Michal Stangret of Poland's Metro reports that a Polish anti-sect organization calling itself the All-Polish Committee for Defence against Sects has compiled a list of artists who allegedly "promote Satanism" through their music. The list, which will be distributed to various Polish officials in July, will likely result in the artists becoming registered and getting banned from performing in Poland.
"Until now it has been unclear which bands promote these values, and therefore the authorities, unaware of the facts, have allowed these kinds of concerts to be organized, in the process giving these bands a platform from which they could spread their dangerous message. So we decided to help them," explained Ryszard Nowak, who heads the All-Polish Committee for Defence against Sects.
According to Nowak, hundreds of bands who have performed in Poland over the course of the last 20 years have been evaluated before the final list was compiled. Just exactly which artists will be included? The document's creators are unwilling to reveal that information just yet but it is almost certain that Polish acts BEHEMOTH and KAT, as well as American shock-rocker MARILYN MANSON, will make the cut.
"The index will not only contain metal bands, but also rock artists," Nowak explained, before adding that the list will include any groups who promote Satanism or encourage murder and animal sacrifice.
The document will be distributed to government authorities and various other officials around the country. Some of the local governments are already looking forward to receiving it.
"Nowadays we rarely know anything about the bands that are performing in our city and the list would enable us to identify the dangerous ones much more easily," said Urszula Sienkiewicz-Nogal of the Bialystok city council.
"I don't think anyone with common sense would allow concerts by any of the artists included in the document to be carried out," she added.
"At the moment, when I see a poster of a suspicious band in the street, I call the venue [to obtain more details]. But obviously this simple method does not always allow for the proper identification of bands that promote Satanism," Mariusz Orzelowski from the Siedlce mayor's office said.
According to the report, the document will also be forwarded to the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior Affairs and Administration and to the Minister of Education. What for?
"The report will be very useful, as we are currently preparing an amendment of the penal code which also includes regulations concerning sects and promoting Satanism," explained Joanna Dabek on behalf of Ministry of Justice.
"As soon as we get the document, we will pass it on to the police headquarters," stated Michal Rachon on behalf of Ministry of Interior Affairs and Administration. He added that the report is going to be a valuable instrument for the Ministry of Interior Affairs and Administration since it is responsible for gathering significant information on sects.
The existence of such a list will surely make international headlines.
"This kind of document hasn't been compiled in any other country," said Nowak. "Poland is the first country to undertake such a task.
The document is going to be confidential and will not be made public.
"We don't want it to fall into the youths' hands as they could copy the practices we are describing there," Nowak pointed out.
BEHEMOTH frontman Nergal had the following reaction when told of the plans to release such a list: "I am shocked; this must be some kind of joke. We've been touring around the whole world — United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Russia — and we've not had any problems anywhere. I am surprised that we are being judged by our appearance and that no one even took the time to contact us and ask us what our music is all about. Other than that, come on — there are enough serious matters to be dealt with in Poland! The authorities would be better off spending their time on things that really need to be improved and taken care of."
To view the original Polish-language Metro article, go to this location.
(Thanks to Monika Serafinska for help with translation)