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The Boy Scouts of America showed reckless indifference to protecting young Scouts when it kept confidential two decades worth of files on suspected molesters among its troop leaders, a psychologist testified as part of a $14m lawsuit against the organisation.
Despite creating a remarkably in-depth file about sexual abusers, the Boy Scouts failed to warn parents or tell authorities about suspected or confessed pedophiles, said Gary Schoener, a national expert and consultant on sexual misconduct in the clergy, health care and other segments of society.
Some boys may have become victims because of the silence, he told the Multnomah County Circuit Court jury.
"The Boy Scouts had the information, had the knowledge, had the ability to make a difference," Mr Schoener said. "And they didn't."
The lawsuit was brought by a 37-year-old man who was abused by an assistant Scoutmaster, Timur Dykes, in the early 1980s.
Dykes was convicted three times between 1983 and 1994 of sexually abusing boys, most of them Scouts. He acknowledged abusing the plaintiff in a video deposition played for jurors last week.
The Boy Scouts began keeping secret files on suspected molesters among its adult volunteers decades ago.
Dubbed the "perversion files" by the organisation, the more than 1,100 reports from 1965-84 were released into evidence in the suit last week.
The files were as detailed as listing the colour of a certain volunteer's hair and eyes. They also noted that confessed abusers who completed probation with the Scouts often were allowed to return to Scout activities. The files didn't explain what the Scouts' probation entailed, Mr Schoener said.
Mr Schoener, who studied hundreds of the formerly confidential files, said the detailed documents showed patterns, including how molesters would groom potential victims, how most paedophiles had many victims and how most re-offended.
He said it was the most complete picture of sexual abusers and victims in the country at the time.
"Some are as thorough as a police report," Mr Schoener said. "Clearly, they realised they had a problem. They created a system to deal with it."
The defence ran out of time and will continue its cross-examination of Mr Schoener early next month.
Charles Smith, attorney for the national Boy Scouts, earlier told jurors the documents protected children by helping national scouting leaders weed out sex offenders, especially repeat offenders who might have changed names or moved in an attempt to join another local scouting group.
Boy Scouts of America spokesman Deron Smith said the organisation cannot comment on details of the case, but worked hard on awareness and prevention efforts, including background checks.
The trial, which began on March 17, will take a break and resume on Monday. It is expected to last two more weeks.
Well, something is wrong when adult men go on dressing like children
Apparently Angus Young wears that outfit because, when they were first doing local gigs, he was ACTUALLY coming straight from school to do them... because he (unlike the others) was still AT school. Just thought I'd throw that in (for no good reason... in fact)
Well wearing khaki shorts and scarves.
I mean REALLY!
I have paid attention to the Boy Scouts through the years as my son was a scout. During his participating years there was plenty of controvercial issues that concerned me.
At one point the association was underfire to allow homosexual men be scout leaders, yet this info was NOT to be disclosed to parents. I am not judging the orientation, but it would have influenced my decision to let my young son spend a week camping with him. As a parent of a scout, I voiced they should screen for criminal backgrounds, and more as leaders had much access to our kids. But the laws are set to protect the predators, not the kids.
I am not suprised such issues are surfacing. It is sad, yet the laws are still not poised to protect the kids. What will it take? Holly
It is disgusting. How many religious organizations are going to continue to abuse young children and get away with it?
The sooner these religious zealots are locked up the better. From the Boy Scouts of America application form:
"The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God and therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life. Only persons willing to subscribe to these precepts from the Declaration of Religious Principle and to the Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America shall be entitled to certificates of leadership."
I agree with you Holly.
I would like to think you accidentally misunderstood my post. As usual my words are being twisted into something else.
The Boy Scouts were not allowed by law to disclose the information that parents should have been told. The law is the problem here - not the scout policy. As a parent, I should be allowed to know information about those who have this access to my son. I appreciate the religious reinforcing offered by the scouts.
You don't like the fact the scouts have religious roots. Just because YOU don't like their policy doesn't mean it should bend to your whim. Start a scouts group that is free of religious influence. You do have that right. But you somehow feel it is your right to force the rest of us to like devoid of what we believe. We all have rights Mark - can't you get that?
I fully expect you will twist this as well - it is a trademark of yours. I realize you are frustrated trying to make religion and faiths go away, but you would fare much better to extend the rights to others that you desire for yourself. Holly
So - you don't think it is these religious organizations - like the Boy Scouts and The Catholic Church that are to blame? It is the liberal laws that protect these religious organizations? And you are totally happy to ignore their religious roots. Because you believe in God. Nothing wrong with religious organizations that abuse children. All about me.
Let,s not do anything about it then. As you already decided to do some time ago. Screening for criminal backgrounds. That should do it. No religious person could possibly avoid that.
Faith. What a wonderful thing. I understand you have to profess a belief in God before the Boy Scouts will let you in.
Again - you have cleverly twisted my words
Just because I believe the boy scouts should be allowed to continue as a religiously rooted organization does not mean I am in favor of child abuse. As for the Catholic church - you have used this same twisty tactic to alter the content and context of my posts. I have stated many times over on your deaf ears - child abusers of any kind should not be tolerated and dealt with severly. Far from doing nothing.
So twist my post again - it ensures civil and productive discussion will fail. Holly
So - when you asked "What will it take?"
What you really meant was "What will it take - but keep them religious."?
I mean - how do you not see the correlation?
Mark, As I said - the law would not allow the scouts to weed out those who do not meet their standards. The law chose to protect the predators - not the scouts.
As far as the catholic church - which I assume is what you are referring to - I have no silver bullet to solve the problems. The religion is not the problem - but the pedophiles and child abusers are. If we applied your rationale to the problem of the catholic church - destroy the church to solve it, then if a pedophile is a teacher - would you stop schools from existing?
Seriously, I think a discussion with you would be nice. I just do not appreciate the twisting my words. Holly
Yeah, I agree with Mark about more things than not, but preferential offenders of the sort who are responsible for the vast majority of child sexual abuse seek out positions that will allow them easy access to children, and there's nothing we can do about that but be vigilant.
The Boy Scouts and the Catholic Church are to blame for trying to cover up the abuse, but if it hadn't been pedophile priests and Boy Scout leaders, it would have been pedophile teachers and pediatricians. Whether the organization they exploit to get their access is religious or secular doesn't make much difference in the long run.
did you ever think that the organization wanted to allow homosexuals as scout leaders becase they are parents too? they have as much right to have their children see them in a positive role (scout leader) and participate in their activities as other children.
pedophiles are not homosexuals. they are pedophiles.
parents are always allowed to go on any campng trip and be present at any scout meeting. i had no idea that the scouts had cases of sexual abuse because they covered it up, which is deceptive and hypocritical, considering the scouting oath, which is why i would not have wanted my son to be a part of it.
Oh I can see how I lead you to think I am classifying homosexuals with pedophiles! - My error truly. I am sorry I did not word that better.
I enrolled my son in scouts as I wanted him to experience scouting in a way that also supported my conservative christian views. If I had wanted to expose him to a wider range of role models - which should have been my choice - I would have enrolled him in a more diverse scouting program.
My point is that homosexuals have every right to be positive role models and participate in scouting programs or whatever. But it doesn't make sense to me that it is nessessary for a homosexual to demand leadership in the openly conservative and religious boy scout program AND demand nondisclosure to parents.
It is wrong to legally mislead parents.
You may feel it is wrong for me to feel nervous about homosexuals in scouts. My son had positive role models in school who were gay, and family members come to think of it. I just did not like the situation with camping and nondisclosure.
I probably didn't explain myself much better, but it is getting busy here and I am distracted. Holly
no worries. i agree that no organization that parents allow access to their children should have secrets. how does that foster trust. thanks, sorry if i came across in a funny way.
first of all, Brrrrrrenda, i am not a 'leftist'. i'm just me.
secondly, my brother is gay, in a stable, loving relationship with a wealthy professional and they live a quiet, decent life. they have no children but if they did, they would be wonderful parents. they have two dogs, though, that they treat very well.
i have known straight people who are big perverts, ok?
why shouldn't honest, loving caring parents of children who are in scouting organizations be treated the same as straight parents of scouts? they got cooties or something?
Religion is your pet peeve, your obsession, but most people are perfectly aware that child abuse isn't part of religion.
School teachers, family members, bus drivers, camp counselors...
Abusers look for ways to find children, pretending it's all religion's fault is merely turning a horrible thing to make some points of your own at the expense of fixing the problem.
(Of course, as long as there are people, I don't believe the problem will be fixed - instead there are sick f's out there trying to persuade others that it's a good thing.)
Yes - abuse happens in all situations where an adult - claims authority over a child - in the case of these religious institutions - ultimate authority.
So - no fault of the religious institutions then? Not to be taken into account - it happens in secular institutions, therefore it should not be looked at - or even be considered as as extra bad because these people speak for the ultimate authority.
How many children need to be abused before one looks at the institution of God as being part of the problem?
The defense you have just mounted - "It happens elsewhere - this is just your pet peeve. Don't attack religion because of a few rotten apples........"
Is the same defense that always works. People's beliefs are more important that dealing with the problem. Admittedly - this is only a part of the problem. But - in secular institutions we have been taking the power away from the perpetrators - but not in religious institutions. Why? Because they speak for god and they are to be defended at all costs.
You see a proportional number of predatory priests going to prison? No - me either.
Leftists will go to all kindsa lengths to defend gays.
Ahh, my old friend brenda with her morals.
So according to you, Male pedophiles abusing boys is worse than male pedophiles abusing girls.
Pedophilia is pedophilia. This is not about homosexuality. The abuse of all children is absolutely wrong. Take your personal fight against "the gays" elsewhere.
Geez, you will go to all sorts of lengths to make everything be about leftists and homosexuality. Incroyable!
Well Holly - seeing as the subject of this thread is yet another instance of religious nutcases sexually abusing young boys and you chose to derail it by going on about how you fear homosexual men in the boy scout movement, I think that was a fair statement - don't you?
Why are you so busy pointing a finger when the clear issue is with the religious nutcases whose religious beliefs turn them into child abusers. Or - do you think it is the other way around? Are they child abusers first and then drawn to the religious?
Either way - yet another religious institution is involved in chronic child abuse and actively covering it up.
See why I am so against religion? Or are you genuinely not aware of how often this happens? Or too busy defending a perceived attack on your faith? That seems to be what drives most people.
You asked at the start - "What will it take?" I'll tell you - a good start would be to drop this notion of an invisible super being that must be defended at all costs. Bet you don't like the sound of that though and cannot see why it causes a problem. I
n which case - around we go. Your beliefs are more important than looking after our children - which is why it is such a prevalent problem. You are not prepared to see them for what they are and people's beliefs have always been more important then protecting our children. Which - if you think about it - makes them worthless and one of teh many reasons I do not buy it.
Now - you may - as usual - see this as a personal attack on you and your irrational beliefs - but please listen to what I have said. I don't say things without a rationale, whatever you may think, and my intentions and goals are for the good. Even Jesus would agree I think.
This thread is about the situation with the boy scouts organization. I adressed that which I experienced with that association.
For some reason you keep throwing pedophile priests at me. I am not catholic, nor am I in charge of anything in that church. I have never advocated child abuse, nor do I defend those priests.
The problems with pedophiles is that they have more rights than innocent children. They go where the kids are, and the laws ensure it. Do you know what the age of consent is in your state? Back in the 80's the law makers decided it was better to lower the age of consent than to find a way to jail the many perpatrators. In some states it is down to the age of 10! I have been a proponent trying to stop this from happening, but the perverts have more rights than the kids.
Parents have a right to know who is camping with their kids.
I do not know how to fix the catholic church. I do not know how to make the law makers protect the kids. But I do believe the kids have to be a priority everywhere. We can't shut down schools when a teacher is found to be a pedophile either.
My being a christian is not the problem, Mark. My beliefs are not more important than children.
Twisting words will not save a child. Try something else. Holly
Very good. Turn it into an attack on me instead of dealing with what I said. OK - Your ridiculous beliefs are not the problem. Sure - the religious institutions are not to blame. It is the damned homos.
I know what I personally have done to stop this. What have you done apart from bitch about the fact that homosexuals are allowed into the boy scouts?
Twisting twisting twisting. the Boy Scouts of America are a Religious institution. They allow child abuse and cover it up.
I did not know that some states dropped the age of consent to 10. But - you know what? When I look that up - It turns out to be another BS lie to defend your faith.
And you think religion does not rot your brain?
Whatever Mark. I cannot state a thought or experience, comment or ask questions without you throwing in a perverted priest or the plight of the catholic church.
Any post from you is a demand I drop my christian belief.
Every dig and insult to my intellect and faith are relentless.
Now you are swearing in posts to me. Are you a big bad athiest man now?
Don't bother to answer.
And yes the age of consent has been getting lower since the 1980's all because it is too difficult and expensive to house perpetrators.
Again - whatever Mark.
Swearing? Oh you mean saying that you saying the age of consent is now 10 years old in some states is a BS lie to defend your faith? Sure - swearing. I imagine that offends your kristian sensibilities huh?
Dear me. Sorry - what have you done about this exactly? Whatever.
Big bad atheist? Well - that is what you seem to think - so sure - why not.
Keep defending the faith!
Why are you so busy pointing a finger when the clear issue is with the religious nutcases whose religious beliefs turn them into child abusers. Or - do you think it is the other way around? Are they child abusers first and then drawn to the religious?
No, it's not religion, yes that's your pet obsession. YES, child molesters/pedophiles are drawn to any possible way to be with innocents. Yes, it's sick that religious institutions try covering up, what do they think, that kids don't grow up?! YES, they should be first to open up and attack the pervs and get rid of them.
Your obsession with religion is out of place because I, like many others, have seen perverts everywhere all my life. Your mentioning religion all the time makes it sound as if they're the only ones that matter, that it's expected everywhere else in life. I know you don't believe that (you mentioned laws in secular situations), but it's starting to sound that way.
Since the very point of a godly life is to help kids, help others, sacrificially love them, then obviously what you see is not "real religion". It's people using religion like they use anything and everything possible to advance their sick perversions.
You say you know what you've done to help, what kind of things do you mean? Nothing I've ever done has helped if I look at the statistics.
So - we are going to pretend that the Boy Scouts of America is not a religious institution? And we are also going to pretend that religious institution are not in a stronger position to defend their abusers. OK - Usual argument. "It happens in secular organizations so what the hey. Religious institutions are no different."
Which - is exactly my point. They get preferential treatment because they are speaking for a god.
If you look at the systemic abuses which are covered up aggressively - at high levels - who are we talking about? Why is the Pope all over all the European newspapers again today? Same thing,. Systemic child abuse covered up to protect the faith.
What other reason is there to cover it up? None. defend the institution, In these cases - the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America.
What value a belief in a God exactly? And what comparable secular organizations can you name?
It's difficult to tell from the original post - one part claims that the files in the Boy Scouts were kept to keep these men from being accepted in a different troop; it also claims some of these men were allowed to continue! If they were suspected but not proven abusers, what can legally be done?
And most of all, WHY DO MEN LOOK AT LITTLE KIDS THAT WAY?!!?!
Here is a listing by state. Please be sure to check out South Carolina and South Dakota.
http://www.cga.ct.gov/2003/olrdata/jud/ … R-0376.htm
That is not the age of consent, Holly. Although - I hear ya. Wrong is the word that comes to mind. Very, very wrong.
The laws need to reflect a priority to protect kids from EVERY pedophile, but they don't. Part of the problem is disclosure - parents need such information. The penalty for committing sexual abuse with kids should be most severe. And I personally would support those who access kids through churches have even heavier punishments.
So - do something about it. Complain to your congress man or whatever. I agree - people in positions of power who abuse them should be made to pay. Especially the clergy.
But - I warn you. You are up against an awful lot of people who feel the need to defend the faith and will see that as an attack on their belief system. I know - I have banged my head against that wall in the past and been forced to take matters into my own hands.
I have been an advocate for children for years. I have been a proponent on bills that were not in childrens best interests. I have volunteered my time for kids, given what resources I can. I have helped many young moms, been active in crisis pregnancy services, and supported shelters for domestic violence. Obviously my efforts alone are not enough. What are you doing to change it besides trying to take out the churches?
Is that not enough?
Seriously - I have done my bit and will continue to do so. This is not an easy thing to combat - you are fighting against the church, all the defenders of the faith and their political clout. You are doing what you can? Good for you. That is all you can do. I am too.
Mark, it's certainly difficult to see how covering up things like this "defends the faith". I think I see what you mean though, as if admitting this happens in religious institutions means God doesn't really change people for the better? Is that what you're talking about? If God can't "defend" 'himself' then it's not much of a god so I'm not worried about that. Religious institutions are merely people so no telling what you'll find there.
Or that's the point, we DO know what we find when people are around.
More to the point - I know there is not a god and I am pretty sure if there were - he would not concern himself with anything so mundane as a church or a little child abuse. I mean - really?
No - my point is that religious institutions - thanks to the efforts of believers to "defend the faith" are in a singularly perfect position to be able to perpetrate extensive and ongoing child abuse.
Even I automatically trust some one wearing a dog collar. This is wrong and evil and based on an irrational belief that should be disposed of.
Come on - name me a secular institute comparable to the Catholic Church or the Boy Scouts. Nowhere else are pedophiles free to roam and prey as they do there. With added protection.
If a God is insane, what's the point in believing in It ?
Check out Special Olympics next. Too bad parents can't get a look at all the cases that are settled in or out of court with these children's groups yet part of the deal is that the records are closed to the public.
Difficult subject - but its a problem the world over
When I was a youngun, many many (many) moons ago, it was quite obvious that our scout-master liked boys rather more than seemed reasonable.
We were fortunate in that our parents listened to us when we made it clear we didn't want to participate in that particular club anymore.
When I was a scout our young assistant scoutmaster was gay. He used to group unwary boys in the swimming pool. It didn't take long for the word to spread. Everybody just avoided him. I don't recall any complaints being filed. If any of the scout masters were gay they kept it to themselves and never bothered anybody. Our troop was sponsored by a local protestant church. Beyond that I don't recall any messages pushing Christianity or any religion, other than the mention of "God" in the scout's oath. Religion just wasn't an issue.
If he liked to grope boys, then he was a pedophile, not gay. I'd imagine you know the difference, but it bears repeating.
For cosette, who complained in another thread that I didn't respond to her response to my comment here in THIS thread:
I started to respond with the usual common-sense, moral approach, but went instead to find info about the Boy Scouts in case there was something I didn't know about the Organization....and here is it!----the Oath is actually pretty self-explanatory, even to the point of being very direct.
If this doesn't suffice, I dunno what she and Maddie and other libs WILL understand! Nothing, I guess.
On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country;
To obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.
haha how cute.
the scout's oath is indeed about honor. honoring yourself and others. 'morally straight' doesn't mean 'sexually straight' - it means doing the right thing in your dealings with others, you know, like The Golden Rule?
'morally straight' doesn't mean 'let's keep those nasty homosexuals out of scouting'.
why do you hate gay people? i have known some very immoral, no, i take that back, amoral straight people but to your way of thinking that would be ok to allow them to be scout leaders because they are straight. personally i wouldn't want lowlifes like that around my son. for you to assume that gays are immoral and should be excluded just because they are gay, and straights are righteous and safe around our children just because they are straight is not prudent or wise, or fair, on your part.
To tell you the truth I am not surprised. The boyscouts is promoted through religion basically Christianity. I know this is going to piss people off but I dont care. We know their track record.
Everybody just avoided him. I don't recall any complaints being filed.
That sounds so familiar! For me, growing up was the same way, little girls learned to avoid being alone with a man, certain ones first, then all in general. It was just expected that men were like that and children needed to beware.
Maybe that's what religion is for, to try to persuade people they're better than to do that sort of thing in the hopes that it will make it stop. But it doesn't work. Do we have to accept this is what people are and teach our kids to deal with the reality? I hate that. But it's true.
Like in the thread about the priests and the churches covering it up, society used to expect children to keep quiet about things because it was too embarrassing and impolite to bring it up. My mother is still like that, when things are uncomfortable, she doesn't know it, she absents herself from hearing it and changes the subject.
We're open about it now (other things as well) but what good does it do? Has anything in history been brought out in the open and been changed because of it? Actually changed and stopped?
I don't disagree with anything you said. However, I don't remember that anyone thought the guy's gropings were a big deal. He was just part of the landscape at scout camp. I was never groped, so I can't really comment on the feelings or reactions of those who were. I never gave a thought to saying anything to anybody about what I'd heard was going on, not because I was afraid, but it just didn't occur to me.
These are difficult matters - but all matters of this nature should be immediately reported to Police
Sure it means sexually straight, as well as the other moral lines.
You must've been listening of late to those who also cannot interpret the Constitution properly!
cosette replied to brenda:
i have known some very immoral, no, i take that back, amoral straight people but to your way of thinking that would be ok to allow them to be scout leaders because they are straight.
Actually, being gay would be only ONE thing not allowed, that doesn't at all say that all straight leaders would be fine. Anyone immoral (or amoral) is to be excluded because it goes against the scouting beliefs.
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