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Trial Brings Boy Scouts of America’s ‘Perversion Files’ to Light

Posted on Mar 19, 2010
Boy Scouts stamp
Wikimedia Commons

The Catholic Church isn’t the only big organization facing trouble in the sexual abuse department this week. The Associated Press reported Friday that an Oregon man who says he was molested by a Scout leader in the 1980s plans to use some of a stash of around 1,000 “perversion files,” as officials from the Boy Scouts of America apparently call them, to bolster his own legal case.  —KA

AP via Gawker:

The trial is significant because the files could offer a rare window into how the Boy Scouts have responded to sex abuse by Scout leaders. The only other time the documents are believed to have been presented at a trial was in the 1980s in Virginia.

At the start of the Oregon trial, attorney Kelly Clark recited the Boy Scout oath and the promise to obey Scout law to be “trustworthy.” Then he presented six boxes of documents that he said will show “how the Boy Scouts of America broke that oath.”

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, March 22, 2010 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

To Child of a Pedophile:

For the past 32 years I’ve shared my life with a victim of incest. Without spending a hour relating the details, which almost assuredly you know even better than I, I do the best I can to feel the pain - to grapple with the logical part of me that intrudes into my self-talk with nuggets such as “every moment spend scaping scabs off old wounds is a moment stolen from your future.” At some point, in my mind, to get anything out of this life, the “victim” MUST somehow reach “closure” on this horror and move on.

To be fondled, raped, buggered, used and abused repeatedly by someone with absolute power over you and whom you’re supposed to love and respect makes scrambled eggs of one’s insight into his/her self-worth and sexuality. This seems to be more or less a fact for MANY, but not all, victims. It’s a completely mystery to me why and how some victims just shrugg it off and move on, and others become mired in a lifetime of misery over it.

It’s a tragedy. The perpetrator MUST be stopped. But to scrape all the wounds wide open again after 20-30-40 years have passed I don’t think is going to help anyone but the lawyers and those who earn a living operating what we euphemistically call the Justice System.  The “perp” most likely isn’t offending any more because of age but even so it needs to be made crystal clear to him that EVERYONE is watching him and with one false move the roof will fall in. At the same time, to put him away in prison isn’t going to cure either him or his past victim(s).

So after 32 years of intimate contact with one who still labors with the issue I continue to stand by with all the love I can muster and wait… wait for the day when he, somehow, will encapsulate the pain and move it aside - off the roadway of his life - never to be forgotten, of course, but never again to impede progress and growth.

I hope I’ve made sense.

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By Child of a Pedophile, March 22, 2010 at 4:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My bio. father was a scout leader in the late 1960’s-early 1970’s.  He was accused in 1974 in court of sexually molesting a boyscout, and it wasn’t even addressed by the courts! Fast forward to 1978, I was born having an undetermined sentence of sexual torture beyond everyday comprehension. I don’t know when my abuse began because I don’t remember a life without it. I tried at 12 & 15 to cry out and it was paid no attention to by my mother or the police & cps (child protection services) to no avail. My father had told me long ago about a boyscout (I thought at the time it was another sick fantasy), before I had any knowledge of him being accused. In 2004 thanks to a change in the legislature and laws changing, I was able to finally able to pursue charges. He plead guilty and was sentenced. On his parole release he had to take a polygrapgh to remain on parole re: sexual history. He passed once he admitted everything I had charged him with, raping/molesting my older sister & 2 brothers and at least 17 others from 1966-2004, to include the boyscout.

For those thinking it is the ‘evil liberals’, I wish you could meet my father. He is the embodiment of red blooded, ‘god, guns, country’, anti-homosexual, anti-communism, pro-‘family values’, ultra conservative good ‘ol boy. The point is that pedophiles (people sexually attracted to pre-pubescent children) will never say “Hi, I’m John Doe. I like to fish, hunt, and f*** little kiddos”. These people do not have a neon sign that makes them easy to target, and are very ‘nice’ people-I only say nice b/c children do not like people that are mean to them, they like the nice ones who usually offer to provide something they don’t get or usuallu get from home (think material objects & that’s nothing bad on the kids either).

To RAE at the top, while I agree that money is the sole motivation of a lot of things, it is not always. There should not be a statue of limitations on sex abuse/assault because the perp should never have the blanket of security knowing that he/she committed heinous acts beyond most people’s comphrehension and can walk away scott free. On the flip side, having been sexually tortured/raped/molested as a child, I have ZERO sympathy for anyone who knows what it’s like to be the little kid crying, hurting, and begging for ‘it’ to stop and dares go out and willingly put another child through the same pain (physical & mentally).  To them, I beleive the punishment should be 10 fold!

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By RAE, March 21, 2010 at 10:12 am Link to this comment

I’d be willing to bet a month’s pension money that this “Oregon man,” who now, 30 years later is going “legal,” is motivated by one thing only - MONEY.

To sue or not to sue, that is the American question.

There needs to be a statute of limitations on these kind of lawsuits… say 10 years. If you haven’t decided whether you’ve been “damaged” enough to sue within that time frame, you probably haven’t.

Just as there’s one hell of a difference between a write-off car wreck and a fender-bender, there’s a whopping big difference between the forced rape of a ten-year old and the one-off momentary fondling by an “authority figure.” Neither, of course, is acceptable behavior by an adult toward a child, but let’s not make mountains out of molehills. All the hubbub accomplishes one thing only - TO MAKE MATTER WORSE (well, maybe two things - the lawyers involved make a killing.)

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By Tobysgirl, March 21, 2010 at 5:24 am Link to this comment

I cannot believe the suggestion of horrific rates of child abuse in the public schools. Is this another arrow aimed at unionized teachers by the corporations who want to take over the school system?

My God, a teacher cannot even hug a child who is crying or upset anymore because the schools are so careful of any allegations of inappropriate behavior. There is also a great deal of attention given to teachers not being alone with students.

Yes, we have had abuse locally, and some men have been prosecuted and imprisoned. They are usually men functioning in what I consider inappropriate settings with adolescent girls, such as gymnastics coaches. However, as the Irish actor Gabriel Byrne pointed out, every boy in his Catholic school was abused; the boys all thought it was normal. If this is what you are suggesting goes on in public schools, either you’re extremely foolish or you live in an area with extraordinarily bizarre public schools. What are you doing to alter the situation?

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Ouroborus's avatar

By Ouroborus, March 21, 2010 at 1:26 am Link to this comment

Wildlander, March 20 at 2:01 am

Truthdig isn’t condemning the Boy Scouts per se; just
the fact they, like the Catholic church, tried to hide
the record of abuse. Other posters covered your erroneous pedophiles/homosexuals link, so I won’t

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By omygodnotagain, March 20, 2010 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

It is worth noting that while every case of child abuse by Catholic priests or Boy Scouts is heavily publicized, less attention or even study is given to abuse in public schools, the only report that comes to mind is a Hoftra’s study by Carol Shakeshaft, where she gives the figure of an astounding 10%. There are the lurid LeTourneau teacher and pupil stories that attract media attention. I suspect that abuse is higher in public schools than the Boy Scouts or Catholic Church, but it swept under the mat, as local authorities would be bankrupted by lawsuits.

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By Tobysgirl, March 20, 2010 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

Truthdig is not an organization involved with children. Truthdig is not an authoritarian institution charged with educating or providing structure for children. There is an enormous gap between “doing something wrong,” Wildlander, and abusing children and engaging in protecting the abusers. If Truthdig “does something wrong,” such as publish untruths, I’m sure plenty of people will squawk and point out their lies.

And to link pedophiles and homosexuals is so irrational that one cannot even respond to such silliness. I suggest you look up the connections between homophobia and repressed homosexual desires.

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By PaulN, March 20, 2010 at 11:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I guess I was lucky. My scoutmaster insisted on camping in a separate tent from
the big one we scouts were using. His girlfriend joined him later in the night. I
don’t think his wife found out about it.

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By bogi666, March 20, 2010 at 8:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Like in most scandals it’s the coverup not the acts which make the acts deplorable. Their are other reasons to criticize the Boy Scouts which was created during WW1 for the purpose of militarizing the Nations youth[for WW2?]. That’s the purpose of the Boy Scouts, pre-military, military training like todays Pentagon inspired and funded video games meant to crate a war consciousness and train the youth for the Terminator Drones and other military equipment. Like the Scouts this Military training is free as well.

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By sigrid, March 20, 2010 at 7:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wildlander asks: ” What if someone in truthdig does something wrong. Is it right for me to then suggest that EVERYONE and the whole truthdig organization is complicit in that crime.”  If Truthdig had such people in the organization and knew it, kept files on them, but then didn’t report it and sent them on to Huffington Post or Raw Story, it would be the same.  I don’t think Truthdig would do that and they certainly couldn’t get away with it in the courts or in the court of public opinion.

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godistwaddle's avatar

By godistwaddle, March 20, 2010 at 2:42 am Link to this comment

Wildlander, you erroneously conflate homosexuality with pedophilia.  Most pedophiles are heterosexual, like most of the rest of us.

Also, when an organization consistently harbors and covers up pedophiles, we have a right to question that organization—a la the Holy Roman Baby Rapist Protection Racket AND the Boy Scouts, about whom rumors have swirled for many decades.

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By Wildlander, March 19, 2010 at 11:01 pm Link to this comment

Why does truthdig present this kind of crap. ANY organization has faults. Here you pick out one… let me repeat that… ONE stituation… and present it as if it is representitive of the whole.

What if I did this to truthdig???  What if someone in truthdig does something wrong. Is it right for me to then suggest that EVERYONE and the whole truthdig organization is complicit in that crime.

Hell no.

So why attack the Boy Scouts???

This article should have been presented as an article of another pedophile against an individual. But no, you had to emphasize the Boy Scouts and suggesting it is analogous to the Catholics being organization wide. And that is just not so. My father was a boy scout leader. He was not a pedophile. Far from it. He, like I, was adamantly against homosexuals. Neither were the other leaders who were from our neighborhood. AND, I knew all the kids and we talked sex and girls… and never one of us complained about pedophilia. This kind of lying represents a complete lack of integrity in reporting.

It is no better than what the Bush administration engaged in…

Ken Boettger
Ellensburg, WA

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godistwaddle's avatar

By godistwaddle, March 19, 2010 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

Hey, those scouts are moral, moral, moral. They don’t allow atheists.  Child molesters, sure, just like the Holy Roman Baby Rapist Protection Racket, but atheists, NOOOO!

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By NYCartist, March 19, 2010 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

Great stamp.  Thanks for the image.  I was once a Girl Scout.  Wasn’t “big” on uniforms, rules….

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