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Mental Health 16 April 2004

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Tenesha Keyes

Dr. Finley

Mental Health

16 April 2004

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson is a simple plain name, but it is a name makes everyone think about the same man. He is one of the world’s largest pop stars and the self proclaimed the “king of pop”. There has been a dark cloud over him for many years now. Many of his loyal fans question whether or not he is even sane. Why is he the way he is and why does he do some of the things he does. I think in order to understand him you have to take a look into his past.

Michael Jackson was born on August 29, 1958 in Gary Indiana. He was the 7th of nine children and his parents names were Joseph and Katherine. The oldest child was Reebie and then Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Latoya, Marlon, Michael, Randy, and Janet was the youngest. Michaels father Joseph was brought up in a strict christian home. He father ran the house hold with an iron fist and Joseph and his brothers and sisters were not allowed to play with any other children. Joseph and Katherine were married November 5, 1949 and had their first child Reebie seven months after they were married. All eleven of them lived in a small two bedroom house. The parents had their own room and all the boys except Randy slept in one room sharing bunk beds, while randy slept on a pull out sofa in the living room with the girls on another pull out across from him. Joseph worked two jobs to support his family. He also played in a small band with his brother which was something he enjoyed doing that made him a little extra cash. Their Living room constantly became a rehearsal hall and the children would watch from behind their doors. Katherine worked at a Sears and Roebucks as a cashier but they were still struggling with so many mouths to feed. Even the children did little jobs here and there to make some extra money for their family.

Joseph was a cruel unloving father and like his father he liked to rule his family with an iron fist. The children’s mother was their only source of affection. The children called their father “Joseph” and Katherine “mother” all their lives. Their mother became a Jehovah’s witness when Michael was five and they stopped celebrating birth days and Christmas, and Michael says that he feels like that took away from an important part of his childhood. The children were not allowed to play with other children and were forced to go straight to and from school with out playing with other children. He said it was to keep them away from the troubles on the street. When their father was gone at work their mother would allow them to play with other just as long as they were home before their father returned from work. Once Joseph found Michael and a friend playing under the bed and he grabbed the child by the shirt and held a knife to his throat warning him never to play with his children again. Joseph was very violent with his children and his wife not even the girls were spared. He was easily angered by anything he did not like. His main target was the oldest son Jackie. The children were hit with leather belts, wire coat hangers, rulers, switches and several times he would punch them with his fists. Joseph use to be a boxer so his strength must have over powered them. At the age of four Michael found his six year old sister Latoya on the bathroom floor beaten and bloody because he had received a bad grade on here report card. Michael did not help his sister out of fear he himself might be beaten. The children never fought back against their father, some of the older boy might raise their hand to him on occasion but never hit him. Anderson wrote “Joe just smiled whenever one of his boys raised his fist in a rare gesture of self defense. It provided an excuse to, in the words of one of the brothers, “really beat the hell out of us.” Almost disappointed that they wouldn’t fight back more often. Joe resorted to buying the boys boxing gloves and pitting them against one another while he watched from the side lines, urging them to know each other cold.” Michael many times would run away from his father to escape his beatings but he didn’t always get away. Once his father grabbed his gun from the other room pointed as everyone in the family watched it at Michael and pulled the trigger to scare him, luckily it wasn’t loaded. He not only terrorized them physically but mentally to. Constantly calling them names and tell the children they were ugly and stupid. He would play jokes on them to scare them, such as lurking out side the window with a mask and a knife. One night Michael was woken by the pain of his father holding a lit match to the bottom of his foot and laughing. It’s truly sick how he treats his children. The mother during this whole time did nothing to protect her children she just stood by and hid behind her religion because she refused divorce her husband. Even with the girls Reebie and Latoya report that their father would come into their bed at night and engage in sexual acts with them. Anderson states “Latoya would recall that as a teenager Reebie begged her mother to get professional help for Joe. But Kate turned a deaf ear to her daughter’s pleas. Only once, according to Latoya, did Katherine try to stop her husband from attacking heir oldest daughter. “Joe,” she cried, “can’t you just leave her alone tonight?” Its hard for me to even hear about something like that and not be disgusted with the way the father and mother are raising these children.

The boys loved to watch their father band rehearse in the living room and they picked up many of their moves. Tito would get his fathers guitar from the closet and play while his father was at work and Jermaine and Jackie would sing along. One day Tito broke a string on the guitar and out of fear put it back with out saying a word. Now guitar strings are easily replaced but when Joseph found the guitar he lost control. He beat tito and the afterwards made him play it while Jackie and Jermaine sang along. This is where Joseph got the idea to bring the boys together as a group. It started out with only four of the boys Jackie, Tito one guitar, Marlon and Jermaine on lead vocals. Michael desperately wanted to be in the group but his father felt he was to young, which he was he was only four. Joseph made the boys practice until they passed out from exhaustion. If they got the moves wrong he would continue to hit them until they got it right. Michael performed the song “Climb Every Mountain” at a school performance and sang so beautifully that at that moment they became the Jackson five. The boys started out performing at high school competitions as their first gigs and then small contests in Gary. They their father took them to Detroit and they performed at several night clubs along with other acts. Many of these acts included drunken comedians and stripers, not a very good environment for young children. Eventually they made it onto a popular show call “Amateur Night at the Apollo” and they received a standing ovation. Then they started to open for Gladys Night and the Pips. Gladys was very impressed with them and got them an audition with a Motown executive. He was not impressed with them so they continued to open for several acts and then they were asked back to the Apollo for a paid gig. Once again they wowed the crowd. Motown called them again to do a taped audition so that Mr. Berry Gordy could see what they had to offer Motown. Mr. Gordy loved them and Joseph and the boys were very excited and they signed the contracts right away. That is what launched the boys into stardom. They produced hit after hit and their fans went wild over the boys. They boys moved out to Los Angeles and the girls and Katherine followed soon after. The boys grew older and with the fame came the girls Jackie and Jermaine were the older boys and they were very promiscuous. They would even have sexual encounter with girls in front of Michael and Marlon. This only confused the boys because they were still very young.

I feel that Michael was and still is very confused about sexual relationships. At a young age he was torture by his father. His father had numerous affairs during the time his parents were married. He witnessed he older brothers in sexual acts with different girls and there was even a report that Michael him self was molested. “Johnny Jackson, the cousin who lived with the Jackson family from 1967 to 1976, has claimed that Michael was sexually abused by a relative. Steeltown Records’ owner Gordon Keith claims that Johnny Jackson has told him of stumbling upon the relative, a male employee, and twelve year old Michael and all three were nude.” This was never proven but it was implied. These event of sexual encounters and molestation may be what is triggering these acts he is now allegedly involved in. I feel he is a very depresses person and they reason why he does what he does is because he feels comfort in it. His father expresses not kind of affection and his mother turn her back on the torture of her children. Michael disconnects him self from people that’s why he covers his face and the face of his children. As a teenage he was unhappy with his face and his body, he didn’t like the change he was going through. He had acne and was obsessed with his weight. It did not help that his father called him big nose constantly to tease him. If you noticed through out the years his nose was one of the first things he received plastic surgery for. Also over the years he has had numerous surgeries on his face to the point where he is now almost unrecognizable. Michael inside is still a scared unhappy little boy and he is suffering from the Peter Pan syndrome. He named his ranch “Never Land” he is scared to grow up.

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