The Boy Scouts of America have been forced by an Oregon court to release thousands of files detailing allegations and admissions of paedophilia in the organisation dating from 1965-85.
Police were involved in two-thirds of the cases. The others were unproven, or suspected or contrite paedophiles were allowed to resign and the authorities were not notified. Since at least 1919 the Texas-based organisation has compiled files to prevent abuse.
“What we want as the takeaway from this is that organisations understand how paedophiles operate, how child molesters infiltrate organisations,” said plaintiff attorney Paul Mones.
The files provide an unparelleled database for experts to investigate. The Scouts were keen to stop outed abusers from re-entering their network elsewhere.
“I would ask parents to look at the programmes we have and judge us on where we are today, not the past. Certainly judge us against any other youth serving organisation in the world and you will see that your kids are very very safe, safer than anywhere else, probably safer than home,” said the President of the Boy Scouts of America Wayne Perry.
The Boy Scouts of America are currently waging another legal battle in Texas to prevent files from the period 1985-2010 being opened to the public.