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On my Honor - Documentary on BSA Sex Abuse Scandal


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2 hours ago, Eagledad said:

Isn’t that like saying traffic lights don’t work because someone got hurt by a drunk driver running a red light.

No that is a terrible comparison.  It does not even come close to the same thing. 

Now if you were to say there was a red light that almost every day someone ran that light and people were injured. Sometimes it was the same driver running that causing multiple injuries and when they totaled up the injury's caused from running this light it totaled over 82,000. That might be more accurate.

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I want to apologize for me cussing in my comment last week.I let my anger take control of my response.Please accept my apology.I don't want Scouts to shutdown.Even though I was abused I've seen a lot

I think this is the wrong way to look at the problem and is the source of a lot of angst here. Rather than ask for a specific failure rate that is acceptable, after which everyone can say there is no

Youth members also use this forum, can we please keep the conversations and language respectful of that? Scouting is local, always has been, always will be. And locally, most units operate withou

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2 hours ago, clbkbx said:

The Warren report relied on the IV files and estimated there were 12,254 victims between 1944 and 2016. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/23/nyregion/boy-scouts-sex-abuse.amp.html

That the analysis was based on the provided files is a huge caveat throughout the report. This is the sentence before the claim that the rate was lower in the Boy Scouts: 

In making these comparisons, it is important to note that the two “prevalence studies” are different in intent and thoroughness and many factors can help explain the different rates of child sexual abuse including social class, family cohesion, victim vulnerability, and varying levels of investigative experience and vigor.

So, a lot more caveats. Just in a first pass review, there is no reference to the gender makeup of abusers and victims in the Boy Scouts and how that affects reporting.

There are 82,000+ claims in the current bankruptcy. As in the Warren report data, the comparison isn’t direct but I think it’s fair to say the Warren estimates are low. 

Maybe after the bankruptcy there will be more clarity (given more data) on whether CSA was “less of an issue” in the Boy Scouts. 

I’m very [insert synonym for skeptical] of some Warren report conclusions. 

I keep seeing that claim that abuse is lower in scouting but most of the studies cited to support that aren't relevant. For one thing, girls are generally abused 4 to 5 times more frequently than boys, so any study done in the general population would logically have higher rates. There are other issues as noted as well. 

Another point about relative safety is the fact that BSA often seems to think it is doing a better job than it is. As late as 2018 BSA was still claiming it never allowed predators to return to scouting and have access to children. Mike Surbaugh, the then head of BSA, had to retract that a year later in a letter to Congress.  Right up until the bankruptcy filing, BSA was still showing that it was either dishonest or incompetent on this subject. Since nothing much has been done over the past two years since then, I think it's only going forward post bankruptcy that anyone will be able to determine scouting's relative safety. 

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While there are a number of caveats in the Warren Report as to the applications and interpretations, it is fairly clear that the magnitude of things is hard to judge, as there are too many missing pieces.  On the other hand, there is little other currently that delves into the subject at the level needed, and the few other bits and pieces are vague and prone to serious bias.  On the other hand, the report goes into a l great deal of detail and suggests other areas of study beyond it.  

It is likely that any study of this difficult problem, in Scouting or outside, will encounter many inconsistencies and will be prone to the bias of the investigators to some extent.  

Still, the sensational approach with that infamous broad brush that often did not even get its drips stopped before application to the wall is not likely the best approach for serious consideration.  And like the mess that type of painting usually leaves, there is a great amount of touching up and outright do overs.  

Just like the long term affects of the McMartin fiasco, once it goes to a certain point of blind panic and drama, it becomes an unfortunate overly zealous attempt to prove something beyond the actual evidence and prone to that unbalanced and narrow, partially blind crusade.  

Few on here would suggest that "nothing" bad happened or really write off the verifiable cases or even the likelihood that much was missed or handled badly.  That is a given at this point.  And the overlaps with a few other of the more blatant societal CA stories uncovered cannot be simply ignored.  

BSA, from my perspective, is doing and has attempted to do more than most in our fallible society and within the bounds of being human.  True perfectionism is generally limited to that vague utopian concept of the misunderstood spiritual level.  We will never reach that plateau, at least not in this world.  

Lets simply continue to use all the tools we have to lessen the probability that the abuses will recur.  YP and paying attention to it is the only real way, and that goes beyond BSA and into the broader society.  

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25 minutes ago, skeptic said:

fairly clear that the magnitude of things is hard to judge

Glad we agree on that point, but that's exactly what the report does. 

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@ThenNow  Very well stated.  Thank you for outlining the issues in such a manner.  

To number 1., I cannot see how anyone can argue that the institution has failed to adequately protect youth from predators.  


As to number 2., your viewpoint will determine your answer.  If you were abused and left Scouting, you will have lost and suffered much without seeing the positive aspects of the program.  It is not surprising that you feel that it should be dismantled.  The vast majority were not abused and, for the most part, had positive experiences so they see the program as important and beneficial.  The views for each of those groups are understandable and expected (note that neither group will have a single view as people are complex).  Another group suffered abuse but stayed in Scouting and may have a positive attitude.  They may have conflicting concepts as to the best course. 
 

Numbers 3 and 4 are complex and do not have enough data to answer.
 

Number 5 is a brilliant observation.  My feeling is that Scouting will continue in America.  If no BSA, another organization could emerge but likely there will be many separate scouting programs that will make youth protection less likely to be strictly followed. I would argue that a comprehensive single program is best able to enforce strict youth protection policies.  
 

All who remain in Scouting need to be zealots to improve and enforce youth protection policies.   

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5 hours ago, ThenNow said:

1. Is the institution of BSA culpable for historical child sexual abuse?

Yes.  82,000 or so claimants say so.  BSA is parting with several BILLION dollars to eliminate those claims, legally, which confirms the legitimacy of many of the claims.

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5 hours ago, ThenNow said:

2. Is the culpability so great and the institution so unredeemable that it requires dismemberment, regardless the past, current or future good?

Not a fair question as the word "institution" includes both the National BSA corporation, AND the Scouting Movement.

The National BSA corporation appears to be unredeemable.  Management is so inbred, addicted to high pay and benefits, and apparently incapable of making meaningful change.  Eight or more decades of poor performance can be laid at their collective feet. Not to mention a billion dollar bankruptcy.  (Hard to get a job as a Fortune 500 CEO when the last corporation you helmed filed a billion dollar bankruptcy-that is no indication of success no matter how much lipstick on the pig.)  Local SE said to me that "would the Fortune 50 folks on the National Board lead us astray?"  (Uh, well other than a billion dollar bankruptcy, catastrophic declines in membership, and unit inability to recharter because former and potential chartering organizations are terrified of potential liability NOT addressed by National...well, other than that....Yeah, the National Board is a Judas Goat.)

The Scouting Movement. It will endure. Somehow, some way.  It should endure-we need it as a community. Kennedy, when he set the goal of landing a man on the moon and returning safely to earth had no idea how that could be done.  It was a mission statement.  Same with the Scouting Movement.  It will survive-we just don't know now how that survival method will evolve.

I stand with you @ThenNow.

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9 hours ago, SiouxRanger said:

Not a fair question as the word "institution" includes both the National BSA corporation, AND the Scouting Movement.

Where does the question say or imply that? Scouters here have taught me the two are not the same. 

9 hours ago, SiouxRanger said:

I stand with you @ThenNow.

Thank you. 

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On 4/25/2022 at 6:15 AM, Eagledad said:

Isn’t that like saying traffic lights don’t work because someone got hurt by a drunk driver running a red light.

Scouting is very safe. Not perfect, but very safe.

Barry

If 82,500 people are killed at one type of traffic light in a particular type of location or context, that type of light either doesn't work flat out or is utterly ineffective and/or dysfunctional in that context. On that basis I don't think the analogy is apt either, but don't really care so much if it is or isn't.

My concern is with the second sentence. There can be a tendency by some to switch tenses in mid argument. When a post is addressing the past, a sleight of hand switcheroo rebuttal inserts present and future. Two different arguments entirely. That swap out is unfair, invalid as a rebuttal and, most importantly irrelevant. I'm not poking, just using this example to illustrate what I see as a fault line in one side of the debate. That's all. Carry on...

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19 hours ago, ThenNow said:

5. If BSA is dismantled, will scouting cease to exist? By the words of many, many of you Scouters, it's a resounding no. In that case, are kids safer in thousands of independent groups without a high level of institutional oversight, including the rigorous input of BSA CSA survivors? I'm concerned that it would not be. 

 

18 hours ago, vol_scouter said:

Number 5 is a brilliant observation.  My feeling is that Scouting will continue in America.  If no BSA, another organization could emerge but likely there will be many separate scouting programs that will make youth protection less likely to be strictly followed. I would argue that a comprehensive single program is best able to enforce strict youth protection policies.

I would contend that kids are less safe in either situation, without the constant vigilance of adults who are watching out for them.

Policies do not equal vigilance...that is part of the thinking that got us here in the first place.

As a kid who was groomed and abused, I know what the predator looks and acts like.  He is the nicest person in the world.  He cares for your kids.  He is friendly.  He goes out of his way to help them and you.  He is biding his time and waiting for the opportunity.  What I'd really like to know is, how long does he wait before he gives up and moves on to a new target?  And does he stalk several prey at once?

Here's a good synopsis of the process...

https://www.albertacacs.ca/blog/stages-of-grooming

Look at the first three behaviors...these align somewhat with what a good Scout leader actually does as far as recruiting Scouts, gaining trust of Scouts and parents, and filling needs for adventure, organization, advancement, etc.

It's where number four comes in that we need vigilance.  Vigilance by parents, leaders, and Scouts.  BSA National doesn't do squat in this area.  They really don't come into the picture until after an abuse has occurred and been reported.  BSA has NO insight into unit programs or what goes on at the unit level.  So, in essence, there are a multitude of separate programs underway right now.

YPT begins at home.  It should be pervasive in schools.  It should be an attitude and mindset that we all have (all people...not just all Scouters).

I never, ever, left one of my kids alone with anyone other than a family member.  In some families, even that is a risk...  And I told my kids when they were younger, that they were never to be alone with an adult unless Mom or Dad said it was OK.

You would not believe how many parents now trust me implicitly with their Scouts.  Parents would be OK with having me pick up and drop off their kids for Scouting events.  They would be fine with dropping them off at my house for merit badges or Scout skills.  But I do not, under any circumstances, allow a situation where I am alone with someone else's kid.  I maintain the vigil on myself, and it surprises me how many parents would willingly put their kids into my hands, and who offer that as a matter of convenience on a routine basis.

It's like the message just doesn't get through...  In spite of parents having to read and go through YPT stuff with their Scouts.  I sincerely doubt most read it.

An abuser can easily mimic my behavior and concern for Scouts.

Watch out for the ones who seek to be alone with a Scout!  To me, that is the key, critical behavior that is the red flag.

When we go camping, I want as many adults around as possible.  The more eyes, the better.   The more collective training we have, the better.

We had a saying in the military, when figuring out how to defeat our adversaries...

You must learn to think like the wolf before you can kill the wolf. 

Most people will not put themselves into the thought process of the predator.  I did, and I do.  How does someone want to get my Scouts?  Act like me, and then isolate them.

That will not happen on my watch.

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18 hours ago, vol_scouter said:

All who remain in Scouting need to be zealots to improve and enforce youth protection policies.  

I'm gonna make a left turn to Albuquerque and address YP directly. If this needs to go elsewhere, I guess it can be moved. My concern is some won't go there and we'll lose the topic. 

I really would like to hear more from you Scouters about the YP provisions now in the plan. I think it's very important to know what those applying the in the field elements think and feel about them. Thanks for your support. (Nod to Bartles & Jaymes.) 

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