Forgetting The Unwritten Boy Scout Law: “A Scout Is Not A Destructive Idiot”

David Hall, Glenn Taylor and his son—the first two are scoutmasters—face felony arrests after posting video, taken by Taylor’s son, of the two men destroying a 200 million-year-old rock formation at Goblin Valley State Park last week. They knock over the rock, high-five each other, cackle with joy, and then say—and this is now their defense—that a child could have been killed if the rock fell on its own. Moe, or perhaps it is Curley, also says, perhaps more significantly, “We have modified Goblin Valley!”

Some observations:

  • I am dubious. The rock required a hard, Wile E. Coyote push by these fools, which should have clued them in that a spontaneous topple was unlikely.
  • Do not trust videotaped and web-posted misconduct that just happens to include an excuse, as in “Here I am mugging and beating this helpless senior, because—OH MY GOD!—-I have been possessed by an evil demon and have no control over my own body!!!
  • The Boy Scouts will kick out a scoutmaster who is convicted of a felony. That’s a start. The organization should also can any scoutmaster who is proven to be, beyond a reasonable doubt, an irresponsible idiot who not only engages in vandalism but encourages others to do so by boasting about it on YouTube.
  • This should be the case even when said scoutmaster describes the act of vandalism as “the smartest thing to do.” In fact, this should  especially be the case when the idiot in question describes an overt act of obvious idiocy as “smart.” The welfare of children must not be entrusted to such people.
  • Over at the estimable Legal Insurrection, Prof. Jacobson reveals that the men are getting death threats. I agree with the professor’s conclusion: that’s wrong. Everyone should just revile them and shame them publicly and emphatically, and let the law and humiliation take its course.

And do not let these guys into Monument Valley, any historic graveyard, the Agassiz Museum’s glass flower collection or allow them near the Parthenon.


Facts: NY Daily News

Source: Legal Insurrection

29 thoughts on “Forgetting The Unwritten Boy Scout Law: “A Scout Is Not A Destructive Idiot”

  1. Dear Everybody,

    It is 2013, soon to be 2014. Devices that capture video and audio of their surroundings are both exceedingly affordable, and of high enough quality as to make identification not only possible, but likely.

    It is because of this that I would suggest the filling steps be taken before doing anything…

    1) Turn off you own recording devices.

    2) Ask friends, family, and anyone else nearby to turn off theirs.

    3) Inspect the devices of others to make certain they are, in fact, no longer recording.

    4) Periodically check that the devices have remained off.

    If you feel these steps are too laborious, you may substitute the following step for all four above…

    1) Don’t do anything mind-fuckingly retarded, like anything described in a criminal statute…

    This has been a public service annoncement from the Council For Not Looking Like A Complete Fucktard.

    • Wait… I thought the unwritten boyscout law was “now remember this is our special secret, and if you tell anyone you’ll get in big trouble…”
      No…that’s church.

            • Unfortunately the Priest molestation jokes are not humorous… Through the wonders of FB I recently learned that some of my classmates were molested in our very nice Parochial grammar school many years ago. Most of them were Altar Boys… I never heard a word about it, and through my family’s natural suspicion of Irish Priests (long story), I luckily never spent much time with those creeps.

              • For long before the priest molestation scandal broke I laughed at a joke with a punchline of “two cookies and a glass of milk”.

                There is a difference between saying that you do not find something funny and that something is not funny. Humor is subjective. Some find things funny and others do not.

                And the reason people didn’t hear about it for some time is that what happens in the confessional, stays in the confessional…

                • It is going to sound entirely hypocritical, but once I learned that some of my school chums were abused, I found any Priest abuse jokes entirely disgusting… I can’t imagine how it affected them for the rest of their lives, and how I was completely clueless to their pain.

                  • I am not saying you have to find them funny. Your personal experiences will often help to determine what you find funny and what you find unfunny.

                    I am also disgusted by the actions of those priests (and of the church for covering it up and even moving priests to other parishes where they could find fresh meat)

                    I just believe that humor is subjective. So the idea that something can be declared generally “not funny” is something that I find should typically replaced with the individual “not finding them funny”.

                    That is all.

  2. They should be required to put everything back the way it was. No matter how long it takes them. Ten hours a day, six days a week, fifty-two weeks a year, until it’s exactly the way it was. Or they die.

  3. Szescstopni beat me to it, about the cave paintings.

    But have you heard the one about the four boy scouts who helped a little old lady to cross the road? It took that many because she didn’t want to go.

  4. 1) From what I’ve heard, the BSA national office very well may take action against these jerks regardless of any criminal action. We have a policy called “Leave No Trace,” and it’s very specific about how you shouldn’t just decide to modify nature. Whether or not any charges are filed, I have the satisfying notion that these two will get the boot, and possibly the son as well.

    2) Most scouts ARE destructive idiots, just not on quite this grand scale- it’s why we join an organization that lets us carve wood and use axes, so we can funnel our destruction into a cause.

    3) Baden-Powell allegedly considered acdding a thirteenth point to the Scout law, “A Scout is not a Fool.” I still wish he had.

      • It’s something I’ve always heard, although it may be apocryphal. From what I can tell he said it, although whether as a possible point of the law or simply as an opinion about the ideal scout I’m less sure. For what it’s worth, I’ve always liked “Hungry” as the thirteenth point.

        Oh, and congrats to the Red Sox. I need to go rinse my mouth out with soap now.

      • Addendum: Aside from the Law and Leave No Trace, the Outdoor code applies here.

        As an American, I will do my best to be Clean in my outdoor manners, be Careful with fire, be Considerate in the outdoors, and be Conservation minded.

        Well, they got 1 of 4. At least they didn’t set anything ablaze.

    • I was a scout and yes, you are not only supposed to “leave no trace” but we always tried to leave a place better than how we found it. (So it didn’t matter if others had left trash there when we got there, we would clean that up as well).

      • True, but there’s a difference between removing human garbage and altering natural formations. I’ve done all kinds of projects that altered nature, but not just willy-nilly, always with approval from someone that had a better handle on what was best for the area. Even something as simple as pulling down deadfalls shouldn’t be done without approval.

        If they were so worried, the more Scoutlike thing to do would have been to notify others of the danger while seeking a park staffer who could either block of the danger area, tell them there was no danger, or give them the go-ahead to drop the dangerous rock.

        • Luke I especially appreciate your second paragraph. These Scout guys need to adjust their practice of virtues, in my opinion. They went vigilante with their volunteerism (helpful and kind), to act for presumed proactive betterment of public safety. In their vigilantism, they failed to recognize their own tunnel vision, and acted like vandals in destroying a publicly accessible and notable natural formation (the opposite of helpful, courteous, kind and reverent). I hope those guys don’t go spelunking anytime soon…

  5. There is nothing wrong in nature with a rock that may fall. It’s a natural thing to happen. It even provides value when someone incredibly stupid is standing underneath it.

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