The trials, literally, and tribulations of Independent Baptist minister and young earth creationist Kent Hovind have spawned a support group, whom I have taken to calling Hovindicators. You might compare them to the Dreyfusards. Only the tend to be more right wing than left wing. They have not attracted a writer of the stature of Emile Zola and there are hints of Antisemitism among prominent Hovindicators such as Rudy Davis (a charge he denies).
And of course Hovindicators are mostly Americans. Other than that they are just like the Dreyfusards.
JJ MacNab who follows the sovereign citizen movement, which is where the Hovindicators seem to have the most traction, is not that impressed with their efforts so far. She wrote me recently
Hovind is a weird case. Much of his support online seems to come from the same people who have registered for multiple accounts trying to set up a lot of smoke and mirrors.JJ's book The Seditionists: Inside the Explosive World of Anti-Government Extremism in America will be released in the fall.
Once you leave that core group of followers, he’s almost unknown. Every now and then someone like Pete Santilli will pay attention, but the vast majority of wingnuts in the movement have never heard of him.
I take it that you’ve been communicating with the former IRS agent. He’s been trying to get me to write about Hovind for years, but the tax protest movement is all but gone, other than some clean-up work by the IRS and a handful of gurus who still keep plugging away.
Tax protesting morphed into sovereign citizen schemes roughly eight years ago, and the SovCit movement is currently evolving from the paperwork phase into a more violent, rebellious, anarchistic group which is one of the factors behind the surge in militia numbers.
Hovind is like a tax protest dinosaur trying to remain relevant in a world populated with angry cavemen with semi-automatic clubs.
The "former IRS agent" that JJ mentions is Robert Baty. Bob finished a long career with the IRS as an appeals officer. He seems to have a lot of time on his hand when he is not watching the grandchildren and has three major obsessions, two of which I share. Those two are Code Section 107, which allows "ministers of the gospel" to claim exclusion from taxable income of amounts paid as housing allowances and the Kent Hovind case. The third is something called presuppositionalism, which I have resolved not to try to figure out until I have mastered semiotics.
Bob administers a facebook site called Kent Hovind and Jo Hovind v USA - IRS . The site includes some unfounded speculations and irrelevant personal attacks, but it is also remarkable for its thoroughness in covering every aspect of the case. Hovindicators speculate that Bob Baty is a paid disinformation agent of the IRS. Their "smoking gun" to prove the assertion is Bob's refusal to answer Don Bidondi's question in this interview.
I sometimes think that if Bob Baty did not exist, the Hovindicators would have to invent him. For the Hovindicators Bob Baty plays the role that Goldstein played for the Inner Party in 1984.
The above is a rather lengthy introduction to a debate challenge that Baty has issued which I am presenting below.
This is an invitation intended to remain open until such time as Kent Hovind or his designated representative are able to successfully complete a discussion of the differences between my representation of the structuring law applicable to Kent Hovind's case and the way Kent Hovind and his people have been representing the law since before Kent was convicted.
Alternatively, no discussion will be necessary and the controversy resolved with Kent Hovind's clear, explicit, public and unambiguous acceptance of my representation of the law as applicable to his case, as stated below.
Robert Baty’s Structuring Proposal for Discussion
Withdrawing less than $10,000 in a single transaction
with the intent to evade bank reporting requirements
is a violation of the law and regulations and was at
the time of the Hovind withdrawals in question and
was the legal standard used to convict Kent Hovind
Robert Baty - Affirm
Kent Hovind - Deny
Recently, one of Kent Hovind's sympathizers, David Buzulak , and I had an exchange on the issue. David eventually admitted his agreement with Kent Hovind on the proposition but would not engage in a discussion of the merits of our respective positions. David preferred to evade the discussion and drone on and on about recent news stories regarding the IRS and certain enforcement policies regarding structuring which do not have relevance to the legal issues involved in the Kent Hovind case.
I have had similar exchanges with Kent Hovind sympathizers. While once in awhile one of them might realize I am correct in my representation and Kent Hovind is wrong, for the most part they remain in denial.
It becomes rather wearisome to have to deal with lesser lights amongst the Hovindicator movement while observing Kent Hovind and his leading promoters continuing to make false and/or misleading claims regarding the law applicable to the Kent Hovind case.
So, the time seems ripe to call out Kent Hovind, as Goliath called out the Israelites of old.
Will Kent Hovind come out to me?
Will Kent Hovind send his champion out to me?
Will Kent Hovind repent and admit that I am right?
Once Kent decides, if he ever does, to come out to me or send his appointed champion, we will endeavor to negotiate the appropriate logistical details to advance the conversation and resolve our difference on the matter.
Kent Hovind has recently claimed that understanding the structuring issue in his case is the key to understanding his legal problems.
I will accept that as supporting my effort and the importance of the the discussion proposed in this message.
Peter J Reilly CPA hopes to become the first tax blogger to give up his day job. Soliciting free content is a key part of his business plan.