Ethical and Moral Choices and Boy Scouts of America Bankruptcy are Not Compatible


In 2019, the Boy Scouts of America shared the possibility that they may file for bankruptcy.  Prior to COVID19 striking the country in 2020, the BSA was reeling from 75 years of concealing the identities of people who had sexually assaulted what the BSA thought was 2500 youth members.

In 2020, the Bankruptcy was filed and three legal groups formed to identify anyone abused in Scouting.  When the filing deadline approached in 2021, the BSA learned there were 96,000 claims of sexual abuse from former members.  Several of the claims did not meet the standards of the legal filings and the BSA complained of “legal stuffing” the numbers.

The fact of the matter is that the BSA had lied and concealed the numbers and identities for so long, on paper, that no one actually knew the entire scope of the sexual abuse.

In addition to the sexual abuse, former Scouts came out of the woodwork speaking of verbal and emotional abuse, ramapnt bullying and discrimination against LGTBQ youth and adults, minority groups and people of color.

As the BSA navigates bankruptcy, they are making choices on the level of sexual abuse children endured at the hands of adult leaders and trying to figure out who gets compensated the most.  They have to assess if a child was physically penetrated, is that worth more money than a child who was touched.  It’s a discussion so repugnant and repulsive that it is even harder to write.

The answer is there is no compensation you can give to an adult who suffered decades of mental health issues from an organization that really is not accepting responsibility and blaming previous leaders.  The BSA is also lobbying Congress to change bankruptcy laws so that youth cannot sue the Charter Organizations like the Catholic Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the United Methodist Church, and the Southern Baptist Convention. 

In a recent ruling, the Bankruptcy judged allowed the Charter Organizations to contribute to the bankruptcy funds, now over $2.6 billion, and that would release the Charter Organizations from any pre-1976 liability from abuse in Scouting.

After legal fees and taxes, the average compensation a child will receive for being raped and or sexually assaulted is less than $6000.

The BSA, through shrewd negotiation, political connections and lobbying, assaulted the survivors again.  Can you imagine if your child was raped and the BSA offered $6000 for the lifeteime of conseling, self abuse, substance abuse and even suicide that stemmed from that abuse how you would feel?

While legal, it is ethically immoral.

The Boy Scouts of America, as an organization, should have been forced to liquidate.  Instead, local and national council fees are up 600%.  Fees for noted outings at Philmont Ranch, Sea Base, Northern Tier and Bechtel Reserve have all doubled and so now, no Scout being Thrifty can afford the $2500+ price tag to attend.  So the BSA opened the camps to the public to solicit money.

Does this sound like an organization that is remorseful for the abuse and suffering of children?  It is the behavior of an organization that has self righteous indignation to think that they can teach ethical and moral decision making while they make decisions that are neither ethical, nor moral.

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