The [Two] Three Funerals of Michael Jackson

Update: Michael Jackson’s third funeral took place on September 3, 2009 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

According to news reports, the private affair was open to only a few family members and some notable celebrities. Gladys Knight, renowned member of Gladys Knight and the Pips and a music legend in her own right, reportedly sung a special song during the brief ceremony. No media or television representatives were allowed to attend.

Jackson’s final internment will be in Forest Lawns’s “Great Mausoleum,” final resting place to numerous entertainment legends. It is also the location of the reproductions of the statues of “David” and “Moses” originally sculpted by Michaelangelo and the stained glass reproduction of Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Last Supper.”

Among the other notable people interred in the mausoleum are Clark Gable, George Burns, Walt Disney, Nat King Cole, and John Wayne. Dozens of other famous entertainers are buried or interred in other publicly accessible areas of the Glendale memorial park including Marilyn Monroe and members of the “Three Stooges.”

During the days leading up to Michael Jackson’s memorial at Staples Center in Los Angeles, there was much speculation about how “The King of Pop’s” funeral was going to be handled.

At first it was announced that the Jackson family would have a “private funeral” that would be closed to the public and the press. It might be held at Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County near Los Olivos, California – or maybe not. It could be held in the Los Angeles area and then Michael Jackson’s body would be buried at the ranch site – or maybe not.

As hundreds of people began to gather around the entrance and along the roadside leading to Neverland Ranch, it soon became apparent that privacy for the family would be impossible if the funeral was held at that location. Anything more elaborate that would involve the public would not only cause a major uproar among the residents of that remote area, but also put a severe strain on local roads, public facilities, and law enforcement agencies.

Late in the week of Jackson’s death, the family and AEG Live, the producers of Jackson’s now canceled London concerts, announced that a public memorial performance would be held at Staples Center, a large sports arena near downtown Los Angeles. Staples Center is owned and managed by another subsidiary of AEG. A plan was put into place to distribute 17,000 free tickets to 8,500 winners of an online lottery. All other attendees would be guests and dignitaries invited by the family and AEG.

A big question left unanswered was whether Michael Jackson’s funeral would be included aa a part of the memorial performance. Would Michael Jackson’s coffin even be there? Would the Jackson family actually appear? And, if they did, would his brothers or sister Janet perform during the performance segment?

No one really knew until the show began. All of the Jackson family, including Michael’s three children, were seated in the front row. Michael’s flower covered gold-clad coffin, reportedly the same one used for James Brown’s funeral, was carried in by his brothers and placed between the family and the main stage.

The presentation included speeches by Martin Luther King Jr.’s son and daughter, Rev. Al Sharpton, and other friends and associates of Michael. There were several tasteful musical numbers performed by Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, and even Jermaine Jackson performing an emotional vocal interpretation of Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile.” Musician John Mayer performed an understated – but powerful – guitar solo of “Human Nature” that was a show stopper. [See video in sidebar…]


(The entire Jackson Memorial will be shown dozens of times on cable TV – and should be released on DVD within a few months. It’s worth a couple of hours of your time, so be sure to watch it if and when you have the opportunity.)

It became clear that this public memorial was not Michael Jackson’s “funeral.” All the Jackson family would say was that a “private funeral” was attended by family members earlier that morning.

There were many unanswered questions about the private funeral, especially what religious belief would be represented. Would it be an interdenominational or interfaith funeral? Would it be just a generic Christian service? Would it be an Islamic service? (Jackson supposedly formally became a Muslim in November, 2008.)

The biggest question of all: Would it be a Jehovah’s Witness funeral?

Katherine Jackson, Michael’s mother and family matriarch, was an active Jehovah’s Witness. His eldest sister, Maureen (known as Rebbie) and her husband were Jehovah’s Witnesses. LaToya and Janet had been Witnesses in the past, but their current connection to the religion was uncertain. The other siblings were either mainstream Christian, non-religious, or as in the case of Jermaine, Muslim. Michael’s father, Joseph Jackson, was raised a Protestant and never converted to the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Complicating the issue was the fact that even though Michael Jackson was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and spent much of his youth preaching from door-to-door and going to Kingdom Hall meetings, he was not currently an active Witness. There are some questions about whether he was ever actually baptized into the faith as a child, but the evidence is strong that he was at some point during his early teens. The Jackson family refuses to confirm his baptismal history.

We know that in the late 1980s, after constant criticism by Jehovah’s Witness elders over his growing fame as an entertainer, Jackson’s inclusion of a disclaimer on his “Thriller” video regarding his religious beliefs, and an Awake magazine article that stated that he “was sorry for what he had done during the making of that video and his promise to never do that again,” he apparently decided that he had enough criticism from his “friends,” and formally “disassociated” himself from the Witnesses.

Only baptized Jehovah’s Witnesses need to formally disassociate (DA)themselves, and only baptized JWs can be officially “disfellowshipped” (DF) by a committee of elders at a local Kingdom Hall. This fact would tend to support the notion that Michael was, at sometime during his childhood, baptized.

A few days after the funeral the facts finally leaked out: Sometime on Tuesday the Jackson family gathered for a private ceremony at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in North Hollywood. It was in a mortuary chapel there that a Jehovah’s Witness service was conducted by Michael’s cousin, Wendell Hawkins, a currently active JW.

Another Jackson cousin, David Fossett, stated to the press sometime after the funeral at some point the coffin was open and that Michael “looked like himself. Forest Lawn Memorial Park, main entranceHe looked like he just was laying there sleeping. He looked peaceful.” Mr. Fossett, who is not a Jehovah’s Witness, also reported that that the funeral talk was “spoken in a way that their belief is that he is going to be back on this earth.” Fossett said that Brother Wendell Hawkins addressed guests and stated that he was glad that Michael’s life was “connected with Jehovah.”

An approved Jehovah’s Witness funeral is a very limited and simple memorial service at a funeral home or Kingdom Hall. Since Michael Jackson was no longer an active Witness, the use of a Kingdom Hall or the direct involvement of an elder would be forbidden. In this case, a practicing relative (Hawkins) could give the funeral talk at a funeral chapel (Forest Lawn) at the request of the family.

As I was watching the nearly 3-hour Michael Jackson Memorial at Staples Center on TV, I commented to my wife that if this had been a Jehovah’s Witness funeral that the whole thing would have lasted about twenty minutes and that when it was over “you’d hardly know anything about the guy in the box.”

During the past couple of weeks, I had been in the process of writing an article about Jehovah’s Witness funerals. About ten days before I’d contacted Bob at Doc Bob’s Jehovah’s Witness Website to get his permission to reprint a copy of his version of a JW funeral outline. Bob was gracious enough to give me his OK to reprint it on this site, so I am providing a link so that you can read it for yourself. [JW Funeral Talk Outline] Compare this outline to how Michael Jackson’s cousin, David Fossett, described the private funeral service at Forest Lawn. I think you will agree that my off-the-wall comment to my wife was “right on the money.”

Mr. Hawkins public funeral talk (as all such speeches are approved and scripted by the Watchtower Society) would have been quite short. He would have discussed the condition of the dead, the hope for a future resurrection for faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the final award of a life in a paradise “New Earth” ruled by Christ Jesus. He would give the talk in his own words and style, but would not be allowed to change or add to the basic outline he was provided.

Unlike most Christian funerals, the only mention of the deceased would have been very brief and would have been comprised of factual, biographical information such as might be found in a standard newspaper obituary. In Witness funerals, the fact that everyone there is to honor the person in the coffin is considered to be an afterthought, almost a footnote to the service. No particular praise or mention of Jackson’s accomplishments or awards would have been included.

Finally after 20-30 minutes there was a closing prayer. The gathered family and friends were handed lyrics to a song from the Jehovah’s Witness Songbook entitled “Life Without End – At Last” that the group sang together a cappella.

No eulogies or private statements would have been allowed. No secular or non-Witness religious songs would have been allowed to be sung or played. Loud or prolonged outbreaks of tears or grief by anyone in the audience, including family members, would have been considered to be disrespectful of Jehovah.

Later, if there is a graveside service or reception, the rules for acknowledging or memorializing Jackson would be entirely up to the family, so some liberties might be taken there.

Apparently, Katherine and Joseph Jackson did not attend the private ceremony. The others gathered around Jackson’s casket “talked to each other and cried.” Jackson family members made it clear that Jackson’s death was for them a deeply personal matter.

Michael Jackson had been very vocal at times about how difficult it was to be raised by Jehovah’s Witnesses, and expressed his sorrow at never getting to celebrate birthdays or holidays as child. In his twenties he began to celebrate his birthday, getting and buying lavish gifts, and holding rather large gatherings with friends to mark the occasion.

Although it was his wish that his children be raised by his mother and other family members, he also made it clear in conversations with friends that he did not want his children to be raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses. He wanted them to have a normal childhood like the one he missed his entire life, not the one that a Witness child would be forced to live through.

Shed a tear for Michael Jackson. Be prepared to shed many more for his children if they are forced to become little JWs by their grandmother and other family members.

42 thoughts on “The [Two] Three Funerals of Michael Jackson

  1. What if Michael has been reintegrated? In an interview in 2001 he said he was a JW and in 2005 he said he was praying to Jehovah.

  2. I don’t know about 2001, but in 2005 when he was in so much trouble with the law over those charges of being a pedophile, he was probably praying to every god available. He was surrounded by JW family, Firpo Car (he was a JW, but who knows what he is anymore?), Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, plus several rabbis, Black Muslims body guards and counselors, Muslim imams, and Catholic priests. After that situation was resolved in his favor, he went to Bahrain and lived amongst Muslims and reportedly joined in with some of his hosts in praying to Allah. In November, 2008 he supposedly converted to Islam. So who knows what he was or what he really believed in when he died? The bottom line is that he had a Jehovah’s Witness funeral – but because it was not held in a Kingdom Hall, nor were any non-related elders involved – it seems clear that he was not a Jehovah’s Witness in good standing when he died.

    But who really cares? The man has passed. His family got the funeral they wanted and he got the memorial he deserved. So we should be happy for him and leave it at that.

  3. My mother was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I attended the Kingdom Hall as a child and a young adult. I still attended the KH, but not on a regular basis. I am neither disfellowshipped nor have I disassociated myself. It sadens me to see that so many are misinformed about what JWs teach, and what is “allowed” and not allowed. Firpo Carr stated that Michael Jackson told him that he DOES want his children to be raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses. So many rumors…so much speculation. My God, Jehovah, is a loving and forgiving God. Michael, RIP. You are in the best place you can be…in Jehovah’s memory.

  4. Many thanks to the last person on here who wrote that comment on Jehovahs people!where really else can truth be found?i am one of Jehovahs witnesse ,and i can logically say ,if Michael did not want his beautiful children going to the Kingdom Hall ,he probably would not have willed them to his faithful mother.He obviously knew his moms routines and loved her more than anyone .i read an interview between Michael and Jesse Jackson from 2005 ,and in there Michael said when he prays he prays to Jehovah God,a lot .he spacifically said this on live radio .you can read it on line as well!!i did and was so happy to see that he still never forgot Jehovah the only true and LIVING god .And yes Michael is asleep in death just the way Lazarus was ,and look the scriptures tell u sthat Jesu swent and woke him up from hie deep sleep of death .please read John 11;1-44note this from John11;25,’Jesus said to her ,’I am the resurrection and the life He that exercises faith in me ,even though he dies will come back to life’!so i hope and pray that all those who have died for no matter what reason ,are in Jehovahs memory and really what a fine place to be!!!!!i agree with the last comment ,and yes we believe in what the scriptures teach us and so did Michael .sincerely ,Leela Dinunzio

  5. @TheTruthSetsYouFree – Thank you so much for writng this ,it cheered me up and on to defend Jehovah!!!!so much info is in the media and so much is lies!!!Michael was so peaceful and sweet ,and the world seems to hate NICE people esp if they are famous ,He lived with so much dignity ,even though his heart was so broken over all those stories the media falsely has spread ,and continues to do ,so disrespectful to his mother and entiire family who needs privacy to grieve and to care for the best interest of those beautiful children who miss him soo much.He never said an evil thing about anyone ,he was so sweet and so kind ,and i am so releived to hear he had a nice private memorial talk yes about the future hopr for him to return to the cleansed earth .Also want tosay people like Firpo Carr are so comforting and nice to listen to ,he neede allies and people whoknew him and loved him should be theones to speak!!!!and yes Jehovahs name has been involved in this mess and i feel with all my heart Justice will be done,in Jehovahs due time ,please feel free to write me ,i love to hear others thoughts and again thank you for sending in that wonderful paragraph!!!your sister ,Leela Dinunzio,

  6. As a JW who is active, I must admit some truths out here that are not viewed favorably by the organization. For non witnesses-you will NEVER come across a witness in good standing and active in service who will criticize the view of the Watchtower for fear of being shunned. The JW funerals I have attended are somewhat cold , and I even witnessed an elder berate a woman who was overcome with grief at losing her child. It was very painful to see that, knowing that what she needed was someone to embrace her in her moment of need, without judgement. Instead, she was chastised. I’m ashamed to admit that even though I wanted to tell the elder to buzz off, I was too afraid of having to sit in a judicial committee meeting. I DO believe it is true that Michael’s life was scarred by not having a life like most children. I see that my own son’s have some effects from that, but like I said, I cannot voice my true feelings out of fear. I’m sure I will upset some brothers and sisters in the truth, but they know that deep down inside that they have the same fear. I pray that MJ’s children do NOT become jw’s, and instead live a normal life, which in itself will be difficult because of who their famous father is. Thank you

  7. @Reene – I know you are not a true witness of Jehovah, I have attended several witness funerals, some where crying was done, you know for yourself that even Jesus gave way to tears when he had the power and did resurrect Lazurus from death. Why would you say such a thing against Jehovah? When you comment the way you do, You are reproaching Jehovah not the person. Jehovah teaches his people how to love, not to tear one another down, if you were applying the scriptures, you would do everything possible to comfort our dear sister catherine, who has I am quite sure comforted many brothers and sisters that have lost loved ones. I pray for her to Jehovah because I know in my heart that Jehovah is the only one who will help her make it through this terrible thing called death.

  8. I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. I have been to dozens of funerals by Jehovah’s Witnesses and two of my own children, my 12 year old son who was hit by a car and my baby. had funerals conducted by elders from the congregation. You don’t know shit. You are only showing your ignorance to those who know the truth.

  9. I was a JW for over 22 years, raised one with my two brothers. I have attended several Witness funerals. Even after leaving the organization in 1989 I have attended a few Witness funerals and to be honest, the funeral was more of a promotion of JW doctrine then reminiscing about the life and death of the person the funeral was held for. There was never any songs played other than Kingdom Melodies straight from the JW song books. Every funeral was conducted in almost the same manner with very little variation. The funerals in themselves are cold and impersonal and do little in the way of remembering the life of the individual except for what the person did and how they conducted themselves as a JW. My Grandmother who was a JW for over 50 years died in June of 1997. The Witness funeral conducted for her at the Kingdom Hall was a parroted remake of other funerals I attended at other Kingdom Halls or cemeteries where the service was conducted.
    My family had our own private service for her at the gravesite where no JWs were invited to attend. My mother, JW for over 35 years who also left the organization in 1989 as well as my Uncle who was a baptized JW who left the “truth” several years before 1989 had control over my grandmother’s ashes. The service we had was memorable in that we all spoke about my grandmother in a personal way other than her service to the JW organization. We all put a small personal item in the grave that we all felt she would appreciate if she were alive such as a picture of the family or a trinket she loved and wore or had on one of her dressers.

    Even though the Watchtower organization and it’s strict shunning rules divided the family in it’s own way, I as well as other family members who left the JW religion, still had contact with my grandmother, albeit on a limited basis, when the Witnesses were not around. I find it interesting that even though my mother was considered an apostate, she, as well as my Uncle, was still put in charge of her assets by my grandmother’s wishes.

    I find it hypocritical on Jackson’s part and the JWs to want any sort of funeral service conducted by a JW elder being he basically changed his faith to the Islam religion. This would be a disfellowshipping matter. It appears that the monetary generosity of MJ kept him from the rigid treatment by the JWs. Usually one who leaves the JW faith and adheres to another religion would be disfellowshipped. Especially a religion that supports the Trinity doctrine such as the protestants or belief in another God such as Allah who would see the JWs as infidels deserving of death according to certain Muslim writtings.

  10. I have to say I am Shocked!!!!! Also hurt to hear of what some of you are saying about Jehovah!! The Elders they give a great Memorial talk ,The best thing these Elders do when they give a memorial they are telling the truth about what that person that died will go. They go to sleep. Most of all they have a one way ticket that is the greatest gift that Jehovah can give everlasting life on a paridise Earth!!

  11. Penny,
    Why are you hurt? Why are you shocked? I have not read a single thing by any of our writers or in any comments that say or imply anything negative about Jehovah.

    You have to understand that the Watchtower Society is not Jehovah. Jehovah is presented as the Creator of the Universe, the Almighty God over every speck of matter and every life within that Universe. The Watchtower Society is only a publishing company located in Brooklyn, NY, owned by a private corporation led by a group of old men with limited formal educations. Because they’ve made mistakes, and from time to time have changed their teachings and policies, they clearly have no special inspiration. I see nothing in the Bible that points to the Watchtower Society as having the final word on how individuals and families should conduct their personal affairs. My conscience is clear and I feel perfectly at ease when I criticize them for not only what they teach, but also how they treat their followers, Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Apparently you haven’t yet lost a very close loved one to death. If you have, maybe you didn’t have anything nice to say about them. Some of us that might lose someone close to us may want to say a few nice things about them before their bodies are cremated or buried in the earth. Maybe we would like to play that person’s favorite song. Maybe we would like to show some videos or photos on a screen that tell the story of that person’s life. Maybe some of us would like to know more about that person, what he liked to do, what his favorite foods were, where he liked to go for vacation, what kind of work he did. In most cases the Watchtower Society does not let us do any of those things. All they want to do is have and elder or one of the brothers give a boring 30-minute public talk, while basically ignoring the person who died and his family members.

    I too am shocked and hurt that you can not see the logic of my argument. As a Witness, I can not get up before the gathered mourners and friends and share a story about my loved one. I can not invite anyone else to come up and share their stories. To demand or even suggest such a thing could result in my being publicly reproved or disfellowshipped. All I can do is sit with the rest of those in attendance, keep my mouth shut, and hear a repeat of the same boring talk about Adam and Eve’s sin, Jesus’ sacrifice, the “end of this system of things” at Armageddon, a possible resurrection of the dead, and the promise of a paradise new earth. All those things are fine and very comforting, but I would have heard the exact same talk outline at almost every public talk. Why would I want to waste the precious time intended to memorialize and tell the story of my deceased friend or relative by hearing those same things all over again?

    Penny, after you have attended a half-dozen or so JW funerals, I want you to think about what I’ve written here and ask yourself if I was not telling the truth. I don’t mind the brother giving the funeral talk spending a few minutes reminding everyone that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in a hope of resurrection and life in a paradise earth and read a few Bible passages, but I’d have him do that in ten minutes and then spend another twenty minutes letting us remember our good friend or family member by sharing stories of his life and accomplishments. After all, remembering the person in the coffin is the only reason we made the trip to the funeral home or Kingdom Hall in the first place.

  12. Wow! How can you be an active Witness and yet hope these children will not be? I’m here to serve Jehovah not man. No one takes me to the “backroom” unless I let them. When elders do ignorant things, we have to remember, they are human. How many ignorant things do we do ourselves? I have no fear of man. If an elder does something unbiblical, I talk to him (lovingly, as I appreciate the same). If he’s still in the wrong, that’s between he and Jehovah. Why would you allow a mere man to stop you from comforting another? This is not some cult. We’re here to serve Jehovah unitedly – the truth. There is no other truth. I hope Katherine raises them as Jehovah’s Witnesses and let them choose.

  13. Penny,
    I can assure you that you did not upset or offend me personally. By using the same words that you used to describe your feelings, I was simply trying to add some emphasis to the point that neither I, nor any of the invited writers of any of the articles that appear on this website, will ever try to describe anyone’s concept of God in a slanderous or profane manner.

    Some of us may be agnostics, or even atheists, but we still respect your right to believe in God in your own way. On the other hand, that fact does not give the Watchtower Society or any other religion a blank check to use Jehovah’s name to abuse and mislead their followers.

  14. No other religion is championing Jehovah’s name, much less using it. Editor: If you have something better, why not do something constructive and positive and prove the validity of your beliefs and promulgate them globally, directing people to the truth of God’s word and learn to live life on his terms?
    Start your printing presses! Send out your Kingdom proclaimers! See if your enterprise has divine backing. You might like to create a time machine which would put you in a position to have some relevance to this issue, seeing that the designated Slave would have to be active well before Jesus took power, and not a sidelined, slandering, accusing sour-graper at the sunrise of the millenial dawn. Pathetic.

  15. I would like to send my love to Michael Jackson’s family, and his 3 children where they all have lost a wonderful Father, Son, Brother. I am happy to hear that his mother has Michael’s 3 children because she will love those children just like Michael did. May Jehovah be with them always, and forever.

  16. Could someone answer this question for me was Micheal Jackson a Jehovah’s Witnes before he died? In an interview wit TVG they asked MJ are you still a Jehovah’s Witnes and MJ said yes he was but he has been busy so he has not been able to go out in service or get to all the meetings? This is very confuseing to me was he or was he not a Jehovah’s Witnes or was he just lying in that interview than I also heard that he formaly announced that he was no longer a Jehovah’s Witnes I also heard that he cahnged to Islam so I am wondering what really is the truth that is why I am asking this question .

  17. Today, I truly wonder if people are really concerned about the health and welfare of Michael’s children or are they just using the site to bash religion. How many of us are truly perfect and don’t make mistakes. Religion is ran by men who are imperfect and yes at times even they need to be chastised. In which God himself will do. No one is forced to be a part of any religion. It is the custom of families around the world to bring up their children in their faith, but the final outcome becomes theirs. Therefore that person should inform themselves of it beliefs. In following the Bible most religion would frown on things that are not acceptable. I’ve found that other religions disfellowship members if there ways are not according to the Bible standard. There was a court case where a woman who was not a Jehovah’s Witness sued her church for disfellowship her because of a matter she was involved in. The judge did not uphold the suit because he stated that she was an informed church member and should have known what was appropriate for a member in her church. You may not like another person’s religion, but before bashing get to know it for yourself. I’ve read how some ex-Jehovah’s witnesses have nothing but bad things to say. The jackson children were not force to serve God, they were given a choice. And I’m sure they were old enough to understand the religions Bilbe view on certain matter.

  18. i hope to meet Michael, in paradise Jehovah willing. Michael is just sleeping and waiting for the Resurrection . Jehovah God knows Michael better then anyone , so he is the judge , and Michael paid the ultimate price . i hope people stop talking about him in a negative way. I’m sure Katherine will do right by michaels children.

  19. To answer Liza’s question, was Michael Jackson a Jehovah’s Witness before he died? First of all, Michael was in the beginning a zealous, active Witness who enjoyed going from door-to-door even while traveling. Because of his fame, he would disguise himself when preaching in neighborhoods – otherwise he would have attracted attention to himself and didn’t want that. Michael had left the organization back in the late 1980’s, so he disassociated himself. However, a reliable source has it that Michael was planning to come back to Jehovah’s organization. He obviously had a hard fight on his hands what with the pressures of his planned last tour in July 2009 in England, etc. We believe Michael’s heart was in the right place. He was a beautiful, loving, gentle human being who was maliciously lied about in the Media due to extortioners after his wealth. And had such sadness in life. Unfortunately, bad things happened and now he’s gone. Jehovah knows his heart condition. Due to his spiritual state of not having yet been re-instated…then he wouldn’t have a Kingdom Hall funeral. You don’t have to have a KH funeral just because you’re a Witness anyway. Sometimes the hall isn’t available since most halls have multiple congregations, or they need to rent larger facilities.
    We know for whatever reason, his ceremony was kept private for family and invited friends, not at the Kingdom Hall of JW’s. And reportedly it was an elder who is his brother-in-law that gave the talk. Michael had made it known in recent years that Jehovah was in his heart. The tour he was planning was the last one and then he was coming back to the Truth. I believe that’s why the tour was named “This Is It”. Also, contrary to previous post, you CAN say things to memorialize the person and show videos, etc. However, this is normally not done at the Kingdom Hall. But certainly afterwards you can say what you want to whom you want. You can have a private reception/ceremony of your own anytime -at another location for just family and friends, if desired. In addition, Michael was definitely not Muslim. A friend of his noted how a prayer rug and other items that Muslims have were not among his possessions. Nor did he face Mecca and pray multiple times every day or other requirements they have. Michael had made it know on not a few occasions that he loved his God, Jehovah. Michael had a fight on his hands – to do what is right as we all do – but especially so when one is trying to come back to Jehovah. And when he made the will and named Katherine as guardian, he knew that his children would be well-trained along with help from family and friends. They will make their own decision as to whom they want to worship as they grow up. It is not true that anyone is forced to become a Witness – that is a personal decision made based on accurate knowledge. May our heartfelt prayers and sympathies be with Paris, Prince, Blanket, Katherine, Joe and the entire Jackson family.

  20. @TheTruthSetsYouFree
    There’s a lot of misunderstanding. Im an active one and it is not unrespectful to cry at the funeral, even jesuschrist cried when he knew his frien had died.
    And about michael jackson praying to Jehovah it might be true, after all he knew the truth, he knew that /jehovah is the only and true God, even disasosiated people knows that we have the truth and they have always jehovah in their mind althoug they dont serve him, they will never forget about him.
    And deep in his mind he knew that there’s nothing better that his kid were rised as JW, thou when they grow up they will make their own desicion whether to serve to jehovah or not but it will be based on the love they’ll have for jehivah and the knowledge the’ll have.

  21. In your editorial about the JW you claim that personal bible study is strongly discouraged. What point are you trying to make by that ignorant assertion?
    Your objective is clearly to mislead. You are certainly entitled to your opinion and are at liberty to believe what you want.

  22. Aaron,
    Thanks for your comment. It came at a most appropriate time since I was just finishing an article about that very subject. It should be easy to find, but here is a link: Jehovah’s Witnesses and Bible Study.

    I would agree that the Watchtower Society encourages personal Bible study, but only when used along with their current publications such as the Watchtower and their latest book. They make it clear that you must always use the Bible with their literature, not by itself. I remember when my mother first invited Jehovah’s Witnesses into our home because she was promised a “free Bible study.”

    The very nice lady brought along copies of “Let God Be True,” the then current basic study book for new JW converts. My mother asked the lady when we were going to actually “study the Bible” instead of the book. The JW’s response was that when we finished the LGBT book that we “would know everything about the Bible” we would need to know “without ever having to actually open a Bible.” We did look up a few verses every time she came to our house, but even my mom realized after a while that we weren’t really studying the Bible, but only books and magazines about the Bible.


  24. I would like to inform all wittinesses, to be strong in their believe. We are in the right part. Most ex-wittiness are not finding it easy to enter another denomination due to some of good bible principles they have gotten from the scripture and they knew that JW is telling the truth from the Bible and it the only place you can find the truth about christianity. Most of the exs have and continue admitting that JW had shaped their thinking In finding the truth about God and Jesus christ his son.
    The fact is that Michael knew the truth and he had been in it before. It just that Michael want to fulfil his desire about entertainment world of which as JW there are consistencies or problems involved of which Michael later face as an entertainer. And he Knew being entertainer and at the same time being a Wittiness wouldn’t work altogether , so , he has to disassociate himself..
    Although, deeply inside his heart he loves JW that was why he ordered his mother to be her guardian to his children..

  25. Well you spoke. I’m one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. To all Brothers who commented here, as JW’S we are encouraged to reason with individuals face2face esp when discussing with issues like resurrection, God’s kingdom and paradise, because there topics are there main subjects of our door2door ministry. Using this line to answer them do u think will ever help to the nations. Brothers, brothers. Rather not comment deeply about our affairs. Let them speak their minds and go to then for face2face or let it pass. If we dont meet in this system of things untill in Paradise.
    O-nes’i-mus L Nxumalo in South Africa- Bushbuckridge

  26. Your all a bunch of hypocrytical idiots. Lets not forget that JW’s shouldn’t even be on this page commenting on things and using “his” name. They shouldn’t even be on the internet.

    In their view, the internet should only be used for research. NOT ENTERING SILLY “WHO CAN PUT THE BEST COMMENT” DEBATES.

    You know I am right.

  27. If only the rulers of JW’s thought so, that it’s up to Jehovah to judge each of us, not some megalomaniac male chauvinistic elders.

  28. How come Michael’s mother was allowed to stay in touch with Michael if he had been baptised? My father is a JW elder and is not allowed to stay in touch with my sister, who was baptised at the age of 10. So much for JW’s not baptising children. The elders that contnuously make human errors continuously ruin people’s lives.

  29. So sad to see a child turn up a adult with so much mental problems because men that want rules a entire group of inocent people… GO OUT WATCH TOWER OF OUR LIVES…

  30. my friends who were also raised as jehovahs witnesses made the descision to dedicate their lives to jehovah by getting baptised. this didnt happen when they were children. it happened when they were old enough to make the descision for themselves. they made the truth their own. if they had a life i which they felt they were missing out and wanted what was offered elsewhere, they wouldnt have gotten baptised. they would have gone for it.

    so make a better day you and me, and lets start giving…
    and when u think of the choice u have

    when JW knock your door, u can ask them questions about the better place, as we can be the children of Gods family, just u and me:D


  33. @Editor – I have to speak up because what you just said is simply not the truth. As a Jehovah’s Witness you are encouraged to study the bible at every possible chance and to seek the truth not just take anybody’s word for it. The publications they use are study aids but never meant to be a substitute for or to replace the bible, as it is Gods Word. It is possible as a young person you did not understand all that was going on at the time. Although no man is perfect Jehovah’s Witnesses strive to live as perfect as they can in this imperfect world. They know the only way to accomplish that is to learn what Gods rules are and try to follow them and the only way to know what those rules are is to read and study the bible. It is such a shame when people say things about stuff they know nothing about, and in this case that is what happened. I would think if you are so concerned about the truth you would want to make sure you knew what it was.

  34. John: What has been written here is the truth. I could pull up the Watchtower CD and find dozens of references in magazines, books, and other literature published by the Society that discourage personal Bible reading and research. This is a pattern that goes all the way back to C. T. Russell; he claimed that anyone could study his six books (Studies in the Scriptures) and learn everything they needed to know about the Bible. But if they read only the Bible, they would fall into confusion and apostasy. Of course we now know that less than 5% of what Russell wrote in those six Studies in the Scriptures books is still taught by Jehovah’s Witnesses today. The “great apostasy” of the 1980-82 period at Watchtower Bethel in New York was supposedly due to small Bible study groups meeting and discussing the scriptures. Many of these brothers and sisters still believed as JWs, but did come up with some questions when they compared actual Bible scriptures to what the Watchtower taught. Did the Society answer their questions? No. The Society disfellowshipped everyone accused of being a part of those Bible study groups. If you don’t believe me, go tell your elders that you are studying the Bible on your own without using the Watchtower literature and see what they do. What many of us know, because we’ve actually checked many times, is that many of the scriptures quotes in the Watchtower publications are often not relevant to the paragraph at hand, and if you read the whole chapter in context, the Bible often says exactly the opposite of what is being taught in those Watchtower paragraphs. All of the writers and contributors on this website have been longtime JWs, some elders and pioneers, and some former Bethel and Gilead graduates. We do know the truth about Watchtower Bible studies – and that truth is not pretty.

  35. RnBMistress – If you can, please provide evidence that the comment was in error and I will gladly retract that statement. On the other hand, after his passing, many of Michael Jackson’s friends indicated that when he had his children he did not take them to Kingdom Halls where he was working or staying. They only went to meetings when they were staying with his mother or older sister. While this is not a major point of the article, I welcome additional feedback from those close to the Jackson family, any of the young Jacksons, or anyone who can provide more insight on this question. They can email me at

  36. Don’t end on the article on a bad note because Jehovah Witnesses are good people . I like MJ was raised in the truth but neither of us are forced to join . It is up to a person if they would like to be baptized. MJ believed in a lot of JW principles if you havnt noticed. His kids should give it a chance maybe there lives will be a lot more fulfilling with faith and peace because JW’s are very warm and peaceful individuals. Shame on you for speaking negative on Jehovah and the ones who do his will (the actual name of God).May he be with you .

  37. Did u get to think of how MJ cultivated his unique personality. He spoke of peace , cleanliness, he was against people sleeping around etc, He learned all of that through his years preaching nd attending meetings where your taught to be humble, good to others and try to make peace and do right by god. I too learned tht at the meetings, Attend a meeting, get to know the people there before you pass judgement.

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