Has anyone done a point by point refutation of Fritz Springmeier's The Watchtower and the Masons: A Preliminary Investigation?
Is there a point by point refutation of that book?
It's the source of all of the "Russell was a Mason" conspiracy. I started reading the book and I noticed some pretty obvious holes in the argument... for example, he writes that the pyramid-shaped monument is "proof" and we all know it isn't.
Here is the book if you want to check it out.
I read this and we cite it in our book. He gets everything wrong and makes wild claims. Then he admits he didn't really research his topic. He lists all the Russells he can think of that may have been Masons to infer that C. T. was one, then tells his readers he hasn't connected them. Bad book.
An example of his poor work is his claim that J. Paton baptized Russell. Russell was baptized in 1874, long before he met Paton. This is the only point we note in Separate Identity. Nothing else in his book is worth noting.
Springmeier has a troubled personal history. Personally I look deeply into a books quality when that's the case.
There was a speech transcription that Russell gave at a Mason lodge to members. He flat out acknowledged that he wasn't a Mason and thanked them for letting him speak. The Free Mason society has stated that he was never on their roster.
The headstone for the cemetery was initially designed with an upright cross and crown, it wasn't until after Russell's death that the headstone was finished with the tilted cross and crown design. There is no explanation for the change.
I am fine for calling out the coverups and lies of the Watchtower, but I try to make sure they are accurate. If points are accepted merely because they are negative, then we are no different than the JW's.
What can be clearly verified is that Russell's association with the Freemasons is that he used Freemason Halls many times to give talks and to promote his literature .
People have checked to see if he was registered as a Freemason and nothing could be found to support that assertion.
He once self described himslef as a Freemason but did so in as a metaphor that he too is separated from mainstream Christendom in his preaching and teaching, therefore free and imposingly different.
Commonly, Masonic halls were rented out for public events. That Russell used them is not exceptional.
I always remember the hypocrisy of one particular elder in an old hall many many years ago. I won't go into all his misdeeds, but there were many.
This guy was a complete control freak. If things weren't done right the way he wanted them, he would let you know about it. Anything questionable was always pointed out by him. It used to grind everyone's gears.
One big wtf moment came when he hired a Masonic hall to hold a party. Witnesses from a number of various Congregations attended without an eyebrow being raised. I have nothing against the Freemasons. But at the time I was thinking we are giving money to this highly secretive organisation with all its controversies. I remember how it deeply stumbled me at the time when I was a JW that didn't want my conscience affected in Jehovah's eyes.
It makes me laugh how self righteous some elders are when it suits them.