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Thursday, Nov. 20, 2003 - 6:31 P.M.

Is Peter Pan Real?

Ok, I can't take complete credit for this, my friend JES showed me this site maybe 2 years ago, and driving home tonight, I wondered if it is still up. And yes, it IS!

I have tried to keep not only an open mind when it comes to this guy (who since I first found the site has apparently made many television appearances) and my little buddy WACKO JACKO. I truly deeply desperately want to believe that they just are wide-eyed innocent lost children of the 60's who are embracing the magic and innocence of childhood.

It's very hard to do.

As for the folks who say that the parents of the (allegedly) molested child were stupid (or worse) for allowing their kid to stay with Wacko, I can see why they would have. There are many people out there who want to believe him. Nothing has ever been proven. No one (yet) has caught him red-handed. All we have now is speculation on what was confiscated from his home. Hundreds of pictures of bare chested children. Sounds horribly odd. Or...were they taken at a pool? Does he, like many restaurants and doctor's offices, like to keep a snapshot of every child who visits? Are they under suspicion? And let's say that the child really does feel that Wacko molested him. What did he do? Hug him? Some say that's enough. I don't. Pat his butt? Then arrest every little league coach in the country. Or, DID he engage in a sexually explicit and illegal act? See, folks we just don't know. And if you happened to be one of the people in this world who believed his Peter Pan philosophy, and your kid wanted to visit, and the kids then actually got an invitation, and then Michael extended an invitation to spend the night...I can see how some would have not believed the reports from a decade ago, and would have granted that request. Excitedly.

I would not have been such a parent. I tend to be protective, in fact probably over protective. I believe that where there is smoke, there is quite often, but not always, fire. I would not send my child into a smoking building, for fear of that possible fire. My children never went to summer camp. My kids never joined the Boy Scouts (they didn't ask, and I didn't encourage). Did they miss out on great experiences? Probably. But they weren't molested either.

I'm not convinced he's guilty. Nor am I convinced he isn't.

I'm a little bit surprised by the naive assumption that I haven't heard challenged, that if hadn't been guilty ten years ago, why did he pay off those boys (did I hear a total of 25 million?). I can think of a very GOOD reason why he would have paid them off to drop any charges even if he was innocent. Remember, they photographed him nude. Those photographs would have been entered into court, and you damn well they would have made their way out of that courtroom, probably onto the internet or at least in the Enquirer. I think that would be a very good reason to pay off the kid(s).

I listened to his interview when he said he shares his bed with children, and saw his frustration (real or acted) that it was assumed to be a sexual act. I so wanted to believe him when he said that it was all innocent, that they slept and talked and had pillow fights and ate popcorn. Think of it, what would be cooler than have a slumber party at Michael Jackson's house?

I find it sad that it's so hard to believe him. And I will find it sadder if it turns out that he really did do something that was a blatant violation to this or any other young person. I do want to believe that there are a few really innocent Peter Pans out there, and I wonder why I can't accept it at face value. Why do I find that guy up there a joke? Why do I find the "fashions" he wears every day of the year (yes, he has a fashion page) disturbing? I grew up in the 60's. Did ALL of the innocence die?

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