In June 1981, the mother of a Fairbanks Cub Scout complained that a den leader named Kenneth A. Burns was sleeping nude with boys and showing them pornographic material.
The head of the Fairbanks-based Midnight Sun Council of the Boy Scouts of America wrote to the national office about the complaint. He also informed officials that the U.S. Air Force was investigating Burns, who at the time was a sergeant at Eielson Air Force Base.
"I will agree that sleeping nude and showing the boys pornographic books indicated very poor judgement when dealing with cub scouts," replied Boy Scouts of America executive Paul Ernst in July of that year. "I do not know, however, that this is a serious enough offense to refuse registration anywhere he might try to register unless there are more instances."
Burns is one of seven Alaska men identified in 1,400 pages of previously secret files released Thursday by an Oregon law firm involved in a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America.
The documents tell a story of men barred by the Boy Scouts national organization after they had already drawn police scrutiny or criminal charges for sexually abusing children in Alaska.
The Alaska files released are all from the 1960s and 1980s.
Officials with the Boy Scouts council in Alaska did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.
A Los Angeles Times database that includes other sources of the Boy Scouts records lists more than a dozen additional files from Alaska but they do not include names or details of the allegations. Some of the most recent cases from Alaska are from 2003 and 2004.
In Burns' case, it appears that it took a court-martial conviction, a letter from an Air Force judge, a warning that Burns had tried to join another Alaska troop and nearly a year to convince national Boy Scouts officials to add his name to a secret "undesirable list."
"We appreciate the work you have done in getting this information for us," Ernst wrote to John P. McKean, then head of the Midnight Sun Council, in March 1982. That was more than nine months after the initial complaint. "This will strengthen our case in being able to refuse future registration attempts."
Burns didn't stop molesting children.
In the 1990s, he was charged with abusing boys at his Muldoon mobile home, which police said he stocked with toys. At the time, police said he might have had more than 100 victims.
He was eventually convicted of child sex abuse charges.
Now what some people in the lower forty eight may not realize is that Alaska has long been a place where the dregs of society were sent for various reasons, or where they came of their own volition to escape prosecution or persecution for their deviant lifestyles. We have had more than our fair share of draft dodgers, convicted criminals, pimps, soldiers gone AWOL, gang bangers on the lam, and even low ranking members of the Mafia during the oil boom years.
In short it is where numerous criminals came to make their homes far from the restrictive "civilization" of the rest of America, and where even the Catholic church dumped their own child molesters for decades.
I am not at all surprised to learn that the Boy Scouts covered for this activity up here as well as in the rest of the country, and would be even less surprised to learn that the Boy Scout leaders might even have suggested that these individuals move north once they were discovered in other states, since they still undoubtedly see Alaska as the last frontier where these assholes can simply disappear into the wilderness.
You know, much like what the Catholic church has done with THEIR undesirables over the years.
P.S. Of course while the Boy Scouts might be willing to cover for those pedophiles, they make damn sure to keep the REAL unsavory element out. You know, the atheists.