A lot of big name stars are unwittingly about to start raising money for Scientology, thanks to Michael Jackson.
At 3 p.m. PST Monday, Jackson is launching a worldwide Internet download of his charity single, “What More Can I Give?” For $2 a shot, Jackson fans will be able to hear this record, made two years ago but never released. The record features Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, members of ‘N Sync, The Backstreet Boys and others.
But what fans — and the two dozen participating artists — probably don’t know is that proceeds from the single download are going, in part, to Scientology. Jackson has designated The HELP Organization, which uses study techniques developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, as one of the beneficiaries of his largesse.
The other charities Jackson will send “part” of these proceeds to include: Oneness, Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation and something called the International Child Art Foundation. Information about Jackson’s plans can be found at www.whatmorecanigive.com.
The Oneness Foundation is run by one of Jackson’s record producers, who also produced the Spanish language version of the single. Ironically, Oneness — a boutique operation — was supposed to benefit from the sales of tickets to Neverland last month, as was the Make a Wish Foundation. Neither group has yet to see any money from the Neverland open house event.
Scientology’s HELP — as well as Oneness, Mr. Hollands and ICAF — were not the designees when Jackson convinced people like Usher, Luther Vandross, Tom Petty, Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan, Beyonce Knowles and other superstars to participate in this recording two years ago. At the time, the stars thought they were participating in a fund raising event for families of the Sept. 11 tragedy. Now, however, “What More Can I Give?” will be collecting money for causes many of the stars may not have intended.
HELP, which stands for Hollywood Literacy and Education Program, is a subsidiary of the Church of Scientology. The copyright on the HELP Web site, which Jackson’s Web site is now linking to, states: “The Hollywood Education and Literacy Project is licensed by Applied Scholastics International to use the Study Technology of L. Ron Hubbard. Applied Scholastics is a trademark and service mark owned by the Association of Better Living and Education International and is used with its permission.”
The Association for Better Living is yet another Scientology offshoot, which, according to their Web site, adheres to the teachings of founder Hubbard, the late science fiction writer. Referred to as ABLE, the association is an umbrella name for Scientology’s different 12 step and learning programs.
Jackson was briefly married to a Scientologist, Lisa Marie Presley, in the late 1990s.
Calls to Jackson’s company, MJJ Productions, proved useless. An answering service operator said they were on vacation.
Oct. 27, 2003