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C.T. Russell: a confirmed Pittsburgh Free Mason

    zagor posted Fri, 23 Sep 2005 11:29:00 GMT(9/23/2005)

    Post 489 of 2739
    Joined 6/10/2005

    Geez, can't believe this question has been raised again...

    I've studied this question through and through, went through all available Masonic sources and I can state with confidence that to this day there is NO evidence that Russell was ever a freemason.

    In fact if you read that disputed article you'll see a number of profound misunderstandings about what freemasonry is about. Russell simply didn't have an inside knowledge of freemasonry, end of story.

    Rather, I'd say he tried to mimic what apostle Paul said of trying to be everything to everybody "to Jews a Jew to gentiles a gentile..." etc. in order to win them over to his point of view.

    just one of many masonic sources --> http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread4401/pg1

    M Cygnus posted Fri, 23 Sep 2005 12:41:00 GMT(9/23/2005)

    Post 1469 of 1871
    Joined 3/27/2001

    Zagor, I totally agree.

    Kenneson posted Fri, 23 Sep 2005 12:59:00 GMT(9/23/2005)

    Post 4242 of 5215
    Joined 1/8/2002

    Cygnus,

    I second that.

    AndersonsInfo posted Fri, 23 Sep 2005 19:59:00 GMT(9/23/2005)

    Post 35 of 1134
    Joined 4/22/2005

    I just posted the following information on JWD under the subject, Beliefs, Doctrines & Practices, in the hope that as many people as possible will see the facts, although, as other posters have observed, if some people want to believe Russell was a Freemason, nothing will change their mind. Apparently, some of us don't want to be confused by the facts!

    NO, CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL WAS NOT A PENNSYLVANIA FREEMASON!

    Back in 2001, I requested historical information from the ANCIENT ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE OF FREEMASONRY, VALLEY OF PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, asking if Charles Taze Russell, his father, Joseph Lytel Russell, and his uncle, Charles Tays Russell, were Freemasons. This is the answer I received in a letter:

    "AFTER A SEARCH OF OUR RECORDS, WE DETERMINED THAT THE THREE RUSSELL'S WERE NOT MEMBERS OF OUR ORGANIZATION."

    In their letter, the Pittsburgh Chapter recommended that I send an inquiry asking for further research on this question to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania located in Philadelphia, which I did. On April 27, 2001, I received this reply:

    "THE RECORD BOOKS IN THE GRAND SECRETARY'S OFFICE ARE UNAVAILABLE AT THIS TIME AS THEY ARE BEING CONSERVED AND SHOULD BE BACK SOME TIME IN THE FALL."

    Inasmuch as I was very involved with other, more pressing, things then, I did not follow-up and eventually my desire for resolution of this question faded out of my mind. That is, until today, when I saw that this subject has not been resolved to the satisfaction of some posters, so I sent a follow-up email to the Masonic Temple, Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Just a few minutes ago, I received this reply:

    DEAR MS. ANDERSON,

    CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL WAS NOT A PENNSYLVANIA FREEMASON. NOR DOES HE APPEAR IN THE RECORDS OF ENGLAND OR IRELAND.

    I SHALL CHECK THE RECORDS FOR THE OTHER TWO RUSSELLS.

    BEST,

    GLENYS A. WALDMAN
    LIBRARIAN

    If and when I receive an answer from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania about the other two Russells, I will post it.

    In any event, I would hope that this answer from a search of the original records will forever put this issue to rest that Charles Taze Russell was never a Pennslyvania Freemason.

    Barbara Anderson

    Kenneson posted Sat, 24 Sep 2005 04:27:00 GMT(9/24/2005)

    Post 4252 of 5215
    Joined 1/8/2002

    WOW! Thank you Barbara. The final proof.

    M chasson posted Sat, 24 Sep 2005 07:26:00 GMT(9/24/2005)

    Post 481 of 861
    Joined 4/2/2001

    Barbara is it possible to have the scan of the two letters? This is for my website.

    Thanks

    Charles

    Carnie posted Tue, 27 Sep 2005 05:10:00 GMT(9/27/2005)

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    Joined 9/25/2005

    kid a did you get the links from Beacon of Truth?

    M LittleToe posted Tue, 27 Sep 2005 09:57:00 GMT(9/27/2005)

    Post 11144 of 14978
    Joined 9/12/2001

    Barbara:

    The Grand Lodge letter is pretty conclusive, as this would be where his membership of the first three degrees would be held (the ones that REALLY count).

    The Letter from the Chapter of Scottish Rite confirms that he couldn't have been a 32* or 33* Mason, as some suggest.

    The only stone that's left unturned (albeit covered by the Grand Lodge letter) is that of the accusation of him being a Knight Templar Mason. The Chapter of York Rite could answer this: http://www.yorkrite.com/pa/ - http://www.pagrandlodge.org/knightstemplar/

    IMHO the ultimate irony is that it would have been no big deal 100 years ago if he were a Mason, as many men were. Notwithstanding that, the evidence confounds the proposition.

    M Cygnus posted Tue, 27 Sep 2005 10:25:00 GMT(9/27/2005)

    Post 1480 of 1871
    Joined 3/27/2001

    Bingo Barbara. Thank you.

    Golf posted Tue, 27 Sep 2005 11:28:00 GMT(9/27/2005)

    Post 1730 of 2672
    Joined 2/12/2004

    Zagor, you have brought out a good point. Paul became all things to all men for the sake of Christ.

    I've read Fritz Springmeier's "Bloodlines of the Illuminati" and when I compare his info with other sources,Charles Taze was not a Freemason.


    Golf

    F rebel8 posted Tue, 27 Sep 2005 12:58:00 GMT(9/27/2005)

    Post 2284 of 9641
    Joined 1/13/2005
    However even that might not be entirely fair because New York is famous for forbidding the altering of building exteriors through "historic" zoning regulations as you probably well know.

    I actually didn't know that, because in my area we have very few historical buildings, LOL. My city has ripped down and moved several historical things and there is usually a very small protest or a stray letter to the editor, but that's it. Maybe it's different in NYC.

    Sorry if I misunderstood your earlier post.

    M avengers posted Tue, 27 Sep 2005 13:19:00 GMT(9/27/2005)

    Post 2349 of 2807
    Joined 10/4/2001

    Actually all Jehoober's Witnesses are Free Masons

    They build Kingdumb Halls and they do it for free.

    lol

    Andy

    Leolaia posted Tue, 27 Sep 2005 14:35:00 GMT(9/27/2005)

    Post 5170 of 16234
    Joined 9/1/2002
    kid a did you get the links from Beacon of Truth?

    Carnie: IP: sc9+zcO60WF1PG5P

    Beacon of Truth: IP: sc9+zcO60WF1PG5P

    AndersonsInfo posted Tue, 27 Sep 2005 23:19:00 GMT(9/27/2005)

    Post 40 of 1134
    Joined 4/22/2005

    This is a long read but worth the time and effort to see how Charles Taze Russell viewed Free Masonry. Note the first quote is from the very first copy of Zion's Watch Tower. I don't think I've ever seen these quotes in discussions, such as this one, used before to reveal that Russell did not have a very high opinion of secret societies such as Masonry. Please note that I capitalized important words or thoughts to highlight the point.

    Barbara

    September 1879 ZION’S WATCH TOWER, “THE DAY OF THE LORD”
    Page 26, paragraph 6:

    Rev. vi. 15, figuratively describes that time of falling of kingdoms when every mountain (kingdom) and island shall be moved. The kings and chief ones as well as bondmen will recognize in this trouble that “The great day of His wrath is come,” and will seek to make alliances and to hide themselves from the sure coming storm. They will seek to be covered and protected by the great mountains (kingdoms,) of earth and to be hid in the great rocks of this world’s societies, (MASONIC, ODD FELLOWS, &c.,) but they shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s anger, for “all the kingdoms of the world shall be thrown down, and instead of three mountains (kingdoms) “the kingdom of the Lord becomes a great mountain, and fills the whole earth.” Daniel ii. 35, 45.

    June 15, 1895 ZION'S WATCH TOWER, Page 1827
    SECRET AND BENEFICIAL SOCIETIES

    Dear Brother [Russell]: I would like to have your opinion on the subject of life insurance. They are organizing lodges all around here--United Workmen, Knights of Pythias, Red Men, Masons, Odd Fellows, etc. They are working it just about like sectarianism in the churches. Would like to see an article in the Tower on the subject. W. E. KILLAM
    OUR REPLY TO THE QUERY
    In our judgment the majority of "secret societies" are merely beneficiary and have no secret schemes antagonistic to the general public welfare, the secret rites and ceremonies being merely "boys' play," occupying the time and attention of persons who have no greater aims than those which pertain to the present life. We not, however, that several Roman Catholic Societies seem to have schemes connected with the use of fire-arms, and are therefore to be classed as malevolent rather than benevolent.

    We note also that the ORDER OF FREE MASONS, if judged by its past history, has some secret object or scheme, more than fraternity and financial aid in time of sickness or death. And, so far as we can judge, there is a certain amount of profane worship or mummery connected with the rites of this order and some others, which the members do not comprehend, but which, in many cases, serves to satisfy the cravings of the natural mind for worship, and thus hinders it from seeking the worship of god in spirit and in truth--through Christ, the only appointed Mediator and Grand Master.

    In proportion as such SOCIETIES CONSUME VALUABLE TIME IN FOOLISH, SENSELESS RITES AND CEREMONIES, AND IN SUBSTITUTING THE WORSHIP OF THEIR OFFICERS, AND THE USE OF WORDS AND SYMBOLS WHICH HAVE NO MEANING TO THEM, for the worship of God, in his appointed way--through Christ, and according to knowledge and the spirit of a sound mind—IN THAT PROPORTION THESE SOCIETIES ARE GRIEVIOUS EVILS, regardless of the financial gains or losses connected with membership in them.

    But respecting those orders which are merely Mutual Insurance Societies, in which the members pay a certain weekly sum of money to their sick, and at death a larger sum to their families, we must concede that they represent a good principle. It is certainly in harmony with the golden rule to help our neighbor when he is in need. The only objection we see to this is, that it puts the matter on a business or selfish basis and thus destroys its benevolent features; for each one joins, not for the good he can do, but for the help he hopes to obtain for himself or his family.

    If, therefore, the matter be considered merely as a business arrangement, we can see no more wrong in joining such Mutual Benefit Societies than in taking out a policy in a regular Life or Accident Insurance Co., or insuring property in a Fire Insurance Co.--provided always that there be no confession of error or binding obligation required, contrary to the liberty wherewith Christ makes free. Wherever oaths of secrecy are demanded it is safe for God's people to touch not, taste not, handle not, --except as oaths are prescribed by public law, as before courts or in reference to documents for public record. In every other case the children of God will be blessed in obeying strictly the admonition, --Let your Yea be yea, and your Nay, nay, for "whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." It is in connection with his description of the "last days" of the Gospel age that St. James cautions against all binding oath, such as many Secret Societies demand.--Matt. 5:37, Jas. 5:12.

    August 1, 1895 ZION’S WATCH TOWER
    CONSECRATION VS. THE WORLD AND ITS AFFAIRS

    A brother, once very deep in Secretism, and who knows that THE EDITOR HAS HAD NO SUCH EXPERIENCE, writes as follows:
    DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--Your remarks under caption of “Secret and Beneficial Societies” in TOWER, of June 15, ’95, seem rather funny to me. You hit the nail very fairly considering that you were hammering so much in the dark. I am glad that you defend the principle of protection as afforded by legitimate or old line companies, life, fire and accident. With you, however, I think their days are numbered. No human business was ever organized with broader and more philanthropic intentions than insurance, and no business has been so abused and diverted from its real purposes. When insurance fails (as it has failed) from the effect of selfishness, wwe can not hope that any human work will succeed.

    As to the secret societies, they use a ritual applicable to each different degree, which is fully as reasonable as that of many of the churches, and like those of the churches, it is usually of heathen origin. The worship of the Sun appears prominently in Masonry, and so it does in the service of the Catholic and Episcopal churches. The term “Worshipful,” as used in masonry, is now practically obsolete, but was formerly and generally used as a term of respect. I occupied the station of “Worshipful Master” for three years, but I never received the adoration of my fellow mortals, and I certainly never gave it to others. Your suggestion, that it is done ignorantly, is a good suggestion, but it does not apply in that case. Perhaps no man in my state, during the twenty odd years I was a member of the fraternity, gave more careful study to the symbolism of Masonry, its moral teaching and its jurisprudence.

    While Masonry does not inculcate the worship of its officers, it does what is worse; for in its essence the symbolism used in the ceremonies are derived from devil worship.

    Although no longer unequally yoked with those unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14-17), I do want to say for those who are still in bondage that they have much excuse. Masonry consists very largely in a series of moral instructions, taught agreeably to ancient usage, by types, symbols and allegorical figures. It is a system, and a very beautiful system—as is very much of Satan’s work—when seen from the worldly standpoint.

    Your fellow-worker in the best (not the worst) of bonds.

    ANOTHER BROTHER WRITES:--
    “Masonry is not Christianity; and he who is so deluded as to think it is, is led thereby into a labyrinth of grievous errors. I think I know what I am talking about, for I was for seven years “Master” of a “Lodge,” and conferred hundred of degrees. Masonry will not take away sins, or save a soul from death; and it is a grave question whether or not a child of God has any business spending time and money in any worldly institution. There is nothing pure; that is earthly, but purity comes down from above.”


    AndersonsInfo posted Thu, 29 Sep 2005 14:45:00 GMT(9/29/2005)

    Post 42 of 1134
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    Below find the reply I just received from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, located in Philadelphia, regarding my request for information from their record books whether Charles Tays Russell, Pastor Russell's uncle, and Joseph Lytle Russell, Pastor Russell's father, were Freemasons at any time in Pennsylvania.

    Accordingly, from the records and from statements made in Zion's Watch Tower, which I posted the other day, it seems conclusive that Pastor Russell was not a Freemason. If his father and uncle had been Freemasons, it would have explained where Pastor Russell's knowledge of the rites and ceremonies came from, but it appears that they too were not members. Apparently, Pastor Russell's knowlege of Freemasonry came from business associates, since this was a very popular organization for businessmen to belong to at that time.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Dear Ms. Anderson,

    The Masonic record of a Charles (no middle initial) Russell is, as shown in Membership Book 3-2 p. 256: Age: 27; Occupation: Farmer; Residence: Washington (Washington County); All Degrees in Washington Lodge No. 164 in 1857: Entered Apprentice June 4, Fellow Craft July 6, Master Mason October 5. Suspended (non-payment of dues) 1859.

    [NOT THE RIGHT MAN BECAUSE CHARLES TAYS RUSSELL WAS BORN IN 1806 AND HE NEVER LIVED IN WASHINGTON COUNTY.]

    The Masonic record of a Joseph (no middle initial) Russell is, as shown in Membership Book 3-1 p. 256: Age: 27; Occupation: Bottler; Residence: Philadelphia; All Degrees in Meridian Sun Lodge No. 158: Entered Apprentice November 7, 1854; Fellow Craft January 28, 1855; Master Mason April 26, 1855. Suspended (non-payment of dues) December 1858.

    [IF THIS JOSEPH RUSSELL WAS 27 WHEN HE ENTERED APPRENTICE IN 1854 AT AGE 27, IT WOULD MEAN HE WAS BORN CIRCA 1827. PASTOR RUSSELL'S FATHER WAS BORN IN 1813.]

    I doubt these are your men. However, that is a full Masonic record. Freemasonry is interested only in the man wishing to become a member. It does not want any genealogical information, thus none is recorded (except possibly age, occupation, town of residence, then end of membership - usually suspension or death date). Even if two men with the same last name are shown as entering the same lodge on the same night, they could be anything from identical twins to absolutely no relation to each other.

    Hope this helps,

    Best,
    Glenys A. Waldman, Librarian

    M LittleToe posted Thu, 29 Sep 2005 17:07:00 GMT(9/29/2005)

    Post 11180 of 14978
    Joined 9/12/2001

    That kinda puts paid to the idea that Masons are paranoid about secrecy, as well, huh?

    Most of my Masonic friends will talk openly about the subject, if I bring it up. I imagine similar conversations might have piqued Russell's interest, but seemingly not enough to encourage him to join (just as it didn't with me).

    M Ianone posted Mon, 24 Oct 2005 18:03:00 GMT(10/24/2005)

    Post 186 of 298
    Joined 10/7/2004

    Regarding whether or not the Allegheny Lodges have omitted Charles Taze Russell's name:

    consider this;

    The rules of the Order, supercede the laws of the civilian world

    Order members take a blood oath and are sworn to secrecy about the rituals, the functions of the order, and its membership.

    Whenever possible, Freemasons are instructed to give false and misleading information when asked about secret information, such as a possible member. this is according to Albert Pike, "Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonsry."

    If we find Taze's name in a list, consider it a miracle. I don't need to see his name on a list, his teachings and associations speak for itself. Taze was a Knights Templar Mason. No doubts whatsoever.

    M Ianone posted Mon, 24 Oct 2005 20:15:00 GMT(10/24/2005)

    Post 187 of 298
    Joined 10/7/2004

    another thing. If the Masonic Lodge is taking part in a conspiracy to fund and organize cults to control people and to counter Orthodox Christianity, they most certainly are not going to reveal incriminating evidence about one of their provocateurs (Russell) and his connection to that conspiracy. As long as people keep asking the wrong questions they will just confuse and weaken. The real questions are: #1. If Russell was a Mason, why did he found the Jehovah's Witness and for what purpose? #2. What reason do the International Financiers have to fund the Jehovah's Witness? #3. What reason do the Freemasons have to fund the Jehovah's Witness?

    M LittleToe posted Mon, 24 Oct 2005 21:25:00 GMT(10/24/2005)

    Post 11367 of 14978
    Joined 9/12/2001

    A priori reasoning at its finest. You've started with an unprovable assumption that Russell was a Mason, and run with it down an empty field.

    There are plenty of high-ranking figures from history who've admitted Masonic and/or Fraternal connections, especially at the time that Russell lived. The only reason that there appears to be anything to hide is because you think (from a 21st Century vantage point) that there's something to hide.

    Hardly convincing...

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