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Greetings and consternation, friends! It's time once again for the Snake Oil Bulletin, your weekly round-up of quacks, flim-flammers, and hornswogglers outrunning Johnny Law as best they can. We've got some young earth creationists on the Bulletin today, so give a big Jesus-riding-a-dinosaur welcome to Kent Hovind, back from his 9-year stint up the river in Oz. Make sure to see him now, folks, because a catch like this doesn't stay free long.


Bad boy creationist Kent Hovind back on the prowl, ladies!

In a blow against the Darwinian Industrial Complex, creationist martyr Kent Hovind has finally been freed after 9 long years in evolutionist thoughtcrime prison! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! The hero has returned!

Hovind was the delightful fellow who spent years on the creationist lecture circuit using such nuanced arguments as "Evolution is stupid" and that's it. He was generally regarded as the legitimate face of modern creationism because of his doctorate and teaching experience, though as Yr Wonkette has noted before, his "doctorate" came from a faculty-free university headquartered in a tract home a generation removed from having wheels, and his teaching experience came from years instructing a science class at a church he himself founded. Oh, and his doctoral thesis argued that all evidence the earth is more than 6,000 years old was fabricated by Satan himself, so that's nice.

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Hovind has been in prison since 2007, when he was charged with 58 felony counts, including 45 counts of structuring cash transactions to evade paying taxes. Kent's defense at the time was that, as a man of God, all his property belonged to the Almighty and thus he was exempt from paying taxes. C'mon, Kent. Even Yahweh knows you don't play footsie with the IRS. While he was put on trial for criminal contempt and mail fraud while in prison in 2015, he was eventually acquitted of the charges. Now he is finally free, and the creation sphere is heralding all their hard work at getting Hovind out of prison at exactly when his original sentence was set to expire. Congrats, fellas. You did nothing to help but somehow got all the credit. Just like Jesus!

For years, Hovind's cause was championed by your garden variety wingnuts like the folks over at Health Impact News and BeforeItsNews, whose contributors not only believe that Reptilians are taking over the country, but also that they have the ability to speak to police officers telepathically because a cop waved at them once. Kent was also a darling of the Sovereign Citizen movement, who incidentally also believe that they're special enough not to pay taxes. They'll have so much in common when they go on their romantic dinner date -- which would have to be within 150 feet of his house lest it trip Kent's ankle bracelet, of course.

Hovind announced his return home with a phone call to an independent free-thinker who will no doubt gain a position in Hovind's new ministry as his Executive Ball Washer.

Note how Hovind argues at the 6:32 mark that the feds snatched him up and locked him up "and they never tell ya why." Except they did tell you why, Kent. You were sent to prison because you had full-time employees on staff with punch cards and vacation days, and never once paid taxes on any of their salaries. You also didn't pay taxes on a single acre of your backyard dinosaur theme park, or on any part of your ministry. You did it for years, and the feds told you that to your face at your trial. Hell, you once said in front of an employee that your church was a foreign embassy that managed to beat the tax system. You knew exactly what you were doing, bronto brains.

 

But all the same, welcome home! A lot has changed since you got locked up, so here's a quick refresher to get you up to speed. A black man was elected president, the Supreme Court celebrated by making it so black people can't vote anymore, Osama bin Laden got exploded, sodomy was made mandatory, Yr Wonkette changed the world about a bazillion times, the Rapture came but no one noticed, human beings now communicate through clouds, cigarettes were found to make wonderful croutons on salads, and cats wear jewelry on their butts. That about covers it, right? Man it's good to be home.

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Naturopathic quack may be taking Hovind's spot in prison

Prisons can't cycle quacks through the system fast enough, it seems.

In news from Australia, a naturopath from Sydney has been arrested for telling a mom that her eight-month-old baby didn't need his eczema medication and that he could be treated with "alternative remedies" instead. What those alternative remedies are isn't completely clear yet, but the infant was eventually admitted to a hospital after having lost over a kilogram of weight. Medical staff at the hospital diagnosed him with severe malnutrition and kept him in treatment for a month. Staff referred to him as "near death" which, we must note, IS FUCKING BAD FOR BABIES.

The naturopath in question is Marilyn Bodnar, a woman who somehow managed to become a registered nurse and midwife despite the fact that she doesn't believe in vaccines. According to Bodnar's Facebook page, vaccines are the real cause of disease and that you should avoid them if at all possible. Her website isn't much better, with claims that she can heal digestive disorders, skin problems, asthma, bronchitis, hay fever, depression, PMS, and fertility issues with what amounts to a nice-smelling massage. And good news! She'll also sell you some organic fruit and chicken meat while you wait. What a peach.

It isn't clear exactly what Bodnar recommended to the mother of this eight-month-old, but what we do know is that they were attempting to treat the child's skin condition by restricting his diet and stopping use of his dermatology medicine. Fucking hell, lady. The kid is barely onto solid foods and you want to take that away from him? We always thought it was ha-ha funny when Mallory Archer claimed her grandbaby needed to cut back on breast milk because she was getting too chunky, but you took that crap literally, didn't you?

If there was any other treatment involved it's not clear, but with a "naturopath" it could be quite literally anything. Naturopathy is a completely unregulated morass of bullshit and nuttery, incorporating fields like reiki ("psychic" massage), crystals, baths in magnesium, and even the magic water of homeopathy. Anything goes with a naturopath because in the vast majority of the world they aren't licensed, and even in the areas where the field is licensed there is next to no oversight or certification standard. Even the idea of licensing naturopaths doesn't sit well with some doctors because nothing in the field even has any demonstrated efficacy:

Dr Brian Morton, chair of the Australian Medical Association’s council of general practice, said while forcing naturopaths to register with an agency might lead to greater accountability, it might also “send a message of acceptability or validity as a health profession, so that’s a problem.”

Bodnar has been arrested by Sydney police and the mother of the child is being held on child abuse charges. To add an extra layer of ick on top of this story, apparently Bodnar's "centre" was based out of her own house, which means she very well likely had live chickens living on the same property where she did medical treatments for a baby with open skin lesions, chickens she was no doubt tongue bathing to get the bad juju off them. It's like she's hitting every mark on the Super Bad for Babies checklist. Just give her a pet boa constrictor and a lifetime supply of Camels and she'll be a shoo-in for the Person You Should Trust the Least with Your Babby's Safety award.

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Flotsam, Jetsam, and Hokum

[Pensacola News Journal / No Answers in Genesis / Free Kent HovindBefore It's News / Free Thought Blogs / Jezebel / ABCScience Blogs / Health and Vitality Centre / Daily Telegraph]

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