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An attempt at a review of Torstein Grude's "Satan Rir Media" (Satan Rides The Media)
Director: Torstein Grude
Release year: 1998
Company: Subfilm in co-production with TV2
Recorded in: 1991 - 1998
Total Playing Time: 52 minutes
In early 1999 a TV channel in Norway broadcasted a documentary by Torstein Grude. It was called "Satan Rir Media", and to my knowledge his purpose for this documentary was to show that the media had created a satanic subculture in Norway, and abroad for that sake, based mostly on fiction and nonsense.
Like always my reviews are flawed in some way, and this time the problem is that I saw this documentary one single time, when it was on TV, in early 1999. I tried to see it a second time in 2003 when on a leave in Oslo, together with a Russian friend who wanted to see it, but the tape was broken. So this review is based solely on what I remember...
The documentary was rather spectacular, in the sense that it unveiled that a journalist had actually gone to the police and snitched on an interviewee (me), who was pulling his leg in the first place. When the police arrested me the next day the journalist edited the interview and the newspaper he was working for, "Bergens Tidende" (Bergen News) published an insane version of it the following day, without even letting me read through it. In addition to that he told everybody he had read it to me on the phone and that I had "confirmed the contents", which was not true. He then told his version of things to the other journalists in Norway, when I was in prison without the ability to correct him, and in that sense he single-handedly created the notion of a Satanic movement in Norway on false pretence. This scared a lot of ordinary people, naturally, and of course caused a lot of unnecessary fear. Children and other weak souls had problems sleeping in the night and unruly kids were even threatened by their parents that if they didn't behave they would end up in prison with that horrible "Count" (and ironically I have met many of them in prison later on, when they - as expected - grew up to become criminals. Obviously the threats didn't work...).
The main problem was that the journalist's interview was bullshit and his version of reality was false, but when this documentary was broadcasted on TV, disclosing him as a fraud and a police informer, then suddenly nobody in the media followed up the story. The bullshit story was interesting to them, but not the truth. It was broadcasted on TV one single time, no reruns, and it wasn't mentioned by the press at all. They just pretended it had never been shown on TV. It was uncomfortable to them, because he had fooled them with his lies, and they didn't want to admit that to the public. In fact it was a bit surprising they showed the film on TV in the first place, but I guess they had to in order not to lose money (the TV channel had after all already paid for it, and money is all that matters to these parasites anyhow).
Officially nothing happened to the journalist either, but sources working in the newspaper have told that they discussed whether to sack him or not, but instead gave him some unimportant job in the same newspaper. From being their hotshot crime reporter he ended up writing about local "cultural" events. His career as a crime reporter was over. His motives for lying about all of this seems to have been the fact that he was a fanatic Christian, who saw people like me (heretics) as "Satanists".
I can add that Torstein Grude did an excellent job investigating the so-called satanic milieu in Norway. He interviewed a lot of people, and concluded that there was no satanic movement in Norway at all, but what emerged after the media-lies was a subculture consisting of rebellious teenagers who liked metal music and flirted with satanic symbolism to provoke the establishment. Also, as a direct result of the media coverage about 40 churches in Norway had been kindled from 1993 to 1998, mostly by teenagers who had been inspired to do so because of the thoughtless media coverage of the so-called "Satanist Case" (the persecution of "Faust" and "Samoth" of Emperor, Tunsberg of Hades, the [in 2004] drummer of Immortal, a Greek church burning Black Metal fan in Oslo and me).
He concluded with more than an ounce of malice that the journalist in question and the media were pretty much responsible for the fast growth of this subculture. They insisted on presenting us all as "Satanists", even though none of us were, and in the process created a subculture that, as You know, promoted very unchristian ideas to a lot of people. So in a sense, "Satan" benefited from all of this... hence the title "Satan Rides The Media". Also, I was made a local celebrity that had the power to influence so-called impressionable youth with my heresy. With his ignorance he handed me (a villain in his eyes) a powerful tool. This tool is of course a mixed blessing, so to speak, but still.
Torstein Grude was no an expert in this field. He didn't claim to be an expert either, like many do. Like I said, he interviewed a lot of Black Metal people and got to know this milieu pretty well, and being a "malicious bastard", I just have to mention that he also talked to the Norwegian co-writer of "Lords Of Chaos", and concluded that this guy had no clue whatsoever, so he didn't bother to interview him and include him in the film.
There are some conclusions and assertions in this film that I disagreed with and some things are outright wrong, but all in all Torstein Grude did a good job and as far as I remember this documentary is rather good. He is indeed far more knowledgeable and trustworthy than everybody else that has tried to unveil the secrets of this milieu, not least compared to self-proclaimed experts on the subject, like the useless writers of "Lords Of Chaos", "Djevelen Danser" and "Lucifer Rising". He had to keep in mind that this film had to be accepted by TV, though, so perhaps he was more critical towards some of the people involved than he really wanted to, but I have to stress that this is just speculations. I don't know any of this for sure, I just choose to believe so because he is a professional and a clever person. He knew what he had to do to get it on the air.
Varg "The Bugbear" Vikernes
Fama crescit eundo!
(The rumour grows as it goes)
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