Hi Texas, yes I remember when Nana worked at bookstore at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Every time there was an exhibition on at the gallery and I was with one of the School's ladies they always insisted dropping into the bookshop and saying hello to her. I did not really like this because at the time the Mavro's were trying to match up people for arranged marriages and this allowed her to see who was a unit. I remember in the early 80's being called up to Mavro's penthouse on the top floor at Kent Street and having a fatherly chat with Mr M about my marriage status and how as there were many single ladies in the School, maybe it was time for me to settle down. He pointed out then I could dedicate more of my time to School activities. I thought this funny because at that time I was attending activities 6 nights a week and half a day on Sunday!
Was the arranged marriages going on in your time in School?
I'm glad you've raised the subject of the Mavro arranged marriages in Sydney SOP. There are two strands to this sorry tale: the marriages they helped to arrange and the marriages they actively devised to destroy.
The first I learned about Mavro matchmaking was sometime in the mid-70s when two young junior students fell in love and married each other secretly, without telling the Mavros; they deliberately hid the marriage. They lived in separate places to keep the marriage secret. Then, somehow, their secret reached Madam Nina, and they caught bloody hell for marrying without the consent of the Leader. I didn't know things had gotten out of hand that much that anyone was suppose to get permission
to marry. The 'reason' for getting permission was to keep us from 'acting from our sanskara, our ignorance and willfulness. We supposedly didn't know what was in our own best interests, only the Mavros 'knew' what was best for us, and that included matchmaking. So we were reduced to being children who were not capable of making our own mature adult decisions; we had to let Nina or Mickey do that for us. Pretty sick, but that was the dysfunctional mind-set at the time.
Then there was another marriage, of John H and Sharon M with Nina's blessings, which produced 3 children in quick succession and also a lot of horrid domestic violence with the wife coming to Saturday group with bruises on her face. She left the pig, much against Nina's injunction that 'a woman has to please her husband' and that if she left her husband she would never be allowed to marry again. Such BS, you wouldn't believe. Luckily for our Sharon, she came out as gay, so at least, that was one happy ending.
Then there was the marriage of Germanic Maynard S and Kiwi Ngaari (sp?) D, both of the Top Group. And then the marriage of Ron W (Top Group) and Wendy L (later changing her name of Sarah) was strongly pushed by the Mavros. And then there was the marriage of Gilbert Mayne and Jane Bradbury (who also changed her name to Sarah). Gilbert and Jane/Sarah now run John Colet, SOP's early indoctrination children's school in Sydney. I knew Jane from when she was just a kid, one of the four Bradbury kids, a family of 6, all in SOP. I was surprised to learn of her marriage to Gilbert who seemed much older than she was, but then 'ladies' were suppose to marry 'older men' who were then 'in charge' of a woman's sanskara. More pure BS.
Whether these were true love-matches and have stood the test of time, I don't know. I hope, for their sakes, they are happy in their choices. Marriages produce children and SOP needed new babies for the next generation of school insanity. In Jane and Gilbert's case, however, they remain childless and seek to mould other people's children into perfect SOP devotees.
And now, the other side of coin: the marriages that failed because of SOP and the Mavros' influence. The Mavros never, ever, took any responsibility for the stresses and pressures their bullying put on marriages and families. They just took it as justified that husbands and wives never saw each other and children didn't see their fathers, because everyone was always in groups, kids and all, working for The School.
Mine was one of the first marriages to fail, with a husband who just did a runner, fled to parts unknown and was never heard from again. He was one of Mickey's meditating junior students, Mavro was his tutor. My husband would come home from Group emotionally and aggressively affected by all the really negative things that Mavro said about women. He was also 'terrified' of having to spend a weekend at Mount Wilson, stories of the unpaid, forced labor camp did get around. Mavro was obsessed with male dominance in a family, real outdated sexist garbage. The Mavros held that my husband's desertion of wife and child was all my fault. Apparently, I wasn't 'doing' enough for my husband. In vulgar Mavro-speak that meant I wasn't adequately putting out sexually for him. But then, if any of us fell pregnant we were accused of entrapping our husbands, turning them away from the "truth.' Women were second-class citizens and from what I read on this forum, not much has changed, Nina telling her SFSK women that even if they divorce and remarry, they are still married to the first man. I can't imagine any modern thinking woman putting up with this nonsense.
Then three others marriages went on the rocks of senior top-end students. The Mavros were actively driving a wedge between husbands and wives, creating antagonism and friction in families, really pitting people against each other. The Mavros never had a good thing to say about women, we were just the Devil Incarnate, willful, selfish, disobedient, manipulating and a lot of weak-minded SOP guys fell for it. It was especially hard on the kids. The Mavros actively worked to destroy our families so they could remake us as their
SOP family. We were only 'allowed' time together during term breaks. A lot of marriages didn't survive all this effort for The Truth
. If the wife wanted to leave SOP, the husband was instructed to leave the wife, even if there were children involved.
The Mavros didn't care. After all, Leon MacLaren was a divorced and remarried man, so their attitude was entirely cavalier and off-hand Truly, they didn't give a tinker's damn, a stuff, for us as human beings, just as long as we kept paying our fees and coming to groups. Simply astonishing, the suffering we allowed these bums to create.
I know of one Top Group marriage that came in for really heavy, nasty, shameless interference from Nina Mavro, who encouraged the husband to leave his wife and children. It was all a power game to Nina. Ironic too, because from what I personally observed in the Mavro marriage, those monsters were in no position to be meddling in other people's private lives.
Watching La Nina flirt
with the single men made me sick to my stomach. And Mickey had a roving eye.
Around 1979, The Kissing
was introduced. If we women were not already disrespected and humiliated, we were now forced TO KISS THE MAVROS ON THE MOUTH, ON THE LIPS
when we met them. This was suppose to 'open the heart,' because we were all so cold and unloving. No one has written about The Kissing
on this forum before, to my knowledge. It was only for 'the ladies;' the men, of course, were not required to kiss the Mavros or each other, that was a special degradation meted out for the women.
It was pretty disgusting. It was part of the Mavro's claim that they owned us, and tell the truth, for a while, they did.
It's not nice having to kiss Nina Mavro on the mouth. She was not my mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, auntie. She had a female Mediterranean mustache, being Greek
. Kissing Michael Mavro was especially degrading because we had to look him right in the eye as our lips met and he clearly really got off on it. It was a form of sexual assault that I allowed and participated in. Heavens only knows what the husbands thought about their wives being forced to kiss that pig, Michael Mavro. Bad enough to have to kiss the mustachioed Madam Nina, but being forced to kiss Mickey Mouse Mavro was really the pits for me. I left SOP not long after.
Well, I think that's about all for now. Thanks for asking the 'inciting' question. Until another time....