The Boy Scouts of America is similar to the Catholic Church in its homophobia and its attempts to cover up sexual abuse within the organization. But the Oregon Supreme court recently ruled that 20,000 pages of secret ‘perversion files’ kept by them on suspected child abusers must be released to the public.
The 20,000 pages — representing files on 1,200 people — are part of a larger trove of confidential documents the Boy Scouts began compiling decades ago. In 1935, the New York Times reported the Scouts had 2,910 “cards” on men who were unfit to supervise boys.
Paul Mones, one of the plaintiff’s attorneys in the landmark case, said the Oregon files reveal “poignant and disturbing” details.
“These files were integral to the jury finding that the BSA failed to use its vast knowledge of sexual predators to protect its Scouts,” Mones said. “Though the BSA has improved its youth protection policies in recent years, the tragic legacy of the abuse of untold numbers of boys remains.”
Like the Catholic Church, the higher ups in the Boy Scouts seemed to think that they could handle the problems internally and thus avoid the scandal that would ensue by reporting predatory behavior to the police.