Thursday, July 20, 2017

Ken Ham's Scam

A friend on Facebook called Ham's ark a "douchecanoe." Yeah, that's about right.

No, I'm not talking about Answers in Genesis and its uncritical promotion of the Ussher Chronology, which should strike even devout Creationists as absolutely ridiculous. I'm talking once more about Ark Encounter, Ham's Noah's Ark theme park in Kentucky. With his latest move, Ham has pretty much put to rest speculation that the park has anything to do with sincere ministry. Apparently, it is little more than a gigantic scam designed to defraud his donors, evade taxes, and extract money from the state of Kentucky.

Not satisfied enough with winning a court battle worth $18 million in tax rebates after convincing a judge that his for-profit business, which is actively using religion as a form of employment discrimination, he has now sold the land the theme park sits on, worth $48 million, to his own non-profit entity, Crosswater Canyon, for $10. You read that right, ten dollars.

This allows Ham to claim his land is a non-profit and not subject to the new safety tax passed by city officials which would have collected 50 cents of every entry ticket sold. This move also worries local politicians and residents because it sets up the park to claim exemption from all other taxes as well that includes the funding of public schools.

When asked about the park’s move, and its ability to now avoid all taxes, Williamstown city councilman Kim Crupper said, “I believe this is the first step,” adding, “The impact would be far larger than just Williamstown.” When asked about their future tax plans, Ark Encounter officials declined to comment, according to

So did you get that? In order to get the tax rebates that Ham used to build the park, he incorporated it as a for-profit non-religious business because religious non-profits were not eligible for those rebates. But now that the park is complete, he has turned around and sold it to his religious non-profit for $10 to avoid paying future taxes. The article doesn't mention it, but I expect that this also nullifies the junk bonds that Ham sold to fund part of the construction. The folks holding those bonds will now never see any return on their investment either.

It really amazes me that so many people are willing to tolerate this level of grift from their religious leaders. Ham's move here is especially sleazy, but there are plenty of other religious groups out there that seem to exist only to rake in donations and provide no spiritual benefits to their members. I think it's long past time the followers of these religious scammers showed them the door. Salvation doesn't have to be expensive, and it's pretty hard for me to believe that it can be facilitated by leaders who apparently lack any degree of personal integrity.

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