Hazing Methods

Before the Great Depression, U.S. hazing achieved an art form status amongst benevolent fraternities such as the Mooses and the Freemasons. The DeMoulin Catalog is a catalog of many hazing implements used, most famously the electric carpet. In many cases nowadays, the hardest abuse is usually only enacted for a photograph (sometimes even posted on the Internet) or video.

Reported hazing activities can involve all kinds of ridicule and humiliation within the group or in public — many of which could easily be considered abusive if a candidate were not a consenting adult — while others are quite innocent, akin to pranks. Examples of hazing, often performed in combination, include:

Spanking. This is done mainly in the form of paddling among fraternities, sororities and similar (e.g., athletic) clubs, sometimes over a lap, a knee, furniture or a pillow (pile), but mostly with the victim 'assuming the position,' i.e., simply bending over forward. A variation of this (also as punishment) is trading licks.

This practice is also used in the military (where a new round of hazing can follow a promotion, etc.). Alternative modes (including bare-buttock paddling, strapping and switching, as well as mock forms of antiquated forms of physical punishments such as stocks, walking the plank and running the gauntlet) have been reported in the US and other countries, even though all hazing is officially illegal in many.

Being hosed by sprinkler, buckets or hoses; covered with dirt or with (sometimes rotten) food such as eggs, tomatoes and flour (also as a food fight etc.), even urinated upon. Olive or baby oil may be used to 'show off' the bare skin, for wrestling or just slipperiness, e.g., to complicate pole climbing. Cleaning may be limited to a dive into water, hosing down or even paddling the worst off.

Tedious cleaning. Examples include swabbing the decks, cleaning the heads/toilets (e.g., with a toothbrush).

Servitude, such as waiting on others (as at frat parties) or various other forms of housework, often with pointless tests of obedience.

Being made to eat or drink too much. Pledges are sometimes force-fed raw eggs, peppers, hot sauce, laxatives, various liquids or even alcohol (mainly beer). Some hazing even includes eating or drinking vile things such as bugs, rotting food, even vomit or fresh urine.

Consuming food and/or drinks from an absurd container (frisbee, dog bowl, glasses tied to a ski for a collective gulping...) or through a straw, food fights, finding something in a messy dish without hands.

Clothing. An imposed piece of clothing, outfit, item or something else worn by the victim in a way that would bring negative attention to the wearer. Examples include:
o Uniform (toga in Greek societies)
o A leash and/or collar

Infantile and other humiliating dress and attire (e.g., diapers, underwear (sometimes of the opposite sex; sometimes wet to make it see-through) or a condom on the head; cross-dress or fake breasts; wearing just a box or a barrel; bunny costume; a phallus or dildo, even in explicitly homo-erotic poses.

Complete or partial nudity (with or without cupping of the genitals). In the case of partial nudity, victims are sometimes allowed just an apron, jockstrap, loincloth or improvised version, thongs, towel, (under)pants torn or altered to expose the wearer's genitals, a strategically placed sock or tie, a tool belt, cardboard box, wrapping paper, foil or duct tape. Sometimes the rule is 'anything but clothes', or victims are made to hold their crotches. A German variation is the 'clothesline', i.e., contributing garments (usually remaining decent, e.g., in swim suit) to form a long line.

In Sweden, gymnasium (high school, 16 to 19 years old) and university use the clothes line. Girls (nowadays) strip to their thong, but may keep their bra on if they wish; boys are always expected to finish up naked.

Holding lowered trousers, shorts and/or underpants or underwear up 'revealingly'.

Forced mooning, sometimes accompanied by smacking by a senior or mutually.

Wedgies or things put in the shorts

Sometimes specifically with an audience, either internal or in a public place (such as college sports venues, ordered to be high profile supporters), sometimes specifically of the other sex (often associating a fraternity with a sorority). This often combined with other tasks or parading, performing (dancing, singing, reciting obscenities, skit, etc.) or just being exposed.

Markings. Victims are made to wear visible symbols, drawings or text (obscenities, instructions for abuse) on (under)clothing or on bare skin. They are painted on, tattooed on, written on or even shaved in (on head, legs, even pubic hair), sometimes collectively forming a message (one letter, syllable or word on each pledge), receive tar (or glue) and feathers or even branding.

Being tied together, e.g., by the underwear, thus complicating/rendering ridiculous any task, e.g., eating together while all participants hands or food containers are tied to a long stick.

Quizzes. Pledges might be required to study material relating to their school, fraternity or club history, rules and traditions and then tested on it. Such “exam” may however also be given unannounced or even on 'general knowledge'. As the punishments for wrong answers can constitute the "real fun", trick or nearly unsolvable questions are likely.

Hierarchy. Slave-like veneration of the seniors and thus verbal or physical submission to them, is common. Abject 'etiquette' required of pledges or subordinates may include prostration, kneeling, literal groveling, kissing/licking/washing (sometimes dirty) feet, footwear or the crotch.

Degrading positions and tasks. Some pledges are locked up in a cage or barrel, commanded to move on all fours or crawl on their bellies, eat or fetch "doggy style", kiss or urinate in public, having body parts and/or (under)clothing shoved into an orifice of their body (e.g., a burning candle in the rectum).

Physical feats. Performing calisthenics and other physical tests, such as push-ups (sometimes as the hazer keeps his/her foot on the pledges’ back), jumping jacks (under near impossible conditions), sit-ups, mud wrestling, forming a human pyramid or dog piling, climbing a greased pole, skinny diving, leap-frog, human wheel-barrow etc., often with some twist (follow the links).

Exposure to the elements. Examples include: Running, swimming or diving (almost) bare in cold water or snow. Holding ice water and/or having snow poured over a person or even sitting on ice in an open fridge holding more frozen objects.

Orientation tests. Pledges are abandoned, often quite far or fettered without transport, in the dark and/or in a public place.
* Fundraising. Collecting money for the club or some charity, either by begging, selling a product, or performing services (such as washing cars).

Treasure hunt or scavenger hunt (perhaps requiring theft).

Dares. Examples are jumping from some height (bungee or in water), stealing from police or rival teams and obedience.

Blood pinning among military aviators (and many other elite groups) to celebrate becoming new pilots by piercing their chests with the sharp pins of aviator wings.

Burning desire and great ball of fire tests involve fireworks or burning objects (especially in mesh-form) fixed in the buttocks or on the testicles, remaining in position or running a distance.

The elephant walk is a moving line of male pledges, often naked or at least pant-less, that imitates an elephant herd (holding each other by the tail in nature). Each pledge grabs the one in front of him by the privates (tail is also a euphemism for the penis, and for the thus exposed butt, the favorite target in paddling traditions.

On his first crossing the equator in military and commercial navigation, each 'pollywog' (sailor; sometimes even passengers) is subjected to a series of endurance's usually including running and/or crawling a gauntlet of abuse (soiling, paddling, etc.) and various scenes supposedly situated at King Neptune's court.

A pledge auction is a variation on the slave auction, where people bid on the paraded (often exposed) pledges. It is held either as an open fund raiser where the general public (or just an invited sorority) can bid, or internally to decide which brother can impose his fantasies on which pledge.

Treeing is binding up with ropes, chains, handcuffs or other means, to a tree or pole, or in some variations on a cross (mock crucifixion), to be helplessly abused and/or bound.

The term tunnel seems to have various meanings in different traditions, such as a spanking tunnel or belt-line. It may be appealing as a symbolic rite of passage: one goes in as a rookie and emerges as something of a brother or teammate,

As in this version in rugby: the rookie crawls under ten players who strip him down, push a carrot in his anus and tie a pink ribbon around his erect penis, which he must keep on for two weeks (which will be checked at each training session).

Academic salute is (at least in Liberia) jumping up while holding one's crotch; may be followed by the order to enact coitus, hastily divesting, even spilling seed in a hole.

Of course in certain circles there are also more specific practices, using ingredients particularly pertinent to their activities. For example, in various trades hazing for apprentices when finishing their apprenticeship: in printing, it consisted of applying to the apprentice's privates bronze blue, a color made from mixing black printers ink and dark blue printers ink which takes a long time to wash off; similarly, mechanics get them smeared with old dirty grease.