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New Guy
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A platform of recovery for Jews who find themselves struggling with addictions to pornography, masturbation or other sexual problems. Post anonymously about your struggles without fear of anyone finding out who you are. Ask questions, post answers and be inspired! Get tips and guidance from the experts who moderate this forum, as well as from fellow strugglers.

TOPIC: New Guy 8492 Views

Re: New Guy 27 May 2009 18:43 #5401

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Quote
Do you think i should put my internet off even earlier, cause its at end of day that i get urges to do no good?

I think you know the answer to that one, LOYNATA  Wink

Are you saying that i should protect myself so much and lose work or should i learn to control it better with the internet on?
Last Edit: by .

Re: New Guy 27 May 2009 19:17 #5408

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Oh, you didn't mention that it would cause you to lose work. That's why I thought the answer was obvious...

However, if it causes you to lose work - well, I think you should still make the internet go off earlier, until you are confident that you have better control over yourself. If you read the GYE handbook, tool #3, you might learn some good ways to get more in control. Once you have better control, you can allow the internet to be on for longer. (Remember, losing work is not as bad as losing Olam Haba :-)
Webmaster of www.guardyoureyes.org - Maintaining Moral Purity in Today's World. We’re here on a quest ; it’s really all a test. Just do your best and G-d will do the rest.
Last Edit: by Aayid.

Re: New Guy 28 May 2009 17:47 #5461

  • BruceWayne
OK, time to play devil's advocate.

How is porn wrong?
What about premarital sex? Is it really wrong for two consenting people to have relations if they aren't married to each other or to someone else?
Moreover, it is not natural to abstain from sex for years after sexual maturation. Can you really expect someone to wait until he's, say 30 years old, far past his sexual prime, without going completely crazy? Nature always wins. If you are hungry then you will eat, or else you will die. It's just that there are many ways Nature can "win" when it comes to sex. Porn, masturbation, and the like. However, it seems to me that those are poor substitutes for actually being with a woman (I would assume--I have absolutely zero experience here). That would eventually happen sooner or later.
Also, marriage is not for everybody. There are those who just should not or cannot get married for whatever reason. It's just their personality. So are you going to tell me that these people should abstain their whole lives? That's nearly impossible.

As far as I know, the prohibitions against porn and all this stems from religion. Now, if a religion preaches a certain set of rules, it only makes sense to follow those rules if the religion is legit. Since the rules all supposedly came from G-d, then step 1 is to prove if G-d exists or not, and then figure out which of the religions that believes in G-d is correct. The problem is that you can't prove the existence of G-d, and many people are not prepared to take a blind leap of faith. They require proof.

So basically, in the absence of any proof of the existence of G-d (not to mention His making our rules etc.), there is no compelling reason to choose one value system over another. So all of a sudden, premarital relations, porn, adultery, and pretty much all the things we consider "wrong" really aren't. They are only wrong if you choose and arbitrary value system that says they are.

So, how do you prove step 1?

I have never gotten a satisfactory answer to this, which is mind boggling. I don't understand how all these rabbis that I've asked have no clue as to this answer to this question and to many other fundamental questions that I've posed to them. How can you completely submit yourself to a value system without even questioning it and its fundamentals?

Any takers?
Last Edit: by vlosusiri.

Re: New Guy 28 May 2009 18:18 #5462

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Dear Bruce,
Are we really on this website because masturbation or porn is wrong? I think not. Either you accept it is, or you don't. If you are here, it is likely that it is because we have come to see that our attraction and obsession with porn and its corrolaries has wrecked our lives.
For example - yes, in the Oxford movement (and in some small religious pockets of AA) the emphasis on abstention from alcohol was religious/moral - but not for AA!  There is nothing at all morally wrong with drinking for the average AA. And - here is a hard point for many - in SA there is nothing necessarily, intrinsically, wrong with masturbation.
You are right, in my understanding, that this recovery thing is not based on morality. If it were, then recovering people would be walking around with a giant chip on their shoulders: Hey - we are dry! Guess what? They'd all be drinking in a week or less with that goofy perspective.
In other words, the compelling nature of step 1 stems from the fact that the drinking (or other acting out) is simply not working. It is ruining our lives. This has nothing whatever to do with religion, nor even morality.
If your own priorities/choices are not ruining your life and the only reason you are exploring 12-step recovery is because masturbation is an aveira, you are not referring to addiction as the 12 steps defines it. (I still wish you the best of luck!) Step 1 was not a preference for me, it was a necessity. Not because I am moral or good, but because I did not want to die. Do you understand what I mean? With respect and admiration for you, a man who obviously wants to remain totally honest and open,
Dov
Admin put these lines here cuz he likes 'em:
"The heart needs to be broken when will-power is not enough"
"Get off the 18-Wheeler and onto a tricycle!"
"The heck with me, what can I do for you?"
"I do not particularly care exactly which "lav" suicide is. I'm not interested in it for other reasons!"
Last Edit: 30 May 2009 22:29 by yapfel.

Re: New Guy 28 May 2009 18:25 #5463

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Dov answered your question much better than the answer I was planning to give.

Let me share my answer anyway:

Bruce: There are a number of good resources out there (e.g. Lawrence Kelemen's Permission to Believe and Permission to Receive), but this forum, as I understand it, is for people who already believe in the Ribbono Shel Olam and Torah Misinai, and need Chizuk in properly observing this important area of the Torah. 

With regard to sex before marriage, see, e.g. Gila Manolson's The Magic Touch : A Jewish Approach to Relationships, as to why even holding hands before marriage is detrimental (besides being against the Halacha).

No one says it's easy, especially before you are married.  I wish I would have done better myself in my single days (and after I was married as well).  My longest period of sobriety as a Bachur was for about 3 years.  I found that, if I avoided looking at improper things, and learned Torah regularly, that I was able to control myself, for the most part.  My problems began when I allowed my eyes to see what they weren't supposed to.  You have a big advantage, though: I had no one to share my struggles with, whereas you have the GUE forum!

Hatzlacha!  Give sobriety a chance, and see if you still have the same questions.  If you do, there are many people (probably not on this forum) who will be happy to try to give you answers. 
Just as an alcoholic needs to avoid that first sip, a lust addict needs to avoid that first slip.Slip today? No way! ;)Fall today? No way, Jose'!
Last Edit: by dontknowwhattodo.

Re: New Guy 28 May 2009 19:02 #5464

  • BruceWayne
OK. I said I was playing devil's advocate after all.

Now, maybe I'm confusing two different things. True, my problem really has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with keeping my life from being taken over by this. In that sense, I am an addict. But perhaps it's a bit confusing because everything in this forum is couched in religious terms. So it's really two different issues. One is the addiction itself, the other has to do with fundamentals of Judaism, which may not be for this forum. Does acting out excessively weaken one's beliefs or do weak beliefs cause acting out? I don't know.
Don't get me wrong--I am shomer shabbos, kashrus, and even shomer negiah (although my eyes need to catch up). I've read Kelemen's two books and I didn't see any real proof in there. He basically says it's more likely but he doesn't definitively prove anything. I don't think it's possible, and that's always been a huge problem for me.
I'll check out the Magic Touch when I can.
I remember it was really popular among the girls in my high school but I never read it.

Thanks for the help.
Last Edit: by Eli123.

Re: New Guy 28 May 2009 19:16 #5466

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You won't find real proof, which does not exist, because it would take away Bechirah Chofshis.  However, Kelemen's books are written for those who would be willing to believe, but need "permission" to do so - i.e. they need to be presented with good evidence.

Does acting out excessively weaken one's beliefs?  Only to the extent that the person becomes so depressed living a double life that he starts questioning the basic Mesorah.  Do weak beliefs cause acting out?  I don't think that's the problem.  A person who does not have his desires under control will not solve the problem by attending a Discovery Seminar (although he might be inspired to start working on getting his desires under control).

Have a good Yom Tov and Shabbos!
Just as an alcoholic needs to avoid that first sip, a lust addict needs to avoid that first slip.Slip today? No way! ;)Fall today? No way, Jose'!
Last Edit: by Fred23.

Re: New Guy 30 May 2009 21:55 #5469

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Hi Bruce,

It's the admin again. I am so glad that Dov and Kedusha already gave you some good perspective. Dov made it clear that this forum is not for religious debate, but rather for people who feel that these behaviors are destroying their lives. (I think Dov was referring to step 1 of the 12-Steps, and you were reffering to Step 1 of believing in a G-d, but minor missundersandings are forgiven ). And like Dov pointed out, you have millions of non-Jews in SA, SLAA, and even AA who aren't fighting their addictions for religious reasons, but because it is destroying their lives. And when you posted your story, it seemed pretty clear that you wanted to beat this for more reasons than religious. A LOT more.

See this page to see how even non-Jews describe the addictive nature and dangers of these behaviors.

Kedusha also made it clear that most of us on this forum do believe in Hashem and the Mesorah, and we use that to help us in our battle for our lives and for our souls. We are not fighting the Yetzer Hara only because we believe (although that is often a reason for some of us), but we use our beliefs to HELP us break free.


Does acting out excessively weaken one's beliefs or do weak beliefs cause acting out? I don't know.


Weak beliefs are often not the cause acting out. Many of us on the forum were big believers and very religious, but we were pulled into these addictive behaviors for various reasons and couldn't break free. It quickly becomes a disease. In your case, a broken home, difficult upbringing, etc... these are reasons that could cause even the biggest believer to be susceptible to addiction... As far as your question of does the acting out weaken one's beliefs, it is true that the Kabbalisticly speaking, these behaviors cut one's soul off from spiritual sensitivity. This means that the more we sin in this area, the less likely it is we'll do Teshuvah. But once we know this is normal, we can fight to regain our spiritual connection again.

As far as your question of how it's possible to ignore this basic human need, I ask you to please read through these links from our FAQ page:
1) www.guardureyes.com/GUE/FAQ/FAQ1.asp
2) www.guardureyes.com/GUE/FAQ/FAQ17.asp
3) www.guardureyes.com/GUE/Tips/lfln.asp
4) www.guardureyes.com/GUE/FAQ/FAQ11.asp

Kedusha also brought up a very powerful point, and that is that you will NEVER find PROOF that G-d exists and that Judaism is TRUTH. Otherwise ther would be no free choice and G-d wanted us to have free choice. So no matter how many amazing books you read and Discovery seminars you go to, if you don't WANT to believe, there will always be room to say "well, I just don't buy it".

But while we're on the subject of Emunah, I just want to quote from the "Preface" of the GYE Handbook:

The word “kofer” comes from the word “covered over” (as in the word “kapores”).The faith of even the biggest Jewish kofer is only “covered over”. Every Jew believes deep down. It is an instinct that we inherited in our very genes, going all the way back to Avraham Avinu. And like birds that can fly thousands of miles back home without ever having learned how, all Jews find their way home if they just follow their hearts.

And I would also suggest one great book that can boost your Emunah (if you WANT it to): "Rejoice O Youth" by Rav Avigddor Miller...

If you're the scientific type seeking G-d in the universe, this page could help... I particularly found Gerald Shcrouder's book called "The Science of G-d" to be a real Eye opener...

And if you're looking for inspiring articles on faith and Hashkafa, R' Ahron Moss is really good. See here for a bunch of his articles.

But again, you'll never find conclusive proof. If you DID, it would be a proof AGAINST the Torah. Isn't that funny? Because the Torah says "and you shall choose life" - meaning there must always be free choice. So if you found 100% proof of the Torah - that would be a proof against it  :-\ :-X :

See here for another addict who felt "cold" in his Judaism, and the answers he recieved...

And since we brought up premarital sex, you might want to see some great articles that we bring on our FAQ page here by R' Ahron Moss on the Jewish approach to dating and marriage, and why it works SO MUCH BETTER.

But lastly, I just want to repeat. This forum is not for religious debate. (So no more of the "devil's advocate" thing here please  :D)... But if you want to beat this addiction - which is destroying your life and has potential to destroy your future wife's life as well - you have come to the right place. Download the Handbooks that I mentioned above, and learn the tools you can use to break free.

We will be here for you - for as long as it takes, G-d willing.

G-d luck!


Webmaster of www.guardyoureyes.org - Maintaining Moral Purity in Today's World. We’re here on a quest ; it’s really all a test. Just do your best and G-d will do the rest.
Last Edit: 30 May 2009 22:33 by yapfel.

Re: New Guy 31 May 2009 05:26 #5474

  • BruceWayne
OK. Well, I am the scientific type. I take everything with a grain of salt until I get conclusive proof. I'm all too familiar with the argument that proof removes free will and all that. It still bothers me, and I'm just not the type to blindly believe something.
As for the link featuring "Josh"...The argument that masturbation is a corruption of the G-dly power of procreation bestowed upon man makes no sense. Animals can also procreate. So by that logic you also have to say that animals have a spiritual connection to G-d and that He gave them this Divine-like ability. But animals don't have souls the way we do. So either the ability to create another generation is a spiritiual/divine power thing limited only to humans or it has nothing to do with spirituality so that it can apply to all organisms. I just don't see how it can go both ways.

But like you requested I will leave all that debate for another forum elsewhere.

I seriously need help. I actually fell tonight, right after Shavuous. Unbelievable, I know. I intend to get on the 90 day forum thing, but first I want to read through those handbooks. Maybe that will help me off to a stronger start. 90 days is long time....my record is 42 (actually longer, but 42 is the longest I've counted).

I think part of the problem is that I get REALLY into things when I get into them. I played varsity ball in high school, and I was always the first guy in the gym and the last one out. I lived in the gym during the offseason. I read whatever I could find on being a better player. I would go onto the court and repeat the same shot hundreds of times, all day. That's just how I am. I need to divert my focus back into the gym, but I haven't been able to until relatively recently. I feel that if I get back into working out, that will become my new, HEALTHY obsession. I just need to take that first step!
Last Edit: by gna8an.

Re: New Guy 31 May 2009 11:04 #5476

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Again, if you found "conclusive proof" - which seems to be what you are looking for, it would actually be a proof AGAINST the Torah (like I explained before)... So you WON'T find it. Face the fact. G-d wants our faith. He wants us to listen to our souls and strive to be more than animals. If we had conclusive proof and served G-d because of that, we wouldn't be any more than intelligent animals. It would all be about "self-preservation" and "self-interest". Think about that a little 

As Jews, all we have to do is just listen to our hearts... And you, Bruce, are already are doing that, because you said you keep Shabbos and Kosher.

I appreciate though, that you agree to leave these type of debates to somewhere else. Maybe I should start a forum somewhere else for general Kiruv and emunah issues  ;D

About the link featuring "Josh"... If animals would abuse the sexual desire in the way man does, such as by becoming addicted to obsessive masturbation, sexual abuse, rape, molestation, etc... then yes, that too would be a corruption of the G-dly power of procreation bestowed upon THEM, i.e. the animals. It has nothing to do with spirituality. It has to do with using the powers Hashem gave to all life-forms, in the way that they were intended...

Rabbi Twerski once wrote (see this page):

Yes, we come into the world as animals, and we are to rise above the animal level. Animals are motivated only by their desires. No sense of duty, no sense of responsibility, no sense trying to improve oneself. Many people never rise above an animal level, and are nothing more that intelligent animals who use their intellect to gain gratification.

It is terribly unfortunate that some people descend to below animal levels. Animals have a sex drive and they gratify it, but they do not make an industry out of sex. They do not have perversions. They do not ruin children with pedophilic molestation. They do not exploit others’ drives for their own profit.


90 days may sound like a long time, but if you take it "one day at a time" it will be easier. Also, if you believe in the scientific studies that show it becomes much easier after 90 days, you will be able to garner the inner strength to grab the bull by the horns and just do it - no matter what. Like jack wrote to you above. See jack's amazing time-line of 90 days here. Jack basically didn't have even one clean day in 38 years - until he found our site. Today he's clean for a half a year (with only one slip)!

If you can get yourself so involved in varsity ball, you can get yourself just as involved in recovery. This is your eternity we are talking about! Join an SA group in your area, if necessary. Read the handbooks (especially the GYE handbook) and find out what it takes. But remember, reading alone won't do anything. It's all about IMPLIMENTATION of the tools discussed therein. Read the SA literature, read up on it just as much as you read up on this sport you enjoyed.

We are here for you - and we'll cheer you on. Go for it Bruce, and get back your life!
Webmaster of www.guardyoureyes.org - Maintaining Moral Purity in Today's World. We’re here on a quest ; it’s really all a test. Just do your best and G-d will do the rest.
Last Edit: 31 May 2009 11:19 by .

Re: New Guy 31 May 2009 18:43 #5500

  • BruceWayne
Why 90 days?

I've heard from many sources that it typically takes 21 days to break a habit. I know from experience that 21 days is insufficient when dealing with the power of the sexual impulse, but why 90? Why not 100 or 50 or 365? I'm sure you have a reason.

Thank you for pointing out that animals are unable to corrupt their sexuality. I overlooked that.

Come to think of it, the addiction really began to take off once I was unable to go to to the gym anymore, which actually depressed me pretty significantly. I suppose it was a way of coping with the depression and of finding a new source for endorphin release. At least partly so--there are many other reasons why it happened.

And just to be a nuisance I want to point out that I have a problem with the "as Jews, all we have to do is follow our hearts" comment. After all, there are plenty of non-jews who suffer from the same problem and they overcome it, so "listening to your heart" is not an exclusively Jewish thing. It kind of smacks of elitism. You know, the whole thing that there are 5 orders of creation with Jews being on top, followed buy nonjews and then animals, plants, and inanimate objects. I hate that crap, and other misinterpreatations of being "the chosen people". The notion that we are inherently better is flat out wrong (remember, some guy named Hitler had a very similar idea about a different group of people). We are just different, not better. We have a different role, but that doesn't mean we are superior in any way. Just different.
Last Edit: by .

Re: New Guy 31 May 2009 19:10 #5501

  • bardichev
dear bruce you sound like a real nice guy .I would probabaly love sitting next to you on a plane and shmoozing or even discussing or maybe even debating religion.

The home page of this forum reads as follows

A platform of recovery for believing Jews who find themselves struggling with addictions to pornography, masturbation or other sexual problems. Post anonymously about your struggles without fear of anyone finding out who you are.

Ask questions, post answers and be inspired! Get tips and guidance from the experts who monitor this blog, as well as from fellow strugglers who can use this forum to offer encouragement and advice.

This has nothing to do with elitism it is just one person (the guard) who gives his time, talent, and his heart to help believing Jews. It has nothing to do with elitism it is just his forum which he out of the goodness of his heart does. It is important to stick to the topic. If you were here posting cheesecake recipes and someone told you it is not the place for it ,I would not call that elitism.
There is a full potpourri of ideas and opinions here it is a mosaic of people dealing with the same addiction from their own perspective. But as the home page states it is a platform for recovery for believing Jews.

Please don't get upset I am not judging anyone’s religiosity nor would I be comfortable if someone judged mine. I have utmost respect for any one that comes forward (even in an anonymous way as in this forum) to deal with their addiction. Or to help others.

Final note Let's not debate religion Here.

humble and happy
bardichev

Last Edit: 31 May 2009 19:26 by roundabout.

Re: New Guy 31 May 2009 19:45 #5502

  • BruceWayne
I wasn't out to debate religion or take a shot at the mod. It's just that one of my pet peeves is people who take an elitist attitude towards their religion rather than focusing on the fact that every human being on the planet is a creation of G-d and that most of the major beliefs across the major religions are pretty much the same. So there should be no room for elitism. It's sort of like taking a group of athletes in different sports and they all argue about who's better. The answer: No one. The sprinter cannot run a marathon and the marathoner cannot run a 100 meter dash, the shotputter can't do Olympic weight lifting, the swimmer can't run, etc. etc. All excell at one sport and one area of athleticism and it's impossible to say that one type of athlete is superior. They are all different but they are still all athletes.

So you can all ignore that last post if you want to. It was just me venting a bit.

ONE REALLY IMPORTANT QUESTION THAT I'VE BEEN MEANING TO ASK: What exactly are the criteria for "being clean" for 90 days? Is it not looking at porn, not masturbating, not looking at women in the street? Or is it self defined according to each individual's own personal struggle? For example, one can say that he won't look at porn for 90 days but say nothing about masturbation so that it is technically OK to do it according to his definition, and hope that the urge to do so will subside without the stimulus porn?
Last Edit: by freeeye.

Re: New Guy 31 May 2009 20:20 #5503

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On the weekly phone conferences, we had once an experienced (non-religious) sex therapist from the Healing center in Tennessee. She quoted some recent scientific study where it was shown that it takes 90 days for the brain to develop new neurological pathways that can actually change a behaviorally based thinking pattern. (It has nothing to do with Judaism, if that makes you feel better  ).

If you have heard of other studies that show other time-frames, feel free. But ever since that was mentioned to us, we have begun a 90 day chart over here, as well as a Wall of Honor over here, for those who complete the 90 days. You also asked what are the criterea. So please see the "Rules" over here.

As far as your "venting", I will answer you one more time here on the forum, but I do not want you to reply over here please. If you still want to debate, you can write me a private e-mail at eyes.guard@gmail.com and I can try to answer you further. I do not want this forum to become a platform for religious debate. But since you already opened the can, I will answer you here. But no replies on the forum please. Only by e-mail.

When I said "follow your heart" I was not talking about beating the addiction. That can be done by anyone, like you pointed out. I was talking about "faith", as I quoted from the preface of the handbook:

Every Jew believes deep down. It is an instinct that we inherited in our very genes, going all the way back to Avraham Avinu. And like birds that can fly thousands of miles back home without ever having learned how, all Jews find their way home if they just follow their hearts.

As far as your questions about Judaism being elitist, etc.. You compare Judaism to all other religions and ask why we are better. To ask the question in such a way on a forum of believing Jews is like asking a child why a million dollar diamond is any better than a marble. Obviously the child can't see the difference. But we believe there is. Again though, this all boils down to "faith". You either believe or you don't. We Jews believe that G-d appeared to 600,000 Jews on mount Sinai and gave us the Torah, after the rest of the nations of the world refused it. G-d spoke to us face to face, and this was passed down from father to son. If you don't want to believe that, you are free to believe as you wish.

Now let me explain why Judaism is NOT elistist.

The Sefer "Matan Torah" from the Ba'al Hasulam says that the Jews have a certain job in the world. Once they finish that job, the rest of the world will be given the opportunity to do the same job. But G-d needed to start with one nation, he couldn't start with all the nations - it just wouldn't work. Like a parable of a King who wants all his people to serve him, so he chose one group to be the "light unto the nations" - one group who wear special clothes and do special things that the king commanded them, so that all the other people in the world will learn that there is a King. Now obviously, as the king's chosen people, it doesn't mean they are intrinsically better, it just means the king gave them the mission of spreading the light and the knowledge that there is a King. And so obviously, these people will be well rewarded for this job. And if they fail, they are punished far more severely than the common folk who don't know about the king... You get the picture. So it's nothing to do with elitism. It is simply that the king chose us to spread the light, and therefore he gave us the Torah. One day, when Moshiach comes, all the nations will be given the opportunity to achieve what we did. But they will be starting where we left off.

If you want to debate this further, please - only by e-mail.
From now on, we will discuss here on this forum ONLY about beating this addiction.
May G-d be with you!
Webmaster of www.guardyoureyes.org - Maintaining Moral Purity in Today's World. We’re here on a quest ; it’s really all a test. Just do your best and G-d will do the rest.
Last Edit: 31 May 2009 20:44 by mstern.katz.

Re: New Guy 31 May 2009 20:22 #5504

  • bardichev
dear new guy

Have it any way you like. I personally love to discuss religion but not here.

The reason why there is a wisp of elitism here is because it takes a lot more work to be a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS (KOHANIM) AND A HOLY NATION.

I am holding myself back from debating religion ,so simply put it takes a lot more work to be a Holy Jew than to be an upstanding righteous non-Jew.

With the greatest amount of respect I will bow out of the debate.

humble and happy
bardichev
Last Edit: by mstern.katz.
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