A reclusive man describing himself as a fundamentalist Christian is attempting to resume sales of a "virtually indestructible" stick he sold as a disciplinary tool -- without drawing attention to himself, the Friendly Atheist reported.
The vendor, Steve Haymond, sent letters to former customers nearly 10 years after his California-based company, Biblical Child Training, stopped operating because of what he called "external pressures and family reasons."
Haymond said in the letter, sent from a Montana address, that he was ready to resume making the "chastening instrument" -- a 9-inch long and 1.5-inch wide polyurethane stick that is 3/16ths of an inch thick. However, he said he would only do so "on a private basis and without a web site or any internet exposure."
"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," the letter read. "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."
The company's website is no longer active, but archives show that Haymond promoted the stick by saying that it fulfilled "the purpose and function of the Biblical rod, yet designed with today's parents in mind, our chastening instrument is perfectly suited for the loving correction of your children."
Haymond's apparent reappearance first came to light on podcaster Phil Ferguson's program, when a guest provided him with photos of both the "instrument" and the letter, as seen below.
Ferguson discussed the sale of the device on his program, which can be heard below, around the 38-minute mark.