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Report: Homophobic Boy Scouts Were A Safe Haven For Pedophiles

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With each passing day, the similarities between the Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church seem to grow and grow, at least in terms of their handling of allegations of sexual abuse over the years. Just look at the L.A. Times, which got its paws on 1,600 confidential Boy Scout files from between 1970 and 1991—and put a number of them online to make you feel ill—and you'll see what we mean. Apparently, the full Boy Scouts motto should read: "Be prepared (to cover up and deny abuse)."

Basically, it appears that, whatever the case with the extremely heterosexual BSA is now, for quite a long time the beloved organization was systematically covering up and not reporting sexual abuse of its charges. Y'know, for the sake of the kids! While the majority of cases were apparently reported to authorities first, "in more than 500 instances, the Scouts learned about it from boys, parents, staff members or anonymous tips." Of those, about 400, or 80 percent, appear to never have been reported to the police. Worse? "In more than 100 of the cases, officials actively sought to conceal the alleged abuse or allowed the suspects to hide it." All of which made it easier for the sexual abuse to happen again.

And by hide it, they really do mean hide it. The Times goes through quite a few disturbing cases from the files, but here is one example to get your blood boiling:

With 50 years in Scouting, Arthur W. Humphries appeared to be a model leader, winning two presidential citations and the Scouts' top award for distinguished service — the Silver Beaver — for his work with disabled boys in Chesapeake, Va. Unknown to most in town, he also was a serial child molester.

A few months after Humphries' arrest in 1984, local Scouting official Jack Terwilliger told the Virginian-Pilot newspaper that no one at the local Scout council had had suspicions about Humphries.

But that was not true. Records in Humphries' file show that six years earlier, Terwilliger had ordered officials to interview a Scout who gave a detailed account of Humphries' repeated acts of oral sex on him.

"He then told me to do the same and I did," the 12-year-old boy said in a sworn statement in 1978.

Officials not only failed to report Humphries' alleged crime to police, records show — they also gave him a strong job reference two years later, when he applied for a post at a national Scouting event.

"I believe the attached letters of recommendation and the newspaper write-up will give you a well rounded picture of Art," Terwilliger wrote. "If selected, I am sure that he would add much to the handicapped awareness trail at the 1981 Jamboree."

Humphries continued to work with Scouts and molested at least five more boys before police, acting on a tip, stopped him in 1984. He was convicted of abusing 20 Boy Scouts, some as young as 8, and was sentenced to 151 years in prison.

By then, one of the Scouts he'd abused a decade earlier had become his accomplice. He was convicted of molesting many of the same boys at Humphries' house.

Humphries and Terwilliger are both deceased.

Understandably, the BSA is not really interested in talking about the past and insists that it has made everything better: "We have always cooperated fully with any request from law enforcement and today require our members to report even suspicion of abuse directly to their local authorities," a rep said in a statement. Of course, that requirement was only instituted in 2010, but what can you do?
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Sadly, many of these cases appear to be past statutes of limitations, but that doesn't mean this isn't going to get worse—and get a lot more press—before it gets better. In June, the Oregon Supreme Court ordered that 1,247 of the Scouts' confidential files be released (many of which appear to overlap with the ones that the Times obtained). Thank goodness the Boy Scouts won't let homosexuals anywhere near their charges, right?