Berg & Harsh Punishment
Craven: I've looked at ML's off and on over the past few months to determine how much Berg advocated harsh punishment.
First of all, the MLs available at Exfamily have largely been sanitized, so that words like "beat" and "whip" have been edited out. Also, whole paragraphs of Bergian bombast are missing.
Second, Berg actually counseled a certain amount of balance in some of his writings. He clearly believed "spare the rod and spoil the child," but he also advocated a surprising level of moderation. E.g., "More Childcare Jewels":
38. POINTERS ON SPANKING: My mother used to go out in the garden & pick a switch, a long thin one that really hurt when you got spanked with it! I used to use a belt or a fly swatter sometimes on my own kids when they were older. But never use a hairbrush or something that's going to actually break the skin & hurt them.--Or never hit in a place that's going to possibly injure them, such as across the knuckles or on the head near the ear, eyes, nose or mouth.
It may be that as Berg got older, more depraved and out of control, he advocated harsher forms of physical discipline, but I tend to think that his followers came up with the more brutal forms of physical discipline in response to their own frustrations and fear.
Finally: One of the worst MLs along the line of harsh discipline is "Rotten Apples." This letter talks about disciplining a child with mental retardation and/or developmental disabilities, and it is positively ignorant and barbaric. It would be good to get an unpurged version of this letter. Berg had some very backward and uncompassionate ideas about people with disabilities.