Yes, Russell did start the International Bible Students; he did not start the Jehovah's Witnesses organization. The International Bible Students as a whole rejected Rutherford's visible organization dogma, and they did not become "Jehovah's Witnesses", and the Bible Students still exist today totally aside from the JW org. For more related to this, check out my website, Restoration Light Bible Study Services (rlbible dot com domain) under the category: Bible Students.
Russell himself preached against such an authoritarian organization until the day he died; not only that, he preached against the kind of Armageddon message that the JWs preach.
If by "pyramidology', you are referring to Russell's study of God's Witness in Egypt, I have studied what he wrote. Although he made some errors, I see nothing in such study that is "wacky".
The only "religion" that Russell believed in was the Christian religion, and he believed that there were consecrated members of the Christian religion among all the various denominations and sects and profess to be Christian. The Bible Students Association, is not, of itself a "religion".
I would say that more than 85% of what you may read about Russell from sources opposed to Russell is so distorted and full of imaginative false accusations that it is highly unreliable.
While it may have been that one of the reasons Russell moved the headquarters of the legal entity was that it could increase the circulation of his books, I see nothing wrong with that. The whole purpose of the legal entity was to distribute the message in those books to as many as possible. Nevertheless, the vast bulk of literature produced by Russell through the then WTS was distributed gratis. I highly doubt that any revenue from the sell of books in NY or anywhere else had much effect at all on meeting the costs of running the then WTS. Nevertheless, Brother Russell was always interested in increasing the distribution of his books and other literature.
While there are those whom seem to have an unwarranted hatred of Russell who make it appear that Russell did some sinister things regarding the United States Investment Company, etc., and have connected his actions with the divorce suit filed by his wife, in reality, his wife knew of the purposes of the that land and what the money was to be used for before she ever filed for divorce.
Brother Russell was not perfect, and I am sure that some of his imperfections resulted in actions that could be considered bad treatment of his wife; I believe this is true of any marriage. However, most of what I have seen is highly distorted.
Nevertheless, if the only thing he cared about was money, then his goal in life would have been to get rich with money. He certainly failed since he never got rich, and died with hardly any money at all. In reality, he was indeed interested in making money to create funds to support the work of the WTS, which is why he and some of his associates created business ventures, which although not legally owned by the WTS, were created to support the work of the WTS.
As for myself, I will be eternally thankful to God using Brother Russell to bring forth so many wonderful truths from the Bible, especially that of the "ransom for all." Knowing what I know about Russell, I certainly cannot blame him for the JW organization and what it stands for. This is like saying that Jesus is responsible for all the murders committed the later disputes among the various sectarian factions that claimed to be Christian after the death of apostles. Nevertheless, Russell sought by several methods to keep the WTS from becoming what it did become after his death. In effect, his WTS ceased to exist a few weeks after his death, for Rutherford virtually destroyed the original and replaced it with a new WTS by means of deceitfully having new by-laws passed.
For details and my research related to most of the above, see my website: "Charles Taze Russell -- Examining the Facts". I am new to this forum and am not sure if I am allowed to link to the site.