably could be expect­ed to cause seri­ous dam­age to U.S. nation­al secu­ri­ty...”

    This last sen­tence sounds remark­ably sim­i­lar to what Jacque Hol­lan­der says a for­mer Army intel­li­gence ana­lyst told her when she accused James Brown of a crime in the mid-90s. It’s a com­pli­cat­ed sto­ry, so bear with me as I try to explain.
    Jacque Hol­lan­der (then Jacque Daugh­try) wrote a song called “Atlanta Will Be Rockin’,” which Brown sang at half­time of an Atlanta Fal­cons game in 1987.
    Jacque Hol­lan­der (then Jacque Daugh­try) wrote a song called “Atlanta Will Be Rockin’,” which Brown sang at half­time of an Atlanta Fal­cons game in 1987.
    Hol­lan­der was the song­writer who called me in 2017 to say that Brown had been mur­dered. I have spo­ken with her count­less times in the last four years and have found her to be a reli­able source. She worked with Brown in the 1980s and befriend­ed his wife, Adri­enne. In 1988, she says, James Brown drove her into the woods of South Car­oli­na and raped her at gun­point. (Brown was nev­er charged; his attor­ney lat­er called the alle­ga­tion a “shake­down in its most stu­pid form.”)

    At first, Hol­lan­der was too afraid to tell the author­i­ties. But in 1994, as she began plan­ning to take a poly­graph test and tell her sto­ry to a pros­e­cu­tor, an odd sequence of events ensued. These events con­vinced her that Brown had pro­tec­tion from the US gov­ern­ment.
    First, she says, a man named Lloyd Burchette called her out of the blue and grad­u­al­ly won her trust. Burchette died in 2016. In var­i­ous news sto­ries from the 1980s and ’90s, he called him­self a for­mer Army intel­li­gence ana­lyst. Burchette seemed to be gath­er­ing intel­li­gence from Hol­lan­der, she said, and he told her, regard­ing her alle­ga­tion against Brown, “You’re nev­er going to get this out...The gov­ern­ment is going to stop this.” Accord­ing to Hol­lan­der, Burchette told her he’d worked as a gov­ern­ment assas­sin and said her case was a “mat­ter of nation­al secu­ri­ty.”
    In a phone inter­view in Novem­ber, Burchet­te’s wid­ow, Con­nie, told me that noth­ing would sur­prise her about her hus­band of 50 years. “He had a lot of mys­ter­ies about him,” she said, but she’d nev­er heard any­thing about her hus­band being a gov­ern­ment assas­sin. Burchette was sta­tioned in Japan with the Army Secu­ri­ty Agency, she said, and lat­er sold secure phone sys­tems in Mex­i­co and worked as a pri­vate inves­ti­ga­tor. Before he died of con­ges­tive heart fail­ure, she said, he threw away some of his diaries.
    “There were prob­a­bly things he did­n’t want me to know he was doing,” she said.

    Hol­lan­der has shown me her hand­writ­ten notes describ­ing her expe­ri­ences from 1994 to 1996. They say that in Decem­ber 1994, around the time Burchette stopped call­ing her, she met a Secret Ser­vice agent. She kept his Secret Ser­vice busi­ness card and showed it to me decades lat­er. His name is Robert A. Fisak, and a 1997 entry on the web­site for his inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty firm says that dur­ing “20 years in the Secret Ser­vice, Robert Fisak got used to hav­ing U.S. pres­i­dents know him by name.”

    Hol­lan­der says that Fisak, like Burchette, gath­ered a lot of infor­ma­tion from her. (I have tried to reach Fisak by phone, email, text mes­sage, and in per­son sev­er­al times since 2018. I sent a list of ques­tions to his post office box in Novem­ber 2021. He has not respond­ed.) Hol­lan­der says Fisak was a kind­ly man who seemed gen­uine­ly con­cerned about her safe­ty and told her she should dis­card her evi­dence against Brown or some­one close to Brown might have her killed.
    In 1995, just after she passed the poly­graph test and made an appoint­ment to vis­it a pros­e­cu­tor in South Car­oli­na, Hol­lan­der says she was approached at her work­place by yet anoth­er mys­te­ri­ous man. He called him­self Steve and claimed to be a for­mer Navy SEAL. (Lat­er she gave me a record­ing of his voice from her old answer­ing machine, but I have not been able to find him or con­firm his last name.) They began dat­ing. He want­ed to know every­thing about her poly­graph test and her impend­ing vis­it to South Car­oli­na.
    One day, she says, she vis­it­ed his apart­ment in Atlanta unan­nounced and found the park­ing lot full of cars with gov­ern­ment license plates. Knock­ing at the door, she heard a loud com­mo­tion inside, as if the apart­ment were full of peo­ple. He told her to go away and come back lat­er. When she did, all the gov­ern­ment cars were gone and Steve was alone in his apart­ment.
    Ear­ly in 1996, Hol­lan­der says, Steve per­suad­ed her to meet him in Dal­las and bring the video­tape of her poly­graph test. She says he was joined by a man named Bri­an Don­ahue. She says Don­ahue slammed her against a wall, stole the tape from her suit­case and taunt­ed her about Adri­enne Brown, who had just died in Cal­i­for­nia at age 45 while recov­er­ing from plas­tic surgery. Lat­er, a police infor­mant alleged that a med­ical doc­tor had con­fessed to her that he’d mur­dered Adri­enne Brown.

    CNN inves­ti­ga­tion rais­es ques­tions about the deaths of James Brown and his third wife, Adri­enne

    Hol­lan­der believes Adri­enne Brown was killed because she knew too much about the secret activ­i­ties sur­round­ing her hus­band. Hol­lan­der says she thinks the men lured her to Dal­las to keep her sequestered while the oper­a­tion to kill Adri­enne Brown was car­ried out in Cal­i­for­nia. Just before she left Dal­las, Hol­lan­der says, Steve told her he worked for the CIA.
    “I let you live,” she says he told her.

    The sec­ond man in Dal­las, Bri­an Don­ahue, died in 2012 at age 60. His address his­to­ry match­es the address of the apart­ment that Hol­lan­der vis­it­ed in Dal­las in 1996, and his wife con­firmed to me that Don­ahue was in Dal­las at that time. In 2019 I filed a Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion Act request with the CIA for any doc­u­ments it had on Don­ahue. The CIA respond­ed with a let­ter that said, in part, “we did not locate any respon­sive records that would reveal a pub­licly acknowl­edged CIA affil­i­a­tion with the sub­ject. To the extent that your request also seeks records, if any exist, that would reveal an unac­knowl­edged or clas­si­fied affil­i­a­tion with the sub­ject of your request, we can nei­ther con­firm nor deny the exis­tence or nonex­is­tence of such records.” CNN appealed that deci­sion to the CIA’s Agency Release Pan­el, which denied the appeal in 2020.
    Accord­ing to Hol­lan­der, an FBI agent named Jer­ry Bar­nett was look­ing into the James Brown orga­ni­za­tion around the time she went to Dal­las. Then Bar­nett told her he had to go to Vir­ginia, because “the CIA stepped into one of my cas­es.” Bar­nett died in 2011; my FOIA request for his FBI doc­u­ments is pend­ing.

    I explained this sce­nario to R. James Woolsey in a phone inter­view in Octo­ber. He was direc­tor of cen­tral intel­li­gence from 1993 to 1995. Woolsey said he knew of no con­nec­tion between Brown and the CIA and said he nev­er autho­rized any covert domes­tic oper­a­tions. I asked if it was pos­si­ble a domes­tic oper­a­tion could have occurred with­out his knowl­edge. “No,” he said. I also emailed John Deutch, who was direc­tor of cen­tral intel­li­gence from 1995 to 1996, to ask for an inter­view. He replied, “I do not speak to reporters about my time as DCI which end­ed over 20 years ago.”
    But a for­mer deputy direc­tor of cen­tral intel­li­gence was will­ing to offer some informed con­jec­ture.
    “Well, let’s run through the pos­si­bil­i­ties,” Admi­ral Inman said. “First, if it is just Brown as an indi­vid­ual, he’s off-lim­its, as an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen. If it is Brown who is inter­act­ing with foreign—in for­eign coun­tries, trav­el­ing, has been briefed, is will­ing to be coop­er­a­tive, report­ing what he’s seen or heard, then there could be an inter­est in try­ing to sup­press any­thing that was going to dis­cred­it him.”
    The unan­swered ques­tions

    Jacque Hol­lan­der is con­vinced that she stum­bled into the clan­des­tine world of the CIA when she entered James Brown’s life. In 2019, hop­ing to advance my report­ing on Brown and the CIA, I helped her file a request for any doc­u­ments the CIA kept on her. That sum­mer and fall, she reg­u­lar­ly called the agen­cy’s FOIA hot­line to check on her case and then called me after­ward to say what she’d learned. At var­i­ous times, she said she was told, “We’ve got our agents work­ing on it right now,” and “We are going to give you every­thing in your file,” and “Our offi­cers are in meet­ings over this,” and “Some of it can be cleared and some of it can’t.”
    That Decem­ber, the CIA sent a let­ter say­ing she would receive no doc­u­ments.
    “If a clas­si­fied asso­ci­a­tion between you and the CIA were to exist,” the let­ter said, “records reveal­ing such a rela­tion­ship would be prop­er­ly clas­si­fied and require con­tin­ued safe­guards against unau­tho­rized dis­clo­sure.” She appealed that deci­sion, with­out suc­cess.
    Many of Brown’s high-lev­el gov­ern­ment con­nec­tions have died, includ­ing Nixon in 1994, Rea­gan in 2004, and George H.W. Bush in 2018. Oth­ers seem reluc­tant to talk about him. Brown and Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton kept up a cor­re­spon­dence dur­ing Clin­ton’s pres­i­den­cy, with Brown call­ing Clin­ton “night train” and telling him to “play your horn for me,” but Clin­ton’s press team has not respond­ed to my inter­view requests.

    Nei­ther have rep­re­sen­ta­tives for Pres­i­dent George W. Bush, who hon­ored Brown at the White House in 2001. In 2019, I sub­mit­ted a FOIA request to Bush’s pres­i­den­tial library for doc­u­ments on Brown. My request is pend­ing. The super­vi­so­ry archivist told me they had “iden­ti­fied approx­i­mate­ly 8515 pages, 3033 elec­tron­ic files, and 980 images of poten­tial­ly respon­sive records that must be processed in order to respond to your request.”
    Jacque Hol­lan­der is not the only one who has spo­ken with me about Brown and the CIA. In a 2019 phone inter­view, Brown’s dis­put­ed fourth wife, Tomi­rae Brown, said there were secret cam­eras in their house and indi­ca­tions that their phones were tapped. She said two of Brown’s advis­ers told him that he was a “gov­ern­ment man,” and that the CIA would pro­tect him.

    Shana Quinones, who worked for Brown in the ’90s, told me, “James used to always talk about the CIA.” Once, when he saw a heli­copter, he told her, “There they are. They’re watch­ing over me.”
    Brown clear­ly believed that he and the US gov­ern­ment had a spe­cial rela­tion­ship.
    “I’m the only artist in the world that ever had sev­en jets,” he said in an inter­view for the doc­u­men­tary film “A Tale of James Brown” around 2005, the year before he died. “I had sev­en air­planes. And the one I got now is out of L.A. because the gov­ern­ment don’t want me to use my own plane no more.”
    “They want to know where I’m at,” he said. “They want to make sure that I’m well-pro­tect­ed.”

    Posted by Zabba Doo | February 25, 2022, 9:53 am

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