Decades of dishonor

The tales of abuse that have disgraced the Boy Scouts of America can be found across Kansas

· November 18, 2012 · Comments (22)

Time after time, for decades, a Lawrence man - an educator and a Boy Scout volunteer - was accused of sexually assaulting boys. But little was done to prevent him from abusing in the future. A Journal-World investigation reveals how the pattern of abuse was allowed to continue, and the role of the now-infamous Boy Scouts perversion files in Kansas.


Richard Heckler 5 years, 7 months ago

what about the catholic church?

not all boy scout officials do this?

these types of problems are not exclusive to the boy scouts or the catholic church.

before victims become victims they must be informed it's okay to talk about it immediately after the violation occurs no matter who the violator is.

having said all of the above it must also be said that all in the gay community are not predators.

Liberty275 5 years, 7 months ago

" it must also be said that all in the gay community are not predators. "

Why must that be said?

jhawkinsf 5 years, 7 months ago

Because there are some that believe that lie.

Kat Christian 5 years, 7 months ago

It got to the point where the company I worked for intimidated you if you didn't contribute to United Way. I looked it this way...I was working poor trying to support two people of a meager income, if I can barely afford my own life I'm not giving to an organization where the top officials get paid 3x as much as me. I don't contributed to any of these organizations. It's all a scam.

Kat Christian 5 years, 7 months ago

I made the right choice not to pursue getting my grandson in Boys Scouts after signing him up and months went by and no one ever contacted me. When I finally did they were so disorganized and dumbfounded, I asked for my check back and went with my inner feeling this was not the place for him to be.

Crimsonandblue29 5 years, 7 months ago

Nobody seems to be talking about nor do they seem to remember another scouting scandal in Lawrence that did not get much publicity then and absolutely zero now. It involved the Scoutmaster of Troop 53, I believe, that used to meet in the basement of First Christian Church, and occurred right around 1989 or so if memory serves. If I remember correctly the longtime Scoutmaster, during his tenure as scoutmaster, was arrested for molesting an infant. There was a small article reporting the conviction in the Journal World, but no link was made to the fact that he was a Scoutmaster. He went to jail and the story went away quietly.

Patricia Davis 5 years, 7 months ago

Just say no to the United Way. Give on your own to charities who are really are charitable. The BSA of America and all who have protected them are shameful.

George Lippencott 5 years, 7 months ago


Criminal action is the responsibility of the state. The state cannot pursue action without a complainant. The Boy Scouts as an institution cannot be the complainant - the victim is. The BSA has a responsibility to remove from their ranks those identified as dangerous to their membership - and apparently did.

Whether we like it or not those charged with preying on children have the same protections from persecution (not prosecution) as all the rest of us. You have to convict. Since such prosecution is inevitable local a perpetrator can move around and remain off the radar. The BSA cannot go around spreading unsubstantiated charges.

The article does show that we have a week system when it comes to prosecuting transgressors. Without prosecution there is no record. With prosecution there is but not necessarily across state lines.

We may need to look to our prosecutors who may avoid week cases to save money when the suspect chooses to leave the jurisdiction. Otherwise as Merrill points out education is the key to a complaint necessary for a conviction whether the victim is a Boy Scout, an altar boy, a student, a victim of boyfriends and so on.

Mercy 5 years, 7 months ago

These instances of child abuse are indeed horrific. These instances are increasing in occurrence in our schools, church’s and society in general. When we as a society promote sexuality outside of God's plan, these are the fruits. Sex outside of marriage between one man and one women; Contraceptive use by women and men even within a marriage relationship results in each person in the relationship looking at the other as an object for fulfillment of selfish desires; Sexual actions with oneself, viewing pornography lead to an ever increasing desire for more extreme actions and situations. Our society says this in freedom when in reality this is enslavement. If you can't say "NO" to an action, then your "Yes” means nothing. True love is to make a free give of yourself to another for the good of the other according to God's Will. Making this gift is impossible for you to give on your own. But, with God's grace, all things our possible. I know, because I was once enslaved. God’s grace will give you the power to have dominion over your sexual desire and orient them according to God’s Will. Pray to God for this grace if you are struggling.

firebird27 5 years, 7 months ago

I am an Eagle Scout. In the past I have been involved in the Scouting movement as an adult, and I believe the Scouting movement has been largely a positive force in American society. Charity evaulators say that the Boy Scouts of America has been one of the most effective organizations in using the funds contributed to it. Quite simply, the BSA is financially very responsible.

I do not condone how these Scout leaders have taken advantage of boys, but we must remember that Scouting is only as good as the people that become involved. Many good men and women in Lawrence have given their time and effort to help boys experience so many good things. For years, Scouting has had a system to extract leaders such as the guilty parties mentioned here. But even the best of intentions to monitor misbehavior does not always work. This is no reason, however, the throw out the baby with the bath water.

One of the reasons that the BSA was reluctant to have women leaders as Scoutmasters was the national office's concerns about sexual misbehavior. For years, the BSA has tried to monitor sexual misconduct in order to remove such people. In one of the cases mentioned above, I am rather sure the boy's parents filed a police report on the child abuser. I am not so aware about the reponsibilties of local Scout councils. As we have been hearing lately, organizations must notify the police, such as we found out with Penn State.

I am heterosexual, but to say a gay person is a pedophile is incorrect. Most gays would consider this abhorrent. The dilemma is when young men (often over 18) in Scouting decide they are gay and then make moves on boys who are 15 or perhaps a bit older. The law will treat the older one as a pedophile, but this gay Scout probably does not have the same intent as a 30 year-old man who attempts to make a move on a boy.

Churches are major sponsors of Scouting, and they are also have responsible for ensuring their troops have leaders who keep boys safe. Churches work in good faith with Scout leaders. This has been a sound relationship. But pedophiles ignore boundaries and responsibilities being interested primarily in themselves. They also can hide their intents quite well.

It is easy to attack the Boy Scouts of America. But many communities have benefited from the projects they construct for communities. Scouts was the most influential element in my youth, and for me personally, Scouts gave me psychological strength, the freedom to investigate many fields of knowledge. to take care of myself in the outdoors, and reinforced morals in a practical way. If you have doubts, read a Boy Scout Handbook.

Wrongdoings by pedophiles should not be ignored, but we should not be so brutal as to hurt a well-intentioned youth program for boys. As my dear Mother taught me, two wrongs do not make a right.

thisiknow 5 years, 7 months ago

In the early 80's The police department used the dirversion program to deal with molestation. Probably because it was easier to "sweep it under the rug" than load the courts with children's accusations and grown up's denial. These are things you did not speak up about nor did you want everyone to know about it. I do know about this (believe me). The male that I know of was allowed to take diversion for a number of months and allowed to con the therapist (like he conned the kids). I also know that this certain male was allowed to wander free in our community and do his business as usual because he was protected under the diversion program. He used his faith (Catholic Church) to maintain his superiority. He roamed within the city and church community like he was a law abiding citizen and those that came into contact with him were non the wiser. I, as a parent, could not slander him by mentioning the crime. I did not agree with the punishment but that was all that was offered.This crime went unpunished ,as far as I am concerned. It does not surprise me in the least to find another crime that has been allowed and covered up. This person was not a priest but maintained his standing in the community by being allowed his freedoms.

Don Whiteley 5 years, 6 months ago

We damn the Scouts because they won't allow homosexuals into their organization, then damn them because they did. Only in America! And for those of you who say there's a difference between homosexuals and those who abuse boys, look it up in the dictionary.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.