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Question for masons and members of other similar groups

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posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 07:16 PM
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Originally posted by AugustusMasonicus

Originally posted by spirit7
Ok, you have stated that it's a sacred place and everyone knows that you have a "worshipful master"


Which is an honorific title for an elected offical was has been explained to you previously.


to a "supreme being"


The 'supreme being' or God or Jesus or Allah or The Great Architect of the Universe or what ever you happen to call your Diety is your Supreme Being.


but you honestly think that it's only a fraternity and not an occult?


Honestly, yes.


Please don't take it offensive, but do you see why some of us are just a bit confused?


Others perhaps, but not you, unless you are purposely deluding yourself. It has been explained to you many times by numerous members of the Fraternity yet for some unexplainable reason it fails to adhere and you continue to question our explanations.


$There is also the secrecy


Again?? What secrecy? Does it really cause you that much uncomfortableness that we will not confirm or deny to you the modes and manners of our recognition and initiation even though they are, sadly, all available in several mediums?


that, in my opinion, all leads to the "supreme being" and something to do with the celestial lodge in the sky.


Do you understand the term m-e-t-a-p-h-o-r? The Grand Lodge on High or the Celestial Lodge are metaphors for heaven, there is nothing untoward about these expressions.


Maybe I am getting carried away with it but I mean honestly, do you see where I am coming from?


Once again, I do not since it has been explained to you repeatedly and thoroughly and perhaps you need to contemplate and digest the answers we have provided you.


I don't want to argue anymore and preach about Christianity and Jesus


Can I get a Praise Jesus! for that?



just because I believe in him more then anything else.


I am truly happy for you add your faith and I am glad it provides you with happiness and comfort, just be aware that there will be others who do not proscribe to you faith and do not appreciate it being thrust upon us at every opportunity.


If you respond I promise to listen this time and engage in intelectual conversation without insults.


We are and have been listening. Will you finally do the same?

[edit on 12-1-2008 by AugustusMasonicus]


Interesting, I try to ask you some honest questions without insults and all you did was come back with insults. What's up with that?

Please just answer this one question for me and I promise that I will not comeback and try to impose my faith upon you. Does the "supreme being" lead a Christian freemason to question Jesus Christ?




posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 07:21 PM
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Originally posted by hotpinkurinalmint
A lot of people seem to be calling us "freeloaders." It is not as if we would be completely freeloading. We would not mind paying a reasonable fee for lodge dues. We would also not mind paying money out of pocket for food, drink, cable, or televisions. We would also not mind others joining us, and who knows, we may make new friends.


I'm not calling you a "freeloader" or anything else.

I, too, like the idea of a place to relax...a "club" if you will. Masonry isn't one, so joining the Masons for that purpose would be pointless.

As I said earlier though, the Elks Lodge, the Moose Lodge, the Eagles, etc. would be ideal. Where I live the Elks are VERY active. They have a nice facility with a full kitchen, a bar (with very reasonable drink prices) lunch specials every day, dinners on Friday evenings, pool-tables, video machines, a stocked fishing lake, a camping area, a pool, tennis courts, and so forth.

The Masonic Lodge has a 1950's kitchen that smells like old knives and a coffee urn that dispenses aluminum-flavored coffee (to go with the stale doughnuts)

Not a fun place to hang around if you're looking to quaff a few brews and "hang" with "the boys." We meet for different purposes there.



We also live in California, where real estate is expensive. If we lived in a cheaper part of the world, we could afford an apratment. Here in California, the cheapest apartments are about $1000 a month. Joining a lodge and getting access to the space on the other hand is much cheaper.


I can understand that! You could easily be into it for $12,000 just in rent, then you have utilities, insurance, furnishings, and so forth. Pretty hefty "club" dues to support that.

Yep, I think you should look into the Elks. I like Elks.



posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 07:25 PM
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reply to post by spirit7
 


At what point did I insult you? You have repeatedly asked the same questions to us and we have repeatedly provided you with answers, yet you continue to ask the exact same questions. I, once again, provided you with fairly comprehensive answers to your questions. What part of the answers were unclear or vague to you? Point them out and I will explain them in further depth if need be and we can try to resolve your lack of understanding in regards Freemasonry.

To answer your question I do not see how it does. There are several Masons here who accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour and have testified that ones Masonic affiliation does not interfere with their devotion to Jesus Christ.

[edit on 12-1-2008 by AugustusMasonicus]



posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 07:26 PM
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Originally posted by spirit7
Please just answer this one question for me and I promise that I will not comeback and try to impose my faith upon you. Does the "supreme being" lead a Christian freemason to question Jesus Christ?


Not me, it doesn't.

I firmly believe in Jesus Christ and am proud of it. I also believe in God, the Father Almighty and the Holy Spirit - - - One God.

But as a Mason I respect the personal convictions of those who do not believe this way and I do not try to impose my beliefs upon others. The result is the Brotherly Love that Masons are to possess. In fact I'll quote a bit of Masonic ritual (Monitorial, of course)


"By the exercise of Brotherly Love we are taught to regard the whole human species as one family—the high and low, the rich and poor—who, created by one Almighty Parent, and inhabitants of the same planet, are to aid and protect each other. On this principle Masonry unites men of every country, sect, and opinion, and conciliates true friendship among those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance."

(From the Explanatory Lecture of the Entered Apprentice Degree of Freemasonry)



posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 07:27 PM
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Originally posted by AugustusMasonicus
reply to post by spirit7
 


At what point did I insult you? You have repeatedly asked the same questions to us and we have repeatedly provided you with answers, yet you continue to ask the exact same questions. I, once again, provided you with fairly comprehensive answers to your questions. What part of the answers were unclear or vague to you? Point them out and I will explain them in further depth if need be and we can try to resolve your lack of understanding in regards Freemasonry.


So, in other words,,,,, You don't want to answer my question in regards to Jesus Christ?



posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 07:28 PM
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reply to post by spirit7
 


Your querey has been replied to. I posted my message instead of previewing it, my apologies.



posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 07:29 PM
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Originally posted by senrak

Originally posted by spirit7
Please just answer this one question for me and I promise that I will not comeback and try to impose my faith upon you. Does the "supreme being" lead a Christian freemason to question Jesus Christ?


Not me, it doesn't.

I firmly believe in Jesus Christ and am proud of it. I also believe in God, the Father Almighty and the Holy Spirit - - - One God.

But as a Mason I respect the personal convictions of those who do not believe this way and I do not try to impose my beliefs upon others. The result is the Brotherly Love that Masons are to possess. In fact I'll quote a bit of Masonic ritual (Monitorial, of course)


"By the exercise of Brotherly Love we are taught to regard the whole human species as one family—the high and low, the rich and poor—who, created by one Almighty Parent, and inhabitants of the same planet, are to aid and protect each other. On this principle Masonry unites men of every country, sect, and opinion, and conciliates true friendship among those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance."

(From the Explanatory Lecture of the Entered Apprentice Degree of Freemasonry)


Thank you for the reply and your answer. I'm just trying to find out and I came in peace this time, so thank you!



posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 07:32 PM
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reply to post by AugustusMasonicus
 


Ok thank you, I'm beginning to feel better about it. Not saying that I want to join (I don't think that I would be accepted anyway LOL) though.






posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 07:33 PM
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reply to post by spirit7
 


Spirit, I think you will find that if you approach us (Masons) with the tolerance that your own Saviour preached you will find us to be very amenable to answering any and all of your reasonable questions. You might even end up liking a few of us.......imagine that.



posted on Jan, 12 2008 @ 07:41 PM
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Originally posted by AugustusMasonicus
reply to post by spirit7
 


Spirit, I think you will find that if you approach us (Masons) with the tolerance that your own Saviour preached you will find us to be very amenable to answering any and all of your reasonable questions. You might even end up liking a few of us.......imagine that.


Ha ha ha, I'm struggling but we're getting there. I'm starting to like you guys already.



posted on Jan, 13 2008 @ 04:03 AM
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reply to post by spirit7
 


Im willing to discuss it openly with you. I understand where you are coming from and the type of literature you must have read in order to arrive at your conclusions. Rest assured though, that it is possible to uphold ones own faith without the need to denigrate others beliefs.

Being someone who is a mason AND a practitioner of occult-science, I can also tell you that masonry is not occult in the true sense of the word. It is only occult in the fundamentalist-christian view of what "occult" means.

Now, when I say I practice "occult-science", christians often have bizzare images of satanic child sacrifice and the likes come up. But that is a different image & definition that what I mean when I say occult. The root meaning of the word occult is simply "hidden/esoteric/secret". Occult-science is what, in old times, used to be "secret science" and is simply a collection of meditation techniques (to be quite frank).

Since definitions are mixed and muddled, discussions between you and me, them and us, etc. often go wrong. Someone says "occult" meaning dark rituals another says "occult" meaning mystical practice(for example).

The masonry Ive gotten involved with, does not have much to do with my practice of occult-sciences. Its even difficult to get my fellow masons interested in talking about such "mumbo-jumbo" in a lodge. Of course, a lot of the allegory in masonry IS mystical, the ritual is spiritually influenced, etc....but thats not a bad thing.

Viewing a room as "sacred" as I did in my last post, is not a bad thing either. When you visit your church, you also view it as sacred. You wouldnt eat popcorn and watch football there, would you? You´d use it as a place of prayer and rest.

That said, let me point out that you have again managed to take a thread in another direction than it was intended.



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 12:50 PM
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Wow. Talk about derailing a thread. Good job Spirit7 and everyone that didn't ignore him.

To the OP: Join Masonry and become a Shriner. That's what it sounds like you're looking for.

Yes, yes, I can hear the collective breathe of all of my brethren sucking through their teeth ready to snap at me for suggesting it, but yes I'm saying join your local Masonic Lodge (they're probably not going to investigate all that well) and then go join your nearest Shrine. As soon as you're a Shriner you'll have access to your local clubhouse. Here in Indianapolis we've got our own private bar with free parking downtown. It's not open every single day, but they open for the Colts games and for the NFC/AFC playoffs next Sunday and reguarly through the week.

If you become so inclined you can even join the various units they have (Corvette club, Band, etc.) and you can meet lots of guys with similar feelings. Drink and be merry.

And to top it off, so long as you're a member in good standing in your Lodge and in your Shrine you will be tacitly helping others in need. The Shrine takes a portion of all dues collected and helps to fund the 22 Shriners' Children's Hopsitals in North America (Shriners' pay for it and the children get the medical attention for free). For that matter, I think there's one in California.

Basically, my Brethren are correct that Masonry is to be about finding out more about yourself, but in reality you can find the outlet you seek in other Masonic venues.

-Luke. Worshipful Master CFFrank #760, Indiana



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 10:00 PM
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reply to post by lukesaysmoo
 


So I guess its routine to ignore charges and oaths in your lodge? Like...the one about not joining for mercenary motives...



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 10:17 PM
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reply to post by lukesaysmoo
 


I am appalled that you think men should join simply for the sake of dicking around and drinking beer.

Masonry is, and should be revered to as a somber philosophical institution, not a barn house for pizza, beer and football.

The Shriners may do what they do, and many of its members may not be active in the Blue Lodge or perhaps they are, but I should hope some at least remember Masonry's purpose and not use Charity as a veil for a subtle gentlemens club.

Or perhaps conservative Masonry should be put on the back burner for the likes of the ignorant population that only wishes to escape the wife and not actually partake in the ancient traditions.

Would this be a correct assumption of your beliefs, Worshipful?



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 01:37 PM
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Is this man's wish a truly mercenary motive? He wants to join a group for the sole purpose of fraternizing with like-minded men. Perhaps there are other ways to achieve his wish, but Masonry does provide such a venue.

If you're going to sit there and tell me that the majority of members of Masonry in the US have sought membership for something else in the last 200 years then I'm going to be inclined to question where your information comes from.

And RockPuck, I'm sorry, but go read the minutes of your Lodge from the 1930's and 40's. I assure you that a large majority of the men joining were doing so simply to join and be with their buddies...away from the wife and kids and work.

For that matter, you're going to have to delve outside of US Masonry to find many philosophical Lodges. So attempting to make me sound like I'm destroying US Masonry rather than speaking of reality isn't going to get you anywhere.

And your assumption from a single post is kind of strong as it's based on a single post. My intent is for my post to explain reality rather than one discussing what I wish reality was.

I regularly get into arguments with various brothers nearby when they speak of raising 30+ members in a year in their Lodge. Which I find appalling, as these new brothers have no idea what the ritual is or what is says...as they're initiated, passed, and raised in a month's span. And then, by my count, maybe 1% remains active. That is something that I would stop immediately if it were in my power to do so. Unfortunately, it is not.

If you want to know the truth in the matter, the brethren who have a tendency to want to run guys through simply to get them to the Shrine do not breach the door of my Lodge as my local brethren and I are unwilling to participate.

However, I will not stop someone from choosing to do so for a few reasons:
1) It is not my life to live. I can not dictate how others decide to formulate their Masonry.
2) I can not determine if this man's motives are truly mercenary (or for that matter I can not know for certain if he believes in a god); only he can be the judge of that. Until you have a fairly overt action you can not rightly prove he is actually behaving with a mercenary motive. Words on a web forum do not a motive make.
3) Who's to say that once he sees the ritual performed that it won't make an impact on his life to make him a better person? Is not one of our purposes to make a "good" man better? Good is subjective as is better.
4) Perhaps his ideas would cause more brethren to show up?

Is it ideal? No.

However, it will give someone (eventually) the opportunity to make a difference. Patience and perseverance are my thoughts. The brotherhood can not continue unless there are men who start as the roughest ashlars. So long as the stone is decent enough someone can work it to be made fit for the builder's use.

Edit: Said something really snarky and thought better of it.

[edit on 15-1-2008 by lukesaysmoo]

[edit on 15-1-2008 by lukesaysmoo]



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 02:18 PM
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As a second thought: Masonry is a multitude of things to a multitude of people.

Some view it as a beautiful allegory to be completed in ritual and then you get to be social with others who have had a shared experience.

Some view it as a beautiful allegory to be completed in ritual, learned, lived and expounded upon.

Some view it as a beautiful way to learn to speak in front of groups and a cool group of guys to go drinking with.

Some view it as a cool way to meet new people and have bar buddies.

Some view it solely as a solemn affair where nothing but the utmost social skills where the only other place such skills would be used is at meetings of heads of state.

Some view it as a bunch of elitists getting together to rule the world (and talk to the shape-shifting lizards).

Some view it as a chance to expand their horizon into places they wouldn’t have access to without the help of likeminded brethren.

All of these viewpoints and many others that I do not know of can be encompassed within Masonry. Masonry can be all of these things without losing anything (minus talking to shape-shifting lizards as I can be fairly certain they don’t exist).



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 05:13 PM
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reply to post by lukesaysmoo
 


Your explanation of your statements are essentially one large relativist fallacy. While the structure of the relativist fallacy is such that it easily deceives people when used on certain topics (governance, innate rights, general morality, etc.) it fails to work as easily when dealing with a non-abstract institution.

This line of logic can easily be paralleled to make all sorts of statements that no one would in reality agree with, because the line of logic is a fallacy. Take any institution with membership requirements and oaths, and apply this logic, and here is where we arrive:

People should be able to join the army for whatever reason they want. Although it is a non-abstract institution with an oath that is meant to embody the ideas of its members, we cannot dictate who has the proper motives for joining or not. If someone wants to join because they want to commit espionage - who we are we to judge? Other people have done it for the same or other "bad" reasons. The army means different things to different people.

...And if you agree with that, you won't have anything resembling an army for very long.

There is a difference between normative and positive statements. Everyone acknowledges the positive nature of masonry, but why exactly it we should completely ignore normative desires for the fraternity?

[edit on 15-1-2008 by LightinDarkness]



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 06:04 PM
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reply to post by lukesaysmoo
 




Is this man's wish a truly mercenary motive? He wants to join a group for the sole purpose of fraternizing with like-minded men. Perhaps there are other ways to achieve his wish, but Masonry does provide such a venue


Yes, actually they are.. he wishes to join the Craft for the sole benefit of using its lodge's property as a "club house" to "escape the nagging wife" for him and his friends to drink beer, watch football and what ever else they plan on doing.

Oh, and all the while having no interest what so ever in any of the lodge preceding, be it ritual or government.



If you're going to sit there and tell me that the majority of members of Masonry in the US have sought membership for something else in the last 200 years then I'm going to be inclined to question where your information comes from.


I would tell you, sir, that the majority of Masons in the US think EXACTLY like this OP does, and quite honestly, exactly like you do.

Perhaps then it should be no wonder the States loose on average, per state, some 1-2 thousand members a year that cannot be replaced. And those that are replaced perhaps 1 in 5 stick around, while lodges with hundreds on the rosters uphold the lodge with 10-25 people to show up for meetings.

That could be a good showing.

We have no reason to ask why Masonry is failing, and why the rising numbers never come to the meetings.. its because of laxed standards, one day classes and the ideologies that Masonry should not involve the ritual lodge.



And RockPuck, I'm sorry, but go read the minutes of your Lodge from the 1930's and 40's. I assure you that a large majority of the men joining were doing so simply to join and be with their buddies...away from the wife and kids and work.


Considering how many where becoming active Masons in retrospect to the percent that do nowadays, your point is moot. However, it should also be noted, that reading minutes would not entail any details as to the reason certain members met.



For that matter, you're going to have to delve outside of US Masonry to find many philosophical Lodges. So attempting to make me sound like I'm destroying US Masonry rather than speaking of reality isn't going to get you anywhere.


So long as the standards are lowered to fit the needs of every ignorant Neanderthal that wants a place to jerk off away from home, yes Masonry will fail.

Active members in Masonry may want to be a part of exactly what hes describing, but always put the lodge, its rituals, and a respect for all thing Masonic first.

He however declares he does not give a damn about any of that.



And your assumption from a single post is kind of strong as it's based on a single post. My intent is for my post to explain reality rather than one discussing what I wish reality was.


Excellent point, my apologies, I will then reference this post and the following post and reiterate exactly what I said, only boldening and underlining the points made as you made excellent progress in proving them accurate.



I regularly get into arguments with various brothers nearby when they speak of raising 30+ members in a year in their Lodge. Which I find appalling, as these new brothers have no idea what the ritual is or what is says...as they're initiated, passed, and raised in a month's span.


What does it matter if no one cares to begin with? .. you could take a fool like the OP and get him in by him self with unaltered attention and he still wouldn't give a damn. A better judge on character is the only source to solve that problem. Numbers mean nothing, even respectable one day class brothers can be active. They have to care first.



If you want to know the truth in the matter, the brethren who have a tendency to want to run guys through simply to get them to the Shrine do not breach the door of my Lodge as my local brethren and I are unwilling to participate.


If this is true, it is an complete rejection of your earlier said words. I take first impressions to mean the most when judging someone. If you followed your own doctrine you would not have just told this fellow to be a Mason.



1) It is not my life to live. I can not dictate how others decide to formulate their Masonry.


If you know their intentions will not benefit Masonry and Masonry will not benefit them, it is your duty to inform them Masonry is not right for them.



2) I can not determine if this man's motives are truly mercenary (or for that matter I can not know for certain if he believes in a god); only he can be the judge of that. Until you have a fairly overt action you can not rightly prove he is actually behaving with a mercenary motive. Words on a web forum do not a motive make


True to a point, in this case, the OP is perfectly blunt in his opinion of Masonry. The internet is a wonderful tool, you can post your words and everyone can analyze you as if reading a well described book. Yes, you can discern attitude from the Net.



3) Who's to say that once he sees the ritual performed that it won't make an impact on his life to make him a better person? Is not one of our purposes to make a "good" man better? Good is subjective as is better.


I would advise him to go find him self and better determine what steps he wants to take.. it being apparent his current feelings, I would never consider him for initiation.



4) Perhaps his ideas would cause more brethren to show up?


Good point...

Hey, my opinion has changed of you .. you know what we could do? .. Put a 65 inch plasma in the East, HD of course, with Direct TV NFL .. we can put a buffet table on one side of the lodge, and a bar with Draft beer on the other side.. of course.. we will also need poles for the girls, ah we can move the alter and Bible to the corner and put the poles there. Maybe a disco ball. We could all wear cigar jackets instead of aprons. And personally, I think this would be awesome, the Worshipful Master should always be a midget.

Why, I think his ideas would revolutionize Masonry!

... I don't know Worshipful .. What hurts Masonry more? .. No new members... or only getting members who don't care? .. Either way, Masonry will be interesting when the Baby Boomers die off.



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 06:26 PM
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Originally posted by lukesaysmoo
Is this man's wish a truly mercenary motive? He wants to join a group for the sole purpose of fraternizing with like-minded men. Perhaps there are other ways to achieve his wish, but Masonry does provide such a venue.


There's one tiny flaw in your entire diatribe: You're completely wrong.

Other than that, you're fine.

You've mistakenly transcribed the OP's idea and motives into something that it ain't. His is, truly, a mercenary one. Perhaps you misunderstood what he wrote:


Originally posted by hotpinkurinalmint
Myself and a couple of friends have discussed creating a club house. Our clubhouse would be a place where we could watch football, drink beer, and eat unhealthy fried food without our wives and girlfriends nagging us. It would be difficult pulling the money together to rent or buy a space to build our clubhouse. One option would be to join a masonic lodge or the lodge of some other organization. We could then use the lodge as our clubhouse. We figured we could get more free run of the place if the the lodge was struggling to find members, as many are these days.




If you're going to sit there and tell me that the majority of members of Masonry in the US have sought membership for something else in the last 200 years then I'm going to be inclined to question where your information comes from.

->ahem



posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 02:59 PM
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Masonry has no dout changed over its long existence. It has gone through periods of high and low membership and has been influenced by whatever was going on in society around it.

Currently the membership is low. The people that are joining and remaining in masonry today tend to be purists, who are more concerned with rituals, and less concerned with social activities. Perhaps when the membership was high, the typical member tended to be more concerned with the social aspects, and less concerned with the rituals. Afterall, when membership is high, people join the masons because it is "the place to be" rather than because of the rituals.

That being said, I can see why people would take offense to the idea of somebody joining the masons for the social aspects, or because he wants to be social.



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