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I've heard it stated that the founder of Jehovah's Witnesses, Charles Taze Russel, was a Freemason (33rd Degree) which may have been partially responsible for his interest in collaborating bible prophecy with the pyramids, as well as the symbolism he used in some of his books.

There seems to be arguments both for and against this, both convincing. Is there any solid historical proof of as to whether or not this claim is true?

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Charles Taze Russel (or Russell) is reported to have said, in a Convention discourse "The Temple of God"

Although I have never been a Mason, I have heard that in Masonry they have something which very closely illustrates this ... Many Masons shake hands with me and give me what I know is their grip; they don't know me from a Mason. Something I do seems to be the same as Masons do, I don't know what it is; but they often give me all kinds of grips and I give them back, then I tell them I don't know anything about it except just a few grips that have come to me naturally.

Russel appears not to have been an entirely honest man, but nevertheless is unlikely to have been hiding a secret allegiance to the Freemasons, as he talks of such societies consuming valuable time in foolish, senseless rites and ceremonies.

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