As Bad

There is no need to re-hash the disgusting acts of Jerry Sandusky on here, other than to use that case as a springboard to dissect how other organizations handle known or suspected pedophiles.  Penn State did a bad job, and was punished by the NCAA (rightfully or wrongfully), and is being sued by the victims.

Another “pillar” organization (let’s be honest, Penn State football was a model before the news broke), the Boy Scouts, seem to have handled known or suspected pedophiles as bad or worse than Penn State did.  And that brings up the question:  where is the outrage?

No matter what news site you went to last November and December, news of Sandusky dominated the headlines.  The comment sections were filled with people who were outraged and disgusted.  Now, here we are one December later, and the Boy Scouts are the focus of such a case, yet there is little outrage.  Stories mentioning the cases or lawsuits are buried on news sites.  Why the effort to protect the Scouts?  Is it because so many were Boy Scouts and people just don’t want to believe that it could happen in that organization?  A lot of people were also Nittany Lions, but that does not change the facts of what happened there.

In case you missed it, and you probably did because of where the story would have appeared on any given site, there is a case where a victim is suing the Boy Scouts in Illinois for failing to stop a pedophile from being a volunteer, even after he was convicted in Indiana on felony sex abuse charges in the 1970s.  It wasn’t until his arrest in 1988 and 1989 for sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy that he was no longer affiliated with the Scouts.  What makes it worse is that the Scouts had a file on this “man,” that detailed his conviction in Indiana:

he was “arrested for homosexual activity with many boys both in  Scouting and through the school in which he was teaching.”

That information was on file, in writing from a Scout leader in Indiana to the national office, yet was ignored.  The people in Illinois did not even bother to do a background check on him when he moved there, even though he would have appeared on their “ineligible volunteer” list.

But a decade later when he  left Indiana and moved to Illinois and became active again in Scouting, no one  conducted a background check or ran his name against the list of known and  suspected pedophiles.

I fail to believe that this is the only case where a pedophile was allowed around young boys by the Scouts.  They seem to have operated with the proverbial “don’t ask, don’t tell” mentality, and that just does not cut it with me.  And it should not cut it with you.  Yes, what this one case shows is that the offender is a sick pervert, but it also shows willful negligence from the Scouts.  There is no telling how many other pedophiles volunteered with the Scouts, and maybe even still do have access to and contact with young boys.

Yes, hindsight is 20/20 in this case, and the Scouts should have made it a blanket requirement to conduct background checks of volunteers when all of this was taking place.  Hindsight was also 20/20 in the Penn State case, but that is not stopping numerous lawsuits from being filed.  Hindsight does not, however, grant a free pass to negligence and willful blindness.  Like Penn State, the Scouts cannot merely issue an apology and move on, with “tougher safeguards” in place.  Like Penn State, the Scouts should have their feet held to the fire after having allowed known pedophiles to be in constant contact with young boys.

Information in this entry was taken from this article on



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