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Scouts Honor

Scouts Honor



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Published by anon-716007
A series of five articles (over 35,000 words) about scouting and the scandal of child sex abuse
A series of five articles (over 35,000 words) about scouting and the scandal of child sex abuse

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Published by: anon-716007 on May 07, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Page 12 of 33 DOCUMENTSThe Washington TimesMay 24, 1991, Friday, Final Edition
'Cure' for pedophiles is a matter of control
944 words There is no cure for pedophilia.There is no way to be sure that a man who is sexually attracted to children can erase those urges, evenif he wants to and even if he gets the best treatment in the country."The best guarantee that he never does this again is either you execute him - which of course you can'tdo - or put him away forever," Dr. Fred Berlin testified in a sentencing hearing for a Virginia Scoutmaster convicted of molesting a boy.With neither option likely, treatment programs focus on teaching men to control their attraction to chil-dren, much the way an alcoholic learns to control a taste for liquor."The child is to the pedophile what the bottle of alcohol is to the alcoholic," said Dr. Berlin, director of thesexual disorders clinic at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. "We don't think of a cure for alcoholism, but webelieve people can overcome."One key to overcoming is not being alone with boys - which is why Scout troops are bad places for pe-dophiles, even those who think they're under control.Scout leader Richard Stenger of California was arrested for child molesting in 1971 and pleaded guilty tocontributing to the delinquency of minors. He joined another troop years later, and in 1989 was again arres-ted for molesting boys in his troop."His counselor indicated his problem had been eradicated," a Scout official told the San Jose MercuryNews.Dr. Berlin, testifying in the 1986 sentencing of Scoutmaster Carlton Bittenbender of Reston, tried to ex-plain the difficulty of changing a man's sexual attraction to children:"Suppose someone said to me, 'Look, doctor, I am going to teach you to no longer be attracted sexuallyto women, and at the same time I am going to teach you to crave sexual involvement with little boys.' Well,I'd think that was really pretty crazy if somebody thought that they were going to teach me to do that. And yetthat is often what we try to teach individuals such as Mr. Bittenbender in reverse."The first struggle in treatment is convincing a pedophile his sexual orientation is wrong. Some men be-lieve society is misguided in its ban on sex acts with children.Treatment programs focus on getting molesters to understand the damage they've done to children, toexplore why they're attracted to children and to develop sexual relationships with adults. This often involvesgroup therapy with other pedophiles.It's such an embarrassing topic, however, that therapists say it is impossible to treat someone in a gen-
Page 2eral population prison. "There's no way you can get a sex offender to be honest with another group of of-fenders," said Wayne Hunt, chief psychologist at the Maryland Recep-tion-Diagnostic and Classification Cen-ter in Baltimore.That is one of the few corrections centers in the country where sex offenders are grouped together andattend therapy designed for their offense.Most men convicted of molesting children will find little treatment in prison. Mr. Hunt's facility has just24 beds. Virginia has sex offender programs in eight prisons, but "the quality of the programs really varieswith the experience of the people running them," said Scott Richardson, a corrections department manager.The District has no program for sex offenders, said corrections spokeswoman Patricia Wheeler.Some people say molesters should just be punished, but Mr. Hunt said treatment is a "public safety is-sue.""If somebody's going to get out in two or three years, you might as well treat them," he said. "We're notin it because we feel sorry for these guys."Sometimes judges prescribe a drug, Depo-Provera, to decrease an offender's sex drive. The problem,of course, is that he can stop taking it. Some people have suggested removing a man's testicles to eliminatehis sex drive, but talk of changing behavior through surgery usually gets a cool response.The key to not having sexual relations with boys is motivation, said two former Scout leaders convictedof sex abuse."As far as making sure no future molestation cases occur, that has to come from the individual person,"said one man who is out of prison and sees a therapist. "No doctor's gonna stop that."****ILLUSTRATIONS/BOXSCOUTING'S STRATEGY TO FIGHT ABUSEThese changes in the Boy Scout program are designed to reduce opportunities for sex abuse andhandle allegations of abuse:SCREENINGThe new application for adult leaders asks if the volunteer has a conviction record or has ever beencharged with child abuse. The Boy Scouts of America say local committees must call previous employersand youth groups, including other troops, to check on the history of the volunteer before accepting him.TOW-DEEP LEADERSHIPOn all Scout trips there must be at least two registered adult leaders, or an adult leader and the parentof one of the boys. The Scouts say this rule has existed for a long time but often was ignored.SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTSScouts are not allowed to sleep in tents with adults other than their parents.ONE-ON-ONENo private one-on-one activity is permitted between an adult leader and a Scout. The adult and childcan have private talks, but they must be in the open where others can see them.SECRET GROUPSSecret organizations within troops are not permitted and hazing is prohibited.REPORTINGAll allegations of abuse must be reported to the local Scout executive, who must report the allegation tolocal police or child protection agencies if local law requires it, and to national headquarters if the allegation issubstantiated.
Page 3
Illustrations/Box, Illustration) NO CAPTION; Box Caption) SCOUTING'S STRATEGY TO FIGHTABUSECopyright 1991 The Washington Times LLCAll Rights Reserved3 of 33 DOCUMENTSThe Washington TimesMay 24, 1991, Friday, Final Edition
Scouts take heed hit abuse head-on
1370 words The Boy Scouts of America never thought it would come to this: A Scout, they say, is sometimes "rudeand unhelpful."They also never thought they'd be teaching Scoutmasters and Scouts about men who have sexual rela-tions with children. "It isn't really why we came into existence," said Joseph Anglim, the Scouts' administrat-ive director.But growing public awareness of sex abuse and lawsuits by abused Scouts have propelled the BoyScouts of America into the sex education business.Even some of the rules of Scouting have changed to help prevent abuse and catch abusers sooner.After decades of shying away from the problem, the Scouts have created what many child abuse ex-perts call one of the best sex abuse education programs in the country. The program teaches boys, leadersand parents about resisting, recognizing and reporting abuse. It also corrects some problems that made theScouts attractive to molesters and vulnerable to damage claims."We've got our act together now," said Terry Tibor, spokesman for the Los Angeles Area Council of theBoy Scouts. "The scary part is all that happened in the past. Hopefully we're getting a handle on some of it."It wasn't easy. To institute the sex abuse program, the organization had to overcome skittishnessamong longtime Scouters and concerns about scaring away volunteers and children."It was something we had to take time to be alert to because we could no longer hide from it," saidMickey McAllister, a former Scouting official who helped create the program.The effort began soon after Ben Love became the nation's chief Scout executive in 1985. He said hewas on a plane one night thinking about sex abuse scandals, such as the one at the McMartin Preschool inCalifornia, and decided the Boy Scouts should do something to fight abuse. He said his idea had nothing todo with sex abuse in the Scouts or lawsuits by victims."The protection of the corporation never entered our minds," he said. "We knew of minimal cases."

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