[Ansteorra] bad things

Mike Wyvill wyvillmike at hotmail.com
Sun May 13 11:58:09 PDT 2007

First of all I have no problems with background checks. I personally have 
been going through several every year as a Scouter since 1994. I have held a 
number of positions in the BSA and alway tell parents to read the booklet 
(How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent's Guide) that is 
included in their son's handbook. The BSA requires that the parent and son 
go through it together. In fact in most states someone in my position within 
Scouting is required by law to report suspected behavior, just as a teacher 
or doctor would be. Its something that I take very seriously. But even the 
BSA recently had their head of Youth Protection arrested for being part of a 
child pornography ring.

Having said that, any organization that does anything with children and 
doesn't insist on two deep, non related leadership is asking for trouble. 
And the Buddy System for children certainly helps as well. As far as the 
checks go, sure we might not find anyone, but it would be a proactive step 
rather than a reactive one. You can't tell a molester by looking at one, and 
if they do not have a police record, then nothing probably would be revealed 
by a background check. My lady wife used to work as the office manager for a 
group that counsels abused children and abusers. She can tell you they come 
in 'all shapes and sizes' and can have 'enablers' who would rather lie than 
face the awful truth that someone they care about could be a predator. You 
just have to make sure rules are in place and strictly followed. I just 
tried to read the East Kingdom's manual for children and I cannot get it to 
open. I wonder if they are amending it now.

Some of us in the Stargate/Westgate/Gates Edge area have been invited to at 
least one Cub Scouting event. I look at this as a recruiting opportunity. 
But we have to make people with children feel safe and wanted in the 
Society. My own experience with the Society and children has not been an 
entirely pleasant one. It took me 20 years to talk my wife into trying it 
again after she and my then 15 month old son were ill treated at an event. 
Children are a part of this organization and hopefully these same children 
will help lead it into the future as adults. We need to put safeguards into 
place now.

As for the situation in the East, from what I have read and knowing that 
hindsight is 20/20, I would not have placed my children in that position. I 
agree that the parents are looking for someone to blame but the bulk of it 
rests on their shoulders. They are the parents. Its like when a parent tells 
us that they are bringing their child to Scouting to make him a man. We tell 
them its his job, not ours. We will try to make him a stronger person, a 
more creative person, a more well rounded person. But ultimately the 
responsibilty for any child belongs to the parents.

Lord Engenulf de Vienville

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