Ellen White said this concerning the origin of her writings: "Although I am as dependent upon the Spirit of the Lord in writing my views as I am in receiving them, yet THE WORDS I EMPLOY IN DESCRIBING WHAT I HAVE SEEN ARE MY OWN, unless they be those spoken to me by an angel, which I ALWAYS ENCLOSE IN MARKS OF QUOTATION"  - Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 37

“The Spirit of God works upon my mind and gives me appropriate words with which to express the truth. I am also greatly strengthened when I stand before large congregations.” -- Letter 90, 1907.  {3SM 51.5}

Ellen said the words she used in her writings was her own, unless she was quoting a heavenly being; is this fact or is it fiction? The SDA Church admits today that this was indeed fiction; For example:

The White Estates now admits that in the Great Controversy 20.16% or 4325 lines were borrowed from other books.

Some suggest that not even 20% of the book originated with Ellen White.

"If every paragraph in The Great Controversy were footnoted in accordance with accepted practice, giving credit where credit was due, ALMOST EVERY PARAGRAPH WOULD BE FOOTNOTED." - Donald R. McAdams, speaking at the Glendale Committee Mtg., January 28 - 29, 1980 "Ellen G. White and Her Sources"

For example from page 317 to page 450 a great deal of the material is borrowed from Ellen’s late husband’s book “Life Incidents”, which was written in 1868.  http://www.ellenwhite.org/rea/rea9.htm

The White Estates admits that the book “Sketches From the Life of Paul” contained 12.23% or 1185 lines of ‘borrowed’ material.

NOTE: In 1883 the book entitled Sketches from the Life of Paul, by Ellen G. White was published. Immediately the similarities between this book and the book The Life and Epistles of St. Paul by the British authors W.J. Conybeare and J.S. Howson (1852) were being discovered. In fact, the similarities were so striking that Conybeare and Howson threatened the Adventist denomination with lawsuit if the book was not withdrawn. After several denials, as usual, Sketches was eventually withdrawn.

The White Estates admits that in the book “Steps to Christ” 6.23% or 196 lines were borrowed.

Does the White Estate admit that these percentages are the complete total of borrowing that exists in these books or are they simply the tip of the iceberg?  “It is important to understand that this report does not represent a final total of the extent of Ellen White’s use of literary sources, and it is not intended as such.” “ELLEN WHITE’S LITERARY SOURCES: HOW MUCH BORROWING IS THERE?” From the White Estates  http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/parallel.html

And what of the Desire of Ages which the White Estate fails to mention in their parallel page? Neutral scholars estimate that 35% of the book “The Desire of Ages” was borrowed from other authors. That is basically four out of every ten lines is borrowed from other authors.

In 1980, the SDA denomination asked Dr. Fred Veltman, who at that time was head of the department of religion at Pacific Union College, to analyze the charges of plagiarism Walter T. Rea and others had been making against Ellen White. Dr. Veltman researched the matter for eight years, at an expense of some 500,000 dollars, and the results of his research was published in Ministry magazine (November 1990). The conclusions were amazing!

"It is of first importance to note that Ellen White herself, not her literary assistants, composed the basic content of the Desire of Ages text. In doing so she was the one who took literary expressions [copied] from the works of other authors without giving them credit as her sources [plagiarism]. Second, it should be recognized that Ellen White used the writings of others consciously and intentionally. ... Implicitly or explicitly, Ellen White and others speaking on her behalf did not admit to and even denied literary dependency [copying] on her part.

"I must admit at the start that in my judgment this is the most serious problem to be faced in connection with Ellen White's literary dependence [copying]. It strikes at the heart of her honesty, her integrity, and therefore her trustworthiness. The content of Ellen White's commentary on the life and ministry of Christ, The Desire of Ages, is for the most part derived [copied] rather than original. . . .

"In practical terms, this conclusion declares that one is not able to recognize in Ellen White's writings on the life of Christ any general category of content or catalog of ideas that is unique to
her." (Fred Veltman, Ministry, Nov. 1990, pp. 11-12. Emphasis supplied.)

"Walter Rea's evidence and his conclusions will be and are most damaging to the faith of our membership in EGW. To say that "I saw" and similar expressions refer to cognizance and not to heavenly origins of the content of the visions is asking people to disbelieve what they have been taught all their lives. The obvious reading of the expression in its context would have you understand a heavenly source for the vision. This explanation forces the people to conclude that EGW's integrity cannot be assumed."

- Fred Veltman, "Report to PREXAD on the E.G. White Research Project" April 1981, p. 21


“From what writers did Ellen White borrow? What kinds of books were they writing? One obviously fictional account is Ingraham's The Prince of the House of David, a work that Albert Schweitzer referred to as one of the "edifying romances on the life of Jesus intended for family reading. Ingraham cast his work as a collection of letters written by an eyewitness in Palestine to her father in Egypt.” -- The Conclusions of Fred Veltman, Ph.D Taken from Ministry, December 1990

One must remember that Dr. Veltman's comments come from someone who is a friend, not an opponent, of the SDA church. Robert Olson, then secretary of the White Estate was asked by Ministry magazine if he was satisfied with Veltman's research:

“I am totally satisfied with this study. No one could have done a better job--no one. He [Veltman] did it as a neutral person would have and not as an apologist”.
Ministry, Dec. 1990, p. 16

The following is an example of Ellen White borrowing a whole paragraph from another author’s book and claiming that it is a testimony from the Lord.

“When I went to Colorado I was so burdened for you that, in my weakness, I wrote many pages to be read at your camp meeting. Weak and trembling, I arose at three o'clock in the morning to write you. God was speaking through clay. You might say that this communication was only a letter. Yes, It was a letter, but prompted by the Spirit of God, to bring before your minds things that had been shown me. In these letters which I write, in the testimonies I bear, I am presenting to you that which the Lord has presented to me. I do not write one article in the paper, expressing merely my own ideas. They are what God has opened before me in vision-the precious rays of light shining from the throne."…. "What voice will you acknowledge as the voice of God? What power has the Lord in reserve to correct your errors and show you your course as it is? ...
**If you refuse to believe until every shadow of uncertainty and every possibility of doubt is removed, you will never believe. The doubt that demands perfect knowledge will never yield to faith. Faith rests upon evidence, not demonstration. The Lord requires us to obey the voice of duty, when there are other voices all around us urging us to pursue an opposite course. It requires earnest attention from us to distinguish the voice which speaks from God.**" (EGW, Selected Messages, bk. l, p. 27.)

The following is the quote from the original source.

"We must not defer our obedience till every shadow of uncertainty and every possibility of mistake is removed. The doubt that demands perfect knowledge will never yield to faith, for faith rests upon probability, not demonstration.... We must obey the voice of duty when there are many other voices crying against it, and it requires earnest heed to distinguish the one which speaks for God." (Daniel March, Night Scenes in the Bible; Philadelphia: Zeigler, McCurdy & Co., 1823; p88)

In the following quote Ellen White quotes “John Harris” and claims she received it in a ‘vision of the night’

"At the Queensland camp meeting in 1898, instruction was given me for our Bible Workers. In the visions of the night, ministers and workers seemed to be in a meeting where Bible lessons were being given. We said, "We have the Great Teacher with us today," and we listened with interest to His words. He said: "There is a great ... " Ellen wrote in the Review and Herald of April 4,1899, which was also to later show up in her Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, pp. 5860.

What White claimed to be visions was actually copied from John Harris, The Great Teacher (Amherst: T. S. & C. Adams, 1836: Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1870) pp, 1418

The false assumptions concerning the writings of Ellen White has lead many a bright mind to leave the denomination.

The following was written by W.W. Prescott, biblical scholar; "Review" editor; founder of two colleges and president of three; former General Conference Vice President. He helped in amending and contributing to Ellen White's book material. He knew FOR HIMSELF that the books of EGW were not inspired, but compilations of other authors, which at least once included himself.  Here is a portion of a letter he wrote to W.C. [Willie] White (son of Ellen White):

"It seems to me that a large responsibility rests upon those of us who know that there are serious errors in our authorized books and yet make no special effort to correct them. The people and our average ministers trust us to furnish them with reliable statements, and they use our books as sufficient authority in their sermons, but we let them go on year after year asserting things which we know to be untrue. It seems to me that we are betraying our trust and deceiving the ministers and people. It appears to me that there is much more anxiety to prevent a possible shock to some trustful people than to correct error.

“Your letter indicates a desire on your part to help me but I fear that it is a little late. The experience of the last six or eight years and especially the things concerning which I talked with you have had their effect on me in several ways. I have had some hard shocks to get over, and after giving the best of my life to this movement I have little peace and satisfaction in connection with it, and I am driven to the conclusion that the only thing for me to do is to do quietly what I can do conscientiously, and leave the others to go on without me. Of course this [is] far from a happy ending to my life-work, but this seems to be the best adjustment that I am able to make. The way your mother's writings have been handled and the false impression concerning them which is still fostered among the people have brought great perplexity and trial to me. It seems to me that what amounts to deception, though probably not intentional, has been practiced in making some of her books, and that no serious effort has been made to disabuse the minds of the people of what was known to be their wrong view concerning her writings. But it is no use to go into these matters. I have talked with you for years about them, but it brings no change. I think however that we are drifting toward a crisis which will come sooner or later and perhaps sooner. A very strong feeling of reaction has already set in." --W.W. Prescott to W.C. White [son of EGW] April 6, 1915


Many of the Advent faith today point to the many health counsels that Ellen White gave and claim that she was years ahead of her time. Did she receive these teachings in vision or was it borrowed? One of the claims of the Adventist Church is that GOD showed Ellen that the brain ran on electric current; which was quite amazing, until I realized GOD didn’t show her this, but rather it came from a book by L.B. Coles which was published in 1855, eight years before Ellen’s health visions. Here is an example of her borrowing.

"Whatever disturbs the circulation of the electric currents in the nervous system, lessens the strength of the vital powers, and the result is a deadening of the sensibilities of the mind." (E. White Testimonies 11 p. 347)

"Whatever mars the healthy circulation of the electric currents in the nervous system, lessens the strength of the vital forces, and through them, deadens the native susceptibilities of the soul. (L. B. Coles, Philosophy of Health p. 266-67)

"The sympathy which exists between the mind and the body is very great. When one is affected, the other responds (E. White Testimonies IV, p. 60)

"The sympathy existing between the mind and the body is so great, that when one is affected, both are affected. (L. B. Coles, Philosophy of Health p. 127)

This short study into the literary borrowing (Plagiarism) of Ellen White merely skims the surface; it would take a very large book to fully examine the extent of this problem (There are several books already published concerning this subject). An honest investigation by anyone will reveal the same facts.

The questions that this raises in my heart are the following:

Can a person be considered ‘honest’ who borrowed profusely from other writers to create her books, without giving due credit; copyrighting the material in her own name and then receiving royalties from it?
(To say she did not understand ‘giving credit’ is a falsity; she asked that her words, when quoted by others be given proper credit. The ‘Review’ had an article speaking of plagiarism, and the uproar the book “Sketches From the Life of Paul” caused, taught her quite early to give credit where credit was due).

Can a person be considered ‘honest’ who borrowed from other writers, copy righted the material, received royalties from the material, and then denied ever borrowing?

If people still believe that GOD inspired Ellen White’s books, then do they believe that Marian Davis was inspired? James White? Prescott? Albert Schweitzer? J.N. Andrews? Uriah Smith? Or John Cummings was inspired? This is only a short list of the very many people Ellen White borrowed from.

Does simply putting Ellen White’s name on a book make it inspired? 

When the truth of Ellen’s White literary plagiarism was made public, many a person burnt her books, or sold them in yard sales, and even left the Adventist Church. Wouldn’t telling the truth about these books from the beginning have saved a lot of heartache?

Isn’t it sad to see ministers quote fallible bible commentary along side the Holy Bible, and teach people that the ‘fallible’ was inspired? If the ‘fallible’ was inspired, then the One who inspired it is fallible; is Jehovah fallible?

After seeing the facts about the ‘literary borrowing’, and many inconsistencies in Ellen’s writings (where she contradicts herself, contradicts the bible, or both); wouldn’t warning the brethren of these things be the most honest thing for a man of God to do?

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Babylon Forsaken

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                                 ELLEN'S PLAGIARISM