"Even the Pictures were Plagiarized!"
|The Picture in Question|
An 1886 edition of volume four of The Spirit of Prophecy
contains pictures "plagiarized" from Wylie's History of
Protestantism. The "original artist's signature," "Hooper SC,"
was replaced by Mrs. White with "Pacific Press."
We first saw this accusation on the internet in 1998 at
www.bible.ca. It was also posted on
Dirk Anderson's site. (After we brought the following discrepancies to Dirk's
attention, he immediately removed the page in question from his
site.) Both of these web sites found this charge in Walter
Rea's book, The White Lie.
Notice that White was an experienced plagiarist and actually deleted the original artist's signature
and inserted her publishing company! This is just one of many examples of artwork theft.
Offenses include: replacing original signature, obliterated with
black inc [sic], cut off and "Pacific Press Oakland, Cal." Added [sic].
This painting summarizes the whole problem of Ellen
White's plagiarism. She took the intellectual and artistic property
of others and pawned it off as the work of herself and her angels.
According to the White Estate, the pictures were purchased from the
owner. Then, the pictures were altered to remove the artist's name,
making it appear as if Pacific Press painted the picture. What a
hoax! How true is the saying: A picture is worth a thousand
At first glance, this charge indeed appears quite damaging.
We began our research by first perusing through other old
pictures in Wylie's work. Surpisingly, a number of pictures bore two
signatures, and Hooper wasn't the only name followed by the initials
"SC." For example, on page 86 of History of the Waldenses, a
portion of Wylie's longer work, History of Protestantism,
one finds "CR" and "TR SC" in opposite corners at the bottom of the
picture. This finding prompts two questions:
|Dirk spotlights "Hooper SC"|
- What does "SC" mean?
- Why do some pictures have two signatures?
According to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, one
of the meanings of the abbreviation "sc" is:
[L sculpsit] he carved it, she carved it, he engraved it,
she engraved it.
Thus Hooper was the engraver, not the original artist, and when
Pacific Press re-engraved the picture, they had every right to
replace his name with theirs, for he was no longer the
|The New Engraver|
But then, who was the artist? Is there also a second signature
on the picture in question?
In the lower righthand corner opposite Hooper's name are the
initials "CC." Interestingly, on page 8 of Wylie, upon the very
first picture in his book, is a picture with the very same
signature. "CC" was therefore the artist, and we note that Pacific
Press was careful enough to include this signature in the copy
that they made for Ellen White's book.
|The Real Artist: "CC"|
When we first made this discovery in 1998, we contacted
bible.ca as requested on their web site about
this mistake on their web page. Obviously, when a page claims
that Mrs. White removed an artist's signature, and when the
facts are that the signature was retained, then a mistake has
been made. We never received a reply from bible.ca, and after more than five years, their web page
|"CC" Still There in Copy|
In preparing this analysis for this site, we decided to write
bible.ca once more, and have also written
Dirk Anderson. To date we have received no reply
from bible.ca, but we did receive a prompt
reply from Dirk in which he said he was immediately pulling the page in question from his site.
We notified Walter Rea of this discrepancy around early 2000,
and anticipate that the next reprinting of his book will carry a
revision of this section.
Reply finally received from bible.ca. Posted here.
November 19 input into the matter by Walter Rea posted here.
As quoted above, Dirk admitted:
According to the White Estate, the pictures were purchased from
The White Estate was kind enough to fax us the documentation
behind his statement, documentation he must certainly have read
himself in order to make such a statement.
It would appear that Rea's book is not the original source of
this charge, though Rea, bible.ca, and Dirk fail to properly credit
the original critic.
According to the White Estate's document, this charge first
surfaced in the 1930's in E. S. Ballenger's The Gathering
Call. The White Estate on March 23, 1936, issued a reply. In
that reply they cite a letter written on April 7, 1886, in which
Willie White, Mrs. White's son, discusses the purchasing of the
rights to use the pictures in question from Cassell and Company.
Other letters refer to bills totalling hundreds of dollars, all
concerning the rights to use such pictures in various
Interestingly, Willie's 1886 letter, cited in the White Estate
document, points out that when he gave credit to Cassell for the use of a picture,
Cassell gave him a 40% discount in price.
However, as he states, for Mrs. White's book he preferred paying full price in
order to omit the necessity of giving credit.
- The engraver's signature, not the artist's signature,
was replaced in the copy appearing in Mrs. White's book.
- The artist's signature was retained, not replaced, in
the copy found in Mrs. White's book.
- The right to use the artwork in question was paid
- Web pages containing this false charge should be revised to
reflect the facts of the case.
- An unbiased and through investigation of this matter
reveals a carefulness on the part of the Whites to do the right thing. This in
itself suggests that they likely tried to do the right thing in other matters.
- It appears wise to get the White Estate's side of things before
publishing or recycling criticisms. There are occasions when the
criticisms are unfounded, and discovering this before publishing
can save some embarrassment later on. Especially is this so when an
excessive workload keeps one from correcting the errors for five
years or more.
Give Us Your Opinion
|What do you think about Mrs. White and the "plagiarized pictures"?