The Finish federation of Le Droit Humain (“Suomen Yhteisvapaamuurarijärjestön Äänenkannattaja”) has published a magazine called Kulmamitta which Deepl translates to “angle measure”. I suppose it is a reference to the building trade that Freemasonry took inspiration from. The magazine appears to have first been published in 1927.
The first issue from 1928 contains a text with the title: “Tietoja Hollannin Liiton Toömaalta” which Deepl translates to “information from the Dutch federation site”. I will give the Deepl translation below as it shows a bit how Farwerck was as a Freemason.
Information from the Dutch federation
Grand Master of the National Council of the Dutch Federation. In a private letter to the President of Areopagus, F. E. Farwerc [sic] 33° has given some noteworthy details about the activities of the Dutch Federation (1) of the Order of Freemasons.
It will be interesting for the Finnish brethren to hear how strong the activities of our Dutch fraternal organization are.
The Grand Lodge (2) of the Dutch Order of Freemasons uses only one ritual. K.L.V. (3) Farwerck has sent a copy of the 1-3 degree rituals to Finland. Brethren who wish to study them can borrow them from the President of the Areopagus. The ritual is drawn up by a ritual committee appointed by the National Council. The Committee was not charged with the creation of a new ritual with new ideas and forms, but only to recreate as well as possible the ritual used by the so-called modern masons of England around 1700. The Dutch Association of mixed gender Freemasons chose the ritual used by the ‘moderns’ as its model because it is also practised by Dutch masons (4). In this ritual there is no trace of any creeds, which is why lodges have members who belong to a wide variety of denominations, K.L.V. Farwerck is surprised that there is only a “religious” ritual in use in Finland, which in other countries is only used in the lodges of a certain school of thought, and which, in his opinion, contains such “religious” doctrines that only the supporters of this kind of school of thought can accept. (5) He considers it natural that as long as in our country this ritual was thought to be the only ritual of the mixed gender Masonic Organisation, so long it could not be accepted in Finland as a ritual of the mixed gender Masonic Organisation, other rituals could not be practised. Now the situation is different and he wonders why Finnish Order of Freemasons does not observe the Supreme Council of 1924 to abolish rituals with a dogmatic stamp from practice. In this respect, we are somewhat disagree with K.L.V. Farwrck [sic]. Our ritual cannot be be dogmatic, even if it is written by a leading figure of a particular school of thought. Besides, each lodge is free to adopt any ritual approved by the Supreme Council at its discretion.
The Masonic movement in Holland, writes K.L.V. Farwerck, is going well. There are about 20 lodges, 1 lodge of perfection, the Rosicrucian Capitulum, 1 Areopagi and 1 Tribunal. Besides, there are a few triangles, a triangle lodge of perfection and a triangle consistori. Over the last few years, there has been a very intense work to perfect the material side, without, however, neglecting the inner, deeper side of masonry. The organisation has printed rituals and laws and published several pamphlets, for which a special publishing house has been set up. During its existence, this publishing house has also published a number of larger publications – Goblet d’Alviella’s “The Migration of Symbols” and V. Farwerck’s own work on the mysteries. The movement also publishes a magazine to disseminate information on Freemasonry to the general public (6) and a monthly publication exclusively for members.
A special society has been set up to manage and administer the buildings used by the Dutch Federation of mixed gender Freemasons. The Society operates on business principles and with an annual income of around 2000 Dutch florins, or 32,000 Finnish marks in round figures, to help lodges build or buy houses to use as temples.
A special committee has also been set up to to provide Masonic supplies for the Lodges and the Brethren. The organisation has its own library, but for the time being there is only books, as each lodge has its own small library.
Over the past couple of years, meetings have been held to which 20-30 visitors – non-Masons – have been invited. The purpose of the meetings is to spread Masonic knowledge, but without being without being propaganda events. This task has been entirely entrusted to the so-called “lodge of perfection”, which is responsible for such work.
To conclude his letter, K.L.V. Farwerck sends a heartfelt greetings to the Finnish Federation.
(1) “Yhteis” which Deepl translates to “community”, the next word “Vapaamuurarijärjestön” is a society of Freemasons, so I suspect that “Yhteis” refers to a federation.
(2) This is my translation deduced from the context
(3) K. L. V. = Korkeasti Loistava Veli = Very Illustrious Brother [33°]
(4) That is: the “regular” Grand Orient of the Netherlands
(5) This obviously means that in Finland only “Theosophical rituals” are in use
(6) That must be Swastika, later Bouwsteenen
A look at the letter
It is quite hard to translate a language that is utterly unreadable for me. Of course Deepl helps, but in a language that I at least master a little I can look back to the original text to see if I the context makes things clearer. I made some alterations that seemed more logical to me to Deepl’s effort, but it still isn’t a too great text.
Be that as it may, in 1928 Farwerck apparently boasted that the Dutch federation had one non-Theosophical ritual. Farwerck and his predecessor both laboured to rid mixed gender Freemasonry from Theosophical influences. This caused the first schism of the Dutch federation in 1918.
Farwerck became representative of the Dutch federation in 1924. In the period between both World Wars not too many Dutch lodges were founded, but lodges were founded abroad which all fell under the Dutch federation until they were big enough to form their own federations. Farwerck’s boasting suggests that they also had non-Theosophical lodges. Thus this is most likely the case for the Dutch lodges Saint Germain (1924), Fiat Lux (1924), Hiram Abiff (1925), Serapis (1925) and Lux Veritatis (1929), but also for Goethe (1921 Frankfurt am Mainz, Germany), Dobrovsky (1922 Prague, Czech Republis), Vertrauen (1922 Vienna/Wien, Austria), Giordano Bruno (1925 Prague), Comanius (1926 Ostrawa, Poland), Hansa (1928 Hamburg, Germany), Harmonie (1928 Vienna), Zur Erkentniss (1929 Berlin, Germany) and Pythagoras (1931 Zagreb, Croatia).
That can’t be entirely true though, since the lodge Serapis still exists and works with the Theosophical ritual and I believe the Lux Veritatis lodge did too.
This is a weird sentence: “K.L.V. Farwerck wonders why there is no such thing in Finland as a “religious ritual”, practically the only kind of ritual that exists in other countries”
It appears to imply that Finland used the ‘atheistic’ rituals of Georges Martin with which Le Droit Humain started. That ritual has never been “practically the only kind of ritual that exists in other countries” though. Those of Annie Besant on the other hand… Besant could also be seen as: “a leading figure of a particular school of thought” who wrote the Finnish rituals.
I think here we can see that Farwerck tried to use his influence to ban Theosophy from Le Droit Humain even abroad.
Of interest to the history of mixed gender Freemasonry, but less so of interest in the person Franz Farwerck is that he says opting for the “modern” ritual was a deliberate choice.
Like I said, a very small peek into the mind of Farwerck the Freemason.