Molested Boy Scout Transformed by the Gospel


This is by no means an indictment of the Boy Scouts of America. Strenuous measures have been taken to assure things like this no longer happen.

That said, this is a true story. The names have not been changed to protect the innocent. Tom Scott has been a member of my community group, The Cellar Dwellers, for almost two years. We have walked through this amazing process with him and it has not always been pretty. The man who molested him, Mr. Smith (his first name might be Bill), went to prison in the late 1970’s and that’s the last Tom heard of him.

After you read his story, please send this link to anyone who might be able to help Tom find Mr. Smith.

But the main question this raises is this: What kind of power is in a Gospel that can change a person as deeply as it has changed my friend Tom?

MY STORY, by Tom Scott

It was the summer of 1977 and I was a typical 13-year-old spending a weekend at Boy Scout Camp. On Saturday, a trusted Scout dad named Mr. Smith molested me in the cabin. I’ve been anything but typical ever since.

Overcome by shame, I didn’t reveal the attack to anyone. But the next twenty years I used every drug and drink known to man to numb the pain. None of it helped. And no woman in the world could make me feel like the man I thought I should be.

Nothing could fill the cavern in my soul because, as I’ve recently discovered, there was a huge wall of suppressed anger and hatred blocking it. I had anger toward a man who wounded me at the core of my being—but my anger spilled out on anyone who came near. I had hatred for a man who literally changed my personality in a moment of time—but my hatred spilled out onto anyone who came within arm’s reach. As a result, my family has endured so much ugliness from me it turns my stomach.

I eventually got free from drugs and alcohol with the help of AA. Gradually my mind cleared until 2010 when I was introduced to Jesus Christ by Pastor Jim Colledge at Christ Community Chapel in Hudson, Ohio. That’s when I realized I had been using people all my life to try to fill the void but there is only one who could actually do it—Jesus.

I had no idea how much being molested hurt me spiritually till it all came out in the spring of this year. Specific suppressed memories of the attack came back and I was repeatedly overcome by feelings of rage against Mr. Smith. I found out he went to prison for similar crimes, but that wasn’t enough—part of me wanted to hunt him down and really make him pay.

Meanwhile my new church family (The Cellar Dwellers and my CLC brothers) rallied around me to help. They were patient and kind and yet firm when they told me I must forgive. I thought they were nuts.

But slowly my heart started to change towards Mr. Smith. I discovered I could forgive, since I myself had been forgiven so much because of the Savior’s cross. I discovered I could forgive but I certainly could not stop hating him.

What happened next stunned and amazed me. It happened during a sermon on Hebrews 12:1-4 by Pastor Joe Coffey. He pointed to

Jesus . . . who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I went up to Joe afterwards, trembling. I told him about Mr. Smith and what happened at Scout Camp. How I’d forgiven Mr. Smith, but still hated him. Then I asked a question as my tears flowed:

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