You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’: Roger Lovin and the Dark Side of Discordia (Part 00001)

Early Discordian Roger Lovin.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives

To follow is a multi-part part series on Roger Lovin, one of the more mercurial characters of the Early Discordian scene. Lovin’s story does indeed have a dark tinge to it, as the subtitle suggests, all of which will be unveiled in our final installment with an audio interview of Jean Marie Stine recorded June 24, 2016… but let us begin at the beginning.

Born Roger Watlington in Knoxville, Tennessee on May 11, 1941, he later changed his name to Roger Lovin which would prove apropos in terms of the footloose and fancy free lifestyle he later adopted.

In the early 1960s, Lovin managed a French Quarter coffee house called The Gryphon, which doubled as a bohemian art gallery and hangout for French Quarter beatniks. In this regard, a curious news article appeared in the Oct 12, 1964 The Times-Picayune about a smoke bomb attack at The Gryphon that caused minor damage and one injury.

Oct 12, 1964 The Times-Picayune article about the smoke bomb caper.

It’s unknown if the bombing was in any way directed at Lovin, although that wouldn’t come as a surprise as he was always a somewhat controversial character fond of ruffling the feathers of the squares. However, I suspect this incident may have had something to do with the bohemian clientele that frequented The Gryphon and a certain conservative element in New Orleans that was probably none too thrilled about it. As noted in the news article, a similar smoke bomb attack went down at the Quorum Coffee House (also known as The Quorum Club), another establishment with deep Discordian ties. A Wikipedia entry describes The Quorum as “a coffee house in New Orleans, known as a model for multicultural exchanges in the politically and racially charged atmosphere of the 1960s. It became a frequent target of segregationist harassment in New Orleans after it opened to persons from all racial backgrounds in 1963. In 1964, police raided The Quorum and arrested 73 people on charges such as ‘playing guitars out of tune.’”

Although The Quorum was a multicultural beatnik mecca, Kerry Thornley returned to New Orleans in the summer of 1964 and delivered a decidedly un-beatnik type lecture there on Ayn Rand and Objectivism—but that was typical Thornley: an iconoclast who reveled in tweaking people’s sensibilities on either side of the cultural or political spectrum. It’s also important to note that Kerry’s last meeting with the notorious Gary Kirstein (aka Brother-in-law who supposedly lured him into the JFK assassination) took place on the back patio of The Quorum (cast in creepy shadows) following Kerry’s lecture there that night.

Another Early Discordian, Barbara Reid (the main witness against Kerry in the Jim Garrison fiasco), became known as a “den mother” to a group of hippie kids that hung out at The Quorum, so the Discordian connections ran deep and weird. Apparently, there’s a film documentary about The Quorum called, appropriately enough (yes, you guessed it), The Quorum, which speaks to the influence this coffee house had on French Quarter culture. The website for The Quorum film describes how it was started in 1963 “by an idealistic group of individuals most of whom had met at the Ryder, an earlier, short-lived, racially integrated coffee house on Rampart Street in the New Orleans French Quarter. When the Ryder was shut down by city officials on the pretext of needing the space to construct a hotel, approximately twelve of the former Ryder patrons banded together to establish a similar sort of establishment with a similar purpose….”

As it so happens, the defunct Ryder coffee house (mentioned above) became of interest to Jim Garrison during his JFK assassination investigation as a supposed meeting place where Thornley had met with Lee Harvey Oswald and other suspected diabolical doings went down, which I previously covered in this post. But I digress…

The Quorum and Gryphon smoke bombings occurred during the same period Jim Garrison rolled out a campaign to “clean up” the French Quarter, and the specific targets of this campaign were strip clubs and establishments catering to the homosexual community. This is not to suggest that Garrison was in any way responsible for the smoke bomb caper, but what these events spoke to was the tension and unrest brewing across the cultural landscape, particularly in the French Quarter which had always been a fertile breeding ground for freaks and free spirits to flourish.

Plot Or Politics?: The Garrison Case and Its Cast by Rosemary James and Jack Wardlaw.

This period is covered in Plot Or Politics?: The Garrison Case and Its Cast (1967), authored by award winning New Orleans States-Item reporters Rosemary James and Jack Wardlaw, who covered the Garrison investigation from its very beginnings. Plot Or Politics? also covers, albeit briefly, the rise of Garrison’s political career and provides an intimate snapshot of what was brewing behind the scenes with the Garrison investigation before it became a thing. Plot Or Politics? is also of interest because it devotes a couple pages to none other than Kerry Thornley regarding his interactions with Oswald in the Marines. This section on Thornley is noteworthy because it appeared several months before Garrison painted a target on Thornley’s back.

In regards to Garrison’s campaign against “vice,” pages 21 and 22 of Plot Or Politics? informs the reader that:

Almost as soon as he took office, Garrison took aim at the city’s sin strip—“The Street”, Bourbon Street. Former New Orleans newsman Bill Stuckey recalls:

“Shortly after he became district attorney in 1962, [Garrison] launched a crackdown on homosexuals in New Orleans, raiding ‘gay bars’ frequently, arresting ‘gay kids’ on the streets of the French Quarter. After one such arrest, the New Orleans States-Item sent me to the police station to see what the formal charges were. There, on paper, probably was one of the strangest charges in U.S. legal history: ‘Being a homosexual in an establishment with a liquor license.’ The drive died down after several weeks. One benefit of it may have been the creation of a body of homosexual informants for the district attorney’s office—informants possibly involved in his Kennedy plot investigation.”

It probably appears like I’m once again digressing, but I wanted to lay out the cultural landscape of the period—a culture in which Lovin was knee deep—and the conditions that precipitated the crackdown on the homosexual community, all of which might have attributed to the coffee house smoke bombings, and a cultural sea change which was only then just beginning to make waves…

When Greg Hill and Kerry Thornley moved away from the French Quarter in the mid-60s, they left the New Orleans branch of the Discordian Society in the capably chaotic hands of Mr. Lovin, whom Thornley described in the Illuminet Press intro of Principia Discordia as “a dashing, talented and handsome con artist who was too shallow to settle into any one thing. But for years and years after he read the Principia, under his Discordian name of Fang the Unwashed, he consistently and with unswerving devotion to the task excommunicated every new person any of the rest of us initiated into the Discordian Society.”

Discordian Society business card. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

Kerry wasn’t just lightly tossing around the assertion that Lovin excommunicated new Discordian initiates, as revealed in this December 2, 1964 letter from Greg Hill (aka Malaclypse the Younger) to pilgrims Judy Gates and Bob Yeager.

December 2, 1964 letter from Greg Hill (aka Malaclypse the Younger)
to pilgrims Judy Gates and Bob Yeager.
Courtesy of The Discordian Archives.

The Early Discordians become infamous for these types of humorous letters, and one of the funniest I’ve come across was composed by Lovin dated December 17, 1964, addressed to Greg Hill (who appears to have been staying with Bob Newport in Chicago at the time):

All Hail Discordia!!!!!?!!!!!!!

To: MALACLYPSE (THE YOUNGER), K.C.: OMNIPOTENT POLYFATHER OF VIRGINITY IN GOLD AND HIGH PRIEST OF THE HERETIC FRINGE AND PROTESTANT PERSAUSION

FROM: FANG (THE UNWASHED), W.K.C.: LIBERATOR OF THE THIRD EYE, PROTECTOR of the WESTERN WORLD, EXALTED LAMA of the NEW ORLEANS CABAL, and L.L.L.L.L.L. (Lovin’s Licentiously Liberated Lightning Lechers)

Hail Eris,

Concerning thy recent epistle of Excommunication: Screw Thee. Thou wilt understand, of course, that it isn’t the humble Fang; but FANG, W.K.C.: L.T.E., P.W.W., E.L.N.O.C., and L.L.L.L.L.L. and wilt therefore realize that naught of a personal nature is meant… dig?

Wouldst do me the favor of communicating Lord Omar’s current whereabouts to me in the swiftest mode. This One is plagued with constant uncertainties and apprehensions due to an extreme dearth of information concerning That One. I fear me ever that the Foul Forces of Light and Reason have fallen upon him unaware and smotten (wow!) Him severely about the shoulders and intellect. Thou wouldst earn thyself everlasting gratitude and a mention in the evening maledictions by such an action. Also; if you don’t, I’ll kill you.

As to the progress of the New Orleans Cabal: The first Temple of Eris in New Orleans was formally defecated on Nov. 3, 1964, at 519 Decatur St. (which, oddly enough, is also my home address.) It occupied a converted broom closet. Admittedly, that is rather humble quarters for such a large and far-flung organization; but in the short space of one month we have more than doubled our area. This noble word was accomplished chiefly through the untiring efforts of our noble leader, FANG, W.K.C.: L.T.E., P.W.W., E.L.N.O.C., and L.L.L.L.L.L. and his noble assistant, Charles Noble. They single-handedly (one hand, three hooks) formed K.R.U.D. (Kollectors of Revenue Under Duress) and saw to the raising of funds. Our membership already includes two beatniks, one wasp, a hunchbrain, and a genuine, card carrying square who has 2.7 kids and a wife with a cloth coat. Therefore, be of good cheer. Today New Orleans, tomorrow the Catacombs – with some scattered showers in the evening.

As I am naturally curious about what sort of person would spend his time on such drivel as this, kindly send me some data about yourself. Send also a copy of HYMN. Barring the feasibility of a picture, send a piece of fingernail and some hair…..

In closing, let me say: MARY CHRISTMAS, SAVIOR MONEY!!!

(signed) FANG

Envelope of the December 17, 1964 letter from Roger Lovin to Greg Hill.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

December 17, 1964 letter from Roger Lovin to Greg Hill.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

As the beatniks morphed into hippies, Lovin went right along for the ride. On December 9, 1966, he hosted a “psychedelic happening” billed as an “LSD trip without LSD” that certainly sounded Discordian in nature, as documented in the December 10, 1966 States Time Advocate news article below.

December 10, 1966 news article from the States Time Advocate.

On October 16, 1968, Lovin appeared on TV program called Hotseat revealing “The Truth About Hippies.” It was around this time that he started the first underground newspaper in New Orleans, The Word (later to be known as The Ungarbled Word.) While all of this was going on, Lovin became a suspect of sorts in the Garrison investigation, all of which will be discussed in more detail than you can possibly imagine in future installment of this series!

October 16, 1968 clipping from The Times-Picayune TV listings
of Roger Lovin’s appearance on Hotseat.

Posted in barbara reid, brother-in-law, discordian timeline, discordianism, greg hill, illuminet press, interview, jfk, jim garrison, kerry thornley, lee harvey oswald, letters, pope cards, principia discordia, robert newport, roger lovin, writings | 2 Comments

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Discordia Meets Academia

Joseph Christian Greer, PhD candidate, HHP

Religious scholar Christian Greer has just posted a lengthy, incisive and quite wonderful essay at academia.edu entitled “Discordians Stick Apart”: The institutional turn within contemporary Discordianism.

The essay includes references to my books and this website:

“Through his blog, Historia Discordia, Gorightly continues to transform Discordianism’s material culture into a historical narrative of its past. Thanks to the participatory nature of the Internet, Gorightly’s narrative concerning Discordianism’s historical development has attracted a number of online collaborators. While the intermingling of older Discordians with new converts is not, ostensibly, the primary purpose of the blog, it is inseparable from the archive’s aim of creating a serialized history of Discordianism…”

As Greer notes, this website would not be possible without online collaboration, and so thanks to everyone who has assisted along the way, most particularly Groucho Gandhi, K.S.P., who maintains and is the brains behind the site.

Since some might have trouble accessing the link if they aren’t already signed up at academia.edu, Christian green-lighted reposting a PDF of his essay here, which originally appeared in Fiction, Invention and Hyper-reality From Popular Culture to Religion (Routledge Inform Series on Minority Religions and Spiritual Movements) by Carole M. Cusack and Pavol Kosná.

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November 27: This Day in Discordian History

The Idle Warriors by Kerry W. Thornley, published by IllumiNet Press, 1991

On this date in 1963—in the aftermath of the JFK assassination—we find the first mention of Kerry Thornley’s The Idle Warriors, his novel based on Lee Harvey Oswald and life in the Marines during the Cold War era. Thornley’s observations at this time about his old Marine Corps pal would—not long after—form the basis of his Warren Commission testimony and his subsequent book titled, appropriately enough, Oswald.

This was today in Discordian history.

November 27, 1963, News Orleans States-Item masthead.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

November 27, 1963 New Orleans States-Item article on the JFK Assassination
with the first reference to the Kerry Thornley's The Idle Warriors.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

November 27, 1963 New Orleans States-Item article on the JFK Assassination final part.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

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November 2016 Eris of the Month: Eris at the 1972 Rothschild Illuminati Party

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The Roger Spark and TeenSet Conspiracy

The Illuminatus! Trilogy, 'candy apple red' edition from Dell Trade Paperback, January 1984. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

In The Illuminatus! Trilogy the concept of Operation Mindfuck (OM) was introduced and in many ways Illuminatus! itself was an act of OM, which included the Discordians high-jacking the Bavarian Illuminati mythos and making it their own.

The method to this madness included mixing fact with fiction so that you were never quite sure how many of the Illuminati references in Illuminatus! were based on “real” sources, such as a quote from a radical Chicago newspaper, The Roger Spark (July 1969), which stated that Adam Weishaupt had murdered George Washington and served in his place for his two terms as President. This article also promoted the theory that Mayor Richard Daley was “…one of the top agents of the infamous and long legendary Bavarian Illuminati.”

Front page of the infamous issue of The Roger Spark (July 1969).
Also includes Kerry Thornley's poem 'Of He I Sing.'
Here’s a link to the PDF.

Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea , it so happens, helped publish The Roger Spark during the period the two worked at Playboy in the late 1960s. The article in question, “DALEY LINKED WITH ILLUMINATI,” contains a mix of fact vs. fiction (do we sense a theme here?) with no actual byline; it’s simply credited to The Spark, but in reality it was RAW/Shea who were responsible for the piece, so in essence they were quoting themselves in Illuminatus! (ala The Spark), another example of OM-styled Guerrilla Ontology. Grab the full issue in PDF here.

Elsewhere in Illuminatus! an article titled “THE MOST SINISTER, EVIL, SUBVERSIVE CONSPIRACY IN THE WORLD” by Sandra Glass (TeenSet Magazine, March 1969) is referenced concerning an investigation into the mysterious Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria (A.I.S.B.). This article was ominously prefaced with an editor’s note: “Before her recent death, Miss Glass was an expert on subversive affairs.” The source—for many of the revelations in the article—came allegedly from an anarchist named Simon Moon, who would later turn up as a character in Illuminatus! This article, like the one from The Roger Spark, was surreptitiously written by RAW and Shea, and much of its content would later appear in Illuminatus!

March 1969 TeenSet Magazine's
'The Most Sinister, Evil, Subversive Conspiracy in the World' article.

According to the TeenSet article, Adam Weishaupt founded the A.I.S.B. in Ingolstadt on May 1st, 1776, and their slogan—or secret password—was “Ewige Blumenkraft” which translated to “Flower Power Forever.” At first glance, this motto seemingly refers to May Day, the date the A.I.S.B. officially came into existence. However—as revealed in Illuminatus!—the complete version of the motto was “Ewige Blumenkraft und ewige Schlangenkraft,” which translates to “eternal flower power and eternal serpent power” and apparently suggests that the fertility rites of spring are connected to the kundalini force—or serpent power—which itself relates to the practice of Tantrism, or sex magic. And that, in essence, is the True Secret of the Illuminati: Sex Magic.

The TeenSet article intimated that during the 1968 Democratic Convention, when Senator Abraham Ribicoff criticized police violence against anti-war demonstrators, Mayor Daley responded with an animated retort, and “…his lips were forming the words that by this time have become frighteningly familiar: ‘Ewige Blumenkraft!’”

The article further asserted that, “…the Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria has infiltrated, allied itself with or taken over all TV networks and wire services, the Federal Reserve System, the John Dillinger Died For You Society, the Chicago Tribune, the Discordian Society, the Communist Party (USA), the Paratheo-Anametamystikhood of Eris Esoteric (P.O.E.E.), Hell’s Angels, the Sophisticated Sisters of Blessed Saints Claustrophilia and Theophobia, the Mafia, the Black Lotus Society, the Lawrence Talbot Memorial Society and enough additional organizations to fill a book the size of the Manhattan telephone directory (yellow pages).”

Here’s a copy of the TeenSet article included in
Greg Hill’s POEE Illuminati Recruitment Package as a PDF.

Front page of Illuminati Recruitment Package courtesy of Greg Hill and the Discordian Archives.
This diabolical 12 page document includes the entire TeenSet article on pages 3–9, in addition to other A.I.S.B. propaganda.
Download the PDF here.

Illuminati Recruitment Package: The Ceremonial Turning of the Card.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

Posted in art, book, discordian timeline, discordianism, greg hill, illuminati, illuminatus!, kerry thornley, letters, monkey business, photo, robert anton wilson, robert shea, writings | 3 Comments

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October 2016 Eris of the Month: ‘Eris Discordia’ by ff

October 2016 Eris of the Month, 'Eris Discordia' by ff.

Spotted over on the SubGenius Wikia Clench.


Send us your Eris of the Month Club submissions (more info here) by using the form at the bottom of The MGT. page.

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RAW vs. Mae Brussell!

The spring 1977 issue of Conspiracy Digest featured an interview with Robert Anton Wilson (RAW) in which he discussed the full spectrum of where his head was at during the period.

Fresh off the publication of Illuminatus!, the interview included RAW’s musings on conspiracy theories, space migration, life extension, the Eight Circuit Model and Aleister Crowley.

In response, Mae Brussell—the Matron Saint of Conspiracy Theorists—fired off the following letter challenging RAW’s contention that Tim Leary’s stint in prison was anything but difficult, and in actuality (or at least in Mae’s reality tunnel) Leary had been coddled by the Feds (and fed steak!) and that his time in lock-up was actually a cake-walk.

Mae further employed the cake metaphor to explain how the likes of Leary, RAW and John Lilly were in cahoots with the CIA to corrupt the youth of America!

White sugar is a drug in cake icing used to induce us to consume white flour. Sugar is, literally, a reward for eating the cake. Lilly, [Bucky] Fuller, Wilson, and Leary are the white sugar frosting that sweeps people into happy time, scooping them up into a dream world so they will avoid the reality of a good diet of sound action. Leary, Wilson and their likes are used by the CIA Intelligence Community to sugar sweet the yellow brick road to Oz, while the means to enslave mankind are being manufactured under our noses…

Mae's Summer 1977 letter to Conspiracy Digest
busting RAW's chops.

In response to Mae’s missive, RAW came clean about his role in this diabolical brainwashing plot, confessing that he’d been a “high Official of the Central Intelligence Agency since July 23, 1973” and, further agreeing with Mae’s theory on the “white sugar” allegations, agreed that:

Dr. Leary didn’t merely have a high time at that great pleasure resort, Folsom Prison, as Mae has discovered; he had a great time in all the 29 prisons he visited during the last six years, although actually most of the time he was living (with a private harem) in the Taj Mahal, only appearing at the prisons often enough to keep alive the myth that he was a political prisoner…

RAW's reply to Mae Brussell's
Summer 1977 rant.

One might conclude that Mae’s theory re: RAW and Leary as dastardly members of this “white sugar mafia” was, in essence, a metaphor to suggest that they’d been used by intelligence agency handlers to soft peddle psychedelics and space migration and all the other heady stuff they were entertaining at the time.

In this vein, I remember hearing one of Mae’s tape recorded radio shows (from the early 1980s) where she claimed that Leary, RAW and other unnamed “spychiatrists” were part of a mind control squadron that went around brainwashing important people. For instance, Mae claimed that this Leary-RAW MK-ULTRA tag team showed up at Larry Flynt’s mansion (during the period that Flynt was attempting to expose the Kennedy assassination) and effectively messed with Flynt’s mind and influenced him to drop his one million dollar reward to expose the assassination. Afterwards, Flynt became increasingly erratic, like showing up for his trial dressed only in a diaper made out of an American flag, and a number of other publicity stunts that gave the impression he’d gone off his nut.

(If anyone has a copy or knows which episode from the Worldwatchers Archive of this specific Mae Brussell tape please contact your humble chronicler here at HD hindquarters so I know I just didn’t imagine hearing it.)

Given these peculiar insights, one wonders if Mae, at some point, hadn’t been exposed to the rantings of Kerry Thornley, as it was during this period (late-70s/early-80s) that Kerry’s schizophrenia kicked into high gear and he was making similar claims that both RAW and Leary were working as his handlers, covertly visiting him in Atlanta to do whatever it is that diabolical mind control handlers do. It makes perfect sense that Thornley may have contacted Mae in this regard, as during this period he was firing off letters left and right to whoever would listen to his JFK Assassination revelations, and his suspicions that he’d been MK-ULRTA’ed.

Case in point: A 1975 “affidavit” in which Kerry talked about a “team” of handlers he met in Atlanta, one of whom “bore an uncanny intellectual and psychological resemblance to an anarchist writer friend of mine [RAW] who lives in California…”

Kerry's affidavit claiming that RAW and some other intelligence agency handlers visited him in Atlanta in 1975. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

In RAW’s intro to The Prankster and the Conspiracy, he wrote:

I remember my last phone conversation with Kerry, during which he announced that just a week earlier I had come to Atlanta, argued with him about my alleged CIA connections, spiked his drink with LSD, and brainwashed him again. I told him that I had not left San Francisco in months, and that if he had a bad acid trip the previous week then somebody else gave him the acid, not me. I insisted on this as persuasively as I could.

Finally, Kerry relented—a bit. “Well, maybe you believe that”, he said. “But that means your bosses have been fucking with your head and implanting false memories in you too!”

“How do you argue that you haven’t had your head altered? “Look,” I said, I’ll put my wife Arlen on. She’ll tell you I haven’t left here in months.”

“That won’t prove anything,” he said with the calm certitude of a Gran Master announcing checkmate. “They probably fixed her head too.”

I don’t remember the rest of the conversation. I felt lost in an Escher painting…

A 1976 letter from Kerry (to Greg Hill) claimed that both Leary and RAW visited him that year, and he went on to write that, “I am literally surrounded by the intelligence community, but after the first three attempts to murder me things seem to have cooled down and most of the spies now appear to be on my side…”

1976 letter from Kerry to Greg Hill outlining the vast conspiracy
that was consuming his mind. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

During this period, RAW and Leary wrote on article (June 1976 issue of Oui) entitled “Brainwashing: How To Fold, Spindle and Mutilate the Human Mind in Five Easy Steps” which may have further fueled the fire in the minds of some that RAW and Leary were taking names and washing brains!

1976 Oui Magazine article by Robert Anton Wilson and Timothy Leary:
'Brainwashing: How To Fold, Spindle and Mutilate the Human Mind in Five Easy Steps'

Download “Brainwashing: How To Fold, Spindle and Mutilate the Human Mind in Five Easy Steps” here.

Posted in book, greg hill, illuminatus!, jfk, kerry thornley, letters, robert anton wilson, timothy leary, writings | 2 Comments

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Eris Gives The New York Times Magazine A Clue About The Principia Discordia

Over on our The Early Discordians facebook group page, Johnny Walsh posted a sighting of the Principia Discordia in The New York Times Magazine crossword puzzle:

Johnny Walsh: This past Sunday’s New York Times Magazine crossword puzzle clue 50 Across: “‘Principia Discordia’ figure.” Answer: “Eris”

October 16. 2016 The New York Times Magazine's crossword puzzle.

Hail Eris!

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Discordians In The News: WikiLeaks Exposes Hillary As A Secret Discordian!

“Allegedly.”

Hail Eris!

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