The Great Controversy Over Plagiary: The Last Interview of Walter Rea (Part Two)


(Elaine Nelson) #62

The Synoptic Gospel writers never claimed to have been active participants in the events they recorded as most were written at least a generation later. Even Luke begins his Gospel declaring he was not an eyewitness but reporting on what he had heard.

OTOH, EGW frequently described events which she had been shown in vision and told her by God. Was it God or events that later prove 1844 and the Shut Door as true or not?


(Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13) #63

Thank you.

The final paragraph reads,
“Will all friends of the Instructor write freely their own best and choicest thoughts, and quote from other writers if they desire, but let it be clearly known what is original with them and what is not?”

A screen shot for those who are interested in reading the piece in its entirety:
(Source: http://tinyurl.com/jkqevub)


#64

Hopeful (and others) have provided verbatim warnings about plagiarism right from the pages of our own denominational publications. How can anyone even try to pass off EGW as “not knowing any better” because there was no such thing as plagiarism in her time? What a crock!

Excuses. Excuses. Excuses. Lordy![quote=“Cassie, post:66, topic:12718”]
Adventism is very difficult to recover from for many, many people. Families have been destroyed, lives have been lost.
[/quote]

Cassie, is speaking from her heart here, and from her own personal experience. We should listen.

This idea, which seems deeply difficult for Adventist leadership to gets its arms around since the institution and its success seems to be the litmus test, is actually the bottom line and a recurring theme in Cassie’s postings. The young. The next generations. How many Adventists have lost their children over deception in the church? This impacts generations to come.

Because women are not involved in an empowered way as leaders in this church, the institution over people will continue to be top priority. When that changes, the church will become people-centered with Christ.


(Gerhard Dr Svrcek Seiler) #65

Thank you very much for the statemens you quoted.


#66

If my family’s experience is in any way instructive, it is a truly terrifying threat, and you don’t exaggerate, Chuck. Thank you for that.

Regrettably, I don’t see anyone else feeling terrified, even all these decades after the facts were laid out, which is even more terrifying.

Here’s something I said in January of 2015:

Regarding Erv Taylor’s remarks in aToday, Jim Moyers’ story is, in my opinion, an illustration that “What Shall We Do With Ellen White?” is about actual people, and not about the “long-term intellectual and theological health of Adventism in the 21st century,” or the “long-term viability and credibility of the Adventist faith community in the modern world among educated individuals.”

Adventism is very difficult to recover from for many, many people. Families have been destroyed, lives have been lost.

“Telling the truth about the Adventist prophet” would go far towards removing the onus of blame from those who went to the trouble of taking Ellen White as seriously as she told us we must, and suffered thereby, but would not, of course, heal the grievous harm done. But, to borrow Charles Scriven’s words, it would be a good first step.

Jim Moyers:. There was no one to whom I could turn with my increasing confusion about what was and was not true. Even those people I knew who, unlike me, seemed to be cheerfully engaged in every form of prohibited behavior they could think of, seemed to have no interest in questioning basic Adventist beliefs. Or at least they were not discussing any doubts that they may have had. Perhaps, like me, they simply didn’t know how to go about a critical examination of the only paradigm they had for understanding themselves and the world.

http://recoveringfundamentalists.com/my-story-jim-moyers.html10

It will be a momentous development when Adventism takes its eyes off itself, and focuses on people, and what they need for healthy development, and what it takes to heal people whose development has been damaged, especially by spiritual abuse, such as not telling the truth about the Adventist prophet.

Link

I’d like to repeat most of what I said two years ago on the thread, What Shall We Do With Ellen White?–notably the parts about the brick wall, and pressing together, which can be found here.

Women’s ordination may be the proximate cause for this church splitting, but, in my opinion, the ultimate cause for this tragic family rupture lies much deeper, in the terrifying generational dishonesty endemic in this church, set in motion by Ellen White.

As you said Chuck, “God had better help us.”

I somehow imagine that help will arrive when people become more important to Adventists than Adventism-the-institution.

Charles Scriven: Our problem with respect to Ellen White seems so confounding, and so impossible for fearful (or downright manipulative) church leaders to actually confront.

link

If we reframe this seemingly hopeless situation as a form of personal and collective travail, then it may be borne with grace and at least a degree of equanimity.

If we persist in seeing this as a zero sum moral contest, terrifying is the only word to describe the process and the results, especially in regard to the young.

If Adventists will put the welfare of the young first, I think they will find that the finest of the Adventist ideals, aspirations and mission will be preserved and fulfilled.

This will require the most severe travail imaginable. It can be entered voluntarily, or it can be forced upon us.

Come.


(John Jones) #67

Going to SDA schools we were required to memorize EGW quotes. After reading White Lie I discovered that the more eloquent and important a quote was, the more likely it was a word for word copy of someone else. Her original writings were anything but. Her lie was a cancer rotting the church and those around EGW like Fannie Bolton from over a 100 years ago. People have always known it wasn’t right. N Wilson just doubled down on the lies. I can’t support such an organization. The church is like a Ponzi scheme getting in new members, while others leave as they discover the coverups.


(James Klein) #69

…on the other hand, the relation between the syntax and semantics of computer languages are much more constrained than that of natural (spoken) languages. (We humans do not want our computers to be as capricious as we humans are.)

How constraining should divine instructions to us humans be considered in view of the inherent ambiguities of natural languages?


#70

It seems to me the issue which the Adventist Church is not facing,and seemingly unwilling to face, is what to do with Ellen White. Her legacy reaches into nearly every corner of Adventist activity: our collective psyche is suffused with “Ellen thought” to the extent that it seems to me there is little or no room for the Lord to speak through anyone else. This is the elephant in the room (if you will allow me the use of an unoriginal phase without attribution). What if the Lord sent another prophet? What if he or she was not from our faith community? Would we be prepared to listen?
Joel Chapter 2 makes the point doesn’t it?

28 “And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.


(reliquum) #71

A question, mulled like cider, has swirled in my cup.
I will spill my discontent here: what biblical support can we find in scripture for Ellen?
Why have we defacto venerated her-should we have made her celibate, too?


(Olivia ) #72

What were the church leaders so afraid of exactly? I think it would’ve been far better for the church to learn about the findings regarding Ellen White’s writings than to learn about all of the church leader’s misguided attempts at covering them up.


#74

Jeremy, here is a link to newspaper articles about plagarism that you may find as excellent research material.

http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/search/pages/results/?state=&date1=1789&date2=1924&proxtext=plagarism&x=10&y=9&dateFilterType=yearRange&rows=20&searchType=basic

http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/search/pages/results/?state=&date1=1789&date2=1924&proxtext=plagarist&x=14&y=14&dateFilterType=yearRange&rows=20&searchType=basic


(Rohan Mullings) #75

When the 5am chimes gently woke me this morning I reached for an off the shelf inspirational tome for material to guide the daily conference call prayer meeting with my two best friends. Emergency measures were necessary because I had not been diligent in what I feel is my personal calling to clarify the outrageous and audacious claims of Paul regarding the finality of our salvation in Romans. We have been going at it for over a year, and It has taken all this time to get to chapter 6, verse 8, but having recently spent my free time otherwise engaged, I had no new material to present this morning. I flipped open the somewhat derivative devotional book written by an Adventist pastor and read a dutiful quote- “Into the experience of all there come times of keen disappointment and utter discouragement—days when sorrow is the portion, and it is hard to believe that God is still the kind benefactor of His earthborn children… For the disheartened there is a sure remedy—faith, prayer, work. Faith and activity will impart assurance and satisfaction that will increase day by day….”
This does sound trite. Still now I wonder. How is it possible, through all the layers of plagiarism, and escalating editing by secretaries and protectors, that God still found a way to deliver in my weakness, precisely the words I needed to mediate upon after a fresh 3 day old crisis had plunged me into dangerous territory of “keen disappointment and utter discouragement?” For that matter, how can He with a straight face expect me to take seriously the reassurance that “He sent His word and healed them and delivered them from their destructions,” when He sent a murdering adulterous polygamist to deliver that message? Could it really be, that Paul is right, that nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord? Maybe though we should include the disclaimer - Nothing separates Adventists from the love of God, except our egos, and our own conceited opinions on inspiration, and erudite expertise on how God is thwarted by the limitations imposed by sin.


#76

God can work through anyone or anything to transfer a message. Remember Baalam and the donkey?

He says, “Even the rocks would cry out.”

He is NOT limited. He works through the evil, good, plagiarist, living, dead, no matter the motive. He is all-powerful. No question he could speak to you through the Holy Spirit through almost anyone’s writings. Can’t limit Him.


(Rhonda Dinwiddie) #77

This is a reply to the article, not to anyone else’s comments regarding it. A very interesting comment by Ellen G. White sheds great light on this inspiration “controversy.”

Here it is:

‘As the Spirit of God has opened to my mind the great truths of his Word, and the scenes of the past and the future, I have been bidden to make known to others what has thus been revealed, to trace the history of the controversy in past ages, and especially to so present it as to shed a light on the fast-approaching struggle of the future. In pursuance of this purpose, I have As the Spirit of God has opened to my mind the great truths of his Word, and the scenes of the past and the future, I have been bidden to make known to others what has thus been revealed, to trace the history of the controversy in past ages, and especially to so present it as to shed a light on the fast-approaching struggle of the future. In pursuance of this purpose, I have endeavored to select and group together events in the history of the church in such a manner as to trace the unfolding of the great testing truths that at different periods have been given to the world, that have excited the wrath of Satan, and the enmity of a world-loving church, and that have been maintained by the witness of those who “loved not their lives unto the death.” {GC88 g.3}
In these records we may see a foreshadowing of the conflict before us. Regarding them in the light of God’s Word, and by the illumination of his Spirit, we may see unveiled the devices of the wicked one, and the dangers which they must shun who would be found “without fault” before the Lord at his coming. {GC88 g.4}
The great events which have marked the progress of reform in past ages, are matters of history, well known and universally acknowledged by the Protestant world; they are facts which none can gainsay. This history I have presented briefly, in accordance with the scope of the book, and the brevity which must necessarily be observed, the facts having been condensed into as little space as seemed consistent with a proper understanding of their application. In some cases where a historian has so grouped together events as to afford, in brief, a comprehensive view of the subject, or has summarized details in a convenient manner, his words have been quoted; but except in a few instances no specific credit has been given, since they are not quoted for the purpose of citing that writer as authority, but because his statement affords a ready and forcible presentation of the subject. In narrating the experience and views of those carrying forward the work of reform in our own time, similar use has occasionally been made of their published works. {GC88 h.1}
It is not so much the object of this book to present new truths concerning the struggles of former times, as to bring out facts and principles which have a bearing upon coming events. Yet viewed as a part of the controversy between the forces of light and darkness, all these records of the past are seen to have a new significance; and through them a light is cast upon the future, illumining the pathway of those who, like the reformers of past ages, will be called, even at the peril of all earthly good, to witness “for the Word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” {GC88 h.2}
To unfold the scenes of the great controversy between truth and error; to reveal the wiles of Satan, and the means by which he may be successfully resisted; to present a satisfactory solution of the great problem of evil, shedding such a light upon the origin and the final disposition of sin as to fully make manifest the justice and benevolence of God in all his dealings with his creatures; and to show the holy, unchanging nature of his law, is the object of this book. That through its influence souls may be delivered from the power of darkness, and become “partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light,” to the praise of Him who loved us, and gave himself for us, is the earnest prayer of the writer. in such a manner as to trace the unfolding of the great testing truths that at different periods have been given to the world, that have excited the wrath of Satan, and the enmity of a world-loving church, and that have been maintained by the witness of those who “loved not their lives unto the death.” {GC88 g.3}
In these records we may see a foreshadowing of the conflict before us. Regarding them in the light of God’s Word, and by the illumination of his Spirit, we may see unveiled the devices of the wicked one, and the dangers which they must shun who would be found “without fault” before the Lord at his coming. {GC88 g.4}
The great events which have marked the progress of reform in past ages, are matters of history, well known and universally acknowledged by the Protestant world; they are facts which none can gainsay. This history I have presented briefly, in accordance with the scope of the book, and the brevity which must necessarily be observed, the facts having been condensed into as little space as seemed consistent with a proper understanding of their application. In some cases where a historian has so grouped together events as to afford, in brief, a comprehensive view of the subject, or has summarized details in a convenient manner, his words have been quoted; but except in a few instances no specific credit has been given, since they are not quoted for the purpose of citing that writer as authority, but because his statement affords a ready and forcible presentation of the subject. In narrating the experience and views of those carrying forward the work of reform in our own time, similar use has occasionally been made of their published works. {GC88 h.1}
It is not so much the object of this book to present new truths concerning the struggles of former times, as to bring out facts and principles which have a bearing upon coming events. Yet viewed as a part of the controversy between the forces of light and darkness, all these records of the past are seen to have a new significance; and through them a light is cast upon the future, illumining the pathway of those who, like the reformers of past ages, will be called, even at the peril of all earthly good, to witness “for the Word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” {GC88 h.2}
To unfold the scenes of the great controversy between truth and error; to reveal the wiles of Satan, and the means by which he may be successfully resisted; to present a satisfactory solution of the great problem of evil, shedding such a light upon the origin and the final disposition of sin as to fully make manifest the justice and benevolence of God in all his dealings with his creatures; and to show the holy, unchanging nature of his law, is the object of this book. That through its influence souls may be delivered from the power of darkness, and become “partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light,” to the praise of Him who loved us, and gave himself for us, is the earnest prayer of the writer.’ The Great Controversy, 1888 Original Edition, Author’s Preface.

Please note that she readily admitted that she “endeavored to select and group together events in the history of the church,” and that she borrowed from other authors without always citing them, “since they are not quoted for the purpose of citing that writer as authority, but because his statement affords a ready and forcible presentation of the subject.” If there was “A Great Cover Up,” it was most certainly not on her end. She also stated in Selected Messages that it was not the words of the Bible that were inspired but that it was those who wrote them were inspired. Why should we expect to treat her own writings any differently?


(Roger Cox) #78

I have wondered for many years how some could say they are honest with not only Ellen White’s inspiration, but the inspiration of the Bible and look at the facts. The facts do not support any of the accepted church positions on either. In fact, so duplicitous are those positions and statements that for a time I gave up completely on the concept of revelation from God as presented by the church. I said, if this is the best that God can do for prophets, why should I give these ideas of inspiration a second thought?

Then I began what my physics teachers taught me. It is not the answers, but the questions that are valuable. As I mused about this and other topics as I had been taught in SDA schools, I concluded several things.

  • First the teachers were doing the best they could with the information they had.

  • Secondly, a great deal of useful information had been buried. The church leaders were the best at this.

  • In the end, I gave up completely the use of the term inspired by God. The term has become so laden with falsehood and misunderstanding that it is no longer useful. I have adopted a much simpler view of “inspired writings.” I ask the question, is this useful? I know. This is not what I was taught. Guess what? What I was taught was so useless, I abandoned it. I found nothing useful in those ideas.

  • I did not give up on God. In fact, my faith in God increased substantially. Many reasons why, but among them, not having to deal with many things that were and are wrong freed my mind to understand what is correct far more clearly. Notice, I did not use the word truth. That word is like the word inspired. Neither are useful anymore.

  • As surprising as it may seem, I did not stop reading my Bible or cast aside all “inspired writings.” I saw no value in throwing out the baby with the bath water. It was during this period that I adopted the perspective of “is this useful.”

  • Since then, many have accused me of “not believing the Bible.” In the beginning, I took those accusations too closely to heart. Now, when they are leveled, I have one of two answers. A. You know nothing about what I believe about the Bible. That is in fact correct. They don’t know what I believe about it. B. Laughter. Of the two, I am more found of B. Uniformly, these people are not to be taken seriously. Very seldom will I tell the truth. I believe more in the Bible than my accusers do. I cannot see how a person can be dishonest about these matters and maintain any kind of useful faith in anything. God - no. Bible writers - no. This has proven to be the undoing of all honesty for these people. If you can’t deal honestly with the facts, it is my settled opinion, you do not know God. Dishonesty is not God’s way. Are these people lost? The answer to that question is above my pay grade. Even more importantly, I have come to not care.


(Rhonda Dinwiddie) #79

Roger39, I have found that what is useful to me is to remember that regardless of the fact that our SDA Church has never officially taken the stance of literal word-for-word (dictation model) inspiration of the Bible and EGW’s writings, nevertheless, many, if not most, of our members and “leadership” act as if they do even if they proclaim otherwise. One can not logically or morally take this stance knowing that there are very many disagreements, discrepancies, disparities, historical factual errors, inconsistencies, logical falacies, mathematical miscalulations and absurdities, misinterpretations, misquotes, mis-translations, omissions and oversights in both! And, many of the writers of the Bible BORROWED from one another without always citing original authors. Some may even have borrowed some phrases from the Apocryphal Books. But, guess what? Knowing all that, I still believe the Bible, though made up of the words of men, is, nevertheless, The Word of God. How can I believe that? Because, just as Jesus was concurrently man and God, so is the Bible human and Devine. The Bible is the Word made text just as Jesus is the Word made flesh, BORROWING the words and ideas of Alden Thompson, and I’m proud to give him credit. See his books, Inspiration and Who’s Afraid of the Old Testament God? We need to take an “incarnational” view of scripture that allows for the humanness of its writers while acknowledging the direction of the Almighty in its production.


(Johnny) #83

XThe evidence is overwhelming in regards to plagiarism. 1919 general conference minutes shows the problems leaders had with making egw more than she was.

It’s time to remove egw as a test of fellowship or baptismal vow.
Then have the GC and Andrews write a book dealing with this issue in full once and for all.


(John Hughes) #84

Here is a link to a page which presently (4/29/17) enables download of the church commissioned Life of Christ Research Project (LOCRP) undertaken by Veltman in the wake of Rea’s revelations:

This was formerly “hidden in plain sight” on the GC website. In my opinion, reading this document from the 80’s (albeit lengthy) will directly contrast hard facts with false claims so as to remove the supposed issue from the realm of debate. It also implies that the results are only the tiniest tip of the theft iceberg, owing to the project’s very limited scope and zero-tech approach.

The timing of, and limited resources directed toward, the project make Veltman’s results all the more remarkable. Certainly a thoughtful approach to the topic using today’s universally available tools could readily produce “red letter” versions of the entire universe of purported EGW writings. This would enable both the ready identification of the possible intellectual contributions of team EGW, as well as giving proper references to the identifiable purloined materials. Put me down on the list of those eager to contribute to such a project.


(Cynthia) #85

Amen, Vanpark. This is an honest way to deal with this situation!


(Kevin Luke Morgan) #86

ProfessorKent: The “compiled attributions” you mention must be Tim Poirier’s “Project Surprise,” aptly named because dependent material in Ellen White’s published works doesn’t amount to 75-90% as Walter Rea first projected, but, rather, something less than 4%. Surprise!

As far as computer searches, that approach has been attempted using WCopyfind from the University of Virginia to locate strings of verbatim words. The finds have been added to the library of books that Tim Poirier maintains in the “Project Surprise” library, However, even with the aid of computer software, the finds must be evaluated. Many are strings of verbatim words that are not very striking. It should be noted that the vast majority of finds in the Life of Christ Research Project, conducted by Dr. Fred Veltman and his team of volunteers in the 1980s, would not be located by the WCopyFind method, for it finds strings of verbatim words and most of the dependent material is paraphrased wording. If you are interested in material marked by this approach, I would recommend reading … https://www.academia.edu/34985131/WHITE_LIE_SOAP_Only_the_First_Step_ and https://www.academia.edu/34985077/WHITE_LIE_SOAP_Upgrading_from_Black_and_White_to_Color_