Since the WTS claims "apostolic succession", can it trace its roots all the way back to Christ (Mt 16:18)? If so, who was it that "passed the torch of God's spirit" to C. T. Russell when he founded the organization? What was the name of this individual or individuals?
The Watchtower does not claim any such "apostolic succession." That is a Catholic doctrine. The truth is, after the apostles died off Christianity lapsed into apostasy and what passed for Christianity was hijacked by Constantine and further infused with the leaven of paganism. The early Bible Students associated with the Watchtower was a movement to restore the original teachings of the apostles.