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Perhaps our overseas brothers are concerned because they see the BSA straying from what they see as the correct intent and philosophy of Scouting today?


"The BSA feels strongly that their values are paramount to their success."

I'm afraid that I took a little more pragmatic view of things, in this case that BSA feels strongly that whatever grows their membership and keeps funds rolling in is paramount to their success.


Just think, for example, if the urban legend is actually true that the LDS members threatened to take their 400,000 members and leave if BSA didn't take a more conservative stand on religiously-based issues, and pretend for a moment that the BSA national leadership at the time had had the gall or courage or whatever to call their bluff. Had they left, BSA would have either folded or looked to open their tent to membership. Given the amount of money involved, does anyone really think the organization would have been allowed to fold? I expect not.

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Fishsqueezer writes:


I read through the complaint and the opposition case really is the stronger one. The BSA demonstrated its rights more than did "youthscouts".


Try to imagine my surprise at your reaction! :-/


My message is directed to those who belong to congregations or secular organizations that can not in good conscious sponsor a BSA Troop because of the BSA's "faith-based" agenda. Rather than dismissing Scouting or seeking to change the BSA, they should establish alternative Scouting associations and work toward expanding the Congressional Charter to provide for inclusive Scouting associations.


So if all those dictionaries say the common noun usage of scout is Boy Scout and Girl Scout then that fairly well establishes the fact.


Just the opposite. For instance Merriam-Webster defines "Scout" as "a member of any of various scouting movements," of which the BSA is an example.


If "Boy" and "America" were the common usage to recognize the Boy Scouts of American then you would probably be correct. However, they are not used that way. Only Scouts and Scouting are used that way therefore they are the common usage. Your reasoning concerning common usage is quite the stretch.


Your reasoning is circular.


Why do all these groups wish to use scout in their name when there are many other options available? Why wouldn't pioneer, pathfinder, woodswalker, campers, trackers, hikers, seekers or mountaineers work?


Because everywhere in the English-speaking world, "Scouting" refers to the game developed by Baden-Powell. Why should the AFC be forced to invent a new word for "football" just because the NFL used "football" in their trademark first?


It is interesting to note that the Seventh-day Adventist Church does not have exclusive rights to the term "Pathfinders," nor do the "Royal Rangers" have exclusive rights to the word "Rangers." This is because, just like the generic word "Scouting," these terms were in common use before their groups were formed.


The reason is name recognition.


1) The term had name recognition before the BSA was formed; 2) it continues to have name recognition in other countries; 3) the term "Scout" is used by the Girl Scouts despite the BSA's efforts in 1924 to keep them from using it which suggests that it is the Congressional Charter that allows the GSUSA to use the term, and not common trademark laws as you insist.


Where does that name recognition come from? Common usage would say Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.


Circular reasoning again. And note that you are now include the Girl Scouts, which contradicts your assertion that the BSA has exclusive rights to the generic term "Scouts."


As the Youthscouts note:


"25. Youth groups currently exist and have existed in the United States and abroad, not control by Opposer [bSA], that use the word 'Scout' in their names."




So, instead of trying to establish their own reputation, they try to leverage their name using the Boy Scout name that is more commonly recognized.


They same thing could be said about Edgar M. Robinson (Senior Secretary of the YMCA's "Committee on Boys' Work"), and J. A. Van Dis (Boy's Work Secretary of the State YMCA of Michigan), who approached William D. Boyce on May 3rd, 1910 to suggest their cooperation in building a national monopoly of Scouting in the United States. They sought to "leverage" their conservative Christian agenda by using the already commonly recognized term "Boy Scout," and in fact succeeded in adding elements such as "morally straight" to their Boy Scout Promise, "Reverent" to their Scout Laws, and a religious test for membership which required the acknowledgment that people who do not believe that "God" runs the universe and putters around in their personal lives are not good citizens.


As far as not having TM next to the words, why are Boy Scouts of American held to a different standard than any other business? I popped onto a number of commercial web sites and none had TM next to their name or abbreviation of their name.


Evidently this has to do with using the terms generically:


"44. The Opposer [bSA] has used the terms "SCOUTS" and "SCOUTING" generically in formal legal documents filed with the USPTO and readily available to the public. Examples are attached as Exhibit B.


"45. The Opposer has used the terms "SCOUTS" and "SCOUTING" generically on its website and in a manner that fails to reasonable apprise third parties of a claim of trademark rights. Examples are attached as Exhibit C."




I also noted something else in the legal papers. You have been wont to mention that "special act of congress" concerning the Boy Scouts of America. Your implication is that it was just for the boy scouts. You fail to mention that it also deals with the Red Cross, DAR, American Historical Society, DAV, Marine Corps League, Civil Air Patrol, and many more - even the Military Chaplains Association (egad a religious organization). Why the implication that this was "special legislation"? Ulterior motive?


I would be happy to reply to your personal attack, Fishsqueezer, but I don't understand exactly what you are trying to imply by "ulterior motive."


The "special rights" that the BSA claims under their Congressional Charter is a monopoly on terms such as "Scouts," "Scouting," and universal international symbols such as the fleur de lys. If the Red Cross refused to provide blood and life-saving services to girls, or refused blood and life-saving services to boys whose parents will not sign a statement of religious belief, then some citizens would awaken from their slumber and demand that the Red Cross share any special rights bestowed upon it by Congress with an organization that provides these services to the children that the Red Cross discriminates against, just as the BSA is forced to share the terms "Scouts" and "Scouting" with the Girl Scouts.


Those who oppose the BSA's polices should build alternative Scouting associations!


"41. Neither Opposer nor the Girl Scouts of America were granted an exclusive right to use the term "SCOUTS" or "SCOUTING" by Congress, and no permissible reading of these Acts of Congress could reasonable be construed to vest either party with exclusive rights to use such terms for scouting program, since that would make the provisions of law inconsistent and in conflict."




I'm still not sure why you have so much concern for us and our choices here when you already have so much choice in England. It is heartening to know that the Continent still cares (or at least a part of it) for the opportunities our children have. Perhaps we will one day have the opportunity to return your concern and provide guidance to one of your scouting organizations.


That is merely a nationalistic personal attack based on your puzzling assumption that I am not an American member of the BSA.






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"The humble, meek, merciful, just, pious, and devout souls are everywhere of one religion; and when death has taken off the mask they will know one another, though the diverse liveries they wear here make them strangers."


= William Penn =

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My apologies for you feeling personally attacked. I'm not exactly sure how my asking "why" questions would be construed as a personal attack though. I merely asked why you presented the "special congressional action" the way you did and why you are so concerned that America gets the same diversity of scouting organizations that you enjoy. I was merely seeking information about why you do or say what you do. If you feel that is a personal attack, then I guess I will have to refrain from asking you questions or seeking information.


Actually I believe you are incorrect to assert that everywhere in the English speaking world that scouting refers to the B-P game (do you have data to back that up? - no insult intended). If a poll were taken I suspect 95+% would have never heard of Baden-Powell or his scouting game. At least 80% would associate it with Boy Scouts. I'm not aware of any poll that has been done. That is merely presented from my personal experiences and, were I a wagering man, I suspect it is an accurate observation. Maybe those in your area are much more enlightened. If you noted a recent MSN poll, Americans knew more about the Simpson's and American Idol than they did about their own Constitution. Their knowledge of the history of scouting would be way below that.


Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts were chartered in the same "special congressional action". No problem for them both to use scouts. Personal opinion.


A circular argument is one the premise depends on the truth of the matter in question. An example: A scout always speaks the truth. A scout is speaking. Therefore the scout is telling the truth. While they are logical, they do nothing to establish the truthfulness of the statement. I made no such argument. I stated clearly that the common usage of scouting is to refer to the Boy Scouts of America. I don't need to create a straw man to shoot down.


You almost said something I agree with when you stated: "Rather than dismissing Scouting or seeking to change the BSA, they should establish alternative Scouting associations ". Had you said alternative associations and left out scouting, I would have wholeheartedly agreed. Instead of creating their own identity they wish to leverage that of an existing one, hence the difficulty.


Based on your information and previous posts I was under the assumption that you were in England and were not a member of BSA since you seem to despise the organization and their archaic religious beliefs and all. My apologies if I was wrong. I would ask if you are a member but that might be construed as a personal attack ;-)


Ditto the cheers



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Fishsqueezer writes:


If you feel that is a personal attack, then I guess I will have to refrain from asking you questions or seeking information.


It is always in bad form to speculate on someone's motives in Internet discussion groups, or to suggest that someone's status should prevent them from expressing an opinion on a subject that is open to general discussion. I don't see how that prevents you from openly asking a question that is relevant to the topic, or spinning off a new topic if your question is not relevant.


Actually I believe you are incorrect to assert that everywhere in the English speaking world that scouting refers to the B-P game.... If a poll were taken I suspect 95+% would have never heard of Baden-Powell or his scouting game.


You may be correct about Baden-Powell. I once spent an afternoon on the phone with BSA HQ in Irving Texas trying to track down the author of the BSA training publication that I believe was the first to mistakenly attribute the quote "Scouting is a Game with a Purpose" to Baden-Powell. I was surprised to find out that the BSA professional in charge of BSA manuscripts did not know who Baden-Powell was!


I am suggesting that in the rest of the English-speaking world, the word "Scouting" conjures up an image of a kid with a neckerchief camping or helping a little old lady to cross the street. This generic image of Scouting in other countries can be more accurately be described as the game invented by Baden-Powell than as the corporate product of the BSA.


At least 80% would associate it with Boy Scouts.


No, because you define "Boy Scouts" as the BSA. 80% of the world outside of the United States certainly does not think of the BSA when it uses the term "Boy Scouts."


Most Americans probably associate the term "software" with Microsoft, but that does not give Microsoft exclusive rights to the term "software" even though the word "soft" is part of their trademark.


It should be noted that the term "Boy Scout" is not likely to be much of an issue when allowing new Scouting associations in the United States because they are likely to be open to both boys and girls. That is why in the rest of the Western world most Scouting associations have changed their name from one based on the term "Boy Scouts" to a new name based on the term "Scouts."


Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts were chartered in the same "special congressional action". No problem for them both to use scouts. Personal opinion.


They were different Congressional Charters, according to the Youthscouts. I am going to spin their interesting version of this history off to the Scouting History forum, where our resident historians are more likely to comment on the accuracy of the Youthscouts' claims.




A circular argument is one the premise depends on the truth of the matter in question.


OK, how would you characterize the following argument: The first company to use a common word in its trademark owns that word. The BSA uses the word Scouts in its trademark. Therefore the BSA owns the word "Scouts."


At any rate, Scouting is a game and if your "first dibs" assertion were true, then every team or league that plays any game would have to invent a new word for that game. The NFL was trademarked before the AFC, but that does not prohibit the AFC from using the word "football."





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Bad form to speculate on someones motives? I'm sorry, but to fully understand ones position it requires an understanding of where they are coming from. Is it bad form for a Democrat to try to understand the basis of a Republican position? How is it possible for you to sway my opinion if there is always the question in my mind of why you want to sway it?


I will try the common usage thing once more. The common usage of football is the game - not a league. When someone says football they think of the game - not the NFL or AFC. The NFL is not football, it is a league of professional players. The AFC is not football, it is a conference within the NFL. The game is football.


In the United States, when someone says scouts they think of BSA, not Baden-Powell Scouts or Youthscouts or the British Boy Scouts. Scouts is Boy Scouts of America. Boy is not boy scouts, it is a young man. The common usage of boy is to identify a young male human. America is not boy scouts, that is the country where the organization is located. The common usage of America is to identify the United States of America. In other countries scout may be commonly used to describe youth organizations. The case we are discussing is in the USA, therefore it is the common usage in the USA that is relevant.


I don't believe I suggested that you could not or should not provide your opinion. The whole purpose of this board is to share opinions and ideas. What I did do was wonder aloud (or technically wonder in print) why you weigh in so heavily against the BSA when I presumed you were not directly involved with BSA. Generally people don't get that vehemently involved unless they have a personal stake in the fight. Again, I was seeking information as to the basis of your position not trying to shut you out.


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I believe Kudu actually resides in Texas. Read enough of his opinions and you will find he believes the Tim Jeal book on B-P is the definitive work. Most Scouters I know have little respect for the book, partly because of Jeal's assertion that B-P was a homosexual. From my viewpoint, Kudu approaches B-P history as did Jeal - trying to dig up dirt and focus on the negative, in order to be "enlightened." They see the rest of us as simpletons who only believe the "myths" of his legend.

I personally get a real kick out of how B-P was convinced by the USA and others to lie for them. Kudu mentions B-P reinventing history here, "So B-P was forced under oath to invent a backstory for Scouting to aid the BSA against Seton and the American branch of the British Boy Scouts before he lost control of Scouting as a world-movement..."

I also enjoy the lie B-P has apparently told about the Wood Badge beads. Kudu writes that B-P took the beads off a dead little girl and that they did not belong to Denizulu. Yet, we see actual photos of Denizulu wearing the beads. Denizulu's ancestors appear to think they were his beads, but Kudu knows they weren't. I'm waiting for Kudu's book, The Baden-Powell Code. I just wonder if he will label it a novel, as did Dan Brown

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BrentAllen: Funny, I don't see Kudu trying to bring down B-P at all. Jeal's book certainly has some provocative thoughts in it, but to say he asserts that B-P was homosexual is a little oversimplistic. Anyone who reads anything about B-P beyond Bill Hillcourt's book must conclude that he was an odd duck in many ways and his sexual side was somewhat puzzling. In any case, Jeal does not assert that his behavior was homosexual.


B-P was an ordinary human being, not a god. I don't know what Kudu thinks about him and haven't read everything he's said about B-P. Jeal's book has held up pretty well, as far as I know. Unlike some other B-P bashing books, I don't think he has been directly contradicted in any significant respect.

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In my copy of Scouting for Boys, Elleke Boehmer discusses homosexuality as a buried discourse in the book, in her introduction. She footnotes Jeal's book on this subject, stating, "...and Tim Jeal's psychosexual reconsideration to the extent of becoming virtually a cliche' of the history of Scouting."


Check out the reader reviews on Amazon. A Steven Crumbaugh (Chicago, IL USA), while giving the book 4 stars, writes "The thing that put me off was Jeal's amateur psycho-analysis of the inner "Stephe". This permeates the book and distracts from the narrative. Perhaps in reaction to the slanderous assertions of other biographers, Jeal asserts that BP was a repressed homosexual. I found most of his arguments unpersuasive and reject this suggestion. He also implied that many Guide leaders were lesbians. Since his evidence of this was sketchy at best, I found it distracting."

It appears I am not the only one with this opinion.

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Fishsqueezer writes:


In the United States, when someone says scouts they think of BSA, not Baden-Powell Scouts or Youthscouts or the British Boy Scouts. Scouts is Boy Scouts of America.


Yes, we agree on that. The inability to envision freedom of choice is the sign of a very successful monopoly.


Before Martin Luther, when most Europeans said "church" they thought of the Roman Catholic Church. "Church" was the Roman Catholic Church.


In the United States, Scouting is run by a self-described "religious organization" which imposes what it calls "faith-based" values (similar to the "faith-based" political values of the radical Christian-right). Namely what it terms the "obligation" to recognize "God" as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings to be necessary for the best type of citizenship, along with other Republican "get out the vote" discrimination policies now associated with the phrase "faith-based values".


So I hope that in the years to come, experienced moderate Scouters will leave the convenience of the BSA to help their congregations pioneer new Scouting associations more in keeping with their own values, just as the Puritan dissenters (who decided that the Church of England was beyond reform) left home to settle in New England.


The case we are discussing is in the USA, therefore it is the common usage in the USA that is relevant.


I just do not see the point that you are trying to make as to the relevancy of the fact that everyone in the United States associates "Scouting" with the monopoly Scouting association. "Common usage" can only establish that a term is already in the public domain and can not therefore be trademarked as a single word. "Football," for instance.


The term "Scouting" was in common use long before the BSA was invented. According to the BSA's own official history, soon after the publication of Scouting for Boys, Boy Scout Troops began to spring up all over the United States. Local churches, military schools, and other youth organizations such as the YMCA often sponsored them. Some of these sponsoring organizations had further aspirations of forming national Scouting movements, and by 1910 these included the publisher William R. Hearst's "American Boy Scout" (later the "United States Boy Scout"); the National Highway Protection Association's "Boy Scouts of the United States;" "The Peace Scouts of California;" the "National Scouts of America," formed by a military school in Manlius, NY; and "The YMCA Scouts" (William D. Murray, History of the Boy Scouts of America, page 28).


Therefore, I believe that the BSA's claim to exclusive use of the terms "Scouts" and "Scouting" are not based on regular trademark laws, as you seem to imply, but on their interpretation of Section 7 of the Federal Charter which reads:


"Sec. 7. That said corporation shall have the sole and exclusive right to have and to use, in carrying out its purpose, 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 act shall interfere or conflict with established or vested rights [emphasis added]."


And note also:


"Sec. 9. That Congress shall have the right to repeal, alter, or amend this act at any time" [emphasis added, William D. Murray, History of the Boy Scouts of America, page 98].


I heard that in the early 1960s the BSA filed a legal action against the International Harvester's "Scout" claiming trademark violations. Apparently that did not work out for them any better than their 1924 attempt to force the GSUSA to use the term "Guide" in place of "Scout".




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Now BrentAllen,


Lets not get all emotional. One cannot persuade when this happens. I have gone back and forth with Kudu many times and we do not agree on everything but he has a heck of a knowledge base and you should listen to it more closely than a lot of other ones. That being said, I read that you do not like the Jeal inference that Baden-Powell took the beads off of a dead African girl because you have seen the Dinizulu picture of him wearing the beads. Unfortunately, that was not the only set of them. Dinizulu presented a set to all of his fiercest warriors.


Now, having read Baden-Powells diaries, he does not state anything about finding these beads in the great Chiefs tent. Unfortunately, it seems to be more of a myth than anything else. He wrote about everythign else, why not that? Yet I also cannot recall (without seeing Jeals citation) whether the dead African girl story is fact or not. But, again, it is improper to dismiss that story outright from a purely emotional standpoint because I doubt that you have seen the records. I suggest that you be more inquiring.


As for Ellke Boemers edition of SCOUTING FOR BOYS, it was totally panned in the British press when it came out. Mainly because she completely misinterpreted Baden-Powells use of the word continence. Decorum in this forum dictates that I will not discuss it further. I have the records in my files as to how he actually used it and know how wrong Prof. Boemer interpreted it.


Back to Jeal, I also have read some of The Boy McLaren letters that Jeal cites as his evidence as to an illicit affair. Unfortunately, none have any hint of homosexuality in them. Furthermore, those persons that uphold Jeal's opinions suggest that they both bunked together in the barracks. OK, so did the rest of the regiment. Next accusation, please.


Baden-Powell may have been a strange bird as Kahuna states, but, then again, so what. No laws were broken and we are all the better for his foresight.


And as for Kudu residing in Texas...he wishes...nuff said.


David C. Scott



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Miki writes:


Yet I also cannot recall (without seeing Jeals citation) whether the dead African girl story is fact or not.


Jeal cites E. K. Wade's Piper of Pax (London 1924), page 16.


Back to Jeal, I also have read some of The Boy McLaren letters that Jeal cites as his evidence as to an illicit affair. Unfortunately, none have any hint of homosexuality in them.


My memory of the chapter is that the allegations of an illicit affair were made by Piers Brendon (Eminent Edwardians) and Michael Rosenthal (The Character Factory), and not by Tim Jeal (as is commonly believed).


Jeal writes "In recent years two authors have suggested that Baden-Powell may have been a homosexual. Neither offered any evidence, and both based their supposition entirely upon a shared suspicion that his relationship with Kenneth McLaren might have been a physical one [Jeal, Baden-Powell 1990, page 74].


Jeal devotes eight pages of tight research based on considerable investigative leg-work into Brendon & Rosenthal's allegations and concludes "The facts I have assembled point to a close and long-standing friendship, which ended after 30 years with a second marriage which Baden-Powell could not accept. There is no evidence to justify the claim that the friendship between Baden-Powell and McLaren was physical [Jeal, page 82].




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Thanks Rick,


The main problem that I have with Jeal is that he leads one down the path of homosexual behavior by Baden-Powell by the sin of omission. Jeal did insufficient research and his "facts" do not pan out.


However, I need to get my own facts and examples straight before citing anything further.


David C. Scott

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ROFL, Kudu, I have no idea, but it could on for a few pages, I'm sure. :)


BTW, I have never been able to make up my mind about B-P's sexuality myself. Those Victorians were notoriously complicated in that regard. However, other than some of the MacLaren references, which certainly are unpersuasive to my mind, I've not seen any evidence that convinces me he was ever an active homosexual (or pedophile).


To my mind, it really doesn't matter what his orientation was, so long as he didn't act on it. I've often wished I could have brought this topic up to Bill Hillcourt to get his actual take on it. He was not as simplistic about B-P as one might conclude from his book.

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