I do not at all have permission to post what follows. This is from appendix 1 of Schulz and de Vienne's new book, a work in progress. If they find this here, I'll be dumped from their private blog. But I think some of us need to see it.
Appendix One: Russell and the Masons
History is full of plots and conspiracies. Recounting them makes for interesting history. We memorialize some of them. Our English cousins annually burn Guy Fawkes in effigy and have a gay old time doing so. Our American relations celebrate the Minute Men (conspirators all), erecting statues, putting idealized, heroic images of one of their number on postage stamps, using it in patriotic propaganda, or as a trademark for an insurance company. A fiction genre derives from our ancestors’ plots and conspiracies, and we may be entertained by Dumas or bored to distraction by a modern-day incarnation of Luise Mühlbach. The suggestion that Charles Taze Russell was a Mason, part of a great, generations-long conspiracy doesn’t even meet the standard of historical fiction.
If there were any merit to this claim, our book would be significantly more interesting than it is. The ‘evidence’ presented by those who promote this fails to meet any rational standard. One of the boldest of those promoting this fantasy suggests it must be so because he believes it to be so. Various writers present an extensive “Russell Bloodline” that is supposed to prove that C. T. Russell was a mason, though as one admits: “This author has not established any link between the various famous Russells. Although I have been doing genealogy work, I have not had the chance to do the long term geneology [sic] work required to clarify the issue, if the reader is dissatisfied with the extent of this information, he is encouraged that rather than criticize to research it himself.”
Masons were in the 19 th Century extremely proud of their brotherhood. Invariably if someone was noticed in a regional history, a biographical record, or in an obituary, their Masonic membership was noted. Lodges kept and published meticulous membership lists. As you read this book you will find a number of instances where we note someone’s lodge membership. The Pittsburgh lodges were no different. Their membership rolls are easy to find. The Grand Lodge, several anti-Watch Tower writers and we have scoured those lists for any mention of the Russells. Neither Joseph nor Charles is found on any lodge membership roll in Allegheny City or Pittsburgh. Those postulating some role for Russell in a vast Masonic conspiracy suggest that there is a ‘hidden’ lodge, more secretive, malevolent, bent on dominating American society. They can’t prove its existence, of course. After all, it’s secret.
The evidence presented by conspiracy hypothecators (their speculations do not meet the definition of a “theory.”) consists of a series of non-sequiturs, pseudo-syllogisms, untenable, and insupportable conclusions. A feeling of powerlessness and manipulation underlies their claims. Those who advocate this theory seek to transfer blame for accepting a belief system they now reject to an ill defined conspiracy. They are unwilling to see, as traditional Christianity holds, that Satan is the prince of the power of the air, manipulating human society to his own ends; so they replace a demonic conspiracy with an improbable human one. Some who read this book will come to it seeking evidence for Russell’s Masonic connections. They will not find here what they seek.
Though it offends my historian’s sensibilities to do so, let’s examine the ‘evidence.’ As usually presented it falls into three categories: symbolisms used during the Russell era; Russell’s associations; and textual evidence.
Decorative motifs found on Watch Tower publications are interpreted as Masonic. From an early date a cross and crown design appeared on Zion’s Watch Tower’s front cover. Because it was also used on Masonic paraphernalia, notably on the ceremonial swords, the presumption is that Russell borrowed from Masonic forms, covertly announcing to all “in the know” his Masonic connections. The logic flaws behind this reasoning are astounding.
Cross and Crown
Masonic use of the cross and crown symbolism derives from Christian usage. The symbolism became popular in the 17 th Century at least in Christian phraseology. In 1621, Francis Quarles wrote the poem Hadassa: The History of Queene Ester. It contains this couplet:
The way to bliss lies not on beds of down,
And he that has no cross deserves no crown.
There is a high probability that William Penn took the title of his famous essay No Cross, No Crown from Quarles’ poem. From Penn and others who wrote similarly, the cross and crown coupling became popular. For instance, Matthew Henry observed in his Exposition of the Old and New Testaments (published in several volumes between 1708 and 1710): “We only bear the cross for a while, but we shall wear the crown to eternity.” By mid-19 th Century the phrase, “we must all bear the cross before we can wear the crown” had become common, finding its way into poems, homelies, sermons and common speech. Russell would have heard it repeated ad nausium. The cross and crown was found as an embroidery pattern; it found a place on Sunday school pins, on convention ribbons, and on jewelry, and this long before it appeared on the Watch Tower’s front cover or on a Masonic sword. The cross and crown symbol found on The Watch Tower in the early 1890s is a combination of type matrixes commonly found in a printers type drawer. The revised version from the later 1890s is a single type face, also common in usage.
Poem by Harriet Miston Tilly Published in 1850 . [i don't know how to post this photo]
A pyramid shaped monument was installed in the Bible Student cemetery in Pittsburgh. The cemetery is occasionally described as Masonic. It’s not. There is a Masonic temple nearby built years later. There is no connection. The pyramid was intended as a general monument with the names of those buried in the Watch Tower plots engraved onto open books. Rather than being a Masonic symbol, the open book motif derives from the book of Revelation. Those who want to cast Russell as part of some great Masonic conspiracy claim the pyramid embodies the “all seeing eye.” It does not. The pyramid symbol refers to Russell’s belief, shared by many others who did not otherwise hold his views, that the Great Pyramid at Gizah was a divinely inspired testimony in stone to Bible truth. We trace the development of this idea in Chapter Three. The use of the pyramid as a monument was suggested not by the back of the US dollar which had an entirely different design in 1920, but by the grave marker for Charles Piazzi Smyth, a prominent pyramidologist and Astronomer Royal of Scotland.
The monument was installed in 1919, some years after Russell’s death. One source suggests Russell designed it, a Bible Student convention report saying: “The Pyramid, as you will note, has an open book carved on each side, intended by Brother Russell for the names of Bethel workers as they ceased their work and were laid at rest, awaiting the great Resurrection of the first-fruits of the Lord.”  A Bible Student web page takes pains to blame the pyramid monument on Rutherford rather than Russell. Neither of these statements is correct. The monument was designed not as a memorial to Russell but “as a memorial to the society.” It was “designed by Brother Bohnet, and accepted by Brother Russell as the most fitting emblem for an enduring monument on the Society’s burial space.” According to Bohnet, work started in 1914. The pyramid’s purpose was not Masonic. 
The Bliss Theater
In the 1965 Jehovah’s Witnesses purchased the Bliss Theater in the Sunnyside section of Queens, turning it into an Assembly Hall. The theater, built in 1931, was decorated in an Egyptian motif. Shortly after purchase, the Watchtower Society issued a post card showing the theater before extensive renovations began. Because the original Egyptian symbols appear in the photo, the post card image is used as proof of enduring Masonic connections. In fact the Watchtower Society renovated the theater, replacing the neo-Egyptian décor with Bible-based paintings. The symbolism on the front of the theater was removed as well. A mindless determination to find a conspiracy where none exists perpetuates a myth. This type of attack characterizes a vocal but under-educated and rather stupid minority of former adherents. Current photos of the Queens Assembly Hall are available on the Internet. They are easy to find. Those with a determination to remain stupid simply ignore them or do not look for them.
Other symbolisms are also put forward as Masonic. The vignette in the corner of Zion’s Watch Tower showing arms and armor and a shepherd’s crook is one of these. The derivation is from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. The winged disk motif on later editions of Studies in the Scriptures traces both to Russell’s preoccupation with the Great Pyramid as a supplementary support to Bible revelation and to commonly appearing Egyptian motifs. All things Egyptian were part of a fad in the United States, fueled by archaeological discoveries.
Russell’s Associates and Textual Evidence
Without doubt Russell associated with some who were Masons. His uncle was a Mason. Some of his earliest associates were, and some of his known business associates were Masons. Does this imply that Russell was one? The authors of this book teach. We associate on a regular basis with children. Hopefully, we have passed beyond childhood. Associations do not indicate membership in a group. Find a membership list with Russell’s name on it. That would be good, solid evidence. Present that to us, and we’ll revise this book; otherwise, stop being stupid.
Russell made a few comments on Masons. These are taken out of context; occasionally the quotation is altered. Russell’s comments reflect an outsider’s view of the Masonic brotherhood. The quotation seen in context has Russell say that he was never a Mason. Absent real evidence that he was a Mason, one must reject this claim. Even if we could readily find his name on a lodge membership list, we would be left with proving a grand Masonic conspiracy. That is the stuff of second-rate adventure movies, not history. I am bringing this distasteful task to an end. Certainly some who read this book will not release their grasp on a conspiracy theory that gives them some sense of self-justification or of possessing esoteric knowledge, but the membership lists of the Pittsburgh and Allegheny Lodges are easy to find. Show us his name on one of those lists.
 See his commentary on James in any complete edition. He made the comment when considering James chapter one.
 Souvenir Notes from the Reunion Convention of Christian Bible Students: Pittsburgh, Pa., November 1-2-3, 1929.
 Souvenir Notes from the Bible Student’s Convention: Pittsburgh, Pa., January 2-5, 1919, page 7.