King of Pop – the MIchael Jackson Conspiracy Theory

Joan Piasta

Dr. Neaman

Historical Methods

9 December 2011


King of Pop or King of Conspiracy?


Contemporary American society has increasingly become fixated on cultural credos of distrust. Fevered millennial imaginations conjure litanies of paranoia towards satanic occult, alien infiltration, and mind-control. Conspiracy theorists are gaining popular momentum by sensationalizing pivotal moments in history, evidencing society’s escalating paranoia towards fears of apocalypse, epidemic, and world domination by totalitarian “secret societies.” In his book The Paranoid Style in American Politics, Richard Hofstadter states the accelerating influence of the American conspiracy movement and how theorists increasingly attribute, “‘vast’ or ’gigantic’ conspiracy as the motive force in historical events.”[1] This paranoia manifested after the publication of the Warren Commission in 1964 in that 87% of Americans believed that Kennedy’s assassination was accomplished by the lone gunman.[2] By 1993, 80% of Americans, including President Clinton, attributed the assassination to conspiracy.[3]

With the advent of the internet and the subsequent availability of alternative and unscholarly information, conspiracy theorists have been able to gain notoriety via blogs, web-pages, and videos. Today, the internet enables any individual to broadcast his or her conspiracy theory, and even accrue a following.  In all these ways, conspiracy theory is not only increasingly popular and influential in American culture, but pandemic. As more and more individuals surrender to distrusting mantras towards any person, corporation, or institution of eco-political power, a wide variety of hypotheses for tragic events earn the attention of conspiracy theorists. Specifically, due to the fusion of American culture’s propensity for conspiracy theories and extreme idolization of celebrities, it is no surprise that with every celebrity death there is a “higher power” to blame.  No conspiracy theory better divulges this growing paranoia more than the assumption that the “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson, was murdered by the Illuminati.

This essay will explore the dual conspiracy theory that establishes that Michael Jackson was murdered. First, I will express the theorists’ conviction that the Illuminati dominate the Hip-Hop Industry to both subliminally promote satanic worship and as a medium for social control. After discussing their paranoia of Hip-Hop as satanic ritual, I will then examine conspiracy theorists’ claim that Jackson opposed the Illuminati during his life. Once I have explored theorists’ evidence that Jackson battled the oppressive Illuminati while alive, I will then discuss how they attribute his untimely death to the nefarious cult. In doing so, I will specifically investigate theorists’ claims that Jackson was murdered and the motives they attribute to the killers. After I inspect these anonymous bloggers, their evidence and overall argument, I will demonstrate that most of these theorists’ convictions stem from a deep seeded paranoia of secret Satanic societies and their supposed plots for global domination. Ultimately, this essay will suggest that Christian fundamentalists burdened with their eschatological anxieties have pinpointed Michael Jackson as their messianic music artist, with a mission to “make [the world] a better place,” openly opposing the satanic Illuminati and their widely broadcasted demonic message in Hip-Hop music.

Illuminati and the Hip-Hop Industry

            In order to understand how conspiracy theories attribute responsibility for Jackson’s death to the Illuminati, I must first contextualize how conspiracy theorists purport the Illuminati’s connection to the Hip-Hop industry. Founded by Bavarian scholar Adam Weishaupt in 1776, the Illuminati is alleged as a secret organization that masterminds events and controls world affairs through governments and corporations to establish a New World Order.[4] Today’s Hip-Hop icons such as Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Rihanna, Beyonce and Lady Gaga have all been insinuated to be members of the Illuminati. Conspiracy theorists’ first evidence Illuminati in Hip Hop by referencing Flatboy Slim when he stated that the “Illuminati: a secret society does exist.”[5]  For conspiracy theorists, Tupac Shakur’s album Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, evidences that theses hip-hop moguls are indeed a part of the secret cult.[6]  Although many of these artists have denied such rumors, conspiracy theorists are adamant that these artists are satanic worshipers that promote and brag about their positions of power and control of the masses.

            Most blogs, YouTube videos, and WebPages “prove” membership in the secret society by referencing these artists’ constant subliminal use of satanic Masonic symbolism in music videos, lyrics and album covers. Lady Gaga, for instance, covers or circles one of her eyes in numerous of her music videos; theorists believe she is gesturing the Masonic symbol “the all seeing eye” and “eye of Lucifer” and, thus, signals her rank among the Illuminati. Rihanna in her video “Umbrella” covers herself in black paint and poses inside a triangle. Conspiracy theorists believe that Rihanna is reminiscing Baphomet. In Blog “3 popular Illuminati signs in the music industry,” the blogger states that “this large group is known as Illuminati and they are strategizing to rule the world.”[7] The blogger continues to state that these Masonic symbols— the “all seeing eye,” the lamb image of Baphomet, and the 666 hand— gestured by artists are “representations of worshipping Satan and mocking God.”[8] Thus, it is no surprise that when Beyonce donned a ring with a goat head with two horns at Coachella, she was accused of wearing the head of Baphomet, an image of Satan. As these conspiracy theorists argue and admonish listeners that these artists are puppets of the Illuminati who “worship the devil, they conspire to control and own the media, they purposefully manipulate people to think the way they want them to think.”[9] Moreover, these bloggers who believe the Illuminati run the Hip-Hop industry are fearful of growing Satanic worship, perhaps pointing to their Christian sentimentalities.

Conspiracy theories insist that the Illuminati manipulate the music industry to indoctrinate and corrupt the masses. One blogger on “Illuminati: Hip-Hop Industry” proclaims that, “The world has been given into the hands of the fallen angel called Lucifer.”[10]  Not only do these theorists believe that our society is corrupted, but that these satanic cults, “indoctrinate our society with a brand of new culture, a disposable one…a society that will receive the New World Order with open arms, to come to be exterminated by it.”[11] Here, conspiracy theorists begin to merge their theories into a belief that Illuminati broadcast their satanic worship to the masses through the Hip-Hop Industry, but also attribute are using the industry to achieve world domination. Another YouTube video on “ILLUMINATI, MUSIC INDUSTRY AND WHY MICHAEL JACKSON WAS KILLED PART 1” states that the Illuminati, “are manipulating everyone, they are dumbing down society and corrupting society…the more negativity that builds, the easier it is for them to lead us into a one world government.” One Blogger on “The Illuminati (NWO) Killed Michael Jackson,” writes the Illuminati promote violence, early sexuality, corruption, hate, racism and other satanic motives. And why are they doing that? Because it is much easier to control a corrupted society.”[12] Here, conspiracy theorists contend that the Illuminati are responsible for the further spiraling societal decay and immorality. Thus, blogs and YouTube videos crystallize how conspiracy theorists blame all ills of modern society on the Illuminati and their aims for global power.

Michael Jackson’s Career and Connection to Illuminati

Michael Jackson is still alive. The “King of Pop” was murdered by Jesuits. Jackson was a Manorexic. Jackson has been twittering and will return. Jackson was murdered for his catalogue. Jackson was killed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Jackson has been dead for years. Jackson met Jesus Before his death. Michael had dinner with Elvis.

As many music icons before him such as Marylyn Monroe and Elvis, Jackson’s life was perpetually plagued by tabloid rumors while his death was immediately linked to conspiracy and murder. Before I discuss the post-mortem accusations of Illuminati’s assassination of Jackson, I will first explore conspiracy theorists’ “evidence” that they used to tie Jackson to Illuminati while he was alive— namely, music videos and various television interviews.

One YouTube video “THE MUSIC INDUSTY EXPOSED” “proves” Michael’s connection to the Illuminati in his video “Beat It,” where he supposedly performs a satanic ritual in one of the dance segments. In the video, conspiracy theorists claim that Jackson performs the complete transformation into the devil as a black panther.  The next connection that theorists use to link Jackson to the Illuminati is his cover for his album “Dangerous.”  Theorists point out Illuminati symbolism on the cover; on the left side tunnel, roller coaster cars enter a tunnel with a Masonic symbol above the door.[13]  The cars, filled with different animals, come out the tunnel on the left side with the Illuminati “All-seeing Eye” above that door. In addition, the masonic symbol of the “One Eye” can be found and also the picture of a watery lake behind which laid burning flames. The cover also features a picture of a bald headed man, which theorists believe is known in the Illuminati occult as Alistair Crowley, a Freemason and author of “The New Law of Man” which stated that it would one day replace the Koran as the law of man. Overall, conspiracy theorists bind Jackson to the Illuminati due to Masonic symbolism found in his videos and album covers.

Conspiracy theorists believe that Jackson’s positive song messages, limitless fame and black skin resulted in the Illuminati’s sabotage of his public image, including his physical appearance. However, conspiracy theorists point to Jackson’s video “They Don’t Really Care About Us” to demonstrate that Michael was protesting the oppressive Illuminati. During the music video, Jackson violently dances and sings in front of a wall that theorists claim is covered with the graffiti resembling the “all seeing eye.” Conspiracy theorists edit and emphasize the scene where Jackson sings his third stanza:

                                                               “Beat me, hate me

You can never break me

Will me, thrill me

You can never kill me”[14]


For conspiracy theorists, Jackson purposefully sings militantly in from of the “all seeing eye” in protest to the Illuminati. Jackson song continues:

                                                                  Jew me, sue me                          

Everybody due me,

Kick me, Kike me

Don’t you black or white me[15]

These lyrics suffice as proof for conspiracy theorists that the Illuminati were trying to destroy Jackson’s image by turning him white and harm his public image. Conspiracy theorists claim that the Illuminati were especially threatened by Jackson because of his overwhelming influence as a black male, leading us to the theorists’ next accusation that the Illuminati also killed Michael because of their inherent racism.

Even thought Jackson announced to the world in a 1993 interview with Oprah that he suffered of genetic vitiligo, theorists are convinced that his white transformation was due to Illuminati foul play.[16] One video says “Illuminati Treat blacks as inhuman” and that the illuminati could not handle “a black person to be kind of pop.”[17] Conspiracy theorists believe Jackson was secretly trying to convey that the Illuminati turned his skin white during his 1993 Oprah interview when he defends his lyrics against anti-Semitism, stating, “I talk about myself as the victim.”[18] Regardless of whether Jackson believed his skin condition was hereditary or brought on by the Illuminati, he did believe in a conspiracy within the music industry.

Conspiracy theorists in their blogs and YouTube videos constantly utilize Jackson’s 2002 speech as “primary evidence” that he was fighting Illuminati conspiracy. During the early 1990s, Jackson started to speak out against music producers for racism and obstruction of African-American music artists’ success.  At the Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network in Harlem, New York, Jackson gave a speech for the rights of black music artists. He claimed, “The recording companies really, really do conspire against the artists…They steal, they cheat, they do everything they can, especially [against] the black artists.”[19] In YouTube videos, conspiracy theorists specifically reference an edited stream of Jackson’s speech. Their selections follow:

They are liars. All the forms of popular music from Jazz, Hip-Hop, to Bebop to soul… and different dances from the cakewalk, to the jitterbug, to the Charleston, to break dancing, all these are forms of black dancing. When you go to the bookstore on the corner, all the album covers are white…  You gotta remember something—the minute I started breaking all-time record in records sales—I broke Elvis’s records, I broke Beatles records…overnight they called me a freak, a homosexual, they called me a child molester, they said I bleached my skin. They did everything to turn the public against me. And this is all complete, complete conspiracy. [20]


Conspiracy videos point to this speech as a fundamental moment that “pissed Illuminati off.”[21] Michael is speaking up for black rights and even mentioning the tabooed word “conspiracy.” Videos then emphasize another interview on “60 Minutes” with CBS’s Ed Bradley after Jackson’s arrest under child molestation charges in 2007.  When Bradley asks Jackson about the ramification of the scandal on his music career, Jackson defensively responds:

MICHAEL JACKSON: — album is number one all over the world. All over the world. America is the only one, because I — I don’t wanna say too much. I’m don’t, I don’t want to say too much.

ED BRADLEY: But it’s not number one in the United States?

MICHAEL JACKSON: It’s a conspiracy. Yeah. I can’t say any more, but it’s conspiracy.  [22]

Here, conspiracy theorists deduce from Jackson’s responses that he has been specifically sabotaged by the Illuminati, particularly in the United States since that is the only place in the world where his records were not ranked #1.

Ultimately, conspiracy theorists do not have to stretch too far to connect Jackson to conspiracy, because Jackson spoke out against conspiracy in interviews and conferences throughout his career. Conspiracy theorists immediately forge Jackson’s allegations of conspiracy to the Illuminati because of purported masonic symbolism in his music videos.

His Death: What Happened?

On June 25, 2009 in a rental mansion in Hombly Hills neighborhood, the “King of Pop” was found in his bedroom not breathing by his personal physician Conrad Murray. After 911 was called and paramedics performed CPR for 42 minutes, paramedics pronounced Jackson dead at 2.26 p.m. at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.[23] Jackson’s autopsy revealed that a concoction of prescription drugs in his body, most significant of which was the profpofol and the loresapam.[24] On August 28, 2009, the Los Angeles Country Coroner ruled Jackson’s death a homicide by “acute propofol intoxication”[25] in combination with an array of other drugs.

 Jackson’s death triggered an overwhelmingly unprecedented response around the globe. Twitter crashed, as did Wikipedia at 3:15 p.m. the day of Jackson’s death;[26] 5,000 tweets per minute, or around 15% of Twitter posts, mentioned Jackson’s death.[27]  AOL Instant Messenger called the day “a seminal moment in Internet history…in terms of scope or depth,”[28] as their engine went down for a total of 40 minutes. America’s three major networks’ evening forecasts devoted 34% of their airtime to coverage on Jackson’s death.[29] News stations around the globe were criticized for excessive coverage of Jackson’s death and neglecting world news such as the Iranian elections or flu pandemic.

The unprecedented global coverage of Jackson’s death can be attributed to the prevalence of technology and internet community; had Elvis died in 2009, he might have generated an even larger response. Most importantly, the overwhelming attention Jackson’s demise accumulated due to the internet points out how conspiracy theorists can gain attention by broadcasting their arguments via internet media. When Jackson died in June 2009, YouTube videos were assembled in less than a month, appearing in July 2009 and blaming Illuminati for Michael’s death. Immediately, Jackson’s death generated speculation that music industry enemies nefariously plotted the icon’s murder. Therefore, conspiracy theorists claim “of course the Illuminati killed Michael Jackson.”[30] Not only at the moment of Jackson’s death were there conspiracy theorists that immediately forged their thesis—Michael Jackson was murdered by the Illuminati—but they scoured through his videos, interviews and albums to unearth any evidence that “obviously proves he was murdered.”[31]

But what evidence do these conspiracy theorists use to establish the Illuminati’s motives for killing Jackson? Jackson has reaped notoriety for his crotch-grabbing dance moves and public scandals such as his molestation trials. However, conspiracy theorists, who are obviously loyal Jackson fans, disregarded Jackson’s long history of media scandal, such as two highly publicized sexual molestation trials, to speak out against his murder and the Illuminati. In this way, they champion Jackson as their pseudo-messiah of the music industry who spread benign messages about humanity and “heal the world.” For these theorists, “of course” the Illuminati wanted to silence Jackson for opposing their Satanic messages. One blogger writes, “Clearly, Michael oppose to their plans, he wants the world to be a better place and they saw him as a big threat in front of them and when they couldn’t ruin his image and turn fans against him they killed him.”[32] This blogger reveals that conspiracy theorists believe that Jackson fought the Illuminati and “their plans.” Another YouTube video named “Michael Jackson Warns of 2012 Illuminati Conspiracy, proclaims that the Illuminati’s main objective for Jackson’s death was to silence him before he spoke out on the society’s plans for global depopulation in 2012. [33] However, the most prominent source used as evidence for Jackson’s murder is his sister La Toya’s reaction to her brother’s death.

Immediately after Jackson’s death, his sister 55 year old sister La Toya Jackson crusaded to unmask the “conspiracy” behind his untimely end. La Toya has fueled conspiracy theorists by blatantly stating, whenever and in whatever venue she can, that Michael was murdered. Speaking to Cindy Adams from the New York Post, La Toya asserts, “I believe it was a conspiracy. Michael told me repeatedly, ‘They’re going to murder me…They’re trying to murder me.”[34] She continues to state that Michael’s physician, “Dr. Murray was the fall guy. Authorities should look into this more deeply…Look, I’m not accusing nobody. I’m just putting out what I know. I was in his bedroom after it happened.”[35] La Toya has reignited conspiracy theorists’ flames with her insinuations that Jackson was murdered, Dr. Murray was a pawn exploited by higher players, and that certain parties had money to gain from Jackson’s death.

Of course, conspiracy theorists immediately utilize La Toya’s statements as proof that Jackson was murdered by the Illuminati. In addition to claiming that the conspirators behind Jackson’s death ransacked his room, La Toya argues that Dr. Murray was an Illuminati executioner. La Toya insists that “Dr. Murray is a very small piece of the puzzle.”[36] La Toya fervently claims that, “Michael told me repeatedly that they were going to kill him and that he was going to die.”[37]  In addition, La Toya claims that Michael’s, “room had been ransacked…He had the world’s largest catalogue- 750,000 songs…He’d say ‘They’re after it…you’ve got to listen to me.’”[38] La Toya’s assertion that Michael’s room was ransacked is used as absolute evidence to confirm the Illuminati killed Jackson; a YouTube video called “THE MUSIC INDUSTRY EXPOSED – Why the Illuminati killed Michael Jackson” contends, “Michael Jackson knew they were trying to kill him. Investigations revealed that Michael had injured his knees and had fresh bruises, indicating that he fell over before his death. It seems quite obvious that Michael was fighting for his life.”[39] Most of all, La Toya directly addresses a conspiracy and that Michael was murdered for reasons beyond Dr. Murray’s involuntary manslaughter. Thus, conspiracy theorists infuse La Toya’s assertions that the room was ransacked and that Michael’s autopsy report that Michael fought for his life.

Where does Dr. Conrad Murray Fit in the Illuminati Conspiracy Theory?

            La Toya’s accusations bring up to the recent trial of Dr. Murray who was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter. Authorities say that Jackson was given a lethal dose of propofol and other sedatives. Murray’s defense attorneys attested to Jackson’s extreme addiction to propofol as he was an insomniac and called the drug “his milk.”[40] Defense attorneys admitted that Jackson perhaps injected himself with the lethal does after Murray left the room. Here’s where it get’s “iffy.” Prosecutors used expert medical testimony to highlight that propofol is a drug that is only to be used in a highly monitored, equipped hospital setting. Not only did Murray use propofol “in house,” but he also lacked the proper monitoring equipment.  On June 28th 2009, three days after Jackson’s death, Ed Chernoff, Murray’s defense attorney, admitted that Murray did not call 911 for 30 minutes after he found Jackson unresponsive.[41] Statements revealed that Murray performed CPR on Jackson, but not in standard medical practice, using the technique on his bed, and not on a hard surface. Thus, Murray crucified his defense by his medical negligence for leaving the room after administering propofol, not calling 911 for 30 minutes after he found Jackson in full cardiac arrest, and performing non-standard CPR.[42]

Despite Murray’s justification for his medical practices with Jackson, his medical negligence was enough to ignite La Toya and conspiracy theorists that Dr. Murray was an Illuminati pawn in Michael’s murder. One blogger asks, “Why would Dr. Murray leave the room…not call 911 for 30 minutes…. it was the Illuminati.”[43] Regardless, Dr. Conrad Murray, whether or not following the orders of Illuminati, was tried for and convicted of involuntary manslaughter and perhaps did accelerate the death of the King of Pop.

In the wake of Jackson’s death, theorists have collected all “evidence” during and after Jackson’s life to prove their presupposed thesis: MJ was murdered by the Illuminati. All of this evidence is employed by theorists to prove “why” Jackson was murdered.  One WebPage called “Michael was Murdered,” writes, “For some years back Michael Jackson had become very outspoken when it came to the injustices of the music industry towards their artists.”[44] The WebPage continues, “There was a conspiracy to destroy his image, ever since he broke all of the Beatles and Elvis record…media immediately turned on him.”[45]  Theorists attempt to “obviously” and “clearly” prove that Jackson, during his life, showed how he felt about the Illuminati and the control they had over him. Most astoundingly, conspiracy theorists claim that Jackson was exterminated in a ritualistic manner to Illuminati god, Baphomet, because he was going to unearth the society’s plans for 2012. These theorists believe that in his final “This is It” tour, “[Jackson] was going to spill the beans on everything he knew, being that the last chance (i.e. This is It).”[46] The YouTube video “ILLUMINATI, MUSIC INDUSTRY AND WHY MICHAEL JACKSON WAS KILLED” concludes by showing footage of a ghost captured at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, stating, “obviously Michael Jackson’s ghost is coming back to tell us the truth for those who are murdered do not rest.”[47] For all these motives, the conspiracy theorists insist the Illuminati killed Michael because they not only wanted control of the Hip-Hop Industry and Jackson, but to further their plans for global control.

Analysis of Conspirators Argument and Evidence

Michael Jackson’s fame, fortune, and oddities have always fueled media with limitless suspicion and rumors; his death exacerbated these suspicions and rumors. As with any unexpected death of a celebrity, individuals develop theories that insist there is always ulterior driving force behind the scenes.

Although these conspiracy theories are compelling as none of us could dare believe the King of Pop perished at 50 without a sensational organization and plot responsible for the death.  However, these theorists’ arguments are severely flawed, farfetched and unconvincing.  Michael Sherman and Alex Groban, authors of Denying History and the Holocaust, discuss Ted Goertzel’s stereotypes of conspiracy theorists. In the case of Michael Jacksons’ death by Illuminati, Goertzel would classify these theorists as Hawkisk-Protestors. Geortzel explains that Hawk “which seeks strength and security as defense against outside threats” and the Protester, “which seeks to defend the powerless and oppressed from exploitation by elites.”[48] As Hawkish-Protestors, these conspiracy theorists try to find strength and security by drawing an arbitrary line between the Illuminati’s proliferations of Satanic ritualism in the music industry. They are protestors by trying to empower readers and viewers to stand up against the devil of Hip-Hop in face of the prophesized apocalypse.

From the YouTube videos, blogs and WebPages these conspiracy theorists utilize to spread the “truth” about Michael’s murder, one can begin to deduce something about these anonymous Hawkish-Protestors. First, these conspiracy theorists consider themselves Jackson’s most loyal and enduring fans, even in face of the threatening Illuminati. In addition, all the sources examined in this essay interweave their arguments with Biblical scripture, not of apocalyptic prophesy, but to battle the satanic art of the music industry.  As a result of the dearth of logical structure in both incorporating Biblical arguments and accusations against the Illuminati’s murder of Jackson, one can deduce that these theorists are perhaps fundamental Christians who are responding the rise of provocation in the music industry.  Indeed, these religious believers are both paranoid about the corruption of society and the end of the world.

Within these arguments, one can witness the clash between the rise of radical Christianity and the popularity of provocative music artists in contemporary American culture. As discussed earlier in the paper, conspiracy theorists point out Illuminati symbolism in music artists’ performances, videos and album work, and claim these occurrences are devil worship. All of these music artists, such as Lady Gaga and Rihanna, generate a following by their competition to out-provoke society, thwarting modesty by selling images of sex, drugs and societal revolt. As the common cliché states, “sex sells” and provocation sells. Not only have these artists been threatening to religious groups who condemn such art, but their art has been characterized  by them as “satanic worship.” It is quite noticeable that all these blogs express a heightened paranoia that the Illuminati are spreading devil worship. From each blog and YouTube, conspiracy theorists reference the Bible, not to point to apocalyptic predictions, but to battle the evidence they have of satanic ritual in Hip-Hop. However, these blogs and videos do imply an eschatological fear of the end of the world for Jackson was going to “spill the beans” on 2012.

In addition to the Christian paranoia towards Hip-Hop as satanic ritualism, the conspiracy theorists’ argument that the Illuminati dominate the Hip-Hop industry is equally unconvincing. The Illuminati’s drive for a New World Order has kept Americans paranoid since the 1800s. These particular theorists are so threatened by the Illuminati that they will selectively chose Jackson’s statements, as seen in his 2002 Harlem speech, to indicate that he was scared too.

Yes, numerous symbols in popular music artists’ work today don Illuminati symbolism such as the “all seeing eye” and the lamb of Baphomet. However, many times conspiracy theorists derive significance from symbols such as “triangles” and other common shapes and giving them meaning within the context of the conspiracy they seek to unmask. Regardless of their affect or influence in contemporary society, cultures will always be suspicious of the work and unknown effects of secret societies. But in relationship to Jackson’s murder, the claim that the Illuminati are responsible holds no evidentiary sway. Perhaps Jackson’s death was premeditated, but theorists immediately blame the Illuminati by connecting all suspects as the society’s members.

Michael Jackson did indeed speak publically about conspiracy in the music industry. The YouTube videos and WebPages that cut-and-copy these speeches in a specific sequence to imply he was murdered by the Illuminati unravel when you read the entire transcripts of his speeches. His Harlem Speech in 2002, when read fully, Jackson is obviously contesting for the rights of African-American music artists. In no way is he saying that the Illuminati turned his skin white, or that people were out to kill him, but he attests to the conspiracy he believes is behind the lack of representation of black artists’ rights. In addition, Jackson in his interview with Ed Bradley did seem hyper-paranoid about conspiracy and how he could not speak about it, however, when one looks at Michael and  his bizarre and sometimes erratic public behavior, it would not be surprising that he believed the whole world was out to kill him. Yes, Jackson was extremely influential, however he had engulfed his net worth in 3.5 million dollars of debt and was noted by various doctors for considerable decade-long drug addictions.[49] Some other sources believe Jackson was both heavily relying on drugs as he was flustered for his upcoming “This Is It” tour in 2010.[50]

Ultimately, the YouTube videos, blogs, and WebPages only have three montages of “evidence” where Michael could be construed as saying he had enemies in the music industry. Theorists only have two examples of where they can directly cite Masonic symbolism in his art work—namely, his “Dangerous” album cover and “They Don’t Care About Us” music video. The rest of conspiracy theorists’ “evidence” is their own interpretation of the Hip-Hop artwork; they believe Jackson sang about healing the world, while all other artists in the music industry engaged in satanic dances that promote sex, money and drugs as social control. Most of all, these theorists edit footage and derive meaning based on already established theses. They set out to prove a preconceived thesis, not examine holistic evidence before they forge their arguments. They edit footage and take Jackson’s statements out of context to enhance their ‘arguments’.  

The most glaring flaw in these arguments is the fact that all these theorists have a presupposed thesis and a presupposed enemy; they set out to prove their argument by finding evidence to support their prior claims. Sherman and Grobman call this the “confirmation bias’ or the tendency to seek confirmatory evidence and reject disconfirming evidence.”[51] We see in the videos, blogs and articles that theorists set forth to prove the Michael Jackson was murdered by Illuminati, and draw far-reaching connections in attempt to give the claim weight. Their ultimate evidence is the Bible they use to fight the immoralities broadcasted by the Music industry. However, these bloggers refuse any counter arguments as Illuminati indoctrination, and justify their views with the Bible which they already accept as absolute truth.  In addition, any critical reader must be weary when arguers make leaping assumptions that “obviously” or “clearly” prove so-and-so.  An example of a blatant assumption is Michael’s interview on CBS “60 Minutes,” where in the wide context of the interview, Michael is responding to the effects of molestation charges on his career. Bloggers, videos and WebPages, instead, cut the scene where Michael mentions conspiracy, and titles the video, “Michael Speaks Out Against Illuminati.” First, Michael never mentions the Illuminati. Second, Michael is responding to the lack of success of his album due to the media controversy. Here, theorists interweave assumptions to “obviously” illustrate their thesis.   

On a more snobbish note, these arguments are difficult to regard as credible, especially since their essays, which attempt to be scholarly, are fogged with grammatical and punctuation errors. In addition, when these videos use two minute scenes from “Lara Croft Tomb Raider,” a mediocre action-adventure about a voluptuous archeologist, to show how threatening the Illuminati are today, their arguments crumble. Regardless of the justified criticism of these arguments, the fact that these videos all have over two million hits each attest to the growing reception of such conspiracy theories. These stark numbers speak to the influence of these blogs and videos, but more importantly, to the need for public awareness in the face of publicized false information.

Moreover, modern American society is ripe with paranoia, distrust and anxiety about unexpected events, such as the untimely death of Michael Jackson. Conspiracy theorists direct their distrust at the Illuminati and claim any powerful organization is among its ranks. The theorists’ insistence on condemning the music industry’s satanic worship as the work of organizations, individuals and institutions of economic and political power perhaps illustrates people’s growing feeling of marginalization and helplessness in the face of governments and conglomerates. Today those that “have” money and power come under the magnifying glass of conspiracy theorists who will find any “evidence” to reveal that power comes at a diminutive price. In conjunction with the rise of radical Christianity and celebrity occultism, it is not surprising that Christians feel threatened by the music industry’s satanic worship and plans for 2012, and believe they are bringing about an apocalypse and one-world totalitarian government. Not only does the Michael Jackson murder by Illuminati theory speak to the limitless suspicion of society, but that these conspiracy theories are gaining wide attention on the internet, even when they lack sufficient evidence. Despite the outlandish argument styles of these theorists, viewers who do not question the sources of an arguer’s evidence are subject to believing these paranoid beliefs. Along with the infusions of grammatical errors, clips of “Lara Croft Tomb Raider” to evidence the existence of Illuminati, and their subjective argumentation that seeks to prove a thesis by snapshot evidence, these conspiracy theorists discredit their arguments and remain unconvincing.






















“Dangerous” Album Cover


Michael Jackson in “They Don’t Really Care About Us”- in front of “all seeing eye”



[1] Richard Hofstader, The Paranoid Style in American Politics, (Chicago: Vintage Books, 2008), 14-18.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Michael Barkun,  A Culture of Conspiracy, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003), 45.

[5] “Illuminati: Hip-Hop Industry,”, 4 June 2010, (Accessed 11 Nov. 2011).

[6] “The Illuminati Hip-Hop Timeline,”, 11 Feb. 2011, (accessed 11 Nov. 2011).

[7]“3 Popular Illuminati Signs in the Music Industry,” 11 Nov, 2011,  (accessed 11 Nov. 2011).


[9] Ibid.

[10] “Illuminati: Hip-Hop Industry.”, 26 Oct. 2010, (accessed 10 Nov. 2011).

[11]  Ibid.

[12] “The Illuminati (NWO) Killed Michael Jackson,”, 11 Nov. 2009, (accessed 10 Nov. 2011).

[13] For image of the “Dangerous” album cover, refer to picture #1.

[14] Michael Jackson, “Beat It,” Thriller, 1984.

[15] Ibid.

[16] “Video: Oprah’s 1993 Michael Jackson Interview,” The New York Post, 29 June 2009, (accessed 12 Nov. 2011).


[18] “Jackson Speaks Out Against Racism,”, 6 July 2002, (accessed 10 Nov. 2011)

[19] Ibid.

[20] “ILLUMINATI, MUSIC INDUSTRY AND WHY MICHAEL JACKSON WAS KILLED (PART 1),”, 11 July 2009, (accessed 2 Nov. 2011).

[21] Ibid.

[22] Ellen Crean, “Jackson Interview Transcript,”, 5 March 2009, (accessed 12 Nov. 2011).

[24] Ibid.

[25] “Conrad Murray,” The New York Times, 29 Nov 2011, (accessed 19 Nov. 2011).

[26] “The Death of Michael Jackson”, (Accessed 13 Nov. 2011).

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid.

[30] “The Illuminati (NWO) Killed Michael Jackson,”, 11 Nov. 2009, (accessed 10 Nov. 2011).

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid.

[34] “La Toya Jackson Believes Michael’s Death Was a Conspiracy”,, 20 June 2011. (accessed 9 Nov. 2011).

[35] John Stevens, “This is a BIG CONSPIRACY,”, 11 Nov 2011 (Accessed 11 Nov. 2011).

[36] Ibid.

[37] Ibid.

[38] La Toya references Michael’s ownership of 50% of Sony. Conspiracy theorists claim that Sony, a well known Illuminati run corporation, wanted to exterminate Michael to “shut him up” and fully own the publishing company.

[39] “THE MUSIC INDUSTRY EXPOSED – Why the Illuminati killed Michael Jackson (Part 9/11),”, 30 May 2010, (accessed 11 Nov. 2011).

[40] “Michael Jackson death trial,” The Guardian. 7 Oct. 2011, (accessed 11 Nov. 2011).

[41] Richard Espoto, “Michael Jackson autopsy Results Tighten Net Around Dr. Conrad Murray,” 28 July 2009,, (accessed 11 Nov. 2011).

[42] Ibid.

[43] “The Illuminati (NWO) Killed Michael Jackson,”, 11 Nov. 2009, (accessed 10 Nov. 2011).

[44] Michael was Murdered,, (accessed 12 Nov. 2011).

[45] Ibid.

[46] ILLUMINATI, MUSIC INDUSTRY AND WHY MICHAEL JACKSON WAS KILLED (PART 2),, 17 July 2009,  (accessed 11 Nov. 2011).

[47] Ibid.

[48] Michael Sherman and Alex Grobman, Denying History, (Berkeley: University of California, 2000), 143.

[49] Davis, Matthew, “Michael Jackson health concerns,”, 6 June 2005, (accessed 8 Nov. 2011).

[50] Ibid.

[51] Michael Sherman and Alex Grobman, Denying History, (Berkeley: University of California, 2000), 143.


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