IN THEIR OWN WORDS: The mean-spirit of Russell's sham marriage

by Terry 14 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Terry

    It is commonly known by Jehovah's Witnesses, the marriage of Pastor C.T.Russell and his wife Maria (Moe-rye-uh) was an uneasy one.

    The marriage itself was founded on a weird interpretation of "virginity" and "purity" as only an obsessive-compulsive

    Puritan fanatic might find agreeable. The two of them were not to share a bed (or physical relations.)


    So, why marry at all? "A husband of one wife" is a qualification in the New Testament, you see.


    Maria was well-educated, bright, talented as a writer, editor and extremely useful to Russell's literary output and presentation.

    Russell's first two volumes of the Studies in the Scriptures were co-authored with Maria.

    The Watch Tower Society fairly rested on Maria's capable shoulders.

    Let me give you a quotation from my new science-fiction novel, THE MONORAILS OF MARS concerning this:

    "Maria, having access to her husband’s ledger knew all details. Rumors abounded she was leveraging consent. Gossip certainly could not stand as proof. Still—the word was out Maria Russell had been given far too many privileges for a woman as Director in the Tower Society, Secretary and Treasurer; as Associate Editor and regular contributor to the published writings. Elder’s wives looked up to her as an educated and enlightened female. Could there be any worse example for Christian wives than success and achievement in a Pastor’s spouse? "


    Russell wanted all the credit all the glory and all the attention.

    He deeply resented Maria asking to be treated like any other contributor. Why? He wanted to muzzle her, re-write what she wrote and deny her credit.


    With that premise in mind I direct you to the PDF of a circular letter (pass it around) pamphlet which gives the details of these conflicts.


    WARNING! The formality of the language in the early years of the 1900's takes some getting use to.

    I suggest you skip to about page 3 and read it out loud.

    THIS IS SOME OF THE MOST INTERESTING material I've read in a long time.

    After being married to Pastor Russell for 17 years, Maria gives him a tongue-lashing that is among the

    most impressive, delightful, full-scale intellectual achievements of this or any other age! I'd go so far as to say

    this pamphlet is the equivalent of the Atom bomb on Hiroshima.

  • redvip2000

    The marriage itself was founded on a weird interpretation of "virginity" and "purity" as only an obsessive-compulsive

    A convenience marriage. I wouldn't be surprised if he was actually gay.

  • Focus

    redvip2000, CTR was certainly not gay.

    When he went into the very young servant girl's room, the door would be locked, and one conjectures he went into the servant girl too.

    As for Rose Ball... lol.

    Is CTR a contradiction? Or just a hypocrite?

    It could be that Maria was unreceptive or became frigid as she increasingly saw through the wicked old poser and his scams. The document to which Terry points was written having taken legal advice. Maria is holding back a lot.



    ("Ball" Class)

  • jgnat

    Remember the idealism of the age. An entire sect practiced celibacy as a repudiation of all things carnal (Shakers). I think this could have been an intellectual marriage with some satisfaction for both (authorship and leadership for her).

    Kind of reminds me of the Clinton union where the wife has larger ambitions than the husband, but she remains constrained by convention. In this model the husband is used to express the ambitions of the wife.

  • Terry

    Pastor Russell really bristled at any idea of EQUALITY of the sexes being expressed in marriage.

    This has been a problem for religious men for thousands of years. The New Testament goes on and on about

    neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek, etc. but--Christian men today seldom back off an inch from claims of DOMINION over a wife.

    From the PDF (link above) it looks like Charles really thought an "ideal" marriage would be between a superior intellect and an inferior.

    That is disgusting and demonstrates a sense of inferiority on the part of the man.

    What I love about Maria is how articulate she is. She really knows how to deliver the goods using scriptures to penetrate the Pastor's

    protective patina of paternalism.

    IS IT ANY WONDER he refused to engage in a face-to-face discussion?

    It is obvious she would win every time!

    I bet he licked his wounds once too often. Can you imagine?

    He couldn't beat her so he cut off her money and marginalized her thinking she would cow.

    I just can't respect any part of the man. Sorry.

  • warehouse

    Focus wrote:

    When he went into the very young servant girl's room, the door would be locked, and one conjectures he went into the servant girl too.

    . . .

    ("Ball" Class)

    I'm dying in laughter

  • WishingLiz

    Thanks Terry. What an eye opener. Very interesting.

  • cultBgone

    Thank you for sharing this!

  • HeyThere


    What a douche he was.

  • Terry

    It amazes me how wonderful a resource the Internet is in exposing the nooks and crannies of this religion.

    I've been at this since 1959 and I'm still finding out new things.

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