What will happen to the Boy Scouts?

esh_gaSeptember 17, 2012

Having already won over so many friends with their stance on having gay Scouts and Scout leaders, the Boy Scouts now stand on the brink of shame:

The Boy Scouts of America could face a wave of bad publicity as decades of records of confirmed or alleged child molesters within the U.S. organization are expected to be released in coming weeks.

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reported the organization failed to report allegations of sex abuse of scouts by adult leaders and volunteers to police in hundreds of cases from 1970 to 1991. In some cases, the Boy Scouts helped the accused "cover their tracks," the paper said.

The story was based on a review of 1,600 internal Boy Scouts case files the newspaper said it obtained that detailed accusations against confirmed or alleged child molesters within the youth organization.

About 1,200 "ineligible volunteer" files dating from 1965 to 1985 are set to be publicly released under a June order by the Oregon Supreme Court, including some already reviewed by the newspaper.

Those files played a key role in a 2010 civil trial in which an Oregon jury found the Boy Scouts liable in a 1980s pedophile case and ordered the organization to pay nearly $20 million in damages.

I think that the Boy Scouts will likely see their rolls shrink in the months and years ahead as a result of this revelation.

It's a shame because I know they do much good - but on the other hand, I can't condone their behavior in this and especially on top of their position on gay scouts.

What do you think?

Here is a link that might be useful: source

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It's very reminiscent of the Catholic church and its handling of this issue. It's very disillusioning and sad when we find out that the very organizations who rail against a position and are thought to be community pillars, are found to be hip deep in hiding their complicity. I feel terrible for all those who have been harmed through such abuse of trust.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 10:20AM
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The same thing will happen as happened the the Roman Catholic church. Some will be outraged & discontinue supporting the organization, the rest will blame the media or the boys who were molested.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 10:22AM
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Some of this is old news the scouts are still around the existence of the files were denied then
"Known variously as the "perversion files," the "red flag files" and the "ineligible volunteer files," the documents have been maintained for more than 70 years at the Scout's national office in Texas. Yet even after scores of abuse cases against the Scouts in recent decades, the case here is one of the few times that substantial portions of the files have been made accessible to a jury.

In Multnomah County Circuit Court on Friday, a jury found the Scouts liable for $18.5 million in punitive damages in a case brought by a man who was sexually abused by an assistant troop leader in the early 1980s, when the man was about 12. The verdict was by far the largest ever against the Scouts in a jury trial. The jury could have ordered the Scouts to pay up to $25 million. The same jury last week awarded the man, Kerry Lewis, $1.4 million in compensatory damages.

Most abuse cases involving the Scouts have ended in private settlements, and it is unknown how much the group has paid to victims.

In the Oregon case, about 1,000 files, from the years 1965 to 1984, were included as evidence, though the judge, John A. Wittmayer, allowed only the jury and lawyers involved to view them.

Lawyers for Mr. Lewis, who is now 37, said in court that the files detailed many instances across the country in which troop leaders or volunteers were allowed to continue working with children even after the Scouts had received complaints that they had committed sexual abuse.

"They hid the problem," Paul Mones, a lawyer for Mr. Lewis, said in closing arguments on Thursday, "and by hiding the problem, more abuse happened."

There were other cases were people who were convicted of unlawful sexual behavior with a minor were again permitted to lead troops with the knowledge of the BSA.

I'm so glad we had street gangs in The Bronx they just some hos seem more honest in their approach.

Here is a link that might be useful: YaDDA Yadda

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 10:50AM
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Old news to some people, but I think this will get more national attention now.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 11:01AM
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Just don't get how they allow these criminals to continue on in these organizations. Keeping it quiet is one thing (bad enough). Allowing them to remain in the organization? Anyone have any idea why this happens? The kids are not really believed? Could that be it?

I can see not really believing. It's too horrible to believe. But, come on.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 11:02AM
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It would seem, then, that they've handled their internal issues the same way the Vatican has... privately settling, and not alerting the public to any possibility of danger by keeping everything illegal under wraps.

Let's clarify, for the sake of reference, that there's no connection between pedophilia and anyone's stance on gay issues or anyone's sexual preference. The two are totally disconnected, though often brought up in the same context. Pedophiles can be male or female, and prefer male or female victims. The issue is pedophilia.

It's simply a shame they hold the public view they do on gay rights... it's a shame the church does, as well.

I know Esh did not make the connection, but for the sake of anyone reading, or anyone who is not informed, the two issues have nothing to do with each other.

I'm not sure any large court settlements will make a difference, though the publicity will force some changes and/or change some public opinion. The victims will still suffer.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 11:39AM
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I guess it's OK if you aren't gay, that seems to be what all their decisions hinge on. What hypocrites.

I was going through some old boxes, from my father, and found my uncle's Eagle Scout certificate and photo's from Boy Scout camp in Maine in the 1920's. Very cool, and somewhat bittersweet, since the Boy Scouts seem to be going down the tubes, at least at the national level. Maybe local groups need to disestablish themselves from the national BSA.

We are wrestling with the decision to let our son/grandson go into Cub Scouts, since we feel strongly that the BSA is wrong about this decision.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 11:47AM
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It's just my own opinion, but I would not want to associate at all with an organization that openly discriminates. I find it very distasteful and wrong to hold intolerance against any group of people, for whatever reason, and even worse to publicly admit to such intolerance.

An even worse facet of this is that the leaders of such an organization have chosen to handle their illegal affairs in such a secretive manner, trying to hide any pedophilia and pay off the victims to shut up and go away, while keeping some of those who are guilty of these illegal acts. It's simply awful.

It's one of the very reasons I cannot associate with the catholic church, and the boy scouts have proven to be exactly the same.

We each have to make our own decisions as parents, but were it me, I'd be looking into other avenues to occupy my children's time... perhaps sports, some other type of class to take (such as arts, music, or perhaps martial arts), or some other organization.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 1:01PM
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"The Boy Scouts of America could face a wave of bad publicity as decades of records of confirmed or alleged child molesters within the U.S. organization are expected to be released in coming weeks."

Uh oh. They failed to screen out 100% of the predators. What should they do now?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 1:32PM
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Uh oh. They failed to screen out 100% of the predators.

The problem is that even when they FOUND them, they didn't get rid of them or even report them to the authorities.

Does your flip remark mean that you see nothing wrong in what they did, nik? In their failure to remove or report these people?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 1:40PM
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Are you intimating that hiding child predators is ok? They not only failed to adequately screen, they hid the cases they found out about, and paid off victims to go away! What part of that is ok?

I'm thinking somebody hasn't read all the articles fully...

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 1:43PM
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