Leaving Neverland

Bradley P

Just watched the documentary and...wow. Just...wow. Evoked so many memories and emotions. My wife watched it with me and she was stunned. I think survivors will recognize themselves in these stories, even if your abuse differed in levels of contact/non-contact. And in my humble opinion, it is CLEAR these men are telling the truth, specifically James Safechuck, who appears completed haunted by the experience. Curious as to your thoughts.


Just watched the documentary and...wow. Just...wow. Evoked so many memories and emotions. My wife watched it with me and she was stunned. I think survivors will recognize themselves in these stories, even if your abuse differed in levels of contact/non-contact. And in my humble opinion, it is CLEAR these men are telling the truth, specifically James Safechuck, who appears completed haunted by the experience. Curious as to your thoughts.
One of the men have a questionable story because the circumstances surrounding his case. For example, he served as a key witness for the defense in a 2005 case against Jackson. Other than that, he definitely seems like a pedophile. Word choice like “innocence” and “purity” when used with children show his mind. Children are far from innocent, for sure. It isn’t any better that 1)he had young boys always at his “Neverland” place 2) young boys slept in his bed (just weird) and 3) he had the boys place their underwear in his drawer.
Jimmy just resonated through me completely - the sadness, the resignation I felt from him. The thing that stuck with me (well a few things did but this one really hit me) is how you don't see anger in them. That's what really brought it home to me. I didn't have anger towards my molester - who was my super star, who groomed me in ways reminiscent of Wade and Jimmy. It's just this infinite sadness that doesn't go away.

I talk to so many people here, and while it helps to write and share that way, I never see their eyes, see their faces. I think seeing Jimmy was the first time in my life I saw a face and felt a vibe that completely resonated.


The documentary isn’t available to watch from where I am located, but I have been watching interviews and specials about it on YouTube (such as with Oprah). I believe the men and thought it was beautiful how they hugged one another at the end of the show. The audience was made up almost entirely of fellow survivors, male and female, who had finished watching the film together.

The lack of anger towards the perps is something that I experience as well. My main anger and sadness has been directed towards myself, how I have reacted and been affected by the abuse afterwards. My symptoms always make me feel real guilty and often I have re-traumatized myself. So in some respects, the reactions of the men and shame and guilt that they feel for testifying in favour of Michael Jackson or to how they were conditioned due to grooming is something that I can identify with.

I was expecting myself to be triggered by the wave of people out in defence of Michael Jackson and the ridiculous videos on YouTube or in other media like Wendy Williams who are trying to discredit the two survivors and by extension other survivors. However, I am not surprised by it and I feel like many of those involved were expecting this backlash. I wonder what kind of further proof they require? I mean look at R. Kelly, there are even videos of him abusing underage girls and yet there are still his defenders. Oprah mentioned this backlash and had an attitude of “let them discredit us, bring it on!”, however I sometimes fear that the dissenting voices only increase the taboo for other survivors, making it harder for others to come forward, be believed, for non-survivors to recognise and understand what abuse is and how survivors react etc. I am afraid that some of these people are only increasing the flow of misinformation.
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I have always wondered why people seem to want to discredit the survivors and not the abuser. We have seen it in the Catholic Church, Penn State, schools, sports team until the evidence and frequency of these abuses become evident. Even then, there are those that continue of their path to discredit the survivor. Are these people controlled by the institution, celebrity status of the individual, fear or their own abuse they may suffered in life. Whatever, it is wrong to continue to punish and hurt the survivor for they have lived a lifetime of pain. Denial of the survivor only allows abuse to continue and puts the survivor at risk. Your mention of R Kelly--years, decades of abuse and many turned a blind eye--outrage should be expressed over and over.

Jaybro you are right it is time for non-survivors to recognize and understand what abuse is and how survivors act and strive to survive. More importantly non-survivors who deny the abuse only support abuse in my mind because they are willing to inflict pain on the survivors. I think the media needs to focus more on the survivors than the abusers--so the world can learn what survivors live from the onset of the abuse. I also believe and I talked with many medical professionals who agree trauma training and understanding by the medical professionals is lacking which only serves to harm survivors and allows non-survivors to formulate opinions and actions that are hurtful to the survivor. Too much misinformation out there. I remember being in the ER with a dissociative fugue episode. I had come out of the fugue and I was speaking with a nurse, whose first name I remember to this day, who was knowledgeable in trauma. I asked how she knew so much and she explained it was from her graduate studies and not her undergraduate studies that she took several courses in trauma and behavior. She said being in the ER all the doctors, nurses and staff should be required to be trained in how to treat trauma victims. I remained in the ER for several hours before being transferred to Neurology. I was appalled at how some doctors and nurses treated a trauma victim, I could hear the nurses laughing and mocking the victim. The police were just as bad. It was not all doctors, nurses, staff or police but a higher percentage than I could have imagined. There is such ignorance on trauma. I have lived it and heard it.

I tried to watch it and I had to turn it off. I was being triggered. With all the news about the Cardinals in the Catholic Church--one defrocked for sexually abusing boys in the past and another convicted of sexual abuse in Australia, it was too overwhelming. I have heard commentary and seen some clips and it is appalling and devastating. How can only imagine it is not true.

I am not sure how the masses become educated on abuse and trauma.

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It may take many years before Michael Jackson is scrubbed from pop culture, but I believe it will eventually happen, as it should.

What struck me most about Leaving Neverland is how much Michael Jackson's Neverland very much followed the template of the story about the ugly witch who lures children lost in the woods into her gingerbread home. It seems clear that the reason he became so outrageously successful was to live in public freely and openly as possible as a category 5 pedophile. Michael Jackson used his exceptional talent and the music industry machine to groom the entire world. He was also a creepy man, in behavior and appearance. In behavior, because he used his able to act in public like a child-man and knew people would be charmed by it. He was arrogant about it too and his album prove it: Bad, Dangerous, and Off The Wall. Like the witch in the woods, his face and appearance was grotesque but he exhibited a kind and gentle demeanor, seeking the trust of his victims which is exactly how the ugly witch in the gingerbread story behaved.

Judging by the attacks against James Safechuck and Wade Robson by the Jackson family and the vast numbers of Jackson defenders is what I feel most upset and saddened by. As an survivor of child sexual abuse myself, I can appreciate Robson and Safechuck's testimonies and my heart goes out to them, not only for what was done to them by Jackson but the long and rough road they must deal with in order to recover and heal from the trauma which happened to them because of a very sick and disturbed man from Encino, California named Michael Joseph Jackson.


Watched this and it broke me. I have been a sobbing mess for almost a week. When he said those things about like... "If it was my kid that MJ did that to, i would be furious, i would want to kill him".. but then, the feeling is so different when it comes to himself. i started crying almost right after hearing that. i realized that i wasnt the only person to have loved my abuser. it was .... i dont know how to process it. i have had this stuffed down so deep and its all just... been stirred up again. i cant wait another 18 years for it to be "almost okay". i dont really ... know what to do about it.

though i did feel like... healed in some way from having seen it. i am hurting worse than i have in a long time.. but strangely better. i wanted to just send the director a thank you over facebook or something, but couldnt find a way to contact the studio.

but yea, thats what i got out of it.
I would not be surprised if those involved with the movie, especially the 2 victims, are aleady here. Maybe lurking, may have an "alternative identity" like most of us.

If so, to both Survivors mentioned, if you are reading this.... THANK YOU for your courage. We share your pain and your desire to heal! Your courage has helped many of us face the pain and confusion we are feeling about the CSA we experienced.


My wife and I finished it the other night (it took us about two weeks to get through it), and I gotta say it was eye opening. One thing that struck me was that both men really struggled with difficulties after having kids. I'm a father of a daughter and most recently, a son. Since my son has been born, I have had a near impossible time at home. My wife and I haven't been getting along. ad I've been pretty depressed. I thought maybe it was the season (being winter and the holidays), or general depression, or stresses of being a new parent. But hearing these two men struck a chord with me that makes me wonder if my own trauma could also be contributing to these difficulties. Something to explore with my therapist, I suppose. I give her no shortage of issues to work with...lol
Just watched the documentary and...wow. Just...wow. Evoked so many memories and emotions. My wife watched it with me and she was stunned. I think survivors will recognize themselves in these stories, even if your abuse differed in levels of contact/non-contact. And in my humble opinion, it is CLEAR these men are telling the truth, specifically James Safechuck, who appears completed haunted by the experience. Curious as to your thoughts.
It was so triggering, my empathy was through the roof and yes James Safechuck is broken and it is all surfacing, I just wanted to hug him and tell him it would be ok, he did nothing wrong. I love what he said, "Forgiveness is a road you take, not a line you cross." Many of us have yet to forgive ourselves for so many things.
I wanted to share (sorry was not able to embed):

Real Crime Profile »
Episode 179 - Profiling "Leaving Neverland"

Laura Richards, Jim Clemente and Lisa Zambetti analyse Dan Reed’s documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’ and Wade Robson and Jimmy Safechuck’s account of child sexual victimization.

Find out what Jim has to say about the FBI investigation into Michael Jackson. Health warning: this episode may be triggering.

Please don’t stay silent in the face of abuse and violence. There are many specialist services that understand what you are going through and can help.


Personal Note: Jim Clemente is a Survivor of CSA. I found out about MS through his podcast. Sexual abuse is general a theme of the show. I listen to every episode they produce.

Jim Clemente: Former FBI profiler, Writer for CBS' Criminal Minds
Laura Richards: Criminal behavioral analyst, former New Scotland Yard
Lisa Zambetti: Casting director for CBS’ Criminal Minds


Not to T/J here but your post resonated with me. I never had anger either until I started untangling what impact it's had on my life. However, when my inner child finally surfaced and presented himself, the haunted look he carried along with the dead eyes was soul crushing to me. It was though his life was exstinguished. I can now look back at certain childhood pictures and see that deadness.


Hopefully this will help. I experienced a couple of trauma's recently (Non CSA) and rage and anger surfaced in ways that were foreign too me. I've typically been a "let it roll" passive type. As I dug into what was driving my reactions, thoughts and feelings, I was sitting outside one day and the imagine of me at the age of 10 (when I told someone about my abuse) surface. This little boy with a bowl hair cut (circa late 70's) with a striped shirt and brown cords on. He just "stood there" in my mind looking at me. I discussed what that meant with my T's and they all indicated we all have an inner child that if there is trauma involved that stunts us emotionally at that trauma age. It all made sense. So I spent the better part of a year healing and integrating him back into "me". Sounds odd and weird I know, as for a while I thought I had multiple personalities. How I could do A, yet knew it went against everything I believed it. It's because that broken little boy was in the drivers seat. So he presented himself (he was always in the background driving) when I needed him the most. He has always been the care taker. I tried initially to ignore him, tell myself I was crazy, but once I started to embrace him and help him heal, the internal mental struggle went away. Now he is where he should have been all along, off playing and enjoying life. Instead of being self destructive (what he deserves), malicious and hurt. Hope this helps.