REASON Profile: Henry J. Hohenstein


Few tax resistance cases have attracted as much publicity as the recent trial of the "San Diego Ten," indicted for conspiring to prevent IRS seizure of a moving and storage firm. Both TIME magazine and Nicholas Van Hoffman's nationally-syndicated column gave extensive coverage to the case and particularly to defendant Henry J. Hohenstein, REASON's Financial Consultant and outspoken critic of the IRS, who used the publicity as a forum for bringing libertarian ideas to public attention.

Until a few years ago, Mr. Hohenstein, now 42 years old, led a perfectly Establishment-style life. He received his B.S. degree from Rutgers University in 1953, got married a few months later and then joined the Marine Corps, in which he currently holds the rank of Major in the reserves. He and his wife Arline (an R.N. doing special work in school nurse teaching, especially of the mentally handicapped) have five children. Mr. Hohenstein began his professional career in pharmaceuticals, first as a detailman and later as President and then Director of Administrative Services for small pharmaceutical companies. He was active in Rotary and held administrative positions in several civic and charitable organizations.

Mr. Hohenstein currently is with Creative Equity Corporation where he handles real estate syndications, and he has an outside brokerage arrangement with Secure Monetary Systems for the brokerage of precious metals. He is currently writing a book THE IRS CONSPIRACY (to be published by Nash Publishing next year), and is a published poet.

About his transition from the Silent Majority to libertarian activism Mr. Hohenstein says: "There are vast numbers of implicit libertarians in our society who have reached middle age, but because of prior association with church, family, society and employment are restrained in their expression of their libertarian ideas. The barrier between apathy, cynicism and self-doubt on one side, and self fulfillment and happiness is, very simply, fear. The transition period is uncertain and difficult, but having achieved a fuller expression and re-evaluation of one's values, life does proceed more smoothly. Most importantly those people who can be truly classified as friend take great pleasure in seeing what has happened and what one has become."