Swiss authorities have decided not to press charges against the rock ‘n’ roll oddity in the wake of a criminal investigation following complaints from a religious group offended by Manson’s February 2001 concert in Zurich.
The city’s examining magistrate, Marcel Scherrer, declared on Monday that his office had found no evidence to suggest that Manson (real name: Brian Warner) incited violence or breached Swiss law that protects the sanctity of religion.
In deciding not to file charges, the district prosecutor essentially rejected a grievance filed by Christians for Truth, a Swiss-based fundamentalist group that was not amused by the shock rocker’s show and called on the government to ban Manson from the country. Instead, officials agreed with Manson’s argument that his satanic stage show was “provocative art” geared toward stimulating debate about the nature of religion and violence.
The Antichrist Superstar and his band-whose stage names are derived by combining the monikers of Hollywood icons with infamous serial killers-were in Zurich for a sell-out date on November 30 as part of a Euro tour in support of his latest release, The Golden Age of the Grotesque. It was at that time that prosecutors interviewed him about the complaint and he cited artistic freedom, said Scherrer.
A rep for Manson was not available for comment.
This isn’t the first time the mascara-lovin’ showman, known for tearing bibles onstage and gyrating his genitalia against security guards, has found himself in trouble for his antics.
This summer, he family-friendly folks at Six Flags Darien Lake in New York refused to let Manson perform as part of Ozzfest.
In September, he was cleared by a Minnesota jury after being sued by a security guard who claimed he “endured ridicule and shame” when Manson rubbed his nether regions on the guard during a 2000 show.
A month later, his set at the Freakers Ball in Kansas City was cut short after fans rushed the stage, creating a security mess. Riot police were called in to quell the mob.
Manson’s next expected to take his Grotesk Burlesk tour-described as a strange confluence of German Expressionism and vaudeville-back to the United States, where he’ll hook up with Jane’s Addiction for several year-end dates, including ringing in 2004 with a very gothic New Year’s Eve gig at New York’s Madison Square Garden.