This is in response to a video on youtube and which also appears some other places entitled: "Studies With Jehovah's Witness Discussing Charles Russell, Rutherford, and the Governing Body."
I am not with the JWs, but much that is presented in the video about Russell is based totally on imagination and assumptions (presented as fact), twisting of facts to make them appear other than the reality, or are simply false statements.
Here are few:
1) Brother Russell was never a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses organization, and he certainly was not the founder of an organization in which he did not believe, and which practices the very kind of authoritarianism that he preached against.
Charles Taze Russell and the Jehovah's Witnesses
2) There is no "Knights Templar" symbol at all on the cover of Russell's Watch Tower. It is being imagined, assumed and presented as fact that any such usage of a cross and crown (although Biblical) MUST be "Masonic", when, in fact, the cross and crown has been used for many centuries by most of the major Christian denominations.
Russell's Cross and Crown Symbolism - Masonic? Rosicrucian?
3) Russell was most definitely never a member of the Freemasons or any other of man's secret societies. The tens of thousands of pages that we have of Russell's works overwhelmingly testify that he was not in support of any of man's secret societies.
Russell and the Freemasons
4) Rutherford's pyramid monument is not Russell's gravestone. Russell is not buried there, nor is that monument of God's Witness in Egypt designed with any Masonic purposes in mind.
Charles Taze Russell and the Great Pyramid
5) The Ross court record does not at all prove Ross' claims to be true; Russell lost the case because of some twist that demanded that Ross' accusations would have to be seen as inciting a riot, which, of course, was not the case. Ross actually distorted the court records to make Russell appear to have said something that he did not say.
The Claims of J. J. Ross
6) Russell disclaimed being a prophet, and disclaimed that his conclusions were inerrant, or without error. He never gave any prophecies, but simply stated his conclusions concerning Bible prophecies. Russell never claimed that anyone had to accept his conclusions in order to be a Christian, and he certainly never advocated disfellowshiping anyone because they did not agree with his conclusions.
Charles Taze Russell and Bible Prophecy
7) It is false that Russell claimed that the end of the world would come in 1914. Russell was not expecting such, and plainly stated that he was not expecting such. Especially from 1904 onward, Russell was expecting that the time of trouble was to begin in 1914.
Russell and the End of the World
8) It is completely and totally false that Russell changed 1914 to 1925; Russell, at least twice, rejected that the date 1925 held any prophetic significance. He never promoted the year 1925 at all as having any prophetic significance. Russell died in 1916, still holding to the belief that the time of trouble had begun in 1914.
Dates and False Statements Concerning Charles Taze Russell
9) The date 1914 is based on several lines of Bible prophecies. Nelson Barbour came up with the date from study of those prophecies; God's witness in Egypt simply corroborates that date.
10) Charles Taze Russell did believe in the divinity of Jesus, but he did not believe that Jesus' divinity was any reason to add to the scriptures that Jesus is God the Son.
Russell and the Deity of Christ
11) Russell, of course, never said anything to the effect that one had to pronounce and use the English form "Jehovah". There is nothing, however, in the Bible that tells us that we must pronounce God's Holy Name as it was originally pronounced in Hebrew, and certainly nothing in the Bible that says that because we do not know how it was pronounced in ancient Hebrew, that one should change that name to, and mispronounce that name as, "the Lord" or "God", etc. The theory that the Masoretes combined JOD HE VAH HE with the vowels from the Masoretic word "Adonai" to form what is evidently being presented as "Yahowah / Jehovah" is highly unlikely. Nevertheless, if "Jehovah" is a man-made invention, so are the English forms: Yahweh, Jesus, Joshua, Jacob, Elijah, Elias, and practically every name in the Bible that has been given some form and pronunciation in English.
God's Holy Name
12) There is nothing in Romans 10:9-13 that identities Jesus as Jehovah.
Whoever Will Call On the Name of Yahweh
13) Westcott & Hort did not belong to any of man's secret societies that I know of. They were definitely not involved in any practices of the occult. Nevertheless, God can make use of anyone for any purpose he wishes, without supporting any of the practices of those whom he may use.
Westcott and Hort – Were They Spiritualists?
14) Charles Taze Russell actually preached against similar fear tactics that are now used by the Jehovah's Witnesses. Charles Taze Russell's message of good news of great joy that will be for all the people is almost the very opposite of the bad tidings of great woe that will be for most of the people (of eternal destruction in Armageddon) that is promulgated by the JW leadership.
Charles Taze Russell and Armageddon