As we all know Russell was one of the founders of the Watchtower Society (with 10% in shares) and many know that he was known as the first president of the organisation. We do not have to repeat again about all the prophecies he made which did not happen. We know they didn't.
What most don't know is how he begot all or most of the "wisdom" and calculations. Most don't know that Russell was not the first to promote Jesus 2nd coming and most don't know that even before the history of witnessess with their failed prophecies his "teacher" and starter of Adventism had a history of failed prophecies himself!
His name? Mr. William Miller
It is not necessary to share his whole story here (you can read it yourself by clicking his name) but I have taken some highlights to share it with you and to show the simillarities with the Jehovah's Witnessess in our time:
- Miller had a lot of "followers" (just like the charismatic Russell) and started the adventist movement
- Miller predicted Christ's second coming a couple of times based on calenders and calculations. He used the prophecies in Daniel about the statue in 1843
- He predicted the "last coming of Christ in 1844 (he did so a couple of times actually!) which obviously did not happen... te last prediction caused the so-called Great Disappointment. As a result a lot of followers left the "truth" and/or started new doctrines.
After the failure of Miller's expectations for October 22, 1844, the date became known as the Millerites' Great Disappointment. Hiram Edson recorded that "Our fondest hopes and expectations were blasted, and such a spirit of weeping came over us as I never experienced before... We wept, and wept, till the day dawn." Following the Great Disappointment most Millerites simply gave up their beliefs. Some did not and viewpoints and explanations proliferated. Miller initially seems to have thought that Christ's Second Coming was still going to take place—that "the year of expectation was according to prophecy; but...that there might be an error in Bible chronology, which was of human origin, that could throw the date off somewhat and account for the discrepancy." Miller never gave up his belief in the Second Coming of Christ; he died on December 20, 1849, still convinced that the Second Coming was imminent.
- Miller was too proud to accept his error but blamed the chronology! We see the same thing done by the GB.
- Miller was an active Freemason until 1831. By 1833 he wrote in a letter to his friends to treat Freemasonry "as they would any other evil". (note: Freemasons sometimes thow up smokey curtains... I can not say for a fact that Miller did it to misguide people or that he truelly quit with them but it IS quite funny that he had been a mason and may have used his "prior" knowledge and plug it into his teachings).
There are some important lessons to be learned from his story but also that of one of the guys that was "moved" by the ideas of Miller (aka as Russell):
1. they had different views about religion then the known religions.
2. they acted according to their believes: (in JW-style called: apostacy)
Now... if we take a very good look at the history of the witnesses AND the milleranites, what would your conclusion be?
Is it neccesarily wrong to THINK differently? Is it neccesarily wrong to ACT accordingly? What did Russell's example show you and me? According to recent teachings of the JW's he should have been an apostate... but if he was an apostate... what was his movement then? Did they not build a building based upon apostacy then? Not only that: Rutherford changed a lot of teachings as well (that is the definition of a "movement"!) so he was an apostate as well!
Do you feel sorry you have apostate thinkings then? Do you feel guilty? Knowing all the above: SHOULD you feel guilty? You may answer it for yourself cause that is true freedom. Freedom of choice, freedom of thinking, freedom of self-determination!