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12 minutes ago, David CO said:

I disagree.  Local scouting can continue on its own without all of that national and council infrastructure.  We don't need them.  17 council employees is 17 too many.

That's certainly one approach - sure.  Get rid of councils as we know it, big summer camps, and paid professionals.  Districts & OA already are 95% volunteer - so there would be enough infrastructure to make things work.  I'm not going to advocate it, but it it happens I'm not opposed to rolling the dice on that one.  

I just want to make sure we're all on the same page about what we're talking about here.


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What is legally right is not always morally right.

I would encourage everyone to not ask @ThenNow to rehash particular circumstances. They can be found by patiently browsing his posts. From what I read, they were far from legal. His claim would have b

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8 hours ago, David CO said:

The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus fire in 1944 killed and injure many people.  The circus was liable.  The costs were huge.  Yet the circus didn't go bankrupt or shirk their debts.  It took 10 years to pay it off, but they did pay it off. 

BSA should pay every single cent it owes.  Until it pays off the entire debt, staff should be minimal and salaries capped.  No frills.

Yeah ... We're just 100% different on this.  We can agree it should pay what it "owes", but I'd argue on what it owes.  This lawsuit is fundamentally wrong.  The abuse was 100% wrong, but so is this lawsuit.  The whole situation is wrong upon wrong and immoral upon immoral.

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9 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

Then what is reasonable given:

1) Total BSA National assets = $1.4 billion.

2) Total Local Council assets = $1.6 billion - $3.3 billion

3) Total abuse claimants = 87,000

If you pull in local councils, what about troops that own their own building.  Or scouter friends that established a foundation for to own their own camp (I know two locally).  ... I suggest you also pull in almost every school district in the country as every school district actively supported scout recruitment and made space and time in their schedule for recruitment until the late 1990s ... and the 12000 that chartered troops ... now that's deep pockets ... and churches ... and so many other groups that did not pursue things.  

The government recognized the separate legal existenance of councils thru incorporation and taxes.  Non-profits were structured separately.  How far do you really reach back?  

This whole thing is wrong and abuse of the legal system.

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24 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

We're just 100% different on this.  

Yes we are.  I firmly believe that without the lawsuits, or at least the threat of lawsuits, the executives would not have taken any action to end the child sexual abuse in BSA.  They only care about money.

All current scouts benefit from these lawsuits.  The lawsuits make them safer.  Future generations of scouts will be safer because of these lawsuits.


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9 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

Not exactly parallel, but with interesting points.

  • Analogy is Diocese = BSA
  • Diocese own / hold parishes ... at least as strong connection as BSA to councils ... if not stronger.
  • Parishes fund and run their own churches same as local councils
  • Diocese does not give money to parishes same as BSA does not give money to councils
  • Diocese has same or stronger control of parishes than BSA over councils.  (staffing, funding, etc)
9 hours ago, ParkMan said:

How much did the court force the catholic dioceses to liquidate during their bankruptcies?  Did they have to sell many churches?  It strikes me that this is the parallel to look at.


"In most of the 11 other diocesan bankruptcy cases, parishes and schools were treated as separate entities. "

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43 minutes ago, David CO said:

Yes we are.  I firmly believe that without the lawsuits, or at least the threat of lawsuits, the executives would not have taken any action to end the child sexual abuse in BSA.  They only care about money.

All current scouts benefit from these lawsuits.  The lawsuits make them safer.  Future generations of scouts will be safer because of these lawsuits.

Cynicical versus positive.  "They only care about money." ... I really disagree with that.  No one starts a professional scouting career to become rich.  Yeah, you can argue whether executives are paid too much, but running a million member organization takes a large infrastructure.   The same complain about BSA execs can be made about almost every school principal and superintendants.  They are paid too much.  They should be volunteering more to educate our children.  

"benefit from these lawsuits" ... Scouts are benefiting from the drastic learning that happened in the 1980s/1990s and matured around the year 2000.  Much came from lawsuits against day cares, churches, scouting, etc.  Much came from opening up medical understanding of the abusers.  Nothing new will be proven or learned by this lawsuit.  No one will be made whole or even close to whole.  We are digging up mostly old cases before a modern understanding of the crime and before current youth protection.  This is just digging up old dirt ... only benefiting lawyers.

I feel strongly because the worse is happening.  Fewer youth will be in scouting because of this lawsuit.  In no way is the average youth better by not being in scouting

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18 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

Scenario 1 - Liquidate National: claimants get $0 since the pension programs would, by law, have to be secured/paid out first to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and they already put in a $1.1 BILLION dollar claim. Total to each claimant: $0

Scenario 2 - $1 Billion in Settlement from BSA + LCs, Non-Time Barred Claimants Only: Here, BSA is forced to sell Summit ($300 million) and half of all remaining assets ($300 million) PLUS somehow gets LCs to kick in $300 million, PLUS $100 million just kind gets found along the way. BUT BSA and the LCs tell all time-barred claimants to go away. That leaves at most, 30,000. Total to each claimant: $33,333

Scenario 3 - $1 Billion in Settlement from BSA + LCs, ALL Abuse Claimants:  Same as scenario 2, but BSA and the LCs pay out to all 87,000 claimants. Total to each claimant: $11,494

A few possible variants on the above scenarios:

Different Claimants get Different Amount per Severity: As in the Arizona Catholic Diocese settlement that @ThenNow posted, claimants may be assigned "points" by the Settlement Adminstrator, or the Plan could up-front divide abuse claimants into finer classes, by the severity of their injury, the nature of their abuser's relationship to Scouting, etc. Just a few examples off the top of my head:

  • Multiple incidents of abuse against the victim versus just one
  • Penetration versus something less invasive
  • Abuser was a Scoutmaster versus an unregistered visitor
  • Victim contracted an STD or has medically documented PTSD
  • Abuser had other victims that the victim personally knew versus no other victims
  • Victim suffered retaliation after attempt to report versus victim's report was taken and the abuser was immediately removed from Scouting and reported to the police and the community

Or maybe the Plan could specify that payment of actual documented medical and counseling expenses gets priority, before any attorney fees to the claimant.

Cutoff by severity: It may be that some claims will be disallowed entirely, perhaps even before voting. Compare "the Scoutmaster fondled me" to "the Scoutmaster's stepson's brother-in-law fondled me", or "the SPL showed an X-rated movie at a troop meeting" to "some other Scout's buddy showed an X-rated movie in the locker room at school".

Chartered Organization contribution: As we've discussed already, some COs are defunct, a lot of COs themselves have very little assets, some might have a defense of governmental immunity, and some have already gone through bankruptcy or paid out some sort of global settlement. But some of them reportedly do have assets at least as big as the BSA or Local Councils, and some of them have entered appearances or claims in the case.

But even if COs do join the settlement, they might do so only as to their own Scouts.


So whether the average amount per claimant is $6k or $33k or $2.2 million, there could still be some claimants who only get $1k and others who get $10 million.  But at least the amounts will be based on factors that are fair between claimants, and not on whose lawyer had the fastest car on the way to the courthouse.

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20 hours ago, ThenNow said:

You guys have an excellent grasp on all of this as to the BSA itself, what's needed to sustain programs, assets overall, and the relationship of the BSA and LC's contribution to the insurance side. When you look at the $6100 in Plan as proposed, overall assets - assuming the large property restrictions don't hold - what do you think would be fair to direct to each claimants. I know there is tremendous disagreement even among you, in part because it is so speculative and subjective. I am very curious and would welcome your opinion. Well, I'm most interested to hear from those who agree that the current offer is unreasonable. As we know and you've reported, many agree $6100 does not respect the abused nor represent the BSA being earnest about what it can give. Others are clearly frustrated, saying there is no way to say what's fair or will satisfy the attorneys. "If $6000 isn't enough, is $50,000? $100,000 even if it crushes the organization...?" (paraphrasing).


The major problem with that whole conversation is that the current dialog it isn't representing the situation fairly.  We aren't talking about victims agreeing to receive a $6100 settlement; we are talking about the BSA contributing an average of $6100 per victim to the "Fund".  And beyond that, the primary source of victim reimbursement dollars was always going to be from the insurers, not the BSA.  So while I agree that a settlement of $6100 would be a slap in the face to a victim, that was never what we were actually talking about.  What we are actually talking about is a calculation that looks like: 

"Average Per Victim Funds" = $6100 + (X billions of insurance dollars / 95,000)

On top of that, I assume there will end up being adjustments to the amounts paid out given the severity of the BSA's failure and the time of occurrence since it wouldn't be fair to compensate a victim from 1970 with the same amount of money as a victim from 2005 since the damages the first person suffered would have been in 1970 dollars.

So, while I understand that in the bankruptcy all we can talk about, really, is the BSA's contribution, there is NO number (even with LC being included) that leaves the BSA functional, that will divide by 90+k people reasonably.  The only way to get somewhere that would matter would be a complete liquidation of all the Local Council camps and those really are "critical infrastructure" for the BSA program.  I'm fairly sure I've seen reports clearly showing that attending Summer Camp is a key factor in scout retention and overall enjoyment of the program.  I know that for in my troop, our retention rate drops to something like 20% among first year scouts that don't go to summer camp.

That said, I truly don't know enough personally about the BSA's finances to know if they are truly reserving only those things that are fundamental or not. (personally, I think any effort to save Bechtel is still unreasonable)  My initial reaction was that this offer was strictly their starting position.  In pretty much any negotiation working towards a settlement, the first offer on each side is going to represent "The Dream Number".  So the Victim's Attorneys have established their opening position at "We'll take everything", the BSA has now established their opening position at $6100/victim and neither should really be expecting those propositions to be the end result.

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One of the realities of the current bankruptcy process is that the parties, including the Official Committee of Boy Scout Abuse Survivors (TCC), are proceeding under the rules of mediation confidentiality.  This limits what can be shared.  So, it's important to get information when it's shared directly from the TCC.  The next opportunity is Thursday 3/11 at 8:00 EST during the monthly town hall meeting.  From the TCC's website TCCBSA.COM


The next TCC Town Hall will be held on Thursday, March 11, 2021, at 5pm PST/8pm EST. No registration is required.

Town Hall Zoom link

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Executive salary doesn't define the BSA.  It's simply a measure of what the national committee feels is needed to retain the senior national employees.  In my decade in Scouting, I've now see several CSE.  I do appreciate that there is always frustration with executive compensation - be it companies or non-profits.  In my time with the BSA the compensation of the national leaders has had just about zero impact on what I see happen day in and day out.  Scouting is defined day in and day out by the thousands of volunteers and professionals who are working to put on strong programs.

The BSA isn't a perfect organization, but it is far from being a bad organization.  Day in and day out, the professionals I know are trying to do the right things for the kids in the program.  They are all trying to help our packs and troops grow.  They are trying to start new units.  They are trying to encourage more and stronger programming.  They are trying to raise money to keep costs as low as possible.  The volunteers are spending countless hours of volunteer time to build strong local units and deliver programming. 

So while I think it's conceivable for Scouting to exist without the council structure or national BSA, I still don't think it's best for Scouting.  Could council and national function better?  Sure.  But they far from being fundamentally broken or corrupt.  

If our council, our camps, and our support staff go away - I'll mourn that.  I'll pick up the pieces and keep it going, but will be sad if it happens.


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2 hours ago, elitts said:

In pretty much any negotiation working towards a settlement, the first offer on each side is going to represent "The Dream Number".  So the Victim's Attorneys have established their opening position at "We'll take everything", the BSA has now established their opening position at $6100/victim and neither should really be expecting those propositions to be the end result.

Several things:

1) Agreed. Aside from the actual number, the issue discussion has been around how that "initial offer" is seen by claimants, attorneys, the public and court. It has been, overall, received very badly, including by their insurers. When you're negotiating in public before God and the press, one needs to be cautious of lowballing. Yes, it is often done, but not so much when an embattled and historic youth organization is negotiating "against" 83,837 men who we abused IN that organization as children, some as young as 7. If the offer came out too low it can be perceived as an insult, not a strategic play. Many think not even the pretty good foot, was put forward, forget about the best one. I think most agree the BSA should've known that it would be perceived as it has been (and probably did).

2) There are 83,837 claims now remaining after 10,000+/- were cut from the 92,000+/- due to clear fraud or duplication. You may say that's not much, but it's almost 7000;

3) The 83,837 number is likely to go down, if only a bit, IF/WHEN the insurers are allowed to review the claims mining shenanigans. I hope they are allowed. Personally, I think it will go down by another chunk, perhaps 5,000 or more;

4) Of the 83,837 claims, 59,837+/- are time-barred under the state of abuse's Statute of Limitations law. Though CynicalScouter makes an excellent point that the insurers may well offer an amount to the time-barred claimants to have them out of their hair for good, that is TDB. Regardless, I think we can be fairly confident the 59,387+/- will not be getting a "due and equitable" settlement relative to their abuse. The time-bar devaluation factor ensures that. This is how I understand it, based mostly on CynicalScouter's "magical assumptions" analysis. 

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