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What is legally right is not always morally right.

Not sure scandalous conveys the true stupidity that is The Summit.  What was billed as a donation and 4th Crown Jewel is a grossly underused and over developed vanity project.  Basically a development

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@ThenNow, I understand what you’re saying.  Something serious, sexually, happened to you as a youth member.  
 

I was lucky.  My Pack, Troop and Post were led by good people, and my parents were involved.  I can only have sorrow for your experience. As for your personal pain, I pray you are or were in counseling to help it.  In my own life pains (wholly different from sexual abuse) my doc has helped me. 
 

thank you for opening up. 

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1 hour ago, ThenNow said:

You're welcome. I sincerely hope neither my comments nor presence will inhibit the conversation. If so, I apologize. 

Not at all. I think you've just clarified what I'm thinking. Really bad things happened. And yet there is no simple answer. Social norms have changed. The BSA has done a lot of good. The only way forward I see is to be honest, get a complete understanding of what happened and go all in for preventing it from happening again.

I hope you stick around. I'm sure you'll have lots to add. Oh, and welcome to the forum.

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3 hours ago, ThenNow said:

Also, I appreciate your sympathy.

Yes, I have been in therapy and various treatment modalities for about 20 years. Things went south when our oldest son asked to join Scouts.

Welcome to the forum and thank you for your insight.  We all love Scouting and, I think most of us, now realize that horrible things that have happened to too many Scouts in the movement’s past. If the program is to survive we need to understand what happened, do everything in our power to help those injured, learn from tragic mistakes, and move forward. 
 

I am so sorry that this happened to you....my prayer is that the BSA does not let it ever happen again. 

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I think that most people realise that Scouting has accomplished great things, and can still positively influence thousands of young people.  Those same people acknowledge that bad things happened, too.  Blame is hard to place, and I think, that regardless of any safeguards put in place, bad things can take place anywhere and at anytime. I don't have any answers, but if those of us who believe in Scouting, love Scouting, and want to keep Scouting alive we all need to Scout On.  I would like to point out that some people who were abused during a Scouting event and are getting help from mental health professionals have been advised that it may be appropriate to participate in these litigious activities to aid them on their path.  Just food for thought.

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4 hours ago, ThenNow said:

As I view it from my experience, training and professional lens, the organizational and programmatic structure of Scouting did, in fact, create very fertile ground to attract, cultivate and permit sexual predators to abuse boys. There is no question that is true. Was it more insidious and evil? Is it still? I don't know, but I don't think so.

@ThenNow ... I appreciate your insight and regret your experience.  My apologies.   Truly, I am sorry.

I'd like your thoughts on scouting specific versus broader societal problems.  I can't speak to your specific situation as it sounds like the worst case, a trusted leader inflicting abuse over a long time with multiple youth.   

My thoughts are scouting issues paralleled most organizations where youth were present and reflected a society that was not educated or prepared to address the abuse.  My understanding is scouting tried to address the issues before many other programs.  Clearly, not perfectly, but with an attempt.  ...  But church camps to music and sports programs to YMCA programs experienced similar issues.  From what I've read, society in general did not handle this well before the 1990s.  

A few examples I think about was a local music conservatory that did not have glass windows in their practice doors.  In 2003/2004, the conservatory added windows to all their doors after one of their instructors was arrested and charged with abuse.  I think of rumors about several of my teachers.  I think of my 1970s elementary school that had showers turned into storage because of abuse that happened.  I think of a roller rink employee / instructor in my state that abused hundreds according to his testimony.

I'm not trying to excuse scouting as there is not an excuse for abuse.  I'm trying to put it in the context of the society that existed at the time.

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On 12/1/2020 at 11:27 AM, ThenNow said:

Having said that, I am grieved at the way attorneys have swooped into this difficult process, 'gill netting' stables of possible claimants which, in my personal and professional assessment, almost certainly contain many specious or absurdly minute claims.

@ThenNow ... I question the motivation of the attorneys involved.  This feels much more like an attorney get-rich-quick-scheme than a real effort to help plaintiffs.  Plaintiffs will get some funds, but it feels like only the attorneys will truly be better off.  I don't believe anything new will be learned or changed because of the lawsuit.  I doubt the funds will be significant to those damanged.

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4 hours ago, fred8033 said:

@ThenNow ... I appreciate your insight and regret your experience.  My apologies.   Truly, I am sorry.

I'd like your thoughts on scouting specific versus broader societal problems.  I can't speak to your specific situation as it sounds like the worst case, a trusted leader inflicting abuse over a long time with multiple youth.   

My thoughts are scouting issues paralleled most organizations where youth were present and reflected a society that was not educated or prepared to address the abuse.  My understanding is scouting tried to address the issues before many other programs.  Clearly, not perfectly, but with an attempt.  ...  But church camps to music and sports programs to YMCA programs experienced similar issues.  From what I've read, society in general did not handle this well before the 1990s.  

A few examples I think about was a local music conservatory that did not have glass windows in their practice doors.  In 2003/2004, the conservatory added windows to all their doors after one of their instructors was arrested and charged with abuse.  I think of rumors about several of my teachers.  I think of my 1970s elementary school that had showers turned into storage because of abuse that happened.  I think of a roller rink employee / instructor in my state that abused hundreds according to his testimony.

I'm not trying to excuse scouting as there is not an excuse for abuse.  I'm trying to put it in the context of the society that existed at the time.

Having grown up Catholic (directly across the street from the Cathedral), involved in music, theater and sports, I can offer my view. I also have degrees in sociology and psychology and have considered the question, both on my own and as spurred by the topic interwoven throughout the forum.

After considering it for a while, Scouting is unique even amid other many other vulnerable activities involving adults and children, before the late 1980's. It occupies different category because of the sheer range of activities that create opportunity. We had/have swimming, overnight camping, hiking, myriad merit badges, boating, fishing, shooting, wilderness excursions, skill awards and on and on. Add to those contexts and opportunities wicked motive, and you have a very bad scenario. Compare that with focused activities like those I mentioned. Priests have limited proximity and opportunity, though many created new contexts. Most extracurriculars are in group settings and, again, with fewer opportunities in remote locations apart from both adults and, in many cases, other children. Again, predators find ways and means. Private lessons. Staying late after practice, and etc. That's what they do. I do think Scouting had an enormous vulnerability and was, therefore, extremely 'attractive' to sexual predators. In the case of my Scout Master, he basically showed up and became an Assistant and soon SM. Just ten years older than me, he was 20 when I joined. He was married, with no kids. What was he doing there? Who vetted him? Why was he there other than to be around boys? Was he a Scout? To my knowledge, none of the parents knew him. Obviously, he passed through some gate, but which and with what degree of rigor I don't know. 

Having said all that, it was a very different time, without question. To the point, decades after the fact I became aware that at least one adult had an inkling, but did nothing but made sure his boy was protected. 

As to the attorneys, they will certainly make a great deal of money. If the Victims' Compensation Trust is funded with $2B, they will be splitting in the range of $700M. The self-proclaimed, Coalition of Abused Scouts for Justice, claims to have tens of thousands of members. Everyone knows it's really a group of attorneys aggregating their claims and they are the actual coalition, but whatever. If they control 2/3 of the claims, you can do the arithmetic. Honestly, I don't like to think about it. However, I know some of the attorneys who represent claimants and they are excellent people and great counsel. 

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5 minutes ago, David CO said:

That is also what the best teachers and scout leaders do.  

 

I unequivocally agree. Unfortunately, it is, therefore, the perfect cover for those who have impure motives. It is not only easily explained and justified, but noble. As we all know, or perhaps don't, these people are extremely patient, skillful, instinctual, strategic, and tactical. 

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