I have heard of the starter method before, but cannot fathom that enough torque can be had here. At least not with any car I have worked on...
That rope method is clever, though I'd be concerned about damaging something.
I was once able to stop a motor from turning by putting a chain wrench around the pulley. I wrapped a rag around the pulley to protect it. Worked, though I still had to file a couple of minor gouges out of the pulley surface. Was well worth it.
1986 300E 5-Speed 240k mi.