If the Devil is in the details, it seems the small print for bookings at Unsound in Poland were written by Beelzebub himself. Several of the festival’s shows, intended to be held at St. Catherine’s Church and The Church of St. Peter and Paul in Krakow, have been cancelled after the churches received a complaint accusing some of the acts of Satanism. And it’s not the first time musicians have been accused of dabbling with the Occult…
Lady Gaga: It was a dark and stormy night in London town… Actually, we don’t know much about the weather the night Lady Gaga – allegedly, and if you believe the maid who leveled the allegation – bathed in blood as part of a Satanic ritual at London’s Intercontinental Hotel in 2012, but we do know it’s one hell of a story.
Iron Maiden: In 1982, heavy metal titans Maiden, upon releasing their seminal album ‘Number of the Beast’, were perhaps inevitably hit with accusations of devil worship. In fact, some US Christian groups took it to an extreme and held record burning shindigs, sending the album up in flames, and the Catholic Church had them banned from performing in Chile.
Jay Z and Beyonce: When the world’s biggest power couple announced in 2012 that their daughter was called Blue Ivy, some Twitter users suggested that the name spelled Eulb Yvi backwards. That’s right – ‘Lucifier’s daughter’ in Latin. Case closed.
Paul McCartney: Oh, not Paul. Well, according to the conspiracy theorists, Macca is a Satanist. That’s because the song ‘Revolution 9’, taken from The White Album, apparently says ‘Turn me on, dead man’ when played backwards. This has proved fodder for those daft rumours that Paul is dead, man, and made a pact with the Devil to stay on this mortal coil.
Slipknot: If you’re looking for a band to accuse of occultism, yes, the shock-rock Iowans are probably an obvious choice. The Greek Orthodox Church certainly thought so in 2005, as it attempted to have their gig at Lykavitos Theatre, in Athens, cancelled because “Public institutions must do their duty and protect Greek citizens from any public event that promotes Satanism”.
Nicki Minaj: Now, this one really is a stretch. But batshit Illuminati-‘exposing’ website beginningandend.com objects in general to the rapper’s racy images and lyrics and in 2012 published a long – like, really long – article explaining that “the corruption of children with music like this is by itself Satanic”. So that’s Nicki’s career in a nutshell: pretty good, but mainly Satanic.
Led Zeppelin: Jimmy Page was fascinated with Alistair Crowley, the infamous occultist whose name crops up time and again in all matters Beelzebub. The association fuelled rumours that the frontman was a Satanist. “I don’t really want to go on about my personal beliefs or my involvement in magic”, Page teased when asked by Rolling Stone.
Sammy Davis Jr: Tales of the crooner’s induction into the Church of Satan have persisted over the years. He was apparently introduced to the religion by that other noted occultist Anton La Vey, a hokey figure who founded the Church. “It was a short-lived interest,” Davis Jr. later wrote, “but I still have many friends in the Church of Satan.”
Crade of Filth: Again, you can sort of see where the accusers are coming from here. The Suffolk metalheads have flirted with Satanism over the years, which detractors have taken to mean they’re the real deal, but singer Dani Filth said in 2005: “No one says to Stephen King, ‘You must be a devil worshipper because you’ve written so many novels about evil.'”
Madonna: Her Madgesty was targeted in 2009 by Polish nationalists outraged by her decision to perform in Warsaw on The Feast of Assumption, the day Christian believe the Virgin Mary ascended to heaven. “Madonna specialises in offending religious feelings,” said one protestor. “It is possible to suspect her of being a crypto-Satanist.” It is possible, but is it sensible?