Skip to content

Hackers Swipe Unpublished Material From White Estate Archives


The Courthouse News Service, a Pasadena, California-based legal affiars journal, has reported that the Ellen G. White Estate is suing “theological investigator” Brendan Knudson, who allegedly enlisted the aid of hackers to steal unpublished Ellen White manuscripts.

The White Estate’s complaint says Knudson, an Australian national living in Armenia, has been trying to gain access to the documents since 2006, Courthouse reports. When the White Estate denied Knudson’s requests for access to the materials, he purportedly sought to secure the documents through illicit means, the suit alleges.

Courthouse quotes the suit further:

On January 13, 2012, Knudson, under the alias ‘GirdedSword,’ registered his profile on an Internet forum located at (‘Hack Forums’), used by computer hackers with the purpose of communicating, organizing and hiring hackers. Knudson frequently used the alias ‘GirdedSword’ or ‘WithGirdedSword’ for communication across the Internet and social media, such as: on Twitter ‘@withgirdedsword’; on Skype ‘withgirdedsword,’ on his personal blog ‘With Girded Sword.’ …


After registering on Hack Forums, Knudson engaged in a determined and aggressive effort to hack into the Estate’s technologically protected website. … He requested help, posting numerous messages on the Hack Forums, all with the intent of recruiting others to help him access ‘thousands and thousands’ of SDA Prophet Ellen White’s ‘unpublished letters and manuscripts’ [i.e. EGW Protected Works] from an ‘online’ ‘password protected database’ found at Some of Knudson’s posts were deceptively entitled ‘Unpublished Religious Database,’ … or ‘Sensitive Website Information Download Hack.’


Knudson indicated that his intention was ‘to perform a public service and acquire the unpublished writings of a ‘prophet’ of a particular religious institution … to put this information in the hands of the public.’ … Additionally, he wrote, ‘This is urgent, and I am willing to pay on acquisition of the information,’

According to the report, the White Estate claims that “Knudson found as many as 20 John Does willing to help him hack. From Feb. 17 to April 9 this year, the database sustained attacks from users as far and wide as Armenia and Brazil.”

Read the full report from the Courthouse News Service here.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Spectrum Newsletter: The latest Adventist news at your fingertips.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.