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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Was Charles Taze Russell a Mason? No, he was not!

Just a few comments from the anti-Watchtower peanut gallery regarding Pastor Russell: Charles Russel the founder of the Witnesses died in 1916 he was buried with a marker a few fe[e]t away by his tomb sculptured as a large pyramid five to six feet high, with the Mason logo embossed on it and remains to this day for all to see. Although putting up a smoke screen by writing articles in the Watchtower magazine that he was the editor of, against the Masons, evidence shows without a doubt he was greatly influenced by them, as well as into Egyptology as can be seen by the design and presentation of his books and the information used. If you do not believe me then check it out. (2) "Why was Charles Taze Russel buried in the Masonic Cemetery, under a pyramid with Templar inscriptions?" (3) "1872 Charles Taze Russell, Founded International Bible Students Association. Forerunner to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Known as the Jehovah's Witnesses. Was a Knights Templar Mason of York Rite, in Allegheny Pa. Confirmed Mason. Also Russell had a secret Rosicrucian membership with the Quakertown, PA group of Rosicrucian's, as revealed by the pyramid he ordered erected over his grave site." (4) An examination of some of the publications of Charles T. Russell, the founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses, would indicate that he had ties with the Masons. He used Masonic symbols. The Watchtower drawing that graced early publications right up to a couple of decades ago was pure Masonic. Russell was buried under a cross and a crown, again Masonic. Other Masonic symbols were used frequently on his publications.

An urban legend, urban myth, urban tale, or contemporary legend, is a form of modern folklore consisting of stories usually believed by their tellers to be true. As with all folklore and mythology, the designation suggests nothing about the story's veracity, but merely that it is in circulation, exhibits variation over time, and carries some significance that motivates the community in preserving and propagating it. - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Pastor Charles Taze Russell (1852 - 1916) was the founder of Zion's Watch Tower magazine in 1879 and Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society in 1881. He was not the founder of Jehovah’s Witnesses. After his death in 1916 many Bible Students no longer wanted to work with the Watch Tower Society, they wanted to stay with Russell's teachings from 1876 - 1916, these retained the name Bible Students. Other Bible Students wanted to move forward and make new changes so in 1931, they embraced the distinctive name Jehovah’s Witnesses. http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/07/xx.html Worldwide, the Witnesses number well over 7.5 million members. The current Bible Students have no head office, and over the years have split into a number of different factions with only a few thousand members worldwide. The Bible Students of today are not the same as the Bible Students from Pastor Russell's day (1870 - 1916). Many of the current Bible Students will not even fellowship with other Bible Students. For the most part the current Bible Students and Jehovah's Witnesses don't have anything to do with each other. http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2008/12/bible-students-house-divided.html Also See: http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/contents/history/jp%20history.htm

As for the pyramid and Masons, keep reading:
This is what the anti-Watchtower fault-finders do not want you to see. The internet is full of false stories about Pastor Russell, this is just one of them. But you already know that, now don't you? Charles Taze Russell died in 1916, the Pyramid marker was installed in 1921 (5 years after his death), and the The Masonic Temple was built in the mid 1990s, these items have nothing to do with Pastor Russell's grave. The Masonic Temple is not even on the cemetery grounds, it is a different property altogether. In fact, the Rosemont United Cemetery was never a Masonic cemetery. Many do not want you to see the first photo from 1916, showing that Pastor Russell was dead long before the Masonic Temple was built. And others do not want you to see the second photo, because some people teach that Russell is buried "under the Pyramid", or "in the Pyramid", or that the Pyramid is "his grave marker." Now, how can that be, see Russell's headstone, see the Pyramid marker, they are in two different locations, with other graves in between them. The pyramid marker was used as a marker for all (275) of the Watchtower Society burial plots in the Cemetery, nothing more. People visiting the Cemetery could look for the pyramid marker to locate the (275) burial plots. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not revere burial places, but some desire to visit the Watch Tower Society’s burial plot where C. T. Russell was buried. Turn right off Perrysville Avenue on to Cemetery Lane. The United Cemetery is the last cemetery on this road. A few yards beyond the replica of a pyramid is a driveway that takes one near the Society’s plot. ___________________________________________________________________________

"I desire to be buried in the plot of ground owned by our Society, in the Rosemont United Cemetery, and all the details of arrangements respecting the funeral service I leave in the care of my sister, Mrs. M. M. Land, and her daughters, Alice and May, or such of them as may survive me, with the assistance and advice and cooperation of the brethren as they may request the same. Instead of an ordinary funeral discourse, I request that they arrange to have a number of the brethren, accustomed to public speaking, make a few remarks each, that the service be very simple and inexpensive and that it be conducted in the Bible House Chapel or any other place that may be considered equally appropriate or more so." - Last Will and Testament, 6/29/1907. I don't see anything about the Pyramid or the Masons in his will. Now let's try this one more time for some of our readers who are a little slow. Some do not want you to see this photo, because they say that Russell is buried "under the Pyramid", or "in the Pyramid", or that the Pyramid is "his grave marker." How can that be, see Russell's headstone (to the left), see the Pyramid marker (to the right), they are in two different locations, with other graves in between them. The pyramid marker was used as a marker for all (275) of the Watchtower Society burial plots in the Cemetery, nothing more. As for the Masonic Temple, should we now assume that every person who is buried in the cemetery must be a Mason? If the Mormons built a temple next to the cemetery I am sure that the Watchtower antagonists would try and say that Russell was a Mormon. Some fault-finders will say anything to sell some books. And it appears that others will believe anything if it makes the Watchtower look bad, but what are the facts?________________________________________________________________________________

The Watchtower and the Great Pyramid, then and now: http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2008/08/great-pyramid-of-giza-product-of-true_30.html Judge J. F. Rutherford, who succeeded Russell after the pastor died in 1916, eventually discarded Pyramidology entirely. Writing in the November 15 and December 1, 1928, issues of The Watch Tower, Rutherford releases a double-barreled blast against it, and advances many ingenious arguments that the so-called Altar in Egypt was really inspired by Satan for the purpose of misleading the faithful. Did Jesus ever mention the Pyramid? Of course not. To study it, the Judge writes, is a waste of time and indicates lack of faith in the all-sufficiency of the Bible. Regardless of what some anti-Watchtower fault-finders might say, the Watchtower Society rejected all teachings on the Great Pyramid in 1928. For this reason most Jehovah's Witnesses (1931 - 2011) know nothing about it. However many of the current Bible Students still teach this "Bible in Stone" dogma. http://www.bibleinstone.com/ It must be noted that not all of the Bible Students support this teaching, many of them also reject a number of Pastor Russell's views. What some of them have told me one-on-one is not the same as what they would post on the internet when other Bible Students were watching. They need to keep up the anti-Watchtower front when they think others are looking in.
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The cross and crown symbol is not exclusively Masonic. If the Watchtower fault-finders are correct, should we then assume that all Christian groups that use a cross and crown are somehow related to the Masons. These antagonists cannot have it both ways regardless of how hard they try. Some of these people "function" on a level that would be considered true ignorance, others are masters of deception. Another change in viewpoint involved the “cross and crown” symbol, which appeared on the Watch Tower cover beginning with the issue of January 1891. In fact, for years many Bible Students wore a pin of this kind. By way of description, C. W. Barber writes: “It was a badge really, with a wreath of laurel leaves as the border and within the wreath was a crown with a cross running through it on an angle. It looked quite attractive and was our idea at that time of what it meant to take up our ‘cross’ and follow Christ Jesus in order to be able to wear the crown of victory in due time.” http://christianity.about.com/od/symbolspictures/ig/Christian-Symbols-Glossary/The-Cross-and-Crown.htm Concerning the wearing of “cross and crown pins,” Lily R. Parnell comments: “This to Brother Rutherford’s mind was Babylonish and should be discontinued. He told us that when we went to the people’s homes and began to talk, that was the witness in itself.” Accordingly, reflecting on the 1928 Bible Students convention in Detroit, Michigan, Brother Suiter writes: “At the assembly the cross and crown emblems were shown to be not only unnecessary but objectionable. So we discarded these items of jewelry.” Some three years thereafter, beginning with its issue of October 15, 1931, The Watchtower no longer bore the cross and crown symbol on its cover. http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2008/09/cross-or-stake-stauros.html - 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, WTB&TS
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Was Russell a Mason?, Not according to the Masons!
http://www.masonicinfo.com/famousnon.htm There is no credible evidence whatsoever that Charles Taze Russell, the founder of the Jehovah's Witness faith, was a Mason. Some have charged that his tombstone appears as a keystone (a symbol used in Royal Arch Masonry), that there appears on the stone a crown and cross and that the stone is in the shape of a pyramid. (Those who make the claim do so for their own ends ignoring the fact that the cross and crown have long been symbols of Christianity, that the pyramid is often used in one-dimension view to represent the Trinity etc.) A review of Russell's personal life would have likely found him unwelcome within a Lodge. A current author says of him "Russell's faults as a writer were perhaps the least of his shortcomings. Accusations of sexual and financial improprieties, for example, dogged him throughout his adult life. Russell's notorious difficulties with his long-suffering wife Maria, aired during a series of sensational libel, separation, and alimony suits near the turn of the century, became a particular source of embarrassment for both the pastor and his flock. (Russell's stature couldn't have been enhanced when a Pennsylvania judge concluded that his "continual arrogant domination" of his wife was enough to "render the life of any sensitive Christian woman a burden and make her life intolerable."4 This notwithstanding, Pastor Russell did, upon occasion, make reference to Masons. The oft-repeated quote from Russell that is used attempting to 'prove' he was a Freemason was made in 1913 in a Masonic hall in San Francisco. Russell said "Now, I am a free and accepted mason. I trust we all are. But not just after the style of our masonic brethren." We ALL are? No, the composition of his audience would have precluded any such thing so those who cite this simply haven't used their brains. Russell further stated "True Bible believers may or may not belong to the masonic fraternity, but they are all masons of the highest order, since they are being fashioned, chiselled and polished by the Almighty to be used as living stones in the Temple Built Without Hands. They are free from sin, and therefore accepted by the God of Heaven as fit stones for the heavenly Temple." BUT later in his address he stated plainly "I have never been a mason." In many cases, this isn't the result of sloppy scholarship but rather another tactic by Freemasonry's detractors to somehow tarnish the organization by the claimed membership of someone they don't like. And, contrarily, one internet supporter of Russell's regularly argued that Freemasonry was totally against the Preacher's philosophy but the argument he makes is based on his interpretation rather than facts since Freemasonry as an organization would never take a stance on any matter such as that. In the final analysis, those attempting to condemn Russell based on supposed Masonic membership fail to produce any evidence of his membership (the name of his lodge or the names of lodges he ostensibly visited, for example) and his supporters use faulty logic in arguing against it. One online poster wrote this: "Yes, sigh .. Russell was a freemason. The burden of proof rests with those saying otherwise. To me this has nothing to do with world conspiracies or a race of reptilian aliens invading Brooklyn." So because HE says that Russell was a Mason simply because that's what he believes for some unknown reason, someone has to prove a negative. That's the typical way it goes. Russell is not mentioned in any Masonic reference works, a unique situation indeed if he were a Mason, if only because of his notoriety. Oh, and did we mention?: the "pyramid tombstone" that's so often referred to is actually a monument erected to Russell by the Watchtower Society which has in the past (before the days of the internet) regularly criticized Freemasonry. Pastor Russell's actual gravestone (shown above) is a couple of dozen yards away.... 4 Judging Jehovahs' Witnesses - Religious Persecution and the Dawn of the Rights Revolution by Shawn Francis Peters, University Press of Kansas, 2000. _________________________________________________________________________________

And another Mason site says this: http://www.freemasonry.bcy.ca/anti-masonry/anti-masonry03.html Charles Taze Russell? Claims have been made that "Pastor" Russell (1852/02/16-1916/10/31), founder of the International Bible Students Association — forerunner of the Jehovah’s Witnesses — was a freemason; that the banner on the front of early issues of the Watchtower contained masonic symbols; and that Russell’s gravestone bears a masonic cross and crown symbol. Russell was not a freemason. Neither the symbols found in the Watchtower nor the cross and crown symbol are exclusively masonic. And the cross and crown symbol does not appear on his gravestone in the Rosemont United Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — it appears on a memorial erected some years later. In an address delivered in a San Francisco masonic hall in 1913, Russell made positive use of masonic imagery by saying, "Now, I am a free and accepted mason. I trust we all are. But not just after the style of our masonic brethren." He further develops this idea: "true Bible believers may or may not belong to the masonic fraternity, but they are all masons of the highest order, since they are being fashioned, chiselled and polished by the Almighty to be used as living stones in the Temple Built Without Hands. They are free from sin, and therefore accepted by the God of Heaven as fit stones for the heavenly Temple." Later in this address, Russell stated quite clearly that "I have never been a mason." Those who claim Russell was a freemason quote this address out of context without noting the rhetorical imagery. Although Russell wrote about the pyramids and the Knights Templar, the pyramids are not a part of Freemasonry and Russell’s understanding of the relationship between the modern Knights Templar and Freemasonry displays an outsider’s ignorance of both organizations.

From the same site:

In an address delivered in a San Francisco masonic hall in 1913, Russell made positive use of masonic imagery by saying, "Now, I am a free and accepted mason. I trust we all are. But not just after the style of our masonic brethren." He further develops this idea: "true Bible believers may or may not belong to the masonic fraternity, but they are all masons of the highest order, since they are being fashioned, chiselled and polished by the Almighty to be used as living stones in the Temple Built Without Hands. They are free from sin, and therefore accepted by the God of Heaven as fit stones for the heavenly Temple."
Later in this address, Russell stated quite clearly that "I have never been a mason." Those who claim Russell was a freemason quote this address out of context without noting the rhetorical imagery. Although the assertion is often made that the pyramid monument, erected to Russell's memory, is "proof" that he was a freemason, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, The Grand Lodge of Ireland, and the United Grand Lodge of England have no record of his membership.
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This next comment about Charles Taze Russell not belonging to the Masons is from ex-JW Barbara Anderson. Because some people simply believe what others have told them about Russell and the Masons, without doing any research for themselves, I have included (4) links to Mrs. Anderson’s post. These links will take you directly to the original source that she has referenced in her comments.

I just posted the following information on XXX under the subject, Beliefs, Doctrines & Practices, in the hope that as many people as possible will see the facts, although, as other posters have observed, if some people want to believe Russell was a Freemason, nothing will change their mind. Apparently, some of us don't want to be confused by the facts!


NO, CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL WAS NOT A PENNSYLVANIA FREEMASON! Back in 2001, I requested historical information from the ANCIENT ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE OF FREEMASONRY, VALLEY OF PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, asking if Charles Russell, his father, Joseph Lytel Russell, and his uncle, Charles Tays Russell, were Freemasons. This is the answer I received in a letter: "AFTER A SEARCH OF OUR RECORDS, WE DETERMINED THAT THE THREE RUSSELL'S WERE NOT MEMBERS OF OUR ORGANIZATION." http://www.valleyofpittsburgh.org/ In their letter, the Pittsburgh Chapter recommended that I send an inquiry asking for further research on this question to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania located in Philadelphia, which I did. On April 27, 2001, I received this reply: "THE RECORD BOOKS IN THE GRAND SECRETARY'S OFFICE ARE UNAVAILABLE AT THIS TIME AS THEY ARE BEING CONSERVED AND SHOULD BE BACK SOME TIME IN THE FALL." Inasmuch as I was very involved with other, more pressing, things then, I did not follow-up and eventually my desire for resolution of this question faded out of my mind. That is, until today, when I saw that this subject has not been resolved to the satisfaction of some posters, so I sent a follow-up email to the Masonic Temple, Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Just a few minutes ago, I received this reply: DEAR MS. ANDERSON,CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL WAS NOT A PENNSYLVANIA FREEMASON. NOR DOES HE APPEAR IN THE RECORDS OF ENGLAND OR IRELAND. http://www.pagrandlodge.org/ Also See: http://www.ugle.org.uk/ And: http://www.irish-freemasons.org/ I SHALL CHECK THE RECORDS FOR THE OTHER TWO RUSSELLS. BEST, GLENYS A. WALDMAN LIBRARIAN If and when I receive the answer from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania about the other two Russells, I will post it. In any event, I would hope that this answer from a search of the original records will forever put this issue to rest that Charles Taze Russell was never a Pennslyvania Freemason. Barbara Anderson - (she posted these comments on an ex-JW board on 9/23/2005, the links are from me) http://www.scribd.com/doc/8770138/No-Charles-Taze-Russell-Was-Not-a-Pennsylvania-Freemason
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Pastor Russell had this to say about the Freemasons: http://www.ctrussell.us/ "We note also that the Order of Free Masons, if judged by its past history, has some secret object or scheme, more than fraternity and financial aid in time of sickness or death. And, so far as we can judge, there is a certain amount of worship or mummery connected with the rites of this order and some others, which the members do not comprehend, but which, in many cases, serves to satisfy the cravings of the natural mind for worship, and thus hinders it from seeking the worship of God in spirit and in truth—through Christ, the only appointed Mediator and Grand Master. In proportion as such societies consume valuable time in foolish, senseless rites and ceremonies, and in substituting the worship of their officers, and the use of words and symbols which have no meaning to them, for the worship of God, in his appointed way—through Christ, and according to knowledge and the spirit of a sound mind—in that proportion these societies are grievous evils, regardless of the financial gains or losses connected with membership in them." — June, 1895, Zion's Watch Tower, page 143 ___________________________________________________________________________________

"There are certain conditions,—the low gate, the narrow way, the difficult path. Although I have never been a Mason, I have heard that in Masonry they have something which very closely illustrates this" ... "Many Masons shake hands with me and give me what I know is their grip; they don't know me from a Mason. Something I do seems to be the same as Masons do, I don't know what it is; but they often give me all kinds of grips and I give them back, then I tell them I don't know anything about it except just a few grips that have come to me naturally." June, 1913; Convention discourse. - "The Temple of God" - "Convention Report Sermons" pg. 362 ___________________________________________________________________________________

He emphasizes this, saying, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another as I have loved you." (#Joh 13:34.) Ah, we get the thought that the Church is a blessed brotherhood of all those who not only love God supremely, so that they delight to do His will, even at the cost of self-interest, but who also love one another as Christ loved them, which signifies to the extent of willingness to lay down their lives for one another! We look in vain for such an organization amongst men. We perceive various bundles or organizations under various names, all professing love, but none of them even dreaming of union with such bonds of love. We are not forgetting the Masons, the Odd Fellows, the Presbyterians, the Methodists, the Episcopalians, the Lutherans, the Roman Catholics, etc. But none of these claim to be such a brotherhood as our Lord has described. They do indeed claim to give special attention to each other’s interests, and to have certain reverence for God, but not to the extent that our Master intimated—not to the extent of laying down their lives in doing the will of the Father and in their love for the brethren. - Sermon Book / SM697 - The Brotherhood of Christ ____________________________________________________________________________________

"This brings before us the whole question of orders, societies, etc., and what privileges the New Creation has in connection with such organizations. Is it right for them to be members of these societies? We answer that while Church associations are purely religious, and labor and beneficial organizations in general are purely secular, there are still other orders which combine the religious and the secular features. As we understand the matter, for instance, the Free Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, etc., perform certain rites and ceremonies of a religious kind... We place upon one level all of those who have any religious ceremonies, teachings, etc., and consider them all as parts of Babylon ... We admonish the New Creation to have nothing whatever to do with any of these semi-religious societies, clubs, orders, churches; but to "Come out from amongst them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing." (`2 Cor. 6:17`)" 1904; "The New Creation", pp. 580-581 ___________________________________________________________________________________

I am not judging at all, I am merely saying, so far as I can tell. But my understanding is, that all of these are bundles, and each bundle is getting tighter. Some of you know a great deal more about Freemasonry than I do, and I am not here to say anything against it, because I do not know anything to say, and I do not know as I would say it if I did know it. The Lord did not send me to preach against Masonry or Odd Fellowship, nor against Presbyterianism or Methodism. Our opportunity is to tell the truth, to preach the true gospel of Christ, and the Lord says that this message is to have its effects on the different hearts. Now, if you find yourself in any kind of a bundle, you know that is not the program so far as the wheat is concerned. The wheat is to he gathered into the garner; it is not to be put into bundles in the present life. The wheat is to be free. If you find yourself in any kind of a bundle, better get out of the bundle. Trust in the Lord, and be in harmony with Him, and this will take you out of all kinds of bundles and human organizations, I believe. I should, perhaps, say a cautionary word here to the effect that I would understand this would mean, for instance, that if I were a carpenter I would prefer to be at liberty, but if it were demanded of me that I should join a union before I could have work, and that I must pay so much of my money into that union's coffers, I should join. I should understand that I was making so much of a contribution to the general weal of the carpenters, and I would have no hesitation in the matter, because there is nothing of a religious kind there. There is nothing that would fetter my heart or mind. But if that organization should do anything I could not approve, I would feel perfectly free to withdraw at any time. So I would make that limitation. But, so far as wheat and tares are concerned, I think there are plenty of bundles all around you, and I notice, too, that these different worldly organizations, if we may so call them in contradistinction to church organizations, are also taking the same methods the church people are taking. It used to be very easy to withdraw from one of the churches and you could say, "I will thank you for a letter," and then they would take the letter and never deposit it, but burn it up, if they desired. And so with the Masons; they had a method by which anyone desiring to leave the order could ask for a demit and he would get that without any particular question. I have been informed that now this is changed somewhat. If you are a Presbyterian, and you wish a letter, they say, "To which church do you wish the letter addressed?" You say, "Oh, just make it out anyway." "Oh we do not do that now; we will give you a letter to a certain, particular church and it is to he deposited there--good when deposited there." And so I am informed that our Freemason friends are doing the same thing; they do not give demits now. If you wish to be transferred to another lodge they will transfer you, but they do not give demits now in the same way they formerly did. A Brother: Brother Russell, I am a Mason and, unfortunately, hold a high position in the order, and I would like to make a little correction on that. A Mason is perfectly free to leave when he feels so disposed. No restraint whatever is placed upon him. Brother Russell: I told you in the beginning that I did not know about it myself; I was only relating what a brother told me. Another Brother: I was a Mason in a different jurisdiction from that of the brother. It may he all right in his particular jurisdiction, but it is not the same in other jurisdictions, as I know. Brother Russell: You will notice that we never have anything to say against any of these. We have not said an unkind word about Freemasonry, and you never read anything unkind that we have ever said about it, and I do not wish to say anything unkind about Presbyterianism, or Methodism. I think that many of the dear friends in these denominations are good people, and I appreciate their characters. What I talk about sometimes is Presbyterian doctrine, and they talk about it, too. And I have read things they have said about Presbyterian doctrines far harder than anything I have ever said. I sometimes quote in the Watch Tower some things Presbyterians say about their own doctrine, and I occasionally quote in the Watch Tower something the Methodists say about their doctrine, because they say it stronger than I should wish to say it.- 1908, Convention Question Meeting - "The Question Book", pp. 318 - 319 ___________________________________________________________________________________

Alleged connections with the Masons: Several decades after his death, it was alleged that Russell had links with Freemasonry. Some have claimed that various symbols Russell employed in his published literature are Masonic in nature, and that such associations implied he engaged in occult activity. In later editions of the Studies in the Scriptures series a winged solar disk was stamped on the front cover, a symbol that is also associated with Freemasonry. However, Russell's use of the winged solar-disk originated from his understanding of Malachi 4:2, which denotes a sun with wings, as a symbol that Christ's millennial Kingdom had begun to emerge. Some critics also claim that the pyramid near Russell's gravesite is Masonic, because of its shape and its use of the Cross and Crown symbol, although this remains disputed. Despite these claims, the Grand Lodge officially stated that Russell was not a Freemason, and the symbols used are not exclusive to Masonry but pre-date the fraternity. The Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology notes that Russell's supporters, along with other Christian churches have "shown a marked aversion to Spiritualism and other occult phenomena. Very early in the group’s history Russell attacked Spiritualism (which he called Spiritism)".
In June 1913, during his trans-continental speaking tour, Russell gave a discourse in a Masonic hall in San Francisco, where he stated: "Although I have never been a Mason ... Something I do seems to be the same as Masons do, I don't know what it is; but they often give me all kinds of grips and I give them back, then I tell them I don't know anything about it except just a few grips that have come to me naturally". Throughout his ministry he stated that he believed Christian identity is incompatible with Freemasonry, and that Freemasonry, Knights of Pythias, Theosophy, and other such groups are "grievous evils" and "unclean". An official Freemason website states: "Russell was not a Freemason. Neither the symbols found in the Watchtower nor the cross and crown symbol are exclusively Masonic." - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Pastor Russell's true headstone as seen in 2010: Charles Taze Russell said that he was not a Mason. Jehovah's Witnesses, Bible Students, the Masons, and even ex-JW researchers have all said that Russell was not a Mason. So why do some anti-Watchtower antagonists still teach this falsehood? The answer is simple, because this is what they must do. They need to fabricate stories about others to try and justify their own self worth. After all, how hard can it be to attack a dead man, how sad. With over 200 posts on this site covering a number of subjects, this story about Charles Taze Russell and the Masons is always the most read post on this blog, I wonder why? Could it be that some people just love a good story? Even if it is based on a total fallacy! ___________________________________________________________________

A fallacy is a misconception resulting from incorrect reasoning in argumentation, also known as the Evan technique. By accident or design, fallacies may exploit emotional triggers in the listener or interlocutor (e.g. appeal to emotion), or take advantage of social relationships between people (e.g. argument from authority). Fallacious arguments are often structured using rhetorical patterns that obscure the logical argument, making fallacies more difficult to diagnose. Also, the components of the fallacy may be spread out over separate arguments. In order to understand what a fallacy is, one must understand what an argument is. Very briefly, an argument consists of one or more premises and one conclusion. A premise is a statement (a sentence that is either true or false) that is offered in support of the claim being made, which is the conclusion (which is also a sentence that is either true or false). There are two main types of arguments: deductive and inductive. A deductive argument is an argument such that the premises provide (or appear to provide) complete support for the conclusion. An inductive argument is an argument such that the premises provide (or appear to provide) some degree of support (but less than complete support) for the conclusion. If the premises actually provide the required degree of support for the conclusion, then the argument is a good one. A good deductive argument is known as a valid argument and is such that if all its premises are true, then its conclusion must be true. If all the argument is valid and actually has all true premises, then it is known as a sound argument. If it is invalid or has one or more false premises, it will be unsound. A good inductive argument is known as a strong (or "cogent") inductive argument. It is such that if the premises are true, the conclusion is likely to be true. A fallacy is, very generally, an error in reasoning. This differs from a factual error, which is simply being wrong about the facts. To be more specific, a fallacy is an "argument" in which the premises given for the conclusion do not provide the needed degree of support. A deductive fallacy is a deductive argument that is invalid (it is such that it could have all true premises and still have a false conclusion). An inductive fallacy is less formal than a deductive fallacy. They are simply "arguments" which appear to be inductive arguments, but the premises do not provided enough support for the conclusion. In such cases, even if the premises were true, the conclusion would not be more likely to be true. - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia _________________________________________________________________________

Pastor Russell's true grave as seen in 1916: The sudden death of Pastor Charles Taze Russell, Editor of THE WATCH TOWER, has created a profound impression upon his many friends throughout the world. Hundreds of letters and telegrams received, further evidence the love and esteem in which he was held, and express unqualified desire to cooperate in continuing the great cause for which he stood so many years. Brother Russell left Brooklyn in the evening of October 16, to fill appointments in the West and Southwest, but was obliged to start homeward before his scheduled time, owing to ill health. It was on a Sante Fe train at Pampa, Tex., that he died. Brother Menta Sturgeon, who accompanied him on the trip as his Secretary, telegraphed the information to the headquarters of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY at Brooklyn, adding that "he died a hero." The body lay in state at Bethel Home Saturday, and at The Temple throughout the day Sunday. In the afternoon at the hour of 2, funeral service was held for the congregation, and in the evening a service was conducted for the public. At about midnight the body was taken to Allegheny, Pa., where in the Carnegie Hall, at 2 in the afternoon of Monday, service was held by the Pittsburgh congregation, of which he had been resident Pastor for many years. Interment took place in Rosemont United Cemeteries at Allegheny, in the Bethel Family plot, according to his request. We rejoice to know that instead of sleeping in death, as the saints of old, he is numbered among those whose "works follow with him." He has met the dear Lord in the air, whom he so loved as to lay down his life faithfully in His service. - November 15, 1916 Watchtower, WTB&TS http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/10/93-years-ago-today.html

***We admonish the New Creation to have nothing whatever to do with any of these semi-religious societies, clubs, orders, churches; but to "Come out from amongst them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing." - Pastor Charles Taze Russell, 1904; "The New Creation", pp. 580-581 ***

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UPDATE: 5/20/2011
This is the major source that some apostates and other Watchtower antagonists use to try and prove that Pastor Charles Taze Russell was a Mason. I sometimes wonder if these fault finders are as ignorant as they appear. I must assume that they just don’t care who they use to attack the Watch Tower Society. In an attempt to make the Jehovah's Witnesses look bad some former members will jump in bed with other finger pointers, regardless of what is hiding beneath the sheets. In reality we all know that many dogs often sleep in beds infested with bed bugs. Some just don’t know any better, and others don’t seem to care. Read more about one of these bed bugs @ http://www.eaec.org/expose/FritzSpringmeier1.htm

March 1, 2001

As part of an ongoing probe into a white supremacist group, federal and local law enforcement agents raid the Corbett, Ore., home of Fritz Springmeier, seizing equipment to grow marijuana and weapons and racist literature. They also find a binder notebook entitled "Army of God, Yahweh's Warriors" that contains what officials call a list of targets, including a local federal building and the FBI's Oregon offices. Springmeier, an associate of the anti-Semitic Christian Patriots Association, is eventually charged with setting off a diversionary bomb at an adult video store in Damascus, Ore., in 1997 as part of a bank robbery carried out by accomplice Forrest Bateman Jr. Another 2001 raid finds small amounts of bomb materials and marijuana in Bateman's home. Eventually, Bateman pleads guilty to bank robbery and Springmeier is convicted of the same charges, and both are sentenced to nine years.- © 2011. Southern Poverty Law Center
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WHO IS FRITZ SPRINGMEIER

Fritz Artz Springmeier is regarded as one of the foremost authorities on the Illuminati and mind control. He has been on numerous radio shows and spoken at several conferences. A prolific writer, Springmeier has published several books, most notably, Be Wise As Serpents, The Watchtower and the Masons, The Top 13 Illuminati Bloodlines, The Illuminati Formula Used to Create an Undetectable Total Mind Controlled Slave and Deeper Insights.

Although Mr. Springmeier has disseminated a plethora of intriguing information, a veil of mystery surrounds this renowned researcher. Born in Garden City, Kansas on Sept. 24, 1955, Fritz’ previous name was Victor Earl Schoof, which he legally changed in 1987. The most recent name he uses may, in fact, be likened to a puzzle. Several survivors of ritual abuse and mind control have indicated being profoundly triggered after seeing or hearing his pseudonym. Fritz was the name Josef Mengele used while hiding out in South America. "Spring" in occult lingo means new. Meier may be a derivative of the German word meister, which means master. Hence; the new master in the likeness of Josef Mengele.

Arthur Alexander was either an Uncle or Grandfather on his mother’s side. One source claims Fritz' birth name is Arthur Alexander, Jr., however, this has not been cross referenced or objectively substantiated. Fritz’ father worked as an agricultural engineer for the United Nations and was assigned to such locations as Nepal, Libya, and Hawaii. After Fritz graduated from high school, he allegedly attended West Point. When Texe Marrs checked into his credentials, he found out there was no record of Fritz (or Victor Schoof) ever attending there.

Springmeier became interested in the Jehovah’s Witnesses, even though he supposedly became a Christian during his ‘teen years. While attending Kingdom Hall, he met a woman who he eventually married and had a child together. This marriage did not last long, as his wife filed for divorce on the grounds of child abuse – a charge that was never proven. The custody rights of their young son went to her. Disgruntled over the court decision, Fritz kidnaped the boy and fled to Oregon from the mid-west. He eluded law enforcement for about two years and was finally captured by the FBI. Springmeier was sentenced and served an unspecified amount of time in a federal prison. Some time after his release, he went back to Oregon and became involved in a counter-cult ministry to JW’s called, Witness Inc.

Due to unresolved disagreements with the leadership of the organization, he abruptly left. Shortly thereafter, Fritz joined another ministry but departed for reasons unknown. Around this time period, Springmeier met a Christian woman and married for the second time. He jokingly told her the reason he married her was because of her bloodline, which comes from an Illuminati family. She later came to the realization that it may have been closer to truth than not.

In the early 1990's, Fritz decided to go into full time ministry, along with being a stay-home dad with their new born son. While doing research on the Illuminati, he came across a woman by the name of Linda Anderson, who uses the alias, Cisco Wheeler. She is reputed to be a survivor of MK ULTRA-MONARCH programming. Springmeier became fascinated by her vast wealth of information, which he used extensively in his newsletters and books. This fascination soon turned into an obsession as Fritz started regularly spending the night at her house in order to protect her from being accessed. Strangely, Cisco’s husband lived in another dwelling next to the house, but did not seem to mind Fritz staying there. Springmeier’s wife, however, was quite concerned and upset over her husband s close relationship with Cisco. He would tell those close around him that his wife did not understand how important it was that he stay close to Cisco because her life was in jeopardy and he was one of the few people that could truly help her.

As a result of all the turmoil within the Springmeier family, their youngest son was experiencing severe emotional problems. Fritz’ wife took him to a therapist for an evaluation. The therapist felt the youngster may have been traumatized through sexual abuse. Another counselor also evaluated the psychological report and drew the same conclusion.

One day, Fritz’ wife found a black box under their bed. To her astonishment, there were several fake ID’s with Fritz’ picture on many of them. He used such aliases as Ian McDiarmid, Peter Dunne, Amos Eicher, and Vernon Schwartz. Fritz’ wife could no longer deal with his deceptiveness, insensitivity and abandonment so she filed for a divorce.

Shortly before the couple parted, Fritz and Cisco went to a mind control symposium in Texas and introduced her as Mrs. Springmeier. Many thought he was arrogant and obnoxious as he constantly interrupted the speakers and thought he should have been a presenter because of his vast knowledge about MPD, mind control, and ritual abuse. Also around this time, he was given a large sum of money, specifically for the the reprinting of two different books he’d written. Much to the dismay of the benefactor, he used only a small portion of the money for the books as most of it was used frivolously on personal items for Linda. The books were already made and stored by someone who was formerly in ministry with Fritz and who worked as a liaison between him and the printer.

In July 1996, Fritz and Cisco tried to get the books from this individual by banging on his door around 3:30 A.M., but were told he needed to pay the printer for them first. This infuriated Fritz who called the police and accused this person of stealing his books. The police talked to the printer to get his side of the story and he reconfirmed that the books were not officially the property of Springmeier because he had not paid for them. The police then told Fritz and Cisco to vacate the property, which they proceeded to do with much disdain.

In 1997, Springmeier wrote a letter, peculiarly titled, "Affidavit," to those on his mailing list. He charged Terry Cook, Ron Patton, and his second ex-wife, with conspiracy to bring his ministry down. Much of this confusing and poorly written letter was riddled with innuendos, half-truths and lies. For instance, he mentions, " Several people from the Terry Cook and Ron Patton group called Texe Marrs and simply slandered me with outright fabrications." First of all, there was never a connection between Cook and Patton. Mr. Patton called Terry Cook once regarding information about Carl Sanders. He also concocted a story saying Ron Patton had been under the tutelage of the Jesuits and was an alcoholic before converting to Protestantism. There is no evidence to substantiate these erroneous claims either. Further along in his writing, Fritz comments that, "Several people have told me my ex-wife is controlled by demons and given her life to Satan." Once again, he makes outlandish accusations to discredit those who he perceives as trying to destroy his ministry. His ex-wife has been attending a strong Bible believing church for several years and the leadership and congregation can attest to the solid faith she has in Jesus Christ.

This letter may have, in fact, been written as a form of damage control because Ron Patton had written an article titled, "Exposing the Exposers," in the Spring 1997 issue of his newsletter, Endure To The End. Essentially, Patton questioned why Springmeier aloud himself to be interviewed by the CIA front tabloid, CONTACT (December 17, 1996). Ron makes an interesting observation: during the interview, Fritz acknowledges his calling in life is to be a religious and social reformer. Coincidentally, in his book, The Illuminati Formula Used To Create A Total Mind Controlled Slave, he states on page 14 that one of the occupations the programmers select and groom for a young child under mind control is a religious and social reformer. This presents the question: why would Fritz use such precise wording to describe himself and why would a Christian use such ambiguous terminology for his calling?

Throughout the years, Fritz Springmeier has made numerous predictions of what will come to pass, yet were unfulfilled. In one of his newsletters in 1992, he adamantly predicted a December stock market crash due to the nation’s banks collapsing. However, he did admit he was inaccurate in his forecast and sent an apology letter to those on his mailing list. In another 1992 newsletter, he predicted that President George Bush would be reelected. Again, Fritz sent another letter to his readers to explain that his inside source told him of Bush’s inevitable second term in the White House, but the elite must have changed their minds and decided on Bill Clinton. In yet another document, entitled, Important Messages from the Desk of Fritz Springmeier, he unabashedly remarked, "The leadership in both Russia and the U.S. are preparing for war. From 8:00A.M. to 6:00P.M. on June 6, 1996 the proper [planetary] alignments will occur to detonate numerous nuclear devices." Of course, no catastrophic event Springmeier was predicting ever occurred. In 1999, Fritz writes a lengthy article: The war in the Balkans is following a script to create WWIII. In the beginning of the article, he states, "Over two weeks ago, this author was given inside information that the New World Order (NWO) had pulled all their key people -- specialists, and so forth out of San Diego, CA. These people were given a secret high-level briefing which told them to leave San Diego by April 3 [1999] and that their reason to leave was that Russia was going to drop nuclear bombs on San Diego, Seattle, NYC . . ." As we well know, this did not take place either. Springmeier apparently believed this was going to occur as he illegally entrenched himself on someone’s property in Eastern Washington.

In conclusion, one could surmise, after thoroughly analyzing the evidence presented that Fritz Springmeier does, in fact, have a hidden agenda. Although he has put out an enormous amount of information on topics relating to the NWO, he tickles the ears of the listeners and readers, thereby exploiting his expertise as a cover or front. Granted, some of his books have been an invaluable asset to many counselors and therapists whose clients are SRA and MC survivors, but has it proven to be a cure-all for complete de-programming? Several survivors have commented that while staying at Cisco’s house, there were sexual relations going on between the two of them. Is this appropriate conduct for a man who calls himself a Christian? Also, if Fritz is such an expert in de-programming, where are all the survivors he has personally helped and why hasn’t Cisco been set free from her programming?

The Holy Bible warns us of wolves in sheep’s clothing and in due time, the Lord reveals who are truly His and who are of the devil. Let us not forget that this is a spiritual battle and souls are at stake. We should therefore pray that Fritz Springmeier be genuinely convicted by the Holy Spirit and surrender before the throne of Jesus Christ.

Additional Reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritz_Springmeier

Fritz Artz Springmeier (born September 24, 1955) (aka Victor E. Schoff) is an American conspiracy theorist and religious right wing activist, formerly a resident of Corbett, Oregon, who has written a number of books claiming that satanic forces are behind a move toward world domination by various families and organizations. He has described his goal as "exposing the New World Order agenda."

Springmeier has been linked to a violent extremist group called the Army of God, and it was alleged that he had been growing marijuana with a member of that organization in order to supplement his income.

On January 31, 2002, Springmeier was indicted on one charge of cultivation of marijuana under subsection (a), paragraph (1) of 21 U.S.C. § 841. He was arrested, together with his wife, after investigations into a white separatist group revealed evidence of marijuana cultivation. The government dropped that charge on November 13, 2003.

Also on January 31, 2002, Springmeier was indicted in connection with a bank robbery. On February 12, 2003, Springmeier was found guilty of one count of armed bank robbery under subsections (a) and (d) of 18 U.S.C. § 2113 and one count of possession of a semi-automatic rifle during a federal crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 924 and 18 U.S.C. § 2. On the same day that the marijuana charge was dropped, Springmeier was sentenced to 9 years and 3 months in prison for his involvement in the robbery in Damascus, Oregon in 1997, in which he set a bomb at an adult video store as an accomplice of another right-wing militant. In October 2010, Springmeier was released from prison to go on and complete a 5 year probation program. He was restricted from engaging in any political work, for the time being as well. Springmeier was put back in prison in January 2011, and was again released on March 25, 2011.

Springmeier has written and self-published a number of books based on the ideology of what's been described as an "ultra-right-wing group" called the Christian Patriot Association; this group was shut down in 2002 after convictions for tax fraud and tax evasion. He has made multiple videos and presentations. He has endorsed the plausibility of Project Monarch, a purported Central Intelligence Agency mind control project whose conjectured existence is based only on the testimony of Cathy O'Brien under hypnosis.

Springmeier's early work, The Watchtower & the Masons, focuses on the relationship between Jehovah's Witnesses and Freemasonry. In this book he describes a relationship between Charles Taze Russell and the so-called Eastern Establishment. Springmeier followed these links into Masonry and did a further examination of the Eastern establishment.

Springmeier claims to have created a general theory on who controls the world and in what way by doing elaborate studies and talking to numerous eye-witnesses. Identifying this occult group with the Illuminati, Springmeier names 13 families (called "bloodlines") which allegedly participate in this Illuminati-group and writes about their wealth and areas of private influence. Also in his writing is the description of Satanic worship. He states that these families engage in mind control.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ZHIVAAAAIBAJ&sjid=musDAAAAIBAJ&pg=3759,523756&dq=fritz-springmeier&hl=en

The Portland Police Bureau is investigating a potential threat against one of its officers by a writer with links to the extremist group Army of God. The writer is Corbett resident Fritz Springmeier, 45. He is tied to Forrest Bateman, 29, a suspected member of the underground movement. http://www.portlandtribune.com/news/story.php?story_id=2757

PORTLAND - A list of possible terror targets compiled by an ultra-right wing group, including government buildings and other facilities were made public Thursday as a federal judge sentenced a Portland area man for his part in a 1997 bank robbery. After the sentencing of Fritz Springmeier, a self-described religious author, Clackamas County Sheriff deputies revealed a loose-leaf binder seized in 2001 as a part of the case. http://www.apfn.net/messageboard/11-17-03/discussion.cgi.13.html

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We started with the anti-Watchtower peanut gallery regarding Pastor Russell, so let's finish with them.

Apostasy (IPA: /əˈpɒstəsi/) is the formal religious disaffiliation or abandonment or renunciation of one's religion, especially if the motive is deemed unworthy. In a technical sense, as used sometimes by sociologists without the pejorative connotations of the word, the term refers to renunciation and criticism of, or opposition to, one's former religion. One who commits apostasy is an apostate, or one who apostatizes. The word derives from Greek αποστασία (apostasia), meaning a defection or revolt, from απο, apo, "away, apart", στασις, stasis, "stand", "standing". Bryan R. Wilson, who was a professor of Sociology at Oxford University, writes that apostates of new religious movements are generally in need of self-justification, and seek to reconstruct their past and to excuse their former affiliations, while blaming those who were formerly their closest associates. Wilson utilizes the term atrocity story, [a story] that is in his view rehearsed by the apostate to explain how, by manipulation, coercion or deceit, he was recruited to a group that he now condemns. Wilson also challenges the reliability of the apostate's testimony by saying that "the apostate [is] always seen as one whose personal history predisposes him to bias with respect to his previous religious commitment and affiliations, the suspicion must arise that he acts from a personal motivation, to vindicate himself and to regain his self-esteem, by showing himself to have been first a victim, but subsequently a redeemed crusader."

Lonnie D. Kliever, Ph.D., Professor of Religious Studies, Southern Methodist University writes “There is no denying that these dedicated and diehard opponents of the new religions present a distorted view of the new religions to the public, the academy, and the courts by virtue of their ready availability and eagerness to testify against their former religious associations and activities. Such apostates always act out of a scenario that vindicates themselves by shifting responsibility for their actions to the religious group. Indeed, the various brainwashing scenarios so often invoked against the new religious movements have been overwhelmingly repudiated by social scientists and religion scholars as nothing more than calculated efforts to discredit the beliefs and practices of unconventional religions in the eyes of governmental agencies and public opinion. Such apostates can hardly be regarded as reliable informants by responsible journalists, scholars, or jurists. Even the accounts of voluntary defectors with no grudges to bear must be used with caution since they interpret their past religious experience in the light of present efforts to re-establish their own self-identity and self-esteem. In short, on the face of things, apostates from new religions do not meet the standards of personal objectivity, professional competence, and informed understanding required of expert witnesses.”

Religious scholars have routinely found the testimony and public statements of apostates to be unreliable. In his book "The Politics of Religious Apostasy: The Role of Apostates in the Transformation of Religious Movement", Professor David Bromley, Department of Sociology and Anthropology of Virginia Commonwealth University, explained how individuals who elect to leave a chosen faith must then become critical of their religion in order to justify their departure. This then opens the door to being recruited and used by organizations which seek to use their testimony as a weapon against a minority religion. "Others may ask, if the group is as transparently evil as he now contends, why did he espouse its cause in the first place? In the process of trying to explain his own seduction and to confirm the worst fears about the group, the apostate is likely to paint a caricature of the group that is shaped more by his current role as apostate than by his actual experience in the group."

John Gordon Melton is an American religious scholar who was the founding director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion and is currently a research specialist in religion and New Religious Movements with the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. While testifying as an expert witness in a lawsuit, said that when investigating groups one should not rely solely upon the unverified testimony of ex-members, and that hostile ex-members would invariably shade the truth and blow out of proportion minor incidents, turning them into major incidents. Melton also follows the argumentation of Lewis Carter and David Bromley and claims that as a result of this study, the [psychological] treatment (coerced or voluntary) of former members largely ceased, and that a (perceived) lack of widespread need for psychological help by former members of new religions would in itself be the strongest evidence refuting early sweeping condemnations of new religions as causes of psychological trauma.