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Eagle Award Recinded

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NJCubscouter said"I would hope that what National would actually do is allow a boy to give his side of the story before taking any action, but I will readily admit that I do not know that for certain, since I am not familiar with this aspect of BSA procedure. Logic would suggest that more than a phone call from someone claiming to be a victim, or a victim's relative, when there is no public record of an offense, would be necessary for this type of action".


Actually, there is no logic in at all - boys and adults have had their memberships revoked in the BSA based on allegations and accusations by disgruntled parents and leaders, when there is no evidence to support it. (and I am NOT referring to any gay or aethist issues here). If a leader or parent has an axe to grind about a boy or another leader and is able to get the Scout Executive on their side (with or without any evidence proving the allegation), the letter "revoking membership in the BSA" is issued.


A boy or leader is permitted to give their side of the story during the appeal process providiing he can find out what the allegations are so he can defend himself. This is made extremely difficult because most Scout Executives will NOT give them the information as to WHY they had their membership revoked. They give the generic "you know what you did" and will not give anything out even to the accused so they can defend themselves. Outside of a police investigation, court case or Social Services investigative report, the scout executives have really nothing to base their explusions on, except rumor and innuendo. I would think that if my name was in an investigative report, I would expect to see a copy of it and see what I was accused of. If there is no report/investigation, on what do they base their decision (allegations by disgruntled parents/leaders)?


People can and do this kind of stuff in scouting. I never thought I would see this, until I got out of the fray of pack and troop leadership and became a commissioner. Tenure in boy scouts (whether the kid becomes an eagle or not) is a pretty big deal for some parents - it is becoming a career builder for some kids (college admissions, job placements). Other people know that they can destroy a kid's and his parent's aspirations very easily by throwing a wrench (or an allegation) into the scout's record. A scout leader's reputation and self-respect can be destroyed very easily by a disgruntled parent.


Sometimes the rumors are like a game of telephone - it may start innocently enough, but laundered by gossip - something innocuous can become very serious indeed.



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Thank you, and yes, a phone call has already been placed. The last scoutmaster is mediating with national. But as stated by many in this forum, it happens all the time for no reason and one would suspect it will continue to happen to the unsuspecting or to those whose donation to BSA is not as great as Joe Blow next door.


Interesting that so many have similar stories to tell. How do the Boy Scouts manage to keep this stuff quiet?

Don't we call this discrimmination?


It is realistic that BSA will decide and that's that.



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Of this I am guilty:


I dislike the homosexual lifestyle. (They live in a very dark world, which is consumed by their so-called sexuality. On average, the homosexual has dozens of partners. Few of them find happiness. Their suicide rate is high.)


I dislike what they do. (They are driven by their sexual desires. They debase themselves and others in a futile effort to find companionship.)


I dislike their politics. (They defend their practices knowing full well how sick they truly are. They try to force everyone to accept their lifestyle and viciously assail those who oppose their agenda.)


However, contrary to your allegation, I do not thoughtlessly approve of anything "that constitutes an attack on a gay person." That is what I call a "liberal smear". Very typical your indignation was predictably pious.


I simply support policies and laws that treat homosexuality for what it is - a sexual perversion. So, for example, while I support laws against thievery, I do not want to see the poor attacked. I have sympathy for the poor and their plight. Similarly, I pray that all homosexuals seek out and find compassionate, trained counselors. Unfortunately, it appears most will not. Even if theyre strong enough to fight off their own denials and come to grips with their ugly and sinful lifestyle, they still have huge, almost insurmountable hurdles such as homosexual activists who harass them as traitors and/or bait them back into the fold via their mutual yet depraved desires; Or worst of all, heterosexual liberals who flock to their side in a self-exalting attempt to convince them that they are not sick, just victims of Christian conservatives. Their struggle is truly horrific, the likes of which, few outside their world can appreciate. Meanwhile many banally contribute to their downfall. Its very sad. I would never condone attacks, but nor do I condone the behavior. They need help.

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"How do the Boy Scouts manage to keep this stuff quiet?"


All organizations have an inner circle and most even have a secret circle that controls the inner circle. Unless you a part of the inner circle or are close to it, you may never have any idea of what goes on in your organization other than what you read in the paper.


You may think that the transition from past-Chairman A to new-Chairman B was smooth because all reports were of "cooperation." Quite often the inner circle knows of the fights, sabotage, and vandalism that goes on.


Is this a good thing? Yes and no. If the real goings on in an organization were made public, many would head for the door. The bad part is that when it comes to light, many are shocked and outraged at the clandestine behavior.



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The more I hear about how BSA goes about the occasional revocation of membership, the more disturbed I am. If BSA is so valuable and important to the youth of the community, and the adult volunteers who make the program work, then it would seem to me that anybody who is falsely accused and denied even the minimal information about the allegations would have a basis for litigation. I find it hard to imagine that any organization that promotes the ideals that scouting promotes would deal with people in what appears to be a very shabby manner.

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One would run for the door. One would run for the news reporter,

Ont would think better of people who are running this organization, that is what makes ones' disapointment even greater when the facts are spilled.


FOG - you refer to inner circle, some of us call it secret combination. One would think they would not want to participate in this hypocritcal organization.

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NJCubScouter, by now you probably know I agree with you on the issue of gay membership and the associated questions of morality. I also agree with your earlier wish for more clarity in this case. There is always a finite probability that we have not been presented with all the evidence.


If one assumes the rendition given by CRANEACE is reasonably complete, then I sympathize with sentiments, such as that by Eisely, that some sort of consistent due process is needed. That is, due process is needed rather than a hidden, secret, possibly prejudiced decision by a small group of men in a process to which we have no access (Rooster's kangaroo court). An alternative view would be that there is also no evidence that such due process DIDN'T occur. Absent such evidence one way or the other, we are all left to our opinions and prejudices and no-one outside Fat Old Guy's inner circle (around here we call it the 'good old boy system') really knows the basis for the decision.


However, on many occasions in this forum it has been made clear to me that with regard to other sensitive decisions: BSA needs no such due process, BSA needs to supply no rationale, BSA needs to explain to no-one. Do I like this? No. Do I accept it? Answer: I want to continue to be an adult leader and I feel it necessary to keep my opinion publicly 'in the closet' to avoid similar treatment.


If the rendition given by CRANEACE is reasonably complete, then I say that...BSA just MIGHT be, at least in a way, consistent.

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Due process -- maybe it did happen?

In one day from the hours of 10 am and 2 pm, to make this decision, could that really be due process?


Too bad the BSA has to be "consistantly negative."

or consitantly vague, or consistantly harsh.

From what I have heard about other situations here today,

I see that this scout is not the only one and because it happens all the time and thus is acceptable, it is even worse.

BSA officials should hold themselves to the high standards expected of boys.


Its also too bad that a leader cannot stand up and call the kettle black . . . obviously you do not agree with the BSA, but want to be a leader for them . . . why I ask . . . .what good are you doing as a leader by not expressing your disagreement. A leader, I think, should be willing to speak out and make changes. . . . Reform!

Yes, that fear of the same treatment . . . how sad . . . what ever happened to Freedom of Speech? A good leader under those conditions will eventually quit because he cannot continue knowing some of these practices are just plane wrong.


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Although I appreciate you frustration over this situation you are lashing out at the wrong people. The answers you want will not be found on an internet board. You bring us one view of a complex story and only some info at that. In addition the problem is years old and perhaps the story has evolved with the passage of time.


The BSA's own training material sites sexual contact of adolescent children relatively the same age as often experimentation and rarely abuse.


The scouts family was told that his membership was revoked and then they appealled to District officials? What is the point of going to district if the national office revoked membership. You don't go to traffic court to overturn the Supreme Court. Who did the family consider to be District oficials? The District Executive would not give the advice they received.


As Dave Steele pointed out this is tragic for all involved but you have to expect that the BSA will do what is best for the perceived protection of youth. I have given you the address to give to the family. I would suggest they hire a lawyer to draft a clear letter of the important factors. Presented in a way that the lawyer feels would get the greatest attention. Then be willing to accept the decision of the BSA.


Bob White

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Bob White, CRANEACE is welcome to lash out against me verbally if he wishes. I am not certain that he has presented this issue to the forum solely for the purpose of identifying a solution. But to me his motives are less important than the situation he has described. I think you and Dsteele offer good advice.

It is my opinion that a good leader does not quit, especially if he judges more to be gained by continuing the work. In the case posed here, I am left with a strong impression that we have incomplete information and any of our opinions could easily be in error.

CRANEACE and I share the sense that BSA has a different view of "freedom of speech". I do indeed feel that BSA will punish a member who speaks out publicly in opposition to their policy. We have discussed this ad nauseum in past threads.

But it IS my opinion that public opposition to BSA policy has an associated risk. I try to be proactive and offer guidance to my boys to help them avoid risky situations of all sorts in life. So far, so good. I also have a really great bunch of guys.

I consider true success to include avoidance of needless conflict as well as conflict resolutions that avoid damage to the parties involved, not merely winning a fight that damages all parties. Also not running from such conflict if no better resolution exists.

Therefore please rest assured, CRANEACE, that at such time that I choose to take that risk, it will be for a boy that I know and for a situation for which I am very knowledgeable. If such occasion arises and other means of resolution are exhausted, I will defend that boy without hesitation, without regard for my status in BSA, and without regard for any other adult or organization. It will be for that boy and, if necessary, for nothing else. I wish you well.

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  • 2 months later...

Dear friends,


I have read through this thread, and believe with 36 years in Scouting and 20 years as a professional, that I must challenge a couple of statements made by one or more of the previous folks.


One is that rarely do any of us know all of the facts of a situation. If a council Scout executive becomes aware of some facts (or at least corroborated statements) warranting membership revocation, he/she may remove a member on behalf of the National Council. There is a detailed pamphlet called "Procedures for Maintaining Standards of Leadership" which has been in use for over 20 years, and has been carefully edited to cover most serious situations. Quite a bit of written documentation is required when the National Council removes an individual from the BSA.


In order to protect people from retribution, the executive does not normally disclose all information to aggrevied parties, and to my knowledge, aggrevied parties have no legal right to "all the information". Membership is a privilege, not a legal right.


However, an individual has the right to a review of the decision by three impartial regional volunteers (none of whom are part of the affected council), who review all of the documentation submitted by the Scout executive to the National Council. If there is any reasonable doubt as to the facts, the committee may interview any party to the facts to determine what the truth is.


If a Scout executive acted too hastily, or in error, or before relevant facts later became known, the regional committee has in some instances restored the individual to membership. This has happened several times, although in the great majority of cases, the regional committee sustains the judgement of the council Scout executive.


The other thing that needs to be said is that there is no official "removal for life" (although for serious pedophiles, that is practically the effect). People who have changed over time and demonstrated improvement in character have been reinstated.

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Thank you for your comments, it's been a while since this board has been active. I especially thank you for your comment indicating that there is no official statement on membership being "removed for life". As you read, the case with this young man is too often the case with others.


In this case, however, no documentation was ever supplied to ANY scout officials, scoutmaster, committee chair, scout exec, regional or national appeal boards. No ducumentation ever was supplied, because it does not exist. This is a case of hastly "judgement" as you well put it. I feel sorry for the fact that this young man, who earned his rank through challenge and hardship, was treated so poorly by people who are supposed to be teaching the great values set forth in the Scout Oath.


However, on a positive note, and referring back to the "foreverness" of the removal of membership, this young man will someday inevitably be asked to be a leader in his son's troop (when that time arrives) and showing his credentials -- merit badges earned, rank, signed scout book, etc., and the hundreds of hours of good works he has done in the interim -- who in their right mind would deny him membership? That is, if the Boy Scouts of America prevail as an organization.


I refer back to Fatold guy describing many of his "dates" as having committed the same offense as this young man, and wonder silently -- how many of these who have passed harsh judgement have indeed done the same thing? It's a dirty rotten shame that a handful of people -- leaders included -- have a need to mar the successes of those a little weaker than themselves and in so doing discredit the organization they respresent.



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