This article is based on a just posted Forbes.com article by Peter J. Reilly which discusses a recent letter ruling from the IRS that denies 501(c)(3) status to a coffee shop operation even though it used religion to promote its activities.
Here’s the link to Peter’s article:
Some may recall that when Jo Hovind got out of the prison her husband, Kent Hovind, sent her to for 9 months, she went to work at The Drowsy Poet, a Starbucks-like coffee shop with a religious flair.
It was rumored that Eric Hovind, Jo’s son and owner/operator of the 501(c)(3) God Quest, Inc. (aka Creation Today), may have helped finance The Drowsy Poet operations. It appears at least one of Eric’s board of director members is the owner/operator of The Drowsy Poet operations in the Pensacola area.
Jo Hovind starred in a YouTube promotion of The Drowsy Poet operations which included a large dose of the religious.
The Drowsy Poet coffee shops have a number of FaceBook pages, such as:
That last one, Innerlight, appears to be managed by Steve Gagne, a family friend of the Hovinds, and he is a preacher of sorts and has his personal page, where he promotes the business and its activities, at:
Then there is also Ernie Land, one of Kent Hovind’s handlers, who operated a coffee business, and may still be doing so, through a multi-level marketing model, his specialty and one which has religious overtones.
And even Paul John Hansen, one of Kent Hovind’s co-conspirators, indicated he’s gotten crossways with a preacher that operates some kind of coffee shop with religious trappings.
Paul Wittenberger, who is producing a film starring Kent Hovind, also has a coffee product he sells:
Steven Anderson, also starring with Kent Hovind in a Wittenberger movie, even promotes coffee and coffee shops.
Defined coffee is the best coffee you'll taste in this country. Big call I know but I dare you to prove me wrong ok peeps? Please support Graham and Heather they honestly are the salt of the Earth☺☺
Like Peter, I can’t tell from what is known which specific business operation might be the one which asked for the 501(c)(3) status that the IRS denied in its recent Letter Ruling.
It seems, from Peter’s coverage, that that sort of thing is a thing amongst certain religious types (i.e., the Hovinds) who want to cover their business operations with a neat tax exemption through 501(c)(3).
If coffee shops are not going to be allowed tax exemptions, why should amusement parks/camps, such as Kent Hovind is building, be afforded property tax exemptions and/or federal income tax exemptions [i.e., 501(c)(3)]!
Yet, we see Kent Hovind got a 501(c)(3) exemption to use to own/build/operate his amusement park/camp, and it was reported that he had filed to exempt his entire 145 acres from local property taxes (any final decision on that is not known).
The Jo Hovind Video:
UPDATE November 28, 2016
Hemant Mehta, atheist activist, picked up on Peter’s article and posted a blog entry on his page at:
I posted the following comment after 94 other comments had been posted there:
Jo Hovind, ex-wife of Kent Hovind, acted as spokesman for The Drowsy Poet organization which operates coffee houses. I think one of them is in the shadow of Pensacola Christian College.
In that video she promotes the business from a religious standpoint and emphasizes the missionaries they support who go around the world under the guise of buying coffee. I think she also talks about how the Catholic Church controls the coffee business.
Here’s the link:
It’s interesting additionally because the guy who owns/operates the company appears to be on the board of directors of Eric Hovind’s, Jo’s son, 501(c)(3) non-profit “ministry” operation which he set up after Kent Hovind went off to prison about 10 years ago (Kent’s out now and building a cult compound in rural Alabama which, in part, is shielded by a 501(c)(3) corporate veil). It was rumored that Eric may have provided the capital to get The Drowsy Poet up and running.