The Boy Scouts of America is all about learning how to survive. And over the past century, it sure has created a lot of survivors, with 7,819 documented cases of suspected abusers and 12,254 of underaged victims, and those numbers are still rising. So now, with the help of the government, the organization is finally taking drastic steps to safeguard what is most important to them, making sure Adult Boys Scouts won't be getting their hands on their sweet, innocent funds.
Thanks to direly needed adjustments to local state laws regarding sexual assault, the Boy Scouts of America, where you earn your Eagle Scout badge by pretending not to see the rampant child molestation, is being overwhelmed by hundreds of new lawsuits from abused former Boy Scouts. But afraid they'll run out of money long before they'll run out of victims, the Boy Scouts have officially filed for bankruptcy, as it will allow them to make payouts through a trust instead of loud, public lawsuits.
While the Boy Scouts has done much good for its 130 million members over its lifetime, it's hard to feel bad for an organization that has knowingly covered up for its abusers since day one. As early as the 1920s, the Boy Scouts have been keeping lists of known "degenerates" who they were letting take kids into the woods. These "Perversion Files" were supposed to keep tabs on molesters and make sure they never Scouted again, but were never voluntarily shared with law enforcement or parents, only made public in 2012 when an Oregon court ordered the Boy Scouts to do so -- after also ordering them to pay out $18,5 million in punitive damages.
Instead, the Perversion Files were only seen by Scout members who had earned their sexual predator coverup badge, the kind of people who wrote back to concerned local chapter heads: "I agree that sleeping in the nude and showing boys pornographic books indicated very poor judgment with dealing with Cub Scouts. I do not know, however, that this is a serious enough offense to refuse registration." Or as another top BS executive, when asked under oath if he was aware of the "problem of scouts being molested by adult leaders," put it: "Not quite sure it's a problem." As a result, rampant abuse with little oversight continued throughout the Boy Scouts' existence, leading to the sorry state of affairs today where thousands of men can't tie an Alpine Butterfly knot without their hands trembling or hear the unzipping of a tent flap without PTSD flashbacks.
Yet for an organization that claims they're now clear of pedophilic practices, the practice of filing bankruptcy is exactly the same strategy the Catholic dioceses used when they were forced to pay out hundreds of millions in damages for making altar boy trauma a popular specialty for therapists. Like the Church, by filing Chapter 11 on a national, the BSA can now also protect its local branches from being sued out of their $3.3 billion worth of assets. That way, Boy Scouts of America claims, at least "Scouting programs will continue throughout this process and for many years to come." So if there's a silver lining there, it's for parents who don't send their kids to Boy Scouts, since at least they won't have to worry about their local child molester suddenly having his weekends off.
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