Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sunshine, Dry Air, Baseball, Pedophiles and Boy Scouts

It's a beautiful day in southern California, albeit a bit on the scary-dry side and we're headed east and north to a baseball game in the deep, dark valley. I've got on a tee-shirt and jeans and will bring along an umbrella to shield my lily-white skin from the wicked rays of autumn. I opened the newspaper this morning casually, like I said yesterday I generally only scan the headlines and then politely fold it back up and place it on a stool for The Husband to peruse when he comes home from the Mistress -- but this morning's headlines screamed, atrociously, to me BOY SCOUTS FAILED TO REPORT ABUSER so I placed my coffee cup down and unfolded the paper and my heart quickened and my stomach sickened. It would seem that back in the dark days of the seventies and eighties, many boys were abused sexually by Boy Scout leaders and the organization didn't report these known incidences to the police but removed them from their positions with kind letters, assuring them, the pedophiles, that their positions in the community would not be ruined or embarrassed or whatever else. The said pedophile then skipped off to Canada and proceeded to do exactly the same thing and the Canadian scouts overlooked it as well.

Well, damn.

Whether this is going to mimic the Catholic Church pedophile scandals remains to be seen, but as the mother of a Cub Scout, I'm sick about it.

Reader, what would you do?


  1. This may be an unpopular position, but I take unpopular stances on many issues. The BSA denies membership to atheists, agnostics, gays and lesbians (the latter as Cub Scout volunteers). Whatever their reason (duty to god and country), there is ample evidence of intolerance and discrimination. The Catholic Church uses a similar rationale to shun these groups. Sadly, I would not let my kids be members because of my personal value system. Parents whose values are consistent with the BSA should encourage participation.

  2. I find it frightening and revolting that this could have happen yet I also am not even surprised. That in itself bothers me. How is there are so many sick individuals praying on our children?

    When my one daughter did Girl Scouts in the 1990's they had just required all those even volunteering to have a background check. At the time I thought it was silly to do this but looking back find it wise.

  3. When will there ever be true justice for the most vulnerable in our world?

  4. Look- here's what I think is the damn truth and I'm sorry but I believe it: I think that most adult males do not really care that much about hanging out with children and if they seek out positions where they are around lots of children (boys and/or girls) then I think that many (not all! NOT ALL!) of them are pedophiles.
    I don't know, Elizabeth. I do not know what the answer is. We cannot not allow our children to take part in things like the Scouts for fear. I mean hey! Scouts are great! Even if they are sort of homophobic and stuff. Well, nothing's perfect.
    But, back to the pedophilia- things HAVE changed in the reporting of such incidents. Thank god. Kids are better educated and I think that's the key- keep telling your kids about such things.
    Oh s**t. I am sorry. I don't really know the answer at all.

  5. I have a group of friends who dealt with this problem. They have girls in girl scouts (and therefore sons who wanted to join boy scouts), but all of the parents were really unhappy about letting their boys join boy scouts. After much debate, they started their own club called "Nature boys", with hats, bags, patches (found online someplace), and once a month meetings. Two mothers are nominally in charge, and thus far the boys love it (six months in), and the ones old enough to know about the homophobia (that was the main issue for the families) in Boy Scouts were really happy to have an alternative. cheers,

  6. It makes me so sad for the children who were faceless victims of this. I honestly think that the best approach is to keep everyone's feet to the fire. Continually remind the BSA that their actions are under scrutiny and they will be held responsible and bring our children up to SCREAM BLOODY MURDER if someone so much as talks about touching them.

    I think it requires a cultural shift that is happening, but without continued pressure, it is too easy to hide things. I also think it is important to honor those who are doing the right thing - namely serving kids with honorable intentions.

  7. Phil - I agree with you on some counts, but I find your last sentence harsh and a tad condescending.

    Ellen -- I think the requirements now in the Boy Scouts are similar.

    Birdie - It does seem exhausting -

    Ms. Moon -- Your thoughts are always brave and cogent. Thank you --

    Emily - Bravo to your friends, although I hardly have the energy to do the same!

    Kario - Brilliant comment -- and I'll very much take it to heart.

  8. I didn't know about all of this Elizabeth. Wow. I deeply fear things like this for my kids. It's so hard t get beyond innocence lost.

  9. I watched the Canadian documentary on this quite by accident . The testimony of the boys/men made me cry.

    I think what I found more chilling than the words of the pedophile when he was interviewed though were those of some woman of authority who clearly came across as an avert your eyes and keep your job kind of person.

    The sick person is guilty, but there is so often the 'everyone else'.

  10. What would I do before or after I threw up? Having worked in abuse for years and attended monthly sex crimes meetings for a season I trust no one.



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