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From: Louis (
Subject: Hovanessian speaks out against Raw Eating plagiarism
Date: May 15, 2003 at 12:02 pm PST

Someone posted this on another board and I felt that it was worth passing on here. Hope that's okay.

And since you asked "What is the REASON" behind the criticism of "Nature's First Law, The Raw Food Diet" I'll point out a few things which actually really disturb me a lot, and then I'll never mention this again on this board.
The book was blatantly plagiarized (we're talking mostly word for word) from the writings of an Armenian man living in Iran, Arshavir Ter Hovannessian, two of whose children had died from tragic illness. He sought out the cause of true health and raised his third child totally raw vegan and cured himself of many ailments. He lived a very simple life and devoted all of his time to spreading the message of raw foods. He gave away his books for free, and refused to accept money for them. Living in Iran, which was not exactly the land of opportunity at that time, he did not have the means and possibilities that exist in America. David Wolfe, Stephen Arlin, and R.C. Dini chose to completely plagiarize his masterpiece without giving a shred of acknowledgement. They could have reprinted his book, giving full credit, they could have concerned themselves with the idea that perhaps the man had family or friends, or children, in Iran who could have benefited from the proceeds of the book, they could have at least acknowledged their source. Instead, they passed off as their own creativity and thought some of the most compelling, forceful words ever written on the subject of raw veganism. When confronted with the fact that it was known that they did this, they at first fiercely denied it, then invented stories about the man being a relative of theirs, then finally realizing that they had better include an acknowlegement of thanks to Hovanessian, which was not included in the first few editions of their book. They still continue to give themselves authorship on the cover of the book, with no credit given to Hovanessian, when in fact the huge bulk of the book is due to his time, his effort, and his creativity.
As I said, Hovanessian was greatly disturbed when another man passed his work off as his own and SOLD IT FOR MONEY. Here are some quotes from that exchange, included in Hovanessians book "Raw Eating".

"That unscrupulous gentleman....copies word for word every one of the six maxims given on the cover of my book and, together with my principal findings, inserts the article in the February and April, 1965, issues of the "Let's Live" Magazine as part of an article entitled "Adventures In Raw Foods."
Mr Reinecke oversteps the bounds of decency to such an extent that he reserves for himself the copyrights of the thoughts and expressions that belong to me, and offers to sell additional information at the price of 5$ apiece....This act is a glaring offence against international copyright laws and should be condemned unreservedly. People should not read such a publication as the "Lets Live" Magazine, which thrives on the advertisements of artificial vitamins and "dietetic" preparations.
Now, for over a decade, I have forsaken social life and have deprived myself of every pleasure. I have been extremely frugal in regard to the needs of my family and myself, but have not hesitated for a moment to spend all my savings in carrying out studies and publishing books, 10,000 copies of which I have already distributed free to scientific organizations and individuals in all the corners of the earth. I have made these sacrifices in order to show the whole world the way to a happy and natural life, and all along I have protested with my heart and soul against selling such advice for money.
But today, Mr.J.M.Reinecke, making a lucrative use of my ideas and my maxims, demands a fee of $5 to show people how to eat natural foodstuffs! This is, indeed, the most disturbing aspect of the question."

Now that just makes me so mad. That is the absolutely worst choice of a person to plagiarize and profit from. He was so strong about not selling his work for money, and then someone steals it without giving credit, putting their own names on it, and selling it, selling it, selling it. They sure seemed to love his book, but I guess not the part about "I have protested with my heart and soul against selling such advice for money" and the part about plagiarism "overstepping the bounds of decency" and "this glaring offence....being condemned unreservedly".
Nature's First Law should either withdraw the book and begin selling Hovanessian's (of course "the worlds greatest source" of raw food books and products declines to stock this book), or they should immediately withdraw their names from the cover and give the credit that this man deserves for the words that have inspired so many people on the raw food path. The poor guy tried his absolute best to get the message out from IRAN. I can't even imagine the troubles he had. I believe that he was arrested and jailed for speaking out against the poor water quality in Tehran.
The fact that David Wolfe, Stephen Arlin, et al, lied and deceived when they were confronted with the idea that Hovanessian should recieve the credit for this book speaks volumes to me. It's just unbelievable and sad.
And people wonder why they inflate their prices? Give me a break.
NFL found it appropriate to reproduce Hovanessians work as their own. Those constantly "condemning" this act are also choosing to follow Hovanessians admonition. I don't believe that NFL should ever be allowed to forget this and have it "just go away" until they acknowledge fully and publicly that this beautiful man is the reason for so much of their success and the success of others. And I mean more than some lame acknowledgement saying that many of his ideas are reflected in the front of their book that they didn't even feel like putting there until pushed by others to do so in much later editions.
David and Nature's First Law have helped thousands? That's great and they deserve credit for the good they've done. But that doesn't give them a free pass to say that they are responsible for someone elses creative thought, someone whose children and family live in a place where free creative thought comes at a high price, someone who did not believe in selling that creative thought for any price, someone who devoted their life to giving that information to others on the back of his own sacrifices, without profiting in the slightest.
The raw food diet is about truth, discovering the truth in the world and exposing the lies we all grew up with. We need representatives who are truthful, who don't disregard the wishes of those they profit from, and who can be believed.
Until this happens, I personally have made the decision to boycott NFL because I don't feel they can be trusted to accurately and truthfully represent the products and works that they sell.

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