Breaking News
Wednesday, 26 December 2012

 The Times this week released about 1,200 previously unpublished files kept by the Boy Scouts of America on volunteers and employees expelled for suspected sexual abuse.

The files, which have been redacted of victims' names and other identifying information, were opened from 1985 through 1991. They can be found in a database along with two decades of files released by order of the Oregon Supreme Court in October. The database also contains summary information on about 3,200 additional files opened from 1947 to 2005 that have not been released publicly.

Together, the material in the database represents the most complete accounting of suspected sexual abuse in the Scouts that has been made public. All of the material was obtained as a result of lawsuits against the Scouts by alleged abuse victims or by media organizations. The Boy Scouts kept the files for nearly a century for internal use only, to keep suspected abusers from rejoining.

About as many files were opened in the six years before 1991 as in the previous two decades. At least in part, that reflects greater reporting of accusations, as awareness of child sexual abuse rose in the Scouts and society at large. About that time, the Scouts launched a concerted effort to train youths and adults on how to identify and prevent sexual abuse.

The files do not represent a complete accounting of alleged abuse in Scouting. Experts say many cases probably were not reported to the national office, and the Scouts say the organization destroyed an unknown number of files over the years.

The latest dossiers — used as evidence in a 1992 court case — are among those reviewed by The Times for a series of stories over the last year, which detailed the Scouts' repeated efforts to keep allegations from police, parents and the public and its resistance to performing criminal background checks on all volunteers. The BSA's inaction or delayed response to allegations at times allowed alleged molesters to continue sexually abusing children. Alleged abusers consistently violated a policy, instituted in 1987, prohibiting adults from being alone with Scouts.

The alleged abusers — including doctors, teachers, priests and other professionals — commonly preyed on children without father figures or gained the trust of both parents.

Re “Scouts employ aggressive tactics in abuse defense,” aka "The Agudath Israel Defense.",0,565676.story

I applaud The Times for reporting the disgusting practices of the Boy Scouts of America. The overwhelming evidence that shows how the Boy Scouts went after the victims rather than protecting young boys says everything we need to know about this corrupt organization.

I am an Eagle Scout and had the privilege of having four Scoutmasters who were wonderful and brilliant teachers. These men were educators first and dedicated their careers to bettering young people's lives. I never heard a discriminatory word out of their mouths.

But today the Boy Scouts has an unacceptable way of determining who is and who isn't eligible for membership and leadership, homosexuals and non-Christians being the most discriminated against. Unfortunately, child molesters are evidently not on the blacklist.

I'm the first in line to return my badge and distance myself from what has become a repulsive entity.

Tony Ferdyn
Santa Barbara

Apparently the Boy Scouts interprets “be prepared” as mandating tactics right out of the Scientology litigation playbook.

David R. Ginsburg
Los Angeles

Interesting that the Boy Scouts discriminates against gays but protects pedophiles. Does it remind you of another major institution?

Nelson Schwartz


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