Everyday thousands of children are being sexually abused. You can stop the abuse of at least one child by simply praying. You can possibly stop the abuse of thousands of children by forwarding the link in First Time Visitor? by email, Twitter or Facebook to every Christian you know. Save a child or lots of children!!!! Do Something, please!

3:15 PM prayer in brief:
Pray for God to stop 1 child from being molested today.
Pray for God to stop 1 child molestation happening now.
Pray for God to rescue 1 child from sexual slavery.
Pray for God to save 1 girl from genital circumcision.
Pray for God to stop 1 girl from becoming a child-bride.
If you have the faith pray for 100 children rather than one.
Give Thanks. There is more to this prayer here

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Monday, 19 March 2018

Religion and Child Sex Abuse - 6 Stories on Today's Religious PnP List

The religious extremism which inspired Rotherham child exploitation - Survivor
Ella Hill

As a Rotherham grooming gang survivor, I want people to know about the religious extremism which inspired my abusers

Grooming gangs are not like paedophile rings; instead, they operate almost exactly like terrorist networks, with all the same strategies

The police didn't help me 

I’m a Rotherham grooming gang survivor. I call myself a survivor because I’m still alive. I’m part of the UK’s largest ever child sexual abuse investigation.

As a teenager, I was taken to various houses and flats above takeaways in the north of England, to be beaten, tortured and raped over 100 times. I was called a “white slag” and “white c***” as they beat me.

They made it clear that because I was a non-Muslim, and not a virgin, and because I didn’t dress “modestly”, that they believed I deserved to be “punished”. They said I had to “obey” or be beaten.

Fear of being killed, and threats to my parents’ lives, made it impossible for me to escape for about a year. The police didn’t help me.

As I write this, it has been widely reported that a letter has been sent to Muslim groups around the country declaring a national “Punish a Muslim” day; elsewhere, the leaders of Britain First have been found guilty of religiously aggravated harassment.

In mainland Europe, conflict surrounding immigrants and refugees has been fuelled by stories of women being raped by migrants. People have been calling for violent attacks against “any Muslims” and have declared “war on Islam”.

Islamophobic online hate and personal attacks occur every day. In response, anti-fascist groups and the “far left” have carried out their own violent attacks on groups they perceive to comprise “white supremacists” or “Nazis”.

Justified by Islam

As someone who has experienced life inside a grooming gang, I can tell you with certainty that none of this is likely to make any difference to the behaviours of groomers. Like terrorists, they firmly believe that the crimes they carry out are justified by their religious beliefs.

If anything, rising anti-Muslim hate will probably make groomers stronger in their convictions, and drive ordinary young Muslim men towards fundamentalism, grooming gangs and terrorism. The camaraderie, protection, money, and kudos that these groups offer, makes them a strong pull for anyone. Worryingly, several young men I have spoken to joke that being a gangster and going to jail are their “life goals”.

However big or small the problem of grooming gang crime is, it is big enough to warrant national concern, not only because of the severity of crimes, but because of the degree of terror and threats to life involved. This really does devastate lives, families and communities. We don’t even talk about the non-survivors.

Experts say that grooming gangs are not the same as paedophile rings. It’s something that central Government really needs to understand in order to prevent more grooming gang crime in the future.

In November 2017, the Swedish government held a meeting where they stated that: “Sexual violence is being used as a tactic of terrorism”, and as such, it was recognised as a threat to Sweden’s national security."

The link between terrorism and rape undertaken by Islamist gangs was not being ignored. They called for counter-extremism education. This sounds like a balanced and intelligent governmental response to me.

Considering it came from Sweden - that's remarkable!

Rotherham victims 'ignored'

Religious indoctrination is a big part of the process of getting young men involved in grooming gang crime. Religious ideas about purity, virginity, modesty and obedience are taken to the extreme until horrific abuse becomes the norm. It was taught to me as a concept of “othering”.

“Muslim girls are good and pure because they dress modestly, covering down to their ankles and wrists, and covering their crotch area. They stay virgins until marriage. They are our girls."

In other words, they are largely invisible as a good Muslim woman should be!

"White girls and non-Muslim girls are bad because you dress like slags. You show the curves of your bodies (showing the gap between your thighs means you’re asking for it) and therefore you’re immoral. White girls sleep with hundreds of men. You are the other girls. You are worthless and you deserve to be gang-raped.”

Religious extremism

This hateful religious hypocrisy strikes people to their very core. But it’s far from unique. My main perpetrator quoted scriptures from the Quran to me as he beat me. However, almost identical scriptures (about the stoning to death of virgins who don’t scream when they are raped) can also be found in the Bible.

The problem isn’t the text itself; it’s how it’s fundamentally interpreted. In fact, there are many cases of Bible quotes being used to justify terrible human injustices, like the enslavement of people from Africa, antisemitism and violence towards LGBT+ people.

All the major world religions, including Hinduism and Buddhism, have also at some time been associated with extreme human rights abuses against men, women and children.

I experienced horrific, religiously sanctioned sexual violence and torture – so I definitely believe that we need to be aware of religious extremism as something potentially harmful, so that we can protect people from it.

But for Tommy Robinson and his followers to focus on an entire religion, based on the cruel interpretations of some scriptures by some people, is unhelpful, to say the least. Many of his religious theories and conjecture are not anything that I can relate to in my real life experiences.

Most grooming gang survivors I know absolutely condemn anti-Islamic hate, and we’re uncomfortable with English Defence League protests. We certainly don’t want random attacks on “all Muslims”. You can’t cure harm with more harm. Free-thinking men from Pakistani Muslim backgrounds, like Nazir Afzal, agree, and many deal with all of this incredibly graciously.

While this piece is very thoughtful and well written from my perspective, I would like to point out a few things Ella has glossed over or missed. She is right to condemn any anti-Islamic hate, or hate of any kind for that matter. The government invited Islam into Britain and now it is the government's problem to fix, so people's energies should go to pressuring the government. 

The government, however, has yet to come to terms with the fact that the astonishing amount of child sex exploitation in Britain is almost entirely the fault of fundamentalist Muslim men. These are not extremists, as such, they are normal, though fundamentalist Muslims who follow the Quran and actually believe what it says is sacred and true. It isn't, of course, it's a bunch of bull, but devout Muslims go absolutely insane when you suggest such a thing.

Ella is right to suggest that all religions have had their extremists and, dare I say, nut-jobs. For most religions these are few and far between. Not so with Islam. Most religious extremists can be explained by their having taken some scriptures completely out of context.  Again, not so with Islam. That fundamentalist Christian church in America that frequently embarrasses Christians, and Christ Himself, are completely out of touch with Jesus Christ and His grace. There is no grace in Islam, only law.

With Islam, the extremists are those who take the Quran as it was written and believe it thoroughly. Those who claim that Islam is a religion of peace, and terrorists are not true Muslims, are those who do not read the Quran literally and therefore insert their own meanings into difficult passages, or, perhaps, just ignore them. These are they who have been westernized, whose religion has been watered down to become socially acceptable. These are the majority of western Muslims but a minority of eastern Muslims. They are also susceptible to radicalization, even mass radicalization as happened in Iran in 1979.

As a Rotherham grooming gang survivor, I am told that both child protection services and the prosecution of offenders is improving in most areas. But frustratingly, prevention hasn’t really begun.

I witnessed the ways young men are groomed to become perpetrators by older grooming gang members. It’s very similar to the tactics used in grooming for terrorism, with love-bombing, emotive language (“brother”, “cuz”, “blud”), and promises of wealth and fame, then humiliation, controlling with guilt and shame, training with weapons, and instilling hate and fear of outsiders.

Always, at the same time, they continue to convince these young men that they must find girls to be gang-raped too.

Grooming gang crime is upheld by religious extremism. Like Sweden, we must officially recognise this, and work to curb extremist preaching, teach religious counter-narratives, give gendered extremism education and deliver quality relationships education, while learning the lessons from Prevent and Channel. We need a careful, considered approach that is respectful of the human rights of everyone.

Ella Hill is a pseudonym

Dutch Jewish Community distances itself
from Chief Rabbi who covered up CSA

The organization representing the Jewish community in Amsterdam has severed ties with Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs because of the Chief Rabbi’s involvement in covering up child sexual abuse.

This is according to a letter by David Brilleslijper, Chairman of the Jewish community of Amsterdam (NIHS), which was obtained by The Parool. (A leading Dutch newspaper.)

These actions mark the first time that a Jewish organization has distanced itself from the Chief Rabbi, after years of allegations of his involvement in several abuse cases.

Jacobs is chief rabbi of all Jewish communities in The Netherlands, except for the capitol Amsterdam, the Hague and Rotterdam.

Several parents came forward and testified that Jacobs urged them in 2012 to not report to the authorities, the sexual abuse suffered by their children at the hands of a teacher employed at the Cheider. 

Jacobs warned them of “severe penalties” of falsely reporting crimes, and that their children, the abuse victims, would not be able to find suitable marriage candidates within the Jewish community.

Because of the delay in reporting to the police, the teacher suspected of sexual abuse, Ephraim S, was able to flee to Israel where he became a citizen.

After lengthy legal battles, he was extradited in 2016. On Wednesday he will appear in front of a judge for the initial hearing of the case.

Jacobs denied these accusations. He maintained that he followed the protocols of the education inspection.

However, this week it became clear from evidence of the Telegraaf and NRC (Leading Dutch newspapers), that only after severe pressure from the then Minister of Education, Marja van Bijsterveldt, did the school finally report the abuse of Ephraim S.

According to Brilleslijper, there have been numerous attempts to engage in a conversation with Jacobs regarding these abuse allegations, but the Chief Rabbi ignored these requests.

“With great regret we conclude that you (Jacobs) do not want to engage in a conversation about the allegations with the NIHS, therefore, we have to suspend any contact with yourselves until such date where this discussion takes place,” wrote Brilleslijper in his letter to Jacobs.

Brilleslijper added in writing that his community has suspended any contact with rabbinical organizations where Jacobs fulfills any roles, and that from now on they will only engage with Amsterdam based Rabbis.

In the meantime, the VVD (main Dutch political party) stated in Parliamentary questions on this matter that the board and management of the Cheider have been advised to step down.

Come on, Netherlands, charge him with enabling child sex abuse and obstructing justice. 

Malka Leifer to stay in jail in Israel while
awaiting extradition outcome
Australian Associated Press

Malka Leifer (right), a former Melbourne school principal facing 74 charges of child sexual abuse,
arrives at the district court in Jerusalem. Photograph: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images

Former Melbourne school principal Malka Leifer, who is accused of child sex crimes, will remain behind bars after a successful appeal against her release to home detention in an Israeli court.

An Israeli judge had said Leifer could be released to home detention earlier this month after a rabbi offered to take care of her while she awaited an extradition outcome. But he withdrew his support for Leifer to be released on house arrest days later.

Victorian police want to bring the 54-year-old, who was arrested in Israel in February, back to Australia to face 74 charges of child sexual abuse.

Leifer had been ordered to stay in police custody in a medical facility while the supreme court considered the prosecution’s appeal against her release to home detention.

Dassi Erlich, who has accused Leifer of abusing her, posted on her Facebook page that “Malka Leifer is to remain arrested and has not been granted bail” after the supreme court accepted the appeal.

“The supreme court’s ruling to keep Malka Leifer detained until the conclusion of extradition, is a positive step forward,” she said in a media statement.

“It addresses the concern of many that she is a flight risk and a possible danger to others. This ruling will also hopefully limit the stalling tactics of the defence because their client is now siting in prison awaiting a decision for extradition.

“We feel strengthened and encouraged by this successful appeal and await the next step in this lengthy road towards justice.”

Manny Waks, an advocate for Kol v’Oz, a Jewish organisation combating child sex abuse, said justice had prevailed and “sanity has been restored to both Malka Leifer and the Israeli judicial system”.

“Now that she is incarcerated, hopefully the extradition process will be swift, and we can finally see Leifer face justice in Australia,” he said in a statement on Monday.

“Today is a great day for many people, not least Leifer’s courageous alleged victims.”

Her extradition is the subject of a separate court case.

Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against St. Matthew's Episcopal Day School
After Teacher Takes Thousands of Lewd Pictures and Videos of Young Girls
By Sarah Thompson,
SAN MATEO, Calif. 

After a St. Matthew's Episcopal Day School student complained to her parents about pre-kindergarten teacher Anthony Satriano, and after the resulting law enforcement investigation, Satriano was arrested, charged, and pled no contest to five felony counts of lewd and lascivious conduct, attempted lewd and lascivious conduct and using a child for sexual purposes. The victims ranged in age from 5 to 8 years old. On February 23, 2018, pre-kindergarten teacher Satriano was sentenced to 6 years in prison.

On March 14, 2018, a former St. Matthew's student filed suit against St. Matthew's Episcopal Day School, The Episcopal Church of St. Matthew, Episcopal Diocese of Northern California, Head of School Julie Galles and Anthony Satriano (San Mateo County Case # 18CIV01309).

The childhood sexual abuse lawsuit alleges that prestigious private school St. Matthew's Episcopal Day School and Head of School Julie Galles failed to protect St. Matthew's School students. The lawsuit further alleges that St Matthew's School and its employees, including Head of School Galles, ignored Satriano's inappropriate physical contact with students and grooming conduct, failed to have child protection policies and procedures in place, and hired staff that did not meet legally-mandated minimum qualifications. The lawsuit alleges that St. Matthew's School and Head of School Galles received many complaints but elected to ignore them.

The lawsuit alleges that St. Matthew's School's failure to supervise pre-k teacher Satriano allowed him to be alone with students whenever he desired, and he sexually abused students, including Plaintiff, on school property and during official school activities (regular class time, after-school enrichment programs, and school break camps run by Satriano). The lawsuit alleges that St. Matthew's School ignored known dangers and failed to keep children safe from childhood sexual abuse.

Exposing the truth about childhood sexual abuse and holding schools and churches accountable is the only way to force institutions to make changes to better protect children. Childhood sexual abuse causes traumatic harm that children often suffer for the rest of their lives, said psychologist and attorney Joseph George, Ph.D. of the Law Offices of Joseph C. George, Ph.D.

The Law Offices of Joseph C. George, Ph.D., has represented hundreds of survivors of childhood sexual abuse in cases against schools, religious institutions and youth service organizations. Dr. George is a licensed psychologist as well as a licensed attorney. The firm has offices in Sacramento, Los Angeles and Newport Beach, California.

High-profile arrest of Iowa Christian school teacher raises awareness of child sexual abuse
NICK HYTREK nhytrek@siouxcityjournal.com 

Amy Scarmon, manager of the Mercy Child Advocacy Center in Sioux City, has seen an increase in child sexual abuse referrals to the center. She said high-profile sexual abuse cases reported by the media can lead to greater awareness and more children stepping forward to report abuse. TIM HYNDS, Sioux City Journal

SIOUX CENTER | After former elementary teacher Curtis Van Dam was arrested in October and charged with having sexual contact with an 11-year-old boy, emotions ran high in this Sioux County city.

Parents of children attending the private Sioux Center Christian School, where Van Dam taught, were upset. So were others in the community, Sioux Center police Chief Paul Adkins said.

Van Dam's arrest and ensuing flood of media coverage did more than cause emotional outbursts.

It led to more victims coming forward.

Through interviews with children, investigators had identified other potential victims and contacted them. But there were others, previously unknown to authorities, who came forward on their own. A total of 15 boys have reported incidents that occurred when they were under the age of 12 or 13 and stretch back to to 2013, courtroom testimony has revealed.

"Some came forward on their own, or their parents or relatives came forward. It just mushroomed from there," Adkins said. "In all my 40 years (in law enforcement), I've never experienced a case like this."

Van Dam, 36, was immediately fired by the school and now faces 146 charges in Sioux County District Court. He's also been charged in federal court with sexual exploitation and possession of child pornography.

His case may be an extreme example of a sexual abuse case, but the fallout from it is not so unusual.

It's not uncommon for a highly publicized case such as Van Dam's to lead children elsewhere to come forward and tell someone they've been sexually abused, law enforcement officers and social service providers said.

"When you have public cases, children realize they're not the only ones. They feel more empowered to report it," said Amy Scarmon, manager of Sioux City's Mercy Child Advocacy Center, which serves 35 counties in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.

That uptick isn't just a local happening. Statewide, reports of sexual abuse rise after sexual abuse cases hit the news, said Matt Highland, an Iowa Department of Human Services public information officer.

"When cases attract public attention such as those covered in the media, DHS tends to receive more reports of suspected abuse. It would be reasonable to believe that such cases lead to awareness," Highland said.

They often trigger repressed memories bringing them to the conscious mind.

Since news of Van Dam's arrest (11th story on link) and court proceedings or the nationally televised court proceedings of Larry Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics team doctor and Michigan State University physician who recently was sentenced to more than 100 years in prison for abusing dozens of girls and young women since 1992, local officials couldn't recall specific cases in which alleged victims mentioned the media coverage as a reason for reporting abuse.

Sioux County did see two other arrests of older men accused of sexual contact with young victims in the months after Van Dam's arrest.

Scott McAdam, 56, of Orange City, was arrested in November and charged with taking nude photos of a girl who was under age 14 and having sexual contact with her. He pleaded guilty to lascivious acts with a child and sexual exploitation of a child and was sentenced earlier this month to 20 years in prison.

In January, Lloyd Schlumbohm, 71, of Rock Valley, was arrested and charged with having sexual contact with a minor during an 11-year period. Schlumbohm has pleaded not guilty to three counts of third-degree sexual abuse and one count of indecent exposure.

The Sioux County Sheriff's Office investigated both cases. Chief Deputy Nate Huizenga said he wasn't aware that the victims came forward because they had heard about other cases in the news, but sexual abuse cases don't follow the norms of other criminal cases.

"We've always had these cases, and there isn't a pattern in these cases," Huizenga said.

That lack of a pattern makes it harder to detect when a child is being sexually abused. There's no list of warning signs or symptoms, Scarmon said.

Those who sexually abuse children work hard to keep it a secret. Most child sexual abuse victims have some type of relationship with their abuser and trust them and are perhaps scared to report abuse because they depend on the perpetrator to take care of them and provide for their overall well-being. Sexual abusers can be manipulative, threatening or shaming their victims while at the same time giving them gifts to maintain that trust.

"Sexual abuse generally is an isolation event in a child's life," Scarmon said.

Yet, more people appear to be speaking up. In the past three years, the Child Advocacy Center has seen an increase in referrals of children for interviews, medical exams and therapy.

The center had 403 sexual abuse referrals in 2015. That total increased to 493 in 2016 and grew to 592 in 2017. Scarmon said 2017 numbers may be skewed because the center, which also sees referrals involving child physical abuse and neglect, moved to 701 Jackson St. in July. The new location is larger and able to accommodate more referrals.

At the least, Scarmon said, those high-profile cases can raise public awareness of sexual abuse and lead to more people reporting questionable behavior.

"Anytime you've got big things like that, you're going to see more people aware of abuse happening," she said. "Anytime people have more awareness, it makes people think a little bit harder about what they're seeing and maybe that it is report-worthy."

Church must create ‘culture of challenge’
Peter Ball survivor tells IICSA

IICSA Fiona Scolding QC on Monday

A SURVIVOR of sexual abuse carried out by the disgraced former Bishop of Gloucester Peter Ball has criticised the Church for rejecting “open” and “frank” communication in favour of power and control.

The individual, known only as AN-A8, was giving evidence on Monday at the start of the third and final week of the public hearing conducted by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA). The Inquiry is using the diocese of Chichester as a case-study to investigate the extent to which the Anglican Church has failed to protect children from sexual abuse.

The lead Counsel to the Anglican investigation, Fiona Scolding QC, focused her questions on safeguarding in religious communities rather than the nature of the abuse, which is described in detail in the independent report on the Ball case by Dame Moira Gibb (News, 22 June 2017).

The first witness had attended one of the monastic-community schemes for young people, “Give a Year to God”, which Ball had founded and run in Littlington, East Sussex, in the 1980s, when he was the Bishop of Lewes.

The witness had left the religious life in 1989 to pursue ordination, but left the priesthood for several years from 1996. He confirmed that he had later made a claim for damages against the Church in respect of the grooming and sexual abuse that he had suffered there at the hands of Ball during this time.

“I was still anxious to have open lines of communication with the church hierarchy,” he said. “I don’t think that they are very good at communication. I don’t think they want communication. The impression that I get is that I don’t think they actually want me to exist.

“I forgive everybody, and always have done, because it is absolutely essential in having open lines of communication with other members of the Church. As far as the church hierarchy is concerned, I don’t think they like frankness, openness.”

AN-A8 said in his witness statement that the Church needed to create a “culture of challenge”. He described this to IICSA as “a place where Christians can challenge everybody around them in order to not quite be so infantilised.

“One of the things the Church does, the church hierarchy and bishops, is to make sure that people, Christians, are as infantilised as possible, so that they can be controlled. If you are going to be saved, you have to have a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. That is to say, go to church and don’t say anything.”

Questioned on whether he thought that the Church’s approach to homosexuality had affected its institutional response to abuse carried out by Ball, he said: “If you are going to give pronouncements about sex or to regulate people’s sexual behaviour, you should have a positive approach to it.

“You should also have a thorough grounding and understanding of what sex actually is: you should appreciate it, nurture it, and even encourage it — at least positive expressions of it.”

This had not been the case at time of the abuse, and was not the case today, he said. “The matter is not about sex: it is about control — the lust for control. What bishops, in particular, need to do is to examine why they have a lust for control. There is a psychology behind it, a sociology behind it — also, a very long history. These are the things that need to be homed in on and checked out.”

Asked what practical steps the Church should take to avoid repeating its failures over safeguarding, the witness said: “It needs to stop squelching discussion. It has a way of doing things where it tries to crush people when they try to speak. It needs to stop doing that, and treat people as adults rather than children. . .

“The institution itself doesn’t need to be defended; it will look after itself in so far as it is informed by, and filled with, the Holy Spirit. Anything beyond that is irrelevant. There is a larger thing at stake here, which is about the physical and psychological health of Christians. When that sort of thing is put to one side or not taken account of, it more or less amounts to spiritual or psychological abuse.”

Ms Scolding pointed to the apology issued by Ball, through his legal team, at the start of the hearing, to everyone whom Ball had hurt or harmed through his actions.

A SURVIVOR of clerical abuse, Professor Julie Macfarlane, who brought a civil suit against the diocese in which she was abused, has said that an article that she wrote in the Church Times “galvanised” the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group (EIG) into meeting to discuss settlement and change their civil-claims policy

The witness responded that apologies were “far from” a helpful way of healing: “Apologies are very often used as weapons. It is a way of saying: ‘We have now taken account of you; you are in our sights; you are our enemy: you are not part of our team. We have now discharged our responsibilities with regard to you with this apology; so you can now go away and never darken our doors again.’

“It is a way of saying goodbye. . . They have gone through the ringer of being looked at by lawyers and insurers. You wonder how genuine these things are, or whether they are done just for the look of the thing. Hypocrisy is the problem here.”

The second anonymous witness on Monday, AN-A7, had been less enamoured by the religious life, but had been attracted to the scheme in Littlington after Ball had delivered an assembly at the school that the witness had attended, in 1981.

The witness had been groomed and sexually abused by Ball between April and August 1985. He had been asked by Ball to be naked with him and to massage him. The witness said that believed that these “sessions” were “innocent” at the time.

He had been aware that Ball had a simultaneous, similarly “odd” relationship with Neil Todd, whose case led to a police investigation and the eventual arrest of Ball in 1993. Mr Todd later took his own life in 2012.

The scheme, AN-A7 said, had attracted young boys who, like himself, he had considered, were mentally unwell or “on the edge”.

“There was a strain that ran through Littlington which was explicitly designed to appeal to people whose outlook on life was morbid and self-loathing, and very receptive to ideas of Original Sin: that we are all dreadful sinners, and that while we didn’t nail Christ to the cross personally, we might as well have done. . . There is a kind of masochistic thrill about that train of thought.”

The Bishop of Manchester, Dr David Walker, later gave evidence to IICSA on the current practices, guidance, regulation, and forthcoming canon on religious communities in relation to safeguarding (News, 16 February).

In a Twitter post on Friday, the Bishop of Buckingham, Dr Alan Wilson, lent support to demands from other clergy and abuse survivors for an independent body to hold the Church of England to account over safeguarding.

He wrote: “Yes. A terrible week with evidence of religious exceptionalism, stupidity, incompetence, lying, dumping responsibility at every level including the highest, and folie de grandeur. Bishops must be acccountable. This means not just to themselves. End of story.”

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