W.A.S.P. mainman Blackie Lawless has issued a public letter of support for THE WHO guitarist Pete Townshend over accusations that the latter has downloaded pornographic images of children over the Internet.
Lawless' letter reads as follows:
"Gathering support for Townshend...
"Judge not lest ye be judged.... I have watched the events in the last few days surrounding the very public arrest of THE WHO visionary Pete Townshend. I am angered and appalled at the way the news media has made a circus of their portrayal of this case. But they can't really be blamed as they are the same ones that were there covering the crucifixion back in the day. There's nothing to forgive - They 'DO' know what they do — they just can't help it. I am really pissed off and at the lack of support by artists who owe their very existence to this man. But I am especially aggravated and disappointed at the public distancing by the very musicians who are supposedly closest to him. Elton John 'I hope it's not true'! You gotta be kidding me. LET YE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE. If its true that A FRIEND IN NEED IS A FRIEND INDEED or A MAN'S TRUE WEALTH IS MEASURED BY HIS FRIENDS then Pete's gonna have to find some new FRIENDS when the dust settles on this one. This brings to mind 3 very public DENIALS a couple of thousand years ago which involved another Peter. This time the tables are turned and it's Peter that's being DENIED. Denied by 'friends' that are scared to be considered guilty through association and the ramifications that could possibly go along with it. Oddly enough it was the disciple Peter that was sent by God to claim what is now St. Peter's Square in Rome. The same St. Peter's Square where the Vatican sits. The same Vatican which houses the largest collection of pornography (including child pornography) in the world. Possessed by the Vatican according to them to 'aid them in research' and to 'better familiarize themselves in the ways of the world'. I don't think the world could handle any more of their 'familiarization'.
"I learned my craft of writing lyrics from this man. I studied his writings to a point where I knew the man before I ever met him. His spiritual being and beliefs. Without those spiritual beliefs the world would have never heard 'Pure and Easy' and 'The Song is Over'. But of all the gifts he's given me, the greatest is to tell the truth. Tell the truth no matter how painful, or how it may expose the darkest places in you. Tell the truth and let the whole damn world be their voyeuristic self. All serious writers, ALL of them, research sources before they put pen to paper. Anyone who has had a personal history of abuse in their past, be it physical or sexual will spend a life time looking for answers. Questions that may never be answered that haunt. The child that still exists in all of us, the child that is frozen in it's vulnerability and inability to control the actions of those bigger, stronger and older will spend the rest of its life trying to make sense, to understand the sins of the father. That being said, I don't believe for one minute Pete Townshend is guilty of anything more than doing the research he said he was doing. I sincerely hope that other musicians and friends of his who believe in him will come forward to show support and rally around this extraordinary man. I am not afraid, I am proud to voice my feelings here and if there are those who still believe in the things he has stood for — then come forward NOW and be heard. Rock is and will always be a target for authority.
"He is still my mentor - I love this man. In Pete we trust!
"Blackie Lawless — W.A.S.P."