The Truth Behind Michael Jackson’s Death

By Lauren Mackler in Happiness on June 26th, 2009 / 35 Comments

The mystery of Michael Jackson’s death is not really a mystery at all. What killed Jackson is a broken heart – one that was wounded a long time ago.

From early childhood, Jackson was emotionally and physically abused by his father, suffering relentless and grueling music rehearsals, beatings, and verbal abuse. His childhood abuse continued to affect him all throughout his adult life. In one episode (which was later confirmed by Marlon Jackson) his father, Joseph, held Michael upside down by one leg and “pummeled him over and over again with his hand, hitting him on his back and buttocks.” Joseph would often slam his sons into walls.

An especially traumatic event happened one night while Jackson was asleep. His father climbed through the bedroom window into his room screaming and donning a fright mask in order to teach Michael not to leave the window open at night. Not surprisingly, Jackson had nightmares for years afterwards about being kidnapped from his bedroom.

When we are born, we are whole human beings filled with tremendous potential. We have the ability to express all parts of ourselves and we have a healthy and intact self-esteem. Growing up, we adapt to the peculiarities of our families by adopting a “default operating system” – patterns of thought and behavior we take with us into adulthood. If we grow up in a dysfunctional or abusive family, our innate wholeness and self-esteem become eroded.

Our core beliefs and habitual behaviors are like viruses, infecting our lives, our relationships, and our sense of well-being. The core beliefs that Jackson internalized in response to his life conditioning and childhood abuse—“People will hurt me and can’t be trusted”, “I’m ugly”, and “If I meet others’ needs and expectations I’ll be loved” – were at the root of his living a life filled with tremendous self-loathing, pain, and isolation.

That Jackson’s childhood experiences continued to affect him throughout his adult life is evident in many ways. He underwent plastic surgery to the point of physical disfigurement. At the root of his tremendous empathy for others’ suffering was the well of his own emotional pain and suffering. In a relentless pursuit for the idyllic childhood he himself never had, he built a 2,500 acre paradise called Neverland.

He forewent close adult relationships and surrounded himself with animals and children, with whom he could have a sense of power and feel safe. His history of engaging with unsavory people who used him and his money was a replication of the injurious behavior of his father’s betrayal over and over again. He tried in vain to fill his inner voids through acquiring material possessions that cost him a fortune, and he said that it was only when he was performing that he was truly happy – his only means of feeling loved and accepted by others.

When the bottom of his career began to fall out due to rumors and allegations of child molestation followed by expensive legal trials and settlements, Jackson’s downward spiral began to dramatically accelerate. He continued to spend excessive amounts of money, but he could no longer generate the unprecedented success and record sales of the past.

Instead of getting the help he badly needed, he reacted to his disintegrating life and career by marrying someone who could restore his damaged image and esteem (Lisa Marie Presley), divorcing her and marrying another woman who gave him full custody of their two children, and eventually having a third child by an anonymous donor. He withdrew from public life with his children, and apparently lived the rest of his years as a very lonely and unhappy man.

Michael Jackson went from being a beloved superstar with the world in the palm of his hands, to being branded by many people as a weirdo, child molester, and kook. Instead of judging the person he was or obsessing on the sensationalist circumstances surrounding his death, it is my hope that people will use his tragic death to better understand the power our life conditioning has on who we become as adults. While heart failure may be what ultimately led to Jackson’s demise, it was a broken heart that really killed him.

About the author:
Bestselling author, psychotherapist, and renowned life coach is the author of Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life. She is the host of the weekly Life Keys radio show on www.hayhouseradio.com, a popular radio and TV talk-show guest, and a sought-after keynote speaker in the U.S. and Europe. In 2001 she founded the coaching and consulting firm Lauren Mackler & Associates. Visit Lauren’s website at www.laurenmackler.com.

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35 Responses to “The Truth Behind Michael Jackson’s Death”

  1. Deaquelynn Says:

    This is a great article. It’s so important for us to confront, deal with, and get over past hurts and failures.

  2. shishkin Says:

    i buy your theory totally – unfortunately i’m fairly sure that the media and usual general public hysteria will focus on their usual demons (which i guess in this case will be prescription drugs) – still, you never know – things do change sometimes … <3

  3. ursula06 Says:

    Isn’t it too bad that with all of his many millions that Michael could not have received the therapy that he needed?

  4. Frida Says:

    I totally agree with what you said. Love heals all wounds. Everyone runs of a love tank. If it is not fullfilled it runs down the body. Like a vehicle running low on fuel. No fuel = sick car, No Love = Sick body.
    Michael gave out love but because of his daily internal torment he could not find a means to fullfill his own love tank. I wonder how people like his father and others who claimed he was a molesterer feel now knowing they contributed to his downspiral?

  5. Patty Says:

    I thought this was a brilliant article. I felt a closeness to Michael Jackson because of the childhood abuse. I too suffered horrific abuse yet I was lucky and learned the great healing that comes with therapy and looking inside myself and dealing with myself instead of blaming others. Taking responsibility for my life.
    I believe when it is your time to go then whatever the circumstances you will leave this physical life.
    I still find it quite interesting the amount of people in the world who need therapy yet they still shy away and live in the abuse. Sad.

  6. Linda Says:

    I’m so glad someone came out and told the truth so articulately. Michael Jackson came into this world given gifts from God. His music was meant to help raise the consciousness of humanity, only his childhood pain left him vulnerable in growing into an adult. My instincts on seeing his interview with Martin Besher were that he was emotionally a kid, he wasn’t even mature enough to be careful of the words he used to convince people of his innocence. In my opinion, he was right, isn’t it a high form of love to share your bed with a child? If one is a loving soul, who wouldn’t let a child in bed with you if they said, “can I sleep with you,”, I”ve done it, yet he didn’t even realize that he would be taken as a pervert. That is because our culture is sick, ill, always wanting to judge and prey on those who have a loving and compassion nature. Michael was a sitting duck. He was around children because he knew they wanted nothing of him and accepted him exactly as he was. He felt comfortable. He wasn’t a molester. He was exploited for money and the media made a field day of it because it sold news. He never recovered from it. It broke his heart in pieces. Thus, the drugs. Who wants to feel pain every second of living. The drugs dulled that pain. What a sad day it was to loose someone who only wanted to help heal the world………We will all miss you Michael, you were truly loved more than you realize. So sad you had to die to realize how amazing you were.

  7. Linda Says:

    I grew up with Michael Jackson. I wish I could have been his friend. Then he would have known what real friendship was and how loved he was.

  8. eatenword Says:

    Your perspective is useful for the extensive, inauspicious, concealed issue of abuse, however your endeavored attachment to Michaels intricate minutia only served to typify one issue, overtly common to Michaels life, salesmanship. “Ya don’t know his life”

  9. Jenifer Says:

    This is a video I found on YouTube about Michael Jackson`s vitiligo. It`s very sad. He said it on Oprah. No one believed him. I don`t blame him if he didn`t want to show everybody, that`s his personal business, but how very sad. I feel bad that I didn`t believe him. Just goes to show that there are things going on in people`s lives beyond what we see. Whether people are walking around with physical scars, or mental scars, or emotional scars, we might never know. Maybe it`s best just to assume that we don`t know the whole story and stop with the snap judgements. Or maybe with the judgements at all. Seeing this video made me realize that we just can`t know what people are dealing with, so it`s best to have some compassion.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ6b7kHGsSg&feature=related

  10. ChristyLove 25 Says:

    I am so glad I stumbled upon this website and read such a wonderful article about Michael Jackson. It brings such dept and clarity at a time. There is so much information flowing around but none has resonated to me as much as this article does. It is probably because I too felt it was his childhood that had a large part to do with the man he became.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I will definitely share your article with others, if I feel it could bring greater clarity to those whose are asking or seeking a greater understanding. Why and how this kind of thing could have happen. I also enjoyed reading the different postings. They are some of best one I read since the death of Michael. I have checked out other site. Thumbs up to the writer who have posted here!

  11. destiny lawrence Says:

    i also agree i have the same life as michael but my mom is involved cuz she has no say when ever my dad hurts me it’s like she’s scared of him and i think that this is a very good article cuz michael wanted to express his love to those kids and they took advantage of him cuz of his wealth and three cheers to the writer cuz this helps me feel better about the death of michael jackson

  12. goteh kabari Says:

    well i agree with destiny lawrence mikes dad was wronge to have being beating him and kids took adantage of his wealth and the media folks didn’t let him rest also and i believe he wanted to show care to those kids well a shout out to the writer bcuz the article is true f**k mikes dad for what he did AU OVIOER

  13. Linda R Says:

    I believe that ALL of us come into this world PERFECT and in the image of God. Our soul’s are CLEAN and PURE and we become a reflection of what life dishes out to us. When we die, we return to that PERFECT, PURE place of Unconditional Love and acceptance. God Bless Michael Jackson. Surprising even to myself, I have shed many tears this past week.

    In LOVE,
    Linda R

  14. Linda R Says:

    One more thought… like our parents, and grand-parents… Michael’s Dad is only living the reflection of what his life dished out to him. FORGIVE and LOVE is the Ultimate Message Michael Jackson has left the world. Human pain and suffering has been going on since the beginning of time. Michael Jackson’s death is an opportunity for everyone to come back home to our soul. We are Perfect Spiritual Beings living a human experience, nothing more. The fact that Michael touched countless millions of lives makes him an ICON and a HERO, and to be remembered as such forever.

  15. melissa Says:

    I completely agree with this article. The latest talk is why wasn’t
    Dianna Ross at the memorial service. Well, it was said that Michael ran to Dianna Ross when he was being abused.

    Therefore, maybe he consulted with her about his abuse. Maybe, that is why she didn’t attend the memorial.. In other words , his abuser, Joe Jackson was there and also, what about the mother who did nothing about the abuse? What about the older brothers who did nothing about the abuse of their baby brother?

    I completely understand why Diana Ross was not there.

  16. Joy Says:

    Such an interesting take on Michael. I find his old video interviews of when he was 21-25 so insightful even though the camera was on him.
    He speaks of “magic” and “fantasy” and “escapism.” Later years he states “money is the root of all evil” and “conspiracy against black entertainers.” In a video by a fan, she writes that perhaps all these celebrities, popular culture, and similar things are meant to distract us from the real issues around the world (and perhaps in my thoughts, that is why they are also paid the insane amounts of money which are not paid to our teachers, career counsellors, etc. I find it almost an awakening (of course LOVE and FORGIVENESS as another person stated is true of his message to us), whereby people are being conspired against and fed a surrealistic unnatural meal which has attacked all their senses, spirit, soul, logic, identity, health etc–from their diet to their minds. One of my college friends who lived a healthful life (never owned a car, recycled, ate a vegan diet, lived in various places and settings like a gypsy, never wore makeup, did not listen to the radio or tv claiming it was garbage for the mind and soul is starting to make more sense to me as a way of life and offers some interesting thoughts upon this tragedy of our society.

  17. Elizabeth Olney Says:

    I believe Michael suffered- #1 his heart was broken. Michael was strong in spirit & dealt with being a child prodigy and his relationship w/his father. I do believe that Neverland especially healed him.
    You see. Michael gave & gave & gave; not just by honestly expressing his extraordinary creativeness, he visited many orphanages & children in hospitals and vets and poured his soul into world unity. He didn’t just break The Guiness Book of World records with the millions he gave, he lived his compassion. It’s in the words of his songs as is his pain. That horrid trial broke his heart. Imagine such a genuinely sensitive being giving sooo much & in turn treated so cruely ? #2 Michael drove himself very hard with his work and I do believe that he was taken advantage of by this last tour proposal. Imagine how vulnerable he was for the London concerts. He only wanted 10 shows ! 50 ? He wasn’t a machine. #3 I can’t say that he was an addict. I believe he was there wholeheartedly for his children. Yet, toxins have an incideous way of progressing in one’s system. We’ll see what the toxicolody reports say. Meanwhile, I think some people may have treated him as if he was invincible. His medical care was quite obviously neglectful no matter how much was in his system. He was not treated with respect to his state mental, physical, & emotional state which I believe was extremely delicate.

  18. Elizabeth Olney Says:

    I forgot to mention something quite important. Neverland. Imagine Michael being raped of the beautiful place which gave him an even stronger sense of purpose in giving; providing for countless sick & poor children And all those animals that he loved so much. So many are bashing his father. I have mixed feelings about the man. Obviously, he was & is mostly about business. Yet, last night on CNN finally someone mentioned that Michael really loved animals; his father.
    Though I didn’t think Michael would live long following that trial, I am still devastated. We’re discussing a genius here; a complex, passionate & genuinely sensitive person. Apparently his brain hasn’t even been returned to his body yet. Maybe his brain could be disected, but his soul cannot.
    His integrity need be uplifted and hie spirit enlightened by those of us that have been touched by him, especially by all of the hypocrites out here that celebrate now w/out owning how they turned their backs when he needed us most.

  19. Michelle Says:

    Not only did Michael have an abusive, and exploitative childhood, no privacy at all in his adulthood, he was constantly hunted like an animal by the paparazzi. Unlike the rest of us, he wasn’t able to get good medical care, because of who he was. He couldn’t just go anywhere without causing a scene, and those who treated him were probably star-struck to the point they would lose their objectivity in his case. He needed help and he needed a good friend, but seemingly couldn’t get either. Under his extremely unusual set of circumstances, he managed to be so highly successful, touch the hearts of the world, and no matter what life threw at him, he continued to love people.
    If you really look at his life, you can certainly understand have have compassion for this man. His life was not a walk in the park by any means. He was told at the age of 5, this is who you are, and this is what you will do. He never had a choice, and he never had a fighting chance. He accepted his role, and was the very best at what he did.
    If you also consider how the world reacted toward him from a very young age, it is no wonder he was shy around people. Imagine, everywhere you go, people wanting to touch you, kiss you, tear at you, they scream, cry, faint, run after you. That is NOT a normal experience. This man couldn’t go anywhere without being hounded by someone or some crowd. All of us need personal space and time off. He couldn’t get that measure of peace. People meant well-they loved him. They just needed to respect him as a person, not an icon.
    Before you judge him harshly, take a good look at your own life. Were there times when you made a poor choice? Were there a few less than shining moments in your past? Have you ever used bad judgement? All of us are human, Michael was human as well. We are all doing the best we can with the life we have. Let’s learn to love eachother rather than to judge eachother. We will surely evolve in that way!

  20. alexis Says:

    so true but i really want to know where you got your info. it is not that i don’t believe you it is just i want a reliable resource for everything i hear (or read) about the famous, rich and all of those who people spreadf rumors about.

  21. tina Says:

    i have to say thank you so much to bad more people wouldnt read this i was beatin when i was a little girl i was molested and i was looked in the bath room and in the closet so i know how michael felt i had a hard like my father was a drunk my mother next husband was a drunk and then her bot friend for 13 years was a drunk so i went throw alot in my life and i still have bad dreams about it god bless you for righting this thank you so much god bless you

  22. precious Says:

    i really have to say this article can bring a difference to what people thougt of michel and i have to say i’m one of the people…now i know that mike wasn’t a heartless celebrity…

  23. sahil Says:

    i love michael jackson. people like to judge him for all the mysteries surrounding him. All he wanted to do is share his love of music and dance with the world. they never gave him credit for all the good things he has done.

  24. Lydia Says:

    Has anybody heard about a book coming out that is going to expose all the lies and conspiracy surrounding Michael’s death? It’s supposed to come out on the anniversary of Michael’s death this June 25th… and I heard through the grapevine that it’s going to shake up the world. I need to find out the title so that I can get my hands on it…

  25. GhostofMe Says:

    @Lydia – we are all still waiting for that “book” (movie, documentary, etc.). Truth; so evasive, so rare, so buried. I don’t think we’re ever going to see it, unfortunately. They say time heals all wounds. I’m not so sure I agree. They only seem to be getting worse. Disengaging…

  26. patricia Says:

    This author nailed it to the core, finally someone who spoke the 100% truth. What mj needed was Jesus his greatest need in which was the one he turned too the least. MJ turn to children and they failed him-false molestation cases, he turned to drugs and that killed him, anything but Jesus his greatest need and true escapism.

  27. Jaycee Says:

    A perfectly written, well thought out and intelligent article which I can relate to fully. If only more people in this world had such valuable insight into situations, and looked at the actual root of things more often. The world would be a far better place.

  28. riskmeeh Says:

    as I read this article makes me think about life and this world, I like michael ever since i saw him singing when he was small ..I just like him no matter what is bad written, didn’t shake my belief in him as a person..from his personality action , way of speak,its so lovable this person..that’s why people are really so wrong judging him, if i could do something for him , I will be a true friend . He is innocent and caring person ..I just wish that he’s alive …

  29. love roni Says:

    its true that micheal need Jesus to refresh his life from. I also feel so concerned about his death

  30. Anita Says:

    Interesting that the author says that Michael died of a “broken heart”…that is exactly what I said when I heard about his death. Thank you for a well written article shedding a different light on a life that ended much too soon. Since his death I have been mourning his loss, unable to explain it to myself even. In Michael we lost a beautiful human being whose god given talents brought us so much joy. We forgot though that he was just a man; and with that came the burdens that come with being raised in such an imperfect world. We judged him and ridiculed him, and many never took the time to understand him. I hope that whereever he is that he can see how much he was loved just as he was. May your soul finally rest in peace Michael Jackson, we never can say goodbye!

  31. MARIANNE Says:

    I DO NOT AGREE WITH EVERYTHING YOU SAID IN YOUR ARTICLE.SOMETIMES SOME PEOPLE BEHAVES THERESELF VERY BAD AGAINST SOMEONE WHO IS VERY GIFTED ON MANY LEVELS OF HIS LIFE.MICHAEL WAS ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE.HEWAS ALSO VERY SENSETIVE WITH AGREAT HEART FULL OFLOVE AND BRIGHTNESS.JEALOUSY IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST ILLNESSES OF THE WORLD.ALL THE BAD RUMORS ABOUT MICHAEL WERE FALSE.PEOPLE HAVE BEHAVED THEMSELF BAD BECAUSE OF THIR OWN PAIN.MICHAEL WAS A GIVER,HE LOVED TO HELP OTHERS AND THAT IS ALSO A GREAT GIFT.THERE WAS LESS EMPATHY FOR MICHAEL AFTER ALL THE ACCUSATIONS.HOW DO YOU THINK ABOUT SNEDDON AND BRANCA AND AL THE OTHERS.MICHAEL TRUELY WAS A GREATEST HUMAN BEINGS ON EARTH.HE LOVED UNCONDITIONALLY.AND THIS IS ALSO A GIFT.HE WAS A MAN OF PEACE AND NOT OF HATRET.

  32. MARIANNE Says:

    I WOULD ASK YOU TO DO SOME RESEARCH ABOUT SNEDDON,ARNOLD KLEIN <BRANCA ,MOTTOLA TOME TOME.THERE WAS SO MUCH HATRET AROUND HIM AND PEOPLE WHO WANTED TO GET MONEY OUT OF HIM HJUST AS BRANCA WEISMAN AND TOME TOME AND THE SONY DEVILS,I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF YOU EVER MET OR TALKRD TO MICHAEL.HE DID NOT WANT TO DIE.HE WANTED TO BE A FATHER FOR HIS CHILDREN YOUR ANALYZATION IS TOO SIMPLE.THIS IS NOT VERY RESPECTFULL TO HIS CHILDREN AND HIS FAMILY ESPECIALLY HIS MOTHER.

  33. MARIANNE Says:

    THERE WAS NOTHING STRANGE ABOUT MICHAEL JACKSON BUT THERE WAS SOMETHING STRANGE ABOUT THE PEOPLE WITH WHOM HE HAD TO DEAL WITH

  34. Rekha Says:

    Jackson’s father is an ASSHOLE !!!

  35. rich dad poor dad robert kiyosaki Says:

    “The Millionaire Next Door” delivers a perfect concept but it drags on
    with it. You could most probably learn a review (or Cliff’s notes if thery expoerienced
    them) of the book and walk away with just juwt as much information.
    It’s full of statistics, a lot of of tem outdated by now, that
    you simply will not remember. It will not be well worth a full read through.

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