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