PORTLAND, OR – When the Oregon Supreme Court forced the Boy Scouts of America to turn over its ‘Perversion Files’, the contents revealed how the organization allowed hundreds of men the freedom to work with children, even though the scouts banned them for life.
“Child abuse thrives in secrecy and secret systems are where it breeds and these secrets are out,” said Kelly Clark, one of the attorneys who got the files released.
They cover the years 1965 to 1985. The Boy Scouts of America fought hard to keep their dirty little secrets ‘secret’, saying confidentiality protects victims by encouraging people to speak up.
‘There’s no question that there are times in the past, and these go back to 40-50 years old, where we did not do the job that we should have. For that, and for people hurt, and for that we are profoundly sorry,’ said BSA president Wayne Perry.
The Los Angeles Times found hundreds of cases where Boy Scout officials did not report abuse to police or covered it up.
In a different case, a Texas judge ordered the release of files from after 1985. But attorneys expect the scouts to appeal.
The released files are available online, searchable by name, city, and state. Texas has 77 names on the list, with several from the Houston area.
The oldest dates back to 1960, with the most recent in 1985, the last year released by the scouts.
The Texas Sex Offender Registry site lets you see if the banned scout leaders have been convicted of sex crimes and are still in Texas.
This summer, the Boys Scouts of America was accused of being homo-phobic for excluding gays. It now appears that they had quite a lot to be afraid of.