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Chris Shelton breaks down wild interview with current Scientologist Katie Lohmann

[Andrew Gold and Katie Lohmann]

YouTuber Andrew Gold, who has done a lot of Scientology-related content mostly focused around Tom Cruise, was reached out to by a Scientology celebrity named Katie Lohmann. She is a model, actress and most notably, a former Playboy Playmate from April 2001 (it appears the Playmate work was well before she got involved with Scientology).

She is not a high-level Scientologist in that she has not even achieved the state of Clear much less been exposed to any of the OT material. She made the rather shocking admission that she has seen what is on the Internet about Scientology’s Advanced Courses, and I can tell you from my experience that admitting to such a thing may bar her from ever doing them. The Church takes a rather dim view of anyone who is “out-security” with the content of the OT levels or who goes finding out about them before they are ready.

It’s doubtful Katie even knows that much, though, as she hasn’t gotten to the level where Scientology gets real and starts making real demands on your life. She is still in the rainbows-and-butterflies euphoria of someone who honestly feels she was helped and can see nothing wrong with that experience. And of course there isn’t anything wrong with that experience. She just doesn’t want to believe what we all say is coming next.

However, all that aside, Katie is a woman who is familiar with talking on a microphone, putting her best and most positive image forward, and framing her thoughts in such a way that they will come across reasonably well. Given what we have seen in the past from Scientology celebrities such as Jenna “What Are Your Crimes?” Elfman, Katie is a real breath of fresh air from the Scientology camp. Yet for all her good manners and literacy, this interview revealed more about her and Scientology’s nefarious side than she had any intention of showing.


Like the interview Tony got with the OT 7 field auditor a few weeks ago which I discussed in detail in a live stream last week, this interview is another master class in motivated reasoning, which basically just means how people can wrap their mind into a pretzel to make things make sense which don’t, in fact, actually make any sense at all. When someone encounters information that contradicts or somehow nullifies what they already think is true, or feel must be true, then the reasoning part of the brain goes into action to settle the matter and try to keep the belief true. The noise that is created in our heads from this is called cognitive dissonance because it can be quite uncomfortable.

Scientologists have to deal with this a lot because of the nature of Scientology’s beliefs and this is why you hear them say things that make you tilt your head and say,”Wait, wut? How can you possibly think that?” It’s because they have to believe that founder L. Ron Hubbard knows what he’s talking about, that David Miscavige is a great leader who means no harm, and that Tom Cruise is the literal embodiment of all that is good, right, and “OT” about Scientology. Like the fan boys who worship at the altar of Cruise, Scientologists think they too can be just like Tom Cruise if they are good enough, strong enough, and are willing to make any sacrifices they have to in order to realize their dreams. They have no concept of and refuse to acknowledge that pure luck had more to do with Tom Cruise’s rise to fame than his “natural talent” or his willingness to put stuntmen out of a job so he can show off. They believe what they want to about him and facts simply don’t matter.

So how can I say all this awful stuff about Scientologists with such surety? Because if you watch them, they tell you all this themselves, just like Katie Lohman did with interviewer Andrew Gold. And this thing really is a golden view into the headspace of a cult member, one who is quite articulate and level-headed and even reasonable about some points. So let me offer some thoughts I had while watching this and maybe they’ll be of some help in trying to understand how people can let themselves be controlled by an abusive cult without even realizing what’s happening.

First off, it might be of interest to know that Hubbard heavily discouraged regular Scientologists from doing what Katie did in reaching out to Andrew in the first place. For a period of time it was straight up forbidden for Scientologists to talk to the press, but he later changed that and said that they will only print bad news so it was not a fruitful activity and should be left up to Scientology Public Relations officers.

Katie is someone who is curious and obviously intelligent. She has seen the work of critics on television and the Internet and she felt upset that the “other side” was not being represented. This itself is a bit of a scathing commentary on the state of Scientology’s PR and imaging, when Scientologists get so sick of “all the lies” from us ex-members they feel they have to take it upon themselves to offer an interview. Given that there hasn’t been an effective or even remotely likable Scientology PR spokesperson since Mike Rinder escaped in 2007, it makes sense that after 15 years, Scientologists are starting to have more Internet presence now. There has been a recent increase in Scientologists, not just OSA bots, actually stepping up and attacking critics on social media as well. So it may well be that we are seeing a surge of some kind from regular Scientologists, or somehow the word has gotten around within the group that it is OK to go online and attack us critics and make a fuss. Unfortunately for Scientology, it isn’t going to help because Scientologists public-facing policy is “attack, never defend” and a few other gems which all add up to presenting a completely unhinged and even insane perspective about their religion and the facts us critics offer about Scientology’s abuses.

So how did Katie do? Well, pretty poorly judging from the comments to the video, but viewers definitely want more. Why? As one commenter put it, “The more they talk, the more cult activity they reveal.” Or as someone else wrote, “Welp, if I wasn’t 100 percent sure that Scientology wasn’t a cult before, I am 150 percent sure now.” So if Katie was trying to quell the anxiety about her cult and offer a kinder, gentler version of Scientology, she failed miserably.

Her views on psychiatry and therapy almost word-for-word parroted what Hubbard said. The fact is very few Scientologists have any idea what therapy is, how it works or what psychologists and psychiatrists actually do. They imagine that electroshock therapy is still the order of the day, that every psychotropic medication turns people immediately into zombies and that the AMA and APA are strong-arm groups enforcing the will of national governments against their citizens. One doesn’t even have to journey very far along in Scientology to start being spoon fed this nonsense. Since they don’t know much else about it, they think Hubbard knows what he’s talking about. So Katie parrots that “if you go and talk to a therapist, they’re going to try to tell you who you are. In Scientology, you make that discovery.” As someone who has studied therapeutic treatment modalities myself, has interviewed family and cult therapists at length and has received therapy for years, what Katie is describing is simply not true.

In contrast, isn’t it funny that Hubbard’s “Bridge to Total Freedom” is a one-size-fits-all approach where every single person in Scientology must walk through the same series of “gateways to Clear” (the lower Scientology Grades) and the exact same path to Operating Thetan (the OT Levels) no matter their background, experience, personality or desires? Isn’t it kind of odd that every single Scientologist is told (in no uncertain terms) that the “key incidents” of their past consist of things like “the Clam” and “Piltdown Man” and, of course, the universal Xenu narrative? Yet Katie is completely blind to the simple fact that Hubbard (and the Case Supervisors who oversee all Scientology auditing) are dictating at every turn what it is she is going to do in every one of her sessions. She simply cannot connect those dots, but she can make false claims that psychologists are telling their patients who they really are. This is exactly the kind of hypocrisy that lies at the heart of cultic thinking and makes it so difficult to talk rationally with members of totalist groups.

Perhaps one of the most entertaining parts of the interview was when Katie tried to find Andrew’s ruin and recruit him into Scientology. That was funny. But it does lead to my next point, which is when Katie said “Scientology doesn’t work for everyone. But if it does work for you, it’s amazing. If it works, it really works. It’s interesting because the people who left were in the Sea Org.” This appears to be a prepared line she had ready and used frequently, circling back around to the idea that “Scientology isn’t for everyone” again and again to dismiss the fact that people who leave it have valid and real experiences of abuse, even violent abuse.

Whether this is an official PR line that Scientology is adopting or one she made up has yet to be seen. If you think about it, it is a more reasonable sounding line, by far, than what we’ve heard from Scientologists until now. It hasn’t gone over well at all when Scientologists continually assert that all critics are just criminals and the only reason we left is because of our crimes. People know that’s nonsense, and here a Scientologist is adapting and trying a different approach. Again, slightly refreshing from the usual party lines, but unless you don’t know anything about Scientology, it’s not going to work any better than the Dissemination Drill steps that Katie tried to use on Andrew during the interview. She was not a very good disseminator, to be honest.

Which leads right to my next point: the use of the word “cult” in talking to her. This is a word I use often in my work but try to avoid using when in one-on-one discussions with cult members. It’s a loaded word with so many negative connotations that it’s generally not useful to use with cult members as it can be guaranteed to make them defensive and therefore unreachable. However, it was interesting that Andrew didn’t let up with it. Over the course of the interview, with the comments rolling in that it appeared she was also seeing, it was clear this word was making her very uncomfortable. She went from saying Scientology was not a cult to asserting it was not always a bad word and she could use it to describe Scientology after all. Turn the bad into the good. Make the negative a positive and that will settle the cognitive dissonance.

Perhaps one of the most important points of the interview was when Andrew compared Scientology to Nxivm, a subject Katie clearly knew almost nothing about but immediately asserted dominance in anyway. That was another funny thing to watch but it ended with this comment while joking around about a basketball game of Scientology vs Nxivm: “Scientology has no rival. It really stands on its own. We would win. We would totally win. If there was a game…if it’s a game, Scientology is going to win that game, for sure. Doesn’t even matter what the game is, we’re gonna win.”

The reason I say that may well have been the defining moment of the interview is because that is the unreasonable, ignorant certainty that drives every cultic belief system. In short: We are the best and the brightest. No one can stand against us. No matter what barriers or problems we encounter, we will beat them down and we will emerge victorious 100 percent of the time. Nothing will ever stop us. I cannot even conceive of failure.

Some people admire this attitude, mistaking it for positivity and confidence. They think this is how winners and successful people actually think, which is just more Grant Cardone-level nonsense. They don’t see that in a totalist system like Scientology, it is this very thinking which will drive its members to stay up for five days straight because they were ordered to; that it’s OK to abuse children or even throw them in a chain locker for getting in the way; that every action they take is taken solely to “save the world” and there is nothing else more important than what their cult is doing. This isn’t confidence or the reasonable expectation of a Michael Jordan or the tough talk of a boxing challenger. This is unreasonable, fanatical devotion to a cause. It’s an unreasonable expectation of nothing but success which cannot allow for any counter-thought. They call this “Tone 40” in Scientology and lots of other cults have lots of other terms for this. In the end, this is exactly the kind of thinking that guarantees failure, a lesson no cult member learns until it is too late and they have usually failed much harder than they ever imagined possible.


I could go on for pages about this interview but I think these points were the ones that stood out to me as the most important to comment on. I’m sure others will have other views as well. Personally, I want to thank Andrew Gold for getting this interview and for reaching out to me just before he did it so I could give him just a little bit of inspiration and guidance on where to go with it. He did a good job and let her talk. It showed quite clearly, just as Tony did with the field auditor interview, that Scientologists truly live in a bubble world where any outside facts or evidence simply has no place and are not wanted. That is the tragedy of what cults do to people’s minds. It is from that place that the abuses and atrocities can occur and that is why we have to push back.

— Chris Shelton


Technology Cocktail

“Some men’s wives just disappear right in front of their faces. Just a black statue will be standing there. That’s visual occlusion, or the woman will disappear entirely. She will have no midriff or something like that. Only they don’t tell anybody about it, for this means, of course, that they are mad—or something wrong there with his havingness of his wife and his willingness to confront or not to confront that girl.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1957



We first broke the news of the LAPD’s investigation of Scientology celebrity Danny Masterson on rape allegations in 2017, and we’ve been covering the story every step of the way since then. At this page we’ve collected our most important links as Danny faces a potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison. NOW WITH TRIAL INDEX.


THE PODCAST: How many have you heard?


[1] Marc Headley [2] Claire Headley [3] Jeffrey Augustine [4] Bruce Hines [5] Sunny Pereira [6] Pete Griffiths [7] Geoff Levin [8] Patty Moher [9] Marc Headley [10] Jefferson Hawkins [11] Michelle ‘Emma’ Ryan [12] Paulette Cooper [13] Jesse Prince [14] Mark Bunker [15] Jon Atack [16] Mirriam Francis [17] Bruce Hines on MSH

— SPECIAL: The best TV show on Scientology you never got to see

[1] Phil Jones [2] Derek Bloch [3] Carol Nyburg [4] Katrina Reyes [5] Jamie DeWolf

— The first Danny Masterson trial and beyond

[18] Trial special with Chris Shelton [19] Trial week one [20] Marc Headley on the spy in the hallway [21] Trial week two [22] Trial week three [23] Trial week four [24] Leah Remini on LAPD Corruption [25] Mike Rinder 2022 Thanksgiving Special [26] Jane Doe 4 (Tricia Vessey), Part One [27] Jane Doe 4 (Tricia Vessey), Part Two [28] Claire Headley on the trial [29] Tory Christman [30] Bruce Hines on spying [31] Karen de la Carriere [32] Ron Miscavige on Shelly Miscavige [33] Karen de la Carriere on the L’s [34] Mark Bunker on Miscavige hiding [35] Mark Plummer [36] Mark Ebner [37] Karen Pressley


Source Code

“It’s the inability of the Catholic Church, and the inability of the Methodist and Angelican and other faiths, to unravel the why that lay behind human-emotion-and-reaction that convinced them utterly that man was a sinful being and that was born in sin, and he was conceived in sin and born in sin and would die in sin, and that he was evil. You can see them now on the rostrum, on the platform shaking their fingers at their congregations and how they were evil sinners, and they were all sinners. That’s just all, they didn’t have the right why. So, your own future morale pursuing a line as an Establishment Officer actually is greatly dependent on your ability to penetrate a situation and discover a correct why.” — L. Ron Hubbard, March 2, 1972


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Al Bornstein is ordered to thorough daily 2 hour study on his post hat. I have already sent Org Officer FAO a full checksheet on promotion for use in his hat.” — Lt. Cmdr. Diana Hubbard, Distribution Aide, March 2, 1971



Overheard in the FreeZone

“An ‘engram’ is a ‘quantum field’ of attention units, theta quanta of awareness, created by a being, and existing as stored (not in the brain), re-creatable mirrors of a physical universe event. They are not ‘located’ until called up again and recreated by the being, whereupon they can and do impinge on the body its glandular system, its nervous system, its communications and the cells and structures. There are parts of these that are continuously created as ‘automaticities.’ All of them are composed of postulated particles in space, ‘energy.’ DNA isn’t so much the blueprint as the list of materials available. The actual plans exist as memories of the theta, the life that animates the cell. They aren’t traces on cells, until put there, as memory, by life itself, manipulating the MEST. MIT won’t ever find a location, general or specific, in the brain for any engram, except when it is in restimulation. And if it involved the brain in the first place. The repository for engrams as stored re-creatable potentials of energy, is the being. It is life. Theta. With the ability to either recall and recreate, or keep in continuous creation. And, since there is no limit on how many mental energy pictures a being can make, you can ‘store’ an infinity of them, with nary a brain in sight. Consideration takes rank over mechanics. And today, in the study of physics, and now cellular biology, the functions of theta described thoroughly in Dianetics and Scientology has had the structure study just about catch up to it. Physical science and the humanities are coming together. It’s happening on numerous fronts. With a workable technology of the mind, and a means to rehabilitation of the spirit existing in Dianetics and Scientology, we have in our hands the means to a true enlightened age.”


Past is Prologue

1998: Ray Randolph reported that Scientology private detective David Lee has been contacting a number of a.r.s participants in an attempt to discredit a number of Scientology critics. “I’ve now been asked to meet with David Lee, although he’s been asking to meet with me for several weeks, ever since I called him a ‘whore.’ Heh. (well? He is!). So David Lee talks to me, Ron Newman, and no doubt, before long, Rod Keller, Dr. Dave, Deanna Holmes, and others will be contacted. If you’re contacted by David Lee, you know where you sit in their Org Board of ARS – They consider you a threat – not so great and terrible as the irredeemable ‘critics’ above you on the Org Board, but great enough that they believe you to be an opinion leader of ARS. If you insist on meeting with him. Insist on tape recording the meeting. David Lee is being bred to be the new Ingram. Gene is a PR liability and the church is holding off on using him too much because he’s too well known. David L. has the added bonus of being ever so slightly net-savvy. Dave L. also frequently makes the claim of having worked for various arms of certain Secret Gov’t agencies. These claims of his are purely made-up bullshit. He’s used these bogus claims to try to get jobs in the past.”


Random Howdy

“Even after all this time I’m still shocked at how this ‘religion’ is able to turn people into the biggest bunch of liars, bullies and amoral a-holes I’ve ever come across. I’m use to associating with junkies, prostitutes, and various other sundry shady types, but generally speaking, those people have more of a moral compass than your militant Scientologist.”


Full Court Press: What we’re watching at the Underground Bunker


Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Mistrial declared November 30. Retrial scheduled, jury selection begins March 29. Next pretrial hearing: Feb 16.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Grand jury indictments include charges from an assault while in custody. Next pretrial hearing Feb 13.
Rizza Islam, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for March 1 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next status conference Feb 13.

Civil litigation:
Baxter, Baxter, and Paris v. Scientology, alleging labor trafficking: Complaint filed April 28 in Tampa federal court, Scientology moving to compel arbitration. Plaintiffs filed amended complaint on August 2. Hearing November 17 to argue the arbitration motions, awaiting ruling.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Selection of arbitrators underway. Next court hearing: March 15, 2023.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Appellate court removes requirement of arbitration on January 19, case remanded back to Superior Court. Stay in place at least through February 7.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: New trial ordered after appeals court overturned prior ruling.
Chiropractors Steve Peyroux and Brent Detelich, stem cell fraud: Lawsuit filed by the FTC and state of Georgia in August, now in discovery phase.



After the success of their double-Emmy-winning, three-season A&E series ‘Scientology and the Aftermath,’ Leah Remini and Mike Rinder continue the conversation on their podcast, ‘Scientology: Fair Game.’ We’ve created a landing page where you can hear all of the episodes so far.


An episode-by-episode guide to Leah Remini’s three-season, double-Emmy winning series that changed everything for Scientology watching. Originally aired from 2016 to 2019 on the A&E network, and now on Netflix.


Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Other links: SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks. Scientology’s Ideal Orgs, from one end of the planet to the other. Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society. Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in a weekly series. How many have you read?


[ONE year ago] Rough seas? Tough cookie, sailor. In Scientology, you upchuck at your own peril
[TWO years ago] Save the date: Special ‘Cult City’ tour with Marc Headley for L. Ron Hubbard’s birthday
[THREE years ago] DRONE FLYOVER: The Gold Country mine where Scientology stores its scriptures
[FOUR years ago] Mike Rinder on Scientology’s smears, Miscavige’s fears, and waiting for ‘Aftermath’ news
[FIVE years ago] Scientology TV is now installed at the Ideal Orgs — when do the rest of us get to see it?
[SIX years ago] Leah Remini’s ‘Troublemaker’ finally gets a UK publisher — and you can probably guess who!
[EIGHT years ago] NEW TODAY: Memoir with shocking claims by notorious Scientology spy, Merrell Vannier
[NINE years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology nuttiness on Oscar Day!
[TEN years ago] Scientology Mythbusting with Jon Atack: That L. Ron Hubbard TV Ad!
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology on the High Seas: Three Major Enemies Scalped!


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 2,956 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,461 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,011 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,001 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,892 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,196 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,067 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,172 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,649 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,961 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,527 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,446 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,614 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,195 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,456 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,493 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,208 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,772 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,087 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,262 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,813 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,944 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,282 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,137 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,256 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,612 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,915 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,021 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,419 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,295 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,878 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,373 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,627 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,736 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 2, 2023 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2021 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2021), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists | GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice | SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts | Shelly Miscavige, 15 years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


Tony Ortega at The Daily Beast


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