Russell's Gravesite Pictures - (just got back from Pittsburgh)

by thecarpenter 65 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • thecarpenter

    Well folks, got back from my trip to see Russell's grave site. It was quite a interesting experience and sobering to see the pyramid right by his tombstone. I'm kind of tired and will be hitting the sack soon but I wanted to post a few pictures. I'll post more tomorrow.

    This is the North face, notice the "Risen with Christ" words carved in...


    this is the east face side, notice the crown and cross as well as the "Watchtower Bible and Tract Society" words carved in...


    Here is something I never noticed before in of the pictures on the internet, there are carving in the books with various peoples names. Here is "Chas. T Russell"

    I assume the books represent the book of life, this carving was on the south face.


    thecarpenter aka gravedigger

  • neverendingjourney

    What's the story with the pyramid? I've heard some people imply that it was built per Russell's instructions and I've heard other people say that it was built by dissident JWs that were kicked out of the Watchtower by Rutherford. Does anyone know for sure?

  • nicolaou

    Thanks for the pictures thecarpenter. Here is Russell's pyramid grave as seen on google earth.


  • Mysterious

    Pretty eroded looking around the edges. Good thing enough photos are being taken now to preserve the evidence further!

  • Es

    Thanks that was interesting, look forward to seeing more


  • Highlander

    I look forward to seeing it myself. I don't have a trip planned at this time, but I'm hoping to go by the end of this year or early next year.

    Great photos!

  • stev

    Although the pyramid there looks like the Great Pyramid, it doesn't represent the Great Pyramid, but to the Bible Students it would represent the Christ Head and Body. The capstone at the top would represent Jesus as the Head, and the rest of the pyramid, the Church. The Bible Students at that time believed that those faithful who died would be immediately changed and be present and united with the rest of the resurrected Church. Hence "risen with Christ". The cross and crown - represents that the Church must endure suffering before they are glorified. Those who were faithful would have their names written in the book of life, as found in the Book of Revelation. The chapter on the Hidden Mystery in the Divine Plan of the Ages has an illustration of a pyramid, and an explanation of it. Also Chart of the Ages has pyramids, and there is a chapter explaining the meaning of the pyramid.

    The Bible Students would never have thought of the Masons, this symbolism was well known by the Bible Students, who would have read the Divine Plan of the Ages. Russell taught that in the parable of the Wheat and the Tares, the bundling of the tares represents human organizations, including secret societies such as the Masons. Russell encouraged leaving all human organizations not only the churches of that time, but even unions if possible. Russell was extremely anti-organization, and the harvest of the wheat would have required the separation from the tares, and separating from organizations as much as possible. Russell's followers thought of themselves as the wheat, and being part of the Masons would have been frowned on and put in doubt their being of the wheat.

    The Watchtower Society put the pyramid there and not dissident Bible Students. However, no matter how wrong Russell or the Bible Students might have been at that time, no matter how wrong how their interest in the Great Pyramid was, or the political motives that Rutherford might have had in putting it up, nevertheless they built it in honor of other human beings who had died or would die, and shows that they at least cared. It is unfortunate that those who are justly angry and hurt at religious abuse would let that override their sense of our common humanity. Mocking the dead and the bereaved is in poor taste as an argument of ridicule when despite our religious differences we will all die and lose people in death.

  • deddaisy

    wasn't dissidents, Any witnesses doubting the Watchtower's history with the Great Pyramid can just check out Jehovah's Witnesses on Wikipedia. It's not an apostate website, and if it weren't a fact that Russell had religious beliefs based on the Pyramid then it's difficult to comprehend why the Watchtower Society hasn't dragged Wikipedia into court for defamation..............anyway, I came across this page in the back of Russell's old book, The Divine Plan of the Ages, A Helping Hand For Bible Students. It's the 1911 edition by the International Bible Students Association but has a copyright of 1886 by the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, Brooklyn NY. Anyway, I've left a few of the blah, blah lines out, because I don't feel like typing it all, but this is most of it straight from the Watchtower Society's publication cited above, notice the parts I've bolded:


    ----------AS ---------



    --We are now living in “the Time of the End” of this Gospel age?

    --Our epoch is “the day of God’s Preparation” for the Millennial age?

    --The “Days of Waiting” are ended and the “Cleansing of the Sanctuary—the Church,--the separating of its Wheat and Tares, is now in progress?

    --This favor is gradually taking shape and known as Zionism?

    --Immanuel’s Kingdom is now in process of establishment?

    --The Great Pyramid in Egypt is a Witness to all these events of the ages and of our day—testifying in symbols?

    --The Pyramid’s downward passage under “A Draconis” symbolizes the course of sin? Its First Ascending Passage symbolizes the Jewish age? Its Grand Gallery symbolizes the Gospel age? Its Upper Step symbolizes the approaching period of tribulation and anarchy, “Judgments,” upon Christendom? Its King Chamber the Divine Nature, etc., of the Overcoming Church—the Christ, Head and Body? Its Ante-Chamber the Correction in Righteousness of the “Great Company” etc.? Its Queen’s Chamber those of Israel and the world who attain Restitution?

    All these interesting topics with ten Pyramid illustrations can be had in

    “Thy Kingdom Come”

    (In English, German, Swedish, Dano-Norwegian and Greek)


    TEURS, 35 CENTS.


    BROOKLYN, N.Y., U.S.A.

  • cabasilas

    The pyramid was erected by the Society. Details about its construction, including various items which were placed inside can be read in the January 1919 IBSA Convention Report:

    This was the convention that re-elected Rutherford as president while he was jail in Atlanta. I believe the info on the plans for the pyramid at the grave is on pages 6 and 7 (or thereabouts).

    There are JWs who believe it was dissident Bible Students who erected the pyramid but that is not true as the above Convention Report shows. When I was at Bethel in the 70s another Bethelite told me of his visit to Pittsburgh and he had visited the cemetery. He told me the pyramid was erected by the "evil slave" and that the fact that Russell has his own headstone proved the point. He did not realize that the pyramid was to be the central focus for the entire site and would memorialize not only Russell, but Rutherford and Pilgrims.

    I wonder if there are any other Bible Students buried there? Does anyone know?

  • deddaisy

    "Mocking the dead and the bereaved is in poor taste as an argument of ridicule when despite our religious differences we will all die and lose people in death. "---Stev

    Stev, I don't think it's anyone's intention to mock the dead and bereaved. I can only answer for myself of course, but I know the only reason I bother to spend even one more moment of my life with any of the WTS's publications or history is in order to possibly save life, not mock the dead. If one person might see, and then question Russell having a pyramid near his gravesite, it may convince him or her to question things prior to becoming baptized. It's in even poorer that many lives were, and will be, wasted on dedication to a society that predicted the end of the world for everyone except themselves.

  • TheOldHippie

    stev - good points!

  • passive suicide
    passive suicide

    Boy....well that caps it....I sure am glad I was able ta see Russels grave from 500ft. above.........Now I KNOW he was loony.........uuhmmmmm yeah.

  • emptywords

    I had read that it was not in Russell's will he be buried in a pyramid but rather that of his x wife and some others that still believed in the pyramid, Russell abandoned any belief and was maily of curiosity, that he thought the great pyramid was the bible in stone, as he thought their being 144,000 stones and Christ being the chief corner stone, the top of the pyramid would come of and zoot into the sky with all of christs anointed ones.

  • greendawn

    Russell was using many masonic symbols and that alone makes him suspect of being involved in the occult. There may be a Christian explanation to these symbols but I doubt whether this is the real explanation that he gave them to him secretly they had another meaning. Why out of all symbols in existence should he choose masonic ones? It can't be just a coincidence.

    The cross and crown may mean martyrdom and glory to an ordinary person but to the initiated it may mean something very different. I think Russell was being double faced his sayings meant one thing to the uninitiated and another to the initiated.

  • jibberish

    WOW! Thanks thecarpenter for the pictures! Truely eye opening!!

  • Kenneson

    The Cross & Crown is a traditional Christian symbol. The Bible Students are not the only ones to use it. So do Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists, Christian Scientists and others. Have you never heard of the motto "No Cross, no Crown"? In our local cemetery is a very prominent monument belonging to an Episcopalian lady, bearing that emblem. The symbol is apparently not exclusive to the Masons. It's kind of like the wedding ring; not only pagans wear them.

  • undercover
    However, no matter how wrong Russell or the Bible Students might have been at that time, no matter how wrong how their interest in the Great Pyramid was, or the political motives that Rutherford might have had in putting it up, nevertheless they built it in honor of other human beings who had died or would die, and shows that they at least cared.

    And that is the one of the issues.

    A religion that today teaches its members to not celebrate their own birthdays or honor their parents on Mother's Day or Father's Day, erected this monument to honor a man. Not God, not Christ...but a man.

    It was mentioned that some JWs think that it was put up by dissidents. What this shows is that some JWs are even embarrassed by such a display of idolizing a man that they have to delude themselves into thinking that what they see isn't real. Cognitive dissonance at its best.

  • drew sagan
    drew sagan

    I live about 30 minutes away from the place. Pretty strange stuff indeed.

    There is an old 'Bible Students Convention' pamphlet that gives some details on the pyramid. I believe that all of his books as well as a few other items are in a sealed metal box that is in the center of it.

    I also believe there is a plaque of some kind downtown Pittsburgh that says something about Russell as well.

  • drew sagan
    drew sagan

    I also heard that per Russell's instructions there where to be no people of color buried above him in the cemetery.

  • purplesofa

    1. has Russells name

    what is the 2. 3. etc for?


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