November 19, 2015 Comments Off on 17 Former Connecticut Boy Scouts Allege Sexual Abuse
17 Former Connecticut Boy Scouts Allege Sexual Abuse
The plaintiffs’ lawyer said that one child was molested more than 1,000 times by now-deceased scoutmaster Donald Dennis. Dave Altimari
Seventeen former Boy Scouts have filed a lawsuit charging that their scoutmaster in Ridgefield sexually abused them from 1963 to 1975.
The plaintiffs’ lawyer said that it was the largest single lawsuit filed against the Boy Scouts of America and that one child was molested more than 1,000 times. In addition to listing the 17 former Scouts, the lawsuit lists two girls allegedly sexually assaulted by the scoutmaster, Donald Dennis, who died two years ago.
The 850-page lawsuit alleges that the two girls were forced to watch Dennis sexually abuse some of the scouts in his home. Most of the victims were 11 to 14 years old, although some were as old as 17, according to attorney Brooke Goff, who is representing all 19 plaintiffs.
“We were only made aware of these allegations last month and had never before received any reports or accusations against this individual by youth members, parents or adult volunteer leaders,” the Boy Scouts of America said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon. “This individual has not been registered in our programs for many years and is now deceased.”….
Goff said that Dennis was an assistant scoutmaster from 1963 through 1968 and became scoutmaster until he moved out of Connecticut in 1975. Dennis was a local businessman in Ridgefield and also was an auxiliary state trooper during the same time period, Goff said….
The lawsuit claims that the national and local Boy Scout groups deliberately ignored signs that the organization was a haven for pedophiles.
In 2012, it was revealed during a lawsuit in Oregon that the national Boy Scout organization kept secret records of potential pedophiles who were called “ineligible volunteers.” Dennis is not listed, but Goff said that is because he had not been sued.
The lawsuit alleges that the local Boy Scout organization allowed Dennis to be alone with groups of boys for hours at a time at Camp Mauwehu with no supervision, failed to put in safeguards to protect the children and failed to do background checks on Scout leaders.
The lawsuit also claims that many of the accusers had repressed memories of the attacks that resurfaced when the records of the pedophiles became public in 2012….
Last December, a Waterbury jury awarded an unidentified accuser $7 million in a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America. Court records show that the jury found the national organization negligent and reckless in its failure to take steps to protect the plaintiff from repeated abuse at the hands of his scoutmaster. That verdict has been appealed by the national group.
The jury found that the local chapter of the Boy Scouts of America and the Connecticut Yankee Council were not liable.
March 24, 2015 Comments Off on Former Boy Scout sues Mormon church for sexual abuse, Going Clear Scientology documentary
LDS Church: No tolerance for sex abuse in scouting
By Scott Zamost and Kyra Phillips, CNN
Mon March 23, 2015
Former Boy Scout sues Mormon church for sexual abuse
(CNN) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is the largest sponsor of Boy Scout troops in the United States, says the church has strong measures in place to prevent the sexual abuse of scouts, as claims have been made it hasn’t done enough.
In the first interview about allegations of abuse in Mormon church-sponsored scouting troops, Church Elder L. Whitney Clayton told CNN that the church is at the forefront for prevention of child abuse….
Over several months, CNN examined allegations of abuse that were detailed in at least five lawsuits filed against the church and the scouts.
But Clayton said the church today is proactive, even constructing its buildings “in such a way as to try to avoid any situation where child abuse could occur.”….
The scoutmaster, Vance Hein, had been forced in resign from scouting in the early 1990s after reports surfaced that he failed to report a fellow scoutmaster who was engaged in homosexual activities. That scoutmaster ended up going to prison for sexual assaults on minors.
Hein’s name was added to the Boy Scouts of America’s ineligible volunteer files, which are widely known as the “perversion files.” The documents, which were made public in 2012, are lists of scout leaders suspected of sexual abuse or homosexual activity.
However, three years after being kicked out of scouting, Hein was allowed to rejoin the scouts after getting letters of recommendation attesting to his character. One of those letters was from Hein’s influential Mormon Bishop Jack Moyer, who wrote that Hein was “highly respected and liked.”….
But in a deposition taken as part of the lawsuit last year, he acknowledged that he would not have written the letter knowing what he later found out about Hein.
The lawsuit charged that Hein “actively groomed young boys under his charge for later sexual molestation.” Hein eventually was convicted of molesting Novak. He is now in prison for violating probation in the Novak case….
Going Clear is a ‘must-see’ Scientology documentary
Owen Gleiberman 20 March 2015
….Working with rare footage, Gibney burrows into the enigma of Scientology’s founder, L Ron Hubbard, capturing glints of delusion and megalomania. Hubbard‘s rise began in the 1930s, and he quickly became an astoundingly prolific science-fiction writer. But then in 1950 he published Dianetics, the perpetual bestseller in which he helped invent the principles of the therapeutic ‘self-help’ books that grew hugely popular by the 1970s. In Scientology, he wrapped these ideas around a theological core of interplanetary gibberish that could have come straight out of one his pulp novels. Going Clear captures how Hubbard fused reality, fantasy and the pursuit of enlightenment in a way that, according to the film’s witnesses, expressed his own highly unstable and even violent nature – at one point Gibney shows how Hubbard even told his wife that one of their children had died, just to manipulate her. Hubbard wound up a sea-faring outlaw on the run from US tax officials, and in Going Clear he emerges as a broken dictator who founded a religion based on control because he was so desperate to control his own demons.
Hubbard constructed Scientology around a ritual known as the ‘audit’, which is like a conventional therapy session fused with a Catholic confession and a visit to Room 101 in Orwell’s 1984. A member sits down and digs into their secrets and private traumas, as the auditor asks questions and takes notes, recording the subject’s responses on an ‘E-meter’, a gadget invented by Hubbard. Haggis, a Scientologist for 35 years before his highly publicised break with the Church in 2009, tells us how incredibly good an audit session could make him feel, as if he’d purged himself of all his toxins. Gibney suggests Hubbard’s method of healing was really just a superficial take on Freudian therapy, a comparison that Hubbard scorned – though only after his techniques had been rejected as rubbish by legitimate psychiatrists. Going Clear, however, suggests a dramatic difference between auditing and traditional therapy: it claims that the Church of Scientology holds on to the notes from the sessions and uses them to blackmail its members into staying….
Gibney interviews a handful of high-level Scientology officers who left the Church and are now willing to denounce it. Marty Rathbun, who spent years as Miscavige’s right-hand man, was at the very centre of the citadel, and his testimony has an unsettling authority. He alleges that Miscavige, in actions worthy of the Khmer Rouge, subjected his loyal officials to rituals of abuse, making them ‘confess’ to imagined crimes and assaulting them if they didn’t comply. The astounding thing is that when the victims were given the chance to exit this torture program, none of them did. They thought they deserved to be punished….
January 30, 2015 Comments Off on Boy Scouts settle sex abuse case, sealing years of ‘perversion’ files
Boy Scouts settle sex abuse case, sealing years of ‘perversion’ files
By Associated Press January 29, 2015
The Boy Scouts of America settled a sex abuse case Thursday involving a 20-year-old California man who was molested by a Scout volunteer in 2007 — a decision that will keep years’ worth of “perversion” files detailing sex abuse allegations secret from the public.
The announcement of the settlement in the Santa Barbara case came after three days of trial. The terms were confidential at the Boy Scouts’ request, said Tim Hale, the plaintiff’s attorney.
“I can’t go into details about the number, but it was a great result,” Hale said.
Hale had won the right to use the “perversion” files as trial evidence to try to show the Boys Scouts were negligent by not properly training, educating and warning parents, Scouts and volunteers about the dangers of sexual abuse.
Former Boy Scout leader Al Stein who has pleaded no contest to felony child endangerment in 2009. The Boy Scouts of America have agreed to settle a lawsuit by a 20-year-old California man who was molested by Stein in 2007.
He told jurors in his opening statement that they would receive a CD with 100,000 pages of internal documents from 1971 to 2007 during their deliberations. Many of the files have not been seen outside the Scouts.
Hale said Thursday that the settlement will keep the files from being made public. Past settlements in similar cases in Texas and Minnesota also kept them secret….
The release of the more recent files — from 1991 to 2007 — could have revealed how much the Scouts improved their efforts to protect children and report abuse after several high-profile cases and the implementation of a youth protection policy in the late 1980s. Previous large verdicts against the Scouts focused on cases where alleged abuse occurred before the policy was put in place.
In 2012, the Oregon Supreme Court ordered the Scouts to make public a trove of files from 1965 to 1985. The records showed that more than one-third of abuse allegations never were reported to police and that even when authorities were told, little was done most of the time.
Those documents came to light after a jury in 2010 imposed a nearly $20 million penalty against the Scouts in a molestation case in Portland, Oregon, that dated to the early 1980s.
Boy Scouts of America Settles California Child-Abuse Suit
Case Involves Man Molested When He Was 13 Years Old in 2007 by Scout Volunteer
John R. Emshwiller Jan. 29, 2015
A lawsuit alleging the Boy Scouts of America negligently allowed boys to be sexually molested by Scout leaders has been settled during the first week of a trial in a Santa Barbara, Calif., courtroom.
The settlement, announced on Thursday, involved undisclosed financial terms, said Timothy Hale, an attorney for the plaintiff, who was identified in court papers as “ John Roe. ”
The victim had been molested as a 13-year-old boy in 2007 by a volunteer scout leader, according to a court filing by his attorneys. The filing further alleged the Boy Scouts had concealed records of abuse of boys by Scout leaders and other volunteers over the years.
In a written statement, the Boy Scouts organization said it “is pleased that this matter has been resolved.” While declining to comment on the specifics of the case, the statement said “even a single instance of child victimization or abuse is intolerable and unacceptable.”
Unknown in the wake of the settlement is what will happen with the extensive internal files the plaintiffs obtained from the Boy Scouts regarding how the organization handled past cases of suspected child abuse. Mr. Hale said he favors making them public, but that they are subject to a protective order by the judge….
December 17, 2014 Comments Off on Briton Simon Harris guilty of child sex abuse in Kenya, Is This German Scouting Ritual Child Abuse?
Briton Simon Harris guilty of child sex abuse in Kenya 16 December 2014
The BBC’s Phil Mackie: “Harris would drive into the town of Gilgil and offer street children food and money to go home with him”
A British charity boss who preyed on vulnerable Kenyan street children has been found guilty of sexual abuse.
Simon Harris was convicted of eight charges of indecent and sexual assault on youngsters in Gilgil, and four of possessing indecent images of children.
Birmingham Crown Court heard he would lure boys to his house in Kenya by offering them food, shelter and money.
Harris, 55, of Pudleston, near Leominster, Herefordshire was cleared of 10 further charges, including rape….
Before the trial, Harris also admitted six offences of indecent assault against three boys aged between 13 and 14, when he was a teacher at Shebbear College, Devon in the 1980s….
Harris had faced 23 charges in total, including 18 allegations relating to assaults….
The offences in Kenya were committed while Harris was running a gap year charity he set up in the East African country, in the 1990s….
Harris was head of the gap-year charity VAE, which placed British volunteers in Kenyan schools….
It also emerged during the trial Harris had spent 15 months in a British jail for possession of indecent images of children following a 2009 conviction….
Is This German Scouting Ritual Child Abuse?
Though the country’s major scouting associations say the practice of “Pflocken,” in which children are tied down, isn’t acceptable, the timeworn practice continues.
Markus C. Schulte von Drach (2014-12-16)
MUNICH — It’s spring 2014 at a boy scout camp in southern Germany. Younger boys and adolescents are cavorting about, practicing, learning and generally having fun. Then word spreads that a boy named Mark is about to be targeted for “Pflocken,” so the boys gather to watch what’s about to happen. Mark, who’s about 11, has done something wrong, “something bad,” and he’s going to be punished.
Group leaders set him down on a table and bind his arms and legs, which are spread out. Gummy snake candy is then stuffed into his mouth. “Almost everybody thought it was funny,” say some of the kids who were there. But some boys didn’t find it funny at all. They may have worried they would face similar treatment one day.
The practice of so-called “Pflocken” usually happens outdoors. Online descriptions and photos confirm that. Four tent pegs are hammered into the ground, and the boy is tied to them with rope. The bound child doesn’t know what awaits him, so uncertainty and fear are part of the equation. He’s then tickled, body-marked with felt-tip pens and sometimes doused with water. There are stories on the Internet of kids being smeared with honey or leftover food.
How often this goes on is unclear. The Cologne-based Zartbitter association, whose mission is to protect boys and girls from abuse, reported in 2011 that groups used Pflocken either as punishment or as part of an induction ritual….
The three largest scout associations in Germany tell us that the practice is very well-known. In fact, according to Kerstin Fuchs, federal chair of the Catholic Saint George German Scout Association (DPSG), it used to be a timeworn tradition. But the associations all express surprise that the ritual is still happening….
Google in firing line, Jimmy Savile ‘took his Passion Wagon to Scout camp’, Scots charity demands crackdown on child sexual abuse image
June 3, 2013 Comments Off on Google in firing line, Jimmy Savile ‘took his Passion Wagon to Scout camp’, Scots charity demands crackdown on child sexual abuse image
– Google donates just 90 seconds’ profit to charity policing child abuse
– Google in firing line over net child porn images
– Jimmy Savile ‘took his Passion Wagon to Scout camp’
– Scots charity demands crackdown on child sexual abuse images
Google donates just 90 seconds’ profit to charity policing child abuse
Internet giant pledged only £20,000 to Internet Watch Foundation last year, despite multibillion-dollar turnover
Josh Halliday and Alexandra Topping
The Guardian, Friday 31 May 2013
Google donated little more than £20,000 last year to the charity responsible for policing child abuse images online – the equivalent of 90 seconds’ profit for the internet firm.
The search giant was one of a number of firms, including Facebook and Microsoft, that pledged relatively small amounts to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) in 2012, despite their multibillion-dollar turnovers.
Facebook made a baseline donation of around £10,000 and Microsoft’s Bing search engine gave about £20,000, according to the IWF’s own records….
Google was singled out for criticism by Liz Longhurst, whose daughter Jane was murdered by extreme pornography user Graham Coutts in 2003, prompting her to campaign for internet firms to ban such images. She said internet firms must “get their act together” and start tackling violent online imagery. “What annoys me immensely is
that Google won’t block these sites. They say we’ve got to have freedom. All I ask them is where was my daughter’s freedom – tell me that.”
There have been calls for Google to enforce its “safe search” option as the default setting, which would block pornographic material in search results. However, insiders insisted the move would be ineffectual as the stricter setting operates as an algorithm for legal content – and child abuse imagery is illegal, so is covered by extra blocking measures.
Scott Rubin, Google’s director of communications outside America, said the company has a “zero-tolerance approach” on child abuse images and added: “The SafeSearch filter, which is designed to prevent sexually explicit material of all kinds from showing up in your search results, should not be conflated or confused with our dedication to keeping illegal abuse imagery out of our products. We don’t rely simply on filtering
technology to block child abuse images; we go beyond that….
Google in firing line over net child porn images
GOOGLE will come under intense pressure this week to show “moral leadership” and take action against a “tsunami” of internet child pornography.
By: James Fielding Sun, June 2, 2013
Police are struggling to cope, with reports of online images showing children being abused shooting up by 40 per cent in the past year. Images depicting rape or torture account for 61 per cent while the victims are getting younger, with 88 per cent now aged under 10.
John Carr, an adviser to the Government on online child safety, said the scale of the problem in the UK is “mind boggling” with up to 60,000 individuals swapping or downloading child abuse images online. Yet annual arrests have never been above 2,500. It is estimated 360 million illegal images were seized in the two years to April 2012. In 1995, when the internet was in its infancy, there were just 7,000….
Scott Rubin, Google’s communications director, said: “When we discover child abuse imagery or are made aware of it we respond quickly to remove and report it.”
Jimmy Savile ‘took his Passion Wagon to Scout camp’
PREDATORY paedophile Jimmy Savile is feared to have been allowed unsupervised access to a Boy Scout camp overnight in the motorhome he called his “Passion Wagon”.
By: Mark Branagan Sun, June 2, 2013
Scout leaders are under pressure over allegations that disgraced DJ Savile and his friend Jimmy Corrigan spent the night in a tent just feet from where the youngsters slept. It is alleged the two men visited the campsite, in Doncaster, as part of a fund raising effort by Savile.
Concern about the late Jim’ll Fix It star’s links with the movement have been growing since claims surfaced that he abused a Scout in his BBC dressing room in 1976.
The new allegations are the latest in a file of evidence into Savile’s sordid past being built up by residents in Whitby, North Yorkshire. The northern seaside town has been visited by Scotland Yard officers working on Operation Yewtree.
The Scouting Association has made it clear that their current safeguarding policy means such access would now never be allowed. It is unlikely today’s rigorous rules would have been in place in the Sixties and Seventies….. “This was a type of vehicle he is known to have used to commit sexual offences safely and securely without being seen or discovered.”
Scots charity demands crackdown on child sexual abuse images
STV 1 June 2013
A Scottish children’s charity has called for a review of how the justice system deals with people convicted of viewing online images of children being sexually abused.
Children 1st is writing to Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill as part of its demand for a consistent approach to the prosecution and sentencing of such offences across the country.
The charity is also calling for police and the courts to use the full range of powers available to them in cases involving sexual abuse images. The demand is part of the charity’s ongoing See.Hear.Speak.Act campaign on sexual abuse, and comes in the wake of the recent conviction of Mark Bridger for the murder of five-year-old April Jones in Wales last year.
Bridger had viewed images of children being sexually assaulted on his computer. In a separate case earlier this year, the Old Bailey heard how Stuart Hazell, jailed for murdering 12-year-old Tia Sharp, had searched for images of children being sexually abused on the internet. The cases have prompted UK-wide calls for greater action to tackle the problem….
February 20, 2013 Comments Off on Discovery of father’s Scout abuse file triggers memories, Rape Is Rape, Wrong Is Wrong
Discovery of father’s Scout abuse file triggers memories, what ifs for brother and sister
February 17, 2013 Associated Press
On opposite sides of the world, the brother and sister sat transfixed before their computers, reading a stranger’s account of long-ago secrets and deeply buried sins.
The memo was just four pages long, about an incident in 1963 at a Boy Scout camp in New Jersey. A Scout executive had gotten drunk during an overnight outing, then was discovered gambling with a group of boys. But there was more.
The brother and sister read on — about how this man “was observed molesting an Explorer Scout sitting at his side.” About how he was admitted, voluntarily, to a mental hospital. They read about an investigation that determined he had tried to molest another Scout. It found that this man’s “problem,” as the document called it, had apparently existed for decades.
They read, too, about a call from this local Boy Scouts council for “suppression of spread of incident beyond group with knowledge of it.” ”We know enough to advise that Brandon P. Gray should never again be registered in any capacity with the Boy Scouts of America,” the memo stated….
According to his file, Gray started drinking on Feb. 2, 1963, at the Scouts’ Mt. Allamuchy camp in Stanhope, N.J., during the annual Klondike Derby, an event in which Scouts pull sleds. That evening, he was discovered playing cards for cash in a cabin with several Explorer Scouts, in violation of camp policy.
Gray, the file said, “was observed molesting” one of those Scouts, whose age wasn’t mentioned. An adult in the room moved the boy away from Gray, but took no further action “in an effort to avoid a ‘scene,'” the record stated. Gray continued to drink, grew agitated and attempted to hit someone. Adult Scouts then subdued him and eventually he fell asleep.
By the next morning, Gray’s wife, Ruth, had been contacted and Gray admitted himself to a mental hospital. The Scouts then met with the Explorer, who confirmed “the violation.” Upon his release from the hospital, Gray was terminated. No records identified by The Associated Press show any charges or convictions for Gray in connection with the incident or any other charges for sex abuse….
After his dismissal on Feb. 7, 1963, Gray went home to his family. Carol was 12 years old. Jim was only 7.
Old memories can flicker and fade. But for Carol and Jim, some memories simply aren’t there, an abyss they say protects them from remembering some of the worst of their abuse.
Carol believes hers began when she was 5 years old. Years of psychiatric help and attempts to recover memories haven’t yielded much more. But a fact from her past lingers: “I believe that mine stopped when Dad started abusing my brother.”
Brandon Gray’s removal from Scouting was, his son said, the beginning of a decade of sexual abuse. It began soon after that February day in 1963 and continued until Jim graduated high school and joined the U.S. Marines Corps.
Unlike Carol, Jim has little trouble remembering. His father would stalk up the stairs and push his way into Jim’s room. Once, when Jim was about 11 years old, his mother walked in to find him and his father engaged in a sexual act. She turned and walked out. A day later, she moved Jim’s entire bedroom upstairs, the posters in the same place they had been in his old room, the bed in the same spot.
It was, he said, his mother’s attempt at physically shunting off the problem she could no longer deny….
“The worst thing about the sexual abuse, mental health problems, alcoholism and all that … are the losses,” said Jim, 58. “The loss of being able to maintain healthy relationships, intimacy, having children. These things that most people take for granted, I won’t have those.
“By the time I recovered, it was too late to do those things.”….
Jim contacted The Associated Press after the files were released in mid-October. He did so because he said he wants to show that victims of sex abuse can, with a lot of work, live full lives. He believes that he and his sister are proof of that.
He also wants to show the real consequences of the Scouts’ inaction….
He still struggles with the memories of his abuse.
“Am I healed? I wish that were possible,” he said. “Like a person who has lost an arm or a leg, I have learned to adapt. I do not think I will ever be healed. I can say that I am happy more than I am sad.”
Rape Is Rape, Wrong Is Wrong, Where Is Decency?
02/19/2013 Stuart Muszynski
From the public outrage over the oxymoronic statements of this past election cycle about “legitimate rape” and “violent rape,” we learned, thankfully, that most Americans agree that rape of any kind is wrong. However, if you’re following the sordid story of the Steubenville High School “Big Red” football players who were charged with raping a 16-year-old girl from West Virginia, you see how the cruelty, immorality and true violent nature of rape is defended, diminished and deflected.
The allegations are that last August, two high school football players raped the girl, then dragged her unconscious from party to party while many people looked on and did nothing. Multiple cell phones recorded the events, and later onlookers posted the videos on the Internet. The video footage showed a naked girl, out cold, along with other football players laughingly boasting that “She’s dead” and “I’m going to join the rape crew.”
Clearly they knew what was happening, but they were caught up in the moment with their buddies. Some team members and their friends stood by and did nothing while others encouraged the rape or actively took part in it.
That’s bad enough, but what occurred next, after the girl’s parents reported the rape to the police, is just as shocking.
Big Red Football Coach Reno Saccoccia suspended the two players who allegedly raped the victim, but didn’t suspend any of the players who live-tweeted the attack while it was happening or joked about it afterward. The coach’s reason was that the boys said that that they didn’t think they had done anything wrong….
Consider the following statistics:….One third of high school girls will be involved in dating violence. Twenty percent of teens will be sexually assaulted.
While schools are trying to address bullying, they are not addressing decency, goodness, kindness or respect. Ultimately, not doing so has a cultural impact on both community and country.
Almost fifty years ago, in March, 1964, 38 people watched from their New York City apartments as Kitty Genovese was raped and then killed. Thirty years later, dozens of motorists on a Detroit bridge watched as a woman who, beaten during a road rage incident, jumped off the bridge to her death to avoid her assailant. Bystanders just sat in their cars.
When addressing rape, gun violence, bullying and other types of violent behavior, our country must depend on good people who recognize evil and do the right thing by standing up to help. To ensure decency, we have no choice but to rely on our schools because some parents just are not doing their jobs.
Anna Sewell, a British novelist who wrote Black Beauty, said, “If we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop and do nothing, we make ourselves share in the guilt.”….
December 27, 2012 Comments Off on Inside the perversion files Tracking decades of allegations in the Boy Scouts
Boy Scout files on suspected abuse published by The Times
Viewable online: about 1,200 previously unpublished files kept by the Boy Scouts of America on volunteers and employees expelled for suspected sexual abuse.
By Jessica Naziri and Nell Gram, Los Angeles Times
December 25, 2012
The Times on Tuesday released about 1,200 previously unpublished files kept by the Boy Scouts of America on volunteers and employees expelled for suspected sexual abuse.
The files, which have been redacted of victims’ names and other identifying information, were opened from 1985 through 1991. They can be found in a database along with two decades of files released by order of the Oregon Supreme Court in October. The database also contains summary information on about 3,200 additional files opened from 1947 to 2005 that have not been released publicly.
Together, the material in the database represents the most complete accounting of suspected sexual abuse in the Scouts that has been made public. All of the material was obtained as a result of lawsuits against the Scouts by alleged abuse victims or by media organizations. The Boy Scouts kept the files for nearly a century for internal use only, to keep suspected abusers from rejoining.
Inside the ‘perversion files’
Tracking decades of allegations in the Boy Scouts
This database contains information on about 5,000 men and a handful of women who were expelled from the Boy Scouts of America between 1947 and January 2005 on suspicion of sexual abuse. The dots on the map indicate the location of troops connected in some way to the accused. The timeline below shows the volume of cases opened by year; however, an unknown number of files were purged by the Scouts prior to the early 1990s. Last update: Dec. 26, 2012
Cornish ‘white witches’ guilty of ritual sex abuse on girls, Prosecutor: Man raped, abused 13 infants, children and videotaped attacks, Boy Scout Child Sex Abuse Files Must Be Surrendered, Court Says
December 15, 2012 Comments Off on Cornish ‘white witches’ guilty of ritual sex abuse on girls, Prosecutor: Man raped, abused 13 infants, children and videotaped attacks, Boy Scout Child Sex Abuse Files Must Be Surrendered, Court Says
Cornish ‘white witches’ guilty of ritual sex abuse on girls
Police say children as young as three may have been involved in coven’s ceremonies
guardian.co.uk, Friday 14 December 2012
Two members of a Cornish white witch coven have been convicted of carrying out ritualistic sex abuse on young girls.
Peter Petrauske, 72, who claimed to be a high priest, and Jack Kemp, 69, donned robes and carried pagan artefacts when they attended ceremonies during which children were forced to strip and then abused. Police believe children as young as three may have been involved.
The abuse only emerged after Kemp was arrested on an unrelated charge, prompting victims of past offences to come forward.
The pair showed little emotion as they were led from the dock at Truro crown court on Friday. Petrauske, who described himself as the high priest of a white witches’ coven in St Ives, was convicted of one count of rape, one count of aiding and abetting an attempt to rape and one count of indecent assault.
Kemp was found guilty of indecent assault and indecency with a child. He was cleared of four other sexual offences. The jury is still considering verdicts on several other sexual offences.
Police launched an investigation last year when Kemp’s arrest caused rumours to spread around their home town of Falmouth.
Alleged victims claimed that Kemp, an ex-soldier and tin miner, and Petrauske, a former member of the merchant navy, had taken part in rituals during which children as young as three were plied with alcohol, forced to strip in front of men wearing white robes and abused. They were given money and sweets to buy their silence and were too frightened to report what had happened, it was claimed.
Prosecutor Jason Beal said children’s wrists were tied and some reported having hot wax poured over their bodies; one said a dagger had been drawn over her body.
Beal said the duo “used the cloak of paganism” to commit the offences against children, arguing they were not pagans but child abusers.
One woman told how, at the age of five, she and other children attended a ritual at a stone circle with a fire in the centre. Petrauske and Kemp were among the men there, wearing “gown things” and necklaces, she said….
The woman, who cannot be named, also said she was raped by another man, a former parish councillor called Peter Solheim who was associated with witchcraft in Cornwall.
Solheim’s body was found by fishermen five miles off the Lizard Peninsula in 2004. He had been drugged and mutilated with a machete or an axe.
The woman told the Truro jury that she was bound and raped by Solheim when she was nine on a bed fitted with chains and a black whip with “star things on the ends”.
In the witness box Petrauske – also known as German Pete – said he had been a pagan for 55 years and had an altar in his bedroom. He accepted he had a dagger and whip but insisted they were all for ceremonial purposes only. He said he had no doubt the victims who gave evidence had been abused by men in robes but said he was not involved….
The pair had denied all the offences, which date back to the 1970s.
Prosecutor: Man raped, abused 13 infants, children and videotaped attacks
John Burbine, 49, of Wakefield, Mass., is accused of sexually abusing more than a dozen young children.
By NBC News staff 6 Dec 2012
A Massachusetts man raped and sexually abused more than a dozen young children in their homes and videotaped the assaults, a prosecutor said Thursday.
The purported victims were as young as 8 days old, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said….
John Burbine, 49, of Wakefield, was indicted Thursday by a Middlesex grand jury on more than 100 counts of child sex offenses. He gained access to many of the children through a child care service operated by his wife, Leone said at a news conference Thursday.
According to authorities, Burbine and his wife advertised child care and tutoring services on various websites including parenting websites and coupon service websites. They also transported children to another family’s home for day care and ran a summer activities program in which they took children to various places, prosecutors said.
Burbine raped and sexually assaulted at least 13 infants and young boys and girls who were in his care from August 2010 through August 2012, according to the indictment. Many of the children were abused multiple times over several months or years, the charges allege.
The victims ranged in age from 8 days to 3½ years old and are from Stoneham, Medford, Newton, Reading, Melrose, Woburn and Waltham, prosecutors said.
Investigators said they found images and videos on Burbine’s home computer of the victims “posed in various states of nudity and engaged in sexual acts” “It is alleged the defendant videotape recorded the assaults on the victims,” the prosecutor’s office said.
“He committed these unspeakable crimes in the victims’ homes and communities. Further, the defendant filmed the repeated, unthinkable abuse,” Leone said. “The defendant gained access and opportunity to abuse young children through advertising child care services with his wife, who operated a tutoring and child care business, which was not licensed. Children are our most vulnerable victims and we will continue to prosecute to the fullest extent those who harm or exploit them.”
Burbine’s wife, Marian Burbine, 46, of Wakefield, has been indicted on charges of reckless endangerment of a child and operating an unlicensed day care business. Prosecutors said she was not present during the alleged rapes and did not know about them….
Boy Scout Child Sex Abuse Files Must Be Surrendered, Court Says
LOS ANGELES — A California appellate court has upheld a Santa Barbara judge’s order saying the Boy Scouts of America must surrender decades of confidential files detailing alleged child sex abuse.
A lawsuit alleges that a local Scouts official tried to keep a boy’s mother from reporting his 2007 abuse by a volunteer leader to police.
The youth group denies the allegations.
“The BSA believes confidentiality of the files helps to encourage prompt reporting,” spokesman Deron Smith told the Times.
Lawyers for the former Scout who was sexually abused by a volunteer leader in 2007 say the files they seek will expose a culture of hidden sexual abuse….
In January, a Santa Barbara judge ordered all files since 1991 be turned over to the boy’s lawyers, but not the public. The Boy Scouts filed an appeal in April.
The order involves different files than the more than 1,200 made public in October by order of the Oregon Supreme Court. Those files ranged from 1965 to 1985.
Richmond homemaker was innocent victim of CIA brainwashing experiments, Boy Scouts’ opposition to background checks let pedophiles in
December 4, 2012 Comments Off on Richmond homemaker was innocent victim of CIA brainwashing experiments, Boy Scouts’ opposition to background checks let pedophiles in
“Boy Scouts’ opposition to background checks let pedophiles in
Boy Scouts of America fought the trend of adopting criminal background checks for volunteers and staff, unknowingly allowing convicted child sex offenders to join.”
Richmond homemaker was innocent victim of CIA brainwashing experiments
By Kent Spencer, The Province December 2, 2012
Fifty years ago Richmond homemaker Gina Blasbalg was a victim of physical and psychological torture and unethical experiments. As a teen she was part of a CIA-sponsored program into mind control at the Allan Psychiatric Institute in Montreal. Today, times are happier, but Ralph and Gina Blasbalg still have a favourite bench to sit on at Garry Point Park in Richmond. Gina was an unsuspecting patient in the CIA-sponsored brainwashing program in Montreal, a young Ralph Blasbalg rescued Gina from daily rounds of pills she was being coerced to take. While she was withdrawing from the medication, they had a place they would walk to at night in Montreal. They called it their “crying bench.”….
Gina Blasbalg was brainwashed by the CIA. The Richmond homemaker was a victim of physical and psychological torture and unethical experiments.
The “medical misadventure” took place in Canada more than 50 years ago at the Allan Institute in Montreal.
Although traumatized by the experience, her story is one of triumph, and today her life is about giving back to young people….
The Allan Psychiatric Institute has been called a “House of Horrors” for good reason.
The so-called treatment of the teenaged Gina consisted of ingesting twice daily doses of 16 pills, under a nurse’s strict supervision.
The drug types varied widely and often had opposing effects.
In no particular classification, they included uppers and downers, depressants and anti-depressants, tranquillizers, barbiturates and truth serum.
The capsules came in a rainbow of colours: blue and brown, turquoise, yellow and red, azure, salmon, pink and white.
“We had to take our medication. If I didn’t I was told I would be put in the insane asylum,” she says.
The effects left her very weak.
“I was a zombie. I wanted to sleep.”
In additon to the pills there was physical and psychological torture.
She says one the worst things done to her was drug-induced contortions which twisted her muscles into unnatural forms.
“It was extremely painful and traumatizing. They wanted to measure the effect of the contortions so they could add it to their research,” she says.
The nitrous oxide given to her, called laughing gas, was anything but funny.
“I felt like I was spinning forever. I didn’t know if I’d ever come out of it. I dreaded it. I remember thinking, is this what it’s like to die?”
She was also given mind-altering LSD.
“I had a dream that I was flying continuously into a massive sticky spider’s web. I was screaming and somebody held me down.”
After long periods of artificially-prolonged sleep, doctors posed questions while she was hypnotized under a truth serum.
“They were able to penetrate my thoughts.,” says Gina.
She was one of hundreds of unsuspecting patients who never gave their informed consent to be used as guinea pigs.
And there was no way to dispute medical orders. “Welfare patients could not sue doctors,” she says.
She feels fortunate not to have received massive doses of electric shocks to the brain which many received at the Allan.
The CIA and Dr. Strangelove
At the top of the Allan’s chain of command was an enigmatic man called Dr. Ewen Cameron.
He was an imposing, Scottish-born figure who was later dubbed “Dr. Strangelove.”
“The chief,” as he was known, had made his mark as a member of a select team which studied Nazi leader Rudolph Hess in Germany after the Second World War.
He was a giant of international medicine who was the first president of the World Psychiatric Association.
Cameron wanted to delve into the inner depths of the human psyche and receive international acclaim — perhaps a Nobel Prize — for his work.
He thought the mind could be deprogrammed through extra-large doses of electric shock, sensory deprivation, drug concoctions and long periods of induced sleep.
Once the mental slate was wiped clean, he believed that minds could be reprogrammed by playing reassuring taped comments through pillows as patients slept.
The messages — things such as ‘You are a good wife and people appreciate you’ — were played over and over each day for hours at a time, and repeated for weeks on end.
“He wasn’t liked by the patients,” says Gina. “They were terrified of him. They tried to run away. I heard people begging for no more treatments.”
During a climate of fear engendered by the Cold War, the CIA gave him money to find out how to control the human mind.
It took two decades for it to be made public that the CIA and the Canadian government secretly contributed more than $500,000 to the now discredited program.
Cameron’s actions have been widely criticized since news of his work surfaced during the 1980s.
A 1986 Department of Justice report concluded that his therapeutic techniques were a “medical misadventure.”
The report’s author said it was an unjustifiable form of assault on the human brain.
He recommended the government award victims $100,000; 77 people have collected.
Montreal lawyer Alan Stein, who has successfully sued on victims’ behalf, says many patients didn’t qualify for the compensation, Gina among them.
Their records were lost (Gina was told her records couldn’t be found) or they didn’t meet the standard of mistreatment that was set.
Victims had to prove that they had been “put in a childlike state.”
Boy Scouts’ opposition to background checks let pedophiles in
Boy Scouts of America fought the trend of adopting criminal background checks for volunteers and staff, unknowingly allowing convicted child sex offenders to join.
By Jason Felch and Kim Christensen, Los Angeles Times
December 2, 2012
Amid reports of widespread sexual abuse of children in the late 1980s, several leading youth organizations began conducting criminal background checks of volunteers and staff members.
Big Brothers Big Sisters ordered the checks for all volunteers starting in 1986. Boys and Girls Clubs of America recommended their use the same year.
One of the nation’s oldest and largest youth groups, however, was opposed — the Boy Scouts of America….
Scouting officials argued that background checks would cost too much, scare away volunteers and provide a false sense of security. They successfully lobbied to kill state legislation that would have mandated FBI fingerprint screening.
While touting their efforts to protect children, the Scouts for years resisted one of the most basic tools for preventing abuse. The result: The organization let in hundreds of men with criminal histories of child molestation, many of whom went on to abuse more children, according to a Times analysis of the Scouts’ confidential abuse files.
Scouting did not require criminal background checks for all volunteers until 2008 — despite calls from parents and staff who said its vetting system didn’t work.
In 1989, a Scout committee chairman in St. Paul, Minn., decried the organization’s “half-hearted” screening in a letter to headquarters.
“BSA is only creating an illusion of performing what they claim,” K. Russell Sias wrote to Scout Chief Executive Ben Love. “It becomes quite clear that BSA is more concerned in ‘passing the buck’ than in accepting responsibility for those who are its adult leaders.”
That same year, a Las Vegas scoutmaster with a criminal history of exposing himself to boys was arrested for sexually abusing a 12-year-old Scout. One parent said casinos did a better job of screening workers.
“The black eye which scouting has suffered in this … could easily have been avoided if the council had taken the simple expedient of doing a background investigation,” the parent wrote to Scouting officials.
From the time national background checks became widely available in 1985 until 1991 — when the detailed files obtained by The Times end — the Boy Scouts admitted more than 230 men with previous arrests or convictions for sex crimes against children, the analysis found.
The men were accused of molesting nearly 400 boys while in Scouting. They accounted for one in six of those expelled for alleged abuse during those years.
Scouting officials declined to be interviewed but said in a prepared statement that they have enhanced their policies over the years and tried “to ensure we are in line with and, where possible, ahead of society’s knowledge of abuse and best practices for prevention.”
October 25, 2012 Comments Off on Boy Scouts and Catholic Church were inclined to silence on abuse
Boy Scouts and Catholic Church were inclined to silence on abuse: James Gill
By James Gill, NOLA.com The Times-Picayune
October 24, 2012
After Catholic priest Gilbert Gauthe was found to be a child molester in 1974, then-Lafayette Bishop Gerard Frey decided a change was in order. So the next year, Gauthe was assigned extra duties. He became chaplain of the diocesan Boy Scouts. Any pedophile would have whooped, and Gauthe took full advantage….
Louisiana always figured prominently in the scandals that engulfed both institutions nationwide. Gauthe was the first to be unmasked in the endless succession of predatory priests who enjoyed years of episcopal protection. After Gauthe pleaded guilty in 1985, and was sentenced to 20 years in the state pen, Rev. Kenneth Doyle, spokesman for the U.S. Catholic Conference in Washington, said: “We don’t want to give the impression that it’s a rampant problem for the church, because it’s not.”
Then, New Orleans journalist Jason Berry, who covered the case, wrote a book predicting years of turmoil and multimillion-dollar court judgments against the church….
In 1976, four adult Scout leaders were arrested in New Orleans for running a troop where underprivileged boys were recruited for sexual exploitation. It was the movement’s first high-profile sex scandal in America. “Louisiana always figured prominently in the scandals that engulfed both institutions nationwide.”
The Scout leaders — Raymond Woodall, Richard Stanley Halvorsen, Harry Cramer and Lewis Sialle — were all sentenced to prison in 1977. At the same time parents of Gauthe’s victims found out what he was up to, and filed complaints with diocesan officials. Frey, in what we were soon to discover was the standard response of the church throughout the country, merely moved Gauthe to another parish, where he continued his unholy ministry until he was suspended in 1983 after aggrieved parents filed a lawsuit….
He (Gauthe) had no known connection, however, with New Orleans Troop 137, which hit the national headlines while he was preying on the youth of Lafayette. What was known at the time as the “Boy Scout sex case,” netted 17 arrests, and Troop 137 was identified at the trial of its leaders as “the nucleus of a nationwide sex and pornography ring, with boys recruited into the troop sent to other states for the pleasure of men there.” Troop leaders would recruit underprivileged boys and ply them with gifts so they could be prepared for sleepovers and naked pool parties.