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  • So what do you think of this?

    This made the news recently and no one is talking about it. I caught the tale end of the segment on the news while on vacation and searched for more information online in order to get a better picture of the whole story.
    http://seattletimes.com/html/localne...awsuitxml.html

    While I was searching I came across this from my own council; nobody in my council is talking about it, and even the news seems to be keeping it hush-hush. In fact, many claim that this never happened, even though you can read about online.
    http://www.kxly.com/news/spokane-new...z/-/index.html

    This comes on the heals of a 2007/2008 lawsuit where 5 other boys were molested at one of our councils camps.
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...pg=6775,143215
    Then in 2008, two women were raped on the same property, but that was hushed up because they were over 18, so there wasn't the sensational media appeal that comes with a case involving minors.

    All this makes me wonder if people who hold paid BSA positions shouldn't be required to undergo psychological evaluations and testing before being offered a job. I have a government position that requires me to meet people in there homes, often times in a one-on-one situation; I under-went a huge amount of psychological testing and evaluations before they would turn me loose in public. It would be interesting to know how many council executives would be able to make ethical decisions when faced with unpleasant situations, such as those listed above.

  • #2
    Nice rant but what's your point....

    Pervs will be pervs all we can do is follow YP guidelines and train our boys recognize it and report it.

    I can control and report what I see......I will make sure my little slice of pie runs as it should.

    Comment


    • #3
      First link is no longer valid.. 2nd doesn't really say when the abuse happens, but I get a slight indication that it was not current, rather someone pulled the names out of the recently opened files and talked the boys (now men) into doing a lawsuit now. The 3rd link I didn't see any article on the boy scouts, closest story was phasing out a forestry program at Washington State college.

      As basementdweller stated.. Make sure your program follows the youth protection rules.. If you have a son in the program, the best thing as a parent is to volunteer in the program which allows you the ability to make sure the program is following safety procedures, and you know and trust those in direct contact leadership roles, or are at the event yourself to keep an eye on things if you have doubt about one of your leaders.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by NeverAnEagle View Post
        All this makes me wonder if people who hold paid BSA positions shouldn't be required to undergo psychological evaluations and testing before being offered a job.
        Two things you have to ask yourself:
        1. Who pays for the testing?
        2. Will it be reliable? It's one thing to screen folks for routine 1-on-1 contact. But there should be no 1-on-1 contact in the BSA! Is there a test that will find the guy/gal who will violate the 1-on-1 principle? Can you identify the person who will assault their colleague before the do it?

        Comment


        • NeverAnEagle
          NeverAnEagle commented
          Editing a comment
          You can screen out applicants that have a disproportional amount of deviant tenancies. Most of the testing is computer based so after you've paid for the software, an organization like BSA would only need 1 or 2 people in interpret any results that got a red flag. You wouldn't need to do it for everyone, just paid positions.

          Granted perverts will be drawn to where-ever there are kids, the problem seems to be that the higher-up mucky-mucks don't investigate allegations of abuse, they'd rather hide it. Those are the guys who need to be tested to see if they can make ethical decisions. When a kid comes forward and says he was abused you should have the balls to confront it and protect the kid, not try to hid the incident and keep it out of the media for the sake of "protecting BSA's Brand name!"

      • #5
        Suing the BSA is a growth industry, most probably because the BSA has a history of taking legal positions that make juries want to see them suffer.

        The 2010 Portland judgement against the BSA showed this. There were people within the organization who had knowledge of what was going on, swept it under the rug, then went to court with the "we can do what we want because of our Congressional charter" attitude and legal arguments as sound as those for the new registration fee increase.

        The juries saw right through it, and hit them with $18.5 million in punitive damages. The judge saw through it too, and ordered the secret files to be released.

        Here is the press release from the plaintiff's attorney on this latest case. Interesting that in this case, two professional Scouters are named as perpetrators.
        http://blog.kosnoff.com/a-dozen-vict...ts-of-america/

        Six months ago, this lawyer's news releases said he was representing 80 people against the BSA. Now it's 100.

        This isn't going to be pretty.
        Last edited by TSS_Chris; 09-05-2013, 09:44 AM.

        Comment


        • TSS_Chris
          TSS_Chris commented
          Editing a comment
          The appellate opinion they cite in the press release is interesting. The BSA is off the hook . In this case, the LDS ward appointed a volunteer to act as ASM for a ward-sponsored troop without him registering with the BSA. That ASM then abused the plaintiff on multiple occasions, including during Scout events.

          http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/pdf/676458.pdf

        • fred johnson
          fred johnson commented
          Editing a comment
          BSA dances on a grey line of running programs, screening volunteers and then also trying to keep arms length and letting the charter org take responsibility. But most charter orgs (except LDS) have very little involvement with the program. So ... I doubt BSA is totally off the hook.

          For those who care, I think BSA did more than was standard at the time abuses occurred. I'm not saying BSA was perfect and I'm not saying individuals didn't fail to live up to their responsibilities. But BSA had more in place than most of society.

      • #6
        Originally posted by Basementdweller View Post
        Nice rant but what's your point....

        Pervs will be pervs all we can do is follow YP guidelines and train our boys recognize it and report it.

        I can control and report what I see......I will make sure my little slice of pie runs as it should.
        Exactly! The YP guidelines keep those of us who aren't pervs out of being falsely accused. Nothing will stop the pervs but vigilance, by the leaders and the boys. We have a local lawyer (also a scout leader) who specializes in sexual abuse to talk to our scouts about once a year. He discusses one major aspect of protection a year. Like you, I keep my eyes and ears open, and thankfully, I haven't noticed anything predatory. If I do, I will have no problems reporting it.

        Comment


        • NeverAnEagle
          NeverAnEagle commented
          Editing a comment
          YP guidelines only work if they are enforced. The problem is that professional scouters, not only don't make sure they are enforced, but when abuse is brought forward they try to hide that fact rather than publicly denounce the abuser. If BSA paid personnel made a point of openly and publicly denouncing the abusers as soon as abuse was brought to their attention, perverts might start looking for another organization to hide in. As it stands now, the Council staff are complicit in the abuse because they knew about it and allow it to continue.

        • Basementdweller
          Basementdweller commented
          Editing a comment
          Your chalking up the Duh points NAE...

          Everyone is responsible for youth protection.....If it is any other way something will happen. The boys have to look out for one another....The adults have to watch out for each other......

          Lets face it a lad who is mad at his SM could really screw him over by reporting that he abused him...... Protection from false accusations is another reason for two deep leadership.

        • NeverAnEagle
          NeverAnEagle commented
          Editing a comment
          My boys don't attend camp in our council anymore because the camp dose not comply with YP Guidelines. We were there in 2008 in the midst of the whole trial over the boys who were molested on Camp the previous year, so I guess I was more vigilante than I otherwise would be; but I watched and was appalled by what I saw.

          The Archery guy would ask 11 yr old Scouts to stay behind to help find arrows after classes. They would be alone, just him and the little Scout. There were multiple instances where I would get back to camp from a shower and ask where some boy was off to, only to learn that a staff member had stopped by camp and gone off alone with the lad, leaving me to track them down, often in the woods well after dark. The Camp Director was unconcerned, which left me very concerned. I reported this to council and was labeled a trouble maker for my efforts.

          Now there are 4 more coming forward; granted for them the abuse was awhile ago, but when you think how hard it is to get the YP guidelines enforced; I'm betting it's still happening. Think of the statistics for women; I read somewhere that 1 in 4 women are raped, but very few actually report it and that's after years of the feminist movement telling them to come forward. How much harder would it be for a young lad to come forward??? Far more difficult I would bet.

      • #7
        YP guidelines only work if they are enforced. The problem is that professional scouters, not only don't make sure they are enforced, but when abuse is brought forward they try to hide that fact rather than publicly denounce the abuser. If BSA paid personnel made a point of openly and publicly denouncing the abusers as soon as abuse was brought to their attention, perverts might start looking for another organization to hide in. As it stands now, the Council staff are complicit in the abuse because they knew about it and allow it to continue.
        People of your opinion crack me up: So, you think that BSA hides jillions of pedophiles and yet you bring your son and your friends' sons into the program? So are you an idiot, or are you a cold-hearted psychopath who doesn't care, or are you a pedophile yourself?
        What you are is an uninformed alarmist. The occurrence of abuse in BSA is up to 70 times lower than in society in general. You can educate yourself starting here: http://www.scouter.com/forum/issues-...olunteer-files

        There are absolutely individuals within Scouting--parents, volunteers, and professionals--who have mishandled certain cases, and even some who have intentionally covered them up. But the BSA as a whole has a system, it is the best out there, and the numbers show it.
        Last edited by Scouter99; 09-05-2013, 08:51 PM.

        Comment


        • #8
          I think a couple of things. First, these lawyers are simply money grubbers. Look at their web site and tell me they are not, remembering that they get a huge portion of any judgment. They are no better than the people allowed to advertise now on TV looking for someone, anyone who may have had ill effects from drugs, or been in an accident, and so on. They are taking things decades old and beating the bushes until they find someone to cooperate with them because they think they will get rich. Read the actual info on the Ineligible Volunteer files that has been posted, especially the details of those in the sampling done in the research. A majority WERE brought to the authorities, and many were prosecuted; we really do not know how many were specifically not due to lack of concrete evidence, parental choice, or simply the era they were in. And the files DID keep some out by being there, even in the age before computers.

          It continues to astonish me how people cannot understand that much of the problem with these suits is that the occurrences happened decades ago when the general public and community responses were completely different. It was also before EASY cross referencing by computer, so it had to be done by phone or mail. Of course today, almost any REAL evidence or actual witnesses are gone in most of the cases being DUG out of these files by the ambulance chaser lawyers. Take these facts and add to them the current antipathy by many against the BSA in general, along with the way the media skews everything, and these guys see slam dunks. Does anybody remember the earlier "sexual predator" witch hunts that ruined peoples' lives when most were finally exonerated too late? As some have pointed out, these same people, if they were really trying to help people, would be digging in the far richer fields of schools and youth sports. But, they do not have the same media antipathy or the files that were kept in an attempt to actually keep some of this from occurring.

          But, as I have often said of late; common sense and actual reason are not generally seen in today's society.

          Comment


          • #9
            Agree with Scouter99 and skeptic..

            Just adding the following to this comment of NeverAnEagle:

            "As it stands now, the Council staff are complicit in the abuse because they knew about it and allow it to continue. "

            Maybe you can make that accusation in past history, But now.. NO.. The YP rules are that you as the volunteer make the call to the police yourself and DSS if the abuse is the scouts family member.. THEN you call the Scout executive.. this has been in practice for at least 5 years, maybe longer,( I think it changed around the time of the Catholic priest scandal.). Anyway, the Council staff have no way to allow it to continue, if you follow the youth protection training. And as stated, they didn't allow it to continue which is why they were listed in the files

            Comment


            • #10
              Back when I was involved in the 1990's, Youth Protection was a big red-hot item. On the surface, it looked like BSA was pro-actively addressing the problem. And yet at the same time, BSA had a horrible reputation among youth programs in its refusal to inform other programs of problem adults. As I understand it, though I do not know the legal reasons why BSA was forced to do this, it was only within the past year that BSA has finally had to release its files. And in our YP training, part of the attitude was that the training was more for our own protection than for the boys'. Part of the completion of the training was to pronounce us as now being "youth protected." And while that may appear odd as I describe it, there was indeed a kernel of truth there. We needed to not only be aware of situations that our boys needed to protected against, but at the same time we ourselves needed to protect ourselves from any appearance of inappropriate conduct. A Chinese co-worker once shared a Chinese saying with me: "Do not tie your shoes in a watermelon patch." If you are walking through somebody else's watermelon patch and you bend down to tie your shoes, what does it look like you are doing to an on-looker? Like you are stealing a watermelon. Do not look like you are doing anything that you shouldn't be doing. How easy is it for a decent adult to be accused of something that he didn't do, would never dream of doing? Youth Protection Training does indeed also serve to educate leaders to not do something stupid, regardless of how innocent it was.

              But then in the early 1990's, I caught part of an investigative news program about past BSA molestation scandals. One of the most interesting things in that report was a list of arguments that BSA lawyers used in the lawsuits. Like, the child had invited the molestation. Does that sound familiar? Like an example of a false claim that was presented in Youth Protection Training? One claim after another that we had been trained to reject as false were the exact ones that BSA lawyers had used in defense of BSA in those molestation lawsuits. As it turned out, the entire Youth Protection Training program had been put into place and given such importance as part of a CYA reaction, not pro-action, of BSA because of the molestation lawsuits.

              In spite of that, youth protection is extremely important. Being aware of the stupid mistakes that you need to avoid in order to protect yourself is also extremely important. Regardless of BSA's possibly and very likely questionable motives, this is a very important issue.

              There was something else in that news program that was very interesting. Why are molesters so interested in getting involved in youth programs? The answer I've seen is that they are predators looking for new prey. But the molesters interviewed in that program told a different story. They knew that they had done wrong and they wanted to do right. They were drawn to youth programs in order to make amends and to do good. And then their weakness would betray them yet again.

              Comment


              • #11
                Interesting DWise.. Now, my first YPT training was at the later half of the 1990's since my boy joined around 1995 or 1996.. Perhaps since it was a person to person training back then, it depended on the trainer how it was presented.. Ours was done by someone from the State police who was also into scouting.. The emphasis was on protecting the children.. But, like now you got a little about protecting yourself.. If you can't convince someone to do it for the kids, then you might convince them to do it for their own self interest.. That first Training is the one that sticks with me the best.. Perhaps it was because it was my first, but I also was awed by the attendance to listen to this trainer, I guess he was considered the best of the best at the time..

                Comment


                • qwazse
                  qwazse commented
                  Editing a comment
                  My first YPT course ('01) was taught by a fellow who was a former camp director and current member of the council camping committee. He had specific examples of how YP protected adults. (His experience seemed to indicate that scouts who tended to make accusations made them against female scouters.) He also had examples about how the buddy system protected kids, but how it could fall apart (e.g., older scouts vs. much younger scouts, etc... ).


                  Anyway it was memorable because it felt like some of "the files" we're being opened for us, and the events weren't from someplace on the far side of the country.

              • #12
                Confidential files turned over for a lawsuit set to go to trial in Minnesota may shed new light on the problem of sexual abuse within the Boy Scouts of America.
                Attorneys for one former Scout won a court order for the nationwide internal files, commonly known as "ineligible volunteer" or "perversion files."
                They cover the years 1999-2008, much more recent than similar files forced into the open in an Oregon case last year.
                http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/f...couts-20193511

                Comment


                • NJCubScouter
                  NJCubScouter commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I think the two paragraphs below are the key to that article. (I tried to put the really important words in bold but that is beyond either the forum software or my skills in using it, instead I am putting **'s around them.)

                  Patrick Boyle, who as a journalist was among the first to expose efforts by the Scouts to hide the extent of abuse by their leaders, said **the files could show how the Boy Scouts evolved in their response to abuse allegations over the years — or didn't.**

                  "What's potentially powerful about these files is they can give us some idea of how big the problem has been in recent years, and **might even give us an idea of whether the abuse prevention efforts by the Scouts have had any impact**," said Boyle, who now serves as communications director for the nonprofit Forum for Youth Investment in Washington.
                  That's the real issue. The previous files were from before the Youth Protection training and guidelines. These latest files to be released are from a time when YP has been in full swing. I am hoping that the files show that YP has been well-enforced and has made a positive impact by reducing the number of "incidents" and producing swift and certain separation of any offenders from the BSA. We shall see.

                • qwazse
                  qwazse commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I wouldn't hold out hope that there will be a lot of reliable scientific conclusions from this. It's still anecdotal evidence. Chances are each report will include a finding by the state, but in terms of if the rate of assault actually decreased, I'm afraid we'll never know.

              • #13
                Originally posted by DWise1_AOL View Post
                Back when I was involved in the 1990's, Youth Protection was a big red-hot item. On the surface, it looked like BSA was pro-actively addressing the problem. And yet at the same time, BSA had a horrible reputation among youth programs in its refusal to inform other programs of problem adults. As I understand it, though I do not know the legal reasons why BSA was forced to do this, it was only within the past year that BSA has finally had to release its files. And in our YP training, part of the attitude was that the training was more for our own protection than for the boys'. Part of the completion of the training was to pronounce us as now being "youth protected." And while that may appear odd as I describe it, there was indeed a kernel of truth there. We needed to not only be aware of situations that our boys needed to protected against, but at the same time we ourselves needed to protect ourselves from any appearance of inappropriate conduct. A Chinese co-worker once shared a Chinese saying with me: "Do not tie your shoes in a watermelon patch." If you are walking through somebody else's watermelon patch and you bend down to tie your shoes, what does it look like you are doing to an on-looker? Like you are stealing a watermelon. Do not look like you are doing anything that you shouldn't be doing. How easy is it for a decent adult to be accused of something that he didn't do, would never dream of doing? Youth Protection Training does indeed also serve to educate leaders to not do something stupid, regardless of how innocent it was.
                The only release of files has been via legal action. There was a release of files from 1970-something through 1980-something in a Virginia lawsuit (which the boy lost) called the "Infant C" case; Brett Corbitt was suing BSA, National Capitol Area Council, and his actual abuser Carl Bittenbender. More files were released due to another lawsuit which BSA settled before they could be introduce as evidence, but the lawyer sent them to the book's author. A 2010 Oregon lawsuit saw more files released.

                The original Infant C. files were used for a Washington Times series which led to a book, which then led to the program you saw...

                But then in the early 1990's, I caught part of an investigative news program about past BSA molestation scandals. One of the most interesting things in that report was a list of arguments that BSA lawyers used in the lawsuits. Like, the child had invited the molestation. Does that sound familiar? Like an example of a false claim that was presented in Youth Protection Training? One claim after another that we had been trained to reject as false were the exact ones that BSA lawyers had used in defense of BSA in those molestation lawsuits. As it turned out, the entire Youth Protection Training program had been put into place and given such importance as part of a CYA reaction, not pro-action, of BSA because of the molestation lawsuits.
                The program you saw part of was an episode of the short-lived ABC news magazine Day One (styled "Day1One") inspired by the book "Scout's Honor.". I haven't had any luck finding the episode online, but I just finished the book and it's basically a hit piece. It is written in a style that takes the case of Carl Bittenbender, who had affairs with several boys across 3 states in the 1980s, applying it to the BSA as a whole, which fatally flaws it since Bittenbender's case is a-typical, but that's the point of a hit piece.

                The book's main arguments are that BSA should have been more proactive in protecting youth by investigating adults' backgrounds better and filing charges against abusers when they were found out, that BSA should have shared its files with other organizations, that BSA should have done analyses of its files to facilitate predicting who might be an abuser and to inform its protection policies, and that BSA was late to the game in youth protection as compared to Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
                So, point by point:
                *Background checks as we know them were not available in most parts of the country until the mid-90s. The book was written before then just as computerized BG checks were coming around, so it argues that troops and councils should have done better jobs of calling references (as if an abuser was going to list references that would reveal themselves) and that BSA should have been using what few cumbersome analogue BG check systems were available (which ignores the fact that those systems were not interagency or interstate).
                *BSA should have filed charges whenever it could have; however, once again this is an ahistorical argument. Most child abuse goes unreported, and even when discovered, most abuse before the 1980s was not prosecuted for a variety of reasons ranging from no laws covering it, to lack of desire/cooperation from victims, to police disinterest, to institutional coverups. The argument that BSA should have been doing something that no one else, including law enforcement, was doing prior to the 80s sounds great, but that's it.
                *Big Brothers asked BSA to share its files, and that sounds like a great idea. But the files contain only accusations in many cases, and sharing them would be libelous. The "perversion" class of files also contains the names of men who were simply gay--they're an internal control system that contain names of people that other agencies might accept with open arms.
                Think about it this way, DWise, you are in all likelihood in the Ineligible Volunteer files under "morals" because you're an atheist, you're in there with gamblers, burglars, people who cuss too much, divorcees, etc. Now say BSA sends your name to Big Brothers as a person who is morally unfit to lead young people, is that acceptable? Some of the people in the files are simply gay, or did things like "birthday spankings." Does giving a scout birthday spankings make a person a pervert? No, it maybe makes him absentminded in context. But that guy is in the "perversion" files--no abuse, no crime, no victims, no sex.
                *The charge that BSA should have been studying its files is valid, but the idea that doing so could have let BSA profile/predict abusers is false. The author is a reporter, not a criminologist, psychologist, etc. and he should stick to what he knows. Analysis of the files last year told us what the experts already know: There is no profile of a pedophile. The secondary argument that the files would have allowed BSA to see weakness in its program that helped abusers is shaky, again, prior to the 1980s no one thought of child sex abuse as a largescale societal problem, again the author is arguing from hindsight.
                *The charge that BSA was late to the game would be laughable if we weren't talking about such a grim subject. The book compares BSA to Big Brothers; in 1983 Big Brothers began compiling its first national database of abusers, and reached out to BSA for info-sharing. Big Brothers was founded in 1904, it took them 79 years to address the issue of abuse on the national level. BSA was founded it 1910, they began a national system in 1920. Big Brothers is no comparison to BSA. 2012 analysis of the files shows that BSA's rate of abuse is comparable to Big Brothers, (.0007 and .0005) so we see further that there is no real comparison, BSA was doing just as good as Big Brothers, and was doing it longer.

                The author weaves a personal tale of being the only reporter to take a serious, longterm look at this issue, and spends time on his confusion and frustration that the national media did not pick up his series. He also hammers BSA for claims that the problem was less in BSA than society at large without stats. Ironically, he is telling us exactly what the real problem was: Letting abusers off the hook was a social, nationwide problem, not a BSA problem. And now that analysis of the files has been done, we know that BSA is correct: instances of abuse are 70x lower in BSA than in society.

                Focusing in on the extraordinary case of Carl Bittenbender tells us a tragic story, but it doesn't tell us anything about BSA, it just tells us about Carl Bittenbender and the mistakes that were made in his case only. Rhode Island convicted him of abuse, then let him move to Pennsylvania then Virginia without contacting the parole system in either state--The author's argument that his background should have been investigated is moot, VA and PA wouldn't have known because RI never told them--that's not the BSA's fault.
                Last edited by Scouter99; 09-14-2013, 12:32 PM.

                Comment

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