Sie sind auf Seite 1von 68

Ellen G.

White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 1

Ellen G. White and Her Ghost Writer Book Shop


Eduard C. Hanganu
B.A., M.A., Linguistics
Lecturer in English, UE

Draft 84
Revised February 6, 2015
2015

a&i&et'6. e/utte.a6nJG~$^at". \

L^/&r^^^^'^
k.^etf^fo'T!/1*""****'
-

^.

i _ . y.T7v?x. ^ xl^!. *-. ^ X9 ^ .-^

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 2

TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Introduction ............................................................................................................................... 4
II. The Sad Incident That Impaired Ellen ..................................................................................... 5
III. Ellens Language Progress Barred .......................................................................................... 7
Numerous Errors in Ellen Whites Texts ...................................................................................... 9

Ellen G. Whites English Summarized ........................................................................... 10


IV. Ellens Claims for Divine Inspiration ................................................................................... 11
Arthur White Backs Ellen Whites Claims ..................................................................... 11
[Not Written In Vision] ....................................................................................... 11
[Her Mind Was Enlightened] .............................................................................. 11
[Comprehensive Time Visions] .......................................................................... 12
[Direct Angelic Explanations] ............................................................................ 12
[Various Dangers Revealed] ............................................................................... 12
[Future Buildings Disclosed] .............................................................................. 13
[How She Received Light].................................................................................. 14
[Sometimes Impromptu Words] ......................................................................... 14
V. Plagiarism - Not Visions and Dictation ................................................................................. 15
Ellen G. Whites Plagiarism Exposed............................................................................. 19
Rea Summarizes His Own Research............................................................................... 19
VI. Editorial Assistants and Their Roles..................................................................................... 22
The Ghost Writers Were Indispensable .......................................................................... 22
Ellen Whites Choice for Secretaries .............................................................................. 22
Ellen Whites Known Ghost Writers .............................................................................. 23
VII. The Work Her Assistants Performed ............................................................................... 27
Ellen Whites Disastrous Writer Skills .......................................................................... 27
The Ghost Writer Editorial Process ............................................................................ 28
The Reasons for the Editing ................................................................................ 28
Husband Edits Ellens Work ............................................................................... 28
Leaders Handle Ellens Work ............................................................................. 29
Son Handles Ellens Work .................................................................................. 29
Beautiful Text When Not Rushed? ..................................................................... 30
Extensive Editorial Changes ............................................................................... 31

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 3

Ghost Writers Not Inspired ................................................................................. 31


The Letter Preparation Task ............................................................................ 31
Sermons and Periodicals Prepared .................................................................. 32
Books Compiled Not Inspired ......................................................................... 32
The Pantheist Compiles Book ......................................................................... 33
Reasons for Editorial Assistants Use .............................................................................. 33
Editorial Assistants Indispensable ............................................................................... 34
VIII. Moon Defends Ellen Whites Claims ................................................................................ 35
Absolute Control over Her Works .................................................................................. 35
The Apologetic Claims Summarized .............................................................................. 38
Consistent Text Productions ............................................................................... 38
Claimed Handwritten Originals .......................................................................... 38
Ellen Whites Personal Claims ........................................................................... 38
Marian Davis Extorted Claims .......................................................................... 38
William Whites Personal Claim ........................................................................ 39
Moons Apologetic Claims Invalid ................................................................................. 39
Ellen Whites Claim............................................................................................ 42
Marian Davis Claim........................................................................................... 43
William Whites Claim ....................................................................................... 43
IX. The Ghost Writers The Real Authors ................................................................................ 44
The Writers Behind The Smoke Screen.......................................................................... 44
Ellen Whites Editorial Assistants ............................................................................... 44
The True Book Compilers And Editors .......................................................................... 45
Fannie Bolton The Rebellious Servant ........................................................................ 46
Marian Davis The Main Ghost Writer ......................................................................... 53
X. Conclusion ............................................................................................................................. 59
References ................................................................................................................................... 61

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 4

Ellen G. White and Her Ghost Writer Book Shop


I. Introduction
Ellen G. White, the notorious Seventh-day Adventist [further, SDA] Church legend and
alleged prophet who co-founded together with her husband, James White, and Joseph Bates
the SDA church,1 has been a controversial figure among the SDA Church members since the
church origins. Ellen White is credited with an enormous number of published works that
comprises books, articles, tracts, pamphlets, and handwritten letters claimed to have been
produced between 1851 and 1915.2 States The White Estate about Ellen Whites productions:
At the time of her death Ellen White's literary productions totaled approximately 100,000 pages: 24 books
in current circulation; two book manuscripts ready for publication; 5,000 periodical articles in the journals
of the church; more than 200 tracts and pamphlets; approximately 35,000 typewritten pages of manuscript
documents and letters; 2,000 handwritten letters and diary materials comprising, when copied, another
15,000 typewritten pages. Compilations made after her death from Ellen White's writings bring the total
number of books currently in print to more than 130. 3

Among the numerous puzzles and controversies that shadow Ellen G. Whites published
and non-published works, the most debated and unsettled issue seems to be the plagiarism
accusation. A lot has been written in the SDA circles on this topic both against Ellen White and
in her defense, and the debate continues with no definite and final conclusion. This research
paper argues that the plagiarism charges against the alleged SDA prophet have been
exaggerated. Ellen White did not plagiarize the published works credited under her name
because she was illiterate and unskilled and was unable to produce on her own documents that
could be published. She might have stolen some text here and there from certain books and
scrawled things on paper in her unschooled and inept manner, but what she scribbled could not
have been sent to the press and published without her editorial assistants or ghost writers who
plagiarized wholesale and made drastic editorial alterations and thorough grammar corrections
on her scribbles to a degree that forfeits Ellens claims for genuine and true authorship to the
publications for which she took dishonest credit and from which she collected a fortune that she
wasted through lavish real estate purchases, excessive travels, and a profligate life.
Hard and irrefutable facts that leaked to the public through incautious SDA apologetic
documents provide ample evidence that demonstrates that numerous and literate ghost writers
plagiarized full paragraphs and often entire books from various sources and assembled those
stolen texts into new and original works, and also modified, changed, edited, and corrected
Ellen G. Whites plagiarized scribbles into literate and legible paragraphs and chapters, and then
submitted to the press the altered and edited compilations under Ellen Whites name under the
false claim and spurious pretense that all the information that was included in those ghost
publications came straight and unmediated to Ellen G. White through direct visions from God or
through authentic and real-time angelic dictations.

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 5

II. The Sad Incident That Impaired Ellen


Life in Portland, Maine, with her beloved parents, Robert and Eunice Harmon, and with
all her seven sisters and brothers was good for Ellen until a disastrous incident caused a radical
change in her life. She was nine when the harmful event occurred to her, and the health and
education consequences that followed that unfortunate event were calamitous. Arthur White
makes these short comments about the incident:
Ellen, with her twin sister Elizabeth, was born November 26, 1827, to Robert and Eunice Harmon. With
eight children in the family, home was an interesting and busy place. The family lived on a small farm near
the village of Gorham, Maine, in the northeastern part of the United States. However, a few years after the
birth of the twins, Robert Harmon gave up farming, and, with his family, moved into the city of Portland,
about twelve miles east.
During her childhood Ellen assisted about the home and helped her father in the manufacture of hats. At the
age of nine, while returning home from school one afternoon, she was severely injured in the face by a
stone thrown by a classmate. For three weeks she was unconscious, and in the years that followed she
suffered greatly as a result of the serious injury to her nose. Ellen's formal education ended abruptly, and it
seemed to all that the formerly promising little girl could not live long.1

The book Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, though, contains an emotional and detailed
personal account from Ellen White about the consequences that this unexpected and terrible
incident had on her health:
MISFORTUNE
While I was but a child, my parents removed from Gorham to Portland, Maine. Here, at the age of nine
years, an accident happened to me which was to affect my whole life. In company with my twin sister and
one of our schoolmates, I was crossing a common in the city of Portland, when a girl about thirteen years of
age, becoming angry at some trifle, threw a stone that hit me on the nose. I was stunned by the blow, and
fell senseless to the ground.
When consciousness returned, I found myself in a merchant's store. A kind stranger offered to take me
home in his carriage, but I, not realizing my weakness, told him that I preferred to walk. Those present
were not aware that my injury was so serious, and allowed me to go; but after walking only a few rods, I
grew faint and dizzy. My twin sister and my schoolmate carried me home.
I have no recollection of anything further for some time after the accident. My mother said that I noticed
nothing, but lay in a stupor for three weeks. No one but herself thought it possible for me to recover, but for
some reason she felt that I would live. When I again aroused to consciousness, it seemed to me that I had
been asleep. I did not remember the accident, and was ignorant of the cause of my illness. A great cradle
had been made for me, and in it I lay for many weeks. I was reduced almost to a skeleton.
At this time I began to pray the Lord to prepare me for death. When Christian friends visited the family,
they would ask my mother if she had talked with me about dying. I overheard this, and it roused me. I
desired to become a Christian, and prayed earnestly for the forgiveness of my sins. I felt a peace of mind
resulting, and loved every one, feeling desirous that all should have their sins forgiven, and love Jesus as I
did.
I gained strength very slowly. As I became able to join in play with my young friends, I was forced to learn
the bitter lesson that our personal appearance often makes a difference in the treatment we receive from our
companions.2

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 6

Those negative health consequences, though, affected also her immediate education and
her future educational prospects. She was too weak to attend school, and had serious and
continuous trouble when she attempted to perform simple student tasks. She could not make
good progress in knowledge acquisition, and no matter how hard she struggled, her English
composition skills remained undeveloped and illiterate. Because she was so weak that school
work seemed impossible for her to perform, her teachers advised her to discontinue school
attendance until her health improved. Continues Ellen White:
EDUCATION
My health seemed to be hopelessly impaired. For two years I could not breathe through my nose, and was
able to attend school but little. It seemed impossible for me to study and to retain what I learned. The same
girl who was the cause of my misfortune, was appointed monitor by our teacher, and it was among her
duties to assist me in my writing and other lessons. She always seemed sincerely sorry for the great injury
she had done me, although I was careful not to remind her of it. She was tender and patient with me, and
seemed sad and thoughtful as she saw me laboring under serious disadvantages to get an education.
My nervous system was prostrated, and my hand trembled so that I made but little progress in writing, and
could get no farther than the simple copies in coarse hand. As I endeavored to bend my mind to my studies,
the letters in the page would run together, great drops of perspiration would stand upon my brow, and a
faintness and dizziness would seize me. I had a bad cough, and my whole system seemed debilitated.
My teachers advised me to leave school, and not pursue my studies further till my health should improve. It
was the hardest struggle of my young life to yield to my feebleness, and decide that I must leave my
studies, and give up the hope of gaining an education. 3

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 7

III. Ellens Language Progress Barred


From Ellen G. Whites own account, we conclude that her formal education ended at the
time when her trauma occurred, that is, when she was nine. After that she was able to attend
school but little, but realized that she was too weak to retain what [she] learned, and that
those mental efforts caused faintness and dizziness. Although she struggled for two more years
to advance her studies, she did not have the strength to continue school attendance and was
forced to abandon her scholastic dreams. Her educators advised [her] to leave school, and not
pursue [her] studies further until [her] health should improve. The public records show that she
was never able again to resume school attendance, though, and obtain more English language
education after she left that classroom.
Ellen G. Whites later statements about the fact that she was unable to prepare materials
for publication on her own suggest that she made insignificant and inadequate progress in her
English language skills on her own, and that those limited skills were not developed enough after
she left public school and until her death in order to enable her to be an autonomous and
independent writer. This unskilled and illiterate condition made it indispensable for her to use
numerous assistants or ghost writers who copied, rewrote, edited, corrected, and prepared for
publication the various books and articles for which she took unfair and dishonest credit. When
she was 45, she stated:
Friday, January 10, 1873We rose early to prepare to go to San Francisco. My heart is inexpressibly sad.
This morning I take into candid consideration my writings. My husband is too feeble to help me prepare
them for the printer, therefore I shall do no more with them at present. I am not a scholar. I cannot prepare
my own writings for the press. Until I can do this I shall write no more. It is not my duty to tax others with
my manuscript....
Saturday, January 11, 1873We rested well last night. This Sabbath morning opens cloudy. My mind is
coming to strange conclusions. I am thinking I must lay aside my writing I have taken so much pleasure in,
and see if I cannot become a scholar. I am not a grammarian. I will try, if the Lord will help me, at fortyfive years old to become a scholar in the [grammar] science. God will help me. I believe He will
Manuscript 3, 1873, 5. (Diary, January 1 to 31, 1873.). 1

Graybill, assistant secretary to The White Estate and quite familiar with Ellen G. Whites
publications, reiterates Ellen G. Whites statements about her English composition skills and
restates that she needed constant help from others in order to complete her written projects:
Ellen White's facility with language did improve over the course of her life. As a matter of fact, though, she
always felt inadequate in expressing herself verbally in writing. She always had help from her husband and
others. One of the most dramatic statements about this is found in her diary back in 1873. She said that she
was very sad this particular morning; her husband was too feeble to help prepare her writings for the
printer. She says, "Therefore I shall do no more with them at present. I am not a scholar. I cannot prepare
my own writings for the press. Until I can do this I shall write no more. It is not my duty to tax others with
my manuscript." The next morning she wrote: "My mind is coming to strange conclusions. I am thinking I
must lay aside my writing I have taken so much pleasure in, and see if I cannot become a scholar. I am not
a grammarian. I will try, if the Lord will help me ... to become a scholar in the science [of grammar]. God
will help me. I believe He will." Manuscript 3, 1873.2

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 8

Olson also comments on a statement that Ellen G. White made two decades later, when
her age was 64, and in which she complained again about her inadequate language skills and
failure to express the Divine truths in the most eloquent manner:
Twenty years later, when Ellen White was 64 years old, she wrote this: "I know not how to speak or trace
with pen the large subject of the atoning sacrifice. I know not how to present subjects in the living power in
which they stand before me. I tremble for fear lest I shall belittle the great plan of salvation by cheap
words." Letter 40, 1892.
She felt the power of the message that she wanted to get across, and felt that she was totally inadequate to
do it. Two years later she lamented, "I am but a poor writer, and cannot with pen or voice express the great
and deep mysteries of God." Letter 67, 1894. Now when I read what she's written, I think it's marvelous.
But she felt she was in adequate. So she was always seeking for something better.3

Olsons equivocal statement appears to suggest that it was the tasks magnitude, and not
Ellen G. Whites English language composition skills deficit, that made Ellen G. White to feel
inadequate in the manuscript preparation for the press, but Arthur White removes this confusion
when he describes in detail the numerous and serious English composition errors in Ellen
Whites documents and the specialized work that the assistants or ghost writers were expected
to do in order to update Ellens scribbles to printing press level:
It was ever a source of regret to Mrs. White that her schooling had been very brief, and her knowledge of
the technical rules of writing was therefore limited. W. C. White says he clearly remembers the earlier
years of her work in Battle Creek, when James White, on coming home from the Review and Herald office,
would be asked to listen to what Mrs. White had written, and to help her in preparing it technically for
publication. Then, as she read to him, he would comment on the matter, rejoicing in the power of the
message, and would point out weaknesses in composition and faulty grammar.
Regarding such experiences, she made a statement in 1906 as follows: While my husband lived, he acted
as a helper and counselor in the sending out of the messages that were revealed to me. We traveled
extensively, sometimes light would be given to me in the night season, sometimes in the daytime before
large congregations. The Instruction I received in vision was faithfully written out by me, as I had time and
strength for the work. Afterward we examined the matter together my husband correcting grammatical
errors, and eliminating needless repetition. Then it was carefully copied for the persons addressed or for the
printer [emphasis added].- Mrs. E. G. White, in "The Writing and Sending Out of the Testimonies to the
Church," p. 4.
As time went on, the making of copies of numerous individual testimonies made it necessary to employ a
copyist, and as her husband could not give time to the technical correction of all her writings, the burden of
making grammatical corrections was often laid upon the copyist. Several persons were employed as literary
assistants in the years that followed. They copied the testimonies, prepared the articles for the periodicals
and the chapters for her books. Conscientious Christians only were chosen as literary assistants, and in their
work they adhered strictly to the instruction, which was given them regarding their part of the work.
It was well understood by the secretaries that only Mrs. White's thoughts were to be used, and even her own
words, as far as grammatically consistent, in expressing those thoughts. In no case was the copyist or editor
allowed to introduce thoughts not found in Mrs. White's manuscripts, in cases where paragraphs and
sentences lost some of their power because of faulty arrangement, the secretaries were expected to make
transpositions. They were also instructed to leave out that which was plainly unnecessary repetition. To
these rearrangements and omissions, Mrs. White gave careful attention.

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 9

Regarding the handwritten manuscripts that came from her pen, her literary secretaries say that they varied
markedly in literary perfection. Usually the original manuscripts written when she was not burdened with
travel and preaching, or full of anxieties connected with the conditions of the church, were found to be
beautiful, forceful, eloquent in expression, and with very few grammatical imperfections. But not a few of
the original manuscripts were written hurriedly when she was perplexed by cares and burdens, laboring
under the feeling that the manuscript must be completed quickly. At such times she paid little attention to
the rules of punctuation, capitalization, and spelling. There was much repetition and faulty grammatical
construction. She expected that these matters would be corrected by the copyist. Speaking of the work of
her helpers, Mrs. White, in 1900, made the following interesting statement about the part taken in her work
by Miss Marian Davis, who assisted her for more than twenty-years:
The books are not Marian's productions, but my own, gathered from all my writings. Marian has a large
field from which to draw, and her ability to arrange the matter is of great value to me. It saves my poring
over a mass of matter, which I have no time to do.-Letter 61a, 1900.
Another of her secretaries, at a later time, wrote as follows.
The editors in no wise change Sister Whites expression if it is grammatically correct, and is an evident
expression of the evident thought. Sister White as human instrumentality has a pronounced style of her
own, which is preserved all through her books and articles that stamps the matter with her individuality.
Many times her manuscript does not need any editing, often but slight editing, and again a great deal of
literary work; but article or chapter, whatever has been done upon it, Is passed back Into her hands by the
editor.-Fannie Bolton, in "A Confession Concerning the Testimony of Jesus Christ, written in 1901.
Perhaps in some minds the question may linger as to whether the writings, in passing through the hands of
the literary assistants, may not have been altered somewhat in thought, or have received additions to the
thoughts of the author. This question is clearly answered by written statements from several of Mrs. White's
helpers, found in our files.
D. E. Robinson, for many years a literary assistant, said in 1933:-In all good conscience I can testify that never was I presumptuous enough to venture to add any ideas of
my own or to do other than follow with most scrupulous care the thoughts of the author, 4

Numerous Errors in Ellen Whites Texts


The untrained and inexpert readers might not see much English language error evidence
in Arthur Whites mild and understated comments about (1) the serious problems that plagued
Ellen G. Whites handwritten pages that she assigned to her numerous assistants or rather
ghost writers for the pre-press and publication update, and also about (2) the radical and
extensive work that these editorial assistants, grammarians, or ghost writers had to perform
in order to convert Ellen G. Whites plagiarized and illiterate scribbles into coherent and
intelligible text that would be published as real books or articles. Such blatant and ludicrous
errors escape those who know little about how Ellens incoherent and illegible notes that were
scattered about in the prophets various handwritten manuscripts and diaries became
professional and remarkable prose.

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 10

English language experts will be able to notice, though, that, in Arthurs Whites own
words, (1) Ellen G. Whites knowledge of the technical rules of writing waslimited, that her
husband, James White, indicated in her pages (2) serious English composition weaknesses, (3)
faulty grammar, and (4) needless repetition, that her editorial secretaries or rather ghost writers
had to search in her hand scribbles for text that was not (5) grammatically consistent, and for all
the written paragraphs and sentences that contained (6) faulty word arrangement and (7)
plainly unnecessary repetition. Arthur White also states that at times Ellen G. White paid little
attention to (8) the rules of punctuation, (9) capitalization, and (10) spelling, and that the pages
showed (11) much repetition and (12) faulty grammatical construction. These sentences and
paragraphs that Ellen G. White passed on to her editorial assistants for improvement required
advanced and comprehensive English language expertise that enabled the ghost writers to edit
and therefore alter Ellen Whites scribbles, and perform the needed error correction in order to
make those texts literate, legible, and so beautiful, which makes certain SDA church members
to consider them at times angelic.
Ellen G. Whites English Summarized
Some readers might doubt that errors such as those mentioned above could be detected in
Ellen G. Whites hand manuscripts, and that, indeed, her English language skills were less than
poor, and suspect that this documents writer must have a strong bias against the SDA prophet
that would make his criticism unreliable and his conclusions about the prophets language
abilities unreasonable. These readers are encouraged to examine Graybills personal conclusions
on the same issue:
With effort, Mrs. White could write neatly and compose clear sentences. Early in her career, most of her
letters went out in her own hand. But with editors to rely on, she devoted less and less attention to style,
grammar, and penmanship. She usually wrote in great haste and deep conviction. The result was a torrent
of thoughts uninhibited by the conventions of complete sentences and compact paragraphs. Robert Peel
said of Mrs. Eddy that Some of the writing seems to be a rush and tumble of words, as though the
writers thoughts were flooding ahead of her pen. Sentences are chaotic, punctuation erratic,
quotations inexact, meanings obscure.22 The words might be applied to Ellen White as well
[emphasis added].5

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 11

IV. Ellens Claims for Divine Inspiration


Ellen G. White made repeated and excessive claims in which she vouched that all the
books, articles, pamphlets, etc., published under her name and for which she took full and
exclusive credit had no human origin, but that all those publications contained unadulterated and
Divine content which she received through messages that came to her through the visions she
alleged that she had received from God or through angelic dictations. States Graybill:
Both White and Eddy made astonishing claims for their writings. Mrs. Eddy proudly called Science and
Health, her babethe new-born Truth that would forever testify of itself, and its mother. 5 She said she
would blush to praise Science and Health as she had, were it of human origin, and were I, apart from God,
its author.6 In the same vein, the Adventist prophetess said: Sister White is not the originator of these
books. They contain the instruction that during her lifework God has been giving her.7Here writings were
the voice of God speaking.8 Whereas anciently God had used prophets and apostles to address his people,
now, White said, he spoke to them by the testimonies of His Spirit. There never was a time when God
instructed his people more earnestly than He instructs them now. 9 Those who lost confidence in her
testimonies would drift away from Bible truth and start a downward march to perdition. 10 1

Arthur White Backs Ellen Whites Claims


Arthur White supports Ellen G. Whites claims in this matter, and explains in the
minutest details the process through which the light came to the prophet through various
means and in various forms in his book, Ellen G. White Messenger to the Remnant:
[Not Written In Vision]
As the circumstances connected with the giving of the visions were diverse, and not subject to anyone fixed
pattern, so also the manner in which the light was imparted to God's messenger varied greatly. The prophets
of old did not become automatons mechanically recording or speaking the messages received. They were
not deprived of the use of their ordinary faculties in connection with their work as God's messengers.
It has been supposed by some that in Mrs. White's experience she wrote while in vision. This is not true.
Some have concluded that when she wrote she was recording words which she heard repeated to her by an
angel. This, too, is erroneous, except in rare instances when short, direct quotations are given of what the
attending angel said.
Some have been of the opinion that there was a mechanical force, which guided the pen, which she held in
her hand. Such a view is also entirely out of harmony with the facts.

[Her Mind Was Enlightened]


The revelation consisted in the enlightening of the mind, and then when not in vision it was the task of the
prophetwith the aid of the Spirit of God, of courseto pass on to others instruction, admonition, and
information of divine origin, which he had received. A wide range of subjects was covered in the visions.
Often the matters revealed were of general interest and concern, but frequently, too, specific messages were
given for individuals. In this article we shall deal with the manner in which the messenger received such
divine illumination. While several Bible instances will come to the mind of the reader, * we shall confine
this article to a number of concrete illustrations drawn from the Ellen G. White books and manuscripts,
setting forth typical cases in her experience.

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 12

[Comprehensive Time Visions]


At times the events of the past, present, and future were opened up to Ellen White in panoramic view. It
seemed to her that she witnessed in rapid succession the vivid enactment of the scenes of history. We quote
here a few sentences from the author's Introduction to The Great Controversy, giving us a glimpse of this
means of the enlightenment of her mind:
Through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, the scenes of the long-continued conflict between good and
evil have been opened to the writer of these pages. From time to time I have been permitted to behold the
working, in different ages, of the great controversy between Christ, the Prince of Life, the Author of our
salvation, and Satan, the prince of evil, the author of sin, the first transgressor of God's holy law....
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 that which has thus been revealed, --to trace the
history of the controversy in past ages, and especially so to present it as to shed a light on the fast
approaching struggle of the future. Pages x, xi.

[Direct Angelic Explanations]


Instruction came at times not only through the witnessing of the occurring of events but also through the
words of the accompanying angel, explaining the meaning of that which was seen. Notice this significant
experience, related in Volume IX of the Testimonies:
While at Loma Linda, California, April 16, 1906, there passed before me a most wonderful representation.
During a vision of the night, I stood on an eminence, from which I could see houses shaken like a reed in
the wind. Buildings, great and small, were falling to the ground. Pleasure resorts, theaters, hotels, and the
homes of the wealthy were shaken and shattered. Many lives were blotted out of existence, and the air was
filled with the shrieks of the injured and the terrified . . . . The awfulness of the scenes that passed before
me I cannot find words to describe. It seemed that the forbearance of God was exhausted, and that the
judgment day had come.
Terrible as was the representation that passed before me, that which impressed itself most vividly upon my
mind was the instruction given in connection with it. The angel that stood by my side declared that. God's
supreme rulership, and the sacredness of His law, must be revealed to those who persistently refuse to
render obedience to the King of kings. Those who choose to remain disloyal, must be visited in mercy with
judgments, in order that, if possible, they may be aroused to a realization of the sinfulness of their course.
- Pages 92, 93. (Italics mine.)

[Various Dangers Revealed]


Another illustration of this character is presented. Mrs. White was at one time a guest at the home of one of
our church members, but early during her stay she arose one morning at four oclock to write out some
things presented to her during the night. We quote from her account.
The angel of God said, Follow me: I seemed to be in a room in a rude building, and there were several
young men playing cards. They seemed to be very intent upon the amusement in which they were engaged
and were so engrossed that they did not seem to notice that anyone had entered the room. There were
young girls present observing the players, and words were spoken not of the most refined order. There was
a spirit and influence that were sensibly felt in that room that was not of a character calculated to purify and
uplift the mind and ennoble the character. . . .
I inquired, Who are these and what does this scene represent?
The word was spoken, Wait: . . .

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 13

I had another representation. There was the imbibing of the liquid poison, and the words and actions under
its influence were anything but favorable for serious thoughts, clear perception in business lines, pure
morals, and the uplifting of the participants. . . .
I asked again, Who are these?
The answer came, A portion of the family where you are visiting. The great adversary of souls, the great
enemy of God and man, the head of principalities and powers, and the ruler of the darkness of this world is
presiding here tonight. Satan and his angels are leading on with his temptations these poor souls to their
own ruin: - E. G. White Letter 1, 1893.
In connection with these scenes Mrs. White heard the young men called by name as the heavenly visitor
pointed out the dangers of card playing, gambling, and drinking. Much was said by the angel, which Mrs.
White repeated in her earnest appeal to this family, as she placed before them that which had been revealed
to her in this vivid way.

[Future Buildings Disclosed]


There were times when institutions or buildings which in the future would constitute a part of our
institutions, were shown to Mrs. White before they were erected, and at times before they were planned.
She refers to one such instance in a letter written in 1903:
I have been thinking of how, after we began sanitarium work in Battle Creek, sanitarium buildings all
ready for occupation were shown to me in vision. The Lord instructed me as to the way in which the work
in these buildings should be conducted in order for it to exert a saving influence on the patients.
All this seemed very real to me, but when I awoke I found that the work was yet to be done, that there
were no buildings erected.
Another time I was shown a large building going up on the site on which the Battle Creek Sanitarium was
afterward erected. The brethren were in great perplexity as to who should take charge of the work. I wept
sorely. One of authority stood up among us, and said, Not yet. You are not ready to invest means in that
building, or to plan for its future management,
At this time the foundation of the sanitarium had been laid, But we needed to learn the lesson of waiting,
- E. G, White Letter 135, 1903.
Another excellent illustration of this may be cited in connection with the locating of the health food factory
at Loma Linda in the year 1906. The manager and his associates were planning for the erection of a large
building very near the main sanitarium building. While plans were developing, Mrs. White, at her home in
northern California, was one night given two visions. Of the first of these she says:
I was shown a large building where many foods were made. There were also some smaller buildings near
the bakery. As I stood by, I heard loud voices in dispute over the work that was being done. There was a
lack of harmony among the workers, and confusion had come in.- E, G. White Letter 140, 1906. She then
saw J. A. Burden's distress, and his attempts to reason with the disputants to bring them into harmony. She
saw patients who overheard these disputes, and who were expressing words of regret that a food factory
should be established on these beautiful grounds, so near the sanitarium. Then One appeared on the
scene, and said: 'All this has been caused to pass before you as an object lesson, that you might see the
result of carrying out certain plans. Ibid.
Then the scene changed, and she saw the bakery at a distance from the sanitarium buildings, on the road
toward the railway. Here the work was being conducted in a humble way and in harmony with God's plan.
The narration of this to the Loma Linda workers quickly settled the question of the food factory site.

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 14

[How She Received Light]


This grouping of illustrations might be greatly enlarged, but sufficient is given here to form a good
representation of the varied ways in which the light was imparted by God to the mind of Ellen White. In an
illuminating statement made by her in 1860 we find this terse description of how matters were revealed to
her:
As inquiries are frequently made as to my state in vision, and after I come out, I would say that when the
Lord sees fit to give a vision, I am taken into the presence of Jesus and angels, and am entirely lost to
earthly things. I can see no farther than the angel directs me. My attention is often directed to scenes
transpiring upon earth.
At times I am carried far ahead into the future and shown what is to take place. Then again I am shown
things as they have occurred in the past, Spiritual Gifts, Vol. II, p. 292 (1860, Battle Creek). )
Thus it can be seen that in varied ways the messenger was informed and instructed through the visions by
day or by night.

[Sometimes Impromptu Words]


Not always, however, as Mrs. White took her place in the pulpit did she have a special message for those
who sat before her. Frequently in her public work as she met regular appointments, she chose to present
general lines of admonition and instruction of a character to benefit all who might be present. Not
infrequently on such occasions, as she proceeded with her subject, and looked over the congregation, she
saw faces which she recognized as having viewed in vision.
Their cases came clearly to her mind, and the discourse was shaped to meet their particular needs. There
were several instances when Mrs. White broke off with her subject abruptly and spoke directly to certain
persons present, giving them a message which had been entrusted to her for them, and then proceeded with
the main line of her discourse. The recognition of their faces revived the message clearly in her mind, and
she was impelled to speak of it. Writing in 1882, she declared:
When I am speaking to the people, I say much that I have not premeditated. The Spirit of the Lord
frequently comes upon me. I seem to be carried out of, and away from, myself; the life and character of
different persons are clearly presented before my mind. I see their errors and dangers, and feel compelled to
speak of what is thus brought before me. - Testimonies, Vol. V, p. 678.2

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 15

V. Plagiarism - Not Visions and Dictation


Such high claims about Ellen G. Whites sources for her publications, though, do not
match the actual facts. There is ample and indisputable evidence at this time that consistent
wholesale plagiarism accounts for the divine information that populates the numerous
publications for which she took credit. This conclusion comes from multiple sources and is based
on incontrovertible evidence. Rea summarizes the evidence about how Ellen G. White obtained
her inspiration for her publications in the following nine points:
1. It is now clear that Ellen was not original in her writing; her material was taken from other sources--on
all subjects, In all areas, in all books. 6
2. It is likewise clear that Ellen was indeed substantially influenced by her surroundings, her associates, and
other religious writers from whom she drew (copying, paraphrasing, and the like).7
3. The one disclaimer that had been made known in a general way (that the introductions of the 1888 and
1911 editions of The Great Controversy) does not truthfully deal with the issue. Why would anyone quote
from another's published work without intending to cite that person as his authority?
4. It has now been conceded that Ellen had much more help than the church members had been led to
believe and that her helpers did indeed have great latitude in selecting and arranging material and final
editing.8 Furthermore, in addition to the editorial assistants who are fairly well known-Marian Davis,
Clarence C. Crisler, Dores E. Robinson, Mary Steward, Fannie Bolton, Mary H. Crisler, Sarah Peck,
Maggie Hare, and H. Camden Lacey - a later release by Willie White calls attention to others less well
known about: From 1860 and onward, some of her manuscripts for publication, and some of her
testimonies, were copied by members of her family. 9 Then he named such copyists as Lucinda Abbey
Hall, Adelia Patten Van Horn, Anna Driscoll Loughborough, Addie Howe Cogshall, Annie Hale Royce,
Emma Sturgis Prescott, Mary Clough Watson, and Mrs. J. L. Ings. There may well have been others.
5. Ellen did not have the last word on what was written and did not always have the final say on what was
published.10 Even could it be proved that she was "always in control," that would not settle the ethical
questions.
6. It cannot be maintained either in good scholarship or in good conscience that verbal inspiration was
the problem with those who saw and understood what was going on. They knew what was going on and did
not accept the writings as from God and thus did not condone what was being done. 11
7. If and when anyone expressed convictions about these matters, that person was served with a personal
condemnatory testimony, or asked to leave, or, even worse, labeled as an enemy of the church and truth.12
8. Not all the early fathers and church workers accepted or believed that everything Ellen wrote was from
God and was always inspired. Her authority was not the final authority with them. 13
9. Ellen herself well knew what was being done, had a part in it all along, and encouraged others who
worked for her to do the same and say nothing about it.14 1

Reas notorious book, The White Lie, contains multiple pages with testimonies that
provide evidence that numerous and often prominent contemporaneous SDA members and
church leaders were familiar with the massive and shameless theft from various sources in the

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 16

books, articles, pamphlets, and even the letters that Ellen G. White had published and had
claimed to have been inspired, unique, and original. States the writer:
No one now defending Ellen and her acts was living at the time of her activity. Not even Grandson Arthur
can be an acceptable witness. His grandmother was past eighty years of age when he was born. Whatever
work she had done for the church had been done without Arthur's observation or knowledge. Certainly
Ronald D. Graybill and Robert W. Olson (both of the White Estate offices) were not present and therefore
must be disqualified as reliable witnesses. Furthermore, all three have built-in biases and conflict of
interest. Their positions, reputations, and monetary compensation make them unacceptable in any court of
arbitration as firsthand or dependable witnesses. The only advantage they may have that others of our times
do not have is their access to material and information that they refuse to divulge.
But there were witnesses who did see and did express themselves They need to have their day in court, if
only in incomplete form.
1. John N. Andrews.
One of the church founders; studious writer; editor. A contemporary of Ellen White's, her friend and helper.
Some of his ideas and words were included in her printed material as she formulated her theology.
J. N. Andrews, who at the time was in Battle Creek, was much interested.
After one of the meetings he told her some of the things she had said were much like a book he had read.
Then he asked if she had read Paradise Lost.... A few days later Elder Andrews came to the home with a
copy Paradise Lost and offered it to her.16
2. Uriah Smith.
Editor of the Review during Ellen White's time, a personal friend of the Whites; a writer whose material
found its way into Ellen's theology in several of her books.
It seems to me that the testimonies, practically, have come into that shape, that it is not of any use to try to
defend the enormous claims that are now put forth for themIf all the brethren were willing to investigate
this matter candidly and broadly, I believe some consistent common ground for all to stand upon could be
found. But some, of the rule or ruin spirit, are so dogmatical and stubborn that I suppose that any effort in
that direction would only lead to a rupture of the body.17
3. George B. Starr.
Evangelist, minister, teacher, administrator. He accompanied Ellen White to Australia and always defended
her writings and reputation.
On leaving my room I passed Sister White's doorway, and the door being ajar, she saw me and called me
into her room, saying, I am in trouble, Brother Starr, and would like to talk with you. I asked her what
was the nature of her trouble, and she replied, My writings, Fannie Bolton.18
4. Fannie Bolton.
Editorial assistant to Ellen White in Australia. Often praised for her editorial and writing ability.
Discharged by Ellen.

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 17

I tried for years to harmonize what seemed to me inconsistency in the work with a worldly literary maxim
that requires an author to acknowledge his editors and give credit to all works from which he quotes. In
contending that Sr. White was not open about this matter, I supposed myself standing for a principle of
ordinary justice and literary honesty, and looked upon myself as a martyr for truth's sake. 19
5. Merritt G. Kellogg.
Friend of the Whites; half-brother of John Harvey Kellogg; probably the first Adventist to reach California
and hold evangelistic meetings.
In 1894 [in Australia] Mrs. White told me that in writing the Great Controversy, and preparing it for the
press, Marian Davis and Fanny Bolton had charge of it. She further told me that these girls were
responsible for certain things which went into that book in the shape which they did.... Mrs. White did not
tell me just what wrong was committed by the girls. I suppose the reason why she spoke to me on the
subject was because of the fact that Fanny Bolton had come to me.... I told her just what Fanny had told
me.... Now, said Sister White with some warmth, Fanny Bolton shall never write another line for me....
From that day to this my eyes have been open.20
6. John Harvey Kellogg.
Surgeon, inventor, health advocate, writer, lecturer, teacher, businessman. Longtime personal friend of the
Whites.
I do not believe in her infallibility and never did. I told her eight years ago to her face that some of the
things she has sent to me as testimonies were not the truth, that they were not in harmony with the facts,
and she herself found it out. I have a letter from her in which she explains how she came to send me some
things.... I know people go to Sister White with some plan or scheme they want to carry through under her
endorsement of it and stand up and say, The Lord has spoken, and I know that is fraud, that that is taking
unfair advantage of peoples minds and of people's consciences... and l have no sympathy with that thing,
and I told W. C. White so long ago.21
7. Mary Clough.
Niece; daughter of Ellen White's sister Caroline. Although not herself an Adventist, for a time literary
assistant, publicity agent, and helper with the White writings. Discharged by Ellen.
[George B. Starr quoting Ellen White] I want to tell you of a vision I had about 2:00 oclock this
morning.... There appeared a chariot of gold and horses of silver above me, and Jesus, in royal majesty was
seated in the chariot. I was greatly impressed with the glory of this vision.... Then there came the words
rolling down over the clouds from the chariot from the lips of Jesus, Fannie Bolton is your adversary! . . .
I had this same vision about seven years ago, when my niece, Mary Clough, was on my writings. 22
8. George W. Amadon.
Served fifty years in various capacities in the Review and Herald Publishing Association, and in the church,
in three cities. Friend of the Whites.
I knew a large share of it [How to Live] was borrowed.... [With reference to Sketches from the Life of
Paul] I said that Sister White never writes the prefaces to her books; I happen to know that others write
them; and I said it had been stated formally in the preface of the book that such things had been taken from
other works, that what had been copied verbatim ought to have been in quotation marks, or set in finer type,
or in footnotes or something of the sort the way printers generally do.... She never reads the proof.... Sister

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 18

White never in the Office sat down and read proofs properly.... You know in the days of the Elder James
White] how her writings were handled just as well as I do. 23
9. Arthur G. Daniels.
Minister, administrator; noted as one of the strongest leaders of the Adventist Church; president of the
General Conference 1901-22. Close personal friend of the Whites; in Australia.
Now you know something about that little book, The Life of Paul. You know the difficulty we got into
about that. We could never claim inspiration In the whole thought and makeup of the book, because it has
been thrown aside because It was badly put together. Credits were not given to the proper authorities, and
some of that crept into The Great Controversy - the lack of credits.... Personally that has never shaken
my faith, but there are men who have been greatly hurt by it, and I think it is because they claimed too
much for these writings.24
10. Benjamin L. House.
College professor of religion; present at the 1919 Bible Conference.
But such books as Sketches [from] the Life of Paul, Desire of Ages, and Great Controversy, were
composed differently, it seems to me, even by her secretaries than the nine volumes of the Testimonies. 25
11. W. W. Prescott.
One of Adventism's great educators; biblical scholar; Review editor; founder of two colleges, president of
three. Helped in amending and contributing to Ellen White's book material.
It seems to me that a large responsibility rests upon those of us who know that there are serious errors in
our authorized books and yet make no special effort to correct them. The people and our average ministers
trust us to furnish them with reliable statements, and they use our books as sufficient authority in their
sermons, but we let them go on year after year asserting things which we know to be untrue.... It seems to
me that what amounts to deception, though probably not intentional, has been practiced in making some of
her books, and that no serious effort has been made to disabuse the minds of the people. 26
12. Willard A. Colcord.
Minister, editor, religious liberty secretary of the General Conference.
This making use of so much matter written by others, in Sister White's writings, without quotes or credits,
has gotten her and her writings into quite a lot of trouble. One of the chief objects in the late revision of
Great Controversy was to fix up matters of this kind; and one of the chief reasons why Sketches from
the Life of Paul was never republished was because of serious defects in it on this ground.27
13. H. Camden Lacey.
Professor of Bible and biblical languages at five Adventist colleges; minister. Personal friend of the Whites.
Sr. Marian Davis was entrusted with the preparation of Desire of Ages andshe gathered her material
from every available source... She was greatly worried about finding material suitable for the first chapter
(and other chapters too for that matter) and I did what I could to help her; and I have good reason to believe
that she also appealed to Professor Prescott frequently for similar aid, and got it too in far richer and more
abundant measure than I could render.28

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 19

14. Healdsburg Ministerial Association.


A report in the local town paper of their comparison study of five books from which they determined Ellen
White had copied; March 20, 1889.
Elder Heale would have the Committee believe that she is not a reading woman. And also ask them to
believe that the historical facts and even the quotations are given to her in vision without depending on the
ordinary sources of information.... Would not any literary critic, judging from the quotations advanced and
a comparison of the passages indicated, conclude that Mrs. White in writing her Great Controversy, vol.
iv, had before her the open books and from them took both ideas and words? 29 2

Ellen G. Whites Plagiarism Exposed


Reas book, The White Lie,3 published in 1982 contained such powerful and indisputable
evidence that Ellen G. White had indeedtogether with her editorial assistants or ghost
writersused such extensive and brazen plagiarism to write the books, articles, and pamphlets
for which she took credit that the SDA church found itself in the unenviable and unavoidable
situation to acknowledge the facts. The truth was all out, but the SDA church could not resign
itself to that truth. It still wanted to do some damage control in order to attenuate the tremendous
devastation that the whistle blower had caused to the Ellen G. White legend and her plagiarized
works. States Rea:
In January of 1980, at my request, the Seventh-day Adventist Church sent some of their finest
representatives to meet with me in Glendale, California to explore the matter of Ellen White and her
borrowing from other authors. From that meeting was produced the now famous two-day recorded session,
which is available to anyone who wishes to listen to the tapes. Those tapes state clearly that the committee
unanimously felt that the evidence they had reviewed was (a) new and significant, (b) of a startling nature
which created new and important questions that had to be answered, (c) that the studies and communication
with me, Walter Rea, should continue on an advanced level, (d) that the church and all of its members
should be aware of the significance and extent of the studies and their NEW meaning.
Since that meeting PREXAD, the political arm of the church has overridden that committee and for all
practical purposes nullified the reasons for their deliberations. Several different study groups have been
commissioned by the church, including the services of a non-Adventist lawyer to downplay and minimize
the discoveries and conclusions of that Committee. Two of those study groups, Elder Cottrell and Elder
Specht, and Elder Veltman and his helpers, have never had their findings released in significant detail to the
church and its membership, even though in the first study, Specht and Cottrell were supposed to have
arrived at some mythical figure of 2.6% of copied material in the book Desire of Ages. Even before that
study by the two, F. D. Nichol, a former editor of the Review, had publicly stated that the studies he had
seen on copy work of Ellen White, showed at least four times that amount. After Elder Veltman finished
his study of eight years paid for by the church he stated that in the fifteen chapters he studied over thirtyfive per cent was found.4

Rea Summarizes His Own Research


Two decades after his book release, Walter Rea summarized his comprehensive and
meticulous research on Ellen G. Whites extensive and brazen plagiarism at the San Diego
Adventist Forum as follows:
My four complete manuscripts on Great Controversy, Acts of the Apostles, and Prophets and Kings and
Desire of Ages prove beyond any reasonable doubt that far more than 80 percent of the material enclosed

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 20

within the covers of these books was taken from other authors, and that if there had been no other authors
to copy, these four books could not have been produced with the information they now contain. In the last
year with the additional work done line by line page by page and chapter by chapter, it is now certain that if
every sentence was footnoted as should have been from the beginning, every page would have been proof
that all the material came from the books of Ellen Whites library.
All of this material which is now available to anyone wishing to find out truth for themselves, has been and
will be seen by Adventist and non-Adventist throughout the world by the thousands. The material does not
claim to be exhaustive in the research, but new findings will only add to the proof of how Ellen White used
others material to make her claims that all of it came from GOD. While what material has been found only
deals with a small fraction of the copy work of the life work of Ellen White, what has been discovered does
clearly reveal many things. Some of the conclusions that now have to be faced and still are not being faced
by the church leaders are:
a. That very little if anything in the Conflict Series came from Mrs. White or her visions that was
significant, and had not been expressed by others often in the language she claimed was given her by God
or His angels.
b. That not only the words, thoughts, form, expressions, Bible texts, but the speculations, suppositions,
imaginations, and conjectures of others writers became divine absolutes by carefully calculated and
deliberate design through the pen of Ellen White.
c. That in no way can the book Great Controversy as it was conceived and written by others before Ellen
White, be considered a divine revelation of the future but only a weak apology or justification for the
failures of the Millerite and early Adventist movement.
d. The manuscripts make positive that most if not all the criticism of the pen of Mrs. White and her work
had some validity, and that those [sic!] criticism must now be given new attention and new answers in the
light of the new discoveries.
e. It has been undeniably proven that much of what reached the final stage in the Conflict Series did not
come through the pen, inspiration, or work of Ellen White alone, but was given its final form, beauty and
intelligence by the effort, skills, and expertise of others, and that Mrs. White did not always supervise or
have the final words of what was drafted under her name. Others had enormous latitude and authority to
make changes that were often vital and significant. There is no way the church can prove that those five
books were the sole genius of Mrs. Whites effort or that GOD helped her write them. The church has also
admitted that the original manuscripts have been destroyed.
f. Finally, we must face, correct and change the false information we have been receiving over the last
century and a half, that is:
1. That Mrs. White was original. SHE WAS NOT.
2. That she was not influenced by her time or conditions or others. SHE WAS.
3. That she saw what she wrote from God. SHE DID NOT.
4. That she was truthful when she claimed she had never copied or used materials from others until after
she had written out her own thoughts or visions. SHE WAS NOT TRUTHFUL IN THIS STATEMENT.
5. That she always had the last overview of what she wrote. SHE DID NOT.

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 21

6. That everything she wrote came from God and was correct. IT DID NOT AND WAS NOT ALWAYS
CORRECT.
7. That what she did is excusable because of the Scriptures and Bible writers who also copied or because of
the pressures of her contemporary community. IT WAS NOT EXCUSABLE FOR ANY REASON.5

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 22

VI. Editorial Assistants and Their Roles


The Ghost Writers Were Indispensable
The massive plagiarism that Ellen White is claimed to have committed, though, did not
shape the few handwritten pages she produced into books and articles for the press. Even when
taken from multiple published sources, the borrowed phrases, sentences, paragraphs, and
chapters that would later be included into new books and claimed to be exclusive and unique
Divine revelation had to be edited, corrected, and integrated into the new documents because
Ellen Whites copies were incoherent and illiterate due to the fact that she had poor and
inadequate English composition skills, while her English grammar knowledge approached the
zero point. Her few extant manuscripts show undeniable evidence that her Sentences [were]
chaotic, punctuation erratic, quotations inexact, meanings obscure.1 It would have been
impossible for Ellen Whites illiterate handwritten scribbles to be sent to the press and published
in their rough and unedited format, and Ellen White was not skilled enough and able to prepare
those scrambled autographs for the press. For such specialized work, the prophet used
numerous editorial assistants. States Graybill:
While Mrs. Whites literary success need not be minimized, she could never have achieved it without
editorial secretaries. Her simple, vigorous style suited her direct way of saying things, but she never
mastered the technical aspects of writing. I am not a grammarian, she lamented, I cannot prepare my
own writings for the press.20 Up until the 1870s, she relied on her husband to polish her prose. When
illness limited his usefulness, she turned to secretariesusually devoted spinsters who could interpret her
modern hieroglyphics.21
With effort, Mrs. White could write neatly and compose clear sentences. Early in her career, most of her
letters went out in her own hand. But with editors to rely on, she devoted less and less attention to style,
grammar and penmanship. She usually wrote in great haste and deep conviction. The result was a torrent of
thoughts uninhibited by the conventions of complete sentences and complete paragraphs. Robert Peel said
of Mrs. Eddy that some of the writing seems to be in a rush and tumble of words, as though the writers
thoughts were flooding ahead of her pen. Sentences are chaotic, punctuation erratic, quotations inexact,
meaning obscure.22 The words might be applied to Ellen White as well.2

Ellen Whites Choice for Secretaries


The term secretaries is not the best or the most appropriate to describe the people who
worked to edit, improve, and correct Ellen Whites plagiarized handwritten scribbles. The writers
who were hired for this editorial work were individuals with intermediate to advanced English
composition skills and good grammar who could turn Ellens illiterate and illegible scrawls into
intelligent, literate, coherent, and even beautiful prosepeople with brains who could perform
their editorial work with limited or no supervision. States Graybill again:
Mrs. White wanted secretariescopyists, she called themwho were not merely mechanical.23 She
wanted brain workers who could enter into the spirit of the work, and do it intelligently, grasping the
ideas.24 They had to remove the crudities of her style, leaving only the polished thought; but she urged
them to preserve her words, and feared lest they take too many liberties with her language. They were to

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 23

correct spelling and grammar, insert punctuation, reword sentences, and frame paragraphs. Passages were
to be assembled from different letters to form articles, and repetitious and extraneous material was to be
eliminated.25
When she could find enough skilled help, Mrs. White had one secretary to handle her correspondence,
another to transcribe sermons and prepare articles, and still another to prepare her books. From 1879
onward, Marian Davis was her bookmaker. She does her work in this way, Mrs. White explained:
She takes my articles which are published in the papers, and pastes them in blank books. She also has a
copy of all the letters I write. In preparing a chapter for a book, Marian remembers that I have written
something on that special point, and if she finds it, and sees that it will make the chapter more clear, she
adds it.26
Although Mrs. White wrote all the material her secretaries used, they relieved her of the laborious task of
rewriting as well as the creative work of condensing and arranging material for publication. They greatly
expanded the volume of her published writing and enabled her to present her views in clear, correct prose.3

Ellen Whites Known Ghost Writers


Ellen White hired numerous brain workers, that is, English language expert editors who
performed work as secretaries or editorial assistants, and, in fact, ghost wrote and prepared
her books for publication. The kind prophet seldom gave them credit for their hard work, and
never included them as co-authors to her published materials, although, as shown above, without
them she could not have prepared for the press, published, and sold the books from which she
made her fortunes. The Northern Caribbean [NCU] Ellen G. White SDA Research Centre
provides to the readers in the section entitled Ellen G. White - Questions and Answers a partial
editorial assistants list:
Among those who helped Ellen White in preparing her writings for publication over the years were James
White, Mary Kelsey-White, Lucinda Abbey-Hall, Adelia Pattern-Van Horn, Anna Driscol-Loughborough,
Addie Clough-Watson, Mrs. J.I. Lings, Mrs.B.L. Whitney, Eliza Burnham, Fannie Bolton, Marian Davis,
C.C. Crisler, Minnie Hawkins-Crisler, Maggie Hare, Sarah Peck, and D.E. Robinson. Some bible writers
also had secretaries (Jer.36:4). 4

Moon, though, presents a much more thorough editorial assistants list in a Lecture
Online document entitled Ellen G. Whites Use of Literary Assistants, that he introduces with
the statement: During her lifetime, Ellen White employed some 20 paid or unpaid individuals to
help her in preparation of her letters and manuscripts for mailing or publication.5 The editorial
assistants list Moon provides is rather inclusive and provides useful information to the readers
such as the dates within which these ghost writers worked for Ellen White, and the editorial
clearance the prophet gave them for their work, that is, how much independence these people
had to manipulate her illegible manuscripts. Moons chronological list starts with James
White and continues until Ellen Whites death:
IV. Categories of Literary Helpers
A. Family Members

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 24

1. Husband, James White (1840s to 1870s)


a. He was educated as a schoolteacher, although like his wife, the bulk of his real education was life
education.
b. Helped with the Spiritual Gifts, Vols. I-IV series (1858-64).
c. Ellen White wrote out her thoughts during the daytime (while James was engaged in
pastoral/evangelistic responsibilities):
(1) At night they would sit together by candlelight at the table.
(2) James White would particularly:
(a) Correct grammatical errors
(b) Eliminate needless/excessive repetition (1SM 50).
d. Ellen White did not regard his judgment as infallible, nor his words inspired; but I have ever
believed him better qualified for this work than any other one of our preachers because of:
(1) His long experience, and because
(2) I have long seen he was especially called and adapted to the work . . . by the Lord (1T 612, 6123).
2. Niece, Mary Clough (1876, 1877)
a. Daughter of Ellen's eldest sister, Caroline Clough; father a Methodist clergyman.
b. Only non-SDA known to have been so employed.
(1) Literary talent was in the genes of the Harmon family.
(a) Mary Clough had written for newspapers.
(b) Franklin E. Belden, son of sister Sarah, wrote perhaps 600 gospel songs.
(c) Ellen White's son James Edson wrote both books and religious music; with cousin Frank Belden
collaborated on first SDA hymnal, Hymns and Tunes (1886).
c. Ellen White had a twofold ulterior motivation in so employing her niece:
(1) She hoped for Mary's conversion to the remnant church.
(2) Through Mary, she hoped to reach her sister Caroline, for the SDA message.
3. Daughter-in-law, Mary Kelsey White (1874-1890)
a. First wife of W. C. White (April 20, 1857 - June 18, 1890). Died of tuberculosis contracted in Basel,
Switzerland while she, W. C. White, and Ellen White were in Europe, 1885-87 (WCW, 22, 89).
b. Willie and Mary met in Battle Creek where Mary was a French major at BCC and a typesetter and
proofreader at the Review and Herald.
c. When the Whites went to California in 1875 to found the Signs of the Times and the Pacific Press, Mary
went along as a press worker. In 1876 she was elected treasurer of the Press, appointed managing editor of
the Signs and married to W. C. White. J. H. Kellogg had been Willie's rival for her hand, and never fully
forgave Willie for taking her to Europe where she caught the tuberculosis that she died of.
d. Mary wrote a number of editorials and articles for the Signs during 1875-76 (WCW, 22-25). As a
member of Ellen White's staff, she helped prepare for the printer Testimonies vols. 1-5, as well as other
projects (See Moon, WCW, 22-25, 119-129).
4. Son, James Edson White (1895-1896)
a. Edson's great contribution to the cause was his evangelistic work among African-Americans in the
Southern USA from 1894 to 1909 (See Ron Graybill, Mission to Black America).
(1) He wrote a Gospel Primer which served the dual purpose of a basic reading textbook and an
introduction to the gospel.
(2) His stern-wheeled riverboat Morning Star included living quarters, staterooms for other workers,
chapel, library, photographic darkroom, kitchen, and a print shop, where he printed:
(a) Extracts from the Gospel of John.
(b) Christ Our Saviour (158 pp.) - selected chapters from Ellen White's Life of Christ manuscript which
would be published in 1898 as Desire of Ages. For Christ Our Saviour, Edson rewrote the DA chapters in
basic English suitable for beginning readers.
b. In 1900, Marion Davis reworked Edson's 158-page work to 182 pages, and it was republished as The
Story of Jesus, a children's book still in print.
c. Ellen White not only supplied Edson with advance drafts of the chapters of the Life of Christ
manuscript, but strongly encouraged his project of rewriting them in simplified English:

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 25

Edson, you are at liberty to select from my writings the matter that is needed for the proposed simple
tracts and booklets for the southern field . . . You will know how simple to make the truth so as to be
understood and what portions to select . . . All that can be done should be done for the southern field
(Letter 86, 1895, in PM 209).
5. Son, W. C. White
a. Third of James and Ellen's 4 sons; younger of the 2 surviving sons (Moon, WCW, xii).
b. Of all the White family, Willie White was the most like his mother in temperament, viewpoints, lifestyle,
and agreement with her on all major issues. She came to trust him implicitly (WCW, 58-59, 66).
c. Ellen White began involving him in secretarial and perhaps editorial responsibilities when he was 19
(WCW, 63).
d. After the death of his father, W. C. White became his mother's most trusted confidant.
e. By 1881, when he was 27, he was acting as general supervisor of Ellen White's editorial staff (WCW,
112-113). He went with her to Europe and to Australia. She appointed him as the one primarily responsible
for the custody of her writings after her death, and he headed the White Estate from 1915 till his own death
in 1937 (See WCW, 451-456).
B. In-House Salaried Staff
1. At any given time, Ellen White would have between 6 and 12 employees working in her publishing
enterprise.
a. They would come, work for a period of time, then leave, and their places would then be taken by other
newcomers.
(1) Yet--significantly--Ellen White's literary style remained consistently unique through the years, though
there was a normal, gradual evolution in her style over her lifetime.5

Moon continues further in the Lecture Online document with an almost identical and
comprehensive editorial assistants list. This time the list focuses on the identities of the
editorial helpers that Ellen G. White used to ghost write her publications:
3. Identity of some of her helpers:
a. Marian Davis [1847-1904]; employed 25 years [1879-1904], and one of the longest serving).
(1) Ellen White called her my chief worker and my bookmaker. Her work is of a different order
altogether (3SM 91).
(a) She directed the Life of Christ (Desire of Ages) project as chief assistant.
(b) She also did major work in compiling MH and Ed.
(2) For biography see:
(a) Eileen M. Lantry, Miss Marian's Gold; PPPA, c1981, 80 pp.
(b) SDAE [1976]: 376, 377.
b. Other workers (during Ellen White's lifetime) included:
(1) Adelia Patten, who later married I. D. Van Horn, an evangelist, entered the White home in 1861 to help
care for the boys and assist Ellen White in preparing her writings for publication. Patten edited the Youth's
Instructor (1864-1867) and served as editor of and contributor to the 1864 composite work Appeal to the
Youth. She wrote the biographical sketch of the life and death of Henry White that preceded an edited
compilation of Ellen White's letters to her sons (See WCW, 3, 9 n. 1, 38 n. 4, and SDA Encyclopedia, art.
Van Horn, Isaac Doren).
(2) Miss E. J. Burnham.
(3) Miss Sarah Peck [1868-1968], SDAE [1976]: 1085.
(4) Miss Maggie Hare.
(5) [Mr.] Dores E. Robinson [1879-1957], SDAE [1976]: 1224.
(6) Miss Minnie Hawkins.
(7) Sister Tenney (wife [?] of George C. Tenney [1847-1921], SDAE [1976]: 1470.

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 26

(8) Miss Frances (Fannie) E. Bolton [1859-1926]: see Ron Graybill, The Fannie Bolton Story: A
Collection of Source Documents, White Estate, April, 1982, 122 pp.; see also The Sad Saga of Fannie
Bolton in Appendix A.
(9) Mrs. W. F. Caldwell.
(10) Charles C. Crisler [1877-1936], SDAE [1976]: 358, 359.
C. Professional Colleagues Acting as Consultants
Some read manuscripts and made suggestions on how to explain complex theological ideas insimplified
form; rearranged ideas, did minor rewording:
a. J. H. Waggoner [1820-89], SDAE [1976]:: 1563, 1564.
b. J. N. Loughborough [1832-1924], SDAE [1976]: 815, 816.
c. H. Camden Lacey [1871-1950], SDAE [1976]: 757.
d. Edwin R. Palmer [1869-1931], SDAE [1976]: 1070, 1071.
2. Some read manuscripts on health-related subjects % not to determine their veracity, but, rather, to see if
they could rephrase matters in ways more acceptable with contemporary medical professionals as well as
educated laymen:
a. J. H. Kellogg, see preface to Christian Temperance & Bible Hygiene (1890).
b. Dr. David Paulson [1868-1916], (SDAE [1976]: 1084) helped with MH, ca. 1905.
3. Some did assigned research on specific topics:
a. W. W. Prescott [1855-1944]: Education
(1) Commissioned to provide substitute historical quotations for 1911 ed. GC, to replace similar quotations
in 1888 (and earlier) editions from books now out-of print.
(2) He also presumed to submit a list of suggested changes for theological errors which he presumed to
find in earlier editions of GC.
(3) Ellen White accepted many of his historical suggestions, but rejected his theological suggestions.
(a) See biographical sketch SDA Encyclopedia; Gilbert M. Valentine, W. W. Prescott; SDA Educator,
Ph.D. dissertation, AU (1982, 2 vols, 659 pp.); portion reproduced in The Shaping of Adventism (AU Press,
1992, 307 pp.); Arthur L. White shelf document, The Prescott Letter to W. C. White (April 6, 1915): A
Statement, June 15, 1981, 41 pp.6

The information Moon has provided in his Lecture Online quoted above provides the
readers with a good idea about the editorial slaves Ellen G. White has used through about
seven decades in order to edit, prepare for the press, and publish the books, articles, letters, and
other documents for which she made high claims, took dishonest credit, and from which she
became rich and profligate. Brought together in one place, all these people would make a large
and heterogeneous platoon that stood at attention before her prophetic presence and
submitted themselves to her illegitimate and illegal orders.

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 27

VII. The Work Her Assistants Performed


The extensive research that I have performed in order to understand the deceptive and
fraudulent editorial process through which Ellen Whites illegible and illiterate plagiarized
scribbles became converted to the angelic prose for which she took unfair and dishonest
credit helped me realize that one does not need to go further than the current SDA theological
literature in order to discover the phenomenon. Moon, for instance, has provided to the public
two documents that include ample information about who those secretaries or editorial
assistants were, and what was the editorial work these uncredited people performed. Names
have been provided above.
The second document that Moon provides is entitled The Editorial Process, and in this
document the author describes in detail the editorial process through which the rough and
unfinished scribbles Ellen White produced suffered the transformation to the almost perfect
prose that most Adventist take for evidence that the words, sentences, and paragraphs in the
documents she published and took credit for have no human source but were originated from
above through visions or angelic dictations. This exploration must begin with the baseline, Ellen
Whites writer skills when she published the enormous amount of books, articles, letters, and
other materials for which she took credit and from which she profited.
Ellen Whites Disastrous Writer Skills
When she lived with her parents in Portland, Maine, Ellen White had an accident that
produced a radical change in her life. She was nine at the time, and a classmate hit her on the
nose with a stone.1 Due to the health consequences that followed, Ellens formal education
ended abruptly.2 After that horrendous accident, she was able to attend school but little,3 and
it seemed impossible for [her] to study and to retain what [she] learned.4 She was so weak that
her hand trembled so that [she] made but little progress in writing,5 and she could get no
farther than the simple copies in coarse hand.6 Because she was so debilitated, her teachers
recommended that she leave school for a time until she regained her health.7 She never returned
to formal education, and evidence shows that her writer skills never developed enough in order
to be adequate for book and article publication.
She was 45 when she complained that she [was] not a scholar,8 that she could not
prepare [her] own writings for the press,9 and she wished to become a scholar in the
[grammar] science.10 Her inadequate skills made it imperative that she have help from her
husband and others all the time.11 The prophet even became so discouraged and despondent
with her poor editorial skills that she stated that therefore I shall do no more with them at
present. I am not a scholar. I cannot prepare my own writings for the press. Until I can do this I
shall write no more.12
Arthur White mentions that it was ever a source of regret to Mrs. White that her
schooling had been very brief, and her knowledge of the technical rules of writing was therefore
limited.13 When she started to publish, she asked James White to help her in preparing it [the
work] technically for publication,14 and he would point out weaknesses in composition and
faulty grammar.15 Ellen White emphasizes the fact that her husband corrected her grammatical
errors16 and eliminated needless repetition17 from here sentences and paragraphs. When James
White could not give time to the technical correction of all her writings, the burden of making

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 28

grammatical corrections,18 Ellen had to resort to editorial assistants for the same editorial
work, that is, the burden of making grammatical corrections.19 That editorial work was needed
because often her sentences and paragraphs were not grammatically consistent,20 and also were
plagued with faulty arrangement,21and unnecessary repetition.22 Often, she paid little
attention to the rules of punctuation, capitalization, and spelling, 23 and there was much
repetition and faulty grammatical construction [in her paragraphs].24
We need to reiterate again at this point for increased emphasis Graybills expert
conclusion about the illiterate and inept rhetorical and grammatical features that characterized
Ellen Whites handwritten scribbles before the editorial assistants worked their astral and
phenomenal magic on her manuscripts:
With effort, Mrs. White could write neatly and compose clear sentences. Early in her career, most of her
letters went out in her own hand. But with editors to rely on, she devoted less and less attention to style,
grammar, and penmanship. She usually wrote in great haste and deep conviction. The result was a torrent
of thoughts uninhibited by the conventions of complete sentences and compact paragraphs. Robert Peel
said of Mrs. Eddy that Some of the writing seems to be a rush and tumble of words, as though the writers
thoughts were flooding ahead of her pen. Sentences are chaotic, punctuation erratic, quotations inexact,
meanings obscure.22 The words might be applied to Ellen White as well.25

The Ghost Writer Editorial Process


How Ellen Whites illiterate, incongruent, and unintelligible scrawls became the
wonderful prose that is considered the main evidence that he books and articles had a divine
origin and that the numerous prophetic claims she made were genuine is a puzzle and an enigma
when we consider that her composition and grammar skills were so poor and inadequate. For
Moon, the radical changes that had to take place in order to convert her miserable scribbles into
literate, congruent, and even beautiful prose seems to be a walk in the park. Here is how Moon
fantasizes about the massive, comprehensive, and complicated editorial process through which
Ellen Whites plagiarized longhand scratches had to go in order to become divine prose:
The Reasons for the Editing
1. E. G. White to Uriah Smith, Feb. 19, 1884 (Letter 11, 1884), cited more fully in Moon, W. C. White, 126.
I was shown years ago that we should not delay publishing the important light given me because I could
not prepare the matter perfectly. . . .
I was shown that I should present before the people in the best manner possible the light received; then as
I received greater light, and as I used the talent God had given me, I should have increased ability to use in
writing and in speaking.
I was to improve everything, as far as possible bringing it to perfection, that it might be accepted by
intelligent minds. As far as possible every defect should be removed from all our publications. 26

Husband Edits Ellens Work


As Ellen Harmons friendship with James White blossomed into marriage, it was only natural that she
should share with him her concerns about preparing her writings for publication. Years later their third son,

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 29

Willie, recalled the early editorial process that took place between his parents. Ellen White would often
read aloud to James what she had just written. If her husband discovered weaknesses in the composition,
such as faulty tenses of verbs, or disagreements between subject, noun, and verb, he would suggest
grammatical corrections. These she would write into her manuscript and then read on.2
Willies first glimpses of the decisions involved in publishing also came in the home. Sometimes after
Mother had read to her husband an important personal testimony, the question would arise, What shall we
do with it? Besides the person for whom it was first written, the instruction it contains will be of service
to many others, he recalled his mother saying. How shall we get it before them? 3 27

Leaders Handle Ellens Work


Not only James White, but others as well, were asked for their counsel regarding the most effective way to
use the material written. W.C. White reported his mother as often saying to James, I have done my part
in writing out what God has revealed to me. You and your associates who are bearing the burden of labor
for our people at large, must decide what use shall be made of it. At other times she and James would
consult with some of the leading brethren regarding the best manner of publicizing the instruction
given.
In the early days of this cause, if some of the leading brethren were present when messages from the Lord
were given, we would consult with them as to the best manner of bringing the instruction before the people.
Sometimes it was decided that certain portions would better not be read before a congregation. Sometimes
those whose course was reproved would request that the matters pointing out their wrongs and dangers
should be read before others, that they, too, might be benefited (SM 1:51).
Thus there are very early precedents for Ellen Whites inviting suggestions from respected associates
regarding the editing and publication of her writings. So it was natural for her to entrust similar
responsibilities to Willie as he grew up.28

Son Handles Ellens Work


W. C. Whites adult involvement in his mothers publishing work went back at least to July 1874, when,
she began enlisting him in secretarial and perhaps editorial aspects of her work. They worked together on a
thirty-two-page tract entitled The Sufferings of Christ. She explained to James: Willie has helped me, and
now we take it to the office for Uriah [Smith] to criticize it (E.G. White to James White, July 17, 1874).
The following spring, at age 20, Willie was appointed acting business manager of the fledgling Pacific
Press. His involvement in the publishing aspects of his mothers work continued in connection with his
managerial responsibilities at the Pacific Press. She sent him articles to publish in the Signs of the Times,
saying that Uriah Smith wanted them for the Review and Herald but that she preferred for the Signs to have
them first. Six days later she wrote to Willie again.
If you do not want them, I will let Uriah publish them. He wants them. Let me know at once if you feel
any reluctance and had rather they would appear in [the] Review first, all right just express yourself freely
(E.G. White to W.C. White, July 20, 1875).
It appears that it was immaterial to her which periodical published the material first. She may well have
wanted to give her editor son the opportunity to scoop the other magazine, but if for any reason he did
not want to publish her articles immediately she would let Uriah Smith have them for the Review. In this
case, she allowed both White and Smith to publish immediately or postpone publication at their own
discretion.
In 1878-1879 she gave him considerably broader authority in the preparation of Testimonies 28 and 29
(now in Testimonies 4:271-383 and 4:384-522). She authorized him to select what material to publish in
No. 28, and what material to hold over for No. 29. In adapting personal testimonies for publication to a

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 30

wider audience, she specifically directed him to make minor changes as necessary to protect the identity of
the individuals originally addressed: All very personal [references] such as names must be left out (E.G.
White to M. K. White and W.C. White, January 6, 1879). She asked him not to shorten the material merely
for space considerations, but did authorize him to abridge if the composition would be helped by so
doing.
We would say to you, Make what corrections you deem necessary, but Father and I thought you should
not abridge unless the composition would be helped by so doing. That [which] we have received and read is
all right we think. We shall have more matter soon for the second testimony, No. 29, to follow immediately
[after] No. 28. The final product would be safeguarded by her practice of receiving advance proofs for her
approval before publication (E.G. White to W.C. White and M.K. White, January 2, 1879).
She also asked him and Mary to gather materials for her to use in her writing (E.G. White to W.C. White
and M.K. White, October 30, November 7, 1880). While the extent of W.C. Whites editorial involvement
in his mothers work during this period was small, he had already begun most of the editorial functions that
he would perform later.29

Beautiful Text When Not Rushed?


The context of the W. C. White letter quoted below occurred as follows. One of Ellen Whites editorial
assistants was Fannie Bolton. After leaving Ellen Whites employ, Bolton made claims that she had largely
authored some of the writings that went out over Ellen Whites signature. Specifically, she claimed that a
letter of reproof to A.R. Henry of Battle Creek had been outlined by Ellen White for Fannie to compose
entirely. The allegations have since been refuted, but at the time they sounded plausible to some who were
unfamiliar with Ellen Whites writings.
B. Boltons allegations led W.C. White to write a letter to G.A. Irwin in which he made some detailed
comments about the methods of Ellen Whites editorial staff (W. C. White to G. A. Irwin, May 7, 1900).
Note how this letter describes in detail the editorial process.
C. Clear distinction between Ellen Whites role and that of her staff. I have been very familiar with
mothers work for many years, and with the work that is required of her copyists, and editors. . . . I do not
know of any one who has ever been connected with her work [except Bolton], but would as quickly put
their hand into the fire and hold it there, as to attempt to add any thoughts to what mother had written in
any testimony to any individual.
D. Ellen Whites First Draft
In his own time and manner, the Lord reveals to her precious truths and facts regarding the movements
and dangers, and privileges of the church, and of individuals. These things she writes out as she has time
and strength, often rising at a very early hour, that she may write while the matter is fresh in her mind, and
before there is liability of interruption in her work.
As many matters are revealed to her in a very short space of time, and as these matters are sometimes
similar, and sometimes different; so she writes them out, sometimes many pages on one subject, and
sometimes dealing with many subjects in a few pages. In her eager haste to transfer to the written page the
thought[s] that have been pictured to her mind, she does not stop to study gramatical [sic], or rhetorical
forms, but writes out the facts as clearly as she can, and as fully as possible.
E. Why the amount of editing varied.
Sometimes, when mothers mind is rested, and free, the thoughts are presented in language that is not only
clear and strong, but beautiful and correct; and at times when she is weary and oppressed with heavy
burdens of anxiety, or when the subject is difficult to portray, there are repetitions, and ungram[m]atical
sentences.30

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 31

Extensive Editorial Changes


F. Two levels of editorial responsibility
1. Responsibilities of copyists (typists)
Mothers copyists are entrusted with the work of correcting gram[m]atical errors, of eliminating
unnecessary repetition, and of grouping paragraphs and sections in their best order.
2. Responsibilities of workers of experience
Mothers workers of experience, such as sisters Davis, Burnham, Bolton, Peck, and Hare, who are very
familiar with her writings, are authorized to take a sentence, paragraph, or section, from one manuscript
where the thought was clearly and fully expressed, and incorporate it with another manuscript, where the
same thought was expressed but not so clearly.31

Ghost Writers Not Inspired


The Holy Spirit aided Ellen Whites helpers, but this was not Inspiration.
Those who have been entrusted with the preparation of these manuscript[s], have been persons who feared
the Lord, and who sought him [sic] daily for wisdom and guidance, and they have shared much of His
blessing, and the guidance of His Holy Spirit in understanding the precious truths that they were handling.
I, myself [W. C. White], have felt the same blessing, and heavenly enlightenment in answer to prayer for
wisdom to understand the spiritual truths in these writings, that I have in studying the Bible. This was a
sweet fulfillment of the promise of the Holy Spirit as a teacher and guide, in understanding the word. And
in answer to prayer, my memory has been refreshed as to where to find very precious statements amongst
mothers writings, that brought in connection with the manuscript at hand, would make a useful article.
However thankful the copyist may be for this quickening of the mind and memory, it would seem to me to
be wholly out of place for us to call this inspiration, for it is not in any sense the same gift as that by
which the truths are revealed to mother. It is right here that S[iste]r Bolton is in great danger of being
deceived and of leading others astray. The blessing of a clear mind, and an active memory, she has called
an inspiration, and the unwise use of the term has led those who know less of the work . . . to come to
wrong conclusions about what she has done.32

The Letter Preparation Task


The perennial task of Ellen Whites staff was the preparation of letters, which could involve much more
than merely typing the handwritten manuscript. W. C. White mentioned to his mother how the staff handled
the preparation of one long letter. Yesterday we received your letter accompanied by a long one for Bro.
A. C. B[ourdeau]. Mary [White] will try to fix it as she has strength. I had not the heart to give it to Marian
[Davis]. She is worn out with this sort of work and it is a great burden to her to take these very long
manuscripts, and decide how to fix them (W. C. White to E. G. White, November 22, 1886; the letter
referred to [E. G. White to A. C. Bourdeau, November 20, 1886] was some 4000 words long, making 11
typewritten pages).
The kind of work Ellen White expected of her staff is shown in the instruction she gave about the
preparation of another letter, written from England and sent to her staff in Basel, Switzerland. I send you
this letter and want you to have it copied and send me a copy at once to read to Mrs. Green. Do with it as
your judgment shall indicate. The last sentence is an obvious reference to the editorial process. She
indicated that her staff in Basel should edit the letter according to their own judgment, type it, and send it
back to her in England as soon as possible, where she would personally read it to Mrs. Green (E. G. White
to Children, July 20, 1887).33

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 32

Sermons and Periodicals Prepared


1. One of the sources of periodical articles was the sermons Ellen White presented on a regular basis. In a
letter from Basel, she described the process by which her sermons were placed in writing. Sara McInterfer
writes out the discourses I have given which she has taken in shorthand. She explained that Mary K.
White was also engaged in preparing for publication morning talks that Ellen White had given in
Battle Creek and other places (E. G. White to Edson and Emma, January 19, 1887). These sermons were
frequently published in periodicals, in both the Review and Herald and the Signs of the Times.
2. During the European period, there were times when her limited staff could not keep up with this demand.
It was decided that the staff should concentrate their efforts on the publication of Spirit of Prophecy,
volume 1 (forerunner of Patriarchs and Prophets).
3. In order to save time, W. C. White proposed to C.H. Jones, manager of the Pacific White would depend
on the editors of the respective papers to prepare the manuscripts for publication.
Mother has notified the editors of the Review that she will furnish them with manuscript if they will
prepare it for the paper. The larger part of the sermons which mother has delivered over here have been
reported and written out and we can furnish you with a good supply of them, if you have someone there
who can prepare them for the paper. It is not reasonable for us to attempt the work here. Mother will gladly
furnish this manuscript without charge if we are released from the task of preparing them for the papers
(W. C. White to C. H. Jones, December 5, 1886).
This arrangement highlights the trust she placed in those editors to make careful use of her materials, since
the articles would appear in print without the possibility of her final inspection.
4. This confidence is also explicit in a letter she wrote to Uriah Smith six years later from Australia.
You have written to me in regard to what shall be done with the article addressed to the Battle Creek
Church. I answer, Do with it as you think best, using it as you judge it will best serve the cause of God.
Please follow your own judgment as to the disposal of any thing I may write from henceforth, unless I give
special directions concerning it. After it serves the special purpose for which it was written, you may drop
out the personal matter and make it general, and put it to whatever use you may think best for the interests
of the cause of God. As you say, we are far separated, and two or three months must pass before
communications can be answered however important may be their character, therefore it is best not to wait
my decisions on matters of this kind, especially when your judgment is evidently in harmony with what is
best, and something to which I could have no objection (E. G. White to U. Smith, September 19, 1892).
Here she gave Smith a wide latitude to adapt her testimonies by deleting personal matter and then to
reuse them as he felt would best serve the cause of God. The conservative approach that Smith and other
denominational editors took regarding such editing may be a reason why the periodical articles are often
rougher in style than the books in which these articles were later reused by Ellen White. 34

Books Compiled Not Inspired


D. Books. Most of Ellen Whites books were produced in whole or in part by compilation.
1. Marian Davis
Ellen White referred to Marian Davis as my bookmaker and described her work of compilation in detail.
She gathers materials from my diaries, from my letters, and from the articles published in the papers. . . .
She has been with me for twenty-five years, and has constantly been gaining increasing ability for the work
of classifying and grouping my writings (E. G. White to Brother and Sister [J.A.] Burden, January 6, 1903).

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 33

She takes my articles which are published in the papers, and pastes them in blank books. She also has a
copy of all the letters I write. In preparing a chapter for a book, Marian remembers that I have written
something on that special point, which may make the matter more forcible. She begins to search for this,
and if, when she finds it, she sees that it will make the chapter more clear, she adds it.
The books are not Marians productions, but my own, gathered from all my writings. Marian has a large
field from which to draw, and her ability to arrange the matter is of great value to me. It saves my poring
over a mass of matter, which I have no time to do (E. G. White to G. A Irwin, April 23, 1900).
When Marian had brought together her compilation of Ellen Whites writings on a topic, she would present
the compiled materials to Ellen White. Ellen White would look it over and write additional material as
required to unite the material compiled from her previous writings (E. G. White, A Tribute to Marian
Davis, MS 95, 1904).35

The Pantheist Compiles a Book


J. H. Kellogg helped in the compilation of Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene (1890). Kellogg
explained in the preface that the book was a compilation, and in some sense an abstract, of the various
writings of Mrs. White upon this subject, with the addition of several articles by James White. The work
of compilation has been done under the supervision of Mrs. White, by a committee appointed by her for the
purpose, and the manuscript has been carefully examined by her (Christian Temperance and Bible
Hygiene, iv).36

Reasons for Editorial Assistants Use


Ellen White used more than 20 editorial assistants to help her publish the numerous
books, articles, pamphlets, and letters listed under her name. Moon argues that the reason for all
those helpers was because (1) she recognized the need of careful editing of material that was
to be published, (2) because there was a need to improve the spelling, grammatical expressions,
and sentence structure of her manuscripts before publication, (3) because divine revelation did
not (usually) dictate the prophets words but rather supplied the prophets mind with thoughts,
and because (4) she wanted to make her writings as perfect as possible so that educated readers
might not be repelled by deficiencies of grammar and syntax. States Moon:
A. From the time of Ellen Harmons earliest writings, she recognized the need of careful editing of material
that was to be published.
B. Consequently, she asked family members and other trusted colleagues to make editorial suggestions for
improving the spelling, grammatical expressions, and sentence structure of her manuscripts before
publication.
C. At least by 1881, she had begun to employ full-time literary assistants to help with typing and editing
her manuscript.
D. A major premise that informed the role Ellen White gave to her editorial assistants was her concept of
inspiration. She believed that divine revelation did not (usually) dictate the prophets words but rather
supplied the prophets mind with thoughts (1 SM, 21). Inspiration then guided the prophet as
communicator, not only in the initial formulation of thoughts into words, but also in the subsequent
improvement of those expressions by herself or with the help of others. Working on this premise, Ellen
White employed literary assistants who did various levels of editorial work under her supervision and
subject to her final approval (W. C. White and Ellen G. White, 150-151).

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 34

E. Another motivation was her goal to make her writings as perfect as possible so that educated readers
might not be repelled by deficiencies of grammar and syntax. For this reason, Ellen Whites most
experienced and trusted workers were authorized to rearrange the sequence of words and sentences and
even incorporate clarifying passages from other Ellen White manuscripts in order to improve clarity and
readability.37

Editorial Assistants - Indispensable


What Moon omits to include in the reasons list above is the fact that Ellen White could
not have prepared for the press and sent to be published the books, articles, pamphlets, and
letters for which she took unfair credit without her editorial assistants. Those helpers were
essential and indispensable to her. Without them no documents could have been prepared for the
press, no publication work could have been done, and no profit could have been made. The fact
that Ellen White never credited her editorial workers for their exceptional work to produce the
books that made her rich indicates that those people were nothing more to her than tools that met
her purpose, laborers, or slaves. Moon attributes to these helpers, secretaries, and
editorial assistants the role of trained scribes that took Ellen Whites original manuscripts
and polished them, but never changed the lexical content or modified the thoughts in those
handwritten documents. This, though, is not the case. What Moon leaves out from his desperate
defense in Ellen Whites favor is that (1) the manuscripts, or autographs handed over to her
editorial assistants contained text stolen from different authors but about which she claimed
that she had obtained in visions or through angelic dictations, and (2) her scribbles required
such an intensive and extensive editorial work that the final product was text for which she
forfeited her rights to authorship. Moons inadequate defense for Ellen White is included below.

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 35

VIII. Moon Defends Ellen Whites Claims


Absolute Control over Her Works
That Ellen White used such numerous helpers in order to write her books is quite
unusual and rather odd. That she claimed that she could have absolute control on all the written
pages in the publications for which she took credit and that all the words in those publications
were inspired is even harder to accept and believe. Questions have arisen about her claims, and
some readers have advanced the idea that the true authors for the books, articles, pamphlets, and
letters published under Ellen Whites name were the editorial slaves, and not the woman who
did not much more than supervise the process. Moon argues that such an alternative option could
neither be plausible nor viable. He states:
Critics have exploited Ellen White's use of literary help in three ways:
a. They have asserted (as did Canright) that anything written by a true prophet should be absolutely perfect
in first draft and need no improvement. Implicit assumption: dictation-verbal inspiration.
b. They have sometimes claimed that Ellen White's helpers were the real authors of her works. Fannie
Bolton once claimed to have written Steps to Christ. A little time on the CD-ROM, however, will
demonstrate that Steps to Christ actually began as a compilation.1
A recurring theme among critics of EGW is the suggestion that she is not the real author of the books
which bear her name.
1. Various reasons have been offered to support this conjecture (and that is exactly what the charge is-unsupported allegation):
a. In her earlier years: her limited education allegedly precluded the possibility of writing the sophisticated
works attributed to her (which church leaders were supposed to have ghost-written).
b. In her latter years: senility is said to have set in, and she was alleged to be totally incapable of phrasing
an intelligent sentence because of the infirmities of advancing age.
2. Interestingly, the critics have failed to bring forward hard, coercive evidence to back up these ingenious
speculations (and, of course, the burden of proof rests with the critic).
B. An examination of the objective data suggests the total fallacy of this line of reasoning.
Let us now examine:
1. The internal evidence.
2. The external evidence.
C. Internal Evidence for Her Authorship
1. Literary Style: A careful rhetorical analysis of stylistic elements in the corpus of the EGW writings
(which covered six decades) points to the obvious conclusion that these are all the literary productions of
one and the same author.
There is, over the years, a recognizable evolution in literary style (as there is with any writer of literature):
(1) Sentence structure--and length--in the earliest writings tend to be simple, with much use of compoundcomplex sentences.
(2) Vocabulary tends toward the simplest, most basic words.

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 36

(3) Paragraphs tend, generally, to be inordinately long.


(a) And Early Writings is a classic example of these manifestations.
2. In later years, unsurprisingly, a maturity in development of style is observed:
a. Sentence and paragraph length varies from page to page.
B.Vocabulary is more sophisticated.
c. And there is an aesthetic beauty in much of the prose not often witnessed in the earliest writing.
3. There is an evolution of style; but it is an evolution in the style of one writer, not an evidence of
multiple-authorship, as some critics aver.
a. Some of EGW's literary helpers stayed for long tenures: Marian Davis worked for her 25 years.
b. But perhaps the more common experience was a fairly short tenure--helpers came and went, while EGW
continued to labor with her pen.
(1) You see, if her helpers were the real authors of those works, then there should be marked-even abruptchanges in the established literary style over the decades.
(2) But an examination of those writings does not support the assertion of the critics; and the evidence
forces the conclusion that we deal with the works of a single author.
c. We note in passing that these arguments have much in common with those raised against the authorship
of various Biblical books.
(1) Evangelical scholars reject these groundless assumptions and assertions for the same reasons that we
reject allegations against EGW's authorship of the books which bear her name.
4. Existence of Handwritten Originals
a. The first practical typewriter was marketed in 1874; 11 years later (in 1885, when EGW was 58), she
purchased these machines for her office staff. She was a progressive person who wanted up-to-date
equipment for her helpers.
b. That EGW herself, however, never learned to operate a typewriter is fortunate for researchers today,
because the first draft of all her manuscripts was written in longhand-- indisputable evidence, today, that
she was, indeed, the author! She, therefore, perhaps tended to need more literary helpers than might
otherwise have been the case. And the task of many of her helpers was simply to reduce to typewritten
form the handwritten (autograph) manuscript so that the editing process might be advanced.
There is an evolution not only in literary style, but also in EGWs handwriting. The late Arthur L. White,
Secretary of the White Estate for nearly a half-century, was so familiar with the original manuscripts that
he would often astound visitors to the vault by asking them to select one at random, then hold a hand over
the date, and allow him to guess the date of origin. (He seldom missed by more than a year or two!)
D. External Evidence for Her Authorship
1. The Testimony of Ellen White herself: Mrs. White claimed to be the author of her books:
a. In a letter to Dr. David Paulson, June 14, 1906, she referred to GC.
(1) This book first appeared in print in 1884 under the title, The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 4.

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 37

(2) In 1888, it came out under the more familiar present title.
(3) In 1911, under the direct supervision of its author, GC was revised to its present form.
b. Twice in one paragraph of this letter she refers to my introduction, and my statement which was
contained within that introduction:
In my introduction to The Great Controversy you have no doubt read my statement regarding the Ten
Commandments and the Bible, which should have helped you to a correct understanding of the matter
under consideration. -- 1SM 24-25.
c. And in a 1900 letter to GC President G. A. Irwin (1897-1901) from Australia, EGW referred to the
literary production of DA, with particular reference to the role of Marian Davis, in these words:
The books are not Marian's productions, but my own, gathered from all my writings. Marian has a large
field from which to draw, and her ability to arrange the matter is of great value to me. It saves my poring
over a mass of matter, which I have no time to do.--Letter 61a, April 23, 1900; cited in 3SM 91.
2. The Testimony of Marian Davis: In a letter to W.C. White, Aug. 9, 1897, Marian Davis, chief project
coordinator of the Life of Christ (DA) Project team, referred to a letter received from C.H. Jones, longtime manager and president of the Pacific Press, who had been hounding her to get the DA manuscript in
to him immediately, as he had an exceedingly tight production schedule at that publishing house and
wanted to fit this book into it. Note, especially, the concluding sentence:
I received notice from C. H. Jones that it was planned to publish Desire of Ages in the spring of '98, and
in order to do this, all the copy must be in the hands of the printers as early as September, '97. From what I
learned of the artist's work, I cannot believe that the printers will be ready for the manuscript by September.
They have now 25 chapters, as finally revised. Twenty-five more we're prepared to send, but a few changes
will have to be made in them, as I finish the later chapters. For this I am holding them. . . .
Sister White is constantly harassed with the thought that the manuscript should be sent to the printers at
once. I wish it were possible to relieve her mind, for the anxiety makes it hard for her to write and for me to
work. . . . Sister White seems inclined to write, and I have no doubt she will bring out many precious
things. I hope it will be possible to get them in the book. There is one thing, however, than not even the
most competent editor could do--that is prepare the manuscript before it is written.--Cited in Sourcebook,
pp. H-6/33, 34.
3. The Testimony of W. C. White
Those who have been entrusted with the preparation of these manuscript[s], have been persons who feared
the Lord, and who sought him [sic] daily for wisdom and guidance, and they have shared much of His
blessing, and the guidance of His Holy Spirit in understanding the precious truths that they were handling.
And in answer to prayer, my memory has been refreshed as to where to find very precious statements
amongst mothers writings, that brought in connection with the manuscript at hand, would make a useful
article.
However thankful the copyist may be for this quickening of the mind and memory, it would seem to me to
be wholly out of place for us to call this inspiration,for it is not in any sense the same gift as that by which
the truths are revealed to mother.
4. Internal and external evidence attests that Ellen White was the real author of the books that bear her
name.2

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 38

The Apologetic Claims Summarized


From the above subsection, we conclude that Moons five apologetic arguments that
dispute the perspective some critics have advanced, that Ellen White's helpers [secretaries, or
3
editorial assistants] were the real authors of her works, and defend the position that Ellen
White authored the numerous published materials for which she took full credit are as follows:
Consistent Text Productions
1. Literary Style: A careful rhetorical analysis of stylistic elements in the corpus of the EGW writings
(which covered six decades) points to the obvious conclusion that these are all the literary productions of
one and the same author.4
3. There is an evolution of style; but it is an evolution in the style of one writer, not an evidence of
multiple-authorship, as some critics aver.5
(1) You see, if her helpers were the real authors of those works, then there should be marked-even abruptchanges in the established literary style over the decades.
(2) But an examination of those writings does not support the assertion of the critics; and the evidence
forces the conclusion that we deal with the works of a single author. 6

Claimed Handwritten Originals


a. The first practical typewriter was marketed in 1874; 11 years later (in 1885, when EGW was 58), she
purchased these machines for her office staff. She was a progressive person who wanted up-to-date
equipment for her helpers.
b. That EGW herself, however, never learned to operate a typewriter is fortunate for researchers today,
because the first draft of all her manuscripts was written in longhand-- indisputable evidence, today, that
she was, indeed, the author! She, therefore, perhaps tended to need more literary helpers than might
otherwise have been the case. And the task of many of her helpers was simply to reduce to typewritten
form the handwritten (autograph) manuscript so that the editing process might be advanced.
There is an evolution not only in literary style, but also in EGWs handwriting. The late Arthur L. White,
Secretary of the White Estate for nearly a half-century, was so familiar with the original manuscripts that
he would often astound visitors to the vault by asking them to select one at random, then hold a hand over
the date, and allow him to guess the date of origin. (He seldom missed by more than a year or two!) 7

Ellen Whites Personal Claims


1. The Testimony of Ellen White herself: Mrs. White claimed to be the author of her books:
The books are not Marian's productions, but my own, gathered from all my writings. Marian has a large
field from which to draw, and her ability to arrange the matter is of great value to me. It saves my poring
over a mass of matter, which I have no time to do.--Letter 61a, April 23, 1900; cited in 3SM 91. 8

Marian Davis Extorted Claims


2. The Testimony of Marian Davis: In a letter to W.C. White, Aug. 9, 1897, Marian Davis, chief project
coordinator of the Life of Christ (DA) Project team, referred to a letter received from C.H. Jones, longtime manager and president of the Pacific Press, who had been hounding her to get the DA manuscript in

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 39

to him immediately, as he had an exceedingly tight production schedule at that publishing house and
wanted to fit this book into it. Note, especially, the concluding sentence:
I received notice from C. H. Jones that it was planned to publish Desire of Ages in the spring of '98, and
in order to do this, all the copy must be in the hands of the printers as early as September, '97. From what I
learned of the artist's work, I cannot believe that the printers will be ready for the manuscript by September.
They have now 25 chapters, as finally revised. Twenty-five more we're prepared to send, but a few changes
will have to be made in them, as I finish the later chapters. For this I am holding them. . . .
Sister White is constantly harassed with the thought that the manuscript should be sent to the printers at
once. I wish it were possible to relieve her mind, for the anxiety makes it hard for her to write and for me to
work. . . . Sister White seems inclined to write, and I have no doubt she will bring out many precious
things. I hope it will be possible to get them in the book. There is one thing, however, than not even the
most competent editor could do--that is prepare the manuscript before it is written.--Cited in Sourcebook,
pp. H-6/33, 34.9

William Whites Personal Claim


Those who have been entrusted with the preparation of these manuscript[s], have been persons who feared
the Lord, and who sought him [sic] daily for wisdom and guidance, and they have shared much of His
blessing, and the guidance of His Holy Spirit in understanding the precious truths that they were handling.
And in answer to prayer, my memory has been refreshed as to where to find very precious statements
amongst mothers writings, that brought in connection with the manuscript at hand, would make a useful
article.
However thankful the copyist may be for this quickening of the mind and memory, it would seem to me to
be wholly out of place for us to call this inspiration,for it is not in any sense the same gift as that by which
the truths are revealed to mother.10

Moons Apologetic Claims Invalid


Moons apologetic arguments that Ellen White and not her secretaries or ghost
writers wrote the books for which she took credit are questionable and inadequate for the
reasons listed below:
1. When Moon argues that a careful rhetorical analysis of stylistic elements in the corpus of the
EGW writings (which covered six decades) points to the obvious conclusion that these are all the
literary productions of one and the same author [emphasis added], he fails to mention (with
intention or without intention) an important and controversial issue that has been debated for
about 160 years in the SDA Church about Ellen Whites writings: the PLAGIARISM charge.
States Rea:
My four complete manuscripts on Great Controversy, Acts of the Apostles, and Prophets and Kings and
Desire of Ages prove beyond any reasonable doubt that far more than 80 percent of the material enclosed
within the covers of these books was taken from other authors, and that if there had been no other authors
to copy, these four books could not have been produced with the information they now contain In the last
year with the additional work done line by line page by page and chapter by chapter, it is now certain that if
every sentence was footnoted as should have been from the beginning, every page would have been proof
that all the material came from the books of Ellen Whites library.
All of this material which is now available to anyone wishing to find out truth for themselves, has been and
will be seen by Adventist and non-Adventist throughout the world by the thousands. The material does not
claim to be exhaustive in the research, but new findings will only add to the proof of how Ellen White used

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 40

others material to make her claims that all of it came from GOD. While what material has been found only
deals with a small fraction of the copy work of the life work of Ellen White, what has been discovered does
clearly reveal many things. Some of the conclusions that now have to be faced and still are not being faced
by the church leaders are:
a. That very little if anything in the Conflict Series came from Mrs. White or her visions that was
significant, and had not been expressed by others often in the language she claimed was given her by God
or His angels.
b. That not only the words, thoughts, form, expressions, Bible texts, but the speculations, suppositions,
imaginations, and conjectures of others writers became divine absolutes by carefully calculated and
deliberate design through the pen of Ellen White.
c. That in no way can the book Great Controversy as it was conceived and written by others before Ellen
White, be considered a divine revelation of the future but only a weak apology or justification for the
failures of the Millerite and early Adventist movement.
d. The manuscripts make positive that most if not all the criticism of the pen of Mrs. White and her work
had some validity, and that those [sic!] criticism must now be given new attention and new answers in the
light of the new discoveries.
e. It has been undeniably proven that much of what reached the final stage in the Conflict Series did not
come through the pen, inspiration, or work of Ellen White alone, but was given its final form, beauty and
intelligence by the effort, skills, and expertise of others, and that Mrs. White did not always supervise or
have the final words of what was drafted under her name Others had enormous latitude and authority to
make changes that were often vital and significant. There is no way the church can prove that those five
books were the sole genius of Mrs. Whites effort or that GOD helped her write them. The church has also
admitted that the original manuscripts have been destroyed.11

There is no dispute that the five volumes in the Conflict Series that have been
published and circulated under Ellen Whites name and for which the prophet took undue
credit demonstrate a CONSISTENT LITERARY STYLE, but whose style is that if more than 80
% of the content in the five books, Patriarchs and Prophets, Prophets and Kings, The Desire of
Ages, Acts of the Apostles, and The Great Controversy, was plagiarized from other books? Ellen
Whites writing style? The original writers styles? A ghost writers style? To claim that the
plagiarized or stolen books reflect her writing style would indicate either sheer ineptitude or
blatant deception.
The obvious explanation for the consistent text productions in Ellen Whites published
works is that the same helpers, secretaries, or editorial assistants, compiled the five
volumes in the Conflict Series and therefore generated a consistent literary style all through the
books. There have been two secretaries or editorial assistants who spent almost all their lives
in Ellen Whites ghost writer book shopMarian Davis and Frances Bolton. Marian Davis
worked for Ellen White for 25 years, while Frances Bolton worked in Ellen Whites high-volume
bookshop, with small interruptions, also for a long period of time.12 Between the two of them,
these helpers, editorial assistants, or ghost writers could have insured the consistent and
invariable literary style Moon argues for in the books Ellen White took undue credit for.
While Ellen White herself could have plagiarized in coarse and illiterate longhand the
sentences, paragraphs, and chapters used in the books for which she took credit, her scribbles

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 41

still needed to be edited and shaped for the press. We must never forget that Ellen Write was
illiterate, that is, she could not write in a legible and coherent form, and did not have the skills
required to prepare a manuscript for publication. The bare fundamentals of her writing style were
as follows:
Because she acknowledged that she [was] not a scholar, that is, a schooled and literate
person, 13
1. She could not prepare [her] own writings for the press,14
2. Her knowledge of the technical rules of writing was [therefore] limited.15
3. She had weaknesses in composition and faulty grammar.16
4. Her texts contained needless repetition17
5. She paid little attention to the rules of punctuation, capitalization, and spelling, 18
6. There was much repetition and faulty grammatical construction [in her paragraphs].19
7. Because she used helpers, she devoted less and less attention to style, grammar, and
penmanship, and her writing devolved with time.20
8. Some of [Ellen Whites] writing seems to be a rush and tumble of words, as though
the writers thoughts were flooding ahead of her pen [emphasis added].21
9. [Her] Sentences [were] chaotic.22
23

10. [Her] Punctuation [was] erratic.

11. [Her] Quotations [were] inexact.24


12. [Her] Meanings [were] obscure.25
2. Moons second and unconfirmed claim is that the first draft of all her manuscripts was
written in longhandindisputable evidence, today, that she was, indeed, the author!26 If what
Moon suggests is a true and demonstrable fact, where are those handwritten manuscripts or
autographs? At least about the Conflict Series Rea states that
e. It has been undeniably proven that much of what reached the final stage in the Conflict Series did not
come through the pen, inspiration, or work of Ellen White alone, but was given its final form, beauty and
intelligence by the effort, skills, and expertise of others, and that Mrs. White did not always supervise or
have the final words of what was drafted under her name. Others had enormous latitude and authority to
make changes that were often vital and significant. There is no way the church can prove that those five
books were the sole genius of Mrs. Whites effort or that GOD helped her write them. The church has also
admitted that the original manuscripts have been destroyed [emphasis added].27

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 42

Destroyed!!!!! The original manuscripts for the Conflict Series, states Rea, have been
destroyed, and the SDA church has admitted the fact!!! Where are, then, those preserved
handwritten manuscripts or autographsthe first draft of all her manuscripts [that] was
written in longhand and that are the indisputable evidence, today, that she was, indeed, the
author, that is, that she, indeed wrote ALL the books, articles, pamphlets, and letters published
in her name and for which she took credit? If the autographs for all Ellen Whites writings are
at the White Estate and available, then all the interested researchers should be able to see and
examine them. This is not the case, though! To the question,
Why hasnt Donald McAdams study of the Huss manuscript been released? What about
Ron Graybills similar study of material Mrs. White wrote on Martin Luther? 2The White
Lie, pp. 84, 85, 164.
The White Estate answered:
Ron Graybills Analysis of E. G. Whites Luther Manuscript was advertised in the White Estates catalogue
of Documents Available and was published for general distribution well before The White Lie was
published. Dr. McAdamss study of the Huss chapter in The Great Controversy is likewise available. What
has not been released for publication are a number of the pages of Ellen Whites handwritten draft of the
Huss manuscript as transcribed by Dr. McAdams.
This material was sent to all E. G. White Research Centers where it might be examined by any responsible
researcher. The reason it has not been published is that it was hastily prepared by Ellen White at a time
when she was not at all well. The handwritten draft is perhaps the poorest sample of her handwritten
documents available. If published, it could give a distorted picture of the quality of her work. Her work on
the Luther manuscript is more representative and thus has been published both in facsimile and typed
transcript in the Graybill study.28

The above statement from the White Estate indicates that the claim for unrestricted
access to the Ellen Whites manuscripts or autographs has been a lie, and that the unreleased
documents that are hidden in the vaults cannot be seen unless one is a responsible
researcher. What that means is that the decision who should see the unreleased materials or who
should use them for research is left to the White Estates absolute discretion. Such clandestine
behavior from the Ellen White trustees cannot but raise and augment the suspicions as to what
strange and bizarre testimonies are hidden in the White Estates dark corners.
3. Moon next three claims about Ellen Whites authorship are testimonies, or verbal
statements from Ellen White, Marian Davis, and William White that, indeed, the publications
credited to Ellen White are her own work:
Ellen Whites Claim
The books are not Marian's productions, but my own, gathered from all my writings. Marian has a large
field from which to draw, and her ability to arrange the matter is of great value to me. It saves my poring
over a mass of matter, which I have no time to do [emphasis added].--Letter 61a, April 23, 1900; cited in
3SM 91.29

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 43

Marian Davis Claim


Sister White is constantly harassed with the thought that the manuscript should be sent to the printers at
once. I wish it were possible to relieve her mind, for the anxiety makes it hard for her to write and for me to
work. . . . Sister White seems inclined to write, and I have no doubt she will bring out many precious
things. I hope it will be possible to get them in the book. There is one thing, however, than not even the
most competent editor could do--that is prepare the manuscript before it is written.--Cited in Sourcebook,
pp. H-6/33, 34.30

William Whites Claim


Those who have been entrusted with the preparation of these manuscript[s], have been persons who feared
the Lord, and who sought him [sic] daily for wisdom and guidance, and they have shared much of His
blessing, and the guidance of His Holy Spirit in understanding the precious truths that they were handling.
And in answer to prayer, my memory has been refreshed as to where to find very precious statements
amongst mothers writings, that brought in connection with the manuscript at hand, would make a useful
article.31

That Moon resorts to such evidence indicates his desperation to defend a position for
which he has no factual evidence whatsoever. There is no doubt that Ellen White would not
denounce and incriminate herself if she committed an unethical or criminal act, and that William
White would defend his mother whenever he could and no matter what she did. As for Marian
Davis, an obedient slave in Ellen Whites ghost book shop, it would be absurd to believe that
she could report the prophet to the SDA members and reveal the unethical and illegal things
that occurred in the secret shop where blatant and shameless plagiarism occurred and where
Ellen Whites original and inspired books were compiled from multiple sources and
prepared for publication and for remuneration.

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 44

IX. The Ghost Writers The Real Authors


The Writers Behind The Smoke Screen
Moon reveals the rather unknown and curious fact that during her lifetime, Ellen White
employed some 20 paid and unpaid individuals to help her in preparation of her letters and
manuscripts for mailing or publication,1 while at any given time Ellen White would have
between 6 and 12 employees working in her publishing enterprise.2 Moons document provides
ample information about all these known and less known helpers, secretaries, or editorial
assistants. The information he provides includes their names, work times, clearance (how
much freedom these individuals had to edit and improve Ellen Whites manuscripts or
autographs, and their specific work descriptions, or what their particular assignments were.
This information is tabulated in the table below for a clear perspective on who those ghost
writers were and what was their participation in the book shop:
Ellen Whites Editorial Assistants3
Number
1.

Editorial Assistant
James White

Work Span
1840s-1870s

Clearance
Unlimited

2.

Mary Clough

1876-1877

Limited?

3.

Mary Kelsey White

1874-1890

Unlimited

4.

James Edson White

1895-1896

Unlimited

5.

W.C. White

1872-1937

Unlimited

6.

Marian Davis

1879-1904

Unlimited

Specific Activities
Schoolteacher
Helped with Spiritual Gifts
Corrected grammatical errors
Eliminated
needless/excessive
repetition
Had written for newspapers
French major at BCC
Typesetter at R&H
Proofreader at R&H
Press worker
Wrote editorials and articles for Signs
Helped prepare for the printer
Testimonies vols. 1-5, as well as other
projects
Christ Our Savior selected chapters
from Ellen Whites Life of Christ
for Christ our Savior he rewrote the
DA chapters in basic English suitable
for beginning readers.
Secretarial and editorial work when he
was 19
Ellen Whites most trusted confidant
General Supervisor of Ellen Whites
editorial staff.
Custody of Ellen Whites writings
after her death
Ellen Whites chief worker
Ellen Whites bookmaker
She directed the Life of Christ
(Desire of Ages) project as chief
assistant.
She also did major work in compiling
MH and Ed.

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 45

7.

Adelia Patten

8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22
23.

Miss E. J. Burnham
Miss Sarah Peck
Miss Maggie Hare
Mr. Dores E. Robinson
Miss Minnie Hawkins
Sister Tenney
Miss Frances E. Bolton
Mrs. W. F. Caldwell
Charles C. Crisler
J. H. Waggoner
J. N. Loughborough
H. Camden Lacey
Edwin R. Palmer
J. H. Kellogg
Dr. David Paulson
W. W. Prescott

1861-

Assisted Ellen White in preparing her


writings for publication.
Edited the Youth Instructor
Served as editor of and contributor to
the 1864 composite work Appeal to
the Youth.
She wrote the biographical sketch of
the life and death of Henry White.

Unlimited

Consultant
Consultant
Consultant
Consultant
Consultant
Consultant
Research

Helped with MH
Commissioned to provide substitute
historical quotations for 1911 ed. GC,
to replace similar quotations in 1888
(and earlier) editions from books now
out-of-print
He also presumed to submit a list of
suggested changes for theological
errors which he presumed to find in
earlier editions of GC.
Ellen White accepted many of his
historical suggestions, but rejected his
theological suggestions.

The True Book Compilers And Editors


Some previous sections in this document provided evidence that Ellen White could not
compose books, articles, pamphlets, and letters for publicationthat is, compile, edit, and
proofread them to prepare those documents for the press because she had no formal education
and no English composition skills. Hard evidence was also presented that Ellen White
plagiarized a lot in her handwritten manuscripts, and that her autographs contained borrowed
ideas and almost no original information. Her repeated and excessive high claims that she
received the material for her publications through visions and through angelic dictation prove
to be false. The actual and true evidence indicates that she showed full dependence on the
helpers, secretaries, or editorial assistants who worked in her ghost writer book shop.
We have organized above, in a table, the partial list that contains the known editorial
assistants and consultants that Ellen White used in her ghost shop in which her books were
produced as in a book plant. At this point in the document we want to focus on the two most

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 46

important contributors to the books she published and from which she profited, Frances (Fannie)
Bolton and Marian Davis. These two women spent decades in Ellen Whites book shop, and
appear to be the ones the most responsible for the compiled works for which the Adventist
prophet took credit,the true book, article, pamphlet, and letter authors.
Fannie Bolton The Rebellious Servant
The little known unauthorized free press supplement to official Seventh-day Adventist
publications, Adventist Currents, whose editor is Douglas Hackleman, published in the Volume
1 Number 2 issue, dated October 1983, the curious, educational, and unauthorized biographical
narrative entitled Fannies Folly: Part I of the Unfinished Story of Fannie Bolton and Marian
Davis, to which Alice Elizabeth Greggretired, Acting Director of Libraries, Loma Linda
Universityis the reported author. This part one deals with what we did not know about Frances
(Fannie) Bolton and her work relationship with Ellen White. Gregg introduces her narrative with
paragraphs calibrated to intrigue the readers and captivate their attention:
Had Ellen White been prescient, she would never have employed Fannie Bolton or Marian Davis as her
editors. Nor would she have written the letters to Fannie and Marian that appeared in "The Fannie Bolton
Story: A Collection of Source Documents" released by the Ellen G. White Estate in 1982. But she did not
know the end from the beginning; and as a result, the struggle over the dark secret they shared was to
belong irrevocably to the annals of the Seventh-day Adventist church.
The barrage of words hurled from typewriter to typewriter, as can be read in that collection, barely gives a
clue that much of the drama took place in the harsh and beautiful continent of Australia - land of the
outback, the billabongs, the coolabah trees, and the koalas. The names of Cooranbong, Melbourne, and
Adelaide, dropped occasionally in the letters, are only incidental to the conflict between the antagonists in
the story.4

The biographical information about Frances Bolton provided in the narrative offers ample
clues for the reasons Ellen White wanted so much to use the talented woman in the ghost writer
book shop:
The Story, a quasi biography of Frances Eugenia Bolton, cites her birthday as August 1, 1859. Her death
certificate indicates that her birthplace was Chicago, Illinois. (1) Her father was a Methodist minister, and
she had at least two brothers. Her picture on the title page of The Story shows an attractive brunette with the
small, chiseled features that might please a cosmetologist.
Fannie was a June 18, 1883, graduate of the Preparatory School (high school) of Northwestern University
in Evanston, Illinois; and she delivered one of the commencement orations, "The Flight of the Gods." (2)
The Story indicates that she attended "Lady's Seminary" and/or "Evanston College." Whether she went
beyond the preparatory school at that time has not yet been substantiated. What is known is that after her
schooling she found work as a correspondent with the [Chicago] Daily Inter-Ocean, one of the predecessors
of the Chicago Tribune.
She was converted to Seventh-day Adventism in 1885 by George B. Starr, a minister at the Chicago
Mission. Fannie first met Ellen Gould White, Seventh-day Adventism's messenger, at the Springfield,
Illinois, campmeeting in 1887 when she was reporting for the paper. She was then twenty-eight years old.
Because of her background it was natural that she be asked to edit Ellen's sermons. According to Fannie's
account to a friend, Ellen was pleased with the way she made the sermons over for the press, and she
wished to employ her. (3)

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 47

Ellen had recently returned from Europe filled with ideas for writing books and articles. The Great
Controversy was finished. The Desire of Ages was a dream, and the Adventist periodicals were constantly
clamoring for articles. Marian Davis had been working for Ellen since 1879 and editing for her since the
death of James White, her husband, in 1881. But with the numbers of requests for articles, tracts, books,
and letters, Marian was staggering under the load. Ellen had to have more help, and Fannie was a likely
candidate.
William C. White, Ellen's son, and Dores E. Robinson, her grandson-in-law, recalled many years later that
Fannie "was recommended to her as a young woman of rare talents, of good education, and an earnest
Christian." The arrangement for employment was beneficial for both Ellen and Fannie, they wrote, and
Fannie "proved to be brilliant and entertaining, and, although somewhat erratic at times, was loved by the
other members of the family." (4) 5

The first surprise Frances had right after she was hired as an editorial assistant for Ellen
White was that the prophet did not live up to her own health reform instructions. States Gregg:
When Ellen left the campmeeting circuit to return to her home in California, she arranged for Fannie to
meet her and her party at the Chicago depot so that they could travel together. Ellen was "not with her
party, so Elder Starr hunted around till he found her behind a screen in the restaurant very gratified in
eating big white raw oysters with vinegar, pepper and salt," Fannie wrote; and on the same trip Willie
White brought into the car a "thick piece of bloody beefsteak" for Sara McEnterfer, one of Ellen's valued
employees, to cook on a small oil stove. These incidents were shocking to Fannie, who had "lived up to the
testimonies with all faithfulness discarding meat, butter, fish, fowl and the supper meal, believing that as
the 'Testimonies' say, 'no meat-eater will be translated.'" (5) 6

Due to Marians work overload, Frances had an immediate introduction to the multiple
responsibilities and the specific tasks that she was to perform as an editorial assistant, and
Ellen White was pleased with the manner in which the Frances discharged her duties:
When the party arrived in California, Fannie was given specific instructions regarding her assignment. She
was told at the outset that she was to work under the direction of Marian in preparing letters, or
"testimonies," as they were usually referred to, and in editing articles for publication. She was told also,
according to White and Robinson, that the "matters revealed to Mrs. White in vision, were not a word for
word narration of events with their lessons, but that they were generally flash-light or panoramic views of
various scenes in the experiences of men, sometimes in the past, and sometimes in the future, together with
the lessons connected with these experiences."
Likewise she was told about Ellen's tendency to make errors of mechanic (spelling, capitalization,
punctuation) and of syntax, to be repetitious, and to fall short of organizing her material well - all of which
the editors should correct, modify, or rearrange for clarity and effectiveness. (6)
Fannie enjoyed working on articles for publication, according to White and Robinson, but "she found the
copying of letters of reproof to be distasteful and revolting to her. She was heard to say that she wished
there were no such word as 'don't' in the English language." (7)
The first year of working with Fannie seemed a happy experience for Ellen. She wrote on February 13,
1888: "Fannie Bolton is a treasure to me. We are all harmonious, all working unitedly and in love." (8) 7

Soon after she started her work, though, Frances noticed an unethical practice in Ellen
Whites ghost shop, something that she knew as plagiarism, and she was persuaded that it was
her obligation to talk to the prophet about the matter. Ellens response to Frances honest

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 48

action was not praise, but, it appears, instructions to continue the editorial work in the fashion
in which it had been done before:
Fannie, however, was finding some aspects of her work appalling. Early during her employment she
showed Marian some material she was working on, and to her surprise Marian asked if she had compared
the chronology with Eidersheim or another standard religious writer. When Fannie told her that the Lord
was a correct historian, Marian replied that Ellen was not. In recounting the story for his paper, The
Gathering Call, Edward S. Ballenger later wrote that Fannie, on comparing, was "shocked and astonished
to face a paragraph exactly like the one in the articles she was copying, although there was no sign in the
articles of its being a quotation, and on turning a page found a whole page which in the articles was only
changed enough to prevent its being an exact quotation." Ballenger went on to explain that Marian tried to
reassure Fannie by saying that "the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof." But Fannie was not
satisfied. (9)
In the days that followed, Fannie found that many authors' works were used without credit. Nor was credit
given to Fannie or to Marian for their original work incorporated in articles going out over Ellen's name
and, moreover, represented as inspired of God. Thus Fannie found herself involved in something she
believed to be dishonest. Conscience-stricken and disillusioned, she brought the matter up with Ellen, in the
conviction that she ought to uphold the "principle of ordinary justice and literary honesty [and be] a martyr
for truth's sake." (10) There were golden rules for writing that were not being followed, she told Ellen.
What Ellen said at that time is not known or included in The Story, but evidently she was intractable,
inasmuch as Fannie retired to the typewriter and to doing the work assigned to her. 8

Ellen Whites improper and dishonest work ethics must have triggered a negative and
rebellious attitude in Frances Bolton. From that time on, the relationship between the two women
was on a roller-coaster. The prophet fired Frances multiple times for her disobedience, and
then rehired the valuable helper but Frances continued her rebellious behavior. What she
expected was to be recognized as the true writer for the books, articles, pamphlets, and letters
that she authored but which were credited to Ellen White:
After the 1888 General Conference meeting in Minneapolis, Ellen went to live in Battle Creek; and in
December Fannie and Marian were called from California. White and Robinson recollected that "on the
way to Battle Creek, Miss Bolton spent a week in Chicago. There she met many of her former
acquaintances, and found many things to remind her of old time experiences and ambitions. Soon after this
she made it known to her fellow-workers that she was not satisfied to spend all her life in handling the
thoughts and writings of another person. She had thoughts and ideas of her own, and longed to give
expression to them." (11)
Although Fannie went on working for Ellen, the situation continued to deteriorate. At last, not yet two
years after Fannie began working, White wrote to Charles H. Jones of the Pacific Health Journal on June
23, 1889, suggesting that it would be profitable for him to employ Fannie. "I believe that Sister Bolton is
much better qualified for work on a journal like the Pacific Health Journal," he wrote, "for in this she would
have more occasion for original work, and it would not demand the accuracy which our work on the Signs
must have." (12)
Since Jones obviously, for whatever reason, did not employ her, Fannie continued working for Ellen, trying
to "harmonize what seemed to [her] an inconsistency in the work with a worldly literary maxim that
requires an author to acknowledge his editors and give credit to all works from which he quotes" and
holding to "the position in [her] mind that Sister White should acknowledge her editors and every source
from which she obtained suggestion or expression." (13)
Fannie must have kept the subject of crediting authors and editors fresh before Ellen during those months,
for by the autumn of 1890 she was fired. Having found some courses that she wanted to take at the

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 49

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Fannie eased herself out of her job, with the exception of a few of
Ellen's manuscripts that she took with her to edit. About this, Ellen wrote that Fannie "asked for some
articles of mine to take with her to Ann Arbor, saying she loved the work. But I now think that she wished
to use the pretext that she was employed by me in order to gain the confidence of others because I trusted
her as my agent to prepare copy for my books. I see my folly now." (14) 9

Things continued to deteriorate between the two women, but Ellen White could not give
up on Frances Bolton because the editorial assistant was a talented, fast, and productive worker
in the ghost book shop. The things continued to deteriorate, though, between the prophet and
her editorial assistant to the point that Frances began to relate to people how she was the one
who wrote various documents that were published in denominational magazines under Ellen
Whites name:
A year later, in the autumn of 1891, the General Conference asked Ellen White to go to Australia. When
Sara McEnterfer unfortunately became ill with malaria, Ellen, to the surprise of others in the inner circle,
invited Fannie to go with her as a replacement for Sara. Ellen acknowledged later that "Fannie pleaded hard
and with tears to come with me [to Australia] to engage with me in the work of preparing articles for the
papers. She declared she had met with a great change, and was not at all the person she was when she told
me she desired to write herself and could not consent that her talent would be buried up in the work of
preparing my articles for the papers and books. She felt she was full of the matter and had talent she must
put to use in writing which she could not do connected with me." (16)
Once in Australia, Fannie settled into the work with her usual speed and efficiency. In a letter of October 7,
1892, she wrote that she had copied forty-two pages of the mail, had sent off seven articles for the Review
and six for the Signs, and had prepared four articles more since the mail had gone. (17) On May 4, 1893,
she wrote that she had rushed down town the day before and mailed eleven articles to Ellen - seven or eight
for the Youth's Instructor, one for the Signs, and one for the Review. (18)
When campmeeting time came in 1894 (January 5-28), Fannie was ready for a vacation. Campmeetings
were times for refreshing and exchanging experiences and views; and Fannie, a workaholic by nature,
looked forward to them. While she was there, it is likely that friends told Fannie how wonderful it must be
to work for such an inspired and brilliant writer as Ellen; and Fannie would have thought it was important
to put the record straight. "She talked much to friends and acquaintances in Melbourne about the
difficulties attending her work, and the faulty way in which some of the manuscripts were written," recalled
White and Robinson of the occasion. "Her estimate of the great improvements made by the editors was
dwelt upon, and the work of Mrs. White was belittled. Again she expressed her decided conviction that the
talents of the copyists and their work should receive public recognition." (19)
At the same time she told Merritt G. Kellogg, half-brother of John Harvey Kellogg and William K.
Kellogg, that she was "writing all the time for Sister White." Furthermore, she said that most of what she
wrote was "published in the Review and Herald...as having been written by Sister White under inspiration
of God...I am greatly distressed over this matter, for I feel that I am acting a deceptive part. The people are
being deceived about the inspiration of what I write. I feel that it is a great wrong that anything which I
write should go out under Sister White's name as an article specially inspired of God. What I write should
go out over my own signature[;] then credit would be given where credit belongs." (20)
The essence of her complaints, as Fannie would express it to Ellen later when she looked back, was: I
thought as I have always thought before, that you did not see my perplexity, or comprehend my trouble,
that it was your withholding of the truth about your writings in not acknowledging your editorial help, that
was at the bottom of all the perplexity, and that your work was not as you say the work of god ought to be,
as open as sunlight. [emphasis added]. (21) 10

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 50

Ellen Whites reaction to the open comments Frances Bolton made about the editorial
work in the ghost writer work shop was immediate, and in a divine form: a vision that the
helper was a danger to Gods work, personal attacks against the ghost writer, and negative
comments about Boltons character and intentions. Still, after Frances repented from the truth
she spoke about the unethical things that were done under Ellen Whites supervision, she was
hired back. The prophet could not give up on a helper or editorial assistant who had
proven herself so intelligent, so talented, and so skilled, and who had written so much and so
well for Ellen:
When Ellen found out that Fannie was revealing her working methods, she had a vision, according to what
she told George B. Starr: "There appeared a chariot of gold and horses of silver above me, and Jesus, in
royal majesty, was seated in the chariot.... Then there came the words rolling down over the clouds from
the chariot from the lips of Jesus, 'Fannie Bolton is your adversary! Fanny Bolton is your adversary!'
repeated three times." (22) Ellen wrote Marian also that she was "warned" that Fannie was her adversary.
(23)
On February 6, 1894, Ellen wrote Fannie: "Now, my sister, I do not want you to be any longer connected
with me in my work. I mean now, for your good, that you should never have another opportunity to do as
you have done in the past." (24)
The only reference Ellen made in that letter to the matter of her "copying" from other authors was: "should
I attempt to vindicate my course to those who do not appreciate the spiritual character of the work which is
laid upon me, it would only expose myself and the work to misconception and misrepresentation. to present
the matter before other minds would be useless, for there are but few who are really so connected with god
[who] see beneath the surface appearance as to understand it. This work is one that I cannot explain." (25)
Since she could not explain the copying - because to do so would disclose it - Ellen wrote ad hominem on
Fannie's character, about which she could say much: You are not a safe and capable worker. Your mind is
subject to changes; first it is elated, then depressed. The impression made by this frequent change is
startling. Self-control is not brought into your life. You choose a life of change, crowded with different
interests and occupations, therefore you cannot possibly put your life, as you suppose you have done, into
this work; you are most wonderfully deceived in thinking you do this.... All you engage in tastes so
strongly of the dish that it is not acceptable to God. (26)
On the same day Ellen wrote to her son Willie: Her love of ambition, her love of praise, and her idea of
her own ability and talent was the open door Satan had entered to not only ruin her soul, but to imperil the
work given me of God.... I am in a very grave perplexity and when I see how Satan works to take the very
ones who ought to be intelligent and sharp as steel to understand their position before God, and their
privileges and honor to have a part in the work, become disloyal, surmising, and whispering evil and
putting the same into other minds, it is time decisive measures are taken that will correct the disaffection
before it shall spread farther. (27)
Ellen spared no rhetoric in her invective during this period. She wrote to O.A. Olsen, the General
Conference president: Her ardent love for praise and ambition was very similar to that presented to me in
regard to the workings of Satan in the heavenly courts to bring disaffection among the angels. (28)
To Marian, she wrote: She becomes at times as verily possessed by demons as were human beings in the
days of Christ. And when these paroxysms are upon her, many think she is inspired of God. She is fluent,
her words come thick and fast, and she is under the control of demons. (29)
If she were converted, she wrote to George A. Irwin, soon to become the General Conference president,
she would have a clear understanding of the influence of her past misrepresentations of the work she has

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 51

done for me, and would confess some of her misstatements regarding it, which have been used by the
enemy to unsettle and undermine the faith of many, in the testimonies of the Spirit of God. (30)
To Willie, Ellen likened Fannie to Aaron and Miriam: Aaron had been mouth-piece for Moses, and
Miriam was a teacher of the women. But now come whisperings between the brother and sister in
murmurings and jealousies against Moses, and they were guilty of disloyalty, not only to their Leader
appointed of God but God Himself.... Those who give place to Satan's suggestions in their desperate efforts
in panting for recognition of talents they flatter themselves that they possess, will be so blinded by the
enemy that they will not discern sacred things in distinction from the common. In the same letter to Willie,
she said that Fannie was like Eve: Again the warning came, Fannie is your adversary, and is misleading
minds by entertaining the suggestions of Satan as did Eve in Eden. (31)
To Fannie on the same day she wrote, in the third person singular, about Fannie's likeness to Saul: My
prayer is that God will convert the poor child [Fannie], that she may understand the leadings of His Holy
Spirit. The character of Saul is a marked one. There was strength and weakness combined. Gifts of talent
were bestowed upon him, and had he consecrated these gifts wholly to God, he would not have dishonored
himself by his own transgression. (32)
Impaling Fannie thus on her sharp pen, Ellen was able to divert attention from the copying problem to
Fannie's character. Nowhere in the record does Ellen say to Fannie, Let's give credit where credit is due.
Let's do the right thing. The red herring assault on Fannie's personality was the perfect tactic.
Fannie was remorseful, to say the least, having just lost her job, and she wrote to Ellen: I can see just how
Satan has come and has always found something in me whereby he could work to harass and distress those
with whom I was associated. Self has never died fully and therefore a door was left for the entrance of the
enemy. The bottom of all my trouble has been self, and that is Satanic.... In doing the work, I have looked
at what was perplexing, and handling it day after day, have lost the real sense of its sacredness, and began
to look upon it from a literary standpoint alone. I don't know that it is quite just to put it in that way either;
for I have had a sense of what it was to me, and to all, above that of a mere literary matter.... My faith in the
testimonies is stronger today than ever, and I feel that I want to put my whole influence on the side of
upbuilding the faith of God's people in this great and sacred work. (33)
Ellen wrote back to Fannie the next day, on February 10, 1894: I received and read your letter, and assure
you that my heart is deeply touched by its contents. I accept your confession. As far as yourself and your
connection with me personally is concerned, I have and do freely forgive you. (34) Fannie was rehired on
the spot.
Whether this was startling to Ellen's cadre is not known. They knew that Fannie was good help, and Ellen
needed her help. Willie's letter to Edson, his brother, on October 25, 1895, confirmed that: She [Fannie]
has remarkable talent and handles mother's matters very intelligently and rapidly, turning off more than
twice as much work in a given time as any other editor mother has ever employed. (35)11

There is no doubt that Frances Bolton was traumatized and suffered all the time she
worked as an editorial assistant because she could not agree with Ellen Whites blatant
plagiarism practice and with the fact that the prophet took credit for work she had not
performed. Things got from bad to worse between Ellen White and Frances because Frances was
outspoken about all the conflict in the ghost writer book shop, but still Ellen White was not able
to manage without the editorial assistant that she had fired and hired again and again. In the
meantime Ellen White had to work hard to repair the damage Frances Bolton had caused to the
prophets reputation:

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 52

When campmeeting time rolled around in 1895 (October 17 to November 11), Fannie was there to meet her
Waterloo. Again she told her secret. Ellen wrote that she stood like a sheep bleating about the fold. (44)
The bleating and the romantic entanglement were too much for Ellen. Kellogg wrote Ballenger of Fannie's
report that she and Marian Davis had to go over the material copied from the books of other writers and
transpose sentences and change paragraphs and otherwise endeavor to hide the piracy, and as a result of
Fannie's objections, Ellen not only dismissed her but slapped her face. (45)
Finally, on November 12, 1895, Ellen wrote to Marian: I have given nothing into Fannie's hands, and
never expect to give her another chance to seek to betray me and turn traitor. I have had enough of talent
and ability to last me a lifetime. Again on November 29 she wrote to Marian, I have served my time
with Fannie Bolton. (46)
This was to have been the end of Fannie's term of service. Off and on, for a period of seven and a half
years, Fannie had worked for Ellen. Now, the once Christlike, brilliant, entertaining, talented,
educated, and productive Fannie had degenerated, according to Ellen's recriminations, into a poor,
shallow soul, a flashing meteor, a practicer of deception, a lovesick sentimentalist, a pretentious
actor, a poor, deluded, misshapen character, and a farce, and said she had become trying,
provoking, one-sided, impulsive, fickle, unbalanced, depressed, vacillating, and unselfcontrolled. (47)
Incredible as it may seem, Fannie was invited to work for Ellen a fourth time. As Fannie quoted Ellens
words back to her later, Ellen said that she had been told by an unseen presence on March 20, 1895, that
Fannie was to be taken back into the work: If she [Fannie] separates now from you, said the spirit,
Satan's net is prepared for her feet. She is not in a condition to be left to herself now to be consumed of
herself. She feels regret and remorse. I am her Redeemer, I will restore her if she will not exalt and honor
and glorify herself. If she goes from you now, there is a chain of circumstances which will bring her into
difficulties which will be her ruin. (48)
In 1900 Ellen wrote to Irwin giving the reason for asking Fannie back a fourth time: I now see why I was
directed to give Fannie another trial. There are those who misunderstood me because of Fannie's
misrepresentations. These were watching to see what course I would take in regard to her. They would have
represented that I had abused poor Fannie Bolton. In following the directions to take her back, I took away
all occasion for criticism from those who were ready to condemn me. (49)
But Fannie was broken in body and in spirit. The years of overwork and stress had taken their toll of her
less than robust physical and emotional health, leaving Fannie in no condition to work, and she decided to
return to America. Her ship sailed on May 10, 1896. 12

Even in Frances Boltons final confession the readers should be able to discern the
truth about what occurred in Ellen Whites ghost writer book shop, and about all the unfair and
unethical practices that dominated the work there:
The conflict might have died there, but Fannie talked again and again, wavering between loyalty to her
literary maxims and to Ellen and her work. In 1897 Ellen was still smarting from the reports when she
wrote to Fannie in April: I will cut off the influence of your tongue in every way I can, (50) and to the
Tenneys in July: Her imagination is very strong, and she makes such exaggerated statements that her
words are not trustworthy. (51)
Fannie had given the reason for her conflict in 1894. I felt that you were the servant of God, she wrote to
Ellen, and that I should be with you, there would be more hope of my salvation, than if I remained in any
other branch of work. I thought that were I editing your writings, I should be found in the time of judgment
giving meat in due season. (52)

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 53

Finally, in 1901, to the great relief of Ellen's supporters, Fannie wrote what they considered to be her true
confession: I thank God that He has kept Sister White from following my supposed superior wisdom and
righteousness, and has kept her from acknowledging editors or authors; but has given to the people the
unadulterated expression of Gods mind. Had she done as I wished her to do, the gift would have been
degraded to a common authorship, its importance lost, its authority undermined, and its blessing lost to the
world. (53)
The last letter Ellen wrote to or about Fannie, according to The Story, was the one to Irwin in 1900. She
was nearing age seventy-three, and Fannie was in her forty-first year. Perhaps Willie took over the
controversy at that time. He wrote to Stephen N. Haskell: It is no doubt a relief to you to write a few lines
in each letter about Sister Bolton [to Ellen], but unless there is some obvious good to be accomplished,
something definite to be done in response to what you write, it would be much pleasanter for Mother and
greatly for the advancement of her work if such unpleasant things were not mentioned. The loss of two or
three night's sleep over such a matter may deprive Mother of the strength which might have been used in
bringing out some very important general matter for the instruction of the churches. (54)
In 1911, when Fannie was fifty-two years of age, her emotional health broke, and she was admitted to the
Kalamazoo State Hospital. She was released after thirteen months (February 20, 1911, to March 18, 1912).
Less than two years before she died, she was admitted again for three months (October 9, 1924, to January
21, 1925). To Fannie's detractors, this was an indication that divine retribution was being meted out in the
here and now, and positive proof that she had been unbalanced all along.
Fannie was heard from off and on during the years following her employment with Ellen. As late as 1914
she wrote: I was with Mrs. White for seven and a half years like a soul on a rock, because of all kinds of
inconsistencies, injustices and chicaneries. (55)13

The SDA church leaders and theologians assure faithful church members that Frances
Boltons account is not credible and reliable because the damage the truth could cause to Ellen
Whites reputation would be too great if Frances statements were accepted. While those who
refuse to accept an inconvenient truth will insist that the facts presented in the above narrative
from Frances are fictional, the intelligent readers will be able to discern the truth and understand
that what caused Frances the distress that affected her health and ended her life too soon were the
lies and falsehood practiced in a place where she had hoped to find blessings and peace.
Marian Davis The Main Ghost Writer
Marian Davis was the second editorial assistant who spent more than two decades in
Ellen Whites book shop. Gregg states that Marian became what Ellen called her the
bookmaker.14
Marian Davis appears to have had unlimited clearance in reference to the editorial
work she performed for Ellen White. Olson describes her tasks as a helper in these words:
Marian Davis was one of those special people to whom Ellen White looked for more than routine copying
and editing. Marian was authorized to drop out needless words (p. 33, par 1) or at times to change words
when necessary (p. 22, par 1) She helped Mrs. White plan a good number of her books, from the first
chapter to the last (p. 39, par. 1).
Marian was Ellen White's "bookmaker" (p. 41, par. 1). She gleaned material, even isolated sentences (p. 28,
par. 6; p. 39, par. 1; p. 30, par. 4), on the life of Christ from Ellen White's diaries, letters, and articles (p. 44,

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 54

par. 3; p. 29, par. 0), which she pasted in scrapbooks. She drew material for The Desire of Ages from these
scrapbooks, the bound E. G. White books, and some longer manuscripts (p. 24, par. 4).
In organizing the material into chapters, Marian noted areas on which she had nothing from Ellen White's
pen. Apparently the two women had such a close working relationship that Marian felt free to make
suggestions to Mrs. White as to what she thought might be lacking from the book. Some of these
suggestions Ellen White accepted, but others she rejected. For example, while Marians advice regarding
the rock, when the water flowed, was accepted for an earlier book (p. 21, par. 1), her recommendation
concerning the building a tower and the war of kings was rejected. Ellen White declared she would not
write on these topics unless the Lord's Spirit seems to lead me (p. 25, par. 3).*
Marian also made suggestions to Ellen White with reference to Christ's struggle when tempted to use His
divine power (p. 26, par. 5), and the parables of the pearl and the net (p. 23, par. 6). While Ellen White no
doubt appreciated these suggestions, it was clearly she herself, and not Marian, who decided what topics
she would write on.
Not only did Ellen White do the initial writing, she also took full responsibility for every word which
eventually appeared in her books. She explained to her sister Mary, I read over all that is copied, to see
that everything is as it should be. I read all the book manuscript before it is sent to the printer (p. 44, par.
2). This clearly was her routine method of working. Marian Davis once remarked to Ellen White, Of
course, nothing will go that you do not approve (p. 30, par. 2).15

Gregg continues the same document structure that she has used in the first document that
dealt with Frances Bolton for the second narrative that describes the second principal editorial
assistant, or helper who worked for Ellen White, and starts with Marian Davis biographical
sketch:
The story of Fannie Bolton, Ellen G. White's most controversial literary associate, cannot be told
adequately or completely without the story of Ellen's longtime literary associate, Marian Davis.
Marian was born on August 21, 1847, at North Berwick, Maine, to Obadiah and Elmira O. Davis. Her
given name was Mary Ann, which she used until she was in her thirties. She was the oldest of four children,
Grace being the next younger, then Obadiah, and last Ella. If there are any extant pictures of Marian, none
has been found thus far. If she looked anything like her sister Ella, she had brown hair and a small, serious
face with pleasing features.
When Marian was four years old, her mother became a Seventh-day Adventist; and soon afterward her
father, who had been in California during the gold rush, also accepted the faith. In 1868, the year she was
twenty-one, she went with her family to Battle Creek, Michigan. Shortly after that, Marian accepted a
position teaching in a country school. Teaching proved to be so taxing that her health was affected, and she
had to stay home a year to recuperate. Later she took work as a proofreader at the Review and Herald
publishing plant.
Double tragedy struck the family in 1876. Grace died of "lung fever" on March 17, and then ten days later,
on March 27, their mother died. Marian and her father wrote the obituaries for the Review. (1)
In 1880 Ella married William K. Kellogg, owner of the W.K. Kellogg Cornflakes Company. Obadiah went
into business and became known for the durability of his electric water pumps.
When James and Ellen White took a wagon trip to Colorado in 1879, they invited Marian to accompany
them. Marian went by railway from Michigan to Texas to join the eight wagons already en route. The story
of the trip is told by Eileen E. Lantry in a children's book entitled Miss Marian's Gold. (2) Marian was

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 55

thirty-two years of age when she started the journey that was to be the beginning of a quarter century's
adventure to exotic and interesting places. When Ellen traveled - to California in 1882, to Europe in 1885,
again to California in 1887, to Michigan in 1889, to Australia in 1891, and again to California in 1900 Marian accompanied her to do her manuscript editing.16

Marians responsibilities as a bookmaker were complex and extensive, and included


article organization, letter storage, book chapter preparation, document search, etc. She also
selected the most suitable notes from Ellen Whites work that might be included in Ellen
Whites compiled books:
Marian became what Ellen called her bookmaker. She takes my articles which are published in the
papers, and pastes them in blank books, Ellen wrote to George A. Irwin, who would soon become the next
president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. She also has a copy of all the letters I
write. In preparing a chapter for a book, Marian remembers that I have written something on that special
point, which may make the matter more forcible. She begins to search for this, and if when she finds it, she
sees that it will make the chapter more clear, she adds it. (3)
Fortunately Marian's memory was very good. To draw from, she had at least thirty scrapbooks, a half
dozen bound volumes, and fifty manuscripts, all covering thousands of pages of Ellen White's materials,
besides a large library of books. (4) Also she attended classes and meetings and took notes that would help
cover a given subject, such as the life of Christ.
Ellen had been an interested reader of religious journals, according to William C. White, her son, and
during the many years that Uriah Smith was editor of the Review, it was her custom to request him after [he
had] made use of the religious exchanges, to pass them over to her and she would spend a portion of her
time in scanning them in selecting precious things which sometimes appeared in the Review. In these she
also gathered information regarding what was going on in the religious world. (5) This was information
that was also available for Marian to peruse for her bookmaking activities. 17

The bookmaker had a rare dedication for her work, so much so, that she often asked for
clarification from Ellen White for the minutest details. This excessive focus on detail made Ellen
to complain sometimes about her helper to those in her immediate circle:
Marian was extremely conscientious about her work and would be very painstaking about bringing
numerous details to the attention of Ellen or Willie for clarification. This could be very annoying to Ellen at
times, as she wanted to get on with her "own thing," whatever it might be at the time.
On one occasion Ellen wrote to Mary, her daughter-in-law: "Willie is in meeting early and late, devising,
planning for the doing of better and more efficient work in the cause of God.... Marian will go to him for
some little matters that it seems she could settle for herself. She is nervous and hurried and he so worn he
has to just shut his teeth together and hold his nerves as best he can. I have had a talk with her and told her
she must settle many things herself that she has been bringing Willie.... She must just carry some of these
things that belong to her part of the work, and not bring them before him nor worry his mind with them.
Sometimes I think she will kill us both, all unnecessarily, with her little things she can just as well settle
herself as to bring them before us. Every little change of a word she wants us to see. I am about tired of this
business." (6) 18

For book compilations Marian looked for adequate sections or chapters in various
protestant works, and from sermon lectures. Although some narrow-minded church members
looked at her work as nothing more than mechanical, much thought had to be put into the
process that improved form and content for the books that were headed to the press:

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 56

Further, Marian herself was clearly searching, studying, and selecting pertinent material not from Ellen's
scrapbooks alone but from the works of other religious writers (Alfred Edersheim, William Hanna, John
Harris, Daniel March, Henry Melvill, to name some) and from various Adventist ministers she heard
lecture or obtained advice from in order to familiarize herself with the subject. Certainly it would follow,
then, that she would be anxious that the manuscript work resulting from her searchings, incorporating, and
organizing be scrutinized thoroughly. Whose work should be more carefully done than that of "the prophet"
speaking for God?
Zealous supporters of Ellen at times referred to Marian, Fannie, and others loosely as "copyists" (which
means their editing would be limited to "mechanics" such as correcting simple grammar, spelling,
punctuation) - thus subtly minimizing the associate. There are numerous pieces of evidence to indicate that
Ellen's literary assistants, by whatever title, in fact did what is called 'substantive editing' - that is, rewriting,
reorganizing, and suggesting ways to reinforce or modify the content - plus much more. Marian, who
researched for content ideas, organization, and expression and who attended to paraphrasing, was not called
"bookmaker" without reason.19

Not much longer after Marian began to work in Ellen Whites book shop, she noticed that
numerous materials that were supposed to be included in the books to be published contained
close paraphrases from different authors, and also direct paragraphs and book sections that Ellen
White had copied word for word from various sources. When the decision was made that the
copied material should not be included within quotation marks, Marian was distressed because
she understood that this was nothing less than blatant plagiarism:
The matter of using quotation marks for material drawn from the work of other religious writers eventually
came up for discussion. William C. White and Dores E. Robinson wrote: Mrs. White made no effort to
conceal the fact that she had copied from other writers, statements that exactly suited her purpose. And in
her handwritten manuscripts, most of the passages that she had copied word for word, were enclosed in
quotation marks. But there were also many passages that were paraphrased.... The question arose, How
shall these passages be handled? Much time would be required to study each passage and mark it
consistently. The printers were waiting for copy, and the public were waiting for the book. Then it was
decided to leave out the quotation marks entirely. And in that way the book was printed. (7)
Vesta J. Farnsworth, who was in Australia during the time Ellen was there, wrote that Marian had shared
in the decision to leave out quotation marks in the early edition of [The] Great Controversy and to the using
of the general acknowledgment in the Preface. Then when there came severe criticism for this, she, with
Sister White and her associates, felt it very keenly. (8)
That Marian was upset and weeping herself to sleep night after night eventually got back to the family,
according to Obadiah, and they worried about her because the health of their sister was not robust. (9)
Dudley M. Canright, one of Ellen's biographers, wrote that Marian was one day heard moaning in her
room. Going in, another worker inquired the cause of her trouble. Miss Davis replied: I wish I could die! I
wish I could die! Why, what is the matter? asked the other. Oh, Miss Davis said, this terrible
plagiarism. (10)
Farnsworth commented on that story: "If this be true, it is only one of the many things connected with her
[Marian's] work over which she was deeply distressed. Sister Marian Davis was exceedingly faithful and
conscientious in her labors, and felt keenly her responsibility in the work entrusted to her in connection
with Sister White's writings. She was frail of body and often low spirited. Many times she besought the
prayers and the counsel of her associates and fellow workers. And by the help of God she did a noble work.
She loved the work better than her life, and anything which affected it affected her." (11)

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 57

When Marian talked with Charles E. Stewart, a doctor in Battle Creek, she told him about her problems
with her editing. He referred to this incident, without divulging the person's name, in a lengthy letter that he
wrote to Ellen in 1907: "I am informed by a trustworthy person, that you in the preparation of your various
works, consulted freely other authors; and that it was sometimes very difficult to arrange the matter for
your books in such a way as to prevent the readers from detecting that many of the ideas had been taken
from other authors." (12) 20

When Frances Bolton came to work for Ellen White, she and Marian Davis shared
similar work clearances and assignments and often worked together on various book
assignments. Soon, Frances shared with Marian, her co-worker, the perspective that because the
two wrote in fact the books for which the prophet took credit, it would be right and fair that
their contributions be recognized and mentioned in the published books. This matter upset Ellen
White, and things never improved until Frances left the ghost writer book shop and Marian
worked again alone in the book compilation from different authors:
The work seemed to go fairly smoothly between Ellen and Marian until Fannie joined them. Then things
began to happen. Ellen wrote that Fannie would talk to my workers, especially Marian, and get her stirred
up so that I could hardly get along with Marian. She was like another person, infused with a spirit that was
excitable and unexplainable. (13)
What the editors talked about was the giving of credit to authors and editors. Fannie, according to Ellen in a
letter to Ole A. Olsen, General Conference president at the time, talked these things to Marian and Marian
has been led into much of the same views, but not to the extent of Fannie. (14) Fannie talked to various
ones about how the books were organized and written, and Ellen wrote, she presented the matter to them
in such a way that they thought injustice had been done to Fannie and Marian.... Fannie represented that she
and Marian had brought all the talent and sharpness into my books, yet [they] were both ignored and set
aside, and all the credit came to me. (15)
Fannie had created such a state of things in her representations, Ellen wrote to John Harvey Kellogg,
that you would have supposed her to be the author of the articles she prepared, and maintained that it
should be acknowledged that Marian and Fannie were in co-partnership with me in the publications bearing
my signature. (16)
Ellen finally brought this to a head one day in conversation with Fannie. She recounted the incident thus to
Willie: Should [my writings] be published Mrs. E.G. White, Fannie Bolton, and Marian Davis are a
company concern in these productions? oh, she says, I do not know, I do not know. I have been
tempted. I am full of pride. (17)
After Fannie was discharged, Marian, according to Ellen, became "just as peaceable as she used to be." (18)
However, when Ellen was upset with Marian, she was relegated from the "trustworthy bookmaker" to "poor
little Marian."21

Marian got sick and never recovered. He condition worsened, and she died. The remorse
she felt for the plagiarism she had committed while she worked for Ellen White in the ghost
writer book shop might have well contributed to her death. States Gregg:
Marians father died in Battle Creek on March 1, 1903. In May of the same year Marian attended the
General Conference meeting in Oakland, California. While she was there she caught a cold that settled in
her lungs, and she was hospitalized at the St. Helena Sanitarium and Hospital. Gradually she seemed to
recover from her lung problem, and she went back to work on Ellen's latest tome, The Ministry of Healing.
But her appetite and strength never returned. Finally, when she became so weak that she could no longer sit

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 58

at her typewriter, she was hospitalized again. Because she was unable to eat or sleep, she continued wasting
away and never recovered. (19)
According to Canright, it is said that before her death Miss Davis was greatly troubled over the connection
she had had with Mrs. White's plagiarism, for she knew how extensively it had been carried on. (20)
That Marian was troubled can be read in letters written to her during that time by Ellen, who was traveling
in the East. On August 24, 1904: Let not one anxious thought come into your mind. On September 16: I
am grieved that you are troubled in mind.... He [God] has no such feelings of condemnation as you
imagine. I want you to stop thinking that the Lord does not love you.... You need not think that you have
done anything which would lead God to treat you with severity. I know better. (21) Even on October 9,
when Ellen returned to California from her trip, she could not succeed in persuading Marian to eat.
At four oclock on the afternoon of October 25, 1904, Marian - who had made The Desire of Ages sing, and
who had given sinew and beauty to many other works for Ellen - was dead. Her funeral was held the next
day in the St. Helena Church, and she was buried at St. Helena. In attendance were her sister, Ella Kellogg,
and her niece, Beth Kellogg.
Willie wrote the obituary, a full column in length, for the Review. He described her as an efficient laborer
in the literary departments of our work.... [She] has been a most efficient and trusted worker, preparing for
the press tracts, pamphlets, and books, and articles for our numerous periodicals. As for the thoughts that
were troubling Marian at the time, Willie wrote that Sister Davis sometimes, during her sickness, mourned
because the imperfections of her work and experience, but at the last she grasped the firm promises of God,
and found peace and rest and joy in the Lord. (22) 22

The plagiarism suspicions continued to circulate among the SDA church members even
after the two principal editorial assistants died, and therefore much time, effort, and ink was
spent to repair the damage these two have caused to the Ellen White legend and to dispel the
mistrust in the claims that the books published under her name were based on visions and
angelic dictations.
Gregg enumerates nine different approaches that the White Estate took to defend Ellen
Whites plagiarism and to protect her false tale: (1) Ellen did not copy, (2) Ellen used the words
of only historians, (3) Ellen used the ad hominem approach, (4) Paraphrasing was said to be
acceptable a century ago, (5) Bible writers copied, (6) Ellen's copying was not illegal, (7) Ellen
was uninformed about literary standards, (8), God's words belong to everyone, and (9) The
words are not the important part of Ellens writings.23 The author, though, finishes her second
narrative with this thought:
Credit must be given to the White Estate, the Biblical Research Institute, and the President of the General
Conference for conceding that the amount of borrowing was greater than they had previously known.
(39) However, when the officials, apologists, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church at large can go that
one step further and acknowledge that Ellen was wrong to copy without giving credit to the sources used,
then the conflict recounted in The Unfinished Story of Fannie Bolton and Marian Davis will end.24

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 59

X. Conclusion
This research document provides adequate and reliable evidence for the conclusion that
the books, articles, pamphlets, letters, and other documents published under Ellen Whites name
and credited to her are not her original work, and their content was not received through divine
visions or through angelic dictations. Those printed materials are plagiarized compilations
derived from numerous and various published works, and those who have edited and organized
the plagiarized sentences, paragraphs, and chapters into new books, articles, pamphlets, and
letters are the Ellen Whites helpers, or editorial assistants who were forced to plagiarize
together with the prophet but did the work Ellen White could not do because she lacked the
English composition and editorial skills for such a workedit, correct, and prepare the
documents for the press and for distribution. The beautiful, or wonderful, language that
numerous SDA members consider the ultimate evidence that Ellen Whites publications are
inspired and divine, is human and natural, and originates from the helpers or editorial
assistants who ghost wrote her books.
In the SDA scholarship and folklore, Ellen White is described as creature larger than
life. The SDA Legend. The SDA Icon. The SDA Saint. The facts, though, are far from the
sectarian fiction that has captivated the SDA members gullible imaginations and has made them
claim absolute uniqueness as nonpareil members of an exclusive remnant that holds the
singular and unadulterated present truth among the past, present, and future religious
denominations.
The sad truth does not match the oversized, unconfirmed, and even bizarre claims that the
SDA church has made about Ellen White. The plagiarism accusations that the Ellen Whites foes
have made against her are also exaggerated. More recent factual evidence shows that Ellen
White plagiarized little and wrote even less because her basic English Composition skills were
far below standard or even average. The prophet could not write in legible longhand, could not
organize text in logical structures, could not edit sentences and paragraphs, could not prepare
documents for the press, and could not publish.
Those who did all the large scale plagiarism, that is, the massive authorial theft, from
countless books and other intellectual under Ellen Whites not so gentle and kind prophetic
guidance and encouragement or rather direct and undisguised coercion, were the more than
two dozen helpers, secretaries, editorial assistantsin fact GHOST WRITERSwho
sweated in Ellen Whites labor camp. The editorial assistants were also those who compiled
and organized the stolen material into books, articles, pamphlets, and letters, edited and prepared
the documents for the press, and readied them for publication.
What Ellen White did was to take undeserved credit for the works published under her
name, and to collect the enormous sums that resulted from the slave labor that took place without
pause in her book shop. The prophet, then made sure to waste her fortune on numerous real
estate assets, on excessive and extravagant travel, and on a lavished and pampered life.
The ghost writers were never credited, and were never rewarded for their massive and
diligent work that made her rich and famous.

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 60

In the end, the facts indicate that Ellen White was a guilt-free crook who believed that the
ends justified the means. Under the false claim that she was Gods messenger, Ellen deceived
and manipulated people, offended numerous SDA church members with false personal
testimonies, hated with a passion all those who refused to accept her bogus claims, denounced
all those who opposed her claimed prophetic gift and her lies, and denigrated, threatened, and
often attempted to cause financial ruin to those she considered her enemies.
The truthful and undeniable evidence that supports the statements made in this research
document is in the open and available to all those interested to know the White Truth, about
Ellen White, and the readers are invited to become acquainted with this evidence and accept the
factual and undistorted, but inconvenient and scandalous truth.

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 61

References
I. Introduction
1

Denis Fortin, Ellen G Whites Ministry in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Paper
presented at the conversation with the World Evangelical Aliance, Andrews University, August
7, 2007. Retrieved on December 30, 2014 from https://adventistbiblicalresearch.org/materials/
conversations-other-christians-world-evangelical-alliance-wea/ellen-g-white%E2%80%99sministry, 9.
2

Ellen G. White Estate. Questions and Answers about Ellen G. White. Retrieved on December
30, 2014 from: http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/faq-egw.html.
3

Idem.

II. The Sad Incident That Impaired Ellen


1

Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White: A Brief Biography. Retrieved on December 30, 2014 from
http://www.whiteestate.org/about/egwbio.asp.
2

Ellen G. White, Life Sketches of Ellen G. White (Mountain View, California: Pacific Press
Publishing Association, 1915), 17-18.
3

Idem, 18-19.

III. Ellens Language Progress Barred


1

The White Estate. MR No. 657-E. G. White Not a Grammarian. Manuscript Releases Volume
Eight [NOS. 526-663], page 448. Retrieved on December 30, 2014 from
http://text.egwwritings.org/publication.php?pubtype=Book&bookCode=8MR&pagenumber=448
2

J. Robert Spangler (Editor), Ellen White and Literary Dependency, Ministry, June 1980, 5.

Idem.

Arthur L. White, Ellen G White Messenger to the Remnant (Ellen G White Publications, 1956),
67-69.
5

Ronald D. Graybill, The Power of Prophecy: Ellen G. White and the Women Religious
Founders of the Nineteen Century (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). (Baltimore, Maryland:
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983), 191-192.

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 62

IV. Ellens Claims for Divine Inspiration


1

Ronald D. Graybill, The Power of Prophecy: Ellen G. White and the Women Religious
Founders of the Nineteen Century (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). (Baltimore, Maryland:
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983), 191-192.
2

Arthur L. White, Ellen G White Messenger to the Remnant (Ellen G White Publications, 1956),
67-69.
V. Plagiarism - Not Visions and Dictation
1

Walter T. Rea, The White Lie (Turlock, CA: M & R Publications, 1982), 199-200.

Idem, 200-203.

Idem.

Walter T. Rea. (2002, September 14), EGW: The Continuing Saga, San Diego Adventist Forum,
page 4.
5

Idem, 4-5.

VI. Editorial Assistants and Their Roles


1

Ronald D. Graybill, The Power of Prophecy: Ellen G. White and the Women Religious
Founders of the Nineteen Century (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). (Baltimore, Maryland:
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983), 191-192.
2

Idem.

Idem, 192-193.

Ellen G. White S.D.A. Research Centre. Northern Caribbean University. Questions and
Answers. Retrieved December 30, 2014 from: http://egw-sdaresearch.ncu.edu.jm/qanda.asp.
5

Jerry Moon (2004), Ellen G. Whites Use of Literary Assistants. Retrieved December 30,
2014 from www.andrews.edu/~jmoon/Documents/.../03.pdf, 1.
6

Idem.

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 63

VII. The Work Her Assistants Performed


1

Arthur L. White, Ellen G. White: A Brief Biography. Retrieved on December 30, 2014 from
http://www.whiteestate.org/about/egwbio.asp.
2

Idem.

Ellen G. White, Life Sketches of Ellen G. White (Mountain View, California: Pacific Press
Publishing Association, 1915), 18-19.
4

Idem.

Idem.

Idem.

Idem.

The White Estate. MR No. 657-E. G. White Not a Grammarian. Manuscript Releases Volume
Eight [NOS. 526-663], page 448. Retrieved on December 30, 2014 from
http://text.egwwritings.org/publication.php?pubtype=Book&bookCode=8MR&pagenumber=448
9

Idem.

10

Idem.

11

J. Robert Spangler (Editor), Ellen White and Literary Dependency, Ministry, June 1980, 5.

12

Idem.

13

Arthur L. White, Ellen G White Messenger to the Remnant (Ellen G White Publications, 1956),
67-69.
14

Idem.

15

Idem.

16

Idem.

17

Idem.

18

Idem.

19

Idem.

20

Idem.

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 64

21

Idem.

22

Idem.

23

Idem.

24

Idem.

25

Ronald D. Graybill, The Power of Prophecy: Ellen G. White and the Women Religious
Founders of the Nineteen Century (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). (Baltimore, Maryland:
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983), 191-192.
26

Jerry Moon (2004), The Editorial Process of Ellen G. White and Her Staff. Retrieved
December 30, 2014 from www.andrews.edu/~jmoon/Documents/.../03a.pdf, 1-2.
27

Idem, 2-3.

28

Idem, 3.

29

Idem, 3-4.

30

Idem, 6-7.

31

Idem, 7.

32

Idem, 8.

33

Idem, 9.

34

Idem, 9-10.

35

Idem, 10-11.

36

Idem, 11.

37

Idem.

VIII. Moon Defends Ellen Whites Claims


1

Jerry Moon (2004), Ellen G. Whites Use of Literary Assistants. Retrieved December 30,
2014 from www.andrews.edu/~jmoon/Documents/.../03.pdf, 1.
2

Idem, 7-10.

Idem, 1.

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 65

Idem, 7.

Idem.

Idem, 8.

Idem.

Idem, 8-9.

Idem, 9.

10

Idem.

11

Walter T. Rea. (2002, September 14), EGW: The Continuing Saga, San Diego Adventist
Forum, pages 4-5.
12

Jerry Moon (2004), Ellen G. Whites Use of Literary Assistants. Retrieved December 30,
2014 from www.andrews.edu/~jmoon/Documents/.../03.pdf, 6.
13

The White Estate. MR No. 657-E. G. White Not a Grammarian. Manuscript Releases Volume
Eight [NOS. 526-663], page 448. Retrieved on December 30, 2014 from
http://text.egwwritings.org/publication.php?pubtype=Book&bookCode=8MR&pagenumber=448
14

Idem.

15

Arthur L. White, Ellen G White Messenger to the Remnant (Ellen G White Publications, 1956),
67-69.
16

Idem.

17

Idem.

18

Idem.

19

Idem.

20

Ronald D. Graybill, The Power of Prophecy: Ellen G. White and the Women Religious
Founders of the Nineteen Century (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). (Baltimore, Maryland:
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983), 191-192.
21

Idem.

22

Idem.

23

Idem.

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 66

24

Idem.

25

Idem.

26

Jerry Moon (2004), Ellen G. Whites Use of Literary Assistants. Retrieved December 30,
2014 from www.andrews.edu/~jmoon/Documents/.../03.pdf, 8.
27

Walter T. Rea. (2002, September 14), EGW: The Continuing Saga, San Diego Adventist
Forum, pages 4-5.
28

Ellen G. White Estate. The Truth About The White Lie. Retrieved on January 11, 2015 from
http://text.egwwritings.org/publication.php?pubtype=Book&bookCode=TAWL&lang=en&page
number=12
29

Jerry Moon (2004), Ellen G. Whites Use of Literary Assistants. Retrieved December 30,
2014 from www.andrews.edu/~jmoon/Documents/.../03.pdf, 8-9.
30

Idem, 9.

31

Idem.

IX. The Ghost Writers The Real Authors


1

Jerry Moon (2004), Ellen G. Whites Use of Literary Assistants. Retrieved December 30,
2014 from www.andrews.edu/~jmoon/Documents/.../03.pdf, 1.
2

Idem, 5.

Idem, 4-7.

Alice Elizabeth Gregg Fannies Folly: Part I of the Unfinished Story of Fannie Bolton and
Marian Davis. Adventist Currents, Volume 1, Number 2, October 1983, 24.
5

Idem.

Idem.

Idem.

Idem, 24-25.

Idem, 25.

10

Idem.

11

Idem, 25-26.

Ellen G. White And Her Ghost Writer Book Shop 67

12

Idem, 27.

13

Idem.

14

Alice Elizabeth Gregg Marian the Bookmaker: Part II of the Unfinished Story of Fannie
Bolton and Marian Davis. Adventist Currents, Volume 1, Number 3, February 1984, 23.
15

Robert W. Olsen, How The Desire of Ages was Written. An Introductory Statement to the
Document, Exhibits Relating to the Writing of The Desire of Ages, compiled by Ron Graybill
and Robert Olsen (Silver Spring, MD: Home Study International Press, 1979), 3-4.
16

Alice Elizabeth Gregg Marian the Bookmaker: Part II of the Unfinished Story of Fannie
Bolton and Marian Davis. Adventist Currents, Volume 1, Number 3, February 1984, 23.
17

Idem.

18

Idem.

19

Idem, 23-24.

20

Idem, 24.

21

Idem.

22

Idem.

23

Idem, 25, 29.

24

Idem, 29.