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Valentina is the name and date she was born with. She changed her name from Valentina to Veronika. Then, after our divorce, she altered the spelling of my family name in Cyrillic.

In 2008 I purchased the property in Guta, started to remove sheds and clean it up. By the end of 2009 (17 Dec) the wedding with Veronika took place in the company of a few friends. In early 2010 I purchased a second property.

In the spring of 2010 a meeting was held at my Kyiv flat with the Counsellor and NSA. This meeting marks the beginning of the end of the marriage and the start of the construction at the Guta property, initially destined to become a Baha’i Summer Schools if it grew and developed. Why was this the case? Because during this meeting, I indicated that I wanted to use the inheritance received from my father’s estate to build a center for Baha’i activities, and I would bequeath this facility to the Baha’i community. Nika listened very intently to this discussion and had a side conversation with Tatyana Kuzina, a member of the NSA. From that moment forward, Nika began to look for ways to receive some of my money. She had no legal right to any of the money from an inheritance, not to mention anything that I owned prior to the wedding.

In reality this marriage lasted approximately 3 months. After the above mentioned meeting, the marriage deteriorated, step by step. And the story gets stranger.

Nika before meeting me had been enrolled with a spiritual teacher,  a woman who lived in Vinnitsya. She described it to me as a kind of graduate school and her “professor” was a world class scholar practicing in Ukraine and Switzerland. She also said that she had been enrolled in a Petersburg school that taught psychology with this woman, but she never wanted to reveal too much about this experience, as if it was something secret.The woman who lived in Vinnitsya, I’ll call her “the guru.”  I also referred to her as “Mother Superior.” I don’t know exactly how to refer to this woman. Whatever she is called, Nika appeared to be under her control. She agreed to pay the woman a large sum of money, and ended up in debt. I can go into a lot of detail, but it really doesn’t add to my story— it is just a fact. Suffice it to say, she spend all her money on this woman, sold her only property and gave the money to the guru, and in my opinion neglected somewhat the needs of her daughter.

After my marriage Nika quit her job, and tried to make a living as a private entrepreneur and psychologist. I helped her to start a small business in the market selling spiritual and self help book. Whatever money she made was her business, but I invested around 10k USD into helping her with this business (which she eventually closed). At the same time, she tried to sell her services as a psychologist, and to become a trainer. She was quite busy trying to make this business successful. Both of these businesses were related to the guru, and she was intent to pay the guru back the money she borrowed.

However, I later began to question all of the stories I was being told. I often traveled, and would Skype call Nika. One time I remember asking her what she had been doing, and when she answered I had some follow up questions, and then it became obvious that she was hiding something from me. When I got home I returned to the subject, and she continued to give me half answers. I went out on the balcony and found an ashtray; I thought: “A man?” Looked a little closer and two kinds, lipstick and no lipstick? So, I asked: “Who was here?” She finally admitted that it was the guru and a partner (male). I began to think that they came to Kyiv and lived with Nika when I traveled. And— of course — she hid this from me. Why?

Once this thought started, I began to check around a little bit. I found she also had a site on the social news where she was looking for men. I could read the correspondence with these men, and it was often about arrangements for a meeting. I dare say that she must have expected “gifts” from these men.

I started steps split my life from Nika’s. This meant that a number of properties needed to re-registered. Before the marriage, I didn’t have a local address so I asked Nika, as a friend, to help me buy a car, register in her name, and then get a power of attorney for me. When I was buying the property in Guta, I needed a car. When bought the house in Guta, a foreigner could buy the house, but not the associated land which was zoned “agricultural.” Not possible for foreigners, so again I asked Nika. Between these two “favors” that she did for me, I ended up paying another $10k and maybe a little more. If this was her “charge” to re-register these items  in her name. She expected me to buy her a flat too. In all honesty, I am pretty sure that her main advisor in all of this was the guru.

I’ll perhaps write a pen portrait of Nika and describe from my perspective such things as her attitude, life history, where she lived, lifestyle and appearance–  a character sketch in words. Perhaps it can be a description of her that will be good enough to produce a picture of her person in my mind. I saw the house she was brought up in, her mother died when she was young, and she live with her father. She was sexually assaulted as a teenager. She went to a locally community college.

Was she only interested in my money? “Not only,” is my optimistic answer. If I would ask her, she would firmly refute that idea. Although I think she did bad things, and obtained resources that she had no right to, I think she did it believing that she was doing nothing wrong. The invisible guru, part of the marriage, a dishonest part from my perspective, played a major role. I believe Nika fell under the influence of the type of religious sects that convince their adepts to hand over their resources, and even control of their lives. I’ve read about them, and now I think I have first hand experience with the phenomenon.

2011 spring and summer major construction, first Baha’i summer school. Nika wasn’t involved at all. We started living separately prior to the Baha’i Summer School. I waited the year of patience for the Baha’i divorce and I a moment of my life came and went, and I hope it had some purpose.

Recently (2016) her daughter (my ex-step daughter) came for some advise. She and her mother were living in the same place, and in the same manner, as when I originally met them. After the divorce I received dozens of letters from her bank asked her to repay a car loan, and I assume it was repossessed. I guess whatever money came from me, didn’t do much good.


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