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Mike Martin

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  1. A NEW topic of "Recognition" should be started if a discussion is to start about recognition. THIS topic is about the History of Freemasonry.
  2. It's probably easier to direct you to this paper regarding the act, its provisions and the actions taken in the face of it by the 2 English and the Scottish Grand Lodges: http://www.southchurch.mesh4us.org.uk/oaths/unlawful.pdf
  3. postscript (17/12/2009)I've read this latter point a few times and I think I heard John Hamill make it on a TV documentary too, but I'm curious to know what evidence there is for it, or is it just a recent assumption? Are there Grand Lodge documents indicating a change of policy? Or individual testimony from Masons of that generation that they became more circumspect because of what happened on the Continent? It strikes me as a convenient theory but one which does not ring entirely true. The war was won, Naziism utterly defeated, the Craft had in its upper echelons such pillars of the state as the King and the Archbishop of Canterbury, and there was an upsurge in new members, often ex-servicemen. Were these really the people to be looking over their shoulders anxiously at Nazi attitudes to the Craft? I suspect changing post-war social attitudes and tastes were more to blame, particularly as the fifties gave way to the sixties, but I look forward to having my theory shot to pieces! If you want to PM me your email address I'll send you a paper to read that may help.
  4. Alan Campbell (16/12/2009)After reading a recent article regarding the secret societies act of 1799 which mentions freemasonry and the fact that we were allowed to continue working after dispensation from the government and local authorities, when did we become a society with secrets instead of a secret society. If it was good enough to be classed as a secret society in 1799 why did we need to change.First it was actually the Unlawful Societies Act of 1799 that Freemasonry was exempted from. However, if it had been an act to stamp out secret societies, the fact that Freemasonry was allowed to continue operating does seem to to illustrate (quite clearly) that Freemasonry wasn't considered a secret society at that time, as it isn't now. Here's a good article: http://www.freemasonrytoday.com/44/p09.php
  5. Can I just point out to you that the Culdees were a particularly British phenomenon whereas the Knights Templar were pan European. I would suggest if you want to investigate a link to the Culdees you need a new topic. I'm sure the only time I've seen a link tried between the 3 was in a Knight/Lomas or Baigent/Leigh production. However, it is still a new topic.
  6. stevepenny (02/12/2009)The principle reason cited by those who would believe that Wren was not a Mason is the complete absence of any reference to Freemasonry in his biography which was penned by Christopher Wren Junior. I'd give that particular reason more consideration if he had written it himself but then I can't help remembering that Elias Ashmole's diaries consisting of his own first-hand memories mention Freemasonry twice (1646 & 1682) only in a period spanning 50 years. In fact, isn't it the case that Robert Moray's Initiation (1641) is only recorded in someone else's diary and not his own. It seems possible that 17th Century Freemasons may not have actually put as much store in their membership as we do.
  7. cuthbert (26/11/2009)Anyway it's true that the majority of the members of UGLE are solid rock convinced that Freemasonry didn't exist before 1717, I've been told the same thing several times and usually by brethren who joined and lived the Brotherhood as a social club, therefore they weren't interested in historic research and esoterism.Sorry but do you want to make any more of a huge generalisation. You have no idea whether it's the "majority" of members that think this. I mean you do realise there are over 220,000 members don't you? Granted that I've only met a few thousand UGLE members so far in my 15 years, however I have yet to meet one that believes Freemasonry started in 1717. They all seem to have been quite capable of recognising the difference. cuthbert (26/11/2009)As a matter of fact before joining I already had more information about it that many masons I met and this caused me several problems.Funny enough so did I as my Initiation was the culmination of about 14 years of looking into Freemasonry and today I know even more. Surprisingly it has never caused me any problems whatsoever.
  8. Alan Campbell (26/11/2009)I have often heard that the official position of UGLE is that Freemasonry didn't exist before 1717. Which we all know is coss wallop. Even on this forum we know of topics which date freemasonry back to the 1590's, and probably earlier.Alan, I'm afraid that you won't have actually heard that from the UGLE though and it's quite obvious why.The Premier Grand Lodge was formed by the members of 4 London Lodges, thereby and in that very statement proving that the UGLE knows full well that Freemasonry existed prior to 1717. Add to that the fact that Asmole's diary (that records his Initiation in 1646 and attendance at a Lodge meeting in London in 1682) was specially published in 1717 to coincide with the formation of the London Grand Lodge. It becomes obvious that despite the fact that some people make the claim that UGLE says that, it clearly doesn't.
  9. Gents and Ladies, I am locking this topic for a while so that you can all read this. I have once again wasted time deleting jokes that appear more than once and those which have been cut n'pasted and make a mess of the pages. In order for this thread to remain open I must ask that from this point on Posters observe the following:1) Remember this thread is for jokes. It is not a discussion thread it's just for jokes so please just jokes. This does not include any old stuff that you receive in emails, it must be jokes. 2) Check to see if your joke is already here. If you can't be bothered to check don't bother to post it.3) When cut n' pasting from emails, EDIT your post before you put it here. If you can't be bothered to make it tidy for the Forum don't bother posting it. I will be bothered to delete it when I see it.
  10. Compass (09/11/2009)Another question if I may, what do you think prompted an operative guild to become speculative? What would attract speculatives to an operative lodge?I'm afraid I subscribe to the boring old theory that recognises the fact that the stone Masons' guilds were dying along with their craft. The stone Masons guilds had a "benevolent" aspect for their members and as the amount of employed stone Masons dropped they sought patronage elsewhere amongst non-stone Masons. These new members liked the idea as there weren't benvolent bodies ouitside of the trade guilds, then it went from there and the Rituals developed from that point.Compass (09/11/2009)You do not for example find speculative pilot guilds or a tailors guild do you? Although I have heard of the "Free Gardeners".That's probably got a lot to do with the fact that the Tailors craft (in common with the majority of medieval trades) has not died out and there is still a Tailors' Guild today. Have a look here (this is only the ones that are now Livery Companies):
  11. You see this is why I recommend "The Freemasons' Guide and Compendium" by Beranrd E Jones to everyone that says they want to learn about Freemaonry.Page 59: [quote] We can see why the freemasons did not, and could not, come together in the earliest medieval times in guilds, as did the mercers, ironmongers, fishmongers, clockmakers, dyers, stationers, etc., etc. In the early medieval period no small town could find work in support of a sufficient number of masons to make a guild possible, but there was a still greater difficulty. Masons were not small masters with servant organization; on the contrary, taken as a whole, they were men of a scattered trade, and this trade could arrive at maturity only after the other trades had become prosperous and produced the riches which the King, his nobles, and the Church could spend on building in stone, chiefly by the direct employment of the masons, who worked for wages and only exceptionally for profit. In course of time the masons had their own London organization, as already stated, but it is doubtful whether any other town in Englandowned a closely corresponding body, although a few of them had social and religious bodies to which the name of guild was sometimes applied (see P. 70). So it will be understood that when in this book 'guilds' are mentioned, reference is being made to the many general guilds in whose customs and usages all freemasons must be profoundly interested, and more particularly the London Company of Masons and Freemasons. Freemasonry is fortunate in the fact that. there grew up in England, instead of small guilds of purely local authority, a nation wide fraternity of operative masons, as to which the earliest of the old manuscript Charges bears witness.
  12. I have only just realised that I've neglected to add my own path to Freemasonry into this topic. So without further ado:I was about 17 when I first came across Freemasonry! I, quite by chance, picked up a copy of a book called "The Brotherhood" by a guy called Stephen Knight. What a fascinating insight into the mind of a conspiracy theorist it was, alas at the time I didn't know that and I became an Anti-Mason. These twisted, sick, murdering, fat cat, Ripper protecting, devil-worshipping, KGB-loving bar stewards were trying to ruin me and my Country because they were Freemasons. About a year later I saw a film on Telly called "The Man Who Would be King" by Rudyard Kipling (a Freemason) and it gave a completely different picture of Freemasonry although still a bit unsavoury but I was ensnared by the enigma of Freemasonry but still on the wrong side. Fortunately for me when I get hooked by a subject, I dig deeper. I bought more books both Anti and just Masonic, one of which the Freemason's Guide and Compendium by Bernard E Jones was most enlightening. AS time went on what I found to be true was that the masonic books were full of history and details about Masonry and were clearly written by Masons and they made far more sense than the Anti books which just kept on recycling the same old stuff. Enter the Internet and I had access to so much more information AND from all around the World. This was when the silliness of the anti-Masonic brigade hit home. As each new detractor appeared breathlessly exposing the evils of the Craft, I found that the material from the fundamental Christians in the US was exactly the same as that of the Eastern Muslims and guess what it originated with the Italian Catholics. It was exactly the same old information, copied, slightly adjusted to suit the particular people pushing it and then reproduced electronically. Then to top it all when you found and read the original sources, that were being damningly quoted, it turned out that they hadn't even written what was claimed. This was about 92 and I found I had changed allegiance to the pro-Masonic side and now armed with a pretty good historical grip on the Freemason and his Order I spent some time on USENET speaking up against Anti-masons. It was logical progression that I would eventually want to be a part of them and so I set to trying to find one to ask. I worked my way through a group of Policemen that I came in contact with through my work asking if any were Masons. (An interesting point, I still thought the majority of Policemen were on the Square = 1 out of 12 is quite telling) I was introduced to a Proposer and a Seconder from Mersey Lodge. In 1994 I was Initiated into my Mother Lodge and I have never looked back. Although I found out in 2000 that my Mum's brother was an ex-Mason but I hadn't known about it. Since then I have made friends all around the World (both on the Net and the real world) and our only link initially has been the fact that we're Masons even though we're in different countries.
  13. Forum Rules/Guidance/ Etiquette: to be read by members before posting! While the owners of thefreemason.com do not wish in any way to censor the honest opinions of members posting to the Forum, the following points have been decided in order to ensure a sensible, respectful and harmonious atmosphere for the discussion of Masonic related subjects and issues. Be aware that the Moderators are empowered to delete, move or edit postings, which they consider to be abusive, posted in the wrong area as well as those that do not add anything of substance or relevance to a particular discussion. The poster will normally be notified either via PM or a “warning” posting in the topic. The main points to remember are: 1) This community is made up of Non-Masons and Masons of many different Grand Lodges and Obediences and while our experiences and understanding of Freemasonry may differ this is not an acceptable reason to argue or make derisory comments about each other. 2) Some non-Masons have a very skewed idea of what Freemasonry is. So please try to deal with them in a Masonic (aka courteous) fashion. Remember we are probably the first real Freemasons they’ve ever communicated with. 3) If you think that a poster is a trouble-maker (troll), do not engage with them (this only gives them the attention they crave) notify one of the Moderators by PM and they will deal. 4) If a member’s postings are in need of continuous editing/moving they will be removed from the list of members. 5) Ensure that you illustrate the "Masonic" relevance of your posts. It is good to remember that this is a Forum for the discussion of Freemasonry. 6) Topics which are overtly religious and/or political are not acceptable for discussion on this Forum and will be locked automatically. 7) If you do not approve of a topic’s content, do not post to it. If it breaks the Forum rules report it to a Moderator who will consider its suitability or otherwise, alternatively ignore it. 8) Remain on-topic. If your post is a new question stemming from the original discussion, start a new topic. This prevents new questions being missed by Forumites who may have already written all they want on a particular Topic. 9a) This Forum is here to enable us to discuss Freemasonry it is not here to advertise other sites and it is just plain rude to use it for advertising other websites, publications, services etc. However, approaching Admin and asking for permission before posting may prevent your post from being automatically edited or deleted. 9b) This Forum is about the “reality” of Freemasonry not non-Masons’ fantasies. Therefore we do not allow the posting of links to anti-Masonic or conspiracy websites in the Forum, so they will be removed automatically. 10) Signature Files for your posts. The sig file is to enable you to identify yourself and give a bit of back ground to who you are, can you try to limit it to 4 or 5 lines maximum.
  14. Just to weigh in on AJM's behalf a bit. He did ask permission to join in and discuss his work on the Forum and he did indeed offer the thesis for review. Unfortunately, I turned it down due to a rather large reading pile and trying to start a paper on the 1794 classic "Proofs of a Conspiracy" by John Robison which I've just finished reading. In fact I'm beginning to regret that now as I am starting to become intrigued by what this link could be. I've read most of them to date and none have been convincing to me at least.
  15. Some thoughts occur to me:I would suggest that a better example would be to ask yourself whether two people who get married become somebody else. Then you get to the meat of the UGLE question. As neither the Premier nor the Antients Grand Lodges wound themselves up when they united they didn't cease to be. They also didn't declare themselves to be something new. Hence the fact that the UGLE can quite accurately claim that it is the culmination of two lines of descent one starting in 1717 and the other 1751 which joined together in 1813 and continue to this day. Expecting the UGLE to ignore the first 100 years of its history is a bit strong. The Premier Grand Lodge never claimed to be the start of a "new system" it considered itself to be a "revival" of the "drooping Lodges of London" which were being neglected by a Masonic authority somewhere. It was also never intended to be a Masonic authority for England it began as was a centre of union for Lodges in the cities of London and Westminster only. Talk of the GOdF today being totally different from UGLE is ignoring its long history. When it started it was formed of Lodges under the Grand Lodge of England and its operation was very similar and of course the point was actually nothing to do with how it operates today but where its origin is. I have no interest in "my Grand Lodge is better than your's" arguments, what I don't like is people twisting the history of Freemasonry to try and win transitory arguments or score points. The bottom line is that, whether anyone likes it or not, the Premier Grand Lodge of England was responsible (mainly by accident) for the restructuring of the way Freemasonry was and is administered.
  16. M Perrott (28/05/2009)This is what happens when you drag someone known to me from the ickky forums. Thanks for the welcome. Hee hee.
  17. I do wonder why anyone would question the requirement to be Christian when joining a Masonic Order which was clearly dreamt up to be an homage to the most famous of the Christian Military and Monastic Orders of all time.
  18. I think it is very much down to the "romanticism" of the 18th and 19th Centuries, and a kind of "need" to make Freemasonry seem older, as back then it was still pretty new.
  19. Gents and Ladies,I am locking this topic for a while so that you can all read this. If you want to cut and paste jokes, you must edit them before posting so that they don't balls up the page. Before posting check the state they make of the page by "previewing". I've just wasted a fair amount of time trying to edit cut n' past html text and to be honest I'll just delete them in future as I don't want to have to spend all my time editing messy pages so others can read them, I want to join in the discussions.
  20. So having watch the Midsomer Murders masonic episode last week i decided to order up an old Bergerac episode called "Poison" through Lovefilm. Unfortunately I wasn't allowed to watch it on Saturday something to do with Valentine's day?? So I watched it last night. What a cracker of a story! A Masonic tax-dodge conspiracy sussed out by a dedicated Mason who is so enraged at the perversion of Masonic principles he starts poisoning the conspirators, his Lodge Bro.s. Marred only by its mumbo-jumbo/hotch-potch Ritual scenes. Only a Mason would know what I mean or even notice.
  21. An interesting paper from a Lodge Website http://www.oelodge.uklinux.net/history.htm
  22. A wife went in to see a therapist and said, 'I've got a big problem, doctor. Every time we're in bed and my husband climaxes, he lets out this ear splitting yell.' 'My dear,' the doctor said, 'that's completely natural. I don't see what the problem is.' 'The problem is,' she complained, 'it wakes me up!'
  23. Two men were talking. 'So, how's your sex life?' 'Oh, nothing special. I'm having Social Security sex.' 'Social Security sex?' 'Yeah, you know; I get a little each month, but not enough to live on!'
  24. I found this paper to be a fascinating read. It destroys many of the myth/rumours employed by Anti-masons as the foundation of their silly stories. MASONIC MYTHS OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS© From: http://freemasonry.org/psoc/masonic.htm -by- Allen E. Roberts, FPS Throughout the centuries Freemasonry has taught its valuable lessons through allegory and symbols. The man from Galilee used parables extensively and well. Many historians and better speakers constantly employ anecdotes to illustrate the points they want to make. These methods emphasize the search for truth in an interesting and factual manner. Myths on the other hand, can be innocent or dangerous. They can be outright lies or the perpetuation of distortions handed down through the generations. Many of these were invented by Masonic writers and speakers to enhance the image of Freemasonry. Some of these corruptions have caused the Craft problems with creditable historians because they were outrageous lies. At least one of these items concerns the "Masonic" membership of the founders of the United States. It is recirculated constantly in usually reliable Masonic periodicals. It not only should be, it must be destroyed. In recent years other items have been circulated. These claim the Constitution of the United States comes from the Masonic Constitutions Anderson's compiled in 1723. A "play" called "the truth" is based on this. Many of the characters are called "Masons" who never received a Masonic degree. It's the stuff on which the critics of Freemasonry feed. What follows is the truth insofar as I have been able to find it. The facts herein come from reliable Masonic researchers, and include two late Fellows of The Philalethes Society, James R. Case and Ronald E. Heaton. They spent a lifetime researching the Masonic connections in the beginnings of the United States. Freemasonry, actually, requires no exaggeration to magnify its greatness. The simple truth is all that is needed to tell its story. This is the reason for this column; to attempt to destroy the myths that have been prevalent, often for centuries, by telling the truth. Here's what occurred, Masonically, during the period the spurious item covers. ---------------------------- Myth: Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry were Freemasons. Fact: Neither Thomas Jefferson or Patrick Henry were members of the Craft. An exhaustive search of Masonic records in Virginia, and elsewhere, offers no iota of evidence to make them Freemasons. Jefferson participated in the cornerstone laying of his University at Charlottesville, which was done Masonically. He praised Freemasonry and his own words proved he had never been a member of the Craft. Myth: All of George Washington's generals during the War for American Independence were Masons. Fact: Thirty-three of the generals serving under Washington were members of the Craft, a long way from "all." The late James R. Case and Ronald E. Heaton made comprehensive studies of the Revolutionary period and debunked many of the claims considered here. Myth: Washington insisted that the Marquis de Lafayette be made a Mason before he would promote him to general, and the same claim has been made about the Baron von Steuben. Fact: Both Lafayette and von Steuben were Freemasons before they arrived to help fight the British. This was true of Lafayette even though he wasn't 21 years of age when he arrived in America. It's highly likely that Washington never did know they were Masons. The stories of both of these men are highly interesting, but space prohibits the telling of them here. Myth: The governors of the thirteen original colonies when Washington was inaugurated President of the United States were Freemasons. Fact: From Lexington until the inauguration thirty different men served as governors. Of these ten were Freemasons. That's one-third! Wouldn't it be wonderful for the country if we could claim the same percentage today? Myth: The Boston Tea Party was organized in St. Andrew's Lodge in Boston and its member participated in tossing the tea into Boston Harbor. Fact: So well has the secrecy surrounding the Boston Tea Party been kept that to this day not a single participant can be truthfully named! It's true that St. Andrew's Lodge didn't meet on the night of the "party." This proves nothing. The "T" that has been claimed is part of the minutes of the Lodge is actually an indistinguishable scroll. By no stretch of the imagination can it be called a "T" or any other letter. Myth: All, or almost all, Signers of the Articles of Confederation, Signers of the Declaration of Independence, and Signers of the Constitution were Freemasons. Fact: Ten of the signers of the Articles, nine signers of the Declaration, and thirteen signers of the Constitution -- and only this number -- were, or would become, Freemasons. Even so, this is an excellent percentage of the participants. It should be noted that Edmund Randolph, governor and Grand Master of Virginia, although an important participant in the Constitutional Convention, didn't sign the document. He did, however, fight for its ratification. It should also be noted that four Presidents of the Continental Congresses were Freemasons: Peyton Randolph of Virginia, John Hancock of Massachusetts, Henry Laurens of South Carolina, and Arthur St. Clair of Pennsylvania. (For further study see Masonic Membership of the Founding Fathers, The Masonic Service Association). Myth: There are many aprons owned or worn by George Washington floating around. Fact: The only documented apron owned by Washington was one presented by the firm of Watson and Cassoul. It had been made by nuns at Nantes. It was the only apron listed in Washington's inventory that was released after his death. Myth: Washington was Grand Master in Virginia. Fact: Washington never was a Grand Master. At the instigation of American Union Lodge he was suggested for the office of Grand Master of a National Grand Lodge -- a non-existent body. The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and some others agreed, but too many others disagreed with the concept of a National Grand Lodge. Washington was appointed Master of Alexandria Lodge No. 22 in Virginia by Grand Master Edmund Randolph when that Pennsylvania Lodge requested a charter from the Grand Lodge of Virginia. The following year he was elected Master, but there is no record of his installation into this office, nor is there any record of him presiding over this Lodge. To keep the record straight, there is much evidence of his respect, and perhaps even love for Freemasonry. Proof? He was buried with Masonic rites! ----------------------- George Washington has been the source of many Masonic myths and exaggerations for more than two centuries. This is unfortunate. Of all the Freemasons we can eulogize he requires no embellishment. From his childhood to his death his extraordinary wisdom, industry and patriotism predominated. Let's try to set the record straight. Myth: George Washington was Grand Master of Masons in Virginia. Fact: Washington never was a Grand Master. American Union Lodge, on December 15, 1779, proposed Washington become General Grand Master of the United States! This proposal speaks volumes for the character of the Commander-in-Chief. The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania agreed five days later! Too many others were frightened by the concept of a National Grand Lodge. It is highly doubtful that Washington would have accepted such an office. Washington was appointed Master of Alexandria Lodge No. 22 in Virginia by Grand Master Edmund Randolph when that Pennsylvania Lodge (No. 39) requested a charter from the Grand Lodge of Virginia. The new charter was dated April 28, 1788. In December of the same year he was elected Master, but there is no record of his installation into this office, nor is there any record of him actually presiding over this or any Lodge. Myth. Washington acted as Grand Master when the cornerstone of the Federal Capitol was laid on September 18,1793. Fact. It was the Grand Lodge of Maryland that was called on to lay the cornerstone. Alexandria Lodge, of which Washington was a Past Master, held a place of honor. It was Joseph Clark, the Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Maryland, who acted as Grand Master, pro tem. Clark placed the President between himself and the Master of Alexandria Lodge. The newspaper article reporting the event mentioned Clark as the Grand Master, pro tem. on several occasions. So did the Maryland historian in 1885. Washington didn't act as Grand Master, but without question he was the most honored and influential Freemason participating in the event. Myth. George Washington never was interested in Freemasonry. He rarely, if ever, attended Lodge meetings. Fact. To keep the record straight, there is much evidence of his respect and even love for Freemasonry. True, he seldom attended Masonic meetings. This is understandable when it is realized that from the day he was made a Master Mason until shortly before his death he worked for his country. Did he love and respect the Craft. The ultimate proof -- he was buried with Masonic rites! And this even before the Congress knew of his death. (For further study of George Washington and a complete account of his Masonic activities see George Washington: Master Mason, Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co., Richmond, VA.) Myth: There are m any aprons owned or worn by George Washington floating around. Fact: The only documented apron owned by Washington was one presented by the firm of Watson and Cassoul. It had been made by nuns at Nantes. It was the only apron listed in Washington's inventory that was released after his death. The "Lafayette" apron, purportedly made by the wife of the Marquis, may be a fact as many authorities claim (and I was one who did so claim in G. Washington). Myth. George Washington renounced Freemasonry. Fact. On the contrary he remained a member of the Craft from the moment he was Initiated into the Lodge at Fredericksburg, Virginia (No. 4) until the day he died. Even then his wife, Martha, asked the Freemason of Alexandria, Virginia, to hold and conduct his funeral (see above). In 1837, at state expense, Joseph Ritner, Governor of Pennsylvania, endeavored to "save" the reputation of the first President. He had published a tract "proving" Washington had never participated in Masonic events. Earlier the Blanchards, father and son and heads of a so-called "Christian" anti-Masonic organization, were among the first "Christians" to "prove" Washington wasn't a Freemason. Much of the anti-Masonic diatribe they promulgated has been carried to the present day by crusading "saints" against "secret" societies. Myth. Washington was uneducated. Fact. Uneducated -- no; unschooled -- yes. As far as we can determine Washington never attended any school. Through his father's vast library Washington learned the fundamentals of mathematics, surveying and many other subjects. At the age of 17 he earned a substantial wage as a surveyor. In 1749 he was appointed surveyor of Culpeper County, Virginia, having produced a certificate "from the President and Masters of William and Mary College, appointing him to be surveyor of this county." From the many military visitors to Mount Vernon he learned the principles of warfare. From the intellectuals he learned how to study and use his common sense. The history of his life proves he became one of the most knowledgeable men of his, or any, day.
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