Pickle Publishing Critique: #81-#130
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A Critique of the Recent Jeremiah Films Video:

Seventh-day Adventism - The Spirit Behind the Church

Points #81-#130

by Bob Pickle

     "Distortions in The Clear Word"    
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#81 & #82: "One can see the extent to which Seventh-day Adventists are prepared to go to support their prophetess, even to the manipulation of Scripture. The Clear Word Bible published in 1994 as an expanded paraphrase to nurture faith and growth is nothing more than added distortions to the Word of God to support Adventist theology."
(Dale Ratzlaff)

#81: The Clear Word supports "their prophetess." The words and ideas of Jack Blanco, not Ellen White, are inserted in The Clear Word, so The Clear Word isn't supporting "their prophetess."

#82: The Clear Word manipulates and distorts Scripture. Again, paraphrases contain, by their very nature, the inclusion of interpretations into the text. Dr. Blanco admitted freely in the preface what he had done in this work that he wrote for a devotional exercise, a work which is by no means an official Seventh-day Adventist version.

It is really amazing how radical some of these statements on the video are.

Let's talk about the New International Version for a moment. Is it a paraphrase or a translation? Is it true to the biblical text, or does it contain the interpretations of its authors?

The NIV rendering of Hebrews 10:1 is, "The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming." The KJV rendering is, "For the law having a shadow of good things to come. . . ." Which is correct? Is the law a shadow, or does it "have" a shadow?

The Greek text clearly contains the Greek work for "have," which the NIV translators ignored. Thus they made the verse sound like the Ten Commandments are the shadow, and that we don't have to worry about keeping them anymore.

In actuality, the Ten Commandments "had" a shadow, which shadow was the ceremonies and sacrifices which pointed forward to Christ. This can clearly be seen from Hebrews 8:4, 5.

Maybe we should call the NIV the New International Paraphrase instead of the New International Version, since the translators apparently "distorted" the biblical text to reflect their own interpretations. However, it would be going way too far for someone to call all the translators of the NIV cultists, non-Christians, and members of "man-made religions" simply because they added such a "distortion" to the biblical text. Likewise, the statements on this video are going way too far.

Did you notice that Mr. Ratzlaff said that The Clear Word was published in 1994? If we needed a "manipulated" and "distorted" Bible to support our beliefs, why did we wait 150 years before publishing one?

    "Their Study Bible"
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#83, #84, & #85: "They have also published their Study Bible with Ellen G. White quotes included as an inspired commentary."

#83: Adventists have published their Study Bible. This point contradicts and proves false the previous charges. This study Bible is not The Clear Word. It's a King James Version. If The Clear Word was our official version, why would this Bible be a King James Version?

#84: The Study Bible is "theirs." This is not true. This study Bible is not published by the denomination. It is published by Mission Publishing, a private organization operated by laymen. It is not the denomination's study Bible.

#85: The Study Bible contains Ellen White quotes. For centuries, individuals and organizations have published Bibles containing footnotes, study helps, and commentary. Were all these folk and organizations sinning by doing so? Were they cultists and non-Christians? Did they belong to man-made religions?

We believe the Bible teaches the perpetuity of spiritual gifts. We also believe that the spirit of prophecy rested upon Ellen White so that she was "inspired." Should this study Bible be singled out as reprehensible because it contains quotes that are thought to be inspired? Are other Bibles that contain footnotes and comments all right as long as no one thinks that the authors of those footnotes and comments had the genuine biblical gift of prophecy?

Other Bibles by those of other denominations or organizations contain footnotes that are not considered to be inspired but are often treated as such. Many people will ignore the plain meaning of a text in favor of the interpretation offered by the footnote.

    "Incomplete Atonement, Michael, No Hell"  
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#86, #87, & #88: "Other heretical Adventist doctrines include the teaching that Christ's atonement for sins on the cross was incomplete, that Jesus Christ is Michael the Archangel, and that there is no hell." (Narrator)

#86: Adventists teach that Christ's atonement on the cross was incomplete. This is not true. Consider these statements by Ellen White:

It became Him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in the redemption of the world to save sinners by the blood of the Lamb. The great sacrifice of the Son of God was neither too great nor too small to accomplish the work. In the wisdom of God it was complete; and the atonement made testifies to every son and daughter of Adam the immutability of God's law. (Signs of the Times 12/30/1889)

Can you not see what a strong foundation is placed beneath your feet when you accept Christ? God has accepted the offering of his Son as a complete atonement for the sins of the world. Mrs. E. G. White. (Youth's Instructor 9/20/1900)

The only evidence for this point offered by the Documentation Package under "Point 43" is a selection from page 933 of volume 7 of the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, a comment by Ellen White. This comment does not say that Christ's atonement on the cross was incomplete. If it did say this, then we would have Ellen White contradicting herself. Rather, it merely refers to the Day of Atonement services, which Adventists feel did not end at the cross. Thus the charge stands totally unproved.

What I mean by "did not end" is this: The sacrifice offered on the Day of Atonement was fulfilled at the cross. However, Adventists believe that what the priest did after the sacrifice largely concerns events after October 22, 1844.

Technically, the correct way to view the atonement is probably to consider "the" atonement to be the entire plan of salvation, composed of several different facets. Each of these facets might be able to be called "an" atonement. "The" atonement would thus be made up of a number of "an" atonements.

For instance, biblically speaking, the intercessory work of Christ that He began when He ascended to heaven after His resurrection might be able to be called "an" atonement. So the sacrifice of Christ on the cross might be called "a" complete atonement, and His intercession since then might also be called "a" complete atonement.

If one looks through Leviticus 4 and 5, one point will jump out: The atonement was made after the sin offering was slain. The sacrifice provided the atoning blood, which the priest then used to make the atonement for the sinner. This suggests that there was some sort of atoning work for Christ to engage in after His death on Calvary. That atoning work would have at least consisted of His intercession for us.

In conclusion, Christ's atonement on the cross was complete, but the plan of salvation was not at that point. As Paul said: "If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins" (1 Cor. 15:17). Not at least until Christ rose from the dead, three days after His death on the cross, could the entire plan of salvation be said to be complete, even though Christ's atonement on the cross was.

#87: Michael the Archangel being Christ is an heretical teaching. I guess that makes Charles Spurgeon a heretic:

Let the Lord Jesus Christ be for ever endeared to us, for through Him we are made to sit in heavenly places far above principalities and powers. He it is whose camp is round about them that fear Him; He is the true Michael whose foot is upon the dragon. All hail, Jesus! thou Angel of Jehovahís presence, to Thee this family offers its morning vows. (Morning and Evening Daily Readings 556)

Michael will always fight; his holy soul is vexed with sin, and will not endure it. Jesus will always be the dragonís foe, and that not in a quiet sense, but actively, vigorously, with full determination to exterminate evil. (Ibid. 673)

I guess the learned John Gill was a heretic too. Commenting on Jude 9 he wrote:

Yet Michael the archangel, &c.] By whom is meant, not a created angel, but an eternal one, the Lord Jesus Christ; as appears from his name Michael, which signifies, "who is as God": and who is as God, or like unto him, but the Son of God, who is equal with God? and from his character as the archangel, or Prince of angels, for Christ is the head of all principality and power; and from what is elsewhere said of Michael, as that he is the great Prince, and on the side of the people of God, and to have angels under him, and at his command, Dan. 10:21, 12:1; Rev. 12:7. So Philo the Jew {o} calls the most ancient Word, firstborn of God, the archangel. . . .

Commenting on Revelation 12:7, he wrote:

Michael and his angels fought against the dragon: by whom is meant not a created angel, with whom his name does not agree, it signifying "who is as God"; nor does it appear that there is anyone created angel that presides over the rest, and has them at his command. . . .

Commenting on Daniel 12:1, he wrote:

And at that time shall Michael stand up, &c.] The Archangel, who has all the angels of heaven under him, and at his command, the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ; who is as God, as the name signifies, truly and really God, and equal in nature, power, and glory, to his divine Father. . . .

I guess Matthew Henry was a heretic too:

Daniel 12:1
Vs. 1-4:
Michael signifies, "Who is like God," and his name, with the title of "the great Prince," points out the Divine Savior. Christ stood for the children of our people in their stead as a sacrifice, bore the curse for them, to bear it from them. He stands for them in pleading for them at the throne of grace. And after the destruction of antichrist, the Lord Jesus shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and He shall appear for the complete redemption of all his people. (Concise Commentary 1128)

Michael and his angels fight against the devil and his angels, who are defeated. (7-12). . . .
Revelation 12:7
Vs. 7-11:
The attempts of the dragon proved unsuccessful against the church, and fatal to his own interests. The seat of this war was in heaven; in the church of Christ, the kingdom of heaven on earth. The parties were Christ, the great Angel of the covenant, and his faithful followers; and Satan and his instruments. (Ibid. 1719)

I guess the 1599 Geneva Bible footnotes were written by a heretic too:

Even though God could by one angel destroy all the world, yet to assure his children of his love he sends forth double power, even Michael, that is, Christ Jesus the head of angels. (Footnote for Daniel 10:13)

The angel here notes two things: first that the Church will be in great affliction and trouble at Christ's coming, and next that God will send his angel to deliver it, whom he here calls Michael, meaning Christ, who is proclaimed by the preaching of the Gospel. (Footnote for Daniel 12:1)

There must be some reason why these great Bible students of old, as well as many others, felt that Michael was another name for Christ, the divine Son of God.

#88: Adventists teach that there is no hell. If this is true, why did Ellen White write:

There are those who are waiting and watching and working for our Lord's appearing. Another class are falling into line under the generalship of the first great apostate. Few believe with heart and soul that we have a hell to shun and a heaven to win. (Desire of Ages 636)

The phrases "heaven to win" and "hell to shun" are found together at least 36 times in her writings.

Seventh-day Adventists have always taught that there is a hell to shun.

Under "Point 45" in the Documentation Package is a paragraph from volume 2 of Mind, Character, and Personality. In this quotation Mrs. White calls into question the doctrine of an eternal hell, but she does not call into question the doctrine of hell. More on this later.

       "Doctrines Contrary to Tradition"    
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This document contains points #81 through #130 of the critique of Jeremiah Film's poorly-put-together video on Adventism. The video features a possibly record-breaking number of disputed points: an average of 1 every 10 to 15 seconds.

#89: "During the mid-1800's, within a few years of each other, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Scientists, and Seventh-day Adventists were all presenting doctrines contrary to those held by traditional Bible believers." (Ibid.)

Doctrines contrary to tradition. The same could be said about every church in existence today. They each proclaimed doctrines contrary to the traditions of the times. When the popular churches rejected the new doctrines discovered in the Bible, the people who wanted to stay true to Scripture started a new church.

Even Jesus blasted away at the traditional beliefs of His day:

He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. (Mk. 7:6-13)

The most basic principle of Protestantism is Sola Scriptura, or, the Bible and the Bible only. It used to be that tradition was considered subordinate to the authority of Scripture by Protestants. Alas, times have changed!

This is a bit contradictory besides. Michael the Archangel being Christ the divine Son of God was a popular traditional belief (see #87). If teaching doctrines contrary to traditional beliefs is wrong, then declaring heretical the idea that Michael is a name for Christ is wrong as well, for such a declaration goes contrary to a traditional belief.

By associating Seventh-day Adventism with Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Christian Science, the video apparently is trying to suggest that if these other groups are not Christian, then neither is Seventh-day Adventism.

    "Doctrines of JW's Are Similar, N. H. Barbour"  
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#90 & #91: "Many of the doctrines of Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists are similar. This is because they had common roots. The founder of Jehovah's Witnesses, Charles Taze Russell, even coauthored a book called The Three Worlds with N. H. Barbour, an early Adventist." (Leslie Martin)

#90: Many doctrines are similar. Find a Jehovah's Witness who knows what Adventists believe and see if he agrees that "many" of our doctrines are similar. You'll be hard pressed.

The use of the word "many" is a gross exaggeration. It would be like my saying that many of the beliefs of a particular denomination are similar to the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses, simply because both that denomination and the Jehovah's Witnesses believe that we will spend the millennium on earth. For me to make such an exaggerated statement would be most unchristian.

Some groups do not believe that the New Jerusalem is a literal city with walls and gates, just like the Jehovah's Witnesses. Likewise many groups believe that the six days of creation were not literal days, just like the Jehovah's Witnesses. Does either of these similarities justify the statement that "many" of their doctrines are similar?

For the reader's information, Adventists disagree with Jehovah's Witnesses on each of the above three doctrinal points: the millennium, the nature of the New Jerusalem, and the days of creation. We do agree with them regarding baptism by immersion, but that doesn't make "many" of our doctrines similar to them anymore than it makes "many" of the doctrines of Baptists similar to them.

Jehovah's Witnesses use Sunday as their major meeting day, just like most other churches. Does this make "many" of their doctrines similar to most other churches?

Their theology has changed over the years, as has the theology of many Protestant denominations. Adventism used to be more in agreement with the various Protestant denominations and with Jehovah's Witnesses. But their theology has changed.

#91: N. H. Barbour was an early Adventist. Leslie Martin later calls Uriah Smith an early Adventist as well. Smith became a Sabbath-keeping Adventist in 1852. He was never a Millerite.

It would thus appear that Mrs. Martin is calling Barbour an early Seventh-day Adventist, not an early Millerite or an early First-day Adventist. There is no evidence whatsoever that Barbour was ever a Seventh-day Adventist.

Barbour was a part of a group that was predicting that Christ would return in 1874. When Christ did not come as expected, Barbour decided that He really had come, only invisibly. He convinced Russell of this unscriptural doctrine in 1876.

If Barbour had accepted the Sabbath, the sanctuary message, and the investigative judgment taught by Seventh-day Adventists, he would not have predicted Christ's return in 1874. If Barbour had become a Seventh-day Adventist, he would not have given up his faith in a literal return of Christ after Christ did not return when expected in 1874. Hence he would not have led Russell astray by convincing him that Christ had come after all in 1874. The end result would have been that Russell would never have started the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Again, if Barbour had become a Seventh-day Adventist, Jehovah's Witnesses would never have come into existence.

"Point 46" in the Documentation Package is intended to substantiate this charge, but it provides no proof that Barbour was ever a Seventh-day Adventist or any other kind of Adventist. Under "Point 53" is a modern-day sheet claiming that Barbour was a "Second Adventist." This sheet is dealt with under #98. It gives the false impression that Barbour was a Seventh-day Adventist, but the unreliability of its information is easy to prove.

    "Soul Sleep and Michael"  
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#92 & #93: "Both Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses still cling to the heresies of soul sleep and Michael the Archangel being Jesus." (Ibid.)

#92: Soul sleep is a heresy. This is the last attack on prominent Christian leaders noted in this critique. The rest of the points seemed to fit better in a different category.

I guess that makes Martin Luther a heretic:

'For just as one who falls asleep and reaches morning unexpectedly when he awakes, without knowing what has happened to him, so we shall suddenly rise on the last day without knowing how we have come into death and through death.' 'We shall seep, until He comes and knocks on the little grave and says, Doctor Martin, get up! Then I shall rise in a moment and be happy with Him forever.' (Leroy Froom, Conditionalist Faith of Our Fathers 2:74, 75)

Commenting on Ecclesiastes 9:10, Luther wrote:

Another proof that the dead are insensible. (Ibid. 77)

One of his strongest statements was this one:

But I permit the Pope to make articles of faith for himself and his faithful, such as [1] The Bread and wine are transubstantiated in the sacrament. {2} The essence of God neither generated, nor is generated. [3] The soul is the substantial form of the human body. [4] The Pope is the emperor of the world, and the king of heaven, and God upon earth. [5] THE SOUL IS IMMORTAL, with all those monstrous opinions to be found in the Roman dunghill of decretals. . . . (Ibid. 73)

If soul sleep is a heresy, then John Wycliffe must have been a heretic too (see Ibid. 2:57-59).

And we must not forget William Tyndale . . . :

And ye, in putting them [departed souls] in heaven, hell, and purgatory, destroy the arguments wherewith Christ and Paul prove the resurrection. (Ibid. 2:94)

. . . and the apostle Peter:

Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. . . . For David is not ascended into the heavens. (Acts 2:24, 30)

Many more names could be added of Baptists, Anglicans, Lutherans, Catholics, and Presbyterians who believed the same.

Even Pope John XXII in the 14th century believed that the soul of the deceased does not stand in the presence of God until after the resurrection. (Conditionalist Faith 2:35-37)

Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe that the 144,000 sleep when they die. They believe that they go straight to heaven. This is not what Seventh-day Adventists teach.

#93: Michael being Christ is a heresy. Actually, to utterly reject the possibility that Michael is a name for Christ can lead to polytheism. But first:

Thus Mrs. Martin dispenses with and declares worthless one of the most potent arguments to convince the Jews about the deity of Christ. (See Robert Leo Odom's Israel's Angel Extraordinary.)

Various rabbis have taught that Michael the Archangel was a divine being, a being who could appropriately be called Jehovah, the high priest of the sanctuary in heaven, the mediator of Israel, the deliverer of Israel, and one who sits at the right hand of God (Ibid.). Sounds like Christ, doesn't it?

This concept explains why we have so many Old Testament Scriptures talking about an "angel" who is God. More obvious examples of such Scriptures include:

And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob. . . . I am the God of Bethel. (Gen. 31:11, 13)

And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads. (Gen. 48:15, 16)

And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. . . . God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. . . . Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. And the LORD said. . . . (Ex. 3:2-7)

In this last passage, the angel is plainly called God, as well as the LORD. The word "LORD" in all caps in the KJV indicates that the Hebrew word is Yahweh, commonly pronounced "Jehovah." Therefore the Angel of the Lord who appeared to Moses is also Jehovah.

But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD. And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God. (Judg. 13:21-23)

He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. . . . Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him. (Dan. 3:25, 28)

The next two passages must be put together:

And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. . . . And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. . . . And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. (Gen. 32:24-30)

Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us; Even the LORD God of hosts; the LORD is his memorial. (Hos. 12:4, 5)

Clearly, according to Genesis, Jacob wrestled with God. Yet Hosea calls the God whom Jacob wrestled with "the angel" as well as "Yahweh."

Over and over again we have a divine Angel appearing who is called God and Yahweh.

This "angel" who was God who appeared to these men of old could not have been the Father, for the gospel of John plainly states that no one has seen the Father:

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (Jn. 1:18)

And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. (Jn. 5:37)

The word "angel" means "messenger." What "messenger" from Jehovah could possibly be called "God" if it is not Christ?

The Greek and Hebrew words for "angel" sometimes are used in Scripture to refer to human messengers, sometimes to Christ, and sometimes to real angels. The whole reason the Bible calls the angelic beings "angels" is because they were created especially to be "messengers" to all parts of God's domain. So we have humans, Christ, and angels all called "angels," even though only the angels are really angels as the word is commonly understood today.

And now back to the danger of polytheism: If this divine "angel" is not Christ, we are in danger of adopting the heresy of polytheism, for the Bible definitely says that this "angel" sent from Jehovah is God. In other words, if this "angel" is not Christ, then we have the Bible teaching that there is more than one God.

Unlike Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses will protest strongly to these ideas just presented:

  1. Jesus is divine.
  2. Jesus is God.
  3. Jesus can properly be called Jehovah.

If you wish to read more of what the Bible says on this particular subject, check out my papers: "An 'Angel' Named Yahweh" and "The Divine Christ in the Old Testament."

    "Smith and James White and the Deity of Christ"  
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#94: "Early prominent Adventists, including James White and Uriah Smith, denied the deity of Jesus Christ, as do the Jehovah's Witnesses." (Ibid.)

Uriah Smith and James White denied the deity of Christ. This is simply not true. The Documentation Package under "Point 48" and "Point 48a" gives no evidence that this is true. To the contrary, it cites James White as writing in 1877 that:

. . . ultra Unitarianism that makes Christ inferior to the Father is worse. Did God say to an inferior, "Let us make man in our image?"

Uriah Smithís 1877 The Biblical Institute p. 140 refers to "Godís divine Son."

James White calls Jesus "the divine Son of God" on pp. 192 and 203 of Bible Hygiene, p. 14 of The Law and the Gospel, p. 357 of Life Incidents, and p. 46 of the 1877 The Redeemer and Redeemed.

Uriah Smith, in his 1897 Daniel and Revelation pp. 400 and 430, and in his 1898 Looking Unto Jesus pp. 3-4, 10, 12, 18, and 20-21, emphatically states that Christ is not a created being, and condemns such a teaching.

The reason why this slander against these men is so common is three-fold:

  1. They reacted against speculative views of the Trinity that described God as "without body or parts," and yet composed of three persons, the second person of which definitely had a body! (See Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 3/7/1854, p. 50, where a catechism from one church and a book from another are quoted which taught this very thing.) They saw such views as not taking the Bible literally, since the Bible describes God as having a form and sitting on His throne in Heaven (i.e. Rev. 4:2, 3).

    Another aspect of not taking the Bible literally is the idea that Jesus really did come in 1844 after all, an idea some Millerites bought into. Early Seventh-day Adventists rejected this interpretation, which was the same basic idea that Russell accepted from Barbour in 1876.

    Early Adventists fought for taking the Bible literally. They rejected views that spiritualized away the literalness of the second coming and of the personality of God.

  2. They reacted against speculative views of the Trinity which did not make the Father and Christ to be separate persons. This can readily be seen from the Documentation Package under its "Point 48." Joseph Bates is quoted as writing: "Respecting the trinity, I concluded that it was an impossibility for me to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, was also the Almighty God, the Father, one and the same being."

  3. They reacted against speculative views regarding the timing of the "procession." Most believers are unaware of this aspect of the orthodox version of the Trinity doctrine. It states that the Son proceeded forth from the Father, and the Holy Spirit proceeded forth from both the Father and the Son. Yet since God is outside of time, there never has been a time when one of the three did not exist. So Jesus was begotten and proceeded forth, but that's not to say that He hasn't always been.

    Pope John Paul IIís views, found in Hogan and LeVoirís 1988 Faith for Today (complete with Imprimatur) pp. 12-14, describes this position pretty well. John Paul believes that the Fatherís self-concept, unlike our self-concept, is real. In Godís "consciousness" was "an identical image of Himself," and that is Jesus. "The consciousness of the Father and the Son contains an inner reflection and image of Their act of Love," and that is the Holy Spirit.

    A priest I heard lecture on the right to life said that when the Father and Son looked at each other, they had love for each other, and they sighed, and that was the Holy Sigh.

    And yet, though the Son and the Spirit came forth, They always have been.

I could not with a clear conscience call men cultists and non-Christians who wanted to take the Bible just as it reads and not speculate like this.

    "Altered Bibles and False Dates"  
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#95 & #96: "Both Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists have produced their own altered versions of the Bible to reflect their aberrant doctrines. Both have set false dates for the return of Jesus Christ, and failed miserably to prophesy correctly." (Ibid.)

#95: Both have produced altered versions of the Bible. The version used by the Jehovah's Witnesses is called the New World Translation. It claims to be a translation, but The Clear Word distinctly says it is a paraphrase, and not a translation.

Under "Point 49" and "Point 49a," the Documentation Package clearly proves that what I have said is true.

Again, paraphrases by their very nature interweave interpretations into the text. Translations are not supposed to, but as in the case of the New World Translation, sometimes do.

Again, while the New World Translation is copyrighted and published by the Watchtower Society, and is therefore the official version for the Jehovah's Witnesses, The Clear Word is copyrighted and published by Dr. Jack Blanco and is in no way an official Seventh-day Adventist version. The first two sentences of the preface state:

This is not a new translation but a paraphrase of the Scriptures. It is not intended for in-depth study or for public reading in churches.

Please see #75-#77, #78, #79-#80, and #81-#82 for more information on this point.

#96: Both have set dates for Christ's return. Mrs. Martin would be hard pressed to prove that Seventh-day Adventists have set dates for Christ's return, other than a renegade member now and then.

For one thing, Seventh-day Adventists were not organized as a denomination until 1863. Since we have become a denomination, we have never set a date for Christ's return.

Long before 1863, Ellen White came out publicly in 1851, describing a vision of the previous September, condemning setting dates for Christ's return (Early Writings 75).

The occasion of her vision was this: Joseph Bates had just gone off on his own in 1850 advocating a date for Christ's return. Ellen White's vision dealt quite strongly with Bates' tendency at that time to grab up some new point of teaching without asking others what they thought about it. His gift was not the gift of discernment (Manuscript Releases 12:246-252). From 1850 to 1863, the body of believers who became the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1863 did not set dates for Christ's return, except perhaps, as in other churches, for some lone member on his own.

But even before 1850, we have Ellen White coming out on this issue in 1845. Some Millerites were setting dates back then, and Ellen White declared them wrong (Early Writings 22).

In October 1844 there was a single congregation of Millerites who were keeping the Sabbath in New Hampshire. They had begun the practice the previous spring.

James and Ellen White did not become Sabbatarian Adventists until 1846. So before Ellen White became a Seventh-day Adventist, she was already condemning the setting of dates for Christ's return.

It was Methodists, Baptists, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians who set the dates of 1843 and October 22, 1844, not Seventh-day Adventists. The group that became the Seventh-day Adventist Church was the group of Millerites which took a firm position against setting any more dates for Christ's return.

In contrast, Jehovah's Witnesses as a whole, or more correctly, the Watchtower Society, set a number of dates from 1914 to 1975.

Yet the video is even wrong here. Not one of the Watchtower dates was a prediction of Christ's return. When Barbour convinced Russell that Christ had really come in 1874 after all, it was already 1876 (Russell was 23 years old at the time), and the Watchtower Society did not yet exist. Likewise, the 1914 date for Christ's coming did not replace 1874 until the late 1920's or early 1930's, so it cannot be considered a "prediction" of Christ's return. With both the 1874 and the 1914 dates, Jehovah's Witnesses adopted them as dates for Christ's return after the fact. They were not predictions.

I would not expect Mrs. Martin to be an expert at Watchtower doctrines, even though the video presents her as such. But I would expect Lorri MacGregor, the script writer, to be an expert, since I think she used to be a Jehovah's Witness, and her ministry is dedicated to disseminating facts about Watchtower doctrines. Oh, well.

Under "Point 50," the Documentation Package is supposed to prove this point. It documents adequately that the Watchtower continued to teach as late as 1929 that Christ had come in 1874, thus showing that the Watchtower never predicted Christ's return in 1914. Regarding the Watchtower predicting Christ's return in 1874, not one pre-1874 publication of the then non-existent Watchtower Society is cited.

    "Both Claim to Be the Remnant Church"  
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#97: "Both have covered up their errors and claimed to be the only remnant church in the world."

Both claim to be the remnant church. It is either humorous or sad how pathetic these charges are becoming. Under "Point 52a" in the Documentation Package is proof that Jehovah's Witnesses do not teach that they are the remnant church, contrary to what Mrs. Martin has said.

I have never been a Witness, but I could pick it out right away. They teach that the 144,000 are the only ones who go to heaven, few of these still being alive today. The rest of the redeemed they believe will stay on earth. The quote from "Point 52a" plainly says that this latter group, the "earthly class," are not the remnant. Only the 144,000, the "heavenly class," are the remnant. Thus Witnesses teach that only a very minute portion of their numbers are the remnant.

Under "Point 52a" is a photocopy of the November 15, 1974, issue of The Watchtower. It calls the heavenly class the bride, and the earthly class the bridesmaids:

Of course these figurative bridesmaids do not expect to go to heaven with the "remnant," but they honor the heavenly King and his Bridegroom Son, and show due respect for the remnant of the Bridal congregation.

Of 10,650,158 Witnesses who attended the 1991 Memorial Service, only 8,850 believed they were part of the 144,000. That means that only .08310% of Jehovah's Witnesses are the remnant, according to their own beliefs. That also means that 99.91690% of Jehovah's Witnesses are not the remnant, according to their own beliefs.

Seventh-day Adventists base their teaching of the remnant on Revelation 12:17 and 19:10, with the understanding that a woman when used symbolically in the Bible represents a church:

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Rev. 12:17)

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Rev. 19:10)

Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. (Rev. 22:9)

Thus the remnant church is a church that keeps all of God's commandments and has the gift of prophecy. Find a church that meets that description, and you have found the remnant church of Bible prophecy.

    "Guilty of Plagiarism"  
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#98 & #99: "Both have been guilty of plagiarism of earlier works without giving credit to the previous authors."

#98: Both plagiarized. The claim that the Witnesses were guilty of plagiarism is totally unsubstantiated by the Documentation Package.

In the index under "Point 53," it says: "Both SDA's and JW's are guilty of plagiarism of earlier works. The SDA section is documented under point 54 and the JW plagiarism is listed here."

When one turns to "Point 53," one finds a single sheet put together by Mr. Gary Busselman from South Dakota. This sheet purports to contain an outline of history about the Witnesses. The only evidence that one finds on this sheet even remotely connected to this charge is the following:

John Aquila Brown: published in book, Even-Tide (1823), his interpretation of the "seven times" of Daniel, by means of the day-year formula, to produce 2520 years, in exactly the same way as the Watchtower Society does today, except he started with 604 BC and ended up with 1917 AD. This 29 years before C. T. Russell was born, 47 years before C. T. Russell started his Bible study group, and 50+ years before the book "Three Worlds" was written.

The problem with this is 1) Brown was from Britain. Did Russell ever hear of Brown's work, let alone read it? 2) The Documentation Package is advertised at the end of the video as "substantiating the information contained in this program." Yet no demonstration of a connection between Brown's book and any Watchtower publication is even attempted. If the Watchtower really plagiarized Brown's book, where is the evidence?

Besides, Busselman's sheet is not reliable. It says that "Ellen G. White . . . founded the Second Advent Movement, the present Seven-Day Adventist [sic] group" after splitting off from the "Miller movement." However, the Millerite movement was the "Second Advent Movement," or at least a prominent part of it, and Ellen White did not found it. She was only 4 years old when Miller started preaching!

Busselman's sheet also says that "William Miller" "quit the movement he founded when his predictions, called the 'great disappointment of 1844', failed." This is very slightly true. He officially quit the movement in December 1849 when he died. As he was dying he said to Bro. Bosworth:

"Tell them (the brethren) we are right. The coming of the Lord draweth nigh; but they must be patient, and wait for him." (Memoirs of William Miller 377)

Perhaps Busselman's sheet is the reason why the video leaves the impression that N. H. Barbour was a Seventh-day Adventist. The sheet identifies Barbour, Paton, and Wendell as being Second Adventists. Since it says that Ellen White started the Second Advent Movement, the sheet gives the impression that Barbour, Paton, and Wendell were Seventh-day Adventists. In actuality they were Advent Christians, not Seventh-day Adventists.

#99: Both were "guilty" of plagiarism. One other problem with claiming that the Witnesses were "guilty" of plagiarizing Brown's book is this: Since Brown was from Britain, his book was fully in the public domain, for there was no copyright in America on British books at that time. Thus it is incorrect for anyone to say that the Witnesses were "guilty" of plagiarizing Brown's book.

    "The Bitter Truth of The White Lie"  
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#100: "In 1982 an Adventist pastor, Walter T. Rea, released this book, The White Lie. It was dedicated to all those who would rather believe a bitter truth than a sweet lie. He loved Mrs. White's writings and thought that he should read what she read. He began to see huge amounts of plagiarism in her writings." (Wallace Slattery)

A bitter truth. The bitter "truth" that The White Lie teaches is a "truth" that is totally repugnant to evangelicals who believe in the final authority of Scripture:

Used in all Seventh-day Adventist schools and colleges as authoritative on Old Testament matters, Patriarchs and Prophets has been accepted by Adventists as the final word. No deviation from this norm is accepted in matters of ideas concerning Creation, geology, theology, or Christology. (73)

This statement by Walter Rea strongly suggests that he does not believe what the Bible says about Creation and Noah's flood. Otherwise, why would he be critical of Adventist schools that do not allow deviations from Ellen White's endorsement of the biblical accounts of 1) a six-day creation and 2) the origin of the geologic column?

When asking Lorri MacGregor, the script writer, about evidence for the long-ago debunked lawsuit myth (see #103-#105), she suggested I talk to Walter Rea, which I did. In talking with him, I asked him if his reasons for not believing in Ellen White could also be applied to the Bible. He proceeded to tell me that he:

  1. does not take the Bible literally,
  2. does not believe in a world-wide flood,
  3. does not believe that God told Abraham to offer up Isaac, and
  4. does not believe God told the Israelites to massacre the Canaanites.

Ellen White wrote:

It is Satan's plan to weaken the faith of God's people in the Testimonies. Next follows skepticism in regard to the vital points of our faith, the pillars of our position, then doubt as to the Holy Scriptures, and then the downward march to perdition. When the Testimonies, which were once believed, are doubted and given up, Satan knows the deceived ones will not stop at this; and he redoubles his efforts till he launches them into open rebellion, which becomes incurable and ends in destruction. (Testimonies for the Church 4:211)

Whether one believes in Ellen White or not, she had a point. Many of those who like Walter Rea have given up faith in Ellen White's writings have also come not to believe what the Bible says. (For one reason why, see #101.) It is no longer the authority to them that it once was. Mr. Rea's case is not an isolated example.

Seventh-day Adventists take the Bible just as it reads: 1) We believe that Jesus created the world in six literal days about 6000 years ago. 2) We believe that sin entered the world at the fall of Adam and Eve, and that death did not exist until after the Fall. 3) We believe that there was a world-wide flood in Noah's day that buried everything. As a very natural conclusion of these three Bible-based beliefs, 4) We believe that the fossils in the earth must be that of the creatures that were buried during the flood.

Ellen White's writings clearly endorse the above Bible-based beliefs. This is why a minority of theologians of a liberal bent would like to see Adventists jettison her writings. Generally, Adventists view Ellen White as being a prophet. Since she endorsed what the Bible says on Creation and the flood, faith in her writings is a major obstacle to liberal theologians who would rather see the Adventist denomination adopt evolution. Thus her writings must be attacked.

If every denomination had had someone who spoke "with prophetic authority" about how we should take what the Bible says about Creation and the flood literally, we would not have so many denominations openly teaching that evolution is a fact and that the Bible accounts are a lie. You see, Ellen White's writings have helped the Adventist Church retain its conservative stance on these issues.

Do you really want to accept the bitter "truth" that The White Lie endorses?

    "Inspiration Borrowed from Others"  
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#101: "Through diligent research it was discovered that her supposed inspiration from God had been borrowed from other authors without proper credit being given to the original sources."

Inspiration was borrowed from others without credit. This argument directly undermines the authority of the Scriptures.

Anyone reading Matthew, Mark, and Luke can tell that someone borrowed from someone without giving credit. Does that mean that Luke got his "supposed inspiration" from Matthew? Should we conclude that Luke was therefore a false prophet?

The books of Kings and 2 Chronicles are awfully similar in many places. And some of Chronicles' genealogies are found elsewhere. Parts of Jeremiah are pretty similar to 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles, and 1 Chronicles is a bit like 2 Samuel in places. Joshua 15:16-19 is the same as Judges 1:12-15. Someone was borrowing from someone.

The similarities between 2 Peter and Jude are another very obvious example:

2 Peter


Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: (1:1) Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: (1)
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, (1:2) Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. (2)
Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. (1:12) I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. (5)
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2:1) For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (4)
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment. . . . The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: (2:4, 9) And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. (6)
And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; (2:6) Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (7)
But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. (2:10) Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. (8)
Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. (2:11) Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. (9)
But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; (2:12) But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. (10)
And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; (2:13) These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: (12)
Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; (2:15) Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. (11)
These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; (2:17) Clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; (12)
To whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. (2:17) Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. (13)
That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: (3:2) But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; (17)
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, (3:3) How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. (18)

If Jude "copied" from Peter, then he "borrowed" a total of 14 out of 25 verses!

Evangelicals, Bible-believing Christians everywhere, if a prophet cannot borrow some of the words of another writer without credit, and still be considered divinely inspired, then the Bible is not inspired!

Surely Jeremiah Films could not have known that this video they were making at the behest of either bitter or militant former Adventists (I assume that this is how it came to be) would strike right at the heart of the authority of Scripture!

    "Plagiarized Material Stolen from Others"  
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#102: "Her major books, including Patriarchs and Prophets, the Desire of Ages, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Great Controversy, Selected Messages, the Acts of the Apostles, Christ's Object Lessons, Counsels on Stewardship, Evangelism, Fundamentals of Christian Education, Gospel Workers, Messages to Young People, the Ministry of Healing, My Life Today, Prophets and Kings, Sons and Daughters of God, Steps to Christ, Testimonies to the Church, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, and others contain plagiarized material stolen from earlier writers."

"Stolen" material. My guess is that the script writer merely made up a list of books without checking to see if there was "plagiarized material stolen from earlier writers" in each of the volumes named. The Documentation Package provides no evidence whatsoever to back up this charge.

One major problem with the charge is suggested by the use of the word "stolen." In order for Ellen White to have "stolen" some words and thoughts from another writer, those words and thoughts must have legally belonged to that other writer. Until 1909, portions of the words and thoughts of other writers, along with the general flow of topics in a manuscript, were in the public domain. They did not belong to the writer, and so could not be "stolen" from him or her. While the entire work belonged to the writer, some wording and thoughts could be used by another without "stealing."

What Ellen White did at times, in the borrowing of some words and thoughts from other writers (like the Bible writers did), was to make a "derivative work." A derivative work is not one that has been copied verbatim. It is a work that is based on and derived from another work.

In the previous section it is clear that either Jude or Peter made a derivative work based on the other's epistle. However, the one did not copy verbatim the other's epistle and then affix his name on it as if he had written it himself. He made a derivative work, not a plagiarized work.

Making a derivative work without permission from the original author became illegal in 1909. Interestingly, as The White Lie points out on page 49, 1909 was the very year that Ellen White requested that credit to the historians quoted from in Great Controversy be added in the next edition. This indicates that when it first became possible to steal material from earlier writers, Ellen White took the needed precautions to prevent such occurrences.

       "Lawsuit Over Sketches from the Life of Paul"    
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This document contains points #81 through #130 of the critique of Jeremiah Film's poorly-put-together video on Adventism. The video features a possibly record-breaking number of disputed points: an average of 1 every 10 to 15 seconds.

#103, #104, & #105: "One book, Sketches from the Life of Paul, was plagiarized in its entirety by Ellen G. White. It resulted in a lawsuit and the book was quickly taken out of print." (Narrator)

#103: Plagiarized in its entirety. I have both Ellen White's book and Conybeare and Howson's book, and this wild charge is simply not true. As well as being different in both wording and size, the books definitely differ on basic interpretations of verses dealing with Paul's life.

F. D. Nichols's book, Ellen G. White and Her Critics, was published in 1951. It gives statistics for how much material from Conybeare and Howson was included in Sketches. Direct quotations of words, phrases, and clauses, along with close paraphrases, amounted to 7% of Ellen White's book being taken from 4% of Conybeare's book. Another book utilized by Ellen White was by Farrar. 4% of her book came from 2% of his book. If we throw in loose paraphrases for good measure, we have a total of 15.35% of her book being taken from these two sources (424-426). This is a far cry from being "plagiarized in its entirety."†

Lorri MacGregor sent me alleged documentation to support this long-ago debunked lawsuit myth. The documentation consisted of the 1919 Bible Conference Minutes published in volume 10, number 1, of Spectrum, a theologically liberal journal which does not take the position that the Bible, the infallible Word of God, is the final authority in matters of faith and practice.

In these minutes, discovered in the 1970's, General Conference president A. G. Daniells says that he compared Sketches with Conybeare, "and we read word for word, page after page, and no quotations, no credit, and really I did not know the difference until I began to compare them."

Obviously, he didn't know what he was talking about. The books are not the same "word for word, page after page."

A number of major factual errors like this one made me wonder if the 1919 Bible Conference Minutes were a forgery. It appears, however, that Daniells sometimes shot from the hip without making sure he was being accurate, and sometimes would even grossly exaggerate.

At any rate, this alleged documentation from Spectrum is unreliable, as will be seen more clearly below.

The Documentation Package is silent about this point. It is supposed to prove the claim under "Point 55," but no evidence of plagiarism or literary theft is given.

The Documentation Package does, however, under "Point 54b" give a list of sources that Walter Rea said on page 175 of his book that Ellen White borrowed from when writing thirty different books. At the top of page 175 is this entry:

Nichols, Francis Davis, Ed.
The S.D.A. Bible Commentary
Washington, D.C., Review & Herald
Pub., 7 vol., 1953-1957†

So according to Walter Rea, as cited in the Documentation Package, Ellen White even borrowed from books published 38-42 years after her death, books which were edited by a man who was 17 or 18 the year she died! Absolutely amazing! But if you believe everything on the video and in the Documentation Package heretofore, I suppose you might be gullible enough to believe this one too: Ellen White borrowed from books written 40 years after she died! Plagiarism!

#104: It resulted in a lawsuit. This myth was debunked at least by 1951 in F. D. Nichol's book. First of all, Conybeare and Howson's book, which Ellen White supposedly plagiarized from, was from Britain. British books were in the public domain at the time, and so there was no copyright protection. There thus was no legal basis for such a lawsuit. For British books written after July 1, 1891, there was copyright protection against plagiarism, but not against making derivative works based on those British books.

The Thomas Y. Crowell Company of New York, a publisher of Conybeare's book, wrote in 1924:

We publish Conybeare's LIFE AND EPISTLES OF THE APOSTLE PAUL but this is not a copyrighted book and we would have no legal grounds for action against your book and we do not think that we have ever raised any objection or made any claim such as you speak of. (Ellen G. White and Her Critics 456)†

Thomas Y. Crowell was just one publisher of Conybeare's book in America. By law they could freely publish the book without sending any royalties back to Britain. They never got sued, for it just was not a copyrighted work.†Since they themselves were publishing the book in its entirety without needing to get permission, they well knew that the book was not copyrighted.

D. M. Canright, an extremely bitter former Adventist, included the lawsuit myth in his 1919 book, Life of Mrs. E. G. White. According to Nichol's research, this is the first time the myth appeared in print, the very year of the above mentioned Bible Conference. According to the 1919 Bible Conference Minutes, General Conference President A. G. Daniells did mention the lawsuit story as if it were a fact. All this shows is that Daniells likely read Canright's book and thought that the myth was factual, even though Canright had offered no proof whatsoever of the charge, and even though there was no possibility that it could have been true (Ellen G. White and Her Critics 438).

Sketches was published in 1883. Canright's first book against Adventism and Ellen White, Seventh-day Adventism Renounced, came out in 1889. It contained three short paragraphs about plagiarism, but never mentioned a lawsuit. Over the next 25 years, it went through 14 editions, but the lawsuit myth was never included (Ellen G. White and Her Critics 429). This is more evidence that no one had yet dreamed up this fable of a lawsuit over Sketches from the Life of Paul.

#105: Quickly taken out of print. Sketches was published in 1883. The Signs of the Times promoted it through most of 1885. As late as 1887, editions of The Great Controversy sold by colporteurs to non-Adventists contained direct advertisements for the book.

American editions of The Great Controversy mentioned Sketches on the title page. Editions in England, homeland of Conybeare and Howson, mentioned Sketches on the title page as late as 1907. Nichols put it well:

What a strange way to 'suppress' a book! (Ellen G. White and Her Critics 443-446).

    "Sidestepping with 'No Copyright Laws' "  
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#106, #107, #108, & #109: "Despite the irrefutable evidence the Seventh-day Adventist Church chose to fight back against these charges with a book titled The White Truth. In it, their main line of defense was that since there were no copyright laws at the time, Ellen White hadn't actually broken the law, which of course side stepped the issue."

#106: Irrefutable evidence. A careful reading of #100, #101, #102, and #103-#105 shows that the evidence is anything but irrefutable.

#107: Main line of defense was that there were no copyright laws. This is not true. It was not the main line of defense. The question of what the law was like back then was only one of a number of defenses presented in the book, not the main one.

The White Truth has six chapters composed of 98 pages. The chapter titles are

  1. The Truth About Sources
  2. The Truth About Plagiarism
  3. The Truth About Prophets
  4. The Truth About Authority
  5. The Truth About Inspiration and Revelation
  6. The Truth About Lies.

In the chapter, "The Truth About Plagiarism," the question of what the law was back then occupies less than 4 pages out of 16. Unless there is some brief mention elsewhere in the book about legal matters, we have only 4 pages out of 98 dedicated specifically to the question of nineteenth century copyright laws.

#108: The White Truth says that there were no copyright laws back then. This too is untrue. On page 31 is a description of a conversation with a judge who said that Article 1, section 8 of the Constitution gave Congress the power to give authors copyright protection. On page 32 the judge says that the first copyright law was passed in 1790. Thus The White Truth says clearly that there were copyright laws in America 37 years before Ellen White was born.

But once again, these American copyright laws did not protect British books until 1891, and prohibit derivative books until 1909.

#109: This side stepped the issue. No it didn't.†

There are two issues being addressed by the video: 1) Ellen White is being charged with being "guilty" of "plagiarism." 2) Ellen White is being charged with getting her inspiration from the works of others instead of from God.††

When dealing with the charge of being "guilty" of "stealing," we must ask ourselves what the laws were like back then before we can have a trial and reach a verdict of "guilty." Since Walter Rea and others have raised the allegation that Ellen White "stole," it is mandatory to know what precisely the copyright laws of her day did and did not protect. Thus questioning what the copyright laws were is not sidestepping the issue.

When dealing with the charge of getting her inspiration from men instead of from God, we must conclude, as we did under #101, that according to the Bible, inspired writers can borrow wording and document structure from other writers, without making their own writings less than inspired. A portion of The White Truth is dedicated to dealing with this issue as well, so there was no sidestepping here either.

Additionally, The White Truth does present a number of other arguments besides these two, which I invite you to read for yourself.

    "Prove That 20% Is Original "  
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#110 & #111: "Yet the Seventh-day Adventist hierarchy has been unable to respond to the challenge to prove that even 20% of her writings were original." (Ibid.)

#110: Unable to respond. The truth is that the "hierarchy" responded 31 years before Walter Rea's book was even published!

As brought out under #103, F. D. Nichols's 1951 book stated that, including loose paraphrasing, 15.35% of Sketches from the Life of Paul, a book which the video said was plagiarized in its entirety, was taken from two other books. That means that 84.65% of a book that was "plagiarized in its entirety" was Mrs. White's own work.

How about other books by Ellen White that were not "plagiarized in" their "entirety"? If a book that was "plagiarized in its entirety" contained 84.65% of her own material, then other books that were not "plagiarized in" their "entirety" might be expected to have an even higher percentage of original material.

#111: Prove that 20% of her writings are original. Really, the challenge isn't even intelligent. How could one ever prove such a thing? You would have to have infinite knowledge of every book that Ellen White could possibly have read, and would have to compare these books to every word she ever wrote.

A much easier task would be for the critics to prove that 80% of her writings were not her own. Yet that would be such a time-consuming task, I don't think they would even attempt it.

Another way to put it is, Would it be more appropriate to say, "Prove that 20% of the Gospel of Luke is original," or more appropriate to say, "Prove that 80% of the Gospel of Luke is not original." The latter approach would be more appropriate, because the former would be impossible to prove.

Here's a different sort of challenge for Jeremiah Films: Prove that 20% of the information contained in this video is both accurate and relevant. Will they respond?

    "Shaky Visions"  
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#112: "Equally as shaky were the visions she claimed to have from God." (Ibid.)

Shaky visions. One thing the video does not touch with a ten-foot pole, and understandably so, is what would happen during Ellen White's visions. There was unquestionably something supernatural about her visions. The 1868 book Life Incidents described it this way:†

Her condition in vision may be described as follows:

1. She is utterly unconscious of everything transpiring around her, as has been proved by the most rigid tests, but views herself as removed from this world, and in the presence of heavenly beings.

2. She does not breathe. During the entire period of her continuance in vision, which has at different times ranged from fifteen minutes to three hours, there is no breath, as has been repeatedly proved by pressing upon the chest, and by closing the mouth and nostrils.

3. Immediately on entering vision, her muscles become rigid, and joints fixed, so far as any external force can influence them. At the same time her movements and gestures, which are frequent, are free and graceful, and cannot be hindered nor controlled by the strongest person.

4. On coming out of vision, whether in the day-time or a well-lighted room at night, all is total darkness. Her power to distinguish even the most brilliant objects, held within a few inches of the eyes, returns but gradually, sometimes not being fully established for three hours. This has continued for the past twenty years; yet her eyesight is not in the least impaired, few persons having better than she now possesses. (272)

Sometimes these phenomena would be witnessed by large groups of people. Daniel T. Bourdeau testified:†

On the other hand was presented before me an unassuming and humble person, ardently striving to follow the meek and lowly Jesus, and willing to submit to the judgment of her brethren, (who prefer light to darkness, and righteousness to unrighteousness,) calmly and quietly raising her eyes toward heaven, while pouring her heart in supplication to the God of heaven; and while the power and Spirit of God rested upon those who were with her, she was breathless. Her countenance was bright and heavenly, and none of her actions were indecent and calculated to create laughter or fear. She was wrapped up in a heavenly vision, and had no knowledge of what transpired around her, occasionally moving her hands and uttering a few significant words, to indicate the scenes that passed before her and the things that she heard. (Advent Review 2/24/1859, pp. 110, 111)

John Loughborough, sort of the historian of Adventism, stated:†

In less than two months, Sister White began to have her visions in Portland, Me. It has been my privilege to see her in vision about fifty times. I would state that her condition in vision is like that of the prophet Daniel, as described in Dan.10:8,17,18. She has no breath while in vision. At first, for about half a minute, she seems to sink down as though she had no strength; then, as the angel of God touches her, she seems to have superhuman strength imparted to her.

At my house on Champion street, in this city, in the autumn of 1863 she had a vision. A brother was present, a stone mason. While she was in vision, kneeling, as her arms moved about seemingly in an easy manner, Elder White said to the man, "Brother, that looks like an easy motion, and as though you could readily bend her arm. You can try it if you wish. This brother placed his knee in the bend of her arm, took hold of her extended hand with both his hands, and settled back with all his might. It made no impression. He said to Elder White, "I would as soon think of bending an iron bar as that arm." He had hardly spoken these words before her arm moved around the other way. As he tried to resist the pressure, he was slid along upon the floor.

That God who wrought his wonders in Egypt did it that the people to whom he was going to speak his law might know that he who spoke to them, was none other than the God that made heaven and earth. So we should expect if he should reveal himself by vision to his people, there should be with the introduction of such manifestations such demonstrations as would arrest the attention of the people. That a feeble girl, seventeen years of age, should simply say, "I have had a vision," would not be sufficient. Should we not expect the Lord to work in such a manner as would cause the people to say, "I will turn aside and see what this is."

In the third vision of Miss Harmon, which was given in her father's house in Portland, she arose in vision, her eyes looking upward, took from the bureau one of the great family Bibles published in 1822 by Teale, Boston. (This Bible measured 18 x 11 x 4 inches, and weighs a little over eighteen pounds.) Opening this great book upon her left arm, extended at right angles from her body, she held it in that position for half an hour. With her right hand she turned from text to text, repeating the same to which her finger was pointing, yet her eyes meantime looking upward and away from the book. One or another of those present looked at every text quoted, and found that she was correctly repeating the scripture to which she pointed.

Some in these days, who have never seen Mrs. White in vision, undertake to explain it as disease, hysterics, or something of that kind. The fact is, the vision itself is a miracle. The voice proceeding from the burning bush was miraculous. What shall we call a voice quoting scripture, proceeding from a breathless body, but a miracle? (General Conference Daily Bulletin 3/18/1891, p. 145)

Two years later Loughborough was back with more of the same, this time with the testimonies of others. We already quoted his citation of M. G. Kellogg under #44. Here are more of the testimonies he presented:

The second testimonial relates to a vision given to Mrs. White, in Hillsdale, Mich., February, 1857:-

"We were present when (in February, 1857) Sister E. G. White had a vision in Waldron's Hall, Hillsdale. Dr. Lord made an examination, and said, 'Her heart beats, but there is no breath. There is life, but no action of the lungs; I cannot account for this condition." Signed, "A. F. Fowler, Mrs. A. F. Fowler, Hillsdale, Mich., Jan. 1, 1891."

Here is given another statement concerning the same vision:-

"I was present when Sister White had the above named vision in Waldron's Hall, Hillsdale. In addition to the above statement, I heard the doctor say that Sister White's condition in vision was 'beyond his knowledge.' He also said, 'There is something supernatural about that.'" Signed, "C. S. Glover, Battle Creek, Mich., Jan. 19, 1891.

Here is a third statement on the same case:-

"This is to certify that we were present in Waldron's Hall, Hillsdale, Mich., in February, 1857, when Mrs. E. G. White had a vision and while in that condition was examined by Dr. Lord, and we heard his public statement respecting the case, as given above by Brother and Sister Fowler." Signed, "W. R. Carpenter, Eliza Carpenter, Noblesville, Ind., Aug. 30, 1891."

The following statement is from an individual who witnessed a medical examination of Mrs. White while in vision at Stowe, Vermont, in the summer of 1853. He says:-

"A physician was present, and made such examination of her as his wisdom and learning dictated, to find the cause of the manifestation. A lighted candle was held close to her eyes, which were wide open; not a muscle of the eye moved. He then examined her in regard to her pulse and also in regard to her breathing, and there was no respiration. The result was that he was satisfied that it could not be accounted for on natural or scientific principles." Signed, "F. C. Castle."

Here is a description of a test applied while Mrs. White was in vision at Buck's Bridge, St. Lawrence Co., N. Y.:-

"June 28, 1857, I saw Sister Ellen G. White in vision for the first time. I was an unbeliever in the visions; but one circumstance among others that I might mention convinced me that her visions were of God. To satisfy my mind as to whether she breathed or not, I first put my hand on her chest sufficiently long to know that there was no more heaving of the lungs than there would have been had she been a corpse. I then took my hand and placed it over her mouth, pinching her nostrils between my thumb and forefinger, so that it was impossible for her to exhale or inhale air, even if she had desired to do so. I held her thus with my hand about ten minutes, long enough for her to suffocate under ordinary circumstances; she was not in the least affected by this ordeal. Since witnessing this wonderful phenomenon, I have not once been inclined to doubt the divine origin of her visions." Signed, "D. T. Bourdeau, Battle Creek, Feb. 4, 1891."

I will mention another medical examination that I witnessed at Parkville, St. Joseph Co., Mich., Jan. 12, 1861.

At the close of an exhortation given by Sister White to a large congregation that had assembled at the Adventist meeting-house, the blessing of God rested upon her in a remarkable degree, and she was taken off in vision while seated in her chair. There was present a Doctor Brown, a hale, strong man physically, a spirit medium. He had said that her visions were the same as spirit mediumship, and that if she had one where he was, he could bring her out of it in one minute. An invitation was given for any who desired to do so to come forward, and by examination satisfy themselves as to her condition while in vision. The Doctor came forward, but before he had half completed his examination, he turned deathly pale, and shook like an aspen leaf. Elder White said, "Will the Doctor report her condition?" He replied, "She does not breathe," and rapidly made his way to the door. Those at the door who knew of his boasting said, "Go back, and do as you said you would; bring that woman out of the vision." In great agitation he grasped the knob of the door, but was not permitted to open it until inquiry was made by those near the door, "Doctor, what is it?" He replied, "God only knows; let me out of this house!"

It was evident that the spirit that influenced him as a medium was no more at rest in the presence of the power that controlled Sister White in vision, than were the demoniacs in the days of the Saviour, who inquired, "Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?"

I want now to call before you a living witness here in this house. Brother Lampson, will you please step forward and relate to the audience what you saw during one of Sister White's visions where you were present?

[Brother Lampson.] "It was in 1854, at the home of Brother White in Rochester. I was then seventeen years old. It seems to me I can almost hear yet those three thrilling shouts of 'G-l-o-r-y!' which she uttered. Then she sank back to the floor, not falling, but sinking back gently, and was supported in the arms of an attendant. Two physicians came in, an old man and a young man. Brother White was anxious that they should examine Sister White closely, which they did. A small looking-glass was brought, and one of them held it over her mouth when she talked; but very soon they gave this up and said, She doesn't breathe. Then they closely examined her sides to try to find some evidence of deep breathing, but they did not find it. When the examination was over, she rose to her feet, and then had a view of some things connected with the seven last plagues. She put her hands up to her hair, and Brother White and Brother Andrews tried with all their might to keep her hands down, but they could not move them, nor keep her fingers from opening and closing, and she tore out locks of her hair. Then she saw the triumph of the saints, and her shouts of triumph I can seem to hear even now." (General Conference Daily Bulletin 1/31/1893, 2/1/1893, pp. 59, 60)

One bit of caution here: Supernatural phenomena only tell us that the vision's source is more than human. Supernatural phenomena do not tell us which source the visions are coming from, for Rev. 16:14 does tell us that the devil can work miracles.

The video would like us to believe that Ellen White's visions were only human. That, however, is not plausible.

    "The Christian Ministry"  
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the Question

#113: "Dan Snyder followed in his father's footsteps by becoming a Seventh-day Adventist pastor. His examination of Ellen G. White's teachings caused him to eventually leave Adventism and enter the Christian ministry." (Ibid.)

The Adventist ministry is not a Christian ministry. This is the last point from the video identified as begging the question in this critique.

What solid evidence has been presented on this video that would show us that Seventh-day Adventists are not Christians?

Besides, under #232, Dan Snyder informs us that he was a Christian for 28 years while still a Seventh-day Adventist:

The last three years have been the most spiritually rewarding of my thirty-one years as a Christian.

During part of this 28-year period, Dan Snyder was also a Seventh-day Adventist minister. So by Dan Snyder's own testimony, the Adventist ministry must be a Christian ministry.

    "Most of Her Health Advice"  
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#114, #115, & #116: "Researchers examining the early documents containing Ellen G. White's advice on diet and health are usually in for a rude awakening. We must concede that she was, after all, a Victorian lady, with very reserved ideas on the opposite sex.†Most of her health advice had to do with bringing into submission the male sexual appetites, which she considered excessive."† (Dan Snyder)

#114: Rude awakening from the early documents containing advice on diet and health, because most of her health advice had to do with. . . . These statements are a gross exaggeration. Consider the following statistics:

The picture on the video at this point is of Health, or How to Live. The six Ellen White articles appearing in this pamphlet are now found in book 2 of Selected Messages, pages 411-479. These articles were first published in 1864, the year after her famous health reform vision. In 1865 in Spiritual Gifts volume 4a, a chapter entitled "Health" appeared on pages 120-151.

I did a computerized search in these two early documents for:


If you aren't sure why I searched for some of the terms that I did, it may become clearer to you under #117.

In the Health, or How to Live articles, I found statements dealing with morality, some very brief, on 11 to 14 pages out of 69. Of these references, brief or otherwise, there was one statement about the "moral pollution" before the Flood, three statements dealing with the present immoral state of society, four statements about the physical and mental results of immorality, four statements about the causes of immorality, two statements on the Christian duty to be morally upright, and one statement on the need for thinking about the upbringing of children before bringing them into the world. (Some statements hit more than one category, and three pages contained statements that were vague: Were they talking about liquor or morality?)

In Spiritual Gifts volume 4a, out of 32 pages, I found statements touching on morality on 5 pages. Of these there were two statements dealing with before the flood and Sodom and Gomorrah, three statements about the present immoral state of society, two statements dealing with the physical and mental results of immorality, one statement about the causes of immorality, and one statement on the Christian duty to be morally upright.

Anyway, of these two early documents on diet and health comprising 101 pages, but 16 to 19 pages had any reference somewhere on the page to issues of morality, identifiable by the use of the search terms above. That's 16% to 19%.

In 1864, Ellen White's 30-page pamphlet, Appeal to Mothers, was published, which dealt almost exclusively with the subject of morality, though it also deals with some practical points relating to religious instruction and child-rearing. Since it should probably be called an early document on morality instead of an early document on diet and health, it probably should be left out of the discussion, but we'll throw it in anyway.

27 of its 30 pages had some mention of morality somewhere on the page. Throwing it into our previous statistics, we now have 43 to 46 out of 131 pages dealing with morality, or 33% to 35% of the total number of pages.

If we adjust the percentage to account for the fact that Appeal to Mothers had fewer words on the page than the other documents, we end up with but 28% to 30%.

So that's what we come up with even when we skew the numbers in favor of the argument by 1) counting a whole page when only part of a page deals with morality, and 2) throwing in a book that's really on morality rather than on health and diet.

#115: Most of her health advice. In the previous number I dealt with the question of Ellen White's early documents. The statistics on her two earliest works dealing specifically with health show clearly that "most" of them did not deal with morality.

But Mr. Snyder does not clearly say at this point that he is only talking about her early documents. It seems to sound like he is talking about all Ellen White's health advice. The idea that most of her health advice concerns morality issues is absolutely ludicrous.

Out of the 622-page Counsels on Health, a minor portion talks about morality, modesty, etc. The average born-again Christian would appreciate most, if not all, of what she wrote in this portion.

Whatever portion of her book Ministry of Healing that deals with the subject is likewise small.

#116: Male urge. Technically, it is not the male sexual appetites that are excessive per se, but the indulgence of them. Would any born-again Christian disagree that there is all too much promiscuity today?

Anyone who has read what Ellen White wrote on the subject will notice that she doesn't just talk about men. She also spends a good bit of time talking about women, even describing death-bed confessions by ladies who admitted that their own sinful practices were the cause of their dying.

But most of her health advice did not deal with this topic.

The Documentation Package offers no proof or statistics to substantiate this charge.

Some might wonder what prompted James White to issue the pamphlet Solemn Appeal, which is quoted so much by the video. The immoral practices of a Seventh-day Adventist minister named Nathan Fuller had recently come to light, in which practices he had involved some of the members of his congregation (Ellen G. White: The Progressive Years 287). Guess if I had been a church leader back then, I would have been concerned about morality too.

    "Secret Vice and Lots of Diseases"  
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[My apologies for including the following. It doesn't appear in all copies of the video. My feeling is that someone must have realized how ridiculous this was, and left it out of the second edition of the video.]

#117 & #118: "She singled out the practice of masturbation which she called secret vice or solitary vice as the basis for almost every disease." (Ibid.)

"Mrs. White felt she had been given special light on the subject of masturbation. Along with her ideas her husband James also quoted others with similar views and published them in A Solemn Appeal. 'There is hardly an end to the diseases caused by solitary vice; dyspepsia, spinal complaint, headache, epilepsy, impaired eyesight, palpitations of the heart, pain in the side, bleeding at the lungs, spasms of the heart and lungs, diabetes, incontinence of the urine... rheumatism, affected perspiration, consumption, asthma...' A Solemn Appeal p. 12." (Narrator)

#117: Felt she had been given special light. The Documentation Package supports this one under "Point 58" with a statement by her grandson, Arthur White: ". . . a subject on which she had been given special light--masturbation." Thus the Documentation Package proves that her grandson felt she had been given special light, but it provides no evidence that Ellen White herself felt she had been given special light. Maybe she did feel this way, but the Documentation Package which is supposed to substantiate this point doesn't provide any evidence about how she herself felt.

It may not be easy to identify what "special light" Ellen White was given on the subject, since it appears that whatever she was actually shown in vision was already considered common knowledge in the medical circles of the time.

#118: Apparently, Mrs. White's list of diseases. The average viewer will think that Mrs. White wrote the selection just quoted. However, she did not. Notice how the narrator said that James White also quoted others in the book Solemn Appeal, but then there is no clear identification of which things Ellen White wrote and which things she did not write. The average viewer will not be able to distinguish which were her specific teachings and which were someone else's.

The reason I say what I do about the average viewer is this: When I first saw the video, I was listening very intently. I was certain that the video was saying that Ellen White wrote these things.

It would appear from #122, #123, #124, and #125 that the video is intending to connect these statements to Ellen White rather than to James White. #119 gives this impression as well.

The quotation as it appears on the video is not accurate. It combines a quotation from a Mrs. Gove, a "celebrated physiological lecturess" with a reference to the views of Dr. Deslandes (neither of whom were, to my knowledge, Seventh-day Adventists). The video adds words to the quotation that do not appear in Solemn Appeal, and deletes words and quotation marks found in Solemn Appeal without using an ellipsis. That this is true is apparent from "Point 59" of the Documentation Package.

Solemn Appeal was written by James White, not Ellen White. He included some of what his wife had written, as well as some things by Mrs. Gove and Dr. Deslandes. Also cited in Solemn Appeal are Sylvester Graham (from which graham flour and graham crackers are named); Rev. E. M. P. Wells, teacher in the school of moral discipline in Boston; William C. Woodbridge, a well-known educator; Dr. Woodward, celebrated superintendent of the Massachusetts State Lunatic Hospital; Todd; Dr. Goupil; Dr. Dwight; Prof. O. S. Fowler; Margaret Prior; Dr. Combe; Dr. E. P. Miller; E. M. R. Wells, a teacher in Boston; Dr. Alcott; Dr. Snow of Boston; Dr. J. A. Brown of Providence; Adam Clarke, the Wesleyan Commentator (an extensive quotation is taken from p. 417 of volume 1 of Clarke's Commentary); and Dr. Trall.

A portion of Wesleyan commentator Adam Clarke's comments should be noted:

It excites the powers of nature to undue action, and produces violent secretions, which necessarily and speedily exhaust the vital principle and energy; hence the muscles become flaccid and feeble, the tone and natural action of the nerves relaxed and impeded, the understanding confused, the memory oblivious, the judgment perverted, the will indeterminate and wholly without energy to resist; the eyes appear languishing and without expression, and the countenance vacant; the appetite ceases, for the stomach is incapable of performing its proper office; nutrition fails, tremors, fears, and terrors are generated; and thus the wretched victim drags out a most miserable existence, till, superannuated even before he had time to arrive at manís estate, with a mind often debilitated even to a state of idiotism, his worthless body tumbles into the grave, and his guilty soul (guilty of self-murder) is hurried into the awful presence of its Judge! Reader, this is no caricature, nor are the colourings overcharged in this shocking picture. Worse woes than my pen can relate I have witnessed in those addicted to this fascinating, unnatural, and most destructive of crimes. If thou hast entered into this snare, flee from the destruction both of body and soul that awaits thee! God alone can save thee. Advice, warnings, threatenings, increasing debility of body, mental decay, checks of conscience, expostulations of judgment and medical assistance, will all be lost on thee: God, and God alone, can save them from an evil which has in its issue the destruction of thy body, and the final perdition of thy soul!

Undoubtedly Mrs. White agreed with a bit of what these physicians, professors, lecturers, and preachers taught, but we must be careful not to assume that she or her husband agreed with everything these folk said. James White sometimes would print an article of someone else's, without agreeing with absolutely everything in that article.

One thing she did agree on was the effect that masturbation has on mental health. The doctors above who worked with mental patients found that a high percentage of these patients, both men and women, had problems with masturbation.

A scientific basis for such a connection is documented in "Appendix A" of Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce. Several medical authorities are cited which did make such a connection. Two of these authorities pointed out, in 1978 and 1981, that those engaging in such a practice could easily become deficient in zinc, and since zinc is necessary for proper brain function, then the practice could lead to insanity (269, 270).

(It really seems insane that at this day and age of safe sex and AIDS, that a video put out by Jeremiah Films would criticize someone's stance on the need of morality and virtue.)

That self-abuse does deplete the body's zinc levels is at least true for men, but there may be some mechanism in the body that would make it true for women as well. Since the whole topic of zinc's many roles in the body is so new, relatively speaking, there may not be any research on this yet. Or, there may be some other essential nutrient whose levels in the body are adversely affected by self abuse.

Back in 1870, Ellen White wrote a pamphlet called Appeal to the Battle Creek Church, which was later adapted a little and then published in volume 2 of Testimonies for the Church. Besides referring a number of times to the reprehensible conduct of Nathan Fuller (see #116), she made these interesting statements:

Sexual excess will effectually destroy a love for devotional exercises, will take from the brain the substance needed to nourish the system, and will most effectively exhaust the vitality. (Testimonies for the Church 2:477)

The body is enervated, the brain weakened. The material deposited there to nourish the system is squandered. The drain upon the system is great. (Ibid. 470)

Given the following facts, Ellen White's statements are truly remarkable:

Human zinc deficiency was not described until 1963, and it took an additional 10 years before it was confirmed and accepted that zinc is an important nutrient for humans. (1999 Encyclopedia Britannica "Nutrition: Recommended Intakes of Nutrients: Inorganic Elements")

Features of zinc deficiency in humans have been protean: various combinations of loss of taste, retarded growth, delayed wound healing, baldness, pustular skin lesions, impotence in males, infertility in females, and reduced immunity to infections. (Ibid. "Nutrition: Deficiency Diseases: Inorganic Elements")

Zinc is an essential trace element in the human body, where it is found in high concentration in the red blood cells as an essential part of the enzyme carbonic anhydrase, which promotes many reactions relating to carbon dioxide metabolism. The zinc present in the pancreas may aid in the storage of insulin. Zinc is a component of some enzymes that digest protein in the gastrointestinal tract. (Ibid. "Zinc")

Who told Ellen White that there was a " substance" or " material" connected with the brain or with brain function (there are high concentrations of zinc in the hippocampus), which at the same time is connected with the nourishment of the system? Who told her this a century before it was confirmed and accepted that zinc was an important nutrient for humans? Where did she plagiarize this from, pray tell?

Perhaps you'd like a little more information on zinc. It follows below. But here are first a few more observations:

  1. Ellen White connected self-abuse with poor memory, stunted growth, lethargy, irritability, and depression (Appeal to Mothers 6, 7; Testimonies for the Church 2:391). Since self-abuse does lower zinc levels, at least in men, and since zinc deficiency does result in poor memory, stunted growth, lethargy, irritability, and depression, her connection definitely makes sense.
  2. Given the need for zinc for the proper function of so many processes in the body, including the immune system, it is not hard to see how zinc deficiency could result in the greater susceptibility of many diseases.
  3. "Cancerous humor, which would lay dormant in the system their life-time, is inflamed, and commences its eating, destructive work" (Appeal to Mothers 27). So said Ellen White regarding one of the effects of self-abuse . . . in 1864! Who told her that cancer could lie dormant and then be activated? Who did she plagiarize this from? (Some data on this topic appears at the very end of this section.)

First, here is some information on zinc and the brain. A brand new discovery by the Salk Institute for Biological Studies was just reported in January 1999:

Zinc has long been recognized as an essential trace element, and a current study led by Salk Institute investigators shows it to be an integral part of ion channels, structures that regulate communication among nerve cells.

The study, which appears in the current issue of Nature Structural Biology, may explain why zinc deficiency has been linked to cognitive impairment.

"We don't know yet what zinc is doing, but it is definitely a component in these essential structures," said Senyon Choe, an assistant professor at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies and senior author on the study. "And it was surprising--at first we tried to disregard it, thinking it must be a contaminant, but, of course as you try to disprove it, it keeps coming back."

Ion channels are important "gatekeepers" that regulate the way ions such as calcium and potassium flow into and out of cells. Their flux is necessary for important neuronal processes. Calcium streams into brain cells and helps to initiate changes that accompany learning. Abnormalities in potassium channels have been found in some epileptics and in persons with both insulin-resistance and mobility disorders. . . .

Neuroscientists have known for decades that dyes that bind to zinc stain brain cells in unique patterns, indicating that zinc should have a role in brain function and studies have shown that zinc can enhance learning in undernourished children. The nature of zinc's organization in the brain, however, had been unclear. (http://www.salk.edu/news/releases/details.php?id=48)

Ellen White is still current, even if her statements are nearly 140 years old. Today's scientists are still playing catch up to what she wrote back then.

The International Dietary Energy Consultative Group issued a paper entitled "Undernutrition and Behavioral Development in Children." Under a heading of "Potential mechanisms of zinc deprivation effects on behavior" appeared a table with this data:

Roles of zinc in the CNS:

  1. Protein structure (zinc finger)
  2. Enzyme activity (catalytic site)
  3. Neurotransmitter action (ligand gated ion channels)
  4. Hippocampal function (mossy fiber system)

Extra-CNS influences on CNS function:

  1. Neurotransmitter precursor production (liver)
  2. Hormone/growth factor transport and receptor binding
  3. Receptor binding (GH, NGF)
  4. Hormone/toxicant metabolism (liver, testes)
  5. Energy supply (pancreatic insulin production)

Indirect influences on CNS function:

  1. Adrenocortical activation due to starvation
  2. Altered tissue trace metal content, especially copper
  3. Smaller body size due to reduced food intake/growth
  4. Selective mortality (http://www.unu.edu/unupress/food2/uid04e/uid04e0g.htm)

One of the leading experts in the field of zinc nutrition pointed out the following:

Zinc deficiency in humans is associated with apathy, lethargy, amnesia, and mental retardation, often with considerable irritability, depression and paranoia (Prasad et al 1978). . . .

McLardy (1973) observed a 30 percent deficit of Zn brain content in early onset schizophrenics and chronic alcoholics. Other researchers have observed a decrease in hippocampal Zn in schizophrenics (Kimura and Kumura, 1965). ( Carl C. Pfeiffer, Ph.D., M.D. and Scott LaMola, B.S., " Zinc and Manganese in the Schizophrenias," http://www.orthomed.org/links/papers/pffschz.htm)

Here is some information on how zinc affects other parts of the body as well as the brain:

Zinc is an essential trace mineral occurring in the body in larger amounts than any other trace element except iron. . . .

Zinc has a variety of functions. It is related to the normal absorption and function of vitamins, especially the B-complex. It is a constituent of at least 25 enzymes involved in digestion and metabolism, including carbonic anhydrase, which is necessary for tissue respiration. Zinc is a component of insulin. . . . It also plays a part in carbohydrate digestions and phosphorus metabolism. In addition, it is essential in the synthesis of nucleic acid, which controls the formation of different proteins in the cell. . . .

Recent medical findings indicate that zinc is important in healing wounds and burns. (Nutrition Search, Inc.'s Nutrition Almanac 90, 91)

Acrodermatitis enterophatica is presently the most well recognised human zinc responsive syndrome attributable to an inherited defect of zinc absorption [165]. However, there are also a variety of other conditions that have been found to respond to zinc therapy, such as idiopathic hypogeusia [4,144,145,166], improvement in wound healing [4,167-169], gastric ulcers [4,170], acne [4,171], rheumatoid arthritis [4,172], as well as dyslexia [173]. In addition, an inadequate zinc nutriture has also been linked with a variety of immune deficiency disorders [4,16,46-53], including cancers in both animals and in humans [174-176]. Furthermore, zinc deficiency have been suggested to participate in the development of AIDS [4,12,177]. In fact, as zinc is absolutely vital for an efficient immune system function, inadequate zinc status should always be corrected in all patients found either to be HIV-positive, or have AIDS, in order to stimulate their immunocompetence [4,12]. ( Tuula E. Tuormaa, "The Adverse Effects of Zinc Deficiency: A Review from the Literature," http://www.foresight-preconception.org.uk/summaries/zinc.html)

In animals, zinc deficiency is characterized by retarded growth, loss of apetite, skin disease, reproductive problems, and poor wound healing. Many of the same characteristics, as well as accelerated atherosclerosis, are now being described in humans who are zinc deficient. (Agatha Moody Thrash, M.D. and Calvin L. Thrash, Jr., M.D., Nutrition for Vegetarians 76)

Here was a study about the effect of zinc on both growth and mental function:

The most improved growth also occurred after treatment with zinc plus micronutrients; micronutrients alone had an intermediate effect and zinc alone the least effect on growth. In contract, mental function showed the greatest improvement after treatment with zinc plus micronutrients and zinc alone. (Harold H. Sandstead, et all, "Zinc, Growth and Brain Function, Some Observations from a Repletion Trial in Chinese Children," http://www.nal.usda.gov/ttic/tektran/data/000008/57/0000085765.html)

When Ellen White talked about dormant cancer in 1864, she called it "cancerous humor" rather than "cancerous tumor," as if what was lying dormant within the body was something less than a tangible solid or mass. We will see under #121 how in 1905 she connected cancer to an infectious agent, thus predating by five years Francis Peyton Rous's radical and revolutionary theory that viruses cause cancer.

But the idea that something lying dormant within the body, connected with viruses, might cause cancer, was something not proven until the 1970's, more than 60 years after Rous's work:

. . . [J. Michael Bishop], American virologist and co-winner (with Harold Varmus) of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1989 for achievements in clarifying the origins of cancer. . . .

In 1970 Bishop teamed up with Varmus, and they set out to test the theory that healthy body cells contain dormant viral oncogenes that, when triggered, cause cancer. Working with the Rous sarcoma virus, known to cause cancer in chickens, Bishop and Varmus found that a gene similar to the cancer-causing gene within the virus was also present in healthy cells. In 1976 Bishop and Varmus, together with two colleagues--Dominique Stehelin and Peter Vogt--published their findings, concluding that the virus had taken up the gene responsible for the cancer from a normal cell. After the virus had infected the cell and begun its usual process of replication, it incorporated the gene into its own genetic material. Subsequent research showed that such genes can cause cancer in several ways. Even without viral involvement, these genes can be converted by certain chemical carcinogens into a form that allows uncontrolled cellular growth. (see also Index: oncogenic virus)

Because the mechanism described by Bishop and Varmus seems common to all forms of cancer, their work proved invaluable to cancer research. By 1989 scientists had identified more than 40 genes having cancer-causing potential in animals. (1999 Encyclopedia Britannica, "Bishop, J(ohn) Michael")

Want to win a Nobel Prize?

  1. Find a concept in Ellen White's writings that sounds medically absurd, but that if proven true would benefit humanity.
  2. Find a way to prove it.
  3. Get ridiculed for proposing such a ludicrous idea.
  4. Wait awhile.
  5. Collect your prize.

It's that simple.

    "Green Skin"  
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[My apologies for including the following. It doesn't appear in all copies of the video. My feeling is that someone must have realized how ridiculous this was, and left it out of the second edition of the video.]

#119: "Ellen White was also concerned about children, and the ever-present danger of secret vice. James White included this quote as a warning to parents. 'After having indulged in this habit for a time, the child loses its bright and happy looks; it becomes pale with a greenish tint...' A Solemn Appeal p. 91." (Ibid.)

Mrs. White apparently said kids will get green skin. Since the picture being shown at this point in the video is of Ellen White's Appeal to Mothers, and since the narrator immediately before the quotation from Solemn Appeal refers to Ellen White, the viewer is led to think that this is what Ellen White herself said. The truth is simply that she never said this.

The video does not make it plain that James White is including a quote, not from his wife, but from E. P. Miller, M.D., physician of the Hygienic Institute in New York City. Ellen White never said anything about anyone having green skin.

To my knowledge, Dr. Miller was never a Seventh-day Adventist.

The Documentation Package has a photocopy of the quotation, but there is no way to tell from it that Ellen White did not say this. It cannot be seen who said it.

Those born-again Christians who have concerns about the morality of their children might want to read what Ellen White really did say about children and morality. They just might find something helpful.

    " 'Dispense with Animal Foods' "  
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#120 & #121: "But her belief was that these sexual appetites could be controlled by diet. First she gave a list of foods to avoid. 'Mince pies, cakes, preserves, and highly seasoned meats, with gravies... create a feverish condition in the system and inflame the animal passions... dispense with animal foods, and use grains, vegetables, and fruits as articles of diet.' A Solemn Appeal pp. 65-66."†
(Dan Snyder)

#120: Inflaming animal passions. Actually, the quotation is out of context. The impression is left that Ellen White said animal foods inflame the animal passions, when what she said was that highly seasoned meats inflame the passions. She was not saying that all meat dishes inflame the passions.

The first ellipse really shouldn't be there. The second ellipse represents an omission of eight and a half sentences. Here's the last part that was left out:

In order to strengthen in them the moral perceptions, the love of spiritual things, we must regulate the manner of our living, dispense with animal food, and use grains, vegetables, and fruits, as articles of diet.

Thus while highly seasoned meats inflame the passions, a vegetarian diet would help to strengthen the moral perceptions.

Actually, she is pretty balanced. She avoids extreme statements regarding the effect of meat eating upon one's passions.

Regarding preserves and cakes, she a number of times referred to "rich cakes and preserves" not being best for us. Thus she advocated staying away from rich foods, which many people who are not Adventists also feel is an important health principle. She was therefore specifically talking about the connection between the "animal passions" and rich and highly seasoned foods.

#121: Ellen White felt that rich foods and/or highly seasoned foods acted as aphrodisiacs. The problem with either verifying or disproving the accuracy of Ellen White's counsel in this area is, "Despite long-standing literary and popular interest in internal aphrodisiacs, almost no scientific studies of them have been made" (1999 Encyclopedia Britannica article on "aphrodisiac"). So Ellen White was making a pronouncement concerning which medical science today still has not verified or disproved.

As already noted under #118, this is not the only time Ellen White made statements in areas of medicine that no one had done research on yet. Consider this statement from her 1905 book Ministry of Healing:

Flesh was never the best food; but its use is now doubly objectionable, since disease in animals is so rapidly increasing. Those who use flesh foods little know what they are eating. Often if they could see the animals when living and know the quality of the meat they eat, they would turn from it with loathing. People are continually eating flesh that is filled with tuberculous and cancerous germs. Tuberculosis, cancer, and other fatal diseases are thus communicated. (313)

This is really remarkable, considering the following:

Rous, pronounced rows, Francis Peyton, pronounced PAY tuhn (1879-1970), an American medical researcher, proved that viruses cause some types of cancer. In 1910, Rous ground up a cancerous tumor from a chicken and filtered out everything larger than a virus. The resulting liquid produced cancer when injected into other chickens. For many years, scientists scoffed at Rous's discovery. These scientists believed cancer could not be caused by a virus because the disease is not contagious. In 1966, Rous shared the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine for his work. (1999 World Book Encyclopedia article on "Rous, Francis Peyton")

(b. Oct. 5, 1879, Baltimore--d. Feb. 16, 1970, New York City), U.S. pathologist known for his discovery of cancer-inducing viruses. In 1910 he found that sarcomas in hens could be transmitted to fowl of the same inbred stock not only by grafting tumour cells but also by injecting a submicroscopic agent extractable from them; this discovery gave rise to the virus theory of cancer causation. Although his research was derided at the time, subsequent experiments vindicated his thesis, and he received belated recognition in 1966 when he was awarded (with Charles B. Huggins) the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. (1999 Encyclopedia Britannica article on "Rous, (Francis) Peyton")

In 1910 a maverick scientist proposed that cancer was caused by a virus and could be transmitted from chicken to chicken. He was subsequently derided by the scientific community for proposing such a ludicrous idea. Yet five years previously, Ellen White had proposed the same idea.

Do you suppose that perhaps Mr. Rous came up with his novel idea after reading Ministry of Healing?

To be fair, it would have been nice if the video could have included one of a number of stories like this one in which Ellen White's health counsel predated the findings of science.

As Leslie Martin says on the video, in a statement not quoted elsewhere in this critique,

We were taught as Adventists that we had a special message for the world with our health message, and that our prophetess Ellen White was years ahead of her time.

Though Mrs. Martin may not want to admit it now, what she was taught about Ellen White being years ahead of her time is remarkably accurate.

Under #118 I gave you five sure steps to winning a Nobel Prize. Steps one and two were to 1) find a statement by Ellen White that sounds medically absurd, and 2) find a way to prove it. As already noted, "Despite long-standing literary and popular interest in internal aphrodisiacs, almost no scientific studies of them have been made." If a researcher had an interest, he might want to try this topic. He certainly wouldn't have much competition at this point. Yet I'm not sure how large a benefit to humanity this concept would be perceived to be.

    "Tea and Coffee"  
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#122: "Adherents were exhorted to 'Sip no more the beverage of China, no more the drinks of Java.' A Solemn Appeal p. 257."

No tea or coffee. These are the words of Professor O. S. Fowler, not Ellen White, from his 87-page-long section found in James White's book Solemn Appeal. The average viewer will not likely notice that it is the male narrator reading it instead of the female, which seems to have been the subtle clue for knowing which quotes were by Ellen White and which were by someone else. The Documentation Package gives no clue that Ellen White did not write this.

Also, the video edition that omits the embarrassing paragraphs above gives no clue that this is not Ellen White's writing. In this edition there is no brief explanation that James White put together Solemn Appeal with quotes of others as well as of his wife. Thus it makes the viewer believe that Ellen White said this when she did not.

If the video wanted to criticize Ellen White's views on tea and coffee, why didn't it quote what she said instead of what O. S. Fowler said?

Ellen White did take a stand against the use of drugs, including the caffeine found in tea and coffee. But then your doctor may have told you to kick these habits as well. It isn't easy, is it? Drugs are hard to get off, even these milder ones.

When you think about it, just about our entire nation is hooked on dope of some sort: caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and the narcotics we usually think of. Just think how the world would be a better place if we would take the money saved by not using these substances and spend it on helping people. And think of how much we would save in doctor's bills: Lung cancer and emphysema would become rare. The frequency of liver ailments and heart disease would lessen. Without the blood vessel constricting effects of caffeine, high blood pressure would be more easily controlled or cured. Without the sugar that often accumulates doses of caffeine and theobromine, dental expenses would drop.

Sounds pretty good. But again, Ellen White didn't write the words quoted on the video.

Professor Fowler's statement appears under "Point 62" in the Documentation Package. The fact that the Documentation Package uses a photocopy instead of computer-generated text from The Published Ellen G. White Writings on Compact Disk is evidence that Ellen White never wrote the above quote. If she had, the quote would have been on the CD-ROM.

    "No Suppers" 
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#123: "To bring under control the male sexual appetites, besides being vegetarians, it was advised by Ellen White that they not eat an evening meal at all."
(Dan Snyder)

Sexual appetites and supper. This charge is totally fabricated.

As already mentioned, she wanted not just men but also women to stay away from immoral practices.

The Documentation Package offers as proof for this charge page 259 of Solemn Appeal. This is under "Point 63." James White got this one from Professor Fowler, not Ellen White. This section by Professor Fowler was 87 pages long.

Ellen White never to my knowledge connected not eating "an evening meal at all" with control of sexual appetites.

As a good health practice, she did recommend for most people (not all people) two meals a day. If a third meal a day was eaten, it should be light and eaten several hours before bed time (Counsels on Diet and Foods 158). That way the stomach could rest with the rest of the body through the night. This makes good common sense.

There were folks in her day who tried to make the recommendation of two meals mandatory upon all. Against this idea she wrote:

The practice of eating but two meals a day is generally found a benefit to health; yet under some circumstances, persons may require a third meal. (Ibid. 176).

The next two pages comes down on those who would force two-meals-a-day on others. On page 178 she actually called for suppers to be served at Avondale College in Australia when they were not already being served. Her position consistently was that most, not all, would do better on two meals than three.

From the beginning she has been charged with the very extremism she tried to counter.

By the way, when well-known medical doctor Sang Lee, newly converted to Christianity, was first given Counsels on Diet and Foods, he was immediately intrigued to find some of his modern ideas as an allergist in the book. He immediately turned to the front of the book to find out where Ellen White got her Ph.D., not knowing that she had only reached the third grade and had died in 1915.

Why don't you check out a copy?

    "No Feather Beds" 
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[My apologies for including the following. It doesn't appear in all copies of the video. My feeling is that someone must have realized how ridiculous this was, and left it out of the second edition of the video.]

#124: "The book A Solemn Appeal also warned readers of the dangers of sleeping on feather beds '...sleeping on feather beds and feather pillows, in close, unventilated rooms... aids in inducing this vile practice of solitary vice...' A Solemn Appeal p. 96." (Narrator)

Feather beds and solitary vice. James White's Solemn Appeal contained a 21-page section by E. P. Miller, M.D., physician of the Hygienic Institute of New York City. These are Dr. Miller's words, not Ellen White's words, though the way that the video is put together does not make this plain.

What the video omits to say about Dr. Miller's thoughts on the matter is that it was a popular notion at the time that feather beds in small, unventilated rooms were unhealthful. Some even considered it a form of suicide to sleep on a feather bed in a seven by nine bedroom. Maybe it had something to do with the bed accumulating moisture or mold.

At any rate, the seven words omitted at the middle ellipsis stated clearly what the connection was that Professor Fowler had in mind: ". . . is another cause of weakness and therefore. . . ." Since sleeping on feather beds in unventilated rooms would cause one to become weak, then one would be more apt to engage in the practice.

The video really ought to be criticizing the doctors of that age instead of Ellen White, if they think there is a case to be made. But the criticizing of doctors who were never Adventists is not the purpose of the video.

Under "Point 64" of the Documentation Package appears a photocopy of the statement in question. Since Ellen White never wrote it, it wasn't on the CD-ROM, so a photocopy was resorted to.

    " 'I Need My Feather Bed' " 
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[This quotation does not appear in all editions of the video.]

#125: "Interestingly enough, Ellen White on one occasion requested that her feather bed be sent to her without delay." (Dan Snyder)

Ellen White wanted her feather bed. Apparently Mr. Snyder did not read well the previous quote from Dr. E. P. Miller, the non-Adventist physician. Dr. Miller said that feather beds were unhealthful in "close, unventilated rooms." Ellen White never said she was going to use her feather bed in a close, unventilated room, so she was not contradicting her own advice, advice she had never given anyway.

The implication the video tends to leave one with is that Ellen White was against all feather beds because they led to secret vice, and yet hypocritically used a feather bed contrary to her own advice. Of course, such an implication is complete nonsense, as the objective reader can plainly tell.

Many Adventists do not know how Ellen White's fourth son died. She had four sons, and the first and last died from similar causes.

To be specific about her fourth son's death, according to her testimony in the January 1, 1872, issue of Health Reformer, and the January 2, 1872 issue of Advent Review:

I have had a very afflicting experience in sleeping in damp beds. I slept with my infant two months old in a north bedroom [in someone else's house]. The bed had not been used for two weeks. A fire was kindled in the room, and this was considered all that was necessary. Next morning, I felt that I had taken cold. My babe seemed to be in great pain when moved. His face began to swell, and he was afflicted with erysipelas of the most aggravating form. My dear babe was a great sufferer for four weeks, and finally died, a martyr to the damp bed.

The death of this son, John Herbert, occurred in 1860.

So you can be sure that Ellen White, when she requested her feather bed to be sent in 1878 to where she was in Texas, planned on using it in a well-ventilated room. She knew by experience the importance of this as a measure for good health, without even connecting it with "secret vice."

No evidence is given under "Point 65" in the Documentation Package that Ellen White was going to use the feather bed in an unventilated, small room.

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[My apologies for including the following. It doesn't appear in all copies of the video. My feeling is that someone must have realized how ridiculous this was, and left it out of the second edition of the video.]

#126: "In the famous Battle Creek Sanitarium, while still under Adventist control, the so-called cure for secret vice was practiced. 'A sitz bath may be taken... at as low a temperature as can be tolerated without chilliness. Give at the same time a hot foot bath, and apply cool wet cloths to the head... a wet girdle may be worn... especially at night... Cool bathing of the parts affected is also beneficial.' A Solemn Appeal p. 271." (Narrator)

The so-called cure. Actually, hydrotherapy is a potent treatment for a variety of ailments. But first: This one becomes a bit of a joke when one reads the Documentation Package.

This is listed as "Point 66." In the index under "Point 66," it says:

The Battle Creek cure for "secret vice" used when EGW and Dr. Kellogg ran the sanitorium [sic].

Jeremiah Films told me that they couldn't help me regarding all the errors and inaccuracies I saw in the video. They said I had to talk to Lorri MacGregor of MacGregor Ministries, since she wrote the script. On January 4, 2000, I sent the following email, to which I received no reply:

[Solemn Appeal] was published in 1870. At that date Kellogg was still a teenager and had not yet attended medical school. He came on board the sanitarium staff in 1875 or 1876, five or six years after Solemn Appeal was written.

In other words, what is being described was not the "Battle Creek cure . . . when . . . Kellogg ran the sanitorium [sic]." To continue with my email:

So did EGW run the sanitarium? James White had a stroke in 1865 which took him mostly out of the work for a number of years. The sanitarium was started in 1867. James and Ellen were living in northern Michigan at the time and did not move back to Battle Creek till a little before Solemn Appeal was written. So EGW could not have been running the sanitarium. She never ran any institution, in the normal sense of the words. She only sat on one board, and that was of Madison College, after the turn of the century.

Solemn Appeal page 271 is what is copied in your documentation to substantiate point 66. Page 268, written by James White, explains that the treatment advised is based on a large number of cases dealt with by the managers and physicians of the sanitarium. Understandably, these large number of cases would have been dealt with when the Whites were still living in northern Michigan, far from Battle Creek where the sanitarium was located.

So the video and your documentation should have been criticizing the doctors of the time, not Ellen White.

The hydrotherapy treatment described isn't even the whole "Battle Creek cure." It was only one part out of five. The five part-treatment in Solemn Appeal was

1. Diet and Regimen. . . . 2. Sleeping. . . . 3. Bathing. . . . 4. Exercise. . . . 5. Social Surroundings. . . .

This treatment is listed in the section entitled "Hygienic Treatment."

Hygienic physicians, such as Dr. E. P. Miller whom we referred to earlier, avoided drug therapy with its side effects. They used hydrotherapy treatments to stimulate the circulatory system and enhance the immune system. Studies have shown that the white blood cell count is elevated after hydrotherapy treatments.

Ellen White advised a form of hydrotherapy for a malarial patient from Allegan, Michigan, who promptly recovered (Manuscript Releases 20:279). Physicians at the General Conference sessions near the turn of the century reported the success they were having using hydrotherapy for a form of malaria. Their success was not attended with the side effects of drug therapy. Even in cases when quinine was unsuccessful, the hydrotherapy treatments worked (General Conference Bulletin June 1, 1909, no. 16, p. 236; June 6, no. 20, p. 324; June 7, no. 21, p. 357).

I know of a physician who periodically has problems with bowel obstructions, and treats it with a form of hydrotherapy. She has thus avoided surgery a number of times.

Eden Valley's Lifestyle Center operates similarly to the hygienic institutes of old. The five-part treatment mentioned above is followed, with the addition of therapeutic massage, sunshine, temperance, fresh air, and trust in divine power. (See Eden Valley's Lifestyle Center page).

The success in treating a variety of lifestyle diseases, like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, is remarkable. Even cancer patients find their way to the Eden Valley Lifestyle Center. If you have a problem, give Eden Valley's Lifestyle Center a try.

[The above is not intended to serve as the diagnosis of any disease, or as a prescription for treatment. If you have any of these problems, you should seek professional help and an evaluation by a health professional.]

    "Man on Ice with Feet in Boiling Water" 
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[The following does not appear in all editions of the video.]

#127: [The picture used as the background for the previous quote. The picture is of a naked man sitting in a basin of ice water on top of an ice block. He is shivering. His feet are in a basin of boiling water which is on top of a camp fire.]

The picture in the background. The average viewer will likely miss this. An easy-to-see copy appears in the Documentation Package under "Point 66."

This picture would seem to be entirely out of place in a documentary film. Rather than informing the viewer of what was actually done, the picture is really a caricature intended to ridicule the whole idea of hygienic hydrotherapy treatment. It in no way illustrates how such a treatment is done.

Under #126, the quote appearing on the video said that the sitz bath should be "at as low a temperature as can be tolerated without chilliness." Obviously, since the man is visibly shivering, the treatment is being done improperly.

The hot foot bath is not supposed to have the source of heat under the basin. Hot water is to be added by pouring. The proper way to do it is to have one's hand in the water as one is pouring it. Thus if it is too hot, the one adding the water will be able to tell before great discomfort is felt. And the hot foot bath may be contraindicated with diabetics.

WARNING: If anyone attempts to administer a hydrotherapy treatment as it is depicted on this video from Jeremiah Films, he or she could very well be sued by the injured party.

[The above is not intended to serve as the diagnosis of any disease, or as a prescription for treatment. If you have a health problem, you should seek professional help and an evaluation by a health professional.]

    "No Wigs" 
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#128 & #129: "Women were not immune from Ellen G. White's health advice either, and she further controlled her female followers by issuing directives on their hairstyles and manner of dress. Speaking of wigs and other hair pieces she said, 'The artificial hair and pads covering the base of the brain, heat and excite the spinal nerves centering in the brain... in consequence... many have lost their reason and become hopelessly insane, by following this deforming fashion. Yet the slaves to fashion will continue to thus dress their heads, and suffer horrible disease and premature death...' The Health Reformer October 1, 1871." (Dan Snyder)

#128: Control of female followers with directives. Ellen White did not issue "directives" on dress, not did she try to control her "followers." Hear what she says regarding the reform dress, referred to under the next section:

Some who adopted the reform were not content to show by example the advantages of the dress, giving, when asked, their reasons for adopting it, and letting the matter rest there. They sought to control others' conscience by their own. If they wore it, others must put it on. They forgot that none were to be compelled to wear the reform dress.

It was not my duty to urge the subject upon my sisters. After presenting it before them as it had been shown me, I left them to their own conscience. . . .

Some were greatly troubled because I did not make the dress a test question, and still others because I advised those who had unbelieving husbands or children not to adopt the reform dress, as it might lead to unhappiness that would counteract all the good to be derived from its use. (Testimonies for the Church 4:636, 637)

It is quite apparent that Ellen White was against issuing directives on dress. Others did and wanted her to as well, but she refused to. Once again she has been charged with the very extremism she sought to counter.

#129: Ellen White was against wigs. Ellen White's statement has nothing to do with wigs. There is not a single reference to the word "wig" or "wigs" in all her published and released writings. The impression is left that Ellen White condemned simple wigs, which she did not. The context of the above statement reveals clearly what Ellen White was talking about:

Fashion loads the heads of women with artificial braids and pads, which do not add to their beauty, but give an unnatural shape to the head. The hair is strained and forced into unnatural positions, and it is not possible for the heads of these fashionable ladies to be comfortable. The artificial hair and pads covering the base of the brain, heat and excite the spinal nerves centering in the brain. The head should ever be kept cool. The heat caused by these artificials induces the blood to the brain. . . .

The unnatural heat caused by these artificial deformities about the head, induces the blood to the brain, producing congestion, and causing the natural hair to fall off, producing baldness. Thus the natural is sacrificed to the artificial.

Many have lost their reason, and become hopelessly insane, by following this deforming fashion. Yet the slaves to fashion will continue to thus dress their heads, and suffer horrible disease and premature death, rather than be out of fashion.

The White Estate posted this at their web site (www.whiteestate.org):

In the context of today's comfortable wigs, critics tend to ridicule this statement. But Mrs. White was referring to an entirely different product. The wigs she described were "monstrous bunches of curled hair, cotton, seagrass, wool, Spanish moss, and other multitudinous abominations." [The Health Reformer, July 1867] One woman said that her chignon generated "an unnatural degree of heat in the back part of the head" and produced "a distracting headache just as long as it was worn."

Another Health Reformer article (quoting from the Marshall Statesman and the Springfield Republican) described the perils of wearing "jute switches"--wigs made from dark, fibrous bark. Apparently these switches were often infested with "jute bugs," small insects that burrowed under the scalp. One woman reported that her head became raw, and her hair began to fall out. Her entire scalp "was perforated with the burrowing parasites." "The lady . . . is represented as nearly crazy from the terrible suffering, and from the prospect of the horrible death which physicians do not seem able to avert." [Ibid., January 1871]

With reports such as this in the public press, it is easy to understand why Ellen White would warn women against the possible dangers of wearing wigs and trying to "keep pace with changing fashion, merely to create a sensation." [Ibid., October 1871]

So Ellen White was not condemning the use of a simple wig. But please, leave those jute switches alone. You might go crazy!

The Documentation Package under "Point 67" gives no evidence that Ellen White was talking about what we today call wigs.

    "A Skeleton in the WIndow" 
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#130: [The picture used to illustrate the previous number. It consists of a skeleton looking through a window at a lady who is fixing her hair before a mirror.]

The picture. This category is a short one. This is the last improperly used picture noted in this critique.

The major problems with the picture, as can be seen from the context cited under #129, is that:

  1. The picture does not show the lady's head loaded.
  2. It does not show her head taking on an unnatural shape.
  3. It does not show her wearing a wig which would make it impossible for her to be comfortable.
  4. It does not show a wig that would cover the base of the brain.
  5. It does not picture a style of wig that could be called a deformity.

For these five reasons, this picture does not illustrate at all what Ellen White was talking about.

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