Boy Scouts of America – Sex Abuse Revelations. Who Next?
Posted by Barry Pittard on March 31, 2010
Perhaps the day of great account will eventually come for the international Sathya Sai Organization.
At the moment, the Boy Scouts of America is under close scrutiny for its practices in dealing – and not dealing – with the sexual abuse issue.
In recent articles at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’, I have been pointing to cases in other areas which have often taken years of persistent activism by those who have exposed appalling levels of cover up by powerful institutions.
Typically found throughout all these institutions are the themes of psychological denial by the generality of followers and deliberate denial by those authorities who know the facts and go to great lengths to hide them. The amount of denigration, name-calling, distortion of what is being said, shunning, libel and defamation of those who have stood forth to reveal the facts, are also typical. They fly completely in the face of the professed ethical and spiritual teachings of those institutions, which in many cases are unexceptionable.
An oft-repeated and egregious flaw of apologists is to avoid the fact that the institutions which they defend should be accountable to the law. Pope Benedict’s now says that he is ‘sorry’ for the countless sexual abuses by certain of his priests, but modern notions of reporting abuse to the police were absent in his document.
Despite the Pope’s recent apology to Irish Roman Catholic survivors of priest abuse – vastly long in coming (and what of huge reported abuses occurring in his church throughout the world?) – still fails to resolve the issue of accountability to civil law. Such a glaring omission suggests no reason why a church with such profound failure in reforming its handling of thousands of sexual abuse cases should be entrusted to exercise ecclesiastical law in these matters.
The apologists in all these institutions attack the ‘messengers’, who are typically prepared to be accountable for their allegations. It is, rather, those who stand forth who go to the media, mount legal challenges, suffer threats (sometimes to life and limb), set up counseling situations for abuse survivors, do prodigious researches, write articles, attend to voluminous correspondence and (often highly inopportune) telephone calls, do media interviews, consult with lawyers and abuse experts, and maintain websites and blogsites that are in constant need of concentrated attention …. It is they who are so viciously and constantly attacked. It is they and their families and friends who are unconscienably put under pressure by fanatics and other nasty people. It is they who make untold professional, financial and health sacrifices; but it is the institutions which strenuously attempt to avoid account. See recent articles at this site:
Boy Scouts sex abuse files now evidence in suit
‘Perversion’ documents to shed light on how Scouts dealt with molesters
updated 11:03 p.m. ET March 20, 2010…. “A judge who had ordered the Scouts to release them received 1,247 files into evidence near the end of the day Friday — the third day of trial that began with a lawyer saying “you will be the first jury to see them.”
Attorneys Paul Mones and Kelly Clark won the release of files from 1965 to 1985 to help them make the case in a $14 million lawsuit against the Boy Scouts filed by a 37-year-old Oregon man. He was sexually molested in the early 1980s by assistant Scoutmaster Timur Dykes, who was convicted three times between 1983 and 1994 of sexually abusing boys, most of them Scouts …
… During questioning by Mones, Marshall acknowledged there was no system in place to warn Scouts or their parents about potential sex abuse, and no procedure for them to report it.
Scout executives had no written guidelines until a 1972 memo on the subject that also urged them to keep its contents confidential “because of misunderstandings which could develop if it were widely distributed.”
Earlier Friday, testimony from a bishop for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints responsible for a Scout troop of church members suggested the Scouts never provided leaders with training about spotting abuse or preventing it”.
There is a Spanish version available: