Whether Russell actually asked for a “Roman Toga” or not, I don’t know. Sturgeon reported that he was having difficulty understanding the words of Russell, and I believe that Sturgeon probably misunderstood Russell. From the context of what Sturgeon reported, Russell had already been similarly robed with “Pullman blankets” because he was so cold. Quoting from the Watch Tower, December 1, 1916, we read that Sturgeon stated:
We put five Pullman blankets upon him and tucked them in close on every side; but still he shook… Toward morning he had me make a robe for convenience sake by pinning a sheet inside of a blanket, wrapping him in it like a robe and fastening it under his chin… After several hours his robe proved to be rather inconvenient, because the sheet and blanket could not be kept together. It was then that he stood again and said, “Please make me a Roman toga.”
If Russell actually used these exact words, I don’t think he meant any symbolic significance to this; I believe he was simply asking for something more suitable that would keep him from being so cold.
I did not understand what he meant, but did not like to have him repeat, because he was so weak. His voice had become so weak that he had to repeat nearly everything he said.
Sturgeon at this point admits that Russell was having difficulty communicating. This is what leads me to believe that Sturgeon may have been misunderstanding what Russell was asking for. As a result, the Roman Toga story developed and, with the aid of those who wish to exalt Russell (especially Rutherford), the story became more embellished, and thus many Bible Students came up with all kinds of symbolism that became attached to what Russell supposedly asked for.
As Sturgeon reports, however, all Russell wanted was to be draped with two sheets, one in front and one in back, pinned together around the neck, to replace the blanket and sheet that could not be kept together. I cannot help but conclude that all Russell himself was asking for was something that would stay on him and that would help keep him from being cold! Even if Russell did use the words “Roman toga”, I do not believe Russell had any kind of symbolic meaning in mind; it seems to me that he was simply asking to be robed in such a way that would not keep falling off him, supplying some way to keep himself from being so cold.
Russell was buried several years before Rutherford’s pyramid monument. That monument was constructed in the middle of the plot owned by the WTS in the Rosemont Cemetery. Rutherford’s pyramid monument, however, is not a “headstone” for Russell. Russell’s headstone may be seen here:
But never mind you don’t find a pyramid let alone cross on any of their literature now.
Yes, Rutherford attributed all the measurements and passageways to Satan, in effect he was attributing Satan with having knowledge of many things revealed in the Bible before such was revealed in the Bible.
The Cross and Crown symbol lost its meaning for Rutherford’s organization when Rutherford began his campaign to gather into his new organization a class that he called the “Jehonadabs” (today called “the great crowd” of “other sheep”), who, according to his doctrine, were not even “spirit begotten”. These “Jehonadabs” were not to seek to sacrifice (represented by the cross) as did Jesus in order to gain the crown as depicted in that symbolism. I conclude that he came to realize that to continue the “Cross and Crown” symbolism would go against the direction he wanted his followers to take, so I reason that to justify dropping this symbolism, he adopted the teachings of some small groups who claimed that Jesus never died on a cross, and claimed that the cross symbol is a pagan idol. To me, whether Jesus died on a stake that had a crossbeam, or whether he died on a stake without a crossbeam, is not as important as recognizing that the symbolism represents his act of dying for our sins. – Galatians 6:14.
Russell never wrote anything at all about “the power of the pyramid”; he did write about the power of God represented by the cross, in that the “cross” represents the act that Christ died by which we are saved, and of God’s power in raising Jesus from the dead. – 1 Corinthians 1:18.
Links to Russell’s works related to 1 Corinthians 1:18.
Russell himself, however, was never a member of the JW organization. Russell did not believe in such an organization, nor in the message preached by that organization. Joseph Rutherford formed the JW organization after Russell died, and projected that organization back into the days of Russell even though Russell plainly stated many times that he did not believe such an organization to be scriptural. By 1928, over 75% of the Bible Students movement had rejected Rutherford’s new organization. The Bible Students movement continued to exist separate from Rutherford’s new organization.