Monday, March 30, 2015

Kent Hovind And The Professors Of Pensacola

Independent Baptist Minister and young earth creationist Kent Hovind, nearing the end of a long prison sentence on tax related charges finds himself facing new charges.  The new charges relate to filings that were made on property seized as a result of Hovind's earlier conviction.  A jury found him guilty of contempt of court on March 12th but was unable to reach a verdict on more serious fraud and conspiracy charges. Retrial on those charges is scheduled for May 18th.

Kent Hovind has rallied a group of supporters who are waging a vigorous social media campaign on his behalf most notably on #FreeKent, the movement's flagship website and youtube channel LoneStar1776 which features regular calls from Doctor Hovind and passionate appeals from Rudy Davis, who has deferred his interest in geocentrism and questioning the legitimacy of the Obama presidency to totally devote himself to Hovindication.

Although Hovinidication has a strong internet presence it is difficult to judge how deep the movement really is. We actually now have two pretty reliably indices.  There is a petition to pardon Hovind and his codefendant Paul John Hansen on We The People .  As I write this there are 1,524 signatures, which is not too shabby, but there is a way to go to match the 166,265 registered on behalf of Edward Snowden.  Dave Daubenmire's Pass The Salt Ministries has established a Christian Legal Defense Fund, whose presumptive initial beneficiary is Kent Hovind,  As I write this the fund has raised $4,429 from 52 donors. I'd give them a couple of weeks, before commenting on how well they are doing.

One of the puzzles of the movement is why there seems to be so little support for Kent Hovind in Pensacola which Hoivnd in some ways helped put on the evangelical map.  The small group of supporters at Hovind's trial were overwhelmingly from out of town.  The Pensacola News gave the trial only sporadic coverage.

Documentary film maker Jonathan Schwartz was covering the trial, with my support.  He also took some time to study the deeper history of Hovind and the frothy environment of Pensacola evangelism in the nineties and onto the turn of the millennium.  Part of that project was an interview with Bill Caplinger.  hosted by Abigail Megginson, editor in chief of The Corsair.

Bill Caplinger, now retired, was the Manager of Laboratories (Physics) at the University of West Florida.  He got to know Kent Hovind, because Kent as he was working on his videos, lectures and other material was regularly calling the professors at the university to discuss various developments that he saw as proving intelligent design.  Eventually they started referring him to Bill.  Here is the portion of the interview where Bill discusses his early interactions with Kent Hovind

According to Bill, there was one professor that Kent did not burn out.  That was Terry Prewitt, an anthropologist and expert on semiotics, which neither Bill Caplinger nor I understand, but Jonathan claims to.  Terry invited Kent to speak at the college.  It may well be that Professor Prewitt was the first Hovindoligist.

Here is a debate in which both Doctor Hovind and Doctor Prewitt participated. I have to admit that I did not invest the two hours into listening to it, but maybe after tax season.

The interview with Bill Caplinger also alludes to the anti-abortion demonstrations in Pensacola in the nineties.  There will be more on that in a future post.

Peter J Reilly CPA is striving to be the first tax blogger to give up his day job.

Here is a link to the full Bill Caplinger interview.


  1. Kent said recently that he's had 80 different scooters and preferred the Suzuki Burgman 650, so I found it quite interesting that the video included indications that Kent might have been using his scooter to check abortion clinics to see if his people showed up for work.

    In that recent discussion with Rudy Davis, Kent directed his people to check on having his currently disabled Suzuki Burgman 650 repaired; expecting to be out soon and wanting desperately to be able to cruise around Pensacola again.

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