Author Topic: SLS in Brewster, NY?  (Read 28030 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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SLS in Brewster, NY?
« on: September 13, 2007, 03:12:38 PM »
Anyone been there?
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Offline Anonymous

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SLS in Brewster, NY?
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2007, 03:16:39 PM »
They are being sued in a class action lawsuit - and have been accused of various instances of abuse -

http://www.caica.org/Former_patients_su ... cility.htm

You can read about former members ordeals - here

http://aboutsls.blogspot.com/

I'm not sure if anyone else has been there - or heard about it, but I wanted to know.
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Offline Anonymous

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SLS in Brewster, NY?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2007, 03:52:32 PM »
if they are not a wwasp or teen program this is the wrong place to post red lion
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Offline Ursus

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SLS in Brewster, NY?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2007, 05:03:00 PM »
They appear to treat a mixture of teens and young (?) adults.  Their methods sound frightening.  A lot of brainwashing and intimidation.  They have this confrontational group seminar called APD where the patients attack each other and assign consequences.  Sounds very similar philosophically to some of the programs on fornits.
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Offline Anonymous

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yep, it's true
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2007, 09:35:29 AM »
Thanks Ursus. That's the tip of the iceberg. But yeah, it's a mixture of residents. They had the guy Evan Marshall as a resident there who "eloped" (haha!) and ended up brutally killing some woman when he went back home. They found her head in the trunk of his car. Supoosedly now, they don't allow "violent" felons in.

But basically, alot of ex-"members" (more SLS-speak) have been speaking out about the abuse and the class action lawsuit has begun to pick up steam. The NY Ofiice of Mental health has yanked their operating certificates but they are still open for business as usual. Go figure.
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Offline Ursus

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Re: yep, it's true
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2007, 10:51:49 AM »
Quote from: ""red lion""
Thanks Ursus. That's the tip of the iceberg. But yeah, it's a mixture of residents. They had the guy Evan Marshall as a resident there who "eloped" (haha!) and ended up brutally killing some woman when he went back home. They found her head in the trunk of his car. Supoosedly now, they don't allow "violent" felons in.

But basically, alot of ex-"members" (more SLS-speak) have been speaking out about the abuse and the class action lawsuit has begun to pick up steam. The NY Ofiice of Mental health has yanked their operating certificates but they are still open for business as usual. Go figure.
I did come across an article on Evan Marshall yesterday along with many links, only a few of which I had time to read.  He's implicated in at least two more unsolved murders in the Glen Cove, New York, area which also involved decapitations.  Seems to have some issues with women.  The woman whose head was recently found in the trunk of his car used to be a special ed teacher.  Not sure if that's relevant or not, but thought I'd mention it in case it was.

Clearly, SLS did not address his problems effectively, and may have even made them worse.  But yeah, someone like Marshall is very very very fucked up and belongs elsewhere.

I've only just begun the blog readings.  Highly recommended to other fornits readers, in case you're interested.  Highly recommended here is the Comments section, which SLS survivors use to pass info on to the blog writer and to tell their stories.  Although SLS takes in a mixed clientele, they do overlap with fornits concerns and use a lot of the same coercive psychobabble and cruelty, not to mention ruthless disregard for actual help... along with more than a little sprinkling of monetary greed.  Many of the key personnel appear to have backgrounds in treating adolescents and/or substance abuse issues.

This appears to be as good a website to start as any:  http://slshealth.com/

Tell me, red lion, do you know what organization actually owns SLS (not just the personages Joe Santoro and Alfred Bergman), and who they are connected to?
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Offline Anonymous

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SLS in Brewster, NY?
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2007, 11:34:13 AM »
Ursus, I have no idea what corporation is actually behind them - but they do have various groups (or tentacles like a marketing firm, computer software for rating "symptoms" - check out the way back machine for all their incarnations) and are trying move into Connneticut since they have a taken a hit in NY.

They also have ERP - which is "cure" for addiction. Again, useless at best, dangerous at its worst.

I'd like to register here - to make sure my posting name is my posting name - & no jokers can copy it (rather than signing on as guest) - but am dubious about registering. How secure is this site? Will my info be passed on. You can never be too careful -
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Offline Ursus

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« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2007, 12:22:18 PM »
Quote from: ""red lion""
I'd like to register here - to make sure my posting name is my posting name - & no jokers can copy it (rather than signing on as guest) - but am dubious about registering. How secure is this site? Will my info be passed on. You can never be too careful -

If you have any concerns re. "trackability," use a proxy when posting, but I doubt you will run into any problems.  This site is run by a devoted free speech proponent and anti-program survivor.

To register, you will need an email address.  You do not even need a name, just the address.

If you are concerned about privacy, set yourself up a gmail account using a different name.  Then use this gmail acct to register on fornits. A huge benefit of registering is being able to private message other people on the forum.
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Offline Ursus

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SLS in Brewster, NY?
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2007, 01:16:21 PM »
Quote from: ""red lion""
Ursus, I have no idea what corporation is actually behind them - but they do have various groups (or tentacles like a marketing firm, computer software for rating "symptoms" - check out the way back machine for all their incarnations) and are trying move into Connneticut since they have a taken a hit in NY.
SLSHealth appears to be a parent company for at least two other companies at the moment (they may also "splinter" the SLS banner into sub-divisions such as the RTC for one, and out-patient stuff for other forays, but I haven't checked into that yet).  These companies are Sigmund Software LLC, the aforementioned computer software business, and Catalyst Strategies Groups Inc., which counsels excessively bullish or bearish Wall Street executives and corporative legal personnel on how they can better function as employees.  Key SLS personnel wear the same type of hats in these companies as well.

The thought that immediately entered my mind upon reading the respective descriptions was that these were all ways to track and store potentially compromising information on people to make them more societally compliant.  What can I say; I'm a real fan of Orwell.  These are companies who market themselves to employers, not necessarily employees, and certainly not patients.  Reader take note.

http://www.sigmundsoftware.com
http://www.catsg.com/

Quote from: ""red lion""
They also have ERP - which is "cure" for addiction. Again, useless at best, dangerous at its worst.

What is ERP?

Sigmund Software lists a number of companies that have purchased their software.  Somewhere or other I recall reading that there has to be a certain amount of philosophical empathy, as far as the company policy goes, for Sigmund to sell it to them.  That's quite possibly just pure marketing hype, since some of these companies appear to be diametrically opposed to one another, as far as treating addiction is concerned (e.g., pro-12 Step vs. anti-12 Step).  What all of these places do have is common however is the term "Behavioral Health."

    Sundown M Ranch  
http://www.sundown.org  
Community Renewal Team Inc.  http://www.crtct.org
Brookside Institute  http://www.brooksideinstitute.com
The Ranch At Cove Tree  http://www.dovetreeranch.com
COPAC  http://www.copacms.com
Cornerstone Recovery Inc.  http://www.cornerstoneofrecovery.com
Caron Treatment Centers  http://www.caron.org
Ability Beyond Disability (Datahr Rehabilitation)  http://www.abilitybeyonddisability.org[/list]
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Offline Anne Bonney

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Re: yep, it's true
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2007, 01:43:59 PM »
Quote from: ""red lion""
Thanks Ursus. That's the tip of the iceberg. But yeah, it's a mixture of residents. They had the guy Evan Marshall as a resident there who "eloped" (haha!) and ended up brutally killing some woman when he went back home. They found her head in the trunk of his car. Supoosedly now, they don't allow "violent" felons in.

But basically, alot of ex-"members" (more SLS-speak) have been speaking out about the abuse and the class action lawsuit has begun to pick up steam. The NY Ofiice of Mental health has yanked their operating certificates but they are still open for business as usual. Go figure.


These places all seem to have the cultspeak in common.  First Straight called  running  "splitting", then "copping out" and finally "eloping".

Same shit, different wrapper.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
traight, St. Pete, early 80s
AA is a cult http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-cult.html

The more boring a child is, the more the parents, when showing off the child, receive adulation for being good parents-- because they have a tame child-creature in their house.  ~~  Frank Zappa

Offline Rachael

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SLS in Brewster, NY?
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2007, 02:06:23 PM »
Eloping... I like that. Makes running seem like an even more desirable goal.

In AARC, they pretty much just called it running. But I may be forgetting, I've been doing that a lot lately.
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Justice, Justice shall you pursue.

Deuteronomy 16:20

Offline Ursus

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« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2007, 02:23:23 PM »
At Hyde they called it "running from the challenge," "splitting," "copping out," "settling for less," "giving up on yourself," and a host of other terms I can't think of at the moment.  Never heard of "elope," perhaps that one struck too close to home.  Too many faculty preying sexually on the students, ha ha!  

Forgive me, true gallows humor here.
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Offline red lion

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« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2007, 02:54:10 PM »
aw you guys rock - when I started reading Fornits - it was true - same old, same old for all these programs whose main claim to fame is re-creating abusive family situations - using shame and fear to make us all more compliant.

ERP links are here -

http://www.slshealth.com/residential/tr ... gnosis.asp

(I like the computer in that pic, very 1984).

http://www.erptherapy.com/

They drug test evreyone there - a really humiliating experience, especially if you aren't there for a drug issue.

All these programs have a language unique to them (alot like other total institutions like jail and the military) and it's interesting that in order to be "inculcated", assimilated and "cured" - you have to learn and internalize the language. Creepy but true.

They would literally "code" you all day and then hand the sheets in at the end of the day - the computer program generates your "profile" of behaviors - it was bizarre and frustrating to say the least.
They'd give you a horse load of meds and you's get coded for "IDS" - short hand for "inappropriate daytime sleep" - um, but what did they expect when you are forcibly drugged?

Hopefully, some other former "members" will be posting shortly.

Thanks for welcoming us into the fornits clan.

& ursus, thanks for replying to this and getting the ball rolling.
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Offline Anne Bonney

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SLS in Brewster, NY?
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2007, 03:12:29 PM »
Quote from: ""red lion""
aw you guys rock - when I started reading Fornits - it was true - same old, same old for all these programs whose main claim to fame is re-creating abusive family situations - using shame and fear to make us all more compliant.

ERP links are here -

http://www.slshealth.com/residential/tr ... gnosis.asp

(I like the computer in that pic, very 1984).

http://www.erptherapy.com/

They drug test evreyone there - a really humiliating experience, especially if you aren't there for a drug issue.

All these programs have a language unique to them (alot like other total institutions like jail and the military) and it's interesting that in order to be "inculcated", assimilated and "cured" - you have to learn and internalize the language. Creepy but true.

They would literally "code" you all day and then hand the sheets in at the end of the day - the computer program generates your "profile" of behaviors - it was bizarre and frustrating to say the least.
They'd give you a horse load of meds and you's get coded for "IDS" - short hand for "inappropriate daytime sleep" - um, but what did they expect when you are forcibly drugged?

Hopefully, some other former "members" will be posting shortly.

Thanks for welcoming us into the fornits clan.

& ursus, thanks for replying to this and getting the ball rolling.



Glad you guys found us.

This is a site I keep plugging but its because it really helped me to sort through the bullshit.



http://www.ex-cult.org/bite.html

Quote
III. Thought Control

1. Need to internalize the group’s doctrine as "Truth"

      a. Map = Reality
      b. Black and White thinking
      c. Good vs. evil
      d. Us vs. them (inside vs. outside)

2. Adopt "loaded" language (characterized by "thought-terminating clichés"). Words are the tools we use to think with. These "special" words constrict rather than expand understanding. They function to reduce complexities of experience into trite, platitudinous "buzz words".

3. Only "good" and "proper" thoughts are encouraged.

4. Thought-stopping techniques (to shut down "reality testing" by stopping "negative" thoughts and allowing only "good" thoughts); rejection of rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism.

      a. Denial, rationalization, justification, wishful thinking
      b. Chanting
      c. Meditating
      d. Praying
      e. Speaking in "tongues"
      f. Singing or humming

5. No critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy seen as legitimate

6. No alternative belief systems viewed as legitimate, good, or useful
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
traight, St. Pete, early 80s
AA is a cult http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-cult.html

The more boring a child is, the more the parents, when showing off the child, receive adulation for being good parents-- because they have a tame child-creature in their house.  ~~  Frank Zappa

Offline Ursus

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SLS in Brewster, NY?
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2007, 03:42:35 PM »
Welcome red lion!  

Ah, yes... the lingo.  I think it is, in part, the result of the progenitor of each program attempting to make said program "unique" and different from all the rest.  And the result snowballs, with some of the additional lingo originating from the staff and some from the residents, and before you know it, the program has a full-fledged lingo unrecognizable to outsiders, thereby making that program, indeed, "unique" and different...

=============================

ERP - Exposure Response Prevention

Pouring a drink-in order to stop drinking. Rolling a joint-to kick a pot habit. Laying out a few lines of cocaine-to overcome the desire to snort it. These aren't oxymorons or acts of a fool. They are examples of a new form of therapy for chemical addiction called ERP.

ERP, or exposure response prevention, is a proven behavioral technology applied in the 1980's to successfully treat obsessive-compulsive disorders and phobias. SLS Health's team of behavioral health care professionals applied ERP technology to the problem of chemical addiction and craving (Santoro, DeLetis and Bergman,2001). Since 1990 they have successfully treated scores of chemically addicted patients with ERP.

What is ERP?

ERP is based on principles of operant and respondent learning. Respondent learning takes place when we associate a new stimulus with one that already has an effect on us. For example, we experience respondent learning when we associate the name of a new restaurant with the already familiar experience of having a delicious meal.

Operant learning takes place when we associate rewards, punishments, success, and failure with individual patterns of behavior. Everyday we experience operant learning. It is the primary way in which we learn new behaviors and strengthen or weaken existing behaviors. When we meet a new person we use conversation that was operantly rewarded in the past. When we learn to serve a tennis ball we undergo an intense operant learning experience that will eventually (we hope) lead to a more effective serve.

Conventional Approaches

Conventional wisdom advises people recovering from chemical addiction to avoid the people, places, and things they previously associated with their drug and alcohol abuse. This advice is based on the fact that the addict associates, through respondent learning, people places, and things with the preparation and use of their addicted substances. Respondent learning gives these stimuli the power to trigger strong desires to use drugs or alcohol. For example, if a recovering addict meets a friend with whom they snorted cocaine in the past the addict will get the urge or impulse to use cocaine because of the respondent connection between their friend and cocaine use. Because of this connection conventional treatment advises that the recovering person avoid these stimuli completely.

Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to avoid all former stimuli connected with drug and alcohol abuse (Chiauzzi & Liljegren, 1993). This fact partially explains why the relapse rate for recovering addicts is about 75% within one year. As Dr. Joe Santoro, co-founder of SLS Health, explains, "We realized that the conventional advice just didn't work for most addicted people. We needed to find a way to teach them how to cope with stimuli connected to their former addictions to give them a better chance of staying clean." Dr. Santoro went on to say, "So we applied exposure response prevention techniques to the problem. If we could simulate exposure to the most powerful forms of stimuli associated with chemical use, we could show the patient that after repeated therapeutic exposure to these stimuli their impulse to use would completely extinguish."

Studies completed by Dawe et al. (1993) and Powell et al. (1993) provide research data that supports the effectiveness of ERP for the treatment of opiate addiction. Blakely & Baker (1980) and Hodgson & Rankin (1982) documented the effectiveness of exposure therapy for alcohol use stimuli.

ERP Kits

SLS Health uses ERP kits made up of simulated drugs, alcoholic beverages, drug use paraphernalia, and music and photographs that the user associates with their chemical abuse. The cocaine ERP kit includes a white powder, razor blade, rolled up money, mirror, small spoon etc. Each of these objects has the power to trigger a strong level of craving in an addicted individual. They have no effect on a non-addicted person. SLS also developed a photocard form of ERP for self-administered therapy. Each card set (see photos) depicts a hierarchical sequence of drug preparation and use scenes by substance. There are card sets available for crack, cocaine, alcohol, heroin and marijuana.

Robert DeLetis, SLS Health's senior addiction specialist, developed the format for an ERP therapy session. He designed a special room for the therapy session that is decorated to remind the patient of their chemical use past. Patients need to learn that they can ride their craving wave (see illustration) without giving into a desire to use. Through repeated ERP therapy sessions the impulse to use triggered by the ERP stimuli becomes weaker and weaker. Eventually, the patient feels virtually no desire to use at all. It is at that point that the patient feels they have really accomplished something special.

The Craving Wave
The impulse to use rises upon exposure to a triggering stimulus (point B). If the person does not use, their craving will peak (point C) and then decline to zero (point D).




An ERP Therapy Session

A typical ERP session starts with about five minutes of relaxation exercises. After relaxing the patient is asked to rate their craving level before being exposed to their triggering stimuli. They use a 10 point scale to do this where 10 represents a desire to use immediately. The patient's pulse is also measured (pulse rate generally increases as a patient's craving level rises). Once baseline ratings are secured exposure to the first level of stimulus begins. After looking, touching and smelling the object and answering a few questions the patient is again asked to rate their craving level. Their pulse is taken again as well. Generally, their craving level is up as is their pulse. If they have become over stimulated then the ERP stimuli are put away and they return to doing relaxation exercises. Otherwise, they continue to look at the objects while repeating their cognitive scripts. Cognitive scripts are motivating statements designed by therapist and patient. They are associated with the triggering stimulus and the impulse to use. Typical cognitive scripts include:

    "Remember the pain and hurt I caused myself and my family."

    "I will be able to feel better about myself if I walk away."

    "Remember the physical pain and consequences of withdrawal."
The patient makes a respondent connection between these scripts and stimuli formerly associated with chemical abuse. So not only does the patient break the drink or drug connection with the triggering stimuli, he also connects the stimuli with his cognitive scripts. This new connection will help him to walk away from a tempting situation.

Once a patient has completed the first level of stimulus exposure he proceeds to the next level and repeats all of the steps. An ERP therapy session continues until the patient has completed all of the stimulus exposure levels or the session has to be stopped because of over stimulation.

The typical patient requires at least 30 ERP sessions to complete the entire stimulus hierarchy without experiencing any significant levels of cravings (as measured by the rating scale and pulse rate). Once a patient can view the ERP stimuli without experiencing an impulse to use they can end this part of their treatment.

ERP helps the patient to confront their worst fear: accidental exposure to a substance abuse triggers. It prepares them to handle these situations without making them cocky. After ERP therapy they will not experience an unmanageable level of craving if they are triggered by a situation. Instead the situation will trigger their cognitive scripts that will help them to think and talk their way out of the situation without using.

Real World ERP

For some patients simulated ERP therapy is not sufficient. They need to experience ERP in real world situations. Some patients go to a bar (with their therapist) where they can experience triggers to drink and learn to cope with them without using. This step can only be taken after a patient has successfully completed simulated ERP sessions. Once this has been accomplished patient and therapist can set up a real world hierarchy of triggering situations that range from easy to difficult to handle. They then go together to these situations and follow a set of steps of that are similar to those used in office based ERP. For example, one patient treated at SLS Health had a serious addiction to crack cocaine. Every two weeks on the day he got paid he would go on a several day crack binge. The patient responded well to office based ERP and wanted to handle his most difficult real world trigger: payday. His therapist describes how they did real world ERP as follows: "F and I went to pick up his paycheck together. I remember the first time very well. He was very nervous. He was sweating and twitching. He really wanted to get high. I helped him get through his cravings and after about five 'paycheck' sessions he was able to get his check on his own without being triggered to use." Real world ERP sessions can be very helpful when a patient must confront situations in his daily life that have become strongly associated with prior chemical abuse as was the case here. When avoidance is not possible ERP can save the day.

ERP is a tool, not a cure

ERP therapy should never be used as the sole treatment for substance abuse problems. Substance abuse is a complex disorder that requires a comprehensive treatment approach. This approach should include group therapy, community based support meetings, individual psychotherapy to handle concurrent psychological problems and medication where appropriate to assist in the treatment of psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, and mood swings.

ERP is a new therapy that can help people recover from drug and alcohol abuse when intelligently combined with other forms of treatment.

For more information about ERP therapy you can contact SLS Health at 1-888-8-CARE-4U, visit their web site at http://www.erptherapy.com or buy their book Kill The Craving (Santoro, DeLetis and Bergman, 2001). Addiction professionals can buy ERP therapy kits for use with their clients by calling 1-888-8-CARE-4U.

References

Blakely, R., & Baker, R. (1980), "An exposure approach to alcohol abuse", Behaviour Research and Therapy, 18, 319-325.
Chiauzzi, E. J., & Liljegren, S. (1993), "Taboo topics in addiction treatment: An empirical review of clinical folklore", Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 10, 303-316.
Dawe, S., Powell, J., Richards, D., Gossop, M., Marks, I., Strang, J., & Gray, J. (1993), "Does post-withdrawal cue exposure improve outcome in opiate addiction: A controlled trial", Addiction, 88, 1233-1245.
Hodgson, R. J., & Rankin, H. J. (1982), "Cue exposure and relapse prevention", In W. M. Hay & P. E. Nathan (Eds.), Clinical case studies in the behavioral treatment of alcoholism, (pp. 207-226). New York: Plenum.
Powell, J. H., Bradley, B., & Gray, J. A. (1993), "Subjective craving for opiates: evaluations of a cue exposure protocol for use with detoxified opiate addicts", British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 32, 39-53.
Santoro, J, DeLetis, R & Bergman, B. 2001. Kill The Craving. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications.
Santoro, J, DeLetis, R & Bergman, B. 2004. Kill The Craving. New York: SLS Press.
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