Is the "Vindicating Michael" blog a good source?

MykelTheSuperfan

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I have found this blog called "Vindicating Michael" and in my opinion I find it very interesting and in depth especially his/her/their analysis on the transcript of Leaving Neverland.
But I wonder if this blog is credible?

Here is the link:
 

Toxic34

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I can answer this quite thoroughly, as I have personal experience, as the blog's owner/creator/main writer, a Ukrainian woman named Helena, was a friend of mine until recently.

Much of the blog, from the early years and up until fairly recently, is quite reliable, especially in dissecting the claims against Michael, showing how the evidence actually supports his innocence, as well as dissecting how Conrad Murray and AEG were at fault for his death. Recently, Helena also began doing a lot of digging more or less to figure out how things originated, and did a lot of voluminous and convincing research (technically a lot of circumstantial evidence, but very convincing such evidence) that mogul David Geffen helped spearhead the allegations as vengeance for Michael refusing to join his label, and that Geffen aids and abets the criminality of sexual predators in the industry, using them in transactional relationships: "I'll bury the bodies for you if you help me smear the people on my enemies list." And that Geffen has such a relationship with Harvey Weinstein, Bryan Singer, Kevin Spacey, Lou Pearlman, Gary Goddard, Garth Ancier, David Neuman, and the Digital Entertainment Network founders.

However, Helena, as of late, has gone off the deep end in trying to go beyond the facts and frame it as part of a QAnon-like conspiracy, saying that "progressives, especially 'super gays', made it their mission to take down Michael because of the fact he said he wasn't gay." Acting like the LGBT community had considerable power and clout to do so in the '80s and '90s, which of course is not remotely corresponding with history. And that it's part of a movement by which "academia seeks to legalize pedophilia." And that Michael was a threat because, "He planned to return a focus on God's word and values, especially by which we raise our children, so they had to take him out."

In short, Helena is going full in on culture war narratives, and saying "progressives started it first." She's also virulently transphobic, believes many of the same debunked points and narratives, and says of Paris' sexuality that "she is merely confused and being influenced by groomers and elites, and Michael would straighten her out," implying Michael would send his own daughter through conversion therapy. Despite her avowed hatred of Vladimir Putin and Russian state media, she believes much of the same vile and hateful garbage he and it spews out. (She is still alive and doing well personally despite the war, in case you're wondering.)

I tried to reason with her and point out how this was simply wrong, especially the idea that Geffen's likely involvement is done solely for the sake gathering and conglomerating power and taking out rivals, and that his being gay has virtually no real bearing on it. Geffen would be Geffen if he was straight. And that the LGBT community has been powerless for much of its history, and that it barely had any real teeth to stand up at the time that Ellen came out of the closet in 1997, and that ABC cancelled her sitcom shortly after. If the community had that much power, would they just sit by and let the show be killed like that? Helena refers to Michael as "the most bullied person in history." Yes, more so than people who lost their lives, like say, Emmett Till or Matthew Shepard or James Byrd, Jr. When I naturally say, "How dare you?", she goes, "I dare, because it's the same." (Of course, she completely ignores Matthew Shepard's death like it never happens, which says a lot about her values.) Or when I point out how the press likes to build up and tear down people for sport, and that Michael isn't unique, and that people like Elvis and Freddie Mercury experienced it before Michael, and how someone like Johnny Depp has been on the receiving end now, she says, "They can't compare. They got off so easy." (Yes, Freddie Mercury got off REAL easy, with all the invasive questions and digging in about his sexuality and his health. REAL EASY.)

I kept trying to get through to Helena, especially when she went on her attacks on progressivism, and I went to explain it to her. She wouldn't budge, wouldn't even interact with the evidence, the videos and articles and reports, that I sent her. When I also pointed out how she had no real knowledge or understanding of American history, culture or politics and how off base she was, she said, "I refuse to sully myself by learning and 'understanding' America." Ultimately, I left the blog. In fact, many left-of-center people have left as well. All that's left are Helena and a handful of devoted sycophants that hang on her every word as gospel.
 

Toxic34

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If there are former members/commenters of Vindicating Michael who wish to speak out, feel free to do so here, and share your experiences.
 

Toxic34

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If one had to ask, what exactly happened to Helena? Did she merely fall down the rabbit hole of radicalization simply by using absolutely anyone that had a kind word or word of support for Michael (whether sincere or not) as a trusted source an ally, and came to believe as they did?

Or was Helena always like this, and that the unleashed id of social media and Putin's disinformation campaigns simply bring it to the surface?
 

Hiker

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Folks, let's keep the discussion on topic - Michael and stay away for political stuff. We want to keep this place safe and welcoming for everyone.
 

zinniabooklover

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Folks, let's keep the discussion on topic - Michael and stay away for political stuff. We want to keep this place safe and welcoming for everyone.
The Vindicating Michael blog is very good on the allegations, the trial, media misrepresentation etc. Helena has done a huge amount of work, there is a ton of stuff to get through, not all of it easy to read. There are several other blogs that did the same thing. Some of them are now inactive but they retain a vital presence on the web so people can continue to access this important information. On Helena's home page she provides links to the main blogs or you can easily Google this stuff. All of these blogs have done invaluable work on this difficult part of Michael's life. I would recommend looking at several of the blogs, they are all good, they all have something to offer.

All of it is hard to read as in, it's depressing but also complicated. A lot of it I had to re-read multiple times. It's time consuming and exhausting but this part of Michael's story is not easy, as we all know. At least one of the blogs presents the info in a shorter version and in a longer, more detailed version. Even the 'short' version will take a good chunk of your time to get through it.

There is lots of other info available - Charles Thomson has articles online plus he's done many, many interviews about all of this.
A good place to start is with Charles' original article about the media coverage of the trial:



There are podcasts out there, John Ziegler* has done stuff on this, Tom Meserau (sp?) has done loads of interviews, there is tons of stuff which is helpful.

And now I just want to offer my grateful thanks to all of Michael's fans who did this work. It is utterly mind-blowing what they achieved. It really is. Just the sheer amount of time they all dedicated to doing this work. They didn't just bash out a quick blog post or two. They didn't sit around wailing like a baby. Despite the ongoing media misrepresentation of Michael's fanbase they tackled this in a serious, focused way. They examined the facts. They read stuff in great detail. They read court transcripts which are not only really, really long but difficult to understand if you have no legal training. You would have to read that stuff many times before you could then try to write about it in order to help other people understand it. They were not getting paid to do this. They had to fit this in around the rest of their normal life. I know this is all really obvious but I wanted to emphasise all of this as a counterbalance to how the media portrays the fans as crazy people.

These fans with their blogs, they followed the lawsuits of WR and JS. They ramped up their efforts when LN landed. They didn't stop, LN did not derail them. They never gave up. All of them worked really hard. And all of it helped me so much as I tried to untangle the unholy mess that is the media coverage of all of this. I am *massively* grateful. I salute all of them.

The time anyone spends reading through these blogs is never going to be wasted time.

*Update - see comment below re John Ziegler.
 
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Toxic34

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I wouldn't necessarily include Ziegler. He's someone who is defending Jerry Sandusky as innocent, after all, and doxxed and harassed Sandusky's victims.
 

fraroc04

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I can answer this quite thoroughly, as I have personal experience, as the blog's owner/creator/main writer, a Ukrainian woman named Helena, was a friend of mine until recently.

Much of the blog, from the early years and up until fairly recently, is quite reliable, especially in dissecting the claims against Michael, showing how the evidence actually supports his innocence, as well as dissecting how Conrad Murray and AEG were at fault for his death. Recently, Helena also began doing a lot of digging more or less to figure out how things originated, and did a lot of voluminous and convincing research (technically a lot of circumstantial evidence, but very convincing such evidence) that mogul David Geffen helped spearhead the allegations as vengeance for Michael refusing to join his label, and that Geffen aids and abets the criminality of sexual predators in the industry, using them in transactional relationships: "I'll bury the bodies for you if you help me smear the people on my enemies list." And that Geffen has such a relationship with Harvey Weinstein, Bryan Singer, Kevin Spacey, Lou Pearlman, Gary Goddard, Garth Ancier, David Neuman, and the Digital Entertainment Network founders.

However, Helena, as of late, has gone off the deep end in trying to go beyond the facts and frame it as part of a QAnon-like conspiracy, saying that "progressives, especially 'super gays', made it their mission to take down Michael because of the fact he said he wasn't gay." Acting like the LGBT community had considerable power and clout to do so in the '80s and '90s, which of course is not remotely corresponding with history. And that it's part of a movement by which "academia seeks to legalize pedophilia." And that Michael was a threat because, "He planned to return a focus on God's word and values, especially by which we raise our children, so they had to take him out."

In short, Helena is going full in on culture war narratives, and saying "progressives started it first." She's also virulently transphobic, believes many of the same debunked points and narratives, and says of Paris' sexuality that "she is merely confused and being influenced by groomers and elites, and Michael would straighten her out," implying Michael would send his own daughter through conversion therapy. Despite her avowed hatred of Vladimir Putin and Russian state media, she believes much of the same vile and hateful garbage he and it spews out. (She is still alive and doing well personally despite the war, in case you're wondering.)

I tried to reason with her and point out how this was simply wrong, especially the idea that Geffen's likely involvement is done solely for the sake gathering and conglomerating power and taking out rivals, and that his being gay has virtually no real bearing on it. Geffen would be Geffen if he was straight. And that the LGBT community has been powerless for much of its history, and that it barely had any real teeth to stand up at the time that Ellen came out of the closet in 1997, and that ABC cancelled her sitcom shortly after. If the community had that much power, would they just sit by and let the show be killed like that? Helena refers to Michael as "the most bullied person in history." Yes, more so than people who lost their lives, like say, Emmett Till or Matthew Shepard or James Byrd, Jr. When I naturally say, "How dare you?", she goes, "I dare, because it's the same." (Of course, she completely ignores Matthew Shepard's death like it never happens, which says a lot about her values.) Or when I point out how the press likes to build up and tear down people for sport, and that Michael isn't unique, and that people like Elvis and Freddie Mercury experienced it before Michael, and how someone like Johnny Depp has been on the receiving end now, she says, "They can't compare. They got off so easy." (Yes, Freddie Mercury got off REAL easy, with all the invasive questions and digging in about his sexuality and his health. REAL EASY.)

I kept trying to get through to Helena, especially when she went on her attacks on progressivism, and I went to explain it to her. She wouldn't budge, wouldn't even interact with the evidence, the videos and articles and reports, that I sent her. When I also pointed out how she had no real knowledge or understanding of American history, culture or politics and how off base she was, she said, "I refuse to sully myself by learning and 'understanding' America." Ultimately, I left the blog. In fact, many left-of-center people have left as well. All that's left are Helena and a handful of devoted sycophants that hang on her every word as gospel.

Meanwhile in reality, Michael Jackson had NUMEROUS friends in the LGBT community and was against homophobia. One of the first major gay "bear" figures (stocky, bearded, masculine gay men) was Arnold Klein, one of MJ's few REALLY close friends. Not to mention I think that he had a gay filmmaker direct the video to Cry.
 

Toxic34

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Meanwhile in reality, Michael Jackson had NUMEROUS friends in the LGBT community and was against homophobia. One of the first major gay "bear" figures (stocky, bearded, masculine gay men) was Arnold Klein, one of MJ's few REALLY close friends. Not to mention I think that he had a gay filmmaker direct the video to Cry.
Helena would basically say "That's different," and say that "real, reasonable gay people are offended by the 'super gays' of today that go around and flaunt everything in our faces and influence children into depravity. That 'this is not what we wanted when we wanted our rights.'" And she also did a lot of the typical anti-Kinsey talking points as well, years ago. (I'm surprised she hasn't brought up the tragedy of David Reimer yet, a typical response transphobes use to co-opt for their talking points.)

Basically, Helena uses Kit Culkin's famous quote that Michael was "like a Victorian old maid" and extrapolates that as reference on Michael's worldview about society, religion and social movements. While not using that to claim Michael was a POLITCAL conservative, she basically positions him as a SOCIAL one, which simply isn't true. Michael's worldview was of unbridled humanism, that spanned all beliefs. A messenger of love and peace.
 

Moonstreet

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Thank you @Toxic34 for the update about Helena. While I personally had no interest in her work and the Vindicating Michael blog and I never read it, I know many fans who joined the fan community after Michael died found it useful. After Michael died there was a huge influx of researchers and truth seekers and while they did contribute hugely for the new fan community, I always wondered about the motives of some of them.
 

fraroc04

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Thank you @Toxic34 for the update about Helena. While I personally had no interest in her work and the Vindicating Michael blog and I never read it, I know many fans who joined the fan community after Michael died found it useful. After Michael died there was a huge influx of researchers and truth seekers and while they did contribute hugely for the new fan community, I always wondered about the motives of some of them.
I dont want to turn this into a political issue, but we need more people on the left to be vocal about MJ's innocence and defind him the same way they defended Johnny Depp. I unfortunately think that because of #metoo, theres a taboo twoards questioning accusers because I've seen MJ fans being accused of gaslighting and victim blaming when we point out critical inconsistencies in the 1993 accusations and the 2005 trial.
 

Toxic34

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I dont want to turn this into a political issue, but we need more people on the left to be vocal about MJ's innocence and defind him the same way they defended Johnny Depp. I unfortunately think that because of #metoo, theres a taboo twoards questioning accusers because I've seen MJ fans being accused of gaslighting and victim blaming when we point out critical inconsistencies in the 1993 accusations and the 2005 trial.
Well, there were a lot of left-of-center people on Vindicating Michael in the beginning. Helena basically drove them away, because she can't handle being called out for her culture war attacks, even saying, "If I'm getting this much pushback, I'm on the right track, because I'm shaking all of you monsters loose and bringing you into the light. You're here to stop me at all costs."

Also, I was just saying elsewhere how outrage culture on the Internet works today, the arbitrary way targets are chosen, and how it seems like people are either saints or sinners, and that one even extremely subtle "misdemeanor" is enough to make someone previously judged as likable and nice into an absolute villain, and that previous niceness completely fake. It's absurd, truly.

There's also the way that the good intentions of the initial Me Too movement, post-Harvey, ended up paving the way for extremist firebrands and bad faith actors to hijack everything and take over, and the absolutist beliefs in changing social norms effectively gaslight the population as a whole, making everyone either challenge their own memories so that they now take events out of context but sincerely believe the new version, or because they see an opening and want to take advantage, because "victim is chic."

It started when Al Franken was shivved by his peers in the Senate without his chance to defend himself, and spread from there to tar the likes of Aziz Ansari, James Franco, James Gunn (just about the only one people stood up to defend), Joss Whedon and John Lasseter, ended up picking up and tormenting Michael again; then went on to tar Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, Shia LaBeouf (who's not a very nice or good person, naturally, but I will defend from charges of battery that are clearly false, because even bad people should be seen as bad in the proper context), Paul Haggis and Marilyn Manson.

And the binary way of seeing people, where one "infraction" or moment of being businesslike or focused on doing a job suddenly makes you a mean person instead of nice, is tarring and destroying people for non-sexual offenses real or imagined, especially Ellen DeGeneres, but doubling back for people like Joss Whedon, once more, and elevating "The Slap" to a point that people questioned whether it should end Will Smith's career, or saying that James Corden's restaurant spat should be career-ending. What's next? Is Drew Barrymore now going to be targeted as "fake?" Are we back to saying Paul McCartney can't genuinely be a nice guy?
 
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