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Scouts Honor: The Secret Files of the Boy Scouts of America (2023)

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In 2020, more than 82,000 former Scouts came forward with claims of sexual abuse.

When a respected and beloved 100-year-old institution espousing morality, trust, and community service is called into question, shock and denial can initially set in. But the difficult truth, according to the new documentary Scouts Honor: The Secret Files of the Boy Scouts of America, is crucial to hear.

In February 2020, the Boy Scouts of America filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. By the end of that year more than 82,000 former Scouts had come forward with claims of sexual abuse that took place during their time as members of the organization — meaning, of course, when they were minors. Their claims span across decades and generations, all over the United States.

Directed by Brian Knappenberger (The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez, Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press) and executive produced by Orlando von Einsiedel (The White Helmets), Scouts Honor: The Secret Files of the Boy Scouts of America unpacks the troubling subject matter through the first-person narratives of survivors of abuse, as well as a former employee of the Boy Scouts of America and an interview with a former general counsel of the organization.

Scouts Honor also features Patrick Boyle, a journalist who reported extensively on the “ineligible volunteer files,” also known as the “perversion files,” many of which were ordered released to the public by the Oregon Supreme Court in 2012. It includes extensive interviews with whistleblower Michael Johnson, a former police detective who spent a decade within the BSA as its youth protection director. After Johnson was let go by the organization in late 2020, he began to publicly speak out, amplifying the stories of survivors and calling on Congress to investigate the BSA’s efforts to cover up decades of past abuse.

Throughout the film, in emotional testimony, survivors from a vast range of backgrounds share their experiences of alleged abuse at the hands of adults they’d been led to trust. They reveal the internalized feelings of shame, fear, and trauma they carried with them well into adulthood and still grapple with to this day. “You took my childhood. You took my growing up. I was so angry,” says one survivor, now over 40, after describing the repeated abuse they say a troop leader inflicted on them starting around the age of 11 or 12. “I want to take some of the stigma away of boys being victims… It’s not the boys’ fault.”

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... in this moral cesspool so-called United Stupids of America !