Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Sadly, there's someone unknown out there using anonymous scare tactics to try and get my shows cancelled, typically with threats made to arts venues that attempts will be made to cut off their funding, which seems to me especially cowardly. They are also trolling YouTube, Wikipedia, Fact Magazine and other sites posting nasty comments. This is all done under the accusation that I have been a covert 'nazi/fascist' for the last 30 years and that Cut Hands etc is some kind of elaborate cover up for that.

I am not, never have been, nor ever will be, a nazi/fascist/racist.
I think and hope that would be without question obvious to most people that know me even just a little bit.

The evidence for the accusation seems to be based on an entirely satirical text I wrote around 1982 for an art magazine, Force Mental. It was written deliberately in a particular linguistic style because their requested theme of that particular issue of the art magazine was 'the New Right'. I had an interest at the time in the stylistic idiom of different political persuasions. It was not supposed to be taken seriously, and looking back, it was stupid of me to think that it wouldn't when taken out of context. My bad.

Likewise, the very name of the music group, Whitehouse, was not coined out of any admiration or respect to nasty moral campaigner Mary Whitehouse, it was also ironic and satirical, as was a hell of a lot of my musical output in the early 80s, in addition to the content in the label fanzine Kata. Like many other industrial and experimental projects of the time, a lot of wildly varying areas of human transgression were explored, there was much artistic immersion in taboo areas of human expression.

Not that I wish to emphasise great weight to my personal beliefs any more than the next person's, but just to clarify matters, these are a few examples of where I've stood and continue to stand since very young, even when they caused me trouble.

I am entirely non-religious.
I am anti-war, anti-military.
I am anti-capital punishment.
I am anti-corporal punishment.
I am anti-racism/xenophobia.
I am anti-nationalist/anti-colonialist.
I am pro-internationalist.
I am pro-animal rights/welfare.
I am pro-gay/lesbian.
I am pro-choice (re. abortion).
I am anti-censorship, pro-freedom of artistic expression.

If you feel you can help in any way, even by just showing support, it'll really mean a lot. Feel free to also ask me any question on anything mentioned, I'll do my best to answer. Huge thanks for reading this.

Warm regards, William


linz b said...

William, I've not seen you for years, but you struck me as a politically correct and intelligent, decent individual. Any adjective I'd use to describe you would be a complete antonym of fascist, racist, or other accusations. Don't let this get under your skin.

billzebub said...

Is it possible they have you confused with William Bennett the former Secretary of Education under Reagan and conservative pundit?

William Bennett said...

if that's the case, then I'm really in trouble!

Unknown said...

I remember a concert in Geneva, Switzerland. You and your acolite made an incredible impression on me i will never forget. It was almost too powerfull and overwhelming. I kindof understand that people missinterpretate your art. But i'm really sorry to read they take it this level. It seems people get fired up by the velocity of cybyerspace. For many it seems to take two lines of text out of two thousands to draw inimaginable conclusions. With no interest what so ever in digging deeper then their own short term conclusion.
I am however not worried for you. I believe there is alot of firesouls out there who see through your work and reach it where it should be reached.
Stay sollid!

(((o))) said...

Dear William, I ever so perfectly trusted that you were a kind and gentle soul. What a shame it needs statements like that these days. Like Jarvis once put it: Cunts are still running the world... Warm regards, Thomas (who sometimes gives away Teresa and Aerobic records)

Anthony Child said...

I'm sorry to hear about this.
You have my full support as always.

joe p said...

you have had an enormous influence on my thinking and the ways in which i live my life. i clearly remember you, thirty years ago, asking me a gently mocking question about something seemingly of relative insignificance that has reverberated in my consciousness ever since as a primary approach to thinking about almost anything. i've long since lost track of how many 'oh for godssake he's not a fucking nazi!' arguments i've had, but stupid ideas lodged in simple minds can be difficult to dislodge. it's hard to say, in individual cases, exactly what motivates those who engage in the stupidity you've described, but the subsequent lives of those who were doing the same thing in california in the early '80s might shed some light on it. it would all be amusing were it not for the consequences it can sometimes have.

sisilafami said...

Even if you were a fascist or whatever, i wouldn't see why your show should be cancelled.

ericgberg said...

With all due respect William I don't care what Your politics are , or anyone else who makes great music/art. Right or left. Period. It really sucks that You feel You have to make such a disclaimer. And fuck the cowards that besmirch what You do.

Unknown said...

william, i've been a great admirer of your music since i discovered it in the mid 90s and continue to love and support your work today.

i'm here to show my support for you. i really do hope you never stop making music

LJP said...

Always thought of you as an inspiration regardless. Acts like this make me trust Antifa even less.

MLH said...

I find it interesting that music as a medium seems to garner an expectation of authenticity, in contrast to other, perhaps visual/textual cultures in which the 'reality' of the artist is not allied so closely with the work, eg a film director making a film about murder is not expected to actually like murder. A song is expected to be from the heart, a singer is supposed to draw on their personal experiences and feelings. A singer who chooses to sing about experiences outside of their own is seen as a phoney if discovered.
Whitehouse, for all the project's textual/intellectual investigations, was ultimately still in the band/songs model.
I realise that the piece referenced above was textual, not sonic, but is it fair to say that it was not just the rhetoric employed but the context of the voice (i.e. a guy from a band, writing for a magazine) that raised questions of authenticity?

Wendell said...

Hmm, a play on "literally" and (art) literacy is escaping me right now, so make up your own--you can play, too.

Unknown said...

william, big support to you. hope this doesn't discourage you to do what you love doing

23 Trublion 23 said...

Hi, dear William.

Though I'm a huge Whitehouse fan and have no doubt about you, I think all the trouble is about your ex-collaborators, Best (who published a compilation named "White Power" and with whom I always felt uncomfortable) and Sotos..

And as you spent a long time working with them...
I met antifas who explains me you were on their list because of that.

Sytek1000 said...

I hope the best for you, and I hope those threats stop but...

You made your own bed.

I've known other musicians that have faced similar problems like this...

Why portray an image that can be misconstrued? You can be mysterious and artistic without seeming like a hedonistic crazy person.

For all your talk of not being serious, I'm sure some fans take everything you do seriously.

And take into consideration the work of some of your fellow musicians...

It's to be expected. When in the public eye, everything will be taken seriously.

Not trying to be 'that' guy, but felt I should lay some truth down.

Call it whatever you want to call it, but artists/musicians need to remember that your art will live much longer than you will. Eventually, the only memory of you that will remain will be your art.

And what message will people grasp from that?

Simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thomas said...

There will always be someone out there who's sole intention is to screw somebody's day up. My time and the attention I give to my beloved musicians are precious, and I only support humble, open-minded artists and their creations. You are no exception, and quite possibly the pinnacle of my conviction. Where are these venues that cancelled you? I would like to have a nice little chat with them.

rasarasar said...

what?! that's outrageous and kind of pathetic! you are an artist. it's amazing for me that after decades of people supporting a more life and art blending we have to end up calling artistry army to defend ourselves from these people. you're a huge influence for me and so many at my generation. if there's any kind of ambivalence in your work since the early beginnings till today is basically because that's one of the realms you work, where you act as a master and probably one of your main interests. it's nothing but a daily strategy to avoid pointing to those who are the real fascists. starting by my mother, your nice family guy neighbour, corpo assholes, non-relaxed religious merchandisers, most sort of politicians, that nice supposed happy people over there and the list could go on and on. keep strong, william! you're not alone at all.

Tomate Diseño said...

Always staggered that people like this - who believe the public face of an artist to be an exact representation of the person themselves - aren't institutionalized. It's like those old women who set about soap actors with their handbags.

A common riposte I've resorted to over the years in introducing people to Whitehouse who didn't "get" it is - "Yes, and Anthony Hopkins has a taste for Human Liver too."

max said...

"On peut rire de tout mais pas avec n'importe qui".

"Pour certains, l'humour est une langue étrangère".

Un ancien raciste qui diffuse en concert les films africains de Jean Rouch, il faut quand même qu'il bosse, non ?

Faire de l'art avec le monstrueux permet peut-être de ne pas être monstrueux soi-même. En Art tout est possible sauf quand arrivent les censeurs et petits juges illégitimes et suffisants des ligues de vertues qui sont en fait eux-mêmes les nouveaux fascistes qu'ils prétendent combattre.

La police de la pensée qu'ils incarnent est le seul vrai réel danger fasciste d'aujourd'hui.

Merci à Mr William Bennett d'exister depuis tant d'années de bruit jouissif, de fureur inégalée, et de provocations risquées (la preuve) et mort aux cons (nombreux) qui pensent avoir une mission qui n'existe que dans leur mythomanie sans borne.

teamy said...

I'm sure someone pulled this same stunt when Whitehouse played at Optimo in Glasgow the first time. That was roughly 10 years ago, no?

That show was one of the best experiences I've ever had. I'm not sure if I enjoyed the music at the time but the real feeling of confrontation between you and the audience (a bank holiday - "where's the cool techno?' crowd) was palpable. I don't think I've ever seen a performance get such an intense reaction before or since.

So fuck them and thank you.

Alexanderwilde said...

William, I made your acquaintance many moons ago in Finsbury Park at the Extreme Music From Women show. You were a gentleman and very personable guy who happened to wear leather and play some mighty fine noisy records. Thanks for signing my Halogen CD too! Keep the Blog going, it's one of the few I really take the time to read. Goodluck with this next chapter. Alejandro in San Francisco

monsiuer tumbleweed said...

i read this yesterday and have thought of it often i absolutely support you over these cretins or cretin that hound you over this
i've done things that were arguably misguided that still come back on me that make me regret things that i should have long forgotten so you have my total support
also on a much wider note I'm a huge fan of your Whitehouse project and find it all extremely profound and enlivening i have yet to hear Cut Hands or the NWW colaberation
also -shit man you're cool as fuck and i don't want to come off like some gushing creep so I'll pretend like my worthless time is precious and just stop

Miss Kerry said...

As someone who has been constantly misunderstood by literally everyone thru all my life, including family- I have to offer you succour of sort in the fact that it has ever been true that those who speak truth, are punished.
It is heartbreaking to hear that someone who is obviously so dedicated to freeing the human condition, from its sometimes self imposed chains- is to be taken as the opposite.
My very closest friend suffers from the same.
With us both, we know there are no words to explain the pain that one suffers from the "slings and arrows of misfortune."
Nor is there any remedy sometimes, but the cure all- love.
So from Myself, and he too- I send you all of ours.
I hope those fucking pig-fuckers get the end they so desperately deserve.
There is no excuse, not to research the reason and motives of anyone under suspicion, carefully.
to not do so, is a crime.
You should not berate yourself for being taken wrongly.
Abuse is always looking for a excuse, from the abused- a a reason to perpetuate their foul deeds.
Indeed, there are many more likely targets in full sight more worthy of persecution.
One minor satire is no excuse for scapegoating. If so, we'd have burnt the best books of classical cannon, long ago.
Don't let the bastards grind you down.
Love from,
kerry and gregor

Kelly Kinetic said...

While it is an evolutionary adaptive trait, Belief may be the most dangerous human attribute.

Peter Boughton said...

There is an obvious inherent danger in flirting with the abject - the old abyss staring back at you, and Whitehouse didn't so much as ask people to stare into the abyss as give them a friendly push over the edge. It's not surprising that you have become associated with the matter that presented, presumably with the thought of surprising ourselves with our own prejudices, our own capacity for horror, and that sadly, some of your listeners saw this as some sort of validation for their own petty wars against kindness, empathy, responsibility, tolerance - the 'best' of us flying like a ragged flag planted on an ash-heap of human folly. To me, Cut Hands, reflects an obvious passion for African / Haitian music that is in no sense proprietorial or disrespectful, quite the opposite in fact (I love the mix that you did for FACT) - I hope you don't get any more gigs cancelled. Still, you should come clean about the Extreme Music from Africa release (or am I wrong?).