Shriner character jug produced by and incised JP Mikita circa 1975. A Shriner is a member of the Shriners International and adhere to the principles of Freemasonry; Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. Freemasonry is the oldest, largest, and most widely known fraternal organization in the world. It dates back hundreds of years to when stonemasons and other craftsmen working on building projects gathered in shelter houses or lodges. Through the years these gatherings changed in many ways until formal Masonic lodges emerged, with members bound together not by trade, but by their own wishes to be fraternal brothers. Shriners are distinguished by an enjoyment of life in the interest of philanthropy. The approximately 525,000-member organization has a buoyant philosophy which has been expressed as "Pleasure without intemperance, hospitality without rudeness and jollity without coarseness."