Well the big deal is that when I was younger and worked in a local grocery store, not as a cashier, I was pulled in to a JC meeting and told because the store I worked for sold cigs that I HAD to quit otherwise there would be dire consequences.
See now when I was in I worked in a corner store that sold tobacco, several others in my and indeed neighbouring congregations worked in corner stores/grocery stores that sold tobacco. In the store I worked in we sold tobacco pizza, sandwiches, groceries, junk food and rented movies however tobacco was the bread winner. My main responsibility was the food counter and the cash. Nothing was ever said because for all their faults the elders in my end of Canada had the common sense to realize that just because you worked in a place that sold these things didn't mean you supported the use of these products. Every person has to make a decision based on what they believe and desire and although I may not approve of the choices of others I do have to respect their right to make them (which is something the overwhelming majority of this planet's population refuses to accept.)
In fact I distinctly remember being told the issue was a conscience matter and that it came from the platform. I got rid of 95% of my WTS stuff..maybe someone can call up the relevant articles. I believe it was either a Watchtower or Kingdom Ministry. Prove me wrong someone.
I am sorry that some elders apparently insisted that jw's can't work in a situation like mine however you have to realize that any such guidance from the elders was completely out in left feild especially considering that (I believe) it is in print that the decision is one of conscience. Just as the first quote says it's a few people making their own interpretation of events.
One of the reasons I left the JW was because I came to the realization that people are stupid. They will believe and do whatever they want no matter what their official belief, philosophy or rules are and once they settle on something nothing can dissuade them. This is the single biggest threat the WTS has to combat, the natural tendency of humans to put their own spin on things. Like the jw I once knew who liked living in mid size towns and insisted that he had read that there would be towns (hamlets) in the new order even though such a verse was not to be found. He knows and believes that he read that and also belives that everyone will have their hearts desire fullfilled in the new world so he won't be disuaded.
Human beings are such simple and gullible creatures, easily persuaded to believe the most outrageous things imaginable. Since we live by belief once you get ahold of that belief you can twist it to whatever purpose you desire. Joseph Gobbles proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt. watch any disaster movie. Who survive, the wise ones, the people who think instead of reacting in blind panic. Alien invasion, floods, earthquakes, asteroids..bring em on. The thing I fear is not the disaster itself but the people around me. Their ignorance, stupidity and lack of reasoned response will constitute the greatest threat to my life, not the disaster itself. Katrina proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt.For the record in 2005, 35.2% of all the revenue of Altria Group (Phillip Morris) came from Food and International Finance. They produce Shake n' Bake, all Kraft products, Mr Christie, etc. Do we know if the revenue the Society gets from Phillip Morris comes from the tobacco or food divisions? is Kraft traded seperately or as Phillip Morris? We cannot avoid supporting such companies entirely. If there's a pie they have a finger in it somewhere. However now that Phillip Morris has announced they will spin off Kraft and concentrate on their tobacco activity the question of what the WTS will do with that portion of the donation from the trust becomes more interesting.