Scientology Transfusion: Commenters of the Week!

GrampaVampire.jpg
Eternal soul? Works all night? Exteriorizes? Hmmm.
It was a frantic week here at the underground bunker, where we keep an eye on all things Scientology-related.

While we gathered material for some big stories, we managed to post several quick observations, some of which featured a medical theme.

On Monday, we started things out by dipping into the mailbag for messages we've received from church supporters. The next day, we had fun with the image of a church critic at the South Pole.

Later that day, we noted that a White House petition asking the Obama administration to issue a statement about the stalled FBI probe into Scientology still had a long way to go to gather enough signatures before its deadline. (Soon after that story appeared, however, things changed!)

On Wednesday, we posted the week's big story: Lori Hodgson was on her way to a hospital in San Jose, where her son was about to undergo surgery for a fractured femur. We reported how she had managed to learn that her Scientologist son had been injured, even though her ex-husband and both children wanted to keep that information from her because she has left the church. This dramatic tale of Scientology "disconnection" really seemed to affect our readers.

Thursday morning, we enjoyed watching Grant Cardone stroke one-percenters and trash talk Occupy Wall Street. What a helluva guy, that Cardone.

That afternoon, we posted our weekly "Thursday 2pm Stats" roundup, which included the wonderful news that Jesse Prince has successfully battled cancer.

Yesterday, we wondered about the consequences after the White House petition zoomed to more than 5,000 signatures well before its deadline. And we also posted Mark Bunker's latest peek inside his upcoming documentary, with remarkable testimony from Gary Morehead about carrying out the forced-abortions policy at Int Base.

Another feature of this week: pointing out interesting stories by Skip Press at The Morton Report and John Cook at Gawker. Doesn't it feel like Scientology reporting is more active than ever?

Well, our commenters are certainly active, so let's get to the awards...

After we posted an e-mail from church supporter Mark Miglio which included his defense of Scientology's controversial "purification rundown" -- which involves weeks spent in a sauna for hours a day, plus massive doses of niacin -- we were happy to see a comment from friend to Runnin' Scared and fellow journalist, Mark Ebner:

Niacin, in the doses prescribed without medical licenses by the cult of Scientology, are a direct toxin to the livers of the already hepatically-challenged drug addicts suckered into Narconon. Confidential to Miglio the Clown: You do not sweat out "garbage," toxins, residual drugs or radiation in a sauna. You sweat out sweat, or water and trace minerals.

Miglio came in for more criticism from regular commenter SFF:

I wonder what it's like to live in a fantasy land where millions have been helped by Scientology but no one has ever been helped by psychiatry and where niacin has magical properties and massive quantities of it are not dangerous to people with impaired liver functions.

But we were really blindsided by this statement from Warrior:

My wife, Victoria Lin Johnson-Plummer died 24 years ago. She had juvenile onset diabetes and was diagnosed with end stage renal failure in September of 1987. She was involved in Scientology for a few years in the eighties. Her FSM, Carrie Alkins, and other Scienos in L.A. constantly told her that NOTs would "handle" her diabetes and tried to get her to "get up the Bridge to OT." How I wish she had explored real medical options -- such as an insulin pump. If she had done so, perhaps she would be alive today.

We've heard similar tales over the years, of seriously ill people who chose to refuse actual medicine for the superhuman powers promised by Scientology's upper levels. Several of our readers, meanwhile, offered their sympathy to Warrior after he shared with us that story.

There was a lot of reader sympathy on display after we posted this week's big breaking story, about Lori Hodgson's frantic attempt to reach her son after he was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. Lori explained how her ex-husband, Jim Leake, and her daughter Jessica tried to keep her from even learning the condition of her son, since the three of them had cut off all ties with her once she left the church. Even cynical, longtime observers admitted that they'd rarely encountered such a vivid, gut-wrenching example of Scientology's "disconnection" policy. Wrote regular reader Patricia Curtis:

What kind of religion turns children against parents and parents against children? Jim Leake, your pathetic belief system is nothing compared to a mother's love. Go, Lori Hodgson, go!

Church defender Mark Miglio, however, stood behind the disconnection policy:

Please, let's respect the privacy laws, leave the boy alone. If you want to get back in good standing with him, make amends for your offenses. Maybe you were a good mother, maybe you were a bad mother. That is not the point. I am fairly certain that Jeremy will welcome you back if you stop attacking his religion.

Miglio's comment produced virulent reactions from many of our readers. Wrote Sanddancer:

Offenses? Of all the unmitigated gall. Your church wedged this poor lad between his father and his mother, and you talk about "offenses." Did you read the part about how the boy's father didn't want Lori to find out that her son had been injured? Did you read about their active blocking? Did you read about how when he was passed a note, he did respond? It sounds very much to me like this boy desperately wants to stay connected with his mother, but is blackmailed by your so-called church into keeping quiet.

LeeAnne Clark reacted with utter disgust, and while we like to keep things civil in our comments, this response was clearly sincerely felt and worth quoting:

Mark, I want to thank you for this post. We all knew you were a weak-minded, brainwashed loser clinging desperately to a batshit-crazy UFO cult. But what we didn't know for sure until you posted this is that you are an evil, morally bereft fuckhead who willingly supports keeping mothers from their children for no reason other than the fact that they believe different things about aliens. You are irredeemable. You are a monster. You are destined to die alone, rotting from the cancer that will eat you from the inside out (in whatever form of physical illness your evilness eventually takes), while your beloved "church" will abandon you for "pulling in" your disease. Maybe at that point, moments before you die in screaming agony all alone in the world, will you look back and realize...DOOP! I sure fucked up!

Been There added some personal experience to the mix:

Had I not experienced this myself, I would find such behavior unbelievable. Disconnection is a fundamental tenet of Scientology and its practice is not only encouraged but demanded. This is one of the key reasons for intensifying public contempt of Scientology. It is astounding that parishioners and church officials cling to disconnection tenaciously in the face of demonstrated ineffectiveness and down-right harm the policy causes. Thirty-one years ago my family refused to disconnect from me in spite of church pressure to do so. As a result they were ostracized too. If I had lost my spouse and child it would have destroyed me. Lori has my deepest empathy in her struggle to maintain relationship with her children. At one time I was a staunch and devoted member of Scientology but no more. There are thousands like me. And if the church ever bothers to wonder about the cause of its dwindling membership and public disrepute: THIS IS WHY.

After that emotional day, we needed a laugh, and thankfully, Grant Cardone provided us with one. But regular reader Scott Pilutik also got a serious point out of Cardone's bad poetry:

As I mentioned to Grant on his Facebook page (and for which entheta my commenting privileges at his page have since been revoked), his position perfectly embodies the greed and selfishness inherent in Scientology. The only time Scientology isn't entirely about *you* is when it's about your skill in selling Scientology to others. So it's hardly a surprise that Cardone not only views the protesters with contempt, but shamelessly parlays the news event into a sell opportunity -- not only is the naked greed that led to the world's economic collapse not a bad thing, *you too* can become part of the 1% if you just try a little harder. The #ows protesters have done an invaluable service in articulating how and why the relationship between government and corporate America is a rigged game and why it's ultimately bad for people and the country. And if it's something Grant can't stomach as a Scientologist, it's pointing out the rigging behind the game.

In yesterday's post about the successful White House petition, we also brought up, once again, Scientology's slick "human rights" campaign, which makes use of a 1948 UN declaration about global rights in an attempt, we would argue, to distract the public about allegations of Scientology's rights abuses here in the United States. And thanks to reader Myriam Breitman for explaining even more about the UN document which helps explain how empty is Scientology's pimping of it:

Scientology's constant references to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are nothing short of cynical, though not at all surprising. While an excellent document, the Declaration does not have any legally binding power of its own and is widely regarded as a somewhat Utopian document. Although some of the articles of the Declaration are regarded as forming part of customary international law, the Declaration is a highly populist document that politicians love referring to when trying to promote their own goals. Hence, it's hardly surprising that Scientology keeps on referring to this amorphous document which has no legal effect, instead of referring to the real human rights treaties. Why doesn't Scientology promote specific conventions applicable in the US, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child? I guess because then they will not be able to hire 12 year old children into the Sea Org. And how about promoting the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights? I guess they don't like this treaty either, because it states suppressive things such as "the States Parties to the present Covenant recognise the right to work, which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, and will take appropriate steps to safeguard this right." Scientologists are self-proclaimed "the most ethical people on earth". I'd say they are more like the most cynical people on Teegeeack.

Yesterday we also viewed the latest sneak peek from Mark Bunker's documentary, with Gary Morehead talking about how he enforced Scientology's mandatory abortions policy for Sea Org workers at the Int Base.

Again, church defender Mark Miglio stepped right in the middle of it:

When I worked in the Sea Organization, it was clear to me that raising children in the Sea Organization was not appropriate. Some Sea Org members choose to leave the Sea Org and a few others got abortions when they refused to properly use birth control, which they decided to do. If they say otherwise, then they are putting out black propaganda.

And once again, LeeAnne Clark took Miglio to the woodshed:

You are one sick motherfucker. "Refused to properly use birth control"? How CAN they use birth control when they have no ACCESS to it? They make 40 freaking dollars a week, and have no health insurance! "Chose to leave the Sea Org"? Nobody gets to CHOOSE to leave the Sea Org. They get put in RPF, assigned to hard labor. The myth of a Sea Org member turning up pregnant and then happily skipping out of the Sea Org to go raise her child is a total fiction. She would be separated from her husband (who would NOT have the option of leaving) and then either routed to the RPF for hard labor, or dumped and declared, penniless, pregnant and alone. You are so full of shit it is oozing from your pores. I used to laugh at your brainwashed inane posts -- now they make me want to vomit.

I'd say it was quite a week, wasn't it? And just wait until you see what we have coming. We have some big stories brewing, though some of them may take a while to put together. For now, we're going to leave the underground bunker long enough for a spin on the road bike and to pick up some food for the cats. But then it's once again nose-to-the-grindstone time. This Scientology watching just never lets up!



The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology
#1: L. Ron Hubbard
#2: David Miscavige
#3: Marty Rathbun
#4: Tom Cruise
#5: Joe Childs and Tom Tobin
#6: Anonymous
#7: Mark Bunker
#8: Mike Rinder
#9: Jason Beghe
#10: Lisa McPherson
#11: Nick Xenophon (and other public servants)
#12: Tommy Davis (and other hapless church executives)
#13: Janet Reitman (and other journalists)
#14: Tory Christman (and other noisy ex-Scientologists)
#15: Andreas Heldal-Lund (and other old time church critics)
#16: Marc and Claire Headley, escapees of the church's HQ
#17: Jefferson Hawkins, the man behind the TV volcano
#18: Amy Scobee, former Sea Org executive
#19: The Squirrel Busters (and the church's other thugs and goons)
#20: Trey Parker and Matt Stone (and other media figures)
#21: Kendrick Moxon, attorney for the church
#22: Jamie DeWolf (and other L. Ron Hubbard family members)
#23: Ken Dandar (and other attorneys who litigate against the church)
#24: David Touretzky (and other academics)
#25: Xenu, galactic overlord


Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he's been writing about Scientology at several publications.

tortega@villagevoice.com | @VoiceTonyO | Facebook: Tony Ortega

Keep up on all of our New York news coverage at this blog, Runnin' Scared


SCIENTOLOGY IN THE VILLAGE VOICE

[All recent stories] | [Top 25 People Crippling Scientology] | [Commenters of the Week] [Thursday 2pm Stats!]

FEATURED INVESTIGATIONS

[Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis secretly recorded discussing "disconnection"]
[Benjamin Ring, LA deputy sheriff, wants you to spend your 401K on Scientology]
[Scientologists: How many of them are there, anyway?]
[Scientology hates clean ice: The "Fair Game" operation that should turn your stomach]
[Scientology hates clean ice, part 2: Another target, and the web as weapon]

MARTY RATHBUN AND THE SIEGE OF SOUTH TEXAS

[Scientology has Rathbun arrested] | [Rathbun and Mark Bunker reveal surprising ties]
In Germany with Ursula Caberta: [Announcing plans] | [Press conference] | [Making news about Tom Cruise, Bill Clinton, and Tony Blair] | [Post-trip interview]
The Squirrel Busters: [Goons with cameras on their heads] | [Rathbun's open letter to neighbors] | [Ingleside on the Bay, Texas rallies to Rathbun's cause] | [Squirrel Buster's claim to be making a "documentary"] | [VIDEO: "On a Boat"] | ["Anna" sent to creep out Monique Rathbun] | [Squirrel Busters go hillbilly] | [A videographer blows the whistle on the goon squad] | [Ed Bryan, OT VIII, shows the power of Scientology's highest levels]

SCIENTOLOGY SPYING AND "FAIR GAME"

[Secret Scientology documents spell out spying operation against Marc Headley]
[Scientology's West U.S. spies list revealed] | [Scientology's enemies list: Are you on it?]
Spy operation against Washington Post writer Richard Leiby: [Part 1] | [Part 2]
[A Scientology spy comes clean: Paulien Lombard's remarkable public confession]
[Scientology advertises for writers in Freedom magazine]
[Accidental leak shows Scientology spy wing plans to "handle" the Voice]
[Lori Hodgson and Disconnection: "No one's going to take my eternity away"]

SCIENTOLOGY AND CELEBRITIES

["Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle"] | [Tom Cruise likes coconut cake] | [Tom Cruise has a sense of humor] | ["Tom Cruise not a kook!"] | [Paulette Cooper on Tom Cruise]
[Paul Haggis, director of Crash, issues an ultimatum, leaves the church]
[Character actor Jason Beghe defects noisily] | [Actor Michael Fairman reveals his "suppressive person" declaration] | [Michael Fairman talks to the Voice]
[Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh: Scientology-Branch Davidian link makes sense]
[Russell Brand weds ex-Scientologists in wild ceremony] | [Skip Press on Haggis]
[Placido Domingo Jr.: Scientology's retaliation is "scary and pathetic"]
Grant Cardone, NatGeo's "Turnaround King": [Doing Scientology's dirty work?] | [Milton Katselas complained about Cardone's smear job] | [Cardone runs to Huffpo]
[Philip Boyd, Saving Grace actor, rips "the business that is Scientology"]

JANET REITMAN'S INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY

[Our review of Inside Scientology] | [An interview with Janet Reitman] | [A report from Reitman's first book tour appearance] | [At the Half-King: Reitman not afraid]
[Scientology doesn't like Inside Scientology] | [Q&A at Washington Post]
[A roundup of Reitman's print reviews, and why isn't she on television more?]

HUGH URBAN'S THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY

[A review of Urban's scholarly history of the church] | [An interview with Hugh Urban]

EX-SCIENTOLOGISTS SPEAK OUT

[Marc Headley: "Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle"] | [The Nancy Many interview]
[Sympathy for the Devil: Tory Christman's Story] | [Jeff Hawkins' Counterfeit Dreams]
[86 Million Thin Dimes: The Lawrence Wollersheim Saga] | [Mike Rinder on spying]

OVERSEAS NEWS

[Scientology dodges a bullet in Australia] | [Scientology exec Jan Eastgate arrested]
[All hell breaks loose in Israel] | [Scientology sees fundraising gold in the UK riots]
[Aussie former rugby pro Chris Guider calls David Miscavige "toxic" and "violent"]
[Stephen Cox, UK church newbie, pledges 20K pounds] | [Biggi Reichert: A German Lisa McPherson?] | [The Birmingham trove: 7,000 internal e-mails]

ODD VIDEOS AND ODDER NEWS

[Scientology singalong, "We Stand Tall"] | [Captain Bill Robertson and "Galactic Patrol"]
[Scientology wins a major award!] | [Scientology wants your money: Meet Dede!]
[Birmingham in the House! The "Ideal" dance mix] | [Scientology and the Nation of Islam]
[When Scientology was hip] | [Sad: David Miscavige makes fun of his own fundraisers]
[Freedom magazine parodies The New Yorker. Hilarity ensues.]
[Scientology surf report: Anonymous parties outside the New York "org"]

THE VIEW INSIDE THE BUBBLE

[A scientologist's letter to the Voice and its readers] | [Scientology silent birth]
[Tad Reeves: Scientology might listen to this guy] | [More Tad Reeves and family]
[Scientology never forgets: A heartwarming telemarketing holiday miracle]
[Scientology High School, Dating and Super Powers!]

My Voice Nation Help
25 comments
EnturbulationStation
EnturbulationStation

Hope you had a nice break Tony.  Indeed it was a good week and I will relish the tasty bits that are still to come.  Cult's going bye-bye.

Strelnikov
Strelnikov

The only thing I have an issue with in all of these comments is calling Scientology a UFO cult. It really is a science fiction cult - Hubbard never claimed he rode aboard a UFO, just that he astrally projected himself into the Van Allen belt and on to Venus, where he was nearly run over by a freight locomotive (not a lot of imagination there, L Ron!) The Xenu story is really just very bad science fiction (Hubbard himself calls it 'space opera' in the OT III documents.)

There are real UFO cults, but most of them exist outside of English-speaking countries. In Brazil you have the bizarre "Superior Rational" cult, in France you have Rael and the Raelians, there is a cult in Chile based on the UMMO hoax*, there are probably many others.

_________________

*Google this stuff if you don't believe me.

DuckBenway
DuckBenway

I've always believed that Louis Farrakhan was taken on board a UFO and he snorted some coke with L. Ron Hubbard while sightseeing the rings of Saturn! Not true? Oh dear, another illusion shattered! When will it end?

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Good choices. I especially appreciate Myriam Breitman's comment.

Mat Pesch
Mat Pesch

Thank you Mark Miglio for sharing with us the insane thought process of a Scientology cult member.  Being that you have been in the cult for over 30 years and you were once a Sea Org member makes you an acceptable example.  I vote that you replace Tommy Davis as the International spokes moron for radical Scientology.

Jgg
Jgg

  Remember that sorrow and sympathy are LOW on the tone scale, are those who are low are deemed unworthy of being in society.  So not only are Scientologists not told to care about victims of disconnection or medical quackery, they have no respect for anyone who.

ScientologyAdvocateMarkMiglio
ScientologyAdvocateMarkMiglio

I am sorry that there was so much upset this week.

Steve
Steve

It's OK Mark--please continue with your mission to defend the COS in this blog. I'm sure most everyone here agrees that the good you are doing is worth the upset. I can't begin to tell you how much I've learned from you about the church and I'll bet there are many others here who have similarly benefited from your helpful comments. You are doing far more than you know to improve conditions.

GarryS
GarryS

Mark.. what's this I hear about you being dishonorably off-loaded from the Int Base because of your interest in "devil worship"?  For someone like yourself that loves Scientology, the feelings are, obviously, not mutual.

Reasonable_Insanity
Reasonable_Insanity

With how long you claim to be in your cult Miglio I don't know whether to feel pity or be angry with you.

None
None

Fuck off you asshole.

You pissed off a lot of people with your asinine comments.

It's bad that people will go into scientology. It's a whole lot worse with the bullshit they have to put up with once they get in; especially if they try and get out.

I'm glad that petition managed to get enough signatures on it. I really hope that Obama has to explain why the FBI did investigate your fucking cult harder.

Xenu
Xenu

Right. Of course you're sorry. That's why you and other Hubbard clones intentionally caused upsets by failing to apply Hubbard's first policy which is to "maintain friendly relations with the environment and the public." HCO PL 2 Sept 1970 "FIRST POLICY"

Clarkle
Clarkle

I for one, would miss your post.  It's you and people like you that inpires me and (I'm sure several others) to keep talking about and protesting your "church".  So keep posting stupid little comments like this and snicker as though you are actually winning.  Every one of your post is just another bullet in your foot, so please keep it up.

NCSP
NCSP

That is a seriously vile use of the passive voice.

Aragorn_ii
Aragorn_ii

Yes there was quite a bit of upset. Have you ever asked yourself why? Why are all these different people from all different walks of life so upset by the actions of your church? Is it some kind of conspiracy wraped in a mystery surronded by a crunchy enigma shell? Or is it the basic sense of right and wrong most logical thinking people use as their moral compass? Like getting upset at an church that puts  pressure on a family to disconnect from a mother who only wants to know if her 18 year old son is o.k. Like getting upset at a church attempting to destroy a mans business which could bring some serious health benefits to us all because he dared employ someone who questions his former beliefs and thats just this week! I could go on but some might get upset.

LeeAnneClark
LeeAnneClark

Then STFU. Maybe we won't get so upset over the vile evilness of you and your cult.

SFF
SFF

We'll forgive you once you are free. And you won't even have to do an amends project.

Anon A
Anon A

In my many online exchanges with aggressive Scientology defenders over the years, I've found that it's generally a good policy to avoid getting into profane name-calling flame wars with them for the simple reason that they see this as a "win". If a Scientololgist keeps poking at someone until they launch into an angry counterattack, the Scientologist has been conditioned to believe that they have succeeded in "flattening buttons" to get that response and are thus "at cause" over their opponent.  Of course, if one ignores a Scientologist's loaded comments, then the Scientologist can claim that their "tone 40 ethics presence" has "shuddered into silence" their opponent.

But regardless, it is indeed very difficult not to respond emotionally to some of the unfeeling, thoughtless actions that are commonly defended by online Scientology apologists. 

Warrior
Warrior

AnonA, wrote: "If a Scientololgist keeps poking at someone until they launch into an angry counterattack, the Scientologist has been conditioned to believe that they have succeeded in 'flattening buttons' to get that response and are thus 'at cause' over their opponent."It appears that you never were a Scientologist. In Scientology, when doing "TR Zero Bullbaited", a  "button" is considered to have been "flattened" when it no longer produces a response. Scientologists posting here may be attempting to "push our buttons" in order to elicit an angry or "hateful" response. Some of them are attempting, from their brainwashed point of view, to "handle entheta" or to "correct" the record.Generally, I agree with you that it is a good practice to avoid name-calling and profanity, and as you quite correctly pointed out, sometimes it is difficult not to respond emotionally.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

I don't care. To those who haven't drunk the Kool-Aid, it's a win. For those who drank the Kool-Aid, got majorly fucked over, then left, then got fucked over some more, it doesn't matter. Let the assholes think they've won, they'll come back for more and make even bigger asses of themselves.

If it's only the Scilons who think it's a win if I call them Ratfucks, it's their PROBLEM, not mine. They ARE Ratfucks, gotta call 'em as I see 'em.

LeeAnneClark
LeeAnneClark

I assume you are including me and my profanity-laden responses to sicko Mark Miglio. Just for the record, I honestly couldn't care less how my comments impact him. He's a lost cause - a brainwashed bot beyond repair.

I comment for two reasons: 1) to release the anger that his comments cause in me, and 2) to make it clear for anyone who might be new to these articles what is REALLY going on.

I have no doubt that Mark Miglio will do exactly what I said in one of my comments quoted above: his vile evilness will manifest itself in a horrible disease from which he will die alone in screaming agony, abandoned by his church.  And in his final moments he'll suddenly realize that he squandered his entire life, the only one he gets, on a batshit-crazy money-grubbing cult that cared not a whit for him, but only for whatever money, labor and sales tactics they could squeeze out of him, until his pathetic lonely death.

It's a fitting end.

Scientia
Scientia

LeeAnne, I get what you're saying. But if Tory was able to start looking then I believe Mark (or any other OSAbot) can as well. There is good in him, I see it. His responses here are per his simple belief in the party line, not what actually is. But sooner or later, like many others before him, he will see that things are not as he was originally led to believe. That doesn't necessarily excuse him from being a c**t on this blog, I just hope you don't write him off.

I don't believe anyone is a "lost cause". More people are walking away from this organisation than at any other point in its history. Whilst it can be a lot harder for some than for others, I believe those decent folks remaining will eventually make the jump. Mark included.

Mark, if you're reading this, if you ever fancy a chat or if you need anything at all you can email me p&c at pizza DOT binge @ hushmail DOT com

Endscientologynow
Endscientologynow

I love your posts, by the way.  I don't think Moonbat Miglio actually reads any responses, though.  Not like Marcotai did.  Marcotai was at least amusing in his/her/it's bumbling posts pronouncing to the world what a genius it is/was.  I got a few chuckles out of that.

Moonbat just seems to post lame copy pasta then he runs away from the computer with hands over his ears and eyes as to not see the entheta oozing from the screen.

Moonbat is a vile moron, and I too think there's no hope for that one.  

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