Probe of Boy Scout 'perversion files' reveal gay leaders were targeted alongside pedophiles
POSTED: Friday, October 12, 2012 - 2:30pm
UPDATED: Friday, October 12, 2012 - 2:34pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — For years the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) hid the fact they kept detailed records of scoutmasters and other volunteers who were suspected of molesting children.
The organization says the files, known as the "perversion files" and number in the thousands, were compiled to make sure pedophiles were kicked out and stayed out of Scouting.
Now an analysis of files obtained by the KING 5 Investigators shows top officials in the youth organization were keeping files on suspected gay Scout leaders as well.
Gay Eagle Scout and former troop leader Joe Hopkins of Seattle is outraged and hurt upon seeing some of the files for himself.
"It's unbelievable to actually see the proof that they've been doing this. It's really sad," said Hopkins. "I loved being a Boy Scout. I totally immersed myself in the program. I think (they) gave me the fundamental values of a moral life. And now to have them turn around and say, you're automatically bad. It appalls me."
The "perversion files", also known as the "ineligible volunteer files" came to light through a handful of civil court cases against the BSA, including some claims in Seattle.
Lawyers representing alleged abuse victims say the collection of files proves that top Scouting officials knew by the 1960s that pedophiles were gaining access to victims through Scouting, yet they failed to institute policies to protect their young, vulnerable Scouts until the 1980s.