Indiana Senate Votes to Teach Scientology in Schools

Categories: Scientology

ViSimpson.JPG
Did Democrat Vi Simpson use Scientology to punk the majority Republicans in the Indiana Senate?
UPDATE: We now have an interview with Vi Simpson, the woman who put Scientology (and other religions) into a Creationism bill in order to neutralize it.

Yesterday, Indiana's state senate voted 28-22 to adopt yet another creationism-in-the-schools bill, which have been routinely found unconstitutional since a 1988 Supreme Court decision.

But this one was a little different, and in a surprising way.

At the last minute, Senate Bill 89 was changed so that it now reads...

The governing body of a school corporation may offer instruction on various theories of the origin of life. The curriculum for the course must include theories from multiple religions, which may include, but is not limited to, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Scientology.

That's right -- kids in Indiana may be learning about Xenu the galactic overlord, spaceships shaped like DC-8s, hydrogen bombs in volcanoes, and the disembodied souls of space aliens that attach themselves to us until one uses the exorcism techniques of Dianetics!

But wait, it gets better. We're told that the addition of Scientology was actually the work of Senate Democrats who, unable to stop the bill's passing, at least wanted to make it as ridiculous as possible.

This morning, I talked to Kyle Stokes, who covers the Indiana Senate for StateImpact Indiana, a local collaboration with National Public Radio.

I had noticed that Stokes was covering the progress of the creationism bill, which was sponsored in the Senate by Republican Dennis Kruse.

I asked Stokes why, at the last minute, Scientology was added to the bill's language.

"They did that to neuter the bill," he said. "The bill now affirms what already exists, that you can teach religion in the schools."

Republican legislators routinely try to get Creationism into school curricula, and there's little mystery what the purpose is -- to counter the teaching of science with the origin story of only one, particular religious view, as described in Genesis.

Outnumbered, Senate Democrats knew they didn't have the votes to kill the bill, Stokes says. So instead, they came up with a different way to make it unpalatable to its Christian supporters -- by adding other religions.

"They'd add Rastafarianism if they could," Stokes says. "They're trying to neuter the bill. The Democrats are a minority in both houses, but this is all they can do."

It was a clever move. As Stokes points out, Republicans were then stuck, and had little choice but to approve the new version of the bill.

"No Republican is going to vote against something that encourages religious pluralism," Stokes says.

I asked Stokes who he thinks deserves credit for the strategem.

"Vi Simpson. She's Senate Democratic minority leader," he said, and suggested I look at her Twitter feed, where she did reference the creationism bill yesterday.

I've put in calls to both Simpson and Kruse, hoping that they can tell me more about this development.


UPDATE: Further confirmation of this stroke of genius comes from Gannett outlet JCOnline, which also credits Simpson for the amendment...

Sen. Vi Simpson, D-Bloomington, successfully inserted an amendment to the bill before it was passed by the full Senate, saying that if the Bible story of creation gets to share space in biology class, all world religions should get a place. Her amendment doesn't really handle the lingering constitutional questions the bill presents. But it would at least give school boards an out, if they're under fundamentalist pressure, to say that creating a science curriculum that broad wouldn't make sense.

Simpson's well-played addition should sink this bill. We're guessing that won't necessarily happen, though.

Well-played addition, indeed. I have to put it to the folks out there who fight Creationism in the schools (many of whom check in on this blog from time to time) -- could this be among the all-time brilliant gambits in fighting for science in this country's schools?


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


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THE TOP 25 PEOPLE CRIPPLING SCIENTOLOGY

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HUGH URBAN'S THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY

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EX-SCIENTOLOGISTS SPEAK OUT

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OVERSEAS NEWS

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My Voice Nation Help
121 comments
Jon
Jon

Personally feel Douglas Adams theory of how the universe was sneezed out of the nose of a large being from space should also be included.

 

Surendra Rawat
Surendra Rawat

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California
California

One comment, please, on this skilled and humorous legal tactic:  public education curriculum is recommended or not recommended by the state departments of education, not by legislative bodies.  

For example, in California's case, the CA Dept. of Ed. issued a finding against Narconon Drug Education by refusing to approve it in Feb. 2005, after 12 articles by the SF Chronicle exposing Narconon Drug Education's placement in California public schools.  This ruling is on the CDE web-site.... you can look it up.  However, in California and in Indiana, public education local school boards can still adopt a "not recommended" curriculum but they have to go through considerable hoops to do so.  In California not a single local board of education voted to have Narconon Drug Education taught after the Feb. 2005 finding and the state-wide and nation-wide publicity.  Previous to the investigative journalism series and the CDE finding, Narconon Drug Education had been placed throughout the California public schools, supported by Scientologist John Danielson in his role as Chief of Staff to Secretary of Education Rod Paige, 2001-2005.  Currently, during this presidential election year, creationists nationwide are heating up the pressure on departments of education and the state legislative bodies to approve creationism as SCIENCE.  While the Indiana Senate Bill 89, even if approved by the House and passed, can have an advisory impact, this is not a curriculum mandate.  This is right-wing religious pressure trying to get ONE certain belief system to be cloaked as SCIENCE and force-fed to public education students at tax-payer expense.I do not know about you, but when I read about this possible course of comparative religions creationist belief systems taught as Social Studies or Language Arts, I thought that this might be a fascinating class, especially if the local Native American belief systems are taught in this mix.  Critical thinking skills and comparison and contrast are the educational skills that serve people life-long, if they are willing to learn and use them and this class could help students learn these skills.

Familydestroyedbyscientology
Familydestroyedbyscientology

Ahhh...but will this mean the user friendly version of Scientology is taught (i.e. you won't know anything about 'the Bridge' or 'OT') or will it be a true critique of the inanity of the cult? No doubt many critics will argue with me about what is the difference here between this and the secrets of the Catholic church or whatever, but the Scientology 'Scriptures' such as OT3 are not supposed to be revealed until you have reached that 'spiritual level' (which means that you have either paid enough or worked years for them and got to the point where you have suspended your rational thinking and have invested so much time and lost all your non sci-fag relationships). At this point they have enough personal information from you from bullshit counseling sessions and security checks that you cannot risk criticism for fear of personal ruin (you will already be financially ruined).

mad_world
mad_world

Check this out:

Polygamists and Scientologists in The Post:

www (DOT) washingtonpost (DOT) com (FORWARD SLASH) blogs (FORWARD SLASH) omblog (FORWARD SLASH) post (FORWARD SLASH) polygmaists-and-scientologists-in-the-post 2012 (FORWARD SLASH) 02 (FORWARD SLASH) 01 (FORWARD SLASH) gIQAHvLjiQ_blog (DOT) html

Brainslugged
Brainslugged

Ok, children... open your texts to page 37, pass your checks for $300,000 to the front of the class, and we'll begin.

"The head of the Galactic Confederation (76 planets around larger stars visible from here)..."

***Spolier alert: Xenu did it***

The Scientologist
The Scientologist

And by the way, the bill absolutely does not require schools to teach religion or creationism. All it does is *allow* schools to do so. And schools that *choose* to teach creationism may do so from whatever religious perspective they wish. So, a school could choose to have a class only about Christian creationism, while another could choose to have a class only about Jewish creationism.

Exact details of what the bill entails can be found on the Indianapolis Star blog. So, there is nothing inherently unconstitutional about the wording contained in the bill. Even if the bill passed, it would still be difficult for any public school board to justify the inclusion of a creationism or religion class - the wording contained in the bill does not make it any easier for them to do so.

The Scientologist
The Scientologist

Again, the whole Xenu thing is not a "creation" story of Scientology. As far as Scientology is concerned, it is not comparable to the Biblical story of creation or any other such creation legend. Xenu, if you recall, is Incident II, "The Wall of Fire."

Creation would be Incident I. That's trillions of years before Incident II.

The actual "creation story" would be contained in The Factors, which of course are not confidential and contained in a bunch of Scientology books, and Hubbard goes into detail about The Factors in a series of lectures, and then in dozens of whole track lectures (again, none of them confidential or secret), Hubbard elaborates on how the universe came to be and so forth.

It's not really that different from the ancient Gnostic legends.

But sorry, no Xenu or galactic genocides involved in Scientology "creationism".

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Of course, Vi Simpson voted against the bill she amended.

LightOfTruth123
LightOfTruth123

Hey Tony, you are also very sneaky with this headline of yours..he-he. Good one!

kirstieFATalley
kirstieFATalley

I am all for ridiculing Scientology quackery, but it disturbs me that these senators are so ignorant to the fact that Scientology is a dangerous cult. Instead of making fun of the cult, while it continues to abuse its followers, why don't they pass a bill declaring Scientology is ILLEGAL in public schools.

Thepiper
Thepiper

And they will sue the state until the script written about it is per their publicly acceptable version, then they will insist it's legal to teach in schools. Stupid, stupid, stupid.Stupid is as stupid does. The spite they used will come back and bite their children one day.

Strelnikov
Strelnikov

I'm going to shock a lot of you, but I went to an Apple School for a semester in the early 1980s. For those who don't know, Apple Schools were the prototypes for the Applied Scholastics schools, but more loose and open to non-Scientologist children, which is what I was. The school was in a single story, two room building that was probably a store of some sort before. No pictures of Hubbard, no Dianetics, just a lot of word-oriented work. My mother moved me because they did nothing to help a math disability, which is just as well, because the school closed the next year.

My point is that, the way Scientology "education" is, there is no chance it could be integrated into the Indiana school system like Creationism; at best it would be a sub-component of an English class, or extra homework to do word clearing drills.

Ivy Mapother
Ivy Mapother

I'm guessing the white, Xenu fearing citizens of Rock Ridge think Vi is the leading asshole in the state. What do you think, Tony Johnson?

MarkStark
MarkStark

Why shouldn't Scientology be taught in the schools? They are everywhere.

Scientologists can be found in 79,342 countries, on 6381 planets in 27 different galaxies. The wire used in the renovation of the Ft. Harrison alone would stretch around Teegeeack five times and the wire used in all of their new Orgs could reach Jupiter, a heavy gravity planet.

Children need to learn these scientological facts if they are to survive, before it is too late!

DamOTclese2
DamOTclese2

Okay, class, today we begin our lesson in the Origins Of Man. Please take out your L. Ron Hubbard lesson book and turn to chaper 17, "Boo Hoo Clam."

ROFL! Fucking insane Christian cult savaged in Indiana just got their theofascist asses handed to them. :)

MarkStark
MarkStark

We in the state of Indiana, in this great nation of ours, a nation of religious plurality, but one nation under Scientology, the one religion all other religions look up to for real answers, hereby decree Scientology Week in all public schools.

During Halloween week, the morning Pledge of Allegiance shall be replaced with the KSW Scientology Anthem:

Aren't we so rich?Aren't we so queer?You with your gut and your beer,Us with good cheer.Send in the clams.

Don't you love farce?Don't you love fear?We've got Tom Cruise on our side,Even if we lie.But where are the clams?Quick, send in the clams.Don't bother, they're here.

LightOfTruth123
LightOfTruth123

I REALLY enjoyed this, Tony. Nice to see some Democrats thinking on their feet when they're outnumbered.

Just out of curiosity, does the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster have tax exempt status?

OTVIIIisGrrr8!
OTVIIIisGrrr8!

We in RTC are elated that the US Government ordered schools in India to teach Scientology. This means that the next generation of people you call in phone centers in India for help on your computer or credit card will not go past a word you do not understand. That is power of Study Tech.

We in RTC plan to have the IAS immediately raise $900,000,000 to fund donations so that every school child in India can have a copy of The Way to Happiness. We will also give Vi Simpson the Medal of Freedom for fighting to dissem Scientology to India which is the world's second largest island type of continent after Australia, the land of kangaroos where Scientology is widely admired except for the psych-drug loving SP Senator Xanax.

In our ideal scene, people in India will stop worshiping their strange Hindoo gods and idols and embrace mankind's only hope for salvation which is Scientology. We in RTC hasten to point out, moreover, that the legal way to be do or have Scientology is to join the IAS. These school children in India will need to save their rupees so they can pay the $40,000 for a basic IAS Patron Status because, in our religion, there is no such thing as a free ride. You pay to play Scientology, the only game where every one wins.

In closing, we in RTC ask that you please support the Church of Scientology by signing our online petition to the White House to have Tony Ortega arrested for reporting on the Debbie Cook story. Tony helped Debbie to violate her gag order. We want Tony Ortega arrested and imprisoned along with the 24,000,000 people that read Debbie's letter. We need to nip this contagion of aberration in the bud. Once all of these people are incarcerated we will have the VM's indoctrinate them into Scientology from their prison cells where they will be in a more amenable frame of mind,

AnonMomAnon
AnonMomAnon

I was getting ready to contact my family and friends who live all over Indiana so we could all get on the phones and start emailing politicians.  Then I read the rest of the story.   I won't be doing that now.  Brilliant move by the Dems!  Love it!scientology is nothing more than an evil joke. 

PamEllis
PamEllis

This action is similar to the Virginia State Senator attaching a bill in late January requiring rectal exams for any man wanting a prescription for an erectile dysfunction treatment,  to an anti-abortion bill that requires all women seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound before the procedure.

That amendment failed, however.

Too bad Pastafarianism failed.  This is the sort of thing it was invented for.  But if this final bill includes scientology, I will LOL when I hear about the first science teacher trying to show the ridiculousness of this bill by trying to talk about Xenu. (And then scientology suing the school district for using private sacred texts, etc...)LOL

candace6
candace6

This really was a brilliant move on Vi's part.  There's no way in hell Indiana parents would ever allow Hubbard's batshit insane ramblings into Hoosier schools.  There's a reason Scientology's presence in Indiana consists of exactly one shitty old house in a bad part of town.

Terril Park
Terril Park

  Being in the UK I'm not fully up to speed on the issues of  creatonism in schools.

  However I was brought up in an  Brit Grammer school where we were given talks ona number of different religions. I consider that excellent intellectual stimulation.

  The creation ideas in scn are not to be found in the Xenu story!

   Here are the first 3 axioms, and one can see an alternative to  main monotheistic religions.    Axiom 1 Life is basically a static.

DEFINITION: A life static has no mass, no motion, no wavelength, no location in space or in time. It has the ability to postulate and to perceive.

Axiom 2 The static is capable of considerations, postulates and opinions.

Axiom 3 Space, energy, objects, form and time are the result of considerations made and/or agreed upon by the static and are perceived solely because the static considers that it can perceive them.

  There is some downside, CO$ may use this for propaganda purposes, and even worse some schools may request speakers from CO$!

MarkStark
MarkStark

Mrs. Boilsten's course outline for Scientology day in the schools:

1. Xenu the evil galactic overlord2. Jesus was an implant -- the R6 story3. TR-L (Training Routine - Lie)4. KSW -- sell it until it hurts5. Tom Cruise "knows" and you don't

MarkStark
MarkStark

Scientology -- the poison pill of religions. Kills everything in its path.

barbara graham
barbara graham

I'm seeing the emergence of a lulzy new tactic on the part of Democratic representatives fed up with stupid and intrusive GOP bills.

Florida: a bill that would require applicants for welfare to take a drug test was yanked off the table after a Democrat added on a bit that would also require the drug testing of legislators.

Virginia: To protest a bill that would require women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion, Virginia State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) on Monday attached an amendment that would require men to have a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication. The bill was yanked.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

It seems that progressives have finally figured out how to use the GOPs absurdities against them by turning it back on them. Only 2% of welfare applicants tested positive for drugs. I'm betting the Florida legislature would beat that, what with all the pills old fat men use to stay tuned up and ready to roll.

Anon
Anon

The Scientology corporation will milk this around the world to prove that the US recognizes them as a religion, and so should everyone else. Long after this law is repealed, or thrown out by the courts, the Scientology corporation will continue to refer to it. This may be a win for the democrats, but it is an even bigger win for Scientology.

Ivy Mapother
Ivy Mapother

No matter what precepts of Scientology you are taught, come quiz time the right answer is "Does that sound silly to you? It's unrecognizable to me."  This is the answer that got Tommy Davis where he is today. Well done Tommy and be sure and put your back in to it.

Xenu
Xenu

Yeah.  Actually, the longer I look at this bill, the more I want it to DIAF.  I can't see any good coming of it.  

scnethics
scnethics

It depends on how far into the book of Genesis you go, and let's face it, the authors of this bill would like us to get all the way through Genesis.  The Xenu story explains our problems and difficulties here on Earth, which is part of the book of Genesis.

The Scientologist
The Scientologist

You can't teach Scientology or any other religion in public schools to begin with, so the point is moot.

Gerard Plourde
Gerard Plourde

You don't have to worry about Scientology being taught in schools. What the Democrats were doing was sabotaging the bill. There is no way fundamentalist Christians would tolerate the teaching of any other religion's creation stories let alone Scientology's. Although it would be interesting. Would they use footage from South Park as a multimedia teaching tool? It's certainly a more accessible tool than using Hubbard's OTIII notes. Alternatively, would the COS protest that exposing students to that material could cause pneumonia and potentially death?

OTVIIIisGrrr8!
OTVIIIisGrrr8!

We in RTC acknowledge Mark Stark as a right thinking wog who is reaching for Scientology. It is good to see that the Truth about Scientology presented here. Some additional facts about Scientology:

* 80% of the Super Power Rundowns are, on average, 72% completed. This gives us a new estimated opening date of the Super Power Building in either two months or 2022. It all depends on the oilness table viscosity tests, the copper rod entheta conductivity speed improvements, and the completion of the new fifty foot marble statue of COB for the atrium.

* The Church of Scientology is the largest single employer of private investigators in the US and Europe, this through cut outs. This is done to protect we in RTC from the substantial risk of imminent harm and irreparable injury we face from the 1,297,854,088 threats we have identified. Yes, there are certainly more unidentified threats we face and thus our skyrocketing paranoia, and that of COB as well, remains a well funded RTC priority. As George Washington once said, or maybe it was Farrakhan's pal Gaddafi , "Trust nothing except money in secret bank accounts and several metric tons gold in secret vaults."

* We purchased 187,654,234 sheets of drywall in 2011 for our Ideal Org program. This drywall was hung by 12,751,182 RPF members in 15,902 countries.

* RPF membership totals 118,992,654 members, this up 15% from last year. COB's new "Fast Flow from the SO to the RPF" is a huge success. Our VM's have been extremely successful in recruiting disaster victims and third-worlders into the SO on the promise of luxurious high-paying SO jobs in America. However, as disaster victims and third-worlders are PTS by definiton, they are then sent to the RPF. Pure genius on COB's part :--)

John P.
John P.

As long as you're thinking about Sondheim lyrics, how about two from West Side Story. 

First, a paean to an imagined nirvana: 

"I want to be in Scientology  Thetans go free in Scientology OT 3 in Scientology For a small fee in Scientology"  

or lovely Maria, who morphs in our adaptation into an ecclesiastical leader, might sing: 

"I feel theta So much theta I feel theta and engrams all right And I pity Any preclear who isn't me tonight!"

 (quick jump ahead to the chorus:)

"Have you met my friend Miscavige, The craziest guy on the block? You'll know him the minute you see him, He's the one in an advanced state of shock.

 He thinks he's gone clear He thinks he's got brains Show me a clear,  He's merely insane."

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

Clams = fail Omg! It's like idiots tryin to castrate themselves with a dull spoon.

John P.
John P.

In Indiana, the gods they worship are unusual by our standards, but they are not Hindu.  From what I know of the strange customs in their far-off land, the main holy repast in Indiana seems to be a casserole made with something called Hamburger Helper.  And Saturdays are the main days for religious services, where they all sit in front of big flat screen TV's ("implant stations" in Scientology parlance) and chant when something called "Notre Dame football" comes on.  Indiana also seems to have the highest per-capita consumption of something called Velveeta.  But alas, no fun Hindu festivals like Diwali.  

JustWilliam
JustWilliam

No Terril, the Scientology equivalent to evolution is History of Man.

Maximum Axiom
Maximum Axiom

No creation theory in those bubble-brained non-axioms. To be static is to have no beginning or end.Axioms 1 and 2 overlap. Axioms 1 and 3 overlap. It's a twisted mess of nonsense.

John P.
John P.

The issue in the US is not that they talk about religion in the schools.  The issue here is that the creationists have thinly disguised their religion and talk about an "intelligent designer" who created the universe instead of referring to "God" by name.  And they are trying to teach it in a science class. Science works because it doesn't care what religion you are -- gravity works the same for anyone, whether they are Catholic, Muslim or Buddhist.  

The fundamentalists are trying disguise religion as science because of their fear that if the creation story in Genesis is not literally exactly true then the rest of the bible is made up, and therefore there is no proof that God exists, and the whole religion falls apart.  The fundamentalists have very limited mental bandwidth for the concept of allegory or imagery; they can only deal with literal "facts."  But religion is not science no matter how much you try to dress it up as such. 

Lliira
Lliira

Kids are smarter than people give them credit for. My school had a "you must be abstinent until marriage or you will get diseases and never feel true love!" speaker, and I didn't believe that crap. And schools submit kids to those speakers constantly.

DMSTCC
DMSTCC

Don't forget to bring a certified check of $3,000 from your parents along with all family information for the mailing lists.

sketto
sketto

I'd like to see what happens if Scientology continues to exploit our foolish deference to religions in every corner of society. Eventually, we'll get to a point where even the other established religions try to stop its spread, but they'll have no basis on which to do it without damning themselves.

AussieSheila1
AussieSheila1

Except they didn't sabotage the bill and it still passed.  Well done, Democrats. Now you can deal with the litigous Church of Scientology insisting on teaching in your state schools and use Indiana tax money to defend against their litigations. When/if you give up and run out of the tax money to fight this monster in court, you can then teach only the "approved" Scientology PR garbage designed to recruit new cult members or face more litigation.  And you will have to pay 8-10% "royalties" to the cult of Scientology to do so.  Yes, well done Democrats, for picking a cult name out of a hat without research - a cult that will never, ever drop this subject and will now use it to "prove" it is an acceptable, bona fide religion that doesn't use slave labor, have an abusive prison system, doesn't abuse the law or hide crimes of trying to force its whistleblowers to suicide.

Ya, real smart move Democrats.  It passed.  Make any ridiculous thing into law to get your way at whatever cost to education or taxpayers.  After all, it's not like anyone is expecting sane objections or research from the Democrats.

Nexi Bello
Nexi Bello

Naughty you ! These melodies will now haunt me for the rest of the day, and it's only 9am ...... only the fact, that the original words are "implanted" deeper in my memory will hopefully prevent me from going nuts ...

NOTseriously
NOTseriously

Ye be forgetting the First Day Adventists who worship the church of NASCAR.

Xenu
Xenu

I think you're both right.  The axioms are Scientology's creation story, and they don't make a lot of sense.

MarkStark
MarkStark

For me in school it was "duck and cover" drills and blessed be the bomb sort of thing. "Don't look out the windows at the flash!" Seriously, our teacher told us we'd go blind if an atomic bomb landed within something like 30 miles of our school and we looked out at the flash. LOL

Another big threat and accompanying school lecture was on "blasting caps." We got pictures of them on on glossy cards passed around. They were supposedly used on construction sites and as much construction going on where I lived, I could never find one and I never heard one going off.

Now kids might get $cientology. Terril thinks they should get the axioms. LOL, Come on, they'd love Xenu, and after all, you wouldn't need Sciloontology if it weren't for Xenu.

Lliira
Lliira

It is not going to be taught in schools. It. Is. Not. 

And no one believes Scientology when they crow about being "accepted" and "mainstream" except for people who are already Scientologists. The people who want to teach so-called "Intelligent Design" are a very large and very real threat to the United States. Scientology just isn't.

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