Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Another American Icon Takes a Fall.

First, it was the Roman Catholic Church.  Then the scandal hit a respected University, Penn State.

It is about to be the Boy Scouts' turn?

According to the LA Times, it is!

First seen by this blogger on Dispatches from the Culture Wars by Ed Brayton, the LA Times published a story about a secret set of blacklisted names of past pedophiles who not only left the organization under very quiet circumstances, but were allowed to use bogus excuses to hide the real reasons from parents and the public, and many were never reported to the police.

The numbers of coverups are reported to be in the hundreds of cases.

A Los Angeles Times review of 1,600 confidential files dating from 1970 to 1991 has found that Scouting officials frequently urged admitted offenders to quietly resign — and helped many cover their tracks.
Volunteers and employees suspected of abuse were allowed to leave citing bogus reasons such as business demands, "chronic brain dysfunction" and duties at a Shakespeare festival.
The details are contained in the organization's confidential "perversion files," a blacklist of alleged molesters, that the Scouts have used internally since 1919. Scouts' lawyers around the country have been fighting in court to keep the files from public view.

Two decades of sexual abuse - 1600 cases.  And, after twenty years, we're only hearing about it now.  Why is it that religiously based organizations have such an aversion to reporting the sexual abuse of minors to police?  Can't they see that the reporting proves they are moral and trying to protect the kids under their charge and that hiding it - instead of preserving their reputation - eventually destroys that same reputation when the coverup is inevitably revealed?

I can understand the impulse to protect their organization, kids are the very reason they exist.  But instead of keeping the whole problem under wraps, reporting the abuse, setting guidelines for behavior and instituting protective measures to eliminate abusers are the very hallmark of an organization that cares and is determined to protect their charges.    Hiding it looks for all the world like they actually condone it!

This doesn't look good.

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