The last moments of Pastor Russell in a sleeper car in Pampas Texas

by Terry 15 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Terry

    It is pretty sad that whatever graces Pastor Russell possessed and whatever his legacy is to the the religion now called Jehovah's Witnesses the full magnitude

    of his talent as a writer vanishes without a trace in the style of today's Watchtower magazine.

    The JW's are obliged to acknowledge he existed because without him--there would have been no publishing company endowed with flush funds for Judge Rutheford

    to hijack.

    But, his style and his manner are expunged. A great deal of his life and his malfeasance has to be covered up or diverted away from so that contemporary Witnesses

    can smile and nod and think bland, neutral thoughts about the legacy.

    Many of his writings are quite lovely to read. Pity he wasted his talents on endless imaginative inventions of the mind obsessed with the End of the World!

    Wouldn't he be truly shocked and stunned into silence at being informed it is the year 2012 and almost one hundred years have passed since the 1914 END he lavished so much enthusiasm upon?

  • Terry

    The Death Certificate for Pastor Russell was signed by a non-Texas physician.

    The train was said to have been in Pampas, Texas when he died.

    I'm not sure this means anything other than that a doctor was on board who was a resident of another state.

    Does anybody know anything about the actual certificate or the doctor?

  • Cold Steel
    Cold Steel

    One of the most fascinating near death stories I've ever read is Return From Tomorrow by George Ritchie. And one of the most ironic things about the Jehovah's Witnesses is that when they die, it takes them only moments to realize that they need to rethink their eschatological doctrines and convictions.

    Many of you are either Jehovah's Witnesses or former members, and you were taught that when you’re dead, you cease to exist until God recreates you sometime in the future. To them, they close their eyes in death and then the next minute they open them sometime in the future. But what if that doesn’t happen? What happens if you’re horribly sick and suddenly you feel much better? You get out of the bed thinking you’ve beat the sickness and you look back and see someone lying in the bed you just got out of. At first it frightens you. Who is that person? (Many people don’t recognize themselves because they’re not used to seeing themselves in 3D aside from a mirror, and the experience is almost universally startling because they think it’s someone else.) This happened in Ritchie’s story. “...Suddenly I remembered the young man I had seen in the bed in that little hospital room,” he wrote. “What if it had been me?”

    Later he recounts: “And slowly a...more alarming truth began to register. I had never seen myself! Not really. Not the way I saw other people ... from the shoulders up...I had seen only a two-dimensional mirror-image staring at me from a piece of glass. And occasionally a snapshot, equally two-dimensional. That was all. The roundedness, the living, space-filling presence of myself, I did not know at all.”

    But what must a Jehovah’s Witness think when they experience the same? Certainly they can’t blame this on the Devil, or some aberration of perception. But is it enough to change their views?

    I don’t think someone’s beliefs are enough to condemn them to a never ending tortuous Hell, as the OP suggests; however, Russell and “the Judge” misled a number of people who relied on their scriptural exegesis.

    But what do you think? Is there life after death and, if so, how do you think Jehovah's Witnesses react to it? If you’re a former JW, have you changed your opinions about death?

  • Terry

    For some reasons which I'm not in touch with I've never had a dread of death.

    I have a son who, from the time he was very young, has always been hyper-aware that someday he will die--and he's very worried. Just my opposite.

    I can't say that I don't care. I probably will care more and more as I grow older.

    But, worrying about an after-life just holds no interest for me intellectually or emotionally.

    Call me crazy.

    I worry about the immediate and hardly ever the eventual.

    Being a Jehovah's Witness was more of an intellectual game of skill--on one level--than about real things or true things. Not that I didn't get emotionally sunken into the

    milieu. I did. But, Paradise, Heaven, Armageddon were such unlikely abstractions I never invested feeling and longing or aversion into the concepts.

    I'm sure each of us is different.

    Nobody knows the experience of being dead because death is not an experience. Dying is an experience. Benefitting from dying (were we to be revived somehow) is tremendously foolish because we only use our MIND to learn. The brain shuts down the higher faculties as we die. Consequently, it is less and less reliable as a witness to actual happenings.

    When I worked in a bookstore in the religion section I read the books about people who say they died--went to heaven or hell--and returned with a tale to tell.

    Sure. They believe what they write. I don't.

    Nobody CAN know.

    For thousands and thousands of years people have died and that is the end of it. Unless, of course, your imagination goes awry.

    Religion sells us on a bogus service: continued life.

    I am not a consumer.

  • moshe
    When I worked in a bookstore in the religion section

    How can half-price books have let you retire? I'll bet they still need you a couple days a week-

  • Terry

    When I worked in a bookstore in the religion section

    How can half-price books have let you retire? I'll bet they still need you a couple days a week-

    Here is the true story: One day I just had enough, went crazy and walked out to my car and drove away. Later I called and informed them I was now officially retired!

    And so it goes....

    I don't miss it. Dealing with the public disturbed the balance of my precarious brain :)

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