Much has been reported recently about the supposed growing relationship between the controversial Nation of Islam (NOI), which has been called a “cult” and Michael Jackson.

The former King of Pop, one-time Jehovah’s Witness and ex-husband of devout Scientologist Lisa Marie Presley, has now supposedly embraced Louis Farrakhan’s version of Islam reported the New York Post.

Since this story broke there have been further claims, counterclaims and repeated denials in news stories around the world, speculating about the pop icon’s religious status.

Leonard Muhammad, NOI chief of staff, was present during the exclusive Jackson CBS 60 Minutes interview with Ben Bradley taped on Christmas Day reported Fox News.

And there seems to be something of a power struggle between long-time loyalists within Neverland and NOI operatives for influence over the middle aged, self-styled Peter Pan reported Associated Press.

NOI has repeatedly denied it has any professional or business relationship with Jackson, though his attorney now refuses to deny the singer has ties to the sect.

Lawyer Mark Geragos has flip-flopped back and forth, first denying and now refusing to deny claims that the controversial group has growing influence over his client.

Some sources say NOI is “brainwashing” Jackson reports The Daily Telegraph.

But who is using whom?

Despite his attempt to feign child-like innocence Michael Jackson is an adroit self-serving spin-doctor, known for generating sensational stories to garner attention. He also collects high profile and/or celebrity friends that later become his convenient apologists.

Is the singer really mad for the Black Muslim sect, or is this just another ploy staged to politically position him for pre-trial publicity?

No doubt Louis Farrakhan is enjoying all the news coverage and may even want some of Jackson’s cash, which is reportedly still substantial despite his spendthrift ways and bad business decisions.

Farrakhan has forged some unlikely, but seemingly lucrative friendships lately, including Rev. Moon of the Unification Church as CultNews reported not long ago.

But is there a hidden agenda for the former King of Pop beyond his coming trial?

Maybe this pragmatic Pan is looking for long-term protection?

Jackson is admittedly using Farrakhan and his faithful currently for security. But if he is convicted and sentenced to hard time NOI has a formidable presence in the American prison system. And they can continue to provide protection behind the walls of whatever California correctional facility houses the fallen star.

Not bad for an end game, NOI may figuratively if not literally cover Jackson’s ass as his “rear guard.”

Last night Michael Jackson’s attorney Mark Geragos denied emphatically that the pop star has joined the controversial sect Nation of Islam led by Louis Farrakhan.

The lawyer was interviewed on CNN Larry King Live.

King asked, “Is he joining the Nation of Islam?”

Geragos stated flatly, “No. No…that’s another one of these…litany of lies.”

So did the New York Post get it wrong?

Mark Geragos may actually be out of the loop. There are persistent rumors that the Jackson camp may dump the lawyer.

Meanwhile the Nation of Islam’s publication is trumpeting the innocence of Jackson in its publication Final Call.

And since charges have officially been filed against the star some have indicated doubts about the strength of the criminal case, such as Roger Friedman at Fox News.

It seems like the Nation of Islam has an extraordinary interest in all things Jackson. This could be because his brother Jermaine Jackson is a member of the sect, or perhaps the “gloved one” is actively involved in the group as reported.

Louis Farrakhan might also simply be demonstrating his legitimate concern for a member of the African-American community.

But there is all that media attention with an opportunity for some serious face time through this sensational and heavily reported story.

Michael Jackson’s celebrity friends Liza Minnelli and Elizabeth Taylor have finally stepped forward to support him, so Minister Farrakhan will have to share the microphone with the growing cacophony of Jackson defenders.

Will the former “King of Pop” eventually become a lesser light known as just “Michael X”?

One thing is for sure; the media will keep reporting the details from Neverland.

Michael Jackson has joined Louis Farrakhan’s controversial Nation of Islam reports the New York Post.

Jermaine Jackson joined the group in 1989 and later began trying to recruit his brother Michael reported Fox News.

The Jackson family has a history of involvement with Jehovah’s Witnesses, another controversial religion with a troubled history, which does not allow its members to celebrate birthdays, holidays and discourages blood transfusions.

Michael Jackson disassociated himself from that faith not long after releasing his hit album Thriller. He has since said the religion was a source of sorrow in his life.

Now the former “King of Pop” has reportedly become “panicked” about the criminal charges he faces for child sexual abuse, but can Louis Farrakhan help him “beat it”?

The Nation of Islam didn’t prevent brother Jermaine from crashing into bankruptcy after his conversion.

Apparently some around the embattled “Jacko” are advising him to play the race card. And certainly Minister Farrakhan knows that game.

Farrakhan and Jackson seem to have little in common, other than taunting Jews.

Jackson once sang “Jew me, Sue me” and “Kick me, Kike me,” in his 1996 composition They Don’t Care About Us.

Farrakhan has derided Judaism, calling it a “gutter religion.”

Though the Nation of Islam leader would readily admit that according to his faith sexually molesting children might be somewhere beneath the “gutter.”

If Jackson is guilty will Farrakhan counsel him to confess and accept his punishment as the right thing to do?

The story of Malcolm X offers an example of a religious epiphany that led to higher moral ground.

However, Jackson is not unlike other celebrities that have fallen in with “cults” during times of distress and/or depression. He seems to be looking for a way out, a faith that can somehow deliver him from problems.

But given the seriousness of the star’s current situation, there may be no easy escape.

Note: Michael Jackson was charged today with nine criminal counts, seven for child molestation and two of administering an intoxicating agent for the purpose of a committing a felony. the complaint includes special allegations that could make Jackson ineligible for probation reports CNN.

Evidence of increasing ties between Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Minister Lois Farrakhan and Rev. Moon of the Unification Church can be seen in an issue of the NOI Final Call newsletter this month.

Final Call contributor Mother Tynnetta Muhammad writes about her “series of articles with the Reverend and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon and the leadership of the Unification Church, and [her] recent visit to Korea and Mongolia.”

In her published contribution this month Mother Muhammad acknowledges “those individuals who have worked silently in the background to establish another [Korean] link to the Nation of Islam as manufacturers of products designed for the Exodus Program.”

The “Exodus Program” seems to be a Moon-inspired business venture and new funding source for Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam.

Mother Muhammad’s series of articles lauding the Unification Church and Rev. Moon can be seen on-line at the Final Call archive.

It looks like Moon has become a meaningful source of cash for Farrakhan.

This time it is Louis Farrakhan Jr. 45, charged with beating his child. And junior has a sorry record of domestic violence, reports the Daily Southtown.

He plead guilty to beating his pregnant wife three years ago and received probation.

Earlier in May another Farrakhan, Nasir H. Farrakhan of Chicago, was charged for leaving the scene of an accident (‘hit and run”) and drunk driving.

What a mess the Farrakhan family seems to be.

Was Louis Farrakhan Sr. so busy leading the Nation of Islam that he neglected his family?

What guidance did he provide for his seemingly troubled sons as they grew up? And what will the prominent preacher do now?

The Nation of Islam certainly doesn’t doctrinally condone the type of behavior displayed by the Farrakhan children.

Perhaps Minister Farrakhan should take a sabbatical and spend more quality time with his family to straighten things out.

Louis Farrakhan’s son, previously arrested for drunk driving and hit and run, is now being sued over his reckless behavior, reports Associated Press.

The elderly couple he hit while under the influence is suing the apparent bad boy from the Farrakhan brood, 44-year-old Joshua Nasir Farrakhan.

Should the Nation of Islam, which is known for reforming drunks, make a more concerted effort with the son of its founder?

Nation of Islam leader Lois Farrakhan’s son was arrested for hit-and-run in Indiana over this past weekend, reported Associated Press.

Nasir H. Farrakhan, of Chicago was held on probable cause for driving drunk with a suspended license, hit and run and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He smashed into the car of an elderly couple, causing $5,000 in damages and sending one to the hospital with apparently minor injuries.

Farrakhan’s 44-year-old son is one of nine children.

It seems this member of the Farrakhan family is not following his father’s teachings regarding the evils of substance abuse and accepting responsibility for bad behavior.

Is Nasir Farrakhan the Muslim version of that old clich√©, the preacher’s wild rebellious son?

The mother of an American Muslim soldier held for murder insists her son is being “framed,” reports the Sacramento Observer.

Sergeant Asan K. Akbar, 32, is charged with two counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder, for a grenade attack within a military camp in Kuwait during March.

Akbar grew up within the Nation of Islam in Los Angeles, and is a member of the American Society of Muslims, led by Imam Warithudeen Mohammed.

The sergeant is also a college graduate with two engineering degrees from the University of California.

What might have led this man to commit murder?

The sergeant’s mother says, “He was saying that nobody really liked him…because he was a Muslim.”

The mother also implied that racism is often behind such violence.

She said, “You know, America flies two flags.” This was an apparent reference to states that still fly some symbolic representation of the Confederacy.

Akbar’s mother added, “That Confederate flag is the same flag I heard that the KKK flies… what (does) that flag stand for? Does it stand for the same things that it stands for all those years back? Or does it mean something different?”

Whatever may have driven Sergeant Akbar is unknown.

Did his formative years within the controversial Nation of Islam somehow shape Akbar’s worldview so negatively, that it fueled an explosion of violence in Kuwait?

Or, did the alleged murderer ultimately lose an internal struggle with his personal demons and distress?

A large entourage from the Nation of Islam accompanied leader Louis Farrakhan on his 1998 “World Friendship Tour,” which stopped in South Korea.

One traveler on that trip Tynnetta Muhammad is now recounting this momentous event in a series of articles published on Final Call.com News.

The latest piece about this journey is titled In Search of Messiah. And this heading seems ironic, if you consider who sponsored and led the trip for Farrakhan and his followers.

Their tour was conducted by members of Rev. Moon’s Unification Church.

The delegation visited a ballet school financed by Moon and met his daughter-in-law Julia .

She was actually wed to the Moon heir’s spirit after his death.

Rev. Moon is the “messiah” according to his church and numerous proclamations made from heaven, or so say the true believers once called the “Moonies.”

Does this mean the Nation of Islam can end its “search” for “messiah” and just accept Moon?

They might have only needed to ask their tour guide for simple directions.

It is said that Moon stimulates and lubricates his friendships with some religious leaders through donations, funding pet projects and/or expensive gifts. He also has frequently paid the travel expenses of politicians and scholars to attend his conferences.

It is unclear exactly what arrangements may have been made with Louis Farrakhan.

Interestingly, Rev. Moon has said, “The blacks in [the United States] have been oppressed for centuries by the whites, but it is nothing compared to what has happened to me in this nation.”

Hmmm.

Is this what Minister Farrakhan feels is the bond between him and Moon?

LA Lakers basketball star Shaquille O’Neal is rumored to have joined Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, reports the NY Post.

Apparently Farrakhan is a “very close” friend and the minister attended the Laker star’s recent wedding at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

However, O’Neal seems reluctant to announce his conversion to the controversial group due to “all the anti-Muslim sentiments right now.”