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Old 2014-04-30, 18:45   #34
Xyzzy
 
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http://freethinker.co.uk/2007/11/01/...he-boy-scouts/

(Like with most controversial subjects, this article may be written entirely to discredit a viewpoint. We are unable to verify if the claims in this article are true, but we think the questions that are raised are interesting and perhaps worth further investigation.)
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Old 2014-04-30, 20:45   #35
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Originally Posted by kladner View Post
Justification, as in "being just", is in short supply here. I certainly can't come up with any.

As to explanation, The Scouts leaders are mired in backward and troglodytic thinking which equates being gay with child molestation. Further, they are probably clinging to the antiquated notion that just being around someone who is gay, and a role model, is contagious, especially for youths who are still in a "malleable" phase of development. This is only a hop, skip, and a jump away from belief in "curing" gayness; i.e., that preventive isolation can somehow keep a boy from being what he is.

Then, too, I expect that there are some serious closet cases in the upper echelon of Scouting who are painfully aware of Baden-Powell's obvious orientation. These have to maintain the wall of denial and consequently project their own repressed feelings onto others.
Interesting analysis! The backward thinking is, if my reading of sites like rightwingwatch.org is not too biased (of course, I am very biased!), would seem to me fairly widespread and not just limited to the Scouts of course. It's a pity that such attitudes dominate such a vital youth movement in the USA. As for Baden-Powell's sexual orientation, I'm astonished if that is really an issue in modern scouting, but I'm certainly fascinated to read that opinion from you.

And on the subject of B-P:
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Originally Posted by Xyzzy View Post
http://freethinker.co.uk/2007/11/01/...he-boy-scouts/

(Like with most controversial subjects, this article may be written entirely to discredit a viewpoint. We are unable to verify if the claims in this article are true, but we think the questions that are raised are interesting and perhaps worth further investigation.)
What an eye-opening article! As you say, it is of course highly controversial. But I had certainly always had the impression that Baden-Powell stood for humanist ideals like acceptance of everyone for who they are, striving to promote peace, harmony, love, etc. And I thought, therefore, that modern scouting had diverged from B-P's ideals. If this author is to be believed, that impression of mine is entirely wrong.
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Old 2014-05-01, 03:34   #36
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Interesting analysis! ....... As for Baden-Powell's sexual orientation, I'm astonished if that is really an issue in modern scouting, but I'm certainly fascinated to read that opinion from you.
Perhaps I overstated a conscious reaction to B-P's paedophilia in the administration of US scouting. However, the early days of British scouting had many instances of "naughty scoutmasters" being hauled into court. Especially in a homophobic culture, which Victorian and Edwardian Britain certainly were, there had to be some suspicion of adult men who associated with lots of boys in less public settings. This had to instill a lasting anxiety in the leadership that they not be perceived as "naughty". Such a organizational culture would be handed down and inculcated in up-and-coming inductees to the inner circle.

It is known from correspondence that B-P doted on naked boy photographs. I am not meaning to cast this as a failing of itself. The question, for me, is always about abuse of power. B-P required, until times changed, that "his boys" swim naked. It was also known that he liked to "chat the boys up" just after they had "stripped off." Again, I am not against skinny dipping. I am concerned by hypocrisy from those who hide behind god, country, and other highfaluting and moralistic memes.

I should add that B-P was obsessed with suppressing masturbation, suggesting that boys should resist "impure thoughts" by means of plunging their "racial members" in icy water. While this was certainly a feature of his times, it is another concept which I believe still influences the culture of the scouting organization.

My real quarrel with scouting is that B-P considered it a "character factory" which would turn out obedient soldiers and willing imperialists. Regimentation and authoritarianism are at the heart of B-P's scouting.

These attitudes were certainly part of my truncated scouting experience. For my own part, I have the same problem wondering about gays wanting to be in scouting as I do with those who have fought to be in the military. This is a product of my own pacifist background and feelings, though.

I am not sure that I am presenting really cogent arguments. Strong feelings can interfere with clear thought. To conclude, I will offer yet another essay on the scouts which rings a lot of bells for me.

http://www.bsa-discrimination.org/ht...he_scouts.html

Last fiddled with by kladner on 2014-05-01 at 03:36
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Old 2014-05-01, 08:35   #37
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Can anyone justify, or even merely explain, this thinking to me?
Scouting values of openness and exploration still doesn't fit the agenda of the catholic church and the lds (mormons), the two churches that control the BSA once they realised it could inadvertly be bought. The true Scouting values are a threat to their own teaching and this was their way of neutralising the BSA. Mind that the GSUSA, which always has had a different governing model, in which chartering organizations have much less influence, but is based upon the very same Scouting values and principles, has always been completely inclusive in every aspect. Also notice that the GSUSA has fought off many attemps by churches to infiltration in the past two decades.
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Old 2014-05-02, 10:48   #38
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My real quarrel with scouting is that B-P considered it a "character factory" which would turn out obedient soldiers and willing imperialists. Regimentation and authoritarianism are at the heart of B-P's scouting.

These attitudes were certainly part of my truncated scouting experience. For my own part, I have the same problem wondering about gays wanting to be in scouting as I do with those who have fought to be in the military. This is a product of my own pacifist background and feelings, though.
You've voiced (and re-awakened) similar feelings which I realise were playing a part in my decision not to join the Scouts at all at that very young age. I was very fortunate that the pressure on me to join was not too great. I realise now that I was aware of the regimented character of the set-up even then and knew that I would not fit into it.

And tha's reference above to certain established churches and their influence on Scouting for boys, albeit not for girls, could perhaps be vaguely related to what you also write about the emphasis on resisting "impure thoughts" with the associated hypocrisy. That's me hiding behind appalling insinuation now, I know, but the worldwide revelations of the last few years have elevated such insinuation to the status of "everybody knows...".
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Old 2014-05-02, 11:54   #39
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That's me hiding behind appalling insinuation.....
Pardon, I don't quite see how you are hiding. Perhaps I have so thoroughly accepted the insinuations to which you refer that I can no longer see them.
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Old 2014-05-02, 12:00   #40
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Originally Posted by xilman View Post
B-P set up the Boy Scouts in the UK. For many years the organization's magazine was titled "Scouting for Boys" ...
It has taken a long time for your comment to sink in. I am thinking now that the "Scouting for Boys" has the same sort of double meaning as the name of a common piece of modern carpentry gear: "stud finder."
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Old 2014-05-02, 12:23   #41
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My real quarrel with scouting is that B-P considered it a "character factory" which would turn out obedient soldiers and willing imperialists. Regimentation and authoritarianism are at the heart of B-P's scouting.
This, to me, is a weird retroperspective view. Calling the patrol system regimentation makes no sense. There were very few resources available at the start of the organization, if any. So he designed a bottom up, do it yourself, self rule system. With way more responsibilities put it in the hands of the youth members than they were given anywhere else in society. Think about how teaching took place in schools back then.
It was a practical approach serving the needs of that time and place and BP very frequently adapted it later to serve new needs and other places.
And it kept on developing itself after his passing away.

Apart from the hijacked BSA, Scouting is known for its inclusiveness, much more than most sport organiztions. It was so from the very start. Authoritarian rule has no place in Scouting, never had. Obedience has always been in line with the rest of local society.

Scouting, above all, is a method. When applied well, it works well. When misapplied, it works against those involved.
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Old 2014-05-02, 15:05   #42
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Originally Posted by kladner View Post
It has taken a long time for your comment to sink in. I am thinking now that the "Scouting for Boys" has the same sort of double meaning as the name of a common piece of modern carpentry gear: "stud finder."
But does the latter have implications of both homosexuality and paedophilia?
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Old 2014-05-02, 19:43   #43
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But does the latter have implications of both homosexuality and paedophilia?
No. Not unless you consider boys to be "studs." The term is more generally applied to chronologically adult males.
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Old 2014-05-02, 19:48   #44
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Originally Posted by tha View Post
This, to me, is a weird retroperspective view. Calling the patrol system regimentation makes no sense. There were very few resources available at the start of the organization, if any. So he designed a bottom up, do it yourself, self rule system. With way more responsibilities put it in the hands of the youth members than they were given anywhere else in society. Think about how teaching took place in schools back then.
It was a practical approach serving the needs of that time and place and BP very frequently adapted it later to serve new needs and other places.
And it kept on developing itself after his passing away.

Apart from the hijacked BSA, Scouting is known for its inclusiveness, much more than most sport organiztions. It was so from the very start. Authoritarian rule has no place in Scouting, never had. Obedience has always been in line with the rest of local society.

Scouting, above all, is a method. When applied well, it works well. When misapplied, it works against those involved.
Quoting from my last link above:
But these implications (as well as the Court decision) are overshadowed by a basic irony: Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouts, was a homosexual and a pedophile. Tom Jeal's The Boy-Man, a 1990 biography, details Baden-Powell's attraction to, and likely affairs with, teenage boys, as well as his fondness for nude boy photos and requirements that Scouts in his care should bathe outside naked. Today Baden-Powell would have made the top ten on a Sex Offenders Registry list.

But Baden-Powell's homosexuality is a superficial irony compared to the fact that despite what the New Jersey Supreme Court declares, the Boy Scouts of America are essentially correct: homosexuality is completely incompatible with the history, meaning, and intent of Scouting as it has been understood until now. How could it be otherwise? As conceived of and organized by Lord Baden-Powell in 1907, Scouting's mission was to make boys moral, patriotic, and healthy. Beneath the more benign rhetoric exhorting Scouts to "help others," "tell the truth," and "be kind to animals," Baden-Powell's Scouting principles focused on obedience to authority, doing your "duty to God and Country," and "being pure in thought, word, and deed." Scouting β€” which Baden-Powell referred to as a "character factory" β€” was a regiment to inculcate a deeply conservative, secular Christianity that espoused a defensive nationalism, racial intolerance, and sexual prohibitions. Scouting would turn out real men who would maintain the status-quo, and not challenge prevailing social standards. When World War I erupted Scouting was seen as the breeding ground of good soldiers.

As World War II began Baden-Powell's repulsive political and racial attitudes, which inform the history of Scouting but are clearly separate from it as well, became even more evident. In 1937 Baden-Powell was eager for the scouting movement to establish official ties with Hitler youth groups. In 1939 he noted in his diary: "Lay up all day. Read Mein Kampf. A wonderful book, with good ideas on education, health, propaganda, organization etc. β€” and ideals which Hitler does not practice himself."
More views here:
http://www.slate.com/articles/briefi..._for_boys.html

I also note that I have read considerable discussion of BP lifting a great deal of the scouting concept from Ernest Thompson Seton without attribution, but molding it according to his own authoritarian ideas.

http://freethinker.co.uk/2007/11/01/...he-boy-scouts/

Last fiddled with by kladner on 2014-05-02 at 20:03
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