Does WTBTS still own the _Phillips-Morris cigarette stock?

by lighthouse1956 19 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • daystar

    If the WTS is still knowingly receiving any sum of money from tobacco company profits, then they are doctrinally guilty in more than one way. It matters not one whit wether they're receiving this money from a third party trust that they don't control or not. If they know the money comes from an investment in a company whose business or interests are in some way against JW doctrine, then this is just one more example of the Org being one big hypocritical bitch of an organization. They should refuse the money as it should be, in their eyes, tainted.

  • Justitia Themis
    Justitia Themis

    Thank you for making my point. You do not necessarily know what companies a trust manager has invested in. And, if you have a good manager, the stocks should change on a DAILY basis. It would be a nightmare to try to track my own...just not an issue with me.

  • daystar

    I see your point, and I don't necessarily disagree with it. But I think you're being rather snarky about it.

    If the WTS is going to hold its followers to such strict rules as they do, for just about every aspect of their lives, then they should also be held accountable in much the same way, or moreso since they are (or were) run by "annointed".

    I understand what a nightmare it would be for someone to track what stock such a trust would be invested in. But I have every reason to believe that were it found that a R&F JW had investments, via a trust or 401k or somesuch, in the defense industry, or the manufacture of anything the WTS prohibits, it would be looked down upon at the very least.

    The WTS professes to be Jehovah God's pure, devoted organization on earth. The are hypocrits if they don't do everything in their power to remain as true to their doctrine as they expect their "lowly sheep" to be.

  • carla

    Someone must handle where the money comes from even from the stock end itself. It should be easy enough for the WT to write a letter to Phillip Morris (it's name changed I think) and tell them that any monies due to the WT should be given to the American Cancer Society or some other charity or research project. In that way they could redeem themselves.

    Haven't you ever had to make a business decision based upon your own moral standards? We have had to turn down what could have been quite lucrative projects due to the scummy nature of the projects. I'm still glad we did, though the house might be paid for if we didn't. Saved my kids embarrasement as well as ourselves.

  • Justitia Themis
    Justitia Themis


    I agree with your last comment. I don't have the time to track it; they don't have the time to track it. But I would be furious at a magazine chastizing me over my un-intentional investments. I am all about equal stardards and expectations. I re-read my post, and yes, I was a bit snarky...sorry. I am at work, and I am in battle mode (otherwise known as negotiating) spilled over.

  • Hellrider
    If it is a 3rd party trust account, that trust account more than likely has a trust manager who invests the trust money. If it is invested in a large fund, again, you have no control over what stocks the fund manager chooses

    Still...for a religious organisation, that claims to be "no part of this world", who claims that this entire "wicked system of things" is going to be destroyed by god in Armageddon, shouldn`t the standards be a bit higher for such an organisation, than for the rest of the world? I mean, why are they even having stocks in large business companies anyway? Everybody knows that the biggest businesses in the world are oil, weapons and tobacco. So, if you are a religious organisation, why are you even having stocks in the first place? With their socalled "neutrality" in mind, wouln`t it be a better bet for them to invest in real estate? Truly, the standards an organisation sets for itself and its members, should be considered when making a moral judgement for the kind of business this organisation involves itself in. It would be possible for the WTS to set certain standards for the trust manager, wouldn`t it? They could easily have explained him that "there are certain kinds of stocks it would be inappropriate for the WTS to hold...such as in tobacco and weapons". Would it be a scandal if it was found out that the salvation army had stocks in the alcohol business? Sure it would. Would it be scandal if it was found out that the catholic church had stocks in the weapon industry? Yup. Would it be a scandal if the WTS had stocks in the tobacco industry (with smoking being even an explisit DFable offence!)? Damn right it would! Whether they have a trust manager or not is irrelevant. What are they doing investing stocks in this "wicked system of things" anyway? Are they expecting to take them along into the new system?

  • lighthouse1956

    My wife was incinsed when she learned WTS had a fiancial interest (even unknowingly) in tobbacco, after she had been df for picking up the habit at a state mental health hospital. At that time, she didn't even know her own name. The hospital allowed smokers to go into the yard areas on 'cig breaks' , non-smokers were not allowed outside. She complained, so the hospital gave her cigarettes.

    When she tried to explain to the elders( who dropped in unannounced) did not listen. She asked for 2 weeks to quit, but was df on the spot and called Wicked. Sorry if I don't believe them.

  • Justitia Themis
    Justitia Themis

    That is really shocking Lighthouse. If I remember correctly, when smoking became a disfellowshipping offense, smokers were given a year to quit! And these elders wouldn't give her two weeks?

  • ocsrf

    There are funds available that stay clear of questionable companies. I can't remember the name for these type of stock funds, but are available for any and all to take advantage of. The Society could direct that all monies be placed in such accounts, or, they would have to be respectfully declined. This would be in line with the most recent study article where they mentioned a man who was a tobacco farmer, he burned his crop and became a witness. This is how JWs are suppose to take action; however, their own organization is not inclined to deprive themselves of such profits.

    They certainly are hypocrits.


  • Oroborus21


    I didn't want to hijack this thread so please see my post regarding the Riley Trust.

    The short answer to the question of this post is NO. Not only did the Society not ever own the PM stock, the trust itself no longer holds such stock as of mid-2002.

    Just wanted to add a comment regarding trust managers. Trustees are in a fiduciary relationship with the beneficiary it is true, however, they must use their own independent business judgment to maximize profits from the trust.

    The beneficiary cannot override such judgment and cannot waste the trust. Thus if the WTS "ordered' Comerica Bank to liquidate all the assets or not to hold stock in certain companies, such an order could be and would have to be ignored if the Trustee felt that such a directive would result in underperformance of the trust or wasting of the trust res.

    REgarding so called "good" companies, while true, some are better than others and while it seems like some industries might be avoided entirely such as pharmaceutical, tobacco, military-defense contractors, etc., the fact is that this is only a shell game and a futile exercise.


    You might say no stock should be owned in the Tobacco Company? Fine, but what about the company that cleans it? Or the one that supplies it with photocopiers or paper or electricity, or the tire company that makes the tires for the trucks that deliver the products? and so on and so on.....each of these ultimately leads to the success of the tobacco company and allows it to function. Where do you draw the line as to what is morally objectionable and as to which of these companies it is right or not right to own?

    the answer is that drawing the line anywhere is arbitrary and capricious and morally irrelevant.


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