If this is new to you, you might want to check out - The Trial Of Kent Hovind - An American Tragedy - which I wrote on the eve of his last trial not quite a year ago. For a chronology of events through July 2015, go here. As it worked out that trial never happened as the Government dismissed the charges that the jury had hung on in a previous trial and the judge reversed his conviction.
So Kent after finishing the sentence from the 2006 conviction joyously reunited with his family and went back to preaching using youtube as his primary venue but also traveling. According to Ernie Land, Kent's long-term friend and advisor, there is a conventionally tax compliant structure in place.
Kent has been working on acquiring property in Alabama for a new Dinosaur Adventureland and there was promise of a new lawsuit against the government. The latest though is an outbreak of squabbling in the Hovind family.
Trouble In Pensacola
When Jo Hovind filed for divorce, I didn't think that was something to write about. Ernie Land, Kent's consigliere, wrote me that Jo was divorcing Kent due to legal advice and that he believed that she was motivated by fear of new efforts by the government to shut Kent up. The legal advice struck me as plausible. Kent getting out of further criminal charges does not solve the problem of the multi-million dollar civil liability for income taxes that fell on both him and Jo. Being divorced from Kent would buttress Jo's efforts to get out from under that liability.
There is a new development that is likely at least tangentially related to the divorce. Rudy Davis more or less broke the story on the internet as he requested his listeners to pray for the restoration of the Hovind family.
Apparently Eric is evicting Kent. While Kent was in prison, Eric started another ministry Creation Today. It seems to follow Kent's Young Earth Creationist line pretty well, although there may be nuances that I don't appreciate, but unlike the original Creation Science Evangelism, it was conventionally tax compliant.
Somebody Being Stubborn?
My great hope in this was that Kent would become conventionally tax compliant. The simplest way to accomplish that would have been for him to go on Creation Today's payroll for a modest salary and a housing allowance (or actual housing). That was not to be.
The original Dinosaur Adventureland/Hovind residence properties in Pensacola had been seized by the federal government to cover Kent's structuring forfeiture. Most of the property was acquired by the Hovinds, although I have not tried to trace the precise ownership. Things did not go that well for the non-Hovind fellow who acquired one of the parcels.
With the enormous civil liability hanging over his head it would not make sense for Kent to own any of it, but it appears that in his mind, it remains truly his.
Kent in this clip indicates that they conspired to take everything owned by CSE and he came "home to nothing". If I was involved in God Quest, I'd be pulling my hair out at Kent using God Quest facilities to bootstrap a new ministry. Somebody is being stubborn.
A Better Way
Not far from where I live, there is Webster Lake also known as Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg. The likely apocryphal story is that it means "You fish on your side of the lake. I fish on my side of the lake. Nobody fish in the middle." I would expect that the sensible thing would be for a board member of the new Creation Science Evangelism, possibly Ernie Land, and a board member of God Quest Inc other than Eric to announce that the two organizations had reached an agreement on how they will each proceed in harmony for the greater glory of God (That might not be quite the right term. My Jesuit education is coming out again. AMDG)
Ernie Land's Take
I managed to get some comments from Ernie Land on the situation.
On the divorce and eviction, he wrote:
The divorce was filed by Jo. Again her fear of regulatory agencies and Kent’s voice against the corruptions of Government in my opinion are the real bottom line basis. She tells me she was advised to divorce him for her own protection by legal counsel. The notice to vacate the home, which is owned by God Quest, Inc. is based on the divorce, and that boards opinion Kent should move out. I do not wish to input my opinions and make them public at this time, as I just want both Ministries to work together for Kingdom work.He elaborated a bit in a subsequent message
I compare what’s going on to Texas having 22 counties seeking a vote on secession, which the Supreme Court has declared illegal. If the elites in Government do not wake up it will not matter if it’s legal or not, because revolution by the people never requires the support of a corrupt governing body. Same between what took place with Kent, the original Ministry properties and what is going on now inside the family. They may have moved in a legal method, but just like corrupt governing bodies it may not be a Godly, moral, ethical, in method. I have little else to say until this all unfolds, other than there is much wrongdoing by multiple parties.Hovindoligists Munching On The Popcorn
I also reached out to the Hovindology community for comments, which are necessarily speculative.
Bob Baty, the most indefatigable of chroniclers of the Hovind saga and the one most troubling to the Hovindicators, wrote me.
Current events regarding Kent Hovind have tended to vindicate my coverage of his case, his wife's case, their relationship, and my claim that as King David was responsible for the death of Uriah so Kent Hovind was responsible for his wife having to go to federal prison.Jonathan Schwartz of Interlock Media, who covered last years trial intensively, wrote:
As someone who had been covering Kent Hovind's recent legal woes up close and personal, I had come to know Jo and Eric a little bit, and respected both of them, despite Eric's association with the Duggars which I thought ill advised. Kent is a user and manipulator, who despite some good qualities, (he genuinely loves children), surrounds himself with con men, thugs, misogynists, and militiamen in order to consolidate his power base. Eric in a Christian entrepreneur who cannot support his Father's trickery and greed and law breaking, nor his half cocked theology. Jo, a talented musician and dedicated wife and mother, has taken his callousness for too long, and has been repeatedly shoved in front of trucks for her spouse. Basta.Jonathan told me that "basta" is Spanish for "enough" and that is an expression that "everybody" is familiar with.
Dee Homes also covered the trial. She may have gone through a Hovindologist Twelve Step Program as she has not posted on her blog - Hovindology "It's about the taxes, not the dinos" - in nearly a year. I hope I have not triggered a relapse by asking her for a comment:
I would state that I have a lot of respect for Jo Hovind. She is apparently quite good at the piano. (They don't let just anyone peform at these Baptist megachurches.) And in her world, it takes a lot of guts, especially at her age and after so many decades of marriage, to stand up and say, "This is over." Among independent fundamental Baptists, divorce is heavily frowned upon unless one of the parties committed adultery. (And even then, there's a lot of pressure to forgive and stay married.)
I would have hoped the double whammy of the divorce plus the eviction would get through Kent's skull, but as we've seen, Kent is all about Kent.
I do wish Kent's video friends would stop beating up on Jo and hammering her with the Bible. It's not helpful in the least.A Bit of Humor
I cannot help but close with just a bit of humor. Back in July when Eric and his mom drove to Yazoo, Mississippi to pick Kent up from prison to begin a brief period of home confinement, Jim Bob Duggar of "19 Kids And Counting" went along for the ride. Maybe, he could offer the Hovinds some advice on a new reality show "Real Creationists Of Escanbia County". Plenty of material.
A More Serious Note
Eric Hovind graciously agreed to comment.
So thankful that many people care so deeply about our family and the cause of Christ. I love my dad and mom more than any can know. Thank you so much for keeping us in prayer.Previous coverage of Eric is here and here and here.
Peter J Reilly CPA continues to think that the Hovind story is no longer forbes worthy, but that could change.