Saturday, June 4, 2016

Kent Hovind, Interlock Media And The Allure Of Conspiracy

Just as Watergate has its Woodward and Bernstein and the Boston Archdiocese abuse scandal had the Globe Spotlight team



the 2015 trial of Kent Hovind had a team of journalists covering the trial.  And they uncovered a heck of a story.

About Kent Hovind

Kent Hovind is an independent Baptist minister with pretensions of scientific expertise.  He is a Young Earth Creationist, believing, as is implied by a hyper literal reading of the Book of Genesis, that the world is roughly six thousand years old and that human beings and dinosaurs existed contemporaneously.

Acceptance of YEC requires belief in a massive conspiracy involving a large swath of the scientific community.  Not just biologists, since six thousand years is not nearly enough time for evolution to work, but also geologists and astronomers.  I'm sure there's more.

If you believe in that big a conspiracy, it is easy to believe in others.  So it is perhaps not surprising that Hovind also believed that the income tax laws as they are generally understood do not really apply to most ordinary Americans.  That requires a conspiracy that includes pretty much the entire federal judiciary and the executive branch for over a century.

In the view of the conventionally tax compliant that is what got Hovind in trouble with the federal government.  He has a fairly passionate vocal group of supporters (I call them Hovindicators) that accept his narrative that he has paid every tax that he has ever owed and was a victim of religious persecution when he served 9 years in prison on an indictment which did not include tax evasion as one of the charges.  Most of the counts were "structuring" - making withdrawals of slightly less than $10,000 to avoid bank reporting of cash transactions.

New Trial

Last year's trial was for actions he took to affect the title to property that had been seized by the government as a result of his previous conviction.  He was convicted on one of three counts and the jury did not reach a verdict on two other counts.  There was a retrial scheduled, but the government backed off and prior to sentencing the conviction, contempt of court, was thrown out thanks to work by the United States Justice Foundation.

So Kent Hovind was released on schedule and is now rebuilding his ministry.  The new Christian Science Evangelism has acquired property in Lenox Alabama where Kent and a variable team of volunteers are creating a bigger better Dinosaur Adventure Land.  Kent has been going great guns on youtube


He has also been doing speaking tours.  Kent's close friend and advisor, Ernie Land, has assured me that the new CSE will be conventionally tax compliant.  Ernie appears to be taking care of that aspect of things.

The Hovindologists

I began covering the Hovind story in 2012, when Jo Delia Hovind found herself in Tax Court.  My primary writing gig is on forbes.com.  I'm a tax blogger.  I at least look at every federal court decision concerning taxes, a large number of state decisions and a variety of rulings by the IRS.  I write about the ones that I find interesting.  Among my criteria are humor and what I call "matter for reflection", the way in which tax law intersects with other areas particularly religious liberty.

So that story was right up my alley. I thought it was hilarious. The comments section had people debating the merits of Young Earth Creationism, which made it ever more fun.  It also sealed the loyalty of my most constant commenter, Robert Baty.

Bob Baty began following me because of my coverage of the parsonage issue.  He had been trying to get me interested in Young Earth Creationism, but I would not bite until Jo Delia's Tax Court decision came along.  Thanks to all the interest I did further research on Hovind and even had some brief contact with him through the prison email system.  The result was one of the highest traffic pieces that I ever produced - Not Income Tax Evasion - Structuring - That's How They Got Kent Hovind.

Forbes.com pays based on traffic and as Dr. Johnson said "No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money". Tax blogging is much less lucrative than the underlying professional activity. You don't see tax bloggers giving up their day jobs, but one of my ambitions is to become the first.  So now I was hooked and when Hovind was charged with a new crime nearly two years ago, I was all over it.

The Hovindication movement managed to touch just about every base in the right wing conspiracy bubble, including Alex Jones




I thought there was a great chance that it would break into the mainstream media.  The Hovindicators were one step from being featured by that loudmouth on Fox, that some of my relatives fear may be related to us.  It seemed that my diligent Hovind coverage might be my ticket to the big time.  So I made a huge decision, one that for me is heart rending.  I decided to spend some money.

As I often remark I am not an investigative reporter, but it happens that I know one.  That would be Jonathan Schwartz of Interlock Media.  With my grudging, chintzy financial support Jonathan assembled a team to cover the trial after recording  a telephone interview by me with Kent Hovind



The Story Behind The Story Behind The Story


The coverage of the first trial was quite good, but it was in the aftermath that the team outdid themselves.  The Hovindicators had hoped that jury nullification might save the day for them and to a great extent they turned out to be right.  The jury hung on more serious charges and only convicted on contempt of court.  Jonathan and his team identified the hold- out juror, Don Camacho, and interviewed him




They also interviewed another juror who had butted heads with Camacho




And someone who knew both Camacho and Hovind.  Dr. Ward Dean had been in a militia group with Camacho and had become Hovind's IRS battle buddy around the turn of the millenium




Ben Sheffler has written an account of his experience working as part of the team and that will be published here on Monday.

A Bridge Too Far

Jonathan produced a short piece that pulled all the elements of the story together.  It is called Dr. Dino: Creationism, Conspiracy, Conceit - The Politics of Wrath




 At 10:38, it is really worth the investment of lifespan so I recommend that you check it out.

You will note that I am cited in the video as a "Hovind expert".  Personally, I prefer Hovindologist, but I'm not that picky. I have made a copy available on my youtube channel for convenience, but the original publication was by Interlock Media.  Although I provided substantial support for the project, I did not want to be the original publisher, because I believe that the solid journalism in the first eight minutes is marred by excessive speculation in the end.

The theory expounded is intriguing.  We do know that Camacho managed to convince the other jurors to report that they were deadlocked on two of the charges by agreeing to convict on contempt of court.  We know that Camacho was recognized as being on the jury by Ernie Land, who had some sort of acquaintanceship with Camacho.  We know that Ernie Land was working with USJF and that USJF would get the contempt conviction overturned.

So maybe USJF had told Ernie that getting contempt overturned was a slam dunk and Ernie somehow let Camacho know that that was the charge that he could vote guilty on in order to end the jury deliberations.

Laying out that theory is the last two minutes of the video.  I think it greatly detracts from its value.  The evidence is just not there and using Occam's razor you can account for what happened without assuming any contact between Camacho and Ernie Land.

The leap that Interlock made in this speculation is tiny compared to the type of things that Hovindicators will pick up and run with - like Rudy Davis indicating that prosecutor Pamela Marsh was a Jesuit because she went to Georgetown.


Cutest Jesuit I have ever seen.

Still I hold members of the reality based community, like Jonathan Schwartz, to a much higher standard.  I think that too much exposure to the Hovindicators might have had its effect.

For whatever it is worth I ran the theory by Ernie Land.  He wrote back to me:
Also on the record Camacho never recognized me at the Court, so once again that is like the theory of evolution, which is false. Camacho is a good man, who did not need any guidance in his beliefs or actions. Yes, I knew him prior to the trial, but it was just as an acquaintance.


30 comments:

  1. Highly touted international journalists believed, and this is the most cynical and hard bitten clique that I have, that we had enough to go to the New York Times, Vice, etc. It was end-budget that buried the story and prevented us from making the final material links between Hovind's circle, the jury foremen, and the militia movement.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am still waiting for confirmation that the 150 acres in Conecuh County, AL where Hovind is building his playground and retirement home has changed hands and how it might actually be titled.

    Peter, you wrote, in part:

    - "(KEnt Hovind) served 9 years in prison
    - on an indictment which did not include
    - tax evasion as one of the charges."

    I think you, and others, need to clarify such claims when made so that folks don't get confused.

    That is, for criminal prosecution "evasion" has a very specific meaning in the law and other related tax crimes not explicitly called evasion can get you thrown in prison.

    In Kent's case, for us laymen, his employment tax crimes amounted to tax evasion.

    Similarly, it was all related to his personal income tax evasion (layman's term) which was handled civilly and included imposition of the FRAUD penalty.

    So, for most of us it was, indeed, tax evasion that put Kent away for 9 years.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You guys have lost all credibility. You all aren't journalists... Go to freekenthovind . com for the truth... If you were you would report the following...

    1- Anthony Jaworski and Kent Hovind have become good friends I hear... Anthony Jaworski believes the Government totally screwed him in regards to the property he sits on.

    2- Robert Baty, an EX IRS Agent, has been caught filing false claims of "child abuse" to authority figures to "try" and get CSE in trouble (to no avail I heard). He is encouraging others to file false claims as well.

    3- Peter Reilly of Forbes.com and Robert Baty worked together to target Christians and Churches. They promoted and helped the militant atheist organization Freedom From Religion Foundation to write guidelines and laws with the IRS on how to AUDIT and Target Christians....

    4- Peter Reilly promotes Robert Baty constantly... Why would Peter Reilly befriend a guy who files false claims to authorities? Why would Peter Reilly promote a guy who intimidates Christians and stalks children on the internet?... Hmmm....

    5- Why is the FFRF promoting satanism in school. You know, the same organization that Peter Reilly and Robert Baty look up to and help in regards to targeting Christians?

    You guys aren't journalist... Your a bunch of clowns.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes indeed. You do make leaps much higher and broader than anybody I know.

      Delete
    2. Peter, you are the one that needs to jump and leap. Jump high and leap far from Robert Baty. You would be wise to learn from your "duck" theory you like to use so much.

      If it looks like a duck
      Walks like a duck
      Quacks like a duck... It's probably a duck.

      Well, Sorry to break it to you Peter, you look like a ducking liar at this point.

      Delete
    3. Oh, forgot to add this one... and Peter, you should get Interlock Media to cover this one...

      6- Anthony not only believes the Government screwed him on the property he sits on... BUT HE WANTS THE PRESIDENT TO PARDON KENT HOVIND AND BELIEVES A HUGE INJUSTICE WAS DONE TO HIM.....

      Have your boys go cover that story :)

      Delete
    4. Is it my imagination, or does "Anonymous" sound a lot like Rudy?

      Delete
    5. No Mike it's not your imagination...except that it is Erin Davis, Davis the Racist's wife and she has a crush on Robert Baty. That's why she stalks him all over the internet.

      Delete
  4. Robert Baty Violates More Laws In Kent Hovind Vs IRS Facebook Page (You know, Peter Reilly's friend...): http://freekenthovind.com/2016/05/31/robert-baty-kent-hovind-vs-irs-violates-federal-laws/

    Robert Baty Next? FBI Investigates Internet Stalker Where Facebook Won’t: http://freekenthovind.com/2016/05/19/fbi-investigates-internet-stalker-is-robert-baty-next/

    Kent Hovind Supporters VS Robert Baty/RLBaty Debates (Peter Reilly is a "ducking liar" according to his own "duck" theory he uses): http://freekenthovind.com/2015/02/11/kent-hovind-supporters-vs-robert-batyrlbaty-debates/

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    Replies
    1. I'm seriously a bit disappointed in you Erin. I honestly didn't think you would dump your religion by the wayside to drop thinly-disguised "F" bombs at your enemies. Seriously, you should calm down and get a grip.

      Delete
  5. My Hovind shadow, the anonymous and cowardly one who dares not come out to openly and honestly take up the discussion of Kent's legal narrative, returns with more of the same.

    Kent is the one who needs to come out instead of hiding behind his surrogates and letting them do his dirty work.

    Come out, Kent.
    We have things to talk about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like the duck theory your buddy Peter likes to use, you would be wise to use it as well...

      Why are you all such ducking liars?

      Really Robert, why do you file false "child abuse" claims? Why are you so suck in the head?

      There is something "ducking" nuts with you guys.

      Delete
    2. Erin, can you please stop using "minced oaths"? We're not stupid, we do know that you want to use the word "fucking," but your religious belief doesn't allow you to use. We're not fooled.

      Seriously, being honest about what you want to say will win you more points than obfuscating.

      --deana holmes

      Delete
    3. I guess I need to add this as Proposition #53 to my challenge to Kent Hovind:

      Proposition #53

      Robert Baty has filed false child abuse
      claims against Kent Hovind.

      - Kent Hovind: Affirm
      - Robert Baty: Deny

      Come out, come out, oh cowardly Kent, or send me your Champion.

      We have things to talk about.

      ----------------------------------

      Delete
  6. My complaint about the 10 minutes is that there's a couple of minutes of me sitting there listening to one of Kent's followers, but I don't say a thing (except laugh). It's as if I was an empty-headed female. I think I had at least one or two intelligent points. However, as I said on FB, I am not the director or the producer and this was not the film I would have made.

    As for the conspiracy, I sat in the room during the Camacho interview and I found the Facebook posts Ernie Land made. I would note that we didn't have the final piece to the puzzle (which was, is there an actual conspiracy between Land and Camacho to throw the case on the basis of the one count which had a chance of being reverse), I still personally think there's every reason to believe that Camacho threw the rest of the case because he could not bring himself to convict Hovind.

    Is this evidence that would hold up in court? No, probably not. But is it evidence that would have made for a good documentary? Oh heck yes. And given that we've got a set of "complex trials" (that's a legal term of art) coming up in Oregon and Nevada for the Bundy sovereign citizens, the notion that one person could hang a jury because of his own personal conflicts needs to be out there.

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  7. Ernie Land, so you say Hovind is now tax complaint? So, this means he is withholding employment taxes for his shipping/office and IT team?

    Does it mean that he will be filing his own return accurately reporting income for the first time in his life?

    Or is your definition of personal income tax the same as Hovind's and what you are saying is that he's as complaint as he always said he was?

    You once told me that Kent was right about taxes and when I asked you if you filed, you said you did because it was easier than the hassle of not filing, so, based on that, I suspect the later is true.

    "I pay every tax I owe." ---- K. Hovind

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And Kent doesn't think he owes any taxes, because he's special. Unlike every other person employed by a religion. I worked for a religious college for a couple of years and you bet they took out withholding and Social Security on my minuscule income. Kent and his followers are liars.

      Delete
    2. Randy, you've been caught (like Robert Baty) lying. You created a shell company used as a front to libel against CSE Ministries.

      Robert Baty Violates More Laws In Kent Hovind Vs IRS Facebook Page: http://freekenthovind.com/2016/05/31/robert-baty-kent-hovind-vs-irs-violates-federal-laws/

      You all have lost credibility.

      Delete
    3. At the risk of sounding very unprofessional here. Awwww, shut up Erin, you don't know what you are talking about.

      Delete
  8. For everyone interested in the truth you can view the following article breaking down this article.

    EXPOSED: Peter Reilly’s Kent Hovind, Interlock Media And The Allure Of Conspiracy: http://freekenthovind.com/2016/06/04/peter-reillys-kent-hovind-interlock-media-and-the-allure-of-conspiracy/

    You all are done. Nobody believes you. Everyone knows that your "facts" are not evidence of anything.

    You guys are liars.

    You are not to be trusted.

    Peter Reilly, you should do your best to distance yourself from dangerous people like Robert Baty and Randy Dunn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, the fact that Kent didn't file the paperwork to secure "Dinosaur Adventure Land" in Alabama says volumes about Kent's attitudes towards doing the things normal people would do in setting up their businesses. I think it's a safe bet (since I just looked up CSE, Inc. in Nevada) that CSE would still be trundling along, unincorporated, still acting as Kent's alter ego, if Ernie Land hadn't incorporated it.

      It appears to me that Kent is back doing what he did before he landed in federal prison nearly a decade ago. He might be keeping books, but we have no idea. He's got something like a business going, but he's looking for volunteers and money. However, you can't get a tax deduction for your money, because, well, Kent's running something out there in Alabama, but it doesn't look like a charity.

      In short, it's all about Kent, and those of you who support Kent, you're still feeding into Kent's narcissism and he's using you.

      I'd warn the people who go to Kent's Kult Kompound that he is probably not carrying liability insurance. I would LOVE to be proven wrong. Erin, can you see if Kent's got insurance on the new DAL, pretty please?

      Delete
  9. According to Rudy Davis, Kent Hovind is yesterday's news. He's all about Alaskan arch-sovereign citizen, militia member, and wife beater Francis Shaeffer Cox these days -- yet another criminal Rudy believes the unholy trinity of President Barack Obama, and Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch has unjustly targeted.

    He's already called up many of the officials who were involved in the case back in 2012 and left passive aggressive voicemail messages about how evil they are--probably not illegal, but they certainly reflect how much of a delusional asshole he is.

    His latest champ, Schaeffer Cox, was imprisoned for 26 years for conspiring to kill federal officials in a 2-for-1 scheme -- you kill one of us, and we'll kill two of you.

    After his wife filed an assault charge against him (he choked her hard enough to leave physical evidence), and was then subsequently arrested for weapons violations, officials wanted to check on the welfare of his son. He refused to give them access and became convinced that they were going to attempt to seize his son to force him to retaliate, thus giving them the pretext for shooting him and his entire family dead. Yes, he was that paranoid.

    Cox openly bragged on camera how his militia members would be in position to fight back within 20 minutes of the authorities "coming for his kids" and apparently, he was doing a lot more than that behind the scenes.

    It's not surprising that Rudy has chosen Shaeffer Cox as his next project. Cox shares Hovind's gift of the gab, and espouses many of the same right wing Christian anti-government sovereign citizen-type beliefs that Rudy is a big fan of, even if he is careful not to put any of them into practice himself.

    There's a number of YouTube videos of Cox's silver tongue and charismatic looks in action, most of which have already been cross-posted on Rudy's channel. In particular, there is a 1 hour 40 minute video of his talk in Montana, where he outlines his beliefs as well as modestly presenting an incredibly self-serving autobiography.

    It's mostly the usual whacked out sovcit nonsense about common law courts, but there was one thing I had never heard anyone else mention before. Cox is all about the Constitution, of course, and the Biblical foundation of our inalienable rights, but apparently, if you're found guilty by a common law court, and you do not comply with their sentence, your rights are anything but inalienable, since you will be outlawed -- i.e. anyone can shoot you on sight or, if they prefer, catch you, torture you, and even enslave you. That's how delusional Schaeffer Cox is.

    There isn't a chance in hell of Rudy getting Cox's verdict or sentence overturned, but he's made it his "life's mission" to try. Good luck, Rudy, you're gonna need it, and it's going to be endlessly entertaining watching you try.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, Peter, look at how many story leads you are collecting tonight. You'll get that Pulitzer prize yet. I'm cheering for you.

      Delete
  10. I don't think your critic, Erin Davis, liked your video. Strange that she didn't read all the comments you (Peter) and Robert made regarding the wish for a more "solid" news-piece without the hype and conspiracy. Obviously, disregarding the commentary in the movie, there were some interesting facts covered (most I already knew), but I don't think your favorite critic wants to hear the facts either. The last page she posted on freekenthovind dot com is quite telling in that she appears to have lost any self composure and is quite upset at you guys! Lol. I think I've been named just because I was with another lady when I saw her in Plano. (Oops didn't say that....lol) but, seriously, this movie really stuck in the craw of certain Hovindicators as evidenced by the article "anonymous" posted above. Erin, like her husband should take a chill pill before one of them strokes. There is obviously no discussion with Hovind cult members about facts.

    ReplyDelete
  11. For those unawares, Bogdan Pshichenko broadcast yesterday the first of four segments of his highly touted interview with Kent Hovind a few months ago; via his "Library of Lives" YouTube channel.

    Despite the interview having taken place a few months ago, it is quite timely and just perhaps THE classic example of how Kent uses his bob, weave and deceiver technique in trying, with some success, to bamboozle his interviewer.

    Here's the link:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlUZOtjnzNc

    To date, Bogdan has not been man enough to accept my invitation to offer a rebuttal to Kent's false legal narrative, and that offer has been outstanding for months; ever since the interview was first advertised.

    Shame on Bogdan for doing what other Hovindicators who have such venues do; refuse opportunities for open, honest discussions of Kent's patently false claims which they promote.

    As a trivial point, Bogdan mentions his dad having some kind of connection to Kent. It would be nice to hear just what kind of connections Kent has with that family and their broader community that seems to be wholeheartedly funding Kent's fantasies.

    ---------------------------------------------

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At first, I thought the video was really asking a lot of tough questions for Hovind to explain.

      After viewing the entire length, I have changed my mind.

      Kent had to know what was going to be discussed when he agreed to let this guy interview him. Kent is too careful to put himself in a position that he can't control. Kent refuses any debate or discussion with anyone who threatens either his scientific claims or his legal claims. There are several examples of this on youtube. Kent was destroyed by a lady who was in biology or biophysics from the United Kingdom. They were to continue the discussion due to bad internet connection. He never repeated it. In another debate or discussion with a very literate fellow who discussed his theories, Hovind said he was driving and couldn't continue, so he would call him the next day from his office. I talked with this person and he told me that despite the fact he continued to message Hovind, Hovind wouldn't respond.

      A third example, is the gentleman in California who has challenged Hovind to a debate and even named the university where it could be held as long as Hovind paid his own way. Hovind has never responded to this, although it has been made public several times.

      My point is that Hovind will not do any debate that he feels is open for challenging questions. He would rather debate in a formal environment with block segments for rebuttals. This way he can perform the Gish Gallop and ignore the questions. See University of Central Arkansas debate with Dr. Ben Waggoner on youtube.

      After viewing the "Library of Lives" videos 1 and 2. Along with watching 1 critically again. I came to the conclusion that Kent and Bogdan coordinated the entire discussion in Video 1. It becomes obvious that any surprise, or frustration on Kent's part to the "tough" questions is no more than an act.

      It becomes even more obvious that this interview is not a truth seeking discussion, but an attempt to promote the Hovind narrative by Bogdan himself. The second video goes into all the suffering Hovind did because God let this happen to him just like all of the Bible heroes who were really innocent of crimes.

      This staged interview reeks of the same "Breaking News" that I see after midnight announcing a wonderful product that will change your life if you just send $19.95 plus shipping......and if you call now, you get two free......just pay shipping.

      I don't know Bogdan, but I suspect he might be affiliated with the Russian's who Hovind has been spending a lot of time with since prison. It appears that Hovind is having difficulty getting gigs at any mainstream church that isn't of Russian descent.

      Bogdan's desire to achieve an audience will never happen if he refuses to interview those like Robert Baty.

      His first video was all about Hovind's crimes. If he wanted to actually provide a discussion to answer the question he posted on the video about Hovind's guilt, he would interview someone besides the criminal.

      This is one reason that Freekendhovind is wrong when she says they are about to hit mainstream news. In mainstream news, Hovind would have to answer the deep questions and be confronted with specific factual research. It would destroy him. His safest course of action is to continue pandering to is youtube and FB group all the while pretending that nobody will debate him.

      Delete
    2. Randy,

      It appears that Bogdan's dad has some long-term connection to Kent, but the video only makes reference to it and gives no details.

      Very interesting.

      Given the timing of when that interview actually took place, and Kent's claims at the time, I wonder if Kent had intended to make Bogdan's segmented broadcasts of the interview a cornerstone of his "Spring Surprise" that he never pulled off.

      Secrets, so many secrets!

      Delete
  12. Erin, you are one delusional pumpkin, ain'tcha? You keep ranting, sweetie, we're enjoying it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. As some of you may know, Freekenthovind dot com has posted a long article with specific comments of this article.

    I have taken the time to make my own personal response to her responses. If you are interested it can be found at "darpaman.com".

    ReplyDelete