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Who was the founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses sect? When did it come about? Are there some writings of that person? What was the reason he created that sect?
Be very careful when seeking answers from a JW as they are allowed to lie to you if they deem you not entitled to know the truth.According to the watchtower, to lie and deceive in the interests of their religion is scripturally approved. They call such lying "theocratic war strategy".“The opposite of truth. Lying generally involves saying something false to a person who is entitled to know the truth and doing so with the intent to deceive or to injure him or another person. “ Insight on the Scriptures Volume II p. 245The watchtower informs its followers that they are not: "under obligation to divulge truthful information to people who are not entitled to it." (Insight on the Scriptures Volume II p. 245)"for the purpose of protecting the interests of God's cause, it is proper to hide the truth from God’s enemies… This comes under the term ‘war strategy’." (WT 1960 June 1 p. 352)Now, onto the FACTS.The founder of the cult was Charles Taze Russell who entered into the study of the bible as a skeptic because he could not believe what the Bible really taught about the deity of Jesus, hell, etc.I now quote from Dr. Walter Martins’ excellent book, “The kingdom of the cults”.Charles Taze Russell was the founder of what is now known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses cult and the energetic administrator that brought about its far-flung organization. The name Jehovah’s Witnesses, incidentally, was taken at Columbus, Ohio, in 1931, to differentiate between the Watchtower organization run by Judge Rutherford, Russell’s successor, and those who remained as true followers of Russell as represented by The Dawn Bible Students and the Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement.C. T. Russell was born on February 16, 1852, the son of Joseph L. and Anna Eliza Russell, and spent most of his early years in Pittsburgh and Allegheny, Pennsylvania, where at the age of twentyfive he was known to be manager of several men’s furnishings stores. At an early age he rejected the doctrine of eternal torment, probably because of the severe indoctrination he had received as a Congregationalist, and as a result of this act entered upon a long and varied career of denunciation aimed at “Organized Religions.”In 1870, at the age of eighteen, Russell organized a Bible class in Pittsburgh, which in 1876 elected him “Pastor” of the group. From 1876 to 1878 the “Pastor” was assistant editor of a small Rochester, New York, monthly magazine, but he resigned when a controversy arose over Russell’s counterarguments on “the atonement” of Christ.Shortly after leaving his position, Russell founded The Herald of the Morning (1879), whichdeveloped into today’s The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom. From 6,000 initial issues, the publication has grown to 17.8 million copies per month in 106 languages. The other Watchtower periodical, Awake!, has a circulation of 15.6 million per month in thirty-four languages. It is true that this magazine has grown until it has surpassed even Russell’s fondest dreams. In the year 1884, “Pastor” Russell incorporated “Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society” at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which in 1886 published the first in a series of seven books (Russell wrote six by himself), now entitled Studies in the Scriptures and originally published as The Millennial Dawn. The seventh volume was edited from his writings after his death and published in 1917. This seventh volume, The Finished Mystery, caused a split in the organization, which culminated in a clean division, the larger group following J. F. Rutherford, the smaller remaining by itself. This smaller group subsequently became “The Dawn Bible Students Association.” Meanwhile, under Rutherford’s leadership, the “Society”became known by its present common name, “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” and its corporate name, The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, with its international office in Brooklyn, New York.According to Watchtower statistics, in January 1981, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society(founded 1896), which is the focal point of the organization, had known branches in more than 100 lands and missionary works and Kingdom preaching in over 250. Its literature is distributed in 110 languages, and the Society’s volunteers (called “publishers”) numbered 563,453. The Society has become a great disseminator of propaganda and a challenge to the zeal of every Christian.In the year 1908 the headquarters of the movement was transferred to Brooklyn, New York, where property was purchased (17 Hicks Street) and became known as “The Brooklyn Tabernacle.” Large tracts of property were purchased by the Society in Columbia Heights as it grew and prospered, until today whole blocks are in their possession. Among the other things the Society owns are a large, up-todate printing plant, which has produced billions of pieces of literature since its inauguration in 1928 and expansions in 1949 and 1957; a modern apartment building and office quarters; one “Kingdom Farm,” which supplies food, wood for furniture, etc.; a Bible school, “Gilead”; and many more enterprises of like character. All employees in the factory are allowed a nominal sum, receive room and board, and work for nothing—no salaries are paid (although workers are given a small amount of spending moneyeach month for incidental personal expenses and purchases—a few years ago that amount was fourteen dollars per month).Russell continued his teachings until his death on October 31, 1916, aboard a transcontinental train in Texas. The former pastor had a remarkable life, highly colored with legal entanglements, but not without success in his chosen field. In fairness to the reader and in the interest of truth, the full account is quoted from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, November 1, 1916 (Obituary Column), and has been inserted at this point to authenticate beyond doubt the true history of Russell so that even his most devoted followers may realize the character of the man to whose teachings they have entrusted their eternal destiny.A year after this publication, The Watch Tower, had been established, Russell married Maria Ackley in Pittsburgh. She had become interested in him through his teachings, and she helped him in running the Watchtower.Two years later, in 1881, came “The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society,” the agency through which in later years “Pastor” Russell’s sermons were published (as advertisements) in newspapers throughout the world. This Society progressed amazingly under the joint administration of husband and wife, but in 1897 Mrs. Russell left her husband. Six years later, in 1903, she sued for separation. The decree was secured in 1906 following sensational testimony and “Pastor” Russell was scored by the courts.There was much litigation then that was quite undesirable from the “Pastor’s” point of view regarding alimony for his wife, but it was settled in 1909 by the payment of $6,036 to Mrs. Russell. The litigation revealed that “Pastor” Russell’s activities in the religious field were carried on through several subsidiary societies and that all of the wealth that flowed into him through these societies was under the control of a holding company in which the “Pastor” held $990 of the $1,000 capital and two of his followers the other $10.Thus Russell apparently controlled the entire financial power of the Society and was not accountable to anyone.The Eagle column goes on to say:After the “work” had been well started here, “Pastor” Russell’s Watch Tower publication advertised wheat seed for sale at $1.00 a pound. It was styled “Miracle Wheat,” and it was asserted that it would grow five times as much as any other brand of wheat. There were other claims made for the wheat seed, and the followers were advised to purchase it, the proceeds to go to the Watch Tower and be used in publishing the “Pastor’s” sermons.The Eagle first made public the facts about this new venture of the Russellites and it published a cartoon picturing the “Pastor” and his “Miracle Wheat” in such a way that“Pastor” Russell brought suit for libel, asking $100,000 damages. Government departments investigated the wheat for which $1.00 a pound was asked, and agents of the Government were important witnesses at the trial of the libel suit in January 1913.The “Miracle Wheat” was low in the Government tests, they said. The Eagle won the suit.Prior to entering court the Eagle had said,The Eagle goes even further and declares that at the trial it will show that “Pastor” Russell’s religious cult is nothing more than a money-making scheme.The court’s decision vindicated the Eagle’s statement and proved its reliability.All during this time the “Pastor’s” sermons were being printed in newspapers throughout the world, notably when he made a tour of the world in 1912 and caused accounts to be published in his advertised sermons telling of enthusiastic greetings at the various places he visited. It was shown in many cases that the sermons were never delivered in the places that were claimed.For the benefit of any Jehovah’s Witness who may think that the “Miracle Wheat” fraud is an invention of the “jealous religionists” who are trying to defame the “Pastor’s” memory, we document the scandal, trial, and verdict as follows:From originals (now microfilmed in New York) of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, the following articles with dates and pages: Miracle Wheat Scandal, January 1, 1913, 1–2; Russellite Beliefs, January 22, 1913, 2; Testimony on Wheat, January 23, 1913, 3; Financial statements proving Russell’s absolute control, by Secretary-Treasurer Van Amberg, January 25, 1913, 16; Government experts testify on “Miracle Wheat” and ascertain its ordinariness, January 27, 1913, 3; Prosecution and Defense closing arguments, January 28, 1913, 2; Russell loses libel suit, January 29, 1913, 16.The Watchtower Society has maintained that Russell never made money on the “Miracle Wheat,” and that proceeds from its sale were “contributions” to the organization. They fail to note that Russell controlled the Watchtower Society, owning 990 of the 1,000 shares of its stock. Any contributions to it were also to Russell!The Brooklyn Daily Eagle led the fight to expose the hypocrisy of “Pastor” Russell, and nothing could be more appropriate than their on-the-spot testimony as to his many fraudulent claims. The following documentary evidence is taken from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, February 19, 1912, page 18, and is titled “Pastor Russell’s Imaginary Sermons—Printed Reports of Addresses in Foreign Lands That He Never Made—One at Hawaii, a Sample.” These excerpts concern the Pastor’s “World Tour” and are very enlightening with respect to his reliability and truthfulness.“Pastor” Russell, who has found the atmosphere of Brooklyn uncongenial ever since the Eagle published the facts concerning his methods and morals, is making some new records in the far parts of the world. He is delivering sermons to imaginary audiences on tropical islands and completing “searching investigations” into the missions of China and Japan by spending a few hours in each country.Following the Eagle’s exposure of “Pastor” Russell’s “Miracle Wheat” enterprise and its publication of the testimony on the basis of which Mrs. Russell obtained a separation and alimony, the “Pastor” developed the “world tour” idea. He set his printing plant to work to get out advance literature, huge bundles of which were sent to every place where he intended to appear. Then he contracted for advertising space in many American newspapers to print his never-delivered sermons.His first stop after sailing from the Pacific Coast was Honolulu And presto!—the newspapers in which advertising space had been engaged printed long cable dispatches that presented the “Pastor’s” discourses. In one paper that printed the advertisement the opening sentences read, “Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands: The International Bible Students Committee of Foreign Mission investigation stopped at Honolulu and made observations. Pastor Russell, Chairman of the committee, delivered a public address. He had a large audience and attentive hearing.”Then follows the sermon, full of local color and allusions to the “Paradise of the Pacific”: “I can now well understand [the printed report makes the ‘pastor’ say] why your beautiful island is ‘The Paradise of the Pacific.’ I note your wonderful climate and everything which contributes to bring about this Paradise likeness.”And so on for two columns.It has long been known that “Pastor” Russell has a strong imagination, but now it appears that he is even capable of delivering imaginary sermons. Pastor Russell never spoke in Honolulu during the few hours that his ship stopped there to take on coal. In the hope of securing an accurate report of his sermon, the Eagle wrote to the editor of the Hawaiian Star, which is published in Honolulu.The following reply was shortly thereafter received:In answer to your inquiry of December 19, concerning Pastor Russell, I would say that he was here for a few hours with a Bible students’ committee of foreign mission investigation, but did not make a public address as was anticipated. —Walter G. Smith, Editor, Star.That this was an isolated occurrence is refuted in other documentation. The following evidence is taken from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 11, 1913:Tour of Orient Branded Huge Advertising SchemeAs to the “Pastor’s” methods of carrying Russellism to the heathen and the speed with which his searching investigations into the missions of the world are being conducted, the Japan Weekly Chronicle of January 11 supplies some interesting information. After explaining how the office of the paper had for weeks been bombarded with Russell literature and advance agents with contracts “just as if the Reverend gentleman were an unregenerated theatrical company,” the Chronicle says: “These gentlemen arrived in Japan on Saturday the 30th December. On the following day ‘Pastor’ Russell delivered a sermon in Tokyo entitled: ‘Where Are the Dead?’ which, though the title is a little ambiguous, does not seem to have any special connection with the mission work. On Monday it is assumed that the mission work in Japan was begun and finished, for the next day seems to have been devoted to traveling, and on Wednesday ‘Pastor’ Russell and his coadjutors left Kobe for China in the same vessel in which they had arrived in Yokohama. … The truth is that the whole expedition is merely a huge advertising scheme!”Russell carried on many such advertising stunts, and despite his protestations about earthlygovernments and laws being organizations of the devil, he was always the first to claim their protection when it was convenient for him to do so.To mention one instance in addition to the Eagle suit, Russell brought suit for “defamatory libel” against the Reverend J. J. Ross, pastor of the James Street Baptist Church of Hamilton, Ontario, when the fearless minister wrote a blistering pamphlet denouncing Russell’s theology and personal life.Russell lost this attempt (see The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 11, 1913), with J. F. Rutherford as his attorney. For the benefit of the interested reader, at this time we recount the facts concerning the libel suit as it actually occurred.In June, 1912, the Reverend J. J. Ross, pastor of the James Street Baptist Church, Hamilton,Ontario, published a pamphlet entitled “Some Facts About the Self-Styled ‘Pastor’ Charles T. Russell,” which minced no words in its denunciation of Russell, his qualifications as a minister, or his moral example as a “pastor.” Russell promptly sued Ross for “defamatory libel” in an effort to silence the courageous minister before the pamphlet could gain wide circulation and expose his true character and the errors of his theology. Rev. Ross, however, was unimpressed by Russell’s action and eagerly seized upon the opportunity as a means of exposing Russell for the fraud he was. In his pamphlet, Ross assailed Russell’s teachings as revealed in Studies in the Scriptures as “the destructive doctrines of one man who is neither a scholar nor a theologian” (7). Rev. Ross scathingly denounced Russell’s whole system as “anti-rational, anti-scientific, anti-biblical, anti-Christian, and a deplorable perversion of thegospel of God’s dear Son” (7).Continuing his charges in the pamphlet, Ross exposed Russell as a pseudo-scholar and philosopher who “never attended the higher schools of learning, knows comparatively nothing of philosophy, systematic or historical theology, and is totally ignorant of the dead languages” (3–4). It must be clearly understood at this point by the reader that in a libel suit of the type pursued by Russell, the plaintiff (Russell) had to prove that the charges lodged against him by the defendant (Ross) were not true. It is significant to note that Russell lost his suit against Ross when the High Court of Ontario, in session March, 1913, ruled that there were no grounds for libel; and “the case was thrown out of Court by the evidence furnished by ‘Pastor’ Russell himself” (15).5-1“Pastor” Russell refused to give any evidence to substantiate his “case,” and the only evidence offered was Russell’s own statements, made under oath and during cross-examination by Ross’s lawyer, Counselor Staunton. By denying Ross’s charges, Russell automatically claimed high scholastic ascendancy, recognized theological training (systematic and historical), working knowledge of the dead languages (Greek, Hebrew, etc.), and valid ordination by a recognized body.5-2 To each part of Mr. Ross’s pamphlet (and all was read) Russell entered vigorous denials, with the exception of the “Miracle Wheat Scandal,” which he affirmed as having “a grain of truth in a sense” to it.5-3 “Pastor” Russell had at last made a serious mistake. He had testified under oath before Almighty God, and had sworn to tell“the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” He was soon to regret his testimony and stand in jeopardy as a perjurer, an unpleasant experience for the “pastor,” which more than explains his aversion to the witness chair.Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot deny this documentary evidence; it is too well substantiated. This is no “religionist scheme” to “smear” the “pastor’s” memory; I offer it as open proof of their founder’s inherent dishonesty and lack of morals, that they may see the type of man to whose doctrines they have committed their eternal souls.The following reference quotations are taken in part from Mr. Ross’s second pamphlet entitled Some Facts and More Facts About the Self-Styled Pastor—Charles T. Russell:But now what are the facts as they were brought out by the examination on March 17, 1913? As to his scholastic standing he (Russell) had sworn that what was said about it was not true. Under the examination, he admitted that at most he had attended school only seven years of his life at the public school, and that he had left school when he was about fourteen years of age. …The cross-examination of Russell continued for five hours. Here is a sample of how the “pastor” answered. (The following reproduction of the Russell v. Ross transcript relative to the perjury charge made against Russell is taken from a copy on file in the headquarters of the cult in Brooklyn and is presented in the interests of thorough investigation.)Question (Attorney Staunton): “Do you know the Greek alphabet?”Answer (Russell): “Oh yes.”Question (Staunton): “Can you tell me the correct letters if you see them?”Answer (Russell): “Some of them; I might make a mistake on some of them.”Question (Staunton): “Would you tell me the names of those on top of the page, page447, I have got here?”Answer (Russell): “Well, I don’t know that I would be able to.”Question (Staunton): “You can’t tell what those letters are? Look at them and see if you know.”Answer (Russell): “My way ” [he was interrupted at this point and not allowed to explain].Question (Staunton): “Are you familiar with the Greek language?”Answer (Russell): “No.”It should be noted from this record of the testimony that Russell frequently contradicted himself, claiming first to know the Greek alphabet, then claiming under pressure that he might make mistakes in identifying the letters, and then finally admitting that he couldn’t read the alphabet at all when confronted with a copy of it.From this it is easy to see that Russell did not “know” the Greek alphabet in any proper sense of the term, since it is assumed that when we say we “know” the English alphabet, for example, we shall be able upon request to name the letters by their correct titles.“Pastor” Russell, in failing to name the letters of the Greek alphabet, therefore, proved himself a perjurer, for he had previously stated that he “knew” them, thereby implying the ability to recite them, which he could not do.It makes very little difference, therefore, whether the Watchtower wants to admit Russell’s guilt or not since their own transcript shows that Russell said he “knew” what was later proved he did not know.Here is conclusive evidence; the “pastor” under oath perjured himself beyond question. Can one sincerely trust the teachings of a man who thought nothing of such evidence?This, however, was not all of Russell’s testimony, and as Counselor Staunton pressed him further the “pastor” admitted that he knew nothing about Latin and Hebrew, and that he had never taken a course in philosophy or systematic theology, much less attended schools of higher learning. Bear in mind now that Russell a short time before had sworn he did have such knowledge by denying Mr. Ross’s allegations. But there was no way out now; the “pastor” was caught in a bold-faced fabrication and he knew it. However, all was not over yet. It will be remembered that Russell claimed “ordination” and equal if not superior status to ordained and accredited ministers, who at that time were almost all graduates of at least Bible college if not a graduate program in a seminary. Counselor Staunton next smashed this illusion by demanding that Russell answer “Yes” or “No” to the following questions:Question (Staunton): “Is it true you were never ordained?”Answer (Russell): “It is not true.”It was necessary at this point for Counselor Staunton to appeal to the magistrate in order to make Russell answer the question directly. The magistrate presiding ruled that Russell must answer the questions put to him. Here is the result of the cross-examination.Question (Staunton): “Now, you never were ordained by a bishop, clergyman, presbytery, council, or any body of men living?”Answer (Russell, after a long pause): “I never was.”Once again Russell’s “unswerving” honesty received a rude blow; the situation was out of his hands and Russell stood helpless as Counselor Staunton wrung statement after statement from him, which established him beyond doubt as a premeditated perjurer. Russell further swore that his wife had not divorced him, and that the Court had not granted alimony from him, a statement he soon regretted when Counselor Staunton forced him to admit that the Court did divorce5-4 him from his wife, and did award his wife alimony. The evidence was in; the case was clear. Russell was branded a perjurer by the Court’s verdict “No Bill.” As a result of the Court’s action, Ross’s charges were proven true and the real character of Russell was revealed, that of a man who had no scruples about lying under oath and whose doctrines were admittedly based on no sound educational knowledge of the subject in question.Much evidence is available concerning Russell’s moral life, but I see no reason to inject lewdness into the text. The character of the man is evident for all to see.Though most Witnesses today have little awareness of their founder or his dubious past, those who are confronted with this evidence generally respond in one of two ways. Either they protest that the organization today should not be judged by any alleged inadequacies of its founder, or they charge the critic with overstating the case and making much more harsh judgments against Russell than the evidence warrants. None, however, is able to dispute the facts as they are reproduced here. Remember, this testimony is presented only as it was preserved in Watchtower holdings. The Watchtower is well aware of the facts. A typical Jehovah’s Witness response is that Russell was never charged nor convicted of perjury, which is true. However, that Russell committed perjury, or lied under oath, whether ever charged, tried, or convicted of it, is obvious to anyone who reads the evidence.The easily offended “pastor” might have practiced what he preached for once and heeded Christ’s injunction concerning the patient enduring of “reviling and persecution” (Matthew 5:11–12), but in Russell’s case it is not at all applicable. Russell took every opportunity to make money, and legal clashes were frequent as a result. He maneuvered masterfully just one jump ahead of the law, and had it not been for Rutherford, who was a clever lawyer, the “pastor” might not have been so fortunate.Russell hid, whenever cornered, behind the veil of a martyr for religious toleration, and despite the denunciation of churches and ministers, he somehow succeeded in escaping the effects of damaging publicity. The Christian church fought him openly but without the unified effort needed to squelch his bold approach. Some churches and pastors were united (see The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 2, 1913, page 18) and called for Russell’s silencing as a menace. The “pastor” was also deported from Canada because he hindered mobilization (see The Daily Standard Union, November 1, 1916), and in the early stages of World War I he was a prominent conscientious objector, as all of his followers (Jehovah’s Witnesses) still are today.As a speaker, Russell swayed many; as a theologian, he impressed no one competent; as a man, he failed before the true God. Russell traveled extensively, spoke incessantly, and campaigned with much energy for “a great awakening” among the people of the world. In the course of his writings and lectures Russell denied many of the cardinal doctrines of the Bible—the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the physical resurrection and return of Christ, eternal punishment, the reality of hell, the eternal existence of the soul, and the validity of the infinite atonement, to state a few. The honest fact is that Russell had no training or education to justify his interpretation of Scripture. By this it is not meant that great education is a necessary qualification for exegesis, but when a man contradicts practically every majordoctrine of the Bible he ought to have the education needed to defend (if that is possible) his arguments.“Pastor” Russell did not have that knowledge, or even the qualifications for ordination by anyrecognized body. The title “pastor” was assumed—not earned—and to document this fact we quote from the November 1, 1916, edition of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle:Although he styled himself a “pastor” and was so addressed by thousands offollowers all over the world, he had never been ordained and had no ministerial standingin any other religious sect than his own.Psychologically, the man was an egotist whose imagination knew no bounds and who is classed (by his followers) along with the apostle Paul, Wycliffe, and Luther as a great expositor of the gospel.These are trite words for a man who proffered his writings as necessary for a clear understanding of the Scriptures and who once declared that it would be better to leave the Scriptures unread and read his books, rather than to read the Scriptures and neglect his books.For the benefit of those so naïve as to believe that the “pastor” did not make such a claim, wedocument the above assertion from The Watchtower, September 15, 1910, page 298, where the “pastor” makes the following statement concerning his Studies in the Scriptures and their “indispensable” value when examining the Bible.If the six volumes of SCRIPTURE STUDIES are practically the Bible, topically arranged with Bible proof texts given, we might not improperly name the volumes THE BIBLE IN AN ARRANGED FORM. That is to say, they are not mere comments on the Bible, but they are practically the Bible itself. … Furthermore, not only do we find that people cannot see the divine plan in studying the Bible by itself, but we see, also, that if anyone lays the SCRIPTURE STUDIES aside, even after he has used them, after he has become familiar with them, after he has read them for ten years—if he then lays them aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone, though he has understood his Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness. On the other hand, if he had merely read the SCRIPTURE STUDIES with their references, and had not read a page of the Bible, assuch, he would be in the light at the end of two years, because he would have the light ofthe Scriptures.5-5Nowhere is Russell’s egotism or boldness better revealed than in that statement. Think of it:According to the “pastor,” it is impossible to understand God’s plan of salvation independent of Russellite theology. Also, if one’s study is of the Bible alone, void of Russell’s interpretations, that one will walk in darkness at the end of two years. But there is a ray of hope for all those foolish enough to study God’s Word alone. If all will adopt Russellism as a guide in biblical interpretation, mankind will enter into a “new” Kingdom Age; for then, by virtue of the “pastor’s” expositions, true understanding of the Bible’s basic doctrines will have been arrived at. To quote the Rev. J. J. Ross: “This inspiration has its origin in the pit.”Jehovah’s Witnesses pursue this same line of theological interpretation today. Russellism did not die with Charles Taze Russell; it lives under the title The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom.The “pastor’s” dream has survived its author and remains today a living challenge to all Christians everywhere. Let us recognize it for what it is and unmask the unsound principles upon which it stands.