November 24, 2014: An independent ministry is mailing a version of the 1858 edition of The Great Controversy by Ellen G. White to nearly a million households in the San Francisco Bay area of California. The fund raising web site for the project admits that this is an unlikely city to be interested in the book, but the reaction in the local news media has not been as hostile as it has been perplexed and amused.
It was described as “377 pages of gobbleddygook” by Caleb Pershan, a news writer for the weekly SF Fist, yet he also said, “seriously, give it a whirl.” Andria Borba, a reporter for television Channel 5, the CBS Affiliate in San Francisco, interviewed Felix Louisinji, a resident of the Cole Valley neighborhood. “I thought it was interesting,” he told her, “then I flipped through and realized it was some sort of bible.”
Pershan understood that the book is about “the battle between God and Satan for the hearts of humanity,” but seemed to confuse it with typical Evangelical books on end time events. “Don’t expect of find an exact date for the rapture,” he wrote, “which has been coming soon since forever.”
The only real objection that San Francisco media had about the mailing is that the book is the size of “a wasteful phone book.” In this “environmental conscious” city, said Borba, “the controversy isn’t in the pages of the ‘crucial end time book,’ but where the books will end their time.” It may be that few residents will be willing to take seriously the message of an organization that ignores environmental stewardship by scattering hundreds of thousands of un-requested books that have hundreds of pages.