Having studied Russell's works for more than 55 years, I can confidently say that Russell was definitely not a member of the Freemasons. Except for what many imagine, assume, and/or distort, to make it appear that Russell was a member of the Masons, no one has actually presented anything at all that proves him to be a Mason. On the other hand, we have a life time of his work that, if it were printed in regular size type in regular size books, would probably amount to more 100,000 pages, all of which give overwhelming testimony that he was a not a member of any of man's secret societies. He definitely was not in favor of the alleged conspiracy ideas that are often being attributed to the Freemasons, Illuminati, etc. Indeed, if a Freemason were to seriously study Russell's works, and if a consecrated Christian, such a study would lead him away from the Freemasons; indeed, many Christians have withdrawn from the Freemason after studying what Russell wrote. Russell, however, unlike the JW leadership, never claimed authority to demand that any Christian could or could not be a member of any of man's secret societies, although he did several times give his opinion that such would not serve the best interests of consecration to God and Jesus.
Russell's Biblical study of God's Witness in Egypt has nothing at all to do with any alleged agreement with the Freemasons, astrology, heathen occult practices, etc.
Russell's study of God's witness was only a very small part of his ministry; probably less than 1 or 2 percent of his lifetime work was related to the study of God's Witness in Egypt. Nor did Russell present his study with the dogmatism that prevails with the JWs. He did not seek to disfellowship anyone or otherwise refuse association with anyone simply for disagreeing with his conclusions.
Russell was introduced to the study of God's Witness in Egypt through Nelson Barbour in 1876; it was then that he accepted Barbour's conclusions concerning God's Witness in Egypt; Russell later rejected the measurement of the lower part of the descending passageway, which was based on Smyth's measurement of the roof, as no one had actually measured the floor due to the debris in the passageway.
Rutherford authorized the building of a replica of God's Witness in Egypt in honor of the Watch Tower Society.
I do not know of any "ideologies" that Russell actually "derived" from the Freemasons. Since the Knights Templar claim to be Christians, there may some similarities simply based the usage of the Bible itself. Again, some create imaginary links to this or that between the Freemasons and Russell, when in reality the links presented did not actually exist.
Russell rented halls, auditoriums, meeting rooms, from many different organizations, groups, governments, etc., including Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Odd-Fellows, Rotary Club, Armory halls, schools, and many, many more. Just before his death he gave a talk in a "Christian Church". Comparatively, I would say very few of his talks were done in halls rented from the Freemasons. His rental and usage of such halls/meeting rooms/auditoriums, etc., does not make him a member, or in favor of, what those organizations, groups, etc., may have believed, promoted, taught, etc.
There are thousands of Christians of many different denominations and groups that still believe that the Great Pyramid is God's Witness in Egypt. I am one of such, but, like Brother Russell, I would not be dogmatic about it. Having studied the evidence, I believe that it is too overwhelming to simply ignore. Very few, however, actually take the time to seriously study the evidence; many, however, seem to be very diligent in distorting and misrepresenting the evidence.
Russell's Biblical usage of a "sun of righteousness" symbol (often referred to as "the winged sun symbol") , however, is totally different from his study of the God's Witness in Egypt. The study of God's Witness in Egypt would not all have any thing to do with whether one adopted the Biblical "sun of righteousness" symbol that Russell made use of. Neither, however, have anything to do with the Masons, sun worship, Egyptian idolatry, occult practices, etc.
Russell's interest in Egypt was only in connection with the Bible, which tells many things about Egypt. His interest was not connected with some alleged "Egyptian revival."
For more related to the above, see links to some of my research at: