In 1928, Reverend Van Duyl and carpet manufacturer Farwerck got to know each other closely. Not through religion, because Farwerck was not religiously active anywhere. On a spiritual level, he was completely and exclusively committed to (mixed-gender) freemasonry. (1)
Thus says Hans Hoogenboom (2). By now we know that this is not true. In 1921 Farwerck was active in the very spiritual Universal Sufism order. Also Farwerck was active in the Theosophical Society. Both are far more spiritual than the Masonic order that Farwerck was member of. In basis at least. Freemasonry is a system of symbolism that every member can interpret in his/her own way. Le Droit Humain in Farwerck’s time was very Theosophical (that could be how he got to know of mixed gender Freemasonry), but Farwerck joined the first ‘non-Theosophical’ lodge. Perhaps he did interpret the system ‘Theosophically’, but that is something I have no indications of.
Another possible argument against Hoogenboom’s statement is that Farwerck’s earliest articles (1922, see bibliography) were about Kabbalah. He at least studied one esoteric system and he explained some Masonic symbolism using Kabbalah.
It is another fact that from 1923 Farwerck started to write about initiation and he didn’t mean just entering a society. In his first book (1927) he writes about a wide variety of systems. He also writes about “the beautiful symbolism of the Catholic church”, yet in the post-war hearings Karel Huygen says: “To my knowledge, Farwerck did not adhere the Christian faith.”
What I initially thought would be but a political work Het Volksch Element In het Nationaal-Socialisme (‘the folkish element in National-Socialism’ 1937) actually seems to give a peek into Farwerck’s mind. In his book he writes how since the French Revolution and since the start of industrialization “godsvrucht” and “godsvertrouwen” diminish. Both terms are a bit old fashioned and can’t be translated exactly. The first means something like “godliness”, the second “faith in God”. A nice quote:
If one does not have a deeper understanding of the essence of things and assumes that man has just been thrown down here on earth, surrendered to the randomness of the world around him, then one will deny all deeper causes and will struggle through difficulties alone as good as possible. However, if one is aware of a higher Guidance, then one will not only recognize the bond between God and man, but also possess the associated trust in God. (3)
It seems that Farwerck found religion important for mankind. Of course that still doesn’t tell us which.
There are several texts on this website looking at the people that surrounded Farwerck. Some are Protestant of some sort, some Catholic, of most I don’t know. Other people who wrote about Farwerck say that he was member of no church (see opening quote) which may well be true. Farwerck’s brother got married in a Lutheran church which may be an indication that the family indeed leaned in that direction (or of course, Borrius‘), but since Farwerck senior is mentioned in Amsterdam archives as a Protestant convert, that may have ran in the Farwerck family.
There is something noteworthy in this ‘Christian context’. In 1912 the New Testament part of the so-called “Leiden translation” of the Bible was published. The translation was made by what in English would be called ‘cultural liberal’ Protestants. The publication was made possible by many people who bought a copy beforehand (early day crowdfunding so to say) and one of them is Farwerck.
Worth mentioning too is that Farwerck was member of an association of Roman Catholic employers.
I have only indications that Farwerck ‘did something’ with his interest in the Germanic past. In his folkish NSB time he supposedly spoke about a “neu-Heidnische Richtung” (‘new-heathen direction’) of the movement. Also he had a Germanic Midwinter solstice celebration in 1940 with his Masonic lodge and the group around the poet August Heyting and lastly, the Der Vaderen Erfdeel group joined the Ahnenerbe with a visit to the Hermannsdenkmal and Externsteine in 1937 which supposedly included a harvest celebration. All ‘indirect evidence’.
There were neo-Germanic groups in his time, such as Ludwig von Fahrenkrog’s “Germanische Glaubens Gemeinschaft” which was founded in 1912 or 1913 or the “Germanenorde” which was founded around the same time, both in Germany. Maybe his possible connections with Herman Wirth could have brought him in contact with people with more than a scholarly interest. This is all mere speculation though. The way he writes about God makes me doubt that Farwerck would have fallen for some sort of neo-polytheistic reconstructionist faith, but who knows, in some phase of his life.
Farwerck certainly kept lecturing about the spiritual world of our ancestors, so the subject itself is something that has stuck with him until the end.
(1) “Dominee Van Duyl en tapijtfabrikant Farwerck hadden elkaar in 1928 van nabij leren kennen. Niet via de religie, want Farwerck was voor zover bekend nergens kerkelijk actief. Op geestelijk vlak was hij volledig en uitsluitend de (gemengde) vrijmetselarij toegedaan.”
(2) Tapijtfabrikant en Dominee (‘Carpet manufacturer and clergyman’) by Hans Hoogenboom in Eigen Perk (‘Own perk’) 2015/3, a publication of the Hilversumse Historische Kring (‘Historic circle Hilversum’).
(3) “Wanneer men geen dieper inzicht in het wezen der dingen heeft en aanneemt, dat de mensch maar klakkeloos hier op aarde is neergeworpen, overgeleverd aan de willekeur der hem omringende wereld, dan zal men alle diepere oorzaken ontkennen en zich als eenling zoo goed mogelijk door de moeilijkheden heenslaan. Is men zich echter bewust van een hoogere Leiding, dan zal men niet alleen den band tusschen God en mensch erkennen, maar ook het daarmede verbonden Godsvertrouwen bezitten.”