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

(Kevin Luke Morgan) #87

JohnHughes, if you are seriously interested in helping with this project, please contact me, Kevin Morgan of Honor Him Publishers at The tech approach actually turns up far less than the human approach. Computer software is good at finding exact words and phrases, but the majority of what Veltman and his assistants found was not verbatim words or phrases.

(jeremy) #88

interesting…if this means that essentially 97% of egw is original, either in terms of her contribution or her assistants’ contribution, it’s hard to see what all the fuss is about…first of all, i would think that something like the nine volumes of the testimonies would have to be 100% original…

(Kevin Luke Morgan) #89

Jeremy, the 3-4% looks like a whole lot more when it is concentrated out of the rest. And that is what Walter Rea did in his exhibits in The White Lie (see endnote 7 in Chapter 3 of White Lie Soap, linked below). The percentage seems to grow when the focus of study is The Desire of Ages. Dr. Fred Veltman and his team’s nearly exhaustive look at 15 chapters of the book came up with a dependency rating of 31% for the whole. But that isn’t merely verbatim usage of other writers. When I figured the “modified verbatim” sentences as a percentage of the total number of sentences in those 15 chapters, it came to only about one percent (1%) of the whole (and, of these, several of the sentences were what could be described as “biblical paraphrase”). So, what made up the rest of the 31% of material deemed literarily dependent upon other authors? It was the same Bible verses quoted, and sentences that were “strict paraphrase,” “simple paraphrase,” “loose paraphrase,” and “partial independent.” For a description and evaluation of each of these categories, see chapter 5 of White Lie Soap, available at

As Ron Graybill pointed out: “To notice similarities [all that Walter Rea accomplished] is only the first step in the study of literary relationships. One must also catalogue the differences [performed by Veltman and his team in the Life of Christ Research Project], and then, even more importantly, ask what use the second author made of the first author’s work” (Graybill et al, “Henry Melvill and Ellen G. White: A Study in Literary and Theological Relationships” [May 1982], p. iii). That third step in studying literary relationships exceeded what Rea and Veltman accomplished. If you want examples of that third step, see Chapter 3 of White Lie Soap, available at

In summary, the “fuss” was because of two things: (1) a concept of Inspiration that does not allow adaptation of wording from other authors in an inspired writer’s communicating of the thoughts of God (a concept contravened by many biblical examples), (2) failure to think about the similar material enough to evaluate its independent qualities.

Thus, the fuss, was caused by a rush to judgment, based on similarity alone without thoughtful evaluation, and, unfortunately, the rushed fuss of the 1980s has been broadcast over the Internet. Thankfully, due largely to the efforts of David J. Conklin, those who repeated Walter Rea’s prognostication of 75-90% of “copying” have quietly removed the figure from their exhibits, though still clinging to the tenuous accusation for their own reasons.

Thanks for your comment.

(jeremy) #90

i was a student at PUC and attended des ford’s 1979 adventist forum presentation, in which he tried to debunk our sanctuary doctrine, partially on the basis of egw’s unattributed borrowing…that particular event, and its huge aftermath, left no doubt in my mind that i had witnessed the type of attack on her inspiration that she herself had prophesied…so by the time rea’s White Lie came out, when i was finishing up at AUC, i didn’t bother looking into any of the hype…i already knew what i thought…

thx for the reference to White Lie Soap

(Eugene Prewitt) #91

I’m too late on the scene, but offer a word here now anyway. (This is when I found the thread). In the 1888 Great Controversy introduction Ellen White specifically alerted the reader to the fact that this book used, without credit, the writings of gifted writers on historical scenes. And the example shown shows the introduction to have been accurate. It was Rae’s extrapolation from this plagiary-for-beauty-not-for-credit that landed him afoul of of truthfulness. So there was nothing hidden or sneaky about such usage that was announced so openly. And this example so thoroughly explains others (Rae used a diary entry (!) and a loose comparison of EGW with Paradise Lost, as his primary other examples) as to make accusations a fulfillment of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount, “for so persecuted they the prophets” by speaking “all manner of evil against [them] falsely.”

(George Tichy) #92

Walter Rea’s* “The White Lie” was the only book that I ever read twice, soon after it was published. It shook my spiritual foundation, since I was taught for many years in my youth that the SOP was…, well, totally original and coming from Heaven. In those years Des Ford had revived the issue about the 1844/IJ, which I also looking into, discovering that it was actually an heresy.

No wonder I spent three years at that time re-studying my SDA theology, reading, comparing, checking. I never understood why my Church had hidden so much crucial information from its members and clergy.

Finally, the book of Hebrews resolved the puzzle in a very simple and straightforward way, since I accepted was was written, paying no attention to those who needed to “interpret” Hebrews in order to convince others that EGW was right…

  • Yes, it is REA, and not Rae as many keep misspelling. Maybe they never read the book they are talking about… If they didn’t read it, what are they commenting on again?..

(John Carson) #93

I know so very many who fall into that category and who fought, who still fight tooth and nail against Walter Rea and his book, having never read it. I never read it myself, but then I didn’t immediately write him off as a heretic either. In my opinion, far too many churchy people and churchy church leaders place way too much importance on way too many doctrines. I think Jesus said something about that when he spoke of binding up burdens onto people’s backs.

(Cfowler) #94

A very good book, IMO.

I think I loaned mine out a few years ago…so I no longer have it, sadly. Life Assurance Ministries still carries the book for 21.95.

Pirates of Privilege can be read here:

(George Tichy) #95

That’s true, there are many people who talk about books that they never read. I have a personal principle, I will not comment on a book that I didn’t read. I just don’t believe that I can be fair in my intellectual judgment and will certainly not be able to be objective in my comments/evaluation.

The same happens with Des’ book on the IJ/1844 (product of Glacier View). Actually, there is a Spectrumite right here on this forum that just attacks Des very strongly, but guess what, by his own admission he never read a single book or full article by Ford. Much less listening to one of Des’ preachings. How much more intellectually dishonest can one be? And he is that “Mr Saint” who offended @bigtomwoodcutter so badly in the (defunct) LoungeGate and then just disappeared because he was getting bullets and big rocks from everyone there.

I am glad I read Rea’s book twice, and Ford’s book one time and a half! Information that the Church, my Church, was hiding from me, from everyone, since its inception.

(John Carson) #96

Yes, he’s still here reading and loving posts as recently as today. Wonder why he’s afraid to show himself otherwise…

At any rate, yes, I agree with you regarding reading of books if one is going to be critical of the author or his books. This approach is disingenuous. It is subjugating one’s on intellect to the control of another when it comes to the most important of intellectual integrities: what one thinks and believes.

(George Tichy) #97

Because he is actually a true “Fulcrumite7” and that’s where he dares to keep parroting his nonsense.

(Carolyn Wesner) #98

The borrowing didn’t bother me as much as the lack of acknowledgment of the White Editorial Team and the Bookmakers (read “ghostwriters”). Their names and their vast contributions were known but kept under wraps to promote the fiction that the author was Mrs White. Musn’t disturb our fantasy…

(Kevin Luke Morgan) #99

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

(Kevin Luke Morgan) #100

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

(George Tichy) #101

Are you actually saying that you have been working on identifying more of the sources EGW used for many parts of her books?

(Jack Heisler) #102

" Be sure the truth shall find you out " !

(George Tichy) #103

I don’t get it! Why was this post “flagged by the community?” Who did that? What @KevinLMorgan wrote had absolutely nothing inappropriate or offensive or ad hominem.

I suggest that the @webEd should look into it and actually reprimand those who flagged it with absolutely no reason.

Actually, a couple of weeks ago I had not only one, but rather two posts “flagged by the community.” They were absolutely innocuous. The impression I have is that a few selected people got together and are in a war against posts at Spectrum that disagree with their radical, obsessive beliefs. They may be on a “mission to clean the site” by flagging what they don’t like.

The WebEd mwust definitely look into it, just in case.

EDIT: I just realized that TWO of @KevinLMorgan’s posts were “flagged by the community!” Who is that “community?”… :thinking:

(Website Editor) #104

@GeorgeTichy and @KevinLMorgan: Kevin, the system automatically flagged your posts as spam because you linked to the same domain in multiple posts which is a behavior often used by bots. I’m going to override the system and unhide your posts, but in the future, try to refrain from posting to the same domain in more than one comment on the same thread.


(Kevin Luke Morgan) #105

All of my resources in responding to issues regarding Ellen White are posted at So, either I reference my statements to that domain or I leave readers to take my word for it.

I think most readers would prefer to look at the evidence for themselves.

(Kevin Luke Morgan) #106

Yes, and more. I’ve been working on systematically going through EGW manuscripts for chapters 58-60 in The Desire of Ages this morning. Sometimes the work is mundane; sometimes I find remarkable material. Here is a link for an earlier form of the first chapters of The Desire of Ages.

Another project that is ongoing is a series called “Favorite books of Ellen G. White.” These will include books by Daniel March, Henry Melvill, John Harris, and William Hanna. Ellen White found memorable adaptable gems in March, found lots of gems and adapted major portions of a few sermons of Melvill, found adaptable gems in Harris, and used Hanna as a story-line guide for writing on the life of Christ (beginning with periodical articles that were adapted for The Spirit of Prophecy).

In the flagged posts, I referred to research at I deal with Ellen White’s use of sources in The Great Controversy, Spiritual Gifts, The Desire of Ages, Steps to Christ, and Sketches from the Life of Paul. I also deal with other issues relating to other subjects.