Feb 4, 2007

Kent Hovind: Avoid All Appearances of Evil

Have you ever made a big mistake? I mean a really BIG mistake. I still stand by Kent Hovind and what I’ve written about him, but I think he made a really big mistake and I need to tell people about it, so others won’t make the same mistake. Maybe we can unite in prayer that Kent will realize this really big mistake before he loses the next ten years of his life.

Kent Hovind has been heavy on my mind lately and is in my daily prayers. When I wrote my first article about him, I was determined not to get into the “issues,” but I wanted to just relate our personal experiences with him, since he had such an impact on my children and me. However, my readers seemed determined to get into the tax issues, so I’ve been seemingly dragged along to explore these issues as well.

Unfortunately, this is one of those subjects that seems to be the more I study, the less I really know. I am sure that some of my readers will know far more about this subject than I do, so feel free to present (or correct) facts here. My purpose in today’s post, though, is to warn others to do your homework before you make a major financial decision.

As I was speaking to Jo Hovind before we left Pensacola recently, she observed, “Maybe we didn’t get the right advice.” Jo, I think you’ve hit the proverbial nail on the head.

I could not understand why even the mention of the name, Glen Stoll, was such a hot button for the judge in Kent Hovind’s case, so I decided to check him out a bit. This information should put this case in a new light for some of us. Glen Stoll is the man that Kent Hovind has put in charge of his whole ministry.

The first thing I noticed about Glen Stoll is how he reaches out to Christians. Look at this initial application for his services and see how enticed you might be:

1) Who am I, with respect to my position and function in life? I am:

2) With whom or what are my loyalties aligned? I pledge allegiance to:

3) Under that pledge, what is the purpose of my mission? My duties and responsibilities are:

4) Therefore, what jurisdictional authority am I under? My commission comes from:

5) How are decisions made that direct the course of my life? I trust in:


After you make this Declaration of Status, which Glen Stoll calls a Profession of Faith expressed in a political sense, you have now identified your personal ministry. So far, so good. How many Christians truly desire to have a personal ministry? But now, Glen Stoll has made it possible for any person who claims Christ and owns any business to label their business as a ministry. How convenient. We will see that Glen Stoll’s definitions of words are often of a non-standard usage, even though he will use the dictionary to define them. Now all you need is one or more people (your spouse will do) to form a “lawfully established unincorporated association of pure trust,” and when put in writing, this trust agreement becomes “evidence of a Ministerial Trust under which you may manage your personal ministry for the church.” In fact, this written declaration now makes you a church! Did you know that it was this easy to become a church, with all the tax-exempt privileges bequeathed to a church as well? That is, as soon as you meet all the other requirements that Glen Stoll will be glad to handle for you for a princely sum of money.

The following steps were not as easy to determine, since they are not directly listed on Remedies at Law, Glen Stoll’s website. However, the United States District Court has done their best in laying out their case against Glen Stoll and his “ministry” in their Order for Default Judgment and Permanent Injunction against Glen Stoll, dated June 27, 2005. Much of the following information is taken from the official injunction order against him. (Glen Stoll was sued by the United States of America for his fraudulent business practices and since he refused to show up in court, a default judgment against him was handed down, along with a permanent injunction to stop his illegal activities. I am still trying to figure out why he has not been stopped yet.)

Glen Stoll strongly tends to take Scripture out of context in order to justify his positions. For instance, in stating that we are not citizens of this world, but citizens of heaven, he advocates that the government should have no control over us, especially regarding documents such as passports; driver’s license; vehicle license plate, title, or registration; birth certificates and marriage registration; a business license; or a student body card; all of which can be handled through a sister site, Embassy of Heaven and through their other site which teach you how to be a citizen of heaven rather than of the United States. These two sites alone should provide plenty of controversial topics to keep us going for weeks, but we won’t cover them here. They are important to understanding both Glen Stoll’s and, subsequently, Kent Hovind’s, intentions, though. After severing all ties to the government, which includes being up to date with what you owe the IRS, and getting your “Citizen of Heaven” identification card, you are now ready to go on to the next step.

Glen Stoll helps “churches” (see his definition above) to become a corporation sole, which is usually a church that has one single (sole) officer and can be used to allow a church to hold title to property, but in these cases, the corporation sole is essentially designed to hide income and/or assets and designed to evade income taxes. Glen Stoll teaches that as a corporation sole, they don’t have to file or pay taxes, citing a mandatory exception to the IRC 508(c)(1)(A) for churches, even going so far as to claim that they are not even required to notify the IRS of their existence, nor are they authorized to collect or pay taxes to the government. However, like real churches, Glen Stoll advises his customers that all donations to their “church” is tax deductible.

Next, Glen Stoll helps people set up “Ministerial Trusts” in conjunction with their corporation sole. Because the two are connected, Glen Stoll teaches his clients that they are now exempt from the IRS laws, helping them to stop paying income and employment taxes. Each different “missionary” activity needs to have a separate ministerial trust set up, for which Glen Stoll charges $4000 - $4500 for the first trust and $2000 for each subsequent trust, and each of which is to be managed by the corporation sole. Customers of these former businesses (pest control, carpet cleaning, computer technology, and multi-level marketing, etc.), which are now called churches, are asked to make checks out to the ministerial trust rather than to the individual so that they don’t have to report it as income.

Workshops ($120 each?) are also required in order to be one of Glen Stoll’s clients and he then charges $120 per hour for his services. These are reasonable prices for the services offered, but you ought to beware that you are paying him to learn how to break the law.

Part of this scheme involves concealing property, income and profits. By placing both business and personal property in the name of the ministerial trust rather than an individual’s name, Glen Stoll tells his clients that the IRS cannot touch their assets. Unfortunately, that is simply not true, as Kent Hovind has since found out, but still refuses to acknowledge. Glen Stoll encourages people to transfer all their assets, including personal property and furniture and cash into these ministerial accounts, thereby allowing them to claim that they themselves own nothing, but that they live in a parsonage (their former personal home) and use the “church’s” furniture (their former personal furniture) and equipment and vehicles (their former personal car). Nothing really changes in their lifestyle, however, except that they probably have more disposable income now that they don’t pay taxes on everything. I wondered how Kent Hovind could take a vow of poverty and yet have so many belongings. He doesn’t consider himself to own anything, per se, but everything belongs to the “church.” Unfortunately, Glen Stoll’s definition of church is not God’s definition, nor is it our government’s definition.

Another aspect of Glen Stoll’s scheme is to call all employees independent contractors and telling clients that they now no longer have to file W-2s or 1099s since they are not authorized to withhold taxes for the government anyway since they are now citizens of heaven. This is one of the biggies for Kent Hovind.

Glen Stoll even goes so far as to teach his clients how to use IRS forms that are designed for non-US citizens in order to receive income not subject to tax withholding, stating that a church ministry is a “non-U.S. person based on its
foreign Federal political status,” and as such, is exempt from banking regulations. Even so, Glen Stoll requires that his customers contact him if they need to make a withdrawal of $10,000 or more in cash.

If I didn’t read the name of the actual bank, I would have a really hard time believing this, but Glen Stoll also recommends that his customers put their cash into offshore bank accounts located at Liberty International Bank & Trust, Caribbean Processing Center, essentially hiding the money from the US government. They are then set up with Visa cards to be able to access the funds. I do not know if Kent Hovind did this or not.

Glen Stoll claims that he is qualified to do what he is doing because he is a lawyer. Since he considers himself a citizen of heaven, however, his definition of “lawyer” is also a bit odd: one who practices law. Never mind that he doesn’t actually have any degrees or a license to practice law. Glen Stoll takes great liberty with his definitions, most of which come from England several hundred years ago. I’m all for self-study, but it is quite deceptive to use a term that the average person would understand to mean fully licensed.

While some of Glen Stoll’s clients have legitimate ministries, such as Kent Hovind’s, many of these people had regular for-profit businesses to begin with, but now they just don’t have to pay taxes – at least until the IRS catches up with them. The amount of taxes lost to the US government because of these scams is quite substantial and Glen Stoll should be held directly accountable, along with all his “clients.” It is quite sad for me to admit that Kent Hovind falls in this category.

Glen Stoll was issued a default judgment (guilty by reason of not showing up for the trial) and was permanently enjoined from continuing this illegal business, this exact kind of business in which he continues with Kent Hovind. He was also given 11 days from June 27, 2005 to provide the court with a complete list of clients, corporations sole, and ministerial trusts, and a list of all employees and associates. He was also required to post a complete copy of the injunction order against him on his website for one year and to give a copy to each former, current, and prospective client. He was required to file a sworn certificate of compliance with these measures within 12 days, including printed pages of his complete website.

It appears that since this injunction is still up on his website, that Glen Stoll has at least complied with one aspect. As for the others, you can read all his excuses for why he could not comply with the requirements of the US government. What I don’t understand is why Glen Stoll is still continuing in his illegal schemes he perpetrates upon gullible but well-meaning Christians.

What I really don’t understand is how Kent Hovind, a highly intelligent man, fell for this, and apparently, still entrusts his life’s work to this man. Kent, your wife was right: you did get some wrong advice, and that’s putting it mildly. This was a really big mistake. Please learn from it.

The Bible tells us to avoid all appearances of evil. This scam has every appearance of evil to me. Run, Kent! Flee from this man!

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Did Kent have any other choices that would still allow him to stand on his convictions? I think so. Maybe I’ll cover that next time.

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For a good summary of this scam: IRS Warns of “Corporation Sole” Tax Scam
For Christians: Corporation Sole Problems
More info on Glen Stoll:
Hushmoney
Wikipedia

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jen, very good article, I finally get the picture. Poor Kent, poor Jo.

Ludowick Rijff/The Netherlands

simplegifts3 said...

Jen, thanks for posting this information. While I don't trust my intuition, and I didn't understand everything you laid out, it did come across to me from the first that something wasn't right.

I will be in prayer for Kent, and again, thanks for posting this. I appreciate your desire for truth in this matter.

Anonymous said...

Think about it. Someone comes to you and says that you do not have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes because they can push you through a legal loophole, wouldn't you investigate it thoroughly before taking such a high-risk plunge? To imply that he was misled, or just was following someone else's advice is just irresponsible. I thought the church gives you guidelines for what is right and wrong? Isn't trying to avoid paying taxes by using a loophole obviously wrong? Please stop with the rationalizing and apologizing. It's bad enough that the fairy tale of Christianity influences so much of our world, but it's clear that one of it's side effects is to teach people to rationalize according to their own interests. The church is all about power. It always has been. As long as people continue to be mindlessly accepting and brainwashed by their EARLY ENVIRONMENT (whether it be Muslims, Christians, or whatever, the world is going to be a screwed-up place. This conviction illustrates a basic fact about religious people, including leaders: They are just as criminal, have the same instincts, desires, hormones,etc. as the rest of the population. Wake up and smell the coffee people. It is YOU that control your own life, and you are responsible IN THIS WORLD for your actions-no, you can't just do something wrong and then repent to make you cleansed. It used to be that the earth was 'known' to be flat. Knowledge and science eventually cleared that up. It used to be thought that man would NEVER fly. That has changed dramatically. It used to be that the church (being very powerful and wealthy) drove science. Times have changed. The Science snowball is growing exponentially and may new things are worked out every day-even if they change the things that were worked out the day before. Do you understand quantum mechanics? Probably not-it's a difficult concept-at many levels. Just because you don't understand something because it is incredible complex doesn't mean that GODdidit. Let's take a simple example like the automobile as KH is fond of alluding to in his defense of creationism. Originally the automobile was very simple, but, over time and revision after revision, improvement and feature addition, changes in technology,etc., it has EVOLVED into a very complex machine that I daresay that if you were transported to a remote island and had no resources other than yourself to build one you would get stuck at step 1 whatever you think that may be. That is because, over a period of time, it became so complex that you might be able to understand some of it, but not all of it. Yes yes sit back down, I realize that you are probably dying to write about how this proves something about a creator. But that is not the point I am trying to make. The point is, that things change according to time, and, as more and more changes occur, the thing gets more and more complicated. Look into the world of people who are experimenting with AI. There are many computer AI programs out there now that mimic very well the PROCESS of evolution. It is fascinating to see how far that concept is being taken. It is well within the realm of possibility that, at some point, AI will spontaneously acheive some sort of native intelligence and possibly consciousness-don't be hasty to dismiss something just because it's not possible now-look at history and how may things were dismissed as impossible, yet, with science, an open mind, and time, things become possible. If that does occur are we the ID of the AI? Just a funny point to consider: If we are the ID and have the associated powers (such as what people believe God has) Can you imagine then creating a world with the same rules, and bad things, and non-interference, and non-manifestation, etc? It doesn't make sense does it? An intelligent person or designer would never act that way. Anyway, please think. Humanity's existence could possibly depend on it. Recognize that Religion=power and control, and you are starting the healing process. For a more detailed view of some of the fallacies of religious beliefs, try visiting Godisimaginarydotcom. Explore rational thinking. Free your mind

Anonymous said...

Dear Jen,

Thanks for your comments. To add, many of us in the creation movement have been unhappy with Mr. Hovind for some time. We only wish that he had associated with more mainstream creationists to get advice from them. Unfortunately, he didn't. I am reminded of the biblical expression, "as iron sharpens iron". We all need to heed this and pay attention to our brothers and sisters who gives us advice before we fall into extreme danger, especially our wives who seem to have a real God-given sensitivity to seemingly "good" things.

Praying for Kent and Jo.

matt said...

don't talk about something that you do not understand...The bible says that we should not judge lest we be will be judged by the same measure...2 you obviously do not understand how this government really works and basic principles which this country was founded on. I have met a lot of people in my time on this earth, and I would have to say that Dr. Hovind is one of smartest. He has sacrificed every fiber of his being for the cause of Christ. I personally spent time him and know his heart. Currently in his prison block something like 22 of the 25 prisoners that are with him have been led to Christ. I don't know if you know your bible but not everyone in their was liked by their government....actually almost no one who followed God. Kent does not answer to you

Work out own salvation said...

Jen, you have no idea what you're talking about. You are duped like most Americans.

Remember Jesus was counted as a criminal, as were all of the apostles. Would you look at the case against him today and judge him guilty based on the "appearance" or the charges the Pharisees and Saducees brought against him? Probably.

I would recant your position and simply delete your posting. You sound unintelligent and completely uninformed.

I believe you probably have good intentions, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions...

get off the road!!!

Let YHWH be the judge. Stop helping the government (who is against God) spread their propaganda!

Get on your knees, and repent before YOU are judged by the ONLY Judge. AMEN!

Westview said...

Simply Put:

Good man, Good intentions, Poor Decisions

As to his current ministry - the cell block - he is making the most of his situation, true - but his plentious results in such short time have exceeded the life's work of most christians.

Sean Pablo Torres said...

You sound like a very nice person but your take is a little simplistic. Yes poor Dr. Hovind was in a way swindled. But I think it was because he knows his history. Thing is in this country it does not matter. A nice little summary of the history can be viewed in the film Freedom from Facism. There is a great deal of evidence that the Federal reserve was created by a group who desired to have an income tax levied on U.S. citizens to secure any loans given by the new private central bank given to the U.S. gov. The way this legislation was passed was questionable. Dr. Hovind is obviously aware of this and must have considered his attempts to evade such laws no worse than the various tax shelters used by corporations. Problem is he is a Christian no GE and because of this such attempts were doomed to failure. Whether it is truly legal to refuse to pay taxes or not. I would argue that it is specific state laws which greatly influence this. I would also argue that the 1040 is a type of contract and if you have never submitted one you have never agreed to the Gov's terms. In fact the legalese here is incredibly confusing. So all in all if this world were moral and true after reading your excellent breakdown I see no issue with such actions. Both from the standpoint of tax evasion (why should Christians not be allowed to do what companies like Verizon and GE are clearly doing which is evading taxes using any possible loophole) and wealth. Dr. Hovind when he was free was regularly fighting for a good cause and deserved any success won from that fight. Does it trouble me that perhaps the profits were quite substantial? No what troubles me is a find an owl a symbol of a God called Molech on our currency. What troubles me is all the satanic imagery on our currency. what troubles me is there is literally a demon on our currency! So what he did in order to use that currency to do good deeds matters naught to me...just my 2cents

Sean Raybuck said...

great article with more details about this case and the IRS abuse of power: http://www.penaltyprotester.com/files/LindseyHovindTrialReport.pdf

brady byrum said...

Kent was convicted for failing to withhold money from people's pay, and all of their "workers" were Americans. Do a google search or an IRS.GOV search for DOMESTIC WITHHOLDING DOCUMENT or DOMESTIC WITHHOLDING INSTRUCTIONS and see how far you get. Withholding is for foreigners. ITS IN THE LAW. No SS-4 Application for Employer Identification Number can yet be located that bears his signature, whereby he would have AGREED to withhold and mail it in. The remaining charges were for NOT REPORTING THEIR OWN CHECK CASHING. Will SOMEBODY PLEASE SHOW ME where to find a CUSTOMER SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY REPORT? They don't exist! Maybe the banks did not file one, but neither Jo nor Kent threatened any bank official to NOT FILE ANYTHING. Kent was illicitly and illegally charged and prosecuted and convicted, and I want those false charges overturned.

Robert Baty said...

Kent Hovind, yesterday, named Brady Byrum (see his message above) as his legal mastermind who claims to know the secret words to get Kent's 2006 conviction overturned and Kent awarded millions in damages for false imprisonment.

Bwahahahahahahaha!

Bring it on, Brady, and let's see what you got.
Kent is afraid to talk about his legal problems in public, with specificity.

So, what do you think you got, Brady?

Come around my place and we can talk about it.

https://www.facebook.com/Kent-Hovind-and-Jo-Hovind-v-USA-IRS-339508739517135/