Behemoth vocalist/guitarist Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski was formally charged on Monday 8 March for insulting Roman Catholics, according to Polish websites Interia.pl and GazetaPrawna.pl.
Darski drew mass publicity in his native country in September 2007 when he reportedly called the Catholic Church “the most murderous cult on the planet” during a Behemoth concert in Gdynia and tore up a copy of the Bible onstage.
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After the incident Behemoth were sued for promoting Satanism by Ryszard Nowak, head of the All-Polish Committee for Defense Against Sects.
Although a court expert witness on religious matters said that destroying the Holy Bible could offend somebody’s religious feelings – a criminal offense under Polish law – the case was thrown out because no one except Nowak accused the band of insulting their religious beliefs. Under Polish law, there must be at least two formal complaints before a charge is brought.
The first complaint was made in 2008, and recently an unspecified number of other complaints have been filed.
Nergal is pleading not guilty to the charge.
Apparently, in the first hearing Darski stated under cross examination that what he does on stage is part of artistic license and it wasn’t supposed to offend religious feelings. However, an expert on religious history and studies from Jagellonian University in Krakow stated that every copy of a bible could be considered a religious icon.
There was no judgment ruled against Darski in the first hearing, but now that a second complaint has been filed, the matter will be heard by the courts.
If found guilty, Darski faces up to two years in prison.
In a 2009 interview with Decibel magazine, Behemoth bass player Tomasz ‘Orion’ Wróblewski made the following comments on the Bible-tearing incident.
“We’d been doing that for two years on tour before it happened in Poland, so we had discussed it many times before. A Behemoth show is a Behemoth show, and Behemoth fans are coming to a Behemoth show. Behemoth fans know what Behemoth is about, know what the lyrics are about, and know at least a little of the philosophy behind the band.
“So, it’s kind of surprising that there are people coming to the shows and feeling offended with what we do onstage. If such a person comes to a show, he comes with the purpose of being offended, I guess, and it shouldn’t be like that.
“We’re not offending any particular person. We’re just offending the religion that we’ve been raised in.”
MetalTalk.net is urging the whole Metal community to get behind Behemoth and help Adam Darski fight this preposterous charge all the way. We saw them off in the 80’s (Swaggart, Backer etc) and we can do it again.
We must do all we can to stop our brother Adam going to jail. More to follow…