Spirituality

Mixed gender Freemasonry (in the Netherlands)

Farwerck’s Freemasonry is spoken about on this website (and elsewhere) frequently. Time for a little more in depth information. Let me start with a bird’s eye view of mixed gender Freemasonry (or co-Masonry) and how it came to the Netherlands. Then we are going to have a look at Farwerck’s place in all this.

Freemasonry is traditionally a men’s thing, but towards the end of the 19th century some people started to do more to change that than just talk. A French lodge initiated a woman in 1882, Maria Deraismes (1828-1894). Even though the lodge that did this was already quite liberal, the Grand Lodge they worked under did not agree. Deraismes and Georges Martin (1844-1916) decided to start a new Masonic organisation, open for both men and women, the Grande Loge Symbolique Écossaise “Le Droit Humain” in 1893,

This symbolic Scottish Grand Lodge would eventually become “The International Order of Freemasonry Le Droit Humain”, LDH for short.

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Belief

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.

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Coué foundation

In 1924 Farwerck was involved in yet another activity, a foundation to spread the ideas of Emile Coué (1857-1926). “King of the subconciousness” Coué himself came to Hilversum to speak. Farwerck, chairman of the new foundation, also spoke at that gathering.

I’m not yet 100% sure about the events that led to this foundation. A respondent (see below this text) mentions the name of Josephina Simonis, but I haven’t ran into that name anywhere in the information that I gathered. Then again, looking for her specific name, she does appear to have advertised for having a Coué method practice. In one of them, she names herself a student of Coué.

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Mureed Farwerck

Another underlighted aspect of Farwerck: he was member of the Universal Sufism order of Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882-1972).

In the biography of Khan I had found a reference to “de heer Farwerck” not knowing if this was Franz or his brother, I mentioned this in passing in the biography. There is a Dutch website about the order, particularly in the Netherlands, which has some more information.

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