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Domestic Violence Chart = Fundie Handbook?


Curious

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I posted this chart in the middle of another thread, but after some thought, I decided it deserved a thread of it's own.

According to the article I found this chart in (which had nothing to do with an FJ topic):

The diagram was originally designed by a domestic abuse charity to help women identify when they are being abused, and has sections entitled 'use male privilege' and 'use isolation'.

post-132-14451999669448_thumb.jpg

I can't help but notice how many of these things are exactly what Godly men like Ken and Cabinetman and really just fundies in general claim are the "godly" way to live. We have talked about how this lifestyle is abusive to women (and children) before, but seeing it all put out there in a chart made specifically for women to identify when they are being abused is somehow more chilling.

I think this might be a good thing for us to post somewhere on the site so it stays easily available. Opinions?

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I think it's a no-brainer that fundamentalism includes tons of abuse, which is a big part of why I think it should pretty much be banned. Religion shouldn't be allowed to be used to make abuse acceptable to the court system.

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Those charts give me pause when seeing it laid out in black and white. My old life as Godly Submissive WifeTM hit every point on those wheels.

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I think it's a no-brainer that fundamentalism includes tons of abuse, which is a big part of why I think it should pretty much be banned. Religion shouldn't be allowed to be used to make abuse acceptable to the court system.

I agree that "religion shouldn't be used to make abuse acceptable." I'm not excusing fundamentalism of any stripe.

But as for the bold - REALLY? Think about it. How might something like that work? Who would define fundamentalism? Where would the black line be drawn on the continuum of gray? How would such a ban actually work? How would such a law be used to take away the (US) constitutional right to freedom of religion? What would the potential for abuse of such a law be? How could something for which the definition has as many nuances as the number of individuals using the word be "banned"? These questions are just for starters.

There is no single easy answer to the multitude of problems inherent in such a complex issue.

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Agreeing with Apple1. Sorry, DGayle, I hear what you are saying but you are vastly oversimplifying. In a totalitarian or theocratic regime it might work, but I don't think you want that. Eh, some of the most complex and difficult Protective and court cases involve differentiating between how far people should be able to use a freedom of religion defense, and when religious practices involve committing crimes as we as a society have now defined them. Especially when they involve domestic violence against adult women (and men) who have the right to self-determination. When it comes to beating, starving or abusing children to death in the name of religion it is more clear cut. Refusing medical care because of God is trickier and many of those cases go to the Supreme Court.

Sorry, I'm rambling.

Back to the original question posed by Curious: Do people agree with me that the "Wheel" above should be featured fairly prominently on FJ?

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The wheel is a useful tool for describing the dynamics of how some men will assert power and control over women in domestic situations. At the extremes, that can include physical or sexual violence. The explanation of the model is pretty clear about the fact that it doesn't describe all forms of domestic violence - just the ones with this particular dynamic.

The one other spoke I might include would be spiritual abuse - asserting that God wants her to be subservient to her husband, making her fear divine retribution if she challenges anything, blocking the path to any independent spiritual worship/consultation, putting down or forbidding her religious beliefs/practices.

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The thing is, I don't think all fundamentalist wives and children are de facto abused. While I would not wish to abdicate my own reasoning to a marriage partner, that doesn't necessarily mean that someone else doesn't.

Fundies think women like me are the ones being abused because we "have" to work and our mates (provided we're heterosexual) won't man up and earn enough. They think we're being somehow prevented from living out the role God has for us and that we're chronically unfulfilled and exhausted.

Likewise, I look at some fundy families I know and the women and men are pretty much seen as equals. Different roles, yes, but both seem t feel safe and mutually supported within the relationship. If the woman believes in the fundamentalism and *wants* to live out that role within the family, I don't think that's abuse.

What's abuse is when the man acts like a jerk, throwing his wife under the bus, making things insecure for her, finding more things to criticize and correct than finding things that he values about her, and so on.

Of course, our hard-core fundies make it difficult for women, what with the courtship process and everything. They don't get enough education or get enough rights to form their own opinions - or even get enough time with any potential suitors to weed out abusers. Supposedly, the girl's dad is going to prevent this from happening, but how could the dad tell? Abusers are on their best behavior in front of the parents.

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I agree that "religion shouldn't be used to make abuse acceptable." I'm not excusing fundamentalism of any stripe.

But as for the bold - REALLY? Think about it. How might something like that work? Who would define fundamentalism? Where would the black line be drawn on the continuum of gray? How would such a ban actually work? How would such a law be used to take away the (US) constitutional right to freedom of religion? What would the potential for abuse of such a law be? How could something for which the definition has as many nuances as the number of individuals using the word be "banned"? These questions are just for starters.

There is no single easy answer to the multitude of problems inherent in such a complex issue.

I didn't say there was any way for it to work, did I? But when a religion believes education should be so severely limited and women raised from birth only being allowed to get whatever education is necessary to be someone's servant while being told she can't ever say no, and children are beaten because not beating them for hours and hours means you don't love them, then you've got a culture of abuse hiding behind religion.

How would such a law be used to take away the (US) constitutional right to freedom of religion?

There are already limits on religious freedom in this country. Do you really think anyone would look the other way if PP started throwing stones at gay people because his idea of religion calls for it? Did you know that there are religions out there that call for female circumcision, which can be accomplished via a sterile pin prick in a real doctor's office, but it's also banned in the US? Male circumcision is still allowed for anyone who wants it, even though it became routine to oppress male sexuality. So you can't even say FC is only because of oppression when MC started for the same thing. Christian practices are starting to be allowed to be above the law, like Hobby Lobby has shown, but should religion really be above the law when it's being used to abuse people and deny other people of their personal rights? Fundamentalism isn't about personal beliefs. It's so much about going to extremes to oppress others, to deny them even basic educations, even basic rights.

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Yes. That is a very good idea. You might want to include the link to the source, which has explanations of when, how, and why it was developed.

http://www.theduluthmodel.org/training/wheels.html

Note: the other wheels are interesting too.

Thanks Palimpsest. I wasn't aware of the original location since the article I found the chart is was about something completely different.

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The thing is, I don't think all fundamentalist wives and children are de facto abused. While I would not wish to abdicate my own reasoning to a marriage partner, that doesn't necessarily mean that someone else doesn't.

Fundies think women like me are the ones being abused because we "have" to work and our mates (provided we're heterosexual) won't man up and earn enough. They think we're being somehow prevented from living out the role God has for us and that we're chronically unfulfilled and exhausted.

Likewise, I look at some fundy families I know and the women and men are pretty much seen as equals. Different roles, yes, but both seem t feel safe and mutually supported within the relationship. If the woman believes in the fundamentalism and *wants* to live out that role within the family, I don't think that's abuse.

What's abuse is when the man acts like a jerk, throwing his wife under the bus, making things insecure for her, finding more things to criticize and correct than finding things that he values about her, and so on.

Of course, our hard-core fundies make it difficult for women, what with the courtship process and everything. They don't get enough education or get enough rights to form their own opinions - or even get enough time with any potential suitors to weed out abusers. Supposedly, the girl's dad is going to prevent this from happening, but how could the dad tell? Abusers are on their best behavior in front of the parents.

In some families, roles are a mutual choice.

What we see in some cases, though, is that under the guise of religion, people actually advocate the things on this wheel, precisely as a way of keeping women under control.

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I didn't say there was any way for it to work, did I? But when a religion believes education should be so severely limited and women raised from birth only being allowed to get whatever education is necessary to be someone's servant while being told she can't ever say no, and children are beaten because not beating them for hours and hours means you don't love them, then you've got a culture of abuse hiding behind religion.

There are already limits on religious freedom in this country. Do you really think anyone would look the other way if PP started throwing stones at gay people because his idea of religion calls for it? Did you know that there are religions out there that call for female circumcision, which can be accomplished via a sterile pin prick in a real doctor's office, but it's also banned in the US? Male circumcision is still allowed for anyone who wants it, even though it became routine to oppress male sexuality. So you can't even say FC is only because of oppression when MC started for the same thing. Christian practices are starting to be allowed to be above the law, like Hobby Lobby has shown, but should religion really be above the law when it's being used to abuse people and deny other people of their personal rights? Fundamentalism isn't about personal beliefs. It's so much about going to extremes to oppress others, to deny them even basic educations, even basic rights.

That's not a ban on belief.

The examples you give are bans on harmful practices. There is no absolute right to a religious PRACTICE, as opposed to belief, if that practice seriously harms the rights of others. You need to weigh the harm of the practice against the harm of infringing on someone's religion.

There are ways to enforce laws re minimum education, child abuse, etc. without banning the religion.

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The wheel is a useful tool for describing the dynamics of how some men will assert power and control over women in domestic situations. At the extremes, that can include physical or sexual violence. The explanation of the model is pretty clear about the fact that it doesn't describe all forms of domestic violence - just the ones with this particular dynamic.

The one other spoke I might include would be spiritual abuse - asserting that God wants her to be subservient to her husband, making her fear divine retribution if she challenges anything, blocking the path to any independent spiritual worship/consultation, putting down or forbidding her religious beliefs/practices.

I saw on the webpage that Palimpsest linked that you can ask for permission to modify the wheel. You just have to submit your modifications and they will either approve or deny them. If we want to submit another spoke for spiritual abuse, I'm willing to do that.

We'd just need to come up with the bullet points (which you've basically done here, already).

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I saw on the webpage that Palimpsest linked that you can ask for permission to modify the wheel. You just have to submit your modifications and they will either approve or deny them. If we want to submit another spoke for spiritual abuse, I'm willing to do that.

We'd just need to come up with the bullet points (which you've basically done here, already).

Yes, the wheel can be modified, with permission, and has been many times. Permission is granted very generously. It has sometimes been modified without permission :( As have some of the frameworks (in and around the same area) I have developed. I only throw a shit fit if the modifications are way out of line. Otherwise I just point out that permission should be requested and credit given where due. :)

I agree that a spiritual abuse spoke would be good. 2xx1xy1JD would you be willing to develop that to save Curious time? I'd volunteer but ... I'm way over due on many other things for FJ. Sorry Curious. Shiny things.

It is often hard to get people to understand that a model is just a model and a framework is just a framework. The wheel merely demonstrates that a lot of the practices of our fundamentalists, when taken to extremes, mirror those of abusers.

Food for thought not labeling people out of hand.

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Yes, the wheel can be modified, with permission, and has been many times. Permission is granted very generously. It has sometimes been modified without permission :( As have some of the frameworks (in and around the same area) I have developed. I only throw a shit fit if the modifications are way out of line. Otherwise I just point out that permission should be requested and credit given where due. :)

I agree that a spiritual abuse spoke would be good. 2xx1xy1JD would you be willing to develop that to save Curious time? I'd volunteer but ... I'm way over due on many other things for FJ. Sorry Curious. Shiny things.

It is often hard to get people to understand that a model is just a model and a framework is just a framework. The wheel merely demonstrates that a lot of the practices of our fundamentalists, when taken to extremes, mirror those of abusers.

Food for thought not labeling people out of hand.

Yes, I really should be a magpie rather than a bunny ;) BTW, since I have your attention, have your read your PMs recently?

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No. I don't have any PMs pending but ... yikes, perhaps I forgot to respond to something.

Runs to check :embarrassed:

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Yes, the wheel can be modified, with permission, and has been many times. Permission is granted very generously. It has sometimes been modified without permission :( As have some of the frameworks (in and around the same area) I have developed. I only throw a shit fit if the modifications are way out of line. Otherwise I just point out that permission should be requested and credit given where due. :)

I agree that a spiritual abuse spoke would be good. 2xx1xy1JD would you be willing to develop that to save Curious time? I'd volunteer but ... I'm way over due on many other things for FJ. Sorry Curious. Shiny things.

It is often hard to get people to understand that a model is just a model and a framework is just a framework. The wheel merely demonstrates that a lot of the practices of our fundamentalists, when taken to extremes, mirror those of abusers.

Food for thought not labeling people out of hand.

Ok, what sort of items would we include? I'm thinking of some common examples that I've seen in my practice. Some of these things would fall under the other categories, but some are unique.

Simple disagreement over religious issues is NOT an example of power/control/abuse.

Examples that I think would qualify:

- Openly disparaging her religious/cultural/ethnic background

- Suggesting that a failure to continue to follow the husband's religious path is a sign of instability/mental illness (and sometimes using it as a threat to take away the children)

- Suggesting that she's crazy because she is religious

- Encouraging others in the religious community to shun her

- Encouraging the children to see their mother as a sinner going against God

- preventing the wife from worshipping in the way that she wishes

- husband setting himself up as the sole religious authority/spiritual conduit, so that all religious teachings come through him and the wife has no opportunity to learn, worship, fellowship or speak with religious leaders independently

- husband insisting that wife who refuses to obey him is sinning

- husband insisting that wife who refuses sex on demand is sinning

- husband claiming a religious right to "discipline" a wife

- husband threatening that any move to go to secular authorities will result in reprisals from religious community and/or shunning

- husband withholding a religious divorce for spite or as an attempt to extort

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This seems like a good place to remind everyone of Robert's original story of abuse. These are his words as recorded in Love Joy Feminism.

I'll be right back to share his little gem from Peaceful Wife.

My wife was terribly unsubmissive for the first ten years of our marriage. To her credit, much of it was due to hormones {don’t take birth control pills ladies, even if for a few months, but that is another story}, the rest from being taught by her mom. She now while still struggling with her health has been just the most wonderful wife I could ever ask for.

There have been times where I have disciplined her by not allowing her to go out with the gals, not spending money on items except necessary food and clothing for the family, not attending women’s bible study {believe it or not…unless you have the right church anymore some can push women further way from their husbands than closer to them}, there was even a few times she had to sleep on the couch, a couple times I made her sleep in the cabin on our property when she was downright in complete anarchy against our marriage, family and God’s Word. She’s had to clean the house as a punishment.

It’s sounds awful but honestly we went from the worst marriage of anyone I knew to by far the best because I was willing to stand my ground and because I waited long enough for God to work miracles in her body and heart.

But still to this day I structure her life and keep it low key. She doesn’t do a lot outside the home. She homeschools and bakes from scratch and takes care of the home. I don’t do this because I’m mean. I do this because very quickly she will become overwhelmed, depressed and exhausted and she knows it now. I saw it very quickly, within a few months of being married I had a pretty firm grasp of it but for ten years she fought me. I was considered mean, and controlling and everything evil in her mind. When all I wanted was what was best for my individual wife {I recognize that every wife is different and mine is not like most} and our marriage.

patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2014/11/punishment-has-no-place-in-marriage.html#ixzz3JHpXIoRm

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In this entry, Robert tells us how sex is THE ABSOLUTE MOST IMPORTANT thing in his life and basically how dare

his wife not enjoy sex with him. He has mastered each category of the Domestic Violence Chart, hasn't he?

peacefulwife.com/2013/03/03/from-the-thankful-husband/

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A very simplified way to explain spiritual abuse might be: Putting the husband in Christ's place in the wife's spirituality. They use the verse about how husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church, they twist it to mean the wife needs to treat her husband, her "spiritual authority" like she would treat Christ if He were in her life as a person.

In this sermon, one of the leading women in my old church setting, Helen Leibee, tells young girls to trust their fathers like Job trusted God. She uses the verse, "Though he slay me, yet will i trust him." Job 13:15

charitychristianfellowship.org/sermons/title/encouragements-for-women (around the 30 min. mark) -- an online player starts automatically when you click "link"

Her other two messages on this page:

charitychristianfellowship.org/sermons/listing?category=20&speaker=199&title=&field_index_value=&field_subtitle_value=

have examples of wives not being upset at their husbands neglecting to let them know plans, because if their husband was "Jesus" they would forgive every offense and forgive every time "Jesus" didn't put the wife's own needs first.

(i can't remember which message of the three says that, i don't feel like listening to these again. But i used to listen to them almost every day at the beginning of my marriage, along with reading Created to Be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl) Did you know that you can break a cheap cd before you throw it out?

And iirc she also talks about how that frees women from the burden of thinking or making decisions. Isn't it nice not to think? And it's often said don't bother the man with little problems or little stresses or little things you want them to change, like asking them to do you favors or change anything about themselves. Especially by Debi Pearl. Why can't a wife tell her husband what's bothering her? Fundie men are SO FRAGILE. So all these women are struggling, going to God in prayer to 'please change my husband, help him to care more about my needs' but they can't talk to their men about it. Not all fundie guys are jerks, but there are guys who abuse this system. And if a wife thinks that she can't step on her hubby's toes then she's suffering in silence when it might never have bothered the guy in the first place. Toxic marriage advice.

Basically they tell women -- you are worthless, the man is the only one in a marriage who really matters, he is your direct link to God. You obey God by obeying the man in your life, and you win points with God if that includes abuse, because Jesus suffered abuse. Take up your cross daily.

Sorry for the ramble and all the edits -- i'm so glad my hubby put up with it and still is an awesome guy even though i was confused for a long time. This is why fundies suck. They complicate simple things, instead of letting people just live individual lives. They make rules about things that just need to be done on a day-to-day basis, like married life.

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A very simplified way to explain spiritual abuse might be: Putting the husband in Christ's place in the wife's spirituality. They use the verse about how husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church, they twist it to mean the wife needs to treat her husband, her "spiritual authority" like she would treat Christ if He were in her life as a person.

In this sermon, one of the leading women in my old church setting, Helen Leibee, tells young girls to trust their fathers like Job trusted God. She uses the verse, "Though he slay me, yet will i trust him." Job 13:15

charitychristianfellowship.org/sermons/title/encouragements-for-women (around the 30 min. mark) -- an online player starts automatically when you click "link"

Her other two messages on this page:

charitychristianfellowship.org/sermons/listing?category=20&speaker=199&title=&field_index_value=&field_subtitle_value=

have examples of wives not being upset at their husbands neglecting to let them know plans, because if their husband was "Jesus" they would forgive every offense and forgive every time "Jesus" didn't put the wife's own needs first.

(i can't remember which message of the three says that, i don't feel like listening to these again. But i used to listen to them almost every day at the beginning of my marriage, along with reading Created to Be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl) Did you know that you can break a cheap cd before you throw it out?

And iirc she also talks about how that frees women from the burden of thinking or making decisions. Isn't it nice not to think? And it's often said don't bother the man with little problems or little stresses or little things you want them to change, like asking them to do you favors or change anything about themselves. Especially by Debi Pearl. Why can't a wife tell her husband what's bothering her? Fundie men are SO FRAGILE. So all these women are struggling, going to God in prayer to 'please change my husband, help him to care more about my needs' but they can't talk to their men about it. Not all fundie guys are jerks, but there are guys who abuse this system. And if a wife thinks that she can't step on her hubby's toes then she's suffering in silence when it might never have bothered the guy in the first place. Toxic marriage advice.

Basically they tell women -- you are worthless, the man is the only one in a marriage who really matters, he is your direct link to God. You obey God by obeying the man in your life, and you win points with God if that includes abuse, because Jesus suffered abuse. Take up your cross daily.

Sorry for the ramble and all the edits -- i'm so glad my hubby put up with it and still is an awesome guy even though i was confused for a long time. This is why fundies suck. They complicate simple things, instead of letting people just live individual lives. They make rules about things that just need to be done on a day-to-day basis, like married life.

I'm not using the specific term "in the place of Jesus", because I was trying to come up with wording that applied to a variety of religions. Many of my clients are not Christian, and I've seen spiritual abuse from many different backgrounds.

Suggesting that the husband is somehow to be treated like God, however, is part of spiritual abuse. In one of my more disturbing cases, the husband was basically running his own cult and thought he was a prophet. He checked off pretty much every point on the power and control wheel.

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This was my father, almost exactly - except one of his favorite 'jokes' was that he knew places to hide my mother' body where no one could find it.

Turns out the joke was on him, who told me in front of my much younger brother that I was the son he never had. I left my room clean and went out at 18 hoping to make a difference - to matter.

It's enough to say that is not what happened.

I was almost 21 when I went home - callous, numb, injured...and the first time my father laid a hand on me, I hit back - with my baton, and he dropped. I told him I also knew where to dump him where the authorities would never find him.

I don't know why, but that, my mom says, was when she decided to leave for good. I guess she finally saw he was merely a man, and one who could corrupt my brother even as he had been part of my own corruption.

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Coco, you have a lot of very good thinking in your post.

However, I really like the more inclusive language 2xx1xy1JD is using. We discuss more than just Christian fundamentalists here and spiritual abuse can cut across all religions. What do others think?

2xx1xy1JD, I think you are very much on the right track. I'm sorry, I've been short on time today and I'd like to take more time to look at what you have come up with with a less tired brain. We want to avoid duplication and make each bullet point as concise as possible without losing meaning. That is harder than it sounds and may take a few attempts. So can I get back to you?

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Coco, you have a lot of very good thinking in your post.

However, I really like the more inclusive language 2xx1xy1JD is using. We discuss more than just Christian fundamentalists here and spiritual abuse can cut across all religions. What do others think?

2xx1xy1JD, I think you are very much on the right track. I'm sorry, I've been short on time today and I'd like to take more time to look at what you have come up with with a less tired brain. We want to avoid duplication and make each bullet point as concise as possible without losing meaning. That is harder than it sounds and may take a few attempts. So can I get back to you?

Please, take all the time you want. I'm doing trial prep and won't have time for much else until mid-December.

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This thread is as good as any for an introduction... I have lurked here for a while, but only recently joined.

This chart was my fundy marriage for the last 6 years. That is until I took the kids and moved out at the end of September. I didn't realize how many of my complaints of how I was treated fit "domestic abuse" until I saw this chart just last week - in the bathroom at the abortion clinic where I needed to go AFTER leaving him. What a mess. Despite groveling and begging to have me back and vowing to do anything and everything *I* want as long as we stay together, I guarantee he doesn't see himself THIS way - as a domestic abuser.

Anyway, I am working on putting my life back together, getting my kids vaccinated and enrolled in public school and I am happier than I have been in years. I'm wearing the clothes I want to wear (pants!), listening to the music I want to, eating the food I want to, reconnecting with old friends I'd jettisoned at his urging and having a beer at the end of the night. It's absolutely wonderful. :)

I agree 100% that there needs to be a Spiritual Abuse section as well. Since I moved out and announced my reversion to atheism as well (I was "saved" from atheism at 21) I have been told that I may be responsible for my children going to hell. THAT is spiritual abuse. Not sure how to word that for a bullet point...but it needs to be in here.

Thank you for posting this.

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