The Masturbation Connection
By Gregory Hunt, M.D. (a compendium of Dr. Hunt's 1981 book, Beware this Cult
The revelation that was to shape Adventist health reform was given to Ellen White in the famous vision of Oswego, on June the 6th, 1863. During a vision lasting 45 minutes, God showed her highly advanced medical principles years ahead of her time. Such, anyway, is the claim. (Ellen G. White: Prophet of Destiny, Rene Noorbergen, p. 98.)
One would think that with man's knowledge being what it was, God could have revealed some highly useful information. For example:
God could have revealed these and other life-saving techniques. In doing so, He would have:
Turning from what God might have revealed to what He did reveal we learn the particulars with some surprise.
Just months after the vision, Ellen White published An Appeal to Mothers: The Great Cause of the Physical, Mental, and Moral Ruin of Children of Our Time. This was Mrs. White's first book on health reform. Its intent was to warn the world about the dangers of - MASTURBATION!
Mrs. White, it seems, was dissatisfied with the result of this production and six years later she produced an amplified version entitled "A Solemn Appeal." This book was edited by her husband and included articles from other writers to back up Mrs. White's counsel.
This booklet is today unavailable, and any who read it can see why. Let us examine some of its passages.
"I feel alarmed for those children and you who by solitary vice are ruining themselves...you listen to numerous complaints of headache, catarrh, dizziness, nervousness, pain in the shoulders and side, loss of appetite, pain in the back and limbs...and have you not noticed that there was a deficiency in the mental health of your children?" "Secret indulgence [masturbation] is, in many cases, the only real cause of the numerous complaints of the young." (p. 11, 13)
It is enlightening to note that Ellen White's original writing of this last quotation has been altered. Her husband deleted the words that showed that his wife had seen this in vision. Was he embarrassed by the fact?
The passage originally said: "The state of the world was presented before me [in vision], and my attention was especially called to the youth of our time. Everywhere I looked, I saw imbecility, dwarfed forms" etc. This is much more authoritative than: "Everywhere we look we see..." Maybe James White doubted that this was something God had actually shown his wife. Be that as it may, he altered it. Let's continue.
"If the practice is continued from the ages of 15 and upward, nature will protest...and will make them pay the penalty...by numerous pains in the system, and various diseases, such as affection of the liver and lungs, neuralgia, rheumatism, affection of the spine, diseased kidneys and cancerous humours... There is often a sudden breaking down of the constitution, and death is the result." (p. 14-15)
"There is hardly an end to the diseases caused by solitary vice" - following which statement we find a long train of diseases supposedly so caused, among them "epilepsy, impaired eye sight," "bleeding at the lungs, spasms of the heart and lungs, diabetes," "rheumatism, affected perspiration, consumption [tuberculosis again], asthma," and more than a dozen others.
Then a case history is reviewed. A two year old, who was epileptic and paralytic, was brought to a doctor. "By the most vigilant use of mechanical means for confining the hands, covering the genitals, etc. the child was at length cured; he now enjoys good health."
Picture yourself taking your two year old to see a doctor after he has suffered a convulsion. The doctor says your two year old has epilepsy caused by masturbating [in a 2 year old?]. You are going to have to tie his hands until he is cured. This is the kind of stuff that Ellen White believed with all her heart, and asked us to believe was shown her by God in vision.
Let us continue with these fascinating quotations:
"Unchastity deranges, debilitates, and ruins the body. Now, out of this startling fact arises another fact, if possible more startling. It is that unchastity deranges, debilitates, and ruins the mind." "I saw a young woman in a town of Massachusetts who made herself an idiot by masturbation." (p.2-3)
Well, enough is enough. We can see that Ellen White was preoccupied with masturbation. Her vision from God indicated that it causes blindness, epilepsy, diabetes, on through a long list.
When I revealed this information to some staunch Adventists they actually defended these assertions. Emotion took over and paralyzed their common sense.
Anyone can see that these diseases are not caused by masturbation. Tuberculosis is caused by a germ, a specific bacterium. In fact the germ that causes tuberculosis was discovered shortly after these writings (or should I say "rantings"?) of Ellen White. How can anyone today believe in Solemn Appeal's nonsense? How could anyone insist that the woman who endorsed it was a prophet of God?
The Cause of the Cause
Having been told that masturbation causes these illnesses, what are we to do about it? Well, one must know what might lead to masturbation so that one can avoid it.
"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)
We have just seen several of the stimulants which leads one to masturbation. In fact, meats and spices are claimed to be aphrodisiacs. We notice that we should not eat supper as this would cause us to have wet dreams. Also we should recognize that sleeping on feather beds and feather pillows tends to make us masturbate.
Here is the reason that Ellen White counsels against meat eating. As time went on she added other reasons. But the original reason for abstaining from meat, as given by her great health vision, is to prevent arousing passions leading to masturbation which in turn leads to disease, insanity, and death. Is this a prophet of God speaking?
Having pointed out the cause of masturbation and its disastrous results, what is her counsel as to how we could get out of such a dilemma? Mrs. White was greatly impressed with hydrotherapy or water treatments, which at the time were a national fad. Few Adventists today, reading about the days when Ellen White went about founding sanitariums, realize that these actually were (and remained throughout Ellen White's lifetime) water cure establishments, whose major service was to cure persons from masturbating. Let us look at their regimen:
Here is a brief outline of the course of treatment which should be adopted...
Here is heaven's approved masturbation cure. In short, the patient should avoid stimulating food, particularly meat, should not eat supper, should avoid feather beds, should take prescribed baths (and imagine yourself doing this) consisting of sitting in a pail of cool water, putting your feet in a pail of hot water and wrapping cold bandages around your head. At other times a person should wear a wet girdle. Not only is supper disallowed but in the evening thinking is banned.
After reading these wise counsels and realizing Ellen White claimed divine inspiration for them, I would say there is only one class of person that could continue to believe that Ellen White is a true prophet. This type of person can only be classed as an idiot.
During my three years in the Adventist Church I didn't hear one sermon about meat eating and masturbation - lots of rumbling about meat, but nothing about these secret horrors. Why? Isn't it time other Adventists learned the facts?
Abandoning the Masturbation Connection
In later years Mrs. White pretty much abandoned the meat and masturbation connection. She now gave a different reason for not eating meat: the belief that it directly transmits diseases, particularly cancer. This of course is the reason given by modern SDAs who (like Mrs. White herself) left the original vision-delivered reason to remain buried in silence.
Category: Solitary Vice
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