I had an occasion to go to Pittsburgh with my wife recently. I had never been there before. It’s a lovely city, nestled on the edge of the Allegheny Mountains. It is called “the city of bridges” because there are so many spans that cross the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, which converge to form the mighty Ohio River.
On our trip home we stopped by the gravesite of Charles Taze Russell. The cemetery where he is buried is just a few miles from downtown Pittsburgh.
You have probably seen pictures of his gigantic pyramid. Some people are under the impression that Russell is buried under it. That’s not the case. As can be seen in the video, his actual grave marker is about 30 feet from the pyramid. And the pyramid was constructed about five years after his death. He had nothing to do with it, obviously.
Although it’s been nearly 100 years since his death CT Russell is still clouded in controversy. Rumors have existed for years that Russell was secretly a Mason. And certainly this pyramid lends to that suspicion. One especially imaginative writer has speculated that Russell is of the supposed bloodline of the so-called Illuminati. Some people will, of course, believe anything (except the truth).
Although masonry was certainly prominent in the first part of the 20th century and Russell exhibited in a particular public discourse that he was thoroughly familiar with it, still, he straightforwardly denied that he was ever a Mason himself. And since then various researchers have verified that Russell was not a mason.
It is also rumored that the cemetery where Russell was buried is a Masonic cemetery. There is reason to believe that given the fact that there is a large Masonic Lodge adjacent to the property. But, alas, the building was not constructed until 1995. (Lodge is visible in the last scene of the video)
However, strolling around the cemetery and noting some of the grave markers I did see that several of those laid to rest there had the Masonic compass and square on their headstones. Apparently the original Bible Students, whose Bethel headquarters was just a few miles from the cemetery, purchased several cemetery plots for the Bethelites who passed away, and apparently Masons also chose to purchase plots there as well.
In all likelihood, although Russell was not a Mason himself he was evidently influenced by certain men who were. In all probability Masons long ago infiltrated the Watchtower Society.
Having read much of his writings and his work, I believe CT Russell was a genuine child of faith whom Jehovah and Christ used with great effect. Unlike modern evangelical preachers that use their pulpit to gain riches, Pastor Russell did the exact opposite. He used his personal wealth to finance the Watchtower. Reading in his obituary that appeared in the October 1916 Watchtower, it related that Russell never took a vacation. Seeing that he died while on a speaking tour, maybe he should have taken some time off now and then.
But even though he died at the relatively young age of 64, his work lives on to this day. That is what matters.