What was I thinking?

By Dave, the WM

The longer I'm out of Christianity, the more difficult it becomes to comprehend how I could have ever accepted such a twisted view of reality -- one that promotes flying chariots; floating ax heads; talking bushes, snakes and donkeys; magic refilling urns; water walking; zombies; a worldwide flood; giants; raving, naked prophets; fire falling from heaven from time to time; cruel plagues; and life changing visions that resemble the descriptions of bad LSD trips.

This is the reality one must accept as a Christian: There is an invisible war going on between the sovereign ruler of the universe and one of His former minions. These "guys" are waging a battle over the eternal souls of the upright-walking, hairless monkeys living on tiny planet circling a particularly unimportant star on the outskirts of a small and ordinary galaxy. The prize? If the monkeys have the correct thoughts in their heads (Believe in Jesus, whatever that really means) at the time they expire, the Big Guy gets to populate his domain with them. If the bald simians don't have the correct thoughts in their heads (Don't believe in Jesus) at the moment they croak, it's everlasting barbecue time with minion boy. And if the game is all about who gets the most schmucks to move in, El Shaddai is in trouble.

What lunatic tendency in my head made this scenario appear sensible to me? There is nothing my five senses have experienced that indicates or that in any way suggests that such nonsense has even the slightest basis in reality. Yet, for some incomprehensible reason, I frittered away years and years studying this baloney in the company of drooling dimwits who, like me, were swallowing every incoherent ranting of some pulpited moron.

But that's not the worst of it. I also invested a fortune in time and resources convincing others that this veil of tears is only an illusion -- that reality is filled with magical ponderous beings brandishing swords, wings, and horns.

Of course I know part of the reason I was so sure of myself. Bible stories had been read to me since infancy. Although my parents weren't particularly religious, they didn't teach me the stories were just stories. Those tales were real history!

When I was a Christian, no matter how many times I re-read the bizarre stories, I never let it enter my mind that it was all myth -- all fabrications -– all retarded. I simply believed it was all true because "God said it, He can do anything, I believe it, and that settles it."

Yeah, making flying chariots and turning water to blood and stoking an eternal fire to torture billions of near-apes are such inspirational and inventive activities for the Sovereign Lord of All.

It's so completely obvious to me, now, that everything in the Bible -– everything -– is primitive philosophizing about life, all wrapped up in supernatural yarns and myth. Some stories were written to provide an explanation for what seemed incomprehensible mysteries. Some were written to teach children various practical moral lessons. Some were crafted by raving madmen. Some are pure political propaganda. Some of the stuff was just made up, the result of passionate, misdirected zeal.

I still own a few dozen English Bibles, from Tyndale's and the old Geneva, through a few editions of the KJV, to nearly every modern translation out there. Stacked up, one on another, the reach my nose. My basement walls are lined with commentary and the theological perusing of wordy authors from numerous backgrounds and perspectives. It gives me a headache to think how many convoluted ideas I crammed into my head -- how many synapses were lit up for nothing.

Am I the only one who looks in the mirror from time to time to say, "What were you thinking?" Am I the only one who wonders if the human capacity to tenaciously and devotedly embrace, believe, and even die for fantastic imaginary beings might indicate that all of us are potentially just a step or two away from straight jackets?

Am I the only one?

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Spirula said...

Am I the only one who looks in the mirror from time to time to say, "What were you thinking?"

I tend to look at it a little differently. As I was raised in the home of a conservative christian minister, high-schooled and colleged at conservative christian institutions, it was the only reality I knew. I was completely indoctrinated/brainwashed. So was everyone I spent time with. That's how a cult bonds its members.

And that is a pretty easy thing to do with children and teenagers, as our evolution has created a "lengthy" childhood for the express purpose of imitating and learning from the adults we are raised with. We have complicated social structure and communication system which take a long time to grasp.

Christians, along with other religions/cults, frequently target children/adolescents because they are exploiting the openess and vulnerability that naturally exists. And they're successful because of it.

Which may explain why so many of us had deconversion events adulthood. By then we have become more critical, less trusting, and more independent in our thinking. Once the secret of the "trick" was revealed to us, the illusion was exposed and we could no longer "beleive".

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much WM for posting this! And also for your humorous insight. No, you are not alone! And you make us realize that we fellow hairless monkeys are not alone, either!

Micah Cowan said...

No, you're not alone. It scares the shit out of me, that while I consider myself a lover of reason, yet I spent nearly thirty years of my life, not only believing these things, but firmly convinced of them.

And, now that I've awakened, it scares the shit out of me that I'm not some weird anomaly: that in fact, a very large chunk of my nation is also completely convinced of this stuff. That a large group of people are so easily misled, and so many more when you count all the other bizarre religions out there.

It's very, very sobering, to me.

Anonymous said...


You are not the only one. I, for one, have difficulty understanding how I fell for it. Of all the things that torture me about having been "born again," the question of how I could have believed the bullshit is what bothers me most.

In my case, though, a bible-god-like mother was all it took. She was not only as multifaceted, cruel, and incongruent as the bible monster, she prepared me to believe.

She told me I was worthless shit, and I believed it. When the evangelists said I had to repent and accept Jesus, I was ready. I knew I needed redemption because I was always put down and ignored at home.

But everybody has their own reasons. Others heard the lie from a loving grand parent who was perhaps the only one giving unconditional love. It is easy to believe anything a person we look up to in early childhood says.

What I don't know is if we are ever going to be OK. Are we ever really going to get over Christianity?

Spirula said...


Anonymous said...

We don't have to get up every day and wait for the approval of a God that never answers our calls.

We can sense the power and beauty of living in the real world.

We know for certain now that skepticism is more powerful, than living the lie of the Christian. We can even feel sorry for them now.

I thank whatever intelligence there may be out there in the universe that I am so adequately prepared with logical and rational thinking, that I can help free others from the mind stifling cult of Christianity.

We may just be underdeveloped hairless simians but we are helping our fellow monkeys to not be so afraid, and live productive lives.

To live this life the best we can, without worrying about the next one.

Dan, Agnostic

Anonymous said...

We all ARE just a step or two away from straight jackets. I think about half of the people out there are seriously mentally ill.

"Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule."

Anonymous said...

What about all those Christians in foreign nations who are willingly dying for their faith in Jesus. Are they nuts too....

Or is there something you are missing with your denial of the truth.

freethinker05 said...

WM, just by reading your testimonial made me grit my teeth, well, except (being a monkey). Just the thought of thinking I new it all, and had the right religion; going on and on and on spewing my "righteous and judgmental words" on anyone I came in contact with. Its pretty embarrasing to think about it now. But, I am glad that I found out the truth about biblegod, thanks, partly due to this site. Peace, Roger

Anonymous said...

Anonymous No Name : Or is there something you are missing with your denial of the truth.

Not a single ex-Christian here denies the truth. We deny the outright lies and misconceptions that religion presents about reality. Just because you want to believe does not make what you believe true.

Anonymous said...


What I don't know is if we are ever going to be OK. Are we ever really going to get over Christianity?

I think I'm long over Christinsanity. I left it behind 37 years ago this month at the age of 16. And yes I'm OK.

I'd like to turn your question upside down. Will Christians ever get over the existence of us atheists?

Micah Cowan said...

Anonymous: What about all those Christians in foreign nations who are willingly dying for their faith in Jesus. Are they nuts too....

Absolutely; along with all the Muslim extremists who willingly die for their faith in an Allah that wishes them to kill "infidels". Are you so deluded as to think that Christians are the only ones so convinced of their faith, that they are willing to die for it? Is Christianity the only religion capable of creating martyrs?

Lorena: What I don't know is if we are ever going to be OK. Are we ever really going to get over Christianity?

Dave: I think I'm long over Christinsanity.

Yeah, I don't think that's what she meant by "we"; I think she meant "we" as a society.

I'm not sure what the answer to that one is: there are a lot of freethinkers from history who believed we'd already have rid ourselves of it well before now. But we are obviously a very, very superstitious race. And I have some private fears that there might even be evolutionary reasons as to why we can be so self-deluding: self-honesty does not in all cases promote survival.

It's certainly my hope that we might one day through off this and all other foolishness, but it doesn't appear to me to be a certainty, by any means; and at any rate, we have a hell of a long way to go. :-/

Anonymous said...

To Dave: not the webmaster.
You say you got over Christianity 37 years ago at the age of 16. That was still a tender age - I have spent more than 3 times that amount of time and am just a "newby". I don't call myself agnostic or want to curse at Christianity, because it is still fresh with me and still ingrained. I think I just feel neutral about it all.

I have much more exciting things happening in my life now to try to impress all the other people who are trying to impress them by their religiosity.

Anonymous said...

No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

Anonymous said...

Oops I meant the full quote:

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Anonymous said...

"flying chariots; floating ax heads; talking bushes snakes and donkeys; magic refilling urns; water walking; zombies; a worldwide flood; giants; raving, naked prophets; fire falling from heaven from time to time"

I believe in all of those things.... what's YOUR problem?!?


Astreja said...

Anonymous Idiot: "What about all those Christians in foreign nations who are willingly dying for their faith in Jesus. Are they nuts too...."

Yes. There is nothing particularly insane about dying so that real live people whom we love may enjoy a better quality of life. It's not the best way to go about things, in my opinion, but I understand the sentiment.

However, anyone who sacrifices himself for the sake of a book of mythology is certifiable. Period.

Or is there something you are missing with your denial of the truth.

Oh, that snide little remark will cost you dearly, little Christbot. How fucking dare you accuse anyone of 'denial of the truth'! May you question everything you read in your Bible until you finally toss it (and your belief) aside with great force.

Anonymous said...

I am so thankful that I had no one ever try to brainwash me during my formatable years. People never tried to push Christianity on me until I reached the age of reason, so therefore I never bought into any of the zany
Bible stories, but I did believe in God.

This youtube video by comedian Doug Stanhope sums up this subject matter in a hilarious yet very clever way. Click to this link.

Bob said...

to Dave the WM,

Great essay. I appreciate you sharing your story. I can certainly relate to your description of your library. I too have a long history of trying to justify my belief - I have no need anymore.

Now my interest is in the history of this nonsense. It helps me to understand how I was conditioned (brain-washed) to believe the nonsense of Xianity.

Unfortunately for me, I am becoming more disgusted with the resources wasted and misdirected by organized religion. Terrible ideas are circling in my mind about being vocal about the magnitude of the waste and what valuable alternatives could be helped with those resources.

Regards, Bob G

TheJaytheist said...

What was I thinking? I say this all the time. My wife does too. It makes me want to cringe when I read the fundie's that post here and remember when I thought the same things in the same way. Remember when you talked to yourself like someone else was there(prayed)? If you did that but weren't talking to god then someone would try to medicate you at least.

Anonymous said...

Heh. The 2nd paragraph is "gold, Jerry. Gold!"

"everlasting barbecue time with minion boy" Ha!

Anonymous said...

Gee, Dave, since you put it THAT way, I really don’t know WHAT I was thinking either! You ruined my entire day – maybe my week! Just kiddin’ witcha.

Very humbling personally. Thanks for posting this, it was well written as usual and very pointed.

Humble, John

Anonymous said...

Yes, Dave, I constantly wonder how I could have been so stupid.

I also think we live in a world where the norm is some type of god belief and frankly it scares the crap outta me as well. Faith in the unknown is looked upon as a good thing instead of ignorance.

Thank god I'm atheist. Jim Earl

Steven Bently said...

Very insightful commentary as usual Dave. What fustrates me most is that, Christianity and religions in America and elsewhere are accepted in society as whole stone truth and it has had enough time by being accepted and passed down through generation to generation establish itself as a whole truth.

My father just recently passed away, of course he got the whole washed in the blood Jesus farewell treatment, my mother and I were walking along the grave markers dating back to the upper 1800's all of them were white people with gone to be with Jesus or resting in God's arms, etc, etc. I asked myself, Why were there no Indian graves? Where they not worthy of a decent burial? Were they not considered honorable enough to have a salutation to be beheld into Jesus' everlasting loving arms?

That thought was very fustrating to me because I believe those American Indians were human beings just like all of us here today, they had their own philosopy and word view just like any of us living today, and it was taken from them, granted permission and justified by the stinking Bible in persuit of spreading the gospel from a book put together by a bunch of raving lunatics and claiming it was inspired by a God.

When I was walking through the cemetary, I could see that everyone of those dead people, (my kin folks) were brainwashed into believing that they were on a special chosen mission to spread their insane ignorance and were keenly justified by that book of traah written by a bunch of dope-head idiots.

The church was just a few steps away and it had been built for over 100 years, so hadn't religion and christianity always been here, Says the young child growing up, also automobiles and airplanes hadn't they too always been here? So why rock the boat and question religions and beliefs?

Sorry for the rant, thank you Dave for giving us a sane place to vent our spleens.

S.B. (Damn proud to be an Aheist)

ExFundie said...

Thanks for this post. It is brilliant! It will be great reasoning to use as I continue to tell my Christian friends of my new atheist viewpoint. Or perhaps I will wait until after I have systematically lost each one of them as a friend. It is funny to me that no matter how nonconfrontational and sensitive I try to be, even my best friends respond with contempt. It is as if I am threatening their very way of life. So yeah, I kinda can't wait to totally 'come out of the closet' about my atheism, and say what I really feel! It is like I am ready to explode, but I am waiting out of respect for my friends' beliefs. I wish they could respect mine too.

ExFundie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Dave, not the WM said
"I think I'm long over Christinsanity. I left it behind 37 years ago this month at the age of 16. And yes I'm OK."

Lorena responds
I am happy for you. But as you know, we are all NOT equal. People react differently to life's situations. For me it's been difficult, and if I ever get over it, it will be a slow, lengthy process.
Overnight, miracle cures have never worked for me.

Micah Cowan said:
And I have some private fears that there might even be evolutionary reasons as to why we can be so self-deluding: self-honesty does not in all cases promote survival.

Lorena responds:
I like that. And I think you are right on the money. Our generation has seen more change than any other before us. We, as a race, are evolving are a very fast pace. We the apostates of this generation are pioneers for more apostasy to come, as humanity leaves behind fairy tales and takes control of its own destiny, no longer looking outside ourselves for help to a god up in the sky.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, to say that almost all Christians are feed on knowledge concocted by the minister, the bible teacher and the other so call pastor. They impart the so call 'truth' are actually known as the dark knowldege, as heaven sees it; these are not God's truth. God truth has to be revealed by God the Father our Creator. Because God is the author of the bible and rightly he knows what, where and why the deep secrete; a declarations that were so skillfully written in the bible is to trap Satan. Without the help of Holy Spirit you are not allow or cannot uncode God's truth.
Only through his chosen vessel he will speak the truth and the truth will set the person free of dark oppression. The word proceeded by such chosen vessel of God is life and he who yeild to the word will be convicted and the repentence of his sins will draw him closer to God, the Holy Spirit. This is the standard Law of Heaven laid down by Jesus Christ's ministry as an example for ministers to emulate.

Sad to say but it is true.We see Christian don't believe God not because they have no faith. It is simply because they tasted not the God's truth so they are not set free of Satan's cluthes over their lifes.
I dared you ask any pastors whether God, the Holy Spirit is real in their life. If ever the answer is 'Praise the Lord'; ask him/her don't bullshit you. And see for yourself your life and your friendS at their home/ office situations is miserable then you know you are all fed on dark knowledge that impart death no heavently life.
Another way to find out whether your spiritual food is of heaven or not is when you are kept feeding on recycle messages. The friuts/ product of such minister or pastor makes your life, wife and children never change. Your wife is still ever strongly controlling over you...these are tell tale signs you are under boundages of Satan through his dark teaching. The dark knowledge kills- are sourced through their research on teaching of the so call love gospel, doctrines that are based on emotion, humanism, sentimentalismm philosophy and etc. that only stimulates the flesh without the traces of God's CONVICTION then how can the people be set free of sins. Churches has no truth at all and in order to keep / sustains the people is to make them busy by doing charity works; collect building fund, operating old folk home. If you don't see this in Jesus' ministry then they are not of Gods'

Anonymous said...

There are many who think they are Christians while they never committed to follow Jesus. Or they only went to the right direction for a little while. Either way, that's how serious they were.

They tend to quite and give up, an easy path for them. Then they start to justify themselves by saying being Christian was my mistake to comfort themselves. It may sound too harsh, but that's a poor excuse, showing a common human weakness.

I acknowledge that many religions can brainwash you, or even bad influence from wrong people, including books, TV or movies, changing and shaping the way you thinking. But how reliable whatever the books you read? How reliable the authors are?

Bible was surely written by people. The only difference is that they were led by the Holy Spirit, not based on human knowledge or experiences.

Well, no point of proving anything here as this is impossible as only God can open one's eyes. That's the only way you can discover what truth is, which leads to understand what really are brainwashing information, lies.

webmdave said...

To Derick and Anonymous:

What are you thinking?!?

Anonymous said...

derick Khoo starts off by condemning ministers, bible teachers and “the other” (whoever?) for concocting the ideas that are fed to christians and urges us to instead believe in the Truth™ in the bible that was authored by god.

But who fed us the line that god itself wrote the bible? A long line of ministers, bible teachers and others going back a couple of thousand years!

Then, we have another Christian (or possibly the same one) elaborate that the people who wrote the bible were led by the holy spirit.

Yeah. Obviously. Because, unlike some other books, the bible is reliable.

These back-to-back comments crashed my irony meter.

Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

holy ghost:

LOL..that was the best laugh I've had on the forum since I joined. BOOOOO...

Robert W. said...


You're not the only one who owns Christian writings; I still own quite a few of them, myself, and I don't have the desire to part with them, yet. Some of these, such as old Bibles, are heirlooms from some departed family member or another and, sentimental sap that I am, I can't get rid of them. Others, such as the Christian history of Eusebius, provide useful information- if these are read with an objective mind.

As to myths and such, I prefer the Greco-Roman myths. Homer et al. can craft a far more entertaining tale than Moses and the rest of the biblical authors: When the Olympians began to act up over the Trojan War, Zeus told them to pipe down or he'd blast them all down to Hades with his thunder and lightning. Needless to say, the rest of them got the message. Comparatively, Jehovah can't even keep his angels in order, and an entire one-third of them joined Lucifer in trying to throw the old boy out of heaven. Tit for tat, Zeus comes out as a better God than Jehovah does, even if Zeus is a bit of a lecher. Zeus can be every bit as moralistic and paternal as Jehovah (Aeschylus the poet does a masterful job of expressing a benevolent, moral order lorded over by Zeus in his poems), but everyone understands that Zeus is a myth, a personification of the sky, the heavens, and the paternalistic nature of old Greek society. Zeus even had a female counterpart, Hera, whereas Jehovah was a “jealous” God who utterly hated other deities. What an old bore Jehovah is.

Now, 20+ centuries removed from Zeus and Hera, people still believe in magical beings in the sky. I'm not entirely put off by the notion of a First Cause for the universe, but why must it be so confusing and stupid a topic to pursue?

webmdave said...

Hi Robert,

I'll tell you what caused the universe.

I DON'T KNOW caused it.

What I also don't know is why "I don't know" is such a difficult answer for most people to accept.

But, it's nothing unique for humans. Whenever people come up with a puzzling question about life (or anything else) that eludes sorting out, people will, more often than not, make up something.

We just can't seem to stand saying, "I don't know."

The humorous thing to the "GODDIDIT" response is that in the end the real answer is still, "I don't know." Ask the theist how his or her God "did it" and guess what? The answer is still, "I don't know."

Robert W. said...


I think that the best approach to questions of religion and the ultimate fate of the human race are, as you say, unknowable. "I don't know" is a better position than saying "I know, here's why..." And then you'll stumble over your reasons for knowing why, because they are somebody else's reasons, say those of a biblical author.....

Anonymous said...

Anon. said, "I acknowledge that many religions can brainwash you, or even bad influence from wrong people, including books, TV or movies, changing and shaping the way you thinking."

Oh, I see, but your religion, your bible is different...hmmmm, interesting.

Your comment is full of Christian cliches, the best one being, "only God can open the eyes." Thank you for giving me the heebie jeeebies and reminding me that I used to say a similar thing when confronted with free thinking. "Yes, well, blind eyes, can't see." (shiver)

So what you are telling us is that we don't have a choice anyway, if God doesn't "allow" us to see "the truth," we are hosed. Please just ask yourself this question, "Why isn't God allowing us all on this site to "see" and why, in some cases, did he take our "seeing" eyes and make them "blind?" Hmmmmmm? Please don't say, "His ways are not our ways or I'll stab myself in the eye."

Anonymous said...

WM said:
"My basement walls are lined with commentary and the theological perusing of wordy authors from numerous backgrounds and perspectives."

WM and ALL,

I can't make a claim to have anywhere near the extended collection that WM has acquired in his lifetime and thus I don't have any huge storage problem for my bible artifacts like I'm guessing he might?

However, I do have a question for you WM, and all the ex-christian readers here about religious possessions we have from our blind days of god.

I'm assuming that most of you collected various religious trinkets during those bible years you went through?
Things like necklaces with crosses on them and other body jewelry, and even pictures.
Pictures, that used to hang on your walls, of Jesus and other biblical figures etc..

In my younger days I loved to wear a medallion around my neck that had a 3D figure of Jesus's head on it. I didn't like the idea of wearing just a simple cross (for whatever reason) but this Christ head made him feel more 'real' to me, and I dare say, even protected by him.

My favorite surreal picture from those days was the one where a giant sized Jesus is knocking on the United Nations building in NYC, as if to say to mankind, '"LET ME IN".
I stared at that very life-like picture for many many years, half expecting Jesus to suddenly jump right off the picture and into my lowly human reality.

Now if such trinkets of our religious past had no other sentimental value, then it might be easy to throw them in the trash. Ahhh, but sometimes many of our fond non-religious memories are tied with such trinkets, for several possible reasons one can imagine.

So here's the problem, now that we see no religious value in such trinkets anymore, and thus would not wear them, or display them in our homes, yet can't seem to emotionally toss them out because of those sentimental ties to our past, that makes me ask a question.

(I would also suspect that a few of you might not have any tied sentimental reasons to these trinkets, but still would feel like you would be throwing out a piece of your own personal history, if you discarded these pieces of your former days on earth?)

What then, do most of you do with such old religious objects, that you once very much cherished for mostly religious reasons?


webmdave said...

Quite frankly, I never collected any trinkets. In fact, I loathed the typical "Christian Book Store" because it was filled with nothing but sentimental nonsense. I wanted full-bodied Christian theolgoy, but all those stores sold was Christian light fluff manuals.

I ordered most of my stuff through mail order catalogs. Pre-Internet and all that.

eel_shepherd said...

A little anonymouse squuck (past tense of squeak, and a rare chance for a non-UNIX-geek to use two consecutive "U"s):
"...Bible was surely written by people. The only difference is..."

Gee, 'nony. And you were doing so well up to that point.

What are you thinking?

Anonymous said...

Anon said:
"Bible was surely written by people. The only difference is that they were led by the Holy Spirit.....Well, no point of proving anything here as this is impossible as only God can open one's eyes"
One has to just 'love' when they speak of this godly holy spirit writing their bible as being a proven fact....just cause their holy book says so, is good enough for them.

How MANY contradictions and incongruities does your bible contain, hmm.
How much bad history and wrong science is portrayed in your perfect-spirit guided book?

This magical spirit you claim led the writings of your bible, must have been on mind-altering drugs to screw up this BADLY.
Either that, or could it be that those human bodies containing that great spirit, were flying-as-high as the ummm firmament.
You know, 'firmament'; where your ancient mythical god had crazy-glued his stars and planets to, just above the white puffy things that make raindrops (but somehow also contain "windows").

Gosh, I sure hope those stars don't fall down and injure my pet unicorn I keep out in my yard, tied to my barren "fig tree". After all, he's the sole survivor that my great ancestor rescued from that awful rainy season we had long ago.

The only way your god can open one's eyes so we can see him, is if we took the same mind-altering drugs that some of your bible writers used to obtain their special visions.
It sure wasn't cigarettes, that the author of chapters like "Revelations", was smoking. More like funny-cigarettes I'm thinking here.

Anon, where is your concrete proof of this drug laden ghost, with holes in him?

Should we hold our breath while you go get your positive proof, hmmm

p.s. if the HOLY ghost takes a drink of wine, does he leak like a sieve?
Just something I always wanted to know is all [g]


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