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It appears that some people have done what has often been suggested in this forum, namely start their own youth organization. Anybody hear of this group?


This comes from a web site operated by "Concerned Women for America," a conservative group.




Wiccans Press on With Scouting Alternative


Meanwhile, a Seattle-based Wiccan group, denied recognition by the Boy Scouts, is promoting its own youth organization, the SpiralScouts, according to www.CNSNEWS.com. The group accommodates children ages 4 and up, and includes pagans, Wiccans, homosexuals and atheists.



The Scouts declined a bid by the Wiccans to incorporate their symbols and beliefs into Scout materials, and also rejected a Wiccan badge that was designed by a Wiccan priestess.



Pete "Pathfinder" Davis, archpriest at the Wiccan Aquarian Tabernacle Church, who founded the SpiralScouts in 1999, told CNSNEWS.com that 50 SpiralScouts units operate in the United States, Canada and Switzerland.



Scouts spokesman Gregg Shields said that unlike the National Catholic Council on Scouting and the National Jewish Committee on Scouting, the Wiccans have no national organization.



He said, however, that any Wiccan group that would like to charter a troop could submit an application to the local Boy Scout council.



The SpiralScouts' handbook says that the group provides "an unmistakable impact on Pagan children growing up in this era of Christian extreme-right domination of our culture," said CNSNEWS.com.


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1 Cor. 10:19-22 "Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons."




It is fitting that they should have their own group.

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They have a website. If you look on THIS website for other Scouting organizations you will find it.


By the way, Pagan means non-Christian, it does NOT mean devil/demon worshipping. They don't believe in the devil, many believe in more than one god/goddess.



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Non-Christian is just one definition of pagan. Most people recognize this definition - one of a people or community observing a polytheistic religion - or - an irreligious or hedonistic person. Per the Christian faith, regardless whether or not the intent is to worship demons, pagans' accomplish this end when they offer sacrifices to idols. Not that I want to see Wiccans in BSA, but I thought they were allowed. If I'm wrong, I'll be happy to make this discovery.

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Pagans do not necessarily offer sacrifices to idols. They just don't worship the Christian God.


Now, to some just not worshipping the Christian God

is doing what the devil wants.


I thought they were welcome as well, but I think BSA will not approve a religious symbol from them. Also, for many BSA does not teach some of the things they value. You may not agree with them but you gotta respect them for starting their own group and not trying to change BSA. Right?


Their website



I'm surprised they are getting away with using the word "Scout". I thought Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts charters gave them exclusive use of "scouts" in group names.


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"The name of the corporation created by this chapter shall be ''Boy Scouts of America'', and by that name it shall have perpetual succession, with power to sue and be sued in courts of law



I would expect that being able to sue for use of the single word "Scout" would be like Toy'R'Us taking someone to court for use of the word Toys. And since the GSUSA has its own charter, there'd be precedent for permitted infringement anyway.


Since Spiral is not a gender word, I think they have fairly solid grounds. Even "Youth" might be challenged on the basis of the age thing - Boys and Girls are Youth. By choosing a word w/out any such tie-ins, it would seem as tho' they've got themselves covered.

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The provision of BSA's Congressional Charter regarding exclusive use of the "name" is as follows:


27. Exclusive right to emblems, badges, marks, and words or phrases.


The corporation shall have the sole and exclusive right to have and to use, in carrying out its purposes, all emblems and badges, descriptive or designating marks, and words or phrases now or heretofore used by the Boy Scouts of America in carrying out its program, it being distinctly and definitely understood, however, that nothing in this chapter shall interfere or conflict with established or vested rights.


Taken literally, this provision would prevent others from using the word "Scouts" since it is a "word" in use by the BSA "in carrying out its program." I strongly suspect that the GSUSA Charter (adopted around the same time) contains a similar if not identical provision. So who gets to use the word "Scouts"? Obviously, both; even if the language above includes the word "Scouts," that last little clause at the end about established rights protects the BSA and GSUSA from each other and allows both to use the word "Scouts."


I read somewhere that, early in its history, there were a number of other youth organizations using the word "Scouts," and the BSA went to court to stop them. While the BSA was ultimately successful in this campaign, I am not sure whether there were ever any actual published court decisions addressing this issue. I believe that at least some of the suits were "settled" by the other organizations being folded into the BSA.


The SpiralScouts has existed for several years. I first became aware of them about 2 years ago on an America Online Scouting board. I have to assume that the BSA is aware of their existence. However, I have heard nothing about the BSA suing. I can think of several possible reasons for this.


1: Over the years, courts have become less receptive to the trademarking of "common words," of which "scout(s)" is one. (This is why so many businesses or products have names that are made-up words or are spelled a bit differently than the English words they are patterned on.) In other words, BSA's lawyers may be concerned that if they go to court, they may not win.


2: The main "official" reason for trademark laws is to prevent "consumer confusion." Once someone has done what is necessary to qualify for a trademark on a word or symbol, they are protected from other firms "stealing away" their customers by confusing them as to who is who. (The real reason behind many trademark infringement suits is to prevent competition, but this is not a governmentally endorsed objective.) I suspect that the BSA is not very worried about people thinking that the SpiralScouts are the Boy Scouts. I just looked at their web site, and SpiralScouts has about 30 units nationwide, their terminology is different, and their uniform... my oh my, take a look at that uniform. I can just imagine trying to get my son to wear that. On the other hand, he is not a Wiccan. His older sister says she is, but that is another subject.


3: The BSA may be worried about negative publicity if they are seen as "picking on" a tiny little group that has no chance whatsoever of posing a threat to the BSA's nationwide predominance as a youth organization. 4: It may of course be that there has been a lawsuit and I don't know about. But I would have to think that some news organization would pick up such a thing and that there would be nationwide publicity.


I suspect that the reason for no lawsuit is a combination of reasons 3, 1 and 2, in that order of priority. That is just my guess.

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I just looked at the SpiralScouts uniforms again, it has been awhile.




The uniform I was talking about is the "dress uniform," with the robe or whatever that thing is. The "activity uniform" is just a forest green shirt with khaki pants, the parts of which are of course similar to what the BSA has used, but I do not think the BSA has ever used that specific combination in the same uniform. I may be wrong about that. In any event, the huge "SpiralScouts" patch, and lack of any other insignia, would seem sufficient to prevent any major confusion. There does not seem to be a neckerchief with the activity uniform, and that rope thing on the dress uniform looks pretty unique -- though of course if the boy had it over his shoulder instead of around his neck, and it was a different color, it would look like a den chief's cord.

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Well RobK, that is an interesting article. It suggests to me that perhaps the BSA does NOT assert a monopoly on the use of the word "Scout(s)" in connection with a youth group -- only the term "Boy Scouts." In that case, the SpiralScouts would not have a problem using that name. As I said before, the likelihood of "confusion" does not seem very high. (On the other hand, if using "Scouts" was a problem, who would get to sue, the BSA or the GSUSA? Or both? Apparently the SpiralScouts admits both boys and girls.)

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I don't know why I bother to say things like this, but:


ScoutParent, isn't that Biblical quotation relevant only to those people who believe that the Bible is the word of God? Why would it make a difference to the rest of us? And more importantly, it would not influence the policy of the BSA.


And besides, Wiccans do not believe in "demons." They are not "Satanists." I don't feel qualified to explain exactly what they do believe, in response to mk. My daughter claims to be a Wiccan, but when I ask her what she actually believes, she says "Dad, stop making fun of me!" She's a teenager, what can I say? (Maybe it's the fact that I always feel compelled to toss the word "witch" into the conversation. I'm not just a smarta** on the Internet, I'm one in real life, too.)


Anyway, I'm fine with Wiccans being in the BSA, and I think the BSA is fine with it too. It's also fine if they want to have their own Scouting organization, if that better serves their needs. I understand why some of them feel the BSA cannot.(This message has been edited by NJCubScouter)

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MK, Wiccan is a pagan religion, believing in Gods and Goddesses, nature based religion. Wiccan is a very loose term for many different beliefs and practices. The main thing is their first rule is to do no harm.


This page will give you some more information, definitions and links.



If you search around on the web you will find many pages about it and I'm sure many articles about the "evils" of such. From what I understand many females are drawn to this because they feel uncomfortable with the patriacharial system of Christianity.


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I didn't have parents dragging me to church every Sunday. I have chosen to be a Christian, my sister has chosen to be a Pagan. My brother doesn't discuss it, possible with no beliefs at all. Guess what? We are all very productive members of society, provide for our families, etc.

I can think of much worse things than for my son to become a Pagan. I'd put my sister's behaviors up against any Christian's any day of the week.


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