Things have been quiet here on Your Tax Matters Partner. The raison d'etre of this blog is tax matters that I don't find forbes worthy. The recent tax bill has kept me pretty busy with forbes worthy developments. Also I have slacked off on following Kent Hovind, my major source of non forbes worthy tax stories. Of course not everything about Doctor Dino is tax related, but for me he is rooted in a tax story making all the various branches tax- related.
But there is a saving grace to this site. Here I can take guest posts. And we are hereby admitting a new member to the hearty band of Hovinidologists. Lamar Smith wrote me a while ago with some thoughts and questions about the good doctor, some of it related to my 2015 interview.
So I of course asked Mr. Smith for a guest post, which he kindly provided. He tells a bit about himself in the post, so I will leave it at that as the introduction.
I recently discovered Peter Reilly through my fascination with Kent Hovind. I’m a former educator, I taught predominantly World History at a rural high school in Texas. I have a Masters Degree in Education, History Major and Political Science Minor. To my surprise I discovered that the most controversial and difficult unit to cover in my class was the first week or two of the entire year.
It turns out that the French Revolution, slavery in the Roman Empire and the Holocaust combined never generated the kind of student and parent push-back that discussing Australopithecenes, Neanderthals, Cro-Magnons and human ancestors consistently generated.
To discuss these was, to my surprise, to court controversy. I’m a very inquisitive person who considers himself a lifelong learner and when I researched the causes for for the controversies and the origins of comments from my students such as “my grandfather wasn’t an ape!” and “When are we going to cover the worldwide flood?” I discovered Kent Hovind and a whole host of conservative evangelical Christians promoting their theologically driven agendas and beliefs.
I’m a veteran who fought in Operation Desert Shield/Storm and served to protect all the freedoms upon which our country was founded. I do not at this time accept any supernatural belief or claim as sufficiently having met its burden of proof and, though not formally trained as a scientist, have great appreciation for science, the history of science and scientific advances and the scientific process as a whole.
I support and am willing to defend any American’s right to hold whatever religious conviction their conscience dictates or if they choose to hold none at all. I believe, even in our currently very fractured society, their is room for all outlooks and voices.
I was just curious why the question of human origins was always so difficult and it wasn’t long before I ‘met’ Kent Hovind. My research into this question and discovery of Kent’s material predated his trial, conviction and imprisonment, though I didn’t follow his legal battles closely or I would have discovered Peter Reilly much sooner.
Kent certainly isn’t alone in his beliefs but I was drawn to him, to watch more of his material because of his skill as a public speaker. Did you ever sit through two periods of the same teacher’s class for some reason? If it was a teacher you liked, I hope you didn’t.
It most probably robbed some of the magic you thought that teacher had. Those jokes she cracked to keep the material interesting just weren’t as funny the second time around, were they?
As a public speaker, though, you appreciate that every speaker, politician, teacher, preacher, comedian or writer has a certain well of material they draw from and you appreciate how they can deliver the same line, the same clever turn of phrase, as if for the first time, as if they just thought of it. Kent has that in spades.
You listen and hear something and it’s almost comforting to mentally note “Oh, he’s about to drop that line,” and then he does.
In listening to the debates he’s done, even though I’m in almost total disagreement with his positions, his evidence and his conclusions, I admired his stubbornness and his determination to have something to say back after every point his opponents make. Kent is not a “well, I’ll have to concede that point” kind of guy.
He claims to have never lost a debate and it’s doubtful he ever will concede that. More on that later, though.
He is, I believe, a hero to a certain segment of society. From my view, if he’s a hero, then he is a tragic hero straight from the pen of an Ancient Greek playwright. He is the cause of his own destruction and misfortune and fated to be his own worst enemy.
What are Kent’s strengths? In listening to his interview with Kent from the, I believe, Santa Rosa County Jail, Peter Reilly notes Kent’s stubbornness with an exception that proves the rule. While in prison, Kent changed his view on the timing of the Rapture. That is the only instance of which I am aware of Kent changing his mind on any substantive issue. Kent doesn’t bend much or often.
Kent does the work. He’s almost manic in his efforts and doesn’t ever seem to do anything halfway. He lost his Dinosaur Adventure Land in Pensacola but already is planning on opening another in Alabama within months of this writing.
Kent gives off the air of a man who believes he is completely right and he is committed 100% to what he does.
These can be very admirable traits and it’s obvious many people are drawn to them and him because of these attributes. So, what are his weaknesses, what caused him to go to prison and what could derail his life in the future? The exact same traits.
Aeschylus and Aristophanes couldn’t have written it better.
Is it a mystery or a surprise that a person who can become so committed to his own interpretation of the Bible and to an account of creation and the flood that flies in the face of so many disciplines in science, could also entrench himself in fringe conspiracy theories about what the IRS is and is allowed to do?
In his interview with Peter Reilly, Kent tried to bring up the origin story of the IRS. I don’t personally know Mr. Reilly but i admired the way he sidestepped this issue. It’s clear Kent wanted to talk about it and I probably would have been roped into that line of questioning. That would have proven fruitless because I would have ended up bursting out to Kent “Who cares how, when, or why the IRS was founded? It’s here today and we all have to deal with it!”
Peter Reilly, good Catholic boy he was raised to be, is probably far too polite and was smart enough to sidestep that issue entirely.
Kent has obviously done his reading of the tax code but did so the same way I and most people would have; without much in the way of a tax background. I also believe that Kent has the ability, almost super human ability, to read something or hear something and draw the exact conclusion he was going to draw before ever reading it.
Kent’s convictions and stubbornness comes first and facts are a very distant second and contrary facts are quickly explained away.
I’ll continue to watch him as he moves into this newest iteration of DAL. I’m wondering what sort of changes he’s made to his business practices. It seems obvious a theme park cannot work without employees, though what Kent will decide to call them will be interesting to see.
Since leaving prison his first wife divorced him and he then remarried. He is, at the time of this writing, separated from her. She has left his property owing to “death threats,” and Kent did receive criticism from other evangelical Christians over his remarriage.
No matter how it all turns out, like a car crash on the side of the road, my eyes are just drawn to the spectacle.
It’s a wonder a camera crew hasn’t been summoned to create a Reality TV show. Kent’s life seems tailor made for such a venture.
I think Lamar has nailed it on a number of issues particularly Kent's stubbornness and the fascination that people can develop observing him. The though of a reality TV show has been mentioned before.
I hope to be hearing more from Lamar and for that matter why haven't you sent in a guest post?
Peter J. Reilly CPA has been following the Kent Hovind story, since 2012.