I've seen it used, with great results. Its just another technique that depends on the hands behind it.
The horse in case was violent. I also knew and helped halter break and did ground work with this mare as a weanling and a yearling, I knew how drastic of change she went through after being with a very rough trainer. You couldn't halter her, get near her, look at her, she would rear, strike, try and bite, you name it she would try and do it. We were running out of options.
She was roped into the round pen and this pulling around method was used. Several days of this and you could rope her, and nicely lead her into the round pen to work with her. When the trainer could get close enough the rope was knotted to not pull tight.
We got her back to being safely halter broke and she was turned out on pasture to just chill for awhile. Occasionally I would go out and catch her and give her some loving and she would be the first in line to be caught. She will be going back into full time training this spring.
Its not something I'd choose to do first, but if you have a horse you have to resort to other methods, you need is someone competent on the other of the rope, who has done it before, no matter which different or potentially controversial method it is.