Good and Bad Mentors

As you may know, the Boy Scouts of America organization has sought bankruptcy protection against the possible consequences of 92,700 claims of sexual abuse since 1950. This is seen by many observers as an outgrowth of the #MeToo movement of recent years by women who experienced abuse, particularly from men in power positions. Because it’s in the news, I have written to my high school alumni association newsletter to say that, for the record, my two Scoutmasters behaved impeccably toward me. We shouldn’t remain silent about guilt of abuse, nor about innocence of it.

I and other boys are aware of an Explorer Scout leader who slept in a tent with a particular boy who may have been 18 at the time, or close to it. It was surprisingly open, and appeared to be consensual. In my view, that’s different.

The Roman Catholic Church in the U.S. is facing $6-8 Billion in payouts for priestly sexual abuse. Studies report that less than 50% of Catholic priests even attempt celibacy, and only 2% achieve it. It appears, again, that suppressing human nature is doomed to failure.

I wasn’t molested by my Scout leaders, but I was by my UU minister, when I was 16. So yeah, me too. He was a good guy in every other way. He helped me a lot in an important time in my life. This sort of duality happens a lot, I hear.

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