Royal Order of Jesters

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The Royal Order of Jesters is a male fraternal organization, allowing only Shriners in good standing to join. Admission is by invitation only.


The original meeting resulting in the formation was held on February 20, 1911, by Shriners in the Captain’s office of the S.S. Wilhelmina on a pilgrimage to Aloha Temple, Hawaii. Noble A.M. Ellison of San Francisco, California, was responsible and the original cast included a Director and thirteen members. It was organized June 25, 1917, at an informal meeting.[1]

About the organization[edit]

The official website for the Royal Order of Jesters describes itself as the following: "Whereas most Masonic bodies are dedicated to charity, The Royal Order of Jesters is a fun 'degree', with absolutely no serious intent. The motto, 'Mirth is King', is sufficient to give voice to the purpose of the organization. The Royal Order of Jesters feel that there are times, after our hard work and dedication to family and mankind when everyone should remember to laugh and appreciate the good work one has done".[1] The icon of the Order is the Billiken.[2]

The order is very anti-publicity. For example, a website made by one of its members was removed after the intervention of the National Court of the Order. The primary reason behind this was the desire of the Board to minimize the public exposure or public access to Jester information.[3]


Local "courts" are limited to thirteen initiates yearly and membership is by invitation only. In fact, asking to join will almost certainly result in the individual never being accepted.


The Royal Order of Jesters owns a museum in Indiana. On display are items relating to the Order and some items related to William Shakespeare and other historical people who focused on humor in their works.[4]

Prostitution scandal[edit]

In 2008, four public officials from Western New York, including a State Supreme Court Justice, two retired police officers and a law clerk, were convicted of human trafficking for transporting a prostitute for the Royal Order of Jesters.[5] According to federal prosecutors, the Jesters frequently employed strippers and prostitutes at their parties, with some of the prostitutes being illegally transported over state lines for Jesters events. The FBI has investigated these cases. [6] [7] [8]


  1. ^ a b Royal Order of Jesters "official website". Archived from the original on October 16, 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  2. ^ University of Cincinnati News "Beguiled by billikens in Bearcat country". Retrieved 2012-06-10.
  3. ^ Letter from Jester National Officer Dennis R. Schueler, to Jester webmaster Frank Bailie "Ex-Jesters confirm "Sam Houston" E-mail". Archived from the original on 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
  4. ^ "Royal Order of Jesters". Royal Order of Jesters. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  5. ^ Herbeck, Dan (6 March 2020). "Lawsuit accuses ex-prosecutor of molesting 16-year-old babysitter". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  6. ^ Retired Lockport Police Detective Sentenced for Transporting a Woman from Western New York to Kentucky for the Purpose of Engaging in Prostitution
  7. ^ Former Erie County Sheriff's Deputy Pleads Guilty in Connection with Jester Prostitution Case
  8. ^ Former Erie County Sheriff’s Deputy Sentenced for Failing to Report Jester Prostitution in CanadaFormer Erie County Sheriff’s Deputy Sentenced for Failing to Report Jester Prostitution in Canada

External links[edit]