Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part One: Robert Baden-Powell: Founder Of The Boy Scouts

Part One: Robert Baden-Powell: Founder Of The Boy Scouts

Tue, 02 Nov 2021 10:00

Robert is joined by Matt Lieb to discuss Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts of America.


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Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's If you could completely remove one phrase from your vocabulary, which phrase would you choose? I don't know. Correct answer. No, I meant I don't know which phrase, and the best way to banish I don't know from your life is by cramming your brain full of stuff you should know. Join your host, Josh and Chuck on the Super Popular podcast packed with fascinating discussions on science, history, pop culture and more episodes that ask, was the lost city of Atlantis Real? I don't know. Is birth order important? I don't know. How does pizza work? Well, I do know. Bit about that. See? You can know even more, because stuff you should know has over 1500 immensely interesting episodes for your brain to feast on. So what do you say? I don't want to miss the stuff you should know. Podcast you're learning already. Listen to stuff you should know on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode we're speaking. With Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioral discoveries on chimpanzees, it wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Based and record, pill recording. Test, test, test, test. Print. All of this Chris and all of this. We've already introduced the show. It started. But this is behind the ********. We have we we, we, we have we have a dark one today. We have a bad one today. I'm Robert Evans. Matt Lieb, my guest. Matt, how are you doing today? You know, I was doing well until you guys started talking real ominous. About what? The. Ohhh boy. Matt, you are gonna be a very unhappy person. Ohh, fun. I love it. Yeah. Now as we as we get into this three hours. Yeah, that's about right, Matt. So. Let me let me start this with a simple, humble question, Matt. A very simple question. How do you feel about the Boy Scouts of America? Ah, ****. I I have a very like, I don't have feelings one way or the other because I never, I never did it. I know you weren't OK yeah. I know people who did like you know they they there was like a juice scouts, but they were that's a funny name for something to be. Yeah. Yeah. But I I and I knew some people who were like Cub Scouts and Eagle Scouts and stuff like that, but I never, I never was in that club. So I I I feel excluded. That's how I feel about it. You know, as a kid, I wanted to be a part of it. Why? Why couldn't you? I think cause, like, you know, you have to like, apply and stuff and then, you know, you know, you gotta, like, tell your dad and he's gotta not be, he's got to be in a good mood and you know? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, yeah. Yeah. So yeah. You know, I never, I never got a chance to do it. So it's weird out. I mean, so this is going to be a weird one for me because, like, I was in the Boy Scouts for years and years and years and I loved it. I had a really good time. I. It's where I learned a lot of, like, the first lessons I learned about, like, Woodcraft and, like, hiking. And I had a lot of really went on, like a 20 mile river rafting trip on the Brazos for days and didn't like, you know, like primitive, kind of like you have like the contents of a matchbox and a pocket knife and you have to go for two days or whatever. Like some really cool **** had some great experiences. Like, I really to be like, I personally have nothing but positive memories of the Boy Scouts of America and my time in them. Well, end of podcast, yeah. For listening. So it's it's it's ****** **. Like, I, I played. I like my very first games of Dungeons and Dragons. I played it like Cub Scouts camp outs, which was like a huge part of my my life. And like yeah, it's it's it's weird. I can confidently say my life would have been very different if I had not been a Boy Scout. And I can also confidently say that that is true of 100,000 or so other boys for a much worse reason. Ohh God, because as we're going to discuss the boy. Scouts of America, despite, you know my and I'm sure a number of people listening can think back to positive experiences they had in the BSA. I know my dad can. He was an Eagle Scout and like I know a lot of people who could who who felt very fondly about their time in the scouts. But despite all of that, the Boy Scouts from the beginning is an organization that was poisoned in a fundamentally inescapable way. And that poison led to its evolution into an organization that facilitated the rape and molestation of, like, a a city's worth of young boys. It's it's. This is a dark one, my man. This is a dark one. Yeah. God, yeah. I love going in cold. You know, I think probably really regretting that e-mail you sent me. I would love to come back up. Yeah. Hey, I'll be back in. Yeah. ************. You wanna come on our show? We're gonna talk about Nazis again? Yeah, baby. Ohhh. Yeah. No, I'm excited, man. This sounds like a lot of fun, you know? It sounds like Boy Scouts. You know are gonna be a great organization to learn more about, so let's strap in. Yeah, well, might not wanna say that given what comes in Part 2, but yeah, let's let's do the episode. Spoiler soap. Do you know anything about the founder of the Boy Scouts? Or at least the the guy most often credited is founding the Boy Scouts? Robert Maiden Powell. I did not know him, no. OK, well, that part one, we're largely gonna be talking about the founder of the Boy Scouts. And then Part 2, we're gonna be talking about all of the rapes and how the organization facilitated them over a century. But let's talk about Robert first. The other Robert. So Robert Baden Powell, his full name at the end of his life, gives you. A pretty clear idea of the kind of social position this guy enjoyed. Uh, when he died, his full title was Lieutenant General Robert Stephenson. Smyth, Baden Powell first Baron Baden Powell OM, GCMG, GCV, OKC, BKS, TJ. DL which are all like different orders and awards and like nightly **** that you he was he was English as ****. You could not be more English than this ************. Whole alphabet. That's yeah, he's saying he had all these. Got damn titles. Yeah. And he was born high, like he was born to rule. Be one of the people who helped run the British Empire. Like that was his. Yeah. He was born on February 22nd, 1857 in Paddington, London, England. His father was the Reverend Professor Baden Powell and was a geometry professor. ************* reverend professor. Even better than reference on the line of people who are like, we must have multiple titles like these. Yeah, everyone in his family. Has 1000 ******* titles, and they're all very fancy people. So his dad, the Reverend Professor, is a geometry professor at Oxford University and a priest at the Church of England. Yeah, *** ****. You know those geometry priests. You know, it's like you, you, you get 1 degree and then you're like, I'm gonna just throw on a little yeah, little bit. Another hat for my hat. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So his mother was Henrietta Grace Smith, and she was the oldest daughter of Admiral William Henry Smith. I don't who was a famous Admiral, you know, like, and that's like the biggest thing you can be in the British Empire is a ******* nightmare. Like, that's like the top of of cool British **** to be in this. Right. They got that Navy and yeah, people said it was a good one. Yeah. So Reverend Professor Baden Powell was an old man when he married Henrietta Grace. Wife, she was his third wife and he was again not a young man when he had Robert. And in fact Roberts born in 1857 and his dad dies in 1860. So our Baden Powell never really knows his father. And this brings to an interesting note. So Professor Robert Baden Powell, the founder of the Boy Scout, his name is Baden- Powell, right? His dad's first name is Baden and his dad's last name is Paul. His mom's last name is Smith. So why does he? Why is his last name Baden- Powell? That's an interesting question. So. When he died, when his dad died, his mom changed the family last name after his death to be their father's full name with A-IN it in order to distinguish the children she had had with him to the kids he'd had in previous marriages. Oh, damn. So it's just petty ****. Yeah, it's like petty, weird English ********. So yeah, like Baden Powell, you would think with the name like Baden Powell. Oh, his dad was a Baden and his mom was a pal and they just did the thing that, you know, fancy people do when they hyphenate their names. But no, it's much Dumber than that. Yeah, yeah. So Robert was raised by his mother. She was a forceful person, and he later recalled that quote. The whole secret of my getting on was in his mother's very powerful personality. She was described by one writer as either a great motivator or simply overbearing, depending on who was talking about her. Since the family had money and the upper crust, British kids inevitably went away to private schools while they were public schools. But we call them private schools. Like a public school in England is like a fancy private school, you know? Oh, I didn't know that. Yeah, it's weird. Everything's wrong over there. Right? Like that drive on the wrong side of the yeah, ******* looking privates. Yeah. And Robert spent his youth in a series of fancy all boys schools. He was very intelligent and was given to throwing himself completely into any task set before him. He particularly pushed himself to succeed at tasks that were likely to make him popular. So he became an excellent singer. He became a skilled sketch artist and an actor in the school's drama productions. Yeah, holidays back home. Yeah, holidays back home. We're spent on yachting expeditions. With this again quite wealthy family, he first came to the practices of scouting while he was at school, though these are boarding schools and the forests near his school which occupied an old monastery were filled with game animals and so he would escape from school. He wasn't supposed to be doing this. And Hunt and butcher game mate. This was like his hobby when he was in school. With what, like a knife? I assume he had a gun or something like something like English shotgun? Yeah, I I really that is unclear to me. Probably something just knifing deer in the woods. That's what a scout would do. That's one of the merit badges I have always assumed. Yeah, you stab a ******* deer in the neck. Yeah, just mass murder stags with a single pocket knife. A gun ain't fair. Look, the deers got a knife. You got a knife you got in your head. I got knives on my hand. It's perfect now. In British accent in that. Yeah, the British accent. In 1876, he graduated school and he found himself somewhat adrift and uncertain of what he wanted to do with his life. His mother pushed him to join the military and he quickly fell in love with the adventure. And camaraderie of that life. He particularly enjoyed spending all of his time in close proximity with other young men separated from mainstream British society. He was a yeah, he's. He's definitely his sexuality is something we'll discuss in a bit. Sure, there's a lot going on here and a decent amount of it's uncomfortable. He became an officer because that's the role men in his part of English society were born to occupy a write up in the book Scouts honor notes. As an officer he was known for his teaching skills, sense of discipline and obsession with physical and moral cleanliness. He must have seemed a bit of a square. He tried to sway his men from using brothels and advised them to beat the type who could be trusted on their honour to do a thing, who are guided by a sense of what is their duty rather than by their own inclination, who are helpful and kind, especially to the weak, and who by their personal self-respect and avoidance of bad habits give themselves a manliness and dignity which no humbug can attain to. So, well, that's a. He's kind of a stickler. Yeah. I mean, it sounds like, you know, perfectly good rules to live your life by, you know? I mean, yeah. So far. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. The dad here. Yeah. Like a great dude. Yeah. Kind of kind of a little bit like uptight. You get the sense that, like, he would have been kind of frustrating if you were a young man in the military. No, he's not very fun, but certainly not, you know, like, very distinctly not about, like, cavorting and and going out and, like, drinking and ******* and doing stuff. Soldiers, do you know? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Because soldiers are all all dirty, dirty ********. So he first served as a hussar in India, which is like a mounted soldier. He was sent to Africa in the 1880s where he fought as a scout officer against the Zulu in what is today South Africa. His courage and competence earned him repeated commendations. In 1890, he was promoted to major and made senior aide to camp to the Governor of Malta, who also happened to be his uncle. Because, again, that's how everything works in this empire. A lot of nepotism. He's very good at what he does that. Everyone seems to agree with that. But he's also, there's a lot of nepotism that he benefits from. For the next three years, he did this job and he also worked a part time as an intelligence officer. And among other things, he would like to disguise himself as a butterfly collector so he could travel around to foreign military installations and bring back intelligence to the British. He would just show up as like a butterfly guy and be like, yeah, I'm looking for some butterflies. What if I check out your cannons? If I read these documents, I'm just gonna, I'm trying to see if there's butterflies, you know, and this is the period, if you read about like, the British invasions of Afghanistan and the great game between them, the Great Britain and Russia which is happening in like this. Spying at this point there's not like intelligence agencies. It's a bunch of like rich fancy boys on both sides who travel around enough fancy together and they they bring back intelligence and it's. Yeah. They just. Yeah, it's it's basically just gossip from like, you know? Yeah, the local soiree, yeah. Yeah. In 1896, he returned to Africa and he fought in the Second Matabele War. This was a revolt of the indigenous matchabelli people against the British South Africa Company. So again, corporations are running all of these colonies at this time, and the British Empire exists to, like, enforce their right to control large chunks of a continent. The matchabelli are like, it's kind of a raw deal for us. And they try to fight back. And Baden Powell is among the soldiers sent in to brutally crush them. This is like 3 now. This is 3 different. Like colonial, like wars that he's been part of. He fights in a lot of colonial wars, he sees a lot of combat, and it is all in the name of of furthering the British Empire and the economic interests of British corporations. Yeah, yeah, and he understands it this way. He is an unrepentant imperialist. Baden Powell had no issue deploying industrial armed might against a subject people who had starved due in part to cattle. Guests brought over by the British colonizers. This campaign was important to the Boy Scouts for two reasons. One, it was there that Baden Powell met an American scout who introduced him to the concept of Woodcraft, the Stetson Cowboy hat, which becomes a an icon of the Boy Scouts and the neckerchief, which is another icon of the Boy Scouts. So he's very impressed by this American scout and he adopts a lot of these aspects of his dress, which later become things that the Boy Scouts do. Yeah. Secondly, this is where Lord Baden Powell committed his first war crime or at least the force. This war crime we have documentation of, the gist of it was that there was an indigenous matchabelli chief named Oweni. He was thought to be a major inspiration for the uprising and was accused of murdering white settlers. We might say that those white settlers were trying to steal land and the ability to produce food from indigenous people and they fought back, right? Yeah. Yeah. A number of ways you so much murder is self-defense. self-defense from an invasion. Yeah. Yeah. So Weenie gets wounded in battle and he surrenders under the promise that his safety would be guaranteed that like. He won't be like murdered for surrendering. Baden Powell hasn't executed, which was definitely illegal. We call that the old bait and switch. Yeah, I was waiting for that. That was that was destined to happen. It was written in the Stars a moment. So the simple summary of what happened is that, yeah, he committed a war crime against a black man fighting for the freedom of his people. Baden Powell's biographer, though, a guy named Tim Giel, we'll talk about Tim in a second, defends it this way because of the chief was wounded during capture and Baden Powell doubted he would survive a long journey to the Cape to face a civil court. He court martialed him on the spot. The verdict was death, so he was shot. Baden Powell had exceeded his orders, so Tim Gill acknowledges this was illegal, but he also was like, well, the guy was wounded. He was. Gonna die. It was like a mercy killing, you know? Yeah. Yeah. That's why we're decimating this village, because we we stole all of the the. They're gonna starve because of the things we did to him. Yeah, yeah. What do you wanna do? You wanna watch him suffer? That's ****** **. No, get the get the flame thrower over here. So Tim Giel, who you're going to hear from a lot in this because he's, he's Baden Powell's by biggest, best, probably best biographer. Regular listeners will recognize him because he also wrote a biography we used of Henry Morton Stanley, who was one of the like Archest imperialists in the history of imperialism. This is a guy who scout just quote UN quote, discovered a **** load of Africa, murdered just a tremendous number of people, and basically was responsible for conquering. The condo for King Leopold via like a series of fake treaties, like he he he tricked them basically on behalf of libel. He one of the worst people who's ever lived, Chim Gill wrote a biography about him that's very positive. And Tim Gill, this is what he does. So Jill is definitely kind of right wing. He loves the British Empire. He is a frustratingly good at the technical aspects of of writing biography. So he's really good at going through thousands of pages of people's notes and Diaries and and and synthesizing them and provide. So you actually get really good. Information from his books, his the information, the facts he provides are generally pretty solid. But you also get it with Tim's framing of the facts, which is always like ludicrously positive and forgiving of these nightmarish war criminals. Imperialism, Stan, who's your primary source? It just like every other page is, yes. Literal. Yeah, yeah, he is. He loves deeply frustrating Tim Jeal. Now, in this case, he calls Baden Powell's execution of this guy quote the most damaging charge made against Baden Powell's honor. Now, this is in spite of the fact that in 1898, Robert Baden Powell was in charge of an operation to track down Zulu rebels and he lost control of his men who murdered at least three people. Gill defends this. By arguing quote even if he had given orders to spare the rebels lives, it's incredibly unlikely that his Zulu mercenaries would have obeyed. A lot of trouble stemmed from this and he was lucky not to lose his career. Like, well why do you? How how do you know that? How do you know that he couldn't have stopped this? How do you know they were actually rebels like you? You just know what this guy wrote in his like Gill never actually like he's great at giving you what these people were writing and saying to each other. He's not so great at like seeing the people they were doing violence to as human beings and maybe investigating. Their side of the case and being like, well, is this true? Was like, he's like, not my job. I'm a biographer for people who've done nothing wrong. Yeah. The most famous moment of Baden Powell's military career came the next year, in 1899 with the outbreak of the Second Boer War. This is one of those rare colonial wars where there's not really anyone who's, like, a good guy here because the Bowers horrible people, like a lot of them horrible people, very racist. This is where we get apartheid. South Africa, a chunk of that. Comes from this. But also, they're fighting the British Empire, who put them in concentration camps and kill a huge number of women and children. So my sympathy overall is with the Boers, I guess, because they're the people putting death camps. But yeah, technically I'm like, well, I do hate imperialism. Yeah, I guess they're both kind of imperialists. Yeah. Yeah, that's a more powerful one. Yeah. It's not a fun war to read about. The gist of it is that the Boers, who are kind of Dutch, were fighting the British, who didn't like the idea of Bowers. Like. Running **** in South anyway, whatever. You don't need to know too much about this. The war is most noteworthy because it was where the British first deployed concentration camps and idea. They had kind of cribbed from the Spanish, who had kind of cribbed it from what the Americans did to the indigenous people. And yeah, this led to the deaths of a lot of voters, but also many more black Africans. A lot of Bowers do starve, that's worth noting, but like a huge number of the people who starve as a result of British policies in this war are black Africans. But at the time, this becomes kind of the most famous. Fallout of the Boer War because the Nazis pay attention to the British use of concentration camps, and it has a big inspiration on that. But anyway. At the time, the most famous battle of the war back home in Merry Old England was the Siege of Mafeking. Robert Baden Powell, who was visited by this point to Colonel, was the man in charge of the Garrison there. And basically he's got about 1500 men, a mix of British soldiers and like local African auxiliaries, and he gets besieged by a force of 8000 Boers. And this battle lasts close to a year. It's like 200 something days that they're under siege. So it is, it is this horrifically bloody battle by the end of the fighting, like 2/3 of a year's worth of fighting Baden. Bowls lost more than half of his men. The Boers lose 2000 men. A **** load of people starved to death. And it is front page news the whole time. This is like the most like the biggest story in the British Empire back in the Isles for the better part of a year. And it makes Robert Baden Powell into a celebrity because he's the heroic commander of this, this scrappy defense under incredible odds to like defend Mafeking from the Boers. And he's also he's handsome, right? Like he's he's generally noted by women at the time of having been a good looking man. And so you've got this, like, handsome young war hero in the siege. That's front page news for months. It makes him into one of the most famous people in the entire British Empire. And he's only getting more handsome because, you know, as the food runs out, he's just getting skinnier. He's just getting skinnier and skinnier. Right. Those cheekbones are just getting, like, prominent or, yeah, sharp. Yeah. Now, the siege held several influential moments in the development of scouting. For one thing, in order to free up men for the people sneaking up on the enemy and living off nature, he wrote scouting. Books for adults and trained soldiers for a scouting unit, he found the business of survival in the wild not just a necessity, but an intriguing science, Geo writes. Once, when desperately short of water, he had seen a buck scratching in the sand and by digging at the same spot had found water. So he's he's this is like a all kind of coming together for Robert Baden Powell. And he's maybe the only guy who could have like pulled off this defense for the British, because he has a lot of this experience. He actually is not. He's not. You get a lot of these aristocratic officers are like, useless. In the heart situation, he's not he is legitimately good at being a soldier. I think most historians, they agree that he was he was a very competent combat commander. Another thing that Baden Powell did at Mafeking was arguably commit another war crime. Now this is a in fairness is a more muddled story than the others, which in my mind are fairly clear war crimes. The short of this story is that allegedly, when food stores ran low, he chose to feed white people and let black residents in Mafeking starve to death. This excerpt from the Irish Times gives a good overview of the war criminal allegations. Faced with food shortages, he simply chose to deprive most Africans in the town of any food whatsoever, even their own, which he had earlier forcibly requisitioned. A few vital African laborers were allowed to buy rations, others were reduced to scavenging dog corpses in rubbish heaps. So that is. That is the that is the war crime allegation against kind of what he does here. Umm. He ordered one group of 33 Africans out on a cattle drive of Boer herds otherwise to be flogged. The Boers captured and murdered all but one of the poor devils. Unperturbed, Baden Powell then evicted several hundred African women from the town. Many were murdered by the Boers, and a few pitiful survivors were stripped naked, flogged and sent back. Yet their shameful fate troubled him not the least. And you'll hear a couple of different death tolls for this. I think 2000 is kind of like the, the, the, the upper number of like, how many people died as a result of Baden Powell making these calls. Now, Tim Giel, true to form, has a ready defense for Baden Powell here. He says of these allegations, quote, this is an absolute lie. He opened soup kitchens and shot all of his cavalry horses so he could feed them and in this case. Jill's not entirely wrong here again, how you what exactly? How exactly you come down on this is is messy. He is an actual biographer, so he's not making up ****. Baden Powell did have his horses slaughtered in order to provide like soup for for the people in Mafeking. Yeah, historians debate whether or not Baden Powell intentionally starved black residents at Mafeking, One South African historian said in 1999. This can only be described as a crime against humanity, for which he deserves to be reappraised as a war criminal. But in 2000 a pair of military historians, Edmund York and Malcolm Flower Smith of the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, analyzed Diaries from soldiers and civilians during the siege, including Baden Powell's Diaries, and they came to a different conclusion. And I'm going to quote from the Guardian here. Baden Powell had based Garrison rations on a prospect of relief within two months. Kitchener, who's the the high general in charge of the whole war, ordered him to send as many women and children and natives as possible away to save rations. So Kitchener orders him get the non competence out of the city so you don't have to feed as many people. But the authors say the papers indicate that this harsh policy was not aimed at the Township 7000 strong majority of blacks, the Baralong tribe who were valued soldiers and boosted food stocks by rustling Boer cattle. Its victims were 2000 outside. Africans, including Shens, who was like so a different tribe of Africans, a smaller subset of the population. The their food rations in Mafeking were cut off. Baden Powell negotiated safe passage for them. For this the the the SHENS with the besieging Boers to British held territory supplying a military escort and food wagon. But the truce was broken. The first attempt to drive 900 blacks out at night was scattered by Bower snipers. The second by day saw them decimated by Boer attacks. The policy of forced evacuation was a blunder, Dr York said. Baden Powell was the reluctant victim of external military imperatives. He realized his errors and dropped it. So that's complicated. Yeah, that's complicated because like, yeah, he his calls get a bunch of people killed. He's also acting on orders. He's not trying necessarily to get people killed. He's trying to get them out of there so that they can go to British territory where there's more food. The Boers attack these people. Like, you could argue he didn't like, it's like I and I'm not a historian because obviously these scholars who are saying. No, no. What he did was understandable. He wasn't trying to kill anybody. Are British military historians from the Royal Military Academy at Sanders? Right? So have a have a bias. Yeah, I mean, I feel like, you know, I'm, I inclined to not give him the benefit of the doubt and just say he probably did that ****. So I I think what's probably true is that he was not trying to get anybody killed, but also the fact that these these people, not just that they're black, they're black members of this tribe. That is not valuable to him. He's not troubled by what happens to them. Yeah, really. And and it's not he, Dang it. He probably could have done a lot more to me to not get them. Field right. It is true that after this happens he he kills all his horses. He creates soup kitchens to feed starving people. But distribution of food from those kitchens was biased towards Europeans and elite members of the Baralong tribe, the these British military scholars like note this, but say quote, he was no more racially prejudice than the vast majority of his generation. All good. Which isn't wrong but doesn't make it not like a war crime also. I mean, to be fair, yeah, we should be fair. Black people, yeah. Every he wasn't racist to Earth than everyone else. Like, well, yeah. But. But did his policies get more of them killed because he like, gave food to white people and said, well, yeah, but he didn't do it because he was more any racist person back then, which was everyone would have done this and like, well, OK, yeah, but like, that doesn't do you see why that's not good? They are just, well, you know, relative to the time period, but you don't know what a ***** ** **** everybody was back. We all sucked. I mean, come on, you know that's, I mean, give him a pass. This is not to give him a pass, but it is fair to describe the war crimes he committed that way, as in. And again, this is not to give him a pass. This is actually just to condemn the British Empire as a war criminal within the context of British officers. In his time, he was more restrained and respectful of the life of non white people than most of his colleagues. OK, who again had often committed genocides, right? Like, like that's what. Like in saying that, like the s s commander who just starves Jewish people rather than driving them to the gas chambers, like, well, he was more restrained than the others. Like it was pretty cool, yeah. It's like, yeah, I mean it's not. Again, this is not to, this is not to, to, to defend Baden Powell. This is to put him in the context of the British Empire. He does count as, like relatively mild based on the other military officers of his generation in that position. And again, what he doesn't Mafeking is mild compared to the ******* concentration camps that Kitchener setting up. Yeah, not again, not to whitewash the man, to put him in context, because for one thing, you should always you you can never be emphatic enough about how bad the British. Empire was and in other part because they're they're actually is a lot of inaccurate anti Baden Powell propaganda out there. One of the things people sent me before I did this because they wanted me to do this was like a book that had been written by this guy in which he alleges that Robert Baden Powell in Kitchener were both like pedophiles on like a grand massively abusive scale and among other things alleges that Robert Baden Powell early in his career authorized the execution of 216 year old Irish soldiers who he sodomized. For murdering, which like that's pretty bad. That's the thing that happened. Yeah, here's the thing, the book that that allegation comes from and I found it nowhere else. That book was written by a guy who also wrote a book alleging that Adolf Hitler was a British spy. So. Well, there is a chain of people who are unreasonably anti, like it's not unreasonably anti British Empire, but who are like anti British Empire in a way that's not factual. Weird perspective. Yeah, that's like no, the evil of the British Empire and that they invented Hitler. It's all of the genocides, like there's. A lot to hate about the British Empire. Kitchener didn't like, train Adolf Hitler to create World War Two to further British profits or whatever the **** this guy believes it's, I mean, you know, it's yeah, it's it's in general, it's always OK to hate the British Empire. But you know, if you're a source is someone who's like and therefore really naziism, that's just the Brits. You look at it. Umm. So yeah, Baden Powell probably didn't execute. Sodomized 216 year old Irish soldiers and you know who else probably didn't know what? Sophie is that a bad way to go to ads? It's a really bad way to go. I said probably didn't, he said. Probably somebody else. Somebody on Twitter this week asked me if we've ever gotten a complaint from sponsors about your transition to ads and like, no, but maybe now, maybe now we can just bleep it out. That'll leave people wondering, like the last time we bleep something out every time we've bleeped. Something out which is always done just as a joke. People get, like, really conspiratory like, oh, they must have gotten the legal threat from this person or that person. Yeah, no, I thought it was funny. It's funnier if you bleep things out sometimes than saying them because yeah. The mystery box is always funny. Yeah, but yeah, let let let's bleep out that Sophie and then never explain it. Yeah, *************. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying one or for a family. And it meant. Family start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. You can use your own phone with any mint mobile plan and keep your same phone number along with all your existing contacts. Just switch to Mint mobile and get premium wireless service starting at 15 bucks a month. Get premium wireless service from just $15.00 a month and no one expected plot twists at That's Seriously, you'll make your wallet very happy at Mint Mobile. Com slash behind my name is Erica Kelly and I am the host and creator of Southern Freight true crime. There are so many people that just have no idea about some injustices in the world and if you can give a voice to them you can create change. To be able to do it within podcasting is just such a gift. I believe it was 18 months after I got on with Spreaker that I was making enough that I could quit my day job. It was incredible. I always feel like an ambassador for speaker. But that's because I'm passionate about podcasting. It's really easy to use. I always tell people I am so not tech. Took me 5 minutes to get comfortable with spreaker, and when I find a new friend that has an incredible show, I want them to make money. I want them to be able to do what I did. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Get paid to talk about the things you love. Spreaker from iheart this fall on revisionist history. Is there anything that we haven't talked about or or that I should have asked you or you'd like to add that seems relevant? You should have asked me why I'm missing fingers on my left hand. A story about sacrifice. I think his suffering drove him to try to alleviate suffering. And the shocking discovery I made where I faced the consequences of writing a book I thought would help people? Isn't that funny? It's not funny at all. It's depressing. Very depressing. Revisionist history is back with more. Listen to revisionist history on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. Alright, we're back. Sophie, come on. Professionalism. Jesus. Get it together. You gotta be professional, Sophie. People come to us expecting a degree of, of, of, of Professor Tude, I think. Yeah, come on. At the very least, all my elementary school friends who have reached out to say they listened to this show. They told me they listened to it. For the professionalism. For the professionalism. Right? That's what we all want. Nobody has ever given me that feedback. Well, well, you have the wrong elementary school friends. That's right, Sophie. I've been saying that for years. Hmm. So when it comes to aspects of Robert Baden Powell's early life that are relevant to his founding of the Boy Scouts, we should probably get into his his sexuality, which is there's a lot that's messy here. For one thing, he was almost certainly homosexual. That's not questionable. Tim Gill even agrees. Like this this he was almost certainly gay. Right. Like, and this is not uncommon, a significant number of the men who build the British. Higher there's a really good argument to me that they may have been and possibly like celibate home like gay men because again it is illegal to be gay at this. Like people go to prison for for having homosexual like relationships and stuff. Yeah it is extremely for and so a lot of these guys would. I mean I I doubt Baden Powell considered himself homosexual but like a lot of the guys who build the empire are these men who have these who don't like Henry Morton Stanley doesn't like women, is kind of disgusted by like the the female body and has all these. Incredibly intense, like loving relationships with men that are probably not sexual. Like, we really don't know because obviously they would have written about it if it was because it was a felony. There's a lot of this going on in the British Empire and and Baden Powell is almost certainly one of those guys. One of those guys who maybe, like I again, I I'm certain would never have accepted to himself that he was gay, probably never had *** ***. We certainly don't have any evidence of that, but he loved the homies. You know, he loved he. He found the male body beautiful and the female body disgusting. Which right? Like what? Like what? What do you like? What you will take, what you will out of that. The big debate isn't around. Like, was this a guy with like some homosexual? Like inclinations it is. Was he also a pedophile? And I should be clear up front because this is gonna get real murky. We do not have any evidence that he was a child molester and I think, I think that's unlikely that he ever. But the question is like, was he attracted to kids or was he attracted to just kids like we really, it's it's messy. He definitely had some very intense romantic relationships with young men who were adults. So it wasn't like whatever his attraction was, it wasn't exclusively to kids if if he was attracted to kids, he seems to have preferred men in their teens. Like 16 to 19 was like his his kind of sweet spot, I think. Are we about to go into that like, well, technically that's not pedophilia, no, no. But also you can join the military like 16, true. Like it is. There are some I'm not trying to like. I'm trying to explain this is a a different kind of culture and I don't think he actually does anything with any of these boys, like, which also does matter. So we'll talk more about this later. There's a lot of this is a very murky and anytime you're talking about the sexuality of a man in a period in which his likely sexuality was criminalized from what you have in his Diaries, that that's going to be imperfect, but it is necessary to discuss because of how the Boy Scouts is made in his image and part of the original story. Yeah, so he returns in like the early 1900s. He gets back from from the Boer War and he's a hero, one of the most famous men in in the. British Empire and also just like in the the Western world. He's incredibly prominent at this point and he is seen as a man's man. Like he's he's considered handsome, he's this war hero. He's like been through a bunch of ****. He's legitimately like hard man. Like he's he's sure going through some stuff. One government minister even creates the Baden Powell League of Health and Manliness in his honor, which is absolutely. That is, I think we can all agree the straightest name and organization has ever had. Ohh, that's amazing. Yeah, that's incredible. It was named after what? What is most likely a gay man. It's just like, yeah, the health and manliness. Yeah, it's very funny. Yeah, it's very funny. Technically a civil rights icon. Yeah. Members were quote expected to do good turns shoe tobacco until they were 21 and lead healthy and physically strenuous lives. This is according to Tim Giel. League members wore badges with pictures of Baden Powell on them. It was a huge success. A lot of guys. Interested in this? Uh, yeah. And and this fact helps to convince Baden Powell after he returns home from the war that the young men of England are desperate for an organization that can give their lives structure and train them up for a grand purpose. Yeah. Quote about boys. Yeah, a little bit of that. I mean not. But this is really focused on because it's not about her. It's not like a really paramilitary. It's not about like, it's about teaching them useful life skills. It's about, like, proud and. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I mean, a big part of it. Is you have. England is industrialized rapidly in this. There's this huge population of young men, many of whom don't have fathers because their dad's diet and some sort of like industrial accident. Like a chimney accident. Yeah. Chimney accident. Yeah. And a bunch of them are like they've they've lived in cities their whole lives. They don't know anything about the outdoors. They don't know anything about, like, survival and stuff. And he wants to, he wants to, like, teach these people useful skills to give them to, like, deal with this kind of the malaise that's growing under capitalism. You see this in the US, too, like all of these, like, angry, disaffected. Miserable urban populations. He sees this and his answer is like, well, get give them some sort of structure, teach them useful skills, get them out of the city, you know? Yeah. Which is not a bad idea, sure, yeah. From scouts. Honor the book quote. Baden Powell had always gotten along with children. His love for children is perhaps his ruling passion. One journalist wrote of his work in Africa. He is never happier than when surrounded by them. They surrounded him back home as well, as he stepped into the effort to strengthen England's young men physically, mentally and spiritually youth brigades and clubs. Sprouting all over in 1907, Baden Powell rewrote aids to scouting for NCO's and men's, which he had originally written for soldiers to make it suitable for boys. Several of Baden Powell's friends had been suggesting the rewrite, as well as the creation of an outdoor boys club. So that summer, Baden Powell and an army friend ran the first Boy Scout camp to see how the idea would work. So this is kind of the genesis of this, and it's happening, a lot of stuff happening in culture. Then there's other boys clubs kind of starting up, and he has this idea to take these scouting guides. He wrote for soldiers in Africa, rewrite them for little kids and give them a place to actually get out of the city and. And learn this stuff. Sure. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, just so not the proud boys, but more like a like the Hitler Youth. How about. Yeah. And in fact, Baden Powell is really interested in the Hitler Youth now. There's a lot of arguments, like whether or not. And he said a lot of nasty stuff about Hitler. I don't know that I don't think I wouldn't call him a Nazi. But there's certainly elements of his belief system that were like friendly with some early aspects of fascism. He was very intrigued by the Hitler Youth, although in fairness, the Nazis considered the Boy Scouts as subversive organization and Germany. So, like, there's a lot going on there. We're not going to get into that much. You can find a lot written about it. I'm not going to like, delve in and take a side on this, like historical debate of how sympathetic was he like with whatever. Now that account from a book written critical, the scouts honor is written about sexual abuse within the Boy Scouts. Like, based on the title, you might think it was like a Pro Boy Scouts history. It is not. Oh no. I assume. Yeah. Yeah. It was written in 1990. Three, I think it was 93, the early 90s. And that account of, like, how the Boy Scouts get started is generally in line with the story that I heard growing up. But the actual origins of the Boy Scouts are a bit more complex and more rooted in cultural appropriation and also outright theft. Baden Powell is not the only founder of the Boy Scouts. I'm not going to go into too much detail about this because it's not relevant to the actual story we're telling. But it is worth noting that in 1902, so that's like five years before Baden Powell rewrites his book about scouting, an American named Ernest Thompson Seton had some property vandalized. The rambunctious boys. And instead of punishing them, he invited them onto his land for the weekend. And he taught them, like some camping stuff, some. And he claimed all of these, like, this, like Woodcraft he was teaching them, he claimed, were like Native American, like wilderness lore and whatnot. I think a lot of it's just stuff he'd learned. And he was, like, making up stories that weren't true because it makes it sound like stories about Native America. And he would tell them, like, folk stories about Native Americans. Again, I don't know how much of any of this was accurate. He certainly appropriating it because, again, he's white as they come. It. Yeah. Again, I don't know how accurate any of this was. In any case, the weekend was a hit. This is, like, really successful. And he thinks it helps these boys out. So he keeps doing it and he eventually forms an organization that he called the Woodcraft Indians. This was so successful. It gets very popular. I think it's particularly like the eastern chunk of the US that after a couple of years he writes a book called The Birch Bark Roll, which lays out of his lessons in boys and it's all rooted. And, like, here's Native American wisdom for, you know, white boys who want to learn how to be woodsman Seaton. Was successful enough that this this word of what he was doing cross the pond. And in 1906, Seaton travelled to England to give Robert Baden Powell a copy of his book and Baden Powell may have gone to the United States to attend one of his his Birch bark gatherings. It was a huge influence on scouting for boys. We have letters from Baden Powell saying, like, I'm taking a lot of what, like, you put in this book into like, the thing that I'm writing, right. And when the Boy Scouts as an organization were created in 1910, they were heavily influenced by the structure of the Woodcraft tribe. Seaton was angry for years. He gets really angry. The idea has been stolen, and there's a lot of debate as to how true that was. People will point out that Baden Powell, he'd had boys organizations that he'd been involved with before. He'd clearly been playing with this idea before. I was like, well, yeah, I've been hanging out with little boys. I love having hanging out with boys before you were born. Yeah, exactly. But today, Seton is recognized even by the BSA as one of the founders of the Boy Scouts. And it's there's some people who argue that, like, he was kind of more left wing and that like the boy. The outside of being kind of right wing because Baden Powell dominates it, I don't know how accurate I think that is. Casein is like again, ton of cultural appropriation here. I think that people have a tendency to kind of like idolize him over much. Yeah, I I will note that while Seaton definitely like did a lot of cultural appropriation to make his organization, I don't have any evidence that he deliberately enabled a culture of child sex abuse, which Robert Baden Powell absolutely did. So if you've got to pick a favorite Boy Scout founder, I do think I I I pick. Cultural appropriation over child molestation, I think. I think I'm gonna give it to that. Yeah, there are levels. I mean, they're both problematic. We can say that they are they're they're they're definitely both problematic and both are grounds for a cancellation, but one more so than another. Hmm. Yeah. I think if I'm, if I'm, if I'm prepping the cancel cannon, I'm, I'm going for the guy who enabled child molestation on a massive scale first, probably. That's probably good call. Speaking of child molestation on a massive scale. That shouldn't be an ad break. Should itself be. Back to Baden Powell. Let's get back to Baden Powell. So he rewrites aids to scouting for NCO's and men in 1907, and shortly thereafter, that same summer, they start the first Boy Scout camp. And the Boy Scouts aren't an organization is still in 1910. They're kind of like testing out like, well, let's get a bunch of boys on the land, let's teach them. Let's see if this is like actually a good idea, if kids like it, if it's, if it's got legs. Basically, right, this is their beta test. So they bring a bunch of boys to the land, this land they've got, they spend a week with them hiking, teaching them how to make tents. And according to the book Scouts honor quote, at the end of the day there were rub downs and stories around the campfire. So that's that's potentially problematic. That's that's potentially problematic. The stories around the campfire was fine. It was just like, it's the rub downs, it's the rubdown, rubdowns like, you know, rub downs and stories around the maybe, maybe no rub downs wars and like running hands through the hair of children and then also like looking at the stars. I I think a couple of things can be true. One is that. We currently have a problem in our culture where like men who feel like called to teach young boys things like mentor young boys they get like unfairly accused and like people get suspicious is like why would a man like care about like which is it's actually good for for men to like care about the the the mentoring and not raising of young boys. Tender with a child yeah not bad. But having just said that sentence I rub down rub downs is a line, is a line that has been crossed when you're doing. Up downs of the boys in your care, things have things have crossed the line in my opinion. There's tons of tenderness. Yeah. And rub downs cross that line. How about Pat on the head little. Yeah. And I guess. Yeah. I don't you could argue that the rub downs were not like necessarily sexual assault because I don't know like what? But certainly you're on a line there. You're, you're, you're, you're you're at an uncomfortable point. It's a Gray area that rub down area. However far these went. Baden Powell. Seem to get something intensely powerful out of the experience. His widow would later tell an interviewer that though he'd spoken at many youth groups since his return from the war quote, this was different. These boys were his his for a week, to work with, to play with, to learn from, and if his ideas were right, to guide, to influence, to mold. So again, I know like I know, I know. Playing with kids is good. You should. It is. It's good. It's good to care about kids since I'd like you to delete it. Just you can't say these problematic. Play with yeah, like activities, do activities, do activities with kids. Yeah, yeah. *** **** it. The language around it is just very difficult. He took his strong feelings during this week as a sign that his new calling was to Mentor Boys. In 1908 he published his rewritten book as Scouting For Boys, and this included within it the Scout Oath, which is on my honor. I will do my best to do my duty for God in my country and to obey the Scout law to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically. Strong, mentally awake and morally straight. It's a famous and the Scout law. Is that a bunch of **** you spoke? Be helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, reverent. Like all that ****. Yeah, that's like, this is still like, but yeah, rub downs. Morally straight, baby. You got to be morally straight. Yeah. I mean, if there's one person who screams straight to me, it's Robert Payton back. So that is a straight manly guy. That's a straight manly man right there. You will generally run into a few different theories as to what the overall purpose of scouting was. The sinister theory is best summarized by this passage from an Irish Times article quote. For him, the Boy Scout movement was an unarmed paramilitary expression of the empire. So that's one angle that he's trying to train up the soldiers of the future, right? He's getting boys ready to fight for the British Empire. Yeah. Biographer Michael Rosenthal shares this opinion, writing all of scouting. Would be properly understood, as Baden Powell himself understood it. As an organization expressly designed to churn out admirable, obedient lads, scouting sought to guarantee for society the complete submission of its members. And there's a lot to be said and we won't get into enough about like World War ones impact on scouting cause. A huge chunk of the British soldiers who died in World War One were former Boy Scouts and kind of one of the IT had been very British up to World War One. And it becomes much more international after that point and much less kind of dedicated to specifically British imperialism. And I I I don't, I don't really know enough about like did Baden Powell look at like how gung ho all these young men were to go have an adventure overseas that led him getting mowed down by machine guns fire. Sucked into mud and be like ****. Yeah. Because other people who were like art, like Teddy Roosevelt, is like, horrified by world. Like one of his kids dies there who he, like, really pushes to go fight and like, dies horribly. And he's like, oh Jesus, yeah. A lot of people have thought those is gonna be simple, like the Philippines or whatever. Yeah. Ruud Kipling has kind of a similar, like, like, it. It has this, like, profoundly, almost radicalizing experience on Kipling. Kipling's a fascinating guy, wrote some really like some of the most imperialist. She had ever written and also some like really profoundly anti imperialist stuff about like you know, groups of of of like Indigenous people like destroying empires and stuff and like all this like that fascinating dude. So Tim Giel on the other hand writes that Baden Powell's purpose was more protective than this quote. Adult life was full of dangers. Women could deprave them, politicians mislead them and gambling and drunkenness could wreck their lives. But in his boys only world he would counteract these dangers with hiking. Camping, cheery sing songs and other safe activities. And I think both these views are probably accurate. I think Baden Powell did legitimately care about the health and well-being of boys and he wanted to help them grow up healthy. He was fiercely protective of them. I also think he wanted them to become good little soldiers of empire. Because he was an imperialist. Yeah. He grown up because he thought that was a good thing. It's not like he looked at that wasn't sinister for him, for him, that was like, yes. You know, this is what men are supposed to do. You will. Yeah, men are. Men are supposed to learn. Kind of like carve things into wood, make macaroni pictures and ******* you know, and depressed indigenous peoples. Yeah, right. Exactly. Yeah. For the wealth of, you know, and whatever. It's also kind of worth noting here that Baden Powell grew up fatherless. As we stated, he never, like, had a father. And he a big part of his angles. There's a bunch of kids in, in Great Britain in this. Who who who don't have fathers and part of his goal for the Boy Scouts, which is an admirable goal for an organization. Is to provide he wanted to train up hundreds of Scout Masters who could act as like surrogate fathers to children who who didn't have them. So, like, OK, if you're a single mom, you're kind of struggling to figure out how to raise a boy. This organization will provide him with healthy male mentorship, right? Which is certainly like the boys and Girls Club. There's kind of similar themes and a bunch of good organizations. It's not a bad idea, however. There's also problematic aspects of this because one of the reasons he thinks that he needs to train up Scout Masters to be surrogate fathers for the boys of Britons is that because, quote, except where the Scout masters take the father's place, the boys have no one to consult on intimate subjects. So from the beginning he's like, well, well, you know, obviously they need, they need a man in their life to teach them, you know, manly things but also like to talk about sex. Right. This is from the beginning. Yeah. Which is not. Again, yes, not necessarily, but maybe not this way. Yeah. Should I? I think it's nothing wrong with talking to your kids. Yes, about *******. But having said that sentence, I would need an adult, and generally an adult of this the same age, gender identity they have to talk to them about sex. That's a good thing, I think. I mean, yeah, it is. Yeah. Just depends on the where we're going there. Can go very wrong is the point. And so, like, yeah, again, all of the all of the founding board is this stuff where it's like, yeah, but where are we going with where? Which way are you gonna take this? Because, yeah, kids do to be able to. And this is one of the things some scholars will point is that one of the groundbreaking things about the Boy Scouts is that it was the only really organization of its size and popular culture that explicit was like, we are. One of the things we're here to do is to talk to young men about sex, about their sexual development, right? Which is. Progressive, right, but. And we're gonna get to the ****. But first, you know what else is sexually progressive, Matt? You know what else gets straight to the ****? Hmm. The products and services that support this podcast. I'm trying to think what the funniest addict could be right now. Me undies, for sure. Yeah, the meundies days. It is fun to, like chart the growth of podcasts in the areas of ads. Like I came of age during the during the mattress. Ohhh yeah yeah ohh remember we used to get free things. I got two free mattresses. It was red. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying. Or for a family. And it meant family start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. You can use your own phone with any mint mobile plan and keep your same phone number along with all your existing contacts. Just switch to Mint mobile and get premium wireless service starting at 15 bucks a month. Get premium wireless service from just $15.00 a month, and no one expected plot twists at That's Seriously, you'll make your wallet. Very happy at Mint mobilcom. Behind my name is Erica Kelly and I am the host and creator of Southern Freight True crime. There are so many people that just have no idea about some injustices in the world and if you can give a voice to them you can create change. To be able to do it within podcasting is just such a gift. I believe it was 18 months after I got on with speaker that I was making enough that I could quit my day job. It was incredible. Always felt like an ambassador. For speaker. But that's because I'm passionate about podcasting. It's really easy to use. I always tell people I am so not tech. Took me 5 minutes to get comfortable with speaker and when I find a new friend that has an incredible show, I want them to make money. I want them to be able to do what I did. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Get paid to talk about the things you love with spreaker from iheart this fall on revisionist history. Is there anything that we haven't talked about or or that I should have asked you or you'd like to add that seems relevant? You should have asked me why I'm missing fingers on my left hand. A story about sacrifice. I think his suffering drove him to try to alleviate suffering. And the shocking discovery I made where I faced the consequences of writing a book I thought would help people? Isn't that funny? It's not funny at all. It's depressing. Very depressing. Revisionist history is back with more. Listen to revisionist history on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. Ah, we're back and we're all just having a great time talking about a guy who's not at all deeply problematic. They're going to be able to cut out snippets of this podcast and cancel me for generations. Oh yeah, no, you you are going to be cancelled well into the 23rd century. Ohh damn it. Yeah, when the Federation of Planets starts up, there's going to be a Galaxy class Starship. Named the cancellation of Matt Lieb. Just on loop in place, the thing where I just yeah, I think it's good to play with kids. What's the noise it makes when it goes into warp? Good times so. The fact that one of the purposes of scouting is to provide boys with male mentors who can talk to them about intimate issues. One of the things that this means is that naturally, the Scout masters, who are mostly volunteers that Baden Powell is bringing in, are going to have to talk to boys about sexual issues like ************. And again, this was somewhat revolutionary for its day. But it's also worth noting that, like, the fact that they're talking about this is revolutionary. Their attitude towards it is profoundly. Conservative abstinence is the only thing ever encouraged, but at the same time, the mere fact that their literature addressed ************ as a topic was kind of progressive for the era. Yeah, they talked about the existence of it. Yeah, I mean, this is not a good thing necessarily. As we've discussed, Baden Powell's impulse to discuss boys sexuality came from a really problematic place. But I want to read to you his advice on ************ as it was written for the first draft of his book on scouting. Because I know this is something you need in your life. Hmm. Please. This is gonna be fun to listen. Get my my old timy Boy Scout ready. You all know what it is to have it times a pleasant feeling in your private parts, and there comes an inclination to work it up with your hand. The result of self abuse is always, mind you, always, that the boy after a time becomes weak and nervous and shy. He gets headaches and probably palpitations of the heart, and if he carries it on too far, he very often goes out of his mind and becomes an idiot. A very large number of lunatics in our asylums have made themselves mad by indulging in this vice. Although at one time there were sensible, cheery boys like you. Jesus. First of all, that was like the carnival, carnival Barker from Hell. You know what I mean? Not to **** ***. And I do. I do love the idea of, like, the well, you know, if you **** *** too much, you become insane. Hmm. Because it's a theory so easily disproven. Yeah, I just generated by the sanest man in the world. Yeah. I'm trying to figure out what the funny. Yeah. Madly. Yeah. There we go. So, I mean, it's it's also we should I should note, I'm sure our regular listeners will have caught this. If you like the Kellogg episodes. He's not. Inventing this stuff he is when he talks about ************ in this way he is actually like sharing mainstream medical conclusions, like the mainstream of the medical establishment in this. Broadly agrees with everything he said, right? So this is not like Baden Powell is an introducing this, although he is, it is unique that he is as like a youth group leader talking, trying to talk about this so openly. Now the passage I just read doesn't get published in the First Boy Scout Manual. His publisher is like, wait a second, why are you talking about ************? So much. In this book I have some notes. Yeah, I have some notes. It is good. The whole section about about coming jerking off. Maybe a trim that down. Yeah. Quick note. It's gonna affect book sales. Yeah. So they rework it to make this much vaguer. Simply cautioning children not to touch themselves and noting that if they feel an urge to do so. This is critical. Quote, go to your father or your scout master and talk it over with him, and all will come right. So that could be problematic right there. Yeah. Having these children, if you want to masturbate, go to your volunteer. And vetted scout master, and he'll teach you how to come right. You can see this is a situation in which, if the wrong kind of people become scout masters, this could be a profoundly abusive situation. Trust. Trust in these scout masters. Probably undue trust. So it's here we should probably again discuss the sexuality of Robert Baden Powell in a little more detail. So again, Tim Geo is convinced that he was gay. And the strongest piece of evidence for this is that when he was in the army, he falls madly in love with a young army officer. Again, an adult named Kenneth McLaren, who he called the boy. Now, again, I don't know. Like we might have called, I think. I'm not sure if Kenneth was like 18, but like he was, he was an officer in the army. He was an adult. Kind of by the standards of the time, right? Right. Calling him the boy is just probably, yeah. It's a term of endearment I call people who are like in their mid 30s. I'm like, uhhh, those kids over there. Yeah, those ******* kids. Yeah. Yeah. So it's probably fine. Yeah. Geo calls this Baden Powell's only close friendship in, like, his entire life. Like this is like a really unique relationship with him. Which right there says something. The two bunked together, which also says something. They vacationed together, they exchanged gifts. And when the boy was captured by Boers during the siege of Mafeking. Baden Powell had to be stopped from trying to rescue him. Gill calls this an emotionally homosexual relationship because there's no actual evidence that these two ******. And again, given a lot of there's, this is not an uncommon kind of relationship. Maybe they did. That's also total. I'm sure a lot of these guys that we just don't know if it was just emotional or if they actually like. I'm sure a lot of them did and just couldn't say anything because you go to prison. Yeah, maybe like I don't. But also that you can't overstate how repressed they are. Like, that's true. Would they even have known how, like, really? Would they? Even if no, now you can't, you can't. Entirely. The impulses, because human beings are human beings are the same as they've always been. Their understanding of, like, ways in which to handle those impulses, that is cultural and like, right, it is you. You can't entirely get in their heads just given the fact that, like, you know that, like, you know, like the basics of like, how ****** works, right? Like that. That's like a thing you can do like, who knows what these guys know? It is true. Like even straight British people are are. This edging at all times, yeah. Like they're all repressed. Like, who knows what these people know about ******* kissing? Like, it's like, this is an incredibly repressed, but not just time, but like class because these are the upper crust. These have only ever like, I don't know what I don't know, I like again, it's it's it's it's hard to get too much into anybody's head here because like, they're understanding of like, what is possible in a relationship between two men physically is just at such a different level. There's no Internet, you know, not that there's not ways there is ***********. There are like. Oscar Wilde exists in this. Like, there's it's not impossible to figure it out. I just know books on it for there's some books on it. You can, in fact figure this **** out. But I don't know what these guys knew. And these are very common, you know, among kind of the imperialist class who are actually, like, doing the **** overseas. Baden Powell did get married kind of later in life. He had a couple of kids, but among other things, he was noted to regularly sleep outside on the porch because he couldn't bear to be near his wife. So again. Not that it could be because he's gay. It could be because she's a British used to suck. I don't know. Like, yeah, I mean, so, like, I've seen British people. It's just, yeah, it's an island full. Jesus Christ. Wow. Wow. Every British person is ugly as except for like. Wow, Chris, throw in three or four random bleeps in that sentence just to make it even even more mysterious. So Geo concludes that Baden Powell's intimate Diaries reveal a revulsion towards ***** ***** and a fascination with naked male bodies. Quote from the book Scouts honor in his advice to boys, Baden Powell treated women as a hazard to be avoided. Again not uncommon for the time he mocked boys for girl Aitis if they paired off with young ladies and wrote that young fellows are apt to excite their lust by talking about love or toying about with girls. But this is all bad for you rovering for two success, one of his books for boys. Includes a chapter titled Women, In which he warns about the rutting season, that time when a boy is growing to manhood and finds himself obsessed by lust. He was writing about puberty but compared it to an illness. He said it would last only a few months, sometimes a couple of years, and told boys to get over it just as they would get over the measles or any other youthful complaint. Oh, boy, I didn't. Entire chapter just dedicated to talking about how girls have cooties. Yeah, and girls have cooties and you don't need to ****. Yeah, exactly. He noted with remarkably little excitement that most boys would get married at some point. And, like, he was kind of like, yeah, like, you want to delay this as long as possible, you'll probably get married because it's the only way to carry out the creator's law. That is to make children, right? Yeah. But that's all that women are. Like, they're not a partner. They're not. There's nothing attractive about this. It's just the only way we get people. That's his attitude. Yeah, he repeatedly stated that women's bodies were repellent, just as he wrote about how wonderfully made the bodies of young men and boys were. As the Boy Scouts got off the ground, he engineered many opportunities to watch naked boys. Much of this happened at Scout Camps where nude swimming was traditional, and this is normal in swimming in general. Like there's a lot of nude swimming in like England, but he liked this a lot. He repeatedly described naked boys at the swimming hole as a delightful sight, as yummy. This did start to like I said, this was kind of normal in the world. Grew up and it started to change in this. And in fact during this. The the police in London Ban boys from swimming naked in Hyde Park, Lake Baden. Powell is enraged by this and he writes a. How dare they? My voice. What does this? Yeah, God-given, right? Look at little boys as I've run hypothalamic and they dance and jump and, yeah, jiggle. Yeah, he writes. Beautiful side trip from God. I will build my own leg. And they were all swimming in. A woman walks by in a in a long dress. She's like, oh God, get that away from me, please. It's all an inhuman creature. Lawless woman. Give me a jealous, but he's probably really handsome and talk great. He he was as a younger man, at least. At least people at the time. Consider that everybody always gives me **** if they don't fight. Like I'm just saying, people at the time wrote that he was, and in fact there are women at the time who write he's very handsome, but women like he seems to have no interest in women like other people. Note this about him. A and also some of his like if you look at it like this, I don't see why people would find this handsome. He's a war hero which has an impact on people. So when the police in London Band boys from swimming naked in Hyde Park Lake, Baden Powell writes a column for Scout magazine suggest. Suggesting that Scout Masters quote educate the boy by encouraging his self-expression instead of disciplining him by police methods of repression. And it's so funny because it's self-expression is naked bathing. Yeah. I mean there is like part of me where it's just like, you know, it's it's ridiculous to, you know, penalize people for skin. I wouldn't want to arrest to someone for skinny dipping, but like you're not coming at this from a, a holy place, Robert. Yeah, it's it's it's not at all about self-expression. No, it's like, no. Yeah, well there goes my ******* Saturday. Ohh God, I was gonna put on my loosest pants and walk down to Hyde Park. I got a charcuterie plate and everything. I wouldn't have quite a time. So, police, he's just aircraft. This is what gets him a cat is them bringing out bathing suits for the boys. And the babies? So one of one of Baden Powell's friends at this time is a teacher named AH, Todd H Todd's hobby was taking pictures of nude boys. He called them figure studies, but the library he donated his album to after his death destroyed all of these photographs in the 1960s to quote, protect Todd's reputation. Because these pictures were not, in fact, artistic figure studies. They were child ***********. Geo, I think, falls short of calling them child ****. But he does note that the poses of the nude boys in these photos were quote contrived and artificial. And he notes that they're artificial and contrived in the same way as the poses of ***** ***** at the time that were sold as art but were really soft core *********** right? It's **** you couldn't get, but you could get these art photos that were based, that functioned as ****. That's kind of what this guy's doing. But for little boy, well, I think they're like young boys at least. Certainly. Definitely children of some sort. I don't know the exact trains. In all cases. Baden Powell spent quite a lot of time with Todd in 1919. He stayed at the man's home and wrote Todd's photos of naked boys and trees, etcetera. Excellent. Naked boys and trees and trees. Ducks. Yeah. Yes. People swimming in ponds. He has a boy playing with himself. He has a bear. He has fruit sitting on a table. He has two boys playing with himself. Oh God. So he goes to hang out with Todd for a night or two and he looks at this his his picture book and he immediately as soon as he gets home he sends Todd a a letter asking if he can visit again and noting possibly I might get a further look at those wonderful photographs of yours. You're right, it's pretty ****** **. Otherwise, yeah, Oh my God, I'm imagining that dude sliding into people's DMS. Because sometimes on Twitter I'll just see, like, people will post screen caps of of, like, thirsty dudes sliding into their DMS, and it sounds very, very similar. Like, do I have to be a subscriber to only fans to see the little boy pictures again? Yeah, yes. And again, there's no evidence or even allegations whatsoever that Robert Baden Powell himself assaulted any boys. I think there was a lot of gross lasciviousness going on. I think there's evidence he enjoyed child ***********. I don't think he physically, again, I don't know that he ever had sex other than the three times necessary with his wife to conceive children because he was a repressed ****** ******. So, like, right. In this case, maybe that was good, because I it doesn't. It seems likely he never personally abused any boys. Yeah. Yeah. Seems like like with with repression, you know, it it it's it's largely bad. Except in very few. Except for maybe. In this case it helped out in the but although not really, because while he personally probably didn't, I can't obviously categorically say anything. He absolutely encouraged the nudity of young boys. He also in scouts, and he encouraged those young boys to go to their scout Masters to discuss sex, nakedness and ************. A not insignificant number of those men turned out to be child molesters, and how Robert Baden Powell dealt with those men was telling. Scouting rapidly grew larger. It became an international organization. Like a decade or so, it spreads all over the world. It gets very big very quickly. This brought up a need for an ever expanding pool of men to work as Scout Masters. These were volunteers, unpaid volunteers. Which is quite a lot of work to ask if someone who has no ulterior motives for doing the job right. My scoutmasters were just like really nice people who who loved the outdoors and wanted to teach kids. I don't think there's ever been any allegations against them. I certainly never experienced anything. Those people are happen. But also there are people who join the Boy Scouts because, like, oh, I can be alone with a lot of naked boys. And I can do things. You know, that is a major thing happening now. Again, as presses this time was. People are not ignorant of the fact that there are child molesters in the world. There are people within the Boy Scouts and within like the government who are like interface with the Boy Scouts, who recognize this as a risk, who see what Baden Powell building are like. Well, if the wrong person became a scout master, he could really hurt a lot of boys. And they go to Baden Powell and they're like the Boy Scouts need to set up a way to screen volunteers in order to protect kids. We have to have something, right? They have to attempt to stop people who might hurt these kids. And crucially, Robert Baden Powell said no quote, and this is from a letter he wrote, I don't think we ought to make the test of Scout masters too stringent for fear of putting them off again. It's expanding rapidly. It can only expand as much as there are adult volunteers. He doesn't want to. He doesn't want to slow the expansion of the organization by making sure that there aren't pedophiles in the ranks. I mean, obviously, yeah. How do you do a pedophile test though? You know, even if he had cared, I'm sure it would have. It would have fallen short people and it was inevitable. And this is the kind of thing the Boy Scouts are not evil because some men who got into the organization molested kids that in in an organization that at his peak has like 7,000,000 kids. Some of the adult volunteers are going to molest some of those kids. That is inevitable. Just at that scale. Science in a town of 7 million people, some of the adults will molest children. That is inevitable. That is not doesn't mean the organization's evil. That is evil is the way that they deal with it, or rather fail to deal with it. And that his evil is that, like, again, if he had attempted to screen for this and just failed, that would be like, well, he tried and what like, yeah, how could you screen, how do you screen for this? Right? This is an ongoing conversation we as a civilization continue to have. The problem is not that he failed in screening them. The problem is, like, I don't think screening is a good idea because it's going to slow down our expansion, right? That's the issue. Not like an imperialist mindset and I love. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, yeah, yeah. He's he's all about that growth. Yep. Yeah. Now, the fact that damn near any adult man could become a scout master becomes an issue as the organization ages and expands. In a 1920 book about scouting in British schools, one headmaster said, quote, one of the weak spots in the Scout movement generally, it seems to me, is that there is no guarantee of the capacity or character of the Scout master. Any man or callow youth could get together a number of boys, form them into a scout troop. And become their scout master. And there was no safeguard whatsoever against his being a man of most pernicious influence. So again, when we talk about like damning people by the standards of their time, people raise the alarm from the beginning of the Boy Scouts. People are telling Robert Baden Powell you are not being careful enough with these boys and he does not listen. These concerns proved absolutely valid within Baden Powell's lifetime. In 1923, a scout master was caught molesting a boy at the camp that Baden, but like Baden Powells camp, he gets sentenced, he gets caught, like. The police and he is sentenced to three years in prison. Now, when this had this big story obviously right like this gets out. This isn't like hushed up and Baden Powell writes a column in the Scouter which is like the adult Boy Scout. It's a magazine for the adult leaders within the Boy Scouts, and in this column he is effusive in his condemnation of the man. He noted that if the law had let him, he would have punished the man by flogging. In the same article, he correctly notes that the abuse of these children by the Scout master was a failure of the Boy Scouts to honor their grave responsibility of ensuring the safety of boys. But at the same time, he describes the sexual abuse of a child by a scout master as a man going too far in, quote, sentimentalism. What the ****? What the ****? Indeed. What is that mean? What the ****? Indeed? I think that is him covertly acknowledging. Yes, a number of us are attracted to the boys, but you don't touch them. They just be too sentimental of you. I think the reality is like it is. There's a very complicated conversation to have. People who are attracted to children and do not molest them. But I think one thing that is clear is that if you are that kind of person, it is it, it is imperative that you do everything in your power to not go anywhere near children's. Like, yeah, don't like, like, that's that's critical. Don't ******* go near kids. If you're attracted to and you don't want to be a monster, you're not a monster just because you grow up with like this thing in your ******* head. As long as you don't put yourself in a position where you're going to hurt anybody, right? Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I mean, you know, just that make that your number one. Priority. Not being near ******* kids, right? That's right. Above eating and drinking. Yeah. And stay away from children. Stay away from children. Brush your teeth. Yeah, yeah. And Baden Powell being like, well, of course it's fine that a lot of us are attracted to the boys, but this guy went too far in his sentimentalism, which reveals a tremendous amount about him, right? Yeah. Yeah. So. As the book Scouts honor notes, Baden Powell was even more problematic in his attitudes towards the sexual assault of boys in his care during his private conversations than he was. And again this public column. In 1922, a doctor named Patterson was put in charge of the main camping field at Gilwell, which is the the 1st in Chief Scout Camp. So Doctor Patterson is responsible for the health of all these boys. He sleeps in a medical Hut that's near the field where the boys camp so he can be near the boys to watch over them because he's again, he's the doctor. He was extremely trusted for years. Mothers would often write to Lord Baden Powell asking if he could pair their sons with Doctor Patterson so he could talk to them about sex. And Robert would send them to Paterson, right? Like they would be like, my my son. I'm a single mom. My son needs a man to talk to about sex and be like, I'll send them to the doctor. Which again, on the surface, if this guy isn't a child molester, perfectly reasonable, like a boy. Ask questions about sex, send him to the doctor. You know doctor, right? Right. Here's the problem, dude, he's a child molester. In August 1922, several boys complained that. Doctor Patterson had given them painfully thorough physical examinations at night in his medical Hut. An investigation commenced and Baden Powell allowed Patterson to be quietly fired rather than going to the authorities or taking any kind of punitive action beyond kicking them out. So they do not go to the police. They do not make this a criminal matter because they don't want this to blow up, right? This is the first time that happens. This is will become the pattern for more than a century of the Boy Scouts of America. It is established by Robert Baden Powell. Now, again, when cases of sexual abuse did go public, as that one did in 1923 that we talked about earlier, Baden Powell was very loud in public about decrying the abuse. But as the book Scouts honor notes, however, Patterson's successor, the Doctor Who follows after he gets quietly pushed out, HD Byrne, proved to be no different. After a decade in charge of the camping field, someone picked up quote, a fat diary and burns room and discovered it to be filled with detailed descriptions of sexual encounters with boys. He too, was dismissed quietly. Feel rights headquarters evidently preferred not to let it be known that for almost 15 years, the one job in the movement requiring men of unimpeachable integrity had been occupied by a succession of active pederasts. God hell yeah. A whole section of them, huh? Yeah. Yeah, that's that's that's a grip. That's a grip of pederasts. That's too many federalists. That's too many preterists. I think I would say one probably too many, but yeah. And again. To be fair, the evil is not that like a pedophile, especially in a new organization, wound up in a position and heard voice. It's that their answer to it was to hide it and then promote another pedophile to that position because they don't take any care to actually screen these ******* people. And again, if they're screening had been imperfect. That's the thing that happens. At least they tried. They didn't. And there Baden Powell's instinct was to try to cover it up and not to punish these people, to treat it as a a moral slip rather than an act of profound evil. That is how he seems like he's these, these men slipped. It's like, no, no. Yeah. They abused children. Yeah. Firing them. It's not a slip. You showed up late to work twice. Yeah. It's like, no, it's not. This is not a firing thing. This is this is a these people need to be removed from society. Yes, they have harmed children. The worst thing you can do some justice needs to be served. Hmm. Ohh man. Yeah, yeah, the founder of the Boy Scouts would die in 1941, but the patterns he established would follow the organization as it aged. They are in brief and avowed refusal to properly check them in. Who volunteered to watch over boys, a willingness to overlook problematic behavior, and a commitment to hiding the cases of abuse that they are forced to acknowledge so. Ohh, **** this. We're going to talk, yeah, in Part 2 about the modern BSA. But it is just very important to note that everything we'll be talking about in Part 2, that stuff that goes up to like 2015 to right now, really starts with Baden Powell. This is not a case of a man founding a beautiful organization that later people fail on from the beginning. Everything problematic that has led to mass sexual assaults in the Boy Scouts was present from its founding. Yeah, I mean, you know, it's founded by a guy who. Kind of wanted to **** kids. Kind of wanted to **** kids. That's, you know, that's a recipe for disaster. That's a little bit of a yeah, it's not great. Not great, probably. I again, I had a great time in Boy Scouts. I think an organization with the broad goal of teaching kids self-reliance and survival in the woods is wonder and absolutely necessary. I think damn near 100% of kids can benefit from something like that. Sure, probably shouldn't be founded and formed by a succession of pedophiles. Probably a bad idea. Probably a bad idea. My note on the Boy Scouts less pedophiles. Yeah, yeah, if I had one like 4 star Yelp review, everything is good. But the pedophiles and perpetuating pedophilia throughout the United States and the world is, yeah, that sucks. Yeah, it's one of those things. I'm sure there are people who be like, why didn't you do the Catholic Church? We have talked about the Catholic Church a couple of times, including like the all of the horrible abuses and the of the the residential schools in Ireland and whatnot. But like one of the things that is worth noting here is that like when you talk about the pedophilia. Problem in the Boy Scouts. It's on the same scale as the Catholic Church. Yeah, like, at least in modern times, right? Yeah. Catholic Church goes back a lot further, right? Like we're talking. Again, at at the present time, at least 100,000 alleged victims just who have come forward in a couple of years. Like, we're this is an enormous scale of problem. Like this is not. We're not talking about a kid here and a kid here. We are talking about cities full of children who were molested by their scout masters and other adult leaders. Fun. Cool. Fun time. So Matt, this seems like a good time to ask if you've got any plegables to plug. Ohh sure dude, yeah no totally. I I do 2 podcasts, a pod yourself, a gun, a Sopranos podcast which is about The Sopranos and we go through it episode by episode, Me and Vince Mancini. And then we also do a film podcast where we just shoot the ****. Kind of talk about movies called the Film Drunk Fraudcast, so check those out we rarely talk about. But Ophelia, but you know, it's still fun. It's still a fun time. So check those out and follow me on Instagram at Matt Lee jokes. Yeah, follow him on Instagram at Matt Leaf jokes and follow your heart. Unless your heart says to create an organization for boys and have them swim naked in the field so that you can watch them, then don't follow your heart. They may be like, listen to a single ******* word your heart says move if that's, if that's what your heart says, move alone to the woods. Yeah, yeah. Make friends with like a bear and yeah, bear defined to make. So the bear in that case, yeah. At least they can fight back. Yeah, yeah. Boy, OK. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's SPREA. Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioural discoveries on chimpanzees. It wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. Life on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Introduce the biz tape you're all things music business and media podcast. Join me, Joe Waslewski and my co-host Colin McKay every Wednesday where we discussed the breaking news, changing the music industry, and what your favorite artists and creatives are up to. Listen to new episodes of the biz tape every Wednesday on the Nashville podcast network, available on iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts.