This post was originally published on Forbes Jul 26, 2015
I would not have expected the various people who worked to help Kent Hovind avoid more prison time to become the basis of a new movement. Rudy Davis, who became the movement's most prominent face, always emphasized that people needed to put aside their doctrinal differences to help their brother in the Lord. What they are falling out over, though, is a real surprise at least to me - Flat Earth. I'll give you a little background, since Flat Earth is not something that comes up a lot in tax blogs.
Young Earth Creationist Kent Hovind, Doctor Dino, was nearing the end of a long sentence for tax related crimes, when he faced trial on new charges related to actions that he had taken while in prison to affect the title of property that had been seized as a result of the first conviction. The new prosecution sparked a vigorous social media campaign. The flagship website was #FreeKent and the primary youtube channel was Rudy Davis's LoneStar1776. There ended up being a hung jury on most of the charges and the conviction on a single count was reversed and the government abandoned retrial on the other charges.
So Kent Hovind is now relatively free, as he is finishing his sentence in home confinement till August 9th after which he begins three years of supervised release.
Kent Hovind At Home
Kent has continued to make the telephone interview circuit of alternate conspiracy media sites to discuss the injustice of his structuring conviction. Hagmann & Hagmann was the most recent I noted, but it is tough to keep up.
Kent has also started his own youtube channel Kent Hovind OFFICIAL. The focus there is what Doctor Hovind has always said his main focus is which is preaching the Gospel to save souls. The videos so far have been answering a backlog of bible questions that have been coming in. It was in answering one of those questions that he splits from some of his strongest supporters.
My friend Jonathan Schwartz describes Kent Hovind's supporters as
...a hodgepodge of creationists, sovereign citizens, militia members, conspiracy theorists, Christian sects, opportunists, con-men, race haters, bullies, bloggers and genuine sympathizers of Hovind
Among them was TigerDan925 who produced one of the movement's hallmark videos "20 shocking attacks on Kent that North Korea would welcome. URGENT!"
Well TigerDan925 is now upset with Kent because of Kent's unbiblical opinion that the earth is shaped like a sphere and orbits the sun.
Rudy Davis has started a new youtube channel 1776LoneStar to deal with his other interests. In his inaugural video he lays out his beliefs on many topics.
Rudy is firm in his geocentrism and is taking a hard look at flat earth, but he encourages believers to not let doctrinal issues divide them in fighting the real enemies. You know - things like the New World Order and the Jesuits.
Remember Paul John Hansen
Rudy is maintaining LoneStar1776 as there is still the matter of Hovind's codefendant Paul John Hansen who faces sentencing August 21. Hansen is appealing to the holdout juror, Don Camacho to attend his sentencing hearing.
Camacho's identity as the holdout was revealed by none other than Jonathan Schwartz.
Hansen's views on law and government are something that I find rather fascinating. He believes that the authority of federal, state and local government is extremely restricted and that valid courts are those created by members of the community to enforce biblical law. Hovind does not focus so much on the procedural aspects and, at least in fighting his most recent charges has been pretty conventional. Hovind's theology dictates that Old Testament law is no longer binding, but that there are lessons there for how to have a good society, allowing him to speculate that there might be some merit in the death penalty for adultery, without actually coming out and endorsing it.
Hovind's experience has caused him to believe that prison is a very bad idea and not so incidentally unbiblical. The sanctions that are biblically allowed are fines, beating and capital punishment, which is pretty much the way it was until the early part of the 19th Century. If you mash together Hovind's views on proper sanctions for crimes and Hansen's views on proper legal procedure, you would end up with a system that seems just a bit Middle Eastern, which is kind of ironic.
Whither Creation Science Evangelism?
My own hope was that Kent would go on his son Eric's payroll, since that seemed like the easiest way for him to be conventionally tax compliant for the future. Apparently that is not what is going to happen. Ernie Land, Kent's long term friend and consigliere tells me:
I am currently working with Attorneys to have 2 corporations set up. The goal is to have a Corporation operate the for profit things of the Ministry like sales of literature, videos and materials, as well as move toward a mini theme park type creation and dinosaur adventure land. The hope is we can replicate the creation science evangelism across the world, by either licensed agreements or more probably, after Attorneys establish proper protocol, franchises. The idea would be to use Kent Hovind teachings in each theme park in a way that Kent Hovind becomes to dinosaur theme parks as Colonel Sanders is to chicken eateries. The goal of the second corporation is to set up a board and seek a not for profit status as a science foundation. Kent will teach the theology and consult as a third party. He and his wife have separate Counsel and separate tax advisors, as will the corporations which are held by third party. His current plans are to seek retirement, enjoy his family, while continuing his teaching on creation, the flood, and the coming end times via social media, radio, and broadcast.
Colonel Kent - has a nice ring to it. I'm worried though that it is not going to end well. Having a for-profit and a not-for-profit work hand in hand makes it easy to screw things up even for people who are trying very hard to be conventionally compliant.
Do You Want A Piece Of Dinosaur Adventureland?
The final piece of property seized by the government is going up for auction on August 13, 2015. 5800 North Palafox Street was the DAL parking lot. If you are thinking of bidding, you may want to have a chat with Anthony Jaworski, who is the only non-Hovind to buy a piece of the old DAL from the government.
That did not work out so well for Mr. Jaworski.