Agonia Records Under Fire for Signing Inquisition Leader Convicted of Child Pornography-Related Charges
Agonia Records has come under intense fire from metal fans upset that the label has signed Inquisition, whose frontman “Dagon” (née Jason Weirbach) plead guilty to child pornography-related charges in 2009.
Agonia Records, based in Poland, has been active since 2003 and has put out releases by Decrepit Birth, Origin, Arsis, Psycroptic, Hour of Penance and dozens of other bands over the years. The label announced the signing of Inquisition on November 11 with the release of a new single and music video, but it was the full stream of the band’s new album posted last Thursday, November 19, that attracted the attention and backlash of the metal world at large. Metal fans took to social media to vent about Weirbach’s child pornography-related charges as well as his ties to white supremacy. Agonia subsequently issued a defense of Weirbach (which has since been deleted), blocked a number of users who were critical of the label, made their Twitter account private, and turned off comments on Inquisition’s videos.
Court documents surrounding Weirbach’s case, which are a matter of public record, came to light in 2018 via MetalSucks. They state that NCMEC (the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) became aware of an account uploading sexually explicit photographs of “young females in their early teens or pre-teens” to the photo-sharing website Photobucket in November of 2006. After tracing the uploader’s I.P. address and determining its jurisdiction, NCMEC contacted the Everett Police Department, who subsequently launched an investigation.
Although the user name for the Photobucket account suggested its owner was a woman, that investigation eventually led police to Weirbach. In late 2007, Detective Karen Kowalchyk visited Weirbach and his wife at their home in Washington state. While Weirbach was out of the room, his wife admitted that they were having marital problems, that Weirbach liked for her to dress up as a young girl when they had sex, and that she was concerned he might be looking at child pornography online; while his wife was out of the room, Weirbach admitted that the Photobucket images were his, and that he had pretended to be a lesbian while obtaining them online. Weirbach claimed that he had only ever looked at the images “out of curiosity.”
Consequently, Weirbach’s computer was subpoenaed, and he was ordered to turn in the machine. According to the report, investigators found that “efforts had been made to sanitize/clean out” as many as 2,000 files after Detective Kowalchyk had left his home. Some of these files were recoverable, and proved to be photos of Weirbach and his wife, Inquisition, and more child pornography, involving both young girls and boys.
Weirbach was charged with Possession of Depictions of a Minor Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct in December of 2008; in June of 2009, his attorney was able to strike a bargain with prosecutors, whereupon Weirbach plead guilty to Unlawful Display of Sexually Explicit Material and Obstructing a Law Enforcement Officer. In exchange, the prosecutor recommended thirty days in jail with credit for time already served, roughly $1,000 in fines, and two years of probation, which included limited access to the Internet as well as counseling.
Inquisition’s former record label, Season of Mist, dropped the band immediately after learning of the 2018 MetalSucks report. Their webstore, however, currently stocks the band’s new album along with 48 other items by the band.
Following a post announcing the album stream last Thursday, Agonia’s Twitter account responded directly to fans upset about the signing in defense of Weirbach’s past actions. Those replies are no longer visible, but MetalSucks has obtained screen shots of them. One reply read, in part:
“Dagon isn’t listed as a sex offender. There’s a difference between being caught possessing pictures (10+ years ago) and actually hurting someone, Most likely the only person that got hurt in process is Dagon himself, due to his ill-advised decisions.”
“Guilty or not, we believe everyone has a second chance in life. We’re not eager to burn someone at the stake solely upon the weight of hyped up allegations, formulated without knowing the person concerned.”
Other Twitter users were quick to point out that that Dagon’s possession of these images was not, in fact, victimless, the victims being the young boys and girls depicted in the photos and videos he possessed (regardless of whether he was the one to create them). Many also pointed out Weirbach’s problematic history with respect to white supremacism:
Weirbach, who was charged with Fourth Degree Assault and Third Degree Malicious Mischief in February of 2006, has been at the center of controversy in the past as the result of accusations that he is involved in Nazism and/or white supremacy. These allegations stem primarily from another Weirbach project, 88MM, the name of which denotes both a Nazi gun and the phrase “Heil Hitler.” 88MM’s track “14 Showerheads, 1 Gas Tight Door” appeared on a compilation entitled Declaration of Anti-Semetic Terror [sic], which included an image of Weirbach posing with a swastika flag.
Additionally, in a post on social media, a former white supremacist detailed an encounter with Inquisition during which, he alleged, the band, spurred on by his hate-group-themed tattoos, preached the benefits of Nazi ideology.