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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

William Miller and the End of the World

Miller was a farmer, justice of the peace, sheriff, and Baptist preacher, who, from 1831 to 1844, preached the immanent return of Christ. He was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. His mother was a deeply religious person, and his father a soldier. Probably as a result, there was tension in his early life between patriotism and religious belief. He was largely self-educated, attending school only for three months each winter between ages 9 and 14.

As a young man, Miller was influenced by reading and association to become a deist. This is a belief that God made the world and then abandoned it to run according to certain natural laws. Miller volunteered for service in the War of 1812, and while in service saw evidences that there was a God, after all, who intervenes in human affairs. After the war he was converted and began a systematic study of the Bible to find answers to his former questions. In the process he discovered the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, especially Daniel 8, which seemed to predict that Christ would soon return to earth. He finally established through the process of applying the Bible principle of a day for a year in prophecy, that Jesus would come a second time "about the year 1843."

Miller began preaching in small towns at first, and then, with the help of Joshua Himes, moved to the larger cities, bringing his second advent message to many thousands. Hundreds of ministers and laymen joined in preaching the message. By the expected time for Christ's return, Miller had between 50,000 to 100,000 followers, commonly known as Millerites. He did not set a specific date for the second advent. At first he said only that it would be "about 1843." He finally set an ultimate time in the spring of 1844. Others picked the more precise date of October 22, 1844, which Miller and many of the leaders of the first movement accepted shortly before the date arrived.

Many clergymen joined Miller in his preaching. At the same time, he was greatly opposed by others. So much so, that in the final months, most churches were closed to the second advent preaching, and many of those who accepted the message were put out of their churches.

Ellen White has written positively about Miller in The Great Controversy and elsewhere. She heard him preach, and accepted his teachings, going through the disappointment at age 16. She believed that his preaching fulfilled the prophecies of Scripture, and saw him being guided by the Lord.

Miller never accepted advancing understanding of the disappointment. Ellen White wrote: "I saw that William Miller erred as he was soon to enter the heavenly Canaan, in suffering his influence to go against the truth. Others led him to this; others must account for it. But angels watch the precious dust of this servant of God, and he will come forth at the sound of the last trump."--Early Writings, p. 258.

After the disappointment of October 22, he wrote: "Although I have been twice disappointed, I am not yet cast down or discouraged. . . . I have fixed my mind upon another time, and here I mean to stand until God gives me more light,--and that is Today, TODAY, and TODAY, until He comes, and I see Him for whom my soul yearns."--The Midnight Cry, Dec. 5, 1844, pp. 179, 180.

- Ellen G. White Estate, Inc.


In course of time there came other stirrings among those Christians who professed to be of the “chaste virgin” class, particularly that in connection with a man born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, U.S.A., in the year 1781. This man was William Miller, who became the founder of the so-called Millerites or Adventists. Says M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclopædia, Volume 6, page 271:

"About 1833, when a resident of Low Hampton, N.Y., he began his career as an apostle of the new doctrine, which taught that the world was coming to an end in 1843. The main argument on which his belief rested was that relative to the termination of the 2300 days in Daniel 8:14, which he regarded as years. Then considering the seventy weeks in Daniel 9:24, as the key to the date of the 2300 days of the preceding chapter, and dating the periods B.C. 457, when Artaxerxes, king of Persia, sent up Ezra from his captivity, to restore the Jewish polity at Jerusalem (Ezra 7), and ending the seventy weeks, as commentators generally do, in A.D. 33, with the crucifixion of Christ, he found the remainder of the 2300 days, which was 1810, would end in 1843. For ten years he held forth to this purport, and succeeded in gathering a large number of followers, which is said to have reached fifty thousand, who awaited, with credulous expectation, the appointed day. The result, however, turning out contrary to the teaching of their apostle, the Adventists, as they are sometimes termed, gradually forsook Miller. He died at Low Hampton, Washington County, N.Y., December 20, 1849."

Evidently, then, the launching of the Millerite movement did not turn out to be the midnight cry, “Here is the bridegroom!” The heavenly Bridegroom did not appear in the flesh visibly to those Adventists and take them in a rapture to their desired heavenly home, in 1843. And yet Bible study continued on. Thirty years later found a small group of men, not associated with the Adventists or affiliated with any of the religious sects of Christendom, studying the Holy Scriptures at Pittsburgh (Allegheny), Pennsylvania, U.S.A. They studied independently so as to avoid looking at the Bible through sectarian spectacles. Among these men was one Charles Taze Russell, just entered into his twenties. They were, of course, intensely interested in the second coming of the heavenly Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. However, their Bible studies led to their discovery that Christ’s return would be an invisible one, not visibly in the flesh as a materialized man, but invisibly in the spirit, inasmuch as he was no longer flesh and blood. His arrival would therefore be unseen to men, and this arrival would begin an invisible presence or parousia on his part. But it would be made manifest by evidences.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Did Jesus die on a Cross or Stake (Stauros)

Definition: The device on which Jesus Christ was executed is referred to by most of Christendom as a cross. The expression is drawn from the Latin crux.

Why do Watch Tower publications show Jesus on a stake with hands over his head instead of on the traditional cross?

The Greek word rendered “cross” in many modern Bible versions (“torture stake” in NW) is stau‧ros′. In classical Greek, this word meant merely an upright stake, or pale. Later it also came to be used for an execution stake having a crosspiece. The Imperial Bible-Dictionary acknowledges this, saying: “The Greek word for cross, [stau‧ros′], properly signified a stake, an upright pole, or piece of paling, on which anything might be hung, or which might be used in impaling [fencing in] a piece of ground. . . . Even amongst the Romans the crux (from which our cross is derived) appears to have been originally an upright pole.”—Edited by P. Fairbairn (London, 1874), Vol. I, p. 376.

Was that the case in connection with the execution of God’s Son? It is noteworthy that the Bible also uses the word xy′lon to identify the device used. A Greek-English Lexicon, by Liddell and Scott, defines this as meaning: “Wood cut and ready for use, firewood, timber, etc. . . . piece of wood, log, beam, post . . . cudgel, club . . . stake on which criminals were impaled . . . of live wood, tree.” It also says “in NT, of the cross,” and cites Acts 5:30 and 10:39 as examples. (Oxford, 1968, pp. 1191, 1192) However, in those verses KJ, RS, JB, and Dy translate xy′lon as “tree.” (Compare this rendering with Galatians 3:13; Deuteronomy 21:22, 23.)

The book The Non-Christian Cross, by J. D. Parsons (London, 1896), says: “There is not a single sentence in any of the numerous writings forming the New Testament, which, in the original Greek, bears even indirect evidence to the effect that the stauros used in the case of Jesus was other than an ordinary stauros; much less to the effect that it consisted, not of one piece of timber, but of two pieces nailed together in the form of a cross. . . . It is not a little misleading upon the part of our teachers to translate the word stauros as ‘cross’ when rendering the Greek documents of the Church into our native tongue, and to support that action by putting ‘cross’ in our lexicons as the meaning of stauros without carefully explaining that that was at any rate not the primary meaning of the word in the days of the Apostles, did not become its primary signification till long afterwards, and became so then, if at all, only because, despite the absence of corroborative evidence, it was for some reason or other assumed that the particular stauros upon which Jesus was executed had that particular shape.”—Pp. 23, 24; see also The Companion Bible (London, 1885), Appendix No. 162.

Thus the weight of the evidence indicates that Jesus died on an upright stake and not on the traditional cross.

What were the historical origins of Christendom’s cross?

“Various objects, dating from periods long anterior to the Christian era, have been found, marked with crosses of different designs, in almost every part of the old world. India, Syria, Persia and Egypt have all yielded numberless examples . . . The use of the cross as a religious symbol in pre-Christian times and among non-Christian peoples may probably be regarded as almost universal, and in very many cases it was connected with some form of nature worship.”—Encyclopædia Britannica (1946), Vol. 6, p. 753.

“The shape of the [two-beamed cross] had its origin in ancient Chaldea, and was used as the symbol of the god Tammuz (being in the shape of the mystic Tau, the initial of his name) in that country and in adjacent lands, including Egypt. By the middle of the 3rd cent. A.D. the churches had either departed from, or had travestied, certain doctrines of the Christian faith. In order to increase the prestige of the apostate ecclesiastical system pagans were received into the churches apart from regeneration by faith, and were permitted largely to retain their pagan signs and symbols. Hence the Tau or T, in its most frequent form, with the cross-piece lowered, was adopted to stand for the cross of Christ.”—An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (London, 1962), W. E. Vine, p. 256. Additional Reading:

“It is strange, yet unquestionably a fact, that in ages long before the birth of Christ, and since then in lands untouched by the teaching of the Church, the Cross has been used as a sacred symbol. . . . The Greek Bacchus, the Tyrian Tammuz, the Chaldean Bel, and the Norse Odin, were all symbolised to their votaries by a cruciform device.”—The Cross in Ritual, Architecture, and Art (London, 1900), G. S. Tyack, p. 1.

“The cross in the form of the ‘Crux Ansata’ . . . was carried in the hands of the Egyptian priests and Pontiff kings as the symbol of their authority as priests of the Sun god and was called ‘the Sign of Life.’”—The Worship of the Dead (London, 1904), Colonel J. Garnier, p. 226.

“Various figures of crosses are found everywhere on Egyptian monuments and tombs, and are considered by many authorities as symbolical either of the phallus [a representation of the male sex organ] or of coition. . . . In Egyptian tombs the crux ansata [cross with a circle or handle on top] is found side by side with the phallus.”—A Short History of Sex-Worship (London, 1940), H. Cutner, pp. 16, 17; see also The Non-Christian Cross, p. 183.

“These crosses were used as symbols of the Babylonian sun-god, [See book], and are first seen on a coin of Julius Cæsar, 100-44 B.C., and then on a coin struck by Cæsar’s heir (Augustus), 20 B.C. On the coins of Constantine the most frequent symbol is [See book]; but the same symbol is used without the surrounding circle, and with the four equal arms vertical and horizontal; and this was the symbol specially venerated as the ‘Solar Wheel’. It should be stated that Constantine was a sun-god worshipper, and would not enter the ‘Church’ till some quarter of a century after the legend of his having seen such a cross in the heavens.”—The Companion Bible, Appendix No. 162; see also The Non-Christian Cross, pp. 133-141. Additional Reading:

Is veneration of the cross a Scriptural practice?

1 Cor. 10:14: “My beloved ones, flee from idolatry.” (An idol is an image or symbol that is an object of intense devotion, veneration, or worship.)

Ex. 20:4, 5, JB: “You shall not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything in heaven or on earth beneath or in the waters under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them.” (Notice that God commanded that his people not even make an image before which people would bow down.)

Of interest is this comment in the New Catholic Encyclopedia: “The representation of Christ’s redemptive death on Golgotha does not occur in the symbolic art of the first Christian centuries. The early Christians, influenced by the Old Testament prohibition of graven images, were reluctant to depict even the instrument of the Lord’s Passion.”—(1967), Vol. IV, p. 486.

Concerning first-century Christians, History of the Christian Church says: “There was no use of the crucifix and no material representation of the cross.”—(New York, 1897), J. F. Hurst, Vol. I, p. 366.

Does it really make any difference if a person cherishes a cross, as long as he does not worship it?

How would you feel if one of your dearest friends was executed on the basis of false charges? Would you make a replica of the instrument of execution? Would you cherish it, or would you rather shun it?

In ancient Israel, unfaithful Jews wept over the death of the false god Tammuz. Jehovah spoke of what they were doing as being a ‘detestable thing.’ (Ezek. 8:13, 14) According to history, Tammuz was a Babylonian god, and the cross was used as his symbol. From its beginning in the days of Nimrod, Babylon was against Jehovah and an enemy of true worship. (Gen. 10:8-10; Jer. 50:29) So by cherishing the cross, a person is honoring a symbol of worship that is opposed to the true God.

As stated at Ezekiel 8:17, apostate Jews also ‘thrust out the shoot to Jehovah’s nose.’ He viewed this as “detestable” and ‘offensive.’ Why? This “shoot,” some commentators explain, was a representation of the male sex organ, used in phallic worship. How, then, must Jehovah view the use of the cross, which, as we have seen, was anciently used as a symbol in phallic worship?

- Reasoning from the Scriptures, pages 89 - 93, WTB&TS

Another change in viewpoint involved the “cross and crown” symbol, which appeared on the Watch Tower cover beginning with the issue of January 1891. In fact, for years many Bible Students wore a pin of this kind. By way of description, C. W. Barber writes: “It was a badge really, with a wreath of laurel leaves as the border and within the wreath was a crown with a cross running through it on an angle. It looked quite attractive and was our idea at that time of what it meant to take up our ‘cross’ and follow Christ Jesus in order to be able to wear the crown of victory in due time.”

Concerning the wearing of “cross and crown pins,” Lily R. Parnell comments: “This to Brother Rutherford’s mind was Babylonish and should be discontinued. He told us that when we went to the people’s homes and began to talk, that was the witness in itself.” Accordingly, reflecting on the 1928 Bible Students convention in Detroit, Michigan, Brother Suiter writes: “At the assembly the cross and crown emblems were shown to be not only unnecessary but objectionable. So we discarded these items of jewelry.” Some three years thereafter, beginning with its issue of October 15, 1931, The Watchtower no longer bore the cross and crown symbol on its cover.

- 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, WTB&TS

Is it correct to conclude from John 20:25 that Jesus was impaled with a separate nail through each hand?

The Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, by M’Clintock and Strong, comments: ‘Much time and trouble have been wasted in disputing as to whether three or four nails were used in fastening the Lord. Nonnus affirms that three only were used, in which he is followed by Gregory Nazianzen. The more general belief gives four nails, an opinion which is supported at much length and by curious arguments by Curtius. Others have carried the number of nails as high as fourteen.’—Volume II, page 580.

Matthew 27:35 merely says: “When they had impaled him they distributed his outer garments by casting lots.” Little detail is given, as in Mark, Luke and John. After Jesus’ resurrection, Thomas said: “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails and stick my finger into the print of the nails and stick my hand into his side, I will certainly not believe.” (John 20:25) So even though criminals sometimes were bound to a stake with ropes, Jesus was nailed. Some have also concluded from John 20:25 that two nails were used, one through each hand. But does Thomas’ use of the plural (nails) have to be understood as a precise description indicating that each of Jesus’ hands was pierced by a separate nail?

In Luke 24:39 the resurrected Jesus said: “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.” This suggests that Christ’s feet also were nailed. Since Thomas made no mention of nailprints in Jesus’ feet, his use of the plural “nails” could have been a general reference to multiple nails used in impaling Jesus.

Thus, it just is not possible at this point to state with certainty how many nails were used. Any drawings of Jesus on the stake should be understood as artists’ productions that offer merely a representation based on the limited facts that we have. Debate over such an insignificant detail should not be permitted to becloud the all-important truth that “we became reconciled to God through the death of his Son.”—Romans 5:10.

- April 1, 1984 Watchtower, WTB&TS

Did Jesus die on a cross?

Good Morning America reported this week on a thesis by Swedish theologian Gunnar Samuelsson in which he claims there is no historical support for the notion that Jesus died on a cross. If this is true, what effect should it have on Christians?

"There is no distinct punishment called 'crucifixion,' no distinct punishment device called a 'crucifix' anywhere mentioned in any of the ancient texts including the Gospels," he told

For his thesis, Crucifixion in Antiquity: An Inquiry into the Background of the New Testament Terminology of Crucifixion, Samuelson analyzed thousands of ancient texts to compare their wording with the wording of the gospel accounts and what he found is that there is simply no proof that Jesus was nailed to a cross.

There are two Greek words in question: stauros (stow-rose or stav-rose) and xylon (ksee-lon). Peter seems to favor xylon. For example, in his speech recorded at Acts 5:30 Peter says, "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you slew and hanged on a [xylon]." Some bibles translate that as "cross" and some as "tree." Which is correct?

Genesis 40:19 talks about the execution of an Egyptian, his body being 'hung on a tree.' When the passage was translated into the Greek Septuagint version, the translators used a form of the word xylon. Jerome's Latin Vulgate says the baker was to be hanged on a cruce, a form of the word crux. In English, some bibles say the baker was hanged on a cross, but the primary definition of crux is tree, not cross. Further, there is no historical evidence that the Egyptians crucified people, There is, however, historical evidence that they displayed the dead bodies of people with whom they were displeased by hanging them on trees or impaling them on poles.

Joshua 10:24 relates an account of Joshua winning a victory over 5 kings, and says he put their dead bodies on display. Again, the translators of the Greek Septuagint used the word xylon. Jerome translated it stipites - posts or poles - in his latin Vulgate. Are we to believe Joshua hung the bodies of the 5 kings on crosses, 1500 years before Jesus was executed? Or is it more likely he followed an Egyptian practice with which he was familiar?

Esther 5:14 refers to Haman preparing a stake 75 feet high on which to hang Mordecai. The Greek translates it xylon, the Latin trabem (beam). What purpose would have been served by a crossbeam 75 feet in the air?

What about stauros?

The gospel accounts, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, use stauros about 10 times with reference to Jesus' executional implement. The remainder of the Bible uses it another dozen times. Several reputable Greek dictionaries advise that the definition of stauros is 'a stake or pole.' For example, Vine's Expository Dictionary of Greek Words says of stauros: "Primarily, an upright pale or stake. On such malefactors were nailed for execution." Paul Schmidt's The History of Jesus says stauros "means every upright standing pale or tree trunk.” The Greek-English Lexicon of Liddell and Scott gives the first definition of stauros as "an upright stake or pole."

In spite of this, you would be hard pressed to find an English bible that doesn't translate stauros as "cross" when referring to Jesus' execution. (I looked at over a dozen online, and the only one that didn't translate stauros as "cross" was the Jehovah's Witnesses New World Translation.)

One of the most telling points in Samuelsson's research is this: he points out that in the ancient literature, the word stauros is used with reference to hanging fruit or animal carcasses up to dry. It's rather silly to think of fruit being crucified.

The fact of Jesus' execution is far more important than the implement on which he died. The fact that translators allowed their preconceptions to sway them to translate stauros as cross instead of stake or pole has to make one wonder about the accuracy of the rest of their translations.

And a serious Christian should also wonder where the "cross" idea came from. If, as Alexander Hislop suggested, it originated as the symbol for the god Tammuz, it is certainly inappropriate for Christians. Even if it didn't, isn't wearing a little gold copy of someone's murder weapon on a chain around your neck a little gruesome? -Phoenix Signs of the Times Examiner

Good Morning America: Also See:


The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop, Chapter V, Section VI, The Sign of the Cross

There is yet one more symbol of the Romish worship to be noticed, and that is the sign of the cross. In the Papal system as is well known, the sign of the cross and the image of the cross are all in all. No prayer can be said, no worship engaged in, no step almost can be taken, without the frequent use of the sign of the cross. The cross is looked upon as the grand charm, as the great refuge in every season of danger, in every hour of temptation as the infallible preservative from all the powers of darkness. The cross is adored with all the homage due only to the Most High; and for any one to call it, in the hearing of a genuine Romanist, by the Scriptural term, "the accursed tree," is a mortal offence. To say that such superstitious feeling for the sign of the cross, such worship as Rome pays to a wooden or a metal cross, ever grew out of the saying of Paul, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ"--that is, in the doctrine of Christ crucified--is a mere absurdity, a shallow subterfuge and pretence. The magic virtues attributed to the so-called sign of the cross, the worship bestowed on it, never came from such a source. The same sign of the cross that Rome now worships was used in the Babylonian Mysteries, was applied by Paganism to the same magic purposes, was honoured with the same honours. That which is now called the Christian cross was originally no Christian emblem at all, but was the mystic Tau of the Chaldeans and Egyptians--the true original form of the letter T--the initial of the name of Tammuz--which, in Hebrew, radically the same as ancient Chaldee, was found on coins. That mystic Tau was marked in baptism on the foreheads of those initiated in the Mysteries, * and was used in every variety of way as a most sacred symbol.

* TERTULLIAN, De Proescript. Hoeret. The language of Tertullian implies that those who were initiated by baptism in the Mysteries were marked on the forehead in the same way, as his Christian countrymen in Africa, who had begun by this time to be marked in baptism with the sign of the cross.

To identify Tammuz with the sun it was joined sometimes to the circle of the sun; sometimes it was inserted in the circle. Whether the Maltese cross, which the Romish bishops append to their names as a symbol of their episcopal dignity, is the letter T, may be doubtful; but there seems no reason to doubt that that Maltese cross is an express symbol of the sun; for Layard found it as a sacred symbol in Nineveh in such a connection as led him to identify it with the sun. The mystic Tau, as the symbol of the great divinity, was called "the sign of life"; it was used as an amulet over the heart; it was marked on the official garments of the priests, as on the official garments of the priests of Rome; it was borne by kings in their hand, as a token of their dignity or divinely-conferred authority. The Vestal virgins of Pagan Rome wore it suspended from their necklaces, as the nuns do now. The Egyptians did the same, and many of the barbarous nations with whom they had intercourse, as the Egyptian monuments bear witness. In reference to the adorning of some of these tribes, Wilkinson thus writes: "The girdle was sometimes highly ornamented; men as well as women wore earrings; and they frequently had a small cross suspended to a necklace, or to the collar of their dress. The adoption of this last was not peculiar to them; it was also appended to, or figured upon, the robes of the Rot-n-no; and traces of it may be seen in the fancy ornaments of the Rebo, showing that it was already in use as early as the fifteenth century before the Christian era." There is hardly a Pagan tribe where the cross has not been found. The cross was worshipped by the Pagan Celts long before the incarnation and death of Christ. "It is a fact," says Maurice, "not less remarkable than well-attested, that the Druids in their groves were accustomed to select the most stately and beautiful tree as an emblem of the Deity they adored, and having cut the side branches, they affixed two of the largest of them to the highest part of the trunk, in such a manner that those branches extended on each side like the arms of a man, and, together with the body, presented the appearance of a HUGE CROSS, and on the bark, in several places, was also inscribed the letter Thau." It was worshipped in Mexico for ages before the Roman Catholic missionaries set foot there, large stone crosses being erected, probably to the "god of rain." The cross thus widely worshipped, or regarded as a sacred emblem, was the unequivocal symbol of Bacchus, the Babylonian Messiah, for he was represented with a head-band covered with crosses. This symbol of the Babylonian god is reverenced at this day in all the wide wastes of Tartary, where Buddhism prevails, and the way in which it is represented among them forms a striking commentary on the language applied by Rome to the Cross. "The cross," says Colonel Wilford, in the Asiatic Researches, "though not an object of worship among the Baud'has or Buddhists, is a favourite emblem and device among them. It is exactly the cross of the Manicheans, with leaves and flowers springing from it. This cross, putting forth leaves and flowers (and fruit also, as I am told), is called the divine tree, the tree of the gods, the tree of life and knowledge, and productive of whatever is good and desirable, and is placed in the terrestrial paradise." Compare this with the language of Rome applied to the cross, and it will be seen how exact is the coincidence. In the Office of the Cross, it is called the "Tree of life," and the worshippers are taught thus to address it: "Hail, O Cross, triumphal wood, true salvation of the world, among trees there is none like thee in leaf, flower, and bud...O Cross, our only hope, increase righteousness to the godly and pardon the offences of the guilty." *

* The above was actually versified by the Romanisers in the Church of England, and published along with much besides from the same source, some years ago, in a volume entitled Devotions on the Passion. The London Record, of April, 1842, gave the following as a specimen of the "Devotions" provided by these "wolves in sheep's clothing" for members of the Church of England:--

"O faithful cross, thou peerless tree,
No forest yields the like of thee,
Leaf, flower, and bud;
Sweet is the wood, and sweet the weight,
And sweet the nails that penetrate
Thee, thou sweet wood."

Can any one, reading the gospel narrative of the crucifixion, possibly believe that that narrative of itself could ever germinate into such extravagance of "leaf, flower, and bud," as thus appears in this Roman Office? But when it is considered that the Buddhist, like the Babylonian cross, was the recognised emblem of Tammuz, who was known as the mistletoe branch, or "All-heal," then it is easy to see how the sacred Initial should be represented as covered with leaves, and how Rome, in adopting it, should call it the "Medicine which preserves the healthful, heals the sick, and does what mere human power alone could never do."

Now, this Pagan symbol seems first to have crept into the Christian Church in Egypt, and generally into Africa. A statement of Tertullian, about the middle of the third century, shows how much, by that time, the Church of Carthage was infected with the old leaven. Egypt especially, which was never thoroughly evangelised, appears to have taken the lead in bringing in this Pagan symbol. The first form of that which is called the Christian Cross, found on Christian monuments there, is the unequivocal Pagan Tau, or Egyptian "Sign of life." Let the reader peruse the following statement of Sir G. Wilkinson: "A still more curious fact may be mentioned respecting this hieroglyphical character [the Tau], that the early Christians of Egypt adopted it in lieu of the cross, which was afterwards substituted for it, prefixing it to inscriptions in the same manner as the cross in later times. For, though Dr. Young had some scruples in believing the statement of Sir A. Edmonstone, that it holds that position in the sepulchres of the great Oasis, I can attest that such is the case, and that numerous inscriptions, headed by the Tau, are preserved to the present day on early Christian monuments." The drift of this statement is evidently this, that in Egypt the earliest form of that which has since been called the cross, was no other than the "Crux Ansata," or "Sign of life," borne by Osiris and all the Egyptian gods; that the ansa or "handle" was afterwards dispensed with, and that it became the simple Tau, or ordinary cross, as it appears at this day, and that the design of its first employment on the sepulchres, therefore, could have no reference to the crucifixion of the Nazarene, but was simply the result of the attachment to old and long-cherished Pagan symbols, which is always strong in those who, with the adoption of the Christian name and profession, are still, to a large extent, Pagan in heart and feeling. This, and this only, is the origin of the worship of the "cross."

This, no doubt, will appear all very strange and very incredible to those who have read Church history, as most have done to a large extent, even amongst Protestants, through Romish spectacles; and especially to those who call to mind the famous story told of the miraculous appearance of the cross to Constantine on the day before the decisive victory at the Milvian bridge, that decided the fortunes of avowed Paganism and nominal Christianity. That story, as commonly told, if true, would certainly give a Divine sanction to the reverence for the cross. But that story, when sifted to the bottom, according to the common version of it, will be found to be based on a delusion--a delusion, however, into which so good a man as Milner has allowed himself to fall. Milner's account is as follows: "Constantine, marching from France into Italy against Maxentius, in an expedition which was likely either to exalt or to ruin him, was oppressed with anxiety. Some god he thought needful to protect him; the God of the Christians he was most inclined to respect, but he wanted some satisfactory proof of His real existence and power, and he neither understood the means of acquiring this, nor could he be content with the atheistic indifference in which so many generals and heroes since his time have acquiesced. He prayed, he implored with such vehemence and importunity, and God left him not unanswered. While he was marching with his forces in the afternoon, the trophy of the cross appeared very luminous in the heavens, brighter than the sun, with this inscription, 'Conquer by this.' He and his soldiers were astonished at the sight; but he continued pondering on the event till night. And Christ appeared to him when asleep with the same sign of the cross, and directed him to make use of the symbol as his military ensign." Such is the statement of Milner. Now, in regard to the "trophy of the cross," a few words will suffice to show that it is utterly unfounded. I do not think it necessary to dispute the fact of some miraculous sign having been given. There may, or there may not, have been on this occasion a "dignus vindice nodus," a crisis worthy of a Divine interposition. Whether, however, there was anything out of the ordinary course, I do not inquire. But this I say, on the supposition that Constantine in this matter acted in good faith, and that there actually was a miraculous appearance in the heavens, that it as not the sign of the cross that was seen, but quite a different thing, the name of Christ. That this was the case, we have at once the testimony of Lactantius, who was the tutor of Constantine's son Crispus--the earliest author who gives any account of the matter, and the indisputable evidence of the standards of Constantine themselves, as handed down to us on medals struck at the time. The testimony of Lactantius is most decisive: "Constantine was warned in a dream to make the celestial sign of God upon his solders' shields, and so to join battle. He did as he was bid, and with the transverse letter X circumflecting the head of it, he marks Christ on their shields. Equipped with this sign, his army takes the sword." Now, the letter X was just the initial of the name of Christ, being equivalent in Greek to CH. If, therefore, Constantine did as he was bid, when he made "the celestial sign of God" in the form of "the letter X," it was that "letter X," as the symbol of "Christ" and not the sign of the cross, which he saw in the heavens. When the Labarum, or far-famed standard of Constantine itself, properly so called, was made, we have the evidence of Ambrose, the well-known Bishop of Milan, that that standard was formed on the very principle contained in the statement of Lactantius--viz., simply to display the Redeemer's name. He calls it "Labarum, hoc est Christi sacratum nomine signum."--"The Labarum, that is, the ensign consecrated by the NAME of Christ." *

* Epistle of Ambrose to the Emperor Theodosius about the proposal to restore the Pagan altar of Victory in the Roman Senate. The subject of the Labarum has been much confused through ignorance of the meaning of the word. Bryant assumes (and I was myself formerly led away by the assumption) that it was applied to the standard bearing the crescent and the cross, but he produces no evidence for the assumption; and I am now satisfied that none can be produced. The name Labarum, which is generally believed to have come from the East, treated as an Oriental word, gives forth its meaning at once. It evidently comes from Lab, "to vibrate," or "move to and fro," and ar "to be active." Interpreted thus, Labarum signifies simply a banner or flag, "waving to and fro" in the wind, and this entirely agrees with the language of Ambrose "an ensign consecrated by the name of Christ," which implies a banner.

There is not the slightest allusion to any cross--to anything but the simple name of Christ. While we have these testimonies of Lactantius and Ambrose, when we come to examine the standard of Constantine, we find the accounts of both authors fully borne out; we find that that standard, bearing on it these very words, "Hoc signo victor eris," "In this sign thou shalt be a conqueror," said to have been addressed from heaven to the emperor, has nothing at all in the shape of a cross, but "the letter X." In the Roman Catacombs, on a Christian monument to "Sinphonia and her sons," there is a distinct allusion to the story of the vision; but that allusion also shows that the X, and not the cross, was regarded as the "heavenly sign." The words at the head of the inscription are these: "In Hoc Vinces [In this thou shalt overcome] X." Nothing whatever but the X is here given as the "Victorious Sign." There are some examples, no doubt, of Constantine's standard, in which there is a cross-bar, from which the flag is suspended, that contains that "letter X"; and Eusebius, who wrote when superstition and apostacy were working, tries hard to make it appear that that cross-bar was the essential element in the ensign of Constantine. But this is obviously a mistake; that cross-bar was nothing new, nothing peculiar to Constantine's standard. Tertullian shows that that cross-bar was found long before on the vexillum, the Roman Pagan standard, that carried a flag; and it was used simply for the purpose of displaying that flag. If, therefore, that cross-bar was the "celestial sign," it needed no voice from heaven to direct Constantine to make it; nor would the making or displaying of it have excited any particular attention on the part of those who saw it. We find no evidence at all that the famous legend, "In this overcome," has any reference to this cross-bar; but we find evidence the most decisive that that legend does refer to the X. Now, that that X was not intended as the sign of the cross, but as the initial of Christ's name, is manifest from this, that the Greek P, equivalent to our R, is inserted in the middle of it, making by their union CHR. The standard of Constantine, then, was just the name of Christ. Whether the device came from earth or from heaven--whether it was suggested by human wisdom or Divine, supposing that Constantine was sincere in his Christian profession, nothing more was implied in it than a literal embodiment of the sentiment of the Psalmist, "In the name of the Lord will we display our banners." To display that name on the standards of Imperial Rome was a thing absolutely new; and the sight of that name, there can be little doubt, nerved the Christian soldiers in Constantine's army with more than usual fire to fight and conquer at the Milvian bridge.

In the above remarks I have gone on the supposition that Constantine acted in good faith as a Christian. His good faith, however, has been questioned; and I am not without my suspicions that the X may have been intended to have one meaning to the Christians and another to the Pagans. It is certain that the X was the symbol of the god Ham in Egypt, and as such was exhibited on the breast of his image. Whichever view be taken, however, of Constantine's sincerity, the supposed Divine warrant for reverencing the sign of the cross entirely falls to the ground. In regard to the X, there is no doubt that, by the Christians who knew nothing of secret plots or devices, it was generally taken, as Lactantius declares, as equivalent to the name of "Christ." In this view, therefore, it had no very great attractions for the Pagans, who, even in worshipping Horus, had always been accustomed to make use of the mystic tau or cross, as the "sign of life," or the magical charm that secured all that was good, and warded off everything that was evil. When, therefore, multitudes of the Pagans, on the conversion of Constantine, flocked into the Church, like the semi-Pagans of Egypt, they brought along with them their predilection for the old symbol. The consequence was, that in no great length of time, as apostacy proceeded, the X which in itself was not an unnatural symbol of Christ, the true Messiah, and which had once been regarded as such, was allowed to go entirely into disuse, and the Tau, the sign of the cross, the indisputable sign of Tammuz, the false Messiah, was everywhere substituted in its stead. Thus, by the "sign of the cross," Christ has been crucified anew by those who profess to be His disciples. Now, if these things be matter of historic fact, who can wonder that, in the Romish Church, "the sign of the cross" has always and everywhere been seen to be such an instrument of rank superstition and delusion?

There is more, much more, in the rites and ceremonies of Rome that might be brought to elucidate our subject. But the above may suffice. *

* If the above remarks be well founded, surely it cannot be right that this sign of the cross, or emblem of Tammuz, should be used in Christian baptism. At the period of the Revolution, a Royal Commission, appointed to inquire into the Rites and Ceremonies of the Church of England, numbering among its members eight or ten bishops, strongly recommended that the use of the cross, as tending to superstition, should be laid aside. If such a recommendation was given then, and that by such authority as members of the Church of England must respect, how much ought that recommendation to be enforced by the new light which Providence has cast on the subject!


As many have suspected, there is much more to the true, authentic history of the Christian religion than what we had originally been told. Some claims regarding the Church's history are accurate, some are not. The most extreme claims against the religion come from the atheist camp and often remain unproved. But this book is completely different. It comes from a devout Christian, Henry Dana Ward, a believer in Christ who backs himself up with scholarly research and facts. Why, then, was this book written if it goes against traditional beliefs and acceptance? It is because the traditional beliefs surrounding the cross and its worship are wrong! It took time for us to eventually accept the cross in its current form and to worship it and, according to Ward, this was a pagan symbol that should never have been adopted. Idols were not to be worshipped by the earliest of Christians, and the cross was no exception to this rule. Not worshipping the cross is consistent with early Christianity and is not heretical. Its lack of worship is part of Christianity's foundational beliefs and its exclusion should be part of the religion's current structure, according to Ward. Revering the cross is based on lies, deception, and ignorance. Ward shows how the lies began, who spread them, and how and why they did it.

You may be surprised to learn that many traditions of Roman Catholicism in fact dont come from Christs teachings but from an ancient Babylonian Mystery religion that was centered on Nimrod, his wife Semiramis, and a child Tammuz. This book shows how this ancient religion transformed itself as it incorporated Christ into its teachings. You may be surprised that certain practices like confessions, and crossing ones self, and even the position of the Pope come from traditions of this mystery cult. Originally a pamphlet published in 1853, The Two Babylons is Hislop's most famous work. In this book he argues that the Roman Catholic Church is nothing more than pagan cult, with roots in Babylonian mystery cults, which have a bank of secret knowledge only available to those who have been formally accepted into the cult. Roman Catholics, Hislop argues, are descendants from early Christians who adopted the Roman religion descended from the worship of Semiramis, the wife of the founder of Babylon. By discrediting the true Christianity of Catholics, Hislop hoped to bolster the legitimacy of the Protestant and Scottish Reformations. Students of theology and those interested in the complex history of Christianity will find Hislop's arguments provocative enough that they may be moved to further research of their own. Scottish minister ALEXANDER HISLOP (1807-1865) became an ordained clergymen in the Free Church of Scotland in 1844. As a Presbyterian minister, Hislop was famously critical of the Roman Catholic Church. He wrote a number of books including Christ's Crown and Covenant (1860) and The Moral Identity of Babylon and Rome (1855).

The history of the symbol of the cross has had an attraction for the author ever since, as an enquiring youth, he found himself unable to obtain satisfactory answers to four questions concerning the same which presented themselves to his mind. The first of those questions was why John the Baptist, who was beheaded before Jesus was executed, and so far as we are told never had anything to do with a cross, is represented in our religious pictures as holding a cross. The second question was whether this curious but perhaps in itself easily explained practice had in its inception any connection with the non-Mosaic initiatory rite of baptism; which Jesus accepted as a matter of course at the hands of his cousin John, and in which the sign of the cross has for ages been the all-important feature. And it was the wonder whether there was or was not some association between the facts that the New Testament writers give no explanation whatever of the origin of baptism as an initiatory rite, that this non-Mosaic initiatory rite was in use among Sun-God worshippers long before our era, and that the Fathers admitted that the followers of the Persian conception of the Sun-God marked their initiates upon the forehead like the followers of the Christ, which finally induced the author to start a systematic enquiry into the history of the cross as a symbol.

The third question was why, despite the fact that the instrument of execution to which Jesus was affixed can have had but one shape, almost any kind of cross is accepted as a symbol of our faith. The last of the four questions was why many varieties of the cross of four equal arms, which certainly was not a representation of an instrument of execution, were accepted by Christians as symbols of the Christ before any cross which could possibly have been a representation of an instrument of execution was given a place among the symbols of Christianity; while even nowadays one variety of the cross of four equal arms is the favourite symbol of the Greek Church, and both it and the other varieties enter into the ornamentation of our sacred properties and dispute the supremacy with the cross which has one of its arms longer than the other three. Pursuing these matters for himself, the author eventually found that even before our era the cross was venerated by many as the symbol of Life; though our works of reference seldom mention this fact, and never do it justice. He moreover discovered that no one has ever written a complete history of the symbol, showing the possibility that the stauros or post to which Jesus was affixed was not cross-shaped, and the certainty that, in any case, what eventually became the symbol of our faith owed some of its prestige as a Christian symbol of Victory and Life to the position it occupied in pre-Christian days. The author has therefore, in the hope of drawing attention to the subject, incorporated the results of his researches in the present essay.

This study investigates the philological aspects of how ancient Greek, Latin and Hebrew/Aramaic texts, including the New Testament, depict the practice of punishment by crucifixion. A survey of the ancient text material shows that there has been a too narrow view of the “crucifixion” terminology. The various terms are not simply used in the sense of “crucify” and “cross,” if by “crucifixion” one means the punishment that Jesus was subjected to according to the main Christian traditions. The terminology is used much more diversely. Almost none of it can be elucidated beyond verbs referring vaguely to some form(s) of suspension, and nouns referring to tools used in such suspension. As a result, most of the crucifixion accounts that scholars cite in the ancient literature have to be rejected, leaving only a few. The New Testament is not spared from this terminological ambiguity. The accounts of the death of Jesus are strikingly sparse. Their chief contribution is usage of the unclear terminology in question. Over-interpretation, and probably even pure imagination, have afflicted nearly every wordbook and dictionary that deals with the terms related to crucifixion as well as scholarly depictions of what happened on Calvary. The immense knowledge of the punishment of crucifixion in general, and the execution of Jesus in particular, cannot be supported by the studied texts.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Moabite Stone

The Moabite Stone—Destroyed but Not Lost

THE Moabite, or Mesha, Stone was deliberately broken up within a year of its discovery in 1868. It was almost 3,000 years old. A piece of polished black basalt with a neatly rounded top, it was 44 inches high, [112 cm] 28 inches [71 cm] wide, and 14 inches [36 cm] thick. Some time after it was broken up, 2 large and 18 smaller fragments were recovered, but a third of the stone was irretrievably lost.

How was such an extraordinary artifact almost lost forever? And how valuable is it to students of the Bible?

Intrigue and Distrust

F. A. Klein was the first and last European to see the stone in its unbroken state. It was lying among the ruins of Dibon to the northeast of the Dead Sea. He made some brief sketches of parts of the 35-line inscription within its raised border and, upon returning to Jerusalem, reported the find to his Prussian superior. The script was immediately identified as Phoenician and its importance recognized. The Royal Museum of Berlin put up money to buy the stone, but soon other interested parties were contending for it. Alerted to the value of their prize, the local sheikhs hid it and raised its price to ridiculous heights.

A French archaeologist managed to get a paper squeeze of the writing, but because the squeeze had to be snatched away before it was dry, the impression was barely legible. In the meantime, orders came from Damascus for the Bedouin to surrender their stone to government officials. Rather than comply, the Bedouin determined to destroy it. So they lit a fire around the precious relic and repeatedly doused it with water. When the stone fractured, the fragments were quickly distributed among local families to be placed in their granaries, ostensibly in order to ensure a blessing for their crops. It was also the best way for individuals to negotiate personally for the sale of the scattered fragments.

Biblical History Comes to Life

With the aid of plaster casts and paper pressings to augment the pieces that were purchased, the inscription on the stone was ultimately recovered. When the full text was revealed, scholars were astounded. The ancient stela was described at the time as “the most remarkable monolith that has ever been discovered.”

King Mesha of Moab erected the Moabite Stone to his god Chemosh to commemorate Mesha’s breaking of Israel’s domination, which, he says, had lasted 40 years and was allowed by Chemosh because he was “angry with his land.” This revolt of Moab is usually considered to be related to the events recorded in the third chapter of 2 Kings. On the monument, Mesha boasts of being very religious, of building cities and a highway, and of winning a victory over Israel. In this, he gives all credit to his god Chemosh. Mesha’s defeat and the sacrifice of his own son—reported in the Bible—are, as one would expect, omitted in this self-glorifying inscription.

Many locations listed by Mesha as places he captured are mentioned in the Bible, among them Medeba, Ataroth, Nebo, and Jahaz. Thus, the stone supports the accuracy of the Bible’s accounts. Outstanding, however, is Mesha’s use of the Tetragrammaton, YHWH, the name of Israel’s God, in the 18th line of the record. There Mesha brags: “I took from there [Nebo] the [vessels] of Yahweh, dragging them before Chemosh.” Outside of the Bible, this is probably the earliest record of the use of the divine name.

In 1873 the Moabite Stone was restored, with plaster casts of the missing text added, and put on exhibition in the Louvre museum, Paris, where it has remained. A facsimile can be seen in the British Museum, London. - April 15, 1990 Watchtower, WTB&TS

Was Charles Taze Russell a Mason? No, he was not!

Just a few comments from the anti-Watchtower peanut gallery regarding Pastor Russell: Charles Russel the founder of the Witnesses died in 1916 he was buried with a marker a few fe[e]t away by his tomb sculptured as a large pyramid five to six feet high, with the Mason logo embossed on it and remains to this day for all to see. Although putting up a smoke screen by writing articles in the Watchtower magazine that he was the editor of, against the Masons, evidence shows without a doubt he was greatly influenced by them, as well as into Egyptology as can be seen by the design and presentation of his books and the information used. If you do not believe me then check it out. (2) "Why was Charles Taze Russel buried in the Masonic Cemetery, under a pyramid with Templar inscriptions?" (3) "1872 Charles Taze Russell, Founded International Bible Students Association. Forerunner to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Known as the Jehovah's Witnesses. Was a Knights Templar Mason of York Rite, in Allegheny Pa. Confirmed Mason. Also Russell had a secret Rosicrucian membership with the Quakertown, PA group of Rosicrucian's, as revealed by the pyramid he ordered erected over his grave site." (4) An examination of some of the publications of Charles T. Russell, the founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses, would indicate that he had ties with the Masons. He used Masonic symbols. The Watchtower drawing that graced early publications right up to a couple of decades ago was pure Masonic. Russell was buried under a cross and a crown, again Masonic. Other Masonic symbols were used frequently on his publications.

An urban legend, urban myth, urban tale, or contemporary legend, is a form of modern folklore consisting of stories usually believed by their tellers to be true. As with all folklore and mythology, the designation suggests nothing about the story's veracity, but merely that it is in circulation, exhibits variation over time, and carries some significance that motivates the community in preserving and propagating it. - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pastor Charles Taze Russell (1852 - 1916) was the founder of Zion's Watch Tower magazine in 1879 and Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society in 1881. He was not the founder of Jehovah’s Witnesses. After his death in 1916 many Bible Students no longer wanted to work with the Watch Tower Society, they wanted to stay with Russell's teachings from 1876 - 1916, these retained the name Bible Students. Other Bible Students wanted to move forward and make new changes so in 1931, they embraced the distinctive name Jehovah’s Witnesses. Worldwide, the Witnesses number well over 7.5 million members. The current Bible Students have no head office, and over the years have split into a number of different factions with only a few thousand members worldwide. The Bible Students of today are not the same as the Bible Students from Pastor Russell's day (1870 - 1916). Many of the current Bible Students will not even fellowship with other Bible Students. For the most part the current Bible Students and Jehovah's Witnesses don't have anything to do with each other. Also See:

As for the pyramid and Masons, keep reading:
This is what the anti-Watchtower fault-finders do not want you to see. The internet is full of false stories about Pastor Russell, this is just one of them. But you already know that, now don't you? Charles Taze Russell died in 1916, the Pyramid marker was installed in 1921 (5 years after his death), and the The Masonic Temple was built in the mid 1990s, these items have nothing to do with Pastor Russell's grave. The Masonic Temple is not even on the cemetery grounds, it is a different property altogether. In fact, the Rosemont United Cemetery was never a Masonic cemetery. Many do not want you to see the first photo from 1916, showing that Pastor Russell was dead long before the Masonic Temple was built. And others do not want you to see the second photo, because some people teach that Russell is buried "under the Pyramid", or "in the Pyramid", or that the Pyramid is "his grave marker." Now, how can that be, see Russell's headstone, see the Pyramid marker, they are in two different locations, with other graves in between them. The pyramid marker was used as a marker for all (275) of the Watchtower Society burial plots in the Cemetery, nothing more. People visiting the Cemetery could look for the pyramid marker to locate the (275) burial plots. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not revere burial places, but some desire to visit the Watch Tower Society’s burial plot where C. T. Russell was buried. Turn right off Perrysville Avenue on to Cemetery Lane. The United Cemetery is the last cemetery on this road. A few yards beyond the replica of a pyramid is a driveway that takes one near the Society’s plot. ___________________________________________________________________________

"I desire to be buried in the plot of ground owned by our Society, in the Rosemont United Cemetery, and all the details of arrangements respecting the funeral service I leave in the care of my sister, Mrs. M. M. Land, and her daughters, Alice and May, or such of them as may survive me, with the assistance and advice and cooperation of the brethren as they may request the same. Instead of an ordinary funeral discourse, I request that they arrange to have a number of the brethren, accustomed to public speaking, make a few remarks each, that the service be very simple and inexpensive and that it be conducted in the Bible House Chapel or any other place that may be considered equally appropriate or more so." - Last Will and Testament, 6/29/1907. I don't see anything about the Pyramid or the Masons in his will. Now let's try this one more time for some of our readers who are a little slow. Some do not want you to see this photo, because they say that Russell is buried "under the Pyramid", or "in the Pyramid", or that the Pyramid is "his grave marker." How can that be, see Russell's headstone (to the left), see the Pyramid marker (to the right), they are in two different locations, with other graves in between them. The pyramid marker was used as a marker for all (275) of the Watchtower Society burial plots in the Cemetery, nothing more. As for the Masonic Temple, should we now assume that every person who is buried in the cemetery must be a Mason? If the Mormons built a temple next to the cemetery I am sure that the Watchtower antagonists would try and say that Russell was a Mormon. Some fault-finders will say anything to sell some books. And it appears that others will believe anything if it makes the Watchtower look bad, but what are the facts?________________________________________________________________________________

The Watchtower and the Great Pyramid, then and now: Judge J. F. Rutherford, who succeeded Russell after the pastor died in 1916, eventually discarded Pyramidology entirely. Writing in the November 15 and December 1, 1928, issues of The Watch Tower, Rutherford releases a double-barreled blast against it, and advances many ingenious arguments that the so-called Altar in Egypt was really inspired by Satan for the purpose of misleading the faithful. Did Jesus ever mention the Pyramid? Of course not. To study it, the Judge writes, is a waste of time and indicates lack of faith in the all-sufficiency of the Bible. Regardless of what some anti-Watchtower fault-finders might say, the Watchtower Society rejected all teachings on the Great Pyramid in 1928. For this reason most Jehovah's Witnesses (1931 - 2011) know nothing about it. However many of the current Bible Students still teach this "Bible in Stone" dogma. It must be noted that not all of the Bible Students support this teaching, many of them also reject a number of Pastor Russell's views. What some of them have told me one-on-one is not the same as what they would post on the internet when other Bible Students were watching. They need to keep up the anti-Watchtower front when they think others are looking in.

The cross and crown symbol is not exclusively Masonic. If the Watchtower fault-finders are correct, should we then assume that all Christian groups that use a cross and crown are somehow related to the Masons. These antagonists cannot have it both ways regardless of how hard they try. Some of these people "function" on a level that would be considered true ignorance, others are masters of deception. Another change in viewpoint involved the “cross and crown” symbol, which appeared on the Watch Tower cover beginning with the issue of January 1891. In fact, for years many Bible Students wore a pin of this kind. By way of description, C. W. Barber writes: “It was a badge really, with a wreath of laurel leaves as the border and within the wreath was a crown with a cross running through it on an angle. It looked quite attractive and was our idea at that time of what it meant to take up our ‘cross’ and follow Christ Jesus in order to be able to wear the crown of victory in due time.” Concerning the wearing of “cross and crown pins,” Lily R. Parnell comments: “This to Brother Rutherford’s mind was Babylonish and should be discontinued. He told us that when we went to the people’s homes and began to talk, that was the witness in itself.” Accordingly, reflecting on the 1928 Bible Students convention in Detroit, Michigan, Brother Suiter writes: “At the assembly the cross and crown emblems were shown to be not only unnecessary but objectionable. So we discarded these items of jewelry.” Some three years thereafter, beginning with its issue of October 15, 1931, The Watchtower no longer bore the cross and crown symbol on its cover. - 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, WTB&TS

Was Russell a Mason?, Not according to the Masons! There is no credible evidence whatsoever that Charles Taze Russell, the founder of the Jehovah's Witness faith, was a Mason. Some have charged that his tombstone appears as a keystone (a symbol used in Royal Arch Masonry), that there appears on the stone a crown and cross and that the stone is in the shape of a pyramid. (Those who make the claim do so for their own ends ignoring the fact that the cross and crown have long been symbols of Christianity, that the pyramid is often used in one-dimension view to represent the Trinity etc.) A review of Russell's personal life would have likely found him unwelcome within a Lodge. A current author says of him "Russell's faults as a writer were perhaps the least of his shortcomings. Accusations of sexual and financial improprieties, for example, dogged him throughout his adult life. Russell's notorious difficulties with his long-suffering wife Maria, aired during a series of sensational libel, separation, and alimony suits near the turn of the century, became a particular source of embarrassment for both the pastor and his flock. (Russell's stature couldn't have been enhanced when a Pennsylvania judge concluded that his "continual arrogant domination" of his wife was enough to "render the life of any sensitive Christian woman a burden and make her life intolerable."4 This notwithstanding, Pastor Russell did, upon occasion, make reference to Masons. The oft-repeated quote from Russell that is used attempting to 'prove' he was a Freemason was made in 1913 in a Masonic hall in San Francisco. Russell said "Now, I am a free and accepted mason. I trust we all are. But not just after the style of our masonic brethren." We ALL are? No, the composition of his audience would have precluded any such thing so those who cite this simply haven't used their brains. Russell further stated "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, chiselled 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." BUT later in his address he stated plainly "I have never been a mason." In many cases, this isn't the result of sloppy scholarship but rather another tactic by Freemasonry's detractors to somehow tarnish the organization by the claimed membership of someone they don't like. And, contrarily, one internet supporter of Russell's regularly argued that Freemasonry was totally against the Preacher's philosophy but the argument he makes is based on his interpretation rather than facts since Freemasonry as an organization would never take a stance on any matter such as that. In the final analysis, those attempting to condemn Russell based on supposed Masonic membership fail to produce any evidence of his membership (the name of his lodge or the names of lodges he ostensibly visited, for example) and his supporters use faulty logic in arguing against it. One online poster wrote this: "Yes, sigh .. Russell was a freemason. The burden of proof rests with those saying otherwise. To me this has nothing to do with world conspiracies or a race of reptilian aliens invading Brooklyn." So because HE says that Russell was a Mason simply because that's what he believes for some unknown reason, someone has to prove a negative. That's the typical way it goes. Russell is not mentioned in any Masonic reference works, a unique situation indeed if he were a Mason, if only because of his notoriety. Oh, and did we mention?: the "pyramid tombstone" that's so often referred to is actually a monument erected to Russell by the Watchtower Society which has in the past (before the days of the internet) regularly criticized Freemasonry. Pastor Russell's actual gravestone (shown above) is a couple of dozen yards away.... 4 Judging Jehovahs' Witnesses - Religious Persecution and the Dawn of the Rights Revolution by Shawn Francis Peters, University Press of Kansas, 2000. _________________________________________________________________________________

And another Mason site says this: 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, chiselled 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.

From the same site:

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, chiselled 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 the assertion is often made that the pyramid monument, erected to Russell's memory, is "proof" that he was a freemason, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, The Grand Lodge of Ireland, and the United Grand Lodge of England have no record of his membership.

This next comment about Charles Taze Russell not belonging to the Masons is from ex-JW Barbara Anderson. Because some people simply believe what others have told them about Russell and the Masons, without doing any research for themselves, I have included (4) links to Mrs. Anderson’s post. These links will take you directly to the original source that she has referenced in her comments.

I just posted the following information on XXX under the subject, Beliefs, Doctrines & Practices, in the hope that as many people as possible will see the facts, although, as other posters have observed, if some people want to believe Russell was a Freemason, nothing will change their mind. Apparently, some of us don't want to be confused by the facts!

NO, CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL WAS NOT A PENNSYLVANIA FREEMASON! Back in 2001, I requested historical information from the ANCIENT ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE OF FREEMASONRY, VALLEY OF PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, asking if Charles Russell, his father, Joseph Lytel Russell, and his uncle, Charles Tays Russell, were Freemasons. This is the answer I received in a letter: "AFTER A SEARCH OF OUR RECORDS, WE DETERMINED THAT THE THREE RUSSELL'S WERE NOT MEMBERS OF OUR ORGANIZATION." In their letter, the Pittsburgh Chapter recommended that I send an inquiry asking for further research on 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 today, when I saw that this subject has not been resolved to the satisfaction of some posters, so I sent a follow-up email to the Masonic Temple, Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Just a few minutes ago, 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. Also See: And: I SHALL CHECK THE RECORDS FOR THE OTHER TWO RUSSELLS. BEST, GLENYS A. WALDMAN LIBRARIAN If and when I receive the answer from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania about the other two Russells, I will post it. In any event, I would hope that this answer from a search of the original records will forever put this issue to rest that Charles Taze Russell was never a Pennslyvania Freemason. Barbara Anderson - (she posted these comments on an ex-JW board on 9/23/2005, the links are from me)

Pastor Russell had this to say about the Freemasons: "We note also that the Order of Free Masons, if judged by its past history, has some secret object or scheme, more than fraternity and financial aid in time of sickness or death. And, so far as we can judge, there is a certain amount of worship or mummery connected with the rites of this order and some others, which the members do not comprehend, but which, in many cases, serves to satisfy the cravings of the natural mind for worship, and thus hinders it from seeking the worship of God in spirit and in truth—through Christ, the only appointed Mediator and Grand Master. In proportion as such societies consume valuable time in foolish, senseless rites and ceremonies, and in substituting the worship of their officers, and the use of words and symbols which have no meaning to them, for the worship of God, in his appointed way—through Christ, and according to knowledge and the spirit of a sound mind—in that proportion these societies are grievous evils, regardless of the financial gains or losses connected with membership in them." — June, 1895, Zion's Watch Tower, page 143 ___________________________________________________________________________________

"There are certain conditions,—the low gate, the narrow way, the difficult path. Although I have never been a Mason, I have heard that in Masonry they have something which very closely illustrates this" ... "Many Masons shake hands with me and give me what I know is their grip; they don't know me from a Mason. Something I do seems to be the same as Masons do, I don't know what it is; but they often give me all kinds of grips and I give them back, then I tell them I don't know anything about it except just a few grips that have come to me naturally." June, 1913; Convention discourse. - "The Temple of God" - "Convention Report Sermons" pg. 362 ___________________________________________________________________________________

He emphasizes this, saying, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another as I have loved you." (#Joh 13:34.) Ah, we get the thought that the Church is a blessed brotherhood of all those who not only love God supremely, so that they delight to do His will, even at the cost of self-interest, but who also love one another as Christ loved them, which signifies to the extent of willingness to lay down their lives for one another! We look in vain for such an organization amongst men. We perceive various bundles or organizations under various names, all professing love, but none of them even dreaming of union with such bonds of love. We are not forgetting the Masons, the Odd Fellows, the Presbyterians, the Methodists, the Episcopalians, the Lutherans, the Roman Catholics, etc. But none of these claim to be such a brotherhood as our Lord has described. They do indeed claim to give special attention to each other’s interests, and to have certain reverence for God, but not to the extent that our Master intimated—not to the extent of laying down their lives in doing the will of the Father and in their love for the brethren. - Sermon Book / SM697 - The Brotherhood of Christ ____________________________________________________________________________________

"This brings before us the whole question of orders, societies, etc., and what privileges the New Creation has in connection with such organizations. Is it right for them to be members of these societies? We answer that while Church associations are purely religious, and labor and beneficial organizations in general are purely secular, there are still other orders which combine the religious and the secular features. As we understand the matter, for instance, the Free Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, etc., perform certain rites and ceremonies of a religious kind... We place upon one level all of those who have any religious ceremonies, teachings, etc., and consider them all as parts of Babylon ... We admonish the New Creation to have nothing whatever to do with any of these semi-religious societies, clubs, orders, churches; but to "Come out from amongst them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing." (`2 Cor. 6:17`)" 1904; "The New Creation", pp. 580-581 ___________________________________________________________________________________

I am not judging at all, I am merely saying, so far as I can tell. But my understanding is, that all of these are bundles, and each bundle is getting tighter. Some of you know a great deal more about Freemasonry than I do, and I am not here to say anything against it, because I do not know anything to say, and I do not know as I would say it if I did know it. The Lord did not send me to preach against Masonry or Odd Fellowship, nor against Presbyterianism or Methodism. Our opportunity is to tell the truth, to preach the true gospel of Christ, and the Lord says that this message is to have its effects on the different hearts. Now, if you find yourself in any kind of a bundle, you know that is not the program so far as the wheat is concerned. The wheat is to he gathered into the garner; it is not to be put into bundles in the present life. The wheat is to be free. If you find yourself in any kind of a bundle, better get out of the bundle. Trust in the Lord, and be in harmony with Him, and this will take you out of all kinds of bundles and human organizations, I believe. I should, perhaps, say a cautionary word here to the effect that I would understand this would mean, for instance, that if I were a carpenter I would prefer to be at liberty, but if it were demanded of me that I should join a union before I could have work, and that I must pay so much of my money into that union's coffers, I should join. I should understand that I was making so much of a contribution to the general weal of the carpenters, and I would have no hesitation in the matter, because there is nothing of a religious kind there. There is nothing that would fetter my heart or mind. But if that organization should do anything I could not approve, I would feel perfectly free to withdraw at any time. So I would make that limitation. But, so far as wheat and tares are concerned, I think there are plenty of bundles all around you, and I notice, too, that these different worldly organizations, if we may so call them in contradistinction to church organizations, are also taking the same methods the church people are taking. It used to be very easy to withdraw from one of the churches and you could say, "I will thank you for a letter," and then they would take the letter and never deposit it, but burn it up, if they desired. And so with the Masons; they had a method by which anyone desiring to leave the order could ask for a demit and he would get that without any particular question. I have been informed that now this is changed somewhat. If you are a Presbyterian, and you wish a letter, they say, "To which church do you wish the letter addressed?" You say, "Oh, just make it out anyway." "Oh we do not do that now; we will give you a letter to a certain, particular church and it is to he deposited there--good when deposited there." And so I am informed that our Freemason friends are doing the same thing; they do not give demits now. If you wish to be transferred to another lodge they will transfer you, but they do not give demits now in the same way they formerly did. A Brother: Brother Russell, I am a Mason and, unfortunately, hold a high position in the order, and I would like to make a little correction on that. A Mason is perfectly free to leave when he feels so disposed. No restraint whatever is placed upon him. Brother Russell: I told you in the beginning that I did not know about it myself; I was only relating what a brother told me. Another Brother: I was a Mason in a different jurisdiction from that of the brother. It may he all right in his particular jurisdiction, but it is not the same in other jurisdictions, as I know. Brother Russell: You will notice that we never have anything to say against any of these. We have not said an unkind word about Freemasonry, and you never read anything unkind that we have ever said about it, and I do not wish to say anything unkind about Presbyterianism, or Methodism. I think that many of the dear friends in these denominations are good people, and I appreciate their characters. What I talk about sometimes is Presbyterian doctrine, and they talk about it, too. And I have read things they have said about Presbyterian doctrines far harder than anything I have ever said. I sometimes quote in the Watch Tower some things Presbyterians say about their own doctrine, and I occasionally quote in the Watch Tower something the Methodists say about their doctrine, because they say it stronger than I should wish to say it.- 1908, Convention Question Meeting - "The Question Book", pp. 318 - 319 ___________________________________________________________________________________

Alleged connections with the Masons: Several decades after his death, it was alleged that Russell had links with Freemasonry. Some have claimed that various symbols Russell employed in his published literature are Masonic in nature, and that such associations implied he engaged in occult activity. In later editions of the Studies in the Scriptures series a winged solar disk was stamped on the front cover, a symbol that is also associated with Freemasonry. However, Russell's use of the winged solar-disk originated from his understanding of Malachi 4:2, which denotes a sun with wings, as a symbol that Christ's millennial Kingdom had begun to emerge. Some critics also claim that the pyramid near Russell's gravesite is Masonic, because of its shape and its use of the Cross and Crown symbol, although this remains disputed. Despite these claims, the Grand Lodge officially stated that Russell was not a Freemason, and the symbols used are not exclusive to Masonry but pre-date the fraternity. The Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology notes that Russell's supporters, along with other Christian churches have "shown a marked aversion to Spiritualism and other occult phenomena. Very early in the group’s history Russell attacked Spiritualism (which he called Spiritism)".
In June 1913, during his trans-continental speaking tour, Russell gave a discourse in a Masonic hall in San Francisco, where he stated: "Although I have never been a Mason ... Something I do seems to be the same as Masons do, I don't know what it is; but they often give me all kinds of grips and I give them back, then I tell them I don't know anything about it except just a few grips that have come to me naturally". Throughout his ministry he stated that he believed Christian identity is incompatible with Freemasonry, and that Freemasonry, Knights of Pythias, Theosophy, and other such groups are "grievous evils" and "unclean". An official Freemason website states: "Russell was not a Freemason. Neither the symbols found in the Watchtower nor the cross and crown symbol are exclusively Masonic." - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pastor Russell's true headstone as seen in 2010: Charles Taze Russell said that he was not a Mason. Jehovah's Witnesses, Bible Students, the Masons, and even ex-JW researchers have all said that Russell was not a Mason. So why do some anti-Watchtower antagonists still teach this falsehood? The answer is simple, because this is what they must do. They need to fabricate stories about others to try and justify their own self worth. After all, how hard can it be to attack a dead man, how sad. With over 200 posts on this site covering a number of subjects, this story about Charles Taze Russell and the Masons is always the most read post on this blog, I wonder why? Could it be that some people just love a good story? Even if it is based on a total fallacy! ___________________________________________________________________

A fallacy is a misconception resulting from incorrect reasoning in argumentation, also known as the Evan technique. By accident or design, fallacies may exploit emotional triggers in the listener or interlocutor (e.g. appeal to emotion), or take advantage of social relationships between people (e.g. argument from authority). Fallacious arguments are often structured using rhetorical patterns that obscure the logical argument, making fallacies more difficult to diagnose. Also, the components of the fallacy may be spread out over separate arguments. In order to understand what a fallacy is, one must understand what an argument is. Very briefly, an argument consists of one or more premises and one conclusion. A premise is a statement (a sentence that is either true or false) that is offered in support of the claim being made, which is the conclusion (which is also a sentence that is either true or false). There are two main types of arguments: deductive and inductive. A deductive argument is an argument such that the premises provide (or appear to provide) complete support for the conclusion. An inductive argument is an argument such that the premises provide (or appear to provide) some degree of support (but less than complete support) for the conclusion. If the premises actually provide the required degree of support for the conclusion, then the argument is a good one. A good deductive argument is known as a valid argument and is such that if all its premises are true, then its conclusion must be true. If all the argument is valid and actually has all true premises, then it is known as a sound argument. If it is invalid or has one or more false premises, it will be unsound. A good inductive argument is known as a strong (or "cogent") inductive argument. It is such that if the premises are true, the conclusion is likely to be true. A fallacy is, very generally, an error in reasoning. This differs from a factual error, which is simply being wrong about the facts. To be more specific, a fallacy is an "argument" in which the premises given for the conclusion do not provide the needed degree of support. A deductive fallacy is a deductive argument that is invalid (it is such that it could have all true premises and still have a false conclusion). An inductive fallacy is less formal than a deductive fallacy. They are simply "arguments" which appear to be inductive arguments, but the premises do not provided enough support for the conclusion. In such cases, even if the premises were true, the conclusion would not be more likely to be true. - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia _________________________________________________________________________

Pastor Russell's true grave as seen in 1916: The sudden death of Pastor Charles Taze Russell, Editor of THE WATCH TOWER, has created a profound impression upon his many friends throughout the world. Hundreds of letters and telegrams received, further evidence the love and esteem in which he was held, and express unqualified desire to cooperate in continuing the great cause for which he stood so many years. Brother Russell left Brooklyn in the evening of October 16, to fill appointments in the West and Southwest, but was obliged to start homeward before his scheduled time, owing to ill health. It was on a Sante Fe train at Pampa, Tex., that he died. Brother Menta Sturgeon, who accompanied him on the trip as his Secretary, telegraphed the information to the headquarters of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY at Brooklyn, adding that "he died a hero." The body lay in state at Bethel Home Saturday, and at The Temple throughout the day Sunday. In the afternoon at the hour of 2, funeral service was held for the congregation, and in the evening a service was conducted for the public. At about midnight the body was taken to Allegheny, Pa., where in the Carnegie Hall, at 2 in the afternoon of Monday, service was held by the Pittsburgh congregation, of which he had been resident Pastor for many years. Interment took place in Rosemont United Cemeteries at Allegheny, in the Bethel Family plot, according to his request. We rejoice to know that instead of sleeping in death, as the saints of old, he is numbered among those whose "works follow with him." He has met the dear Lord in the air, whom he so loved as to lay down his life faithfully in His service. - November 15, 1916 Watchtower, WTB&TS

***We admonish the New Creation to have nothing whatever to do with any of these semi-religious societies, clubs, orders, churches; but to "Come out from amongst them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing." - Pastor Charles Taze Russell, 1904; "The New Creation", pp. 580-581 ***


UPDATE: 5/20/2011
This is the major source that some apostates and other Watchtower antagonists use to try and prove that Pastor Charles Taze Russell was a Mason. I sometimes wonder if these fault finders are as ignorant as they appear. I must assume that they just don’t care who they use to attack the Watch Tower Society. In an attempt to make the Jehovah's Witnesses look bad some former members will jump in bed with other finger pointers, regardless of what is hiding beneath the sheets. In reality we all know that many dogs often sleep in beds infested with bed bugs. Some just don’t know any better, and others don’t seem to care. Read more about one of these bed bugs @

March 1, 2001

As part of an ongoing probe into a white supremacist group, federal and local law enforcement agents raid the Corbett, Ore., home of Fritz Springmeier, seizing equipment to grow marijuana and weapons and racist literature. They also find a binder notebook entitled "Army of God, Yahweh's Warriors" that contains what officials call a list of targets, including a local federal building and the FBI's Oregon offices. Springmeier, an associate of the anti-Semitic Christian Patriots Association, is eventually charged with setting off a diversionary bomb at an adult video store in Damascus, Ore., in 1997 as part of a bank robbery carried out by accomplice Forrest Bateman Jr. Another 2001 raid finds small amounts of bomb materials and marijuana in Bateman's home. Eventually, Bateman pleads guilty to bank robbery and Springmeier is convicted of the same charges, and both are sentenced to nine years.- © 2011. Southern Poverty Law Center


Fritz Artz Springmeier is regarded as one of the foremost authorities on the Illuminati and mind control. He has been on numerous radio shows and spoken at several conferences. A prolific writer, Springmeier has published several books, most notably, Be Wise As Serpents, The Watchtower and the Masons, The Top 13 Illuminati Bloodlines, The Illuminati Formula Used to Create an Undetectable Total Mind Controlled Slave and Deeper Insights.

Although Mr. Springmeier has disseminated a plethora of intriguing information, a veil of mystery surrounds this renowned researcher. Born in Garden City, Kansas on Sept. 24, 1955, Fritz’ previous name was Victor Earl Schoof, which he legally changed in 1987. The most recent name he uses may, in fact, be likened to a puzzle. Several survivors of ritual abuse and mind control have indicated being profoundly triggered after seeing or hearing his pseudonym. Fritz was the name Josef Mengele used while hiding out in South America. "Spring" in occult lingo means new. Meier may be a derivative of the German word meister, which means master. Hence; the new master in the likeness of Josef Mengele.

Arthur Alexander was either an Uncle or Grandfather on his mother’s side. One source claims Fritz' birth name is Arthur Alexander, Jr., however, this has not been cross referenced or objectively substantiated. Fritz’ father worked as an agricultural engineer for the United Nations and was assigned to such locations as Nepal, Libya, and Hawaii. After Fritz graduated from high school, he allegedly attended West Point. When Texe Marrs checked into his credentials, he found out there was no record of Fritz (or Victor Schoof) ever attending there.

Springmeier became interested in the Jehovah’s Witnesses, even though he supposedly became a Christian during his ‘teen years. While attending Kingdom Hall, he met a woman who he eventually married and had a child together. This marriage did not last long, as his wife filed for divorce on the grounds of child abuse – a charge that was never proven. The custody rights of their young son went to her. Disgruntled over the court decision, Fritz kidnaped the boy and fled to Oregon from the mid-west. He eluded law enforcement for about two years and was finally captured by the FBI. Springmeier was sentenced and served an unspecified amount of time in a federal prison. Some time after his release, he went back to Oregon and became involved in a counter-cult ministry to JW’s called, Witness Inc.

Due to unresolved disagreements with the leadership of the organization, he abruptly left. Shortly thereafter, Fritz joined another ministry but departed for reasons unknown. Around this time period, Springmeier met a Christian woman and married for the second time. He jokingly told her the reason he married her was because of her bloodline, which comes from an Illuminati family. She later came to the realization that it may have been closer to truth than not.

In the early 1990's, Fritz decided to go into full time ministry, along with being a stay-home dad with their new born son. While doing research on the Illuminati, he came across a woman by the name of Linda Anderson, who uses the alias, Cisco Wheeler. She is reputed to be a survivor of MK ULTRA-MONARCH programming. Springmeier became fascinated by her vast wealth of information, which he used extensively in his newsletters and books. This fascination soon turned into an obsession as Fritz started regularly spending the night at her house in order to protect her from being accessed. Strangely, Cisco’s husband lived in another dwelling next to the house, but did not seem to mind Fritz staying there. Springmeier’s wife, however, was quite concerned and upset over her husband s close relationship with Cisco. He would tell those close around him that his wife did not understand how important it was that he stay close to Cisco because her life was in jeopardy and he was one of the few people that could truly help her.

As a result of all the turmoil within the Springmeier family, their youngest son was experiencing severe emotional problems. Fritz’ wife took him to a therapist for an evaluation. The therapist felt the youngster may have been traumatized through sexual abuse. Another counselor also evaluated the psychological report and drew the same conclusion.

One day, Fritz’ wife found a black box under their bed. To her astonishment, there were several fake ID’s with Fritz’ picture on many of them. He used such aliases as Ian McDiarmid, Peter Dunne, Amos Eicher, and Vernon Schwartz. Fritz’ wife could no longer deal with his deceptiveness, insensitivity and abandonment so she filed for a divorce.

Shortly before the couple parted, Fritz and Cisco went to a mind control symposium in Texas and introduced her as Mrs. Springmeier. Many thought he was arrogant and obnoxious as he constantly interrupted the speakers and thought he should have been a presenter because of his vast knowledge about MPD, mind control, and ritual abuse. Also around this time, he was given a large sum of money, specifically for the the reprinting of two different books he’d written. Much to the dismay of the benefactor, he used only a small portion of the money for the books as most of it was used frivolously on personal items for Linda. The books were already made and stored by someone who was formerly in ministry with Fritz and who worked as a liaison between him and the printer.

In July 1996, Fritz and Cisco tried to get the books from this individual by banging on his door around 3:30 A.M., but were told he needed to pay the printer for them first. This infuriated Fritz who called the police and accused this person of stealing his books. The police talked to the printer to get his side of the story and he reconfirmed that the books were not officially the property of Springmeier because he had not paid for them. The police then told Fritz and Cisco to vacate the property, which they proceeded to do with much disdain.

In 1997, Springmeier wrote a letter, peculiarly titled, "Affidavit," to those on his mailing list. He charged Terry Cook, Ron Patton, and his second ex-wife, with conspiracy to bring his ministry down. Much of this confusing and poorly written letter was riddled with innuendos, half-truths and lies. For instance, he mentions, " Several people from the Terry Cook and Ron Patton group called Texe Marrs and simply slandered me with outright fabrications." First of all, there was never a connection between Cook and Patton. Mr. Patton called Terry Cook once regarding information about Carl Sanders. He also concocted a story saying Ron Patton had been under the tutelage of the Jesuits and was an alcoholic before converting to Protestantism. There is no evidence to substantiate these erroneous claims either. Further along in his writing, Fritz comments that, "Several people have told me my ex-wife is controlled by demons and given her life to Satan." Once again, he makes outlandish accusations to discredit those who he perceives as trying to destroy his ministry. His ex-wife has been attending a strong Bible believing church for several years and the leadership and congregation can attest to the solid faith she has in Jesus Christ.

This letter may have, in fact, been written as a form of damage control because Ron Patton had written an article titled, "Exposing the Exposers," in the Spring 1997 issue of his newsletter, Endure To The End. Essentially, Patton questioned why Springmeier aloud himself to be interviewed by the CIA front tabloid, CONTACT (December 17, 1996). Ron makes an interesting observation: during the interview, Fritz acknowledges his calling in life is to be a religious and social reformer. Coincidentally, in his book, The Illuminati Formula Used To Create A Total Mind Controlled Slave, he states on page 14 that one of the occupations the programmers select and groom for a young child under mind control is a religious and social reformer. This presents the question: why would Fritz use such precise wording to describe himself and why would a Christian use such ambiguous terminology for his calling?

Throughout the years, Fritz Springmeier has made numerous predictions of what will come to pass, yet were unfulfilled. In one of his newsletters in 1992, he adamantly predicted a December stock market crash due to the nation’s banks collapsing. However, he did admit he was inaccurate in his forecast and sent an apology letter to those on his mailing list. In another 1992 newsletter, he predicted that President George Bush would be reelected. Again, Fritz sent another letter to his readers to explain that his inside source told him of Bush’s inevitable second term in the White House, but the elite must have changed their minds and decided on Bill Clinton. In yet another document, entitled, Important Messages from the Desk of Fritz Springmeier, he unabashedly remarked, "The leadership in both Russia and the U.S. are preparing for war. From 8:00A.M. to 6:00P.M. on June 6, 1996 the proper [planetary] alignments will occur to detonate numerous nuclear devices." Of course, no catastrophic event Springmeier was predicting ever occurred. In 1999, Fritz writes a lengthy article: The war in the Balkans is following a script to create WWIII. In the beginning of the article, he states, "Over two weeks ago, this author was given inside information that the New World Order (NWO) had pulled all their key people -- specialists, and so forth out of San Diego, CA. These people were given a secret high-level briefing which told them to leave San Diego by April 3 [1999] and that their reason to leave was that Russia was going to drop nuclear bombs on San Diego, Seattle, NYC . . ." As we well know, this did not take place either. Springmeier apparently believed this was going to occur as he illegally entrenched himself on someone’s property in Eastern Washington.

In conclusion, one could surmise, after thoroughly analyzing the evidence presented that Fritz Springmeier does, in fact, have a hidden agenda. Although he has put out an enormous amount of information on topics relating to the NWO, he tickles the ears of the listeners and readers, thereby exploiting his expertise as a cover or front. Granted, some of his books have been an invaluable asset to many counselors and therapists whose clients are SRA and MC survivors, but has it proven to be a cure-all for complete de-programming? Several survivors have commented that while staying at Cisco’s house, there were sexual relations going on between the two of them. Is this appropriate conduct for a man who calls himself a Christian? Also, if Fritz is such an expert in de-programming, where are all the survivors he has personally helped and why hasn’t Cisco been set free from her programming?

The Holy Bible warns us of wolves in sheep’s clothing and in due time, the Lord reveals who are truly His and who are of the devil. Let us not forget that this is a spiritual battle and souls are at stake. We should therefore pray that Fritz Springmeier be genuinely convicted by the Holy Spirit and surrender before the throne of Jesus Christ.

Additional Reading:

Fritz Artz Springmeier (born September 24, 1955) (aka Victor E. Schoff) is an American conspiracy theorist and religious right wing activist, formerly a resident of Corbett, Oregon, who has written a number of books claiming that satanic forces are behind a move toward world domination by various families and organizations. He has described his goal as "exposing the New World Order agenda."

Springmeier has been linked to a violent extremist group called the Army of God, and it was alleged that he had been growing marijuana with a member of that organization in order to supplement his income.

On January 31, 2002, Springmeier was indicted on one charge of cultivation of marijuana under subsection (a), paragraph (1) of 21 U.S.C. § 841. He was arrested, together with his wife, after investigations into a white separatist group revealed evidence of marijuana cultivation. The government dropped that charge on November 13, 2003.

Also on January 31, 2002, Springmeier was indicted in connection with a bank robbery. On February 12, 2003, Springmeier was found guilty of one count of armed bank robbery under subsections (a) and (d) of 18 U.S.C. § 2113 and one count of possession of a semi-automatic rifle during a federal crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. § 924 and 18 U.S.C. § 2. On the same day that the marijuana charge was dropped, Springmeier was sentenced to 9 years and 3 months in prison for his involvement in the robbery in Damascus, Oregon in 1997, in which he set a bomb at an adult video store as an accomplice of another right-wing militant. In October 2010, Springmeier was released from prison to go on and complete a 5 year probation program. He was restricted from engaging in any political work, for the time being as well. Springmeier was put back in prison in January 2011, and was again released on March 25, 2011.

Springmeier has written and self-published a number of books based on the ideology of what's been described as an "ultra-right-wing group" called the Christian Patriot Association; this group was shut down in 2002 after convictions for tax fraud and tax evasion. He has made multiple videos and presentations. He has endorsed the plausibility of Project Monarch, a purported Central Intelligence Agency mind control project whose conjectured existence is based only on the testimony of Cathy O'Brien under hypnosis.

Springmeier's early work, The Watchtower & the Masons, focuses on the relationship between Jehovah's Witnesses and Freemasonry. In this book he describes a relationship between Charles Taze Russell and the so-called Eastern Establishment. Springmeier followed these links into Masonry and did a further examination of the Eastern establishment.

Springmeier claims to have created a general theory on who controls the world and in what way by doing elaborate studies and talking to numerous eye-witnesses. Identifying this occult group with the Illuminati, Springmeier names 13 families (called "bloodlines") which allegedly participate in this Illuminati-group and writes about their wealth and areas of private influence. Also in his writing is the description of Satanic worship. He states that these families engage in mind control.,523756&dq=fritz-springmeier&hl=en

The Portland Police Bureau is investigating a potential threat against one of its officers by a writer with links to the extremist group Army of God. The writer is Corbett resident Fritz Springmeier, 45. He is tied to Forrest Bateman, 29, a suspected member of the underground movement.

PORTLAND - A list of possible terror targets compiled by an ultra-right wing group, including government buildings and other facilities were made public Thursday as a federal judge sentenced a Portland area man for his part in a 1997 bank robbery. After the sentencing of Fritz Springmeier, a self-described religious author, Clackamas County Sheriff deputies revealed a loose-leaf binder seized in 2001 as a part of the case.


We started with the anti-Watchtower peanut gallery regarding Pastor Russell, so let's finish with them.

Apostasy (IPA: /əˈpɒstəsi/) is the formal religious disaffiliation or abandonment or renunciation of one's religion, especially if the motive is deemed unworthy. In a technical sense, as used sometimes by sociologists without the pejorative connotations of the word, the term refers to renunciation and criticism of, or opposition to, one's former religion. One who commits apostasy is an apostate, or one who apostatizes. The word derives from Greek αποστασία (apostasia), meaning a defection or revolt, from απο, apo, "away, apart", στασις, stasis, "stand", "standing". Bryan R. Wilson, who was a professor of Sociology at Oxford University, writes that apostates of new religious movements are generally in need of self-justification, and seek to reconstruct their past and to excuse their former affiliations, while blaming those who were formerly their closest associates. Wilson utilizes the term atrocity story, [a story] that is in his view rehearsed by the apostate to explain how, by manipulation, coercion or deceit, he was recruited to a group that he now condemns. Wilson also challenges the reliability of the apostate's testimony by saying that "the apostate [is] always seen as one whose personal history predisposes him to bias with respect to his previous religious commitment and affiliations, the suspicion must arise that he acts from a personal motivation, to vindicate himself and to regain his self-esteem, by showing himself to have been first a victim, but subsequently a redeemed crusader."

Lonnie D. Kliever, Ph.D., Professor of Religious Studies, Southern Methodist University writes “There is no denying that these dedicated and diehard opponents of the new religions present a distorted view of the new religions to the public, the academy, and the courts by virtue of their ready availability and eagerness to testify against their former religious associations and activities. Such apostates always act out of a scenario that vindicates themselves by shifting responsibility for their actions to the religious group. Indeed, the various brainwashing scenarios so often invoked against the new religious movements have been overwhelmingly repudiated by social scientists and religion scholars as nothing more than calculated efforts to discredit the beliefs and practices of unconventional religions in the eyes of governmental agencies and public opinion. Such apostates can hardly be regarded as reliable informants by responsible journalists, scholars, or jurists. Even the accounts of voluntary defectors with no grudges to bear must be used with caution since they interpret their past religious experience in the light of present efforts to re-establish their own self-identity and self-esteem. In short, on the face of things, apostates from new religions do not meet the standards of personal objectivity, professional competence, and informed understanding required of expert witnesses.”

Religious scholars have routinely found the testimony and public statements of apostates to be unreliable. In his book "The Politics of Religious Apostasy: The Role of Apostates in the Transformation of Religious Movement", Professor David Bromley, Department of Sociology and Anthropology of Virginia Commonwealth University, explained how individuals who elect to leave a chosen faith must then become critical of their religion in order to justify their departure. This then opens the door to being recruited and used by organizations which seek to use their testimony as a weapon against a minority religion. "Others may ask, if the group is as transparently evil as he now contends, why did he espouse its cause in the first place? In the process of trying to explain his own seduction and to confirm the worst fears about the group, the apostate is likely to paint a caricature of the group that is shaped more by his current role as apostate than by his actual experience in the group."

John Gordon Melton is an American religious scholar who was the founding director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion and is currently a research specialist in religion and New Religious Movements with the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. While testifying as an expert witness in a lawsuit, said that when investigating groups one should not rely solely upon the unverified testimony of ex-members, and that hostile ex-members would invariably shade the truth and blow out of proportion minor incidents, turning them into major incidents. Melton also follows the argumentation of Lewis Carter and David Bromley and claims that as a result of this study, the [psychological] treatment (coerced or voluntary) of former members largely ceased, and that a (perceived) lack of widespread need for psychological help by former members of new religions would in itself be the strongest evidence refuting early sweeping condemnations of new religions as causes of psychological trauma.