Talk:Ellen G. White

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  1. April 2004 – April 2006

Article title[edit]

The Adventist News Network Glossary recommends White's name be written out as "Ellen G. White", per the current title. I suggest we might as well go by this for this article. This form does appear frequently in the literature. Colin MacLaurin (talk) 00:41, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Rebuttal Additions[edit]

I am having trouble finding a way to correct something on the article about EGW. It says that she advocated vegetarianism not "troubled with moral issues about the treatment of animals" or something to that effect. I don't think that is true. For instance, here is an excerpt from her book Ministry of Healing, in the chapter Heaven's Best Foods. "the moral evils of a flesh diet are not less marked than are the physical ills. Flesh food is injurious to health, and whatever affects the body has a corresponding effect on the mind and the soul. Think of the cruelty to animals that meat-eating involves, and its effect on those who inflict and those who behold it. How it destroys the tenderness with which we should regard these creatures of God!" I could not find out how to create a new account, my computer would not let me, or I would have tried to edit the article. Please respond somewhere here that this has been received. shiloh72.236.102.125 (talk) 00:34, 3 January 2009 (UTC)-- (talk) 00:34, 3 January 2009 (UTC) I added a new rebuttal to the charges of mental illness. We need to find an equal rebuttal for each accusation for a balanced NPOV. Druidan 22:26, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

The criticisms and responses need to be seperated more clearly and given equal weight. Responses to the criticisms, should not be intermixed with the criticisms themselves. This is not an article to vindicate Ellen. Also at the moment there is much more weight on defending her. Wjhonson 22:42, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
I completely agree with Wjhonson. This page seems to have a clear apologetic spin which is nice for evangelical tracts, but violates the NPOV policy. --Awakeandalive1 01:02, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
After reading article I must agree with the two comments above; the article reads more like a church publication than an encyclepedia entry. It is defensive and not at all impartial. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:31, 21 April 2007 (UTC).
I agree. Particularly the spin added by the alternative theories to her mental illness. Information received could easily be from her religious background. --smioid 13:32, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

The question then becomes one of truth. If the truth of gravity were being debated, i would assume (quite safely) that there would be more weiht on the side of the validity of gravity. Thus, for a NPOV on gravity, one would have a "it neither exists nor is it imaginary" stance. That, my friend, is total pillocky.

Another example: If the discussion were started about Hondas beingmore reliable than Fords, something already based on opinion, and was backed by facts supporting it, and those facts weighed more heavily in the scalesof truth, if you disagreed with it you would claim "unbalanced," where, if you agreed you would claim "balanced." The truth remains that the article may have started out as an assumption on opinion. Perhaps, but has since been proven to be true.

There is no logic to you're statement. Simply because one side is more supported does not unbalance the POV.

Or, for a metaphorical approach, POV is opinion, not fact. POV is a kind of porn, not a kind of music.

--MilquetoastCJW 16:16, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

I think it is possible to follow NPOV and still have the criticisms in the same section as the response. Being careful to avoid the apologetic tone in both the criticism and the response are unrelated to whether they are together or not. It is easier to read when they are together, as you can get a balanced view without looking down the page for a response. Ansell 09:40, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

NPOV? I believe most Adventists would disagree with the statement that Ellen White is a "religious leader like Mary Baker Eddy and Joseph Smith, Jr", even if many others might see her this way. Could we discuss the arguments for and against this comparison, or improve on the neutrality of this statement? Colin MacLaurin 16:27, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

I have changed the statement to read that although parallels can be drawn with the abovementioned leaders, her teachings are more orthodox. I believe this is a fair compromise. --Colin MacLaurin 09:16, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Shouldn't the both the criticism and response sections be moved to the "criticism of..." page? Surely the main article can just state the general facts? Those who want criticism can find it elsewhere, those who want apologetics can find it elsewhere. This is meant to be an encyclopaedia article right? — Preceding unsigned comment added by DJMaher90 (talkcontribs) 06:41, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Unreferenced statements[edit]

Removed the following from the page as they have been marked with no activity to reference the statements.

  • Suppression of damaging writings [citation needed]
  • progression of maturity in vision as she ages (attributed by Adventists to a closer relationship with God — such as Enoch was alleged to have had)[citation needed]
  • visions incongruent with later scientific knowledge (rather than biblical knowledge)[citation needed]

Ansell 08:17, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Many Adventists accept the progression of her views. See for example this article by Alden Thompson suggesting that her views on the joy experienced by John the Baptist changed. Other Adventists holding to a stricter "verbal inspiration" view may disagree. Colin MacLaurin 16:27, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Recovered deleted statement: Ellen White advocated vegetarianism, "which is also scientifically proven to be a beneficial lifestyle today." This is widely believed today, so it or a similar statement should be citable. Colin MacLaurin 07:22, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Major Reorganization, June 24, 2006[edit]

I have spent some time trying to reorganize this article so that it reflects more than the debate between proponents and critics of Ellen G. White. Regardless of whether you believe in Ellen White's writings (or whether or not you are a Seventh-day Adventist or a believer in a related movement), she is a fascinating individual. Her life documents a fascinating aspect of American religious history. I hope that this article on Wikipedia can be written in such a way that her unique contributions can be appreciated by rising above some of the material listed on this discussion area.

What I have attempted to do is to reorganize the principle material into biographical sections that reflect distinctive eras of her life. These sections need to be expanded with more details about her life (for example no mention is made of her children yet) and her major teachings (the latter needs special attention).

As a case in point about rising above the debate between believers and critics is the issue of amalgamation. I think that this is a particularly troubling statement for believers of Ellen White's writings yet neither does it prove that she was a racist. In fact her overall life and ministry show that was a constant advocate for the rights of slaves. Early Sabbatarian Adventists were ardent abolitionists. Recent scholarship by Timothy G. Standish suggests that there several plausible explanations for these troubling statements on amalgamation that make her statement on immalgamation inconclusive. Based on the very limited evidence Standish suggests that it is impossible to know for sure what she really meant by this statement except that it seems pretty clear that it was likely not intended to be a racial statement. With that being said, I think an encyclopedia article such as wikipedia should try to stick to what is truly important about her life and ministry. Such an article should show her broader contributions to American culture without getting bogged down into minutia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Thewalkingstick (talkcontribs)

>>Right on. --MilquetoastCJW 16:07, 4 August 2006 (UTC)


The photographs link seems very relevant to me. These are pictures of her siblings, parents, husband, self, children, etc. Very relevant to an article about Ellen. Wjhonson 05:49, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Stylistic Question about Ellen White's Visions[edit]

I have seen the style of this article change several times with reference to Ellen White's visions. Some contributors would like to add "claimed to receive" in reference to her visions stating that to simply say she had a vision is a POV. While I recognize that NPOV means that you want to be fair and balanced, to constantly imply that she "claimed to receive" can be taken as a perjorative phrase which is also a POV. Thus, it seems to me that both critics as well as apologists of Ellen White will continue to disagree with regard to the origin of her visions, I have yet to find a reputable scholar who brings into question Ellen White's integrity in claiming to have visions at all. As a Ph.D. student in American Religious History (in the final stages of dissertation writing) I would suggest that it simply state her significant visions and to discuss the nature and origin of her visions separately. Readers can draw their own conclusions as to the nature of these visions and discuss their significance developmentally as to how they impacted her theology, life, and practice. Before we go back and forth and make further changes I think it would be advisable to discuss this further in this discussion area. I also compared this article to the one on Mary Baker Eddy and Joseph Smith, Jr. and I do not see others inserting phrases like "claimed to receive" (especially for Smith) with regard to his theophanies/visions.~~thewalkingstick~~

Upon close inspection of the article Joseph Smith, Jr. I do note that it says he "reported a vision" or other such phrases. However, I am not sure how consistent the article is in its wording. The article Early Life of Joseph Smith, Jr. (which is a featured article) is also careful in how it approaches visons and whether they are merely claims. MyNameIsNotBob 08:44, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

As an aside, I've met many people who claimed to have visions. In the psychiatric unit where I worked, we called them "hallucinations". The thing is, it is all so subjective. When the person having the "visions" is the only one who can validate them, that puts the observer into a quandry - i.e., if person "A" sees castles in the sky, we call them great religious visions from God. If person "B" sees the same thing - they are mentally ill and must be medicated. Is this not the height of hypocrisy? Why does EGW get a "free pass" when if the same thing were to happen if an average person stood up in any of our churches today, we'd escort them out as being mentally unstable? Standing for Truth 14:34, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Rea and Numbers[edit]

I modified the section on plagiarism to correct the mistaken order of the dates of publication of the books by Numbers and Rea. "Prophetess of Health" was actually published first (1976, by Harper and Row), and "The White Lie" came out second ( by M & R Publications, in 1982). A new edition of "Prophetess" was issued in 1992, which I suppose is what led to the error. I tried not to alter too much the existing content, but I did add that Rea had been a pastor, and that his book contained a particularly energetic critique. I have not mastered wiki editing, so I could not easily add the correct reference material, but I hope somebody does. Gogh 23:32, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Criticisms and Responses[edit]

I added an introductory paragraph (borrowing the first sentence from the next section) to try to soften the impression left by this entire section that the discussion of EGW's visions can be simply divided into those who are either critics or defenders. I think I would prefer a more nuanced discussion of each "criticism" one at a time, including a range of both positive and negative positions, but I do see that many here have concluded that the current organization is more clear. Gogh 00:03, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Confirmation from Ellen White Estate[edit]

I would like to suggest that there needs to be some kind of a confirmation of the information contributed in this article by the folks at the Ellen White Estate. Much of what's presented in this article is superficial representation. It's like someone writing about Abe Lincoln and describing his life as a boy who grew up to be a lawyer and debated often in his Indiana home town. While there is some truth to that, it doesn't really tell the story of our former president. I am not sure who all of the folks are who are watching this article, but you could do a lot more by communicating with the Seventh-Day Adventist leaders when it comes to making this article accurate. Currently, it has a definate critical slant that seems to display a one sided view and less of a biographical story. I am a Seventh-Day Adventist Pastor and would love to contribute to the accuracy as well as the interest of the article. I know the folks at would also love the opportunity to verify what's written here. I have no beef with those who want to present the critical view, but at least present both sides clearly if the article is to include criticism, and attempt to make the article informative rather than a debate. Those here who claim that contributions regarding her life and writings are merely apologetics and violate the rules will have to settle for a second class encyclopedia as the information will be severely lacking. I appreciate the note here stating that she is at least an interesting author and personality and even if criticized, a responsible treatise would require allowance of arguable material. Please consider carefully what additions and deletions are made in the formation of this article, and feel free to contact the White Estate before making a judgment and change. John —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Pilgrimsroad (talkcontribs) .

The White Estate has not been asked to contribute or look at anything that I am aware of (I am responsible for the White Estate Branch Office at Loma Linda University). What I am suggesting is that we need to have a team of historians edit and contribute to this article (both Adventist and non-Adventist) and that once it is up to a quality standard such as writing an article for an Encyclopedia (which I have done before) that it be locked or at least more difficult to alter. I found it especially troubling that when I have tried to make changes in the past that even historical minor details, such as stating Ellen White had a vision are met with skepticism (that only the term "alleged" satisfies what they allege is NPOV). I find that strange because when I present scholarly papers at conferences and I reference a vision of Ellen White I can state when and where she had it, of course the source of her vision is what is in dispute. Thus, the current article as it stands appears to me to be heavily biased against her and there is a strong unwillingness by those who have contributed to put aside biases. I would suggest that the article be modeled after similar biographical treatments of Ellen White such as are in the Dictionary of American Biography (which as I recall was written by Richard Scwarz I believe).
thewalkingstick 9 Jan 2007
Pilgrimsroad, thank-you for your comment. Indeed, Wikipedians try to "recruit" editors who are experts in their fields, so in this case having more Adventist theologians, White Estate staff, and also pastors such as yourself is desirable. However they are still subject to fundamental Wikipedia principles such as Neutral Point of View (NPOV) and do not officially have a higher editorial status than other users, although in practice their contributions ought to be respected - especially if they state on their user page, for example, what their qualification is. I also encourage you to be bold and edit yourself!
Thewalkingstick, your contributions as an expert are very valued by this community! Thank-you for getting involved. Regarding the comment about locking, I understand that similar notions have been discussed for Wikipedia-wide implementation, but no such system is currently in place. Rest assured that other editors have shared the same concerns! Regarding the Dictionary of American Biography, citing established notable resources such as these is the best one can do. However most contributors would not have access to it, so could you comment on its stylistic choice? Note that Richard Schwarz is an Adventist, but I imagine that for inclusion in the dictionary it must be written from a NPOV. Cheers, Colin MacLaurin 20:00, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

New sub-article[edit]

I have started a new article prophetic gift of Ellen White, which discusses the prophetic ministry of Ellen White - how her inspiration worked, her authority in the Adventist church today, etc. The section Arguments for and Against the Validity of Ellen G. White's Writings is quite long and would be better placed in this new article (with a brief summary left behind), would you agree? This present article would remain primarily a biography, with shorter summaries of other issues. --Colin MacLaurin, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

The only thing I would have against such a split is if it was not a legitimate fork. It appears to be legitimately forking as a result of the length of this page being too much, and that it is a separate issue which is mixed with a general adventist versus non-adventist view of prophetic ministries in general. Ansell 07:04, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
There is a frequent need to link to an article on her prophetic ministry specifically. For example, pages discussing Adventist theology discuss Ellen White's prophetic ministry, not her biography (see Seventh-day Adventist doctrine#Spirit of prophecy for example). The suggested article allows for natural inclusion into the Category:Seventh-day Adventist theology, because it is a theological belief we have. But the Ellen White page itself would not belong in this category, because it is not the existence of the person Ellen White or her biography which is being discussed in this situation. (I do agree however that the two are fairly closely related). --Colin MacLaurin 15:49, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
The "Debate" section is way too long. It takes up like a third of the article! The vast majority of this information/debate should go on the Inspiration of Ellen White page (which itself needs a lot of work). Very little of it should stay here, considering this is a biographical page, not a page about her visions or their validity. Also, some other parts should move to the other page, too, making this more strictly biographical. I am hesitant to be bold myself, since I know that some people have worked hard on this. I'd rather let a user that's worked here make this change, since it is a major one. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 21:32, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
Tom, I think it would fine if you moved that portion; you're absolutely correct. This article should, however, leave mention that there is an on-going debate. -- (talk) 20:57, 11 March 2009 (UTC), aka MilquetoastCJW

Links to writings[edit]

I do not think that we should be reverting the addition of links to her writings as vandalism. The edits IMO are good faith, and they link to materials which according to US copyright law are in the public domain. The author died in 1915, and the mandatory 70 years would put the end of copyright at 1985 right? If I am wrong sorry. Ansell 09:56, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

In a sense you are correct that some of Ellen White's writings are obviously in the public domain (if they were not renewed). What is questioned is that her published writings in electronic format are often vandalized and even put on the web in their electronic format which was put together in the late 1980s and early 1990s by the Ellen G. White Estate and thus in their current, electronic format are copyrighted. There are a number of pirated versions of the White Estate's CD-ROM of her writings that are illegally produced and put on the web as well which is problematic and is thus discouraged.

thewalkingstick 9 January 2007


The article states that she received her first vision in 1845. From memory, Douglass in Messenger of the Lord says it was December 1844. Please check this information. -Colin MacLaurin 15:44, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

December 1844 is the correct date. In addition to Messenger of the Lord confirmation for the Dec. 1844 date can be found in Spiritual Gifts vol. 2 (1860) which is the earliest and most extensive biographical treatment. See also Early Writings by Ellen G. White (1881) that contains some of her earliest writings as well. Thewalkingstick 17 January 2007

The legacy section that discusses the E.G. White Estate could reference But some of the statements need other references

External links[edit]

I generally dislike lengthy and uncritical external links section. So I have taken a chainsaw to the links section here. Below are the links I removed. If someone feels a need to return any of them, please justify each one. -Fermion 06:57, 17 January 2007 (UTC)



Writings online[edit]

Why do we have to support and advertise the following links:


(snip... by CM)

why not instead create a section called Critics and summarize? see [Bill O'Reilly (commentator)] Controversies, critics, and rivals section as an example. They summarize the critics and spin off the rest. I really thing the article could be better. The critical section is too long in my opinion and a reader could get lost in it. The main article should touch all aspects of her life, but then elaborate on the sub pages. Just a thought. --Maniwar (talk) 03:31, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Prioritizing the links[edit]

I suggest that we attempt to define the best external links. Certainly the clump of 10 or more which has appeared on many pages could be considered spam, but instead we could discuss which ones are the most important. As an Adventist myself, I have no motivation to link spam the article with critical links, but I do think that one or two good links is justifiable if they are good sites and notable.

  • Dale Ratzlaff is a very prominent critic. He is a former Adventist, and some books he has written have created quite a splash (as well as a video he was a part of). Apparently Jud Lake, professor of preaching and Adventist studies at Southern Adventist University described him as the fountain head of all critics at the 2005 Ellen White Summit.[1] Highly notable Walla Walla College theologian Alden Thompson certainly thinks Dale is notable.[2] Now, I find some of his personal websites quite unnattractive and with only limited content, however he is the new editor at, a critical website. This is the best site I know of. It has a lot of information, is attractive, and in my opinion has a more NPOV tone (it is less harsh) than some other critical website. Several former Adventists have contributed to it. So I suggest that this site be given #1 priority for a critical external link.
  • Possibly exAdventist Outreach would be the second most notable? The guy behind it, J. Mark Martin is a former Adventist, and has a big church of 10,000 people apparently.[3] Their ministry Grace Upon Grace Productions published a critical video, significant enough that the Adventist church responded with a video of their own. However I think there is less content than, and the focus is less specifically on Ellen White, which this article is about.
  • As for positive links, of course the official Ellen White website should be #1. It is very comprehensive, has most of her writings online, and represents a broad spectrum of contributors from conservative to progressive and is hence fairly NPOV.

I don't think we should allow external links to her books which point to highly POV sites. The books may be the same, but it is also advertising for the site. Instead, links ought to point to the White Estate site above. (The only negative with this approach is that other sites may have a more attractive format). Colin MacLaurin 06:39, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Removed from the article:

Please justify why this is the third most notable critical external link after the other two already given. Colin MacLaurin 11:21, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Cultural heritage[edit]

Can anybody tell what race this woman was? Black? White? Mulatto?? Sure can't tell from the picture (could go either way) and it doesn't say anywhere in the article... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 22:21, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

The White Estate has an article addressing this question here. A quote:
"...Consequently, the White Estate’s current position regarding Ellen White’s ancestry is based on two professional genealogical studies, both of which demonstrated that Ellen White was of Anglo-Saxon origin."
Colin MacLaurin 20:40, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I removed the term "mulatto" from the relevant text in the article and replaced it with a different phrase. The wikipedia entry for "mulatto" notes that the term is considered to be offensive by many English-speaking people. This does not by itself mean the term should not be used, but since there are alternative ways of expressing the same thing, and this alternative is actually more specific and clear, I think it is preferred in this case.Gogh 17:12, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Suppose that she were a mulatto. Would she then have written that the amalgamation of races is abhorrent? And would she have had expected this to be taken seriously? Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:29, 30 December 2016 (UTC)

"Failed prophecies" (from edit reverted 6 March 2007)[edit]

I'm not sure why this edit was reverted. Now granted, I'm not the user who made the edit, and I only really skimmed the addition. However, it seemed to me that this edit meets verifiability as source citations are given throughout. Perhaps it's simply a formatting problem? If so, I'd suggest we work on cleaning up the edit to conform with Wikipedia style, rather than deleting it altogether. Thoughts? -- SwissCelt 05:22, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

The main reason I reverted the edit was because it was in the wrong place, as you can see from here [4] the page was messed up because of improper formatting and placement. The editor did not take a moment to place it correctly in the document or even in the correct place. Secondly, that entry is more of POV because there is no support to back up the charge. They simply list the supposed prophecy, be it out of context, with no explanation or support. Thirdly, that most like would be better suited for the Criticism article or the article dealing with her prophecies. That is just three reasons why it was reverted as vandalism. It really does not meet verifiability because of earlier reasons pointed out, so it falls short of meeting several requirements. I hope that answers your questions. --Maniwar (talk) 20:48, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. I'm reading the section more closely this time, and it seems these "failed" prophecies are simply statements Ms. White had made. It seems the reader is supposed to infer how these statements are "false" or "failed". So although it's sourced, it wasn't (with all due respect) a good edit. Ironically, had you said vandalism was the reason you reverted, I probably would have looked more closely the first time, and answered my own questions. But then, I can't fault you for assuming good faith. Kudos on your watchfulness, and thanks! -- SwissCelt 04:48, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I actually meant to say that. Too many times I get distracted and lose my train of thought. You said it well. --Maniwar (talk) 14:54, 8 March 2007 (UTC)


Previously there were mentions of White's doctrine of amalgamation ie. animals and humans mating to produce blacks and Indians. She did teach this and it should get a mention. Also there should be more about her anti-Catholicism. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 18:08, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

There are races of men that are amalgamated, but not with animals. She doesn't suggest that races of people are mixed with animals, but races mixed with races. The Mexicans are a new race, created by the amalgamation of the Spainish and the natives of the what is now Central America. The Philippinoes are a mix of Spanish and the natives of what is now known as the Philippine Islands.
Actually in a defense written by Uriah Smith 8 years later (which was signed off on by Ellen's Husband), he makes it very clear that she is talking about mixing man with beast and that some races such as the Hottentots were the result. (talk) 17:01, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

The amalgamation of animals is not hard to imagine if you believe people lived to be over 900 years old at that time. What else will they do with their time.

And all the protestant reformers where "anti-Catholic", (Huss, Jerome, Luther, Zhwingli,, Tyndale,Knox, Cranmer, Williams, The Wesleys, Calvin, Miller, Edson).

All of these reformers identified the Pope as the "son of perdition", "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." (2 Thesselonians 2:4

Also, all agree that this power was the "little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land."

  • "Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host.."
  • "And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time."

The "time and times and the dividing of time" or 42 months, or 1260 days (all the same) is mentioned all through Revelation as well. This is 1260 literal years which started in 538 A.D. when the last nation of Europe had given over control to the Pope, and ended in 1798 when Pope Pius VI was dethroned by Napolian's General Berthier (this is also when the French revolution began)

Shortly after this, France passed a major seperation of church and state law which was already being enjoyed in the United States.

If you only consider the historical record of how millions of protestants have been burned at the stake, and slaughtered en masse by Bishop-hired mercenary armies, you will understand why these reformers where "anti-Catholic".

Don't let the Pope fool you. He's not innocent. If he where given control of the government again, he would do the same thing. And people would still worship him.

  • Revelation 13: "..and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority."
  • "..and all the world wondered after the beast."

This is not "Catholic bashing", but it's the acceptance of the three angel's message that is to prepare a people for second comming of Jesus. Part of this message is: "..Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."

The wine of fornication is the mixture of religions.

The same message is repeated in Revelation 18, with greater detail.

It's important to understand what it means to "worship the beast" if you want to avoid doing so. Don't let any non-commandment keeping minister tell you that it's not important, or that it's has some opaque, metaphorical meaning, or that it's impossible to understand.

I will find or create a more extensive study.

Rush4hire 11:18, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

New article on criticism[edit]

The criticism section has become very long so I created a new article "Criticism of Ellen White" where all the issues can be addressed thoroughly. Johnathankincaid (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 18:25, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

I can't find a policy or guideline about critical articles - just an essay. Yet I can't see the need for this new article. There are already places on other articles for extensive criticisms. Why duplicate? For criticism of her alleged inspiration, see Inspiration of Ellen White#Critical views. I added the expansion request for this section over a year ago, but no one apart from me has contributed material (at least not referenced and in due weight). For criticism of her particular teachings, why not recreate Teachings of Ellen White (presently a redirect), which for NPOV would include critical POVs also? Colin MacLaurin (talk) 05:44, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Please reply on that page. Colin MacLaurin (talk) 03:41, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Hi, I think a separate article on the Criticism of Ellen White allows for the topic to be explored in depth without creating an imbalance on the main article. There should be a link provided. Also, I have provided citations for the amalgamation discussion and plan to remove the citation alert. Any thoughts? DonaldRichardSands (talk) 04:01, 28 March 2011 (UTC)


I could not find any reference for Ramik's supposed quote that White's writings are "decidedly unplagiaristic". I am not disputing that this was in fact his conclusion, just that these were his precise words. Colin MacLaurin 14:09, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

hidden/invisible link[edit]

I have looked all through this page and can't find the link that goes to "Seventh-day Adventist Church" by way of "Seventh-day Adventist," but it is there somewhere. I haven't tried to look in the edit screen, just directly on the visible page. The link seems to be invisible. If anyone else can find it and fix it (to avoid the redir), that would be great! --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 02:00, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

This woman was an eugenicist and racist[edit]

This woman was a racist and eugenicist.This was normal while she lived, but this can't be forgotten. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:08, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

The article contains the accusation of racism, along with a troubling quotation that appears to be the basis for this comment. Is there a weight of evidence one way or the other on these issues? "Racist" is a strong label. Is there any verifiable evidence that she either did or did not support slavery and the racism common in her day?
That Ellen White has been accused of racism is verifiable. Whether she was racist, and to what degree on one side or the other, is a questions relevant to this biographical article in light of the vehement accusations. Is anyone aware of verifiable biographical material relevant to this question? A common theme one way or the other in her actions and words ought to either validate the accusations, or show them spurious in nature. What is the record of her life? Does it support this accusation? Wilderness Tech (talk) 04:25, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Eugenics? I'm calling bullshit on that one. And the argument against her being a racist can be clearly seen by reading her work on "duty to the Colored People" or somesuch title. Don't be ignorant. -- (talk) 21:02, 11 March 2009 (UTC), AKA MilquetoastCJW

Yes, Ellen G. White was a racist. I found eugenics' preaching of this American eugenist in dozens of sites.Agre22 (talk) 13:53, 21 October 2009 (UTC)agre22

Hi Agre22 and others,

It would be useful to have the citations for her eugenics writings. I am aware that Dr. Kellogg, after leaving the church, became involved in eugenics. The idea that EGW taught eugenics is new to me. Also, regarding EGW's approach to race, consider the story of Alonzo Barry. He was Adventism's second black minister (Kinney being the first). General Conference leadership fired Barry for poor financial management. Ellen White wrote the leaders and told them that they too had financial management problems and that they should rehire Barry. She included a $100 to help. The leaders followed her advice. Barry worked for the church until retirement. This does not sound like a racist woman to me. References are available if needed. DonaldRichardSands (talk) 04:11, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Dubious information about mercury poisoning[edit]

I'm glad the section about mercury poisoning has been tagged with citation needed. A fair portion of that section seems extremely dubious to the point of pure speculation which is hardly encyclopedic. I would suggest that if legitimate NPOV citations from neither apologists nor antagonists aren't found in a reasonable amount of time, it should be taken out of the article and archived until such a citation is found. I'm looking for something substantive, not saying no and some critic website saying yes. Certainly Dr. Kellogg or an associated doctor at Battle Creek Sanitarium that knew her for years would have written something if such were the case.

Note also that there are two sections with titles containing "Early Life" which need some resolution. Sdenny123 (talk) 19:16, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

If there's something spurious like this - feel free to remove it straightaway, especially since this page endures a lot of vandalism. Colin MacLaurin (talk) 08:54, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Responses to Criticism - Mental Illness[edit]

I'm not sure who wrote this segment:

Many times Ellen White had visions in the company of large groups of people. These visions were sometimes accompanied by unusual physical phenomena that all were able to witness. One such story relates how on several occasions witnesses recorded her holding a large family Bible for extended periods of time (in one case 20–25 minutes) at arms length just above her head while quoting Scriptural passages out loud; she would trace the verses in the Bible with her free hand as she spoke the words, and was apparently unaware of other people in the room. During such incidents, Adventists claim, several skeptics attempted to pull her arm down, as well as double-check the verses she was speaking aloud against the verses she traced with her finger. The story concludes that these unbelievers could not pull her arm down, and the verses were verbatim quotations from the Bible.

Being "unaware of other people in the room" and automatic writing (Eddy would be familiar with Bible verses) are symptoms of epilepsy. Also, "arms length" would not be "just above her head" unless she had very short arms. This sounds like a "miracle story" and really doesn't say much about Eddy's mental state. It remains undisputed that Eddy exhibited many epileptic symptoms and suffered a childhood head injury that she describes as the cause of her visions. (talk) 18:11, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Misplaced bit taken from Health reform section[edit]

I pulled this bit from the health reform section as it has nothing to do with the subject. Adding it here for now until a better spot for it can be found:

"Away from the pressing duties of church headquarters, Ellen White had opportunity to write, and she undertook the presentation of the conflict story as it had been shown to her more fully in further revelations. In 1870, The Spirit of Prophecy, volume 1, was published, carrying the story from the fall of Lucifer in heaven to King Solomon's time. Work with this series was broken off, and it was seven years before the next volume was issued." Auntie E. 06:25, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

About the scientific consensus upon masturbation[edit]

Why is it the scientific consensus? See the article masturbation with all its footnotes. Wikipedia editors have agreed discussing masturbation that it is indeed the scientific consensus that masturbation is healthy (from a medical science viewpoint). Therefore I will consider vandalism the removal of my comment. Tgeorgescu (talk) 10:33, 20 October 2009 (UTC)


An objective fact pertaining to the history of medicine cannot be reduced to a mere claim. It is an objective fact that Kinsey, Masters and Johnson have won the debate and the adepts of Tissot & vitalists have lost. This holds true regardless of which side of the debate one embraces. I put in the article a quote from the FAQ of the White Estate in order to show that these people aren't nuts or living their lives in denial, but they acknowledge real facts as real facts, i.e. acknowledge that mainstream medicine holds that masturbation is normal and healthy. Tgeorgescu (talk) 01:22, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

@User:Simbagraphix: The Szasz statement is as objective fact as anything could be an objective fact. Just mind that even the White Estate does not deny that Szasz is right in respect to the sweeping change which took place in medical consensus. Some fundamentalist adventists contend that the medical consensus is wrong, they do not contend that it did not change. So, having no response to the above, I have reverted your revert. My edits are thoroughly sourced and even the White Estate does not claim that they would be false. Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:11, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

The general view today, however, is that masturbation is normal and healthy.

— Ellen G. White Estate, Comments Regarding Unusual Statements Found In Ellen G. White's Writings [Adapted from Herbert E. Douglass, Messenger of the Lord: the Prophetic Ministry of Ellen G. White (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1998), pp. 489, 490.]

This looks to me that the White Estate corroborates Szasz view about the sweeping change in the medical consensus about masturbation. He could have used a more fussy language, but his point is nonetheless obvious and the White Estate does agree that such change really took place. Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:23, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

Besides, Ronald L. Numbers is a notable historian of science, widely recognized as an authority in this matter and his books constitute rock-solid reliable sources upon Mrs. White's views upon masturbation. So, he cannot be eliminated from the article just because you don't like his viewpoints. Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:49, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

I did not say that you have to agree with the medical consensus upon masturbation, what I am saying is that you should not attempt to deny that there is a medical consensus upon masturbation, nor deny that it had a sweeping change starting with Kinsey, Masters and Johnson applying evidence-based medicine to the study of human sexuality in general and masturbation in particular. Since if you were editing here in order to deny well-known objective facts, it would be an exercise in WP:CB. It would be a case of WP:COMPETENCE#Bias-based or even WP:COI. Tgeorgescu (talk) 23:35, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

The views of notable Adventists upon this issue could be compared to their opposition to the theory of evolution: denying that evolution is the scientific consensus in biology would make them the laughing stock of scientific journalism and of every scientifically educated person, since denying that biologists consensually support evolution would be delusional. Instead, they contend that the scientific consensus got it wrong. Tgeorgescu (talk) 13:26, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

It is the medical consensus that masturbation is both normal and healthy (DSM-5 does not claim otherwise, so it is not a mental disorder, masturbation and pornography just passingly appear in some descriptions of paraphilias) and the Merck Manual supports Szasz's view. So I think that now the veracity of the Szasz quote has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:56, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

Neutrality of the "Responses to Criticism" section[edit]

I am concerned that "Views on Masturbation" the "Responses to Criticism" section assumes that the reader is Christian, and furthermore that the reader considers the Seventh-Day Adventist interpretation of the Bible normative. Statements like "When considering the statements of critics, Christians should remember "To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." (Isaiah 8:20)" are not encyclopedic.

I volunteer to rewrite the "Views on Masturbation" section to present the Adventist position on Mrs. White's views, but without Christian preaching, if other readers of this page find that appropriate.

Serpyllum (talk) 21:04, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

I rewrote the section as proposed. Is there a reason that the NPOV critical links Colin MacLaurin recommended do not appear in the page? Serpyllum (talk) 21:00, 18 September 2010 (UTC)


According to Christian mysticism, "The mystic believes that there is an absolute and that he or she can enjoy an unmediated link to this absolute in a superrational experience." Winfried Corduan. Mrs. White claimed to be in contact with God, therefore she was a mystic. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:48, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Does this article need protection[edit]

This morning, there have been several opinionated sentences and inappropriate wording inserted into the text of this article. It seems that there may need to be some protection of the more scholarly text. DonaldRichardSands (talk) 10:20, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Disruption has the be sustained before protection is considered. If the issue is reoccuring I will ask for article protection. --NeilN talk to me 13:09, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Good. Wikipedia's strong point is its weak point. Eternal vigilance needed. lol. DonaldRichardSands (talk) 13:39, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Authorship of Solemn Appeal (1870)[edit]

It has been suggested that James White wrote A Solemn Appeal. Apparently, his name shows up on a printed edition of the work.

Consider the following regarding authorship of the quoted section in Ellen G. White. There are at least two primary sources for this quote: An Appeal to Mothers published in 1864 and A Solemn Appeal published in 1870. It has been suggested that James White authored "A Solemn Appeal". The White Estate rendition of A Solemn Appeal starts with this, "My Sisters: My apology for addressing you on this subject is, I am a mother, and feel alarmed for those children and youth who by solitary vice are ruining themselves for this world, and for that which is to come. Let us closely inquire into this subject from a physical, mental, and moral point of view. {SA 49.1}" Ellen White's authorship for 1864 An Appeal to Mothers has not been questioned as far as I know. The wording of the two works, i.e. Appeal to Mothers and Solemn Appeal, seem essentially the same. I am also intrigued with the change of gender pronoun. The quote used a masculine pronoun for Nature whereas the original seemed to be a feminine pronoun. (I fixed the pronoun problem. However, a person can go back in the article history and see the early version using 'he' instead of 'she'. Minor, but interesting. DonaldRichardSands (talk) 14:07, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
As I stated here, booksellers and scans all list Ellen G. White as the author. Sidreiners has not commented again. --NeilN talk to me 15:00, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Merger Proposal[edit]

I propose merging Criticism of Ellen G. White with Ellen G. White the current arangement has created some oddities, with some criticism appearing in both articles, some only in the criticism article, and some only in the main article. in addition to this "response to criticism" only appears in the "criticism article" and no response is provided in the main article. having 2 articles for 1 topic is a problematic content fork that we can address with a merger. we can consolidate all of the criticisms and responses into single sections. For example instead of having a section "mental illness criticism" and then have "response to mental illness criticism" in two seperate parts we can create a section "mental illness" and have sources from both sides in a single place. that is what we are here to do at wikipedia. NPOV isn't easy, but it is worth it :) Bryce Carmony (talk) 02:30, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

I disagree as it would unbalance the article, as you can always find sources to criticize persons of note, but that is not who they are. For example, we could write a article of the President and get everything that shows up in the news of his failures and resignations of his cabinet, but it would not be a true picture of his presidency, thus I disagree on a merge. I would propose taking the criticism to the other article and referring to that in this article...Simbagraphix (talk) 04:48, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
What you are proposing is called a "content fork" where 1 topic ( in this case Ellen G. White ) has 2 articles that are forked on a POV. this is against Wikipedia NPOV. Bryce Carmony (talk) 04:55, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
  • oppose I disagree the proposed merger. 1st, if the material were all included, it would appear to be WP:UNDUE and create an unbalanced article. 2nd, the topic itself would stand to WP:GNG, as not only has Ellen White been discussed in-depth by reliable sources, but her critics and criticism of her have been widely discussed by reliable sources. 3rd, the reasoning behind the policy on content forking is to avoid large-scale duplication of material on two different articles. Sub-articles, in order to move large amounts of sourced material on a particular sub-topic, has been a long-established practice. Adding a summary within the article with the main points, but moving the larger stand-alone material (making sure to highlight the sub-article within the main article) is good practice when the sub-topic becomes too voluminous. 78.26 (spin me / revolutions) 00:51, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support merging Criticism of Ellen G. White with Inspiration of Ellen White and/or Ellen G. White, as per WP:CRITS. It is preferable to avoid having "criticism" sections/articles because it consistently amounts to POV-forking (a failure to write content in a neutral manner). I suggest having more of a "reception" section, which explains the different views/impact of EGW held by various SDA subgroups, by most other christians, and by everyone else. Cesiumfrog (talk) 02:16, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Other than for articles about particular worldviews, philosophies or religious topics etc. where different considerations apply (see below)

Quoted by Tgeorgescu (talk) 02:30, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
What a cryptic response! Do you really feel it is impossible to incorporate this content in a way that does not confuse it with religious tenants? Is there a particular reason why you oppose having "reception" (instead of "criticism") in the heading? Cesiumfrog (talk) 03:34, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
I do not totally oppose it, I oppose it only if the article would get too large. In this case, it is justified to have more articles instead of one. Tgeorgescu (talk) 12:48, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
I know that we can merge the articles without confusing people. we can make sure that we clearly state what church stances are, and if there are any valid, verified, note worthy criticisms that meet Wikipedia standards we can include them in those sections but still clearly identify them as those of a critic and not church opinion. As for article length it is likely we will have to make additional articles. if the section on "Mental Health" gets sooooo long that we need to spin it off we can, we can spin out the article and in the main article leave just a brief summary. Length and clarity don't need to be problems and we can still respect NPOV. We have a lot of talented editors here I'm confident the end result will be so much better than what we have currently. Bryce Carmony (talk) 03:15, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Medical claims need MEDRS sources[edit]

I have removed a medical claim lacking WP:MEDRS sources. If "other specialists" means Horrobin, see this: The estate staff quotes conclusions by [[David Horrobin]] in support of Mrs. White's views. However, Horrobin was a researcher of dubious reputation according to his ''[[British Medical Journal]]'' obituary<ref name=ObserverStorm>[ "'A rotter, a snake oil salesman, a chancer' - how scientist's obituary sparked a storm. A vitriolic attack in the British Medical Journal has devastated eminent academic David Horrobin's family, reports Robin McKie"] Robin McKie, The Observer, in ''[[The Guardian]]'', 25 May 2003.</ref> and according to [[Stephen Barrett]] from [[Quackwatch]].<ref name=Barrett>[ "Primrose Oil and Eczema: How Research Was Promoted and Suppressed"] Stephen Barrett, Quackwatch, 31 January 2004.</ref> Tgeorgescu (talk) 01:25, 3 January 2016 (UTC)

Besides, it was a very WP:FRINGE medical claim, see this: In the US masturbation isn't a diagnosable condition since [[Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders|DSM]] II (1968).<ref name="Ley2014">{{cite book|author=David J. Ley|title=The Myth of Sex Addiction|url=|date=10 July 2014|publisher=Rowman & Littlefield|isbn=978-1-4422-1305-0|page=12}}</ref> The [[American Medical Association]] consensually declared masturbation as normal in 1972.<ref>{{cite journal|last1=Planned Parenthood Federation of America|first1=|author-link1=Planned Parenthood|date=March 2003|title=Masturbation: From myth to sexual health|journal=Contemporary Sexuality|location=Mount Vernon, IA|publisher=American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists|volume=37|issue=3|page=v|issn=1094-5725|oclc=37229308|quote=Finally, the American medical community pronounced masturbation as normal in 1972 American Medical Association publication, ''Human Sexuality'' (Rowan, 2000).}}</ref> Tgeorgescu (talk) 18:31, 3 January 2016 (UTC)

Per WP:GEVAL Wikipedia articles should not give the reader the impression that a meaningful debate would exist among scientists about "a link between masturbation and physical abnormalities". There is no controversy going on about such issue, except for the most fringe medical opinion, which has nothing to do with evidence-based medicine. We should not present the evidence-based medical consensus as dubious, nor present quackery as having scientific validity, nor indulge in conspiracy theories about mainstream medicine. Tgeorgescu (talk) 20:22, 3 January 2016 (UTC)

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I think the gist of Ramik's work is that White did not break any law of that time, nor she infringed the intellectual property of others, according to the laws of that period. "Conclusively unplagiaristic" does not discuss plagiarism in its academic sense, but strictly in a juridical sense. Does anyone know a WP:SOURCE which verifies this claim? Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:11, 30 December 2016 (UTC)

So, it is disingenuous to claim that Ramik cleared White of copy/pasting. He only passed judgment on illegal copy/pasting, according to the laws of her time. Tgeorgescu (talk) 12:13, 25 February 2017 (UTC)

White has copy/pasted huge chunks of text. This is an objective fact, and Ramik did not deny it. Tgeorgescu (talk) 12:39, 25 February 2017 (UTC)

So, the idea that Ramik cleared her of any plagiarism followed by a quote from her work wherein she admits that she used the works of others without giving them due credit is something worthy of the theater of the absurd, not of an encyclopedic article. Tgeorgescu (talk) 13:15, 25 February 2017 (UTC)

It's like Mr. Smith, being sued for the murder of Mr. Doe, receives a not guilty verdict and argues with the judge, "But, your honor, I did kill Mr. Doe!" Tgeorgescu (talk) 13:23, 25 February 2017 (UTC)

So, first came the quote from Ramik saying that White committed no plagiarism and then comes the quote from White wherein she stated that she had very good reasons for engaging in plagiarism. We do not have to be tarting the reason of our readers. The apparent contradiction is solved when we realize that Ramik only discussed unlawful plagiarism and he did not discuss academic plagiarism. Tgeorgescu (talk) 13:59, 25 February 2017 (UTC)

The quotes were WP:PAG-compliant, but the overall quality of the argument was worthy of Uncyclopedia. Tgeorgescu (talk) 14:22, 25 February 2017 (UTC)

When there is a plagiarism scandal involving a professor, nobody cares if the Police presses charges or if damages get paid for copyright violation. All what matters is copying the work of others without using quotation marks and without giving due credit. That's what plagiarism is for academics, it does not have to be a crime or civil law violation in order to have serious consequences for one's academic career. Tgeorgescu (talk) 16:00, 25 February 2017 (UTC)