Pharyngula

CSE: Not crazy enough for Joshua Joscelyn

Joshua Joscelyn is a fellow who, once upon a time, worked within Kent Hovind’s creation science ministry. No more, though; he has just posted his resignation letter on facebook. Has he finally seen the light of science? Has he at last seen through the fact that Kent Hovind was a deluded and not-very-bright con artist? No, of course not. He’s still a true believer.

I first came to work with CSE in mid 2007 as a park guide at Dinosaur Adventure Land, swiftly moving into my roles as head of publications and the apologetics departments as well as producer for the popular series, Creation in Common Sense. This was shortly after Dr. Kent Hovind, a personal hero of mine from the time I was a child, had been unjustly sentenced to a despicable sentence of ten years by a kangaroo court at the hands of an evil woman who pretended to be a judge of the law. I managed Dr. Hovind’s blog through those years, and communicated frequently with him. He is a Godly man. But from the time I had begun there, I had noticed a subtle attitude of disagreement with and even scorn for many of Dr. Kent Hovind’s beliefs and methods for managing the ministry.

Hovind’s trial was an open and shut case; he hadn’t been paying taxes, was paying all of his employees cash under the table, and Hovind himself tried to defend his actions by accusing the court of “subornation of false muster”, insisting that the IRS had no jurisdiction in a case of tax fraud.

But apparently loony Joshua thought all that stuff was just great. He’s very unhappy with the new Creation Science Evangelism because they have bowed down to Mammon and done things like reincorporate as “God Quest, Inc.”, and actually tried to obey the law.

I stood by and curiously watched as God Quest, Inc. signed my checks and withheld federal income tax as well as social security, etc. I grieved when I had to assist in overseeing the gutting process whereby the Seminar Series and College Series were stripped of so much that was deemed “controversial” or “irrelevant.” The idea was to remove all content that might seem radical or offensive. His father’s longstanding policy to never ask for money (since God always provided anyway) was overturned, and marketing and fundraising became more and more commonplace.

CSE is impure. They no longer insist on the absolute literal truth of the King James Version of the Bible over all others (all others are “false and corrupt”), they pay taxes, they allow Calvinists to appear on their programs, they didn’t pay Joshua enough for his work, and they aren’t sufficiently dedicated to the cause, favoring money over all.

It’s a bizarre and fascinating rant. Kent Hovind was a fast-talking yokel, a racist moron with a fake degree and a head full of lies, yet he was somehow persuasive to a lot of really stupid people…and still is, actually, with his videos still being distributed and watched. I’d seen him perform live, and didn’t get it: he’s an odd speaker with some strange affectations who raced through a hodge-podge of slides at a ridiculously rapid rate, so fast that he’d never dwell on a point for more than 10 or 20 seconds, and his one skill was the ability to babble with unthinking confidence.

He didn’t so much pass information to his audience as stand at the front of the room and yell “I’m right, I’m right, I’m right” so fast that no one could get a word in edgewise. It worked, I guess; some people are still under his spell. It’s weird, because if anything, he radiated anti-charisma — it was as if someone gave the village idiot a few pounds of crystal meth and put him on stage. It says something about a person when they regard that as noble and heroic.