Thursday, December 24, 2009

Russell's Pyramid Tomb?

Another video has been posted on YouTube (and on a site) about Charles Taze Russell.

Practically every sentence contains a falsehood, putting it politely.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Cure for Surface Cancer

Did Russell develop and sell a fake cure for cancer?

The following appeared in the Watch Tower, July 1, 1913:


Cancer troubles are becoming more numerous. We know of no remedy for internal cancers except surgery. Even then a cure is doubtful. We have recently learned of a very effective and simple remedy for cancers which show themselves on the surface of the body. We are informed that a physician, after testing this remedy, paid $1,000 for the information, and that he has established a Cancer Hospital which is doing good work. The recipe has come to us free and we are willing to communicate the formula, but to those only who are troubled with surface cancers and who will write to us directly, stating particulars. No fee will be charged, but in order to protect the sufferers, we require a promise that they will not sell the formula to others, nor receive pay for the use of it, nor communicate the formula to anybody. Any one known to be a sufferer can be informed of the terms on which the prescription is obtainable through us.

This notice, as its original context, can be found online at:

Although there is nothing at all wrong with the above, leave it to those who hate the truth to twist this simple offer so as to make it appear to have been something evil. “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil.” — Isaiah 5:20.

Although some have claimed that Russell himself invented this cure, please note that Charles Taze Russell himself did not develop this cure; he only reported on what a doctor believed to be a cure for certain kinds of skin cancer, and offered to give that information free without any charge at all to any who requested it.  We are sure that he felt that would be the Christian thing to do. He asked no money for this information. There is certainly nothing wrong with that, but those who seek to find evil can make such appear to be evil when it wasn’t. 

Indeed, there has been much ado made of Russell’s offer to send this free cure by those who have no regard for obeying Jesus’ commands. Many even outright falsely claim that he developed and sold this, often claiming it appear to have been a “fake” cure, and that Russell was a conman and quack. Here are a few statements gleaned from websites on the internet:

“Later he marketed a fake cancer cure and what he termed a “millennial bean” (which has been said probably got that name because it took a thousand years to sprout).”

This gross misrepresentation, with almost the exact same wording, has been repeated on many websites and forums, etc.) Regarding the “Millennial Bean”: Russell did refer to what someone else called a “Millennial Bean.” 

One writer claims of Russell:
 also sold a ‘cancer cure’, which was a paste of chloride of zinc.

Another claims:
Russell also sponsored a "cancer cure," which turned out to be a paste of chloride and zinc, a harmful and deadly combination.
Again notice the misrepresentation that he “sold” this cure. Where the authors obtained their information concerning what was in this formula is not given. So far we have found nothing that actually tells us what was in the formula that Russell provided. We highly suspect that the cure that the doctor sent to Russell was indeed a  combination of ingredients, possibly including Bloodroot and Zinc Chloride. Of course, any substance can be harmful if misused. Nevertheless, similar treatments of skin are still being used today.

One writer even suggests by way of question: “Can you imagine how many people died using this worthless unknown formula?” However, without actually saying so, the wording of the question highly suggests that the formula caused people with cancer to die, or that in some  way they would not have died if they had not used the formula. We have not found substantiated cases of anyone dying from the actual use of the black salve. If there was not a cure for cancer, and this formula didn’t help them, they might have died anyway, with or without the formula.

We find on one site the following:
The FDA has identified 24 cases of adverse events (bad side effects) associated with black salve. Fifteen of these cases were reported within the past five years.

These have included instances of permanent disfigurement and cancer progression. The FDA is aware of at least one death that resulted from a person who opted to use a corrosive salve rather than pursue proven cancer therapies.
Of course, all this was unknown when Russell was alive. Nor were the other treatments for skin cancer often used today available when Russell was alive.

If the offer that Russell made as appeared in the Watch Tower had appeared in a family magazine of that time, or almost any other religious journal of that time, probably no one today would think of making much of it. But there seems to be an all-out campaign against Russell by the  Russell haters who are willing to twist and distort in order to make things written and said to appear as bad as they possibly can. This is much the same tactic our atheist and agnostic neighbors do with the Bible, and certainly such tactics would be not be appropriate for anyone who claims to love Jesus.

As to exactly what was in the formula that was given to Russell by the doctor he mentioned, we cannot be sure, since we do not have a copy of that recipe. The formula was probably that developed by an American surgeon, Jesse Fell. Of course, all the later negative reports often presented today -- many of which are obviously exaggerated -- related to the usage of black salve were not available when Russell was alive.  However, it certainly was not a “fake” formula, as some have thought, but this is what opponents of Russell, in their misguided zeal to condemn Russell, have simply imagined and assumed.



Is This True Or False?