Know the Facts? BSA Still Doesn’t
Under “Know the Facts: BSA Ineligible Volunteer Files,” the Boy Scouts of America claim “independent, third-party expert have confirmed — there is nothing in the files that would further the research field or help develop a profile to prevent abuse”:
“The sole purpose of the files is to prevent those deemed ineligible from registering as Scout leaders. The Ineligible Volunteer Files maintained by the BSA have always served solely as a barrier to entry preventing those who are ineligible to serve as Scout leaders from joining or rejoining Scouting. Suggesting that they would provide any greater insight from a research perspective reflects a misunderstanding of the purpose and content of the files. The BSA believes—and independent, third-party experts have confirmed—there is nothing in the files that would further the research field or help develop a profile to prevent abuse.”
This statement is, at best, misleading because it wasn’t until the mid-1980s that the Boy Scouts finally changed their policies and procedures to account for the information in the perversion files. While the files did help keep known sexual predators out of Scouts, BSA did not take any meaningful steps to warn children or their parents that pedophiles were using Scouts to abuse children, or how they were using their position to groom children, isolate them, and abuse them. BSA’s statement is particularly misleading when it knew from the files that most children never report the abuse.
We hope BSA will remove the misleading information from its website, or at least recognize that keeping known predators out of Scouts only solved half of the problem.