"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Job's Daughters Adults Behaving Like Children

I REALLY don't want to touch this one with a ten foot pole, but I will mention it and let those with a vested concern handle it as they see fit.

Apparently, there is a growing mess going on internally within the ranks of the purported adults in the Job's Daughters International youth group. Someone called my attention to a long article on the Freemasonry Squared blog site posted earlier in the week, Trouble Stirring About in Job's Daughters International. Additionally, the ongoing drama is being played out in part on at least two Facebook pages, Occupy Job's Daughters and Jobie Truth

Much of the origin of the trouble seemed to turn around the organization's tight control of its trademarked logos and parents trying to create and sell products using them. Other Masonic-related organizations have occasionally done this (Amaranth and the White Shrine of Jerusalem both come to mind), but this time it's gone into the sausage grinder of the courts. 

Job's Daughters is so insistent about their exclusive trademark that their Constitution and Bylaws contain wording about it, and their policy even has its own entire web page devoted to the topic. They have an exclusive deal with a single supplier. That prevents any Bethel from independently creating any sort of crafts, cups, shirts, or any other tchotchkes with their logo on it without first formally requesting permission from the national office. That appears to have uncorked the initial genie and now the griping from the trenches on other topics is spilling out. Unfortunately, it's the girls who suffer the most from this kind of backbiting among their parents. According to one post I came across,
At every Supreme Session the girls continually say they want to have more input in Constitution, Bylaws, Ritual and selection of the adult leadership. No youth have a vote in the legislation or leadership of the organization and strategic planning is done entirely by adults.
More posts are alluding to a move underway to give the Daughters themselves an actual role in the decisions and rules that affect them for the first time in 97 years. If true, and if it really happens, that would ultimately be a good development. Youth groups of all types have generally suffered hardest at the hands the adults, whether it's Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or little league teams. This current wave of unrest may ultimately do some good internally. 

Job's was started in 1920, and is open to any young ladies between 10 and 20. According to its website, "Girls must have a Masonic relation or sponsor, or be related to a Majority Member to be eligible for membership."  Nevertheless, Freemasons hold positions on Job's Board of Trustees, the Executive Supreme Guardian Council, all Grand Guardian Councils and Bethel Guardian Councils, as well as attend many local Bethel meetings. Masons generously support their fundraisers and events.

Fortunately for Craft Freemasonry, no one owns the trademarked copyright to the square and compass symbol (although a specifically designed version can be in some instances). While that has permitted unscrupulous groups to misuse it over the years, lawsuits over it haven't been attempted for many decades. But when I was writing Freemasons For Dummies, the publisher and I ran afoul of some of these other Masonic related groups with such limitations. I had wanted to place a logo for each different one next to the explanatory sections in the book when I talked about a group, so people who encountered them could identify with whom they were associated. I had to fight just to be permitted to use tiny versions less than 1/2 inch tall collected onto a single chart, and even that was looked askance at by the attorneys. Larger individual versions were not permitted, specifically because Job's, Amaranth, and the White Shrine would not grant permission to the publisher.

All of that aside, if you actually read the entire Freemasonry Squared posting and the many events cited in it, this has gone far beyond just the topic of merchandise licensing now. The stories are starting to snowball from adults who have been shunned or prevented from participating at several levels of the organization in a variety of situations - many of whom were the most excited members themselves when they were younger. National and state leaders in volunteer organizations ignore these types of complaints at their peril, because treating such groups as a personal fiefdom and removing critics kills from within. Members - in this case, the Daughters themselves - don't have to come back next week or pay their dues in December. Youth groups in this country are shrinking in popularity anyway, and exponentially so in Masonic affiliated ones because of our own membership losses. Keep stabbing the most active and excited participants and you'll only create a sales force against you. When their friends ask about it, their answer will increasingly become, "Don't bother."

(Note: The photo above is of Bethel No. 8 of Caldwell, Idaho and is from a 2013 article on the Idaho Press Tribune website. It has NOTHING whatsoever to do with this particular story or controversy, and neither the girls depicted nor the adults involved in Bethel No. 8 are involved in any way. I simply used it because I thought it was a pleasant photo that is of a typical Job's Daughters gathering. So there.)


  1. As a mother in a family reconnecting with Freemasonry after a lapse of two generations, I am deeply interested in the survival and thriving of both the adult and youth aspects of Masonry. I can concur that there are shrinkages - my son and I tried to find another lodge for him to visit and were unable to locate a functioning lodge meeting in three states. Masonic lodge buildings stand empty and/or on sale. We explored one of them, finding an entirely bare bird carcass lying next to abandoned Masonic regalia in the Chatham NY structure. The Pittsfield, Ma. building is blatantly for sale. Berlin, Md has a lovely building but no one answers the phone or returns calls. Masonry at all levels clearly needs to figure out how to meet people where they are in this century in order to continue to fulfill its promise of helping people follow ideals of behavior. I don't have answers but we are all trying to think creatively.

  2. As an ex-Job's Daughter this is so accurate. The parents are controlling as all get out, in fact when we voted that our Bethel allow the members to wear dress pants to meetings we had adult men crying about it. I eventually left due to money corruption and stuff lmfao.

    1. I was a Jobie for several years, and the lessons it gave me in life have carried me through many hardships. My father was a mason/Shriner as is my amazing husband. The camaraderie and fellowship are so valuable to him. My Bethel was great and the leadership, as it changed, with each honored Queen, had its people that were controlling, "by the book", relaxed, and clique-ish. It also had many wonderful bethel guardians who were fair, patient, fun, and great role models. I think, in life, you need to have all of those people in your life in order to teach you how to navigate through life. As far as licensing, (as well as everything) it's important for any group to maintain some basis of control so that the core values are not changed and/or offensive items are not circulated that stray from the organizations purpose and foundation. That said, there also needs to be growth with the times, to some degree.

    2. I was a Job’s Daughter from 12-18. I thank them for the lessons taught that directed my path in life. I’m 65 now & still hang out with friends from Jobies. We dated DeMolay, worked at the Shrine Carnival, became DeMolay Chapter & State Sweethearts, invited our friend to installation, the paper came & wrote articles about us, there was standing room only at installations where we hired live bands, wore formal gowns after & got our hair done. We were Majority Members, traveled as installing officers, became Grand & Supreme Bethel HQs, & brought our fiancés, husbands & daughters to see an Installation.
      Membership now begins at 10 yrs., leaving it possible to be HQ at 12 1/2. No way is a 12 yr old capable of that, allowing the adults to step. They run so low on membership, that HQs can serve more than once, have eliminated some offices, have longer terms & frequently operate below quorum. Our beloved Living Cross has such few officers, that sometimes it’s unrecognizable as a cross.
      Maybe an organization that is 80 years old
      (not 97 as was mistakenly published in the article) needs to dissolve before any more meaningful rituals are dropped.

  3. I was an HQ in 1970. My mother and 2 sisters were Past HQs and my grandparents were involved in Masonic and Eastern Star organizations. The teachings of Masonic organizations greatly influenced my family. Growing up we were financially poor but rich in so many ways. My life would have been very different had I not been involved in Job's Daughters and learned the lessons intrinsic to all the Masonic organizations. Reading this blog truly saddens my heart.

  4. i am a jobs daughter, i joined at 15. I have never experienced anything that was abusive in any manner. I know that it all seems like a cult/conspiracy when you are looking at it, but i promise its not. Its not that different from girl scouts. its just a youth group that teaches young girls to be leaders and become more confident in themselves. spreading fake information like this really hurts our numbers. Girls and Families are too scared to join. if you really want to know about the group because you want to join or your just curious i suggest to contact us and we would be more than happy to share it with you.

  5. I was a jobs daughter from ages 13-20 and looking back on my experience I look back quite fondly despite how much I hated it at the time. I learned a lot in the organization, Robert's Rules of Order and semi leadership skills have been my main takeaways that I use to this day. However the main thing that I hated about the organization is the dated mindset that our adults had. I understand that our adults obviously came from different generations etc.
    However, as most Baby Boomers and Gen X people do they used that to push the daughters confidence into the floor. Another poster on this thread has mentioned a vote that their bethel had about wearing dress slacks to meetings, in which older members were upset about it. That exact same thing happened at our meetings. I was one of the daughters this affected the most because as a person I'm not comfortable in dresses like other daughters were. Whenever I would come to our meetings dressed in “business casual wear” that didn’t include a dress I was practically scolded by our adults. Some of them saying just saying that it's against the rules (when nothing was specified past “business casual”) and some of them coming at me with what I’d call borderline emotional abuse saying things like “I’d never be taken seriously in the workplace wearing something like that”, calling me unladylike, impure or even some slurs used against female members of the LGBTQ+ community. Whenever other daughters took up for me (because occasionally they would) the adults continually deemed that they were right and anyone who took issue with it was wrong.
    As an organization that supposedly stands for uplifting the confidence of its members and helping them grow as people, this type of behavior from adults or mentors within the organization definitely shouldn’t be as normalized as it is.
    The adults in my bethel also tried their hardest to push all of the daughters through to the line officers positions (for I’m assuming numbers purposes) when not all of the daughters had the time, familial support or to put it simply want to do it. As for myself, I never wanted to be a line officer mostly because having that much responsibility is something that was terrifying to me at the time. I also had no passion for leading the group as a whole, so I was headstrong in being the best daughter on the floor for our meetings. Some of my fellow daughters didn’t have the familial support that being honored queen required. It just wasn’t feasible for them. Despite our most valid reasoning our adults tried their hardest to push us into line. Borderline bribing us to complete our proficiency work with whatever they could. It pushed one of our daughters over the edge which is what finally put a stop to their behavior. It shouldn’t have to come to the death of a daughter for adults to finally understand that people under the age of 20 are still people.

  6. I used to be a job's daughter. And I am always left out like no one would be my friend expect my sister. And my sister becoming friends with other girls. I started to be left out like I am nothing and like a piece of garbage . It's such a bad experience that is in my life that I want to forget

  7. I can say from direct experience, this article is so true. I complained for an entire year about how some adults in the bethel treated a child, who never had any issues with any adults until she became a “Miss”. From the day she was crowned adults rode her so hard, she had massive panic attacks and would vomit. Then when I joined the GGC I found out even more, how the game goes. My “Miss” was ridden even harder, to the point of breaking. Again, my pleas fell on deaf ears. After this persons term was over, the bullying intensified, as did my complaints. Then we were ostracized, we never received communications. Open and outright lies from the adults, led to a demit. Then we were intentionally left in the dark and increased harassment. The powers that be were outright and openly lying, which is against everything the masons believe. There were lectures about how I needed to let things go and promote peace while we were being lied to. I seriously think an overhaul needs to be done. We should be stepping aside and let these kids run THEIR organizations.

  8. I don't know what century some of you were a Job's Daughters. I didn't experience ANY of the adverse experience. I was a member from 12-18 & it was SO great. Jobies were my friends & we dated DeMolay. I was the DeMolay Sweetheart, Honored Queen, PHQ & State Installing Team & a Majority Member.
    I learned how to speak publicly,learned leadership skills, have confidence in my appea & the value of friendships.
    I'm still in & contact with the friends I made in 1967.
    I'm proud of my membership in Job's Daughters & our family's involvement in the Masonic Family.


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