Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Boy Scouts of America Files for Bankruptcy

There are stark parallels between the Boy Scouts of America and the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy.  The leadership of both organizations put protecting their reputations over the safety of children and youths and both maintained extensive records of abuse cases that remained hidden from the public.  Meanwhile, little was done to make sure pedophiles - which is something markedly different from being gay despite Christofascist and Catholic Church efforts to conflate the two even though the vast majority of pedophiles are heterosexual - did not find positions within the organization.  In the end, it was the deliberate cover ups and lies to the public and police authorities that have lead to the disgrace of the institutions and now a bankruptcy filing by the Boy Scouts much like numerous Catholic Church dioceses. The New York Times looks at this development.  Here are highlights:
The Boy Scouts of America, an iconic presence in the nation’s experience for more than a century, filed for bankruptcy protection early Tuesday, succumbing to financial pressures that included a surge in legal costs over its handling of sexual abuse allegations.
Founded in 1910, the Boy Scouts have long maintained internal files at their headquarters in Texas detailing decades of allegations involving nearly 8,000 “perpetrators, according to an expert hired by the organization. Lawyers have said in recent months that former scouts have come forward to identify hundreds of other abusers not included in those files.
The bankruptcy filing, in Delaware, is expected to disrupt continuing litigation and establish a deadline for when former scouts can pursue claims.
Jim Turley, the national chair of Boy Scouts of America, said in an open letter that the organization was entering bankruptcy in order to equitably compensate all victims of abuse through a trust.
It is unclear how much of an overhaul the bankruptcy process will bring to the Boy Scouts, which reports having 2.4 million youth participants, but Mr. Kosnoff said the filing seemed necessary given the totality of the claims that have emerged. At a minimum, Mr. Kosnoff said he would like to see the organization clean out its management and end lucrative salaries for leaders, some of whom earn more than half a million dollars annually.
Even then, Mr. Kosnoff said that he finds it “difficult to impossible” for him to envision a new structure that would give him confidence that the nonprofit has sufficiently changed. He said the organization, which has operated under a congressional charter since 1916, may need to liquidate and allow some new organization with better controls come in to fill the void.
Other organizations, including Catholic dioceses and U.S.A. Gymnastics, have also sought bankruptcy protection in recent years as they have faced sexual-abuse lawsuits.
The Boy Scouts’ troubles have lingered for decades. In a 1935 article in The New York Times, the organization described having files on hundreds of people who had been leaders in the scouts but had been labeled “degenerates.”
While their records date back a century, the Boy Scouts fought the release of some of the files in an Oregon case in the early 2000s — a case that led a jury to hold the Scouts liable in 2010 for $18.5 million in punitive damages. The records in that case stayed private until a ruling from the Oregon Supreme Court in 2012 made them public.
Paul Mones, a lawyer in that case, said he recalled musing with his co-counsel at the time that the files may just be the tip of the iceberg that could ultimately send the Boy Scouts toward bankruptcy. But instead of trying to establish a compensation fund for victims over the years, he said, the organization continued trying to protect its reputation.
Mr. Mones said that the bankruptcy filing will deny other victims an opportunity to hold the scouts accountable in court.
Victims and their lawyers have argued that the files hid the problem and left scouts at risk. Mr. Pierce said he did not know until much later that there was a systemic problem in the Boy Scouts. He said that while the organization helped shape him and gave him many positive experiences, he now believes it must be abolished or radically changed.
“It provides pedophiles with access to boys,” Mr. Pierce said. “That has to stop. I don’t know if that means getting rid of the Boy Scouts or some new oversight.”
Once again, its a case of those irresponsibly seeking to protect an organization being the ones to destroy it. Yet, over and over again we see the same pattern. especially in religious organizations. 

1 comment:

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Remember when they wanted to ban gays to be in the Boy Scouts? I do.
I was just telling another blogger that I used to be a Boy Scout and nothing gay ever happened. Nothing Not a hint. Guess I was not running in the right Boy Scout circles...