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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 05, 2009 09:14AM

Brian Hines Church of the Churchless article on this whole Cohen-Wilber shebang


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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 06, 2009 01:43AM

(if the image doesnt come through, click this URL)


I read this from another source and it was incisive enough to be worth posting here.

Again, this validates how wise it is for a person who has left a shame-based group
and who wishes to write a book or article about it, to avoid giving prior notice of his or her plans to do so.

Otherwise shame trippers who are still inmates of the indoctrination process will flood the dissident author's e-mail or comments section, and because they shared the same conditioning that the dissendent has become freed from, the astro-turfers will know exactly what buttons to press, and this carries grave risk of disrupting the momentum
needed to write one's truth.

Over the years, I have noticed that when reading book reviews, either on Amazon or elsewhere, that if a book elicits mostly hateful shaming ad hominum reviews, or has reviews that are at extremes, either hateful or complimentary---that is a signal that the book is worth reading.

And...if most of the hateful reviews indicate that the writer had no right as a US citizen to exercise his or her First Amendment privilige to speak out---that is truly a signal that the books is worth reading.



The defenders of Andrew Cohen and EnlightenNext have pulled out all stops in an attempt to shame William Yenner for writing American Guru which details his experiences as a 13 year disciple and a leader in the Cohen community.

Here is one of the best examples of the shaming campaign, used as a way of attempting to neutralize a critic, from a longer comment by Elisa Mishory posted on the Amazon page for American Guru.

"[William (Bill) Yenner] made a comment here in response to another review that it's inappropriate to write anything personal about the author. I tend to agree with that statement and wish it were possible to review this book without referring to Bill Yenner. However, it's simply impossible to do so when the author has written slanderously and dishonestly about his own experience. There really isn't anything else to respond to.

This book is a call for vengeance from the wounded ego - the ego that Bill himself had pledged to give his life to caging. Is it a valuable perspective? Well, I'd have to say I find it extremely destructive because it is exactly what the postmodern ego wants to hear. Bill Yenner knows so well where we need to go as a culture so that we'll be able to reach ever-wiser and more integrated solutions to the world's problems, and yet he's chosen here to pull it all down to make himself feel better. Pretty nasty stuff."

What is most interesting is the apparent conviction of Mishory that this sort of drivel will have any impact on anyone besides those already shamed by Cohen. And in stepping out with his new book, Yenner is clearly stating in public that shaming and other cultic conditioning is what he had to throw off to free himself from the cult leader. His book is a clear and helpful guide to anyone in the process of freeing themselves from any similar oppression of shame from whatever the source - but especially if that individual be still under the shame cloud of Andrew Cohen and EnlightenNext.

---end of quote-----------------

Corboy comments resume here-------

Remember how Stalin went to great lengths to eradicate the memories as well as the lives of those who were purged. They were removed from photographs documenting the history of the Bolshevik Revolution.

Their contributions to the overthrow of the Tsar and the creation of the new Bolshevik regime were eliminated from the history books, and when these persons were tortured, they were pressured to internalize Stalins verdict upon them, to the point where they accused themselves in court, of being traitors, hooligans and 'wreckers' of the Revolution and thus deserving of torment, disgrace and death.

In Goyas famous painting of the execution of Spaniards who defied the Napoleonic
take over of Spain, the French soldiers backs to the camera, merged into an anonymous collective killing machine, are firing bullets at the doomed Spanish
dissidents who objected to the rape and takeover of their nation.

Goya depicts one man, facing that firing squad, in a white shirt, bellowing protest straight at the men killing him, refusing to accept their right to rule his country. They can take his life, but he remains a free man, shouting out his patrotic truth at the intruders. He dies with his mind and emotions all his own, human dignity intact.

But Stalin did not want men and women to be that way when facing their deaths.

Stalin, unlike Napoleon, was not content to exile or kill the persons who threatened his revolution. He was determined for his victims to die obediently, to die believing they
had failed the revolution, to die, believing they had deserved imprisonment, disgrace,
to die believing they had needed and deserved torture, and to die believing they were unworthy of the Revolution.

I use Stalin as an example. It does not matter what the belief system is--Hitlers, Francos, Stalins, or Cohens...its the demand that a person believe that he or she
is so utterly unworthy as to need to be tortured into enlightenment.

George Orwell nailed it when he described a broken and shattered Winston Smith, tortured into disowning his lover, tortured into telling them to put the rat cage on her face instead, released, drinking himself into oblivion in a pub, gazing up at the picture of the dictator in whose name he was broken and mentally impregnated with the Dictators own world view--

Winston gazes up at the icon of the tormentor, and George Orwell tells us

'He loved Big Brother.'

Thats very different from the man in Goyas picture who died, shouting out probably very frightened as we all must be when facing a line of rifles.

But..this man is unashamed and dies feeling worthy, his honor as a man, as a Spaniard intact.

That is something no firing squad can take from him.

Fortunately for this unknown man, Napoleon did not possess the technology needed to persuade people to internalize a dictators contempt for them.

And, finally a question.

Society was fairly quick to reach consensus (not 100% agreement), but somewhat of a consensus, that Michael Vick the football star, did wrong to torment and train pitbulls
to rip each other to shreds.


Why is it that if a person becomes a spiritual seeker, it is not considered wrong
to put them in a set up that to Corboy, looks little different from using a dogs love and loyalty to a cruel human owner, to rip other dogs to shreds for entertainment of other humans low on the emotional maturity scale?

What so few seekers understand is that there is a very hazardous sector of the Consciousness Club in which cruel treatment of disciples is rationalized as necessary for their evolution--and necessary for the evolution of society as a whole.

Vick apparently was part of a narrow subsector that considered it OK and macho to delight in training trustful loyal dogs to turn mean and rip at each other. But.. mainstream society thank GOD does not share these values and the outcome was
that some of the dogs were rescued and Vick was obliged to make amends or at least go through the necessary motions.

But there seems no sort of control or 'off switch' exists within the Consciousness Klub scene beyond which an authoritarian guru is not allowed to go.

And the great and good of spiritual elite all too often stay silent and do not comment on any of this.

I refuse to buy the argument that people need to be battered so as to override
deep conditioning that is supposedly a hindrance to evolution.

All this will do is add more layers of trauma and leave untold consequences for the families of persons who internalize this grim view of life and for their students, if any such persons decide to set up as gurus or guru-esses in their own right.

(slow shake of the head)


Look at our man in Goyas picture once again. If he had been tortured into INTERNALIZING the imago of Mighty Napoleon, Savior of Spain, he would have
been crying out, 'Shoot me, shoot me so Napoleon and Spain can thrive!'

But...Goya painted him because this man had NOT interalized any sense of
adoration or shame.

Final question--what on earth does it serve someone's evolution to tell others to go let the air out of that persons tires?

For more, read here. IF you wanna go right to what I refer to, look on your edit bar for Windows, select 'Find' and then type 'tires' into the slot and zoom down. Then read the contextual stuff.


Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 12/06/2009 02:10AM by corboy.

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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 07, 2009 09:22AM

Abstract philosophy has never been my strong point.

But this item was an interesting read. The author works from a perspective totally different from my own and through his own line of reasoning within that perspective, concludes that Ken Wilber and Andrew Cohens project cprobably doomed to failure.


Politics and the Occult
Written by Duncan

Wednesday, 16 September 2009
There are many beliefs but only one reality.

Or at least, by claiming 'reality' is singular I mean there's only one venue that can play host to our beliefs. (By all means apply your beliefs to a personal or simulated reality, if you like, but don't expect the rest of us to notice.)

So – our beliefs are applied to a domain of experience that we can share (to a greater or lesser extent) or else our beliefs cannot be seen to have been applied at all. This domain is the consensus reality. Furthermore, it makes sense only to apply beliefs to reality that don't contradict one another, otherwise actions based upon them will tend to come to nothing – and yet, sometimes, the unified nature of reality may in fact demonstrate that what we assumed to be contradictory beliefs will in actuality function side by side.

Politics can be viewed as a guardian at the threshold of consensus reality.

Politics is a word to describe those processes by which we organise how beliefs are applied or held in abeyance. These are the processes by which the consensual reality is made, and also determine to an extent the content and characteristics of that reality.

Given the close relationship between politics and belief, it's not surprising that occultism has embroiled itself in politics since the beginning – especially politics in its more radical or revolutionary forms, sometimes progressive and sometimes reactionary.

Because the occultist doesn't limit his or her experience to the consensus reality, the notion of heaven on earth (or 'enlightenment', if you like) is not just an ideal but a viable proposition. Indeed, some of them may already have realised heaven on earth. Changing the consensus reality so that others can find their way to realise it too is often one of the main aims of occult politics.

Many who stick to the consensus view regard politics as a kind of meta-belief – that is, as merely a belief itself concerning what other kinds of belief it is appropriate to hold. They suppose that engaging with politics determines our beliefs, which in turn shape our actions, and in this way earth might be brought a step closer to heaven.

The occultist, on the other hand, doesn't make a hard and fast distinction between action and belief. Occultism recognises that adopting a belief is itself an action that reshapes reality – unless you'd like to insist that your mind isn't a part of reality, an absurd notion, but which is nevertheless a key tenet of the consensus view. For whoever realises that not only are action and belief indistinguishable, but also reality and whatever we suppose stands 'outside' or 'against' it and seeks to change it, then for that person the work of building heaven on earth is over.

Power Trip

Power is not the definition of politics but merely one of its effects. Consensus reality is the domain of experiences that we can share and agree upon, and power is a word that describes the extent of the ability possessed by an individual or group to shape and define those experiences, relative to other individuals or groups.

Because the occultist recognises realities over and above the consensus, he or she has a quite different relationship to power from a person limited by the consensus view.

The occultist recognises that the measure of power is always relative, and therefore has a meaning only in those places where the standard of that measure is agreed upon. (As someone once put it: 'Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's'.)

The occultist may indeed seek to acquire and exercise power, in order to reshape the consensus reality in a way that enables others access to the realisation of heaven on earth, but this honourable intention is no safeguard against wrongdoing or harm.

Power is the ability to shape the consensus, which inevitably suppresses certain interests whilst advancing others. Power will always have the same kinds of effect on people's lives regardless of who wields it.

History is largely the story of the groups or individuals who have held power and what they have done with it. Conventional history, therefore, is often written in answer to the question: Who? But this is a question of marginal importance to occultists, who ask it only as a practice in itself for exposing the illusion of identity.

Secret History

Gary Lachman's recent book Politics and the Occult (2008) casts interesting light on the relationship between occultism and politics over the past four centuries, but Lachman regards the project of building heaven upon earth from within the consensus view – that is, as largely a matter of belief.

The historian's assumption is that occult beliefs arise in reaction to the politics of an era and that their aims go largely unfulfilled. This perspective informs the widely prevalent view within academia that occult and esoteric traditions can be understood through historical analysis. Yet a history of occultism told by occultists would present a radically different view.

Throughout the ages, esoteric groups have attempted different solutions to the question of the relationship between power and the attainment of heaven on earth. Sadly, this is not a soluble problem because the goal of heaven on earth lies outside consensual reality, whereas the sphere over which power can have an influence is limited entirely within it.

Power and politics are therefore incapable of delivering the New Jerusalem.

No doubt, they're important tools for changing consensus reality, but heaven on earth depends upon transcending consensus reality altogether, which would imply either a politics that contradicted its own principles or a power that denied its own authority, neither of which seems very viable in the consensus reality.

In the Seventeenth Century the answer posed by the Rosicrucians was a worldwide network of enlightened healers, dedicated to seeking wisdom in all the nations of the world and curing the sick for free. But after the publication of their manifesto, with its invitation to anyone sharing these aims to join in, no further communications were ever received, causing many to conclude that its members were non-existent and the whole movement a hoax.

This view of Rosicrucianism supports the consensus view that belief is determined by politics but is insufficient in itself as a form of action or practice. On the contrary, Rosicrucianism was extraordinarily successful, because anyone seeking to become a Rosicrucian had no option other than to fill the gap opened by the non-existence of the movement. In the 'hoax' of Rosicrucianism was a direct lesson that building heaven on earth proceeds not from espousing belief for its own sake, but only for the sake of simply getting on with the job. There is no separation between act and belief; anyone serious in their belief in Rosicrucianism was acting as one.

Rosicrucianism was a successful political manifestation of occultism because it came so close to actually embodying the paradoxical form of power that (as I argued earlier) is the closest in consensual reality that something could come to transcending that reality. It should be noted, however, that at the time the evident 'non-existence' of the movement attracted much mockery and derision from mainstream culture. Outside the mainstream, Rosicrucianism has remained quietly influential even down to the present day.

By the Eighteenth Century, various forms of Freemasonry had picked up the mantle from Rosicrucianism, yet the political organisation of these occult groups was in a sense almost a mirror image of Rosicrucianism. Instead of 'non-existent' members, we encounter in Freemasonry and its offshoots an image of enlightened beings so mysterious yet so endowed with power that they have become virtually inaccessible to anyone except those with high, elite connections. Unlike the Rosicrucians, groups such as The Bavarian Illuminati weren't ridiculed for not existing, but were feared for existing 'too much' – as invisible networks wielding undue political influence.

In the Nineteenth Century another shift becomes apparent in Theosophy. The largely inaccessible and semi-divine 'Hidden Masters' are still in evidence, pulling the strings of human destiny from their Himalayan hideaways, but (luckily for the rest of us) Madame Blavatsky presented herself as on hand to transmit their wisdom.

The leading figures among the Traditionalist movement of the Twentieth Century, such Julius Evola and René Guénon, organised themselves as a kind of Protestant response to Theosophy's Catholicism, insisting that anyone could access the Hidden Masters directly for themselves – because Guénon, Evola and company were those masters! The Traditionalists presented themselves as an elite band of enlightened leaders, inviting others to participate in their mission of steering the ignorant masses away from the disaster of modernity.

Who's A Nazi?

This last group raises a crucial issue, of course, because of the marked similarity in the way they organised their aim of creating heaven on earth with the way the fascist dictatorships of the time went about organising the consensus reality of Europe. But, as I've argued, politics concerns the processes by which belief is organised in the relative, consensus reality and has no bearing on the creation of heaven upon earth, which concerns the absolute.

In my view, the Rosicrucians took a better approach because it was far more subtle, but the elitism of the Traditionalists does not rule out the attainment of their aim. Anyone in doubt should take a look at Evola's Introduction to Magic (2001), which still stands as one of the clearest, most direct and culturally diverse books of magical practice ever written. The practices described in that volume certainly work, and most probably did work for those that followed them.

You can call me a Nazi apologist if you like – but you'd be wrong! In fact, I'm an apologist for occultism, which was something that Hitler never cared for but despised, despite the rumours to the contrary in the sensationalist literature about the Nazis that sprung up afterwards – much of which has now been debunked (Lachman 2008: 195).

The distinguishing feature of occultism with respect to politics is its refusal to separate action from belief and its recognition of a reality beyond the consensual. From this perspective, using elitism as a tool to bring people closer to the absolute doesn't entail belief that elitism in itself is good, and neither does it hold elitism as a final goal. It does imply, however, a willingness to use that particular tool and an assumption of its usefulness. In these respects the way that the Traditionalists organised their aims was seriously flawed.

Lachman mentions how in the history of the occult we repeatedly encounter 'good guys saying bad things' (Lachman 2008: xvi). Having noted in occultism the intentional merging of belief and action, and the observance of realities beyond the consensual, we are in a position to better understand why this is the case. Good guys said bad things because they sometimes used their bad beliefs to achieve their good aims.

How this reflects on the future of occultism is, of course, difficult to predict. Many occult organisations of the present day are simply modelled on those of the past, or represent amalgamations of older forms. What seems a fresher departure, however, are those esoteric organisations that have modelled themselves on modern corporations – such as Ken Wilber's Integral Institute or Andrew Cohen's Evolutionary Enlightenment.

Perhaps this is an attempt to shed from esotericism any aura of the esoteric altogether; to repackage the project of heaven on earth as an unthreatening 'commodity' that anyone can purchase easily.

But as a tactic, it brings occultism dangerously close to the consensual reality that it must transcend in order to realise itself.

It will be interesting to see to what extent this type of organisation succeeds in its aims, and what the consequences in the consensus reality might be, because one thing that historians of the occult surely have demonstrated is that there is always some kind of unsuspected fallout.


Julius Evola and the UR Group (2001). An Introduction to Magic: Rituals and Practical Techniques for the Magus. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions.

Gary Lachman (2008). Politics and the Occult: The Left, The Right, and the Radically Unseen. Wheaton, IL: Quest Books.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 16 September 2009 )

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'a power that denied its own authority' sounds a lot like Buddhism (The Kalama Sutta in particular)

Posted by Ian, whose homepage is here on 09/16/2009 at 15:16
Oh, and where did you get the info on the Rosicrucians? Is that from the Lachman book? They (the RCs) have come up for me recently as an object of interest and I'm just curious if the Lachman book might be a good resource (or if you have any other recommendations). Thanks!

Posted by Ian, on 09/17/2009 at 15:01
Frances Yates, The Rosicrucian Enlightenment is the biggest source of stuff on Rosicricianism that I've read so far. Quite old now, but very readable!

Posted by Duncan, on 09/17/2009 at 16:19
Thanks Duncan, I'll check that out.

Posted by Ian, on 09/17/2009 at 21:14

You can call me a Nazi apologist if you like – but you'd be wrong! In fact, I'm an apologist for occultism, which was something that Hitler never cared for but despised, despite the rumours to the contrary in the sensationalist literature about the Nazis that sprung up afterwards – much of which has now been debunked (Lachman 2008: 195).



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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 07, 2009 09:33AM

And some participant observations here.


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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 10, 2009 11:11AM

A wee discussion thread here.


Comment from website owner here


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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: ON2 LF ()
Date: December 10, 2009 04:32PM

I'm so glad you started a thread about Andrew Cohen, thank you Corboy! I know a few people who need to see this, badly.

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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 10, 2009 11:48PM

The ones to thank are William Yenner (have a look at the reviews of his book 'American Guru') on, Andre van der Braak, author of Enlightenment Blues, Luna Tarlo, Cohen's mother, who wrote of her experiences in The Mother of God. Andrew ordered her to destroy all of her manuscripts and writings--one hell of a thing to tell to a person who was a dedicated writer.

In a zoned out trance, Tarlo obeyed. On her sons orders, she gave up her New York apartment (New Yorkers will understand the gravity of this) to her other son.

After leaving Cohen's group in 1989, Tarlos son and daughter in law returned her apartment to her, knowing she had surrendered it under duress.

And when Tarlo was back there, she discovered, tucked into a corner, all the MS and notes thought she had destroyed on orders from her guru son.

She thought it a miracle.

My hunch is that under trauma from being shunned and verbally battered, Tarlo went into a dissociative trance, and her true self, the self that wanted to write and would not surrender to a bully, hid her papers, letting her obedient self believe she had followed orders and burned them.

Tarlo does not say so, but to me, as I read her memoir, it seemed full of dissociative trances---which is how even strong adults react when placed in terrible pressure from which they feel they cannot escape. In Tarlos case, she was trying to maintain a relationship with her son, and it was only as a last resort, no longer able to swallow his bullying, that broke her trance and enabled her and some others to leave.

A final very deep bow to Hal Blacker, a former editor of Cohens magazine, who with some others, created the Whatenlightement blog in 2004.


Without them, there would have been no material at all to start this thread with.

To bake bread, you need more than flour and water and salt. You need starter.

And all the persons mentioned above created the starter.

However, Bill Yenner is the first to point out that an entire network of spiritual celebrities has, over the years, stayed silent.

And it may be for this reason that the flack directed at him has been so very cruel.

Some months ago, I saw an article in a free magazine for parents, entitled 'When Queen Bees' grow up.

Queen Bees are the popular girls, the mean girls, who scare other girls into being leaders and who set the 'tone' of the group.

Some term this 'relational aggression'

Here is a discussion of the Queen Bee phenomenon. YOu have to scroll down.


Girl Wars
I was asked again and again: “What happens when ‘Queen bees’ grow up?” Eventually, I became curious too, and found that no one had written about the adult lives of girls who got stuck in relationally aggressive behavior patterns. I began to explore whether the Queen phase was a temporary one driven by adolescent social pressures, and whether each “bee” had her day and then moved on.

You’ll have to read the book to find out what I learned, but suffice it to say that for young women who don’t learn a better way, RA can permeate every aspect of her life, spilling over into romantic relationships, career trajectories, and even family interactions. While all of us have the capacity to act as the “Queen Bee” or her target, the women who are worrisome are those who literally can’t interact in any other way.


The author of the article in the throw away magazine I read, But the author of the article made a very important point:

The problem is not only the bullies, the mean people, the assholes, the Queen Bees.

Bystanders empower these people. They stay silent, and this network of people who
want to stay in the bullys good graces, who dont want to 'make waves' or if spiritual teachers are scared of 'violating right speech' or who 'dont want to get trapped in the afflictive emotion of anger'....

The many, many bystanders create a social environment that fails to put restraints on the bully.

**The bystanders are not themselves directly bullied. In the case of an abusive guru, they dont even live under the guru's authority.

But they are the ones who stand there, silently, letting the harm reports pile up. And they dont use their adult agency to say 'This is cruelty. Just stop it.'

I am not talking about the person being bullied. They're often confused and blindsided.

I am talking about people who are bystanders. Who have agency and, in the New Age scene, or Integral scene, are tastemakers, considered leaders, have fame, are looked up to. They have power and are failing to use it to say something, say, 'Hey, that isnt what we are about!' to a member of their leader-tribe who is mis using his power and misusing the trust placed in him.

Again, why is it that enough people refused to be bystanders when Vick was involved in horrible pit bull dogfights and involved with a social circle that was sicko enough to see that as a worthy form of entertainment?

Enough people refused to be bystanders that public scrutiny was placed on Vick and he had to at least go through the motions of making amends.

But why, why, why, in the New Age Integral scene are humans who are aspirants to spiritual attainment considered to lack rights to care and regard that a dog is morally and legally entitled to?

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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 11, 2009 01:23AM

An article by a person who once worked with and for Ken Wilber.


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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 11, 2009 11:47PM

Additional things to read--and please read the comments, too. Expect to spend time scrolling down.




Yet more comments


Finally, this.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/2009 11:54PM by corboy.

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Re: International Enlightenment Fellowship/Andrew Cohen
Posted by: yasmin ()
Date: December 12, 2009 12:07AM

Hi Corboy,
You make some good points about the responsibility of bystanders.In many groups though, particularly those that practice hot seat type approaches, people are often both victims and at other times bystanders.And normally in a group, the choices are between saying something, and joining the victim in the punishment, or saying nothing and not being punished, this time.
Think it can be a slightly different dynamic than the playground.More like a child choosing to talk back to the principal of the school about a punishment received by another child.
Having said that , there is something deeply admirable about those who have the courage to try to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

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