Last fall the Boy Scouts' secret came out: For years they'd been keeping detailed files on men in their ranks suspected of molesting children.

There are thousands of them, and the original idea for keeping them was a good one: identify pedophiles in the organization, kick them out, and make sure they stay away from their kids forever.

Seattle attorney Mike Pfau has represented dozens of men who say their scoutmasters molested them.

The files grew from tens to hundreds to thousands, he said. They ended up having a body of knowledge probably unlike any youth serving institution in the US, demonstrating that pedophiles were infiltrating their ranks.

We found the scouts weren't just interested in tracking pedophiles -- but also the gay boys and men in their ranks.

KING 5 obtained Perversion Files on scouts in Washington state - leaders thrown out of the trusted organization. And for some their only crime was being gay.

We found a file on a scoutmaster from Ellensburg, kicked out in 1974 for a suspected moral problem. Top scout execs wrote one word to explain why: homosexuality.

Fifteen years later, in 1990, scout leaders got wind a Seattle chapter chief seemed effeminate. They launched an investigation, got proof he'd told a friend I am gay, and the next month he was out.

Gay scouts are hoping the ban is lifted and that they're never included in any sort of perversion file again.

More information

Boy Scout Ineligible Volunteer Files (Perversion Files) (1965 1985)

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