So, Boy Scouts: evil, pure evil, or sometimes non-evil?

Absolutely. It’s just a few bad apples burning those crosses. And the fact that the umbrella organization refuses to denounce those bad apples (and in fact publically defends them) is just a bizarre mix-up. It in no way reflects upon the organization.

But you’re not talking about the KKK now… you’re talking about some fictitious organization.

Comparing the Boy Scouts to the KKK is kind of crazy. You midaswell just compare them to the Nazis and get it over with.

So I disprove your stupid point, and you fall back on “How dare you compare them to the KKK? They’re not that bad!!!”

Brilliant. And you’re right… they’re not that bad. But then again, I never said they were. In fact, I explicitly said that there are many wonderful people in the Boy Scouts, while I would never say the same for the KKK. Nevertheless, the point that I was illustrating is valid. The Boy Scout Organization is tainted with intolerance from the top down, and the fact there are good people in it doesn’t change that. That intolerance permeates their literature and their manuals, although many of their better members look past it or reinterpretate it because they like the other people in their troop.

And presumably replace tyres as well.

You didn’t disprove any point. You compared them to a fictitious organization, whom you named the KKK, and then presumed to assign judgement to the fictitious organization based on the actions of the real KKK, whom you specifically described as being different.

See, the problem with what you were saying can be summarized in the following bullet points:

  1. You compared the scouts to the KKK, drawing an analogy with the KKK as a racist organization.
  2. It was pointed out that the KKK was actually an entire organization BASED ON racism, and was not simply a normal organization which contained racist members.
  3. You then suggesteed “what if the KKK wasn’t fundamentally based upon racism?”

At that point, they’re not the KKK. You have removed the signature aspect of their existence as a racist group. You’re just using the word, KKK, for its loaded meaning, despite the fact that you’ve now totally redefined it to be something else. Which is why, at that point, it doesn’t matter if something is like the redefined term you’ve created. The KKK you’ve described at that point isn’t anything good or bad. It’s just an empty word with no reality to back it up.

This is why I said, “Why don’t you just call them Nazis,” because you could do the same thing… Just redefine Nazis to mean something other then a genocidal movement bent on world domination, and then you can make a fair comparison maybe.

Like… “What if the Nazis were a group of people who wore brown uniforms and practiced outdoors survival skills? OMG THE BOY SCOUTS ARE JUST LIKE THE NAZIS!”

Have you ever actually been involved in the boy scouts?

Because I think you’re pretty much blowing the permeation of intolerance a lot here.

The KKK took my baby away

Just to jump in the pigpile here, I was a cub scout, webelo, and eventually an Eagle Scout. Our troop had “initiations” which for me included being tied down and whipped with a knotted rope. Other kids were taped up like a mummy and left to wander with an “I’m gay” sign hung around their neck, or they’d get in their sleeping bag only to find it full of daddy-longleggers, or other such hijinks.

I’m sad to say, that as I got older, I participated in the hazing and even masterminded some of them.

So hazing was a part of the BSA, and that included “official” stuff like the initiation weekend for Order of the Arrow. We were allowed to take a ground cloth, our sleeping bags, and a knife. We were led down a path in the woods sometime around 10 or 11 o’clock at night and each of us was tapped and told to take ten paces to the left or right of the path and sleep the night. That wouldn’t seem like hazing, but our night it rained, hard, all night. Some kids wound up in ditches. I’m sure it wasn’t safe or particularly well supervised.

But the truth is, we all thought it was epic. The hazing stories were used to scare the new kids, and everyone wanted to get into OotA not because the organization was anything in particular, but we wanted to do the initiation weekend to see if the adults really made the kids do all the stuff we had heard. And yeah, they did.

As for pedophilia, aside from the usual slurs, I only remember one time when a kid told me I didn’t want to go near one of the troops at camp. That he had heard the older kids made the younger kids “do stuff” and that the Scoutmaster knew about it and didn’t do anything.

And that’s part of the structure of how Boy Scout summer camp worked. You didn’t send your kid to camp, the whole troop went to camp as a unit, and the local adults were the supervisors of their campground. Camp staff manned various areas, like the Orienteering Cabin, Arts and Crafts, or the Ecology/Conservation Lodge. The camp staff provided evening activities in the early evening, but then each troop went back to their camp area and had their own campfires and activities. So if you had a Scoutmaster who was a pedo, he was in charge of you 24/7 while at summer camp.

The Boy Scouts is an organization that is, at its heart, designed to instill certain values in boys. The values that they tout the loudest are leadership, honor, etc. etc. But it’s fair to look at all the values they instill. What is meant by leadership? By honor? You look at the example they give. Apparently, these values include some distasteful things suich as intolerance.

Are you up to speed now?

This is why I said, “Why don’t you just call them Nazis,” because you could do the same thing… Just redefine Nazis to mean something other then a genocidal movement bent on world domination, and then you can make a fair comparison maybe.

No… you said “why don’t you just call them Nazis” because that’s the fall-back position of Internet idiots everywhere who don’t understand what’s being argued and are just name calling.

Have you ever actually been involved in the boy scouts?

Yes, I have. I left after a year after their psuedo-military uniforms and ranks got on my nerves, after I read one too many of their values that I disagreed with, (in their official printed literature) and after I realized that I had better things to do with my time than learn about their version of “leadership” and “honor”.

Because I think you’re pretty much blowing the permeation of intolerance a lot here.

Thanks for your opinion. But it’s pretty clear it’s not worth much.

I hate to ask because it’s obviously a painful memory for you, but what were these examples? I had to read the BSA handbook backwards and forwards, and I don’t think I came across anything that was out of the ordinary with any other codification of a moral code besides their need to affirm a belief in God. Mind you, that was back in the 70’s and early 80’s so things may very well have changed.

Could you provide examples where teaching honor and leadership actually translate into intolerance?

I’m curious as to the specific experiences which obviously made you hate the boyscouts. I’m not looking to invalidate them, as much as just understand what experiences you’re talking about.

I was only in the cubscouts when I was a kid, and never really liked the whole formal organization of things. I prefered more free-form crap like fishing and hiking around in the woods. But I never actually started to hate the boyscouts as a result. But it sounds like you had more experience with the scouts than I did, so I’m interested in hearing about your specific experiences which shaped your views of them.

I explained the reasoning behind the statement, and it wasn’t simply a fallback position. It was a direct analog to you comparing them to the KKK.

And honestly, if you’re going to compare them to the KKK, I don’t see why you don’t just compare them to the Nazis. Both are over-the-top archetypes of evil stuff, so I’m not sure why you decided to draw the line at the KKK, other than realizing that the Nazi comparison would be even more absurd.

The thread is like a parody of everything wrong with internet debates.

Ya, you’re right. I’m sorry Anaxagoras. Don’t worry about the whole argument about the argument, I’ll just cede that part of it. I’m more interested in hearing about your actual experiences with the boy scouts to learn about why folks develop such a dislike for them, as they always seemed pretty non-threatening to me. (of course I’m a white, non-gay guy)

I was in cub scouts for a little while but I quit because I am such a badass. While I was there, nobody mentioned God. It was all about the United States, and our head honcho was a chemical engineer, so all our big meetings were lessons about space or a chance to meet the guy who drew “Dial H for Hero.” Also, the Den Mothers did everything, the only thing the men did was stand in the back at big meetings and judge the Pinewood Derby.

So I can testify as to the culture of scouting for a period of three months in the nineteen eighties as it existed in a central Wisconsin mill town.

This is how I remember it back in the 70’s and 80’s in Sierra Vista, AZ and Sacramento, CA. The Den Mothers did everything up until the actual Boy Scouts at which point the dads took over.

Cub Scouts was a lot of crafts, eating cookies and cupcakes, pizza parties and fudging the merit patch requirements. Really, it was just organized babysitting between moms. I remember it as being a lot of fun.

Webelos was okay, but the fun was a bit harder to get at because the folks in charge actually expected scouting type stuff.

I only lasted a year as a Boy Scout and my participation was lackadaisical at best. One day, I just realized that Boy Scouts had a lot less to do with sleepovers and backyard camping and more to do with actual community work and religious/moral teachings than I wanted. Oh, and sex with girls was pretty awesome, and Boy Scouts most definitely did not get any so that was a pretty big factor in my decision to stop attending meetings.

Before I left, I do remember thinking that I really hated how religion had become so focal to Scouting.

Now? Yeah, I’d let my kid be a Cub Scout if he wanted as long as I see that the focus was still on eating cake, goofing off, and sometimes putting together a poorly made slot car.

They took her away? Away from you?

They took her from me
They took her from me
I don’t know
Where my baby can be

This is what killed it for me. The dads who had been involved with scouts in the past came in with souped up badass rollers. One dad was like, NO BODY IS BEATING US. I had a little old poopy car and boogered up hands. I told my son we should forget the cubscouts and just get a WII. He was like “oh, yeah!”

There’s a whole Southpark episode (I think perhaps even two) about the slot car thing.

A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.

Pure evil. We wouldn’t want those kind of people around at all.

Sounds like total sociopaths to me. I’m only partly kidding.