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Charles Taze Russell (February 16, 1852 – October 31, 1916), or Pastor Russell, was a prominent early 20th century Christian Restorationist minister from Pittsburghmarker, Pennsylvaniamarker, USAmarker and founder of what is now known as the Bible Student movement, from which Jehovah's Witnesses emerged.

Beginning in July, 1879 he began publishing a monthly religious journal Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence. The magazine is now published semi-monthly under the name, The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom. In 1881, he co-founded Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society and in 1884 the corporation was officially registered, with Russell as president. Russell was a prolific writer, producing many articles, books, pamphlets and sermons, totalling 50,000 printed pages, with almost 20 million copies of his books printed and distributed around the world. From 1886 to 1904, he published a six-part series entitled The Millennial Dawn, which later became known as Studies in the Scriptures. (A seventh volume was published in 1917 after Russell's death.)

Russell was a charismatic figure, but claimed no special revelation or vision for his teachings and no special authority on his own behalf. He wrote that the "clear unfolding of truth" within his teachings was due to "the simple fact that God's due time has come; and if I did not speak, and no other agent could be found, the very stones would cry out." He viewed himself—and all other Christians anointed with the Holy Spirit—as "God's mouthpiece" and an ambassador of Christ. Later in his career he accepted without protest that many Bible Students viewed him as the "faithful and wise servant" of Matthew 24:45, and was described by the Watch Tower after his death as having been made "ruler of all the Lord's goods".

After Russell's death, a number of controversies arose around the practices of the new president of the Society, Joseph Rutherford, resulting in a widespread schism. As many as three-quarters of the Bible Students who had been associating in 1921 had left by 1931, resulting in the formation of several groups that retained variations on the name Bible Students. Those who maintained fellowship with the Watch Tower Society took on the name Jehovah's witnesses in July, 1931. Several denominations later formed around, or adopted some style of, Russell's views, among them the Worldwide Church of God, the Concordant Publishing Concern and the Assemblies of Yahweh. Off-shoot groups of the Bible Student movement include the Pastoral Bible Institute, the Free Bible Students and the Layman's Home Missionary Movement.

Early life

Charles Russell in 1911
Charles Taze Russell was born to Scottishmarker immigrant Joseph Lytel ( ) Russell (d. December 17, 1897) and Ann Eliza Birney (d. January 25, 1861) on February 16, 1852 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA. Charles was apparently the second of five children, and was one of only two to survive into adulthood.

The Russells lived in Philadelphiamarker, as well as Allegheny, before moving to Pittsburgh, where they became members of the Presbyterian Church. In his early teens, Charles' father made him partner of his Pittsburgh haberdashery store. By age twelve, Russell was writing business contracts for customers and given charge of some of his father's other clothing stores. At age thirteen, Charles left the Presbyterian Church to join the Congregational Church. In his youth he was known to chalk Bible verses on city sidewalks to draw attention to the punishment of hell awaiting the unfaithful in an attempt to convert unbelievers.

At age sixteen, a discussion with a childhood friend on faults perceived in Christianity (such as contradictions in creeds, along with medieval traditions) led Charles to question his faith. He then began to investigate other religious views and philosophies, including Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, but concluded that they did not provide the answers he was seeking. In 1870, at age eighteen, he attended a presentation by Adventist minister Jonas Wendell. During his presentation Wendell outlined his belief that 1874 would be the date for Christ's second coming, a conclusion which Russell considered to be logical and well reasoned. He later stated that the presentation had left him with a renewed zeal and the belief that not only was the Bible the word of God, but that all Christians had a personal responsibility to preach its gospel.

Despite claims from critics, Charles Taze Russell was not a Freemason. This was confirmed by the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE). .

Marriage

On March 13, 1879, Russell married Maria ( ) Frances Ackley (1850-1938) after a few months' acquaintance. In 1897 they separated, following disagreements over her insistence for a greater role in the management of Zion's Watch Tower magazine, after which he provided her a place to live and means of maintenance.Jehovah's Witnesses: Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, p. 642

In June 1903, Mrs. Russell filed a suit for legal separation in the Court of Common Pleas at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1906, she filed for divorce under the claim of mental cruelty as a result of their marriage agreement of perpetual celibacy. During the trial she alleged sexual misconduct between Charles and a then teenaged Watch Tower stenographer whom the Russells had cared for as a foster child. Her own lawyer asked Mrs. Russell whether she believed her husband was guilty of adultery. She answered, "No". In 1908, the judge granted a divorce from bed and board, with alimony.

She paid her respects at his funeral on November 1, 1916, placing lilies of the valley, his favorite flower, on his casket, with a ribbon attached that said "To My Beloved Husband". Maria Russell died at the age of 88 in St. Petersburgmarker, Floridamarker on March 12, 1938 from complications related to Hodgkin's disease.

Ministry

Beginnings

From 1870 through to 1875, the Russell family, and others, undertook an analytical study of the Bible and the origins of Christian doctrine, creed, and tradition. "Millerite" Adventist ministers George Storrs and George Stetson were closely involved. Russell's group believed they had found significant errors in common Christian belief. As a result of such study, the Russell family believed they had gained a clearer understanding of true Christianity, and were re-baptized in 1874.

In December 1875 Nelson Barbour mailed a copy of Herald of the Morning, to Russell. Russell contacted Barbour to set up a meeting. The first response was a visit by John Henry Paton to Allegheny in March 1876. Russell aranged to meet Barbour in Philadelphia to compare notes. Russell sponsored a speech by Barbour in St. George's Hall, Philadelphia in August 1876 and attended other lectures by Barbour.

Barbour introduced him to some new views that convinced Russell, amongst other things, that those Christians who were asleep in death would be raised in April, 1878. Russell was moved to devote his life to what he believed were now the last two years before the return of Christ. He sold his five clothing stores for approximately $300,000 (US$5.5 million in 2005). With Russell's encouragement and financial backing, Barbour wrote an outline of their views in Three Worlds; or Plan of Redemption, published in 1877. A text Russell had written in 1874, The Object and Manner of our Lord's Return, was published the same year. Russell's desire to lead a Christian revival was evidenced by his calling two separate meetings of every Christian leader in Pittsburgh. Russell's ideas, particularly stressing the Rapture's imminence, were rejected both times.

Split with Barbour

When 1878 arrived, failure of the expected rapture of the saints brought great disappointment for Barbour and Russell, and their associates and readers. According to one of Russell's associates, A.H. Macmillan:

Confused by what was perceived to be an error in calculation, Russell re-examined the doctrine to see if he could determine whether it had biblical origins or was simply Christian tradition. His conclusion that it was tradition led him to begin teaching, through the pages of the Herald, what he believed to have discovered on the subject. Barbour, embarrassed by the failure of their expectations, rejected Russell's explanation and a debate ensued in successive issues of the journal from early 1878 to mid-1879. In a matter of months, Barbour's embarrassment led to a recanting of some of the views he and Russell had previously shared, including any reliance upon prophetic chronology. Their disagreements turned into a debate over Christ's ransom, resulting in a split between the two. Russell removed his financial support and started his own journal, Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, with the first issue published in July 1879. Barbour formed The Church of the Strangers that same year, continuing to publish the Herald of the Morning.

The Watch Tower Society

In 1881, he founded Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society, with William Henry Conley as president and Russell as secretary-treasurer, for the purpose of disseminating tracts, papers, doctrinal treatises and Bibles. All materials were printed and bound by contract with local printers, then distributed by "colporteurs" (persons who travel to sell or publicize Bibles, religious tracts, etc.). The Society was officially chartered in 1884, with Russell as President, and in 1886 its name was changed to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.

In 1908, Russell transferred the headquarters of the Watch Tower Society to its current location in Brooklyn, New Yorkmarker.

Publications

With the formation of the Watch Tower Society, Russell's ministry intensified. His Bible study group had grown to hundreds of local members, with followers throughout New Englandmarker, the Virginiasmarker, Ohiomarker, and elsewhere, who annually re-elected him "Pastor", and commonly referred to him as "Pastor Russell". Congregations that eventually formed in other nations also followed this tradition.

In 1903, newspapers began publishing his written sermons. These newspaper sermons were syndicated worldwide in as many as 4,000 newspapers, eventually reaching an estimated readership of some 15 million in the United States and Canada. Russell, however, had many critics and was often labeled a heretic.

Studies in the Scriptures

Russell devoted nearly a tenth of his fortune, along with contributed funds, in publishing and distributing Food for Thinking Christians in 1881. In the same year followed The Tabernacle and its Teachings and Tabernacle Shadows of the Better Sacrifices. In 1886, after reportedly not making back most of the money spent publishing these three titles, he began publication of what was intended to be a seven-volume series. The volumes were collectively called Millennial Dawn, later renamed Studies in the Scriptures to clarify that they were not novels. Russell published six volumes in the series:
  • The Plan of the Ages - later renamed The Divine Plan of the Ages (1886)
  • The Time is at Hand (1889)
  • Thy Kingdom Come (1891)
  • The Day of Vengeance - later renamed The Battle of Armageddon (1897)
  • The At-one-ment Between God and Men (1899)
  • The New Creation (1904)


The delayed publication of the seventh volume became a source of great anticipation and mystery among Bible Students. Following Russell's death in 1916, a seventh volume entitled The Finished Mystery was published in 1917, which was advertised as his "posthumous work". This seventh volume was a detailed interpretation of the Book of Revelation, but also included interpretations of Ezekiel and the Song of Solomon. Immediate controversy surrounded both its publication and content, and it soon became known that much of the contents were written and compiled by two of Russell's associates, Clayton J. Woodworth and George H. Fisher, and edited by Joseph Franklin Rutherford, by then the new president of the Watch Tower Society.

Photo Drama of Creation

Russell directed the production of a worldwide roadshow presentation entitled The Photo-Drama of Creation, an innovative eight-hour religious film in four parts. Production began as early as 1912, and the Drama was introduced in 1914 by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. It has the distinction of being the first major screenplay which incorporated synchronized sound, moving film, and color slides. A book by the same name was also published. The project's expenses put the organization under some financial pressures; the full cost was estimated at about $300,000 (US$6 million in 2007).

Theology and teachings

Following his analytical examination of the Bible, Russell and other Bible Students came to believe that Christian creeds and traditions were harmful errors, believing they had restored Christianity to the purity held in the first century. Such views and conclusions were viewed as heresy by many Church leaders and scholars in his day. Russell agreed with other Protestants on the primacy of the Bible, and justification by faith alone, but thought that errors had been introduced in interpretation. Russell agreed with many 19th century Protestants, including Millerites, in the concept of a Great Apostasy that began in the first century AD. He also agreed with many other contemporary Protestants in belief in the imminent Second Coming of Christ, and Armageddon. Some of the areas in which his Scriptural interpretations differed from those of Catholics, and many Protestants, include the following:
The Chart of the Ages
  • Hell. He maintained that there was a heavenly resurrection of 144,000 righteous, as well as a "great multitude", but believed that the remainder of mankind slept in death, awaiting an earthly resurrection.
  • The Trinity. Russell believed in the divinity of Christ, but differed from orthodoxy by teaching Jesus had received that divinity as a gift from the Father, after dying on the cross. He also taught that the Holy Spirit is not a person, but the manifestation of God's power.
  • Christ's Second Coming. Russell believe that Christ had returned invisibly in 1874, and that he had been ruling from the heavens since that date. He predicted that a period known as the "Gentile Times" would end in 1914, and that Christ would take power of Earth's affairs at that time. He interpreted the outbreak of World War I as the beginning of Armageddon, which he viewed to be both a gradual deterioration of civilized society, and a climactic multi-national attack on a restored Israel accompanied by worldwide anarchy.
  • Pyramidology. Following views first taught by Christian writers such as John Taylor, Charles Piazzi Smyth and Joseph Seiss, he believed the Great Pyramid of Gizamarker was built by the Hebrews (associated to the Hyksos) under God’s direction, but to be understood only in our day. He adopted and used Seiss's phrase referring to it as "the Bible in stone". He believed that certain biblical texts, including Isaiah 19:19-20 and others, prophesied a future understanding of the Great Pyramid and adopted the view that the various ascending and descending passages represented the fall of man, the provision of the Mosaic Law, the death of Christ, the exultation of the saints in heaven, etc. Calculations were made using the pattern of an inch per year. Dates such as 1874, 1914, and 1948 were purported to have been found through the study of this monument.
  • Christian Zionism. Expanding upon an idea suggested by Nelson Barbour, Russell taught as early as 1879 that God's favor had been restored to Jews as the result of a prophetic "double" which had ended in 1878 (favor from Jacob to Jesus, then disfavor from Jesus until 1878). In 1910, he conducted a meeting at New Yorkmarker's Hippodrome Theater, with thousands of Jews attending. Jews and Christians alike were shocked by his teaching that Jews should not convert to Christianity. Russell believed that the land of Palestine belonged exclusively to the Jewish race, that God was now calling them back to their land, and that they would be the center of earthly leadership under God's Kingdom. Early in Russell's ministry, he speculated that the Jews would possibly flock to Palestine and form their own nation by the year 1910. Shortly before his death, he utilized the Jewish press to stress that 1914 prophetically marked the time when Gentile nations no longer had earthly authority with the result that all Jews were, from that time onward, permitted and guided by God to gather to Palestine and boldly reclaim the land for themselves.
  • Climate change. In writings as early as 1883 (and through to the end of his life) Russell repeatedly expressed the view that the world's climate would gradually but significantly change as a prelude to the re-establishment of Eden-like conditions. These changes, he said, would include the gradual melting of the Greenland ice sheet, the Arctic and Antarctic polar ice caps, and the general warming of the earth.


Death

Russell's health had become increasingly poor in the last three years leading up to his death. During his final ministerial tour of the western and southwestern United States he became increasingly ill with cystitis, but ignored advice to abandon the tour. He suffered severe chills during his last week, and at times had to be held in position in bed to prevent suffocation. He was forced to deliver some of his Bible discourses sitting in a chair, and on a few occasions his voice was so weak as to be barely audible. Russell, aged 64 died on October 31, 1916, near Pampa, Texasmarker, while returning to Brooklyn by train. Several long-time friends and associates of Russell's stated that at age 64 his body was more worn out than that of his father who died at age 89. He was buried in Rosemont United Cemetery, Pittsburgh. The gravesite (vide coordinates above) is marked by a headstone, nearby stands a seven-foot tall pyramid memorial erected by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in 1921.

Legacy

In January 1917, Joseph Franklin Rutherford was elected president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, despite disputes over the election process. Further disputes arose over interpretation of sections of Russell's will dealing with the future contents of Zion's Watch Tower magazine, as well as who, if anyone, had authority to print new literature. By the end of the 1920s, nearly three quarters of the Bible Student congregations had rejected Rutherford's on-going changes in organizational structure, doctrinal interpretations, and congregational practices, some of which began to appear in material printed by the Watch Tower Society as early as 1917. Many Bible Students were disaffected by Rutherford's rejection of Russell's views regarding his role in the restoration of the "truth" and support of the Great Pyramidmarker as having been built under God's direction.

Those remaining supportive of Rutherford adopted the new name "Jehovah's Witnesses" in 1931, and changed the keyword of their magazine from "Watch Tower" to "The Watchtower". Many of those Bible Students who had ceased association with the changing Watch Tower Society attempted to regroup in 1929 with the First Annual Bible Students Convention held in the old Pittsburgh "Bible House" long used by Russell. These conventions were held yearly, but the process of regathering took nearly twenty years.

Accusations by former associates

As early as 1892, Russell's views and management style were strongly criticized by certain individuals associated with his ministry. In 1893 a paper was written and circulated to Bible Students in Pittsburgh by associates Otto van Zech, Elmer Bryan, J.B. Adamson, S.G. Rogers, Paul Koetitz, and others. It accused Russell of being a dictatorial leader, a shrewd businessman who appeared eager to collect funds from the selling of the Millennial Dawn books, that he had cheated one of them out of financial gains, and that he issued thousands of Millennial Dawn books under a female pseudonym. A booklet entitled A Conspiracy Exposed and Harvest Siftings was written by Russell and issued as an extra to the April 1894 Zion's Watch Tower magazine in order to preempt attempts to have their views circulated to a wider audience of Bible Students. Russell printed copies of letters he had received from these former associates in order to show that their claims were false, and that those involved 'were guided by Satan in an attempt to subvert his work' as a "minister of the gospel".

Marital separation

In 1897 Russell's wife, Maria, left him after disagreeing over the management of Zion's Watch Tower magazine. She believed that, as his wife, she should have equal control over its administration and equal privilege in writing articles, preaching, and traveling abroad as his representative. In 1903 she filed for legal separation on the grounds of mental cruelty, because of what she considered to be forced celibacy and frequent cold, indifferent treatment. The separation was granted in 1906, with Russell charged to pay alimony. During the trial Maria Russell's attorney made the claim that Russell had been inappropriately intimate with Rose Ball, a young woman whom the Russells had cared for as a "foster daughter" since age ten.

Mrs. Russell alleged that Ball had told her Mr. Russell claimed to be a "jellyfish floating around" to different women until someone responded to his intimacy. Mr. Russell defended himself by claiming her accusations were false and that she was "poisoned" by the women's suffrage movement. Following her attorney's claim, page 10 of the court transcript records that Mrs. Russell was asked by the Judge to clarify if she was, in fact, accusing her husband of adultery, and she replied, "No". The Washington Post and Chicago Mission Friend reprinted the claim that Russell was a "jellyfish", and were sued by him for libel. The jury voted in his favor, awarding him one dollar. Following an appeal, Russell received a cash settlement of $15,000 (equivalent to $310,000 in 2005) as well as payment of all court costs, an agreement for an article of retraction defending his character, and an agreement that his weekly syndicated sermons be published in their newspapers.

'Miracle Wheat'

On March 22, 1911, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle began publishing articles accusing Russell of gaining profit from a strain of wheat named "Miracle Wheat" by its discoverer, K.B. Stoner of Fincastle, Virginiamarker. Many critics began to insist that Russell had deceived and defrauded many by selling this supposedly advanced strain of wheat for $60 a bushel, far above the average cost of wheat for the day. Throughout 1912 and 1913, the Eagle continued to report on this alleged fraud on Russell's part. Russell sued the Eagle for libel, but lost. A government expert investigated the "Miracle Wheat" and said it "was low in the Government tests". Prior to entering the court, the Eagle had published: "The Eagle goes even further and declares that at the trial it will show that "Pastor" Russell's religious cult is nothing more than a money-making scheme." Russell defended himself publicly, and in writing, by claiming that the wheat was donated to the Watch Tower Society, and although sold for $1 per pound, Mr. Stoner routinely sold it for a $1.25 per pound. Russell claimed to have no financial connection to the wheat, and that any who were dissatisfied by their purchase and donation were offered a refund as much as one year following purchase. No one claimed a refund. According to official records, gross receipts from the fundraiser totalled "about $1800" (about US$35,000 in 2005), of which "Russell himself did not get a penny of this money" and "The Society itself made no claim for the wheat on its own knowledge and the money received went as a donation into Christian missionary work."

Qualifications

In June 1912 Reverend J.J. Ross, pastor of the James Street Baptist Church in Hamiltonmarker, Ontariomarker, published the pamphlet, Some facts about the Self-Styled 'Pastor' Charles T. Russell, denouncing Russell, his qualifications as a minister, and his moral example as a Pastor. Russell promptly sued Ross for "defamatory libel". During the examination on March 17 1913, Russell admitted that at most he had attended school only seven years of his life at the public school, and that he had left school when he was about fourteen years of age. As Counselor Staunton pressed him further, Russell admitted that he knew nothing about Latin and Hebrew, and that he had never taken a course in philosophy or systematic theology, and had never attended schools of higher learning. The Hamilton and Toronto Newspapers reported the claims made by Ross, but made no charges of misconduct on the part of Russell, and instead criticized Ross for his personal behavior and unprofessional demeanor. In answer to Ross's accusations, Russell stated through various printed and public sources that he never claimed knowledge of the Greek language, merely the alphabet. He believed that his ordination was "of God" according to the 'biblical pattern', not requiring any denominational approval, and that his annual election as "Pastor" by over 1,200 congregations worldwide constituted him as "ordained", or chosen, to be a minister of the gospel.

Alleged connections with Freemasonry

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 Franciscomarker, 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."

External links



References

  1. "Encyclopedia Britannica - Russell, Charles Taze"
  2. >
  3. George D. Chryssides, "Unrecognized charisma? A study of four charismatic leaders". Center of Studies on New Religions. Retrieved on 23 July 2008.
  4. Zion's Watch Tower, July 15, 1906, p. 229.
  5. Watch Tower, March 1, 1923, pages 68 and 71.
  6. Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave, William J. Schnell, Baker, Grand Rapids, 1956, as cited by Alan Rogerson, Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1969, page 52. Rogerson notes that it is not clear exactly how many Bible Students left. Joseph Rutherford wrote in 1934 that "of the great multitude that left the world to follow Jesus Christ only a few are now in God's organization". See Jehovah, J.F.Rutherford, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1934, page 277.
  7. Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, 1959, p. 17
  8. Jehovah's Witnesses Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, 1993, p. 42
  9. Laodicean Messenger, 1923, Chicago: The Bible Students Book Store, pp. 1-5
  10. The Bible Student Movement in the Days of CT Russell, 1975, p. A-1
  11. Zion's Watch Tower, June 1, 1916 p. 170
  12. United Grand Lodge Of England
  13. www.ugle.co.uk
  14. Pittsburgh Gazette, March 14, 1879
  15. 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses page 68
  16. Jehovah's Witnesses Proclaimers of God's Kingdom page 646
  17. St. Petersburg Times, March 14, 1938.
  18. 1907 Convention Report, pp. 12-13
  19. Zion's Watch Tower, June 1 1916 pp. 170-175
  20. Schulz and de Vienne: Nelson Barbour: The Millennium's Forgotten Prophet, Fluttering Wings Press via Lulu.com, 2009, pages 118-124.
  21. Herald of the Morning, July, 1878 p.5
  22. Zion's Watch Tower, July 15, 1906, p. 230
  23. The Bible Student Movement in the Days of CT Russell, 1975, pp A-2
  24. Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, 1959, pp. 18-19
  25. Message to Herald of the Morning subscribers, Zion's Watch Tower, July 1, 1879, Supplement
  26. Rochester Union and Advertiser, October 5, 1895, p. 12
  27. Zion's Watch Tower, June 1, 1916 p. 171
  28. colporteurs Dictionary.com definition of "colporteur"
  29. Biography of Pastor Russell, Divine Plan of the Ages, 1918, p. 6
  30. Great Battle in the Ecclesiastical Heavens, 1915
  31. Millennial Dawnism: The Annihilation of Jesus Christ by I.M. Haldeman, 1913; "Pastor" Russell's Position and Credentials by J.H. Burridge; Some Facts about the self-styled "Pastor" Charles Taze Russell by JJ Ross, 1912
  32. IMDB article "Photo-Drama of Creation (1914), Retrieved 2009-04-15
  33. "Timeline of Influential Milestones...1910s", American Movie Classics, retrieved 2009-04-15
  34. "United States of America", 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, page 59, "A fortune for those days—some $300,000—was spent by the Society in producing the Photo-Drama."
  35. "Society Uses Many Means to Expand Preaching", Centennial of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennyslvania 1884-1984, page 24, "The Photo-Drama presented the explanation of Bible truth from the time of creation, the fall into sin, the promises of God to redeem man and His dealings through history until the millennial restitution. It is believed to have been viewed by more than 9,000,000 people throughout North America and Europe, as well as many others in places around the world. It took two years and $300,000 to complete the project, many of the scenes being hand colored. Yet admission was free and no collections were taken."
  36. The Warning Work (1909-1914)", The Watchtower, March 1, 1955, page 143, "To demonstrate further that these united students and workers did not believe the prophetic year of 1914 would end all their operations with respect to this earth, from 1912 to the beginning of 1914 the Watch Tower Society spent a fortune (over $300,000) in preparing the Photo-Drama of Creation, to spread Bible knowledge to the masses of people during and after 1914."
  37. The Corroborative Testimony of God's stone witness and prophet, the Great Pyramid in Egypt
  38. 'Zion's Watch Tower' in the following issues: September 1883 page 8; September 1886 page 1; August 1896 page 189; May 1903 page 131; January 1913 page 11
  39. Zion's Watch Tower, December 1916, pages R6601: 360-R6006:366.
  40. Some early sources cited his death as November 1st.
  41. St. Paul Enterprise, November 14, 1916 p. 3 column 3, "The fact is he did not die of heart trouble, but of an inflammation of the bladder, and while writing you on Brother Bohnet’s desk I could not fail to see on the burial permit that the cause of death was given as ‘Cystitis’."
  42. "The Jehovah's Witnesses", Extraordinary groups by W. W. Zellner, William M. Kephart, ©2000, page 338, "On October 31, 1916, the stormy life of Charles Russell came to an end. While on a nationwide lecture tour, he died unexpectedly of heart failure in a Pullman car near Pampa, Texas." Online
  43. New York Times, November 1, 1916, as cited by A.H. Macmillan, Faith on the March, 1957, page 62, "October 31: Charles Taze Russell, pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, and known all over the country as "Pastor Russell," died from heart disease at 2:30 o'clock this afternoon on an Atchison, Topeka Santa Fe train, en route from Los Angeles to New York."
  44. Pictures from Russell's Gravesite
  45. Pyramid. Retrieved 2009-5-4.
  46. Attendance at the annual Memorial (statistics were published each year in the Watch Tower) shows the growth in the period before 1925. 1919: 17,961, 1922: 32,661, 1923: 42,000, 1924: 62,696, 1925: 90,434. 1926 marked the first decrease: 89,278. There are no published statistics from 1929–1934. In 1935, Memorial attendance was 63,146.
  47. Watch Tower, February 1927
  48. Watch Tower, November 1928
  49. Great Pyramid Passages, by John and Morton Edgar, Forward, 1928 edition
  50. A Conspiracy Exposed and Harvest Siftings, April 25, 1894
  51. The Bible Student Movement in the Days of CT Russell, 1975, pp P-1 to P-4
  52. The Bible Student Movement in the Days of CT Russell, 1975, p. 45
  53. A Great Battle in the Ecclesiastical Heavens, 1915, p. 20
  54. From originals (now microfilmed in New York) of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, the following articles with dates and pages can be found: "Miracle Wheat Scandal," January 22, 1913, 2; "Testimony on Wheat," January 23, 1913, 3; "Financial Statements Proving Russell's Absolute Control," by Secretary-Treasurer Van Amberg, January 25, 1913, 16; "Government Experts Testify on 'Miracle Wheat' and Ascertain Its Ordinariness," January 27, 1913, 3; "Prosecution and Defense Closing Arguments," January 28, 1913, 2; "Russell Loses Libel Suit,” January 29, 1913, 16.
  55. A Great Battle in the Ecclesiastical Heavens, 1915, pp. 29-30
  56. "United States of America", 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, page 71
  57. http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/apl/jw/jehwit34.txt
  58. From Walter Martin's book The Kingdom of the Cults and also Some facts and More Facts About the Self-Styled Pastor - Charles T. Russell (Rev. Ross's second pamphlet).
  59. The Hamilton Spectator, Dec. 9, 1912; also Feb. 7, and March 17,18,22 1913
  60. The Toronto Globe, March 18, 1913
  61. Springmeier, Fritz. The Watchtower & the Masons: A preliminary investigation. Portland, Or.: the author, 1990. Secrets of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society .
  62. Zion's Watch Tower, Dec 1, 1911 pp. 443-444
  63. Masonic. Retrieved 2009-5-4.
  64. Russell and The Great Pyramid. Retrieved 2009-5-6.
  65. 3pyramidology Retrieved 2009-5-4.
  66. Sec. 3, Anti-masonry Frequently Asked Questions. 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." Retrieved 2009-5-29.
  67. Masonic Emblem and Logo Collection. Retrieved 2009-5-29.
  68. J. Gordon Melton, Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, Gale Group, 2001, Vol. 1, p. 829.
  69. Sermon title: "The Temple of God", Convention Report Sermons pages 359-365, "But now I am talking about this great order of masonry of which Jesus is the Grand Master. This Order is to be entered in a peculiar way. 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 all of this." 6MB download
  70. Was Pastor Russell a Freemason?
  71. Zion's Watch Tower, June, 1895, p. 143
  72. The New Creation, page 580-581
  73. "Anti-masonry Frequently Asked Questions", from the web-site of the Masonic Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon. Retrieved in January 21, 2008.



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