Created  May 24, 2013                             

                               Charles Taze Russell
                                           & The International Bible Students Association
                                                           & Jehovah's Witnesses

Truth 1's Intro

It has come to my attention in recent internet activity surrounding the Bible that the commonly named "Bible Students," officially named the International Bible Students Association, IBSA, that they have taken good advantage of the internet and are loudly proclaiming the heresy that Charles Russell first started in the late 19th century. This was the heresy of all heresies, given that its goal seems to be to welcome the antichrist by justifying fleshly national political Israel and re-instituting the law, temple, and priesthood, and claiming certain dates as fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Russell also claimed there were 2 paths to salvation, one for Christians and another for Jews. Total lies.

Now I was once a member of Jehovah's Witnesses, for 11 years, till I became an exposer of their false teachings and dealings, and was disfellowshipped, as they call it, which is called shunning by others, or even excommunication. It was an honor to be rejected for telling the truth. But oddly, many who have left that organization, and despise all things Russell and Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs from here on in), still do not know that much about Russell and the JWs' history. Yet, Fritz Springmeier has vast amounts of material on Russell and some on JWs, particularly Rutherford. X-JWs need to know about these things so they can move on to better things, religiously speaking. Those still naive members need it even more if they do not want to be surprised at Judgment Day.

My biggest fear is that the IBSA may yet play a huge role as a sort of false prophet in welcoming the antichrist. JWs may yet come around to them, as well. The biggest danger in this is that these two "sisters" are often more sensible in their approach to the Bible and reasoning, so that unless you are sharp and well informed, you might get fooled. But with the knowledge that Fritz supplies, you should not get the least bit fooled.

Fritz was not directly involved with them as a member so there are some things he is not up on or aware of. But the same could be said about me regarding his material, which I am now familiar with. Together, we should be able to bury these guys. And they surely deserve it. You should be familiar with the teachings and history of both whores, since I suspect we will all be hearing far more from them in the future, given they are controlled by powerful political forces unknown to their memberships.

Some who have left JWs as dissenters, (even as I did) but they still retain some fondness and respect for the JW organization. I want to show them why this is a major error. What sharing do righteousness and lawlessness have? Its time to put this baby to bed and remove the clothing from this whore and show her for what she truly is. Enjoy.

A Major Distinction

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Fritz treats the IBSA (International Bible Students Association) and JWs (Jehovah's Witnesses) as being one in the same. But he seems to deal primarily with Rutherford and does not address the modern denomination as accurately as I think should be the case, So I sit in as referee, to see that justice is done and JWs have nothing to point back at as injust. As one who knows the history of both well, for I also on a series of letters with the Oakland Michigan Bible Students Association, got to know them and their literature quite well, and their views on JWs as well.

The IBSA are the group Russell founded and they remain eternally dedicated to his teachings to this day. The JWs kept some views, most particularly that Russell was the faithful and discreet slave of God, appointed over all God's belongings in 1914 or 1918, if you prefer. IBSA might say 1878 or 1874, I suppose. But both revere Russell as God's most favored servant, to this very day. This makes JWs extreme apostates since Russell advocated 2 different paths, one without Jesus, and he preached universal salvation for all in good time. No one would be dead forever and everyone would return in a resurrection at one time or another. This is known as Universalism and the Universalist Church believes it as well. Both cling to the 7 Gentile times theory of 2520 years, not worth describing here. We will get to it.

But while they share some similarities, they also have serious differences, that Fritz is not well acquainted with, to my thinking. Its not a big deal, but it makes a difference. "Judge" Rutherford essentially used USA Corporate law to take Russell's organization (The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society - WTBTS), organized under USA law as a legal entity, away from those who Russell willed his organization to. The will did not account for legal fulfillments and requirements of the laws of incorporation, so that Rutherford could take it from the 5 men Russell appointed to run the organization in the event of his death.

Rutherford did not likely do anything illegal, but followed the laws and got the votes and took control of the WTBTS. But on the other hand, if Russell truly was the appointed and anointed of God, then even though what Rutherford did may have followed USA law, it violated what they said was God's will and law, in that His chosen servant Russell was not obeyed in his will, which directed 5 men now ousted from the WTBTS, to control and direct his organization.

So right off, we have yet another contradiction in the doctrine of JWs, who still claim Russell as Jehovah's Chosen one, and yet they ignored the Chosen one and did as they pleased. But from this point on, JW doctrine would undergo a number of changes, many of which were actually more in harmony with the Bible, believe it or not.

The split between the 2 began to take place at Russell's death in 1916. From here, they got control of the WTBTS and later announced a name change to Jehovah's Witnesses in 1931, I think it was. They discerned the difference between the little flock of 144,000 and the great crowd of Revelation chap. 7, a distinction many today still do not recognize. They became  far more authoritarian than Russell was. They instituted a massive preaching effort/ministry in which all member would participate. They made a number of doctrinal adjustments along the way, scrapping universal salvation for one of judgment and 2nd death. They claimed only 1 path to salvation for all, which is correct.

All in all, the IBSA and JWs are quite different in many respects today. But Fritz claims many things for JWs that I do not agree wtih. They get blamed for everything Russell did, and how much of that they still adhere to is doubtful to me. But the leadership maybe playing games with their flock. That is possible and I do not dispute that much. But what they preach and teach to their flock is very different from Bible Students/IBSA.

So as I present Fritz Springmeier's "The Watchtower and the Masons" here for you to consider. This work is often quoted from by X-JWs, but most of it goes unrecognized by most "JW apostates," so called, and others who leave the "Organization." I am going to insert my opinions in  >>Brackets in red-brown color.<<

The Watchtower and the Masons

A Preliminary Investigation        A fresh look reveals NEW Insights into one of today's leading heresies.
by Fritz Springmeier


Part 1 Part 2  a separate document link

STRANGE VIBES                                              1



PARALLEL'S IN THEIR BELIEFS                       35

SECRET SIGNALS?                                          77


RUSSELL & THE WINGED-SUN-DISK                111

  8  RUSSELL'S "MASONIC SERMON                     135

  9  AN ACTUAL MASONIC SERMON                      149


11  RUSSELL'S ZIONISM --MASONIC?                   177

12  RUTHERFORD & MASONRY                              183

13  A CHRISTIAN ANALYSIS                                  199

14  A FINAL LOOK                                                 209

>>First take note that the title says the Watchtower and the Masons. Both play key roles. But the Watchtower of Russell is not the Watchtower of the JWs. Fritz does not make any distinctions between the two as best as I can tell. But he should. As You can see from the table of Contents below, most of this book deals with Russell, and sometimes Rutherford, but seldom not JWs in the present.<<


The subject of this book touches almost everyone's life. Yet, many will not immediately see any connection.

Many people if you ask them have only vague ideas about the Jehovah's Witnesses and Masons. To them the JWs are some overzealous people with some twisted religion, and the Masons are some group related to benevolence like the Shriners and their hospitals.

Without a doubt, many people will not see any connection between their own lives, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Freemasons.

A number of people have advocated that "Truth without love is too hard; Love without truth is too soft." This author firmly believes this.

It's time to wake people up from their slumber.

The Second Tower of Babel

There is a coming New World Order planned by the secretive leaders of the Jehovah's Witnesses that should scare the socks off anyone including the JWs themselves. However, if this New World Order were only in the hands of Jehovah's Witnesses to initiate, we could relax, because they have only minimal political clout, few guns, and teach non-participation in war. It's when we get the bigger picture that we realize these people are talking about something serious.

>> Fritz suggests that the leaders, the governing body, have a plan for the people that they have not revealed to the people. Not only I, but many former member have always wondered and had suspicions about this. It looks like we will not be disappointed. But keep in mind the JW followers have not a clue of what will one day happen.<<

This author's research has led him to conclude that the 1-world-government 1-world-religion that the New Age has planned for us, and the 1-world-government and 1-world- religion that the Freemasons such as the Grand Orient have planned, and the Watchtower Society's New Order are one and the same. >>Agreed!<<

Before you dismiss this as sensationalism, you owe it to yourself to investigate a scheme that has enough high caliber people of all walks of life worldwide involved in bringing it to fruition. Like the French Revolution, many people may be involved without realizing what is taking place. Some may unwittingly support this new revolution. Perhaps it may be only such help as your neighbor giving a small "donation" for a WT book. Your neighbor may then go back into his house, and as he watches the news feel frustrated because what he sees happening in world events does not make sense to him. The Witnesses' literature will provide him a prepackaged explanation of world events. Once he buys into this, he is theirs. However, this book gives the reader the inside story about that prepackaged explanation. Also we will find out that there are three groups with identical plans for a New World Order. The reader will also find out that these three are connected.

This book is a preliminary investigation. Should the good Lord see fit, it will someday be followed with more pertinent information.

>>Fritz did get around to doing another investigation, which will be published by me in time. I do want to point out that while Fritz and I do have doctrinal disagreements, and I believe I present a more accurate picture of what is taught to the JW followers by their leaders and what those followers believe as well, Fritz is the best and most knowledgeable Conspiracy writer there is, perhaps shared with the late (assassinated) William (Bill) Cooper. Both had tremendous insights into the secret darkness of the world, long before I had any of that sort of knowledge or insight.<< 

The book begins with curiosity about the Jehovah's Witnesses strangeness. It proceeds to examine the story of their founder Pastor Charles Taze Russell. Because Russell's history is a liability to the Society, they have tried to distance themselves from C.T. Russell, while at the same time in general carrying forth his ideas. The Author has confirmed Russell's Masonic membership. Now the reader knows the bottom line even though Chapter two and three are written in a very speculative fashion. However, they call an array of facts and clues to the reader's attention. Facts that call for answers. This book was never intended to answer all the reader's questions. This publication has always been intended as a vehicle to get people to think. Everyday we act on plausibilities, so it is nothing unusual for this Author to ask the reader to think, peruse these clues, and then to investigate further on his own into these things.

The book covers the second WT President's modus operandi in covering up the use of a demonic WT healing device. It also shows how demons played the crucial role in channeling information to the Watchtower leaders. Each of these items is just a piece in the puzzle about who these men are, and what their objectives are.

This book will help you understand the mindset of the first two presidents of the WT Society.

The men today involved in scheming for this new order do not think like many of us. Their mindset is power and control. Therefore, the Orwellian world they are bringing in is not the type of world you and I would bring in. (This analysis is not just this author's opinion but is shared by others.) The reader will examine what they say about their plans.

The French Revolution had many actors on its stage. Likewise, to study the role each actor is to play in the coming world revolution has been complex The Jehovah's Witnesses are playing a big role in preparing the world for this incoming world government.

The Governing Body's Masonic memberships and ties are out there for the interested to research and examine. Because this book is based only on my own research, this Author is not going to give all the details. Readers are welcome to respond with letters. The good Lord will reveal all things in his own good time.

With a clear conscience, this Author will state that this thought-provoking book is to help-not to harm anyone. Its goal is to promote honest investigation into the history of the Watchtower Presidents and the Governing Body, and not to promote his own personal theories. The JWs own printed historical accounts are totally misleading. Unless capable individuals take the time to investigate and report the real story about the Jehovah's Witnesses, then the world will be left with only their own doctored versions.

There is a time and a place for everything, even preliminary reports. (Eccl. 3:1) So even if my knowledge is partial, it is time this subject was broached publicly. What is the timetable for the the New Order? We should not sit around until it is launched. Recent WT and New Age literature suggest that it is planned before the turn of the century. This Author encourages others to continue this investigation and to share their research and set mine on surer and more correct ground. -F.S.

"Freemasonry as a secret association has lived unchanged for centuries-as an open society it would not last for as many years."-Mackey's Masonic Jurisprudence, p. 37.

"What is Masonry now? IT IS POWERFUL. It comprises men of all ranks, wealth, office and talent, in power and out of power, and that in almost every place where power is of any importance... They are distributed, too, with the means of knowing each other, and the means of keeping secret and the means of cooperating, in the Desk, in the Legislative Hall, on the Bench, in every gathering of business,... among enemies and friends, in one place as well as in another! So powerful indeed is it at this time, that it fears nothing from violence, either public or private; for it has every means to learn it in season, to counteract, DEFEAT and PUNISH!" - Speech by Masonic orator Brainard at New London, Conn.

"I wish to draw your notice the fact that the Almighty God Himself is the FOUNDER OF A SECRET SOCIETY. Moreover, while there are certain correspondencies between the human secret orders and the one of Divine origin, we shall find as we should expect that the latter is in every way superior to all others... secrecy is to the advantage... all Masons are familiar with the secrets pertaining to the first degree yet not all Masons are familiar with the secrets, etc., pertaining to the thirty-second degree, so in God's Secret Order there are first principles of the doctrines of Christ which must be known to all who belong to the order, and are also 'deep things of God',..."--Sermon by Pastor Russell, founder of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Chapter 1:     Strange Vibes
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I remember the first time I noticed a volume by the founder of what became the Jehovah's Witnesses. It was entitled "Studies in the Scriptures" on its reddish-brown cover, and had a strange Winged-Sun-Disk with snakes. On my copy the left snake had a tiny gold tongue protruding from its mouth. This strange new symbol puzzled me. I wondered over its symbolic meaning. But Pastor Russell's book provided not a clue as to the cover's meaning. Obviously, the meaning was for those "in the know" and not the casual reader.

The seven volumes of Charles Taze Russell's Studies in the Scriptures had this strange Winged-Sun-Disk. 1

Russell spoke of the Golden Age to come. Each volume's title page capitalized in bold underlined letters THE GOLDEN AGE OF PROPHECY.

Not knowing who Russell was, I wasn't aroused by this non-biblical term "Golden Age".


1 The seventh volume was billed as Russell's, but was written bv George H. Fisher and C.J. Woodworth.

Nor did I realize the implications of Russell's strange beliefs in the Great Pyramid. However, I do distinctly remember the first impression as a Christian—"this is weird."

How does one investigate something strange like this? It does have its difficulties.

First, it's like being a policeman who comes upon a suspicious car accident. If he rules it "an accident", rather than a homicide, he will limit his approach in gathering clues. On the other hand, if he assumes the worst and views it as a homicide, he will collect all the evidence he can. This book is an attempt to gather evidence. Yes, the fact that the policeman gathers facts means he's suspicious. It doesn't mean anyone is guilty. Certainly today, Jehovah's Witnesses do not join Masonic Lodges and Orders.

After years of in-depth study of the Jehovah's Witnesses, and learning what I could about the Freemasons by talking to Freemasons, talking to ex-Freemasons, reading, going to public lodges events, etc. I offer the following conclusions and cautions when beginning research.

Researching a book on Jehovah's Witnesses and Freemasons, both secretive organizations, is a challenge. Both publish propaganda based on what they want you to think, rather than history. Morey, in The Origin and Teachings of Freemasonry, goes so far as to quote respected Masons who themselves warn other Masons that most of their own history books are in large part fiction and unreliable. Not all Masonic writers identify themselves as being Masons. The Jehovah's Witnesses' literature is biased and loaded with fictitious information. Several writers have taken them to task for scholastic dishonesty. That is, they have a penchant for misquoting others. On the other hand, Protestant and Catholic material is biased too, for they may be latching onto superficially learned knowledge in a effort to counteract others.

Expect the Masons' bias to be to show their legitimacy and antiquity. Less of this appears in recent times.

Expect big differences between European Masonry and American Masonry.

Expect to meet both Masonic and non-Masonic writers with the incorrect view that all Freemasons have a common purpose, common beliefs, and common methods. The Freemason next door may sincerely believe the Freemasons are innocuous, for he regards his own personal experience as universal, without bothering to get an historical perspective. Some Masonic groups are not so benign. Any secret organization such as the Masons is a ready-made organization for mischief should scheming men control it. But the non- Mason should be slow to imagine any grand conspiracy scheme. Masonry, even if leaks of an invisible high level organization are true, may not be united enough for a single grand scheme. The American Freemasons, today about 3 million strong, experience the lodge mostly in terms of a philanthropic fraternity. Still, expect them to confuse and deceive to protect their secrets.2

Expect the Jehovah's Witnesses to portray a selfless, pristine perfect organization, to hide or gloss over doctrinal controversies, to change history to match "present truth", and to cover over anything embarrassing. Each group has kernals of truth in their positions and biases. Yet truth with embellishments is no longer truth, but a distortion. In this investigation, you are the jury— even as this goes to press the facts and evidence are not all in.

In a court of law, every witness has his chance on the stand. There are some sources that are quoted that the Author would not endorse without some reservations. As a detective, the goal has been to filter out spurious information, yet consider every relevant fact.


2 A Masonic oath that is repeated by all at the Entered Apprentice/lst Degree and every degree after it, and taken on the penalty of mayhem and violent death goes, "I hereby and hereon most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear that I will always hail, ever conceal and never reveal any of the arts, parts or points of the secret arts and mysteries of ancient Freemasonry which I received, am about to receive, or may hereafter be instructed in..." Shaw, Jim (ex-33°) and Tom McKenney. The Deadly Deception. Lafayette, LA: Huntington House, Inc., 1988, (For a modern exception to this see Chp. 12)

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When something new appears it is good for us to remember there is nothing new under the sun. My experience as a world traveler and a history buff is that I marvel at how much continuity a modern people has with their ancestors. For instance, one day in a restaurant while I was waiting for a meal, I was studying some ancient Egyptian cursive handwriting from the 19th Dynasty. That means this handwriting was about 3,300 years old, and this hieratic (the ancient Egyptian cursive) is a different system than the modern Arabic script used today in Egypt. An Arab approached me and started a conversation, because he thought I was reading Arabic. It caused me to reflect.

The Egyptians had been conquered by the Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans, and had gone through using various scripts, yet they choose to use the Arabic script which resembles the hieratic they had used in the centuries before Christ. (The word "choose" is used on the premise people are responsible for their behavior.) People also tend to build, to adapt on past ideas. People tend to borrow rather than create new. When we see something "new" arrive in history, such as the alphabet, a person then looks for clues as to when that alphabet was introduced. It is valid then to question where "new" ideas spring from. They rarely come from a vacuum.

When Charles T. Russell created a new religious body, his ideas did not come out of a vacuum. Various scholars have tracked down Russell's ideas to all kinds of heresies.

Where did all these strange beliefs come from? My early exposure to the Jehovah's Witnesses piqued my curiosity. For instance, why call one's meeting place a hall? Why not Kingdom meeting, or Kingdom assembly, or Kingdom study, or church, or chapel, or tabernacle, or temple, or something else? Why hall?

Why all the secrecy? Why are the writers and the leaders of the Watchtower Society clouded in secrecy? Why have no membership records been kept? The answer given, that it was a security measure in case of persecution didn't satisfy me. Other groups equally persecuted made other choices, choices that are not secretive. They would say, we trust God and are willing to suffer for Him, so why be secretive? What have we to hide?

The choice to be secretive is just that, choice. And that decision and other attitudes are instilled from the top down. That is, from the Watchtower President and now the Governing Body down the "pyramid" to the masses of JWs. The answer to where JWs receive their strange beliefs, strange doctrines, and attitudes comes primarily from two men. Because primarily only two men, Charles Taze Russell and Joseph F. Rutherford made all the decisions of the Watchtower Society for the beginning 60 years.2 It is important to understand their overwhelming contribution.  

Notes:    2
Franz, Ray. Crisis of Conscience. Atlanta, Commentary Press, 1983, p.60 . Ray Franz, a former member of the Governing Body states how each of the first two WTB&TS Presidents "acted according to his own prerogatives in exercising his presidential authority, with no hint of a governing body.

Charles T. Russell's father was Joseph L. Russell. Joseph L. was a Prebyterian and married one. Joseph L. left Ireland, and immigrated directly to Allegheny, PA in 1846.3 He left during the Potato Famine. It was a time when every village in Scotland and Britain had a Masonic Lodge.4 Also during the years just prior to Joseph L. immigrating to the U.S., Joseph L. experienced along with his Presbyterian churches the atonement heresies that broke out in 1841 and lasted for several years. The heresies concerned the extent of Christ's atonement, along with some leaders adopting the Arian view of Christ. Several synods were cut off and some offenders disfellowshipped.5 The author hasn't confirmed which side of the disputes Joseph was on, but there are indications.

Charles T. Russell's mother was Ann Eliza Birney Russell. Her family was from the northern counties of Ireland, where she was born in Ulster.6 She had Charles' older brother in 1850,7 Charles in '52 and then his sister Margaret M.8


3 Western Pennslyvannia Genealogical Society (compilers), A List of Immigrants Who Applied for Naturalization Papers in the District Courts of Allegheny County, Pa., Pittsburgh: the Society, 1978, p.93.

4 Cahill, Rev. E. Freemasonry and the Anti-Christian Movement. Dublin,Ire.,H.Gill & Son,Ltd.,1959,p.8 ff.

5 The Illustrated Book of All Religions (n.a.,c.l860) Chicago,Il.:Star Pub. Co., pp. 393, 404

6 Birney family & Presbyterian Church records

7 1850 Census, Allegheny ,Pa.,Ward 4, p. 181

8 The Laodicean Messenger, His Life Works and Character- Chicago, IL.,Bible Students, 1923, p.279-280. Margaret joined her brother in 1874 to do the "Lord's service" (p.l82) She maintained whole-hearted support for him during her lifetime, and viewed him as the greatest man alive "a giant, unmatched." (p. 184) She had two girls, Alice and Mae F.


< Charles T. Russell at four years of age.

When she died at the age of 37, Charles was only nine.9 Charles' father was a purposeful and motivated person. He started a business soon after arriving in America. At age 11, his son Charles wrote up a contract which made him and his father partners in his clothing store. This would develop into a chain of five men's clothing stores.10 Pastor Russell would buy his father's store in 1884; his father would get land in Florida.

Charles grew up zealously accepting the Presbyterian worldview and heritage of his parents. His personality took him on a journey that left the Presbyterian church. In many ways, his world view reflected his heritage and it was basically established by the end of his teenage years. His father at age 54 joined Russell's group and worked in accord with Charles until his death in 1897. One of his uncles, also named Charles T. Russell, and who also had a store,11 was sympathetic of Russell's later religious course and left Charles T.,Jr. a large sum of money. (That sum greatly increased Charles' wealth; he invested some of that money.)12 Considering the evidence, Charles' doubts about orthodox Christian doctrines may have been a reflection of his father's doubts.

Perhaps his mother's early death furthered his serious and intense religious nature. His father promoted his maturity and independence by giving him so much responsibility early in life. He was privately tutored, besides attending public school.


9 Harrison, Barbara G: Visions of Glory, A History and a Memory of Jehovah's Witnesses, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1978, pp. 44-45.

10 International Bible Students (comp.), Collection of articles written bv Pastor Charles Taze Russell for the Overland Monthly, 1909-1911.

11 Various Pittsburgh Probate Records and Directories.

12 Richard Rawe of Soap Lake, Wa. was generous in sharing some of his research on Russell's life with the author.

Charles had a strong personality. He excluded ideas and behavior that didn't harmonize with his own ideas and principles. He had an abundance of business and organization abilities. He was organized and precise with details. He was cultured and a good analytical thinker. But his narrow-mindedness and prejudices, prevented him from considering the merits of views, ideas and practices differing from his own. It is important also to realize that his intense personality absorbed emotional experiences to a greater extent than most people, and that these feelings endured longer, were retained longer than most people do. This is the picture of a very capable multi-talented person who sets out on his own track, determined to control his own destiny and who can not be deterred by anyone.13 Those concepts he embraced early in life set his course.

Perhaps because of his father's good nature, Charles T. Russell found it difficult to conceive that his heavenly Father would eternally punish people. This difficulty caused him to reject the doctrine of hell, which then had further consequences. A person does not reject the eternal punishment spoken of in the Scriptures without having to make some major revisions in other doctrines too.

Charles' father agreed with Charles' "revelations" about baptism by immersion and the doctrinal error of hell. He joined him in 1874 in a group studying the Bible.14

One possible explanation for why C.T. Russell turned so avidly to supposedly hidden knowledge is that it provided mental solace, a type of protection of the psyche against such unknown forces that would take his mother at a tender age.

Some people are continually threatened by unforeseen and unavoidable problems. Death, hunger, poverty, and sickness surprise them. The causes are secret and unknown. They are reduced to a state of perpetual suspense, and perplexed to account for the random distribution of these calamities. The unknown forces or causes, become the focus of these people's hopes and fears. Subsequently, their imaginations aid them by providing explanations about these causes for which these threatened individuals have such a dependence upon.


13 Springmeier, Fritz. Analysis of Religious Leaders, History. Issues, & Conversions with GA. Portland, OR., Printed by F. Springmeier, 1989. For information on Charles Taze Russell's character from the viewpoint of a follower of his, see The Laodicean Messenger, His Life Works and Character.

14 The Laodicean Messenger, p. 182

This describes the route Russell took. That is, later when he sought answers, he would seek it from those who had hidden knowledge and revelations.

What about the route Russell took? First, he rejected his Presbyterian Church for the more liberal Congregational Church. There was just one in town, a Welsh Congregational Church . Then he rejected the Congregational Church when he tried to convert an "infidel" friend (one source says "pool hall friend"). He was unable to defend his religion to his friend, especially why a just God would torment people in hell. This caused him to question his minister and a Professor from the Allegheny Theological Seminary about the Bible's reliability. They did not answer him to his satisfaction, so he rejected Christianity and requested a letter of dismissal from the church.15

His steps to peace and away from orthodoxy, according to his own words, were first a total rejection of scriptural authorities, then a reliance upon himself, then a peace of heart and then finally, a desire for revelation. In an interview with the Jamestown Evening Journal. Sat. Aug.6, 1910, Russell says that after rejecting Christianity, "I bowed my knee, and worshipped an unknown God, saying 'Great Creator who made me, I reverence thee...My heart found rest ... This started me to look for a divine revelation." He became intrigued with religious ideas that called for imagination and a belief in mysteries and hidden knowledge.


15 The Laodicean Messenger, pp. 180-181

During C.T. Russell's early years, there was a group which his upbringing exposed him to which had just the type of religious knowledge that Russell had a penchant for—that was the Masonic Hall located near his father's Dry Good's store on Federal St. Another eight blocks south across the St. Clair Street Bridge was another Masonic Hall.16

In 1851, in the Pittsburgh-Allegheny area there were 52 lodges of various kinds of Freemasons and Oddfellows, including a Scottish Rite lodge.17 By 1856, the Allegheny Lodge had moved their Hall a short distance from Federal St. to Water St. near Federal. Two lodges met there, Allegheny Lodge No. 223 and Jefferson Lodge No. 288.18 By 1858, Pittsburgh had its own Masonic Knights Templar Commandery (more on this later).19

Russell was born in Allegheny and lived there from 1852 until 1909. The year he was born, 7 of the 20 churches in Allegheny were Presbyterian. Also of interest, was the close presence of a Swedenborg New Jerusalem church, and the lone Jewish synagogue for the area. By 1856, there was a grand total of 23 churches in the city, 8 of these being Presbyteriani.20 This means, speaking in percentages, that 35% of the town's churches were Presbyterian. This shows the heavy concentration of Scot-Irish immigrants in the area. The Presbyterian churches dominated western Penn. at this time.


16 Thurston, George H. (comp.), Directorv for 1856-'57. of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Cities.... Published by George H. Thurston, 1856, p. xvii

17 Woodward & Rowland Pittsburgh, Directory for 1852.Pittsburgh: printed by W.S. Haven,Book, and Fancy Job Printer, pp.93-94

18 Directory for 1856-'57. of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Cities...., p.xvii

19 Thurston, George H. (comp.) Directory of Pittsburgh & Vicinity for 1859-60, 1859, p.331.

20 Ibid., p.xiv

  Further, some Presbyterians Russell grew up around took an active role in the Masonic Hall. Note, that a Presbyterian minister James Anderson was responsible for the creation of modern Freemasonry.21

Presbyterian ministers in Russell's day played an important role in various lodges. This has continued. Presbyterian minister James Allan Cabiniss wrote the Grand Lodge of Mississippi's official history. John McCarty, a contemporary of C.T. Russell, and a Presbyterian minister also wrote a Masonic book.22 Anglican and Presbyterian ministers in the British Isles have been known to lose their jobs for speaking out against the Masons. 23

Why were Presbyterians so prominant in the Masons? The answer goes back to where the modern Freemasons began. The modern rites began in the British Isles. The Scot-Irish began one of these. The Irish Grand Lodge was formed in 1725, and the Scotch the following year.23b The Irish played a special role in establishing the Penn. Lodges.24 So although the Masons are now spread throughout the world, when Charles T. Russell grew up, it was still primarily a Scot-Irish/English blooded membership.

Masonry, with its undefined Deism, was very close to Voltaire's rationalism.25 The laws of nature and reason play a vital role in this philosophy. Jefferson's Deism which is enunciated so clearly in the Declaration of Independence was quite appropriate for its signatories, for eight are confirmed Masons-Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Joseph Hewes, and others; and twenty-four other signatories on less certain evidence may have been Masons!26


21 Ferguson, Charles W., 50 Million Brothers. See also Jack Harris' Freemasonry: The Invisible Cult, p. 113

22 Prince, Harold B.(ed. & comp.) A Presbyterian Bibliography, Metuchen, N.J.:The Scarecrow Press, Inc. & The Amer. Theological Lib. Assoc., 1983 (entries 485,875)

23 Knight, Stephen. The Brotherhood. London, U.K.Granada Pub., 1984, pp. 254, 262

23b Ibid.,p.32. The Knight Templar 9/90 ,p.26 gives other dates.

24 Proceedings of the M*W*Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Oregon. 33rd Annual Convention. Printed by Geo. H. Himmes by order of M*W*Grand Master, 1883, p.219.

25 Ferguson, Charles W., 50 Million Brothers

26 Ibid.,p.34

Seventeen Presidents have been Masons: and all of these seventeen had English or Scot-Irish ancestry. These seventeen are Washington, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Polk, Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Garfield, McKinley, both Roosevelts, Taft, Harding, Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagon. Seventeen Vice-presidents have also been Masons. Note that the first three presidents were affiliated with the Episcopal church and the next three Masons to become U.S. Presidents were Presbyterians.27

Presidents are not the only Scot-Irish Freemason leaders. Joseph Smith's Masonic membership is proven,28 and Mary Baker Eddy's close ties with the Freemasons are documented. Her first and beloved husband died and left her a widow. He was a Freemason. The Freemasons took care of her as a widow, and after that kindness she very close to them her entire life. She had material published in the Freemason's Monthly Magazine.29


27 Ibid., and CBS New Almanac, 1978, Maplewood, N.J.:CBS News, 1977, p. 146.

28 There are a number of books that deal with Joseph Smith,Jr. and other early Mormons in the Masonic Lodge. The close relationship of Mormonism to Masonry is interesting. See McGavin, E. Cecil.Mormonism and Masonry, Salt Lake City, 1956. Also Mormonism and Masonry, by S.H. Goodwin, Also Mormonism Shadow or Reality, by the Tanners, Salt Lake City, UT.

29 Peel, Robert. Marv Baker Eddy, Vol. I. The Years of Discovery. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971, pp 76-79.


  above: Mary Baker Eddy (and some Mormons) have used the same Masonic logo that Russell displayed.

Presbyterian minister Anderson's Masonic Constitution (1722-23) Note: the Phoenix, which was later used in the original design of the U.S. great seal.


In 1831-1838 a strong anti-Freemason campaign hit Pennslyvannia.30 Campaigns would hit prior to and during Russell's life, just like the anti-liquor and anti-abortion campaigns of the future. Churches had to take a stand for or against Freemasonry. Most of the denominations did take a stand against the secret Freemasons, for a while.

In Allegheny, there were 3 Presbyterian churches inside town while Russell grew up, and another 13 Presbyterian Churches in the county that kept records. 31 There were five different types of Presbyterian churches in western Pennslyvannia, the Reformed Presbyterian Church- Evangelical Synod, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Association Presbyterian Church, the Presbyterian Church, and the United Presbyterian Church of North America (formed by merging in 1858 at Pittsburgh,PA both the Associate Presbyterian Church & the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.)32 The more liberal of these had members who were Masons. A few denounced Masonry.33

By 1889, the Masons had gained ground within the churches. The Alabama Grand Lodge reported that year that out of its 7,950 Freemasons in the state 483 were Christian ministers.34 The New York Grand Lodge report of 1890 gives us breakdown of the 703 Christian clergymen that were N. Y. Masonic members:

Methodist (288),   Episcopalian (146),   Baptist (112),   Presbyterian (59),   Universalist (31),   Congregationalist (21),
Dutch Reformed (13),   Christian (13),   Lutheran (11),   Jewish (7),   Unitarian (1),   Reform Jew (1).35


30 Proceedings of the M*W* Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Oregon. 33rd Annual Con,, p. 219.

31 Kirkham, E. Kay.A Survey of American Church Records. Logan, UT, Everton Pub.,p.250-254

32 Handbook of Denominations in the United States. 7th ed.

33 In Russell's day, the Associate Presb. church, following the 1757 secession tradition forbade Masonic membership. Later in Pittsburgh, PA the Synod of the Reformed Presb. church would condemn Masonry with a booklet "Free Masonry as a religion."

34 Proceedings ... Grand Lodge of...California. 1889, p.5

35 Proceedings of the ...Grand Lodge.,.New York. 1890. p.37

It is clear Russell rejected the Presbyterian and the Congregational Churches that he belonged to, because they believed in hell, and not because they allowed Freeemasons within their congregations. A study of Russell's life, shows no interest on his part of joining the anti-Masonic campaign. The worst enemy of the Masonic Lodge was the Catholic Church. In modern times, the Masons have successfully obtained supporters and a few members from their long time opponent, the Catholic Church.37 When Russell was a 33, Pope Leo XIII made it anathema for Catholics to join the Masons. This act drew no acclaim from Russell.

Russell refers to the Catholic Church as the Jezebel of 2 Kgs. 9 in his second volume, p.256. And Russell does seem to echo the Masons Albert Pike, Mazzini, and others in his strong anti-Catholic attacks, who also, like Russell, branded the Pope and his hierarchy as agents of the Antichrist. Both Russell and these men call the Catholic church "Babylon the Great." Considering Russell rejected the Protestant doctrines, it seems rather Masonic-like that he dislikes the Catholics to such an extreme. 36

Reading Russell's series of sermons advocating the Protestant denominations to merge, highlights how much he lumped them together. 38 In Thy Kingdom Come (1891) the defilements and persecutions of the Pope are mentioned. True, other religious men referred to the Catholic Church as Babylon the Great. But the Watch tower Society after Russell would take a much "less prejudiced" view, they would hate Catholics and Protestants equally. There does seem then to be some justification,to see his anti-Catholic behavior as more than simply a doctrinal disagreement.


36 Lady Queenborough. Occult Theocracy. Christian Book Club of America, CA, 1931.

37 Dumenil, Lynn. Freemasonry and American Culture, 1880-1930. Princeton,NJ:Princeton Univ. Press, 1984, p.237

38 Collection of articles written bv Russell for the Overland Monthly, p. 234-247.

This is displayed in Russell's World Tour. Russell seems to have connections to people he'd never met. Masonic connections- Masonic help? At any rate, Russell concludes at the end of a world tour that there was no market for his message in Catholic countries. He felt his message could be marketed in England, Scotland, Ireland, and Scandinavia39 (which by then Scandinavia had a strong Masonic membership, remember that King Gustavus V of Sweden was Grand Master of Sweden, and King Edward VII of England was at one point the Grand Master of England's Freemasons.)40 If Russell really believed in his message and that God was behind him, why did he feel heathens would come more readily than Catholics to his message? Now if the Masons were supporting him, this might offer an explanation that would make this more understandable.

Russell claimed to have spent the two years after he rejected the Congregational Church studying Eastern religions. In one sermon, he lists several like Buddhism, but adds that there were others. The author has read much of what Russell wrote and said, and has yet to see evidence of indepth knowledge on the part of Russell toward Buddhism, Hinduism, or Islam. This author theorizes that the Eastern religions he studied most were likely those that the Masonic Eastern Star would study, such as the study of the Egyptian and Middle East paganism that is so important to Masonry.

Russell and his followers held meetings during the 1906- 07 time period at the Eastern Star's Temple on Sunday nights at 7:30.41 By the way, men do join and lead the Order of the Eastern Star, even though it is considered a women's organization. The only connection that the author has found between the OES and Russell are his meetings there. But it can be asked, what Masonic symbolism was Russell's astute mind exposed to?


39 Harrison, Barbara G. Visions of Glory. p. 127 which she indicates is quotation of WT, 1914, pp 326-27. Obviously, Russell is referring to the northern Irish counties, because the southern counties were Catholic.

40 Ferguson, Charles W. 50 Million Brothers, p.20-33

41 A 1906 Watchtower tract on Spiritism provided the meeting time and place.

It is important to bear in mind that Russell was adept at picking and choosing within his mind the facts, arguments, and evidences he cared to regard. It can be depended upon, that Russell accepted new information which he was predisposed to accept. His shell was hard to penetrate, because he was a good speaker, had exceptional abilities to bluff, to feign confidence, and maintain himself before audiences in situations where others would have lost face. These all contributed to his ability to filter out what he didn't want to accept.42

A scholar of C.T. Russell commented once that it is unknown when Russell became Arian. (Arian referring to Arius' heresy in believing that Christ is only a good man, and not Almighty God.) M. James Penton in his excellent work Apocalypse Delayed writes (p.14), "Much attention has been devoted to Russell's concepts and teachings; surprisingly little has been paid to the sources thereof; either by his friends or by his enemies."

>> The Arian so called heresy, is not what Fritz states above. There were a number of different Arian concepts that varied. Arianism was a late doctrine, as was the Athanasian Trinity. But earlier Christian writers all opposed the Trinitarian concepts, of obvious pagan and irrational origins. Fritz' expertise has always been in conspiracies. He is a little bit more conventional and traditional in his doctrinal views and is lacking critical early Christians writings and concepts. But yours truly has that covered! <<

Penton does a good job of accurately portraying Russell as an honest man, albeit often the victim of his own sincere misguided self-deception. So when Russell obviously lies under oath in a court of law to protect his friends,( see p.57) and does it without remorse or difficulty, does this mean he was after all dishonest? Russell in general lived up to his beliefs. He was, as people go, an honest person. The author believes the answer lies in the Masonic concept that to lie to protect a brother is not a lie, but the truth. To conceal hidden knowledge is not a lie to them; indeed it is their moral duty to deceive in order to " protect truth." Such a concept is not scriptural, nor is it taught by the Christian churches including the adventist groups Russell associated with. Therefore, it behooves us to open our minds to the option that he learned it from the Masons.


42 Springmeier, Fritz. Analysis of Religious Leaders ... with GA.

What about his Arian views, did Pastor Russell get these from the Masons?

The Masonic Doctrine does not recognize Christ as Almighty God (individuals on the lower levels may possibly hold their own views), however it appears that Russell's heresy goes deeper than that. It may have created an atmosphere conducive for him to investigate Freemasonry, but the heresy probably derived from his heritage. His heritage? Yes.

The author concurs with Penton that little attention has been given to the sources of Russell's beliefs. When attention has been directed towards them, people have studied the Adventists, and totally neglected to focus on his family. This has been a serious oversight. The author believes it is time to correct this.

Charles T. Russell not only worked hand in hand with his father Joseph L. in business, but also in their religious endeavors. There is not the slightest trace of discord between father and son. The whole tenor of their relationship and cooperation, leads the author to conclude that Charles derived some of his thinking from his father.

When Charles started a Bible study, it was not long before his father joined him and his little group.

During the 1880s, both father and son married two Ackley sisters, Maria F. and Melinda P. Both of which were supportive of the religious route they were taking. Maria helped Russell write his books and contributed articles in the Watch Tower magazines. (Later he lost his wife to divorce and his father to death in the same year, 1897.)

Both Russell and his father were businessmen who went out and marketed C.T. Russell's views. The rest of their family seemed to help out. Russell's sister, who worked side by side with him for years, felt he was the greatest man alive. Charles T. Russell obviously was not violating his father's own beliefs when he went off on these wild heresies early on in life. Indeed, Charles and his sister Margaret stated that he had been chosen before he was born for his religious work. Perhaps, Joseph L., (like Joseph Kennedy who had goals for

his son to be President) had goals for Charles. And if Charles had been encouraged to go forward in such things, then that could help account for his sister's great admiration for him. He had fulfilled her father's wishes.

His sister Margaret outlined how God planned and chose her brother when she gave a testimony at the Put-In-Bay Convention. God planted a seed with the early church. But the seed lay dormant for centuries. "In due time" the seed of truth grew and was watered according to God's plan. During the Dark Ages the seed of truth was barely kept alive waiting for God's chosen one to bring it to fruition. When it was time, God "annointed the eyes" of her brother at age 17, and "God's smile of favor rested upon him.' Her brother was the faithful one God could depend upon, the "one who despite the burden and heat of the day" would be the faithful one for God.43

Perhaps too much attention has been given to the men that Russell listened to, and not enough on why he listened to them. Why was Charles predisposed to listen to George Storrs, Barbour and Paton?

If we consider George Storrs, for instance, here is the man second only to Pastor Russell's father, to have influenced Charles. Russell wasn't a blank mind being impressioned by a venerated teacher, but rather Charles rejected some of Storrs' strongest beliefs, such as his militant anti-slavery stand. It wasn't that Charles was awed by the man. It was because they shared common views that made them friends. Because they shared mutual views on Christ and the Atonement, and Charles then liked his Conditionalism (that is, his forceful views against the immortality of the soul --which supported Russell's disdain for the doctrine of hell) The impression sometimes written is that Russell met Storrs and was led by Storrs to all these heresies. On the contrary, Charles met Storrs, because he shared those heresies. Charles just needed someone to provide the accurate defense of those views.


43 The Laodiciean Messenger, pp 179-180

Charles didn't immediately know all the ins and outs to support his early ideas. He didn't know the full consequences of his sometimes vague and confused ideas. But there seems to be evidence that Charles' father came over from the old country with Arianism and un-orthodox atonement views. Charles was never instilled with orthodox views of Christ and the atonement. Consequently, there was never a rebellion against his father. What we're looking at is a long legacy of heresy.

One could perhaps start the story with the terrible period of northern Ireland known as the period of "the black frost." On the evening of Dec. 26, 1739 a frost appeared that remained until Feb. 15. The sun seldom was seen, and the frost was unusually dark in appearance. Consequently, famines and unproductive harvests followed afterwards.

A scheme was approved to create "The Widows' Fund". Long-story short "The Widows' Fund" brought the large majority of orthodox Presbyterians in close contact with un- orthodox Presbyterians whom they had shunned. The General Synod, being orthodox, was fearful of any reconciliation, but the establishment of this Widows' Fund created an opportunity and an avenue for the Non-subscribers to begin fellowshipping with the orthodox majorities.

Now at this time, all the young men from Ulster who wanted to be ministers went to the University of Glasgow, Scotland. There they were instructed by Profesor Simpson, who taught them Arian views. Thomas Boston turned out to be the only minister who took a stand against this heresy. For that he would be named Athanasius after the defender of the trinity in the fourth century.44 As the decades of controversy would reveal, many of the other professors also happened to be Arian in belief. So it took many years before the judicatories of the Church of Scotland took the mild action of suspending Prof. Simpson.


44 MacLeod, John. Scottish Theology in Relation to Church History Since the Reformation, published by Knox Press & the Banner of Truth Trust, 1943.

Another heretic professor was Dr. Francis Hutcheson, Professor of Moral Philosophy in Glasgow. He possessed a natural eloquence, and students flocked from all over the British Isles to be dazzled by him. It appears the young minds of the students were not as discerning as the average Presbyterians. For instance, when Hutcheson substituted for his father at his father's church, the congregation got up and all walked out during his sermon. One of the elders meeting his father said, "We a' feel muckle wae for your mishap ... your silly son, Frank, has fashed a' the congregation wi' his idle cackle; for he has been babbling this oor aboot a gude and benevolent God, and that the souls of the heathens themsels will gang to heeven ... not a word does the daft boy ken, speer, nor say aboot the gude auld, comfortable doctrines of election, reprobation, original sin, and faith."

So generations of young susceptible minds were led into heresy by the staff of this university. This theological training explains why Ulster County churches were Arian in view for many years, and how the New-Light movement was able to steadily progress, and ultimately take over control of the Synod of Ulster, Ireland.

Several other factors happened to occur during this century, to excerbate the deterioration of orthodox belief in Ulster. The Established Church of Ireland and the Episcopal churches sank into apathy and heresy during this period too. For instance, the Right Reverend Dr. Robert Clayton who was bishop of Killala, of Cork, and Ross , and Clogher went so far as to publish an attack on the trinity with his long titled Essay on Spirit, wherein the doctrine of the Trinity is considered in the light of reason ... and the doctrine of the Trinity as maintained by the Egyptians.... Platonists,..."

The Synod of Ulster degenerated for several generations into heretical views of salvation and Christ. Published sermons during this time period showed little understanding by Ulster's ministry for the Christian doctrine of salvation.

In 1755, the Lord raised up an effective minister Mr. Clark, whose pamphlets called attention to errors of the Synod of Ulster. His last and not least pamphlet was entitled "New Light set in a Clear Light." Now that the New Light had been exposed, the momentum began slowly to shift.

High winds on Sept. 2,1756 destroyed ripening grain and led to famine in Ulster. Many left for America.

Silently over the next 50 years, the orthodox believers gained in strength. In 1808, Rev. James Homer at the annual Synod of Ulster declared that a code of disciplinary laws to govern the synod would be drawn up. So confident were the Arians of their strength that they did not oppose a clause in the new code which required a subscription to the Westminster Confession of Faith. The code passed almost unanimously in 1824. They figured they could easily evade the letter and the spirit of the code. One of the most gifted ministers in the area, promptly declared war on Arianism. The struggle began. By Friday, 27 June, 1828 the Synod pledged to set up a committee to examine candidates for the ministry, so that all who denied the doctrine of the Trinity, justification by faith, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit, would be excluded from the ministry. By July 30, 1829, the Arians knew they were beat, and many of them formed their own synod. The strength and numbers of the Arians continued to decline over the next years.45

In 1841, the Arians and the Trinitarians clashed again in the Scottish Presbyterian churches. And from this hotbed of heresy in Ulster comes Charles T. Russell's parents. Need one speculate why Charles' father and uncle weren't trinitarians? They were not trinitarians in America, is it not reasonable to assume they were not trinitarians back in Ireland, before they immigrated? Charles T. Russell was indeed a product of his heritage and times.


45 Reid, James Seaton. History of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. Vol. III. Belfast: William Mullan, 1867. pp. 283-469.

Back to TOC

Just because Russell was exposed early in his life to Freemasonry, is not proof he joined it, or even approved of it. Our investigation must continue.

In the June 15, 1895 Zion's Watch Tower (today it is called The Watchtower), Russell answers a letter from a reader inquiring about secret societies.

Russell's answer is,"In our judgement the majority of 'secret societies' are merely beneficiary and have no secret schemes antagonistic to the general public welfare, the secret rites and ceremonies being merely 'boys' play,' occupying the time and attention of persons who have no greater aims than those which pertain to the present life."

In this, one catches a glimpse of the impatient drive of a reformer caught up in his pursuit of religion. Russell points out that for people who have no ambition toward the future life in paradise, the rites and ceremonies are harmless games. The implication being, if one is interested in the future Golden Age, he will not waste time in such organizations. During Russell's life, there were a number of violent secret organizations, the Ku Klux Klan, and the local Catholic Molly Maguires who avenged the suffering of the miners by attacking mine owners and foremen. The Molly Maguires are reported to have been members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.1

Russell keys in on two secret societies in his reply that June 15, 1895 article. He answers that several Roman Catholic Societies have malevolent schemes, and he notes that the Freemasons "profane worship".

Quoting Russell, "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 profane 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. "2

This reply by Russell is significant. From it one notices that

a. Russell doesn't oppose secret societies except that they take time from his mission which he is trying to inspire the world about.

b. Russell has an intimate knowledge of the Masons. He knows how their members feel, and how the upper degrees promote profane worship.

Finally, if the article is read to its conclusion, Russell advises even against belonging to insurance companies for they will be "very insecure dependencies when the time of trouble will have fully commenced...", and insurance does injury to children who inherit money, and it is more noble to leave a legacy of religious separation from banks and insurance companies than to leave money to one's children. He advises, "Trust in the Lord". Give all your money and time to the Lord's service.

Interestingly, Russell doesn't follow his own advice. He takes out insurance policies and uses the banks as he wheels and deals. In 1912, he states privately, "I have taken out small policies in the accident companies...Of course, this is private information. Don't tell anyone." What difference does it make if he took out insurance or not?


1 Robinson, James. Born In Blood. The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry. New York: M. Evans & Co., 1989, p.326.

2 WT 6/15/1895 p. 142-144 (Reprints p. 1827)

It shows that his opposition to something publicly doesn't preclude Russell from using the same thing privately for personal gain. The evidence will mount how Russell used Masonic ideas, and incorportated them into his own system, and was even a member. He is unable to step outside of himself and see how his reliance on occultic and questionable sources for his scheme of thinking should raise red flags. But does he care about this?

Russell's sermons show a surprising indepth knowledge of Masonry.Consider his sermon "The Desire of All Nations" given before 3,500 people. Russell preaches, "The great Messiah ... has long been waited for ... for thirty five centuries the Jews have waited... Freemasons have waited twenty-five hundred years for the same glorious personage, as Hiram Abiff, the great Master Mason whose death, glorification and future appearing are continually set before them by the letters upon their keystones. He died a violent death, they claim, because of his loyalty to the divine secrets typed in Soloman's temple. He must reappear, they claim, in order that the great antitypical temple may be completed and its grand service for Israel and for all peoples may be accomplished. They claim that his presence is to be expected speedily." "The Free Masons also expect the same glorious personage and in their traditions, identify Him with Hiram Abiff, the great Master Mason. This same great Messiah, Michael, the Archangel, the antitypical Melchizedek, Priest as well as King, we identify as 'the Man Jesus Christ.'"

Some words about Hiram Abiff and Russell's comments 


3 I.B.S.A. (editors), What Pastor Russell Said. Pub. by I.B.S.A.,pp.344-345. (Various printing have different page numbers—see article "Insurance.")

4 Pastor Russell's Sermons. IBSA & People's Pulpit Assoc., Brooklyn,NY, p. 113

4b. WT 5/15/1912 "Messiah's Kingdom Will Be Spiritual."

are in order. Claude McClung, an ex-high ranking Mason, shows in his book Why I Left Masonry that Hiram Abiff is the sun god Baal. Hiram Abiff is totally unscriptural. The Christian scriptures condemn all sun worship. The sun was a popular symbol of Russell's too (more about that esp. in chapter 7). He even stated that the resurrected Christ was at the center of the sun. (WT R 5135) When Charles T. Russell calls Hiram Abiff the Messiah and says that the pagan Masonic religion is based on the Bible, then this is significant. If Russell isn't a Freemason, at this point he sure is doing a good job of sounding like one.

It may appear that Russsel is only indicating that Masons believe Hiram Abiff is the Messiah. However, more is happening here than at first meets the eye. Russell definitely calls Hiram Abiff "the same personage" as the Christian/Jewish Messiah. While it true some Jews wait for the Messiah, and the Moslems await Christ's return, the person of Hiram Abiff is different. In interviewing an active 32° Mason, the author was told, "Hiram Abiff is not the Messiah, but only a good man, like Buddha, or Moses. Someone we can learn a lot from." Yet, Masonic sources and some of their best references show that in spite of their public denials, they do view Hiram Abiff as the Messiah figure. Since Russell would not have learned that Freemasons view Hiram Abiff as the Messiah from a casual conversation with a Mason, he must have learned it from an indepth study of the Masons. The author has never heard or read in 20 years of sermons, any Christian preacher showing Christ's Messiahship by appealing to parallels to Hiram Abiff. For instance, the reader will look in vain at Billy Graham's sermons for any such references. It is significant then that Russell refers to Hiram in his sermons as being the Mason's name for the Messiah.

A few statements from the most authoritative Masonic sources will suffice to show their doctrinal concensus: 


5 McClung, Claude. Why I Left Masonry. Springtown, Tx. (no date), p. 24-26

Pierson in Traditions of Freemasonry, p. 159,"The legend and traditions of Hiram Abiff form the consummation

of the connecting link between Freemasonry and the Ancient Mysteries." And on page 240 "We readily recognize in

Hiram Abiff the Osiris of the Egyptians..."

Sickles' The General Ahiman Rezon and Freemasons Guide on p. 236 says, "Osiris and the Tyrian Architect (Hiram Abiff) are one and the same."

Osirus was the Christ-like god martyred and resurrected in Egyptian religion.

Russell continues drawing a parallel between Hiram Abiff, who according to the Masons was martyred building Soloman's temple, and Christ. "Christians of every shade, in proportion as they are conversant with the Bible (Old Testament and New), believe, also, in a great temple builder who died because of his faithfulness to the divine plans for the spiritual temple, the elect church...

"The fact that the Jews and Mohammedans, Catholics and Protestants and Free Masons, all base their faith on the Old Testament of the Holy Scriptures, is ground for the better understanding pleaded for."

"We are well aware that great barriers lie between these multitudes; but we hold that they are chiefly barriers of superstition and ignorance. In the past they have pulled apart, and have slandered and persecuted one another. If now they will sympathetically draw near to each other surely they will find much to appreciate in each other's hopes and aims."

This last paragraph quoted is shockingly Masonic in character. The Mason's indeed promote this idea, while simultaneously denouncing the beliefs of other religious bodies.

Pastor Russell went on record repeatedly that International Bible Students did not need to renounce their memberships in other organizations, be it Catholic or Freemason to be an International Bible Student.


6 Pastor Russell's Sermons. ,p.113.

7 What Pastor Russell Said, p. 347

He further alluded to being superior to the Masons when asked, "What profession does a person need before he is entitled to be called an International Bible Student ?" "There is no qualification, no grips (handshakes), no passwords."8

Russell comes across in another sermon entitled "Who may know God's secrets" as claiming to have not only the positive human aspects of Freemasonry, but more in the spiritual realm too.9

"Who may know God's secrets" is chapter 8.

In another sermon, Russell keys in on the scripture "by this shall all men know"(Jn. 13:35) He says none of the Masons, the Presbyterians or others even dream of brotherhood as the Lord's people have. His brotherhood is superior to the Masons. He and his followers are on a higher plane of love than others.10

Certainly, a man who studied Masonry, borrowed concepts with his name attached could feel he offered the world a far superior way. Russell stated, "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 in their love for the brethren."11

Notice how he puts Masonry on par with, the great religions of Christianity.


8 Ibid, p.347

9 Pastor Russell's Sermons, p.5-17

10 Ibid., p.703


  There is evidence that Russell learned his hermeneutics from Swedenborg.12 Also Swedenborg who wrote a number of books stressed some of the same mystical ideas that Russell would use. Milton S. Terry in Biblical Hermeneutics says Swedenborg, "sets himself up as a new oracle, and while assumming to follow the written word of God, puts forth his own dictum as a further revelation." From where did Swedenborg draw his ideas? From the Kabalah and other Masonic sources. Albert Pike 28th °, in his standard Masonic reference. Morals and Dogma, p. 744, says, "All truly dogmatic religions have issued from the Kabalah and return to it; everything scientific and grand in the religious dreams of the Illuminati, Jacob Boeheme, Swedenborg, Saint Martin, and others is borrowed from the Kabalah: all Masonic associations owe it their secrets and their symbols."

(p. 741 continues) "Masonry is a search after Light. That search leads us back, as you see, to the Kabalah. In that ancient and little understood (source-book) the Initiate will find the source of many doctrines; and (he) may in time come to understand the Hermetic philosophers, the Alchemists, all the Antipapal Thinkers of the Middle Ages, and Emanuel Swedenborg."

The author remembers one evening when he was sharing his faith in Christ with a Watchtower official, when this lifetime JW began talking about the Kabalah, which he had studied. This strikingly contrasts with the standard diet of Watchtower material most JWs concentrate on.


11 Ibid.

12 Grass, Edmund. Apostles of Denial. Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1972, p. 14

But the rank and file's Masonic connections go back to when many of them met in Masonic Halls. According to the long-time Jehovah's Witnesses Basil and Ed Pike (who lived in OR and MI), they met in the Masonic Hall before they had their own Kingdom Halls. Chicago has been one of the largest centers of Russell's followers. They were meeting in the Masonic Halls back during Russell's leadership, and have continued after they split with Rutherford. For instance, the Souvenir Notes of Watchtower Convention at Cincinnati,0. Feb. 23-Mar. 1, 1908 p.154 states"...and as many friends visit Chicago and desire to know where we meet, we therefore state that after May 1st we will meet as follows: Sunday, 3 p.m.--In MASONIC TEMPLE (Corinthian Hall), State and Randolph Sts."

Overseas International Bible Students in countries with Masonic Halls and Temples also used them for meetings.

Such was the case in South Africa, where from 1910 onwards Johnston held regular meetings of the International Bible Students in the Masonic Hall on Smith St. 13 It was also the case in Melbourne, Australia, where from the earliest times the Masonic Hall on Collins St. was used. 14

Bible Students loyal to Pastor Russell continue to make use of the Masonic Temples. The next page shows a Pontiac, MI Bible Student convention program with a Masonic Hall address.

According to Freemasons in administrative roles that the Author has spoken with, some Masonic Halls are owned by the lodge, while others have a proprietor. Permission to rent a Masonic Hall would be contingent on who owned the building.

It's certainly worth pointing out, how in a day and age when a number of mainline churches would have considered using a Masonic Lodge for a service repugnant, C.T. Russell had no qualms about rubbing shoulders with the Masons. But then C.T. Russell held meetings in various churches, such as a Wesleyan Methodist and the Baptist church. He also used the Y.M.C.A. on a number of occasions for public meetings15,besides of course such public edifices as music halls.15


13 1976 Yearbook. Brooklyn, NY: WTB&TS. 1975. p.76 & 78

14 1983 Yearbook. Brooklyn, NY:WTB&TS. 1982. p.40

15 I.B.S.A. Convention Report. This reports on Russell's sermons, on p. 250 it has him preaching at the Wesleyan Methodist Church and the Y.M.C.A. Other reports record him at other church and public buildings.

From this chapter's information, it could be theorized that any of the following might apply to Charles T. Russell.

a.    Russell was exposed as a young Presbyterian to Masonry- perhaps even by his father.

b.    Russell displays a lack of in-depth knowledge of the Eastern religions - in spite of his boasts that he studied them deeply within the space of two years. However, in comparison, Russell does show an in-depth knowledge of Masonry. The story of Hiram Abiff is strictly a Masonic story, that he knows it so well and gives credence to it is astonishing. Can it be that he studied Egyptian and other eastern Masonic pagan beliefs during his period of studying "Eastern religions"?

c.    Russell had a follower or close associate introduce him to Masonry.

d.    Russell studied Masonic books and mystics like Swedenborg. (More concerning this is in chapter 6—Russell & the Masonic Knights Templar.)

>> Oddly, JWs today do not allow membership in the YMCA, not even for a fitness membership or pool pass. It is a disfellowshipping offense, although technically, they say you disassociate yourself when you join such an organization because it is said to be a religious organization due to the title/name Young Men's CHRISTIAN Association. How bout dat, huh? Yet Russell would use churches, the YMCA, even Masonic Halls. So by twisted JW logic, Russell should be retroactively disfellowshipped for apostate behavior. But as you can see, Russell was of a much more sound mind, whatever his doctrinal errors or deceptions. Just one more thing JWs do not know about their original "faithful & discreet slave," CT Russell.<<

Back to TOC

When two items look similar, it can be an indication of a common background.

The parallels between Russell and the Masons are startling. The reader is encouraged to refer to the documentation, for these give more specific information. This chapter is not soliciting rash judgements, but an open mind.

The open minded reader will be given cause to think. This evidence shows that in terms of belief it is quite possible that Russell was compatible enough to have joined a Masonic order sometime in his life. More parallels could be added to this list


·Jehovah is the most important word being the basis of their dogma, and the name of their God. (Pg.39)

·    Neither take heed that the Tetragrammaton is more properly Yahweh rather than Jehovah, nor do they give much credence to the Tetragrammaton meaning 'I am that I am.'. (Pg.40)

·    Both use the masonic term Great Architect. (Pg.41)

·    Both believe God yielded power to a lesser God. (Pg.42)


·    Jesus is only a good man, not Almighty God. (Pg.43)

·  Hiram Abiff is the Messiah. (Pg.44)

·    Both don't understand Christ's mediatorship, don't feel need tor Christ to be their mediator. (Pg.45)


·  A secret mysterious body-whose mysteries and secrets are only given to the initiated as they progress.. (Pg.46)

·    Both claim not to be a religion, nor a religious body, nor a denomination, but only serve God, and allow freedom of conscience.. (Pg.47)

·    Members of their organization do not need to renounce their membership mother religious bodies. (Pg.48)

·    The church is a pyramid. (Pg.51)


·    Neither are really Bible based beliefs. (Pg.52)

·    Both have another Bible. (Pg.53)

·    Both feel Christian scholars don't know the first thing about the Bible. (Pg.54)

·    Bible written in a code, its a hidden book & is a temple. (Pg.55 )


* Both believe in a future life for all mankind, a new Golden Age. (Pg.56)

* Both reject the doctrine of hell. (Pg.57)


* Both speak with the same voice-to writ, that a lie is not a lie when one deceives someone not worthy to know the truth.. (Pg.58)

* Both will lie under oath to protect friends. (Pg.59) •Both emphasize continuing revelation. (Pg.60)

* Both see an exclusiveness to truth. (Pg.61)


* Both appeal to reason, to mysteries, and hidden knowledge (Pg.62)

* Both while appealing to reason, feel no compunction in regards to historical facts, no matter how certain the historical evidence might be against their chosen view. (Pg.63)


*Both are fascinated with numbers, and special & cryptic meanings for numbers. (Pg.64)


·  God uses orders (ranks), and degrees, and oaths. (Pg.65-66)

·  Abraham & Melchizedek had progressed to a high degree in God's secret Order. (Pg.67)


·  God built the Great Pyramid, perhaps by Melchizedek. (Pg.68)

·  Both interested in Egyptology. (Pg.69)


·    Both do not understand the atonement of Christ as Christian Theologians understand it (Pg.70)

* Both believe in works salvation. (Pg.70)

·Neither believe the New Birth is needed. (Pg.71)


* Both use Masonic buzz words & symbols (Chapters 6 & 7 ) * Both regard the Catholic church as Babylon the Great

* Both felt blacks inferior to whites. (Pg.72)

·Both met in Masonic Halls. (Pg.18,31-33,191)


  •Jehovah is the most important word being the basis of their dogma, and the name of their God


Russell was more low key about the name Jehovah than Rutherford, but he still used it consistently. One of many examples is (selected at randomV-Vol.I, Studies in the Scriptures, p. 171. In the WT R p. 1410, he identifies Jehovah as God's distinctive personal name.

The Laodicean Messenger. His Life Works and Character put out by Russell's Bible Students , p.68, states, "The prime object in the life of Pastor Russell was to honor and magnify the name of Great Jehovah..."


Rutherford's overemphasis on the name Jehovah was connected to his need to find something to theologically undercut his rival in Europe, F.L. Alexander Freitag. Schnell goes into the details of this maneuvering in his The Converted Jehovah's Witness Expositor (Vol. X, No.2) p. 14.


Mackey, Albert G., 33 °, states in An Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry. Vol. 1.1871. Chicago: The Masonic History Co.,p. 363 ff, "JEHOVAH is, of all the significant words of Masonry, by far the most important. Reghellini very properly calls it "the basis of our dogma and of our mysteries."... "The history of the introduction of this word into the ritualism of Freemasonry would be highly interesting, were it not so obscure. Being in almost all respects an esoteric symbol."... "That this name, in its mystical use, was not unknown to the Medieval Freemasons there can be no doubt."... "It is now conceded, from indisputable evidence, that the holy name was, in the earlier years, and, indeed, up to the middle of the last century, attached to the Third Degree, and then called the Master's Word." "...Third Degree refers to "the mystic word, the Tetragrammaton."

• Neither take heed that the Tetragrammaton is more properly Yahweh rather than Jehovah, nor do they give much credence to the Tetragrammaton meaning "I am that I am."

>> The tetragrammaton is not properly Yahweh, but is Yahuweh or Yahuwah. Further, "I am that I am" is not the proper meaning, either. Try this:
septuagint.htm#Proper Divine      This is my article on these subjects. Fritz is wrong on this one.<<


It's common knowledge that the Jehovah's Witnesses use Jehovah rather than Yahweh. It may not be so well known that WT articles and some of their books admit that Yahweh is technically more correct. They defend their usage by saying Jehovah is more commonly used by people. This is a strange logic, it is rare that they defend something wrong by saying "it's right because the majority of people do it wrong."

Russell said the name Jehovah should not be translated. (WT R p.1410)

Their word Jehovah is the overriding centerpiece of their religion. God saved the Isrealites just to make his name Jehovah known. Jesus' primary mission was to vindicate the name Jehovah after the angels had reproached the name. See Rutherford's Angels, p. 31.

This overemphasis came when Freitag declared how God is the Lawgiver. He has placed the Law on the automatic track of cause and effect. Because of that, there is no challenge to God's sovereignty here. Consequently, there is no punishment nor can there be a reward from God. (This negates Christ's work of atonement.) Rutherford then gained the upper hand by transliterating the universal law and no guilt concept of Freitag by claiming that "God lost His good name in the fall" and that now "this name must first be vindicated before there can be deliverance."


The Masonic reference book Morals and Dogma (187 1) published by the Supreme Masonic Council of 33 °, p.97, states that the translation of the Tetragrammaton as "I am that I am" is "wretched". True, a few Christian scholars have questioned whether this is the most proper translation, but they have never considered the spurious word "Jehovah" as a sacred special word like the Jehovah's Witnesses and Freemasons. Interestingly, lip service is given by some Masonic works to the word Yahweh (see Ancient Mystic Rites, p.76). Their rituals continue to use Jehovah as they have for centuries though.

* Both use the Masonic term Great Architect


Russell used this term frequently. This is discussed further in this book in chapter 6, where his use of Masonic buzz words is discussed. This is the Masonic term for God.


Mackey's An Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry. Vol. I. under the article Great Architect of the Universe. "The title applied in the technical language of Freemasonry to the Deity. It is appropriate that a society founded on the principles of architecture, which symbolizes the terms of that science to moral purposes, and whose members profess to be the architects of a spiritual temple, should view the Divine Being, under whose holy law they are constructing that edifice, as their Master Builder or Great Architect. Sometimes, but less correctly, the title "Grand Architect of the Universe is found."

* Both believe God yielded power to a lesser God


Russell's belief (still adhered to by the present Society) is that paradise was lost but this Golden Age will be recovered. The supreme God Jehovah has had to yield power to a lesser god Satan for 6,000 years to allow time to prove Satan's challenge a lie to the angels, thereby vindicating Jehovah. The JW viewpoint is a common view adopted by those who can't explain suffering without limiting God in such a way that He doesn't have any control over such affairs. (In contrast to these beliefs, Christians do not feel God has to prove anything, but is in control of everything.)


The Masons believe that the Golden Age (paradise according to the ancient pagan Egyptian religion they borrow from) was an age when men and gods could live happily together. This golden age was lost according to the Egyptians and Masons when the supreme God Ra yielded to a lesser God.

Several Masonic books deal with their beliefs from ancient Egypt. Leadbeater's Ancient Mystic Rites is good in this respect. Page 17 deals with their belief in Ra and Light.

• Jesus is only a good man, not Almighty God.


See Vol. I. Studies in the Scriptures. Chap. 10, pp 176- 179 for a taste of Russell's view of Christ. Christ, in Russell's view, was just a good man.


Pike, Albert. Morals and Dogma. 25°, pub. by Supreme Masonic Council of 33°, 1871, p.34, "And the Divine Wise Intellect sent teachers unto men... Enoch, and Noah, and Abraham, and Moses the son of Imran, and the Prophets, and Pythagoras, and Plato, and Yesus the son of Joseph, the Lord, the Messiah, and his Apostles, and after these Mohammed the son of Abdulla, with his law, which is the law of Islam; and the disciples of truth followed the law of Islam."

Jesus is only a man. Isis Unveiled, p. 239 "Jesus was just a man. He was one of the 'exemplars,' one of the great men of the past, but not divine." The Deadly Deception, by Jim Shaw (ex 33°) and Tom McKenney. Lafayette,LA:Huntington House,Inc.,1988

Knight, Stephen. The Brotherhood, p.234 states, "In Masonry, we learn, Christ is not God but man—in Vindex's estimation the man who showed ' more than any other man who ever lived' what God is like. He later adds: 'I for one can never understand how anyone who takes an exclusive view of Christ as the only complete revelation of God's truth can become a Freemason without suffering from spiritual schizophrenia."  

•Hiram Abiff is the Messiah.


Russell in his sermon the "Desire of All Nations" says that the Messiah that the Jews and Christians are waiting for is the same personage as Hiram Abiff. Hiram is the sun god, much more than just a man but a resurrected messiah, but how did Russell learn this?


Hiram Abiff has been linked with several pagan Gods including Osirus (the Egyptian Sun God) and Baal (the Caananite/Phoenician Sun God). Hiram Abiff is the Masonic messiah.

King Soloman, King Hiram, and Hiram Abiff (also written CHiram) to the initiated form the "triune foundation of existence." The Throne of CHiram is the sun." CHiram is ... the active life principle throughout the elements which depend upon his activity for their existence." "As Christ he was crucified upon the cross ...His divine body he offered up as food for the sustenance of his creations, for he himself became the bread and the wine of men." Masonic. Hermetic. Cabbalistic & Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosphy. by Manly Hall, unnumbered page facing p. CLXXIII. Hall sums up the Hiram Abiff story as "a philosophic exposition of redemption of human soul." p. CCXXV

"while the Christian's Messiah is called Jesus, the Mason's Messiah is called Hiram" The Masonic handbook for all blue lodges in the Grand Lodge of Kentucky the Kentucky Monitor. "The Spirit of Masonry", p.xv.

Each 3o Mason impersonates Osiris, the sun-god, and enters into his life of good deeds, his death, his burial and is raised in his resurrection from the dead.The Deadly Deception, p.154.

The Legend of Hiram "is thoroughly Egyptian, and is closely allied to the Supreme Rite (highest degree) of the Isianic Mysteries (Mystery religion of Isis and Osiris)." Mackey, Lexicon of Freemasonry, p.195

"Since Masonry is a revival of the ancient pagan mystery religions, its god can also be said to be Nature, with its fertility (sex) gods and godesses representing the Sun and Moon (in Egypt, Osiris, and Isis) The Deadly Deception.p.130

"Masonry, successor to the Mysteries (the pagan religions of Isis, Osiris, Baal, Mythras, Tammuz, etc.) still follows the ancient manner of teaching." Albert Pike. Morals and Dogma. Fellowcraft Degree, p.22

• Both don't understand Christ's mediatorship, don't feel need for Christ to be their mediator.


Russell taught that the Church did not need and never did need a Mediator. The real Mediator is the church complete—that is the Head and the Body—whose office will be undertaken only during the Millennium.

In 1880, Russell "discovered" that "The use of the word mediator in the Scriptures is restricted to the mediating of covenants between God and man," and since the church is not under any mediated covenant then the church has no mediator at all. The church has helped inaugurate the new covenant by providing blood, therefore the church is itself part of the mediatorship. "Bear in mind that our covenant, the original one (with Abraham) had no mediator." But in the Millennium "a mediator is necessary and the Messiah, Head and members will be that Mediator in whose hands of control the entire world will be placed during the Millennium." WT 1/1/09, pp. 12,13. The elect become spirit creatures, gods & mediators.

Russell was very confused about the mediatorship of Christ, and that confusion exists now in a different way, in that the Society now holds that Christ is not the mediator for the great crowd, only for the 144,000. Yet, scriptures show his mediatorship is for a great crowd more numerous than the sand in the sea, he is the mediator for all mankind.

>> I recall one time when a circuit overseer was visiting and brought up this subject, pointing out to the small group heading out for "field service," that Christ was only the mediator for the 144,000. Most if not all, myself excluded, were surprised if not shocked at this. But it was the official teaching on the matter. But I did overhear several quietly express, upon moving out, that they did not believe Jesus was only the mediator of the 144,000. That is, they disagreed with the leadership. I was pleasantly surprised and pleased, but said nothing.

One of the reasons that only the 144,000 are supposed to partake of the bread and wine at the "memorial" last supper each year, is because it is supposedly just for the 144,000. This is a good example of how some things are not well known by the flock, too uninformed for their own good. Jesus died specifically to redeem all mankind and he is the mediator of that New Covenant.<<


Claude McClung, Why I Left Masonry ,p. 24, relates how the Freemasons don't view Christ as the Mediator.

Jesus is deemphasized in Freemasonry. The removal of the name of Jesus and references to him in the Bible verses used in the rituals are "slight but necessary modifications." Albert Mackey. Masonic Ritualist, p. 272.

The Rosicrusians (who were adopted as a Masonic level) see the Christ as a class, the "highest Initiate (degree) of the Sun Period. The ordinary humanity of that period are now the Archangels." The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, p. 376.  

• A secret mysterious body-whose mysteries and secrets are only given to the initiated as they progress in the order.


What Pastor Russell Taught. International Bible Students Association, Brooklyn, N.Y. (no date), p.210- 211 states that the Church is a mystery, and it is to only a privileged few that this mystery will be shared. Vol. I, Studies in the Scriptures, p.73 also carries a similar thought, "The plan is a progressive one, gradually unfolding from age to age, upward and onward to the grand consummation of the original design of the Divine Architect..."


Sickels, Daniel, 33rd o, The General Ahiman Rezon and Freemasons's Guide, New York: Masonic Publishing Co., 1871, p. 189, states, "Freemasonry, in every degree, as before remarked, is progressive. A knowledge of it can only be attained by time, patience, and application. In the first degree, we are taught the duties we owe to God, our neighbor, and ourselves. In the second, we are more thoroughly inducted into the mysteries of moral science, and learn to trace the goodness and majesty of the Creator, by minutely analyzing his works. But the third degree is the cement of the whole. It is calculated to bind men together by mystic points of fellowship, as in a bond of fraternal affection and brotherly love."

History of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders, p. 105 states, "Masonry, like all the Religions, all the Mysteries, Hermeticism and Alchemy, conceals its secrets from all except the Adepts and Sages, or the Elect, and uses false explanations and misrepresentations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be misled: to conceal the Truth, which it calls Light, from them, and to draw them away from it. Truth is not for those who are unworthy or unable to receive it, or would pervert it." "The teachers, even of Christianity, are in general, the most ignorant of the true meaning of that which they teach. There is no book of which so little is known as the Bible. To most who read it, it is as incomprehensible as the Sohar." "So Masonry jealously conceals its secrets, and intentionally leads conceited interpreters astray."

•Both claim not to be a religion, nor a religious body, nor a denomination, but only serve God, and allow freedom of conscience.


Concerning Russell's attitude on this, an example is found in the WT (Watchtower & Herald of Christ's Presence) Feb. 1,1911, p.38-39. He writes that "the Royal Priesthood is composed of saints regardless of denomination." In the text of a sermon that Russell gave at St Paul, Minn. Aug. 19, 1906 Russell said, "The Lord is, in a general way, believed in by all civilized people..." National Labor Tribune, Aug. 19, 1906.

Russell writes in the Jan. 1883, pp 2-3, "Christianity invites all fair and sensible opposition and reasoning... Too many Christian ministers act as though they fear the infidel speaker ... This is a deplorable weakness... Sectarianism will have to melt away. And when that point of developement is reached where the simplest reason cannot see anything left that does the plainest violence to reason, the goal of Christianity will be reached."


An example of Freemason views is this statement in the Los Angeles Freeman in 1900, "One thing all must believe is there is a God. After that the manner of serving God, the form of doctrine is left to each individual. He reads the message ... and obeys it according to his understanding and agreeably to the dictates of his conscience."

* Members of their organization do not need to renounce their membership in other religious bodies .


In the book What Pastor Russell Said, p. 347, it quotes Russell clearly telling his followers they could belong to any denomination. However, Pastor Russell although he did not make it a point of fellowship, did encourage people to leave their churches.

An example of the attitude when Russell lived is seen in the rare book Man's Salvation, written by Joseph F. Rutherford, and printed by the Watchtower Society in 1906. Page 91 states, "The Bible & Tract Society is strictly non- sectarian, and seeks only to do good by helping every one who wishes help, no matter to what sect or church denomination he may belong. All Bible students will be interested in the wonderful truths pointed out and discussed in the books."


The non-sectarian attitude of the Freemason is seen in the Constitution of the Order, drawn up by Dr. Anderson in 1723, "But though in ancient Times Masons were charged in every Country to be of the Religion of that Country or Nation, whatever it was, yet, 'tis now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that Religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves; that is to be good Men and true, or Men of Honour and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguished..."

(The founding fathers of the U.S., many of them Masons set this country up in a similar fashion. At times, freedom of religion seems to be considered freedom from true religion. At others times, those who believe are glad to be able to have their own personal beliefs without the constraints some countries exercise on religion. The rub for true Christian comes in that you can be a Christian mason just as long as Christ is not mentioned in the Lodge.)

This is the backside of a Watchtower envelope dating from the Russell time period. Note how they advertise "UNSECTARIAN SPIRITUAL FOOD". Note, they advertise Russell's book as a "key"; they say every assertion of Russell is well sustained by Scripture, and that it is impossible to read the book without loving Russell its author. Another Watchtower add proclaims Russell as very orthodox. "Pastor Russell" a column paid for by IBSA-Chr. Globe, May 5, 1910, London, states, "Above all, the Pastor may be described as strictly orthodox, evidenced by his close adherence to the Bible." This gains Russell a chance to broadcast his message which actually says "Orthodoxy" is "unclean "(Vol. 3, p. 162-163) The reader can see that the Watchtower Society has a long history of exaggeration.

• The church is a pyramid .


Russell specifically states in Vol. I, Studies in the Scriptures. The Hidden Mystery, p. 83 that the church is a pyramid. When Russell used the expression Jehovah's Witness, he meant the Great Pyramid. (Vol. 3, p. 320) William Petrie, first suggested that the top-stone itself a small pyramid, might symbolize Christ. Russell used Job 38:4-7, Ps. 118:22, Is. 28:16, and Mt. 21:42 to prove his conclusion that the top-stone symbolized Christ and the base the rest of the elect. This is portrayed in many of his charts. Russell also believed Jer. 3:20 referred to the Great Pyramid.


The pyramid appears in a number of key Masonic places. For instance, in a Masonic portrayal of God's throne, a pyramid is pictured there (World Family Encyclopaedia. 1954 ed., "Freemasonry", p. 1854.)

The pyramid is a symbol of eternity. (Masonic. Hermetic. Quabbalistic & Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy. p.XLI)

The Great Pyramid was the first temple of Mysteries, and represents many things including various ways of seeing man. It is "the visible covenant between Eternal Wisdom and the world." (Ibid. p. XLIV)


An unbiased review of Russell's claims, shows he claimed that reading the Bible alone produced darkness. His Books produced light and were the key to understand the Scriptures. (The Laodicean Messenger, p. 69 -Russell "gave us the Keys to the Scripture") Likewise, the modern day Society lamented in a WT that those who read only the Bible reverted back to Christian beliefs. Their belief, then, is really based on those Keys, which are not based on the Bible at all, but the reasoning of man. MASONRY

"Masonry, contrary to popular belief is NOT based upon the Bible. Masonry is actually based on the Kabala (Cabala), a medieval book of magic and mysticism." The Deadly Deception, p. 128

"Masonry makes no profession of Christianity... but looks forward to the time when the. labor of our ancient brethren shall be symbolized by the erection of a spiritual which there shall be but one altar and one worship; one common altar of Masonry on which the Veda, Shasrtra, Sade, Zend-Vestra, Koran and the Holy Bible shall lie ... and at whose shrine the Hindoo, the Persian, the Assyrian, the Chaldean, the Egyptian, the Chinese, the Mohammedan, the Jew and the Christian my kneel..." The Kentucky Monitor. Fellowcraft Degree, p.95

"To all this (error of stupidity) the absurd reading of the established Church, taking literally the figurative, allegorical, and mythical language of a collection of Oriental books of different ages, directly and inevitably led." Albert Pike, 33°, Morals and Dogma, p. 818

"The Jews, the Chinese, the Turks, each reject either the New Testament, or the Old, or both, and yet we see no good reason why they should not be made Masons. In fact Blue Lodge Masonry has nothing whatever to do with the Bible. It is not founded on the Bible; if it was it would not be Masonry; It would be something else." Chase's Digest of Masonic Law, pp 207-209)

* Both have another Bible.


Russell considered the Great Pyramid a second Bible, and saw in its features countless hidden messages. Russell says ,"... testimony agrees fully and in every detail with the entire plan of God as we have learned that plan from the Scriptures. Its wonderful correspondences with the Bible leave no room for doubt that the same divine inspirer of the prophets and apostles inspired this "Witness" also." Vol.III, p.362, "Our hearts overflow with gratitude as we see the converging rays of divine testimony from the law, the prophets, the apostles and thine own hitherto dark sayings, and even from the long hidden mysteries of Egypt's wonderful "Witness."

More about this is discussed on other pages.


The Masons have considered a wide range of items as scripture, including the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Leadbeater, Charles Webster. Ancient Mystic Rites (originally Glimpses of Masonic History-1926) repinted by the Theosophical Pub. House, Wheaton, IL, 1986, p.25 , relates how Masonry gets its mysteries from ancient Egypt.

The Kabalah, which comes in three forms, is defined in Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary as "a medieval and modern system of Jewish theosophy, mysticism, and thaumaturgy (magic) marked by belief in creation through emanation and a cipher method of interpreting Scripture." p. 193. The Kabalah (Cabala and other variant spellings) is the basis of Freemasonry.

* Both feel Christian scholars don't know the first thing about the Bible.


Russell preached, "To some it may seem peculiar that the Scriptures should intimate that God has secrets, that some are privileged to understand the divine plan while others are not so privileged. Such will perhaps say, Where is the revelation of God's secrets? Surely it is not in the Bible, for if it were in the Bible it would not be a secret, since the Bible is open, accessible to all the civilized world today. We answer that the Bible accessible to all civilized men, but it is not open to all. To the majority even of professed Christians it is a sealed book, and to none more so than to the ministry." (Newspaper Sermons, p.397)

In fact, Russell felt the ministry hid the truth on purpose. He says that false teachers throughout Babylon have hidden the "key of knowledge" to the "privileges" of the Gospel Age. WT R 2693 MASONRY

Some Masonic leaders simply see the Lodge as an equal to the church as in this address by M.E. Fowler, Grand Master, leader of the Knights Templar, "It has been said that God writes his thoughts in all the varied things around us ... Masonry also must be an expression of God's thoughts. For, through a study of it, man learns how he should deal with his fellow man. Through it, he learns how to serve and adore his Creator. Truly, Masonry, like the church, must have been created by divine inspiration." Knights Templar. 9/1990, p.2

Then there are others, such as a high Knights Templar interviewed by the author, who said the churches don't know anything, and that he learned his religious knowledge in the Lodge, in spite of attending church his lifetime. A survey of Masonic references will show the reader much contempt for the Christians and what they know. The Masonic. Hermetic, Qabbalistic & Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy states that the Masonic Knights Templars are the only ones to know Jesus and his mission. (p. CLXXVII)

•Bible written in a code, its a hidden book & is a temple.


Russell declares in the WT Dec. 1879, p.5-7 that the Bible is written in a code. Horowitz in his book Pastor Charles Taze Russell. Early American Zionist spends his first chapter praising Russell for realizing that the Jewish writers wrote in an intentional code, and for being able to decode it. Russell in the Bible Examiner. Oct. 1876, p.27 states that a key to the Bible is needed. "Let us search the Scriptures for the Key," he says. In another reference, he calls the Scripture a temple. Such language sounds Masonic.


"It must also be noted that those who originally wrote the Bible did not intend to give out the truth in such plain form that he who ran might read. Nothing was further from their thoughts than to write an "open book of God." The great occultists who wrote the Zohar are very emphatic upon this point. The secrets of the Thorah were not to be understood by all..." The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, p.318

"The Bible... contains much valuable occult knowledge." (Ibid.p. 317)

"While the greatest minds of the Jewish and Christian worlds have realized that the Bible is a book of allegories, few seem to have taken the trouble to investigate its symbols and parables." Moses' mystic keys to the sacred writings are the Qabbalah (Cabala, Kaballah). Masonic. Hermetic. Qabbalistic & Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosphy. p. CXXXIII.

•Both believe in a future life for all mankind.

RUSSELL Russell's preoccupation with the Golden Age will be explored later on in the book.

"Question, 'Do you believe in universal salvation?'

Russell, 'I believe in a universal redemption.'" Bible Students Convention. 1909, p.83. MASONRY

Dumenil, Lynn. Freemasonry and American Culture. 1880-1930. p. 48 states, "...the fraternity ought to nurture belief in God and immortality..."

At Masonic funerals, a spring of evergreen representing immortality is placed on the grave. Though the funerals vary some from state to state, the message "We'll meet you in the Lodge above (heaven)" is spoken. So-called Christian Masons, who perform a Masonic funeral service, are claiming all Masons are glory bound, in contradiction to the Christian scriptures. There is no blood sacrificed at the Masonic Temples and Halls for the remission of sins. The Christian scripture state "without shedding of blood, there is no remission" of sin. (Heb. 9:22) Christ and his followers claim that it was Christ's blood that was "shed for many for the remission of sins." (Mt. 26:28) Therefore, the Masonic belief in the future Golden Age is different from the Christian belief, and can properly called a Masonic belief.

"...the work and mission of N.A.M.E. A FUND FOR NEW AGE YOUTH, INC. in the New Age now approaching is dedicated to the fraternal and benevolent Spirit of Saint Germain whom we have selected as a special sponsor (among many others) of our efforts to transmute Modern Speculative Order of Freemasonry into a medium for the dissemination of the sublime teachings of Ancient Spiritual Masonry in the 17,500 Lodges of the U.S. and Canada ... are to act as harbingers of that "New Order of the Ages", that Great Golden Age that is to come ... May the Masonic Order become reoriented to make its peculiar contribution to that Glorious Objective!" Perkins, Lynn F. Faith. Truth. Destiny. Decrees. Works—A Declaration of Faith in the Rebirth of Spiritual Masonry. Lakemont, GA: CSA Press, Pub.,1973,p.71.

* Both reject the doctrine of hell.


Russell's rejection of hell is widely known and is sprinkled liberally through his writing such as Vol. 1. Studies in the Scriptures, p. 156-158.

Russell in WT said the doctrine of hell was contrary to every element of God's character. He wrote and circulated 3 million tracts "What Say the Scriptures About Hell" wherein he purports to refute the doctrine of hell.  

>> I am a bit disappointed to know that Fritz believes in hell and can not see its obvious symbolism, rather than literalism. I am perplexed. I would stand the Russell and the JWs on this one. While early Bishops, so called, believed in most aspects of hell, they fail to grasp or understand the symbolic nature of prophecy and doctrine. Recall that even the Apostles, when Jesus spoke of the leaven of the Pharisees, went looking for real actual literal leaven, missing the Lord's point, the doctrine of the Pharisees. Clearly, this continued to be a problem and still is.<<


The Supreme Masonic Council states their rejection of hell in Morals and Dogma.(1871). p.93, "We do not see the churches and priesthoods of Christendom relinquishing their old task of governing men by imaginary terrors ...We do not see the great religious teachers aiming to discover truth for themselves and for others."  

>> You see, even Masons can come up with a good doctrine or 2, once in a while. No religion or philosophy can be either 100% wrong or 100% right. Mabye 90/10 or 10/90, but not 100% one way!<<

• Both speak with the same voice-to writ, that a lie is not a lie when one deceives someone not worthy to know the truth... 


The Watchtower Society's policy of deception is named Theocratic War Strategy. The Society has informed its followers, Jehovah's Witnesses, that it is not a lie to deceive a person not qualified to hear the truth. The author finds this incredible, but has been the recipient personally of this "strategy" numerous times by elders and other Watchtower officials, that it appears to be so patterned that Witnesses may not even think about it but automatically do it. The WT June 1, 1960, p.352 says it is proper to hide the truth from God's enemies. The AID TO BIBLE UNDERSTANDING, a WB&TS Bible Dictionary ,1971, p. 1060, informs readers that lying only occurs when one deceives a person who is qualified to hear the truth. "Lying generally involves saying something false to a person who is entitled to know the truth..." The WT July 15,1961, p.420 advises JWs that they must actually hate bad people. People outside of their organization are viewed as evil and opposers of truth, therefore unqualified to be told the truth. When Jesus advises his disciples to be kind to the "least of these", the Society claims he means only be kind to other JWs. MASONRY Masonic references are almost word for word identical.

A comment is appropriate here. There have been individual Christian theologians from time to time that have advocated that a Christian may deceive someone like a robber. They hold a Christian is under no obligation to facilitate a crime. They refer to Christ's suggestion to violate the Sabbath to save an ox as a precedent. See Systematic Theology. Vol.III, by Charles Hodges, Grand Rapids, MI:Eerdman's, reprint 1981. However, no mainline denomination has ever supported such a notion, nor did Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Menno Simons, nor most other theologians. Norman Geisler also supports Hodges' view in Christian Ethics. Options & Issues, p 88-95, but neither man advocates anything as extreme as the Masons and Jehovah's Witnesses.

>> JWs are great for lying and twisting, in order to protect their guilt as well as their prevention of undue harm. If you are guilty, and lie about that guilt, then you can not depend on God to overlook that. You will be held to account for it. On the other hand, remember that Rahab lied about the 2 spies from Joshua and helped them to escape. There are situations that allow some lying. But this is a dangerous course to consider in most things. In general, the ends does not justify the means. Just remember that even if man does not know what you do, God does! The devil is said to be the father of the lie. You can not lie in court, for sure. JWs do not hesitate, from what I have seen.

I exposed a rape cover-up and they lied plenty about that to the flock. That lying was not justified. They got caught and they should have owned up to it. God will judge them one day. Government espionage would be inappropriate deception that, as I see it, Christians should not participate in. Corporate espionage or any other type would be inappropriate. Police Entrapment by enticement would also be wrong, as I see it. Cover-ups are always wrong.<

• Both will lie under oath to protect friends, where does it stop?


Russell while under an oath on the Holy Bible in court lied to protect his friends. The court documents of this are reprinted in The Moneymakers, p. 111-136. Russell was protecting his friends who had created a sham company the Solon Society. Russell in 1907 denied in court any knowledge of the Solon Society. However, witness after witness showed he knew about and was even involved in helping it.


This type of behavior continues even today. Witnesses loyal to the Society at times get away with all kinds of sins, because their brothers will cover for them. But woe to those showing the slightest disloyalty. Duane Magnani, has been documenting in his books how the Watchtower Society has been deliberating deceiving sincere JWs. See his books such as Who Is The Faithful & Wise Servant? and Eyes of Understanding.


Ronayne, Handbook of Masonry, p.183 , "You must conceal all the crimes of your brother Masons ... and should you be summoned as a witness against a brother Mason be always sure to shield him...It may be perjury to do this, it is true, but you're keeping your obligations."

"It is right to lie, if neccessary, to protect the "secrets" of the Lodge, or to protect another Mason by concealing his wrongdoing. It can even be "right" to deliberately deceive sincere Masons seeking to learn the lessons and "secrets" of Masonry." The Deadly Deceit, p. 137

"The Blue Degrees are but the portico (porch) of the Temple. Part of the symbols are displayed there to the initiate, but he is intentionally misled by false interpretations. It is not intended that he shall understand them; but it is intended that he shall imagine that he understands them ... their true explication (explanation) is reserved for the Adepts, the Princes of Masonry." Morals and Dogma, p. 819

Both emphasize continuing revelation.


Russell began the JWs' infatuation with the word light. Vol. 1. Studies in the Scriptures state, "We must walk in the light." And on pg. 9 he says that "light on God is progressive." Since then, according the the Watchtower Society, the light is getting brighter. But they have also printed that old light doesn't contradict new light, and that is a real hum dinger of a contradiction to the history of doctrinal flip-flops the Society has gone through. What is light today for JWs, may be discarded as darkness tomorrow. Already in Russell's time, Bible Students were referring to "present truth", (The Laodicean Messenger, p.37) and saying such things as "Are you in the present truth?"


Light is the "very essence" of Masonry according to Mackey's Encyclopedia. In Ferguson's 50 Million Brothers. he describes the Masonic initiation and the importance of the word light. In the initiation the question is asked, "Brother, what do you desire most?" (answer) "Light."

* Both see an exclusiveness to truth.

(In regards to this subject, it is instructive to remember what the actual NT greek word for truth (aletheia) meant. It's basic meaning focuses on that which is open to view, that which is unconcealed and transparent. For sure, to be truth means avoidance of falsehood and deception. Truth is beautiful; there is no purpose to hide it.)


Russell believed he himself was a revelation of God and that without his books people would be lost (Vol. VIII. pp 5,145,167,217,231,338) In one sense, Russell believed his books were superior to the Bible. The Bible (divinely inspired) could not be understood by anyone until his books (divinely directed) came along. In other words, to understand the Bible one needed another revelation. But his revelations and books could be understood by everyone without a divinely directed commentary or revelation.

Russell warned his followers not to turn to others for light. He said Bible Students needed to beware of those many who presented themselves as special teachers and brought "new lights." WTR 2532 MASONRY

"There is, underlying all Masonic thinking and writing, an attitude and spirit of elitism which says, "Masonry is not for everyone, just for the select few." At the same time, Masonry teaches it is the only true religion and that all other religions are but corrupted and perverted forms of Masonry. This is both elitist and contradictory." "The 'light' of Freemasonry, its secrets and its pathway to perfection are only for the elite few initiated into its knowledge and wisdom. Excluded are women, Negroes, the poor (who haven't the money with which to pay), the cripples, blind and deaf who can't perform the recognition signs (or see and hear them), and the feeble-minded who can't receive the teachings or be trusted to protect them. All such people, including the wives, the daughters and some of the sons of Masons, are considered 'profane' (unclean, unworthy) and can never be anything else. No references are required here for it is common knowledge ..." The Deadly Deception, p. 140 .

* Both appeal to reason, to mysteries, and hidden knowledge


Russell's literature abounds with mention of hidden knowledge, of mysteries, and so forth. As a sampling of this consider Vol. I, Studies in the Scriptures... p.20-"The glorious mystery of His throne Hidden from ages, now made known"...p.27-Paul wasn't permitted to tell the mysteries of God. God hadn't revealed his plan up to then.(!) p.85-"There has existed a necessity for keeping this mystery (God's plan) hidden."

Because Russell was promoted as God's servant dispensing spiritual food, whatever he said became truth. That blind obedience was later redirected onto a collective Faithful and Wise Servant Class. What the elite say and do becomes right by itself.


The Mason Steinbrenner in his Origin and Early History of Masonry, p.229 tells of the "great obligation to conceal" Masonic work. The Deadly Deception, p. 142 "Masonry is, according to its own philosophers, a system of pure religion expressed in symbols, one which cannot be understood without a knowledge of the true meaning of them. This makes a proper understanding of those symbols terribly important. For the Christian Mason, accepting and guarding those symbols and their "secrets" with his physical life at stake, he must understand them ... They are trusting in the teachings of the Lodge concerning these symbols with their eternal redemption, or damnation, at stake. Herein lies the most terrible manifestation of Masonic morality, that philosophy of the elite, which makes whatever they do 'right' because it is they (the elite) who do it."  

* Both while appealing to reason, feel no compunction in regards to historical facts, no matter how certain the historical evidence might be against their chosen view.


"Secular history is no standard by which to correct the supposed errors of the Bible...We are not called upon to harmonize these (chronological data) with the tangled records of secular history." WT XLIV (July l,1923),pp 196,202. Russell's chronology disregards many historical events. The Watchtower Society continues to this day to regard 607 B.C. as the fall of Jerusalem, in spite of the massive overwhelming evidence that it took place in 586/587 B.C. For further information along this line, the reader is directed to Carl Olof Jonsson's excellent expose The Gentile Times Reconsidered. LaJolla,CA. Good News Defenders, 1983. Harrison's Visions of Glory also covers numerous Witness twistings of historical facts, Witness claims to antiquity are as fictional as the Masonic myths. Several JWs the Author has witnessed to, have all stated they are not part of an organization. It appears this is a new thing they have been taught to say. MASONRY

Steinbrenner, G.W., Past Master. Origin and Early History of Masonry, pp. 19-20, speaks about the Masonic practice of turning fiction to fact. On p. 28 he suggests, "Let Freemasons give up their vain boasting, which ignorance has foisted into the order, and relinquish a fabulous antiquity, rather than sacrifice common sense." In many ways, the Freemasons have been increasingly following this path, and being more realistic. There are still some schools of Masonic thought that give credence to legend and myth.

When the Author interviewed a 33° Scottish Rite and a Kinght Templar (York Rite), both men denied that the Freemasons are secretive. "No, we are not secretive, we're accused of that." The Masons own periodical Knights Templar. 9/1988, p. 20 says, "In addition, many elderly members, in particular, maintain the veil of secrecy when questioned, clinging to the old ways and refusing to divulge any information about the organization."

* Both are fascinated with numbers, and special & cryptic meanings for numbers.


Harrison, Visions of Glory, p. 48, "Russell's calculations are not easy to unravel; they are, however, not without a certain quaint interest.(New dates, previously unmentioned, spring up like weeds in Russell's writings, which defy synopsis. How that man loved numbers and charts! It is fruitless to speculate, perhaps, but what if he hadn't been a child-whiz bookkeeper?) Russell wasn't the first, or last, man to snow people with numbers."

Russell studied the meanings of numbers. The WT Apr. 1880, p.5, is an article on "Number Seven" and the WT Mar. 1881,( p. 5) came out on "Number Three".


A brief look at Masonic books will display their attachment to hidden meanings and dates within Freemasonry.

Part of the Masonic Ritual is described on p. 104 of The Deadly Deception "The Sovereign Grand Commander closed the meeting of the Supreme Council 'with the Mystic Number,' striking with his sword five, three, one and then two times. After the closing prayer, we all said 'amen, amen, amen,' and it was over."

The key in Masonry to Kaballistic thought is the Sepher Yetzirah or Sepher ha Zohar. Within the book, number symbology is important. Chapter 1 deals with the number 10. Chapter 2 deals with the number 22. Chapter 3 deals with the number 3, chapter 4 with number 7, and chapter 5 with number 12.  

• God uses orders (ranks), and degrees, and oaths .


These are the type of things Russell thinks about.

Within Masonry there are several arrangements of orders -one is a three order arrangement. One finds Russell also creating various orders, and arrangements of orders. Russell gave a sermon saying there are three orders or classes of elect ones. In another place, he appears to have the elect divided into 5 degrees. Connor, W.T. The Teachings of "Pastor" Russell. Fort Worth, TX (printed before Russell died),p. 53, Connor lists 5 types of salvation, that is, 5 groups who receive different degrees in the future life according to Russell.

Professor of Systematic Theology in the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary W.T. Conner said regarding Russell's degrees of salvation, "I have heard people talk about "degrees" in heaven, or in rewards, but Mr. Russell has nearly as many varieties of salvation as there are pickles of a certain brand—almost fifty-seven varieties... Not only is the scheme complex in that it has so many "degrees" of salvation, but also in that it tries to be a plan of redemption based on atonement, appropriated by faith, and yet constantly runs back to works as a basis."

In Newspaper Sermons of C.T. Russell. 1901-1910 (also known as Harvest Gleanings. Vol. II , printed by Chicago International Bible Students, an article by the National Labor Tribune on July 4, 1906 covering Russell's July 1,'06 sermon "God's Very Elect" has a part entitled "THREE CLASSES OF ELECT ONES. The elect "little flock" of this Gospel age, which alone will constitute the Bride class, otherwise called the body of Christ, and which is to share with the Lord the Kingdom honors and glories, is made so prominent in the Scriptures that the two other classes of elect ones are in comparison not very conspicuous."

Refer to chapter 8 for more on this. Masonic views are on the next page.


"These oaths of obligation (usually called just "obligation") are considered unbreakable, and are (collectively) the thing that makes a man a Mason. In this way, these oaths are the cornerstone of Masonry." (The Deadly Deception, p. 13 9)

1) Question: "What makes you a Mason?" Answer: "My obligation." (question and answer from the Entered Apprentice/ First Degree)

2)"...binding myself under no less a penalty than that of having my throat cut from ear to ear, my tongue torn out by its roots, and with my body buried in the rough sands of the sea, a cable's length from the shore, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours... "(from the oath of obligation, entered Apprentice/ First Degree)

3)"...binding myself under no less a penalty than that of having my left breast torn open, my heart plucked out, and given to the beasts of the field and fowls of the air as a prey..." (from the oath of obligation, Fellowcraft/ Second Degree)

4)"...binding myself under no less a penalty than that of having my body severed in twain, my bowels taken out and burned to ashes, the ashes scattered to the four winds of heaven..." (from the oath of obligation, Master Mason/Third Degree)

These Blood Oaths are given at the end of initiation into all Masonic degrees, binding the initiate to protect the secrets of the degrees.

•Abraham & Melchizedek had progressed to a high degree in God's secret Order.


Chapter 8 will touch on Pastor Russell's belief in this. Another reference would be the Overland Monthly, p. 105. There Russell discusses how the Order of Aaron transfers to the Order of Melchizedek.

In a related issue, the Urim and Thummin, Russell felt that these shined on and off to give the high priest a yes or no answer. Vol. I, Studies in the Scriptures, p. 49 and What Pastor Russell Said, p.728.


Joseph Smith Jr. seems to have learned some of these items from the Masons.

"It is generally supposed that the Essenes were the custodians of this knowledge and also the initiators and educators of Jesus. If so, Jesus was undoubtedly initiated in the same temple of Melchizedek where Pythagoras had studied six centuries before." "...why is He (Jesus) referred to in the New Testament as 'called of God an high priest after the order of Melchizedek'? The words 'after the order' make Jesus one of a line or order of which there must have been others of equal or even superior dignity." Masonic, Hermatic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy, p. CLXXVIII.

* God built the Great Pyramid, perhaps by Melchizedek.

RUSSELL Pastor Russell's teachings on the Great Pyramid and its hidden messages were a prominant part of the man. In fact he had himself buried under a pyramid. Vol. 3. Studies in the Scriptures, pp. 313-369 are devoted to informing readers how wonderful the pyramid's messages are for the world; its perfection Russell thinks proves some master architect (God) guided its construction (p. 318). Morton Edgar, an Inter. Bible Student, quotes Petrie, "From several indications it seems that the masons planned..." (p.54) On (p.11) "the pyramid "is the Bible of Divine origin, erected for the purpose of teaching the important truth of God's infinite wisdom and foreknowledge." (p.12)-Shem or Melchizedek built the Great Pyramid. During Russell's life the Bible Students were given Pyramid charts of different kinds.

MASONRY Concerning the Great Pyramid, the Freemason book The Signs & Symbols of Primordal Man explains, "Some of our signs and symbols are those used to represent the astronomical mythology of the ancient Egyptians and the whole of the world,as far as can at present be traced, and afterwards as sacred symbols, when the mythology was perfected in their Eschatology; and that the Great Pyramid of Ghizeh was the first and still remains the greatest Masonic Temple in the world, open to all Masons who can read symbolically what was written in stone ages ago: teaching the principles that we teach-that to all just, upright and true Masons there is nothing to fear, and that the Grand Master waits above ready to receive with joy the souls of those who failed not in the hour of trial.

"Side by side with this Masonic mystery have come down to us various papyri of sacred writings, which have been calledthe Ritual of ancient Egypt or "The Book of the Dead," and it is to this we turn for an explanation of the mysteries of the monument. Not only in the pyramid, however were these rites and ceremonies practiced...We believe if we could obtain the whole "Papyri of the Pyramid" we should find a perfect ritual of the various eschatological ceremonies."

•Both interested in Egyptology.

BOTH RUSSELL & MASONRY There is so much documentation to this in other portions of this book, that this needs no further documentation. Later chapter will deal more with this aspect too. In regards to the specific topic of the prophetic significance of the Great Pyramid the following information may be useful in showing the connection between Russell's pyramidology and the Masons and Rosicrucians. The Rosicrucians have published a number of studies on the prophetic and hidden meanings of the Great Pyramid. A Rosicrucian book from Russell's time period on the topic is The Symbolic Prophecy of The Great Pyramid by H. Spencer Lewis. Another more recent Rosicrucian book on the Great Pyramid is Peter Lemesurier's The Great Pyramid Decoded.  


• Both do not understand the atonement of Christ as Christian Theologians understand it

* Both believe in works salvation.

RUSSELL Russell's views have been well documented by many others.

MASONRY A common theme from ex-Masons is that they are taught if they live by the Organization's precepts, they are free from sin. Claude McClung's book Why I Left Masonry. p. 94 describes this. Redemption is a matter of self- improvement, obedience, and good works. Nothing is taught about faith in the atonement of Christ, but instead, it is a step by step enlightenment, achieved by going through the degrees with their initiations and mysteries. The following Masonic references will substantiate this.

l) "By the lambskin the Mason is reminded of that purity of life and rectitude of conduct which are so essentially necessary to his gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides." Albert Mackey, Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry. "Apron."

2) "...and in Thy favor, may we be received into Thine everlasting kingdom, to enjoy, in union with the souls of our departed friends, the just reward of a pious and virtuous life. Amen. So Mote It Be." Texas Monitor. Masonic Burial Service, p. 10.

3) "In Egypt, Greece and among other ancient nations, Freemasonry was one of the early agencies employed to effect improvement and enlightenment of man ... and make them comprehend the true principles of morality, which initiate men into a new order of life." Daniel Sickles. Ahimon Rezon or Freemason' Guide, p.57

4) "If we with suitable true devotion maintain our Masonic profession, our faith will become a beam of light and bring us to those blessed mansions where we shall be eternally happy with God, the Great Architect of the Universe." Ibid., p. 79

5) "Acacian: a term signifying a Mason who by living in strict obedience to obligations and precepts of the fraternity is free from sin." Mackey, Lexicon of Freemasonry, p. 16

6) " Step by step men advance toward Perfection. "A. Pike  

•Neither believe the New Birth is needed


Russell's teaching on the mystery led him to teach a new covenant that was totally in the future. However, for some years his followers were misled by a WT article in Sept. 1881, pp 151-153 where Russell wrote "In a sense, the operation of the new covenant begins with the Gospel church, and lifts us from the plane of degradation and sin to a justified or reckoned perfect condition." However, when Paul S. L. Johnson, called his contradicting statements to his attention, Russell clarified the issue.

Russell in January and February of 1907 unequivocally announced that "We see most distinctly that the new covenant belongs exclusively to the coming age." (WT 1/1/07, pp.9- 10) In the future people would be sealed in the new covenant. (WT 2/1/07, pp.35,36) MASONRY

This was documented in the proceeding page.

* Both felt blacks were inferior to whites.


Russell urged his Bible Students not to waste tracts on blacks. Russell desired the reputation of not being prejudiced, and for being for brotherhood, but his actions and words tell a story of racial discrimination. In the Golden Age. July 24, 1925 p. 207 Russell is quoted, "There is no servant in the world as good as a good colored servant, and the joy that he gets from rendering faithful service is one of the purest joys there is in the world."

For many years, Negroes were not allowed to attend regular conventions, but were furnished with their own. For more references on WT racism, the reader can look at pg. 285 of Apocalypse Delayed and The New Leader (17 Oct., 1955).

Russell's view of women wasn't high. In The New Creation, pp.265-6, he states women are Satan's most effective tool. "...the Adversary has found women his most effective tool." He further speaks of women's limitations, and repeats his thought '...the great Adversary who, although ready to use either sex as his tools, has always found women his most efficient representatives."


Interestingly, the Freemasons just like Russell wanted to be viewed as committed to the brotherhood of man, but yet they had racist policies and made anti-black statements Freemasonry and American Culture, pp. 9-10. Neither the Watchtower nor the Masons were in the vanguard to change racism, but they have gone with the flow and are now different. Still, in most states, Negroes and women are still excluded from the Masonic brotherhood. There is a Negro Masonic system, named the Prince Hall Lodge, but it suffers from lack of recognition and is referred to as an "illegitimate imitation."

Women, because they are excluded from lodge membership, remain in a sense "profane", and limited even today. There is the Order of Eastern Star, which is run by men for women. And the women do participate in some events.

•Neither believe in missionaries.


Many people will be surprised to learn that Russell didn't believe in missionaries. Russell took a world tour in 1912, which in many ways just a way to prove what he already felt, that Christian missions efforts were failing.

Russell was very keen on recruiting. He was always advertising for preachers. He was always looking for ways to advertise himself and his religion. But his theology was that it was not God's purpose to convert the world in the Gospel Age. That would be done under perfect conditions in the Golden Age. The churches were running ahead of God, and working against his plan to send out missionaries. God was only interested in his elect 144,000. In trying to gain converts through missionary efforts, the churches had gotten "rice- Christians", and the churches had been polluted with pagan practices.

The WT Aug.1,1923, p.227, says "Not only have the heathen not been called during the Gospel age, but the gospel call was turned away from them, deliberately and intentionally. St. Paul and Silas were forbidden of the holy spirit to preach the word in Asia; and it was when they had thought to go into Bithynia they were also forbidden (acts 16:6,7). This must seen strange to those who feel that the most important obligation laid by the Lord upon his people is to proclaim the gospel among the heathen." Later that year the WT 11/15/23 emphasized how Paul had not tried to reach every village with the truth. The implication being that the message should be broadcast to the world in only a general way.


It's always been a policy to be low key about recruitment. Generally, candidates wait for someone to ask if they want to join. This policy can hurt membership recruitment, because people who would like to join are afraid to speak up, but wait hoping they will be chosen. Reduced memberships, have caused lodges in recent years to promote bringing in new members with new tactics.

When the author reads Russell's writings and sermons, the emphasis seemed tainted with a Masonic angle. Bear in mind several key Masonic themes are Buildings, Mysteries, Orders, Oaths, Fraternal Brotherhood, and Secrets.

The list of similarities could go on. Perhaps the similarity is best summed up by Charles W. Ferguson. 50 Million Brothers when he states,

"Freemasonry had the supreme dexterity to replace a mysterious divinity with a divine mystery." This statement by a mason awesomely and aptly summarizes the life work of Charles T. Russell.

"Freemasonry had the supreme dexterity to replace a mysterious divinity with a divine mystery."

Chapter 5:        SECRET SIGNALS
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The Freemasons have a reputation for using some secret signal to allow other Masons to know they are Masons, The secret symbol may be something like a capital A drawn like a square and compass, or it may be a buzzword. If during a job interview Masonic references are slipped in & the candidate responds correctly, his chances of the job improve.

If Russell were a Freemason, it can be expected he would broadcast that affiliation in some discreet way to the Brotherhood (Masonic) at large.

Albert Mackey's Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry is still highly regarded by students of Freemasonry. The Encyclopedia reveals the great significance Masons give to such words as Jehovah, order, and light. There is no question that these words have far greater significance to the Masons than for Christians. "Divine mystery" and the brotherhood of man are two key ideas with the Masons.

In the last chapter, (pg.21) Mackey was quoted on how significant the word Jehovah has been for centuries for the Masons.

In Vol. II, Mackey's Encyclopaedia, under Light, p.593- 594 , "Light. Light is an important word in the Masonic system. It conveys a far more recondite meaning than it is believed to possess by the generality of readers. It is in fact the first of all the symbols presented to the neophyte, and continues to be presented to him in various modifications throughout all his future progress in his Masonic career. It does not simply mean, as might be supposed, truth or wisdom, but it contains within itself a far more abstruse allusion to the very essense of Speculative Freemasonry, and embraces within its capacious signification all the other symbols of the order."

Charles Taze Russell uses Masonic buzz words so often, that someone familiar with the Masons has reason to suspect something. Masonic buzz words hum through his writings on almost every page.

The author counted the word frequencies of some prominent Masonic buzz words in the first 88 pages of Vol. 1, Studies in the Scriptures, and came up with the following statistics for word frequencies: light (62 times), mystery (46 times), some form of the Masonic term for God-Great Architect or Divine Architect (5 times), "fellowship of mystery" (2 times), secret (3 times), and Golden Age (2 times).

One would be hard pressed to find any evangelical Christian writer expounding on Scripture with such a style of word frequency. In all this author's life, he has never heard a single sermon where the Christian church is referred to as the "fellowship of mystery".

In the Commendation to the Plan of the Ages (Russell's Vol. I) C.T. Smith, who writes it, sounds suspiciously Masonic. He calls Russell a philosopher, and writes, "Light —more light, is the watchword." This sounds like a Masonic ritual, where the initiate is told the magic word to seek is light.

This has more meaning when it is realized that Russell uses Masonic symbols. What symbols does he portray on Watchtower covers? Originally, Zion's Watchtower and Herald of Christ's Presence had a Watchtower and sun. Both symbols are Masonic symbols. Later he adds the Masonic Knights Templar logo, then next the Masonic Knights of Malta logo.

This chapter will deal with each symbol and its significance.


To understand the importance of watchtowers to masons one only needs to understand what the origin of the Freemasons is. During the Medieval times, the secret trade guild which built the castles of Europe developed pass words, and a fraternal order. This craft guild of masons throughout Europe was molded in 1717 into the present day Organization much to the effort of the Presbyterian minister James

Anderson. According to Ferguson, 50 Million Brothers, he combined presbyterianism and existing lodges into a beautiful system veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols. Another historian writes that Anderson took Christianity out of the Masons and instead established it on the principles of charity, fraternity, and mutual assistence.

In the 1970s on the inside of the cover under "The Purpose of the Watchtower" one could read, "Every watchtower has its purpose. It serves as an elevated place for a wide-awake person with sharp vision. It enables him to see far ahead into the distance and tell those below for whom he is a watchman what is drawing near, whether it is a danger against which to prepare or it is something good over which to be glad with strong faith and hope."

However, the leitmotiv of the watchman as it occurs in the 1970s was not so strong in Russell's time. The idea of a castle tower was actually expressed in equal implication.

During the 1880s-1890s, Russell's publishing company was actually named Tower Publishing Co. However, due to a need to change his assets, to prevent his ex-wife from getting anything, the Tower Publishing Co. transferred all its assets on Apr. 1, 1898 to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. The Tower Publishing Co., published everything for Russell from the time he had quit simply placing his name as publisher. It ceased printing with the Apr. 1, 1898 WT . The next issue printed by the WTB&TS gives a notice of the transfer on the inside of the cover. Russell referred to his magazine as "Towers". Today, of course they are called Watchtowers for short. The idea of the watchtower has not been entirely lost, there has never been any watchman portrayed by the Society on the Watchtowers.

If it wasn't that castles were important to the Masons as a symbol of their work, then it wouldn't raise questions why of all the many choices, he decided to pick a castle tower as his central idea.

His early issues carried a rising sun. The rising sun is another important Freemason symbol. However, it had also been picked up by the Adventists too.


   Russell pictures a castle and a rising sun, his scripture from Isaiah refers a person, a Watchman, not of a castle. In all the various drawings of Watchtowers, he never used one with any Watchmen or any people.


Russell's followers continued to use the Egyptian/Masonic term the Golden Age after he died. The following page shows a Table of Contents of a Golden Age Magazine. Note also that its editor Woodworth authored part of the seventh "Studies in the Scriptures."

The Golden Age is not a scriptural term, but is the ancient term used by the Egyptians for when men and gods would be in paradise together. Chapter 7 will cover this term in more detail.

The Golden Dawn was a magazine and a new Society during C.T. Russell's time that a Mason had started in 1887. This appealed to those people who rejected orthodox church teachings, yet also rejected atheism.1 The Irish, particularly


1    MacKenzie, Norman. Secret Societies. NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1967, p. 144.

2        Ibid, p. 146

<< The Golden Age magazine's Table of Contents is full of how the Great Pyramid contains mystical secrets for Christians, and how the pyramid is a second "Bible."

George Russell, were attracted to this order and its Temple of Isis. How C.T. Russell felt toward the Golden Dawn is not known, but his use of the Winged-sun-disk which was on the Temple of Isis makes one wonder if he had contact with the Theosophical Society and the Rosicrucians.2

Perhaps it is coincidence, or perhaps it is an allusion or signal, when Russell explains his method of Bible interpretation "...we have endeavored to build upon that foundation the teachings of Scripture, in such a manner that, so far as possible, purely human judgement may try its squares and angles by the most exacting rules of justice which it can command." Plan of the Ages, p.10-11.

             The popular Masonic square & compass for angles

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On March 31, 1912 a large crowd of 7,000 gathered in New York at the Great Hippodrone. Behind the famous speaker Charles T. Russell was a large Cross and Crown 25 feet high. This emblem seemed to go everywhere Russell did. It was placed on Convention souvenirs, on napkins at conventions, on the various periodicals Russell published, and on his stationery.


This People's Pulpit was just one of many items published by Russell with the Knights Templar logo.


Above: A Christmas card by C.T. Russell using the Knights Templar logo.


The Theosophist was a 19th century periodical put out by the Theosophical Society in the U.S. N. Sri Ram, a Theosophist writer, entitled a selection of Theosophist articles put in book form as ON THE WATCH TOWER . The Knights-Templar symbol was placed under the title, along with the words Knights-Templar underneath the symbol. Here is a case where Theosophy and Masonry are united in a book, and the two most prominent symbols of Russell - the Watch Tower and the Knights Templar logo are both used together on an occultic book.

Above: The Masonic structure, showing the Blue Lodges' 3 orders, and the Red Lodges. Most Masonic Lodges are of the Blue Lodge -that is the first 3 degrees.

Below Left: This page from the Masonic Knights Templar's periodical called Knights Templar (9/1988) promotes the purchase of Knights Templar Logo stamps to advertise the KT and to raise money for the KT Eye Foundation. The Eye Foundation is the special benevolence the commandery does. The stamps are to use on "any appropriate place" that will make Templary more visible.  

Knights Templar License Plate

Wheeling Commandery No.1, Wheeling, West Virginia, is selling Knights Templar license plates for $6.00 each. These plates have a white background with black letters, gold crown, and red cross.

The plate is pictured above. Proceeds go to the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, and the plate is mailed postpaid.

If interested, write check and mail to J. Nelson Deakin, Jr., P.G.C., 3 Wood View Drive, Wheeling, WV 26003.

This is part of a page from the Masonic periodical Knight's Templar 9/1990, p.23.
This page documents the use of the logo.


The Masonic Knights Templar are encouraged to display their logo whenever it is possible in order to advertise. If, as some incorrectly suppose, that the symbol has been so widely used it lacks meaning, then why would they bother to use it to advertise with? Actually the symbol has used by the Knights Templar, and is distinctively theirs. Two features separate it from the chance someone also might have created a look alike. It has a red cross & a distinctive type of crown. Russell's logos clearly had all the distinctive features of the Knights Templar logo. On special editions of the WT the cover they are in color with red crosses & the distinctive crown; likewise the colored covers of Convention Souvenir Notes have red crosses, and his hugh displays like at the Hippodrone service (1910) all had red crosses.  


The story of the Knights Templars takes us back to the Crusades.

In 1119, a group of Crusader knights, nobles who were billeted in the King of Jerusalem's palace, took vows of poverty. They sought to protect the Holy Sepulcher, and other holy sites, and pilgrims coming to the Holy Land. Because the King of Jerusalem's palace was built on King Soloman's Temple site, these knights were named "Poor Knights of the Temple."

For years, the Knights Templar built and manned castles throughout the Holy Land. Some of these still stand. They made the way safe by escorting pilgrims. Over the years this Military Crusading Order grew numerous and rich, possessing property throughout Europe.  

The Knights' Templars built castles like this one in the Holy Land. A mural in the Templar chapel of Cressac, western France, from 1170-80 shows a Templar Knight leading two other knights into the crusader victory at Krak.  

The author will let Peter Partner's excellent book The Knights Templar and Their Myth pick up the story. (on the Book's cover and also p. xvi) "At the end of the 13th century, after their withdrawal from Syria, they became the apparently innocent victims of a campaign of slander and persecution mounted against them by the French government. "The ruthless dissolution of the Knights Templar was only the beginning of a new and strange chapter in their history. They soon became the focus of numerous beliefs about their presumed occult powers, and by the 18th century their history had undergone a mythical metamorphosis —they figured highly in occult fantasies of magical practices and hidden knowledge."

Today thanks to historians like Peter Partner, the sad ending of this Order is accurately known. The Greenwood Encyclopaedia of American Institutional Fraternal Organizations, p.194, recounts the fate of the order, "Ruling princes, hard pressed for money, envied the Templars. Phillip IV of France (reportedly denied membership in the Templars) with the help of Pope Clement V succeeded not only in having the Pope disband the order but in having its grand master, Jacques de Molay, burned at the stake in 1314."1

Phillip IV arrested many thousands of these knights and after torturing false confessions of heresy from them, killed thousands of them for heresy. Their large land holdings and wealth were confiscated--(a more accurate word might be stolen).

The manner of the Knights' Templars demise, led to fables and hopes which gave impetus to the creation of the Masonic Knights Templar. For centuries, the historical events were shrouded by the Catholic church's coverup of these mass excutions with the Church's stories of their extracted confessions of fictitious heresies. The stories grew wilder and wilder.

Now enters the Reformation, and the Enlightenment Men in the 18th century read medieval history alert for anything that seemed to break the monotony of the medieval Church's European Theocracy and gave signs of alternative world- views. "There was also a strong Gnostic trend in eighteenth- century thought, which tended to substitute for the idea of a general illumination cast by the principles of reason over all, that of special illumination possessed only by a few.


1 Some groups of Templars survived, such as those in Spain.

"Men of this cast of mind noticed the Templar story, and turned it into a paradoxical fable of hidden wisdom which had set itself up against the reigning Christian orthodoxy of the Middle Ages. According to them the Templars were a secret society totally opposed to the Medieval Church,...

Note, that in the 18th century men who were
a. Gnostic,
b. tending to substitute general illumination for that of special illumination &
c. sympathetic to groups opposed to the Catholic church noticed the Knights Templar stories. 

And men in the 19th century with similar thoughts—like Charles T. Russell also took notice of them. History records that the Freemasons, the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses all replaced the idea of general illumination with that of a special illumination possessed by only a limited few.

Today, we have at our disposal the benefits of better historical scholarship concerning the Crusader Knights Templar and the origin of the Masonic Knights Templar. However, during the time of C.T. Russell the campaign to portray the Knights Templars as a grand alliance of such groups as the Manichaean groups, the Cathars, the Albigensians, the Vaudois, and others had reached its peak. In 1877, The Rules was published for the general public's consumption. It purported to show how the original Knights Templars shared beliefs with other heretical groups in the Middle Ages.3

In the 1890's a new anti-clerical and romantic right in France began incorporating the Templar myths into their new theories.

Likewise, Nutt, A, The Legends of the Holy Grail (London, 1902), advanced the view that the Templar Knights had stood up to Catholic church for centuries, by trying to show ties between medieval romances which he asserted were modeled on the Knights Templar's principles.

There are statements by Russell that show he studied intensely all the heretical groups of the Middle Ages who resisted the Catholic church. C.T. Russell during his lifetime, was drawn to heresies like a bug to light. It can be safely assumed that he would have studied the Knights Templars, because they were popularly known as the link between all these various heresies.


2 Partner, Peter. The Knights Templar and their Myth, Rochester, Vermont: Destiny Books, 1987, p. xviii.

3 Ibid., p. 161

In Russell's day, there was was group which claimed to be direct decendants of the great Order. Not only did they claim to be descendants, but they claimed the Knights had not only opposed the Catholic church but also obtained mystical and hidden knowledge. Many fictitious documents were created to substantiate this claim. This group was the Masonic Knights Templar.

Historians, even Masonic ones, now concede that the Masonic Knights Templar are not directly historically linked to the ancient Crusader order.4 However, in Russell's day this was still accepted by many people who did not have the knowledge to expose the fake documents that were frequently coming to light, along with their pseudo-scholar creators.

The Knights Templar, Grand Encampment of the United States is the major Order of Knights Templar. It is divided into three degrees: the Order of the Red Cross, the Knights of Malta, and the Knights Templar. The Order of the Red Cross has a red Maltese cross as its logo.5The Knights of Malta has the logo displayed on the upper right of Russell's Watchtower magazines. The Knights Templar degree's logo is the logo that appears on the upper left of Russell's Watchtower magazine. Russell's crosses on his colored Watchtowers are red.


4 Schmidt, Alvin J. The Greenwood Encyclopaedia of American Institutions of Fraternal Organizations.
Westport, Conn., Greenwood Press, 1980, p. 194, says , "There are several legendary accounts that seek to link the present KT to the Templars of the Middle Ages. However, well- versed Masonic scholars assert there is no link between the present KT and the order led by Jacques de Moley." Besides the" Grand Encampment there are also the Templars of Honor & Temperence and the Templars of Liberty. The Templars of Liberty has had a headquarters in PA. and began in 1881 . It's based on the Reformation.

5 Ibid., p. 195

If Russell isn't quietly displaying his Masonic ties, then what is he doing with all these Masonic emblems (all three of the three KT degrees' logos) on his Watchtower covers?

Who was allowed to join the Knights Templars? Only Christians— that is only Christian Masons (if the term is not contradictory). Did Russell ever claim to have borrowed from the Masons, or Knights Templars? Russell borrowed from all kinds of heresies. He wasn't outspoken about who he borrowed from, but he did say, "I confess my indebtedness to Adventists, as well as to other denominations." 7

However , it was common knowledge among those who lived with him that he borrowed heavily from others. One close follower wrote, "His was a remarkable ability to adapt to his own uses all the knowledge of others. In pursuing this method, he was not peculiar; for it is the method of many of earth's brightest minds." "And it is striking of these geniuses that they are humble enough to rely on their predecessors for whatever of good can thus be obtained."8

Before moving to Brooklyn in 1909, Russell lived in Allegheny (now Pittsburgh), Pa. Russell had a large library. Part of his library may have served to create the nucleus of the President's personal library at the Bethel, Brooklyn, NY World Headquarters.9


6 Ibid.

7 The Laodicean Messenger, p. 12

8 Ibid.,p.57

9 The fate of Russell's library after his death is unknown. Ray Franz, who has seen the present President's library, told the author that his uncle (the President) doesn't have a large library and that it was passed to him directly from Rutherford when he was Vice-Pres, because Knorr wasn't a scholar. John Warren, who has studied Russell and had a lot of contact with his loyal Bible Student groups, told the author that many of Russell's personal items got into the hands of Russell's followers, such as a pen, a lamp, and a A.J. Holman Bible. If his library was scattered we may never know what all Russell had to read.

Besides the President's library, two other libraries now serve Bethelites, one for the Governing Body, and the other (with thousands of volumes) for the workers.

Russell's personal "library contained the very cream of gleanings from all the works of men, whether in history, science, philosophy, or whatever line. He did not ignore the authorities in these various lines; on the contrary, he was manifestly conversant with them."10 It appears Russell tried to have a comprehensive library. For instance, it wasn't enough for him to have just a Strong's concordance. But he also had Young's. Englishman's, and Liddell and Scot's. He had 32 different translations of the Holy Bible in his library.11 Russell also had plenty of money to have as large a library as he wanted.12

One more reference will suffice to display the extent of his library. His library "possessed... much knowledge and voluminous data on religion as believed and practiced in all parts of the world."13


9 Cont. The A.J. Holman Bible that Russell had printed for his Bible Students is worthy of interest. A. J. Holman is also the firm that has printed many editions of the Masonic Bible. In recent history, A.J. Holman published Beck's little known Bible translation; and Lamsa's Peshitta New Test. They apparently publish these "fringe" type Bibles.

10 Ibid.

11 Ibid.,p.54

12 Ibid. p. 156, An example of the resources and secrecy of C.T. Russell, he hid $70,000 in gold, along with $30,000 in cash, and $62,000 in govt. bonds in the Bethel House where he and his closest followers lived. This money jump-started Rutherford after his prison term, to revive the Society. Not only does this indicate Russell's ability to purchase whatever books he wanted, but it seems a little awkward that a man who has been predicting imminent financial chaos had so many bonds. Plainly, his books don't tell the whole story about him.

13 Ibid., p.4


A Masonic Knights Templar Drill team in Russell's day.

What might have Russell learned from the religious teachings of the Masonic Knights Templar?

The Knights Templar's method was to use historical fancy in the service of a new idealistic symbolism. Who hasn't noticed the same symbolism in the Watchtower system? Who isn't familiar with the popular JW term "the New Order"?

Let's hit upon some Masonic Knights Templar highlights.

1770-Johann August Starch claimed to be in possession of Essene secrets, and started a Templar group with big emphasis on knowledge from the east, esp. Persia and Egypt.

1814-Admiral Sir William Sydney Smith with the Duke of Sussex joined the French Templars. Smith, a British admiral, had aided French prisoners of war who were Masons. Smith tried unsuccessfully to obtain Malta for the Templars and the Order of St. John's wealth by claiming that this land stolen from the original Templars should be restored to the modern Masonic Templars.

1818-J. von Hammer-Purgstall wrote his famous 'Mysterium Baphometis revelatum', Fundgruben des Orients. vi. Pages 1-120,445-99 touch on the Templars. This Mystery of Baphomet Revealed identifies the God of the Templars as androgenous. C.T. Russell also believed that God was androgenous, and that Adam was originally androgenous, and that in the future state of man on earth in the Golden Age mankind would also be androgenous.14

1820-Michaud's widely read Historie des Croisades is published spreading Hammer's idea about the original Templars being Gnostics.

1830-Fabre-Palaprat reorganized the Templars into the Holy Church of Christ, aka the Church of Primitive Christianity, and the Revolution of 1830 allowed him to begin to expand and recruit This new religious body has also been called the Johannite Church. In the early 1840's, this Johannite Church was disbanded.

1840-1850-Templars symbolized to many of the informed people of this time period, the thought of persecution by authority on account of the possession of hidden and powerful knowledge.15 Russell felt exactly this way about his own work. People also viewed the Templars in this time period as "a secret revolutionary group which had possessed hidden knowledge fatal to orthodox Christianity, and which pointed forwards to the establishment of a new enlightened society. "16 Russell felt this exact way towards his own work.  


14 For references on Russell's view that Adam was created androgynous see Jones, L.W.. What Pastor Russell Said, (19 10 & 1911) / Photo Drama of Creation of 1914 & the Scenario, p.9. The Society continued these ideas into the '50s- (WT '56 p.530,531) For references on Russell's view that future mankind on earth will be androgynous, see WT Reprints R 2836:5 and the Overland Monthly (QV 383:1) Apparently the idea of perfect people having sex was hard for the Society to accept. They have pronounced a variety of contradictory statements about Adam and Eve. First, they had sexual passion (WT Reprints 2840:3). Second, they didn't have any sexual passion (WT '56,p.533). Third, they had no sex, but as to why? We shouldn't concern ourselves with Adam and Eve's personal affairs. (WT '58,p.63) Fourth, they could have possibly had children in the Garden (WT '65).

15 The Knights Templar & Their Myth. p. 158

16 Ibid.

1868-The Dictionnaire raisonne de l' architecture francaise du XIe au XVI siecle. was published in Paris. On p.16, it expressed that Templar buildings were inspired by number mysticism. This ties in with other Masonic beliefs on ancient architecture, and Russell's belief that the Pyramid had number mysticism.17 Bear in mind, the Masons were claiming that they had built the Great Pyramid and Soloman's Temple.

The Templar claims must have looked attractive to Russell. He felt sympathy for those who were trying to bring a new spiritual message and for their opposition during the Middle Ages to the medieval governing class. He searched for such groups, because it added legitimacy to his own new message which was opposed to all the mainline denominations in one way or another. By accepting Masonic Knights Templar claims about being the reforming spirit behind the Reformation and the Enlightenment, Russell could reject Protestant claims; something Russell desired to do.

In the 1880s, Templar Saint-Yves d' Alveydre saw a chosen band of initiates hidden from view exercising their rule through bodies that represented the various orders of society. The spiritual counterpart of this would be Russell's idea of the 144,000 elect ruling the earth from heaven.


17 This is not to say he borrowed from this dictionary. It is clear that Russell borrowed from Prof. C. Piazzi Smyth of Scotland. Russell acknowledged that he had read Smyth and had borrowed his pyramid ideas. Two other Scotsmen were then inspired by Russell's work "Thy Kingdom Come" about the pyramid. It is still possible that the seeds to all this pyramid numeriology go back to the Freemasons, because it is so close to the type of knowledge they promoted. The Golden Age, May 21,1924 has a good article covering all this.

The Masonic Templars had a passion for Gothic castles because of the notion of chivalry and knighthood. They viewed themselves as knights, and as princes. One Mason described themselves as "princes who wished to enlighten, edify and build up the living Temples to the Most High."18 Russell certainly liked castles. He called himself and his followers princes building a spiritual temple.


A)          Is it possible that Russell used the Knights Templar and the other crusader logo because he saw himself as a crusader?

No. Russell never held a positive view of the Catholic Church's crusade. His opinion was, "From our present-day standpoint and clearer perception of things, people generally style the Crusades an outbreak of foolishness, wasted effort, manifest ignorance and bigotry. But perhaps Christians today have something equally foolish and irrational." Russell goes on to compare the foolishness of the Crusades to the foolishness of the pre-W.W. I military buildup.19

B)          What are the differences between Templar groups? In early Masonic history many KT groups came and went. The Commandery of the KT, which is the top degree of the York rite, called by some masons the "Christian rite", is the principal group. Of the various small Templar fraternities the Templars of Liberty, founded in NJ in 1881, seems more in line with Russell's tastes. This society had three emphases: anti-Catholicism, benevolence, and patriotism. The society's ritual was based on incidents of the Protestant Reformation. Local units were called "Temples." Most of the society's membership resided in the states of New York, Pennslyvannia, and New Jersey.20 To discuss the differences of the many groups would take an encyclopaedia.


18 The Knights Templar & Their Mvth. p. 104

19 The Photo-drama of Creation, p-80

20 The Greenwood Encyclopaedia of Amer. Fraternal Organizations, p. 331


C) Wasn't the Masonic KT logo used a lot back in Russell's time by everyone?

To say its use was widespread would be an overstatement. It was used by individuals and groups, but in the context of being the KT emblem. The author knows that various Christians have used the symbol, even churches. But in each case, the Christians using it are the type that make them likely Masonic members.

Two examples will suffice to make the point. A particular Baptist group in this city which built a church c. 1919, placed the KT emblem on the side of its building. What is interesting is that anyone bothered to place something on the side, rather than front. This Baptist church calls its church a "temple." And its origin is far different than most Baptists. It was formed by some Scandinavian Lutheran Pietists. How did they view Freemasonry? In the early 1900s, a number of Portland Baptist Ministers became Masons. Baptist evangelist Ray Palmer, a Lodge member, even used his order as the subject of a sermon in July, 1904.

Portland's First Baptist minister, W. Brougher, a member of the Masons, invited his Masonic order to church in June, 1909 and preached a sermon "Baptists and Masons" in which he said the two groups believed the same. An exact quote is that they were "one in their fundamental doctrines." (The Author wonders if he considered Christ's Atonement and Salvation fundamental.) What happened next? The next day at a conference for all the area Baptist ministers, the Temple Baptist minister participated in silencing a W. M. Wyatt, who stood up to take issue with Brougher's sermon. Clearly, the Baptist Temple didn't see anything wrong with the Masons.21

Second example, a Christian uses the logo for his business. But an inquiry into his personal life, makes him a suspected Mason.


21 The following periodicals— Chicago's, "Nya Wecko Posten" (12/21/1915), p.5, Portland's Oregon Journal, 7/11/1904, p. 16 and 6/21/1909, p.2. and Portland's Evening Telegram, 6/21/1909, p. 12

Wouldn't it be more sensible to accept that it is a Masonic symbol? Yes, it makes sense to accept the most reasonable and the obvious explanation, and then try to show exceptions. If I see a hammer and sickle, it is sensible to see it symbolizing communism. Then, I can examine whether it might possibly be an exception to that.

The following pages contain Photo-copies of Bible Student Convention programs. During Russell's time the International Bible Students Association (IBSA) used Masonic Halls and Temples for their meetings.Today, Bible Student groups loyal to Russell and his teachings continue to meet in about the same kind type of places as they met in Russell's day— Masonic Halls, Y.M.C.A'.s, and public meeting halls.

The frequent use by Russell's IBSA during the early 20th century of Y.M.C.A's is noteworthy. It may provide a clue as to how Russell could have been recruited by the Freemasons.

Active Presbyterian John Wanamaker was the national president of the Y.M.C.A. Like C.T. Russell in Allegheny, John Wanamaker also ran a successful men's clothing store in Philadelphia. The established churches felt his Y.M.C.A.s were unneccessary competition He had even begun Sunday School classes at the Y.M.C.A. Wanamaker was made a Mason in Mar. 1898 and a Knights Templar in June, 1902, and a Knight of the Rose Croix (the Scottish Rite derivation of Roscicrucians) Dec, 1912.

Wanamaker, who is world famous for his positive retail innovations during the 1860 to 1900 time period very likely caught the eye of nearby C.T. Russell. For those who have forgotten, the list of his innovations include, the attitude "the customer is always right", profit sharing, employee benefits, the department store, customer service, and guaranteed refunds for customers. Wanamaker revolutionized the retail business.22 A man of such caliber as Wanamaker could have had great personal influence on a man like Russell.


22 Clark, Julius C. "John Wanamaker" Knights Templar. 9/1990 pp.5-12.




The Bible Students today adhere to things as they were done in Russell's day. Even the Convention programs of today, usually follow the same format as this 1918 Portland Convention.

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In 1910, Russell made his second trip to the Egyptian pyramids. When he returned, he wrote an article in the Watch Tower magazine about how the Pyramid was God's hidden message. Two big changes then were instituted on the covers of the Studies in the Scriptures series to the binding was added both "London and Brooklyn"--or "Brooklyn and London". At the same time Russell made efforts to look international, he made another change to his books C.T. Russell's other big change was to directed to have the Egyptian trinity Winged-Sun-Disk placed upon all his covers.


The particular representation used by Russell is a symbol of the 33 Masons.

The are many ways to draw or represent the winged-sun- disk. Although the 33° Masons use this particular representation, the actual origins of the symbol go back to ancient Egyptian magic.

This chapter will cover

a. the masonic use of the symbol,

b. how the symbol was variously drawn and how it was used in ancient Egypt,

c. what types (or styles) of representation were available for Russell to copy from in his day,

d. how an obscure Old Testament passage alludes to this Egyptian symbol.



The Winged-sun-disk as Russell used it, is in the form that a Masonic Lexicon portrays it. Also Albert Churchward, 30° also portrays the symbol in his book Signs and Symbols of Primordal Man. The Evolution of Religious Doctrines from the Eschatology of the Ancient Egyptians. Chrurchward, a 30° Mason states that the Winged-sun-disk is used by the 33° Masons, and that they alone know its meaning.'

What is the 33°? This is the highest level known to the public in Freemasonry. There are both honorary 33° and actual operative 33°. Notable persons, such as Presidents and famous clergymen are initiated into the honorary 33°. The Freemasons like prominent people to join, and to then to give these people status. It enhances the reputation of the Masons. According to one ex-33o Mason the author interviewed, Russell would have been a prime target of recruitment.2 Another ex-33° Jim Shaw provides a description of his 33° initiation rites where he met 2 presidents and a prominent evangelist, and two internationally famous clergymen.3

The Wing-sun-disk derives its meaning from ancient Egypt. The actual Masonic god worshipped at the high levels is the Sun god-known in various cultures by different names. As stated this ancient trinity symbol which stands for Osirus (the sun god), Horus, and Isis, is used by the 33° Masons. It is also supposedly still in use by those who practice Egyptian magic as a religion.4 The author has never seen anyone who does, however some Masonic rituals are based on Egyptian magic."


1 Churchward, Albert, 30°. The Signs and Symbols of Primordial Man, the Evolution of Religious Doctrine from the Eschatology of the Ancient Egyptians. London: George Allen & Co ... Ltd., 1913, p.344.

2 Interview with Don Sutherland

3 Shaw, Jim & Tom McKenney. The Deadly Deception, p. 104

4 Hope, Murry. Practical Egyptian Magic. New York:St. Martin's Press, 1984

In Practical Egyptian Magic, under symbols and instruments, p. 107, the following description is given: "Emblematic of the element of air, this consists of a circle or solar-type disk enclosed by a pair of wings. In ritual magic it is suspended over the altar in an easterly direction and used when invoking the protection and co-operation of the sylphs."  

<< This page in Churchward's (30o) book reveals the 33° Masonic use of the Winged-sun-disk.

The Author in an interview with an active 32° Mason flashed Russell's WT cover and the Mason immediately recognized the Masonic Knights Templar logo. Next, Russell's Studies in the Scriptures Winged-sun-disk was revealed to the Mason. He immediately recognized what the symbol was and declared, "That's the sun disk Ra." The Author said, "It's a Masonic symbol." To which he replied, "No, it's not a Masonic symbol." How did you know what it was?" (silence-no answer) He had been exposed to the symbol's meaning, but whether he knew its Masonic significance and would not say, or if he hadn't used it, because it is a 33° symbol the author doesn't know. According to their oath they are not to reveal such meanings.  



Seven years after Pastor Russell passed away the untouched tomb of King Tut-Ankh-Amon was discovered.

One of the most spetacular exhibits ever displayed was the King Tut artifacts. King Tut, a minor boy Pharoah, gives us an idea of the splendor that the other Pharoahs must have received in their burial.

Four oak house like structures, called shrines, contained the actual body. The inside of these large oak shrines were laid of gold. Visitors to the exhibit could view the Winged- sun-disk at the top above each door and on the far side or rear panels .

The Egyptians drew this representation over many temples. The representations do vary in style though. The wings come in a variety of styles. The snakes may look like vipers or cobras, and may even be dropping down rather than looking out from the sun disk. Had Russell studied the books available from Egyptologists in his day, he would have seen several ways to draw this trinity of Oris, Osirus, and Horus, none exactly the representation he used.  

<<  Text about the Sed Festival and the Pharoah Senusert

<<   Brief text about the Sed Festival and the Pharoah Senusert.


Some not knowing what the Winged-sun-disk is may have speculated that it IS an angel's wings, perhaps a cherub. However, a close look will reveal that the symbol has a snake on each side of the sun disk. Another way that those who had not studied the Winged-sun-disk can realize this is not an angel is that if it were, Russell passes up some good places to use it.

One also notes that Russell's representation looks similar to the way the 33rd° degree symbol looks. Except for superficial changes that Russell's artist may have made as he reproduced it, the Winged-Sun-Disk follows the Masonic emblem. Consequently, we conclude that his source was Masonic and not Egypt.

In reviewing books available to Pastor Russell, such as the standard work Egyptian Magic and Egyptian Religion one finds a wide variety of drawings of the Winged-sun-disk but none like the one he portrays.


Stela about exorcising a devil from Princess of Bekhten.  

Another source that Russell could have drawn the Winged- sun-disk was the occult.

In 1875, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky organized the Theosophical Society. The Society was under the authority of the fraternal order of Rosicrucians. Although H.P.Blavatsky (as she was known) travelled world-wide, in 1875 she was busy living in Philadelphia and getting what she called "a marriage of convenience." The Masonic connections with the Theosophical Society are many, and there are also threads of this Society woven into C.T. Russell's Watchtower Society. Although more than one follower of Russell noted with alarm the Theosophical Society's growth. H.P.B. wove Hinduism, Spiritism and Paganism into her religious philosophy. She also used the Winged-sun-disk. The text of a new year's card she personally created and sent out in 1891 with greetings in English, Gaelic, and Russian follows below. She was Russian and this was sent to the Dublin Lodge (which explains the languages). One of the leading men in Dublin Lodge was George W. Russell (whether he was a relative of C.T. Russell—the author hasn't ascertained). This George W. Russell wrote articles in The Irish Theosophist which were widely read. His articles helped the movement gain public recognition. George W. Russell went on to become a prominent Irish writer.



[A Hundred Thousand Welcomes]


[Wishing you a New Year with New Happiness.]


1891 New Year card drawn by occultist H.P. Blavatsky 

Not only did the Fraternal Order of Rosicrucians sponsor and direct the Theosophical Society in 1875, they may well have been two centuries before the ones who introduced the mystical paganism and occult into the operative Masons.

The Kabbalists generally portray Jehovah in this form. Note how similar Jehovah is to the sun-god. Note also that Jehovah to the Kabbalists is also believed to be Demiurgus (the Gnostic name supposedly for Jehovah), and Zeus (the Greek name supposedly for Jehovah.

This is the 16th Century German Rosicrucian portrayal of the Winged- Sun-Disk with the Tetragrammaton in their important and secret book The Golden Age. The Ger. Illuminati who plotted along similar lines as the Freemasons in France also used it.  

In 1912, when Russell had begun putting the Winged- Sun-Disk on his books, the occultic Theosophical Society began putting out the Theosophy Magazine which used the symbol too. To the right, for the sake of documentation, is what the top of the covers look like. The English Theosophical magazine of that era was called Herald of the Golden Age.  




The book A Primer of Theosophy issued by the Amer. Section of the Theosophical Society, Chicago: The Rajput Press, 1911, p.60-62 is very complimentary of the Freemasons. "The symbolism of Masonry is rich, inherent and insistent.... The many symbols which Masons employ are, each of them, well worth study. Each of them has its own general meaning, its direct reference to a phase of God's being or activity and each of them may have its own special explanation. But the explanations which are given in the dictionaries of the craft are brief and inadequate, though suggestive. If the origin of the symbol is entire volume might be written. Indeed many volumes have been written. But the glory of the symbol remains undisturbed. Like that for which it stands it is permanent, enduring, unchanging..."

"There are two presentations of the divine wisdom which are rounded and satisfying; that given by Theosophy and that of Masonry. No religion or exoteric philosophy can equal them in fullness or clearness. Theosophy presents an open and avowed discussion of the philosophy while Masonry half conceals it in its allegory, its ritual and its ceremonial."

As the reader can see Theosophy and Masonry are very close.

The History of Freemasonry & Concordant Orders. printed in 1919, copyright 1890, sets the record straight when it states on p. 771 , "Masonry does ... not teach the "Trinity in Unity" as Christians understand it; furthermore, it does not teach that T.G.A.O.T.U. is Immanuel,-God with us,-Christ. Templary is called the Masonic Christian Order, but modern Masonry is not Christian."

The Winged-Sun-Disk is an occult symbol.


The Plan of the Ages refers to the "Messiah, who, as the Sun of Righteousness...".

This is apparently a reference to Mal. 4:2

The Hebrew word for "my messenger" is "Malachi". The messenger of God who wrote the book of Malachi remains anonymous. God's messenger gives six oracles. Toward the end of the sixth oracle (3:13- 4:3) is an obscure passage, "But to you who fear My name, The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; and you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves." (Mal. 4:2)

There seems to be a fairly wide concensus of commentators that this refers to the Winged-sun-disk of Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, and Persia. That Jewish scripture would allude to a pagan religious symbol might give us pause to think about how thoroughly they were surrounded by and mixed in with the pagan world at this time. A comparison might be for a Christian to say, "Christ is a superman." Or for another to say, "God is an awesome God."

Prof. John P. Smith (& Mitchell and Brewer) in the International Critical Commentary explain Mal. 4:2- "--2. But, for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will arise with healing in his wings] This exact figure is nowhere else employed in the Old Testament; but cf.

Ps. 8411 1399 It means apparently that the era of prosperity and peace that is due the righteous will be inaugurated on Yahweh's day, and that all the wrongs of the past will be made right for Israel. Like the morning sun dispelling the darkness of night, so will a sudden manifestation of Yahweh's righteousness illumine the gloom of Israel's afflictions. Righteousness is here practically equivalent to vindication and victory, as is so often the case in Is., chs. 40- 66; e.g. 412 458 4613 5l5.6.8 561 621. Cf. Je 236 3316.

In connection with 'sun of righteousness," it is of interest to note that the Babylonish Shamash, the sun-god, was conceived of as the god of justice. The absolute impartiality of the sun's rays may easily have given rise to the association of justice with the sun. The phrase "sun of righteousness" does not indicate any personal agent, but is rather a figurative representation of righteousness itself (v.i.). The phrase "in its wings" at once suggests the winged solar disk of Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria, and Persia. This representation was doubtless known in Judah at this time, either through borrowing from without or as having been inherited from a remote antiquity in Israel itself as in the rest of the oriental world. Isolated allusions like this suggest how little we really know of the social and aesthetic background of Hebrew literature."

The Masons tie Christ in with the Sun God Krishna,"It has been found that every act in the drama of the life of Jesus, and every quality assigned to Christ, is to be found in the life of Krishna" -J.D. Buck. Mystic Masonry, pp. 119,138

Russell at various times gave various interpretations to Malachi 4:2. A comprehensive examination shows he said the Sun of Righteousness is:

1)  Jesus and his church (Pastor Russell's Sermons, p.790,244) WT Reprints pp.4557,5097,5339,5420.)

2)  The spiritual seed of Abraham (Overland Monthly, p.205)

3)  Righteousness (Harvest Gleanings, Vol l,p.417)

4)  Truth (Harvest Gleanings, Vol. 1,p.421)

5)   Cyrus the Great (Harvest Gleanings, Vol l,p.521)

6)   Jesus as the center part of the Sun (WT Rp. 5135)

And he interpreted the wings as

a) A great light (WT Rp.3686)

b) Beams of Christ (WT R p.4557, Pastor Russell's Sermons, p.55)

c) Beams of grace and truth (Overland Monthly, p.205)

Pastor Russell generally felt that this Sun of Righteousness had not been experienced by anyone, that it had not yet arisen. (WTR pp. 5062,5769,5135) Russell told his followers they would not be around to see the sun of Mal. 4:2 rise. (WT_Rp.l24).

Charles T. Russell had keen perception, and a penchant for order and detail. He oversaw everything. In the Laodicean Messenger, it's recorded how he scrutinized every detail in every department (p.83) and how he practically wrote everything that appeared in the WT (p.82). His Bethel workers were required to be punctual to the minute for their various daily activities. Therefore, it is not believable that Russell was ignorant of the Masonic meanings of this and other symbols he used.

In 1923, Rutherford removed the Winged-Sun-Disk from all of Russell's books coming off the press. His Masonic logos on the Watch Towers were also removed. For some, the Winged-sun-disk may seem to them the strongest evidence of Masonic connections to Russell.

For instance, Albert Pike 24°, Morals and Dogma, p.401, refers to the Gods in the trinity symbol, "These two divinities (the Sun and the Moon, Osiris and Isis, etc.) were commonly symbolized by the generative parts of man and woman; to which in remote ages no idea of indecency was attached...and which, as such appeared in the Mysteries (the ancient religions of which Masonry is a revival." Albert Pike, in the same Morals and Dogma. Fellowcraft Degree, p. 22 states, "Masonry, successor to the Mysteries (the pagan religions of Isis, Osiris, Baal, Mythras, Tammuz, etc.) still follows the ancient manner of teaching."

In the book Ancient Mystic Rites, it states that Masonry gets its mysteries from ancient Egypt (p.25) and that Masons worship Osiris and Ra and Isis and Horus. (p. 17)

Masons are appropriately called the 'Sons of Light' states Lightfoot's Manual of the Lodge, p. 175.

This sheds some light on the fascination the Egypt holds for Freemasonry.


For five years, Pastor Russell's loyal follower Bro. Bonnet looked fruitlessly for just the right granite to build a pyramid for the Watchtower Society. The pyramid was designed by Bohmet under Pastor Russell's direction and oversight.

Finally, some pink granite (Pastor Russell's favorite tint) was located in Marble Falls, Tx. A special rail car was engaged to ship the blocks.

On Oct. 31, 1916 the most remarkable man C.T. Russell passed into eternity wearing a Roman toga at his request. When they built the pyramid at his grave they incased within the granite a sealed box containing a set of Studies in the Scriptures, copies of Russell's tracts, pictures of him, a complete set of Karatol Scripture Studies, and many other things to prepare him for the people he would met in the next life.

The pyramid is described "as the most fitting emblem for an enduring monument. 9' across at the base, the apex stone is exactly 7' above ground surface level" resting on a 5' deep concrete foundation.5

The splendour of ancient Egypt captures most everybody. King Tuts exhibit drew great crowds. However, few of us are buried under a pyramid like Pastor Russell. And few of us hold onto a belief that the Pyramid was built by God and that it has all kinds of messages for us today. Pyramid power is an occult belief practiced today. The author knows of people who sit under pyramids to gain power.

In the Ancient Mystic Rites, p.26, the reader is informed as to how important the underground chambers in the pyramid are to Masons. They also held an immense importance and fascination for Pastor Russell. Page 30-31 tells of how there are hidden meanings in the pyramid.

Why was Pastor Russell predisposed to listen to Prof. Smyth's theories about the Pyramid? Could his predisposition to study Egyptology have come from the Masons? Was Smyth a Mason?

The Masonic pyramid is a pyramid with a cap-stone. Due to a strong Masonic representation in our early government, on the back of our dollar bills is a masonic pyramid with an all seeing Egyptian eye of Ra the sun god. Pastor Russell's pyramid that protects his body has a capstone on it, with Masonic symbols. Russell felt the pyramid represented God.6 


5 Souvenir Report of the Bible Student's Convention (Pittsburg, PA) Jan. 2-5,1919 by IBSA, p.7

6 Berean Scripture Index for Studies 1-6, p. 159

Above: Masons placed this emblem on the back of U.S. dollar bill- - note, the all seeing eye of the Egyptian Sun God Ra.

Hall writes, "Careful analysis of the seal (Great Seal of the U.S. seen on the one dollar bill) discloses a mass of occult and Masonic symbols." 7 The other side of the Great Seal was also Masonic. In the original sketches for the Great Seal, the American Eagle was drawn as a phoenix. Those sketches survive.8 The phoenix is an occultic symbol representing immortality. William Barton's colored sketch of the Great Seal was altered, and from the phoenix came an eagle.9 The double-headed phoenix means the future androgynous state of man, something Russell also believed in.

Returning to the discussion about the Great Pyramid. Two Scots, Morton Edgar and his brother, and C. Piazzi Smyth were the mentors and colloborators with Russell on his Pyramid ideas. The Freemasons, for some reason, have claimed C. Piazzi Smyth's ideas as Masonic.10 Smyth was critical of the Masons for their lack of pyramid knowledge.


7 Hall, Manly P. An Encyclopaedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical

Philosophy. Los Angeles, CA: The Philosophical Research Society, 1962, p. XC

8 Ibid.,p. XLI

9 Ibid.

10 Ibid.,pp.XLH-XLIH  

Listen to Morton Edgar, as he writes in his Mythology And The Bible, "Only those who have been initiated into the mystery of God by means of the enlightening action of the Holy Spirit have been able to discern the true Messiah."11

Obviously, the Great Pyramid was a mystery that intriqued the esoteric Freemasons. H.B.P., Roscicrucian founder of the Theosophical Society, made a trip to Egypt in 1870. Like Russell, who would come after her, she needed to go in and investigate the chambers and passageways by herself. She spent an entire night alone in the heart of the Great Pyramid in the King's Chamber. THE TERM GOLDEN AGE

Because the term Golden Age is Egyptian, it is covered in this chapter. It should be stressed that the term has been used by so many people that it is not just an Egyptian term. The term golden was popular for the Theosophical Society.

The term the Golden Age was very popular with Russell. This study will examine that interest. Then it will examine the use of the term by the Masons, Egyptians, the Classical Greeks, the early Christians, the Jews, and finally the Premillenialists.

Probably nothing shows how extreme Russell's passion for the term was as well as this quote from his tract "Must We Abandon Hope of a Golden Age." He writes that a woman who has remarked "Only the Golden Rule can bring the Golden Age" must have been inspired by God to say such a thing. He calls this slogan "an essense of wisdom amounting to almost inspiration." And then goes on to say, "We were sure Miss Willard was inspired, or, we were sure that in this sentence she had gathered up the spirit and essence of divine revelation on this subject..."

Russell felt gold symbolized divine nature. "Gold, as we have already seen, is a symbol of that which is divine; hence the Golden Rule is the divine rule,..." Vol. 6, p. 357

NOTES     11 Edgar, Morton. Mythology and the Bible (Glasgow, Scotland),p.77


"Under new names and to a measure, with new interpretation, the old wisdom which guided the destinies of ancient peoples is being reconsidered and restored. It becomes increasingly more evident that wisdom and understanding alone, can bestow the security and happiness which all men still seek as the foundation of a useful life. The shadowy forms of the venerated sages and prophets of the Golden Age rise again, inviting our appreciation—these noblest of men are being re-established as the great teachers of the human race. The Mystery religions of antiquity, which flourished long before the rise of the modern way of life, have been brought into clear focus by progressive leaders in ... religion. "12


One source speaks about "Ra, the sun god ... called the Father of the Gods, Ra once ruled on earth during a golden age when men and gods could live together happily"

Another source on the religions of the Semites records how the golden age was a common motiv among the Egyptians and Semites. It was a time long ago, when men were vegetarians and lived in peace with the animals.

Just the concept of gold expresses divinity, for Gold was the flesh of the Gods. For instance, the JEA (Journal of Egyptian Archaelogy, London, 1914), IV, p. 249, translates an Egyptian text, "Re said at the beginning of his words: My skin is of pure gold."


Augustus H. Strong's Systematic Theology, p. 526 lists the following Classical writers as mentioning a golden age: Hesiod, Works and Days pp. 109-208, Aratus, Phenom. pp.100-184; Plato. Timaeus. p. 233; Virgil, Georics. p. 135; and Aeneid. 8:314.


12 Hall. An Encyclopaedic Outline of Masonic... Symbolical Philosophy, preface.

Indeed, the Greeks used the term with more frequency in their mythology than the Egyptians did. Smith, William Robertson. Lectures on the Religion of The Semites. London: A & C. Black Ltd., 1927 p. 300 sums up about the Greeks and Egyptians when he writes, " their legends of the Golden Age it was told how in the earliest and happiest days of the race, when man was at peace with the gods and with nature, and the hard struggle of daily toil had not begun, animal food was unknown, and all man's wants were supplied by the spontaneous produce of the bounteous earth.

This, of course, is not true, for even on anatomical grounds it is certain our remote ancestors were carnivorous...on the other hand, the idea of the Golden Age cannot be a mere abstract speculation without any basis in tradition. The legend in which it is embodied is part of the ancient folk-lore of the Greeks, and the practical application of the idea in the form of a precept of abstinence from flesh, as a rule of perfection or of ceremonial holiness, is first found, no among innovating and speculative philosophers, but in priestly circles, e.g. in Egypt and India....In the case of the Egyptian priests the facts set forth by Porphyry in his book De Abstinentia. iv. 6 sqq. on the authority of Chaeremon, enable us to make out distinctly the connection..."  


Leroy Edwin Froom, Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers. Vol. 1, p. 303 states, "Doubtless contemporary extra-Biblical ideas, like a catalyzing agent, influenced the ante-Nicene millenarians to combine these Old Testament Messianic prophecies with Revelation 20, in order to construct on this twofold basis the elaborate picture of an earthly golden age kingdom preceding the final resurrection."  


Froom continues, "For example, an extravagant description of the millennial fertility of the earth—the vine with ten thousand branches and bunches of ten thousand grapes, et cetera—is accepted by Iraneus as from apostolic tradition, attributed by Papias to Christ himself; yet it comes from a Jewish source."  

Phillip Schaff, History of the Christian Church. Vol. II, p. 314, notes that the ante-Nicene church was prominently millennarian and the adds "...but among them many are counted who simply believe in a golden age of Christianity which is yet to come."


Russell shared company with other pre-millennialists that referred to a golden age. S.J. Andrews in God's Revelations of Himself to Men. NY: Charles Scribner & Sons, 1886, p.324 declares, "The Kingdom period will be the true golden age of the world."

So it appears that Charles T. Russell could have picked up the term Golden Age by reading pre-millennial and Adventist literature. Or he could have picked it up studying Classical Greek or the religions of the Middle East. It is a given that he was reading the Christian literature; it would be most natural to assume that he borrowed the term from Christian sources.  

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