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BSA Secret "Perversion" Files

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It's a nice bit of "gotcha" journalism. The public will assume that having these "perv" files is tantamount to a mass coverup. I'm betting that these files pre-date public access databases such as Megans Law files, and were used to weed out bad guys. Now a lawyer is trying to build a case based on the afforementioned assumptions.

Remember, lawyers are deemed successful by winning cases (especially high profile ones) not by how honest or forthright they are.

Journalists are deemed successful by how much increase in readership/viewership is garnered, not by how honest or forthright they are.

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I'm not fond of generalizations. I have friends who are lawyers and a sister who is a barrister.

A couple of numbskull's where I work at times try and tease me by saying that "Scoutmasters like playing with little boys."



I have only read the story that is on MSN.com.

Which doesn't go into much detail.

However it does seem that these files do exist.

I'm not sure if the argument that the BSA has really holds water?

It sounds as if the LDS Church have settled with this fellow. Maybe, it might have been a good idea if the BSA had also reached a settlement?

I don't in anyway blame the attorney for doing the best job that he can for his client, I would hope if I were involved in a lawsuit that my attorney would do much the same thing.

We as members of the BSA might like to think that our organization can do no wrong.

I for one, do not think this for a minute.





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I can think of no good that can come of trying to keep any information like this secret. If we have nothing to be ashamed of then let the world see it. If there is something to be ashamed of --- then let the world see it and let the chips fall where they may.


I am also a Roman Catholic and believe the same should apply to the Church.

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T2: the reason it is kept internal use only is because the BSA does not have the legal right to publish it. Until a court finds otherwise it's all just rumor.


The BSA can cancel your membership on a whim but they had better have proof before they publish the reason.

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Sounds like a shakedown to me. I imagine the plantiff thought he could get big bucks by threatening to make the files public. Sounds like his bluff has been called.


The news article was predictable. "Secret Boy Scout Pervert Files" is just too good a story to pass up. Of course if BSA hadn't kept secret files the story would have been about its failure to track the perverts or about the "lives ruined" by releasing info to the public.

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What organization doesn't have "secret" files? The military has warehouses full of personnel files that document past errors and personnel issues. Tens of thousands of files on discharged individuals and reasons. All of it is private and is covered by the privacy act. I bet that even the Fed has private "perversion" files that we will never see nor hear about. Our public officials have access to young interns and pages and low paid staffers. How many of them have had public background checks? If they did have a background check performed, how many of those have been presented to the public? Tax cheats, abusive relationships, and others are all well represented in our elected halls. It seems that voters tend to overlook the crooked as long as they keep the gravy thick and flowing in their states and districts. How many companies discuss the background of their prized employees and big finishers? NFL, NBA, MLB, PGA, and the NCAA are not exempt either. Some of our favorite coaches and players lead lives off the court that is not very imitatible. Anybody hear these rumors about Tiger Woods? What about the quarterback for the Steelers? Do you think these very public high profile stories are all that occur? I bet the NFL has an entire group that conducts brand protection from these public events, especially from lower level people associated with teams. It is not too long ago that even MLB has gotten bad press about some type of drug use of a group of players.

It should come as no surprise to any of us that we are a group of volunteers that are associated with an organization that prides itself on its Law and Oath. The single moment that a single person violates that Oath and Law, the entire organization is compromised. No matter how many Silver Animals are given out to great people, all the good work is crushed by the registered parent in middle america that has a relationship with a 16 year old boy. Our organization is predatory grounds for people who are on the prowl for victims. They seek out the drop-off kids. They volunteer to give groups of kids rides home and to campouts under the guise of helping out that single parent that is over burdened. They have a level of trust backed by the history of the BSA over the lst 100 years.

I have to end my rambling, but it is something that really raises my ire.

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I don't think that the existence of these files in and of itself, constitutes a cover-up. The explanation of these files as I understand it is that they are there for the BSA's reference and protection. If that is indeed the case, and I have no reason to doubt it, then that wouldn't amount to a hill of beans. It just gives reporters something to write.


Now IF the files should happen to contain information about incidents that were not reported to local law enforcement or were not otherwise legally settled, THEN you'd be looking at a cover up, and the BSA would deserve everything that came its way as a result, and I would expect some major internal reforms to come from that.(This message has been edited by sherminator505)

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On the "secret files", from the BSA response on the link I posted -


"The BSA keeps a record of individuals who are not eligible for BSA membership, as would any other responsible membership organization. These individuals have had their BSA memberships revoked for any number of reasons or have been evaluated on a prior occasion and have been determined to be ineligible for membership. While these files are confidential, they are not secret and are just one of the ways we help ensure a safe and healthy experience for our Scouts."



This explanation sounds reasonable to me.


This is a "nuisance" lawsuit that is trying for spectacular press clips to help it out.



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"Now IF the files should happen to contain information about incidents that were not reported to local law enforcement or were not otherwise legally settled, THEN you'd be looking at a cover up, and the BSA would deserve everything that came its way as a result, and I would expect some major internal reforms to come from that."


Not reporting to law enforcement is not necesarrily a cover up IMO. Transferring a camp staffer to a different camp after a reported incident is a cover up, but I dont' see the BSA doing that. The BSA is not a public school. It is a private organization. It may choose to revoke membership for many reasons. For those that may involve criminal activity and there is enough evidence to support that suspicion, reporting to law enforcement should be done. However, there may be other cases where allegations are made, BSA's internal investigation does not turn up enough information to confirm or deny the allegations and they choose to revoke membership as a precaution. In that case, I'm not sure notification to law enforcement would be warranted.


It's very easy to turn child abuse allegations into a witch hunt and from what I've seen the BSA does it's best to protect it's youth members while remaining aware that not all allegations have merit and that even a hint of an allegation can ruin an otherwise decent individual's life. To some that may sound like a cover up, but I don't think that's the case.





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The BSA called these files the Perversion Files internally. Not the press, the BSA did.

A fellow claims he was sexually molested by a BSA leader 30 years ago and is suing the organization. He's already settled with the LDS church which gives his claims some credibility. In his lawsuit, he demands to see the Perversion Files to see if they support his case that the BSA knew about the abuser. BSA fights him and the case goes all the way to the Oregon Supreme Court where the BSA loses the battle. The files are released to him.


Why on earth would the BSA not release the files to him? The only logical answer is that the files do not support the BSA defense. That perhaps they did know of this abusers issues. Sorry, its really hard to understand how an organization that upholds the Scout Law doing this type of thing.

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