Ellen White's Plagiarism

pla-gia-rize: to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (a created production) without crediting the source : to commit literary theft: present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.
--Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary.
"Although I am dependent upon the Spirit of the Lord in writing my views as I am in receiving them, yet the words I employ in describing what I have seen are my own."
--Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, Oct. 8, 1867

"Therefore," declares the Lord, "I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me." Jeremiah 23:30


Evidence She Employed Words of Others

Questionable Sources Plagiarism from the Apocrypha, the fictional Book of Jasher, and John Milton's novel Paradise Lost.

How the SDA ‘Spirit of Prophecy’ was Born Even Sister White's "I was shown" and "I saw" statements were copied from others! An explosive article written by the pre-eminent Ellen White myth-buster Walter Rea.

The Making of a Prophet Walter Rea shows how Ellen White turned FICTION into "truth." While she told others it was wrong to read fiction, she was busy incorporating fictional writings into her "spirit of prophecy."

Is Mrs. E.G. White a Plagiarist? Remarkable article published in the 1889 Healdsburg California newspaper. It not only exposes her as a plagiarist, but shows the cover-up and damage-control were already in full swing back in the 1880s.

     Did Ellen White copy her first "vision"? Dale Ratzlaff

Ellen White's Habit Douglas Hackleman traces Mrs. White's life-long habit of taking the ideas and words of others and making them her own.

White Estate Admits Ellen White's Borrowing Transcript of a presentation delivered by Ron Graybill, associate secretary of the E.G. White Estate, to the General Conference in 1981.

The Paraphrasing Prophet In this recent study (just completed in 2005) Elder Rea reveals the entire Conflict of the Ages series was paraphrased from other authors, despite James, Ellen and Arthur White's claims of divine inspiration for her books.

Plagiarism Denounced An article in the Dec. 25, 1917, Youth Instructor denounces plagiarism and shows it was regarded as dishonest and illegal in Mrs. White's era.

Kindred Prophets Examine the striking similarities between prophets Joseph Smith and Ellen White. Recent research has uncovered some amazing similarities.

Patriarchs and Prophets copied from Edersheim's Bible History: Old Testament, vols. 1 to 4 (by Walter Rea)
Now you can read Edersheim's Bible History online for yourself! Pull your Patriarchs and Prophets off the shelf, wipe off the dust and spider webs, and make your own comparisons!

Desire of Ages Research Project Examine the findings of SDA researcher Dr. Fred Veltman of Pacific Union College who spent eight years (at church expense) studying the plagiarism in the Desire of Ages.

Desire of Ages copied from William Hanna's Life of Christ, John Harris's The Great Teacher, and others. (by Walter Rea)
Now you can read Edersheim's Life and Times of Jesus online for yourself! Get your Desire of Ages out and make your own comparisons!

The Great Controversy copied from Life Incidents, and other works (by Walter Rea)

The Prophet William Foy--Did Mrs. White copy her early visions from this man?

Life of Paul Plagiarized The most flagrant example of Mrs. White's copying. When the plagiarism was discovered, the book was withdrawn from print.

Plagiarism of the Millerites A few examples of quotes copied from Millerite authors.

Plagiarized Health Reform Teachings

Mrs. White's Health Visions: Was it God? Or Dr. Jackson? What role did Dr. Jackson and the Dansville Health clinic play in Mrs. White's health reform visions?

Pre-Ellen White Health Reformers Did you know that many, if not all, of the health reforms Mrs. White claimed to have received in visions were actually being taught by other health reformers prior to her? Note the amazing similarities between her reforms and John Wesley, M.L. Shew, and Sylvester Graham.

Plagiarism of Health Writings Examine some of the sources Mrs. White used in her Testimonies and writings on health.

Who Wrote Mrs. White's Books?

The Story of Fannie Bolton
"I am greatly distressed over this matter, for I feel that I am acting a deceptive part. The people are being deceived about the inspiration of what I write. I feel that it is a great wrong that anything which I write should go out under Sister White's name as an article specially inspired of God."

The Story of Marian Davis
Marian "was one day heard moaning in her room. Going in, another worker inquired the cause of her trouble. Miss Davis replied: 'I wish I could die! I wish I could die!' 'Why, what is the matter?' asked the other. 'Oh,' Miss Davis said, 'this terrible plagiarism.'"

Revisions, Changes, Abridgements Examine the evidence that shows Ellen White's words were changed and altered by church leaders.

The Prosecution's Case

A Great Plagiarist by D.M. Canright

The Defense's Case

Common Arguments used by SDAs to defend Mrs. White's plagiarism.

The Truth about The White Lie Document prepared by the White Estate. (Note: This link will take you to the White Estate's web site)

The Truth about The White Lie REFUTED Refutes the above article.

Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, says the LORD, who steal my words from one another. Behold, I am against the prophets, says the LORD, who use their tongues and say, 'Says the LORD.' Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, says the LORD, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them; so they do not profit this people at all, says the LORD.
Jeremiah 23:30-32 RSV
"As the 'prophet,' she was given the heavy responsibility of passing the word of the Lord to the people; and with her education and background, she did not have the resources to meet the high expectations of her community. So what did she do? She did a very resourceful thing, and she did it quite surreptitiously. She went to the very sources that this cultic movement had unsparingly condemned as Babylon, gathered the best spiritual food she could find, and made it suitable for her community's consumption."
--Dr. Robert Brinsmead, Adventist Currents, Feb., 1984, p. 17