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Which Circle of Hell is Reserved for Jacko?

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Everyone’s so concerned with the minutiae of the Michael Jackson trial that I haven’t covered it at all here. But now it occurs to me that there’s a much more significant issue to be discussed. Who cares what trivial, earthly courts say about Jacko. I’m much more interested in what’s going to happen to him in the higher arena of celestial judgement.

Taking Dante as my inspiration, I wonder which circle of Hell Virgil would take a future visitor to if he wanted to find Michael Jackson. Running down the options of where he might be found, things just don’t look good for him.

Jackson is too well qualified to get stuck at Circle 1 which is reserved for the neutral and uncommitted, sort of like hell light for amateur sinners who spend eternity getting stung by insects, so he skips right on to the more entertaining circles.

Circle 2: The Lustful – If MJ is extremely lucky he might stop here in his plunging descent towards Abaddon. He’d be in good company, but it’s awfully crowded here and his strange stiff hair might not look good while being blown forever by stormy winds. But on the other hand, that’s about as bad as the torment here gets.

MJ gets to skip circles 3 and 4 which are reserved for Greed and Gluttony. While he may be guilty of both, they’re fairly trivial in his repertoire of transgressions, plus they’re already awfully crowded.

Circle 5: The Sullen – If his behavior in court and his frequent late arrivals and absences are the basis, then MJ might end up here. It’s probably a popular spot for the Hollywood crowd. And it’s not too bad, he just gets to be submerged to the neck in the black water of the River Styx with his forlorn sighs endlessly rippling the water. Actually, given the places he’s more likely to end up he should really pray he stops here.

Circle 6: The Heretics – This one is a longshot, but it only gets worse from here, so maybe MJ should make a case to the infernal powers that his beliefs as a Jehovah’s Witness makes him a heretic so he should stop his plunge here. I mean, how bad can being trapped inside an eternally burning tomb be? Though I’m not sure he’d like the company given all the antipopes and witches hanging around weeping.

Circle 7: The Realm of Violence and Fraud – Well, here he might be right at home. There are several sub-circles with spots reserved for him. Assuming he gets convicted and subsequently commits suicide as his lawyers have speculated he would if he were in prison for long, he’d qualify for sub-circle 2, which isn’t so bad. Being enclosed inside a living tree in a black and tangled wood is arguably actually better than the burning tomb of circle 6. But I’m afraid he’s much more likely to find his way to sub-circle 3, the Realm of Burning Sand, which is reserved – among others – for sodomites. Here he gets his option of eternally running naked on burning sand, stretching out and resting naked on burning sand, or huddling and weeping naked on burning sand. He can pretty much do whatever he wants so long as he’s naked and in close personal contact with burning sand.

But wait, MJ is the King of Pop, after all. Maybe he should go for a more elite circle.

Circle 8: Malebolge – sub-circle 1 has a reserved position for MJ, strapped to an iron post and constantly whipped by devils, as is the fate for panderers and seducers. And he’ll be in good company there because sub-circle 2 is for Flatterers so his sycophantic hangers-on will be nearby, coated in their own filth, and it would just be a short trip to sub-circles 6 and 8 where he can find many of his supporters and his lawyers in the spots set aside for Hypocrites and Evil Counselors. Johnny Cochran is already there waiting with open arms enveloped in eternal flame. It’s also possible he might make it all the way to sub-circle 10 which is reserved for Impersonators, Counterfeiters and False Witnesses – all of which he seems qualified as. The irony of being on this level is that the main punishment is being with other people just like you and having to be verbally and physically abused by them.

Circle 9: Cocytus – Despite his sins, MJ is unlikely to make it here unless Lucifer calls him down for a command performance. The 9th circle is reserved mostly for politicians, whose eternal presence is presumably part of Lucifer’s punishment. Plus, being in the infernal presence might not be all that different from Jackson’s current life in the media spotlight, since those facing Lucifer are constantly bombarded by freezing blasts of impotence, hatred and ignorance. That sounds a bit like reading a typical issue of the National Enquirer.

Perhaps given all the possibilities, Jackson should just tour the various levels stopping in at all the places where he’d be welcome. That way he can see his friends and associates, mix with the elite of the ages, and enjoy a rotating buffet of punishments and suffering. I wonder if that would be better or worse than the tedium of the same burning sands or roasting tomb for all eternity.


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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • RJ

    Damn… [pun intended]

  • HW Saxton

    I think the Dark Lord & his minions have
    too much taste to let Jacko join their
    club.Maybe,purgatory for life.No hope of
    ever catching the up or down elevator
    would probably suit Jacko best.

  • Seems to me like even if he’s not guilty of the things this trial is about he’s well qualified just on some general behavioral things to fit in Circle 5 or Circle 8 (sub-section 10, of course).


  • Kate

    What a pathetic piece of writing. Is it supposed to be funny?

    I don’t understand the people who have so much hate towards this man.

    I read information on his case, try to understand what he is about etc. However this type of writing makes you sound worse than those crazy, warped fans he has.

    Condeming a man you have no knowledge personally of is criminally insane. I don’t know if Jackson is Guilty, but I am waiting to hear the facts and I wouldn’t dream of writing something as incredibly nautious as this.

  • Nancy

    Lighten up, Kate. Yes, it IS funny. Actually, one could speculate on the intended destination of just about anyone – you or me included – but MJ and his pecadillos are a lot better known and therefore slightly more interesting. Actually, it is interesting in and of itself to see what Dante thought was horrific and worthy of hellacious punishments back 700 +- years ago, as opposed to what he might list today, when things are so much more … ah … developed? I think the 9th circle full of politicians is still appropriate as the ultimate punishment, but I’m not so sure about the ice part. These days maybe I’d substitute endless polluting factories in an endless landscape of blighted waste – kind of like Elizabeth, NJ or Gary, IN. Actually, this kind of speculation would be a great blog: what would a modern version of Dante’s Inferno be? And who would be there, and why. Surely there has to be a place for fundamentalist maniacs of all religions, which he didn’t include, unless you want to stretch a point and throw them in with the heretics. And then there’s the smirking posturings of J. Lo and other celebrities, who (it could be argued) inflict their lack of taste on an unsuspecting public, etc. etc. How about particularly egregious CEOs like Ken Lay or Bernie Ebbers? Greed, certainly, but there’s an element of malicious rapacity there that surely merits something better, so to speak? And another great category Dante forgot: advertisers! Gotta have them – especially car dealerships. Yeah, definitely marketing people who inflict relentless stupid and obnoxious ads on everyone. I think I would also rearrange the circles, and put hypocrites much lower than they are now, but that’s just my opinion. So, let’s hear it for Dante’s Circle – NEW & IMPROVED! – as the marketing folks say.

    Meanwhile, to ALL those who find a blog offensive, whether this or any other, I would say this: as with TV or radio, if you don’t like it, then don’t participate. No one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to read and respond to any particular blog, so just move on to one you like better, instead of self-righteously castigating the opinions you don’t agree with.

    And keep it clean.

  • Kate, follow the link to the map of hell from Dante. Who among us is not going to hell by those criteria?

    As I did, Dante put both groups of people and specific individuals he found irritating in his hell, including contemporary politicians, religious leaders and writers who he thought were doing more harm than good in the world.

    But rest happy, I’m sure there’s a spot in hell reserved for bloggers, but I bet our spot is slightly higher and slightly less painful than the one reserved for humorless commentors.


  • Bloggers probably get scattered around the 8th Circle, although a few may manage to qualify for the 9th.

  • Perhaps Jacko believes in reincarnation and instead of going to hell, he’ll come back as a truck stop toilet seat.

  • Wouldn’t he be happier as an elementary school toilet seat?


  • Kate

    Wouldn’t you be happier lynching a ‘witch’ in Salem?

  • And the humorlessness goes on!


  • Kate

    And the persecution goes on.

  • As does the utter cluelessness…


  • Nancy

    Persecution of whom? You? Jacko? Y’know there’s an old but very applicable saying that goes all the way back to the 1890s, a warning to celebrities: “If you seek fame, then you’re fair game.” Anyone seeking celebrity and fame knows in advance, especially in this day and age, that their privacy is pretty much nil. Besides which, the preponderance of them are attention junkies (and Jacko is no exception, as his past behavior has more than proven) and love ANY kind of attention, even if it’s negative. MJ doesn’t seem to hate the attention; what seems to bother him is the possibility of being punished, going to jail, and being unable to satisfy his various fetishes as well as being out of public view for some years. No one becomes a celebrity who wants a quiet, private life. And I repeat: if you don’t like the blog, move on, dear. You certainly aren’t going to save any souls here.

  • Nancy

    Besides which, most ‘normal’ people can’t even begin to come up with anything to compete with the menu of oddities, bizarreness, and just plain weirdness that Jacko’s provided, and even if they could, most normal people haven’t and don’t go parading their eccentricities of taste and behavior in public like Jacko has. If he hadn’t been so self-aggrandizing about airing his perversities in public like a giant middle finger given to society at large, if he himself had not provided the fuel, it’s not likely there would have been this large a fire. He also has a total lack of taste and inability to judge character, considering the vulpine natures of those he has consistently surrounded himself with over the years. Kind of like he’s got a sign on his forehead that says, “come victimize me!” And then again, strange as it may seem to the rest of us, there ARE people who positively enjoy being abused, as well as those who subconsciously invite trouble and must always be surrounded by a whirlwind of controversy. They can’t exist otherwise.

  • Eric Olsen

    I think it’s funny and more than that, very informative. I had forgotten about all the subtleties of the Inferno and specificity of punishment per sin.

    Kate, would you ban every comedian from making fun of anyone accused of anything? Seems a bit extreme.

  • Kate

    Yes I would Eric. You put yourself in his shoes. Whatever you think of his weirdness, his eccentricities, his ‘freakiness’, just realise that he is human too.

    If you were accused of child abuse/murder etc and people the world over were making fun of you before a judgement has been made, i’m sure you wouldn’t like it either. In fact i’m sure you would be devastated.

    Morally, this article along with the hundreds of others crucifying him, stink. I DON’T KNOW whether he is Guilty. To me that’s beside the point. The fact is, he has not been convicted yet and the thought of a media and public lynching terifies me. It shows exactly what kind of world we live in. Many of you may see it as only a bit of fun, poking this man with a big, rabied stick, but I cannot conform to this madness.

    Nancy, you go on about ‘normal’ people this and ‘normal’ people that. Well in my opinion, your type of normal is horribly disingenuous. I’d prefer someone who is abnormal and knows the difference between right and wrong, antipathy and civility. If ‘normal’ people are like you and decide to take amusement from those who have not been convicted of anything yet, then I pity you and your ‘kind’.

  • It is abundantly clear from his public comments and behavior that Jackson is NOT normal and does NOT know the difference between right and wrong.

    Solely on the basis of things he has said and done in public which are not even part of the trial he is clearly a deeply perverse and decadent individual. Condemning him in a theoretical way solely on the basis of those public actions and statements is entirely reasonable.

    The key is, you don’t have to be convicted of a crime to go to hell, you just have to be a sinner – and Jackson is certainly that.


  • nick

    Loads of opinions here but not a single argument or fact showing what your opinion is based on.

    Your paper is worth an F mister Dave Nalle.

  • Nancy

    Well, Kate, obviously it will be a relief to you in heaven (since you are virtuous and sinless) not to have to share one of the circles of hell with those of us who disagree with you. Which is kind of a relief to us sinners, too…unless Hell means spending eternity having to listen to smug, self-satisfied commentary from those who are holier than us, lol! Right on: a NEW circle in Hell. What level does this one go on?

  • Eric Olsen

    well Kate, if we remove anyone accused of anything from the list of eligible comedic material, you’re going to have an awful lot of time to fill

  • At least Kate will have the company of the equally clueless Nick in whatever little pocket of paradise she ends up in.


  • nick

    Hey Dave we are getting personal now 😉
    You sound aggressive. Isn’t it a sin ?
    I’ll pray for you soul

  • What, you don’t want to hang out with Kate and strum a harp? She seems like a nice lady.


  • Remember those 80’s documentaries of Jackson on tour, and the teenage girls in other countries lined up along the barricades around the stage, crying buckets of tears because they were so starstruck to see him live…

    Well, I wonder what their opinion is of his trial now. I guess the point I’m getting at is that if your childhood hero turns out to be accused of deviant criminal behavior later, how would you stand?

  • Mark – see the comments above by Kate for the answer to your question.


  • Kate

    Mark that is an interesting question, of which I would like to know the answer to as well. They seemed to be so infatuated with him at the time and I am sure they have fallen out of love with him since.

    Dave seems to have a problem with someone speaking up for those who are not popular or ‘normal’ (to the general public’s definition).

    It Seems as if I have been labelled an obsessed fan of Michael Jackson’s because I have objected to the constant slander. I have said on a couple of occasions, I do not know if the man is Guilty. That is not the point. I am objecting to the tone of media and public lynching.

    It seems as if you do not have anything constructive to say and thus are resorting to ‘witty’ remarks. This is sad and maybe reflects your true character – shallow.

  • Shallow, yet amused. Which is more pleasant than being full of deep wells of darkness and completely humorless.

    BTW, it’s only slander if it can be proven to be untrue. Good luck proving that my speculation about where Jackson is likely to wind up in hell has any relationship to reality, much less truth or falsehood.


  • Nancy

    Amen, Dave! Laugh and at least some of the world laughs with you; be censorious and you eat alone.

  • RJ

    “endless landscape of blighted waste – kind of like Elizabeth, NJ or Gary, IN”


  • RJ

    “Kate, would you ban every comedian from making fun of anyone accused of anything?”

    “Yes I would Eric.”


  • adis

    I have heard a lot in these blogs about normality and MJ being abnormal. Eric once said that society decides what is normal.

    I wish to remind us that pre-mid 20th century it was abnormal to be black and vote, it was abnormal to be gay or lesbian, plastic surgery as a socially acceptable fashion procedure was farfetched. To be a woman and have power and liberal sexual expression was a taboo. It is short-sighted, ignorant and naive of any one to think that it is wacko to avail of plastic surgery, hang out with children (not abuse them) or not have any successful relationship with women or men. We are all different and free so where is the harm in choosing how we live our lives within the confines of existing laws even though laws themselves are not flawless or ignorant or the necessity for change.

    Pocking jokes at difference or ones predicament is something I will associate with tabloids or low-life’s. I suppose Oscar Wilde was ridiculed in the days of institutional homophobia: it may be worth looking back to, in order to understand what I am saying. If you support your jokes so much, why is it not taking laughable Sneddon and witnesses as subjects?

    MJ is on trial for you know what and we are yet to hear if he did those things or not.

    Call me humourless if you like. I bring in my humour where appropriate.

  • nick

    Hey Adis, you may be way too liberal for the likes of Dave with your progressist, revolutionary and dangerous ideas !

  • Here, Dave, you see the downside of weighing in on this debate – it does attract the clueless, celebrity-involved and devoid of humor.

    Interesting that many of these commenters (nick and Kate, for example) seem not to have read anything they agree with in any of the diverse Jackson Trial posts here on BlogCritics. Let’s refer them all to the blog of Prometheus 6, who seems to have the only approach they approve: just say Nope.

  • nick

    Don’t hide your bigotry behind the façade of humour.
    It makes you look like a coward.
    You are a bigot, face it and be proud of it.
    Dave manages it very well and even though I despise his ideas, he deserves more respect than you do for the pride he takes in his bigotry.

  • Okay, Dave, I see I was wrong – we’re bigots if we do comment and bigots if we don’t.

    Wonder if the accusations of bigotry would vanish if I revealed my ancestry?

  • I’m a bigot, you’re a bigot, wouldn’t you like to be a bigot too?

    Interesting, Pat. I hadn’t considered that there might be a racial element to their humorlessness. Does that meant that some races are funny and others aren’t? Is this something like natural rhythm?


  • I thought “natural rhythm” was the vegan Catholic’s birth control method…

  • Mihos

    11th Circuit: Nancy Grace ‘Played Fast and Loose’ With Ethics
    Federal appeals court raps former prosecutor

    Jonathan Ringel
    Fulton County Daily Report

    Nancy Grace, the host of a self-titled legal show on CNN Headline News, “played fast and loose” with her ethical duties as a Fulton County, Ga., prosecutor in 1990, a federal appeals panel has declared.

    Monday’s decision by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a triple murder conviction won by Grace, explaining that her actions didn’t change the result of the trial. It is the third time appellate courts have admonished Grace for her conduct as a prosecutor in Georgia. Grace served as an assistant district attorney in Fulton from 1987 to 1996, leaving that year to join Court TV as a commentator.

    The three-judge panel on Monday criticized Grace for not following her obligations to disclose to the defendant’s lawyer information about other possible suspects. The 11th Circuit also agreed with a magistrate who found it hard to believe that Grace did not knowingly use a detective’s false testimony that there were no other suspects.

    “Despite the failure of the prosecutor to fulfill her responsibilities,” wrote Judge William H. Pryor Jr., the Georgia courts were not unreasonable to have upheld the convictions of Herbert Connell Stephens.

    A Fulton jury held Stephens responsible for the June 1990 murders of John Davis, Toria Pope and Tony Daniel at the Red Oaks housing project in Atlanta. Stephens was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences.

    Grace on Tuesday denied hiding that other people might have been involved with the crime, noting one of her witnesses said so in open court.

    “While some of the comments of the court are hurtful to me,” she added, “I am thankful for the unanimous decision” keeping the verdict intact.

    Stephens’ lawyer, G. Terry Jackson of Savannah’s Jackson & Schiavone, said he was disappointed with the ruling and would consider asking the full 11th Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.

    “It’s very clear Mr. Stephens did not receive a fair trial,” said Jackson.

    Stephens’ original trial lawyer, Fulton public defender Kenneth D. Kondritzer, called the court’s description of Grace as playing “fast and loose” with ethical rules “an understatement.”

    Stephen Gillers, a legal ethics professor from New York University School of Law, wrote in an e-mail that Grace’s actions regarding the detective were serious, “because submitting false sworn testimony to a court is probably the gravest violation of legal ethics.”


    The major issue before the courts reviewing the Stephens case was the existence of arrest warrants for two other people suspected of the murders. Stephens’ lawyers have said that information could have steered the jury to acquit Stephens.

    One witness identified John Wesley Ragin and Travis Williams as having been at the scene of the crimes along with Stephens and four conspirators. The four conspirators pleaded guilty the day Stephens went to trial and were sentenced to 18 months in prison.

    Arrest warrants were issued for Ragin and Williams, but they never were indicted, according to the Georgia Supreme Court’s 1994 review of the case, which upheld Stephens’ convictions.

    Although Kondritzer did not find out about the warrants until after the trial, “there is no proof that the State deliberately concealed the existence of those warrants,” wrote Justice George H. Carley for the unanimous court.

    Carley also dismissed claims that police testimony saying there were no suspects other than Stephens was false as a result of the arrest warrants. The justice noted that the evidence underlying the arrest warrants was admitted at trial. Stephens v. State, 264 Ga. 761 (1994).

    Stephens’ habeas corpus challenges to the verdict failed at a state court and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, with both citing statements from 10 witnesses who either saw Stephens shoot the victims or saw him at the scene.

    The federal judges, however, showed they were troubled by Grace’s actions. U.S. Magistrate E. Clayton Scofield III wrote in 2003 that the “overwhelming” evidence of Stephens’ guilt made it unreasonable to think that false testimony indicating there were no other suspects would have made a difference.

    Scofield added that he was not condoning Grace’s actions, writing, “The prosecutor clearly played fast and loose with her disclosure obligations in this case.” Stephens v. Hall, No. 1:99-CV-1317 (N.D.Ga. April 2, 2003).

    Judge Charles A. Moye Jr. accepted Scofield’s report, adding he “reluctantly finds that there was sufficient evidence” to support the state courts’ conclusions. Stephens v. Hall, No. 1:99-CV-1317 (N.D.Ga. Sept. 11, 2003).

    At the 11th Circuit, Pryor noted that the court was bound by rules requiring it to be “highly deferential” to state courts’ rulings. He was joined by Judges Gerald B. Tjoflat and Joel F. Dubina.

    Pryor pointed out that during testimony of the state habeas case, Grace denied that detectives provided her with the arrest warrants that were at the heart of Stephens’ claims.

    “Regardless,” Pryor added, “it was Grace’s duty to learn about the warrants and disclose them” to Stephens’ lawyers. Pryor later said the court agreed with Scofield’s belief that Grace “played fast and loose” with her ethical duties.

    But the state courts were not unreasonable, Pryor concluded, to say that Grace’s failures did not materially change the result of the trial. As a result, the panel rejected Stephens’ arguments that Grace’s actions constituted a violation of his due process rights. Stephens v. Hall, No. 03-15251 (11th Cir. May 2, 2005).


    This is the third time Grace’s conduct as a prosecutor has been criticized by an appellate court.

    In 1997, the Georgia Supreme Court skewered Grace for her actions in prosecuting Weldon Wayne Carr for allegedly setting fire to his house and murdering his wife. Carr later was freed when Fulton prosecutors waited too long to bring him up for a retrial. While the court reversed Carr’s 1994 conviction for other reasons, the justices said Grace withheld evidence entitled to the defense and made improper opening statements and closing arguments.

    “We conclude that the conduct of the prosecuting attorney in this case demonstrated her disregard of the notions of due process and fairness, and was inexcusable,” wrote then Chief Justice Robert Benham. Carr v. State, 267 Ga. 701 (1997).

    In 1994, the Georgia high court voted 6-1 to reverse a heroin trafficking conviction won by Grace because she “exceeded the wide latitude of closing argument” by referring to drug-related murders and serial rape, which were not at issue. Bell v. State, 263 Ga. 776 (1994).

    Two calls and an e-mail to CNN officials seeking comment were not returned.

    Asked whether her run-ins with appellate judges discredit her as a legal commentator, Grace noted that she tried more than 100 jury trials and handled thousands of guilty pleas in more than 10 years as a prosecutor.

    “It’s a lifetime of work,” she said, noting that she decided to become a lawyer after her fiance was murdered.

    Echoing the tone she frequently takes on her TV show, which often focuses on crime victims, Grace asserted that Stephens was responsible for murdering three young people.

    “Who knows what they could have become today?” she asked.

  • jarboy

    at the very least, mj is guilty of being dumber than cat shit. after what he went through in the early 90s, why would he continue to sleep with boys? grown men do not sleep with young boys in our society. there is something fundamentally out of wack about it. it just is not done. grown men sleep with sex partners, spouses, their own child on the rare occasion the child is scared and needs comforting, or themselves. it is no more acceptable for him to sleep with young boys than with young girls. those mothers sold their sons’ innocence for gifts and cash. shame on them.
    and kate, mj doesn’t need you to defend him. he can afford zillions for lawyers. you strike me as the type of pathetic woman who makes firend with serial killers behind bars. have you written to scott peterson yet?

  • Ess Sofiney

    I think may the “associated child fondler” ring of hell as it was added on-due to demand.

  • I suspect that Jack-O does not rest in Hell tonight. He experienced it every day of his life. And to those who have vociferously condemned his soul to Satan’s arms, take comfort. I suspect you’ll be ahead of Michael in line at the Gates. Remember, there are two sides to every story and then there’s the truth. We’ve only seen two sides, we don’t know the truth. And in the end, each of us, according to our beliefs, may have to account for our own truth. And that, my friends, is a sobering thought.