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A.r.s Week in Review - 9/24/2000

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 24 9/24/2000 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2000 Alt.religion.scientology Week in
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 24, 2000
      Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 24
      by Rod Keller [rkeller@...]
      copyright 2000

      Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review summarizes the most significant
      postings from the Usenet group Alt.religion.scientology for the preceding
      week for the benefit of those who can't follow the group as closely as
      they'd like. Out of thousands of postings, I attempt to include news of
      significant events, new affidavits, court rulings, new contributors,
      whatever. I hope you find it useful. Like many readers of a.r.s, I have a
      kill file. So please take into consideration that I may not have seen some
      of the most significant postings.

      The articles in A.r.s Week in Review are brief summaries of articles
      posted to the newsgroup. They include message IDs for the original
      articles, and many have a URL to get more information. You may be able to
      find the original article, depending on how long your site stores articles
      in the newsgroup before expiring them.

      Free A.r.s Week in Review subscriptions are available.
      Subscriptions are also available on ONElist. Email
      weekinreview-subscribe@onelist.com or see http://www.onelist.com
      Week in Review is archived at:


      > Veterans Affairs

      A 1999 appeal decision for a U.S. veteran seeking vocational
      rehabilitation training was posted to a.r.s this week.

      "The appellant is currently service connected for paranoid schizophrenia,
      rated 100 percent disabling since March 1996. He therefore has a serious
      employment handicap. The purpose of vocational training is to enable
      veterans with service- connected disabilities to become employable to the
      maximum extent feasible and to obtain and maintain suitable employment.
      The Board observes that the appellant requested these benefits in order to
      receive training/counseling to become an 'auditor' for the Church of
      Scientology, a pseudo-religious cult. With respect to this matter, the
      Board further observes that literature from the Scientology cult submitted
      by the appellant with his substantive appeal in April 1997 described one
      of their principles as 'Flag auditing,' apparently a method of some sort
      of avoiding 'flubs' and 'wobbles,' and 'doing the C/S [sic] the way it's
      supposed to be done.' Although it is not clear from the record, it appears
      the vocational goal expressed by the appellant regarding the job as an
      'auditor' for this group may in fact relate to indoctrination in the
      aforementioned 'Flag auditing' principle. Thus, the goal for which he
      seeks Chapter 31 benefits may be of dubious vocational merit. Vocational
      rehabilitation benefits under Chapter 31, Title 38, United States Code are

      Message-ID: <9fgfss0l6msdkb7gq1bvibtqmjk318256u@...>


      > Clearwater

      Tory Bezazian reported that a Scientologist-owned restaurant in Clearwater
      attempted to refuse her service based on her being a former Scientologist.

      "I walked across Fort Harrison to a restaurant called Daniella's. I walked
      in and stood by the counter. Suddenly the phone rang, and I heard what
      looked like the owner say 'Blue top, white pants?' I realized I was the
      only one in there in a blue top and white pants. As she skulked behind the
      wall, and whispered into the phone I realized this is a security issue. I
      left quickly, and went back across the street to LMT to get a back up. I
      got Karin Case and we returned and I ordered a salad. No sooner had I
      ordered than the same lady on the phone earlier came up to me from behind
      the counter.

      "'Are you from across the street?' I said 'Yes'. She asked 'What do you do
      there?' I told her it was none of her business. She told me she was a
      Scientologist and was against what 'they' were doing and thus wasn't going
      to serve me. I reminded her this was a PUBLIC business, and I had every
      intention of eating there. She said no, so I said 'Well then call the
      police darlin,' as THAT is Discrimination and is against the law. One of
      the workers got me my salad, as she looked on reluctantly."

      Message-ID: <20000922160851.22227.00000148@...>


      > Germany

      Die Welt reported on September 17th on a memorial service held for Lisa
      McPherson in Germany.

      "There was an intense debate after a memorial service in the Luisen Church
      in Charlottenburg between Scientologists and the sect commissioner for
      Berlin and Brandenburg. Gandow gave his sermon in memory of a victim of
      Scientology in the USA: 'After she attempted to leave, Lisa McPherson was
      held against her will for 17 days and tormented. She died at the age of 36

      "Scientologists had threatened Gandow in advance of the event and defamed
      him in flyers which they distributed as an 'anti-sect commissioner' and
      'Chief Inquisitor.' 'Within the past week Scientology has terrorized me by
      telephone and threatened to disrupt our gathering,' said Gandow.
      Scientologists assembled in front of the church and distributed glossy
      brochures in which they disparaged critics who were involved with the
      'Lisa McPherson case.'

      "Apparently Gandow has not been stopped by these attempts at intimidation
      from taking further steps against Scientology. In a letter to State
      Bishop Wolfgang Huber, Scientology, with offices in Munich, demanded the
      immediate dismissal of the clergyman. Thomas Gandow has initiated legal
      steps against Scientology."

      Rev. Gandow issued a press release following the service.

      "Rev. Thomas Gandow addressed the Biblical story in his sermon of Cain
      murdering his brother: 'We have all heard of Scientology's penitential
      camps and enforced isolation. We know that people die there. We know that
      the Scientology Organization is trying to intimidate its critics into
      silence with slander, physical force and law suits.' He also included,
      'Today, nobody can say they did not know. God gave us eyes to see, not to
      look away. Therefore we have to guard the human dignity and freedom of our
      fellow human beings as we would the apple of our own eye. To look away and
      ignore would mean that we, ourselves, would be accessory to the deed.'

      "The collection was taken up to aid the Lisa McPherson Trust help victims
      in the USA. Among the approximately 150 participants of the memorial
      service were representatives of the German Parliament and of the Berlin
      House of Representatives, along with the Director of the Work Group on
      Scientology of the Interior Agency of the Free and Hanseatic City of
      Hamburg, Mrs. Ursula Caberta y Diaz."

      Hamburger Abendblatt reported on September 19th that Scientology continues
      to press allegations of bribery against Ursula Caberta.

      "The Director of the Work Group on Scientology of the Interior Agency,
      according to statements by the sect, has accepted private money from
      American businessman and Scientology opponent Bob Minton. The Scientology
      organization has filed a criminal complaints at the Hamburg State
      Attorney's Office for suspicion of accepting favors and bribes, et al.
      Caberta gave the matter over to the Department of Internal Affairs for
      investigation and would not say anything until the investigation was
      closed. The Scientologists also filed a complaint against Minton for
      suspicion of soliciting for favors and offering a bribe.

      "The Scientologists demonstrated yesterday with about 80 people in front
      of the Interior Agency and demanded 'frank explanation of the accusations
      of corruption against Caberta.'"

      From taz Hamburg on September 19th:

      "Members of the Scientology Organization protested yesterday in front of
      the Hamburg Interior Agency. The approximately 50 demonstrators demanded,
      from their banners, an 'end to discrimination' and the explanation of the
      accusations of corruption against the Director of the Work Group on
      Scientology of the Interior Agency, Ursula Caberta. The organization
      accused her of having accepted money from U.S. Scientology critic Bob
      Minton. Caberta denied the accusations of corruption: she said that Minton
      had invited her and that he only paid for her travel into the USA and her

      Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung reported on September 19th that Baden-Wuerttemburg
      has won a decision in court that may lead to Scientology lose its status
      there as a legal association.

      "The Superior Administrative Court in Mannheim has permitted appeal
      against a decision of the Stuttgart Administrative Court, as the executive
      presidium stated in the state capitol on Tuesday. The grounds are stated
      to be 'legal and factual problems.' In its initial reaction, Executive
      President Udo Andriof welcomed the Mannheim decision. 'We now have the
      opportunity to prove that the revocation of legal capacity occurred
      correctly because Dianetics Stuttgart is engaged as a business and pursues
      commercial goals,' said Andriof. A spokesman of the executive presidium
      estimated the yearly sales for Dianetics Stuttgart alone at from 2.5 to 3
      million marks. The greatest effect a decision against the organization
      would have would be in debtor liability. Creditors enjoy relatively little
      protection with registered associations."

      From Sindelfinger Zeitung on September 20th:

      "The Stuttgart executive presidium has obtained a partial victory in the
      dispute with Dianetics Stuttgart, Inc. Appeal of this decision has now
      been allowed in Mannheim 'because of specific factual and legal problems.'
      The primary purpose of Dianetics activities is commercial,' said RP
      spokesman Ralph Koenig. And it, according to Koenig, does not merit
      association privilege. He said they viewed the continued dispute with
      Scientology 'calmly.'"

      From Stuttgarter Nachrichten on September 20th:

      "Appeal would be filed 'in the next few weeks,' said Ralph Koenig,
      spokesman of the executive presidium, yesterday. Koenig, however, did not
      name an exact date. In a written position, Executive President Udo Andriof
      expressed the hope of 'now confronting the Scientologists' machinations by
      using administrative law.'"

      Freie Presse reported on September 20th that the Mayor of Zwickau has

      "Since the 49-year-old Eichhorn tossed in his cards in one fell swoop late
      Monday afternoon, the valley city is no longer the way it was; rumor and
      speculation abound. Even Eichhorn's closest confidante in the council
      building, in politics and in business reacted as if he was still stunned.
      The main reason he gave was irreconcilable differences between him and
      several CDU council members. It was mainly in dealing with Scientology
      that he could not do anything right. His critics accused him of going into
      battle only half-heartedly against the sect, which was growing wildly in

      Rheinpfalz Online reported on September 22nd that Gottfried Helnwein has
      dropped his complaint against a former Scientologist who claims Helnwein
      is an active member.

      Gottfried Helnwein, the Austrian painter, may now be described with
      impunity as a Scientologist and an auditor or a clergyman of the
      Scientology organization. The artist waived hearing in the Frankfurt
      Superior State Court, thereby dropping his complaint against Jeannette
      Schweitzer, a former Scientology member. She had protested Helnwein's
      intention to take part in a commemoration for the 'Neue Bremm'
      concentration camp near Saarbruecken. Schweitzer objected to an adherent
      of an organization as questionable as Scientology taking part in such a

      "Helnwein announced in February that he withdrew his complaint because he
      no longer lived in Germany and because the proceedings no longer meant
      anything to him. Schweitzer, however, did not agree to withdrawal of the
      complaint because that would have stopped her from being able to prove the
      truthfulness of her statements. So a new hearing was scheduled which
      Helnwein has now ended by waiving due procedure. According to Wolfgang
      Boehm, Schweitzer's attorney, the Scientologists shrank back from having
      witnesses heard in court who would give incriminating testimony. Boehm's
      assessment was that new evidence of a connection between Helnwein and
      Scientology, evidence supported by numerous witnesses, would have been
      extremely incriminating to Scientology."

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      > Donation

      The Los Angeles Times reported on September 22nd that Scientologists
      donated clothing to a women's center.

      "The Woman's Auxiliary of the Church of Scientology recently donated bags
      of clothing to the Domestic Violence Center of the Glendale YWCA, 735 E.
      Lexington Drive. The items were presented to Vivian Jojola, volunteer
      coordinator and Kim Pursell, director of shelter services. The auxiliary
      plans to collect clothing and other items to help displaced families move
      into transitional housing."

      Message-ID: <8qg2du$8hp$1@...>


      > Juliette Lewis

      The San Francisco Chronicle recently published an interview with
      Scientology celebrity Juliette Lewis.

      "Sitting in a San Francisco hotel room, Juliette Lewis comes off as a
      grown-up. She is gracious, thoughtful and only slightly wary. She's
      married to pro skateboarder Steve Berra, and she's still lean and boyishly
      built in jeans and vintage T-shirt that reads 'Los Angeles 1981.'

      "Lewis grew up around the Church of Scientology - her father was one of
      the religion's most prominent early members in Hollywood - but it was
      never forced on her, she says. When it came time to confront her substance
      abuse, though, Lewis relied on the controversial religion, and she's still
      a believer. 'The only thing I did at that time was Scientology courses.
      To not validate it is wrong. Had I not done it, I would still be having
      panic attacks. It's where I sought help and got it.'"

      Message-ID: <p8bbsssbt7ce9o331qov7t9e1lmmgk1afj@...>


      > David Minkoff

      The St. Petersburg Times reported on September 22nd that Scientologist
      David Minkoff is being sued in connection with the death of a man who died
      from a brain hemorrhage.

      "According to the complaint, filed Wednesday in Pasco Circuit Court, Gary
      Houck awoke in his New Port Richey home on June 29, 1998, with no vision
      in his left eye. At Community Hospital of New Port Richey, Houck told Dr.
      David Minkoff about the headaches and said he went from blurry vision to
      total blindness overnight. Minkoff examined Houck for 10 minutes and then
      discharged him with a referral to see an ophthalmologist, according to the
      complaint. Houck went straight to the office of Dr. Frederick Hauber, who
      suspected that the reason for the sudden blindness was neurological, the
      complaint states. But less than 24 hours later, Houck was brain dead. He
      had suffered a massive brain hemorrhage.

      "The lawsuit alleges that Houck died because the doctors he saw did not
      give him the attention he needed and failed to communicate the seriousness
      of the situation to each other or to Houck's HMO. Minkoff was a defendant
      in the high-profile wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Lisa
      McPherson, a member of the Church of Scientology. Minkoff, also a
      Scientologist, pronounced McPherson dead after she was brought, severely
      dehydrated, to a Pasco hospital in December 1995. Minkoff eventually
      settled his part of the lawsuit."

      Message-ID: <8qfqf2$u7m$1@...>


      > Nigeria

      African Post published an interview with John Fashanu, the Nigerian soccer
      star who has accused Scientology critic Bob Minton of illegal deals in a
      debt buy-back program.

      "AP: Who are those involved in these scandals apart from the three names
      that were given by Africa Confidential namely, Jeffrey Schmidt, Robert
      Minton and Alhaji Ahmed?

      "Fashanu: I won't mention names yet, as I would prefer the Nigerian
      government to conduct the investigation first.

      "AP: Are you scared or worried?

      "Fashanu: No, I am not. I have been warned off the investigation several
      times and I received two anonymous threatening phone calls only last week.

      "AP: That still does not answer our question is Fashanu scared?

      "Fashanu: No I am not. I just think it would only be appropriate for the
      Nigerian government to investigate the report first.

      "AP: If they don't then what will happen next?

      "Fashanu: I am sure the present civilian Administration will investigate
      the matters. If you aware President Obasanjo has pledged to crack down on
      the fraud and corruption which has given Nigerian business an appalling
      reputation throughout the world."

      Message-ID: <8qe536$pbd@...>


      > Tom Padgett

      Tom Padgett posted details of his release from prison in Kentucky. Tom was
      being held for failure to pay child support to his ex-wife, a
      Scientologist. Evidence that he had paid was the reason for his release.

      "The Hopkins County Jail released Tom onto the streets at 7:00 PM in a
      bright orange prison jumpsuit with 'Christian Co. Jail' in bold black
      letters on the back and 'prisoner' in bold letters running vertically down
      each leg. He had no wallet or any form of identification on him as all his
      belongings were still at the state inmate facility 40 miles away in
      Hopkinsville. The Hopkins Co. authorities refused to give him a ride back.
      He had to sneak his way through the dark alleys to get to a pay phone to
      call for help as not to be seen as an 'escaped prisoner'. More court
      sanctioned legal harassment from Judge Boteler's little town!

      "While at the motel for the past week, Tom got two phone calls from a
      woman asking if 'he wanted some company.' She said she could be there in 5
      minutes. Each time when Tom asked 'What kind of company?' she hesitated
      stuttered and hung up. Another probable set-up by local authorities to get
      Tom back behind bars where Scientologists want him to be.

      "Laura Padgett's attorney William Witledge indicated that he and his
      client were rejecting pre-payment of child support and were threatening a
      new criminal indictment before a grand jury in her local hometown for
      failure to pay for child support in August and September while he was in
      prison! A local mediator went ahead and set up the pre-payment plan with a
      local bank."

      Message-ID: <39ca268b.517111925@...>


      > Protest Summary

      The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an article on September 17th
      about recent protests at the Scientology org.

      "The only Church of Scientology in Georgia occupies a modest storefront on
      a busy street in the north Atlanta neighborhood of Dunwoody ---
      unremarkable except for the four pickets on the sidewalk. 'Scientology:
      Tax-Exempt UFO Cult,' reads one protester's homemade sign. The other
      pickets also wave signs at passing cars: 'Just Say No to Scientology,' and
      'Scientology is a Scam.' It seems to have the support of many passers-by
      who wave, honk their horns or give a thumbs-up as they drive past. The
      pickets counted about 50 drive-by supporters in an hour on a recent

      "It says it ministers to 8 million people around the world, but the church
      in Atlanta, which serves about 100 parishioners a week, is a lonely
      outpost. The only other churches in the Southeast are in Florida and
      Nashville. 'I see frankly nothing religious about what they are doing,'
      said Ann Lowe, who runs an anti-Scientology Web site. The protest is not
      limited to Atlanta. Pickets stand outside Scientology churches all over
      the country, but particularly in Clearwater, Florida, where the church has
      a religious retreat center. Clearwater has become a protest center
      because a Scientologist named Lisa McPherson died in 1995 after 17 days in
      the church's care for a mental breakdown."

      "Barb" reported on a recent protest at Gold Base, near Hemet, California.

      "We pulled up at the Ashlee memorial about a quarter to 10. Dad went over
      to introduce himself while I pulled my sign out of the car. At that
      moment, a white van pulled up next to me. It was a Hemetian who was
      curious as to why we were there. I gave him the quick rundown, he'd heard
      of the transformer vault incident and agreed that the cult made it look
      fishier than Sea World. I gave him a couple of fliers and joined the crew.
      Brent, Mirele, and Arel were there already, Mir with no sunscreen, and
      Arel with headphones.

      "Graham Berry drove by honking. He brought his friend Jane along for the
      adventure, she had the good sense to hang out in the shade. We saw the
      odd person traversing the property, some security staked out by the
      tunnel, and a guy down in the bushes landscaping. Brent and I spent a
      short time over the tunnel, watching the security guys peek at us. I did
      catch one 'parishioner' coming down the stairs, so I flipped my sign
      around so he could read the 'Ron is Gone, but the Con lives On' side of my
      sign. The other side said, 'Scientology Hates Free Speech.'"

      From Brent Stone:

      "It was a virtual ghost town, like it always is whenever anyone with a
      sign shows up there. Of course, we had the armed guards watching our every
      move, security cameras everywhere, rotating to look over every suppressive
      breath. Ed Richardson was there, but seemed much too afraid to come out
      from hiding behind the booth with the armed guards 'protecting' him,
      taking pictures of us.

      "Occasionally, we'd get a glimpse of someone in the distance (like on the
      balcony of DM's mansion) taking our pictures. Other times, it would be a
      security guard, herding unseen people back behind buildings and watching
      for us to go out of sight so they could cross under the road in the
      tunnels. Every once in a while, one would show up coming out of the
      tunnels, sometimes covering their eyes so they couldn't see the dangers
      around them."

      From Deana Holmes:

      "We parked by the Ashlee Shaner memorial which looked like it had been
      trashed. So I replaced the butterflies and later Barb found the wreath in
      the bushes and put it back by the cross. Then we got out our signs and
      started to march up and down the highway. After a while, Barb and her dad
      showed up and then after that, Graham and a friend also made it there.

      "There are a whole series of truly ugly monuments on the chapel side of
      the road. They are concrete rectangles, about two feet long, one foot wide
      and about 5 inches tall. They say 'PRIVATE PROPERTY NO TRESPASSING' on
      them. Apparently this is what the crew was doing when they left the entire
      wheelbarrow full of cement to harden because of a previous visit by an SP.
      The wheelbarrow is still there, located a bit behind a wall with a lot of
      other junk of the construction type.

      "Sea Org housing construction is well in evidence on the south end of the
      property, going towards the golf course. I think there are three or four
      buildings going up. One of the buildings has a Sea Org logo over the main
      door (the laurel leaves and star). Revenimus. It is apparently dorm-style

      "My favorite picketing spot was the underground tunnel. I noticed that
      they were keeping most everyone away from the tunnel if at all possible,
      because of that 'Church of $' sign I was carrying. One woman in Sea Org
      dress blues, carrying her jacket on a hanger did go through the tunnel.
      She held her jacket up to shield herself from the terrible entheta.
      Otherwise, people were being held back."

      Jeff Jacobsen and Tory Bezazian reported a protest at the Fort Harrison
      Hotel in Clearwater.

      "Tonight 14 of us picketed the Ft. Harrison Hotel. Some of us were
      sporting new picket signs made to individual tastes. Others of us mostly
      videotaped. We had 4 while Scientology had 5 besides there permanent
      security cameras. It was quiet for a little while but then of course our
      handlers were teleported in from wherever they hang out waiting for us to
      picket. A new tactic tonight was that the Scientologists had flyers about
      us terrible picketers, including one made up just for our guest of honor,
      Graham Berry. I neither saw nor heard of any hint of violence tonight. We
      had a good time and enjoyed all the car horn honks and thumbs up from the
      Clearwater residents, and were happy to have some new Clearwater citizens
      joining us to show their opinion of Scientology."

      "Today we were all picketing and a man named Hans came up with Mary
      DeMoss. She walks up and just starts raving about me being on drugs. The
      last drugs I did were in 1969. Today Hans walks up and starts telling me
      how 'psychotic' I looked the other day with my headset on. Dancing is now
      on the list of Scientology's labels?"

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      > Switzerland

      St. Galler Tagblatt reported on September 12th that police in Zurich do
      not see Scientology or other sects as a problem in the Canton.

      "Canton Councilman Manfred Eugster addressed a theme which has been more
      in the news lately: the sect situation in the Canton, and the sect politic
      of the executive assembly. Security Director Hans Diem had presented the
      question to the Canton Police and stated that no problems are currently
      known, and the police chief saw no need for action. Because of religious
      freedom, no systematic form of inquiry was possible. Neither did the drug
      withdrawal center of the Scientology-aligned Narconon organization in
      Waldstatt present a problem, from the view of the police."

      Tagesanzeiger Zurich reported on September 16th on the experiences a woman
      in Zurich had with Narconon.

      "They go looking for customers in the Zurich drug scene and distribute
      flyers on public land: Narconon's staff seek clients who are ready for
      withdrawal and to enter therapy. One of the people dazzled by the
      fantastic promises of success from the Narconon people was a 45-year-old
      Zurich woman with alcohol problems; she agreed to go into the Narconon
      Center at Waldstatt, AR, for six months of rehabilitation.

      "'It was not until after a week that I noticed that the center had
      something to do with Scientology and was applying Ron Hubbard's methods,'
      she said. When she brought that to the attention of the director, Barbara
      Volkart, she said the director denied there was any connection between
      Narconon and Scientology. Narconon President Ursula Suess asserted, in
      contrast, that their participants are told that Narconon works with the
      methods of the Scientology founder Hubbard. The fact is that the word
      'Scientology' does not appear anywhere on the flyers, in the documents or
      the internet home page.

      "Although the woman was critically disposed towards Scientology, she did
      not stop her therapy, but persisted in it. She hoped for physical and
      mental recuperation from the special Purification program, which Narconon
      propagates as a 'miracle program.' But first, the Zurich woman had to do
      exercises for four weeks which are similar to the Communication course by
      Ron Hubbard. 'It was horrible, we had to stare in each others eyes for
      hours, talk to an ashtray, and answer the same questions hundreds of
      times, like, 'Do birds fly?' said the woman. She regarded the exercises as
      a waste of time. Besides the course, almost everyday she had to cook, wash
      and clean. Looking back on it, the Zurich woman thinks the daily rate of
      130 franks was too high, under those circumstances.

      "'I was always getting dizzy, I had circulation problems, and even fell
      down a couple of times.' She said she tried to eat a lot, but her stomach
      often went on strike. So the already petite woman shed several kilograms
      in four weeks. 'Every morning I was worn out, and much more tired than
      before the Purification program.' She had enough after the Purification
      program and wanted to stop her therapy right then. But the Scientologists
      worked at her mulishly. They told her she would be passing up the
      opportunity to become a new person. She finally had the strength, after a
      week, to pack her things and leave the rehabilitation center against the
      objections of the Narconon people. Since then, the Zurich woman said, she
      has often been contacted by Narconon people and Scientologists who try to
      talk her back into therapy."

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