“The Perversion Files”: Trial Reveals Secret Files on Alleged Child Abuse in the Scouts

The Boy Scouts of America are accused of engaging in a cover-up of abuse that is reminiscent of the Catholic Church. In a Portland, Oregon court, long undisclosed files have been discovered (over the objections of the Scouts) that reveal numerous such cases of abuse. The Scouts reportedly called the documents “the perversion files.”

The case involves a scout who was abused in the 1980s.

There are supposedly 1,000 Boy Scouts sex files that have been disclosed in the case. What will be interesting is to learn how many of these cases led to a report to the police.

The Scouts have long banned gay Scout leaders ( a position — while I did serve as former Scout leader — I have opposed). The Scouts have to accept that accepting gay scout leaders does not increase such abuse. The vast majority of pedophiles are self-described heterosexual males.

For the full story, click here.

18 thoughts on ““The Perversion Files”: Trial Reveals Secret Files on Alleged Child Abuse in the Scouts

  1. Scouting is supposed to teach valuable survival skills. While avoiding pedophiles is a valuable skill, this is not the way to teach it.

  2. “The vast majority of pedophiles are self-described heterosexual males”.

    This is abolutely true, although apparently not widely known or acknowledged. Most pedophiles (whether they abuse boys or girls) are heterosexual in their adult relationships.

  3. Deviant sexual behavior is not limited by sexual preference. In these cases, I think innocence and control are the basis of arousal.

  4. Duh,

    Absolutely. Much of the literature surrounding the subject indicates that pedophilia, like rape, is a crime based on a “control” pathology.

  5. “Deviant sexual behavior is not limited by sexual preference… innocence and control are the basis of arousal”

    I agree completely that pedophilia is not about sexual preference at all, but about dominance and control over someone who is not an adult.

    But the point that pedophiles are usually self-identified heterosexuals (and indeed heterosexuals in their adult relationships) has to be made because of the still-prevalent perception that children have to be protected from gay men – hence for example the longstanding ban on gay scout leaders. Gay men are discriminated against on this basis all the time because people think gay = pedophile and it is bigoted nonsense. Pedophiles can’t be identified by their adult sexual preference – that’s the whole point.

    How is it possible that I have agreed with Duh on two separate threads today? Has the earth tipped on its axis? :)

  6. “How is it possible that I have agreed with Duh on two separate threads today? Has the earth tipped on its axis?”

    That’s one of the dangers of listening to what others have to say. Most of us are here because we actually care about our world. Even the Framers of our Constitution disagreed about subsequent interpretation. I’m not surprised at all to find honorable people having disagreements. I’m even less surprised to find out about the things on which we agree. :) That’s how we learn from each other.

  7. gYGES:

    objective law?

    the British were all about society and could give a good rats ass for the individual if it was counter to the good of society. They would throw an individual under the bus if it meant “protecting” society. But they forgot that “society” is nothing but a group of individuals.

    You cannot protect a group by protecting detrimental elements and you cannot protect an individual by protecting a group. Transparency and openness is what protects the individual and the “society” and you hope that you have objective law to weigh the issues and pass judgement.

  8. It doesn’t surprise me at all. (I should say that I was both a Scout and Catholic school student, and was (luckily, thankfully!) never molested or “messed with” by adults.)

    There is enough of the “traditional culture” in US Scouting that such a cover-up seems to fit right in. Maybe it isn’t fair, but I can’t help but associate this sort of cover-up with the homophobic, “Judeo-Christian”-only, obedience to authority and “traditional values” types that make themselves prominent in Scouting.

    I say “make themselves prominent” because there are lots of sensible people in organizations like Scouting, like Prof. Turley, myself or my dad, who was Order of the Arrow and an Eagle Scout, but the right-wing cranks somehow put themselves in a position to do things like exclude atheists (at least those who are forthright about their beliefs.)

  9. In June 2008 I wrote:

    … Perhaps we could model society after the Boy Scouts of America? All gay men are banished, leaving only heterosexual pedophiles to molest boys miles from civilization.

    There has been (and probably still is) significant sexual abuse within the Boy Scouts actively covered up by the organization.

  10. It is interesting that the Boy Scouts have been following the Catholic priest manual for developing young men. Someone in a Boy Scout uniform needs to go to jail for hiding these crimes.

  11. rafflaw QUOTE “Someone in a Boy Scout uniform needs to go to jail for hiding these crimes.”

    Ditto!!!

    ANYONE who covers up a crime like this is also guilty, right up to the top scout or top Pope!

  12. There is an update in this case.

    Oregon Justices Approve Release of Boy Scouts’ ‘Perversion Files’

    SEATTLE — Oregon’s highest court cleared the way on Thursday for the release of thousands of pages of documents detailing accusations and investigations of sexual abuse or other improprieties by Boy Scout leaders around the nation from the mid-1960s into the 1980s.

    The files played a central role in a civil case in 2010 over the abuse of six boys by a scout leader in Portland, Ore., in the 1980s. That trial ended with an $18.5 million punitive judgment against the Boy Scouts of America, the largest ever by far against the organization in a sex case jury trial.

    The “perversion files,” which the Boy Scout organization said were kept as a way of weeding out bad leaders and preventing abuse, instead became evidence in the trial. And the state judge in the case, John A. Wittmayer, ruled that as evidence, the files should be released to the public under the open records provision of the Oregon Constitution, but with the names of possible victims and people who had reported accusations redacted. Thursday’s ruling by the Oregon Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the Boy Scouts of America, and said the judge had not exceeded his authority.

Comments are closed.