During college I had this terrible job one summer at the national headquarters of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, right across the street from the UN in NYC. I was hired as a file clerk. I thought there might be some variety in the job, but after the first week it was clear that I was mistaken. I was expected to file 8 hours a day and the obsessive woman I worked for made sure there was always more to file. She kept every note, invitation, memo, and brochure that crossed her desk. The day I started, there was a pile of papers about 3 feet high on my desk to be filed. When I quit 3 months later the pile was about the same size despite endless hours of work.
One day I ran across a series of articles from the Washington Post about the not so stellar record that various youth groups had in dealing with pedophiles. They talked about how pedophiles were attracted to groups like the Boy Scouts because it gave them easy access to young people and put them in positions of control. For decades most youth organizations not only ignored the problem, they swept countless incidents under the rug. This allowed some predators to leave one area, move to a new location, and start a new youth group or troop and do it all again. The Boy Scouts didn’t start doing background checks on adult volunteers until 2003.
I remembered those articles today when reading the Seattle Weekly, one the city’s free newspapers. It had a big article about the trials and tribulations of a poor guy who was repeatedly raped by his Boy Scout troop leader (and this after his sister was murdered by the Green River killer). The twist was that both victimizer and victim were members of the Mormon Church. Apparently the Boy Scouts are an officially program within the church and the Mormons are now one of the largest chartering groups of scouts in the US.
The article talked about how the Mormon Church is perceived to have a better handle on the problems of child abuse than the Roman Catholic Church, but suggested that the picture isn’t as rosy as it might seem. While relating the story of one victim in detail, it also touches on other similar cases. Imagine my surprise when I read this one:
“In one of the most bizarre cases, a Mormon Scoutmaster in Sierra Vista, Ariz., David James Borg, invented a Dungeons & Dragons game to entice at least five prepubescent boys into having sex during spelunking expeditions. ‘His characters used enlarged penises as weapons, and sometimes the boys’ characters had to cut off the penis of opposing characters, eat it, etc,’ wrote a Scouts official in a 1988 internal report. ‘In other words, what other pedophiles do with pornography, in tearing down in inhibitions, Borg did with D&D.;’ The official noted that Borg had previously been caught in bed with an underage boy in New Jersey, but because at the time ‘the church apparently [had] no ‘Confidential File’ it was easy for him to move to Sierra Vista and become involved with the youth program in that new ward.'”
Wow. Worst D&D; Game Ever! And how weird is it that the guy’s name was Borg? Did he tell the kids that they would be assimilated? In any case something tells me this anecdote did not make it into 30 Years of Adventure: A Celebration of Dungeons & Dragons.