Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Theodore Valentine The Hovindicator With Buyer's Remorse

When Independent Baptist minister and young earth creationist Kent Hovind, nearing the end of a long prison term for tax-related crimes, faced a trial on new charges related to actions he took with respect to the property seized as a result of the earlier conviction, a hearty band of advocates resolved to shine light and make noise to "Free Kent Hovind".

The Open Hovindicators

Among them were Coach Dave Daubenmire, George Lujack, Wiley Drake and Pete Santilli.  Kent's long term friend and consigliere, Ernie Land coordinated legal strategy.  And most outspoken was Rudy Davis, whose Lonestar1776  became for the duration "All free Kent Hovind, all the time"  including sometimes twice daily jail interviews with Kent and weekly strategy meetings.

Behind The Scenes

The most "vocal" Hovindicator, however, was behind the scenes managing the #FreeKent website. To see #FreeKent in all its glory you need to go into the Wayback Machine, because the URL freekenthovind.com  now points to a website called "lies of the deVil" which features "New Documentary: Kent Hovind Official: Fraud, Huckster and False Prophet"
Kent Hovind aka Dr. Dino of CSE and DAL is a liar and a fraud – exposed by insider, Theodore Valentine, who helped lead the Free Kent Hovind campaign that influenced Kent Hovind’s early release from prison. 
Kent Hovind and Mary Tocco are frauds trying to build a Christian Ministry dynasty (a.k.a Dinosaur Adventure Land/Creation Science Evangelism) on lies and deceit. Is Kent Hovind a false christian? Is it all an act?
Theodore Valentine has become alienated from Kent Hovind and has more or less gone on the attack.

Investing more lifespan than I really wanted to I watched Theo's three videos.  Only the first one has anything that I find interesting.

Kent Hovind Is A Tax Protester.  It Is As Simple As That.





That was the conclusion that Theo reached after a discussion starting around the ten minute mark.  He chides himself for not doing enough research.  Frankly it does not seem like he has gone research crazy now.  The damning evidence he cites is from a post on a site called Epsilon Clue from 2006.  The big revelation was that Hovind required his "missionaries" to punch a time clock.

Ironically one of the best pieces of evidence that Kent Hovind was a tax protester were the letters from - to use the term loosely - tax professionals that were highlighted on #FreeKent.  Right before Kent's second trial I did an analysis of the letters.  I am self absorbed enough to quote myself.  Here is what I imagined I might have said to Kent about his letters.

Kent you got those letters from a lawyer, a tax consultant (not a CPA, but let's not quibble) and an enrolled agent in 1996.  Nearly a decade later the IRS is up your ass much of it about stuff that is not even addressed in the letters.  There are something like 1.2 million attorneys, 600,000 CPAs and 50,000 enrolled agents in the United States.  Did it not ever cross your mind that you might not have taken the sharpest knives out of the drawer?  I just googled Pensacola CPAs and five firms popped up.  Would it have killed you to take your letters and some of the notices that you had gotten from the IRS and sit down and talk with a couple of working CPAs in your community?
If this topic is of interest you might also want to check out my "Looking At Kent Hovind's Innocence Claims" and Is Kent Hovind A Tax Protester?.

At any rate, Theo took a few potshots at me on #FreeKent, so I guess I was hoping he might make amends by citing some of my analysis of the Kent Hovind innocence narrative, but that was probably too much to hope for.

Theo went on to say that he had encouraged Kent to work out his back tax problems with some sort of collection plan.  He has not really done much research there either but it is a good point.  Independent of his criminal conviction, Kent generated $3 million in civil liability for income and self-employment tax.  Given the brokenness of IRS collections, he might not be getting any attention from them right now, but give them time, which they have.  There is a ten year statute on collections. The ten year clock probably starts no earlier than 2013 when the Tax Court ruled.

And The Rest

Theo's three videos are not really tight logical presentations. He is very emotional and rambles a bit.  He brings up his concerns about Kent's endorsement of The Shack



He also gets into Kent's marriage to Mary Tocco and Kent's treatment of his family.  There are fairly petty things about what has been going on in Lenox.  The latter is the type of stuff that you will encounter if you look under the hood of any intentional community or family for that matter.

In the first two videos Theo promises to unleash damning evidence, but in the third he indicates that he on reflection he has decided to let it go.  At one time he flashes a folder that he indicates is full of emails. He indicates in the final video that his purpose was to warn believers not to support Kent Hovind.  If they are not able to figure that out just from listening to Kent Hovind, I doubt that many will be swayed.

I think the most likely scenario of what is going on in Lenox is that Ernie Land is struggling mightily to keep Kent out of future trouble with the IRS while Kent is probably shooting himself in the foot.  Likely, Theo has some of the shell casings in that folder.

Kent's Response

Kent Hovind has, as you might expect, responded in kind on youtube.  You can judge that for yourself.



It is very important that you know that Kent did not kiss Mary until he got the word from whoever was doing their marriage ceremony. I'm glad that is settled.

Reactions

I reached out for comments on the situations and this is what I got.

Bob Baty, the Hovind critic most attacked on #FreeKent wrote me:

Wow!
Where to begin!
How about something like, "I told you so"???
Otherwise, meaningful comments might require, at least for me, some more specific guidance as to specific subject matter.
I think Theo is a poor quality critic of Kent, but he is "the man of the hour" with the personal experience and testimony for consideration.
Hopefully, things will get better as possibly more and more come out on all sides to deal with the issues.
I have long claimed that the Hovind story needs a lot more qualified, investigative reporting.
Maybe the latest developments will result in some of that
Maybe not.
Maybe more later.
Peter, I'm looking forward to your unique and creative way in dealing with such matters.
Rudy Davis wrote me:
Theodore's channel name is "Lies of the Devil". Could it be more aptly named? I haven't spoken to Theodore since the day Kent Hovind was released from prison. There is a lot of drama that goes on behind the scenes and Theodore has long ago revealed himself to me to be immature, self-aggrandizing, controlling, manipulative, selfish and lacking discernment. Theodore lusts after fame, recognition and a bigger ministry and he has revealed his true nature for all to see in an attempt to grab his 15 minutes of fame in his so-called "exposing" of Dr. Hovind. Dr. Hovind has a long history of dealing with jealous haters and Dr. Hovind will no doubt weather this little tiff from a disgruntled employee.  Theodore suffers from tall poppy syndrome and/or crab mentality and there is no substance to his envious and bitter railings against Dr. Kent Hovind and his wife Mary.  I have witnessed a pattern of betrayal of prominent Christian patriots by those closest to them. The Lord knows the motives of the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Proverbs 21:2 says Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts. Does anyone really think Theodore's heart is motivated to protect fellow Christians from the evil and wicked Dr. Hovind? It would be laughable if it wasn't so sad. Let the chips fall where they may, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 
Ernie Land wrote:
I have to say Br. Kent discerned Theo’s pridefullness, and desire for fame, much sooner than I. Anyone who watches his videos sees immediately how little Theo gives God any glory, instead opting to tell the world the he, Theo, did everything. I saw his great talents and stood in for him until December of last year. In the end his once superior work became inferior, causing the Ministry to replace a lot of it, at a loss to the Ministry.  Those who came to our recent open house see right through Theo’s claims of extravagant spending. I invite all to come form their own decision. We saw many come to the Lord, even having baptisms at Dinosaur AdventureLand. We are about the Kingdom work, which is why people support this Ministry. Theo seems to be pridefully, taking credit, drawing attention for his fame, as he tears down the Kingdom works with deception, and many utter and complete lies. All I can say is one will reap what they sow.
Baty followed up with some comments from a source familiar with the situation who observed "Theo was too unhinged to make an impact"

That may well be the best observation on this particular tempest in the Hovind teapot.

Kent Hovind's People Problem?

It may just be a sampling problem but it does seem that Kent Hovind has a gift for alienating people who get close to him.  Ernie Land is, of course, a notable exception.  Somewhat comparable to Theo might be Daniel Johnson, who Jonathan Schwartz interviewed in the wake of Hovind's 2015 trial.  And then there are Jo and Eric.

Someone who knows about intentional communities will be able to tell you about the problem of founders versus grounders.  It looks likely that Hovind's ministry will not outlive Hovind, which might not bother him that much since he thinks it likely that the world will end in the next decade.

Keeping Up

Regardless, Hovindologists will keep the popcorn out as this particular drama unfolds.  Bob Baty's facebook site will give you close to real time coverage if you want to follow along.  I've got a tax blog to run, so I might give this a rest for a while.

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Peter J Reilly CPA hoped his Kent Hovind coverage would be his ticket to fame and fortune.  So far he has been disappointed.



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Finally Something About The Baby Holm Controversy

I met Bob Baty thanks to my coverage of the fight over the dubious constitutionality of Code Section 107 the parsonage exclusion.  He became my most constant commenter and I dubbed him "bane of the basketball minister". 
Then in 2012, there was the Tax Court decision in the case of Jo Hovind.  This was my entry into the world of Hovindology, the study of the trials and tribulations of independent Baptist minister and young earth creationist Kent Hovind, who spent nearly a decade behind bars on tax related charges and was tried on new charges in 2015.  Bob has devoted much effort to exposing what he calls Hovind's false legal narrative.
Bob Baty is a retired IRS agent who spends a lot of time tending to a few internet sites. Hovindicators - the supporters of Kent Hovind's narrative - tend to believe he is a paid government agent.  I don't think so.
At any rate, Bob has been intensely following another controversy that has connections, however tenuous to Hovindology.  Bob has been after me to cover the Baby Holm controversy, but I have resisted not wanting to dedicate the lifespan necessary to form an opinion.  As an alternative I have invited him to do a guest post on the subject.
This venue will be open to those with other opinions subject to fairly minimal standards of decorous communications.  
_____________________________________________________________________________

Making Noise & Shining Light in Cleburne County, AL
The Baby Holm Story (developing)
By Robert Baty
April 8, 2017

C. Clarke Holm (age 37) and Danielle Holm (age 32) were on foot. Danielle was 8-9 months pregnant. They were camping in a tent they carried with them to Cheaha State Park, AL.  They were planning, reportedly, on having the child born in the tent and then moving on to parts unknown.

The reality that developed was that they simply couldn't pull that off, and maybe they never intended that result.

An emergency was declared and numerous responders were called to the campsite.  The couple was transported from Cheaha State Park, AL to the Regional Medical Center and "Baby Holm" made his appearance.

It would ultimately be determined by State authorities that the parents could not demonstrate that they had the appropriate means for proving  proper and reasonable care of the child and on the second day in the hospital the State took custody of the child.

And so the stage was set for what might have been the parents plans all along.

It seems there is a nationwide movement, well organized and financed, that specializes in promoting an anti-government, anti-child welfare agenda; characterizing State custody claims as kidnappings and accusing child welfare agencies of baby selling and child trafficking, among other things.

It was October 10, 2016 when the baby was born, October 11, 2016 when the State of Alabama took custody.  A required 72 hour hearing was held about 2 days later and the judge determined that the State should retain custody pending a resolution of the issues involving the parents ability to properly provide for the child.

The parents, as if it had been planned before they arrived at Cheaha State Park, were quickly able to marshal anti-government, anti-child welfare forces and begin a publicity campaign accusing the State of kidnapping,  child trafficking, and other such things, and the responders of rape/sexual assault.

Darkness had fallen over Cleburne County, AL as the parents were able to promote their side of the story and control the narrative.   Due to the privacy which surrounds such cases and limits the State's ability to respond, the Cleburne County, Al child welfare agency (DHR), was taking it hard as the attacks upon it and the handling of the case were unrelenting; coming from the parents and those called in to help with promoting an anti-government, anti-child welfare agenda.

The parents use their personal FaceBook page and a FaceBook group to promote their narrative.  Those pages can be found at:


and

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1826254040954882/

A great noise, however, was heard in Cleburne County, AL around the middle of December 2016, and the light began to shine upon what has now become known as the False Holm Narrative.

In an obscure YouTube broadcast by Rudy Davis (aka LoneStar1776) on December 13, 2016, Ernie Land, announced that Brady Byrum, a known "sovereign citizen"/"patriot" promoter and leader of Kent Hovind's legal team (though he is not a lawyer or paralegal of any sort), had been secretly working with the Baby Holm parents for weeks, under cover, secretly, in their effort in fighting Cleburne County, AL DHR.  



See: https://youtu.be/x2dA_eIItvs?t=24m25s

(Note it is not until after the twenty six minute mark that Baby Holm comes up. I love to listen to Ernie Land and Rudy Davis, but it is an acquired taste not shared by everyone.  PJR)

In subsequent broadcasts, Rudy Davis announced Brady Byrum's continuing involvement with Kent Hovind's implicit endorsement.  Brady Byrum had earlier completed work on a scheme to promote what has become known as Kent Hovind's "False Legal Narrative" and anti-government promotions which can be found at the following website:

Part of the secrecy that surrounded the Baby Holm case before the middle of December involves a 25-page letter that the parents had repeatedly sent to various DHR and State officials as well as elected State representatives, including Jeff Sessions, who has since become the new United States Attorney General.

The parents refused to publish that letter or otherwise discuss its contents.  It has only recently been revealed, and reveals clearly the anti-government, anti-DHR influence in the course the parents have taken; a course which can reasonably be said to have guaranteed that a resolution of the custody issue would not be any time soon.  In fact, in one report sympathetic to the parents, it was reported that the letter was the cause of DHR determining to suspend the parents visitations with the child for several weeks.

The 25-page letter may be accessed now through a link found in the article about it at:


In further consequence of Ernie Land's announcement, a FaceBook group was established to allow for the "rest of the story", the real story, to be told regarding the Baby Holm case.  That group has been, since its founding, effectively used by Cleburne County, AL residents and others interested in the case and interested in the truth to follow the case, present facts, provide rebuttal to the False Holm Narrative, and provide opinions, informed opinions.  

The light has come to Cleburne County, AL.
The noise is being made.

It's coming from the "Understanding The Baby Holm Case" FaceBook group found at:


The local, state, and national media would do well to give serious, investigative attention to the Baby Holm case as it bears on a continuing problem with anti-government, anti-child welfare promoters (i.e., "sovereign citizen" and "patriot" groups and individuals and those falsely representing such cases for purposes of seeking a change to child welfare operations of government).

________________________________________________________________________
Robert Baty is either a retired IRS agent with a number of obsessions that he follows closely and documents or an agent of the New World Order depending on who you ask.

Peter J Reilly likes the idea of people providing him with content hoping to become the Tom Sawyer of blogging.




Friday, February 10, 2017

Argument For The Constitutionality Of The Parsonage Exclusion

One of the issues that I have been following since the beginning of my blogging days is the Freedom From Religion Foundation's quixotic seeming quest to have the parsonage exclusion (Code Section 107) declared unconstitutional.  My devotion to this issue has reaped a huge dividend as it now provides a distinguished guest post. 

Edward Zelinsky is the Morris and Annie Trachman Professor of Law at the Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.

I asked Professor Zelinsky to comment on The Parsonage Exemption by Adam Chodorow, which I am covering on forbes.com. His comments were a little too extensive to incorporate in the post, so I am reproducing them here.
_________________________________________________________________________________


Prof. Chodorow’s article helpfully highlights the areas of disagreement between those who conclude that Internal Revenue Code Section 107 is unconstitutional and those of us who conclude otherwise. Speaking for myself, I see in this area debatable trade-offs and plausible choices where others tend to see absolutist decisions.

     Consider, for example, the relationship between Section 107, limited to “ministers of the gospel,” and Code Section 119 which provides a general income tax exclusion for employer-provided housing. I have argued that striking Section 107 will not eliminate the church-state entanglement about which critics of Section 107 complain. If Section 107 is stricken, much of the controversy will migrate to Section 119 as churches shift from providing cash parsonage allowances to furnishing in-kind housing.

      Section 119 raises “similarly entangling questions” as does Section 107. Among these entangling inquiries under Section 119 are determining whether a minister is an “employee” eligible for Section 119's housing-based exclusion, whether housing is provided to the clerical employee for the church’s “convenience,” what is the church’s “business” for purposes of Section 119 and what constitutes the church’s “premises.” Since both Sections 107 and 119 raise “similarly entangling questions,” it is plausible (though not compelled) for Congress to prefer the church-state entanglement inherent in Section 107 over the similar church-state entanglement flowing from the application of Section 119 to clergy and church-provided housing.

     Prof. Chodorow now writes that I have gotten this subject “exactly backward,” that Section 119 is “far less” entangling than is Section 107.

     In contrast, I see no easy metric for determining whether the church-state entanglement inherent in Section 107 is greater than or less than the entanglement flowing from the application of Section 119 to church-furnished housing. The entanglement is similar which is why the ultimate decisionmakers in this area should be democratically-elected legislators, balancing the offsetting concerns.

     I likewise have noted that the argument that Section 107 unconstitutionally entangles implies that other provisions of the Code also unconstitutionally entangle church and state. In particular, the regulatory standards for determining who is a clergywoman are the same under Section 107, FICA and the ACA. If those standards entangle unconstitutionally in the context of Section 107, they similarly entangle in the context of FICA and the ACA.

     Prof Chodorow seeks to distinguish ACA and FICA from Section 107 on the grounds that the FICA and ACA religious exemptions “are purportedly necessary to ensure that government does not force people to take actions that violate their religious beliefs.” But this characterization of the FICA and ACA exemptions does not address the issue of entanglement: If it is too entangling to define a “minister of the gospel” under Section 107, it is also unacceptably entangling to undertake the same inquiry under FICA and ACA.

     One of the pleasures of being a law professor is that I spend my days debating important issues with my colleagues. Prof. Chodorow’s paper helps to clarify the issues involved in the constitutional status of Section 107. At the end of the day, I respectfully conclude that Section 107 is a constitutionally-permitted, though not constitutionally-compelled, means of managing the church-state tensions which are inevitable when the modern government meets the modern church.

     As a matter of tax policy, I conclude that cash parsonage allowances should be taxed. However, as Chief Justice Burger noted in Walz, under the First Amendment, there is “room for play in the joints” to manage the relationship between contemporary tax systems and the contemporary church. Within that room, Congress can constitutionally adopt Section 107 and its income tax exclusion for church-provided housing and housing allowances.

 ______________________________________________________________

I actually think that not too many people really care all that much about things being constitutional.  Activists and advocates use the Constitution like a drunk uses a lamppost - more for support than illumination.  You can tell Professor Zelinsky cares, because of his nuanced view.  He believes that excluding cash housing allowances is both a bad idea, as a matter of tax policy, and constitutionally permissible.

Peter J Reilly loves guest posts.  Why don't you send one in?


    

            

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Transactivist Comments On Article About O'Donnabhain Decision

When I asked Toni D'Orsay, Executive Director of the Trans 100 to comment on an article about the O'Donnobhain decision, which recognized gender confirmation surgery as a deductible medical expense, I got a bit more than I could fit into my forbes post.  Here is her full response.

This case represents an excellent opportunity to examine the ways in which those who are opposed to the rights of Trans people -- and, by extension, gay, lesbian, and bisexual people -- operate in a setting of law, where their exhortations towards public defamation are much more limited by the demands of law.

That it took place in tax court was, in the first place, entirely because of their aversion, anxiety, and animus towards trans people, and, as this particular review notes, with a shocking disregard for precedent and settled case law. To have first had success and then have that reversed by a public outcry and pressure, is common among cases that involve LGBT persons.

Here, we have a government office, which does not have competence or training, impugn the very experts who do have competence and training as fake, and effectively arguing that no one involved except them knew what they were talking about or had the capacity to argue the case.

Which is shocking, as, by that standard, even their own expert witnesses were failing. It was akin to the arguments in the much more well known California civil case around marriage equality.

This became a case of the IRS, under orders, acting as an Agent of those who have aversion to or Anxiety about trans people, even though the IRS itself did not originally have the problem as an organization.

This, in particular, makes the case important in referencing other federal aspects that touch on the lives of trans people, and acts as a strongly settled precedent, even though it has limited applicability.
Of note, to me, is that under the current standards of care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People, Version 7, there are several sections where aspects of this case are directly addressed, and well documented with explicit rationales -- a marked change from the Version 6 that was in use at the time the case was litigated -- although the case itself did not have direct bearing on the decision to do so beyond the familiarity of these questions when trans lives are examined in the public sphere.

The case is one that will likely be made into a "lifetime" movie one day -- fictionalized, no doubt, but the basics of the story are quite compelling and the way that things happened is very dramatic.

The most important aspect of the case, however, has nothing to do with trans persons directly -- it lies in the impact to persons who are not trans as a direct result of the way this case was argued. Had the trans woman lost, t would have significantly altered the way that other people were able to make claims for simple, routine exemptions that they had been getting all along, and given rise to an even greater challenge down the road in order to "restore" that basis.


Trans people, despite their being different, are still people. When you attack them, you invariably attack people who are not trans people, because of this simple truth.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Rudy Davis And The Prisoners He Looks Out For

When Kent Hovind was facing another conviction last year that would have meant much more time in federal prison, a fair analysis might be that his liberty was saved by sharp legal work orchestrated by Ernie Land and a bit of jury nullification by the jury foreman Don Camacho



It is hard to believe though that the Hovindication movement did not play some role, if nothing else in keeping up Kent Hovind's spirits.  I think it is fair to say that the most vocal and passionate of the Hovindicators was Rudy Davis, whose youtube channel LoneStar1776  was pretty much "All Doc Dino All The Time" for the duration.

What I find interesting is that Rudy's concern for Kent Hovind has, if you will forgive the expression, evolved into a larger concern for prisoners and conditions in prison.  I like to look for area of agreement with people from whom I sharply differ.  Frankly, I think Kent Hovind and some of the other people that Rudy champions have largely created their own problems, but overall, I have to agree with Rudy and Kent that imprisoning people is a really dumb way to punish them.  That I don't agree with them on re-instituting flogging and much more liberal use of the death penalty is neither here nor there.  Actually, I don't know where Rudy is on flogging.  He is big on the death penalty though.








Regardless, I would like to share without editorializing the prisoners that Rudy is currently looking out for.

Francis S. Cox #16179-006
USP Marion
PO Box 1000
Marion, IL. 62959





Lonnie G. Vernon #16172-006
PO Box 33
Terre Haute, In. 47808





Karen L. Vernon #16176-006
FCI Waseca
PO Box 1731
Waseca, MN. 56093





Daniel Riley #14528-052
FCI Danbury
Federal Correctional Institution
Route 37
Danbury, CT. 06811




Edward Brown #03923-049
FCI Cumberland
Federal Correctional Institution
PO Box 1000
Cumberland, MD. 21501





Elaine Brown #03924-049
FCI Aliceville
Federal Correctional Institution
PO Box 4000
Aliceville, AL. 35442





Charles Dyer 659682
LCCC Unit 5 H-2-H
PO Box 260
Lexington, OK. 73051



Peter T. Santilli #79401065
Nevada Southern Detention Center
2190 East Mesquite Avenue
Pahrump, NV. 89060

Audio link

The Bundey's and All of the Oregon Patriots





Russell D. Landers #05177-046
PO Box 33
Terre Haute, IN. 47808





Blackwater River Correctional Facility
Shawn Stuller DC# P43632
5914 Jeff Ates Rd.
Milton, FL. 32583





JASON GERHARD 20229-045
FCI Allenwood Low
FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION
P.O. BOX 1000
WHITE DEER, PA  17887







You may be dismissive of Rudy's concern based on the views of those he is supporting, but what I would challenge you to do is think of people in prison for civil disobedience that you might approve of or just wrongly there and see how you might do something to help them.

I'll leave it at that.
________________________________________________________________________
Peter J Reilly CPA is an occasional viewer of LoneStar1776, He thinks Rudy Davis is wrong about a lot of things, but admires his spirit.