There exists a pamphlet published by a man whom Pastor Russell sued for libel, which actually came to trial in Canada. The Reverend J. J. Ross writes in 1913 that Russell sued him for libel after the publishing of a pamphlet disputing Pastor Russell’s claims. According to Reverend Ross, Russell contacted him by letter and told him that if Ross apologized publicly, Russell would withdraw the lawsuit. Ross replied he would not apologize, and would calmly await the decision of the Canadian courts.
Here is an extract of that pamphlet, an account of the trial.
“But now what are the facts as they were brought out by the examination on March 17th, 1913? As to his scholastic standing, he had sworn that what was said about it was not true. Under the examination, he admitted that, at most, he had attended school only seven years of his life, that the public school, and that he had left school when he was about fourteen years of age, just at the opening of the adolescent period, when the directional element is so necessary in a boy’s life. “Do you know the Greek”? Asked the Attorney. “Oh, yes?” was Russell’s reply. Here he was handed a copy of the New Testament in Greek, by Wescott & Hort, and asked to read the letters of the alphabet as they appear on the top of page 447.
He did not know the alphabet. “Now,” asked Mr. Staunton, “Are you familiar with the Greek language?” “No,” said Mr. Russell, without a blush. When he saw that he was caught, then he admitted that he knew nothing about Latin, and Hebrew and neither had he ever taken a course in Philosophy, Systematic Theology and neither had he ever attended any of the higher schools of learning. A trap had been set for him at every one of these points, and having been caught in the first, he thought it best for him to “own up before he was shown up.” As it was, he was shown up. This is the man who goes about claiming that he alone has the proper understanding of the Scriptures, condemning the translators of the Bible and denouncing all ministers and teachers of the Word except himself, and his little satellites, as ignorant, empty-headed and deceitful. Russell has made quite a free use of the dead languages in his books, but this is evidently not done by himself, but another, with the end in view of misleading the ignorant, and trying to catch the educated. He has familiarized himself with a few big Greek terms which have become Anglicized, such as “Apocalypsis, Epiphaneia, parousia, parakletos,” etc., puts his own meaning into them and then goes about using them before his audiences, and those who do not know any better think him a highly educated man. This is the man also who condemns all books and papers except those written by himself or published by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.
Now as to his ordination. Remember that the self-styled “Pastor” is still under oath and that he says, “The oath is sacred.” It is indeed sacred to him. “Is it true that you were never ordained?” asked his counsel. “It is not true,” replied Mr. Russell. But my counsel takes him in hand and being wileful, it is difficult to keep the arch-heretic to the point. His Worship, the Magistrate, was appealed to and Russell is informed that he must answer yes or no.
“Now,” said Mr. Staunton, “You never were ordained by a bishop, clergyman, Presbytery, council, or any body of men living.” After a considerable pause and his eyes fixed on his feet in the witness box, he said, “1 never was.” Pie was caught again!
and he was not abashed. This is the gentleman that gives himself forth all over the world as a fully accredited minister of the gospel. What a low standard of morals he must have! What a seared conscience he must possess. He swore he would tell the truth, all the truth and nothing but the truth, and that under the eyes of Almighty God.
But how artful he is even under oath in devising falsely! In other words, what a fabricator.”
— (from “some facts and more facts about “Pastor” Russell, by Rev. J. J. Ross)
I don’t know if the Watchtower Society continues to say Pastor Russell was ever ordained, or that he knew and was educated in Greek, Latin and Hebrew. But here you have the truth of the matter, printed back in 1913.
there’s no denying that Pastor Russell made some claims that were not true, and that there was a great deal of personal enrichment Pastor Russell had, and that he did commit fraud in an attempt to avoid cooperating with the court orders to pay his alimony.
I would have preferred Reverend Ross, however, would not have been so insulting in the last few sentences.
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