An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural
Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies
Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z
Millerites First on April 3 and July 7, 1843, and then again on March 21 and October 22, 1844, preacher William Miller (1782-1849) told his followers to expect the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The event did not occur. His group, the Millerites, broke up shortly after that and the basic philosophy was adopted by Ellen G. White (1827-1915), who founded the Seventh-Day Adventists. Another spin-off religion was the Jehovah's Witnesses.
White had been experiencing prophetic/divine dreams since age fifteen, so that she naturally felt she had to start a religion. Wisely, the Adventists did not set a date for the Second Coming, thus avoiding a certain inescapable and troublesome problem of reconciling fact with expectation. They only said “Soon.” They are still saying “Soon.”
In her book, pretentiously titled Health: Or, How to Live, White declared herself against: corsets, drinking, meat, smoking, spicy food, sex (in particular, masturbation), wigs, and just about everything else except air and small rocks. She was against any sort of medication and preached against seeing a physician for any medical problems.
However, the present Seventh-Day Adventist church operates seventy-three hospitals, plus hundreds of clinics and fifty-four hundred colleges and secondary and elementary schools in the United States. Its School of Medicine at Loma Linda, California, a prestigious facility famous for radical medical innovations, is a strange contradiction for a religious movement that began as vehemently anti-doctor and anti-medication.
Click here to order a copy of the original hardcover edition of this Encyclopedia.
Copyright (C) 1995-2007 James Randi.
Created and maintained with the dictionary compilation software TshwaneLex.