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Mystery Babylon: The Origins of Saturn
Frank Abagnale, Jr. will likely go down in history as the greatest con artist that ever lived. The strength of all frauds and counterfeits lies in their ability to deceive. Frank knew this and he was the best. He began his life of crime by impersonating a Pan American airlines pilot. Flying over 1,000,000 miles, he visited 26 different countries and lived in various hotels, charging food and lodging to the airline. After nearly being caught while leaving a flight in New Orleans, Frank looked elsewhere for "work."
With no college education, Frank successfully passed himself off as a chief resident pediatrician in a Georgia hospital for nearly a year. His career posing as a doctor also included working as resident supervisor of interns for 25 months. Later, he forged a Harvard University law school transcript, although he never attended law school, and passed the Louisiana state bar exam. For eight months he worked in the office of the state attorney general. During his career in crime, he also stole millions of dollars by brilliantly forged checks.
The most incredible fact to his story is that all these exploits occurred while he was still a teenager! When he was finally caught, 12 countries clamored for his extradition. After escaping prison by posing as an undercover prison inspector, Frank was arrested for the final time when two policemen sitting in an unmarked police car recognized him. Frank's skill was so great that, after a short stint in prison, the FBI offered him a job, helping them catch other forgers.(1)
Genuine time measurementhas counterfeits as well. While most people are aware that the origins of Sunday began with sun worship, they assume that Saturday is the Biblical seventh-day Sabbath. Saturday is the seventh day of the week. However, the calendar used to calculate Saturday is a pagan counterfeit that establishes the worship times of pagan gods. The origins of Saturday reveal it to be a counterfeit of the genuine seventh-day Sabbath of Creation.
Lending authenticity to its bold claim of being the true Sabbath of the Bible is its age. The length of time Saturday has been in existence has increased its deceptive power by giving it a legitimacy which newer counterfeits, Sunday among them, do not possess. To understand the fraudulent nature of Saturday, it is important to trace it back to its roots. The word "Saturday" means "Saturn's day" or the day belonging to the god, Saturn. Most, if not all, of the ancient religions had Saturn in their pantheon of gods.
As "Saturn" to the Romans, he was "Kronos/Chronos" to the Greeks. To the Egyptians, he was alternately "Khons" (2) and "Osiris." (3) The Babylonians named him "Ninus" while to the Assyrians he was Bel, Bal or Belus. (4) The Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Canaanites referred to Saturn as Baal or Baalim. (5) The person from whom these various legends extend is none other than Nimrod, that "mighty hunter before [against] the Lord." (6) Nimrod, grandson of Ham and great-grandson of Noah, was the first deified Babylonian king. (7) Nimrod's reestablishment of idolatry in the post-flood world came down in the legends and pantheons of the various idolatrous nations which did not retain a knowledge of the true God. Under differing names, Nimrod/Saturn appeared in all ancient idolatry.
Rome itself was originally the city of Saturn! "Tradition related that Saturn, the earliest god of agriculture worshipped in Italy . . . dwelt on the hill afterward called the Capitoline, and introduced the golden age into Italy whilst reigning there; whence [come the terms:] the Saturnian reign, mountain, land and city." (8)
In common with all the earth, Rome at a very early prehistoric period, had drunk deep of Babylon's "golden cup." But above and beyond all other nations, it had had a connection with the idolatry of Babylon that put it in a position peculiar and alone. Long before the days of Romulus [the founder of Rome, with his brother Remus] a representative of the Babylonian Messiah, called by his name, had fixed his temple as a god, and his palace as a king, on one of those very heights which came to be included within the walls of that city which Remus and his brother were destined to found. On the Capitoline hill, so famed in after-days as the great high place of Roman worship, Saturnia, or the city of Saturn, the great Chaldean god, had in the days of dim and distant antiquity been erected. (9)
The possibility that Nimrod built Saturnia and was worshipped there as a god, is intriguing. According to Annius of Viterbo and Richard Lynche.(10) Noah himself traveled to Italy to visit his grandson, Gomer (eldest son of Japheth). Upon arrival, Noah learned that Gomer had died and Ham had usurped the kingdom. Noah then cast out Ham and restored order to the kingdom which had been morally corrupted under Ham.
In Revelation, Rome with its idolatrous worship is symbolized as a woman named "Mystery Babylon," sitting on a beast with seven heads.(11) The seven heads of the beast are identified as the "seven mountains" on which she sits.(12) This is a direct reference to Rome, long known as "the city of seven hills." "To call Rome the city ‘of the seven hills' was by its citizens held to be as descriptive as to call it by its own proper name." (13) The Capitoline Hill, the smallest of Rome's seven hills and the site of Saturnia was long considered the most sacred and became the seat of civil government.
While the mists of time veil much of antiquity, Saturnia's Babylonian link is particularly fascinating in light of the various ancient accounts (14) which state that Shem, Nimrod's great-uncle, slew Nimrod for idolatry. Ancient accounts of Saturnia indicate that idolatry was indeed held in check for a long time after some calamitous event:
On the Capitoline hill, so famed in after-days as the great high place of Roman worship, Saturnia, or the city of Saturn, the great Chaldean god, had in the days of dim and distant antiquity been erected. (15) Some revolution had then taken place – the graven images of Babylon had been abolished – the erecting of any idol had been sternly prohibited, (16) and when the twin founders [Romulus and Remus] of the now world-renowned city reared its humble walls, the city and the palace of their Babylonian predecessor had long lain in ruins. (17)
Even Virgil alludes to the destruction of Saturnia at date remote even to the early time of Evander (roughly 1250 B.C.). (18)
As a fore-father of the Messiah and the preserver of true religion, Shem was zealous to preserve truth and sought to abolish the idolatry being established by Nimrod, his grand-nephew and the ringleader of apostasy. Chaldean records refer to the death of Nimrod as taking place at the command of a "certain king," or Shem. (19) Ancient Egyptian accounts reveal that Shem, or Sem, speaking by "the power of the Gods," (20) appealed to a governing body of judges, presenting before them truth in its purity as compared to the evil that was being spread abroad by Nimrod. (21) His words were so powerfully persuasive that the judges were convinced. This tribunal consisted of two sets of magistrates: 30 civil judges and 42 religious judges, for a total of 72.
"Seventy-two was just the number of the judges, both civil and sacred, who, according to Egyptian law, were required to determine what was to be the punishment of one guilty of so high an offense as that of Osiris [Nimrod]. (22) The sentence handed down for this high treason against heaven was death.
After decapitating Nimrod, Shem dismembered his body, sending parts to all of the various strongholds of idolatry as a solemn warning: thus shall it be done unto all who rebel against the authority of Heaven. A relatively large number of ancient accounts (23) would indicate that Nimrod was actually killed by being torn asunder, although dismemberment after death is more likely. Regardless of the specific cause of death, the fact that it could happen at all to a man so mighty as Nimrod conveyed a strong warning to his followers.
Saturnus shown holding a scythe and a baby. Notice the winged dragon biting his tail forming a perfect circle, the symbol of the sun.
The result was to send idolatry underground. Those who desired to continue the rebellion begun by Nimrod had to do so in secret. Nimrod was worshipped, but it was done under a variety of names.
Nimrod/Saturn in its varied forms thus became the "hidden god"; the "god of hidden counsels"; the "concealer of secrets," and "the hidden one." (24)
Saturn as a god, with his accompanying day of worship, originated in that great post-flood apostasy which culminated in the heaven-daring rebellion at the Tower of Babel. When God confounded the language of the rebels (25) and they scattered to inhabit various parts of the earth, the idolatrous religion exalting Nimrod as a god went with them. While it entered a new, "hidden" phase, the identifying hallmarks of this gross apostasy were still present and were ever a temptation to the people of God, leading them into idolatry. The foundation of rebellion thus laid in antiquity holds strong today in the counterfeit seventh-day Sabbath: Saturday.
The Greek Kronos and the Roman Saturn were the same god. (26) As god of the harvest, he was typically represented as holding a scythe. Kronos/Saturn was the god of time (27) as well and as such he was also frequently shown holding babies. (28) Saturn's chief holiday was Saturnalia. In December, the path of the sun stands still on the southern sky for five days. Ancient priests told the superstitious people that the sun was dying and must be propitiated with costly sacrifices. Saturn, as the god of time, was implored to continue time. The people were thus compelled to offer the things most precious to them, their children, in order to prolong time. Saturn, god of time and god of the harvest, reaped his harvest of souls in the burned bodies of these young children.
In mythology, Kronos ate his own children. Therefore, the proper sacrifice with which to appease Kronos would, of course, be children. While indications are that this was not a daily ritual, it certainly occurred at times of national peril such as famine or war. The victims were generally heavily veiled (to prevent the parents from seeing when it was their child's turn) and loud music with drums was played to drown out any screams that may be heard. Carthage in particular was infamous for child sacrifice. "Special ceremonies during extreme crisis saw up to 200 children of the most affluent and powerful families slain and tossed into the burning pyre. During the political crisis of 310 B.C., some 500 were killed." (29) "Saturn had become the champion of African paganism . . . indeed as Baal-Hammon in Phoenician Carthage, he was the object of child sacrifice, disclosed by the discoveries in the Tophet, or open-air sacrificial grounds of the old Punic city." (30) "The champion diety of North African paganism was Saturn to whom the Phoenician god Baal-Hammon was assimilated. Although a fertitility god, Saturn-Baal . . . was nonetheless ruthless in the sacrifices he exacted." (31) The Romans quit offering human sacrifice early on (32) and the Senate officially outlawed the practice in 97 BCE. (33) However, blood was still spilled via gladiators during the saturnalia celebrations. (34) "The gladiatorial shows were sacred" to Saturn. (35) Ausonius stated that "the ampitheatre claims its gladiators for itself, when at the end of December they propitiate with their blood the sickle-bearing Son of Heaven." (36) The fact that the gladiators were themselves considered sacrifices to this blood-thirsty god is affirmed by Justus Lipsius, when commenting on Ausonius' quote: "Where you will observe two things, both, that the gladiators fought on the Saturnalia, and that they did so for the purpose of appeasing and propitiating Saturn." (37)
The principle on which these [gladiatorial] shows were conducted was the very same as that which influenced the priests of Baal. They were celebrated as propitatory sacrifices . . . in the light of the real history of the historical Saturn, we find a more satisfactory reason for the barbarous custom when such multitudes of men were "Butchered to make a Roman holiday." When it is remembered that Saturn [Nimrod] himself was cut in pieces, it is easy to see how the idea would arise of offering a welcome sacrifice to him by setting men to cut one another in pieces on his birthday, by way of propitating his favor. (38)
On the modern calendar, December 21 is the winter solstice, or shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. However, on the early Julian calendar, the winter solstice fell on December 25. (39,40) The Romans called this Brumalia from the Latin word bruma, for short. On December 25 was held the feast of Sol Invictus, after which the days again begin to lengthen. The later Romans referred to this day as the "birthday of the Invincible Sun" or dies natalis Solis Invicti. (41) Saturnalia immediately preceded Brumalia and it was a time of riotous merry-making.
Thus, the various ancient celebrations honoring Nimrod/Saturn and Tammuz during Saturnalia and its cultural equivalents have become absorbed into the modern celebration of Christmas. (42) These include the Twelve Days of Christmas; snacks and "goodies" left out in the evening; holiday "punch" in a special wassail bowl; Christmas trees decorated with lights (originally candles made from the fat of the burned bodies of children offered in sacrifice); Christmas trees hung with balls (anciently decapitated heads of sacrificial victims) and crowned with a star; parties with nosie-makers; gift exchanges; Yule logs; feasting; kissing under the mistletoe; the "Christmas goose"; Yule cakes; the boar's head/ham as the main dish of Christmas dinner; holly berries (the food of the gods); evergreen boughs; caroling; "Advent" candles; the imagery of the "Christ-child" (actually Tammuz, the Babylonian messiah); Christmas cards (a modern evolution of sending season's greetings and blessings), etc. Even the imagery of Father Christmas/Santa Claus bears a striking resemblance to Saturn: an old man, with a long beard, surrounded by children.
The imagery of Saturn: an evil, child-sacrifice demanding old man, carries on in modern society in two more guises. Every December, Saturn, the god of time, reappears as "Old Father Time." The child-victim is Baby New Year. Notice that in this modern cartoon of Old Father Time with Baby New Year, all of the characteristics of Saturn are in place: the scythe, the watch, as a symbol of Time, and, of course, the child-victim. The smile behind Father Time's beard makes this seem like innocent fun: symbols that contain no reference to evil, just a fun way to represent the passage of time.
A far more chilling representation of Father Time with Baby New Year can be found in this illustration from the 19th century. Father Time/Saturn, as the god of Time, is standing in front of a large clock, holding his scythe. The old years, 1886-1888, are passing away as full-grown bodies wrapped in burial shrouds. The New Year, 1889, is coming in as a young child. While the picture is quite dark, light from the fire is lighting the little boy while on either side are swirls of smoke from the burning fire at his feet (below the view of the picture.) Notice that the new years still to come, 1890-1892, are portrayed as child sacrifice victims, all of whom are heavily veiled. All of the grotesque elements of this hideous god are contained in this one "innocent" illustration.
The other way in which Saturn's imagery exists in modern society is as the Grim Reaper. The Grim Reaper is typically seen only around Halloween. He is widely understood as a symbol of death itself. Very few, if any, in modern society have recognized in either the Grim Reaper or Old Father Time the pagan connection to the cruelest, most evil of all the gods. However, an ancient would immediately recognize both as being none other than Saturn because the emblems which identified Saturn are the same which identify Old Father time and the Grim Reaper: scythes and something to mark the passage of time.
As Christianity was absorbed into pagan Rome, both Christianity and paganism combined to form a new, amalgamated religion. This new religion, headed by the papacy, retained the pagan celebrations, now christened with new, "Christianized" names. Christianity was very quick to immerse itself in paganism which did not change its religious practices. As early as the third century, Tertullian lamented how quick the Christians of his day were to give up their pure faith while the pagans remained very faithful to their religion:
By us who are strangers to Sabbaths, and new moons, and festivals, once acceptable to God, the Saturnalia, the feasts of January, the Brumalia, and Matronalia, are now frequented; gifts are carried to and fro, new year's day presents are made with din, and sports and banquets are celebrated with uproar; oh, how much more faithful are the heathen to their religion, who take special care to adopt no solemnity from the Christians. (43)
This is a fascinating quote because religious observances are dependent on their calendars for establishing when to celebrate. Tertullian was listing the Creator's luni-solar holy days: Sabbaths, new moons, and annual feasts. He stated thatthese celebrations were acceptable to God, while lamenting the fact that they had been given up for pagan holidays, calculated on the pagan, Julian calendar!
A baker combines yeast with dough to make bread. The end product, bread, does not resemble either the yeast or the dough. It is a new product made of them both. In this way, the amalgamation of paganism with Christianity has flowed through the papal Church and now permeates all of Christendom. Pure apostolic godliness is a thing of the past, as is the overt paganism of the ancients. However, the product of this corrupt union is seen in the Christianity of today. The new end-result is "Christian Babylonians."
There are many excuses given by sincere, conservative Christian Babylonians today for clinging to pagan holidays honoring Saturn.
- "Christmas is a wonderful time for spending with family. We are so busy throughout the year this is really our only chance to get together."
- "Christmas is a great time to witness! People are more open at this time of year so I use it as an opportunity to share about Christ with my neighbors."
- "Christmas is the only holiday that really focuses on Jesus."
- "Christmas is fun! What is wrong with that?"
- "Christmas is my only opportunity to really show my appreciation to the people important to me."
- "I know that Jesus was not reallyborn then so it is alright for me."
The pagans were ignorant of the true God of Heaven. They practiced these rituals honoring Nimrod because they did not know any better. Can Christians today make the same claim? Scripture teaches that "the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent." (44) To know that Christmas is a pagan holiday, to knowthat the modern rituals are identical to the ancient rituals that honored Saturn/Nimrod, and yet to claim exemption from sin because one knows, is extremely inconsistent.
There are many, devout Christians who do not celebrate Easter or Christmas because of their pagan origins. There are others who do not celebrate birthdays either because they know that the celebration of one's own birthday is the highest Satanic holiday of the year. (45) Yet, through ignorance these same sincere people worship on other pagan holy days. It does not matter whether the day of the week is the first day or the seventh day; if a pagan calendar is being used to keep track of time, it is calculating pagan worship days.
The very strongest deceptions are those closest to the truth. Saturday, the seventh day of the pagan calendar is assumed to be the Biblical Sabbath, but it is not. In a complicated twist, Satan has produced Sunday as The Counterfeit Worship Day. The purpose of this double deception is to deceive all who truly desire to honor their Maker either by worshipping on the "Lord's Day" or the seventh-day Sabbath. In this way, attention is diverted from the truth that Saturday itself is a counterfeit which honors the cruelest, most blood-thirsty of all the gods: Saturn. Honor and worship is thus stolen from the Creator and given to His enemy.
- Babylonian Mysteries: The Hidden God
- Saturday in Scripture: Supplanting the Holy Sabbath
(1) Frank W. Abagnale, Jr. and Stan Redding, Catch Me If You Can: The Amazing and True Story of the Youngest and Most Daring Con Man in the History of Fun and Profit,(New York: Broadway Books, 1980).
(2) God of time.
(3) God of agriculture/harvest.
(4) Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons: The Papal Worship Proved to be the Worship of Nimrod and His Wife, (New Jersey: Loizeaux Brothers, Inc., 1959), pp. 31-32.
(5) "Baal," Encyclopedia Britannica, Sixth edition, (Edinburgh: Archibald Constable and Co., 1823) Vol. III, p. 294. Because Baal was also a title meaning lord or master, it was often linked to other names: e.g., Baal-Berith, Baal-Peor, Baal-Zebub, etc.
(6) Genesis 10:8 and 9
(7) Hislop, op cit., pp. 32, 304.
(8) Johann D. Fuss, Roman Antiquities, (Oxford: D. A. Talboys, 1840), p. 359.
(9) Hislop, op. cit., p. 239; see also, Aurelius Victor, Origo Gentis Romanæ, (Utrecht, 1696)cap. 3.
(10) Various historians have questioned the authenticity of Annius of Viterbo's source documents mainly because they were not verified before his death. He died just four years after his Antiquities was published and the source documents have not since been found. See also Richard Lynche, An Historical Treatise of the Travels of Noah into Europe, published in 1601 and based in part on the work of Annius.
(11) See Revelation 17:1-5.
(12) Revelation 17:9.
(13) Hislop, op. cit., p. 2. Propertius described Rome as "The lofty city on seven hills, which governs the whole world." (Lib. iii. Elegy 9, Utrecht, 1659, p. 721.) See also Virgil, Georg., lib. ii. v. 534, 535; Horace, Carmen Seculare, v. 7, p. 497; also, Martial: "Septem dominos montes," lib. iv. Ep. 64, p. 254.
(14) See Babylonian historian, Berosus; see also the Egyptian account of the death of Osiris (Egyptian Nimrod) at the hands of Sem (Shem).
(15) Aurelius Victor,op. cit.
(16) Plutarch (in Hist. Numæ, Vol. I, p. 65) states, that Numa forbade the making of images, and that for 170 years after the founding of Rome, no images were allowed in the Roman temples.
(17) Hislop, op. cit., p. 239.
(18) Referring to when Æneas was said to have visited the ancient Italian king, Virgil stated: "Then saw two heaps of ruins; once they stood/Two stately towns on either side the flood/Saturnia and Janicula's remains/And either place the founder's name retains." (Ænid, lib. Viii. II. 467-470, Vol. III, p. 608, emphasis supplied.)
(19) See Hislop, op. cit., p. 63; see also Maimonides, More Nevochim [Moreh Nevuchim].
(20) The name of the true Creator-God, Elohim, is plural. Therefore, the power "of the Gods" and "of God" would be expressed by the same term.
(21) Sir John Gardner Wilkinson, The Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians, (London, 1837-1841), Vol. V, p. 17.
(22) Hislop, op. cit.
(23) The various accounts of Nimrod dying a violent death appear under different names. However, "the Pagans were in the habit of worshipping the same god under different names" (Hislop, op. cit., p. 123). Various able scholars point out that these gods had similar characteristics, even in the etymology of their names. See Hyginus, Fabulæ, 132 and 184, pp. 109, 138; Strabo, lib. X, p. 453; Appoldorus, Bibliotheca, lib. i. cap. 3 and 7, p. 17; Ludovicus Vives, Commentary on Augustine, lib. VI, chap. IX. Note, p. 239, as quoted in Hislop, pp. 55 and 56.
(24) Hislop, op. cit. p. 41. See also Virgil, Ænid, lib. Viii and Ovid, Fasti,lib. i.
(25) Genesis 11:7-9
(26) Hislop, op. cit., pp. 31-35; "Saturn", Ecyclopedia Britannica; "Saturnus, Saturnalia," The Oxford Classical Dictionary, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979), pp. 955-956.
(27) "The connection between the sun and Saturn probably arose from both being taken as symbols of Time. The return of the sun to the beginning of the zodiac marked the completion of the year. Saturn, the slowest moving of all the heavenly bodies, accomplished its revolution . . . in about 30 years, a complete generation of men. Saturn therefore was in a peculiar sense the symbol of Time, and because of Time, of Destiny" (The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, James Orr, gen. ed., [The Howard-Severance Co., 1915], Vol. I, p. 298.)
(28) Fuss, op. cit., pp. 359-360.
(29) Roy Decker, Religion of Carthage, "Human Sacrifice."
(30) Quodvoltdeus of Carthage, translation and commentaries, Thomas Macy Finn, (New Jersey: The Newman Press, 2004), p. 14.
(31) Ibid., p. 115.
(32) While the Romans frowned on human sacrifice as barbaric, there are, nevertheless, specific instances of human sacrifice that occurred as late as 216 and 113 BCE. Other human sacrifices referred to by Livy (2.42) and Pliny the Younger (Epistle,4.11) would seem to indicate that whatever the official "reason" for the "execution," these were in reality sacrifices to appease the gods because of bad omens.
(33) Robert Drews, "Pontiffs, Prodigies, and the Disappearance of the Annales Maximi,"Classical Philology, Vol. 83, no. 4 (Oct., 1988), pp. 289-299.
(34) While Saturnalia was originally held on December 17, the riotous behavior associated with this popular holiday early on led to a lengthening of the celebration, first to two, then three, and five days. In Cicero's time, Saturnalia lasted for seven days.
(35) Fuss, op. cit., 359.
(36) Ausonius, Eclog. i. p. 156, quoted in Hislop, op. cit., p. 153.
(37) Lipsius, tom. ii. Saturnalia Sermonum Libri Duo, Qui De Gladiatoribus, lib. i. cap. 5 as quoted in Hislop, ibid.
(39) VIII Kal. Ian, or eight days before the first of January: i.e., December 25 when counting inclusively as the Romans did. Pliny the Elder stated that the winter solstice (bruma) began at the eighth degree of Capricorn, the eighth day before the calends of January: "horae nunc in omni accessione aequinoctiales, non cuiuscumque die significantur —omnesque eae differentiae fiunt in octavis partibus signorum, bruma capricorni a. d. VIII kal. Ian." (See Naturalis Historia, Lib. 18, 221.)
(40) "The times of the Birth and Passion of Christ . . . were little regarded by the Christiansof the first age. They who began first to celebrate them, placed them in the cardinal periods of the year; as the annunciation of the Virgin Mary, on the 25th of March, which when Julius Cæsar corrected the calendar was the vernal Equinox . . . and the birth of Christon the winter Solstice, Decemb. 25, . . . and because the Solstice in time removed from the 25th of December, to the 24th, the 23d, 22d, and so on backwards." (Sir Isaac Newton, Observations Upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John, 1733, Part I, Ch. XI, p. 144, emphasis and spelling original.)
(41) See Chronography of AD 354 where VIII Kal. Jan. is referred to as the "birthday of the Invincible Sun" (dies natalis Solis Invicti).
(42) For specifics on the rites of Saturnalia and how it is now embraced by all of Christendom, see Hislop, op. cit., "Christmas and Lady-Day," pp. 91-103.
(43) Tertullian, De Idolatria, c. 14, Vol. I, p. 682 as quoted in Hislop, op. cit., p. 93, emphasis original.
(44) Acts 17:30, emphasis supplied.
(45) "After one's own birthday, the two major Satanic holidays are Walpurgisnacht [May 1] and Halloween." Anton S. LaVey, The Satanic Bible, (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 1992), p. 96.
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