Jump to content
The World News Media

Maria Frances Russell (Ackley)

The Librarian

Recommended Posts

  • Member

I used to have an entire wiki page full of information on Maria.....

So this will be a placeholder page to reconstruct and find whatever I can again on her....


On March 13, 1879, Russell married Maria Frances Ackley (/məˈraɪ.ə/; 1850–1938) after a few months' acquaintance. The couple separated in 1897. Russell blamed the marriage breakup on disagreements over Maria's insistence for a greater editorial role in Zion's Watch Tower magazine,] though a later court judgment noted that he had labelled the marriage "a mistake" three years before the dispute over her editorial ambitions had arisen. Maria Russell filed a suit for legal separation in the Court of Common Pleas at Pittsburgh in June 1903 and three years later filed for divorce under the claim of mental cruelty. She was granted a divorce from bed and board, with alimony, in 1908. Maria Russell died at the age of 88 in St. Petersburg, Florida on March 12, 1938 from complications related to Hodgkin's disease. (See also: Letter from Maria Russell)

She also had a foster daughter by the name of Rose Ball

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

  • Views 6.9k
  • Replies 10
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Member
"He believes that not a soul in the world can point to a single act of cruelty or unkindness or injustice or lovelessness on his part toward any of the human family, ... . ... the worldly have misunderstood, misinterpreted him, even as they did the Lord ... ." --- Charles Taze Russell writing about himself in the third-person in the very next issue of the WATCH TOWER magazine which followed the adverse 1906 Divorce Court decision in which a jury granted Maria Russell a legal separation on the grounds of "Cruelty".
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Member


The Russell Divorce-Separation Court Case was filed by Maria Russell in April 1903. The Russells, who had married in March 1879, already had been physically separated since November 1897. Maria Russell sought only to formalize the couple's informal marital separation status, plus obtain some financial support from her estranged husband. Maria Russell sought what was then legally termed "Divorce From Bed and Board - with Alimony". That was today's equivalent of a "Legal Separation". Maria Russell did NOT want, nor did she seek an "Absolute Divorce", which would have terminated the marriage.


Despite the fact that Charles Taze Russell had been the marital partner whom had initiated discussions of divorce -- starting back in 1895 -- when Maria Russell finally filed for legal separation 5 1/2 years after their actual separation, cult leader Charles Taze Russell fought Maria Russell every step of the way. In April 1906, a jury finally granted Maria Russell her full request. Charles Taze Russell appealed that 1906 Divorce-Separation decision, plus contested the award and later increase of alimony. In all, the Russells met in court five times from 1903 until 1909.


Even then, cult leader Charles Taze Russell's monstrous ego would not allow him to submit to the judgement of the court. Charles Taze Russell refused to pay the increase in alimony, plus refused to pay Maria Russell's court-ordered attorney fees and court costs. Charles Taze Russell even moved his business operations to Brooklyn, New York to escape the arms of the Pennsylvania courts and Maria Russell. Facing contempt proceedings and an outstanding arrest warrant, Charles Taze Russell sailed to Europe and left Judge Rutherford behind to settle matters with Maria Russell and the Pennsylvania courts, so that he himself did not have to personally submit to anyone else's will or authority.


Today, it is said that a man can be judged by how he treats his pets. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, wives had only a few more legal rights than today's pets, so a wealthy man in Russell's day -- when wives were at the mercy of their husbands -- can very well be judged by how he treated his wife, even more so than in our day. Let's start our analysis of that one-time "Faithful and Discreet Slave" with the following 1908 Pennsylvania appellate court decision -- whose Appeal the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania denied in January 1909 -- and work our way back in time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Member
Superior Court of Pennsylvania
Argued May 7, 1908
Issued October 19, 1908
In the libel filed in this case, it is charged that [CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL] offered such indignities to the person of [MARIA RUSSELL] as to render her condition intolerable and her life a burden, thereby compelling [MARIA RUSSELL] to withdraw from [CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL's] home and family. In the specification of indignities it is alleged that [MARIA RUSSELL] was treated with disrespect by [CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL] in the presence of servants and others; that insulting language was used to [MARIA RUSSELL]; that [CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL] circulated reports among [MARIA RUSSELL's] friends to the effect that she was of unsound mind, and other stories that were calculated to affect [MARIA RUSSELL's] character and her right to receive, entertain or visit friends, which stories reflected upon [MARIA RUSSELL's] good name and moral character, and that by words and actions [CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL] caused [MARIA RUSSELL] to fear attempts would be made on his part to have her deprived of her liberty; by reason of which treatment [MARIA RUSSELL] was kept in bodily fear, her health seriously affected, her condition rendered intolerable and her life was made burdensome.

The case was tried before the court and a jury and resulted in a verdict in favor of [MARIA RUSSELL]. A motion for judgment non obstante verdicto was overruled and a judgment was directed to be entered on the verdict, from which [CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL] appeals.

After a careful review of the 150 pages of testimony in this case, we are satisfied that the verdict was fully warranted, and was rightly sustained by refusing [CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL's] motion. The effect to be given to the verdict in such a case has been so recently considered in Fay v. Fay, 27 Pa. Superior Ct. 328, that it is not necessary to review the authorities therein cited in vindication of that decision. As was said in that case, it is enough for us to say that we have examined the whole body of evidence in the light of the general principles relative to this cause for divorce, and whilst it is conflicting in many particulars we are constrained to the conclusion that the testimony of [MARIA RUSSELL] and her witnesses, if believed by the jury, was sufficient to warrant them in finding the facts essential to a lawful dissolution of the marriage tie. Here our duty ends so far as the evidence is concerned.

The learned trial judge instructed the jury, that they were to be satisfied, by the strength of the evidence, that such personal indignities were put upon [MARIA RUSSELL], from time to time, continuously -- not occasionally -- but continuously, so as to render her condition intolerable and life burdensome, and forced [MARIA RUSSELL] to remove from her husband’s home. Which thought was repeated several times in the charge. And further, that the intolerable conditions and burdens which compelled [MARIA RUSSELL] to withdraw, must not be on account of her own faults, her own stubbornness, intellectually or otherwise.

[CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL] urges that it was error to submit the case to the jury in the first instance, and second, that the court erred in the general charge. In the two excerpts taken, which represent the first and second assignments of error, the complete thought of the trial judge is not fully set out, and these excerpts, taken in connection with the fair and lucid explanation which precedes and follows them, satisfies us that the charge of the court, taken as a whole, was fair and adequate, and that it was fully understood by the jury.

In an analysis of the testimony it is quite difficult to understand the view of [CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL] in regard to his duty as a husband to his wife. From his standpoint, he doubtless felt that his rights as a husband were radically different from the standards imposed upon him by the law and recognized by all the courts of this country. [CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL] stated to his wife, "I can show you a thousand women that would be glad to be in your place and that would know my wishes and do them." [CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL's] estimation of his own importance is gathered from his statement to a friend: "I have been approached twice by parties who contemplate the organization of a large bank in Pittsburg, with a capital of three million dollars, and have been solicited to permit my name to be used in connection with the organization as its prospective president," and to another friend, "After reading 'The Plan of the Ages' people say, Brother Russell is great! I will go to Allegheny and be near this great man! When they get to Allegheny they find Brother Russell makes no claim to greatness, and merely claims that it is God’s word that is wonderful. He reasons the matter to them as though it were a question in mathematics; and when they hear the answer, they say, 'how simple,'" and many like expressions of self-esteem pervade [CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL's] testimony. Letters to friends furnish some idea of [CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL's] own estimation of his character. [CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL] repeatedly states that he is not self-conceited, but meek and not boastful, and writes that two phrenologists had examined his head and assured him that he was deficient in self-esteem. From [CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL's] whole testimony, it would seem that he was right in reaching the conclusion stated by him in a letter to his wife, to wit: "I conclude that I am adapted to no one, and that no one is adapted to me, except the Lord. I am thankful that He and I understood each other and have confidence in each other. The last month has fastened the conviction upon me much against my will. I am convinced that our difficulty is a growing one generally -- that it is a great mistake for strong-minded men and women to marry."

From this view point [CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL's] conduct is at least consistent, and he would naturally feel warranted in feeling that any doubt as to the correctness of his views, or conclusions, would be due to plots and schemes on the part of his wife; that his wife was a blasphemer, or as he stated it, "One of two things is certain, either my wife has become mentally unbalanced, or else she has become possessed of a most wicked spirit."

It is apparent from the testimony of each, that each had strong convictions as to the correct interpretation of the Holy Scriptures. They were engaged in the publication of a newspaper called "Zion’s Watch Tower," and the "Millennial Dawn," the "Watch Tower Bible," tracts and pamphlets.

[CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL's] course of conduct toward [MARIA RUSSELL] evidenced such insistent egotism and extravagant self-praise that it would be manifest to the jury that [CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL's] conduct towards [MARIA RUSSELL] was one of continual arrogant domination, that would necessarily render the life of any sensitive Christian woman a burden and make her condition intolerable. The indignities offered to [MARIA RUSSELL] in treating her as a menial in the presence of servants, intimating that [MARIA RUSSELL] was of unsound mind, and that [MARIA RUSSELL] was under the influence of designing and wicked persons fully warranted her withdrawal from [CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL's] house, and justified [MARIA RUSSELL's] fear that [CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL] intended to further humiliate her by a threat to resort to legal proceedings to test her sanity. There is not a syllable in the testimony to justify [CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL's] repeated aspersions on [MARIA RUSSELL's] character or her mental condition, nor does [CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL] intimate in any way that there was any cause for difference between them, other than that she did not agree with him in his views of life and methods of conducting their business. [CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL] says himself that [MARIA RUSSELL] is a woman of high intellectual qualities and of perfect moral character. While he denied, in a general way, that he attempted to belittle his wife as she claimed, the general effect of [CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL's] own testimony is a strong confirmation of [MARIA RUSSELL's] allegations.

In Butler v. Butler, 1 Parsons’ Select Equity Cases, 329, decided in 1849, after a careful review of precedent authoritia, Judge KING says, “A husband may by a course of humiliating insults and annoyances practiced in various forms which ingenious malice could readily devise, eventually destroy the life or health of his wife, although such conduct may be unaccompanied by violence, positive or threatened. Would a wife have no remedy in such circumstances, under our divorce laws, because actual or threatened personal violence formed no element in such cruelty? The answer to this question seems free from difficulty when the subject is considered with reference to the principles on which the divorce for cruelty are predicated.

The courts intervene to dissolve the marriage bond for the conservation of the life or health of the wife endangered by the treatment of the husband. The cruelty is judged from its effects, not solely from the means by which those effects are produced. To hold absolutely that if a husband avoids positive or threatened personal violence that a wife has no legal protection against any means short of those which he may resort to, and which may destroy her life or health, is to invite such a system of infliction by the indemnity given the wrongdoer. The more rational application of the doctrine of cruelty is to consider a course of marital unkindness with reference to the effect it must necessarily produce on the life or health of the wife, and if it has been such as affect or injure either to regard it as true legal cruelty. This doctrine seems to have been in the view of Sir H. Zeimer Just in Dysart v. Dysart, when he stated that he deduces as an inference from what Sir William Scott ruled in Evans v. Evans, that, “If austerity of temper, petulance of manner, rudeness of language, a want of civil attention, occasional sallies of passion, do threaten bodily harm, they do amount to a legal cruelty.” This idea as expressed axiomatically would be no less than the assertion of this principlc; that whatever form marital ill-treatment assumes if a continuity of it involves the life or health of the wife, it is legal cruelty.”

While the early rule as announced in England and in some of the American states, was, that mental suffering, distress or injury, and bodily injury resulting from mental suffering were insufficient to constitute cruelty, yet the modern and better considered cases have repudiated this doctrine as taking too low and sensual a view of the marriage relation, and it is now very generally held, and has always been the rule in Pennsylvania, that any unjustifiable conduct on the part of either the husband or the wife which so grievously wounds the mental feelings of the other, or so utterly destroys the peace of mind of the other as seriously to impair the bodily health or endanger the life of the other, or which utterly destroys the legitimate ends and objects of matrimony constitute cruelty, although no physical or personal violence may be inflicted, or even threatened or reasonably apprehended: May v. May, 62 Pa. 206; Jones v. Jones, 66 Pa. 494; McMahen v. McMahen, 186 Pa. 485; Howe v. Howe, 16 Pa. Superior Ct. 193; Schulze v. Schulze, 33 Pa. Superior Ct. 325; Fay v. Fay, 27 Pa. Superior Ct. 328; Barnsdall v. Barnsdall, 171 Pa. 625. To warrant the granting of a divorce on the ground of the conduct on the part of either the husband or wife, as to render the condition of the other party intolerable and life burdensome, where there is no proof of overt bodily harm actually inflicted or threatened, the evidence should be strong and convincing, the course of illtreatment complained of must have been long continued, and of a serious character. The conditions exacted by these decisions, have been fully and clearly met by [MARIA RUSSELL], and the proof adduced by [MARIA RUSSELL] on the trial fully warranted the verdict rendered. No error being found in the record the assignments of error are overruled and the judgment is affirmed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Member
Here is an informative article published by the BROOKLYN DAILY EAGLE on October 31, 1911.
(Emphasis Added)
Would Address Her Only by Letter, and Then in Terms of Reproach.
Wife's Counsel's Brief in Separation Suit Charges Husband With Sending Offensive Messages by Rose Ball.

(Special to The Eagle.)
Pittsburg , Pa., October 31 — Surprise has been expressed here by those who know Pastor Russell at the assertions contained in the last issue of the People's Pulpit, of which many copies are being circulated in this city. One feature of this issue is Pastor Russell's explanation of his trouble with his wife. He makes in this issue the same charges against his wife for which the Superior Court of Pennsylvania has declared there was not a syllable of justification in the evidence which Pastor Russell presented in court in his vain endeavor to prevent his wife from getting a separation.
Some of the specific statements about Mrs. Russell in Pastor Russell's paper, which have aroused comment here, read as follows: "She came under the influence of what is popularly known as 'Woman's Rights,' and, because she could not have her own way and write what she chose for the columns of my journal, The Watch Tower, she endeavored to coerce me and took one step after another, apparently determined that, if she could not coerce, she would crush and destroy my life and influence."
To those here who recall the Superior Court's characterization of Pastor Russell's conduct toward his wife as evidencing "insistent egotism, extravagant self-praise and continual arrogant domination," and the same court's reference to Mrs. Russell as a "sensitive Christian woman," Pastor Russell's present explanation of their difficulties is not convincing.
A review of this part of the testimony in the separation suit which called forth criticism of Pastor Russell's conduct by the court is contained in the libellant's brief, prepared by Congressman Stephen G. Porter, who was Mrs. Russell's attorney throughout the long court proceedings in which Pastor Russell was repeatedly defeated. In this brief, which was submitted to the Superior Court, to which Pastor Russell carried the suit after the jury in the Court of Common Pleas had rendered a verdict against him, Congressman Porter says:
"The testimony clearly shows that the relations between libellant (Mrs. Russell) and respondent (Pastor Russell) had become somewhat strained prior to the year 1896, about which time respondent ceased speaking to his wife, and holding all his communications with her by letter.
Letter of Pastor Russell to Wife Key of Situation.
"His letter to her of July 8, 1896, may be fairly considered the key to this case, as it shows respondent's notions of marital life, and his treatment of his wife is in harmony with the spirit of that letter. In the letter he states (Exhibit 3):
"'I am convinced that our difficulty is a growing one generally; that it is a great mistake for strong-minded men and women to marry. If they will marry, the strong-minded had far better marry such as are not too intellectual and high spirited, for there never can, in the nature of things, be peace under present time conditions where the two are on an equality.'
"Later in the letter he states:
"'For the past three years you have been cruelly forcing upon me the evidence that we both erred when we married; that we are not adapted to each other. The last month has fastened this conviction upon me much against my will.'
Pastor Sulked for Weeks at a Time.
"While professing at all times to be guided by the Word of God the undisputed evidence is that he would sulk for weeks at a time and not speak to his wife, and would resort to the pen to have any communications with her; instead of approaching her personally to try to secure reconciliation of their differences and praying with her as a godly man would have done, he went about among her associates and told them she was under the hypnotic influence of Satan in the form of her sister, who was his father's second wife.
"It will be noted here that Mr. Russell in this letter of July 8, 1896, in stating his conviction that they made a mistake in getting married, and that that conviction had been growing on him for three years, which would make it begin in 1893. The dispute about the editorship of the paper began in 1896; therefore it could not have been the dispute about the same that forced the conviction upon Mr. Russell that their marriage was a mistake, and which conviction he says had been growing on him for three years.
"During the letter writing period Mr. Russell refrained from either bidding his wife good morning or good night; and though he denied this on the witness stand, his letter of July 9. 1896 (Exhibit 2), clearly contradicts him, for in that he states:
"'To avoid misunderstanding, let me say, under the circumstances it properly devolves upon you to make the advances on the line of social amenities between us. It would be improper for me to take the initiative in the matter of amenities such as, 'good morning,' 'good night," etc."
"The atmosphere of this home from July 1896, to the time when she withdrew from it in November 1897, was filled with unbearable silence and utter neglect. This, of itself, was an indignity of such a character as to render the condition of a woman of Mrs. Russell's delicacy of feeling intolerable and her life burdensome.
"Nagging and Cutting Sarcasm."
"To this, libellant testified, was added nagging and cutting sarcasm. 'You are my wife only in a legal sense' (Exhibit 14, page 6), and by stating to her: 'A wife has no rights which a husband is bound to respect,' and calling her a blasphemer, as testified by libellant in describing a scene that occurred in the Watch Tower office, where the respondent took her by the arm and forcibly ejected her with the statement: 'Get out of here, you blasphemer.' This is not contradicted by the respondent; in fact, it might be said that the case is somewhat remarkable for the great number of failures to contradict the libellant by respondent when he had amply opportunity to do so.
"Another incident in the fall of 1896, to which libellant testified, and was uncontradicted, by the respondent was:  When leaving home for the far West she helped him get ready, and then putting her hand on his arm, she said: 'Husband, you are going far away. There are lots of railroad accidents, and we might never meet again. Surely, you don't want to leave your wife in this cold, indifferent way.'
In reply, he pushed her back, slammed the door in her face, and departed on his journey.
'"Again, libellant testifies, that in the latter part of December, 1896, she was taken sick with a severe form of erysipelas. When she had been ill for about two weeks respondent went to New York, was gone nearly a week, and when he returned he did not so much as enter that sick room and see his wife; but after taking his breakfast in their apartments, he goes to his office and remains until night, and then between 9 and 10 o'clock goes to the sick room, not to comfort and cheer; but to order libellant out of the room. As a direct result of this treatment, libellant testifies, and it is not denied, that she was thrown into a violent fever that night and a heavy backset followed. The erysipelas, which had been confined to head and face, thereafter involved the whole person, and was most distressing and dangerous.
"Even if defendant did attend to her himself at nights when at home, in preference to hiring a competent nurse, it is evident from the testimony of libellant that he did not do it in a way becoming to a kind husband, for libellant testifies that in the midst of a nervous chill he told her himself that it was a judgment of God upon her, and that if she could not control her nerves he would leave her alone, for it was not his duty to attend to her.
Sent Offensive Message to Wife by Rose Ball.
While respondent denies that he ever told the libellant directly that her sickness was a judgment of God, he admits that he did say this to Rose Ball, with the intention of having her repeat it to his wife. This Rose Ball is the same girl that the respondent admitted was in the habit of sitting on his knee and kissing him, and would naturally be the most offensive messenger by whom he could send a message to his wife. And she didn't fail to carry it to the bedridden wife.
"Finally, however, she did recover, after about nine weeks illness. She was again about the duties of her home in the spring and summer of 1897, when one day, in the presence of this same Rose Ball, he demands of his wife an itemized statement of her outlays. Something he had never required before, probably because he realized that she had made more of his money than he did. Such a demand at any time would be inexpressibly humiliating to her, and when made in the presence of Rose Ball would be inexcusably and utterly intolerable."
In rendering its decision against Pastor Russell, the Superior Court recurs to many of the above matters and partly bases its decision on the facts which they disclose.
***At the Divorce Trial, Maria Russell also testified that her husband had moved a picture of her father and mother to behind a door.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Member


The following excerpt from one of Maria Russell's trial testimonies in 1907 is highly revealing as to how Pastor Russell came to be estranged from Maria Russell, and how he subsequently treated Maria. To fully understand the context of such, readers should have first read our FINANCIAL BIOGRAPHY OF CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL webpage.




Q. Mrs. Russell, after you separated from your husband in November, 1897, where did you go live?


A. I went to my sister's. [80/1006 Cedar Avenue]


Q. And how long did you live with your sister?


A. A year and a half.


Q. Did you receive any support from your husband during that year and a half?


A. None whatever.


Q. At the expiration of the year and a half, which would be about April, 1899, where did you go live?


A. The house next door to my sister [79/1004 Cedar Avenue], which was owned by my husband, which was left vacant, the tenant moved out and I went in and took possession of it and notified Mr. Russell I was there.


Q. How long did you live in that house?


A. I remained there for four years.


Q. During those four years, did Mr. Russell contribute anything to your support, outside of permitting you to live in this house?


A. Nothing.


Q. And during those four years, how did you make a livelihood?


A. I rented furnished rooms.


EDITORS NOTE: Maria Russell testified at the first support hearing in late June 1903 that she netted around $30.00 profit per month from rental of rooms and providing "board".


Q. I believe during this time Mr. Russell gave you some furniture?


A. Yes, Sir.


Q. And that would bring us down now to April, 1903?


A. Yes, Sir.


Q. And did you leave that house on Cedar?


A. On April 16, 1903, Mr. Russell and these men who are with him today came over to my house, and with some others from the office, they were persons connected with the Watch Tower Society and also the [United States] Investment Company and they came over and took possession of the house, and turned me out of the house; he kept the furniture and even retained my pocket book which carried the money that I had received from the rent of rooms.


EDITORS NOTE: Maria Russell either misspoke when she said, "April 16, 1903",  or the court reporter got it wrong. The correct date was Monday, March 16, 1903. See Section below to see what all occurred during the week of March 16, 1903 between Maria and Taze Russell.




Q. And then I believe shortly after that eviction from this house you instituted these proceedings for divorce? And also proceedings in the [C]ourt of Quarter Sessions for non-support. (See following section.)


A. Yes. Sir.


Q. In which the court sentenced him to pay $40 a month?


A. Yes, Sir.


Q. Which has been done from that time down until the present?


A. Yes, Sir.


Q. Have you had any financial aid from your husband except this $40 a month which you have received since about April 1, 1903, down to the present time?


A. None whatever.


Q. Mrs. Russell, have you any means of your own?


A.  I have no means of my own, excepting a very small legacy from my mother, just a few hundred dollars, and that has helped to eke out life with that $40 a month which I have been living on since that time. Mother just died just before I was evicted from that house.


Q.  Mrs. Russell, prior to the time you left your husband, did he ever propose a separation?


A. Yes, Sir.


Q. When was that?


A. That was just before we moved down to the Bible House. It was in 1895.


Q. And at that time you were living on Clifton Avenue, Allegheny?


A. Yes, Sir.


Q. Did or did not Mr. Russell at that time make any threat as to what he would do with his property unless you acceded to his demands?


A. Yes, Sir.


Q. What were they?


A. He proposed that on the ground of incompatibility that we agree to separate, and if I would do so he would give me that house in which we were living, and when I broke down at the suggestion, he said if I did not agree to it, that I would not get anything.


Q. After this proposed separation and threat, Mrs. Russell, where did you go to live, you and your husband?


A. We moved down to the Bible House.


Q. At whose suggestion?


A. Mr. Russell's.


Q. And I believe you continued to live there until the final separation in November, 1897?


A. Yes, Sir.


Q. And I believe you continued to do work in the Bible House for Mr. Russell?


A. Yes, Sir, down to the time I took sick; and after that I kept on with the work all the time I was there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Member
MARGARET M. LAND v. MARIA F. RUSSELL and MARGARET M. LAND v. EMMA H. RUSSELL. At around 3:00 P.M., Monday, March 16, 1903, Pastor Charles Taze Russell called at the local police precinct and requested police assistance to evict Maria Russell and her six tenants from Russell's apartment house on Cedar Avenue that Maria had been "occupying" for nearly four years. The police refused to get involved at that point. Accompanied by 4 males and 2 females from the Bible House, Russell arrived at the home of Maria Russell and attempted to gain entry. However, Maria locked the doors and refused to let in Russell and his Bible House bullies. Taze called the police, while Maria called her attorney, whom instructed Maria to maintain her resistance. The responding police officers attempted to bluff Maria into unlocking the doors, but Maria stood her ground. After the police left, Taze broke a ground floor side window in an attempt to get in, and reportedly cut his arm sufficiently that it had to be bandaged. Taze and his Bible House Bethelite bullies eventually gained entry and began evicting Maria's boarders and/or their personal property. Russell and his thugs brought along their own personal property, which they placed inside the rental rooms of the large residence. Maria Russell summoned the police for their help, but the responding two male officers refused to stop CTR.
As the pathological LIAR always did, Charles Taze Russell LIED to reporters inquiring about the reasonableness of the evictions. Taze told reporters that he had given prior notice to both Maria and her six tenants to quit the premises, or suffer eviction. However, during the later Divorce trial, deep into questioning and after Taze had finally stopped LYING then and there, Taze admitted that he had not given Maria nor her six tenants prior notice of the evictions. When Maria's attorney asked Taze if he was at least ashamed of his eviction of the innocent six tenants without giving them prior notice, the ego-manic Taze responded, "I was not!!! I never do anything that I am ashamed of, or that I would be ashamed of!!!"
Taze also LIED when he repeatedly told reporters that he was not evicting Maria from the house. Taze also DECEIVED reporters when he failed to inform them of the "conditions" under which Maria would be required to to live in order to continue to live in the house. Neither Russell informed reporters that Margaret Land had lived with Taze and Maria previously, and that the two women had not gotten along, and that Maria previously had even asked Taze to ask his sister to move out.
Maria Russell later informed reporters:
"Yes, my husband did offer to support me in this house, but under conditions to which no self-respecting woman would submit. He entered my house last Monday when I was on one of the upper floors, bringing with him four men and two women. When I entered the parlor he said:
"'Mrs. Russell, I have brought my sister, Mrs. Land, here to manage this house. If you care to, you can remain here as long as you conduct yourself properly, with the understanding, of course, that you remain subject to the authority of Mrs. Land, whom I have installed here as my housekeeper. There is a room on the second floor in the rear of the building that you may occupy. The first floor of the house I have rented to a doctor. (That unidentified "doctor" turned out to be WatchTower Society D/O Walter E. Spill.) The remainder of the house will be occupied by my friends (Bethelites). You are to have nothing to do with the management of the house, and must exercise a spirit of meekness and obedience toward Mrs. Land.'"

"So, could any woman live in her own home under such conditions? I told my husband that I would never recognize Mrs. Land's newly acquired authority nor would I ever eat a bite that had been prepared by any of his friends."

Around 9:00 P.M., Monday, Maria went over to Emma's house to eat a late supper, but when she returned to her own house, Maria discovered that she had been locked out. Sometime later that night or Tuesday, Maria and Emma apparently gained entry to the home in an effort to obtain some of Maria's property and money.
Undoubtedly at the instruction of Charles Taze Russell, Margaret Land immediately filed legal charges against both Maria Russell and Emma Russell for "forcible entry and detainer". Margaret Land also filed the same charge against one of Maria's boarders whom had also gained entry to his room through a window in order to remove his personal property. Outcome of that case unknown. However, on Wednesday, the two court cases against Maria and Emma were dismissed by the magistrate's court, with court costs assigned to Margaret Land.
Charles Taze Russell also DECEIVED reporters when Taze insinuated that along with the Bethelites who were moving their personal property into the house that he also would be moving into the house. Taze told reporters that his sister, Margaret Land, "had returned from Florida to run his household for him". That story quickly changed to Russell "renting" the house to his sister Margaret Land as the situation became "legal".
Thereafter, Russell even had the gall to tell reporters that the apartment house had been constructed on "leased ground", on which he paid annual rent, which Russell interpreted for reporters as legally eliminating any dower right to a wife.
"My wife has no legal right to the house or its furnishments, not even dower rights, as it is built on leased ground."
Taze Russell did not identify this "alleged" legal owner of the "ground" on which sat 79 Cedar (next door to 80 Cedar -- the first house purchased by Joseph Russell in 1877/8, which by 1903 was owned by his widow, Emma Russell), but this assertion makes Pastor Russell out to be and even bigger Conman than previously thought. If true, then that would have meant that Russell had been scheming against his spouse for years -- long before Maria and he had marital issues -- to screw Maria out of every cent that he possibly could if such ever became necessary -- as if under 1800s Pennsylvania law pertaining to the legal rights of "wives" such was even necessary. In reality, just like the last-minute financial "note" mentioned in the Joseph Russell's Will section below, this alleged "lease" was likely just another of a series of legal concoctions intended to screw Maria out of every penny that Taze could if an when such became necessary. (CTR was a REAL POS behind the scenes where and when he thought noone could see what he was doing. To think that this SCUMBAG fathered one international religious cult, along with multiple insignificant personality cults, makes a significant statement about human society.)
PENNSYLVANIA v. CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL. On Wednesday, March 18, 1903, one of Maria Russell's boarders filed criminal charges of "assault and battery" against Pastor Charles T. Russell. That tenant stated that he had been a tenant in the house for more than a year, and that when he returned home on Monday night, March 16, 1903, that Pastor Russell "laid violent hands on him and tried to throw him out into the street". Outcome unknown, but given the fact that Russell left for Europe only a few weeks thereafter, the outcome is predictable.
MARIA RUSSELL ROOMER v. CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL. In March 1903, one of Maria Russell's former tenants filed a civil lawsuit against Pastor Charles T. Russell claiming $1000.00 damages (approximately $32,000.00 in 2016 dollars) to his personal property that Russell had illegally removed from his rented room. Outcome unknown. This litigant is believed to have been a different roomer than the one above who filed criminal assault charges against Pastor Russell.
PENNSYLVANIA v. CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL. Having her only means of financial support unexpectedly ripped away from her, on Saturday, March 21, 1903, Maria Russell swore out a warrant for her husband, C. T. Russell, criminally charging him with "non-support" of his spouse. Maria requested immediate temporary support until the matter could be established permanently at trial.
The Allegheny County Criminal Court was unable to schedule trial until June 27, 1903 -- after Pastor Russell had returned home from his trip to Europe. At trial, Pastor Russell claimed that he had donated all of his assets to the Watch Tower Society, and that his only income was the standard Bethelite $10.00 per month, plus expenses. Pastor Russell was court ordered to pay Maria Russell $40.00 support per month. As noted elsewhere on this page, the $40.00 monthly support was actually paid by the Watch Tower Society -- not Pastor Russell.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Member
Rose Ball's older brother, Charles Ball, relocated from Buffalo, New York, to Pittsburgh -- probably sometime in mid 1888 -- and began to work at Watch Tower Society HQ. Charles Ball, age 21, died in March 1889. Shortly prior to his death, Charles Ball had requested and had received permission for his younger sister, Rosa Ball, to join him in Pittsburgh to also work at Watch Tower Society HQ. We believe that Rosa Ball arrived in Pittsburgh in latter 1888, when she was 19 years-old (she was born in 1869). Charles and Rosa lived with some other HQ workers at Charles and Maria Russell's Clifton Avenue home. (At the Divorce Trial, "Pastor" Russell testified that the age of Rose Ball had NEVER EVER come up. Russell further alleged that when he occasionally visited with Rose alone in her room that he thought that she was only around 13 years-old.)
After the tragic death of Charles Ball, Rosa decided to stay in Pittsburgh, continue working at HQ, and continue living at the Russells' home. Given the younger, single female's situation of having just lost her "big brother" and her only relative in the city, the Russells probably became quite protective of Rosa. Rosa was allowed to socialize with Charles and Maria in their private study during evenings and weekends. Over time, the Russells and Rosa grew sufficiently close that the Russells began to treat Rosa Ball as if she were their own daughter, and Rosa reciprocated by treating the Russells like her parents. This eventually included the nightly habit of the by then 20 years-old Rosa kissing both Russells before she retired to her bedroom each evening.
Rose Ball's relationship with both Charles Taze Russell and Maria Russell apparently changed greatly, but inversely, between 1890 and 1894. However, over that same time period, Charles and Maria's marital relationship declined proportionately. By 1894, the April 25, 1894, Extra Edition of Zion's Watch Tower magazine, lists "Rose J. Ball" as one of the seven Directors of Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society -- quite an accomplishment in a short space of time for a dainty, fragile 25 year-old single female, with limited or no resources, living in 1894. In fact, Chuckie's little "Rose" continued as a member of the Board of Directors through at least 1898, after the corporate name had been changed to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, and after Rose had become "Rose Ball Henninges". Rose Henninges and her husband Ernest Henninges both played an active role in Charles Taze Russell's property transfer Conspiracy used to DEFRAUD Maria Russell out of her dower rights in Chuckie's real estate, and its' attempt to DEFRAUD Maria Russell out of alimony.
Rose Ball's personal relationship with Charles Taze Russell had grown quite intimate between 1890 and 1894, while Maria Russell's marital relationship with her husband had declined to the point of non-existence. Quite a "rivalry" seems to have developed between the two females by 1894. Whatever was or wasn't going on between Chuckie and Rose sexually, they each were ready for Maria to move on and get out of their way, because an emotional/psychological relationship definitely existed. Yes, Chuckie and Rose were in lust or love of one type or another. (Readers should recall that Chuckie's 65 year-old Father, Joseph L. Russell, had married Maria's 25 year-old sister, Emma Ackley, in 1880, and they had a daughter, Mabel Russell, the following year. Testosterone levels run in the family. If "Old Joe" couldn't keep it in his pants at 65, how do you think that his son Chuckie was living a supposed celibate life? The only person actually celibate in that family was Maria!!!)
By 1894, Chuckie and Rose had developed a routine where, instead of returning to the Russells' home at the end of the workday, Rose would stay late at night -- often until 11:00 P.M. -- with Chuckie down at WatchTower HQ. Chuckie's excuse was that he did not want Rose walking home alone with the other male workers who also lived at the Russells' home. The obvious question is why did Rose not return home with Maria (or one of the other female co-workers who occasionally also lived with the Russells -- Laura Raynor, Margaret Land, and others)? And, why would 25 year-old Rose Ball EVEN WANT to routinely stay at HQ late into the evening hours -- alone with the 42 year-old Charles Taze Russell -- unless something was going on?
In the Fall of 1894, probably in the hopes of driving the final wedge into the Russells' marriage, 25 year-old Rose Ball went to and "confessed" to Maria that Chuckie had developed a "habit of hugging and kissing her and having her sit on [his] knee and fondling each other", and that Chuckie had "bid her under no account to tell [Maria]". Rose further claimed that these things were occurring "down at the office when she stayed down there with [Chuckie] in the evenings after the rest had gone, and here at home at any time when [Maria] wasn't around".
Rose Ball further "confessed" to Maria that only recently when Chuckie and she had arrived home one night at around 11:00 P.M., that Chuckie had stopped her in the vestibule and "put his arms around her and kissed her". Chuckie had called Rose "his little wife", but Rose retorted, "I am not your wife." Chuckie replied, "I will call you daughter, and a daughter has nearly all the privileges of a wife". Apparently, Rosa was not satisfied with just being "a daughter".
The context is unknown, but Rose also told Maria that Chuckie had stated to her, "I am like a jelly fish. I float around here and there. I touch this one and that one, and if she responds, I take her to me, and if not, I float on to others." Rose also told Maria that Chuckie had told her that, "A man's heart is so big that he can love a dozen women, but a woman's heart is so small that she can love but one man."
When Maria finally approached Chuckie with these shocking disclosures (she had to wait a day to regain her composure), he allegedly admitted some lessor things, denied some, and/or attempted to make fun of the allegations. In 1906, during his trial testimony, Chuckie denied making any of the most damaging statements alleged to have been made in 1894, and attempted to excuse away any "kissing, hugging, and fondling" as explainable, innocent events that had occurred way back in 1889, when Rose was an innocent, naive teenager, whom had just lost her brother, and whom was experiencing adjustment problems with Maria and other co-workers -- all despite the fact that the "kissing, hugging, and fondling" incidents actually at issue were NOT those earlier 1889 incidents, but were the more serious incidents that had occurred more recently -- in 1894 -- when Rose Ball had been a GROWN 25 year-old woman. Thereafter, in the pages of the WATCH TOWER magazine, Charles Taze Russell repeated his attempts at deception by repeatedly discussing and refuting the incidents that had occurred back in 1889, while ignoring as much as possible the statements and incidents which were the real issue -- the statements and incidents that had occurred in 1894.
It was likely the 1894 SCHISM that temporarily drew Chuckie and Maria back together as a couple, and which also forced Chuckie to end his private relationship with Rose Ball. However, by only 1895, Chuckie himself was asking Maria for a "divorce", and he even offered Maria their Clifton Avenue property (which would provide sufficient rental income for Maria to live independently, but spartanly) if she would go quietly. Maria declined Chuckie's meager offer, so Chuckie moved and eventually sold the house out from beneath Maria. Maria moved with Chuckie into the top, fourth floor of the "Bible House", where she remained until she moved out in November 1897.
After spending two months with her brother in Chicago, Maria returned to Pittsburgh in January 1898, and moved in with the widowed Emma Russell, and their mother, on Cedar Avenue. At least twice, Maria and Emma went to the Bible House and attempted to retrieve Maria's personal property which remained there. Both times, "Pastor" Russell refused to give Maria any of her property, stating to her once, "You don't get anything. Everything you made while my wife is mine!"
By November 1897, Rosa J. Ball had already been married off to Russell's right-hand man, Ernest C. Henninges -- in September 1897. In January1898, Ernest Henninges was "voted" (chosen solely by Russell) as both a Watch Tower Society Director and as the new Secretary-Treasurer (Officer) of the Watch Tower Society -- as the replacement for Maria Russell. Around March 1900, Charles Taze Russell sent the Henninges to England for 20 months to establish a new Great Britain Branch Office of the Watch Tower Society, in London, England, and to reinvigorate the poorly performing recruitment work, after which the Henninges returned to the United States in November 1901.
In March 1903, Charles Taze Russell forced Maria Russell to file this Divorce-Separation lawsuit by forcibly evicting her from the rental house he owned in which she had been living and renting out rooms as a means of survival. In mid-April 1903, Russell left on a planned trip to Europe. Coincidentally, Ernest Henninges had left for England about three weeks earlier to look for a new London Branch Office location, and to take care of other business prior to Russell's arrival. Interestingly, at some point in this drama, Rose Ball Henninges also left Pittsburgh and went to visit her parents and siblings in Buffalo, New York. (It is not known whether such occurred before or after the filing of the Russell lawsuit.) However, Rose Henninges also soon left for Europe -- joining Charles Taze Russell and Ernest Henninges in London, England during the last week of May 1903, where they all three promptly left for Germany. There, Russell and the Henninges shopped for a rental location for a brand new European Branch Office in Elberfeld, Germany. Russell left the Henninges behind in Germany to get that new WatchTower Society Branch Office up and going. Around December 1903, and without returning to the United States, the Henninges headed to Australia -- as far away as possible from Pittsburgh as Russell could send them -- to open up a new Branch Office for the Watch Tower Society in Melbourne.
In Australia, Ernest and Rose Henninges defected from the Watch Tower Society in latter 1909 (along with several prominent U.S. Russellites), and started their own religious "Society", which had its' own U.S.A. office only two blocks from Brooklyn Bethel in the 1920s.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Member
Merchant Declares Wife and Daughter Were Lured Away by "Pastor's" Teachings.
After Two Months on the Road Selling Russell Books, Women Return, Asking to Be Forgiven
(EMPHASIS ADDED BY US. Also, readers should bear in mind that this newspaper article was published during a much more conservative age, and we believe that the editor intentionally chose the occasionally double-meaning verbiage to make certain that the EAGLE'S readers "got it".)
The Eagle has been requested by a well-to-do New York merchant to make known his experiences with Pastor Russell and his teachings, which for a while, he says, broke up his home and caused him and members of his family great misery.
The man's wife and an 18-year-old daughter had become so attracted by the doctrines of Pastor Russell that they left their home in a New Jersey seaside town and went out on the streets selling books for the Brooklyn preacher. They stayed away about two months, and it was only when the husband and father informed them that he had consulted his attorney about instituting a legal action to get possession of his daughter that they returned home and asked to be forgiven.
When they left home last September they took only summer clothing with them, and as the New York business man refused to send them their winter wraps, the cold weather may also have helped induce them to return. They were received back on condition that the girl should be sent to a boarding school for two or three years, and that the wife should give up all relations with the followers of Pastor Russell.
In a letter to the husband and father Pastor Russell invited him to come to Brooklyn and turn over his "all to the Lord [Russell]." Should the husband and father refuse to do this he was warned that it might "blight your life and embitter it -- and cost you the future life," which being interpreted in the light of the pastor's teaching would mean that he would suffer the "second death" and have no further chance for enjoyment of the coming millennium, which is a cardinal feature of "Russellism."
Wife Comes Home and Asks Husband to Forgive Her.
No attention was paid to the letter, and instead the father consulted his lawyer. It was last Monday that the wife, who demanded to be supported by her husband, though living away from home, was informed of this move. She then went away to consult the leaders of the sect, and presumably by advice of their lawyer she came back home next day and asked to be forgiven.
The daughter came first in the company of a "sister" from the Russell camp, but her father told her he would have nothing to say to her unless she came alone, whereupon the "sister" was dismissed and a reconciliation followed. The girl is now in an out-of-town school, where her father expects to keep her for a few years.
"My daughter is as innocent as a child," said her father today. "She does not know much about other religions, and in some way, through her mother's indulgence, she became fascinated by this 'self-consecration' and 'millennium' idea, until she was unable to do anything but carry out the orders of the leader of the sect and his aides."
"My wife has always been of a religious turn of mind," continued the husband. "She was brought up in a small town, where she did not get in touch with any broad currents of life, and though her father was one of the finest men I ever knew, he did not take much interest in religion. Consequently, the novelty of extreme religious ideas had a certain attraction for her.
"She belonged to the Church of the Disciples of Christ for many years, and was a diligent worker for them. I never hindered her in her church work as long as it seemed to me normal and wholesome. Then she became infatuated with Dowie and Zionism for a few years, but that, happily, did not take any extreme turn.
"It was about three years ago that she began to be interested in "Pastor" Russell and his doctrines. I had no idea of the character of the teachings of that cult, and being an open-minded man I even went so far as to accompany my wife to several of their services in Brooklyn, and also donated a little money to them. And what is more, I read faithfully the six books that "Pastor" Russell sells, called "Studies in the Scriptures."
"Things went along peaceably as far as I could make out, until last summer, when the "season" opened at the seaside place where we have our house. The Russellites began to invade our home and hold evening "study meetings." That upset my rest and brought a lot of people into the house that I did not want to entertain, so I said the meetings would have to stop.
Says Wife and Daughter Were Given Great Quantities of Books to Sell.
"The next step came when I found about ten thousand copies of "Pastor" Russell's pamphlets in my house, and a lot of books, which my wife and daughter were sent out to distribute and sell. Instead of keeping house, and taking care of the two younger children, they spent all day tramping house to house among our neighbors, distributing leaflets and selling books.
"It was my daughter who made most of the sales, I learned, because she is a bright girl, though unsophisticated, while my wife is not adapted to commercial affairs. She never could sell anything.
"This kind of life told on my girl's health, and furthermore, I did not want her to be exposed to the dangers of going in and out of strange houses, so I finally put my foot down, and said this peddling must stop.
Thereupon, as I found out later, my daughter sent a telegram to Brooklyn asking what to do. She was told she should leave her home at once. To my wife this was equivalent to a command she did not think of disobeying, but when l was told about it, I said that I would never let my daughter go away unless her mother went with her, to look out for her.
"They both left. That was about two months ago, and a few days later I got a letter from "Pastor" Russell in which he invited me to come and join his flock, and practically turn over my business to him. He used a lot of Biblical phrases, and asked me to come and spend Sunday at his house, on Columbia Heights, in Brooklyn. He even went so far as to offer me the use of his own room, as he was going away to Maine over Sunday.
"I paid no attention to the letter which proposed that should I not consent to sell me home and join him, my wife would be sent back to me, but my young eighteen-year-old daughter would be kept. I supposed her ability to sell books was the only reason he wanted her to stay [don't bet on that].
"I informed my wife that I would not take her back unless my daughter came back, and that it would be her plain duty to stay and look after the welfare of our child. My younger daughter and son stayed with me, and we kept the house going, but naturally it was not a happy home. I became more and more worried, and at last decided to go to court to get back my oldest child. I intended to ask the court to make me her guardian, so I could do with her what I pleased.
Lack of Winter Clothes Helps to Bring Woman and Her Daughter Home.

"In the meantime the two women had been sent out to work for the 'pastor.'  I heard one of them in Bloomfield, N.J., where they were going from house to house selling the Russell books, which sell for $2 per set.
"When they went away they packed up only their summer clothes, as their winter wraps were then in a storage place. When the cold weather came, they sent for their heavy clothes, but I refused to give them up. I'm afraid they had a hard time to get along with the 'pastor,' and now they are back. One of the stipulations of the reconciliation was that my wife would have no further intercourse with the sect, and that my younger children should be spared instruction in the Russell doctrine.
"I have hopes that my daughter will grow out of her delusions, and that she will be spared to me. She had already gone so far as to believe that she had become 'consecrated' and that her whole life was to be given up to work for the 'pastor '. While I cannot control my wife's mind, I also expect that she will be glad to remain in her home, where she has every comfort. In fact, she seems very glad to be back.
"It has been a terrible experience for me, and I hope other men may take warning."
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Member
During Maria's and Taze's April 1906 Divorce-Separation Trial, Charles Taze Russell testified that at some unspecified time during the mid-1890s that he had spoken to his father, Joseph Russell, about what Taze perceived as the insufficient amount bequeathed in Joseph's WILL to Taze's sister, Margaret Land. Taze evidently convinced Joseph Russell that he should leave more to Margaret. Taze drew up a new WILL for Joseph, which also devised $1000.00 to the Watch Tower Society -- which effectively was a bequest of $1000.00 to Taze, despite the fact that Taze boasted that he had counseled his father that his estate was too small for such a large bequest, and boasted of the fact that he, Charles Taze, received nothing from the estate of his father. (The obvious question is how had Joseph Russell's estate become so small by the mid-1890s, unless such was because Joseph had effectively already given much of his lifetime earnings to Taze via their intermingled business dealings which had all eventually trickled down to Taze. Interestingly, a note -- evidence of a debt -- in the amount of $1700.00 was given to Charles Taze Russell by Joseph Russell only 15 days before his death. Such memorializations between fathers and sons under such circumstances are often attempts to revive previously paid or even forgiven debts, or simply to concoct non-existent debts, in order to defraud those to whom money will otherwise legally and rightfully flow via a WILL or divorce. Attorneys will even counsel clients to do such. This Editor even has seen this occur multiple times amongst my own relatives.)
Emma Russell was very unhappy about the way that her husband was treating her and their child in his WILL after she had married this old, wrinkled codger when she was 25 years-old, and had borne him another daughter. Emma passed that anger on to her sister Maria, who passed such along to her husband. Joseph L. Russell's ONLY obligation was to his relatively young wife, Emma Russell (born 1855), and their teenage daughter, Mabel Russell. Nothing should have been bequeathed to either Margaret Land nor the Watch Tower Society unless there was obvious surplus over and above that which was estimated to last Emma's life expectancy, which was NOT the situation. In fact, when Emma was in her late 50s, she was forced to take employment at Bethany College as an "Assistant Dorm Matron" -- a Campbellite school located in Bethany, West Virginia -- where she lived and worked until about six years prior to her death in 1929.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Popular Contributors

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Definitely should try the Bond roll here when you get a chance: this is a mom and pop place that does a great job  
    • An interesting concept, bible discipline. I am struck by the prevalence of ignorance about spiritual discipline on "Reddit." While physical and mental disciplines receive attention, the profound impact of spiritual discipline on a person's physical and mental well-being is often overlooked. Is it possible to argue against the words of the Apostle Paul? When he penned those words in Hebrews 12, he was recognizing that there are moments when an individual must be "rebuked" in order to be corrected. Even Jesus himself established a precedent when he rebuked Peter and referred to him as Satan for failing to comprehend what Jesus had already revealed to the apostles. Did that imply that Jesus had an evil heart? Not at all, it was quite the opposite; Jesus had a loving heart. His need to correct Peter actually showcased his genuine love for him. If he hadn't cared, he would have let Peter persist in his mistaken ways, leading to a fate similar to Judas'. There is a clear emphasis on avoiding the apostate translation and its meaning, yet many seem to overlook the biblical foundation for the reasons NOT to follow the path of the fallen brethren or those with an apostate mentality. Those individuals have embraced the path of darkness, where the illuminating power of light cannot penetrate, to avoid receiving the righteous discipline based on God's Bible teachings. They are undoubtedly aware that this undeniable truth of life must be disregarded in order to uphold their baseless justifications for the unjust act of shunning. Can anyone truly "force" someone or stop them from rejecting a friend or family member? Such a notion would be absurd, considering the fact that we all have the power of free will. If a Witness decides to distance themselves from a family member or friend simply because they have come out as gay, who is anyone within the organization to question or challenge that personal sentiment? It is unfortunate that there are individuals, both within and outside the organization, who not only lack a proper understanding of the Bible but also dare to suggest that God's discipline is barbaric. We must remember that personal choices should be respected, and it is not for others to judge or condemn someone based on their sexual orientation but should be avoided under biblical grounds. No one should have the power to compel an individual to change their sexual orientation, nor should anyone be forced to accept someone for who they are. When it comes to a family's desire to shield their children from external influences, who has the right to challenge the parents' decision? And if a family's rejection of others is based on cultural factors rather than religious beliefs, who can impose religious judgment on them? Who should true followers of Christ follow? The words of God or those who believe they can change God's laws to fit their lives? How can we apply the inspired words of Paul from God to embrace the reality of God's discipline? On the contrary, how can nonconformists expect to persuade those with a "worldview" that their religious beliefs are unacceptable by ostracizing individuals, when God condemns homosexuality? This is precisely why the arguments put forth by ex-witnesses are lacking in their pursuit of justice. When they employ misguided tactics, justice remains elusive as their arguments are either weak or inconsistent with biblical standards. Therefore, it is crucial to also comprehend Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 9:27. The use of the word "shun" is being exaggerated and excessively condemned by those who reject biblical shunning as a form of punishment. Eph 5:3-14 NIV 3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person — such a man is an idolater — has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.  8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible. The impact of the message becomes significantly stronger when we emphasize the importance of avoiding any association with unrighteousness and those who remain unrepentant. In fact, it becomes even more compelling when we witness how some individuals, who dismiss biblical shunning as a method of discipline, excessively criticize and condemn the use of the word "shun". Therefore, Jehovah's Witnesses do not shun people; instead, they choose to focus on the negative actions being committed, which is in accordance with biblical teachings. This should be construed as ex-Witness rhetoric. Now, let's consider why ex-Witnesses specifically target one particular religion. What justifications do they provide when other Christian denominations also adhere to the same principle grounded in the Bible? Chapter 1 - Preface Both must therefore test themselves: the one, if he is qualified to speak and leave behind him written records; the other, if he is in a right state to hear and read: as also some in the dispensation of the Eucharist, according to  custom enjoin that each one of the people individually should take his part. One's own conscience is best for choosing accurately or shunning. And its firm foundation is a right life, with suitable instruction. But the imitation of those who have already been proved, and who have led correct lives, is most excellent for the understanding and practice of the commandments. "So that whosoever shall eat the bread and drink the cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup."  It therefore follows, that every one of those who undertake to promote the good of their neighbours, ought to consider whether he has betaken himself to teaching rashly and out of rivalry to any; if his communication of the word is out of vainglory; if the the only reward he reaps is the salvation of those who hear, and if he speaks not in order to win favour: if so, he who speaks by writings escapes the reproach of mercenary motives. "For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know," says the apostle, "nor a cloak of covetousness. God is witness. Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome as the apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children."   (from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 2) Divine promises 2. The manner of shunning, in the word escaping. There is a flying away required, and that quickly, as in the plague, or from a fire which hath almost burned us, or a flood that breaketh in upon us. We cannot soon enough escape from sin (Matt 3:7; Heb 6:18). No motion but flight becomes us in this case. Doctrine: That the great end and effect of the promises of the gospel is to make us partakers of the Divine nature. (from The Biblical Illustrator)  
    • Clearly, they are already demanding your exile. Yes! It's unfortunate that Pudgy spoiled a great discussion about science. I hope the discussion can continue without any more nonsensical interruptions. Just a suggestion since they are on your heels. Wow! You speak! It seems you have a lot to say! Now they are going to treat like, who do you think you are, mister big stuff! Are those aliens now going to imply that anyone who speaks out against the five or six key contributors to this site will be treated as though it is George just because those in opposition speak the language they hate to hear, the TRUTH? They are seeking individuals who will embrace their nonconformist values and appreciate what they can offer in shaping public opinion contrary to the established agenda of God and Christ. Their goal is to enhance their writing abilities and avoid squandering time on frivolous pursuits, mainly arguing about the truth they don't care for. They see it all as a mere game, even when leading people astray. They believe they have every right to and will face no biblical repercussions, or so they believe. They just want to have fun just like that Cyndi Lauper song. Be prepared to be belittled and ridiculed, all the while they claim to be angels. Haha! By the way, please refrain from using the same language as George. They appear to believe that when others use the same words, it means they are the same person, and they emphasize this as if no one else is allowed to use similar grammar. It seems they think only they have the right to use the same or similar writing styles. Quite amusing, isn't it? See, what I just placed in bold, now I'm George, lol! Now, let's leave this nice science thread for people that want to know more about science. I believe George left it at "Zero Distance."  
  • Members

    • Sysmedit2

      Sysmedit2 0

      Last active:
    • Juan Rivera

      Juan Rivera 356

      Last active:
  • Recent Status Updates

    • lauleb  »  misette

      merci pour ton travail très utile. tu es une aide qui fortifie
      · 0 replies
    • Pamela Dunston  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      Hi, TB
      I would like to get the weekly meeting and watchtower materials  and the 2024 convention 
      Attend the 2024 Convention—“Declare the Good News!”
      notebook, I just recently got a new computer, If don't mind my brother to add me on and allow me access to our study again.
      Thank you, so much
      Sister Dunston
      · 1 reply
    • SpiritualSister 24  »  DARLENE2022

      Hello, Darlene, I just love your name, I had a cousin named Darline, and had a classmate also named Darlene! It's a pleasure to know another Darlene! Especially a Spiritual Sister! There's some websites, Ministry Ideaz , JW Stuff.com, and Etsy that I use to order my yearly buttons for the Conventions! They always send me what I order, and their also Jehovah's Witnesses, that send us the merchandise we order!  You can check out these websites, and they might have what your looking for! I hope I have been helpful in assisting you, Darlene! Agape love, Shirley!😀
      · 1 reply
    • SpiritualSister 24

      2024"Enter Into God's Rest" Circuit Assembly! 
      · 0 replies
    • Janice Lewis  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      Hello Twyla, when will the weekly study material be available. I am a member.
      Janice Lewis     lewisjanice84@gmail.com
      Thank you
      · 1 reply
  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
    • Total Posts
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
    • Most Online

    Newest Member
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Service Confirmation Terms of Use Privacy Policy Guidelines We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.