True to their motto, the Boys Scouts tried to be prepared. For months, they braced for the backlash sure to follow the court-ordered release of voluminous confidential files detailing decades of alleged sex abuse by Scout leaders.
Now the files are public, lawyers are calling for a congressional investigation and the Boy Scouts of America finds itself embattled.
The files released last week are old, dating from 1959 to 1985.
Many of the alleged abusers listed in the files may well be dead. And the Scouts, while apologizing for past mistakes, have significantly improved their youth protection program.
Still, release of 14,500 pages on alleged abusers is an unwelcome development for an organization struggling to halt a decades-long membership drop while incurring relentless criticism for its policy of excluding gays.