Such a whirlwind of activity (see below) surrounding the Boy Scouts of America recently – decades overdue – and you can bet we are keeping our eyes on the developments. I would like to personally thank those who are actively seeking accountability on my behalf, and on behalf of other victims, from the BSA for the atrocities that have happened in their organization.
My story is your story.
Surprise! For decades, pedophiles have infiltrated the institution, used its structure to groom victims and then, in the isolated places afforded them, strike at the heart of our nation’s innocent. I thank those with the courage, know-how, and determination to bring to justice those who have been able to circumvent the efforts of many up until this point.
I know that there are tens of thousands out there that have been victimized but, for many, the trauma of reliving those experiences to aid in the fight (even their own fight) is too much to endure. You, survivors one-in-all, have done what you could to live on, adapt, overcome, and use the very lessons taught in scouting to survive what your Boy Scout Masters did to you. We were not offered merit badges for the many things we learned, and every one of them a violation of the law and of the moral code that adults swore us to live by. We did as we were told, not as they did and, in the aftermath, grew up questioning everything we saw, felt, and thought.
For those that can’t come forward, for whatever reasons, I pray that those of us who have can be their voices and witnesses. I also hope that as the world witnesses this call to action, we will see America stand against abuses that make what has done in every other institution pale in comparison.
Congress has recently shaped legislation to offer better oversight in the wake of Larry Nassar‘s molestations in the guise of medical treatment, and it is because those that knew did nothing, because doing nothing is what kept them from being liable. Institutions have used the millions they earn from the public to lobby against legislation and laws that would hold them accountable for not protecting the vulnerable. Ask yourself, if the Catholic church and its predator priests have been made accountable, then why not the thousands of molesting Masters in Boy Scouting?
My abuser, Charles A. “Jack” Walls, III, spent 30 years using the Scouts to manipulate, groom, coerce, and molest hundreds of Scouts. Many of them targeted for the lack of a stable home life or those that had learning disabilities that he claimed to have a knack for helping. He used the church for information about what families were struggling, offered prayers for those in need, and then offered help in the Scouts where he would strip away each child’s identity and become their will.
How did he do it? The truth is as dark and sadistic as the acts he carried out. While he used the church and a teacher within his family to gather information on possible victims, his family was a prominent and powerful part of the legal community. My abuser’s father, Charles A.Walls, Jr., was an attorney for 50 years in Arkansas, a former O.S.S. officer, a Judge that instructed and groomed legal minds, and a devoted protector to his protegee. The Judge used his influences, ranging from the prosecutors and police to the local family doctor, to identify threats to his family and position to isolate, attack, and subvert.
My abuser used the family farm to sponsor Boy Scout campouts and, in that isolation, was able to introduce us to alcohol, porn, and every form of molestation a man can have on a boy. He bragged about his power, what his father could do and had, and we all witnessed first-hand that power.
Victims’ statements ended up in our abuser’s hands, our parents questioned our accounts and, in the end, we were forced to change what was our truth.
My family was killed in 1997 because I exposed my abuser, my mom told our minister, and multiple people chose to protect the predator over those he had victimized. Today, society is coming to understand the cost of generations of kids that have been abused and traumatized by that abuse. Please challenge your elected officials to do something that matters, and that is holding the Boy Scouts accountable as they have the church. Ask your elected officials to hold our institutions as accountable as the law holds its citizens, and not let their lobbying blind them to your children’s suffering.
No child is abused and suffers alone, and every family of a survivor knows this. The impact of years of abuse alters everything, and those that love us find even that love no longer means what it once did. Help us help society understand what the abuse does, what it alters, and how that altered thinking and feeling impacts our lives.
Thank you to those legal professions that are willing to stand up for the people against the powerful, and insuring that equal justice for all is a reality – not an unkept promise.
#SurvivingScouts, #JusticeforBoys, #Scoutsdishonor, #DamagedFamilies
Boy Scouts of America have a ‘pedophile epidemic’ and are hiding hundreds in its ranks, lawyers claim -U. S. News by Corky Siemaszko, Aug. 6, 2019
Boy Scouts failed to stop hundreds of previously unreported sexual predators, a lawsuit alleges, The Washington Post by Kayla Epstein, Aug. 6, 2019
‘There’s no rehabbing the Boy Scouts.’ Former scout speaks out about latest lawsuit, USA Today by Tricia L. Nadolny, Aug. 5, 2019
Nearly 800 accuse Boy Scouts of failing to protect them from sex abuse as new lawsuit is filed, USA Today by Cara Kelly, David Heath and Rachel Axon, Aug. 5, 2019