Skip

May 15, 2002
8:47 AM   Subscribe

Jerrold Schwartz, who pleaded guilty to sodomizing a Boy Scout, is free on bail and allowed to continue running his tour business for Scouts and students this summer. His company, Adventure Trails Inc., runs summer camps in Colorado, and winter and year-around camps in the Northeast.
posted by Vek (28 comments total)

 
If I were the parent of a boy scout heading off to summer camp, this is information I would want to know immediately. Seems like an awfully good reason for a Google bomb. I would think that something along the lines of "boy scout camp" would do the trick. Thoughts?
posted by Vek at 8:48 AM on May 15, 2002


troup 666? amazing.
posted by jasonspaceman at 8:50 AM on May 15, 2002


of Troop 666 based at a church in New York City

But more importantly, was this a CATHOLIC church? Was this the "get out of jail free card"?

Man, they'll take away your property if they catch you with weed on it, but this man can rape and molest children, and it's ok for him to continue his business, and have access to children.

The US is a pretty strange place.
posted by jkaczor at 8:53 AM on May 15, 2002


Because, of course, the entire organization is now tainted by the activities of it's owner. I am certain that one of their overiding business principles is to fuck as many little boys as possible.

**

On a semi-related note: Why do people think that Google-bombing is such a good idea? Why do they think their opinions are so fucking important as to deliberately interfere with the best thing on the web?
posted by Irontom at 8:55 AM on May 15, 2002


From the story: "He's required to [register as a sex offender] in Colorado within five days of his arrival or face arrest, said Bob Armstrong, an agent with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation."

So, Vek, the information would be available to you.
posted by mischief at 9:02 AM on May 15, 2002


Let's string him up! Let's destroy the company he works for and all the people who work for it, whether they are guilty of anything or not!
posted by evanizer at 9:30 AM on May 15, 2002


Let's destroy the company he works for

He is the president of said company.

Its website says the business includes trips for Boy Scouts to the Air Force Academy and Garden of the Gods before transportation to the Philmont Scout Ranch.

Hmmm, it is aimed at a target market that includes his personal target market...

Since 1980, Adventure Trails, Inc. has organized ski, educational and leisure programs for student groups along with their teacher/leader chaperones.

... from the website... so, it is directly aimed at "student groups"...

1562 First Ave. #333
New York, NY 10021


Look, it also has a New York address, located conviently near where he was charged.

Frankly, I don't think he "works" for the company, it seems he owns/started it.

and all the people who work for it

Somehow, I doubt we are talking about "dozens of people", probably less than 10 employee's. Frankly would you want to work for a company that targets "students" and "boy scouts", if your boss was a convicted child molester?

whether they are guilty of anything or not!

He is, as president of the company he is in a position of responsibility. Wasn't there recently a Disney/dotcom exec that had to RESIGN because of his pedophilia?
posted by jkaczor at 10:20 AM on May 15, 2002


Because, of course, the entire organization is now tainted by the activities of it's owner.

Yes. cough, cough. Enron? And fuck, that was financial, not necessarily "criminal".

I am certain that one of their overiding business principles is to fuck as many little boys as possible.

Where do you draw the line? Should he really be allowed to run a business that caters to "students" and "boy scouts"?

How about a daycare?

Private school?

Tutoring?

Priest?

Minister?

He is in a position of responsibility. Therefore he must face the consequences of his actions. From viewing the website, somehow I don't think "hundreds" of people will be out of work if the company folds.
posted by jkaczor at 10:29 AM on May 15, 2002


jkaczor - So, by your logic, the secretaries of Enron deserved to have their livelihoods obliterated because of malfeasance at the top of their corporation?

But then, in the last 2 lines of your post, you demolish your own argument: "Wasn't there recently a Disney/dotcom exec that had to RESIGN because of his pedophilia?"

Resign? Yes. Boycott Disney Corp. as a whole as a result of his actions? No.

Noboby said that he should be allowed to interact on a daily basis with children. We were mocking the idea that we should boycott the company due to the actions of the owner.
posted by Irontom at 10:38 AM on May 15, 2002


It looks like California has a Scout Troop 666 as well. Also in a church, in Costa Mesa; it's been in existence for 50 years.

New York, California: the devil states. (They probably wouldn't go for that sort of thing in the Bible Belt.)
posted by LeLiLo at 10:55 AM on May 15, 2002


Resign? Yes. Boycott Disney Corp. as a whole as a result of his actions? No.

Aha, ok, I didn't take issue with the "google-bombing" thing, because frankly I'm more apalled at the situation, I certainly am not going to boycott/google-bomb, etc.

However. I'd betchya $20.00 cold hard cash, that if he resigned, there would be no company left.

I have a company, it's not hard. If I resigned, there would be no company left. just a name and some bills...

So, if he resigns fine. However this little fact SHOULD be brought to the attention of boy scout parents everywhere who were planning on sending their kids to the "Philmont Scout Ranch" this summer, eh?

As a parent, I'd certainly "personally" boycott a small organization if they employed someone with this type of criminal history. That's simply "making an informed" decision. Yet folks here complain about parents who are never involved in raising their kids, and next complain when someone calls for a "boycott" of a company run by a convicted pedophile. Somehow I think a child having an "adventure" tour with that man would seriously impact their psyche, eh?

So is the google-bombing a boycott, or a method of spreading news without hitting Reuters? Ensuring that it get's distributed from blog to blog, eventually hitting local community presses? Good, then google-bomb away.

Why should the "boy scouts of america" be allowed to sub-contract to this company, when their internal investigation washed its' hands? Oh yeah, it has "america" in the name, if you aren't with us, you must be one of the terrorists, eh?

Gee, at least the Catholic church attempts to attract adults, not simply "students" and "boy scouts"...
posted by jkaczor at 10:58 AM on May 15, 2002


jkaczor - you are talking about things you know nothing about. Philmont is 215 square miles of land in the Sangre de Christo mountains of New Mexico. Owned and operated by the Boy Scouts of America, the land has been theirs since 1941. Whatever else Jerrold Schwartz may be, he has nothing whatsoever to do with the camp.

In fact, if you dig into the Philmont section of his site (click on the mountain on the front page) you will see that the site makes no such claim. "We are rather unique in that we provide personalized travel adventure for scouts and their leaders enroute to Philmont" (emphasis mine).

Also, the site makes no claims of any sort of sponsorship by the BSA, nor is there any mention of any contractual relationship between the BSA and this company. There are a number of these small companies around the nation (Timberline Express is an example) that make their money by offering support, training and travel to those scouts (and their leaders) who decide to attend Philmont. As far as I know, the BSA neither endorses nor contracts with any of these companies.

So, here you are, the typical American parent of the late 20th / early 21st century. You take (well-justified) indignation about a terrible molestation case, and translate it into overly broad statements and assumptions about things of which you have exactly zero knowledge. You are busy mouthing platitudes about "making an informed" decision, when you in fact don't have any information about the situation, it's details, or how any of this works.

All you have is media generated hysteria about abuse of children, a quick jerk of the knee, and a grand sense of your own total infallibility. You take all of this, and make a statement that you would never do X (google bomb) in the first paragraph of your post, and then 5 paragraphs later you have convinced yourself that it's a pefectly good course of action.

Now, as to your easy assertion that I am one of the "if you aren't for us, you're against us" fascists so busy trying to bury public discourse in this country. I am an Eagle Scout, I went to Philmont, and I have big issues with the National Council and their attempts to turn the Scouts into something they were never meant to be. However, I will not let foolish, unthinking people make foolish, unthinking pronouncements about the Scouts. They are still responsible for much more good in the world than ill.
posted by Irontom at 11:32 AM on May 15, 2002


IronTom:

Did you perchance read the article:

"Schwartz is president of New York- and Colorado Springs-based Adventure Trails Inc., which was established in 1980. The business added the Colorado Springs division in 1991. Its website says the business includes trips for Boy Scouts to the Air Force Academy and Garden of the Gods before transportation to the Philmont Scout Ranch."

I hate to tell you this, but... I was also a boy scout, my grandfather was a troop leader, and I "knew" a bit about their history, traditions, etc.

"Mones said the Boy Scouts investigated Schwartz in 1993 for molestation accusations but found they had no validity, and Schwartz continued to work with the Scouts."

So. I know he, and his company are not directly related to the Boy Scouts. However, there has obviously been a working relationship between the two organizations.

Ok, I would then expect the leadership of the scouting community to notify parents directly if they continue to use this company, as per the original article, then we don't need a google-bomb, eh?

However, it is my right as a parent to determine where I send my kids. I would like to be informed. Either formally, informally from troop leader's directly, or via the media. However if this only appears in the Denver Post, how exactly would I become aware of it?

Frankly, I don't think parents should have to search the net constantly via google/whatever snooping out the entire lives/activities/organizations of people who work with their kids. If an organization is involved, it should be responsible enough to contact the parents directly. I would expect the same of a school, a daycare, etc. Yes I may most likely take my business elsewhere, but that's my perogative as an informed parent...

media generated hysteria about abuse of children

No, we have a convicted sex offender. Look, if he wasn't convicted, I'd give him and his company the benefit of the doubt. Why? Because many lives are horribly ruined through even a "hint" of sexual abuse that is invalid or misconstrued. A very good friend of mine, who became an "Early Childhood Educator", was a scout leader, and simply loved being around kids, normal, married, happy guy had to switch careers because of a stupid, unfounded rumour. It was quite stupid. He took a toy away from a child who was misbehaving. Being inundated with many other kids to look after, he put it in his pocket. Late the child attempted to retrieve it, because the child had seen it pockets, and that my friends is the basis of many "sexual abuse" cases. It was dropped of course, however there is still a cloud of confused anger over the whole incident.

So, I know how these things can adversely affect the wrongfully accused. However being convicted of sodomy is not exactly "media generated hysteria", it's fact.
posted by jkaczor at 11:52 AM on May 15, 2002


Your perspective seems very fuzzy, Irontom. Are you truly arguing for the protection of organizations over the protection of individuals?
posted by rushmc at 12:44 PM on May 15, 2002


So, by your logic, the secretaries of Enron deserved to have their livelihoods obliterated because of malfeasance at the top of their corporation?

Funniest thing I've read in weeks...

Buddy, whatdya think happens EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR in business? You think the incompetence and personal/criminal quirks of nitwits in nice suits who set up and run oligarchies will affect only themselves?

We're not "obliterating" anything. It's Mr. Sodomy here and Mr. Enrony doing that number to their little fiefdoms.

Serfs up? Not in America.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 1:12 PM on May 15, 2002


Foldy - go away.

Rushmc - no, I am not. However, I am arguing that we punish individuals for their crimes, and leave those who had nothing to do with it (the alleged other employees of the company in question) out of it.

I am arguing that we make very careful, narrow determinations about who to ostracize and who to leave alone. I am arguing that too many people overreact to tragedies.
posted by Irontom at 2:55 PM on May 15, 2002


Wait, wait, wait... Foldy actually said something I sorta agree with. This is groundbreaking. Except it's not about any employing deserving to lose their job, it's just what happens.

Anyway, note that the guy is just out on bail, and hasn't been sentenced yet... But he's still going to jail. Wonder which end of the sodomy stick he'll be on then? (sorry) Either way, he's not gonna be anywhere near young boys for a while, and if his business can't struggle on without him and falls apart on its own merits then it sounds like all of you kids should be happy, no?
posted by techgnollogic at 3:34 PM on May 15, 2002


Because, of course, the entire organization is now tainted by the activities of it's owner. I am certain that one of their overiding business principles is to fuck as many little boys as possible.

You're making thise out to be strictly a problem of perception when really as owner he has certain privedlges that the lowest rung employees do not have. As we've seen with the Catholics a position of authority goes a long way to hush things up. He could use his leverage and other things like the threat of firing his employees to gain access to children or their records/information. This is all assuming the company doesn't fold before he gets out of jail.

As far as his company goes, I'm sure the word is going to get around and his employees will be slowly laid off instead of just outright fired. I doubt he can pull a valuejet and just change the name of the company. The best solution for the employees is for the company to be bought by someone else. Do you think Schwartz cares about the future of his employees as much as himself? Especially now when he'll need a steady income while in prison to provide for his family?
posted by skallas at 4:08 PM on May 15, 2002


However, I am arguing that we punish individuals for their crimes, and leave those who had nothing to do with it

That's fair enough, but oftentimes it is difficult to usefully distinguish between a company and its owner/founder/president/CEO, and I think that is what people are pointing out here. Where I live, for a couple hundred bucks you can be a real live corporation, with a tax ID number and everything! Personal culpability should not be permitted to hide behind corporate walls. And the law certainly owes no favor or consideration to ANY company in consideration of individual felonies.

I suspect that most people working in a small company, upon finding out that the boss had been arrested for and convicted of this sort of offense would be jobhunting post haste, so your concern for their continued welfare seems misplaced. No one has a guarantee of continued employment in any given position in any case. Sometimes bad things happen and you have to find a new job...that's life, not the end of the world.
posted by rushmc at 5:13 PM on May 15, 2002


I am arguing that we make very careful, narrow determinations about who to ostracize and who to leave alone.

I don't see anyone arguing that we should ostracize this man's employees, shunning them in society and painting them with the same broad stroke of the pervert brush.

I think what people are thinking is more along the following lines: If this is HIS company, then he reaps the profits when I pay the company for a service. I don't wish to give money to an individual of this sort for any reason; therefore, I will choose another company to provide these services.

And the whole thing about not sending your kid off with someone known to molest children, of course.
posted by rushmc at 5:18 PM on May 15, 2002


"Adventure Trails has provided thousands of Scouts over the years with unforgettable memories and experiences," says its website, which was updated Monday.

Thousands? God I hope not.
posted by swell at 6:17 PM on May 15, 2002


Actually, rushmc, take a look at jkaczor's posts above. He was in fact calling for a boycott of the company based on the founder's actions.

Swell - thanks for so succinctly pointing out the kind of thing that I am railing against here. Your insinuation that this guy molested every kid who ever came in contact with his company is heartwarming. Really.
posted by Irontom at 4:38 AM on May 16, 2002


He was in fact calling for a boycott of the company based on the founder's actions.

Which is totally appropriate, IMO. And I've explained why above.

Your insinuation that this guy molested every kid who ever came in contact with his company is heartwarming.

There's a little thing called "potential." And another called "probability," and yet another called "precaution." You may be content to allow your kid to spend time with a known pedophile and only cry foul after the harm is done and proven, but most would prefer to play the odds to help ensure the safety and well-being of their children, I suspect.
posted by rushmc at 7:17 AM on May 16, 2002


But your analysis of the potential and probability are based on unanalyzed (and probably faulty) assumptions. Specifically, you are assuming that 1. He has personal, completely un-chaperoned contact with each and every person that has ever interacted with his company and 2. that all of his (alleged) employees share his predilection.

In response, I am proposing that there are other assumptions that are just as likely: 1. He sits in an office and handles administrative stuff for the two widely separated locations and 2. his employees are non-molesting people. Or any other combination of possibilities.

My point is that people leap to conclusions that are not supported by facts because they do not look into the facts. I think this is an unhealthy mode our nation uses to analyze threats to children (I assume it has always been this way).

I also think that for you to accuse me of being a negligent parent for not following the "typical american parent" lockstep and actually being curious about the details and facts of a situation is pretty slimy.
posted by Irontom at 8:00 AM on May 16, 2002


To amend that last post:

"your analysis of the potential and probability are based on unanalyzed (and possibly faulty) assumptions."
posted by Irontom at 8:03 AM on May 16, 2002


Your insinuation that this guy molested every kid who ever came in contact with his company is heartwarming. Really.

All it takes is 1 for it to matter. Frankly, from my understanding of the article, the abuse occured well away from the whole "Adventure Tours" concept/location/etc. But he is still in a position of responsibility, having access to children as president of the company.
posted by jkaczor at 8:09 AM on May 16, 2002


My point is that people leap to conclusions that are not supported by facts because they do not look into the facts.

The man is a convicted pedophile, fact.

Re-reading the entire thread, no one has called for a boycott. Simply a google-bomb, which is not by definition a boycott. In fact, it's "free publicity" for "Adventure Tours".

Bad publicity yes, but the old addage must apply, right?

Awareness is one thing, what people do with that knowledge is completely up to them. A boycott is an organized activity, involving thousands of people joining together for a cause. Simply having thousands of parents making their own independent decisions based on news and information presented to them is not a boycott.

Effectively the results would be the same, but the process is vastly different.

So, again, I don't wan't a boycott, I want that parents be informed.
posted by jkaczor at 8:40 AM on May 16, 2002


Specifically, you are assuming that 1. He has personal, completely un-chaperoned contact with each and every person that has ever interacted with his company and 2. that all of his (alleged) employees share his predilection.

So you keep claiming, but as I have stated, I've never claimed #2 (nor has anyone here, that I have seen), and I don't claim to have specific knowledge about #1. But whereas you seem to feel that the disturbing questions raised in #1 are irrelevant, most people seem to consider them adequate to warrant certain precautions, given the extremely negative consequences of guessing wrong.

I also think that for you to accuse me of being a negligent parent for not following the "typical american parent" lockstep and actually being curious about the details and facts of a situation is pretty slimy.

Oh, but I'm not! I really couldn't care less how you raise your children, assuming you even have any, which I am in no position to know one way or another. I'm accusing you of something far more dire: logical inconsistency.
posted by rushmc at 7:32 PM on May 16, 2002


« Older Vanilla Coke   |   BBC funds ad-free, porn-free search engine. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post