Attack of the Boy Scouts

Letters published October 20,2004

Foreign Exchange Peabody's Saturday, October 16
Put that in your pipe and smoke it: As a 5th-year holder of the Pipestone, I want to let you know that I cannot believe you actually published this article ["A Brave Never Tells," October 6]. You gave a completely biased view of the program. You also failed to mention that the program is completely voluntary.

There is no way for minors to see into the adult side of the shower. You stated that minors were being painted by adults. This is impossible now, and when it did happen before, it was only on the middle of the back, where you cannot reach. There was no sexual touching whatsoever.

I will agree that the program did used to be rougher, but today if anyone so much as thought of hitting one of the candidates or just roughing them up a little bit, they would be gone. Sexual abuse has unfortunately been a problem in the B.S.A., but it does not occur because of Pipestone.

I just don't understand why you wrote this article. Most of it is false and just makes a very respectable program look bad.

Steve Ehret

Harrowed by the Arrow: Thanks very much for "A Brave Never Tells." The Boy Scouts have plenty of hidden secrets, and many of them need to be revealed. This Eagle Scout supports you.

You may also want to look into the "Order of the Arrow" program, where initiates are forced to fast in silence through a day of work. I would be completely willing to provide further sources, as well as on-the-record quotes, if needed.

Dan Gessner
University Heights

Time was: A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

It's been over 30 years since I wore the uniform of the Boy Scouts organizations, yet I still remember the scout law. After reading "A Brave Never Tells," I can only guess what today's so-called scoutmasters have their scouts doing for a merit badge.

Chester Soska

Don't forget black is white and up is down: I'm presuming that "A Brave Never Tells" is an attempt to discredit the B.S.A. Very sad. You are most likely among those who think it's important to have homosexuals involved in scouting. After all, that is what happened in Canada, and now there are no Boy Scouts in Canada.

It is truly sad that you've taken isolated situations and made every effort to discredit an institution which has benefited millions of young men. As I see it, you are among those who want good to be bad, and bad to be good.

Jan Michaud
Cuyahoga Falls

Pick yer poison: I wanted to thank you for "A Brave Never Tells." I was an eagle scout long ago, in a troop whose campouts regularly featured alcohol and drug use. While the troop also engaged in activities that promoted civic involvement and personal growth, it wasn't uncommon for scouts who were perceived as different in any way (let alone gay) to endure beatings from other scouts during meetings or while we camped.

As your article pointed out, the B.S.A.'s policies raise very real dangers. Imagine that you're an adolescent boy in the process of discovering that you're sexually attracted to other boys. What options does B.S.A. offer you? Beatings, quitting, or the kind of secrecy that ruins lives.

Mike Geither

Eastlake's conspiracy of silence:
Thank you for writing "Collapse of Eastern Civilization" [October 6]. I cannot say enough positive things about Cleveland Scene, Tom Francis, and Sarah Fenske. Over the years, you have been our only glimmer of hope of hearing the truth. You and your reporters have repeatedly nailed it every time.

Why the News-Herald supported that bastard DiLiberto at every turn still remains a mystery to me. He raped this community, and for that privilege we will be paying him disability and retirement until he dies. Our council failed us, our mayor screwed us, and the News-Herald supported, praised, and hailed every thrust of the knife. Scene was the only, and I repeat only, paper that reported the true facts.

Susan McCullough

Donuteers fought back: Thank you for printing the truth. I work two jobs. My second job is at Biagio's Donuts in Eastlake. We always knew when Scene was writing about Eastlake. About an hour after Scene was delivered, a man associated with the city would come in and take all the papers. So as soon as Scene would arrive, we would look for articles on Eastlake. If there was one, we would hide the papers for an hour or so. After the man left, we would put them back out.

The only thing I don't totally agree with is the part about The Plain Dealer. In the past couple of years they printed many articles that the former mayor didn't like.

Diane Miller

Global Report
Food, da --music, nyet:
After reading your wonderful article on the Globe Café ["From Russia, With Love," September 22], I took a ride out there to check it out. The Globe Café is just as you described, but unfortunately there was no live music (even though it was Saturday) and no beers or wine (even though it was Saturday). But the food was very, very good.

I am recommending it to my co-workers, but I am just a bit disappointed about the music. When I asked why there was no music or alcohol, they said, "I don't know, it is not my fault."

Jeanne Zilka
Shaker Heights

Picture Perfect
Clothes make the man:
You made my day [Kotz: "Country Club Swagger," September 22]. I find it amazing and disgusting that George Bush has not been called out for what he is, a poseur -- "a person who habitually pretends to be something he is not." The essence of Bush posing remains the combat-flight-suit-with-codpiece-harness action on the Lincoln.

Timothy Alexander
Chevy Chase, Maryland

Sticks and stones: It sounds as if Pete Kotz, playground bully, is disgruntled because he called someone out to fight and they wouldn't go.

Real men don't run around looking for a fight. Real men don't necessarily go if called out for one. Real men don't wield knives, killing for vengeance -- that one really sounded childish.

You sound extremely jealous of the trust-fund set. George got one, and Petey didn't. So that's not fair -- get over it. So, Bush is gay-bashing. Is that anything like the Bush-bashing you're doing? Since when are gays weak? They are upset because no one wants to change the law for them.

I don't agree with everything Bush does. But I believe he acted in conscience. And that's all you can ask of a man.

Marilyn Anthony

Smells like team spirit: Have you seen the cheerleader footage from when Bush was head cheerleader in high school? It's manly stuff. The part with the pom-poms is the best. Don't know why the Dems don't use that on a split screen, with Bush thrusting out his manly chest when he arrives places. Thanks for the laughs.

Steve Wessells
Las Vegas

Big Dubya is watching you: What a beautiful essay. I grew up with guys just like George Bush. He and that whole crowd are a replay of Revenge of the Nerds, the gross-out guys in high school that all the jocks bullied and that are finally getting even. Unfortunately, it seems as if they might kill us all in the process. Money addiction and vindictiveness are a dangerous mix.

Thanks for your keen perception and courage for speaking out during these Orwellian times. You're a real man.

Prue Face
Richmond, Virginia

Energy-field cooties: A real man fights his own fights and protects those who are weaker from harm. Bush fails in everything he does. Just being in his proximity affects people. Look at what Colin Powell has become, after being used by this parasite.

Susan Lewis

Dawg Pounding
The case for isolationism:
While Pete Kotz's article ["Magic Bus," October 13] makes light of the partying, drinking, and general debauchery found in many parking lots before Browns games, some want to keep their loved ones away from such outlandish behavior. It seems like a good idea to keep this type of behavior isolated in one area, but the drunken mayhem inevitably spills into the stadium and surrounding areas at game time.

I'm sure that Mr. Nunnari would never condone any lewd and lascivious acts that occur, but nonetheless, he is still a small part of the demise in the perceptions of our great team and city. Perhaps if I spent a few hours on his Magic Bus, I would change my mind. Where does he park it again?

Reupert Holmes
Olmsted Falls

It's for Real
Scream therapy doesn't work:
In response to "Talking Tough" by Bob Brophy [Letters, October 6]: Is this letter for real, or is it a clever piece of satire? Referring to Middle Eastern people as "animals" and reducing complicated issues of international peace and politics to silly one-liners is insulting to Scene readers.

Why can't people like Brophy understand that you can't solve problems by screaming at world leaders or forcing your will on other countries?

Michael Johnson

Tit for Tet
The truth never leads to betrayal:
Though I'm a Vietnam veteran who was not exactly a happy camper during the Tet Offensive, I must take issue with some of the comments in October 13 letters from Michael Kafir ("What would Jesus say?") and Mark Dieterich ("Bomb 'em back to the stone age").

Kafir attacked Senator John Kerry for depicting some Vietnam war servicemen as being "serial rapists, baby-killers, and war criminals!" It is interesting to note Kafir did not accuse Kerry of lying. The fact is, Kerry spoke the truth, and there certainly is no "betrayal" in doing so. Betrayal rests with the evil-doing American sailors and soldiers who committed the various atrocities during the war.

As for Dieterich, he claims "thousands of men and women fought and died to give you the very freedom you are allowed to express." Well, perhaps, but that happened more than 200 years ago, when we declared independence from Great Britain.

Louis Pumphrey
Shaker Heights

Like this story?
SCENE Supporters make it possible to tell the Cleveland stories you won’t find elsewhere.
Become a supporter today.
Scroll to read more Letters articles


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.