By invitation of Brother and Sister Otis Nichols, Ellen and her sister Sarah were in Massachusetts making their home with the Nichols family. There was in Boston and vicinity a company of fanatical persons who held that it was a sin to work. Two of their leaders were named Sargent and Robbins. Their principal message was "Sell that ye have, and give alms." They had denounced Ellen's visions as being of the devil because she had been shown their errors.