The Pagan Roots of Jehovah’s Witnesses

By: Lorri MacGregor; ©September 2000
Lorri MacGregor points out that, although Jehovah’s Witnesses pride themselves on being the “only true religion,” and accuse all other religions of being “pagan,” there is a strong pagan influence in their own history.

Some may think this is a strange title indeed in connection with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Jehovah’s Witnesses pride themselves on being the only true Christians and accuse all other religions of being pagan or occult, under the control of the Devil.

The dictionary defines “Pagan” as “heathenish” and “irreligious.” A “heathen” is also called a “pagan” according to the dictionary. Most pagan practices involve the occult. The roots of the Jehovah’s Witness organization are steeped in both and it continues to this day.

Many modern-day Jehovah’s Witnesses go on their way performing their ceaseless round of works to try and earn their salvation, believing they are pure and free from any pagan contamination. Although their organization carefully conceals these things, I would ask Jehovah’s Witnesses to be open-minded enough to check out what I am about to present. We begin with their history.


We must, of course, examine their founder Charles Taze Russell, and see if we can find any pagan roots:

The Watchtower of July 15, l950, page 212 make the following revealing statement about their founder,

In his teens Charles Taze Russell, the editor, had been a member of the Congregational Church and a strong believer in the eternal torture of damned human souls in a hell of literal fire and brimstone…. But when trying to reclaim an acquaintance, an infidel, to Christianity, he himself was routed from his sectarian position and driven into skepticism.
Hungrily he began investigating the heathen religions in search of the truth on God’s purpose and man’s destiny. Proving all these religions unsatisfactory and before giving up religious investigation altogether, he took up the search of the Holy Scriptures from a skeptic’s viewpoint, now untrammeled by the false religious doctrines of the sectarian systems of Christendom.

What an admission! He knew so little of the Christian faith and what the Bible taught that an “infidel” drove him into skepticism. Not only that, he filled his mind with pagan, occult beliefs before returning as an obviously last choice to the Bible.

Notice his approach to the Holy Scriptures was as a “skeptic,” not a believer, feeling he was free from the influence of “Christendom.” I’ll say he was! His mind was not protected by sound doctrine, and his head was full of the pagan, occult teaching he had so eagerly sought. It will become more and more apparent as we pursue the pagan roots of the Jehovah’s Witnesses that he retained that pagan influence, all the while professing to be an unspotted Christian.

The very first issue of Zion’s Watch Tower should have alerted his followers to his intentions to fuse the occult with Christianity when he stated: “ a truth presented by Satan himself is just as true as a truth stated by God…” and “…accept truth wherever you find it.”

In his personal life he was greatly influenced by a prevailing health treatment. Various psychics professed to give “readings” by examining the bumps on one’s head. This is certainly not a Christian practice, and in fact, leaves one open for spiritistic influence.

He was already supposed to be dispensing Bible truth when he was, at the same time, obviously concerned with the shape of one’s skull. During this time he taught in the Watch­towers of March 15, l913 and January 15th, l912, that one’s desire to worship God was due to the shape of one’s brain. He also felt that if a dog’s head was shaped like a man’s, the dog would think as a man! Phrenology is not Christianity, yet he attempted to fuse the two beliefs.


If one examines Russell’s theology in his series of books called Studies in the Scrip­tures he will notice a blatantly occult symbol adorning the covers. The winged solar disk is a symbol of ancient Egypt representing the sun god. Throughout the centuries it came to represent various other pagan deities. It was, in fact, the symbol for the Baal gods during Jezebel’s time. Russell attempted to fuse paganism and Christianity and pass it off as untainted Christianity.

It’s interesting that even the Watchtower Society admits that it was a fear of hellfire that drove a young Charles Russell to seek an alternate faith. Although the Society denied writing a biography of their founder (see Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Divine Purpose, page 63), they, in fact, wrote three, in 1925, 1926, and 1927.

The Watchtower Society has a history of lying, not only to outsiders, but to its own members! Is this Christian or Pagan? The Society tries to make it Christian by calling it “justified lying.” This doctrine is still in place down to our day.

We have just considered an example where they denied writing a biography of Charles Russell, but really wrote three. This doesn’t fit their definition of “justified lying” which is also called “theocratic war strategy.” Justified lying is defined by them as follows: “As a soldier of Christ he is in theocratic warfare and he must exercise added caution when dealing with God’s foes. Thus the Scriptures show that for the purpose of protecting the interests of God’s cause, it is proper to hide the truth from God’s enemies….” (Watchtower, June 1/60 p. 352)

The trouble is, not only does the Society lie to outsiders, they regularly lie to their own members! We will consider more of this practice of lying later, but cannot help but quote Revelation 22:15, “Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices lying.”

While on the biblical subject of sorcerers, let’s also look at Charles Taze Russell and sorcery. Sorcery is defined as “Divination by the assistance or supposed assistance of evil spirits; magic enchantment; witchcraft.” Sorcerers are usually into astrology as well, looking for patterns and meanings in the stars. Charles Taze Russell was no exception.

In the discourse called The Divine Plan of the Ages with Stellar Correspondencies by Grant Jolly, a contemporary of Charles Taze Russell, we find the Society trying to foist the pagan zodiac on its followers. In this discourse, under the heading “The Heavens Declare the Glory of God” we find this statement:

…From this we may suppose that the signs (the constellations) of the Zodiac are approximately as old as the human race and perhaps of Divine origin…. Indeed the same Bible which points to the Great Pyramid points also to the Heavens as declaring the wonderful plan of salvation…. In them [that is, the stars] there is written the hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie promised before the world began. (Titus 1:2) This promise was indeed recorded in the stars before this world began.
In considering the Zodiac, it will be necessary to carefully avoid the many errors that have attached themselves in connection with the various heathen religions.

What double talk! The Society takes a completely pagan concept, embraces it, adopts it, goes so far as to compare Jesus Christ to Pisces, even saying, “…Pisces shall have completely bruised the serpent’s head.”

The discourse would have done better to have quoted Isaiah 47:13,14 to their eager listeners: “…Let now the astrologers, Those who prophesy by the stars, Those who predict by the new moons, Stand up and save you from what will come upon you. Behold they have become like stubble, Fire burns them; They cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame….”

Actually, much of what the early Watchtower Society was involved in could be better called “numerology.” Numerology is defined in the dictionary as “belief in the occult influ­ence of numbers upon the life of an individual.”

The Watchtower taught for many years that the numbers contained in the great pyramid foretold all kinds of events for the human race. They carefully applied every measurement, and translated it into years, months, and days. It is too complex to go into in great detail, so we will consider one example. The Watchtower of June 15, l922, page 187 supported their “absolute date” of 539 B.C. by allowing “an inch for a year” in the Great Pyramid of Gizeh. All their other dates are based on this so-called “absolute year” date down till today, and it is false!

This fact sets off a whole string of equally false dates. The year 607 B.C. for the desola­tion of Jerusalem and used by Jehovah’s Witnesses is therefore likewise false. The “seven times” or “Gentile Times” used by the Jehovah’s Witnesses and calculated as 2,520 years is also incorrect and without biblical basis. Their “keystone Year” of 1914, originally set by pyramid calculations, is likewise in error. Recently, it became necessary for the Watchtower Society to make up a new definition for the word “generation,” since Armageddon didn’t arrive within their timeframe.

Every Jehovah’s Witness should take himself off to a public library and read up on Pyramidology. They will discover the occult roots of their group and also be surprised to find out how many occult, pagan groups also name 1914 due to pyramid studies.

Modern Jehovah’s Witnesses may be surprised to know that Charles Taze Russell wrapped himself in a toga (a pagan Roman garment) prior to his death, and was buried near a pyramid displaying a Masonic cross, a crown, and an open Bible! Even in his death he left a memorial of his attempt to fuse paganism with Christianity. Jehovah’s Witnesses may visit his grave site for themselves and see.

How sad that the Jehovah’s Witnesses are following a false organization, using false dates, and built on false promises. We need to do everything in our power as concerned Christians to make them aware of this deception.

MacGregor Ministries


  1. Jeremiah David Rowe on November 29, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    Hi John I’m a non-denominational Christian I believe in the Trinity I believe that Jesus is God In the flesh I believe he died on the cross for the sins of the world, and I believe he is alive again. my question is why do Jehovah’s witnesses automatically jump to saying Christians believe in pagan holidays like Easter and Christmas?.

  2. Claude R Armstrong on November 10, 2021 at 10:05 am

    Perfect question!

    I wonder how many are truly desiring the facts that dispell these pagan christian beliefs?

    Study original Hebrew scripture. As commanded by Creator, they fastidiously maintain its pristine content, provable by two long separated lines, German and Babylonian, and Qumran texts of Isaiah and others.

    The date Creator was visiably delivered in a flesh body was at the Fall feast of Bread, fitting as He is the Bread of Life.

    The time He gave His flesh life was at the remembrance of the sacrifical lamb which had its blood displayed for the angel of death to pass over that house.

    Neither times agree with the pagan solar cycle celebrstions if xmas and Ishtar, Easter.

    Then, study Genesis 1:26. To make their fabricated bible agree with their three deity head heathen idolaltry, Vatican liars added us and our, taking unjust license with the term, elohim, which applied to Creator in the rest of Hebrew records is singular, while applied to others is plural.

    Therefore, Deutrronomy 6:4 is either a lie, or Genesis 1:26 is.

    The vision of Creator being both in Heaven and Earth simultaneously, nixing the heathen trinity lie, is recorded by Daniel, 7:13.

    Try to close out the prevailing rants and screaming demands by organized religions as Creator’s whispering truth instructs you.

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