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Please share the names of the other two mediums that you have had readings with. Did you find the other readings to be evidential also?

The other two are Laurie Campbell and Marcel Cairo.

Marcel told me he was disappointed in the reading and felt it was not his best work, but I was pretty satisfied. Laurie Campbell came through with some very good stuff but also had some big "misses." If I remember correctly, I tallied up all her statements and calculated an accuracy rate of around 75%. That is good, but some of the misses were a bit worrisome.

I've found that over time I tend to forget the hits and remember the misses (the opposite of what one might expect), so at some point I'll have to go back and review those earlier readings. I may be underestimating their accuracy. I tape-recorded the Laurie Campbell reading (as well as the Georgia O'Connor reading), so I have a permanent record. I wasn't able to tape the Marcel Cairo session, which was done via Skype, an Internet telephony service, but I did take copious notes.

Marcel has a blog, though it has been inactive lately:

http://idonethunk.blogspot.com/

Interview with Marcel here:

http://snipurl.com/t54z7

Two good posts on Marcel are found at this link (scroll down):

http://snipurl.com/t550l

Marcel is a nice guy and I'm personally convinced that he is very honest and has genuine psychic abilities.

Laurie Campbell has a Web site:

http://www.lauriecampbell.net/

Laurie was among the mediums tested by Gary Schwartz at the University of Arizona, which is how I heard about her. Since then, she has had a falling-out with Schwartz.

I had my reading with her several years ago, and would have to review my notes or listen to the tape in order to assess it now. At the time I found it highly intriguing, but there was no "Eureka!" moment.

I should add, for full disclosure, that I was once interviewed on Marcel's Internet radio show, AfterLifeFM. This was sometime after I had a reading with him.

Hi, Michael

since you tape recorded the Georgia O'Connor reading, maybe you could wrote a full report of this experiment and publish in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, or Explore. I understand that you prefer to keep the details private, so I thought in some options:

a) wrote the full report and use pseudonyms.

b) wrote a full report, use your real name,give the report to a very close friend and ask him to publish only after your death

What do you think? It would be nice to have a huge evidence of survival coming by you.

By the way, was the medium good with names? Does she told you the name of your mother, father or another family member? I would like to know the kind of information that she gave to you (you don't have to tell the names for us).

My God! My english is really horrible. I think it's not "wrote" (past), but "write (present).

"It would be nice to have a huge evidence of survival coming by you."

I wouldn't call it huge evidence. The reading was personally meaningful for me, but I don't know how persuasive it would be to others.

No, there were no names given.

If you want a sense of the kind of reading it was, I suggest reading the testimonials on Georgia's Web site, especially the long, detailed testimonial that starts halfway down the page and is signed "SA (Spring, TX)":

http://snipurl.com/t57vk

Michael -

If I recall - you previously stated that you were something like 90% convinced in "survival" per all of the information you had read and/or seen thus far.

If this particular reading makes you feel "much more convinced of life after death than I did before".....you would think this reading would have to be off the charts spectacular, to sort of add that extra layer of conviction.

Can you share anything at all - that particularly impressed you that much?

(if not - did she mention the Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot - because THAT would be weird - AND make Art very happy..:-)

"you would think this reading would have to be off the charts spectacular, to sort of add that extra layer of conviction."

I wouldn't say off the charts. I would say it's one thing to read about it, and another to experience it. An intellectual conviction is different from a personal experience. But personal experiences, by their nature, are difficult to communicate.

I'll give one example, which may or may not be impressive at second hand. Georgia said, quite insistently, that a certain spirit had caused my computer to shut off for no apparent reason.

Just the night before, I'd turned on my laptop, and it immediately froze up, unresponsive to keyboard or touchpad commands, and then (still without any input) shut down and rebooted, after which it worked fine. I found this behavior baffling.

I think it's extremely unlikely that Georgia simply took a wild guess that my computer had shut off by itself, when this had happened just the evening before, for what I believe was the first and (so far) only time.

A natural reaction might be, "Well, computers are always doing weird things." Maybe, but I don't recall one of my computers doing this before, ever. When it happened, my reaction was aggravation and bewilderment: "What the hell is wrong with this thing? Is it busted? Damn it, I'll have to buy a new one ..."

The fact that this happened less than 24 hours before the reading only makes it that much more unlikely that the hit was a lucky guess. Someone might say, "It's happened before, and you just forgot." I doubt it. If it had happened previously, I would have been shopping for a new computer! I have very little tolerance for malfunctioning equipment.

This was not, by the way, the most personally evidential part of the session for me. In fact, I discounted it when I first heard it because I was focused on other, more interesting things.

Of course, a lucky guess can never be ruled out completely. And maybe I'm unconsciously exaggerating, embellishing, etc. It is logical for those who didn't share my experience to doubt it. My suggestion is that people investigate for themselves. That was the point of my post - not to supply evidence, but to indicate that there are avenues available for personal, hands-on exploration.

"I wasn't able to tape the Marcel Cairo session, which was done via Skype, an Internet telephony service, but I did take copious notes."

Michael, I participated in that online session with you, as you may remember. I just did a little search on my computer, and lo and behold, I see a digital recording of the session. Maybe the entire thing—it lasted a few hours.

If you'd like to listen to it, I could easily get it to you quickly, and at no cost to either one of us, through Usendit. Let me know if you're interested.

Actually, that's Yousendit.

I'm definitely planning on having a reading with her - and have already checked out her online scheduling program earlier this afternoon to plan - so hopefully she'll see a nice increase in business thanks to your kind words.

Bill Gates would be VERY happy if it turned out the ignominious Windows blue screen of death (no pun intended..:-)turned out to be of an ethereal origin - my labtop has been been inexplicably freezing for about 15 years (and 15 laptops) and it wasn't until I made the move to Mac that they went away..:-)

Very cool of you to share - and I appreciate the recommendation, I've had a few astonishingly good readings over the years, alongside a bevvy of really bad ones, so I'm looking forward to talking to Georgia for sure!

"if not - did she mention the Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot - because THAT would be weird - AND make Art very happy..:-)"- felipe
-------------------------------------------

LOL! I've never noticed a connection between the holographic universe and readings by Mediums. A connection with the holographic universe is more of a near death experience thing. For instance there are some new NDE's posted on the NDERF.org site and the first one I read today made the statement,

"I had the impression of seeing everything at once without turning my head," excerpt from Bobbie's NDE, http://www.nderf.org/bobbie_m_nde.htm

which has a very holographic flavor to it because in a hologram each piece contains the whole and everything is infinitely interconnected. So mostly the holographic universe thing is pretty much limited to NDE's.

I've never heard anyone from a Medium reading say anything I would consider to be "holographic," which is why I have more faith in NDE's than I do in readings from Mediums.


The holographic paradigm can be used to explain super-psi - ie. that mediums are not talking to the dead just very psychic and dramatizing the personalities. If all information in the universe is available at every point, it suggests how a medium can get all that information without help from telepathy from the sitter or influence from a spirit.

"I wouldn't say off the charts. I would say it's one thing to read about it, and another to experience it. An intellectual conviction is different from a personal experience. But personal experiences, by their nature, are difficult to communicate."

If you really want conviction, take classes in mediumship at a Spiritualist church. Doing it yourself, which is possible to some extent for many people, is even more convincing than having a medium do it for you. Super-psi lost any relevance for me when I did poorly on the psychometry lesson but got significant hits during mediumship class. When I have spirits helping me perceive psychically, it is a completely different thing than when I tried to use my own power. When I first tried mediumship in class, I had no particular reason to think I could do it, but it was an experience like nothing I ever had before.

I described my experiences here:
http://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/psi_experience

I think a skeptic would say that the medium was wrong. It was not Michael's computer that shut off, but his laptop. A skeptic would say that this was a "miss", not a "hit".

Does anyone(this side of the Atlantic) know of any proven mediums in the north of England currently 'operating' (if that's the right word) ?

Hi Steve
I think proven is an interesting word here. I have been to two 'proven' mediums - by that I mean recommended by someone whose opinion I regard highly and got absolutely nothing of any value whatsoever. I am sure some of the posters will be able to recommend names - I'd be interested to hear them myself :)

If you mean physical mediums there are none to the best of my knowledge

If you mean mental mediums the best way is by recommendation and even then they may not be the right one for you.

Try contacting "Psychic News" to see if they can recommend anyone.

It's a minefield out there!

"I would say it's one thing to read about it, and another to experience it.An intellectual conviction is different from a personal experience. But personal experiences, by their nature, are difficult to communicate."

I couldn't agree more, Michael. In fact, I was about to make the very same comment in response to your posting "Out of this world". When a person is suddenly confronted with inexplicable body marks or hours of daylight missing, suddenly replaced by twilight (to name only 2 examples), the sense of conviction is as steadfast as any you could have toward much more mundane matters, yet he/she would most likely be highly reluctant to attempt communicating the experiences to others, if only due to their personal nature. While I would not personally seek out a mediumistic reading (I've quite enough experiences to sort through as it is), I commend you for doing so. Anything which furthers our understanding of Mind will also extend to many other, seemingly disparate, mysteries.

Thanks for responding, Paul, that must have been frustrating for you.

Zerdini, thanks. I think I mean a mental medium but I'm not certain now. Could you possibly just explain the difference ?


Michael,

I read the testimonial you recommended on Georgia's site. It says this, "He’s wanting to make sure that you know it didn’t hurt him. He’s really wanting to make sure you know that he didn’t feel it."

I have taken note that nearly every medium stresses this point. In fact, the woman notes that she has had 6 previous readings by other mediums and all of them have told her the same thing.

In the past, this has made me skeptical. It seems like the very thing a grieving person would want to hear, like much of the things mediums say, and so I find it less believable. If the medium would say, "Oh my God -- your son is telling me he felt his face burn off for the full 45 minutes he was trapped in the car" I would be disturbed, but at least it wouldn't feel like the medium is simply telling us that life is all skittles and beer. There is often something very pollyannaish about mediums -- they just don't seem to experience any gravity in life. It's like listening to Joel Osteen, only a Joel Osteen who talks to the dead.

Anyway, I was wondering if you've noticed this tendency of mediums to report that the loved one experienced no suffering or had escaped their body prior to the really awful point in their process of dying. It just gives me the feeling that they were all told to say this in mediumship school.

We experience so much pain and suffering, of many varieties, in life. That God, or some natural force, would spare us the pain of dying -- but allow us the full pain of other experiences in life -- seems outright ridiculous to me. One does not (usually) hear people saying, "Yeah, the love of my life left me, but I left my body when she dumped me so I didn't feel it" or "When I fell off the horse and broke my leg, I left my body and didn't feel any pain." Since God (or nature, etc.) allows all this previous suffering to go on, I just don't see why there is a change of heart at the end.

Zerdini, thanks. I think I mean a mental medium but I'm not certain now. Could you possibly just explain the difference ?

Mental mediumship is more or less as Michael has described in his reading.

Physical mediumship is where you can have a conversation with the communicating spirit as in independent direct voice mediumship or you can see and spesk to the spirit form as in materialization mediumship.

I should add that the latter two forms of mediumship are extremely rare.

We experience so much pain and suffering, of many varieties, in life. That God, or some natural force, would spare us the pain of dying -- but allow us the full pain of other experiences in life -- seems outright ridiculous to me. One does not (usually) hear people saying, "Yeah, the love of my life left me, but I left my body when she dumped me so I didn't feel it" or "When I fell off the horse and broke my leg, I left my body and didn't feel any pain." Since God (or nature, etc.) allows all this previous suffering to go on, I just don't see why there is a change of heart at the end.

Physical pain is felt in the physical body so that when the cord connecting the two bodies is broken there is no longer any physical pain to be felt.

One point that is seldom mentioned, but is nevertheless very real, is mental anguish which can be equally, if not, more painful than physical pain. This continues into the Spirit World for some time until the cause of the mental suffering has been resolved.

Thanks again, Zerdini. Yes, I was thinking along those lines. There as different as apples and oranges.

"If you'd like to listen to it, I could easily get it to you quickly, and at no cost to either one of us, through Usendit. Let me know if you're interested."

Thanks, Bruce. I'd be happy to have it. I appreciate the offer.

"I was wondering if you've noticed this tendency of mediums to report that the loved one experienced no suffering or had escaped their body prior to the really awful point in their process of dying."

Yes, but other lines of evidence converge on this point too. For instance, people who thought they were about to die, even when the danger turned out to be less serious than they believed, have reported leaving their body and feeling a sense of peace. (An example would be a mountain climber who falls. During the brief fall he is certain he will die, and he has an OBE, calmly watching his body plummet. Then he lands in soft snow, finds himself back in his body, and is okay.) People who've had NDEs also report no pain as long as they are out-of-body, though the pain returns immediately when they snap back in. Some NDErs do report mental confusion and fear, though I think these reports are rare.

Robert Crookall collected many such reports. It would appear that when death looks inevitable, the spirit "jumps ship." An alternative explanation is that it's an elaborate psychological defense mechanism. Even if this were true (which I doubt), the result is the same: a feeling of peace at the onset (real or apparent) of death.

"I think a skeptic would say that the medium was wrong. It was not Michael's computer that shut off, but his laptop. A skeptic would say that this was a 'miss', not a 'hit'."

You're joking, I assume? A laptop is a computer. ("Laptop" is short for "laptop computer.") In fact, all of my computers are laptops. I don't like desktop computers; they take up too much room, and the mouse gives me wrist problems.

"my laptop has been been inexplicably freezing for about 15 years"

I had that problem with Windows 98 and earlier versions. XP seems to have resolved it. But even when the PC would freeze up, I don't remember it shutting off on its own. As I recall, I used to have to force a shutdown by holding down Control-Alt-Del or, if that failed, cutting off the power supply.

"There is often something very pollyannaish about mediums -- they just don't seem to experience any gravity in life."

Some want to make sure they get repeat business and always give a positive up beat message. One good way to find a medium is to go to a Spiritualist church regularly. You will usually see a different medium each week, you can compare them and find one that you think is good. It also make you somewhat of an expert on mediumship, seeing it done so often you begin to recognize what is good mediumship and what isn't.

"It just gives me the feeling that they were all told to say this in mediumship school."

When I was in mediumship class they told us to act as the messenger not to filter the messages but also not to diagnose illnesses which you need a license to do by law, and not to embarrass the sitter if it is a public demonstration. In a private sitting if you have something questionable to say you should figure out a discrete way to ask the sitter if they want to hear it.

Nice to read your personal experiences, Michael.

By the way, even if it's a bit off-topic, i would like to know what you think about a really interesting recent experiment with automatic writing reported here (about middle of the page):
http://www.paranormalreview.com/health/doctors-probe-spirit-world-with-astonishing-results/

Interesting article, Coffones. It's intriguing to me that so much of this stuff is going on "below the radar," so to speak.

The experiment in automatic writing may give some support to the brain-as-filter/receiver idea, but without more details, it's hard to be sure.

From the article: "...whilst the content of the automatic scripts was more complex than the structure of the mediums’ normal writing, their scans showed the activity of the reasoning parts of their brains decreased during automatic writing."

This seems consistent with the filter/receiver idea, but we would have to know more about the scans. How significant was the decrease? Were there other parts of the brain that showed increased activity? Etc.

Hopefully, fuller details will be available when Dr. Peres publishes his paper on the tests.

For me, if the experiment will prove to be a well designed one, it may be interesting mainly because:
1 - It strongly suggest that the phenomenon, whatever it is, is a genuine one, and that the medium isn't simply "making up" what he writes, either consciously or unconsciously. Indeed i can't think how a human can create a complex (more complex than he is used to) story without reasoning adequately on it;
2 - If the medium isn't directly involved in the process of creation of the text, we can reasonably assume that it can be someone else that is creating it and "dictating" to the medium (in this case, a spirit).

You're joking, I assume?

Yes and no. I am trying to think like a member of the CSICOP (now only CSI). It's fun, but it's serious too.

A laptop is a computer. ("Laptop" is short for "laptop computer.") In fact, all of my computers are laptops. I don't like desktop computers; they take up too much room, and the mouse gives me wrist problems.

A calculator is a computer too, at least some of them: The fundamental difference between calculators and computers is that computers can be programmed to perform different tasks while calculators are pre-designed with specific functions built in, for example addition, multiplication, logarithms, etc. While computers may be used to handle numbers, they can also manipulate words, images or sounds and other tasks they have been programmed to handle. However, the distinction between the two is quite blurred; some calculators have built-in programming functions, ranging from simple formula entry to full programming languages such as RPL or TI-BASIC. Graphing calculators in particular can, along with PDAs, be viewed as direct descendants of the 1980s pocket computers, essentially calculators with full keyboards and programming capability.

The fact is that you can call many things as computers, not only calculators. Smartphones are also computers: "Modern smartphones are fully-programmable computers in their own right, and as of 2009 may well be the most common form of such computers in existence."

So a skeptic would say that the medium uses the word "computer" because it could mean many things - and, at least here in Brazil, I think it's not much usual to use the word "computer" as a synonym of "laptop" (but it's possible). Many people have a laptop and a computer in home, so when we say "computer" we mean "desktop computer", not "laptop". This is not a rule, but it's more common.

I'm only thinking like a skeptic. Man, I am feeling bad doing this!

You're joking, I assume?

Yes and no. I am trying to think like a member of the CSICOP (now only CSI). It's fun, but it's serious too.

A laptop is a computer. ("Laptop" is short for "laptop computer.") In fact, all of my computers are laptops. I don't like desktop computers; they take up too much room, and the mouse gives me wrist problems.

A calculator is a computer too, at least some of them: The fundamental difference between calculators and computers is that computers can be programmed to perform different tasks while calculators are pre-designed with specific functions built in, for example addition, multiplication, logarithms, etc. While computers may be used to handle numbers, they can also manipulate words, images or sounds and other tasks they have been programmed to handle. However, the distinction between the two is quite blurred; some calculators have built-in programming functions, ranging from simple formula entry to full programming languages such as RPL or TI-BASIC. Graphing calculators in particular can, along with PDAs, be viewed as direct descendants of the 1980s pocket computers, essentially calculators with full keyboards and programming capability.

The fact is that you can call many things as computers, not only calculators. Smartphones are also computers: "Modern smartphones are fully-programmable computers in their own right, and as of 2009 may well be the most common form of such computers in existence."

So a skeptic would say that the medium uses the word "computer" because it could mean many things - and, at least here in Brazil, I think it's not much usual to use the word "computer" as a synonym of "laptop" (but it's possible). Many people have a laptop and a computer in home, so when we say "computer" we mean "desktop computer", not "laptop". This is not a rule, but it's more common.

I'm only thinking like a skeptic. Man, I am feeling bad doing this!

"at least here in Brazil, I think it's not much usual to use the word 'computer' as a synonym of 'laptop' (but it's possible)."

Must be a cultural difference. In the USA, the term "computer" refers interchangeably to a laptop or a desktop unit. I've never heard anyone use the term "computer" for a cell phone or a calculator. ("Excuse me, my computer is ringing ..."?)

At airport security checkpoints, when people are told to take their "computers" out of their bags, they take out their laptops. No one takes out a cell phone or a calculator.

I've never heard anyone use the term "computer" for a cell phone or a calculator. ("Excuse me, my computer is ringing ..."?)

Well, in Brazil, me neither. In this part I was using the term technically, playing with the definition. I mean, if was your calculator or cell phone that have had a problem, the medium could have say in her defense: "Hey, Michael, a calculator is a computer too, so technically I was right!"

But forget it, to think like a "ultra-skeptic" is very boring.

At airport security checkpoints, when people are told to take their "computers" out of their bags, they take out their laptops.

Interesting, here in Brazil this is possible too, but I think is more common to told the people to take out their "laptops" (no one would takes out a cell phone or a calculator too).

Finally, I agree that what the medium told you about your computer was very good, but it would be better if she have said the moment that this happened ("the night before"). And I think it is very bizarre that a spirit would be the cause of the bad function of the computer (I mean, if I was a spirit, I think I would not loose my time destroying computers...)

The link to the article that Coffones put here makes me doubt Reincarnation even more, Where they said only 2% of those hypnotised had names and other details of their past lives verified... 2% is a very small ammount.

This makes it look like Hypnotism isn't a realiable tool to looking into past lives, sounds more like fantasies or spirit possession to me, which sits well with myself anyway, I would put more stock into Mediumship than I would Past Lives.

Mediumship isn't perfect either. In fact, mediums disagree on the subject of reincarnation.

The article said:

"Dr Peres revealed that 39 per cent described a current life trauma and almost the same number – 38 per cent – referred to an event that appeared to be in a past life.

Of that second group, however, 77 per cent gave no verifiable data about that previous existence, and the information provided by another 21 per cent who gave names and other data about a past life that could be checked, was found to be inaccurate. Only two per cent provided verifiable past-life facts."

To me this description is unclear. They say of those who attributed trauma to a past life 77% gave no verifiable information, 21% gave inaccurate information, 2% verifiable past-life facts. They don't say if someone gives some information that is verified and some informatino that isn't verified whether they are put in the 21% or the 2% group, and it is not clear how they categorize people who gave information that was not possible to verify. Perhaps within the 77% group are many people who gave accurate information that simply couldn't be verified.

Furhtermore if 2% of people did give accurate information and that 2% is statistically significant, that needs an explanation. If someone says John Doe was born in a certain down on a certain date, the odds of that being right by chance are probably less thant 2%. You can't deny a phenomena because of a small effect size if it is statistically significant. Just as random number generators used in micro pk experiments give a small but statistically significant result, hypnosis may similarly uncover a real but hard to study phenomena. It is known that under hypnosis people confabulate. I think everyone agrees the inaccuracy is due to the tool, hypnosis, so inaccuracies it generates aren't be evidence that past lives are false memories.

If you read about many past life cases you find it is common for cursory investigations to find that some of the information was wrong, but more in depth investigations show the information was right. Bridey Murphey and Patience Worth are two such cases.

I found it humorous when I remember reading that sometimes more than one child claimed to being the same person in a former life. To me that sounds more like the transmission of information hypothesis than an actual soul reincarnating.

"To me that sounds more like the transmission of information hypothesis than an actual soul reincarnating."


The article also said:

http://www.paranormalreview.com/health/doctors-probe-spirit-world-with-astonishing-results/
"Delegates at the 2nd British Congress on Medicine and Spirituality also heard about a study of 610 patients who underwent memory regression therapy, 38 per cent of whom recalled what appeared to be a traumatic past life experience.

As a treatment method it proved to be incredibly effective … with 390 (64 per cent) reporting total remission of their symptoms, and a further 165 (27 per cent) reporting partial improvement. Only 55 persons did not benefit from the regressions."

Why is past life regression therapy so effective?

If the past lives recalled under hypnosis are inventions, why do the false traumas always occur in past lives, why are the false traumas never invented for the current life?

"If the past lives recalled under hypnosis are inventions, why do the false traumas always occur in past lives, why are the false traumas never invented for the current life?"

False traumas probably *are* invented for current lives - e.g., "recovered memories" of parental abuse that may never have taken place. I'm very suspicious of these "recovered memories," for the same reason that I'm suspicious when small children claim they were abused in satanic rituals (see the McMartin preschool case).

A therapist doing past-life regression specifically asks the patient to focus on a past life, so all the "recollections" (real or imagined) will be presented in that framework. Hypnotized people tend to do as they're told by the hypnotist. That's why confabulation is so common.

I don't say all hypnotic regression evidence is bad. Some of it may be valid. But I would bet that a lot of it - probably most of it - is not.

"False traumas probably *are* invented for current lives - e.g., "recovered memories" of parental abuse that may never have taken place. I'm very suspicious of these "recovered memories," for the same reason that I'm suspicious when small children claim they were abused in satanic rituals (see the McMartin preschool case).

Because the hypnotist leads the subject to invent those memories.

In the McMartin case...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McMartin_preschool_trial

"The interviewing techniques used during investigations of the allegations were highly suggestive and invited children to pretend or speculate about supposed events.

BTW, what does this have to do with hypnosis?

A therapist doing past-life regression specifically asks the patient to focus on a past life, so all the "recollections" (real or imagined) will be presented in that framework. Hypnotized people tend to do as they're told by the hypnotist. That's why confabulation is so common."

Not in the article being discussed here:

http://www.paranormalreview.com/health/doctors-probe-spirit-world-with-astonishing-results/

"One of the regression stages was to ask what was the most traumatic event they recalled – without directing them as to whether this was in the current life or a past life."

I think my question is still valid. You need prompting by the hypnotist to get false memories in this life, but without prompting you get "memories" of past lives. Why?

Many psychologists have independently discovered past life regression by accident because they do a regression "back to the origin of the trauma" and the patient spontaneously goes to a past life.

One example of this is author Brian Weiss.

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