Boy Scouts Kept Confidential Files on Pedophiles


The Boy Scouts of America and Scouts Canada both kept confidential files on pedophile scout leaders, but never reported them to police. As a result, pedophiles like Richard Turley were able to molest dozen boys over several decades in both Canada and the United States.

Secret “Perversion” Files in Canada and the United States

The CBC’s documentary news show The Fifth Estate has uncovered a secret system used by Scouts Canada to document sex abusers in an attempt to prevent them from being involved in scouting. The “confidential list” is kept in the national headquarters in Ottawa and can only be accessed by a handful of people. Canadian lawyer Rob Talach is calling for Scouts Canada to release its files to the police, indicating that it could provide additional evidence in cases that could still be prosecuted. It could, of course, also help prevent further abuse from taking place. There is some confusion about what exactly is contained in the files, as Scouts Canada claims it only keeps records of suspension and termination and that it shares information with the police and youth protective services.

In the United States, similar files exist. The documents, known as the “perversion files” have been released to lawyers that were suing the Boy Scouts of America. In 2010, Kerry Lewis was awarded $1.4 million because the Boy Scouts of America failed to protect him from an assistant Scoutmaster that they knew was a child molester. According to Seattle-based lawyer Tim Kosnoff, who had access to the files, around 5,000 files existed from the period of 1947 to 2005, of which about half were created between 1991 and 2005.

Richard Turley: Two Countries, Three Decades, Numerous Victims

The CBC has meticulously detailed the case of sex offender Richard Turley who began molesting boy scouts in Canada in 1971 when he was only 17 years old. Four years later, in 1975, he kidnapped a boy he met in California while visiting a local scout troop. Turley was arrested and pleaded guilty and committed to a state hospital where he stayed until 1976. After being released, he went back to California where he spent several summers working at a Boy Scout camp. After the last day of camp in 1979, he spent an extra night at camp with three boys and molested all of them. After one of the boys told his father, the camp director confronted Turley, who admitted what he had done and agreed to leave and return to Canada.  No one reported the incident to the police, but a confidential “perversion file” was created at the Boy Scouts of America’s national office.

Turley returned to Canada, where he continued his involvement with Scouts Canada. Sometime in the 1980s, Turley was added to Scouts Canada’s “confidential list” and asked to resign from the Scouts. He was later arrested in 1988 for sexually assaulting a child at a swimming pool and served 30 days in jail. However, it wasn’t until a suspicious girlfriend reported him to police in 1995 that any significant investigation took place. Turley was eventually convicted of abusing four boys and spent five years in prison, followed by seven years of supervised parole. Turley, who has completed an intense sex-offender program, admits to having at least a dozen victims over the years and feels that scouting was an easy way to find boys to molest.

Scouts Exclusively Protecting Their Own

The system used by the Scouts in both Canada and the United States appeared to be uniquely designed to protect their own, with a complete lack of regard for the implications to those outside of their community. The CBC reported that a confidential 1972 policy memo urged Boy Scout officials who are dealing with molesters to “indicate [to the accused molester] that the BSA is not sharing this information with anyone and only wish him to stop all Scouting activity.” In the case of Turley, Scouts executive Buford Hill told the Los Angeles Times that “the parents of the three boys agreed to not press charges if he would leave…” and further added “hopefully he went back to Canada and that was their problem” (source: CBC).

Sex Abuse Claims Continue, Screening is Tightened

Meanwhile, in the United States, law suits continue to be filed against the Boy Scouts of America. Four new lawsuits have been filed recently, bringing the total to 35 complaints in 11 different states since 2007. Officials in both Canada and the United States claim that the screening of volunteers has been tightened in recent years. Turley, however, doesn’t think it is enough to stop people like him. He told the CBC, “Scouting is still a flawed movement. If I was a parent, I would never put my kids in Scouts.”


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Pastor Compares Atheists To “Terrorists, Sex Offenders,” Suggests National Registry

Photo credit: Hyougushi on flickr


Lynn Carin
Lynn Carin3 years ago


Elizabeth O.
.5 years ago

Voted 'no!'

Duke D.
Duke D.5 years ago

And one more thing, once again the lack of parents interest in whatever their little scout is doing or happening to him. Parents need to be involved join in on trips and meetings it's the bottom line.

Duke D.
Duke D.5 years ago

They are sick men they need meds and counseling till they understand what they did was wrong then launched to mars to build American Mars Base One then we will see what happens. Might need a base on one of Saturn's moons.. we will see.

Lin Moy
Lin M5 years ago

I think if they knew a leader was a sex offender they should report it to the police.

Jane Barton
Jane Barton5 years ago

William, you have no proof whatsoever who set up gravity. God is a premise like all the other fairy gods and pie heavens. You are presenting fiction as fact. You have built a house on sand. Your argument that "they aren't ALL that way" is tired and irrelevant. I'm concerned about the ones "who ARE that way" and I'm shining a light on them. The Catholic church has butt @%& altar boys for 2,000 years and covered it up. As far as I'm concerned ONE IS TOO MANY but they kept doing it for 2,000 years. Do you understand that? ONE IS TOO MANY and they did hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions. You people just look the other way about this and say Tsk Tsk, just a few bad apples. That's crap and that's an excuse. The power elite which includes the Catholic church is corrupt to the core and always has been. All you ignorant people keep sticking up for them and they could care less about you, they just want your money, and give you false promises of pie heaven. If the Boy Scouts are a religion then they are in on it too.

Roger B.
Roger Bird5 years ago

Thomas, you were doing so well, until: "Moloch worship has been retained over the years by secret satanist sects". That is just nonsense and paranoia.

Thomas L.
Thomas Liddle5 years ago

"Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim."
George Santayana

Thomas L.
Thomas Liddle5 years ago

Lots of people will find this offensive, but the church, on both sides of the reformation has a history of hurting children, ie genital mutilation to preserve their delicate young sopranos.
In the bible, each reference to 'God', and names of god were different gods in the hebrew pantheon. Abram's encounter with zoroastrianism spurred a mass edit, where all these gods were combined into one, including Moloch the child-eater. Where do you think Abram got the idea to kill Isaac? Isolated event? No. That was an oral record of a change in belief, when they first stopped killing their children as sacrifices. Anytime the israelites went back to their old gods, Moloch comes up. The fact that this is embedded in the bible should make it no surprise that people raised on the bible should fall into the same trap. Moloch worship has been retained over the years by secret satanist sects, (bohemian grove, cremation of care). The pedos might not be satanists but they're controlled by that rapist mindset, a case of pure evil sustained by 'good', like cancer in a petri dish of nutrients. The same callousness lets supposed christians leave the hungry in the streets. As long as we have this history as the backbone of our culture, without understanding it, these problems will remain in our consciousness. It goes way deeper than just boy scouts or perversion.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
"Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you hav

Roger B.
Roger Bird5 years ago

Pego, I have noticed that over time empires tend to start austere until they reach their peak, and then start to degenerate morally after that.