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May 28, 2024 64 mins

Robert sits down with Molly Conger to discuss Kent Hovind, self-declared doctor of dinosaur studies for the Creationist museum he founded and somehow killed a kid with.

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Also media.

Speaker 2 (00:05):
Welcome back to Behind the Bastards. Our guests for this week,
Molly Hunger Molly, Welcome to the Poor gam.

Speaker 3 (00:12):
Oh, I'm excited. I'm excited, Molly. What do you know
about kent Hoven? When you first brought ken Hooven, I
had him mixed up with a different creation as with
the same initials. I was thinking of ken Ham. Oh, yeah,
it is.

Speaker 2 (00:24):
Weird that they have the same initials.

Speaker 3 (00:26):
So I have been to ken Ham's Creation Museum. We
are animatronic dinosaurs, but I have not been the kent
Hoven's dinosaur Land.

Speaker 2 (00:34):
It's really weird now that you bring it up. I
mentioned hamm in here because he's like ham is the
good creationist park, right like if you've seen in terms
of like they put some money into that thing, Like
if you've been there, you've like if if you've seen
photos and stuff of like online, it's the one with
like you see like the diet there's like a stegosaurus

with a fucking saddle on it and stuff, and it's like, oh, Robert.

Speaker 3 (00:57):
I will have to send you the picture of me
riding the trice Arato.

Speaker 2 (01:02):
That's like a decent quality model, right Like at least
in the photos. It looks like they put some money
into that point.

Speaker 3 (01:08):
I learned a lot about how humanity used to coexist
with the dinosaurs.

Speaker 2 (01:11):
That's great, Molly, we'll be talking about that today. Kent
Hovend is like not even the Kirkland brand version of
that guy. He's the dollar General ken Ham right.

Speaker 3 (01:29):

Speaker 2 (01:30):
You're right, he's he's the dollar General uh like brand
of that guy. Because he also has a dinosaur amusement park.
But it's dog shit and it killed a kid. So
we're gonna have fun with this guy, Mollie. We're gonna
have fun with this guy. So our subject to this

week is doctor Kent Hovind a real doctor.

Speaker 3 (01:55):
It's never a real doctor on this show, mall.

Speaker 2 (02:00):
Third of the time. Maybe it's a real doctor. Yeah.
He is a Christian educator with a passion for debating evolutionists.
He believes that evolution is a religion and arguing that
there were dinosaurs on Noah's Ark. He also runs, as
I said, a dinosaur slash Bible themed park that doubles
a compound for what is kind of a cult, a

lower case see cult. I will say, as cult leaders go.

Speaker 3 (02:25):
He's not good at it.

Speaker 2 (02:26):
Maybe he doesn't really want that much control because he
doesn't seem to exercise as much of it as a
lot of them. But it's still pretty bad.

Speaker 3 (02:32):
Right, I mean, if there's no automatic rifles or child marriage,
is it really a compound? Molly.

Speaker 2 (02:38):
I will say there's probably automatic rifles because it is
an Arkansas, but as for the rest of it, I
don't know. He did get a kid killed there, so
I'm not gonna say it's very good. Hey, everyone, Robert
here from the future, and I fucked up. I wrote
this both ways. The reality is that Kentovend now today
lives in Alabama, not Arkansas. I don't know why I

said Arkansas so much, other than I was very hungover
from a variety of gas station drugs when we recorded
this episode, so you can chalk that one up to
me being gas station sober these days. Again, Kent Hoven
lives in Alabama now, not Arkansas. I might argue that
some of this is the fault of people in both
Alabama and Arkansas from being two different states when we

all know they should be the same state, but that's
rather beside the point. Kent E. Hovend was born on
January fifteenth, nineteen fifty three. I think he was born
in Pensacola, Florida, but I don't feel great about my Yeah,
not a good start.

Speaker 3 (03:38):
He may not have been.

Speaker 2 (03:39):
This may just be like bad AI summaries of stuff,
although I found it in places that are not AI generated.
But he seems to have immediately moved to East Peoria, Illinois,
and spent most of his childhood there. He's there until
he's like a young man. So I don't know if
he was actually born in Illinois because I haven't really
found a good direct source on that, but probably born
in Florida, moved immediately to Illinois. I've come across basically

nothing solid about his childhood or his parents, except for
the fact that on numerous occasions he has said that
he accepted Jesus Christ as his savior on February ninth,
nineteen sixty nine. So he's about sixteen. Yeah, yeah, that's great.

Speaker 3 (04:20):

Speaker 2 (04:20):
We talk about this on the show occasionally, but it
bears reemphasizing that, like in our cultural memory, sixty nine
is like the summer of love, hippies and weed and
anti war protests and all that good stuff. That's a
pretty reductive picture of what's going on because right alongside
all of that stuff, the civil rights movement in Woodstock,
et cetera, there's the birth of a subculture known as

Jesus People. Right, That's also a thing that's happening here.
There's a huge surgeon like really unhinged Christian evangelism. Right,
some of this is a reaction to the bad side
of the hippie years.

Speaker 3 (04:53):

Speaker 2 (04:54):
You've got with free love comes a lot of people
getting STDs. You have a lot of people overdosing on drugs.
You have swarms of young people who don't really have
any money crowding into San Francisco and winding up basically
living on the street. And a lot of these people
get like disillusioned and desperate. And one of the first
of them to get disillusioned is a guy named Ted Wise.
Wise was a saale maker who had a bad LSD

trip in nineteen sixty five and heard the voice of God.
That'll get you, Yeah, that'll get you. I I you know,
as a kid when I did drugs. You know, now,
I'm straight edge except for you know, the stuff you
can buy in gas stations. But as a kid, when
I started doing drugs, I had this like evangelical belief

that a lot of young people get that, Like, man,
if we could just put this shit in the water
supply and fix everything, that is not how drugs work.
I was very wrong to nineteen year.

Speaker 3 (05:47):
Old were you in the CIA, Robert, Yes, yes, briefly.

Speaker 2 (05:51):
Yeah, that's what everyone says. No, it turns out drugs
can lead you in very bad directions, and that's what
happens with Wise. He starts working with a bunch of
pastors in the Bay Area to take in runaway hippie
kids and turn them into evangelists. This thing that kind
of becomes the Jesus movement starts in northern California, but
soon there's coffee houses and soup kitchens, churches and farms

with communal living spaces, all real bent on Jesus all
over the country. Now, Kent doesn't graduate high school until
nineteen seventy one, which puts him at the old end
of the Jesus People generation, and the evidence we have
suggests he was always more in the conservative end of
the Christian spectrum than some of the Eastern mysticism inspired
Jesus People, because, like you get a lot of in

some of the Christianity that comes out of the Jesus
People movement. You get a little bit of like, we've
thrown a little bit of Buddhism in here. We stuck
a couple of Yo him pisses in here. Yeah, we're
still hippies, you know, we are still smoking pot, right,
But the cultural weight of that swing towards evangelical Christianity
is definitely an influence on Ham. The preachers he's drawn to, though,

are men like Jack Hiles. Hiles is an obscure figure
to most Americans, but starting in the late nineteen fifties,
Hyles is kind of the He kind of invents megachurches.
That's who That's who Hiles is. He calls his church
the Independent Baptist Church, and he it's crowned a super
church by time in nineteen seventy five. Because he it's
not just a place where people will go on Sundays.

He builds a Bible college there, unaccredited obviously, he builds
what becomes one of the largest Sunday schools in the country.
So there's all these like ancillary buildings and programs attached
to the bigger chure, and so thousands of people become
members and it's this is kind of like the first
precursor to what becomes the megachurch, right, this is like
the Austrolopithecus of megachurches. Cool, So, yeah, that's Hiles's the's

that's who Kent is going to be kind of like
obsessed with as a kid.

Speaker 1 (07:46):
And like a very triggering last name. For some reason,
I feel like.

Speaker 2 (07:51):
He should be British with that last ye, right, he
should be played by the guy who played Niles in Frasier.

Speaker 1 (07:56):
Does it feels like it feels like there'd be a
villain in some movie with that name.

Speaker 2 (08:01):
Yeah, so played by christ He is kind of a villain,
and Christian Slater might be able to handle this role.
He can handle most things. He's a great actor. But
Hiles is a fundamentalist. He taught that people could not
be born again unless they were brought to Christ using
the King James Bible, which is that's a big thing

for I don't know, like a fifth of Christians in
the country today that like the King James Bible specifically
is the Word of God and all of the other
older or newer you know, translations and whatnot are wrong
in some way. You just have God came back to
do to drop like a mixtape, a remix of his
old hits, and this is the only thing you're allowed
to listen to now.

Speaker 3 (08:43):
I love this stuff.

Speaker 2 (08:44):
Hovind also admired a guy named Bob Jones, Sr. Who
I'm gonna guess you've heard of, Oh.

Speaker 3 (08:48):
I've heard of Jones University. Absolutely, yeah, Well this is
a fine institution.

Speaker 2 (08:53):
Yeah, one of the great college one of the great
learning centers in our nation.

Speaker 3 (08:57):
You know, I've always said, can you really be learning
if you're not wearing pantyhose? No?

Speaker 2 (09:02):
No, And Bob Jones Senior would say absolutely not. He
was an American evangelist, one of the first Christian radio stars,
and as you said, he founded Bob Jones University. He
was also a segregationist and one of the people who
felt like having a Catholic in the White House was
going to doom this nation to papist domination.

Speaker 3 (09:21):

Speaker 2 (09:22):
He's one of those guys who would like rant about
the papists taking control of the government and me in
every word, oh what a different time. I almost have
trouble getting in the head of someone who is like
specifically scared that the Catholics are going to take over
this country, like we have one in there now and
he's like barely holding on.

Speaker 3 (09:41):
Well, that's only because the power of the pope has waned. Robert.
If you had a more powerful pope, I think would
be would be really in trouble.

Speaker 2 (09:47):
Yeah, we need the pope needs a thousand blood sacrifices
to get his power level back up to where he
can he can cast Mammon out of the temples that
we've built in Capitol Hill. I think that's right, mammon. Yeah,
that's the God of money. So Kin's personal pastor was
Lauren Dawson, whose gospel tape ministry was a groundbreaking Christian business,

sending more than ten thousand taped sermons ten thousand individual
tape sermons out to anyone who wanted to buy them.
This is like before the Internet. This is if you
want to spread your shit in an Internet like way.
This is kind of how a lot of shit spread
mimetically throughout the kind of what becomes the Christian right.
And Kent is going to devour every one of these
tapes he can get his hands on as a young man,

and this is where he learns the secrets of public
speaking and preaching. As a business. In fact, if I
had to draw together the similarities between the different guys
Kent admired as a boy, it would be that they
all succeeded in turning their faith into an industry or
industries instead of just a church.

Speaker 3 (10:45):
Right, he's.

Speaker 2 (10:48):
Right, money changing in the temple Jesus favorite thing.

Speaker 3 (10:51):
We all know. He's huge into stuff. The Word of
God is for sale.

Speaker 2 (10:55):
Yeah, absolutely, Why wouldn't it be. He didn't come back
to rewrite the King James Bible for you to not
make a buck.

Speaker 3 (11:01):
Off of it, you know.

Speaker 2 (11:03):
So these guys are Kent's guiding light, and he saw
this like decides his future is in Christianity, not specifically
as a belief system or a way of life, because
he does not live a particularly Christian life, but as
a way to make a living. Specifically, he decides he's
going to make a living in Christian education. Here's what
he writes about his development past this point in twenty

twelve on a website called Creation Today, one of my
favorite news sources. Molly his keen interest in math and
science throughout his high school career prompted his enrollment at
Illinois Central College as a science major after two years
of undergraduate work there and feeling God calling him to
full time Christian service, he completed his Bachelor of Religious
Education degree at Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan, in

nineteen seventy four. For fifteen years, Hovan taught high school
math and science, during which time he completed his master's
degree in education. While researching and writing his doctoral dissertation
on the subject of creation versus Evolution, he saw the
tremendous need for exposing evolution as a dangerous religious worldview
and for arming Christians with scientific evidence that there are
no contradictions between true science and the Bible. In response

to these needs, shortly after finishing his PhD in religious education,
he began a full time ministry.

Speaker 3 (12:16):
Now, so he's teaching high school science. Not at all, Molly,
all of that's lies. Every word I read almost was
a lie.

Speaker 1 (12:25):
Yeah, yeah, no.

Speaker 2 (12:28):
No again. Seventy percent of the time. If I introduced
someone on their show as a doctor, they are not
in fact a doctor. And yeah, basically everything he put.
He may have done two years of college trying to
get a science degree, but he didn't get a science degree,
which is about as impressive as the two years I
spent considering getting a history degree, right, Like.

Speaker 3 (12:49):
You didn't get it.

Speaker 2 (12:49):
It doesn't matter really, But let's start with the most
basic claim up there, right, that he taught high school
math and science for fifteen years. This seems like it
would probably be true. People usually don't lie about being
a high school math and science teachers. And like, there's
a lot of teachers in the country, right. Teaching is
not an easy job, obviously, but it's not impossible for

cranks and weirdos to get teaching degrees.

Speaker 3 (13:12):
Right, it happens. I've had a couple of them time
times and places where you don't even need a teaching degree. Yes, yeah,
well that's exactly where Kent comes in. Right.

Speaker 2 (13:21):
He does do some teaching, but it's not what you
or I would call high school math and science teaching.
The reality is that he gets teaching gigs at three
private Christian schools, none of which you're accredited, all of
which you're run out of churches, and one of them
is run out of a church that he founded. There
is no public record of him having a teaching career
or evidence that he ever taught at something the government

recognizes as a school, so there's no nothing behind that. Really,
he may have lectured about dinosaurs to some kids for
fifteen years, but we can't prove it.

Speaker 3 (13:53):
The real science class is the friends we made along
the way.

Speaker 2 (13:57):
That's right, Molly, that's right. So Kent worked as a
pastor and a not really a teacher teacher from nineteen
seventy five until around nineteen eighty eight. While he was
still in school. In nineteen seventy three, he married his
first wife, Joe. And I need to put emphasis on
the word first there, because for a man who believes
divorce is a sin, Kent Hoven does a lot of

getting divorced.

Speaker 3 (14:18):
Not yet though.

Speaker 2 (14:19):
He and Joe are going to have three kids from
nineteen seventy seven to nineteen seventy nine, which is too
fast to have three kids us. That's quite a rate,
poor Joe. Yeah. But in that time he started one
private Baptist school and he worked as an assistant pastor
at two others. In nineteen eighty nine, dismayed by the
growth of scientific rational thought in popular culture, he moved

to Pensacola and created a new ministry, Creation Science Evangelism.
The goal with this ministry was to promote creationism, and
he begins traveling around the world delivering lectures about how
to argue with evolutionists. He also sold merch, most of
it dinosaur themed, and this becomes a surprisingly successful business ultimately.

But it's a slow start at first, and we're going
to cover what happens next. But first, Mollie, you know
what didn't get a slow start.

Speaker 3 (15:10):
Away? Is it these products and services?

Speaker 2 (15:12):
It's these excellent products and services that support our podcast
and or program. Ah, we're back, and Mollie, you were
just telling me that some other iHeart hosts have been
getting sent allergy medicine which I could sorely use right now.
Do you know what drug it is?

Speaker 3 (15:31):
Is that I'm being honest with you. I skip the ads,
but I have the tail end of a couple of them.
Some of our colleagues.

Speaker 1 (15:38):
No, they're not giving us money yet, don't shill for that.

Speaker 3 (15:40):
I know. I want to know what it is. I
want them to give us. Colleges are getting allergy pills
for free?

Speaker 2 (15:45):
Is it the stuff with methan? It because I missed
that ship that was good, that was the stuff that worked.
Everybody bullshit, I don't think.

Speaker 3 (15:51):
I don't think out of a tin treats allergies. Literally,
that was.

Speaker 1 (15:55):
The best allergy medicine. And then and then you they
put them behind the pharmacy and.

Speaker 2 (16:00):
Because they're plusted people doing shaken bags, it's bullshit, Like,
what's the harm a little bit of picher?

Speaker 1 (16:06):
Come on, that's the best I could ever breathe, to
be honest. And then all of a sudden they were gone,
and or you would go and buy them and you'd
buy a box and those were not the right bills.

Speaker 3 (16:17):
Yeah a time.

Speaker 2 (16:19):
Yeah, it's it's it's we need to have like, if
we're going to have all of these guns be legal,
we need to have a standard where if you can't
prove something is scarier than an AR fifteen, it has
to be legal, right, Like shake and bake biker meth,
like that's not nearly as dangerous as guns. Let's let
let it. Let people buy it over the counter.

Speaker 3 (16:38):
Come on, enjoy.

Speaker 2 (16:40):
Yeah, yeah, come on, guys. We probably still have seat belts,
but maybe we get rid of air bags for those
weird air bag fundamentalists. I feel like that's a voting block.
We might be able to conquer that kind of guy.
Oh yeah, Molly, that's absolutely there's about a million of
those guys in the country, and if we get them
on our side, we can legal lies the good allergy medicine.

Speaker 3 (17:02):

Speaker 2 (17:03):
Anyway, back to Kent, hovind So. Kent starts his new
ministry in between earning his master's degree in Christian education
in nineteen eighty eight and his PhD in Christian education
in nineteen ninety one. Now I know what you're asking, Mollie,
because you asked this earlier. Are those real degrees? Don't worry,
We're getting to it. So for the first years of

his career, though, he lectures dozens of times at schools
and Sunday schools and churches and Bible colleges. He says
he lectures at public schools. It's Arkansas and Florida, so
there's a good chance he's not lying. And his focus
is in laying tactics out for arguing against evolution.

Speaker 3 (17:42):

Speaker 2 (17:43):
He's particularly obsessed with public debates and arming his audiences
with this arsenal of gotcha lines that they can use
to win public confrontations, and a lot of it has
to do with like setting the terms of the debate
in a way where you're not really arguing about evolution
or like trying to lead people into these logic traps.
He thinks he's built. But here's an example of the
kind of shit he's doing.

Speaker 4 (18:03):
Just you're gonna say, and where did God come from?
I don't know, but you said twenty billion years ago
there was a big bang, and you don't know where
the dirt came from. So basically, I believe in the
beginning God and you believe in the beginning dirt. Don't
tell me my theory is religious and yours is science.
Oh no, sir, they're both religious. The news media tries

to make it look like it is religion versus science.
I did a debate in El Paso, Texas here recently,
and the media wrote an article they said religious and
scientifically to urge debate evolution. What is the unspoken message
in that title?

Speaker 3 (18:40):
What are they trying to imply?

Speaker 4 (18:42):
Can you catch that? They're trying to imply that evolution
is part of science, aren't they? No, evolution is a religion.

Speaker 3 (18:49):
It sounds like he's about to start rapping. It does
sound like he's about to drop a bar. Really, I
could feel it coming.

Speaker 2 (18:56):
No, he doesn't have that Ben Shapiro level of versatility.

Speaker 3 (19:00):
He's the bench of Bureau of Dinosaurs.

Speaker 1 (19:02):
He is, he is. The background music is such a choice.

Speaker 3 (19:05):
It's fascinating stuff. But like he's he's like why did
he do that? Singer?

Speaker 2 (19:13):
Yeah, you see what he's doing there though, right, he's
like number one, he's starting this is he's not starting
by talking about evolution, like he's he's literally immediately taking
the rails off of the debate because evolution has nothing
to do with the Big Bang, right, Like he starts
by talking about the formation of the universe, and there's
actually always going to be a degree of unknown, right,

like we're never going to get perfect. Now I would
disagree with him. There's actually quite a bit because of
the way that like looking at shit in space works,
there's quite a bit that we can observe about the
early days of the universe that we simply cannot observe
about like his beliefs about a god. But that has
nothing to do with evolution, which is like again like
mutations and changes in time over species, you know, aggregating

over the course of incredibly long periods of time, right,
Like that has nothing to do with like the Big Bang,
and it's separate things.

Speaker 3 (20:05):
But like at the end of the day, like, I'm
not an astrophysicist. I cannot tell you how dirt accreted
in the emptiness of space to form Earth because that's
not my business. That's not my business. But I can
tell you that a child never wrote a dinosaur. Okay,
I can't tell you a child never wrote a dinosaur.

Speaker 2 (20:21):
And I can tell you that just like you know,
when we get into like the the arcana of astrophysics, Yeah,
that's a lot of that's over my head. Will we
get into the basics of evolutionary theory, all of that
makes complete sense. I understand that quite well, Like, because
you can see there's variance in just.

Speaker 3 (20:37):
Like the people.

Speaker 2 (20:37):
You know, if you've had a bunch of different dogs
and cats, there's variants in them. And some of the
different variants that occurs naturally as animals breed are going
to be more adaptive to their environment than others, and
over time that will change the species, and that will
lead to like the splitting into different species. Right, you
can see it on a micro scale in your own

life if you have animals, and you can understand how,
over the course of billions of years, it would lead
to much more drastic changes than you see in like
a few generations of goats.

Speaker 3 (21:07):
Are Yeah, but who invented dirt, Robert, But who invented dirt? Gotcha?
I got you. I find it very frustrating. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (21:18):
Anyway, I want to play one more clip to you
of Kent before we move on. And this isn't him
talking about evolution, but I came across it in my research,
and I do think it sets up some things about
the kind of man he is.

Speaker 3 (21:29):
This clip is called Kentoven goes Bananas. It sure is. Molly,
I was about six years old.

Speaker 4 (21:35):
I was raised in East Peoria, Illinois.

Speaker 3 (21:38):
By the way, I know, I'm in Tennessee. But are
there any more Yankees in the crowd? Any Yankees out there? Five?

Speaker 4 (21:43):
Six, seven?

Speaker 1 (21:45):

Speaker 3 (21:45):
How many Southerners do we have?

Speaker 4 (21:47):

Speaker 3 (21:49):
Well, just remember who won?

Speaker 2 (21:50):
If you would, I know what over you.

Speaker 3 (21:56):
I couldn't help that.

Speaker 4 (21:57):
But I did move to Florida as soon as I
got smart enough to figure out you know this.

Speaker 3 (22:00):
Again, So I just I needed to play that little bit.

Speaker 2 (22:07):
About to sell rising again to let people know that
he's down with the Confederacy, that he didn't all wasn't always,
but now he knows they.

Speaker 3 (22:15):
Were remembering who won. But it's not over. But it's
not over. It's such a weird splitting.

Speaker 1 (22:20):
I enjoy his five six seven hand motions.

Speaker 2 (22:25):
Yeah, I mean that's that's those are like workmanlike public speaking,
you know, tech tactics.

Speaker 3 (22:32):
He's not bad at he's good at it. Actually you
have to give him. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (22:37):
So one of the nice things about Kent, about writing
about Kent, and also one of the frustrating things, is
that he started reaching for prominence as a creationist debate
bro effectively in the nineties.

Speaker 3 (22:49):

Speaker 2 (22:50):
And if you if you remember the Internet of like
particularly the mid to late nineties early two thousands, a
huge thing on the Internet back then was inner atheists,
and this community sometimes called the skeptic community. It's split
in a number of directions. In the modern era, some
of these people have gone in very heartbreaking directions.

Speaker 3 (23:09):

Speaker 2 (23:10):
We can talk about Richard Dawkins being like, now I'm
a cultural Christian because I hate Islam so much. Right,
But there was this there was this kind of not
even brief, like a decade period where like there was
an army of everyone from like forum trolls to like
guys like Dawkins who were just committed, like like pitbulls,
to like hanging on and like latching onto arguments with

Christians over creationism.

Speaker 3 (23:34):
Right, I'm going to get.

Speaker 2 (23:35):
One or both kinds of pitbull people angry at me
for that comment. Look, I've been attacked by.

Speaker 3 (23:44):
Either way. Bill Maher is gonna becoming for me.

Speaker 2 (23:46):
Yeah, he's another one of these guys. Right, And because
because he was so prominent during this period of time,
there was like a whole information ecosystem dedicated to attacking Kentoven.
There were entire websites that are just picking apart his
whole life and backstory with surgical precision because he pissed
off just some of these these maniac internet atheists who

I love, I have very fond memories of, but who
like clearly were the kind of damaged where they would
spend seventy hours a week writing about Kent Hovind. You know,
like it's the thing we don't really have that anymore
on the Internet, Like Kiwi Farms.

Speaker 3 (24:22):
We have Kiwi Farm, but I feel like these people
have the same sort of mental derange the Kiwi Farms user, but.

Speaker 2 (24:28):
They're not, you know, it's it's much more ethical because
they're never going after harmless people like kitimately a bad
guys the.

Speaker 3 (24:35):
Same level of fixation, but targeted in a good direction.

Speaker 2 (24:38):
Yes, and targeted much more narrowly. Right, we just can't
focus the way we used to, Mollie.

Speaker 3 (24:44):
So it's just information overload. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (24:47):
One of the most detailed sites to pick apart Kent's
life was kenthovend dot com, run by John Steer. Today
the website is most accessible through the wayback machine, and
if you want an idea of its age, there was
a running tally at the top of every page counting
up the total cost of the Iraq War. So it's
like again, like just for a snapshot of the time.

Speaker 3 (25:08):
This was written a beautiful time capsule.

Speaker 1 (25:10):

Speaker 2 (25:10):
Yeah, it's magical stuff. It really brought me back to
my teenage years. So on that website, one of the
there's like a Q and a portion and one of
the questions is is doctor Hoven a real doctor? And
Steer writes yes and no. So it turns out Hovend
did get a religious based PhD from Patriot University, which

then changed its name to Patriot Bible University. They throw
a Bible in there, Molly, how does that not work better,
it's worse. It's better because it makes the acronym PBu
instead of PU. Right, Like, that's just not great for
they should have thought about that, but I don't know.
Despite that questionable name, PBu has been authorized by the

Colorado Commission of Higher Education as a seminary or Bible college,
which means it can grant religeigeous degrees, but only religious degrees.
It wouldn't be entirely fair to say these aren't real
in the legal sense. But also Kent is going to
spend decades identifying himself as a PhD in education and

authoring scientific papers and calling himself a doctor, both to
insinuate that his PhD has something to do with science
or evolution. It does not, Steer writs quote. Patriot University
also claims to be accredited by an unrecognized American Accrediting
Association of Theological Institutions, which operates from the same po

box as a as Christian Bible College. Both AAATI and
CBC are run by Cecil Johnson, and CBC is only
accredited by you guessed at AAATI. This blatant conflict of
interest could be a litmus test for the quality of AAATI.
So I decided to look into this AATI, this accrediting
organization that accredits the organization that runs.

Speaker 3 (26:59):
It, right, and it's just a diploma mill. Right.

Speaker 2 (27:01):
For years, it would offer you if you wanted to
start your own Bible school, they would accredit your Bible
school for one hundred dollars plus seventy five bucks a year.
But the federal government does not recognize AAATI accreditation.

Speaker 3 (27:13):
Right, didn't unders Bravik run a similar scam for years?

Speaker 2 (27:17):
Oh god, he might, Yeah, I think he did. I
don't have much enough recollection of that to want.

Speaker 3 (27:21):
To get into it. But we'd make fake diplomas, so yeah,
I mean, good company, good company. We need to get
into the fake diploma business, Molly. I'm getting a doctorate
right now.

Speaker 2 (27:33):
I think I could offer degrees, and I feel like
we should just try for medical degrees. Like, let's just
see if we can get people putting out pills. You know,
I think it's worth a shot. So if we'll debate
this in private, Molly, Molly's on my side, though I
can tell she thinks this is a.

Speaker 3 (27:51):
Good speaking of idea.

Speaker 2 (27:53):
Mollie, would you like to see Patriot Bible University? Because
it started as a Bible college in Dallas, Texas, but
it moved to Colorado and it is currently based in
what appears to be a double wide trailer. No, it's
it's beautiful where they have parking. Year My college didn't

have nearly this good parking situation.

Speaker 3 (28:19):
This is like the front office, like where's the where's
the rest? This is a man's house, Molly.

Speaker 2 (28:24):
This isn't even a front office, is uh? And having
lived in trailers, I can say this isn't a particularly
nice one. Where does the students go, Yeah, they don't, Mollie.
They send their money and in letters and they get
degrees in the mail.

Speaker 3 (28:40):
It's just a guy with a xerox machine. It's a
guy with a Xerox MASSIONEID. Yeah, solid, So I could
be I could be a doctor. You could be a doctor.

Speaker 2 (28:47):
It costs about nineteen hundred dollars, or at least it
did twenty years ago. I'm not sure now a steal.
It's a good price. So Patriot Bible University teaches youngerth
creationism and charges monthly, which Wikipedia notes makes it unlike
most universities.

Speaker 3 (29:05):
They're on the deca semester system.

Speaker 2 (29:09):
Yeah, that is Unlike most real schools.

Speaker 3 (29:13):
Students can be predo decamesters.

Speaker 2 (29:16):
Students can prepay for degrees, and in two thousand and
two they offered a buy three, get one free credit deal,
which definitely sounds okay.

Speaker 3 (29:25):
I found a copy.

Speaker 2 (29:26):
Of their internal magazine from two thousand and two, and
this is a little off topic, but they have a
whole page dedicated to suggested church signs. I want to
go through some of these, moll you want to.

Speaker 3 (29:37):
Just read through these?

Speaker 2 (29:39):

Speaker 3 (29:39):
I love that because you see these. You know, you
guys aren't in the South, but yeah, when you drive drive,
you drive a rural road, you know, through the country South,
and you gotta wonder, like, are they getting these from
a magazine? And I guess the answer is yes, some
of them. Yes, let's pop.

Speaker 1 (29:54):
Let's let's popcorn. Read.

Speaker 3 (29:56):
I'll go.

Speaker 1 (29:56):
I'll go first. God answers email Jesus at.

Speaker 3 (30:04):
The best vitamin for a Christian is B one? What
does that even mean? Like vitamin B one? Like B two,
B twelve? Yeah? But what is what is the put?

Speaker 1 (30:14):

Speaker 3 (30:14):
Like, the best vitamin for is to be is to
be one Christian. That's not a good pun to.

Speaker 1 (30:21):
Be one with Christ strawberty.

Speaker 3 (30:23):
Yeah, is B one even one of the B vitamins.

Speaker 2 (30:26):
I don't know if it is. I've never heard of it.
I think I think this is just a bad joke.

Speaker 1 (30:31):
Yes, there is a vitamin there that's good.

Speaker 2 (30:34):
That shows how much we know about vitamins. Here's another one, tithe.
If you love Jesus, anyone can honk, which seems kind
of desperate. You don't even have to love Jesus.

Speaker 4 (30:46):

Speaker 2 (30:47):
Oh, I know they're saying, tie if you love Jesus
because honking is too easy, like you, if you're just honking. Yeah,
give us money, fuck you, give us money.

Speaker 1 (30:56):
A clear conscience makes a soft hello.

Speaker 3 (31:01):
Mm there you go, prevent truth decay. Brush up on
your Bible.

Speaker 2 (31:07):
I'm sure there are people who are brushing their teeth
with their Bibles that read this magazine. Christians keep the faith,
but not from others, and don't don't keep let everybody
into Christianity. And what part of thou shalt not? Don't
you understand you didn't yell.

Speaker 1 (31:26):
Thou shalt not. It's in all caps.

Speaker 3 (31:28):
It isn't all caps. It isn't all caps. These aren't
even good like I've seen. Of course they're not good.
I've seen a lot of these, and these ones aren't
even funny.

Speaker 2 (31:37):
No, these are terrible. And it's filled with letters from
like students and graduates, this magazine and like inspirational little
essays on how if you want to be a good writer,
the best book to read is the Bible, which is
a professional writer. I have not found the Bible particularly helpful,
not saying it's not useful. It's a it's an incredibly
important historic document. I have gained value from reading the

Bible as historic document, but I didn't get value in
like learning how to write from it. Right you'll, yeah, yeah,
there's also a lot of bullshit like Leviticus you can
mostly cut, Like if I'm editing that thing, I'm chomping
down like half of those chapters.

Speaker 3 (32:16):
Right, well, you know that what is it?

Speaker 4 (32:17):
Like? What is it?

Speaker 3 (32:18):
What is it from? I think it's from Proverbs about
like you know, the the idiot returns to his folly
like a dog returns to its vomit.

Speaker 2 (32:26):
You know, that's that's not that that's not that's a
good line, Like you wouldn't keep some of gold? Like
if I'm I might, I might do what Thomas Jefferson
did and like do my own version of the Bible,
and we're just gonna cold open on Jesus fucking up
those money lenders in the Temple and then like freeze
frame and Jesus is like looks that look to looks
to camera and goes wondering we could make we can

make a solid nineties movie Jeremy Piven plays Jesus Christ.
Uh oh, yeah, probably shouldn't cast Jeremy Piven in anything anymore,
but I watched PCU recently, so anyway, I find this
kind of stuff fascinating. As a young, angry atheist, magazines
like this kind of terrified me. But now it all

seems so quaint compared to a lot of what's gone
mainstream on the right. So I don't know, I don't
know where I land there. The essay that closes out
the issue is titled Age of Reasoning question Mark, and
it features a lengthy complaint that today's kids all know
about Snoop Dogg but not the Constitution.

Speaker 3 (33:28):
Then it is I'm always saying this.

Speaker 2 (33:30):
I will say I got a given credit. I learned
something maybe from this, And because it ends with an
insane story that I hadn't heard before, The story is
told of Franklin Roosevelt, who often endured long receiving lines
at the White House. He complained that no one really
paid attention to what was said. One day, during a reception,
he decided to try an experiment. To each person who

passed down the line and shook his hand, he murmured,
I murdered my grandmother this morning. The guests responded with
raises like marvelous, keep up the good work. We're proud
of you. God bless you, sir. It was not till
the end of the line, while greeting the ambassador from
Bolivia that his words were actually heard.

Speaker 3 (34:04):

Speaker 2 (34:05):
The ambassador leaned over and whispered, I'm sure she had
it coming. Now that's a fun plead story.

Speaker 3 (34:10):
That's true. Please tell me that's true.

Speaker 2 (34:12):
Unclear, Molly, because I had the same reaction as you
when I read that, I was like, well, I want
that to be true.

Speaker 3 (34:18):
That would make me like FBR so much more.

Speaker 2 (34:24):
But I googled around. Snopes has looked into the matter,
and the answer is it's like a maybe, it's kind
of right on the line right. It seems to have
originated this story in a nineteen fifty three book titled
The Complete Spelled in a Weird Way Practical Joker by
h Allen Smith, who was a journalist and a comedy writer.
And like, it's unclear if this is just bullshit or

a thing he actually heard or witnessed. It may have
just been a story that went around.

Speaker 3 (34:50):
I don't know.

Speaker 2 (34:50):
My guess is this is probably not literally true, but
we can choose to believe this.

Speaker 3 (34:54):
Yeah, this could be our episode about faith, right, Yeah,
and I have faith.

Speaker 2 (35:02):
So back to Kent Hoven, his first PhD. He's going
to get three more and all of them are equally bullshit.
Did require him to produce a doctoral dissertation? Yes, these
are an important part of real life PhD programs. And
a key aspect of like writing a thesis, right, is
that to get your doctorate you have to publish original
work that expands, to some extent the frontier of human knowledge,

or at least attempts to write. And it is something
that is reviewed by a committee of relevant experts. They
have to eventually sign off on it, and it is
published somewhere that everyone can read it. Right, This is
this is the basics of like how that's supposed to work?

Speaker 3 (35:40):
Right? Yeah, now let's see it.

Speaker 2 (35:42):
Because Patriot Bible University isn't a real school, no one
could actually find a copy of his dissertation for a
long time.

Speaker 3 (35:49):
Eventially double wide.

Speaker 2 (35:51):
Actually it was somewhere in that double wide And eventually
there's now a copy. It's got posted on like WikiLeaks.
Eventually it's an agree to which the internet was out
for this guy, loaded for bore.

Speaker 3 (36:04):
Wiki leaks came. Oh, it's so funny.

Speaker 2 (36:10):
But eventually, like an actual scientist reviews this thing and
points out a number of things that make this not
a real dissertation or thesis a when a real thesis
is reviewed by a committee of three to five people
with relevant expertise. Kent was only reviewed by doctor Wayne Knight,
who runs Patriot Bible University, and sounds like a Batman character, like, yeah,

that's a guy from the Batman cartoon.

Speaker 3 (36:35):
Don't tell me that man sence academic. He sounds like
a guest on the fourth hour of Info Wars.

Speaker 2 (36:41):
There's actually there's there's a substantially higher than zero chance
that doctor Wayne Knight has been on it, but Wars
I didn't think to look into that. Honestly, now that
I think about it, that's almost certain. Yeah, So, since
Kent is going to make his career badly defending creationism,
it behooves us to look at the kind of claims

he made in what is ostensibly the springboard of his
academic career. One academic who reviewed his thesis noted, even
the undergraduate honors thesis at my institution require the signatures
of two faculty members. This fellow goes on to note
that misspellings are rampant in cite several examples, including Canaan,
which a Bible doctor really ought to be able to spell,

and Shinto he meant shinto. Other criticisms include the fact
that the thesis does not have a title. It has
one illustration, which was a is a diagram of the
electromagnetic spectrum, literally cut out of an actual science textbook
and taped badly inside the thesis. The reviewer notes it
does not fit the page, and so what did he

prove that evolution is a religion and creationism is great? Well, actually,
we'll talk a little bit about his academic assault on
the theory of molly and maybe convince you to give
up your life of sin for the cleansing peace of
Bible believing Christianity.

Speaker 3 (38:10):
But first I'm diving right into that baptismal font we
come back from this break.

Speaker 2 (38:14):
Yeah, my only Bible and my only baptism is in
the cool running rivers of commerce that supports this podcast.
All right, we're back. Kent is going to build, you know,
his career attacking evolutions. Let's look at how he attacks it.
In this thesis quote, Hovid begins with a non standard

definition of evolution that with time, things left to themselves
can improve, and a ramble about thermodynamics. For the first time,
evolution is described as a religion. Hang on to your hats.
He then proceeds to a long pair of inaccurate definitions
of microevolution and macro evolution. He finishes this section with
a second misstatement about evolution by pinning the idea of
evolution equals progress on the evolutionists. Now there's a lot.

Speaker 3 (39:00):
That's wrong there.

Speaker 2 (39:01):
I mean, for one thing, evolution is not things improving
over the time when left to themselves. It's again like
random changes, some of which are going to prove adaptive,
some of which won't. And that leads to like change
in differentiation in species over long periods of time. Right,
it's not inherently improving. Things don't always get better. Species
don't always get better because of this like that. That's

not what anyone's arguing for when they're talking about No,
of course not now. Despite what guys like Hoven say,
the theory of evolution is simple and hard to argue
with because it's such a reasonable thing. Hovend has to
come Like the Catholic Church hasn't had an issue with
it and longer than any of us has been alive.

Speaker 3 (39:42):
Right, and it doesn't preclude the existence of a creator God.
You could just say, no, God invented evolution. Done.

Speaker 2 (39:50):
There's plenty of perfectly fine, like fucking YouTube arguments you
can make for evolution being integrated with a belief in God.
I don't care how convinced saying you as an individual
find them. They're all more convincing than what Kint is saying.

Speaker 3 (40:03):
Right, you can still believe in your God without being silly.

Speaker 2 (40:08):
Yeah, the pope does, and he believes in a lot
of silly shit.

Speaker 3 (40:12):
Yeah, but we have a woke pope now, we do,
we do hu woke huge problem, a real issue.

Speaker 2 (40:20):
So Hovend has to come up because evolution is such
an inherently reasonable concept. Hoven has to come up with
his own straw man definitions of evolution to argue against,
and they're always a little bit different. Later in his career,
he's going to offer a two hundred and fifty thousand
dollars prize to anyone who can promise empirically his word
that evolution is real. And here's how he defines it
for the purpose of this argument. When I use the

word evolution, I am not referring to the minor variations
found in all of various all of the various life
forms microevolution. I am referring to the general theory of evolution,
which believes that these five major events took place without God.
Number one, time, space and matter came into existence by themselves.
Number two and it's and stars formed from space dust.
Number three, Matter created life by itself. Number four, early

life forms learned to reproduce themselves. Number five major changes
between these diverse life forms And like, that's not evolution, man,
you're wrapping a bunch of different things into like all together.
Like the theory. Darwin's theory of evolution did not involve
the Big Bang.

Speaker 3 (41:22):
No, that's a way later. It's way late. He was just.

Speaker 2 (41:25):
Looking at some fucking, uh fuckingches, yeah, finches and shit,
and going like, oh, it looks like species differentiate over time.

Speaker 3 (41:33):
He tasted a bunch of different birds.

Speaker 2 (41:35):
Yeah, he ate every animal that he could and worked
out a basic theory. So far, what we've got here
is with Kent is a local pastor and teacher who's
built a nice business for himself lecturing at churches and
Bible schools about creationism. Now that's not a good thing,
but on its own, that's not noteworthy enough to make
him a subject of this episode. Right, there is something

that makes Kent special, which is that he is one of,
if not maybe the first of these kinds of guys
to realize that the internet is about to be a
huge deal and how to use the Internet in order
to make a shitload of money for himself and build
a following.

Speaker 3 (42:09):
Right he is.

Speaker 2 (42:11):
I don't know if he's the first of this kind
of guy, but he's the first I'm aware of that
really starts this with a website called doctor Dino. He
makes me the mid nineties, Yeah, and he starts selling
and collecting and whatnot a whole archive of creationist media
all over the United States.

Speaker 3 (42:27):
Oh, is that dinos we're breathing fire? It sure is, Molly,
wait a second for that one. I don't care.

Speaker 2 (42:32):
His main business is himself. But he basically sees, if
I film these presentations I've been giving it churches and
edit them into videos and sell those videos or let
people you know, eventually stream them online, that will expand
my audience. And there's ways to get money out of
those people. Right, I'm gonna pinish a clip from one
of his Yeah, he pivots to video. He does it first. Right,

here's one of his doctor Dino videos.

Speaker 4 (42:56):
Now, this one is called a parasofis had a weird
bump on the back of his head. Some people think
the parasol office was able to breathe fire. Who thinks
that because that bump on his head was hollow and
it's connected to his sinuses. I don't know about that,
but interesting theory.

Speaker 3 (43:15):
It is not.

Speaker 4 (43:16):
I like the parasol office. But there's one thing about
him I do not like so and I'm going to
tell you about that in just a minute.

Speaker 2 (43:26):
Okay, The whole speech is like that, he like introduced
a dinosaur, usually get things wrong about it, and then
be like, I like this guy except for one thing
about him, and then he'll move on to the next dinosaur.

Speaker 3 (43:37):
He didn't accept the Jesus as his Lord and savior.

Speaker 2 (43:40):
That is kind of where we're going here. But I
do want to let you know, folks, there are not
fire breathing No, no one thinks there were dinosaurs that
breathed fire. That's not a thing that science believes. That's
not a thing anyone has ever suggested, except for mediac phoven.

Speaker 3 (43:53):

Speaker 2 (43:55):
I think this is part of like you get some
of these weird creationist guys trying to where like both
dinosaurs and myths about dragons together. Maybe that's where that
comes out of. But anyway, here's how that whole speech
thing culminates, right when he finally explains what he doesn't
the one thing he doesn't like about all of these
great dinosaurs.

Speaker 4 (44:13):
The one thing about all the dinosaurs I do not like.
I don't like the way every time you pick up
a book about dinosaurs, you open up to the first
page and guess what it says, tillions of years ago
dinosaurs lived on the earth.

Speaker 3 (44:32):
Man, that is not true.

Speaker 4 (44:35):
What you have to do, you have to get a
little buzzer in your brain and whenever somebody tells you
something that's not true, he say.

Speaker 3 (44:40):
Man, not true, I'm gonna have to go. Man, I
can't hear, because that's not fair to the dinosaur. I
like this dinosaur, except I don't like this one thing
about him.

Speaker 2 (44:49):
The dinosaurs never said, They never concept of age, as
far as we're aware, didn't write that book.

Speaker 1 (44:55):
Just wondering. Do you think that the costume department on
Friends based Ross Guelers like work clothes off of Kent?

Speaker 3 (45:02):
Yes, yes, they're both dinosaur scientists.

Speaker 2 (45:05):
Well, and I also I refuse to consume anything either
of them make outside of their wheelhouse. Right, Ross is
not allowed to be Ross from Friends. I'm very angry.
I watched I watched some insane television show. I think
it was about like climate change and ship it's on
I think it might have been Netflix. And Ross from

Friends is in a couple episodes because it like veers from.

Speaker 3 (45:30):
I've never seen him in anything but Friends. Does he
still work?

Speaker 1 (45:33):
He was?

Speaker 3 (45:33):

Speaker 1 (45:34):
Apparently, yes he was, he was. He was. He played
Robert Kardashian in the o J series.

Speaker 2 (45:41):
There's the It's this, It's this show that sounds like
a fever dream. It starts with like like climate conferences
about like the impending disaster, and then like you know,
the disaster really gets going in earnest and suddenly everything
pivots to being I thought it was going to go
like be hardcore like Zionist, but actually the point it
seems to be making is that the real Jewish homeland
is Miami, and there's like a synagogue they're trying to

save in southern Florida from flooding, and Ross from Friends
as to bribe congressman to do it.

Speaker 3 (46:08):
It gets arrested.

Speaker 1 (46:10):
Is it called Little Death?

Speaker 2 (46:11):
No, no, no, It's one of the weirdest shows I've
ever seen.

Speaker 3 (46:15):
I don't think that's real.

Speaker 2 (46:19):
It felt like a fever dream. And then the entire
show changes after the Ross.

Speaker 1 (46:23):
From Friends port called Little Death.

Speaker 2 (46:25):
It is definitely not called Little Death. Then it's called Extrapolations.

Speaker 1 (46:29):
Oh then what else Sissy ben in it's not on
his IMDb.

Speaker 3 (46:34):
I think he might have funded the fucker. It's weird.
He's weird in it.

Speaker 1 (46:38):
A few years back it, Yeah, I got it.

Speaker 3 (46:41):
It is an off putting show. I found it off.

Speaker 1 (46:43):
Oh my god, John Snow is in it.

Speaker 2 (46:46):
John Snow is in fact in it. Yeah, a lot
of guys are in it. Edward Norton's a big part
in it.

Speaker 1 (46:52):
Yes, okay, I'll do this all my own time. Sorry.

Speaker 3 (46:57):
I was like, what a cast.

Speaker 1 (46:59):
It's a baffling show, Like, are you a guy who
will always be known as playing one guy on a
TV show? We'll cast you in this.

Speaker 2 (47:08):
We'll cast you. Edward Norton is more than that, not
much more.

Speaker 1 (47:13):
He's Fight Club.

Speaker 2 (47:15):
He's in the only movie about the shitty town in Oklahoma.
I grew up in Leaves of Grass.

Speaker 3 (47:21):
Good movie. It's also got one of the guys from
Deadwood in it. Check it out.

Speaker 2 (47:24):
He plays himself and his twin brother. Anyway, So Kent,
oh dinosaur, Yeah, we're talking about dinosaur.

Speaker 1 (47:32):
We got ross from Brinded.

Speaker 2 (47:35):
We got ross from Friended. You can't stop when you
get when you get a little dose of vitamin R.
So anyway, As a public speaker, Kent has a whole
host of lions. He's got locked and loaded to get
an audience's attention, and one of his favorite lines is
one drop of water will cover the whole world if
you spread it real thin. Kent states this as if

it's a scientific fact.

Speaker 3 (47:57):
Don't worry.

Speaker 2 (47:59):
I found a again, because there's a lot of guys
who are obsessed with Kent. I found a crazy person
who seems to know math, who did a breakdown and
calculates that this Kent is off by roughly a factor
of one trillion here, which sounds right. I can't check
that math.

Speaker 3 (48:14):
I don't know how to spread atoms. I don't know
how big those are.

Speaker 2 (48:18):
But yeah, it does seem like that would have to
be off by about a trillion or so. Honestly, that
might be low.

Speaker 3 (48:23):
Guess if you're talking if you're talking about like baptismal water,
I think it's more of a metaphor.

Speaker 2 (48:27):
Yeah, I think that's But he also there's nothing that's
a metaphor for Kent. You can't have metaphors.

Speaker 3 (48:32):
In Kent's world.

Speaker 2 (48:33):
Everything has to be literally true, otherwise his entire conception
of reality collapses. Kent also claims that birds are not
descended from dinosaurs. Dinosaurs are also big, cold blooded lizards
that live in Eden, which we know they're not. The
reality is that dinosaurs really have very little to do
with modern reptiles. But Kent has to deny the sweep
of time necessary to allow birds to come about. So

he claims, for example, that the Triceratops is just a
Jackson's chameleon that got extra big because there was more
oxygen back then. Like if you were to hook at
Jackson's chameleon up to an O two tag, you could
get to be huge.

Speaker 3 (49:10):
Why are we doing that? There is some some scientific
credence to the idea that, like the amount of oxygen
in the atmosphere. Sex used to be bigger because they
break through pores in their skins, so they could be
larger because of the different amount of But they're the
same insects, you know, And it's like.

Speaker 5 (49:27):
You can't just if you just like you can't just
make a common big oxygen I'm gonna I'm gonna put
a pet chameleon inside of a hyperbaric chamber and I'm
gonna grow.

Speaker 3 (49:39):
I'm going to one.

Speaker 2 (49:41):
Like. Look, if it worked that way, I would be
psyched that the creationists were right, because then we'd have
Triceratopsis to ride and that would be worth it. I'll
lead a lot of crow to write a tri Serratos.

Speaker 3 (49:51):
Only inside your special oxygen chamber.

Speaker 2 (49:53):
Yeah, you would have probably have to keep the chamber.
We just make the world a hyperbaric chamber. Perfect.

Speaker 1 (49:58):
This guy is just Christian science Alex Jones. It's very weird. Yeah, yeah,
he's a little worse than does he start selling products.

Speaker 2 (50:07):
He's already selling products he's got.

Speaker 3 (50:10):
I'm interested in the.

Speaker 2 (50:11):
Merch videos and t shirts and toys, and obviously, like
a lot of creationists, one of the things that helps
stitch Kent's beliefs together is the existence of cryptids.

Speaker 3 (50:22):

Speaker 2 (50:23):
If the Lockness Monster exists, right, it means that dinosaurs
didn't die out all that long.

Speaker 3 (50:28):
Ago, exactly right.

Speaker 2 (50:29):
Yeah, Yeah, Now, I know what a lot of you
are asking at this point. Kent is clearly a ridiculous asshole.
But is he really noteworthy? And I assure you he is.
We're going to talk about his his real evil shit
in part two, but I want to start by laying
out how much fucking money he makes doing this grift.
In two thousand and three alone, Kent earned more than

one point six million dollars in doctor Dino merchandise sales.
From nineteen ninety five to nineteen ninety seven, his income
tax bill alone was more than half a million dollars.
And we know that because Kent was a tax protester
and refused to pay his taxes for about thirty years.

Speaker 3 (51:05):
Yeah, of course, of course he's a tax protester. I
feel like, if you're truly only committed to God, is
that like its own kind of sovereign citizen.

Speaker 2 (51:16):
He is a sovereign citizen, Molly, That's where this is headed.
But yes, also he's his own kind of Christian sovereign
citizen too. He does both. So in two thousand and one,
he creates his first Bible based theme park, dinosauran venture
land tagline where dinosaurs and the Bible meet. I've heard
these described as being built in his backyard in Pensacola,

but his backyard is like seven acres, so it's not
like tiny. The park has an indoor science center filled
with illustrated versions of the arguments Kent makes in his lectures.
There's also an outdoor space with what can crudely be
described as rides. One I've heard of is the jump Asaurus,
which is just a trampoline next to a basketball hoop.
Kids have a minute to make all the baskets they can,

which will teach them that they have to be coordinated
in order to spread God's message.

Speaker 3 (52:07):
No that's not said skid, that's nonsense.

Speaker 2 (52:10):
That's not all right. That's a trampoline next to a
basketball court.

Speaker 5 (52:14):
This is.

Speaker 3 (52:16):
No I mean, look, I'm all for.

Speaker 2 (52:18):
Children risking their lives in dangerous games, but also, you know,
they should be more fun than that. So for a
while in the early aughts, some skeptic publications did a
decent business making fun of Dinosaur Action Land. But what
actually brought Kent down wasn't being wrong about everything, because
that never hurts people's career. It was tax fraud. To

describe what happened, and again, folks, this is a constant
lesson in crime. Do whatever unethical shit you can get
away with most evil things in the United States as
long as you pay your taxes like just and the
irs is not picky. You know, they don't care if
you're a drug dealer. Just pay your taxes and you
will avoid the easiest way to destroy your life as

a person who is breaking the law.

Speaker 3 (53:03):
Because they'll get you in the end.

Speaker 2 (53:04):
They always say will, they will. They're actually know what
they're doing. To describe what happened, next, I want to
read a quote from a book by Professor Samuel Brunson
called God and the IRS, which is about the difficulty
the IRS has dealing with the religious right. It actually
sounds very interesting. It's like seventy dollars for the kindle
edition because it's a textbook, so I have not read

the whole thing, but I found excerpts that yeah, because
there's just a portion of it that deals specifically with Kent.

Speaker 3 (53:31):

Speaker 2 (53:32):
Though creationism was Hoven's professional passion, it was far from
his only interest. Hovind was also deeply dedicated to not
paying taxes. Hovind was as dedicated a tax protester as
in it he did not file a single federal tax
return between nineteen eighty nine and nineteen ninety six. The
IRS noticed and demanded that Hoven provide them with certain
financial records. He refused. In fact, in his attempts to

impede the IRS's investigation, Hovind went so far as to
file a lawsuit against the IRS, demanding that the court
order the IRS and it's a by court order, demanding
that the court order the IRS and its agents stopped
contacting and harassing him, and that it ordered the IRS
to stay off his property. So, you know, taxes are complicated,
but the IRS is a simple organization. They just want

their money, and they've spent enough time as the bugbear
of the Republican Party that they are leery of having
public fights with religious conservative tax protesters, so they don't
go hard after again. He stops paying his taxes in
eighty nine, and they don't really come for him until
two thousand and six, you know. And there's back and
forths going on before then, in like the late nineties

and early two thousands, but they don't really go for
Bore until he makes it very clear that there is
no other way for them to resolve this, right.

Speaker 3 (54:43):
I mean, he he could have just all this time
but just been doing his taxes, but like doing them
wrong and paying like ten dollars would have been fine,
and they wouldn't and they wouldn't have wanted to come
after a church. But if you go out in public
and you say I don't have to pay my taxes
because God said so.

Speaker 2 (54:56):
Right, right, And the big mistake he makes series Kent
stakes the I r S's hesitation to go immediately nuclear
on him as an actual victory. And so during this
kind of awkward period where he's fighting back and forth
with them, but they're not really coming after him, he
decides he's like hacked the system, and he starts lecturing
and selling book and video guides to not paying taxes.

Speaker 3 (55:19):
Oh, they love those times when you do that. That's
the easy way to make free. There's this whole industry
of guys who will like sell you their system for like, oh,
if you just do this one secret loophole. Yeah, it's
not real, it's not real. I think the.

Speaker 2 (55:35):
Easiest way to make a lot of money doing unethical
things would be to like become that kind of guy,
but pay your taxes scrupulously, like run a business on
how people can avoid taxes.

Speaker 3 (55:47):
But actually it's still funny to sell that shit.

Speaker 2 (55:52):
Yeah yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, Well that's what that's what's
going to happen to kin. So some of his new
beliefs come to be based on the arguments of what
are called sovereign citizens.

Speaker 3 (56:02):

Speaker 2 (56:03):
I think there's a decent level of like at this point,
kind of background osmosis information the average person has about
sovereign citizens. But in brief, sovereign citizens are people who
believe that the arcana of tax law and constitutional law
is a magic spell to make the government go away.
Right if you figure out the right way to cite
legal precedent, then you can make the federal government not

in charge of you, you know, which it doesn't really work.
Sometimes the law can be like magic, but it never
makes you not a subject of the state because it
has a lot of guns. Ultimately, I've only ever.

Speaker 3 (56:38):
Seen it in person once, but I was sitting through
docket call and this woman had some sort of like
relatively minor traffic ticket that really got blown out of
proportion because she refused to produce a driver's license. And so,
you know, she comes up before the judge and she says, well,
I do not contract with the Department of Motor Vehicles,
and she just like every time the judge asked her
a question or tried to get her to see something,
she just kept saying, I do not contract with the

Department of Vehicles. And it's like the judges like, it
doesn't really matter if you do. No one really cares.

Speaker 2 (57:06):
Lady, I don't contract with the fucking us with the
Department of Homeland Security. But that's not going to stop
him from coming after me if I do certain things,
you know, like you don't have to contract with the
ATF to have to obey the rules They put in place.

Speaker 3 (57:20):
I do not contract with the Internal Revenue Service.

Speaker 2 (57:23):
Yeah, they don't care. They've got a lot of guns. Ultimately,
it does come down to that.

Speaker 1 (57:29):
I kind of love that she was like, that's my line.

Speaker 3 (57:33):
Yeah, gotcha.

Speaker 2 (57:34):
I mean she got that from a guy like Kent, right,
because absolutely kin gets Obviously I don't know who he
gets brought into sovereign citizen. It's kind of like a
decentralized cult ideology. But he starts spreading it too, like
after he gets into it. Right, And here's a quote
from one of the videos he puts out during this
period of time that gives you an idea of how
these people talk. I do not have or use a

social Security number. Actually, no real person has a Social
Security number. Notice on your Social Security card that your
name is spelled with all capital letters. This designates the
straw man business trust or corporation, not a person. Right,
so you can you can sue or imprison the all
caps straw man that my card is for. But that's
not really me. So I don't have to go to

prison for all of these crimes. Again, man, even if
you were right, which you're not, this is nonsense, Like,
there's not actually legal president is there. Even if there was,
they all still have the guns. That's the like, as
an anarchist, I also don't believe in the legitimacy of
the state, but I recognize that they have more guns
than me, you know, like ultimately, yeah, I'm going to

try not to get them too angry at me because
I don't want to get shot. I don't want to
get a ruby ridge on my ass or something, you know,
like the all.

Speaker 3 (58:50):
Caps and the all lowercase version of you neither wise bulletproof. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (58:54):
The one where I agree with them is that like, yeah,
I mean the government is a big mafia, right, and
I don't think it's very good. But you know, I
recognize the reality that they don't care. If I can
quote certain things like there's no magic spell to make
them go away.

Speaker 3 (59:08):
Pocket constitution, Yeah.

Speaker 2 (59:10):
Yeah, your pocket Constitution's not going to save you on
this stuff. In nineteen ninety eight, Kent filed a document
with his local Clerk of Court where he claimed to
be a sovereign citizen, not a citizen of the corporate
government he believed was legally in control.

Speaker 3 (59:24):
So not real. The notary was like, I mean, I'll
stamp it.

Speaker 2 (59:29):
But quote this, in Hoven's eyes, severed all ties between
Kent Hovend and all caps Kent Hoven. In two thousand
and one, nevertheless, he signed Kent Ehovend above a Kin
Ehoven cap all caps signature light. So you're not even
consistent about your nonsense.

Speaker 3 (59:43):
Kent gotta file a new form.

Speaker 2 (59:45):
Kent declared he and his wife immune to all previously
incurred debts, including the money they owed to the irs,
by revoking their power of attorney with the Clerk of Courts.
They argued that Social Security was a Ponzi scheme which
covered up the factor of the US government, or in
their eyes, the government that ran corporation or whatever that
ran the US government was bankrupt. They referred to themselves
as natural citizens of America, which is sovereign citizen language

that basically means I am a citizen of the literal land,
not this fake thing masquerading as a government. Now, that's
all pretty standard sob sit ideology. What's interesting to me is,
in all the years after he filed this paperwork, he
starts to mold his ideology and begins packaging it in
new ways to audiences full of Christians who are just
sure that can't legally be required to pay taxes for

other people to use the roads right. Kent's method of
justifying this was novel and a lot easier to sell
to a wide audience than the kind of arcane sovereign
citizen mythology that he buys into. Here's Professor Bronson again.
He ultimately rests his belief that he owes no taxes,
at least to the extent anything besides bald greed underlies
that belief. On his status as a Christian and a minister.

He believes that something about being a religious believer makes
him different from the vast majority of his fellow citizens.
This difference, he believes, is it self sufficient to excuse
him from paying taxes. That is, in Hoven's mind, there
is something about the economics of religious practice that materially
alters the secular assumptions that underlie the tax law. Hoven's
understanding of the difference that frees him from the clutches

of the taxation that his fellow citizens face comprises two parts,
one descriptive and one normative. Descriptively, he argues that he
is a minister, and as a minister, everything he owns
belongs to God. Normatively, he argues that he should not
be subject to earthly taxation on money he earns doing
God's work. True, and this is there's still a lot
of people who will argue this in different ways, and

they get away with that actually a lot of the time, right,
Like churches do a lot of shit, they shouldn't be
aga if he.

Speaker 3 (01:01:40):
Just hired an accountant, If he hire real accountant and
did a little paperwork, half of that could be true.

Speaker 2 (01:01:46):
He could get away with a lot of his tax
burden and the iris wouldn't be willing to fight him
on it.

Speaker 3 (01:01:51):
But he just refused to do the paperwork.

Speaker 2 (01:01:53):
I think the professor gets it right. He's just too greedy, right,
Like he's not. He's a smarter man would recogniz that. Like, well,
I'm a greedy asshole, but my greed has a limit,
and like I don't want to. I know the government
can only be pushed so far.

Speaker 3 (01:02:07):
Right, Like Jim Baker at least pretended to pay some taxes.

Speaker 2 (01:02:10):
He still did go to prison, by the way, where Kids'
story's at it, But Molly, that's all gonna come in
part two. Do you have anything to plug here? At
the end of part one.

Speaker 3 (01:02:22):
Oh, gosh, I don't really, I don't really have anything
to plug. I'm on the internet.

Speaker 2 (01:02:26):
It sucks on there, Molly's on the internet. We're raising
funds again here behind the Bastards for the Portland Diaper Bank,
which provides diapers for free to people who do not
have enough money but have babies. You can go to
go fund me Portland Diaper Bank, behind the Bastards Portland
Diaper Bank. Go fund me and you will find the

new GoFundMe for that and you can donate money to
it and help out some people who don't have enough
money for diapers, which is a good thing.

Speaker 3 (01:02:54):
Diapers cost a fortune. Surprisingly are just crazy for babies. Babyhower. Yeah,
like how are they getting away with this? I don't know,
I don't know. I think big diaper, big diaper.

Speaker 2 (01:03:07):
Yeah, yeah, that's that's really. That's the new military industrial complex.
After Vietnam. They turned all of that body bag material
into diapers and they're just making more money than ever.

Speaker 3 (01:03:17):
That's my and we had.

Speaker 1 (01:03:20):
Cool Zone Media have a couple of new shows that
you should check out. The first is Offline, hosted by
ed Zitron. Once or twice a week. They show about
the tech industry and tech world and all things happening there.
It is wonderful. And we also have a new new
weekly show hosted by Jamie Loftus called Sixteenth Minute of Fame.
It's all about the Internet's main characters and what happened

to them after they went viral. So check that out
and everything else for cool Zone at cool Zone Media. Molly,
you're at Socialist dog Mom on Twitter at Craig and
that's me. Did I forget anything else? Starboard? Did we
do all the things?

Speaker 3 (01:03:58):

Speaker 5 (01:03:59):

Speaker 3 (01:04:00):
Yes, great bye, Go ride a dinosaur.

Speaker 1 (01:04:03):
Yeah. Behind the Bastards is a production of cool Zone Media.
For more from cool Zone Media, visit our website Coolzonemedia
dot com or check us out on the iHeartRadio app,
Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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