So the discussion about the Boy Scouts of America and their policy excluding gays and atheists got me curious about the subject so I started googling. In particular, I wanted to see if Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouts had anything to say about homosexuality. I remembered that he was big on sexual abstinence and decried the evils of "self-pollution," ie whacking off.  

Well, was I surprised that my search results came up that Baden-Powell may have been a repressed homsexual himself and maybe even a pedophile. Two biographers have come to that conclusion, at least. Again, it's their interpretation and it's highly debated. 

Some of the evidence they look to:

-Powell recorded his dreams in a diary and most of them were about young boys (this could be because he worked with boys all day, not because he was gay)
-Powell enjoyed watching naked boys swim and got upset when swimming naked was banned. He disdained female nudity.
when Powell was staying overnight at the school with his old friend A. H. Tod, who had been in the Rifle Corps and in the football 1st XI with him. In November 1919 Tod was over the retirement age but still teaching because it was wartime and all the younger staff had joined up. 'Stayed with Tod,' Stephe wrote in his diary. 'Tod's photos of naked boys and trees etc. Excellent.'. That a bachelor housemaster should have taken large numbers of nude photographs of his boys evidently did not strike Baden-Powell as undesirable. A few days later he wrote to Tod about starting a Scout troop at the school and added that he would soon be visiting Charterhouse again, 'which will give me the opportunity of seeing the football; and possibly I might get a further look at those wonderful photographs of yours!'
- He didn't marry until he was 55 years old. When he did, he married a 23 year old and had her change her looks so she looked more like a boy. She flattened her breasts, hid her cleavage with a neckerchief, cut her hair, and wore outfits that looked like boy scout uniforms. They had three kids, but descriptions of the Powell's relationship with his wife make it seem like there wasn't much romance there.
-Like alleged pedophile Michael Jackson, Baden-Powell loved Peter Pan. I don't think the love of Peter Pan makes a man a pedophile, but he definitely had some Peter Pan syndrom going on in that he seemed to relate better with boys rather than men his age. Which is sort of creepy when you're 55 years old.

Again, this is pretty speculative and historians will never be able to truly determine Baden-Powell's sexuality because most of his private correspondence were destroyed. Even if was gay or even a pedophile, there's no evidence that Baden-Powell acted out on his feelings. The man was obsessed with stifling sexual feelings and even counseled young men to go stick their wiener in cold water if they had the urge to masturbate. But again, we'll never know.

I don't really have a point with this. I just thought it was interesting.

Views: 3412

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

We've decided to spell it "Catholick" now.
Oh! A pot-shot taken against the Catholic Church that cleverly invokes the accusations of child abuse against less than 1.5% of our priests (with fewer actual convictions) from the safety of an anonymous internet forum! How original! Seriously, I've never seen this! You must be a delightfully creative person. Not to mention the care and sensitivity you show with the careful referencing of a very painful event in the lives of those who were abused. Then you go even further to stretch that sensitivity (and obvious acceptance of those with views contrary to your own) to encompass the Boy Scouts as well! You must be so amazingly funny in person!

Sorry, I have to stop because the sarcasm is starting to soak into my keyboard, and it's so difficult to get that smell of disdain out once it's really seeped in there.
All good and well. But as I seem to recall, the Catholic church did nothing but move those offending priests from one church to another. I don't know that you can feel justified in defending the church... just saying
At the time psychologists believed pedophilia could be cured, and were telling the bishops that those men were. Obviously the bishops should have realized this wasn't the case after a repeat offense, but I was in no way defending the actions of the bishops or priests. I stand firmly by my previous statement; the comment (which is no longer there) was deliberately provocative, outright rude, not helpful or constructive in any way, not respectful of those abused or of those who still hold the Catholic faith.

Now that's all I'll say, because this is off topic.

It is easy to definitively disprove that RCC did nothing but move disgraced priests around, or cover it up, or whatever.  I wrote it up once here.  That should take care of it.

And the Catholic church is the only church to have problems with pedophillia? Answer: No, there have been numerous pastors and youth-group ministers of various denominations that have been imprisoned for pedophillia and sexual acts with minors. This is NOT a Catholic only problem.

Karma, you recently had a thread going where you had an open discussion about your magick beliefs which you opened with saying that you thought others would insult it. Not only did they not but they even held a mature discussion on it. Its bit hypocritical of you to now turn around and insult another's beliefs.
Lets all please stop insulting my church. Every religion has some bad history, the Catholic church is no exception. But this is isn't the correct forum for church-bashing. Go to 4chan if you want to do that.
Anyone who curses so much, blames "women" (not one woman) for the issues he had with his ex, spews out blame to Brett (for not approving his group -- which Brett did), Catholic Church, and anyone who presumes to disagree with either his tone or his content . . . he's not here for a meeting of the minds. He's here to be right and angry. We may as well let him. He's not a troll, but in terms of the effect on our discussions, he may as well be.
After reading this (and trying desperately to brain-bleach some of those mental images. Thanks, Brett!) my thoughts are somewhat conflicted.

First of all, I have little respect for biographers who view activities of the past through a current social lens and ascribe a modern meaning. For instance, it is well known that Abraham Lincoln was very fond of his secretary, a man. They had a very close friendship and some of their letters were quite intimate, in a brotherly way, IMO. Some biographers have interpreted this to mean that Lincoln and his secretary were gay lovers, because men today don't write to each other that way unless the relationship is more than platonic. However, there are many examples of contemporaries using such intimate language with one another.

However, if true, these things about Baden-Powell are troubling. On the one hand, I can see how he truly wanted to help boys. On the other hand, it's easy to question his motives given this background. Does this make Boy Scouts fruit of a poisoned tree?

The other thing to keep in mind is that while Lord Baden-Powell is credited with creating Scouting worldwide, the Boy Scouts of America has roots in not only Baden-Powell's Scouting, but other boy's clubs with an emphasis on Indian lore and other American traditions.
Agreed with not respecting biographers who view activities through our current social lens.

But, I'm sure it was weird even by 1900s standards for a man to have his wife change her appearance so she looked like a boy. This was a time when there were clearly defined gender roles, particularly in Victorian England.

The naked boys thing is weird, too. Apparently the photos were "posed" so as to create some sort of Ancient Greek setting or something. Victorians were big on this sort of thing. When cameras first came out, they were big on taking pictures of naked people but they usually posed people in ways that harkened to Classic Art. Just look at pictures of strong men from this time. They're usually completely naked except for a fig leaf covering their twigs and berries. Also, pictures of naked women were done in the same way. Personally, I think it was their way to class up naughty photos. A Victorian man could collect postcards of naked ladies without the fear of being called a cad and a pervert as long as those naked ladies were posing like Da Vinci's Venus de Milo. There's lots of websites dedicated to arching this Victorian-artsy-erotica stuff. Compared to today's standards, there's nothing really sexual about them and a lot of it does look like pieces of art. But who's to say that Victorian gentlemen didn't get their rocks off to them.

So Baden-Powell may have had the kiddy version of this Victorian erotica stuff.
Lord and Lady Powell:

RSS

Latest Activity

Brad Williams replied to Brad Williams's discussion Self-Defense Without Guns
"hahahaha"
5 minutes ago
Rick Shelton replied to James Sullivan's discussion When can a boy learn to fight back?
"Do you wrestle with your son?  If not start wrestling with him, get him one of the small boxing bags and gloves and teach him to properly strike with his fists (most kids want to bend their wrists or hit with the side of their hand). …"
6 minutes ago
Rick Shelton replied to James Sullivan's discussion When can a boy learn to fight back?
"I always said that legs are generally much stronger than arms and if his arms are busy 'ripping clothes off' then kick him in the nuts with the heel of your foot as hard as you can (nut crusher).  He'll stop pretty damn quick…"
11 minutes ago
Rick Shelton replied to James Sullivan's discussion When can a boy learn to fight back?
"+1"
13 minutes ago
The Dutch Dastard replied to Philip Funderburk's discussion SuitSupply, Seattle or otherwise.
"Yes Sir, Being Dutch, I've had some more time to gain experience on these guys. Here's my view.  Suit Supply is a company that markets itself on the younger (or otherwise inexperienced) suit-wearer by providing good quality (in both…"
14 minutes ago
Rick Shelton replied to Brad Williams's discussion Self-Defense Without Guns
"I like the way you think."
14 minutes ago
Rick Shelton replied to Brad Williams's discussion Self-Defense Without Guns
"Basically Krav Maga or SpecFor.  Use anything you can as a weapon, keep moving, keep striking, take the guy down fast and hurt him... a lot, until he is combat ineffective rinse and repeat until done.  Grace means nothing, style means…"
16 minutes ago
StaggerLee replied to James Sullivan's discussion When can a boy learn to fight back?
"My completely haphazard observations lead me to believe that, either because of incomplete brain development or lacking motor skill refinement, kids are naturally inclined to wrestle more than hit. When they do hit, it seems awkward."
27 minutes ago

© 2014   Created by Brett McKay.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service