Shriners

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by solomon1979, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. solomon1979

    solomon1979 Registered User

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    Does any one know how the Shriners got formed and who was it that started the group?


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  2. Trufflehound

    Trufflehound Registered User

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    Taken directly from Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shriners
     
  3. solomon1979

    solomon1979 Registered User

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    So it really doesn't have islamic roots or teachings? Only by name.


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  4. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    That is my understanding. I'm not in the shrine though.


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  5. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Read all about it at

    http://sahibshrine.org/shriner_primer.pdf

    The Shrine is a fraternal organization. The organization was started to provide Masons, with an opportunity to have fellowship, fun, and dining, etc. outside of the tyled lodge. Most people seem to forget that the organization started in the late 1800's, and the first hospital did not open until 1922. FUN and FELLOWSHIP is the purpose of the Shrine. The Hospitals are great, and I am 1000% for them. But the Shrine is a unique organization, designed to provide individual Masons with opportunities for enjoyment and relaxation, outside of Craft Masonry.

    The organization has nothing at all to do with the Islamic religion. In the late 1800's one of the most popular books was the "tales of the Arabian nights" or the "1001 nights". These fanciful stories formed part of the "theme" of the Shrine.
     
  6. Plustax

    Plustax Registered User

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    Although there are opportunities for Masons to enjoy relaxation & enjoyment outside the Masonic craft, I believe Shriners is much more than that. I see that there is more family functions, events, gatherings, etc... The Shrine I belong to constantly reminds us of our Masonic roots & why we exist. I believe that the charity/philanthropy done with shriners is at a different level than with local masonic or even Grand Lodge levels. To be able to pay approx 2 million per DAY to run & upkeep 22 shrine hospitals is a pretty awesome task. I think that many persons still think it's still a bunch of party animals out there with shriners, but if they only really knew how little partying is done compared to the charity work... many would be amazed. Of the 28 yrs that I've been in masonry that I've been in & only 3 yrs in the Shrine, I finally realized that my purpose was to continue my masonc resposibilities through shrinedom. To smile & hug a child while trying to hold back tears because they have been burned so badly that they don't have hands or feet. To hug & hold another child that can't talk anymore but still won't let you go because they're enjoying seeing their last & final circus show. Yup... I know now why I became a Mason.... just took me 20+ yrs to figure it out. LOL It's great to be a Mason .
     
  7. Ed Nelson

    Ed Nelson Registered User

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    In 1870, there were several thousand Masons in Manhattan, many of whom lunched at the Knickerbocker Cottage at a special table on the second floor. There, the idea of a new fraternity for Masons stressing fun and fellowship was discussed. Walter M. Fleming, M.D., and William J. Florence took the idea seriously enough to act upon it.
    Florence, a world-renowned actor, while on tour in Marseilles, was invited to a party given by an Arabian diplomat. The entertainment was something in the nature of an elaborately staged musical comedy. At its conclusion, the guests became members of a secret society. Florence took copious notes and drawings at his initial viewing and on two other occasions, once in Algiers and once in Cairo. When he returned to New York in 1870, he showed his material to Fleming.[4]
    Fleming took the ideas supplied by Florence and converted them into what would become the "Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.M.S.)". Fleming created the ritual, emblem and costumes. Florence and Fleming were initiated August 13, 1870, and initiated 11 other men on June 16, 1871.[5]
    The group adopted a Middle Eastern theme and soon established Temples (though the term Temple has now generally been replaced by Shrine Auditorium or Shrine Center). The first Temple established was Mecca Temple (now known as Mecca Shriners), established at the New York City Masonic Hall on September 26, 1872. Fleming was the first Potentate.[6]
    In 1875, there were only 43 Shriners in the organization. In an effort to spur membership, at the June 6, 1876 meeting of Mecca Temple, the Imperial Grand Council of the Ancient Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for North America was created. Fleming was elected the first Imperial Potentate. After some other reworking, by 1878 there were 425 members in 13 temples in eight states, and by 1888, there were 7,210 members in 48 temples in the United States and Canada. By the Imperial Session held in Washington, D.C. in 1900, there were 55,000 members and 82 Temples.[7] By 1938 there were about 340,000 members in the United States. That year Life published photographs of its rites for the first time. It described the Shriners as "among secret lodges the No. 1 in prestige, wealth and show", and stated that "n the typical city, especially in the Middle West, the Shriners will include most of the prominent citizens."[8]
    Shriners often participate in local parades, sometimes as rather elaborate units: miniature vehicles in themes (all sports cars; all miniature 18-wheeler trucks; all fire engines, and so on), an "Oriental Band" dressed in cartoonish versions of Middle Eastern dress; pipe bands, drummers, motorcycle units, Drum and Bugle Corps, and even traditional brass bands.


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  8. Browncoat

    Browncoat Registered User

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    The history has already been posted above, but the abbreviated version in Layman's Terms is:

    No, Shriners does not have Islamic roots or teachings. The group was formed by some Freemasons who thought that all the seriousness and ritual work was a bit too stuffy for their tastes, so they formed a more social/fun loving group themselves. As mentioned, some of the stories of the time (1001 Arabian Nights) were foreign, exotic, and mysterious, so the Shriners based their ritual and titles on that. Some Islamists, even today, think the group pokes fun at them, but that's not the case.

    The Shriners used to have the mantra of "putting the boy back in the man". They were drinkers and goofballs, with all kinds of crazy stories and rumors...like riding a horse through a hotel lobby. How much of all that stuff is actually true is anyone's guess. They've toned all the shenanigans back since the old days, but yes, being a Shriner means more fellowship and charity work now than anything. They kind of break down into hobby-related groups as well: model train enthusiasts, the drinkers and socialites, etc. My father-in-law has been a Shriner for many years, and his smaller circle of pals mostly just meet for lunch and kick back a few brewskis every week. But they also own a van and shuttle children back and forth to the hospital and do other charity work.
     
  9. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    When I lived in Columbus,OH I joined Aladdin Shrine. There were many different groups (units and clubs) in the Aladdin Shrine. I started the "Voice of Aladdin" for radio hobbyists, so that we could provide communications support for the parades and public events. There are mariner's clubs for people who own boats, and drum/bugle groups. There is even a sub-group of Shriners who dress in hillbilly outfits (bib overalls and hillbilly hats), we have country dances and covered-dish suppers out in the boondocks.
     

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