Russell: An unnoticed Mason?

C. T. Russell
C. T. Russell

[Original publication date: September 3, 2004]

According to proponents of Russell’s membership in freemasonry, the Russells, father and son, would have been particularly prominent Masons, the proof being that Russell would have built up a para-Masonic organization in order to support the claimed purpose of freemasonry: a plot to destroy Christianity.

In support of their thesis, however, these proponents cannot produce a single Masonic document proving the father and son’s Masonic membership. They take refuge behind their belief that because Masonic works are secretive, it is impossible to find anything at all. Therefore, they use indirect “proofs”: the use of famous Masonic symbols, the fact that the first Bible Students organized public meetings in Masonic temples, etc. …

There are numerous history books about Masonry which explain in detail the functioning of a Masonic hall, give the names of the main officers, even sometimes a list of all the members.

Allegheny County [PA], where Russell lived and organized his movement until 1909, also has its own books dealing with the local history of its Masons. If Russell had been a prominent member of this lodge, one would think that he could have left some traces in the records of the community. Continue reading “Russell: An unnoticed Mason?”

The Self Styled Prophet: Charles Taze Russell

Some more background history concerning C.T. Russell is interesting. Today many believe he was a mild, truth-loving man. But facts proves he was a self-styled con-man. Someone who made religion to a million dollar enterprise. The following dates are a matter of public record.

In 1881 through 1897 The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society progressed under the joint administration of husband and wife. In 1897 Mrs. Russell left her husband. In 1903 Mrs. Russell sued for separation. The decree was secured in 1906, following sensational testimony and the courts scored Pastor Russell. The Pastor settled in 1906 with a payment of $6,036 to Mrs. Russell. This litigation also revealed that C.T. Russell controlled all financial power of the society, and was not accountable to anyone.

In Jan.1913 Mr. Russell sued the Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper for libel, asking $100,000 in damages, concerning his sale of “Miracle Wheat”. He lost, and the Daily Eagle won.In June of 1912 a Pastor J.J. Ross of the James Street Baptist Church, of Hamilton, Ontario published a pamphlet titled “Some facts about the Self-Styled “Pastor” Charles T. Russell”. Pastor Ross scathingly denounced Russell’s whole system as anti-rational, anti-scientific, anti-biblical, anti-Christian and a deplorable perversion of the true gospel of God’s dear Son. Pastor Ross exposed Russell as a pseudo-scholar and philosopher who never attended the higher schools of learning. He knows comparatively nothing of philosophy, systematic or historical theology, and is totally ignorant of the dead languages Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic). C.T. Russell promptly sued Ross for “defamatory libel”

On March 17, 1913 upon cross-examination of Mr. Russell for five hours, it was revealed that he attended public school for only seven years, and left school at the age of 14. In further cross-examination it was revealed that Mr. Russell knew nothing of the Greek or Hebrew languages. He was never ordained as a “Pastor” by a bishop, clergymen, presbytery, council, or any body of men living in his day. After all was said and done, Mr. Russell lost his suit against Pastor J.J. Ross.

It is also interesting to note that shortly after this trial, Pastor J.J. Ross wrote a second pamphlet titled “Some Facts and More Facts about the Self-Styled Pastor Charles T. Russell”. At this time, Mr. Russell knowing about the second pamphlet by Pastor Ross did absolutely nothing about it, and had no public comment concerning it allegations. It is also interesting to note, that in all the litigations C.T. Russell had, his lawyer was none other then Judge J.F. Rutherford, heir to the throne of Russell’s watchtower society.

The above information is just a terse outline of early events, concerning Mr. C.T. Russell and the law. These events are documented in the newspapers of that day:

  • The Hawaiian Star (Honolulu, Dec.19 1912)
  • The Daily Standard Union (Canada). Pastor Russell was deported from Canada about Nov.1916.
  • The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, continually exposed C.T. Russell and the “con-games” he was involved in
  • The early “scams” and trails of C.T. Russell are still available today (now microfilmed in New York)

[Many of these documents are available on the Internet. Barbara Anderson’s website, WatchtowerDocuments.com (and WatchtowerDocuments.org) provides copies of many of these documents. Some can also be found on Freeminds.org and by searching Google.]