“On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” -The Scout Oath
Individual Scouts take the oath above very seriously, but for decades, the organization that taught it to them was ignoring its most basic points.
Decades Of Wrongdoing
Since the early 1920s, the BSA has kept files on adult leaders and volunteers who committed various crimes and offenses. These files were originally called the Red Flag Files or the Confidential Files. Today, they are referred to as the Ineligible Volunteer or I.V. Files.
The I.V. Files include information on BSA staff and volunteers who have been accused of six categories of offenses — Moral, Financial, Leadership, Theft, Criminal, and Perversion. The largest category by far is Perversion. The Perversion Files, or “P Files” as the BSA internally refers to them, contain the names of scoutmasters, volunteers, and BSA staff accused or convicted of molesting or otherwise sexually abusing Boy Scouts. (Thanks to the work of Attorney Paul Mones, these files are now public documents, which can be accessed by clicking here.)
For decades, the organization added to the Perversion Files, but rarely did Boy Scout leaders contact law enforcement officials and report alleged sexual abuse. As Attorney Paul Mones pointed out in an interview with USA Today, “Boy Scouts could have gotten ahead of this early on but literally chose not to… I believe they’ve been trying to look at that problem, but the problem is that it’s a day late and a dollar short.”
They failed to help others, and instead focused on protecting the organization. This led them down a crooked path. It is this moral failure that ultimately forced the BSA into bankruptcy.
Moral Bankruptcy Is Costly
On February 18, 2020, the Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy because of the shameful way it dealt with the problem of its Scouts being sexually abused by its Scout masters and other adult volunteers.
There were too many former Scouts coming forward with tales of abuse for the organization to continue to resolve the lawsuits filed against it one at a time. Filing for bankruptcy means all claims against the organization will be consolidated, and a trust set up to compensate victim-survivors.
If you are a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a Boy Scout leader, volunteer, or employee, now is the time to speak with an attorney about what happened to you. It does not matter how long ago the abuse occurred, what state you lived in at the time the abuse occurred, or where you live now, you may be eligible for monetary compensation.
Attorney Paul Mones and his team are prepared to help as many Boy Scout abuse victim-survivors as possible seek justice whether the BSA remains solvent or not. Paul has years of experience handling childhood sexual abuse cases, and a passion for seeing past wrongs righted. When you are ready to come forward and learn about your options, Paul and his team are ready to help.