WHO WE ARE
Hollywood DeMolay is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit organization under DeMolay International and dedicated to preparing young men to lead successful, happy, and productive lives. Basing its approach on timeless principles and practical, hands-on experience, DeMolay opens doors for young men aged 12 to 21 by developing the civic awareness, personal responsibility and leadership skills so vitally needed in society today. DeMolay combines this serious mission with a fun approach that builds important bonds of friendship among members in more than 1,000 chapters worldwide.
The young men of DeMolay learn real life experiences by deciding what types of events they want to do, and then project managing it through to completion. They learn how to create budgets, organize fundraisers, volunteering in their communities and supporting various charitable organizations like organizing clothing drives or sending care packages to troops overseas all while building life-long friends and having fun.
DeMolay started simply by a man, Frank Land, hiring a teenager, Louis Lower. As they spoke at work, he realized that the young man's father had recently died and he had no one to get fatherly advice or guidance from. The young man had several friends who were in the same fatherless predicament through either abandonment, divorce, or death. Land suggested starting a club, and Louis brought his 8 friends. Together, they formed DeMolay in 1919 based on the hero and legend of the Knights Templar. The need was so great that within 3 years, DeMolay had expanded into 39 states!
We feel that today, with the erosion of the family unit, deterioration of common decency, and technological advances that actually make us unsocial, the needs of guidance in helping boys become men is greater than any other period in U.S. history. We realize it takes a village, and are here to help young men who want more for themselves, for the community around them, and for the future of our country.
The namesake of the Order of DeMolay was born in Vitrey, Department of Haute Saone, France in the year 1244. At the age of 21, DeMolay joined the Order of Knights Templar.
The Knights Templar was an organization sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church in 1128 to guard the road between Jerusalem and Acre, an important port city on the Mediterranean Sea. The Order of Knights Templar participated in the Crusades and earned a name for valor and heroism.
In 1298, Jacques DeMolay was named Grand Master of the Knights Templar, a position of power and prestige. The Knights attracted the attention of powerful lords, who were interested in obtaining their wealth and power. In 1305, Philip the Fair, King of France, set about to obtain control of the Knights Templar to prevent a rise in the power of the Church, and to increase his own wealth.
The year 1307 saw the beginning of the persecution of the Knights. Jacques DeMolay, along with hundreds of others, were seized and thrown into dungeons. For seven years, DeMolay and the Knights suffered torture and inhuman conditions.
During years of torture, Jacques DeMolay continued to be loyal to his friends and Knights. He refused to disclose the location of the funds of the Order and he refused to betray his comrades. On March 18, 1314, DeMolay was tried by a special court. As evidence, the court depended on a forged confession, allegedly signed by DeMolay. Jacques DeMolay disavowed the forged confession. Under the laws of the time, the disavowal of a confession was punishable by death.
King Philip ordered him to be burned at the stake that day, and thus the story of Jacques DeMolay became a testimonial to loyalty and friendship.