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October 2, 2014
Greetings from the Great Beyond and a Wishful Happy 100 years!
Dear Governing Body and Junior Governing Body (Helpers),
As you know, I have been “earthly” dead for about 100 years. But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been paying attention to what’s been happening down there where the rest of you live – if you want to call that “living. I’ve especially been keeping track of what you have been doing to my “baby” – the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society – since I’ve been gone.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, when I say “Great Beyond” I’m not talking about the North Pole or the Australian Outback. Nope, I actually mean “Beyond the Veil,” in the same sense that the Watch Tower used the expression so often after I died.
I died on Halloween, of course, in 1916. They all thought it was some kind of Halloween prank when I showed up here in a toga. That was the most embarrassing night of my life. I even had to explain it to some of the Apostles. I told them that a lot of Second Adventists, even Father Miller himself, believed we should wear “white ascension robes” on that final, fateful day. Then they asked me who “Father Miller” was. After that, I got lectured by Thomas, no less, on why we shouldn’t call anyone “Father” on earth, and why it’s even more important up here.
But I digress.
Speaking of “beyond the veil,” I hope you know that you got me in a lot of trouble with all that talk about me being able to communicate with you guys after I died, and how I’d be able to manage the Watch Tower Society from up here. How was it that Clayton Woodworth and George Fisher put it?
“Though Pastor Russell has passed beyond the veil, he is managing every feature of the harvest work.”
Of course, that was in, The Finished Mystery. Don’t even get me started on that crazy book! You guys kept saying I’d have special powers and privileges to manage the Society from here that I couldn’t manage from your side of the veil.
Well guess what? All that talk about me communicating with you guys after I died, well, let’s just say they take that kind of thing very seriously. They call it spiritism, and I ended up on Peter’s “watch list.” I couldn’t even get Veil-Mail privileges for nearly a century. Veil-Mail, of course, is what I’m using right now. But there are a lot of restrictions so that it won’t be used for any kind of spiritism:
- Rule#1: All the people I knew in my lifetime on earth have to be dead already, and,
- Rule #2: I can’t tell you anything you shouldn’t already know, and,
- Rule #3: I have to try to keep people from getting hurt by any problems I caused when I was down there.
- Also, if I score enough on Rule#3, I get more leeway on Rule#2. Moses told me that none of the rules are really “set in stone.”
So, when I’m done, I’ll run the Veil-Mail spell-check, the sacred-secret-check, and the writing style updater. (I keep getting little pop-ups saying: “Change recommended: a little too 19th century.”)
I want to be honest, though. Watching my “earthly organization” get “hijacked” the way it did really burns me up –and that’s quite a trick up here in heaven. But most of you (at least those who can read above a 3rd-grade level) probably know what happened after I died.
Yup, it was that loud-mouth, boastful, former law clerk (who never was a full-time “Judge”), Joe Rutherford. He ignored everything I told him and even defied what I wrote in my will before I died on that awful train ride. But, then, faster than you can change in the twinkling of an eye, that so-called “Judge” was already looking for loopholes and was gathering weak-willed lackeys around him. Then, he went and wrestled the corporation away from the very fellows that I specified should run it after my death. (Did I mention that he was never a full-time judge?)
That self-important back-stabber chased away all the other good and decent folks who were on the board working for me. Then he, along with that strange man, Clayton Woodworth (“CW”), and that lackey, George Fisher, took it upon themselves to “finish” my 7th volume of the Studies in the Scriptures. They didn’t have a clue. They never checked with anyone who knew what points I wanted to make. Have you read it? Really truly actually read it? That book should never have been called The Finished Mystery. The only mystery was why they ever published it. It was ridiculous and an embarrassment. And then as if to add insult to injury, they put my name on it, and called it “the posthumous work of Charles Taze Russell.” If I had been alive, I would have had them put in jail for slander and defamation of my character.
Of course they’re all dead now, but don’t think I’m going to forget how, just a couple years ago, 2012, you folks right now on the “Governing Body” demoted me —you defrocked me— right out of the “Faithful and Discreet Slave” class. And, of course, you just had to pick the 128th Annual Corporate Meeting of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania! Who do you think came up with that “class” explanation in the first place? It’s true that for those last 20 years, I changed it from a “class” to just me, so that I was the one-and-only faithful and discreet slave. So, I can see why you went back to my old “class” idea. But why’d you have to go and change it so it wouldn’t start until 1919? You realize that I died in 1916, right? So, as of 2012, I’m not even counted in that class anymore! I see you made it a lot more exclusive, too. You cut it down from 144,000 to only a few Governing Body members. I like exclusive. But then you go and kick me out of your club altogether by changing the rules.
Anyway, I need to tell you something important that I discovered, but it’s something you should have noticed yourselves. It started mostly with that “CW” –Crazy-Weird, Certifiably-Wacko– Clayton Woodworth.
When I got in trouble for all that “beyond the veil” talk, well, at first I wondered why I had to get blamed instead of, you know, Rutherford, Fisher, or CW. Well, it was the Apostle Paul who really blamed this one on me. He told me that I was neither “discreet” nor “wise” nor “faithful” by publishing all that talk about how I was the one-and-only “faithful and discreet slave.” Paul told me that this was one thing that Rutherford got right when he finally changed it back to mean “all the living anointed Christians.” Evidently, I set the stage for this “beyond-the-veil” spiritism when I set myself up as someone so special. He said I enabled “I- belong-to-Apollos Syndrome.”
Of course, I also learned pretty quickly that you don’t argue with Paul. You won’t win. I tried to explain to him that it wasn’t really spiritism, exactly, because I wasn’t really dead. After all, I had long been preaching that the big resurrection of the Apostles and all the other “saints” and “Gospel Age overcomers” as I called them, were really alive, not dead — because they all got resurrected in 1878.
So Paul said. “Listen carefully. For one thing, spiritism is the attempt to communicate with spirits. It’s got nothing to do with whether they were dead, undead, resurrected, or whether they’re angels, demons, saints or sinners. It’s about spirits!“
Then he asked me: “And what’s all this about a resurrection in 1878? How on earth did you come up with the idea that I was resurrected in 1878?” Well, for a minute there, I though he was really asking because he was impressed that we managed to figured out all those dates.
Well, you can imagine how my face lit up because I was always so proud of all that work, so I started to explain just how brilliant it was. I told him about how Father Miller’s, I mean William Miller’s, 1844 date for Christ‘s second coming really only corresponded to Jesus‘ birth in the previous age. Get it? Because “Jesus” technically wasn’t the “Christ” until he was baptized 30 years later! And so if you add Miller’s 1844 plus 30, you get October 1874 — voila! Christ‘s second presence! And since Christ didn’t get resurrected until 3 and one-half years after his baptism, then that would be like1874 plus 3.5 equals April of 1878.
And, as I’m telling Paul all of this he seemed excited, too. So I went on about how, when Jerusalem was destroyed by AD 70, well that was about 36.5 years after Christ died in 33, and how if you add April 1878 plus 36.5 you get October 1914, …..
And that’s when Paul cursed at me! He didn’t even let me finish. I was just getting ready to tell him about the 40 year harvest, Jubilee cycles, Jacob’s birth year, 6,000 years of man’s existence, and even the Great Pyramid. Paul actually cursed! He called me an athema, or something like that. (I never knew much Greek, but the way he said, I knew it was something bad.)
He said, “You didn’t get my letters? You never saw First Thessalonians? Where I said: ‘Now as for the times and seasons brothers you need nothing to be written to you.’ What part of ‘you need NOTHING to be written to you’ did you NOT understand?”
And then he added the part that really hurt. He said: “And you told everyone I was resurrected in 1878? Couldn’t you take a hint from what I said to Timothy?”
“And their word will spread like gangrene. Hymenaeus and Philetus are among them. These men have deviated from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already occurred, and they are subverting the faith of some.”
I still wanted to tell Paul about the dates, but then you guys -I mean Rutherford, CW, and Ed Brenneisen– just made it worse, because you were still promoting the “veil” idea in 1924. CW even got a letter complaining that all this “beyond the veil” talk was really spiritism. And of course CW answered with the same lame excuse I tried up here: that they were spirits, they weren’t really dead.
But then you guys just had to go one step further and promote a book that was supposed to be dictated by a fallen angel. And this wasn’t a mistake. You promoted it because it was a book that had been dictated by a fallen angel. And you were proud of it! You even arranged for the Watch Tower Society to give special prices for quantities of 10 or more on the same order.
At least Brenneisen–I liked him–he had the forethought to rename the book from “Seola” to “Angels and Women” so that people might buy it before they could find out its reputation. But after the complaints got to the Watch Tower, you –I mean CW at least–admitted that you were proud to have a book dictated by a demon, a fallen angel, because this fallen angel could provide new light about what the Nephilim and pre-Flood times were really like. CW just wrote back that it was OK since it was a fallen angel who must have wanted to get back into God’s organization.
Now, it’s true that, before I died, I might have mentioned the book to Brenneisen as “interesting,” but I never told him to revise and publish it, and I certainly never supervised the revisions.
That’s why I was so mad at CW! Just like with “The Finished Mystery,” he tries to hanging onto my frock and coattails to get a few extra sales by saying that I supervised the revision. Right there in his Golden Age, 1924 he says: that ‘under my “supervision it was revised and later published by one who was formerly my confidential associate.”
Well, I should have said something, because when Paul found out he nearly hit the ceiling. (And that’s another difficult trick up here.) Now, they were sure I was communicating with you guys, somehow. Paul was so angry he even looked down towards Brooklyn and yelled out “THIS REVISION IS A SNARE AND A RACKET!” I think he said it so loud that it nearly woke up that so-called Judge.
But that’s when I figured it out! CW never actually said that I supervised the revision when I was there on earth. And besides, Brenneisen worked on the revision after I died. And that’s when –like a millennium– it finally dawned on me: CW really did think I was supervising everything from up here. That’s why they were so quick to claim The Finished Mystery was “the posthumous work of Charles Taze Russell.” And that’s why he printed in the Golden Age that I had supervised the revision of “Angels and Women.”
Now, who or what CW was really communicating with I’ll never know, although I should have gotten a hint when he wrote me 50 pages worth of letters over one little doctrine he disagreed with. I should have just fired him then, but instead, we let him give just one more convention speech in 1913, before we laid him off for good. And here’s what he says:
“I came directly under the influence of evil spirits, so much so that for three days I was as completely under demoniacal control as was Mrs. Eddy when she wrote Science and Health….I had prepared a 36 page book…in which…all Scriptures were arranged. .. I know now that all these Scriptures were suggested to my mind by the evil spirits. One of the suggestions was that Brother Russell was doing this to compel the Truth people to do just as he said in everything. Another was (and I believe this was the truth for these lying spirits do sometimes tell the truth)….
Well I don’t have to tell you the whole thing, I’m sure you can look it up in our Watch Tower 1913 Convention Reports. But CW went on like that about having a good book burning, about how he had trouble accepting that I really was that special individual: “That Servant” — you know, “the faithful and discreet slave” that Jesus would trust with all his belongings. (I used to like to have them capitalize it that way, when they called me “That Servant” although Paul reminded me that this probably wasn’t very discreet, either.)
Anyway, CW just got weirder and weirder, but I have to admit that whenever he’d go off into one of his “millennial twilight zones” he was very productive. Joe knew that CW could put a “Seventh Volume” together really fast, and then Joe put him on the new Golden Age magazine. Awake! you call it now. (That’s cute, the way you still abbreviate Awake! with a little “g” in your index.) You know, Joe must have started Golden Age just to show he was boss, too: because in my will I asked that no one start a second magazine, for fear it would detract from The Watch Tower. And I was sure right! I can’t believe some of the malarkey that the Golden Age printed:
No vaccinations? So soon after people just barely survived the Spanish Flu? Germs don’t cause disease? Electromagnetic radio wave cures? In the long run, it might have been crazier than “The Finished Mystery.” Well, maybe not. And then Joe did away with celebrating birthdays. Yeah, birthdays! Hundreds of thousands of poor JW kids would never know the joy of family gatherings and small amounts of personal recognition and special doses of family love. I loved birthdays. Joe got rid of Christmas, too. And let me tell you guys – JC is still upset over that. JC likes birthdays too! If Joe ever makes it up here, I don’t want to be in the same room when those two meet for the first time. But then you guys will also have to account for Malawi, Mexico, Blood, Hypocrisy, Cover-Ups. You probably won’t even want to read my next Veil-Mail.
But back to the point, you might be wondering why I’m telling you about this 1924 book that you don’t even keep in your Kingdom Hall Libraries any more. Well, here’s why! By now you guys at the Watch Tower have had nearly 100 years to figure out this “beyond the veil” thing for yourselves. But I see you still can’t get rid of the idea.
Your book “Revelation– It’s Grand Climax At Hand.” What does it say?
…the resurrected ones of the 24-elders group may be involved in the communicating of divine truths today.
And The Watchtower even more recently:
It seems that resurrected ones of the 24-elders group may be involved in the communicating of divine truths today. Why is that important? Because the correct identity of the great crowd was revealed to God’s anointed servants on earth in 1935. If one of the 24 elders was used to convey that important truth, he would have had to be resurrected to heaven by 1935 at the latest. That would indicate that the first resurrection began sometime between 1914 and 1935. Can we be more precise?
So now you make the 24 elders the same as the 144,000, and you add 40 years to the 1878 resurrection and make it 1918 — and finally now you change it to “somewhere between 1914 and 1935.
And, by the way. I’ve seen them. The 24 elders are not the 144,000. I’m not supposed to tell you who they are, because well that’s, of course, being involved in communicating divine truths and Veil-Mail would just filter it out if I tried to tell you anyway. But I have to reveal that John thought that was so funny, that laughter broke out for about a half-hour in heaven. He said that he was never that good at math himself, but, come on! “24 equals 144,000?” he asked, and then added, “So what do they say about the four living creatures? That they’re the Great Crowd which no man is able to number?”
Oh and when you find out, you are really going to be surprised at the whole 144,000 idea, too. Turns out that I had that one wrong, myself, but at least I was closer than you. But you know what they say: “The light gets brighter and ….” Well, it’s bound to flicker, I guess, especially with some of the dimly lit, dim wits I’ve seen you put in charge over the last century.
Anyway, at least I hope you’ll finally get all that spiritism stuff out of there. Can’t believe you didn’t figure that out after 100 years. I mean, I know why I made so many mistakes. Because it was just me trying to run everything. But you guys have had like 17 Governing Body members once, and then it dwindled to 8, then 7, and now I look at the latest distribution list, with all those extras. You know, you might as well just settle for an even 12. I mean, it’s got precedent. And we all know what you really want to remind everyone of, right?
I’ve got plenty more to say, but I’m going to a class on time management. Paul is going to explain to us about Thessalonians where it says “we the living shall not precede those who have already fallen asleep in death.” Turns out that it really has something to do with the fact that we’re not constrained by human time up here. I’m still trying to figure out if I was actually resurrected when I died or if it was many years after and that I was allowed to come back in time to watch you guys in “earth time” since 1916 until now. Well, it’s kind of deep, but I’ve got plenty of time to learn.
So, enjoy your Centennial. Believe it or not, I predicted that you might have some kind of remembrance of it in 2014. I mentioned the 100 years after 1914 twice, and printed letters about it. Really! Look it up. Of course, the only reason you’re celebrating at all is because I died before I ever saw how Deissmann figured out the secret behind the word “parousia.” But you’ve known that for 100 years now, and you still won’t clean it up! And that’s nothing compared to all those much more terrible things going wrong down there with my little “start-up.” Watch it! Wake up! Or you’ll just run it into the ground. You think I can’t see what you’re hiding?
Well, rest assured, I’ll write you again soon. This time, I won’t make it another 100 years.
Charles Taze Russell
P.S. My buddies up here call me” Tazer” (I like it!) because they say I am “shockingly” honest and funny.