So for S&Gs I started reading Russells early works beginning today. I started with the 1886 "Plan of the Ages" book. Already going through paragraph 1 I am seeing some HUGE signposts for what would happen later in the religion.
In his explanation of a beginning of an examination into the scriptures he says that there are only 2 ways open to us. Notice the key mind control words that he used. This is on page 14 of the VERY FIRST BOOK that witnesses wrote!!!
"As inquirers, we have 2 methods open to us. One is to seek among all the views suggested by the various sects of the church and to take elements which we might consider truth." To do this is said to "prevent our correct selection and we might choose error and reject truth. To adopt this method we should lose much, because truth is progressive, shining more and more unto the perfect day. Each of these creeds contain a large proportion of error."
It is interesting to note that they were pulling the Proverbs 4:18 card even from their very first book.
One issue of note in this first chapter of note is that Russell, in a round about way, gives a true prophecy!!! On page 16, he says: "We trust that a wide distinction will be recognized beween the earnest, sober and reverent study of prophecy and a too common practice of general speculation which, when applied to divine prophecy, is too apt to give loose regin to wild theory and vague fancy. Those who fall into this dangerous habit generally develop into "prophets" instead of prophetic students."
This is one of the most telling quotes I've ever read. He fell into his own trap. The fact that this is on page 16 and just a few pages later he launches into full modern day prophetic fulfillment is amazing.
I'm not sure if anyone else will think this is interesting or not. But I just thought it was profound that even in 1886, at the very start of the organization, they made their stance as false prophets before God.