The Sigil of Baphomet: emblem of the Church of Satan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Garner Ted Armstrong
HALLOWE'EN, commonly spelled without the apostrophe today, is utterly PAGAN! All its symbols and customs stem from ancient heathen mythology. Why should any Christ-centered, Bible-believing person revel in ghoulish death? What place have witches, goblins, demons, skeletons, "Jack o' Lanterns," black cats, and the worship of "Samhain, the Lord of the Dead," in a Christian society? Millions use "Halloween," as it is commonly misspelled today, as an excuse for wild revelry. Little do they know that it is the ghoulish "New Year" for Satanists!
Are you a slave to custom? Do you blindly accept whatever "society" imposes upon you, blissfully ignorant of the origin and meaning of commonly observed customs?
Each October, like so many dupes or slaves, hundreds of thousands of shopkeepers and clerks labor to install their usual "Halloween decorations" each October.Each autumn, thousands of markets, drugstores, department stores and millions of houses and lawns become scenes of "jack-o'-lanterns," witches, broomsticks, black cats, leering skeletons, weird, bleeding skulls, knives, daggers, spears and swords, bloody masks, fake spider webs and other symbols of the devil and his demons, and macabre death.
Millions of yards of black and orange crepe paper is strung up on walls and ceilings. Replicas of corpses hanging from a gibbet dangled from chandeliers. Leering death's heads and grinning skeletons festooned displays of masks and costumes.
In my neighborhood, people take a sheet, wind it around a fence post, or hang it in a tree, or drape it over a shrub, and pretend it is a ghost. Some merely place some pumpkins on their porches. Millions of pumpkins are destroyed, as vast numbers in third world countries starve, so neighborhoods can be in the spirit of Hallowe'en.
Why? What's it all about? Where did we get it? Should a Christian be observing such customs?
A "Ready Made World"
You were born into a "ready-made" world. You had no say-so in the customs, traditions, annual holidays and celebrations which are faithfully and continually marked on the yearly calendar. From your earliest childhood, your parents repeated the myths, lies, superstitions and silly folly they, themselves, had been taught as children.
The "tooth fairy" will deposit money under your pillow if, when you lose a baby tooth, you sleep on it. The "Easter bunny" will lay candied eggs in your nest if you are good, or a licorice whip if you are bad. "Santa" will squirm down the chimney (even if it is a tiny stove pipe!), and leave you some goodies from his bag of toys. And "bobbing for apples" and playing "trick or treat" on neighborhood families is such fun! Hunting for "Ishtar" (pronounced "Easter" today) eggs, which are nothing less than symbols of sex and fertility, is fun and exciting for children. Pretending to be a ghost or demon is very attractive to imaginative little children.
Thus is it that, as the generations pass, millions of little children are gradually introduced to the myths, superstitions, lies, fairy tales and demonic observances of their parents and preceding generations.
Does God approve of such man-made holidays? Churches conduct Hallowe'en parties; freely sanction revelry on October 31st. And why not, since the Roman Catholic Church adapted the pagan customs to its "All Saints' Day," or the "Evening of All Hallows?"
You did not invent "Hallowe'en." You did not invent "Easter" (wich is a celebration of Ishtar of ancient Babylon and Oestara of the Nordics, and nothing short of sun worship) with its bunnies and eggs. You did not "invent" Christmas and its myths. They were just "there," waiting for you to be introduced to them as wide-eyed little children; to be inculcated into your mind and memory by yearly repetition; by school classrooms, family gatherings, and church services.
Little did you know that a very ancient, apostate church followed the practice of adopting pagan ceremonies, then "adapting" them to "Christian" customs. Thus, even though Christ was actually resurrected on a late Sabbath afternoon, and put to death on a Wednesday afternoon, the "Good Friday/Easter Sunday Morning" tradition was imposed. Christ was most likely born in September, on the first day of the "Feast of Tabernacles," but since the pagan sun worshipers appealed to Solis Invictus their "invincible sun" god to begin his northern journey once again at the winter solstice on December 25th, the "Mass of Christ" was imposed, instead.
Ancient pagan Druidic superstitions about death, Satan, Samhain, wandering souls, weird demons and headless "Jacks," Jicks, or Jokers (symbols of Satan), black cats, witches, goblins, ghouls, ghosts, poltergeists, trolls, mummies, and other symbols of death and Satanism have been superposed over "The Evening of `All Hallows,'" or "All Saints," which is therefore dubbed, "Hallowed Evening," or, for short, "Hallowe'en."
Should God-fearing Christians be found observing celebrations of the devil and witchcraft?
"The Day When Columbus
I shall never forget the Halloween night when I attempted to find out whether the marauding little band of "trick or treaters" who came to my doorstep had the slightest inkling of what they were about. My wife and I, in self defense (for we didn't want the "tricks" and so, out of fear, as in a protection racket, we had to pay the blackmail to avoid our windows and screens being soaped, our trees "papered" or our dog strangled) decided to buy a box of apples. Not candy, or junk food, but healthful apples. We didn't know, then, that apples became one of the most suspicious and dangerous of all "treats," since evil, perverted persons began delighting in placing needles or razor blades in them.
A large band of giggling "monsters" came to our door. When I opened the door, it was to see a group which looked like they included a member of the Ku Klux Klan in a hooded sheet, a grotesque little monster in a Nixon mask, some skeletons, ghouls, witches, and death's heads.
There was much giggling and shuffling of feet as they all chimed, "Trick or Treat!!"
I said, "I've got something for each one of you — but first, you have to tell me what is the real meaning of Hallowe'en!" More giggling. The masks look at each other without changing expression.
"Come on," I prompted, "Surely you know why you're out dressed like demons and goblins, going to people's houses and demanding food or candy?"
Some said "I don't know." Taken aback, they didn't know what to say! Obviously, they were completely ignorant of the meaning of the night; didn't know WHY they were doing what they were doing. They were just "having fun!"
Eventually, a little boy in the back of the group piped up, "I know! It's the day when Columbus discovered America!"
Obviously, he had heard somewhere of "Columbus' day," and, not knowing when it fell on the calendar, improvised. I chuckled, and then, in a very brief thumbnail sketch, told them, "No, this is the evening before `all saints' day' of the Roman Catholic Church. You see, they assigned one day of the calendar to each one of their `saints,' and when they had more saints than three hundred and sixty-five, they simply lumped them all together on November 1st, and called it `All Saints' Day.' They chose November 1st, because this was the day celebrated by the pagan Druids of Ireland, who believe that `Samhain,' the lord of the dead — who is like Satan, the devil — would consign the souls of their departed loved ones to the bodies of animals, and they sought a lighter sentence. To do this, they would placate the evil spirits by offerings of food, or even by sacrificing cats. They put jack o' lanterns in their windows to frighten away evil spirits, and lit bonfires, and had all sorts of superstitions associated with that night — especially their belief that witches and demons were abroad. It's called `Hallowe'en' because it merely means `hallowed evening,' or the evening of `All Hallows.'"
The grotesque masks simply leered at me. They then leered at each other. More embarrassed shuffling of feet and some giggles. I then handed each of them an apple — I know that must have been a really "yucky" kind of treat to them; they would far more have preferred a big fat Baby Ruth candy bar, and they fled.
A couple of station wagons with mothers anxiously awaiting them with the motors running then received the little horde, and off they went to the next neighbor's driveway. Could it have been that, with my brief speech, I was more frightening to the little children than they were to me?
Why would I do such a thing? After all, as a little boy, I had delighted in Halloween. My parents didn't believe in it, and told me I should not participate, and told me exactly why I should not, but, to a little kid of about 8 or 10, such lectures are to be shrugged off. There is something much too exciting about wearing a mask. And them, there is all that free candy!
Wanting to conform, and do the things everyone else is doing is a very powerful force.
Have You Ever Wondered
If you ever decided to look up the origins of Hallowe'en in encyclopedias and the history books, here is what you would find in the Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica: "HALLOWE'EN, or All Hallows Eve, the name given to the 31st of October as the vigil of Hallowmas or All Saints' Day. Though now known as little else but the eve of the Christian festival, Hallowe'en and its formerly attendant ceremonies long antedate Christianity. The two chief characteristics of ancient Hallowe'en were the lighting of bonfires and the belief that of all nights in the year this is the one during wich ghosts and witches are most likely to wander abroad. Now on or about the first of November the Druids held their great autumn festival and lighted fires in honour of the sun god in thanksgiving for the harvest. Further, it was a Druidic belief that on the eve of this festival, Saman [Samhain, or Satan the devil], lord of death, called together the wicked souls that within the past twelve months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals.
"Thus it is clear that the main celebrations of Hallowe'en were purely Druidical, and this is further proved by the fact that in parts of Ireland the 31st of October was, and even still is, known as Oidhche Shamhna, "Vigil of Saman." On the Druidic ceremonies were grafted some of the characteristics of the Roman festival in honour of Pomona held about the first of November, in which nuts and apples, as representing the winter store of fruits, played an important part. Thus the roasting of nuts and the sport known as `apple ducking' — attempting to seize with the teeth an apple floating in a tub of water — were once the universal occupation of the young folk in medieval England on the 31st of October. The custom of lighting Hallowe'en fires survived until recent years in the highlands of Scotland and Wales. In the dying embers it was usual to place as many small stones as there were persons around, and next morning a search was made. If any of the pebbles were displaced it was regarded as certain that the person represented would die within the twelve months" (Encyclopedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, Vol. XII, p. 857,858, emphasis mine).
There is a vast amount of literature available to prove the absolutely PAGAN origins of the customs surrounding "Hallowe'en."
It is fascinating that the term "Shaman" was used to indicate a communicator with spirits in cultures all over the earth; from the vast Siberian forests to the North American plains, where many of the "Indian" tribes referred to their "medicine man" as the "Shaman."
Ralph Linton, in his book, "Halloween Through Twenty Centuries," wrote, "The American celebration rests upon Scottish and Irish folk customs which can be traced in direct line from pre-Christian times. Although Halloween has become a night of rollicking fun, superstitious spells, and eerie games which people take only half seriously, its beginnings were quite otherwise. The earliest Halloween celebrations were held by the Druids in honor of Samhain, lord of the dead, whose festival fell on November 1st."
Another author, Ruth Kelley, in her book "The Book of Halloween," wrote that the Druids believed souls "....passed from one body to another at death...they believed that on the last night of the old year (October 31st) the lord of the dead gathered together the souls of all those who had died in the passing year and had been condemned to live in the bodies of animals, to decree what forms they should inhabit for the next twelve months. He could be coaxed to give lighter sentence by gifts and prayers."
The Druids, like many a religious leader today, managed to concoct a doctrine which repulsed and frightened their adherents about the fate of loved ones; a doctrine which inevitably caused an outpouring of "gifts" into the coffers of the priests, the Druids.
One is forcibly reminded of the beliefs commonplace among modern nominal "Christians" that gifts to their church help to alleviate protracted suffering or interminable anxiety as the souls of their dear departed allegedly progress through various stages of spiritual purgation.
"Let's Have Ourselves An Orgy"
As I was writing this article, I heard the announcer on television say a segment of their program would be "how to protect your children on Halloween." There was not the slightest hint that children should not be participating in such a Satanic ritual, but, instead, cautions for parents because of many potential dangers.
The dangers are many. After all, modern-day Satanists and self-professed witches and believers in "wicca" regard the evening of October 31st as their "Samhain," or "New Year's. It is a very important date for Satanists. Kidnaping and ritual murders are not unknown in our lands; the ritual slaughter of animals and evisceration is also not unknown. In past decades, children have been horribly injured, and some have died, as a result of needles and razor blades in apples, drops of LSD on candy, poisons, such as strychnine, arsenic, and acid have been injected into the goodies children collect and eat.
Parents, regardless of the utterly pagan origins of the practice, allow their children to enact the ancient rituals, pretending to be demons; agents of Samhain, demanding gifts and "treats" in exchange, in the modern version, for protection from harm to persons or property.
Neighborhoods in thousands of cities and towns are the scene, not just on the "Eve of All Hallows," but for two or three nights in a row of automobiles crowded with children as their mothers shepherd them about, hoping to load their big shopping bags with all kinds of goodies which they haven't earned, don't deserve and shouldn't eat, and which will, aside from the pimples, bad teeth, and assorted diseases they might cause, quite possibly kill them.
The murderers of dozens, who placed deadly poisons in various consumer products are still "out there," never having been found. The American bottling and packaging industries have had to spend billions of dollars to invent tamper-proof packaging on practically everything consumers eat or drink because of such evil, depraved, vicious killers. Why send one's children out among them?
But like a cold front from Canada, inevitable, inexorable, the spirit of conformity demands, "Do it!" The spirit of docile following of the masses cries, "Be `in,' take part, celebrate!" Dutifully, millions of parents say "Yes lord" to Samhain, who is Satan, and cheerfully indulge themselves in his ready-made celebrations. It all seems so "harmless," somehow — just "innocent fun," like going to see "The Exorcist," or some other demonic horror movie. Where's the harm? At least, this is the way God-rejecting, carnal-minded people reason.
Time was when Hallowe'en was viewed as "for the children." Most adults only performed the rite of handing out the "treats" to avoid the "tricks" of having their outhouses turned over, their cattle run off, or tied to the front door knob, their cats strangled, their trees papered, or their windows soaped. Not any more. Now, Hallowe'en is orgy time. Now, millions of adults seize upon Hallowe'en as an excuse to act out every ghoulish fantasy ever imagined. Dressing up in the weirdest, most threatening or horrendous garb they can find or manufacture; mummies, ghosts, goblins, sado-masochists, murderers, demons, devils, cats, witches or skeletons, they booze, pop drugs, and cavort to heavy metal in a wild orgiastic abandon called a "Hallowe'en party."
In tens of thousands of bars, lounges, clubs and private homes, orgies reminiscent of the Bacchanalian orgies of ancient Rome are conducted.
Today, with the influence of all the "splatter movies," the costumes are increasingly bizarre. Many feature blood and dismemberment, and, inevitably, one will see a weirdo wrapped in bandages which conceal his head, carrying a lighted "jack-o'-lanterns" instead, as he masquerades of the headless "Jack," "Jick," or "Joker," the capricious, wanton trickster who in turn is a type of Satan.
Why do people do it?
Because it's "FUN", they say!
"So What? What Difference
Does It Make?"
Of course, all of this makes no difference whatsoever if there IS NO GOD! Are you willing to bet your eternal life there is not? God's existence can be PROVED, and proved scientifically! For many years, I taught college classes on the proofs of God from paleontology, geology, biology, archaeology, and the Bible. In those classes, students were taught the scientific PROOFS of the existence of the Creator; proofs which can be seen every day by any one of us.
If you have not yet written for it, send immediately for my brochure, EVOLUTION — A WHALE of a Tale, which shows how symbiosis demolishes the theory of evolution.
The Bible is the word of our Creator, Who gives us every breath of air we breathe, and Who has the power to either save us or condemn us to eternal destruction in Gehenna fire.
God thunders at His people, "LEARN NOT THE WAY OF THE HEATHEN!" (Jeremiah 10:2). When God called His people out of Egypt, which is a type of Sin; Pharoah being a type of Satan, He said, "When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.
"There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
"Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits [demons], or a wizard, or a necromancer [one who claims to communicate with the dead].
"For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
"Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God" (Deuteronomy 18:9-13).
Millions are completely IGNORANT of just WHO it was who issued this command.
Believe it or not, it was themember of the divine Godhead, called "Elohim" in Genesis who became Jesus Christ of your New Testament!
Notice the proof! "In the beginning was the Word [Greek: Logos, meaning Spokesman"], and the Word was with God [Theos, the Greek equivalent of Elohim, meaning more than One] and the Word was God.
"The same was in the beginning with God.
"All things were made by him [He was the CREATOR of Genesis!]; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
"In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
"And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
"There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
"The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
"He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
"That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
"He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
"He came unto his own [the Jews], and his own received him not.
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1:12).
There is no possibility of misunderstanding or misinterpreting these verses of your Bible! Jesus Christ of Nazareth was the GOD OF THE OLD TESTAMENT! He said to the Jews, "Before Abraham was, I AM" (John 8:58).
Most churches will not accept this truth, and therefore stand condemned of God! Why? Because they know it leaves in a shambles their commonly assumed doctrines that God's laws are "done away"! Faced with the incontrovertible truth that the One who wrote the Ten Commandments with His own finger is Jesus Christ of the New Testament; that the One who called Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the One who said "Let there be light" is Jesus Christ, they quickly hide behind their traditions, and refuse to admit the truth.
The same Person of Elohim says, "Let US make man in OUR image, and after OUR likeness" (Genesis 1:26).
He says, "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed" (Malachi 3:6). Your Bible says, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever" (Hebrews 13:8).
Now, knowing that it was the Divine Member of Elohim, JESUS CHRIST, who spoke to the fathers, notice! "When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;
"Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise [God's people are NOT TO FOLLOW PAGAN CUSTOMS!].
"Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.
"What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it" (Deuteronomy 12:29-32).
Any person deciding to delve into the "black arts" and become a "witch" was to be put to death in ancient Israel, ruled by the Member of Elohim Who became Christ: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" (Exodus 22:18).
Are you a part of this present society; conforming, going along with its ways? As stated earlier, if there is no God, then none of this makes any difference. But since GOD DOES EXIST, and since Jesus Christ is soon coming to JUDGE this world, and rule it with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:26; 3:21; 20:4), it behooves each person to CHOOSE!
God (the One who became Christ) said, "See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
"In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.
"But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
"I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.
"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live" (Deuteronomy 30: 15-19).
Witchcraft, Wizardry, And
The "Harry Potter" Books
Today, a female British author, J.K. Rowling, is filthy rich. The term is an accurate assessment for her new-found wealth, for she obtained it by writing a series of books about a little boy who spent the first 20 years of his life sleeping under the stairs in a house where he is hated by his parents. His parents are killed by an evil "Voldemort," and Harry escapes with but a lightning-bolt scar on his forehead, and then discovers that he has mysterious powers.
Critics joyously acclaim the books, saying that the Harry Potter books are the "first books that a child reads `just for the fun of it,' and therefore the books are hailed as a wonderful incentive for the age group of from 9 to 12 to learn to read!
The first book is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone; No. 2 is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; No. 3 is about the Prisoner of Askaban, and number 4 is about the Goblet of Fire. Children can buy "Harry Potter related products available just in time for Halloween" according to one major web site, which lists "Kids Wizard Hat in Black and Gold; a "Crimson Wizard Children's Costume," and a "Small Miracles Iridescent Star Want."
Thus, literally millions of our youth are taught that wizardry, "magic," witchcraft, and all assorted forms of demonism and Satanism are "fun," and exciting! In her fourth book, the author writes about Harry's vision in which his scar burns, and how he returns to the "Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry." The book says that "happily, the prospect of attending the season's premier sporting event, the Quidditch World Cup, is enough to make Harry momentarily forget that `Lord Voldemort' and his sinister familiars — the `Death Eaters,' — are out for murder."
Such books were being snapped up faster than cabbage-patch dolls, beany babies, or the "Pokeman" toys! Again, it shows the alacrity with which unthinking human beings flock to the siren song of Satan; how eagerly they wish to look into the bizarre, the mysterious, the demonic occult.
Books about Jesus Christ or God would not even begin to compete with books about witches, demons and "death eaters."
If such materials were to have been produced during God's rulership over Israel through Moses and Aaron, or during the period of the Judges or any of the very few righteous kings, the producers of such trash would have been stoned to death. Today, they become multi-millionaires!
God sets before every individual TWO OPPOSITES: The WAY of life, good health, peace of mind, prosperity, happy marriages, obedient children — the way to everything we want, or the WAY which leads to rebellious children, broken marriages, disease, drug addition, crime, violence, insanity and DEATH!
Millions unconsciously CHOOSE the wrong way!
God commands us, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Romans 12:1,2). Peter said, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord" (Acts 3:19). To be converted means to become CHANGED. It means "turning around and going the other way." Any old dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a lively one to swim upstream, battling rapids and falls!
Christ said it is the BROAD way; the dazzling, lighted, glitzy, attractive, wide, wide way of the world that leads to DEATH, but the narrow, rocky, difficult way which leads to LIFE, and "few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:13,14).
Christ inspired John to write, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
"And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
"If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you (John 15:18-20).
Hallowe'en, like pagan Easter (Ishtar, with a silent "h," pronounced "Easter") and Christmas, are all PAGAN TO THE CORE! They CONCEAL God's true annual Holy Days, which reveal His great PLAN year by year. Christmas, with its pagan tree, bulbs and orbs, and mythical "Old Saint Nick" is laden with pagan symbolism. Just as Hallowe'en is replete with pagan symbols, yet masquerading as a "Christian" holiday, Easter, with its symbols of sex and fertility; rabbits, eggs, and rituals of Spring, with "hot cross buns" in honor of Horus, also masquerades as the resurrection of Christ.
But our God thunders at us, "LEARN NOT THE WAY OF THE HEATHEN!"
He leaves the choice with us. Which way will you choose?
To learn about the true annual Holy Days of God, and how they reveal His great PLAN for you and your loved ones, call (903) 561-7070 or write to Box 747, Flint, Texas, 75762 for your free copy of HOW SEASONAL HOLY DAYS REVEAL GOD'S PLAN.
You may copy and distribute this information only to friends and family without changes, without charge and with full credit given to the author and publisher. You may not publish it for general audiences.
This publication is intended to be used as a personal study tool. Please know it is not wise to take any man's word for anything, so prove all things for yourself from the pages of your own Bible.
The Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association
P.O. Box 747
Flint, TX 75762
Phone: (903) 561-7070 • Fax: (903) 561-4141
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