Schmuley and Michael had not been in correspondence for the last six years of Michael's life, largely because Schulmey did not stand by Michael when he faced charges in 2003, but also - allegedly, due to questionable dealings on the part of Schmuley concerning funds Michael had donated. Schulmey, an experienced pundit on the media circuit wears his Rabbinic credentials with flair as he currently does the rounds on chat shows in the States. He talks a good sales pitch about the book being a way to repair Michael's image. Quite how publicizing years-old, incendiary quotes about Hitler and Madonna figures into this stated aim has not yet, however, been credibly answered by Schmuley. The shabby truth, as most people with a modicum of intelligence have now realized, is that these often emotionally gruelling recordings Schmuley insists were made with the intention of releasing as a part of a book, are in fact recordings of therapy sessions he and Michael made when before they fell out. It speaks volumes that Michael did not attempt to have these tapes published when he was alive, likewise it speaks volumes about Schmuley that he would - now that Michael is dead. For it is clear that Schmuley has not decided to publish out of some lingering affection for Michael. Throughout the scattered, meanderings of this so-called 'book' Schmuley offers us sweeping statements suggesting Michael was a misogynist who obsessed with the idea of messiah-hood, and could 'certainly be guilty of unspeakable crimes.' A leading Rabbi, Michael Sternfield commented on The Huffington Post recently that Schmuley has clearly breached Judaic law and most people's definition of morality in betraying the confidence and trust placed in him. Whether or not you loved or hated Michael, most people would regard it as a basic human right to be able to talk freely, share one's innermost feelings about horrendous abuse, talk rationally or otherwise in a therapeutic setting without fear of being ridiculed or quoted out of context. Michael did not intend these sessions to become public and now when he cannot speak for himself, the final violation of his memory is being flogged in the market place. Despite Schmuley's protestations that Michael 'wanted' these tapes published to 'bring the family together,' I am certain most people will recognize this book for what it is: a shameless act of exploitative betrayal and self-interest with greed at its heart. If I may add this finally, I understand fans or the merely curious wanting to hear Michael's voice and it is not them I have an issue with. If you want to listen to the tapes that is your prerogative, by all means go to youtube and type in Dateline/Michael Jackson tapes or Larry King,Today etc. In the coming weeks all the audio will be uploaded and you can listen to your heart's content - if that is what you want. You don't have to buy the book to hear the tapes. Lets not help Schmuley hurt Michael. We, as a community of fans, have the power to refuse to be a part of 'enabling' Schmuley to profit from Michael's death. Personally, I am hoping Schmuley has grossly miscalculated the strength of feeling out there about what he has done. I am hoping there are enough people who still believe there is such a thing as common decency. Because for me, the truth is this simple:
To love someone is not to betray them.