"Swats" were usually administered by an adult male wielding a wooden paddle. In some countries it became popular to fashion the paddles with holes in order to reduce wind resistance and enable a more powerfull blow. It was not infrequent for the paddle to be broken during the course of administration of swats.
The severity of the corporal punishment administered in The Family differed from case to case and rhetoric used by David Berg is sometimes construed as encouraging more brutal beatings, as his writings sometimes rambled about beating out demons or using a "2 by 4" to administer punishment. He described the ferocity of beatings he administered in a boastful manner, bragging of lifting the subjects of his beatings off the floor.
See also: corporal punishment