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The references in film and literature are endless. We are talking about a club, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), which is part of the identity signs of generations of Americans. Tender, happy and innocent childhoods in the heat of bonfires, companions in shorts, marshmallows and unforgettable adventures. Or that was the impression etched into the American popular imagination. Now he faces a big black spot on your record decades old. More than 82,000 people
ones have taken the step of
report sexual abuse committed over the years
by organization leaders for all
. The deadline brought even more complaints to the surface, a deadline set by a bankruptcy court in the State of Delaware where the Boys Scouts have gone as a precautionary measure against the damage that such a flood of lawsuits can cause. Know that
face serious accusations of pedophilia
in youth programs committed at the national level and by different aggressors, with victims ranging from eight to 93 years of age. By number and size, it is the largest demand for sexual abuse in history in the United States, even greater than the scandal the Catholic Church had to face. Nor is it a new situation. Mentions of abuses of this type date back to the 1980s and in later decades came the legal proceedings. In 2012,
an Oregon judge forced the BSA to release thousands of pages documenting abuse
committed to 1,200 children between 1965 and 1985. They are part of what they called the
“archives of perversion”
They used to document pedophile instructors and keep them out of the organization. Some date from the early years of the institution. However, those efforts have failed to stem the catastrophe they now face.
On Sunday the number of lawsuits filed was 82,663
, in the absence of 24 hours to meet the deadline to join the class action lawsuit. There are complaints from the 50 states and abroad, alleged abuses committed at military bases in Germany and Japan. And not only of men, who are the majority, but of women, who are now an active part of the organization founded in 1910 with the aim of training responsible and responsible adults.
develop your character and ethical values
through outdoor activities such as camping, water sports or excursions. The future of that mission is in serious danger, undergoing bankruptcy and with $ 1 billion in assets. It would take much more to meet a demand of this size. The case of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 2007 serves as a reference,
that he had to compensate each of his 508 claimants with an average of $ 1.3 million
. The total bill reached $ 660 million, the largest outlay in Church history. The BSA faces more than 82,000 indictments. “This is greater than all the combined cases of the Catholic Church, by far,” Tim Kosnoff told the Seattle Times, part of a team of lawyers defending 18,000 plaintiffs. Kosnoff notes that the similarity of his clients’ stories is surprising despite being from different parts of the country and from different generations. “
The stories they describe are so consistent and repetitive that they are almost corroborated
“They are stories like that of Frank Spinelli, who was 11 when he joined the Boy Scouts in 1978. He was assigned to the group of Bill Fox, a police officer who ended up in prison for abusing three minors in those camps. Spinelli took him out for ice cream with the excuse of touching him, pressuring him to sleep at home and talking about sex. It was three years of sexual abuse, according to the newspaper
The New York Times.
Like many who have now taken the step of speaking out against the Boy Scouts of America, Spinelli
studied the possibility of suing the organization
But she was prevented by the time that had elapsed since her traumatic experience with Fox, a situation similar to that of many cases dismissed in the era of MeToo, the feminist movement that has aired countless cases of sexual harassment and abuse. Since its founding in the early 20th century, the Boy Scouts of America have seen
over 130 million American youth for their ranks
, with illustrious names like Walter Cronkite, Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, James Stewart, John Wayne, Richard Gere, Steven Spielberg, Bill Clinton or John F. Kennedy. To this day, it remains one of the largest youth organizations in the country, with more than two million boys and girls enrolled each year and served by nearly one million volunteers. The club arose in the US from the experience of a Chicago newspaper mogul, William D. Boyce. On a visit to London he received the selfless help of a young explorer who refused to receive a tip. That inspired him to import the concept with the idea of instilling in the American youth
a patriotic and morally upright spirit
and generous, values that have marked several generations of Americans. For now, the organization has apologized through a statement. They claim to be “devastated by the number of lives impacted
for past abuses among Scouts
“They stated, as they look for a way to compensate victims.” The response we have had from survivors has been heartbreaking. “They trust that the dialogue with the victims and the umbrella of bankruptcy will pull them out of the hole they are in. The legal teams behind the lawsuit
they don’t see it so clear
. They had never dealt with a scandal of this magnitude before.
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