Today, The Boy Scouts of America finally released 14,500 pages of secret files detailing an even more extensive cover-up of sexual abuse allegations and admissions, as reported in Boy Scouts 'Perversion' Files Show Locals Helped Cover Up Child Sex Abuse By Scoutmasters:
PORTLAND, Ore. -- An array of local authorities – police chiefs, prosecutors, pastors and town Boy Scout leaders among them – quietly shielded scoutmasters and others who allegedly molested children, according to a newly opened trove of confidential files compiled from 1959 to1985.
At the time, those authorities justified their actions as necessary to protect the good name and good works of Scouting. But as detailed in 14,500 pages of secret "perversion files" released Thursday by order of the Oregon Supreme Court, their maneuvers protected suspected sexual predators while victims suffered in silence. ...
At a news conference Thursday, Portland attorney Kelly Clark blasted the Boy Scouts for their continuing legal battles to try to keep the full trove of files secret. ... "You do not keep secrets hidden about dangers to children," said Clark, who in 2010 won a landmark lawsuit against the Boy Scouts on behalf of a plaintiff who was molested by an assistant scoutmaster in the 1980s.
These secret files from an 2010 Oregon civil suit that the Scouts lost, reveal an all too familiar pattern seen in similar cases with the Catholic Church, and the Penn State Sandusky scandal, of senior organizational leaders conspiring, sometimes with local law enforcement and district attorney's to place a higher priority on the protection of the "good name" of their organizations than to protect children they are responsible for.
This long article describes many cases of Scoutmasters who even confessed but local police and district attorneys deciding not to prosecute for concern of damaging the reputation of the Boy Scouts. Also, a plea deal where the name of the Boy Scouts is intentionally left out of the case.
And, also cases where protected child abusers go on to abuse again in new positions.
We can only hope that the greater publicity such cases are now receiving will reduce the number of such tragic cover-ups in the future. Our hearts go out to the unimaginable number of victims we will never even know about who spend their whole lives scared by abuse enabled by conspiracies of silence with "good intent" to protect the "good names of noble institutions."
Yet, another illustration of the theme, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."