…in the Indemnity Ceremony, each couple bestowed a symbolic beating to their partner. After listening to a speech detailing how we were to forget our past history with, and resentment toward, the opposite sex, we lined up two by two with several hundred members of the North American camp, in one of the concrete meeting rooms. We dressed casually in jeans and T-shirts. A few members arrived wearing short shorts and leather pants.
“The more you love your partner, the harder you will hit,” our Central Figure said. “Just imagine your spouse is a big baby.”
A three-hundred-pound brother beside us turned to his petite Japanese wife.”A VERY big baby!” he laughed.
When we reached the front, a Korean brother handed Gabriel a wooden baseball bat, watched while he whacked me three times on the backside, then handed the bat to me. We bent over to receive our blows, and were advised to hit our partner only on the buttocks and upper thighs. After this, my only physical contact with a man for over two years, I lay on my stomach on my sleeping bag, concentrating on the tingling sensation where wood had met flesh.