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Tony Ortega - Scientology’s sneaky infiltration of New York City schools

Discussion in 'Media' started by The Wrong Guy, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    Those of us that do regular online searches for news about Scientology have been noticing a lot of recent press releases from the cult, attempting to convince the unsuspecting that they make the world a better place. One of the reasons they do this is to minimize the effects of the reports about the cult that expose it for what it really is, by pushing them down in the search rankings. Lately the number of press releases has risen to unprecedented numbers, as the cult becomes more desperate.

    This morning, Tony Ortega posted this on Facebook:

    A tipster forwards us a key internal Scientology document which shows that the church is engaged in an effort to sway "opinion leaders" with its drugs education and "human rights" literature and it turns out one target of that has been New York City's public schools and its city council. Busted.

    Scientology's Sneaky Infiltration of New York City Schools | The Underground Bunker

    For several years, New York City public schools have been targeted by Scientology front groups that put on drug abuse education and “human rights” seminars without revealing their ties to the church.

    A Bayside dentist behind the effort was recently honored by New York’s City Council for his efforts, which have involved disseminating literature produced by the Church of Scientology at hundreds of city schools.

    And now, we’ve obtained a church document which shows that the “Truth About Drugs” and human rights campaigns — although they take pains to hide their connections to the church — are, in fact, part of a concerted effort by Scientology to spread its influence.

    Continued with open comments at
    http://tonyortega.org/2013/03/22/scientologys-sneaky-infiltration-of-new-york-city-schools/
    • Like Like x 8
  2. And don't forget the vote today. We're up against Haggis. I voted for WWP, of course. 9000 surly cats managing to herd themselves in the same general direction. It's awesome.
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  3. Anonymous Member

    No it's not.

    -Anonypuss
  4. Anonymous Member

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  5. Missfit Member

    aw hell nah.....they are stepping on some toes here...
    I'm forwarding this to my half sister, she was head of the PTA at a PS in the village or at least was as recently as last year....this will not fly.
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  6. Anonymous Member

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  7. The Wrong Guy Member

    Queens Borough President Melinda Katz gets the ‘safepointing’ treatment

    We’ve told you before about the stealthy way Scientology tries to sucker New York school officials with the use of its “Foundation for a Drug Free World” front group. Scientologists who downplay their connection to the church offer to give free seminars, and they hand out booklets that contain Scientology’s dangerously wrong notions about drugs, all in an effort to convince local officials that it’s all a do-good operation for the benefit of kids.

    The latest target of this “safepointing” operation is Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, who last week was a special guest at a “meet and greet” with the Foundation.

    Continued at http://tonyortega.org/2014/08/14/kate-bornstein-kicks-cancers-ass/
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  8. DeathHamster Member

    ^^ I get the feeling that Phil Corso just loves giving press space to Scientology events.

    http://www.timesledger.com/stories/2013/8/humanrights_bt_2013_02_22_q.html
    Ha! It just so happens that Peter Vallone is wise to Scientology's shenanigans.
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  9. anon8109 Member

    I wish Tony O would organize his blog so that people could link directly to individual stories, not just to entire daily pages.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Did a fashion website give a big boost to a Scientology infiltrator of NYC schools? | The Underground Bunker

    Back in March of 2013, we told you about a sneaky Scientology infiltration of New York City schools. In a place like New York, Scientology doesn’t do very well — residents here are on to L. Ron Hubbard and his wacky organization, and this city has never had the kind of Scientology presence you see in places like California and Florida.

    So that means Scientology has to try harder, and play things a little more under the radar. But thanks to our tipsters, we caught on to the sneaky attempts to get L. Ron Hubbard into the local schools through the efforts of a wealthy Queens dentist and his energetic daughter.

    Bayside Hills dentist Bernard Fialkoff and his daughter Meghan for years have given presentations in local schools on behalf of Scientology’s front groups the “Foundation for a Drug-Free World” and “Youth for Human Rights.” Lately, Meghan has been showing up at NYC schools with the last couple of Miss New Yorks. We’ve reached out to the newest Miss New York, Jillian Tapper, to find out if she even realizes that Meghan and her father are longtime Scientologists, that their front groups operate out of Scientology’s Times Square facility, and that the drug concepts in the booklet they hand out are dated and unscientific.

    Continued here:
    http://tonyortega.org/2014/11/20/di...-to-a-scientology-infiltrator-of-nyc-schools/
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  11. Incredulicide Member

    The authoring software used has a lot to do with that. All browsers know about the id="foo" attribute on any element and #foo anchor links on the end of a URL will go to them, but if the server-side script doesn't generate an id or allow the author to create a custom id on any element in a shitty attempt to appear like "clean code" then we're left with no way to link to a section within a post.
  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology-Backed Anti-Drug Program At Work in City Public Schools | DNAinfo

    By Rosa Goldensohn, January 28, 2015

    A Church of Scientology-backed anti-drug program is spreading its message to students in dozens of city public schools, DNAinfo New York has learned.

    The Foundation for a Drug Free World, which was founded in 2006 by the controversial church, visited 30 city public schools last year, providing free anti-drug programs to elementary, middle and high school students in all five boroughs, according to its Facebook page.

    The city's Department of Education denied any partnership with the group and said it did not recommend its services.

    Continued here:
    http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/201...anti-drug-program-at-work-city-public-schools

    A Scientology-Run Anti-Drug Group Works Extensively in New York City Schools | Slate

    By Ben Mathis-Lilley, January 28, 2015

    A Scientology-run anti-drug program that promotes discredited pseudoscience has worked extensively with the New York City public schools and NYPD youth programs, DNAinfo reports.

    Continued here:
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slat...ls_drug_free_world_foundation_works_with.html
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  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology's Anti-Drug Program Infiltrates NYC Public Schools | Gothamist

    http://gothamist.com/2015/01/28/scientology_anti-drug_program_infil.php

    Scientology group offers anti-drug help to city schools | New York Daily News

    The Foundation for a Drug-Free World, a group backed by the Scientology church, announced on its Facebook page that it’s offering ‘free drug education events’ in city schools. The group’s honcho said they don’t push religion on the kids. But some parents were still outraged. The group has also invited the NYPD to events to talk about drug prevention.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york...fers-anti-drug-city-schools-article-1.2095646
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  14. The Wrong Guy Member

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  15. The Wrong Guy Member

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  16. 20130121_175427-1024x768-jpg.200452.jpg
    bayside-times-copy-913x1024-jpg.200453.jpg

    Imho, my best guess would be that WISE targeted Dr. Fialkoff's practice and recruited him into Scientology, originally a victim, now a recruiter for the cult, sad. Many dentists, chiropracters, etc. have been infiltrated by Scientology for decades.

    A Scientology Twofer: Unsuspecting Dentists, whose practices are routinely targeted by WISE (World Institute of Scientology Enterprises) for their managerial takeover scam and Scientology indoctrictination for their office personnel, being used to peddle for their Narconon scam.



    http://tonyortega.org/2014/11/20/di...-to-a-scientology-infiltrator-of-nyc-schools/

    Tony Ortega, Thx again for exposing these ongoing Scientology abusive scams.
    • Like Like x 3
  17. AnonLover Member

    Bump for harpooning ammo related to January 28-30, 2015 media reports above.

    A FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) request was filed on this shit, to gather evidence that the NYPD was indeed spreading Scientology drug education propaganda as reported on in the media:

    https://www.muckrock.com/foi/new-yo...ogram-foundation-for-a-drug-free-world-15858/

    The dox that came back is a copy of the first booklet in the Truth About Drugs series from Meghan Fialkoff's Mew York Chapter of the Foundation for a Drug Free World. It shows all those crazy drug nicknames the media had fun with, along with the fear mongering over blown exaggerations. But unfortunately, it does not show the controversial Hubbard psuedoscience claim of drugs remaining in the body and/or stored in fat cells. (That must be in one of the other booklets).

    Copy of the dox gotten with pages rotated for readability available here:
    https://mega.co.nz/#!Vk0mRKSL!N4nASrd0Ju-3fc4K1pB_erpG7UafxDwZ6Ixq5hJd95c
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  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    How Scientology repackages itself and takes in the New York Police Department and NY schools

    By Tony Ortega, September 11, 2016

    Quote:

    Often, over the past few years, we’ve pointed out time and again that a Queens dentist, Bernard Fialkoff, and his daughter, the glamorous Meghan Fialkoff, have infiltrated New York City’s schools and police precincts with their Scientology-sponsored anti-drug campaign which is intended to increase the public’s exposure to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. We find their story particularly interesting, because it shows that even in supposedly sophisticated New York, Scientology front groups can rope people in with their dubious Scientology message wrapped in “social betterment” language.

    This week, Rod Keller takes a closer look for us at what, exactly, the Fialkoffs are peddling. In this case, Dr. Fialkoff is going after New York-area dentists with his message, which Rod shows us is an amalgam of Scientology ideas dressed up as drug education.

    Continued here:
    http://tonyortega.org/2016/09/11/ho...he-new-york-police-department-and-ny-schools/
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  19. The Wrong Guy Member

    Santa Monica High School Cancels Scientology Anti-Drug Program After Uproar (Exclusive)

    Following parent outcry, the new school principal, who claims he vetted the church front group, intends to work with local law enforcement on substance abuse education.

    By Gary Baum, The Hollywood Reporter, May 12, 2017

    Quote:

    Santa Monica High School has canceled a series of substance abuse prevention lectures after parents complained that a Scientology front group was responsible for them, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

    The Foundation for a Drug-Free World held three morning assemblies in recent weeks for ninth and tenth grade students following a troubling academic year marked by drug incidents, including the fatal March rooftop fall of a 15-year-old freshman high on LSD. Questions appear to have arisen after the organization, one of the religion’s social-betterment initiatives, held a workshop for 200 parents on May 9. Word soon circulated of the program's Scientology affiliation. After a number of families complained, the school agreed to discontinue the program.

    Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District spokeswoman Gail Pinsker tells THR that the school’s principal Dr. Antonio Shelton “fully vetted this organization and felt that it would be excellent for our students,” adding that “the presentations and materials do not have any reference or mention of Scientology.”

    Shelton was not made available to THR to answer questions. He joined the school last year.

    The Foundation makes no mention in its messaging of the Scientology connection, although a basic Internet search reveals the church affiliation, as well as a history of critical coverage of its attempts to spread its message at public institutions in places such as New York City.

    “This is a strategy they’ve been using for quite a while now,” says Tony Ortega, a noted critic of the church and author of The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper. “They love targeting schools and want to make this sound like it’s the DARE program, handing pamphlets out. Putting aside the church-and-state issue, you have to ask yourself, What is their real concern and their real purpose? This is an organization with some very odd ideas about pharmaceuticals, medicine and mental health.”

    Another, more well-known Scientology front organization, the drug abuse prevention program Narconon, was evaluated in a 2005 study prepared for the California Department of Education. (Narconon has promulgated its teachings in dozens of the state’s public schools.) It highlighted a number of concerns over inaccurate information in the organization’s presentations and supplementary resources, concluding that it “does not reflect accurate, widely accepted medical and scientific evidence.”

    “This information is overgeneralized or exaggerated,” the study explained about Narconon. “Inaccurate and misleading drug-related information is problematic because it can confuse students and be perceived as designed to arouse fear. It may also lead students to discredit the schools’ drug prevention program and distrust educators.”

    Pinsker explains that the school will now be “going in a different direction,” partnering with the local police department and hospital.

    Santa Monica High, known as Samohi and situated blocks from the Pacific Ocean, has been a fount of Hollywood for generations, graduating everyone from Glenn Ford and Robert Wagner to Sean Penn and Robert Downey, Jr. Its most prominent recent alum, who made sport of the campus’s liberal bent while he was a student, is the young Trump senior advisor Stephen Miller.

    The Church of Scientology responded to THR with the statement below.

    The Church of Scientology is saddened to hear that religious discrimination would stand in the way of saving young lives. The Church is a proud sponsor of the Drug-Free World education program which has helped millions of young people to learn the truth about drugs and how to live a drug-free life. One would think that the tragic death of a student from LSD would be enough to set aside bigotry when there is evidence-based information that is invaluable, free of charge and provided out of good will and open hearts. The mother volunteering to assist Santa Monica High School with this program gave of her time freely out of her own compassion to help other parents keep their kids safe and living clean, productive lives. The Foundation for a Drug-Free World, www.drugfreeworld.org, provides free of charge, secular, educational materials on the danger of illicit drug use and its volunteers — Scientologists, Catholics, Christians, Jews, Muslims and individuals of other faiths or none at all — are heroes helping to make a better world.

    Source: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/santa-monica-high-scientology-drug-program-1003364
    • Like Like x 2
  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology’s anti-drug front in schools, and Google’s complicity

    By Tony Ortega, May 13, 2017

    Quote:

    Gary Baum has a good piece at The Hollywood Reporter about some Santa Monica parents who stood up to a Scientology front group getting access to their kids. They caused a stink about the Foundation for a Drug-Free World holding assemblies at Santa Monica High School, and the administration then took action to prevent the sneaky front from continuing its incursion.

    Baum called us up for a quote, which we were happy to give, and we wanted to show him how this is a longstanding strategy for Scientology and its front groups. In New York City, for example, Drug-Free World has been getting access to city schools and the vaunted NYPD for years and years. And for doing so, Queens dentist Bernard Fialkoff and his daughter Meghan were recently given the Church of Scientology’s highest honor, the Freedom Medal:

    FialkoffMedals3.jpg

    We gathered up a few links about the Fialkoffs for Baum, and that’s when we noticed that no matter what combination of terms we entered into a Google search, we couldn’t find our story about how Meghan Fialkoff was profiled by Refinery29 in a flattering article that gave her an assumed name.

    In other words, Scientology’s collaborator, Google, had once again de-indexed one of our stories about the church without any notice to us or without telling us why.

    Hey, Google. How about at least letting us know what you found objectionable in that completely legitimate story about a website, Refinery29, helping to promote Scientology’s infiltration of New York City’s schools with the use of sneaky front groups?

    Source, and open comments:
    http://tonyortega.org/2017/05/13/sc...all-the-time-who-would-you-hire-to-fill-them/
    • Like Like x 1
  21. The Wrong Guy Member

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  22. The Wrong Guy Member

    This was written by the staff of the Santa Monica Observer:

    SamoHi Cancels Drug Seminar After Discovering Scientology is Behind the Partnership for a Drug Free America

    Dr. Ben Drati robo-calls parents with a message, that the seminar is cancelled and will be reset

    Quote:

    After discovering that Scientology is connected with the Partnership for a Drug Free America, Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District is looking elsewhere for drug education. District Superintendent Ben Drati made the announcement in a Robocall to parents Friday night.

    According to Wikipedia, The Church of Scientology is one of the most controversial religious organizations. A first point of controversy was its challenge of the psychotherapeutic establishment. Another was a 1991 Time magazine article that attacked the church, which was rejected by the court as baseless early in 1992. And a third is its religious status in the United States, formalized when the IRS granted the organization tax-exempt status in 1993.

    It has been in conflict with the governments and police forces of many countries (including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Germany).

    It has been one of the most litigious religious movements in history, filing countless lawsuits against governments, organizations and individuals.

    Reports and allegations have been made, by journalists, courts, and governmental bodies of several countries, that the Church of Scientology is an unscrupulous commercial enterprise that harasses its critics and brutally exploits its members. A considerable amount of investigation has been aimed at the church, by groups ranging from the media to governmental agencies.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientology#Controversies

    Source: http://www.smobserved.com/story/201...partnership-for-a-drug-free-america/2893.html
  23. The Wrong Guy Member

    Today the Santa Monica Observer report above was published again, with some revisions.

    SamoHi Cancels Drug Seminar After Discovering Scientology is Behind the "Foundation for a Drug Free World"

    Dr. Ben Drati robo-calls parents with a message, that the seminar is cancelled and will be reset

    Quote:

    After discovering that Scientology is connected with the Foundation for a Drug Free World, Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District is looking elsewhere for drug education.

    District Superintendent Ben Drati made the announcement in a Robocall to parents Friday night. The embarrassing gaffe comes as SMMUSD faces a record number of student injuries and incidents involving drugs and alcohol. A SamoHi boy died after falling from a 3d floor window during an acid trip he took with friends.

    After the Foundation for a Drug Free World held two assemblies at Santa Monica High School, one of the parents objected to any group connected to a church sponsoring the events. The assemblies included a film presentation.

    A series of 5 had been planned for each of the SamoHi "houses."Principal Antonio Shelton, suddenly informed that Scientology was behind it, cancelled three more planned sessions.

    “Samohi Principal Dr. Antonio Shelton fully vetted this organization and felt that it would be excellent for our students.” said spokesman Gail Pinsker. She added that SMMUSD will no longer work with the organization.

    The Church of Scientology issued the following statement on the controversy:

    “The Church of Scientology is saddened to hear that religious discrimination would stand in the way of saving young lives. The Church is a proud sponsor of the Drug-Free World education program which has helped millions of young people to learn the truth about drugs and how to live a drug-free life. One would think that the tragic death of a student from LSD would be enough to set aside bigotry when there is evidence-based information that is invaluable, free of charge and provided out of good will and open hearts. The mother volunteering to assist Santa Monica High School with this program gave of her time freely out of her own compassion to help other parents keep their kids safe and living clean, productive lives. The Foundation for a Drug-Free World, http://www.drugfreeworld.org, provides free of charge, secular, educational materials on the danger of illicit drug use and its volunteers — Scientologists, Catholics, Christians, Jews, Muslims and individuals of other faiths or none at all — are heroes helping to make a better world.”

    According to Wikipedia, The Church of Scientology is one of the most controversial religious organizations. A first point of controversy was its challenge of the psychotherapeutic establishment. Another was a 1991 Time magazine article that attacked the church, which was rejected by the court as baseless early in 1992. And a third is its religious status in the United States, formalized when the IRS granted the organization tax-exempt status in 1993.

    It has been in conflict with the governments and police forces of many countries (including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Germany).

    It has been one of the most litigious religious movements in history, filing countless lawsuits against governments, organizations and individuals.

    Reports and allegations have been made, by journalists, courts, and governmental bodies of several countries, that the Church of Scientology is an unscrupulous commercial enterprise that harasses its critics and brutally exploits its members. A considerable amount of investigation has been aimed at the church, by groups ranging from the media to governmental agencies.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientology#Controversies

    Source: http://www.smobserved.com/story/201...he-foundation-for-a-drug-free-world/2893.html
  24. The Wrong Guy Member

  25. This paragraph is a confusing mess.
  26. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  27. The Wrong Guy Member

    This was published today by the Santa Monica Daily Press:

    Anti-Drug assemblies canceled over Scientology link

    Local agencies will now conduct future assemblies at Samohi, including the City, Santa Monica Police Department, CLARE Foundation, Venice Family Clinic and Providence Saint John’s Health Center.

    http://smdp.com/anti-drug-assemblies-canceled-over-scientology-link/160948
  28. The Wrong Guy Member

    Why are New York politicians such easy marks for Scientology?

    By Tony Ortega, June 13, 2018

    Quote:

    Way back in 2013, we first told you about how easily a couple of sharp Scientology operators, Queens dentist Bernard Fialkoff and his daughter Meghan, were finding it to infiltrate New York City’s schools with Scientology propaganda, and with the willing participation of the NYPD and local gladhanding politicians.

    At that point, they had convinced then-city councilman Dan Halloran to celebrate them with a proclamation honoring the Scientology front group they run, a regional chapter of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World.

    Halloran had his own interesting notoriety — he was, as far as we could tell, the first “heathen” to be elected to public office in this country. Halloran was “prince” of the NY area in the Germanic paganism he practiced, but he tried to downplay it when he ran for office. He was later caught in a bribery scandal and is currently spending time in prison.

    But heck, this is New York we’re talking about, and politicians going to prison for corruption isn’t unexpected. What does surprise us, however, is that New York pols, sharp operators though they may be, continue to get rooked by a couple of Scientologists.

    One of our sharp tipsters noticed that a New York state senator who represents part of Brooklyn, Kevin S. Parker, as well as the Brooklyn Borough President, Eric L. Adams, both produced proclamations honoring the Fialkoffs and their Drug-Free World chapter before their recent annual awards gala.

    Oh, brother. Time and again, Scientology’s “anti-drug” strategy has been exposed as pseudoscience whose real goal is to spread awareness of L. Ron Hubbard among young people, a softening up of the field to prepare the public for the expansion of Scientology. Real drug experts have repeatedly shown that the propaganda spread by Scientology’s front groups about drugs are misleading and full of outdated claims.

    In other parts of the world, Scientology’s attempt to get into schools has been met with derision and the church being forcibly removed. But in New York, of all places, the local pols and police just can’t seem to buy a clue.

    Here’s the proclamation that Parker obtained for the sneaky Scientologist infiltrators:

    Continued at https://tonyortega.org/2018/06/13/why-are-new-york-politicians-such-easy-marks-for-scientology/
  29. The Wrong Guy Member

    Erika Christensen makes the scene at Scientology front in NYC

    By Tony Ortega, June 26, 2018

    Quote:

    We’ve been telling you for a long time about Queens dentist Bernard Fialkoff and his daughter Meghan, Scientology Freedom Award winners who have spent years infiltrating New York City’s schools to get L. Ron Hubbard’s quackery about drugs into the hands of children, and with the help of local politicians and the NYPD.

    They landed a celeb at their recent annual gala — a very pregnant Erika Christensen, who has been pretty visible and active among church celebrities lately. But hey, when you’re talking about roping in kids for Scientology, every effort counts!

    Continued at https://tonyortega.org/2018/06/26/v...s-tribute-to-scientology-found-l-ron-hubbard/
  30. The Wrong Guy Member

    AUDIO: Scientology fundraising throws in a little conspiracy-mongering for effect

    By Tony Ortega, November 13, 2018

    Quote:

    New York City school infiltrator, NYPD gladhander, Queens dentist, and Scientology Freedom Medal winner Dr. Bernard Fialkoff just never rests.

    We’ve been following his antics for more than five years now, and we have to give him credit for the energy he pours into spreading L. Ron Hubbard’s quack drug-abuse propaganda in the Big Apple’s schools and with the help of New York police and politicians who are too busy, apparently, to look up what Dr. Ben is really on about.
    Maybe this recording will clue them in a little.

    Fialkoff pretends for New York officials that he promotes a legitimate anti-drug abuse program and not a sneaky front operation for the Church of Scientology. After all, what would a legit anti-drug warrior be doing leading a straight up Scientology fundraiser, right?

    Continued at https://tonyortega.org/2018/11/12/a...-in-a-little-conspiracy-mongering-for-effect/

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