For years, the Boy Scouts of America has secretly kept detailed records of suspected homosexual scoutmasters and volunteers alongside suspected child molesters, in what the organization referred to as the “perversion files.”
The files, which number in the thousands, were compiled to make sure pedophiles were kicked out and stayed out of Scouting, according to a investigative report by Seattle’s KING-TV.
Deron Smith, Director of Communications for the Boy Scouts, said the records exist to help carry out the organization’s long standing policy of excluding gay people from Scouting.
The “perversion files”, also known as the “ineligible volunteer files” came to light through a handful of civil court cases against the BSA, including some claims in Seattle. Lawyers representing alleged abuse victims say the collection of files proves that top Scouting officials knew by the 1960’s that pedophiles were gaining access to victims through Scouting, yet they failed to institute policies to protect their young, vulnerable Scouts until the 1980’s.
“Not all of the files pertain to sexual abuse. The Ineligible Volunteer Files are essentially a “list” of people who do not meet BSA’s standards because of various types of alleged or proven inappropriate conduct either inside or outside Scouting, including – but not limited to – theft, substance abuse, immoral conduct, criminal convictions, or known or suspected child abuse,” said Smith.
But according to KING-TV, within the secret files on suspected molesters are files on leaders who are gay.
Watch their report:
The Boy Scouts have been under intense pressure to rescind its long-standing policy against gay scouts and gay and lesbian scout masters and volunteers.
In July, the Boy Scouts said it plans to keep in place the controversial policy
An 11-member special committee, formed discreetly by top Scout leaders in 2010, “came to the conclusion that this policy is absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts,” Smith told the Associated Press.