The other day, I posted about a fundamentalist Christian, Steve Haymond, who was once again selling “chastening instruments” (a.k.a. child-whipping sticks) after a decade hiatus. He sent snail mail letters about his business to his old customers, but unbeknownst to him, one letter was sent to a home with new owners… and the letter got back to podcaster Phil Ferguson.
Our instrument is made of premium grade polyurethane and measures 9″ long, 1-1/2″ wide and 3/16″ thick. Simply return it to us for a full refund if not completely satisfied.
The most entertaining part about the letter was that it explicitly urged customers not to post anything about it on the internet.
I can contacting you as a former customer of Child Training Resources. As you may know, we stopped selling our chastening instruments and closed our business in 2006 due to external pressures and family reasons. Since that time and after 10 years of periodic requests and inquiries, we have decided to again making [sic] these chastening instruments available — but only on a private basis and without a web site or ANY internet exposure.
To jog your memory or for those of you unfamiliar with our instrument, the blue spanker is 9″ long, 1.5″ wide and 3/16″ thick. Made of virtually indestructible polyurethane, it is extremely flexible and quite portable (easily fits in a purse, back pocket or diaper bag).
IMPORTANT: Include your email address and/or phone number with your order in case we need to contact you. If you have questions, you can call me at [redacted].
One more important thing: Feel free to let other Biblically-minded parents know about this chastening instrument, but do not post anything about it on the internet and please exercise discretion as to who you tell about them. Although proper chastisement is legal, there are some (even among family members) who mistakenly believe that spanking of any kind constitutes child abuse. Our willingness and ability to make these instruments available to parents who believe in Biblical chastisement depends both on their responsible use by us as parents (see our tips) and care in who we tell about them. Thanks for your sensitivity on this.
Phil also went a step further. He called up Haymond and left a message, saying he got a copy of the letter from someone in his “church” and really wanted to buy a “discipline rod,” but before he sent the money, he just wanted to be sure this was legit.
Haymond called him back almost immediately — cue the heart attack — and told Phil that he had indeed reached the right place. It was a brief conversation and that was that.
But a few days later, after the story began spreading online, Phil received another phone call from Haymond. It went directly to his voice mail, but Phil was freaking out a bit. Did Haymond know what Phil had done?
Nope. Actually, it’s even more entertaining than that.
The fun begins around the 7:25 mark:
Hi, Phil. This is Steve Haymond. And you had called, oh, a few days ago about purchasing a chastening instrument.
And I found out today that… my name and these instruments have been put on the internet…
I’m just letting you know why I’m not gonna be selling these. It’s not in the interest of my family. And I’m just gonna shut this whole idea down. So we won’t be selling any of these. So if you have already sent your order, I will just send it back refused. So, sorry about that…
The man who was selling child-beating sticks inadvertently apologized to the man who exposed him for selling child-beating sticks.
You’re welcome, children of the world.
I guess Jesus has a sense of humor after all.