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eisely

A major embarrassment

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Hey Guys!

Long time, no talk.

 

I'm no longer a scout mom, just "mom of teenage boy". No longer a Cub Scout leader.

Heard this news story and knew this place would be buzzing with talk.

 

At first I gave the guy the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he received an email that he didn't request. I've known that to happen. News now says they found 520 images including video clips of boys, some under the age of 12. He had been doing this for years.

 

As an outsider, let me say this....if a Scout or leader or employee does "good" everyone wants to say "Look, He/She is a member of BSA". Well, this guy represents BSA as well. Sad that many boys will be confused by his actions compared to what BSA says it stands for. Why look up to those Eagle Scouts? Why try to attain that rank?

 

Will his Eagle award be taken away?

Is this somehow excusable because he isn't an "avowed homosexual"?

Is he a pedophile?

Is he a homosexual because he was looking at pictures of boys, not girls?

Do some of you NOW understand that getting rid of all "avowed homosexuals" does not get rid of pedophiles?

 

(these are rhetorical questions and not sure if I'll be back to see any answers anyway)

 

I do hope that he has not harmed any children. I also pray for his family because this must be extremely difficult for them.

 

Hope all are well and happy.

 

Yours truly,

Formerly Sctmom

 

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As far as I know youth protection has protected a lot of young scouts.

 

Mr Smith probably did a lot of good for Scouting and had a responsible job with the Boy Scouts.

 

The police caught him and earlier they caught a priest in Grand Parrie which is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

 

Scouting is amazing the countless hours that Adults vounteer teaching cooking, knots etc. Taking time out to go the round tables etc.

 

Somehow in seeming mist, there is something good that comes out of it. Scouting has changed lives for the good.

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Merlyn,

You sure that isn't a private school that's chartering that BSA unit? And by you trying to get the BSA kicked out of all public schools & military bases, you are tromping on my civil rights! Think the ACLU will take my case?

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Ed Mori writes:

You sure that isn't a private school that's chartering that BSA unit?

 

Yes Ed, I know that Fred Goodwin's Cub Scout Pack 2003 is/was chartered by Blattman Elementary, a public school in San Antonio, TX.

 

And by you trying to get the BSA kicked out of all public schools & military bases, you are tromping on my civil rights!

 

No Ed, the government can't discriminate on the basis of religion by chartering Cub Scout Packs that exclude atheists. Removing all such charters upholds the civil rights of all public school students and military dependents on bases.

 

Plus, of course, they aren't being "kicked out", they're being treated equally, finally.

 

Think the ACLU will take my case?

 

No Ed, because your civil rights haven't been infringed.

 

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I tried as long as I could to hope that the case was exaggerated, but when I read that this guy was sending and receiving child pornography in e-mails, that left me little room to think it isn't serious. I can't imagine how a person who actually worked in the YP area wouldn't realize that he would get caught doing this.

 

One point, though: when we hear something like this, it's easy to think that the person is a subhuman monster, and that all the good he did was a fraud, and covered up a secret plan to abuse children. The reality may be much more complex. Even if a person does something really bad, that doesn't mean that he never did anything good.

 

I'd also like to say that it's certainly conceivable that BSA was lax about reporting or investigating abuse allegations in the past. I don't think that's the case now, however--Youth Protection is taken very seriously, and leaders can and are banned without being given any benefit of the doubt. I wish other youth programs would also follow the same rules--especially two-deep leadership.

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Hunt, I suspect that you (like me) couldn't understand much of anything about why people do these things, any aspect of it.

But all this hand-wringing may be counter productive and I think we should stop.

He was caught.

He pled guilty, as he says, to limit the damage to others. That essentially limits the trial environment. It doesn't necessarily mean that there will be no investigation - an investigation is how he was caught in the first place.

There is no evidence from that investigation that BSA was involved in any way.

To presume anything else would be wrong and anyone suggesting otherwise should produce their evidence.

 

I think the best response is to let the court do its job and we should carry on with our tasks and continue to do what we can to help the boys. And shrug off the comments by acquaintances and co-workers. If they are prejudiced there will be little chance of persuading them otherwise. It is what we do for the boys that brings more families to the program. If we keep our eyes on that prize then Mr. Smith will have less impact in the long run.

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Unfortunately, B.S.A. tends to be less than forthright in these matters. As far as the reader of "Scout's Honor" - you will be disappointed. B.S.A. has been less than diligent in this issue. WHile it's "not a race" - B.S.A. dragged its feet for decades in addressing child abuse. Only NOW are criminal background checks being run on volunteers.

 

Quoting current news coverage - B.S.A. was aware of 1800 cases of child abuse that were NOT reported to authorities.

 

B.S.A. officials have even ben arrested for failing to report child abuse - and law enforcement tends to bend over backwards not to "hurt Scouting." Even after procedures were developed, they are not enforced appropriately - as below. Too often the focus is on protecting B.S.A.'s image and not boys.

 

The very same procedures that are supposed to be used to remove pedophiles and felons are abused by B.S.A. to remove volunteers that question finances and the actions of paid staffers. A 17 year Scoutmaster - honored by his church and Troop for his service to Scouting was removed by his SE after questioning his Council's spending $500,000 on a new office building instead of programs for boys. He was being "disruptive" and removed under procedures drawn up for dealing with felons and pedophiles. Some would say he was exercising "free speech" and rightfully questioning priorities - along with 23 others that signed a letter protesting that SE's actions. The same SE lied about meeting his fundraising goals after receiving matching funds for this venture - attempting to raise MORE money. The same Council has overstated enrollments and ghost units.

 

And if you are a member who is unjustly accused of abuse by a boy - looking to "get even" for being disciplined or for any reason....and B.S.A. decides to follow procedures, you're doomed. B.S.A. will hang you out to dry. A case reported here in the archives details a case of just that. Even when law enforcement officials investigated (they were NOT called in as they should have by Scout officials) and found the accused completely innocent, their revocation of membership was upheld by B.S.A.

 

B.S.A. has real problems with being "Trustworthy." B.S.A. has serious problems with enrollment fraud - far more than the few cases that have been made public. This same problem has existed for decades. The issue of child abuse is buried in confidentiality statements and sealed court records. Rarely is that curtain opened. B.S.A. has problems but hides behind "values" instead of living them. You can't correct things when nobody will admit that something's wrong.

 

 

The story below shows "how well" B.S.A.'s child protection efforts work..... and how many other cases have sealed records?

 

 

From Channel 6 Pocatello Idaho

 

 

 

 

 

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"B.S.A. dragged its feet for decades in addressing child abuse."

 

What an irresponsible statement!

 

Oh for Pete's sake...EVERYBODY dragged their feet for decades in addressing child abuse! For centuries for that matter. Some people still do.

 

"B.S.A. was aware of 1800 cases of child abuse that were NOT reported to authorities."

 

So who told thy BSA? The BSA doesn't have any units. If somebody told the BSA than that same person was the one responsible to report it to their local authorities WHY didn't they?

 

There are approximately 1.5 MILLION cases of child abuse reported each year and experts estimate an equal amount that goes unreported and you want to make an issue of 1,800 alleged cases?

 

"B.S.A. officials have even been arrested for failing to report child abuse"

 

Who were they and when?

 

This is what happens when leaders allow the crimes of one to make them run and hide.

 

You allow this kind of tripe to be hoisted upon you unchallenged.

 

"The issue of child abuse is buried in confidentiality statements and sealed court records."

 

Sealed by who the BSA? Child abuse involves children..DUH...the court seals those records to protect the kids not the BSA.

 

The previous letter is a great example of the uninformed trying to rally the uncommitted.

 

If you see people like this as the sharks circling the BSA then Scouters who are afraid to defend their own program are certainly the bloody chum that attracts them.

 

This kind of dumpster diving is pathetic.

 

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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BW, cool the jets, willya?

 

Nobody said the SM was 17 years old -- jkhny referred to a 17-year SM, meaning the man had been SM for 17 years.

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That was edited out some time ago. Shouldn't the concern be more about those using this tragic crime by an individual as a way attack the scouting movement.

 

Lets see a little backbone from the "leaders".

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The BSA did not receive and distribute child porn. One individual working for the BSA pleaded guilty to doing so during an investigation. There is a big difference, and though one individual's actions may reflect on the BSA, we can do something about that. We can say we don't agree with the type of activity Mr. Smith is alleged to have taken part in, and we can continue to deliver the program. One way to deal with public perception is to keep perspective and not shy away from telling others how good a program this is...even when something admittedly awful happens.

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Has Mr. White even read Boyle's book? His position seems to be that BSA is always right. Newsflash - nobody, no organization - is EVER always right.

 

One of the problems with BSA right now is that ANY serious questioning of even clear wrongs is treated as an attack.

 

Those reporting the enrollment fraud only went outside BSA because they were stonewalled and even threatened by paid staffers.Funny, but the same problem has been going on for decades. National is putting on pressure to add to numbers - and for some it's too easy to fake it. When a COuncil has to restate numbers by 30-40% FRAUD is involved, not "mistakes."

But then even National is fudging in their own reports. TRY to find specific numbers. When you do they're not even consistent from year to year. The plain and simple fact is that enrollments are falling despite desperate attempts to play games with numbers and program definitions. Instead of fixing what's wrong they're playing games and THAT only undermines their own credibility with the volunteers that are doing the work and running the units.

 

As far as abuse goes, Boyle's book was objective and fact based. It could be written ONLY because BSA's own attorneys screwed up in one case - where they treated the victim horridly and tried to lay all blame on the kid - and forgot to get a confidentiallity agreement signed. The "Confidenial Files" provided for that case were the basis for his book. Did you read the report out of Idaho? There were numerous reports over YEARS to Scouting officials - obviously at varying levels within BSA. WHat went wrong? BSA did NOT notify the parents of other victims. This has happpened in other cases.

 

If BSA is going to tout high standards of character and "values" they'd better be sure they meet them before hiding behind them.

 

BSA has serious problems. Denial is not going to help. I'm from a long line of Scouters and am horrified at what I have seen in my Council. An autocratic SE has made a mess of things and National says "it's a local problem" failing to acknowledge that things are deliberately structured to MAKE things "local" problems. Volunteers have no real voice in their Councils or BSA in general but things are carefully structured so that paid staff have little legal liability. The volunteers on the Executive Board are "in charge" though most are chosen by the SE they are supposed to oversee. Volunteers have no direct voice in things. BSA is a "representative democracy" as BSA is so fond of pointing out. But our "representatives" are hand picked. Just TRY to organize COR's to take on a SE. It's been tried a few times and is rarely successful. Most of our BEST SM's want nothing to do with Council here. They're fed up with the local mess here - and don't have particularly high opinions of National. Akll they see is endless pushes for "raise more money" while we've had most of our facilities sold off. WHere did those millions go? Long serving volunteers have been replaced with political no-shows - and things are falling apart because no work is getting done. There are too many in the paid professional ranks that shouldn't be there. Even the good ones there will admit that - in private. Rule #1 - never speak ill of another paid professional - no matter how bad they are - or you'll get screwed.

 

If National is going to sit behind closed doors and issue statements saying "not our fault" and "it's against policy" every time thing hit the fan they are going to get crucified. They got offlight on the pedophile scandal last time but didn't seem to learn. 1997 is way after things were supposed to be "fixed" and it's only one of many cases. This one was opened by the courts though. As far as the head of Youth Protection having and DISTRIBUTING child porn....yeah, it COULD happen anywhere but it sure looks real bad when it's BOY SCOUTS.......CNN already gave them hell tonight. Just why isn't Williams or anyone facing cameras?

 

Blanketly defending what is wrong does not help Scouting. But then an open and honest debate on what is wrong can't be held for just this reason. BSA expects "obedience" even as it ignores Trustworthy....do as I say not as I do.....

 

I and the units I'm in have done a great job. We are "successes" and we adhere to the vaues of Scouting. But we sure are wondering why BSA is not. It IS embarassing - but it's also criminal.

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So jkhnyy tell me, when Clinton was violating his marital vows with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office of the White House, was Congress at fault?

 

When Ted Kennedy drove his car over the bridge and drowned that girl what organization did you blame?

 

When OJ murdered Nicole what did that teach you about the NFL?

 

So now you have read a book, and now you know everything there is about the value and problems of scouting. Aren't you a wonder.

 

And the thousands of professionals and hundreds of thousands of volunteers over 95 years and after serving over 130 MILLION youth are suddenly supposed to shudder over a few truly unfortunate incidents that were caused by a fraction of one percent of those that serve in scouting who didn't live up to their responsibilities.

 

The BSA did not deny that they, and others, are investigating two councils were concerns were raised over membership. Has Mr.jkhny read the reports on the BSA website regarding those 2 councils where problems were reported, out of over three hundred councils in the movement?

 

Do you know of an instance where a scouter has done something illegal and not been prosecuted. Do you really have evidence of that? Because there is no shortage of lawyers in this country and if you have knowledge of this crime then I invite you...no I urge you...make your charges where they count, in a court of law.

 

Otherwise go find 130 million other kids and see if you can accomplish a fraction of what the BSA has.

 

Defending the BSA does help, especially against such blatant misrepresentations and irresponsible statements as you have offered. Communities need to know that we belive strongly in this program. I am happy to say that I support this program, I am grateful for what I learned from it as a youth, and I am proud to be a leader in it. No individual can negate the good that I have seen this program do in so many boys lives, and certainly nothing that can be said by someone who has read "a" book will be able to harm the Scouting movement either.

 

Rather than reflect on the tragedy caused in so many lives by the proliferation of pornography, you choose to manipulate the circumstances of one persons actions into a damnation of the entire BSA national office and Scouting. How fortunate for you that child pornography is so readily available in our lives now.

 

I find your opportunistic use of this man's personal crime as distasteful as the crime itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have not read the book in question. I have heard that PBS did a documentary on the subject? I didn't see that either.

Douglas S. Smith Jr. is responsible for what he now seems to admit doing and as I posted it is very sad. Sad for his family and those close to him.

I don't know if cases of abuse were or were not mismanaged in the past.

I do know that millions of kids have gone through our programs and are better people for doing so.

I am not a lawyer, I don't play one on TV, I didn't even spent the night at a Holiday Inn. I think maybe a 16 year olds record would be hard to investigate or look at being as it would be a juvenile record? Maybe the Gentleman from New Jersey could help me out on that one?

We as an organization are doing a lot to try and prevent our kids from being abused. I like to think that we as individuals are going out of our way to train our youth members, prevent situations and report suspicions.

If people were harmed in the past and there is proof of negligence the courts will come into play and whatever damages that are proved will be paid for.

Eamonn.

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Bob,

You analogies make no sense & aren't even related to the topic.

 

From what we know, this guy was using his home PC to commit his crimes. However, his work PC has been confiscated and we don't know what they have found on it. I really hope nothing inappropriate.

 

Like I posted before, if this guy wasn't in the system, his background check would come up clean! And this can happen anywhere. It is only big news because he worked for the BSA national office AND was involved in youth protection!

 

This is, if nothing else, bad press for the BSA & the fallout has yet to be seen. There could be lawsuits filed against the BSA because of this. Not necessarily valid ones since, but they could occur.

 

And some are questioning if the BSA might have known about this guy & did nothing based on past history. And it is a valid question that needs to be asked, investigated & answered!

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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