Russell's Pyramidology Originated In Edinburgh Scotland
Sparrowdown: Very glad for this op as I 'm so sick of people who insist on perpetuating the idea that the pyamid monument near Russell's gravestone has nothing to do with WT or Russell - ha piffell!
vienne: Sparrow, I don't know of anyone who denies the pyramid monument is connected to Russell...
Well...there are some JWs floating around with some strange notions so I wouldn't entirely discount some JWs denying the connection. For any that do hold onto the idea that the WT had nothing at all to do with the pyramid, this is from the ISBA 1919 Convention Report:
Note the list of items contained in Russell's "time capsule". *can we arrange an opening of the time capsule? a 100 year anniversary??
I wonder if any of those pink granite "souvenir chips" (about the size of an egg) are anywhere around. Maybe someone's great-great grandma's treasure box contained a piece of pink stone and nobody knew the significance of it. A chip off the ol' block itself.
I thought the "time capsule" had been opened by the WT society sometime back in the 1980's?
Maybe someone should call them and ask what was in it!
Inside the pyramid? see this page and scroll down to 2nd article
Orphancrow, I think the spin is usually along the lines of that was the old Russelite/Bible Students/didn't make the adjustment to JW's group......not real JW's. Ugh.
Russell's dabbling with Pyramidology attracted some attention from a well-known writer. Martin Gardner discusses how cherry-picking the relationships and fudging the measurements ("pyramid inches") can manufacture amazing coincidences at will, how Russel borrowed liberally from Smythe (and further fudged the data to predict 1874, then fudged it again to arrive at 1914).
"Judge J. F. Rutherford, who succeeded Russell after the pastor died in 1916, eventually discarded Pyramidology entirely. Writing in the November 15 and December 1, 1928 issues of The Watchtower and Herald, Rutherford delivered a double-barreled blast against it, and advances many ingenious arguments that the so-called Altar in Egypt was really inspired by Satan for the purpose of misleading the faithful... The sect now discourages the sale and reading of Russell's writings, and although the members still believe the Millennium is about to dawn, no definite dates are set."
"The ability of the mind to fool itself by an unconscious "fudging" on the facts--an overemphasis here and an underemphasis there--is far greater than most people realize. The literature of Pyramidology stands as a permanent and pathetic tribute to that ability."
[NB: originally published in 1952, long before the "Stay alive 'til 75" frenzy]
-- Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science (second edition: 1957), Martin Gardner, Dover Publications, p. 182
A few here have asked why researchers object and nit-pick on threads like this. It's because the details get garbled until the story is unrecognizable.
Russell did not "predict" 1874. Russell did not come up with that date at all. This was the work of Barbour
Barbour further predicted a forty year harvest period culminating in the expiration of "The Times of the Gentiles" in 1914. He published these details in the September 1875 issue of his monthly periodical, Herald of the Morning.
Russell, who, by his own testimony, had rejected Adventist date setting and calculations up until this point, stumbled across Barbour's predictions in the early part of 1876. He accepted both of these dates (1874 & 1914) and retained his belief in them throughout the rest of his life,
(The fact that Russell accepted the 1874 date only after the fact has apparently been a source of considerable embarrassment to the JW's in the past. --So much so, that in 1975, they falsified the publication date of The Object and Manner of Our Lord's Return, claiming that was published four years earlier than it actually was)
Pyramidology was to the late 1800's what Erich von Däniken's Chariots of the Gods? was to the 1970's Deep down, I think most people knew it was probably claptrap, but it was so darn fun and had just enough of a "scientific" ring to it as to make it plausible. People wanted to believe and so they did.
Russell added these pyramid measurements to the 1914 chronology as a corroborating line of evidence, but neither pyramidology, nor Russell himself was the actual source of these dates.
And to add to all that there is some suggestion as well that weathering kept changing the measurements of the pyramid. Each time the poor things went to measure the darned thing it changed by an inch or so!!!
Good points TD. Barbour was the inventor of the chronology. To be more precise he "corrected" the eschatology of Wm Miller after "The Great Disappointment" of 1844.
If I remember rightly 1799 was also part of the picture. I think it was the beginning of the Last Days as manifested by the French Revolution.
Barbour credited Christopher Bowen, an Anglican clergyman, with the chronology. His conclusions about 1873-4 were borrowed from others without much credit.
I don't think the Watch Tower falsified the date for Object and Manner's return. From old letters between them and my writing partner it is obvious that they did not have a copy and drew their conclusions from a misreading of Russell's Perils Among False Brethren Article. Even after Mr. Schulz, my WP, sent them a photocopy they wondered if the 1877 date on the cover was a second edition. One letter in Mr. Schulz' old files from him to the WT points to articles in the Tower and Studies that showed the correct date. What they were was clueless and a bit inept.