And now, for something completely different, we turn to Phil Phillips’ laughable book, Turmoil in the Toybox. To explain what this is, let us turn to the back flap:
“A SHOCKING EXPOSE of the toy and cartoon industry. It reveals the hidden dangers found in He-Man and Masters of the Universe, Barbie, Rainbow Brite, G.I. Joe, Smurfs . . . This book unmasks the New Age, Occult, Violent, and Satanic influences that have invaded the once innocent toy box . . .”
It was published in 1986, which explains why it’s more than a wee bit dated. However, the excerpts I have read have been absolutely insane, and I wish to share them with you.
Starburst Publishers were the only people willing to put this book into print, I guess; a cursory internet search reveals that they are no longer in business. The copyright page, however, gives us a shortlist of other books by this printing house: The Great Pretender, regarding rock groups as Satanic influences, particularly Spinal Tap (gotta love religious nutbars who believe everything they hear); Devotion in Motion, experiencing Christ through dance; and A Bucket of Finger Lickin’s, which I can’t find any information about and am rather scared to pursue further. Onward!
The introduction basically states the same thing Phillips will repeat throughout the book: the toys and cartoons children are exposed to today are rife with sexual overtones, occultism, and violence. Everything is a media trap, and this book is the “most thoroughly researched and balanced expose available today.” I’ll be the judge of that, buddy.
Chapter One – Unaware. Immediately, Phillips hits us with a story – he is a young’un, on vacation with his family, and suddenly, he falls into a sewage pit at a rest stop. “I gasped for breath as the strong fumes fom the green, slimy sewage surrounding me forced their way into my throat and nasal passages.” I quote this because it appears the only repercussion is his having to stand in the middle of the desert, completely naked and washed off by a trailer hose. What about a hospital or doctor? Anyone? Bueller?
Phillips uses this story of the slime-pit in his talks, he says, because many Christians are unaware of the “spiritual sewage” which is always about them. Many fall or dive in without knowing, and are, therefore, “unaware” of the danger. (He is very fond of quotes for “emphasis.” I’m glad Starburst is no longer a publisher; this is embarrassing). Parents and grandparents, especially, must know where the sewage is so that they can assist their children in making the right choices. “Sewage of the mind is more difficult to clean out than sewage on the body,” he helpfully points out.
Children are quite capable of “reaching for Jesus” at an early age; now, I have sewage of the mind, so I find that phrase vaguely dirty, but Mr. Phillips, I’m sure, having a mind that is pure as driven snow, is only making an innocuous comment. He believes that his religious calling is to expose the media and toy industry for the bastions of immorality they are. Toys that are supposedly designed for children are beyond a child’s comprehension. He makes an example of Robotech, with many of its 168 episodes being sexually-oriented. He cites no source for this information. I don’t remember Robotech, but it was an anime cartoon that did make its way to the United States for 36 episodes in the spring of 1985 (source: Wikipedia). Perhaps he had an Asian friend who hooked him up. Or he’s lying.