Skip to comments.Secrecy In The Boy Scouts
Posted on 10/19/2012 4:53:07 AM PDT by LD Jackson
Today, I will depart from my normal commentary about the important election we are facing in less than three weeks. There is something else that deserves our attention.
If you asked me to describe myself, I would tell you I am a fairly laid back individual. I am passionate about my politics, as you know, from reading my blog. For the most part, I try to have patience with people I disagree with. However, there are certain issues with which I have a major problem. There is only one thing that gets my hackles up quicker than encountering a bully. Child abuse, sexual or otherwise, turns my stomach in a way I can not explain. I am not a violent person, but I could describe several ways of hurting someone who is guilty of such acts. The new revelations about the Boy Scouts of America fits that description perfectly.
I haven't read the so-called perversion files that have been reluctantly released by the Boy Scouts. Please note that I emphasized the reluctant part of that sentence. The Boy Scouts had no intention of releasing the detailed information they had compiled and had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, all the way to that threshold. Their reasoning was simple and it has remained the same for decades. The organization wanted to do everything it could to protect the good name and reputation of Scouting. Does that sound familiar? It should bring back a lot of memories about how the Catholic Church attempted to cover up the sexual abuse that was so rampant among its priests. In light of that, I would ask a simple question. Why does it seem the Boy Scouts were more concerned about their good name and reputation, than they were about the safety and well-being of the children in their charge?
I have read some of the cases detailed by The Associated Press and it is sickening. The abuse and the resulting cover up astound me, to the point of asking how could this happen. How could community leaders be so concerned about the Boy Scouts that they would allow admitted child molesters to walk free?
Again and again, decade after decade, an array of authorities police chiefs, prosecutors, pastors and local Boy Scout leaders among them quietly shielded scoutmasters and others accused of molesting children, a newly opened trove of confidential papers shows.The cases detailed in these files are shocking. They number in the thousands and make me wonder how they were continually swept under the rug, without parents raising such a protest that they had to be acknowledged. I know what my reaction would have been, had one of my children been a victim of these perverts. The community leader that tried to convince me to keep quite, for the sake of the Boy Scouts wouldn't have been pleased with my response.
At the time, those authorities justified their actions as necessary to protect the good name and good works of Scouting, a pillar of 20th century America. But as detailed in 14,500 pages of secret "perversion files" released Thursday by order of the Oregon Supreme Court, their maneuvers allowed sexual predators to go free while victims suffered in silence.
The files are a window on a much larger collection of documents the Boy Scouts of America began collecting soon after their founding in 1910. The files, kept at Boy Scout headquarters in Texas, consist of memos from local and national Scout executives, handwritten letters from victims and their parents and newspaper clippings about legal cases. The files contain details about proven molesters, but also unsubstantiated allegations.
The allegations stretch across the country and to military bases overseas, from a small town in the Adirondacks to downtown Los Angeles.
Here are the details of one case, taking place in Louisiana.
On the afternoon of Aug. 10, 1965, their distraught mother walked into the third floor of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office. A 31-year-old scoutmaster, she told the chief criminal deputy, had raped one of her sons and molested two others.
Six days later, the scoutmaster, an unemployed airplane mechanic, sat down in front of a microphone in the same station, said he understood his rights and confessed: He had sexually abused the woman's sons more than once.
"I don't know how to tell it," the man told a sheriff's deputy. "They just occurred I don't know an explanation, why we done it or I done it or wanted to do it or anything else it just an impulse I guess or something.
"As far as an explanation I just couldn't dig one up."
He wouldn't have to. Seven days later, the decision was made not to pursue charges against the scoutmaster.
The last sliver of hope for justice for the abuse of two teenagers and an 11-year-old boy slipped away in a confidential letter from a Louisiana Scouts executive to the organization's national personnel division in New Jersey.
"This subject and Scouts were not prosecuted," the executive wrote, "to save the name of Scouting."
The files released Thursday were collected between 1959 and 1985, with a handful of others from later years. Some have been released previously, but others those from prior to 1971, including the story of the three scouts in Ouachita Parish have been made public for the first time.Who is supposed to be watching over the children who were placed in the care of the Boy Scouts? Obviously, it wasn't the Boy Scouts. The files show they were much more concerned with their reputation than for the safety of the children they professed to care so much about. Why were they so ready and willing to help and counsel the men who were guilty of these acts of abuse and at the same time, so unwilling to give the victimized children the justice they deserved?
The documents reveal that on many occasions the files succeeded in keeping pedophiles out of Scouting leadership positions the reason why they were collected in the first place. But the files are also littered with horrific accounts of alleged pedophiles who were able to continue in Scouting because of pressure from community leaders and local Scouts officials.
The files also document other troubling patterns. There is little mention in the files of concern for the welfare of Scouts who were abused by their leaders, or what was done for the victims. But there are numerous documents showing compassion for alleged abusers, who were often times sent to psychiatrists or pastors to get help.
In 1972, a local Scouting executive beseeched national headquarters to drop the case against a suspected abuser because he was undergoing professional treatment and was personally taking steps to solve his problem. "If it don't stink, don't stir it," the local executive wrote.
I bear no ill will towards the Boy Scouts, but something has to change. How any parent could continue to allow their children to be a part of such an organization is past my comprehension. Heads should roll for this abuse and the cover up that has followed. If the Boy Scouts have refused to change their behavior and continue hiding the cases of sexual abuse that is in their ranks, they should be closed down and prevented from harming one more child.
They try. I knew that when they failed to keep out predators, that this sort of thing would happen. They are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. If they exclude avowed homosexual leaders, they are discriminatory, if they permit homosexual leaders, and a mollestation occurs, they they are accused of turning a blind eye to sexual predation.
When I was at camp, an older boy from another troop tried to molest me once, right in front of a bunch of members of my troop who were friends of mine. I ignored and then ridiculed him. The rest of the week, we all called him “Jack.” You can imagine why. He never bothered any of us again.
How about the pervert pimps like most of the Anti-God Party (aka DemocRAT) who rant about the BSA prohibition of queers. You sound dishonest to me!
satan always tries to wreck something good. the scouts is structured on a good premise, but there are evil people in the world.
Obviously the emphasis should be on the welfare of the children in the organization, what else is scouts for, and the adults who commit crimes should be identified, prosecuted and thrown out of Scouts.
Scout Master Moe Lester approved by this Administration, ends up as a Captian in the Army...
I am not dishonest and I am complaining about the right people. The Boy Scouts and the community leaders are the ones who are guilty of covering up this abuse. They should be held accountable.
Why is it that Liberal Democrats (LD?) always complain about abuse in conservative organisations (which happen less frequently that in society at large) but they never seem concerned with liberal organisations (like public school teachers) where abuse is as common per capita if not moreso?
If they try to keep these people out of an organization they get into trouble for discrimination, so this kind of stuff is aided and abetted ( what ever that means ) by our government, which means that people need to raise their own children, not pawn them off to any organization that will do cheap or free baby sitting.
I have not been to school lately but i have heard they teach all of this low life stuff in the schools but people keep voting for those in government who make no apology for believing that a man should have the right to marry a man so what can we expect.
Do the people in Washington and in the state Governments really believe in this sickness they are promoting or is it that they will do just any thing to bring this country to destruction.
Did you speak up as loudly when the Scouts were vilified for trying to keep homosexuals out of their leadership positions?
Have you spoken up about all the good the Scouts have done over the last several generations?
The Boy Scouts are in a no win situation, and this bothers me. I was an Eagle scout and a recipient of the Ner Tamid religious award in a troop that was founded in 1940 by a Rabbi - Alexander D. Goode, one of the Four Chaplains, and by my father, and met at the Jewish Community Center, and was based on non-discrimination. In 1952, this troop was featured on the cover of the National Jewish Monthly for being the first troop in the nation to have boys earning the religious awards in all the major denominations.
In the early 1960’s a Catholic troop lost its leader and met and camped with us until they got a new leader, and some of those boys, and some of their assistant scoutmasters stayed with us. When the Crispus Attucks troop lost its leader, many of those boys, African-Americans, joined our troop. That troop awarded the first Eagle rank to an African-American in York, PA. Our troop awarded the next two.
Our troop was kicked out of the Jewish Community Center about ten years ago because of the BSA’s policy on homsexuality.
My father’s position was that any sexual activity was inapproriate, and I think that was the BSA’s position, because during a council sponsored tour of the Norfolk Naval Base, four boys were caught off base in a bus necking with some local girls, and were disciplined.
My dad was often contacted by the probation officer and an inner city guidance counselor, and was sent boys who were in trouble. We never knew who they were, and many credit my dad for straightening them out.
There were incidents in the troop of molestation, and they were dealt with quietly, but never tolerated.
As usual, intolerant liberals just don’t get it.
Your research is a bit slack too. I noticed you said nothing about sexual abuse by teachers. Stop and think, who has the most access to our children? In virtually every case that does not result in a conviction it is more often than not the responsibility of our police, judges, prosecutors and authority figures who wash their collective hands and hide the problems. What avenue do you want these people to pursue when our elected and appointed leaders are morally depraved too?
It is a sin sick world and will continue to decline as long as people chase after money and power more than all other good virtues.
Things HAVE changed. The Youth Protection Program training is required for all adults. That program states that where there are signs or allegations of abuse, the individual adult who is aware of them is to go directly to the police without making any personal judgement call as to the validity. Go to the authorities first, then notify the Scout Executive and your own leaders.
Personally, I'd like to see an additional training program for the Scouts themselves along the lines of what I told my son the day I dropped him off at his first week long sleep-over camp. That being to reaffirm that he is NEVER to be alone with any adult, and if he finds himself in that situation or if he is at all uncomfortable in any situation - get away and return to a group and report it. Disregard any directions from anyone that will lead you or keep you in that kind of situation, return to a group and I will back you. And... if anyone touches you, forget all civility and fight like your life depends on it - strike, gouge, bite to do the maximum damage, methods of which I described in some detail. AND, no matter what happens I would love him, it's not his fault and he could talk to me.
I was writing in response to the revelations out of the Boy Scouts. I realize sexual abuse is a problem in other organizations, but that doesn’t give the BSA a pass for their transgressions.
Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever been called a liberal Democrat before. Perhaps you should read more of what I have written before you pass judgement on my views. I am as conservative as they come. The abuse and the idea that it is perfectly fine to hide said abuse to protect the integrity of any organization is so far off base, it isn’t even in the same solar system. I don’t care what the organization is, they should not hide abuse such as this.
For what it’s worth, my initials stand for Larry Dale.
Have you noticed that all the sexual abuse by teachers stories are either women on teenage boys or men on teenage girls?
Does the lack of male teachers on boys stories make you suspicious? It does me. Not trying to argue with you. Just asking.
Because if you're a gay pedophile the first place you'd find a job is at an elementary school.