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 Pennsylvania Freemasons. This is the answer I received in a letter:
“AFTER A SEARCH OF OUR RECORDS, WE DETERMINED THAT THE THREE RUSSELLS WERE NOT MEMBERS OF OUR ORGANIZATION.”
In their letter, the Pittsburgh Chapter recommended that I send an inquiry asking for further research into 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 September 2005 when I sent a follow-up email to the Masonic Temple, Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Shortly thereafter, 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.
GLENYS A. WALDMAN
I never checked back with Ms. Waldman to see whether the other two Russell’s were Pennsylvania Freemasons, but there has never been any evidence they were, so I didn’t bother.
In any event, I would hope the answer from a search of the original records will forever put this claim to rest that Charles Taze Russell was a Pennsylvania Freemason because he absolutely was not.
|Grand Lodge of British Columbia & Yukon – Anti-masonry Frequently Asked Questions – Section 3, Version 2.9 http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/anti-masonry/anti-masonry03.html#russell|
|Charles Taze Russell“Claims have been made that “Pastor” Russell” (1852/02/16-1916/10/31), founder of the International Bible Students Association — forerunner of the Jehovah’s Witnesses — was a freemason; that the banner on the front of early issues of the Watchtower contained masonic symbols; and that Russell’s gravestone bears a masonic cross and crown symbol.”Russell was not a freemason. Neither the symbols found in the Watchtower nor the cross and crown symbol are exclusively masonic. And the cross and crown symbol does not appear on his gravestone in the Rosemont United Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — it appears on a memorial erected some years later.“In an address delivered in a San Francisco masonic hall in 1913, Russell made positive use of masonic imagery by saying, “Now, I am a free and accepted mason. I trust we all are. But not just after the style of our masonic brethren.” He further develops this idea: “true Bible believers may or may not belong to the masonic fraternity, but they are all masons of the highest order, since they are being fashioned, chiseled and polished by the Almighty to be used as living stones in the Temple Built Without Hands. They are free from sin, and therefore accepted by the God of Heaven as fit stones for the heavenly Temple.” Later in this address, Russell stated quite clearly that “I have never been a mason.” Those who claim Russell was a freemason quote this address out of context without noting the rhetorical imagery.“Although Russell wrote about the pyramids and the Knights Templar, the pyramids are not a part of Freemasonry and Russell’s understanding of the relationship between the modern Knights Templar and Freemasonry displays an outsider’s ignorance of both organizations.”|
Thank you so much for all the information you’ve provided, I really appreciate it!
The question about CT Russell being a Freemason is a tricky one, and I completely understand you are reporting what you were told by the Freemasons, but it IS interesting that although the Freemasons denied that CT Russell was a Freemason, he clearly had detailed insider knowledge of their most hidden beliefs and doctrines. Also, do you not find it ‘coincidental’ that they just happened to be ‘conserving’ the records of that time when you made your request for information? Could it have been that they simply continued the deception by removing his name from their official records, and lied about it, for the purpose of hiding the true roots of the JW religion? I certainly wouldn’t put it past them to lie, after all, Russell was publicly adamant that he was a ‘free and accepted Mason’ and declared that his followers were too. Is it possible that those who were baptized as JWs were automatically considered to be ‘free and accepted Masons’ because the founder was (although it is denied I dispute their claims), a 33rd degree Freemason?
The Freemason’s were the first to consider the name Jehovah important as is recorded in their encyclopedia.
Quote from Encyclopedia of Freemasonry – 1886 ed:
“JEHOVAH is, of all the significant words of Masonry, by far the most important. Reghellini very properly calls it ‘the basis of our dogma and of our mysteries.’ There is a sovereign authority in this name : it governs the world by its power…it alone, of all the Divine names, distinctly explains or declares what is the true essence of the Deity .”
However, the Jehovah’s witnesses have practically trademarked the name in their religion and claim that they were the first to use it, when, as you see, it was used in Freemasonry prior to this… How would CT Russell have known such things if he were not a Freemason? I have no doubt that the Freemason’s claims that Russell wasn’t a Freemason is simply a lie, the man chose to be buried in a Masonic cemetery after all, another fact that cannot be ignored when all put together.
Imagine what would happen among the JW’s if it could be proven without a doubt that he was a Freemason! Sadly though, even when faced with the truth if we were ever able to prove it to them, they would still call us apostates and liars… it’s just so sad that they think they have the ‘truth’…
All very good points. Also why did he request to be wrapped in a Roman toga? Why the pink granite? When does something stop being just a coincidence? What about the Assembly Hall in Denmark? Of course they will deny he was one of them. It would bring the whole organization down.
In reality, as several Masons have pointed out to me, Russell appeared to have several misunderstandings about the Masons. At any rate, Russell’s only interest was provide an illustration of the church and its head.
This is one of the best comments I’ve ever read!! I’m here because this link was left on my comment on a fb post, disputing my claim that Taze wss a Mason. How could you write the man avidly saying he is a Mason, then say we take it out of context? You just helped our argument! It’s like…all the signs are there. Wick brings me to the original post being that if you take the number that they believe goes to heaven:144,000 and divide it by 6, then divide that number by 6, then divide that number by 6…you get 666.66666666666666. Now this too could be very, very, very, very, very coincidental. Thing is, there’s just so much concerning Jehovah’s Witnesses connection with Freemasons that you’d really have to be asleep not to see it.
-I edited this post for my distasteful use of wording. I am still learning to make my argument without use of logical fallacies. My comment is my opinion. I do not feel this article in particular substantiate the claim that he is not. The lack of follow ups is apparent and also, given other tangible evidences such as books written by Charles Taze Russell, more than suggest his allegiance to Freemasons. I feel that, you will only get an esoteric response in such an inquiry into verifying their members.
Freemasonry is a secret society for a reason, they don’t want others knowing or understanding the hidden influence they have on the rest of the world, especially ‘sheep’ like the JW’s, who are fantastic financial contributors to the planned ‘New World Order’.
The Freemason’s have secret handshakes and use the ‘hidden hand’, because the membership of this secret group is just that, a secret. I have heard that they are told to lie if questioned about their membership; I am yet to find confirmation of that claim in their literature online, but will continue to search for it and will post it on this thread once found.
Fritz Springmeier has researched CT Russell extensively in relation to his ties with the Freemasons and the ‘Illuminati bloodlines’ and I highly recommend his research. One of the books he wrote was called ‘Watchtower and the Masons’ and is available as a free PDF. Fritz Springmeier was convicted of armed robbery and spent 111 months in jail (how’s that numerology! Certainly a sentence that was inspired by Freemasonry!), but he is clearly a good man and without a doubt was FRAMED by the Freemasons because of the intensive research he had done, and of course he wasn’t afraid to speak about it.
I am utterly frustrated by the JW’s refusal to see the truth, and this article denying that CT Russels was linked to Freemasonry is part of my frustration, it has been thrown in my face as some kind of pathetic defense of the WTBTS on a few occasions. I certainly wish the author had prefaced the article explaining the Freemason’s propensity for lying!
I agree on most of what everyone has said here. Just because we request information from a secret society, doesn’t mean we’ll get it. They don’t usually give out that kind of information.
I can’t say for sure he WAS or WASN’T one. But even if he wasn’t one, he brought WAY too much of it into the religion, which has STAYED. I put together a document containing loads of information about this. If anyone is interested, just email me at AnnWithAPlan1 at gmail.com and I’ll send it over.
Since Russell was definitely never a member of the Freemasons, Fritz Springmeier imagines this and that with assumption and distortions as being facts and proof that Russell was a Freemason. Not only that he claims that Russell was a member of the Knights Templar. One has to believe in the trinitarian creeds in order to be a member of the Knights Templar. The message that Russell spent his fortune and nearly his entire promoting certainly proves that he was not in support of any world domination conspiracy and definitely not in support of the trinitarianism of the Knights Templar.
Thank you so much Barbara! I’m so glad you kept those records! Will email you shortly. PS I love you for all you’ve done, no matter the cost you did the right thing, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. xx
I’m not Barbara. I don’t know her. I was simply saying that whether he was a freemason or not (I don’t know), the WT shouldn’t be preaching against secret societies and doing things that made us look like a certain group that is frowned up if they’re going to do the same thing. They try to expose every other religion for their hypocrisy. They’re hypocrites and should be exposed as well. They had been and are still using their identical phraseology to this day.
I appreciate any and all work that ex jw’s did and are still doing to expose them for what they really are. : )