C T Russell's involvement with the Freemasons re-evaluated

by Finkelstein 35 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • rebelfighter

    A lot of people mistake the Masonic community as a religion when in fact it is not a religion. Each one of the organizations is set up as a charity.

    I can most definitely see why the WT would oppose a JW from being a member for two very big reasons if you are really into the Masonic community as I am you spend many hours a month and large sums of money doing charity work. I am sure WT wants both of those, your money is surely better spent sending it to those greedy, lying GB.

  • Finkelstein

    Good point Sparrowdown , the WTS has been quite protective of its historical involvement with the Freemasons or of C T Russell's fascination with ancient mysticism drawn from Freemasonry.

    I didn't find out about myself until coming across it on the Net a few years ago or of Russell's Pyramidology teachings.

    How many JWs do you suppose know that the year 1914 was calculated from the measurement of the Great Pyramid of Giza ? They just know of the 607 BCE calculation up to 1914.

    That too was being disobedient to God by Jesus's commandment to not any of his followers to set a time upon God's own sacred time.

    So then who is the true disingenuous apostate or false prophets ?

  • TD

    As someone whose male relatives were deeply involved in the Masons, I don't for the life of me understand what difference it would make...

  • Finkelstein

    I think its just interesting to see the historically influence the Freemason organization had toward C T Russell.

    He was in his mind a free wheeling bible teacher/interpreter, a special messenger guided by god himself.

    This carried over when Rutherford took over the WTS. and proclaimed that the WTS was exclusively chosen by God in 1919,

    All throughout the 20th century the WTS proclaimed this over and over again.

    This JWs was built upon bullshiting men who knew what they were doing as far as the proliferation of the WTS's publications.

    What is really relevant now is that nothing has happened as proclaimed by the WTS.

    ......... maybe God didn't choose the WTS after all.

  • TD

    It is indeed interesting. I think you and I both know that on the internet, the possible connection to Freemasonry is very often a stepping stone towards conclusions that just don't stand up.

    For example:

    How many JWs do you suppose know that the year 1914 was calculated from the measurement of the Great Pyramid of Giza ?

    Did you mean that the way it came out?

    Russell didn't calculate 1914. Nelson Barbour did. Barbour published his calculations before he even met Russell.

    Russell accepted Barbour's chronology lock, stock, and barrel. It's actually the one, single eschatological element from the Russell era that JW's still accept today. (And they don't give Barbour any credit for it...)

    On top of this framework, Russell added corroborating lines of "evidence" including the pyramid nonsense.

    But Russell was not a technical man. He was not an architect, or an engineer or a surveyor or a draftsman. He started off with Smyth's section drawing of the Great Pyramid of Giza and massaged the numbers (By scaling with a ruler) with the 1914 date firmly in mind. In other words, it was a post hoc line of evidence executed in the most inaccurate way imaginable.

    It's probably more accurate to say that Russell calculated the lengths of the pyramid passages using 1914 than it is to say that Russell calculated 1914 using the lengths of the pyramid passages. :-)

  • Finkelstein

    I should have mentioned that Russell didn't originally invent the ideological theory of Pyramidology but used it to support the1914 date. Russell plagiarized and drew much of his ideas from other sources and commercialized them for his own means into his published works..

    As its known the Pyramid image or symbol is used in Freemasonry, being that so the connection to this ideology and Russell's own theological expressions can be confidently assumed.

    Some more info on Pyramidology ....

    Charles Piazzi Smyth FRSE FRS FRAS FRSSA (3 January 1819 – 21 February 1900), was Astronomer Royal for Scotland from 1846 to 1888, well known for many innovations in astronomy and his pyramidological and metrological studies of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

    Pyramidological researches

    Smyth corresponded with pyramid theorist John Taylor and was heavily influenced by him. Taylor theorized in his 1859 book The Great Pyramid: Why Was It Built? & Who Built It? that the Great Pyramid was planned and the building supervised by the biblical Noah. Refused a grant by the Royal Society, Smyth went on an expedition to Egypt in order to accurately measure every surface, dimension, and aspect of the Great Pyramid. He brought along equipment to measure the dimensions of the stones, the precise angle of sections such as the descending passage, and a specially designed camera to photograph both the interior and exterior of the pyramid. He also used other instruments to make astronomical calculations and determine the pyramid's accurate latitude and longitude.
    This diagram from Smyth's Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid (1877) shows some of his measurements and chronological determinations made from them

    Smyth subsequently published his book Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid in 1864 (which he expanded over the years and is also titled The Great Pyramid: Its Secrets and Mysteries Revealed). Smyth claimed that the measurements he obtained from the Great Pyramid of Giza indicated a unit of length, the pyramid inch, equivalent to 1.001 British inches, that could have been the standard of measurement by the pyramid's architects. From this he extrapolated a number of other measurements, including the pyramid pint, the sacred cubit, and the pyramid scale of temperature.

    Smyth claimed that the pyramid inch was a God-given measure handed down through the centuries from the time of Shem (Noah's Son), and that the architects of the pyramid could only have been directed by the hand of God. To support this Smyth said that, in measuring the pyramid, he found the number of inches in the perimeter of the base equalled one thousand times the number of days in a year, and found a numeric relationship between the height of the pyramid in inches to the distance from Earth to the Sun, measured in statute miles. He also advanced the theory that the Great Pyramid was a repository of prophecies which could be revealed by detailed measurements of the structure. Working upon theories by Taylor, he conjectured that the Hyksos were the Hebrew people, and that they built the Great Pyramid under the leadership of Melchizedek. Because the pyramid inch was a divine unit of measurement, Smyth, a committed proponent of British Israelism, used his conclusions as an argument against the introduction of the metric system in Britain. For much of his life he was a vocal opponent of the metric system, which he considered a product of the minds of atheistic French radicals, a position advocated in many of his works.[2]

    Smyth, despite his bad reputation in Egyptological circles today, performed much valuable work at Giza. He made the most accurate measurements of the Great Pyramid that any explorer had made up to that time, and he photographed the interior passages, using a magnesium light, for the first time. Smyth's work resulted in many drawings and calculations, which were soon incorporated into his books Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid, the three-volume Life and Work at the Great Pyramid (1867), and On the Antiquity of Intellectual Man (1868). For his works he was awarded a gold medal by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, but in 1874, the Royal Society rejected his paper on the design of Khufu's pyramid, as they had Taylor's. The rejection of his ideas helped contribute to his resignation from his post as Royal Astronomer in 1888.

    Influence of Smyth's pyramid theories

    Smyth's theories on pyramid prophecy were then integrated into the works and prophecies of Charles Taze Russell (such as his Studies in the Scriptures), who founded the Bible Student movement (most visible today in the Jehovah's Witnesses, though Russell's successor, Joseph F. Rutherford, denounced pyramidology as unscriptural). Smyth's proposed dates for the Second Coming, first 1882 then many dates between 1892 and 1911, were failed predictions.

    The theories of Taylor and Smyth gained many eminent supporters and detractors in the field of Egyptology during the late 1800s, but by the end of the 19th century it had lost most of its mainstream scientific support. The greatest blow to the theory was dealt by the great Egyptogist William Matthew Flinders Petrie, who had initially been a supporter. When Petrie went to Egypt in 1880 to perform new measurements, he found that the pyramid was several feet smaller than previously believed. This so undermined the theory that Petrie rejected it, writing "there is no authentic example, that will bear examination, of the use or existence of any such measure as a 'Pyramid inch,' or of a cubit of 25.025 British inches."

  • TD

    How much of that video do you accept as valid, Finkelstein?

    I don't know why the JW's thought that the outer court of Herod's Temple had a checkered floor, but I would be willing to bet that the floor plan drawing on page 1585 of Aid To Bible Understanding; page 1467 of the 1961 NWT; page 1370 of the 1971 Large Print NWT; page 1584 of the 1984 Large Print NWT, etc., was stolen from somebody else.

    Don't you think it's more reasonable to conclude that the illustration of Jesus and the money changers (6:14 in the video) pulled the checkered floor motif from the drawing that the JW's used in their reference works for 35+ years? The author of the video comes across as out beyond Pluto here.

    Or how about the cross and crown? Surely you realize that every single Christian denomination uses it? It's practically the emblem of the Christian Scientist movement. The Daughters of Isabella (A Catholic women's group) uses it. You can find it on Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Episcopal churches all across the U.S. Why is the fact that the JW's once used it more significant than the fact that most other religions still do?

  • park ave boy
    park ave boy

    One of my bethel friends told me two years ago his congregation did a congregation field trip for a few days which included going to Walkill and Paterson and then on out to Penn Dutch country. On their return home trip, a sister suggested stopping off in Pittsburgh since it was not far off their track and had time on their itinerary and visit the grave of CT Russell since they all heard about it but not have seen it. He said afterwards the bus was silent the whole way home as everyone was blown away that his burial tomb was covered in Masonic imagery. A few friends on that trip ended up doing research and fading. Thank Geehoebah for that bus ride!

  • TD

    as everyone was blown away that his burial tomb was covered in Masonic imagery.

    Technically, Russell is not entombed. The pyramid edifice is the monument for the entire Bible Student burial plot and Russell's headstone is set some distance away from. it.

    I understand why JW's are shocked when they see it, but am curious what the difference would be between Masonic imagery and traditional Christian imagery?

  • park ave boy
    park ave boy
    True but I wasn't there. I actually would not have been shocked because I did research on this years ago while I was still active. I think there is a major difference between the two, as linking to Freemasonry is really on the edge of satanism.

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