In Reply to: Running the gauntlet posted by ESC on May 26, 2008 at 09:39:
: : Re "running the gauntlet", I recall a scene in "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (Ingrid Bergman etc.) which shows a similar ordeal.
: : The victims are made to run through an avenue of revolutionaries, all armed with grain flails, and are thrown to their deaths. Don't ask me for more detail - I saw it in 1944-45.
I suspect that similar punishments have been used in many different cultures. The key feature is that the whole community is involved in, and responsible for, the punishment. If at least a substantial majority of the people don't think the victim deserves it, it won't work; and afterwards they can't disown it as "nothing to do with us, not our fault". (VSD)