Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 16

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Lt 130a, 1901

Kellogg, J. H.

“Elmshaven,” St. Helena, California

September 29, 1901

Portions of this letter are published in 1MCP 46. +Note

Dr. J. H. Kellogg

Dear brother,—

I cannot sleep past two o’clock A.M. I have been sleeping short hours for many weeks, though occasionally I get an hour or two extra. My head has been very weary, and I fear to answer the many calls for help. I did not respond to the earnest invitation to attend the Teachers’ Institute at Santa Ana. I did not feel, either, that I could unite with Elder Corliss, Brother Sadler, and others in the reconstruction of some parts of the work in San Francisco. When I am away from home for weeks at a time, my workers are greatly hindered in their work. It is necessary also that W. C. White remain at home. He is the best help I can have, and he must not be called away from me. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 1

We are now in a dilemma. We must go to Oakland and plan how to meet the perplexities of the work at the Sanitarium here. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 2

Our mail comes at a late hour at night, and my letters are placed under my door. This morning I found your letter of September 25, with others demanding attention. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 3

Dr. Sanderson has hired rooms in San Francisco. His wife left the Sanitarium last Thursday. He says he is going into private practice. I hoped that Dr. Sanderson would not go, but he has decided to go, and we have no one to take his place. We said all we could to induce him to stay, but he says that he cannot work with any other physician unless he stands at the head. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 4

I have sent you copies of the letters I have written Dr. Sanderson and his wife. They will speak for themselves. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 5

We must if possible have a man and his wife to stand at the head of the Sanitarium here. I am opposed to the idea of an unmarried physician performing operations before the nurses. It is better for a man and his wife, both physicians, to be present in this work. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 6

We would gladly have taken Dr. Place and his wife had this been presented to us. In this emergency they would have been the ones for the place. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 7

You propose Dr. Moran and his wife. We would be glad to have them, but this cannot be; for he has his work where he is. The establishment of a sanitarium in Los Angeles is being considered, and Dr. Moran is needed there. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 8

Dr. Heald and his wife have gone to Healdsburg to work in connection with the school. If Dr. Heald would serve us here we would have him, but in some respects he is deficient. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 9

Dr. Willie Jones has gone to New York to complete his studies. We have one lady physician, a good, trustworthy woman. At present she is the only physician we have. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 10

In regard to Dr. Sanderson, the man does not know himself. I am surprised that he has been kept here so long as the head physician in the Sanitarium. He has not the qualifications necessary for such a position. He does not give the patients sufficient attention. He cannot do justice to the students he seeks to educate. I have this testimony from those who are good judges. I determined to find out, if possible, how the classes at the Sanitarium were conducted. I was informed that Dr. Sanderson’s ideas are so scattered as to give the impression that he does not know what he is talking about. I asked, “What teachers can you understand?” The answer was, “Dr. Brighouse and Dr. Jones.” In his instruction Dr. Sanderson has dwelt largely on the science of mind-cure. He has brought into the lessons he has given his ideas on this subject. One of the students said, “This is to me something that makes me shudder. I see in it Satan’s special devising.” 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 11

Recently Dr. Sanderson and his wife have been putting into practice their ideas regarding mind-cure. Mrs. Sanderson’s mind is much the stronger of the two. I know not how long they have been practicing in this line. I have spoken distinctly regarding the dangerous science which says that one person shall give up his mind to the control of another. This science is the devil’s own. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 12

This is the character of the fanaticism we had to meet in 1845. I did not then know what it meant, but I was called upon to bear a most decided testimony against anything of the kind. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 13

I have told Brother and Sister Sanderson of the experience I had at the beginning of my labors in regard to the science of mind-cure. But they think their regarding this science is wonderful, and Dr. Sanderson has been so infatuated with the subject that he has woven his ideas on it into his lectures. This is his great theme, and he has not been able to take his mind off it. He intimated to me that he had discovered something which would be a very interesting and successful feature in the treatment of the sick. I did not at first comprehend his meaning, but afterward the whole matter was opened to me. I saw that this science is one of the greatest evils that can be introduced into any line of work carried on by Seventh-day Adventists. You will see from my letters how I treated this matter. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 14

For years Dr. Sanderson has stood as virtual manager and director in the Sanitarium. And it is a fact that the amount of meat used in the institution has been steadily increasing. Dr. Sanderson has not done the first thing to limit it. When a patient takes his place in the dining room, he is told by the waitress what kinds of meat are served and is asked which he will have. When new patients come, this surprises them. They say, I did not know that meat was served here. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 15

Dr. Sanderson has not educated the patients with regard to the danger of meat-eating. In fact, the patients and students do not receive half the benefit they should from his lectures because he talks so rapidly. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 16

There are quite a number of unbelieving nurses in the institution who are constantly influencing the patients against the truth. I am fully convinced that it is not wise to take into a sanitarium unbelievers to be educated as nurses while the power of religious influence is no greater than it has been in the Sanitarium here. These unbelievers are not convicted or converted, but, confirmed in unbelief and hardened against the truth, they go forth to work against it. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 17

Brother Taylor is working discreetly. He is not trying to get up an excitement, but is trying to lead all in the right way. For some reason Dr. Sanderson spoke two Sabbaths in succession two or three weeks ago. But there was nothing in what he said to enlighten or impress the congregation. His religious exercises are tame and lifeless. They do no good, only putting the conscience to sleep. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 18

I wonder now why the Sanitarium has kept the doctor so long. During his stay here he should certainly have been associated with a physician of altogether higher spiritual experience. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 19

Dr. Sanderson’s wife has made no pretension of being a Christian. From the beginning of her connection with the institution her influence has been detrimental. She has been the one great mover in getting up entertainments for the patients. And in these entertainments the patients laugh and clap their hands and make a great fuss over the nonsensical performances. There can be no reforms, no conversions, while such influences are at work. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 20

One week ago last Sabbath I bore a most solemn message in the Sanitarium chapel. Both Dr. Sanderson and his wife were present. But as soon as the Sabbath was past, there was an entertainment in the parlor for the patients. It is these entertainments that counteract all that is done in religious lines. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 21

Brother Taylor is hard at work. The patients like to hear him speak, and some are feeling serious as a result of his presentation of truth. But the spirit of “I don’t care” has an evil influence. Mrs. Sanderson’s position in standing in harmony with entertainments and amusements is working harm to the institution. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 22

I have written the foregoing to show you how things are here, and I am sure you will use discreetly what I have written. I am much surprised that Dr. Sanderson would not heed an earnest request to begin the work of reformation right here; but he would not, and this ends the matter. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 23

A lady physician, however good, will not fill the bill here. I think we shall ask Dr. Coolidge to come to the Sanitarium for the present. He is sound and will do his best. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 24

What impression Dr. Sanderson and his wife will leave on the minds of patients and nurses regarding their leaving, I do not know. But I know that the unbelieving nurses express to the patients under their care their disrespect for the testimonies. An unbelieving nurse was asked, “Were you at the meeting?”—the meeting a week ago Sabbath, at which I spoke. “Yes,” she said. “Well, what did Mrs. White say?” “Oh,” she replied, “it was the same old chestnut.” Then the unbelieving patients and nurses and even some of our nurses laughed. This is the influence that is being exerted. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 25

Now that Dr. Sanderson and his wife have gone, I would not say one word to have them return. But they were not sent away. They went of their own accord. What excuse they will give as a reason for their going, I do not know. I am confident that the best thing to have done would have been to place Dr. Sanderson in connection with the physicians at the Sanitarium at Battle Creek where he would not be first. Their influence would have been a blessing to him. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 26

I have carried the burden of the institution on the hillside ever since I have been here. This has been a great strain on me. I must have relief. I am wondering what it will be best for me to do if relief does not come. A whole year has gone, and yet no relief has come to us here. I think I shall write to Dr. Craig and ask him again if he will not come. I have thought of several who might come, but each one is deficient in some respect. We must have a physician who is strong enough to carry things in spiritual lines, that souls may be won to the truth. This is the object for which the institution was established. 16LtMs, Lt 130a, 1901, par. 27