A Catalogue of Church mendacity

Lying for God

– Copy and Glorify!

Jesus Never Existed – Christianity's Fabrication Factory


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Kenneth Humphreys


18.09.12

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Christ! Mandylion or 'Holy Face of Edessa'

5

Would You BELIEVE IT?!
Self-portrait by the artist Jesus Christ!

Legend has it that Jesus sent his portrait (which miraculously appeared on a cloth pressed to his face) to King Agbar of Edessa.

 

On the other hand ... 

Not to be outdone, the Christian West concocted the story of 'Veronica', a good woman who wipes the face of JC and whose cloth then miraculously bears his image.

Good for business, of course...

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The Veronica of Jaen (Spain).

Not to be confused with the Veronica in Milan or the Veronica in the Vatican. All genuine, of course.

In order to withstand obvious doubts about replicated relics (multiple heads of John the Baptist, for example) the Church espoused the wondrous truth that 'self-replication' was further evidence of a relic's miraculous qualities.

 

"Sudarium of Oviedo"

(that's a dirty stained cloth to the sane)

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The 12th century Kingdom of Castile and Leon, with its warriors ravaging Moorish Spain, needed sacred relics to heighten religious tension.

Archbishop Pelayo Meléndez, "the chronicler", came up with "relics from the Holy City of Jerusalem", including a blood stained rag said to be the face cloth of one dead Jesus referred to in John 20.7. Still a prized tourist attraction in the Cathedral.

Oviedo was a small detour from the pilgirm trail to Santiago de Compostela.

 

 

 

Florida Fried Jesus?

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Why not start your own shrine?

Christmas 2005 and Jesus shows up in a cooking pan. One lucky fast food worker has now retired to West Palm Beach as thousands flock to see the "Grease smear Jesus."

 

 

All Liars

'Only lies have our fathers handed down to us, emptiness in which there is nothing of any avail!'

– Jeremiah 16.19.

 

 

A Lying Prophet

'And Elisha said unto him, Go, say unto him, "Thou mayest certainly recover": howbeit the LORD hath shewed me that he shall surely die.' 

– 2 Kings 8.10.

 

 

 

Monstrous fiction

'Clearly the Christians have used ... myths ... in fabricating the story of Jesus' birth ... It is clear to me that the writings of the Christians are a lie and that your fables are not well-enough constructed to conceal this monstrous fiction.'

– Celsus (On The True Doctrine, c178 AD)

Celsus was one of the foremost thinkers of his age. His critique of the Christians was so damaging that Christians destroyed every copy of his work they could find.

 

 

 

Useful, Not Truthful

'To confute the opposer ... one argues as one pleases, saying one thing while one means another ... Origen, Eusebius [et al] write at great length ... Sometimes it is true, they are compelled to say not what they think but what is useful.'

– St Jerome, c. 380.

 

 

 

It's Official – One-Eyed Men!

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"I was already Bishop of Hippo, when I went into Ethiopia with some servants of Christ there to preach the Gospel. In this country we saw many men and women without heads, who had two great eyes in their breasts; and in countries still more southly, we saw people who had but one eye in their foreheads.'"

– St Augustine

(Sermon 37; quoted in Taylor, Syntagma, 52; Diegesis, 271; Doane, Bible Myths, 437.)

 

 

'On Lying'

Believe it or not, Augustine devoted two whole treatises to the topic of lying. The first of these, 'De mendacio' ('On Lying'), written in 395, discussed the pros and cons of lying.

On balance, of the eight kinds of lie which he identified (each with several sub-types!) he excused 'jocular' lies, was 'uncertain' about others (depending on motive and the likelihood of being believed) but questioned the morality of the remainder.

The second tract 'Contra mendacium', written in 422, cautioned the brethren against lying. Evidently they needed the warning.

"One never errs more safely, methinks, than when one errs by too much loving the truth, and too much rejecting of falsehood."

– St Augustine, Retractations, Book I

 

 

 

Father of Lies?

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God"

– 2 Timothy 3.16.

"And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie."
– 2 Thessalonians 2.11

 

 

 

It's Official – White is Black!

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Ignatius Loyola – Jesuit Fuhrer

 

 

 

Pious Forgeries

'The forgery of pious documents of every imaginable character was among the most constant and zealous activities of the holy propagandists of the Christian Faith, from the beginning to the critical era when forgeries were no longer possible or profitable.'

– Joseph Wheless (1930)

 

 

 

Suspect

"Unsigned works are a peculiar Christian phenomenon, in works with a dogmatic, apologetic, and propagandistic aim – in other words, works already suspect, and thus made even more so by an author's anonymity."

– Richard Carrier

 

 

 

"Letter of Jesus to the King of Edessa"

314

Would You BELIEVE IT?! JC replies to a royal fan!

 

 

Useful, Not Truthful

"It is usual for the sacred historian to conform himself to the generally accepted opinion of the masses in his time.'

– St Jerome (P.L., XXVI, 98; XXIV, 855).

 
 

 

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What a Girl! Our Lady of Guadeloupe conveniently turned up to help the murdering conquistadors in the Americas.

 

 

 

 

‘There is nothing so easy as by sheer volubility to deceive a common crowd or an uneducated congregation.’

– St. Jerome (Epistle to Nepotian, Lii, 8.)

Would the partisans of Christ have set out deliberately to lie? Were they such barefaced charlatans that they concocted falsehoods and deceits merely to advance themselves and their designs? By their own admission, YES they were. They may well have been believers, in that they held to a certain faith. On this was built the fanaticism either to die, or to kill others, for that faith. But faith absolves the believer from any fidelity to objective truth.

 

God's Truth – Lies

Religious fantasy advances in small steps by which those who already ‘see a higher truth’ help the less gifted to achieve that sublime state by using various devices. In Jewish tradition, one such a device was ‘midrash’, the teasing out of new, contemporary meanings from antique, sacred texts. By such means, the scribes could resolve a current issue by interpreting what the scripture had ‘really meant’ all along. Was that a lie?

False accreditation was another much used method, common practice during antiquity. Most of the texts in both the Hebrew bible and the New Testament were forged in the names of their authors to give them ‘authority.’ This merely helped others recognise 'the higher truths' presented to them. Who could argue with Solomon, say, or Apostles of the Lord?

 

A Labyrinth of Deceit

One of the most inveterate forms of imaginative creation was the invention of sayings and whole speeches which, just as fiction-writers do today, they put entire into the mouths of the personages of whom they were writing. Thus, in the Gospel of John, chapters 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 are almost one continuous verbatim monologue – all three thousand six hundred words of it! – supposedly uttered by the godman, a truly remarkable instance of total recall by the fabled octogenarian author!

The authors of Christianity were fond of allegory and parable. Few people have a head for pure theology. Popularising a convoluted point of theology for the unlearned by an illustrative story gets the point across. What perhaps is missed is that Christian theology is several levels deep: it uses fictional characters to tell fictional stories to make doctrinal points. Some dogmatists no doubt believed (still believe) that one day, long ago, a real whale swallowed a real Jonah. After all, Jesus supposedly said:

"For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."Matthew 12.40.


The whole point of Jonah was not about God’s ability to conjure up man-swallowing fish; it was that Yahweh loves even the depraved folk of Nineveh (and their cattle). The 6th century BC scribe who wrote Jonah used the name of a prophet mentioned in 2 Kings to make a point about the worthiness of evangelising to the heathen. He has his reluctant hero sail from Joppa and encounter a storm. Cast overboard somewhere out at sea, the big fish is a literary device to get Jonah back to Joppa, from where, more enthusiastically, he can set out again for the big, bad city of Nineveh.

The theological point could be made simply – ‘our god loves all who repent, don’t be reluctant, go and tell it to the heathen’ – but would that entertain the crowd? Simple folk of course would start to take the entertaining story as a literal truth. Then, several generations later, when the story falls into the hands of the author of Matthew – who may well believe that the Jonah story is ‘true’ – he has his own fictional Christ figure quote Jonah to give authority to a different theological point: ‘death can be conquered.’

 

Deception

Thus by small steps a complex weave of fantasy is woven. As indeed the Church Fathers cheerfully admit:

"I will only mention the Apostle Paul. ... He, then, if anyone, ought to be calumniated; we should speak thus to him: ‘The proofs which you have used against the Jews and against other heretics bear a different meaning in their own contexts to that which they bear in your Epistles.

We see passages taken captive by your pen and pressed into service to win you a victory, which in volumes from which they are taken have no controversial bearing at all ... the line so often adopted by strong men in controversy – of justifying the means by the result."

– St. Jerome, Epistle to Pammachus (xlviii, 13; N&PNF. vi, 72-73)


Was Saint Paul an unabashed liar? From this verse in Romans it would appear so:

"For if the truth of God hath more abounded by my lie unto his glory, why yet am I also adjudged a sinner?" – St. Paul, Romans 3.7.


However in context Paul is actually censuring other Christians who say "Let us do evil, that good may come" (that is, from God's judgement). But like Paul we can "take the passage captive" to make a point.

 

Luminaries of Deception


Jerome is not alone in his candour. Bishop Eusebius, the official propagandist for Constantine, entitles the 32nd Chapter of his 12th Book of Evangelical Preparation:

"How it may be Lawful and Fitting to use Falsehood as a Medicine, and for the Benefit of those who Want to be Deceived."


Eusebius
is notoriously the author of a great many falsehoods – but then he does warn us in his infamous history:

"We shall introduce into this history in general only those events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity."

– Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 8, chapter 2.


Clement of Alexandria was one of the earliest of the Church Fathers to draw a distinction between "mere human truth" and the higher truth of faith:

"Not all true things are the truth, nor should that truth which merely seems true according to human opinions be preferred to the true truth, that according to the faith."

– Clement (quoted by M. Smith, Clement of Alexandria, p446)


John Chrysostom, 5th century theologian and erstwhile bishop of Constantinople, is another:

"Do you see the advantage of deceit? ...

For great is the value of deceit, provided it be not introduced with a mischievous intention. In fact action of this kind ought not to be called deceit, but rather a kind of good management, cleverness and skill, capable of finding out ways where resources fail, and making up for the defects of the mind ...

And often it is necessary to deceive, and to do the greatest benefits by means of this device, whereas he who has gone by a straight course has done great mischief to the person whom he has not deceived."

– Chrysostom, Treatise On The Priesthood, Book 1.


'Golden Mouth' John is notable for his extensive commentaries on the Bible which emphasized a literal understanding of the stories; the style popular at Alexandria until then was to acknowledge an allegorical meaning of the text.

Thus eminent ‘believers’ added falsehood to the beliefs of later generations. ‘For the best of reasons’ they ‘clarified’ obscure points, conjured up characters to speak dialogue that could have been said, invented scenarios that could have happened, borrowed extensively from a wider culture. And this all before they became the custodians of power and had real reasons for lies, inventions and counterfeits. As we shall see, god’s immutable laws became as flexible as putty.

The 5th and 6th centuries was the 'golden age' of Christian forgery. In a moment of shocking candour, the Manichean bishop (and opponent of Augustine) Faustus said:

"Many things have been inserted by our ancestors in the speeches of our Lord which, though put forth under his name, agree not with his faith; especially since – as already it has been often proved – these things were written not by Christ, nor [by] his apostles, but a long while after their assumption, by I know not what sort of half Jews, not even agreeing with themselves, who made up their tale out of reports and opinions merely, and yet, fathering the whole upon the names of the apostles of the Lord or on those who were supposed to follow the apostles, they maliciously pretended that they had written their lies and conceits according to them."


In the ferocious battle for adherents, the propagandists sought to outdo each other at every turn. One example: by the 5th century, four very different endings existed to Mark's gospel. Codex Bobiensis ends Mark at verse 16:8, without any post-crucifixion appearances; it lacks both the 'short conclusion' (of Jesus sending followers to 'east and west') or the 'long conclusion' – the fabulous post-death apparitions, where Jesus promises his disciples that they will be immune to snake bites and poison.

Once the Church had grabbed mastery of much of Europe and the middle-east, its forgery engine went into overdrive.

'The Church forgery mill did not limit itself to mere writings but for centuries cranked out thousands of phony "relics" of its "Lord," "Apostles" and "Saints" … There were at least 26 'authentic' burial shrouds scattered throughout the abbeys of Europe, of which the Shroud of Turin is just one … At one point, a number of churches claimed the one foreskin of Jesus, and there were enough splinters of the "True Cross" that Calvin said the amount of wood would make "a full load for a good ship." '

– Acharya S, The Christ Conspiracy.

 

Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556), the tireless zealot for papal authority –  he was the founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) – even wrote:

"We should always be disposed to believe that which appears to us to be white is really black, if the hierarchy of the church so decides."


The Reformation may have swept away some abuses perpetrated by the priesthood but lying was not one of them. Martin Luther, in private correspondence, argued:

"What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church ... a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them."

– Martin Luther (Cited by his secretary, in a letter in Max Lenz, ed., Briefwechsel Landgraf Phillips des Grossmüthigen von Hessen mit Bucer, vol. I.)

 

The Forgery Mill

Notable Christian forgeries include:

The Donation of Constantine'Without doubt a forgery...' Catholic Encyclopedia
A two-part document purporting to be from the first Christian emperor to Pope Sylvester I (314-35). In the 'Confessio' Constantine thanks Sylvester for his Christian instruction and baptism (and consequent cure of leprosy!) In his 'Donatio' Constantine confers on the pope and his successors primacy over all other bishops, including the eastern patriarchs, senatorial privileges for the clergy, imperial palaces and regalia, Rome itself and the western empire!!

In truth, this monstrous 8th century forgery (peppered with anachronisms) was almost certainly written by the future Pope Paul I (757-67) while his equally ambitious brother Stephen II (752-57) sat on the papal throne.


The False Decretals
(aka Pseudo-Isidorian Forgeries) – A riot of more than a hundred fake letters and decrees attributed to pontiffs from 1st century Clement (88-97) to 7th century Gregory I (590-604). Now attributed either to 'Isodore Mercator', a supposed 9th century master forger and papal aide, or to a group of Gallic forgers trading on the name and reputation of Isodore of Seville. Like the Donation, the Decretals conferred rights and privileges on the papacy.

A similar collection, the 'Dionysiana', was named for a 6th century monk 'Dennis the Little' (Dionysius Exiguus), inventor of the BC -AD dating system. Dionysius provided the papacy with Latin translation of the canons the Eastern Church. This ripe collection included fifty canons from the very Apostles themselves.


'Thundering Legion' Decree of Marcus Aurelius
In this fabricated letter from the emperor to the Senate, Marcus is said to have forbidden persecution of Christians because, in a battle with the Quadi in 174, prayers from Christian soldiers brought on a thunderstorm which rescued the Romans from thirst and dispersed the barbarian opponents. The emperor is said to have accorded the Twelfth Legion the suffix fulminata or fulminea, that is, 'thundering.' Tertullian (c.160 - c.230), north African theologian, made up this nonsense; the twelfth legion had had the suffix legio fulminata from the time of Augustus. The stoic Marcus Aurelius had nothing but contempt for the Christians.


'
Letters' of Emperor Antoninus Pius to the Greeks – More fakery, this time from the pen of 4th century Bishop Eusebius (Ecclesiastic History, IV, 13). He has the pious 2nd century pagan forbid 'tumults against the Christians.'


The Clementines
– These fancies, twenty books of 'curious religious romance' (Catholic Encyclopedia), masquerade as the work of 1st century pontiff Clement I. Written in the 4th century, their purpose was to bolster Rome's claim to be the primary see: here we have the 'Epistle of Clement to James' which originated the notion that St. Peter was the first Bishop of Rome.


Correspondence between Seneca and Paul
- a 4th century invention of 1st century letters. They alluded to fires in Rome and to the persecution of Jews and Christians.


Acts of Paul and Thecla
– "Love for Paul" was the justification for this particular compendium of fable. None other than Tertullian condemned his rival's handiwork.

"If those who read the writing that falsely bears the name of Paul adduce the example of Thecla to maintain the right of women to teach and to baptize, let them know that the presbyter in Asia who produced this document, as if he could of himself add anything to the prestige of Paul, was removed from his office after he had been convicted and had confessed that he did it out of love for Paul."

– Tertullian, De batismo, 17.


'Testimonium Flavianum
' - The infamous 'passing reference' to Jesus Christ supposedly written by the 1st century Jewish historian Josephus (he adopted the family name of the imperial house).

We know in graphic detail the course of the first Jewish War because – remarkably – the history recorded by Josephus somehow survived. Whereas whole libraries of antiquity were torched by the Christians, curiously, this testimony of a Jew made it through the centuries. A subsequent work by Josephus, The Antiquity of the Jews, which iterated and extended his story of the 'chosen people' also survived.

The survival of these two overlapping works was no coincidence because they rather too well 'confirm' from a 'non-Christian source' the existence of the godman.

In short, sometime in the 4th century, while most else of ancient scholarship was being thrown into bonfires, a Christian scribe – probably Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea– 'rescued' the histories of Josephus and 'doctored' them to provide convenient 'proof' that Christ had been flesh-and-blood and was neither a fiction (as pagan critics maintained) nor solely a spiritual being, as gnostics reasoned. (See full discussion: The authentic pen of lying Christian scribes!)

Mother of All Fakes

The Shroud of Turin

Modern science signalled the decline in the wholesale manufacture of Christian forgeries.
The freethinker Leonardo da Vinci had the last laugh on the Church when he put his own face on a fake so clever that it remained 'authentic' for five hundred years!

Shrouded in Deceit

 


The Chronicle of Sulpicius Severus
- a 5th century disciple of Bishop Martin of Tours invented the lurid story of the Neronian persecution.

The Jewish historian Josephus says nothing about any "persecution" under Nero, though he is not slow to describe him as "acting like a madman" who "slew his brother, and wife, and mother, from whom his barbarity spread itself to others that were most nearly related to him; and how, at last, he was so distracted that he became an actor in the scenes, and upon the theater." (Wars, 13.1)

If a bonfire of Christians had actually happened Josephus would have mentioned it – but he does not, and nor does any early Christian writer.

"In reality, the Neronian persecution never occurred. It is a fiction of the Church, invented for its greater glory."

– Arthur Drews, The Legend of St Peter, p63.

 

Chapter 16 of Life of Nero by Suetonius. This is the origin of the 'Christians burnt as torches' nonsense.


The Lentulus Letter
For this pious fancy the forger created a fictitious predecessor to Pontius Pilate, governor of Judaea, calling him "Publius Lentulus". The forger has his creation write to the Roman Senate, reporting Christ's "raising of the dead". He describes Jesus as "the most beautiful of the sons of men."

The letter was first printed in the "Life of Christ" by Ludolph the Carthusian (Cologne, 1474). It was probably composed in 13th/14th century, based on an earlier Greek forgery.


Report of Pilate to Caesar –
Pilate's conversion to Christianity – and even the debauched Emperor Tiberius a closet-Christian! Another gem from the pen of Tertullian!

‘All these things Pilate did to Christ; and now in fact a Christian in his own convictions, he sent word of Him to the reigning Caesar, who was at the time Tiberius. Yes, and even the Caesars would have believed on Christ, if either the Caesars had not been necessary for the world, or if Christians could have been Caesars.’

– Tertullian Apol. xxi and Anti-Nicene Fathers, iii, 35.

 

Letter of Jesus to the King of Edessa
Nothing less than the handwritten note of the godman himself! This fabrication was supposedly delivered by the apostle Thaddeus, together with a self-portrait by the artist – Jesus Christ (he wiped his face with the canvass)! Actually, the text is borrowed from the 'concordance' of Tatian, compiled in the 2nd century, and known as the 'Diatessaron'. The forgery is almost certainly the work of Eusebius, Christian propagandist of the 4th century. He was the first to mention the letter and claimed to have personally 'translated' it from Syriac (Ecclesiastical History I, xii).

 


The Virgin Birth Fraud

The most colossal blunder of the Septuagint translators, the mistranslation of the original Hebrew text of Isaiah, 7.14, allowed deceitful early Christians to concoct their infamous prophecy that somehow the ancient Jewish text presaged the miraculous birth of their own godman.

The Hebrew original says:
'Hinneh ha-almah harah ve-yeldeth ben ve-karath shem-o immanuel.'

Honestly translated, the verse reads:
'Behold, the young woman has conceived — and bears a son and calls his name Immanuel.'


The Greek-speaking translators of Hebrew scripture (in 3rd century B.C. Alexandria) slipped up and translated 'almah' (young woman) into the Greek 'parthenos' (virgin). The Hebrew word for virgin would have been 'betulah.' The slip did not matter at the time, for in context, Isaiah’s prophe
cy – set in the 8th century BC but probably written in the 5th – had been given as reassurance to King Ahaz of Judah that his royal line would survive, despite the ongoing siege of Jerusalem by the Syrians. And it did. In other words, the prophecy had nothing to do with events in Judaea eight hundred years into the future!

Justin ‘Martyr’, a pagan Greek from Palestine, fled to Ephesus at the time of Bar Kochbar’s revolt (132 -135 AD). He joined the growing Christian community and found himself competing with the priests of Artemis, an eternally virgin goddess. Justin successfully overcame the sentiments of established Christians and had Mary, mother of Jesus, declared a virgin, citing his Greek copy of Isaiah as 'evidence' of scriptural prescience. The Greek priest who then forged the 'Gospel according to St. Matthew' went one stage further, taking the word 'harah' – in Hebrew a past or perfect tense – and switched it into a future tense to arrive at:

'Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel.'

– Matthew 1.23.


All this to arrive at the monstrous fiction that ancient scripture foretold of the arrival of an infant actually called Jesus!



Still Lying in 21st century

The Pope has chosen to canonise Juan Diego, supposedly a sixteenth century Mexican Indian who had the good fortune to have the Blessed Virgin (in the guise of 'Our Lady of Guadeloupe') impress her own image onto his cloak. Not surprisingly, Diego was a paragon of Catholic devotion, completely submissive to Spanish colonial authorities. Mind you, the story only surfaced a century after its alleged occurrence, at the height of the campaign to eradicate indigenous religions.

Commented David Brading, Professor of Mexican History at Cambridge University:

'When the Pope canonises Juan Diego, he will have elevated to sainthood the hero of a religious work of fiction.'

The Times, 31 June 2002.


Continued The Times:

'An interview with the man given the task in 1947 of restoring Diego's cloak, on which an image of the Virgin appeared, revealed this week that the image was not a miracle. Instead, he said, it had been painted on.'

 

Whether we look at the Middle Ages and the Reformation, the first centuries of the Christian era or even today, Christianity has always been a fabrication, layer set upon layer of lies and nonsense, a fraud from its very inception.

 

Sources:
Graham Phillips, The Marian Conspiracy (Sidgwick & Jackson, 2000)
Marina Warner, Alone of All Her Sex (Picador, 1976)
John Shelby Spong, Liberating the Gospels (Harper, 1996)
John Shelby Spong, Born of a Woman (Harper, 1992)
Robin Lane Fox, The Unauthorized Version (Penguin, 1991)
Leslie Houlden (Ed.), Judaism & Christianity (Routledge, 1988)
W.H.C. Frend, The Rise of Christianity (Darton Longman Todd, 1984)
Riane Eisle, The Chalice & the Blade (Harper Collins, 1987)

 

 

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Islam's Desert Storm – 'Christendom' Reaps a Whirlwind

Heaven help us. The richest, most powerful nation in history has a psychotic infatuation with Jay-a-sus the Lawd!
The Christianizing of the Americas
 

 

 



 

 

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