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The Peril of Denial

by David Yeagley · September 12, 2005 · 20 Comments ·

Where is the promise of His coming?
for since the fathers fell asleep,
all things continue as they were
from the beinning of the creation
.
2 Peter 3:4


A lone poodle perches itself precariously upon a pile of trash while surrounded by
flood water in New Orleans on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2005.
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

No one in New Orleans really believed that Hurrican Katrina would hit like it did. And no one in California really believes half the state will crumble in the next great earthquake. Few people really believe that the whole world may finally come to a cataclysmic end.

The Jews never believed Solomon’s Temple would fall. Indeed, “The kings of the earth and all the inhabitants of the world would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem.” Lamentations 4:12

Interestingly, Elie Wiesel offers the same kind of testimony on modern times. In his famous account of the Holocaust in Night (1960), which won the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize, Wiesel tells of one Moshe the Beadle (the ‘usher’) who’s personal testimony was not believed. It was unpleasant and unwelcomed.

One day in 1942, Hungarian police came to Sighet, the little town in Transylvania where Wiesel lived and grew up. They arrested all Jews foreign to the town, and took them away in cattle cars on a train to Galicia. The deportees were soon forgotten, and several months went by. Life returned to normal in Sighet.

Then one day, Moshe showed up in town again. He had escaped. He told what had happened. When the train had crossed into Polish territory, the Gestapo had taken over. The Jews were taken off the train, put on lorries (truck/wagons) and driven into the forest. The Jews were made to dig huge pits in the ground, then the Gestapo began slicing their off heads, as each Jews was made to offer his neck. Babies were high into the air and used for skeet shooting. This was all near Kolomaye. Moshe escaped, being wounded and taken for dead. He must have crawled off, unnoticed.

He told his story to the people of Sighet. No one believed him. Twelve-year-old Elie Wiesel did not believe him.

They listen rather to London Radio, heard all about the Russian success. They figured Hitler was finished. An entire year went by, 1943. The Jews of Sighet even came to doubt whether Hitler even intended to “exterminate” the Jewish people.

In 1944, when Fascists took over Hungary, and German troops were allowed into the country, some people became anxious. But the German soldiers were polite, never intruding. They were housed with town people, even with Jews. A German officer lived across the street from the Wiesel home. The Germans were well-behaved. People came to accept them, and to scoff at the idea of fear. “Where is their famous cruety?” asked some incredulous town folk.

Wiesel says: “The Germans were already in the town; the Fascists were already in power, the verdict had already been pronounced, yet the Jews of Sighet continued to smile.”

This is called denial. This is called optimism based on incredulity. Everyone knows the story. It was already happening. Old Moshe had even told them, having been an eye witness!

The greatest lesson of the Holocaust is overlooked: failure to believe the horrible, failure to understand the worst.

Denial is mistaken for faith. Foolish optimism is mistaken for cool, calm, rational collectedness. People don’t want radical change. People don’t want to leave their homes, their lives, their country. People don’t want to leave.


Gustav Dore’s ‘Pale Rider,’ or Death on the Pale Horse, from Revelation 6:7,8.

Why, crises are just political manipulations, or the fodder of religious fanatics, who market fear, and make merchandise of faith. Why, the world has been through this a thousand times. All things continue on as they have from the beginning. A war here and there, a storm here and there, nothing to freak out about. Why, people just need to calm down and be rational.

It seems self-destructive to believe that the worst is going to happen. To prepare for it seems a complete denial of hope. The Jews didn’t want to leave Europe. Most didn’t. They continued to believe that everything was going to be fine. They were in denial to the very last. It is an incredible testimony to the liabilities of faith, and the imminent error of self-deception in the name of confidence.

Only a profound optimist can survive the agonies of disaster, natural or man-made. But, a true believer may possibly avoid the calamity altogther. Is it a crime to anticipate disaster? It is irrational to prepare for the worst, to even leave one’s home before it happens? Optimism doesn’t always mean denial of warning. It might mean believing the very worst is going to happen. Optimism may mean ‘faith’ in disaster.

In the wake of Katrina, it is very clear that all these lessons fell on deaf ears, if they were taught to anyone at all. People become so preoccupied with their lives, however poor, however miserable, however slavish, and prefer not to consider any radical change. You’d think impoverished folk could more easily let go their hold on what little they possessed. But, in America, such people get off relatively easy for their sins of being so human. The government will take care of them. Indeed, a generous American public will pitch in and save them.

Pehaps it’s good to follow the blame trail here, as long as it leads to improvement in all Americans. Being prepared, being willing to believe the worst can and will happen, this is a strange conditioning, but one that is necessary at this point in history. Islam is on the loose, Nature is increasing in fury, and the world has been trained to hate America. I say, prepare for the worst. And remember the government will not prepare you. Indeed, it may impede you. Preparation is our personal duty. It is between each individual and his Creator.

Posted by David Yeagley · September 12, 2005 · 4:00 pm CT · ·

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20 responses so far ↓

  • 1 ecology // Sep 12, 2005 at 5:53 pm   

    Excellent write up Professor. very interesting and historical. Horrifying. Much is related to america today. Out of control immigration is a death march. sigh, and the sense of entitlement. I have made many changes and have acquired extra fertile ag land for the coming changes. I am deeply saddened by the government and the entities it has fostered and created. The people allowed it. I am ashamed. My generation and below 35 and under are apathetic and pathetic. Self sufficiency. My family and the old communities forged through the problems dealt them never once taking a goddamn(sorry if it offends anyone) handout. they worked it out.
    they also taught us to never build our homes on floodplains near rivers, oceans, etc..
    The old timers knew the earth( darn crazy mountian men!). It was instilled in us from an early age. It was ILLEGAL in the environment i grew up in to have any kind of handout. I mean Anykind. That includes medicine. we cured most of our ills from natures remedies. well when my appendix burst I went to the hospital. a little extreme in this world. BUT it was the way it was.
    I have been telling many of my relatives and friends what America is becoming and will be. Many are stuck in “park” due to what you wrote up above. But Many do understand and are making changes (including relocating geographically)in hope their children might be able to survive in an america the way its supposed to be. At least creating small pockets and have a chance to survive. small sustainable regions only chance from what I see right now. they hate america! We give them everything. We rebuild their ill engineered cities. their illogically designed and misplaced homes we let em go right back to. we are now giving them whole new lives. Where does it end? they breed we feed. The immigrants that came over from the 1600′s to the late 1800′s built the nation. The Red Men that were here before(your geneology) understood the nation(land)like it was the back of their hand. I wish we did things differently so we could drive the post ww2 immigrants (it seems this is where all this new treachery and treason has come from and recent Overbreeding)out. Hard choices and actions have got to be made. Due to my lineage I might be one of the “new” Holocaust victims. They despise the pre ww2 immigrants. yet we have to be supercompassionate towrds them.
    We are the devil. You know its their land even if all they do is whine and get handouts from us. Its not going to be a fun ending.
    My republican party has failed us years ago.
    The US had a chance early 1970′s. something blew in the early seventies.
    On a side note:
    The Mexicans are not native N. Americans. and us whities are not Red men. I salute you for helping to preserve the pure bloods. I know the difference.

  • 2 alan richards // Sep 12, 2005 at 6:10 pm   

    Elie Wiesel is a liar and a fraud. Cpountless “holocaust survivors” are as full of crap as he was. That story about “the usher” is pure nonsense. Professor Yeagley, I am sorry you can’t see through con-men like Wiesel.The Holocaust is an extortion racket that has more holes than a Swiss cheese.

  • 3 Onesky // Sep 12, 2005 at 6:39 pm   

    It’s hard to see any evidence of all that higher education given your debating skills. You just made my point! So, you wipe out your first editorial and all the comments to try and make a better start?
    The psychology of the Rapture is the same as that of the Ghost Dance. Pat Robertson and all the televangelists are just today’s Wovoka’s. No faith can make a bullet proof shirt.
    Was David Koresh prepared for the end? No. His psychotic faith created it!
    The Comanche world did not end. They were just conquered by another culture just like so many hundreds of other cultures around the world who end up on the losing side of a war.

    “Why, crises are just political manipulations, or the fodder of religious fanatics, who market fear, and make merchandise of faith.”
    That is about the best description of this administration and its supporters I have heard!
    In America, the government is the people, and we deserve what we elect.
    The guilty are the majority who vote for it. You can’t defend it, then expect to walk away from the inevitable consequences.
    Promoting the garbage of “Intelligent Design,” and basing policy on religious faith is social suicide. Is it Jesus who is poisoning our food, air and water, and destroying wetlands?
    The “Moral Equivalent of War,” was Jimmy Carter’s initiative to wean us of dependency on foreign oil by now. You supported the “Stuck on Stupid,” kind of faith.
    Science learns from the past, by understanding the need for change. Religion condemns us to keep repeating the past, by refusing to change.
    We know that you are just browning up your nose here, hoping to get one of those, “no experience necessary,” political appointments.

    “But, in America, such people get off relatively easy for their sins of being so human. The government will take care of them. Indeed, a generous American public will pitch in and save them.”
    How can you allow, in your name, what is done to the least of us? Do you know that every beach front home is automatically insured by FEMA for up to $250,000? They will be rebuilt, only to be redestroyed. Where is your outrage at welfare for the rich? Let them pay for their own private insurance!
    I do not believe that you, or the GOP, despise the poor as much as you say you do.
    Indeed, you must truly love them because you keep making so many of them!:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A35175-2004Aug26.html

    http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/poverty04/pov04fig03.pdf

  • 4 David Yeagley // Sep 12, 2005 at 7:04 pm   

    At little off, here, Onesky? Some times you leave us.

    “So, you wipe out your first editorial and all the comments to try and make a better start?”

    What are you talking about? I delete the useless trolling of sociopaths, obsessed with saying “I’m more Indian than you.” No editorials have been deleted. They get archived whenever I post a new one, which is every other day or so. Maybe you’re not familiar with the Journal apparatus. It’s different from the forums.

    “I do not believe that you, or the GOP, despise the poor as much as you say you do.
    Indeed, you must truly love them because you keep making so many of them!”

    Who is you? I don’t have any children. The people who make poor people are the poor people who have children, who are paid to have them by Democrat-ordained welfare. Check your legislative history there.

    Anyone who makes a child, knowing that child is dependent on welfare, is a criminal. That child’s chances are less than the parent’s.

    I don’t believe, however, that poverty is really caused by politics, so much as the lack of courage and self-control. Who blames poor people for poverty? Only only suggest that they stop mindlessly reproducing children, and expecting other people to pay for them.

    Science learns little or nothing from the past. That should be obvious to all by now, except for fanatical “science” idolators. They are always right, but worse, they have the right to change their story, periodically, and still expect full worship and respect from the gullible.

    Perhaps we’re both generalizing a bit much here, but, in a world where politics is conducted like any other free-enterprise competitive business, the rhetoric is jacked up. We compete for the sale. Someone has to make the sale!

    And what IS the point of quoting poverty statistics? Are we counting illegal immigrants? Welfare recipients? Your citations are useless in this argument. Remember Clinton was in office for eight years before this. You can’t quote all the slanted liberal papers you want.

    Poverty is ill-defined, to start with. And who’s been in charge of Indians all these years? Ask Russell Means. It’s the Democrats.

    The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. This has absolutely nothing to do with politics. Shame on you for trying that hackneyed Democratic argument.

  • 5 David Yeagley // Sep 12, 2005 at 7:08 pm   

    Alan Richards, hardly a healthy way to introduce yourself, but, Welcome to BadEagle. In the future, try and substantiate such remarks. Too many people have too many stories. It’s not a hoax. Is the Indian “holocaust” a hoax too? What about Zimbabwe, Somalia, Cambodia, and the Russian Communist revolution, and China? Are these “genocides” all hoaxes too?

    Please don’t make radically controversial and obviously inflamatory remarks without at least some effort to demonstrate.

    We’ve had holocaust denial here before. I doubt you can top it. Also, please consider the topic, which is about believing the horrible, and the psychology inherent.

  • 6 Mark Winters // Sep 12, 2005 at 7:41 pm   

    Onesky. Missing your last posts are you? Come to the “Blogs”. Home page, top left. Scroll down. It’s to be found archived there. And there, there’s a clown that wants to play debate with you. But this may just be between you and the clown as most won’t dig deeper than the front page.

    Is Alan a Chomskyite? A Faurisson acolyte? What fun! But you should cite your sources. Really. It’s the academic thing to do.

  • 7 Onesky // Sep 12, 2005 at 11:31 pm   

    My apologies. I didn’t notice how you archived the journals differently. It is rather confusing to see them out of order on the home page.

    “Science learns little or nothing from the past. That should be obvious to all by now, except for fanatical “science” idolators.”
    This it the mentality that is destroying our country. You obviously have no concept of what science is or is not. It is criminal for such a technologically advanced nation to fail to teach even a basic understanding of scientific principles to all students.
    I say that as someone with a degree in fine art. A working understanding of science is critical to nearly all artistic processes.
    Science is only about learning from the past to improve the future. What works, what doesn’t, why, and how, and to keep learning from past mistakes. Careers can be made by uncovering past mistakes to arrive at a better understanding of creation. It is what scientists struggle for.
    It is religion that refuses to budge.

    I quoted official Census Bureau statistics. Poverty has specific definitions, whether you can understand it or not. It is an important measure of progress. Poverty is not static. People move into and out of it all the time.
    It requires being able to earn a living wage. When was the last time the minimum wage increased? Everything else has gone up – gas, health care, property, etc. The GOP expects people to compete against 3rd world wages and still get ahead in America.

    “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. This has absolutely nothing to do with politics.”
    It absolutely has everything to do with politics. You are in severe denial here.

    “And who’s been in charge of Indians all these years? Ask Russell Means. It’s the Democrats.”
    Reagan’s Secretary of the Interior, James Watt, wanted to abolish reservations altogether and force everyone to assimilate, heritage and traditions be damned. The pressure has been primarily from industries that want easier access to our land and resources. That has been the Republican alternative. Is that your preference?

  • 8 Wendy Johnson // Sep 12, 2005 at 11:46 pm   

    Dr. Yeagley,

    In order to have belief, or faith, you first have to have truth available. Then, you need to be able to recognize the truth, and then be willing to surrender to it, which is faith.

    There is the truth, and then there is the lie. First, it is important to recognize that there is no comparison with the scriptural prophecies for the end times by any other figure, such as Wovoka. Wovoka is not God, and therefore did not make the worlds, nor the angels, nor humanity, nor life of any kind, and is certainly no savior from sin. End times prophecy was written by men who were inspired by God, and these prophecies are being fulfilled before us all today in a manner that has no comparison to any other time in the history of the world. It is obvious to many believers in Jesus, but I understand that it is not obvious at all to a nonbeliever and also to some believers. Hence the reference to “…scoffers, walking after their own lusts…” in II Peter 3:3 works well in this article.

    I think that we all have a problem believing that sin is that bad, that is, that men are capable of great sin and self-deception. Only when it is upon us, like a supernatural storm, do we experience the greatness of it. But do you notice that, even having gone through it, and having to bear the consequences of it, the natural reaction is well, yes, that was horrible, but things will be better with time.

    The reality, versus the psychology, of the end times is revealed in that little word “end.” Scripture reveals (not Wovoka) that God is preparing to make an end to sin, and in the process he sets up unmistakable signposts as the end approaches.

    We don’t naturally accept there is an end–to a way of life, or to life itself. And in a very demonstrable way, the world is very much against an end to sin. The world is in rebellion against God.

    Our unbelief about that is in tune with the devil’s question to Eve: Yea, hath God said…?

    So, while it’s hard to pick a safe location to live in this country due to looming natural disasters, it’s harder for many to accept scripture that God is preparing to put an end to the reign of sin in this world. Both the forces of the evil in mankind and the natural forces are going to be brought to bear against the faithless inhabitants of the earth, evidenced in this acceleration of natural and manmade violence and the political maneuvers we are witnessing today.

    But while Peter refers to those that will “speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption” he also says “The Lord is not slack concern his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

    The hurricane isn’t to repent; we are. It was sent as part of the warning system God has installed in this crumbling hellbent world, for anyone who will hear it.

  • 9 Tina // Sep 13, 2005 at 7:08 am   

    Alan, how can you possibly suggest that the holocaust was a hoax? What about the people who still wear the numbers that were crudely etched into their flesh? We are talking about the systematic torture and murders of millions of people and you dare make such a sardonic remark. There is a book by Eugen Kogan that was used as a basis for the Nuremberg investigations which tells of the “singing horses” and children stacked in the snow. This Kogon was a prisoner at Buchenwald and was also a “medical assistant” to a Nazi “doctor” who conducted some infamous medical experiments. There are far too many writings like this and many stories told by the people who survived. They deserve all the respect we can give them, not ignorance and disregard.

  • 10 ecology // Sep 13, 2005 at 10:54 am   

    However this present culture is based on exponential growth. this is like a bataan death march. I dont know much about the rapture. But I understand ecology. which can be mixed into that i suppose. thats my whole argument against the creationism. They should just ally with the science and just say ok this is how the systems operate and GOD created it all. instead they attack the science which is OBSERVATION OVER YEARS IN THE field. and continue to be over compassionate. The old Indians were the first conservationists/ecologists.
    We all know Nature operates logarithmicly, dont we? Well the resources we NEED (not want) do anyway. to put it mildly we are SOOL. I for one am not conned. I am intimately close to the earth and Its systems. And the past is the past. we screwed up. The WASP lineage has and had many faults. And you know what. The generations who had nothing to do with them will pay. My family were not the wasps types. Holier than thou. No way.
    The ones who understand the better sustainable way will pay the MOST. we have problems now. NOW. Thats all our “fathers” do now is debate and argue as the land burns. I have no faith left in my leaders. We do need a Crazy Horse last stand. I just cant participate in the endless arguement. If it was up to me I would make the hard decisions. but the backbone is disapearing. The “tribes” will appear again on the land after this all plays out over the next several decades.
    And there are new battles to be faught. The indian wars are over. The warriors are needed for the new war. this “war” will be the climactic result of massive overshoot. I have a feeling many folks dont understand the horrors of overshoot and resource depletion. Mismanagement of the higher order. Cater to the unborn and born of today not of the future generations. not a good ending at all with this type of cultural paradigm. I hope we can adopt an ecological paradigm through this all.

  • 11 Wendy Johnson // Sep 13, 2005 at 1:33 pm   

    Understanding ecology is important and the good practice of it beneficial. God created the ecology on which the earth operates. (God gave commandment to the Israelites in the Mosaic law regarding treatment of the land and animals, not just of humans. When God put them out of the land, it was partly because they did not give the land proper “rest” as prescribed in the Law.) However, ecology in itself is not God. Therefore, serving it foremost and apart from the recognition of our dependence upon God does not ensure its continued good health or our own.

    The reality of the endtimes (which involves the Rapture but is not the only event) is the culmination of what God prepared before the foundation of the world. Before He ever made the earth, He was, in the person of the eternal Son, the Lamb slain for our sins. Indeed, as He brings this endtimes judgment on the earth, He will Himself destroy whole ecologies in the performance of His will against the continuation of the reign of sin.

    It is important not to live in denial concerning the sovereignty of God over all other imagined gods and His creation, which includes ecology. We can rest in Him, because of what He did for us, taking our sin on Himself on the cross. Apart from that, we cannot rest, and the earth cannot rest either. It is not because of the WASP; it is because of sin. And all have sinned. But we have a Savior in Jesus Christ, who is coming back soon, the endtimes referred to.

  • 12 ecology // Sep 13, 2005 at 3:00 pm   

    wendy, that is very well put. I also believe tho there will be some that pull through. maybe the ones who submit to God(living simpler, self sufficient, sustainable ways). But ya got to be tuff! smile.
    And after just reading Dr. Yeagley’s write up of the indian culture in his bio. I believe the powerful Warrior Patriot Model will be important that will allow the strong to prevail through the chaos. That image has always been with me (not from tv either, dont own one and did not grow up with one). Maybe all the arrowheads I found and then researching what and where they came from is where the reverence to the tribes came from. I dont know. But also my family is a dying breed in america too. The old strong breeds.
    the strong free patriotic American warrior is what is sorely lacking in our culture, as Dr. Yeagley understands. Money is not everything, by far, as we will find out soon enough.

    we are in a crossroads and very trying times are upon us for sure.

    “The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience.
    Our is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.. We know more about
    war that we know about peace, more about killing that we know about living.”
    - General Omar N. Bradley

  • 13 Mark Winters // Sep 13, 2005 at 6:57 pm   

    Hey! Heya! Heyoka? (hi-OH-kah)? Heyoka! Inner Heyoka? The diminishing 12? The Contrarian Contraries? Have I found my calling? (Other than jesting, clowning and fooling around, of course.) I can ride a horse backwards! What a revelation!! I hate you all! Don’t worry!! That means I love you all!!! And I do. Even you Libs. Preparing for the end times? Quixotic vision questing? Doc, do you feel that your “children” here at BE are sometimes of the Contrarian breed? Juvenile at times? Living to contradict your thoughtfully provocative posts?

    In viewing Red Elk’s site you will find he has a link to a Gustove Dore’ pic as well.
    Destruction of the Army of Sennacherib
    (2 Kings 19:35)
    And if you love Dore’s intelligent designs here is a link to see them all.

    Now in the Public Domain (i.e. Free to Copy)
    Posted in: http://www.creationism.org/images/

    And he also speaks of preparation for the end times he envisioned in his 1973 fasting induced “revelations”. No reference to BE there that I could find, however. Maybe you should link up, Doc,(Too wacky for you?)with that “half breed” Breed, as he calls himself. Blackfeet/Shoshoni and Irish/French? And an honorary member of the Cherokee Nations Twisted Hair Society? Hey? Oh? Kah? Maybe I’m related? God forbid?

  • 14 David Yeagley // Sep 13, 2005 at 7:05 pm   

    Hey, Mark, I haven’t even begun to indulge in the macabre! You’re stealin’ my thunder.

    BadEagle folk are generally extremely serious, for which, of course, they blame moi. Indeed. I am a desperado. Why? Because I hate death. Death is an enemy, not a friend. Though he has breathed down my neck since I was child, if I could, I would spit in his face.

    Yep, I’m spitting mad, as the Brits would say. Bloody mad.

    “Is this the man that mad the earth to tremble?” they will say in the Judgement Day, “that did shake kingdoms?” Isaiah 14:16 “that opened not the house of his prisoners?”

    Death will have his day. Then the Lord will have his. For THAT day, I live and hope.

    I don’t accept death in any form, for any reason. It is an intrusion, for whose presence there is no justification.

  • 15 Mark Winters // Sep 13, 2005 at 7:54 pm   

    OK, Doc. You’ve herded me back on topic. Death it is. Death. Hmmmm. Death. Hmmmmm.

    This ain’t fun!!

  • 16 Mark Winters // Sep 13, 2005 at 8:01 pm   

    But I, too, hope for that which you hope for. I just do it my way. I laugh at Death. And I save my chew.

  • 17 ecology // Sep 14, 2005 at 11:30 am   

    “contrarian”

    Im not gay. LOL.

    But Im not too familiar with the religion stuff. All I know, is the land outside is fucked up and when the humans pile on top of one another in several layers it time to get out a dodge. and when oil has created a phantom carrying capacity its ignite time. argghh!
    and our leaders are more like “infants” than “fathers”. So I would be more like a “fetus” than a “child”. hehe.

  • 18 Mark Winters // Sep 14, 2005 at 1:59 pm   

    You say you’re not gay of heart? But you laugh? My ear!!! I think you’ve damaged it. But I would love to take up the present day statistical demographic repercussions of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring with you over in the Technical/Natural forum. Let me know or you’ll lose me.

  • 19 ecology // Sep 14, 2005 at 2:50 pm   

    sorry for cursing. I just found all the forums. I thought (or did not think) THIS was the Forum. Well I was wrong yet again. I couldnt find the rachel carson thread. But posted a paper on the cost of producing one child in America. I read that book silent spring in the early 90′s when I began my college edjumacation. Or more like Internment.

  • 20 Wendy Johnson // Sep 14, 2005 at 3:27 pm   

    College boys.

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