Revisiting the Beast
by Robert T. Smalanskas Jr.
This story is dedicated to all victims of predatory child abuse. May God bless those whom have been wronged; and bring fury upon whoever has inflicted pain. This true account will inspire parents to keep watchful eyes over their children—and wary eyes on all the adults their children encounter. It will give parents chilling insight into the “abnormal is normal” mindset of a pedophile / confidence man. I hope peace will stream upon every adult sufferer of predatory sexual abuse, after reading my story.
Brown dust from his dirt, quarter mile driveway clouded around the white generic rental car. I stared at dormant alfalfa fields on the left, which now exist only as high grass. My brain swirled in its own self made anxiety juice and heavy August Pennsylvania air served to worsen my disposition. It became inconceivable that his two story Cape Cod style farmhouse was in my field of vision once again. I had not ventured onto this forsaken property since 1978. Shuttered windows on two dormers eyeballed me as the auto drove itself, methodically up the hill. He watched me closely from an upstairs window while I robotically withdrew from the vehicle, and scanned his rural playground. These moments could not be any more nerve wracking. My gut ached and burned from acidity. I tried to determine, for what preposterous reason did I decide to endure this emotional shock. The date was August 16, 2001. It was the fateful day I confronted my childhood pedophile, the Boy Scout king of mental torment—a day which forever disturbed my soul.
About a month earlier I had sent Ted or “Ned” (as us scouts referred to him back in the seventies) a letter requesting this meeting. In my correspondence to him, I stated that the several traumatic years spent in his presence, had negatively and substantially impacted my adult psyche. “I need to ask you some questions which will ultimately allow me to place this experience behind me. I do not want to be dogged by this any longer. The least you could do is talk to me in a calm manner for an hour or two.” These were some of my statements in a handwritten letter to Ted in July of 2001. A couple of weeks later, I followed up with him by telephone from my then, Arizona residence. I cringed as his deep, nasal voice resonated through the receiver. “Are you a shrink?” He asked. “No.” I said. “I just want to talk to you about our past and give you an important message.” Since I didn’t believe he would agree to a meeting, I was shocked when he said. “All right, when are you coming in? Give me a call when you’re in. I guess you can come by.” Ted was certainly not enthusiastic about this new development, and apprehension flowed in his tone. He seemed perplexed by my words, yet curiosity caused him to concede. OK, I thought, as I clacked the handset down—now it is time to face him head on. I just might have a little inner fortitude, to return to Pennsylvania to confront this scary recluse; or maybe I’m just plain crazy.
Ted waved me up from his back lawn deck. This wooden deck has a view of another old hayfield and woods beyond. As I slowly moved within range, the deviant’s black, shark like eyes carefully examined me. He stared down my body, then up to meet my cautious eyes. I said hello and shook his weathered hand—which he seemed to appreciate. Ted still dressed in his infamous “Ned uniform.” It consists of farmer jeans, black work boots, and a tight white tee shirt which still covers a healthy gut. His face had gotten worse with age. He had always worn a tight crew cut; now it was all gray. Moreover, Ned’s large collie like nose was even more unappealing now. After a queasy moment between us, he spoke. “I wouldn’t be able to pick you out in a crowd.” What the heck did that mean? I thought, to my isolated self. The director of my boyhood nightmare invited me inside his lair. My heart raced, as if I ran hurdles in a Tunkhannock High track meet; and my eyes hurt from being dilated with adrenaline—yet I remained lucid on the exterior. Ted’s yellow Labrador retriever jumped all over me as his bellowing voice repeatedly commanded Montana to lie. I walked with trepidation into the family room, which overlooks his driveway and some of the inactive sheep farm property. You see, Ted wasn’t really a sheep farmer. He was a respected, intelligent Penn State engineering professor, and a former U.S. Naval officer. I can even yet visualize pictures he showed us boys, of him standing on the deck of the USS Salem in dress white glory. He lives in exactly the same dwelling which passed onto him from deceased parents. All hay baling, shoveling of sheep dung, shearing sheep, delivering lambs, etc that we did as Webelos and Boy Scouts was an elaborate façade. When I was an older boy scout he once admitted to me that farming was done only “to keep busy and have the boys over.” The farm concept is tough to fathom, however it was only a portion of his ultimate confidence scheme. Plus “Ned the Ridiculous Fag—Everyone have a free laugh” (as he once labeled himself by taping a black magic marker sign on his back, in public amongst a group of scouts) is the foremost, living con artist in Pennsylvania. His primary victims were not boys. They were the gullible scout leaders and parents whom bought into his unbridled hogwash.
I eased down on the musty, red-orange plaid couch which is in a corner by the bay window. Montana’s dog hair covered shabby worn out cushions. To my amazement, (but not really considering its Ted’s house, after all) this is the same ancient piece of furniture which I sat at my first Webelos meeting in 1970. On a chilly, dark autumn night at a ripe age of ten years; I was taken to see a wolf that portrayed himself as the town sheep—to all of the dumb parents. I had recently graduated from Cub Scouts and moved up to Webelos, which is the intermediate step in Boy Scouts of America. It was a candlelit, spooky affair with cool activities and rituals. The big kid (Ted) wowed all of us kids when he doused candles with his bare right hand, to conclude the meeting. Unfortunately, I would be excited to return and couldn’t wait until next Wednesday’s meeting. Meanwhile, he lowered into a creaky, wooden rocker directly in front of me. I continued to survey the entire room from my corner vantage point. Absolutely everything is the same as I remember from my last time here, I thought, with bizarre astonishment. Ted spoke about his past dogs, while pointing to two ceramic urns filled with canine ashes on the fireplace mantle. “I don’t have courage to look at their ashes.” He told me, with a familiar sad sack facial expression. I thought briefly about his long gone, black, brown and white colored collie named “Moose.” For many years in succession, every time his collie died, he would get a similar collie and also name him “Moose.” There may have been up to four Moose’s in Ted’s unusual history. Then he proceeded to launch into an explanation about chronological events regarding his spurious sheep farm. I observed as he rambled on, that he was quite nervous and possessed an unsure look in his eyes. For me, haunting scenes from boyhood years spent with a madman, were intensifying and began to roll like an like an opening cinema. I knew little of what would transpire in the ensuing five hours. It would be a stupendous combination of contentious banter with a master of denial; plus vivid flashbacks of brutal experiences—which I had long ago buried. My tempest tea party was just beginning.
Earlier that morning, I had spoken with my brother John who was back in Arizona. We discussed my mission of returning to our ground zero. John also had been an unlucky member of Teddy’s secret “this is only happening between you and me” club. This strategy contained another example of the master’s perverse brilliance. Because of the farm activities and his omnipresence around the scout troop, Ted had unlimited access to prepubescent boys. In addition, he would arrange and implement incessant outside “festivities” for his pack of favorites (about eight to ten young boys.) These trips only partially included: rock hunting, overnight skiing and beach excursions, bowling, movies, tastee freeze, county fairs, late night constellation lessons, pizza nights, spelunking (exploring caves), museums, institutes, etcetera. As emerging teenagers, our social schedules were always booked full. Ned’s entire life revolved around his crew of young supple males. Amazingly, he participated in habitual sexual contact with a number of his regulars; yet it was never spoken about between us kids. He convinced every one of us that we were “special” because “I only do this with you.” My brother and I had no clue Ted was working both of us over during the same time period. Ted thoroughly conned each boy to never speak of the “fun” we were having with him. I believe now, that we were all too humiliated to open up about it. We only solved this mystery many years after the sexual crimes were committed. During my a.m. conversation with “Johnny S”, (as I affectionately call him) he suggested I write down a list of questions to ask Ted. John is a very cerebral dude and he supplied me with several hard hitting, meaningful inquiries. Unfortunately, while I sat observing a freak show, my mind went black and I couldn’t recall the list. I drifted…
Welcome to my madness
A rickety wooden door with rusted metal hinges was halfway open. About thirty sheep congregated in a tight corner of the smelly two roomed barn. The sheep appeared to be in an edgy mood. Ted had one knee down on a cold dirt covered concrete floor. Boys’ names and years inscribed were hand painted all over the dingy white wall. Richard 63, Georgie 67, Koo Koo 69, and Larry 70 popped right out in bright red. Then our task master told me and two other boys to put on tan, grimy work gloves. He commanded each of us to catch a baby kitten. They were everywhere throughout the cinder block structure. I handed him a squirming, helpless little tike which he proceeded to dunk and hold down in an aluminum water bucket. As the last few air bubbles emitted from the striped cats nose, I watched in a quiet disbelief. Ted had a sick grimace on his face as he discarded the dead kitten into loose yellow straw. He shouted. “Next!” Another boy reluctantly gave him another whining kitty. It looked as if this baby cat sensed what was coming, and could smell death in the air. Teddy quickly smashed its skull with a large hammer. Blood poured out its nose and all wiggling ceased immediately. The lifeless, tiny carcass was also thrown to the straw covered floor. This process repeated until we couldn’t catch anymore. They were either all dead or had escaped into nooks and crannies. I stared hard at a mound of twisted kittens while our leader began a long winded justification to three stunned boys. He explained in his convincing fashion, that this exercise was necessary to keep the farm’s cat population under control. Our lesson from “Ned” occurred on one of my first days as a ten year old sheep farm hand. As I examined his face thirty years later, my gut knew he enjoyed dominating baby kittens. Is this how Ted viewed his victim Boy Scouts? On par with kittens which he could easily control? I wondered about this when I decided to break Ted’s pattern of small talk and get serious.
“I appreciate you allowing me to visit with you today Ted. The experiences I had with you as a boy caused me many difficulties and this meeting is intended to help me address these problems.” Ted swallowed slowly. The room went silent except for a steady tick, tock, tick, tock from a ramshackle wall clock. He attempted to look sincere after listening to my opening statement. “Look, I read your letter and am very sorry for anything that I did to hurt you and your brother. I will probably burn in hell for my actions.” Unfortunately, I wasn’t all that convinced by his attempt at a quick and easy apology. His words seemed empty to me; moreover I generally am a trusting, give you the benefit type of person. At this point, the Ned monster shocked me once again like he always did when I was a boy. I could not believe what I was witnessing, except then again—the king of odd sat ten feet in front of me. He began to pull and twist at his crotch with a fairly conspicuous motion. Man, this guy is a real masterpiece. Is he sexually aroused by my presence here? These were my prevailing thoughts in a bewildered state of mind. I moved on and asked Ted if he is a homosexual. “No, I’m not homosexual and I don’t believe in gay rights. Their cause is stupid. Even if you have had homosexual experiences—it doesn’t mean that you’re gay. Everyone has a percentage of heterosexual and homosexual inside of them. For example, any particular person could be 75% hetero and 25% homosexual at various times of their lives. These percentages could be applied to or be a part of any normal person.” I didn’t exactly know how to respond to his rationalization, or form of denial. However, I informed him I am 100% heterosexual, and have not had any sexual contact with males since being exposed to his deranged world. Regrettably, Ted’s relentless promotion of homosexual acts resulted in a very wayward scout troop. He routinely setup “Playgirl sessions” whereby his regulars gathered to review the current issue’s nude, male model centerfold. Many boys even engaged in sexual acts amongst each other without Ted’s presence. This behavior occurred almost anywhere on his property, on overnight excursions, and Troop 336 camping trips. On one bizarre camping trip in which he was the only adult present: Ned arranged a “circle jerk” whereby himself and about eight boys fondled each other while lying “under the stars” in close formation. He later verbalized that “the first circle jerk was a rousing success.” Clearly, our abnormal role model didn’t advocate the true meaning of Scouting.
How twisted was life for a boy, as one of “Teddy’s favorites?” When I was around twelve and a half years young, I developed a gray streak in the front of my hair, literally overnight. It resembled a white skunk streak against my dark brown hair. This condition brought more anxiety for me to deal with, as I was already picked on mercilessly by local boys, for being “Teddy’s pet.” Whenever I encountered kids at Little League games or other town gatherings, I invariably heard “where’s Ted?” or “how’s Teddy?” Even boys in the scout troop, whom were not part of his darlings group—abused me verbally, nonstop for being “a pet.” Hence, a new found gray patch on my head only exacerbated a dire situation. Amazingly, it reached a ridiculous point in this small, shallow town when I actually became vilified by adults. All of the anguishes because a sick pedophile felt compelled to make me the aim of his sexual gratification, and even worse, his love. Years later I ascertained that the origin, of this sudden sign of aging in a healthy twelve year old boy—was likely because of a series of traumatic events. Today at forty six years of age, I regularly color my gray streak (remainder of my hair is still dark brown) with Clairol Nice and Easy. Maybe some of it is vanity except I know deep within; I don’t want to be reminded of sad, empty boyhood days in Falls, Pennsylvania.
Ted’s eyelids began to flutter as he fixated down at the worn, circular braided rug. After another tense silence, he spoke. “I was very messed up in that period of my life. I was real insecure then and didn’t want to be rejected. I always did everything to please others.” I asked what drove him, to spend his entire life with young boys. “I used to like to teach you guys about astronomy and farming, and take you skiing and swimming. When I did these things, it gave me some pleasure and I felt better about myself.” Unfortunately, the confidence man neglected to address one significant detail of my question. I planned to regurgitate this issue later, except now I faced another challenge. My bladder felt full to capacity and I dealt with a serious pressure to urinate. It felt as if a raging creek had backed up in my lower abdomen. Yet this meeting held such intrigue and tension; there was zero time for a pee break. I also didn’t want to ask permission to use his bathroom. My pride was more vital because I wanted no part of any other rooms in his house. I opted to utilize my power of concentration and stifled the extreme pressure. At the same time I had a vivid recall of Ted’s mug, as he comforted me, when my childhood bedwetting problem was exposed on my first Boy Scout camp. I remembered with disgust, how he used my trouble to his sneaky advantage. These frustrations triggered a major cerebral journey back in time.
A Very Harrowing Night
It was a cool, August night when I first heard it. Pennsylvania katydids were playing their repetitive tune. A grotesque noise could be perceived outside, from inside his ground level basement. Earlier that week, Ned gathered up his inner circle for a tastee freeze run. He loved to drive his forest green Dodge van through Falls, to pick up each scout. Teddy rolled up to the kid’s house, and honk! Honk! Honk! His back hunched forward over a huge black steering wheel. The kid came tearing out of the house, and quickly jumped into his van via the right side sliding door. Our guru then carted us over to a country soft ice cream shop in Mill City, Pa. This particular evening, while we gorged our young faces with sundaes, he became very serious. Ted described a bizarre animal, which had been roaming woods around his property at night. He didn’t know what it was and couldn’t explain its loud, creepy, coughing sound. I began to get a large knot in my throat, as he intently spoke of “the beast which starts in the back woods and slowly moves to the front of my property.” That night, as soon as this nerve wracking noise resounded thru the basement, (the garage door was open) I knew it had to be “the beast.” Brother John, me and two other scouts were speechless while Ted calmly retrieved his twelve gauge shotgun. We clustered at an edge of the concrete and stared out into a pitch dark, eerie night. The monster lurked in the woods, about two hundred yards out. My head tingled as if my hair stood straight, while penetrating hacks blasted from nearby trees. I heard a clacking sound, as Ted pumped a shell into the Winchester’s chamber. He quietly gave us a list of marching orders and demanded complete silence. Next, our entourage proceeded off into a gloomy, foggy darkness. All four of us followed behind him in single file. I was first on Ted’s back, in control of a hefty flashlight. It would only be lit up when we detected “the beast” within about thirty yards of our position. My eyes adjusted to night as we treaded softly in wet grass by the “pole shed.” This is a large open building which houses farm tractors, hay baling machinery and a big old, red truck named “Ophelia.”(By none other than Ted) Shrieking became louder as our procession advanced closer to the tree line. While controlling my own shaking, I glanced back on John and the two boys. Their eyes were wide with fear, but no one uttered a sound. Ted whispered more orders. We would post here to wait for “the beast” to come out of the woods. Tension escalated even further, while the creature stalled in black terrain directly in front of us. I couldn’t discern any shadowy figure in the smoky forest—though the screech reverberated into my guts. Then, “the beast” gradually began to move away to our right, down the tree line. In a few minutes, it’s rasping, deep cough echoed lower and lower. Finally, miraculously, it was gone. Us four kids huddled close to our fearless leader and silently trekked back to Ted’s basement. We had all survived our first experience with a terror from beyond. Ted seemed quite stalwart, while carrying a sense of bravado I had never witnessed before. Now dazed and mystified, we exchanged excited conversation over “coke floats” in the upstairs kitchen. It was now midnight; the bewitching hour was upon us. I felt secure because Ted protected us, and was relieved we were all together. That late summer/fall of 1973 there were many similar incidents involving “the beast” from Ted’s back woods. We never saw it and didn’t come any closer to solving this enigma. Each time, I became very frightened, every single time—Ted consoled me. “The beast” always moved on a similar path, down the tree line (from left to right) for about twenty minutes. Always, the hideous noise faded off into distance, when the trees became quiet once again. We yearned for an exact answer to our private mystery. I have yet to hear anything which resembles it since. Ned speculated it could be a wild dog, or rabid fox. Years later, John convinced me “the beast” episodes are just further evidence of “Ted’s brilliant con jobs.” He believed Ted rigged an elaborate system of wiring and loudspeakers out in the woods. Somehow, the deviant may have procured an evil sound from a recording of some type. John’s theory explains the repetitive movement of this ghastly sound—on every occurrence. Do I know for sure if these events were manufactured? No, however Ned’s profession is engineering and he also possesses competent knowledge of conduction principles. I do know beyond doubt, he glowed with enchantment as soon as “the beast” arrived. Moreover, I’ll pass on describing his bedroom shenanigans, which always ensued afterward. Today, it is obvious who the real beast is; I can assure you it isn’t the one lurking in a dark, scary forest.
There is a well concealed secret in this sleepy Susquehanna River town (And surrounding area.) Certainly, many parents (mine included) and locals were victimized by Ted’s unparalleled snow job. However potential consequences surely deterred various townies from confronting reality, and reporting the clandestine serial molester. I accept some responsibility for not striving to have him criminally charged in 1989. During this period, I had relocated back to Northeastern Pennsylvania from New Jersey, only to discover that Ted was still very active with Troop 336 from Centermoreland, Pa. Amazingly, everything had remained status quo. He continued to supervise Webelos meetings, camping trips, as well as his illustrious swim program—more on this pathetic scheme later. Upon gathering this information, myself, John and another of Teddy’s casualties from the seventies contacted the Boy Scout Council in Wilkes Barre, Pa. In 89, I was twenty eight and acutely aware Ned had done a magnificent number on me, plus scores of other pre pubescent boys. My brother and I were shocked to find his lad assembly line, well oiled and thriving. Our trio decided the travesty had gone beyond far enough. We attested our victim hood, to the executive leader of the BSA Council in Wilkes Barre. The director suggested that I also contact Wyoming County police authorities. (Troop 336 was located in Wyoming County.) He felt there could be a high probability Ted was still sexually active, and a fresh case initiated. Unfortunately, I made a poor decision since I neglected to finish the job properly. I had recently begun an insurance career in the area, moreover was apprehensive of potential negative publicity. That summer, as Troop 336 camped at Camp Acahela in the Pennsylvania Pocono Mountains—a nice surprise loomed for Ted. Timing couldn’t be any better. Amongst many other local scout troops (in broad daylight), Ned suffered serious embarrassment while being ejected in handcuffs by council leaders. As per usual, Mr. Tantrum did not take this event very well. I was told that he angrily requested several times, to be allowed “to face my accusers.” The very next day a devastated pervert showed up at my mother’s door, on route 92 in Falls, Pa. Ted correctly assumed that a Smalanskas had something to do, with his new crushing problem. My mother, a principled and religious woman, was only recently informed (in the last several years), of a maestro like performance done on her two sons. Esther (also a renowned area lead singer) had entrusted Ted with her boys, and became overwhelmed with guilt. During the three year period (69—71) when Ted stealthily moved in on her sons, both of mom’s parents and two siblings passed away. Her emotions pushed her over a depressive cliff. My old man did not fair much better. His intelligent brother Bill was killed in a winter car accident in 1956, also his exuberant father “Big Pete” died of MS in 1965. Bob Sr. felt compelled to help his mother Mae, run the well known Long Pine Inn (in addition to holding a full time job.) With our family life dysfunctional—the predator smelled blood, and circled. Our parents enrolled us in scouting, plus allowed us to partake in extracurricular activities with Ted; merely to improve our boyhood. They believed he would be a good mentor. After all he was a respected Penn State professor, a church going man who seemed to be very honorable. Ted clearly train wrecked their trust beyond belief. Except in his most galling move, he confronted my mother in late June, 1989. Ted repeatedly berated her. “Why, Mrs. Smalanskas? Have I ever done anything to offend you? I’m sorry if I did anything to offend you. Why? But Bob sent me a nice letter after my mother died. Why? Why? I don’t understand this.” After cautiously observing him rant (through the locked screen door), Esther eventually responded. “Ted, are you denying that you ever sexually molested Robert and John? Are you going to stand there and tell me this never occurred? Robert sent you the letter only because he cared for your mother. I should not have trusted you with my two sons?” From there, Ted rambled on and mumbled incoherently for a few minutes, then stumbled off to his Dodge. Following the confrontation on our front porch, my mom told me. “Ted’s eyes were black and dead. His eyes looked like shark eyes. And I could see his heart beating right thru his white tee shirt!” At this point, a new directive went into effect. Ted Dreisbach was forbidden to have any future participation or affiliation with Boy Scouts of America. He became an outcast forever. In my naïve mindset, our action against him rendered a victory. So I let it go and decided to move on with life. Now I Robert T. Smalanskas, stomach responsibility that a serial sexual predator lives a comfortable, quiet lifestyle. Furthermore, he is free of felony incarceration (never a charge or a day in prison for at least 100 boy victims and another 200 parents—in my estimation.) However Boy Scouts of America surely let our community down as well. I have often wondered why the Scouting Council did not pursue criminal action against Dreisbach. Why should it have been my task alone, to report him to authorities? Just recently, I discovered the grim reality of BSA sexual predator policies. Yes, Ted is free as a hawk which soars over massive cliffs, down by the Susquehanna River Bridge.
Again, what about any scout leaders, parents or local residents whom did suspect in their souls a wicked truth; yet committed to silence? It is very well documented. A sexually and mentally abused child will invariably lug distress through adulthood. Consequences of pedophile abuse are atrocious and ruin many, many promising lives. As adults, victims will endure substantial mental, behavioral, and relational inadequacies. High percentages suffer from any addiction you can name. Their self esteem is blown out like a glass window in a tornado. Today, I am telling this true story only because of mercy from Jesus Christ, heavenly saints and guardian angels. There is little doubt the boyhood torture I once survived, nearly killed me as a man. It is a miracle—that I am not homeless or even incarcerated. Countless desperate terrifying nights were spent—in Atlantic City, NJ, Scranton, PA and Phoenix, AZ, wandering streets alone, in my chemically induced misery. To this date, my mother states emphatically that my brother John has never fully recovered mentally. (Thankfully, he never resorted to the same escapism measures as I did.) Although always a good family man and an outstanding attorney, John has withdrawn to become relatively distant from people and society. Unfortunately at a crucial juncture in time, both of us could have been saved, yet were not. In the early years when Ted began to weave his twisted web around our family, another parent removed all of his boys from scouting. He forbade them from having any further contact with Ted. It could not have been any more devastating to our manipulator. He went into a deep depression for months—because these boys were part of his inner circle. Ned always referred to this incident as the “big blowup.” He fashioned a tall tale about the reasons it occurred. Years later, everything became quite obvious. An observant male parent caught on to Ned’s game, he decided to bail his kids out. Sadly for whatever justification, this father remained quiet. From that fateful day forward, for us and numerous others, just despair and danger loomed on the horizon—in the form of a giant thunderhead.
Ted pricked his ears while twisting his neck sharply to the right. He asked inquisitively. “Did you hear that noise Bob?” Then he rose from the wooden rocker and staggered back to the kitchen. I observed as Ted paced around, struggling to hear whatever perturbed him. He came back with a familiar dazed look. Here is some serious déjà vu, I mused to my amused self. It reminded me of years past, when he always checked obscure noises in the farmhouse or heard “a clunking sound” in his Dodge vehicle. I guess paranoia had certainly increased at seventy plus years old. Obviously, he is still consumed by psychological issues, and has abundant reasons to constantly watch over his shoulder. I told Ted that his steady committal of sexual relations with young boys may be a mental illness—equivalent to a cancer of his mind, so to speak. Ned showed me another blank, nobody’s home stare. “Or, do you think you are possessed by the devil?” I queried. He answered me with a matter of fact tone. “I spoke with my priest about this and he said it was a possibility.” I decided to hammer him further. “Were you afraid of getting caught?” “Yes.” He spoke softly, with batted eyes. “Ted, do you realize that you are extremely lucky?” “What do you mean?” He requested, sheepishly. “I mean that you should be in prison now, today.” He then, solemnly uttered. “I would probably be dead.” I emphatically suggested he must atone for all of the pain he inflicted—some how, some way. Ted quickly informed me he has no intention of self incrimination. Also, he really didn’t know what could be done to make amends. “Maybe I could work on a help line or do some kind of community service.” He mentioned, casually. Ned’s aura began to get under my skin. He spoke some of the right words, apologized several times, yet it all seemed hollow for me. Even though I procured basic admissions from him, he sported an underlying air of denial. I ventured into his territory with a goal of reaching some kind of finality, except he made my purpose exceedingly difficult. I very well knew Ted placated me on the issue of reparation and it irked me. It was now well over three hours into my visitation. Concentrating on the duty at hand became serious mental labor. Stifling humid air inside his den punished me while my brain pounded against its skull. I felt queasy. Nevertheless, I knew I had to continue enduring my fight. Instincts were now enlightening me that a long interview with an infamous sexual predator (on his evil turf), twenty plus years past—would certainly be a helpful story, and rarely occurred in today’s society (if ever.) Especially a cunning pervert who negatively excelled to this unparalleled magnitude. My exhausted mind set off on its own course. I wished of being immersed in a blue pool of cool, refreshing water.
A Pedophile’s Nirvana
A shrill whistle echoed round dingy tiled walls. I leapt aggressively with legs spread into the deep end. A red haired boy’s head, bobbed in water roughly forty feet from me. My freestyle strokes were smooth as I advanced toward him. He thrashed around, splashing water like a maniac in frenzy. When I swam within three feet of him, I stopped treaded water and calmly instructed. “Settle down, I’m going to swim you to the side. You’ll be in soon.” The kid’s face was now bright red, nearly red as his hair. Fear transmitted thru his sharp blue eyes while he panicked further. He quickly made a desperate lunge to latch onto my left arm and shoulder. I pulled free, dove under water to his knees, turned his body one hundred eighty degrees and rose to the surface. His back was now facing me. With the boy fighting madly, I firmly reached around his right shoulder, across the chest and jammed my right hand into his left armpit. I maneuvered him up on top of my right hip, to begin a steady side stroke back toward the far edge. Several feet from the perimeter, my arms burned from exertion. I couldn’t catch a deep breath because the boy was now dead weight on my body. While gulping a mouthful of unwanted chlorine water, I finally seized the tan edge. A whistle blasted again. “All right Smiley! (Ned’s nickname for me) That’s the way you bring him in!” Ned’s voice bellowed off poolside walls, as numerous other scouts observed from bleachers. Ted patrolled the Olympic pool deck resembling a naval officer on a warship. (He did have this experience, after all) He held super firm control of our weekly troop swim program—it was his baby, no doubts. His white tee shirt fit tautly over a hefty protruding gut and a big whistle dangled on top of it. Ted’s black swim trunks were loose fitting, his bare feet exposed ten nasty looking, yellowish toenails. I had just successfully completed one of the requirements for lifesaving merit badge. The red headed scout had been acting out as a drowning victim. When we climbed from the water, the kid showed me a devilish grin. I watched Ted strut by and blow his whistle hard again. “All right you guys! Times up! Everybody hit the shower!” Boy Scouts quickly scampered up steps into an old, worn locker room. All of our clothes lay scattered in little heaps across a faded brown tile floor. Ted gawked as everyone striped off their swim trunks. Now naked, our herd of boys clustered inside a tight, ten by fifteen foot shower room. Most of the shower heads malfunctioned so water dribbled out unevenly. About thirty nude boys, ranging in ages ten to seventeen packed sardine style into this unusual hose down. Teddy gleefully shouted, while lathering up. “Make sure you guys soap up real good and rinse all that chlorine off!” Then our weird instructor proceeded with idle chatter regarding the night’s swimming activities. He hollered encouraging words to some boys and gossiped about others after they left. Teddy loved to hang out in the wet, soapy naked room after our Tuesday night swim. He lived for these pleasurable moments with his crew of boys. I never saw him any happier. As I matured, I observed that he would always be half aroused during his twenty minute shower fest. Undoubtedly, the master’s confidence game reached its pinnacle—when he arranged a weekly troop swim program. Ted was officially the Webelos leader within Troop 336; and a trusting exterior acting job convinced other scout leaders to allow him to implement (and keep) a Tuesday night swim clinic. Certainly deep within, he gloated—for this scheme would pacify his insatiable desires, for years to come. Parents and fellow scout leaders bought Teddy’s sour bill of goods like a blind man in a tainted food market. (Or did some locals just glance sideways?) He cloaked his corrupted program for approximately twenty, unimaginable years. The start date was in the mid to late sixties, and I believe it operated until Ted’s ouster from scouting in 1989. The ultimate hoax ran at St. Michael’s school for delinquent boys, on route 92, a mile down the hill from my childhood house. St Michael’s officials did not have any knowledge of Ted’s con, as they were not involved with the course in any fashion. Troop 336 was just allowed to use their swimming facilities. Obviously, teaching swimming and life saving is an important facet of scouting. These troop swim lessons provided numerous benefits to young Boy Scouts. Hundreds of boys were taught to swim proficiently, while many also learned important aspects of water safety. Had it not been for Ted’s ulterior motives, his program would have been extremely successful. Regrettably, victories his teachings achieved were destroyed a thousand times over, by a manipulation of his favorite pupils. Ted’s project reached even another negative high point, when he started skinny dip swims at the pool. Every so often, he dimmed lights and allowed us boys to frolic around the pool, nude. These bizarre events occurred while many fathers sat on bleachers, open mouthed as their boys pranced by with erections. Yes, it is beyond amazement how an entire rural community sanctioned or looked away during this ridiculous, adult supervised behavior. When I reflect on our Boy Scouts of America sponsored humiliation, my head automatically shakes with disbelief. For over two decades, Ted sized up (literally) and procured scores of boy victims from his evil mastermind. No one ever helped us. Why were all the attending adults, entirely clueless? Did they even care to know what was really happening?
There was one last, major item on my agenda for today’s visit. While an eleven thru thirteen year old boy, I could not exist anywhere near normal. Ted constantly pressed to spend time with me. His world enveloped me as volcanic ash would, after a spectacular eruption. He convinced me to leave junior high football mid season, for a two week holiday in England and France. My parents were leveled by a stinging con to accommodate his cross Atlantic kidnapping. In addition, Ned wrecked my Little League Baseball All Star experience. He threw relentless baby tantrums when told I would be missing Acahela Scout Camp that summer. (I did eventually cave in to his demands.) He had a continuous habit of pouting with a sad sack puss when matters did not go his way. Then the supreme dork paced, head hanging down for hours—inside or outdoors, it really didn’t make a difference. Since I was a thoughtful (now brainwashed kid), I always tried to console him but generally with little avail. This is how daily life rolled when you were Teddy’s number one pet. For the time being, my plan was to get him to open up some more. I wanted desperately to know further about how his twisted brain functions—why is he a controlling, manipulative sexual predator? I spoke. “Ted, do you remember the day when you left me in your car outside Georgie’s house?” He nodded. “I remember.” When I was very young, while Ted first began to court me, we went to the house of an older boy. It was a cold, gray Pennsylvania winter afternoon. When Ted came out, he resembled a pale white Halloween zombie. On one of my first weird days with him, (they were beginning to accumulate) he jammed the Dodge into gear as tears flowed in his eyes. I vividly recall watching his every move, asking why he was sad. Ted elaborated on today’s new topic. “As I looked at you that day, I realized that here is a little boy who is lost, who needs attention and would appreciate my attention.” His statement floored me. I shook my head with disdain. Basically, in a quick twenty minute span, Ted had been blown out by this boy’s mother. The mother lectured him and stated her son did not want to be an Eagle Scout. She also emphatically said her boy didn’t want to pursue an education in engineering; he only participated in everything to please Ted. (Later that day, Ted had told me everything the mother said, I guess he needed someone to console him—an innocent, fresh ten year old boy would offer him the best comfort.) She then quickly plucked her son from Ted’s wicked spider web, while unknowingly thrusting me into the center. My predecessor was about sixteen years old; he had grown weary of Ned’s suffocating control and ulterior (sexual) motives. Luckily for master, he had already groomed his new replacement. Sadly for me, on that fateful dreary winter day in 1971—stars and planets were not aligned in my favor. I questioned him further. “Ted, were you ever sexually abused?” He quickly shook his head. “No, never in my lifetime, my uncle always brow beat me though. He told me I was stupid, and would never amount to anything.” Ted rambled on further about a tense relationship with his uncle. He attributed some of his adult behaviors and actions to repeated verbal abuse from his uncle. “Are you sexually active with any boys currently?” I watched him squirm in his rocker as he spoke. “No, no way. I couldn’t do anything if I wanted to. I’m not physically able to do anything.” “You don’t need an erection to perform sexual acts, Ted.” He responded. “No, I’m not doing that sort of thing anymore.” Whatever, I thought. He’s lying, my instincts feel otherwise. Immediately after this exchange, two high school aged boys knocked at the sliding glass door. Ned jumped up then scurried to the door. “Hey Ted! Can we swim in your pool?” He gruffly answered them, acting with an annoyed tone. “All right, hold on you guys. I have to get the cover off first. I’ll be right out.” Teddy looked at me. “Damn kids. It’s my cousin’s grandson, thinks he can come over anytime to swim.” Ted went outside to deal with his pool duties, as I pondered on a familiar scene. How convenient, I thought. Timings great, nothings changed here. He still as boys hanging out at his place. I gathered my feelings, while observing the interaction outside. Back at age thirteen, I grew resentful of my captor. My junior high football abilities gave me increased confidence, while I also began to notice girls. Most importantly, I recognized that my relationship with Ted was abnormal and very immoral. It would be imperative for my ultimate survival, plus my sanity—that I escape his torturous world. Even at my inexperienced age, I knew there was no other option. Fortunately for me and my brother, Teddy already had a complete system in place. It operates more efficiently than an automobile factory in Japan. Ned thoroughly understands the inner mechanisms of a boy’s mind. He knows when his prey attains age thirteen or fourteen, it will become less impressionable. The expert correctly deduced—I would tire of his vice like control. Around this time, a cute white haired boy became the primary object of Ned’s attention and affection. The mean black spider slowly spun his sticky web around this tender ten year old. Soon thereafter, I perceived my giant spider systematically releasing me, out to secondary levels of his all entangling web. However I would have to fight, to endure further significant trauma before I could finally break free. Ted always became emotionally involved with his quarry.
For a hard twenty plus years, a nagging question has haunted me. Certainly, thousands of sexual abuse victims have experienced a similar, negative curiosity about themselves. There is little doubt concerning one issue which crushes our self esteem the most. I vowed to question him further—even if my final queries aroused vile, disgusting memories from the depths of my soul. I desperately required an answer; not only for myself but for every other adult casualty of pedophilia. Maybe I can give others some serenity from their nightmare as well, I thought. Upon my new line of questioning, Ted downplayed his relationship with the little white haired boy. In fact, he also denied there was any sexual interaction with this boy. Now my dander arose so I brought forth a key incident to the master. “Ted, one weekend we were baling hay, I had gone upstairs to your bedroom in the afternoon. I found stained tissues on top of your bed. I knew Bobby was staying with you that weekend.” Even at this young age, I was a curious kid. I suspected Ted was up to no good with the new boy and went into his upstairs lair to investigate. The scene is forever etched in memory. Afternoon sunlight streamed through the miniature, Cape Cod dormer window. One quarter of the bed illumined, evidence appeared in plain view. I even picked up the dried yellowish tissues to be certain of their semen residue. Thankfully, a clear vision of this crucial incident aided me in revealing his significant falsehood. He couldn’t deny it any further; my interrogation would shift to a higher gear. After hearing my last statement, Ted gazed at me with his familiar blank stare then quietly spoke. “I guess I was messed up at the time and could not control my actions and desires.” Then the tyrant admitted, finally, that the cute white haired boy had taken my place. “Ted, how can you just move from one boy to another?” I asked, with disbelief. Once more, he responded with a redundant answer. Ned would not sincerely admit he had mental sickness, or any behavioral problem. He fought for pride as a drowning man fights for a life buoy. This is not working, I brooded. I’m growing weary of his lame, partial admissions. Only when cornered with concrete evidence is he being truthful and somewhat repentant. I had also come to Ted’s den to somehow offer forgiveness for his heinous destruction of my childhood (and latent impacts as an adult.) This conflicted philosophy originated from my sometimes dormant, Christian values. Though I despised him, I was prepared to absolve him. Ted’s demeanor made my intention very difficult. I pressed deeper into hell. Memories of my next question fomented nausea. I still get a bitter puke taste today if I recall it. “Ted, there was a day when we were working in your cellar. You knelt down in front of me, hugged me tight and proceeded to force your tongue into my mouth for what seemed an eternity. Then you told me that you loved me. I can still vividly remember the way you looked at me. Do you realize or comprehend how disgusting and twisted that was for me to cope with?” He sat in silence for a few moments. “Yes.” He uttered. “Surely I will burn in hell for doing that to you. I am very sorry for everything I did to you and your brother.” The stifling August day wound down further. His negative aura and environment continued to sap major amounts of my limited energy. It had been five brutal hours revisiting him; I now became graced by an epiphany. My efforts were being rewarded by the omnipresent Lord from above. I truly, decisively understood that I was not responsible for years of molestation. In addition, just because this marathon episode occurred—doesn’t mean I ever wanted it to. The proof is beyond dispute; all of us boys were categorically brainwashed into believing Ted’s lifestyle was normal. Yet the reality of pedophilia is quite abnormal. I now comprehend why I could not leave his bizarre world earlier. As unwilling members of Ned’s strange cult, we boys were trained to an absolute secrecy. We somehow adapted to an insane environment (Sexual abuse experts have labeled this as “The Child Abuse Accommodation Syndrome.”) The master was extremely powerful plus at my immature age, I did not own strength to oppose. It is imperative for every adult victim of sexual abuse to fully understand the truth. Countless numbers of hurt people blame themselves, and suffer as adults because of misplaced guilt. It would be wise to end any woeful assumptions, furthermore believe. You surely encountered a force for which you were no match. It wasn’t your fault. Had I not ventured on my mission, my absolute finale would never have been reached. I don’t understand why, but hopefully others can take from my experience. Ted Dreisbach has run amuck with impunity in Northeastern Pennsylvania for at least forty years. Again, his victim trail certainly runs in triple figures. Scores of men today, by no means, have mentally recovered from his selfish abuse of their bodies. As Boy Scouts, Ted taught many of us the sport of skiing since he arranged frequent ski trips. He instructed me to be a good skier and I continue skiing at a high level today. If not for his efforts, I probably wouldn’t have been introduced to this exciting sport. For over twenty five years, skiing has given me solace from childhood induced depression. I now state an ultimate ironic twist: A sport I thoroughly cherish was brought to me—by the man who launched me into life, bound with heavy chains.
A decisive moment came upon me quickly, like a monsoon lightning storm would. I wanted him to feel pain—as I did on that horrendous day in 1974. Intense recollections caused me to break a cold sweat and sent my mind reeling. When I began to describe the most evil day of my life to Ted, a day he horrifically perpetrated upon me—I found myself back in time, standing beside a hulking hay tunnel. Earlier in the day, I was at the Falls baseball field practicing with the “teeners” squad. It was a clear, fresh spring Saturday morning. While catching fly balls in right field, I noticed Ted driving by in his green Dodge Dart. He drove by slowly, very methodically past our field. Next, he rolled back up from the opposite direction. I saw his expressionless face inside the car and my stomach instantly tightened. Uh oh, I thought. Ted’s in one of his moods again. He continued to stalk baseball practice, by cruising down then up the access road for an entire hour. Finally he parked his car beside the field, sat still and stared off into oblivion. As usual, he embarrassed me in front of the other kids; they correctly suspected that something was wrong. Once practice finished, I made a crucial mistake of approaching Ned’s four door tin can. “Do the Hustle” blared in close vicinity from a boy’s transistor radio. “What’s up Ted?” I nervously, yet cheerfully asked. He sat motionless, gazing straight ahead with a vacant look to his face. He said nothing and wouldn’t look at me. I asked several times. “What’s wrong Ted? Did I do something wrong?” Incredibly, immediately thereafter, I was somehow sitting in his front seat, being driven toward a fake sheep farm. Except this farm had real alfalfa fields, an actual barn, authentic sheep and very tangible hay tunnels. A hay tunnel is a bulky, open wooden frame which stands about six feet high. It has a length of approximately twenty feet. During hay baling season we would stack bales all over these wooden frames so it dried properly. Ted remained silent as he maneuvered up his dirt, quarter mile driveway. I instinctively sensed my immediate future was in serious doubt. He had recently been very obsessed with me, more than ever before. I knew Ted did not appreciate the reality, that I had taken intense notice to young girls around town. At our most recent Troop 336 Boy Scout meeting, Ted had paced (with a sad puss) all over the entire church grounds for the duration, and did not even participate. I knew his odd behavior occurred because he troubled over me. (He was basically jealous of a thirteen year old girl.) My captor then stopped directly in front of his giant pole shed—which houses other make believe farm accessories. Next, he jerked himself to the steering wheel and gritted his teeth. I had seen his sick grimace before, but not to this extent. Being in Ted’s company always meant an inevitable anxiety trip, now it felt much worse than any previous episode. I tried to control my body from shaking. He held this queer position a little longer, grunted then exited his vehicle. Ned proceeded to stomp directly toward the nearest hay tunnel. He still refrained from speaking. I reluctantly followed him into the right side of the shed. Early afternoon sunlight flickered in, allowing me to focus on it. A shiny black barrel captured my complete concentration. I tagged along closer as he moved directly next to the hulking structure. Every emotion I knew raced inside my youthful veins. Since I had already hunted with my dad for two seasons, there was no mistaking what Ted had lashed on the wood. At this captivating moment, I could not speak. I tried, except no words would formulate. Ted adjusted closer to his twelve gauge shotgun which was tautly roped, horizontally on the frame’s side. A cut of twine dangled from the trigger. Not coincidently, this Winchesters height from the ground was the same as Ted’s eyeballs—about 5’7”. I gawked at the varnished wooden butt of the weapon, as he deliberately moved his face within point blank range of the 1 ½” opening. With the chamber locked closed, Ned calmly reached for his dangling string. My vocal cords suddenly aroused, I hollered, as tears streamed down my cheeks. “Ted, please stop! Why, are you doing this? Please don’t do this anymore!” He snapped back, as a cobra would before striking. “You know goddamn well why I’m doing this! What’s going on with that girl down at the field? I thought we had a special thing going on here.” I answered, while he continued to post in front of the shotgun barrel. “We are friends, Ted. I don’t understand why you’re going to kill yourself.” He gazed over at me with his dark, lonesome dog eyes. “Because, I feel I’m going to lose you soon.” It sure looked as if Ted was all set to test his elaborate suicide rigging. His face contorted into a grotesque form then several guttural grunts followed. I prepared myself for a blast, and the inevitable brain and blood splattering. Tensions increased to palpable heights as my link with time, ceased. After many minutes of this suspense, he bellowed. “God damn it!” The maniac released his gold colored twine and stormed off into a manure laden alfalfa field. Like a brainwashed idiot, I quickly ran behind to reassure and coddle him further. Ned made certain to march on the right side of the field by the tree line. He did not want his mother, a nice lady who lived at the house, to observe any of his psychosis. Ted’s hands were folded behind his back while as per normal, his chin hung down low. He wore a straw hat, a tight white tee shirt taut around his gut, farmer jeans and black work boots. I pondered a dire situation. Why don’t I just let him blow his head off? Or better, maybe I yank the cord for him? My daytime nightmare would not relent. Ned quickly about faced, only to quicken his stride back toward the pole shed. Spring buds emitted from teenaged maple trees. I somehow noticed their beauty, in a fleeting moment of freedom. Birds chirped away without a care in the world on this stunning April afternoon. I looked up to view my bright red, huge “SMILEY 72” inscription on the shiny aluminum roof. All over again, Ted’s face became void of emotion. Unfortunately I blamed myself for his depressed state of mind, as I continued to plead with him to settle down. “Please, Ted. Please stop! I don’t want you to kill yourself.” Ned barked out in a cold tone of voice. “You need to feel like I do. Soon you will learn not to screw with my feelings anymore.” Our procession quickly moved back toward the powerful twelve gauge—now about fifty yards away. The shotgun was out of my sight, yet it consumed all of my gruesome thoughts. The roped weapon terrified me; it loomed, waiting for us to return. My mind envisioned Ted’s headless torso crumpling to a dirt floor. I hated him thousand fold and felt panic while processing everything in frenzy. How will I ever escape from this horrible predicament? He spoke directly at me in his bitter, low nasal voice. “All right Smiley, always remember that this will be your fault.” The wacko removed his straw hat, placed it on top of the wood tunnel while steadily repositioning in front of his death mechanism. I watched, anticipating in a solemn disbelief. What will I tell Ted’s mother? Why don’t I just start walking away? Ned stood at attention, absolutely motionless in front of his killing machine with teeth clenched. His eyes were an anthracite coal black. I observed his right arm as it methodically stretched for the hay twine. He held it firm for what seemed an eternity. I waited quietly for the blast. Finally my torturer groaned and backed away, for the second time. He cried out. “I just can’t do it!” Tears welled around his eyeballs. Dejected, Ted slowly walked back toward the same alfalfa field. His anger had turned to sadness. In shock now, I followed, feeling numb everywhere. We began a marathon exercise of repetition. As he walked around the property in random circles, I reassured his fragile ego. Each time Ted stepped in front of his gore trap; I filled with trepidation. Our bizarre routine continued far into late afternoon twilight. To present time, without doubt—this was one of the most grueling experiences of my life. I have little recollection of how things actually ended on that life altering day; since I have no doubt my mind transitioned to a trance like state. I also cannot remember how many times he stepped in front of his suicide machine; nor can I evoke how many hours we paced surrounding fields. I can’t remember for sure if I ended up in his bedroom, (strong sick possibility) or how or when I got back home. Thankfully, Angels from Heaven prevented my complete nervous breakdown. Many years later, as I replayed the infamous “shotgun day’s” horrid flashbacks over (and over) in my memory—I came to an astonishing revelation. Ted had never intended to take his life in front of my naïve, youthful eyes. The scheme was just another cog in his massive, iron wheel of dominance. Ned knew during my punishment session, he would replace me with the timid white haired boy. However, the lord of flies made me suffer, because of his own mental derangement. I believe he may have used this same scripted con on other Boy Scouts as well. Ted sat in stunned silence as I finished my depressing account. I asked, even pleaded again. “Ted, why? Why did you stage this sick suicide act on me? Do you have any comprehension of the consequences you created?” He appeared ashamed while yet again staring at the soiled rug. “Look, I’m very sorry for what I did that day. I couldn’t control my actions back then.”
Twenty seven years later, after reliving my boyhood, organ wrenching ordeals in the exact evil lair—I once more needed help from the Lord in Heaven. The fleeting joy of epiphany I experienced an hour earlier, had faded into the all knowing walls. My spirit is wounded—I want to die, I thought. I gazed at him long and hard. Ted fixated on his feet in silence. My conscious began a conversation with itself. Who is he? What is he? Do I hate him, or do I pity him? This man projected mine, and multitudes of other innocent boys’ lives to entirely different trajectories. He crushed our souls while catapulting us into life conjoined with ominous clouds. There are thousands like Ted Dreisbach in America—except he may have increased his victims’ mental anguish to a novel, more complicated level. Every pedophile is insidious, every molestation a tragedy beyond doubt. However, Ted’s life long obsession with young flesh incorporated a vast, sophisticated array of mind games. He may certainly be one of a kind. Remarkably he never paid a day, not even a minute; except maybe (although doubtful) in his own self created hell. Ted broke the silence. “Listen Bob, I’m probably not going to keep your letter around the house.” I asked him why not? “I don’t feel that I should incriminate myself, and well, I just don’t see a need to keep it.” I didn’t have a retort and had had enough of him. Even yet, I wrestled with my mental dilemma of forgiveness, while acutely questioning if Ted is still infesting virgin boys today. I stood for the first time in five hours. It was time to escape from his forlorn castle. My legs wobbled and my urinary tract burned with pain. I was lightheaded as my head pounded like a jackhammer in a construction zone. Ted rose from his rocker. He nervously escorted me to the patio door. I staggered outside, desperately seeking fresh air. I believe I said goodbye to him, but can’t remember for sure. Down on the driveway, as I leaned against my white rental sedan, I watched him flash me a peace sign from his patio deck. I guess Ted thought all was well between us now. My car rolled back down his dusty, secret filled road. The auto practically drove itself again, away from the den of the beast. “I just couldn’t do it, I just couldn’t.” I said aloud as the car moved off his property onto the macadam road. Then I smiled a big smile as the end result of the day burst inside my conscious. “Today I revisited the beast and I’m free of him—at last, and forever.”
For understanding beyond my grasp, this never told bizarre story would have died with me. For whatever reason, the burden of exposing it became my destiny. I leave a myriad of experiences untold, while scores of others whom were also cruelly impacted by Ted Dreisbach—remain reticent. It took me numerous years to summon a courage within to revisit the beast; additionally until August of 2005, to gather the initiative—to portray our shared tragedy. Nationwide, it is my sincere hope that many victims of predatory sexual abuse—will too become empowered to tell their harrowing stories. These revelations can be therapeutic, as victims may possibly bring the criminal to justice, and also prevent other children from being harmed. It has become imperative that everyday people unite, to destroy the United States epidemic of pedophilia. Modern day pedophiles are changing their tactics by utilizing advances in internet and computer technology. Today, relentless sick predators troll for your children via internet social sites. They reel in perplexed, naïve pre teenagers with clever communication skills, plus promises of friendship. Dateline NBC, Chris Hansen and the watchdog group Perverted Justice have done an excellent job of exposing internet predatory tactics.iii However the scourge of the 21st Century will require diligence from every living set of eyes and ears, if it is ever to be truly vanquished. Remember, some keen observers in NE Pennsylvania remarkably became blind and mute for forty years; the consequences of their silence are now revealed. If you witness or hear something unusual, your gut feeling will reign. Please speak out, or it’s an assurance—in good conscience you won’t forever hold your peace. In 1978, I earned Boy Scouts of America’s distinguished Eagle Scout honor. Today in 2007, I renounce my Eagle Scout award as well as all prior association with BSA. The organization has been historically inept at protecting its members, (young impressionable boys) from the incessant infiltration of pedophiles within its leadership ranks. On June 28, 2000, in United States Supreme Court case BSA vs. Dale, the highest court ruled Boy Scouts of America had a right, to exclude an avowed homosexual activist from a scoutmaster position.iv BSA states in the March/ April 2001 issue of Scouting Magazine: “The BSA does not equate homosexuality with pedophilia, but neither avowed homosexuals nor pedophiles are appropriate role models for Scouting youth.”v On the surface this development contains positive undertones. Unfortunately, since the inception of BSA in 1910, the organization has not conducted effective background checks of potential scout leaders, nor has BSA implemented proper supervisory methods of its existing scout leaders. In addition, BSA has an infamous marathon history, of neglecting to report suspected sexual predators (among its leadership) to police authorities. Attorney Timothy Kosnoff, of Seattle, Washington was the first attorney to acquire, and analyze confidential Boy Scouts of America sexual abuse files. Thousands of records exposed a disturbing, widespread problem. Kosnoff determined that for the last fifty years—BSA has been silently dismissing scout leaders for suspected sexual abuse, at a rate of one every three days!viAlarmingly, this equates to over 6000 scout leaders having been cast out since the 1950’s. Pedophilia experts have estimated that an average unchecked predator can afflict approximately one hundred victims over a lifetime. Given this notorious lax record of BSA regarding pedophiles, another costly dynamic must be considered. Certainly by applying common sense, furthermore a concept of large numbers, surely thousands of predators whom committed sexual crimes as BSA leaders—were never purged from scouting. If 6000 pedophiles were caught, how many thousand weren’t? Drawing on these figures, while including my own experience and knowledge of the subject—it is highly probable hundreds of thousands of boys have been sexually abused as Boy Scouts. In Scouting Magazine of March/April 2001, BSA makes the following statement: “Despite misleading headlines and erroneous news reports, the facts reaffirm Scouting’s record as the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.”vii Ironically, the national group which promises to instill positive attributes in America’s boys is having a direct opposite effect, by negatively impacting high percentages of our youth. Parents of young boys ought to carefully consider the hazards, before allowing your sons to participate in Boy Scouts. Interviewing local troop leaders prior to moving forward on a decision would be a positive first step. Ask detailed questions about every aspect of troop activities. Inquire on procedures regarding overnight trips, moreover request information about all adult males who may be present. Parents can never complete enough due diligence, if your kids are to enjoy a successful Scouting career without peril. If your son is already enrolled in Boy Scouts, it’s not too late to utilize the above mentioned tactics. Recognize the current BSA system is a magnet for pedophiles craving companionship. While scouting can offer many skill sets and positive experiences for boys, Boy Scouts of America must finally operate on its own malignant tumor. BSA must institute a comprehensive, national policy change to combat pedophilia and homosexuality within the organization. A Supreme Court victory does not suffice. As Attorney Kosnoff aptly states on his website : “It is time that the BSA tell the truth to parents and scouts about the size of the problem and the unique characteristics of Scouting that make it particularly vulnerable to infiltration by pedophiles. It is time the BSA appropriately educate scouts and parents how to recognize, resist and report scoutmaster abuse. BSA has got to stop covering up its problem.”viiiAs for a recent update on Ted Dreisbach, (now in his late seventies) I firmly believe he continues to hunt for underage prey. He also lives a comfy retirement with social interaction, while his home plus other buildings are well manicured (freshly painted), and the surrounding trees and plants are thriving as well. When I travel back to Northeast Pennsylvania, I always make a point to drive on Old State Road in Falls. This is the secluded back macadam road (it runs parallel to Route 92) which Ted’s hilltop estate borders. On a hot Sunday afternoon in August of 2005, during one of my observation sessions approximately one half mile from Ted’s driveway; a four door sedan slowly approached from the opposite direction. An older man with gray hair drove the vehicle. His left arm hung out the driver’s side window (in a relaxed state), while a small boy sat next to him on the passenger side. The incident happened quickly and didn’t immediately register in my mind. Within twenty seconds, the vivid picture I had just witnessed—replayed itself clearly from my memory bank. I felt as though an imaginary black anvil had struck me from twenty stories above. “That was him!” I exclaimed, out loud in my vehicle. As I continually analyzed this scene over the next several minutes, one telltale sign flashed repeatedly. When Ned persistently carted us around as boys, he always drove with his left arm dangling out, or resting on the open driver’s window frame (obviously in fair weather.) The same day of the occurrence, when I described this scene to my mom; she also recalled his peculiar habit of a hanging left arm. My gut instinct was correct—I witnessed yet another innocent boy in jeopardy because of him. As I write today, I feel guilt for not reacting faster to save that unknown boy… During July of 2006, a resident of Falls called me with “some fuel for my fire.” Nine months earlier, I had confided in him about my way overdue mission of blowing out Dreisbach. This fellow asked for anonymity; however he agreed to keep me abreast of anything he saw or heard. He also admitted that he had been sexually molested as a boy by Ted in the late sixties, but was finished with scouts by the time I began in 1970. Sadly from his disclosures to me, I believe he suffers today as an adult—as a direct result of Dreisbach’s sexual assaults. On a summer evening before dark, he heard Ted talking outside in the yard to his next door neighbor. His new neighbors had recently moved to Falls from the Wilkes Barre area, and have a young son. “I recognized the voice” he informed me, over the phone. “I didn’t see him at first and then heard Ted trying to convince the father, to let his boy come over to work around the yard.” I can’t say I was shocked at all, when informed of the latest negative development in the saga of Ned. There was yet another key telltale sign to verify its precision. Every person who has ever had any dealings with Dreisbach, always distinguishes “his voice” initially. Ned’s tone has the capacity to grate straight through your internal organs. Thankfully, my ally turned out to be a Good Samaritan, by warning his neighbors regarding the menace of him. As far as I know, “the Beast’s” advances on this young boy were thwarted, when his parents were informed in a timely manner. Astonishingly, the drama continues with this relentless, never arrested, infamous predator. As a betting man, I will state unequivocally, odds are highly probable these two recent incidents are not isolated. Without question, here is a fitting example of the disastrous, BSA silent expulsion policy. Hopefully when this story becomes public in 2007, good citizens will bring forth further applicable evidence on the curse of Northeastern Pennsylvania. I pray this motivates the Pennsylvania State Troopers to start the process, obtain evidence and criminally charge Mr. Dreisbach—to ultimately transport him to his well deserved state prison cell. (This article will absolutely be provided to local Troop Investigators.) At the very least, the people of Pennsylvania will now know only some of the truth—about the immense horrors on children—which were committed by this reprehensible, so called BSA mentor. Lastly, I can assure you—I will be a corpse, face down in a muddy ditch before any predator could possibly be in a position to sexually abuse my child. Today as I conclude, I challenge all parents with young children: What is your commitment to keep your kids safe from the onslaught of sexual predators? I also challenge everyday people who are out and about in America all day, every day: What is your responsibility as an honorable citizen of the United States, when you see or hear any indication of child abuse?
ii NBC’s “To Catch a Predator Series,” reported by Chris Hansen, NBC News Correspondent.
iii Perverted-Justice.com, “a lead internet resource for combating sexual predators online, special Group Media Bust projects.”
iv Boy Scouts of America vs. Dale; United States Supreme Court, June 28, 2000.
v “In Support of Values,” BSA External Communications Division, Boy Scouts of America’s Scouting Magazine, March/April 2001.
vi The Law Office of Timothy D. Kosnoff, www.kosnoff.com/practiceareas/The-Boy-Scouts.asp
vii “In Support of Values,” BSA External Communications Division, Boy Scouts of America’s Scouting Magazine, March/April 2001.
viii The Law Office of Timothy D. Kosnoff, www.kosnoff.com/practiceareas/The-Boy-Scouts.asp