Young Earth Creationist Kent Hovind is perhaps best known as the guy who runs the dollar store Dinosaur Adventure Land that is located behind his home in Pensacola Florida. The big one is of course Ken Ham’s one hundred million dollar Ark Encounter located in Williamstown, KY.
Ken’s theology, like Hovind’s, is founded upon a literal interpretation of the bible.
Ken Ham rather famously looks upon weird bible verses and then proclaims, “Yep, totally 100% historically true” …
Anyway, this is not about Ken, but instead Kent, so on with the show.
Kent is different. While Ken Ham is just deeply crazy, Kent Hovind is a rather dark dubious individual who wears a jovial mask that hides rather a lot of sinister and deeply concerning stuff.
Pro Tip: If you are a Kent Hovind fan then you better stop reading now because you are really not going to be in love with the rest of this article.
Kent Hovind’s Unique Tax Stance earned him 10 years in jail
Before being known as a young earth Creationist Kent first made his media presence felt as the guy who refused to pay any tax … ever. He landed with a bit of a thud on the IRS radar in 1996 when Pensacola Christian College senior vice President Rebekah Horton reported him because she was deeply concerned about his anti-tax stance.
Hovind’s belief was that he was one of God’s workers so all the money was God’s and man’s IRS had no right to claim a single cent. The College realised that he had no business licenses nor any official tax exempt status. His organization was also not a recognised Church, so any engagement they had with him put them into a terrible position. They had to either report him or end up being complicit in it all.
They did the right thing and dropped a dime on him.
As the IRS dug into it all they soon realised that here was a guy earning $50,000 in speaking fees for each talk and also selling $1.8 million in merchandise. It was a substantial income to have with no tax being declared for something that was not actually a church.
When Kent realised that the IRS was on to him, he declared Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and also claimed that he was God’s worker and not a US citizen, hence he should not be taxed.
None of this gained any traction with the court, so in 1996 they dismissed the bankruptcy case because it …
“was filed in bad faith for the sole purpose of avoiding payment of federal income taxes”
… and they labelled his plea …
… and also noted that …
“the IRS has no record of the debtor ever having filed a federal income tax return.“
When interviewed by the NYT Mr Hovind did admit that this was true. For over 30 years he had never filed a tax return.
This all ebbed and flowed through the legal system for years. The IRS took the stance that he owed $3.3 Million and his wife owed $1.6 million in tax.
So yes, you know how such things play out. It was not an honest mistake but wilful deceit.
He and his wife went to jail.
In public and in court he played the innocent victim, but the prosecution played tapes of phone calls from jail to his son. They were conspiring to alter property deeds to hide assets.
He was sentenced to ten years and did most of that time.
Kent Hovind as a violent man
What is generally known is that in 2021 he was convicted of domestic violence against one of his estranged wives.
What is not so well known is that this was not an isolated incident. The Daily Beast expose reveals …
Other, more violent allegations followed him. In 2002, he was arrested for alleged assault, battery, and burglary on tenants in a house he owned.
Death of a Child visiting his Park
A deeply tragic incident took place in 2020. While visiting his theme park a family with five children enjoyed the day swimming in the park’s pool. One boy was struggling, so everybody rushed to help, but while they were all were distracted, another seven year old boy went missing and tragically ended up drowning.
What happened after that was deeply shocking to many …
“Kent Hovind is walking around the hospital, passing out ministry cards saying, ‘Come to Dinosaur Adventure Land, we’ll give you tours. We’re free. Everything’s free. Come see us,’” recalled Shunk, Hovind’s then-secretary.
“And I’m like, ‘Dr. Hovind, you’re supposed to be sitting with the father, having sympathy for him and praying with him, not passing out your dinosaur cards so people can come… That’s just psycho to me. I don’t know what else to call it.”
“I do vaguely remember that,” Hovind said, when presented with Shunk’s account. “And yes, I probably did that. My business card has the plan of salvation. They’re actually gospel tracks. So I do that everywhere I go. I’m trying to get people saved. I’m an evangelist.”
I do also personally remember hearing about this incident and recall watching in shock as Hovind explaining what had happened on a YouTube clip. He spent most of the clip promoting his park and explaining that the father of the son still supported his ministry. He came across as more concerned about the impact upon his ministry and had almost zero empathy for the family.
Things are about to take a much darker turn now.
Kent Hovind shields and enables Child Abuse by his friend
Kent’s Hovind’s friend, Chris Jones, turned out to be a deeply problematic individual to stick with and defend.
Various complaints were legally filed against Jones by not just one boy for one incident, but multiple boys concerning different incidents.
Some might be construed as a misunderstanding and a bit over the normal line. For example, a kid aged 7 in 2000 alleged that he got mud all over himself while naked and that Jones then put him over his lap and smacked his bottom.
Why was the kid was naked in the first place?
Another Jones incident in 2004 was very clearly predatory pedophelia. He befriended three boys, aged 9, 11, and 12, and invited them all to play strip poker with him. This is not just hearsay, there are legal court records that document it all in harrowing detail.
When Hovind was challenged about all this, he defended his friend as follows …
When Billy Summers visited DAL as a guest in 2017, he learned of Hovind’s close friendship with Jones after mentioning that he lived in Aiken, South Carolina. Hovind replied that he knew a man from the area who sometimes visited DAL. Unprompted, Summers said, Hovind began explaining that Jones was a convicted child sex offender, but that the charges were trumped up, and that Jones had merely been playing strip poker with children.
Hovind “said something like, ‘but he [Jones] stopped at his, their underwear, so they did nothing wrong,’” Summers recalled.
…Jones went on to note that “even if I am guilty, hopefully the blood of Christ works. At least you’re not questioning that. The blood of Christ works, man, we’re all forgiven and cleaned up.”
If you are thinking WTF … then yea, something along those lines is indeed the right response.
Read on and you discover within that same article that Hovind not only gave Jones a free pass, but he also accommodated him staying on the property and sharing a bed with an eleven year old kid. Other there at the time pleaded with him to not allow this, but he refused to listen.
Your worst thoughts were indeed realised.
The boy did later confess that Jones had been touching his privates.
I seriously need to go throw up now.
Kent Hovind – Conspiracy Theorist
Kent is not just your usual religious extremist, he is also a full blown conspiracy nutcase.
- He claims that Creationism is not taught in schools due to a New World Order cabal that was setup by Satan, Ted Turner, Jane Fonda, the British Royal Family, Israel, and the American Civil Liberties Union. For details, see here and also here. The true cherry on the cake here is his associated claim that the New World Order has a plan for world domination that will be achieved by May 2000 … almost a quarter of a century later, the New World Order has been a no show, gosh what a shocker.
- Conspiracy claims tend to cluster in minds. Sure enough, according to Kent 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombing, were both inside jobs by the US Government.
- UFOs are Satanic apparitions
- On his “books you must read” list are gems such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a well-known antisemitic hoax.
- Then we have the claim that the cyanide-releasing compound laetrile is a “cancer cure” which the U.S. government is conspiring to suppress.
- Apparently also he claims that rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s were engineered by “the money masters and governments of the world” for the purpose of global economic domination.
- The UPC bar code is the Mark of the beast … yes this is indeed not your normal hogwash, but instead is hogwash on steroids.
- Oh and let’s not forget his claim that the US Government is supposedly putting pet-tracking chips into people to track them. God knows how, because the transponder range of those is at most about 95mm.
In other words, slang such as “wackadoodle” does not even begin the scratch the surface of a meaningful description of his “thinking”.
Basically if there is a crazy absurd and utterly insane claim doing the rounds then Mr Hovind will grasp it eagerly with both hands, swallow it whole, then proceed to shit it out to all his followers and claim that these turds are gold bricks.
To put that another way, tuning in to his stream of consciousness is in essence your participation in a gullibility test. If your BS meter went thermonuclear when reading his various claims, then congratulations you just passed.
Note that I’ve not yet mentioned any of his Creationist claims.
OK, so let’s do that now.
Kent Hovind – How God did it all
One of the weirdest craziest Creationists out there is of course Ken Ham. However, even Mt Hovind and his “Hovind Theory” is just too crazy for Ken Ham. The Answer In Genesis response to Kent Hovind and his crackpot creationism is as follows …
…plainly wrong and even fraudulent claims are being promoted in the name of ‘Creationism’…
… say the folks who assert that flying fire breathing dragons and unicorns are real because the bible says so.
So what is the “Hovind Theory”?
Basically his stance is that humans and dinosaurs once lived together in harmony and that T-Rex was a vegetarian. God stuffed all the animals in the ark by only having baby animals so that they would all fit, and then a giant ice meteor impacted the earth … terrible things happened and all plants and animals got buried and became oil, coal and fossils. Oh and this also caused the Grand Canyon to form in a couple of weeks.
Kent appears to have baked this cake by blending The Flintstones “documentary” with a couple of cheaply made disaster B Movies. As pointed out above, this is all so absurd that even Ken Ham finds it to be utterly ridiculous. Almost the entire Creationist community are deeply embarrassed by Kent’s claims and feel that he very much brings them all into a considerable degree of disrepute. Actually, to be wholly fair, for that last part, they really don’t need Kent to achieve that, they all unlock that achievement badge without any help from him.
His criticism of modern evolutionary biology is that, as he calls it, “Darwinism” is wholly responsible for Communism, Socialism, Nazism, Abortion, Liberalism, and of course the New Age movement.
The fact that evolution is simply descriptive and is there to explain why things are the way they are, and is not in any way a handbook that tells anybody what to do, is an ever so subtle distinction that goes swooshing so far above his head that it places it permanently beyond the reach of the few remaining brain cells he has that cling together in the vain hope of masquerading as a brain.
It will also most probably not exactly shock you to learn that his Dinosaur Adventure Land promotes both the Loch Ness Monster and also Beowulf as history and not myth.
Kent Hovind is not just your average creationist, but instead is distinctly unique in so many different ways.
I’ve been prompted to write about him because of the new expose of him done by the Daily Beast (published Feb 3). Fingers crossed that it opens the eyes of many of his followers.
Those who love the man might indeed deem this to be a hit piece. If indeed you feel that way, they please do point out anything that is not factual. In other words, Kent did all of this to himself.
One thing is certain, anybody who seriously engages with this guy and embraces his thinking will end up being defrauded both intellectually, morally, and also financially.
- Wikipedia – Kent Hovind
- The Daily Beast Expose of Kent Hovind (Feb 3, 2023) [There is some truly jaw-dropping stuff here]