Boy Scout merit badge #!6 was, as I recall, entitled “Things to do in the dark.” I never got that merit badge, because they wouldn’t give credit for independent study. Many other scouts, however, were well instructed:
“The Boy Scouts is very unique because there is a very dangerous bond between Scout and Scoutmaster,” said Tom Stewart, now a 44-year-old Boeing engineer. “You are out in the middle of nowhere on an outing, and the Scoutmaster is God.”
The abuse involving the Stewart brothers, including oral and anal sex, persisted through high school, the brothers say — at Scout outings and camps, at a drive-in movie theater, at Phelps’ house and in the Stewarts’ basement while their parents were upstairs.
Their parents let them spend weekends at Phelps’ house on the pretext of working on merit badges, even after Phelps had moved to West Seattle, where he led another Scout troop.
“He would say, ‘OK, that knot looks fine; you got your merit badge — now let’s have sex,’ ” said Matt Stewart, now a 42-year-old pharmaceutical salesman in Palm Desert, Calif.
The abuses are apparently widespread:
The previously private records show that the Boy Scouts have ejected at least 5,100 adult leaders nationwide for sexual abuse allegations since 1946.
And the files reveal that, despite efforts to keep potential abusers from joining, the problems persist. In the last 15 years alone, the organization has kicked out leaders for such allegations at a rate of one every other day.
The Boy Scouts are infamously good at providing false data, but according to their claims there were a million adults involved in scouting during this time, making the problem not very significant. In my humble opinion, this is comparable to the Catholic priests.
The only reason it hasn’t hit the papers more is that nobody sues the Boy Scouts, because they don’t have the money that the Catholic Church has. From Wikipedia:
The John Jay Report, commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, found accusations against 4,392 priests in the USA, equalling about 4% of all U.S. priests.
So basically, people, the term “Scouting” now takes on a whole new meaning.
And of course, the next step after one outgrows the Boy Scouts is, well, Explorer Scouts. Swear to god.
Let’s not go there.