The story of Brandon Gray is the story of the inaction of the Boy Scouts of America.
For his children, it is the story of what happens when secrecy reigns and what might have been if not for the Boy Scouts’ silence.
The confidential personnel record is dated Feb. 27, 1963. It tells the story — part of the story — of Brandon Gray, 38, married, father of a son and two daughters.
Gray was a district Scout executive in Morristown, N.J., a paid position that put him in charge of several troops. He began his Scouting career as a volunteer before taking jobs in New Jersey and New York.
According to his file, Gray started drinking on Feb. 2, 1963, at the Scouts’ Mt. Allamuchy camp in Stanhope, N.J., during the annual Klondike Derby, an event in which Scouts pull sleds. That evening, he was discovered playing cards for cash in a cabin with several Explorer Scouts, in violation of camp policy.
Gray, the file said, “was observed molesting” one of those Scouts, whose age wasn’t mentioned. An adult in the room moved the boy away from Gray, but took no further action “in an effort to avoid a ‘scene,”’ the record stated. Gray continued to drink, grew agitated and attempted to hit someone. Adult Scouts then subdued him and eventually he fell asleep.
By the next morning, Gray’s wife, Ruth, had been contacted and Gray admitted himself to a mental hospital. The Scouts then met with the Explorer, who confirmed “the violation.” Upon his release from the hospital, Gray was terminated. No records identified by The Associated Press show any charges or convictions for Gray in connection with the incident or any other charges for sex abuse.
That was the norm in many cases recorded in the “perversion files” — a collection of documents the Boy Scouts maintained for years on men the organization suspected of so-called acts of perversion, ranging from gambling and theft to suspicions of sexual deviance.