Michael Jackson was the world's greatest entertainer — as far as music and dancing went, Jackson had it all. However, aside from that, his controversial personal life seems to be the thing which most are stuck upon. Mystery shrouded with allegations of bizarre behavior, the superstar's behavior and public perception (mainly the reporting from the media) had led to a stain on the gloved one. However, dig deep into Jackson, and you will see that he was a lost boy. He was regressed, and was not entirely the way most men are (in terms of personality). Behind the superstar celebrity persona, lied a lost boy.
Peter Pan Syndrome?
For those who know about Jackson's life, even in the slightest, they know that he identified publicly as Peter pan, and thought of himself as him — in fact, he even built a ranch named after the island in the story, called Neverland valley ranch. Most people think that the peter pan figure was just a persona of Jackson, and some people like to think dirtier and darker, and they say that this was all to cover up his predication for little boys. Wrong — while most people think these things, most close to Jackson have confirmed he was somewhat regressed, to the point where he was indeed like peter pan. In fact, most psychologists who analyzed him attributed something called Peter Pan Syndrome to him.
According to Psychology Today (PT), Peter Pan Syndrome is described as the following:
"Many clients come to me thinking they'd be successful if only they had an idea for a more exciting career.
Okay — not much of a definitive and helpful summary of what Peter Pan Syndrome is. The syndrome is basically when someone who is an adult, thinks or acts (or even identifies) like or as a child. This can grew up with them even when they grow older, and this basically makes them act immature as they gain age. Most people think that Jackson abused drugs and alcohol, and among other things (which for them destroys the peter pan syndrome idea), but in reality, one of the symptoms of peter pan syndrome is the abusage of narcotics and substances as such, believe it or not [see here]. Besides the fact, Jackson had reasons (for which I won't discuss in this article) for taking his drugs and his addictions, which are plausible, once you apply his conditions and circumstances upon yourself.
Jackson called himself peter pan on Television several times, not to mention the Martin Bashir interviews (ugh). Besides that, most of his close friends and fellow associates identified the gloved one as a childlike personality. Believe it or not, Jackson played just like a child backstage on tours, according to several of his own photographers, and staff. It doesn't take much time to look at some of Jackson's quotes to gain an idea of what his mind was like, and what he meant when he said he was peter pan (no joke, literally). Why is it so hard to believe that Jackson was just like peter pan? Mainly because of the allegations, and the (so-called) 'bizarre behavior'.
Alright, but first — to further establish credibility within this peter pan syndrome ideology, here's another description (yes, an actual description), of what it is [from Health Line (HL)]:
Aside from all the childish playful things (which is what peter pan is), this syndrome is not limited to that. Peter pan syndrome also includes the above points — you must be wondering, do those points match Jackson's personality, behavior, or mindset? Yes. I'll explain how the points match Jackson's personality. The (1) point, a pattern of unreliability and flaking out, does indeed match Jackson (depending on how you interpret those words) — if you mean that Jackson did not take some responsibilities seriously, then yes. He's been described by many colleagues and associates as doing this; aside from his responsibility which he carried when formulating extravagant music (when he used his genius) — when it came to daily responsibilities, Jackson flaked out of it.
As for (2) point, Jackson faced emotional outbursts (just like a child) when dealing with highly stressful situations. Examples? How he turned a whole entire hotel room upside down upon hearing the 1993 allegations were made against him (yes, quite unbelievable but still happened)? Or how Elizabeth Taylor had to fly with her husband to restrain Jackson from breaking the whole hotel room? How Jackson saw a security camera at a pool when he was with his children (after the 2005 trial), and got up with a tantrum and broke the camera (to the point where his hand was bleeding)? Or how he (*allegedly) reacted when he had to strip for a search in 1993, crying and shouting at the government cameramen sent to take the photo? Jackson did indeed face these outbursts when dealing with such situations.
For (3) point, let's just admit it — yes, he did (not frequently, rarely, but still...) do this. Jackson often took his anger out upon others (*who so rightly deserved it) such as Martin Bashir after the documentary. But do not get me wrong, Bashir is a douchebag and totally deserved all the scrutiny which came along with his inflammatory film about Jackson. But Jackson did tend to blame others (aside from Bashir) in a childlike manner when he did something wrong (not the allegations). Jackson rarely did this, however. As for (4) point, this does apply to Jackson, in the sense that he did not take interest in personally growing in terms of his personality, and still did what he wanted despite 1993's situations (*it was not his fault, and he had the right to do this) but he still shared his bed with children, which did put him in a vulnerable position. Point (5), Jackson did completely rely on others' to take care of him, such as his friends or his family (but they didn't). Or else, Jackson could still take care of himself, nonetheless.
For (6) point, Jackson did fear negative coverage or evaluation, in the sense that he did not like to be ridiculed. And why not? This does make sense when applying this to Jackson. For (6) point, Jackson, with all the circumstances he was dealing with (i.e. hair burn, allegations, stress & media), he did abuse substances after he was prescribed by his doctors. Jackson used drugs to escape difficult stress and feelings, which happened later in his life (Demerol). Why not? Jackson's life was incredibly stressful, and given the circumstances, it made sense in its entirety. And for (7) point, the answer is yes, that is what Jackson did.
What's the evaluation's results? Jackson did fit the requirements derived for the peter pan syndrome, along with the childish behavior which came along with it.
Neverland's Lost Boy
Michael Jackson was certainly lost at Neverland. In fact, he built the ranch for himself, and other children of the world to come and enjoy the ranch. Most of Jackson's young friends enjoyed playful activities at Neverland (the boys' who defended him), and played around at the ranch. If you watch videos of Neverland, then you will see a playful, childlike Jackson enjoying the company of children who enjoyed his company alike.
Fun at Neverland
The footage above is nothing but playful and blissful fun at the 23,000 acre ranch. Jackson is playing just like a child himself. Of course there are always some who like to make things seem darker and a lot worse then they look, which is not right and is baseless speculation.
Here's what Michael Jackson said about Neverland (among many other quotes):
“What inspired me [to create Neverland]? It was so easy, because it was me being myself, creating things that I love. And what I love, kids happen to love, or the child that lives inside the adult happens to love…you know? It is so easy, because I’m just creating behind the gate what I never got to do when I was a kid. […]"
According to Jackson, he built the ranch so he could enjoy the childish romps which he couldn't have as a child. Fair enough to say. Half of the staff at Neverland who lied about witnessing bad acts of molestation from Jackson of various child friends were disproved in the court, and not only that, their stories do not match up.
I'll leave you guys with a quote from Brad Sundberg, one of Jackson's closest friends (and designer of Neverland):
“He really did build Neverland for kids, the children of the world. There’s just no way that all the children of the world could experience Neverland, but I will say, and this is something I get very…almost passionate about…I have seen it first hand, when Michael did have kids there, you know, sick kids, Make-a-wish kids, Neverland stood on its own two feet in terms of that. This was an amazing place, but on top of that, Michael gave his time, and he would be out there giving the tour. He’d be driving the golf cart and telling jokes with the kids. He would be in the middle of a water balloon fight. He would be on the rides, you know, telling the operator to go faster and faster.
Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch was just a place of fun. Nobody else could prove otherwise, and in fact, the unreliable words of the accusers do not beat the many children who came to Neverland and testified that nothing happened while they played with Jackson at the ranch. Jackson's intention stayed true for why he bought this ranch, and it was always for the sick, and underprivileged children (and so what if there were rich kids there, too? It's a ranch). Jackson was the lost boy inside of Neverland, trying to find his inner child and regain his youth.
Believe It or Not, Many Said Jackson Was Peter Pan
The testimony from several others who knew Jackson in their life, all testified that Jackson was just like a child. How could one just be projecting and displaying a persona in private and in public, every single second of their life, just for show to cover up their pedophilia? Not possible. In fact, Jackson was just the same with the little boys, the way he was with young girl children. There's nothing better than quotes from those who knew Jackson and what they had to say about his inner childlike mindset.
Todd Gray, Michael Jackson's photographer (of many), said the following on Jackson's childlike aura:
"When Michael was on tour, he kept a tape recorder next to his bed. Fairy tales were recorded on it, and every evening he listened to them before falling asleep. Michael was an enigma: inside he was always 12 years old."
Now, to dissect this — his adult photographer is saying that Jackson was just like a 12 year old. To add to this, you are telling the public that Jackson listened to fairy tales recorded on a recorder before he went to sleep, and he was doing this for show? Impossible. Let's face it — the man was just like a 12 year old inside, if not younger than that age. On top of all of this, Jackson acted like a child when he was on a rollercoaster — sure, okay, people act all the same while on a rollercoaster, but still, Jackson was just like a child and there's completely no way that he guised his pedophilia by playing child even when there was nobody around him.
Not just Todd Gray, but also Stevie Wonder discussed the child inside of Michael Jackson:
"Michael had a childlike heart. And that was very, very impressive to me. At the end of the day we´re all human beings and for those who can´t see that it is possible for a man who´s an adult to ho a childlike spirit, it doesn´t mean that they´re weird, it doesn´t mean that they are a freak or whatever ridiculous people say. We have all kinds of people in the world. The most important thing is that your heart is in a good place."
Jackson had a childlike heart, childlike mind, and childlike attitude. This, in of itself, is a major proof that the man was not projecting anything to the public as a means of distraction from his pedophilia urges which he wanted to take out on the poor boys (*sarcasm) whom he befriended, despite what the public thinks.
The daughters of Quincy Jones, Kiddada and Rashida Jones, also have much to say on this subject:
“It’s mostly little things that excite him or stir his emotions. Childlike things. He loves children a lot. He’s been friends with my daughters for years. When he comes to my house, they think they’re doing me a big favor by lending him to me so he can rehearse, because they think he’s their friend. He’s just got a very pure type of enthusiasm about simple things.” (...) "He was so wonderful. He was a big kid. He really was that. It wasn’t — he was so innocent and just a big kid. And to me, at that age, he just was like me but taller and very much more talented."
Harrison Funk (photographer) also comments on Jackson's childlike attitude:
“He liked to play practical jokes, and he liked to have fun. He was a big kid. There was one food fight where I wore a bucket of shrimp...after they poured it all over me."
Patti Austin shares a story of Jackson's humorous (and childike) self:
"His energy is eveready, bunny, hummingbird, neverstop energy. He was always on fire, always a perfectionist, always tremendously professional. Very silly in private moments. Had a very silly, sophomoric sense of humor. Loved to jump out from behind doors and scared me. He loved me because I scare very easily. And he would - whenever I would heading for the studio, and he knew I was coming in the door, he´d always be behind the door a little bit further down the hall and he´d jump out literally and do, you know, like a boo. And I would always jump and it just made his day."
Michael Lee Bush, Jackson's stylist said the following about Jackson:
"Back outside I went, my blind eyes trying to adjust to the morning light, I felt a cherry hit me in the face. I couldn´t see where it was coming from, but I heard laughter. ´I don´t like the chimpanzee, ´ I said, believing that Bubbles was behind it. That was when another cherry hit me on the shoulder, And Michael cracked. I was right in front of him now, and he looked at me like a twelve-year-old boy and laughed at my surprised expression. ´Ah, if he wants to play, I´m going to play.´ Then I picked up one of the cherries from the ground and threw it back at him. Michael´s jaw was open, but then his eyes flashed maliciously, as he slowly lifted the bowl of cherries over his head... and threw the rest of the cherries at me."
Michael Jackson's photographer, Todd Gray, tells another story of Jackson's childlike self:
"Once Michael was just surrounded by his family and friends he became the playful, trickster and jokester. Sometimes he'd call me up, disguise his voice, make up a name and ask me to do something foolish. He could mimic a variety of voices and played many pranks on me. One time I took pictures of him while he was in bed because he was late for a meeting I'd set up and wouldn't get up. He was like, "Todd, I'm gonna get you for that!" And he did. I'd forgotten all about what happened while he was performing one night and he'd told me to stand in a specific spot to take photos of him when he began singing that song. I did as I was instructed. So right before I go to take my position, Michael drops to his back and starts saying, "Help me, help me! I need some woman to touch me!" and every woman in that place collapsed on me. I was between them and Michael and I couldn't even get one shot in and he gave me this look like, I got you. Afterwards, I said you think you're so cute, and he says, "What do you mean, Todd?" I'm like, Mike that hurt; those people were crushing me and all he said: "Todd, the spirit just takes me sometimes and the spirit just took me." That's when I knew that was payback and that was the last time I stepped out of line with him (Laughs.)"
It's obvious that Jackson enjoyed playing pranks with children and the boys he spent time with, just the same way he was. The boys who Jackson spent time with, the ones who defended him, all said that Jackson would play pranks and games with them.
Taj Jackson says the following:
"If you were to ask me what was one of my fondest memories with my uncle Michael, the first answer that would come to my mind would be, "Huis Ten Bosch". What is Huis Ten Bosch. The Huis Ten Bosch I am talking about is a Dutch Village theme park in Nagasaki, Japan. The quick story is.... my brothers and I were visiting my uncle Michael in Japan. All of us were invited to visit the theme park Huis Ten Bosch . I won't go into too many details because most of these memories are very special to me and I hold them close to my heart. However what I can tell you is that the four of us never laughed so hard.... period..We were all just acting silly and making each other laugh that day. For years afterwards we still talked about that trip. Matter of fact, whenever my uncle need some cheering up, all we had to do was mention Huis Ten Bosch and he would laugh again. That's one of the things I will miss most about my uncle. Making him laugh or smile. He had a great laugh. A laugh that would make you laugh back. That trip was purely a magical one and I will never forget it."
A quote from the gloved one himself:
"I love to draw—pencil, ink pen—I love art. When I go on tour and visit museums in Holland, Germany or England—you know those huge paintings?—I’m just amazed. You don’t think a painter could do something like that. I can look at a piece of sculpture or a painting and totally lose myself in it. Standing there watching it and becoming part of the scene. It can draw tears, it can touch you so much. See, that’s where I think the actor or performer should be—to touch that truth inside of the person. Touch that reality so much that they become a part of what you’re doing and you can take them anywhere you want to. You’re happy, they’re happy. Whatever the human emotions, they’re right there with you. I love realism. I don’t like plastics. Deep down inside we’re all the same. We all have the same emotions and that’s why a film like E.T. touches everybody. Who doesn’t want to fly like Peter Pan? Who doesn’t want to fly with some magic creature from outer space and be friends with him? Steven went straight to the heart. He knows—when in doubt, go for the heart..."
Damon Pampolina elaborates on how Jackson was a fan of peter pan:
Disney and Michael were quite on par. The attraction of the King of Pop, Captain Eo, was part of EPCOT in Disneyland and Disneyland Tokyo. “We all know he was a fan of Disney and Peter Pan,” says Albert, “that's why I think Michael Eisner or Jeffrey Katzenberg were with him at the time. They were the ones who took him. And Disney-MGM Studios were new, that's why the Mickey Mouse Club was an attraction he wanted to see, since the show was filming there. ”
Gwen Carino says the following:
"No wonder Paul McCartney called him a 'boy man' and it's not surprising that he saw himself as Peter pan. He was such a child," she continued."
Michael Jackson talks about peter pan:
"Because Peter Pan represents something very special to me. His figure has to do with everything that is childhood: the desire to remain children, the magic, the flight ... everything in him recalls youth, wonder and magic. And I, growing up, never stopped loving him or considering him special."
Jackson continues discussing peter pan:
"Peter Pan, to me, represents something that is very special in my heart. It represents youth, childhood, never growing up, magic, flying, everything I think that children and wonderment and magic, what it’s all about.”
From Macaulay Culkin's testimony at the 2005 trial:
Q. Did you ever see Mr. Jackson as very childlike himself?
The above assessment of quotes of Jackson's childlike aura and behavior is astonishing, considering some think that Jackson displayed this for the public, when there are many who witnessed Jackson's childlike innocence firsthand. These arranged quotes show that Jackson truly was a child in the body of an innocent man, who did not see the world through the lenses of others.
There's no doubt that Jackson himself was just like a child. Investigating Jackson's persona, realizes that it was not only his persona, it was actually his whole entire personality. Most people cannot understand that Jackson was like a child or innocent, because of the sexual connotations which they attached to him and his innocent relationship with children. Jackson has been targeted by people because of his naivety and his innocence, which led many to believe rather the worst about him, instead of the truth.