Posts posted by DavidLeeLambert
19 minutes ago, FormerCubmaster said:
I’m not sure it’s realistic or fair to hold some poor schcmuck who had the misfortune to be assigned the job of a Mormon bishop, to a higher standard than what we would expect of a practicing attorney—particularly when the worst-case-scenario net result is simply a 2-3 hour delay on a legally-required report.
FWIW, my scoutmaster as a boy (in an LDS troop) was a practicing attorney; I had a Branch President once who was a law student; several members of my current ward over the years have been law students; and one former member of my Stake Presidency was an employee of the state Bar Association before he retired.
And my current Stake President is a practicing radiologist, so I'm sure he is a mandatory reporter in his day-job. His last calling before that was Stake Young Men's President, hence he dealt with Scouting; and before that, he had been Bishop.
... And my oldest son's 11-year-old scout leader was a medical resident; and my second-oldest son's cubmaster was a lawyer working for the SSA.
BSA wants to sell the "Scouting University" building to the highest bid among four "qualified bidders" and put the money in an escrow account for eventual contribution to the victims' trust.
"DEBTORS’ MOTION FOR ENTRY OF AN ORDER, PURSUANT TO SECTION 363 OF THE BANKRUPTCY CODE, AUTHORIZING THE SALE OF CERTAIN REAL PROPERTY LOCATED IN WESTLAKE, TEXAS"
Purchase price: $2,100,000.
On 5/29/2021 at 6:11 PM, Muttsy said:
[The LDS Church] instructs that if a child molester i.e. "sinner" has repented to the bishop, he must be forgiven and restored to the position he was in before he sinned and repented.
It is false that an LDS member can "repent" without a report to civil authorities, or that a sinner "must" be restored to his prior calling. The church's current policy on "Abuse" says,Quote
The Church’s position is that abuse cannot be tolerated in any form. Those who abuse their spouses, children, other family members, or anyone else violate the laws of God and man.
All members, especially parents and leaders, are encouraged to be alert and diligent and do all they can to protect children and others against abuse. If members become aware of instances of abuse, they report it to civil authorities and counsel with the bishop. Church leaders should take reports of abuse seriously and never disregard them. [...]
When abuse occurs, the first and immediate responsibility of Church leaders is to help those who have been abused and to protect vulnerable persons from future abuse. Leaders should not encourage a person to remain in a home or situation that is abusive or unsafe. [...]
Sometimes victims have feelings of shame or guilt. Victims are not guilty of sin. [...]
Stake presidents and bishops should help those who have committed abuse to repent and to cease their abusive behavior. If an adult has committed a sexual sin against a child, the behavior may be very difficult to change. The process of repentance may be very prolonged. [...]
If a bishop or stake president learns of or suspects child or youth abuse, he promptly follows the instructions in 184.108.40.206. He also takes action to help protect against further abuse.
A Church membership council [that is, the formal process that could lead to excommunication] and record annotation [a confidential, lifelong note that the person should never be given any calling working with children or youth] are required if an adult member abuses a child or youth as described in this section.
If you instead meant to write that, at some time in the past, some members and leaders believed such a concept... in a church with millions of members, and tens of thousands of bishops, there may have been some who justified sin by adopting a definition of "sexual relations" like the one Bill Clinton used during his famous deposition, or who believed that in their particular case a report was not necessary, or that unique circumstances justified giving someone a second chance.
But there are a couple of stories in documents the LDS church considers scripture, and with which most active adult members should have been familiar in 1950, and 1970, and 1990, which refute the proposition that a sinner can receive all the responsibilities in this life that he would have had if he had not sinned:
- In the Bible, in 2 Samuel 11, king David committed sexual sin with Bathsheba, the wife of one of his soldiers, and then tried to cover it up by arranging for that soldier's death. He had wanted to build the Temple, but that work was given to his son Solomon. Doctrine and Covenants 132:39 says that "therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion".
- The first scribe to write the manuscript of the Book of Mormon was Martin Harris. However, after he borrowed the first 116 pages with the stated purpose of showing them to his wife, then showed them to others and lost them, he was never permitted to serve as scribe for the translation of that work again.
And the TCC's claim summary (as well as the BSA summary of claims in the latest draft Plan) shows that the LDS church is identified as CO in far less than 40% of the claims (3.5% of those that identified a CO, fewer than the Methodist, Catholic or Baptist ones). And I doubt that the proportion of LDS-related claims in the 25% or so of claims that do not identify a CO is any different; if anything, it's probably lower, because LDS units almost always met in the church, while it was non-LDS units that sometimes were chartered by one church or fraternal organization or "parent committee" but met elsewhere.
I would invite you to support your claim of "numerous" cases in the public IV files where LDS bishops "argued" with National over a volunteer's eligibility by posting a list of citations to specific files, and then we can talk about how those relate to the bankruptcy. (Or, in another thread, we can talk about the lessons for public policy, or for the proper running of a Scouting program.)
On 5/28/2021 at 9:42 AM, ThenNow said:On 5/28/2021 at 2:16 AM, RobertCalifornia said:
Maybe it takes letters like it to move the case forward.
Yeah. Maybe. I tend to think it's so long it was only read to check for things to redact. To me, in this context, the length negates the impact and the content negates the intent. [...]On 5/28/2021 at 9:47 AM, CynicalScouter said:
Regarding letters to the judge: please be aware that at this point she has been very clear: she's not reading them.Quote
I haven't read all of the letters coming in recently, that's simply not possible, they're overwhelming our clerk's office and we're getting them on the docket as soon as we can. [...]
Speaking of letters, I'll admit that I still haven't read all of them either.
But even the ones I've read are a mixed bag.
One that appeared on the docket shortly before the last hearing is D.I.5047, which begins,Quote
I was an 11 year old boy in the Boy Scouts. It was my first year of Scout Camp when I was dragged off to a big camp fire with the other scouts. We were standing around when I saw an older scout talking with the Scout
Arrow boys and the Scout Master started to laugh at me. I was looking for my Scout Master I could hear him but could not see him. The Scout Master
The next day I was taking a shower at camp slipped and fell hitting my head. [...] I remember that my Scout Master came to our home and my mother confronted him. Nothing was done to the older scouts or Scout Master that I recall.
He goes on to discuss a conversation he had with his wife about what she would have done, then saysQuote
I myself was a Cub Master for 12 years and I kept my scouts safe from this type of harassment. My youngest son reached his Eagle Rank at 15 years of age and our Grandson (his son) age 16 is about to be presented with his Eagle rank in just a few months. We are very proud of them and glad they did not have to endure this type of harassment.
So this particular claimant (victim) letter actually is consistent with the BSA's narrative: there were some bad apples 50 years ago (give or take a bit), but a little bit of vigilance on the part of a parent, grandparent, or Cubmaster can reduce abuse and has reduced abuse. He probably would be in favor of a plan that keeps BSA and his grandson's Local Council out of liquidation, at least for the "few months" his grandson still needs for Eagle.
Another one, D.I. 5032, recounts two instances of abuse. In the first, the abuser may have been an older boy; the letter says that the first abuser "left Scouts" a few months afterward. In the second, the abuser was the claimant's older brother, and the act occurred in the back of the family vehicle while their parents were operating it.
Going back a bit, in D.I. 4631 the claimant says on one page that "I was sexually abused at [redacted] the year 1991 1992 1993 [...]" but on another page "I'm still been sexually [unclear] by the B.S.A. today". I find it hard to take that statement literally.
13 hours ago, Muttsy said:
[quoting a letter to the Court] "To put this into perspective, here is an average cost for a scouting year (per scout).
- $126 (annual membership)
- $200-$300 (annual troop dues to pay for patches, rank items, and other BSA mandated items)
- $240-$300 per year for unit campouts
- $350-$450 per year to attend a Council Summer camp (varies by Council)
- $2500-$3500 per BSA High Adventure (Philmont, Sea Base, Bechtel, Norther Tier) *this is just the cost for admission and doesn't cover travel costs to get there, activities at those events, or extra "add-ons".
- $250 per year for misc. things like Order of the Arrow, NBZ, Mic-O-Say, and other BSA sanctioned events."
The writer of the letter is either doing sloppy math, or imagining a unit that's an expensive outlier, or both.
I have kids in a Pack and in a Troop in another council (not Middle Tennessee, mentioned in the letter) that also adopted a $60 per youth "program fee" this past year.
For the Pack, the cost of the program per youth as seen by a family is as follows:
- $126 per youth registration (national dues plus council program fee)
- $85 per youth dues
- In a typical year, possibly $20-$30 per person for extra campouts beyond the first, or optional "fun" events, like a whole-family waterpark trip. In the COVID year, we had none of those.
- $33 net registration for any adult who registers as a leader supporting the Pack (the pack covers part of that out of youth dues/funds raised)
- Option of going to summer camp at Council cost, $150 for 3-day resident camp, other options are cheaper
- The Pack does sell popcorn. In some years, one incentive for high sellers has been for the Pack to pay the fees for one session of summer camp, or waive the fee for a "fun" event.
- If a new parent drives out to the nearest Scout Shop and talks to the salesman, or goes online at the BSA website and goes crazy clicking, sure they can spend $100 or more on all the uniform parts and accessories, and even a toy or two; but the uniform is technically "optional", and the Pack has a Scout Closet with some gently-used shirts and other items, so a family that wants or needs to be thrifty needn't spend anything.
- The Pack covers books, Pinewood Derby kit, den activity supplies, etc., out of dues and raised funds.
For the Troop, the cost of the program per youth as seen by a family is as follows:
- $126 per youth registration.
- Dues, in theory. These were waived one year because of the membership-fee increase, and discussion so far has considered something that will be a round figure when paid monthly, either $60 or $120 per year, probably not more than that.
- $20 per person fee for a typical weekend campout or other activity, JTE goal of 12 per year. This covers site rental (whether at Council, or at a state park, or at a campground operated by some other youth-focused nonprofit), admission if it's a "fun" event like a museum visit, food budget for the boy who buys his patrol's food, gas reimbursement for the parent who pulls the troop trailer, and any excess could be considered dues by another name.
- Summer camp, if the troop goes that year (not every year), $350 per youth to Council, plus a bit extra to the Troop for a special T-shirt, extra food, gas for trailer, etc.
- Or expenses for High Adventure; if the troop runs it directly it can be lower, maybe as low as $200 per person for a trip that's closer to two weeks; depending on the destination. A trip to an HA base would be a lot more expensive, of course.
- The Troop has not sold popcorn since my boys started meeting with it. During COVID, we started collecting/accepting returnable cans, and when things opened up enough we returned them. And we recently started cleaning the stands at a racetrack to raise funds. The Council has not asked for any cut of any funds we've raised those ways.
- Once again, it's possible to spend close to $100 on a book and new uniform, but a boy's book should last him the time in the program, and he shouldn't go through more than two or three shirts even in the worst case.
- The Troop pays for required leadership training out of dues/raised money; for example, a Wilderness First Aid session for the SPL and one adult this year (about $51 per person) , or NYLT for the new ASPL ($275 to Council for a week-long camp).
There may be troops out there that send a contingent to an HA base every year, but I don't know when the last time is that my boys' troop has visited one. At recent training I attended, some leaders and boys from other troops were planning to visit a HA bases this year or next, but even for them it sounded like they don't go every year, and only take older youth, Venture/Explorer age.
When I was a youth I was in an LDS unit, and my older boys each started in an LDS unit. In LDS units, the Church paid for most of the cost of the program, including registration for every participant (even non-LDS participants), campsite fees, supplies, awards, and adult training fees. Sometimes food at events was covered out of the applicable church budget, sometimes it was pot-luck or bring-your-own. The only thing an LDS troop was allowed to have a fundraiser for was one long-term camp per year, whether that was for Council summer camp, or some high-adventure activity.
And the high-two-digit fees are very recent. Remember, the youth registration fee went up to $33 in 2017. In 1989, it was $7 per youth. I'm still looking for what the fee was during the peak of the abuse-claim dates (roughly 1968 through 1973), but I suspect it was even lower, maybe only $1 or $1.50.
The difference hasn't been enough to build a complete fund for victims of abuse, but I'm sure much of it has gone to and will continue to go to the costs of litigation, either directly (this case, and prior lawsuits), or indirectly (higher insurance to BSA and councils), or very indirectly (higher insurance for other youth organizations, and their suppliers, and companies that donated in the past but can no longer afford to do so).
(Does anyone have a link to a record of BSA registration per boy by year? Or remember what it was in the early '70s, or even early '80s?)
3 hours ago, ThenNow said:4 hours ago, DavidLeeLambert said:
It's also different because it's actually intertwined with the prior Catholic diocese bankruptcies, and could potentially have a "second act" of dozens or hundreds of LC bankruptcies, and dozens or hundreds or even thousands of CO bankruptcies.
Does that sway your thinking in favor of cramdown or are [you] simply pointing out the additional distinction and complexity?
Just because the draft plan is opposed by one creditor committee in one smaller bankruptcy, no. If the TCC or Coalition turned around and tried to slow down the Guam diocese bankruptcy as well, I think both judges would see through that and just overrule the cross-case motions.
The prospect of a nationwide wave of LC and CO bankruptcies might not have much legal weight, either. Public policy, yes. If enough people lobby Congress to consider Boy Scouts "too big to fail", maybe they could could pass a law that helps move forward. Maybe a law that allows a congressionally chartered youth organization in bankruptcy to sell camps to the National Park system at a padded price (premium to go to survivors) and with continued access, in exchange for Federal monitoring of youth safety in its program; or opening the Armed Forces to federal civil liability for abuse that occurred at military bases, or in units organized on military bases, or for abuse committed by active-duty or honorably-discharged service-members.
But GSUSA's objection [D.I.3579] to the Disclosure Statement complains about their claim being lumped in a class with other creditors. And I can see the LCs, and any COs that had any direct legal contracts with National, arguing that their liability for indemnity should actually be higher priority than individuals' abuse claims, except for the (presumably) very small number of victims who were actually abused on an HA base, or at a National Jamboree, or by a National Council staff member.
After the exclusivity window ends, perhaps someone will introduce a plan that divides the victims into multiple classes, perhaps by the strength of their evidence, or the nature of their abuse, or which states are implicated. Then there might be one group of victims that faces a cram-down, while another will be fully compensated.
On 5/21/2021 at 1:58 PM, Muttsy said:
[...] Chubb's balance sheet does not reflect the toxic liabilities of subsidiary Century Indemnity and Century is now, essentially, insolvent because of BSA claims.
When ACE purchased Century in 1999, the transaction had to be approved by the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner. [...] The PA Insurance Commissioner undoubtedly assumes that Chubb as the parent company of Century will stand behind it and won't [let] it go into insurance insolvency. [...]
Pennsylvania raised the age limit for filing a civil claim arising out of CSA to 55 from 30 in 2018, and is in the process of having a constitutional amendment appear on the ballot that would introduce a temporary look-back window, so as an outsider I would guess that the Penn Insurance Commissioner could be persuaded to weigh in or even investigate.
But with its headquarters there, what kind of tax revenues does Chubb pay to that state? If Chubb could go bankrupt and not even satisfy the $103 billion, leading to no coverage for any of its other policies and thousands of lost jobs, would the State have an incentive to bless whatever internal firewall Chubb had around Century and limit the overall company's losses? Or to argue that other states' look-back windows are unconstitutional or bad policy?
17 hours ago, elitts said:20 hours ago, Muttsy said:
A cram down has never been done in a sexual abuse bankruptcy and she won't do it here.
Yes, This has been repeated ad nauseam by another poster. The problem with this little saying is that we aren't talking about some mountain of past precedent spanning the last 50 years that would need to be set aside; rather, pretty much all you are talking about are a couple dozen Catholic Church bankruptcies since 2004. Given the scope of this one, it would be a pretty easy thing for a judge to say "This is a functionally different situation than the past CSA bankruptcies".
It's not just functionally different because it's larger, or involves a congressionally-chartered debtor rather than a religious organization, or because the underlying accused perpetrators are largely volunteers rather than ordained lifetime paid ministers.
It's also different because it's actually intertwined with the prior Catholic diocese bankruptcies, and could potentially have a "second act" of dozens or hundreds of LC bankruptcies, and dozens or hundreds or even thousands of CO bankruptcies.
This might be a good place to pull in a couple items from the docket before this week's hearing. First, "Joinder of ... the Archbishop of Agana", D.I.4321.
This isn't another Catholic diocese appearing. This is an official creditor committee in another open bankruptcy case, basically the equivalent of the TCC, complaining that the current draft Plan would shortchange the estate in their case.
And then one of the victim letters, D.I.4449...
"I left home at 17 years of age after persuading my mother to sign the documents which allowed me to enter the military. I was in a place in my life where I was unable to talk about what was happening to me out of shame and feeling that the only way out was to leave my family and home to escape the situation. I enlisted in the military [...]. It was during this tour that I was exposed to Agent Orange. [...] I am battling Leukemia from the exposure and have fought to stay as healthy as I can for as long as I can. My battle is not for myself, but for our little boy, [redacted,] who has just turned 6 years old. [...] I do hold the BSA responsible for the exposure to Agent Orange and the resulting disease of Leukemia."
So far I haven't seen a victim letter where the claimant says he worked a job where he was exposed to asbestos because of the abuse, or that he demanded that his wife get silicone breast implants because of his abuse, and it leaked, and she got sick.
I do follow the alleged cause-and-effect, but I also note that part of the reason some of the insurance-companies might not be able to pay tens of billions of dollars in this case is that they've already paid out huge sums in asbestos litigation, and other mass-tort lawsuits and bankruptcies (possibly including Agent Orange, or at least other industrial toxic chemicals.)
On 5/19/2021 at 8:42 PM, Eagle1993 said:
"There are 82,000 individuals who have filed abuse claims that need to be appropriately and timely compensated. And I have a [sic] 700,000 Boy Scouts who would presumably like to continue to be Boy Scouts. And that's not necessarily an interest that National holds, that's 700,000 boys. So there are a lot of considerations here. I haven't read all of the letters coming in recently, that's simply not possible, they're overwhelming our clerk's office and we're getting them on the docket as soon as we can. Many of them tell tragic stories. But many of them as I've said also recognize the need for Boy Scouts to continue. So there is a balancing act. And I encourage everyone to continue to have discussions even in this interim period and I will consider all of the arguments that have been made today and I appreciate the excellent arguments that I've heard today. All parties in this matter are well represented. And [it's] clear that each is looking out for their particular constituency which is exactly what they should be doing."
This is a copy of the [judge's] final statement today.
There are posters on this forum who have said or implied before that the National Council has had a habit of ignoring the wishes and needs of the majority of experiences Scouters, or the majority of actual Scout-involved families. I'm inclined to read "and that's not necessarily an interest that National holds" as a comment along those lines.
So far there is no committee representing non-abused currently-registered youth. I'm not sure there's a legal basis to create one; maybe to protect their interest in paid but unearned dues for the current year? (And by now, that's a post-petition liability.) But morally, those youth, as well as other youth who are eligible to join but not currently registered, are the actual charitable mission of the organization.
So what does it mean that each patrol of 8-9 boys can be matched up to an abuse claimant somewhere? If he has a million-dollar claim, are they each going to take out a $125,000 loan, enough for a four-year degree at a top-tier university, or a decent "starter" house in many parts of the country, to pay it? A Boy Scout isn't going to make that kind of money selling popcorn, or Christmas wreaths, or doing car-washes, or cleaning the stands after a sporting-event.
Near the beginning of the hearing, one of the BSA attorneys mentioned that a certain contingent delay in the confirmation hearing was expected to add $25 million in professional fees to the case, which would reduce the amount available to pay claimants. I did the math, and that's about $303.00 per claimant; or almost $36 per youth in the group the Judge was referring to. (She might have been counting only Scouts BSA boys, not Cub Scouts; but there's some logic in that, as teenagers are old enough to have some say in whether they participate, while Cub Scout age youth are still under more parental control.)
So of course each attorney is representing their own client's interest, and the ones who have been busy filing motions, participating in mediation, and arguing at hearings have don that job pretty well; but there are a lot of people with interests in the case who are likely to suffer; especially people with multiple indirect interests.
1 hour ago, Eagle1970 said:
To clarify, will they likely reduce awards to victims who were abused in States with expired SOL's? Somewhere I saw that when claims receive point value, that is a factor. Is there a case to remove claims that are time-barred?
I don't think anyone can confidently say "likely" or not, yet.
The BSA plan (either the "Global" or the "Toggle" version) does say that a time-bar is a factor, but that the Trustee may still allow and pay such claims. One reference would be starting at page 181 of the document (page 187 of the PDF). Under heading "Invalid Abuse Claims", the TDP saysQuote
Except as otherwise provided herein, if the Settlement Trustee finds that the evidence submitted by the Abuse Claimant in a Trust Claim Submission does not support a viable claim against a Protected Party in the tort system, the Settlement Trustee shall make a determination that the Submitted Abuse Claim is invalid [...].
Such determination may be based on [...] the Abuse Claim is time-barred or procedurally deficient, or [...]. The Settlement Trustee shall have discretion to determine whether a defect in the Abuse Claimant’s Proof of Claim or Trust Claim Submission should invalidate a Submitted Abuse Claim. For example, if the Settlement Trustee finds that a Submitted Abuse Claim (including the related Proof of Claim, if any) is strong enough to warrant distribution on the claim from the Settlement Trust, the Settlement Trustee may find that the Submitted Abuse Claim is valid despite the defect or
untimeliness of the Claim and assign points to such Claim [...]
A few pages later, after the tiers of abuse with their base point values, several aggravating factors, and a couple other mitigating factors, we find (page 188 of the document, page 194 of the PDF),Quote
(iii) Defectiveness. If the Abuse Claimant filed a defective Proof of Claim or filed its Proof of Claim after the Bar Date, or if the evidence provided by the Abuse Claimant indicates that the Submitted Abuse Claim is time barred based on prevailing law in the jurisdictions in which the abuse occurred, the Settlement Trustee may reduce the points assigned to such Claim by assigning a Point Scaling Factor of less than one. The
Settlement Trustee should weigh the strength of the evidence supporting the Submitted Abuse Claim to determine whether such Claim should receive mitigation on account of its defectiveness or untimeliness. The Settlement Trustee may assign a mitigating factor of zero (0) in cases where the Settlement Trustee determines that the Submitted Abuse Claim is fully barred, but may, however, assign a factor of up to one (1) if [...]
So the Trustee could assign a factor of 90% to most time-barred cases, or 10% to most of them, or 99% to some and 0% to others... the Plan doesn't say.
And of course the Plan hasn't even been approved for voting yet, let alone sent out for voting.
Some of the insurers have also mentioned in pleadings that they believe they have defenses against many of the "open window" or "look-back" cases, as well, such as that the "look-back window" laws are unconstitutional.
3 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:
Just finished. A couple of newsy time things I heard.
I'm sure I'm missing a few.
And a number of the questions in Q&A suggested some askers hadn't attended previous Town Halls. Still far below from the Zoom meeting limit, and well under either the number of state-court plaintiffs or the pre-petition estimate of claims.
Expect at least a dozen more letters from victims on the docket in the next few days.
4 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:
Yes, and here's the "but" I can see one limited instance in which this is relevant.
If the claim is for, say, $1 million based on the TCC or BSA abuse matrix, and it can be shown that the CO's negligence or the LC's negligence accounted for 75%, then the claim vs. BSA (or rather BSA's insurance?) is down to $250,000.
That of course would require a) lengthy determinations as to fault and liability and b) results in BSA National pointing fingers at LCs and COs.
Third-party liability might not just be against LCs and COs, however.
Consider the school principal. Maybe he was Cubmaster, or maybe he was COR and the victim is misremembering that he was Cubmaster, and the school or the PTA was CO, and he recognized the victim from pack meetings after school on school grounds. That would be a strong case of CO liability. But what if he was Cubmaster at a Masonic hall or church on the other side of town, and neither the school nor any related entity was a CO? And he became Cubmaster after being Principal already, so he had no Scouting involvement when the school hired him; in fact, the school board didn't know he was even volunteering with a pack?
Or consider the trip to Montreal. I know old editions of the Boy Scout Handbook gave a YMCA or YMHA as an example of a place where a troop might meet, but I doubt that the predecessor of today's YMCA Montreal chapter was ever a CO with the Boy Scouts of America - if anything, possibly with Scouts Canada. And did the Local Council approve a trip-plan for the trip after reading news articles about Montreal's hopping "pink light" district, thinking it would be good for the Scouts to be exposed to such diversity? Or after reading news articles about YMCA Canada's comprehensive and successful program, modeled after the BSA's, to discover and root out "homosexuals"? Or did they not find out about the trip until after it happened, and did they take quick action to revoke the registration of the SM and ASM after they found out?
1 hour ago, ThenNow said:
As a claimant, the thought of being diluted by fraud is painful. On one [hand], I don't want valid claims kicked for unsound reasons, caught up in a crusade to "purge the villains." On the other, I don't want invalid ones diluting and degrading the legitimate pool of victim/survivor claimants or impacting voting. [...] Sad for the BSA, too, but I feel a lot less sympathy there. 84,000 or 60,000?
One thing that Century hasn't explicitly said in pleadings so far, but that no one has ruled out yet either, is that the "questionable" claims they've highlighted and want to do some of their discovery on may be just the ones where the lawyers and/or claimants were sloppy enough to get caught. It could be that a lot more claimants are making the whole thing up (or at least are making up, or misrembering, the details that connect any abuse they received to Scouting) but did their basic research to write, or recount over the phone to an intake agent, a "plausible" claim.
One thing Century highlighted in a recent pleading was that almost 389 claims had exactly the same signature as other claims; they show 72 of them in an exhibit. I cross-checked the claim numbers against the TCC list, and only 39 of them, or about 10%, had a Local Council identified. It's not clear whether the 72 are one signature, and the other 300-odd are other groups of matching signatures, or if all 389 are actually that signature; but what if there are other groups of forged signatures, but forged to each plausibly be the alleged claimant's? What if there are 40,000, or 60,000, or 70,000 such claims?
So if someone can get the list of claims under serious consideration down to 8,600, that $6,000-per-claimant offer from the BSA is up to $60,000, on average. And even that could still include some "less serious" abuse, so the most-serious cases could end up with even more.
On 5/12/2021 at 8:02 AM, CynicalScouter said:
Here's the list for anyone able to stomach it.
I'll admit I haven't read the entire list yet. Some of the accounts are horrible. Many are disheartening. For example:
- A man who basically has to live the rest of his life as a hermit, unable to engage in normal social interactions, as a result of his abuse;
- Men who buried their parents without telling them about the abuse, and only told their wives recently;
- A man who would not let his daughters join Girl Scouts because of his concerns for their safety after his own abuse.
But even in the sample I read, I ran across letters that illustrate this is more complicated than "BSA is bad, and all other organizations were perfect" or "BSA and its COs were bad, and no one else had any fault"...
- A survivor whose abuser was a Scout leader, but was also the Principal of his (elementary?) school; and where the abuse occurred in the Principal's office, during school hours.
- An instance of Youth-on-Youth abuse, at camp, where the abuser was an older but lower-rank boy (new to Scouting), and the victim's own parents were present as volunteers at the camp (but he didn't ever tell them what had happened; and they are now deceased).
- A victim who alleges that his SM and ASM committed horrible crimes themselves, but also that they transported him to Canada to attend Expo '67, and "put him up" at "WMCA" (which I guess is old alternate initials for YMCA or a related organization, like YWCA or YMHA; but it could be a typo, or something totally different), "a facility infested with homosexual men".
And I haven't counted the letters exactly, but it's still in the low hundreds. A very few of the 970-odd stayed state court lawsuits are joint suits by up to a half-dozen or so plaintiffs, but the vast majority are by a single plaintiff.
So the vast majority of the 82550 claims are still fully sealed, and it's still quite possible that the vast majority of the claims, including the vast majority of the "very worst" claims by degree of alleged abuse, have scanty evidence... perhaps no contemporary evidence of the abuse, and no living witnesses other than the alleged victim. It appears that the actual state-court suits don't even add up to the 1,400 anticipated plaintiffs that certain plaintiff lawyers warned BSA about in late 2019.
14 minutes ago, ThenNow said:
Not sure what you mean. LC's aren't voting on the Plan or any Plan.55 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:
But aren't all LCs, and a certain number of COs, in the class of "Indirect Abuse Claimants"? So shouldn't they get to vote on any Plan?
(And that's one of the complaints against the current Plan... it doesn't explain a legal basis for giving LCs and COs a lower priority than Direct Abuse Claimants.)
16 hours ago, ThenNow said:
see no indication that there was a confrontation of any kind. Not noted in the police report, filed by the parents with a statement from the Scout. I'm now jaded by the "deletion" and wouldn't be at all surprised if it was a backdated resignation. I hear your point and it's valid. Neither of us know for sure.
I'll agree with @fred1983that "deletion" was probably a term of art, meaning "remove the person from the active roster". I don't think it generally meant "pretend that this person never existed", any more than it meant "sneak into his home at night and euthanize him".
Likewise old IVFs and other documents relating to CSA from that era might mention "indecent liberties", or "morals offenses", or "social disease". Since those are not the preferred terms for the offensive conduct today, it's tempting to claim that the people who created the records were trying to perpetrate a cover-up by being ambiguous; but those were valid descriptive terms for the conduct at the time.
One thing that does bother me (and I don't know whether you've seen it in the IVFs from your own council, contemporaneous with your abuse) is that sometimes the council refunded an IV's current-year registration fee, $.50, or $1.00, or whatever. I would have thought conduct sufficient to deny registration would have been just cause to forfeit the fee!
But I can think of several non-conspiratorial explanations for why IVFs are often missing some documents that may have existed at one point. For example:
- The office at the National Council that kept them was trying to save space, and only kept the minimum documentation necessary to legally justify registration denial.
- Local Council personnel were busy (managing thousands of non-ineligible youth and adult registrations, and badge and advancement records), and didn't always have reliable Xerox machines or mimeograph machines, so just sent in the minimum documentation they could write, retype or clip from a newspaper.
- Entire pages were excluded from the files by the protective order that released them.
12 minutes ago, ThenNow said:
Would someone be kind enough to briefly list (or point me to a link) of the professional Scouter tiers? You talk about Key 3 and SE, DE and such. I recall our Scout Executive and District Executive, but don't have a working knowledge of the chain of command, if you will. It might help me understand who's making decisions (or not) at the various levels. Thanks very much.
There's a Bryan on Scouting article about "Key 3"...
In short, there's a Key 3 at every level, two volunteers and a paid employee (except at the unit level, where all are typically volunteers, although one or more might have a day-job at the CO as well).
And the important levels from lowest to highest are Unit, District, Council, and National.
On 4/28/2021 at 2:15 PM, CynicalScouter said:
This has NOTHING to do with not reporting to police. It is about BSA National, LCs, and COs (although the CO isn't named here, it may be because the scout doesn't know who that was, there are "John Doe" defendants")
For an example that does involve a CO...
Once again, this is about principles, so I won't link to the specific case I read. (And I read it a few days ago, so don't have the exact citations handy in any case.)
One of the cases in Idaho names the LDS church as defendant. The Scout was LDS, and the molesting leader was LDS. The Scout reported it to his Bishop, who agreed that the molesting leader was "a very sick man". His mother threatened to press charges and file a civil lawsuit, but ultimately did not do so after being discouraged by "other church leaders".
The lawsuit also cites a public discourse by Spencer W. Kimball (the Prophet from 1973 to 1985) in which he stated that Scouting was "no longer an experiment" and said that every Young Man in the Church should participate in Scouting. I don't have a link to those exact words handy, but I did find a 1977 talk where President Kimball said that "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints affirms the continued support of Scouting".
But I think any CO that carried a Scout troop's awards and Eagle plaque in its display case, or mentioned its Troop's activities in its newsletter, or cited its pastor's or members' Scouting involvement during a press interview could be accused of "supporting" Scouting, hence any abuse, in the same manner even if not in the same degree.
TCC has posted another document to their website for survivors.
BSA Survivor Claims Subject to Roster SearchQuote
The BSA and the Local Councils are searching rosters of the Local Councils that are listed in a Survivor’s proof of claim for that Survivor’s name. If a Survivor listed a Local Council (or Councils) in Part4 (I) of the proof-of-claim form, that form is being sent to the Local Council(s) to determine whether the Survivor is listed on any of its rosters.
Click the link [...] for a list of claim numbers that the BSA has sent to the Local Councils. If your claim number is listed, the BSA and Local Councils are searching their rosters for the Survivor's name. The BSA and Local Councils have until May 19, 2021, to complete the roster searches.
If your claim number is not on the chart linked below, the BSA and Local Councils are NOT searching a roster for that particular Survivor. If you want the BSA and the applicable Local Council to search their rosters for a particular Survivor, you must amend your proof of claim to identify a Local Council in Part 4(I) of the form. Once the claim is amended, you must bring the amendment to the attention of the Official Tort Claimants’ Committee by sending an email to: BSASurvivors@pszjlaw.com. In that email, please identify the amended claim number(s) of each amended claim so that information can be communicated to BSA and the Local Councils. The BSA and Local Councils will have up to 60 days to complete the search and production after notice of the amended claim has been provided to them.
At first glance it doesn't seem there's much to learn beyond the chart of claim numbers by council that was shared back in March... although this is line-by-line by claim number, so it might be possible to discern some chronological pattern (or lack thereof). And it might be possible to cross-reference the list with court documents to discover the council, where a claim number was mentioned but the council was not mentioned or was mentioned and redacted.
But there are 54,298 claims matched to council in this list, which means there are still at least about 30,900 claims outstanding where the claimant did not specify a council and has not amended the claim to specify a council.
13 hours ago, skeptic said:
BSA is just the current easy target, and the "vultures" are already peering through their beady eyes at the other youth groups, once they finish with BSA.
I think I alluded to this above or in one of the other threads. Compare
to the following...
And in the information that the TCC shared at the March town hall, there were 402 claims with the YMCA as CO and 167 with Boys and Girls Club as CO.
(But I'm skeptical; I wonder whether those claims actually represent that a YMCA or B&GC chapter was the CO in each of those cases, or whether a unit was chartered by some other organization but the abuse took place while it visited YMCA, or whether the claimant is remembering abuse that took place elsewhere but responded to the BSA lawsuit advertisements and reported it in this case.
Has anyone on this forum ever been affiliated with, or otherwise dealt with, a unit that was chartered by YMCA or by Boys and Girls Clubs?)
- Popular Post
- Popular Post
So I did a bit of analysis of the abuse claims data that the TCC shared at the March town hall "for survivors". First of all a graph of abuse claims by year, linear scale. This may have been in one of the court filings already.
It looks like claims were growing exponentially until the lase '60s, and have been falling exponentially since the late '70s... well before the formal adoption of YPT as such.
Then I tried to compare number of victims to state population. Specifically, I compared against a blended fraction of the 1950, 1970 and 1990 censuses.
There are small deviations, but it looks like the abuse (or at least the likelihood to claim abuse today) is pretty uniform across the country. Here are the top states for claims-by-population...
State / Country Claims Claims per 100,000 Blended Population Utah 1018 87 New Mexico 754 69 Nevada 390 68 Alaska 205 64 New Hampshire 499 64 Arizona 1193 59 Oregon 1146 51 Idaho 397 51
Those should be a little higher because nearly 10% of claimants did not report a state where the abuse took place, and the real denominator for "new victims per year" should be something like 10 years, for the worst period of 1968-1978.
And lastly, I adjusted the top of the "Chartered Org" table to account for a few hundred claims that were obviously associated with one of the major religious denominations: Catholic for anything with "Catholic" or "RC" in its name, LDS for "Ward" or "Stake" or several misspellings of "Latter", "Methodist" for "UMC" or various misspellings, etc. Here's the adjusted table and graph.
Chartering / Sponsoring Organization Claims (raw) Claims (adjusted) (blank) * or N or DNK or BSA 48041 48144 METHODIST CHURCH 3443 3461 CATHOLIC CHURCH 2280 2832 BAPTIST CHURCH 2774 2790 LATTER‐DAY SAINTS 2236 2261 PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1470 1470 LUTHERAN CHURCH 1198 1198 EPISCOPAL CHURCH 503 503 US AIR FORCE * or other US Military 331 489 AMERICAN LEGION 431 431 YMCA 402 402 VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS 308 322 (all others) 19083 18197
It bears pointing out that roughly two-fifths of the claims did not identify a chartered organization. Another fifth are a hodgepodge of names that are probably churches, but can't definitively be assigned to a denomination based on name alone ("Saint So-and-So" could be Catholic, or Lutheran, or Episcopal, or possibly something else); fraternal organizations; generic "church" or "boy's club"; public schools; fire departments; other public agencies; and simple descriptions of a place ("the lodge in such-and-such park"). I suspect that a lot of those will in fact be a unit sponsored by a fraternal organization, church or unit-specific parent association, but not one that has anything to do with the name currently written.
(Or it could be the case that thousands of the claimants who disclose the "worst" abuse and yet don't know the chartered org, council or state are misremembering the connection to Boy Scouts. or even just making the claim up out of whole cloth. Perhaps if Century gets its depositions, or another party does some digging and shares their findings, we'll learn more.)
On 4/22/2021 at 2:29 PM, jr56 said:
So am I not understanding this? I have been told by the BSA, if you can believe [it], that [they] are very proactive in efforts to prevent child abuse, more [so] than other groups. Is this not true? What further things should be done?
If your question is "What should BSA do more than what they're doing today", I'll remind you that there's a separate thread for that.
If your question is "What could BSA have done differently?", here's a list of ideas that plaintiffs' lawyers have suggested, implied, or might agree with.
- Hired private investigators to randomly check on Scoutmasters and other leaders
- Taken out a full-page ad in the local paper warning people that so-and-so was no longer authorized to have anything to do with Scouting every time someone was added to the Ineligible Volunteer File
- Taken out a full-page ad in a national paper every year warning people to be vigilant and not to trust Scoutmasters
- Required every unit meeting place to prominently display a "wanted" poster with the names and photos of every ineligible volunteer who had ever served there
- Related to that, required fingerprints, a photo, and a DNA sample of every prospective volunteer
- (before the mid-80s, when a computer index was created for the IVF) Kept IVF entries indefinitely, instead of removing them when the IV reached age 70 or was known to be deceased
- Including a disclaimer, requiring a separate parent signature and thumbprint, on the boy registration form, in 15-point type: WARNING: THERE IS A RISK THAT BOYS WILL BE MOLESTED OR SOLICITED FOR PARTICIPATION IN INDECENT ACTIVITIES IN THIS YOUTH PROGRAM
- Instituting a zero-tolerance policy against allowing unregistered boys to "visit" activities
- Requiring troops and packs to make sure everyone viewed It Happened to Me, rather than just distributing the video
- Prohibiting one-on-one contact and requiring two-deep leadership earlier (1948 rather than 1988)
- Offering to pay for counseling for boys who had been molested (in 1972, rather than 2012)
- Introduced a toll-free reporting number earlier, and advertised it in both Scout and non-Scout publications
- Or simply shut the whole program down
I am skeptical how much any of those measures would have helped, and they could have opened Scouting up to huge liability in the other direction (libel suits, etc.) There's also only so much you can do when annual registration is $7.00 per boy (late '80s). But if the bankruptcy fails and the abuse claims go to trial against BSA, I'm sure plaintiffs' lawyers will argue that BSA "could have" done some of these things, or other similar things, and that it "would have" protected their clients or made their clients whole earlier.
On 4/21/2021 at 6:04 PM, CynicalScouter said:
[responding to @Eagle1993]
2) I think the idea with the new toggle plan is to [leave] the legal status of the LCs alone, estimate abuse claims based on a point system. That just leaves the question of the HA bases.
So people have been saying here that it might help move the case along if the Judge would rule on the legal status of the LCs. Still no stand-alone ruling on that question, but she did rule on the "Second Omnibus Objection" yesterday.
The following claims appear among those on the first page of Schedule 1 (page 5 of the PDF):
- Accounting Principals, Jacksonville, FL. Claim #2. $8000. ""Claim asserts amounts owed by Local Council Occoneechee Council, which is not a Debtor in these Chapter 11 cases."
- Albany Auto Service, Albany, GA. Claim #123. $913. "Claim asserts amounts owed by Local Council South Georgia Council, which is not a Debtor in these Chapter 11 cases."
- Ball Chain Mfg Co, Mount Vernon, NY. Claim #110. $889. "Claim asserts amounts owed by Local Council Hudson Valley Council, which is not a Debtor in these Chapter 11 cases."
- Fort Bend County, Houston, TX. Claim #5. $45. "According to the Debtor's books and records, Debtors have no liability on the asserted claim. The Debtors believe that liability, if any, belongs to Western Los Angeles County Council, which is a non-Debtor third party."
Another letter from a Scouter and parent has appeared on the docket...
The writer is a mother of two Eagle Scouts and volunteers regularly to help with Day Camp. She attaches the program from a district-wide Eagle recognition ceremony, with the words of 20 Eagle recipients from that year recounting their accomplishments and what they learned from Scouting.
Several of the Scouts lead off with the number of Merit Badges they earned or name-drop people they met or places they visited, but several report acts of service, generally their Eagle projects. All report learning and fun.
The first-listed Scout reports that he set his Scoutmaster's broken leg on a campout. Talk about training a boy to lead, and about a Scoutmaster not necessarily being perfect!
Chapter 11 announced - Part 3 - BSA's Toggle Plan
in Issues & Politics
Posted · Edited by DavidLeeLambert
You might be getting some numbers mixed up. $425 million is just the most-recent Local Council contribution. That's $5,150 per claimant (using the latest figure of timely non-duplicate claims I've seen), or $4,950 per claimant (using the figure from back in February).
The $6,000 per claimant that's been tossed around is, I believe, from the BSA plus Local Council contributions back in the Second Amended plan, filed March 1st. (@MYCVAStory , feel free to correct me if the $6,000 was just the TCC's estimate of the artwork, oil-and-gas leases, and cash.) Assuming the BSA portion hasn't changed, the BSA plus Local Council portion is now about $7750 per claimant, in the Global Resolution option of the Third Amended plan. But if the debtors and committees are burning $10 million a month in legal fees, that's $120 less per month per claimant.