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Posts posted by elitts

  1. Just now, yknot said:

    Those points are meaningless in this context. At best, they can pointed to as excuses for YP failure. The claimants are looking for competency in YP as one of their demands for the BSA to go forward. 

    How is that meaningless?  Those are exactly the problems that needs to be resolved.  The current YP rules leave basically ZERO space for abuse to happen if they are followed. (I suppose maybe a pair of abusers could work together, but that seems unlikely)

    And the claimants don't have anything that resembles a coherent desire when it comes to YP other than to say "we want to make sure this never happens again", which of course isn't possible.  Even when the subject of "What changes do you think should be made" comes up, the suggestions always revolve around reporting, not actual changes in YP guidelines.

    • Upvote 1
  2. 45 minutes ago, yknot said:

    Part of the issue with YP is also that BSA has not been honest. In a letter to Congress it said it supported look back legislation but at the same time spent millions quietly lobbying to fight such legislation. In the same letter to Congress, it also claimed it had never allowed a known perpetrator to return to scouting but that claim later had to be recanted when it was found to be untrue. BSA has known it has had issues with predators almost since its inception and yet for many years it pretended such problems didn't exist and only acknowledged the ineligible volunteer files as a result of a lawsuit. Over the years BSA has claimed a lot of things about YP but that doesn't always reflect the reality. 

    Those aren't issues with the Youth Protection policies, those are simply your issues with the BSA.

    There are two main issues with Youth Protection:

    1. Most adults are inclined to trust the other adults around them and can't really imagine abuse happening around them.
    2.  It is exceedingly difficult to get strict compliance from volunteers, particularly when the behaviors you are trying to control are happening in a dispersed setting.
  3. 17 hours ago, ThenNow said:

    I’m not sure where you heard that. Certainly not from me. Some fractional measure of compensation is pretty much all I have left to hope for out of the disaster this created for my family and me.

    Most statements you see from victims of almost anything talk about how "it's not about the money".  You might be different because you are/were a lawyer and you understand money is really the only option left for you.

    4 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    So, sexual abuse is a lawyers' "get rich quick scheme"?

    Any large class action lawsuit is a lawyer's "get rich not-quite-quick scheme".


    3 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    That would absolutely look like hiding assets in order to avoid turning them over the creditors.

    So?  As long as it's not legally considered a no-no by the bankruptcy laws, the optics don't matter much since all the options are bad anyway.  

    1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

    I see. So, lawyers who take on sexual abuse cases are evil vultures?

    And how, exactly, do you think these abuse victims are suppose to file a lawsuit? Go pro se?

    And LCs are not "state sanctioned". They are registered and incorporated as not for profits by each state, but so what? That does not mean the State of Vermont's governor can order LCs not to turn over their assets to national should national refuse to recharter the LC.

    No, "lawyers who behave like Kosnoff" are vultures, though I would probably not say "evil".  If you portray yourself as a crusader for justice and the common good, while taking 40% of the payout finally achieved, you are something else I can't quite define other than to say it's icky and I wouldn't shake hands with it.

    1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

    No. BSA's very, very clear. The LC must abide by National's requirement that the LC write into their Articles of Incorporation that If an LC fails to recharter, ALL assets of the LC revert to National.

    Any LC that refuses to include that clause in their Articles of Incorporation will simply not be chartered by BSA.

    This is clear as day in the Boy Scouts of America Charter and Bylaws


    This is a non-issue.  If the LCs are separate organizations all they need to do is amend their bylaws/incorporation documents to remove those clauses and the problem is solved.  Obviously that would mean that they wouldn't get rechartered, but if National is in Chapter 7, that's not really an issue is it?

    • Upvote 1
  4. 3 hours ago, ThenNow said:

    Answers like this are academically sound, but morally disingenuous and ultimately avoid the issue. One to one, less Scouting is equally as impactful and repugnant as being repeatedly raped by your Scoutmaster resulting in millions of dollars in life wreckage, suicidality, self harm, CPTSD, depression, failed marriages and etc. Got it.

    I'm not sure how you got that out of qwazse's post.  No one is arguing that the impact on an individual of being raped can be balanced by whatever positive benefit they might have gotten out of the program.  Obviously on an personal level, being abused can pretty much outweigh everything else that happens in a kid's life. 

    But the situation isn't as simple as the idea:  "If Scouting hadn't happened, kids wouldn't have been raped, so Scouting was/is a failure".  I mean, Scouts didn't create pedophiles, it just gave them a target, but in the absence of scouts, one would assume they simply would have looked for alternative ways to access kids.  Child rape happens everywhere kids exist and we don't even know if the incidence of abuse is higher in Scouts than it is anywhere else.

    The harsh truth of life is that there will ALWAYS be a calculus that includes a certain amount of "acceptable losses" for any activity and the incidence of tragedy that people will insist on before they will participate is NOT zero.

    • Upvote 1
  5. 11 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

    These cases aren't about finding someone to punish, they're about trying to compensate people who have been injured.  And this cannot be said enough, no scout is today is having anything taken away that they own or are entitled to.  Neither they, nor likely we, bought or built much if any of the camps and endowments that may be given over to people who were children when the worst offense we can think of short of murder was committed against them.

    If we think scouts today should have strong camps after these victims are partially, slightly, compensated than we need to go out and rebuild those camps and endowments for those scouts.

    Except that this really isn't true.  These cases are entirely about finding someone to punish, because in most cases the actual offender isn't punishable and basically all of the victims tell you "it isn't about the money".  The general feeling in this country is that for almost anything bad that happens, there has to have been some over-arching villain or problem that caused it or allowed it to happen.  I assume this is because people know you can't ever stop bad people (or unfortunate accidents) from existing, so instead they want to try and find some other entity to take action against to make them feel like they have some control and can feel safer.

    The unfortunate thing is that our legal processes have transformed civil liability in this country from an objective concept that can be independently measured into not much more than formalized extortion.  Made worse by the fact that the insurance companies making a profit on the whole thing insist on settlements rather than making people actually prove their case.


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  6. 10 minutes ago, yknot said:

    BSA must have some data available because their insurers would certainly track it. A few years ago, there was some reporting in one of the annual reports although that has since stopped or at least I have been unable to find it since.

    It also wouldn't be that difficult to include some basic unit level reporting on the JTE forms. That could be collated and shared. BSA already does this for merit badges, volunteer hours, and the like. 

    If all you were looking for was number of accusations, number of claims filed and stuff like that, it would be much simpler and yes, I'm sure they could tell you that.  It's getting enough data into a computer to actually do analysis that gets expensive.

  7. On 4/18/2021 at 11:41 PM, yknot said:

    BSA has more rules because of the kinds of activities it does with kids. Baseball doesn't really need two deep. The kids are hardly ever out of public view. They are on a field, usually with other adults around. 

    Just because I think the point is fairly important (though not central to your argument):  2 Deep Leadership is NOT about having 2 adults watching anything or watching each other or anything else along those lines.  It's about having a backup on site in case of an emergency.  I realize various statements occasionally reference this point as being about "keeping kids safe" but that's just because it sounds good.

    13 hours ago, yknot said:

    Exactly. It's pointless and used as a distraction to avoid focusing on real issues. For instance, why have we never, ever seen any reporting or data on where and when abuse or injury cases have been most likely to occur in the scouting environment. I'm not talking about personal details just useful statistics, like most incidents have occurred at overnight campouts vs. troop or pack meetings or vice versa. We have nada. The only hint we have is when some new Thou Shalt Not is issued. 

    While this is entirely speculation, I'd guess it's because developing statistics of this nature is fairly time consuming and expensive.  In particular, trying to go backwards and get printed historical data transcribed into data points in a database is prohibitively expensive for most non-governmental organizations.

  8. 22 minutes ago, jr56 said:

    Also curious, if the horrible person's behavior was not reported by the victims, how was the BSA supposed to have known what was going on?  Is passing the abuse forward, by depriving present and future scouts of a scouting program, really the way these folks want to go?   The people who committed the crimes are the ones who should be punished.

    While I disagree with them, there are a couple main arguments put forward by those pursuing these cases (huge generalization, I realize, but I couldn't think of another way to phrase it). 

    • The first is that since the BSA had information from almost the beginning of the program that pedophiles were attempting to access boys though the program, they should have done more to screen them out in advance rather than banning them after the fact.  Basically they are arguing that "risk of sexual abuse" was a known danger to participants that needed to be mitigated rather than treating each pedophile as an unknowable and unpreventable danger.  This is a hugely dangerous notion of course, because if you follow that line of thinking, every organization dealing with youth becomes liable for every act of bullying or violence committed between the youth by virtue of the fact that "everyone knows kids bully each other and can be emotionally unstable".
    • The BSA was somehow "covering up the problem" because in some instances they left the choice of reporting to the police up to the victims and their families rather than reporting accusations themselves. (before mandatory reporting laws)
    • And finally, the BSA is liable because they hid the extent of the problem and didn't warning parents to "watch out for pedophiles".
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  9. Personally, I think the most crucial thing the BSA could do is actually restructure the whole G2SS and fix all the problems with whole monstrosity.  The primary issue at this point is with compliance, not with having rules that address the primary issues.  And while getting people to follow rules is always tough, BSA makes it much much worse by committing several major rule making errors that I think lead directly to a lackadaisical response to the rules in general.

    • If you need more than one or two clarifying sentences for a rule, it's a bad rule.  This means that word choices become critical and a word should only be used if ALL of it's meanings are relevant.  (So for example, a major issue with "2 Deep Leadership is the use of the word activity" because the word is much larger in scope than how the BSA intends it to apply)
    • If a rule doesn't work across the board, it's a bad rule. (like attempting to require adherence to the Scout rules outside of Scout interactions)
    • There should be clear lines between rules, guidelines and best practices.  (A rule is a rule, a "best practice" is how we'd ideally like to see things done, a guideline is an explanation of how decisions on where to land between the rule and the best practice should be made.)
    • There must be a single, clear explanation for the existence of each and every rule and you need to get your people all "on message".  (Using a whole paragraph to essentially tell us "Because we said so" as with the rule requiring a female adult when female youth are present isn't productive)
    • You can't have "stupid" rules without a clear reason why it exists.  (If there is an insurance carrier that says "you can't let 7 year olds use a paint brush", that explanation needs to be given.  That way people understand it's the insurance company that is ridiculous, not the BSA.  Because if people think it's the BSA coming up with stupid rules, it makes it easier for them to decide on their own "Well if this rule is stupid, maybe this other one I don't like is stupid too".)

    And then the other thing that needs to happen is when rules change, they need to actually publish a change log saying "We are changing the wording of "X" to read "This way" because there have been questions on the issue and we think this clears it up.



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  10. 16 hours ago, David CO said:

    I'm stunned.  The entire premise of scouting is that boys can be trusted.  They can go camping with their buddies, with limited parental involvement, and have it be strictly clean and wholesome.  That is scouting.  Take away the trust, and it is no longer a scouting program.

    16 hours ago, David CO said:

    Even if that were true, I would still argue that scouting is philosophically different from other organizations.  B-P founded scouting on the premise that a scout is to be trusted.  That premise was fundamentally different from other organizations of his time.  It is fundamentally different from other organizations of our time.

    We are being challenged by a legal system that believes that boys can not, and should not, be trusted.  

    BSA has failed us in that it is not arguing our main point.  Whether we say a scout is to be trusted, or a scout is trustworthy, this should be our main argument.  It goes to the core of our program.  Should BSA, or any scout association, now or in the future, be held liable for trusting boys?

    I am not a lawyer.  Maybe this is not a good legal argument.  But I would go with it anyway.  Scouting should live or die by its core beliefs.

    Scouting is not based upon the idea that "A Scout is Trustworthy" or that "Boys can be trusted" like it's a promise.  Scouting is based upon the idea that boys are "capable of being trusted" and that by utilizing the program we can help the boys/girls develop the leadership skills and personality traits to live the Scout Law and Oath.  People like to parrot "A Scout is..." phrases from the Law like it's a magic spell of some kind, but the assumption inherent in having a "Scout Law" is that failures are going to happen; if that wasn't the case, the Law wouldn't be needed because those traits would be baked in to the youth upon birth.

    I trust the boys in my troop to be generally able to handle a camp-out without anyone getting injured or being disruptive to others, but I also know that even with the absolute best of kids, there will always be instances of emotions flaring up, or lapses in judgement.

    Of course, part of the confusion here will be over what someone considers "clean and wholesome".  When I hear that phrase I imagine people think of a Church carnival or kids sitting down to a rousing game of Uno and then singing Kumbaya around the campfire together.  Which contrasts somewhat with say, the game called "Nutshot" the scouts invented a couple years ago where they threw a rope up over a tree branch and then they would swing in an arc one by one, while one of the other boys attempted to throw a frisbee from 30' away and hit the swinger in the nuts. (they were good about asking each swinger if they wanted to play though and letting people opt out of having a frisbee thrown at them)

    17 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    OK, but ThenNow is saying that he is here to provide information, but in providing information, he keeps giving a personal, not so kind opinion, of the BSA, Then defends himself as just the messenger. Continued Unleasing on him. All of us here whine now and then about National, but at least we admit it. He needs to be a scout like with us as he says the BSA is supposed to be. 

    The vast majority of everything I've seen ThenNow post has been constructive and thoughtful and I've found his viewpoint to be informative in a number of cases.  I don't always agree with his views, but I certainly wouldn't view his overall purpose as being one bashing the BSA or Scouting in general.


    16 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

    As to judging people by some supposed lesser standard 30-40 years ago --- I think that's balderdash.  The rape of children has always been a heinous crime punishable by decades in prison.  I was an adult 40 years ago so it certainly wasn't such a long ago time for me that I would claim that what would be morally wrong for me today would have been morally acceptable for me then. 

    What people are generally talking about with regard to "using the standards of 40 years ago" is not in judging the abuser's actions, but rather in judging the responses by officials.  In particular the independent reporting of the abuser to the authorities and efforts to screen applicants.  Now, the belief is that people in positions of supervision and authority should automatically report every accusation to the police. (though even this has nay-sayers because it can discourage people from coming forward)  In fact, it appears now that most people view not reporting an accusation to be tantamount to hiding or covering it up.

    But decades ago the belief was that since a criminal conviction was extremely unlikely unless independent proof of an assault existed, it should be up to the victim (and his/her parents) to decide if they wanted the accusation made public.  Often, parents genuinely thought that it would be best for their children to "just try and forget it" rather than have to recount things to police, and then prosecutors and then in court.  All the while dealing with the social stigma that DID attach itself to rape/abuse victims in that era.

    So when I am talking about "judging based upon the standards of the time", I'm simply saying that if the response of the BSA was reasonable given the standards of the time, they shouldn't be considered negligent simply because we believe differently now.

    11 hours ago, yknot said:

    I would be careful with that because it sounds like you are blaming the child victim and I don't think you mean to do that.

    Fortunately, most of the people here actually think about context rather than simply jumping at the chance to try and excoriate someone for a perceived error.

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  11. 16 hours ago, ThenNow said:

    We're talking about sexual abuse, not monkey bridge height restrictions or the dreaded and verboten dodge ball. 

    Safety is safety.  Scouts is a program designed around youth independence from adults, and often a limited amount of direct supervision.  Part of the risk you sign up for in that case is an increased risk of all manner of negative outcomes.  Now, the risk is still supposed to be relatively minor, but it definitely is increased from what would exist if the kid is under direct parental supervision.  Do people think about it consciously and specifically?  Usually I suspect not, but that doesn't mean it's not implicit in the program. 

    This was in quotes and pretty clearly meant to magnify a point. As per your fellows, 20% of the parents help. A few wander around and watch, then leave. A goodly number drop and run. This is what I was told.

    Also, by the by, that's not even what I actually said. This is: "It's all good. We got this. You can trust us 100%!" It was about the perception of parents. Not involvement. So, by implication, parents are involving their kids and thinking, "Hm. Crap. My kid might be abused while they go out in the woods. Hm. 20% chance? 2%. It's fine. We'll see what happens." 

    What you said is that the BSA tells people "It's all good. We got this. You can trust us 100%!" with the implication being that parents should drop their kids off and go.  Parental perception is a different thing, and BTW parental perception everywhere is generally "The kids will be fine, I've got stuff to do, I'll be back later".  Just ask any kids program anywhere.  Again, are parents thinking "my kid could be abused in the woods?"; no, I doubt it.  But they also don't consider specifically if their kid could be abused by their coach, or teacher or the school janitor and all of those things are possibilities.  Your viewpoint clearly seems to be that the risk of abuse is significantly higher in Scouts than elsewhere, and I understand why that would be your view given your experience.  However, the numbers don't actually prove that to be the case.  Nationwide the risk of abuse is roughly 0.12% and if I do the math on the BSA abuse numbers it doesn't come out even that high.  And frankly, given the risks parents are willing to expose their kids to in order for them to play sports, do you really think a specific warning of "Your child has 1 chance in 3000 of being molested if you put him in Scouts" would change most people's mind?  Personally, I don't think it would.

    And, the parents and public perceive it as such? Does the BSA waving the YPT Is the Platinum Standard banner far and wide indicate anything to the contrary? Maybe. Just maybe. Ok. It does. And, we're talking about sexual abuse, thus I mention YPT, not whittling. 

    The BSA does talk about YPT being a great tool, I'll grant you that.  Do you know of a better system?  I have yet to actually see anyone recommend changes or improvements that are actually workable in any way.  Implementation might not be perfect, but then it never will be.  In fact most of the complaints that I see revolve around the collection of data and it being open to the public, NOT about the actual YP rules and training requirements.

    What? Are you kidding me? I don't know of another organization other than the Youth Group at the local Holiness Church (casting NO aspersions) set forth as more "clean and wholesome." Call me a "complete idiot." Oh. You already did. Never mind...

    I assume you mean you don't know of any other youth organization publicly perceived to be be "clean and wholesome"?  I suppose it's true that many people have that perception; and it's also true there aren't many other programs that have a similar mass perception, though I think Little League, Girl Scouts and 4-H probably do.  But do you suppose the reason the BSA stands apart in that way is that there simply aren't many (any?) other nationwide organizations for youth?  And what should public perception be based upon if not the goals and generalized achievements of a group?  After all, the BSA does attempt to instill the Scout Law in youth and the program does spend a significant amount of effort on local community service.  The experience of abuse victims aside, for 99.94% of the people who have been scouts, the program generally lived up to the expectation.

    As far as feeling like I called you specifically an idiot, well, I certainly wasn't intending to, especially not for your perception of the BSA.  I suppose it's entirely possible that your troop truly was entirely clean and wholesome like a backwoods version of "Leave it to Beaver"; but that's not any group of boys I've ever been around, either as a youth or an adult.  The scouts in my troop as a child did things (away from adults) like having peeing competitions with winners for both highest arc and longest distance, seed spitting fights with watermelon, burping competitions and generally thought that "crop-dusting" people was just about the funniest prank possible.

    Anoint effectively means to, "set apart to fulfill a calling." If my Scoutmaster and Executive weren't set apart among the others and seen as such by parents, volunteers and Scouts then I'm 6'6" and play for the Chiefs.

    Your Scoutmaster was a rarity then from what I've seen.  There are certainly people I've met that are lauded as "dedicated Scouters", but I've never met or heard of one set apart like the priesthood they way you are describing.  Perhaps that needs to be a warning sign for abusers.  "If someone seems too good to be true, they need deeper scrutiny."

    Fair enough. Delete that point.


  12. 7 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:


    That should determine liability regardless of any systemic issue.

    The second question ... should the BSA have recognized, through their massive file system and decades of reports, that there was an epidemic of sex abusers within the BSA ranks.  Should they have seen that simply removing and keeping leaders removed, after the fact, was no longer sufficient.  If they should have realized there was an epidemic of sex abuse, then I agree they are liable for ALL cases.  I think many claimants would state that BSA should have realized they had a systemic problem and fixed it proactively (perhaps we better vetting, random checks, etc.).  So ... my question ... did the leaders within BSA know (or should have known), at some point, that they had a problem but the solutions were too painful so they didn't implement change?  To me, that is the $10B question.  If that answer is yes, then we deserve the losses.

    Unfortunately, our court system isn't great at working these out at a reasonable cost, so we are in bankruptcy.  All we are left to settle on is how much & when.  

    I'm sure that's one of the core arguments for liability; the problem with conducting this analysis, as I see it, is threefold:

    1. It appears to be very difficult for most people to consider the issue in the context of the time in which it was occurring.  I regularly read comments and posts (not necessarily on here) from people talking about how "The BSA should have always been doing background checks" or "There's no excuse for not letting other agencies know someone was a pedophile".  This of course ignores the fact that until the 1990s, there wasn't really such a thing as a background check (outside of the government) because electronic data storage and retrieval wasn't a thing.  And even then, most government agencies didn't start being able to effectively share data until the 2000s.
    2. Many people, including some on here, tend to operate from a standpoint of thinking "Any cases of sexual abuse are too many and mean someone hasn't done enough", and so when they consider steps that might/should have been taken, everything that was done and is being done is automatically insufficient, because if any child is still at risk, we aren't doing enough.  But in reality zero cases of abuse is an impossible goal and any evaluation of preventive measures must take that into account.  The ONLY way for any youth serving program to guarantee no child is ever abused "on their watch" would be to shut the program down.  So any rational standard for evaluating abuse will HAVE to allow for the idea that sometimes someone will still be sneaky enough to slip through the cracks.
    3. We don't actually know what the incidence of abuse was over the past 100 years within other youth serving organizations in order to know how the BSA compares.  From what I've read, most other organizations didn't even bother to collect and consolidate data on abuse allegations until 20-30 years ago.
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  13. 29 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

    Now, let's imagine you host a 100-year party for boys where you (your predecessors and successors) tell parents, "It's all good. We got this. You can trust us 100%!", recruit and anoint adult men to staff your party, ask for entry and recurrent fees, charge for various goods and services, advertise your party as the most pure and wholesome event going...and almost 1000 boys are sexually abused by your volunteer (and paid) staff each year over the course of your hosting services. Then what? At the party I attended for almost 8 years, it now looks like upwards of 10 kids were repeatedly sexually abused. That's 1+ kid per year. For one of them (me) it was multiple times per year. Realistically, that's the same story for most if not all of them. Now what? How do most people feel about that?

    Unfortunately, your scenario simply doesn't track with reality.

    • Scouts was never 100% safe.  Just like sports, the promise is only "this program is as safe as it reasonably can be while doing dangerous activities and deliberately having scouts interact with a variety of other adults on both group and individual levels".
    • Scouts has never (at least since I became involved in  the 1980s told parents "please drop off your kids and leave, we'll take care of everything".  In every troop I've ever been a a part of they've been desperately looking for adults to stay and get involved. (barring of course the parents who can't watch or help without going overboard)
    • Fees paid for entry and services are very clearly identified as going to pay for administrative operations, program development and materials, NOT a robust system of safety checks and other measures to keep the kids safe as a bug in a rug.
    • I've never seen Scouts advertised as "Clean and wholesome".  They advertise that a good Scout should strive to be Clean (and everything else in the Scout Law) and that those are the ideals we try and instill in the youth, but in day to day practice?  Only a complete idiot would think you could do anything with a group of boys, with limited parental involvement, and have it be strictly "clean and wholesome".  At the very least, I would hope no parent is that naive. (You've been listening to a certain other user's rants about organizational "hypocrisy" too much)
    • The BSA doesn't "anoint" Scoutmasters or other leaders, they merely do a basic check for obvious problems with a person and then put their name on the list.  This is also fairly clearly spelled out.
    • The BSA doesn't regularly recruit "staff" for direct involvement at the troop level.  The local council may occasionally direct a volunteer without a home to a troop in need, but it's still strictly voluntary.

    As for what happened to you and others in your troop, well, that was a horrible situation that I'm sorry you went though.  And if you reported the person to the BSA and they took no action, then your case would be one of the limited number where I would agree that the BSA actually has some liability (the other major area being situations where someone was abused by staff at summer or H.A. camps) since they had been informed of a risk/danger to scouts, but didn't take reasonable and prudent actions to mitigate the risk.   (And if our laws permitted us to take every single thing the perpetrator owns, then spend a nice long time subjecting the person to every single abuse they inflicted upon someone else before finally castrating them and dumping them into shark infested waters while still bleeding, I'd be right there to hold the door while you pushed him in.)  But if your abuser wasn't known and the abuse went unreported, how could it be anyone else's fault?  From everything I've heard, serial pedophiles are usually very careful about creating a veneer of respectability and reasonableness around their actions, so even if adults are generally "on their guard", the person most likely to get overlooked is the pedophile.

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  14. Quote

    I’m using this as a jumping off point, of sorts, and don’t expect much response. If so, I’d love to hear.

    Alongside whatever has/hasn’t gone on with BSA hiding the asset peanut, I feel like they are simply doing a terrible job of representing what I thought Scouting was supposed to be. As you know, Scouting wasn’t all it was meant to be in my life. Still, I see the good, carry with me great lessons and some happy memories, and know the moral and ethical construct is sound. From the apparent lack of interface with the TCC, the failure to engage anyone on the claimant side before filing Amended Plan 1 and soon Amended Plan 2, the lack of collaboration between LCs, and more or less lying to LCs about the prospect of needing to contribute to receive a release, Scouting has the egg of untrustworthiness all over its face. Add to that an ice cold lead council who exudes no compassion and comes off the quintessential robotic and unsympathetic Wall Street lawyer. She’s Gordon Gekko’s go-to. I’m certain she’s a big law sniper. A heavy hitter and extremely competent. All well and good, but she lends no measure of credibility or reinforcement to the alleged narrative that the BSA gives two turds about the survivors. I would never have selected her to be lead, at least publicly. I recognize you want the best, but this is a PR case as well as a legal one.

    Scouting? I see good. For sure. BSA? The nasty taste in my mouth isn’t soon to fade. 

    The BSA is in a tough spot when it comes to balancing the fact that they "care about survivors" and the practical issues surrounding the operations of an organization.  Frankly, the ultimate duty of the BSA Board and top management is to the organization and the members it serves, NOT to survivors; so I never expected this bankruptcy process to be anything but adversarial and acrimonious.  If they had simply sold everything and given every dime to the lawyers, they would have failed in their responsibilities.

    The PR implications of the situation mean that actual honesty isn't really possible since basically no one in the public is willing or able to actually respond to emotional issues in a balanced and measured way; so you get statements that don't match up with actions because there isn't really any other option.  The "real truth" of this situation is that most people wouldn't support the kinds of liability that are being argued in many of these cases if it were applied to them; but this can't be pointed out publicly because it's "insensitive" and because we are talking about people who were children. (And won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?)  I mean, let's imagine that you are hosting a party and one guest you invited rapes another one.  Is that your fault?  What if it's a caterer you hired?  Or the entertainer who is doing magic for the kids?  If someone is a Scoutmaster and one scout is bullying another scout in private and it doesn't get reported, is the Scoutmaster liable?  After all, we all know that bullying happens regularly in middle and high school, so shouldn't the SM have been watching more closely?  


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  15. On 4/11/2021 at 2:07 PM, T2Eagle said:

    Conceding up front that I don't know what kind of profits HA bases currently throw off, it seems unlikely that they're exceptionally lucrative.  Nothing in BSA's past 20 years of finances would suggest that they were reaping millions let alone billions from those operations.

    No sale has to be so quick that they wouldn't get fair market value for the properties, and either paying out or having those monies invested by and on behalf of the trust seems like a better bet than hoping an organization that's adverse to your interests, is steadily shrinking in membership, and has not demonstrated any particularly great business acumen would generate large profits on your behalf.

    These are all very specialized properties because Philmont at least is too large to sell to a single buyer outside of a government; getting maximum value out of them would likely take years.  They could probably get one of the major logging companies to buy it, but it would be at a fairly steep discount.  Other than that, it would need to be broken up into pieces to truly maximize the sale price.

    20 hours ago, DavidLeeLambert said:

    That could be fodder for the claimant committees to argue that the HA bases are in fact available for liquidation as part of a settlement. The open sale of camping-time to non-Scouts could even call BSA's non-profit status into question. It might help defend against such complaints if there was a "hardship discount", where, for example, families with income below the poverty line could have their camping fees partially or fully waived.

    There has been a trend in many places across the country when it comes to tax exempt property to allow some commercial use of tax exempt property IF the for-profit use is solely to subsidize the "non-profit" operations. On of the big drivers of this has been Goodwill pursuing tax exempt status for their stores.  So as long as the commercial use of the property can be clearly tied to covering required expenses, they'll probably be ok in many states.

    19 hours ago, walk in the woods said:

    That horse left the barn years ago.  The BSA has settled multiple cases in and out of court already.  You've already paid.

    But as far as I'm aware, most, if not all, of the settlements thus-far have been funded by insurance policies.

    7 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

    Given that BSA is now saying (in the media & court documents) if the grand bargain fails, councils will likely go bankrupt,  I think they realize and are admitting those claims are likely worthless.

    On the plus side, local councils will have a much stronger argument for retaining their local camps as integral and irreplaceable  business components than the National BSA does.  So even if they go for a re-organization under the bankruptcy laws, it may not be a doomsday scenario.

    7 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Which is what Kosnoff wants.

    Attorneys like him make me want to find some way to burn up every single cent fighting before the end.  Which I realize isn't awesome for the victims, but still.  I would really really LOVE for there to be a way to limit the attorneys to a strict reimbursement of time and expenses rather than a massive chunk of any award.

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  16. So, the Academy of Pediatrics is classifying some behaviors as "abnormal" solely because the behavior is demonstrated by less than 1.5% of children.  But how exactly can they think they have accurate information on those rates of prevalence?  Most parents are relatively oblivious to their children's activities in the first place, and now you think those parents are going to be both willing and able to accurately report behavior that their children are likely to be deliberately hiding?  And how exactly do they square up the idea that sexual behaviors are "highly abnormal" and less than 1.5% of children engage in them, when over age 6 when 12% of 12 year olds have had intercourse?

    While I certainly don't have personal knowledge outside of my own life, I would imagine children have been "playing doctor" since before that phrase even existed; but in most cases it just got discovered by a parent at some point and dealt with without making a big fuss over it.

    This just looks like an article by someone desperate to publish with essentially zero reasoned analysis involved.

  17. The best studies I was able to find put the transmission rate of COVID at around 5% for a close contact (and 10% for a household member).  They've also reviewed studies and concluded that the apparent transmission rate outdoors is about 18 times lower than it is indoors.  So that puts the outdoor transmission rate for a close contact at about 0.27% (about 1 in 37,000).  And even then, that 18 times lower number includes gatherings that were primarily outdoors, but that included indoors components and didn't factor out actual physical contact or surface related transmission.

    Given that math, I'm disinclined to be particularly strict about masking outdoors, unless the scouts are going to be in a "close contact" situation. (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) 


    From the standpoint of getting an adjustment to your troop's policy past your committee, I wouldn't broach the subject as "eliminating the requirement", I would suggest you handle it by requesting a "clarification of the current policy".  Then phrase it along the lines of "Scouts, Scouters and parents must wear masks outdoors whenever they are within 6 feet of another person for more than a minute or two". And if asked why the issue needs to be reviewed you can simply say that you've had a question about whether someone needs to wear a mask outdoors when there is no one else around.


    From a practicality standpoint, I'd suggest getting your scouts something like these: Mask Lanyard  They make it much easier to have a mask ready at hand and therefore more likely to be used.  As opposed to the standard youth method of "cramming the mask in your pocket", then having to pull it out and unfold it in order to get it on.


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  18. 20 hours ago, scoutldr said:

    I had a 40 year career in Occupational Safety and Health with extensive experience in designing, running and auditing industrial respiratory protection programs.  I can say unequivocally that 90% of the mask wearing practices and materials I see in public are absolutely worthless.  Masks with gaps, not covering mouth AND nose, ineffective filter materials, improper size of mask, facial hair, and other factors would all be OSHA violations.  I would focus more on frequent handwashing, social distancing, and awareness training, which will be much more effective.

    All of the regulations regarding masks under OSHA (and related orgs) are going to be about protecting the person wearing the mask.  The point of widespread masking isn't about keeping the person wearing the mask from contracting the virus, it's to keep the exhalations of infected people from spreading as much.  So while members of the public regularly wear their masks in such a way as to not protect themselves, the general purpose of widespread masking is still being achieved because even without a tight seal, the dispersion radius of exhalations are still significantly reduced. 
    And unfortunately, while frequent handwashing, social distancing and awareness training may be more effective in general, with adults; those areas are much more complicated to beat into the heads of 6-25 year olds. (and particularly the 12+ kids) 

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  19. 6 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

    To be clear to all ... the Milwaukee Archdiocese was appealing.  They won the lower court ruling but then lost on appeal.  The courts ruled the transfer was illegal.  They appealed to the Supreme Court and likely realized they would lose so they settled.

    We will likely see an example of this with Summit.  Is Arrow WV a separate organization or is it really a shell organization fully operated by the BSA.  TCC appears to be preparing to file lawsuit against JP Morgan about Arrow WV.

    That may be the test case of all of the council property ones that exist.


    My mistake, that article confused me because it said the district court and the court of appeals both overturned the Bankruptcy court.

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  20. 2 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

    I would be careful assuming those will be deemed valid.  Take a look at the Milwaukee Archdiocese cemetery trust fund.  You'll see some familiar names.  3 years before going into bankruptcy, the Milwaukee Archdiocese moved a large amount of $ into a trust fund to maintain cemeteries (and marked it as restricted assets).  The OCC (think TCC) said it was an fraudulent  transfer.  So, expect the TCC or lawyers to sue to say those easements/deed restricts are not valid....

    Note below that this case was headed to the Supreme Court (possibly) but a settlement occurred so the case was moot.  Perhaps we are simply headed to a slugfest for the next 4 more years ... we will see...


    I suspect they'd have lost that one because the Supreme Court would have denied a hearing and let the two other court rulings stand.  But your point is valid that the lookback period is a little bit murky.  However, the fact that it's murky doesn't mean the attempt isn't worth it.

    2 hours ago, 5thGenTexan said:

    So, if LCs started to protect assets in 2018 they knew they were going to be included in the lawsuits.  In a full 180 contradiction to the line we have all been told that they are totally separate and 100% have no danger of being part of the bankruptcy?  That would look pretty sketchy.  

    Regardless of whether or not they thought they were going to be included in the lawsuits, it should have been a heads up to get their ducks in a row. 

    Practically speaking, any organization that is subject to lawsuits should have all of their major assets protected from civil liability.  This is why you'll (almost) never find say, a white water rafting company that owns their own property, even if they've been in the same spot for 50 years.  Instead the business will be owned by the ACME WWR LLC and the property will be owned by the WWR Land Company LLC and the business will lease the land and building and equipment from the Land Company.  So that if someone dies and they sue, (ignoring the liability waiver) there are no assets readily available to forfeit.

  21. 24 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

    I  If the current BSA settlement charges collapse, it would almost be a breach of fiduciary duty if councils in non revival states don't act aggressively to shield their assets from any potential future claims.


    I'm dismayed by the time and especially money that's been spent without some agreement on basic facts, like how much of national's assets are restricted vs. non restricted, but I think that too many claimants may end up shut out of any compensation if a settlement isn't reached.

    Personally, I really hope the local councils mostly took the hint a couple years ago and started protecting their assets back then.  If, in 2018, councils started putting conservation easements and deed restrictions in place on their properties, or transferred them to trusts, they should be pretty well protected come 2021-2022 if they start having to file bankruptcy.  Obviously some did not because there are a bunch of councils selling their camps now, but I'm hoping that's a minority.  Realistically, I suspect that most of those LCs selling camps now are doing it because they couldn't afford to keep them anyway, no matter if they say "it's to fund the settlement".  Because selling them in advance of an agreement being reached is just foolish if creating a pot of money is the only purpose.


    Sadly, I never thought there would be much hope in finding an actual agreement without knowing what the insurance contributions would be.  Perhaps a cramdown might still be possible, but I know I'd be reluctant to agree to a settlement with the BSA if there wasn't something clear including the insurance payoff.  And of course, it's entirely against the interests of the insurance companies to offer up numbers at this point because if they can get some claimants to go away with just contributions by the BSA they save a boat-load of cash.

  22. 28 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

    I can't speak to all of your thoughts as well as others certainly can. I do think you may well underestimate the reliability, clarity, corroboration, witness availability and strength inherent in a sufficient number of valid claims to crash the bus. It seems underestimation is somewhat epidemic. (Refer to he responses to the now infamous "chart.") All I can say is, give me a shot in court along with one or two of the other guys victimized by our abuser, and we'll see what's what. Won't be pretty. Team me up with all of them, by the looks of it in the 6-10 range, and it's SHOW TIME. The negligence and reckless endangerment threads are not as thin as you believe, imho. Again, I know my case well. Not so much the other 83,836.

    I don't actually doubt the severity of many of the claims, or that there were cases of negligence.  Where my doubt really comes into play when it comes to actually prosecuting lawsuits, is in the area of direct liability.  If an abuser had been accused and the BSA failed to act, I think there should be liability.  If the BSA admitted a known abuser due to negligence (as opposed to being deceived), I think there is liability.  But I don't think that the simple fact of a pedophile (who hasn't been caught) being a registered scouter means the BSA should be held liable for the rapists actions. 

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  23. On 4/4/2021 at 5:08 AM, David CO said:

    I don't believe it.  


    They included sexual harassment in the definition, and with as broadly as some folks think that extends, it becomes easier to imagine.  It's much like the whole 1:4 women will be sexually assaulted statistic.  (they included stuff like any kind of kiss without consent as a sexual assault)

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  24. On 4/1/2021 at 4:10 PM, ThenNow said:

    All intellectual property is wedded to the congressionally chartered entity or entities. It goes away and they can't "deal" or assign it.

    Let's say National is liquidated and the LCs remain separate to live another day. You do understand, without the protection of a release by the abuse survivors they would be the named defendants in the sexual abuse lawsuits, along with the COs/SOs, yes? That's the reason people are calling to "burn it all [National] down" and liquidate. The most significant assets are with the secondary, "non-party" entities and insurance policies. 

    The intellectual property is owned by National, but what makes you think they don't have full control over it the way any other entity would; including the right to license it?  I will grant you that if the organization goes away, there would no longer be anyone to do ongoing licensing, but that doesn't mean they couldn't make it all "public use", or license it to the WOSM, in perpetuity and have that hold up past their liquidation. 

    And yes, I realize without an agreement the LCs and COs aren't covered.  Ideally I'd like to see a settlement that leaves BSA intact and functional even if some of the property was scraped away.  But my sympathy for abuses survivors doesn't extend to the point of being willing to see the BSA as a program go away, or even to selling off the local camps; and I know that if cases had to be filed against local councils and COs ONLY, many of them (definitely not all) would wither up and blow away.  Between having to file and litigate the case in the state/district the abuse took place in and it being easier to actually argue against vague/unreliable allegations from decades ago with a smaller number of cases; I think most of the cases wouldn't stand a chance in actual litigation.

    Plus, as much as the lawyers (and some victims) would like to get LCs and COs on the hook for this, in reality they are a much harder target if they have to be sued directly.  The primary justification for most of the liability against the BSA is "You had all this data that showed pedophiles were infiltrating your program but didn't tell anyone".  But that's not going to be true with the LCs and especially the COs.  I don't think there is any disputing the fact that the BSA didn't advertise their data on abuse accusations, even with the LCs, let alone the COs.  So while each LC might be aware of accusations made locally, that's it.  At that point, a defense against liability of "This person had never been accused or convicted of a crime so how would we know to screen them out?" becomes much stronger, particularly given how good most pedophiles are at disguising themselves.



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