Kent Hovind, Sovereign Citizen

I’m becoming increasingly conscious of this weird “Sovereign Citizen” movement — these people are terrifying and … stupid.

And guess who has drunk deeply of the Kool-Aid? Kent Hovind.

Nathan Zamprogno has been analyzing the nonsense coming out of Hovind for some time. Hovind is in jail, he was expected to be released this coming August, but then new problems turned up: he’s been filing liens on the property that was confiscated from him on his conviction, clearly meddling with the execution of his penalties, and is about to be tried again…and will probably end up spending more time in prison.

Hovind was caught red-handed. This is clearly the time for contrition, or at least for staying low and avoiding the ire of the courts — he’s a few months from freedom. But this is Kent Hovind we’re talking about. Instead, he has sent a list of bizarre assertions and demands to the court.

What does Kent Hovind do? Let’s have a look. Kent’s submission is verbatim in red.

1.  “WITHDRAW YOUR CONSENT” for the proceedings. Not just withdrawal of consent from the criminal trial, but withdrawal of consent to the “current fraudulent de facto STATE OF FLORIDA, and United States”. This apparently renders “unlawful and fraudulent” all “Commander in Chief presidential Executive Orders”. Thus, despite being in prison for eight years, “I am not the property of the Court. Under no circumstances may I be detained in any way whatsoever, nor at any time, past, present or future.”

Ta-da! America doesn’t exist! Now let me go home!

2. CLAIM THAT NO COURT HAS JURISDICTION because he is, quote “A shipowner who sends his vessel into a foreign port”, and is “In Uniform, with a fully marked vessel flying flags claiming dual citizenship status.”

3. RENOUNCE YOUR U.S CITIZENSHIP (again): “I have never been, I am not now, nor will I ever be, a 14th Amendment UNITED STATES or Article XIV citizen”.

4. DEMAND COMPENSATION FROM A FICTITIOUS BANK ACCOUNT held in every citizen’s name that has millions of dollars in it, but which the U.S Government doesn’t want you to know about: “You may use the negotiable instrument, certified funds, drawn against Drawers Private Treasury UCC Contract Trust Account established in the U.S. Treasury, for set-off of any said debts on your statements of the account of KENT E HOVIND, as ascribed in the banknote birth certificate origin registration form”
And yes, that’s a demand of the same United States that is illegal, has no jurisdiction, and which Kent is categorically not a citizen of.

By declaring that no public official has immunity from personal consequences in the execution of their public duties:

  • “Any person acting as an agent for a nameless, faceless corporation is wholly personally responsible for their actions on behalf of the corporation.  All actions incurring any degree of injury will incur Notice of Injury, including severe financial penalty”
  • “The Law is under scrutiny for it’s (sic) contribution to the current state of the planet, the distribution of rights and resources and the obstruction of Divine Law”
  • “We the People have been providentially provided legal recourse to address the criminal conduct of
  • persons, themselves entrusted to dispense justice (when) …public officials, including judges go rogue, act in bad behavior and criminally violate the law.”
  • “Judges rest upon fraudulent appellate court rulings and statutes that are repugnant to the Constitution
  • while they convince themselves that by following such statutes they are immune from penalties should the People become aware of their fraud”
  • “Once we the People ordained common law the law of the land no man can abrogate it; to claim to do so is an act of war against the People and their God. Unconstitutional acts are not law and no one is bound to obey them. Judges are expected to maintain a high standard of judicial performance and when they violate the Constitution they cease to represent the government, become liable for damages and lose any immunity they may think they have”
  • “Failure to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution for the United States Article II Section 1 is to war against the People”.


  • “Subject: NOTICE OF COUNTERFEIT SECURITIES … Dear Eric Holder, You are hereby put on NOTICE pursuant to Title 18 USC § 4 of the commission of crimes cognizable by a court of the United States under Title 18 USC §513 to wit: ‘513(a) Whoever makes, utters or possesses a counterfeited security of a State or a political subdivision thereof or of an organization, or whoever makes, utters or possesses a forged security of a State or political subdivision thereof or of  an organization, with intent to deceive another person, organization,  or government shall be fined not more than $250,000 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both'”
  • “The Order of Contempt by alleged Judge M. CASEY RODGERS is a counterfeit security and constructive fraud”
  • “DEMAND is hereby made upon the, United States Attorney General, to investigate the above named government officials, employees, agents, and public officers for creating, using and promoting fraudulent and counterfeit securities in a fraudulent scheme”
  • “Eric Holder, a man, and Alleged Attorney General !!   I hereby DEMAND that you honor your oath of office to defend and support the Constitution for the de jure united States of America (if you still are loyal to that entity). In so doing, I DEMAND that you investigate the illegal acts of the above named United States officials”


“If you are unwilling or unable to investigate into this case … identify the lawful reasons why and relate said reasons to me in writing within 15 days from receipt of this filing. When you need longer than 15 days to respond, send me a written request for an extension of time within the 15 days and it will be given to you.”

I think we can safely say that Hovind will not be out of prison in August. I guess that means his challenge to debate me is now off the table (note that in that challenge from last March, he predicted that he’d be out and available in August of 2014, because of his legal challenges. He is not firmly attached to reality.) If that link wasn’t enough freakishness for you, here’s his first and second counter-reply.

I think we can also safely say that Hovind is buried deep in the bullshit that is the Sovereign Citizen movement.


  1. freemage says

    I think this is actually Kent’s way of making certain he doesn’t have to go out into the real world again. Instead, so long as he continues these activities and extending his penalties, he will remain a ward of the state, his care and living expenses paid for by the taxpayers.

  2. doubter says

    As a truly sovereign citizen, Kent Hovind should stop using every public utility in the US, including emergency services and roads. Once he stops sponging free room and board from the Florida Department of corrections, of course.

  3. garnetstar says

    Wow. I recall, though, reading that Hovind was taken to court once because he hadn’t gotten a $59 building permit for a new structure at his Dino World, or whatever he called it. Yes, he was very rich, but wouldn’t shell out $59. (The county sheriff’s remark on this occasion was “Render unto Caeser, and what Caesar needs this time is a building permit.”)

    And, it’s not that many people who can manage to commit more major felonies while actually incarcerated. My congratulations to him.

    I agree with freemage #1, he doesn’t want to leave.

  4. says

    Forbes has a related article out this morning by Peter J. Reilly, with another one promised for tomorrow. Peter has been posting on the Hovind cases for a couple of years and things are starting to heat up as Kent approaches his new trial with his co-conspirator (alleged) Paul John Hansen. The cast of characters coming to Kent’s aid is quite interesting and will allow for the sovereign citizen movement to be showcased if the mainstream media picks up on the story.

    Forbes’ link:

  5. Mike Morris says

    I was giggling maybe a bit too much while reading Kent’s nonsense but apparently he feels he is owed / has access to millions of dollars in some weird account as a citizen (section 4) but is section 3 says he is not nor has ever been a citizen.

    If this was from anyone other than a human with Hovind level intelligence, I might expect some nod to logic.

  6. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Actually, all that blather is consistent with his attitude toward taxes, his “defense” at his trial, and why he is a danger to society. He thinks he is above society.

  7. mirele says

    I’ve been reading the transcripts from Hovind’s 2006 trial. Several prosecution witnesses were co-religionists of Hovind’s including a couple of employees at Dino Adventure Land, Rebekah Horton of Pensacola Christian College and David Gibbs III, an attorney who represents a lot of churches on legal matters. These people told Hovind he was doing wrong and did he pay attention to them? Nope. He just went along and did his own thing, which was not to pay taxes.

    Someone passed the transcripts to me and I’ve made them available in my Dropbox if anyone is interested in looking at them. Seriously, when you read about how Kent sued the IRS agents personally over and over and over again, you will realize that creationism takes second fiddle to his tax-evading sovereign citizen nonsense.

  8. Moggie says

    Mike Morris:

    I was giggling maybe a bit too much while reading Kent’s nonsense but apparently he feels he is owed / has access to millions of dollars in some weird account as a citizen (section 4) but is section 3 says he is not nor has ever been a citizen.

    This is standard Sovereign Citizen / Freemen on the Land stuff, and in fact if Hovind is thinking in mere millions, he’s being frugal. Have you read the famous document by John D. Rooke on a case in Canada, where he describes in detail the “Organised Pseudolegal Commercial Arguments” used by SC / FoTL cranks? In that case, the FoTL guy demanded $100 billion Canadian.

  9. hyrax, Social Justice Blood Mage says

    Oh man, I bet this was passed around to much laughter and head-shaking. I can only hope the answer went something like,

    “Dear Mr. Hovind,

    … No…

    Lawyer McLawyerson”

  10. says

    Once we the People ordained common law the law of the land….
    I thought Common Law was basically a collection of English customs, accreted over centuries, and inherited by the various colonies.

    Note also the reference to “shipowner” — that Admiralty Law fiction the Freemen keep dragging in.

    Yep, Kent Hovind is contemptibly stupid (thanks, Justice Rooke, for that phrase) about things other than science.

  11. says

    I’m interested in myth and there is something mythic about the beliefs of “Redemption“, a movement closely related to the “Sov. Citizens”. Especially the part about being able to buy back your “straw man” (a shadow self that the Redemption theorists believe was created for each American when the US went off the Gold Standard in the 1930s). The idea that one is secretly tied to a shadow self (straw man), and that one’s unfreedom is the result of the separation between the self and the shadow self, are like a funhouse version of Jungianism. Then the part about being able to take out loans using ones “straw man” as collateral is like prosperity gospel, or something. Very very weird stuff.

  12. qwints says

    Came here to cite the decision that Moggie did. It does a great job of explaining what this is and where it comes from.

  13. Usernames! (ᵔᴥᵔ) says

    he will remain a ward of the state, his care and living expenses paid for by the taxpayers.
    — freemage (#1)

    I agree with freemage #1, he doesn’t want to leave.
    — doubter (#2)

    Um, hate to break it to you, but Jail and Prison aren’t all peaches and chocolates. Only someone seriously damaged would wish to live there.

    People get (rightfully) bent that Cops can fuck up people on the streets and get away with it. Deputies and Guards can do worse, e.g., sustained, regular beatings; rape; break bones; and torture, and no one bats an eye because prisoners are bad people who deserve their treatment.

    Here’s a little fairy tale:
    Imagine that you innocently put an uneaten orange in your pocket for later and then you leave the commissary. A Deputy yells at you, “What the fuck are you doing?”

    You blink, confused.

    “You takin’ food out of the commissary?” he barks.

    “Oh, sorry,” you mumble.

    “I’ll make you sorry,” he says, “Take the fucking peel off.” You nervously peel the orange and put it in his outstretched hand. “Now unzip your jumpsuit.” You comply because you see a couple more deputies wander up out of the corner of your eye and you really don’t want another trip to the infirmary.

    He takes the peeled orange and rubs it in your crotch. You inhale slightly as the juice gets all over your genitalia, dreading what comes next. Your heart starts beating faster.

    “Now eat it,” he thrusts it at you. You take the orange and look at it for a moment, then you take a bite. The Deputy eyes you with a slight smirk: he owns you.

    “Now get the fuck out of here,” he growls at you, his hand resting on his baton. His two buddies snicker. You zip your orange jumpsuit in one motion, praying you don’t snag anything, and high-tail it out of there.

    The next time you leave the commissary after chow, he remembers you and whispers, with a smirk that he probably practiced for hours in front of a mirror to get just right, “Orange”.

    You haven’t eaten an orange since. And that was 10 years ago.

  14. says

    Most of the Sovereign Citizen movement seems to be fundie christians, but there is a sizable support group of mormons as well. Remember Cliven Bundy? Sovereign Citizen, as were many of his family members and friends. They mix mormon theology and pioneer history into the usual sovereign citizen tropes. Clean Skousen was a sovereign citizen before the category was so often called that.

    Here are a few quotes from a mormon (LDS) message board discussing the Sovereign Citizen movement:

    Will you be disturbed when they come for you and your family for simply being Mormon, or not supporting gay-marriage, or what ever excuse they concoct. The day is coming that the saints will be hunted just as they were in Missouri. The day is coming that the men in blue will not seek our personal well being but our destruction. Of this I have no doubt.
    When one gets in bed with government, one must expect the diseases it spreads.
    Most so called “Sovereigns” are Christian and follow the laws of God, not the man made and corrupt laws that their servants have imposed on them. Like them I object to those who tell me that I need their permission to alter my home, and then pay extra taxes because I have added rooms to my basement. I object to them having a school zone outside my house effective from 7.30 am to 5.30 pm when it is obvious that the children are only there at certain hours, these are nothing but cash grabbers designed to steal from the citizens. I object to them collecting taxes on MY labor. I exchange my time for the return and the government has no right to it.

    Those who cannot see the corruptness of the governments, with their protected salaries and pensions and exemptions from much of the law imposed on the citizens are blind and perhaps deserve to suffer the fate that awaits them.
    President Benson

    [Lynna adds: Ezra Taft Benson was the mormon Prophet/LDS President/Seer/Revelator from 1985 to 1994,]

    said that for anyone that doesn’t stand for freedom and liberty should not have the right to be called a citizen of the US. The Constitution was set up to make people free; it is from God, it is as important as is the scriptures…and anyone not honoring it is not for God’s way of life. This land is the promised land spoken of in the BoM [Book of Mormon]. We read in that book that if the people in this country turn wicked and trample on freedom and liberty…they will be swept off. The Constitution is the very type of Government that Christ will have when He is here during the Millennium. President Benson also said that he believes the US flag will be waving in the breeze when the Savior comes.

    Ether 2:10
    [Lynna adds: “Ether” is one of the chapters in the BoM, appropriated named because it puts you to sleep if you read it. The excerpt the Benson lover quotes below has the added virtue of demonstrating how the BoM’s godawful prose is worse than Vogon poetry.]

    10 For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off.

    There’s a lot more here, but it may damage your brain to read it.

    Some of the mormon-flavored fake Indian tribes have sovereign citizen trappings.

  15. Hildred Castaigne says

    Sovereign Citizens can be scary, especially if they become physically violent, but that tends to be rare. Most – and I stress most, as there violent examples to point to – Sovereign Citizens end up being completely ineffectual people who are nothing more than entertaining cranks. This stems from their belief in magic; mainly, that the law is mystical ritual and if you say these certain things and do these certain tasks, you will change your outcome in legal situations.

    If you would prefer to read, well, snarky summaries of Sovereign Citizen pseudolaw (and the British equivalent, Freemen on the Land, I can do no better then offer these links. I presume they will not cause your brain to go bendy too much.

    * Sovereign Citizen
    * Redemption Movement
    * Strawman Theory
    * Tax Protestor

  16. says

    Usernames #17:

    You haven’t eaten an orange since. And that was 10 years ago.

    I am getting the sense that you are describing your own experience, is that correct? (you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to)

    Anyway, that is a horrible story and it illustrates perfectly all that is wrong with the human species.

    I know after incidents like that, one never forgets the bully’s name and face. It should be possible to hold them accountable, even if it was ten years ago.

    I am not speaking of revenge of course. But I sometimes wonder what would happen if some organisation started a project writing open letters to such prison guards and other officers on behalf of their victims: “X years ago you mistreated Y in manner Z. Y is still traumatised. What do you have to say for yourself?”

  17. says

    Kent describes his federal camps as more like college dormitories and he seems to have adapted very well to that lifestyle and is “lovin’ it”. He has complained about the county jail, and if he’s had any serious unpleasant experiences he hasn’t been talking about it.

    More importantly, however, is the story that is not being told. Rumors have it that Jo Hovind has some quite unpleasant experiences in her short time incarcerated.

    Kent could have kept her out of prison, but it wasn’t about her, it was all about him and he let her take the fall.

    It’s her story that needs to be told, and Kent’s role in being willing to send his wife to prison. I think the Hovind family, and Jo in particular, just as soon Kent remained in prison and Kent seems to be resigned to spending the rest of his life there where he won’t have to face the woman he sent to prison.

    They are doing a good job of keeping Jo from talking.
    I think her story needs to emphasized, with or without her cooperation.

    Where’s Oprah when you need her!

  18. says

    Eric Hovind has been on my college campus recycling his father’s brand of snake oil, causing one of my students to gush about Eric’s wonderful rhetorical skills. I pointed out that anything can be derived from a false premise. She was not pleased. If she enrolls in one of my classes again (highly unlikely), perhaps I can ask her if she’s a “sovereign citizen” now.

  19. vaiyt says

    Um, hate to break it to you, but Jail and Prison aren’t all peaches and chocolates. Only someone seriously damaged would wish to live there.

    People get (rightfully) bent that Cops can fuck up people on the streets and get away with it. Deputies and Guards can do worse, e.g., sustained, regular beatings; rape; break bones; and torture, and no one bats an eye because prisoners are bad people who deserve their treatment.

    Do you sincerely believe Kent Hovind is likely to face such treatment?

  20. Monsanto says

    Reading that document is more exciting than reading an L. Ron Hubbard novel. Has Hovind ever considered going into writing for a living?

  21. tulse says

    Holy crap, the Sovereign Citizen “theory” is wackadoodle. Admiralty law? Strawman? Weird syntax and punctuation with magical powers? Yikes!

  22. EveryZig says

    I really hope that Hovind’s submission to the court began with Hello, my name is Kent Hovind.

    I think you mean “Hello, my name is Kent, Hovind”

  23. says

    Given their belief that the language of the King James Version of the Bible is somehow magic it’s no surprise some fundies would get sucked into the weirdo wordplay of the Sovereign Citizens et al.

  24. militantagnostic says

    Eamon Knight

    Note also the reference to “shipowner” — that Admiralty Law fiction the Freemen keep dragging in.

    Wouldn’t that be an own goal by putting him under admiralty law? In Canada the freemen on the land argue the courts have no jurisdiction over them because the courts practice Admiralty Law. In Canadian courts they point at the Canadian Coat of Arms with the motto “From Sea to Sea” (in Latin) as proof that the court can only apply admiralty law.

    I third or fourth the Moggie’s recommendation of John D Rookes judgement. When a judge cites William S. Burroughs (page 143) you know a they are dealing with a Wackaloon.

  25. says

    @31: When a judge cites William S. Burroughs (page 143) you know a they are dealing with a Wackaloon.

    ….and in the same section, Dante. I like this judge ;-).

    tl;dr: Justice Rooke compares the OPCA “Gurus” — the people who make money teaching their pseudo-legal tricks to dupes — to the false councilors who occupy the Eighth Circle of Hell.

  26. Nentuaby says


    Same in America, except of course it’s not the motto. Here they claim it’s an Admiralty court because the style of flag flown in our courts is allegedly the US naval ensign, not its civil flag. (The US civil flag and ensign are identical… They come up with reasons, often involving alleged significance of purely decorative surrounding elements, or the direction of display.)

    So yes, his strain of SC seem to contradict the more common breed on that front.

  27. Zaphod says

    I think there’s something to be said about our good friend “persecution complex” when it comes to Kent’s behavior. I think Hovind is getting a sense of accomplishment from this that he wasn’t getting when it came to debating creationism.

    The way I see it, the absolute worst thing the entire scientific community can do to you when you debate YEC with them is laugh you off. They cannot do much of anything else to you, especially if you aren’t even in the field. They cannot ruin your career, in fact they can only provide your career a boost.

    So there is very little satiation of the Christian persecution complex from the evolution supporters to sink your teeth into. But try the same shit on a government entity? One that can provide actual consequences to spouting bullshit? Now we’re talking.

    I picture him feeling rather ineffectual against scientists who just laugh him off, or worse yet, IGNORE him as he makes up more and more bizarre claims to get a reaction. But the courts? Oh, when he spouts bullshit at THEM, he *knows* they’re listening because they respond! And the more punishments he can garner, well that just shows everyone how correct he must be. After all, the government wouldn’t be punishing him so much if they weren’t afraid of all his truth, donchaknow.

  28. lpetrich says

    My favorite Sovereign Citizen or at least sympathizer of the Sovereign-Citizen movement is a certain Thomas Satterlee.

    He has lived in Oso, Washington, a place with unstable hillsides nearby that geologists had warned about. He objected to efforts to restrict development in Oso by zoning, and he wanted the Oso area to have a Sovereign-Citizen-like status.

    But last year, when much of Oso was buried by a landslide from a nearby hill, he went missing. He has likely been buried by it.

    So the score is nannies 1, sovereigns 0.

  29. Nick Gotts says

    I think you mean “Hello, my name is Kent, Hovind, isn’t it?” – EveryZig@26


  30. says

    Has this virus spread yet outside the anglophone world? They have spread from the US to Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, but I wonder how long it will be before it mutates further and spreads to civil law legal systems (I did a Google search for the German “souveräner Burger”, but it didn’t come up with much, though I realize that they might have a totally different name for this concept..) There has to be plenty of wishful thinkers elsewhere; clearly reality isn’t enough of a hurdle to stop them. Is language itself holding this nonsense back?

  31. originalantigenicsin says

    @37 joedelaney
    There is the “Reichsbürgerbewegung” in Germany (Wiki has articles in english and german) which claims the BRD is non-existent and the “Deutsches Reich” (German Reich) is still in place. But there are other people outside the Reichsbürgerbewegung denying the existence of the BRD as well. Just google “BRD existiert nicht”, “BRD GmbH” or something along those lines.

  32. pinkey says

    I haven’t figured out if Hovind thinks America is a fraud or the Constitution offers him rights. He seems to want it both ways.

  33. says

    That’s pretty much how they behave, pinkey. When the actual law is useful they’re quite willing to use it. When it tells them they can’t do something, it’s suddenly totally invalid because of whatever impenetrable bafflegab they come up with.

  34. David Marjanović says

    the “Deutsches Reich” (German Reich)

    Not that one, but the previous empire; the article has it right.

    Bürger, BTW, not Burger.

  35. says

    Here’s is proof of yet another white supremacist in the Republican Party. It seems that most of the sovereign citizens are also white supremacists, so I thought it relevant.

    Dave Agema, Michigan’s RNC Committeeman, has a well-documented history of making inflammatory statements…. In a recent Facebook post, Agema re-published an essay from American Renaissance, a white-supremacist newsletter. The article, which Agema said he found “very enlightening,” argued that “blacks are different by almost any measure to all other people. They cannot reason as well. They cannot communicate as well. They cannot control their impulses as well. They are a threat to all who cross their paths, black and non-black alike.”

    National Journal link.

    […] Agema ended up deleting the offending Facebook post, but he has not apologized, and he still reportedly intends to attend the RNC’s winter meeting in San Diego this week, the controversy notwithstanding.

    If Dave Agema’s name sounds familiar, there’s a good reason. As we’ve discussed before, the right-wing activist has an unfortunate tendency to promote ugly and scurrilous ideas against groups he disapproves of. Republican strategist Dennis Lennox, who’s helped lead the charge for Agema’s ouster, emailed MaddowBlog last year to highlight some of the RNC member’s most notorious comments: Agema accused President Obama of being a practicing Muslim who secretly sired a bastard; he’s insisted Muslims have never made positive contributions to the fabric of American life and society; he’s endorsed Vladimir Putin’s most autocratic policies; and he’s said gays and lesbians are responsible for the majority of murders in the United States.

    And really, that’s just the tip of an offensive iceberg. […]

  36. grumpyoldfart says

    Hovind is playing the martyr – and loving it.

    His son will be delighted. He gets to keep the keys to the till.

  37. Kevin Kehres says

    I dunno. Maybe Kent likes federal prison. 3 hots and a cot, you know. Beats all the travel, the polyester suits, the constant need to come up with even-more moronic defenses of YEC.

    Plus, yes, he gets to be separated from the fruit of his loins, who by now has to count as one of the most-disappointing scions since Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria.