Ineligible Volunteer File on William Burke Cope
Added June 2, 1986
In around 1920, soon after the Boy Scouts of America (“BSA”) was formed, the organization began keeping files on adult leaders and volunteers who were alleged to have committed various crimes and offenses. The files are known today as the “Ineligible Volunteer” or the “I.V. Files.”
The I.V. Files are made up of six categories of offenses including Perversion, Morals, Financial, Leadership, Theft and Criminal. By far the largest category is the Perversion Files, or “P Files” as the BSA internally refers to them. The Perversion Files contain the names of adult leaders who have been accused of, or convicted in a criminal court of, molesting or otherwise sexually abusing Boy Scouts.
Disclaimer: The information contained in each of the I.V. files was created solely by the Boy Scouts of America. The I.V. files for the period 1965 through 1985 were made public pursuant to a court order. By the terms of the court’s order, the names and contact information of persons identified as victims of sexual abuse and those that reported the abuse were redacted. If the person identified as the reporter of alleged abuse was a professional Scouter, i.e., an individual employed by the Boy Scouts of America or an affiliate, then the person’s name was not redacted. In 2012, the I.V. Files for the period 1986 through 1991 were made available to the public through the Los Angeles Times.
The information in the Perversion Files concerns allegations of child sexual abuse. In a number of the cases, the allegations were later substantiated by court proceedings. However, in a great many cases no such substantiation ever occurred.
The first page of each I.V. File is a “Confidential Record Sheet,” which provides basic background information on each individual. The information includes the individual’s date of birth, daytime job, and most importantly, his troop number and the basics of the allegations of abuse.
The following information was taken directly from the Ineligible Volunteer file of William Burke Cope. If you continue to scroll down on this page, you will be able to view the entire file and/or download the entire file. If you have any problems downloading or viewing the file, please contact us.