SENTINEL 8-12-2010
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‘Pretty Young Things'

Are MJ's children Jehovah's Witnesses?

by Firpo Carr

August 12, 2010

Shortly after the demise of Michael Joseph Jackson I received numerous invitations from local, national, and international media outlets to speak about his untimely death. When the brouhaha subsided over the events leading to and surrounding his death, the discussion turned to two questions: (1) Who would "inherit" his children? (2) How would they be raised? That's when one of several of my interviews on CNN's Nancy Grace took center stage. In it I declared that Michael, in a private conversation with me, intimated that should anything happen to him Mother Katherine was to raise Prince, Paris, and Prince Michael as Jehovah's Witnesses.  

Then later on Extra I said that if some unanticipated event befell her, the responsibility would shift to Rebbie, Michael's oldest sibling. If for some reason she was not up to the task (an unlikely circumstance), then the job would filter further down to Stacy, Rebbie's older daughter and Katherine's eldest grandchild. Aside from being tri-generational these three outstanding women are all Witnesses themselves, just as MJ had been in earlier years.  But, second and third contingencies notwithstanding, Katherine is doing an outstanding job of rearing the children. But, has the Queen Mother completely carried out the wishes of the King in raising the Pretty Young Things?

At the Kingdom Hall: Michael's wishes are being executed. Not long after his final burial his children were photographed heading into the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. (Heb 10:24, 25) The New York Post said that Michael's "friend Firpo Carr...said this week that Michael had recently wanted his kids to embrace the religion. ‘I was raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses,' Carr quoted Jackson as saying...‘And I'd like them to be raised the same way.'"

Out in Field Service: When Extra asked, "Will these children be knocking door to door?" I answered, "Absolutely. At some point they will do that. Michael went from door to door." (Acts 5:42; 20:20) Months later, Fox News reported that Michael's children have been "able to knock on the doors of strangers' homes...doing the standard field service as part of their involvement with the Jehovah's Witnesses, encouraging others to convert."

Understanding Youth in the Truth: Witnesses refer to the religion as "the truth." (1 Tim 3:15; Jas 5:19; 2 Pet 2:2) Some, however, are concerned that Michael's children will be "brainwashed." For instance, in the Watchtower article, "Help Young Ones to Become Familiar With Jehovah's Organization" (October 15, 2010), parents are encouraged to "Explain why [young ones] should not act independently of Jehovah's organization, even in small ways." Though a good article, some feel this wording may set the child up for bitter disappointment when the organization's foibles are encountered.  Unless it's explained to maturing youth that the well-meaning publications are fallible, disillusionment can set in; boxing them in psychologically. This can lead to the ravages of cognitive dissonance; which, in turn, has led to disastrous consequences.

At times, youth is unwittingly discounted in Witness publications. For example, young Rehoboam--faithful to God for his first three years as king (2 Chron 11:16, 17; 12:1)--is characterized as unwisely listening to childhood friends instead of older counselors. (2 Chron 10:8-17) Though true, faithful Rehoboam followed Jehovah's maneuvering in this. (2 Chron 11:1-4) As seen later in the case of wicked King Ahaziah (who listened to older counselors), the age of advisors is incidental. (2 Chron 22:1-5; 24:17-19; Prov 16:31) Also, statements in the publications saying that JWs are the "earthly part" of Jehovah's organization can give the impression of infallibility. Like the ancient nation of Israel, God's organization today is composed of imperfect people. Responsible men are fallible as are we all. The "heavenly part" of Jehovah's organization, on the other hand, never makes mistakes.  

(Note: See the exceptional article, "Teach Your Children--A Kingdom That Will Change the Whole Earth," in the October 1, 2010, Watchtower, and the incomparable website, www.watchtower.org/ype.)

Conclusion: Earlier this year, the ladies of ABC's The View discussed the activities of Jehovah's Witnesses with former Witness LaToya Jackson. Barbara Walters asked: "Are the children being raised as Jehovah's Witnesses?" LaToya responded: "My mother is going to really leave that up to them." Actually, Katherine, Rebbie, Stacy, and others are providing nourishing spiritual guidance. (Prov 22:6, 15) For like 7-year-old Jehoash, another royal youth, Michael's ‘Pretty Young Things' have God's Word of "religious instructions" placed squarely before them, just as Michael wished. (2 Chron 23:11; 24:1, God's Word Translation) Peace and blessings. Amen.