Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Hovind Trial, Day 2

This trial is going to be a lot of fun to watch. The local paper reports that two of Hovind’s employees, the ones he says he didn’t withhold taxes from or pay taxes on because they were “ministers” and he runs a ministry, testified that they thought they were employees. And they quoted from memos from Hovind himself calling them such:

Heldmyer asked Popp to read from ministry memos that referred to the workers as “employees” and included rules about timeliness, payroll, vacation days and salaries.

Yet Hovind claims they weren’t employees. And his attorneys attempt to spin this:

Richey pointed out the ministerial aspects of the memo, including references to Scripture and “helping to promote Christ.”

Popp said the memos didn’t always paint a clear picture of the inner workings of the ministry.

“There was sometimes a difference between memos and how we’d actually operate,” he said.

But what on earth is the point? Churches still have to pay payroll taxes on church employees. The church may be non-profit, but those who work for the church still get taxed on the income. So even if the lawyer is 100% correct, it’s still completely irrelevant to the legal question. But here’s my favorite part:

Popp testified that Hovind warned employees not to accept mail addressed to “KENT HOVIND.” He said Hovind told the workers the government created a corporation in his “all-caps name.” Hovind said if he accepted the mail, he would be accepting the responsibilities associated with that corporation, Popp testified.

That gives you some idea of just how whacko Hovind is. The guy is a total fruitloop.

Comments

  1. #1 Skip Evans
    October 20, 2006

    I’ve seen Hovind speak on a couple of different occasions (9 straight hours in a 27 hour period once) and watched probably 15 to 20 hours of video of the man. He is a complete fraud and delusional self-righteous nut. Even the kooks at AiG distance themselves from him.

    You can’t get through of any of his “sermons” without hearing some kind of anti-government rant that could have come straight from any right-wing militia. In fact, virtually none of his material is original, and mostly comes from other creationists and other anti-government wackjobs.

    Any claim he makes now that he’s not an tax protester is laughable.

    No, Hovind is heading for the Hoosegow, and we should all bid him good riddance.

  2. #2 J-Dog
    October 20, 2006

    Ed et al – Any thoughts the trial outcome? Fine, automatic jail time? Parole? Flight? Easy Credit Terms with the IRS in lieu of jail time?

  3. #3 J-Dog
    October 20, 2006

    Ed et al – Any thoughts the trial outcome? Fine, automatic jail time? Parole? Flight? Easy Credit Terms with the IRS in lieu of jail time?

  4. #4 Stogoe
    October 20, 2006

    I’d suggest seizure of all assets and exile, but I wouldn’t want to force him on some other country.

  5. #5 SharonB
    October 20, 2006

    The sad story of another sociopath for jesus.

  6. #6 Coin
    October 20, 2006

    Also, here’s the pensacola news journal writeup on day three.

    A local Christian leader on Thursday testified against Pensacola evangelist Kent Hovind, explaining the Bible does not condone tax evasion.

  7. #7 dogmeatIB
    October 20, 2006

    So, the obvious question is, when Hovind goes to jail, which it looks to me like he will. And, when he is locked in his cell … with his new “roomie,” when the “roomie” consumates their relationship, is he still a “Christian” once he has become a “sodomite?”

  8. #8 386sx
    October 21, 2006

    That gives you some idea of just how whacko Hovind is. The guy is a total fruitloop.

    You know, I read about that “all-caps name” bit earlier, but I assumed that somewhere in there some way somehow some part of it made some kind of sense. But no, I guess not.

  9. #9 386sx
    October 21, 2006

    No, Hovind is heading for the Hoosegow, and we should all bid him good riddance.

    Well, allegedly he did threaten government agents. Since nowadays allegations are considered to be some pretty good evidence, well… it was nice knowin’ ya Dr. Dino, PhD.

  10. #10 Andrew McClure
    October 21, 2006

    And let us keep close to heart the immortal words of MF Doom:

    JUST REMEMBER ALL CAPS WHEN YOU SPELL THE MAN’S NAME

  11. #11 Mike the Mad Biologist
    October 21, 2006

    Ed,

    good post, but one correction. In ‘religious’ organizations, workers do not have to pay payroll taxes (however, they do not count as having paid into the system, and their future benefits, if any, are adjusted accordingly). They’re stupid if they don’t pay into Social Security though…

  12. #12 Ed Brayton
    October 21, 2006

    Mike-

    Can that possibly be true? Someone who works as a secretary at, say, a religious school doesn’t pay payroll taxes? Or at a church, or other type of ministry?