Monday, August 19, 2019

Cure for Appendicitis

It is being claimed that Russell taught that appendicitis is caused by biting worms in the colon. The obvious reason for this claim is to make it appear that Russell was some kind of quack who should not be taken seriously. Russell, himself, however never claimed to have any special knowledge of appendicitis or any other disease. 

As far as appendicitis pain, there was an article in the Watch Tower of January 1, 1912, page 26, entitled "Cure for Appendicitis". We don't know that Russell himself wrote it; it was probably given to him from one of his associates, possibly a doctor, and he simply had it printed in the magazine. It is probable that in 1912,  much of the work at the Watch Tower Society was handled by others, although Russell sought to approve everything that appeared in the Watch Tower, he himself stated, "We try to be careful about every word that goes into the Watch Tower, but we do not claim to be infallible; we are doing the best we can." -- What Pastor Russell Said, page 57.

 The article does not state that appendicitis itself is caused by "biting worms", but rather that the pain from appendicitis is caused by "biting worms". We cannot say exactly what is meant by "biting worms" in the article, but bacteria itself could be described as "worms", and we suppose the infections caused by bacteria could be described as from biting worms.

Nevertheless, there is research that speaks of parasitic pinworms that have been found in the appendix with appendicitis. Sanotin was indeed used even by some doctors in the days of Russell to bring relief to patients suffering from appendicitis pain, as it does expel such parasites, thus bringing relief to the patient suffering from pain caused by those worms.

Regardless, the short article was simply a suggestion; it was not presented as being dogma, infallible, without error, etc. Nor did the article represent an authoritarian organization such as Rutherford created after Russell died. If it had appeared in one of the home advice magazines of that day, more than likely no one today would be writing evil of those authors. But because it was printed by the magazine that Russell edited, it is being presented as though it was some kind of official doctrine that was being promulgated by someone. Russell, however, never assumed any such authority, not for himself, nor for the Watch Tower Society of his day.

We should also note that the information was passed gratis; Russell was not getting rich in having this information published.

The article may be found online at:

A Dog's Head

The claim is being made that Russell said that if a dog's head was shaped like a man's, that he would think like a man. This is obviously stated in an effort to deride Russell and influence people to think Russell was some kind of nut.

According to one:
[Russell] taught in the Watch­towers of March 15, l913 and January 15th, l912, that one's desire to worship God was due to the shape of one’s brain. He also felt that if a dog's head was shaped like a man's, the dog would think as a man! Phrenology is not Christianity, yet he attempted to fuse the two beliefs.
One can find similar thoughts in Billy Crone's book, Jehovah's Witnesses & the False Teachings of the Watchtower Society, page 12. Russell, however, was never a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Russell was not teaching anything to the effect that Phrenology was essential doctrine or dogma that anyone had accept. However, we are not here discussing Phrenology. We will say that Phrenology is definitely not, of itself, "pagan," Some label it "pseudoscience," but giving it this label does not actually mean that the underlining theories are wrong. For more regarding Brother Russell and Phrenology see:

Russell and Phrenology

Russell never said exactly that if a dog's head "was shaped" like man's, that the dog could think like a man. This seems to convey something I am sure Russell never intended. Rather Russell actually stated:
The difference between Adam and the other creatures was not in the breath, or spirit of lives. Man had the same kind of spirit of life. The difference was that man had a finer organism. How do we know? Stand a man alongside of a dog. Look at their heads. The one slopes back; there is no place for the intellectual qualities at all, or at least a very small place for the thinking apparatus man has. He has more brain than the dog. If we could make a dog with the same head as a man, he would think the same as a man. But God did not endow the dog, or any other brute, with the same capacity as man. He was in God's likeness, because he gave him the superior mental powers. -- What Pastor Russell Said, page 667.
Then entire answer may be found at:

We see nothing wrong with what Brother Russell stated; if a dog was given the same head as man, which would include the same kind of brain that a man has, yes the dog could indeed think like man. But as Brother Russell was pointing out, that was not what God intended. 

The criticism of Russell appears to be twisting what Russell stated in order to place Brother Russell in a bad light. 

We should note also that what Russell stated above concerning a dog's head has nothing at all to do with Phrenology. 

Nevertheless, Brother Russell was not perfect, and never claimed to be perfect, and, unlike the leadership of the Jehovah Witnesses, he did not claim that one had to accept his thoughts in order to be a Christian or to be saved. It should not really be of concern as to whether Russell made some errors in some things. It is those who oppose Brother Russell who appear to demand that he had to be perfect, or else, according the way many appear to reason, he must have been some kind of evil man.