WHEN MY DAUGHTER was two years old, back in 1982, she used to love to watch Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video on MTV. She never seemed to be bothered by the sight of decaying zombies crawling out of graves, or of Jackson himself transforming into a werewolf. I guess she just liked the music.
In the early 1980s, Jackson began to transform into something quite stranger than a werewolf, of course, as a result of multiple plastic surgeries. What he became makes the title here, "Michael Jackson and the Paranormal," sound like the premise of a joke or at least a redundancy, but that's not my intention. Despite his obvious talent, it's hard to imagine a person weirder than Jackson was at times, from his grotesque appearance to his quirky behavior – a bizarre image he seemed to have purposely cultivated. But we'll leave all that (and other matters) for others to judge.
Beyond the imaginary elements of "Thriller," Michael Jackson did have real-life connections to the world of the paranormal.
Jackson was close friends with controversial psychic Uri Geller. In fact, in March, 2001 when Geller and his wife retook their wedding vows in a well-publicized ceremony, Jackson stood in as best man.
Apparently, Jackson first learned about Geller when he was a small boy through some books about the psychic, and was particularly fascinated by his spoon-bending and telepathic abilities. Many years later, they were formally introduced by Mohammed Al Fayed (the father of Dodi Fayed, who was killed in the car crash that also took the life of Princess Diana). Jackson urged Geller to come to New York to meet him, which he did. Jackson rented a movie theater for Geller, Jackson and Jackson's son Prince for a private screening of The Matrix, which features a scene of psychic spoon bending, probably inspired by Geller's trademark feat.
Geller was even invited to attend one of Jackson's recording sessions in 2000 or 2001. Reportedly, Geller meditated over the recording tapes to "energize" them.
Geller was also a staunch defender of Jackson regarding his legal troubles involving minors. According to Geller, back in 2001 he hypnotized Jackson to help cure an urge for peanut butter. While Jackson was under, Geller also asked him about his alleged sexual molestation of children. "He answered me under deep hypnosis that he had never touched a child in a sexual way," Geller told CBS News. "He said – and here I'm using his exact words – 'My relations with children are very beautiful.' I'm a good hypnotist, and I know who is trying to mislead me. I can see straight into the subject's eyes ... [Jackson] didn't fool me, I'm absolutely sure of it."
And there's another psychic in Jackson's corner. Jacqueline Stallone, mother of actor Sylvester Stallone, claims to be a clairvoyant and has been doing psychic readings and making predictions for years. In fact, she correctly predicted that Arnold Schwarzenegger would become Governor of California. In November, 2003, Stallone told the MSNBC source The Scoop that Jackson would be found innocent. "He is totally innocent. I got a flash. You're going to find out that this is the biggest frame up that ever happened. People say his career is over. They're wrong. He's going to come out of this stronger than ever. This all came to me like a lightning bolt."
Stallone was correct about Jackson being found innocent of all charges, but I don't think it can be said that he emerged stronger than ever.
Next page: Psychic Experiences and Ghosts