The Absurdly Warped Priorities of the Incompetent Boy Scouts of America

“Follow me into those bushes, boys! You won’t need your pants.”

The Boy Scouts of America, who recently re-affirmed its policy of refusing to accept homosexuals into its ranks because to do so would supposedly undermine the organization’s moral values, have been unconscionably lax in protecting its young participants from child molesters in its ranks.

From the Los Angeles Times:

“A Los Angeles Times review of more than 1,200 files dating from 1970 to 1991 found more than 125 cases across the country in which men allegedly continued to molest Scouts after the organization was first presented with detailed allegations of abusive behavior. Predators slipped back into the program by falsifying personal information or skirting the registration process. Others were able to jump from troop to troop around the country thanks to clerical errors, computer glitches or the Scouts’ failure to check the blacklist.In some cases, officials failed to document reports of abuse in the first place, letting offenders stay in the organization until new allegations surfaced. In others, officials documented abuse but merely suspended the accused leader or allowed him to continue working with boys while on “probation.” In at least 50 cases, the Boy Scouts expelled suspected abusers, only to discover later that they had reentered the program and were accused of molesting again.”

Let’s put this disgraceful story perspective. The Boy Scouts of America by decree and policy stigmatizes and discriminates against an entire group of innocent boys on the archaic and ignorant theory that being gay renders them immoral and unable to meet the requirements of the Boy Scout law, oath and values. At the same time, the organization takes inadequate measures to protect its “worthy” members from being victimized by pedophiles.

Verdict: This is an irresponsible, incompetent and untrustworthy organization…that is supposed to care for children.

I would recommend that the Scouts stop wasting time and resources trying to keep innocent kids out of scouting, and start making sufficient efforts to stop allowing child predators to stay in. Or perhaps one could argue that the BSOA are doing gay young men a favor by only serving up heterosexual youths as treats for the pedophiles it can’t seem to control.

Why in the world would any parent of any child, gay or straight, choose to entrust its precious offspring to an organization with such confused priorities and incompetent management?

__________________________________________

Facts: Los Angeles Times

Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work was used in any way without proper attribution, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at  jamproethics@verizon.net.

 

41 thoughts on “The Absurdly Warped Priorities of the Incompetent Boy Scouts of America

      • Do you really think that is a Christian Principle, cause if you do,
        you are no Christian. I was talking about redemption, Also, to make this clear, when a man accosts a boy, it is male on male sexual behavior. That by any definition is gay behavior. Gays who only molest consenting adults should be the ones who condemn this behavior FIRST. Rejecting the ones who might molest are more in keeping, better safe than sorry.

        One other thing, since it is the LA Times, do you suppose that the 50 that were caught later,hadn’t been convicted yet of any crime just accused of it?

        I notice you have to go back some 40 years over a twenty year span, still twenty years ago to make your point. The internet wasn’t available then. I am pretty sure, the Boy Scouts of America have cleaned up their act. Unless you have something new to add?

          • Just to get this straight, one hundred and twenty-five men who practiced homosexual activity which defines the men as gay or bi-sexual were caught and the Boy Scouts said no more gays as scout masters. And you as an ethical person would like the Boy Scouts to repeat the earlier experiment in allowing gays to serve again? Why, when obviously the first time was horrible? Would you like the Boy Scouts preyed upon again? Is that it?

                  • No, and your story, while cute and cuddly, does not apply to all gay men. At least not the 125 who were caught by the Boy Scouts. It only applies to your father’s neighbors.

                    • Cute and cuddly my ass, you stupid fuck. Some married heterosexuals are pedophiles. Pedophilia/pederastry and homosexuality are two different things, and trying to kidnap, rape and most likely kill my baby brother isn’t cute and cuddly.  

                    • My mistake. Maybe I should have just said heroic. I thought you put the story in to show that not all gay men are bad and by extension all gay men with a few exceptions are cute and cuddly. I am truly sorry I punched a sore spot.

                • No.

                  So someone who has sex with male sheep is a homosexual to you, I gather. You’re just plain mistaken, but it’s a useful mistake because it supports your bigotry.

                  Peddle it somewhere else, ideally in the 19th century.

  1. When I was ten years old a man tried to snatch my little brother, who was then seven, off the street. The only thing that stopped this from happening was the two gay men who lived next store saw it happening , ran out into the street and grabbed my baby brother and apprenhended the married pedophile who tried to snatch him. They also gave him a pretty good ass whipping in the process as they were both body builders. A while later another neighbor asked my father how he could stand living next to those two “faggots” my fathers response was “if it wasn’t for those two men my youngest son would have been raped and most likely dead. Don’t ever call them faggots in my presence again or question their manhood. ”

    The BSA needs to come into the 21st century and recognize that homosexuality doesn’t equal being a pedophile . That’s is an ignorant and outdated beleif and by continuing to follow it they are putting their members at risk.

    • Your little brother was very lucky, as I was at age 8. One (homosexuality) does not necessarily indicate another (pedophilia), but it is also not believable that there is any greater dissociation of one from the other than heterosexuality is dissociated from pedophilia, either. The BSA would be merely painting bull’s eyes on its scouts for the benefit of an even more diverse pool of predators if it “came into the 21st century.”

      • That’s a red herring. Blacks and whites are equally likely to commit pedarasty, so allowing blacks in would also create a more diverse pool of predators.

        It may be true, but it’s stupid and not a real risk. Allowing women to be den mothers created a more diverse pool of predators as well.

  2. Let’s put this disgraceful story into perspective, indeed. It addresses a review of files “…dating from 1970 to 1991 [finding] more than 125 cases across the country…” So, in a span of about 20 years, in an organization with (roughly) a few million participants from year to year, at least 125 incidences of alleged repeated misconduct have been discovered. I would like to see stats on incidences of suspected similar misconduct from some other comparably sized and constituted organization over the same period of time – or, “…at most, 125 cases.” But then, the only such remotely similar organizations are public schools, which have available the full force of government power to ensure their competence, so that would not be a fair comparison, would it?

    Of course (I say sarcastically), if only the Boy Scouts would give up their exclusionary policy toward admitted homosexuals, instant and perfect competence would ensue and the organization would provide a virtually molestation-free environment. Ahh, that’s what’s missing from the Boy Scouts: those marvelous levelers of all playing fields, “inclusion” and “diversity.” Out, OUT with that bad, old hateful discrimination; make the truth of the now popular slogan come to life in the activities of scouting, that it may be often, joyfully and passionately on the lips of scout and scoutmaster alike (even if only whispered lasciviously): “It gets better.”

    • I don’t care if there are a trillion members. An organization that allows an accused pedophile to come back into the organization and prey on children is negligent and incompetent by definition. If it were your son molested, would you really buy the “pretty good batting average” rationalization? I guarantee no court would. Plus this is a cover-up.

      • 2012 story.

        They are largely incompetent at BSA.

        And prejudice is hateful.

        But the Government is full of incompetent and criminal persons. They start wars, produce unhealthy diets by pushing corrupt messages, and other “wonderful” stuff. But we wouldn’t want you speaking truth to power. Might not fit your narrative.

        The Democrat head of the Senate until 2010, two years before your story, was the former head of the Virginia KKK. Did you rip him?

        Some people today want to end freedom of speech. Are you standing up for human rights in that regard, or only for the extra privileges of your political party? (You have a platform and a slate of candidates.)

        Some leftists cheer-lead for a recession. Where are you on that?

        • It would be unethical and uncivil to refer to you as, say, the mega-asshole you clearly are for this ignorant and obnoxious post, so “jerk” will have to do. You obviously haven’t checked out the blog, nor done any research or due diligence, looked at the Comment policies, or educated yourself on the difference between ethical arguments and rationalizations. There are 10,450 essays here, so the complaint of “why didn’t you write about X rather than Y” is per se moronic. Your comment about government fits the dumbest rationalization on the list—there are 99 currently—“There are worse things.” Yes, there are always worse things, you idiot. Check the government and politics tag.

          This comment—Some people today want to end freedom of speech. Are you standing up for human rights in that regard, or only for the extra privileges of your political party? (You have a platform and a slate of candidates.)—I assure you is provoking fits of laughter among even casual readers here, since I have made it very obvious where I stand on that matter.

          “Some leftists cheer-lead for a recession. Where are you on that?” There’s a recent post on it, you pompous fool. Find it yourself.

          You’re banned. If you get any comments up again, I’ll trash them as soon as I see them, and I check often. You just made a complete fool of yourself. Congratulations. BYE.

  3. What adequate measures should the Boy Scouts have taken?

    Predators slipped back into the program by falsifying personal information or skirting the registration process.

    Which they would not have to do if the Boy Scouts did not have procedures to keep sex offenders out.

    In at least 50 cases, the Boy Scouts expelled suspected abusers, only to discover later that they had reentered the program and were accused of molesting again.

    So they did take measures against the abusers.

    In others, officials documented abuse but merely suspended the accused leader or allowed him to continue working with boys while on “probation.”

    Here is a quote from the article.

    In a 1992 deposition, Ernst, then keeper of the national file, testified that alleged abusers were given probation — which required periodic updates on the person’s behavior — only if evidence of molestation was “extremely weak.”

  4. Weird couple of days: over the weekend I suddenly became a Democrat, and now I’m apparently gay.

    When someone can’t comprehend how someone would support an ethical position without being biased in favor of the beneficiary, the odds are that this is the only way he or she can make ethical calls—by conflict of interest, not fair analysis.

    • Maybe I have not got there yet but where do you get “Weird couple of days: over the weekend I suddenly became a Democrat, and now I’m apparently gay.” ?

      “When someone can’t comprehend how someone would support an ethical position without being biased in favor of the beneficiary, the odds are that this is the only way he or she can make ethical calls—by conflict of interest, not fair analysis.”

      “I don’t care if there are a trillion members. An organization that allows an accused pedophile to come back into the organization and prey on children is negligent and incompetent by definition. If it were your son molested, would you really buy the “pretty good batting average” rationalization? I guarantee no court would. Plus this is a cover-up.”

      Yes a success/failure rate is relevant and important, it is not simply by conflict of interest and I see no fair analysis in this post. You seem to believe that the BSA somehow sanctioned this behavior, or even played the shell trick that the Catholic Church choose to do. I do not see any evidence of an acceptance of this behavior by the BSA, the BSA did take action and set up a program to combat this problem that has been held up as one of the BEST programs out there.

      • You don’t understand? What is this “bias” you refer to? Why are you presuming I have a bias towards gays? On what basis? I have no bias in this regard at all. I believe in treating people fairly and as equals. I believe gay are people. What bias?

        • Really you don’t see the bias? You do a post on the BSA policy of DADT and conclude that they are being unethical as they are being bigoted. Then you do this piece tying the two subjects together, you’re rational of them having their priorities messed up because they have had predators who have taken advantage of their program, you nor the Times can illustrate that it has not been a priority of the BSA to combat these predators. There are volumes of information that speak directly to how seriously they take their program. That is not excusing their failures, but it does show that their priorities are correct. You grouping the two together in the manner you have implies they can only address one problem at a time, or that since they failed in the past to protect children they might as well give in and let homosexuals serve openly.
          “Basically, there were no controls,” said Bill Dworin, a retired Los Angeles police expert on child sexual abuse who reviewed hundreds of the files as a witness for an Oregon man abused by his troop leader in the 1980s.
          They have brought in countless experts to design and implement their program; they even assist other organizations in fighting this threat. They have their priorities correct.

          • Steve, I support the Scouts as an organization conceptually—as I wrote, it probably saved my father’s life. The organization has a pedophile problem, however, like the Catholic Church. Quite possibly it has always had this problem (like the Catholic Church.) When it comes to letting kids be molested by adults they trust, Yoda comes to mind. “Do or do not… there is no try.” I don’t really care if the Scouts think they are “trying” to avoid child molesters. If that many get into the system, then there is a screening problem. The Times shows a follow-through problem, and if one guy can molest 100 kids, then there is an oversight problem. Meanwhile, the Scouts are declaring gay boys unclean. The Scouts need to clean up their act, not make innocent boys feel dirty. It hurts the boys who it shuns, by stigmatizing them, and hurts the boys it admits by not protecting them

    • It seems to me maybe your bias as it pertains to homosexuality and the BSA is clouding your judgment on this subject. This is a separate issue that has been equated to the Gay/BSA issue, not by supporters of the BSA policy but by opponents. I see your bias in your ethical call here, I think the unethical issue here is the equation. Why no mention of the steps the BSA has taken to prevent this?

      • Because they are inadequate, and because the Scouts have covered up their failures in this regard. If I entrust my child to a professional organization, I will hold it to a strict liability standard with regard to my child’ safety from intentional harm. The Boy Scouts are obviously going to be a target of pedophiles. It it hasn’t figured out how to protect its charges after more than a century, then it is untrustworthy by definition. I have the same attitude about the sexual predators in the public schools. Don’t tell me that the number of predators are reasonable. There is no reasonable number of predators. This is like arguing that the number of people who shoot up movie theaters is “reasonable.”

        • Where is the cover up? Because they don’t make their confidential records available to everyone? You have to realize there are some allegations that are false and some that are unsubstantiated. Their policy is that all reports of abuse are to be reported to the authorities.

          • The cover up is, simply, that the public, including the public that sends its kids to the Scouts, didn’t know that the organization had this kind of a problem….and in the interests of full disclosure, if I am going to entrust mu child to an organization, I have an absolute right to know this.

            To say, as you do elsewhere, that “there is no organization out there that has as good a record as the BSA or has done as much to correct their deficiencies” cannot be defended. 125 cases of serial molesters is not a good record, especially when at least one of them molester over 100 Scouts all by himself. I think it is fair to say that most organizations have not had any individual molest over 100 kids AFTER he was initially flagged. By definition, the BSA can’t be said to have the best record, or even a good record.

      • “Basically, there were no controls,” said Bill Dworin, a retired Los Angeles police expert on child sexual abuse who reviewed hundreds of the files as a witness for an Oregon man abused by his troop leader in the 1980s.

        I think the linked Times piece mentions the BSA’s steps rather prominently. When one single Scout employee, after being flagged, molests over 100 children, there is no way you can credibly claim that they have a model system. They have taken steps…clearly inadequate steps. It’s easy to ban non-dangerous, innocent gays from membership on a trumped up theory that they violate Scout values. It’s harder to keep actual predators who violate the boys themselves as a well as the Scout values from getting in the door. I repeat: the priorities here are perversely warped.

  5. Jack,
    Looks like you had a very busy weekend. I am catching up, some good posts, and some not so good ones.

    “Verdict: This is an irresponsible, incompetent and untrustworthy organization…that is supposed to care for children.”

    Your “The Absurdly Warped Priorities of the Incompetent Boy Scouts of America” article is a continuation of a weak attack the Times is doing on the BSA. Yes one pedophile is too many, but what is the true expectation here? 125 out of TENS OF MILLIONS, and may I add this is within a target rich environment. Yes some serious mistakes have happened but name even one organization that has a better track record. You treat this topic as if the BSA is ok with it and is out recruiting pedophiles. Next you will ask if I can prove that they are not. You have condemned their entire program out of hand; I understand and respect your position on homosexuality in regards to the BSA, but not this. This whole story is a hit piece with no balance or perspective. Here is a little balance for you.

    “Scouting was among the first national youth organizations to address the issue of sexual abuse of its members and in the 1980s developed its Youth Protection program, to educate youth, leaders and parents about the problem as a whole, and to introduce barriers to pedophiles using the Scout program to reach victims. The Boy Scouts of America Youth Protection Plan was cited as a resource that other youth organizations might use in the Centers For Disease Control’ s publication “Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Within Youth-serving Organizations: Getting Started on Policies and Procedures”

    Does this mean they are perfect? Of course not but they are far from an irresponsible, incompetent and untrustworthy organization.

      • Michael,

        Of course they are not, there is no organization out there that has as good a record as the BSA or has done as much to correct their deficiencies. This is just a way to make the BSA look evil and uncaring.

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