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mrkstvns

Sexual Abuse in LDS Scouting

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We've all seen the stories of abuse accusations against scouters.

What many of us might not realize is that the problem may be even more insidious and pernicious in LDS troops, where church elders are alleged to have aggressively conspired to cover-up crimes and silence victims.

Story:
https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-teen-who-helped-expose-the-boy-scouts-child-abuse-epidemic-and-the-mormon-churchs-cover-up 

 

Edited by mrkstvns

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Unfortunately for us all, your phrase "more insidious and pernicious in LDS troops" is pure speculation.

BSA's files are still undergoing analysis by a sociologist, who has not put forward an analysis to determine if troops sponsored by any particular organization or class of organization (church, school, VFD/PD, military base) were more likely to harbor serial abusers. It might take years before a full analysis is forthcoming. Even then, the results might be held in question. The very identification of a group with the highest rate of victims per membership will put them next-in-line for an ambulance chasing lawyer.

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I have looked over the article twice and cannot find when this actually occurred.  Is it another rehash of already reported and hung out in the press, or is it something new?  I get the impression that it is a short movie up for Sundance consideration that once more brings up an old series of cases.  The time of publication, in conjunction with a film festival entry, is notable.  I keep waiting for similar stories to appear about stuff in schools, sports, and youth clubs.  

 

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Just now, qwazse said:

Unfortunately for us all, your phrase "more insidious and pernicious in LDS troops" is pure speculation.

What I'm referring to is the allegations of institutional-level cover-up.

Most of the previous cases that I've read about have involved accusations against individual scouters, but I haven't heard about the "powers that be" in scouting or the COs doing anything to perpetuate the problem instead of stopping it.  This systematic perpetuation is what I find particularly heinous. It was disgusting when it was reported that certain Catholic bishops were simply moving offenders to new, unsuspecting parishes where they could find new victims. That's the same kind of situation that is being alleged in the article: That LDS leaders told the victims to hush up while they let the offender go back to the camps they came from, able to offend again.

Sure, it might take a while for things to get sifted through. That doesn't change the crux of what's supposedly been happening...

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4 minutes ago, skeptic said:

.. I keep waiting for similar stories to appear about stuff in schools, sports, and youth clubs.  

It's already happened.

Remember the flap over USA Gymnastics and their team doctor, Larry Nassar?

The legal wrangling over that has still been going on even as the media focus moved on to other subjects. 

Settlement for victims in that case is still up in the air...
https://www.businessinsider.com/larry-nassar-survivors-reject-usa-gymnastic-215-million-settlement-2020-1?amp%3Butm_medium=referral 

 

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Not commenting on this case specifically.  But it does seem that in general that a Church could abuse it's power over a follower and abuse could be perpetrated and covered up under Scouting or any other youth program.  A church can probably cover up better that BSA can, especially in the case of The Church of Latter Day Saints (I am not sure I got that right but I am trying) where leaders are chosen by the church to serve vs. a purely volunteer basis.  This could happen in religous sponsoring organization that has a controlling interesting in a scout unit.

 

Just pointing out a potential overall issue that could happen.  And I would imagine Churches have a great deal more money that BSA.

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1 hour ago, skeptic said:

I have looked over the article twice and cannot find when this actually occurred.  Is it another rehash of already reported and hung out in the press, or is it something new?  I get the impression that it is a short movie up for Sundance consideration that once more brings up an old series of cases.  The time of publication, in conjunction with a film festival entry, is notable.  I keep waiting for similar stories to appear about stuff in schools, sports, and youth clubs.  

 

The youth was 14 at the time and later in the article it stated he is now 37.  That would I suppose indicate 23 years ago or about 1997.  

Reading the article it seems to be more damning of the LDS Church and less of the BSA.  Clearly alleges that the LDS Church and Elders actively covered up the issues.

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59 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

What I'm referring to is the allegations of institutional-level cover-up.

Most of the previous cases that I've read about have involved accusations against individual scouters, but I haven't heard about the "powers that be" in scouting or the COs doing anything to perpetuate the problem instead of stopping it.  ...

Most every case that is being made against the BSA is depicting the organization as acting to perpetuate the problem. The older the case, the more likely the institution(s) refrained from taking action, often out of deference to the victims privacy or the suggestions of law enforcement or so as to avoid informing the scout executive. (Note that this article refers to the Council President -- it's possible that the abuser somehow guided his vetting process away from the SE. The notorious ones are that cleaver.) And it is in every plaintiff's interest to paint that deference as the organization's very structure is such that it perpetuates abuse.

5 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

...  And I would imagine Churches have a great deal more money that BSA.

They have money until they don't. Then schools start shuttering, etc ...

More than BSA? Depends on the church, and LDS probably is better than most. There's a reason why Catholic bishops were on the block first. Sure some of it does have to do with a culture of misplaced authority. But it also has to do with how few cases one would need to bring in order to achieve a large pay-out. And that, is a function size of the organization and meticulous record keeping. The better the records, the more efficient the supoena process.

The smaller/more compartmentalized the organization and the worse the records, the more likely serial abusers will persist. They just don't get documented. The case is harder to prove. The overarching organization avoids being targeted OR doesn't make national news. It's perverse on multiple levels.

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1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

Clearly alleges that the LDS Church and Elders actively covered up the issues.

(my emphasis)

3 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

What I'm referring to is the allegations of institutional-level cover-up...

[...]

That doesn't change the crux of what's supposedly been happening...

I am grateful for the wording of these posts; thank you gentlemen. Frankly, these are all accusations without any proof, and frankly, our faith has been attacked on far more serious and yet equally untrue allegations before. I am, to be frank, utterly unconcerned by these reports. For whatever reason, our faith has always been targeted by opposition, to the point that we as a people have generally learned to let such theories roll like water off a duck's back. So I am confident the truth will out on its own; these kind of wild accusations flare up now and then, but without a basis in fact, they blow over soon enough. 

2 hours ago, mashmaster said:

 especially in the case of The Church of Latter Day Saints (I am not sure I got that right but I am trying)

Thank you for trying! It's very appreciated. But you left out the MOST IMPORTANT part of the name. It's The Church OF JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints. If you leave that part out, it becomes easy to see why some misguided entities don't realize we are, above all things, a Christian religion. 

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1 hour ago, The Latin Scot said:

I am grateful for the wording of these posts; thank you gentlemen. Frankly, these are all accusations without any proof, and frankly, our faith has been attacked on far more serious and yet equally untrue allegations before. I am, to be frank, utterly unconcerned by these reports. For whatever reason, our faith has always been targeted by opposition, to the point that we as a people have generally learned to let such theories roll like water off a duck's back. So I am confident the truth will out on its own; these kind of wild accusations flare up now and then, but without a basis in fact, they blow over soon enough.

I wouldn't be unconcerned. Take it from a Catholic, my own church has had cowardly leaders and clergy, eager to protect the image of the Church instead of protecting their flock. I doubt any other large organizations, religious or not, are any different. 

There are people out there who seek to target the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, similar to the Roman Catholic Church, but that doesn't mean that these alleged crimes did not happen, nor that clergy or members of the faithful were complicit in allowing them to happen or ignoring the problem. 

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But again, they are alleged crimes. That means nobody has yet proven that such a cover-up transpired, and I frankly doubt anybody will. As for right now, however, this is all still hearsay and allegation.

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The crimes are NOT alleged. The abuser has admitted to it, apologized, and been convicted (although undoubtedly too leniently). All that's being disputed and as-yet  unproven is the level of involvement by upper echelon BSA and Mormon Church leaders.  The fact the perp got such a light sentence to begin with and that the court case subsequently disappeared is more than coincidence and indicates someone with power had a hand in the case.

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