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Scout's Honor: Sexual Abuse in America's Most Trusted Institution Paperback – June 21, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Prima Lifestyles (June 21, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761500243
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761500247
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,008,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Although the subject matter of Scouts Honor will put some readers off, it deserves to be read. By focusing on the molesters-rather than their victims-the book offers an eye-opening look at exactly how child molesters operate and how society has let them get away with it. According to Boyle, who carefully researched the history of the Boy Scouts and conducted interviews with eight former scout leaders who molested boys, the scouting institution has served as a magnet for pedophiles since it inception. Although the Boy Scouts has recently taken effective steps to combat this problem, Boyle asserts that the best protection remains "a family life that is supportive and emotionally sound so that a child does not seek attention and affection elsewhere." Recommended for public libraries.
January Adams, ODSI Research Lib., Raritan,
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Boyle puts a human face on sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts by placing one offender's story at the center of his report. Now imprisoned for his second Scout-abuse conviction, Carl Bittenbender's a nice guy, not gay (boy-molesters usually aren't, Boyle says), "good" with kids; he fits the profile for scoutmaster--and, unfortunately, also for the typical boy-molester. Skilled at conning others and himself (he knows molestation is wrong), he's pitiable, even forgiveable. But not trustworthy. Boyle demonstrates that the Boy Scouts' national organization knew about Bittenbender and his ilk since it has kept files on sex offenders among scouting volunteers for decades. But it largely ignored them, never using them systematically to help local scouting officers screen prospective volunteers. Until Bittenbender's and other cases exploded in the press during the 1980s, that is, since when it has done nearly everything--short of admitting to molestation troubles from scouting's beginnings--to correct its neglect. An absorbing, admirably evenhanded treatment of one of those things nobody wants to talk about--which, of course, is a large part of the problem. Ray Olson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
As a victim and scout myself, I found this book to be an investigative feet with stories from all sides. It is a must read if you want to know how so many molesters can offend the nation's most trustworthy and honest youth in the worst way.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on June 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
An emotional and disturbing tale of scoutmasters who have deceived whole communities, the boys they've molested, the parents who were somehow oblivious until it was too late, and the scout officials who didn't understand their own policies and for years underestimated the scope of the organization's problem.

Something a previous reviewer seems to have missed, and perhaps one of the reasons these things often go unreported, is that these guys aren't always forcing themselves upon the youngsters. Sometimes the men are master manipulators who convince the boys that what they are doing is normal and that they care for them more than their own parents. This is the case with one of the main characters in this book. Of course, this isn't always the case. Sometimes they use intimidation and fear to keep the boys quiet.

In any case, years later some such boys grow up to be abusers too and there is a cycle that goes on. This is also detailed in the book.

Fortunately, the Boy Scouts have put into place new policies in recent years, probably in part thanks to this book. Basically, it is against BSA policy for adult leaders to ever be alone with a boy or sleep in the same tent with boys. Also, leaders now have to go through a criminal background check.

Unfortunately, the fixes won't stop every molester, especially when parents aren't on the ball. It's important that the parents be aware of these rules and not just always trust the leaders to be following the rules. There was one story in the book of a group of pedophiles who worked together to start a scout troop, so if you see a troop where none of the leaders are parents you should be cautious. Make sure to know who these people are.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
I wish there were books like it that dicussed abuse in other organizations such as church, and sports.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patti on June 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is available in .pdf format FREE from the author at patrickboylescoutshonor.com. I agree it is a disturbing book although I haven't finished it. I didn't like seeing it for sale at $107 to $375 when the author wishes to give it to anyone who is interested in reading it.
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