Kingdom Servie Yearly Notice to Register with Selective Service

by VM44 12 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • VM44

    The June, 2006 issue of "Our Kingdom Service" is available for download at

    This issue contains the yearly reminder for young men to register with the Selective Service.

    Here is the exact announcement.

    From: OUR KINGDOM MINISTRY, June 2006, page 3

    U.S. Selective Service regulations require that all men register at the post office within 30 days after reaching 18 years of age. A male noncitizen under the age of 26 who takes up residency in the United States must also register with Selective Service within 30 days of becoming a resident. All of those required to do so should comply with this law, viewing it as a Christian's obligation to the superior authorities. From the time he registers until the year he turns 26 a brother must notify Selective Service of any change of address within ten days of the change. Elders should be aware of young brothers nearing the age of 18 and new alien residents betweeen the ages of 18 and 26 and remind them of their duty to register with the Selective Service System.

    Why is the Watchtower so anxious to make sure that the young brothers follow this one specific law that they publish this announcement once a year in the KM?

    Why do they think it is their responsibility, as well as the elders, to remind people that this law is to be followed? There are many other laws on the books, but you don't read specific announcements in the OKM to obey those as well, and the elders are not told to go around and remind people to obey these other laws.

    So why is the Selective Service Registration law so special to The Watchtower?

    I think publishing the yearly notice is an attempt to absolve themselves of any legal liability if some young brothers are prosecuted for not registering.


  • garybuss

    They also publish reminders to renew driver's license every 4 years and pay property and income taxes . . . don't they?

  • VM44

    Hi gary,

    The thing about the Selective Servie Registration announcement is that you can count on it being made in the Kingdom Ministry at least once a year regularly. The reminders to obey the other laws are not made on such a periodic schedule as the Selective Service reminder.

    One almost might think that publishing this yearly "reminder" is do to some past lawsuit with which the Watchtower was inolved. It might be interesting to see when these Selective Service announcements started to be made.


  • the_classicist

    The cynical side of me would say that they encourage people to register, so that if there ever is another draft, the JWs will have a lot of "martyrs" (though IRL they're only going to jail) to inspire the grassroots.

  • garybuss

    I was being facetious:-)

  • Smiles

    Good question VM44.

    The reason WT makes the announcement in the KM encouraging all young JW men of age to register with the Selective Service System goes back to 1918 when J.F. Rutherford and seven other WT leaders were indicted and taken in custody on federal charges of conspiring to violate the Espionage Act of June 15, 1917. The allegations behind the federal charges were that the WT leaders were conspiring to obstruct the recruiting and enlisting of men in in the U.S. Armed Forces during a time of war. The WT leaders were convicted and each sentenced to about 80 years imprisonment. They appealed and the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York later ruled that the WT leaders did not receive an "impartial trial" and a new trial was ordered which never happened. The WT portrays this as evidence that the WT leaders were not guilty, but the U.S. attorney for the case, L.W. Ross, officially stated in writing that he did not want to pursue the new trial because of the possiblity of it causing the U.S. government negative relations with the general public, not because any of lack of evidence. All of this can be read in documents recorded with the U.S. National Archives.

    Ever since those federal indictments and convictions, WT leaders to this day are very careful to cover their ass when it comes to their published view of registering with the U.S. Selective Service System. The WT encourages young men to register, but if those same young men are imprisoned for refusal of duty in the armed forces, the WT will imply the young men made that decision to refuse duty based on their own conscience not because the WT directly instructed them to refuse, which could bring another federal indictment upon the WT, especially with the news laws in a time of war or terrorism.

  • What-A-Coincidence

    Wow guys! I had never put much attention to that detail. Very interesting!!! Thanks!

  • stevenyc


    You hit the nail on the head.


  • VM44

    Smiles, thank you for that answer...It is very clear now what the reason is for those yearly announcements, and there was a court case involved, although I did not realize it was the big one from back in 1918 when most of the big shots of The Watchtower were convicted.

    I wonder if those National Archive records concerning the 1918 sedition trial would be worth obtaining?


  • fl native
    fl native

    I didn't see the 6/06 on Our Kingdom Ministry. how do I find it?

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