Rumors of Legal Restrictions on the Distribution of The Great Controversy Are Evidently False
by AT News Team
Readers have asked Adventist Today about a rumor that has gained wide circulation among Seventh-day Adventists regarding some kind of litigation or government regulations restricting the distribution of the book The Great Controversy by Ellen G. White. The denomination is involved in a major project to circulate millions of copies, most of these actually a revised extract from the original book entitled The Great Hope as reported by Adventist Today earlier this year.
This week the General Conference released a statement by Karnik Doukmetzian, general counsel for the denomination, challenging the accuracy of the rumors. “The General Conference is unaware of any legal actions or lawsuits having been threatened or filed in any court,” Doukmetzian said. He believes that any legal actions of this nature “would be frivolous and baseless.”
After checking with a number of readers and individuals who monitor news of religion, Adventist Today has not been able to identify any source for these rumors. The Adventist Review has reported that it came to a similar conclusion.
“It is possible that some individuals have originated this story as a way to lend urgency to the project,” one retired church administrator told Adventist Today. “Or, it may simply be an expression of the concern some church members have about how this may be received by the general public; how it may affect attitudes toward the Adventist Church.” The book was originally published in the 19th century when there were more pronounced differences between Protestants and Catholics than are generally acknowledged today.