The Real Story about Kent Hovind
The real story behind the Kent Hovind's Case
The persecution of Dr. Hovind...
Hovind's views on government, the united States Constitution,
income tax, private property, and a number of other items have often
made him a subject of attack. Hovind has been accused of alleged
assault and battery, declaring false bankruptcy, alleging threats
against federal officials, alleged filling of false complaints, failing
to get necessary building permits, and various tax-related charges. In
2002, he was charged with one count of felony assault, one count of
misdemeanor battery, and one count of burglary with assault/battery.
The charges were later dropped by the alleged victim, Hovind's
On September 13, 2002, Hovind was charged for failure to observe county zoning regulations with respect to Dinosaur Adventure Land. Despite arguments that the owners did not need a permit due to the nature of the building, the park was found in violation of local ordinances.
(In Kent's own words)
"Short summary of events in the battle between our ministry and the county:On March 29, 2000 I, Kent E Hovind, was peacefully obeying the command of my Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator and Owner of the earth, by conducting the various aspects of our ministry when Escambia County building inspector Rene Pelotte and an assistant came onto our church property, in their official capacity, without invitation and in direct violation of our clearly posted "notice."Rene and her assistant entered one of our buildings and proceeded to ask questions about whether we had acquired Escambia County's permission to build the science building on the property. One of our 30 staff members called me out to the building where I met with the inspectors. I told them we have nothing to hide and are doing nothing illegal or unsafe, but they were not to return in an official capacity unless they could prove they had jurisdiction over our church. I then gave Rene a copy of the posted notice, which explains the laws, and told her that we were a church ministry and that she had no jurisdiction on church property. When she indicated she disagreed, I told her that she would have to leave immediately unless she could prove she had jurisdiction.
I explained to her that the Bible said Jesus was the head of the church and civil government had no authority. The first amendment to the Constitution of the United States and the Florida statutes are very clear on this matter also, as well as the Religious Freedoms Restoration Act.I also told her that there was a long history of government rulers attempting to regulate the church of Jesus Christ and that since most churches in the last 100 years have become corporations of the state, (which does indeed grant jurisdiction) I could see why she may not understand how the county's regulations did not apply to a true, unregistered, unincorporated church.I told both Rene and her partner that they were welcome to come anytime in their private capacity and we would gladly give them a tour and let any inspectors look at any work we do and even offer advice. We would value their expert opinion and experience. We have nothing to hide and are doing nothing illegal or unsafe.
I further told them that they were talking to the wrong person in that Pastor Mooneyhan was the one they needed to talk with if they had any questions concerning this property.A few days later Rene came back in spite of our clearly posted notice to issue a $50 citation to me. I told her I could not sign it since 1) she had no jurisdiction and 2) I was not the pastor. I also told her that she must leave unless she could prove jurisdiction. She said I must contact their office within 72 hrs. We sent a letter and called them within 72 hrs requesting a hearing on this matter, but our requests were ignored. The next thing I heard about the matter was the call from the Sheriff telling me that a warrant had been issued by Judge Patricia Kinsey for my arrest! I never did see a copy of the warrant, even though I asked for it several times. I went down to the jail and was booked like a criminal, posted bail, and went home the same day.
I have met with the county officials several times to try to resolve this conflict. I told them, "The question at issue is a simple one: Does the Escambia County, Florida civil government have jurisdiction over a Church of the Sovereign God of the universe?" We are not the aggressors in this case. We were simply trying to serve the Lord and the county stuck its nose where it has no business. (Churches that are 501c3 corporations cannot get out of the permitting process.)Disney gets no permits and allows no county or state inspections. In 1967, the Florida Legislature granted Disney autonomy through Chapter 67-764 Laws of Florida. This information is also available in Chapter 163.167 Florida Statutes, and in particular, subsection 9, which grants Reedy Creek (i.e. Disney) the same powers and duties as any other Florida county or municipality. See www.state.fl.us/rcid/.
The Amish never get permits or inspections of their buildings in any state, including Florida. They have a long history of maintaining their sovereign status, as do the Anabaptists. It seems like this same battle needs to be fought every generation so Caesar can be reminded where his power stops.We are not asking for an "exemption." This would imply the state has jurisdiction. We are simply asking them to admit they have no jurisdiction over the Lord's church. As a church of the Lord Jesus Christ, we answer to a much higher authority than Escambia County. We are not lawless. We believe everyone, including the government, should obey the laws of the land unless they are in violation of God's Laws. Our buildings are safe.
At our expense we hired a state licensed electrician to inspect our electrical system to insure it was safe and would meet or surpass the county's electrical codes. We think the state's electrical codes are an excellent standard to insure safety and we read and follow them. We also had two certified engineers inspect our building. They stated in writing that the building is safe. If the inspectors were truly concerned about safety, they would have accepted our invitation (extended five times) to come in their private capacity and look at our work. It!is obvious that safety is not the issue. The real issue is one of the state controlling the Lord's church. For nearly 2000 years, it has been the conviction of Christians that Jesus is the head of the church and the state has no jurisdiction over the Lord's church. Millions of Christians in the early centuries died rather than submit the Lord's church to Caesar. See Foxes Book of Martyrs! It has only been in the last 100 years or so that many have bowed the knee to make Caesar the head of their church. See: www.hushmoney.org or order the book, In Caesar's Grip ($15) from CSE for more. The Amish object to (and never obtain) building permits for similar religious reasons and Disneyworld in Florida never gets county permits.
We are a peace loving people who simply wish to serve the Lord. We cannot ask a lower authority like the civil government for permission to do what God has called us to do. If we did, how could we object later if Caesar asked to approve our teachings or make us hire people who violate clear scriptures? Our buildings are safe and built up to or beyond the code.We are not looking to do anything illegal. Ever since 1999, when this property was given to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have not knowingly submitted God's church to any lesser authority. Our decision to build without permits from the county was based on our understanding of the Bible and, to a lesser degree, the constitutions of the united States and the State of Florida.The history of government trying to regulate people peacefully trying to obey God's commands is a long and bloody one. Pharaoh tried to tell Moses how, when and where he could obey God in Exodus 8:28 "And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away" (attempting to regulate): "entreat for me." Ex. 10:11 "Not so: go now ye that are men," (attempting to regulate) "and serve the LORD; for that ye did desire." Ex. 10:24 "And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed:" (attempting to regulate) "let your little ones also go with you." After much frustration to Moses and great cost to himself and his domain, in Ex. 12:31 Pharaoh finally got the message and let them go. Then he changed his mind again! (slow learner!)
Ever since Jesus established His church the civil magistrates have resented not having authority. The followers of Jesus have been persecuted, tortured, and burned by the civil magistrates to attempt to make them surrender the authority of the church to Caesar.The disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ were constantly harassed by government officials who tried to regulate their lives as they obeyed the Lord. From Acts 4 through 28, all but 3 chapters record examples of this. We see from Acts 16 how we are to handle ourselves when this happens. In verse 19 the leaders saw they would lose money (just as county officials see permits as a source of income), so Paul and Silas were beaten and imprisoned. In verse 37, we see that Paul and Silas demanded a public apology from the rulers and magistrates for their illegal actions.
We have filed our own suit against the county to force them to admit they have no jurisdiction, leave us alone, pay for the damages they have caused our ministry and apologize for their treatment of God's servants.Even though most other "churches" in the county and Pensacola Christian College see nothing wrong with bowing to Caesar and asking permission of the heathen to obey God's commands we cannot and will not. Just as there are two types of churches in Russia (the state regulated church and the free church), so it is in America.The record will show that the property at 29 Cummings Road has been built on several times in the past and the proper permits and inspections were obtained while the property was not owned by Faith Baptist Fellowship. In 1999, the entire property was given to Faith Baptist Fellowship, which is not a creation or corporation of the state of Florida or any other state.
Since that time, this ministry has never asked for any permits from the state or county.If it is the money they want for the permit fees, we are willing to give that if needed. If it is control they want, we are not permitted by our Lord to grant this.I do not wish to be in a legal battle. I only wish to serve my Lord Jesus Christ and preserve my rights, and those of our church, as our Anabaptist forefathers fought and died to preserve for us. Some have said, "Wouldn't it be easier just to pay the $50 permit?" Ask that question to the three Hebrew children who wouldn't bow to the Babylonian idol. Read your Bible and see how much was written from jail for reasons like this. Control is the issue.
We praise God for sending us Maury Adkins to help us in the bewildering world of legalese. Please pray for him, as his health situation is not good. An old injury to his stomach in a car accident years ago has now become a cancerous hernia requiring special surgery in the next few weeks.When 7000 of the best and brightest young men were taken captive into Babylon in Daniel's day, only three refused to bow a short time later. See Daniel 3:12. I'm sure the 6997 had good excuses for why they disobeyed the first of God's ten commandments they had been brought up with and I'm sure they thought the three not kissing the dirt that day made a bad choice, but we only know the names of those three today. They were right and the 6997 were wrong!
My job is to study God's Word, try to obey it and leave the results up to God. Just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not know what would happen when they were thrown into the furnace, we do not know the outcome of our stand. Please pray that God will turn the hearts of those involved. Governor Bush is very involved in our case and may rule in our favor.We have already spent a small fortune defending ourselves in this costly legal battle. We have no intention of ever giving in. We are convinced that we are on the side of both the Lord and the law. Brethren, pray for us. What the king does or threatens to do I cannot control. I only know I cannot bow and I pray I will not burn! The battle has been costly and we would welcome any support from those who love the Lord's work and freedom.Please help us by praying for us."
Hovind has been accused of alleged assault and battery,
declaring false bankruptcy, alleging threats against federal officials,
alleged filling of false complaints, failing to get necessary building
permits, and various tax-related charges. In 2002, he was charged with
one count of felony assault, one count of misdemeanor battery, and one
count of burglary with assault/battery. The charges were later dropped
by the alleged victim, Hovind's secretary.
On September 13, 2002, Hovind was charged for failure to observe county zoning regulations with respect to Dinosaur Adventure Land. Despite arguments that the owners did not need a permit due to the nature of the building, the park was found in violation of local ordinances. On June 5, 2006, Hovind pled nolo contendere as charged to three counts: constructing a building without a permit, refusing to sign a citation (Case # 2001 MM 023489 A) and violating the county building code (Case # 2002 MM 026670 A). Hovind was ordered to pay $225.00 per count. The plea brought an end to the 5-year criminal (misdemeanor) court battle over a $50.00 building permit. The 4-year civil court battle with the county remains open (Case # 2002 CA 000149) Hovind estimates he spent $40,000 in legal expenses on the case. On June 19, 2006, the delinquent 2003-2005 property taxes / penalties for Dinosaur Adventure Land were paid in an amount of $10,402.64.
Do you believe 100 or 200 years ago,
anyone ever dreamed of having to get a permit to do anything on their
own property? The thought would have been laughable! What has happened
to America? Most people can't put up a fence, build a patio or even cut
down a tree without paying for a permit.
As Thomas Jefferson once said; "if the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of their property until their children will wakeup homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."
Hovind's ministry is not an internal revenue code 501(c)(3)
organization. In 1996, Hovind unsuccessfully filed for bankruptcy. The
court claimed that he lied about his possessions and income. Hovind
pleaded that as a minister of God everything he owns belonged to God
and he should not be forced to pay illegal taxes to the United States
on the money he received for doing God's work citing US tax code
§508(c)(1)(a). The court ordered him to pay the money and upheld the
IRS determination that Hovind's claim "was filed in bad faith for the
sole purpose of avoiding payment of federal income taxes." In the
ruling, the judge called Hovind's arguments "patently absurd". The
judge also noted that "the IRS has no record of the debtor ever having
filed a federal income tax return", although this was not the court's
reason for denying the bankruptcy claim.
On May 13, 1998, Hovind and his wife filled a document called "Power of Attorney and Revocation of Signature" with the Escambia County Clerk of Courts. The document reads, in part: "I/we do hereby revoke and make void... all signatures on any instruments...". The Hovinds said they had signed government documents "due to the use of various elements of fraud and misrepresentations, duress, coercion, under perjury, mistake, 'bankruptcy'."
In the document, the Hovinds argue that Social Security is a ponzi scheme and is not mandatory. The Hovinds described the United States Government as a "bankrupt corporate government", and said they were renouncing their United States citizenship and Social Security numbers.
In 2002 Hovind unsuccessfully sued the IRS for harassment. In 2004, IRS agents raided Hovind's home and business to confiscate financial records. IRS agent Scott Schneider said Hovind's businesses did not have a proper business license, nor tax-exempt status. The Associated Press quoted Schneider as saying "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." On June 3, 2004, the IRS issued tax liens of $504,957.24 against Hovind, his son and their ministry due to previous legal matters and accusations.
On July 7, 2006, the United States Tax Court (Docket number 011894-05L) found that Hovind was deficient in paying his federal income taxes in tax years 1995-97 in the amount of $504,957.24. The Tax Court found that the IRS had a valid lien on Hovind's property in that amount. The IRS is currently levying against Hovind's property to satisfy his unpaid tax liabilities. In the Memorandum Opinion the judge noted that Hovind's "organizational structure . . . was based on various questionable trust documents purchased from Glen Stoll, an alleged promoter of tax avoidance schemes." The judge also said that, Hovind's defense was based on "bizarre arguments" and "some of which constitute tax protestor arguments involving excise taxes and the alleged '100% voluntary' nature of the income tax."
As Dwight E. Avis, former head of the
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division of the IRS, said testifying before a
House Ways and Means subcommittee in 1953; "Let me point this out now.
Your income tax is 100 percent voluntary tax, and your liquor tax is
100 percent enforced tax. Now, the situation is as different as night
and day. Consequently, your same rules just will not apply"
On July 11, 2006, Hovind was charged in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Pensacola with
twelve counts of willful failure to collect, account for, and pay over
Federal income taxes and FICA taxes under 26 U.S.C. § 7202, which
states that "Any person required under this title to collect, account
for, and pay over any tax imposed by this title who willfully fails to
collect or truthfully account for and pay over such tax shall, in
addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a felony and,
upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $10,000, or
imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both, together with the costs of
To better understand the income tax
and future of America, it is highly recommended that you view the video
Freedom to Fascism by Aaron Russo. In the film Russo
interviews former IRS agents, jurors, lawyers and others to prove the
illegality of the federal income tax and "federal" reserve.
Hovind was also charged with forty-five counts of knowingly structuring transactions in Federally-insured financial institutions to evade the reporting requirements of 31 U.S.C.§ 5313(a), in violation of 31 U.S.C. § 5324, 18 U.S.C. § 2, 31 C.F.R. sec. 103.11, and one count of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the administration of the internal revenue laws under 26 U.S.C. § 7212. The withdrawals, totaling $430,500, were placed in 2001 and 2002.
Please note that Hovind did not break
the law. He was charged with "structuring" his financial withdrawals in
such a way as to "evade" the law requiring reporting of transactions of
Suppose you were pulled over for going 55 miles and hour in a 55 zone. The officer says, "I have clocked you everyday for a month going 55, so I am stopping you for speeding. I know you were purposely going 55 to avoid going over the speed limit. So since you were "structuring" your driving habits to deliberately "evade" the speeding regulations, I am going to give you a ticket."
What has our country come to?
The government charged that Hovind falsely listed the IRS as
his only creditor in his bankruptcy, filed a false and frivolous
lawsuit against the IRS in which he demanded damages for criminal
trespass, made threats of harm to those investigating him and to those
who might consider cooperating with the investigation, filed a false
complaint against IRS agents investigating him, filed a false criminal
complaint against IRS special agents (criminal investigators), and
After the indictment, Hovind maintained his innocence. "I still don't understand what I'm being charged for and who is charging me," he said. Judge Davis replied that the government adequately explained the allegations and the defendant understands the charges "whether you want to admit it or not." An October 17th trial date (originally September 5th) was set for Kent Hovind and his co-defendant wife, Jo, who faces 44 charges. With his attorney, Public Defender Kafahni Nkrumah, 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.
At the time of the arrest, Magistrate Davis "went over Kent Hovind's arguments, ... confiscated his passport and his firearms following a search of his residence. " Hovind argued that he needed his passport to continue his evangelism work. He said he had planned a ministry trip to South Africa the following month. But Davis sided with Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Heldmyer, who argued that "like-minded people" might secret Hovind away if he left the country.
In relation to the guns, Davis said "ownership was not the issue." Reports of weapons in Hovind home were confiscated for fear that "the arrest of the defendants in this case could pose some danger to agents." More than a half-dozen firearms were seized at the Hovind's home.
What has happened to the second
amendment? The founding fathers knew that the preservation of liberty
in America would be dependent on citzens owning firearms to defend
themselves and their country from invaders - foreign or domestic.
Also, during an IRS raid at the home, agents confiscated cash
amounting to $42,000.
At the time of the indictment, the Hovind's defense said that although around 30 people worked for the ministry, all of whom received remuneration in cash, none of them were employees. According to Hovind, "Nobody's an employee, and they all know that when they come. They come, they work ... The laborer is worthy of his hire -- we try to take the purely scriptural approach. We do the best we can with helping people with their family needs. There are no employees here."
Hovind was referring to biblical
principles that our country was founded on. Two hundred years ago a man
could be paid by barter or any arrangement made between the parties.
What has happened to America?
On October 21, 2006, the trial (case # 3:06cr83/MCR)
began in which Hovind hoped to persuade the jury that he was innocent
of any criminal charges. After the first week of testimony the trial
was postponed due to a defense lawyer's illness. Former and current
workers, IRS agents, a bank employee, and a lawyer of a non-profit
Christian organization testified in the trial. Workers testified that
they did punch time cards, received vacation and sick days; while
others testified against Hovind claiming he boasted that he could
"beat" the tax system. Only the local Pensacola paper covered the trail.
The trial concluded on November 1st with the defense deciding not to present a case. After closing arguments were presented on November 2nd, the jury deliberated three hours before finding the Hovinds guilty on all counts. The Pensacola News Journal noted, "The saddest thing: Had they cooperated with the agents, they probably wouldn't be worrying about prison sentences now."