David Berg favored authoritarian discipline and often advocated harsh physical punishment to deal with a variety of alledged spiritual ailments.
His exemplification of physical abuse in cases such as that of Merry Berg as well as his consistent exhortation of corporal punishment resulted in systemic adoption of corporal punishment within The Family that was quite often physically abusive.
The Family's official position on beatings was not favorable toward physically harmfull punishment. With the advent investigation by social workers in various countries beatings that left physical evidence were ultimately forbidden.
However in numerous Family Publications Berg's own use of corporal punishment was harsh and his missives to his cult following was often vehement and verbiage about spiritual battles was often violent in metaphor and practice, a position that translated into over-eager physical punishment meted out to the second generation for many years.
After Berg's death and the Charter the use of excessive physical punishment decreased significantly. though corporal punishment remains a staple of disciplinary methods within The Family.
Reactions to Physical Abuse
Many members of the second generation have expressed extreme dissatisfaction with disciplinary incidents that occured to them while in the cult and is cited as a source of some of the anger and animosity between ex-members and The Family.
Physical abuse of Merry Berg was cited by David Berg's son Ricky Rodriguez as having sparked his fantasies of violent revenge in the videotaped recording he made prior to murdering a former caretaker from his childhood.
Exerpt of Ricky Rodriguez's suicide video:
Pages in category "Physical Abuse"
The following 5 pages are in this category, out of 5 total.