The Control Lock is a safety feature that enables the consumer to lock the control panel to prevent small children from manipulating the controls and accidentally starting the appliance. With the lock on, the control panel is disabled and you cannot use any of the controls, except the button to unlock it. So, holding the "OFF" button will not clear it. It can inadvertently be set following a power outage, or by leaning against the control panel and usually is not an indication of a washer malfunction.
If this is a Whirlpool Duet, Kenmore Elite or Maytag Epic series FRONT LOADER, the following link explains how to lock/unlock this feature:http://www.fixya.com/support/r3608801-control_panel_lock
These instructions are printed on the front panel of the appliance and in the owner's manual.
If this does not correct your problem, then you may have a more serious problem than a simple operator control issue (such as an operator console problem or main control board issue). If you need further assistance, please post back and let me know. I hope this corrects the problem for you.