The claim is made that Russell “introduced occultism into his religion by teaching that the pyramids in Egypt are divine omens.” This falsehood has even been placed in a book, entitled, Spiritual Rape Exposing the Hidden. (page 14)
The statement and often its context have been quoted over and over across many forums on the web, and although many have pointed out the falsity of the statements, the site owners continue to display such statements of deception, thus promoting such false claims. However, we find that almost every sentence misrepresents the facts, putting the matter politely.
The statement quoted above contains at least two errors, and appears on several sites:
(1) Russell did not introduce “occultism” into his religion, not unless you mean that he adopted the religion of the Bible, which the Bible itself states remains a secret to the world. This would reflect a usage of the word occult as simply meaning secret, not related to heathen occultism.
(2) Russell did not teach that “the pyramids in Egypt are divine omens.”
Russell’s study of the Great Pyramid (not “pyramids” — plural) in Egypt had nothing to do with demonic /heathen occultism, nor with pagan heathen worship. The word “occultism” is defined as “a belief in supernatural powers and the possibility of bringing them under human control.” The implication of the the word in most Christian circles is that demonic spirits are used, a form of witchcraft (crafty wisdom). Russell never believed in, nor taught such an idea. Indeed, he was very active in warning against forms of witchcraft, occultism, spiritism (talking with the dead), etc.
Russell never spoke of any pyramid in Egypt as being a “divine omen.”
It is claimed that Russell taught that “they [the pyramids of Egypt]” contained prophetic secrets known only to him.” Again, the false idea of “pyramids” — plural — is presented. Russell was interested in only one pyramid, not pyramids.
I have not been able to find where he ever made such a claim that the Great Pyramid contained prophetic secrets known only to him. Of course, in what he had found in his studies that added to, or was different from, what others had written before him, he could have claimed that what he had written did have information not found in the studies of authors before him. He never claimed sole proprietorship on the study of the Great Pyramid, however, as can be seen by his announcements and recommendations of the Edgars’ studies on the Great Pyramid (which did not fully agree with his own conclusions as presented in the Studies in the Scriptures).
The phrase is used that Russell was “convinced of their [the pyramids of Egypt] mystic power.” First, Russell was not convinced of any mystic power of any pyramid in Egypt, and certainly not “pyramids” [plural]. He never wrote of any “mystic power” associated with the Great Pyramid, or any other pyramid. This is totally a false and misleading statement, designed to malign and misrepresent what Russell actually did teach.
It is additionally claimed that one of Russell’s “strangest” revelations from pyramids [plural] was concerning the year 1914. It is further claimed that the year 1914 was “based on his measurements of the interior passageways of the pyramids [plural].” The author persists in in several false statement here. First, the years 1914 was not “based” on the interior passageways of the pyramids [plural], nor even on the passageways of the Great Pyramid [singular]. N. H. Barbour arrived at the date based on several prophetic statements of the Bible, not from the measurements of the Great Pyramid, although some measurements of the Great Pyramid were found to corroborate the date..
It is further claimed that Russell had said that 1914 would be the end of the world. Russell never made such a statement. Search as one may, he never spoke of the “end of the world” as coming in 1914. Early in the year 1914, due to some making such a claim for him, he presented an article in “Bible Student Monthly”:
Note that Russell plainly states that he was not expecting the “end of the world” in 1914. The main things that he was expecting were the end of the Gentiles Times and the beginning of the time of trouble.
One could claim some of Russell’s statements before 1904 to mean that he was expecting the end of the world in 1914, although even before 1904 Russell was not expecting what many thought of as the “end of the world” in 1914, nor did he view anything he said as meaning that the world was to end in 1914. Nevertheless, before 1904, Russell was expecting that 1914 would bring the end of the time of trouble; in 1904, however, he reversed that, so he came to understand that the end of the Gentile Times would see, not the end of the time of trouble, but rather the beginning of the time of trouble.
Then we are presented with another false claim that “when his 1914 date for the end of the world failed, he tried to cover his tracks.” Of course, since Russell was not expecting the end of the world to come in 1914, he had nothing to cover up regarding such.
As an alleged proof that Russell tried to cover up his tracks, the author of the page presents excerpts from two different editions of Thy Kingdom Come, one from 1897 and another 1916, along with either deliberate or ignorant misrepresentation of the facts. The end result is a deception, regardless of whether deliberate or not. The presentation of the two editions in the manner presented is with evident design to make it appear that since the end of the world did not come in 1914, that Russell, upon having realized this error, in the year 1916, he changed the measurement of the floor of the descending passageway. The fact is that Russell had made this change long before 1914, and this change was noted in the The Watch Tower of September 15, 1909. Thus, this change does NOT at all represent any cover-up concerning 1874 or 1914. Russell still kept both dates, and continued to believe until the day he died that Jesus had returned invisibly in 1874 and the Gentile Times did indeed end in 1914. And thus a deception is actually being presented, since this change in the book, Thy Kingdom Come, was made, not in 1916, as one is led to believe by the statement given, but as early as the 1905 edition of Thy Kingdom Come, nine years before, not after 1914.
Then we are given a reference to the “Chart of the Ages” which is alleged to “promote his strange mix of of biblical theology and occultic pyramidology.” The “Chart of the Ages”, however, of itself, has nothing at all to do with “pyramidology”, or the “Great Pyramid”. Like many similar charts, it does utltlize pyramids to not the progression of God’s purposes as given in the Bible. The chart was Russell’s method of giving a eye’s view of the divine plan as presented in the scriptures as he understood it.
This is also followed with that statement that this is Russell’s occult chart that is still being used by Jehovah’s Witnesses today. Two more deceptions are being spread upon the public. The chart has nothing whatsoever to do with spiritualistic occultism, nor do the Jehovah’s Witnesses still use this chart today, as the JWs reject Russell’s teachings on the Divine Plan of the Ages.
More on this can be found at:
Originally published April 2008, updated and republished April 2014.
On the website:
The following is stated concerning Charles Taze Russell
Truth: “A truth presented by Satan himself is just as true as a truth stated by God. . . . Accept truth wherever you find it, no matter what it contradicts” (WT 7/1879, pp. 8-9).
This quotation is from Russell, and it does state a truth. If Satan states something that is true, it does not become a lie simply because he stated it. Nevertheless, Satan often presents a truth in such a way to persuade one to believe in a lie.
However, taking the quote out of context is evidently designed to lead one to believe that Russell was in some way in agreement with, in service of, the devil, occultism, or some form of witchcraft, etc. Let us look at the quote in context:
This question is one which every sincere Christian should ask and seek to answer. We should learn to love and value truth for its own sake; to respect and honor it by owning and acknowledging it wherever we find it and by whomsoever presented. A truth presented by Satan himself is just as true as a truth stated by God.
Perhaps no class of people are more apt to overlook this fact than the Christian. How often do they in controversy overlook and ignore truth presented by their opponents. This is particularly the case when arguing with an infidel. They feel at perfect liberty to dispute everything he says on religious subjects. This is not the correct principle. Many infidels are honest–as anxious to speak and believe the truth as are Christians–and if in converse with them we ignore truths which they may advance, we not only fail to convince them of our truths, but put an end to all hope of reaching them; for our failure to admit the evident truth which they advance begets in them contempt for the one who is not honest enough to admit one truth because he does not see how it can be reconciled to another. Accept truth wherever you find it, no matter what it contradicts, and rely for ability to afterwards harmonize it with others upon “The Spirit of truth, which shall guide you into all truth,” as Jesus promised.
Thus, it becomes obvious as to what Russell was saying. He is likening the infidels who are being used by Satan as though they were Satan; Jesus did something similar when he called the apostle Peter “Satan”. (Matthew 16:23; Mark 8:33) Peter, of course, was not literally Satan, but he was imitating Satan is speaking an untruth. Likewise, the infidels who reject the creative account of the Bible may present a lot of truths in what they say, although they may misrepresent those truths to promote what is not true.
Likewise, if Satan, or his demons speak a truth, it is still true regardless of their purposes for stating the truth. The implication of putting this quote on the site appears to be to imply that the opposite is actually the truth, thus, that absolutely everything Satan says is a lie, and that thus, Satan cannot speak one sentence without everything in that sentence being a lie. Such an idea, if extended to the demons over whom Satan is prince, then the demons lied when they called Jesus: “the son of God,” and “Son of the Most High.” (Matthew 8:29; Mark 3:11; Luke 1:32; 4:41; 8:48) Thus, if they cannot tell the truth at all, then we should believe that it is a lie to say that Jesus is the “Son of God,” or that Jesus is the “Son of the Most High.”
In Job 1:7, we read:
Yahweh said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Then Satan answered Yahweh, and said, “From going back and forth in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” — World English Bible translation.
Did Satan lie when he stated the above? Did he lie to Yahweh by saying that he had been going back and forth in the earth, etc.? I have no reason to think that he did so.
But didn’t Jesus say concerning Satan that “there is no truth in him?” — John 8:44, Word English.
Actually, the translators have worded Jesus’ words to have him say this. The more direct translation would be, in reference to “the truth” that Jesus had just spoken of: “the truth is not in him.” (John 8:44) I don’t think Jesus intended to say that Satan can never tell a truth, anymore than he meant that those Jewish leaders to whom he spoke could never tell a truth. However, most often when Satan tells us a truth, it is framed in a setting of a lie, as in Genesis 3:5. By such methods he misrepresents the truth that he states with a lie.
Another motive for quoting Russell as quoted on the site may have been to leave the impression that Russell believed that what Satan says is “the truth,” which is again far from Russell’s intent in his statement. Russell’s works attest of his view concerning Satan, that he was a liar, and the father of the lie, as Jesus said.
For more concerning Charles Taze Russell, see: