Rudolf Diels, Father of the Gestapo, on Corporal Punishment

“The infliction of physical punishment is not every man’s job, and naturally we were only too glad to recruit men who were prepared to show no signs of squeamishness at their task. 

Unfortunately, we knew nothing of the Freudian side of the business, and it was only after a number of instances of unnecessary flogging and meaningless cruelty that I tumbled to the fact that my organization had been attracting all the sadists in Germany and Austria without my knowledge for some time past. 

It had also been attracting unconscious sadists, i.e. men who did not know that they had sadist leanings until they took part in a flogging. 

And finally it had been creating sadists. For it seems that corporal chastisement ultimately arouses sadistic leanings in apparently normal men and women.”

Something extremely similar might be said about the religious communities that form around the supposed divine mandate to spank children, and indeed about the simple act of doing so. 


  1. I have been thinking about what you say here. The Christian sects who practice corporal punishment are wound up in the law rather than mercy plus they are adept at applying the law to others and exempting themselves.

    Mercy is foreign. It is a temptation to many including me.

    “We do pray for mercy and that same prayer teaches us to render the deeds of mercy.”

    May the deeds of mercy abound in your life.

    Liked by 1 person

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