I watched Part One last night. I don’t know if I’ll be able to watch Part Two
I had wondered why the parents, the mothers especially, would have looked the other way. Starstruck, yes. But really? Why would any mother let her child sleep in the same bed as a grown man?
This made it clear that, of course, he groomed them too. He made them feel special. The mother who said he made them feel like family – how he would stay over and she would wash his clothes as if he were another son…
Maybe he did need all that too. The whole Peter Pan story is of a boy who never grew up, after all. So perhaps it worked not just because he was manipulative, but because it was also real.
I think we have a tendency to believe that grooming only works on children, while actually we are all vulnerable to it.
What was particularly nasty was the way Jackson tried to turn the boys against their parents. How he tried to convince them that women are evil. All part of isolating the victim, and making sure they had no one to turn to.
And how sad the boys were when they were replaced by new boys. Every year.
Porn and candy.
I did find their accounts convincing. They were matter of fact and their emotions rang true. The details matched every account of child grooming ever, apart from the fact that Jackson had so much more to dazzle them with. Touring with him. A gift of a jacket from Thriller. Jewellery. All that attention from someone so famous, so special.
I’m not sure I can bear to watch the second part. I found myself zoning out in this one – not boredom or lack of focus. Just a desire to look away.
Peter Pan was always a pretty creepy story, when I come to think about it. And Wendy was turfed out when she was grown up. Women were not welcome in Neverland.
All those Lost Boys.