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.
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