In the 1920s, the Boy Scouts of America began keeping a record of men considered to be unfit for leadership positions in the Scouts, including men who had allegedly committed acts of “perversion” with children. All adult volunteers were checked against the record. By 1935, the record contained nearly 3,000 men who the Scouts pronounced unfit to volunteer.
While this protocol kept many sexual abusers out once they were exposed, the Scouts kept under wraps the fact that thousands of men were volunteering with them with the express goal of molesting children. They did not want the world to know that sexual predators were exploiting the position to groom children and abuse them.
Rather than going public with this disturbing information, the Boy Scouts reassured Scouts and their parents that Scout leaders could always be trusted. It was not until decades later that the youth organization decided to change their policies regarding transparency about the danger of sexual abuse in the Scouts.
The Cover Up
For a long time, the Boy Scouts had maybe a couple officials who were in charge of managing the “perversion” files. One of their duties was to ensure the Boy Scouts verified a “perversion” incident before a man’s name was added to their mystery list. It is unclear why the Boy Scouts have asserted previously that they were unaware of the danger of child sexual abuse — their own officials were in charge of documenting the issue.
For instance, on December 4, 1972, one of the officials sent a “personal and confidential” letter from BSA’s national headquarters to “all Scout executives.” In the letter, he talks about the significance of the perversion files yet cautions his fellow Scout administrators to keep the system a secret “because of the misunderstandings which could develop if it were widely distributed.” Clearly, the BSA knew what was up, yet failed to warn Scouts or their parents of the problem.
How Do the Files Affect Me?
Were you sexually abused by a Scout leader in the past? The resourceful sexual abuse lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm may be able to extract perversion files on your perpetrator and use it as evidence for your claim. Learn more about how we can help you get justice and compensation for the hurt that you have suffered by calling us today at (800) 522-7274. Our consultations are FREE.