Statement of Jeff Anderson: Regarding release of the Boy Scout files

October 18, 2012

Statement of Jeff Anderson

While the Release of Boy Scout Secrets is “Breakthrough Moment”

“…the harboring of secrets and protection of child predators continues to be the sad practice of many organizations and institutions.”

Contact Jeff Anderson:  Mobile 612.817.8665
Gregg Meyers or Jared Shepherd 651.227.9990

“Today, attorneys in Oregon are releasing stunning evidence of the Boy Scouts of America’s knowledge of the problem of child sexual abuse in Scouting.   The Boy Scout’s Ineligible Volunteer or “Perversion Files” document reports of abuse of Scouts by approximately 1,200 Scoutmasters and adult leaders from 1965-1985.

Ordered by the Oregon Supreme Court, the release of these long held secrets is a breakthrough moment for child protection and a shining beacon of hope for all those involved in the child protection movement.  This expansive production of more than 14,500 pages of documents reveals a previously unspoken truth and is a testament to the courage of survivors and their advocates.  Shedding light on the dark past of institutional secrecy is a great example of what needs to be done, what can be done, and the promising future of what will be done to protect our children.

Revered institutions, such as the Catholic Church have long harbored secrets and protected offenders at the tragic expense of children for the sake of image protection. Indeed, to this day the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and many Catholic bishops across the country continue to harbor the secrets and files that would address the cover-up of sexual abuse of children.

However, as Penn State and the recent child sex abuse scandal at Minnesota’s Shattuck-St. Mary’s School have shown, beyond the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts the harboring of secrets and protection of child predators continues to be the sad practice of many organizations and institutions.

When documents are released and past mistakes acknowledged, the burdens of survivors and their families are lightened, and the unrevealed truths can be utilized to further the goal of child protection.

We applaud the courageous advocates who work tirelessly to uncover and reveal the secrets.  We stand in support of these courageous survivors.  This is a victory.”