The Scout Law is a list of 12 characteristics that the Boy Scouts of America says every Scout tries to live up to. “It is not always easy to do, but a Scout always tries.” The first of these characteristics is trustworthy.
This seems like a cruel joke. For decades, the BSA violated the trust of the members it demanded be trustworthy by hiding the fact that thousands of its scoutmasters and adult volunteers had sexually abused innocent youth.
Tell the truth and keep promises.
For decades, the Boy Scouts of America fought to keep information about the sexual abuse of Scouts under wraps. Instead of reporting suspected abuse to the police, the BSA kept detailed files on volunteers that were accused of wrongdoing. 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 were 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.
The graphic descriptions of abuse contained in the files, which are available to the public thanks to a lawsuit filed by Attorney Paul Mones, are chilling. Yet at trial, the assistant chief scout executive, the number two in command at the BSA, professed ignorance as to their contents:
Q: Are you aware of any sexual abuse at all that’s represented by the perversion files, sir?
A: No, sir.
A Scout official tasked with running the Perversion Files testified in response to Attorney Mones’s question about his awareness of the “…problem of scouts being molested by adult leaders,” by asserting that he was, “Not quite sure it’s a problem…”
Were these Scout leaders telling the truth?
People can depend on you.
In February 2020, nearly 110 years to the day of its founding, the Boy Scouts of America declared bankruptcy.
Victim-survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of a BSA employee, volunteer, or fellow Scout now have a limited window of opportunity to hold the organization accountable for the harm it caused when it decided to protect its own reputation was more important than protecting the young men it claimed to serve.
All former scouts and even present ones who have been sexually abused by their adult leaders have a very short time frame in which to come forward to make a claim in bankruptcy court. If you are a victim or the parent of a victim, please know you have to file your claim before November 16, 2020.
If you are a victim-survivor, Attorney Paul Mones or one of the other attorneys on our team would be happy to talk with you about your case. It does not matter how long ago the abuse occurred, whether your abuser is named in the P Files or not, what state you lived in at the time the abuse occurred, or where you live now, we are here to help.