Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Kent Hovind's far-right connections

As most readers probably are aware, "Dr. Dino" Kent Hovind was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to 10 years in prison earlier this year.

Back when the trial was going on, Hovind used some pretty nutty arguments for why he shouldn't be paying taxes. Those arguments reminded me a lot of the arguments used by the far-right Patriot movement, such as the Montana Freemen. Given the fact that Hovind has a history of promoting anti-semitic literature (as David Neiwert explains), I couldn't help wonder what connections he might have with the Patriot movement, or even the Christian Identity movement,

PZ Myers, of Pharyngula, pointed out to me, that Hovind kept referring to his "lawyer" Glenn Stoll, and that Stoll is based in Seattle, close to much of the Patriot movement.

Well, Glenn Stoll is not necessarily part of the Christian Indentity movement, but he is certainly part of the Patriot movement. He is even briefly mentioned in David Neiwert's excellent book: In God's Country -The Patriot Movement and the Pacific Northwest (p. 283.)

Two weeks later, Kirk - who actually lived with his wife, Judy, in the southern Seattle suburb of Tukwila - presided as the "Referee/Magistrate" of the first recorded session of "our one supreme court Common Law, Washington republic." According to the document itself, the court was convened on Mercer Island at the home of James Gutschmidt, a Patriot who was attempting to starve of foreclosure on his property. Gutschmidt claimed in the document he was "not a Fourteenth Amendment citizen or subject ... not a resident, but a Citizen as described in the Holy Bible and in the Constitution prior to the Fourthteenth Amendment."

Sitting in as "jurors" for the case was a virtual "who's who" of the Patriot community in the Central Puget Sound area:

[....]

Glenn Stoll, a longtime associate of Don Ellwanger's who was present during the standoff at Ellwanger's veterinary clinic. Stoll was designated "Clerk of the Court."1



Glenn Stoll is not a lawyer, and has a injunction order against promoting his "tax-fraud scheme". He is also connected to the Patriot group Embassy of Heaven, who issues their own passports and other papers. Stoll have a history of trying to use Embassy of Heaven passports as proof of identification. The Embassy of Heaven and it's leader, Paul Revere, also has a history of problems with the IRS and other authorities (as people might notice, the later link leads to a Embassy of Heaven article, that also mentions Glenn Stoll).

As I said, Stoll is not necessarily part of the Christian Identity movement, but he certainly hang out with people who doesn't seem too far removed from them. I wrote to David Neiwert, and asked him if he knew of any connections between Stoll and the Christian Identity movement, and he responded

I can't tell you to what extent Stoll is an Identity believer, though it wouldn't surprise me if he is one, for reasons I'll explain momentarily. What I can say with certainty is that he not only was a militia organizer (he set up some of the earliest meetings in Snohomish County) and Patriot true believer, he was such a devout Constitutionalist that he was involved setting up Common Law Courts modeled directly after the Freemen.
This is where a likely Identity can be found, because the CL Courts he was involved in were run mostly by John Kirk (whose name you can find extensively in IGC). Kirk attended Freemen sessions in Jordan and at times expressed a number of Identity-based ideas in association with the CL courts.

IGC refers to In God's Country -The Patriot Movement and the Pacific Northwest.

I think it's fairly clear that Glenn Stoll doesn't exactly hold mainstream views, and given the fact that he has an injunction against him, which is prominently displayed on Stoll's company's website (as required), Hovind can't claim that he didn't have a fair warning that he was going to get in trouble.

1David Neiwert was kind enough to send me the document as images, so if you want to see what such a document looks like, click on the following links (opens in new windows). Page 1 , Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6, Page 7, Page 8, and Page 9. Notice the prominent position of Stoll's signature on the last page.
Note: I have put the images up on my own domain, so if they are unaccessable, it might be due to too much bandwidth.

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