OF RELIGION Field Guide to the

This material regarding the writings of Ellen G. White is part of a Field Guide profile on

Seventh-day Adventism. Click here to go to the main page of the SDA profile.




(WARNING: The following material contains commentary on sexual matters.

It is intended for adult readers.)




On June 6, 1863, Ellen G. White, prophetess of the Seventh-dayAdventist church, had an alleged vision from God that lasted for 45 minutes, during which He was said by her to have revealed to her many important principles for a "health reform" movement she was to institute in the SDA Church. In recent times, the SDA denomination has touted Ellen's health teachings derived from this and other revelations she received as being far ahead of her time in medical wisdom.


Four months after the 6/6/1863 vision, she wrote the first book based on the information in her alleged vision. It included admonitions to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle. And what was the reason given for this limitation in diet? Was it concern for hardening of the arteries, or heart disease, or high blood pressure?


No. It was concern for controlling and eliminating "solitary vice." This was the delicate term used by fastidious people in the mid-1800s to designate masturbation.


Click here to go to a complete copy of the text of that book, entitled "An Appeal to Mothers: The Great Cause of the Physical, Mental, and Moral Ruin of Children of Our Time."



For detailed commentary on this facet of Ellen G White’s health reform ideas, see The Masturbation Connection by Gregory Hunt, MD.   



Excerpts from An Appeal to Mothers:


   "We noticed bad diet as a cause of unchastity. By bad diet we mean the use of food and drinks of bad qualities and unreasonable quantities. (p. 5) A diet chiefly or wholly vegetable, is evidently best adapted to allay passionate excitement. Flesh meat diet is more stimulating than vegetable. Consequently it is plain that all those who suffer from too high venereal excitement, should abandon it (meat) ... When children shall be taught correct habits of diet, much, very much, Will be done toward the removal of secret vice and other species of unchastity from society. (p. 9) Mince pies, cakes, preserves, and highly seasoned meats, with gravies, create a feverish condition in the system, and inflame the animal passions. . . We should encourage in our children a love for nobleness of mind, and a pure, virtuous character. In order to strengthen in them the moral perceptions, . . . we must regulate the manner of our living, dispense with animal foods, and use grains, vegetables and fruits, as articles of diet. (p. 15)


   "Sip no more the beverage of China; no more the drinks of java; what shall you drink at your meals? ... I say, nothing is best; yet cocoa, chocolate, or warm water seasoned, or bread coffee, rice coffee . . . will be good substitutes as they do not inflame."


   "For a similar reason, meats, mustards, condiments, peppers, spices, rich foods, gravies, everything heating and irritating, will only add to existing inflammation, and increase both desire and disease ... Some kinds of food, as already specified, excite amorous desires; while others, as rice, bread, fruit, vegetables do not; and may therefore be eaten."


   "As to suppers, I recommend none at all. A full stomach induces dreams or the exercise, in sleep, of those organs most liable to spontaneous action, which produces libidinous dreams, with accompanying night emissions, which weaken and disease equally with indulgence … A heating, stimulating diet still more prematurely develops this passion. We have already seen that meats, teas, coffee, mustards, spices, etc. stimulate in adults ... A heating diet, after all, is the most prolific cause of excessive and perverted sexuality … eat and drink cooling, calming articles only."


   "Sleeping on feather beds and feather pillows, in close, unventilated rooms is another cause of weakness, and therefore aids in inducing this vile practice of solitary vice."




Further description of Ellen’s proclamations about the dire effects of masturbation–including crippled limbs, misshapen heads, rheumatism, diseased kidneys, cancer, and death–can be read in the Field Guide section on Strange Science and Health Teachings of Ellen G White.




For even more information and commentary on this and related matters:


Beware This Cult!: An insider exposes Seventh-day Adventism and their false Prophet, Ellen G. White.

Hunt, Gregory, M.D., B.Sc., F.R.C.P. © 1981

Chapters 6-18 of this book, sections specifically dealing with Ellen G. White, are available on the web. This book particularly deals in detail with the origin of the "health reform" teachings of Ellen G. White.





Unless otherwise noted, all original material on this Field Guide website

is © 2001-2011 by Pamela Starr Dewey.


Careful effort has been made to give credit as clearly as possible to any specific material quoted or ideas extensively adapted from any one resource. Corrections and clarifications regarding citations for any source material are welcome, and will be promptly added to any sections which are found to be inadequately documented as to source.


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In the Teachings of Ellen G White