The Boy Scouts Still Don’t Get It

Now that more and more people are learning about the secret Boy Scout files, the Boy Scouts are doing their best to spin the story and save their reputation.  It appears they have gone so far as to pay an “independent” person to examine the files and give the Boy Scouts a clean bill of health.  This appears to be somewhat similar to the tactic used by the Catholic Church:  have someone outside of your organization review your secret files, and then when someone finds out about them, tell everyone you’ve already had someone review them and they concluded you did nothing wrong.

The problem with this “study” is that it tries to suggest abuse in Scouting was less prevalent than in society as a whole.  Putting aside that it is not clear if that conclusion is acccurate, particularly where the Boy Scouts have admitted to throwing away files and had a long time policy of requiring “proof” before they would create a file, the study misses the point.  Even if the rate of abuse in Scouting was lower, the Boy Scouts knew from the files exactly how sexual predators were using the Boy Scouts to target and molest children.

For example, the Boy Scouts knew pedophiles were grooming kids and then using their position as a Scout leader or volunteer to isolate Scouts and molest them.  They knew this at least by the 1970s, and likely decades earlier.  But it was not until the mid-1980s that the Boy Scouts meaningfully changed their ways and started telling Scouts and their parents about the danger of sexual abuse in Scouting and that a Scout should never be alone with a Scout leader.  Tellingly, that aspect of the perversion files is missing from this “independent” study.