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Kent Hovind

Kent Hovind
Born Kent E. Hovind
(1953-01-15) January 15, 1953
Residence Pensacola, Florida
Nationality American
Occupation Evangelist, Christian theme park operator
Known for Advocate of Young Earth creationism, convicted of tax-related crimes
Religion Independent Baptist
Criminal penalty 10 years imprisonment and 3 years probation
Criminal status Probation (released August 7, 2015)
Spouse(s) Jo Delia Hovind
Conviction(s) Willful failure to pay taxes, Structuring, Obstructing IRS administration

Kent E. Hovind (born January 15, 1953) is an American Answers in Genesis for his continued use of discredited arguments that have been abandoned by others in the movement.

Hovind established Creation Science Evangelism in 1989 and Dinosaur Adventure Land in 2001 in Pensacola, Florida. He frequently spoke on Young Earth creationism in schools, churches, debates, and on radio and television broadcasts. His son Eric Hovind took over operation of CSE after Kent began serving a ten-year prison sentence in January 2007 for federal court convictions for failing to pay taxes, obstructing federal agents, and structuring cash transactions. In a separate federal court case in early 2015, a federal court jury found Hovind guilty of contempt of court in connection with a charge of disobeying a prior court order, but the trial Court rejected the guilty verdict and rendered a judgment of acquittal in favor of Hovind, stating that there was no language in the prior court order that Hovind could be found, as a matter of law, to have disobeyed.

Contents

  • Biography 1
    • Education 1.1
    • Creation Science Evangelism and Creation Today 1.2
    • Dinosaur Adventure Land 1.3
  • Creationism 2
    • The Hovind Theory 2.1
    • Criticism from creationists 2.2
    • Anti-evolution claims 2.3
    • Debates 2.4
    • $250,000 offer 2.5
    • Political activity 2.6
    • Chick tracts 2.7
  • Politics and conspiracies 3
  • YouTube copyright controversy 4
  • Legal problems 5
    • Escambia County (2002–2006) 5.1
    • Federal civil tax matters, bankruptcy, and renouncing citizenship (1996–2006) 5.2
    • Federal criminal tax-related trial and convictions in 2006 5.3
    • Sentencing, appeals, and imprisonment (2007–present) 5.4
    • CSE property forfeitures 5.5
    • Federal mail fraud and criminal contempt trial in 2015 5.6
  • See also 6
  • Notes 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Biography

At the age of 16, Hovind became a born-again Christian[1] within the Independent Fundamental Baptist church.[2] He married his wife Jo in 1973 and they had three children between 1977 and 1979. Between 1975 and 1988, Hovind served as an assistant pastor and teacher at three private Baptist schools, including one he started.[1] In 1989, the family moved to Pensacola, Florida where Jo would attend Pensacola Christian College and would earn a bachelor's degree in music and master's degrees in music and sacred music.[3][4]

In 1989, Hovind started Creation Science Evangelism. In 1998, he created his Dr. Dino web site and began producing articles and selling video tapes, books, and fossil replicas.[3] Prior to being convicted, Hovind spoke at churches, private schools, and other venues each year, in addition to hosting a daily internet radio talk show and establishing Dinosaur Adventure Land in Pensacola, Florida. In 1999, his son Eric Hovind began traveling to present his arguments and seminars.[5][6] Kent and Jo are grandparents.[7]

Education

Patriot University

Though he styles himself "Dr. Kent Hovind" or "Dr. Dino", Hovind's known degrees are all from unaccredited institutions.

In 1971, he graduated from East Peoria Community High School in East Peoria, Illinois. He entered the accredited Illinois Central College, then transferred to the unaccredited Midwestern Baptist College in 1972, attaining a Bachelor of Religious Education in 1974.[1] In 1988 and 1991 respectively, Hovind received a master's degree and doctorate in Christian Education through correspondence from (also unaccredited) Patriot University in Colorado Springs, Colorado.[notes 1][8][9]

Having a website called "Dr. Dino" has provoked some academics to look closely at how Hovind presents his education and credentials. He has no training in

External links

  1. ^ a b c Instrument 2005406964, Affidavit. Recorded August 10, 2005, by Escambia County Florida Clerk of the Circuit Court. Retrieved 2015-05-14. Available on Wikisource at Kent Hovind 2005 Affidavit.
  2. ^ "I am, without apology, an independent fundamental Baptist."
  3. ^ a b c d Jo Delia Hovind v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue; T.C. Memo. 2012-281; October 3, 2012; also available online at Jo Hovind v Commissioner of Internal Revenue (2012 Order).
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b Kent Hovind wrote his son, Eric, "joined our CSE staff May 10th. He is taking my seminar to schools and churches and has quite a few meetings scheduled already."
  7. ^ a b c d
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b c d e f
  10. ^ a b c
  11. ^ a b c
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b c page 13
  15. ^ a b c
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "After completing his high school studies at Pensacola Christian Academy in 1997, he graduated from Jackson Hole Bible College in Jackson Hole, Wyoming."
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ It's catalog says: "it is not our purpose or desire to be accredited."
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ Fictitious Name Detail: Creation Science Evangelism, Registration #G07317900401, November 13, 2007 from State of Florida, Department of State. Retrieved 2015-05-15.
  25. ^
  26. ^ Kyle Winkler,
  27. ^
  28. ^ a b c d e f g
  29. ^ a b
  30. ^ a b c
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ a b c
  34. ^
  35. ^ a b c
  36. ^ a b The story can be found in the collection: "'"The evolution of 'Dr. Dino.
  37. ^ The story can be found in the collection: "'"The evolution of 'Dr. Dino.
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^ a b
  43. ^
  44. ^ a b c d e
  45. ^ a b c d e f
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  49. ^ a b c
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  52. ^ a b
  53. ^
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  58. ^
  59. ^ a b c d
  60. ^ a b
  61. ^ a b page 6
  62. ^
  63. ^ a b
  64. ^ Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 400 F.Supp.2d 707, p83 (United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania December 20, 2005). available at Wikisource: Ruling, Kitzmiller v. Dover page 83
    Sample organizational statements:
    NCSE maintains an extensive list of statements
  65. ^
  66. ^
  67. ^
  68. ^
  69. ^ a b
  70. ^
  71. ^
  72. ^
  73. ^ reprinted in The REALL News 2(2) (March 1994).
  74. ^ A version appears as Lucy’s Knee Joint: How creationists deal with their errors in the Skeptic 15(4):34–6 (Summer 1995).
  75. ^ a b
  76. ^
  77. ^ a b
  78. ^
  79. ^
  80. ^ a b Don Michael, "The Hovind connection: Check your facts, legislators." Northwest Arkansas Times. April 05, 2001
  81. ^
  82. ^
  83. ^ a b c
  84. ^
  85. ^
  86. ^ a b
  87. ^
  88. ^ Big Daddy?, tract from Chick Publications.
  89. ^ Article from Chick Publications Battle Cry July/August 2000 Newsletter, Author Claims Some Dinosaurs Live Today!
  90. ^
  91. ^
  92. ^ a b "Alberta: Evangelist says dinosaurs existed in God's world," The Guardian (Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island), December 2, 2000
  93. ^
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  95. ^
  96. ^
  97. ^
  98. ^
  99. ^ a b
  100. ^
  101. ^
  102. ^
  103. ^ a b
  104. ^ Case number 2002 CF 004020 A, December 9, 2002. Escambia County, Florida Clerk of the Circuit Court. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
  105. ^ a b Case #2001 MM 023489 A decided June 5, 2006, recorded by Escambia County Florida Clerk of the Circuit Court. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
  106. ^ a b Case #2002 MM 026670 A decided June 5, 2006, recorded by Escambia County Florida Clerk of the Circuit Court. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
  107. ^
  108. ^ a b c d The story can be found in the collection: "'"The evolution of 'Dr. Dino.
  109. ^ a b
  110. ^ a b c d e Hovind v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2006-143, CCH December 56,562(M) (2006).
  111. ^
  112. ^
  113. ^ a b
  114. ^
  115. ^ a b In re Hovind, case no. 96-04256, U.S. Bankr. Court for the Northern District of Florida (Pensacola Div.), 197 B.R. 157 (Bankr. N.D. Fla. 1996), at [1].
  116. ^
  117. ^
  118. ^
  119. ^ "Power of attorney and revocation of signature", May 5, 1998. Filed with Escambia County, Florida Clerks Office as Instrument #1998483189. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
  120. ^ a b c d
  121. ^ IRS Raids Home and Business of Creationist Christianity Today April 19, 2004
  122. ^ The following instruments were recorded by the Escambia County Clerk on June 3, 2004: 2004247800, 2004247801, 2004247804, 2004247805, 2004247810, 2004247812. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
  123. ^ The story can be found in the collection: "'"The evolution of 'Dr. Dino.
  124. ^ a b The story can be found in the collection: "'"The evolution of 'Dr. Dino.
  125. ^ Order and decision, United States Tax Court, Docket 4245-10. May 15, 2003.
  126. ^ United States of America v. Kent E. Hovind and Jo D. HovindIndictment, , U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Pensacola Division, case no. 3:06CR83/MCR (July 11, 2006).
  127. ^ a b c
  128. ^
  129. ^
  130. ^
  131. ^ a b
  132. ^
  133. ^
  134. ^ a b
  135. ^ The story can be found in the collection: "'"The evolution of 'Dr. Dino.
  136. ^ a b c The story can be found in the collection: "'"The evolution of 'Dr. Dino.
  137. ^
  138. ^ a b c The story can be found in the collection: "'"The evolution of 'Dr. Dino as "Kent Hovind gets 10 years for violating federal tax law".
  139. ^
  140. ^ Case No. 09-5043, November 2, 2009, Kent E. Hovind v. United States, 130 S.Ct. 490 (2009).
  141. ^ The story can be found in the collection: "'"The evolution of 'Dr. Dino.
  142. ^ The story can be found in the collection: "'"The evolution of 'Dr. Dino
  143. ^
  144. ^
  145. ^
  146. ^
  147. ^
  148. ^
  149. ^ United States v. Stoll, case no. 2:05-cv-00262-RSM, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington (Seattle Div.); June 27, 2005.
  150. ^ The story can be found in the collection: "'"The evolution of 'Dr. Dino.
  151. ^
  152. ^ The following instruments are recorded by the Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, Escambia County, Florida on May 29, 2013: 2013037931, 2013037932, 2013037933, 2013037934. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
  153. ^ a b
  154. ^ Amended order on motion for discharge of liens Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, Escambia County, Florida, Instrument #2013077090, October 9, 2013. Retrieved 2015-05-14. Online at United States v. Hovind (Amended Order on Motion for Discharge of Liens).
  155. ^ a b
  156. ^ Indictment, Oct. 21, 2014, United States v. Hovind, case no. 3:14-cr-00091-MCR, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida (Pensacola Div.).
  157. ^
  158. ^
  159. ^ a b
  160. ^
  161. ^ a b
  162. ^ a b
  163. ^ Court order, March 20, 2015, docket entry 155, United States v. Hovind, case no. 3:14-00091-MCR, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida (Pensacola Div.).
  164. ^ Docket entry 194, May 16, 2015, United States v. Kent E. Hovind and Paul John Hansen, case no. 3:14-cr-00091-MCR, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida (Pensacola Div.).
  165. ^ Docket entry 195, May 16, 2015, United States v. Kent E. Hovind and Paul John Hansen, case no. 3:14-cr-00091-MCR, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida (Pensacola Div.).
  166. ^
  167. ^ Docket entry 198, May 18, 2015, United States v. Kent E. Hovind and Paul John Hansen, case no. 3:14-cr-00091-MCR, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida (Pensacola Div.).
  168. ^ Docket entry 197, May 18, 2015, United States v. Kent E. Hovind and Paul John Hansen, case no. 3:14-cr-00091-MCR, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida (Pensacola Div.).
  169. ^
  170. ^

References

  1. ^ now Patriot Bible University in Del Norte, Colorado, which no longer offers this program
  2. ^ It contains four chapters totaling 101 pages, but Hovind's introduction claims the work is 250 pages with 16 chapters.
  3. ^ There may also be a 1970 version.
  4. ^ In 2004, Hovind told the New York Times that he had 700 speaking engagements per year.

Notes

See also

In July 2015, Hovind was released to home confinement for roughly one month to finish his prison sentence for his 2006 conviction.[170] On August 21, 2015, Hansen was sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years probation for the two counts of contempt. At that time, Hovind said he planned to rebuild his ministry.[162]

On Monday, May 18, 2015, the U.S. District Court made two decisions. First, the Court granted the prosecutor's request for a "without prejudice" dismissal of the three remaining charges against Hovind, allowing the prosecutor to go back to a Federal grand jury and seek a new indictment if desired.[167] Second, the Court rendered a judgment of acquittal on the criminal contempt charge on which Hovind had been found guilty by the jury. On that point, the Court concluded that in the specific order that Hovind had been found guilty of violating, there was no actual language that prohibited Hovind from doing anything.[168][169]

A trial on the counts on which the jury could not reach a verdict had been ordered to begin on May 18, 2015.[163] However, on Saturday, May 16, 2015, the prosecution filed its "Government's Motion to Dismiss Counts One, Two and Four of the Superseding Indictment Without Prejudice," citing "issues regarding the technical sufficiency of the Superseding Indictment, including the adequacy of notice."[164] Later on Saturday, May 16, the Court cancelled the jury selection and trial that had been scheduled to begin on Monday, May 18, in order, in the Court's words, to permit the defendants to respond to the government's motion.[165][166]

On March 2, 2015, the trial began in U.S. District Court for Northern Florida. On the first day of testimony, the prosecution discussed Hovind and Hansen's "dozens of filings", including several lis pendens, used to resist a court-ordered forfeiture due in part to legal advice Hovind took from his "cellmate in a New Hampshire prison camp".[159] The prosecution case included numerous emails, recorded phone calls, and court filings related to the forfeited properties.[153] The prosecution presented audio of Hovind characterizing a lis pendens by asking his daughter, "Have you ever taken a step into dog crap and it gets stuck on your feet and it's really hard to get off?"[159] Hansen and Hovind took the stand in their own defense. According to journalist Kevin Robinson, during Hovind's testimony, he "refused to give short answers" and said that he believed his actions were lawful.[160] On March 12, 2015, Hovind was found guilty on one count of criminal contempt,[161] Hansen on two counts of criminal contempt,[162] and jury was hung on the remaining charges.[161]

On October 21, 2014, Hovind was indicted by a federal grand jury in Pensacola, Florida, on two counts of mail fraud, one count of conspiracy with Paul John Hansen to commit mail fraud, and one count of criminal contempt for[156] interfering with the sale of Pensacola properties Hovind was forced to forfeit as a result of the 2006 case.[155] Hovind and Hansen pleaded not guilty and were tried together.[157][158]

Federal mail fraud and criminal contempt trial in 2015

In May 2013, facing the sale of lots that were once part of Dinosaur Adventure land, Hovind acted. Using legal advice from another inmate, he filed a civil right suit against corrections personnel (a "Bivens action") alleging that they intentionally delayed court documents which hindered another appeal. Based on the assumption that it would trigger a chain of rulings that would ultimately result in the original sentence being overturned, he then filed several lis pendens on the properties.[152][153] A federal judge rejected Hovind's claims and dismissed the filings ("void ab initio"), and asked for a "show of cause" from Hovind to explain why he should not be found in contempt of court for the false filings.[154] His release date was approaching when he would face new charges related to the lis pendens filings.[155]

In March 2012, the federal government sued Creation Science Evangelism to remove liens placed on Kent Hovind's former property that was seized after his conviction, and in June, the court ruled in favor of the government.[151]

[36] to satisfy the debt.[136] The court ruling denying the Hovinds' appeal cleared the way for forfeiture proceedings on Hovind-owned properties, including those on which Dinosaur Adventure Land sat, to continue[14] The court accepted Eric's ownership of that property, but allowed the government to seize the other nine properties.[14] The government sought the property, deeded to Stoll and Eric prior to Hovind's convictions, since cash had been withdrawn from the bank accounts and could not be recovered. In a court filing, however, Eric Hovind said that he owned one of the properties and that he "took active control over the lot by personally building a home on it with $70,000 he borrowed from CSE."[150] attempted to prevent the forfeitures of Hovind's ten properties, including Dinosaur Adventure Land, in connection with Kent Hovind's federal tax problems.[149] In 2008, Eric Hovind and Glen Stoll, an individual who has been associated with the

In 2007, the government placed liens on ten of the Hovinds' properties for money owed[7] following a June 27, 2007 judgment, which included an order that the properties be forfeited under 18 U.S.C. § 3613 for costs of $5,800, a fine of $2000, and restitution of $604,874.87.[144] On December 30, 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit denied the Hovinds' appeal and affirmed the convictions and sentences entered by the district court.[145][146] Following the appeal, Jo Hovind served her prison term from January 20, 2009[147] to December 3, 2009.[148]

Property on Dinosaur Adventure Land

CSE property forfeitures

In November 2010, Kent Hovind filed a motion in U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida claiming the prosecution and defense erred at various stages of the case;[142] it was denied the following May.[143]

Hovind appealed the amount of his 2006 U.S. Tax Court ruling on personal income taxes to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit," but on July 2, 2007, a three-judge panel denied the appeal, finding that Hovind had failed to raise the issue at the appropriate time.[141]

On June 29, 2007, Jo Hovind was sentenced to one year of imprisonment, three years of supervision upon release and fined $8,000.[134] In court, Jo Hovind offered explanations for the 45 checks just under $10,000 and for checks cashed before and after the reporting deadline, telling the judge "I really did not have a leadership role in CSE" and finished "I would never knowingly do anything illegal." The judge said that while Kent was the principal authority at CSE, Jo managed the payroll; she had cashed roughly 200 checks totaling $1.5 million over a four-year period, relying on cash to avoid IRS scrutiny.[7] The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit denied both her and Kent's appeals on December 30, 2008,[136] and the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari (declined to hear the case) for Kent's case on November 2, 2009.[140]

On January 19, 2007, Hovind was sentenced to ten years in prison with three years probation and ordered to pay the federal government restitution of over $600,000. During the sentencing phase, a tearful Hovind, hoping to avoid prison, told the court, "If it's just money the IRS wants, there are thousands of people out there who will help pay the money they want so I can go back out there and preach."[137] However, Hovind's court room behavior was in stark contrast to phone calls he made while in jail and played by the prosecution.[138] The tapes, posted online by the Pensacola News Journal, included one conversation with Kent and his son, Eric Hovind, planning to hide a motor vehicle title and property deeds to prevent the government from collecting the property to pay for owed debt.[139] At sentencing, he denied being a "tax protester",[138] but the prosecution,[108] an IRS spokesman,[138] and the Pensacola News Journal[7][131] used the term to describe him.

After the convictions, Hovind was incarcerated in the Escambia County Jail as a "danger to the community" and a flight risk.[135] His wife would remain free until after the appeal.[136]

Sentencing, appeals, and imprisonment (2007–present)

The trial concluded on November 1 with the defense deciding not to present a case.[133] After closing arguments were presented on November 2, the jury deliberated three hours before finding the Hovinds guilty on all counts, 58 for Hovind and 45 for his wife.[134] The Pensacola News Journal said, "The saddest thing: Had they cooperated with the agents, they probably wouldn't be worrying about prison sentences now."[113]

On October 21, 2006, the trial began in which he hoped to convince a jury that his amusement park admission and merchandise sales, over $5 million from 1999 through March 2004, belonged to God and cannot be taxed.[108] Evidence produced at the trial revealed that Jo Hovind had requested financial assistance from Baptist Healthcare claiming that the Hovinds had no income.[131] IRS agents told the court how Hovind attempted "bullying tactics" and sued the government three times, which were thrown out, to pressure them to stop investigating.[108] The prosecution countered attempts to describe workers as missionaries, ministers, and volunteers, using memos explicitly calling them employees. Workers testified that they had to punch time cards, had vacation and sick days, and did not receive [132]

At arraignment, Hovind claimed incomprehension to the charges, telling the court: "I still don't understand what I'm being charged for and who is charging me."[127] Magistrate Miles Davis asked Hovind if he wrote and spoke English, to which Hovind responded, "To some degree." Davis replied that the government adequately explained the allegations and the defendant understands the charges "whether you want to admit it or not."[130] Hovind stated that he did not recognize the government's right to try him on tax-fraud charges. At first he attempted to enter a plea of "subornation of false muster," but then entered a not guilty plea "under duress" when the judge offered to enter a plea for him.[120] Hovind's passport and guns were seized. Hovind protested, arguing that he needed his passport to continue his evangelism work, and that "thousands and thousands" were waiting to hear him preach in South Africa the following month. The court refused to reconsider, accepting the argument that "like-minded people" might secret Hovind away if he left the country.[127]

On July 11, 2006, Hovind was indicted on 58 counts in the District Court in Northern Florida in Pensacola. The first 12 counts were willful failure to collect, account for, and pay over federal income taxes and FICA taxes, totaling $473,818 for the 12 fiscal quarters of 2001–2003. The next 45 counts were knowingly structuring transactions by making multiple cash withdrawals totaling $430,500 in amounts just under the $10,000 which requires reporting (a technique known as "smurfing"), for which his wife was also charged. The last count was corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the administration of the internal revenue laws by falsely listing the IRS as his only creditor when filing for bankruptcy, filing a false and frivolous lawsuit against the IRS in which he demanded damages for criminal trespass, making threats of harm to those investigating him and to those who might consider cooperating with the investigation, filing a false complaint against IRS agents investigating him, filing a false criminal complaint against IRS special agents (criminal investigators), and destroying records.[126][127][128] Because of reports of weapons on the Hovind property, the indictment was originally sealed for fear of danger to the arresting agents.[129]

Federal criminal tax-related trial and convictions in 2006

On July 7, 2006, the United States Tax Court found that Hovind was deficient in paying his federal income taxes in 1995–1997, totaling $520,099. The Tax Court ruled that the IRS had a valid lien on Hovind's property and said that Hovind's defense was based on "bizarre arguments, some of which constitute tax protester arguments involving excise taxes and the alleged '100% voluntary' nature of the income tax."[110] With penalties, he owed $3.3 million for tax years 1998–2006 by 2013.[124][125] Jo Hovind was ordered to pay $1.6 million.[3][124]

In Spring 2004, the IRS conducted an audit and criminal investigation regarding Hovind's unfiled personal Federal income tax for 1995–1997.[110] IRS agent Scott Schneider said, "Since 1997, Hovind has engaged in financial transactions indicating sources of income and has made deposits to bank accounts well in excess of $1 million per year during some of these years, which would require the filing of federal income taxes."[15] On June 3, 2004, the IRS executed a search warrant on Hovind's home and businesses to confiscate financial records and attempt to deliver notices of Federal tax liens of $504,957.24, which Hovind refused to accept.[110][121][122] Agents confiscated $42,000 in cash found in various places in the residence. Six guns were present, including an SKS semiautomatic rifle.[120] That day, Hovind withdrew $70,000 from the CSE bank account, half in cash.[123]

On May 13, 1998, Hovind and his wife filed a "Power of Attorney and Revocation of Signature" document in Escambia County which would nullify any of their promises, debts, or legal agreements made prior to April 15, 1998. The Hovinds claimed they had signed government documents "due to the use of various elements of fraud and misrepresentations, duress, coercion, under perjury, mistake, 'bankruptcy'," and argued that Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme". The document referred to the United States Government as "the 'bankrupt' corporate government", renounced the Hovinds' United States citizenship and Social Security numbers to become "a natural citizen of 'America' and a natural sojourner", and referred to their home state of Florida as "the State of Florida Body-Politic Corporation."[119] Judges and the IRS did not appear to honor this as a legally relevant document in future decisions.[120] In 2002, Hovind was again delinquent in paying his taxes, and unsuccessfully sued the IRS for harassment.[120]

In 1998, the IRS requested account information after Hovind made claims about noncompliance going back to the 1970s on an internet broadcast. While his internet provider initially balked, the courts granted a subpoena on the basis that the IRS could demonstrate income and no filed income tax returns going back to 1991.[117] In 2003, Hovind would tell The New York Times, "I haven't filed a tax return in 30 years."[118]

On March 1, 1996, Hovind filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition to avoid paying federal income taxes, claiming he was not a citizen of the United States and that he did not earn income.[115] He claimed that as a minister, everything he owned belonged to God and he was not subject to paying taxes for doing God's work.[116] On June 5, 1996, the Court dismissed Hovind's bankruptcy case, finding he had lied about his possessions and income. The court upheld the IRS's determination that his claim "was filed in bad faith for the sole purpose of avoiding payment of federal income taxes" and called Hovind's arguments "patently absurd". It also said that "the IRS has no record of the debtor ever having filed a federal income tax return."[115]

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Hovind earned $50,000 a year through speaking engagements,[notes 4][30] and in 2002 alone, CSE sold more than $1.8 million in merchandise.[111] On average, Hovind made bank deposits in excess of $1 million each year,[112] and eventually that grew to about $2 million a year.[113][114] About half that income went to employees who were salaried or were paid hourly wages. However, Hovind derived "substantial revenue" from these activities that appeared to be "income to [him] personally".[110]

Hovind was originally reported to the IRS by United States Tax Court as appearing to be "based on various questionable trust documents purchased from Glen Stoll, a known promoter of tax avoidance schemes", leading the Court to conclude that Hovind used these trust documents as well as other fraudulent means to conceal the ownership and control of his activities and properties.[110]

Federal civil tax matters, bankruptcy, and renouncing citizenship (1996–2006)

On September 13, 2002, Hovind was charged with failure to observe county zoning regulations for Dinosaur Adventure Land, a misdemeanor.[28] In April 2006, the Dinosaur Adventure Land buildings were closed by county officials, and the Florida circuit court found the owners in contempt, ordering fines of $500 for each day the buildings were used.[35] Hovind argued he did not need a permit due to the nature of the building, but after a 5-year court battle over the $50 building permit, on June 5, 2006, Hovind pled nolo contendere as charged to three counts: constructing a building without a permit, refusing to sign a citation,[105] and violating the county building code.[35][106] Hovind paid fines totaling $675.[105][106]

On August 15, 2002 Hovind was arrested for assault, battery, and burglary in an incident with a CSE secretary. The charges were dropped in December.[28][45][104]

Escambia County (2002–2006)

Legal problems

At the time of the complaints, the CSE's website indicated the videos were not copyrighted, and the CSE encouraged copying and distributing them.[99] Five days later, the CSE copyright page was changed to say that copied material must be left unedited.[102] According to a spokesperson for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, CSE's claim was "clearly bogus",[103] and as of September 25, 2007, the Rational Response Squad account had been reinstated, and some of the videos had been put back online.[103]

On September 16, 2007, the Rational Response Squad complained that Creation Science Evangelism was filing spurious DMCA requests, resulting in their YouTube videos being taken down, and their account banned.[99] In response to the copyright claims, the RRS threatened a lawsuit.[100][101]

Kent Hovind/Creation Science Evangelism copyright policy prior to September 2007

YouTube copyright controversy

In his lectures, he claimed that the United States government was implanting pet-tracking microchips into people allowing them to be tracked by satellite,[96] even though the transponder range made that impossible.[97] On his website, Hovind associated the UPC bar code with the Mark of the Beast, and wrote that there were reports of people paying for groceries by having their hands scanned in 1999.[9][59][98]

Hovind claims that the cyanide-releasing compound laetrile is a "cancer cure" which the U.S. government is conspiring to suppress[28][94] and that diseases including HIV, Gulf war syndrome, Crohn's colitis, and rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer's were engineered by "the money masters and governments of the world" for the purpose of global economic domination.[83][95] He has denounced democracy as "evil and contrary to God's law",[59] and called global warming a communist conspiracy.[92]

Hovind has several conspiracy theories about the U.S. government. He has claimed that the U.S. government was behind the 9/11 attacks[83] and the Oklahoma City bombing.[45] Regarding UFOs, Hovind recommends books by conspiracy theorists who believe "some UFO's are U.S. Government experiments with electrogravitic propulsion as opposed to jet propulsion, while others are Satanic apparitions."[91][92] The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) criticized Hovind for referring followers to books by Irwin Schiff,[33] a tax protester who has been convicted of tax evasion multiple times.[93] The SPLC has criticized Hovind for "point[ing] his followers to Citizens Rule Book, popular among antigovernment 'Patriots', and to Media Bypass, an antigovernment magazine with strong antisemitic leanings",[33] and for selling of books such as Des Griffin's Fourth Reich of the Rich and Peter Kershaw's In Caesar's Grip, and recommending The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a well-known antisemitic hoax.[59]

Hovind has made controversial remarks regarding conspiracies, science, creation, equal rights, religion, and government. His presentations on creationism and evolution are a mix of Christian Fundamentalism and conspiracy theories.[69] His creationist presentations have asserted that creationism is not taught in public schools due to a New World Order conspiracy involving Ted Turner and Jane Fonda, the British Royal Family, the State of Israel, the American Civil Liberties Union, U.S. government officials, business leaders, and social activists. In May 1999, he claimed "the implementation of the NWO's world-domination plan was May 5, 2000."[90]

Politics and conspiracies

The most widely distributed antievolution work, Big Daddy?,[85] was first published in 1972[notes 3][86] and revised several times; it is one of the controversial Chick tracts, comic strips intended to convert people to fundamentalist Christianity.[87] Material from Hovind was incorporated into the 2000 revision.[86][88][89]

Chick tracts

In 2007, David Vitter added a $100,000 earmark in a U.S. Senate appropriations bill, directed towards the Louisiana Family Forum "to develop a plan to promote better science education". Their website included a document, "'A Battle Plan—Practical Steps to Combat Evolution' by Kent Hovind". After a reporter's inquiries, the document, which called evolution "not a harmless theory but a dangerous religious belief" and blamed it for atrocities by Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Pol Pot, was removed from their website. The earmark was withdrawn from the bill.[83][84]

Hovind was criticized for his involvement with Arkansas state Representative Jim Holt's Anti-Evolution Bill in 2001 (House Bill 2548).[80][81] This bill "would have required that when public schools refer to evolution that it be identified as an unproven theory." Opponents of the bill worried that it would subject Arkansas to the same type of derision that occurred when the state's balanced-treatment law was struck down in McLean v. Arkansas.[82] Holt called upon Hovind as an expert who "testified for Holt before the State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee, alleging much of the information pertaining to evolution in our science textbooks is false."[80]

Political activity

Answers in Genesis dismissed the challenge as a gimmick.[45]:172–3 A 2005 challenge on Boing Boing offered $250,000 to anyone who could prove that the Flying Spaghetti Monster (the deity of a parody religion constructed to make a point about giving time to alternate views on evolution) was not the father of Jesus.[79]

The premises of Hovind's offer have been rejected both by scientists and fellow creationists as fundamentally flawed.[44][77] Hovind's conditions would require a claimant to not only prove the theory of evolution, but also abiogenesis, astrophysics and cosmology, and additionally prove that no gods could possibly exist.[77] The judges would be hand-picked without assurances that they would be unbiased or qualified to assess the merit of claims, and it is possible that no panel was convened when a claim was submitted. Some forms of evidence would be excluded prior to judging.[78]

In 1990, Hovind made a $10,000 offer to anyone who could meet a set of requirements he said would prove evolution, and he later raised the amount to $250,000.[75] In 2007, Creation Science Evangelism removed the offer from its website."[76]

$250,000 offer

During a debate with Farrell Till, Hovind said that Donald Johanson had uncovered the leg bones of Lucy at a different site over a mile away in a deeper stratum, quipping, "I would like to know how fast the train was going that hit that chimpanzee."[73] This was clearly contrary to the published statements by Johanson. After Hovind had been informed in 1993 that his statement was false, he agreed to stop using the claim. When he repeated the claim in 1995, he once more agreed he was in error.[74]

In May 2004, Michael Shermer debated Hovind in front of a predominantly creationist audience. Shermer claimed the exchange was "not an intellectual exercise", but rather "an emotional drama," and concluded, "Unless there is a subject that is truly debatable with a format that is fair, in a forum that is balanced, it only serves to belittle both the magisterium of science and the magisterium of religion."[69] Massimo Pigliucci also debated Hovind, and expressed surprise at Hovind's ignorance of evolutionary theory. Pigliucci recalled Hovind try "to convince the audience that evolutionists believe humans came from rocks" and subsequently "evolved from bananas."[70] William Reville, Director of Microscopy at University College Cork, wrote that Hovind's ideas are not rational or scientific because they are not testable.[71] Hovind has repeatedly declined written debates where his claims would be scrutinized by scientists, for example, when offered by Dave Thomas.[72]

In 1993, Hovind announced that he would be debating the renowned evolutionary biologist, Stephen Jay Gould, who had a longstanding opposition to debating Creationists and had turned down numerous challenges. When contacted about the announcement, Gould said he had never heard of Hovind, much less agreed to debate.[68]

Prior to his convictions, Hovind was a prolific debater. While Hovind campaigns against evolution, the level of support for evolution is essentially universal within the scientific community and academia,[64] while support for creationism is minimal among scientists in general, and virtually nonexistent among those in the relevant fields: biology, paleontology, geology, etc.[65][66] C. A. Chinn and L. A. Buckland classify his debate style, common among Young Earth Creationists, as eristic: focused on winning by rhetoric rather than illuminating by careful examination of evidence.[67]

Debates

In the pseudoscience of cryptozoology, Hovind published and co-authored Claws, Jaws, and Dinosaurs with William Gibbons, another Creationist who has searched for dinosaurs in the Congo under the belief that discovering a cryptid would somehow undermine evolutionary theory and that dinosaurs were dragons.[10] Dinosaur Adventure Land had displays about the existence of the Loch Ness monster[49] and Beowulf as history rather than legend.[28]

Hovind accuses transitional fossils to support human evolution, the Smithsonian Institution has 33,000 sets of human remains in their basement, some taken alive (murder).[9][45] In an interview prior to speaking at Kent State University, Hovind said "You should have another rebellion here at Kent State and do it for the right reason," the reason being protesting evolution and referred to the Kent State shootings when he added, "This time, don't get shot."[60]

Anti-evolution claims

Greg Neyman, an old-Earth creationist who runs the Old Earth Ministries website[56] (renamed from Answers in Creation), writes that Hovind's articles about humans and dinosaurs coexisting are unsupported by evidence and that they "embarrass the young earth creation science community as a whole".[57][58]

In a rare case of open dissent within the movement over the substance of creation science,[51] Answers in Genesis (AiG) published a 2002 position paper titled: "Arguments we think creationists should NOT use".[52] After Hovind issued a point-by-point rebuttal,[53] Carl Wieland, Ken Ham, and Jonathan Sarfati of AiG wrote that the claims made by Hovind were "fraudulent" and contained "mistakes in facts and logic which do the creationist cause no good."[30][44][52] In particular, AiG criticized Hovind for "persistently us[ing] discredited or false arguments" as well as "fraudulent claims" from Ron Wyatt,[44] and described one of Hovind's claims as "self-refuting".[54] Rancorous disagreements resulted AiG splitting into U.S. and Australian chapters in 2005. The Australian branch, renamed Creation Ministries International (CMI), maintained content critical of Hovind on their website, while the U.S. branch, led by Ken Ham, removed it.[55] In 2009, CMI said that they had relaxed their stance because CSE's revamped website had removed some of Hovind's claims to which they objected.[44]

Criticism from creationists

In the next few months of the flood, the dead animals and plants were buried, and became oil, coal, and fossils.[50] The last months of the flood included geological instability, when the plates shifted, forming ocean basins and mountain ranges. The Grand Canyon was formed in a couple of weeks during this time[45] due to erosion from the floodwaters receding. After a few hundred years, the ice caps melted and the ocean levels increased, creating the continental shelves, and the deeper oceans absorbed carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere allowing greater amounts of radiation to reach the Earth's surface. As a result, Hovind believes human lifespans were shortened considerably in the days of Peleg.

In the theory, dinosaurs and humans coexisted and Tyrannosaurus rex was a vegetarian prior to the fall of man.[29][45] Expanding upon the early 20th century vapor canopy concept of a protective shield that made Earth a relative paradise between the expulsion from Paradise and Noah's flood.[46] Noah's family and two of every kind of animal[47] (including dinosaurs which fit because babies were taken aboard and conditions allowed larger humans making the ark's size based on cubits larger[48]) boarded Noah's ark before an ice meteor impacted the Earth. Fragments from the meteor caused planetary rings and impact craters on the moon and other solar system bodies.[49] The remainder were drawn to the North and South Poles by the Earth's magnetic field as cataclysmic snowfall which buried the mammoths standing up.[42][49] The ice on the poles cracked the Earth's crust, releasing the "fountains of the deep". According to Hovind, these events caused an Ice age, and made the Earth "wobble around", collapsing the vapor canopy that protected it.

Hovind presented a version of Young Earth creationism he calls the "Hovind Theory" in lectures and in the book Unmasking the False Religion of Evolution.[41][42] The Hovind Theory is entirely rejected in the scientific community, and its plausibility has been criticized by other Young Earth creationists.[43][44]

The Hovind Theory

Creationism

The venture has encountered legal issues, as the owners failed to acquire a building permit for the park (see below). With the issue still unresolved in April 2006, Escambia County officials shut the buildings.[35] In July 2009, the courts ruled that the properties could be seized and sold to satisfy Hovind's criminal penalties (see below).[36] Eric Hovind kept the park and CSE operating throughout 2008,[37] but in July 2009, a judge allowed the government seizure to proceed.[38] In August 2009, Dinosaur Adventure Land's website announced it was closed,[39] and CSE announced its re-opening as the "Creation Store" in November 2010.[40]

In 2001, Hovind started Dinosaur Adventure Land, a Young Earth creationist [34]

Entrance to the park

Dinosaur Adventure Land

[27] The new website announced "Creation Today is a ministry of God Quest, Inc." with focus on "creation, apologetics and evangelism."[26] After finishing high school at [16] Kent Hovind was convicted of 58 felony counts in January 2007, and sentenced to ten years in prison, and Eric Hovind announced that he would take over Creation Science Evangelism.

[15] Hovind established Creation Science Evangelism in 1989 to evangelize and teach

Creation Science Evangelism and Creation Today

[13][10], shows flawed reasoning, and does not present any original research.references contains numerous spelling errors, lacks [notes 2] and found it is short,dissertation examined Hovind's [9]

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