back to top

    Journalist Mariusz Zielke Exposes Pedophilia Scandal. Will He Face Sekielski Brothers in Court?

    The documentary “Bagno” (“Swamp”) by investigative journalist Mariusz Zielke sheds new light on the treatment of the pedophilia issue by so-called “independent media.” And this is not the end, as the public may be shocked once again in the near future. Niezależ talk to the author of the documentary not only about what happened after the airing of the film, but also about future plans. “I have 100 hours of footage recorded, it will be really powerful material,” he says about his next production.

    Your documentary “Bagno” shook the whole of Poland. I just checked – over 230,000 views on YouTube. Did you expect such success?

    I will say it immodestly, but I expected much greater success. I expected it to really shake us and that this documentary would have at least as much impact as the film by the Sekielski brothers. Maybe not immediately, because they had millions of views right away, but I don’t look at the views. The topic is extremely important.

    I hope to trigger a nationwide discussion on this issue because it is a very important problem, very neglected, very much underestimated, and extremely shocking. It actually concerns the entire treatment of the most harmed individuals, those who were abused in childhood. The individuals who are now adults and whom we do not understand because they all experience immense trauma deserve our utmost compassion, and we should stand fully behind them. Because as a society, we failed to protect them.

    Why did you choose this particular topic?

    When it comes to social issues, there is probably nothing more important at the moment. When the discussion after Tomasz Sekielski’s film started and was limited to the Church alone, it simply didn’t sit well with me. I was personally surprised to see that it turned out this way, that all the media were going in that direction! I started dealing with this problem after Tomasz Sekielski’s film because I said to myself: no, I can’t stand aside, I have to address this. I was a financial journalist, I had one case that weighed on me, and I presented it in the film, and it turns out it’s the biggest scandal in the history of Poland when it comes to this issue. There was no bigger pedophile scandal than the Krzysztof S. affair, and no one really wants to deal with it to this day.

    The media say they reported it. So what? They reported it because I exposed it and forced them to write about it, and as soon as I received a court order, the media stopped covering the issue. The guy is still free to this day, there are no consequences for his actions. We covered up his pedophilia for 50 years. It’s a shocking case, and there are many similar cases, maybe not as loud and powerful, but involving well-known, wealthy, influential, and respected individuals – artists, millionaires, film directors, actors – I have many of them. And no one wants to deal with it.

    Sometimes I am accused of why I didn’t go to you, to TVP or someone else. I don’t hide the fact that I have liberal views, and those media were constantly telling me that they were interested in this issue. Those are my media! I come from that environment, and I thought they should be the ones dealing with such matters, not the conservative media, which I thought were not interested in this topic. I don’t know why. Maybe that’s also a mistake, maybe I should ask you why you’re not dealing with it at the moment… But the main internet portals and television stations have an influence on society, and apart from TVP, all the other channels are liberal. The internet portal market is basically dominated by two portals, both from the other side of the political divide.

    So who should I go to? Should I allow this issue to be treated as marginal? When it comes to TVP, I would immediately be dragged into a political war, with accusations of “attacking the independent media.” I looked at this issue as a liberal, from a distance and with the perspective of someone who perhaps lived in a lie because it seemed to me that “independent media” really existed. That we could talk, that there was freedom of speech, that we had a space for discussion and the ability to express our opinions. It turns out that it’s not the case.

    Indeed, why do they divide pedophilia into “better and worse”? When there is a pedophile who is a priest, the media go crazy, but we hear less about others. Is it about clicks, viewership?

    In my opinion, it’s about political and ideological struggle and the exploitation of pedophilia victims to destroy political opponents. They treat the Church as their political opponent. They say officially: we are not against the Church, we want the Church to cleanse itself. Then they do exactly the opposite: they provoke the Church, they call the faithful idiots, they say very nasty things about them. They insult priests, calling them clowns, fools. It is not true that they want to establish a dialogue and fix the Church; they want to destroy the Church.

    Artur, the main character in my film, openly says that he is a deeply religious person, deeply interested in the Church, fully engaged in Catholic life, very devout. Almost a fundamentalist Catholic. And suddenly this person says that he wants to change the Church from within, but what slips his mind is that his fight will end when the churches are empty. And he wants to completely destroy the Catholic Church and turn Catholics away from the very place that is their own.

    In such a situation, a deep protest arises within me. Because it’s an unfair way of presenting the issue, an unfair attack on a particular community. It is by no means about defending criminals in any organization.

    That’s true, pedophiles should be treated equally.

    Exactly! Criminals should be pursued. But it cannot be that in one community, we pursue these criminals in such a way that we lead to a situation where there is a witch hunt not only against the criminals but also against the innocent, where they are considered part of the criminal world.

    But there is already such a witch hunt. Often decent priests are called “pedophiles in cassocks.”

    That’s how it looks… In my opinion, it’s not about defending the victims and their well-being; it’s about interests and the very large sums of money that this group of people who attack the Church in such an aggressive manner earns from it. This is also addressed in the film.

    You mentioned the Sekielski brothers. What do you think of their statement? It must be admitted that it took them some time to write a few sentences…

    That speaks volumes in itself, that they had to wait a week to say that I’m lying. There is a saying that if someone tells the truth, they don’t have to think about it. That’s how it could be commented. They make accusations against me in their statement that are untrue. Unlike the Sekielski brothers, I am a very polite person; I won’t let myself be provoked; I won’t call them liars. I will say that they are not telling the truth; I don’t insult anyone.

    I invited them to a discussion all the time; they avoided me for weeks, avoided that discussion, and waited a week to release a statement that does not address the most important points of my film. They don’t mention anything about Artur Nowak, whom they presented as an authority, the main figure in almost every attack on the Church, including the Pope, with big articles referring to so-called pedophilia in the Church. Today they are trying to hide him because the Sekielski brothers know that I have solid evidence of what I’m saying, and this person won’t be able to defend himself in any court. I will win any case against this person in any court. However, the Sekielski brothers want to sue me, I don’t really know for what.

    They wrote that they are “submitting the material to a lawyer.” Will you meet them in a courtroom?

    If I can’t talk to them anywhere else, then let’s meet in court, but is that the right place? If journalists don’t want to have a public discussion with their adversary but want to sue them…

    After all, I don’t personally insult them! I don’t say anything about Tomasz Sekielski, Marek Sekielski, or Artur Nowak. I simply tell the truth about the problem. Instead of responding, they issue a statement that they will sue me. So what, will we discuss it behind closed doors in court? I want to talk openly about the problem, in front of an audience, not deal with their image, actually. Because they are saving their image in a disastrous way.

    Do you expect further attacks on yourself, as you used the stick to stir up the anthill, so to speak?

    I hope there will be such attacks. I will defend myself. I want to discuss this with everyone because it’s an important problem. The more we talk, the greater the chance that we will achieve the result of understanding the victims of pedophilia. Because I represent them. I talk to hundreds of people who have been harmed by pedophiles, and I want to change their reality. That’s why this film and the whole fight exist: not to show the true face of the Sekielski brothers, celebrities, or anyone else.

    I state with full responsibility that we are dealing in Poland with systemic, precisely planned, and unfortunately maintained protection of pedophiles among the elites. It is more systematic than any pedophilia in the Catholic Church. There are really no punishments, no culprits, no justice there. Trials are classified and closed in a strange way. The victims and decision-making individuals are put through the wringer, and the perpetrators face no consequences and harm children for many years. In the case of Krzysztof S., it was 50 years of covering up pedophilia. Fifty years…

    If I hadn’t broken free from it, you still wouldn’t have heard about this case to this day. This case was supposed to be swept under the rug! I don’t agree with that; there will be cases that will be uncovered, and we will talk about them honestly.

    You wrote on Twitter that what you have revealed is “maybe one-fiftieth of what I still have to reveal.” In another post, you wrote, “You can’t even imagine how difficult and compromising things I will reveal soon.” Who do these compromising things concern?

    It concerns people from the establishment, very influential, wealthy, and with connections to the criminal world, politicians, athletes, and the media industry. It concerns very well-known millionaires, influential film directors, actors, trainers, businessmen who have evaded responsibility for their actions for years.

    When can we expect your new production?

    I will try as soon as possible because you have to strike while the iron is hot. I want to change the reality for the victims as soon as possible, so I want to influence politicians and show them: look at this problem, help me solve it! It’s a matter that goes beyond divisions; all politicians have the opportunity to take a stand, whether we are for the victims or the perpetrators.

    Let’s change the reality for the victims, eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes, ensure that the prosecutors effectively pursue these cases and effectively protect children. That’s why I want to do it as soon as possible. I have already recorded 100 hours of footage; I just need to shoot a few more locations and make sure the film fully reflects reality, and that it is just as shocking as “Bagno” or even more.

    The 100 hours I have recorded already allow me to state that it will be really powerful material. I hope there will be a second part, and then a third. These will be 40-minute documentaries; we need to strike the most sensitive chords of our compassion for those who truly need it so that we all support them. That is our goal.

    You can watch below the documentary in Polish.

    More in section