Polish heavy metal band frontman to be tried for desecrating a Bible

Polish heavy metal band frontman to be tried for desecrating a Bible March 10, 2010

ADAM “Nergal” Darski, frontman for Poland’s extreme heavy metal band Behemoth, has been formally charged for destroying a copy of the Bible over two years ago.
According to this report, while it is a crime in Poland to destroy any religious iconography, there must be at least two formal complaints before a charge is laid. The first charge was made in 2008 – and recently an undisclosed number of additional complaints were lodged against Darski.

Nergal with the Best Underground Band trophy clinched by Behemoth at the Metal Hammer Gods Awards 2009 in London. (AP Photo/James McCauley)
At the first hearing, under cross -examination, Darski said what he does on stage is part of artistic license and it wasn’t intended to offend religious feelings. This was countered by an expert on religious history and studies from Jagellonian University in Krakow, who stated that every copy of a Bible could be considered a religious icon.
Following this second wave of complaints, the case will now go to court, and if found guilty, Darski could face a full two years in prison.
Last month it was reported that the national conservative Polish political party Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc (PiS), was orchestrating efforts to prosecute Darski for offending people’s religious beliefs.
The alleged offence happened in September 2007, when Darski reportedly called the Catholic Church “the most murderous cult on the planet” during a Behemoth performance in Gdynia, and tore up a copy of a bible onstage.
Behemoth bassist Tomasz “Orion” Wroblewski, said:
The incident was by no means a spontaneous outburst, we’d been doing that for two years on tour before it happened in Poland.
He added:

A Behemoth show is a Behemoth show, so the fans are aware of what to expect.

Hat tip: ZombieHunter


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  • Broadsword Calling Danny Boy

    Lordi Lordi!
    Return of The Inquistion in 2010.
    This case just makes catholicism look even more ridiculous.
    It’s taken over two years to get the number of formal complaints required to force a prosecution so I assume the majority of Poles aren’t that upset by it all.
    It would be nice if any Poles reading would care to comment.

  • What a bunch of whiny douchebags.

  • shargraves

    LOL. Like metal doesn’t CONSTANTLY insult religious stupidity!
    From Black Sabbath exploiting the imagry of the devil (“The closest we ever got to black magic was a box of chocolates” Ozzy) to bands like Deicide, Apostasy, Atheist, Antichrist, Nocturnus and thousands of otehrs – the list is endless. (and tedious)
    The only thing funnier than people getting upset at metal bands – still – is christians who play metal too. Their lyrics are the funniest! And coincidentally, the lamest.
    The only thing more pathetic yet – is when metallers quit the drink n drugs lifestyle and become born again xtians – like Dave Mustaine & David Ellefson from Megadeth.
    It’s very sad when that happens; because even when their riffs kick ass, what is going on in their minds’ sucks ass.

  • Harry

    Isn’t this idol-worship, to equate damaging a bible with attacking the deity it talks about?

  • mikespeir

    Strange. Wasn’t that long ago when the Polish government itself would’ve been doing the desecrating.

  • Holland

    \m/ Horns high! E-v-e-r-y d-a-y!
    Or like Motörhead sings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1hi0m1YJ1w

  • barriejohn

    I don’t actually know what people are talking about here, but I’ll say that I agree with them anyway! I do agree with Harry, though: even the Presbyterians where I lived used to parade the Bible aloft through the congregation before their services, which amazed me. Where’s Oliver Cromwell when you need him?

  • Broga

    Never seems to occur to the dumbofaiths that an omniscient and omnipotent being could protect himself and anything associated with him. Why would he need them?

  • Angela_K

    Quote: Darski reportedly called the Catholic Church “the most murderous cult on the planet” Tough call for courts that one, could be catholicism or islam; I wonder how the lawyers would argue that.
    And for destroying a racist, sexist vile book: he should be applauded.

  • Stuart H

    I used to know a guy in Warsaw who brings some big US bands to Poland, and he told me that, far from the ‘controversy’ certain artists claimed to have caused, in practice they negotiated the stage show down to the last detail with Polish police beforehand to ensure grumbling by church figures but no prosecutions. So, fair play to Darski for just going for it. PiS are a nasty bunch too – just think of Christian Concern For Our Nation running the UK and you’d be close.
    One thing I don’t get – for something to be a religious icon surely it has to have been prayed over/blessed or otherwise magically transformed by a twat in a funny hat to differentiate it from ‘lay’ objects. If bibles come off the printing press by the zillion how is that so for all of them?
    Also, if Polish jails are as bad as I suspect, do prisoners get another 2 years on the sentence every time they use the lav?

  • gsw

    I think they are just jealous of the amount of attention that the islamists are attracting.
    Having seen that people will bend over backwards ‘not to offend’ a muslim, now the other cults are saying what about us!.

  • Janstince

    Nice to see free speech alive and well in th xtian community 🙂 Oh, wait a tick…

  • Nick Pullar

    Let’s have a Bible-ripping party in front of the Polish Embassy!
    We must confront these blasphemy restrictions HEAD-ON.
    It’s just a book, ffs.

  • Darren

    Now, see, it’s funny.
    Like he said, they had been doing it on tour for a couple years before anybody raised complaints.
    I even remember them playing a concert in my city, they didn’t just rip up the bible, they literally burned it.

  • chuckyjer

    Another product of an imperfect coupling.

  • ZombieHunter

    See If it took two years to get the required number of people to complain then I can’t help but wonder if people were sent “undercover” after having read about what Behemoth are about and went just to be offended and act as witnesses in any prosecution against them??.
    Alsi in Poland there is an orginastion called the “All polish commitee for defence against sects” who gave a list of bands who they claim promote satanism and murder, Behemoth were on that list too.

  • Stonyground

    The rock group that comes to my mind concerning songs that bash religion is Jethro Tull, the relevant songs being My God, Wind Up and Roots to Branches (“Suffer little children to make their minds up soon”).
    Genesis and Be-Bop Deluxe have both done songs bashing TV evangelists and Queen stated that the one true religion was a bunch of rock stars getting together in 1985 to raise money for a worthy cause.
    In spite of him having done a duet with Cliff Richard about God shining his light, Van Morrison also did Precious Time is Slipping away which says “No rhyme or reason no master plan, no nirvana no promised land”.

  • Aad Molenkamp

    “I did not intend to hurt religious feelings”, the culprit stated.
    I would wish it wasn’t necessary for him in court to steep that low. Is it really nessy? Can’t we just stand straight?
    Of course he wanted to hurt the righteous Flock! Fuck ’em
    Isn’t there another defence? Fingers!

  • NeoWolfe

    Not to offend any Brits, but, two hundred years ago, the Colonial Americans revolted. They didn’t like being taxed without representation in Parliament. And they didn’t like the Catholics or the Church of England imposing their religion on their new experiment.
    It was the FreeMasons that told big religion to fuck off. Unfortunately, they thought that if we could just practice their own little religion in peace, all would be good. Well, that hasn’t worked either.
    This much is true, if I had enough money, I could buy every bible in town, and every koran, pile them up, dump gasoline on them, and set them on fire. I could piss on them while they’re burning, and if I understand the most current law, I could plant an American flag in the center as it burns, and not violate a single law (except open burning).
    Seems like we’re still two hundred years ahead of Europe into freespeech. But, all you have to do is look at the KKK to realize there’s a flip side to that coin too. Unintended consequences.

  • Nancy

    Hello All
    I came to this site via this subject on Think Atheist, the USA based atheist site … NeoWolfe it’s ironic and maybe too obvious to state that it’s a lot easier to live as an atheist in uk, in my experience, than America where religion n state is apparently separate … and looking at healthcare reform to name just one issue, I think you’ll agree that religion/christianity features much higher in politics … That being said, I am new to all this group atheist malarkey and wonder what we can actually DO in cases such as the Polish Band … does Amnesty take up these causes? If not, is there a coalition of atheist groups that can get together for petitioning a la Amnesty? In the absence of donations, surely that is something we could all contribute to?

  • Shaun Hollingworth

    Poland should be ejected from the European Union for Human Rights abuse.

  • Pingback: Polish pop star charged for suggesting the Bible was written by drunks and stoners()

  • Pawel Lijewski

    I am Polish and a metalhead, and its a pity to see that the arrogance and ignorance of religion is still allowed to influence law and government. i hope this does not make anyone think less of the Polish people as a nation, it shouldnt, anymore than a few homophobic gun toting rednecks in america should make the world think less of America as a nation. (but sadly it does) [i live in america] the universal truth is art is art and its not hurting anyone then no one has a right to stop it

  • Janet

    What is the problem? As a Quaker I ripped up a Bible in the middle of Bedford, England, some years ago as part of a public celebration of the English Revolution and its radical ideas (Diggers, Ranters, Levellers etc). What cares about printed texts? If other Christians do, then they are missing something rather more vital.