Michael Jackson’s body language "tips the scales in favour of him telling the truth" when passionately denying child abuse allegations, behaviour experts claim.
In a bombshell documentary, old footage is poured over by specialists analysing the consistency of the King of Pop's behaviour, vocal tone and choice of words, among other clever 'tells'.
Michael Jackson: A Faking It Special shows interviews of Jackson and his family, while experts in body language, speech and forensic psychology debate over the big question: was Jackson ‘faking it’ when he was on camera?
Before his death in 2009, Michael Jackson was the biggest pop star on the planet.
From leading the Jackson 5 as an eight-year-old singing sensation to forging his own glittering solo career as the King of Pop, Jackson was behind some of the bestselling records in pop history, earning himself millions of fans across the globe.
But off stage, Jackson’s private life was marred by dark rumours for more than two decades. On two separate occasions, Jackson faced allegations of child sex abuse. He was never convicted, but opinions are still divided to this day.
In the documentary, experts sensationally claim that his "natural" body language "tips the scales in favour of him telling the truth" when refuting the child abuse allegations made against him.
In 2003, Michael Jackson allowed cameras unprecedented access into his Neverland ranch to film Living With Michael Jackson, a documentary fronted by Martin Bashir.
Among the topics discussed in the film was Jackson’s relationship with children.
While sitting down and holding the hand of a then 12-year-old Gavin Arvizo, Jackson reveals to Bashir that not only does he invite disadvantaged children to his ranch, but he also lets them sleep in his bed while he sleeps on the floor in a sleeping bag.
As Jackson speaks, Gavin corrects him, telling Bashir that Jackson would sleep on blankets pulled down from the bed, rather than a sleeping bag.
Body language expert Cliff Lansley tells OK! that Gavin and Jackson’s behaviour point to the truth.
“So, this is a spontaneous correction, which is a reliable indicator of truth telling,” Cliff says. “When someone makes a spontaneous correction to the fact that Michael Jackson says ‘I was in a sleeping bag,’ and then this young child has said ‘no, no, you pulled the blankets down and you slept on the blankets on the floor,’ is typical of the truth.”
Cliff explains that the natural flow of the correction supports the validity of the claim, and Gavin’s body language suggests appropriate boundaries were put in place.
“The fact that that child is making the correction is so natural and flows so easily, there can be a lot of confidence that Michael Jackson slept on the floor and this young boy slept on the bed,” he says.
“There is very little evidence that anything untoward went on between these two.”
Cliff Lansley also identifies consistencies in Jackson’s behaviour that he says indicate truth telling.
“The consistency of his behaviour, his vocal tone, the choice of words, there’s no hesitation, there’s no gestures that are contradicting this, would suggest that he’s telling the truth,” he says.
“It just feels natural, and there are no red flags coming up at the claims. If he was trying to hide something, and if he was doing something nasty and abusive with those children, then would he really go so far with this openness and honesty?
"On balance, taking behaviour alone – this is not a courtroom, this is a behavioural analysis decision – the scales are tipping well in favour of Michael Jackson telling the truth about not abusing the children.”
But clues in Jackson’s speech may suggest something different.
When questioned about the sleeping arrangements, Jackson rebuffs Bashir, claiming that ‘yes, of course’ it’s an appropriate thing to do.
Professor of Linguistics Dawn Archer tells us the pitchy delivery of Jackson’s answer suggests he is trying to normalise his own behaviour, whether he truly believes it is appropriate or not.
“That, for me, points to his different reality paradigm,” she says. “It’s at this point we get a wider pitch range from Michael Jackson. He elongates the ‘yeah’ and we get this melodic ‘of course.’ And he slows the speed as well. He’s making it seem as though it’s perfectly natural. In fact, it’s the most loving thing to do.”
Jackson’s body language as far back as the early 1990s, when the allegations against him first broke, is also analysed.
During Jackson’s court battle, new evidence came to light when accuser Jordy Chandler told police about the singer’s distinct features, and a full body examination was authorised.
In a statement broadcast from Neverland, Jackson passionately refuted the allegations.
Examining the footage, Cliff Lansley pinpoints the sharp intake of breath which he says signposts genuine sadness.
“We hear a resignation at the end that gives us an indication of sadness in the form of an in-breath. So, breathe in three times for sadness,” he explains. “We even get movement in the brow, and this is rare in Michael Jackson's face for whatever reason, whether it’s Botox or a tight face, the brows rarely move. But we see a flattening of the brows which is a reliable indicator of sadness. At the same time, we get this croaky flakiness in the voice.
“The universal trigger for sadness is loss. I think it’s loss of dignity with the physical examination and the loss of a childhood is a key part of his growing life,” Cliff says.
The rumours against Jackson continued even after his death in 2009. In the eyes of the law, Jackson died an innocent man, but in 2019 new allegations surfaced when James Safechuck and Wade Robson came forward in documentary Leaving Neverland.
Speaking in a televised interview, the pair revealed the ‘intense sexual abuse’ they claimed they were subjected to by Jackson.
“They detail some very troubling and vivid and elaborate things that took place between Michael and themselves. They basically accuse him of grooming them when they were children,” says author Steve Knopper.
As Forensic Psychologist Kerry Daynes argues, the pair make a convincing case.
“I think that the overall story that these men give is actually very, very compelling. It’s very difficult for a heterosexual man in their thirties to come forward and say, ‘I was sexually abused by another male,” she says.
While innocent in the eyes of the law, the debate over Jackson’s alleged abuse of children continues.
Source: Read Full Article