AND NOW A MESSAGE FROM NERGAL
I didn’t read the comments under our story “Nergal Has Leukemia” until yesterday. I naively assumed that they would all be along the lines of “That’s terrible, we hope Nergal gets better,” etc. I forgot that this is the internet, where people have the capacity to turn anything into an argument. I could write “I like chicken salad,” and somehow the comments beneath the post would turn into a flame war about the pros and cons of raising animals free range, or being vegan, how turkey is better than chicken, or whatever.
What we should all take away from Nergal’s affliction is the knowledge that there is a need for bone marrow donors, not just for Nergal but for ANYONE AND EVERYONE who is stricken with this terrible disease.
There is no need for a religious debate. And it makes me incredibly sad that there was/is one surrounding Nergal’s illness. Whatever you believe, that’s your business, and I don’t begrudge you your faith. But using a man’s sickness as any kind of platform for that discussion is, frankly, exploitative and low. This isn’t a political narrative; this is a man’s life.
So while one cliché goes “There are no atheists in the fox holes,” another instructs us that “Your ideals don’t mean anything unless you stick to them even during times when it may not be convenient to do so.” And so, thus spake Nergal:
“I haven’t intended to manifest myself in any way and, especially at this stage, to share my feelings or any other news with the world for obvious reasons. It is simply too early for it. But it was YOU who provoked me to say a few words. Regarding my personal low opinion of humankind, I’m shocked by the reaction to my illness. I actually expected NOTHING yet received feedback which surpassed all expectations. I want to ensure you I read EACH mail I receive, although I’m unable to reply to all of them. The power of your words is pure magic and I thank you all for it. You are a gigantic indestructible army that truly inspires me in this difficult time. The fact is that a fight with this illness is going to last for many months. Most of this time I will spend in hospital and I will go through various psychophysical states. If you know the history of Behemoth you also know we achieved everything by hard work and a steely determination. The same goes for my private life. I happen to be a strong son of a bitch. I have no faith but rely on a 100% victory and I am sure I will get out of it stronger than ever. Sun Tzu in his ‘Art of War’ said that if you know your enemy and yourself the result of a thousand battles will not surprise you… I enter the ring with this Nietzschean attitude and I will leave it as a winner, as usual. Just watch and see!
“So I want to emphasize that Behemoth will by no means goes through any hibernation state. Obviously all concert plans must be postponed until some unknown point in the future, but things are happening! Lately our newest video for ‘…Alas, Lord is Upon Me’ has premiered and stirred up quite a storm in mass media, which fills us with utter pride. Plus we’ve just finished the project of our new DVD;Evangelia Heretikais a three disc release, a real encyclopedia of Behemoth with nearly 5 hours of material and a bonus audio CD that will be out in November (Metal Blade US – Nuclear Blast Europe). Expect an experience of visual madness as we went to hell and back to make it! Our official Webstore has been functional for a couple of days and official merchandise and some very exclusive stuff can be bought there. At the beginning of 2011, Peaceville in Europe and Metal Blade in US will reissue the EPs with new artwork, bonuses, liner notes, and more. As you can see, despite a complicated situation and difficult circumstances we’re remaining active wherever we can.
“Finally, I want to comment on some opinions which, provoked by religious circles, lead to far-fetched and inaccurate interpretations. I was surprised to hear my illness became a pretext for some people to embark on their own crusade. Opinions suggesting I might come closer to God or abandon my ideals and grovel to the only correct world view in this country not only surprised but also frightened me. This is a typical example of supporting one’s own views by preying on someone’s misfortune. ‘He fell ill so he will convert to Christianity, he will discover the religion he fought against is actually close to him.’ Halt! Why should the illness change my point of view? It is true this is a difficult time for me and the thoughts of ultimate matters are hard to chase away. But the idea that I will change my opinions, priorities, and values as a consequence of my illness sounds as if someone regards my head, and not my body, ill. Suggesting I might convert are ridiculous. To what would I convert? After all, I know Christian mythology pretty well, not only in its literary version, and I find nothing good, creative or beautiful in it. I read books better and wiser than the Bible. War, blood, blackmail, rapes, incest, pedophilia, zoophilia, collaboration and treachery – each page emanates with evil. Some may say I don’t understand the message of the Bible. I’d rather say the Christianity is nothing more than a rusty and archaic structure that is going to fall down any moment. It lasts only because of the gullible that follow the shepherd blindly; without any questions, without any consideration, not to any promised land, but to an intellectual slaughter. So, I say to those, who see some chances to break my rules, and myself because of the illness: over my dead body!”