Some of the core beliefs or values that Shriners indicate as being central to their organization are brotherhood, family, leadership and philanthropy, or in their words, "giving back." Though various rumors of occultism have been circulated regarding the Shriners and Freemasons, neither organization publicly confirms these beliefs.
The Shriners and Freemasons share common roots, and therefore have similar organizational structures and belief systems. Both organizations value brotherhood, family and leadership as key elements to the organization's strength. What truly differentiates the two organizations is the Shriners' emphasis on philanthropy.
Throughout its history, the Shriners International organization has made the philanthropic efforts of its organization a central focus in both their internal dealings as well as their interaction with the public. They have gone so far as to establish over 20 children's hospitals in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The establishment of these hospitals can be seen as an effort to uphold their belief in not only the importance of giving back, but the importance of family as well.
Similarly to the Freemasons, the religious activities of the Shriners has long since been a topic of speculation. Although some practices have caused controversy after media outlets or law enforcement agencies exposed potentially dangerous initiation rituals, no definitive link between Shriners and occultism has been made.