Citizens Handbook Assignment Definition

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Citizens Rule Book is a handbook written to educate American citizens regarding their rights and responsibilities. It is a compilation of quotes from founders of the United States of America and select government documents, including information on the rights of a jury to "nullify bad law" and acquit people on trial.[1] The author of the Rule Book says that jurors have the right to nullify a trial if the law is unconstitutional or is being used in an unconstitutional manner. Originally published anonymously, the Citizens Rule Book is now known to have been written by Charles R. Olsen, a World War II Marine veteran and printer from Boston.[2] It is distributed by the Fully Informed Jury Association, among other groups.[3]


The Citizens Rule Book is divided into three sections. The first section deals with the rights of juries, the second section discusses the views of American founders regarding jury trials, and the third section summarizes important founding documents of the United States.

Section 1: A Handbook for Jurors[edit]

The Citizens Rule Book claims that citizens are "above the law" and may nullify any law which is unconstitutional. It says that a citizen's power comes directly from God, therefore jurors are not beholden to decisions made by judges or other government agents. According to the book, "each JUROR has MORE POWER than the President, all of Congress, and all of the judges combined!"[4]

By issuing a verdict of "not guilty", even against the wishes of all other jurors, a single juror may "hang" a trial, resulting in a mistrial. The Rule Book advocates the use of this tactic to overturn cases in which a person is guilty of a crime, but the law in question is unconstitutional.

This section also says that the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights are based on the BiblicalTen Commandments. In contrast, "many of the planks of the Communist Manifesto are now represented by law in the U.S."[4]

Section 2: Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death![edit]

In this section, the Citizens Rule Book says that the founders of the United States believed all juries should be composed of people who personally know the accused. It quotes Patrick Henry, RepresentativeJohn Holmes, and Declaration of Independence signatory James Wilson to the effect that jurors should be familiar with the "character" of the defendant on trial.

Section 3: Index to the Original Documents[edit]

In this section, the Citizens Rule Book provides summaries and commentaries on three important founding documents of the United States: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.


The printers claim that over three million copies of the Citizens Rule Book have been published.[2] Family-owned and operated Whitten Printers continues to print and distribute this booklet. The Citizens Rule Book is available in single or bulk quantities direct from the publisher and online through Homeschool Patriot. The book is given away free through such sources as radio-host and filmmaker Alex Jones with every order from his Infowars Shop, he also offers bulk-order options. Creationist Kent Hovind sold the book online through his website.[5]

It would appear that the Citizens Rule Book was prepared after 1971 but not revised since then, because every edition found includes the 26th Amendment (voting age of 18 years), adopted in July 1971, but not the 27th Amendment (limiting Congressional pay increases) which was adopted in May 1992.

Notable events[edit]

The Citizens Rule Book had a significant role in the 1997 Idaho trials of three Christian Identity militants and members of the Idaho Militia, who identified themselves as "Phinehas Priests". The three - Charles Barbee, Robert Berry and Verne Jay Merrell - were charged with bombing a Planned Parenthoodabortion clinic, the Spokane Valley office of The Spokesman-Review, and with twice robbing a U.S. Bank branch (April 1 and July 12, 1996).[6]

The book was mentioned in the opening statement for the defense in the trial of Timothy McVeigh as being possessed by one of the alternative suspects proposed by the defense.[7]


External links[edit]

The cover of The Citizens Rule Book

Connected disconnection

The cartoon above appeared in a 1907 issue of the magazine Punch

The caption reads: "These two figures are not communicating with one another. The lady is receiving an amatory message, and the gentleman some racing results." They are turned away from each other, antennae protruding from their hats. In their laps are little black telegraph boxes, spewing ticker tape. Today the cartoon has become reality, and the source of distraction the cell phone.

Like so much of technology, the cell phone has served to undermine human relationships. Software platforms such as Facebook have exploited a yearning for community by providing a fake version where friends barely know, cooperate or help one another. Sophisticated marketing systems using billion dollar computers will continue to coral our attention and our time. We need to wake up and envigorate the social worlds they undermine.

Your smartphone is making you stupid, antisocial and unhealthy. So why can't you put it down?

The Citizen's Handbook / Home / About / Table of Contents
The Citizen's Handbook / Charles Dobson /

The Troublemaker's Teaparty is an updated and expanded print version of The Citizen's Handbook. It contains all of the handbook plus additional material on preventing grassroots wilt, strategic action, direct action and media advocacy. You can get a copy of The Teaparty from Amazon or from New Society Publishers.

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