Re: Have You Lost Your Minds (& Hearts)?
Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Tue, 7 Feb 1995 18:53:18 CDT
Steve Tobin <srtobin@MIRAGE.SKYPOINT.COM> writes:
(with some deletions only for space...man, Steve, I really emphazise
>Forget the insurance companies. Let's talk about the treatment we leaders
>get from our own organization. Last Sspring a Scoutmaster in my district had
>false charges of child abuse brought against him, phoned in anonymously with
>no support or proof of any kind. The council immediately delivered a
>registered letter dismissing him from any role in the BSA. No reason why. No
>explaination of any kind. No amount of pleading could get any kind of a
>reason or explaination from the council as to why they dismissed him. He
>went to regional, then to national before he could get anything in they way
>of an explaination. They then told him of the charges, but refused to tell
>him any specifics, or who made them (they didn't even know themselves) and
>absolutely refused to investigate or hear any evidence of any.
They don't have to. There's NOTHING that says that they have to even
acknowledge any correspondence from him or his lawyer, either.
>It took the
>efforts of the entire troop committee, all the scout's parents (except one,
>or course) and pretty much the entire community to get any action, and then
>only because they went to the region office. They finally were gracious
>enough to reinstate him.
This is how it gets resolved for many, Steve...but there's still many
others that aren't as lucky as this guy was. But I don't think he's
very lucky at all!
>Needless to say, he is not very pleased with this
>treatment. This espisode has tainted his entire life, and a formerly active,
>motivated, and very effective leader is no long participating activing. And
>it leaves the rest of us wondering...
Yep...I think about that same matter every day.....you think *you*
have to look over your back? A careful week in my 10-and-a-halves
would leave you at the end of the week throwing them back at me and
telling me "WHY ARE YOU STILL INVOLVED?"
I'll tell you what I tell others...because I still love the program,
even though the adminstration leaves a LOT to be desired!
>Now, I realize from previous discussions on the list that this procedure is
>entirely within the guidelines set out in the BSA manual (can't remember the
>name right off).
It's called "Procedures for Maintaining Standards of Membership" and
it's BSA #28-105. It is ONLY for professional usage and we "minions"
aren't *supposed to have a copy*
> This person even got a copy of it (much to the chagrin of
>the CE) and showed it to us. It was not very pleasant reading. Apart from
>the fact that this procedure is basically unconstitutional if the government
>tried to do it, it goes against every precept of fairness and human rights
>ever held sacred by this country. It is justified with the reason that is is
>neccessary to "protect the organization at all costs". It seems to me they
>are just covering their own tails, at the expense of ours.
Yep. After reading the first copy sent to me, I almost was on the
verge of upchucking my coffee. Among other things, it does NOT allow
for ANY kind of "court appeals" and since this is all adminstrative in
nature, only the BSA can overturn itself. By my own personal count,
there are some 80 or so people that have been issued the Registration
Denial Letter (an example of which is inside the booklet), for
"offenses" such as "PO'ing (those from outside the USA write me
personally for a literal meaning to the term "PO"...it is NOT "post
office" in this context) a Council Executive or a member of his staff,
for "disobeying a policy of the BSA" and for "not setting the
appropriate example of a Scout leader (where IS that ruler that shows
me what a Scouter is *supposed to be like* ??).
It is also, from what I understand, illegal for the BSA or any
organization to have a record of your social security number without
your personal consent and a statement of what it will be used for.
This is one way that the BSA's "Ineligible Volunteer Records" are
maintained against and part of the reason why the BSA wants to use
fingerprints. In this way, even if a volunteer changed his or her
SSN, the BSA can STILL ascertain if he or she is on that list (which
is maintained at the four Regional offices, and NOT at the local
>So, you ask how can we do scouting in an environment like this? With our
>backs to the wall and constantly looking over our shoulders, second guessing
>every move, and running an obsticle course of regulatory roadblocks.
>Incredibly sick atmosphere? You bet it is. I fought it for years because I
>felt that responsible people had to take a stand against this kind of
>madness. But a person gets tired of getting blind-sided by the people that
>are supposed to be supporting you.
Those from outside the BSA don't understand that a mere cursory "I
don't like you. You're a troublemaker!" can virtually end your
volunteer career as a Scouter! Because a lot of what we do in
Scouting is quite public, when a Scouter gets one of those "denial
letters" or told in person (as it's supposed to happen) that "we don't
need (or want) you anymore. Sorry. Have a good day!", the entire
community eventually knows and it carries over to other aspects of
Five people that I know of have committed suicide because they
could not bear the personal, emotional damage caused by being just
about shunned by the community at large and being labled as "one of
those" by those in and out of Scouting.
In many communities, Scouting is a part of living there...and when
someone is told or gets a letter with an refund check inclosed, its
worse than someone burning a cross in front of your home or writing
some unintellegent statement on the side of your home or on your car.
The new Chief Scout Executive is looking closely at that "ineligible
volunteer records" listing and has directed the Operations Group to
look at those records and to reinstate those that have been dismissed
due to "personality conflicts" with either professionals or
volunteers and those that "have nothing to do with any illegal or
criminal acts or actions".
It hasn't happened yet.
>I had expected the BSA to be one of bulwarks in the "battle" for sanity, but
>I am afraid they seem to have gotten caught up in the madness, also. They
>have taken the safe and easy route and sold out to the lawyers. At one time
>I planned on staying with scouting after my son graduated, but at this point
>I doubt that I will. I'll stay until my son and my "senior class" get their
>Eagle, and then leave. It just isn't worth risking everything my family and
>I have for.
>Unless I change my mind tomorrow... I _do_ love Scouting.
Mee to! Despite what the BSA does and says! But I'm not ready to throw
in the towel yet...I want to give the new Chief Scout time to make
some REAL changes.
YES, we need to protect the program and our youth from those that prey
on them under the guise of being "a volunteer" or "a professional".
At the same time, however, we need to protect our shrinking volunteer
pool from being unduly harrassed and cruicfied by "people in power"
just because they also know the rules of the game and want to have a
clearer playing field or to do the best job they can do.
>p.s. - let's kick the bumbs out and take Scouting back from the
>bean-counters and bottle-washers!!! Workers arise! Kick of your oppressors
>Whoops. That's another message. Never mind...
*hehehehe* Hey! Haven't I seen that message before??? Wasn't that
written on a bathroom wall? *heehehehehe*
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Services ___)_
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