Ellen G. White and Plagiarism: Another View Through the Eyes of an Historian

Speaker: Categories: Aug 12, 2006


[1hr, 18min, 15sec / 52min, 51sec]


Within recent years there have been numerous voices expressing concern about the findings of current research regarding Ellen White's using of"other"sources in the material she wrote and approved publishing. There have also been numerous voices, primarily heard from church administrators and seen in church publications, down-playing such use of other sources. Sustaining arguments have ranged all the way from assuring that such use of other sources,"borrowing"or more correctlyplagiarizing, was common practice of many writers during the"cades when EGW wrote and published.

These pro and con arguments have not helped to settle the issue nor shed credible light on the topic. In fact, all too often they have merely confused what was already known or believed. For some these endeavors reinforced their convictions to distance themselves from Adventism and its adherents.

"This paper,"notes Dr. Hoyt,"confronts the extremely serious charges of plagiarism against the voluminous writings of Ellen White as they developed after about 1887. Following definitions of plagiarism, its history is sketched, with emphasis on key individuals, their specific charges, and especially their treatment by church leadership, apparent patterns are noted. In conclusion possible strategies and tactics for confronting this specter are being suggested."


Dr. Fred Hoyt is Emeritus Professor of History at La Sierra University after 43 years of teaching there, preceded by 5 years of"education"in the USN in the Pacific Theater during WW!! (intelligence), and 4 years in secondary teaching and administration. Inexplicably he persists in doing research and writing in several areas, problematically including early SDA history.

He will be making his fourth visit to the SDAF podium, having addressed this body in July, 1999 (Wesley and his Century), October, 2000 (Medical Biography of Ellen G. White), and January, 2003 (The Menace of Mesmerism in Maine). On each occasion he has been very effective in communicating the findings of his historical quest and the conclusions reached. He joined the history faculty at La Sierra in 1955 and, though recently retired, continues his research into American-Philippine history, US naval history, and early SDA history.

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