Walter T. Rea

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Walter T. Rea (June 12, 1922 – August 30, 2014) was a former Seventh-day Adventist pastor known for his explosive book, The White Lie, revealing his research into literary borrowing and uncredited sources in the writings of church co-founder Ellen G. White.[1] His findings created turmoil in the Adventist Church regarding the inspiration and authority of White,[2] who is believed to have had a unique spiritual gift of prophecy.[3]


Rea was born in 1922. He died in August 2014.[4] Rea was a Seventh-day Adventist pastor in Long Beach, California, when he wrote The White Lie.[5] His church employment ended in 1980 after its publication.[6]

Ellen G. White[edit]

While there had been earlier allegations of plagiarism against Ellen G. White, Rea’s book, The White Lie, was unprecedented. He claimed his research identified that up to 80 or 90% of White's writings were plagiarized.[7] Rea was the first to document such large scales of borrowing, citing 75 books White depended on.[8] The Adventist denomination responded to these charges in various venues.[9][10][11] The church has continued to address related challenges in relation to understanding White’s inspiration, questions on the extent of the literary borrowing and its distinction to plagiarism, and issues of integrity in the absence of illegality.[11][12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Walter Rea Dies: Famous for Research on Ellen White | Adventist Today". Retrieved 2019-03-15.
  2. ^ Briggs, Kenneth A.; Times, Special To the New York (1982-11-06). "7th-Day Adventists Face Change and Dissent". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-15.
  3. ^ "The Gift of Prophecy :: The Official Site of the Seventh-day Adventist world church". Retrieved 2019-03-15.
  4. ^ ""Walter Rea Dies"". Retrieved Aug 13, 2019.
  5. ^ "The Great Controversy Over Plagiary: The Last Interview of Walter Rea". Retrieved Aug 13, 2019.
  6. ^ "'Report on Southern College,' Spectrum Journal, Vol. 13, No. 2, Dec. 1982. Page 13" (PDF).
  7. ^ From Controversy to Crisis: An Updated Assessment of Seventh-day Adventism by Kenneth Samples. Christian Research Journal 11:1 (Summer 1988)
  8. ^ Ostling, Richard N.; Jim Castelli; Dick Thompson (1982-08-02). "The Church of Liberal Borrowings". Time. Time Inc. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2007-10-22.
  9. ^ "Ellen G. White® Estate: The Truth About "The White Lie"". Retrieved 2019-03-15.
  10. ^ "Ellen White and Literary Dependency". Ministry Magazine. Retrieved 2019-03-15.
  11. ^ a b "Ellen G. 'White and the So-Called"Plagiarism" Charge: An Examination of Five Issues" (PDF).
  12. ^ "'Literary Borrowing,' in The Ellen G. White Encyclopedia".