Scout’s Honor: The Secret Files of the Boy Scouts of America (2023)

Rating ⭐️ 7.0/10
Genre Documentary . Crime
Runtime 1h 34m
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Scout’s Honor: The Secret Files of the Boy Scouts of America (2023) – Survivors, whistleblowers, and experts share stories about the decades-long cover-up of sexual abuse cases by the Boy Scouts of America. Nearly three years ago, nearing the deadline for bankruptcy court, more than 82,000 people filed sexual abuse claims against the Boy Scouts of America. The survivors, mostly male and of all ages, came from every state, some remaining silent for decades.

“Scouts Honor: The Secret Files of the Boy Scouts of America,” directed by Brian Knappenberger and streaming on Netflix, is essentially an exploration of these monumental cases. Much of its time is spent with Michael Johnson, a former Scout executive turned vocal critic of the youth protection practices. As the film traces the history of abuse and efforts to cover it up within the organization, Johnson narrates his failures in trying to reform the system.

News-based segments remind viewers of the organization’s wholesome image and its ties to the Catholic Church and Mormonism. The bland archival footage supports the historical lessons, making the film front-page news material fit for a Sunday paper.

Thankfully, Knappenberger allows survivors room to share their own accounts, and their vulnerability lends authority to what was previously an anonymous film. At one point, a middle-aged man expresses regret for not having told his late mother about the abuse he suffered as a child. It’s a heart-wrenching moment. Sadly, the film fails to delve into their backgrounds, leaving the cultures of shame and stigma that silenced these individuals largely unexplored.

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