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Topics - webdiva

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Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / What's wrong with this picture?
« on: November 11, 2010, 07:49:00 PM »

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / Straight Survivors who live near D.C.
« on: November 09, 2010, 03:34:52 PM »
We're coming to Northern Virginia VERY soon to film for the Documentary. If you are interested in interviewing and you haven't touched base w/ me yet, please PM me and I'll give you the dates and location.

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / Straight Survivors who live near DC
« on: October 26, 2010, 05:38:45 PM »
Ok we also have confirmed dates for filming in DC.  If you were in Straight and live within driving distance of Washington DC please PM me if you think you'd be interested in being interviewed for the documentary about Straight, and I will give you more details.  

We're coming to St Pete VERY soon to start filming for the Documentary.  If you are interested in interviewing and you haven't touched base w/ me yet, please PM me and I'll give you the details.

Open Free for All / Links?
« on: October 23, 2010, 01:40:48 PM »
Trying to put together a list of pretty much everything regarding Straight and what not.
If you have any links that I haven't added yet please feel free to add them to the site.
Thanks! :)

Open Free for All / Straight Documentary
« on: October 21, 2010, 11:33:05 PM »
I'm posting this everywhere! We're making headway. We now have a teaser made that we are going to use to get some funding to make a full documentary. I know I have asked this before but we are trying to get a little more organized now so if anyone feels they would like to be interviewed for the film please take the tim...e to fill out this form:

This will just allow us to get a feel for how many people are interested, what their views are and what area of the country they are in. If you want to see the teaser you can view it here

Also if there is anyone in Florida or near Atlanta who would be interested in being interviewed on camera in the next 2 months please let me know ASAP. We have free access to film equipment through December and folks that are willing to film in Florida and Atlanta.

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / Straight Documentary
« on: October 21, 2010, 10:40:48 PM »
I'm posting this everywhere! We're making headway. We now have a teaser made that we are going to use to get some funding to make a full documentary. I know I have asked this before but we are trying to get a little more organized now so if anyone feels they would like to be interviewed for the film please take the tim...e to fill out this form:

This will just allow us to get a feel for how many people are interested, what their views are and what area of the country they are in. If you want to see the teaser you can view it here

Also if there is anyone in Florida or near Atlanta who would be interested in being interviewed on camera in the next 2 months please let me know ASAP. We have free access to film equipment through December and folks that are willing to film in Florida and Atlanta.

News Items / Interesting - Lithuania hosted secret CIA prisons
« on: December 29, 2009, 09:58:17 PM »
Found this online here: http://

A most interesting bit came across my desk earlier this week.

Lithuania hosted secret CIA prisons

One of the places identified as a rendition site matched up with a former hellcamp black site and so I chose to cross-ref the few known rendition sites with known off books and black sites used by former hellcamp operators, and several of them do match up - enough to make one wonder if perhaps someone within our agency responsible has political, financial, or official connections with the original operators.

Given the financial support of Synanon from a certain government program (Monarch/Bluebird) and further government financial support of The Seed/Straight Inc - it is entirely likely this is the case, and would explain much, not the least of which was whether or not there was an existing framework for this kind of detention and torture, given that the tactics used in extraordinary rendition are all but identical to the methods used by the above, and would also explain the financial support to develop and test this concept upon a fraction of the population no one would especially care about.

While not directly responsible, I am of the opinion that elements of our own intel folk did indeed sit back and observe while feeding occasional financial and political support through Sembler, Kay, Lichfield and others, in hopes of eventually exploiting that infrastructure and information in the fashion they obviously have.

If so, this means that my initial impression of these places as the keystone building block for our own "Secret Police" was entirely correct, and is most definitely cause for alarm cause I think we all know that this program will not remain applied only to "enemy combatants" and the unpeople that are children - sooner or later, it's gonna get applied to other social undesirables, history is very clear on that point.

That being the case, despite the collapse of Pathway and it's affiliates, the existing infrastructure still remains potentially dangerous if it can be pressed into use for such things, which means we gotta go back and stomp it completely flat like we did in Jamaica, but at least we have the edge in mostly knowing where these places are, both official sites and unofficial.

All I can offer at the moment, but if we can establish a positive link here, and I think we can*, it opens a whole new door with which to press both the hellcamps, and the whole idea of rendition, not the least of which because it opens the Government itself to direct lawsuit on behalf of many camp survivors.

*PS: For tactical reasons, imma play a little close to the vest here, initially.

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / Newton Madness
« on: September 15, 2009, 04:50:24 PM »
Request to add cupola evokes Madeira Beach dispute of 2005

By Sheila Mullane Estrada, Times Correspondent
In Print: Wednesday, September 16, 2009

MADEIRA BEACH — After a contentious neighborhood zoning dispute in 2005, a small cupola topped by a cross was taken down and stored away.

Now four years later, Father Cassian Newton, formerly known as Miller Newton, wants the city to let him put the cupola back on the chapel roof of his Christ at the Sea Foundation religious retreat.

The converted home at 13280 Fourth St. E and the foundation-owned duplex next door operate as a temporary residence and prayer center for members of the Orthodox Church of Antioch. Currently, seven people are living at the religious complex.

The cupola in question was the trigger for a zoning dispute in 2005. Neighbors circulated a petition demanding the cupola be removed and that the property owners not be allowed to operate a church at the site.

The zoning controversy was further complicated when former clients of the Straight Inc. drug treatment program crowded city zoning hearings to protest Newton's involvement with the program.

The controversy ended after Newton successfully sought a special exception to continue operating the religious retreat.

But, as part of then-Special Master Herbert E. Langford's ruling, Newton was ordered to remove the 51-inch cupola and 38-inch cross from the chapel.

The order allowed the foundation to keep three other long-standing crosses and a sign, but specified that "no additional signs nor symbols of any type shall be added to the property's exterior."

Langford also ruled that "by all outward appearances, the property is residential to maintain its compatibility with the neighborhood and character of the area."

Last month, City Attorney Michael Connolly said reinstalling the "cupola with a cross is not consistent" with Langford's June 2005 ruling.

Newton said Tuesday he has informed his immediate neighbors of the foundation's intent to reinstall the cupola on the chapel roof.

"I don't think we will have the same problems. We had a lot of neighbors apologizing to us for being misled into signing the petition," Newton said.

He said the cross and cupola have been in the garage too long.

"The cupola was a donation from one of our supporters and his feelings were hurt when we had to take it down. We are trying to correct that," Newton said.

The cupola would be placed on the rear of the chapel roof, about 15 feet farther back from its original location. Newton's application points to five similar cupolas in the area, including one that has a cross.

Paula Cohen, the city's planning and zoning director, said Newton's request requires a special exception and cannot be approved unless first reviewed by the city's Planning Commission and subsequently agreed to by the city's current special master, James Denhardt.

The Planning Commission is scheduled to meet on Oct. 12.

Newton's request could be heard at the following special master hearing on Oct. 26, according to Cohen.


Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / Check this out.
« on: August 18, 2009, 08:23:05 PM »
Check out this thread and feel free to drop some knowledge on these folks.  Some one on the thread actually expressed that you all are likely having "false memories" of what went on in Straight LOL. I guess they don't realize hundreds if not thousands of people are having the same "false" memories. Anyway check it out:


I made a couple posts there.  You gotta register to post but I believe you can remain relatively anonymous.

I got an email today from Larry Paddock.

A good friend of his who was in Straight by the name of Kent Hubbard committed suicide on July 12th.

Larry feels Straight Inc. was definitely a significant contributor in his death.

For those who may have known him or want to pay your respects the funeral is

 Saturday, July 19th at 2PM.  Located at Columbia Baptist
 Church 103 West Columbia Street, Falls Church, VA 22046 | 703.534.5700

Peace & RIP Kent!


Charlie Crist announced that he raised a whopping, Florida-record-busting $4.3 million for his U.S. Senate campaign. Not clear yet how much of that can be spent in primary and how much is restricted to the general election. Finance director Dane Eagle says details such as cash on hand and won't come out until the July 15 filing deadline.

“I am humbled by the support that I am receiving from the people of Florida and around the country,” said Gov. Crist. “I take their support seriously and continue to work every day to honor the trust and confidence they have placed in me.”

The campaign says Crist averaged $86,000 per day over 50 days.

"Clearly Gov. Crist’s record of cutting taxes, fighting for Florida’s students and fighting for the safety, rights and freedoms of all Floridians is resonating with people across the state and around the nation," said campaign co-chairman and former U.S. Sen. Connie Mack.


Check out some of the comments on the post and by all means, leave your own!

News Items / Thousands beaten, raped in Irish reform schools
« on: May 20, 2009, 02:50:41 PM »
DUBLIN – A fiercely debated, long-delayed investigation into Ireland's Roman Catholic-run institutions says priests and nuns terrorized thousands of boys and girls in workhouse-style schools for decades -- and government inspectors failed to stop the chronic beatings, rapes and humiliation.

Nine years in the making, Wednesday's 2,600-page report sides almost completely with the horrific reports of abuse from former students sent to more than 250 church-run, mostly residential institutions. But victims' leaders said it didn't go far enough -- particularly because none of their abusers were identified by name.

The report concluded that church officials always shielded their orders' pedophiles from arrest to protect their own reputations and, according to documents uncovered in the Vatican, knew that many pedophiles were serial attackers.

The investigators said overwhelming, consistent testimony from still-traumatized men and women, now in their 50s to 80s, had demonstrated beyond a doubt that the entire system treated children more like prison inmates and slaves than people with legal rights and human potential.

"A climate of fear, created by pervasive, excessive and arbitrary punishment, permeated most of the institutions and all those run for boys. Children lived with the daily terror of not knowing where the next beating was coming from," the final report of Ireland's Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse concluded.

The leader of Ireland's 4 million Catholics, Cardinal Sean Brady, and religious orders at the center of the scandal offered immediate apologies.

"I am profoundly sorry and deeply ashamed that children suffered in such awful ways in these institutions. Children deserved better and especially from those caring for them in the name of Jesus Christ," Brady said.

The Sisters of Mercy, which ran several refuges for girls where the report documented chronic brutality, said in a statement its nuns "accept that many who spent their childhoods in our orphanages or industrial schools were hurt and damaged while in our care."

"There is a great sadness in all of our hearts at this time and our deepest desire is to continue the healing process for all involved," the Sisters of Mercy said.

And the Rev. Edmund Garvey, spokesman for the Christian Brothers order that once ran dozens of boys' schools, said that reading the report's "presentation of the history of our institutions, it is hard to avoid feeling shame."

More than 30,000 children deemed to be petty thieves, truants or from dysfunctional families -- a category that often included unmarried mothers -- were sent to Ireland's austere network of industrial schools, reformatories, orphanages and hostels from the 1930s until the last church-run facilities shut in the 1990s.

The report, unveiled by High Court Justice Sean Ryan, found that molestation and rape were "endemic" in boys' facilities, chiefly run by the Christian Brothers, and supervisors pursued policies that increased the danger. Girls supervised by orders of nuns, chiefly the Sisters of Mercy, suffered much less sexual abuse but frequent assaults and humiliation designed to make them feel worthless.

"In some schools a high level of ritualized beating was routine. ... Girls were struck with implements designed to maximize pain and were struck on all parts of the body," the report said. "Personal and family denigration was widespread."

Victims of the system have long demanded that the truth of their experiences be documented and made public.

But several victims -- who were prevented from attending Wednesday's report launch and scuffled with police outside a central Dublin hotel -- said the report didn't go far enough and rejected the church leaders' apologies as insincere.

"Victims will feel a small degree of comfort that they've been vindicated. But the findings do not go far enough," said John Kelly, a former inmate of a Dublin industial school who fled to London and today leads a pressure group called Irish Survivors of Child Abuse.

Kelly said the report should have examined how children like himself were taken away from parents without just cause, and demanded more answers from Irish governments that ceded control over their lives to the church. He said any apologies offered now were "hollow, shallow and have no substance or merit at all. We feel betrayed and cheated today."

The report proposed 21 ways the government could recognize past wrongs, including building a permanent memorial, providing counseling and education to victims and improving Ireland's current child protection services.

But its findings will not be used for criminal prosecutions -- in part because the Christian Brothers successfully sued the commission in 2004 to keep the identities of all of its members, dead or alive, unnamed in the report. No real names, whether of victims or perpetrators, appear in the final document.

Irish church leaders and religious orders all declined to comment Wednesday, citing the need to read the massive document first. The Vatican also declined to comment.

The Irish government already has funded a parallel compensation system that has paid 12,000 abuse victims an average of euro65,000 ($90,000). About 2,000 claims remain outstanding.

Victims receive the payouts only if they waive their rights to sue the state and the church. Hundreds have rejected that condition and taken their abusers and those church employers to court.

Wednesday's report said children had no safe way to tell authorities about the assaults they were suffering, particularly the sexual aggression from church officials and older inmates in boys' institutions.

"The management did not listen to or believe children when they complained of the activities of some of the men who had responsibility for their care," the commission found. "At best, the abusers were moved, but nothing was done about the harm done to the child. At worst, the child was blamed and seen as corrupted by the sexual activity, and was punished severely."

The commission dismissed as implausible a central defense of the religious orders -- that, in bygone days, people did not recognize the sexual abuse of a child as a criminal offense, but rather as a sin that required repentance.

In their testimony, religious orders typically cited this as the principal reason why sex-predator priests and brothers were sheltered within the system and moved to new posts where they could still maintain daily contact with children.

But the commission said its fact-finding -- which included unearthing decades-old church files, chiefly stored in the Vatican, on scores of unreported abuse cases from Ireland's industrial schools -- demonstrated that officials understood exactly what was at stake: their own reputations.

It cited numerous examples where school managers told police about child abusers who were not church officials -- but never did when one of their own had committed the crime.

"Contrary to the congregations' claims that the recidivist nature of sexual offending was not understood, it is clear from the documented cases that they were aware of the propensity for abusers to re-abuse," it said.

Source: http://

January 3, 2009

Kelly Matthews

Dear Kelly,
This is an apology to Survivors of Straight Inc. from me, as a Former Executive Staff Member, in response to the Straight, Inc. Survivor's Letter Requesting Acknowledgment and an Apology.

As you know, my name is Richard Mullinax. From 1985 - 1989, I was a staff member at Straight Incorporated, a drug and alcohol treatment facility for adolescents. If my memory serves me correctly, the dates, locations and positions of my employment were as follows:
Fall 1985 - Group Staff Trainee, Springfield, VA
Fall 1985 - Spring 1986 - Junior Staff, Springfield, VA
Spring 1986 - Winter 1987 - Senior Staff, Springfield, VA
Winter 1987 - Spring 1987 - Executive Staff, Springfield, VA
Spring 1987 - Fall 1987 - Executive Staff, Cincinnati, OH
Fall 1987 - Spring 1988 - Executive Staff, Springfield, VA
Spring 1988 - Spring 1989 - Executive Staff, Atlanta, GA

There were brief periods between 1985 and 1989 that I was not employed by Straight, and I may have some of the months wrong above.

For 19 years, I gave very little thought to my actions as a staff member of Straight. Then, in the Spring and Summer of 2008, I began to interact with Straight Survivors and listened to their experiences. As the weeks and months progressed, I became increasingly aware of the damage I caused to Straight Survivors as a staff member. After much reflection on the events of the 1980's I have become very much aware that many Straight Survivors lost their integrity, innocence, sense of self worth, youth, ability to trust others, family relationships and more as a result of my actions as a staff member, and I deeply regret that I am responsible for this as a Staff Member.

I realize now that many Survivors still suffer from diagnosed psychological disorders such as post traumatic stress disorder, severe depression, social phobias, panic disorders, etc. caused by imprisonment in Straight, Inc, and that many Survivors still endure vivid Straight, Inc. nightmares, can still hear the screams of children as they were abused, and cannot forget the abuse they personally endured or witnessed as vulnerable children. I am deeply ashamed of my role in this, including not putting a stop to it.

I am acknowledging to you that Straight, Inc. unjustly committed various crimes, abused children, and utilized extremely unethical practices against innocent young clients, which included, but were not limited to the following:

1) Brainwashing (aka coercive thought reform);
2) Physical abuse;
3) Usage of illegal and or unethical restraints – children routinely restrained children at the
direction of staff for minor infractions (i.e. not motivating, not paying attention, etc.);
4) Unethical forms of extreme humiliation, including but not limited to; beltlooping, no
privacy/watched while urinating, defecating, or bathing, motivating;
5) Food deprivation (ie. peanut butter diets, inadequate portions of food);
6) Sleep deprivation – caused by unwarranted, prolonged daily group hours (12), other time spent in the building (up to at least 3 additional pre and/or post group hours), lengthy
commuting time, and in many cases, due to intentionally withholding sleep as punishment for not “cooperating” to coerce compliance;
7) Verbal abuse – unduly harsh confrontational tactics that included swearing, screaming,
yelling, spitting, belittling, humiliating, etc., a child in front of a large group of child clients;
8.) Sexual abuse; (while I was not aware of this while on staff, in recent months I have become aware, through the testimony of other Straight survivors, that this did happen)
9) Psychological abuse;
10) Coerced confessions;
11) Unjustifiable and lengthy isolation in intake and/or time out rooms;
12) Denial of necessary medical care;
13) Kidnapping;
14) False Imprisonment;
15) Accepting clients with little/no drug history (the so?called “dry druggie” theory);
(Specifically, I was personally responsible for conducting client intakes that resulted in children with little history of drug or alcohol use);
16) Employing uneducated, unprofessional teenage staff. Specifically, I allowed myself to be employed by Straight as a counselor, knowing full well that I had no outside training and no education.

Additionally, I apologize for allowing the abuse, unethical practices and crimes to continue for years, and lending my name to, sponsoring, recommending, and endorsing Straight Inc., and for admitting children, their siblings and parents to Straight Inc., and for failing to properly and adequately oversee and monitor Straight, Inc.

I regret my decision to go on staff and I regret my actions as a Straight staff member. I made the decision to go on staff and I made the decision to advance to Executive Staff. I am responsible for these actions and take full responsibility. As a former Straight client myself, I, of all people, should have known better.

I am aware of several former Straight clients who have taken their own lives as Steve did. Many of these people I knew personally, including Chris Weiss, Lisa D, Ira, Duane and others. I can't begin to understand all of these deaths, but I damn sure know Straight is why Steve took his life. My heart aches for you and your Mom. I wish I could bring him back.

I would like to turn the clock back to 1985 and make better decisions. However, I am unable to undo the damage I have caused. I am unable to make any financial restitution to former victims, as well. However, in recent months, thanks to you, I have had the honor and privilege of interacting with former Straight clients who were victims of my actions and the actions of other Straight staff.

It is my hope that these interactions have been a step toward healing the wounds that have remained for 2 decades.

Along those lines, there is something I can do; I can make myself available to you. If you or your Mom or anyone else wants to talk or e?mail with me about this, please do.

It is my hope that other Executive Staff and administrators will take this opportunity to
acknowledge and apologize for their part in Straight, Inc. If you know of any former staff would like to communicate with me privately for any reason, please pass my contact info on.

In closing, it is my sincere hope that survivors of Straight can find the healing and closure that they need and deserve. I look forward to being a part of that healing.

And thanks for making this possible.
Richard Mullinax
Straight Inc. Staff
1985 - 1989

News Items / Better Sembler inductee into Florida's Women's Hall of Fame
« on: January 05, 2009, 05:06:30 PM »
*scuse me while I go HURL*
This should be protested!

Florida Women’s Hall of Fame inductees named
January 5, 2009 - 12:13 PM

TALLAHASSEE - Governor Charlie Crist today announced three women to be inducted into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame.  Governor Crist selected the women from a list of 10 finalists, presented to him by the Florida Commission on the Status of Women.

“The leadership of these women is what helps to make Florida such a wonderful state,” Governor Crist said.  “Their impressive accomplishments have improved their communities and the entire Sunshine State, and they deserve great praise for their dedication. I am honored to recognize their contributions through the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame.”

Louise H. Courtelis
Louise H. Courtelis is a successful international businesswoman, noted philanthropist and longtime supporter of higher education and veterinary care in Florida.  Louise Courtelis was born on a dairy farm in Corfu, New York. She moved to Florida in the early 1950s to attend the University of Miami, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in education and met her future husband, the late Alec Courtelis, a successful real estate developer with whom she raised a son and daughter. She taught at the Notre Dame Academy for Girls and Coral Gables High School before co-founding the Kendall Academy, a preschool and elementary school in Miami. In 1970, she and her husband established Town and Country Farms in McIntosh, Florida, eventually building it into the leading Arabian horse racing facility in the nation. Louise Courtelis and her husband convinced lawmakers to establish the Alec P. Courtelis Facilities Enhancement Challenge Grant Program, which provides matching state dollars for major private donations that support construction and renovations in Florida’s public universities.  A former trustee at the University of Florida, she helped to raise more than $8 million while serving as chairwoman of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the UF College of Veterinary Medicine. Formerly chairwoman of the UF Foundation, she has been instrumental in the success of larger fundraising campaigns, including a UF capital campaign that raised $850 million starting in 1997. Louise Courtelis is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Special Service Award from the UF College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. She also received the University of Florida’s first Distinguished Achievement Award in 1993 in honor of her contributions on behalf of veterinary medicine. She received the E.T. York Service Award in 1994 from the Board of Regents.

Florida Senator Gwen Margolis
Senator Gwen Margolis is a longtime elected official whose historic achievements in office have paved the way for many other women. First elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1974, she was re-elected three times before being elected to the Senate in 1980. In the Senate, she chaired committees including Finance, Tax and Claims, and Appropriations, where she helped deal with the budget crisis facing Florida at the time. In 1990, Senator Margolis was named President of the Florida Senate, becoming the first woman in the United States to serve as president of any Senate. While President, she spearheaded landmark open government and open records legislation. She also helped secure passage of legislation touted at the time as the toughest ethics in the country. She served eight years on the Miami-Dade County Commission before being elected in 2002 to the Florida Senate, where she served until 2008. She serves on the Board of Directors of the World Trade Center, the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center, and the Maximum Dance Center. She is listed in the Who’s Who of Women in the World and the Who’s Who of Women, and she has received numerous awards including the Florida Chamber of Commerce “Legislator of the Year,” the North Dade Chamber of Commerce and Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce “Woman of the Year,” and the “Glass Ceiling” award from the Florida Federation of Business and Professional Women. A real estate investor, she lives in Miami and has four adult children and seven grandchildren.

Betty Sembler
Betty Sembler has dedicated more than three decades to fighting the war on drugs, starting in 1976 when she and her husband Melvin Sembler became founding members of Straight, Inc., a nonprofit drug treatment program that has since helped 12,000 young people across the country. She also has helped shape national anti-drug policies through her work starting in the mid-80s with the White House Conference for a Drug-Free America and as a member of the Governor’s Drug Policy Task Force in Florida. Betty Sembler also has served on the board for DARE Florida, a national organization that provides anti-drug education to elementary and middle school students. She also is vice chairwoman of DARE International and has campaigned against liberal drug policies around the world while traveling with her husband, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Australia and is currently the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Italy. She is founder and president of Save Our Society from Drugs, and she co-founded the Drug Free America Foundation Inc. Betty Sembler also serves on the boards of the Florida Holocaust Museum, Florida Governor’s Mansion Foundation, the Florida House in Washington, D.C., and the University of Florida Brain Addiction Research Advisory Council. In March 2008, the Drug Enforcement Agency Museum Foundation presented her with its Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of her lifelong commitment to fighting drug addiction. Her efforts also have been recognized by The Houston Drug Free Business Initiative and the Girl Scouts of Suncoast Council, which named her a “Woman of Distinction” in 2000.

About the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame
In 1992, the Florida Legislature established the Women’s Hall of Fame to be located on the Plaza Level of the Capitol, where the names of the inductees are permanently displayed.  Under the law, the Florida Commission on the Status of Women is required each year to nominate 10 women to the Governor, who selects up to three for induction.  To be considered for induction into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame, the inductee must be a woman who was born in Florida or adopted Florida as her home state and base of operation, and has made significant contributions to the improvement of life for all citizens of Florida.

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