Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by TAHAWK

  1. 1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

    I will say this about all of these "council is evil/kill off the councils" views.

    I actually sat down with a) a copy of the latest budget and b) a copy of my council's IRS 990 form.

    I was happy to see that my council is thrifty with its money.

    I am simply sick at the number of people who simply want to mindlessly hate council (they are HUMAN BEINGS for pity's sake) for that sake alone.

    Irrational hostility to councils and "professionals" is, as I have said many times, a problem, not a solution.   Kill off the volunteers is likely not a useful solution.    My council has tried that and the dictatorship of the council employees has been a disaster in terms of membership, volunteer participations outside untis, and fund-raising.

    It is easy to criticize decisions made by others, but sharing leadership might mititate against that behavior.

    Better communication?  

    Mutual respect?

    Honoring the election of key volunteers in accordance with the BSA Bylaws rather than having the employees vetoing the results  of the elections extra-legally?

    I certainly recognize that the three councils in which I have Scouted in the last three decades are not the whole picture.  But they are my more recent experience.  One ceased to exist recently midst bitter conflict between employees and volunteers, and one is nearing collapse in the same evil atmosphere,.

     The third council, happily, seems to just click along with good relations between employees and volunteers.  The only exception was the relatively brief regime of the SE who spent it into backruptcy in a unilaterally-mandated building program at their two camps.  That exceptional period WAS unhappy and  ended with his being fired after that council failed an audit.  In a few yesrs, that council has back on its feet financially and in all respects.  It is a pleasure to participate in their traditionally positive atmosphere,  although COVID has disrupted things this year, and the impact of the assault of the lawsuit industry has yet to be measured.



    • Upvote 2
  2. Not hardly.  We were just recovering from a council-mandated restructuring of the districts that involved replacing every single significant volunteer with "community leaders" (business men).  Fortunately, all the "community leaders" quit in a couple of years (or less) or were just ignored.  In my district, the Program Commitee became the District for all intents and purposes, and its chairman the actual District Chairman - everything was done at its meetings.  I think I saw the District Chairman, a corporate president, twice in two years.  In neither case, did he say a word.

    The long-dead district level training for Patrol Leaders, J.L.O.W., had the staffer leading the first session ask, "Who is the leader?"  The clueless BSA answer was "the patrol leader."  The real -world aswer was, and is,  "Whoever leads."

    • Sad 1
  3. 8 hours ago, David CO said:

    Exactly!  This is why councils are so horrible.  All of the competent people are driven out and replaced by compliant sycophants. 


    The outstanding DE at the time - most effective in starting new units, first in all metrics, including fund-raising , a Queen's Scout from the UK, was fired for insuffuicent subservience.  Namely, he wondered out-loud at a staff meeting about he results of eliminating districts in favor of "professionally" run "service teams" and ending FOS in favor orf volunteers being asked to authorize automatic monthly withdrawals or automatic monthly debits from their bank accouts ("Why should we have to ask every year?"  [Funds raised dropped by 2/3.]).   

    For the last thirty-nine years, every DE with strong "street cred" has quit Scouting, transferred to another council, or been sacked - except for during the regime of the third SE during that period.  (A good guy, he could not stop the rot, but he slowed it and was well-liked.  His succesor vetoed district election results, and when the same Scouters were reeleted, eliminated the districts.  So there!)


    Still no spell-check.

  4. "Mixed bag"  - sounds right.  Is that not predictable?  The "professionals" I have encountered have ranged from superior as Scouters, leaders and people to awful in all respects, and all gradations in between.  We got on well or bumped along OK.  Most were so crushed with work, that I sympathized with their circumstances whether they could help me meet my objectives or not.   I tried to make them look good to their supervisors, and so no reason not to do so.  I only got one moved to another slot because he lied to me so consistently, often about trivial matters, that I simply could not work with him.  In the end, a departing SE axed him as a favor to the incoming

    Volunteers - no surprise - equally covered the entire range.    We were so short of help that my strategy was to find a job for everyone; a job that they could tolerate and perform.   A particular burden was irrational hostility to "professionals," which did not help much.  I had a fantastic Cub Round Table "Chairperson" (oddity of the council that RT leaders reported to Scout or Cub Chairs, not the District Commissioner), but I had to keep her away from "professionals" lest she snarl at them over some real or imagined slight.  (One new DE signed up on Thursday, met her at the Service Center, on Saturday and quit the following Monday before I even met her!) For her "down town" meant council and was a curse. ("That is so downtown!")   Fortunately, that attitude did not come out in the SRO monthly Roundtables.  (We had to move RTs three times to get her a larger space.)  At her job, she rocked, and he sold tickets to events like crazy.  Still, I was told she had to go three years in a row, which did not happen.  (She ran the council Cub Pow Wow training event every year with ever-increasing attendance - and revenue. )   When my successor at District Chair went along and sacked her, attendance at RT collapsed.  I was asked to do a bit promoting  for OWL and Baloo one month, and one pack was represented, rattling around in a 200-capacity hall, a normal situation I was told.  Quite sad.  I avoided looking in on the Cubs in the following months and years.  😐

    People issues are present on both sides of the "professional"/volunteer divide.  We had a Council President, who told our district Key Three that he wished all volunteers were employees so he could "fire the lot."  The SE was present, nodding in agreement.  They were there to give us an award for fund-raising and membership growth.  I went to the toilet and missed what set the President off.  The then District Chair, one of the Council of Twelve of the LDS Church and the Operations VP of a moderately-large tech firm later purchased by IBM, was stunned.  "What just happened?"  The DC, a Bird commanding a first-line reserve Armor Cavalry Regiment, just smiled.  There was a lot of pressure on at that time because the council was running well in the red - averaging nine months delinquent on paying bills.   Later, the auditors arrived after the SE's "rabbi" at Region retired suddenly, and we had a new SE and President.

    • Sad 1
  5. ... and our districts were eliminated two years ago in favor of "professionally" run "service teams."  Volunteers were not "team players' (insufficiently servile).  The awful monthly gatherings that resulted before COVID ended them -  90% announcements and fund-raising - greatly diminished volunteer efforts outside units, and no ne really knows what's going on in the council area.  The only communications that I receive from Council are about $$$$$$$$$$$$ and YPT.

    • Upvote 2
  6. 2 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    If you are sitting on the EBOR, then you are allowed to inquire if he has lived by the Scout Oath and Law.

    "Would you agree that taking or dealing drugs is inconsistent with the Oath and Law?"

    Don't accuse hm. Don't confront him. Just see what the reaction is.

    And when he denies, denies, denies?

  7. "2.  As a Life Scout, demonstrate Scout Spirit by living the Scout Oath and Scout Law.


    If the fact is that the Scout was dealing drugs, he has not demonstrated complaince with the Scout Law. and is not entitled to Eagle.


    When I became SM of a troop again in 1983, the SPL, call him "Pete,"  had passed his Eagle Board.  After the medal was pinned on him, he was caught dealing pot and X to other Scouts.   His dad was a doctor, an alcoholic, and an extremely indifferent parent.  His two older brothers were jerks.  His younger brother was a wonderful human being - kind, sensitive, and conscientious.  I saw Petet en years ago at a chuch doing landscaping work.  We exchange a few words.  He was brain-damaged from meth and living at a shelteted home.  He died a year later. at 43.  I regret his adiction and family situation.  I regret that we found out about his drug-dealing so late.  The Eagle is unfortunate, but what he potentially could have done to other Scouts was horrendous.    


  8. On 12/4/2020 at 7:43 AM, ThenNow said:

    I do believe the accused have the right to face their accuser(s) and defend themselves. When dead, that's obviously impossible. Here is something you may or may not find interesting or relevant. This is a theoretical framework hatched in my little brain, based on studying psychology, Complex PTSD derived from long-term child sexual abuse and some elements of the law. See what you think.

    Statutes of limitations are critical to ensure stale claims/allegations aren't brought to court after witnesses are dead, documents shredded, memories faded, physical evidence tampered with, crime scene contaminated, and the like. In the case of murder, we consider the crime so heinous that we impose no such limitations. We consider the possibility that one human being willingly and maliciously took the life of another is sufficient basis to overcome all of the objections summed up in the notion that too much time has passed.

    In 1991, Leonard Shengold published his important book, "Soul Murder." To distill, he posits that child sexual abuse, and other severe abuses, result in "psychic and spiritual annihilation." As I consider statutes of limitations on bringing claims and prosecutions for child sexual abuse, when I equate those acts with "soul murder," I feel completely justified in calling for lifting those limitations. Although I am obviously alive and able to think and function, if you knew my story you wouldn't completely dismiss out of hand the comparison of these two crimes. My story is by no means the worst. Not by far. I'm not too proud to say that an objective person could look at periods of my life and use the word "annihilated" to describe what they see.

    Taking the theory a step further, if the abuser is equated to a "soul murderer," those who participate in, facilitate, hide, obfuscate or even fail to report the crime are, in fact and by law, accessories to that crime, to one degree or another. Enter other adults who tacitly consent or passively condone such acts, like Local Councils, Chartering Organizations and BSA National. Under my theory, they are accessories before and/or after the fact. They are not only a convenient target with money, they have some measure of responsibility. HOWEVER, I agree that times have changed and we know SO much more about the behavior of predators, the need to train and protect kids, monitor and qualify leaders, and all that's being done in Scouting and other youth organizations. I merely share this to lend my perspective on how the BSA situation might be seen through a different, and perhaps new, lens.     

    I have no answers on the topic at hand, but I have observations and questions.

    Is it not our system of justice that the  accused is the" accused," social stigma aside,  not a "murder," until  he or she is convicted by a jury (unless jury trial is waived) in a court with subject matter and personal jurisdiction.?  That does not seem to me to be a trifling distinction, even in the "Me Too" age.  

    The asbestos cases were just getting rolling when I graduated law school  in 1973.  They are still advertising for clients this evening., forty-seven years later  Politicians, effectively, eliminated statures of limitations for such claims.  They now run 2-4 years after you know or reasonable should know a given exposure allegedly caused your disease, even if generations ago.  Expert witnesses are for hire to testify that the date of "discovery" occurred 2 -4 years before you sued. 

    The plaintiff's bar donates significant sums of money to political candidates - $160,000,000 for elections in 2018.   One estimate for 2020 is over $260,000,000.  The contributions are overwhelmingly to democratic or "liberal" candidates.

    Other experts will testify that abuse victims rarely give false accounts of abuse.  There are  a range of expert opinions on that issue. 

    Persons accused of child molestation  have been effectively destroyed, with little or no evidence of guilt, including at least one who could prove beyond any doubt that he could not have been in the state where he supposedly molested children at some of the times when he was accused of having done so.  After five years in jail and two trials in which he was not convicted, the State finally released him, without any concession that he might have been innocent. Some jurors told the press he was guilty in their eyes , and he was overwhelmingly  "convicted" by the media, when no rational person could have concluded that he acted as accused, much less found guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  McMartin Preschool Case.

    I have listened three times to "shrinks" testify that whatever their patent told them - such at the CEO of AT&T literally  piloting to kill him - "had to be taken as true."  This "expert" testimony was allowed in state court twice, and the jury instructed in federal court to disregard it was "mere hearsay."   (The plaintiff who said the CEO was out to kill him had imprisoned his wife in their garage for two weeks and purchase a revolved to get the CEO before the CEO could get him.  Placed on psychiatric disability, he sued for racial discrimination after his release from a psychiatric hospital.)  So "experts" impress me less than they might impress others.

    It is awful to imagine being a victim of such horrific treatment as is the topic here and  being unable to obtain recourse. 

    Now try, however difficult, to to imagine you face accusations of child sexual abuse from ten - twenty - thirty - forty years ago, and the claim is that there was just the two of you there - victim and abuser.  No other eye-witnesses.  No physical evidence.  No incriminating diary or photographs.  Just your accuser's testimony and the expert(s) hired by claimant's lawyer.   Whatever happens to you will be ""OK" to some  despite the abandoning of centuries-old legal rule intended to protect defendants  from "stale" claims.  Why "OK"? Because of the horrific nature of the alleged crime.   You will never get your day in criminal court because no prosecutor would dream of prosecuting due to the risk of a lawsuit for malicious prosecution.

    It very much literally depends on one's  point-of-view. 

    We  SAY - or once said -  that we weight the system in favor of letting the guilty escape to prevent a few innocent being punished.   What is the counterweight of nine-figure political contributions, unequally spread about the political landscape?






    • Upvote 4
  9. BPSA-US has no units in Ohio or in any other location within 250 miles of me.   In contrast, there were 99 troops and independent patrols in Cleveland and its suburbs before BSA arrived, in 1912 -  based solely on Scouting for Boys.. Now THERE was a workable model.

  10. Do Buddhist believe in god?

     No, we do not. There are several reasons for this. The Buddha, like modern sociologists and psychologists, believed that religious ideas and especially the god idea have their origin in fear. The Buddha says:

    "Gripped by fear men go to the sacred mountains,
    sacred groves, sacred trees and shrines".

    Dp 188

    Primitive man found himself in a dangerous and hostile world, the fear of wild animals, of not being able to find enough food, of injury or disease, and of natural phenomena like thunder, lightning and volcanoes was constantly with him. Finding no security, he created the idea of gods in order to give him comfort in good times, courage in times of danger and consolation when things went wrong. To this day, you will notice that people become more religious at times of crises, you will hear them say that the belief in a god or gods gives them the strength they need to deal with life. You will hear them explain that they believe in a particular god because they prayed in time of need and their prayer was answered. All this seems to support the Buddha’s teaching that the god-idea is a response to fear and frustration. The Buddha taught us to try to understand our fears, to lessen our desires and to calmly and courageously accept the things we cannot change. He replaced fear, not with irrational belief but with rational understanding.

    The second reason the Buddha did not believe in a god is because there does not seem to be any evidence to support this idea. There are numerous religions, all claiming that they alone have god’s words preserved in their holy book, that they alone understand god’s nature, that their god exists and that the gods of other religions do not. Some claim that god is masculine, some that she is feminine and others that it is neuter. They are all satisfied that there is ample evidence to prove the existence of their god but they laugh in disbelief at the evidence other religions use to prove the existence of another god. It is not surprising that with so many different religions spending so many centuries trying to prove the existence of their gods that still no real, concrete, substantial or irrefutable evidence has been found. Buddhists suspend judgement until such evidence is forthcoming.

    The third reason the Buddha did not believe in a god is that the belief is not necessary. Some claim that the belief in a god is necessary in order to explain the origin on the universe. But this is not so. Science has very convincingly explained how the universe came into being without having to introduce the god-idea. Some claim that belief in god is necessary to have a happy, meaningful life. Again we can see that this is not so. There are millions of atheists and free-thinkers, not to mention many Buddhists, who live useful, happy and meaningful lives without belief in a god. Some claim that belief in god’s power is necessary because humans, being weak, do not have the strength to help themselves. Once again, the evidence indicates the opposite. One often hears of people who have overcome great disabilities and handicaps, enormous odds and difficulties, through their own inner resources, through their own efforts and without belief in a god. Some claim that god is necessary in order to give man salvation. But this argument only holds good if you accept the theological concept of salvation and Buddhists do not accept such a concept. Based on his own experience, the Buddha saw that each human being had the capacity to purify the mind, develop infinite love and compassion and perfect understanding. He shifted attention from the heavens to the heart and encouraged us to find solutions to our problems through self-understanding.


    Ven. S. Dhammika




    • Thanks 1
    • Upvote 1
  11. As a Scout from 1954-1961, I know all the Scouters in my unit when I was a Scout are deceased.  All were WW II veterans.  There is a reason for statutes of limitations, assuming the accused have a right to defend claims made against them.  

  12. One would hope.  However:

    "From: Victor Iwamura
    To: Graham Holland

    You bring up an interesting topic.  The BSA in the USA is predominantly
    a Christian organization and have strong support by them.  As Buddhists
    in the BSA, we have told our Scouts that they may substitute or be
    silent when it comes to saying "under God".  We are trying to influence
    the powers that be here but it is a difficult struggle.  I am going to
    the BSA meeting in October and will mention to them what you do.

    Victor Iwamura, Chair
    National Buddhist Committee on Scouting

    From: Victor Iwamura
    To: Graham Holland

    I tell them when it's not comfortable with them.

    BTW:  My only minor victory was when the PRAY organization which
    handles the religious awards [for BSA] was developing a religious patch for BSA,
    they were calling it "Duty to God".  I objected and got consensus from
    the BSA Religious Committee and we agreed to "A Scout is Reverent" or A
    Scout is Faithful".  The chair went and discussed it with others and
    they decided to keep the Title and work it outside the  BSA sponsorship
    and promote it under PRAY. Basically the[y] circumvented the decision by
    the committee and did it their way anyhow."


    • Thanks 1
  13. 4 hours ago, vol_scouter said:

    You should let the Council Commissioner and Council President know about abusive behavior from council employees as they can assure that such actions are corrected.  The SE and all local council staff are under the management of the local Executive Board.  The President and Council Commissioner can contact other Board and Executive Committee members.  The local council is similar to the National Council but different at the same time.  The professional staff is there to serve Scouting and to help volunteers to deliver the program.

    Wood Badge 2009.  Five of us, including three Council EB members are on the way to be sure the showers are clean for the first weekend of the Course.  The Council Program Director at the time, who hung out at Camp rather than his office 25 miles away, brakes to a halt in a cloud of dust.  He exits his truck and informs us he is "tired" of our asking him for keys to the buildings to be used for the Course.  We are upsetting his schedule [watching movies in his office behind a locked door].  I allowed as how we usually had a set of keys in my prior experiences on WB Staff, and if we had a set we would be less of a bother.  He responded with some heat, "I am responsible for camp property.  Who knows what might happen if I gave out sets of keys  [to five Wood Badge Staff, including three Council Executive Board Members and two former members] ?

    He was gone within the year- five years too late.  Few if any would work at camp so long as he was in charge.  His fourth Camp Program Director in four years had quit the first week of camp that last summer of his regime.  So many staff quit, that all the CITs were appointed "Merit Badge Counselors"  - fourteen-year-old Merit Badge Counselors - by the third, and last, week.  Some did not have the Merit Badge for which they were "Counselors."  Troops were vowing never to attend that camp again, including one that had attended thirty-seven consecutive years and another that had attended fifty-two years in a row (before the camp formally opened). (And those two troops have kept that commitment as of 2020.)  As a result, it seemed that even the minimum three weeks was out of the question if he had stayed.  FINALLY he was demoted to subordinate DE, and when that message failed, fired outright.  Under the new actual "professional" the Camp has had to build five new troop sites and was setting attendance records until COVID.   But that  pro has been promoted out of the job so it remains to be seen what is next.  Another litmus test:  Last year of the prior regime, not one staffer agreed to come back the next year.  First year of the actual pro, all staff signed up to return the next year, including two who returned from college to staff again.

    See, there is still something there, if we can just get the leadership.  

    • Thanks 1
  • Create New...