Watchdog group Protect Our Children, in a PETA-like bid for publicity, sent the below flyer to homes in Miami Gardens, near the site of this week's Super Bowl. Hide your children in the attic, everyone: Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend will be at large in your city, possibly accompanied by his musical group known as The WHO.
True, Townshend was caught using a credit card to access kiddie porn in 2003. But he claims it was research for an anti-child pornography book he was writing (now abandoned, for obvious reasons), and no images were found on his 14 computers. Part of his settlement was that he had to register as a sex offender for five years (which has since elapsed, you'll note).
Still not convinced? Townshend cut a live album 1999 called A Benefit for Maryville Academy. All of the royalties from the album go to the Acadamy, which is a treatment center for abused children.
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Then there's his writing. Particularly convincing is an essay he wrote when his friend, sexually abused as a child, committed suicide. The following is his closing paragraph. You can find the full text here.
The subconscious mind is deeply damaged and indelibly scarred by the sight of such images. I can assure everyone reading this that if they go off in pursuit of images of paedophilic rape they will find them. I urge them not to try. I pray too that they don't happen upon such images as did I, by accident. If they do they may like me become so enraged and disturbed that their dreams are forever haunted.
The Protect Our Children flyer is somewhere between dumb and outright harmful. The group is vilifying one of the world's greatest champions of their cause, all for a link from TMZ. That is piss-poor stewardship.