Only because of the vigilance of a few, the Boy Scouts of America has been uncovered as an organization where widespread sexual abuse has been prevalent for many years. Close to 90,000 male adults have come forward with tales of perversion at the hands of their scout leaders when they were still naive young boys earning merit badges.
The issue of scout leaders preying upon their young male victims dates back to the 1920s, a full century ago, when the BSA began keeping a “perversion file,” sometimes referred to as the “red flag files.”
But there was one huge problem with these files. They were kept secretive by the organization as they preferred to handle these matters internally. Because law authorities were never informed of the deviant child molesters’ behaviors, the organization fired them without consequence as they went their merry ways in search of new hunting grounds.
Because the perversion file was kept locked away with only a few of the higher-ups having access to its contents, a great many of the names on the list simply moved away to become scout leaders in new locations and no one was the wiser. Easy-peasy.
The deadline for victims of abuse to file claims for compensation recently passed. The BSA says it is “deeply sorry” and “heartbroken that we cannot undo their pain.”
The lawsuit ball got rolling when a former Boy Scout from Oregon received $19.9 million in a landmark lawsuit in 2010 for having endured pain and suffering. His victory was celebrated with a tsunami of lawsuits from all around the country as the shamefulness of the organization and their secretive files became public knowledge, and the walls of the organization began to crumble.
“More sexual abuse claims will be filed in the Boy Scouts bankruptcy than all claims filed against the Catholic Church throughout the nation,” was the comment of the torts committee overseeing the scandalous trial.
Here’s the kicker with this correlation. Particularly during the 60s, 70s, and 80s, a great many of these accused leaders were, in fact, Catholic priests. They would do a quick genuflect after mass, rip off the robe, snuff out the incense, wrap an official BSA kerchief around their necks, and run off to stick their holy hands down the pants of young unsuspecting boys. Amen.
Effie Delimarkos, the current vice president of communications for the Boy Scouts of America, has placed her entire emphasis on how millions of young boys have had positive and morally valued experiences with the group. Delimarkos claims the organization only filed for bankruptcy so they could restructure and continue the mission of scouting.
The history of the group she represents appears to be conveniently elusive in her drive to reestablish the BSA as a shining beacon of values. In her feeble mind, it’s as though the entire little pedophile problem was blown way out of proportion and should never be spoken of again. Hello? Is anybody in there?
Despite her keen ignorance, the organization was more or less forced to make some critical changes. They now run background checks on potential scoutmasters in addition to having established abuse prevention training as a requirement for all staff and volunteers. They’ve also instituted a new rule requiring two adults to be present at all times when the boys are around.
But once something is broken it can never be restored to its former glory. Membership has dramatically dropped from 7-million in the 70s to less than 2-million today. What was once thought of as an all-American, apple-pie, proud and upright institution, will never fully recover from their 100 years of emotionally traumatizing children for the remainder of their lives.
The Boys Scouts of America, since its inception, has never changed the oath that every new boy must solemnly make. “On my honor, I will do my best / To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; / To help other people at all times; / To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”
The scoutmasters must have been exempt.