On February 18, 2024, it will be exactly four years since the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
Even before filing for bankruptcy on February 18, 2020, it was clearly evident to us that the BSA was not acting in good faith to be "fair & equitable" to the 82,209 Boy Scouts Child Sexual Abuse Survivors that would become "Creditors" as Claimants in the bankruptcy, despite repeated promises.
For example, on July 11, 2019, seven months before they filed for bankruptcy, BSA formed another entity, Delaware BSA, LLC, in the State of Delaware. Delaware would be more favorable to this bankruptcy filing than Texas, which is where the BSA national headquarters is located, and BSA would have been held more accountable in Texas.
Among several significant concerns as the bankruptcy process moved forward, the BSA did not release approximately 7,776 files of perpetrators that are in their infamous "perversion files" until October 2023. This was more than three years after the bankruptcy was filed and after two rounds of voting by Survivors to reject or accept the proposed bankruptcy settlement plan.
How could the victims be expected to make informed decisions when all of the case information was not available to them? It seems to us that this failure to provide those approximately 7,776 files was intentional. This was such a significant concern that a deadline to file for an "Independent Review Option" was extended from October 19, 2023 to February 16, 2024 so that the attorneys would have time to review the files when they were finally released. An Independent Review Option is similar to a trial. A Survivor could choose this instead of the default bankruptcy Trust "Matrix" used to evaluate recovery amounts. Yet to use this option the claimant had to pay the settlement Trust an Administrative Fee a total of $20,000, which in our view is far from "fair & equitable."
It is also important to note that the approximately 7,776 files of BSA 'perversion files' perpetrators have still not been publicly released. This failure means that today's children may well still be at risk from these predators!
Furthermore, to this day, the BSA continuously lies about the percentage of victims that voted to approve the bankruptcy settlement plan. The BSA claims on their bankruptcy website (BSARestructuring.org) and states in their press releases and other interactions with the media that the settlement plan was passed with "more than 85% voting to approve it." However, the truth is that the voting process was too complicated and confusing. Over 25% of the Survivors did not even vote, and after the second round of voting, less than 60% of ALL CLAIMANTS voted to accept it. The "more than 85%" refers only to THOSE THAT VOTED. To us, not voting is the equivalent of a no/reject vote!
A very significant part of making the decision to vote to "REJECT" or "ACCEPT" the proposed bankruptcy settlement plan was the "Compensation Calculator" that BSA has on their bankruptcy restructuring website. Mysteriously, that calculator stopped working after the settlement was approved and we are convinced that the very persuasive recovery amounts it initially projected are going to be far from the reality of what Survivors are likely to receive. They were already heavily discounted from standard recovery amounts, due to this being a bankruptcy and avoiding jury trials. In addition, due to the very low amount of funds in the bankruptcy Trust and the record high number of victims, the recovery amounts will be discounted low amounts on top of already discounted low amounts. For those whose abuse was in a State with a closed or limited Statute of Limitations, the recovery amounts may be less than a few thousand dollars. It seems to us to be absolutely criminal for anyone who was raped as a child -- including those who were raped repeatedly, for years, and had their lives, families, friendships, religious faith, and communities destroyed for life -- to lose so much and to be compensated so little.
These are just a few of the significant concerns about how the BSA, key insurance companies, law firms representing thousands of Claimants, and others involved in the bankruptcy participated, in our opinion, in a huge theater bankruptcy sham! Experts as part of the 22 days of hearings and seven days of oral arguments had testified that the bankruptcy Trust fund should have been between $8.5 billion and $38.9 billion, far from the $2.46 billion that was ultimately allotted.
To Roger Krone, the new BSA CEO, we want you to know that there is an ever growing united coalition of extremely angry Boy Scouts Child Sexual Abuse Survivors and we are going to get louder and LOUDER! We have been watching closely and, sadly, we are not anywhere near convinced that anything has or will ever change. Children are still NOT safe in your organization, and you and Glen Pounder, your new "Youth Protection Executive" have not done anything other than the same BS PR spin.
If you are sincere about wanting to protect children, and truly want to be "fair & equitable" to those the BSA have failed miserably, you will do ALL of the following...