Long time no see...
What are you talking about... Pastor Russell never bilked people out of their senses or their income... You'd think when Mr. Camping answerd the door today he would have had something relevant to say... a nice "I guess I was wrong (again" might have been appropriate, don't you think. And the worst thing is that, if he lives, he'll be back.
Now for Charles Russell...just what did he do? Let's see: He suggested that 1914 would bring trouble on the world as they had never seen it before. While he had more expectations for that date initially (he pegged the date 26 years before it came), it did give us World War I.... and it did usher in the age where the kings of the empire faded (Daniel's "in the days of these kings) and he gave us the thought that the 12 great denominations would be smashed into many smaller parts (we have hundreds) and the nations would be dashed to pieces (more and more of 'em each decade) and the weather would get weird on us... While our modern day scientist claim all the honor for "figuring out" global warming, he spoke of the melting ice caps in 1883 and suggested (more than strongly) that the climate of the world would steadily change to like it was before the flood. etc etc etc etc...
He also stated some years before 1914 that all that he thought might be fulfilled by that date, he expected would not be... and he was right about that. When he was proved wrong, he quickly went to his pen and wrote about it and set himself to the figuring out of why... He NEVER claimed to be a prophet, or to be inspired. He never said God came down to him and sat on his bed-post and told him personal truths. He never castigated anyone for disagreeing with him. Even in those two large and well publicized debates, he treated his opponents with deep respect while they heckled him and sought to entrap him. They brought the media and the Pastor came out on top both times. More people joined his movement as a result of the outcome of those discussion which were in every newspaper in the company. THose who opposed him thought this would bring his ruin, and it just made him more popular.
He said that afte the war, this country and the rest of the world would have a little problem with communism, socialism and a few other isms... low and behold we have seen that come to pass. He said the time would come when the Roman church would implode upon itself, bring itself down and that they would be exposed for the evil within their leadership, which is the loathesome Papal court... and what do we see... them selling off their assets to pay their pedophile bill.
He taught that every reformer before him who did a respectable work was overly honored by their constituents and they came to worship the men more than the truth they taught... and the same thing happened in his case. Now millions of JW's honor his name but disbelieve most of what he taught, as do the Bible Students, though to a much lesser degree.
There is a big difference between his ministry and that of Mr. Camping, who lives on sensationalism and emotionalism. Pastor Russell was on his way to being a millionaire in his teens before his ministry began, and he gave it all for the Lord's work. Dr. Camping became MR Rich guy as a result of his ministry while many followers have become homeless vagrants with nerve problems, some even committing suicide. Yeah, it sounds about the same huh?
We have no vendetta against him at all... we just have pointed out the obvious and we do have a sense of humor. We could take him more seriously, but I really don't see how you can take someone like that seriously. He won't even speak to defend himself, but will live to try it again.
God bless you anyway brother. peace