‘Scouts Honor’ (2023) Review: Addresses The Most Disturbing Aspect Of Boys Scouts Of America

In recent years, society has increasingly recognized that sexual abuse can impact men and boys as well. It’s essential to understand that abuse knows no gender boundaries. Whether the abuser is male or female, young or old, it should never be a barrier to addressing these heinous acts. Scouts Honor: The Secret Files of the Boy Scouts of America is a recently released Netflix documentary film that delves into the often-overlooked subject of sexual abuse affecting men. In one of the most respected organizations, like the Boy Scouts of America, there exists a decades-long history of sexual abuse of boys who joined the organization with dreams of becoming Boy Scouts.


The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have always been important in the United States. They help young people grow into good, honest, and responsible individuals. Scouts also learn useful outdoor skills and how to be self-reliant. BSA teaches leadership, so young people can be leaders in their groups and communities. They also stress how important it is to give back to the community through service. They teach the kids about being good citizens, which means knowing the rights and responsibilities of a U.S. citizen. However, it is a matter of shame that sexual abuse has occurred in an esteemed organization like the Boy Scouts of America.

Sexual abuse is a grave issue that leaves long-lasting scars on its victims, and it’s crucial to understand the dynamics involved. One reason why such abuse might have occurred is that perpetrators can often use their positions of authority and trust to manipulate and harm young scouts. These scout leaders, who are supposed to be role models and mentors, exploit the vulnerability of the boys they are supposed to protect. This betrayal of trust is a painful aspect of these cases. The issue becomes even more complex when these young victims move to different communities and face similar abuse. It suggests a systemic problem within the organization that needs serious attention. It might happen because the abusers are not properly identified or removed from positions of authority, which allows them to continue their horrible behavior. One heartbreaking aspect is that many of these boys find it incredibly difficult to confide in their parents or other scout leaders about the abuse they’ve endured. They often carry a heavy burden of shame, fear, and confusion. This silence can have profound consequences for their mental health and well-being.


Scouts Honor goes beyond just talking about the problem of sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts of America; it also sheds light on how the institution appeared to be indifferent to it. In the film, the former Boy Scouts youth protection director, Michael Johnson, is interviewed, and he reveals some shocking details. Michael Johnson explains that the organization didn’t seem to take the issue seriously. One startling revelation is that they didn’t even properly keep records of who their scout leaders were or bother to check their backgrounds before putting them in charge of young scouts.

Former General Counsel of the BSA, Steve McGowan, has a viewpoint that’s worth mentioning. He believes that problems like this can happen in any organization, not just the Boy Scouts of America. He seems to want to defend the organization by saying that it’s not the entire BSA’s fault but rather the fault of a few bad individuals in it. While his loyalty to the institution is understandable, it’s also important to acknowledge that he fails to deliver the truth and show empathy towards the victims. I personally feel that McGowan’s stance in this case downplays the seriousness of the issue and the pain suffered by the victims.


The connection between the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and various religious organizations, like the Catholic Church and the Church of Latter-day Saints, was a troubling aspect. Some of these affiliations brought certain prejudices and beliefs that impacted the way the BSA operated. When cases of sexual abuse within the BSA became more apparent, some church groups, including the Catholics and Mormons, wrongly pointed fingers at homosexuals as being responsible. This led to the disturbing and humiliating practice of excluding LGBTQ+ individuals within the BSA. However, in 2019, the affiliations between these religious groups and the BSA were disbanded.

The heartbreaking part about the whole situation in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is that there have been over 80,000 reported cases of sexual abuse. This is a huge number, and it’s like a persistent, painful cancer that just won’t go away. The victims of this abuse have had their lives forever altered by these traumatic experiences. For some survivors, they’ve managed to find a way to move forward, but for many, the memories of what happened continued to haunt them, causing emotional and psychological pain. It’s both emotional and frustrating to witness such terrible deeds happening within an organization like the BSA and to see them continue despite the knowledge of these abuses. While some steps have been taken to prevent further abuse, it’s clear that more needs to be done.


It’s crucial to thoroughly examine every scout leader and implement an independent complaint service to ensure the safety of all scouts. However, eventually, the situation reached a point where the BSA had to file for bankruptcy due to the legal actions taken against them. They were charged $2.4 billion to compensate the victims and their families. However, the big question remains: when and how will this compensation actually reach the people who deserve it? It’s a complex and challenging situation, but it’s essential that justice is served and those affected get the support they need to heal and move forward.

Scouts Honor is a powerful and emotionally charged documentary that highlights the sensitive issue of sexual abuse within the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) from a journalistic point of view. It presents the facts clearly and without bias, shining a light on the flaws in the system that allowed such abuse to continue. What makes this documentary stand out is how it stirs strong emotions while staying true to its journalistic approach. Instead of sensationalizing the issue, it lets the survivors’ stories tell the tale. This approach is both heartbreaking and eye-opening, making viewers deeply empathetic towards the victims. Scouts Honor also explores the biases that influenced the BSA’s response to abuse allegations. It encourages critical thinking and understanding, pushing the audience to confront uncomfortable truths. In a time when documentaries are vital for raising social awareness, this film sets a commendable example. It calls for more documentaries to step up and address such overlooked issues, which will spark greater awareness and awakening among the public.


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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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Scouts Honor is a powerful and emotionally charged documentary that highlights the sensitive issue of sexual abuse within the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) from a journalistic point of view.'Scouts Honor' (2023) Review: Addresses The Most Disturbing Aspect Of Boys Scouts Of America